Sunday, November 25, 2018

"True to Self"

Reflections4Life November 25, 2018
“True to Self”
“Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.” Psalm 51:6
Scripture Contemplations: Psalm 51; John 8
©Ruthe Mcdonald.

There is something very powerful, life-affirming, and in all honesty, invigorating about knowing and believing the truth about yourself. To understand yourself with such conviction, that you walk each day you are blessed to see with conviction, certainty, and all complete faith in what God has ordained for your life. You are not afraid to take chances but at the same time are willing to move forward and push through even if fear is present. When you know and understand the truth about yourself, not only can you be true to self, but also that means you have gained a knowledge and wisdom of who God is. It is then that we can be about God’s business without any trepidation but with complete faith, boldness, and assurance about the word of God and who we are.
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart mind and soul. Spend this week, Beloveds, yielding to God. Expose your heart; confess your hurts, sins, anger, disappointments, and fears to Almighty God. He is not only listening but is waiting to reveal to you, the warrior that resides within you.
There are many circumstances that I have faced in my life—I am facing some right now—where I have questioned who I am and whether or not I was being true to myself. I will be candid totally authentic and transparent with you. Sometimes I wonder. I wonder if I am getting this whole life thing right.
Am I doing what I should be doing? Am I getting this Christian-living thing correct? Or am I totally screwing all of this up? Am I making a mess of my life? Or am I really where I need to be and right where God has ordained for me at this time in my life? And if I am—right where I should be?—then why do I feel like such a failure at times or like I am truly missing the mark?
All of these questions and more run through my mind at one time or another, and sometimes they swirl around in my mind for a while; crippling me from doing anything else. Here is another thing about me: I am an introvert—an extreme introvert. When I am alone I do not get lonely. Reading a book is stimulating if at times, more exhilarating than being around a crowd of friends and family. I do not necessarily know what new movies are out or what the latest song on the charts is. If I am not reading, I am writing, doing research, editing, or working on other projects, pursuing my passions, even though I am currently in a place and space that is limiting what I can do and where I can go, and the truth of the matter is, it hurts so much that my flesh wants to cuss. However, at the same time, I know God loves me and that all of this is temporary and that my body will align with Christ in me and my healing will manifest, and I will be free to be to go and do everything without restrictions. Yes. I said that all in one breathe because I am being true to self. I am facing my truth and baring my soul because I want you to know, that no matter what you face in life that it is imperative that you stay true to self.  
Beloveds, when you are true to self, you can hear God speak to your soul. You will find the strength to go through the tests and trials; the afflictions, and adversities that arise without buckling under the weight of it all. Because you know in the core of your soul, that Jesus has you covered, and that joy does indeed come in the morning. All things are working out for your good according to God’s will for your life. At the end of the day, we walk by faith and not by sight, not by how we feel or of our own strength. It is all about God and the words that He has and continually speaks over us.
Here is what I have come to know for certain, and has become my very foundation; in order for me to know who I am, I must get to know who God is. I have to understand the heart of my Creator and how He does things. It all starts with listening. Listening to Holy Spirit and allowing Him to not only fill you but to teach you and guide you, and help you navigate through the very storms of this life, and come through it all as pure gold.
We must be honest with ourselves. Look ourselves in the mirror, no matter hard it is, and tell ourselves the truth. Be courageous enough to hear the Father tell us what we need and follow the instructions He gives. We must become malleable to the touch of God’s hands and so sensitive to His touch that we yield with ease and move with a quickness when He says move, and prayer becomes like breathing for us—a natural state of being. This can only happen if we yield our true self to God, without fear of exposing ourselves or being hidden from God.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. We have thirty-six more days to the New Year. Do not wait to make a change in the New Year—no one is promised tomorrow. Instead, yield to God today and His ways and start being true to yourself. It takes twenty-days to break a habit and start to create new ones. You have plenty enough time to begin now and show God how serious you are. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing.
©2018. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

"Cornucopia of Manifested Blessings"

