Sunday, May 27, 2018

"God Did Not Lie"

Reflections4Life May 27, 2018
“God Did Not Lie”
“God is not a man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” Numbers 23:19
Scripture Contemplation: Job 34; Psalm 25; Romans 1; John 8:32; 2 Corinthians 6; 2 Timothy 2…

There may be a delay in the promises; there may be a wait for answers to a prayer. Yet, if God has spoken a promise, a word to your heart; it is going to happen. If you are doing your part—following His instructions, continuing to walk in faith—then whatever God has spoken concerning you, will come to pass. God did not lie—no matter how impossible a situation looks. God’s word will prevail. God waits to perform His word in our lives; to bring to pass all of His promises, manifest His blessings, and all that He asks of us is to believe Him; to have faith the size of a mustard seed. We are responsible for the atmosphere surrounding our hearts and minds, our lives—preparing it to receive the fullness of God’s promises.
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart mind and soul. Let the word of God marinate in your heart and mind this week. Remember that a delay in a prayer does not mean a denial. The more you study the Word of God and meditate on it; the more you exercise your faith, the more manifestations that take place. Give God all of you this week, allowing His truth to saturate your heart and mind.
Setting the Atmosphere
Jeremiah 1:11-12   And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond branch.” Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”
When the Lord gives us a word, He expects us to ponder that word, believe that word, receive that word, and follow His instructions concerning what we do while we wait for that word to come to pass. Sometimes it comes immediately, and at other times, it takes some time. Yet, if we have been doing all that God has told us to do, and have been walking in faith, we set the atmosphere that is conducive for God to perform His word in our lives.
Of course, while we wait (patiently and prayerfully) the enemy is seeking to destroy our faith; to interrupt the flow of God in our lives, and to play a mental chess game with our minds until we either shut the enemy down or fall prey to his lies and trickery.
Maintaining a prayerful life, meditating and studying the word, sharpens our armor and resolve in waiting on God. While waiting for His word to manifest, are you doing all you can to charge the atmosphere with faith? Are you making room for the blessings?
We are responsible for doing our part in setting an atmosphere that is conducive to the promises of God to manifest and flourish. God will always do what He says. We must be the ones to keep a vigilant prayer life, to exercise our faith, and to charge the atmosphere with positivity. And though it may seem like the promises, our visions, the word of God is tarrying; continue to thank God, writing down the vision, and doing all that God asks and instructs of you for preparation in the fulfillment of His promises.
God Cannot Lie
John 8:31-32 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Beloved, God Himself is the truth. It is He who sets us free. There is so much that God desires to manifest in our lives, and He—above anyone else—knows what is best for us and when it is time for his manifestation to come to fruition in our lives.
God cannot lie. Circumstances may change, situations may change, the hearts and minds of man may change, but God himself and His word will never change, and what He has spoken will happen if we believe and walk in the truth of His word spoken in our hearts.
2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.
Put Your Armor On and Gird up in Truth
1 Peter 5:6-8 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Ephesians 6:10-12 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
We must be fully prepared to move forward in the promises of God. Being certain to guard our hearts against things that are contrary to that of what God says of us and has spoken to our hearts. Whatever God has spoken to you, Beloved; whatever God has promised; all of it will come to pass but we must be willing to do our part. To do as God has instructed.
Far too many are quick to blame God, denounce Him, and be angry with Him for things that have not gone our way. Yet, I ask, when was the last time you did something just to show you sincerely love the Lord? The Lord knows our hearts. He knows what is in there and in our minds, also.
He even knows how the enemy seeks to destroy us before we recognize who we are in Him and while we are so close to the manifestations of the blessings and promises of God. He warns us to not be deceived by the enemy; to know that he (the enemy) seeks to destroy us but that he cannot when we not only walk uprightly but when we believe with all of our heart and soul, and put on the armor and strategically fight against the enemy, while resisting his taunts, temptations, and lies. We must be girded; fully immersed—mind, body, and spirit—in the truth of God. The truth of His word and the power of His might.
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 cannot and will not lie to you, Beloved. Whatever He has spoken over your life and it seems to be tarrying, check yourself, do a heart check, a faith check. If you have done all that God has asked, and there is still a delay; then patiently continue to wait in faith, knowing that God will always do just what He said. His word will not return to Him void but accomplish all that He sent it to do. Trust Him where you cannot trace Him. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2018. Ruthe Mcdonald. All Rights Reserved.



