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Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div.

Visionary Strategist Faithful Innovator Inspirational Essayist

Salvation and Stilettos Blog

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The Hour Has Come! - John 17:1-5

Posted on April 1, 2012 at 7:54 AM Comments comments (173)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Greetings!
 
BlogFam, the hour has come. 
 
There is something very powerful about knowing that the hour has come especially when your testimony is that you have brought God glory on earth by finishing the work that our God has given you to do in this passing hour.  It is not uncommon for fellow sistas and brothas in Christ to expect promotion by virtue of their ability,their experience, their reputation, or their self-absorbed ideas of entitlement without having finished the divine assignment of the current hour.  And thus, when the next hour comes – the hour of transition towards elevation, raises, advancement, and promotion – the witness of an incomplete assignment is the word of the hour. 
 
There are far too many of us desiring more but lacking the discipline to complete the tasks of the present hour.  So, when THE hour has come for you to go to another level in any area of your life, you just might find yourself being passed over – not because of the enemy or someone’s jealousy or a mix up in identity – but because the task assigned in the last hour was not complete.  So, the next hour comes but because you did not spend the last hour doing what you were assigned to do, you prolong the reward that you so eagerly desire and that you thought would come in the hour that has now come.
 
BlogFam, the hour has come. 
 
When Jesus prays this prayer of glorification and intercession in John 17, He knows that His hour has come to be raised from death to life.  Jesus has the witness of having completed the assignment of the last hour and therefore He is prepared to experience the glory of God in the hour that has come.  He has come so that God might be known through Him in the earth.  His ministry focus has been to bring God glory through His teaching, preaching, healing, loving,caring, feeding, helping, eating, chastising, directing, and praying.  Jesus has brought God glory in the earth by finishing the work that God had given Him to do.  Therefore, his prayer is divinely accurate and appropriate for the hour at hand: And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.  And, like Jesus, we must do the work of the Kingdom of God that will fulfill our particular assignment in this present hour. 
 
BlogFam, the hour has come.
 
What is your assignment in this hour?  What is your focus in ministry?  What steps do you need to take in order to complete the tasks you have been assigned by heaven? How is the Kingdom of God being blessed by your actions on your assignment?  When is the last time you reviewed your assignment?  Is it time for you to make any adjustments so that you ensure that your assignment is completed in this hour?  Has any part of your assignment been ignored or left incomplete?
 
BlogFam, the hour has come.
 
And it is NOW time for you to focus on your divine assignment in this present hour.  You do not know when the transition will come to propel you into your next hour so do not hold yourself back by neglecting the work of this hour.  Friends, seek the Lord our God for clarity on your assignment and then obediently make every effort to fulfill that which heaven has ordained for you to do.  This is how you bring glory to God in your life – by simply finishing the work that God has given you to do. 
 
BlogFam, the hour has come.
 
Therefore, today, I pray that you would not avoid the work of this present hour.  I pray thatwhen your hour to be granted your promotion comes, your assigned tasks of the last hour are complete.  I pray that you would follow our Lord’s example and know that your efforts to glorify God in the earth are not in vain.  I pray that your promotion comes without delay and if you are already in the hour of promotion, then I pray that you would celebrate this new chapter and get ready for the next assignment.
 
BlogFam, the hour has come.
 
God Loves You and I do too!
Delesslyn
Twitter - @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept


***MY FIRST BOOK***
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I Say to You, GET UP!!! - Luke 7:11-17

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 8:38 AM Comments comments (0)








Luke 7:11-17
 Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”

  Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.

  They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.

Greetings!

BlogFam, do you realize that the Lord will see the hurt, pain, and grief of those around you and will raise you up in spite of the hopelessness of your own situation?

This is what I see in this story.  This boy is dead.  His mother is grieving.  He is being carried to his burial.  And when the Lord saw his mother, His heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”   Of course, it would not be unusual to read this passage from the perspective of this grieving mother and relate her situation to the loss we have all experienced in our lives.  We have all lost something.  Some of the things we have lost have caused us sorrow and some of the losses in our lives have been a source of joy.  However, in this passage of scripture, this is clearly a sad moment in this woman’s life.  This was her only son AND the text adds, she was a widow.  This detail is significant because in those days, when the husband passed away, the son was the source of financial support for the one he left behind.  So, she is in a desperate situation.  She has no husband and now no son.  She has lost her family as well as her source of financial stability. Thus, it is not a huge leap to more readily identify with this woman upon first reading of this text. 

Furthermore, I do not know the last time you raised someone from the dead but I never have so it is fascinating to me that Luke would recount this story of Jesus doing just that.  Jesus, doing something that defies all odds and affirms His power, such as raising anyone from the dead is phenomenal.  He looks at the woman with compassion, his heart is moved, and he responds to her grief.  She did not ask for her son to be raised but for reasons that we can only speculate, at best, he speaks to this corpse, “Young man, I say to you, get up!”  The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. Amazing!

But today, I want us to reflect more closely on this text from the perspective of this young man who is introduced to us on his death bed.  He has already taken his last breath.  He has already been dismissed as a lost cause.  He is already on his way to the grave.  We do not meet him as a young person full of potential, dreams, and energy.  We do not first encounter him as the dutiful son of his mother who has likely stepped up his care for his mother since the death of his father.  We have no clue about his best friends, his romantic interests, or his favorite sports or subjects in school.  Our first encounter with this young man reminds us that life as we know it will one day come to an end.  One day we will leave everything and everyone we love behind.  One day our plans will fall through because we will not even have the breath in our body to proactively bring them to pass. 