Reflections4Life November 18, 2018
“Cornucopia of Manifest Blessings”
“The Lord knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will remain forever; they are not put to shame in evil times; in the days of famine, they have abundance. But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish—like smoke, they vanish away.” Psalm 37:18-20
Scripture Contemplation; Genesis 49; Romans 5:2; Ephesians 2:18; 5:13; Mark 4; 

Some of us have forgotten who we are. The trials and tribulations of this life have weakened some of us and have blinded others to the truth of who we are. We have forgotten that God is stronger than anything that comes our way. We have forgotten that the enemy is no match for God and that greater is He that is in us than he that is in this world! But of course, we have forgotten! Because we have not been spending enough time in the presence of God or speaking what He has spoken of us; declaring and decreeing to the atmosphere the truth of God’s word and we have been trying to do things in our own strength forgetting that there is nothing and no one more powerful than our God!
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart mind and soul. Dedicate intimate and quality time with the Father this week and just thank Him for all that He has done and will do in your life. Let His word fill you, sanctify your heart, and mind until your prayers become like breathing and your belief is unshakeable and unquestionable.
There is a cornucopia of manifest blessings with your name on it! God has not forgotten us. Though we go through many trials and tribulations, God is there with is—in the midst of it all. Yes, sometimes it feels like what we are facing will never end, and we may not get through it. However, we walk by faith and not by sight or feelings. We are established by the word of the Lord and all that He has declared and decreed concerning us.
Yes, we face situations that test and try our faith but here we are, in the land of the living, covered by the Blood of the Lamb and the promises of God on our lives. We forget that we are not in this alone, though it may feel as if we are when we are in the middle of certain trials and tests. However, God is there with us, though He may be silent, as a teacher is always silent during a test. Not because they do not want us to pass but because He knows that we have the answers we need to pass the test because He was the One that put them in us, to begin with! Now, we have to learn to draw upon those life lessons throughout our life’s journey and apply the knowledge that He has afforded us—displaying wisdom, and understanding.
I do not know about you, but sometimes I do forget how strong and capable my God is and that He is indeed in charge. Sometimes I take my eyes off God and His promises and start looking at the circumstances and situations I find myself in. When that occurs, I become overwhelmed and try to “fix” and maneuver things my way, or in the flesh. I try to solve situations with a human mind and human answers when the fact is, what is needed is a spiritual answer, a divine intervention. There are certain things in this life that we cannot do on our own. Some things only God can address and solve Himself. Yet, if we are not trusting God, and have decided to leave Him out of what we attempt to do to fix things; we only make things harder and even messier or worse than it was before we attempted to fix it on our own.
Do yourself a favor and get out God’s way! Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to wait on God and let God take care of the situation because it requires us to trust God where we cannot trace Him. To exercise faith when it looks and feels like God has forgotten about us, and things appear to be worsening. Yet, that is exactly what we must do. Stand still, have faith, and follow whatever God tells us to do.
Zechariah 4:6 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.
There are blessings that are bursting to manifest in our lives if we would learn to get out of our way and the way of God. We block our own manifestations and answers to prayers by
1. Lack of faith
2. Not trusting God
3. By applying human logic
4. Forgetting who God is
5. Equating God to man
6. Trying to solve it/fix it through our own might and power
7. Not yielding to the power and ways of God
All that we will ever need is in God. All that we hope to accomplish, every dream and vision was placed in us by God—who knows what He has in store for our lives. He has ordained our every footstep. Even our slips fall, mistakes and colossal failures have been accounted for by God. AND, HE STILL calls us blessed and anointed; appointing us in due season, if we will truly trust Him and not fold in the face of adversity.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Thank God for His goodness, mercies, and grace. No matter what you are facing in this life, you are not alone, God is there with outstretched hands to lift you up, dust you off, and prepare you for the cornucopia of manifest blessings that He has ordained for your life before you were even birthed into this time realm. Thank God, and know that He is a very strong God who can handle anything that comes His or our way! You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2018. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

