After You’ve Done All You Can, STAND

Happy Monday! A day of new possibilities. A day that sets the tone for the week.

To be “strengthened” by the Lord is an often overlooked aspect of successfully standing in the day of evil. Yet it serves of great importance. When David faced the loss of his family and possible stoning by his friends, the Bible says that he “strengthened” himself in the Lord his God. When Paul stood before the emperor after being deserted by those closest to him, the Lord stood with him and “strengthened” him. These two great figures, after doing all they could do allowed the Lord to use them as they stood, not using their own strength but that of the Lords.

This post comes a little later in the day than the norm but that’s within reason. This morning I woke, accepting a new day as it was given to me and ready to STAND through the storm, hurt, pain and rain (as it’s forecasted to rain today). Well the Lord definitely heard my prayer the night before and with another 8 hours to my day I’ve faced ALL of these.

This morning was like no other. Name calling, disputes and spats is what I had for breakfast. Not your average waffles, eggs, french toast combo. Instead, I was served a great big dish of hurt and pain with a side of storm. As I tried to swallow the misfortune I called my morning it was leaving me sick. I was physically unable to rid the taste from my mouth from that wretched breakfast. I was physically weak in the knees, trembling, waiting for my inevitable fall. I was ready to throw in the towel, allow what happened this morning to break and define me. BUT, God said in his words “take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13). 

How do we prepare ourselves for spiritual battles? How do we position ourselves so that we are beneficiaries of God’s might, power, provision and protection in the face of attacks, in the face of enemies who are out to destroy us? The answer is found in Ephesians 6: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand. Stand firm then, with the (1)belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the (2)breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your (3) feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the (4)shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the (5)helmet of salvation and the (6)sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And (7)pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” 

Although we may prepare ourselves for spiritual battles we cannot predict them. However, because we belong to Him, He dwells in us even in the unknown. When all your strength fails you, when the hope you once had has fled, when others hurt you, or you get sick and can no longer stand or fight for yourself, it is then that God gives you His strength, His agility, His boldness, His wisdom and the confidence to stand, until you finish the race.

We must stand on holy ground and that can only be done once we make ourselves available and are determined to put on our spiritual armor, to fight the good fight and to finish the race that He has set before us, then and only then will we avoid a great fall. And, if we get weak in the knees and fall He is there to meet every one of our needs, His Word confirms that. He will never leave us nor forsake us because we are His and He cares for us.

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

This week’s song is Stand by Donnie McClurkin

Lyrics:
What do you do,
When you’ve done all you can and it seems like its never enough.
And what do you say when your friends turn away and you’re all alone.
Tell me what do you give,
When you’ve given your all and it seems like you can’t make it through.
Well you just stand when there’s nothing left to do,
You just stand watch the LORD see you through.
Yes after you’ve done all you can, you just stand.

Tell me how do you handle the guilt of your past,
Tell me how do you deal with the strain.
And how can you smile when your heart has been broken and filled with pain.
Tell me what do you give,
When you’ve given your all and it seems like you can’t make it through.
Child, you just stand, when there’s nothing left to do.
You just stand watch the LORD see you through.
Yes after you’ve done all you can, you just stand, stand and be sure.
Be not entangled in that bondage, oh you just stand and endure.
GOD has a purpose, yes GOD has a plan.

Tell me what do you do,
When you’ve done all you can and seems like you can’t make it through.
Child, you just stand, stand, you just stand, stand, stand, stand,
Through the storm, stand, stand through the rain,
Stand, through the hurt, stand, yeah through the pain, you just.
Don’t you stop, stand, and don’t you bend, stand, don’t give up,
Stand, no don’t give in, you just.
Hold on, stand, just be strong, stand,
GOD will step in, stand, and it won’t be long, you just.
After you’ve done all you can

After you’ve gone through the hurt,
After you’ve done all you can, after you’ve gone through the pain,
After you’ve done all you can, after you’ve gone through the storm,
After you’ve done all you can, after you’ve gone through the rain,
After you’ve done all you can, prayed and cried, after you’ve done all you can,
Prayed and cried, after you’ve done all you can, prayed and cried,
After you’ve done all can, prayed and cried, after you’ve done all you can.
After you’ve done all you can, you just stand, oh, oh, oh, oh.

It Ain’t Over Until God Says It’s Over

Proverbs 3:5 NIV
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;”

God is so good! Not only is He good; He’s faithful. He’s merciful. He’s just. He is a loving God. He’s kind. He’s a provider. He’s a way-maker. He’s a deliverer. He’s a healer.

Today’s devotional will ignite your fire, faith, hope and your trust in God. I am here to tell you God has a plan for you.

