Archive for Inspiration

“Words Of Encouragement”

By · August 16, 2015 · Filed in Inspiration · 1 Comment »

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid. These things I have spoken to you, that you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. Therefore be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

When God Brought Israel Out by Corey Darnell

By · September 14, 2011 · Filed in Inspiration · No Comments »

When God brought Israel out of Egypt, He did so with miraculous signs and wonders. His command to Pharaoh was simple “Let my people go that they may worship me.” When Pharaoh refused, God “glorified” Himself in the midst of all the people. Plagues abounded in Egypt, but in Israel there was no plague found. God even went so far as to give Pharaoh an opportunity to choose what would befall Egypt next (you can read all of this in Exodus chaps 4,7-11). Long testimony short, Israel finally was released from Egypt and during their “pilgrimage” in the desert; God gave them amazing promises concerning their “destination,” which was the land of Canaan. God promised that He would bring them to this land and would protect them during their journey. When they finally arrived at Canaan, they did what everyone from that time period until this one believes can’t be done; they overruled God and refused to go in and position themselves to take the land. This refusal provoked God to make their pilgrimage in the desert their destination. Those who were 20 years old and up would call the wilderness home until the day they died (you can read all of this in Numbers chaps 13-14).
Now you may ask “what exactly did Israel do or say that would bring that harsh a judgment from God?” The answer to that can be found in the book of Numbers, chapter 14 verses 1-4. Here Israel says to God that He cannot do what He said He would do, because they (Israel) have seen how “big” the problem was for them and decided that God couldn’t do it. They then said to God, “It were better had we died in Egypt or in the wilderness.” The problem with this was that Israel didn’t just disobey God, they rejected Him. God had given them His word in the form of a covenant and declared before all beings present that He would do it. Now when the opportunity came for Him to make good on His promise, the people He needed to be on His side rejected Him. Based upon God’s reaction to Israel, He does not like rejection. In fact, in chapter 14 and verse 34 of the book of Numbers, God tells Israel that the reason they would remain in the wilderness, is so they will know what it’s like to reject Him. The reason why God is so strong towards Israel has to do with their interaction with Him. Remember all those chapters in the book of Exodus I asked you to look at in the beginning of this article, well God proved Himself over and over again during that time. They had no reason to believe that God couldn’t do what He had promised. So, for 40 years Israel was made to wander in the desert; able to see the land God had promised to give, but not being able to enter in and occupy it.
Many people have read the Bible and have been inspired by it one way or another. They come to understand that by reading it, it’s as if God Himself is speaking to them; which, in fact, He is. When they read in the Bible where God promises to do something for the believer, they have every right to expect God to fulfill His word. I should note that by “Believer,” I am referring to anyone who has come to hear what God has said about His son Jesus and have built their faith on His word. So what happens when God seems to have forgotten His promise? I can only answer that in light of what we have been talking about; Rejection. Not that God rejected the believer, but the believer rejected God. Earlier, I had said that when it came time for God to make good on His promise, the one group He needed on His side rejected Him. This rejection came in the form of Israel looking at what was and “believed” that it was bigger than God. They were still believers, but instead of believing God they decided to believe their situation. This prompted them to say “it would’ve been better had we died in Egypt or the wilderness” and then to make plans to go back. Why did this happen? They did not remember and meditate on what God had said and then did for them in the past. Their faith was not strengthened like it should have been and, consequently, they lost their courage when they came to Canaan. They turned back to what they were “comfortable” with; to what they believed had keep them safe, which was bondage in Egypt.
God has plans for you! I will say that again, “GOD HAS PLANS FOR YOU!” He always did. The problem maybe that when He called you to live for Him, you refused. You may ask “where did I refuse!” When God sent you His word in response to your “cry” and you politely said “I can’t do that.” Just like Israel you may have looked at your situation and felt that what was being told to you was foolishness (by the way you should look at Luke chapter 8 verses 5, 11, and 12). You do not have to be defiant about rejecting God, you just simply have to hear what He is saying and decide that it is not for you. Are you “wandering in the wilderness” right now? Does it seem as if you keep circling the “place” where you know you were destined to be? Able to see it, but not able to enter in! May I suggest to you that your obstacle maybe rejection. One way to tell is the “wandering” in life you are experiencing; constantly changing jobs, homes, decisions, churches, even relationships. How many times must you try and change your physical situation, before you realize that you have a constant spiritual problem.
Here’s the “Good News!” If you know you have rejected the Lord, He is quick to forgive for His mercy and grace are abundant towards all of us. Commit yourself to the Lord and dare to “stay” wherever He has called to you to be. Hear what God is saying to you now! Allow this word to change you spiritually and receive direction on where to go, and stop “wandering” trying to find out where to go. One last note, you may say “OK, but I had to change several times and everything seems to be going pretty good for me. I did what needed to be done to survive.” Understood, but one thing about Israel and their wandering in the wilderness that I didn’t mention was, for the 40 years they were in the wilderness, no one went hungry, no one wore out their shoes, and God still protected them. That’s pretty good for a group of people that rejected God. Here’s my point, why only allow God to maintain what you have as opposed to Him bringing you into His OVERFLOW. MAKE JESUS YOUR LORD TODAY!!

