Sunday, December 23, 2007
The Birth of Jesus ForetoldIn the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
Mary's Song of Praise
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I greet you with the Love and Courage of Jesus this day. With God's rememberance of us all. (Jer. 24:7) This is the Season of Life.
These teachings are not for the fence-straddlers-not for the double minded, not for the naysayers, not for the hearts of coldness, not for the people who want their way all the time--but for the people that are commited to following God, for those that want to strengthen their relationship with God, for those that want to grow. This is for those who want the better life-the great life that only our Father can afford!
There is a great work being done in all of us. (Ephesians 2:10), All that want His refining fire ,(Malachi 3) to melt away the dross and allow the pureness of His Love to shine from us. There are many that are in need of the light that lives in us-put there by the Love of God Himself. We are to be the light and to walk in the light.
So many are looking for something; to belong, to be loved, so many think God has forgotten about them-this is a huge lie sent out by satan. What it is, is that, so many people have forgotten about God. So many have never known the truth about God, so many don't know how to talk to Him and be in His presence. So many don't know what they do not know- So many are searching for His light-and He is using us, to shine that light through to them! Why are some of you that have been given a light to lead-hiding under the bed?
Those that have been called and chosen to be God's leaders, are within a reflective season.
I have been told it should be called "The Sleeping Giant Season."
Many of these people are not well known, and some are aware that He has called them, but they are selfishly running. Those that do know that God is in the work they are doing are busy with the assignments and His work. They are trying to keep to His specifications and not add their own. Many have reached a place in which, they do not realize where they are or what is going on--their Strength is fading, their Joy seems to be hiding, their Courage needs new legs to stand on. Many feel the bumps, lumps, and the craziness of this world more than His presence in their lives. Many are becoming discouraged, and want to give up, return to their old lives, (which will not happen-as you cannot glue ashes back together).
Just as in the Bible, God called the ones that were not flashy, and glitter filled to carry out His plans. They had a heart for God and a commitment to obey Him fully. Many of the women and men in the Bible that did God's will, don't have books named for them in the Bible, they don't have a village, army, or well named for them and to use at their beck and call. They had a heart for God. But ohhh, the work that they did for God-the calling that they accepted and how they did all they could do-then they left the rest up to God. When you learn about and understand the conditions that people lived in and under during the times in the Bible- you will start to "catch yourself" and correct yourself when you think/say what you can't do and begin to make a list of can'ts. Remember your "Thank-You God list".
Let me tell you this, let me speak this into your spiritman, God has not forgotten any of us, Be Patient!
You are a Sleeping Giant. Your work is not in vain!
He is not finished with us yet, be patient with yourself and with others. Stop trying to turn His work/plans and timing into what you want them to be. That is one hinderance that causes Him to go and straighten things out many times over in some of our lives-as many people will not fully obey Him. When He has to correct the same things in your life over and over, it wastes valuable time and creates setbacks-but also, know that you will learn to do it correctly even if you have to walk that mountain trail for years! (this would be why some of you are thinking, why is 'this' happening again!?)
Hear me when I say to you= Please Get out of the way! What ever your work is, you do not have all the blue prints for the building of it, nor are you the designer, the contractor, the inspection person, or the supplier!
You are not suppose to be or to know all of that--the blue print that you do have is Faith! Use that - seek guidance and wisdom from that-trust in that. Stop trying to turn Gods plans for your life into what you selfishly want them to be. You are slowing yourself down because you are stubborn and selfish.
At this point of your journey, you should be resting everyday in Him. We are on God's train, you don't need to pack anything, you do not need to bring an ID - He knows your name and Whose you are, you do not need to bring anything except your ticket - which is called faith- and it is paid for in full. So take your seat and Leave the driving to God. Stop trying to figure out where we are going-you are wasting good energy and time--There is no specific destination that we have ever been to or heard about on this earth stamped on your ticket-- What is stamped on your ticket-the destination is, "Your Will Be done Father, not mine."
Memorize this destination-do not forget it- write it on your heart and meditate on It. Now, sit back and reflect on all the times and places that God stepped in-saved you in order to bring you to this point of your life. Remember and thank Him for all the times that you did not fully obey Him and got tangled up in some fleshy mess and He had to come and get you out. Stop complaining about going through the consequences that your actions created! Go through them and GLEAN what you can from those bones, pick those bones clean and learn from all that has happened in your life! And keep thanking Him and praising Him! That is your job. To let your light shine so that others will walk toward it and to Him!
Stop trying to see ahead--you will not until He says it is time for you to know what lies ahead. He will tell you, in His timing! (John 5:20)
While on this train, you are a Sleeping Giant, this means that there is physically nothing that you can do at this point concerning changing anything in your life or those around you. Allow God to restore and bring to life what is in you. Reflect on all the situations and memories that He brings to your mind and spirit-and do what ever He says to do to repair these areas in your heart and life. As Mary told the servants at the wedding, "Do whatever He tells you to do-without question." You are His servant- so listen to our Mother Mary- do whatever God tells you to do without question- do it.
As we sit on the train, filled with the Full and Holy presence of God and all that He is, learn how to learn - open yourself up to His changes--to the transitions that are taking place within your heart, your spirit, and your flesh--open yourself up to the opportunities that He is setting before you. Allow Him to clean everything out of you that you do not need. Allow Him to put into you all that you will need, to be awaken with all the tools, gifts, and maturity that you WILL need to continue on this journey ahead of you in a forward motion and with positive motives.
