Sunday, September 25, 2016

"Whom Do You Love? Are You for Sure?"

September 25, 2016
REFLECTIONS4LIFE™
“Whom Do You Love? Are You For Sure?”
“Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others. Isn’t always “me first”. Doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything.
Trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 MSG
Scripture Contemplation: Luke 15; John 15; 1 Corinthians 13…

Whom do you love? Are you for sure? Do you love them in a way that lifts them up, or that tears them down? How do you know it is love that you are feeling? Maybe it is not love but infatuation. We use that word love an awful lot. Have you really stopped to think about its meaning? What love really means? What love really is? Who Love is?
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; bringing peace and revelation to your heart, mind, and soul. God is love. He is the ultimate definition of love. Spend some intimate and quality time this week in the Father’s presence, soaking up all the goodness and love that can only be found in a relationship with Him. You have nothing to lose but everything to gain.
When you tell someone you love him or her, what are you really saying? What do you mean? Is it unconditional or conditional love? Sometimes we get it twisted.
To love someone unconditionally, you do not count their faults, flaws, and mistakes, then turn around and use it against them. It means that you know they are flawed and not perfect, yet you love them in spite of and decide that you want to share a life with them, accepting them just as they are and willing to grow with them and see where the journey of life takes the both of you.
Conditional love puts limits and conditions on our love. It says that if you do x, y, and z, then I will withhold a, b, and c, along with my love. You use love as a punishment; withholding affection until you are satisfied with the other person's actions. Conditional love says that there are certain conditions that must be met before you will give or show love to the other person.
Often times we believe our love is unconditional until a situation takes place or a person disappoints us and we are exiting the relationship, rushing into new ones, only to find ourselves repeating past behaviors.
Unconditional love is risky, requiring vulnerability. Many of us would rather hold on to the old wounds, allowing them to dictate our behavior and measure of love in all of our relationships.
Too many people say, "I love you" and do not know what they are talking about. They get unconditional and conditional twisted…leaving people hurt, angry, wounded, and jacked up for the next relationship, and finding it hard to love themselves.
Know and understand this: If you are not ready to be vulnerable, to give your all, to take risks, to accept people for who they are and where they are at in life at this time, then do not commit and do not say you love them. Moreover, whatever you do, do not marry them. Unconditional love requires a lot, especially vulnerability and acceptance. Think on it.
Who could be more vulnerable than God could? Here we are, His beloved creation, made in His image, and we ignore God. We reject Him. Our actions are sometimes anything but love. Yet, God has not given up on us. Our Heavenly Father, Knower of all things, especially our hearts and what we are going think before the thoughts come, knew that sending His only begotten Son would save many, but many would still reject it—reject Him.
God is love, Beloved. He is the embodiment of love. What love is, what it looks like, feels like, sounds like, tastes like…all God. We can exchange the name of God in our conversations like this: I God you. I will God you forever.
Beloved, when you tell someone you love them, think about what you mean, and what you would want it to mean when someone says they love you. If you are not, ready to love unconditionally; to accept someone for who they are right now, then do not make that commitment until you are certain, and are ready, until you can allow yourself to be vulnerable. Because loving someone is not always easy. It takes some sacrifice and compromise at times, and a certain strength and fortitude to forge ahead in love at times. Just remember: with God in you and all around you, you cannot lose with love, only gain.
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. Allow the true, sincere, unconditional love of God to not only penetrate your heart and mind but also allow it to lead you throughout each day; guiding and strengthening you in the ways of His kind of love, a love that this world so desperately needs more of. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!

©2016. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, September 19, 2016

"You Already Are"

#MondayInspiration
"You Already Are"
Do you believe me when I tell you that everything
©Ruthe McDonald.
you need to become the person you already are, is already residing in you? It's true. What part are you having trouble with? The part that says it's already residing in you? Or, 'the person you already are'? Let's look at that first, shall we?
The person God created you to be? That person you want to be? That person who totally has their ish together and are whole and confident in themselves? Yes. That person. THEY. ALREADY. EXIST. INSIDE. OF. YOU. The person you will yet be is already waiting within. Waiting to emerge, to be birthed, to be born, to be recognized and given permission to come forth. When God formed us in our mother's womb, He created us whole and complete. He created as He sees us—in His image, Flawless, full of wonder and splendor, and whole in our heart, mind, and soul.
Everything we need to birth this part of us? Everything we need to bring them forth? It is already residing in us. All we have to do is believe it. Trust God on this journey of life, as He reveals to us everything that He has hidden within us.
Why is it hidden? Because, when we come into this world, we're not ready for the magnificence of the person we're yet to be. It would overwhelm us. We need to grow and learn and most of all, come to God, on our own, developing a relationship with Him. Every day is an opportunity for us to allow ourselves to become who God created us to be. Some of us are scared, afraid to seek that part of us because we're afraid that they don't really exist. Oh! We exist, Beloved. YOU exist! Each trial and test we go through in this life—believe it or not—brings us closer to who we already are. Our true, authentic, God designed us finally coming forth.
You're still here because you have not given up. That part of you; the person you already are, will not let you give up. They're waiting their turn. When they finally emerge, it will be like: What took me so long?
Blessings!
©Ruthe McDonald
#REFLECTIONS4LIFE™

Sunday, September 18, 2016

"Why Are We Jealous?"

September 18, 2016
REFLECTIONS4LIFE™
“Why Are We Jealous?”
“You lust and do not have. You murder, covet, and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.” James 4:2
Scripture Contemplation: Joshua 24:19; Psalm 79:5; Proverbs 27:4; Galatians 5; James 4…

There is never a need for jealousy when you are secure and confident in what God has spoken concerning your life. The wicked will always seem to prosper when God is shaping and aligning you with His promises for your life. However, we must not allow the spirit of jealousy space into our hearts and minds, as it will cloud our judgment and make us miss what God desires to do in our lives.
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; bringing peace and revelation to your heart, mind, and soul. There is much more that resides in you than you probably realize. The only way to discover it is to be in connection with the heavenly Father. Work on your intimate relationship with God this week. Begin again and allow God to reveal to you the heart of the matter, and all that He has placed inside of you.
Why Are We Jealous? God has blessed every one of us with a measure of talents and gifts. He has created us equal, even if man divides us by skin tone, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and physicality. Though we do similar things, have the same kind of job, have the same talents—we are unique. In that, God designed us individually.
Why, Beloved, are we jealous of others—of their talent, gifts, anointing? Why do we covet what another man or women has, and seek to not just have what they have but to take what they have, in some cases? Why do we spend our time in a spirit of jealousy when we can be developing the gifts and talents that God has placed in us?
God designed us to go after what we desire in a manner that we work diligently and smartly. He intended for us to create and be ingenious and develop the gifts and talents that lay dormant in so many of us.
Perhaps some of us were robbed growing up; robbed of a sense of pride. Robbed of knowing what we are capable of because we never were told or encouraged. Our gifts and talents never nurtured or even recognized. There are so many reasons that many become adults, and still do not know what lies in them. What kind of talent and gifts lay dormant, waiting to be aroused?
There is no need for anyone to be jealous of anyone else's gifts or talents or success. The truth of the matter is we can accomplish the same things. We do not have to wish we were like someone or had the opportunities they have had, or were born rich like some others.
No, Beloved. Everything you need to be successful; to be wealthy; to live your life in such a manner that you exceed even your own expectations?—it is all in you, waiting to be recognized, awakened, and tapped into. The only way to accomplish this is to know God. When you know God, Beloved, you begin to know who you are, and the purpose He has ordained for your life.
We waste much time coveting what someone has when we can be developing what God has already placed in us that needs to be developed and tended to. Besides, what do we really know about another person’s life and how one has gotten where one is? Do you know the cost of their journey? Do you know what they had and have to deal with each day to be who they are? Do not be so quick to covet and be jealous of what others appear to have when you do not know the cost of their journey and what it took them to be the person you are just now seeing. Some things appear to happen overnight. When in all actuality, it has been a long and arduous road for many.
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. Be happy with who you are and excited for your journey. God has uniquely designed you and molded you for a life of not just greatness, but to do what only you can do. Though there may be similarities amongst others, there will only ever be just one you. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
© 2016. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.





Sunday, September 11, 2016

"Mental Shift"

September 11, 2016
REFLECTIONS4LIFE™
“Mental Shift”
“A person who is pure of heart sees goodness and purity in everything; but a person whose own heart is evil and untrusting finds evil in everything, for his dirty mind and rebellious heart color all he sees and hears.” Titus 1:15 (TLB)
Scripture Contemplation: Exodus 32:14; Ruth 1; 2 Samuel 7:3; Job 12:11; Ezekiel 11:5; Acts 3:19; Romans 8:5-8; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 3:20

If there is, one thing that I am certain of is the fact that our minds have an integral part in what transpires in our life each day. Our thoughts have a profound effect on what is manifested, whether we see breakthroughs, defeats, healing, and miracles. Whether or not we can move forward or stay locked in a moment in time.
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; bringing peace and revelation to your heart, mind, and soul. Allow the redemptive power of the blood of Jesus to wash your mind, to cleanse your thoughts, as you reach forward to receive all that God has ordained for you on this earth. Let your heart be full of hope, and your mind healed from all fear and discomfort.
One of the most profound lessons I have learned over the years is to come to an understanding, that you will always remain a victim if you do not allow your mind to shift. There are circumstances and situations in our life that have held us bound to a moment and time. For whatever reason, we remain a victim—no longer of the circumstance or person(s)—but a victim of our own minds and our inability to shift our thoughts and move forward.
I can hardly believe that fifteen years have passed since 9/11. So much has changed in this world. Just as much has remained the same. Many new lives were birthed and just as many lives have been lost or taken. Many people remain stuck in a time capsule. Unable to move past September 11, 2001, their lives have become stagnant; remaining a victim of that moment in time, cloaked in fear and heartache. Beloveds that is not what God has ordained for our lives. Regardless of the tragedies, the losses, the devastation, the fact that you remain in the land of the living is proof that God is not finished with you. There remains a purpose for your life. However, you may not have discovered it yet, due to the consuming nature of fear and terror that has gripped the heart and mind of many; robbing you of an abundant and rich life full of hope and possibilities.
It is time for a shift, Beloveds. It is time for a mental shift. Time to change the way we think, what we think about, how we think. It is well past time that we fully dressed in the armor of God, placing the helmet of salvation securely on our heads, which symbolizes a change of thought, a shift in our perceptions; taking on fully the mind of Christ.
In the book of Philippians, it tells us consciously to shift our thinking by thinking of things that are good and lovely…
Philippians 4:8“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
We must also learn to pull down strongholds. Do you not understand that your mind can become the devil’s playground if you are not diligent? Part of that diligence is renewing our mind daily in Christ (Romans 12:1-2). Pulling down strongholds and casting down evil imaginations (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 walk an intrinsic rope daily. Our minds play a pivotal role in whether or not we make it to the other end of that rope. Though we may trip and fall at times, it is vitally important that we get back up, shake the dust off, renew our minds, put on the armor of God. Be steadfast in prayer, and think on the goodness of God, and His promises for our life; allowing it to wash away all fear, doubts, and stinking thinking that befuddle us from time to time; causing us to blow the blessings that God has brought into our lives.
A mental shift desperately needs to take place for many of us before we find ourselves in the midst of a mental break. The enemy has wreaked havoc in our lives, playing his mental games and tormenting us through our thoughts that we have a hard time deciphering the truth from lies, and his not so hidden agenda to kill, steal and destroy. Before we know it, our lives are in shambles and the promised blessings of God have slipped through our fingers and out of grasp and not easily attained again.
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. Allow your mind to shift with the knowledge of who God says you are and where He desires to take you. However, the unknown may seem scary at first; place your trust in the Lord. In the God who has brought you this far. Plead the blood of Jesus over your mind, allowing your mind be renewed daily, and believing the greatness that God says you do deserve because He has made it so. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!

©2016. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

"Gratitude Makes All the Difference"


#WednesdayInspiration

"Gratitude Makes All the Difference"


Thank you for all the Birthday wishes, prayers, and Blessings. Truly, it was an absolutely phenomenal day filled with much joy, love, and gratitude.

My last call of the evening was with one of my BFF's from college. It was such a pleasure speaking with her. Laughing, reminiscing, telling her husband to get out the room! LOL It gave my heart such joy and pleasure. We don't always get a chance to speak to one another daily. But we call each other on Birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Or, if I have a dream about them, I will call to see what's going on and have a word of prayer.

I am grateful. My heart is filled with gratitude for all the love that I was shown. We take for granted—sometimes without knowing—the gifts we have in our lives. The relationships that so many crave for, we have, and sometimes do not honor or show gratitude for. And at some point, no gratitude will lead to a significant loss that is irreplaceable.

When you have a heart of gratitude, it makes room for other blessings in your life. It places you in a position to receive all that God has ordained for your life. I have witnessed a rampant case of entitlement; especially amongst young people and young adults. We give our children so much, in hopes that they will not experience the lack we may have while growing up. Yet, without balance, we do our children a disservice. They do not grow with a sense of gratitude or to value what they have been given. Instead, they feel entitled, lacking empathy, compassion, consideration, and respect.