With the first day of class several hours away it brings me to a time where I wasn’t able to eat, sleep and even pray. This past year my future was put on hold and with that my faith. I was asked over the weekend by a friend what my passion was and I didn’t need a second to tell him PEOPLE, people are my passion. I knew God had a purpose for me to work alongside people, explains my extroverted nature. All my life I got a sense of joy making people laugh, smile and feel something good. For years I was the class clown that also specialized in therapy sessions. I worked only customer services jobs that had me completely involved firsthand with people. I can say with boldness that I wake everyday to the thought of helping at least one person and sleep well only when I know it’s been done. With this being said it was my dream to not only make people happy but to be a voice to the voiceless, that desire led me to my future plans of being a Lawyer. Not being in school this past year meant I was further from making my impact on people and being a voice than I had always dreamt. With a period of sadness I refused to allow the enemy to steal my joy so I started this blog and realized that in doing that I was much closer to my future than school could ever allow. Even if the degree never came I’d still be that influence on the people that I wished.

I’ve come a long way this past year and I know my situation was NOT in vain.  The Lord wanted me to see that I was sidetracked in the end goal, the future and began neglecting those who need me in my present. This journey was not easy but God never said it would be. Even if the opportunity to resume my studies didn’t come for another several years I’m reminded that “it ain’t over until God says it’s over,” although at the time it felt as if I was down to the last count that the odds were stacked against me, that I cried my final tears, I knew God had the final say and if I was alive that was for a reason, to make an impact!

Today, I know many want to quit due to the various situations and trials they are facing in their life. However, God has blessings for you, if you don’t quit you will see His promises for your life. You may not have it all together right now but right now situations are not forever situations.

I’m speaking to those who are in a hopeless situation at the moment like I’ve come from. A hopeless situation does not mean that God has left you. Just because things don’t work out exactly how we planned them does not mean that God is not at work in your life. Our plans fail, we fail but one thing that doesn’t is God! It doesn’t matter what your situation is saying, I can tell you that God is at work in your life at the moment.

Keep fighting. Keep praying. Keep fasting. Keep progressing. Keep moving. Keep reading…interceding. Keep believing. Keep trusting. Keep trying. Keep travailing. Keep living. Keep giving.  Keep fighting until your victory is won!

I know without a doubt that God will too bring you out ❤

This weeks song is It Ain’t Over by Maurette Brown Clark

Lyrics:
I know the odds look stacked against you
And it seems there’s no way out
I know the issue seems unchangeable
And that there’s no reason to shout
But the impossible is God’s chance
To work a miracle, a miracle
So just know

It ain’t over until God says it’s over
It ain’t over until God says it’s done
It ain’t over until God says it’s over
Keep fighting until your victory is won

He never said it would be easy
But you’re a winner in the end
Jesus defeated all your enemies
Way before the fight began
But the impossible is God’s chance
To work a miracle, a miracle
So just know

It ain’t over until God says it’s over
It ain’t over until God says it’s done
It ain’t over until God says it’s over
Keep fighting until your victory is won

When people say you can’t, remember
(He can, He will)
When you don’t know what you’re gonna do,
Please remember
(He has the master plan)
He will free you from your sin
And give you peace within
So you better hold your head up high
You’re gonna win
(You’re gonna win)

It ain’t over until God says it’s over
It ain’t over until God says it’s done
It ain’t over until God says it’s over
Keep fighting until your victory is won

Keep fighting, keep praying, keep fasting
It ain’t over, no
Keep pressing, progressing, keep moving
It ain’t over, no
Keep reading, interceding, keep believing
It ain’t over, no
Keep trusting, keep trying, keep travailing
It ain’t over, no
Keep living, keep giving, keep going
It ain’t over, no
Keep fighting until your victory is won

Waiting Here For You

Happy Monday, Music Monday that is 🙂

We wait with expectation of God’s return. But it’s striking to see that our churches no longer sing about Christ’s second coming as much as we used to.

Many Christians consider it embarrassing that people publically conjecture regarding the time of Christ’s return. Jesus himself warned us against this type of conjecture (Mark 13:32; Acts 1:7). Their speculation arises out of a precise date that we don’t know so instead Christian’s avoid the talk completely out of uncertainty. We’ve forgotten that although the details are unknown the fact that He is coming is a given.

32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13:32)

7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.” (Acts 1:7)

After all, the apostle Paul warned that Christ’s return wasn’t a topic of speculation, but for preparation (Romans 13:11-12). So let us not run from the speculations on the exact date or time of His return but let it be grounds for us to prepare the world for behold He shall come, riding on the cloud as the trumpet calls!

