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.

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.

Spiritual

What’s in Your Cup

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If we should be asked the question “what is in your cup?” our minds would automatically gravitate to contents that usually occupy a cup, such as, water, coffee, alcohol, etc. However, the question is being posed for us to take a deeper introspection of our lives.

A story was told of a man carrying a cup of coffee. As he walked someone, accidentally collided with him and the coffee was spilled making a colossal mess. When asked why he spilled his coffee his initial reaction was to blame the person who bumped into him saying that it was his fault that his coffee was spilled. However, truth be told if he carefully analyzed the question he would realize that the coffee was spilled because coffee was in his cup. Whatever the contents of his cup was that is what would have spilled with any collision. It went on to explain that the collision that took place is just like life and whenever “life happens” then we will be shaken. The important thing, however, is not to focus on the shake but to pay keen attention to what spills out because only the contents of the cup can be spilled from the impact of a collision.

Starting today and continuing daily, I want us to not think of literal cups but to think of ourselves as cups and ask ourselves the question what is in my cup.  Whenever we experience a collision what intrinsically spills out of us? Under extreme pressure does the characteristics of the fruit of the spirit spills out of us naturally or does the manifestation of the works of the flesh become more intrinsic? Does our fundamental reaction consist of harsh (curse) words, anger, bitterness, hatred, malice, envy, unforgiveness, etc.?

In Matthew 23 Jesus made reference to the Scribes and Pharisees as only paying attention to the outside of the cup, ensuring that the outside is clean and presentable, while the inside of the cup is filthy. Have we become a people who are more concerned with our outward appearance and ignoring the contents that are within us and flows out of us without a second thought? When we are overwhelmed by the vicissitudes of life wouldn’t it be more satisfying and pleasing if love, gratefulness, joy, meekness, temperance, humility, and peace spilled out of us?

We all have choices and life is filled with them with every scenario that we are faced with. What will you choose? What fruits will you decide to bear? What contents will you allow to spill out of you when encountering the impact of a collision?

In my Captain Planet voice “THE CHOICE IS YOURS!!!”

May your year be filled with prosperity and good success, and you choose to display Godlike characteristics daily.

01/01/2018 Dr. R.A.

Spiritual

Manifest

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Manifest speaks to readily perceiving as it pertains to the sense of sight. Often in our life circumstances and situation causes our view to become clouded.  Our authentic self is surrounded by clouds of obscurity, brought on by broken dreams, shattered hearts, fragmented hopes, and splintered emotions. This results in us groping around in darkness and accepting labels that have been imposed on us by the perceptions of others and even ourselves. Our true identity has been robbed by life’s daunting experiences. Flashes of unpleasant memories plague our minds. As such, we live below our privileges and often suffocate by the weight of the world, and momentarily gasp for air that sustains us while we try to survive in an environment that we were not designed to live in. However, God has ordained for us to live. He came and died that we may have abundant life. 

When He died, He gave us the power to become sons of God.  Some treasures were placed on the inside of us waiting to be discovered and unveiled in the world. The opportunity to walk in freedom, accepting the gift of abundant life was placed at our feet.  All that is required is for us to break free from the labor of sin that only rewards with the wages of death. 

Regardless of what has been said and what your present or past has been, you have been chosen to be set free. It is high time to become that which you were designed to be. You are stronger and more equipped than you think. Turn your eyes on the Creator and place your ears close to His lips so that He can reinforce your true identity. Creation has held its breath waiting for you to manifest.

11/4/2017 Dr. R.A.

Spiritual

Purifying Trials

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Sometimes it seems like the trials you are going through is going to destroy you. They come at you from various angles swiftly. The sudden blows sucker punches the air from your lungs, leaving you curled up in a ball squirming and unable to breathe.Every time the impact of each blows lessens, and you manage to stagger to your feet, without notice you find yourself once again face down to the ground. This leaves you not wanting to muster up the courage to stand up again to fight.

Sometimes you even question in your mind whether or not it has a purpose. But I’m here to remind you that nothing in your life happens haphazardly.  Every step and every situation has been purposefully designed. The trials you face are just to purify, cleanse and refine you. God’s objective is to make you clean and shiny. He is ensuring that you become more and more like Him. Guaranteeing that you are without spot, blemish or wrinkles. Yes, you were created in His image, but His nature is being developed in you. He does not want you to be just a form without power. As such, the pressure comes so that the oil can flow. So that when you see yourself and others see you they can’t help but give Him glory. Be encouraged your trials are a part of the process of you being a reflection of God! !!!

9/30/17 Dr.R.A.

Daily Post, Spiritual

Coincidence

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Making my way through the fogs of life.

Acting like I had everything mapped out right.

But as I trodded along I stumbled upon You.

Was it a coincidence?

Absolutely not!

All the while You orchestrated my every step.

Until I came to the place where we met.

I must confess I have never been the same,

As You turned all my pain into gain.

You traded my sorrow for joy

Weakness for strength

I gave You my pieces, and You gave peace.

You provided refreshing and restoration as the need arise.

Coincidence?

I say not.

09/27/2017 Dr.R.A.

via Daily Prompt: Coincidence