Sunday, June 26, 2016

"Stay Awake!"

Reflections4Life™ June 26th, 2016
“Stay Awake”
“Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack.”  1 Peter 5:8
Scripture Contemplation: Psalm 17; Isaiah 50; Jeremiah 50; Mark 14; 1 Thessalonians 5; Revelation 16…

There is no doubt in my mind that we are living in precarious times. For far too long, we have taken for granted that we will have the opportunity to wake up tomorrow. That we will have another day to get things right. Another day to right our wrongs, repent, and start living right. I charge you to stay awake. Look at the signs around you. Signs telling you not only of the evil around us but signs that warn us of the enemy’s attack. And signs reminding us of Christ’s soon return.
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. Be sure to put on your armor, being prepared for whatever may come your way. Be alert and awake to the Father’s voice by staying intimate with Him. Your life is on the line.
As we look at the tragedies that have befallen the world of late, it should be no surprise that the enemy is moving rampant, seeking not only to kill, but to destroy families, people, and nations in the wake of the devastations taken place. He will not stop until he has claimed as many lives as he can. Preying upon those who remain asleep to his evil ways and attacks, and unyielding to the voice and warning of God.
Stay awake. Be alert to the signs of the times. Be aware of the plans of the enemy by staying connected to the heavenly Father. When you maintain a daily, intimate relationship with God, He will reveal to you, warn you of things on the horizon. The Holy Spirit will teach you the things you need to know. The signs to be alert for. How to recognize the spirit of the enemy at work in any given situation.
We must keep our spiritual armor on, prepared at all times for whatever the enemy may be up to. But more importantly, prepared to do whatever God tells us to do. And to move whenever He tells us to move.
Far too long, the Church has been slipping into sleep. Suffering a kind of sleep apnea, that has left the body of Christ lethargic, non-alert, tired, and a step behind the attacks of the enemy. We are unprepared and exposed to the attacks of the enemy. Not just impairing some, but taking the lives of many.
Paul admonishes us in the book of Ephesians how we should be behaving, living our lives as believers. Staying awake requires us to continue to walk and live in the path of righteousness:
Ephesians 5:11-18 11Don’t take part in doing those worthless things that are done in the dark. Instead, show how wrong they are. 12 It is disgusting even to talk about what is done in the dark. 13 But the light will show what these things are really like. 14 Light shows up everything, just as the Scriptures say, ‘Wake up from your sleep
and rise from death. Then Christ will shine on you.’ 15 Act like people with good sense and not like fools. 16 These are evil times, so make every minute count. 17 Don’t be stupid. Instead, find out what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t destroy yourself by getting drunk, but let the Spirit fill your life.
He also admonishes to keep our spiritual armor on. That we are fighting not against flesh, but a spiritual war (Satan):
Ephesians 6:10-18 10Finally, let the mighty strength of the Lord make you strong. 11 Put on all the armor that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil’s tricks. 12 We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world. 13 So put on all the armor that God gives. Then when that evil day comes, you will be able to defend yourself. And when the battle is over, you will still be standing firm. 14 Be ready! Let the truth be like a belt around your waist, and let God’s justice protect you like armor. 15 Your desire to tell the good news about peace should be like shoes on your feet. 16 Let your faith be like a shield, and you will be able to stop all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Let God’s saving power be like a helmet, and for a sword use God’s message that comes from the Spirit. 18 Never stop praying, especially for others. Always pray by the power of the Spirit. Stay alert and keep praying for God’s people.
Stay awake! Be alert! Do not forsake an intimate relationship with the Father. It is your lifeline. A relationship with our Creator is like caffeine for our souls. Keeping us ready and alert. Prepared for any given situation that the enemy tries to attack us with. And if the enemy should win a battle, we will know what to do, and not give up. Remembering that we may have lost a battle, but we have already won the war. But we can only walk in that victory, if we stay awake and in the presence of God, following His lead.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Let God lead you where you cannot trace Him. Stay awake and keep your guard up; especially when you see all the signs around you. God never allows the enemy to take us unaware. If we are awake and fellowshipping with Him, we will see and hear the warnings that He gives us. Stay awake and intimate with God, and with your spiritual armor on, always. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!

