Spiritual

Tasted Years

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Often times the trajectory for our life’s goals seems to be offset by unplanned ‘life activities”, such s the dissolution of a marriage, losing a job, having a baby, losing a loved one, developing health issues, etc.  These breaks in our advancement often leave us in a state of contemplation, wondering whether or not we had made the right decision and how can we progress from where we find ourselves.  In the midst of reflecting despair set in as we feel like moving forward is impossible and the vision of progress has been shattered.  If we should muster the courage to take steps towards moving forward we are often faced with roadblocks which further reinforces our insecurities of how irrelevant we are.  Although these vulnerabilities are as thick as the Jericho wall we must never forget that these walls came tumbling down by the power of God.

As a believer, we should never allow ourselves to become utterly despaired as we serve a God that is all-powerful, One who keeps us as the apple of His eyes. No matter how bleak it seems if we continue to trust Him, He will show us just how relevant we are and always will be. The enemy’s plan is always to convince us of how many years have been wasted and how we can never recover all. However, with God, our years will never be wasted only tasted. With each year God allows us to gain valuable experiences,  expertise, and learning. He affords us the opportunity to become filled with wisdom even in our most trying and painful circumstances.  These experiences will certify us for our specific calling in the fulness of time and make us extremely relevant.  If you don’t believe me ask David, Moses, and Joseph. David spent most of his years out in the field attending to sheep which seemed irrelevant, but when the time was right he was appointed as king over a nation. Moses had to run away from all that he knew, he lost it all and was confined to the backside of the desert, but in the fullness of time, he was called to be the freedom leader of a nation.  Joseph, he too lost it all family, friends, etc,  and was sent to a strange land to perform strange task. He was also, thrown in prison for doing the right thing, but in the fullness of time, he was promoted to being second in command over a nation.  All of them thought that their life was going to be irrelevant but God proved that none of their experiences was ever going to be wasted only tasted.

The scripture says taste and see that the Lord is good. He is the One that will work all things together for our good as long as we love Him. Your years with God will never be wasted only tasted!

5/18/2018 dr. R. A.

Spiritual, success

Get out of the Boat

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Often as we journey from one side of the shore to the next we are faced with unexpected storms which threaten to destroy both the vessel in which we travel and our lives. This result in a heightening of our fears as everything around echoes doom and gloom. The fact that we are several miles from shore robs us of the opportunity to turn around. Our vision is impaired by the darkness of the night.  And we find ourselves struggling to stand as we battle the rough sea and headwind.  Notwithstanding, forging ahead is the only thing that makes sense, therefore, with a death grip, we grasp to the smither of hope to make it safely on the other side. In these moments we feel alone and the thought of being rescued is definitely aloof.

The disciples Matthew 14 felt the same way. They were instructed by Jesus to travel to the other side and on their journey encountered a gruesome storm in their night season. With their lives at risk, they clung to the boat hoping to make it to the other side; their minds and hearts are stuck in panic mode. In the midst of all that was happening, the saw Jesus coming towards them walking on water. Captivated with fear they screamed that it was a ghost. However, Jesus spoke to them encouraging them to not be afraid.  At that moment, one of His disciples did the unexpected. He asked to step out of the boat unto the water. With permission granted he stepped out.

The boat at that time represented the only thing that was safe. Nevertheless, Peter was willing to abandon safety to walk on water with Jesus. Are you willing to ditch your place of comfort so that you can defy even the laws of nature? You see nothing miraculously impossible will happen in the boat. To experience the impossible you must be willing to step out.  It is time to get out of the boat and begin to walk on water. It is time to experience results from everything that you and others have labeled impossible. It is time to experience the change that you have been hoping for. Success is waiting for you to step out. GET OUT OF THE BOAT!