God is repairing your infrastructure, so that when He awakens you, your outer shell will be sustained by your infrastructure. Many of us have allowed the wrong contractors and designers to put their input into your building/your spiritman/your hearts. Some of you take the cheap way out and allow 'jacklegs' to work on your building to save some pennies, when God is leading you to dollars! You are not to supply your building with anything but Faith, Obedience, Praise and Worship of God our Creator!
There are safety issues to be addressed, there are subpar areas in your building that will fall apart right when you need to stand on them-they will collapse-many of you have allowed some person to be foreman over your life and this person has watered down your materials. The full strength of the concrete has been compromised by human intellect, selfish desires and cheapness. Give God back His position in your life and over your life.
"And I will give them a heart to know (recognize, understand, and be acquainted with) Me, that I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart."Jer.24:7 (Amp.)
Commentary- "The Lord's answer to His people's inability to maintain the covenant relationship is for He Himself to intervene and create in them a new capacity for knowing Him."
There are blueprints to go by, and we have no idea what should be on what floor, We are His creations-not our own.
Lie and rest on the train, and allow the gifts and fruits of His Spirit to grow in you. Aren't you tired of living the way you have been? Aren't you tired of always trying to figure everything out, trying to make things work for you the way you want, manipulation, lies, stunted and rotten fruit.....being offended at every cross word and action from people-allowing their thinking about you to order your steps? Aren't you tired of being tired? Aren't you tired of always wanting mans recognition, mans awards, and mans ways?
The Sleeping Giants, should be awaiting patiently and with expectation for God to pour all that you will require into you, so that when He gives you the next assignment, the next blessing you will be able to handle it. You will rec' from God what you prayed for-and it will most likely be something on a scale you could have never imagined-you may have the faith to pray your blessing through, but do you have the faith to accept the blessing from Him? (Zechariah & Elizabeth-Luke 1:5-21) Or, you may rec' blessings and assignments that you never asked Him for ,but He has chosen YOU to carry them out for Him. (Mary, mother of Jesus)
What is going to be your answer? What are you going to tell your flesh when it rears up in your face to try and stop you from fully accepting God and all that He has called you to do? You do know that you have the ability that you need?
Will you have allowed God to prepare you to rec' the blessing so as not to lose hold of it? God rewards us when we stand the ground that He placed us on, not the ground that we have been trying to manipulate into the garden that we want.
Live your life for an audience of ONE! You have to be 100% commited to God and not to self. (John 12:24-25) and it takes work-it will not all happen at once.
We all must die to the things of the flesh. Dying to worry, to manipulation, to wanting attention-recognition from people, to reputation, to fear, doubt, to wanting things over wanting God. You have to know that you work and live for an audience of ONE! Submit to the plan and timing of God.
While you are in this Sleeping Giant Season, God is creating a sure balance in your life, in your heart and spirit. Remember, you need the faith to pray for something that will happen, but make sure that God has completed the cleaning process so that doubt will not keep you from rec'ing the answered prayers.
Don't talk from your intellect, your head of thinking, God will shut down that way until you are lined up with His thinking and intellect.
Your gifts will take you places that your experiences can not handle-allow God to strengthen your infrastructure so that when the train pulls into your station-He will awaken your sleeping giant and you will be able to carry the outer shell of your being.
You will be able to complete the assignments, this portion of your journey to His satisfaction.
Who are you now? You are a Sleeping Giant whose garden is being transformed into what is needed for His puposes through your life.
Rest, sit back in your train seat, and listen to His Spirit teach you all that you will need.
'This little light of mine, i'm going to let it shine....'
In His name, Yea Amen.
Friday, December 7, 2007
enjoy the gifts of God for they are sure tools and directions for His presence in and around our lives. It also helps when you know that you are FREE. Not just the type of freedom that comes because the government says the country is free, but the kind that comes when God says that you are FREE!
Enjoy the videos-and let the messageS fill you full!
ENCOURAGEMENT IS CONTAGIOUS-SPREAD SOME!
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Kathleen Battle and Christopher Parkening Performing Live at the 1987 Grammy Awards
To Remember the faith of the centurion is such a filling drink of water for my thirsty soul!
To recognize and recieve Him is to expect Him at all times.
I continually celebrate with Praises the Greatness of God. To always be clothed with Power from The Most High God is to release my ashes for His Beauty!
There are times when 'the encourager' needs to be encouraged.
This morning-today, is such a time for me.
As i sought the Wisdom and Comfort of His Holy Spirit, for His refreshment after a long hard battle, i was reminded of several scriptures that fed my spirit.
Isa. 61:3 / John 10:10-John 1:4-13-John 14:27 and Matt. 8:10-13.
"Beauty For Ashes lynda!" is what i heard in my spirit; "remember the Promises given to you = My Beauty for your Ashes."
And the re-freshening started to kick in, my spirit rose to welcome His full presence around me and within me. How wonderful it is to fully trust In God!
Music is one of God's many gifts to us, and without a doubt is one of my encouraging drinks. Now this is what I call a "power drink!"
As i searched through titles looking for songs that my spirit needed to drink from, I saw Ave Maria. I have several versions and arrangements of this song by different singers and composers.
I created a new playlist and listened to all of them back to back. How I have ALWAYS LOVED this song/prayer-especially the Bach arrangement that Gladys Knight and the Pips sang."The Christmas Album" 1975- (of course you know it's soulful-they also recorded the Schubert arrangement-which is traditional)
Tears started to stream as the fullness and the calling of the different singers voices and the music itself, seemed to pull the frustrations out of my soul; till the tears that flowed were tears of appreciation and love for Mary's faith, courage, obedience and love for our Creator. All that she was made new roots in my whole being.
