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Monday, January 19, 2015

Reality Check

Life has its advantages and disadvantages… for some reason the route is always the hard way to learn and to be aware of. For the past few months I have come across different people… achievers, believers… and even those who were goal setters. Then there are those who chose the other route in
life that I tend to question. As I sit at the bus stop and await for my six year old niece bus to arrive… the location is in a rural area where the crime rate is high and the population is majority of the African- American race.

 Although as a child, I was raised in the same type of environment, around the same crowd, living off of the same governmental or public assistance. I question on why I wasn’t in the same position as those that I have seen walking, riding the transportation bus… struggling and striving to make ends meet. Some whose faces I remember as a child. As I sit and wait, I ponder the difference between those who I have come across and question why my life is so different from theirs.

Not only days ago, in the same neighborhood that my niece lives occurred shooting by a seventeen year old. Leaving the result with one dead, three wounded… one of the three being a one year old. As a child of course we are blinded by the reality of life. For my niece, I tend to question her future, her upbringing… her surroundings. Although, life can get in the way of itself there is always a positive tunnel in the end it may never be that way for some. Life itself can get in the way of reality… of truth… of indifference.  I am never the one too quick to judge those who are living in the projects; because I myself was one of those children getting off of the bus and such a setting as the projects that now my niece is being raised in.
    When the bus arrives, I sit there, watch each child run along, going their separate ways laughing, giggling, and playing. I realize they are just innocent. Not understanding the ways of the world. Like me, when I was younger, being a child was all that mattered; not bills, not having good or bad credit… just the life of living with the joy of fulfillment. Not knowing where the road will lead for each individual, I pray that they make it out of their environment; I pray that they are believers and achievers. Unlike the seventeen year old who will be facing a life in prison at such a very young age.

    I question my ability to make it out of the hell hole that I once was raised to be a part of, although as a child I didn’t know too much of nothing about drugs, gangs and any of the killings that occurred around me like I do now with my adult vision and mind… The world is much different from the view of a child. As for my niece, I wonder is it right for me to not only want to protect her mind from the world outside of what she know. It’s a fearful thing to know… the knowledge is there… the lifestyle is different and yes the struggle is real. Sometimes in life, we all need a reality check on where we once started to where we are now. Life isn’t so great for everyone we must learn to take our blessing and opportunities as they come. Our off springs indulge from what they do and see…  choose to live wisely for the sake of their future.


Fret. A powerful four letter word. We are commissioned, by God, to “Fret not because of…” To be burned or kindled with anger. How often have you said, “It just burns me up”? Maybe it wasn’t you. Perhaps it was someone you have conversed with – a family member, a friend or co-worker.
Inez Reilly
Fret. To feel or express worry, annoyance, or discontent. This definition may bring it closer to home. You watch someone do some shady business and somehow they get ‘rewarded’ in spite of the means that were used to get to the conclusion. It’s annoying. It chafes you. It just doesn’t sit right, in your spirit. We have tried to gain solace in the scripture, “Fret not thyself because of evil doers.” Do we take it there? Do we call them ‘evil doers’?
Some of us, I dare not say all or even most, choose to live our lives out doing things the way God ordains. We seek the Lord, listen for His voice, and follow His instructions to the letter. We do not allow ourselves any input nor do we assign a conclusion. We just trust God with the outcome of our life’s events and find peace in knowing that He directs our steps. We are keeping our eyes on the prize and not on our neighbor, those we work and/or go to school with or that family member that seems to find success at every turn. *Crickets! Crickets!*
I want to take our focus of off the passage that comes so readily to our mind and take a look at this … Fret. To compete. Pause and carefully think about it. Let it wash over you. Mull it around. Swish it around in your mouth like a fine wine (or grape juice). Fretting – being overly concerned with the way someone else is doing things and their outcome can lead to competition. “If Bob or Fran are doing it that way, and it seems to be working for them, maybe I should do it that way, as well.” Let us not forget that we are going to ‘tag’ God in on our plan (which is really Bob’s and Fran’s plan) looking for His blessing and provision.

