Trust and Obey: Life of the Thirsty

In Abunance

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38 KJV)
Photo credit: self/Divine Creations Photography

Daniel 2:21

New King James Version (NKJV)

21And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding.

God surely has a divine way of drawing us to Him through various cirmcumstances. Some of us will yeild right away and some of us won’t. I can honestly say that in the last week I have gone through some challenging times emotionally and physically. Good and not so good.

Routinely my family and I always have morning prayer together before we part ways for the day. Christ Jesus is our Foundation. We cannot stand without Him in our lives. This world is so broken and full of evil and idolatry. It would be selfish of us to only pray for ourselves so we always ask the Lord to work in the lives of others who are going through something whether it’s here in America or in another part of the world. My kids pray for their schools, teachers and classmates as well as themselves, asking that God be with them as a light shining around those they encounter personally or from a distance. They know that being a Christian that they are set apart when they choose to live for Him and not others.

In general, it is hard to see people self destructing. My heart aches to see people I love and care about just give up on life, to give up on God, to give up fighting for what’s right especially when it is so easy to follow the ways of the world and what it’s doing.

I have been very sensitive the last couple of days seeing the hand of God moving in my emotions and thought pattern. I am naturally a sensitive person who can cry “at the drop of a dime.” (is that saying correct?) My Lord surely has heard my grief and my prayers. He has also heard my praise and rejoicing. Things have been changing to a point that I really cannot put into words how His PEACE has kept me daily. I have cried out and asked the Lord to provide; to make my path known and clear. I have asked for wisdom and courage. His strength carries me in such a way that I cannot help but sing praises unto Him even if the water seems troubled.

Time after time God will remind me that He is in control. Not I. He will allow things to happen for a reason. I have to step aside and allow Him to do what He does best. All I have to do is trust and obey.

Some things have been going on in the life of my family back home. It has bothered me, it has even angered me and it has also brought me to tears. One thing I have not ceased to stop doing is praying. Not just for my parents and siblings but that also for extended family. As the days have passed and I continue to seek the Lord, I am starting to see more of my purpose and what He has called me to. My life at times seems to be an open book. This transparency seems to pour out with more courage as I share my faith, my hope and my trust in the Lord even when I fall or see myself falling into fear.

Amongst many things that I have faced, I have not stopped praising the Lord. Even when I do not see the outcome or have seen the fruit of my labor for some years now, I STILL trust The Almighty to work things out as He sees fit.

The seeds have been planted.

“Have Your way Lord! May I not trust in my own thoughts, plans and understanding but may they be of Yours for they far outweigh mine!”

Recently I learned that my dear mother has been bleeding internally and has had to get a blood transfusion. That stopped me dead in my tracks as I am listening over the phone to what has been going on. The first thing I thought was Cancer because she has battled various types since I was 13yrs of age. This woman has gone through some stuff. While I have yet to know what is going on, I am relieved that she is doing better. It’s hard not being close to home. She lives in Ohio and I in North Carolina. One thing I rest in is that prayer travels instantly. I do not have to be with someone in the physical for God to hear my prayers and before He lays His mighty hand upon them.

There is POWER in prayer. There is POWER in Jesus’ name which is above every name. Hallelujah!!! When I pray, it’s like a fire shut up in my bones that I just have to release. I can’t keep Jesus to myself. I can’t keep the goodness of the Lord covered. I have to let it out so that the world may know whether they receive it or not.

Dear reader, I encourage you to seek God and praise Him for the unknown and the unanswered. Remember that His timing is not ours and even if He does not answer know that there is a reason behind. So do not worry about things you cannot change. Pray and move on.

