Sunday, August 27, 2017

"Every Step is Victory"

Reflections4Life August 27, 2017
“Every Step is Victory”
“The steps of a [good and righteous] man are directed and established by the Lord, and He delights in his way [and blesses his path].” Psalm 37:23
Scripture Contemplation: 2 Samuel 22:37; Job 14:16; 31; Psalm 18; 37; John 5:6-8; James 5:16

I declare that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Know and believe that it is in every step we make up in our heart and minds to take each day that brings the vision to pass. Celebrate every step taken; every step conquered, pursuing your goals and visions one day, one-step at a time—one victory at a time.
I wish you could see my heart today and what has been stirring in my spirit, so you would have a first-hand account of my truth, but all I have is my word to share with you. I pray that the fruit of my mouth and of my actions speak for themselves. I hope the words I write are illuminated by our Creator and it brings encouragement and inspiration to you today because you recognize your own truth within them.
The heavenly Father reminded me that it is imperative that we not focus on a future result and the ultimate win of accomplished goals and visions, but to instead focus on the daily wins. The triumphs made each day. The result of what we desire, the ultimate goal being met, is comprised of the steps of the journey that it took to get there. One day at a time still holds fast and true. We are to celebrate the victory of each new day we are granted, each step that is accomplished. It is in the individual steps we take that ultimately culminate into that goal and dream that waits it appointed time.
Here is what I have also learned and been reminded of, beloved, that the first step is always the hardest. Somewhere in the middle of the journey, it will get harder still. Then when we are about to see the vision completed, it will get hard again and the enemy will do everything he can to make us give up just when we were about to meet the finish line.
Yet, here’s the thing: We must actually take that first step. That first step towards greatness, healing, peace of heart and mind and our goals and visions. Oh, that first step often looks daunting, not because we are necessarily looking at the first step, but are looking at the entire staircase. Our minds and vision are on the results and the big picture. That can be a deterrent for many of us. It can stop most before they even get started because the dreams and visions seem too big or overwhelming.
The Father says to take victory in every step; to look at the vision and goals as a series of daily steps. One step, one day, at a time. So, I determined to look at each day as not only a challenge to be met but a challenge to be won and celebrated, bringing me one day, one step, one triumph, one victory closer to the manifestation of my visions and goals. I encourage you to do the same.
I realized that the focus I had on the big picture was hindering my progress in daily tasks. It is so easy to get caught up in the vision of where we want to be and go and do, that the journey—along with its lessons—are sometimes missed, forgotten, or bypassed, which in turn only makes our goals and visions seem that much further away and sometimes impossible.
If we can look at our life’s journey as a series of steps instead of an entire staircase to conquer, then the tasks we need to accomplish will not seem as difficult or daunting. Yes, we will be met with obstacles and situations that will often make us feel as though we are stuck or going in the wrong direction. However, that is a part of life; a part of a series of lessons that we must learn in this life; lessons that will strengthen us and prepare us for the manifest blessings.
This is what I am learning and coming to understand; Conquering one step at a time is a whole lot better than trying to conquer an entire staircase of forty to eighty steps at once. That is too overwhelming and the chances of my giving up and failure are that much greater. That is not an option for me. I will take my stance and concentrate on that one, step, and I will celebrate the victory of conquering that one step as I go on to the next.
It is not impossible for God to leap frog us the entire staircase or a few steps. If He does—great! His promises are just manifested that much sooner. However, I, myself, will not seek to skip or take on any more steps than He has ordained because I am in a rush to the finish line. I will move accordingly, following the steps that God has ordained for me, and relish in every single step accomplished and victory gained because I understand that single victory is part of the whole vision coming to pass.
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. The first step is a change of mind and the words we speak to ourselves. There is so much before us; ahead of us. There is a victory in each step we take. So celebrate the milestones of your journey, for they make the vision complete. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!

