Come to the Table

Years ago, I had a dream that I was seated at a huge table. The table was so huge that I couldn’t tell where the table began or where it ended. It was filled with a vast assortment of bread, meat, desserts, and vegetables. The selection was overwhelming and the supply was plenteous. Others were at the table and they were just as diverse as the spread lain before us. There were men and women from all nations. Everyone was talking, laughing, and feasting. Each person was speaking in their native languages but we all seemed to understand each other. There were also no signs of prejudice or bias. Everyone came as they were and were welcomed at the table.

Although physical diversity was apparent, it was clear the same degree of disparity existed below the surface in our spirits. I asked the Lord to show me what the dream meant. He revealed to me that it had many layers. However, the most obvious was the symbolism of the table. It represented the abundance and richness we can only find in God. In Him, we can find everything we need.

Who are “we”? We are the whosoever that the Bible instructs to come. Everyone has an invitation to dine at the Father’s table. There was no VIP, handicapped, or special seating. All who came were welcomed to the table to dine until their hearts were content. The diversity of food at the table represented anything our souls are hungry for. If you need peace and joy, it’s at the table. If you need healing and love, it’s at the table. If you need forgiveness and salvation, it’s at the table. If you are lost or broken, you can find refuge and wholeness at the table. Regardless of whether you are a saint or a sinner, you’re welcome at the table. Murderers, liars, thieves, fornicators, and anything you’ve done that’s caused you to stray from the Father can be redeemed at the table. There is more than enough of what you need at the table.

Friends, come to the table where the feast of the Lord is going on. Feast on His goodness, grace, and mercy. Restoration, redemption, reconciliation, and Re-Creation all happen at the table.

Come in, pull up a seat, and eat at the table. God wants us to be His guest. He can endow us with the power of His precious Spirit as He did on the day of Pentecost so that we may build His holy kingdom and glorify Him throughout all the earth.

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Brand New Mercies

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

This morning, I woke up with Lamentations 3:22-23 on my heart. As I lay in bed, the light piercing through my window reminded me that today is a new day, a fresh start. Friends, today is an opportunity to begin again and leave behind the things that are no longer beneficial in our lives. Why? Because we have faithful father who extends His great love and mercy so that we may receive His promises and fulfill His purpose. He has not only prepared great things for us but has also made a way to help us by factoring in our imperfections. He knew we would struggle and fail at times. He knew we would make mistakes. He knew that we would not always choose Him but YET He is faithful.

What’s in your life that you can afford to leave behind in exchange for the greater that lies ahead? Identify the “weights” in your life and lay them aside. So, you can move toward the things of God and live out kingdom purpose. His grace is sufficient. He mercy are new each morning. His love is inexhaustible and endures forever.

Cease the day, my friends! Grab hold of the possibility of each new day and run with it. Why? Because our father in Heaven wants His kingdom to come and His will to be done through us. Therefore, He has provided everything we need for it to be so.

Let us pray:

Lord, we thank you for who you are. We thank you for being a God of great love, grace, and mercy. We thank you that you love us in a way that calls our greatness forward and stirs up your purpose inside of us. You beckon us to come unto you and shine your light on us each day. Help us to embrace each day as another chance to live more for you. Help us to accept your forgiveness and to forgive ourselves so we can be free to take advantage of the days you have given to us. Let us not take your mercy and love for granted but show our appreciation by magnifying your glory every moment we get. Give us wisdom on how to manage our days wisely so we can live lives that shout your praises and draw others to you. May you get the glory out of our lives. May your name be lifted high. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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Now Unto Him Who Is Able

Jude 24:25 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Have you ever felt like everything depended on you? I have. Honestly, I’ve felt that way about most things the majority of my life. As a child, I had great responsibility. I was forced to grow up quicker due to my circumstances. Don’t get me wrong. I learned a lot from it and it has tmade me who I am today. However, it also left me thinking that I had to take care of every detail of my life or that I could not afford to fail. Imagine the pressure of that especially on the shoulders of a child. Nevertheless, it became a burden. I felt like I was suffocating and sinking. The truth is I eventually learned that I could not continue to live my life that way. I also learned that I didn’t even have half the power to keep myself on the right path, follow all the rules, or control every area of my life. In fact, the more I tried, the harder it became.