Dr. R.A. 5/8/18

Spiritual

Spiritually Malnourished

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In an era where being health conscious is the order of the day the spiritual man is often neglected. The focal point of being healthy is on the physical man, while the theocentric part of man is left famished. Keen attention is directed to what should be consumed and its quantity. While this is good and important, I dare to say that we have missed the mark as it is not what enters a man that defiles him but what comes out. As such much focus should be given to the spiritual man.

The Bible characterizes humans as being able to display two types of reactions, namely the characteristics of the fruit of the spirit or the manifestation of the works of the flesh. Whichever is fed the more will be the strongest and more dominant in an individual. Although we all like to wear a mask and act like we are the epitome of perfection truth be told we are struggling have the correct characteristics on display at all times. The constant war within our members often leaves us critically wounded.  Unfortunately, our embedded pride will not allow us to admit or seek help to bind up the deep lacerations.

These spiritual injuries, however, are a result of us nibbling at the feast spread set before us by the master. We pick at the lettuce of love, gnaw at the jackfruit of joy, snack on the papaya of peace and the pineapple of patience. Also, we pinch on the kale of kindness and nip on the guava of goodness and the grape of gentleness.  Additionally, we nibble on the fig of faithfulness and masticate on the spinach of self-control. Even worst, often we turn a blind eye to the invitation to come and dine at the master’s table which leaves our soul famished and results in us being spiritually malnourished. Instead, we sadly turn to the landfill of sin and rummage for the alcohol of adultery, fornication, uncleanness, revellings, and lasciviousness. Seek for the whopper of witchcraft, idolatry, emulations, variance, and seditions.  Hunt for soda of strife, hatred, heresies, and wrath. Scour for the M&M’s of murder, drunkenness, envyings and such like. All of which leaves us even more depraved and spiritually faint.

 

Today, let us examine ourselves, remove the masks and choose to consistently dine at the Master’s table. Let us use our ability of craving to yearn for more of Him and His ways. Decided to redirect our misguided needs to the One who is more than capable of satiating every desire. Afterall, this path does provide both physical and spiritual benefits.

2/3/2018 Dr. R.A.

Spiritual

Unrestrained Pleasure

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Pleasure is good. However, when pleasure is unrestrained, then it becomes a problem. For example, if eating chocolate gives pleasure then it can be viewed as a good thing, but when too much is consumed, then it becomes a problem for the body. Whenever we indulge in anything, it means that we are allowing that thing to take control of us. Additionally, it means that we are relying on the satisfaction of that thing more than we are relying on God.

We have all been there where we believed that we had to have what we desired. This often leaves us with an enormous price to pay. For example, the cost of losing weight, paying off debt, guilt, etc.

The Bible tells of a man called David who was anointed king of Israel. One day while his men were at war he remained home. He was on his balcony when he saw a beautiful lady bathing. He decided to himself that he had to have her although he knew she was someone else’s wife. His unrestrained pleasure led to an even graver issue as he had to indirectly commit murder in an effort to cover up his wrong.  David, however, did not remain in this state. When confronted by the prophet Nathan he repented for giving in to unrestrained pleasure.

Like David, we too must be willing to turn from giving into unrestrained pleasure. We should purpose in ourselves to surrender all to God. I mean really surrender to the point where we make radical changes for the sake of our spiritual health. Every pleasurable action that we give in to may not be a sin, however, some may just be the weight that is keeping us anchored in the flesh instead of soaring in the spirit.

Today, let us examine ourselves to see what unrestricted pleasure we are indulging in and make significant steps to change. It is time to recalibrate your soul.

2/1/2018 Dr. R.A.

Daily Post, Spiritual

Strategy

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Accomplishing your goal can be done by having a strategy

Steps to be taken must be keenly outlined in a strategic plan

One by one the wheels must turn

While adhering to time or date set for the next step

However, there is one key step you must never forget

That is to put God first at the onset of each new task

As you continue you will see

The dream unfolds and realize you have in your hand the victor’s cup

All this was done because of the clearly outlined strategy which incorporated the One who always gives us the victory

1/21/2018 Dr.R.A

via Daily Prompt: Strategy

life, Spiritual

Dream Stealers

Have you ever noticed that when you have a goal in mind to accomplish that the actual pathway is paved with obstacles? With each step, you are bombarded with one hurdle after the other. These barriers often seem insurmountable.  If you focus on the challenges, however, you will become daunted and never accomplish the goal. This will result in your dreams being stolen.