11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Jesus is the greatest person who has ever lived because He is God himself who lived a perfect human life:

He is the most powerful – “And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:41)

Wisest –  The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!” (John 7:46)

Happiest – “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11)

Humblest – “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, 
yet he opened not his mouth; 
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, 
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, 
so he opened not his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7)

“Our blessed hope,” Paul writes, is “the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.”If we aren’t as Christians adequately encouraging and preparing each other to meet and bask in his glorious presence when He returns then we’ve missed our mark. For his resurrection established his authority over the universe (Matthew 28:18), how much more will his second coming display his sovereign rule!

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18)

Therefore, the ultimate goal of our lives is to wait eagerly for Him, not calculating the time or the signs but spreading the Word and living a life worthy of His presence.

“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24)

As we gather at Christ’s church in corporate worship and even outside of the church as we live out our faith in our neighborhoods, schools and workplaces let us acknowledge and prepare all those around us of His return.

As Christians we ought to encourage each other with words and songs about Christ’s return. It isn’t just about songs that remind us that He died for us and loves us but that he is COMING BACK, which brings me to this week’s song: Waiting Here For You by Christy Nickels ❤

Lyrics:
If faith can move the mountains
Let the mountains move
We come with expectation
Waiting here for you, waiting here for you

You’re the Lord of all creation
And still you know my heart
The author of salvation
You’ve loved us from the start

Waiting here for you
With our hands lifted high in praise
And it’s you we adore
Singing Alleluia

You are everything you’ve promised
Your faithfulness is true
And we’re desperate for your presence
All we need is you

Waiting here for you, Lord
With our hands lifted high in praise
And it’s you, Lord, we adore
Singing Alleluia

We will wait for you, Lord, he’ll stand with you
We will sing alleluia
Singing Alleluia, alleluia
Singing Alleluia, alleluia

Waiting here for you
With our hands lifted high in praise
And it’s you we adore, we adore
Singing Alleluia

Waiting here for you
With our hands lifted high in praise
And it’s you we adore
Singing Alleluia, singing Alleluia

Waiting here for you
With our hands lifted high in praise
And it’s you we adore, with our lives
Singing Alleluia, singing Alleluia

Alexandra Yeboah: Out of Darkness

We have a NEW Testimony Tuesday for the Month of December!

Here’s a BEAUTIFULLY written post by the lovely Alexandra Yeboah read it in it’s entirety as it will bless your heart, check out her page for more… www.speakthewords.com

Before I share my testimony, I want to let you know that I am about to enter into what is often considered a taboo subject, especially in the church. Depression is not a sin; it is an illness. If you know someone who may be depressed, the best thing you can do right now is continue to be there for them, encourage them and pray for them. It may not look like it is making much difference now, but continue to persevere. God is faithful and will not allow anyone to be tempted more than they are able to bear. If you are depressed, He will uphold you with His victorious right hand; please don’t lose hope. God loves you. Satan does not have the final battle; it belongs to the Lord. Also, sometimes we have this way of making trite statements to depressed people such as “Cheer up” or “You will be fine…” But depression is a serious battle of the mind and can only be overcome by divine intervention, regardless of what mainstream psychologists will tell you. If you have not been impressed by God to speak when engaging with one that is depressed, say nothing. Sometimes silence is golden. Finally, if you are in need of resources that deal with depression, please get in touch and we may be able to provide you with some materials. Thanks and God bless

A strange light glinted off the knife I held in my hands as I peered into it. The words had come out of my mouth before I fully realized what I was saying. I am going to kill myself…I want to die…

My 12-year-old sister stared at me with horror. Her eyes were pleading with me. “What are you doing? Stop!” she cried. Her child-like body then lunged forward and reached for the knife. Defeated, I handed it over to her. Then, I stood motionless and tried to wrap my head around what I had just done…

That was me eight years ago. It is hard to believe it now. I don’t remember much of what transpired in my younger years, but if there is anything that I have taken away from my past experiences, it is that God is merciful. That day, I heard the Lord Himself speaking to me through my sister; all throughout the years, I would come to see that He wanted me to live. He had been fighting for my life.

On a Downward Spiral

You may wonder how it got to the point that I was contemplating suicide. It is hard for me to understand myself. Growing up as a kid, everything had always seemed just right. I had two Christian parents who instilled in me moral values. As a result, I developed an appreciation for going to church, taking part in all of the youth activities and fellow-shipping with friends. At the end of a long day, I would even beg my parents to allow me to stay at church longer. We had worship as a family every morning and evening. I was a happy, obedient child, and hardly had a rebellious streak. Yes, everything seemed just perfect in my life.

Then in middle school, I became a target for taunts and jests from other kids. This was severely damaging to my already sensitive soul. People would call me all sorts of names, none of which were pleasant. I was an awkward, skinny, reserved, dark-skinned girl with a buck-tooth smile, and apparently that was reason enough for the abuse. Add to the mix, verbal abuse from my dad, and there you have one seriously distressed child.