Eventually, I surrendered to the reality that my attempt to control it all led to me controlling nothing at all. Once I opened myself up to receive the grace of God in my life and relinquish control to Him, my life changed completely. I no longer had the weight of the world on my shoulders. Why? Because the one who created it keeps it in the palm of His. If He can keep an entire planet on its axis and control everything on Earth, surely He can hold us in the palm of His hands. Surely, He can supply our needs. Surely, He can orchestrate the events of our lives and empower us to pursue our purposes. Surely, He can keep our minds in perfect peace. Surely, His grace is sufficient for every mistake we make and His blood powerful enough to wash us white as snow.

Why? Because He is the One who is able to keep us from falling and present us blameless before His glory. Because He is the only wise God, our Saviour, who rules over ALL things concerning us.

He is Able!

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Parents: Be Encouraged

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Currently, we are learning how to parent a young adult. It has been interesting and challenging. We have found ourselves trying to navigate and adjust to our new role. It has gone from being less supervisory and more supportive which is a shift from parenting a young child. We are no longer the source of everything but have resumed more of a coaching role in our oldest son’s life. Although we trust the foundation of faith we have lain in his life, we are also aware that he will have to come into his purpose and identity to establish himself as a man. 

Years ago, a veteran teacher with whom I worked said something to me that I will never forget. She said, “There comes a time when you have to trust what you’ve raised.” Her words have been such a relief to me over the years as my children get older and even more so now in this new chapter of parents. 

My husband and I have had to constantly remind ourselves of Proverbs 22:6 which says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” While attending a church youth event, we heard the Youth Pastor say, “It says, TRAIN A CHILD, not an adult.” Therefore, we have to make sure we are depositing God’s principles into our children when they are young and impressionable. Don’t get me wrong. As a parent, we will always have opportunities to sow seeds of faith into our children but it’s best to lay the foundation before they go out into the world. So, they will be equipped. Yes, trials will come. Yes, they will make poor decisions. Yes, their lives may not mirror anything we may have taught them but I believe in the word of God. I believe that His word is true. Do you? 

Deuteronomy 11:19 – And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Parents, we will make mistakes. I am sure that I have made plenty over the years and I have done my best to do better with each one of my children. However, there is no mistake we can make that is more powerful than the truths of God and His will for our lives and the lives of our dear children. Isn’t that good to know? 

Be encouraged. Stay prayerful. 

Let Us Pray:

Dear Father,

 We thank you for being who you are to us. We thank you for entrusting your precious angels into our care. We ask that just as you have so freely given them to us that we will have the heart to give them right back to you. Help us to trust that your promise of Jeremiah 29:11 will prove true in their lives. Give us wisdom to parent according to your truth. Remind us of what you have spoken when what we see in our children doesn’t look like your promises. Let us remember that just like you have worked in our lives and changed us, you can do the same for them. Father, keep them on your potter’s wheel and mold them into who you created them to be. Cover the areas in which we fall short with your grace and help us to give ourselves grace when we make mistakes. Furthermore, help us to extend the same grace you have given us to our children as they grow and develop. 

We thank you in advance by faith that you will do exceeding, abundantly above all we could ask or think. 

In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. 

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Hope

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There are seasons of heaviness,
There are seasons of grief,
Seasons so dark in which there seems no relief.

There are seasons of fear,
There are seasons of doubt,
When we feel like we are smothering, with no way out.

There are seasons of plenty,
There are seasons with no pull,
When we feel like our cups are overflowing past full.

There are seasons of brokenness,
There are times we want to shout,
When all we see are clouds and everything going down.

Yet, we can wake up in the morning and hear birds sing,
Like their hearts are filled with joy,
And expressions of beautiful melodies.

