Sunday, September 24, 2017

"Rebuilding After the Storms"

Reflections4Life September 24, 2017
“Rebuilding after the Storms”
“Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up and restore the former desolations; And they will renew the ruined cities, The desolations (deserted settlements) of many generations.” Isaiah 61:4
Scripture Contemplations: Hebrews 10; Nehemiah 4; Ezra 3; Isaiah 49; Jeremiah 33:7; Acts 15:16

Many may say that the Lord is soon to come again, and I would agree. They observe nature’s seemingly wrath against humanity and concur that the evil of man has brought all of this on. Trust, I have heard that and much more. Though I see this as a sign of the times and Christ soon return; I also see it has time to rebuild and restore that, which has been broken in the land. To restore kindness, love, mercy, peace, community, unity, and faith in God.
Certainly, I am not saying that God did this, but He allowed it. He is granting us the opportunity to see the harvest before us and ready for those of us who know God to go out into the fields and start working and help to restore, rebuild, and ignite other’s faith at this time in their lives. Which of us are ready to be the rainbow that God sends into other people’s lives after the storms?
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. God is rebuilding and restoring what was lost during the storms of our lives. Do not continue to look at what was lost or destroyed but rejoice that you are still here and God is blessing you to start over. Though there may be some tough times, remember that you are not alone. God is with you through it all. Trust Him and let your faith be restored.
My goodness! The tests and trials that we are facing in our lives can be equivalent to the hurricanes and earthquakes that have recently ravished this earth. The devastation, the heartache, the loss; all of it so great and overwhelming. Yet, here we still are. Alive and able to move forward in another day when so many people have lost their lives. People are grieving and mourning. Though our hearts are grieving also and are heavy and we may feel overwhelmed and despondent; know that God is capable of restoring you.
Some of us may ask, how many times do we have to start over? How many times do we have to lose before we start winning? You are alive, blessed with life and opportunities. It may not be everything you desire it to be right now, but you have the ability to start over; to change the ending of your story starting right now.
Here is what I know for certain, Beloveds: Throughout out our life's journey, we may find ourselves having to start over again. For some, it may happen several times before they are exactly where they desire to be. Sometimes we have to make an assertive decision completely to start over from a fresh perspective, a clean slate, rebuilding who we are.
That is exactly what God does for us—if we would listen and accept His will—is give us a fresh start, a brand new beginning; rebuilding us from brokenness and the devastation of life’s storms. We cannot change the past; however, we can change what happens next; the ability to transform the ending of our story, having it work in our favor.
I, myself, am at a crossroads in my own life at this moment; one that I am finding that God has been preparing me for all along. In keeping it honest with you, it is not the best of feelings. My faith feels as though it has been used up and stretched beyond its capacity. Yet, as the circumstances stand, in my heart I know emphatically that it does not change nor stop the blessings, favor, mercies, and grace of God for and in my life. I am coming out of this stronger than ever before and with a greater determination. Oh! Beloveds, I am just getting started! Ruthe 2.0.
When God is on your side, you never lose you always win. Do not be afraid to begin again or start over—not when God is on your side. As long as you have breath in your body, it is not too late for you to have and live the life that God has promised you. No matter how broken and bruised you are. God can and will rebuild from nothing. He will take the ruins of the storms of our lives and build something beautiful and everlasting. All we have to do is believe and tell God, yes!
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. NOTHING is impossible for God. Love yourself enough to know when you deserve and warrant more than what you have been getting or received. Through the storms of life let your soul and spirit be anchored to Christ. Say Yes to God, and He will take care of the rest! You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.



Sunday, September 17, 2017

"Open Your Eyes"

