True intimacy

I speak of true intimacy but I am not thinking of my husband nor am I thinking of the few faithful girlfriends I cherish. I am thinking of God. You see there is no intimacy that can be compared to what we experience with God. I am struggling right now to find the words to explain this intimacy. This is so because He is immensely divine, perfect and glorious. He is deeply unmovable and grounded with truth; He is the very essence of Truth.

He is the Alpha and the Omega! A God that is God of all; He has no worthy competitor. Some may fail to recognize His majesty but He is who He is.

True intimacy occurs at the feet of Jesus, when we are vulnerable before Him and we acknowledge our folly and accept the abundant living He offers us . Ture intimacy allows us to shut ourselves in the closet and empty our hearts, sharing our deepest secrets and fears with the only friend who truly understands and is willing to love us despite our stubborn hearts. True intimacy is experienced when we burn our idols and we submit to the bidding of our Master. It is when God is truly allowed to guide us in our decision-making and in our choices. It is when He leads us, daily whispering in our ear words of assurance, reminding us of our value, our beauty and our gifts.

God knows our thoughts presently, and in the future. He loves us unconditionally. He calls us to His purpose and weeps when we can’t see the dangers around us. He sends his angels to protect us, even when we don’t appreciate it. He hurts when we abuse our bodies, He hurts when we choose to give credit to the whispers of the one who is roaming and seeking precious souls to devour. The one who roams seeks to rob us from experiencing God’s divine purpose. This Devil plunders and he pulls, he stomps and he rages until we can no longer see clearly, until we are broken and worn.

He clouds our minds with bitterness, unforgiveness and deception. He targets our identity, or usefulness and our marriages. He then targets our families and our churches.

True intimacy is a God who patiently waits for us to hear His voice, hoping we would step back into his perfect plan for our lives.

True intimacy is desired by everyone, even when we don’t realise it. We would search the whole world and not find it; true intimacy is only found in Jesus, Saviour of this World.

Talk, sing and dance about His goodness.

I was a believer for years before I learned about freedom in worship. I remember attending church and singing lots of hymns and choruses. The songs were generally in line with scripture and reminded me of the truths about God and His most prized creation, man. I was in love with clapping and singing and stepping to the rhythm. These moments were certainly uplifting for me and I am grateful.

Somewhere in my late twenties early thirties however, I experienced a different level of worship. A level of worship that allowed me to become more aware of my thoughts, and my actions towards God. A level of worship that allowed me to become more practical in my christian walk. I got free from traditional forms of worship and I got to understand that It was o.k. for me to express myself towards God. I was free to show tears, to kneel before God, to shout, to sing out and to dance. I no longer was concerned about who was watching and what they were thinking. For the first time I began to realise that it was not worldly to show emotions in worship towards God. It was great to learn and embrace that freedom.

As I was reading Exodus 15 this week, I couldn’t help but notice a few things about worship that made me smile and reflect on my journey.

  1. God delivered the children of Israel from the Egyptians by miraculously allowing them to walk through the Red Sea, later causing Pharaoh’s army to drown as they pursued them. As a result they sang a song unto the Lord and what I observed is that the words were very specific to what was experienced. They sang “He hath triumphed gloriously! The Lord is my strength and my song and he is become my salvation.” It reminds us to sing unto the Lord with our whole hearts being mindful to be meaningful and personal in our expressions. We must only sing about our experiences. Let our words be true and meaningful.
  2. There was a powerful testimony in their song. It says, “The depths have covered them and they sank to the bottom as a stone”. Those who are listening and watching need to hear the details of what God has done or is doing for you. Don’t hold it back, it shows off his power and his might and it allows them to relate to your story.
  3. I love how they exposed the plan of the enemy in their song by singing “The enemy said, I will pursue you, I will overtake you, I will divide and spoil…” It is important that we do not downplay the plan of the enemy. The consequences of taking the enemy for granted can be devastating. Accept it for what it is! He will pursue! He will seek to overtake you! He will seek to destroy your family, your future and your testimony.

Be free with your praise and your testimony, do not hold back from sharing about God’s goodness. Sing about it, talk about it, dance about it!

The Bible Stories and our Legacy

I started reading through the bible this year, trying to slowly soak it all in. The aim is not just to finish but gain greater understanding of the scripture, draw closer to God and experience the thrill of the word speaking to me and enlightening me. As I came to the last few chapters in Genesis, it felt as if I just completed watching a great movie. The Account of Jacob (Israel) and his family is amazing. The story of Joseph and his brothers even more amazing.