My tears were a release of my faith in God and His Son Jesus-my tears were full of the Joy and Peace that Jesus Promised that He would leave with us-not of this world does it come, but from the Heavens containing Wisdom beyond understanding. And I recognized and recieved it for what it is- God's unconditionaLove, His comfort, His holding me in His multi-folded Self. And I gladly sat quietly as He spoke His greatness to me-feeding my spirit for i felt empty and so tired from being the encourager-His messenger.
Even the encourager needs Encouragement.
To know when this time comes is important for the growth of the Calling on ones life. To know that the gauge is saying, you are nearing empty, you need to fill up-stop at the next station and be replenished, be restored, be renewed by The only One for me that can, Jesus The Christ. Emmanuel!
And I come to you this day as i do on all the other days, to Encourage you in His Name. To encourage you to exchange your frustrations, anxieties, your hurt, your pain, the chaos and all rejection; with the Joy and Peace that is ours. So that you will recognize and recieve Him when He comes to you.
I encourage you to know that God has BEAUTY FOR YOUR ASHES! Strength for your weaknesses, Love for those that believe they are unlovable. To remind you, to tell you, that He is a very present help for those that have no one to turn to. A comforter for the lonely and broken hearted. He wants to take your ashes and give you His Beauty!
In the midst of our service unto Christ, a Season of Refreshening is upon us-for those that believe-The Lord God, the Creator Himself is Breathing His Life into our lives so that where we are dry, brittle and dead His breath Will revive us! Yea Amen.
And with this Season, the Wisdom of God shall speak to you, teach you and lead you through the mountains and the valleys, across the sandy beaches and through the forests of our unknown journeys that are ahead of us.
When you diligently Serve the Master, you are pursuing the Calling that He has placed on your life. At times we obey even unto near faintness of our bodies and spirits. Know that we are all entitled to come, sit down and partake of all the harvest that He has gathered. To drink and eat of the food that our natural and spiritual bodies crave. The trials of strength and courage will require Great substenance from God's hands and I for one, without hesitation receive all that He knows is best for me.
For those of you with heavy hearts, sleepless nights, frustrated days, bodies that seem not to want to heal, know that the worries of this world cannot steal your Joy and Peace that was imputed into you from The Life of Jesus. Sit, be still and allow God's Season of Life- of transition to carry you to the next level of His deliverance, of His comfort and to the Water that always fills you full.
Allow God To Meet Your Faith!
JOYFUL, JOYFUL , LORD WE ADORE YOU-FILL US WITH YOUR LIGHT OF DAY!
Jessye Norman, soprano (1990)
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Orchestre de l'Opera de Lyon
Lawrence Foster, conductor
Friday, November 30, 2007
But before you get to that, let me tell you this, Here is some truth=
If being a Christian means i am full of self-imposed self-righteousness, that i am speaking hate and sowing dead works, that i go around spreading judgment and legalism-that i am not boldly going to God and i hesistate when He directs to obey Him--THEN NO, I'M NOT A CHRISTIAN- I WOULD PREFER; TO BE CALLED JUST PLAIN AND SIMPLE, A BELIEVER IN OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
So good to see others that are not trapped by these 'religious rule keepers' who have nothing but self-imposed self-righteousness, who do not feel good about themselves or their lives. Living, talking all about God - about Jesus - offering bad works-dead works unto God that are filled with the wrong motives. You cannot earn God's favor! Trying to Use God to control others is wrong!
They speak on the blessings of God but none of it is evident in their lives, none of His blessings are working in their lives, because they will not rec' them when God gives them.
Look for the fruit-you will know who you are dealing with.
Yes we make mistakes-but not being able to admit your mistakes and always thinking others are wrong but not you is not God's way--and NO, cursing people out (that you say you love and are your family in Christ), after they have obeyed God and blessed your life- trusting you, allowing you into their space their life- is not right- these people are filled with the wrong motives. But they will always tell you that God told them to do this and God told them to do that. And to this God's wisdom has taught me, you may be right- God truly may have told you to move away from me and He tells me that He did that to protect me! Amen.
And I am humbly grateful daily to God for keeping me and my family away from people like this and when we are confronted by people like this- i turn and go- i pray for them and keep it moving- I am not on their level of spiritual maturity i am further along and higher up! I do not have time for games and sillyness. And i also have the gift of goodbye! If God shows me someone is not right-then that is the end of it! I hold nothing personal against people like this-and take nothing that they have said or done toward me personally - The mouth will speak what the heart loves! and God knows who the double-minded people are. They are not pleasing to Him.
Wait on God for He will reveal the truth about a person to you! Their true colors will come shining through! It will be a Kodak Moment!
I call it LT - Lost Time!
and all Praise to God for letting me learn from these people and for letting me pray for them and for protecting us from them as they come to try and destroy all that God is doing in my life for His Kingdom.
They are Always giving pieces of messages and teasing others with dreams they say they rec'd from God and a word they say is from God while the whole time they are not allowing God's changes to fully manifest in their lives- to transform them, is wrong! While the whole time they are secretly jealous of you and secretly watching everything God is doing for you and in you-they see the power that God has blessed you with, they see the Gifts of the Spirit growing from you, they fully see You seeking God and without hesitation obeying God and Him answering you because your heart is correct= and they are saying; "well she/he is wrong God i'm not like that (whatever they deem you to be wrong in)--i'm doing this for you-why have You not blessed me! I'm deserving of what You gave them - where is mine God? - I've been saved for this many years God, i've done this for You God and that for You God,,,on and on and on with why they feel they should have already rec'd what they want from God"
( I know you know some like this-go ahead and shake the dust of their negativity off your back and be thankful that God opened your eyes and will use it to teach you to be a better you!)
