Sunday, March 26, 2017

"Remember to Laugh"

Reflections4Life, March 26, 2017

“Remember to Laugh”

“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouting.” Job 8:21

Scripture Contemplation: Job 8; Psalm 126; Proverbs 14; Ecclesiastes 3; Luke 6…

©Ruthe McDonald.

There are things happening in our lives that we have no control over. There are situations all around us that tear at our soul and weigh our spirit down. The last thing on our mind or in our thoughts is to laugh. Yet, that is exactly what God desires us to do: Take some time to laugh. Remember the times of laughter, for it will be our comfort.
 I declare that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Allow the joy of the Lord to fill your soul and strengthen you. Though things may be heavy and you are certain there, is nothing to laugh about; allow God to fill you with laughter. Take the time to open up your heart and find delight in at least one thing, and let the healing begin. Remind yourself of those things that brought merriment to your heart.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to laugh or to smile when you feel as though there is nothing in your life to feel joy over or to laugh or smile about. However, there is Beloved. Even when we cannot see it, there is something to smile about, to have joy over. There is always something to laugh about, to be happy about; especially if you serve a great and mighty God.
There joy in the Lord, joy in His promises. There is joy in the fact that we are alive. We can take joy in the fact that there is a God, and He cares for us. Whether we understand the situations or circumstances we face, we can still have joy. We can smile with confidence that God has worked all things out concerning us. God will never leave us or forsake us, but will also be here to see us through. That alone is a reason to be joyful. When filled with joy, you will find that there are things that will bring laughter to your soul.
Remember the times when you laughed, those days when your heart was light. Recall the people and things that brought laughter to your heart and soul. I seriously believe there is a special place for comedians. For those who can bring laughter in the midst of sorrow and pain.
If you cannot think of a thing to laugh about, then I have a suggestion for you: Laugh at Satan! Yes. I said it! Laugh at the devil. Laugh at his lies and his attempts to defeat you when God has already declared you the winner. Laugh at his attempts to sidetrack you when you have fully yielded to Holy Spirit and are walking in the victory. Laugh at his tricky words and acts of deceits because you know that it is not you answering the door, but Jesus Himself. Moreover, when the enemy wants to remind you about your past and discourages you about your future; boldly remind him of his certain fate, as written in the book of Revelation. See how fast he stops laughing!
This is what I know: God is here for us and with us. There will always be situations in our life that will try to come, steal our joy, and rob us of peace. There will be situations where there seems no plausible reason to laugh. However, we must learn how to hold on to the promises of God. We must learn to walk in the peace and rest of God, trusting Him to take care of what He said. We must teach ourselves to embrace laughter, to find those pleasant things in life and take joy in it.
When my mother transitioned, it is one of the most heart-wrenching things I have experienced. My mother was a woman of joy and laughter; even through pain, she would find a reason to laugh, make a joke, and smile. It took her time to get to that place, but she made it there and she gave that to me as a gift. She shared her humor effortlessly with others. She was my own comedian. It hurts so bad at times to think of her not being here, but then I hear her in my spirit. I hear her admonishing me about the promises of God at this was not a goodbye, but a see you later, and that she is watching over me and sees everything! That was our private joke about death. She would say, just think, whatever you do, I will see it. You cannot hide anything from me then! I’d laugh so hard, just what she wanted me to do. I find myself laughing and remembering the joy she brought into my life and still brings. I laugh at the memories and embrace the joy and comfort that comes. Though my heart is heavy from her departure, it does not overshadow the love and laughter she brought and planted in my life.
This is what God wants us to remember, Beloveds: through all the pain and loss, remember the joy and happiness that occurs along the way. Smile at the good times. Cherish those times of laughter and joy. In the end, it is those memories of joy and laughter that will bring you comfort and strength to move forward.
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. Remember the times of laughter. Draw on those memories and allow it to bring comfort to your heart and soul. Take joy in the Lord and His promises. Do not allow the lies and the voice of the enemy to overshadow the voice and promises of God in your life. Take joy in the Lord. Remember the laughter, always. It will be a source of strength. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!

©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

"Did You Ask?"

Reflections4Life March 19, 2017
“Did You Ask?”
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you…” Matthew 7:7
Scripture Contemplation: Deuteronomy 32:7; Joshua 9; 1Samuel 1; Esther 5; Philippians 4:6…
©Ruthe McDonald.

