Sunday, June 29, 2014

Reflections4Life: "Be Free"

Reflections4Life June 29th, 2014
Be Free”
Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.” Galatians 5:1 (MSG)
Scripture Contemplation: 2 Samuel 12:7-12; Isaiah 8:11-15; Isaiah 58; 1 Corinthians 7:32-35; James 1:25; 2:12-13...
In as much as we experience in this life, we may often find ourselves feeling bound, trapped, overwhelmed, and seeking a way of escape. Yet, many of the things that bind us begins with the choices that we make. God desires for us to be free. Be free from every hindrance. Free from the heartaches. Free from every chain and yoke that keeps us from living the life He has ordained for us.
I declare and decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Be free from those things that have taken hold of your life. Let go of the things that God has been long telling you to release. May this be the week that you heed the voice of the Lord and let go; experiencing a freedom like never before.
Why do we hold onto things? Why do we hold on to grudges? Unforgiveness? Bitterness? Anger? Why do we allow ourselves to be bound with the cares of this world and not relish in the freedom that God has granted us to live in each and every day? I gather, old habits die hard.
It's time for you to live a life that is free. The Father wants you to be free; to walk in the freedom that He has already granted you. Free from the pain and hurt of your past. Free from past mistakes and failure. He desires for you to live a life that is full of love and peace, with a renewed mind and strengthened heart. There is no joy or peace in continually looking backwards. Only heartache, pain, and regrets. In order to move forward we must learn to let go.
Isaiah 61:2-4 (MSG) “...He sent me to preach good news to the poor, heal the heartbroken, Announce freedom to all captives, pardon all prisoners. God sent me to announce the year of his grace— a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies— and to comfort all who mourn, To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion, give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes, Messages of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.”
So many of us have been fighting ourselves. We have been fighting the goodness of God in our lives because we are having a difficult time forgiving ourselves for the mistakes we have made; for the sometime poor choices we make, and the failures. We have not allowed ourselves to move forward in our lives because we are too busy condemning ourselves where God has already forgiven us and made a way of escape.
We cannot see the way of escape or walk in forgiveness, because we have and are spending too much time visiting the past, beating up on ourselves, and allowing the enemy to run rip-shod through our lives and our mental. We have allowed the enemy a place within our thoughts, our minds, without bothering to kick him out and denounce his lies. Instead, we have meditated on what he has said; allowed him to use our past and failures against us, until our mind is befuddled, and our hearts grieved, and we are unable to see the plan of God or accept what He says is ours. It is time to put the enemy in his place. To use the authority that God has give us.
God says...
Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you”
Roman 12:2 “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.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 “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 in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”
We are free, Beloveds. Free in Jesus, with every power and authority given to us by the Father to live a life that is free from those things in our past. To, live a life that does not have to be overwhelmed by our daily activities and commitments. We can be free in every area of our lives when we put the Father first, and seek His counsel in all that we do. What's the saying so many have adopted? No God, no peace. Know God, know peace. It is that simple.
Use what the Father has given you to remind the enemy that he has already been defeated. That, he lost a long time ago when Christ was victorious on the Cross and rose again, and ascended. Renew your mind daily. Think on the things of Christ. Pull down every stronghold, and cast out every evil thought and imagination. Walk in your authority. Speak what God says of you. Declare and decree what God has already declared and decreed concerning you! And if the enemy still wants to mess with you, throwing your past and mistakes at you, just remind him of his definite future...
Revelation 20:10 “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
Be free beloved. Be free in the love and grace of God. Cast all your cares upon Him, and let Him be Lord over your every day. Yield to Him, and walk in His anointing and freedom.
(Milton Brunson)
I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in every area of your lives. Be free. Walk in the freedom that the blood of Jesus has afforded you. Walk in the truth of God that He has spoken concerning you. Do not allow your past, any mistakes or failures to hold you back from walking in the life that God says is yours. And when the enemy comes knocking at your door (and he will!) Remember to let Jesus answer it, as you speak the word of God into your life and the atmosphere, while pulling down every stronghold that would try and keep you bound. You are the one with the power, not the enemy. He's already been defeated; remember? You are Blessed. Now go...and Be a Blessing!