Sunday, May 20, 2018

"A Royal Diadem"

Reflections4Life May 20, 2018
“A Royal Diadem”
“You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.” Isaiah 62:3
Scripture Contemplations: Zephaniah 3:8-10; Jeremiah 33:9; Zechariah 9:16-17; Philippians 2
©Ruthe McDonald.
A
s I watched the Royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (now Duke and Duchess of Sussex) I was moved by the beauty of the ceremony, as well as the beauty of the bride and their love story. A few things caught my attention; one of which was the tiara that was worn by the bride. An ornate crown that had not been seen nor worn since the 1950s. It was a powerful symbol of acceptance, change, and status. The crown symbolized the change in the bride’s life. What she was she will no longer be. She takes on a new role with new responsibilities. She is changed forever, now a representation of the Monarch.
When we come to the knowledge of God and who we are to Him and in Him, our lives are forever changed. When we accept Christ into our hearts we gain understanding and insight, and we now recognize ourselves as a Royal Diadem. We are a representation of God on this earth. We are precious and priceless in the hand of God, worthy of more than we give ourselves credit for. Not because of anything, we did but because of what Christ has given; what He has done. It is time for us to rise up and walk in the truth of the calling on our lives and in the truth of who God says we are. A representative of God’s love. A Royal Diadem.
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart mind and soul. Walk in the confidence of who you are in God; a representation of the King who reigns on the throne of your heart. Meditate on the word this week. Get to know who God has called and blessed you to be through His word. Know that you are a royal diadem in the hand of God—precious, invaluable, chosen. The more you get to know God the more you will know yourself and your purpose.
In the Hands of God
Zechariah 9:16-17 On that day the Lord their God will save them, as the flock of his people; for like the jewels of a crown they shall shine on his land.
diadem: (noun) A decorative band or wreath worn about the head as a symbol of victory or honor, a declaration, a representation
In the hands of God, our lives are changed forever. We are no longer the same. His blood covers us. His spirit fills us. God has saved us and set us apart for a reason. When we seek His will and His heart, we will not only know who He is, but also we learn who we are, and we learn our purpose. Nothing ever stays the same in the hands of God.
Every day we seek His face and His will, we open our hearts to Him. He fine-tunes our ears to the frequency of His voice. We learn His way of doing things. He is our potter and we are His clay. This world is the His wheel—the Potter’s wheel. Sometimes in this world, we get chipped, broken, bruised, and even shatter. However, in the hands of God—the Potter—we are carefully and diligently remolded, built up again, restored. Even having to go through the fire, He is burning off all impurities, refining us until we come out like fine gold, precious silver. He shapes stretches, molding us into vessels of purity and goodness. He smooths all of the rough edges until we are the symbol of His promise and declaration on this earth; a precious jewel, a crown, a royal diadem.
