Sunday, December 29, 2013

Reflections4Life: " A Transformed Life"

Reflections4Life December 29th, 2013
A Transformed Life”
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2 NKJV
Scripture Contemplation: Psalm 28; Psalm 51; John 14; Romans 12; Colossians 3; James 1...
Wow! The last Sunday of 2013. Can you believe it? So many things have happened this past year. So many changes. Good things, bad things, horrific things, life changing things. What will you take from 2013? What lessons have you learned? More importantly; what have you learned about yourself, and about the grace of God?
On Friday, I heard someone say that this was the last Friday of the year. From that statement, God shared with me the following: Do not let it be the only "last". Let 2013 be the last time you doubt yourself. Let it be the last time you procrastinate. Let it be the last time you believe the lies of the enemy and his minions. Let it be the last time you say you're going to do something then don't follow through. Let it be the last time you doubt God and His promises for your life. And finally, let it be the last time you put yourself last. How can you possibly be any good to anyone else, if you are not good to yourself, and got yourself together?'s on!!!! And there's no looking back!
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 embark upon a brand New Year, leave behind the burdens of this year, while embracing the lessons learned. Allow the set-backs and adversity of this past year to catapult you into a transformed life for this coming new season. There is more that God has for you. Expect it.
Many of us have already resolved what we were going to do in the New Year. What we plan to leave behind us. That's all well and good. However, it is what you determine to do for God that will bring about change in your life. It is obedience and the willingness to sacrifice that will bring about a transformed life. And the truth is: it begins within our minds.
If there was any lesson that I have learned most this past year, it was about the power of our minds. It is no wonder the enemy tries so hard to mess with our minds. It is often said that the mind is a battlefield and the devil's playground. I believe that whatever we think upon will most certainly manifest. And if our thoughts are not on the things and promises of God, then chances are that we have brought to pass in our lives some very harsh realities. I do know for certain, that our perception determines our reality. Whatever we perceive to be true or real, will most certainly manifest in our lives.
If you have experienced a year of great adversity, and you can say to yourself: I knew this would happen, then the chances are great that you have been operating in a negative mindset. Whatever we believe, beloved, we draw unto ourselves. We are a magnet. Whatever we are, whatever we think, we will most certainly attract to us. Be it situations, circumstances, or people. Our experiences become a reflection of our perceptions and how we think.
Romans 12:1-2 (The Message Bible) “1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
Philippians 4:8-9 “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” (THE MSG)
In order for us to have a transformed life in this New Year, we must renewed in our mind and our thoughts. You can say to yourselves that you are going to do things differently in this new year. However, unless you have a made up and determined mind; a mind that is renewed daily; a mind that is set upon the things of God; a mind that seeks after the will of God; the chances are great that you will repeat the same things of the past.
Yes. Our mind is a battlefield. And on that battlefield the enemy has shown up, seeking to kill, steal, and destroy. Yet, on the battlefront of that battlefield is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Declaring you the victor, with the promise of abundant life, a renewed mind, a transformed life. Declaring His love for you, lifting up the blood-stain banner of His sacrifice for you, that guarantees you a blessed and abundant life—should you believe, and begin to see through His eyes, the glorious, transformed being that you are.
Take the lessons of this past year, beloved, and all the hurts and wounds, and lay them all at the altar. Plead the blood of Jesus over your thoughts and mind. Commit yourself to Lord and to the reading of the word daily. Spend more time in the presence of God. Think on those things that are of God. Renew your mind daily, and be confident in the fact that greater is He that is in you, than he that is in this world. Though things may appear one way, determine in your heart that you will believe the report of the Lord.
Remember: the enemy is a master illusionist. Making false evidence appear real, which is just FEAR. But God has given us a spirit of love, power, and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) And when we think on the things of God, and we are in constant fellowship with our Father, our lives will begin to reflect that. We will have a renewed mind, and a transformed life.
As I am writing this, it really just dawned upon me that this is the last Reflection of this year. Wow! We have had a full year of fellowship. So many things have taken place in each of our lives. We have shared many things with one another. Thank you for your fellowship. Thank you for your time. Your kind words. Your emails. I am declaring and decreeing that this New Year will be the best yet for you and your loved ones. That, 2014 will be the year of answered prayers and manifested promises! I love you. God Bless.