The Audition: by Kyshia Marie Lawrie

By · August 28, 2011 · Filed in Inspiration · No Comments »

Going into the church wide consecration, I was in a peculiar space and I felt desperation for God’s whisper. I felt overwhelmed and drained. There was a sense of urgency in my spirit that I never experienced before (as if it were a matter of spiritual life and death). It felt as if I was on the brink of being who I was versus becoming the woman God called me to be! I had some questions and needed some clear answers. I entered the consecration desperately seeking God’s face. I desired to know him more intimately and wanted to operate in his perfect will for my life.

Before the consecration began, God had already started moving in my life (He blessed me to be apart of a wonderful production called The Hedge and I was also taking the first series of Discipleship classes at church. We were studying the gospel of John which talked about the life of Jesus and who he is). I was aware of the movement but unsure of the direction, which had me facing multiple moments of unease. However, during my quite time, I would hear God whisper BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD! TRUST ME!

To add another element to the fold, I was also a new member at church and was in the midst of seeking a ministry to become a part of. Music always stirred my spirit and after confirmation and reconfirmation from God, I inquired about joining the choir. After what seemed like months of waiting, the date of auditions was finally set but, to my dismay it was the same time of my Uncles memorial. As I sat at the memorial contemplating what I should do, I felt myself getting anxious. I recalled a vision God showed of me in a choir robe. My mind began to race “Was I making the wrong decision to stay or did I need to go after what God had shown me? “ After some thought, frustration and encouraging texts from a co-worker/spiritual sista (who texted Maybe today is the day but not The DAY!), I surrendered and said “God is in control and he knows my heart “and at that moment favor stepped in and an alternative date was going to be set for me. To my surprise, I was informed the person I would audition for was someone I knew. (A person I had encouraging repo ire with. Someone who was the wind beneath my wings, at crucial points in my life. key point to remember).

As I began the process of choosing a song to sing, I agonized over it. I was going through an unexplainable, inward struggle, as I tried to choose a song. I was told the audition process consisted of singing a verse and the chorus of a song, acapella. The song I wanted to sing by JoAnn Rosario I Hear You Say (which really stirred my spirit) was not in this format, so I had to pick another one. Blessed Assurance was an ole time favorite that came to mind but, I had my reservations. The song did not stir my spirit.

During a conversation with two of my Co-workers/Spiritual Sistas (two days before my audition) they asked what song I would be singing and if they could hear me sing. I told them Blessed Assurance as a snap decision and in a type of “performance mode” I sang some of the song for them and went on my marry way. The next day (a day before my audition) another Co-worker/Spiritual Sista asked if I could sing the song for her and I couldn’t do it. I was told to just sing and I couldn’t do it. Just sing! What did that mean? This bothered me! I was fine the day before. What happened? As I spoke to my Co-workers/Spiritual Sistas we began to unravel the turmoil I was in over this audition. I had to admit that the song did not stir my spirit because I did not personalize it, like I did with the JoAnn Rosario song. One of my Co-worker/Spiritual Sistas asked me why I couldn’t personalize the song. Wasn’t I Blessed with Assurance that Jesus was mine? And I had no answer. I felt at a lost. I wondered why this process was so difficult and as I verbalized my need for control. As if on cue, I knocked over a desk organizer and everything went every which a away. Right then and there my Co-workers/Spiritual Sistas reminded me that some things we need not know or understand every step of the journey, because if we did we would probably mess it up. Obviously, there was a deep lesson in all this that I needed to learn.

Later that evening, I went home and had what I called a date with Jesus. During that date, God revealed to me that, the song I chose should be about how I felt toward him. It was my chance to sing him a love letter. “Ah Ha”, so that’s why I felt that unexplainable inward struggle! The songs I wanted to sing was about what Jesus was capable of, the song he wanted me to sing needed to be about the personal relationship we had. As I reflected about various experiences on how God has kept me, I began to connect to the song Blessed Assurance. I knew I wanted a deeper relationship with him and the last thing I wrote in my journal was Here I am Lord!