Dream stealers come in various innumerable shapes and forms. They are usually disguised as “well-wishers” (family, friends, relatives, society, etc.). The Bible outlined a story of a man named Joseph who had a dream that his family would one day bow down to him. This resulted in his brothers hating him even the more. His brothers hated him to the point that they wanted him dead. One day as he was on his way to see them the saw him afar off and decided that they would kill him when he got closer and see what would become of his dreams. Looking at this story, you may be able to relate as you may have had several experiences of others trying to kill your dream. Nevertheless, dream stealers are not always external. In fact, I would dare to say that the biggest and most potent dream stealers are internal.

It may seem quite alarming, however, that dream stealers can be disguised as your very self. What? You might be saying to yourself that “I am the dreamer how can I be the dream stealer?” Well, to answer your question is very simple. You can be your own dream stealer as you allow the negative thoughts in your mind to dissuade you from taking the first step or to prevent you from continuing along the road to the destination in mind. These thoughts are usually anchored in the soil of guilt and fear and are consistently watered by insecurities.  Hear this may cause you to feel very hopeless. However, all is not lost. I dare to even declare that you will be victorious and your dream of greatness will manifest. How do I know this? Well, because you are still alive and there is still hope while you live.

So what do you need to do? This answer is quite simple.

  1. Simply get up. Get up from where you are. Make a move. Take a step towards that which you want to accomplish.
  2. Put blinders on so that you can focus on the dream and not the peripheral view.
  3. With each step change your mindset from a victim to a victor.

Most importantly remember you were born to win. The victory is already yours as the battle has already been won by the Champion of champions.

1/21/2018 Dr.R.A.

life, Spiritual

It is not what it seems

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Things are not always what they seem. Our perceptions of things are not always are accurate as we are led to believe. Sometimes our situation seems like we have to go through great waters and great troubles all by ourselves. At other times it seems like we are going through great fire and we are being utterly consumed by the vehement flames. However, I’m here to say don’t focus on what it seems like. Instead, focus on the one who can turn things around or even keep you protected in the midst of it all.

In Isaiah 43 the Bible lets us know that the Lord promised that those who abide in him will never be left alone or be consumed with that which was designed to kill. It admonished us to take courage knowing that when we go through the great waters and troubles they will not overflow us, we will not sink, we will not drown, our situation will not get the best of us. The flaming situations that we encounter occasionally will not consume us, we will not be burned, as a matter of fact, we will not even smell like smoke.  Now it may seem impossible to be in the midst of fire and not be burned or worst not smell like smoke, but the God that we serve specializes in things that are impossible.

It doesn’t matter what the enemy is trying. Yes, the enemy may come in like a flood but the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard. God will be your defense in the in the midst of it all. Why would He do it? Well simply because He is your Savior. He is God who is your father and your defense. He also promised that He would never leave us or forsake us. He will never leave because the situation is really bad.  He will never forsake even when we are in the wrong. So no matter the situation resist the urge to panic and fight in your flesh. Instead, rest on God and watch him handle your situation. God can handle it better than Olivia Pope. … trust God and consider your case handled! !!!

1/16/2018 Dr. R.A.

Daily Post, Spiritual

Carve

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Carve me out until I reflect the design You have in mind

You are the Potter, and I am the clay

So I say no to my will and yes to Your way

I admit that removing chunks of my lump will hurt

All the straightening, curving, bending, gouging and flattening

Will alter my shape significantly

The quick deep cuts may produce a sharp squeal

But I am assured that my beauty, in the end, will compensate

So carve me

Put me on Your sculpting board and carve me

Carve me until a reflection of You is all I see in me

1/11/2018 Dr.R.A.

via Daily Prompt: Carve

life, Spiritual

What are you leaving room for?