Hebrews 11:1

[ By Faith We Understand ] Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
I hope you take a little time to listen to the words of the songs below. May they minister to your heart the way they did mine this morning.
Blessings,
~Terra

Related post: Bring the Rain

Value in Wisdom: Chasing the Wind as a Busybody

*Dear Readers, I initially wrote this post Feb 2012. I thought it would be good to share it with those who I did not have the honor of meeting through the blog at the time. Enjoy

Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve,everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 2:11 NIV)

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Take inventory of what’s going on in your life. Eliminate ( cut and prune ) things that are not profitable. Staying in direct line of the will of God that He has for you will profit greatly and it will bring Him the glory knowing you are acting in obedience.

For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit. (Ecclesiastes 2:26 KJV)

Stepping back to observe and weigh the things you say and do on a daily basis gives you a broader perspective of what’s really important. Pleasing God should be your first choice; not the last resort if you seek to live righteously for Him. A time of rest may be in order. This time of rest I am referring to is of stepping back from things that are optional and/or not of great importance. If you have a job that pays the bills then that is not what I am talking about. It’s those social gatherings, projects, idle time given or used that is of your free leisure and things along those lines. Now I’m not saying that they are not valuable or of good service to the Lord even if it’s volunteering within your local church. What I am saying though is that there is a season to everything. (Ecclesiastes 3)

Don’t hinder your growth and time with God if He is wanting to spend some alone time with you. This is something you should want as well. Doing so will develop a more personal and intimate relationship with Him as well as building character within yourself.

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Chasing the wind doesn’t give you perfect peace. Jesus does. Running around as a busybody trying to make good on pleasures and vanities of this world, you will continue to search after things in life that brings temporary joy that will soon dissipate. Rich or poor we will all leave this earth with nothing in our hands. The life we live ( in Christ ) the values, integrity, service unto the Lord that is shared with others matters. No treasures, beauty or excellent education will be of gain or profit in heaven.

* spoken by Jesus “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26 KJV)

Don’t become consumed with the ways of this world that profit you nothing if you want to truly be grounded in God. It is very easy to get caught up doing “good works” that eventually may lead you astray from choosing ” the better part”; receive the word of God that it may be applied to your life and that of others. With wisdom comes discernment and knowledge. Peace and joy with contentment will be your anchor for it is the Lord Almighty keeping you with a steadfast heart and mind.

Which will you choose?

Little children, keep yourselves from idols (false gods)–[from anything and everything that would occupy the place in your heart due to God, from any sort of substitute for Him that would take first place in your life]. Amen (so let it be). (1 John 5:21 AMP)

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Optimism vs Pessimism : With God, All Things Are Possible

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And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. (Mark 10:27 KJV)

While I physically feel like it will take me forever to type out this post, I am adamant to get it done. Whenever I am facing a hardship ( usually ) and I feel that tugging on my heart and conscience to carry out something for The Lord, I tend to think about the scroll story Jeremiah and Baruch had to dictate and write in the book of Jeremiah chapter 36. The fact that he had to rewrite by hand a message from The Lord after the first one was burned up took great effort mentally and physically. Obedience plays a major factor. Its repercussions can result in good or bad reaping and sowing on the life of others as well as yourself. In today’s day and age we have computers and touch screens as well as voice recognition to help us dictate our writings. So though my hands are throbbing like crazy, I have no excuse as to why I cannot go forward.

On to the message.

For some days now, the topic dealing with being optimistic vs pessimistic has been heavily on my mind. I have had a full plate mentally as I have had to make choices as sorrow and tears have come over me. The enemy surely will ride your back when it comes to having to do what’s right, speak what’s right and do what’s right. Doubt kicks in and attempts to take over.

What a conniving liar he is. Spiritual battles are not easy but rest assured they are easier to get through when we wait patiently on The Lord and lean not to our own understanding and thoughts of how we feel things should go. The process may seem long and full of sorrow and suffering but I am here to tell you that the storm shall soon pass. Just hold on!

Like a maze that knowingly puts you at multiple dead ends, it’s easy to give up and call it quits. All you see is NO WAY OUT. You will think and speak negatively.

Do you realize that you are speaking this into the atmosphere?