A Representation of the King
Sometimes we forget who we are and whose we are. We are a royal priesthood, a royal diadem of the Lord. We represent our heavenly Father on this earth. We are a symbol of God’s goodness, promises, and blessings. We are a representation of God’s presence on this earth. Yet far too many forget or do not know who we are and who God has called us to be. On the earth, in the presence of others who may or may not know who God is and the power that comes with that knowledge and understanding. We accept things in our lives we should never accept. We have allowed people to do and say things that would never fly or be accepted if we understood who we were and are worth.
When I watched the Royal wedding, someone struck my heart and resonated with my soul—the mother of the bride. You could see the pride in her eyes for the daughter she raised. The love was evident. As a parent, she had done her job and done it well. A thought also occurred that her daughter is a reflection, a representation of her. Meghan reflected and represented the sacrifices, the hours of work, the sometimes hardships, and ridicule, and even hate that she (mom) willingly endured for the love of her daughter. Who now, was not only declaring to the world her love and commitment to a man but also, she was representing her mother…a reflection of who her mother is while at the same time, staying true to herself and what is important to her. Just as the crown/tiara she wore represented the Royals, she herself, was the diadem of her mother’s life. A gem, a jewel in her mother’s crown.
This is who we are to God—His royal diadem; a representative of all His love and sacrifice, a symbol of His power and dedication. We become the example for the world to see what God desires to do for them once they believe, accept, and receive Christ into their lives.
Many of us, unfortunately, do not see ourselves as that diadem. Because of all we have endured—the tests, and trials and poor decisions made—we do not feel worthy, and often feel like we have to prove something or earn being the diadem of God. We cannot. It is God that holds us high, setting us apart, and declares, and decrees us as His diadem, our lives a testament to His glory and His love for His creation. His redemption. We become brand new in His hands. Someone beautiful, precious, priceless, and highly esteemed. When people see us, they should see God; a representative of the love and goodness of our heavenly Father and His promises for eternity.
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. Carry yourselves accordingly, Beloved. Do not accept any attitudes, behaviors, and treatments from others that do not respect, honor, or recognize who you are. Remember who you are to God and that you are priceless and worthy of unconditional love. You are worthy of the best, of living a life of greatness. Do not compromise but stand for what you believe and let God be the one that elevates you and brags on you. You are his precious jewel; it’s time to walk like you know and believe this. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2018. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.



