life, Spiritual

Soar

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Life has a way of presenting circumstances that if we are not careful can clip our wings thus disempowering us from soaring to great heights. These wing clippers come in the form of losing (job, home, loved ones, cars, etc.), disappointments, discouragement, etc. They often come without warnings like a tsunami or earthquake. These circumstances often leave us feeling broken and like there is no hope or need to carry on. They force us to live in cooped up like chickens. However, we were never designed to live that way. We were formed and fashioned by the Creator to live like eagles that soar.

Eagles were never meant to live in chicken coops. They were made to fly at heights where no other bird can go. They were even designed to fly above the storms. Whenever storm clouds are setting in they would get excited because they use the storm winds to lift themselves higher. Eagles recognized that the storms of life came to assist them in getting to heights that they may not be able to get to themselves without the force of the winds from the storm. They have the storm bring it attitude as they know they can handle any storm as their Creator would not give them more than they can bear.

There are times, however, when these magnificent creatures get weak. In their time of weakness, they do not roll over and die. They instead they go to a higher place. If it gets weak, it goes to a high place on the mountain and plucks out its feathers and knocks its beak off until it is completely bare. He stays there until new feathers are grown.  The higher place that they go to is a representation of the secret place that we need to go in God and remain until we have been completely refreshed and renewed. It represents the intimate and honest relationship we need to have with our Creator.

I say to you don’t hang around with chickens as you are not a chicken regardless of what your circumstances tell you. You were created as an eagle with the ability to soar. Yes, they will talk about you, but that is because they are jealous of the liberty you possess. Afterall, they can’t really fly, and they are confined to a coop. Spread your wings eagles and soar. Rise above the criticisms, back-bitings, backstabbing, brokenness, etc. Be who you were designed to be. Don’t be confined by the coop others and circumstances try to trap you in, break off that beak, pluck out those feathers that are old and weighing you down.  Lay aside every weight that easily beset you. Retreat into God so that He can show you exactly what you need to do. Listen only to God’s voice and be obedient. Remember the storm was not sent to destroy you, it was meant to help you get to new heights. So soar as you were designed to and enjoy the picturesque view.

9/18/17 Dr. R.A.

life, Spiritual

Greatness Incubated

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Our idea of the pathway to greatness is different from God’s way. We often think that this path should be straight and without any form of hindrance. We believe that it is one with only fun and relaxation. It is probably hedged with our favorite flowers and the sun is bright and at the right temperature. On the road, we envision there is no struggle and everything we could possibly desire comes easily at the blink of an eye. To the contrary, however, God’s way is almost polar opposites from ours. For instance, God’s way to being exalted is for us to humble ourselves. His way for us to have much fruit requires a grain to fall into the earth and die.  Seemingly ironic God also uses tools that cause great pain for us to come to the place and become the person that He has called us to be. Unfortunately, rejection is one of those tools in the box that is necessary for us to become great. I say unfortunately because no one likes to know that they are not accepted into their social arena or the social class that they are trying to get in.

Rejection is God’s way of incubating our greatness. This method often causes painful thoughts. And if it occurs frequently it causes us to question our worth. But before we allow the enemy to infiltrate our minds with negative thoughts we should remember that any person who has been great had to experience rejection and sometimes on many accounts. In addition, they have had to live a life of loneliness and experience they varied emotions that come with this process. Nevertheless, their experiences did not devalue them in any way in the eyes of God. People like Moses, David, Joseph, and Jesus were all rejected. God employs these wonderful tools for incubating greatness within us because He cannot afford for us to be socially dependent upon anyone. Life has a way of misguiding us and manipulating us into thinking that people and things are our sources. As such, God makes us into misfits because He has chosen to raise us up and cause the greatness within to be put on display. He also wants the fact that He is our source to be embedded within. It does not matter what our needs are He is more than capable of supplying all of it in abundance.

Sometimes it may seem like our entire life is just chaotic and everything is screwed up, but God is doing it on purpose as He is an intentional God. Therefore, the fact that people are hurting our feelings, talking about us, being jealous and manipulative of us and backbiting, backstabbing and rejecting us is just His methodology of getting us into that great and exalted place. He is building up our resistance. He is taking us to a place where we have been delivered from people, the things they do and say. As such, don’t react to the things they do and say so that you can be used by God in a great way. Let their actions roll off you like water on a duck’s back. Remember that the stone that the builder refused has become the corner stone.