I declare and decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and enlightenment for your heart, mind, and soul; bringing you peace in every area of your life. Do not be afraid to make your petitions to Lord be known. Let this week find you walking in confidence and faith. Believe in God to answer your requests. Spend intimate with the Father so He may fill you with His wisdom.
Do we really ask for what we want, anymore? Do we ask God what He thinks; for His wisdom? Has disappointment and unanswered prayers kept us from asking God for what we desire? Do we no longer seek God for His instructions? Many have suffered disappointments. They find their faith, not at a level it may have been once before. Yet, God will remind us to ask; to speak aloud and ask for what we want and to ask for His wisdom.
There have been times when God has asked me, did you ask for what you want? Did you ask for My wisdom or opinion? I had to ask myself, did I ask God? Did I submit my petition to the Lord? Did I seek His counsel before doing forward with certain plans? Did I assume the answer would be no, or the prayer was not going to be answered? Did I think this was the will of God for me?  I had to search myself. Because there are times when my faith has not been on the level it should have been, and times I have acted hastily without seeking His counsel. Sometimes the cares of this world can overwhelm us that we begin to move with the current of the world, and not the current of God. We forget the promises, we stop seeking His will, we succumb to what only our natural eyes can see, and we often forget about all the answered prayers we previously received, Our memory becomes shortened because we have moved out of faith and have begun to walk by sight.
It is not hard to overlook the one simple act of actually asking. When we are caught up in the way things appear to be, often times God is the last One we go to. When we seek Him, we are not asking or seeking, but instead telling God what we need, and informing Him of made up plans. I am guilty of this behavior. I either have asked but did not believe or have confidence in what I was asking for. Or, I did not ask God or seek His will, and went ahead with plans that were not favorable or what God desired for me.
1 John 5:14-15 (AKJV) 14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: 15 and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
Jeremiah 29:11-12 (AKJV) 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
For many of us, our confidence has dwindled. We no longer ask boldly or according to God’s will for our lives because we have not spent any quality time in the presence of our God to know His will for our lives. We lack understanding, faith, courage, and wisdom. We have no confidence in God; no confidence that He will answer when we ask. We have come to this sad conclusion because we do not know God. We have no knowledge of who our Father truly is. If we have no knowledge of who He truly is, then how can we ask and believe that whatever we ask for, He will give it to us. How can we know that He blesses our plans?
Beloveds, it is time to seek the will of God for our lives. It is time to ask God to fill us with His knowledge and wisdom. So, that we will understand and believe in our hearts that whatever we come to Him for, He will indeed answer us. We have been on a lone search for answers for far too long. Too many of us are crashing and burning when all we need to do is seek God. Seek His will, the Kingdom of Heaven, and ask God in confidence for what we want.
We have made decisions in our lives and wonder at our failures or the uncomfortable situations we find ourselves in. This is when we ask ourselves, did I ask? Did I ask God for direction, His will, and His instructions? Or, did I just do what I wanted or what someone else said I should do without seeking wise counsel?
The pendulum swings both ways. Will we receive everything we ask for? No. For those with children, would you give your children everything they asked for? God has given us freedom to choose. That includes the paths we take. Whether or not we desire to listen and heed to His counsel. We cannot blame God for the actions we take when have not sought Him or His will. When we have not asked for what we want, or for His directions.
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 will answer, and sometimes His answers are not what we were expecting, but He is answering. Be confident in knowing that God does hear you. Never allow fear to keep your heart closed to a Father that only desires the best for you; whether you are seeking an answered request or His wisdom concerning a situation or direction; ask. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

"Not For God"

Reflections4Life March 12, 2017
“Not For God”
“And Jesus looking upon them saith, ‘With men, it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.’ …”Mark 10:27
Scripture Contemplation: Genesis 15; Joshua 1:8-9; Matthew 6:36-38; 17; 19; Luke 1:57; Hebrews 6…

There is so much going on in the world today, that it is causing fear in the heart of many, anger in the others, and hopelessness in countless others. Some things seem impossible; the road ahead filled with uncertainties and impossibilities. The Father has consistently reminded me this week: The situation may look impossible and perhaps it is for me, but nothing is impossible for Him.
I declare and decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and enlightenment for your heart, mind, and soul; bringing you peace in every area of your life. Stir up your faith. Remind yourself that God is still in control no matter how uncontrolled the situations may be. Spend some quality intimate time in the presence of God this week; allowing Him to remind us of Who He is and what He has promised you.
If I were to go, by the way, things appear today; I would never want to get out of bed or even think of the promises of God. So many things are taking place; things that are out of my control and all I know to do is call upon God and ask Him to come through. To, show up and show out, keeping true to His word.
Many times I have had, my faith pushed and tested this past couple of months. I will not lie to you: it has been excruciating and at times exhausting. I have felt pulled in so many different directions that I feel like Gumby. Do you know what God said asked me? Do you trust Me, daughter? Really God? You see what I’m going through and that’s Your answer to my prayer? Do I trust You? Of course, God simply says, “Yes. Do you trust Me? Yes or no?
Before I answered, I had to search my heart and truly ask myself if I really trusted God. Did I truly trust Him as I said? Did my heart really believe in what God has spoken? Or was I like so many others, only having faith and trusting God when things were going my way and the way I thought they should be going?
At the end of my self-inspection and heart check, I had to admit that I was lacking. Lacking in my trust in God. My situation left me feeling vulnerable. Everything that is going on seems so overwhelming and impossible for me to do anything about. My trust in God had waivered. Not that I did not believe His word; but weariness had settled in and anger that I had to even go through what I am going through. Oh! None of it is God’s fault. But we always seem to place the blame on the ones we love the most. Be honest; at one time or another, the thought has come that if God loved us, why did He allow this to happen. Why is He allowing these things to go on? The truth of the matter is, most of the situations we find ourselves face with are due to the consequences of other people’s actions and ours. Things must run their course. And when God is cleaning house and cleaning up the messes that others have caused—even the things we caused—we must remember that God does things His way and in His time.
Though things were impossible for us, there is nothing impossible for Him. When we trust God to take care of us, to lead us and to do what is necessary; we will understand that He has always had our best interest. He has always been there; even through the storms and difficulties—He has been right there. Those things that appear impossible for us? They are not for Him. The things we have difficulty getting through and pass? Trust God to bring us through because there really is nothing impossible for God.
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. Those the situations before you seem impossible and your hands are tied to do anything about it; trust God to bring you through. Remember that though it is impossible for you, nothing is impossible for God and He is showing up right on time. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!

©2017 Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

"Remember Your Strength"

Reflections4Life March 5, 2017
“Remember Your Strength”
“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.” Isaiah 40:29
Scripture Contemplation: Joshua 14; Job 4; 12; Psalm 18:2; Proverbs 8:14; 1 Peter 5:10…
©Ruthe McDonald.

I declare and decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and enlightenment for your heart, mind, and soul; bringing you peace in every area of your life. Remember: The Joy of the Lord is your strength. Do not get quiet during the test and storms when it comes to praying and speaking what God has promised you, though it may seem as though God is silent; He is waiting for YOU to speak the words He has already spoken to you. Remember that you have been declared the winner.
I did NOT go through all of those tests and trials and tribulations to give up now. I DID NOT make it through horrendous times; heartbreaking times just to let the enemy gain the upper hand and steal my joy and cripple my faith. NOT. HAPPENING. I will remember the strength that is within me every time some new roadblock, twist, turn, or test comes my way. I will remember that I already have the victory and that the joy of the Lord is my strength. What He's done before, He will do again...and I win!
Far too many of us are giving up when the enemy comes knocking at our door or knocking us down. Get back up and remember whose you are. Remember that you have gone through other things and made it through.
Oh. Sure. You are probably saying what so many others and I have said: "Why? Why do I always have to go through something? Can't I get a break?" Trust, I have been there, done that and the truth is, we do get our break. We can have peace in the midst of a storm. Just as it was spoken to me, I will say to you: To whom much is given, much is required. I know...that is not what you want to hear right now, but it is the truth.
God has equipped you and He has chosen you. The call and blessings on your life require a certain level of molding and shaping and testing; a certain level of heat. However, you will make it through if you remember that God is with you and that there is a purpose for your life. Also, the pain you have endured.
You will never know your purpose or full potential if you are not willing to risk it all and get out of your comfort zones. I did not want to settle. I did not want to get to a point in my life and wonder what could have been if I weren't so afraid or dared myself to keep pushing forward although the tests and trials seemed so overwhelming and never ending. 
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. If you are not happy; if you know there is more; do not allow fear, weariness, any tests or trials, or the whispers of the enemy to stop you. Have faith. Remember all that God has already brought you through it all. Remember the strength that lies within you. You earned that! Now use it! You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.