©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Reflections4Life: "Unspeakable Pain"

Reflections4Life June 22nd, 2014
Unspeakable Pain”
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:29-30
Scripture Contemplation: Matthew 5:4; Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 18:2, 28; Psalm 27:4-5; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Lamentations 3:31-33;1 Peter 1:3-9; John 14:1-4; Revelation 21:4...
There are times when our hearts just hurt so bad, we do not know if or how we will ever recover. The pain coursing through our soul can feel restricting; binding us up in heartache and pain until it feels like we will crumble and perhaps even perish under the weight of it all.
It is unspeakable pain. The kind of pain that you have no words for. The kind of pain that cannot ever be properly describe, because the hurt and pain is so deep and jarring, that it not only leaves you speechless, it renders you incapable of thinking of most anything else. What do you do with this kind of pain? This kind of grief? You give it to God. Sounds to easy. Yet, the answer will always be to give it to Jesus. Because, He, better than any other knows exactly what you need to make it through.
I declare and decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Though the pain you may be experiencing at this current moment seems unbearable; though it may seem like it will never go away; trust God to be the arms you run to. Trust the Father to console you, and give your heart rest in the midst of the storm. He will never fail you. He knows just what you need.
Matthew 5:4 (MSG) “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.”
Psalm 27:4-5 (NASB) One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.
God is able too take you through all and everything that comes at you in this life. When the pain is so heavy and seems unbearable, do not count God out of the equation. He is able to bring you through. He is able to keep you and cover you. He is able to soothe you, and comfort you as no other. He knows you. He knows your heart. He knows what you need. Even when you feel what you need the most you have just lost, or are losing. God is able to take your pain and make sense of it. It may not be today, tomorrow, or a month or year from now. But you will receive understanding, and look back at this moment in your life, and know what it is you needed to learn and receive through the unspeakable pain.
Pain can be crippling, and it can also be liberating. Pain can propel us into action. It all depends upon how we deal with pain in our lives. There was a time when I used pain to propel me further in my life. I would take the pain, and use it as energy and determination to do what I needed to do. Yet, there was only one thing I was doing wrong. I wasn't dealing with the pain. Although the pain stirred me to action, I put the cause of the pain in the back of my mind and didn't confront the hurt. I did not bring it to the Father so that it could be addressed and dealt with. I was short changing myself from having healing and comfort through it all; causing myself to become emotionally crippled. Unable to express what it was I was feeling inside. Unable to articulate what emotion I was feeling and why.
There are those who withdraw from the world and life in general when they face unspeakable pain. It is too much to bear. Too much to think about. And the pain is so heavy they are unable to deal with anything else in their lives. The pain is not only unspeakable, but unbearable, so they find themselves cutting themselves off from life. I found myself in this situation, as well. As I got older, and suffered so much loss and pain; I was on emotional overload, and pain overdose. It was just too much. And I battled with depression. I withdrew from the things I loved doing. My prayer life even suffered. I felt out of sorts all the time. And I knew if one more thing happened, I would die. That is how excruciating the pain was.
Yet, God was there through it all. He remains my anchor. What I learned, and now know for certain is that, we can get through all things; all pain and adversity, when we take it to God. No. Things don't just become all sunny and rosy. But we can have confidence in knowing that God is right there with us. We can have joy in the midst of sorrow if our focus shifts from the pain, to the Healer of the pain.
Allow the pain to propel you forward by, placing it all in God's hands and dealing with the source of the pain. Withdraw into the arms of God, but not from life. Yield to the Father, and allow Him to navigate the torrent of emotions and crippling pain that you may be currently facing, with the knowledge and understanding that God will see you through. That, He will not allow you to walk through this minefield of pain without being your Buffer, and your Soother; your Counselor in the times of trouble, bringing comfort and understanding to your soul. You just have to trust Him. Trust God to do what He does best: Love on you.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (MSG) “All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.”
I decree that the spirit of peace and prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. No matter how deep the hurt. How unspeakable the pain. God will and can bring you through if you would trust Him to do so. Though it may seem like this pain will swallow you whole; know that it will not. It will make you stronger, and give you the wisdom to be the anchor for someone that will experience what you are going through now. Let the pain propel you, teach you, and strengthen you, by yielding to the Father. Allowing Him to bring you through this storm; being your anchor and your Healer. No One loves you more than God, or knows just what you need. You are Blessed. Now Go...and Be a Blessing!
©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Reflections4Life: "Our Father"

