Sunday, June 30, 2013

Reflections4Life: Truly Free

Reflections June 30th, 2013
Truly Free”
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1
Scripture Reading For This Week: Psalm 119:45; Jeremiah 33:3; Luke 4; Romans 8; Galatians 5...
Are you free today? Are you free in your mind, in your soul, in your heart? Or, are you still bound up with the cares of this world, or your less than perfect past? God desires us to be free today. To be free from sin and our pasts. To help others to know, that true freedom lies within a relationship with God.
I declare and decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement for your heart, mind, and soul. May you walk in the truth that God has already set you free. Regardless to the situation you are in right now; God has declared that you are free. That, He has granted you liberty. And once you believe that, and receive it in your heart and spirit, the physical manifestations will follow suit.
Many of us are walking around with chains binding our hands, and minds, and shackling our feet to the point that we cannot think or move or go forward in what God has ordained for our lives. They may not be physical binds, but they are just as debilitating. These spiritual chains have a hold on many of us, preventing us from doing all that God has ordained for our lives here upon this earth.
Whether it is something from our past, old wounds, something someone has spoken over our lives, or familial curses that have plagued our family for generations—God says we are free! When you come into relationship with Him, and submit your all to Him; surrendering every part of your life to Him; you are truly free. Free to be who He has ordained you to be from the moment He created you.
Yet, there are so many of us—many of us believers and followers of Christ—that are bound. We are living lives without any passion, joy, or peace. That's not God! That is not what He has intended our walk to be like in Him.
We are bound by our past and worries of today. We allow the whispers of the enemy to become strongholds in our hearts and minds, blocking us from hearing God and receiving from God. Too many of us have began to doubt the promises of God. And each time we doubt, another chain is attached to our soul, rendering us immobile.
Isaiah 61:1-3“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek. He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound, 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn,3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.”
God has declared that we are free. That we have been liberated. But we must first believe this in our spirit. We must begin to see it in our spirit. We must what God has spoken concerning our lives before we can walk in it physically. We must believe first in the word of God and what He has proclaimed in our lives.
The enemy is excellent at pointing out our flaws, and reminding us of our past. He watches us diligently to assess our weaknesses and our Achilles heel. He attacks us when we are most vulnerable. Most of his attacks are not bold or brazen; they are subtle in nature. He is like a stalker, stalking its prey waiting for an opportune time to pounce. He will use subtle suggestions, whispering in our ears until we think they are our thoughts. He will use those we love to come against us. He will remind us constantly of our past and any mistakes we may have made. The enemy will try and make you doubt who you are and what God has said. And if that fails, he will suggest that you are not worthy of what God has promised you. He will suggest that you are not good enough to receive such blessings in your life. He will do anything to get the door open to your heart, where he seeks to come in, steal, kill and destroy. He will even use fear to get us to give up.
Yet God has given us the power to overcome the enemy, to stop him in his tracks: Jesus! The Blood of Jesus covers us, and has made a way for us. His love and sacrifice has set us free once and for all, and all we have to do is believe and walk in it daily, and speak what the Father has spoken concerning us.
John 10:10 The thief cometh not but to steal and to kill and to destroy. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
1 Peter 5:7-9 casting all your cares upon Him, for He careth for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren who are in the world.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Romans 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds, 5 casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ...
We are free in God today. We must be proactive in our faith, proclaiming what the Father has already declared and decreed over our lives. The enemy has no power except the power we yield to him when we walk in doubt, fear, and disobedience.
Walking in the ways of God, our hearts totally surrendered to Him; we are truly free. There is not one thing the enemy can do to us, or take from us, or hold over our heads when we are surrendered to God and walk each day of our lives seeking to please the Lord. And should we fall, we must get back up, confess, repent, forgive ourselves ans God has forgiven us, and get back on that path of righteousness.
You know you are truly free when your past no longer has a hold on you, or when something someone says or does causes you to feel no guilt for that which God has already freed you from. And when you can see the gifts that God has blessed you with, and know that you are worthy of such awesomeness because God said so, and because He has forgiven you of your past and remembers it no more!
I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives: spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and financially. Walk in the freedom that God has granted you through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. Let go of the past, and all the things you thought you should have done, and receive what God has for you right now. Remember: God makes no mistakes. He's perfect that way! You are Blessed. Now go....and Be a Blessing!