Let me say this, being saved for years on end and not allowing God to grow you - means nothing, holds no power-not nothing. It means that you have been saved for years and have not produced good fruit consistantly- you are not being fully obedient to God because you live and eat off fear and a slave mentality of lack.
Instead of being a good stewart and helping, encouraging those sent to them--they allow fleshy ego filled mess to come out mixed with the Word intending to distract you. Self-importance is not in God's plan. And i pray for these people, and i stay away from them. I give them to God and i keep it moving in the forward direction that He is leading me in. Yea Amen.
The work that they do is unacceptable to God and they operate in sacrificing dead legalistic works to cover their shallowness and to sound good to all those that they want to look up to them. To look up to them as if they were the way to God- like they are the way to understanding God-but they do not deliver the messages in the correct wording to those that are in need if it. They always want to be accepted in social groups to look important because of their self-imposed brand of self- righteousness-and anyone that is not in the box with them-they condem and curse, pampering their egos and their motives. So many people want the blessings from the Promised Land, and when God blesss them, they want to take them back into the wilderness to use. New wine will not work in old skins.
These people love to be seen as a person of God-that is what they speak on often. 'I'm busy with my Fathers work'-not true- they took part of what God told them and are using it the way they want to do things-not being fully obedient will not keep you in God's presence.
You cannot say you love me and my family, but yet join groups that hate who we are. You can keep your love, your prayers, and all your legalism, I don't need anything from you. Thank You Father God for Jesus!
The Kingdom of God is not meat and sacrifices of dead works, but is about Love, Peace, Joy, and the fruit of the Spirit. Not judging and legalism, hate and control to enhance how you feel about yourself instead of allowing God to fill you-accepting what He IS in you and accepting who He made you to be-accepting who He made others to be. It's Beauty for Ashes!
(Heb. 10:5-6,10,12-14/Rom. 12:1)
Ok, heres the article. ;)
The News & Observer - Raleigh, NC
Gay, Christian and a parent
Faith & Ethics: Carrboro author aims to help those who, like him, are all those things.
Updated: Nov. 30, 2007 1:40 AM
Faith & Ethics:
by Yonat Shimron- staff writer
Published: Nov 30, 2007 12:00 AM
Modified: Nov 30, 2007 01:40 AM
Gay, Christian and a parent
Carrboro author aims to help those who, like him, are all those things
By Yonat Shimron, Staff WriterAfter coming out as a gay man eight years ago, Brett Webb-Mitchell left his wife, his Carrboro home, and his job to start a new and uncharted course at the age of 44.
But as he fashioned his new identity, there were two things he was unable and unwilling to part with: His two children and his faith.
Now he has written a book about both titled "On Being a Gay Parent: Making a Future Together." A former Duke Divinity School professor and an ordained Presbyterian minister, Webb-Mitchell said he found a dearth of books about being a gay parent and a Christian, so he decided to pen his own. He hopes it might give those walking the same path practical advice, comfort and support.
Part memoir and part advice manual, the book, published by Episcopal publishing house Seabury Books, broaches such issues as how to come out to children, what to call mommy or daddy's partner and how to handle teacher conferences. It also offers contextual explanations of Scripture passages condemning gay sex, as well as background on what family and marriage meant in the ancient Middle East.
The book, he said, was intended to "move forward the argument, 'We're parents out there, moms and dads, struggling to be good at this improvisational art called parenting.' "
Webb-Mitchell's own story is a familiar one. Born into a white, middle-class family, he was brought up to cherish family and faith. Though he had some inkling that he was gay, he was repulsed by the stereotypical gay role models and internalized the religious messages that being gay was sinful.
Like many traditional Christians, he and his wife, Pam, did not live together before marriage. They embraced their roles as husband and wife according to their conservative upbringing and inclinations.
"I understood marriage based on my own family of origin: it was a mom-and-dad operation, with dad as the breadwinner, and mom being the stay-at-home wife," he wrote.
In his early 40s, as a professor of Christian nurture at Duke, he could no longer deny his attraction to other men. That attraction was not always sexual, he said. It was an emotional, spiritual and intellectual pull that seemed to take over his life, commanding time, energy and attention away from his wife. Finally, he said, he had to come out to himself -- the first step in a process that is often followed by a revelation to one's partner, spouse and friends.
"I had be honest about who I was," he said.
Staying in children's lives
Though his wife accepted the news, his mother begged him to stay in the marriage and postpone telling his daughter, then 7, and son, then 4, until they graduated from high school. Although inclined to spare his children, Webb-Mitchell rejected his mother's plea.
He couldn't demand honesty from his children, he reasoned, if he himself was untruthful.
So he told his kids, moved out of the house, got a divorce and made a home with his partner, Dean Blackburn, a dean of students at UNC-Chapel Hill.
The Webb-Mitchells have joint custody of the children. Their daughter, 19, is now a sophomore in college. Their son, 15, spends at least three nights a week with his dad and his partner.
"I wanted to be as much a part of his life growing up," said Webb-Mitchell referring to his son. "I want to watch his soccer games and see him go to the prom."
