Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hide Your Kid, Hide Your Wife

Luke 2:16-19

Luke 2:19, “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”

Mary was pregnant with purpose at a time where it was unacceptable for a woman who was unmarried to have a baby. Mary was faced with public scrutiny, shame, being sent away from the only home she knew and having to explain how she as a virgin became impregnated with a purpose larger than humanity. Often times, God impregnates us with purpose and we run and tell it without seeking counsel from God and instructions from those who are wise. Because Mary saved herself for the One who would come and save us, God sent her an earthly man of order-Joseph who "manned up" and protected her purpose. The Bible says in verse 17 that the people made haste to see the “Child” and they had already been advised of what the Child would be, what His name was, and His purpose.  When God impregnates us with purpose, we have to be mindful of understanding that folks recognize our power, gifts, and abilities before we understand them and learn how to utilize them. We can’t allow folks to name our purpose and define how we are to operate within them. Verse 19 states, “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Meaning, we have to be wise and hold and fold accordingly. Everybody ain’t gonna want to see you go to your next level and you have to protect and recognize the power in hiding your “purpose” from outsiders and those who mean you no good. Hold your purpose in your heart and allow God to cultivate it and equip you for the time of your delivery.

Monday, November 14, 2011

"Embrace your Now"

Esther 4:14, "For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"

We live in a society where everyone is running rampant and most don't recognize the voice of God or His will for our lives. There isn't partiality on God's part, but we often are impartial to the calling on our lives. We often are in expectancy of the "next big thing" in our lives and don't take the time out to embrace "our now." There are many lessons to learn and things to appreciate in our "now." Don't focus primarily on what God is going to do, instead thank Him for what He has already done and sit down and meditate on His Word and not the words of others. Esther had one year to prepare herself to fulfill the task God had predestined for her and she recognized the grandness of it. If she hadn't taken the time to humble herself and take heed to the counsel and instruction of the people God had placed in her inner circle-she faced being killed and her kin folks would have perished. "Now seasons" can be very trying times and you may not have much to work with or quality people in your inner circle to carry you through the tough trials and "stand still" situations, but I assure you God is there and is a very present help in times of trouble. Esther embraced her "now" in spite of her lack and short-comings. Because of her obedience and willingness to be used by God, according to Esther 4:17, the King did according to all that Esther commanded. Remember, preparation is never time wasted.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

" After all these Years"

Proverbs 10: 27-28, "The fear of the Lord prolongs days, But the years of the wicked will be shortened."

I am sure everyone is familiar with the term, "she/he sure is looking good after all these years." Living a life of order and decency is an option we all have to make. Fearing the Lord is the first step. Life is easy, living is hard, but that doesn't mean one has to live a "hard life." Living a godly life prolongs suffering, setbacks, and one "looking their age." Living a life of order brings about abundance and allows God to breathe on us daily. God can't operate in trash. Living in the streets takes a toll on one's body and shortens their longevity. I was taught that ain't nothing opened after dark but legs and this has been a driving force in my life. My folks taught me that a woman's role is to maintain order and the spirit of her household, ensure her children are "kept", cleanliness, and most importantly serving God. This generation has gotten away from the "old-school" or as we say in da country, "grandmama nem" ways, folks want easy lives, but make things difficult for themselves. Some stuff we bring upon ourselves by not doing what we know to be right. Living a righteous life "long-term" makes a difference in our appearance, health, and personal relationships.  When we think "short-term", we are "short-changing" ourselves. 

"Do it from your Heart"

Colossians 3:23-24, " And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord  you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ."

