Sunday, December 31, 2017

"Switch It Up!"

Reflections4Life December 31, 2017
“Switch It Up!”
“Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, ‘Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:16, 18-19
Scripture Contemplation: 2 Corinthians 5:17; Psalm 40:3; Isaiah 48:6; Matthew 9:17; Ephesians 4; Colossians 3:10; Revelation 21…
©Ruthe McDonald.
I declare that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Beloveds, as this New Year is coming in, determine in your heart to follow all that God has ordained for your life. All those things that did not work toss it out and get with God’s plan. Follow His lead and start living the life that God has ordained for you before the beginning of time.
Wow! Can you believe it? We are on the last day of the year and guess what? You made it! You are here! Through all the trials, troubles, setbacks, and heartaches, you are still standing, in the land of the living, having made it through a year that you have often thought you could not make it to another day with all that has transpired. However, here you are, Beloveds! God kept you. He delivered you. Though it may not feel like it, He has blessed you!
The word of the Lord for you today—to carry with you into the New Year, is to: SWITCH IT UP! Yes! Switch up the ways you do things. Switch up how you respond. Switch how you see things. It is definitely time to ditch the old and put on the new that God has ordained for you!
Listen; I do not care what the enemy has whispered to you this year! I do not care about all the lies he has tried to manipulate you with. You want to know why? Because you are here; alive and breathing, having made it through by the grace of God, and the devil STILL did not win!
By now, you should have an idea of how the enemy works. Unlike God, the enemy does not have anything new to offer. He does not have anything new to attack with. His playbook has been the same since he was kicked out of heaven. The word of God has exposed the devil and his ways, how he operates, and what he resorts to using against the children of God. If you have been acquainted with the Bible this year, then you know that the enemy seeks to destroy us using the same attacks that he has used against the children of God since creation. He distorts things, creates an atmosphere of fear, doubt, and unbelief. He tries to get us to question God and what we believe, he uses the people we love against us; liking to hurt us in our emotions, our, finances, our health. He tries to make us angry with God and to keep our mouth closed to try to stop us from worshipping and praising God; from going before the Lord in prayer.
Beloveds, when we are going through it, we have a tendency to clam up. Yet, that is exactly when we should be opening our mouths and hearts in praise and worship. The enemy knows that God inhabits the praises of His people. He also knows that there is power in our worship. Our worship has the power to break chains, to bind the enemy, to change lives, to usher in the manifestations of the promises of God, including healing and deliverance.
It is time to switch things up in 2018! It is time to get rid of the old things and old ways and usher in the new that God has ordained for our lives. The Father said that He is making ALL things new. He is doing a new thing, and in order for us to be a part of that; to see it manifest in our lives, we have to be in the right position. We have to be in the mindset to hear God and follow what He is saying. It is time to stop falling for the enemy’s trap and into his circle. It is time to start making the enemy run from you and not you from him!
Switch it up Beloveds! Pray when you do not feel like it! Sing praises when you want to scream! Worship God instead shutting down. Do not keep your mouth shut! Open up your mouth and charge the atmosphere with the word of God! Declare and decree what God has spoken to you. Say it aloud to the atmosphere! Do not allow the enemy to keep you quiet, bound in fear, anger, and hopelessness! NO! We serve a mighty God. Regardless of what you have faced and what has hurt you so much this year, do not allow the enemy to destroy your relationship or your faith in God! Instead, switch it upon him, and begin to praise God even more! Begin to bless His name, declare, and decree twice as much as before. Do not do what you used to do…do a completely new thing, switching up your strategies to conquer the enemy and claim the victory that God says is already yours!
Father God, I declare and decree over this community, a whole new attitude and outlook for 2018! Allow us to switch things up. Switch the way we approach things. Switch the way we respond. Switch the way we think. Switch the way we see ourselves. Let us take on the mind of Christ, renewed every day in how we think and see. Father, let us not keep our mouths closed, but be determined to praise you and worship you with all of our hearts and souls. You are an amazing God, and we are not in this walk, this world alone. Let us remember that You are with us through it all. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!
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. Beloveds, switch it up in this New Year. Let go of all the things that hurt you, bothered you, hindered you, and lied to you. Let God into every area, and walk boldly with all confidence into the New Year with a new mindset and new determination to see the manifestations of the blessings of the Lord ordained for your life. Get into position and receive. Because God is about to blow your mind! You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!

