(1 Sam 3:7-10, NKJV) 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him. 8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”
All afternoon I had been seeking for a particular answer I needed regarding direction. Every time I thought I had it, I quickly realized "nah that's not it." Was out running this evening and as I wrapped up, I said aloud, “I Sam 3:10; Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” I walked inside, took my shoes off & opened the closet door to put them away. Important to mention that this happened to be "the closet." Well all I did was reach inside without even going all the way in & as soon as I did, the whole answer with 100% certainty washed right over me. Stored up prayers will work for you when you least expect it.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for knowing the sound of my voice even when I whisper. Help me to always remain humble and lowly when I approach You with my need. Mold my heart, transform my mind, help me bow and bend my own will to Yours. Give me the mindfulness needed to never take Your kind consideration for granted. Amen.
It has been exactly one year this month since I've blogged. My primary reason for taking a hiatus is simply because I was consumed with often producing two to four research papers per week for my master's degree program. After managing to get them submitted along with all the other assignments, I found myself worn slam out! However the season has changed and God is doing a NEW THING! I have felt Him pricking my spirit concerning picking "the pen" back up again in several different aspects and so here it goes:
As a child I can fondly remember watching a hilarious comedy called Welcome Back Kotter. The plot entailed a teacher who returned to his alma mater after a decade to teach a group of students known as the "sweathogs." These kids, who were products of their environments and required to take remedial classes, were viewed by many as lacking potential to become anything productive in life. Few thought that anything good could come out of them based upon their academic status.
God always has a ram in the bush and one of the few who believed in these "misfit" was Kotter... just as Nathanael believed concerning Jesus Christ. In John 1:43-48, Nathanael asked Phillip, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip had only a three word response for Nathanael: "Come and see."
For those who have been on the outside looking inside through the window, I invite you to come on in out of the rain ... and see for yourself The One who reigns. Come see the one who never gives up on you despite what "they" say about you. He who created you knows all about you and loves you unconditionally. Unconditionally today, right now in this very moment. Selah.
The ENTIRE football team from NC A & T visited my church yesterday. I was completely unaware of their attendance until the coach was thanked for choosing to worship at Mt. Zion and asked them to please stand for acknowledgement. Imagine my surprise when DIRECTLY behind me for at least four or five long rows back the whole football team silently stood in unity. My spirit leaped as I looked behind me and swept a glance across all of those tall, hulking players. (Man, they were enormous!) I promise you that in the spirit I didn't see a football team at all. I saw twelve legions of angels looming over and providing for me (Matthew 26:53); a great cloud of witnesses watching out for me. In that instance I was immensely humbled for I "saw" God's confirmation that He is Jehovah- Shammah. Moments later I warmly embraced several of the players during the meet and greet. With evident strength they embraced me back and it was if I were briefly visiting with archangels. Returning to my seat, I felt sure the Spirit whispered to me, "I've got your back." If you took the time to read this, that whisper is also for your life today. No matter what you may be going through even in this very moment... GOD'S GOT YOUR BACK. Period.
"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and they are safe (~ Proverbs 18:10.)"
What a comforting promise in the time of trouble. And did you notice the medical banner waving at the top of the fortress? We know that symbolizes hospital, sickness, pain, injury, etc. In other words it's an S.O.S. for emergency help ... right away. So many times in every day lie the enemy tries to keep us out of the presence of the Lord by creating any possible duress and disquietude of spirit. He thinks that if he can just turn up the heat , that we will fold and not stand. Guess what? Sometimes we don't even need to stand, we just need to know where to run! When you don't know what to do, you DO know where to run. #Shondo!
Yesterday Pastor Brian Pierce stated: "You've got to see it before you see it if you're ever going to see it!" Man, what a confirmation to me to narrow my focus on exactly what God has placed in my spirit. Life has a way of changing seasons on us & if we're not careful we can be like the children of Israel who couldn't appreciate the present glory because it didn't look like the former glory! Change is just ahead & we must remember that movement inspires movement. Your seed's been growing under the ground but you've gotta see it in FULL BLOSSOM/MOTION today. With that simply said, get positioned for the change that's soon to overtake you in the God sort of way. Shondo!