The Israelites, when they were in the wilderness, began to fret about Egypt and the Egyptians. Think about it. They began to reminisce about the food they enjoyed (in slavery, all the while complaining about it). They began to think the ways of the Egyptians got things done, so they pooled their God-given booty together to create an idol. The Egyptians, evil-doers, were idol worshippers and things got done in Egypt. The Israelites took fretting all the way. And at times, so do we. Admit it. How many times have you changed the way you handle things based on what you have seen others do? I am not talking about successful God-fearing mentors, but those who seem to be getting it done. The movers and the shakers.
Fret. A worn or eroded place; to cause corrosion; to make a way by gnawing. Eventually, as we keep our eyes on what is happening outside of our true sphere of influence (in someone else’s lane), it eats away at our faith and our confidence that God’s plan and process for our lives will not produce the outcome that we are looking for. We become worn down in our search for our path and our way that has been ordained by Him. The thoughts that others are setting goals and achieving them in a timeframe that has been set by God knows who, vexes our spirit and we become restless – just like the Israelites. We start creating our own golden calf and doing things we see others doing and appearing successful. It creates friction within our relationship with God and we turn to things – regimens, schemes, processes and plans – that have not been written into our story.
God says He has thoughts and plans that are specific to each one of us. We just need to learn how to be yielded and still enough to hear what He has to say. He says to be still and know that He is God – we are not the gods of our own lives. He will direct our footsteps for our path. He will give us plans and insight into what we should do to prepare for our destiny.

Arose From The Thorns

Sometimes in life we become discouraged by the things that happen to us and we forget that all things have a purpose.  Every trial we experience is a learning tool.  We may not always receive
John Keenan - Columnist
the lesson at the time that it is given to us, but believe me, it is there waiting for us to find and acknowledge it.  If you separate a rose from its thorns, you take away its ability to protect itself from the things in life that will come along and harm its delicate petals. 

            At some point, we must develop a tough exterior in order protect the most delicate parts of ourselves.  We have to become less offended and hurt by the things that people do to or say about us.  We must find ways to pray, shake it off and continue to move forward.  Some things will surely scar you, but it is completely us to us on whether or not we will allow those things or people to cripple and immobilize us.
   Let every moment you experience enlighten you, and not dampen or darken your spirit because essentially we are sponges that will soak in any and everything that we are subjected to.  The free will that God gave us is ultimately our Achilles heel.  Why?  Because we have the power of choice without the wisdom to know how to use it.  Of course, this does not apply to everyone but just being honest, there are a lot of us that believe everything we hear, see and are told about ourselves.  We must never forget whose we are.  It is in that identity that we find who we are. 

That revelation helps create a happy internal atmosphere in our lives.  It helps us to develop those thorns we need to protect our delicacies.      
         When someone goes into attack mode, it is usually done through misunderstanding or the unwillingness to learn.  That is where hatred stems from; a lack of knowledge and a refusal to understand or find common ground with that thing, person or situation we claim to hate.   In most cases, the things we hate are the things we fear or can’t comprehend.  That makes it important to love.  Love is the only thing that can successfully penetrate those thorns that protect you but if it is real love, you won’t have to worry about a lack of protection.  Love covers all things.  If it were not for love, Jesus Himself would not have been the example that He was meant to be.  The thorns He was protected by were the very thorns that He was mocked with in the form of a crown on His head.  Alas, He was still resurrected and that is the example of love that is meant to guide us through everything. 

            Do not allow your thorns to be a burden.  Let them be the armor you need to carry on.  Let love be the only thing that can break though that barrier while keeping it intact.  Do not allow your worries, doubts, fears or your imperfections make you vulnerable enough to think that you are not strong enough to make it.  Just as Jesus arose from His thorns, allow yourself to be a rose that is protected by them.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

My Greatest Inspiration—New Year, new you?