As I started book number two (2), Exodus, I felt sad. Jacob (Israel) has died, Joseph has died and all his brothers. Mind you, this happened many years ago but their stories became so alive in my heart that I felt as if I lost something. I am thinking to myself, their passing is such a loss to humanity, people like them should live forever.

Exodus chapter one has already secured my attention. As mentioned before, they all died, Jacob, Joseph and all his brothers. Now the verse that really caused me to halt was Exodus 1 verse 8. “Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph”. What? Seriously? Half of your life is missing. The said chapter also tells us that he was a mean Pharaoh. He saw the Israelites as threats and afflicted them. He also sought to kill all the males among them. Things were no longer the same.

How does this apply to us today? I see it as very relevant. Joseph rose up and did what God commanded him to do. He truly lived for others growing to be an outstanding leader in his day and leaving a great legacy, one that we still read about today. However, Joseph died and despite all the good he did to give the Israelites a better quality life during the famine and to protect them, he could not protect them forever. The wicked Pharaoh took over and all hell broke loose for the Israelites. He didn’t even know about this great man Joseph.

Despite the fact that we would die and some people may not remember our legacy, don’t let that reality shock you into frozen mode. Joseph’s story of yesterday is serving to motivate, teach and inspire others today. Do not focus on those who belittle you or doubt your potential. Do not focus on what your family did to you, do not focus on the man or woman who had an opportunity to help you and bluntly refused. Focus on your mission, you task, your purpose and get it done. There will be those who would benefit as a result of your giving to others, and your willingness to share your gifts and abilities with the world.

Your greatness can be realized but like Joseph you must be willing to run from those traps that can corrupt your character, like Joseph, you must be bold and ready to face powerful men and ask for what you need, like Joseph you must be ready to forgive despite your pain. Joseph would always be remembered for excellence in leadership, his willingness to say no to the attractive and the powerful, his deep love for his brothers and his care for the welfare of his people.

What would you and I be remembered for? I remind you to pursue a meaningful life where “people” are your focus.

Prayer works

One of the amazing things about praying is the peace it brings. Many times we pray for a certain outcome, a particular need, a change, a victory and even while you are praying the situation may worsen but you keep praying because you believe and then God gives you the peace to sail through in the roughest of times.

I am sure sometimes you feel like you’ve prayed but nothing is moving, God is not listening. Well, from my experience and the experience of others and based on what the word of God says, God is not limited that he cannot hear us. He loves us and value communing with us. Be assured that he will be working on your behalf. It may take a while, you may not receive the answer or answers you are expecting or he may choose to meet your need in ways you never thought of. What he requires of us is that we continue to place our cares on him and trust Him to take care of them completely the way he thinks best. His peace would sustain you.

Psalm 55:22 “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you. He shall never permit the righteous to be moved”.

When God wants to enlarge you, he needs you to take action – move out or let go!

Featured pic compliments google images.

Genesis is a great book. I love the lessons that can be gleaned from Abram and his son, Isaac. In chapter 13, we see how Abram invited Lot to move into his own space, his own land as there was strife between Abram’s workmen and Lots workmen. Verse 9 says, (Abram speaking) “Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself I pray thee, from me; if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.”

Lot opened his eyes and he saw well watered flat lands and settled there. Interestingly, verse 14 says “And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward and westward, for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it and to thy seed forever.

In Chapter 26, Abram has died and Isaac is now the man of the moment. He settles in a place called Gerar, land of the Philistines. God speaks to him and says “I will be with thee and will bless thee, for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries….”. As Isaac lived there, his wealth increased and the Philistines envied him. There were wells that his father dug and the Philistines filled them up with earth. Eventually, Abimelech, the King of Gerar tells him to get out. So he peacefully relocates to the valley of Gerar. Even then, he dug two more wells and the men of Gerar made confusion over the wells saying “the water is ours”. Isaac moves out from them again and goes elsewhere and digs another well, finally finding peace.

