Sunday, January 25, 2015

"After The Storm"

Reflections4Life January 25th, 2015
“After The Storm.”
“And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?” Matthew 16:3
Scripture Contemplation: Matthew 8; Luke 8; 1 Peter 5; Acts 27…
During a storm, we are doing all we can to make it through. Our concentration is on safety and making sure that we and those we love survive. We know that there may be damage, but we're not certain to what degree. In the storm, our vision is obscured. However, after the storm when everything is still and you and your loved ones made it through, the Sun shines brightly, leaving nothing hidden. As if to spotlight all the debris that needs to be cleared away.
I pray today’s Reflections brings comfort and peace to your heart and mind. I decree it be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. There will be much to see after a storm passes. Put your trust in God, and let Him direct your paths. Storms do come to an end. Trust God to help you navigate in the wake of the storm. For He knows exactly what you should do.

After the storm, we will find that some things are unsalvageable. It cannot be repaired or saved. There are things that are completely destroyed, that you have no other choice than to walk away from and start all over. Yet, so many of us try in vain to hold on to those broken things that we should have long let go of. We waste time trying to fix things that God says is not for us to fix.

The storms in our lives can sometimes seem like they will never end. Yet, during these storms we come to know and understand what is truly important to us. We do learn during the storms, just who we are. We learn our character and the character and disposition of others. When the storm is over, and the light is shining brightly, it will be evident what we need to do. But the question will always be: will we listen? Will we do what we need to do?

Most of us will salvage what we can. Fix what can be fixed. However, some things will not make it through. Some things and some people we will have to let go of. Not every relationship makes it through the storm. Everyone does not come through the storm the same way. And this, my Beloveds, is one of the hardest things to face. Acknowledging the change and the need to move forward and let some things and people go.

Many believe they are not strong enough. They wonder what they will do if another storm comes along. How will they survive? How will they get through it on their own? Yet, what most do not comprehend is that it is through these storms that we gain the strength that enables us to handle what God shines the light on. We will see clearly and know with certainty what needs to be done.
The hardest part, many will find, is not the storm itself, but what comes after the storm. It is often the hardest thing to do—to let go and move forward after a storm. There are remnants of what used to be; reminding of us of times past when things were good. Some will get caught up in the memory of what was to evade what is right now, because it is often painful to see the destruction and brokenness that is front of us. And easy to forget how the storms arose in the first place.
The decisions we have to make, as a result, may hurt, but it is necessary to us moving forward. Fix what can be fixed. Salvage what can be salvaged. And move on from that which cannot be either. Starting over may be scary, but it's the healthiest and wisest thing to do; especially when God has already shown you what to do.

There is life after the storm. It may be different. There may be adjustments, but God is with us through them all. The storm can actually be a blessing in disguise. There are things we may have been avoiding and purposely not seeing. Once a storm hits, there is no more hiding or evading. And after the storm, just as the sun shines brightly; what we have been avoiding will become abundantly clear.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that you are strengthened by the love and power of God in your lives today. That, His word, and promise is a balm to your wounded and weary souls. Remember: The storms come to make you strong; to make you aware of who you are and who those are around you. Pay attention and heed the voice of God. After the storm, there will be peace. Follow the instructions of God as He tells you how to navigate. You are Blessed. Now go…Be a Blessing!

©2015. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

"Stand on Your Truth"

Reflections4Life January 18th, 2015
Stand on Your Truth”
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
Scripture Contemplation:1 Samuel 12:24; Psalm 15; 25; 51; James 1; 3 John 1...