I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives: spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and financially. Walk in the promises of God by keeping your mind renewed daily. Take the lessons and adversity of this past year, and allow them to propel you forward in the will of God. You were made in the image of God. And that means that there is greatness within you. Whatever you believe; whatever you think upon; whatever you perceive will become your reality. So think on the things of God. Believe in His promises to you. Stand on the word, and do not waver. God is doing just what He said. Believe it. Expect it. Receive it. You are Blessed. Now go...and continue being a Blessing!

©2013. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Most Precious Gift of All

Reflections4Life December 22nd, 2013
The Most Precious Gift of All”
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:8-11 NKJV
Scripture Contemplation: Matthew 1; Luke 1, 2; John 1:1; 3:16-17...
I take this moment to wish each and everyone of you a very blessed and Merry Christmas. It is without hesitation that I acknowledge the gift of your friendship, as well as fellowship. Christ indeed is the reason for this advent season; the reason that I write these Reflections each Sunday. I know for certain, without Him I would not be, and could not do what it is He has called of me to do. May this season bring you and your family answers to your prayers. I believe wholeheartedly, more than any other time, that this is a season for miracles. Perhaps it is because so many of us are in one accord, with feelings of hope and belief. Whatever the case may be, I am believing God for both you and me.
I declare and decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Never forget the reason for this season, and the fact that God has given us the most precious gift of all—the gift of Christ, that continues to give all year long, 24/7. You just have to believe.
I enjoy this time of the year. I really do. However, I have learned over the years and through my fellowship with the Father, that everyday can be like Christmas when you walk obediently in the Lord. I am not referring to the gifts or the celebrations or fanfare that takes place. I am speaking of the Spirit. The Spirit of Christmas. That spirit of wonderment, joy, miracles, faith, goodwill, unconditional love.
With each day we are granted the breath of life, it is an opportunity to embrace the will of God for our lives, and walk in His ways, following His instructions, and receive what He has ordained for us. Yet, more often than not, we have become preoccupied with life. We allow ourselves to become overwhelmed with the day to day of living, and forget that we are more than flesh; we are spirit also.
As time moves forward, we forget about the precious gift that the Father has given us in Jesus Christ. Our relationship with Christ begins to wane. It suffers from the day to day routines we accustom ourselves to. Like those many Christmas gifts that our children receive on Christmas morning; they are played with, with such enthusiasm. After awhile, the gift loses its charm and appeal. As weeks and months pass, the gift is forgotten, and when Christmas comes around again, they look for new toys and new things that have been deemed the best gift for that year.
Such is our relationship with Christ. This precious gift of God that we receive into our lives, at a time when we did not know if we would make it. When we were not sure if anyone cared. When we come to the knowledge of who God is and His desires for our life. That moment we receive Christ into our hearts, and we are transformed. Everything is new. Everything looks different, feels different. Then, life happens. Circumstances arise. Things get difficult. We forget to keep our mind stayed on Jesus, and began to focus on the problems and circumstances.
We become distracted by the difficulties in life. Soon we forget what it felt like the first time Christ entered our hearts. Oftentimes it is subtle. We start to spend more time on those things which grab our attention, and less time with the Father, until we are overwhelmed.
God has given us the most precious gift of all, the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. All we have to do is receive and believe that God truly has loved us this much to give us such a gift that continues to give, even when we are not sure. Even when we are distracted and overwhelmed with life and circumstances.
Christ is here for you always. No matter what you stand in need of, Christ can only make things better if you allow Him to. There is nothing more precious than the gift of Christ in our lives. And He is definitely the gift that continues to give, even when we have nothing left to give of ourselves.
Don't allow your current circumstances or situation deprive you of what God has for you in your life. Do not allow the enemy to rob you of time spent with your Father, by deceiving you to believe that you must handle things on your own, or go it all alone.
Spend time with the Father. Get intimate with Christ on a daily basis. Christ is an everyday gift that gives continually and never runs out. He has more than enough strength and power to see us through and take us where we need to be. Believe in the Father. Believe in Christ. Believe that Christ came just for you. He is the best Christmas gift you can ever give to yourself or another.
