The Power of Now!

Fifteen minutes ago I sat down with the intent to still myself, silence my thoughts and meditate.  As I closed my eyes and began to focus on my breath, I began to push aside the many thoughts that were rushing towards me.  As I relaxed more into the moment, I began to think about letting go and moving forward.  I tried to push that thought away as it kept coming back to me, but eventually gave in and realized Spirit was wanting me to focus on something very specific.

We are embarking upon a new year soon and shortly thereafter a new president.  Many are concerned about the uncertainties that lie ahead for our country, our economy, our people.  The new year is twenty-eight days away, but yet I feel hopeful about what will come to an end in order for something new to begin.  You see, a new life is just a moment away — the moment in which you decide it will begin.  I have been writing since I was a child, short stories, poems and, most important, messages from Spirit.  Unfortunately, I stopped writing when I was about twenty years old and, although Spirit continued to speak, I was choosing not to listen.  Each time we ignore the voice, His voice, it becomes more faint, our path becomes less clear and our life journey harder.

As I move daily towards 2017, I now live by rules of three, which is my power of now, one of which I’ll share with you.  First, let it go — forgive everyone of everything.  Second, give it time — you won’t feel better immediately, but stay the course; patience will bring the joy.  Third, you can rest knowing All is Well!  What is unclear now, will all make sense in the end.

Everyday is another chance for a fresh start; every night is a chance to leave behind who and whatever doesn’t serve you. While I will continue to write and share via my blog and FB posts, it is now my intention to move into 2017 in a new format.  Today, and each day, I speak and confirm my new vision and will work until it manifests.  I do what each day allows and each night I re-declare:  “I move forward, and leave today behind; NOW is the time.”

Let it go.  Give it time.  All IS well!

BElinda poWELL© December 3, 2016

Don’t Be Afraid …. You Were Birthed for This!

This summer I was driving my daughter to camp in Southeast Dallas. Nearing our destination, we were stopped at a red light where there happened to be an AT&T truck with quite a bit of equipment outside of it blocking a small portion of the intersection.  What we didn’t see, however, was anyone “manning” the vehicle or the equipment.  A short time later, my daughter saw a technician rising from the manhole.  Her first response was one of fear, “I wonder if he’s afraid to go down there; I would be,” she said.  I told my daughter that although that’s his job, I was quite certain that upon his first time entering, he may have experienced some feelings of anxiety or fear, but you move forward in spite of it to get the job done.

I then began to think about every “new” adventure in my life and the fear that almost always gripped me. Leaving my parents’ home to go off to college; leaving college to move to Los Angeles; meeting, marrying and divorcing my ex-husband; moving to New York, meeting, dating and losing what I thought was love — first the Italian and then the Armenian — and most of this occurred before I turned twenty-eight.  I recall one situation in particular; the fear was so overwhelming that I developed an intestinal disorder, not realizing that I had disconnected so much from my feelings that it took a toll on me physically.  I was doubled over in pain.  I eventually realized the source of my problem had originated with my thoughts and I needed to get control of the mind if I wanted to regain control of what was manifesting in and through my body.  You see, unknowingly I had allowed fear to control my life.

Scripture references at least 365 times to either fear not, or don’t be afraid. Mark 5:35-36 is one such passage.  While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler.  “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”  Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

Why did Jesus tell the synagogue ruler not to be afraid; he could simply have told him to believe? The reason he told him to not be afraid was because fear brings doubt, and doubt kills faith. God acts according to our faith.  How many times have you received an inspiring thought, belief or idea and then shared it with someone, only for them to speak from a place of fear (all the what if’s that can go wrong)?  Then, if we’re not careful, we allow doubt to creep in, so much so that it’s all but diminished our spirits and drained our energy!  We have to be mindful of the fact that we simply cannot share everything with everyone.  Some ideas have to be carefully guarded; God has entrusted you to bring it to completion.  Too often many ideas are aborted before they take root in our hearts and are never birthed because we’ve allowed words of doubt to have a greater impact than the thoughts and vision of God.

You were birthed WITH purpose and you’ve been entrusted with an assignment to execute.  When you’ve been called to do what you think is outside your capabilities, fear will come knocking, don’t give in to the trembling.  We have to learn to trust in order to achieve the triumph.  You are already equipped to get the job done.  No matter how dark or intimidating the hole appears, the mission is not only possible, it’s already done.  Don’t be afraid, manifest.  Go in and get the job done! manhole

Belinda Powell© November 2, 2016

My Father’s Voice

Yesterday while driving home from work with my daughter, I stopped to get her something to eat. I happened upon a particular restaurant next to a building on Zang, which brought back a memory related to my father.  I began to tell my daughter the story of how one day I was going into this building on Zang to get information regarding joining a business organization.  As I parked and gathered my materials to go inside the building, there was a group of older men congregating outside the bank entrance.  As I approached them, I noticed their conversation ceased and they turned their attention towards me.  They acknowledged me; not wanting to make much eye contact I returned their greeting and proceeded swiftly inside to conduct my business.  After collecting the materials, I needed to hurry back to work.  As I approached the exit door I saw the same group of men, now larger as more men had stopped to visit with them, still maintaining their position outside the building.  As I exited the door and walked past the men, I overheard some of their conversation regarding their opinions of my physical appearance.  Unbeknownst to me, my father was exiting Bank of America in that same building and heard the men commenting about this particular woman walking away from them.  “Man, did you see her; did you see those legs, oh she had a pretty smile, etc.”  So, my father (who told me more of the conversation later), said as he got closer to the men they pointed him in the direction of the woman they were commenting about; unbeknownst to them, his daughter.

Although I had my head down—as if I was so engrossed in the literature I had just picked up from the organization—I was really just trying to avoid the men, their gestures and catcalling. Sometimes a lady will greet/acknowledge as a matter of common courtesy, but some men take that as an open door and become offended if they pursue further and you state your disinterest.  Later that evening, my dad called to tell me he saw me earlier in the day and explained the scenario at the bank.  I asked, “why didn’t you call out to me, why didn’t you make your presence known?”  My father responded that first, I was walking so fast that I was almost to my car when he realized it was me and second, he said the fact that the men were talking and laughing and yelling so loudly he didn’t know if I would have heard him or not, to which I responded, “I’m your daughter; I know my father’s voice!”

Today, in the midst of all the chaos in the land, the voices of the naysayers, the criticizers, the liars, the perverters of Truth, your Father is wondering, why won’t you call out to Him, why won’t you make your presence known. No matter how loudly they are talking, He wants me to tell you to listen, He is speaking.  Stand still, turn around; close your eyes.  Listen for the voice of your Father!©

Belinda Powell October 20, 2016

Hidden Spaces . . . Know The Enemy Within

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I logged onto my blog today with the mind to write and saw in my drafts three posts I had started earlier, but had not completed.  One post is dated January 8, 2014, another July 9, 2014 and the third, which is the heart of the matter today, dated July 28, 2014.  What was I going through in July that I didn’t finish the assignment?  Well, as I began to read the post dated July 28, 2014, it was entitled “Hidden Spaces.”  I began telling about the process of putting my house on the market and preparing it for staging.  I detail how I basically kept my house in a “staged” setting all the time that the realtor didn’t have much to do in terms of suggestions or adding additional pieces.  My house was already “staged.”   Emotionally, I was going through a lot during that time.  I was still figuring out how to deal with the loss of my father and the resulting aftermath that death usually reveals in family structures.  I was still recuperating from a foot that I had broken three months earlier.  My world “felt like” it was spinning out of control and, instead of stopping and becoming still, rather than speaking to the raging winds, I allowed fear to take over until those winds gained more momentum resulting in a fully formed, havoc wreaking tornado in my life.