Many of us live our lives in between what we believe and the opinion of others. We give a lot of our power and self-worth to those who truly do not know us or understand us; trying to please people who are not even living their own truth or have the conviction to stand on their truth.
Stand on your truth. Be confident in who you are and what you believe. Be boldly right or boldly wrong. But never be wishy-washy concerning what's in your heart.
I pray today’s Reflections brings comfort and peace to your heart and mind. I decree it be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Stand on your truth daily. Seek the Lord, be intimate with Him, so that you can learn the truth of what's in your own heart. To know God, you know yourself. The self that He has ordained before realms of time.
Trying to please others is a full-time job that doesn't leave you much time to be yourself. God is our only judge. And He knows the secrets of our hearts. There is so much He desires for our lives, if we would have the courage to say what it is we really want, and not what we think He or anyone else wants us to say. We live in fear. Fear of what others say or think. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of being rejected. Fear of being alone.
Fear immobilizes us. It keeps us trapped in a perpetual cycle of lies. Living life, not for ourselves, but for others. Then one morning we awake to the truth that we do not recognize ourselves any longer. Our hopes and dreams long forgotten, and our lives a pale comparison of what it once was. That is not living. That is just existing. But existing for what?
Beloved, what is your truth today? What truth have you buried or forgotten? What truth have you pushed to the side so that someone else may live their lives? What about you? What about your hopes and dreams? What about your life and where God desires to take you? We cannot live the whole truth of the manifest blessings that God has ordained for our lives, if we cannot find the strength and courage to stand on our own truth, and express what it is that we desire in the sincerest parts of our hearts.
Psalm 51:6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
What's in you, Beloved? What truth(s) have been overlooked, buried, forgotten, and laid aside? We can only lie to ourselves for so long. And We can never lie to the Father. The truth is always seeking to come forth in all that we do and say. The truth will never be denied its payment. It shows up whether we are ready for it or not; sometimes in unexpected ways. And until we confront the truth, tell the truth and live our truth—we will always live a stagnated life, that is far less than what God has ordained for us.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that the spirit of truth inhabits your heart and soul, and the life God has ordained for you, become a reality. Be truthful with yourself. Stand boldly on your truth. Live authentically. Because at the end of the day, you have no one else to blame for the choices you've made. Yours is the only reflection in your mirror of truth. You are Blessed. Now go...and Be a Blessing!
©2015. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

"Reflect Upon God's Goodness"

Reflections4Life January 11th, 2015
“Reflect upon God’s Goodness”
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8
Scripture Contemplation: Psalm 81; Isaiah 63; Philippians 4…
There is so much happening in our lives, in this world, that we can become overwhelmed, bogged down, and distracted that we forget about the good things in our lives; to reflect upon God's goodness. It's fairly easy to get caught up in a spirit of complaint and to become jaded and pessimistic about life. It is quite understandable, considering the world we live in and if you watch the news at all. It is far and few between to see a story about that which is good and uplifting.
I pray today’s Reflections bring comfort and peace to your heart and mind. I decree it be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Make a determined effort to set time aside and reflect upon the goodness of our Father. Take a few moments each day and meditate on the things of God, allowing God space to rest in your heart and mind.
We need to steal away and give ourselves some quiet time to reflect; to reflect upon the blessings of our life. Whether it's one thing or a 100—take a moment to reflect, give thanks, and think on the goodness of God. Sure, there is always something we can complain about. But it is more prudent, wise, and healthy to find and reflect upon that which is good. When we think on those things...those good things, it does a wonder for our soul and spirit, our disposition.
We give this world enough of our time and mental space as it is. It would be a shame to give it our heart and the essence of who we truly are. That privilege belongs to God. Yet, it seems much easier for us to open our mouths to complain rather than praise. Yes, sometimes our problems are front and center, and we can be blinded by what is continually before us. That is why we must learn to consciously and purposefully take time out that is dedicated to centering our hearts and minds on the goodness of God; on those things in our lives that we can be thankful for.
A few years ago, someone I know, told me about a gratitude journal that they started to keep. Each night before they went to sleep, they would write down at least one thing they were grateful for that day. Sometimes it was one thing, other times a few things. But what she found is, that in her consistency to keep the gratitude journal, throughout the day she became more aware of the good things, so that she would have more to write down in her journal. It caused her to shift her focus from that which was wrong and displeasing, to that which was good and going right in her life. Whether it was the blessing of waking up, having a job or the simple pleasure and surprise of someone buying her a cup of coffee when she had no spare change.
I often speak about perception and how it determines our reality. I am of the firm belief that however we perceive things, will determine our reality. If we continue to perceive our lives and the situations that occur in them with the eyes of negativity, then our reality will only reflect that perception; a life filled with negativity, because that is all we would be able to see. Yet, if our perception was peppered with a spirit of hope and belief in the goodness of God, and we were of the persuasion that all things truly do work out for our good (Romans 8:28); then our reality would be one of hope and faith; even in the midst of disappointments and the negativity of the world we live in.
It is a conscious effort we must take in our daily life to reflect upon God’s goodness. To see the good in our lives amongst the bad. To be able to shine in the midst of darkness. To hope in the midst of sorrow. To laugh in the throes of mourning. To maintain faith in the face of adversity. We must determine to set apart the time, choosing at least one thing to think upon and thank God for, while pushing down the flesh’s natural inclination to pick at a scab and to harp on the negative things alone.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that the reality of God’s love for you will overshadow the perceptions of negativity that can exist within your life. Take the time to count your blessings and not the problems. Reflect upon God's goodness and His love for you. Be still and let the Father love you. You are blessed. Now go…and Be a Blessing.

