Sunday, May 28, 2017

"An Ordinary Life"

Reflections4Life May 28, 2017

"An Ordinary Life"

"Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody." Romans 12:15-16

Scripture Contemplation: Daniel 10; Romans 12; James 4…

©Ruthe McDonald.

God is doing extraordinary things through the lives of ordinary people. It is not extraordinary people doing ordinary things that are making a difference. No, it is those of us—ordinary people—who follow God's lead and determine in our hearts to walk in obedience, that is doing wonderful, marvelous, and extraordinary things. Extraordinary to others but the same old thing for us because we are doing what we love for Who we love.
I declare that this week's Reflections is a continued source of encouragement for your hearts, minds, and soul. God desires to give us understanding and insight to the parts of our hearts and souls that we may have felt stagnated in. Lay on the altar, giving it all to God for direction. Trust God to lead you into places He has ordained for your life.
It is amazing to me when I see and hear the extraordinary things and accomplishments that everyday, ordinary people are doing. It encourages and inspires me at the same time to continue to go forward in the plans of God, allowing Him to lead me on the path that He has ordained for my life. What I have learned on my life's journey, that our ordinary, everyday self can and will do amazing things on this earth when we take a moment to not first think of ourselves but the needs of someone else.
The average person may often look at their life and feel as though what they do and contribute is not much. That, the extra sandwich they made and shared; the bag of clothes and shoes; the nearly used purses filled with toiletries; that bottle of water; that cover, that blanket, that cupcake or cookie sale, were all just very small things that really do not make much of a difference. They were just doing their part, but not really making much of a huge difference. That "average" person would be wrong. That ordinary person, with the selfless heart, just did an extraordinary thing. Sometimes they may never know how great an impact they truly had, but the blessings of God will visit them in return.
That extra sandwich? Fed someone that had not eaten in days and gave them hope that someone does care. That bag of clothes and shoes? Helped someone who needed new clothing for a job interview that would change their lives and their family's lives. Some child was able to feel comfortable going to school with clean and new clothes. Three more outfits than what they had which were none. The purses filled with toiletries? It went to women and teen girls that are homeless and have no extra money for the basic necessities of that we take for granted. The generosity touched their hearts and encouraged them to keep pushing forward. They feel clean and human again. They were so inspired they turn around and give from what they have and now are inspired to give back and work with the people they used to be. That bottle of water? It was not only used for thirst but to wash. It gave life. That cover and blanket? Kept people warm and shielded from the cold and the other elements of the weather. That bake sale? Helped pay for several families meals for three months. Enough time for that mother, father, guardian to gain employment, and does not worry about putting food on the table and feeding their children until they could provide; especially after being turned away from a food bank that just ran out of food and had to turn them away.
I would be remiss not to mention the ordinary men and women that did the extraordinary every day when they made the decision to serve this country. We honor each service man and woman for the sacrifice they have made to ensure the safety and liberty of their country. Blessings to the families of those extraordinary men and women. We are forever indebted to their sacrifice and we remember and celebrate them this Memorial Day.
Ordinary people doing what they would normally do but have extraordinary impacts. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things because they dare to follow their hearts and take a chance on humanity and find themselves creating organizations, inventing products, saving lives, organizing grass root organizations, raising funds, giving freely of themselves, changing lives for the better forever. Giving their lives.
Beloveds, God uses ordinary people. You do not have to come from a rich family to be wealthy. You can be wealthy in heart, mind, and spirit, wealthy in character, in love, and a desire to serve and make a difference. God is using ordinary people with a heart that malleable to His touch; with a teachable spirit, to do extraordinary things every single day. He just looks for a willing heart to follow His lead.
Romans 12:1-2 (MSG) "So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in 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. You do not need any special skills to be used by God; to be His instrument; His hands, feet, and voice on the earth. He just needs a willing heart, ready and willing to serve and share love. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

"Get Back Up!"

