Sunday, January 26, 2014

Reflections4Life: "What Are You Saying?"

Reflections4Life January 26th, 2014
What Are You Saying?”
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth.” Luke 21:33-35
Scripture Contemplation: Proverbs 4; Lamentations 2; Matthew 6:25; Romans 6; 8; Ephesians 4...
We are only on the 26th day of the new year, and I can aptly say that it has been one revelation after another; along with tests, trials, and attacks from the enemy. Yet, the revelations and the goodness of my God outweigh the bad each and every time.
Through every attack, every trial and hardship, one thing has ringed the most in my soul: “What is my life saying about God?” What am I saying (my actions, my deeds) when I am going through a battle? Is my speech of defeat? Is it negative? Does it speak of faith? Is my life reflecting who I say God is?
There will always be trials in our lives. However, when those trials come, what are you saying? What is your life, your walk, speaking of you?
I declare and decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. May you be cognizant of the what your life is saying to you and your relationship with God. May you continue to walk in the goodness and promises of God, no matter what comes your way. May you stand strong in the Father, who enables you to withstand all matter of storms.
My beautiful friend went home to be with the Lord on yesterday morning. Her transition has me thinking, going over my own life. I suppose we do that when someone we love passes. We look at our own life and our own mortality. Yet, for those of us in Christ, we know that death from this earth is not the end; just the beginning.
I thought about how my dear friend lived her life. What an example of Christ she portrayed. Her life touched many people. Her love extended far and wide. To me, her life spoke of kindness, love, forgiveness, hope, faith, and laughter, even in the midst of excruciating pain. She leaves a legacy of greatness for those who loved and knew her. But more importantly, she lived it. Every day; even through sickness and pain, she would reach forward and bring light and laughter to others.
This train of thought left me wondering—how many of us are aware of what we are saying? Do we pay attention to what our lives are speaking? Do our lives line up with what our mouths have been confessing? Do our lives exemplify the life we say we are living in Christ? Would anyone know by our actions alone, if we were believers and loved the Lord? Would our life lead another to Christ? Would they want to partake in the goodness of God just by what our lives have been speaking?
I believe that actions are truly louder than words. People will hear what we say, but they look at what we do. There are many that have shunned a relationship with God because we, believers, have not exemplified a life that would draw others unto Christ. Perhaps it is because we have not fully believed ourselves. Maybe we have not totally sold out our heart and soul to Christ.
This is what I know for certain; God has many things He desires to do for us upon this earth. Many prayers He desires to bring to fruition. Many blessings He desires to manifest in our lives. Yet, for many of us who call ourselves believers, we have fallen short in our faith. We have suffered some setbacks, and have yet to fully come back. We have fallen, and have given up trying to get back up. And in this state, we have developed a spirit of self-pity, self-doubt, unbelief in God, and no trust in what God has spoken concerning our lives.
Sure; we will go to church, and say the right words, but our hearts are speaking loud and clear. Our hearts are affecting our actions. And the message we are portraying is not one of faith, love, trust, and belief. But one of doubt, fear, regrets, and unbelief.
When are we going to let go and really let God have His way? When are we going to honestly trust in God and give Him all of us? When will we go through a test or trial, and maintain our position in the Lord, and not back down, but continue to hold onto faith and God's unchanging hands?
It's been three weeks now since my body has been attacked by the flu. I have never had the flu before. And let me tell you; it kicked my behind! Yet, I continued to pray and believe God for my complete healing to manifest. This past Friday, I had to go to the hospital. I was having trouble breathing, my chest was tight, this cough would not leave, my voice is still not back. I just prayed they wouldn't keep me since I do not have a fondness for hospitals.
Six hours in that ER. As I was hooked up to an IV (I was severely dehydrated), taking a breathing treatment, blood tests, urine tests, x-rays, and all that good stuff; I just kept saying I wanted to go home. I sat in that room for two hours by myself. During those two hours before the nurse came back, I heard different people coming in. When I first arrived, there really was no one there. But by the time I was ready to leave, it was packed. I sat there, and I heard God say: pray. I admit I felt myself feeling sorry for myself. But I knew what many others don't know: that prayer works and that my God is a healer. So I got out of myself and began to pray for those around me. I prayed for their healing. I thought of my dear friend, wondering how she was doing and prayed for her comfort.
During this time of sickness and recovery, I have learned so many things about people and myself and reminded of the goodness of my God. I know that it is very easy to give up and be negative when your body is wracked with pain. But, it takes much more strength and faith to keep praising God through the affliction. I learned that if you don't ask for help, or reach out to others in your time of need, then how can you receive what it is you need? God places us here for one another. We cannot do everything alone. Also, this is a great time to find out who people really are, and what lies within their hearts. God is awesome. He will use ANY situation to show you His grace, and the truth about yourself and others.
I want my life to speak well of Christ. I desire to be that walking epistle that draws others into a relationship with the Heavenly Father. I desire to not only leave a legacy, but leave a legacy of greatness by totally surrendering to God, and allowing Him to use me; even in my most testing and trying times.
What are you saying? What is your life speaking of you? What is your legacy? Do people see the love of God when they encounter you? Or, are they turned off by your attitude? Do your actions line up with your confession? Has life overwhelmed you so that you have given up? Well, I have good news for you; if you are able to read this or hear this, then you are alive, and that means you still have the opportunity to let God turn it all around. Your past does not matter to God. Your past, any mistakes, does not define who you are. What God says about you, defines who you are. You are not your past. You are who God says you are and has ordained you from the beginning. So, let God change your dialogue. It's time.
I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. Your life has been speaking for you a long time. Let God reboot you, and give your life a new sound and a new word. You are more than your past and your experiences. You are who God says you are. It is time to let your life start speaking the truth. The truth of who you are, and who God is. Tests and trials will come. Not to destroy you, but to break you and shape you into the vessel that God calls His masterpiece. Let your life speak well of you and God, and draw others to the saving grace of Christ. You are Blessed. Now go...and Be a Blessing!