Reflections4Life June 15th, 2014
Our Father”
The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who sires a wise son will be glad in him.” Proverbs 23:24
Scripture Contemplation: Genesis 2:24; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16-17; 1 Kings 8; John 1;6:45-47; Romans 1:6-8; 2 Corinthians 1:1-3...
Happy Father's Day! I give honor to each and every father this day and every day. Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for your leadership, your support, your provision. May our heavenly Father bless the work of your hands to prosper and the dreams and visions in your heart to come to pass. Allow Him to lead you; especially in the most difficult of times. Believe in your heart that, 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. Let your heart be opened to Father God, as He desires to fill those empty places, and to bring you into to a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him.
It brings a certain kind of peace and calmness when you know and trusts that someone is protecting you. That, there is someone that is there to cover you, and to make sure that your needs are met, you are well provided for, is there for you to run to for shelter and safety. There is a peace in your soul and contentment in your heart when you know that you are not alone and that there is someone who will sacrifice all just to keep you safe. Who'd never give up on you or searching for you if you were ever lost.
Much like our earthly fathers, that is who our heavenly Father is, and so much more that cannot be put into words. We can take joy in the knowledge that God is our Father. Even if you've never had the kind of relationship with your earthly father, or you lost your father at a young age; God said, He is a Father to the fatherless. And He is there for you always. ALWAYS.
My earthly father did the best that he could do. His love was unconditional and never wavering. He encouraged me in so many ways. He was my first love and showed me what it means to be treated special and to be cherished. He was my first champion. He was the first one to believe in me and my dreams and told me I could and would achieve them because he knew I had it in me to do so. He was my best friend. And when he was taken away, I thought I'd die with him.
I didn't though. I lived. And I thrived because in addition to the love that my father showered me in; although he had his faults, his love propelled me forward, along with the love and care of my heavenly Father. My Savior. My Lord. My King. My Deity, now truly became my Father. My reflection of Him upon this earth was robbed from me, but He gave me Himself and along the way father figures upon this earth, who could physically embrace me and guide me. God never leaves us fatherless.
God wants to father us. To love us. To dote on us. To be there for all things concerning us. And yes...even to discipline us. Because, a good father knows that without discipline, there is destruction. Without discipline, we could never fully receive, or comprehend, or handle the bountifulness of the astounding awesomeness of the blessings of God!
A father should prepare you; lead, guide and instruct you in the ways of truth that will give you an expected end. Whether you had a father present in your life or not; regardless if you had a father that was good or bad; God says, He desires to be YOUR Father. To teach you and guide you, and prepare you for the inheritance that has been waiting for you.
The Bible tells us that a good father leaves an inheritance for their children. And it is not just speaking in terms of a monetary inheritance. He leaves an inheritance of integrity, of sound character, of love, of joy, of peace and of hope and faith.
Beloved, God wants to be our Father. He wants to bring us to an intimate place in Him, so that He may reveal to us the mysteries of His word, the joys of being in His presence, the abundance that comes from being showered in His love, the grace and peace that comes from His covering, the peace of knowing that He is always there and will never leave or forsake you. And that whatever you ask in Jesus' name, you can have if you believe.
I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. God our Father waits for you to yield to His touch; to answer His call and the knocking on the doors of your heart. Open up and let Him in. Let Him fill those empty places. Restore any damage, heal all the pain. Come to Him with all your heart so that He can fill you and love you the way only a Father could. You are so Blessed! Now go...and Be a Blessing!
©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Reflections4Life: "I Must Tell Jesus"