The rejection you are facing is incubating your greatness. In just a little while God will put it on display. So keep fervently seeking and worshipping God.

08/29/2017 Dr.R.A.

Daily Post, life

Unfurl

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As the petals unfurl

Your beauty is revealed

One by one they spread

Depicting order and majesty

Your magnetic force pulls admires

Animals and humans alike

You do not compete with others

Because you know that your splendor is divine and unique

So with humility, you continue to unfurl

Until your grandeur cannot be unnoticed

Bring joy to those who behold the beauty you display in this world

08/18/2017 Dr. R.A.

via Daily Prompt: Unfurl

Daily Post, life, Spiritual

Solitary

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Sometimes life has a way of eroding things that seem to have been connected to us

This result is us feeling like we have been sentenced to solitary confinement.

We feel like we have been transported to a sea-stack surrounded  by water

At the onset, we loose sight of the fact that we have been positioned for greatness because of the isolation that is felt.

But I dare you to take another look.

You have been “isolated for intimacy with the Creator

The water you are surrounded by is His word

Take a dive,

Emerge yourself in His word

Allow Him to develop the greatness inside in this alone time

Cause in the fullness of time the treasure that is on the inside will be revealed for all to see.

08/18/2017 Dr.R.A.

via Daily Prompt: Solitary

life, Self Esteem, Spiritual, success

Misfit

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Have you ever felt like you were a misfit? Have you ever been in a situation where you have even been told that you are not the right fit? Do you stick out like a sore thumb in your social arena or family?  Have you ever felt or been made to feel like you are a square peg trying to fit into a round hole? Well, you are not alone!

Often when we feel or have been made to feel like a misfit due to society’s standard or our associations, we think that we serve no real purpose or even worst are not valuable. Negative thoughts cascade through our minds and the will to break-free of the strongholds that disempower is nowhere in close proximity.  However, I dare to let you know that this is not true. You are very important! You are valuable! You were designed with a purpose in mind. In fact, your creator called and fashioned you to be royalty. You were formed to be holy and peculiar, to stand out and not be conformed to the standards and imaginations of this world. Don’t believe me?? Well, the manufacturers manual is filled with case studies of those who were considered to be misfit heroes.  Not only were they misfits but they were viewed as broken, barren, undone, unworthy, not good for anything, etc. But the beauty in these stories is that it did not end with them remaining in the state that they were viewed. Instead, like a butterfly, they were transformed from their seemingly ugly cocoon stage to a masterpiece of beauty.

Misfit heroes like David, Joseph, Moses, Jabez, Ruth, Rahab, and Jesus stories turned around. David who was deemed only good enough to attend to the sheep, yet in the end, he became the king of Israel. Joseph was hated by his own family, sold into slavery and imprisoned for being lied on. Yet in the end, he became second in command to the leader of Egypt. Moses had to be placed on a river in a basket, separated from his birth parents, and run away to the backside of the desert to save his life. Yet, in the end, his story turned around, and he became the deliverer of the nation of Israel. Jabez was named one who makes sorrowful as his mother gave birth to him in pain. Yet in the end after crying out to God, he was blessed, and his borders were enlarged. Ruth was an Edomite, an outcast, and had lost her husband. Yet in the end, her story shift from being an outcast and she married one of the wealthiest men. Rahab was the ultimate cast away as she was a harlot. She was looked down on because of choices that she had made,  and was often scorned and talked about by those in her hometown. Yet, in the end, her family was saved because of her, and it was through her lineage that the Savior came.   Jesus was born in a manager, he was looked upon as only a carpenter’s son and was questioned as to whether or not anything good come out of Israel. Yet in the end, he became the Savior of the world.

Today you may be faced with the challenge of not fitting in, but do not worry, you were born to stand out. Do not let the pressures of wanting to be a part of something causes you to conform and change who you are. You were born to be the best version of yourself. Go ahead and be the authentic you. Yes, you may be quirky, not educated, highly educated, slim, wonderfully plump, not popular, not wealthy, or whatever you may view as your downfall, but you are you. You are designed to prosper and to be successful. Take the limits off yourself. You story regardless of the trauma that you have endured has not ended. Your best is yet to come. Shine forth and be the authentic you that you have been called to be, that the world is waiting to see.

