In The Midst Of It All!

In The Midst Of It All!

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way, and mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.  God is within her, she will not fail; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.  He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46 NIV

With all the hurricanes, tornadoes, and storms of life, we can sometimes feel overwhelmed with all turmoil, chaos, and upheaval, fear and frustration. But take heart, God is in the midst of all we experience–good and bad, right and wrong. We simply need to exercise wisdom in all things in order to survive the forces of nature or man-manipulated events.

Yesterday, we acknowledged the events of 9/11 in 2001.  A disastrous day for many and a horrific event most of us will not forget any time soon. While many reverenced the memorial moments of silence–trump barreled through his (Miller written) speech without any consideration for the significance of the event.

For those who are yet dealing with the challenges and struggles left behind by Harvey and now Irma, looking at enormity of the situation–lives lost and property loss and damage, we know it’s difficult, but know that God has not forsaken and He will always be in the midst of our struggles.  This doesn’t mean that we should ignore the extended hands of those who wish to help–God has always worked through people and He always shall.

So, for those who think prayer alone is the answer–think again. Prayer works when people allow the help God sends to manifest the answer to the prayer. Simple analogy: Two people are praying to get jobs. One goes out and applies for jobs until they get one and the other, sits and mopes all day long, complaining about why God hasn’t answered their prayers. “Faith without works is dead” and if we’re praying for anything, we must also do something–make our requests known to others (apply for the job) or accept the leads from others when offered.

We can believe for healing and never do anything–see a doctor, a specialist, take medicine, whatever–and never get healed. Or we can pray and do all that we are instructed to do and get healed.

Living life and seeing God in the midst of all we do–isn’t hard. We just have to know what our relationship is with Him and trust Him in all things. God is love and He is going to love us regardless of what we do and since He loves us–He will not “send” tragedies to get our attention or teach us a lesson. We learn lessons from living–daily and in the midst of it all–God speaks to those who are willing to hear Him, but it is a message of love and encouragement, not a hateful word of condemnation. When we proceed in life with our own sense of “righteousness” we often miss God in the midst of situations that require us to show others who He is, by our interactions with them–loving others, no matter what.

Since I know my relationship with Him is strong and always getting stronger, I’m trusting Him to lead me on this path I’ve chosen (I, not Him) in pursuing a bid for the 2020 presidency. Whether He wants me to win or not remains to be seen, but no matter what happens, I know He will be right there in the midst of it all!

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Be Still and Know!

Be Still and Know!

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;  he burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46 NIV

I know there are many people out there right now who disdain the use of “God” or “Jesus” and they feel justified in doing so, but I’m reminding those who believe in His plan for their lives to remember His promises and be still and know, He has not forgotten you.

In the midst of crisis, it’s difficult for any of us to stay focused on God’s promises when we feel our lives are at risk. Believing God does not mean we do stupid things or act unwisely in the midst of a crisis, but we seek His wisdom and hold fast to our faith that He will make a way.

Hurricanes are an act of nature and God saves in the midst of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and all manner of situations in which we have no control. But if we act wisely, trusting our dependence on Him, He will see us through what nature tends to throw our way.

Yes, bad things happen to good people and only God knows why He allows certain things to happen to some people and not others. I’m not God, so I’m not going to pretend I have all the answers, but I trust Him. “In all our getting, get wisdom.” “Wisdom is the principal thing.” Solomon repeatedly refers to the wisdom being the utmost importance. When we things through and act wisely, we could avoid certain devastations. And though we get upset over the loss of things, we must remember things can be replaced–lives won’t be. So the wisdom we must exercise is about saving lives, not things.

Even though Harvey was predicted in enough time for people to make provisions to move out of the way of danger, most people could not have imagined the rain that would proceed in the aftermath. This is not an act of God–it is an act of nature and if anyone wants to attribute the storm to being an act of God, and attempt to claim it is retribution for the people who live there–they make a mockery of who God is.

For the religious-right who have said John McCain’s cancer is God’s retribution because of a vote–shame on them. They obviously have no knowledge of God and how He functions in the earth. But the rub here is–some of those same folks would “never” say the storm is retribution for the wrongs they have done against the poor and the needy. God doesn’t get into our politics because what we do–who we vote for and put into positions of authority are on us–and when we don’t act wisely, we don’t get wise leadership in those positions of authority.

In the coming days, it will be extremely difficult for some to hold onto their faith and know that in the end, everything will be all right. I’m confident that acting wisely, seeing to the needs of others and taking care of self will result in lives being saved. I encourage everyone who can to make donations to American Red Cross so they will have adequate resources to meet the needs of the people. Donations can be made online (with a minimum of $10). I made my contribution and would love to see as many people as possible do the same–especially those who recently won lotteries. Now is a good time to help others in need.

My heart and thoughts are embedded in the crisis in Texas and I will continue praying for their safety and for the rains to abate. God knows what it is He wants to accomplish in the hearts of men and women everywhere and I’m sure it will be as He has determined.  Stay safe!

 

God Has Plans For Evil!

