Posts Tagged ‘holiness’

waterfall-4Browsing through some old email, I came across a message I sent to some of my family on New Year’s Day– a message I had completely forgotten about.  Having re-read it and as we are all family, I felt encouraged to share with you.  Although this is a New Year’s message, as we reach the halfway mark of 2014 let us all be reminded today and everyday to make God the upmost priority in our lives.

P.s. If you are wondering about what happened to daddy, check the post: I Know It Was The Blood from December 2013. God is good! Be blessed!

On Wednesday, January 1, 2014 4:31 PM,
Hello and Happy New Year Family,
I truly wish you a year filled with health, prosperity, God’s richest blessings and every good thing from heaven above in the year 2014. We know 2013 was a bit of a trying year for most of us. It was one year ago that our beloved May May took sick and after a valiant fight, lost her life to cancer. In addition Jennifer’s mom Ms. Mavis passed. Keisha also has had an exceptionally trying year with the loss of loved ones and of course there was this unexpected close call and shocker with daddy. Thank God for His mercy for sparing daddy’s life. Through it all, God has kept us. Life is full of trials and suffering, things happen to us that don’t make sense and day to day things can get so overwhelming. Although it was so hard to lose those we love, I am writing to specifically speak to the incident with daddy and the impact it should have on our lives. God preserving Daddy’s life is undeniably due to the hand of our Lord miraculously stepping in to save him. From Mommy being home with him, to him making it to the doctor, to the doctor thinking quickly to order the echocardiogram, to the echocardiogram tech being available at the right time, halting her lunch to do the test, to the helicopter taking him immediately to the hospital, etc. etc—–everything was not done by coincidence or random chance. Everything was done under the divine guidance and specific direction of God. Sometimes God will allow close calls to happen for us to open our eyes, acknowledge Him and recognize who He is. He allows those tests for us to recognize that He has all control and we are fully dependent on Him.  All of us know God and all of us have some foundation in God. But that is not enough. God does not want a passing here and there relationship where we seek Him when something happens and barely acknowledge Him when things are good.

He wants you to surrender your life to Him, repent of your sins and accept Jesus as your Lord and savior. He wants you to do your best to live for Him and fulfill your purpose. He wants you to represent who He is and bring other people to know Him. Essentially, He wants a full relationship. Just like you take time to develop relationships with your family, husband, friends–God wants you to take that time and effort to get to know Him. When you live for God, it doesn’t mean you will always understand what He does (His knowledge is far above human knowledge and He sees things we cannot see); doesn’t mean you won’t mess up, doesn’t mean you won’t go through difficulties and doesn’t mean you will understand all that happens in this life. But I can personally tell you the more you walk with God, the more peace you have despite difficulties, the more joy you have even when you don’t have everything you want, the more you will begin to appreciate what matters in life and will let go of the unnecessary things. He gives you just what you need even when by worldly standards it doesn’t seem enough. Also in God we have the hope by faith of living forever in heaven in complete joy and bliss–no more suffering, pain or difficulties. And finally when you walk with God and take time to really know Him, you begin to understand Him more. You begin to know His voice and you understand when He is guiding you and when it is not Him guiding you. You can’t understand and know God by natural thinking or by your physical body. Our brains alone cannot comprehend Him. You get to know and understand God best by spending time with Him and by your spirit. That instinct of feeling something is going to happen, something in your mind telling you to do something (Jamaican people love to say “mi mind tell mi seh fi do….) or go a certain direction; that unexplained gut feeling is God’s spirit communicating with your spirit and guiding you. It is a supernatural thing that can’t be explained by nature. As you spend more time with God you will begin to know when God is speaking through words, other people, a song anything. You will feel He is addressing you by and in your spirit. You really get to know Him like you would your father, friend, brother or husband. How do you grow in this? After giving your life to Christ, then you spend time with God by praying, reading the bible, going to church and letting people who God has gifted to teach about Him share their knowledge. Your spirit will begin to be more sensitive to God’s spirit and with time you want to follow God overall because you know that even though it doesn’t always make sense at first, God’s plan is the best for you.original-abstract-tree-landscape-painting--stained-glass-tree-2-amy-giacomelli

So I say all this to say, all of us, especially after witnessing what happened to daddy have to draw closer to God and truly do better and live for Him. I include myself too, because although I have been living more for God, I can always do better. I know I need to be more patient, have a better attitude at times, etc. But doing better goes for anyone–pastor, minister, anyone. We will never be perfect in this life until we go to heaven–growing in God and becoming the best person He wants you to be is a lifelong process. The goal is to everyday become more like Jesus–the only man that never sinned and walked in complete love and humility serving God and loving and serving mankind. Because of the fall of Adam and Eve and the sin of the world, we will never become like Jesus on earth. But the idea is to grow, grow and grow some more. So for those of us in the group who have already given our life to God and are actively trying to live the life, do better. For those of us who may have given our life in the past, but kind of strayed away , rededicate your life back to Christ. Stop doing those things that are not pleasing to God. For those who have never done it, why not give your life today? As we have seen over this year, tomorrow is promised to none of us. You never know when your turn is up. But when you live for God, the hope of heaven makes dealing with things a little easier and death doesn’t seem as scary; although we know in all honesty it’s not an easy thing to deal with. My prayer every day always is that those I love will go to heaven. I don’t want anyone I care for especially my family going to hell. So please, don’t take what happened for granted. And for God’s sake , don’t take God for granted if you can help it. We all do it from time to time–but let’s get better about not doing that. We can’t go back to business as usual. God only wants us to love Him and for us to accept His love because He loves us so much. Just like none of us likes rejection, God does not either. Make a decision to live fully for Him today. People may try to find fulfillment in other people, possessions, drugs, alcohol, money and a host of other things. But those things only bring temporary fulfillment. God made us so that we can only get complete fulfillment through Him. Not through children, wife, husband, money, anything. Those things can make you happy don’t get me wrong. But still there will always be that feeling that something is missing. That is because only God alone can fulfill every hole, every gap and every longing of our soul. We were created to have a relationships with Him.