What was the crux of that post that the enemy didn’t want me to share?  Well, I began to confess that during the process of making sure my home would photograph well, I strategically placed some items in closets, or upstairs where I knew no one would see things or even just moving some items to the floor out of the area to be captured by the photographers lens.  You see, there were things that I didn’t want to be visible.  But hey, that was just the first stage of hiding, oops I means staging (lol).  After the house listing went live and eventually a contract was placed on it, I then had the task of preparing to box up my life for the new owners to take possession.  I had to go into those closets, into those chest of drawers and other places that held either things and memories I was refusing to let go of or was just simply not ready to deal with.  I was holding on to many photographs, cards, letters and notes written from admirers, “friends” and lovers …. I was holding on to pictures and cards of trips taken to Paris and London, Montreal, Quebec City and various tropical destinations of people, situation and things I thought I had let go.   I was forced to clean out those hidden spaces.  But did I really clean them out?  Thus the reason why the post couldn’t be written two years ago.  I simply re-packed them and allowed them to stay in storage …. I stored them back into some hidden spaces.  They were definitely out of sight, but those memories had tentacles securing themselves in hidden spaces of my heart and were not out of my mind.

A week ago one of those hidden desires surfaced and in such a way that I could not ignore its presence.  I reached out to a friend to discuss what I was physically feeling and I wanted to do something about it and I began to make plans.  But, many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it’s the Lord’s purpose that will prevail (Proverbs 19:21).  I was forced to sit with those feelings for what seemed like an eternity.  I tried to sleep and couldn’t, I eventually took my daughter to an outside movie venue in an effort to get out of my head and in touch with my heart.  The next day I spent even more time in another very public setting to get outside of my head and into my heart.  After a week of silence and seeking His guidance, I was able to learn that this was spiritual …. I had given ground to something and for about twenty years had allowed it to lay dormant in a crevice of my heart and God wanted it to be dealt with.  Now I’m presented with how will I choose to deal with it …. (i) allow it to fully come up for examination and healing, (ii) act on it or (iii) stuff it down even deeper just because I didn’t like what I was being shown?

When God has a call for you, when there’s a work for you to do, He needs to show you all of you.  Why?  Simple.  When there’s no enemy within, no enemy without can do you harm.  I Timothy 3 outlines qualifications for overseers or those desiring those positions and speaks of a proving that needs to take place.  If we’re to be honest, clearly we can see from scripture that many have called themselves into positions and have not been called of God.  Thus the warning given in I Timothy 5:22  …. many have partaken in the sins of others because they were either ordained too quickly or given positions for which there had been no call.  In the Bible, Moses’ first set of 40 years he learned what it was to be somebody; his second set of 40 years, he learned what it was to be a nobody; in his third set of 40 years, he would now walk into his call.  He was built up to be broken down so that he would come to learn who he really was.  But yet we get excited when we hear eight, ten and twelve year olds who learn to hoop like their elders and place them in positions where no building or breaking has even had time to occur.

Matthew 4 details the three great temptations presented to Jesus in his ordeal with Satan.  Yet, I’m certain in Christ’s 33 years of living he encountered more because it says after Jesus resisted him, when the devil had finished all this tempting, he left until a more opportune time.   But in John 14:30 we read a statement of Christ’s victory …. the prince of this world cometh AND he has nothing in me.  Jesus lived in submission to the Father.  In order for us to resist our enemy, we have to first allow God to expose the hidden spaces of our hearts through submission, nevertheless not my will but Your Will God.  Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts and see if there be ANY wicked way in me.  The enemy knew that of all the disciples he could tempt to betray Christ, he could definitely appeal to Judas.  Why?  Judas had been stealing from the treasury all along; he was already a thief.  The enemy only used what was already in him.

If we’re to walk effectively in our callings, we have to allow the Holy Spirit to illuminate and we freely clean out those hidden spaces in our hearts; the carnal mind is an enemy to God.  If you’re His sheep, Psalm 139 and Psalm 23 should take on newer meanings to us today.  His sheep know His voice and another they will not follow … He leads in paths of Righteousness for His name’s sake.  Disciple, what is hidden in you …. what can your enemy appeal to?  What areas of your life have you perfected and staged so that you appear whole?  God wants to save us, even from ourselves!

John 8:32 (KJV)  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

My Big Brother …..

Although I had four brothers, I was the only girl and growing up, my mother wouldn’t allow me to hang out with them using that phrase, “girls can’t do what boys do.”  So, I lived a somewhat solitary existence …. when my brother’s friends came over I had to make like a ghost and either be so quiet that they didn’t notice me or retreat to my room so that I wouldn’t be visible.  In my house, I was made to feel that I was either not wanted, not needed or that I just didn’t matter UNLESS it was to serve them in some manner.  I was sandwiched between two brothers older than me and two younger …. so I was either vacillating between being abused in some manner by the oldest or being nurturing to the younger.  But my older brother closest in age to me was the wild card in the family.  Due to the abuse he endured, he learned to be a rebel, he pushed back against all authority and I began on some level to live through him.  Inside I was screaming, inside I was arguing back, inside I was dying because I was not living out loud …. as a result of my abuse, my voice was being silenced.  So while I was shrinking, my brother two years older was acting out what he was feeling.  He acquired a reputation in the school and the neighborhood and I admired him.  While I didn’t have the desire to act in the manner he did, his reputation gave him some “street credibility” as they would say and I was able, on a few occasions, to use that to my benefit.  There were a few times in church I recall having to live up to being TP’s little sister and fight some battles.  However, on the block we lived on, I never had to scrap with anyone because I was known as “TP’s sister”.  So unknown to him, his actions, his reputation had benefits for me and I was able to make my way through, or in some instances avoid altogether, some tough situations.

I read a lot of posts on Face Book where those who profess to be believers in God, born again or Christian often speak of telling the devil that whatever tribulation or temptation he sent their way was nothing, encouraging him to come at them again or to try another way and in other instances talk often about how they are having to fight Satan.  I’m often perplexed at these statements because I see no where in scripture are we ever told to fight our enemy.  What example(s) do we see from Jesus … we never see Jesus fighting Satan.  Jesus submitted to His father, prayed, and He resisted the enemy by walking in (SPEAKING) truth!  James 4:7 instructs us to submit ourselves therefore to God; RESIST the devil, and he will flee from us.  Resist him by not buying into his LIES.  Ephesians 6:13 says to take unto ourselves the whole armor of God, that we may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  We are doing none of this in our might or power and maybe that’s where we go wrong.  Look at Colossians 2:15 … Jesus disarmed powers and authorities, made a public spectacle of them and TRIUMPHED over them by THE CROSS.