I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity will find permanent rest in your lives, spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and financially. The most precious gift of all is yours to receive and embrace. You don't have to be good or bad, all you have to do is believe and receive, and the Gift will take care of the rest. You are loved. You are Blessed. Now go...and Be a Blessing.

©2013. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Reflections4Life: "It Doesn't Make Any Sense"

Reflections4Life    December 15th, 2013
“It Doesn't Make Any Sense”
“30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” Luke 1:30-34 (NKJV)
Scripture Contemplation: Genesis 17;18; Exodus 16; Esther 8; Matthew 1; Luke 1...
Has there been a time in your life when God has told you something but it did not make any sense to you? Your human senses just couldn't comprehend it? You immediately began thinking: how, what, why, where, when? I have been there. God has spoken some things to me; He has shown me some wonderful and miraculous things. In the past, it wouldn't register with my human mind. It didn't make any sense; didn't even seem possible. I asked a lot of how's that going to happen? How's that possible? I just couldn't wrap my brain around the awesomeness of it all. Yet, my spirit believed with no question. I've since learned; it doesn't have to make any sense to my human senses, just as long as my heart knows and believes God never lies.
I declare and decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Allow the very words of God to penetrate your heart. Walk in the mind of Christ, believing that whatever God has spoken and shown to you, it will surely come to pass. God cannot lie. And though things may seem impossible to your physical senses, allow the sincerity and wondrous works of Holy Spirit to take you higher, filling your heart and mind  until your spirit believes all that God has spoken concerning you and you stand complete in faith.
Can you put yourself in Mary's shoes for a moment? Here you are a young girl, engaged and never knew a man intimately. One day an angel of God comes to you telling you, one: you are favored of God, and two: you are going to conceive and give birth to the Son of God. That is a lot of information to take in and comprehend. Yet, as the angel of God continued to speak to her, and tell her of this wondrous event, Mary's heart grew, and her faith in God and the knowledge she had of the Almighty allowed her to see and receive this blessing. And so she answers, fully convinced: “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38) Hence, once of the reasons I believe God chose her.
There are many things we have no answer for. There are many things we just can't seem to find a plausible reason for; things that just make no sense to our human mind; things that seem impossible. Yet, God desires for us to go beyond our human mind and reasoning, and just believe. Believe in that which He has spoken to our hearts, what He has shown us. Simply: Have Faith.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. NKJV
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. (MSG)
It took great faith for Mary to believe in what the angel had spoken to her; faith to believe that God had truly chosen her, and trust that everything was going to work out. That, Joseph, once he learned of her pregnancy, would believe also and not put her away.
Joseph himself had to be visited by an angel, for he was ready to walk away from Mary (Matthew 1). Joseph had to have faith, believing what the angel of God was saying unto him. He had to have faith and trust that all would work out knowing he would have to face the gossip and suspicion in the town. Though it made no sense to his natural senses, Joseph had to trust God. And I know he trusted God, because he followed the instructions that God gave him that kept Mary and Jesus safe.(Matthew 2)
I am certain it didn't make any sense to Abraham when God told him that he was going to become a father in his old age. It definitely didn't make any sense to Sarah. She laughed at the promise because it did not make sense to her human understanding. Her doubt led her to give her husband her maid to sleep with, resulting in Ishmael. And to this very day, because of one woman's doubt in the spoken word of God, we have two nations forever fighting; Ishmael vs Isaac. 
We must learn to see through our spiritual eyes. There are many things that God has to share with us that will not make any sense to our human mind or way of thinking. We must come up higher, and see through our spiritual eyes. We must walk in faith and trust in that which God speaks concerning our lives. God specializes in the impossible.
There are things that are impossible for man; even impossible for man to understand. Yet, for those who would dare to have faith, to walk in faith and trust in what God has spoken, their life will see the impossible take place. Their lives will be filled with the unexpected; with the constant blessings of God working on their behalf.
We are charged to walk by faith and not by sight. All that God has ordained for us will not make any sense to our senses, but it will bear witness with our soul and spirit if we have developed and nurtured our intimate relationship with our heavenly Father.