©2016. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

"Through the Eyes of Our Father"

Reflections4Life™ June 19th, 2016
“Through the Eyes of Our Father”
“You are the one who put me together inside my mother’s body, and I praise you
  because of the wonderful way you created me. Everything you do is marvelous!
  Of this, I have no doubt.” Psalm 139:13-14
Scripture Contemplation: Psalms 139; Malachi 1:6; Luke 11; Ephesians 6; Hebrews 12…

I take this time to extend my gratitude to each and every father that has held up the banner of fatherhood by doing their best. Though you are not perfect, and mistakes have been and will be made—it is your heart, so filled with love that encourages and inspires me. I salute you and pray God’s continued blessings upon your life. Happy Father’s Day!
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. It is my fervent prayer that you will begin to see yourself through the eyes of God. May any blinders be removed this week, as you seek the face of God and His divine will for your life. See what God sees and embrace what He already ordained for your life.
I am of the belief that if we could all see ourselves through the eyes of our Father, we would not only understand how much God truly loves us but how strong and capable we truly are. That, there is not one thing we cannot handle with not only the knowledge that God is on our side but with His perception of who we are.
I don’t believe most of us even know—let alone believe—how the Lord God sees us. We have a bad habit of attributing our thoughts and ways to that of God. We—perhaps unintentionally—place God on the level of man when it comes to relationships and how He sees and treats His creation. We could not be further from the truth.
Oh, Beloved. If we would only believe even a millimeter of how God sees us; our lives would be changed forever. There would be no stopping us. Each day would be a barrier-breaking day. A day in which we truly stepped into the realm of Holy Spirit and fully recognized our power, and that we certainly and indeed can do all things through Him who strengthens us.
Perhaps you do not know the love that our Lord hoards towards you. Maybe you have become lax in your senses and are blocked from seeing or even believing what God says of you. That you are wonderfully and fearfully made in His image. That He loved you so much He gave His only Son for our lives. That He created in you a new thing, and will guide you through the completion of what He has placed in your heart. That He has an expected end for you. To see you prosperous and whole in every area of your life.
The Father loves you, Beloved. He does not see you as you are—undone, with many faults and flaws and idiosyncrasies. No. He sees you as righteous, whole, complete, and shining the light of His perfect glory residing within you and over you.
My father believed in me. He told me I would do and accomplish great things. That I would be successful in every area of my life. I didn’t question him. It was my father, after all. The love of my life. (And yes; I am unequivocally and shamelessly a Daddy’s girl!J)  I never questioned his love and belief in me. So, how much more should I take God’s word concerning me? God, the Father, the Creator, the One who shaped and formed me and breathed His breath into my body and gave me life. The One who sacrificed His Son just so I may have life eternally. The One who sees what I cannot see; Who operates outside the realm of time. The One who say be, and it is?
Beloved, God makes no mistakes. He sees you in a way that defies our human logic. He sees us as a complete work. He does not see us as we are, but who were are to be: whole and complete in Him. Oh, if we could look through the eyes of our Father more often, and believe what He sees, we would be free from so much unnecessary heartache and tension; worrying about nothing. We would be free to soar as eagles and walk in the realm of blessings that are manifested each and every day. Don’t you want that? Don’t you want to be free and walk with the knowledge that God has of you?
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Spend quality, intimate time in the presence of God. Allow Him to reveal to you what He says concerning you. Learn His ways and allow His perception and truth of you, become the vision you hold onto as you navigate your life’s journey. See yourself, once and for all, through the eyes of our Father. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing.

©2016. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

"It's Time to Live Again!"