Sunday, May 13, 2018

"The Power of Motherhood"

Reflections4Life May 13, 2018
“The Power of Motherhood”
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
Scripture Contemplation: Exodus 20:12; Psalm 27:10; Proverbs 1:8; 6:20; John 19:25-27…

©Ruthe McDonald.
H
appy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers and mothers to be, and mother figures. May the Lord continue to bless you with His knowledge and wisdom to walk in the greatness that He has ordained for your life.
There is something innately powerful about motherhood. From carrying a child to birthing a child to rearing a child—it takes strength and character to be the kind of mother that God has ordained. Please understand, also, that carrying a child and giving a birth does not make you a mother or give you power. However, it is what lies in the heart of a woman. A woman who has the care of, and influence over, a child or children in her care.
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart mind and soul. Allow God to speak to your heart this week; to bring to your remembrance all of the lessons taught by your mother or the woman that held that position in your heart. Reflect on the things you may not have realized as a child but when considered today, may have you look at your mother now, with understanding. Honor the mother(s) in your life today. If she is still on this earth, bless her today. And for all of us whose mothers have transitioned; honor them. Honor their memories and their legacies by living well and adding to her legacy.
What Love Has Shown Me
I have learned a lot about love through the years from the women in my life that have mothered me. Though I have been blessed to birth children of my own yet, I have been blessed with children in my life that see me as a mother and seek my counsel, wisdom, and instructions. I do not take that lightly because I understand that it is not only what I say that has an impact on them, it is also what I show them through my actions; what my life is reflecting.
Love is an action word. Love, sincere love, is not contained, and it does not judge. It sees all things, forgives all, and holds no grudges. I have learned so much about love and the power of motherhood through the women in my life. Their steadfastness in love and dedication to their families through sometimes-tumultuous times has shown me the kind of woman I always strive to be.
I have a number of women that have shown me the power of motherhood. Women who have shown me what love looks like in action and how powerful a mother’s love can be. Today, I reflect on four of those women. Women who have transitioned but have helped to shape who I am. My Nana (great-grandmother), my Grams, my Aunt Sharon, and my Mother.
From my Nana—I learned dedication and discipline. She was a woman dedicated to her family and her service to God. From being an Usher in her church for over fifty years, starting the very first food basket program for the holidays, to the many other things she did to show the love in her heart and the love of God, it left an impression upon my heart. One that reminds me of the kind of legacy I desire to leave. To this day, I follow the lessons she gave her family.
From My Grams—I learned steadfastness, determination, running a business and that it is never too late to go after your dreams and passion. My Grams was my best friend. She was the keeper of all her grandchildren’s secrets. She raised eight children, suffered the pain of seeing one of her sons murdered while he was protecting an older woman from being mugged. Yet through it all, she remained a constant source of unwavering love, faith, and steadfastness. She worked hard to support her children. She went back to college at a later age. She pursued her passion from childhood, eventually opening her own Hair Salon. Though she was older, she could outdo many of her younger counterparts. Sometimes she’d get to work at 8:00 am and wouldn’t finish until 1:00 am! In her sixties at that! Through her, I learned that love makes all things possible.
From My Auntie Sharon—I learned forgiveness, resilience, honesty, and seizing the moment. This is difficult since she just transitioned a month ago. Her life taught me how you get back up no matter how many times you fall. To be honest with yourself and those you love. To forgive because life is way too short to harbor negative emotions and thoughts. I learned that just because things are one way does not mean they have to stay that way. And to seize every moment, every day, with a heart of gratitude because you never know when the one you love may be taken away. I loved her more than I have the words to adequately explain. Her life, love, and lessons live on in her children, in all of her family.
From My Mother—The lessons of love are so many, I’d can write a book and I will someday. My mother was not just my mother, she was my friend, my counselor, my champion, my pastor, my intercessor. I learned unconditional love, sacrifice, servanthood, how to truly serve God with your heart and soul, how to pray, how to believe in myself; and so much more. Seriously, there will be a book.
I will say this about my mother, she showed how strong love is. How it takes a licking and keeps on ticking. She has shown me the power and strength of love and how it can heal, save, soothe, and correct. I learned the worth of prayer, prayer that comes from the heart. I also learned that the prayers of the righteous never fail or stopped being answered because they leave this earth. Their prayers have no expiration date and that God will answer their prayers, keeping His word to them. There is not a day that goes by that I do not hear her voice, am reminded of her love, and feel her presence all around me; especially in the times of distress and heartache.
A mother’s love is indeed more powerful than the grave, and stronger than death.
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, honor the mother’s in your life today. Give them their flowers and accolades now, while they are with you. God gave mothers a special gift. Those women, who use it, who understand it, will not only see doors open that only God could have ordained but also see the difference they can make in a world filled with motherless children just waiting for a mother’s love. There is power in motherhood; the closest thing to the heart of God. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2018. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday, May 06, 2018

"Do Not be Deterred By Pretty Words"