Reflections4Life May 21, 2017
“Get Back Up”
“Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Scripture Contemplation: 1 Samuel 17:20; Psalm 121:8; 140:4; Isaiah 43; 61; Hebrews 4; 13…
©Ruthe McDonald.
I declare that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Give the Father your time. In Him, you will find your strength, your courage, and your power to keep pushing forward and walking into the life He has ordained for you. Failures may come but in God, they all become life lessons and the reason you do not stay down but get back up.
You cannot stay down, Beloved. There is too much that God has for your life and for those He has assigned to you. Yes. We are on assignment on this earth. We are not here by accident. We are here on purpose with a purpose. We must remember whose we are and who has us covered no matter what we face in this earth.
Yes, it would appear so easy to stay down and wallow in mistakes, failures, oppression, depression, and have them easily fall into the category of self-pity. However, God has invested too much in us to allow the enemy come and continue to steal from us our peace, joy, strength, and sound mind.
Get. Back. Up. It does not matter what you failed at or who left you. That failure is another lesson to be learned and a testimony earned. That person who left? Their loss! God saved you further heartache down the line. Rise up and remember who you belong to and what He has promised you.
The word of God admonishes us not to grow weary in well doing. It may feel easier said than done but the truth of the matter is that with God, it becomes easier to bare. Our burden becomes light and yoke becomes easier all because Christ has taken upon Himself to bear the infirmities, the weaknesses, the doubts, and fears, the uncertainties, the heartaches, the angst, anger, and vitriol, and all else upon Himself.
Now is not the time to give up, Beloveds. It is, however, time to cast it all on the Lord. Leave everything at the feet of Jesus; begin to worship, and praise God for the manifestations of His promises. Now! Now is the season, the moment, the time that you have diligently prayed about. The very season and reason why you so diligently sought after Him. He has already filled your cup; now begins the overflow. The overflow of anointing. The same anointing that destroys the yoke of the enemy. The overflow of answered prayers; knowing that God has not only heard but has answered and is bringing to past every prophetic word due to be birthed this hour. You just have to believe and take your position to receive.
A Prayer for This Week
Lord God, thank You for another day, another gift of life. An abundant life filled with the manifestations of blessings and answered prayers. Thank You, Father, for eyes and ears being opened and a heart conditioned and mind regulated to receive the overflow of the blessings ordained for my life. Thank You, for being my God, my Father, my Help in the time of trouble and in need; my Deliverer, my Answer. Thank You, for being my everything and conditioning my heart to know who You are and whose I am.
 Thank You, Lord, for not allowing me to give up or to throw in the towel as I am in the season of NOW. The season of manifestations and miracles. Thank You, Lord, for signs and wonders following me and for Your word being in my heart and on my lips. Thank You, Lord, that as it is and has always been in Heaven, so it is now on the earth concerning me and mine and every soul you have commissioned to come into my sphere of influence. Thank You, Lord, that I can, because of You, walk in confidence and boldness because I am Yours and You have conditioned my heart.
Father, I am expecting great and mighty things in this new week. Doors are open, roadblocks have been destroyed, fear has been obliterated, and naysayers have been quieted. Thank You, that I do not walk alone but have You and a cloud of witnesses cheering me on and encouraging me in every area to follow Your lead and make things happen. You have withheld no good or great thing from me. Instead, You have ushered me into my wealthy places.
Thank You, for enlarging my territory and sphere of influence. Thank You for the gift of giving and that of discernment and humbleness. I stand on Your word and in Your presence and truth; walking in confidence, boldness, joy, and happiness, with peace all around me, in me, and working for me. I am covered in righteousness and everything I speak in accordance with Your will comes to pass swiftly, with no more delays. Thank You. 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. Do not give up! Just when you think God has abandoned you. Just when you are about to give up and throw in the towel; that is the moment you are closer than ever to the manifestations of the promises and blessings of God. Get back up, shake the dust off, and go forward with boldness, knowing, believing, and trusting the word of God in your life. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

"The Beauty of My Heart"