God had a plan to execute through Abram and later through his son, Isaac. To execute this plan, he needed them to be alone at certain times, he needed them to have their own space, he needed them to be able to function without obvious distractions. As he guides them to take action, we see their approach as one of peace, ready to let go of their weights and do what is required, even though it meant giving up an investment. Maybe God wants you to let go some of the people in your life, maybe you need to offer them the greener pastures, maybe you need to be a peacemaker and say “you can have it”; it is only material possession anyhow. For others, maybe you are the one to physically move out so that God could show you what he has in store for you. As we take action, remember to do so in a peaceful and gentle spirit. Once we understand that God is speaking to us through a particular circumstance to move out or let go, and you believe you can trust him with your future, there will be peace.

Letting go can be hard, giving up precious possession could be heartbreaking, but sometimes we need to in order to gain greater.

Should you be praying or Acting in Faith?

Time passes by very quickly, the birthdays, the graduations; oh how time flies. We all have the same amount of time at our disposal. However, some of us waste it terribly and regrettably so. Time wasted cannot be regained. I believe you have heard this saying before.

I wish to remind us to “Act”. Sometimes we have no reason to wait, to sit and to do nothing. All that is necessary now, is to take action. Remember we are given gifts and resources and it is not for us to be selfish with it but to impact the world positively. For the believer, it is for building the Church of God, the Kingdom of God.

It is wearying to see us labour in prayer, doubting God, looking for a sign from heaven, when all we need to do is take that first step, second step or that next step in faith, understanding that you are alive now and can only act while you are alive. Someone’s life is going to be better because of your willingness and discipline to ACT.

Work against your doubts, act against your fear, move against the ungodly tide, take responsibility for that gift you have been given and ACT.

Go speak to Dad and let him know you have forgiven him, go speak to your boss and share your interest in the new position, stop procrastinating on sharing Christ with that co-worker, stop putting off your quiet time with God and His Word, start that book, start working on that business idea, start working on that ministry……just ACT. Act now, before there is no more time left.

PURSUE PURPOSE!

Scanning the Psalms – Part III

As I read Psalm chapter three, focusing on verse six, I began to empathize with the Psalmist, David. Friends, the children of God have been going through “hell” from the very beginning. David’s daughter was raped by her brother, his own blood (Absalom) came up against him to try to take over the kingdom and his enemies were real men and women with swords. I wish to add that David committed some sins against God that often makes me wonder, how a man of God’s own heart can stoop so low. However, that’s another topic! Today, I am just considering that David went through a lot. Just as you and I do, we all experience rough times.

I mentioned earlier that I read the entire chapter, but my focus was verse six. It says – “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.”
This was my take-away from this verse. In my mind, if David, who had men with swords seeking for his life could say this, I can. If David, who had to flee his own Kingdom for his safety, because his own men were turning against him, I can. If David, as a youth, was attacked by a trusted adult who wanted to kill him as a result of jealousy, I can. If David, could grieve God’s heart so deeply and still rise up to enjoy his protection, I can.

David demonstrated a faith in God that was unshakable, unmovable and worthwhile.

He said “I laid me down and slept”. This speaks of peace of mind and confidence that everything will be ok, even as he sleeps. Then he says ” I awaked; for the Lord sustained me”. As a result of his confidence and trust in God, he awoke as he expected, feeling satisfied having slept in God’s promises. He immediately acknowledges that it was God who kept him through the night.
I love this commentary by Albert Barnes, it says;
“For the Lord sustained me – He kept me from danger; he preserved me from death. And it is as true now as it was then, that God is the supporter of life when men sleep. He guards us; he causes the action of the heart to be continued as it propels the blood through our frame; he secures the gentle heaving of the lungs, both when we slumber and when we wake.”

For each of us our circumstances are different or challenges vary. But, we can all identify with the need to comfortably sleep at nights knowing that God will keep us safe. I acknowledge that some of you reading this article have not enjoyed such rest because you may be living in fear, guilt, bitterness and regrets or maybe your experiences have lead you to hate God. Once you learn to let these emotions go, your faith in God and His ability to give you true and complete rest would grow.

Featured picture: Grenada Craft Centre – Located just out of Kirani James Boulevard into Port Highway, St. George’s, Grenada.

Scanning the Psalms – Part II

Psalm one is really a simple comparison between the man seeking to walk uprightly and the man who wants nothing to do with God.

Let’s look at the differences:

The Upright

Finds pleasure in reading and studying God’s word.

Bears good, wholesome and healthy fruit.

Anything good he does is likely to be successful.

He is firmly planted and his roots run deep.

When being judged, God will be pleased with him.

The Ungodly

Has no interest in the Word of God; does not respect it.

He may seem to prosper but does not enjoy good success. He “prospers” at the expense of others.