In his book, Webb-Mitchell addresses some of the singular experiences gays and lesbians face with their children -- what to call the gay or lesbian partner, for one. Webb-Mitchell's children vacillated, calling Blackburn their gay nanny, Dad's partner and stepdad.
Then there's the rite of passage in which a child announces to his gay or lesbian parent his or her sexual orientation. Both Webb-Mitchell's children "came out" and told their dad they were straight.
Embracing the church
But an equally significant part of the book involves the role of faith. Webb-Mitchell, who left Duke in 2003 after being denied tenure, now runs the School of the Pilgrim, in which he leads Christians of all denominations on spiritual pilgrimages to holy sites across the world.
Faith continues to be a significant part of his life. Webb-Mitchell and his children say grace before meals and the Lord's Prayer each night before bed. The children attend church with their mother.
Now 52, Webb-Mitchell attends the Church of Reconciliation, a Presbyterian church in Chapel Hill, though he also feels at home at the United Church of Chapel Hill, a United Church of Christ congregation. As an ordained minister, he is occasionally called upon to preach and perform ministerial rites, including marriage -- although it's something he can't hope for himself.
He would like the opportunity to marry too, but neither his Presbyterian denomination nor the state of North Carolina allows same-sex marriage. Unlike many of his gay and lesbian friends who sleep in Sunday mornings, Webb-Mitchell is convinced he is beloved by the church -- if not the institution, then the collective body of Christ.
"I'm embracing the church because it embraces me," he said. In his favorite Scripture verse, Psalm 139:14, the worshipper tells God, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
That verse, he said, tells him God made him the way he is.
"If God made me this way," he asks, "who am I hiding from?"
Thursday, November 22, 2007
This is a time to be thankful, so we are told. It is not a Holiday (which is a Holy Day), but a Celebration of what took place with the Native Americans (as we call them) and the Pilgrims.
The way some people talk about this day, always makes me wonder, do they save all their "thankfulness" from the year just for this day? Or are they thankful everyday?
I know there are people that fit into both catagories, and it saddens me to know that some people are not consciously thankful on a daily basis. So much that they have to learn and I pray that the purposes of their journey are realized in time to be fully beneficial to themselves and to others. What does lift me up, is that I know God is always right there, waiting on them to decide what they will do when they come to a point of opportunity to rec' positive change for their lives, that He has allowed to happen.
My home, right now smells like LOVE ! And it excites me as each food item is completed. Even the ones that i will not eat, the smells are enticing to my senses and dances with my Joy. My partner is the cook in this home, and those that know me - are laughing because they know, this is the best for all in this home. (oh yes, i am thankful!)
The smell of Love brings so many memories flooding to my mind and to my heart. And I have to give Praises of Thankfulness to God for the changes that have occured in my life, that have positively affected my life at this phase. He has given me such abundance in every area of my being that my eyes, ears and heart are open to so much more than I could have ever imagined. One thing that I see is that, it's ok to not try to break my neck pleasing people in order to fulfill their ideas, plans, and staunch traditions just because it is ThanksGiving, or Easter, or Christmas.
I am not into being as traditional now as i was before my grandmother died in 2005. Oh there were great times-don't let me give misunderstanding-but i always wished secretly to myself, that just one of these times, that everyone could just stay home and relax and not put on such a big show and fuss. But it never came to be the way i wished until she died.
She was rooted in tradition and I understand it all, but I never really liked some of her 'rooted traditions' much. But you know, I was told it was not to be questioned-that never stopped me from voicing my opinion (usually under my breathe or out of earshot) about all the cleaning, all the shopping, all the preparations, and the actual cooking. All the cleaning afterwards, and the time gathered in front of the tv or us spilling outside as there were always too many people for the home.
It seemed to please her so much-and all that she had done for all of us through the years-would make me keep my mouth closed and bear through it all.
You see, most of the work (other than the cooking) fell on me as I lived with my grandmother and all the other family members would be "driving in" and then leave after they had stayed the "right amount of time". I know that you know what I am talking about.
I miss my grandmother so much, but I am so thankful that she is not still here in the condition that she was in her last year on this earth. She gave God 93 years of servanthood and in her last year, she was bedridden and was in pain most of the time.
I do cherish the days that were given to us to partake in her life. She got to see and be around 4 great-grand children before she died ( there are 5 now and another on the way-Ha! no, not me! :). My daughter was the first and the one that spent the most time with her as we lived with her. As I often remind my daughter of the blessing from God that she got to spend 8 years with her 'greatma', and how many children never even get to know their grandmothers let alone their great-grandmothers. My grandfather died in 1990 at the age of 83. They were married 55 years. That is a long time to be together and it is a blessing to my heart to have known them, to have them raise me - for certian years of my life - and be a part of all their lives for so many years.
Their teachings, their giving, their love, are blessings that I am truly, humbly thankful to God for, but before I speak my humble gratitude for them I first give God thanks for my birth and my re-birth in Him. For saving me so that I may be here to partake of All that He has given me. Yea, Amen. For saving my life so that I may be used to fulfill His purposes and will through my life for the saving of others. I have to stop and give Him praise that I and my family are given all we need to be blessings to those that He sends in need and that those He sends to be blessings to us, fully do so. For all Glory be unto God, The Creator.
I am humbly thankful for the time that God has given me with all the people that are not with us now. My grandparents, my best-best friend John, my other close friends that are now gone, I give thanks for the blessing of Luther Vandross and His unmistakeable unique voice and gift of music. For Minnie Ripperton and all her gifts. There are so many that I love that are gone but who took the steps to trust God with what He had given them to share with all of us.