Reflections4Life™ June 12th, 2016
“It’s Time to Live Again!”
He then told me to say: Dry bones, listen to what the Lord is saying to you, ‘I, the Lord God, will put breath in you, and once again you will live. I will wrap you with muscles and skin and breathe life into you. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’” Ezekiel 37:4-6 CEV
Scripture Contemplation: Job 22; Psalm 19; Psalm 51; Ezekiel 37; Joel 2…

How long will you mourn the past and missed opportunities? How long will you regret the mistakes and failures? How long will you allow the things said and done to you hold you hostage? How long will you remain bound to the death that resides in the past? How long, Beloveds? It’s time to live again.
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. God has something mighty special for you, Beloved. He has much to give to you today and each day that follows if you will allow Him to. Let this week be a week of revelation to your heart, mind, and soul. Allow the breath of God to breathe into every area of your life you have given up on, and thought was dead.
I had the opportunity to read a wonderful word of prophecy this week, using the Scripture on, “Dry Bones”. It resonated so deeply with my soul that I should have recognized it was preparing me for something to come. That, it was also a reminder of what God wanted me to do.
I cannot lie—this past year and a half, has been disappointment after disappointment for me. So much pain, hurt, loss, strife. I know it has only been by the grace of God that I am still here. That I am alive. But that’s the blessing and the curse: to be alive but not living. Oh, Beloved, you cannot possibly begin to fathom how much that hurts me to say. But I cannot and will never lie to you. I will never write you something that I have not or am not dealing with, or God has not ordained for me to share. When I woke up this morning, Ezekiel 37 was burning in my heart and soul. Here it was, 5:00 AM. I could not sleep because my mind was overcome and heavy from things that not only occurred yesterday but a culmination of the past four years.
Everything came crashing down on me, heavy upon my heart and mind. I literally felt its weight in my chest and on my shoulders. Like a boulder was on top of me, trapping me, pinning me to the bed while my heartache increased and the tears began to flow and I cried out to God like I have not done in a very long while. Yes. I pray. Everyday. Every night. I pray for others. Yet, I openly admit the prayers for myself have been lack. More on a repeat button that could be recited in my sleep. That’s not God. Nor is that what He wants for us. He doesn’t want us to just be alive, living day to day like a program we are completing. To be alive but not present. Harboring and holding onto hurts from the past. Stuck in a place where no matter how much you work or achieve something, there is no joy. The father doesn’t just want us alive, He wants us living. Living life to the fullest. Living our purpose, fulfilling our dreams and visions.
God is well aware of our trials and tests. He is well acquainted with our griefs and our scars that seem to hold us hostage. He is well aware of our valley of dry bones where our dreams and visions and spirit of hope lie dormant. They’re not dead. They lie dormant waiting for us to speak the word of God over them. Waiting for us to speak life into them once again. Waiting for us to remember them, seek them, see them, believe in them once gain.
Oh, Beloveds, there is a valley full of our hopes and dreams, our plans and visions that we have subconsciously given up on. That, we have allowed—for whatever reason—to dry up and not be vital any longer. The reasons really no longer matter. It is the past now. All of it can be behind us if we let it. We have right now, Beloved. Today. The gift of the present. Though God has plans for our future. Though we may see the future; all we really have is right here and right now. And what we do and believe about today will profoundly affect what occurs or does not occur tomorrow.
It is time to live again. It is time to be present and actively living. If you want to be healed, to be made whole, to give and receive the best, to walk in the sure promises of God, then we are going to have to live again, and not just be alive. And be willing to be vulnerable with a teachable spirit, with God guarding your heart.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You, for another day of life. Not just to be alive, but to be living, on purpose with purpose. Father God, there are many of us that have suffered so much heartache and pain recently. We have suffered so much that we have allowed our hopes and dreams and visions to fall asleep. To lay dormant amongst the valley of dry bones. Today, Lord, I humbly come before you and ask for your breath of life. For you to breathe into those dry and dead places in our lives that we thought were gone. Yes, Lord, we gave up. Some of us gave up and didn’t recognize it. We have just been alive but not living. We have allowed our past, people, things, and hurts and disappointments to stop us from reaching, believing, and living the life you have ordained for us. No more, Father. No more lack will we accept in our lives. No more will we be satisfied with just being alive. No, Father. We desire to live. We desire to be made whole, spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially. Lord, we speak to the dry bones in our lives. We speak to our forgotten dreams and visions. We speak to our bodies, our minds, and souls, and we command them to live, in Jesus’ name. We thank You, Lord, for breathing life into our dry bones. We thank You, for Your hand upon us, as You fulfill our promises in our lives. We are here, Lord. We give our heart and soul to You. We place our trust in You; even when we can’t trace you. In Jesus’ name, we pray and stand in agreement with. Amen. Amen. Amen.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. It’s time to speak to our dry bones. It’s time to tell them to live once again, so we can be alive and living in our purposes and blessings. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing.
©2016. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