Unfortunately, there are some of you who are alive and feel just like this young man.  You feel like there is no hope for you or your situation.  The last words have been spoken over your life and even those you love have counted you out.  The funeral of your dreams has taken place and you have no expectation of a better tomorrow. The crowds have gathered to grieve, the grave has already been excavated, and the eulogy was spoken long before this moment.  Yet, in spite of your lack of passion for ministry, your lack of consideration for those less fortunate than you, and your lack of initiative to be all that our God has created you to be, our Lord has heard the cries of those around you and is moved with compassion to speak life into your dead situation.  This word of life being spoken over you has nothing and everything to do with you at the same time. Again, I ask, do you realize that the Lord will see the hurt, pain, and grief of those around you and will raise you up in spite of the hopelessness of your own situation? 

This young man was dead.  He did not hear the cries of his mother or see the tears of those who mourned with her or feel the need to act any differently because in that moment there was nothing to live for.  But Jesus hears, sees, and feels everything that we cannot – especially when it comes to those around us AND because He is always ahead of the game, Jesus knows that the well-being, the success, the comfort, and even the salvation of those around you depends on YOU being alive and well in body and in spirit.  Jesus KNOWS you need to be alive and my friends, today, I decree and declare the words of our Lord over your dying – and perhaps dead situation and “I say to you, GET UP!”  GET UP! 

Your life is not over and it will NOT end like this.  You may not have had the courage or the strength or the presence of mind to ask the Lord to save you or to raise you or to motivate you or to propel you forward but because I love you and because there are people around you who have been loving and praying for you, the word of the Lord on THIS day is GET UP!  It is NOT over until God says it is over!!!  KEEP FIGHTING until your victory is WON!

And my sistas and brothas, when you GET UP, there will be people around you who will be filled with awe!  When you GET UP, there will be people who will PRAISE GOD!  When you GET UP, there will be those around you who  will know that God has come to help God’s people! And most of all, when you GET UP, your life will be changed forever!  You will sit up and speak up and you will get your life back!

My friends, I say to YOU, GET UP!!!

God Loves You and I do too!
Delesslyn
Twitter - @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept
 
 
 ***MY FIRST BOOK***
Step Out of the Boat: An Invitation to Walk on Water
Click on Picture of Cover to Purchase TODAY!!!

THANK YOU for your support!!!
 

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Hindsight is 20/20 but UP-sight is PERFECT! - Psalm 40:1-3

Posted on March 30, 2012 at 9:42 AM Comments comments (0)
Hindsight is 20/20 but UP-sight is PERFECT! 

Psalm 40:1-3
I waited patiently for the LORD;
   he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
   out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
   and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
   a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the LORD
   and put their trust in him.
 
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Greetings!
BlogFam, Have you ever heard the phrase: Hindsight is always 20/20? If you have or if you have not, it simply means that when we look back at a situation after having experienced it, we can clearly see how we could have responded to the situation in a better way.  Such is life!  I am sure that over the course of this fast, you look back and you can see how you could have disciplined yourself in a much better way in order to remain true to your commitment to yourself and to God.  Now this does not mean you have to beat yourself up because you broke your fast a time or two or three or you did not read every Lenten devotional passage you said you would read [or listen to] or you allowed your frustration to get the best of you instead of praying and reading your bible more during this time.  NO!  Do not beat yourself up!  Confess your faults to yourself and to God, be forgiven and move on. 

Friends, I just believe that in your looking back, even with the faltering missteps along your fasting journey, you will see 20/20.  You will see more clearly how you could have responded to your commitment in a better way.  You will look back.  You will see.  You will learn.  You will move on.  You will THANK GOD for the grace and mercy to do all of the above! AND our God will put a new song in your mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Furthermore, your experience will still be a testimony to be shared with others so that many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.

This is how the Psalmist experience of deliverance out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and the mire ends – with praise and testimony!  Now, we did read that he waited patiently for the Lord, the Lord turned to the psalmist and heard his cry. But these vague details peak my interest. 

My question is this – How did the psalmist end up in the mud and the mire in the first place?  I wonder how long the psalmist was in the mud and mire before all this patience kicked in.  I wonder if the psalmist mud and mire was due to an external attack or based on the internal struggle with sin and weight that can so easily beset us all.  I wonder how far down did the Lord have to reach in order to lift up the Psalmist and to then set the Psalmist upon a rock, a firm place to stand.  I wonder if the Psalmist personal choices led the psalmist away from the rock that was sufficiently sturdy yet perhaps not exciting enough or not popular enough for the Psalmist to just stay right there in the first place. 

Come on BlogFam, you know that there is always more to the stories we tell in our own lives.  We hit and miss details for whatever reasons and I believe the same is true even in the Bible.  There are so many details that I wonder about.  Not that these details would shift my faith one way or the other, but I do wonder about the whole story and today, I wonder about the whole story about this particular Psalm.  I wonder, yet I am grateful that I am privileged to know that this Psalmist has admitted to tripping, stumbling, falling, wavering to the point or a place below where the Lord would have the Psalmist to stand.  And AFTER praying and waiting and crying and expecting, the Lord turned and heard and lifted and set him on a rock, a firm place, above the place where the Psalmist had found himself. 