Rflections4Life September 17, 2017
“Open Your Eyes”
“And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed and revealed to the eyes of Him with whom we have to give account.” Hebrews 4:13
Scripture Contemplation: Genesis 3; 21:19; Numbers 22:31; 1 Kings 8; Psalm 34:15; 119:18; Isaiah 35:5; 42:5-7; Jeremiah 32:19; Matthew 9:30; John 9; Acts 26:18…
©Ruthe McDonald.
There will come a time in our lives when we will not only face the truth but understand the truth and see it for what it really is. All the blinders will be gone. All the coverings stripped away. All the doubts and fears eradicated. All excuses silenced. That time is the seat of judgment before God where we will all face God for our actions and inactions.
In the meantime, many of us are walking blindly around with our hands covering our eyes to what is going on around us. Some believe if they act as though these things are not happening then they will not be held accountable for anything. However, beloved, God has given us charge over the earth, go out, and minister to the world. We are to share the truth of His love and promises. We are to spread the Gospel while living a life that is pleasing and acceptable to Him. Not perfect, mind you but pleasing and acceptable. Yet, for us to accomplish this, we must open our eyes and see what it is that God is showing us before we get swept away in the darkness of despair and the lies of the enemy.
I declare that this week’s Reflections is a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Allow Holy Spirit to fill your heart and open your eyes to what is going on around you. Let this week be a time of self-reflection as you take inventory of your life, relationships, time, and actions. Allow God to renew your mind, stir your spirit, and encourage you where you may feel defeated. Nothing is over until God says it is over. Let your eyes be open to what God is showing you.
How many times have we closed our eyes or turned a blind eye to what was hurting us, confusing us, or something we did not understand because we did not want to face the truth of a situation or because we did not want to do the work required to do what God has ordained for us? Too many of us have the misconception that we do not have to work or put an effort into our relationships, work, dreams, and visions. We treat God like He is a genie in a bottle and when we pray we expect Him to do everything while we remain the same and do nothing.
We must put in the work to see the desired results that we hope and pray for. If there is something that we cannot do that is out of our hands, having done all we could do; followed all of God’s instructions; then and only then, do we lift our hands up. We leave it in God’s hands to do what we cannot do. However, whatever God determines, we must follow His will, and instructions concerning that situation.
It is time to open our eyes, Beloved. Open our eyes to God. Open our eyes to what is being shown to us and has been prepared for us. We cannot open our eyes or be enlightened to the situations around us if we have not first surrendered to God and His ways and instructions. We must submit ourselves to God, be open to Him and filled with His understanding in order for us to see clearly what God wants us to see and is showing us.
It is vitally important that we first allow God to adjust our sight and vision because, Beloved, the enemy is very good at smoke and mirrors. Without the touch of Holy Spirit, the insight of our Heavenly Father and looking through His clear lens, we may misconstrue our situation, misinterpret, and miss all that God has ordained for our lives, especially if we are ruled by emotions and hurt feelings. Those kinds of emotions allow the enemy to insert himself further into our life circumstances, wreaking havoc and discord, until he has accomplished his goal of killing, stealing, and destroying.
Make no mistake about it, Beloved. Christ is soon to return. The signs are all around us. Even the enemy knows this; that his time is short and he has been escalating his attacks and attempts to destroy the children of God, to try to persuade them to give up on God and to walk away from the blessings that God has ordained for our lives. He is killing our relationships, marriages, businesses, hopes, dreams, and visions. He is stealing joy, lives, and happiness. He is destroying lives, families, communities, countries, reputations, and many other things all to rob us of the promises of God and to hurt the Father’s heart. If you did not know, we are just pawns in his war against God. We are not the target, God is. However, we are who God loves and has placed His spirit in, created in His image, and given authority to. That right there burns the enemy up.
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. Open your eyes, Beloved. Open them to the will of the Father. See through His lens. Do not allow the smoke and mirrors of the enemy to continue to rob you of the promises of God for your life. The only way to recognize the machinations of the enemy is to get closer to God. Allow God to fine-tune your sight; opening your eyes and heart to what is important and what is happening right before your eyes. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

"The Giants Fall Down"

Reflections4Life September 10, 2017
“The Giants Fall Down”
“These were descended from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.” 1 Chronicles 20:8
Scripture Contemplation: Deuteronomy 3; Joshua 13; 2 Samuel 21; 1 Chronicles 20…

