This past weekend I attended a home and patio show in my city. One of the vendors was selling sheds. These were not the structures one would see anywhere in America that is usually placed in the backyard to house their gardening tools. He was selling sheds as a counterpart to the man cave concept. He asked me was I in the market for one and I politely declined. He inquired why while sharing how beautiful they are, how they offer a place of solace and serenity etc. I reiterated that I wouldn’t need one. I replied to him that I have a home. He seemed puzzled while becoming irritated that he obviously wouldn’t make a sale with me that day. I explained to him that separate spaces are not the answer for a happy family; no matter how beautifully arrayed the structure. At this point he rudely walked away. The idea followed me home and God began to deal with me about how our society seeks separateness, yet yearn for relationship. Continue reading “He Shed, She Shed But What Has God Said?”
Hollow traditions and rituals have left a salty taste in the mouth of true worshipers. This could be due to the institutional church’s landscape drastically changing in the last fifteen years. Believers are confused, dazed and even more fearful than ever. There are various reasons this climate of uncertainty exists. Everything from misappropriated church funds to improperly trained clergy leaders are a few of the components that leave the faithful feeling more vulnerable than empowered. Our question now becomes, how are we to love God, demonstrate the compassion of Christ while at the same time meet one anothers needs? If there are so many in the body still hurting and despondent how do we set their feet on the path to total healing if we’re still struggling with the “rules” of Christianity? Continue reading “Tradition, Ritual, Relationship – Can they Co-Exist?”
We all have it…baggage. We all have some broken dream, disappointing loss, rejection via unrequited love or abandonment by a loved one to contend with in our lifetime. Our lives may hold some personal triumphs but the thing that holds us back most are the failures. They seem to privately abound within us even more than our public victories. In spite of the pain we endure, the bottom line is this…We need to put away the baggage of our past! Our history, good or not so good seems to follow us around, year after year keeping us bound to an action or a memory. Its only purpose is to constantly remind us of an error we’d rather forget. The hold can become so foreboding that we struggle to face our future with optimism because the demons in our past torment us so. Our talents are smoldering beneath the veil of fear as our past whispers negativity to our hearts. Just having the desire to escape the indiscretions of yesteryear is not enough. We need to recognize our deficit of faith while discovering the warrior hidden deep within. Action on our part must be implemented to prevail over this malignant spirit whose sole mission is to destroy our hope, our destiny and more importantly our relationship with God. In order to find our place in the body, we have to change our thinking by allowing God to transform our minds.
The confession of our mistakes gives us strength to confront the condemnation we carry concerning former our deeds. When we hide it, we open the door for it to dominate our lives. Under the influence of fear, desperation emerges compelling us to cover up or hide our “sins”. This new taskmaster forces us into submitting to acts that are not pleasing to the Lord. Fear’s partner is pride. Pride coupled with the terror of being found out is the catalyst or reasoning used to justify unGodly actions once we’re driven to compromise. The past now reaches into our present by becoming a tremendous burden that threatens the future. If we truly want to be free from the past or any bondage, we must acknowledge our imperfections to tame the beasts which plague us. If not, it will dictate to us that we’re miserable failures who are incapable of success. We’re then robbed of our self esteem, our peace and ultimately our destiny.
The good news is the past never reveals that failure is the best teacher!
The lessons we learn from not succeeding in every attempted effort are invaluable. It keeps us humble before God and molds us into better human beings. We learn compassion, wisdom and empathy to share with others who need encouragement. It also compels us to re-examine who we are while challenging us to seek a deeper spiritual intimacy with God. Through a relationship with Him, we can determine why we failed in the first place in order to develop a winning agenda for our next endeavor. We also discover where our weaknesses lie so that we can cultivate a confidence bolstering strategy. I love the hope it births!
Through failure, God reminds us that every failed effort is not some shameful exploit.
It’s an opportunity to allow Him to show us the splendor of what we really were designed to be. Failing illustrates how trivial our accomplishments are when displaced from His will. Our goals have to be mirror images of His directives otherwise every pursuit of success on our part will indeed fail. The realization we need to embrace is that any accolade we attain in this earthly vessel is His victory, not ours. Without His constant unction operating in us, we’d never have a divinely purposeful thought or idea. We’d simply evolve into selfish, mindless automatons without vision or direction. Failure challenges us to seek God for the tenacity to try again. We’re also reminded that the grandeur of anything we aspire to will never be the result of our own ability. It’s merely a manifestation of His illustrious anointing working through each of us.
He pulls the awesome, creative, anointed, illustrious part
of HIMSELF OUT OF US!
We were all fabricated for greatness but only when we discover that our ultimate triumphs reside in Him. Failure is the vehicle that perfects us to our celebrated end. The real blessing is that we are purified for service through the heartbreak of our pain. I encourage you to make the decision to exchange the baggage of the past for a love relationship with the Father. You just might be surprised by what He pulls out of YOU!
Walk in your liberty child of the MOST HIGH GOD…
Denise Joyce Williams lives in Florida with her husband who is a career soldier. Her first book entitled, “The Healing Of A Broken Vessel” was released by Publish America in 2009. Her much anticipated second book entitled “Chambers Of The Believing Heart” is expected to be released in the spring of 2012.