"Lasting Impressions of Impact"

Reflections4Life™ June 5th, 2016
“Lasting Impressions of Impact”
“The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.” Proverbs 20:7
Scripture Contemplation: Genesis 20; 1 Kings 9; Job 2; 9; Psalm 7; 25; 26; Proverbs 11; 19…

If your last breath were taken today, what kind of a lasting impact do you think you would leave behind? What would be your legacy? What would people say about you? What would you be remembered for? Whether we know it or not; whether positive or negative—we leave an impact upon the people we come across each day, having a lasting impression.
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. May your intimate time with our Creator bring you revelation, encouragement, and inspiration. Allow God’s impact on your life filter into your relationships, leaving a dynamic and lasting impression of grace, mercy, and love.
We leave lasting impressions wherever we go; whether they are good impressions or bad. Some leave a lot to be desired. Some leave forgettable impressions. Others are unforgettable and leave long lasting impressions that have had an impact on the lives of others. Some for the better. Some for the worse.
What will your impact be? What kind of impression will you leave behind? Will it be an impactful lasting impression that brings about fond memories and lessons that are still inspiring long after you are gone? Or, will it be one of caution—lessons on how NOT to be?
I desire to leave a legacy that will continue to impact lives for generations to come. I am not just living for today. I am living for eternity. I want those who hear my name, see and read my work long after I am gone, to be so impacted that their lives are changed. That they are encouraged and inspired to be and do their very best. That they are encouraged to go on and give their best, even when they feel discouraged. But to know and understand that they are in this world not just for self, but to serve one another. To love each other.
How many people in your life have had that kind of a lasting impression on your life? What kind of impact have they made in the way in which you live your life? I have a few people who have had that kind of impact upon my life. My Grams was one of those persons.
Today would have been my Grams 84th birthday. It is still hard for me to believe that she has been gone from this earth for fourteen years. It still sometimes feels like yesterday. Yet, she still remains to have a profound influence over my life; over the decisions that I make; an impact on how I see things and interact with certain people. Her impact on my family’s life stretched far and wide. I can honestly day that she left an unforgettable legacy. A legacy that continues to impact the lives of not only my immediate family, but those we come in contact with, have relationships with, and those my Gram herself mentored and mothered.
If I only reach a tenth of the kind of impact that she has had on the lives of so many—then I will be satisfied with the life that I have lived. My Grams left a legacy rich in love, kindness, forgiveness, and generosity. If you were to ask me what the greatest lesson she ever taught was; I’d have to say it was how to be a giver. To give unconditionally, unselfishly, and ungrudgingly. Whether it was advice, food, clothes, time, her listening ear, advice, a haircut, or her unconditional love—your life was never the same afterward. Her legacy lives on in her children and her grandchildren and even her great-grandchildren. We are an extension of her. Of who she was, what she believed, and what she loved. And that’s the kind of Impactful lasting impressions that I aspire to have in life also.  
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. What will your legacy be? What kind of a lasting impression are you making while walking this earth? What will people say of you? What will they remember? Inspire to be the kind of person that leaves people yearning for your presence, and basking in the light of your memory and legacy. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing.

©2016. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.