Many become shallow, ungrateful, entitled adults and part of the problem we have with classism and elitism. We may not all have the same upbringing, financial status, or social experiences, but we all can be taught a heart of gratitude for who we are and what we have and respect for those whose experiences are different. Attitude determines altitude and it begins with gratitude.

Blessings!

©Ruthe McDonald

Sunday, September 04, 2016

"Not In Vain"

September 4, 2016
Reflections4Life
“Not In Vain”
“Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”  1 Corinthians 15:58
Scripture Contemplation: Job 9:29; 39:16; Psalm 127:1; Isaiah 40:4; 1 Corinthians 15…

Wishing you all a glorious Labor Day Weekend. May it be filled with complete joy, love, happiness, friends and family, and much laughter. May we lay aside every burden, casting them on the Father’s capable shoulders, and enjoy the gift of life that God has ordained for us.
I’m Free by Milton Brunson
I'M FREE, PRAISE THE LO-RD,
I'M FREE
NO LONGER BOUND,
NO MORE CHAINS HOLDING ME
MY SOUL IS RESTING
IT'S SUCH A BLESSING
PRAISE THE LORD
HALLELUJAH, I'M FREE
Praise the Lord! I declare and decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Praise the Lord, I had to get that out, because we are free, Beloveds. No matter what you are facing this week. No matter what comes this way. No matter what doesn’t go your way—know and understand that you are not only free but free to rest in the Lord and trust Him to take care of all things concerning you. Spend some quality time in the Father’s presence this week, and let Him tell you all about His plans for your life, and the blessings waiting to manifest just for you!
Beloved, I have some more good news for you today! Yes, I do! Your labor has not been in vain. Everything that you have done in the name of Jesus; all you have done to give God honor and praise has not gone unnoticed. I implore you, as it tells us in Galatians, to no grow weary while doing well, That if you faint not, you definitely see come to pass all that you have been patiently praying and waiting for.
Understand, that God is not a man that He should lie, nor the Son of Man that He should repent. (Numbers 23:19) Whatever God has spoken concerning you, it is definitely coming to pass. He is personally seeing fit to make it come to fruition right on time. So, I don’t care what it looks like. I don’t care how many setbacks have occurred…God is moving on your behalf and making things happen.
Yes! Favor! Favor isn’t fair, but God grants us favor. He grants favor with every breath we take, while we are honoring Him, and living according to His will for our lives. Yes. Bad things happen. Delays happen. Some things do not work out the way we expected. But the truth of the matter is, that God knows all of these things and has shared them with those of us who have an ear to hear and a mind and fortitude to follow what He tells us.
Your labor for the Lord, in love, and not in vain. I promise you that if you hold on, and believe in your heart and not just your head, you will see the promises and blessings of God begin to manifest in your life.
I celebrate my Birthday this week. No matter what I am facing right now. No matter what challenges are on my plate, I will celebrate the gift of another year of life, should God grant me another day to breathe the breath of life in this earthly realm.
There are things I could complain about. I could list for you a list as long as I am tall of all the things that I perceive to be wrong. All the things that are breaking and hurting my heart. All the things that give me pause in this life. I could do that, but then, it would only be right to list all the things that are right. And they far outweigh all the things that are wrong, hurtful and heartbreaking.
I choose to believe God when He tells me that my labor is not in vain. I am certain that at my very worse—my very worse day—would still be a day of bliss and sunshine and greatness in the life of someone who is suffering a far greater situation than mine.  Yes. No one's pain is counted greater than another's. Pain is pain. But I do understand that some never get to count the joys I have counted or get to count. Some have never experienced the love I have experienced. And still, others have yet to experience the overwhelming feeling of goodness, elation of the spirit and soul, and unconditional love that I have when you do something unselfishly for someone else.
So yes, I am choosing to count my blessings.  Even in that, I am learning valuable lessons. I'm not wearing any blinders or rose-colored glasses. Things are what they are. Yet I am choosing to respond instead react, and give God praise anyhow. And at the end of the day, I will rest, knowing that my labor in the Lord is not all in vain. I am blessed, and more blessings are manifesting.
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. All that you do for God is never in vain. Whether you are out front or behind the scenes, it all seen by our Heavenly Father. And whatever you do for God, will last. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2016. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.