Perhaps, this is where you want to see yourself – on a rock, a firm place, above where you are right now.  And while the lessons learned from your 20/20 vision in hindsight may not get you there, I would venture to suggest that shifting your vision UP-sight [Yes, I just made up a word] will!  UP-sight vision is the key.  Hindsight will only take you so far because at some point you will have to turn around and face your present situation and move forward into your future destination. And while you may have learned some invaluable lessons from looking back – Hindsight is 20/20 – if you do not have the UP-sight that is necessary for you seek the LORD in every situation, your own sight will always fall short of the vision that the Lord will provide when you use your UP-sight!  Look UP, BlogFam, and the Lord will Lift UP everything about you and your situation!

My sistas and brothas, whatever your slimy pit, mud and mire looks like, feels like, smells like, tastes like, or sounds like, the Lord is ABLE to lift you UP out of IT!  The Lord is able to set you above what you are going through and give you a new song!  The Lord is able to give you a firm place to stand and a hymn of praise to sing when you get there!  And because the Lord is so good, the Lord will turn your mess into a message so that many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him.  Your mud and your mire will be used to inspire someone else to shift their vision UP-sight so that the Lord will turn and hear and lift them above their mess, just as the Lord has done for you!

To God be ALL the Glory!!!

God Loves You and I do too!
Delesslyn
Twitter - @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept
 
 
 ***MY FIRST BOOK***
Step Out of the Boat: An Invitation to Walk on Water
Click on Picture of Cover to Purchase TODAY!!!

THANK YOU for your support!!!
 

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE on the left to get email updates,SHARE it with three people, COMMENT below, and click here to GIVE a donation of $5.00 or your best gift to keep it going!
 
 
I WRITE by Faith and NOT by Sight...

The Anointing - Short and Simple - Psalm 23:5b

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 10:16 AM Comments comments (0)

The Anointing - Short and Simple

Psalm 23:5b
 Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.[KJV]

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Greetings!

BlogFam, The subject of the THE ANOINTING is very controversial in the Christian community.  It is also a term that has been so loosely defined and haphazardly applied that it has lost its significance in the Body of Christ.  I use the word significance specifically as it relates to defining and explaining of the term; for, on the contrary, the term anointing has never lost its power as endowed by the Holy One upon the lives of believers.

Mr. Denver Cheddie explains the THE ANOINTING in this way:

The anointing is a Divine enablement for us to accomplish God’s purposes on earth.  God’s work cannot be done through human might and power, only by God’s Spirit.  However we are co-laborers with God.  God’s Spirit works in us and through us by anointing us.  The anointing has a two-fold purpose.  It works in us and through us.  Firstly the anointing works in us by teaching us God’s ways and conforming us to God’s likeness. Secondly it works through us by giving supernatural ability to do God’s work (witnessing, preaching, teaching, etc.).  It is useful to note that since different believers have different purposes, they are anointed and equipped differently. [http://www.bibleissues.org/anointing1.html]

Friends, this is one of the most simplified and direct explanations of THE ANOINTING that I have discovered. And I do believe it is helpful for our verse for today.  The 23 Psalm is a Psalm that is a brief summary of David’s life and relationship with the Almighty God.  In this Psalm, he generally recounts events in his life in terms of his experience as a shepherd, with the Lord representing the shepherd in this Psalm.  Towards the end of this Psalm, David declares - 

 Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.[KJV]

One thing that I do appreciate about this Psalm and in particularly about this verse, is that David does not use words that give us a clue that the anointing upon his head and the overflow of his cup are blessings of the past.  David celebrates that he continues to experience a Divine enablement to accomplish God’s purposes on earth and the flow of God’s love, grace, kindness, and generosity flows beyond the measure he can himself contain.  I am excited about this because I believe that the same is available to you and to me.

Thus, my sistas and brothas, we must understand that we are not anointed to be popular or to be recognized or to get a reaction out of people who could care less about us.  We are not blessed beyond our capacity only to hold on to or be stingy with or to brag about all that God chooses to bless us with.  NO! 

We are anointed and blessed so that we might learn more about what it means for us to become better servants in the Kingdom of God.  We are anointed and blessed so that we might be transformed into the men and women God is calling for us to be and that we might boldly walk in the path God has set before each of us.  We are anointed and blessed as witnesses of the work that our God will do inside of us and in spite of us so that God, alone, will get all the Glory! And when we have an appreciation for the purpose for which we are anointed and blessed, THEN we can walk in the promise that SURELY goodness and mercy SHALL follow us all the days of our lives AND we will dwell in the house of the Lord FOREVER!  AMEN!




God Loves You and I do too!
Delesslyn
Twitter - @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept
 
 
 ***MY FIRST BOOK***
Step Out of the Boat: An Invitation to Walk on Water
Click on Picture of Cover to Purchase TODAY!!!

THANK YOU for your support!!!
 

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE on the left to get email updates,SHARE it with three people, COMMENT below, and click here to GIVE a donation of $5.00 or your best gift to keep it going!
 
 
I WRITE by Faith and NOT by Sight...