We are all on a journey called life. Each of us taking different yet similar paths. Some times our journey will intersect with one another, giving us either perspective and encouragement, or distractions and discouragement. It is up to us to determine if what we are journeying towards is worth the travail, and sometimes hardship and difficulty we may face, and the giants that will try to block us and scare us along the way.
No one gets around the giants in their journey. They are guaranteed to show up. Yet, here is what many do not understand: THEY ARE STRONGER THAN THE GIANTS. God says that when we believe in Him, His promises and follow His instructions, those “giants” will fall down. The giants in our life journey look like insurmountable problems. They look like naysayers, pessimists, family members, strangers, work, difficult situations, our past, whatever may cause a hindrance or block in us moving forward. They are all considered “giants” in our lives. Those giants that seek to keep us from walking in the promises of God in our lives. It is time to gird ourselves with our smooth stones and watch the giants fall down.
I declare that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Gird yourselves in the armor of God. As you go forth in your journey, pray fervently and follow all that God has instructed. No matter what comes at you, remember: Greater is God in you than he that is in this world. God has already given you the power to triumph and watch the giants fall down.
It is a guarantee that we will face some “giants” in our life’s journey. People, places, and things that will try to stop us from reaching our promise land. Yet God says they are no match for those who truly trust and believe in His word, and walk accordingly. God has a promise for each one us; a journey that we must take to get us to the fulfillment of those promises.
There have been numerous giants in my life—there still are some giants now—that I face and sometimes question if I am strong enough to get through. God reminds me of His promises but I also have to remind myself. I have to take the initiative to speak what God says about me; to take time and be still in my Father’s presence; to read and meditate in the word; to charge the atmosphere with the very words that God has decreed and declared over my life. Like David, I must carry my five smooth stones, prepared to take down the giants that come my way and try to block me from moving forward in the promises that God has ordained for my life.
I realized that God has been preparing all of my life for battles that I now face. When we are younger, we encounter things that seem so insurmountable. Yet, when we grow, mature, and are faced with different obstacles, we look back and might see that that was nothing compared to what we are facing now. However, in the lessons and those “small” obstacles, God was teaching us form, strategy, and technique. He was teaching us what to look for and how to conquer every giant.
Just as David, God has hidden some of us on the backside of the mountain. We have been spending time in the presence of God, getting to know His heart and worshipping Him, building a relationship of strength and confidence. Much like David, we will face our own bear and lion and defeat them. No knows what we are capable of. Neither do they understand what God has been preparing us for. Sometimes we don’t even know the breadth and scope of what God has for us. Yet, God has been preparing us for our own Goliath. We will either stand up and declare what is ours and what God has spoken, or we will back up and fear the illusion of strength that the Giant represents.
Beloved, I’ve come too far in my journey to turn back or be defeated this close to my promise land, and so have you. Many of us stand on the bridge of our journey—the bridge of crossing over. On the other side of the bridge is everything we have been striving for and working towards; all the manifestations of the blessings and promises for our lives. All we have to do is cross over the bridge but on the bridge is one more behemoth of a giant. A giant comprised of every obstacle you have ever faced. Every lie you were ever told. Every fear you ever experienced. Every pain you have ever felt. It’s there, on the bridge, trying to block your entrance to your God-ordained promise land. Not only is it there, it is taunting you and mocking you, and across its chest is a screen playing a picture of your journey, only showing the highlights of your failures; of every trip, fall, and mistake. There is a sound coming from this giant and it is all the negative thoughts you ever had and the negative words spoken by others. He will not budge. What are you going to do?
You are going to open your mouth (slingshot) and sling your stones (words) declaring what God has spoken to you. You are going to declare and decree, reminding the enemy, that God has already delivered you the victory and you are going to get what He promised. As you speak the word of God, pull down every stronghold, and take out your sword, you will witness the enemy start to crumble. You will move forward confidently, with the words of God coming from your mouth and heart, and watch as the Giant falls, your words hit him like heavy stones. When he has fallen, you will take its head off, so it will not rise again, and cross over into your promise land, giving God all of the glory. You WIN!  
 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 giants fall down, Beloveds. They are no match for the power that resides in you; the power that is our God, our Creator. Do not back up now or run away when you are this close to the manifestations of the blessings and promises of God. The enemy is no match for you when you are standing and walking in confidence and courage. With God on your side, who can win against you? No one. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!

©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

"What About Yesterday?"