©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

"Breaking Crutches"

Reflections4Life August 20, 2017
“Breaking Crutches”
“Jesus said, “If you were really blind, you would be blameless, but since you claim to see everything so well, you’re accountable for every fault and failure.” John 9:41
Scripture Contemplation: Exodus 32; 1 Samuel 3;4; 1 Chronicles 7; Acts 5...
©Ruthe McDonald.
I am reminded of an important truth that many of us may not see; especially when you love someone. When you love so deeply as a spouse, a parent, a child, a sibling, there are times when we may allow our love for another to hinder a move of God from happening in our loved one's life and even our own. Unwittingly, we become a tool in the enemy's plan to destroy our loved one and sabotage ourselves, by not following what God said but instead yielding to the heartstrings pulled by the flesh. Beloved, it is time to break every crutch.
I declare that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Lay it all on the altar—including your loved ones—and leave it/them there. Trust God to do what needs to be done in their lives, as well as your own. Allow the peace of God to rest in your heart concerning the ones you love and your journey before you. Trust everything to the Father's capable hands.
It is not easy to see a loved one suffering. It is in some of our natures to be a nurturer and caregiver; always being there in the time of someone's need. There comes a time, however, when we must step back and learn to allow them to walk their own path; to fall, if they must, and allow God to be the One to pick them up.
Sometimes our help becomes a hindrance, blocking the move of God in a person's life. Think about it this way: What if you constantly carried your child around. What if you carried them everywhere, for fear that they were going to hurt themselves? How would they learn to walk? How would they know it is possible to get back up and start again? How would they come to the understanding that sometimes you can be bruised, but in time, healing will come? How will they learn not to be scared but to have faith?
You would be crippling your child for the rest of their lives if you always carried them. You would be depriving them of learning their own strengths and weaknesses, and learning how to take care of themselves when the time came. They would never develop strong legs or a tough bottom if all you ever did were carry them. They must learn to walk on their own. Moreover, in the process gain strength in their legs, learn that they can get back up, and learn that they can walk on their own.
If we know the truth and do not abide by that truth; live and walk in that truth, we are just as guilty by going along with those who are sinning against God. By not standing up for truth and speaking out against what we know to be wrong, we are a crutch to those who will do wrong. Our silence or allowance for such behaviors make us part of the sin, and liable for the consequences that follow.
God does not fault us for loving our children or wanting what is best for them. But we cannot be the kind of parent that does not give correction or discipline, or hold our children accountable for their actions. There are times when we can become a crutch for those that we love by always bailing them out, and never allowing them to face the consequences of their actions. How can our loved ones come to learn accountability and responsibility if we continue to provide a license for them to do what they want to do, whenever they want to do it without any repercussions for their actions? We become just as guilty as they.
God knows our hearts. He knows all that we do and say. He knows our thoughts before we think them. Yet, many of us have knowingly lied and covered up sins and wrong doings for those we may love, believing that we are showing loyalty and unconditional love. Being a crutch and making excuses for sin is not loyalty or unconditional love; it is being an enabler.
The Father is holding us accountable for our actions and inactions. He is not idly sitting upon His throne and watching us, winking at our iniquities. He is not moved by our devotion to our loved one's sinful behavior. He is not pleased by the excuses we make for them. Yet, He is holding us accountable, and their blood is on our hands. How can we know the truth and not live it or teach the truth? How can we say we love God and love our family, and not allow God to do what needs to be done in their lives? We cannot continue to make excuses, or become an excuse, or continue to bail out our loved ones and expect them to become who God has ordained for them to be.
If we sincerely love them, then we must be willing to let them fall and get back up on their own. We must be willing to let them walk their walk on their own, learning, growing, and coming to God for themselves. There is only one Savior, and His name is Jesus Christ. Tough love is often allowing those we love and care for to come to the realization that only God can deliver them and save them from the course their life has taken. Do not be the crutch that eventually brings death—spiritually and physically—to the ones that you say you love. Let God be God. If they fall, allow God to pick them up. Stop being a pawn in the enemy’s plots and schemes.
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. Break the crutches today. Place your loved ones on the altar, allowing God to do for them what He has done for you. Let Jesus become their Savior and Deliverer. Move out of God's way, and see what the Father will do when you have complete faith in Him. You are blessed. Now go...and be a blessing!