God Has Plans For Evil!

Why do you boast of evil, you mighty hero? Why do you boast all day long, you are a disgrace in the eyes of God? You who practice deceit, your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor. You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth. You love every harmful word, you deceitful tongue! Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin: He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent; he will uproot you form the land of the living. The righteous will see and fear; they will laugh at you, saying, Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others! (v.1-7)

But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name, for your name is good. Psalm 52 NIV

I could stop right here and say nothing more. Those who have discerning spirits can see how The Word (v 1-7) apply to our current resident in the Oval Office.

Think back to all the campaign rhetoric spewed (most of which GOPers say we shouldn’t give much credence). Think about all the evil trump encouraged and spouted about every one of his opponents. Think about all the hateful merchandise sold at his hate-filled rallies and all the hateful chants ignited by him and other spokespersons like Michael Flynn and Jeff Sessions as well as others. Think about it and reflect upon it and then connect the dots to what we see–the reality of the rhetoric–alive and well in the White House.

We know Russia hijacked the election for trump and trump and key Republicans collaborated in the effort–which is why none of the House or Senate GOP have much to say about the disgraceful mess unfolding from the White House. They knew and they wanted power so badly they went along with it. The bad part is–they were instrumental in convincing the Evangelical leaders to go along with their madness. And if any of the “Religious Right” are still supporting this administration, they prove they hate America and all we stand for.

No knowledge of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, or Declaration of Independence has been demonstrated by trump. He has no knowledge of history and certainly not of geography (aptly demonstrated in both trips abroad).

His voice patterns indicate his ineptness at understanding the importance of “reading material” before trying to give it as a speech before the public. He is slow–hesitant–and indicates a lack of understanding how to pronounce certain words. In the presence of truly powerful men–his tone is submissive, not firm and assertive; but at his rallies, he practically screams because he knows those who attend are the undereducated and ill-informed and won’t challenge his knowledge about anything. They just accept.

But the last two verses in this Psalm should serve as encouragement for the righteous–those who try to live right before God without committing the atrocities we see committed by trump. We will flourish in the presence of God and all those who committed evil and plotted the destruction of American democracy. We shall be victorious in coming elections and we shall be wise in our selection of people who should lead us for coming generations, so we’ll never see the likes of this type of evil again, in America.

I’m Mary Hall-Rayford, and I approve this message. I hope after reviewing the information on my FaceBook page (www.facebook.com/YesIAm2020) , you’ll support my effort to bring respect back to the White House and put America back in its rightful place on the world stage–front and center.

eda

How Misplaced Hope Blinds

How Misplaced Hope Blinds

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. How long will you assault me? Would all of you throw me down–this leaning wall, this tottering fence? Surely they intend to topple me from my lofty place; they take delight in lies.  With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse. Yes my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock , my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Surely the lowborn are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie. If weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath. Do not trust in extortion or put vain hope in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them. One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: “Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”; and, “You reward everyone according to what they have done.” Psalm 62 NIV

We all have hoped for things that were just out of our reach or have blindly placed our hope in people, only to be disappointed, time and time again.

We are reminded in The Word, that our hope cannot reside in things or people, “some may trust in horses and chariots, but we shall trust in the name of our God.” Only when we trust in God, totally and completely can our hope attain its goal.

Therefore, once we understand that hoping in people is futile, we can see beyond the blinders and face reality. There is no hope for this country if we depend upon its current leadership to retain its position on the global stage. That knowledge was reinforced on 7/7/17 when we witnessed (some of us) a meeting between trump and Putin (the initial meeting and handshake), and then later learning that trump caved–being “honored to meet” the person who attacked our free and fair election process. Putin played trump like a finely tuned guitar–stroke, by stroke–arousing his ego to the point of blindness.

Anticipating trump’s reaction to this alleged, “first meeting,” I posted a thread on Twitter and pinned it so all who care to dispute what I said won’t have a problem finding what I said.

Body language says it all. With the initial greeting–the handshake and pat on the back (reassuring Putin that he–trump was being obedient) was telling for all who were observant. While trump sat anxiously awaiting their “time alone” Putin was relaxed and acknowledged–intentionally or unintentionally–their “finally personally meeting.” Now, some could say I was deliberately attempting to make something out of nothing, but from everything I’ve discovered about Putin–he understands the import and impact of words–they matter. He wanted the world to know and especially Russia to know–he and trump had been communicating for some time. In fact, I’ve concluded the entire meeting was choreographed by Putin so he could make sure that his wishes were being followed. We are in the throes of being absorbed by Russia and its autocracy since trump doesn’t have the balls or backbone to stand up to a tyrant. And it would appear that the GOP Congress is also missing balls and backbone to address the situation and to remove the traitor from the Oval Office.

Anyone hoping trump will become “presidential” is blinded by their refusal to see the reality playing out in front of them. He may hold the title, but he is not the president of the United States when he undermines and bashes American intelligence officers and our Free Press–disavowing any acknowledgment of our Constitution. 