On the other hand, allowing yourself to stop and think with an open and clear mind, possibilities are endless. Especially when you seek help from God. There’s no way you will be stuck forever if you rely on Him for help.

If we trust God, then why not look UP and believe that He will make a way out of what may seem to be no way.

Speaking truth and promises of The Lord into the atmosphere is what we should be doing no matter how long it takes. This is when our faith needs to be kicking down doubt and standing fast to what we believe.

Obstacles come and go. Some hurdles may be higher than others but allow perseverance to keep you moving especially when you know that God is able to do exceedingly more than what we imagine He can.

I grew up around people with negative attitudes. It felt like it was 24/7. At a young age, I seen that having that type of mindset was not how I wanted to live. Yes, television can give you false hope and perception of having a perfect life and all as a kid , but I must say that I had this inner burning desire to come up out of the mental pit that tried to consume me.

Always staring out of the window or dreaming of how I wanted my life to be gave me hope even before I gave my life to The Lord. I use to talk to God at night or when I was alone asking and begging Him to help me. I felt lost, alone and hopeless at times yet I found myself picking myself up and finding reasons to smile because I just knew that one day…. ONE DAY my prayers were going to be answered!

Despite the influence that was around me, despite what looked like “it’s never going to happen” I chose to believe in the unseen.

Like so much of the horrible things that this life seems to bring, I can always keep an optimistic attitude that one day there will be no more sorrow, no more pain, no more tears and no more hatred because God said so.

I believe in Him and I believe what He says! He’s not a liar and He can not go back on His word.

So while I may still ask myself time to time why do I smile so much or why do I choose to have an optimistic attitude about life even when my natural eye sees the worse, its because God placed this attribute; this characteristic way of thinking inside of me for a reason even before I ever came to know Him better than I have so many years ago. I’m still a work in progress but my hope for myself and for you will not stop because I’m a believer!

God has blessed me and favored me many times over. He has seen past my faults and negative thinking and saw the best in me. He knows my potential and what I am capable of doing. He knows this for you too!

So why not decide today to take a leap of faith and a mindset to start thinking positively for yourself and for the future? What do you have to lose?!!

Troubles of this world will not end until God brings it all to a halt. Why wait to have optimism later on when you can have it today. God’s word ( Holy Bible) is full of promises and instructions. It’s full of hope for the poor, the weak, the broken hearted, the ailing, the widow, the hopeless and weary in soul. We have been given direction and a peace of mind we can take hold on to. He gave us Jesus Christ, He has given us a Comforter. The Holy Spirit.

Dear Reader, I encourage you to not grow faint and weary. Do not give up. God will show up right on time. His timing is better than any. Patience will take you a long way. The growing process and the knowledge it brings can only bring forth great gain for it can help someone else down the road. God can turn trials to triumphs, losses to victories, tears of sorrow to tears of joy, mourning to rejoicing and negative thinking to positive ones if we take hope and cling to it in Him.

Voluntarily place yourself on the Potter’s Wheel and ask to be made over, refined and made whole with a better sense of thinking, understanding and patience as you count it all joy for His glory and the betterment of yourself as His child and as a living example to the many blessings and miracles that He has done in your life when the world sees no hope.

Hope. Trust. Believe.

O Lord , you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord , you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain! Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord ? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalms 139:1-24 ESV)

Time & Seasons

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To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 KJV)

Nothing in life has a guarantee but Jesus and all that is given to us from the Father. Like seasons… people, places, circumstances and health changes.

There is a season to every matter in life. God allows this to happen for a reason. We may not always understand the “when/where/why” part of it all, but if we allow The Lord to do what He does for our healthy wellbeing then I pray we trust in the outcome even if it hurts.

Letting go will not always be easy. Looking back seems tempting but will not help us one bit. Sorrow is temporary but joy will return. Pruning is needed at times for new fruit to bear and flourish. Prayerfully and patiently we should trust in what God is wanting to do in our lives. Attempting to do things our own way and with our own understanding can harm us in the long run.