©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

"True Love is Always Worth the Fight"

Reflections4Life August 13, 2017
“True Love is Always worth the Fight”
“But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:12
Scripture Contemplation: Genesis 1;2; Song of Solomon; John 3:16-17; John 17; 1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:22-23...
©Ruthe McDonald.
I do not believe I can adequately explain how much I love God. The proper vernacular escapes me to do justice to what my heart and spirit hoards for our Creator. I love Him with every fiber of my being, every single molecule. His love has set me free, and I never want to be bound again. No matter what experiences and challenges I am met with; I will always fight for true love. It is worth it.
I decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. You may have suffered some great heartache and disappointments; now is the time to get back in the fight for unconditional love. No longer will you let go of love, but you will hold on, give love, and receive the love you deserve.
The heavenly Father has blessed me with a powerful understanding and revelation concerning love. Still, I know there are more revelations (about His love to come.) How can I begin to explain or convey such knowledge and wisdom? I believe the best way is to show you; through my actions, through my writing, through my service to the Father on a daily basis.
Do you know how powerful love is? Do you understand how love can change things? Unconditional love? God love? God? Oh my Beloveds, when I finally understood that God is love and that He has created in me that same love; a part of Him is in me—I cannot begin to tell you how that one revelation changed my life, and how I love and receive love. How, I will fight for love, knowing that true, unconditional, sincere love is worth the fight.
It is but a guarantee that in this lifetime we will suffer hurt, disappointments, and discouragements. Yet, we cannot allow those things to stop us from loving unconditionally or giving up on love. Sure, many of us love but we place conditions on that love. When we are born, all we know is to love unconditionally as a child, until we grow up and begin to experience life and put into practice what we are taught. Taught through others actions; mimicking the way others loved around us. Sadly, we learn to give up to soon and not fight for that gift that God has given all of us.
The only way to know how to love unconditionally, to fight for it, is to be intimate with the Father; to understand how He loves and to know what it is He desires from us. Any other kind of love is temporal. It will not last or stand the tests and trials of our lifetime. It holds restraints and has conditions upon it and soon does not become worthy of our time and effort.
Now the love of God—God Love?—is refreshing, liberating, unconditional, mind and heart changing, and it is everlasting. It is worth fighting for and never giving up on. I am not saying that we will not experience hurt and disappointments while loving unconditionally, because we will, being a part of life in this earth. However, we can triumph over those hurts and learn to love freely and fight what God has promised and given to us, without having to contort ourselves into someone we do not know, filled with bitterness, regrets, carrying baggage, and never capable of trust. That is not Christ! That is not God Love! That is a prison sentence. Not anything, that one would remotely want to fight for. God has set us free from that. We can live and love without any strings or conditions attached, and when circumstances arise to threaten that love, we will know that it is worth the fight to secure and keep that love, because we will understand how precious it sincerely is.
 So can we agree that in this life we will experience disappointment and hurt? But can we also agree that we can will also experience the joy and gift of love when we love God's way? We cannot allow unconditional love to slip from our spirit because we have been hurt. No matter how many times it has occurred. I know: sounds easier said than done. However, it is not when you have allowed God that place upon the throne of your heart, and you begin to love as He loves. When you allow the Father to teach you how to navigate and how to love as He does. That is something you will fight for, because once you experience it, there is nothing else that compares to it.
I learned a valuable lesson, coming to the understanding that many of us have allowed the way we love to be shaped by our experiences with others. Because of this, we hinder and shortchange ourselves when it comes to giving and receiving love. We punish others for the missteps and hurts caused by another and we give up and do not fight for unconditional love, the gift of love that God brings into our lives.
Hurt can be devastating and change your love. However, love should be unconditional. Do not allow the pain, heartache, and disappointment from previous relationships; whether it is romantic, friendships, or even a relationship with a church—to change how you love and receive love or your willingness to give your all and fight for love. Allow God to guard your heart, as you continue to love unconditionally.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a “Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting. Love never fails!”
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 love reign. Let God be all up in your space, loving on you and teaching you to love. Hold onto love and never let it go. Fight for true love to remain in your life. No matter the circumstances or situations, true, unconditional love can always and will always endure. You are blessed. Now go...and be a Blessing!

©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved. 

Sunday, August 06, 2017

"Thank You!"