I am humbly thankful for the wind, and the rain, For All the creations that God has given us. I am thankful for the people that want to help keep the earth in a forward positive growth and not to selfishly drain all the natural resources before the earth has a chance to replinish herself, as it takes time for that.
I am humbly thankful for my family, even though we do not gather together at these times like we use to-times have changed and distance, money, and space are stronger factors now. My parents now travel to all of our houses-my two brothers and here. They went to visit one brother who lives in the foothills of the mountians last week. And today for dinner, they are at my other brothers house in the city they live. We may go there later today or tomorrow to visit.
The days of putting the leaf in the dinning room table, the time required for the huge meals, putting the kitchen chairs at the dinner table in order to squeeze everyone in, the disappearance of everyone when it was time to clear the table and clean the dishes, are gone for right now. ON that scale they are.
I am fine with it, and i think my brothers are also. My mother, I know wishes that we could all get together as we use too, but she knows that it is more trouble to do so than not. So she came up with the idea of all of us staying at our homes, and she and my father travel around to each of us. It works out and Change does take Courage, and I am fine with it.
You see, I am grateful and thankful every day, not just today. Even though we are not all gathered together to fellowship as in the past, my grandparents spirit and love is more than enough to cover the miles that lie in between us and pull us all together in spirit.
My home smells like LOVE! And I am reminded of those that are not physically with us anymore except for in the spirit and love they gave for all these years. It all grows and lives each day that I remember them and their lives. I am humbly thankful to God our Creator for He always knows what we need and what is best for us.
Give Faith a chance, and allow God's Joy and Peace that lives in all of us, every possiblility to grow and bloom from your heart -that the seeds from Joy and Peace will be blown with the wind to people and places that are lacking them.
OH COME ALL YE FAITHFUL, JOYFUL AND TRIUMPHANT....
Be Well and I pray that God Keep us all till we speak again.
In His name~Joshua 1:9
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Well, a celebration is upon us. As i am out and about running my errands, i see so many people rushing here and there. There is so much self imposed stress being released by so many. I am going to stay out of the way!
I see children crying in stores and parents tugging them or pulling them along, with a sharp tone and an ugly face-it appears at times that children are a burden because they are children and will act like children. I see grown people snapping at others, with ugly faces, mumbling under their breath because the line is moving too slow for them, or the items that they need to buy are gone, or the stop light is taking too long to change.
Rushing here and screeching there, it all makes me wonder to myself, What are we celebrating again?
Oh yeah, Thanks-giving!
It appears that so many are not Thankful to be able to Give, unless it can be done for a tax write off, or be 10%. You know they are thinking, well, i need to get something too if i am going to give. Well, what about my family-we need also. You know that type of thinking, that type of heart, not humble, not grateful, not thankful, not loving.
God wants 100% from us all. And you may be called to give to people and places that are not set up for tax write offs. Giving to people and places that are in need of what God has given to you in such abundance that yours 'overflows'. So many deem themselves to be "right" and "of God", simply because they help the low and poor for Thanksgiving - but not at any other time of the year.
So many are trying to be perfect for this celebration, but do not have Thankfulness, and Gratefulness in their hearts. So many are caught up in their traditions, they are not cooking with love, they are not speaking with love, they are not living with love in their hearts. They are not selfless in their thinking or their actions. You know, food tastes better when the cook is praising God and is thankful for the opportunity to do for their family and friends. The food tastes better when it is mixed with a genuine love for people and for God. (1 John 4:12)
It appears that many are on a never ending ride of self promotion to impress others that will see what they are doing. They do only when others are looking or they can stand and tell all they have done. They give partial obedience to His directions if what God has asked them to do is more than what they want to do. These people, manipulate the message if it is going to be a sacrifice to give. They want to be known and seen as a child of God, but they do not speak like His child nor do they act like His child.
I trust that you are all well today and ready to reap of God's abundance. Yea Amen.
There is an opportunity to Fellowship with Thanksgiving!
A chance to invite God to your table to partake of All that He is.
There is so much to do, a celebration is upon us, let us not get caught up in impressing others, let us not rush around till we are exhausted, let us not forget to praise Him that has made All Things Possible.
There is no perfection in our actions for others when we are operating like robots with hate in our hearts-trying to fulfill traditions that are shallow and have no room for change. The meals will be cooked, what you have-is what you have-it will be enough! The company will arrive late or on time, either way - they will arrive.
Your flesh will poke and sting you - but your faith and your spirit will, if you allow them to, will use The Authority given to us, to guide you in the ways that you should go.
Our perfection only comes from God's spirit flowing through you-He needs us to be His hands, His feet, His mouth to speak love to people. Our perfection only comes to light when we are fully obedient to His directions-to His authority over our lives.
Perfection is only achieved when we fully obey Him-no other way. Enjoy this day and relax-people will get to eat, and spend time with you and your families-remember, PRIDE KILLS-TRADITION KILLS- and the only way to please God is through complete obedience.~
2 Cor. 5:20 / Matt. 5:13
Be well during this time, and relax, allow the transgressions of friends, family members and even strangers to be covered by God's love that lives in your heart. Let Your light shine so that others will want the Joy and Peace that they see living in you.
Be patient with yourself and with others, God is not through with us yet!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING !
In Her name~Joshua 1:9
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I come with encouragement for all that seek it.
