Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Power of Your Testimony

In my 30 years of living, I have learned that there is no escaping test and trials. They are going to come either from God or they may be brought on by ourselves. Whichever way they come,  God doesn't waste anything we go through. He will use it all for our growth (Romans 8:28). I have gone through quite a few hurtful & devastating things in my life, some out of my control and many that I could have prevented. At the time of the tests and trials I was in, I couldn't see the purpose for them. We almost never can! However days or years after surviving them, someone I'll come in contact with will have the same issues I had survived.  At that very moment it all makes sense!

We know that test and trials come to make us strong when they are from God. Sometimes they come for correction of erroneous thinking or to produce fruit of the Spirit. However we overlook, tests and trials come to give us power and authority to help change lives. As believers we are not our own. We are bought with a price. Nothing we do is for us per say, but the Glory of God. When we go through, its so that God can get the glory out of our lives: that we may be able to draw men unto Him. 

What good are we if we have been somewhere and we know the place is desolate. Yet we see our neighbor traveling towards a desolate land and we keep quiet. You have knowledge that you neighbor needs to know. It would be wise to advise your neighbor " Hey, you are headed to a place where its dry and no food, you may die there"! It would be selfish and unloving to keep the knowledge to yourself and allow your neighbor to journey to a place where you could have prevented hardship. 

Our testimonies are the same way. We ought not keep them to ourselves. We do not go through just for us, but we go through so that we can help others. In school we are taught that knowledge is power! The bible teaches us that we are destroyed because of a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).  Most of our acquired knowledge is learned by what others have learned or gone through. 

Here is a couple of example to help you understand what I am trying to convey:

If I am a student in school and I am struggling in my class. My teacher/professor knows I am struggling, but never comes to me and let me know I'm failing. What good was my teacher to me? They have passed the necessary tests to make them a teacher. It's their job to assist me in excelling in the class, because they have the knowledge that I don't have. Now its up to me to apply what they give me. But its up to them to disburse the knowledge that they have.

If I am member at a church and I struggling living a saved life. My pastor and clergy men  knows it, but never says anything to me. What good are they to me? They have been commissioned to lead people into righteous living. They have knowledge that I either don't know or won't apply. In the book of Hebrews we are told that they watch over our souls, so its their job to help me where Im struggling rather I want help our not. 

As such the same for every believer with a testimony. Don't leave your neighbor in the same rut you left. You have been given power and authority to uproot and tear down erroneous thinking, because you have been somewhere. You have experience somethings.  We can't expect God to give us power to raise the dead and heal the sick, if we won't first use the power of something simple like a testimony. Sometimes what we have gone through is embarrassing but don't be selfish with your testimony. Don't keep it to yourself and go pray for them! This is your chance to be used by God! This is your chance to walk in power and authority. It's your chance to do something great with your life. This is the chance to make all the pain and hell you have gone through worth going through it.  Share it, so your neighbor doesn't have to go through what you did. Share it, so your neighbor will know that they can survive what they are in. Share it, so your neighbor will know that God hasn't left them! Share it, and give your neighbor power (knowledge) to change his/her environment.

You have power and it in your testimony. Please don't keep it to yourself! Be a blessing to the Body of Christ and people who may not believe in God! Help others, you are called to do that. Hebrews 13:6 says: Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such scarifices are pleasing to God.  Romans 15:1 says: We who are strong have an obligation bear with the failing of the weak and not to please ourselves. 

Everyone is not going to want to hear your testimony. People are more receptive to testimonies when they are in it the test and trial- its consoling! However, if you give your testimony as a warning to prevent the test and trial, most won't be receptive. This is not grounds to keep it to yourself. Plant the seed and God will do the rest. How many times have your mother told you, you were going in the wrong direction. You didn't wanna hear it but later down the line you wished you had listened. You can't force people to do apply anything, but you can at least plant the seed.  Be loving in everything you do and use the power God has given you - Your Testimony.