A new year, but is it really a new you? At the stroke of midnight between Dec 31, 2014 & Jan 1, 2015, many of us make idle promises of becoming better. We vow to eat healthier, workout more regularly, join/attend church, become more diligent in ________ (you fill in the blank). We never realize or fully understand, that without a changed mindset, we’ll digress (rather easily I might add) to our “2014” selves. Change is never easy or fun. As a matter of fact, it’s the one thing that tends to cause the most inner turmoil in our lives.
What causes change? External influences, physiological or health challenges, finances, career switch, family or friends?? All of these things can contribute to the chaos within. How do we become the
Erika Whitehead- Columnist
new creation like the word of God states? It begins in our minds. What drives you? What sets you off? What are your strengths/weaknesses? Now, what’s your plan?
We all insist on doing things our way to help us adjust to change, but truth be told, most times, we must adjust “on the fly” because changes typically hits us without warning. Changing our mindsets must be continual so our reactions to the change will become more fluid. Once our minds have reconciled that change is inevitable, our hearts must follow. What is your heart telling you? What has God told you about your purpose? Who is in your corner to support the changes, so you can be in-line with who you’re destined to become? Many people will say they’re in your corner, but when it’s time to execute the assignment, many waver or fall off altogether. Those who are closest to you, may not be the ones God will allow to be witnesses to your future, and they could be causing you more harm than help. Make time to take inventory of those around you, because the next step is crucial!
Finally, with change comes movement. It could be physical changes, lifestyle changes, career moves, even relocation. Fresh starts will reveal your many strengths and unfortunate weaknesses. It will definitely test the substance of your faith (belief system). These changes will challenge you to take the self- imposed limitations off of your life and begin moving with intention.
The key to change? COMMITMENT! Everyday will be a chance to decide whether to stick with the program or wimp out. Something as simple as choosing to not eat after 9pm will come with an internal battle. Designating time to wake up and pray, will come with a tremendous amount of spiritual warfare. Are you willing to commit? Change comes at a price and most times, it’s our discomfort.
I’m here to let you know, there are millions of us facing these new terms, that we’ve set for ourselves, at the turn of the new year. You’re not alone in this battle between wants and needs, change and staying the same. We must make up our minds to focus on the finished product. What is that you ask? How do you stay inspired? Better health, deeper spirituality, prosperity in every arena of your life, peace, contentment, and purpose…are among some excellent reasons to stay the course. I know it’s easier said than done. I’m one of those who go through daily battles to quit or keep pushing. I don’t appreciate when the Lord awakens me before sunrise, but I must commit to the end result. I must continue to realize that my obedience to pray can be the difference between my children being safe and family members being saved or not. My commitment to losing a few pounds can be that line I draw to end the generational curse of diabetes in my family or continue the cycle. Your mind has to be made up so drastically that even those around you will notice your determination, and choose to either move out of your way, or cheer you on.
It’s amazing the difference a new year can make. Let it be the inspiration you need to step into change with boldness, knowing you’re not alone. Settle it in your mind that if change must happen, you will come through it victoriously! Don’t let change just be the first few months of 2015, but a lifestyle transformation, that leads you into greatness!

The Parable of the Sower…”Some fell among thorns…”

The Parable of the Sower…”Some fell among thorns…”

Greetings So Fyh readers and subscribers, thank you for keeping up with this series of articles, I pray it has helped you as much as it has inspired me to bring it to you.  The third part of the parable which states, “And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them.” (Matthew 13:7 KJV) I once heard this saying about the beauty of a Rose and the potential danger that comes with handling a Rose as it relates to people’s criticism of God the Father sending His Son, Jesus the Christ
to a sin sick world. The saying goes like this…”some people criticize God for putting Thorns among Roses, while others praise God for putting a Rose among Thorns.” If you ever grew up in a home, neighborhood, town or city where you felt like you were dealt a bad hand in life, you will relate to this portion of the Parable of the Sower.
As I said in the first article, the seeds are the words of God and where they fall when broadcasted are the receiver of His word, i.e…US! We have to live in this world until God call us all home to live with him in Paradise, but until then, we must not “conform to the ways of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind.” (Romans 12:2) In other words, things that we put ahead of God becomes our god and thus choke out the word (seeds) of God and we become unfruitful (not good for anyone or anything).
In the above example saying, the first criticism is not anything new that has been heard throughout the history of this world.  Let’s just take a headline that has dominated our worldview.  Most recently the Terrorist Acts in France, some would say “If there is a God, why would He allow this type of Terrorism to go on and harm His people.” The Terrorism they speak of would represent the “thorns” of life and His people represent the “rose.”  The critical person’s definition of the terrorist as a thorn in the side of society would be an accurate view of someone who is looking and thinking with their carnal eyes and mind.  However, if you’re looking through your Christian eyes, you would see that we are the thorns and not the rose.  The second part of the saying…”some praise God for putting a Rose among thorns.” The Rose is Jesus Christ and we are the thorns. 