©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Reflections4Life: "No Regrets Allowed"

Reflections4Life January 19th, 2014
No Regrets Allowed”
You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set; Then I’d never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel.” Psalm 119:4-6 (MESSAGE)
Scripture Contemplation: Psalm 119:1-8; Proverbs 5:7-4; Isaiah 49; 2 Corinthians 7...
There are signs for many things telling us what is not allowed. No Pets Allowed. No Smoking Allowed. No Drinking Allowed. No Food Allowed. And I could go on. There should be one that we all apply to our lives: No Regrets Allowed. We should make our lives a regret-free zone, and learn to live each day with the purpose and intent that God designed us to live.
I declare and decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. May your life be filled with purposeful living; with the intent on living each day as the gift that it is. Relishing in the joy and love that is our Heavenly Father.
That old Frank Sinatra song is ringing in my head right now: My Way...and the part where he says he had a few regrets, but too few to mention. How many of us can say that we have lived our lives with very few regrets? Better yet; how many of us can say we did it God's way, and because we did, our lives have very few regrets to speak of?
This past week, I learned some very hurtful news. A dear friend of mine is in the throws of transitioning. Her mother wrote a note on her FB wall and encouraged all of her friends to pray for her daughter, as she only has a few days left. She asked that each of her friends would pray that the angels would carry her with peace and grace.
I cried for what seemed like hours. I cannot believe she is going. I cannot believe that I won't be able to just reach out and say hello, or receive one of her notes and flowers, with the words saying: Just thought I'd tell you that I love you!
Even through her most painful battles, she spent time letting the people she loved know how much she loved and appreciated them. She lived each day with a passion and purpose. The outpouring of love that she is receiving is just a reflection of the beautiful soul that she is. If she had any regrets, she did not mention them. If she was not satisfied with her life, you would never know. She lived her life in such a way that was filled with gratitude and love, that there was no room for regrets.
How many of us can say that we are living our lives to the very best that God has intended? How many of us have learned to appreciate each day, and live it with such purpose, that one would be hard-pressed to say you had any regrets?
We never really know when our moment of transition is going to come. When it does, I want to have no regrets. I want my life to be a regret-free zone. And I want to surround myself with like-minded people. People who are living their life on purpose with purpose. People who are sold out to doing it God's way, and can see every aspect of their life as a gift; regardless of the obstacles and tests that come their way.
I find that we spend much time picking apart our lives; deciding what's wrong with it, and the things we want to change about it. But how many times have we counted what is right about it? How many times have we thanked God for the blessings in our lives? How many of us have taken the time to count all the good that God has blessed us with? How many have taken the time to say thank you for being alive? For having a roof over your head? Clothes on your back? Or, are you too overwhelmed with what you don't like, that you cannot see God's beauty that stares at you each and every day?
Will you join me today in making your life a regret-free zone? Will you commit to making sure there are no regrets allowed in your life or around you? I found the best way to ensure this:
Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord, And He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.”
I will cherish every moment I had with my dear friend. I will remember the joy and laughter that she brought into my life. I will celebrate the woman that she is, and the angel that God blessed her to be to so many. I will see a beautiful bouquet of flowers and think of her, and say: “Cool Beans!” I will remind myself each day to say, Thank You. And to let someone else know how much they are loved and appreciated.
Life is too short and too precious to have nothing but regrets. Life is what you make it. And when you determine to live it with a heart of gratitude, you will find that there are very few regrets that will come to mind.
I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in every area of your lives. God has designed you with purpose. Live your life in such a manner that you ask God, what's next? Instead of: What did I miss? Let the joy of the Lord fill your hearts and minds. Allow Him to lead you into that ordained path, that will leave your life with no time for regrets. Get busy living, and doing things God's way. You are Blessed. Now go...and Be a Blessing!

