Sunday, August 31, 2014

"Take Rest"

Reflections4Life August 31, 2014
“Take Rest”
“Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Genesis 2:3 (NASB)
Scripture Contemplation: Genesis 2; Deuteronomy 12; 25; Psalm 37; Matthew 11; Hebrews 4…
There is just too much noise. Too much clutter. Too much going on that it is a distraction. We find ourselves so busy. Busy doing what? Sometimes I think we don’t even know. It is as if we have been wired to mundane tasks that are automatically apart of our day. We live each day feeling less inspired and more tired, because we have not taking the time out to properly rest.
Our rest does not consist of us going to sleep only. It includes our whole being: body, mind, and spirit. And when one part of us is lacking rest, we lack in all areas. It is time to take rest in every area of our lives, and receive what God has 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. May you walk in a spirit of rest; completely rejuvenated in your soul, from time spent in the presence of God. Make time to take rest. Slow down, and not only hear what God is saying, but also receive what He is giving.
We often cry out to God and ask Him to help us. We cry out, shaking our fists, mad at God because when we feel He has not answered us. That, our petitions of prayer have fallen on deaf ears. The enemy has duped many into believing that God is taking too long, or that He truly does not understand what we are going through.
We ask God but don’t wait long enough for His answer. We ask, and we ask, but are never quiet long enough to hear His answer. Have you ever tried to hold a conversation where everyone is talking at the same time? What a confusing and jumbled mess! We need to learn how to be still, and quiet in the presence of God. To truly understand what it means to rest in Him.
Are there times when you desire to shut the world out—all the noise—and get some peace and quiet?  Once you steal away, do you not feel refreshed and energized? Your brain has had the opportunity to slow down, and you are not as bombarded with the constant activity that life often brings. You find yourself being able to think more clearly.
There is so much going on in the world. So much activity. So many things going on; yet people still do not seem to be any happier or closer to achieving their goals and dreams. We have forgotten how to take rest. How to rest our bodies, our minds, our souls. We have forgotten what it is like to truly rest in God, and have Hos love and strength restore and rejuvenate us.
I have given some thought to this: I think it should be Labor-Free Day. We plan so much on our Holidays that we really don't get to enjoy them. I want to be still and enjoy the day. I don't want to work hard to enjoy it. I do not want to put so much effort into, that I'll need another Holiday just to recuperate.
I'm going to spend my holiday being still, and getting in the presence of God, so I can hear Him, and receive what He has for me. I pray that however you spend your Holiday, that you enjoy it. I hope that you consciously make the decision to take rest, and to do so often, so that you can receive the blessings that God has for you.
I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your life. Take rest in the Lord. Take time out to be in the presence of God, renewing and recharging your mind, body, and spirit. Do not neglect any area of your life. Let the Father into every area of your life, as you receive of His goodness and love. You are Blessed. Now go…and Be a Blessing!

©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

"Even Though God Already Knows"