Your Body, Your Temple - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Posted on March 28, 2012 at 10:09 AM Comments comments (0)
YOUR BODY, YOUR TEMPLE

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

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Greetings!

BlogFam, we are quickly coming to the end of our forty day fast together.  And some of you may have remained committed throughout your fast, some of you fell off and got back on nearly every week, and some of you may have never committed to fast from the beginning, wherever you may be, I just want to encourage you to continue to seek God for ways you can grow in your faith.  Fasting is about denying yourself for a higher purpose.  So I pray that in some way God has graciously responded to your desire to honor God through this fast by revealing something to you that has helped you to grow as a person, as a follower of Christ, as a friend of God.

We began our 40 day blog journey a few days before Lent actually began and we continued through every weekend so our journey will technically end in a few days but we will begin a new week-long series on Sunday.  The upcoming series will focus on the Seven Last Words/Phrases of Christ from the cross.  Please be in prayer with me for next week’s series.  Thank You.

OK.  Let us jump right in…

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost/Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body,
and in your spirit, which are God's.

BlogFam, The bottom line is that we really do need to take our bodies seriously, treat our bodies respectfully, and love our bodies affectionately.  Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit lives inside of us.  The Holy Spirit is a gift from God, a divine seal upon our whole life that we belong to God.  When we accept that Jesus paid the debt for our sins by dying for us, we should gratefully live in such a way that honors the gift imparted to us on the inside.  I know you think you can do whatever it is you want to do with your body but I have a ***NEWSFLASH*** - NO!  You cannot treat your temple anyway you want and you should not allow others to abuse your temple either!  We are to glorify God with our bodies. 

This is a very significant lesson to learn because since God has chosen to create us in God’s divine image and God has chosen to breathe life into us, and God has chosen to live inside of us in the person of the Holy Spirit, well, we should desire to honor God with our bodies even if for those reasons alone.  Friends, I know that this is a challenging proposition.  And it is challenging because we are always trying to change our bodies, correct our bodies, enhance our bodies, manipulate our bodies, destroy our bodies, fix our bodies, escape our bodies, reject our bodies, criticize our bodies, hide our bodies, cover our bodies, constrain our bodies, pacify our bodies, shrink our bodies, plasticize our bodies, makeup and makeover our bodies.  Thus, it becomes challenging to add on top of everything we try to do with our bodies – GLORIFY GOD with our bodies!?!?! 

How do we begin to truly GLORIFY GOD with a body we do not feel is good enough – in the eyes of others or worse, in our own eyes? 

How do we begin to honor the Holy Spirit that dwells inside of us as a divine impartation of the One who makes us whole and holy in our bodies? 

How do we begin to celebrate the magnificence of the Creator when we look at our bodies and think that the Creator has done less than the best on our bodies?

My Friends, I do think that it is time for us to be renewed in our minds about our bodies, our temples.  For some reason in the wisdom of the Creator, we were created with these bodies.  For some reason, knowing that as much as we would try to dismiss the beauty in ourselves and others, the Creator has still chosen to breathe life into our bodies.  And for some reason, beyond my imagination, the Creator has chosen to dwell inside of each of us – gifting us with the most intimate connection we can have with the divine in our bodies. 

My sistas and brothas, GLORIFY GOD with your bodies!  Your body is called to serve a purpose beyond satisfying your every craving and appetite, no matter how strong it might be.  You must be a wise steward of your body because your body is the House of the Holy, the sanctuary of the Sacred, the dwelling place of the Divine.  So, GLORIFY GOD in YOUR body! 

AND refuse to do anything that would give evidence that you are not grateful to God for the body that you do have.  I know you might not see your body or another’s body as perfect, but your evaluation of perfection falls short of what the Creator has purposed.  Your evaluation is based upon what your physical eyes can see, but the Creator’s evaluation sees beyond what you can see into the hearts reality.  Only God truly knows how well you have maintained your temple.  Only God knows all about who/what has been invited to dwell inside of your temple.  Only God knows the future of your temple.  And only God knows how much love truly flows out of the heart of your temple.

You are NOT your own! For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.  EVERYTHING about YOU is being called forth to bring GLORY to God – especially your body!  So THANK GOD for your body and do whatever you need to do to properly care for your body.  Stop criticizing your body and ask God to renew our mind about how you see your body.  Refuse to allow others to abuse your body and take proactive steps to prevent and not initiate or return such abuse upon another person’s body.  And lastly, enhance the presence of the Holy Spirit inside of your body so that by faith your body will be all that God is calling for your body to be.


God Loves You and I do too!
Delesslyn
Twitter - @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept
 
 
 ***MY FIRST BOOK***
Step Out of the Boat: An Invitation to Walk on Water
Click on Picture of Cover to Purchase TODAY!!!

THANK YOU for your support!!!
 

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE on the left to get email updates,SHARE it with three people, COMMENT below, and click here to GIVE a donation of $5.00 or your best gift to keep it going!
 
 
I WRITE by Faith and NOT by Sight...

Substitute Teachers - Galatians 6:2

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 11:29 AM Comments comments (0)
Substitute Teachers

Galatians 6:2
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

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Greetings!