As I was doing some research on the subject of, images of women in Biblical Artwork for a talk/lecture that I had to give at a local college, I saw deeper into the characters of a few women in the Bible that I thought I already knew about. (don’t you just love it when growth is apparent) I saw them in a different light and wondered how I had missed this information, before. I wondered why I didn’t see their strength and commitment on this level before. Then it “clicked”, that I have grown and was not ready to see all this until I did.
So I started thinking about the commitments these women have made to themselves, to God, to live with integrity, with a Joy and determination that no matter what happens, no matter what other people say about them or do to them that they will not be moved.
Knowing about the times that these women lived in, made their commitments even more amazing to me. I think, how can I say that what I am living through and learning, is too much – a burden, or that it’s impossible.
I know that as long as I walk this faith walk-this love walk - that God will meet my faith. This is a comforting piece of wisdom.
Thinking to myself at times about the trials i may be faced with or others that come to me, and the 'not knowing what to do', is hard, discouraging at times, difficult, a sense of wanting to give up = YES, these thoughts cross my mind—and I have learned to let them cross right on through – out of my mind.
That I must remember my commitment to myself and to God, that I will not give up and I will not allow negatives to sway me toward a mentality of defeat. I remember that in Luke 21:15, that God said, "For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict,"
And I know that, even though at times I feel removed from understanding what I am doing, (really I want to know what lies ahead-I figured this out so I could let it go), that I am being taught how to see and accept God’s powerful love at work in my life, and that of my family. That learning about these powerful women (and men) their character-teaches me about new beginnings, trust, courage, and servanthood. There is a renewal I experience by studying the lives of people that are well known and the lesser known’s in the Bible.
“Sometimes I feel discouraged and feel my work’s in vain. but then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again.” – There IS a Balm in Gilead !
The lives of these women were molded to fit the call on their lives, whether they knew about God or not-He molded them to do what needed to be done.
In Exodus 1:18-22 we learn about these two women, Shiphrah and Puah who dared to deceive Pharaoh, buying more time to spare more children. Going against what Pharaoh ordered was a courageous act for them to carry out. They were rewarded for their commitment to God’s directions but there were also limits. Pharaoh assigns not just two midwives but "all his people” the task of killing the Hebrew male infants.
One may think that Shiphrah and Puah failed, but they did all they could-and that too is part of the meaning of courage. You do not have to do the inconceivable, only what is within your capacity. The courage of these two women puts self at risk for faithfulness to God. It even puts truth at risk for the greater good of saving the innocents. They wanted to save new life through their courage.
As I read about these two women, I feel a comfort in knowing that what trials and teachings that I am going through are nothing, but that courage is being strengthened in my character. God is God of the future, and He is God of rightnow!, and I ask Him to give us courage for this day- courage to trust His presence, courage to still our fears, courage to seek the new life that She has created for us to be within.
Queen Vashti was a Persian princess from birth, who was the wife of a king "who reigned from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces,” When she was commanded to disrobe and “dance” for his male friends at the feast he gave, her self-respect and high character meant more to her than her husband’s vast realm. She gave up her position, the power and the riches that he had gained through conquering the kingdoms of others. She gave up land, money, prestige, in order to keep her dignity and righteousness.
That speaks volumes to me and I hope to all of you reading this.
I asked for and have accepted the Courage to be Faithful to the Commitments that I have made to God and I expect Her to continue to be Faithful to the Commitments that She has made to me and my family.
I have stopped asking God to give me, give me, now I say, Make me, Make me Lord, do Your work within me so that I am better.
The Courage to be faithful to the commitments that you have made to God, this is really what it is all about. Once you realize this, the struggle gets a little easier, then it is not an issue at all.
in His name~Joshua 1:9
Sunday, November 11, 2007
In the hope and joy that God has placed an anointing on these words that will bring to you warmth, and understanding, comfort and a peace that only comes from God.
in thinking of your heart,,,,, may i add what came to my spirit as i read this;
That this prayer is from those lonely, but faithful to His word, people.
The People that have made a commitment to faithfully follow God and Her purposes for each of them.
And i see this prayer as a way to just say thank You to God for the comfort and courage it takes to follow Him. All of which He has given to you.
So know that you may be lonely right now, but in your heart She lives! and She is always going to comfort you and will send to you the one that has been chosen just for you !
Stay strong and grounded in Her love and know that it will be seen as it has been said.
God has not forgotten you, nor is He blind to your obedience along with your mistakes.
He forgives on one hand and rewards with the other.
Cry, vent, fuss, stomp around if it will make you feel better. then just rest in Her comforting arms, sleep and rest, for each day is another chance, and another day to rest in Him, He won't let you down.
Prayer for Lonely People
there are times in each life
when there is no one.
No one with whom
a sad remembrance,
a gentle touch,
a fond embrace,
a kiss of love.
Bless each one who suffers
from such loneliness.
Enrich life with a friend
or gentle stranger
who will spend a moment
noticing and loving.
In those times
your love shines through,
the world is reborn,
and Christ is known.
So be it!
- Vienna Cobb Anderson
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
A Prayer of Commitment - A Walk of Commitment
Good morning family,
Every day is a great day, is the devil going to steal your Joy today ?
Are you going to help him - allow him to do so ?
Have you thought of all your blessings for this day ?