08/17/2017 Dr. R.A.

Daily Post, life, Spiritual

Grainy

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Grasping our dreams can sometimes feel so grainy

The tighter we hold the faster it escapes our grips

Like sand falling through an hourglass

Leading us to panic, as we are not able to see our way clearly

But if we could relax and just breathe

We will see that things are not falling apart as it seems

Instead, they are falling into place

At the end of one thing, even a great thing

Is the beginning of something greater

And as times rolls on

It will be clearly revealed

That God was really just busy

Creating your masterpiece

08/16/2017 Dr. R.A.

via Daily Prompt: Grainy

life, Spiritual

Wait

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No one likes to wait. Waiting generally gives birth to anxiety and heightens our level of frustration. There is a story of a man who was praying to God for patience and told God to give him the patience needed in a hurry. When I first heard the story I laughed but having gone through various situations in life where I had to wait and wanted the “waiting period” to end in a hurry, I can identify with the man in the story. In fact, there were times when I had to wait and my countenance was  unbecoming. Truth be told I did not possess an excellent spirit in those circumstances.

One would think that it is only waiting for extended period of times that would cause one to act out of the character of Christ. But I beg to differ and state that based on my own experiences that sometimes when I acted out of character I was not waiting for an extended period of time. Sometimes I became agitated because I thought someone was taking too long to order their food. Other times I became irritated because I thought traffic was moving too slowly. I chuckle because although we like to act like we behave godly at all times, it is far from the truth. Unfortunately, sometimes I become irate while driving and have come to understand how people have road rage. I wish I could say that was the height of my bad character trait as it relates to waiting, but regrettably I admit that these traits get carried over in my spiritual relationship.

I realized that sometimes while I waited on the manifestation of the promise of God I became frustrated and often questioned His will and ability to work in my life. There are times that I have failed to understand His sovereignty and perfect timing. I have cried, sulked, and lost hope that He knows what I am going through and has my best interest at heart. Sometimes I have questioned whether or not I will see the expected end that He has promised. In the waiting period I have even asked Him if He remembers that I am on still on the planet, as there seem to be no answer to my prayers. During those periods thoughts often cross my mind questioning whether He will do what He has promised. In those weak moments skepticism and cynicism gushes through my spiritual veins like blood as it is being pumped from my fearful heart. I have however, learned that I am not alone in this waiting game. As a matter of fact there has been many heroes whose stories have been told in the Bible about their waiting process. Therefore, I have been comforted as it pertains to waiting as we will all have to do this at some period in time. However, I still need to perfect by countenance to having an excellent spirit during the waiting period.

There are many examples of how to wait with an excellent spirit in the Bible.

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The story was told in the Bible of Hannah who was barren and was waiting on God to bless her with child. During her period of waiting she was ridiculed, tormented, and mocked continuously by her adversary. In this story however, we never read that Hannah cursed her adversary or acted out of character because of what she endured. Instead, Hannah took her burdens to the Lord in prayer. She lengthened the cords and straightened the stakes of her faith in God. She choose to starve her fear and doubts and allowed her roots of confidence in God and His ability to go down to the water table where her trees of fruitfulness could grow and produce much fruit. In essence, she ensured that through prayer her faith was anchored in God. By doing this Hannah received that which her heart desired the most.

The Bible admonishes us to wait on the Lord and how to wait. Psalm 27:14 “wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord”. How are you waiting on the Lord? What is your attitude while you wait? Are you abandoning your reliance on God as you wait? Are you saying…

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Remember:

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Additionally, when you wait you can be assured that your strength will be renewed like the eagle. Moreover, when you wait on the Lord and possess good courage He will strengthen your heart. Also…

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Prayer: Lord we ask that You help us to wait on You patiently. Continue to woo us until our love is made perfect in You. We know that when our love is perfected that all fears will be cast out of our beings. Teach us how to live in You. Help us to be confident in knowing that we will see Your goodness in our lives while we are living on this earth. Amen.

08/15/2017 Dr. R.A.

