Today is the 2nd day of Spring! I woke up this morning with an encouraging Word that spoke to my spirit a couple of days ago. In my life there have been extreme changes taking place that have made things rather murky and in a sense uncomfortable for me. I’m seeing people leave my life and new ones entering into it… there have been moments I have had mixed emotions about what I’m seeing, but the Lord encouraged me as I meditated on the meaning of Easter. He gave me this specific scripture:
18 “Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
20 The beast of the field will honor Me,
The jackals and the ostriches,
Because I give waters in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert,
To give drink to My people, My chosen.
I have a song that I still love and have posted before in a post I think I did a year ago and it’s from Dorinda Clarke Cole called Everything He Promised. May this Song bless your Spirit Everybody!
I hope you all are having a beautiful Friday . It’s starting to heat up out there so please refer back to my summer survival kit on what to do to prevent heat stroke and other summer related illnesses that some people encounter during heat waves. It is important to remain hydrated so drink up an ocean of water (ok…I’m exaggerating but please drink a lot of water ok people! ).
So today I want to talk about God’s faithfulness. God’s faithfulness is precious to us because He always keeps His promises. In knowing that we have a God that is NOT a man that He should lie, we must learn to walk in the same level of faith in that when He says that He will never leave us nor forsake us…we in return must never leave Him and forsake Him. We can talk about “well I’m only human…blah…blah… blah…excuse after excuse” to explain why we sometime falter in our Faith, but at the end of the day…we are not merely Human…we are Children of the Most High God. We enjoy the idea that He is forgiving, faithful, and patient…but are we???
I thought about that in regards to myself and realize that I seriously need to increase my Faith level to come to that place where I can truly say “I will never leave you nor forsake you my God”. You must be thinking….”Oh yea of little faith!!!”…but again I say, “Have you walked a mile in my shoes?” from a previous post written about hindrances to prayer. When I went through a trial that tested my loyalty and faith to God so early in my salvation, it was then that I realized that honestly it’s so easy for us to turn away given the right amount of pressure. You’ve got to ask yourself…“What will it take for you to fall away from the Lord?” It’s easy to claim to “love Him” when things are going good…but what if all of a sudden calamity strikes us…what then of our Faith? The reason why I’m writing this is so that we don’t walk around in self-deception thinking that we have attained a high level of faith and that we will never encounter a time where that one decision to remain in God or forsake the Lord will be put to the test. I call such a test of faith to be The Job Test of Faith (Job 1-3) where everything you hold dear gets touched by the devil to test your level of love and faith for the Lord. Be Sober and be viligilant, for this is no easy test…and unfortunately not everyone will pass it and those who claim to “love the Lord”, shall be tested. For those that endure the trial and still come out praising God, I say kudos to you and God bless you because your faith can withstand such a fiery trial and it just goes to show, that if you can do it, surely we all are capable of withstanding any test. Easier said than done but it’s worth thinking about it now rather than later.
I know that I’m still being tested each day and I take each test as they come. I fail some, I pass some…I also get re-tested <— didn’t see that one coming now did ya. Yes people, you will be retested on failed tests. When you pass the re-tests, you overcome that cycle of insanity, which is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. How many of you can lift your hands and understand what I’m saying? Let me also remind you that we should all know that our lives are a whole big test of Faith. We choose how we are going to pass it or fail it by deciding if we believe in God or not and by living out what we believe. I’ve had my fair share of tests and I can tell you that it’s easy to break down completely and choose to stray away given the right amount of pressure, but the most amazing thing is that even in our weakness, God never chooses to forsake us even though we may choose to do so. God’s love endures literally Forever. I have never met a love like that before, but it is definitely a feat to learn to love like Jesus.
So today, think about increasing your love for God. It’s one thing to learn to love people…but we must learn also how to minister to our God today by loving God and saying it everyday through our prayer life, our praise life and our worship life. As much as we seek affirmation of love and acceptance by people, God also seeks that same level of devotion to Him as well, but because He, like the Holy Spirit is a gentleman, He will not manipulate us or force us to love Him, because He has blessed us with the gift of free will to choose to do so. I have now gotten into the habit of saying “Good morning Father God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit” and also “Good afternoon” and “Good evening” because it’s something we take for granted. We say it to people all the time but do we say it to our Lord? Do you welcome His presence in your day? The Lord is with us in our entire day and its amazing how we forget Him so easily. We should not forget the Lord our God who sent His Son to save us from the slavery of Sin and redeemed us back into the Kingdom of God through His precious blood. The Lord Jesus sent us The Helper who is the Holy Spirit and He yearns to converse with us, but are we inclined to Hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to “us” the Churches???? Let us love on God today and remember that His faithfullness in us is what we must demonstrate back to Him in return. God Bless you everybody and have a blessed Weekend!
I have 2 songs by Jesus Culture called Where You Go I Go and You Won’t Relent ( I know I’ve posted this song before but I love it ) . I figured I’d bless y’all with sounds of worship. I pray that these songs minister to your spirit today. God bless you everybody!
Scriptures to Meditate
“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
1 Chronicles 16:34
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is with those who uphold my life.
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you
Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’
Happy FRIDAY! Wow it’s already the third day of Summer and as you noticed I reblogged my summer survival kit for all those who need a few pointers to survive the heat. Keep cool and drink lots and lots of water. Don’t regret anything.