God Bless,

Monday, November 28, 2011

Commonly Used Phrases that Reveals a Lack of Trust in God

From generation to generation, many things are passed down. We see family heirlooms, recipes, and traditions passed down often. However, more than those things, old phrases and cliches gets top of the list of things that are passed down from generation to generation. These phrases & cliches can be from just jive talk to religious jargon.  Generations pick up what they hear and say it, never really examining what is being said. Today I want to examine a few commonly used phrases and cliche to reveal what is really being said. You will find that these phrases and cliche, often times exposes a lack of trust in God. 

First we must remember what God says about the power of speaking words. 

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Proverbs 13:3 Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

"God knows my heart"

This one is a popular excusal phrase that we hear very often. This phrase is often said either when we didn't do our best or did nothing at all, as way to excuse ourselves of not operating at the capacity in which was required of us. We may even say this one when something is required of us that we feel is obsurd, or don't make sense to us.  Indeed, God most definitely does know our hearts. He knows rather or not we put Him first and when we diligently want to do His will.  I would like to caution on this one, especially when there was no real intent on doing what was/is required of us. Many times this phrase is said when we are aware of what is required of us and other times when we are ignorant of the requests. If we know what we are supposed to do and we fall short of doing it - well that's called sin (James 4:17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.) Instead of saying "God knows my heart", we should be asking for forgiveness and then repenting. Because we are human we are not perfect, however we have the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us and empowering us. If we are indeed believers in the Word of God and Jesus Christ we should be operating on nothing less than excellence. It should be our goal everyday to meet our goals, and go over an beyond what is required. Then when we say "God knows my heart", we say it with the knowledge of our actions proving that our heart's intentions was to carry out the task given to us. 

"I'm only human"

I think this one is the most popular excusal phrase. Much like "God knows my heart", "I'm only human" is usually heard after not meeting up w/ requirements. While I must agree you are only human, if you were born on planet earth to two homo-sapiens. However, and I do mean however! If you are a born again believer, you have the power of Holy Spirit working in you. This same power in you raised Christ from the dead. Now if that power can raise a Man from the grave, what's our problem? Could it be that we don't believe that same power is harnessed inside of us? If we don't believe that we carry this same power we won't use it either.  In my opinion, "I'm only human" is slap to God's face. Simply because, His only begotten Son in all of His righteousness died just to give us this power. Again as I have already stated, no one is perfect, but we most definitely have been called to be holy. If you don't think you can, Jesus released His Spirit so that we may take up His righteousness. We can believe God for cars, homes, but very seldom do we believe God for the Righteoness His Son died to give us so that we may see Him.

"I gotta do what I gotta do"

This one is often heard when we are under pressure or in a bind. We say this when we have to make quick decisions, or we can't seem to find our way out of things. Not always, but often said when we would rather take matters into our own hand versus waiting to see the salvation of the Lord. This one, can scream "I don't trust God to work on my behalf" or "I don't wanna do what is right but I have no other choice". This one isn't always said out of a lack of trust. Yet, this is actually a statement that can get us to recognize what kind of mind set we are in. Quickly, we may be convicted for wanting to move without God, or we may be able to rejoice for wanting to remain obedient. Which ever way just make sure you know what reason you bellowing out this phrase. 

In closing, while these commonly used phrase are always readily available in our vernacular, we must also be able to speak a Word over ourselves and our circumstances.
Instead of saying "God knows my heart", we can most definitely pray Psalms 139:23-24 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Instead of saying "I'm only human", say Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ Jesus who gives me strength. Lastly, read a little further down in Philippians chapter 4. Instead of saying "I gotta do what I gotta do" for things that will not line up with His Word, Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all of your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

No more excuses! In, 2012 lets be more intentional about living in excellence, representing the Body of Christ effectively, living righteously as well living in full faith that God will do what He has promised us. 

God Bless,


Friday, November 25, 2011

Overcoming Adversity with the Golden Rule

In life we will be hurt, disappointed, and experience pain caused by people. Often times we will experience this from the ones we love the most. As I get older, I recognize that those that we don't know that hurt us we respond less lovingly too and just a bit more harsh towards them than those that we love. However, the ones that we do know and the ones that have spent time with us has full capacity to shut our emotions down.  When we have expereienced pain in some form from our loved ones or people we barely know, our first response is always disbelief.  We, then go through the situation over and over again trying to see how it happened, if we were at fault in some kind away and back to "O-M-G, I can't believe this". Either way, we are hurt and naturally there will be a response. 

