Looking Ahead, Not Behind!

Looking Ahead, Not Behind!

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. Philippians 3:12-17 NIV

Sometimes, we tend to allow our pasts–when we spend too much time thinking about them–to get in the way of our future. Lately, my thoughts keep going backward as I consider facing the microscopic scrutiny I know I’ll be subjected to in my quest to make a run for the White House and because of my imperfections–doubt tends to creep in. So, this morning, as I read what Paul has to say, I am determined to not allow those thoughts to deter me. I am focused and looking forward to the experience of daring to make a big difference in our country.

Will I get where I want to be? Who knows?

I know I am qualified to be president of the United States (per the constitutional requirements) and now I must determine a path that will make me “electable” since that factor is more important than others.

With that insight, I know what I have to do–appeal to the masses and find those who–eventually–are great at fundraising–since that is not one of my strengths.

In the end, only those who believe in me–believe what they hear God speak to their hearts about me–will truly determine my electability.

In the interim–I’m going full steam ahead with research on issues that concern Everyday Americans and in finding viable solutions. I’ve written letters to “experts” in the field and waiting to hear from them. And while I wait–they’re all pretty busy–I’m doing what I do best–writing and promoting my name.

Sooner or later–the name will be known and hopefully, the masses will know I’m on the side of the Everyday Americans, but I know I can govern for all Americans.

name recognition

Where Are We?

Where Are We?

The invader will do as he pleases; no one will be able to stand against him. He will establish himself in the Beautiful Land and will have the power to destroy it. He will determine to come with the might of his entire kingdom and will make an alliance with the king of the South. And he will give him a daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom, but his plans will not succeed or help him. Then he will turn his attention to the coastlands and will take many of them, but a commander will put an end to his insolence and will turn his insolence back on him. After this, he will turn back toward the fortresses of his own country but will stumble and fall, to be seen no more. “His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor. In a few years, however, he will be destroyed, yet not in anger or in battle. “He will be succeeded by a contemptible person who has not been given the honor of royalty. He will invade the kingdom when its people feel secure, and he will seize it through intrigue. Then an overwhelming army will be swept away before him; both it and a prince of the covenant will be destroyed. After coming to an agreement with him, he will act deceitfully, and with only a few people he will rise to power. When the richest provinces feel secure, he will invade them and will achieve what neither his fathers nor his forefathers did. He will distribute plunder, loot and wealth among his followers. He will plot the overthrow of fortresses—but only for a time. “With a large army he will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South. The king of the South will wage war with a large and very powerful army, but he will not be able to stand because of the plots devised against him. Those who eat from the king’s provisions will try to destroy him; his army will be swept away, and many will fall in battle. The two kings, with their hearts bent on evil, will sit at the same table and lie to each other, but to no avail, because an end will still come at the appointed time. With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. “Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time. “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. Daniel 11:16-29, 32-36 NIV  (Read the entire book of Daniel)

The Word of The Lord, Our God!

Our Future Is Not Constrained!

Our Future Is Not Constrained!

This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Yes, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the LORD. This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 23:4-11 NIV

No matter what has happened or what is happening in our world, our future is secure when we know God’s plans will come to pass. We have nothing to fear in the battle and we shall win!

There though be dark clouds of doubt,

Shadows creeping into the crevices of our minds,

We defeat the enemy and burst his bubble,

Of fame and glory with praise to Our God!

Never think for a moment we are forgotten,

For our God is not man and He never forgets,

Those who love Him and just Believe

He is and He will carry us through to victory,

In Jesus, our banner, and standard for living.

When we know who we are and who He is,

Nothing the enemy does can shake our faith,

In the One who created all things and without Him,

Nothing was ever created–without a purpose for His glory!

Be strong in His might and know

Wherever we go, He is always with us! We’re never alone!

 

 

 

Prophecies!

I know why the prophets sighed

Seeing future events unfold

Knowing, yet hesitant to tell

Of dark days and bright nights

Rising from earth, the hell

Unleashed on scorners from

All corners of life. No respect

For titles, position or wealth,

The gray, the lean, and in-between

Must now accept deed’s fate

Foretold hundreds of years ago,

By one who dared to speak

The Truth, yet remained not long

For fruit to bear its burden,

Sickness, disease, calamities

For truth’s tale felled prophets galore,

Until they would not speak much more,

But silently watched truth awake,

The skies,  and the earth, while they just sighed.

(c) 2002 Mary M. Hall-Rayford

For All Of Our Tomorrows!

Father, in the name of Jesus,

Look upon us kindly, correcting us, guiding us and loving us.

Have mercy upon all who have yet to acknowledge You.

Don’t remove from Your Spirit from this place, but keep us mindful of Your presence.

Create in us a desire to please You and to be a model to others in doing so.

Help us to understand Your plans–plans to prosper us and not to harm any–and to live according to Your Word.

Keep us prayerful–always looking to You for answers and solutions–always considerate of others.

As our number in age increases–grant us increased wisdom and knowledge in abundance.

Help us O God to not judge matters that only You can judge since we have neither heaven or hell for anyone.

Help us to keep our minds stayed on You, no matter what our circumstances may be.

Speak to our hearts, Lord and help us to understand that loving You and loving others is the only way we can affect change in our lives.

We look to You, the only Wise God of all creation, for everything we need and desire and we thank You for keeping us in position to receive every blessing our eyes have not seen because of our obedience to You and Your love towards us.

Never let us forget to proclaim just how awesome You are!

Amen!

Ashamed No More!

“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:  for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jews (the chosen nation) first and then to the Greeks (those who chose to believe by faith)” (Romans 1:16 paraphrased).