By the time I started high school, my insecurities had maximized; I had become my own worst enemy. The emotional pain I was experiencing would often unleash itself on some unsuspecting stranger, which in turn would make them extremely uncomfortable. As a result, no one would stick around for long; friends would come and go.

In my third year of high school, my parents were on the verge of getting a divorce, so I continued on a downward spiral. I started to express the pain I was feeling through dark poetry. I told strangers online intimate information about my life. I was lonely and was seeking anyone and anything to fill the gaps in my heart. Life no longer had any meaning for me, so I began making threats to kill myself. At this point, I had finally managed to establish a friendship with a close group of girls. When I announced these venomous words to these girls whom I considered my friends, I did it more for attention than anything else.   I was crying out for someone to help me. Because of this, the friendship ended poorly. Sadly, losing the only friends I had ever really known was detrimental for my psychological health.     Further along the line as I seeped more into my depressed state, people everywhere responded with coldness and indifference; this set me over the edge.

Crying Out

After I recognized that I was truly all alone, I would sometimes run away from school and visit a park somewhere off the school grounds. I would not return home until late in the evening. My mother would be worried sick.

At the age of 17, I was standing in the kitchen in tears as feelings of hopelessness washed over me. With my little sister looking on, I took the sharpest knife I could find and uttered those dreadful words. I don’t think I had ever planned on actually going through with anything that day either, because I hated everything that had to do with pain. Yet, I wanted to end it somehow, and not only that, I wanted the world to see how much pain I was going through as well. Still, nothing I tried seemed to be working. Somehow I stumbled my way through high school and ended up graduating with honours. Now in my 20s, I was in my final years of an intensive journalism program, and the pressure of the program added to the mounting hopeless feelings. I considered myself the underdog, and would tell myself that I was worthless and would never amount to anything.

In my last year, I fought the urge to drop out. At one point that year, I ended up leaving one of my elective classes in hyperventilation mode. I was gasping for breath, and the tears just didn’t seem to want to stop. I knew there was something wrong with me, and I desperately wanted to be better. I would make frequent visits to numerous counsellors, none of whom seemed able to help me. I remember one of them even agreeing with me once about how grievous my life was. I read Dr. Phil and Joel Osteen self-help books, yet I would only find as the years went by that I was retreating more and more into myself.

Touch of Faith

Alex Yeboah 1

In 2010, I attended a Christian youth conference, more out of curiosity than anything else. I did not realize there were actually youth out there who were sincerely following Christ. I had considered myself a Christian all the while, and had always heard many beautiful truths about God’s love, yet for some reason it had not taken root in my heart. I would still come home crying every night, truly believing that no one loved or cared for me.

I didn’t actually think that attending the conference would make any difference in my life, but I thought I would check it out anyway. Although I did not get much out of the divine service nor the plenaries, I remember the Sabbath School session like it was yesterday, because this is what helped transform my life.

It was here that I would hear words of hope that I hungered for. In the lady’s presentation, she brought to life the story of the woman with the issue of blood. Instantly, I recognized this woman within myself. I had been pursuing so many different things in search of healing but had never found it. Tears sprang to my eyes. I wanted faith like this woman. I wanted to reach out my hand to Jesus and be healed.

Ever since that day, I slowly started on the road to recovery. During this period, God revealed to me ugly things about myself that I could never see before, because I had been blinded. But He didn’t leave me hopeless; He promised to restore me… And He did.

Today I can honestly say that I am not the same person. I still have my struggles, because it isn’t easy to forget the negativity of my past. The difference is I know who to turn to now. It is not about having a head full of knowledge, but about allowing Jesus to change your heart. I am thankful that Jesus cared enough about me to do just that.

For anyone battling an illness of their own, I want to encourage you not to give up. Hope is not lost. Reach out to Him in healing and He will give you the victory. He did it for me and He can do the same for you.

Alex Yeboah

“And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.” (Ezekiel 16:6)

“But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.” (Isaiah 43:1-4)

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.”

”And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” (Luke 8:43-48)

**If you’re interested in joining this movement to step out in faith and share your testimony email me at rishaepinnock05@live.ca 🙂

No Shortcuts to Heaven

Ever since I was smaller shortcuts have been my thing. I’d take shortcuts to school as a child, which called for the deep trails of a forest surrounded by ponds and wilderness. While my sister often times would chicken out and take the long way with streets filled with children I’d toughen up and make my way every morning. Even after hearing about an incident with a young woman being attacked I still wouldn’t give up the shaved 15 minutes from my walk. Whenever my sister would finally make it to school grounds several minutes after me I’d meet her with a sly smile and every time she warned me no good can come out of taking shortcuts. If only I took her 10 years old advice. Years later my shortcuts came evolved. When my mother would insist that I clean my room, which was always covered in clothes, I found the quick solution and stuffed the clothes underneath my bed. It worked too, until my mother noticed a pant leg sticking out from under my bed and found my hiding spot. My shortcuts even spiraled to the way I used a computer, from copy and pasting to all the other quick tricks.