Todays devotional is about regrets. I know that I’ve done many things I regret but at the same time I have learned that it is more important to consider what I should have done differently had I a chance to turn things around. We shouldn’t mill around in self-pity when God can turn what was meant for evil for good when we choose to lean on His divine wisdom to get out of this mess. One thing we should never do is end up being in denial of the mess we make. It’s not a good thing to be in-denial of our own problems because that’s an area of pride that refuses to take responsibility for actions. I agree that some things are beyond our control and some things are based on irresponsible decisions that we make, but despite all of this we have the Holy Spirit in us to develop self-control. When we take ownership for our actions it is easier to reconcile with the Father when we come to Him with a contrite spirit that seeks forgiveness and assistance to set things back on course. Offence can derail us and self-condemnation arrests us, so it is important to seek God and repent of any area of weakness, failures and mistakes with honesty and with humility.
The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise
For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
God is so good in that even though we make many mistakes, He is still willing to work with us when we humble ourselves and recognize that “Oops…I made a mess of things. Please help me” because His love endures forever (Psalm 136 ). Ask for God’s help today and you’ll see turn arounds when you yield to His infinite wisdom. I know that for me some mistakes can’t be easily repaired overnight and somethings take time to heal but with whatever is impossible with us, with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). It is true that some things may end up as wounds, but God is able to heal the deepest crevices of our hearts even when they are broken. So today, Lean on God’s Love and ask Him for a divine turn around in your situation. God loves it when we ask Him for His help because He comes to us with open arms just like the father that greeted his prodigal son that sqwandered his inheritance and came back seeking his fathers forgiveness. In the same way, Let God greet you with Open arms as you return to Him in HUMILITY.He will robe you in His righteousness as you seek to connect with him and remain in right standing together with the Lord as your covering. May this video bless you Everybody!
Scriptures to Meditate
Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
Job 42:10 (NKJV)
10 And the Lord restored Job’s losses[a] when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.
Luke 15:10-32 (NKJV)
10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
The Parable of the Lost Son
11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’
20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring[a] out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’
28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’
31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”
I wasn’t sure if i was going to have a devotional today or not but after seeing a clip on youtube I think I will.
Why did I entitle it “The Faith Movement- Gospel of Truth”. Faith is a movement. When you walk in the Spirit, you walk by Faith. Faith is an Action. It says in the Word of God that the Just shall live by Faith(Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17;Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38) and that we ought to walk by Faith and NOT by Sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Faith is indeed a movement that is taken when we operate in the reverential Fear of the Lord. Faith has the power to save an entire household whereas unbelief has the power to destroy a nation. Unbelief is NOT a movement; it is a decision to remain in ignorance.
When you look at Noah, He built the Ark in the Fear of the Lord and his entire household was saved…but for those that ridiculed him and laughed at him, they were destroyed in the flood as a consequence of their UNBELIEF.
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
In the same way Moses operated in the reverential Fear of the Lord and saved a Nation out of the bondage of Egyptian slavery. For those that grumbled after-the-fact while walking towards God’s promised land, when it came time to enter into the land, the generation that grumbled during the 40-year journey were killed off because of UNBELIEF. Faith takes you to the destination hence Destinies are tied to FAITH. Unbelief aborts DESTINY and DESTINATIONS.
Faith preserves, Faith heals, Faith restores, Faith Builds, but Unbelief does the opposite since all it does is destroy everything in its path. In knowing this, it is important that we learn to leave no room for doubt to creep into our lives (especially our minds) knowing that the end result is utter devastation.
Faith is a Movement. Unbelief halts and aborts this Movement.
Unbelief is a decision to remain ignorant and promotes stagnancy which keeps people bound up in the first place.
Notice that in Hebrews 11:7 it also mentions that because Noah was moved with godly fear to operate by faith, he saved his entire household and became and Heir of righteousness which is based by his level of FAITH. To be an heir of righteousness you must always oprate by FAITH. This isn’t an option, it’s a mandatory requirement in the Kingdom of GOD because we are joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. Our Faith demands that we are moved by the direction of the Holy Spirit.
Faith requires ACTION and obedience to be moved by the HOLY SPIRIT.
2 Peter 1:21
for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Unbelief seeks to cap you with lovely friends called Fear, Depression, Hatred, Envy, Self-pity and Pride. We cannot afford to be bound by Unbelief as Children of God.
[ By Faith We Understand ] Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
So Today, ask yourself, What moves YOU? Are you driven by Faith or are you capped by unbelief? What you believe in determines whether you are walking in the Spirit or just standing still in the Flesh. Seek God to help you develop your FAITH MOVEMENT and walk with the Gospel of TRUTH as your guide to Faith.
I have here two videos to encourage your FAITH MOVEMENT. May it minister to you today. Have a blessed Day Everybody!
Scriptures to Meditate
“Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”
Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”
2 Corinthians 5:7
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Todays meditation is from the book of proverbs.
“The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.”
When I read this verse I thought about how Father God looks at us. Are we like GOD????? The father who delights in righteousness is happy when He is able to reproduce after His own kind.