So think about where you stand today and begin to take the step to surrender to God. I promise you once you do, you don’t want to turn back or even if you fall for a little while, you don’t want to stay back. You will want to live a life that honors God and you naturally begin to love the things he loves and hate the things He hates that are not good for us. He will transform your life in ways you never could imagine. Sorry this is so long but this was something I felt in my spirit to share by the Lord’s leading. Love you all so much. I really am so blessed to have such a wonderful, loving, talented and supportive group of people in my life.

May 2014 be the best year of you life!
Love you
T

 

 

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You ever wonder how you ended up at a particular point? How on earth you got into some precarious situations? You give someone the benefit of the doubt, compromised in just the smallest way and gravitated to that situation you know you had no business entertaining. It’s something we all do, but ladies let me come at you for a minute.  We are especially guilty when it comes to men we allow into our personal space. We are quick to tolerate less than we deserve and accept someone who will never see our full value at the expense of having companionship or a “beau” on our arm for the summer.

By the time we reach the book of Joshua, the 6th book of the Bible, Moses Israel’s great deliverer is dead. God has raised up Joshua in his place to lead His people. The stage was set for Israel to enter the Promised Land as God had said they would. First stop: Jericho. God had already made provision for the Israelites to conquer this strong, fortified city. The bible describes it having a great wall around it, which implies a strong military presence and some serious defense tactics. Yet God had already declared to His children that they would have the victory despite how great the people of Jericho were. Once God said it, it was already done.  It just simply required that they follow  His instruction and go forward in obedience. We knew they would make out good—after all this was the beginning of the land described as “flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 33:3, NKJV).   Translation: living here meant living the good life. Joshua only gave one explicit warning before they went forward:

“…by all means abstain from the accursed (the word “devoted” used in some Bible translations) things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things,…” (Joshua 6: 18, NKJV)

The English word accursed in this context is translated from the Hebrew word cherum which is related to “devoting or banning.”  Hence depending on the context it could mean the actual act of devoting or banning something/someone or it can describe the state of the devoted or banned thing/person. In Hebrew, it generally means ” separating” or “devoting specifically to God”. So anything that would interfere with the Israelites’ relationship with God, lead them astray or prevent them from living holy and righteous was banned from the Israelites by the Lord.  In the case of Jericho, the city was then cursed or marked/devoted to God for destruction. (http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/accursed/)

So what was really so bad in Jericho that God marked the entire nation off limits to the Israelites? Basically everything. The people of Jericho belonged to a group of nations that the Bible labels as Canaanites. These were a people who worshipped false idols and false gods; they did not acknowledge God as supreme ruler or Creator. Hence to avoid the risk of contamination, God continuously forbid the children of Israel from mingling with this group and being influenced to practice such abominable acts as child sacrifice, sodomy and other forms of sexual pervison that was allowed as part of the Canaanite religion. It is then  believed God told Israel to destroy the nation of Jericho so they would not be polluted by them.   The people, the statues of the false gods they worshipped, the altars  where they sacrificed—everything that could potentially hinder the Israelites from fellowship with God had to go!  It was so serious, that objects made of precious metals like gold, silver and bronze could not be kept by the Israelites for their own personal use, but had to be put in the treasury of the Lord’s temple (Joshua 6:24).

So the question is, who or what are you involved with that is deterring you from God and the things of God?  What is contaminating you?   Just like God was speaking through Joshua those thousands of years ago, God is warning us today to stay away from the accursed things!  There are some people, situations,  thought patterns and habits that we are entertaining that carries the label accursed.  Every person that crosses your path is not meant to be in your life permanently or intimately.  This  is not to speak badly of anyone.  Let’s face it, all of us were under the curse of sin through the disobedience of  Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.   Jesus came and died for our sins and in accepting him as Lord, we are no longer under the Curse, we have eternal life and we have the privilege to be in relationship with God.  Yet there are some people, sometimes knowingly or unknowingly, the devil uses to steer us off course.  And we hold on to those who are  literally toxic to our lives, our purpose and our successes.  There are some situations created to lead us to destruction.  We continue to repeat habits,  entertain thought patterns and refuse to relinquish ways that the devil is using to sabotage us and the blessings God has for our lives.   As God’s children there are just simply some places we cannot go and some things that we cannot do.  Anything that is not of God, ultimately will separate you from God and the fullness of life He has for you.

So take a survey and ask God to identify those things/circumstances/characteristics and people in and around you that need to be deleted out of your life. We often can’t do it alone.  Frequently, it requires working in collaboration with our Father.  Sometimes we have to do our part being proactive about removing the mess from our lives and other times God in His wisdom will graciously intervene without question.   Ask God with a genuine heart to help delete them and you will be surprised at how He moves in His mercy.   Warning! Warning!  The pruning process may hurt to be sure –we love to cling to the things  that are not good for us. But I am a living witness that what God removes, he replaces with what is best for you. Don’t wait until you suffer the consequences of the contamination to detoxify your life. Be intentional going forward, about what you allow in your space.  God is saying here and now…abstain from the accursed things!

Elevation requires some cancellation…..and yet still I rise.

With peace and blessings may you continue to rise always,

Stillirise 323