Sunday, September 28, 2014

"Who Are You Breaking Bread With?"

Reflections4Life September 28, 2014

“Who Are You Breaking Bread With?”
“Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart…” Acts 2:46 (NASB)
Scripture Contemplation: Psalm 23; Jeremiah 16; Lamentations 4; Matthew 15; Luke 24…
It is a pleasure when you find someone you can connect with on different levels. It is wonderful to be able to invite people to sit at your table and break bread with. Yet, we must be discerning. Not everyone who appears to be for, love us, or likes us really do. Sometimes some wolves in sheep clothing sneak in. Trust God to point them out. Breaking bread with God first, will equip you with the knowledge of whom to share your "loaves" with!
I declare and decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. There is so much that the Father desires to share with us. And there is much that we need to know, understand, and learn that can only be done at the table of the Lord. Take the time to break bread with the Lord first, so that He may fill you and direct your path concerning your life’s journey and who you invite along to travel with you.
How many times have we regretted things that we may have shared with people we thought were for us and with us, only to be betrayed? I have a few of those stories I could share. There is a part of every human heart that desires to connect with others; a desire to share our hopes and dreams and the deep things of our hearts. Those secret things that not everyone is privy to. Unfortunately, many of us have also experienced the sting of betrayal because we trusted the wrong person(s), gave a level of trust that was too high for who they were.
We must learn and understand that not everyone we break bread with has our back, or the best intentions towards us. Not everyone is truly for us as they have led us to believe. And when we discover truth about who and what they are, it can be devastating. Betrayal is one the harshest stings to experience. It pierces the heart and has destroyed many lives.
The spirit of discernment is paramount when inviting someone to sit at our table. There are some that we have discerned correctly in the beginning stages of the relationship. But as with many other things, people change. And sometimes that once dear friend, colleague, or even family member is no longer that friend or loved one at your table; but now an enemy.
If there is one thing I have learned during my journey of life, is that people change all the time. That, sometimes—unbeknownst to them—a spirit of jealousy has taken up residence. And when that spirit of jealousy enters, it changes the dynamics of a relationship.
In our lifetime, betrayal and jealousy is inevitable because of the world we live in. Disappointment, broken trust, shattered relationships will occur; even to the sweetest and nicest of persons. However, our hearts can be protected when we yield and trust in God first, and completely.
Make God’s table your first table. Break bread with the Father daily. Sit in His presence and allow Him to feed you and fill you with His love and wisdom. Spending time in the presence of the Lord will help you to discern not only who you should break bread with, but also who in your life you may have to pull back from, and should be uninvited from your table.
It is lovely and sometimes thrilling when we connect with someone and invite them to sit at our table, as we break bread and fellowship. It is a wonderful feeling when you connect with someone that seems to understand you, and you both seem on one accord, and you no longer feel alone is this journey called life. However, we must always use discretion and open to the leading of Holy Spirit, so we will know and properly discern when a wolf has entered and when someone has changed.
I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. In this lifetime we will experience betrayal and disappointments. Yet, when we sit at our Father’s table, breaking bread with our Shepherd; He will show us who we can trust. In fact, He will bring those who should be in our lives to us, and remove those who should be removed. Trust God, and before you break bread, discern correctly who is sitting at your table. You are Blessed. Now go…and Be a Blessing!
©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.



Sunday, September 21, 2014

"Faith Leads to a Heart of Trust"

Reflections4Life September 21st, 2014

“Faith Leads to a Heart of Trust”

“And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen.” Matthew 21:21

Scripture Contemplation: Genesis 22; Matthew 6; 17; Hebrews 11; James 1…

There are times in life when we are thrown a fast ball—where circumstances in life will hit us quickly and unexpectedly, taking us off guard. And sometimes knocking us off course. Some of us will lose faith, and many of us will lose trust. It doesn’t take great faith for us to begin to believe again. But it takes much more for us to develop trust. Have the courage to step out on faith, and allow God to build your trust.