©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Reflections4Life: Undisputed Champions

Reflections4Life   January 12th, 2014

“Undisputed Champion”

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Scripture Contemplation: John 16; Romans 12; 1 John 2; 4; 5…

If there is anything that I have learned this past week, it is that no matter what you are faced with; no matter what comes your way, if you are in God and believe what He has spoken to you, you will come through. It may not feel like it. It may feel as though you have lost the battle. Yet, because Christ is, so are we: Undisputed Champions.

I declare and decree that this week’s Reflection will be a source of continued encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Whatever you may be faced with in this life; always remember that as long as you are in Christ, you have already won, and the enemy has already been defeated.

I won’t be before you too long this week, as I am currently experiencing the Flu. I have never had the flu before. And let me tell you; if you never prayed before getting the flu, most certainly you begin when your body is under such attack.

This is what I know for certain: EVERY situation in life is an opportunity to learn something new. To learn something new about yourself, and about our Heavenly Father, and just how low the enemy will go.

There was definitely a mental war being waged against me. In a weakened state, where your defenses are down, your body is in so much pain, you can barely think clearly, the enemy will find a way to slip in and try to undermine who you are and your authority in Christ. Very subtle in his machinations, the enemy will most certainly try to have you doubt God, or the power of prayer, or that God is a healer. And if he cannot get you to doubt God, he will try and get you to doubt yourself. He will have you question your faith, your walk, and your belief.

But as we both know and understand, the devil is a lie! He has already been defeated, and we are the champions. No matter how hard he tries. How he may try to rewrite history; he can’t. He is the undisputed LOSER! And we, in Christ, are the undisputed CHAMPIONS.

1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

I thought this morning; about writing Reflections or just re-posting one from a few years ago. I have almost seven years of written Reflections. Then I thought about Christ and the fact that He is my strength, my fortress, my healer; He will give me the strength to share His word today, and after I am done, I can rest,

Yes. Greater is He who is in us than he who is in this world. There is nothing the enemy can do to change the fact that Christ overcame the world, and because He did, we can also. Because Christ defeated death and the grave and gave us the keys of life, we are the winners should we believe on Him, and walk in His light; being born again into a brand new life. Certainly, we will have our moments in this world we live in, We will we be attacked on every side. We will suffer terribly at times. We may lose everything at one time or another. Yet, it doesn’t change the fact that we are the victors. That, the death and resurrection of Christ sealed our victory for eternity.

Whatever it may be that you are facing today. Whatever attacks the enemy may want to come at you with; just remember that God already declared you the winner. Because Christ is, you are…an undisputed Champion.

I decree that the spirit of peace and prosperity will find permanent rest in every area of your lives. There is nothing more comforting than knowing that the war has already been won. That, the battle is indeed the Lord’s, and still claim the title of undisputed Champion. Don’t accept the lies of the enemy. You already won, and he’s already been defeated. Now go claim your title! You are Blessed. Now go…and Be a Blessing.