The Father desires to bless you beyond what you can see with your natural eyes. He wants to take you to another level of faith. That, though you waited a long while for answers, for what God has spoken to you to come to pass, that you will believe no matter what. That, it no longer has to make any sense to your senses or to those around you, as long as it God has spoken it, that settles it and that's what it shall be. Faith; immovable, unshaken, solid, and unbreakable.
I decree that the spirit of peace and prosperity shall find permanent rest in your lives spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and financially. Get out of your senses and into your spirit. Let your faith lead you where God has promised you. God is no respecter of persons; what He has done for others He can and surely will do for you. Believe with your heart, and not with your eyes. God cannot lie. His promises are sure enough coming to pass in your life. You are Blessed. Now go...and Be a Blessing!
©2013. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Reflections4Life: "The Lies We Tell"

Reflections4Life December 8th, 2013
The Lies We Tell”
...and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 26:27
Scripture Contemplation: Psalm 31; 120; Proverbs 6; 12; Isaiah 59; 1 Timothy 2...
I know for certain that God desires us to live a life of truth. To live our lives in such a manner, that it is above reproach. But how many of us live our lives in truth when it came to others, yet we have lied to ourselves? For many, we may not practice lying to others, but we have been lying to ourselves.
I declare and decree that this week's Reflection will be a continued source of encouragement for your heart, mind, and soul. Allow the light of God to shine upon those places in your heart that you have tucked away. Let the truth come forth so that you may be free, and live the life that God has ordained for you.
Psalm 51:6 “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.”
It is sometimes hard to accept the truth when it comes to our own faults, and flaws, or something that may have happened to us. The truth can sometimes be quite painful, and we will do almost anything to avoid that pain. We will even lie to ourselves and convince ourselves that all is well, when in fact, we are nothing but broken pieces of clay, patched and held together by the lies we tell ourselves, and the false portrait we paint for others, suggesting that all is well in our lives. Inside we are crumbling, too afraid to allow the truth to come forth and bring healing, for fear that exposing our truth or dealing with our truth is far too much for us to bare.
Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
For far too long, we have been holding on to issues that have stagnated our lives. Our walk in Christ has been limited by our refusal to face the truth and be honest with ourselves and what we have gone through or are currently facing. Too many of us are hiding from the truth. We evade certain issues, we close our hearts off to those who get too close to finding out the truth. We hide from ourselves and who we really are, afraid that not only will others reject us, but we will not like what we see or find when we truly search our hearts and face our personal truths.
We lie to ourselves on a daily basis. We tell ourselves and others that everything is fine. That, all is well. That, our lives are great and that we have everything together. When the truth of the matter is: we have been lying to ourselves. Lying so long, that we don't even recognize the truth about ourselves. We have bought into our own fallacies concerning our lives and how we feel about ourselves and see ourselves.
Enough is enough! It is time to stop lying to ourselves and tell the truth! It is time to free ourselves from our past, our mistakes, our abusers, and confront that which has been holding us emotionally hostage. We cannot possibly enjoy or receive all that God has ordained for us when in our hearts we do not feel worthy or have not allowed God to heal us from that which has badly hurt us.
I do not know what your situation or circumstance might be today, but I implore you to lay everything at the altar and allow God to mend your broken pieces. There is nothing hidden from God. There is nothing that will surprise God. There is nothing that our God cannot handle. You just have to have the courage to tell your truth. Have the courage and strength to no longer lie to yourself, and give it all to God, and allow healing and deliverance to come forth.
We cannot be healed or delivered from that which we refuse to acknowledge or confront. In order to be free from that which keeps us bound and broken, we must be willing to confront that which has hurt and harmed us. We have to be willing to come barely before the Lord and release all that we have tucked away from our own minds.
At some point, we must ask ourselves what are the lies we tell ourselves giving to us? What do we get from lying to ourselves? What purpose does it serve to live a lie and not confront that which has hurt us so deeply?
For many it is fear. Fear of finally confronting and facing what has happened to you. Fear of remembering. Fear of being rejected. Fear of someone else finding out. Fear of never being able to move on or have the life that you so desperately yearn for. And it is that spirit of fear that keeps us crippled and bound to our past and any lies that have manipulated who we truly are and held us bound from receiving all that God has for our lives.