His life of disrespect towards God is marred with pain and regret.

He is like a chaff easily blown away by the wind.

If he does not repent, when being judged God will sadly condemn him.

Now, even in preparing this comparison when I got to number five, I felt a bit uncomfortable.   No one likes to speak of judgement and condemnation.   But then what do you do if the Word of God speaks of it?  Compromise?    It is better to say it as it is, well at least if you want to be called put God first.   It does not mean that you are “speaking the hate language”, it is simply that you hold God’s word above anything else. 

The Word of God contains lots of positives, many passages speaks of his protection, his love, his forgiveness and his grace and it is much easier to accept.   But we must understand that the God of Love is also holy and cannot tolerate sin.  His grace extends to all, but we must expect that if we continuously reject his Grace, there will be consequences.  You see his Grace is that space he gives us to repent and submit to his ways.  Remember though, that it’s our choice to submit to his authority or not to submit, but choosing the latter comes with serious negative consequences.

MY PRAYER:   I pray that anyone who is living a life against God’s principles and guidance would realize that they are travelling a dangerous road and sense his overwhelming love drawing them to his side. I pray they would desire to taste of His everlasting water and abundant life.  I pray that they would truly drink from the well that never runs dry.  IN JESUS NAME, AMEN!

Wish I can speak about God’s love and grace only, but I can’t!  Psalm Chapter one is the Reason!

Featured Picture taken by InspireMe – The Lagoon – Kirani Boulevard, St. George’s. Great place to chill!

Am I scornful? Do I take the things of God lightly? Part I

Please enjoy this journey with me as I scan through the Psalms and share snippets of the well written poetic pieces inspired by God himself. Because I love photography so much, I would crown each post with a lovely picture of my homeland, Grenada.

The goal here is to remind us that the Word of God is beautiful, exciting and still true, still relevant and necessary for good success. We all have great dreams but what are great dreams without the purest of knowledge and wisdom?

So let’s begin chroming the Psalms. Today, when I woke up I felt a spark of excitement as I reached for my big black bible. Yes, It was another heavenly idea strolling my way: “I am going to scan through the book of Psalms and look for truths that would remind me of how precious this Book is!”
I reached for my B.I.B.L.E and started at the start, the very beginning! Psalm Chapter 1. It has been a while since I read Psalm Chapter one; such a great Psalm. Thinking about it, it is quite poetic!

Psalm Chapter 1:
God’s word says I am blessed just because I decide to discipline myself by rejecting ungodly advice; advice that is questionable, advice that is contrary to God’s instructions, advice that would lead me outside of God’s plan for my life. I am blessed just trying to be wise! Here is verse 1:

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”

I researched the word “scornful” before, but my memory needed to be refreshed so I checked it out again. Then I realised, I didn’t want to stop researching the word, but I needed to get ready for work.

Nevertheless the scornful represents someone who rejects God’s authority, scoffs at godly truths, practices and principles. The Scorner makes light of the things of God and the people of God. If we associate too much with the scornful or the scorner, we can be negatively influenced and begin to take God and his principles lightly as well. Imagine you claim to love God and you are sitting with your “friends” sharing demeaning jokes about his servants, about his church and about his work? Scary, right? But it can be easily done.
Sometimes we think we are so liberated and educated that we become puffed up and begin to look down on the faithful, the upright and the man or woman who is still willing to talk about Jesus!
So here is the question? Are you walking or listening to wise counsel, drawing your boundary lines so that you are not influenced by the Scornful?

Featured picture: True Blue Bay Resort – overlooking the St. George’s University, True Blue, St. George.

Worship Expressions

Psalm 145 verses 1 & 2:

“I will extol thee, my God, O King; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.”

I think of you every day, I think of you when I awake, as I am engaged in my daily duties, in those moments when I feel overwhelmed and in those moments when I am soberly in control of my thoughts.

Daily, my hand reaches out to you, desiring your attention, your blessings, your wisdom.

My desire, like the Psalmist David, is to bless you everyday. I want to know, without a doubt, that my heart is pursuing you as a Deer pursue’s water in a dry land.

Sometimes, I think life is so unfair, corrupt and complicated, but then I remember you and there is that safe place, there is that safe place when I lay down my burdens and I look up to your face.

“Everyday” speaks of discipline, loyalty, commitment and true adoration. That’s what you deserve, all the Glory, all the Honour, all the WORSHIP, DAILY!