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GO HARD OR DON’T BOTHER

board-2161880_640People will try to box into a corner because they don’t see your potential. Some will label you based on who they think they know you to be or who they think your existence depends on. I laugh and pray for people that seem surprised that I’m confident and successful. No one will ever know what we’ve had to endure to arrive at the place where we are. They don’t see the tears and the pain. They are not around for the hours and days of praying. They will never know the cost you’ve paid yet they will want to decide your worth based on likes, posts and/or fake popularity. We cannot depend on the affirmation of this world for our motivation. We must be inspired by definitively knowing the reason why we are doing what we do. The why is our inspiration. The who can’t be our reason because their responses and lack of support or understanding will change with the weather. You have to believe in your purpose. You have to be your biggest cheerleader or no one can receive the real impact that is intended from your gifts. Pray hard for direction and clarity. And what I mean when I say pray hard is that we must pray consistently like our life depends upon it because frankly, it does.

Be Excited About Your Guest of Honor!

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When is the last time that you planned a dinner party or gathering at your home? After all of the planning is complete, we tend to get a bit excited about receiving our guests. I know that I do. It’s been a while since I’ve had one but as I begin to plan a girls night in for my 45th birthday, I’m just giddy about it. I love to hear party planners share their excitement associated with pleasing their client and all of their guests. I’ve never met a party planner that was NOT excited about receiving the guests. The excitement comes from expectation.

I’m expecting to hear updates from my guests. I’m expecting them to have a good time and to feast on what I decide to prepare. I expect laughs and warm hugs. I expect a celebration! Who wants to go to a lukewarm gathering? I don’t! And neither does Jesus!

Kick the doom and the gloom to the curb. Let’s be excited about Jesus dining with us. Behold, he stands at the door and knocks. You hear your divine purpose knocking. You hear daily reminders knocking. You hear discipline knocking. You hear the knock. Your guest of honor has arrived. He wants to dine with you. Dining is a symbol of trust, affection, intimacy and loyalty! Be excited about your guest of honor!

ACTIVE FAITH NOT EMOTIONAL FAITH

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There is something beautifully painful about growing through correction. Criticism is a necessary evil and the chastisement from a genuine place of unconditional affirming love is absolutely incredible. These last six months for me have been extremely powerful in the sense that a routine prayer that I have is being answered in ways that I never would have expected. I call it a routine prayer because it is one that I say often, and I offer it not out of repetition but out of respect and an earnest desire to want to grow spiritually. The prayer simple says, “Lord, convict me and chastisement so I can be the vessel that you need me to be. Show me the parts of Carlette that I have not given to you.”

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s nothing profound or earth shattering about the prayer, but thanks be unto God that he’s not looking for profound, HE just wants honesty. The ways in which he has released the many answers to this prayer over the last six months is pretty amazing. I call it amazing because the lessons that I learned all derived from a hurt place. Although most of us can admit, pain is our muse or that the thorn in our sides keep us grounded but this has been different. The hurt that I speak of was realized when I had to admit what I was purged of. I had to confess to Abba a lot of hard truths about who I am and how I’ve been treating HIM. These revelations aren’t about sin, yet they are about truth. These nuggets of wisdom are about opening my eyes and receiving a new level of understanding about work I need to do on me and how I can improve to bear more fruit for the kingdom.

I can’t share them all with you but one lesson that stands out to me the most is involving my faith. The circumstances of my life this year alone had caused my faith to be emotionally charged to a degree. When the Lord revealed this to me, I felt just terrible and I was downright embarrassed that a woman of my responsibility in the kingdom and exposure to the miraculous had failed miserably and that I had no idea! I got caught up in a rut of emotions. This is primarily because the people and circumstances that were used to test me during this timeframe are people and situations that I hold dear to my heart therefore, when things went left, they pulled on my heartstrings and caused me to have emotional faith instead of active faith!

My emotional faith didn’t cause me to curse God or to stop serving or to stop attending services. It didn’t even stop me from praying and studying the word. What this shrunken kind of faith did was neutralized me. It stopped me from moving in faith literally and spiritually. Several times over the last six months, I became completely stagnant – zombie like. Now that I can think back on these times, the symptoms are so evident but there were pretty much invisible at the time.

Symptoms included:

·         I became super serious while travailing as if my super serious demeanor was going to push God to move faster on my behalf (this cracks me up now that I can reflect)

·         I became “judgy”. I was making judgements of people in my head and didn’t see the harm in it because I wasn’t verbalizing it to anyone else

·         My spirit was depressed – (imagine a choppy wifi connections. Sometimes you’re connected and sometimes you’re not)

The only remedy for this dis-ease in my faith was to desperately cry out for help. I knew that I didn’t feel complete in my spirit and that I was tipping the scale towards giving up on everything. I may not have said it but I was sure thinking it…more often than not. I wasn’t doing enough to combat my wrong thinking and I hadn’t asked for the freedom that I so desperately needed. My heart was willing because I could no longer go on feeling like this. You would never know that I was feeling this way by looking at me or by speaking to me.

God used the most unsuspecting person who I know genuinely loves me to point out some things to me. Their observations were brought to my attention subtly and gently. I didn’t really HEAR them in my spirit when they were first mentioned. In fact, it took a couple of days for me to absorb what had been said. Once I processed the information, I took it to the Lord in prayer and through his grace and unfailing love, HE dealt with me right where I was. I was purged of all that was ailing me. I received my healing and deliverance. Much repentance and a great deal of worship fell from my lips with a pure heart and clean hands. I was able to literally feel the release. It was beautifully painful.