Reflections4Life August 6, 2017
“Thank You!”
“I will give You thanks with all my heart; I sing praises to You before the [pagan] gods.
I will bow down [in worship] toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word together with Your name. On the day I called, You answered me; and You made me bold and confident with [renewed] strength in my life.” Psalm 138:1-3
Scripture Contemplation: Psalm 138; 1 Samuel 2:1; 1 Chronicles 20; Daniel 2; John 11:41; Revelation 11:17…

I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Allow the grace of God to cover you and fill your heart. Let your heart be filled with hope and peace as you give God praise; thanking Him for life, His love, His covering, and His forgiveness. A grateful heart will open long awaited doors.
If there is one thing that I have learned growing up, was that a posture of gratitude got you further along than an attitude of sniping, griping, and self-entitlement. Sometimes, all a person desires is a simple Thank you. A sign of recognition, of gratitude, that they are appreciated; that their efforts are not only noticed but also accepted and not taken for granted.
How many times have you encountered a person, a proprietor, a sales person that felt disgruntled because of a bad day, but when someone gives them a genuine thank you, they seem to light up, and get a dose of energy? No one wants to be taken advantage of or looked over for the work they are doing. Even if it were a person’s job to serve, they still would like to hear thank you, to know that their efforts and their work are being appreciated.
A simple thank you can change so much in a person’s life. It can give them strength. It can bring encouragement; giving them that extra zip and push that they need to continue with what they are doing. There are not many in the world that desire his or her efforts to go unnoticed or not appreciated for what they do. Yet, many people are over looked, passed by, their efforts never mentioned, their work never acknowledge. Many taken advantaged of; their kindness being taken for weakness.
Can we be honest today? Whether it is someone we know or ourselves, we all know someone that everyone calls on to for help or assistance knowing that there is a ninety-nine percent chance that he or she will say yes. There is that person we all know that people consider an easy mark for their kindness. However, does that give us the license to abuse their kindness? To take advantage of their gifts of help? No. It does not. Though they may have a kind heart and possess the gift of help, does not mean we a have a right to take advantage of them, nor does it mean they do not deserve to be recognized for their kindness and all the work that they do. Even if it is one’s job to serve—they are still worthy of hearing, thank you, and being shown gratitude.
What about God? How many times has our heavenly delivered us, provided for us, got us out of sticky situations, and in the moment we may say thank you, but then we start to take advantage of His grace and mercies? How many do you know that willfully sin, because they believe that all they have to do is repent the next day? I have overheard some people blatantly and proudly say that they are going to intentionally sin and ask for forgiveness tomorrow. Wow! My question is: What happens if you die in your sins? What if you do not get the opportunity to repent? What if, although God has forgiven you, there are unseen consequences for your actions? Here is what God says about this:
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked [He will not allow Himself to be ridiculed, nor treated with contempt nor allow His precepts to be scornfully set aside]; for whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap.
Have you given a simple thank You, Lord, for being woken up today? Or for having a meal, clothes to put on, a roof over our heads? How about saying grace. When was the last time you said grace before commencing to eat your food? Or to have your family around you? Or for the job, you have, even though it may not be the one you desire right now? How about giving God thanks, being grateful for having provision until you get the position that you desire? Did you thank God today for your family? Friends? Being in your right mind? Health?
I can go on. The truth is, we get comfortable in our lives. We get comfortable and take for granted the things we have and that are readily available to us. When we get used to the blessings we have and the accomplishments we have made, some of us forget about where we have come from, or about how hard it is for others at this time; especially if we are not surrounded or see people that are struggling and in need. The truth is for some, that they do not want to be reminded of where they came from. They do not want to see where others are struggling and have nothing because they have in their mind and heart that they got where they are by themselves and that others can do the same if they want to.
Listen, Beloved, we all have our own paths to walk, our own relationship with God to cultivate and grow. No one truly knows what is in our hearts but God. Yet, we do owe it to ourselves to remember that but for the grace of God, our lives could be far worse than it is. We are fortunate to be where we are in life, and a heart of gratitude and thanksgiving goes a long way. Not only are we honoring God for His blessings, be we open the eyes and ears of our heart to those around us. A heart of gratitude, a spirit of Thanksgiving allows us to see the need in others and propels us to become who we truly profess to be as children of God. A simple thank you goes a long way in people’s lives and in the heart of God. Our attitude determines our altitude and a simple thank you can change not only the lives of others but ours as well.
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. I take this time to thank you for your fellowship, friendship, and spirit of community. Thank you for those who have brought my new book, What Love Teaches Me. I pray that it is a blessing to your soul. It is with gratitude and a heart full of love that I thank God for His kindness, grace, and mercy. I know that without Him, I would never have made it through the storms of life. He is my anchor. Guess what? He is your anchor, also. Trust Him where you cannot trace Him. And thank Him for what He has already done and is about to do. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2017 Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.