Friday, June 10, 2011

What Does Your Walk Say About You?

What does your walk say about you? Does it say that you’re on your way to greatness? Does it say that you’re swift and you avoid danger? Does it say that you have no destination, and you’re just along for the ride?

Make your walk SPEAK!

People should be able to look at your walk of life and know EXACTLY whose you are and where you’re going. (Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God. ) If it doesn’t, then there is a problem. Your life should be an effortless ministry designed to inspire/motivate/empower others. People should be able to look at you and see GOD! Donnie McKlurkin said it best: “We fall down, but we get back up” What’s most important is what you do when you get back up. What message are you sending? Do you walk when you get up? Do you thank God when you get up? Do you surrender to the ways of this world when you get up?

Walk in the direction of purpose. Walk with those that are going where you are going. (There’s a popular quote: “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. So wisely pick your inner circle. Not all people deserve the beauty of you) Walk with a smile on your face. Walk regardless of what people say about you. (John 15:19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.)

Ask yourself “what does my walk say about me?”, and make decisions accordingly. It is important to walk, but what’s MOST important is WHO you walk with. Walk with HIM, for he is the source of your strength. Life was never promised to be easy, so just hold on tight to the word of GOD.

Continue Dreaming,
Alyson R. Jackson

Mad Luv~Teri
**Alyson R. Jackson is an amazing woman and sister-in-Christ to me!  Alyson graciously allowed me to include her blog post today from her site, Dreaming Our Destiny, as our devotional for today.  Thanks, Sis!  Please stop by her site and be blessed by her organization to empower woman.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Legacy of a Mother

I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.
~ 2 Timothy 1:5

Legacy (according to a dictionary definition) is a gift or something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.

What kind of legacy are we leaving to our children...our nephews and nieces...our grandchildren?

What values and traits are we exemplifying in our day-to-day routines and interactions that are truly worthy to be passed on to another generation?

Are we passing down...
  • our fears and overwhelming anxieties?
  • our love for the consumption of material things and status?
  • our insecurities about our appearance and body image?
  • our "foul-mouthed" reactions and outbursts?
  • our selfish ways?
  • our practice and tolerance of telling little "white" lies?
  • our tendencies to substitute food, men, shopping, sexual activity, medication, and alcoholic drinks to fill the void in our lives that God should truly be fulfilling?

Or are we bequeathing attributes like faith, unconditional (agape) love, and strength?

What are we passing on as our legacy?

The first time that I recall seriously considering these type of questions was almost four years ago when I gave birth to my first son, Kaiser Aaron.  Sure I had already been a mom for eight years, had two beautiful daughters, and had just begun to feel like I had the mothering thing all figured out. However, with the birth of a son...a boy that would become a man...a man that would become some woman's husband...a man that would become a father that some child would look up to... I truly began to re-evaluate what type of role model I already was in comparison to the one I aspired to be, for the boy who I'd hope to grow up to be a great man of God-A MIGHTY MAN OF VALOR! 

Was I exhibiting qualities of strength, courage, faith, hope, and love in my day-to-day interactions as a mother, wife, and more, that my children (son and daughters, alike) could emulate in order become great vessels for God's Kingdom? 
Who was I teaching them to become through MY daily actions, reactions, and deeds (not simply my words)?
Could I be proud of the legacy that I was currently leaving my children?

So about three weeks after the day of my son's birth, I determined to work with God, so that He could work on me.  I desired to leave a legacy to my children that would be reflective of the Godly men and women that I wished for them to become.

Today, I continue to be His work in progress and have hardly "arrived" (Philippians 1:6).  But I am more highly conscious that because I am a mother/parent, I am most likely one of the key individuals that my children will be looking to in order to have an example of how to "act" and who to be.  When I "trip and fall" from day-to-day, I am more aware of talking about my short comings with my children.  I also apologize, even as the parent, when I make parenting mistakes; I fight through my pride to be "right" just because I am an adult and the parent. 

In 2 Timothy, Paul compliments the effectiveness of a legacy of faith that was passed on to his protegee, Timothy:

That precious memory triggers another: your honest faith—and what a rich faith it is, handed down from your grandmother Lois to your mother Eunice, and now to you! (verse 5)

And in Proverbs 31, King Lemuel's mother encourages him to find a wife who "is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come" (verse 25); a wife, who will be a mother whose "children arise and call her blessed" (verse 28).

Sure it is great and will be memorable for me to pass down my passion for cooking and a few good recipes, or even some warm & cozy family holiday traditions, to my children.  But how much more powerful, lasting, and world-changing, if I can also pass down my faith, prayer life, and a propensity to praise in the face of discouragement, as well.

What will you leave?

What legacy will you pass on?