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 you may have been taken off guard in the past, and though you may have lost faith and trust—incline your ear to the Lord and follow His lead. Let the Father heal you, and give you what you need so you can get to the place where your heart is abundant in faith and trust.

Faith has always been key in my life. It has been faith that allowed me to tread places where others would probably never go. It has been because of my faith that I dare to do and believe for things that seem impossible to the human mind, but very possible to our loving God. It is no doubt in my heart and mind that God has blessed me with the gift of faith. It is far beyond just having faith the size of a mustard seed…it is the kind of faith that will believe and hold on even after everyone has let go and gone. It’s the kind of faith that will trust wholeheartedly in the word of my God, and see the dead be resurrected without of hint of hesitation or doubt.

At twelve years old, I had an encounter with faith. You’re probably wondering: how does one have an encounter with faith? Well, let’s just say it was my “road of Damascus” moment, in which God blessed me with the gift of faith and changed my life forever.

The prominent wall in the living room was painted black. I was sitting in a chair opposite that particular wall when I noticed something in the top left corner. At first, I thought it was a glare from the light in the hallway. However, when I turned the light off it was still there. Written in bold block letters, about three feet wide and two feet high was the word: FAITH. I rubbed my eyes, it was still there. I touched the wall, it was still there. But what really pushed me over was the fact that no one else in the house could see it. Only me.

Why on earth was I seeing this? What did it possibly mean? It meant everything. I wasn’t scared, but I was definitely shaken. Then I was in wonderment and awe. Then I started crying. I was saved when I was seven years old. Yet, I had a relationship with God way before that. Seeing faith written on the wall took me to another level. That day changed my life forever. From my bedroom I could see the wall and faith staring back at me. It was still there until I closed my eyes well past midnight. In the morning I was gone, but had become etched on the walls of my heart and embedded in my soul and spirit.

That one day changed my life forever. Faith has been an integral part of all that I do. Have there been times when I wanted to give up, not believe, and have had some doubts? Most certainly. But it has always been faith that wins out. I just cannot let go—no matter what things look like—of faith. Even if it is mustard sized, I can’t let go. Because faith has carried me and kept me. My faith in God. My belief that He will do just what He said, regardless to whom or what.

It has been my faith that has led me to trust. I don’t trust many people, but I do trust God. And even in trusting God, I can admit to faltering at times. Because in order to trust God with all your heart, you have to learn to let go completely. You have to be able to have faith in what He says and leap into the unknown, believing that God will not fail you.

Faith has paved my way for trust in God. Where I have faith in God doing just what He said; I had to learn to trust Him where I couldn’t trace Him. To, trust Him without knowing the plan. To have complete trust in Him by letting go and letting Him.

It’s a hard thing when trust has been broken. Because once trust is broken, it is the hardest thing to repair. You don’t know who you can truly count on. And everyone’s word becomes suspect. But, when you place your trust in God, and take your hands off a situation; He will let you know who you can trust. And the awesome thing is: God doesn’t require you to put trust in man, but to put your trust in Him. And to be confident in your faith.

Let me say this—and maybe it will help you to understand clearly the connection between faith and trust—Abraham had complete faith in the promises of God. He believed the father when He told him he would be a father of many nations. Even when God told him to sacrifice Isaac—he had faith. But his faith made room for him to trust God. For certain, Abraham didn’t know the course that God was taking. Did not understand this turn of events. It didn’t make sense to his human mind and reasoning. However, his years of faith in God, made room for his trust in God. To do exactly what Jehovah asked of him; trusting God when he did not know His complete plan.

I love the movie Man of Steel. There’s a scene where Clark Kent is talking to a minister, and he says he doubts he can trust the people not to turn on him. The minister says to him as he’s walking away: “Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith first. The trust part comes later.” How true is that? We must first have faith, then trust will come later. Faith is the substance that builds the bridge to trust. Have faith in God, and trust Him to do just what He said.