If we look a little higher,
We can see the sun shining bright,
And realize that after darkness, there is always light.

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Builder of the Broken

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Our oldest son was the biggest of all three of our children. He was so big that he completely skipped newborn diapers and went straight to size 1. I guess you could say he came into this world as a big boy and to this day, we refer to him as our “Big Man”. As a result of his size, his collarbone was broken during delivery. Because he didn’t cry when we came out, we weren’t even aware that he was injured until he cried when the doctors moved his arm. We were instructed to swaddle him with his arm stabilized up against his body. We could not pick him up under his arms because the bone had to stay in position to heal properly. We were also told that there was a chance that he may develop palsy as a result of the injury. For months, we went to doctors’ appointments for his arm until it finally healed. By the time he was 6 months old, his bone had developed a bony callous. A callous is the thickening or hardening around the injury site that forms as it heals. We were also told it would eventually become the strongest part of his collarbone.

We are alot like that area of bone when we are broken. We are fragile, weak, and susceptible to further injury if we aren’t careful. At times, we aren’t even aware we need deliverance in certain areas until we are triggered. For God to heal our brokenness, we have to position ourselves to be healed by Him.

What should we do in times like these? Go to the Father. Admit/show Him where we hurt. Also, we have to be careful about what we subject ourselves to so our healing process won’t be hindered. We must guard our hearts as instructed in Proverbs 4:23 during those times of vulnerability because we can become easy targets for the enemy when our guards are down. That may include unplugging ourselves from social media, phone calls, and anything else that may distract or get us off track. Furthermore, we have to prepare our hearts for Him to work in us to restore and renew what is broken.

After this occurs, we will find that “spiritual callouses” are formed around the areas where we once hurt. Whenever we allow God to complete His healing work in us, we come out stronger in those areas than before. Why? So, we can then go out and love someone else who is broken. We can strengthen someone weak and share our testimony to encourage them. That very testimony may be used to deliver and set others free. Let’s allow Him to work in and through us.

So I ask…where are you hurting today? What are the broken areas in your life that need God’s power to restore and rebuild? Give it to Him. He is able.

To God be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

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All to Him

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As I get older, I have become more and more reflective of every aspect of my life. How am I spending my time? What message am I sending with my life? How am I as a wife, mother, sister, friend, etc.? There are so many questions. However, I have very few answers to any of them. Our experiences tend to shape and even sometimes dictate our actions and perception of life. But in Colossians 3:23, we are instructed “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;”. 

The verse is telling us that we are to aim to please God in all we do. What great advice! Why? When we aim to please or put our trust in men, we will always be disappointed. The nature of man is sinful and imperfect. So, it is impossible to appease them. Our flesh is always thirsting for the next best thing and never satisfied. However, if we walk in the spirit and live Godward; the reward is always great. If we aim to please God, then what we do shall not be in vain. When we strive to people please or set false expectations for ourselves and others, we are left empty and fail. 

Proverbs 16:7 says, “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” You see when our main goal in life is to honor God, everyone else is taken care of. When we seek His kingdom and its righteousness, all things will be added unto us. Look at your life. What different roles do you operate in? Who do you aim to please while operating in each capacity? Are you parenting in a way that honors and pleases God? What about your career? Are you doing it unto the glory of God or for the praises of man? Every person, place, or thing God has assigned to our hands was intended to be pointed back to Him and reflect His glory. If we aren’t doing that, we are simply wasting our time. 

Let Us Pray:

Lord,  We thank you for who you have so fearfully and wonderfully created us to be. We thank you for loving us even during the times we fail to represent you well and walk in our purpose. We ask that you will open our hearts and minds to see our lives through your eyes. Give us a spirit of surrender so we can receive from you and gain wisdom on how to live in a way that reflects who you are. Help us to be good stewards of everything and everyone you have assigned to our hands. Teach us how to give it all back to you. We ask that you will meet us in the places we fall short and give us the grace to grow in you. For you alone are worthy of all the glory, honor, and praise. 