God put Jesus among his people so that all who believed might be saved, but in order for this to happen, we must stay close to Jesus, thus the Rose and the thorns. The thorns on a rose does not take away from the beauty of the rose, nor does it diminish its meaning. If you’ve ever given or received a rose or bouquets of roses, it brightens your day to know that someone cared enough about you or you about them to send or receive such a gesture.  You will also notice that the thorns on the rose’s stem are never taken off, they remain because everyone knows roses comes with thorns.
Having to grow up in a place where you might not have all the best things in life doesn’t define you or mean that is your future, because if you have Jesus, people will see how beautiful the rose in you are and not care about the thorns around it.


There is a clarion call for the Kingdom Intercessors to get on their post now more than ever before. I know those that have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying...hears it. Last weekend I attended a prayer conference that totally catapulted me into a greater more intense dimension of intercession and warfare. I praise God that HE prepares you for where HE needs you to go and the places HE needs you to be. Prior to me attending this prayer conference, I had been in prayer seeking the Father for wisdom and strategy for this new place HE was transitioning me to. And it was in the prayer conference I received my answer. So I share with ALL intercessors, and the Body of Christ what I received. Some of you may know this and some may not. I pray that we all receive and gain momentum in our personal prayer life and as intercessors. I asked the question, Whose got your back? With good reason.
Denise Chase - Columnist

Most of us give ourselves into praying for others and sometimes forget ourselves. We pray, see others receive what they need from the Lord, rejoice with them and move on to the next thing. Well in the process of advancing in battle (in prayer) we find ourselves having to backtrack to regain previous victories. What I mean is this, we fast, pray, believe God for victory and breakthrough in situations and certain areas of our lives and surely the Lord comes through for us. 

We rejoice, give our testimony and Thank God we made it to the other side. However, just as we get settled in that victory and move forward to win other victories, the enemy creeps in to sabotage and steal from us our previous victory (spiritual backlash and retaliation) causing us to have to go back and re-war again over the same thing. In other words we are running back and forth (to God) in the spirit over the same things.

Repeating cycles and battles in our lives. Me, personally, way past tired of this madness. As I believe most of you are as well. Well here is where we gain momentum and keep it. As we pray and do battle in the heavenlies we must make sure as the gatekeepers that every opening of the gate is guarded by praying, "THE REAR GUARD PRAYER". Warriors never go into a battle without a plan of strategy or not being covered. 

Every soldier knows his assignment and position. DEFINITION OF "REAR GUARD": A GROUP OF TROOPS DETAILED TO GUARD THE REAR OF A MOVING CAR. (Car prophetically symbolizes ministry). Again, I state some of you may know this, but for those that do not is why I am sharing. What is the "Rear Guard Prayer"? I'm glad you asked. The REAR GUARD PRAYER is the prayer that we must pray to cover ourselves, and our stuff from the backlash and retaliation of the enemy.

 All the soldiers don't go out on the battlefield some must stay behind to protect home and the stuff in the home. The enemy is cunning, the scriptures let us know that "the enemy goes to and fro in the earth as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour"1 Peter 5:8, in other words the enemy is looking to see whose "hedge of protection" or "gate" has an opening for him to get in. As Kingdom Warriors we must be prepared to counterattack the enemy at all times.  This is what the Rear Guard Prayer does (protects us from this attack). 

Who makes up the Rear Guard? Our Angels, the Spirit of God, the Blood of Jesus, and us, praying, and covering one another. It is also important for me to note: this is why we must "know them that labor among us" 1 Thess. 5:12. No disrespect to anyone, but everyone we connect with to pray with us or for us is not or has not been equipped in certain levels of warfare.