The Spirit Himself [Holy Spirit] testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. (Romans 8:16, 17, NASB)

In John 15, Jesus spoke with his disciples making a distinction between them being no longer servants but friends: “no longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”  But we have an advantage over the early disciples. In John 1:12, we’re told but as many as received him, to them He gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. I’m more than a friend, I’m a son of God and joint heir with Christ. When I am afraid or when my enemy appears too strong for me, I can rest on Jesus’ reputation, His “street credibility; all I have to do is call on the name of my Big Brother!

We are OVERCOMERS by the Word; let’s enter into His rest …..

Belinda Powell, ©May 29, 2015
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Love Really Is the Answer!

The Great Commandment Matthew 22:34-40
But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

While these commandments should be our goal each day, it’s generally around the holidays that many of us focus on giving and receiving and turn our attention toward acts of love. Defining love has been the subject of many conversations, books and songs. Universally, we all say we agree that God is Love. However, what we don’t universally agree on is who God is. If we lack agreement on the first commandment, how do we effectively do the latter commandment of loving our neighbors as ourselves?

Absence of meaning and purpose in a life is a cause for most of the pain in one’s life OR the pain we inflict upon the lives of others. Therefore, how we relate towards others is a direct reflection of how we relate to ourselves. If I’m not loving towards myself, I’ll find it hard to be loving towards anyone else. If I can’t extend myself grace and forgiveness, I’ll find it difficult extending grace and forgiveness to others. God set the standard by showing us that anything we want, we have to first be IT ourselves. Why do we love God? Because while we were yet His enemies, He demonstrated His love for us … I John 4:19 says we love Him because He first loved us. When you have a society of individuals who have exacted their own standards for right living believing “I can do as I please, when I please,” we are destined to have chaos and pain. Philippians 3 says the god of these people is their own belly and their minds are set on earthly things. So they have fashioned a god of their own creation, to their own liking and will thus love you according to their own standards and not God’s. Forgiveness is the highest form of love; Love your enemies. If we only love those who love us, what reward do we get? If we profess that we are the sons of the Most High God and God is love, by loving our enemies we are in essence a reflection of God’s heart, HIS LOVE, for them. In this season of giving, give yourself the gift of love and forgive those who have offended you. Love really is the answer!

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The Ministry of Motherhood.

Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs ever and being a single parent can seem four times as hard. With that being said, motherhood is one of life’s highest callings; many women long for a child and never have that prayer answered and then there are those who put no thought into the tremendous responsibility of bringing a life into this world and produce many children.

There are many noteworthy mothers in the Bible. Sarah, wife of Abraham, mother of the nation of Israel, was barren and knew what it meant to wait on God to act.  Rebekah, like her mother-in-law Sarah was also barren.  Isaac her husband prayed for her and God opened her womb and she conceived twins.  Jochebed, mother of Moses, is one of the underappreciated mothers in the Bible.  Very little is written about her story.  To avoid her son being slaughtered, she set him adrift in the Nile River.  God so worked it that Moses was found by Pharaoh’s daughter and Jochebed became her own son’s nurse. Hannah is one of the most touching stories of a mother in the Bible.  She also suffered long years of barrenness.  Although cruelly taunted by her husband’s other wife, Hannah never gave up on God.  After God blessed her with Samuel, she acted selflessly and honored her vow to God and God favored her with five more children. Bathsheba was known for having been the one whose husband was put on the front lines by King David to be killed to cover their affair and the impending birth of their unborn child. After their child died, God favored Bathsheba with another son, Solomon. The first story we read of Solomon’s reign as king is after he requested wisdom from God as to how to rule over His people — the story revolves around two harlots birthing male sons three days apart. Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist (who we know to be the forerunner of the Savior of the world), was yet another barren in her old age who, like Hannah, decided to give her son to God. Mary, the mother of Jesus is probably the most honored mother in the Bible.  Mary accepted God’s will for her life and suffered enormous shame, but yet was a shining example of obedience and submission to the Father’s will.

Parents can appear to be as gods in the eyes of their little children, but in all actuality, parents are ministers.  A minister is one who listens and counsels, guides and supports in the development of the spiritual nature of those in his or her care.  A minister aids the needy by providing sustenance and basic needs.  A minister acts as an agent of teaching for those in his or her family.  A minister is an ambassador, lending aid and support in matters of a delicate or personal nature.  Finally, a minister is a servant.  He or she serves for the good of those in his or her care selflessly.  The goal of each of these activities is salvation, meaning preserving for the highest good the mind, body and spirit, which is the concern of most ministers and should be for all parents.  Parents as ministers should serve their children by giving them their best and expecting the best from them.  If you have read some of my earlier posts, you will recall that I was basically born and raised in the church. My mother was a teacher, a choir member and eventually a minister; yet, I suffered tremendously as a child in every way possible (body, mind and soul). I always thought it strange that she could comfort and encourage those in the church, but I never received her comfort or encouragement. I noticed how gentle her voice was with them, how she provided a comforting hug or a shoulder to cry on, but I never received the same. She dosed out advice (wisdom) to others for living, but shared none with her own child. I longed for my mother’s attention, I craved a touch, a smiling glance, a hug; I longed to be ministered to. One instance in particular, I recall inquiring of my mother what I needed to know about coming into “womanhood.” Kids can say some dumb stuff and by the sixth grade, it seemed as though most kids knew things I had never even heard of. I eventually received at her hands a black book and when I opened the cover it read “Women’s Encyclopedia.” At thirteen, too many of those words were either vague, ambiguous, over my head and just plain clinical. The next book I was given when it came to search out answers for womanhood and life was The Color Purple and, if you’ve read that book, that was a wee bit too much information going on in there for a youngster of my age. Later on in my teenage years, that black book eventually became my source of information for all things physical.

I always felt invisible to my mother as if I didn’t matter. Because of the abuse I suffered and the lack of positive attention, I grew up trying to control every aspect of my life. I excelled in school, always on the A honor roll, perfect attendance, anything to try and feel a sense of worth. I learned pretty much every lesson in life either through sheer embarrassment or the hard way because I had never been ministered to. After becoming an adult and relocating back to Dallas, I had the occasion to hear many women speak so highly of my mother and all the things she taught and shared with them during a 70th birthday party I organized for her. Sometimes as parents we learn things after the fact and do to others what we neglected to do with or for our own. However, these groups of women that I heard sharing stories of all the wisdom and knowledge she poured into them were mostly older than me, some younger than me and quite a few the same age. And yet I had no similar story to share.