BlogFam, Now we all have an idea about what happens when a substitute teacher is present.  This is a time for many children to cut up and give the substitute a hard time simply because he or she is not their “real” teacher.  Children often assume that their misbehavior will not face the same consequences because their “real” teacher is not present.  Children have ganged up on substitute teachers for decades for all kinds of reasons.  Perhaps you may not have been the one to push the boundaries when the substitute was present but I bet you can name at least one fellow classmate who did.  Substitute teachers are just not given the same level of credibility and respect on demand as the teacher who has been assigned to that particular classroom for the year. And while they do deserve to be respected –and compensated – for their willingness to fill in, some children who have had to endure their presence are just not so welcoming. 

Substitute teachers fill a very significant role in the maintaining of the educational progress of the students in a particular class in the absence of their assigned teacher.  Substitute teachers are necessary in order to help in not losing momentum in a particular subject/topic.  They are necessary in order to give relief to the main teacher who may have personal or professional obligations or situations that demand their presence.  Substitute teachers are also able to provide flexibility to the school staff that allows schedules to be adjusted with minimal disruption to the structure with which children and parents are familiar.  Thus, substitute teachers play a very critical role in the educational system.

I have met a number of substitute teachers during my years in grade school.  However, there is one that I will never forget because she was a member of our church and she was my brother’s godmother.  Her name was Ms. Davis.  Ms. Davis was a very special woman to our family in and outside of the church and school.  She actually used to babysit us on any number of occasions when my parents needed that support.  So when I saw that she was the substitute in the absence of any one of my teachers, I knew there was no playing around for Delesslyn because I was clear that if Ms. Davis did not get me herself, she was going to make it her business to ensure that my parents were not ignorant of my conduct.  Ms. Davis made a huge impact on the lives of my siblings and I because if there is anyone in our church and community – apart from our parents - whom we know cared about us and our well-being, it was Ms. Davis.  She loved us as her own children and we are forever grateful for what she has meant to our lives.  Ms. Davis is no longer with us but I cannot tell you how her substitute presence in the absence of my teachers or parents was a significant part of my development into the young lady I am today.  She was a substitute who loved, cared, disciplined, supported, encouraged, and did her very best to reinforce our parents expectation of seeing us act our very best at all times.

I am clear that not all substitute teachers care this much, but Ms. Davis did. And there is one more substitute teacher that I want to mention who cared even more than Ms. Davis.  His name is Jesus.  Jesus loved us all so much that He voluntarily submitted to the will of the Almighty God to substitute His own life so that we can have a right to the tree of life.  He taught tremendous life lessons that we continue to learn from and pass on today and he embodied these same lessons in the way he carried out his life even unto his death at Calvary.  Jesus loved us so much that He chose to carry our burdens in order to fulfill his love. 

My friends, as followers of Jesus, we, too must embrace our roles as Substitute teachers. NO, we do not have to go to Calvary but we are called to carry each other’s burdens, and in this way we will fulfill the law of Christ which is to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  Much like the substitute teachers in grade school, we are to fill a very significant role in the maintaining of the spiritual progress of our sisters and brothers in Christ.  We are to encourage one another so that we will not lose momentum on this journey of faith that is not without obstacles, detours, roadblocks, and U-Turns.  We are to give relief to our sisters and brothers through prayer and rejoicing when they rejoice, weeping when they weep.  And we are to help each other be flexible so that we can flow with the unforeseen moves of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  We are to provide a supportive community of stability as an expression of our love one for another.  As we fulfill our roles as substitute teachers, standing in the gap for one another, holding each other accountable, and carrying each other’s burdens, we do fulfill the law of Christ.

Today, I pray that you would consider the burdens of someone else and ask God for a way to help them alleviate their load.  Today, I pray that you would ask God for creative strategies and resources so that the needs of others can be met through you.  Today, I pray that when you do stand in for someone else, you would not minimize the critical role you are serving in the development of their faith.  Today, I pray that you would be motivated to carry the burdens of someone else in the same way you WILL need someone to help carry yours one day.  Today, I pray that we would never forget that our Lead substitute teacher continues to carry all of our burdens beyond the finished work on the cross unto the throne of God as our advocate in heaven.  And today, I pray that we would fulfill the law of Christ by carrying the burdens of one another as a humble sacrifice and in gratitude for all that Christ has done and will do for each of us.

God Loves You and I do too!
Delesslyn
Twitter - @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept
 
 
 ***MY FIRST BOOK***
Step Out of the Boat: An Invitation to Walk on Water
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Chill Out...And PRAY!!! - Philippians 4:6-7

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 10:58 AM Comments comments (0)
Chill Out... And PRAY!!!
Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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Greetings!
BlogFam, as close as I may be to my family and some of my friends, there is no one who knows me better than the one who created me.  There is no one who knows more about my passions, my thoughts, my secrets, my desires, my hopes, my dreams, my mistakes, my insecurities, my worries, my concerns, my victories, my accomplishments than my eternal Creator. When I say I tell God EVERYTHING, I mean it.  I really do talk to God about every little and big thing going on in my life.  Now some of you might think that is way too much to pester the throne of grace about but that is your personal opinion and I respectfully and totally disagree.  I figure if God cares enough to count the number of hairs on my head, a detail that just seems so inconsequential – unless, of course, you are balding – well, I just figure if God cares to know that, God must care about every other detail in my life and so I tell God about EVERYTHING!  I do not have anyone in my life who knows me in a more intimate way.  A few think they have clues and that is what they have – clues based on the conversations I might choose to have or not have with them - but there is no one in this earth that I talk to like I talk to God! 