So we must be, led by God, to whom we are to, and should connect with in prayer. We know when we pray we are to be specific (battle plan) so in being specific, we must also be thorough in making sure every area is covered. Reference 1 Sam. Chapters 28 - 30. David and his men went prepared to do battle with the Philistines, but the Philistines turned them away. As David and his men were returning to their camp (Ziklag) they found they had been attacked by the Amalekites. David's men became angry with him and wanted to kill their leader, however David did not let this get him off focus.

He went and encouraged himself in the Lord, so that he could get a battle plan. David inquired of the Lord what he should do (you know the story). There were 600 men altogether, but only 400 went to fight with David. 200 stayed behind, and although the scripture says that the 200 that stayed behind were "faint", I believe that was a strategic move by God. Why, because the gate had to be closed so the enemy could not get in a second time. So David and his men went forth, pursued, overtook and recovered ALL.

 Everybody was victorious in the battle. Isaiah 52:12 says: For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward (will make up the rear guard and cover your back). Also Isaiah 58:8 declares: Then shall light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. Warriors we must make sure our backs are covered. Before we go to battle we must emplore the Angelic hosts of Heaven, the warring angels to stand guard for us so that we are not wearing ourselves out trying to fight forward looking backwards.

We must cover our ministry, families, finances, health, spirit, mind, body, properties, possessions, assets, etc. There can be no breaches (openings) in the hedges or gates. As Kingdom warriors we must keep ourselves armed, protected and educated at all times. I pray that all that read this are blessed, encouraged and empowered to go forth FULLY ARMORED with your backs covered to do battle.

Pursuing, Overtaking and Recovering ALL,
Apostle Denise Chase

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Our Nature

                                                       Our Nature

     Going through life by making mistakes and trying to make the world jealous. Who are you and who am I? Who are we to be the one that want to love someone and yet have the fear of loving them? I often question my destiny and I sometimes question my faith. Yet and still I yearn for strength. I yearn for guidance. My heart wants to pour out so many of these troubled thoughts. There's so many troubled feelings; from the shaking and trembling inside my very being. My hands are reaching
Sade Collins
higher because the giving has given in. 

      The sense of not being able to control the very thoughts and those feelings run through my veins so deeply. Again, I question my faith. I even question my direction, for I am sometimes afraid to win and I am also sometimes even more afraid to lose. It is in our nature to question the very things that we face in life in general.  At times, I may need a little bit more reassurance,  my mind tends to wonder off here and there. 

      My heart tends to wonder too. The jealousy escapes from my soul, the envy emerge, from within,  the enemy walks so near, he’s always trying to make me lose sight of what's ahead.  Struggling, trying to gain control of my innermost thoughts inside of my being. I reach out and I pray. “Lord take these reigns, lead my heart, and lead my mind”!  At times, I'm not so sure of what I know about my destiny and purpose for my very life.  I don’t always truly understand the directions that God is leading me too. Yet and still it doesn’t stop me for praying for HIS mercy and guidance. 

       I am a willing vessel that is trying to survive off of God’s terms, but I don’t know how, and I am still trusting HIM. Finding the answers to those questions steers me into striving for more... ambitions in life... It is in OUR nature to question the things we face in life. My desire is to learn how to become the virtuous woman, that the bible talks about.  I want to discover the woman that God has intended for me to be, but at the same time I am afraid. I am afraid of losing myself, afraid of not knowing what to expect, or what’s going to happen next.  

       Its all in our nature, to be afraid of not knowing the answers to all of our questions.  FEAR, wasn't something that God, gave us, so I am learning how to trust Him in everything. Yet we hold back so much out of fear. As human beings, we hold back on living the lives we’ve always dreamed of, we hold back from our destiny, we hold back on self love and self realization. We hold back on our family and friends, we hold back out of the lack of trust, the lack of love, lack of faith, and so full of fear and yet and still, we are humans.  Fear shouldn't be apart of our nature.
            Our nature is the ability to survive. The strength to endure, to achieve,  to believe and to understand the seeds that have been planted into the root of our very own being.  In search of that paved road, in search of the answers to those many of questions; but yet and still we settle, we tend to become complacent, we tend to give in and lose sight on what makes life ALL worth living. Search your soul for that feeling is there. For its in fact in your nature.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