The next morning (the day of my audition) on my way to work, I felt on top of the world. I had such a wonderful time knowing that I was blessed and assured that Jesus was mine. As I drove, I marveled over a flock of birds flying in V-formation- a sight that always stirs my spirit. In the midst of the flock a single bird flew pass them but my attention remained on the flock.

When I arrived to work my Co-worker/Spiritual Sista I defaulted with to sing Blessed Assurance came in the office and I just belted it out with confidence and we high fived each other because I was ready for my audition later that evening.

After work, I went home to relax and heard God tell me to be at church by 7PM for my 7:30PM audition. But, only in hearing what God said I didn’t arrive until 7:20PM. Still in my disobedience God’s grace prevailed and I heard him say, this is not about you, it’s not about the director, it’s about your relationship with me. As I walked into the sanctuary, I saw the director who introduced me to some of the members. One particular member said you will be ok, this is not American Idol….just sing! Okay, I thought this is the third time I heard that saying. As I walked to go up the lofts center aisle, I had to squeeze by a partition and wondered why we didn’t go up the side aisle that was obstacle free and easier. As I climbed the stairs of the loft, my spirit stirred inside and I knew the choir was where I belonged. When I got to the top of the loft instead of continuing forward, I stopped and looked back. And that’s when it began. Instead of remembering a vision God had showed me that my persistence would take me to new levels, I reverted back to my thoughts of having a fear of heights. I felt that familiar inner struggle between what was and what was to be.

The moment had arrived. As I stood before The Director, I was asked what song I was going to sing. Ahhhhhh, I drew a blank for a moment and said Blessed Assurance because that was what I was familiar with but not where my spirit led me. As I sung, The Director said I can’t believe you are singing afraid for me. My ears heard her voice but my spirit knew it was God speaking to me about how I felt about him. It was as if he said you know me, you seen my favor, haven’t I’ve been the wind beneath your wings and you are still afraid!

That night I lay awake in my bed and had revelation upon revelation from God. As I stared at my flameless candles, I clearly heard God ask me if I was fascinated with lights because I desired to be a light or did I need them to be on, so I could “see”. I then began to look at my plants in my room that are positioned diagonally on opposite corners. As I studied them my eyes began to focus on my TV (which is in the center). I began to look at my dried flowers on the TV. God spoke to me and said “You are surrounded by life but your focal point, your heart is filled with lifeless substance”. Remove the dried up areas and let life in. Because I was tired I said I would throw the flowers out in the morning but my spirit would not let me rest so I got up and removed them immediately.

I began to hear God tell me “There is a blockage in your heart.” I am waiting on you. Let me in, the price was already paid. When I died on the cross, I did it for you. My love for you is deeper than you know. Let me in. Let my blood flow. I am the life line that will see you through. Now it’s your turn to respond to my gracious acts of love I have shown you. Let me in. Let my blood flow through.

As I thought about this song God had given me, I began to think about my discipleship class and how we were encouraged to seek spiritual and personal relevance of the scriptures we studied. I then began to think about a project we had to do. My group was assigned to research the Pharisees. The Pharisees were a strict religious sect of Judaism; they studied the law and knew the scriptures but didn’t know Jesus. They were blind to who he was and did not allow what they knew to enter their hearts. (((((((((Sigh))))))))))! Sounds familiar…. I was hearing (in all its tenses) but not believing or receiving.

My revelations did not stop there. The next morning on my way to work, I marveled at the flock of birds I usually see and I heard God ask me “But what about the other bird?” I questioned him and heard him say “The bird flying out side the flock.” He asked me “Why you don’t marvel over that one?” And before I could give it thought I heard him say “Because you think that bird is lost and alone.” As I continued to drive, my spirit led me down a rode I never been on. I was driving at a steady pace but as I entered the block I saw a house at the far end of the corner and began to slow down. I heard God say “Keep your pace …….keep going…….don’t slow down” but I began to wonder was there a dead end sign that I missed and I started to slow down, although I heard God say keep the pace. As I reached the end of the block, I looked to the right and there was an opening that led me to a familiar street. Right then and there God said to me “I am taking you to familiar places by a different route. Don’t focus on what seems to be obstacles. I know the plans I have for you.”

As I walked across the street, I began to see various birds flying solo and marveled at the confidence they had in flight as they soared and periodically flapped their wings. As I reflected and shared my experiences with my Co-workers/Spiritual Sistas I realized I had to learn to TRUST GOD MORE and that I am not alone. God was waiting for me to take my leap of faith so I could soar. So if you are on the edge of being who you are and who God has called you to be, do as I did and say, HERE I AM LORD (the song I should have sung) and take your leap. And just like me, know that you are within his (THE) HEDGE! All things do work together for them that love the Lord.