©2013. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Freeing Yourself From Past Mistakes - African American Culture

Freeing Yourself From Past Mistakes - African American Culture:

'via Blog this'

Reflections4Life: Our Strength in Joy

Reflections June 23rd, 2013
Our Strength In Joy”
Then [Ezra] told them, Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet drink, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. And be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.” Nehemiah 8:10 (AMP)
Scripture Reading For This Week: Deuteronomy 28; Nehemiah 8; 2 Chronicles 20; Psalm 21; 1 John 5
What an awesome feeling to know that God is on your side. It fills your heart with peace and an unspeakable kind of joy. It is also liberating to understand the power that joy has and why the enemy is always trying to steal it. When we understand joy, then we will do all we can to hold on to joy and never let it go.
I declare and decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement for your heart, mind and soul. Allow the joy of the Lord to reside in every area of your life; strengthening you in your walk and commitment to the Father, and your resolve to hold on, as you wait upon the promises of God to be fulfilled in your life.
In my spirit, a song is ringing loud and clear: Joy, Joy, God's great joy. Joy, joy, down in my soul! Sweet, beautiful, soul saving joy. Oh, joy, joy in my soul. I find myself filled with so much joy. Joy that I do not, and cannot, and will not let go of.
The most important thing that I've learned about the joy of the Lord, is that it is my strength. It is what keeps me pushing forward when everything around me says to give up. It's what encourages me when I don't see no way out of a situation. It helps me to remember the plans of the Father concerning my life. Joy is what encourages me in the mist of sorrow and heartache.
Then [Ezra] told them, Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet drink, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. And be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.” Nehemiah 8:10
Ezra was reading the law to the children of Israel so that they would understand. As the people heard the word, they began to mourn and be sad. But Ezra admonished them to rejoice. To not be depressed for it was the Lord's day, and that the joy of the Lord was their strength and stronghold.
What is the joy of the Lord? The joy of the Lord is His word. It is His thoughts. It is His promises. It is Jesus. The joy of the Lord is powerful. It transforms your mind, heart, and life. It is the Lord's strength that is placed in us to walk in this journey that we call life. The joy of the Lord gives us hope in a world that is filled with evil and sorrows.
There are times that we are surrounded with so much negativity that we begin to see things as impossible. It makes us feel as though mourning will never cease, and joy will never come. It is the joy of the Lord that enables us to see past the moment, to get through the grief, and to understand that mourning will occur—it is a part of life—but there will be a morning.
Psalm 30:5 For His anger is but for a moment, but His favor is for a lifetime or in His favor is life. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
We may not know how long the night is—for some of us it has been a very long night—but we do have the promise of our Father that there will be a morning. A morning that comes with joy. And while we are waiting for our morning, we can be strengthened by the joy of the Lord. We can allow it to be a stronghold over our heart and mind, and draw upon whenever we feel weak or afraid or even abandoned. God's joy will strengthen you. His word. His promises. His thoughts. His ways.
In order for us to hold onto this joy, we must be intimate with the Father daily. We must be in His word, meditating upon it, and keeping ourselves away, as much as possible, from constant negativity that would hinder us from seeing or hearing that which God is saying.
The joy of the Lord is my strength. Whatever I face in this world; I am not alone. For my God is with me. Through my mourning and weeping times; I have the courage to hold on knowing that my tomorrow will soon come. In fact, my morning has arrived. And I know it was the strength of my God—His joy that resides in my heart—that strengthened me to hold on, keep believing, and never give up. God said it. I believe it. My Morning has come.
I decree that the spirit of peace and prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives: spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and financially. Hold on to your joy. Let the joy of the Lord bring you comfort and peace of mind as it strengthens you through all waiting periods, and battles. Meditate on the word of God. Speak His word to the atmosphere and to yourself. God cannot lie. There will be a morning, and His joy will see you through. You are Blessed. Now go...and Be a Blessing!

