Don’t Despair!

Don’t Despair!

It shall come to pass in the day the LORD gives you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear and the hard bondage in which you were made to serve, that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say: “How the oppressor has ceased,
The golden city ceased! The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked,
The scepter of the rulers; He who struck the people in wrath with a continual stroke,
He who ruled the nations in anger, Is persecuted and no one hinders. The whole earth is at rest and quiet; They break forth into singing. Isaiah 14:3-7 NKJV

Our day of rest is coming–rest from hearing adults act like children, rest from watching entire cities being bombed and entire populations diminished, rest from debating the merit of being religious versus being in relationship with God–rest–from all the cares of the world and we will see the world break forth into singing.

Is your song ready?

“Great is thy faithfulness, Great is they faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see.”

“He’s an awesome God.”

“There is none like You.”

“Worship Him.”

Here’s one I’ll sing–and this is the first view:

Lord God Almighty,

How I adore You

How I wait–for Your Return

Lord God Almighty,

You who know all about us,

And loved us, equally

In spite of our flaws.

Lord God Almighty,

Though I may not be perfect,

I try to live Your Word

And more than anything,

Promote love as Your Laws.

Lord God Almighty,

Hear our plea

And Give Rest to The Weary,

Courage to the fainthearted,

Faith to the hopeless,

Standing Firm until the end.

Lord God Almighty,

Only You know

The Day of Your Return,

And I wait–to live with You forever!

For those who are thinking, “what’s the point of continuing to live in such a crazy world,” don’t despair, live on any way. God has something wonderful in store for you–just for you–and He intends for it happen. Don’t let the enemy influence you to become fearful of anything man can do or has done--just look to Him and know you are loved beyond measure and no matter what you have done–He is willing to forgive and keep you on the path He has established for you. Let Him into your heart and allow Him to reign and watch how blessed you will be–when you belong to Him.

Whatever is going on in your life that makes you want to stop living–remember–this is just a temporary moment–and it shall pass. Live the life that God has planned for you and give the devil notice that you will not believe his lies–you will live and praise God for His love and mercy and grace.

How Brothers and Sisters In The Lord Behave!

“Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-15 NIV)

Why was it important to remind Believers how to treat each other? Human nature–such as it is–often forgets what we’ve been told and we need to be reminded–daily. That’s why our first act of any day should be to communicate with God, find out what He wants us to do, study The Word and then go out and share God’s love–through instruction, correction, and encouragement to all.

If we could make it in life all by ourselves, God would have wasted His time in creating humanity--we were never intended to be individualistically, sustainable. We need one another whether we care to admit it or not. Everyone needs a sounding board when inspired by ideas or trying to get over hurdles. Everyone needs to know they are loved and there’s someone near for a gentle touch, a pat on the back, or for a hug. Everyone needs someone to remind them of the goodness of God and that we have a Risen Savior, who wants only the best for us.

Think about people who often give up on life when left to their own devices. These are the ones who are more prone to thinking about suicide. Studies have shown that married couples living longer than those who live on their own. Older citizens survive longer in caring environments than on their own without contact with other people. We are social people and as such need to know that others are close or at the very least, we can contact them. Hence–so many inventions that keep us able to communicate with others–beyond traditional mail, email, digital chat arenas, telephones, and all sorts of social media. We need one another.

However, those who are Believers need each other to motivate obedience to The Word of God in assisting others and caring about all–not just other Believers. We are to hold those who care for us in high esteem–commonly referring to the church leaders–when they are worthy of our high regard (so many are not). When we see Believers begin to stumble, we should encourage them before they fall–especially those in leadership so the whole will not be fractured.

We must learn to live in peace with one another within the Body of Christ. We should never be guilty of igniting chaos and confusion within the Body for when we do--we give the outside world, fuel for their unbelief and disdain of all who proclaim to believe God.

No one in the Body of Christ should be idle or disruptive. There is far too much work to do in caring for and encouraging others. We shouldn’t have time for gossip or spreading rumors that cripple. Our mindset should be on building the Body of Christ, not tearing it down. Instead of seeking means to avenge ourselves, we should seek to do good for everyone we meet, whether they are good to us or not.

Staying on the path that God directs is not always easy, but it is always right. We simply have to make more of an effort to obey so that others will be won to Christ by what they see us do. Share God’s love today!

Time to De-Stress!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6 NIV).

Most of the time when we become anxious (stressful, fearful) we make decisions that are truly not advantageous to us or others around us. Fear–the tendency to move/act without wisdom (thoughtful deliberation)–creates havoc in lives, in our society, and throughout the world.

If we only operated in love--being more concerned about the welfare of others–we would not have time to fear (perfect love casts out fear and doubt). But then again, we have to remember that fear–like love–is a learned behavior. When people experience things that make them anxious or fearful, the behavior or response to the experience becomes habit.

When people learn to hate–and it is a learned behavior–they pass that experience and their reaction on to others and it becomes a perpetual cycle until someone has the courage to break it. The same is true for those who become over-anxious about things. These are the people who make foolish decisions because they do not know how to think things through before a decision is made. People who commit suicide couldn’t think beyond the moment. People who kill other people won’t think beyond the moment. People who plot and conspire to kill and destroy have been influenced by Satan and are incapable of thinking right thoughts for themselves because they lack wisdom.