Daily Post, life, Spiritual, success

Willy-nilly

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One, two, three,

On your mark

Get set

Go

The race of life has begun

All goals are plainly in sight

Requiring only for us to push ahead

Fanfares on the sidelines are only distractions

To win we must ensure to keep our focus

The temptation to look to the sides is great

But we must not give in if we want our impact to be significant

So with eyes on the prize

Our mode of operation is not willy-nilly but rather methodically

With our game plan in order we accelerate at full-throttle

Knowing that with God’s help we will achieve the goal.

08/15/17 Dr.R.A.

via Daily Prompt: Willy-nilly

Daily Post, life

Carousel

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Set the stage

Lights, camera, action

We hurry on the carousel dream of life

Smiling faces

So many seating choices

All very colorfully appealing

Music soothing

All animals move up and down

Mimicking galloping

Masking the fact that we are going around in circles

When we will there be an awakening

When will eyes open to see that it is just the floor that’s spinning

When will we step off as there is progress to be made

Reality beckons for us to make a step

Step off the carousel dream

Pursue destiny while we are living

8/8/2017 Dr. R.A.

via Daily Prompt: Carousel

life, Spiritual

What are you gravitating towards?

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There are so many things in life that vie for our attention. The gravitational force around these things can be so powerful that if we are not careful, we lose sight of our purpose. The distraction can be so hypnotic that we become lackadaisical, weary, complacent and just wanting to fit into society’s mold. The pull to be normal beckons and we find ourselves effortlessly drawing closer and closer to its magnetic field. Little resistance is made as we wander away from opportunities because they are wrapped in problems/challenges. We encamp at the base of the mount as its steep and rigorous sides exclaim “it’s too difficult to try and climb.” Additionally, the need to take others along the journey dissuade us from continuing the path.  Excuses, excuses fills our backpacks. And whenever asked or pushed to continue the route we simply pull one out.

We allow fear to disarm our shield of faith. While authorizing doubt to keep the sword of the spirit in a shield. The whisper of the enemy persuades us to think that the promised inheritance is sour. Our need for comfort having feasted on the menu of the world causes us to remove the belt of truth that girds our loins. The desire to feel the wind in our hair coax us to remove the helmet of salvation. Shame convince us to cover the breastplate of righteousness with a cloak. The turmoil within and without robbed us of our gospel of peace shoes. Aimlessly and passively we stroll along life’s meandering path.  Not taking into account that we are being robbed of our present and future. Our eyes fixated on the accomplishments and victories of yesterday, yester-months and yesteryears. While our zeal, passion, and flames for that which is ours have been blown out by the winds of life. Procrastination becomes the way of life as our attention has been captivated by the glitter of an easy and simple life. We are completely unaware of the urgency to become that which we have been designed to be, so that we can achieve our heart’s longing desire. Instead, we are just being led by the pull of life’s magnetic field.

As you walk this journey called life what are you gravitating towards? Are you gravitating to the familiar when you have an opportunity to walk in the faith field? Are you leaning towards the base of the mountain when the advantageous circumstance exist for you to be on the top of the mountain? What has compelled you to slacken your pace to progress? What it is that has paralyzed your desire to accomplish? What is pulling you or has pulled you off the path that you have been destined to walk? Have your emotions kept you bound?

Yes, walking by faith is lonely, cold, dark and scary but the benefit that lies ahead cannot be compared to anything. Can you not hear the sound of endless victories beckoning to you? They are echoing your name. Their sound waves are penetrating the gravitational force field around you. You were not meant to abound in this lowly place. Muster up the courage and vigor needed to step out by faith and be the “called,” be the “chosen,” be the “king” that you were designed to be. Don’t let fear paralyze you from achieving what God has designed for you to inherit. There is nothing dim as it pertains to the plans that God has for you. Your future is shining bright with white light and waiting for you to step in. You have been designed to possess your promised inheritance. Break loose from the force field of worldly desires and gravitate to that which God has prepared for you.

Prayer: Father, today we ask that the magnetic field of the desires of the world be shattered from our lives.  May our skewed perspective of being normal be realigned, so that we will recognize how awesome it is to be the peculiar people that You have called us to be. Increase our desire for more of You and more of the things of Your kingdom. Open our eyes so we can clearly see the advantages in following hard after You. Let our emotions be grounded in You. Amen.

6/13/17 Dr.R.A.