In Your Son Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. 

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Prayer for Direction

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Father,

Thank you for loving us unconditionally. Thank you for sending your son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. We ask that you forgive us for our trespasses. Help us to forgive and those who have trespassed against us. Give us a heart that hungers and thirsts after your righteousness. Fill us with your Spirit so we can be empowered to live victoriously as you intend. Sometimes, we don’t know where to turn or what to do. In those times, we ask that you will lead and guide us. Lord, we ask that our first inclination will be to lean in closer to you and seek your counsel. Give us a mind to not only come to you but abide in you so that when those times come we will be close to your light. May it be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our paths. Give us wisdom and clarity so we can do your will. We silence the voice of the enemy that may come to plant seeds of doubt, fear, and confusion. We cast down every thought that may try to override what your word says and bring our minds under complete submission to you. So, you may direct us. We thank you in advance for all you are going to do.

In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

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The Power of Community

I will be the first to admit. Sometimes, I do NOT like people. They are messy and chaotic. They can be fickle and wishy-washy. They can even be too much at times. Honestly, the older I get, the more I’ve come to enjoy my own company and have become quite selective about who I give my time too. However, there are very magical moments that can occur in the midst of a community. There is a strength and beauty that comes when like hearts come together with purpose. Therefore, we have to not forsake assembling with others.

I believe we were created with community in mind. The triune nature of God himself exemplifies the power of community or oneness. It shows us what happens when all 3 are on one accord. Such cohesion was intended to flow over into the body of Christ. We see the evidence of this very thing in the early church and its effectiveness. Great things happened!

Tonight, I was a bit heavy in spirit and attended a meeting. Usually, my first instinct is to retreat but I decided to go anyway. I was so glad I did. After we handled the business of the night, the ladies began to share their hearts and experiences. The testimonies shared and transparency encouraged my heart. Although I was in a very emotional state, I began to feel the spirit of heaviness lift off of me. I felt so much better by the end of the meeting. Would I have felt better if I had not met with these remarkable women? Probably not. That’s the beauty of fellowship and the power of connection. I believe the enemy knows that. Therefore, he fights so hard to keep us divided. Imagine what would happen if we all came together and just loved on one another regardless of our differences. The world would certainly be a changed place. Trust me. We need all the help we can get. We need each other more than we even realize.

Friends, let’s ask ourselves some questions.

1) Are we instruments of unity or division? 2) What parts of our lives could be better if we allowed ourselves to open up and share them with others? 3) Are we a safe place for those around us? If not, why? 4) Are we depriving ourselves from the benefits of being in community with others?

Lord, give us the wisdom to ask these tough questions. Give us the courage to be transparent with others and ourselves so that true healing can occur. Help us to seek out healthy communities that will nurture our souls and push us into our purpose. Thank you Father for gift of community.

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A Prayer for Graduates

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Dear Father,

We come to you on behalf of every graduate. Lord, we know that you have a divine purpose and plan for them. We thank you for the path that lies before each graduate. Your word says that you have plans of prosperity and not harm. You plan to give them a hope and a future. We ask that you bless every graduate with an assurance in your word and what it says concerning their lives. We ask that you will place a desire in them to hunger and thirst after your righteousness, so they may be filled. Fill them with your spirit so that as they follow your plan for their lives, others will come to know you because of your light shining so brightly through them. Put them before great men and women so they may be conduits of your love, grace, and goodness. Stir up every gift within them so they may do the work of your kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.

When the enemy comes in like a flood like we know he will, Lord lift up a standard. We cancel any of his schemes and assignments against them. You are their great defender. Surround them with a fiery hedge of protection, give your angels charge over them, and cover them with your precious blood. Help them to be a light in these times of darkness and use them to do great works in you. We thank you in advance for every promise you have declared over their lives and the great work that you will do in and through them.

In your son Jesus’ mighty name, we pray.

Amen.

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