Reflections4Life August 24th, 2014
“Even Though God Already Knows”
“I love the Lord, because He hears my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.” Psalm 116:1-2 NASB
Scripture Contemplation: Genesis 3:5; Joshua 22; Job 28; Psalm 44; 69; Luke 16; Romans 8…
If there is one thing that I am absolutely certain of, is that confession is good for the soul. Releasing what is upon your heart and confessing to what we try so hard to keep inside, is the best thing we could ever do for ourselves spiritually, emotionally and physically.
Far too many of us are walking around like ticking time-bombs, ready to explode. Afraid that if one more thing happens in our lives, that we cannot handle or understand, we are going to lose it! Well, lose it! Explode! Get off of your chest everything that has been aching your heart, bothering your soul, and causing you pain. Tell it. Tell it all to the Father. Even though God already knows; He has been waiting for us to come to Him and “spill the beans” so to speak, so that He can bless us with the knowledge and wisdom we so desperately need to make it through this journey we call life.
I declare and decree that this week’s Reflections will be a constant source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Go to the Father. Let Him in to those places that you fear to allow others to tread. The Father already knows, but He wants you to trust Him enough to come to Him with all that is in your heart and soul; believing that He will see you through.
Yes. God already knows what we are facing, what we are going through in our lives. However, I have come to know and understand of the Father that, He is a gentleman and would never barge in where He has not been invited. He will lead us, woo us, speak to us, guide us, and make himself available to us 24/7, but He will never force Himself upon us. He desires for us to come to Him with an open and willing heart.
This is about trust. This is about establishing a sincere, intimate and honest relationship with our Creator. It’s about learning to see god for who he is, and not treat him as if He were man, and fallible. It’s learning to come to God in every situation, and allowing him to pour into us his love and wisdom.
Many of us have been let down and disappointed by many people in our lives. We have been destroyed by those who said they loved us and would take care of us. We have lost trust in humanity; in the idea of trusting anything with what resides in the deepest parts of our hearts. Let’s face it: there are many people in our lives such as, parents, spouses, children, and family that already know what is going on in our lives. They see the struggle. They see the pain we’re in. And when we seek them out for help, they do nothing. They give us excuses. Or, even worse, they exacerbate our situation, leaving us hurt and worse off than before.
Though God already knows our trials and tribulations, he wants us to come to Him. He desires for us to learn to seek Him and His counsel before we go to anyone else. He also wants us to be free. Confession truly is good for the soul.
I know first-hand what it does to one’s body when you bottle up everything and do not release the hurt, pain, and disappointment in your life. When you continue to swallow the hurt, and do not voice or let go of the stress. It eats away at your soul. It sucks the light of your spirit. It drains you mentally. And it weakens you physically.
It’s time for confession. It’s time to trust God. It’s time to be free and really start to live our lives.
Matthew 11:29-30 (NASB) 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
There is a path—two paths—before us. There is the path of life and the path of death. In our lifetime we will come upon these paths at different seasons in our lives. Sometimes we will not know until the middle of the path or near its very end which one it was. And there are times we will know exactly from the start where the path leads.
Sometimes, in our need to escape, to feel free from the pressures of this life, we will take the path that seems easier and less encumbered. However, what we cannot see is, it is a road paved with quicksand; sucking us in deeper and deeper. And even if we chose this path, there is one thing we should remember: God is always there. Waiting for us to call upon Him. To trust Him enough to love us.
Yes. God already knows. He knows about your problems. He knows about your hurts. He knows your pain and disappointments. And yes, He has the answers. But He waits for you to come to Him. He will not force Himself or His ways upon you. For it is a willing and contrite heart that He desires to come before Him. A heart that trusts, even though it cannot see the road ahead, and is filled with uncertainty; but trusts in spite of.
I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity have found permanent rest in your lives. Allow God to come into those places that you have long kept hidden from others, and at times, even yourself. Confess your all to the Father. Yes. God knows it all. But He desires for you to want Him, too. To come to Him freely, and willingly with trust, and a heart that understands that all He wants to do is love on you, and bless you as He’s always designed to do. Trust Him. The Father has just what you need. You are Blessed. No go…and Be a Blessing!

©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Reflections4Life: "Nobody Greater"

Reflections4Life August 17th, 2014
“Nobody Greater”
“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
Scripture Contemplation: 2 Samuel 5:10; 2 Chronicles 9; Esther 9; Matthew 12; Hebrews 6…
For all that we experience in this life; for all that we walk through on a daily basis, there is one fact that is abundantly clear, whether we acknowledge it or not: there is nobody greater than God.
Though there are great men and women that do wonderful works. That, have kind hearts. That, seek to better humanity on the whole…there still remains nobody greater than our God. No one that understands us better, and knows exactly what we need. And even though this is the truth, many of do not go to God when we should. We often seek God as a last resort, when we realize no one else can help.
I declare and decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. When you are faced with the inevitable trials of this life, seek first the Kingdom of God. Go to the Father before you dare go anywhere else. Allow Him to lead you, and do for you what no other can do.
Why do we insist on seeking the counsel of so many others before we seek the counsel of God? Out of habit, many of us seek the help of those around us before we ever attempt to go to God, and allow Him to lead us in the direction we should go. If we did, we would save ourselves not only time, but also friendships, relationships, and headaches!
In all honesty, I believe that many of us lack complete trust in the Father. For whatever reason, we do not trust in God the way we should, and allow Him access to every area of our lives. Perhaps we feel that God does not hear us. Or, because we may have not received an answer to a prayer before, that God will not aid us this time. Whatever the reasons may be, we often do not take our concerns to God, but to those around us only to find ourselves in a worse situation than when we began.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG) “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.”
Beloveds, more than anything God desires to lead us in on a path that will bring us directly to His ordained life for us. That promise that He has spoken over our lives. But we must trust God enough to get us there. To believe in our hearts and minds, that no matter what we face in this life, that we can go to Him and seek His counsel and trust that He will lead us, where man would mislead.
We must place our trust God. Trust in His love for us. Trust in what He has planned for us. Have faith in the Father. For God knows exactly what we need, and how we need to get where it is He has planned for our lives.
When we are faced with the many trials and obstacles in our life, there is only one who can truly bring us to the place of understanding…God. Though the Father may lead us to people that will aid us in our journey, the Father is still the One to seek out first for direction.
There is nobody greater than our God. Nobody wiser. Nobody who has our back more than God. There is nothing that God would not do to keep us, and protect us, if we would allow God to be that strength and guide in our lives—trusting Him to lead us where we cannot see or even comprehend.
It’s not often easy when we have so many other voices in our head and influencing us to what we should do. Yet, when it’s all said and done, how often do you realize that when you went to God, that you found your answer? That, when you looked, the answer was always before you? Our greatest frailty in humanity is the inability to trust what our eyes and mind cannot comprehend. If we can yield our all to God, and let Him lead us where we cannot see a sure path, we will find in a path that will lead us always to place where God has ordained.
I decree the spirit of peace and prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. Beloved, no one loves you more than God. No one has your best interest more than God. Nobody knows you better than God. Nobody is greater than the Lord our God, and has you covered all around. Trust Him. Believe Him. Make God your first stop and not your last stop. You are Blessed. Now go…and Be a Blessing!