Just this morning I learned the hardest, yet needed lesson in my life of shortcuts. Several days ago I decided I wanted to get my G license and wasted no time. I went online found a website the guaranteed a completed G license in a couple days. Before I knew it I was inputting my info, credit card included and booked my test for Sunday, November 22nd. Later that day I saw a charge of $90.00 on my account, much higher than I expected but if it guaranteed a shortcut to the license process I was A-OK. Several minutes after I sent an email asking for the time of my appointment and the only response I got was notifying me that an additional $30.00 needs to be paid in order to receive a test date. I was shocked. I sent an email in response displaying my outrage and got a response stating that they were a private company that charges more for their services and fast bookings. That’s when the possibility of it being a scam came to me. When I received no answer to the time of my appointment my nerves were shot. I asked my family and best friend for help getting to the bottom of this and sure enough I found out the website I booked through was run by a scam company that pries on those looking for shortcuts like me. With my hard earned money in the pockets of scums I broke into tears. I called my bank and prayed for a way out of this predicament but I knew that was a farfetched dream. As I look back now, all the warning signs were there, I felt robbed and used but never again.

Despite this unfortunate experience God spoke to me. He revealed to me how detrimental my desire for shortcuts were going to be in my spiritual walk. He reminded me that there are no shortcuts to heaven.

Today’s world offers us shortcuts to almost everything. People have taken shortcuts to getting wealth (like the scammers!!!). There are reports of high officials and ordinary persons who have resorted to corruption, gambling, drug trade and other downright immoral and illegal acts in order to amass more and more wealth.

We also know of individual who took shortcuts to justice and killed, putting the law into their own hands.

Men have their own set of rules but it is only by following God’s law that we can enter God’s kingdom. And we often forget that there are no shortcuts to enter the kingdom of God or to receiving His power. God has written His instructions in one book: The Bible. In it he warns us against laziness (Proverbs 13:4) and impatience (James 5:7-8), the very reason for shortcuts.

“Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do.” – Matthew 7:13

It takes years for us to grow to adulthood, and it takes a full season for fruit to mature and ripen. The same is true for the fruit of the Spirit. The development of Christ-like character cannot be rushed. Spiritual growth, like physical growth, takes time. When you try to ripen fruit quickly, it loses its flavour.

While we worry about how fast we grow, God is concerned about how strong we grow. The more we look for shortcuts we are doing nothing but cutting our growth off and taking a longer route. God views our lives from and for eternity, so He is never in a hurry.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6)

We must all walk the path He sets before us and seek the truth through faith and the working of the Holy Spirit.

WARNING
Road Test Booking Scam
There is a fake road test booking site called “Book Your Road Test”. This site will charge you a fee to book a test that does not exist.

… Learn from my mistakes 🙂

Lukewarm

How do you take your coffee?

Whether you like coffee or not lukewarm isn’t something many people like.

The other day my sister made me a cup of my favourite chamomile tea and served it with a grin. As I took a sip I couldn’t help but spit it out. It was WARM. As my sister literally rolled on the floor laughing it had me thinking, am I lukewarm? Does God want to spit me out?

What if you went to Starbucks and ordered a Venti Chai Latte extra foam and it came out warm? You’d probably spit it out and head back to the barista and make a complaint. You paid 5 dollars for a warm drink! Think about it Jesus paid the ultimate price for us, way more than 5 dollars. Jesus tells us we’ve lost our usefulness if we are no longer hot for Him. The reason for this is because we have distanced ourselves from Him. So you go through life not praying daily, not reading daily, not meditating on His goodness daily.

Revelation 3:15-16 puts it plainly “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

Lukewarm is an adjective that describes a liquid or food that should be hot or an unenthusiastic person.

Being lukewarm is hard to detect on the outside it takes a deliberate effort from the inside. There have definitely been times in my life where on the surface everything seems good but in private I was slowly distancing myself from God. This doesn’t happen overnight but it takes small compromises along the way, just small enough that you don’t realize it. Jesus paints this problem of being lukewarm but in the same chapter He provides the solution itself. Revelation 3:20 reads “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

The movie War Room was an amazing reminder of our walk with God and how we must make a choice to serve Him.

This scene is where the faith driven Miss Clara takes the opportunity to share about the importance of prayer. It doesn’t matter what we think in our head, the test of whether we are in bondage to spiritual self=satisfaction is how earnest and frequent and extended our prayers for change are.