The Word Begets means :-
verb (used with object), be·got or ( Archaic ) be·gat; be·got·ten or be·got; be·get·ting.1.(especially of a male parent) to procreate or generate (offspring).2. to cause; produce as an effect: a belief that power begets power.
[ Walk in Love ] Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
Romans 8:16-18 (NKJV)
16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!”
In that day a man will look to his Maker, And his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel.
But when he sees his children, The work of My hands, in his midst, They will hallow My name, And hallow the Holy One of Jacob, And fear the God of Israel.
Thus says the LORD, The Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: “Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons; And concerning the work of My hands, you command Me.
As for our Redeemer, the LORD of hosts is His name, The Holy One of Israel.
Well apart from the Twitter hacking and spam situation that is a story of yesterday and a yesterday that’s gone, I think today is an awesome Day that the Lord has made, so REJOICE! I hope all of you are enjoying your Friday! I’m looking forward to The Avengers Movie being released out today…WOooHooooo! I’m not sure if people are going out the see that movie but I think it’s gonna be awesome! 3D- IMAX experience…actually I’d much prefer the D-Box experience where your seat moves with the action but it’s all good! lol. Ok, enough about that Sherline.
Today I want to talk about ordering your conversations right. I won’t say I’m a guru in this area but I have found that in my walk we can get caught up with individuals that love idle talk. The way I see it, you need to be surrounded with people that are like-minded rather than not. Un-equal yokes don’t just happen…they occur after hanging out with the wrong crowd for extended periods of time. I enjoy being around mature people and when I was growing up, I was always surrounded by adults and it’s amazing the wisdom that you can get from just sitting there and listening to what they have to say. There are only two categories of people that I’ve encountered. Those that are foolish and those that are wise; mind you, even crafty people are wise.
Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
As some of you may already know, I love the book of Proverbs because it has so many verses of scriptures that I would say are a manual in how to live right and order your conversations and relationships right. A lot of broken relationships stem from poor communication and also misunderstandings. The important feature of good relationships is communication, attentiveness to listen rather than being heard, exercising prudence in your speech and learning what to say and what not to say and reading in-between the lines of what people are saying. If you learn to listen to what people say, you will learn a lot about a person. In fact, I recommend reading my other post called learning to listen rather than being heard because it ties into what I’m talking about here.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
It is easier to discern a fool from a wise one when you listen to what comes out of their mouths. Everything people say is a reflection of what is inside their heart. This is not to say that you won’t encounter some crafty people in this life but I believe that as you train yourself to listen to what people say out of their mouths, it also becomes easier to weed out the crafty ones as well since they know how to play games with their words just because they understand the principles and the dynamics of “ordering your conversations right”. Those that manipulate people, understand the power that words play in a conversation. If you want to avoid being manipulated, you also have to wisen up and understand how to order your conversations right.
The importance of ordering a conversation right is found in learning how to RESPOND versus how you REACT to what’s being said or spoken over you and your life. Sometimes people may speak negative into your spirit and I’m around people like that a lot but I always say…”no I don’t think so”, “I reject what you say”, “I don’t believe in what you’ve just said….” etc etc. Negate the negative by rejecting the spoken word against you. Rebuke it is what I’m getting at here. If you don’t rebuke or correct someones spoken word against you and your family…then you passively accept and agree to that spoken word that will start to manifest itself in your life…and you’ll see things start to happen around you and then you are left wondering “What in the world is going on?” It’s because you didn’t learn to reject the negative that was spoken against you. Don’t accept the negative as truth. Don’t embrace such foolishness with open arms. Anything that self-exalts itself against the knowledge of God in your life…must be condemned…must be rejected…must be nullified and of no effect by you speaking against it.
2 Corinthians 10:5
casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
I emphasize….learn to be an active and attentive observer rather than being a passive individual wondering “why the world is against you?”…Speak to your situations and confess positive things so that the negative has no power over your circumstances. This is an important thing to learn especially for those engaged with intercession and Spiritual Warfare…you’ve got to order your prayers right before God if you want to see HIM MOVE.
Words have a creative power. If you all consider that the World was created by just God’s Spoken word…“Let there be Light; and there was light” (Genesis 1:3), then you will come to understand that because we are made in His Image and likeness, we too create our world by the very words that come out of our mouths.
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
So order your conversations right people. Even the words “I Am” is just as powerful. The Lord Jehovah is called the Great “I AM”. So when we refer to ourselves in first person…”I Am (fill in the blank)….”, you are using a god-like language to claim something as part of your IDENTITY because we are all created to be like God; in His image and likeness.
Is it truly a mystery that we have the same ability to create things with the words that come out of our mouths just like our Creator, Father God?
Whenever God spoke in the Bible, His Words never returned void…they accomplished that which he spoke into motion.
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
So in the same way…when we speak idly or thoughtlessly and say negative things like “I am sooo stupid” or “I wish I wasn’t so dumb” etc etc …you are actually claiming “stupidity” and “dumbness” as part of your IDENTITY. For those that have been reading my blog for a while, please refer back to my post I AM NOT HAVING AN IDENTITY CRISIS to understand where I’m going with this.
So understand the power of words…repent of negative speech and seek God to cancel every thoughtless word that you spoke against yourself or to anyone so that you don’t reap a harvest of those words in your life. Blessing and cursing shouldn’t come out of that creative mouth of yours.
Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
Understand the power of your god-like abilities to speak and create things into existence. Trust me when I say that it isn’t easy to re-train the way you speak since we already have our bad habits that need to break in terms of speaking idly to one another. I too find it difficult sometimes and slip up but have learned to repent quickly rather than passively act like the words spoken were of no effect.
Every word has an effect so it is important to repent of any words that were spoken out of foolishness. Broken relationships usually involve an exchange of hurtful words…so understand the principle people and learn to confess the negative words you spoke idly to yourself or against another person before God, repent of them (seek God’s forgiveness for what you said), and renounce the words spoken so that they don’t manifest in your life. You don’t want to reap the words that you sowed. Once you get into the habit of it… it’ll become second nature and you’ll see amazing things happen to you when your train of thoughts and your speech to be focused on the POSITIVE and not the negative.
So for today…instead of Scriptures to meditate, I’m going to do something a little different just for today *Gasp…say it ain’t sooo Sherline…I was soo looking forward to them*. I put as many scripture in my post for you to meditate so that’s why instead, I’m going to post a video on the “I AM Factor” teaching by Bishop Tudor Bismark. This teaching will definitely bless you and change your life today. I first heard about this teaching from my Choir director and I watched it and thought AWESOME!!!! so I’m now going to share it here with you. God bless you Everybody!
What is in a name? Why am I thinking about it…? Well, I had a converstation with friend of mine the other day because everyone knows me by my English name “Sherline” but not by my African (Shona; Zimbabwean) Christian name “Nyasha” -which means God’s Mercy/Grace (there is still some dispute in my country about that meaning, from what I hear so I take it to mean God’s Mercy). Sherline is of an Irish and Scottish in origin and means either white mountain or beautiful meadow. Sounds nice but I prefer my Christian African name. For most of my life I’ve use my African name until I went to a school in Beijing, China that had people that couldn’t pronounce it properly so they acknowledged me by my anglo-saxon name Sherline. It was kind of hard to adjust because I was so used to being called Nyasha but I understand why some people may have difficulty with it.
Some people name their children based on the circumstances they are in and sometimes if the cirmcumstances are desperate and hopeless some parents give their children cursed names. I believe that a name is powerful in that the child can live up to that name given so when I hear of some cursed names that some people I meet have…I think to myself, “they are unfortunately living up to their names”. I’m not saying that you will live up to your name but there is a power I believe when we name a child something. It’s the same power that Adam, the first man in the Bible had in naming the beasts of the land and air in the Bible so likewise be prudent when you name your child.
I was abandoned by my real father before birth and his name was Shame. I don’t know much about him but from the stories my mother told me and from my other family members he brought shame on my family because he raped my mother when she was 15 and that is how my sister and I were born. My mother bore twins from a man that was obsessed with her. He was not her boyfriend by the way.
In our culture, being a mother as a teenager was looked down upon in the eighties. My mother didn’t ask to have children at the age of 16 but that is what my father who I don’t know did. I was bitter and enraged at him for many years to come. No, it was more like I hated him (me being honest at last) but I’ve since let go of all of my anger because I cannot change what has happened. I’m 26 now and when I see how short life can be, I haven’t got time anymore to mull around in misery concerning what is past and what was beyond my conrol. My Grandparents took my sister and I and adopted us. My mother was not alone despite the shaming period in her life. She suffered for a long time battling depression, resentment, self-loathing and hatred, but inspite of all of that, she rose above it all and is a strong woman today. I bless my mother for what she’s been through and Thank God for my Grandparents that took my sister and I as innocent as we were into their bosom.
My father never contacted us after we were born but from the stories I’ve heard, I hear that he killed his girlfriend many years ago in a car crash and got married to another and has children. He is an alcoholic, sleeps around with many women and Lord knows if he’s still alive.My Father still brings shame upon himself despite all that he has. His mother tried to contact my sister and I when we were back in Zimbabwe 17 years ago and I spoke with her not knowing who she was but all I could hear was a broken womans voice. She was sad and I only found out later who it was that was calling the house at strange times when my grandparents were out. I never met my father when I stayed in Harare for a short time before the next post nor do I plan to. I have forgiven him because he no longer has the power to shame my family again. I will rise above it all and be an upstanding woman. I no longer feel the hatred that I once bore for him. All I feel is sorry for him. He has a cursed name that he lives by. May God rescue his soul one of these days that’s all I pray for now.
My Grandparents gave my sister and I our African Christian names whereas my mother gave us our anglo-saxon names. My Father, Shame unfortunately lived up to his name…However, when I was born I was named God’s Mercy and believe it or not, doors opened up for my mother and her family that no man could shut. She experienced a lot of hardship as others laughed at her for being a teenage mother. They also laugh at my sister and I but we paid no mind. They thought my mother wouldn’t amount to anything but I am happy to say that she is currently married to an amazing man and out of that union I have a half sister from that marriage who I gave her African name Tinashe – which means God is with us or in english it’s equivalent would be Emmanuel. My mom doesn’t regret giving birth to us. She regrets the pain she endured without knowing God at the time. Now she has God and has peace and fulfillment in her life. Her name is Sophia -which means Wisdom. She lives up to her name as she gives me so much of it in my walk. This is why I say Bless your children with purpose-driven names and do not curse out of the pain of your circumstances. Your children will pay the price for it later whether you believe in curses or not. This is my opinion so you can argue with that but I truly believe that there is power in a name.