"Love & Sacrifice"

Reflections4Life November 11, 2018
“Love & Sacrifice”
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Scripture Contemplation: Matthew 22:36-40; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Romans 13:10

In the climate of our world today, the spirit of love seems to be lacking. Oh! But it is there. Only, it has been obscured by the continuous acts of selfishness and hate that have been fueling so many hearts and minds. It is my belief that hate and selfishness are being exposed by God’s design so that those who know and understand the depths of God’s love and sacrifice can show up and start showing love where it is needed the most. Sometimes it will be a sacrifice for us—a sacrifice of time, comfort, convenience. There are opportunities all around us to share, to show, to be the love of God. We just need to open our eyes and the eyes of our heart.
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart mind and soul. Do not meet hate with hate. Do not allow your heart to grow hard because of the evil that is being exposed. Instead, pray. Go before the Lord, seeking His presence and His will. Ask Him for a plan of action; and what you can do, in the face of adversity and affliction. We cannot combat hate with hate, and selfishness with selfishness. We must come with a spirit of unconditional love and sacrifice. Because sometimes, it is a sacrifice to give that much of ourselves without knowing what the outcome will be. Just know that whatever you pour out; whatever you give, God will most certainly give back to you in abundance and unexpected ways.
I am deviating from my usual Reflections4Life format today. Following the instructions of my heavenly Father, I want to celebrate this Veterans Day. My family has always had someone in the Military, as well as the new generation following in the footsteps. It is not an easy thing, nor is it an easy choice. We honor them for their service, as we honor all service men and women. We thank them for their sacrifice, for their willingness to do what so many could never. I want to share with you a story I wrote, celebrating our Veterans. May you see not only the humor, the story, the dialogue, but also the message within. Thank you to every Veteran, for your service; for your love and sacrifices. God Bless!
Love & Sacrifice
For Our Soldiers: Then and Now

The flag danced in the brisk breeze to the accompaniment of hardware tattooing against the metal pole. I still get the same feeling every time I come. The only difference is; I am a grown man, not five years old asking my mother when my father was coming home. She had no answer for me; just the sad dullness in her eyes, before tears began to fall. She would look at me, squeezing my hand and whisper, "Johnny, Daddy's with God now. He's a soldier in Heaven." I'd look into her eyes, knowing in my heart that she wished God would send Daddy back to us, too.

Every year I come here. I used to think it was to remember my father and all the heroes that fought for our freedom. Now, I feel it is more a sense of duty and of pride. I watch families come and go; standing by the memorial bearing their loved one's name. Some cry; some say prayers. Me? I just watch and wonder what might have been.

It is always cold whenever I do come. The weatherman is always wrong. "We are expecting warm weather today. Around 78 to 82 degrees. Perfect Memorial Day weather. Not a cloud in the sky..."Although the sun is shining brightly, the wind is blowing, and you can feel the chill in the air. I can feel it in my bones...the wind. It is as if someone opened the door on a cold winter's night. After you just got out of the bed from beneath your warm blanket, trying to make it to the bathroom very quick before the cold air realizes that you are no longer bundled up. Just before you make it back to your bed, the cold air grips you, and says, "I gotcha!"  It takes you about twenty minutes to get warm again, and another twenty to fall back into a comfortable sleep and before you realize it, your mom is waking you up, telling you it is time for school. Yeah, it is cold today. I will feel the same way when I return on Veteran’s Day.

"Are you ready, John?" That's my fiancée, Charlotte. Seven years and going strong.

"Not yet, Baby." I wanted to squeeze her hand. She is the best thing that has happened in my life.

"Alright. Don't forget; we have Danielle's barbecue to go to?"

Ugh! Danielle! I love my fiancée, but her sister Danielle is a pill!

"Oh, C'mon, John. Danni is not that bad. Well...maybe a little," Charlotte laughs, after seeing my expression.

"You know your sister makes a pit-bull look like a kitten!"