Do you seek the Lord earnestly and often in secret for deeper knowledge of Christ, for earnestness in prayer, for more boldness in witness, for sweeter joy in the Holy Spirit? Just remember we all fall short, but Jesus is the spring of living water that will never run dry. He said who ever drinks of this water shall never thirst, this water will become a spring of water welling up into eternal life.

No Application Form Needed

Life can be so unfair with all its rigorous applications. We apply for jobs, scholarships, universities, bursaries, credit, positions and unfortunately even in the completion of these application forms we are not chosen. We commit endless hours into better qualifying ourselves for these applications still nothing. I’ll share a bit of my testimony. I have three sisters, all of which are in school. One sister is in school for Dental, the other for Engineering and I’m there for my Undergrad in Law. They both live on campus and because I go to a school closer than the two I commute. OSAP has never been a thing our parents wanted us to be apart of … that was one application we were able to avoid. So here we are, three sisters striving for excellency in school at the dime of our parents who are paying tens of thousands without a complaint or delay. This year I was determined to pitch in more than simply paying for my course books and transportation, I told myself I was going to win a scholarship because being at the University of Toronto the 16th ranked school in the world ain’t cheap. Almost everyday I woke up to a new scholarship that I applied for to the best of my ability making it a total count of over 30 applications. I placed fourth for almost all of these scholarships and everyone knows fourth placed winners don’t receive anything but a simple shout-out. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I had applied myself and saw NO outcome, I was back where I started leaving my parents with the payment. Even given my many applications, NOTHING. Then I questioned my applications from scholarships, jobs and relationships and realized they’re all bias. I started questioning my applications and wondered if I was applying myself to the wrong thing. It then hit me… We need no application form with God! God chose us after all.

We don’t have to write endless essays, vigorously check our emails or the post office for word on our application because it is not needed with God. We should feel satisfaction knowing God chose us all, not because of what experiences we have, how much money we have or how many connections we have but because He LOVES us.

Life can have a lot of ups and downs. There are happy times that propel us through our days and there are hard times that threaten to steal our joy. In the midst of it all we should remember that we are a “chosen” generation and that should lit a fire in our hearts. To be chosen is to be accepted. A greater acceptance than being placed into the 16th ranked school in the world or receiving the scholarship you need. To be chosen is to be favored. To be chosen is to be embraced. What an amazing thing that is!

Now, read through what Ephesians tells us about God.

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love” (Ephesians 1:4 NIV)

Hold on just a moment and think about that…

BEFORE HE MADE THE WORLD, GOD CHOSE US.

Therefore, if we don’t get that job, scholarship, credit approval, university acceptance know that the greatest acceptance comes from God and there is no application form needed for His Kingdom, He is not bias, He chose us all.

His Praise Will Ever Be On Our Lips

PRESENTING… Dum dum dum dum *drum roll please* MUSIC MONDAY’S. I bring to my blog Music Monday’s not just to share some of my favourite songs but also to allow us all to worship God. If anyone out there is like me then when you hear a certain song it can drive you to new heights of love and appreciation of God. After all, worship is what we were created for. God created the universe so that it would display the worth of His glory. And He created us so that we would see this glory and reflect it by knowing and loving it – with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. So we need to rebuild a common vision of what worship is and let it follow us after Sunday.

“I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. But he said to me, ‘Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.'”

Revelation 22:9 is used above so that we can hear the simple command, “Worship God!” The angel said to John, don’t worship angels, worship God! Don’t worship nothing, worship God! Don’t neglect God or despise God, worship God! This is the last chapter of the Bible, and this is the last duty of man: worship God!

Let us remember that true worship is not oriented on a place or an event. I know how great it is to go to church, a conference, convention or camp ordained for worship but when those times pass what are we left with? Monday is the day everyone dreads, but let’s turn it into a day that adequately prepares us for the week outside of a particular place or event, your home is greater.

I feel like we’re okay with our only time of worship being on a Sunday morning. We serve a God who dwells inside our hearts, not just on a Sunday. Let us be a John 10:27 nation  who knows the Shepherds voice and hears Him.

I pray you are blessed by these Music Monday’s. Going back to the theme of my blog let our worship be without strings, no ulterior motive, just us and worship.

This first week we are listening to Bethel Worships – Ever Be by Kalley Heiligenthal

God’s Love

Five, that’s the number of failed relationships I’ve been in. If I knew what I know now the pain of feeling unloved would have never been a determining factor for my meaningless relationships. God’s love is greater; His love is always there.

With all that’s going on in this world, from hate crimes to a changing legal system I’d like to remind us all to love. I find many of us are struggling with learning how to love as Christ does, even if it’s towards ourselves. Proverbs 17:17 convicted even myself because within this verse, it states, “a friend loves at all times” and many times we choose who to love, when to love, how to love but it’s given to us in His word. For those wondering what loving like Christ entails cited below is what the Bible has to say:

It’s sacrificial.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

It’s forgiving.