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
~Proverbs 31:30

Strength partnered with tenderness makes for an unbeatable combination.
~Maya Angelou (words on motherhood)

What a lioness was your mother among lions!
~Ezekiel 19:12
Mad Luv~Teri

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Reflection on Mother's Day

"Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it."
[Proverbs 22:6]

In honor of Mother's Day, I wanted to give all of the mothers out there something to reflect on. As a mother, I understand how challenging the task of motherhood can be. No matter how difficult things get, we must always remember to seek God in prayer for our children, as God is a God of generations. As my pastor said this morning in his sermon "the most important thing that we can teach our children is how to lift their voices in prayer to God." We are mere stewards of our children and they belong to God, let us work through our Sovereign God for guidance.

Enjoy these poems in reflection of motherhood...

A Mother's Love

by Helen Steiner Rice

A Mother's love is something that no one can explain,

It is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain,

It is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may

For nothing can destroy it or take that love away . . .

It is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking,

And it never fails or falters even though the heart is breaking . . .

It believes beyond believing when the world around condemns,

And it glows with all the beauty of the rarest, brightest gems . . .

It is far beyond defining,it defies all explanation,

And it still remains a secret like the mysteries of creation . . .

A many splendored miracle man cannot understand

And another wondrous evidence of God's tender guiding hand.

A Mother's Prayer

by Mary A. Loberg

Help me dear Lord, as a mother, I pray

And bless these hands folded in prayer today;

May they be ever strong as they guide, as they teach,

Beings never too far for a child to reach.

May they never, with selfishness, try to dissuade,

Nor too quickly punish, nor too slowly aid.

May they point out the pleasures in laughter and song,

And may they show, wisely, the right from the wrong,

So that one day I'll know that I've helped all I can

To make her a woman, to make him a man.

A Mother's Kiss

by Frances E. W. Harper

My mother's kiss, my mother's kiss,I feel its impress now;

As in the bright and happy days She pressed it on my brow.

You say it is a fancied thing Within my memory fraught;

To me it has a sacred place--The treasure house of thought.

Again, I feel her fingers glide Amid my clustering hair;

I see the love-light in her eyes, When all my life was fair.

Again, I hear her gentle voice In warning or in love.

How precious was the faith that taught My soul of things above.

The music of her voice is stilled, Her lips are paled in death.

As precious pearls I'll clasp her words Until my latest breath.

The world has scattered round my path Honor and wealth and fame;

But naught so precious as the thoughts That gather round her name.

And friends have placed upon my brow The laurels of renown;

But she first taught me how to wear My manhood as a crown.

My hair is silvered o'er with age, I'm longing to depart;

To clasp again my mother's hand, And be a child at heart.

To roam with her the glory-land Where saints and angels greet;

To cast our crowns with songs of love At our Redeemer's feet.

For those of you out there who have lost your mothers, use this day to reflect on what your mother meant to you. For those who never had the relationship with your mother that you may have wanted, we should thank God for the women he placed in our lives to teach us, guide us, and to demonstrate what a nurturing love is.

God is love, and He is the father (and mother) of all:

The lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-

[Psalm 103:8, 10-14; 17]

Happy Mother's Day!! is short~Sheree

Thursday, May 5, 2011

They Are Not Your TRUE Enemies

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 
~Ephesians 6:12 NIV

This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world. 
~Ephesians 6:12 God's Word Translation

About two weeks ago, I finished reading a great piece of fiction titled,  Words a Novel, by Ginnie Yttrup.  Among all of the great lessons of faith and trust (in God) that were weaved into this incredible story, the words of one character has had the most lasting and profound impression on me:  "Look beyond a person's actions and see their heart.  Look for what's causing them to act the way they act, then you'll understand them better." 

From day-to-day, we are forced to encounter family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers that simply appear to us to be evil, bitter, aggravating, hurtful, insulting, vindictive, pitiful, and/or a "lost cause".   A lot of times it just seems easier and more natural for us to be angry with them, "write them off", meet them "head-on", talk about how pitiful and useless they "really" are, and hold deep resentment towards them.  It is this physical person who has caused your pain or has annoyed you to no end, so it is that person that you will have a problem with-RIGHT???

But quite often, in us responding in this way, we negate the deeper and more realistic issue that is actually occurring behind the scenes.  We are in fact dealing with or in conflict with a physical human being, but one that has allowed herself/himself to be manipulated as a puppet by Satan to accomplish his purpose; which is in complete antithesis to God's will, His kingdom, and His purpose and plan for us.  Somehow, through the door of sin and sinful natures, the individual we are facing has allowed for a foothold into their soul, and Satan has taken full advantage to come on in and have his way with them.

According to author, Mary K. Baxter, in A Divine Revelation of Spiritual Warfare, "we must clearly understand that we are not at war with other people...we are at war with Satan, who holds people captive to his will."  Baxter goes on to expound on this point by reminding us that, "As bad as some people may seem, they are merely conduits for spiritual battle.  Satan has been successful in getting us to fight people rather than battling what is really causing people to be the way they are."

God's Word implores us that as his servants and followers we are not to quarrel.  Instead we are to, "be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will." ~2Timothy 2:26

God is calling us to look beyond a person's actions and see her/his heart...what's really causing her/him to act they way they are?  Often hurt people really do hurt other people...insecure people tend to gossip and talk about other people...people who lie and deny the truth, seem to lash out and get mad with others because they cannot face their truth!  