My Greatest Inspiration

My Greatest Inspiration

Recently, we have been witnessing a string of injustices around the US. It has literally put a spotlight
Erika Whitehead
on underlying racial issues & reset the African descended people’s mindsets, at least 100 years back. In school, we’re taught to obey the laws of the land & those in authority. We’re also taught about civil rights activist & peaceful protests in Selma, Birmingham, & Washington D.C. It never occurred to us that we would become witnesses to protests in Ferguson, MO, Detroit, MI, Seattle, WA, New York City, NY, & Washington DC simultaneously. Unfortunately, we also witnessed what was suppose to be peaceful protests, occasionally turning into upheaval, because of raw emotion (& sometimes ignorance).
Our hearts have either become numb or raw, depending on your viewpoint of the current situations broadcasted by the media. My view? The standpoint of the grieving families & parents. I immediately began to mourn as a mother, aunt, niece, sister, & friend. My heartstrings had been pulled & are still being pulled because a parent has lost a child, a wife has lost a husband, & a child has lost a father. I watched as the media tore apart the stories & the courtrooms disarmed America’s mindset of judicial equality.
All the while, I watched the panged faces of the parents, who through it all, maintained a stiff back, head held high, & speech laced with grief, compassion, & strength. It’s a battle that can only be won on a spiritual playing field, because the battle is not with justice, but the spirit of injustice & lawlessness, that’s running rampant among us. Our nation has been thrust into a state of panic, because it seems that terrorism is on our own soil. Parents are afraid for their male children, fathers/husbands are subjugated to inconsistent law practices of police officials, & countless other civil atrocities are swept under the rug to save face in the sight of other countries. When do we (the US) stop paying attention to what other people think of us, & concern ourselves with the well-being of our own people? We are quick to tell other countries how they should follow our “stellar” example of democracy & justice, when we can’t get it together ourselves! 

I’m inspired to MULTI, INTER, & INTRAGENERATIONAL  ACTION! Many people have protested but then go back home, curse out their children & ignore calls from the school or PTA meetings, they choose not to vote, they barely pay taxes, BUT they can tell you the latest episode of several reality shows or the latest in music & fashion. I’m not called to organize protests, sit ins, etc. but I am called to make an impact for future generations. I’m called to educate my children, nieces, nephews, & any other young adult on how to evolve & to stay in a state of continuous evolution. This kind of knowledge must be as deep-rooted & ingrained as the history in the books we’ve studied in school. It also must be influential, anticipatory, & attainable. We must become more than what we are at this moment. What does it mean to become? Merriam-Webster’s defines become as begin to be; grow to be, turn into; qualify or be accepted as; acquire the status of; to come, change. Lately, our nation has become bitter & resentful towards justice, authority figures, laws, elected officials, & generally most everything that democracy is suppose to entitle us.

When do we become evolved into what God purposed us as a nation? What will it take? I’m determined & inspired to find out! I believe a social awakening is happening before our eyes. Blinders are being removed (or established) & stigmas are being torn down (or rebuilt) depending on your stance. It’s truly about personal choice. We’re at a pivotal point where our youth can still be reached in ways that will contribute to a more conducive & productive future. It’s up to which direction we (adults) choose to take. Which will you choose? It begins with us becoming willing to evolve into something better, something relevant, something historic…not what we see today with the looting, shooting, & riots.

Lord, show us the way to act, not react!


  We have been created to be sensual beings. Not so much as to be led by our senses, but to enlist them in our appreciation for all that God has given us. Our sense of hearing, taste, smell, sight and touch are avenues that are to be taken in order to bask in the splendor of the Creator and His creation. There are myriads of brilliant colors that are pleasing to the eye and many levels of sound all around us. There are countless delicacies to tantalize our pallets and bouquets of fragrances to tickle our olfactory nerves. And, there are varying degrees of textures that will not leave our sense of touch bored and disenchanted.