P.S.- Just as God confirms and reconfirms what he has shown us, he also has a tendency to place situations in our lives to test our faith. The Saturday after my audition, I found myself experiencing shortness of breath and chest pains. As I lay in the ER going through a series of testing, the doctor stated they were assessing me for a possible blockage/blood clot in my heart. “What!” As the tears flowed down my cheeks, I caught myself and remembered all the quite time I spent with the Lord and how he told me I will never leave nor forsake you and that I know the plans I have for you and how he was transitioning me to new levels and a new life.
At that moment if I never got it before, I got it then and God’s word saturated my heart.
I passed all my tests that was given to me that afternoon! I did have to spend the night for observation-(doctors have to do what the are trained to do but I knew who is in charge.)
I was surrounded by life. A woman in the ER gave me an inspirational piece to read and my roommate was a praying woman and I enjoyed her verbal praise of the Lord throughout the night. We never had a conversation but I did give her a hug and she held my hand she told me to Let Go and Let God!

God, Us, and His Promises by Corey Darnell

By · October 15, 2010 · Filed in Inspiration · 1 Comment »

      When it comes to trusting the promises God has made in His word, we must remember that everything He needed to do was completed in Jesus Christ.  Our part is to take what He has said and position ourselves accordingly.  How do we do this?  Let’s look at an example from our brother Abraham as recorded in Romans 4: 19-21.  It states in the Amplified Bible “he did not weaken in faith when he considered the (utter) impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about one hundred years old, or (when he considered) the barrenness of Sarah’s (deadened) womb.  No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God,  but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God, fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised.”  What were some of the aspects that Abraham had to deal with to receive the promises of God; (1) He was to old to produce seed and (2) Sarah had a condition that prevented her from conceiving. (pleas note that it wasn’t Sarah who decided that she wouldn’t have children,  it was just her body trying to tell her that.) How did Abraham deal with them? well one thing he did was that he grew strong and was empowered by faith.  I am sure you have heard the analogy of lifting weights in relation to developing your faith, about how that the more weight you lift the stronger you become and the more of God’s word you know and understand, the stronger your faith in Him becomes;well that analogy is right on.  In addition to developing his faith he gave God praise and gloryand this he continued to do until he was “fully persuaded” (long suffering/patient).  In order for Abraham to overcome the facts that surrounded him concerning the promise God made, he had to renew himself by: a) renewing his mind, b) renewing his body and c) renewing his mouth.  We will now look as these areas in relation to ourselves and our present situations, using Abraham as a model.

      The renewing of our minds means that we have to challenge our traditions with the word and change what we believe to align with God’s word, if the two are in disagreement.  The word of God says that the traditions of men makes the power of God (His word) of none effect (ineffective on the individuals behalf).  Tradition was something that Abraham had to overcome. I believe that the reason God told Abraham to leave the place of his natural birth, was so that God could deal with him[Abraham] about his traditions.  Now our traditions are formed from every area of life (i.e. generational, educational, cultural, gender, etc.) and we develop what we believe from our experiences.  The problem with that is our experiences are limited to what we are involved in.  Also, before we committed our lives to Christ, we were born in sin and shaped in iniquity.  This means that our tendencies are to do what is right, but without the restraining and enabling power of the Holy Spirit we do that which is forbidden by God.  This is why the word of God says all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.

      The renewing of our bodies means that we must conform our actions to what the word of God says.  In the Bible Paul says he brings his body under subjection (disciplines it) that after preaching he shouldn’t become a castaway of what he has preached.  It is important to know that, though my mind is renewed, I must also renew (discipline) my actions because what I do or don’t do can postpone the manifestation of the promises that God made.  Remember, Jesus said that it is not the “hearers only” that are justified but the “doers” of my word.

      The renewing of our mouths means that we must actively learn what is right to speak and practice speaking that way until it becomes a habit.  Did you ever wonder why God changed Abraham’s name from Abram to Abraham? I believe that it had alot to do with him [Abraham] speaking the right words in relation to God’s promise.  In fact, the name Abram means “high father” and the name Abraham means “father of a multitude.”   So everytime Abraham introduced himself,  he was constantly confessing ” I am Abraham or I am father of a multitude.”  Proverbs 18:21 says that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue and they that love it shall it the fruit of it.”  Basically what this means is that we have been given the power to speak a blessing or a curse over our lives.  Many people do not understand that what we say “creates” the atmosphere we live in.  If we consistently say the wrong things, then we will eventually believe it and, out of habit, adjust our lifestyles to it.  Well, guess what we are doing?  We are applying actions to what we “believe” and the word of God calls this FAITH!  This principle also works when we say and do the right things as well, but we need to understand that we must control our mouths.  James 3:2 (Amplified Bible) says “For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things.  And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his nature.”