This declaration made by Paul lets us know that even though he had been a persecutor of those who believed in Jesus and those who promoted the good news, once Jesus revealed himself to him, he became a believer and a promoter of the good news, openly.  Paul understood the law and knew that God had chosen the nation of Israel for His own, but when they chose to reject Him, He opened the door to any who chose to believe Him and abide by His commandments.  First God chose, then we chose–He has always given us the power of choice.

God revealed Himself to the nation of Israel in mighty works so they would know how much He loved them.  He reveals Himself to us, still by doing mighty works in our lives when we allow Him to do so.

I remember a time when I persecuted anyone who tried to get me to believe in the Bible.  I challenged them to explain how they “knew” whether or not the words were interpreted accurately, who was the witness that could confirm it, and on and on.  When I reached a place in my life where I had nothing else to read in my house, but the Bible, I read it.  I have always been an avid reader of almost anything, but at the time I read my bible, I was in financial straits and could not purchase books the way I once had.  I worked hours that curtailed my ability to get to a library and so here I was–wanting something to read and the Bible was there.  It took me two months to read (starting with the Gospel of John) through the New Testament and then I worked my way back through the Old Testament to get a better understanding of what was said in the New.  God’s plan worked!  I now understood why things had happened the way they did.  When I received the gift of salvation and speaking in tongues, I knew I had been wrong and was so ashamed, I wished I could go back and find those people I had taunted.  But God in His infinite wisdom (and sense of humor) used me to promote the Gospel by encouraging people to read the bible for themselves and then open themselves to hear Him, revealing understanding of His Word.

Though I never had anyone tortured for their beliefs, I can certainly relate to Paul’s words.  I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ because it is the power to renew life, retain joy in the midst of trials, the avenue to having a personal relationship with God and ability to have communication on a brand new level.  I am ashamed of my behavior and conduct to those I once taunted for their beliefs, but I am not ashamed of who I am or whose I am and I will tell it–from the valley to the mountain-tops–and if people do not receive it; that is not my responsibility.  My job is to tell it, their job is make a choice to receive what I say or not, the end result is on God!  Hallelujah!

He justifies Us!

“…for whom the Lord calls, He justifies…”

The justification of who we are and what we do, in our walk with Christ, comes when we understand exactly what the Lord has called us to do and we do it.

There is no need for anyone who is truly called by God to do anything to attempt to justify or defend who they are or what they do. If we  are “living” our calling, God has already justified His choosing us. The first part of this scripture states, “whom He predestinates (He determined from the beginning what our future role would be) when He calls us, by name in the Spirit and it comes to pass. This is why our prayer should always include our submission to God to stay in His Will.

What is His Will? His Will is found in His Word. If we won’t read the Word, we won’t be in His Will. If we are not in His Will, then we find it necessary to tell people–who we are, what our role is and what we have–we attempt to justify what we do, not God!

Quicken your spiritual ears and hear the voice of God so you will know you are called to do His Will and when we are in His Will, He glorifies us, we don’t have to do it! Hallelujah!

Psalm 23 v 3

“He refreshes my soul.  He guides me along the right path for His name’s sake.”

            The Spirit of The Lord refreshes our souls.  He gives us renewed energy when we’re drained from the trials of life.  He encourages us to keep going and will not allow us to give up.  Whenever the enemy attempts to plant a seed of doubt in our minds, the Holy Spirit is right there, reminding us that our faith is in Jesus and we do not have to listen to anything the enemy says.  The Holy Spirit brings the Word to our remembrance, when we are too tired to think, and washes us—renews us with The Word.

The Spirit of The Lord has set us upon a path He has determined will bring us to the place where He would have us to be in order to receive, “all the good things He has in store for us.”  If we would just allow Him to take control over our lives—not as a dictator, but as a loving, forgiving Father, Friend, and Counselor, our lives would be so much better.  We must remember that He who established our future—a future with a promise and hope—will not mislead us, but He will also not force us to receive His best.  We must make a choice and our choices determine our end.

Choose The Counselor today to make all of your decisions and allow Him to guide you so you can receive all of His best for your life.

 

We Can Be Sure

There are not many things in life we can be sure of; however there are two–God’s love and the imminent return of Jesus!

It is because He loves us–we have access to heaven.

It is because He loves us–that He will return and escort us to the mansions He has prepared for us!

When?  Soon and very soon, but with Him–one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day!  Soon cannot be measured by man’s timing, but God’s alone.

What do we do while we wait?  Encourage others to believe in Jesus Christ and live accordingly.

We can be sure that promoting the Gospel will please Him and secure our position and mansion in heaven.

Things Will Change When…

With all of the turmoil going on today in the lives of many, I can imagine people saying, “When will things change?”

Our society will get better when we learn to respect ourselves enough to treat people like we want to be treated. When young girls learn to value “their” bodies and respect self, we will see a decrease in the number of unwanted pregnancies; a decrease in poverty for children, and an increase in self-esteem and self-worth. When young boys learn to respect themselves and others; especially females, we will see a decrease in sexual promiscuity, a decrease in fatherless homes, and an increase in male accountability and responsibility towards others. We will also see an increase in self-esteem and self-awareness, greater independence and a decrease in dependence–upon drugs, gangs, and violent activities.

Realistically, things will change when people see a need to change their perspectives and values–for the greater good of all. Theoretically, things will change at some point in time, when people get tired of doing the same thing the same way, expecting different results. Theologically, things will change when people understand God’s purpose and plans for our lives and choose to live accordingly.

Things will change when…we change what we do and say and how we treat others. When all have come to know Jesus and live by the commandments He gives–love God with all our heart, soul, and mind; and love our neighbor as ourselves, things will change.