Reflections4Life June 8th, 2014
I Must Tell Jesus”
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
Scripture Contemplation: Exodus 6:5-8; Isaiah 58:6; Habakkuk 3:19; Matthew 11:28-30; Romans 15:1-3; Galatians 6:1-3...
There is so much that is going on in our lives today. So many burdens we are carrying that, God just wants us to release. Often, we are telling the wrong people our problems. We are looking to man when God is the only one who can help, and lead us in the right direction.
There is nothing wrong with seeking help from others. Nothing wrong with sharing your burdens with the ones you love. However, God desires to be first. The less we take it to Jesus and lay at His feet, the heavier our burden gets, the tighter the yoke feels, because though our loved ones may care, and have good suggestions and intentions, it will always be the Father that knows best.
I declare and decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Release your fears. Release your burdens. Cast them upon the Father. He knows just what to do. Let God be your first go to, and allow Him to lead you where you need to go. God cares for you. He loves you best.
I can't count the times my mouth has stayed shut because of the hurt that my heart has felt. I am not one to tell my burdens and my problems to anyone. I am not the one to get on a phone or email what hardships or heartaches I may be experiencing at the time. I am a hoarder of my emotions. Very seldom do I let that dam break, allowing my emotions and heartache to flow. Usually I will write the pain out. But, when I find my pen still, and my mouth remains closed; I know that I have shut down emotionally, and haven't even taken it to Jesus. And that, my beloveds, is not good. It is the worst thing that I could do.
Many times, pain and hurt will cause you to lash out or withdraw. I seldom lash out, but I will withdraw very quickly. Hiding myself, my emotions. And if I am not careful, limiting my time in the presence of God. And that is exactly what the enemy wants: to separate us from God. For us to keep our mouths and hearts closed to the Father; concentrating on the hurt and pain until we are locked in a perpetual state of hurt, becoming acclimated to the pain; diving headlong into a spirit of self-pity and angst, until we can no longer hear the voice of God, recognize who we are, and become so depressed that we stop living and stop believing; stop having faith in God.
There is only one solution to this: We must tell Jesus. Sure, it may sound so simple; so easy. And the truth of it is: It really is just that easy as telling Jesus what's going on. Casting all your cares and concerns at His feet. The hard part will be to leave it there. To trust Him to take care of it. But, it is very easy to open our mouths. Because no matter what you may think, believe, or have heard; God is always there. He is always present to hear our requests, to take upon Himself our burdens. To, lead in the direction we should go. To, lead us to the right people that can assist us in our times of need.
Here's what I know for certain: When my heart is overwhelmed, and I feel the walls closing in on me, my first instinct is to shut down—emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually. Every part of me desires to be numb; to not “feel” anything. But not feeling is not living. It is a false state of being. Going numb only prolongs what it is that we need to face and deal with. Problems do not go away or get solved by shutting down our emotions or our mind. They grow, until it consumes us, and every thing we do, every single moment of our lives. But when I released it to Jesus. Told Him all of it. Confessed to Him everything; every hurt, pain, disappointment, heartache; I felt a lightness in my chest. I felt warm in my soul once again. No. Things did not get better immediately, but over time. And with each moment spent in the presence of God, my burden became lighter. The chains wrapped around my heart and spirit, lifted. When I dared to praise God, though my flesh said it couldn't; the blessings of peace and calmness surely did come down.
I implore you to tell Jesus all of it. Pour out your heart and soul. Lay it at His feet. He is there to carry your burdens. To take away that yoke of pain and heaviness. We hold onto things, and carry things that we do not have to. We take on the problems of this world, and hold and nurture them as though they were our babies. Well, they're not. And it's time to let it all go. Tell it all to Jesus, and let Him take over.

I must tell Jesus all of my trials,
I cannot bear these burdens alone;
In my distress He kindly will help me,
He ever loves and cares for His own.
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
I cannot bear my burdens alone;
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.
I must tell Jesus all of my troubles,
He is a kind, compassionate Friend;
If I but ask Him He will deliver,
Make of my troubles quickly an end.
Tempted and tried I need a great Savior,
One who can help my burdens to bear;
I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus:
He all my cares and sorrows will share.
What must I do when worldliness calls me?
What must I do when tempted to sin?
I must tell Jesus, and He will help me
Over the world the vict’ry to win.
I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. Tell it to Jesus. Lay it all on the line. Do not hold onto all that pain and hurt. Release those burdens into the Father's capable hands. Do not allow yourself to become so overwhelmed, that you cannot see or take the hand of God that He has stretched forth towards you. He loves you more than you know. And there is nothing to difficult for the Father to take on. Not when it comes to you! You are Blessed. Now go...and Be a Blessing!

