Sunday, December 08, 2019

"Shake It Off"

Reflections4Life December 8, 2019
“Shake It Off!”
“Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet.” Matthew 10:14
Scripture Contemplation: Judges 16:20; Nehemiah 5:13; Psalm 109:23; Isaiah 43; 2 Thessalonians 2; Hebrews 12…

Life is a journey with many vicissitudes, twists, and turns. Things can happen unexpectedly, affecting our lives in ways we never thought. We have often been told to "Let go and Let God". We do. However, what happens when the memory of the thing we let go of pops up and takes us for a heart-wrenching ride? Those are the times when we must learn to shake it off.
I decree that this week's Reflections are a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. As you let go and let God, let the Father fill you and renew your mind. Think of the great and wonderful things of God and His promises. So, when the shadows of the past come, you can shake it off.
We can be living our lives, all is going well when something will happen, or someone will say something and we are suddenly encumbered by the thoughts and shadows of our past. It can throw us for a loop, disrupting our lives and may even stagnate us for a time.
Letting go was great. However, we need to learn how to shake it off; shake off the remnants of our past before it pulls us down and keeps us from moving forward and living God's best. Our past can be a chokehold on our future if we don't learn how to shake off the reminders that the enemy strategically hits us with; trying to stop our future. Which he can't. He's just hoping we're gullible enough to fall for his continued lies and game of smoke and mirrors.
Isaiah 43:18-19a “Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. “Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it?”
Beloveds, we can let go of the past but still be haunted by its memories. The enemy is wonderful at using our past against us, whispering our unworthiness of the goodness of God’s blessings. The Father desires to do a new thing. As we let go, it does not mean that we are not affected by the memories, however, we can move forward with the knowledge that our past holds no power when God has already forgiven us. It’s just that memories can be powerful tools of the enemy to come and cripple us; always seeming to surface as we are fully prepared to move ahead.
It’s. Just. A. Test. Trust me when I tell you. God is allowing the enemy to try, but once God has already declared you the winner; that’s what it is. The enemy just wants US to think that he has some kind of power, so he tries to intimidate us into submission by dredging up old memories.
The Father tells us not to call to mind the former things or to think about them. He already warns us that it has the ability to steal our attention and make us miss the new thing He is doing. Before you know it, we are repeating the past, and have picked up what we long ago let go. Don’t do it, Beloveds. Shake it off. Shake off the memories, the regrets, and the past, and receive what God has ordained for you today.
Here’s what I know for certain: There are many things that give us pause in our lives. Things we should and have let go of. Sometimes I find that letting go is the easy part. It’s the memories that seem to have a hold on your soul. At unexpected times, memories can bombard you, causing you to feel overwhelmed. These are the times, we must learn to shake it off. Shake off those memories. Shake off the dust of past mistakes, failures, rejection, and disappointment. Shake it all off. We let go, but there seems to be some residue in our mind we're not aware of; like a sheet or layer of dust that can't be seen until the sun or light hits it. When you let go, don't pick it up again. When the light exposes the residue, shake it off. Do not entertain thoughts and memories that steal your joy and claim your peace. When they come...shake it off and keep it moving! There is too much good that God has ahead of you.
I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. Before you, God has designed a road just for you. It is not an easy road, but a rewarding road, filled with the love and promises of God. In order to move forward on this road, you will have to let go of your past. Just know, however, that on this road there are those on the sideline that will look and sound familiar and try to get you off your path. Do not stop. Whatever you do, keep moving. Keep your focus on God, shake off the remnants of the past, and keep walking into the promises of God for your life. Just as there are reminders of your past, there will be reminders of your future. Do not forfeit the gift of today and the blessings of tomorrow, for the memories of a past that God has already forgiven. You are stronger than you believe. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2014. ©2019. Revised. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

"Blocking Joy Thieves"

Reflections4LifeDecember 1, 2019

"Blocking Joy Thieves"

          "Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

Scripture Contemplation: John 1; Nehemiah 8; Joshua 1; Psalm 12...

Do you know how exhausting it is being a people pleaser? Do you have any idea how debilitating it is trying to make everyone else happy while you are miserable? Have you any idea the damage you do to your soul and spirit when you allow others to have the power over your life that God gave to you? 
I decree that this week's Reflections will be an encouragement and inspiration for your heart mind and soul. Whatever God speaks to your heart this week, and whatever He has already spoken to you; hold on to it. Let the joy of the Lord be your strength when naysayers and negative situations arise. Do not allow it or them to rob you from all God has ordained for you.

Listen; It is a crippling thing to not know your self-worth and to always rely on the acceptance or permission of others to be content in your life. To be happy with who you are and the path you are on. Yet sometimes, as I have come to learn, is that we need those life lessons. We need those experiences to really appreciate who we areas individuals, as human beings, as the wonderful, marvelous, and sensational creation that we are.