©2013. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Reflections4Life: Honoring Your Father

Reflections,  June 16, 2013

"Honoring Your Father"

"Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. Psalm 103:13 NASB

Scripture Reading For This Week: Genesis 2:24; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16-17; Malachi 1:5-7; Matthew 15:3-7; Ephesians 6:1-3…

I would like to take this moment to wish a Happy Father's Day to all the father's and father's to be. May your heart be filled with abundant joy. I pray that you will continue to look to the Father for all instructions, allowing Him to lead you; even in the most difficult of times.  God will never leave you, but will lift you up and be your strength.

I declare and decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. As you honor your father, you are honoring God. No matter what path your earthly father may have walked, when you honor him as your father, God will move upon your behalf.

I loved my father. I honored him no matter what he did or didn't do. He was my father. Yes; I was a Daddy's girl. And most people believe that it is much easier for a daughter to look past or forgive their father's transgressions than a son. Maybe for some. However, I have come to understand, that unless both daughter and son can honor their father—no matter the actions of his life—they do themselves a disservice when it comes to their own life's journey and choices made in relationships.

Not all people make great parents. Some just do not have the skills it takes to do what is necessary. Yet, this does not cancel out the fact that God says we must honor them. We must show them respect; if not for the mere fact that because of them, you are here in the land of the living. He gave to you life. Let's face it: without his contribution you would not be here. So for that reason alone, if you can't find any other reason, he deserves  that much respect.

Did you know that the commandment: Honor thy father and mother, is the first commandment with a promise?

Ephesians 6:2-3 "Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth."

So that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth…That's the promise. Here's the deal: God wants us to show honor and respect to our parents regardless to what they may have done or not have done. He is concerned with our heart and our future and His plans for our lives. You don't think God knows about the atrocities that some parents make? You don't think He sees the abandonment? The failures? The broken promises?  Yes. he sees all of that. Yet, the Father understands that if we walk around with un-forgiveness, bitterness, hatred, disrespect towards our parents—the very ones who gave us life—then we are blocking what He has ordained for our lives. We trap ourselves, and may very well become the very person we have dishonored all this time.

Regard them, consider them, respect them.  Do not let your heart be burdened down with dishonor that you miss out on what God has for you in your life.

I honor my father. He was far from perfect. He did things that were not acceptable. But I loved him, honored him, and considered his life, as well. If it had not been for him, I would not be here. If it had not been for him, I would not be an author. He was the first person who told me I could. When he passed, I was only sixteen. I thank God for the Uncles I have who stood in the gap and nourished my broken heart. They are fathers, as well, who have made mistakes and were not perfect. But I honor them, just as their children do.

Honoring your father is not for his benefit; it is for yours. God knows exactly how to reach a parent who is not behaving accordingly. To honor them, in spite of, is a testament to your heart and where God wants to take you. When it comes down to it; to honor, respect, regard or consider them, has to do with where you want your life to go, and how long you desire it to be.

There are many fathers who are not being honored or respected for who they are. They have worked hard to provide, and to be the best father they could be; even when they had no example themselves of a good father. They make mistakes along the way, but they are not giving up. They are striving to do that which is right so that their children will benefit and receive what they never received growing up.

I take this time to honor every father. Whether you are considered the greatest of fathers, or the worst of fathers, I honor you today. I give God praise for you. For those who are not doing so well as a father, I consider you and all you may have gone through, and pray that the Lord will get a hold of you and direct your path; bring healing to your wounds, and forgiveness to your life so that you may truly begin to experience the joy and abundance of fatherhood. To every father that are doing all they can as a father; I honor you, and pray that your heart is continually filled with joy, and that your example of fatherhood and leadership will be passed on to your children, and that your children will honor you all the days of your life.

I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives: spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and financially. Honor your father. Whether he is the greatest or hasn't done all that well; still give honor to him as your father. For, God is looking at your heart, and it will determine how your days are upon this earth. Make peace so that your manifestations of blessings are not held up. You are Blessed. Now go…and Be a Blessing!

©2013. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Reflections4Life: It's About Faith

Reflections June 9th, 2013
It's About Faith”
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17
Scripture Reading For This Week: Matthew 8; Mark 2; John 16; Romans 1; 3; 10; Hebrews 11...
It's all about faith. Life. Everything we do, all that we believe—has to do with faith. Many of us exercise a certain faith without realizing it. Don't think so? You prepared for today, didn't you? You thought about what you had to do, what you were going to do, with the 'faith' that you were going to be here today to accomplish those tasks. That is faith.
I declare and decree that this week's Reflection is a continued source of encouragement for your heart, mind, and soul. Each day you are granted, may your faith be made stronger, and you yield to the Father concerning your life and its purpose.
I don't know what we'd do without faith. I do know that many take it for granted. We underestimate its power to change lives; to make an impact. We even underestimate ourselves in terms of our internal dialogue and the things we think and believe and hold onto.
What is faith again? “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. I like the Amplified Bible's interpretation: Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
Faith is an action word. It requires you to have faith in something, not just anything. Faith needs a purpose; a hope. It must be based upon something. If you do not know what you are having faith in, then is it really faith? What are you hoping for? Believing for?
Just saying you have faith is not enough. It's like saying you have a plan, but have no idea what the plan is for or what it entails. You're just saying it to be saying it. You know what that is, right? Empty. Useless. No value or substance.
Faith is the assurance of what we have hoped for. It the insurance policy that guarantees what we may not see with our natural eyes but believe in our hearts. It is believing in what God has spoken to you, though you have been waiting a long while, and others may not see or believe it, but because God said it, you believe it.
This life we are living is all about faith. It is all about hoping that we get another chance to start over tomorrow. It's about hoping that the plans we have put forth come to fruition. It's about hoping that what God has promised us comes to pass. Faith is about believing that the time, effort, hope, and execution of what you have done and have believed for comes to fruition. That, it all pays off.
God made me a few promises, and I believe Him. I have faith in what He has spoken to my heart. I believe in the word of God. I believe in God. Some promises seem to be taking a while to come to pass, but because God said it, I believe in it. His word is my assurance. His word is my faith. He spoke it. I believe it. I hope for it.
Everyday we put for faith in something or someone. You believe that the work you do for your employer will garner you a paycheck at the end of that pay period, don't you? You work diligently, hoping to be rewarded for your efforts, do you not? You have certain expectations that you believe should occur when you do one thing or another.
I am convinced that what I believe and see in my spirit is surely coming to pass. I stand in my convictions that my faith in my God is justified. As longs as God spoke it, I will believe it. If I have asked my heavenly Father for anything, according to His will; then I know it is already done, and I have faith that it will soon manifest.
Sometimes the hardest part about faith is waiting. During that waiting time, many things can occur. And you must know that the enemy will do all that he can to shake and disrupt your faith, and try to make you lose hope. Hope is very important. When a person loses hope, they can very well lose themselves; even their life.
Many have joked at Reverend Jesse Jackson's famous quote: “Keep Hope Alive!” But he's absolutely right. We must keep hope alive. For, it is the basis for our faith. It is the “thing” that keeps us striving and believing. To have something to hope for, to hope in, keeps our faith growing; gives us something to continue to fight for. If we have nothing to hope for, then what does that mean for our faith?
I decree that the spirit of hope, of peace, and of prosperity finds permanent rest in your life: spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and financially. What do you have faith in? What are you hoping for? Who are you believing in today? Who are you listening to? Hear the Word of God and believe. Let your faith come forth boldly by hearing what God is saying to you. You are Blessed. Now go...and Be a Blessing!

©2013. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Reflections4Life: What Would You Do?