I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. Sometimes it is the hardest thing to see past the moment, the day, or the situation. It is our act of faith that will lead us to a heart of trust. How can you not trust a God who loved His creation to enough to redeem us from ourselves? To give us the ultimate gift of Christ, knowing that He would be rejected, but knowing His Blood would save us? Only our God. Trust Him where you can’t trace Him. Let your faith speak for you. You are blessed. Now go…be a blessing!

©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

"Detoxifying Your Life"

Reflections4Life, September 14th, 2014
“Detoxifying Your Life”
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (NASB)
Scripture Contemplation: 2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 51; Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 15:33;           2 Corinthians 7:1…
There are times in our lives when we must take a step back, stand still and evaluate who and what are in our lives, and the purpose they are serving. Not everything and everyone in our lives are good for us and the path that God has ordained for us. Even those things and people that seem good, seem right, seem to be working out; could be the very thing that is stalling us, keeping us from moving forward in the life that God has ordained for us.
There comes a time when we must detoxify our lives; purge ourselves of the things that have been poisonous to our lives, our goals, and our vision. Sometimes it is not what we are doing that’s wrong, sometimes it’s the people, places and things we have surrounded ourselves with.
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 Father to lead you and show you the places in your life that need detoxification. Let Him lead you through the process, so you can be ready to receive the abundance that God has ordained for your life.
Life can throw us some hardballs and twisted curveballs. One moment we can be riding high, and the next, we are down and out for the count. Yet, one thing remains the same: God’s love for us, and His wisdom and instruction that never fails.
With our life’s journey come many ups and downs, along with bumpy rides and rocky roads. However, if we will yield to the Father’s instructions we will be able to navigate the storms and trials of this life and be the better for them.
Along our life’s journey, mistakes and missteps will occur. We will sometimes trust in the wrong people, go the wrong way, get stuck in a place, and fumble at times. Yet, it is nothing that we cannot overcome and get through, as long as we follow what God is telling us to do.
I have learned in my journey that it is not necessarily what one is doing that’s wrong or stalling the process of our reaching our destination. No. Sometimes it is the people, places, and things we have surrounded our lives in. Not everything is good for us. Not every person has good intentions towards us. Not every place is the right place to see our visions come to pass.
We must be intimate with the Lord, seeking His will daily, and following His instructions so that we know what we should do if we ever find ourselves in a place of stagnation. The solution can be as simple as moving, changing a routine, or letting some people go.
Many of us do not even know this, but our lives have been clogged with poison. There are toxins that must be purged from our lives in order for us to move forward and receive the full manifestations of the blessings of God.
Far too many of us hang on to people when God has told us to separate ourselves from them. There are places we have stayed when God has spoken to our hearts and told us to move on. There are things in our lives that God has told us to let go of, and we haven’t. Obedience unto God will save us unnecessary sacrifices down the road.
One of the things I know for certain is that not everyone is meant to go where I am going. Not everything I have is meant for the next level. And not every place I reside is the place for me to grow and move forward. There are people I must separate from. Things I have to let go of. And places I need to move away from, if I truly desire to walk in the ordained life God has for me and mine.
No. it’s not easy. Especially when you have become attached to certain people, places and things. Don’t get it twisted: there may be nothing wrong with the people, places or things. They may very well be good people, great places, and helpful things. HOWEVER, they are not good for the plan that God has ordained for YOUR life. Sometimes we cannot see the problem, because we are not looking through the eyes of God. This is where we must trust God where we cannot trace Him. This is where we must believe in God with or whole hearts, even when we may not understand…yet.
Beloved, it’s time…it’s time to move forward into the promises of God for our lives. And part of moving forward is learning to let go and truly walk in faith. In order for you to get to that next level, and to be where God has called you to be, then you must be willing to accept the truth about some things, and have a willing heart to do as God has ordained.
I decree that the spirit of peace and prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. Stagnation is a sure sign that a detoxification must take place in your life. Allow God to lead you through the purging process. Follow His instructions; even if it means walking away from some people, moving from certain places, and letting some things go. Remember: whatever you have to give up only pales in comparison to what God wants to give you. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!