Stretch your arms wide and freely embrace this brand new day! No matter what the backdrop (yesterday) may have been, as long as there's breath, there's fresh opportunity for moving forward. No looking back allowed for DESTINY is surely ahead and not behind you. Get it together and move towards the mark. 3 Things to keep in mind as you reposition: 1) Hear the voice of God, 2) Listen to His strategic instructions, and by all means 3) Trust & obey what He says when He speaks. You're built for this so the only thing left to say is, "Onward!"
There are times when you have to cry. Try as you might to suck it up, you just can't help it. There are also many different types and origins of tears. … tears of anger, tears of sadness, tears of fright and tears of shame. Sometimes, you just get tired. No matter the reason, put an agenda with the tears. Give tears an assignment and a time limit. After all, weeping may endure for a night, but just as surely as the Lord lives, JOY comes in the morning.
I speak to those who are frustrated, disheartened and disappointed. I speak to those who in prayer struggle with words that never seem to come out right. Go ahead beloved, cry if you must. Once it's all out, don't just look up; get up! Press the restart button and keep it moving!
Eight is a wonderful number signifying new beginnings. Time after time my Lord allows me to experience a new beginning. He erases pain and encourages my heart, mind and spirit: “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. The beast of the field will honor Me, The jackals and the ostriches, Because I give waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My people, My chosen. This people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise (Isaiah 43:18-20).
Perhaps you recall the television series, Eight Is Enough. The title was based on a book about the Bradford family that had, you guessed it... EIGHT children and said that's enough! I used to enjoy that show though it was impossible to envision actually living under the same roof with that many people! What I most admired about the show was that in the end love always outweighed the drama.
This makes me think about my Lord who puts up with my drama and loves me in spite of it. Many times I don't say or do it just right, but He keeps on working with me. Sometimes I allow my flesh to get in the way but He doesn't "kick me out." He's the God of a second chance who keeps on loving me. Giving brand new mercies each day, He leads or hides me as necessary. Lovingly He renews, rebuilds, rejuvenates, reignites, and releases blessings so that I can be a blessing. Aren't you super-glad that the pendulum periodically swings back to number eight?! I know I am.
Have you ever felt like you were literally swirling and twirling in a whirlwind of change? Well I have sure have and I'm certain that I'm not the only one because change is an integral part of LIVING this life! The good news is that whirlwinds are preordained agents of change that have an attached promise that cannot be broken by our God who is constantly making all things new.
If you don't believe it just take a look at an expectant mother's sonogram at eight weeks and then again at twenty-six weeks. What can be seen is undeniable growth and development necessary for healthy life. Next, check out the lowly, underestimated caterpillar that crawls on the ground in the beginning. Now, fast forward to the end of the metamorphosis cycle and marvel at the beautiful creature that has evolved and emerged. Wow, talk about an example for change. This reminds me that I actually have a poster of a beautiful butterfly who has come into its own after a process of time. The quote by Trina Paulus says: “How does one become a butterfly?" she asked. "You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”
The revelatory thing about the butterfly however that is often overlooked is that the only possible way it can become its finished product is that it first has to die. Oh my. It is impossible for me to comprehend this, to write this without recalling the precious words our Saviour, Jesus Christ spoke so long ago in John 10 that still live today: Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
A little further on John 12 reads: Most Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
No matter where we are on our chosen routes we always have the prerogative to CHANGE our minds. As a matter of fact God has been waiting on many to do just that so He can show up and show out in our lives. We must not be insistent on staying a course, remaining in a relationship or continuing to mourn what God has rejected. The moment that we are willing to relinquish our wills... will be the moment that long awaited manifestation appears. Selah.
Got Need?" Well, I've got Good News... no begging necessary or required. We only need to 1st believe then open up our mouths and simply ask in faith. Just today while driving to an appointment in the pouring down rain, I found myself challenged by my own need. For a moment I actually felt like bawling and blamin' it on the doggone rain.
Suddenly I TURNED A CURVE and right in front of my car was a humongous, vertical rainbow that appeared to reach from the sky all the way down to the earth and made me think of the veil that was torn from top to bottom! Oh man, this spoke volumes to me as I simultaneously recalled to mind Genesis 9:12-15: "And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you..."
Instantly I was reminded to TRUST GOD! He's got this! I am so glad that God who formed all of my inward parts looks at both the desires of my heart and my needs and has no problem splendidly attending to both (Psalm 139:14). I encourage you to stand on His promises for no matter what, His promises are sure.