©2015. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

"Don't Let Go of Love"

Reflections4Life January 4, 2015
“Don’t Let Go of Love”
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18
Scripture Contemplation: Song of Solomon; 1 John 4; 1 John 5…
Happy New Year! Praise God for another year of life and opportunities. I pray that this year you will be filled with much joy and happiness. May you walk in health, peace and into the greatness that God has called you to. And whatever you do—don’t let go of love. Don’t let go of God.
I pray today’s Reflections bring comfort and peace to your heart and mind. I decree it be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Let the love of God fill your soul with every breath you take. Let the Father lead you where you cannot trace Him. Allow Him to fill the cup of your heart until it is overflowing with love.
I certainly pray that this year is one that brings you to a place of courage and strength and confidence when it comes to love; especially the love of God. This past week, a couple of friends of mine got engage. From the outside, many people would probably think it was typical. A typical New Year’s Eve thing that happens to many couples. However, if you knew my friend’s story, then you would know that there was far more to be celebrated than just an engagement.
Often times we can be living our lives and things seem to be going well. They appear to be going according to plans we have in our minds. Then life happens. Unpredictable, take you by surprise, crush your soul, take your breath, life happens. And everything you thought you knew is now questionable. Everything you once believed is now suspect. Yet, God remains the same through it all.
I shared a glimpse into my past and my friendships on yesterday that I very rarely share. I was inspired and compelled to open up about some things that I had experienced. But, in order to share that story, I had to have the blessing of my dear friend. Because it is just as much his story as mine. He gave me his full support.
Long story short; tragedy came and wreaked havoc in our lives. My friend lost a love so deep and so strong, he entered the darkest nights and years of his life; not knowing if he would ever come out of it. For him, there was no more trusting in love. There was to be no more love for him. His heart was shattered and there was no way it was going to be the same ever again. His relationship with God? Over. How could he believe in a God that would allow such heartache to him and his daughter? But now He understands that God was there all along. And that love—true, sincere, unconditional love was there; healing him, his heart and mind. And preparing him for a second chance at what he’d thought he’d lost forever.
His story is not necessarily unique. I am quite sure you have a similar story. I know I do. How can we not? Loss, grief, mourning—it’s all a part of life. Just as much as happiness, joy, and peace are.
How many times in our lives have we been hurt and disappointed, believing that we would never recover. That, the pain and ache would never go away? Too many times to count. Yet, through it all, it is love that keeps us. It is love that drives us and holds us and compels us to move forward and try again.
Love is powerful. Love is strong. Love is God. Whether we recognize it or not, love is all around us waiting to be embraced, acknowledged, and accepted. There are just many of us who cannot see past the pain and despair. We’d rather hold onto anger and bitterness and blame God for all of our wrongs. The truth of the matter is, God is the answer to the hole in our hearts; to the healing that needs to take place. It is God. He is love. And we must never let go of love. No matter what.
Life can be difficult. Hitting us with unexpected situations and heartaches that we may feel we will never recover from. But life is a journey meant to be lived, with opportunities for love—true, unconditional love to be recognized, accepted, felt, and experienced.
Tragedies and loss of loved ones will occur. Yet we must learn to embrace the love we had, the love we shared, and the love that waits for us. We can’t give up on life or love. Because the truth is, it’s the only thing that keeps us human and connected to spirit. It is our saving grace.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree the love of God saturate every area of your lives, filling you until love is overflowing. May you be desperate for God; for His word, for His love, for His presence. Don’t let go of love. Don’t let go of God. You can and will make it through, for God is with you. You are so blessed. Believe it. Walk in it. And share it. Now go…be a blessing.

©2015. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.