©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

"About Yesterday"

Reflections4Life September 7th, 2014
“About Yesterday…”
“Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past.  Behold, I will do something new. Now it will spring forth…” Isaiah 43:18-19a (NASB)
Scripture Contemplation: Isaiah 42; 43; 2 Corinthians 5; Colossians 3; Revelation 21…
Whatever is going on in your life right now—be assured that God is doing a new thing. However, you will never be able to see, understand or recognize it, if you are too preoccupied about yesterday. It’s time to let some things go so that you can make room for what God has for you right now.
I declare and decree that this week’s Reflections is a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. There is so much that the Father wants to reveal to you; so much He wants to do in your life. Yield to His love and covering this week. Open your heart and receive all that God has been longing to give to you.
Yesterday I had a blast! I celebrated my birthday and I truly enjoyed myself. This particular birthday, I felt a different current working through the atmosphere. A different kind of excitement. I am grateful for another year of life. Although everything was not as I desired; I was blessed nonetheless, because I trusted the Father to keep His promises. And I concentrated on the good and didn’t allow the sadness of the past dictate the happiness of my present or future. I am truly blessed and thank the Father for a new year of His grace, mercy, love, direction, and supernatural happening in my life! Thank You, Lord!!!!
There is so much that we miss out on in life today because our focus is continually on yesterday: What happened yesterday…Who did what to you on yesterday…What didn’t go right yesterday…What you didn’t get yesterday…And so on, and so on. We miss many opportunities that God has placed before us today.
Often times, fear is a part of yesterday. Because yesterday did not happen the way we desired, or something bad happened yesterday—we have a fear of moving forward or hoping in today. Fear can immobilize you; keep you from moving forward in the promises of God. We can become fearful of ever trying again or stepping out in faith on the path that God has ordained for us. Faith and fear cannot operate together. We’re either walking in one or the other but never both.
It is time, Beloveds. It is time to move forward and into the new things that God has ordained for your life. It is time to stop pondering on the former things, and allow Holy Spirit to lead you into the path of today and the promises of God being manifested in your life.
Aren’t you tired of carrying those old bags? Aren’t you tired of fighting that same old fight? Aren’t you tired of feeling like you are missing out on something? Aren’t you tired of not living life to the fullest? God is waiting on you to decide if you truly want what He has already promised and done for you.
Isaiah 43:16-19 (The Message Bible) “This is what God says, the God who builds a road right through the ocean, who carves a path through pounding waves the God who summons horses and chariots and armies—they lie down and then can’t get up; they’re snuffed out like so many candles: “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.”
Amen!!!! I don’t know about you but that makes me excited! It not only makes me excited but gives me hope and strengthens my faith in the God that I served; knowing and understanding that my Father has already made a path for me to walk on that will lead me to an expected end. That, through the harshest of places and the roughest of times, God is doing something brand new just for me. And all I have to do is let go of the past and what didn’t work, and who did whatever, and follow what God is saying right now!
Yes. It can be difficult to let go of the past; to not dwell upon what has taken place when you are currently dealing with the aftermath of what took place in the past. However, yield to the Father. Give it all to God. Do not keep going over what was and what didn’t take place or what someone did. Be alert and present. Be in the here and now, and allow God to lead you to the place He has long ordained for you.
I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. Let the Father’s healing consume you—reaching every barren, hollowed and hurting place. Let God do that new thing in you, and bring you to a place of rest and completion. He loves you and has already ordained a path that is filled with hope, love, faith, and greatness. You are Blessed. Now go…and Be a Blessing!
©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.