It took me a minute to understand that my voice had power. That, my opinion was valuable and worthy. That, my place in this earth mattered and that I could make a difference, one step, one act, one smile, one life at a time. AND I could do it my way. I could do it in a manner that brought me joy and happiness. That, I could take what God placed in me—every dream, vision, an abundance of joy, happiness, and laughter—and make a difference at any stage and place in my life. 

The world did not give me this joy, nor this happiness or laughter. That came from God. So no one has the power to take it away unless I allow them to do so by relinquishing my power for them to do so. There is a lot of evil, hate, and sadness in this world. At times, it feels as though it is winning; sucking the joy right out of the world. But I know that God is greater and we cannot stop all the evil at once, but we can make a difference every single day, one person, one decision, one made up mind at a time.

My Beloved, may the spirit of peace and prosperity rest in every area of your lives. May you see and believe all that God has spoken of you, Don't let this world or allow anyone to steal your joy. Go forth and make a difference. Dare to be you and dare to keep laughing, smiling, and living in the midst of the chaos. Perhaps if enough of us did this, we would see more smiles and acts of kindness. You are blessed. Now go...and be a blessing!
©2019. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

"An Overflowing Cup"

Reflections4Life November 24, 2019
An Overflowing Cup”
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou hast anointed my head with oil; My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and loving-kindness shall follow me all the days of my life, And I shall dwell in the house of Jehovah for ever.”Psalm 23:5,6 (ASV)
Scripture Contemplation: Genesis 17; Genesis 48; Psalm 23; John 14; Galatians 5; 1 Peter 2...

How full is your cup today? Or maybe I should ask, what is in your cup? Is it filled with kindness? Love? Compassion? Or is it filled with hate? Bitterness? Regrets? Or, is your cup empty? Have you become so numb from the situations you have faced, and the trials you have contended with, that you feel empty inside; like you have nothing left to give or to feel? God desires to fill your cup to it's overflowing. He wants to anoint you daily from an overflowing cup of blessings.
I decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Let your heart be filled with joy this week, knowing that God, our Father, loves you and has made a way for you. Allow Him to anoint you today, from His overflowing cup.
We must continually fellowship with the Father to ensure that not only are our cups full but also running over. For, it is in the overflow that we find answers. It is in the overflow that we can bless others and not become depleted ourselves. It is in the overflow that we see Jesus. It is in the overflow that we are anointed for each new day the Father grants us. It is in the overflow that we see who we are, and gain the strength to tell the truth about ourselves and receive deliverance.
The overflow is the anointing of God in our lives. The anointing that transforms our lives and the lives of those we have influence over. Our cup is our heart, mind, and spirit. The cup in which God desires to pour Himself into, and become an overflow until it reaches and changes other people's lives, as well as our own.
Beloved, we are not here upon this earth just for ourselves. We are not here to partake in the cup of blessings just for self. We are here to serve one another, to love one another, to help one another, to inspire and encourage one another. We are here to be a walking example of God's love on the earth. We are less than what we think we are by the human mind's interpretation, and more of who we know not, by the mind of Christ.
1 Peter 2:9-10(MSG) But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day the difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.
Why do so many of us hide our testimony, and act as though we have loved and served the Lord all of our lives? Or, have never fallen, made mistakes, have sinned? We all have fallen short of God's glory (Romans 3:23). Yet, God loves us.
We don't have to pretend with God. We don't have to pretend for others. Why should we hide what God has done for us? Our testimony can mean salvation and deliverance to someone else. It can be the difference between life and death for another soul. Tell the truth to yourself, and tell it to others. Do not stifle the anointing of God. Do not stop the flow of the blessings of God in your life and the ability to bless others, because you don't want anyone to know what God has done for you. Don't be ashamed. And do not feel condemned. There are power and deliverance in your testimony. Allow the power of your testimony flow from your cup.
The Father calls us unto Him, and desires us to know that it is not about how good we are, how straight and narrow we can walk. It's not about perfection, or how well versed we are in scripture. It's not about appearances. It's not even about what we can do, or how much we love God. It is simply about how much God loves us. How much He desires to fill us and be a constant source of love, strength, mercy, and grace in our lives.
There are many walking around with empty cups, or cups half full. There are many living a lie. We lie to ourselves, we lie to others. And we even try to lie to God. We try to justify our sinful actions. We try to cover up what we have done. We are walking around filled with guilt, shame, and sorrow when all we have to do is confess, repent, and allow God to move in our lives the way He desires.
Do you, not know that God desires to bless you forever? Do you not know that the Father desires to reside within you, and pour Himself into your very being; anointing you until it spills out of your life and into the lives of others? He wants your cup(heart) to not only be filled but overflowing(anointing of God) so that you will have a continued source that never runs out.
The anointing changes everything. The anointing breaks every yoke, lifts every burden restores broken hearts, restores the soul, brings healing and deliverance gives power to weak, understanding to the heart, vision to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, movement to the lame, hope to the hopeless, victory in the battle, stability in the mind. The anointing is the presence of God in your life each and every day; enabling you to walk the walk and not just talk it. Enabling you to live a life that is full, complete, and life changing each and every day.
How's your cup today? Is it full? Is it empty? Is it overflowing? Beloved, it is not about how good you are, or how well you act like a believer, or how many scriptures you have memorized, or how pleasant and nice you can be, or about how much you love God. It is about none of those things. It is about how much God loves you. His love for you is never-ending; even when you rejected Him. Even when you turned and walked in sin. Even while you were yet in sin. Even before you entered into this realm of time; it has always been about how much He loves you. And how much He desires to bless you.
My Beloveds, I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. Allow God to fill your cup until it's overflowing. Allow Him to pour all of Him into you, until it is an overflow, touching and changing the lives of others. Let the Father love you. You are Blessed. Now go...and Be a Blessing
©2019. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