"John! She's not that bad!"

I just look at Charlotte with a, "C'mon now...let's be real look" on my face.

She laughs.

"Okay, you're right! But still...she means well—most of the time. She just has a hard way of showing it."

"Any harder, she'd be stone!"

"John!" Charlotte slaps my shoulder.

I have to laugh. "I'm sorry. I'll be nice. But I swear...if she starts in on me, I'm not responsible for what I might do," I warn her.

"Alright. Alright." She gives me a small kiss. I can feel the electricity run through my body. "I'll be over by the benches," she smiles before kissing me again, then walks away.

"I won't be much longer," I say after her.

Charlotte. There are three things I would die for: my mother, my country, and Charlotte. Unfortunately, the second one was put to the test.

The hardware from the flag hitting the metal pole takes my attention. The clicking surfaces memories that I wish to stay buried, but arise without notice or fair warning. It just got colder, and I can feel a chill deep within my bones—not from the wind. More people have arrived. They stand by the names of their loved ones and take pictures. I remember my mother doing that once. She doesn't come anymore. She says that she no longer needs to come. She has her pictures, her memories, and own memorial at home. Coming here reminds her too much of what she lost and the fact that she had to share my father. Once I was able to come on my own, she stopped sharing and held her own private memorial.

It almost killed her when I joined the service. She blamed herself. My mother felt that if she hadn't brought me so many times to this memorial, then perhaps I wouldn't have had such a need to follow in my father's footsteps. I told her she was wrong. Yet, a part of it was true. I wanted a part of my father. And, the only way I knew how to get it, was to walk in the same path he walked on; to know what it felt like to fight for your country and, to even perhaps die. It wasn't to hurt my mother, but to honor the man I never really knew, but idolized every waking moment.

"But what if you die, Johnny?" My mother cried.

"That's a part of war, Mom."

"I don't want to share you with this country! I already shared your father! I don't want to share my son, too!" She cried for weeks.

Only a week to go. Not a scratch. Not even a hangnail. Home was in the horizon. It was a daily inspection. Done thousands of times. Only this time would be different. I lost four men that day. Four months later, I'm home. Never the same. Blessed to be alive, but sorry at the same time.

"You ready, Sweetheart?" Charlotte doesn't mind. She loves me no matter what.

"Yeah. I guess so."

"I'll pull the car around," she smiles at me, just like she used to before I left. There's no difference in her eyes.

"Hello, son. Thanks for serving our country," an older man in uniform salutes me.

"Thank you, Sir!" I nod my head. I would salute, but I 'd given two arms and a leg for my country.

©2011. ©2018. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Do not allow the coldness, the selfish and hateful acts of this world to keep you from loving unconditionally. Where hate and vitriol are exposed, come forward with love, care, and concern. Do not allow the darkness to distinguish the light that is inside of you, that light and love that God has set on a hill for all to see and shine the right way home. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing.

©2018. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

"I Cannot See It but I know and Believe It!"

Reflections4Life November 4, 2018
“I Cannot See It but I Know and Believe It!”
“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:6-7
Scripture Contemplation: Joshua 22; Psalm 50; Proverbs 16:6; Acts 3:16; Hebrews 11; James 1
©Ruthe McDonald.