The power of God's word is upon us to either eat it up or push the plate away,,,it is time to make a commitment either to allow God, or to go on and do things your way,,,it is time, (Phil. 1:28-29)(Acts 10:2)
It is time to speak with authority or to whine and worry as you make another trip around that mountian-all the devil has is the same old things, his purpose is to steal your Joy. When the same things come back around ( & they will) - are you going to commit them to God's hand or are you going to deal with them through the illusional power of your emotions ? (Psalm 94:10-15) ( Psalm 31:20) ( Zech 4:6)
It is time to make known to God which side you are on, and this is a permanent decision. Stop straddling that fence--you have to make up your mind, you will find no real happiness there either. The devil is after your Joy, not your stuff,,,(John 10:10 ) ( Psalm 16:11)
Declare with your mouth and remain stable and keep your peace, how you will behave . Will you allow fear and emotions to control your thinking and your actions? Or will you allow your mouth to declare to God a prayer of commitment that everything is in His hand ?
(1 Peter 5:6-7 ) Cast your cares on God !
(Acts 3:19) There is a reward for staying in the presence of God - a refreshing !
May you come to know The hand of God when He upon you ! Releasing His unlimited power ! Faith and courage to believe Him, it is not easy, but it's not impossible either.
Evil cannot work unless it is through another person, it has no authority without a willing partner. ( Acts 11:21 - Acts 13:6-11) (Ex. 3:20-22- Ex. 13:3)
God is preparing us for the needs of others. ( 1 Tim. 4)
It is impossible for God to lie-keep waiting by His side . (Heb. 6:18)
Your purpose is known to you - now what are your reasons for not obeying? (1 Tim. 4)
Offenses will come, how are you going to react ? (Luke 17:1)
No matter what comes your way, keep His Joy and Happiness in your heart, let it come out of your heart through your mouth ! Steadfastness and agreement with His will and purposes for your life will feed your spirit .
(Proverbs 4:12) ( James 1:6-7)
Isaiah 42:9 "Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them."
God loves you !
Always in His Name~Joshua 1:9
WHO WILL LOVE US ALL ?
good morning family,
Such Divine Beauty given today for us to walk in,,,,
God says, that we have the best of His Love !
i literally awoke this morning humming and singing this song,,,and the tears of truth just ran down my face,,tears of Joy, of Love,,,no matter what situation i am in, or what condition i am in- i will Praise The Lord ! Yea Amen !
For He is God !
i felt led to share this with you, to encourage you today, as long as it is today, I shall do as i am called to do,,,Yea Amen !
i know that many of you are wearing His Love and at times it is hard, but not impossible, it is hard, but not impossible !!
He is LOVE! and He won't let you down !!
Let Him pick you up,,,,give Him your All and He will make it right !
in the name of Jesus, i pray for all of you-- for your health, for your hearts, for your souls, i pray for your feet to be sure, for your lips to speak love and not hate, for your helping others before yourself, even when the person does you wrong, you did as you were led to do.
i pray for you to be able to forgive and not hold on to the hurt and dissappointment given - or at times thrown at you by others-even after you have done all that God led you to do for them, stay grounded in HIM. Leave those people to Him. yes, they are wrong, but the more people do you wrong, the more God will bless you.
Some may have called you "good friend", been right there when you had to give--but when you are low, or without, you cannot find them-they have no time to give you-they turn on you and blame you with falsehoods--they say they love you, but then join in with others that hate who you are,,,,
Leave them to HIM. He is showing you their true colors, their hearts He knows and He is revealing the truth about them to you, they cannot go with you where He is leading you, they choose not to- Leave them to Him ! They can either accept the truth or continue to live in lies- it is their choice !
i pray that you will walk with Him, and talk with Him, thank You Father God, for Your Love for us all ! in the name above all names- Yea Amen!
He won't let you down !
Who will love us all ? JESUS ! for He is Love !
He'll make everything all right !
stay in the light - be the light - we are called to do both, pick up your cross and follow Him, He knows the way, He is the way !
Yes Lord, Yes !
Teach me how to Learn what You are teaching me !
Praise God !
Always in His Name~Joshua 1:9
Accept What God Allows !
"You cannot do a kindness too soon,for you never know how soon it will be too late."-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Jesus is Love
by Lionel Richie & the Commodores
utube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7WW9uLKr0E
Father, help Your children, and don't let them fall by the side of the road. And teach them to love one another, that heaven might find a place in their hearts.
Cause Jesus is love, He won't let you down.
And I know He's mine forever in my heart.
We've got to walk on through temptation, cause His love and His wisdom will be our helping hand. And I know the truth and His word will be our salvation; lift up our hearts to be thankful and glad.
Cause Jesus is love, He won't let you down.
And I know He's mine - deep down in my soul
Jesus is love oh yes He is, He won't let you down
and I know He's mine forever in my heart.
He won't let me down
in my heart I know, I know I know
Cause His loves the power, (power) His loves the glory (glory) Forever (ever and ever); (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
I wanna follow Your star, wherever it leads me, and I don't mind, Lord, I hope You don't mind.
I wanna walk with You ,and talk with You, and do all the things You want me to do
cause I know that Jesus is love, I know, and if you ask,
I'll show, love is the word forever. and ever and ever
who can bring you love (Jesus)
who can bring you joy (Jesus)
who can turn your life around (Jesus)
yeah, yeah, yeah
who will pick you up (Jesus)
when you fall (Jesus)
who's standing beside you (Jesus)
who can heal your body (Jesus)
who can make you strong (Jesus)
who can help you last a little bit longer (Jesus)
if you call Him He will listen (Jesus)
who will love us all ( Jesus)
call Him in the morning (Jesus)
call Him in the evening, (Jesus)
call Him in the midnight hour (Jesus)
Jesus (3x), oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah