It will see you through! Especially times like we live in now!
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 KJV
Many times the doom, disparity, gloom, and darkness of the times we live in want to come in and take up space or even residency if allowed for too long.
Its up to ourself to fight the good fight of faith! Its a choice to choose hope, its a choice to choose joy, its a choice to keep the faith!
I recall being told numerous times from those further down the spiritual path then I to, take time to reflect on all the good God has done, look at all the answered prayers and allow that to build your faith, becoming the substance that is needed to see what is hoped for manifest!
“be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2 KJV
Every time the darkness wants to come like a blanket of false comfort, I have to be aware to fight to renew my mind. Thats where we win or loose it all begins in the mind. I have to take up my sword of the Word of God and pull from Gods strength.
“for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV
I have a proclivity to not deal with things timely at times. The slip by and build and build and build until one day I am so over taken by it all, that I either crash or explode. Neither one when they happen are pretty. In the last few months I have been working on dealing with things before they get out of hand. Learning to pay attention to what I am thinking so I can take the wrong thoughts captive and sort them out sooner.
“for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NASB
Its up to me and only me to deal with my thoughts. For what I think on so I become. This is by far easier said then done. It is a job to watch your mind. But, if that is the way to continue to keep changing, then I must be committed to the work to see it through. For faith without works is dead, just as work without faith is dead. Both of those have to been alive on the scene.
“For as he thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, “Eat and drink!” But his heart is not with you.” Proverbs 23:7 NASB
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog! I hope that it encourages you and inspires you to keep the faith, do what you can to change, and continue to seek God! This blog has derived teachings I have received under the Pastoralship of Juanita Gibbs.
Living during the time of a global Pandemic (COVID-19)
I’m not even gonna lie, this whole quarantine/shutdown has been hard on me. Truthfully, it revealed to me just how much of an extrovert I am now. I am very much an ambivert, but I lean more extrovert in nature. I do have times of goin and being alone to recollect myself, but those times are fewer then the desire to be with people.
This quarantine has taken me to a place within my emotional realm that I couldn’t take much more of the pressure and erupted like a volcano, spewing out toxic lava from my innermost being out onto those closest to me. Like the aftermath of any natural disaster, my own aftermath left things in not good places for days and it will continue on in the weeks and months ahead to recover.
By Easter Sunday I was completely tapped of everything and decided to go for a walk to a nearby place I haven’t ventured to yet. So, I waited some to allow the traffic there to slow down some before I set out to clear my head, connect in nature and just “be”.
I needed that the most to just “be”.
Being Super Woman has its limitations when your acting within your own strength and by this time I was severely depleted. It was so peaceful and calm the serenity of where I went to walk that I do ever so long to go again.
I basked in the solitude of the quietness of nature. I wasn’t being demanded of to solve a problem. I was allowed to feel small in a big world, with a huge problem, and the desperate need of a savior. This walk I will call my repentance walk for everything I had attributed to in the week prior to not being very Christ-like at all.
I journeyed out from the Park where I took my walk, of which I will share more photos from at the end of this blog, to visit some stores for essentials. To my grand dismay many were closed up so tight that not even a fly could penetrate their barriers. This didn’t set well with me once more. This whole mess has brought out the spoiled child within me dealing with only first world problems.
When if I took a reality check my issues are minor compares to others. Many are battling this horrendous COVID-19 aka Corona Virus to the point of loss of life on epic scales. Many have lost jobs and income flows due to Gov’t/State regulations to lessen the curve peak of this virus to not destroy the fragile health care system in which would be needed to treat massive amounts of this virus. This virus and everything happening is a history in the making.
Many states are now extending the orders to stay at home and many essential businesses have had to come up to Governor mandated codes for protecting the public and essential workers. As of 5pm on Monday, the state in which I reside had new rules that came into implementation. We have had to limit the number of patrons inside the building, we have had to provide a hand sanitization of some kind. Prepare barriers between customers and checkout attendants.
So Friday of the week prior to the codes going into effect. I had to bring the establishment where I work up to code as being in tele-communications that is deemed an essential business. I had my own science project to make home made Clorox wipes to provide some kind of hand sanitation to customers as hand sanitizer in itself is sold out. The governors order stated the need to establish a time for senior customers, create a flow of one way into and out of stores and even within create flows for isles of grocery goods and shut down/limit use of any public restrooms. I rigged up a clear shower curtain to act as a barrier and after customers environmental cleaning has to be done to slow down the spread of this virus.
By the time Monday came I was so far over it all that waking up to find tornado warnings and hearing news of tornado strikes it just made the whole of the day so dark. Mind you I was still recovering from the dark night of the soul I just walked through to walk out into more darkness. It has all been too much for my soul to entertain.
Tuesday came and it seemed better it was bright and sunshine of the day cheered my dark soul up some. At one point I was able to just go sit by the water and pray for a moment and seek some stillness for my innermost being that has been so loud that I needed an escape.
By Wednesday, recovery was probably at the half way mark and yet still a need to know how to fix my innermost being from potentially not having to go through this again as the pandemic remains. My eyes had to be enlightened to somethings about myself that I must learn from, and grow up out of, as well as, begin to tame.
I am set to charge down the things within me that need to be shifted and changed during these hard and stressful times. As I am taught, fruit only comes during the hardest of trials. For me this whole situation the last few months have been the hardest yet, and to be honest we none know when the end will be insight. The best I can do is learn and grow and make the most of this time. I have made some masks from scarfs (3 finished one incomplete) and have completed one pillow and another pillow to be made. While I wasn’t in a good place I stopped the work on my second book until I recover. I am not sure what else I may take up to fill my time.
My greatest hope is that all this will be over soon and we can return to some sense of normalcy.
“We will sing for joy over your victory, And in the name of our God we will set up our banners. May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.” Psalms 20:5 NASB
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The days in which we live currently are becoming consumed by fear all around!
“But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear].” 2 Timothy 3:1 AMP
I considered blogging long and hard especially with the current climate of the world. So, instead of my usual, I figured I would share how my life and world are being hit by the COVID-19 epidemic, and share some faith so we can stand firm and make it through these times.
In the past few days, every grocery store I have entered, beef and chicken products are all emptied, bread of all kinds gone. Can goods flying off the shelf left and right! Milk and eggs being purchased by the cart loads. Products of lysol, bleach, hand sanitizer, any disinfectant spray were off the shelf for a week prior to all this.
As of the most recent event of this virus, many stores are required to close early, restaurants are only allowed to do take out or delivery. Communal dining areas are fully shut down. People are loosing jobs due to having to close early, especially those in the restaurant and bar industry.
The economic effects of this will take weeks to rebound from, granted the gov’t has a proposed stimulus plan, but only time will tell how that helps. More cases are popping up, social distancing has been widely promoted.
All during these passing weeks I have been trying my best to put faith over fear! The statics, the forecasting, the foreboding of it all insight and harbors fear. Pulling from the Word of God has been a must or fear will consume anyone in these times.
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”” Psalms 91:1-16 NKJV
Instability in my thinking is like waves on the ocean.
Thinking my wrong thoughts is like riding a surf board in hurricane.
Here is why…
My thoughts 9x out of 10 are of my own logic, reasoning, or emotions which all come from the deep abyss in my soul in places yet to be healed that errupt like volcanos under the water causing tsunami’s of waves in my mind.
I allow my thoughts from my soul to rule me and direct me for so long it was evident I was a soul-lead person when coming to a church that was full of true and genuine spirit-lead leadership.
God used them to lovingly help open my eyes to this truth and begin to provide tools to make the shift from soul-lead to spirit-lead.
Have I made the transition?
But, I have in some things. I am not where I was and not yet where I hope to be, but with the grace and mercy of God and patience with my process it will continue throughout my journey in the faith.
Yes it gets hard at times when it is easy for me to throw my hands in the air and scream “i quit”. But, that is my soul loosing is hold as the spirit will whisper “hold on”.
What a war in my inner most being it is, but its up to me to fight the good fight of faith. No one else can battle what is inside of me but me. Yes, others have and continue to pray for me and that is vital.
But the dirty work of rolling my sleeves up and sifting through my thoughts is my job.
The more I sift out the bad by renewing in the truth of Gods word. Peace can come and my inner most being can learn to be calmer than its ever been. This also takes me fully and completly trusting in the Lord and taking Him at His word to bring forth a steady mind by use of faith.
“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. “Trust in the Lord forever, For in God the Lord , we have an everlasting Rock.
Isaiah 26:3-4 NASB
I have been one to put full on trust in man over God ashamedly!
I had built a belief system that people could do more for me in my time than God could in His time.
My lack of patiencr says God your taking to long and I need to do this myself with the help of people.
What happened with that is short lived temporary gratification and eventual disaster with more pain on the other side of it. But why right?
The Lord didnt build it. Those who build of their own labor in vain. My self works have not and will never be blessed by God.
Faith in God needs to be my firm anchor!
Faith in God needs to be my sight!
Faith in God needs to be my joy!
Faith in God needs to be my strength!
God is faithful I just have to restfully assure and be fully persuaded as Pastor Juanita Gibbs says that at Reformation Developmental Center. Then she goes on to tell us to wrestle to enter Gods rest.
The wrestle indicates the work I must do to maintain peace, joy, love, faith in God and the more of His power and soundness of mind to manifest His glory in time. But, it only comes by me being of faith.
Yesterday Pastor taught us that its is only by faith that promises will manifest. In doubt there is no fruit of good things that can come in life.
Pastor gave me a few scripture to meditate to and to help keep my mind renewed and fresh within God to grow my spirit to have faith over that doubt. I wake up and begin to speak them to myself to build up my most holy faith that certainly needs sturdier construction.
Thankfully blessed to be part of a body of believers that not only encourages growth and development but also encourages me to obtain all the goodness God has stored away for me that is awaiting my faith to activate to bring it to fruition.
Praise the Lord !
Praise the Lord , O my soul! I will praise the Lord while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation. His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; In that very day his thoughts perish. How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who made heaven and earth, The sea and all that is in them; Who keeps faith forever; Who executes justice for the oppressed; Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord raises up those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous; The Lord protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, But He thwarts the way of the wicked. The Lord will reign forever, Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord !
Psalms 146:1-10 NASB
The right to remain silent is an inner peace that has been made available!
Our inner silence is a work to obtain!
My soul filled with anxiety, doubt, fear, worry as mentioned in a prior blog is as likened unto a busy city!
But, my soul doesn’t have to stay in such a state of busyness. I can and have begun to cut down the noise that can be and has been on occasion so loud that my body wanted to just stop it was so overwhelming.
Yes! Even as a believer in Jesus this was going on in my life. The traditional/ religious follow the book and speak on only what will make people feel good while going through tough times was all I knew.
Now, if you are in a traditional/ religious based church and it works for you that is wonderful and this post is NOT knocking that as that is where I got some of my foundation in the faith!
For me it got to a place where the patch job wasn’t working any more and I longed for true deep inner change to silence the noisy soul I have.
One of the foundational verses for my now church is 1 Thessalonians 5:23:
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 NASB
This verse a biblical truth proved that His peace was available to me in my soul! It shows the grace of God to provide peace to make me complete inwardly and not so broken by the chaos of my soul.
Jesus is known as the Prince of Peace or Jehavah Shalom that very part of Him came to dwell inside of me at salvation, it is up to me to pull on that of the fruit of His spirit to have that peace in my life.
Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation, And in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places; Isaiah 32:18 NASB
The more I am able to pull from His provided peace I can silence the noise within and begin to live in peaceful habitation and in undisturbed resting places with the tools provided me by my wonderful Pastor to not allow outer things to disturb my peace.
Peace is it a destination or some far aloof ideal?
Peace for me has only come in small amounts. For as it is said that happiness is an inside work, so is peace.
Peace is an inside work!
My inner life of my soul is such a busy metropolis at times that its no wonder peace is limited!
People who become accustomed to the constant noise can find it strange to be in peace and quiet. We have seen it in movies when the city person goes to a country for restful time and they may have to play sounds of the busy city life to even fall asleep.
Then comes a time that they readjusted to the not being in the clammer of hustle of the noise that peace has begun to come into their life.
I am finding myself at a place where I long for the peace within myself! My inner anxiousness is much like a busy metropolis.
My PastorJuanitaGibbs (Note: Each part of her name is linked to her book, facebook, website) spoke on last sunday that God wants to lead me beside the still waters. That referance can be found in Psalm 23.
He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul;
Psalms 23:2b-3a NASB
I have to begin to allow God to hold my hand and lead me beside still waters. By that is embracing and submitting to the teaching my Pastor has been imparting to all of us. This way He can begin to restore my soul.
As my soul (inner life) becomes more accustomed to peace it will not want to go back to anxiety.
I began to write out some highlights of her teaching in a new notebook lastnight to be my quick referance guide to get back to peace when anxiety needs to be caught and dealt with.
She has imparted so much when I recapped the teachings it was a vibrant refresher to my spirit.
The more I lean on my spirit where the spirit of God dwells within me the anxiety in my soul can begin to be starved out. Thats what I would like for it to do anyway.
I want to move out of the anxiety and take up new residency in peace. Its up to me to keep moving along beside the still waters!
For starters I can say I have been robbed of many things like joy, peace, love, etc. The theif comes but to steal, kill and destroy!
When I have allowed things to be stolen from my life it opens the door within me to allow my life to be killed in areas and destroyed in areas.
This happened because of my lack of the truth hidden in my heart!
This has happened because of lack of word life.
This has happened because lack of training in how to properly study Gods word.
This has happened because I didnt get properly fitted for armor to be able to with stand battles and fight the good fight of faith.
So many want believers to wear the armor of others instead of allowing them to be fitted for their own garments.
I am blessed to say when God aligned me with Reformation Developmental Center Pastored by Juanita Gibbs that it has been a place of take off the armor that was put on me to wear of others and be able to stand before God and the people as myseld and be fitted for my own garments, my own armor to fight my battles and begin on a path of victory.
As the book my Pastor wrote is about that very thing about changing a mindset to be victorious. That book I return to over and over again. I have mentioned it in previous blogs and especially in the blog I decated to her as she so wonderfully inspired me to begin blogging.
She has helped me in so many ways that I am eternally greatful for she has been helping me now make stronger my garments and stronger my armor. By putting more of the word inside my heart by meditating and thinking on Gods truths when the robber comes to steal from me.
I can begin to fight back with “it is written” resisting the urge to give into the lies do he can flee and begin to deminish such a strong influence in my inner life. As this happens more and more victory is mine!
In my time as it has been if singlehood it has provided me time to pray and seek the Lord and its a great time to spend with my Savior. Developing that true and lasting relationship with communication and worshipping his majesty, thanking him for his goodness, grace and mercy in thanksgiving. To study and delve into his guide book for all things concerning life to navigate the path here on the earth.
In times past though I hated continuing to remain single. It was as if my mind decided to name it a plague or something. But when God got hold of me through my wonderful PastorJuanitaGibbs to show me in reality it is a blessing and a prepatory time was revolutuonary for me. It held begin to reshape my thinking on the whole thing.
Later, as time has gone on she has helped me tackle some wring stronhild thinking that I have had about it and to begin to bring healing to places from damage in my soul from my past, how I have lived this life that seriously needed attention as I had tried for so long to put a man in those places and always ended up hurt and the more empty due to the contents of my soul.
Her book up above(which can be purchased on Amazon) has helped me have a paradigm shift to loose fear, doubt and worry and begin to have faith, hope and trust in God that in time He provides whats needed. Where I had thought it may just bot happen for me and that thought is not in line with the word of God. So it is to he captured when comes and cast down (2 Corin 10:4-5).
Freedom from old stuff is a process and it takes time. As to why the word of God is the best guide book to have in this life as it touches all subjects including relationships. Her book has helped me begin to shift my mind and see myself as a winner in the faith and trust in God and His timing.
These books below are others that I have read in time past before going to the church that has so wonderfully aided me in my life far more than theae books as my lraders know me and my battles and issues as they have taught the best knowledge is your own personal experiance and gaining wisdom from those who know you personally to help naviagte the journey.
In no particular order:
This book is great for understand yourself and how you commincate in showing/displaying love to those in your life.
This book mainly focuses on enjoying single life! I passed my copy on to encourage other single sisters, but God replaced the copy when He sent me a leader in my Pastor who tells me the same thing. Enjoy, live, focus on God, walk in my purpose and his will. She is my book of wisdom since the others fully cannot relate to me as she can relate me to my story and prepare me.
This book was pretty much a reinforcement to my Pastors councel to trust God. As this spoke about divine timing and God doing the work to bring about His will and plans for my life.
This book expounded on Ruths story. She focused on her purpose with Noami and Boaz found her. Our bishop has spoke on her story in times to wait to be found by him as we are about our Fathers business. To stop falling for the words of a Bozo (lol) but wait while God works. Wait patiently with good attitude.
This book also reinforced the concept of time and touched on boundaries and enlightened that if you have things going on in your life you may not need to be in a relationship where we need wait and get healing first just as my Pastor focuses on with us. Heal the inner and if its Gods will He will bring things to pass.
This one is a premartial counceling book. That focuses on reflecting marriage as marriage of christ and the church as to which that is what earthly union should reflect when 2 born again believers come together.
This book opened up more the concept from the prior book, but showed more the difficulty and challenges in union on one flesh. As my pastor has taught us that 2 becoming one is an undertaking of understanding, forgiveness, and unconditional love to not quit when things get hard, but to keep at it.
This one I have not read, but I have read the book Boundaries just not this targeted area. But my Pastor has been instilling in me boundaries are very important in all kinds of relationships.
I so love my church Reformation Developmental Center where they speak on practical wisdom tips as well as full depth of the word of God to bring us insight into all things in this life.
There is power found in waiting which brings about growth!
There is one things to say that when your single and you desire a relationship that God will test your heart and find out where He stand with you all the while still promising things unseen.
Well He has with me anyway. Just like the children of Isreal when he took them from bondage of slavery to the egyptians and into the wilderness. He said to them worship me the one true God who removed you from captivity and is taking you to a land flowing with milk and honey.
What happens next after they were saved by God and given the promise, the test. Where they will gonna worship God for all he had just done or worship the promise. He put them in the wilderness to find they worshipped the promise of land with milk and honey over him so they grumbled and complained. An eleven day journey took 40 years.
Its the same way today with some of us, but I will focus on myself mainly. I was saved by grace given new spiritual life, I was saved by mercy and given new life in the natural, he set me free and gave promise and now in the wilderness I have seen where I worshipped the promise over the God who saved me. He has(is) tested(ing) my heart.
I have added on time to my journey by not being patient and going by what the world says over allowing my process to happen. The wilderness reveals who we really are my Pastor just brought out to us not long ago.
And boy oh boy my wilderness has showed me that I have got perspective in error. My perspective was worship Gods hand and the promise.
I am after all a child of God right and He will come through for me! That statement is loaded with pride as if God owed me something when in reality I owe God my life and service.
The power in my waiting is allowing my process to happen, growing me in areas that need to be developed in before the promise. To cause my spiritual walk to be stronger, my soul to not rule my every move but be under subjection to the word of God. To understand God wants me to keep him first in my life and to love him with all of myself as he loves me so eternally and uncondtionally.
The power of my wait is not attaining the promise but to be the best woman of God for Him and His glory until such time He sends someone to walk the journey of faith with me. There is fullness and completeness in God that satisfies like nothing else so even if the promise doesn’t come I have a great and perfect love with God and Jesus and the Holy spirit.