I agree and take very seriously the lyrics of Joseph Scriven in the 1800s when he penned the words -  
      What a friend we have in Jesus,
        all our sins and griefs to bear!
        What a privilege to carry
        everything to God in prayer!
        O what peace we often forfeit,
        O what needless pain we bear,
        all because we do not carry
        everything to God in prayer.
 
      Have we trials and temptations?
        Is there trouble anywhere?
        We should never be discouraged;
        take it to the Lord in prayer.
        Can we find a friend so faithful
        who will all our sorrows share?
        Jesus knows our every weakness;
        take it to the Lord in prayer.
 
      Are we weak and heavy laden,
        cumbered with a load of care?
        Precious Savior, still our refuge;
        take it to the Lord in prayer.
        Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
        Take it to the Lord in prayer!
        In his arms he'll take and shield thee;
        thou wilt find a solace there.
 
I have often jokingly made the comment that I refuse to have bags under my eyes in reference to the stresses of life.  In other words, I am very intentional in taking everything to the Lord in prayer and there is really no point in me losing sleep if I trust that God has everything under control!  There are some answers that I do not have.  There are some problems that I cannot solve.  There are some worries that I just may not overcome.  But when I give it all to God, when I lay it all on the altar, when I take refuge in the Lord, I can keep the bags away! 

Friends, today’s scripture is found in the last part of Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi.  He gives a list of statements of advice for life and faith and one thing he says is:
Do NOT be anxious about anything, but in EVERY situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

My sistas and brothas, what more can I say? If there is anyone in this universe who can actually handle everything you may be going through or dealing with or fighting for, it is the Lord our God!  So, why is it that we choose to be anxious?  Why do we choose to be full of mental distress or uneasiness?  Why do we choose to be eager and edgy? And the first response I must offer to answer my own questions is this: because of fear of danger or misfortune!  We focus on our fears of what might or might not happen instead of trusting that by faith, our God will work everything out for our good! When we focus on our faith, then and only then will we have the PEACE OF GOD which transcends all understanding.  And the PEACE OF GOD will also guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 

The protection of God’s peace over our hearts and minds keeps us from bags under our eyes, tires around our waists, ulcers in our systems, headaches, balding, short tempers, and other physical symptoms that manifest because of the internal unrest we are experiencing that may never be expressed to those who think they know us best.  THIS is why we must take everything to the Lord in prayer!  PRAYER is the absolute key to relieving anxiety. 

I have known many prayer warriors throughout my life but one person who has truly modeled for me the priority of prayer is my daddy.  For as long as I can remember, my dad has taught me to pray about EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY!  And to this day, I can honestly say that prayer is one of the sharpest weapons in my spiritual arsenal. 
Yes, I praise and I give and I serve and I preach and I teach but I do not do ANYTHING without praying first! 

I agree and I take very seriously Paul’s advice - in EVERY situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And in prayer, I am impressed by the Holy Spirit to move forward, to be still, to wait, to walk away, to pursue with passion, to proceed with caution, to press on through the obstacles.  And no, I do not always like the answers I am given through prayer, but I pray about that too.  And at the end of the day, I praise God for the blessed assurance I receive through prayer and I pray for a heart of obedience even in those things I do not want to hear from God. 

So, my Friends, CHILL OUT!  I encourage you to begin to consider Paul’s words of wisdom we have focused on today and I pray that you would at least try prayer.  Prayer is simply having a conversation with God – speaking and listening to the Holy One.  I pray that you would intensify your prayer life so that our God can intensify the peace you want to experience in your life.  I pray that you would not be anxious, but that you would live with great anticipation of hearing from God in God’s time.  I pray that you would take EVERY situation to the Lord in prayer, besides, He knows all about it anyway.  And if anyone ever tells you that God does not care about something or someone you want to pray about, remind them of this scripture, let them wrestle in their own stress, and you just press your way to the throne!

God Loves You and I do too!
Delesslyn
Twitter - @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept
 
 
 ***MY FIRST BOOK***
Step Out of the Boat: An Invitation to Walk on Water
Click on Picture of Cover to Purchase TODAY!!!

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I WRITE by Faith and NOT by Sight...

Are you a Know It ALL? John 14:15-18

Posted on March 25, 2012 at 10:37 AM Comments comments (206)

Are you a Know It ALL?

John 14: 15-18
If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate/Comforter to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

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Greetings!
BlogFam, I am so glad that God truly thinks of everything!  As often as we might make our lists and check them twice, dot every “I,” and cross every “T,” well, there is always some variable that we have not accounted for that will happen or threaten our plans from not turning out exactly how we anticipated.  I am a pretty detailed oriented person but I am clear that there are some things that I just might not account for especially regarding people, weather, and unexpected misfortunes.  Thus, when it comes to walking by faith and not by sight, we are compelled to leave the unknown details and the unanticipated factors in the hands of the ONE who is never caught by surprise. 