The response to all the fear, anxiety and hatred is to relax, de-stress and turn it all over to God. We cannot do anything about people on our own, but Paul reminds us that we can communicate our concerns to Him. And then–we have to be like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego-if God changes the circumstances or not–He’s still God and we should learn to stand on our faith in Him.

So, today–whatever your circumstances might be that have attempted to make you anxious–look them in the face and say, “I have presented my requests to God over you and I will not be anxious about the outcome because God has this covered.” Now, relax–take a deep breath–count to ten and have a praise party all by yourself. He’s worthy!

De-stressed and giving Him praise! Works every time! Hallelujah!

 

Brett (Excerpt from “Trapped” Chapter One)

After I got old enough to sit on my own, and then walk and feed myself—people for the most part left me alone.  It was almost as if I wasn’t even there—almost.  I was noticed if I got in someone’s way and shoved to the side.  I was noticed when I cried and sometimes my cries were quickly suppressed by the closest person to me.  I realized early in my life that no one was interested in hearing my voice—for any reason.  This was made abundantly clear when I started talking—the response I heard most was—“shut up!”   My mother tried, I guess to the best of her ability, but she was outnumbered and was not always around to see what was being done to me.  Left at the table unable to get down on my own, locked into the bathroom, unable to leave when I finished doing what I was supposed to do, and left out of feeling loved and wanted—because no one wanted me, not even my mother, I began to think.

As time moved forward and I began to sprout—up and outward—my brothers began to pay more attention to me than they should have.  They began touching me and making me squirm with the comments they made.  I told my sister and she just shrugged it off saying, “That’s the way they are.  They’ll stop sooner or later.”  My sister was three years older than I was so I thought she knew what she was talking about.  It turned out she didn’t.  The boys were all older than us—the oldest one was seven years older than me, the next one was five years older than me and then there was my sister. By the time I was ten—I had been molested by both of my brothers and no one believed me when I tried to tell it.  My sister just rolled her eyes, my mother didn’t have time to hear it, and my daddy—he looked at me real funny-like. Things got so bad; I simply stopped trying to talk and learned how to fight.  I left so many scratches and bite marks on them, they finally left me alone, but there I was—left to think that this is what life on the outside was all about.

Right after I turned twelve another trap was set for me.  My daddy finally noticed me—at least he noticed my budding bosom and started teasing me. At least I thought it was teasing me until he started touching me—telling me how pretty I was and how I was going to have to fight off the boys.  When he said that, I remembered thinking, “I’ve already had to fight off my brothers, how hard could it be?”  I was going to learn.

While Mama was at work one night—she worked two jobs; one during the day and one at night—my daddy decided to play a game with me.  It wasn’t a game that I liked since it involved him touching me and grinning at me.  I remember his eyes clouding over as if someone had turned on a fog machine and the fog lingered in his eyes and his fingers groping me in places where they should never have explored.  He always told me our game was a secret and no one else could know, but I didn’t trust him and I certainly didn’t like his game.  I tried telling my sister, but she just told me shut up and deal with it.  He had played the same game with her.  “And there’s no point in telling Mama,” she warned.  “I tried and she didn’t believe me.”  I found that hard to believe so I tried telling Mama.

“Shush, girl.” She said.  “You know yo daddy didn’t do nothin’.  He was just playin’ around with you.  He’s like that.”  She sighed and went to her room and went to sleep.

For two years, I endured “daddy’s game” until one night he forced himself upon me. I was a big girl, but I couldn’t keep him from entering me and when I screamed—he quickly covered my mouth so tight that I passed out.  I remember drifting off into another world where people wanted me and kept me safe.  When I woke up, the sheets on my bed were bloody and tangled and I screamed, and screamed until my mother came into the room.  All I could do was point and scream.  When she saw the blood, she visibly paled and walked out the room.  I couldn’t believe she just walked out—never attempting to comfort me or to reassure me things would be all right.  Her reaction unnerved me, but I finally got up and went to the bathroom to clean myself—horrified at the thought of my daddy had done to me.  Before I could get out of the bathroom, I heard the sound of pistol shot.  Terrified, at first I could not move, then when I heard my sister scream, I catapulted out the door.  I could not see anyone, but I could hear crying and as I walked down the hallway, I saw my daddy lying in the floor and my mama standing over him with a 45 revolver in her hand.  I didn’t even know we had a gun in the house.  I think she heard my stifled gasp and she turned around.

“I’m sorry.  I should have listened to you a long time ago.  He’ll never touch you again,” she said woodenly, tears streaming down her face. “I’m so sorry, I wish I could change things, but I know that I can’t, but I am truly sorry.” She stood there still holding the gun.  By the time we heard the sirens in the distance, she had already made up her mind.  She turned the gun on herself and pulled the trigger.

 

This excerpt from my latest book, Trapped, will be released by Mid-February through Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Xlibris.com.  The book reveals the lives of nine women who feel trapped by circumstances, until they discover a way to overcome.  If you’d like to read more of this fantastic fiction, please stay tuned and don’t be afraid to offer some feedback.  Blessings to you!