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We all have a tendency to leave room for stuff. For instance, if we are out dining then we ensure that we do not eat too much appetizer or entree. Instead, we eat in moderation so that we leave room for dessert. Additionally, whenever we are getting an apartment or house we also get an extra room in the event we start a family or have a guest. However, leaving room goes beyond these things. Have you ever considered that you are leaving room whenever a conversation takes place between you are others? Yes, you are.

Whenever we communicate how we end our conversation can create space for either good things to flow or bad things to brew. This occurs especially when we are angry, and we speak in anger. It is said that anger is the condition in which the tongue works faster than the mind. This only means that words flow out without calculating the damage of impact.  As such, we need to be cautious of the words that spew from our mouth especially when angry.

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Being anger seems like a natural occurrence when we believe that we have been wronged. As a matter of fact, we often justify our right to be angry. And I might even agree as I have been angry more than a few times myself. However, there is a way that specified as it pertains to dealing with anger. The Bible admonishes us in Ephesians 4 that we should be angry, but not sin. Additionally, it implores us to ensure that the cause of our anger is addressed before the sun goes down. In doing so, we will protect ourselves from the tsunami of catastrophic events that can occur when the enemy walks into the room that we have left available.

Also, to be counted among the wise then we should keep our anger under control.

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As we progress throughout this year, let us monitor our words and our emotions. Let us ensure that we do not leave room for the adversary.

1/11/2018 Dr. R.A.

life, Spiritual

Get your sense back

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Senses play a significant role in our everyday life. Without them, we would be utterly unaware of our surrounding environment. We would not be able to behold the beauty in the seasons of life. Neither would we be able to distinguish the exquisitely exotic flavors of life. We would not be able to perceive the vibrating percussion or the flattering rhythmically sound of music. Life would be extraordinarily uneventful and outright dull.

Unfortunately, however, we take these gifts of senses for granted and allow ourselves to be deceived into thinking that they are not essential and serve no real purpose. The glitter and the glamour of what is displayed as “good life” trick us into giving up or walking away from that which profits the most. Leaving us cold and empty as we have been robbed of what life’s splendor genuinely consist.

A story was told in the book of Luke chapter 15 about a father who had two sons. He was a wise man who ensured that he had an inheritance for his children. When the younger came of age, he decided that what the father had to offer in his household was mundane and there was no way he could spend the rest of his life that way. As such, he asked for his portion of the inheritance that he would receive so that he could go out and “live life” the way it was meant to be lived. He allowed himself to be deceived while passing through vanity fair street. Unknowingly to him, all that glitters was not gold. As he prolonged on the street, he lost all he had and everything he hoped to achieve and found himself lacking and in need. He, however, came to his senses as he was partaking of that which only pigs eat. He remembered that things were actually better in his father’s house and even his father’s servant had a better life than he did currently. Therefore, he arose and returned to his father’s house.

Sometimes like the younger son, we allow the enemy of our soul to trick is into thinking there is more to be done and better to be found outside of the father’s house. Upon leaving the house for the “better,” we realize experientially that everything that was shown to us was just a mirage. As we progress throughout this year, it is imperative that we do not allow ourselves to be fooled by the enemy’s tricks as they are always the same (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life). Instead, we put on blinders on your senses. Keep our eyes fixed on the precepts and statutes of the word of God as we continue to trod. However, if you have been enticed by the mirage come to your senses and return to the father’s house where his arms are outstretched. You don’t have to live without. Remember that even the hired servants in the father’s house have food to spare. There is abundance in the father’s house so don’t live in lack. GET YOUR SENSES BACK!!

01/09/2018 Dr. R.A.