Scripture says: There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. (Proverbs 14:12 NKJV)

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5 KJV)

Always remember that Father knows best. He knows us better than we know ourselves so may we stand back and allow Him to work in our lives for the sake of building us up and growing us far beyond the human thought of attainment.

Be blessed and encouraged as you pass through your season. Jehovah-Jireh ( God our Provider ) will supply and bring comfort.

In Christ Jesus I urge to to keep hope, faith and belief in all that our Lord promises to do for those who love Him and are called His.

Love and blessings,

Terra

Little Birdie Minding Their Own Business or It Teaching Us A Life Lesson?!!

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? (Psalm 56:3-4 NKJV)

*instead of Pressing It from my photography blog Divine Creations Photograpy, I chose to share this post from my primary blog. Hope you enjoy it.

Now this was a super sweet moment for me when I took this picture. My girls were outside playing with their friends on the side of the house and found this little birdie just sitting. One of the other neighbor’s pet Chihuahua named J.C. snuck out of her fence (as usual ) to come and try to nip at the bird. The girls came in and told me about it. I surely had to grab my camera and run out! J.C. left the bird alone being as it was that she seen me coming, so I think she thought I was going to chase her. (giggling)

NOTTTTTT!!! I was not about to waste my time chasing a dog when I have the opportunity to get a picture of this cute little bird that did not move from where it was standing.

I was in awe of this little bird just sitting under the tree in the shade of the few leafs that surrounded the bottom of the trunk. It was just looking up toward the sky and kept blinking it’s cute little eyes. I was overjoyed that God has been providing opportunities for me to capture His creations right around my own home! Now I don’t know if this little birdie was sick simply because it did not budge as close as the kids and I were as well as the dog. I said a prayer under my breath for this lonesome animal for I did not know how it got there and if it was sick. I just did not want the dog or any other animal come and maul it to death. I was also taking into to consideration that it could be carrying a disease so I warned the kids to stay away from it and to not touch it.

One of my best friends was in agreeance since she happened to be on the phone as I was snapping pics. I was glad that she was able to share the experience with me. I took a picture on my iPhone and sent it to her. The picture above was taken with my photography camera.

This picture is raw and unedited. I simply wanted to leave it as is because I had a close encounter with this little bird that seemingly was not afraid. It never took its eyes off of the skies.

Kinda reminds me of how we are to be with Jesus. No matter what is going on in our life, especially the hard times, we are to not take our eyes off of Him. Just like Peter stepping out into the body of water to meet Jesus, he could walk on water UNTIL he shifted his focus. He took his eyes off of Christ when the sea started to move around him due to the strong wind. He became scared and started to sink. Christ rescued him though . Just imagine that……. (you can read this story in the Bible. Matthew 14:22-33)

The little bird did not budge though I could have harmed it or little J.C. could have killed it. It made a simple statement to me with a HUGE impact on life.

“Do not be afraid of the unknown if you have God on your side.”

For I the Lord your God hold your right hand; I am the Lord, Who says to you, Fear not; I will help you! (Isaiah 41:13 AMP)

After I finished taking pictures I walked away to go back into the house. The dog came back to bother the quiet and still bird just for it to show that it was not afraid. It took off in flight with ease and landed on top of my neighbor’s roof and joined the family of birds that was watching us all from above!

Isn’t God amazing?!!

Fire-starter! Sound the Alarm!!! (re-post)

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SOUND THE ALARM!!
A consuming fire of love and gratefulness is in the air. My Lord and Savior woke many of us up today. No matter what your circumstances may look like, you are STILL here on this earth. Speak praise into the atmosphere for God is worthy worthy WORTHY of our praises!

It’s time to redirect your thoughts. Think on the goodness of the Lord and all that he’s done in your life. His love is sufficient enough don’t you think? He’s been a hedge of protection around you. You have been covered. The heavenly angels have kept guard over you. Affliction may be present, wounds may run deep, but know that you are not alone. He is with you!