God has taken into careful consideration, our “need” for things to appeal to us. We are not left without a witness and a testimony of His greatness. Evidence of His existence is all pervasive in our tangible world and those intangibles that have yet to be discovered.  We are inundated with things to be explored … we will never stop being amazed at what He has done; however, the Bible tells us that there is nothing new under the sun. All that we unearth has been and what was discovered is yet to be seen. God is aware of what we do not know. He is never surprised because He is in every living thing. The atmosphere is alive with Him. Therefore, what we experience (at any given point of our life and living) is God.
He cannot be missed. We are made up of living matter, so what we see is God. We breathe in the air around us, infused with life forces. In Him we live and move and have our being. We cannot escape the Creator of all living things. In what we would consider the absence of sound, is still sound … it is just outside of our natural selves to experience it; therefore, God can be heard on all levels. Imagine if this is the reason that God wants us to step outside of our “natural” inclinations – so we can enjoy and experience Him in new and amazing ways. There is so much that is missed when we think that God is just what can be experienced sensually.

It is true that if we were just to experience God on the level of what we can observe, we would never run out of reasons to give Him glory. However, it is not where He desires for us to remain. We are not to approach Him with what can be perceived. He wants to reveal to us those things that cannot be ascertained through our carnal discoveries. Therefore, He speaks to us in the deepest parts of ourselves; that place which cannot be engaged by our five senses. We use what we can sense, naturally, to spark a level of curiosity that beckons us to lift ourselves above. He wants us to come up higher and go deeper.
So, as we continue to discover and uncover that which can be sensed and manipulated, let us not forget to marvel at His splendor. We have our five senses to help us appreciate the Creator. He has given us these things to spark wonder and awe. Every natural sight and sound is filled with Him. As we think on these things, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.

Change Your Devotion!

  Change your devotion!

I am often asked if I feel different now that I have accepted my calling into ministry and the answer is no, but I can say that I can see the difference. Let me tell you what I mean. Before I accepted my calling, I knew that God loved me, there was never any question, but when I made my devotion to Him known; I saw a difference in His devotion to me. When I made my devotion to God clearer, I could then see His
La Kisha Johnson
devotion to me to clearer. 

It was almost like the fog that was over my spiritual eyes had been wiped away the moment I truly committed myself to Him. Please understand; I was in church, I went to bible study, I studied the word for myself at home (sometimes), I encouraged folks, I prayed for people, and I did right occasionally, but I wasn’t as devoted as I should have been; to God. I was still running from His calling, still doing some worldly things, still straddling the fence when it was convenient for me, still acting as if I had time to get it right; still not being devoted in my devotion although I seemed to have it all together on the outside when inwardly I was a torn up mess.

But oh, the enemy was rejoicing because he was winning. How? Well, he was getting a part of me. See, as long as I was partially devoted to God, the enemy had a part of me. As long as I was partially committed to God, the enemy was fully committed to me. As long as I was somewhat committed to worship, the enemy was wholly committed to me. As long as I was slightly committed to the message, the enemy was solely committed to my mess.  As long as I was a little committed the enemy was fully invested because all it was going to take was a little while longer for him to get me, so he thought. This is why I had to fully devote myself to devotion with God because I found peace there. I found joy when I fully devoted myself to devotion with God. Everything I thought I had couldn’t even compare to what I gained when my devotion became devoted!

I had to look at it like this. How can I expect God to do anything for me if I couldn't do anything for Him? That’s like me expecting a check from my job without working. It doesn’t work like that and being devoted to God doesn’t mean you have to stop living your life, stop having fun and all of that; stop believing the hype! This is why you have to study the word for yourself.  Being devoted means God is the head of your life. Being devoted means you love God more than you love the world.  Being devoted means you’ll drive your car to church because you don’t care about the number of miles you put on it. Being devoted means you go to worship no matter what the weather is like.  Being devoted means, you worship no matter what your circumstances are. Being devoted means you’ll worship the Lord and you don’t care who is looking. Being devoted means you’ll go where He’ll send you without knowing the address. Being devoted means you’ll pray for folks without even knowing their name or situations. Being devoted means you preach to a dying world even when folks say you can’t! 

Honestly, I dare you to change your devotion towards God! If you change your devotion towards God, I guarantee you’ll see clearer His devotion towards you. His devotion towards us never changes, it sometime gets hidden in the mess of things called our life, but it never changes. His devotion towards us never changes, we sometimes forget about it in the midst of our mess, but it never changes. Change your devotion and you’ll see!  

Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”