This is part of what it means to walk by faith, to trust that EVERY detail that we know and do not know is already taken care of by God.  This is also the part of our journey that can be the most frustrating.  We like to know.  We are some nosey people.  Now, I know you might not want to admit it.  Of course, you may not be guilty of wanting to have a handle on everybody’s business which is really none of your business but I can almost promise you that you at least want to know what is going on and what is next in your own life as well as what that will mean for your future.  We all want to know exactly how THIS will work out for our good.  We want to know the good in advance of THIS that will come at the end of all the factors and variables that have taken place. 

The events in our lives can often seem like Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Chemistry, and Physics.  You know, letters and symbols and formulas that add up to something that makes no sense on face value especially if you have no knowledge of the rules or the process to calculate an answer.  Well, in every unknown equation of our lives, there is one factor that must always be considered.  We might not know how all the letters and symbols and formulas will add up but when we walk by faith, we do not have to.  Because of the promise of our Lord in this passage for today, we can rest assured that God really does have everything under control. God knows it ALL!

If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate/Comforter to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Friends, to know Christ is to know the comfort of the Holy Spirit, our advocate, our teacher, our gift inside that will help us to somehow appreciate the letters and symbols and formulas before they are all worked out in the end.  I think that far too often we forget that there is a peace that we can have on the inside that surpasseth all understanding.  A kind of peace that reminds us that God KNOWS about THIS and even when we cannot see how THIS will be for our good in the end, our lives are in good hands and so is THIS – whatever and whoever your THIS may be. 

Jesus says if we love Him, then we are to obey what He has commanded us to do.  And in return, the Heavenly Father will honor His request to send us the Spirit of Truth to help us, to know us, to live with us, to dwell IN us, and to be with us forever.  Friends, the gift of the Holy Spirit is more than a dance and a tongue.  The true gift of the Holy Spirit is that the Holy Spirit lives INSIDE of us and we can find comfort inside because of her presence.

Friends, I know that there are so many various teachings on the role of the Holy Spirit, but today, I just want us to be encouraged that the Holy Spirit is a clue that our God has not forgotten about us.  When Jesus makes this statement, He is preparing to leave His disciples and He wants them to know that while He will be absent from them physically, the Heavenly Father has already made provisions for the Spirit to live inside of them.  They will not be abandoned.  They will not be orphans.  They will not be left alone.  For God in the person of the Holy Spirit will soon live inside of them. God had already met their need before they even knew what it was that they were In need of.  What an AWESOME gift!  What a PRECIOUS gift!  What a COMFORTING gift!

BlogFam, it is not for you to know everything.  That is not how life works.  We are to walk by faith and trust God for every detail – seen and unseen.  And in order to pacify our desire to be in the know, our God has provided us the gift of the Holy Spirit to live inside of us.  This is truly God with us in the most intimate way. 

So, I pray that on today you would thank God for thinking of every detail and for being so gracious so as to grant you the gift of the Holy Spirit to live inside of you.  I pray that on today you would thank God for providing His loving and comforting presence inside of us so that when we are compelled to try to figure out the good in every little detail, the Holy Spirit is there to speak peace and still our anxious hearts. And I pray that we would put all of our trust in the only ONE who knows it ALL and THANK GOD that we don’t have to!


God Loves You and I do too!
Delesslyn
Twitter - @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept
 
 
 ***MY FIRST BOOK***
Step Out of the Boat: An Invitation to Walk on Water
Click on Picture of Cover to Purchase TODAY!!!

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I WRITE by Faith and NOT by Sight...

Turn RIGHT Here! - Psalm 119:132

Posted on March 24, 2012 at 6:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Turn RIGHT Here!
Psalm 119:132
Turn to me and have mercy on me,
   as you always do to those who love your name.

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Greetings!

BlogFam,
Today, I pray that our Lord would turn in YOUR direction.  I pray that on today you would KNOW that it is YOUR time to receive all that our Lord has in store for you in this season.  I pray that on today you would be rewarded for your faithfulness in the Kingdom of God and that our Lord would remember your love and devotion toward Him and others.  I pray that when heaven releases favor on today, showers of blessings would fall in your direction and that you will not have room enough to receive.  BlogFam, on today, I pray that our Lord would turn in YOUR direction.

Today, I pray that you would turn in the Lord’s direction.  I pray that on today you would KNOW that it is YOUR time to do all that the Lord has commanded you to do.  I pray that your highest priority and deepest desire is to love the Lord your God with ALL of your heart, and with all of your soul, and with all of your mind and with all of your strength.  I pray that today you would remain faithful in spite of whatever challenges you may be facing and that your love for God, and yourself and your neighbor would not fail.  I pray that as you are overwhelmed with the blessings of heaven that your generosity with what the Lord has blessed you to have would flow freely.  BlogFam, on today, I pray that you would turn in the Lord’s direction.

Friends, on today, I pray that as the Lord looks toward you and as you look toward our Lord, I pray that your glance would meet and that a deep connection would be forged as never before.  I pray that as your eyes meet, your glance would reveal glory and that your stare would bring satisfaction that only comes from seeing the goodness of the Lord.  I pray that as you look at each other that you would have an assurance of your faith and confidence in each other that all things really will work together for your good.  I pray that should anything come to break your focus, I pray that you would resist the temptation to turn away from the one who can help you to see through those things that come to blind you.  I pray that as your eyes meet in the word of God or in worship or as you witness, that there would be an immediate vision corrective for anyone in your presence who has not seen the beauty of our Lord.