©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Reflections4Life: "So Much More Than You Thought"

Reflections4Life  June 1st, 2014
“So Much More Than You Thought”
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
Scripture Contemplation: Psalm 33; Isaiah 55; Jeremiah 23; 29; Micah 4:12; Romans 11:33…
Every situation in our life brings another revelation of who God is, and who we truly are. Our trials and tests are not meant to destroy us, but shape us into the children and friends of God. To bring us to that expected end.
Our thoughts about God have been shaped more by what we have been shown or taught, whether than what we have learned through a personal relationship with the Heavenly Father. God is so much more than we thought. We can only come to know this, if we are first willing to get to know the Father for ourselves, rather than just rely upon what another person has stated or taught us.
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 inspired to seek a more personal and intimate relationship with the Father, allowing Him to reveal Himself to you in a whole new light. May you encounter a personal revelation of our true God for yourself.
I would often tell my husband that, one could tell you about Jesus. They could teach you about the Word and about being a believer. They could even share their personal testimony. However, there is nothing more powerful than a personal encounter with God. Nothing more solid and confirming as revelation received on a personal level. Because, when God gives you something personal, between you and Him; when He reveals Himself, no one can take that from you. You will know for self the majesty of the Holy God. And no one will be able to easily persuade you from your firsthand account.
Many of us are lacking a firsthand account in relation to God. We have relied upon what others have told us. We have been living vicariously through the testimony of others. Some of us have been satisfied with the relationship that our parents and grandparents have had with the Father, and assume that because they pray for us, and believe God so strongly, that by some divine osmosis, that is good enough for us to make it into heaven also.
It doesn’t work that way. Though the effective and fervent prayers of the righteous avails much; it does not make us saved or guarantee our eternity with the Father. Only a personal relationship with the Father gives us that guarantee. Believing in Christ and accepting Him as our Savior will usher us into an eternity with the Father.
I heard a couple of things this week that had me chuckling at first, then growing sad, then a bit angry. Yes. I went through the gambit of emotions; especially when I realized how many believe such crap concerning not just Christianity, but any religion. But more precisely, the notion of what a personal relationship with Christ entails. In the end, sadness remained as the anger dissipated.
It is a widespread thought, and belief, amongst many (not just young people either) that a relationship with the Father is boring. That, you have to give up so much for God and have to live such an uneventful and rigid life. That, there is no fun in Christ. I’m shaking my head right now. How far from the mark so many are when it comes to the knowledge of who God is, and what a relationship with the Father is truly like.
It is sad that so many do not see how liberating and exciting a relationship with the Father sincerely is. But, as I thought of the misperception, I couldn’t help but to lay part of the blame at the feet of those who call themselves a Christian and have been such poor examples of the love of Christ and what a relationship with God looks like.
Then I thought about it some more. They themselves do not know. For many of them are only living a life that they were taught to live. For many, a relationship with Christ is symbolic and fraught with much tradition and ritualism. There is nothing personal or liberating about their relationship with the Father. And if that was the only example that I had about what a relationship with God was, I’d probably think and be the same way. How utterly sad.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have those who have poorly represented Christ by living a life that is carnal. There is no difference between their saved and unsaved lives. Leaders who have been caught in lascivious actions, under shepherds fleecing the flock, those claiming to believe living a duplicitous life; having questionable behaviors. All of this leads to the misconception of who God is.
God is so much more than we than we think. He is much less complicated than the world has painted Him to be. Less judging than the church has warned. Yet, He is more loving, caring, and merciful than most would know unless they get to know Him for self. Yes. He is not a pushover. Yes. He is a God of discipline and order. Yes. He will hold us in judgment (making us accountable for our actions). Yes. He requires us to live a life of righteousness and holiness. But, we can only know what is meant for us, and how we can live a personal life pleasing to God if we are in a personal, intimate relationship with the Father for ourselves. Just as we all have our own DNA, so does our relationship with the Father. We cannot just rely on someone else’s relationship or experience with God. We can be inspired and encouraged, but we must have our own personal relationship with the Father.
There will be times when it will seem as though God is not with you but against you. You will be stretched and pulled and buffeted, along with accused, persecuted and exposed. However, you will also be loved, adored, protected, covered, strengthened, and encouraged. In the end, you will come to know the Father in a way you cannot verbalize, but your life will exemplify. It is all a part of getting to know who God truly is, and who He has ordained you to be.
I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. Now is the time to yield to the Father, and get to know Him for yourself. Your desire to know yourself and want more in this life begins with a personal and intimate relationship with the Father. Another person’s story cannot be your story, nor your legacy. It’s time for you to have your own, and to stand in the revelation of who God is to you. Get to know Him for yourself. There is much He has to give and reveal to you, which is just for you and no one else. You are Blessed. Now go…and Be a Blessing!

©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.