My Last Note: Be careful of the names you give your children. They may live up to them. There is power in naming a person and a thing. Think of Jabez in the Bible. He was born at a time when his mother experienced great pain and in that pain she gave him a cursed name “Jabez” which means “child of my trouble; Pain; and Sorrow”. Jabez knew the implications of this cursed name and sought the Lord for help to reverse this curse. He prayed this prayer:
Even if you were given a cursed name by your parents which are beyond your control, you can reverse the curse by praying the Jabez prayer to God as an example. Some people go to the extreme and legally change their names altogether because they understand the implications of their cursed names, but I’m not saying that you have to go that far. You can if you feel led to do that because ultimately, it’s you who has to live up to that name. Your name can become your destiny because of the power behind the name so it’s up to you to choose what you will live up to. If it is cursed, you can reverse it, but if it is blessed ask yourself, are you living up to that name? This is Food for thought.
My thoughts today are regarding Stumbling Blocks and Stepping Stones that are placed in your life. There are many things we face that prevent us from moving forward but we should never forget that for each Stumbling block you encounter there is a Stepping Stone that keeps your balance. Everyone stumbles at one point in their life with things that life throws at them and typically they occur through the actions of others and sometimes they are circumstances that are beyond our control. We may trip and fall on many occasions, but remember that you all can get back up again. You get up when you percieve that what you tripped over was just a temporary road block to you pursuing your dreams, your destiny, and your call in life.
Whether you chose to stay on the ground is all dependent on how you view the blocks in front of you. It either halts your journey temporarily or prevents you from moving forward altogether period. It’s all in how you view what is right in front of you.
I believe that each person is given a measure of grace to handle a measure of problems better than another. Having said that, the over-comers that are able to endure such portions should not be the first to laugh at their brother or sister that cannot handle the same measure of trouble and pressures that life brings to hinder them from reaching their full potential. You must remember that if each one of us is a block; we all need each other in order to build something great that will benefit not just ourselves but each other.
The analogy that comes to mind is the whole idea of the architect. An architect needs a plan in order to build a fine structure. An architect knows the number of materials required to build that structure and that also means that each brick and each building material is accounted for. They also know that one brick is enough to compromise the integrity of the building and they also know that if you leave one stone unturned, the building structure will most likely collapse. That is why each block is just as important as the other. Each block has a destiny to build this fine structure. The thing is, you must realize that not every block is set in the same place because each block is positioned differently to create the building. This means that each block has a unique purpose and a unique position in life. No brick is the same and yet together as one, they build something beautiful. The structure is your destiny, so in essence I am saying that you need people in your lives to reach your destiny. You cannot reach your goals in isolation. You need people and the types you need are those that are there to help you build the Character that you require to fulfill your destiny.
Why am I using this analogy? What has a building got to do with me the individual?
Think of each person that you encounter as a building block. The Structure is your dream and your destiny in life. In my opinion, people are either one of two things in life; they are either:
1. A Stumbling Block; or
2. A Stepping Stone to your success in fulfilling your dreams and your destiny.
Sometimes we have no idea what we will become in life, but when we connect with strong individuals along the way that are purpose-driven and have some sense of direction, they are the stepping stones that we need to realize our full potential and provide us the direction to recognize our purpose in life. Some people hold fast to their dreams and some just have no clue where they are going, but in essence, we must value each connection that we make because we need each other in order to fulfill our destinies.
We all have the ability to build each other and break each other. When you encounter people in life that are stumbling blocks, they are the blocks that you have to learn to jump over and kick to the curb in order to keep moving forward. If you stand there looking at them, then you allow them the power to halt the progression in your life; you have stopped building yourself. There are other blocks around you that are waiting to be part of your life so that you can continue towards your destiny. They are the connections that you need and they are your Stepping Stones.
Stepping stones are the kinds that pave the way to fulfill your dreams and direct you to your purpose. They are the bridges that take you to the other side and are the types of people that building strong characters. Stones are always rough around the edges but as you press onwards towards the goal forgetting that which is behind you (Philippians 3:13-14), you will become polished, refined, and strengthened by the hard knocks in life. They are the positive reinforcements that nurture you to stand firm until you are no longer shaken by the things that cause you to stumble in the first place. When you reach your goals, do not forget your brother and sister that are behind you still jumping through the same hurdles as you encountered on your journey. Please understand this principle and remember that you must also become a stepping stone to their future destinies as well. This is a lesson that many fail to do when they finally reach their goals. Fulfilling your purpose is one thing, but you must understand that you have the ability to build others as well.
Stumbling blocks are blocks that fail to be part of the great plan in your life. They try to thwart your ideas and your dreams by dashing them with negativity and pain. Understand that stumbling blocks are necessary in your walk because they shape you along the way. You may trip all over them and think you’ve encountered a road block or failure but they are there to test the level of your perseverance. Don’t allow negative people and negative experiences keep you from pursuing purpose and fulfilling your dreams. Remember, stumbling blocks do what they are called to do and that is make you stumble. It’s up to you to rise up again and continue your journey. Also, consider the way you view failure.