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

It’s everywhere.

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:9-11

It’s rejoiceful.

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

It’s caring.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 

It’s unbiased.

Who shows no partiality to princes, nor regards the rich more than the poor, for they are all the work of his hands?” Job 34:19

It’s not partial.

“Who shows no partiality to princes, nor regards the rich more than the poor, for they are all the work of his hands?” Job 34:19

It’s merciful.

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15

It’s giving.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

It’s perfect.

“No one has every seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” 1 John 4:12

It’s eternal.

“Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 136:26

It’s slow to anger.

“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15

Therefore brethren,

I urge you all to love for it reads that, “anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8). In allowing God to change our hearts love will come naturally. His outstretched arms on the cross should be a reminder of His love for us, it tells just how extensive (wide) it is.

If you’re ready, ready to start seeing the world through lenses of love read this quick prayer:

“Father God, I come into your presence so aware of my human frailty and yet overwhelmed by your love for me. I thank you that there is no human experience that I might walk through where your love cannot reach me. If I climb the highest mountain you are there and yet if I find myself in the darkest valley of my life, you are there. Teach me today to love you more. Help me to rest in that love that asks nothing more than the simple trusting heart of a child. In Jesus name, Amen” (http://www.beliefnet.com/Prayers/Christian/Guidance/A-Prayer-for-Resting-in-Gods-Love.aspx#)

Peace & Love.

Confessions of a Church girl

I was saved, grew up in the church, and had what I believed was a lasting relationship with Christ. BUT I went from living out the scriptures to simply knowing scriptures and reading the Bible sometimes when I felt like it, and still found a way to encourage others, despite my own mess that I was going through. It still amazes me that after all this time, God still kept holding my hand, even when I was being rebellious and dragging Him along in my mess. So, let me give you a little background about myself, and what even prompted this blog… After my high school graduation when I realized I haven’t even had a sip of alcohol or any unprecedented fun I sought for a change. That summer I began hanging out with an old friend, one much more experienced with the workings of the world. It started with a walk. We met up at the park by our house and took it from there, passing blocks, and as she began to talk about her life and her newest problems I was reminded that all of our meet-ups consisted of her talking and me listening like all the other relationships in my life, people found my life so boring after all I’m the “church girl” as one guy put it in school. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve always been the type to speak to everyone in my school, top of my class, fashionista, drama and music student along with student council member. But I never really fit in no matter the surroundings. One day on my way to class the group of boys that usually skip class opting for the ruggedness of the bench than the comfort of a seat in class began to make fun of my outfit saying it looked like I was ready for a church service, because I chose not to wear the cropped tops and short shorts. I laughed. Despite what my outfit was portraying to them I gave them the less Christian response. I won’t go into details but it was LEGEND- wait for it- ARY. From then on any parties even amongst my friends I wasn’t invited to and if that wasn’t bad enough the same thing happened to me at work, I couldn’t escape it. I wondered for so long why I wasn’t invited. What was different? I sought to change that.

Back to the walk. We passed by our elementary school and I remembered that my whole life I have been sheltered, my life planned for me and I’m not just meaning by God. My parents made my decisions. Valedictorian. Honors student. As I walked past the school literally I was trying to do the same figuratively. As we continued, looking for a new path journey even a familiar car called out to us. It was a guy from our school who graduated the year before. He asked if we were looking to hang out and despite my friend’s reluctance I made the decision for the both of us, my first real decision. Into the car we went on an unknown journey. We stopped off at someone’s house and we all hung out. People I once passed in the hallways now keeping my company. It was going well, I was truly enjoying myself and I didn’t want the fun to end, I wanted my entire life to be like this. Our ride and his brother chose a new plan so into the car we went. We ended up at the Beer Store. There we were. Sitting in the parking lot waiting for what was next. He came out with the beers and we drove to the park to indulge. I have never had a drink of alcohol ever at this point with the exception of the time I was babysitting my neighbours children and my sister decided it would be funny to dare me to drink a cup of their whisky, never again. I took a beer and froze, not knowing what to do next. My friend looked at me and explained to the rest that I’ve never ever drank before, although it was the truth I was embarrassed, how dare she make me seem like a prude. So gulp, gulp. All done. Ironically she wasn’t able to finish hers so I did the pleasure. After the drink and a half. I insisted I needed to stretch my legs, as I got out of the care I stumbled, guess it was kicking in. The guy took my hand and led me with him to go for a walk to clear my head. As we made our way to a bench I stopped and kissed him. As I backed away he told me about how much he liked who I was becoming and I laughed because I no longer knew who I was. That was the beginning of a summer fling. He taught me new things, showed me new things. The party invitations that once passed me came flying my way.