Reflections Sunday, June 2nd, 2013
What Would You Do?”
But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:33
Scripture Reading For This Week: Psalm 23; Proverbs 3; Isaiah 12;Isaiah 65; Matthew 6; Matthew 10
We are faced with many choices in our lives. There are roads leading to various destinations; some proclaiming to get to the same location. Yet, there is only one road that leads to God. Only one way to get to heaven, and that is through Jesus Christ.
I am going to do something totally different today. I am sharing with you something written by Patricia Harris. She is a teacher, a pastor, an evangelist, a prophetess, and a mighty prayer intercessor, who just happens to be my mother. Yes. I am blessed to have this woman not just as my mother, but as a friend and encourager.
I declare and decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued and constant source of encouragement for your heart, mind, and soul. Do not let anyone deter you from the path that God has ordained for you. The enemy comes in many ways, but God will expose them all. Let God lead you. And know that He does answer prayers.
What Would You Do?
Suppose someone offered you five million dollars tax free? But with one condition: for one day you could not mention the name of Jesus. Even if someone came to you and asked, what does it mean to be saved? How does one get saved? What would you do?
Perhaps you have been praying for a breakthrough, and are backed up in so much debt. Possibly you just received a great offer for a business deal, and all you needed was capital. Maybe your mortgage is over due, and you're about to go into foreclosure; what would you do? One day not to mention the name of Jesus.
Suppose you went to visit a friend in the hospital, and when you get there, the doctor says they have maybe a few hours or day, at best, left to live. You know they've never received Jesus in their heart. Here you stand, with the question whether to say: just let Jesus come in, or Jesus loves you, that would bring them comfort. What would you do? In your ear it's ringing: Five million tax free dollars!
Perchance you have been praying for years, kept believing for a financial windfall. You begin to think, this could be your blessing. What will it hurt—just one day not to say anything at all? You begin reasoning with yourself. You'll give twenty percent to the church; you'll do this and that. But then you are told, you don't have overnight to think about it. Your answer must be within the next six hours.
Your phone begins to ring off the hook. Bill collectors are calling one right after the other. Your car just broke down. The house you wanted and needed just became available. It has the right amount of rooms. You don't have to do any work to it. Just one day not to mention the name of Jesus.
Maybe you're home-bound, and you can't get out, and a knock comes on the door offering you five million tax free dollars, and all you have to do is not mention the name of Jesus for one day. Your child comes home from school, he brings a friend home with him. They say: Dad/Mom, my friend wants to know about heaven. One day not to mention Jesus. What would you do? You ask the Father what you should do, but you don't hear anything in your spirit.
How about a husband and wife. Neither of you were saved when you got married. But now, you, the husband are saved but your wife isn't. You love your wife deeply. She loves you deeply. Before you were saved, you promised that when you became financially able to, you were going to send for her parents, bring them to the States and give them a real home. You have the opportunity with this five million dollars; but one day not to mention Jesus. What would you do?
Perhaps it is your child that stands in need of a life and death surgery. They require the best doctor and best care in order to make it. It's going to cost $250,000. This is your only child. $250,000? You'll have that and then some. Just one day not to mention the name of Jesus. What do you do? What do you say to your child, when you explain the situation, and as your child, he answers you and says: God got this, Dad. Just give me Jesus.
At the end of the six hours you make your decision; either saying yes or saying no. Not realizing it was a test, you were entertaining angels unaware.

Wow! Talk about powerful! What would you have done? Could you say you would have passed the test? We all have needs. We all are faced with some difficult decisions in life. But would you deny Christ to get what you wanted when God says that He knows what we need?
Matthew 6:8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”
There are times when we have denied Christ without even realizing it. Those times when we have acted other than a child of God. Those times when we have ignored the tugging of the Holy Spirit. Those times when we have not followed His instructions. Those times when we have not visited the sick and shut in, or those in prison, or have ignored hungry.
Matthew 25:42-45 “For I hungered, and ye gave Me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink;43 I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in; naked, and ye clothed Me not; sick and in prison, and ye visited Me not.’44 Then shall they also answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when saw we Thee hungering or athirst or a stranger, or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee?’45 Then shall He answer them, saying, ‘Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.’”
I decree that the spirit of peace and prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives: spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and financially. Believe in the word of God. Believe that His promises for you are coming to pass. Do not deny Him,or else He will deny you. Stand up for God. And stand your ground against the devil. Got got you covered. And He is meeting every need. Youa re Blessed. Now go...and Be a Blessing!

©2013. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.