Turn your failures into something that you can learn from and not into a reason as to why you cannot continue your destiny.
My Last Note: If anything, you should learn to recognize your Stepping Stones from your Stumbling Blocks in your life.
Respect your Stepping Stones because if you disrespect them, you become a Stumbling Block and terminate your destiny because of arrogance.
Stumbling Blocks are loners and Stepping Stones work together to build something great.
Ask yourself, what are you?
Are you a Stepping Stone or a Stumbling Block?
Understand that you cannot avoid Stumbling Blocks but you can always kick them to the curb when they cross your path. It’s all in how you look at yourself and others that you meet in your life. Value the lessons you learn from your failures and treasure the journey towards your success. When you reach your destiny, remember those that are behind you and become their Stepping Stone to success as well.
This will not only enlarge their territory but it will also enlarge yours!
Contemplating on Desire: Today, I was thinking about why we often feel that we need certain things when really it is more of a want. I know we use these words synonymously, but really, there is a clear difference between the two. For example, when you have a craving for something like let’s just say something like chocolate for the sake of argument, is it because we need it or because we want it? I am of the opinion that needing stems from lacking what is required; something that is necessary; an obligation and a requisite to a particular end – this is my definition by the way. A want is defined as something more along the lines of a wish; a percieved need or inclination or desire for something or someone – my definition.
There are times when I sit back and reflect on things going on in my life as I consider what I want versus what I need. It’s difficult for me to get to that place of realization regarding the areas that aren’t necessary in my life right now because I know I have wants, but some if not most of these wants (whether they are legitimate desires or not) are not really things I need. Does that mean I throw away or discard my desires? Hell No! However, I must assess what I truly need right now so that I pursue with balance and don’t trap my thought patterns into a dark area that rides along the lines of obsession.
I’ve come to a place where I believe that “What we need is more important than what we desire”. *Gasp* you look at me with shock! How can you say that SHERLINE???!!!
Why do I say this? Well, think about it and consider that we are selfish beings *hands down*. When we desire things, are we desiring things for other peoples benefit or our own? That’s the first question you must answer to yourself. There is nothing wrong with having a personal desire but to what end will it sustain you on an individual level? Do you consider the desires of others outside your own? Do you even see the needs of others apart from your own? Please do not get me wrong here in that I’m not implying that you should only focus on the needs of others but neither do I advocate to pursue only things that satisfy yourself alone either. Desires must have a balance that benefit yourself as well as others around you. Harmony and peace in this world can be obtained when we look beyond ourselves and see the needs of others as paramount as our own. Then again, this is just my perspective of the subject. You may see differently and I respect that.
You must be thinking right now, “What’s wrong with having a desire?” and I will say in response to that question that essentially, there is nothing wrong with having a desire because we all have them but I think that right now we must assess our motivations towards our desires. What drives us to desire in the first place the things that we want? When we desire something, how do we go about getting it? Do we pursue things in honest ways or dishonest ways? Remember that there are honest ways of obtaining something we desire and then there are evil ways of gaining the same thing. Desires don’t reflect what we need, they reflect what we want.
If you look at the current state of our world, you will understand how corruption is fueled by the uncontrollable desires of man. We must not underestimate the power of desire. Desire in and of itself is not a bad thing but it’s how we translate our desires that count. We must not be moved by vain and fleshy motivations that satisfy our selfishness. The old Machiavellian qoute that comes to mind as a reflection of this idea is that some people operate with a “The ends justify the means” mentality. I don’t believe that you should use unjust (evil; corrupt) methods to obtain the things we desire. To me, such motivations stem from a mind that has cultivated a frame of thinking that allows for a person to operate with a lack of self-control. Think of the quote below.
This quote rings true for many reasons. Sometimes the people that lack self-control regret the outcome of their actions after obtaining the very thing they desired by unjust (dishonest) means. There are consequences to every action that is motivated by selfish ambition. We corrupt the idea of desire by not destinguishing between our needs from our wants. As I mentioned earlier, Desire is a neutral concept, but how we translate it into action determines whether it is a good desire or a bad one.
I know that I’ve contemplated on the negative side of desire but there is also a flip-side which is honest and healthy. For example, desiring knowledge is a wonderful thing until we become too inquisitive for our own good that it can also land us into a whole lot of trouble if we lack self-restraints and do not concern ourselves about maintaining a balance. As cliche as this may sound it needs to be said:“Too much of a good thing is not always good for you”.
Knowledge is neutral in that it is neither good nor bad but it’s what we do with it that counts. You musn’t seek it for selfish reasons because there are consequences to that action and like that old saying goes ”curiosity killed the cat”. We must know the limits of our desires so that we don’t end up obsessing over it. Obsession perverts our desires by dominating our thoughts in such ways that we cannot think of anything else apart from it.
When we obsess over something or someone, we lose sight of ourselves and we lose sight of purpose because we become driven only by what we want and can no longer reason rationally in such a state that lacks self-control.