We must be careful not to fall into ruts of routine and pits of mediocracy. The LORD wants us to be alive and vibrant. Full of zeal and excitement. Our energy should be a result of who we know him to be and not based upon the limits that our emotions cause. There are blessing running over. There is healing bubbling up. There are gifts falling free, but our emotions put a cap on the pot and we stay on simmer. Let our faith be on fire as GOD arises so should we! As HIS enemies scatter so should our doubts, fears and anxieties. Confess your feelings. Do emotional and spiritual check ins with our creator. Our emotions must be handed over to the pilot before we can board. There is going to be turbulence and there will be wind, but God is in the control tower. We have nothing to fear. On the way to our destination we will travel through clouds that will test our strength. Be reminded today that we have explosive strength and power inside of us that cannot be put out. The flame is always burning inside of us. Do not become stagnant. Move as the Holy Spirit leads you. Move in expectation. Pack up your stuff, even if you don’t where or how you are moving. Like a pregnant women is an expectant mother, we must be expectant disciples with active faith! 

ARE YOU HUMBLE OR INSECURE?

This is a question that I had to ask myself today after listening to a sermon online about the “Dysfunctions of Comfort”. I strive to be as humble as I can be and I’ve never viewed that as a bad thing, but have I used it as a cover up for my insecurities? I like to think of myself as a secure and confident person in 99% of areas in my life. I stay in my lane until I’ve learned the skill or knowledge necessary to swerve into another lane.

The question that was provoked by this sermon presents a challenge for me. As I am always striving to be better than I was yesterday, I will need to evaluate my moments of humility. I need to check my insecure, less confident inventory to gauge areas in need of growth and I need to break up some of my routines. It’s time to shake things up a little bit and be more adventurous. After all, failing a few times will only lead me to succeed.

I’ve never been much of a risk taker and it is very possible that this cautionary side of my personality may be connected to insecurities that I have not identified. From this day forward, I am going to journal more about opportunities and things that I have been so quick to turn down. I’m interested to see what patterns will come to light and how I can prepare myself for what happens after I say yes more often. 

Now don’t get me wrong, my self-esteem hasn’t been negatively affected yet I’ve been pushed to challenge my thinking and decision making. Stay tuned. I will post an update for sure.

DO NOT GIVE UP!

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Don’t allow you pain to be the object of your worship. Whatever is getting all your attention and absorbing all your thoughts is what you are worshipping. God is completely God and He is completely man therefore HE’s able and HE knows, you can count on HIM. HE is not going to fail you.

Be wise in discerning if you are facing a human problem or a demonic attack. Do not be ignorant of Satan’s devices. When we are ignorant we make faulty and misguided conclusions and decisions. The wiser we are, the more difficult it will be for Satan to take advantage of us and our thoughts and decisions.

Trust the water of God’s word to satisfy the thirst that your circumstance is causing. HIS word will saturate the dry places and leave a remnant or a dew as a reserve. There is nothing HE can’t solve.

 

We Will Not Be Put To Shame…

Because of God’s perfect love that is void of fear we should not be afraid but be strong and of good courage. God is strong and he wants us to be strong. His love is like a never ending wedding ceremony. We can have high hopes and think big. Be sure to make room in our minds, spirits and soul for the increase that he has prepared for you. Pitch a tent large enough. You are going to bring back to life that which has been dead. You are on assignment to resuscitate and to bring life. The results of what is to come will make you forget about the humiliations of your youth. Rejection is a thing of the past. You will receive beauty for ashes. God delights in you because of your righteousness. Sing boisterous praises unto him for he alone is worthy. You are dressed in a suit of salvation. Saved from destruction and death. The lord will put you on display for the whole world to see what righteousness looks like. Go forth and be fearless!

It’s time to celebrate!

Let laughter, rejoicing, praise, and dancing be present in your life daily. What are we celebrating? We are celebrating the new decree that has been spoken over your life. It’s a decree of favor, protection and liberation!
There will be people in high places that will not understand why they are blessing you or honoring you. Your enemies will set plans and plots against you and they will fall in their own traps. Their plans will turn around and bless you with opportunities. They will go as far as setting a date to carry out their plans and that will be the very day that they will fall to their own demise.
Although the things presented before you are daunting, this is not the time to lament or to mourn. This is the time to fast and pray and to get those around to join in with you as they will be partakers in your feast as well says the Lord! The fasting and praying takes the attention off of you and it places it on the one that will bring you out. This is also the time to intercede for those that are under attack as well. The position that you are in has placed power in your hands to stand in the gap for them and to decree on their behalf.
You will be called to speak in “high places”. This is not the time to be silent or to be concerned about what others think about you being sent to represent a population of people. You may not seem qualified to them. It may not be the norm for you to have this opportunity but this is how you will know that you are being sent by the divine. Use your elevation to help others.
The fasting and praying will release a new fortitude and courage in you that you’ve never had before. It will also send revelation and wisdom to your doorstep that will be necessary for your next move.
There are people that have forgotten what they were supposed to do for you but the holy spirit is bringing all things back to their remembrance and they will deliver on their words quickly.
This new decree has spoken all of these things over your life and it is so! Therefore let your faith be elongated. Let it be wider and broader than what you would naturally expect and past what you’ve been used to. The shortness of your faith has been cancelled from this point forward!