Somewhere in there getting even always finds it way to our mind.  Either, we wanna give them a piece of our mind, or return the pain/embarrassment,  or maybe even fight. Today, I wanna cation you on responding the right way to adversity. If you must respond, make sure its in love. Returning the treatment you have received is called Revenge. God has a specefic attitude towards revenge and I wanted to share it with you. 

Matthew 5:38-45 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. 

Romans 12:17-21 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

We must make up in our mind that we are going to do God's will no matter what. It gets hard, yes it does. However I have learned that many times my feelings lie. I can choose to feel some other way. I don't have to be angry or sad. I can definitely choose to respond to adversity as an overcomer. How? I am glad you asked, by responding in love. 

If you are ever hurt, disappointed, stabbed in the back, betrayed, or even hit; don't respond the same way you have been treated. Overcomers respond how they want to be treated. If you want love respond in love. If you want admiration, respond in admiration. If you want respect, respond in respect. I think you get my drift. 

By all means if you are being beaten, respond in love by leaving. Love your neighbor and yourself enough to prevent them from going to jail and you from going to the hospital or the morgue. 

Keep in mind who you are dealing with. It's always easier for us to be more loving to the ones we love. We must be the same way to those we do not know also, we are to love them also. One way to keep things in perspective is that we are all made in the like image of God and what you have done to them you have also done to Christ. Just because they are not a close friend, or relative does not give your the ok to respond differently. 

We have been empowered by God to have the victory in every situation. We do not have to play victim. So today I encourage you to trust God to fight your battles, remain in love. God will take care of those who hurt you. Just make sure He doesn't have to take of you for responding in the same manor. 

God bless your Growth & Change in Christ


Thursday, November 17, 2011

RUN, They not Ready Yet!- Relationship Help

By nature we all desire to be in successful fulfilling relationships with a significant other. This is a natural desire because this is the way God designed us. However if we look to the Word of God many of us are forgetting key components to having successful fulfilling "earthly" relationships. A vertical relationship comes before any horizontal relationship. Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden, which simply means paradise. Adam was placed in the presence of God, much like how we are in the presence of people all day; every where we turn there is a person. Adam knew God, spoke with God, he had a relationship. This was the first relationship he had, and then Eve came on the scene. She wasn't there before God, She wasn't there before Adam became Adam either. She was there after. Adam obtained a relationship with God and after Adam became who God intended for Adam to be, then we see God blessing Adam with a companion. 

Before there was a companion of Adam's kind (Genesis 2:23), bone of my bone flesh of my flesh), Adam had a relationship with God. This is what many of us are over looking. We jump into relationships like we jump into our clothes, without ever questioning the motives of the people who desire to attach themselves to our lives. There are a few questions we should ask ourselves.  

1. Does this man or woman even know who created me? 
2. Does this man or woman, know why I was designed and for what purpose? 
3. Do they care what I'm here for? 
4. Will they help me get to my destiny? 
5. Will they help me fulfill my assignments and purpose? 
6. Will I do the same for them?
7. Do our purposes work together or will they present conflict for our relationship to be harmonious?  

These questions never come up for most of us. We just see that there is someone interested in hooking up and possibly sex is involved. Only to be quite frustrated and/or disappointed to find out that they hurt us or misused us. Without knowing the purpose of a person, we will most definitely abuse them, much like we do with things. You can can use a knife to stir but it wasn't created to do that. It's not in it glory until its used properly. People are the same. We can use people for our purpose, but they end up hurt and unappreciated. But when we see people in the light of why God created them then we are able to get the best out of them, enjoy them, and help them grow and become all that God wants from them. In turn we have an awesome relationship with them and we are blessed by participating in their growth.

Points to Ponder Before Getting into a Relationship 

1. If he/she don't know their purpose - Run, they are not ready yet  
2. If he/she isn't even trying to know what they were created to do - Run, they are not ready yet  
3. If he/she isn't concerned about you knowing your purpose - Run, they are not ready yet  

Just in case you are not quite sure what I mean on "Adam becoming who God intended for Adam to be"... Adam is the creation of Man by God. We use the term created because Adam was the first of his kind. There was nothing on Earth like Adam. Adam was basically invented by God. Eve however was formed. There is a difference from being created and being formed. Creation comes from the idea of something that is not yet visible and then bringing it into existence and things are formed or made by altering something that is physically existing already. Adam was created (Genesis 1:27), and Eve was formed/made (Gen 2:22). God had a specific idea about humans. He brought forth a man and out a man he brought forth a woman. The man is the Glory of God, and the woman is the glory of man. The man is to be led by God and the woman is to follow man as the man is being led by God. 

Points to Ponder Before Getting into a Relationship 

1. If he/she isn't aware of who they are in God - Run, they not ready yet 
2. If he/she ain't doesn't know who they should be following - Run they not ready yet  
3. If he/she isn't sure if they are Male or Female... Well you get the drift.  

In Genesis 1:26-29, there are some clear concise instructions given to man. God explains His intentions for man in Genesis 1:26. He simply wanted man to look like Him, act like Him, and do what He does while on Earth. You don't believe me, do you? Let's read the verse together then: Then God said "Let us make man in our image (look like Me), in our likeness (act like Me), and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground (Do as I do)."  

Points to Ponder Before Getting into a Relationship  

1. If he/she isn't looking like God, acting like God and being productive with life like God- Run- they are not ready yet.  
2. Nowhere in that text does it say rule another human... dominion was given over kingdoms of the world not another human being. If he/she is dominant over you - Run, they are not ready yet  

Lastly, out of everything God created he only found one thing that wasn't good, and that was man being alone. God then decide to make Adam a helper. To solve the problem of Adam being alone he created animals, yet that still wasn't quite satisfying. Now we see God making Eve. Eve was brought forth to solve a problem. There was a lot of responsibility given to Adam, don't you think? She was given to help him become the best and achieve his best at becoming a MAN. Adam was given dominion, and then Eve was brought forth to see to it that Adam succeeded in doing it. Previously, I pointed out that no where in the text do we see God giving rulership over another human being. But what we do see is submission to each other. The woman was not created nor ever was intended to be dominated over, but she was given to be the one that would push Adam into his destiny. She was given to be the one whom Adam would obtain favor from God, because she kept him focused on following God and to do all that he was commanded to do.  

Points to Ponder Before getting into a Relationship  

1. If he/or she doesn't know their role as a Male or Female- Run, they are not ready yet  
2. If He/She can't listen or take advice or submit - Run, they are not ready yet  
3. If he/she knows it all already - Aye DON't YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT It  
4. If he/she doesn't have your best interest to succeed in life AND for you to always please God in EVERYTHING you do - Run, they ain't ready Boo!  

In my opinion from just reviewing my own personal experience, we don't take enough time to understand God' thoughts on relationships, marriage and/or being single for that matter. We don't seek God until after we are hurt. It is never God's intention to see us hurt or broken by our fellow brother or sister. As we have read in the text, He created us to have dominion. We can't rule effectively broken. We must not leave God out of choosing a mate. Again, He has given us dominion, so we must think in those terms when deciding who want to spend the rest of our lives with. I don't think we ask enough questions before we get into relationships. So today, for those who are in a relationship and/or engage began asking questions about how your future mate intends to help you succeed in ruling and fulfilling your purpose. What do you plan to do for them? Make sure you know what your role is as a Man and Woman. Know what you are responsible for and what you are not responsible for.  

If you are dating, date with a purpose. Anything else is a waste of your time and the other person's time as well. Seek to please God in everything you do and I guarantee the blessings of God will be bestowed upon you and your relationships. It's God's intentions that we have successful fulfilling relationships with our mates and other people. If it's His intentions, then we must seek to understand what we are required to know before entering into life-long relationships. Be Responsible for your life and who you desire to do life with.  

God Bless You!  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tracing God's Hand in our Lives- Adjust your Focus

Many times it seems that we can't trace God's hand or see Him at work in our lives, especially when it choatic and cluttered with drama.  We pray earnestly for God to work on our behalf for so many things. We pray diligently over and over again over the larger & immediate things in which we need done. While the smaller, not so immediate issues gets prayed for once or twice and we keep it moving.