An obsessed person doesn’t see errors in judgement either in their actions or their thought patterns because they are fueled with an overwhelming and over-powering desire to possess that thing that they want and negelect the important things around them. Obsession is self-destructive and to me its a form of desire gone out of control. We must stay clear from that life-style choice by practicing self-control. Self control helps us to differentiate our needs from our wants. Therefore, it is imparative that we change our desires according to our needs.
When we satisfy what we need, we can obtain what we want in a healthy honest way (which means hard work). This is not to say that we will always get what we desire but we can achieve getting what we want by focusing on what we need. Sometimes I find that when I work on things I need, my desires start to change in that what I desired initially ceases to be what I seek anymore because my perspective has transformed from focusing on what I wanted to what I needed at the time. When you recieve what you need your desires can change. The idea here is to have healthy motivations for doing the things that you do and obtaining the things that you want. By all means, do a healthy mental check and ask yourself questions regarding your motivations.
What MOVES you?
My Last Note: To assess between our needs and wants you must focus on PURPOSE. Purpose helps us to guide our focus to pursue the things that get us what we need in life. We must understand that to achieve our desires we have to assess our motivations and ask ourselves why we want something and do we really need it? What is the purpose of pursuing the thing we desire? Also, do we really need it? Will it enhance you in anyway? What do you gain from obtaining what you want? What is important to you? Is what you regard as important there to build or destroy you? Do you have self-control? Do you know what you need? Also consider what it is that you lose by not obtaining what you want? In all your getting, get understanding (Proverbs 4:7).
So I went to my Bible group yesterday and we discussed the idea of Honoring people. Honoring people is about lowering yourself to make another person look good. In other words you give credit where credit is due by esteeming that person in the presence of others. When we consider how we take people in our lives for granted we forget that sometimes where we are right now would not have been possible had it not been for that one or two people being there to make things happen. The aim here is to practice humility by understanding the importance of developing selflessness as oppose to selfishness. You put the needs and desires of others above your own by having the heart of a servant even if it’s not part of your job description, you volunteer to be because that is what it means to be selfless.
Developing the character of selflessness is no way an easy task and yet, people wonder why we live in a love-starved world. It is this lack of selflessness that we choose to live in a selfish world. In fact, we encourage selfishness because we have cultivated an “each man for themselves” philosophy which has become a norm in many industrialized nations. To me, this answers many of the questions I have regarding the societal evils that exist in this world such as greed, conceit, apathy and the lack of regard to moral values that encourage solidarity within humanity. [Notice how I often reflect on things regarding the state our our world in my blogs? I find that I am in constant reflection on these matters because so many things concern me that I often express these same concerns in various ways, so to the reader I apologize if you think I am the moral police, all I ask is to please bare with me on this one.]
Consider how we take the presence of Emergency crews (EMS), Fire fighters and Police for granted. They do the things they do not because it is their job and duty – they choose to serve others for the sake of the greater good. They do things that rarely grant them recognition and appreciation and are often criticized for not doing enough even though they risk their own lives performing these duties for our benefit. We must understand that when they serve others, it’s not because they have to but because they want to. They do things not expecting anything in return and yet I believe people should be rewarded and honored for such selflessness that they put into practice because they deserve our recognition and respect.
It is so easy to complain about these individuals and disrespect them without fully appreciating the value that they have in our take-for-granted lives.
Can you imagine your world without police, without garbage collectors, health practitioners etc ? I don’t think I want to even entertain the thought of it but it is important to reflect on these things so that we have a sobered view about how we take people in our lives for granted. Also consider how we even take our families for granted. Ideally, parents love their children and do so many things for them sacrificially because it is their duty. However, they also do these things because they do it out of love. There was a girl in our group who mentioned how she wished she had done more for her mom when her mother needed support and how she’d taken that step to be there for her when she needs her because she doesn’t want to regret the consequence of maintaining a selfish attitude. This has changed her outlook and perspective on life in that it has led her to be more appreciative and grateful of what she has now and reflects on the things she didn’t value earlier.
Consider this: Must you wait to experience the regret of not knowing what you’ve got till it’s gone to honor those individuals that are in your lives?
Who and what do you value in your life presently?
You find that for those that have attended funerals, many people often discuss regrets of what they would have liked to have said or done for the person that has now passed on. This regret communicates how we take people’s lives for granted. Must you wait for a person to die to give them honor and live with regrets for how you could have treated them while they were with you all that time when they were alive? Life is way too short to maintain regrets so I emphasize, do what you can do NOW so that you don’t live with regrets of the “coulda woulda shoulda but ultimately didn’t”.
I remember a teaching from my grandparents about learning the two most important phrases that can get you ahead in life; they are “Please” and “Thank You”. You’d be surprised how these two phrases are taken for granted in this day and age but they should be regarded with high value and those that walk in humility know the value of these words.
My Last Note:
How can you honor people? There are various ways you can do this and it doesn’t necessarily have to be extravagant. It’s the small things that count that make the most difference. You can start with the “please” and “thank you” phrases and you can also trying communicating your appreciation through compliments. And when I say compliments, I mean sincere compliments and not just mere words of flattery – words that you don’t mean from the very depths of your heart. Compliment people and understand the difference between a compliment and flattery. My sister Sharon mentioned in this discussion that “a compliment builds a person’s character whereas flattery boosts a persons ego” and it is important to understand these differences so that you discern the difference between how flattery has no valued purpose but to create room for pride and conceit based on selfish motivations whereas compliments nurture a positive character and builds self-esteem. Thank those that have helped you, treasure everyone who is in your life and treat people the way you’d like to be treated. Don’t wait to value what you presently have until it’s gone. Honor people around you and you will be honored in return.
