Sunday, February 21, 2010

Stand Strong in the Face of Adversity

Remember, Adversity is another way to measure the greatness of individuals. I never had a crisis that didn't make me stronger. ~Lou Holtz

Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:20-21 (New International Version)

Adversity can be described as a series of unfortunate events. Just when it seems that things are going right in your life, something can happen to change your perspective. It can be something as small as failing a test or something so overwhelming like death that just rocks your world.

Sometimes when we are confronted with adverse situations, we may want to throw up our hands in surrender. At other times, we just say “oh well” and keep on keeping on. And then there will come times, when you want to give up and give in. It is in those times when what we are made of, will surely be tested.

Whether you realize it or not, adversity in your lives is sometimes necessary for your spiritual development. There will be times when it becomes inevitable for us all to truly see just how strong the word of God is embedded in our everyday lives. Or, it may be a necessary process in order for us to move to the next level in our spiritual growth.

It is at those times that we must learn to depend on God even more than we already do. The reality of most individuals is that when things are going well in our lives, we become content with where we are. That is not where God necessarily wants us to be. Being a part of the Body of Christ is being willing to be stretched so that we become more like Him and less like the world.

It is at times like these, that we must learn to Stand in the face of Adversity.

Be Blessed

Father God, we come before the throne of grace with praise and thanksgiving on our tongues and in our hearts. We come asking Lord, for peace that passes all understanding. We come asking for strength to stand in the face of adversity. But most of all, we come asking with humbled hearts and minds, that You would hear our prayers and our petitions. Master, we need You to speak to the winds of adversity that are blowing against us, peace be still. We come asking that You hold on to our hands and the storms of life toss us about. We come asking that You would hide us under the wings of Your salvation as the roaring lions draws near in an effort to devour us. Lord, we ask that You would keep all of our families, friends, co-workers and brothers and sisters in perfect peace this and every day. Bless us right now in the name of Jesus. Our prayers are not complete until we let You know just how much we love You. Our prayers on not complete until we sing songs of praise to You alone. Lord, we lift Your name on high, we give You all of our love, all of our praise and sing songs of praise all the day long. Thank You Lord for one more day. Bless You Lord. Hallelujah, Praise God thank You Jesus, in his name we pray, Amen.

Jacqueline Moore is a Christian author who offers spiritual words of encouragement daily on her website at . She has contributed to several anthologies and is the 2009 African American Literary Show romance author of the year for her first novel, “Serving Justice” under the Peace in the Storm imprint.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Ray of Hope In a Dark Room

Just like the butterfly, I too will awaken in my own time. ~ Ê Deborah Chaskin

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:25-27 (New International Version)

People who really know me say they can always tell when things aren’t going well in my life. You see, I have a tendency to grow quiet and withdraw from the world around me. I don’t talk the same and I wear my heart on my sleeve.

Recently, I suffered an unexpected setback in my life and had begun to worry about how I would make ends meet and continue to provide for my family. It is no secret that Michigan, especially here in Detroit, has been hit extremely hard by the current recession. That coupled with the fact that I am over fifty-years old and dread the idea of having to start all over again.
Although my situation hasn’t changed, my outlook has.

Unfortunately, I have no control over the external but I do control how I deal with it. First I went through several of the stages of grief; Shock, anger, depression, reflection, loneliness and now finally, acceptance and hope. I cannot control the views and opinions of others, but I can control my own views. I made the mistake of putting my trust in man and not in God.

As I compose today’s message I just want others who may be going through something similar to know that no matter what the future brings, God is still in control. Things may happen in your life to knock you off your square, but God can pick you up and place you back where you belong.

And just like the beautiful and majestic butterfly, you too will awaken in your own time.

Be Blessed

God bless those of us who are battling those inner demons of depression, loneliness, unworthiness, and hopelessness. Shine Your warm Heavenly Light down upon all of us, Lord, guide us to find peace, happiness, and contentment in our lives and within ourselves. The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. Thank You Father for Your grace and one more experience of Your presence, for Your promise: to be with us, to be our God, and to give salvation. For these and all blessings, we give You thanks, eternal, loving God, through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Butterfly Affirmation
You are like the majestic Black butterfly, full of grace and beauty. Your blackness boldly stands out, acting as the backdrop for the rainbow of colors that define and distinguish you from the rest. Your timeless beauty has carried you across the winds of time, leaving your eternal message written clear across the skies of the lives of others so that all of us can read it and remember when we need it, that a dream conceived in truth will never die.

Positive Affirmation: Today I am like the beautiful and graceful Black Butterfly. My life-defining message I leave in the sky for all to read will be a reflection of not only my inner beauty but also a message of self-love, courage and the pursuit of my dreams. ~ Jacqueline D. Moore

Inspired by the song Black Butterfly - Denise Williams

Jacqueline Moore is a Christian author who offers spiritual words of encouragement daily on her website at . She has contributed to several anthologies and is the 2009 African American Literary Show romance author of the year for her first novel, “Serving Justice” under the Peace in the Storm imprint.

Monday, February 8, 2010

In the Fiery Furnace

The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace, and the brightest thunderbolt is elicited from the darkest storm. ~ Charles Caleb Coltron

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7

Have you ever wondered why sometimes it seems that it's hard being a Christian? We accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior and then it seems like the more we love God and try to grow closer to him, life is constantly coming against you?

Well, I know I have. I look at my life and the lives of my saved brothers and sisters and see that each and every one of us is going through some rather difficult times. Situation after situation keeps happening. Jobs are being lost. Cars are being reposed, houses are being lost, marriages are being torn apart and the money just can't seem to stretch far enough.

But then, God gave me a revelation. Stop depending on the world, the people of this world, and the things of this world. Start looking at me instead! How many of you have noticed that the more you go through, the more you start to really study the word of God. You pray more and you look to him more. The more you go through, things and habits that you once had start falling away.

God says I put you in the furnace so that I can refine you like gold. I need to burn off all of those impurities. I know it's hot in there, but you are mine and those who are mine must be the best. Without spot or blemish. Free of sin, clean, A NEW CREATURE!

So I just want each of you to know, that it may get so hot and uncomfortable. Life will get hard and things may not always work the way we want them to, but in the end, we can praise God and rejoice at the new creature that he has created.

Be Blessed

Thank You Jesus for my fiery furnace. Thank You Lord, for the impurities that You are removing from me. Father, we just ask that You continue to be with us as we go through. We just ask that You would take our hand and lead us on. Lord, we ask that You would help us to see those things in our lives that we have need to get rid of and give them to You willingly. Continue to bless Your saints. Bless each and every family that is represented here. Thank You father for family and friends. Thank You Lord, for Your word. Thank You Lord, for Your son Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.

Jacqueline Moore is a Christian author who offers spiritual words of encouragement daily on her website at . She has contributed to several anthologies and is the 2009 African American Literary Show romance author of the year for her first novel, “Serving Justice” under the Peace in the Storm imprint.