©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

"Our Refuge in the Storm"

Reflections4Life August 10th, 2014
“Our Refuge in the Storm”
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 NASB
Scripture Contemplation: Ezra 8; Psalm 5; Psalm 61; Isaiah 26; 2 Thessalonians 3; 1 Peter 1…
I cannot begin to thank God enough for His strength, love, and protection. While away this past week, I found myself in a very precarious situation—totally unexpected. Things could have went horribly wrong, but I trusted in my God. Especially when He was the One who opened this particular door for me to go through.
Both a figurative and literal storm took place, and I was caught in the eye of both. Yet, I did not fear, knowing in my heart and soul that I had a refuge in the storm…Jesus. I called upon the Lord and He not only heard me, He answered and sheltered me. And here I am; another beautiful Sunday, sharing Reflections, because I trusted my Refuge in the storm; which is what God desires of you to do, also.
I declare and decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Take refuge in the arms of God while going through the storms. Many storms will come in your lifetime. And God will keep you through each and every one when you trust Him, and allow Him to be your refuge.
Refuge: shelter or protection from danger, trouble, etc.: to take refuge from a storm. 2. A place of shelter, protection, or safety. 3. Anything to which one has recourse for.
There are a host of things we will have to face in our lifetime. Situations that will have us seeking shelter and understanding. This is a part of life’s journey and the world that we live in. Storms and situations will come. Trials and troubles will happen. Yet, through it all, we have a permanent refuge in God.
The Heavenly Father desires to be our covering in the storm. He wants to be our shelter from all danger; our protection. Sheltering us under His arms. Giving us that peace of mind to walk through any and all situations that we may face in our lifetime. We just have to learn to trust Him to keep us safe; especially when so many others have failed to do so.
Psalm 121:7 “The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.”
Psalm 91:1 “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”
It is very easy to lose sight of the promises of God, or fail to recall all the many times the Lord has delivered us from certain situations, when you are faced with a brand new storm. Yet, God remains true. He is the same yesterday, today and forevermore. God will never abandon us. He will never leave us to be consumed or destroyed by the storms. Though the storms may continue to rage, we can find safety in the midst of the storm, in the arms of God.
At one time, I believed that the “eye” of the storm was the worst possible place one could be when it came to storms. I shared once before that, the eye of the storm is actually the safest place to be. As it turns out, in the eye of the storm there is peace and stillness, while everything around it is raging. It is in the eye of the storm that one is safest. God is the eye of your storm. His refuge is the safest place to be. He is your safety, your assurance, your shelter, your covering.
God will never allow a storm to destroy you, when you yield to Him and trust Him to lead you. Yes. I understand completely how difficult it may feel to trust God when everything seems to be going the opposite of what you expected. I know about the uncertainty and the fear that can grip you. I identify with the struggle to let go completely, when you can barely look pass what is right in front of you. But that’s what faith is: trusting in something that your eyes cannot physically see.
No matter what it is you are facing today; no matter what it appears to be, or how devastating a storm you are in; know in your heart, and believe that God is your best refuge in the storm. He desires to be your protector, your shelter, your deliverer. He will not allow the storms of this life to destroy you. He may not stop certain storms, because there is something to be gained and learned from each one—but He will be with you through every last one, protecting you and providing for you through it all.
I thank God for the wisdom I gained this past week—for the lessons learned. As I stood there, drenched from the downpour, and my heart navigating the inner storm; I learned just how strong my personal resolve is. The enemy couldn’t win. Not when God had already declared me victorious. I anchored myself to the Father—finding my place in the eye of the storm.
I decree that the spirit of peace and prosperity will have permanent rest in your lives. Though the storms of life can seem to rage out of control, we have a place of refuge in the Lord. He is our Anchor, who we can remain tethered to. With the certainty we will have weathered the storm, gaining a heart of strength and wisdom as never before. You are blessed. Now go…and Be a Blessing!
©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Reflections4Life: "Remember the Laughter"