“Compliments cost nothing, yet many pay dear for them”. ~ Thomas Fuller
So you must be wondering why I am writing about this topic. So much has been happening around me, I don’t have time to put things into detail but I feel like this is a good topic to raise. I have tried to be a consistent blogger but it’s difficult when I find myself really busy with things that I have to do but I just want to let you know (you the reader) that I’m still here.
The reason why I am bringing this up is because it is something that everybody faces at some point in their lives. I have had a few disappointments in terms of the encounters I have had with several individuals that seem to be there for you one moment and totally abandon you the next. Sometimes we are disappointed because of negative outcomes for things we hoped for, or because life seems unfair and nothing good seems to be working in our lives. I am speaking in general terms for the purpose of this topic so that you can understand that disappointments are inevitable occurences. Disappointments are not phenomenons, they are expected at some point in our lives but it’s how we respond to disappointments that counts.
The idea here is that we should not engage in a habit of self-pity. Self-pity is misery that wants company in my books and truly…when I encounter individuals with this state of mind…I always warn them not to RSVP me in their pity-party invites. Why mention self-pity? We can easily fall into traps of thinking negative thoughts that produce a negative personality and an obscure way of looking at things in life that attribute to unhealthy life-style choices. Do not engage in entertaining negative thoughts since they produce negative emotions and characters as a result. The main point is that we must engage in positive thought patterns and make an effort to change how we see a negative outcome or incident. Overcomers typically have positive thought patterns that allow them to lead more successful and productive lives. If you want to have such traits, you must begin by making the effort to choose to think positive.
Positive thinking doesn’t “just happen”, you have to use your will to change the way you think. It is not a simple task and hence you are required to make a conscious effort to change your patterns of thinking.
Do not get me wrong here in that I know that realistically, there are varying degrees of disappointments that a person may encounter at different periods in their life, but each disappointment can be overcomed by how you look at a situation. We tend to lean towards negative thought patterns when things do not go “our way” or when people hurt us in different ways but the only person that can keep you happy is YOU. The only person that can change this outlook is also YOU.
Remaining positive minded is a choice thing and it is also a disciplined practice as well. You choose how to react, you choose how to respond and you choose the actions that you want to take. Notice how everything is all on you to take that step to transform your way of thinking. Renew your mind and think thoughts that give you pleasant feelings. Now having said that, I will reiterate that it takes a concious effort to change your way of thinking. Life has a way of throwing curve-balls at you but it is at these times that you need to keep your wits about you. This isn’t the time for you to break-down, but because of how reality knocks at us, we cannot underestimate the fragility of our minds to break when encountered with disappointments.
Disappointments can accompany many negative emotions such as despair, discouragement, hopelessness, fear, rejection, sadness, confusion, anger, regret etc, but these emotions can last for a short period or a prolonged period based on how we entertain these negative thoughts. It’s easy for people to become easily ensnared by negative thought patterns if they have not practiced positive thinking and positive responses to negative actions. Disappointments also have a way of eating at the very core of our self-esteem and can lead us to have poor self-image problems if we are not careful enough to guard our minds from over-brooding negative situations and experiences in our lives.
Why do I advocate “postive thinking”? I have seen that in my life, I have had various degrees of disappointments that have even led to suicidal thought patterns, so I know that if you over-brood on the negative, you will definitely affect your destiny by gravitating towards poor life choices and negative personalities. In effect, such a poor personality can cause people to be drawn away from you thus resulting in self-isolation and eventually, the path of a negative mindset leads to a treacherous path of uncertainty in your future. In other words, you can easily loose your way and apathy can begin to build up if you don’t curb your way of processing the things you are experiencing. Why would I over dramatize my last comment? Because I speak from experience.
Negative personalities affect others around you believe it or not. You can impact others with the way you respond to things. How you respond to negative experiences will affect how you perceive yourself and how others perceive you. There were times when I thought life was hopeless and meaningless and I left my mind idle to detrimental thought patterns. I thought that there was no light at the end of the tunnel in certain situations where some individuals whom I thought were “friends” did things that utterly disappointed me and left me to think that “this is why I loose hope in humanity”. Essentially, it doesn’t matter who wronged me, the point is, is that I had already entertained dark thoughts that were not productive in my walk in life. I had to force myself to think differently. Positive minded people are attractive whereas the opposite is also true…negative people deter people.
To cultivate a positive mind, you can nuture it by surrounding yourself with ”like-minded” individuals. This is a tough one since your peers can easily succumb to negative thought processes due to the stresses of life and other things that life has to offer. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to transform your thought life to a positive streamlined way of thinking. You determine your destiny by renewing your mind to think of good things. Meditate on things that are productive. This is not to say that you’ll never feel bad emotions in your life, but what I am saying is that you can overcome these emotions by not entertaining them for long periods of time and learning to overcome them by training your mind to think on the “bright side”. Life is a gift but we can make it a curse if we brood in negativity. In the end, it’s all up to YOU!