So, although is may seem a little unnatural and difficult to walk out at first, we must refrain from wrestling with the wrong enemy-that person standing in front of us (being used as the devil's puppet).  Instead of wasting our voice, time, and efforts on warring with the wrong enemy, we need to employ our strength and efforts to war against he that truly imposes a threat to our lives and all we care about.  And the KEY to this is, we must war correctly and use the most effective weapons of warfare:

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 
~ 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

We must use the divine weapons that God has fashioned to bring defeat to the enemy, and FORGIVENESS is one of them.  Forgiving that individual, releasing them and their actions against you, and praying for them is the true key to victory over our REAL enemy, the devil.  When we war according to God's battle plans, we anger the devil and bring him to defeat.  However, when we refuse to war God's way and war using our own worldly weapons, we will leave a foothold in our own lives for Satan to creep on into and do his will (just as he did our fleshly adversary). Ouchy!

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven...
~Matthew 5:44-45

"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.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. 
~Romans 12:20-21

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 
~Ephesians 4:32

Mad Luv~Teri
P.S. I am not asking you to do anything that I have not already tried, struggled through, yet HAD to DO and DID (only with God's help and grace)! Please read the blog following to read more on God's weapons of divine power...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Want Abundance, Plenty, Peace, & Joy? Wait No More...

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly
~John 10:10

So what are YOU waiting on?

If Jesus came to give us the gift of abundant life, then what are you still waiting on?

According to the Merriam-Webster's dictionary, the word "abundant" is marked by great plenty and ample supply.  So then, Christ came to this earth to lay His life down on the cross for us, and provide us with a life that is full of plenty and amply supplied, and you are still tarrying on making the most vital decision of your life?

What are you waiting for?

  • Are you waiting to get a little older?...
  • Are you waiting to sow all your oats first and have a bit more fun?...
  • Are you waiting for Christians to act more Christ-like and give you inspiration?...
  • Are you waiting to work on yourself a little more first and come to Christ "more holier"?...
  • Are you waiting to be invited to church?...
  • Are you waiting not to be so fearful to walk out of your aisle and down to the alter, while everyone eyes are glued on you and the fact that you are actually going up there?...
  • Are you waiting for your close friends to do it first so you won't feel ostracised and like you don't fit in with the crowd any more, by stepping out on your own and doing it first?...
  • Are you waiting on tomorrow?...
What are you waiting for, for real?!!!

Folks, we do not know what the future holds.  We can stand in faith and be "prisoners of hope" [Zechariah 9:12] (as God desires for us), however, we still do not know what may happen tomorrow.  We may be here one day and gone tomorrow.

Imagine the poor individuals that lost their lives in the recent tornadoes.  Do you believe that they were able to anticipate they would lose their lives that very day?  It is very possible that some of the victims even lost their lives without having the opportunity to give their lives to Christ. 

When Christ arose on the third day and reappeared to His disciples, He charged them to, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned" [Mark 16: 15-16].  So in other words, "if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" [Romans 10:9] and promised eternal life with Him in Heaven; conversely, if you do not believe, you will be pronounced guilty, sentenced, and doomed to an eternity in Hell.  

I would love to make this easier to go down and more palatable for you, but God's Word is pretty much "cut and dry" and to the point on this matter.  We have two choices for our lives: serve God or serve the devil...And we have two choices for our eternity: Heaven or Hell.  

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve... ~Joshua 24:15

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other... ~Luke 16:20

...don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. ~James 4:4

So what are you going to do today?  What are you still waiting on now?

Jesus is not caught up with us "getting right" BEFORE we surrender and come to Him.  He "came to seek and to save the lost" [Luke 19:10], not those who were already righteous and had it all together.  He knows that you are still chasing after fun and still doing a little bit of this and that.  And He can work with that (see Philippians 1:6). But let me ask you, is all of that fun and a little of this and that really fulfilling your life?  Are you free from stress, anxiety, fear, insecurities?  Are you living an abundant life without Him in your life?

So tell me, what have you really got to lose by giving your life to Christ and making Him your Lord?

Afraid that life will have to cease, become boring and the fun would now longer exist?
POPPYCOCK (senseless chatter and nonsense)!!!
When you give your life to Christ and TRULY stay connected to Him (He is the vine and you are the branches~ John 15:5), then you will experience life in an abundant measure with overflowing peace, joy, completeness, confidence, health, prosperity, and much eternity in Heaven!

I pray that you will thoughtfully and very seriously consider this life altering message to you today!  If you do not want to wait another day and wish to give your life to Christ, please go to this   link and pray the prayer of salvation. If you are already a believer of Christ and have been saved, please be a blessing and help to save the lives of those close to you by sharing today's message with them.

I have MAD LUV and concern for your well-being and future!  I pray you make A CHOICE today?

What are you waiting on?