As parents, we have to understand that by serving our children, we are serving God — the child is simply the recipient of the service.  I fought motherhood for years. As children we always have in the back of our minds the things we believe we’ll not do, do differently or better than our parents. During my marriage, my husband longed for children and secretly I did as well (in my heart) but would not allow myself to give in to it or him. I had dreams of my children often; however, being that I had never been ministered to, being that I didn’t know a mother’s love, I feared even the possibility of being neglectful, cold or unloving towards my own. Isn’t it ironic that the things we fear are often the things which come upon us. As a result of the unresolved pain of my childhood and the deceitfulness of sin, a mother was eventually birthed in me. However, it had the total opposite effect of what I expected. From the moment my daughter was laid upon my chest, I then knew not only a mother’s love but also how much God loved me — and continues to love me — through this experience. My trials as a single mother have been a strategic path to my healing, maturity and peace. Now, only time will tell what my ministry of motherhood will produce. But, by the grace of God, through prayer and a healed heart, I can say I’m trusting this legacy to God’s care and it will be good! Not that I will do everything right, but I’ve given back to him the ministry He’s given to me!

Mothers, love your children!  Give to them what’s most important in life, LOVE! Love for God, Love for self, Love for others, respect, discipline, self-worth and value.  Children are gifts. They are not ours for the breaking. They are His for the making. No matter my beginning, I’ve come to realize I’ve always been in God’s hand and today say, “thank you mother for your ministry of motherhood.”

Belinda Powell, copyright February 2014

Revival . . .

I love the fragrance and beauty of certain flowers such as peonies, lilies, roses and hydrangeas; however, I have to purchase them as I never acquired the patience or “green thumb” it takes to nurture and grow them. So, as I sit here typing, I’m taking inventory of the actual “living” plants I have in my home — two peace lily plants and one ivy. First question, is that by accident or design?

As a child, one thing I noticed about my mother was she had that knack for growing plants. I can recall one of the first times I observed her going into a place and, when the opportunity presented itself, tore off a piece of someone’s plant, wrapped it in tissue and stored it in her purse. Once she returned home, she immediately got a mason jar or any old glass, put water it in, placed the piece of plant that she acquired in it and sat the jar on the kitchen window-sill to bask in the sun. Periodically, she would change the water as needed. Eventually, the stem would begin to produce roots. The plant stem would remain in the container — for a time she seemed to know best — and then would then be transplanted to a flower pot to allow the roots to come into deeper union with what will now help sustain it — the soil. Oh, but let me not forget to mention another part of her process. There was this old plastic gallon milk jug that she kept underneath the cabinet filled with crushed egg shells. She would make sure she kept water added to that jug of egg shells from which she would “feed” the plants. Once she had a mature plant, she would then repeat this process of tearing, rooting and transplanting and eventually plants were all over the house!

So, back to the state of my three plants. It takes a considerable amount of care and time to grow and sustain plants. You begin to know when it needs water or has had too much water. You determine the best location in the house that’s most advantageous for it getting the proper amount of light. You periodically observe the soil levels and determine if it’s best to add more or whether it’s time to transplant it to a larger container allowing it more room to thrive and grow. My first plant is a small ivy in a large container. The planter actually contained a large palm plant and the ivy was meant to be a filler plant at the base, purely for decoration. However, I have to admit, palm trees and I don’t fare so well. So, when the palm tree died, I removed almost all evidence that it was ever in the planter and the plant that was meant to act as decoration only, the ivy, now remains. My second plant is a mid-sized lily that’s been in my daughter’s room for over 8 years. Instead of taking the risk and shocking the plant, or worse killing it, I’ve allowed it to remain in the same planter for years, and will prune it — which means I cut it back to keep it from growing beyond its present container. My third plant, a luscious, vibrantly green large peace lily sits so lovely in my family room. I’m amazed at how beautiful this plant yet is. You see, I didn’t grow it to its current state, I purchased it that way and hope to prune it as I do the mid-size to keep it from growing beyond its present container (wish me luck). If you’re reading spiritually, as I trust you are, I’ve said some very important things here. The three plants I have are not by accident, but by design. You see, ivy plants are one of the best plants to have for someone who lacks that proverbial “green thumb” — you can neglect them with a lack of water and/or inappropriate sunlight and still it can be brought back to life no matter how badly you’ve cared for it. As for my peace lilies, I’ve learned that if I go too long and forget when I’ve watered it, I can wait until I see signs of the leaves drooping to know it’s time to revive them with appropriate watering.

Revive: to impart new health or vigor or spirit to, to restore the effectiveness of, to renew in the mind, to bring back to consciousness. What good is the salt if it has lost its usefulness or the light if it’s not being turned on? When we see the state of our world — our homes, churches, schools, our cities and states — it makes one wonder, just how concerned are we? The signs of complacency in the church have been evident for quite some time. In some cases the soil is being allowed to harden. In others, the plants have been intentionally cut back so much so that their growth has been stunted. In other cases, the plants have been neglected altogether; they have dried out and died, or where plucked from their place of origin as if they were never there — as if it’s all by design; but whose? The current state of the church is not by accident.

Why aren’t we seeing a revival in the land? Simple, because it’s not wanted. Not that the plants aren’t showing visible signs — they’re thirsty, malnourished, they need appropriate lighting and right conditions to grow and thrive. It reads in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (ESV), But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 (ESV) says, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

Revival will happen when the people of God earnestly pray for it, not because pastors bring in evangelists for a week. True revival is a sovereign work of God. Christ so loved the church and gave Himself for it that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word. So, “revival” means “to bring to life again.” You can’t bring those to life again who have never been alive before. To be revived, you must have been alive once before. The enemy has sowed weeds among the wheat. Let the church’s prayer be thus today: “Lord, wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. (Psalm 51:2).” Once the Holy Spirit cleans up the Body of Christ, then He will start drawing the unsaved in.

James 4:8-10: Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up. Romans 12 exhorts us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Let’s pray for revival and come back to consciousness!

Belinda Powell, ©February 2014

Take, Eat … This IS My Body

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:26-28 (NIV)

 When God delivered the Israelites after four hundred years of oppressive slavery in Egypt, millions of Israelites and a “mixed multitude” of others were miraculously led through the Red Sea on their way to the Promised Land.  God provided for their every need on the journey, even feeding them bread from heaven daily.  This manna provided such a perfectly balanced diet that there was not one sick or feeble person among them for forty years.  It filled their bellies and kept their bodies healthy and strong.  However, the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said:  “who will give us meat to eat?  We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes.”  (Numbers 11:4-7)

God heard their murmuring and complaining.  God said, “The Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat.  You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, but for a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have despised the Lord.  God sent them quail in such a great abundance they stacked it two and a half feet dep.  And they ate and ate, and while the meat was still between their teeth, before it could be consumed, thousands of them died and were buried there.  And, according to verse 34, that place became known as KibrothHattaavah, which means “The Graves of Lusters,” as a memorial to those who ate themselves right out of the Promised Land.

The Old Testament was a foreshadow of the One who was and did come.  Unlike baptism, which is a one-time event, Communion is a practice that is meant to be observed over and over throughout the life of a Christian.  It is a holy time of worship when we corporately come together as one body to remember and celebrate what Christ did for us.  So why do we observe Communion?