Growing up, I often was the spectacle of criticism and I took things people did and said to me "to the heart." I would often go to my grandmama in confidence with issues of my heart and she would always say, "did you do it from your heart or for man?" We have to be mindful of  our decisions and actions and our motivation behind them. If God isn't at the core of our decisions and intentions, we simply haven't done it from our heart. God is love. When you do things from the heart, you don't have to concern yourself on whether your words or actions were received and if they will bring you validation. When our works are done from our heart, we understand that sometimes others will receive glory for our efforts and that true power resides in effectively knowing how to hold and fold and not make a scene. When you do things from your heart and not for others' validation, the Bible says we will receive our reward of inheritance from God. Meaning, God takes notice of our efforts and works for Him and He will promote, validate and ensure we receive our kudos from Him! Everything we do should be for the glory of God. God will use our story to get His Glory if we humble ourselves and ensure we are an open vessel that is willing and capable of being used by Him-not them.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pass the salt please

Matthew 5:13, "Ye are the salt of the earth but if the salt have lost his savour wherewith shall it be salted it is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out."

Salt simply speaks for itself when it is poured out into portions that lack substance. As daughters and sons of the King, we are the salt in a bland world and stand distinctly from others. God entrusts us to use our anointing, gifts, talents, and blessings as He deems necessary. As salt of the earth, we don't have to go around saying who we are, people we encounter and have dealings with will know who and whose we are by our "substance." We have to use our salt in moderation and recognize the "favor of our flavor."  Everybody along your journey will not appreciate your salt and that's fine. We have to understand that "our salt" is an aquired taste and it won't set well nor be included into everyone's daily spiritual intake. As salt of the earth, recognize that there is power in being an "aquired taste."  The scripture teaches us that if we don't use our "salt" appropriately, it will lose its savor and not be beneficial to anyone including ourselves. I encourage you to cultivate and nurture your "salt" and find a balance that allows you to favorably use your "salt"  to bring savour to those who desire to feast on it.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Walking the Walk

Psalm 26:1 "Vindicate me, O Lord, For I have walked in my integrity, I have also trusted in the Lord; I shall not slip."

Being a woman of integrity is as limited as "myrrh" and is power to those who utilize it effectively. A woman who has the ability to step out in her faith and walk in integrity should understand that it is difficult and will cause one to be secluded from most, but the reward of "doing what you know to be right" is righteous and God will use your story to get the glory. Psalm 26:1, tells us that we have to seek God to vindicate us-which means we shouldn't be seeking the world to solidify our honor, only God has the power and capacity to do so. Seek God for Vindication. Vindication brings forth Validation. A woman who walks in her integrity knows that God promotes those who are humbled and it is long-term. Man's validation changes with the season, however a woman of integrity is seasoned. As women of integrity, we have to trust God at His Word and know that He won't allow us to slip. The Bible tells us that the laborers are few, but the harvest is plenty. Not many women in today's society want to be used by God, many desire to be, but the effort to do so is lacking. Since God has informed us that the laborers are FEW, we should take the opportunity to allow God to cultivate us and sharpen our gifts so that He-not a man, can use us at full capacity. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Daddy's Home

1 Timothy 4:8, "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Statistics show that over 50% of African-American households lack fathers in the home. It is amazing and disheartening because less than 30 years ago Black Men were the staple of their households and lead with tenacity, discipline, and Christian upbringing. Black men took pride in being providers, husbands, and fathers and now unfortunately, it is an "old-school" recollection. Being raised in a single-parent African-American household was a complex upbringing and the absence of a father in my rearing had an affect on me tremendously. I was nurtured by my grandfather, uncles and elders in my church, but the void of not having a father was very prevalent in my heart.  My great-uncles provided for 10 plus children and they never complained nor did their wives work outside of the home. Black men took their children to church on Sundays in starched clothes and ensured they knew what the Pastor's "text" was upon their return home.  To put it in basic terms, they feared the Lord and had a solid understanding in their faith and knowledge that God honors family and "will make a way somehow." In today's society, the bulk of men leave women to "fend" for themselves and fear of the Lord and His correction is uncommon.  Sadly, the burden of providing for children in their most critical years have left the "wallets" of men and have fallen into the "lap" of the government. Prayerfully, children of this generation who lack fathers will be nurtured and find confidence in knowing that our Heavenly Father is the only Daddy they need and He will and shall supply all of their needs according to His riches and glory.