BLOW YOUR TRUMPET!

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PRAISE HIM LIKE A CHILD WHO DOESN’T WORRY! CLAP, SING, DANCE………

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Let your fire be contagious wherever you are! Spread it far and wide. It could very well change someone else’s day. God loves a cheerful giver!

Blessings to you! No need to call a park ranger because this is a godly fire that’s worth keeping ablaze!

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises. Sing to the Lord with the harp, With the harp and the sound of a psalm, With trumpets and the sound of a horn; Shout joyfully before the Lord, the King. Let the sea roar, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell in it; Let the rivers clap their hands; Let the hills be joyful together before the Lord, (Psalm 98:4-8 NKJV)

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones But Words Will Never Hurt Me

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Photo Source: rushtonphillips.com

I’m going to make this post short (I hope) and to the point. If the picture above is huge, it’s because I am blogging from my iPhone and my mind is somewhat scattered.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

Well that’s a lie!

In the book of James, chapter 3 talks about taming the tongue. We can speak blessings out of it towards God but curse man with it just as well. This is so wrong. There is power of life and death in this little member of our body that we have. Who can tame it? Lord help us all.

Well I must say that this week had been a good one for me so far. As the saying goes, today is Freaky Friday/ the freaks come out at night Friday or something along those lines.

Anyway, I typically don’t go out the house too much on Fridays simply because of all the traffic of the weekend starting BUT today was mommy- daughter day and I took my younger girls out to see a movie a few hours ago. In route, I was rudely cut off on the highway almost causing my car and another vehicle to rub sides.

I let it go.

The closer I got to town, a guy waits to pass me and yells out a racial slur with curse words for no reason. Well I’m sure he thinks he had a reason but there was no justification for his ignorance.

I let it go though I chose to yell back “God bless you!” and then I said a quick prayer for him. ( I was in a convertible so that’s the only reason why I yelled. I could have kept my mouth closed all together but I wanted to speak life into the atmosphere. I chose to bless the guy instead of lashing back. At the same time, I allowed my girls to see that we should not do tit for tat, indulge in ignorance of foolish talk which could lead to more destructive behavior of the person who started it. You get what I’m saying.

Jesus says: But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, (Matthew 5:44 NKJV)

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For,”Whoever would love life
and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. (1 Peter 3:9, 10 NIV)

* I’m getting to my point of why I’m writing! Just hold on. I’m longwinded and seemingly have to share just about every detail of my story! It’s a habit. Sorry!

As I was walking towards the theatre I thought about this whole sticks and stones bit. Yes my feelings were hurt because of the racial remarks and that my children had to hear it but at the same time I felt worse for the guy who said it. He’s lost. He doesn’t know Christ and I can only pray that he does not cross paths with another person who may not handle him the same way.

I also thought about how we as Christians are and will be persecuted many times over and some even killed simply because we believe in Jesus and serve him. (martyrdom)
Whether we suffer various things based upon race, creed, prejudice, envy or what have you, we clearly need to be prepared for worse. We will suffer because of Who we belong to. This world just keeps getting more and more ugly. We must be careful in what we say and how we treat others. There is enough evil being done amongst one another in general. We need not throw fuel to the flame.

May we stand out and make a difference. We are called to be the salt of the earth. We have been chosen and transformed. May we not fall into the pit of trying to repay evil back with words or action. Vengeance belongs to the Lord.

Ultimately may we reflect and remember that worse was done to Christ. It was more than sticks and stones, the beatings, the lashings, the crown of thorns and mocking, the blood, the tears, the spit and piercing in his side that crucified him. It was our sin that nailed him to the cross. He could have stopped it all yet he endured just for us to have a chance to be set free. He led by example.

May we do the same.

God bless you and keep you in every matter.

A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1 NKJV)