First, we observe Communion because the Lord told us to.  We are to obey His commands:

And when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:24 (NIV)

In observing Communion we are remembering Christ and all that He has done for us in His life, death and resurrection.  The bread and wine are used as symbols representing Christ’s body and blood, in remembrance of his enduring sacrifice.  Also, when observing Communion we are to take time to examine ourselves:

A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 1 Corinthians 11:28 (NIV)

When we observe Communion we show our participation in the body of Christ.  His life becomes our life and we become members of each other:

Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ?  And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?  Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.  1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (NIV)

There is only one loaf, and we who are many, make up one body.  Ephesians 4:4-6 says, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

God sustained the Children of Israel for forty years with manna – bread from heaven and none was sick among them.  It was when they heard the complaining of the mixed multitude that they began to lust for the things they had during their years of bondage.  Are you still feasting on the bread of life?  Is that enough to sustain you or have you given in and gone along with the cries of the mixed multitude?  We have to watch our company.  You see the mixed multitude were not God’s people and God didn’t become incensed when they complained, only when HIS children complained.  You see that mixed multitude was undoubtedly tired of being oppressed in Egypt and while they probably had not come to believe in the God of Israel, what they did come to know was God had shown Himself more powerful than the gods of the Egyptians.  They wanted the benefit of the things of the Children of Israel’s God, but lusted for more than the Bread of Life.  They had all been delivered out of Egypt, but Egypt was still in them.

What are you desiring; what are you lusting after?  Are you satisfied with the Bread of Life?  All that is in the world is lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life and those things are not of our Heavenly Father.  The manna — that heavenly bread — which kept the Children contented, filled and healthy, was no longer enough?  Let’s be careful to examine ourselves and not follow in the path of the Children of Israel who lusted, murmured and complained like the mixed multitude.  This is one reason why observing Communion – and doing so often — is vitally important for God’s children.  I Corinthians 11:27-29 says, “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.  But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly.”  The Word says this is why many are weak and ill, and some have died.  God gave the Children of Israel what they lusted after.  All those who died, the Children of Israel and the mixed multitude, ate themselves out of the Promise Land; let’s not do likewise.  Jesus says in John 6:35:  “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

Lord, it is the pure in heart that shall see God.  I ask that You create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us.  Give us this day our daily bread.  Amen.  Amen!

Belinda Powell, © February 2014

Broken Bread . . .Blessed Bread

Jesus saw a great crowd and had compassion on them as they were like sheep without a shepherd and He began to teach them many things.  It grew late and His disciples wanted to send them away to buy something to eat.  But Jesus answered them and said, “You give them something to eat;” and the disciples questioned Him as to how they were to do it.  Jesus asked what did they have and they found a lad with five loaves and two fish.  Jesus took the five loaves, blessed and broke them and He gave the loaves to the disciples to set before the people.

On another occasion, we find Jesus with the disciples in the upper room for the Passover.  As they sat to eat, He took the bread, blessed it, broke it and gave them to eat saying, “Take, eat this is my body.”  Jesus was broken bread and poured out wine prepared for a hungry people.  God is ever looking for broken vessels for broken bread.  The more broken we are, the more God can do with us.  I see a large crowd, it’s getting late in the day, the people are hungry and milk won’t do.  Jesus said go therefore and make disciples . . . teaching them to observe all that He commanded you.  Fill in the blank with your name. “__________, do you love me?  Then feed my sheep.”

Behold, days are coming, declares the Lord GOD, when I will send a famine on the land.  Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the LORD.

©October 29, 2013

God’s Got You Covered . . .

In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:6). Has it ever seemed that in your prayer for direction and guidance you feel God has somehow misheard you and has led you into what you believe is unfamiliar, dangerous, or even uncharted territory? I know exactly how you are feeling, but want to encourage you today as I encourage myself, “don’t lose heart, God really does have your back!”

The fourteenth chapter of Exodus details the account of the Children of Israel crossing the Red Sea. Look at what God spoke to Moses. God wanted the Children of Israel to change their direction for He knew Pharaoh would think that the change in direction would give him an advantage over God’s people. But God had a plan all along. You see, the thoughts He has towards His children are always good and not evil, meant to bring about an expected end and the end will always work for good!

You see, Pharaoh had obviously forgotten what God had already done for the Children when He brought the 10 plagues upon Egypt or maybe Pharaoh thought that was the limit of God’s power. There is a parallel to this in the spiritual life. We sometimes think that Satan will let us go easily, or we think that once we leave his kingdom he forgets about us. Yet, like Pharaoh, he will pursue us attempting to keep us “straddling the fence” of his domain or hoping to destroy us if he could.

But this is what I find so interesting about this passage; look at the response of the Children of Israel in verses 10-12. The Children of Israel saw the Egyptians marching after them to force them back into bondage and they became afraid. How quickly are we to forget about the things God has delivered us from? You see, the Children of Israel had preferred to stay in bondage and now fear that listening to Moses would bring about a worse fate than slavery — their deaths! They saw no hope for themselves – the Red Sea was on the one side and Pharaoh’s army on the other; they thought they had been led into what seemed like a death trap and the only way to escape was the way they had come in, and the enemy had that path blocked.

These words provide so much comfort for me today as I ponder my own path, Exodus 14:13-14:

And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.

Do not be afraid. Stand still! You see God hadn’t told Moses how he would deliver, but only that He would. Hasn’t God assured us of that as well? Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but God said he would deliver us out of them ALL. Stand still. Fear will often make us retreat and impatience makes us want to act NOW and thinking we can create a plan for ourselves will have us running into the water before it’s even parted for us! Moses knew God would fight for them. Lord, help me to have this same confidence in ALL things, at ALL times in ALL of my WAYS.

Last night I found myself telling my daughter than when life gives us set-backs to acknowledge them, but to keep moving forward. That confused her as to how one could have a set-back and continue to move forward. You see the enemy wants us to become paralyzed by fear with the hopes that we’ll remain stuck in our situations.

Brothers and sisters in Christ: (i) it was God who hardened Pharaoh’s heart, (ii) it was God who told the Children of Israel to change the course of their direction; (iii) God knew Pharaoh would pursue His people and (iv) God had already made a way of escape that would give Him honor so that the Egyptians would know that He is. If you’re finding yourself fearful of your new course of direction, right in this moment, stop, stand still, gather your thoughts and then say, “God, I trust your plan.”

You see Pharaoh questioned God in Exodus 5:2 asking “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?” When God delivers His children from a temptation or crisis, it is as much a testimony to our adversaries as it is to us; God uses each victory in our lives to show our adversaries that He is the I AM.

The Lord is our Shepherd and he leads us for His name’s sake. If He leads, that means we should be following. However, situations in our lives will arise that will necessitate God having to also change His course of direction. Instead of going before us, He may follow behind us; will we yet trust Him? In the 19th and 20th verses of Exodus 14, God changed His direction of leading.

“And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. This it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night.”

The Israelites felt hopeless in their situation fearing that they would die. Haven’t we felt like that in our own attacks? And just like the Israelites, we can’t even begin to imagine how much and what God is doing to protect us from the attacks of our enemies – seen and unseen, known and unknown. God created a barrier between Israel and the Egyptians – the same pillar that was a source of light to the Israelites was a source of darkness to the Egyptians.