I got dressed and got ready for one with my walking buddy to a pretty dead party, only a couple of people dancing. I was getting bored and getting ready to leave when I saw a couple people smoking weed, I wanted in besides I’ve never done this. I made my appeal to join an unknown guy just for a few hits, as I did I felt as though I was watching myself on the outside. I was finally free. Party invitations were now rolling my way and I made it a way to make it to all of them. With the same intentions, to lose myself, never drunk but never sober. Now we were on our way to the next party where something changed inside of me. In a familiar setting with old friends and acquaintances I was confronted with a guy I’ve always seen in the distance. This guy asked me to walk with him so we could talk about “life” and I was living life so how hard could it be to talk about it, but what I didn’t know is that it wasn’t “life” he wanted to talk about, he didn’t want to talk period. This walk turned into sitting outside of the house party in his car with him shoving himself on me. Tongue deep in my mouth like an unwanted guest, hands grazing my body like an assassin, then his pants unbuckled. That night despite my high state I broke free from being a rape victim.

Despite the event, I sought to forget and that meant substance abuse. I know what you’re thinking, “are you crazy?!” One day my desperation to loose myself hit a new low when I asked my mum if I could go out and she said no, the reason being that I’ve been going out a lot and not acting like myself, which is true. I was furious. I told her it was a simple walk. I screamed. I yelled. I was acting a fool and it was from the my new lifestyle. She wasn’t hearing it anymore and turned to continue making dinner, but I refused to be ignored. After the front and back arguing and threats she had enough. I picked up the phone and dialed the police. I made my request for an officer. Before I could undue the damage two police cars were outside. I was determined to have my mother pay, but for what. I realized my fault and pleaded with the officers requesting to take it easy on her. I was an idiot. It was only by the grace of God that they heard my cry and backed off with a stiff warning. I was shunned. I moved out for a couple weeks because I couldn’t bear to look my mother in the face any longer and see her hurting for me.

There were only a couple weeks before my first year at the University of Toronto I was preparing for Frosh. I cleaned up my life and made promises to never be the same. Frosh was great, I met new friends, made new experiences, and earned myself of boyfriend. I never thought I’d be the type to date in University let alone in my first year or during Frosh. He lived on campus and I was a commuter so that didn’t leave much time together but we found ways. I would stay by his place until very late and then commute home. I’d miss my trains, but I thought it was worth it. Every time we were together he was pressing for sex, but I made a vow to myself before God that I would follow his commandment and wait till marriage. This guy wasn’t happy. He doubted God, despite his Christian upbringing; he was a self-proclaimed philosopher who brought me down with him. I stopped attending church, stopped believing and became a skeptic. I partied again. One day I was unable to make it to the subway station so I had to be brought out of the party by a new friend and my boyfriend back to his dorm. He prepared the bed for me and I literally made my bed and lied in it. I threw school down the drain, we had similar classes but we’d spend more time fooling around than studying. If I wasn’t going to give him sex, I sought other ways to please him because well as long as I’m not having sex I’m fine right? WRONG. I never realized I lost my sexual purity while keeping my virginity. The relationship started becoming too much to soon especially given the emotional abuse I’d taken with threats and being controlled by him. I had a realization that I deserved better so we both agreed it wasn’t going to work. After finding out he, a day later, started seeing my friend from frosh I was heartbroken, I swore him and her both off despite the many calls, texts, emails I received from them both telling me to do otherwise. Pathetic. It wasn’t long that they started dating, that ruined me and I soon faced some serious depression. Drinking and smoking now had a new meaning, no longer just for fun but now for a way to feel better. My grades were plummeting. My life in shambles.

I could feel the Holy Spirit telling me that I needed to get it together, not judging me just being frank. I could hear the Lord urging me to quit ignoring him and let him in. But I didn’t want to listen; I didn’t want to believe that he still loved him. I sit here now realizing how stupid I was to give up on God. But, if it weren’t for these tests, I would not have been able to share this testimony. After a heart to heart with my mother and my reappearance in church when the choir sung “What Can I Do?” by Tye Tribbett I knew it was time for a change. My life took a complete 180. I was a new creation, all things passed away.

I tried it on my own, but what I found is I can’t make it on my own. I still face my issues today but my faith still stands. So today, if you’re listening and willing, I challenge you to get on your knees before God, repent of your sins, and invite Him to be your sole leader and foundation of life. Find Him on your knees. I challenge you to say NO to pornography, masturbation, fornication, premarital sex, and any other thing that is seperating you from God. You’re not in it alone after all. You will feel so much peace in your life, peace God calls us to have, and will no longer feel bound to your past. This blog is an opportunity for my story to change your story into something meaningful. As I share my experiences, thoughts, devotionals, be blessed.

I am living proof, now If I could do it, you can too.