©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

"Believe in Your Heart and Receive"

Reflections4Life December 24, 2017
“Believe in Your Heart and Receive!”
“He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.” John 1:7
Scripture Contemplation: Psalm 137; Isaiah 7:14; 28:16; 43:10; Luke 2; John 1…
©Ruthe McDonald.
To every one of you awesome and beautiful souls, I extend my gratitude and wish you and yours a very blessed Christmas season. May the celebration of Christ remain the reason for this season to you and yours; never forgetting the promises of God, no matter how long the wait. Believe in your heart and receive today all that God has ordained; all that He has promised you. His promises are manifesting. Have faith.
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Receive today all that God has ordained for you. Never stop believing in your heart what God has placed there. God is faithful and just to do exactly what He said. Do not give up because the wait may seem long. Do not grow weary in your well doing. Instead, encourage yourself and encourage others. Be diligent in your prayer life, and open your mouth and worship the Lord. God cannot lie. Whatever He has decreed over your life will happen if you do not give up and walk away.
Beloveds, I believe in miracles and the power of prayer and faith. I believe that when we believe wholeheartedly, it creates an atmosphere conducive for miracles to take place, for the supernatural to happen. There are still miracles. True miracles of God are taking place in many lives every day. However, they are not necessarily the great phenomenon that many people are looking for to blow their minds and convince them that God is God. No. These miracles are the kind of miracles that make a change in your heart, give you revelation, and open your eyes to whom God really is, and who you are to God. These miracles take place when we determine in our hearts to believe what Father God has spoken to our hearts—regardless of how long we have been waiting, and what has transpired around us. These are the miracles that God makes happen using other people in our lives. The ones that need no spotlight but happen quietly every day.
God is not a liar, and you can be assured that the enemy will try his very best to make you walk away from God, from His promises, hardening your hearts in the process.
The enemy is infiltrating dreams, messing with minds, wreaking havoc and destroying lives. Yet the truth is; he is only able to do this because many leave doors open by entertaining and thinking on the lies of the enemy, instead of pulling down strongholds and denouncing the enemy and his lies and opening their mouths and literally saying what God says.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…
The only thing, Beloveds, that I believe can help combat the enemy, is when we totally believe in our hearts what God has spoken to us. How do we maintain our belief when so much has taken place? When every time we turn around it seems like something else is taking place. It is in our quiet times with the Father; our intimate times that we learn to stand and gain strength to hold on. It is through the power of prayer and worship that we gain the strength to make through all adversity and affliction. It is by connecting with Holy Spirit and letting Him do it for us. We are no match for Satan, but Holy Spirit got his number!
Our faith will always be tested. What we believe will continually be challenged because the enemy is always seeking ways to get at God. If he spies any weak, vulnerable, open spaces in our lives, he is coming full force to try to take us out. There is great news, however! The reason for this season is the reason we can declare ourselves victorious, walk in that victory, and win against the enemy and his tactics, because of Jesus Christ! God gave us a gift that continues to give and give and give every day of our lives. If we would believe, and continue to believe through the harsh and difficult times; through the times when He seems so far away; when it feels and looks so dark in our lives; we will make through to the other side. If we believe, stand by His word, we will receive all that God has spoken and promised to our hearts. We cannot stop believing. All it takes is faith the size of a mustard seed!
The Shepherds believed! The wise men believed! The saints of old believed! Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Isaiah, Elijah—they all believed BEFORE the birth, before the time of grace. We HAVE Christ—fully manifested. Here with us! The promise is here; living and breathing in us! We have what they did not have: HOLY SPIRIT residing in us, and the blood of the Lamb covering us!
Beloveds, we win and can make it through if we determine in our hearts not to give up and pray through. Open up your mouths and worship God through it all, and keep believing in your hearts what the Father has placed there. NO MATTER WHAT IT LOOKS OR FEELS LIKE! SPEAK. THE. WORD!!!
The enemy knows he has no power over a person that believes with their whole heart regardless of the circumstances. That is why he works so hard to manipulate and play mind games, chipping away at faith and belief, hoping to get us to shut our mouths and hardened our hearts against God. Because he knows, there is power in our communication with God. He knows that there is power released when we worship God through the storms. He knows that there is power in our prayers, especially when we pray in the name of Jesus.
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. Let this season be the season and reason you begin to believe again. Stir up your faith. Open your mouth and pray! Bring forth praises, thanking God for already doing for you what you haven’t even asked for yet. For just being whom He is: Our God! Our Savior and Deliverer! Let this be the season your heart is softened towards the Lord once again forevermore! You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.



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.