When our course has been changed, when we feel God has become silent or we can’t sense Him, don’t fear — maybe God has also changed His direction. No matter the situation, take comfort in God’s Word and His faithfulness. As I encourage myself I also encourage you today and want you to know, according to Psalms 121 He’s got us covered our going out and our coming in, God has our backs!

Let’s pray: “Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. And although heaven and earth shall pass away Your Word never will. Your Word, Father, is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my pathway. I will not fear; I will stand still; in you will I trust. Surely, Your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. Amen. AMEN!
© September 10, 2013
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Any Problem Areas Today?

I Corinthians 6: 19-20 (ESV): Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Although banks and schools were open, yesterday was in fact a holiday and one that I was fortunate enough to have off. Normally, all my holidays are spent with my daughter as she’s typically out of school. However, with school being in session, I was so looking forward to having some “me time” and not thinking about all the things I’d have to get done – laundry, cooking, cleaning, homework, etc., etc., etc. I had the pleasure of going to the spa for a long overdue day of pampering and relaxation. Prior to having my daughter, going to the spa was sort of a regular indulgence for me. However, priorities change when it’s no longer just about you. So, I scheduled an hour massage, an hour facial, followed by lunch and then an hour each for a manicure and pedicure – five hours of pure bliss. As I’m taking the walk with my massage “therapist” towards the room she begins to ask how long has it been since I’ve had a massage – six and a half years I say – and, the more important question she asked was, “are there any problem areas I need to be aware of?” It’s quite an interesting process if you think about it. You’re literally baring yourself – physically and sometimes emotionally – to someone you’ve never met before, engaging in fairly substantive conversation, hoping to free yourself of the stressors and burdens weighing you down. I thought about it for a moment and responded that there was muscle pain in my upper back.

Let’s face it, life can be overwhelming and downright stressful. Doctors have come to learn that there is a direct correlation between emotional and physical pain. You see, most of the wounds or scars we have aren’t external. I have one prominent external scar, which I have strategically learned how to cover, and no one knows it’s there until I either disclose it or I allow you to get close enough to discover it for yourself. Many people are living with trapped emotions, covered wounds; pain which is not easily detectable by the human eye. What does that look like you ask? Perfectionism, anger, the never ceasing comedian or class clown, rudeness, arrogance/pride, alcoholism, substance abuse or misuse, promiscuity, lack of self-respect or respect for others, abuses of all sorts – food, people, sex, excessive shopping, overspending, being judgmental and/or critical of others. This is just a small list. It has been said that the funniest and/or most successful comedians are those who have a lot of pain. Actors tend to be tortured souls as well projecting their emotions and experiences into the characters they play. Many of us are the same except our performances aren’t played out on a big screen, but rather on the stages of our daily lives and cameo appearances in the lives of those who encounter us. In order for something to be released, it first has to come up. Many of us have experienced situations where we ingested something we could not digest or handle, and thus the body aids in correcting the situation by forcing it to come up and expelling it. Whenever emotions are suppressed and not dealt with, walls of toxins are created in our body rendering us incapable of wholly giving or receiving love. As a result, therein lies the cycle of wounded individuals connecting with other wounded souls leading to an increase in what they’re masking – PAIN. Allow those issues to come to the surface—force them if you must—look at that problem(s), examine it and then RELEASE it for HEALING.

Matthew 21:12-14 is one account of Jesus clearing out the temple:
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.

Jesus went into the temple and cast out what should not be; the temple was to be a house of prayer, contributing to healing. What have you made your temple to be? What’s residing in there?

I went to the spa yesterday not looking for healing, but as an aid to relax. What pain are you carrying in your temple? What issues are you battling or covering up? Lack of purpose, self-esteem, fatherlessness, deceit, abortion, divorce, pride, greed. Are you willing to be made willing? He won’t force you. Whatever it is, you can allow it to come to the surface for healing knowing that you no longer have to cover IT because it’s been covered by the blood. He wants your temple cleansed and healed!

© February 2013

God of this City!

Several times in Old Testament prophecy and once in poetry, God’s chosen people are referred to as a city.  Zion meant Jerusalem and, later, Israel as the people of God.  So when you read Daughters of Zion, it does not refer to a specific person.  It is a metaphor for Israel and the loving, caring, patient relationship God has with His chosen people.

Why speak of them as “daughters” and not sons?  Unfortunately, many children grew up without fathers in the home.  In some cases, there are those of us who had a father in the home, but it was often in presence and not relational fellowship.  Then, there are those of you were fortunate to have that loving, protective, guiding provider in the home.  One who made sure you felt safe and secure and, even when you had done wrong, found it difficult to discipline you, although he knew he had to.  Fathers typically are more loving and affectionate, longsuffering and gentle in their dealings with their daughters than they are with their sons.  Their tone of voice is softer, yet firm and they discipline with a softer hand, not always giving us what we justly deserve.  Well, God uses the term daughter as it relates to his people because He is just that — a loving father.  God is Love.  He cherishes, even when rejected.  Although He was frustrated and angry with his chosen people, He always had an eye to the future when the relationship would be restored and He could once again return to them and welcome them into His arms.  Is America under judgment?  I can’t call it (as TI says in the movie Takers), but it would appear so.  Have we turned away from our first love?  There is a way to return – repent!

Make God the God of your city again and I don’t mean where you physically live, but where He should be residing, within your heart.  Matthew 15:8 speaks of those people who draw near Him with their mouths, and honor him with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him.  When we turn our hearts wholeheartedly to Him, then will we see change.  For greater is He that is within me, than He that is in the world.  Restore the relationship and then speak to our present suffering:  Romans 8:31, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?

Daughters of Zion, make Him the God of your city, for greater things are yet to come, greater things are still to be done in this city!    http://youtu.be/abj_-iXrv1k

(Please, when you can, watch the video.  I hope it inspires.  I love you with the love of Christ!)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2talU4fA-Y&NR=1&feature=fvwp

Don’t Let Go

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Fx3l2DMDh4&feature=related

To those who may not be aware, I have a soon to be released book entitled, Let it Go!  While there are some things we need to let go of , I encourage you today, don’t let go of God’s hand.  He promised to never leave us nor forsake us.   He is with us always.  Nothing can separate us from His love and no one can pluck us out of His hand.

Isaiah 59:19 “So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.”

Don’t let go!

Encourage Yourself in the Lord!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzAkMvK1Ljw&feature=endscreen&NR=1

You may not have someone there to encourage you, telling you that you can make it, will make it.  I Samuel 30:6 reads, “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”

No matter what the situation, encourage yourself in the Lord your God.

Jesus Take the Wheel

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanskgiving let your requests be known to the Father.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

During these difficult and uncertain times, it can become quite easy for us to lose focus and give in to fear and worry.   Many are worrying about how the bills are going to be paid, where the next meal is coming from, or how they’re going to pay the mortgage or rent.    Child support payments aren’t being made and wages are not being increased.  In addition to maintaining the home and car, gas is still running high and food costs are rising, the school year is approaching and clothes needs to be purchased, school supplies and the like.   And, if you happen to be a single parent, it can seem just downright overwhelming as you feel you have no one to lean on, no one to help shoulder the load.  Finances and faith seem to be running low?  Oftentimes we wait until things become dire before we reach out for help.  However, I want you to know that help is always just a prayer away — always!  The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing.  What does that really mean?  I can derive quite a few meanings from that, but will leave you with this.  If we are to be anxious for nothing and are to cast all our cares upon Him, then we should always be in the spirit of prayer.  Meaning, all of our actions should be consistent with our prayer and, in fact, be a continuation of our prayers.

