life, Spiritual

Fan into Flame

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Given the advancement in technology, it is easy to start a fire. However, there are key components that are required to keep that fire blazing, namely oxygen, fuel, and heat. If any of these elements are missing, then it will have an enormous impact on the intensity and even the existence of the flames.  Sometimes at the beginning stage of a fire, the flames are most vehement, but as time rolls on, it begins to dwindle until it eventually goes out.

The same scenario can be used to describe our passion for God and the things of the kingdom. As we continue along the pilgrim’s pathway, the flame that was once filled with zeal and passion begins to lose its intensity. This can be a result of many factors such as disappointments, sickness, broken heart, fear, etc. However, regardless of the circumstances that cause us to lose fervor, whenever it occurs we find ourselves in a perilous zone.

The Apostle Paul was aware that this could take place as such he admonished Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God.” What was the gift that God had given to Timothy? Was it fear? Was it timidity? Was it defeat? Was it hatred? Was it lack of self-control? No!!! Paul continued to “for God has not given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” This simple means that if we find ourselves at any point being fearful, envious, malicious, hating, not having self-discipline, etc., then the spirit we are operating in is not of God. We were never made to live in fear, cowering in shame and defeat, overwhelmed by depression or oppression and trembling because of inadequacies. Instead, we were created to live in victory, consistently displaying His power, love and wise discretion.  Therefore, we should fan the flames by thinking about things that are praiseworthy, lovely, admirable, right, pure, true, noble, honest and of good report. Additionally, read and meditate on the word of God, and pray about everything.

Has your passion gone dim? Are you fearful of things? Do you have malice in your heart? This is a sign for you to draw closer to God and fan the flames of His gift.

Prayer: Lord, please help us to be confident in Your Word so that we can be confident and victorious in every aspect of our lives. Realign our thoughts so that we can focus on the things that promote growth within us and make us better individuals. Empower us to draw closer to you so that our feet can be planted on higher ground. Wherever our flame of Your gift has gone out, I pray that You will rekindle.  Show us the areas that have gone dim so that we can fan them into flames. Amen.

4/5/17 Dr.R.A.

 

Spiritual

Stand Firm

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It is human nature to build things as building represents growth and progress. However, when building there is a process that has to be adhered to in order for that which we are constructing to remain through the test of time. The most important step in the process I believe is laying a foundation. Laying a foundation requires much effort as one will need to get beyond the surface level and encounter dirt and grime which not everyone wants to confront. This process is crucial especially in building relationships. Relationships will not last unless its roots are anchored beneath the surface. Many of us like starting relationships but are not will to put in the effort that is required to maintain those relationships. Sadly, this type of behavior is transferred even in our relationship with God.

In the Luke 6, the question was posed as to why do we keep calling Lord, Lord when we do not do what the Lord instructs.  It proceeded to relate a parable of building a house one which had a foundation and done that did not. The one without foundation easily collapsed as the tides of life crashed upon it and was laid in ruins. The one which stood firm, however, had to follow a series of steps. The first step was to come – COME to God not leaving any part of ourselves behind. Bring ALL of our fears, dreams, hopes, insecurities, emotions, needs, etc., and lay them at His feet. Allow Him to examine all of the data presented and add, subtract, divide and multiply accordingly, like the master mathematician.  Secondly, we are to LISTEN to His teachings – give ear to the instructions that are being given as it will lead you into clear paths. Paths that will cause you souls to be refreshed and your life to flourish. Listen to His teachings as His words are like the honeycomb – sweet to the soul and health to the bones. Thirdly, is to follow the teachings – FOLLOW His words as they are a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. His words will empower you to live above sin and to live a healthy and prosperous life. Follow His teachings even in adversity as He will come to your defense and supply all of your needs.

To COME, LISTEN, and FOLLOW  will enable you to STAND FIRM when the floodwaters rise and crash against your house.

 

1/3/17 Dr.R.A

love, Self Esteem, Spiritual

Love Cost

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We are often of the persuasion that love does not cost anything. Because of this misconception we settle for less than what we deserve and truly sabotage our own dream and desires.

This settling causes us to live in a sphere less than our true potential. We allow ourselves to become options in the life of others. Their actions further cause us to devalue ourselves as ostensibly we have become fixtures that can be removed and put in place at their own convenience.  We then become stuck at the revolving door not seemingly able to enter another phase or exit the current scene.

We sacrifice our heart, time and the essence of our being for broken individuals because we believe that we have invested too much to walk away empty.  We try to cover our wounds with band-aids and gauzes, but the laceration is so deep that blood runs profusely, further depleting our lives. However, if we could get in a clandestine area for a minute and unmask we would realize that everything around us screams vehemently that there is a price to pay for dreams and desires.

Nature teaches us that in order for a seed to become anything then it has to fall into the earth and pay the price of death. For a baby to be born then conception has to take place, and the mother has to pay the price of housing that seed for a period of nine months. It is the same with obtaining an education, becoming employed and just about any facet of life. There is a price to pay.

God taught us that love costs… and the price is heavy… love costs life. As such, if we are to accept this love then we, in turn, have to pay the price. David stated emphatically “I will not offer God that which costs me nothing.” Grace isn’t cheap!!!  So then, why would we allow someone to get our love for free? Why do we not ensure that they pay the price, pay the price of responsibility and integrity? Why do we not let them know what our standards are and what it takes for them to be a part of our lives?  Are we too fearful of being alone that we settle for half of a man, and broken relationships, hoping against all hope that we will be rewarded eventually for our patience or investment?  Are we so desperate to receive a profit or to break even that we subject ourselves to being used and abused?

Look in the mirror … after all your sacrifice, do you like what you see?  Is it not the time to pay the price to be free?  Is it not the two that shall become one? Then why continue to be deceived about two halves making a whole?  Open your eyes…be true to yourself. You are more valuable than your experience, more than the things that you have been labeled. Stop devaluing yourself and putting yourself on the discount rack. Your shelf life is not expiring so don’t put yourself on markdown.  You are worth more… a lot more!!! YOU ARE WORTH MORE!!!! Pay the price…fall in love with you. Dare to love what you don’t like about yourself.  The persons that deserve to be a part of your life will be more than willing to take note of you, probe for your value and then pay the full cost.  Remember YOU ARE WORTH MORE…A LOT MORE!!!! 9/17/14