Reflections4Life September 3, 2017
“What About Yesterday?”
“Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new. Now it will spring forth…” Isaiah 43:18-19a (NASB)
Scripture Contemplation: Isaiah 42; 43; 2 Corinthians 5; Colossians 3; Revelation 21…
©Ruthe McDonald.
Whatever is going on in your life right now—be assured that God is doing a new thing. However, you will never be able to see, understand, or recognize it, if you are too preoccupied about yesterday. It is time to let some things go so that you can make room for what God has for you right now.
I decree that this week’s Reflections are a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. There is so much that the Father wants to reveal to you; so much, He wants to do in your life. There is so much greatness waiting to manifest. Yield to His love and covering this week. Open your heart and receive all that God has been longing to give to you.
This week I will celebrate my birthday (Should God grant me continued life) and I truly grateful. However, this particular birthday, I feel a different current working through the atmosphere. There are major shifts in my life. Though it may not feel good right now, I know it is for the better; for a great and mighty tomorrow. I am grateful for another year of life. Although all is not as I desire, I am blessed nonetheless, because I trust the Father to keep His promises. I am determined to concentrate on the good and not allow sadness; heartache, disappointment, and discouragement dictate the happiness of my present or future. I am truly blessed and thank the Father for a new year of His grace, mercy, love, direction, and supernatural happenings in my life! Thank You, Lord!
There is so much of today, of the present, that we miss out on in life because our focus is continually on yesterday: What happened yesterday…Who did what to you on yesterday…What didn’t go right yesterday…What you didn’t get yesterday…And so on, and so on. We miss many opportunities that God has placed before us today, opportunities waiting for us to seize.
Often times, fear is a part of yesterday. Because yesterday did not happen the way we desired, or something bad happened yesterday—we have a fear of moving forward or hoping in today. Relationships did not work out, so we fear we are not going to be loved or love again. Friendships fall apart and we fear we will not trust another person again. The career we desired did not pan out the way we wanted, so we fear trying something new or different because we do not want to be disappointed. Beloved, all of this is a part of life. These things happen sometimes. However, we should never give it the power to rule and dictate the rest our lives. That was just a season. Yes, it has an impact but the story God has written for us is bigger than the heartache and pain. It is far greater than anything else we could have ever known.
Yet, most of us have made fear our companion. Fear can immobilize us; keep us from moving forward in the promises of God. We can become fearful of ever trying again or stepping out in faith on the path that God has ordained for us. Faith and fear cannot operate together. We are either walking in one or the other but never both. I can testify that faith is a whole lot better!
 It is time, Beloveds. It is time to move forward and into the new things that God has ordained for your life. It is time to stop pondering on the former things, and allow Holy Spirit to lead you into the path of today and the promises of the Father manifesting in your life.
Are not you tired of carrying those old bags? Are not you tired of fighting that same old fight? Are not you tired of feeling like you are missing out on something? Are not you tired of not living life to the fullest? God is waiting on you to decide if you truly want what He has already promised and done for you.
Isaiah 43:16-19 (The Message Bible) “This is what God says, the God who builds a road right through the ocean, who carves a path through pounding waves the God who summons horses and chariots and armies—they lie down and then can’t get up; they’re snuffed out like so many candles: “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.”
Amen! I do not know about you but that makes me excited! It not only makes me excited, it gives me hope and strengthens my faith in the God that I serve; knowing and understanding that my Father has already made a path for me to walk on that will lead me to an expected end. That, through the harshest of places and the roughest of times, God is doing something brand new just for me. All I have to do is let go of the past and what didn’t work, and who did whatever, and follow what God is saying right now!
Yes. It can be difficult to let go of the past, not to dwell upon what has taken place when you are currently dealing with its aftermath. However, yield to the Father. Give it all to God. Do not keep going over what was and what did not take place or what someone did. Be alert and present. Be in the here and now, and allow God to lead you to the place He has long ordained for you. Think of it this way: Every hurt, pain, failure, heartache, are tools and experiences that God has used to strengthen you for the abundance and overflow of blessings He is about to manifest in your life. Those trials and tests? The heartache and heartbreak? They were all making room for the divine blessings of God that He has ordained for you from the beginning. Think about Job.
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 the Father’s healing consume you—reaching every barren, hollowed, and hurting place. Let God do that new thing in you, and bring you to a place of rest and completion. He loves you and has already ordained a path filled with hope, love, faith, and greatness. You are blessed. Now go…and be a Blessing!
©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.