My hope–is in Jesus Christ–and Him alone and I trust Him to guide me in all things. I know Everyday Americans are smarter than those who were gullible enough to vote for trump in the first place, and they’ll research and discover the plausibility of supporting me, as the next president. I’m not asking people to have hope in me, but to have faith in their own judgment and relationship with Christ as they ponder supporting me.

eda

 

Trust!

Trust!

I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you. For you have upheld my right and my cause, sitting enthroned as the righteous judge. You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name for ever and ever. Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished. The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment.  He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity. The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Sing the praises of the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done. Psalm 9:1-11 NIV

Trusting in people will ultimately result in a disappointing situation when people have not earned the trust.

We see that on a daily basis–in our personal lives, community and especially in the nation’s capitol. The leadership had done nothing to earn the trust and respect of Americans and still has done nothing to earn the trust and respect of Americans. In fact, there are those who are vastly disappointment with the president who is only concerned with pushing campaign rhetoric and appeasing his base, rather than govern for all America.

Now is not the time to trust a person who thinks bartering healthcare for millions of people for a wall is responsible behavior.

Now is not the time to trust a person who tweets provocation of a crazy man in N. Korea who would love nothing better than to start a nuclear war. The problem of course is once a nuclear war begins, it also signals the end–of all life.

Now is not the time to trust a person who thinks because he has “signed” more Executive Orders than anyone else that it means he has accomplished anything. A caged hamster is constantly moving on their wheel and never getting anywhere.

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We need a leader who understands the art of real negotiation which includes knowing how to compromise–getting the best deal possible for all, not just some!

I’m getting all my ducks in order and trusting God to lead me to the right people so I’ll be ready to make that move when the time is right. America needs change–for everyone–and not just the 2% of the population. We need a leader who truly knows God and has a relationship with Him so His wisdom guides–not human instincts (which don’t exist) and bullying tactics or corruptive practices.

Am I that person? Only time will tell, but I’m ready to give it a try. While I continue in exploratory mode, I pray that all who are interested in real change will let me know what that change looks like to them. I’ve expressed what I would like to do, but that means little if what I would like to see doesn’t align with what others want to see for this country.

Thanks and look for a link for a survey that should be posted in the coming weeks and pray about your response. We deserve better than what we have. name recognition

 

Steadfast!

Steadfast!

Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.  The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.  Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.  Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:11-27 NIV

Wow! Keep your head up–looking forward–not backwards–keeping your eyes fixed on what’s ahead, not what’s behind! Know what’s in your heart and guard what God has put there for only what is in your heart will come forth and be seen by others. Carefully think about the path of life you take and then be steadfast–unwavering in all your ways.

Steadfast (according to Merriam Webster) is to be immovable, not subject to changing, firm in belief and determination or adherence.

The steadfast love of The Lord–never ceases, never comes to an end. His mercies are new every morning! Hallelujah!

There is much to said about the physical posture and spiritual posture in this selection from Proverbs. If we keep our eyes focused on what is ahead of us–chances our we are holding our heads up, not down and we can keep the muscles in our neck and back toned, avoiding some of the effects of gravity with atrophied muscles which lead to hanging flesh and aggravation of nerves and muscles.

From a spiritual perspective–if we keep our heads up, we demonstrate a posture that proclaims our confidence in God. We always look to how we can lift others so they too will be able to hold their heads high–not in arrogant pride, but in a confidence that says, we trust God. When we look forward–we are ready to receive all the goodness He has for us, putting aside our pasts and those things that kept us from receiving God’s best. When our gazes are straight ahead; it’s difficult to look down upon others.

When we trust God and know that His plans are what is best for us, we can confidently put one foot in front of the other without worrying about stumble, because if we stay on the path He has determined for us, He will clear the way and nothing will hamper our journey.

I can’t speak for anyone else today, but I am confidently moving forward in all I hear God speak to me, trusting the path He has established and I will not allow what others say or do to deter me.

This is the day The Lord has made and I shall rejoice and be glad in it–holding my head high and looking ahead to all He has for me!

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Words And Deeds!

Words And Deeds!

And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 21:31-37 NIV

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. John 3:17-21 NIV

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. James 2:14-22 NIV

We can talk and talk and talk–say a lot of words–empty words, meaningless words–and if we don’t act upon what we say--doing all the good things (not the evil), then our words mean nothing. If our words mean nothing, why are we yet talking?

It is amazing how those in the White House want people to believe what they say, but what they say is not believable because of all the lies, piled upon lies emanating from their lips and then we do not see the “good” deeds; we see the horror of their actions reenacted across the nation by those who will suffer the most from voting for a con man.

How were they conned? They heard what he said–ignoring what he has done all his life–and they believed his words which were calculated lies. They will suffer and so will he, but the rest of us will also suffer from his negligence–and his lack of faith and belief in God. For surely if he believed God and were saved, America would not be in the mess we’re in right now.

Meditate on God’s Word–think about what is said and then reflect upon what you see, drawing your own conclusions.

In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever. I Timothy 5:25 NIV

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. James 3:13 NIV