Reflections4Life May 6, 2018
“Do not Be Deterred by Pretty Words”
“My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord God.” Ezekiel 13:9
Scripture Contemplations: 1 Kings 13; 22; Jeremiah 14; 23; Psalm 62; Ephesians 4; Hebrews 4
©Ruthe McDonald.
T
here are a plan and a purpose for each of our lives. God knows who we are and has declared and decreed a plan for us before we were birthed or in our mother’s womb. As we grow and mature, experiencing life and come to a knowledge of who God is and who we are in Him, we should develop an intimate relationship with our Creator for ourselves. Getting to know who God is on our own and learning His voice and His ways. It is that personal relationship with God, the development of intimacy between our Creator and ourselves, that allows us to know and recognize His plan and will for our lives. No matter what things appear to be—we will be less likely to be deterred by pretty words or lying lips that would try to keep us from the promises of God designed for our lives.
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart mind and soul. God desires to reveal and to make known to His children many things. Take the time to spend in His presence and get to know who He is for yourself this week. Determine to let this week be the week that you begin or start again, to set aside intimate and quality time with the heavenly Father. Get to know His voice, His character, His unconditional love, and plans for you. When you know God—truly know Him—you will not be easily deterred by the lies, whispers, or sweet sounding words of those who would prey upon you and desire your destruction.
Not All Things Are What They Appear to Be
2 Timothy 3:4-6 “treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,
One year for my birthday, my Mom decided to surprise me and bake me a birthday cake. I never made a cake I wanted but whatever my Mom wanted. I always wanted to do something for someone else on my birthday. This particular year, she decided to surprise me and bake a coconut layer cake.
The cake was a beautiful three-layer confection with buttercream icing and mounds of coconut. It looked good. Smelled good, too. But it was a deceiving cake! That cake lied! We laughed long and hard about this cake. It looked and smelled like her other coconut cakes. But when we went to taste the cake? It was one of the worse cakes my Mom had ever made! I never took the first piece of cake. I always gave it to my Mom. She took a bite, and I saw her face. I asked her what was wrong. She shook her head and told me to try it myself. I took a forkful off her plate, and I knew why she made the face. That was a deceiving cake! It was so dry and had absolutely no flavor at all. I could not believe it. We stared at the cake for a minute then burst out laughing. It was truly a beautiful and good smelling cake, but it was like eating a piece of cardboard. Not even the icing saved it.
We never figured out what went wrong. We referred to that cake at the deception cake. We laughed so hard, and I said the cake’s appearance definitely did not match the truth of its contents. And just like that cake; all pretty and looking the way you would expect a coconut cake to look—are a lot of people walking around today. Some in our lives, pretending to be someone they are not and seeking to deter us by their deceptive words and false appearances. Yet, on the inside, they are empty, flavorless, deceptive, and sometimes jealous, hoarding plans to come and deter us from what God has ordained for our lives.
Beloved, if God has given you a word in your heart, and has instructed you to take a certain path, do not be deterred by the sometimes “well-meaning” words of those who may seem like they know God and walk with God. Not everyone who says they believe and are for God is. Not every person who has a title walks in the integrity of that title. Know God for yourself. Know the Father’s voice and be who God has called you to be; walking in the path He has ordained for Your life.
God’s Word is True
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
If there is one thing you can depend on, it is the word of God. Whatever God has spoken to you; whatever He has impressed upon your heart to do; believe it, and believe that He has equipped you to do it, and will be the provision for vision(s) He has placed in you. You must trust God. In order to trust Him, you must spend time in His presence, and in the word, getting to know Him, allowing Him to bring understanding and wisdom.
God is not a man that He should lie or that has to repent. Whatever God has spoken to you, no matter how long it may appear to be in happening, it will come to pass. (Numbers 23:19) Exercise patience and meditate on the word of God. Ponder in your heart the things that God has spoken to you, and do not rush or easily share with others what God have placed in you. There are a time and place for all things. Let God show you who people are. Allow the spirit and gift of discernment grow in you so you may make the correct choices in the right seasons.
Be Anxious For Nothing
Proverbs 27:6-7 Faithful are the wounds of a friend [who corrects out of love and concern], But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful [because they serve his hidden agenda]. He who is satisfied loathes honey, but to the hungry soul, any bitter thing is sweet.
Sometimes the truth hurts. Yet, it is that same truth that will bring healing, direction, purpose, and the fulfillment of plans, visions, and dreams. We do not always like the delay in the things that we are waiting for. We often want the promises of God quick, fast, and in a hurry. For most with this attitude, they will sometimes miss the blessings and deceived by the enemy many a time.
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 shy away from God when He brings correction. Fill your soul and heart with the promises and word of God. Do not be anxious for anything, but do all things in God’s timing, trusting Him to bring you to that point of fulfillment in His plans of prosperity for you—spiritually, physically, and yes, financially. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing.
©2018. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.