Curtis Jackson — some of you know him as 50 cents — said, if you’re going to pray then don’t worry and if you’re going to worry, why pray.  I encourage you today to let your actions be a continuation of your prayers.  When you pray, believe that you have received.   We can do all things through Christ, so why not release the wheel to Him, move into the passenger seat and allow Him to navigate the roads of your life?

Psalms 138:8  The Lord will perfect that which concerns me:  your mercy O Lord endures forever.  Do not let go of what your hands have made. 

http://www.vevo.com/watch/carrie-underwood/jesus-take-the-wheel/USAV70500389#/watch/carrie-underwood/jesus-take-the-wheel/USAV70500389

 

The Gift of Knowing . . . You Are not Alone!

Mark 10:27-31  And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.   Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,  But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.  But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

Often times in our lives we hold on to people — even those who are harming us — because we’ve been conditioned to think having something is better than having nothing.  How many of us are holding on to toxic relationships, friendships that are draining us and are often one-sided; family members who don’t love or support us?   If you were brought up “old schooled” as I was, you were taught that no matter what was going on, to keep your mouth shut; that what goes on in a house stays in the house and that family is all you have.  You remember that three monkey figurine you saw in most households in the ’70’s, they were sitting Indian style — with their hands covering their mouths, ears and eyes — speak no evil, hear no evil, see no evil. 

Family?  What makes a family?  Here’s how Christ answered that question in Matthew 12.  While speaking with the Pharisees , the disciples interrupted Jesus telling him that his mother and brothers were waiting outside to speak with Him.  Jesus questioned the disciples and asked them who is His mother and who are his brothers?  Jesus then pointed to His disciples and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers.  For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”  Unity of purpose.

Fear.  Fear is the opposite of love.  Out of fear of being alone, many of us hold onto people and things that are hurting us.  Some of us compromise Truth in our desire to not be alone.  However, God said He would never leave us or forsake us and that He knows what we have need of before we even ask.  God’s Word contains many promises for the Believer.  We say we believe the Word of God, but do we trust His Word?  Perfect love casteth out fear!

We’ll never know all that God has waiting ahead for us if we’re constantly focused on those things that are behind us.  Sometimes, the things of our past were good things and good people — all experiences aren’t unpleasant ones, but they can hinder just the same.  So whatever those things are, the Apostle Paul exhorts us to forget those things and press!  Three short words of advice to those who think we can make progress by walking forward and looking backwards:  Luke 17:32, one of the shortest verses in the Bible.

This life is full of beautiful moments waiting to happen — allow God to add them to your life path.  And always remember, in EVERYTHING give thanks for it is the will of God for your life! 

I share this powerful story of love with you today:  The Gift of Charles

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2012/05/us/gift.of.charles/?hpt=hp_c1

© May 7, 2012 Belinda Powell

The Subject at Issue . . .

In English, the subject is an essential part of a sentence, because it tells you who or what is performing an action or is in a certain state of being.  Subjects are nouns or pronouns and are usually followed by a verb (just a little English 101 reminder).

There is also the imperative or command form of the subject.  “Go away!”  This type of sentence has no spoken or written subject.  Thus, the implied subject is always “you,” which can be either singular or plural.  The subject “you” is simply understood.

Recently, I was speaking with someone and a window of opportunity presented itself whereby I could segue into the gospel.  However, while not surprised, whenever I’d say something that the individual didn’t want to accept as truth or relevant to his life, I would get the response that that particular directive was for that day and time or that it just no longer applied.  He could accept some portion of scripture as relevant and true, but not all.  While we live in a constantly changing world, God does not change.  He’s the same yesterday, today and forever.  He’s eternal.  His Word is true from the beginning and every one of His righteous judgments endures forever.  Look at what Psalms 90:2 says, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.”

I agree that the Word in some references and epistles are to a particular group of people.  However, here is what’s important to remember, “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (II Timothy 3:16-17).”

So, for those who adopt the position that God understands the times we’re living in and gives breaks, or that his commands were for those in that day, I trust you now stand corrected.

Place your cursor over the links of the following scriptures:

If in your reading you find that the subject is not so clear, try inserting the word “you” before the first word.  And yes, it really does mean You.  You are the subject at issue!

© 2012 Belinda Powell

Imitation of Life.

There was a time when, based upon what we saw, we could distinguish between “the haves” versus the “have-nots;” what was real versus a knock-off.  Many companies fight hard to protect and defend the reputation of their brands — Rolex, Gucci, Prada, Fendi, Vuitton, Louboutin.  Now, absent careful scrutiny, it’s easy to blur the lines of what’s authentic and something produced to copy the original . . . a counterfeit.  Just about everything is being imitated from cars to pharmaceutical drugs, handbags, perfumes, jewels and the like.  Even grocery stores, clothing and electronic retailers will produce their own store brands to compete with designers and brand names.  Imitation has become a regular way of life.  Having a form of the good life; you know the saying — fake it until you make it.
If there’s any one thing Christ speaks so strongly against, it is hypocrisy.  Recall the fig tree?  From afar off Christ saw the green leaves, an indication that something should have been there for Him to satisfy his hunger.  However, upon closer inspection, He saw that tree bore no fruit and brought judgment upon it.  And so it is today.  We perfect the outward appearance, have learned the testimony lingo and have become motivational speakers using scripture.  What did Christ say to the disciples about the teachers of the law and the Pharisees?  He said they seek far and wide to make one convert and, when they make that one, they then set out to make him twice as much a child of hell as they are.  He said they teach and don’t do and those things they do, is only because they want to be seen of men.  They bundle the word to make heavy burdens to weigh others down and take pleasure in watching them struggle under the load never lifting a finger to help them.  They make clean the outside of the cup, but inside they’re full of greed and extortion.  Outwardly, they appear righteous, but inwardly they’re full of hypocrisy and wickedness.  These people, He said, draw near Him with their mouths, honor Him with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him.  So you see, it’s a matter of the heart and what’s in it will eventually come out.
Without faith it’s impossible to please God.  Without love you don’t know God.  If HE hasn’t changed you, then has HE saved you?   Christ said his yoke is easy and His burden is light.  Are you a true disciple or just an Imitation of the Life?

The Law of The Vital Few.