I want to encourage you today!

 There has been many large issues that needed God's immediate attention in my life. I've prayed till the brakes have fell of my prayer mobile, if you get my drift.  However two months ago there was an issue I was having with my 4 year old daughter at school. She has a short attention span, however smart as whip but only applies herself when  she is forced to do something  She wan't applying herself on writing her name.  Her teacher brought it to my attention that if we didn't get her to focus on doing that, she wouldn't be able to enter Kindergarten. So of course I up my time spent working with her. I hired my cousin to tutor her and the rest of my kids so she wouldn't feel like she was doing something wrong. Lastly, I prayed over her and asked God to quicken her attention span and work ethic for learning in school.

Today, I was dropping my kids off to school and noticed something all together different about my daughter. Every morning I send her to wash her hands by herself, hang up her belonging and walk in to class to sign her name. I send her by herself so that I can accompany my son to do the same things. I have been doing this consistently for  about the same amount of time that I have known about the writing issue.

This morning I was coming out of  my son's class to go sign her in and she was walking out the bathroom headed to hang her things up. For the first time, I saw my daughter in the light of being responsible and I didn't realize that I trusted her to do  what I had been asking her to do. I stood off to the side and just smiled at my baby being a big girl. I walked up to her and asked her to give me five for being a big girl. We walked into class I was signing her in and she walked over to sign her name. Without my assistance, and even in all the commotion of people saying good morning to her she wrote her full name and it was in the right size for the box and readable. Her teacher then said, "Mrs. Jones, Dionne is doing excellent!" I walked out of her class to my car, just realizing how I had forgotten that I had petitioned God's help with this area and just that moment I was able to trace God's hand at work for me.

It's very easy to allow the large things to overshadow the smaller things that are not so immediate in our lives. However I learned a valuable lesson today. As sure as I was that God was going to do what I needed for my daughter, I need to be just as sure for the larger things.  It's hard to trace God hands when we aren't looking in the right places. Blessings and Miracles are bestowed upon us daily and many times we don't see them because we are  focused on the things that have yet to be done and may possibly seem to be impossilble.

I just want to encourage you to keep your ears and eyes open. God never stops working, and His hand never stops moving. If we can't see Him moving & and answering prayers in our lives then just maybe we are focused on the wrong stuff. When driving we are taught to never stay focused on one thing too long, if we plan to make it to our destination safely. As such, is the same for the things in our personal lives. Take a glance at your problems and situations, adjust what you can, change what you can and trust that God heard you and has already begun executing a plan for your rescue. The big issues may still be big issues, however if the little issues are being worked on its only a matter of time before God begans to answers our major prayer requests.  Keep in mind the big issues more than likely didn't become a big issue overnight, therefore the response and solution may not be done overnight either. Hang in there, and don't give up. Help is on the way.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Music the Way God Intended...Introducing Favor's Voice

So, everyone knows that Rofasho supports just about everyone who doing something positive. That's just what I do and enjoy doing. There is nothing like knowing someone sees and understand your vision and life purpose, more importantly will take a stand to support it. This year, LaToya Turrentine dropped her first CD, "I Am Favor's Voice". I am seriously smiling as I write this. Only because I have known Latoya for lil' over 10 years.  I pretty much watched her blossom into the power house of anointing that she is today. When I met LaToya she was a young lady with integrity and today she a grown woman with integrity (LoL).  I have watched this girl stand her ground for the Kingdom of God, never wavering; and if she did I didn't witness it.

It's with no suprise that her first Cd is pack with so much anointing. It's not your typical Gospel CD. There are serveral genre's of music present on this CD, from Gospel to R&Bish feel. In my opinon, this ablum would probably best describe the way music was intended to be by God. It's not churchy, but its music with a purpose and it reeks relationship not religion. It pleases me so much to listen to the young lady I watch develope into a such a anoited woman of God. I have so much respect for this lady.

I encourage you to purchase this CD.  You may purchase the CD on ITunes, or Amazon. I promise you its worth more than you will pay for it.

Facebook Badge