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.”
The Father wants us free. Free from our pasts. Free from those things which have hurt us and have disturbed the course of our lives. And in order for us to be free, we must be willing, to be honest with ourselves. We must be willing to stop lying to ourselves, face the truth, and do the work that is required to receive the healing and deliverance that is necessary to live the lives that God has ordained for us.
Stop lying to yourself. Allow Holy Spirit into those secret places and to touch those wounds that you have been covering up. Let the anointing power of our Lord cleanse your soul, and bind up every hurt and wound that you have encountered in your life. Place your life in the Father's hands, and allow Him to turn your broken pieces into a beautiful masterpiece. Tell the truth and free yourself. Receive and walk fully in the blessings of God for your life.
I decree that the spirit of peace and prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. Let the power of God cleanse you, heal you, release you, and deliver you. Do not be afraid to confront your past, and face your truth. With God, you can do all things. Know that the Father is with you always, and desires nothing but His best for you. Be free. Be healed. Be made whole. You are Blessed. Now go...and Be a Blessing!
©2013. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Reflections4Life: "Thank You Lord"

Reflections4Life December 1st, 2013
Thank You Lord”
You are my God, and I give thanks to You; You are my God, I extol You.” Psalm 118:28
Scripture Contemplation: Psalm 118; Psalm 138; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 3; 1 Thessalonians 5:18
This will probably be one of the shortest Reflections I have written to date. Not because I do not have much to share, but the simple fact that I just want to remind you to give God some praise. To take the time out and say, Thank You Lord.
I declare and decree that this week's Reflection will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. May your heart and mouth be filled with thanksgiving to the Lord for all that He has done. May your spirit be filled with continuous praise, that would bubble up and come forth from your spirit.
Yes, I already know. Sometimes you feel as though you have nothing to be thankful for. What? Are you suppose to be thankful for some bills that keep piling up? You can thank God for His provision, making a way for you to take care of those bills. What? Are you suppose to be thankful for being sick? You can thank Jesus, for by His stripes you are healed. What? Are you suppose to be thankful for poverty? You can thank God that He shall supply all your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus. You can thank Him that He's never seen His righteous forsaken, nor their seed begging bread. You can thank the Lord that whatever He has spoken concerning you, His word will not return to Him void, but will accomplish what He sent it to accomplish.
Still not so sure what you have to thank the Lord for? You're alive. You're reading this, or hearing this. You have breath in your body, another opportunity to repent. Another chance to come to God. Another opportunity to get things right in your life and perhaps make amends or repair broken relationships. You decide. But you cannot tell me you don't have at LEAST one thing to thank the Lord for this day.
I am the first to admit that I have been guilty at looking at what I do not have as opposed to what I do have. I have overlooked the blessings that were already manifested, because I was too preoccupied with what I did not have or wanted at the time. I have learned that when you are thankful for what you have right now; when you give the Lord thanks for the blessing that He is in your life; when you open your mouth and praise Him in the midst of hard times, or when something horrific takes place—praise certainly does make a world of difference.
No matter what you are facing today, no matter your circumstances, give God the praise. Thank the Lord today. Give Him the glory of and not just because of. There is power in your praise. There is power when you thank the Lord. Your thanksgiving opens up doors. It releases the blessings of heaven in your life. It breaks the chains and gives power to the angels that God has assigned over your life. What do you have to lose, but heartache and pain? Let your chains be loosed today by opening your mouth and giving the Lord some praise! Be the catalyst for someone else life to be changed.
Acts 16:25-30 “25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26 and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27 When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” 29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
You want your life to change? Give God the praise. You want the life of your loved ones to change for the better? Give God the praise. You want your community, family, friends to change? Then let them witness you giving God the praise even whilst in the midst of hardship and pain. Go on, and thank the Lord today!
I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your life spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and financially. Open your mouth and give God praise. Let the Lord know that you love Him. That, you are thankful. Let your praise be the catalyst for change in another person's life. No matter what you are facing, don't allow the enemy to shut your mouth. You give God the praise, no matter the situation, and watch what praise will do for you! You are Blessed. Now go...and Be a Blessing!
©2013. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.