Sunday, December 17, 2017

"Give Me an Ear to Hear"

Reflections4Life December 17, 2017

Give Me an Ear to Hear”

“Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, As in the day of Massah in the wilderness, "When your fathers tested Me, They tried Me, though they had seen My work.” Psalm 95:8-9

Scripture Contemplation: Exodus 10:20; Psalm 95; Isaiah 6:10; Zechariah 7:12; Romans 2:5; Hebrews 3; 4; Ephesians 4:18; Proverbs 28:14…

©Ruthe McDonald.

As we are in the throes of the Holiday Season, some of us occupied with the hustle and bustle, while others may just be reflecting, may we remember the reason for the season and teach our children and anyone who has an ear to hear what this Holiday season truly represents. May we, ourselves, have an ear to hear what God is speaking to His children, receiving all that He has ordained for each of our lives.
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Beloved, let your hearts and ears be open to God as never before. God is speaking and in order to hear Him, we must be still and surround ourselves with an atmosphere that is conducive to hearing our heavenly Father. If you must, pull away from things, people, and places. Get in the presence of God and be open to what He is speaking to your heart in this season of your life.
Beloveds, hear God today. Hear the voice of Your Father, speaking to you. Hear the Lord today, reminding you not to take your eyes off Him. Do not be deterred by the seemingly long wait. Do not allow Satan to twist in your heart and mind what God has spoken to you. Stand strong in the Lord and on the power of His word. Hear God, today, speaking to your heart, showing you the way to go, and the steps to take. Delay is not a denial, nor a change in the heart of God concerning His promises to you.
Many have given up hope, are walking in despair, and have even turned away from God because their hearts have hardened against the Father, His truth, and His promises. At first, we believed with all of our heart and soul what God spoke to us. We believed His word and promises and faithfully went about our day, walking in obedience and working towards our goals. Then something(s) happened. Our faith took a hit, as the promises we received seem further away. Our lives do not seem to be mirroring the joy we pictured when we first received the promises. There have been attacks, trials, and tribulations. This has caused many to lose faith, and hope, giving up and walking away from the Father, hardening their hearts when He speaks or sends a messenger.
These are the times, Beloved, when we must truly guard our hearts and dig in our heels, as be careful of what and who we allow into our space—our head, ears, and heart. We must surround ourselves, as we immerse ourselves in the word, prayer, and worship, with people who will encourage us. We may even have to become accustomed to walking part of the journey alone, although, we have Christ with us always.
Hebrews 3:12-15 English Standard Version (ESV) Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
Do not allow the thoughts in your head to override the agreement made in your heart when you heard God speak and call your name. The enemy whispers in our ears, bringing thoughts to our minds, trying to get us to reason with and doubt what God has spoken to the ears of our hearts.
Unlike Eve, do not enter into a debate of words or conversation with Satan. He will only try to twist and reason away, to bring confusion and doubt to what God has already declared and decreed to you. All that God has spoken to you, as your heart was softened to His voice—the enemy seeks to disturb and destroy. The enemy will try as he did with Eve, to get you to reason with the word of God spoken to you. He will debate you on what you received until you begin to question, doubt, and become uncertain in what you heard. The objective is to cause you to not move on what God has told you but instead pull back and eventually for walk away, while your heart hardens against the voice of God. Doubt has transitioned into unbelief, and faith has become fear. Now, there is rebellion in the heart and soul against all things of God.
I understand how it feels when you receive a promise of God, a vision—a vision so bright you need sunglasses! Your heart is pumping with excitement as you work towards that vision and have faith in what God has spoken and shown you; faith that He is going to bring to pass that very thing. Then after waiting for it to manifest, a few bumps in the road appear. A couple setbacks take place. In fact, your life does not look like anything you imagined it would when you believed what God said. This is definitely not the vision you had for your life. Far from it.
Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Stand strong on the word of God today. Do not be deterred by what things look like or feel like but on the promises and word of God. Feed your spirit and soul with the word of the Father, governing your conversations. Things are rarely what they appear to be, however, with God, you can trust exactly what He says. Remember what He has already done for you. He is the same God, who changes not.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity finds permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Hear and believe what God is saying to you today, Beloved. Do not be discouraged by the tests and trials, or the opposition you may be facing. Believe in what God has spoken. Keep your ears open to the voice of the Father by spending time in prayer and worship. Surround yourself with like-minded worshippers, encouraging one another in this walk. You got this! You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

"Between Darkness and Light"