Reflections4Life, August 3rd, 2014
“Remember the Laughter”
“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouting.” Job 8:21
Scripture Contemplation: Job 8; Psalm 126; Proverbs 14; Ecclesiastes 3; Luke 6…

There is so much going on in our lives. Things that we have no control over. There are situations all around us that can tear at our soul and weigh our spirit down. The last thing on our mind, or in our thoughts is to laugh. But, that is exactly what God desires us to do: Take some time to laugh.  Remember the times of laughter; for it will be your comfort.
 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 joy of the Lord to fill your soul and strengthen you. Though things may seem heavy and that there may be nothing to laugh about; take time to laugh. Take the time to open up your heart and find delight in at least one thing, and let the healing begin. Remind yourself of those things that brought merriment to your heart.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to laugh. It may feel as though there is nothing in your life to feel joy over or to laugh about. But there is, beloved. Even when we cannot see it, there is something to smile about. There is something to have joy over. And there is always something to laugh about. It’s just how you look at things.
We can take joy in the Lord. We can take joy in His promises. We can take joy in the fact that we are alive. We can take joy in the fact that there is a God, and He cares for us. Whether we understand the situations or circumstances we face, we can still have joy. We can smile with confidence that God has worked all things out concerning us. That, God will never leave us or forsake us, but will be right there to see us through. That is something to be joyful about. And when you are filled with joy, you will find that there are things that will bring laughter to your soul.
Remember the times in your when you laughed. Remember those days when your heart was light. Recall the people and things that brought laughter to your heart and soul. I definitely think there is a special place for comedians. For those who can bring laughter in the midst of sorrow and pain.
If you cannot think of a thing to laugh about, then I have a suggestion for you: Laugh at Satan! Yes. I said it! Laugh at the devil. Laugh at his lies and his attempts to defeat you when God has already declared you the winner. Laugh at his attempts to sidetrack you when you have fully yielded to Holy Spirit and are walking in the victory. Laugh at his tricky words and acts of deceits because you know that it is not you answering the door, but Jesus Himself. And when the enemy wants to remind you about your past, and discourage you about your future; then boldly remind him of his certain fate, as written in the book of Revelation. See how fast he stops laughing!
This is what I know, Beloveds; God is here for us and with us. There will always be situations in our life that will try to come and steal our joy and rob us of peace. There will be situations where there seems no plausible reason to laugh. However, we must learn how to hold on to the promises of God. We must learn to walk in the peace and rest of God, trusting Him to take care of what He said. We must teach ourselves to embrace laughter. To find those pleasant things in life and take joy in it.
For me, when someone I love passes, it is one of the most heart wrenching things, just as I know it would be with you. Yet, when I begin to think on the good of that loved one, and the times we shared together; I soon find myself laughing and remember the joy they brought into my life. I laugh at the memories, and embrace that joy and comfort that comes. Though my heart is heavy form their departure; it does not overshadow the love and laughter they brought to my life.
And beloved, this is what God wants us to remember: through all the pain and loss, remember the joy and happiness that occurs along the way. Smile at the good times. Cherish those times of laughter and joy. Because, in the end, it is those memories—of joy and laughter—that will bring you comfort and strength to move forward.
I decree that the spirit of peace and prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. Remember the times of laughter in your laugh. Draw upon those memories and allow it to bring comfort to your heart and soul. Take joy in the Lord and his promises. Don’t allow the lies and the voice of the enemy to overshadow the voice and promises of God in your life. Take joy in the Lord. And remember the laughter, always. It will be a source of strength. You are Blessed. Now go…and Be a Blessing!
©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.