Many of us have had conversations about slackers or co-workers who we feel get away with things while others take on their load.  We often wonder how they’re getting away with it or, question whether or not management even knows.  Rest assured, they know.  Entrepreneurs and managers analyze different aspects relevant to their business:  staff, complaints, profits, sales.  In management, this is known as the Pareto Principle or, the law of the vital few.  In everyday language, it’s known as the 80/20 Rule.  You recall the scene in “Why Did I Get Married?”  In the end, Jill Scott tells her ex-husband that he gave her up, thinking he was getting the real deal, only to realize he gave up an 80 in exchange for a 20.  Well, here’s the actual theory behind the rule.  An Italian economist began to take note of the wealth in his country.  He discovered 80% of the land was held by 20% of the population.  He developed the principle after studying his garden and realized 20% of the pea pods produced 80% of the peas.  Thus, good managers have learned to identify the 20% that matters.  They learn that 80% of their sales are made by 20% of their team; that 80% of complaints come from 20% of their customers and that 80% of profits come from 20%.  They’ve identified their vital few.

The Word gives a similar distribution of a Vital Few, sort of a 75/25 principle.  Do you not know your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?  God said He doesn’t live in temples made with man’s hand.  Thus, the local church is a garden so to speak, where lively stones come together for corporate worship; yet all in the garden God didn’t plant.  Recall the parable of the sower?  Christ said if you don’t know this one, then you won’t know any of them.  Many have taught and continue to teach that the seed sown is money and that the fruit brought forth 30, 60 and a 100 fold is a financial blessing you receive.  Not so.  Christ is talking about the Word–the truth of the Word–and souls.  The first ground hears the truth, it makes it to their minds, but before it can become a matter of the heart Satan immediately snatches it. The next ground is stony; they receive the Word, temporarily. They hear it and as long as things are great, they are made happy by the Word, but when times of affliction or persecution come, they take offense with the Word as they have no root.  The next ground, the Word is sown among thorns (false doctrine, man-made tradition lacking truth of scripture, worldly views, etc.). They hear the Word, but the cares and lust of this life and deceitfulness of riches become more important that it chokes the Word.  And these are they where the results happen. Here the Word is sown on good ground; they hear it, receive it and bring forth much fruit.  One-fourth of the seed takes permanent root and the result is wheat, children of the kingdom!  What god is planted in the soil of your heart?  God knows those in His garden, His Vital Few.

© 2011 Belinda Powell

HOME . . .

Many of us have just watched the home going of the beloved Whitney Elizabeth Houston.  A daughter, a mother, a friend, a superstar but more importantly she professed to be a child of God!  Many of us live our lives as if this is our home, our final destination.  But I would give you to know that we are all expatriates and one day will all be called back home to spend eternity in heaven or separated from Christ to spend eternity in hell.  If you’re a follower of the Way, then you know that for the believer Jesus Christ is the object of our faith for righteousness, the object of our desire for fellowship in His resurrection power and the object of our expectation that one day we will also be where He is.  Philippians 3:20 tells us that our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ and He shall change our lowly body that it may be fashioned like his glorious body.

Jesus comforted his apostles after predicting His betrayal and foretelling of His departure.  In John 14 the Word speaks and says: “Let not your hearts be troubled, you believe in God believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you; I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am there ye may be also and where I go ye know and the WAY ye know.”  In was said in Whitney’s last few days she was heard reciting scripture, saying she wanted to go see Jesus and that there was gospel music playing when she made calls to her loved ones.  On her last performance she was singing Yes, Jesus loves me.  It is my hope, my prayer, that her family will be given some comfort in the hope that maybe in those final hours Whitney made peace with her heavenly Father.  We read of many countless stories of her troubles in this world.  But the Word has told us that all that if you believe in Him, that in this world we’re going to have tribulations.  Like Whitney, many are being buffeted by the trials of this life.  But if you have believed on the name of Jesus and have put your faith and trust in Him, He tells you to be of good cheer, for He has overcome the world.  And who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.

All that is in this world — the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life — is not of the Father.  The world and all the lust of it passeth away, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.  Thus, after believing, we have to do His will.  Whatever is born of God overcometh the world and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.   I believe the world tried to break Whitney, but I also want to believe that she found the road to take her home.  After all of her running, she was saying to the Lord in those final days I’m finally coming home!

We are instructed to exhort one another daily, while it is called Today, lest any of us be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  For those who know the Way and are running, I pray that you find the road today that leads you back.  For those of you who don’t, I’m here today to let you know that God loves you so much that he gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.   Believe!  If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  Believe while it is called Today.

In parting, I’d like to share a song from one of my favorite movies, a song with special meaning and dear to my heart.  From the movie, Country Strong.  Make heaven your final destination today, Come Home!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixP0d8klLvI&feature=related

© 2012 Belinda Powell

Love . . .

I started my day out in a rush helping my daughter finalize a valentine craft project for school, then  dashed off to the store for last minute treats for her class and then headed to work.  Somewhere around mid-day I was out getting lunch and shared the thought with a friend that I haven’t been someone’s Valentine in over five years.  But then a feeling of warmth came over me and I felt a smile make its way upon my face.  I began to feel the presence of the lover of my soul and I lack the words to articulate how loved and truly blessed I am.

So I share with you this:

“Love came down and rescued me, Love came down and set me free, I am yours Jesus, I am forever yours.  Mountain high or valley low, I sing out and remind my soul, I am yours, I am forever yours.”

Try falling in love with Jesus.  You don’t know what love is until you do — it’s the best thing I’ve ever done!

Pure love!

© 2012 Belinda Powell

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifeJRC5lvhs

Terrell Owen says, “I’m in hell!”

After trusting the wrong people too many times, at what point does one get the lesson: “you haven’t learned to trust yourself?”  Many people have said you attract who you are.  While it is a true statement, maybe it should be clarified for a fuller understanding — you attract where you are.  We all emit pheromones — chemicals released by an organism into its environment enabling it to communicate with other members of its own species.  These pheromones can be sexual in nature, drawing us to one another or, they may be those that alarm us letting us know when we’re in a fight or flight situation.
When you’re whole, healed and can take responsibility for your own actions, you’re better positioned to clearly see when you’re attracting people of a similar state, thus attracting who you are.  When you’re broken, wounded and still victimized by things in your past you will draw to you not a person of like standing, but rather a person willing to take advantage of yours — one who detects your brokenness, smells your wounds and sees your vulnerability, thus you’re attracting people to where you are.  A structure whose walls are fortified is hard to penetrate.  If I fortify my house with an alarm, cameras and/or a watch dog, then what was intended for my domain will more than likely move on to some place less secure.  The enemy walks about seeking whom he may devour with the intent to steal, kill and destroy.  When you’re established, built up and rooted in Christ your walls have been fortified.  You may be a target, but the weapons formed will not prosper!  We have to become as wise as our enemy, but not harm as he does.
Some people wonder why they keep running into the same situations or the same type of people who end up doing what others have done to them.  If your focus remains on what others have done or are doing, things won’t change.  Focus on yourself.  Look within, find the source of the pain.  If you’re looking for others to fix you, validate you, or make you feel complete, I have news — you’ll forever be broken!  Give God every offense and offender.  The wound has to be cleaned.  Allow God to heal you.  Focus on Christ and what He can do within you and not only will You change, your situations will change.  Colossians 2:7  “Let your roots grow down into Him, let your lives be built on Him.  Then your faith will grow strong in the truth and you will overflow with thankfulness.”  
© 2012 Belinda Powell