Reflections4Life December 10, 2017
“Between Darkness and Light”
“He will turn many of the sons of Israel back [from sin] to [love and serve] the Lord their God.  It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous [which is to seek and submit to the will of God]—in order to make ready a people [perfectly] prepared [spiritually and morally] for the Lord.” Luke 1:16, 17
Scripture Contemplation: Genesis 1:1-18; Numbers 8; Isaiah 9; Luke 1; John 1; 8…
©Ruthe McDonald.
Lord God, Thank You for the blessings of this new day. Thank You for ushering Your children into a place of restoration and harvest. Open up eyes and ears, Father. Remove hardness from hearts. Heal the wounds and give a spirit of joy. As we are in this glorious season, remind those of the many great gifts You have given to us. Bringing to the heart and mind that You have assured us a place out the darkness and into Your marvelous light. Reign in our hearts and minds today. Grant us a heart to receive all that You have ordained and to know and believe with all of heart, mind, and soul that You love us just as we are. With love and honor. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. As you go through your week, continue to yield to God. Allow Holy Spirit to lead you to a place of revelation and joy. Think on the things that God has already done in your life. Remind yourself daily of His goodness and love. Spend a little more time in worship, connecting to the heart of the Father; welcoming His light. His light will put out all darkness and lead you into a marvelous new day, filled with manifest blessings, and answered prayers.
God resides in the praises of His people. If you are alive, reading this, hearing this; then you are blessed. Blessed with a new day of life that is filled with opportunities waiting for you to seize. Yesterday is gone. We can do nothing about what did or did not happen. We leave those things to God. What we have today is the opportunity to walk in the light of God; to accept one of His many great gifts, which is coming from out of the darkness and into His marvelous light, where our hearts and minds become open to His will and His ways.
Every day is a day for a miracle, for the supernatural to take place, a chance for us to see between darkness and light. This season is even more of an opportunity to experience and see the miraculous and supernatural take place. It is the opportunity to witness the veil between darkness and light is revealed, ushering in a wave of momentous blessings, miracles, life-changing events. I truly believe it is because, for a brief time, we are in one accord and lose ourselves in the joy of the season. There are more people giving and more people experiencing a joy that they seldom get to experience the rest of the year. It all makes this time of year full of belief and faith—in not only God but also humanity. It is the perfect condition and atmosphere for miracles to thrive.
For a moment, there is not as much darkness. Even though it is there, we are able to see the light of God more easily. The light shines a little brighter, bringing with it hope, joy, and miracles. Sometimes the miracle is seeing the light; seeing that it is real and there for all to partake in. No matter who we are, where we come from, what we may be experiencing or have experienced; that light is there for us, too. We can be a part of something great and wonderful, changing our lives forever.
To God be the glory! To God be all the praise! More than any other time of the year, the light shines brightly because, for many, we are reminded of the greatest gift that God gave this world—His only begotten Son. When we are all in one accord, in a season of faith and belief, creating an atmosphere that is conducive to the move of God, for miracles and the supernatural to be seen and experienced. At this time, when we are in a spirit of love, belief, and joy we begin to shine like the star in heaven that guided the wise men to the babe in the manger. That light pulls back the veil that enables man to see the light on the other side of the darkness that has them currently entrenched.
Just as Christ was the light in this world of darkness, come to lead us back to the Father and reconcile us to our Lord, He has made us—believers—the light of this world to lead us back to the Father, to become the miracle in other people’s lives. You see, we are often looking for something external, coming from the sky, coming with great pomp and circumstance, which screams, Miracle! Miracle! Miracle! We miss, like the children of Israel, the real miracle before us. The miracle that is each one of us.
God often uses us to be the miracle in the lives of others. To be the person that shows them the light on the other side of their current darkness. To become the lamp that helps shine a light in the very dark places of their heart, mind, and soul. To bring illumination and hope to their lives that can be filled with darkness, hopelessness, fear, and negativity.
Beloveds, God has created in each of us a light so bright when He is seated on the throne of our hearts. When we yield to Him and His ways, we not only see His light in our own lives, we create a space for change and miracles to take place, and shaping us to become the miracle and light that God uses in the life of others.
I encourage you to take the love, light, and miracles of this season and hold them in your heart. Let them become food for your spirit and soul, and a source of encouragement in the days to come when the light in the world seems a little bit duller. When people begin to go back to old patterns and the spirit of the season slips from their hearts and minds. Allow God to grow the seed in your heart that will bring forth fruit all year long; creating in you a spirit of joy, hope, and faith that you, in turn, will be able to share with others. Become that light that exposes the veil between the darkness and light. Remind others each day that God is not just with us for one season, but every day we choose to invite Him.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity finds permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Yes, this is a season of exceptional miracles. However, God desires for us to become the miracles in one another’s lives, bringing light, love, and the word of God to the heart of those crying out. Let God use you. Don’t be afraid to let your light shine, exposing the veil between darkness and light. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!

©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

"The Lies We Tell Ourselves"

Reflections4Life December 3, 2017

The Lies We Tell Ourselves”

...and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 26:27

Scripture Contemplation: Psalm 31; 120; Proverbs 6; 12; Isaiah 59; 1 Timothy 2...

©Ruthe McDonald.

God desires us to live a life of truth. To live our lives in such a manner, that it is above reproach. However, how many of us live our lives in truth when it came to others but lie to ourselves? Many may not practice lying to others but hold the crown for lying to ourselves.
I decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Allow the light of God to shine on those places in your heart that you have tucked away. Let the truth come forth so that you may be free, and live the life that God has ordained for you.
Psalm 51:6 “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.”

It is sometimes hard to accept the truth when it comes to our own faults, flaws, or something that may have happened to us. The truth can be painful, and we will do almost anything to avoid that pain. We will even lie to ourselves and convince ourselves that all is well, when in fact, we are nothing but broken pieces of clay, patched and held together by the lies we tell ourselves, and the false portrait we paint for others, suggesting that all is well in our lives. Inside we are crumbling, too afraid to allow the truth to come forth and bring healing, for fear that exposing our truth or dealing with our truth is far too much for us to bare.
Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

For far too long, we have been holding on to issues that have stagnated our lives. Our walk in Christ is limited by our refusal to face the truth and be honest with ourselves and what we have gone through or are currently facing. Too many are hiding from the truth, evading certain issues. We close our hearts off to those who get too close to finding out the truth. We hide from who we really are and ourselves. Many carry the fear that not only will others reject them but they will not like what they see or find when truly searching their hearts and facing personal truths.
We lie to ourselves on a daily basis. We tell others and ourselves that everything is fine. That, our lives are great, and we have everything together. When the truth of the matter is: we have been lying to ourselves. Lying so long, that we don't even recognize the truth about ourselves. We have bought into our own fallacies concerning our lives, how we feel about ourselves, and see ourselves.
It is time to stop lying to ourselves and tell the truth! It is time to free ourselves from our past, our mistakes, our abusers, and confront, that which has been holding us emotionally hostage. We cannot possibly enjoy or receive all that God has ordained for us when in our hearts we do not feel worthy or have not allowed God to heal us from that, which has badly hurt us.
I do not know what your situation or circumstance might be today, yet I implore you to lay everything at the altar, allowing God to mend your broken pieces. There is nothing hidden from God, nothing that will surprise God, nothing that our God cannot handle. You only have to have the courage to tell your truth. Have the courage no to longer lie to yourself, giving it all to God, allowing healing and deliverance to come forth.
Healing and deliverance cannot manifest if we refuse to acknowledge or confront the issues. Freedom from that, which keeps us bound and broken, depends on our willingness to confront that, which has hurt and harmed us. We must have the willingness to bare ourselves before the Lord, releasing all that we have tucked away from our own minds.
At the point of decision, when we are sincerely ready—heart, mind, and soul—we will ask ourselves, what are the benefits of the lies we tell ourselves? What do we get from lying to ourselves? What purpose does it serve to live a lie and not confront that which has hurt us so deeply and profoundly affects our entire lives and relationships?
For many, it is a spirit of fear. Fear of finally confronting and facing what has happened to them. Fear of remembering. Fear of rejection. Fear of someone else finding out. Fear of never being able to move on or have the life that you so desperately yearn for. It is that, the spirit of fear, which keeps far too many crippled. They are bound to a past and all lies that have manipulated who they truly are. It has held so many bound and a hostage from receiving all that God has for their lives.
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

The Father wants us free from our pasts and those things that have hurt us and disturb the course of our lives. In order for us to be free, we first must be willing, to be honest with ourselves; to stop lying to ourselves, face the truth, and do the work that is required to receive the healing and deliverance that is necessary to live the lives that God has ordained for us.
Stop lying to yourself, Beloved. Allow Holy Spirit into those secret places; to touch and heal those wounds that you have been unsuccessfully covering up. Let the anointing power of the Lord cleanse your soul, bind up every hurt, and wound that you have encountered in your life. Place your life in the Father's hands, allowing Him to turn your broken pieces into a beautiful masterpiece. Tell the truth and free yourself. Walk fully in the blessings God ordained for your life. You ARE worth it. His blood has made you worthy.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity finds 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 cleansing and healing power of God to release and deliver you. Do not be afraid to confront your past, and face your truths. With God, you can do all things because He is your strength. Believe and know with certainty in your heart, that the Father is with you always, and desires nothing but His best for you. Be free. Be healed. Be made whole. You are blessed. Now go...and be a blessing!
©2013. Revised ©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.




Sunday, November 26, 2017

"Legacy"

Reflections4Life November 26, 2017
“Legacy”
“This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery, in a nutshell, is just this: Christ is in you, so, therefore, you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message.” Colossians 1:26-27 (MSG)
Scripture Contemplation: 2 Samuel 20; Proverbs 1; Romans 9; 1 Corinthians 15; Hebrews 12; Colossians 1…
©Ruthe McDonald.
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for heart, mind, and soul. Seek God with all of your heart and soul, allowing Him to reveal to you the legacy that resides inside of you. The legacy of those loved ones that you may still mourn and grieve. Allow God to show you how to turn that mourning into gladness and all suffering into a teaching moment for you and others. There are healing and greatness after the pain of loss, and a beautiful message to be shared, and received.
For those who celebrated Thanksgiving this past week, I hope that it was filled with much love and joy, with happy memories being made. Mine was very quiet and left a lot of time for me to think and contemplate on quite a few things. One of those things, as I spoke with a loved one, was the ache you feel in your heart when you think of the ones you love that have passed on to glory. How their presences are missed and how things were when they were here with us.
There are times when missing our loved ones is so heavy that we can barely breathe. Our hearts ache and the longing for them only intensifies. For some, the mourning and grieving can become debilitating, leaving them almost paralyzed and unable to move forward in life. In addition to this mourning are our own life struggles, heartbreaks, and life and heart lessons.
Can I be honest with you, Beloveds? Completely transparent and authentic? For the past three years—at the minimum—I have been going through some harrowing things. I have not—my person—been okay for a long time. My work, my ministry, what I do for others have been okay. In fact, much of it has been thriving. However, me—my person—that part of me that is just about me, the relationship with myself and how I feel and what hurts me has not been okay for a long time.
She has been in a lot of pain; suffering a lot of heartache and loss. There has been a lot of brokenness and incompleteness. However, God is making up in me what needs completing. He is filling that part of me; that part of me that is separate from what I do—the personal me—God is taking care of and completing the work that needs to be fulfilled; to complete on my part the assignment on my family’s lineage and legacy. Giving me yet another purpose to pursue.
Part of my personal heartaches is grieving my loved ones, my mentors who poured into me every single day of my life encouragement and inspiration, especially my mother. The transitions of my loved ones have only intensified the other heartaches. The personal hurts, and wounds sustained—not by my own device or hands—have taken its toll. Have you ever felt like your life is nothing but suffering and loss? This is a critical place, Beloved.  
The suffering and the loss overwhelm us, not knowing what to do, how to cope and move forward. We feel stuck and uncertain. This is where the proverbial rubber meets the road. We are either going to pray and seek God more earnestly. Or, we move away from God and allow the hurt, pain, and loss swallow us whole, along with our dreams, hopes, visions, and legacies.
I refuse to allow what I am going through to stop me from running the race that God says I have already won. I refuse to allow this hurt and sorrow to drown me and keep me from finishing the work God and my loved ones began. I refuse to allow ANYONE to steal from me hope, joy, and belief in love and happiness. Not going to happen, Especially when God tells me that sorrow only lasts for a night but joy comes in the morning. I may not know how long that night is or when that morning will finally get here, but I can trust God to keep His word that it is coming!
In the meantime, as I transition through these feelings, God is bringing healing and completeness to my person. I have learned and am remembering that I must be proactive in my healing and deliverance. This is a FAITH walk and not a FEELING or EMOTIONS walk. The truth is, our emotions/feelings will delude us and have us give up when we are that close to our morning and breakthroughs. Beloveds, emotions/feelings cannot be trusted. They move and change like the wind. They are unstable and unreliable. However, faith in our Father will always be stable. God is not moved by our emotions or feelings. He is moved by our faith, by our obedience and sacrifice.
My grieving and mourning time is over. It is time to celebrate the life and legacy of my loved ones. Grieving over what someone did to me, broken promises, hurt and harm, is OVER. I take stand NOW, in the promises of God, move forward in faith and boldness, and take the lessons I have learned and share them with others. I pick up the baton that my loved ones have left to be completed. It’s my turn to do my part. To add to my family’s legacy on this earth. To make sure the names, work, and heart of those transitioned are not forgotten but continue to grow and be established for generations to come.
What I have suffered personally; the heartaches and heartbreaks that I have endured did not and could not break me. Not with God in my life and on my side. I have learned that all of it has been for my growth and development and walk in the Lord. Once I surrendered it all to God and allowed Him complete access to my heart, soul, and mind—the Father began taking those hurts and using it for my good and the good of others, establishing a purpose for me to complete. Life does not always go the way we desire. Yet, the lessons we are learning, the pain we endure, the forgiveness we receive—is all a part of God creating a legacy; a legacy of greatness, of love, of promise.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity finds permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. God takes our suffering, our mourning, and grieving, and gives us strength and purpose in its place. We all have legacies to carry on and to create. Take off your mourning clothes and put on the garments of praise and worship. God has something great in store for you. All you have to do is believe it and accept it. God will do the rest. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!

©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

"God Is Not Complicated"

Reflections4Life November 19, 2017
“God Is Not Complicated”
“For as many as are the promises of God, in Christ they are [all answered] ‘Yes’. So through Him we say our ‘Amen’ to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:20
Scripture Contemplation: Genesis 18:14; Psalm 100; 131; 2 Timothy 3…

I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. I implore you to not complicate what God has made easy. Do not overthink or analyze the goodness and grace of God. Learn to go with the flow; the flow of the Holy Spirit. How do you know that God is not as complicated as people made Him out to be?—by learning for yourself by spending intimate time with the Father, developing your personal relationship.
It must be human nature for us to over-complicate things. I do not know about you, but as I have gotten older, and I have learned that little children and old people got it right: simply is better. What I truly think is as we grow and mature in life; we are exposed to so many different beliefs, ideologies, so many people, ideas, thoughts on life and walks of life, what is right, and what is wrong, that our brain becomes a hodge-podge of information collected over the years. We try to decipher everything as best we can; most becoming a combination of all the things they have learned over the years. With that many influences, there is bound to be complications; too many thoughts and ideas fighting for the first position.
Humanity loves to make God seem complicated. We place God in a box and believe that this is who He is and what He wants. We learn as children that there either is a God, no God, many gods, demi-gods, one true religion, manufactured religion, no religion, and etcetera. I can literally go on. It is not difficult to see how one may come to the conclusion that God is complicated when so many have painted Him in so many different lights with so many attributes, that our minds become discombobulated and not really sure what to believe.
Beloved, God is not complicated. God has no gray areas. He is definite in what He says and who He is. It is black or white; hot or cold; yes or no. God is not a God of confusion. He knows how to say exactly what He means without speculation or subcontexts. He knows how to send a word, gives a word, and proclaim a word. God speaks to us every day if we are listening. When we believe in God; when we accept Christ as our Savior and begin to spend intimate time with Him and get to know His heart and mind; we learn His voice. The spirit of discernment sharpens and complications begin to fall away.
1 Corinthians 14:33 …for God [who is the source of their prophesying] is not a God of confusion and disorder but of peace and order. As [is the practice] in all the churches of the saints (God’s people)…
John 10:27 The sheep that are My own hear My voice and listen to Me; I know them, and they follow Me.
In the presence of God, there is peace and understanding. There is a revelation that takes place. Knowledge is gained and wisdom is given. As children, we are sponges soaking up all the information we receive and storing it. The easier it is to understand, the more we get it and move on. As senior adults, we have lived through so much that we know what works and what does not work. We have the wisdom of our years and the discernment of age and experience. We are not searching for who we are, what we should be, or what to believe. We already know. And because we realize how precious time is, whatever does not work or fit, we let it go and move on. Complications are time-consuming and we do not have the luxury of wasting any time we are blessed with. So, simply becomes better, once again.
Here’s what I know and understand, Beloveds: What God desires for us is not complicated. The only way for any of us to truly know and understand this is to get to know God for ourselves. We need an intimate and personal relationship with our Lord. As a teacher, I would always tell my students (as a consultant and Mentor, I tell my clients and mentees this also) that the best-learned lessons come from what you gain for yourself. First-hand experience and knowledge beats second-hand knowledge and experiences any day. Because what you learn and receive for yourself is priceless. No one can take that away from you or alter it. It is yours.
Grant it, we have some wonderful teachers (and some not so wonderful ones too) that teach us what they know. However, it is not until we learn for ourselves, put into practice what we have been taught, and go through the various trials and errors that we learn what works for us. It is the same when it comes to our relationship with God. We can sit under a Pastor, Minister, Bishop, Priest, etcetera, and hear and learn what they know, follow their advice, but it is not until we start walking the walk for ourselves, living our lives accordingly, and getting to Christ for ourselves that we truly know and understand who God is and who we are.
A personal relationship with God is necessary in order to know and understand His heart. God is not complicated. Once we allow Him to strip away all preconceived notions and experience God for ourselves, a wonderful thing occurs. Our hearts are opened, our minds illuminated, our eyes and ears become receptive to Him and what we thought we knew is replaced with the truth that can only be verified by a personal, intimate relationship with God.
Here is what God desires for us: To serve Him with all of our hearts, minds, souls, and our very being. To believe in the Lord Jesus, confess our sins, repent, and receive redemption. Allow Holy Spirit to teach us and lead us; meditate on His word day and night, spending intimate quality time in His presence. Get to know His heart as He reveals His truth and our truths so that He can bless us, as He desired to do since the moment He created us before we ever entered this realm of time. If we fall, get back up. Share His truth and our testimony with those around us. Now, does that sound complicated to you?
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity finds permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Do not allow the world to complicate the love of God in your life. God loves you and desires an intimate one on one relationship with you. Let Him surprise you with just how easy it is to love you and bless you. You deserve a little less complication in your life. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing.
©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

"Sometimes It Doesn't Make Any Sense"

Reflections4Life November 12, 2017
“Sometimes It Doesn't Make Any Sense”
“Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. Just make me a little bread from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward, you may make one for yourself and for your son.  For this is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted nor shall the jar of oil be empty until the day that the Lord sends rain [again] on the face of the earth.’” She went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days.  The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, in accordance with the word of the Lord, which He spoke through Elijah.” 1 Kings 17:13-16
Scripture Contemplation: Genesis 17; 18; Exodus 16; 1 Kings 17; Esther 8; Luke 1...
©Ruthe McDonald.
Has there been a time in your life when God has told you something but it did not make any sense to you? Your human senses just couldn't comprehend it? You immediately began thinking: how, what, why, where, when? I have been there. God has spoken some things to me; has shown me some wonderful and miraculous things. In the past, it would not register with my human mind. It did not make any sense; did not even seem possible. I asked a lot of how's that going to happen? How's that possible? I just could not wrap my brain around the awesomeness of it all. Yet, my spirit believed with no question. I have since learned it does not have to make any sense to my human senses, as long as my heart knows and believes God never lies. This, Beloved, is where faith takes over and facts cease to exist.
I decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Allow the very word of God to penetrate your heart. Walk in the mind of Christ, believing that whatever God has spoken and shown to you, it will surely happen. God cannot lie. Though things may seem impossible to your physical senses, allow the sincerity and wondrous works of Holy Spirit to take you higher, filling your heart and mind until your spirit believes all that God has spoken concerning you and you and your faith is complete.
Can you put yourself in the widow woman’s shoes for a moment? You have only a little bit of meal and oil, enough for the last meal for you and your son. You have already made up your mind that you both will die soon from starvation. One day a man of God comes to you telling you, one: to use your last little bit to make him a cake, and two: the barrel of meal and cruse of oil you now have will last until the drought is over. That is a lot of information to take in, comprehend, and believe. However, as the prophet of God continued to speak to her, her heart with faith in God. Though she still had doubt, what did she have to lose by listening to the prophet of God? So, she trusts in the word of God and not in the facts before her eyes.
We have no answer for many things. There are things we objectively cannot seem to find a plausible reason for; things that make no sense to our human mind; things that seem impossible. Yet, God desires for us to go beyond our human mind, intellect, and reasoning, and simply believe. Believe in that which He has spoken to our hearts, what He has shown us. Simply: Have Faith.
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 
Hebrews 11:1 (MSG) The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. 
It took faith for this widow woman to believe in what the prophet had spoken to her; faith to believe that God had chosen her and her son to receive this miracle and blessing; trusting that everything was going to work out. That, indeed, if she fed the prophet of God as he instructed, God would provide. That, He would take her little and multiply it.
How many of us are willing to give God our last? To take what we know is not much but is very much needed and give it or use it in the manner in which God instructs, letting go of what we had planned. It is not an easy thing when we look at our hands and count what we do not have, as opposed to looking at what God does have and has promised. It is a definite leap of faith; especially when you have been living paycheck to paycheck, or have your last and God is asking you to do what He says with money you allocated to buy that weeks’ worth of groceries.
I am certain it did not make any sense to Abram when God told him that he was going to become a father in his old age. It definitely did not make any sense to Sarai. She laughed at the promise because it did not make sense to her human understanding. Her doubt led her to give her husband her maid to sleep with, resulting in Ishmael. To this very day, because of one woman's doubt in the spoken word of God, we have two nations forever fighting; Ishmael vs Isaac. 
We must learn to see through our spiritual eyes. Many things that God has to share with us will not make any sense to our human mind or way of thinking. We must come up higher and see through our spiritual eyes. We must walk in faith and trust in that which God speaks concerning our lives. God specializes in the impossible, not always the facts, or the obvious.
There are things that are impossible for man—impossible for man to understand. Yet, for those who would dare to have faith, to walk in faith and trust in what God has spoken, their life will see the impossible take place. Their lives filled with the unexpected; with the constant blessings of God working on their behalf.
Charged to walk by faith and not by sight, not all that God has ordained for us will make any sense to our senses, but it will bear witness with our soul and spirit if we have developed and nurtured our intimate relationship with our heavenly Father.
The Father desires to bless beyond what can be seen with natural eyes. He wants to take you to another level of faith. That, though you waited a long while for answers, for what God has spoken to you to come to pass, that you will believe no matter what. That, it no longer has to make any sense to your senses or to those around you, as long as God has spoken it that settles it and that is what it shall be. Faith—immovable, unshaken, solid, and unbreakable.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity finds permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Get out of your senses and into your spirit. Let your faith lead you where God has promised you. Believe with your heart, and not with your eyes or intellect. God cannot lie. His promises are certain and happening in your life. You are blessed. Now go...and be a blessing!
©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday, November 05, 2017

"Can I Get a Testimony?"

Reflections4Life November 5, 2017
“Can I Get a Testimony?”
“And they overcame and conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, for they did not love their life and renounce their faith even when faced with death.” Revelation 12:11
Scripture Contemplation: Exodus 23; Deuteronomy 5:20; Psalm 132:12; Acts 8; 2 Corinthians 13; Hebrews 10:14-16…
©Ruthe McDonald.
When is the last time that you recall hearing a church have testimony time? Do churches still have that? I know that some churches, due to a “time constraint” no longer have in their “program” a time for testimonies. I have been hearing a lot of complaining, talking about a whole lot of other things, but I have not heard too many testifying of what God has done in their lives. Can I get a testimony?
I declare that this week’s Reflection is a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for the heart, mind, and soul. I challenge you this week that whatever God has worked out for you; whatever He presses upon your heart to share—share it. Share the goodness of God this week. I dare you to testify and let someone else know how good God has been to you. Let them know of the goodness of God. Do not be ashamed of what you may have gone through, also do not be stingy with telling others of God’s grace and mercy. We overcome by the word of our testimony.
Beloved, this is what I know today: there are power and healing in our testimonies. There are far too many people waiting on a word from God and guess what? We are that word! God uses us—believers, overcomers, beneficiaries—of His love and kindness to go out and share the good news of not only the saving grace and love of Christ but also the goodness of God and His favor and what He has brought us through.
Did you not know that we do not need a title, a position, a degree, or anything to minister the word of God? No. We do not need that to reach others. We also do not need to be perfect, have it all together, or pretend to have all the answers. All we have to do is share what God has done in our lives. Let someone else know that what they are going through, God can and will see them through. You know, because of what God has done for you.
Do you know how many men, women, and children are walking around—some in your own home—feeling alone, depressed, some even at the point of despair and wanting to take their own lives because they feel alone, forgotten, weird, or ashamed of things that nine times out of ten were not even their fault. Here some of us are; acting all perfect, sanctified as if we always had it all together and cannot relate.
We need to tell the truth, destroy the enemy’s plot to rob one more life and share our testimonies. I am not telling you to bare your secrets; those things that are only between you and God. However, I know there is something that you can share with someone to lift him or her up. To encourage them; even if you think it is insignificant. What may seem insignificant to you can be the very thing that someone else needs to hear.
God did not bless us, Beloved, for us to keep our mouths closed. He did not deliver us so we can stand smug and self-righteous with an air of piety and act like our lives are perfect and have always been perfect. God did not bless us, meet our needs, take us from poverty, give us food on the table, clothes on our back, and restore our health, renew our minds, for us to act like we did it all on our own, or pretend like we have never been through hardships.
It is reminiscent of growing up in a rough neighborhood, having dreams to make it out. When you do, you never look back, even though you know you may still have family there, and others—children, teenagers—who are like you were, and could benefit from seeing that someone can and did make it out; that, their beginning did not have to define their future. That God will open up doors if that is what they truly desire.
Yet, too many do not want to remember where they came from. They want to act as if they always had it together. They want to act as if they do not know what welfare, government cheese, second-hand stores, the neighborhood bodega or corner store are. Neither do they want to acknowledge that instead of learning about depositing a check and saving money, they were only used to a check-cashing place, and having to choose which bill to pay and what had to wait.
Come on now! Tell the truth about your life experiences and put all shame behind you! God wants to deliver people through our testimony today. He wants to use us to bring hope, healing, deliverance, and strength to a hurting people, to someone who is barely holding on and wondering if there truly is a God. Our testimony just may save a life!
Listen, I have a testimony that I have burning inside of me that God has not released me to share just yet. However, I have other testimonies that I share on occasion. Such as experiencing molestation as a little girl, physical and mental abuse, being told I that my dreams for my life were too lofty. My father being murdered. I’ve been on welfare after receiving a degree, fired for standing up for my truth, on the brink of losing my home within days before God opened a door, feeling depressed because I felt like my life was not as I hoped and planned. Feeling rejected, abandoned. Feeling like a total failure, feelings of self-loathing, self-hate, severe depression, as if God was not listening to me; feelings of hopelessness, and pain so deep it took my breath. This is in not only my distant past but also some recently. Yet GOD! His grace is sufficient and it is incumbent on me to tell someone else the good news of God’s grace and favor! I cannot keep this truth to myself, especially knowing that it has the ability to bring comfort and hope to someone else.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity finds permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. God is a restorer, Beloved. God will do for you what you and no one else can ever do if you would give Him the chance to do it. Do not sit on your testimony. Someone is waiting on you, to hear what you have to say because your words and your testimony matter too. In case, you forgot: You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

"Now...Do It Now!"

Reflections4Life October 29, 2017
“Now…Do It Now!”
“Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]. For by this [kind of] faith the men of old gained [divine] approval.” Hebrews 11:1-2
Scripture Contemplation: Hebrews 11; Romans 4; Genesis 12; 2 Corinthians 1…

I decree that this week’s Reflections is a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for heart, mind, and soul. Rejoice in all that God has ordained for your life. Even if you cannot see the full picture yet, have faith and be confident in the word of the Lord concerning your life. Walk with Him. Commune with Him. Trust Him. Meditate and believe with all of your heart and soul. What God has ordained for your life will happen. You just have to move…when He tells you to.
There is a burning in my heart and soul today. Not that it has not been there all along, but it is a blazing inferno and so strong at this very moment that now is the time to move forward in the plans of God! Now!—is the time to execute all of the plans and ideas wrote in books, journals, and to do lists. This is the season to begin to see the manifestations of God’s promises for my life but I have to move when God says move. Total obedience.
Now is the time, Beloved. Now is the time to go forward with your passions, to make amends, to forgive, to let go, to move forward, to do recompense, to ask for forgiveness, to be humbled, to go after everything that God has placed in your heart that you have been procrastinating to do. Time is an elusive thing to humans. Many believe they have all the time in the world, while others believe there is not enough time. Both schools of thoughts have those same people frozen, standing in the same position instead of moving forward, walking in the promises of God, and following His instructions.
I understand. Believe me when I tell you, that I sincerely understand how you can become immobilized by fear, doubts, and uncertainty. Yet, God is here, knocking on the doors of our hearts, whispering in our ears; nudging our spirit to go forth in all of those plans that He has placed in us; all of the dreams and visions. He desires us to go boldly forward, walking in truth, and living our lives with no regrets.
There is such a burning in my soul today that is telling me that if I do not move on what God has spoken to my heart, I will miss this season of manifestations, and it is not a guarantee that I will make it to the season when it comes around again. Now is my appointed time, and I must move in faith; be diligent, and believe in my heart what God has spoken to me.
No matter what it appears to be. No matter what obstacles arise. No matter who is or who is not on our side; as long as God has given the green light, it is time to go forward and get the work done and bring in the harvest. Seeds were planted long ago. Pruning season has and is taking place, God is ushering in a spirit of removal and blessing His children that meditate, spend time in His presence, in prayer and fasting, with a greater anointing of discernment and an ear to hear His voice, that may sound like a whisper in the midst of chaos.
Do not wait for circumstances to be just right. They never will be. This is a faith walk. Do not wait for someone’s approval or validation when God had already approved and validated you and gave you the word—the green light—to move ahead in the plans and promises He has placed in you.
Let me warn you, Beloved, in case you are not aware: Not everyone who says they are for you, actually are. Not everyone who says they believe in you, actually do. Not everyone you start the journey with will make it to the end to see the manifestations of the fruit of your labor and visions. And that’s okay. You may even encounter some naysayers and you will definitely encounter a Judas—maybe more than once—but be encouraged, that is just a sign that your manifest season and long-awaited promises are here. You are on the right track. Keep praying. Keep believing. Keep meditating. Keep doing. Whatever you do, do not give up.
Now, Beloved now is the time to move when you feel that burning, that nudging, that thing that won’t let you sleep. You are going to have to take chances, let some things and people go, be focused, determined, and above all else: forgive. Forgive yourself for any mistakes. Forgive others for whatever they have done, and move on. You do not have time to hold resentments, regrets, anger, or unforgiveness. It will only hinder your progress and your hearing and ability to see God’s instructions for what comes next.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity finds permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen. Do not allow your dreams and visions to die because of fear, or procrastination. Move when God says move. He will give you the provision for the visions He has placed in you. Just as He has given us the spirit of love, power, and a sound mind. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!

©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

"Deactivated"

Reflections4Life October 22, 2017
“Deactivated”
“Listen carefully: I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan); and nothing will [in any way] harm you.” Luke 10:19
Scripture Contemplation: Luke 9:1; Romans 12:28; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 3:20; James 4:7

Beloveds, God is speaking loud and clear for those who have a heart and ears to hear. There is a movement happening in the body of Christ, a revival stirring up. God is telling His children, His followers, and believers; all that would hear and are open to His word that the power the enemy has long been deactivated. Far too many of us have been walking around with crushed hopes, dreams, and faith because we have fallen for the lies of the enemy. It is time to stand in the authority of God and stop giving the enemy our power to use against us.
I decree that this week’s Reflections is a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for heart, mind, and soul. Take time this week to get in the Father’s presence. Make quality time with the Father. He has things He desires to reveal to your heart and spirit. He wants to empower you and prepare you for what lies ahead. The only way to do this is if you are spending intimate time with the Lord every day. God is talking. It is time to start listening.
We do not know what we do not know but we can know everything we need to know if we would take the time to sit at the Father’s feet and listen to what He is speaking to the church in this season. There is a revival in the land and it is starting in the heart of man. Revival is starting in the hearts and minds of those who have taken the time to start meditating and setting aside sacred time between them and God.
The sacred time between God and us is vital to our walk and to what is going on in the earth right now. Too much is passing through our fingers. Too much harm is coming to us physically and spiritually because far too many have bought into the lies of the enemy that we are powerless, hopeless, and that God is not listening to us!
On the contrary, Beloved. We do have power. We do have hope, God is indeed listening, and He has been speaking loud and clear to those who have an ear to hear and consistently spend time with Him. It is not through the flesh or natural ears and intellect, but through the spirit with an open mind that God is moving and revealing things. He does not always move the way we think or believe He should, and His answers are not always what we expect or desire. Nonetheless, God is speaking. He is answering, and He is reminding us today that the enemy’s power has been deactivated and we need to start walking in this truth and authority.           
Satan has been running amuck in many lives. Causing disastrous things in relationships, marriages, families, friendships, homes, businesses, churches, etcetera. Wherever there has been a lack of understanding, insecurities, disagreements, fear, guilt, and shame—the enemy has used these emotions and thoughts as his power source to wreak havoc in our lives.
We allow and make this plausible because many forget about the power and authority that God has already given to us. We have been fighting with our physical and natural senses without the armor when the battle wages is a spiritual one—beginning in our mind. We have been guilty of not pulling down strongholds, for entertaining the thoughts of the enemy, for feeding our subconscious minds lies and suggestions, so that what we fear, what we think on, what we believe (even if it is a lie) comes to pass causing unnecessary heartaches, miscommunications, and devastations to our lives. We risk missing what God desires to do in our lives because we have fallen for the lies and manipulations of the enemy who has been cyphering our authority and power, as we have not been properly dressed in our armor each day.
There is no power like the power of God and who He gives it to. Position and money mean nothing in the end without the favor and anointing of God, who holds the ultimate power to give and take away. There is no power like the power God has given to us when He defeated death, hell, and the grave, destroying, finally, the power of the enemy; giving us the authority to check and destroy the enemy; to cast out demons, and to heal the sick.
Here is what I believe; many of us have stopped and some never truly believed in the power of God or His word. We have not walked by faith but have walked by our past (experiences), and what things feel or look like. We have not walked in the authority given to us, but instead, like Eve in the Garden of Eden, have entered into a conversation with the enemy and he has convinced us of lies and half-truths, manipulating the word of God and those we love. When we should have been binding and denouncing the enemy and his tactics, we instead were listening, arguing, and fighting without our armor on and entering battles that God said were not ours but His.
Know this and believe this in your hearts today, Beloveds, that there is indeed a revival in the land and it begins in your heart and subconscious mind, and what you believe. The enemy’s power is deactivated in your life. God has given you the keys and the power to destroy the works of the enemy in your life and the lives of those you love. It is time to stand up, put on your armor, follow, and believe the word of God. Really, believe. Because without belief, you only give the enemy the ammunition he needs to steal your power, destroy your life, and kill your dreams and visions,
 My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity finds permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. God cannot lie. We have the power and authority to overturn and bind up the enemy, to cast out demons and heal the sick. Yet, it is our unbelief in the things and ways of God and belief in the enemy’s lies that stop us. Walk and believe in the authority that God has given us. Saturate your mind with the word and promises of God. Resist the devil, denounce his whispers and lies, and plead the Blood of Jesus over your thoughts and mind. Do not fall for the smoke and mirrors or what appears to be, but instead hold onto the word and promises of God even if you cannot see God moving. Know that God does not lie. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.