Reflections4Life May 14, 2017
“The Beauty of My Heart”
“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.” Psalm 139:13-14 MSG
Scripture Contemplation: Psalm 139; Proverbs 31; Ruth 1; Job 24; 1-12; Isaiah 49:15-18; John 19…
Happy Mother’s Day! I declare that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Honor those you gave you life. Let them know each day how much you love them. Remember the lessons of those who have transitioned. For they are life and will guide you to the manifest blessings that God has ordained for your life.
No matter what kind of relationship you may have with your mother, honor her for the simple fact that you have a life. I understand that there are many who are estranged from their mothers. You have your reasons. Yet, even in that, God admonishes us to honor our parents. To honor our mothers for the simple fact that they gave us birth and that is the vessel that god chose to bring us into this world.
No mother is perfect. Some go far and above as mothers, sharing their love and concern with countless others who may not have had such a great relationship with their own or even know their mother. Then you have mothers who are at the other end of the spectrum. Such is life; it is good and bad in all things. Yet, I am convinced that for those who have found themselves in the latter experience, I believe that God has raised up women to come into their lives and mother those who need mothering. He has raised up a select group of women to carry out the love of God through mothering not only their children bit other children and adults who need to know sincerely what a mother’s love is and what it feels like.
I take this opportunity to share with you about my mother. My heart. The beauty of my heart. I am because she was. She transitioned two years ago, yet it feels like yesterday. I still hear her voice, feel her embrace, and at times smell her scent and feel her presence. She is never far from me. As close as we were before she transitioned, there was a time when we were not close at all. I gather many mothers and daughters go through this speed bump as daughters are growing up and thinking they know everything. Yet that was not the reason for our distance. My mother confided in me that she thought she had to be extra strict with me to ensure that I did not follow her example. She wanted me to do more than she did. To accomplish all of my dreams. To go to college and do the things that were in my heart. So, she became very strict and rigid in her discipline—in her fear—to keep me walking that “straight” line. The result, however, was that I did not want to be around my mother. I loved her but hated her behavior towards me, which only made us bump heads. There were things I wanted to share with her. Things I needed to share, that she should have known but was too fearful and angry at her to open up and develop a close relationship that we shared when I was a very little girl.
Fortunately, God stepped in, and when I graduated college, my mother and I became best friends. We were able to communicate with women who had grown and who had things in common that went beyond our love for God. The trials and tests we endured made us stronger, and that is why I can say mother will always be the beauty of my heart. She is that beauty that resides in my heart constantly. Through her, I learned how to be a mother, a friend, an aunt, a humanitarian. I learned how to pray, how to intercede, how to be that Proverbs 31 woman. I am blessed. Because even though she is now resting in the Lord, she still looks to me and has left me a treasure; an inheritance that makes my brothers and me wealthy beyond natural means. She left us with the truth of what it means to be a true child of God.
Strength
This is my Mom. She taught me just about everything I know about being a strong woman. About, coming back stronger after being down for so long. About overcoming obstacles and triumphantly destroying the plans of the enemy. She taught me about prayer and how to pray. She taught me how to forgive and to love unconditionally.
This is my Mama. My friend. My heart. My teacher. The woman who showed me that nothing is impossible for God. That you can indeed overcome when everyone else has counted you out. She taught me how to stand in my convictions and not back down. To hold onto what I believed and to go after God tenaciously, and that it is okay to remind God of His promises, and to definitely ask the question why. 
This is my Mother. Who loved me better than anyone, Who prayed for me when I couldn't pray for myself. Who listened to me and did not interrupt. Who knew what I was feeling just by the look on my face or the aurora of my spirit. I didn't have to say a word. She just knew. Who listened patiently and didn't ask a question; even though I called her at four in the morning but didn't speak until 4:25. She just listened, while I was silent or cried. Then afterward, she lifted me up in prayer, not commenting n anything I just shared. Because she understood, I just needed my mother's ear.
This is my Mommy. Who left this earth sixteen months ago. Leaving me to wonder what I was going to do without my partner in crime. Without my intercessor, my prayer warrior, my encourager, my teacher, my mother, my friend. What was I to do? It hurt so damn bad. And it still does.
This is my Teacher. Who taught me strength just by being who she was. Her life was a testament of strength and of irreproachable character. She was far from perfect, and she owned it. Never did she hide the truth about who she was and what she did, to the point it felt that I knew too much! But she was honest and wanted you to know, that whatever you faced, you could get through it too.
I hope there is someone in your life that you can always turn to and have a source of strength to glean from. I hope that you cherish every lesson, admonishment, and correction that they have to give. Because it is all a part of teaching you to stand and be strong; becoming the person God has already said you are.
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. Honor your mother whether or not she was good, bad, there, or not. She was the instrument that God used to get you here, in this earth, and receiving of all that He has for you. Do not let a day go past that you do not tell the ones you love that you love them. If you see someone who needs some mothering, then mother them. DNA has nothing on motherhood. It is about the heart and the power and beauty that reside within a woman’s heart and the power that lies in motherhood. Happy Mother’s Day! Rejoice in your assignment. It is a gift from God. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!

©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved. 