©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Reflectios4Life: "Brand New"

Reflections4Life January 5th, 2014
Brand New”
Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, 'Write, for these words are true and faithful.'” Revelation 21:5
Scripture Contemplation: Isaiah 43:18-20; Jeremiah 31:30-32; Philippians 1:6; 1 John 1:6-8...
Happy New Year! Here we are again, with an opportunity to embark on a brand new year, a new beginning, a fresh start. When you are walking with Jesus, however, each day is a fresh start. When you yield to Him, He makes you brand new; brand new heart, brand new mind, brand new sight, a brand new life.
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 Blood of Jesus to cleanse your heart and soul from all that old baggage that has been weighing you down. Allow the Lord to make you brand new all over—your heart and mind. This is a new year with new opportunities. God has given you a reset. What are you going to do with it?
You know how it feels to get something brand new. The feeling of something fresh and new is exciting. I think about those of us who, growing up, had to wear hand-me-downs, and the first time you were able to buy something new just for you. How did that feel? Wonderful, didn't it?
What about that feeling you have after a storm in your life has passed, or you let go of things that should have been let go of a long time ago? Or, when you clean out your house of all those old things, or you walk into a brand new home? Exhilarating!
That's what it is to be in a relationship with the Father. He makes all things new. He comes into our lives (the home of our hearts) and makes all things new. He cleanses us and gives us the opportunity to see things through fresh eyes, a clean heart, through His eyes. God has given us a reset button for our lives when we receive Jesus as our Savior. Our life clock gets reset. What a precious gift to be given from our Heavenly Father.
Yes. There are consequences for all of our actions. Our sinful behavior has repercussions. The sinful and wrong acts of others can have devastating effects on innocent people's lives. Yet, when we come to God, He will make all things new; a new perspective, a new determination, and new grace to help us walk through and get through the consequences of those actions. We will have a brand new mindset, and a brand new start at a new life, where we can walk in His love and guidance, and in obedience to His will.
So many have made resolutions to change this or to change that in their lives. How about you allow God to change that thing? How about yielding your heart to God; submitting to His will and His way, and allowing Him to lead you where you cannot trace Him; having faith in God, and where He desires to take you?
It's a brand new year, and God desires to do brand new things in your life. He desires to make you brand new. Aren't you tired? Aren't you tired of promising yourself something different, only to find yourself in old habits, doing the same thing over and over, never feeling complete or whole? Then yield to the Father. Allow the cleansing blood of Jesus to restore you, and reset your life clock. Allow Him to elevate you. To erase your past, and bring you into the future He has ordained for you.
Yes. There are lessons we can take from our past, but we do not have to linger there, feeling sorry for ourselves, reliving what we did, wishing we would have done something different. No matter how you try, you do not have the ability to change your past. Only God can do that. But what you do have is the ability to move forward, and live a life that is filled with hope and expectations for greatness. You have the opportunity to walk in a brand new mindset, with brand new insight, and brand new determination. All you have to do is believe and walk the path that God has ordained for you.
You are not limited by your past experiences. Your past and any mistakes do not determine the entirety of your life. What YOU do right now and believe in your heart, determines your life. The choice is yours. You can either reach towards God and receive what He has for you. Or, you can linger in the past, and allow the whispers of the enemy to taunt you, and cripple you from moving forth. The choice is yours.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Mark 6:56 Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.
John 5:5-9 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” 7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.
There is a brand new life waiting for you. A brand new mindset. Brand new experiences. Brand new joy and anointing each and every day. So what are you going to do? Are you going to stay stuck in the past; or in unforgiveness, or self-pity? Or, are you going to reach forth and touch the hem of His garment? Are you going to have faith and believe what God says about you? The choice is yours. There is a brand new life with your name on it. The life that God has ordained for you before the existence of time. And all you have to do is believe, have faith, and receive. For God has already declared and decreed it!
Isaiah 65:24 “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.
I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in every area of your life. Let God bring forth the brand new in you. Allow Him to create in you a clean heart, and a right spirit, and a renewed mind. Let the Blood of Christ reset your life clock, so that you may live a life that is full of love, grace, purpose, and the joy of the Lord. You are so very Blessed. Now go... and Be a Blessing!
©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.