That Golden Time of the Day

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Hopefully we’ve all had a weekend that afforded us opportunities to have very hearty laughter, thought provoking conversations, really good food, family time and lots of time doing the things that we love. After all, , that’s weekends were made for. Now that we are in expectation of the work week beginning, it’s time to prep for purpose. Pause Netflix and close that Amazon browser for goodness sakes! Sunday evenings is a great time to become motivated and get rid of any distractions that might put a damper on us being extraordinarily productive this week. Do you have a list of things that you can accomplish this evening? No. Well, I’ve created a list of things for you to consider. Thank me later 🙂

  • clean the fridge
  • chop up the fuit
  • meal prep
  • put the wool sweaters away (I guess lol)
  • pack up the items for the mission or shelters
  • clean the junk drawer
  • set an alarm to make that appointment in the morning
  • decide which days this week will be for the gym and which will be home workouts
  • pack your gym bag
  • blog or journal about your weekend
  • call the one you’ve been avoiding so that it doesn’t hang over your head all week, it won’t be as bad as you think
  • iron for tomorrow or for the week if you’re feeling ambitious (I’m never that ambitious)
  • make a list of things that you need to accomplish this week
  • start your grocery list
  • last but certainly not least; make prayer and meditation apart of every day

Being great takes preparation. What we don’t realize sometimes is that these littles things linger in our mental space and cause us to be distracted from our purpose. I am definitely checking some of theses things off of my list this evening because I know that I have extremely busy week ahead of me and I want to be proud of myself at its completion. Let’s not allow procrastination to rear its ugly head.

Being prepared in this sense doesn’t guarantee that distractions still won’t come our way but what it does guarantee is that we’ve done everything in our own power to establish a solid and firm footing. It will give us peace of mind that we can make the moves that our purpose is calling us to. Preparation is like a piece of weaponry that we can use against the war in our minds. It combats and destroys negative thoughts. Let’s be prepared. Let’s be purposeful. Choose peace! Your purpose requires that you are prepared.

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! 

PICTURE THIS

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You are walking in your calling and trusting God without borders. You’ve taken the limits off him and allowed him into every area of your life. Your prayer life is consistent, and you have discovered your true identity in Christ. A light bulb has come on and you finally realize why you were born and live every day like it is your last because you want to please your heavenly father.

The ups and downs and round the mountains and down the valleys that life is full of do not stop your hustle. In fact, you thrive on it because you believe that you are who God says you are and that nothing can stop you because you have confessed that you are nothing without HIM.

You can’t sleep at night but it’s not because demons are haunting you, it is because angels are being dispatched and you can’t take your eyes off the vision. You’ve written, and you’ve made it plain. Your dwellings are adorned with it and your doorways are anointed…you feel protected. Letting any ill spirit in your midst is unlikely because you protect what you’ve been given.

There are times when you fall short but we all do so you are always reminded that you are not condemned because you are saved. Things that use to tempt you no longer tempt you anymore because you resist it when it approaches you and it is tired of hearing you scream that you are more than a conqueror. That thing has been evicted and its power has been revoked.

Prayers coming from your lips do not cease because of the gratitude that you have in your heart. Worship comes easy. Comprehension of his word is like water, refreshing and plentiful.

It could happen. Just make a decision.

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!

LOVE AND PEACE CHALLENGE

I pray that on this week we will experience unusual amounts of love and peace. The receipt of these fruits is about our perception. Perception is reality. What we perceive to be true is the truth to us. Let’s ask ourselves where our truth is coming from. Let’s evaluate our root and foundation. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior”. Let’s challenge ourselves to combat every thought outside of love and peace with love and peace. If a family member says something hurtful, fill your thoughts of a memory of them that makes your smile or laugh and then share it with them. If a co-worker is slamming doors, remind him or her how valuable they are. When was the last time that you’ve complimented a co-worker on a skillset that they have that is priceless to the team?  If your child disappoints you, respond with a loving kind word that will change their attitude and shock them. If your spouse gets under your skin, pause.  Pray about your response and then shower them with their favorite things.

Consider yourself deputized. You are the love and peace deputy of the week. It is your job to enforce love and peace no matter what. You’ve been designated to influence every place that you step in to. Empower others around you to spread love and peace in their circles as well.

Stand up for it. Cover others in it. Spread it abroad. Express it abundantly. Share it intentionally. Love and peace over everything else. We can all agree that the world needs more of it so let it start with you.

Let’s go out of our way to give a compliment, a hug, a gift, a kind gesture, a loving expression or more. Let’s do the unexpected to make someone feel that they are appreciated. This week won’t be about us or what we need or want; it will be about others.  “For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silent the ignorant talk of foolish people.”

My Safe Place

No matter what life throws at me on any given day, I have made conscious decision to be selfish with my joy and my peace. They are mine and no one or nothing can take them away from me. I’ve worked too hard to discover them and to find me and I’m fighting with my shield of faith to keep them. It’s necessary! They are not dependent upon external circumstances or upon my emotions. They are a guarantee with a cultivated relationship with my creator. Things and people may very well be on assignment to imprison me but the spirit of God that dwells in me also covers me in such a way that I become invisible to the enemy. It’s impossible to trap me! I can have the peace of God directly in the middle of chaos. I’m grateful for the rest that I find when I cast all my cares on God, my God. He’s mine and I am HIS! It’s a heart thing. My heart belongs to God! It’s the best decision that I’ve ever made! Go Jesus!

Relationships Matter

It is my prayer that this long weekend be the start of us (me included) going the extra mile to spend time with loved ones and those that are less fortunate. It has been my experience that the busyness of life coupled with low tolerance of others causes us to isolate inside of our own bubbles. The more people that I converse with the more I am finding that only spending quality time with our immediate family is the new normal. The immediate family generally includes those that we live in the same house with. This is not the plan of God. I can honestly confess that time just gets away from me. I intend to reach out or to go and check on family but I fail miserable. A lot of my failed attempts can be attributed to my preconceived notion of the visit or call.  Guilty.  This past week the Holy Spirit dealt with me personally on this topic so I am sharing.

How can we ever expect to truly understand one another if we don’t put in the time? Ministries can truly be effective when the members take the time out to develop real relationships with one another. Families can heal sooner if we set aside our intolerable differences and accept people for who they are. We have to remain humble and come to grips with the fact that we too have habits and quirks that are less attractive than we think. Patience with one another in any group setting is possible through the act of love.

The bottom line is that we have to stretch ourselves with the instruction of the Holy Spirit to show love to God and to others through our efforts to develop relationships. The world would be a better place.

I encourage you to make the phone call today. Drive over to see your Aunt or Uncle. Face time your best friend from high school. Call a member of your ministry for no reason at all but to say hello. Go the extra mile and expect a difference in your life and in the life of others. To God be the Glory!