Sunday, May 07, 2017

"Purpose"

Reflections4Life May 7, 2017
“Purpose”
“To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats.” Isaiah 1:11
Scripture Contemplation: Proverbs 15:22; 20:18; Ecclesiastes 3; Isaiah 14; Romans 8:28; 2 Corinthians 9; Ephesians 3…
©Ruthe McDonald.
I declare that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. In all that you do, let there be a purpose behind. Give it a purpose so that it may meet what is intended. Seek the counsel of God; seek out wisdom to guide you and each purpose will manifest according to the will of God for your life.
I do not think many of us really stop to think about the purpose behind the things we are doing. Others may ask us what our objective is because humans have a tendency to be skeptical of a person’s intent. Which is quite understandable considering the corruption we see all around us. Yet, rarely do we ask ourselves or search for the purpose and intent of hearts when we seek to or are doing something.
Oh! There are reasons. We understand the concept of reciprocity or giving to receive. Nevertheless, have we put a definite purpose behind our actions? There must be an objective, the desired result for what we do. Think of it as a resume. The first thing we often list is our objective, our purpose for our work experience and skills what we hope to gain. Maybe if we asked ourselves [what our purpose is] more often, we would not become so overwhelmed when we face difficult and hard times in what we are doing, because we have a clear picture of the end game in mind.
If we understand our purpose/objective the reason behind our everyday actions, then perhaps we can concentrate on, and remember our purpose, our intent when all hell breaks loose, and we find ourselves under fire and questioning whether what we are doing is worth it.
Knowing our purpose gives accountability and stability. It helps focus and anchor us in the midst of things falling apart or going not quite as planned or envisioned. It also gives a determination and sense of what it will cost those God has called us to and ourselves if we gave up or stopped what we were doing.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (AKJV) But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly, and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work…
This scripture passage is not solely speaking of giving monetary. It is about giving of your service, your time, your counsel, knowledge, and wisdom. It is about being of service in the Kingdom of God and the reason behind why you are doing what you are doing. It is about your heart service and the reasons behind your actions.
What is the pay-off? What are we seeking to receive as a result of what we are doing? We have our purpose now. We know the intent and what we are expecting to happen to result from having given our actions a purpose. Now, what is the payoff? What are we seeking in return for our discipline, time, and effort? What accomplishments and benefits do we hope to see? Using the example of our resume once again, when you apply for a position, you have stated what you can bring and add to the company. What do you expect the company to give to you? Other than a paycheck or a salary, what are you going to receive resulting from your dedication and hard work?
Why do you do what you do? If we do not know the why or are doing it because that is what someone else wanted us to do; then we need to take a step back and evaluate our motives and go back to our purpose/objective. Especially if everything seems a bit, overwhelming and we want to give up instead of fight, forgetting about the cost.
Beloveds, there is a reason why we all do what we do whether we understand it, accept it, or acknowledge it. There is a definite purpose behind our actions. Whatever our objectives are, it will determine the willingness and the depths to which we are willing to go to see our actions through to the end. We must ask ourselves, what will the cost be for us not to accomplish our objective? Who, other than ourselves, will suffer by us not completing our purpose?
If there is one thing I have learned in my journey of life with God, is that I am not on this earth for myself. I am here to serve. That, my life story is not my own to hoard and keep hidden. It a story meant to be shared to bring encouragement, enlightenment, strength, hope, and healing to others. I am a walking Epistle, an Ambassador for Christ. My purpose is to live my life unapologetically without fear and with selflessness, understanding that there will be difficulties along the way. Mountains and valleys along the journey, and hearts and minds that God has called me to reach. My purpose is to reach as many souls as I can while living the life that God has ordained for me. And to give not because I feel pressured or fear ramifications from God but because I know the love and care of my heavenly Father and desire to share it with the world.
My motivation is to see the Kingdom of God expand and lives changed for the better. My payoff is eternal life with my Heavenly Father, the satisfaction of accomplishing my life goals, walking and living in happiness and joy, and pleasing my heavenly Father. To live the life of my idea and vision of happiness for me. Yours may be different than mine but this is the pay-off that I expect to receive.
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. Whatever you do, know the reasons why you are doing it. Let your purpose be made known. Seek the counsel of Holy Spirit and those that God has placed in your life. Wherever your journey takes you, purpose in your heart that, God is leading you to the exact place that He has ordained you to be for that specific time and place. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!

©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.