"Watch Your Mouth"

Reflections4Life November 17, 2019

Watch Your Mouth”

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29

Scripture Contemplation: Joshua 1; 6; Psalm 19:14; Matthew 4:4; 15:18; James 3; Titus 1; Jude 1...

©Ruthe McDonald.

How close to attention, do we pay to the words that proceed from our mouths? How many of us dare to put a watch over mouths, so that we bring no harm to others or ourselves? The words that we speak can bring comfort or pain. It can bring forth healing and even death. It is time for us to listen carefully and to watch our mouths.

I decree that this week's Reflections is a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Allow your time spent with the Lord this week to be filled with reflection on the things that come from your mouth. Allow Holy Spirit to guide your tongue, and to make you hyper-aware of the things you say during a normal course of the day. It can be the difference between life and death...literally.

Growing up, I always heard my Grams and my Nana, as well as my Mom,  say: watch your mouth. As children, we can try our parents sometimes and say something that is sassy or even disrespectful. The first warning was always to watch your mouth. There really wasn't a second warning; just a pop in the mouth and punishment. 

I believe today many of us need a spiritual pop in the mouth to remind of us the things that we are saying. It is not just the harm and hurt that we are bringing to others, but the harm we do to ourselves that many of us are not even aware of. So many times, we have prayed and asked God for something, and in the next breath, we totally wipe out our prayers, because our mouths defeat us. Instead of speaking the word of God and blessings over our lives, we speak negativity and curses. Instead of life, there is death.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

How many times have we heard this passage of scripture, only to forget it in the light of a day’s activity? How many times have we spoken things that are filled with negativity and the exact opposite of what we believe God for? If we want what God has for us, we're going to have to start speaking like our Father. We are going to have to put a watch over our mouths and speak what God speaks concerning us.

We have the power to affect the lives of others. I specifically think about what we say to our children. What are you speaking over the lives of your children? Do you inspire them? Encourage them? Speak positive affirmations? Do you declare and decree what God has spoken? Do you bless them or do you curse them?

My parents always told me what I would be— successful at whatever I put my mind to. They encouraged my endeavors even when I, myself, was filled with uncertainty and doubt. My father was bold and told me what I WOULD be, and WOULD accomplish in this life. He spoke a life of blessings over my life. He spoke the father's blessing over his children, just as Jacob did to his children.

The words we speak into the atmosphere bring life or death to people places and things. They can bring healing or destruction. Many words have caused strife and the life of people. I never understood that an old saying I heard growing up: Sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you.

What a load of crap! The words we speak can cause irreparable damage. Words can kill. Words do hurt. They can do so much harm and destroy many lives. Words spoken in a lie can change lives forever. It can cost lives, as well.

So yes, words do hurt and can bring devastating harm. However, they can also bring life, and joy and sweetness never known before. We must learn to guard our mouths and train our tongues to speak words that are edifying, and truth that is not destructive, but healing. To say what needs saying in a manner in which a person's life is not devastated or destroyed.

If we desire the life that God has ordained for us, then we must also learn to watch our mouths concerning the things that we speak and declare of ourselves. Do not speak the opposite of what God has spoken. Edify yourself with the word of God. Speak God's truth. Watch what you allow to pass through your lips and into the atmosphere. You have the power to prophesy over your life. Speak life—abundant life—to your situation and circumstances. Speak what God says about you. Let those words fill your heart and the atmosphere. Practice it. Train your tongue to edify and not destroy. A word spoken in kindness can change someone's life forever. A comforting word can save a life. A word of wisdom can bring clarity. A word of encouragement can bring joy and happiness.

My Beloved, I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. Allow the Father to guard your tongue. Be aware of your conversations and the words you speak. They can be the difference between life and death; to dreams, hopes, and visions. Think of the things of the Lord, allowing it to fill your heart so that it will begin to flow from your lips. You are blessed. Now go...and be a blessing!

©2014. ©2019 Revised. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.