My sistas and brothas, I pray that today the Lord would turn in your direction and I pray that you would turn in the Lord’s direction and that you would KNOW that
this was, is and will forever be the RIGHT turn.
IN THE NAME OF THE ONE WHO SEES ALL AND HELPS US TO SEE…

Turn to me and have mercy on me,
   as you always do to those who love your name.

God Loves You and I do too!
Delesslyn
Twitter - @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept
 
 
 ***MY FIRST BOOK***
Step Out of the Boat: An Invitation to Walk on Water
Click on Picture of Cover to Purchase TODAY!!!

THANK YOU for your support!!!
 

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE on the left to get email updates,SHARE it with three people, COMMENT below, and click here to GIVE a donation of $5.00 or your best gift to keep it going!
 
 
I WRITE by Faith and NOT by Sight...

Masquerade or Ministry: A Reminder to Lift Up Jesus! - John 12:32

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 9:27 AM Comments comments (2)

Masquerade or Ministry:
A Reminder to Lift Up Jesus!

John 12:32
And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.

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Greetings!

BlogFam,

And I, WHEN I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.

Jesus is making a prophetic declaration about his pending death specifically and at the same time, this is a statement regarding the church’s evangelistic responsibility.  At the forefront of all of the programs, projects, and events that the church initiates, should be the exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The question we must ask ourselves as individuals and as a collective is this: How is THIS working to lift up the name of the Lord in the earth?  Will the execution of THIS draw people to the Lord?  Friends, as well intentioned as our efforts might be in our brainstorming and planning, if the ultimate goal is not to lift up the name of Jesus Christ, then we have already missed the mark and come short of giving Him all of the glory in exchange for self-promotion, self-aggrandizement, and self-glorification. 

There is a fine line because there are so many good, even great and unique things we want to do or see happen in our lives and in the body of Christ, but if at the very core, our motivation is not to lift Christ so that by His power men and women, boys and girls are drawn to Him, well we might as well stop calling whatever we are doing ministry.  We are really putting on a masquerade ball with all of the costumes, bells and whistles, sights and sounds of ministry.  And the truth is that many will NEVER even know the difference.  Those that do recognize the difference between the masquerade and ministry are often silent or silenced and are overpowered by the glamour and popularity of what appears to be the right thing to do because it looks good, it works, and people are happy. 

This not only happens in the larger church but in our individual lives as well.  We, as individuals can disguise our motives in the cloak of ministry when the truth is that we are just waiting for our name to be called, waiting for our name to be put n a plaque, waiting for our name to be exalted above other names.  Help us Lord!

BlogFam, we must focus our lives on the raising of the Lord Jesus Christ as the name above all names for when we lift Him up, He will draw others, but He will also draw US to Himself.  And I do not know about you, but I NEED Him to draw me as close to Himself as He can.  It is so easy to get caught up in the lifting up of ourselves.  There exists a fine line between masquerading in the mask of ministry and actually doing true ministry with pure motives and we must be ever so careful to take the time to check ourselves.  At the same time, we must also be cautious against those who would try to impose their well-intentioned, sometimes solicited and unsolicited advice that will cause you to second guess the way(s) in which our God has called for you to exalt the Lord in the earth.  Sistas and brothas, we must stay so focused and keep the main thing the main thing for when we do, He PROMISES that
And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.

At the end of the day, individually and collectively, the question is always – in what ways have you exalted Christ today?  How have you promoted the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the things you have said or done on today?  Did you take advantage of every opportunity you had on today to aggrandize the Kingdom of God?  In what ways did you seize the day to glorify the name of Jesus? 

Friends, I am a witness that people will not understand your focus on the call of God on your life to lift up the name of the Holy One in whatever ways that God has instructed for you to do so.  But I am also a witness that when you focus on lifting up the name of the Lord in the earth, the Lord will draw you closer to Himself and those that will be drawn to your life and ministry will see your good works and will quickly know that it is to God that you give all the glory.

BlogFam, there is no shame in lifting up the name of Jesus in the earth.  Of all the things we can promote, why not promote the Good News that Jesus loves everybody and when we believe, we will inherit eternal life? 

Today, let us recommit our lives to the promotion of Jesus Christ. 

Let us stay so focused that when alternative options are presented to us that would divert our attention away from who or what the Lord has called us to do, we would readily, intentionally, and un-apologetically re-emphasize that our mission is to lift up the name of Christ in THIS way. 

Let us, by faith and with great courage, reject any assignments that are not in line with how the Lord would have us to use our time, talent, treasure, temple to bring Him glory – no matter how “good” they might seem. 

Let us boldly declare the truth about the masquerade balls happening in our churches and call for the pulling off of masks, costumes, silencing the bells and whistles, blocking the sights and sounds that are not executed with the primary intention of lifting up the name of Jesus in the earth. 

Let us heed the Lords drawing of our hearts closer to Him and let us never falter when it comes to giving the Lord our God ALL the honor and ALL the glory – forever and ever…

God Loves You and I do too!
Delesslyn
Twitter - @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept
 
 
 ***MY FIRST BOOK***
Step Out of the Boat: An Invitation to Walk on Water
Click on Picture of Cover to Purchase TODAY!!!

THANK YOU for your support!!!
 

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I WRITE by Faith and NOT by Sight...