 comes a time in our walk with God when we have to decide: Are we going to believe only what we can see or, are we going take God at His word, knowing, and believing in our hearts that His word is the truth? Beloveds, it is time to put on our big girl panties and big boy underwear and start walking the talk that we often profess to others but seldom believe in our hearts.
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart mind and soul. What have we ever done to merit the favor and promises of God? Our thoughts alone would condemn us had it not been for the blood of Jesus. Stir up your faith this week. Meditate on the goodness of God; remembering every promise. Exercise your faith muscles as you wait upon the manifestations of the promised blessings of God by spending intimate time with the Father and writing down His promises and visions for you.
It is a Faith Walk
Now more than ever is a crucial and critical time for people of faith. We are losing those we love and ourselves to a spirit of agnosticism and apatheism. Many are falling away from their belief in God and living a life that is pleasing and acceptable to God. Instead, we are pulling away and abandoning our faith, hope, and beliefs. We are so wounded; bound by those wounds, we are passing ideologies of brokenness and unbelief onto our children, leaving them vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy, and worse—with no hope; the very foundation of faith.
Christian agnostics hold that it is difficult or impossible to be sure of anything beyond the basic tenets of the Christian faith. They believe that God or a higher power exists, that Jesus may have a special relationship with God and is in some way divine, and that God should be worshipped. [1]
Apatheism is the attitude of apathy towards the existence or non-existence of god(s). It is more of an attitude rather than a belief, claim, or belief system. An apatheist is someone who is not interested in accepting or rejecting any claims that gods exist or do not exist. The existence of god(s) is not rejected but may be designated irrelevant. [2]
I get it; it can be very hard to see or believe that there is a loving and just God looking out for us and who is answering prayers when we are faced with the atrocities that are taking place not only in the world but also in our own lives and homes. It is as though we are fighting a losing battle; charging up hills that are a mudslide. Every step we take, we seem to slide back two steps. In the process, we are losing sight of the vision and losing hope, our hearts getting cold and stony.
Hold Onto Hope
This is a faith walk. A difficult walk at times, yes, but nonetheless a faith walk. We walk by faith and not by sight. We do not go by what we feel. Feelings are subject to change every day like the direction of the wind. Our faith is built on hope, and what we are believing and our expectations of God. If we lose hope, we lose the foundation of our faith and everything that we hold dear.  
Hebrews 11:1-3 11 The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd. By faith, we see the world called into existence by God’s word, what we see created by what we don’t see.
Beloved, I get it! I truly get the heartaches, the wounds caused by those who call themselves believers, the “Church” not acting like or being a safe haven, the prayers that seem to have gone unanswered, the requests not fulfilled. I get it. I get that it can take a toll on your faith and slowly distinguish the hope that we have in our hearts.
This is when we must dig in our heels and dig into our word and our intimate time with God. We need to constantly feed our spirit with what God is saying; reminding ourselves of His word, His promises while starving ourselves from the diet of rhetoric and cancerous thoughts that are surrounding us in this world of lies and greed. We forget at times, that the world is not a friend of God, we are. The world is the Devil’s playground, and he does not play fair. But glory to God, we have the covering of our heavenly Father. The assurance of His blood that covers us, and His grace and mercy that is extended to us every day we surrender and place our faith and hope in Him and not solely in ourselves, man, or money.
Be Tenacious
Numbers 14:6-9 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, members of the scouting party, ripped their clothes and addressed the assembled People of Israel: “The land we walked through and scouted out is a very good land—very good indeed. If God is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land that flows, as they say, with milk and honey. And he’ll give it to us. Just don’t rebel against God! And don’t be afraid of those people. Why we’ll have them for lunch! They have no protection and God is on our side. Don’t be afraid of them!”
When it comes to your faith, be tenacious. Do not let go of what God has spoken and placed in your heart. Meditate on it day and night. Be like Joshua and Caleb when they came back from spying out the promised land. Though there were giants in the land, their focus was not on the problems or possible hindrances it was on the promises of God. They saw what God had long ago spoken to their hearts and minds. They saw the truth in His words. What they had believed and known as truth in their hearts before they could actually see it, was now a fulfilled reality. The obstacles did not matter. The Giants held no recourse for them. The spoken word, the promises of God trumped all of that, causing their faith to soar and their hope to be justified.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Beloveds, you may not be able to physically see it or touch the promises…yet! But know and believe in your heart all that God has spoken to You. Do not place your concentration on what you can see in the natural, being discouraged by the giants in the land, and the opposition the enemy represents. Instead, hold onto hope, and remember what God has spoken and already has done. He is the same God—yesterday, today, and forever more. Have faith. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2018. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

[1] [2] Wikipedia