Radiantly Beholding the King

September 15, 2019

It’s been a while since I have visited here. In this return, I do so to reveal one of my best kept secrets which also happens to contain my greatest struggle. It is an anniversary date in fact which is to be commemorated here. I realized a few months ago that September 15, 2019 would mark the 15th anniversary of my publication, The King’s Court. The original piece was just intended to be a 2-page essay-type that I presented to my spiritual father to get his feedback on a teaching God had revealed to me. After reading the essay, Ps. Jim had urged me to expound more and even step out further to publish the work. So, I did, and here is what happened.

After months of locating a local printing company to complete the project, I worked tirelessly on edits and choreographed and photographed the picture to be used for the front cover. The excitement and anticipation built as I was only weeks away from having a major literary accomplishment in the palm of my hands. I even had several thoughts and plans of how I would publicize the book and stand out amongst the crowd

But that all fell short in that solitary moment when my hands first held that prized possession and the weight of the world seemed to fall upon my shoulders. The project I began with my mind and heart fixed on Jesus and what He was teaching me got buried beneath a sea of what I could only see. Where my eyes were once fixed on Him, they had fallen to be fixed on my own motive.

“Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”

(Psalm 34:5)

And now, 15 years later, I wake up to the truth of what was that small peanut-sized knot in my gut the moment I held that first book which instigated this 15-year hesitation. I realized that in these last 15 years, I have lived the prophetic truth contained in the words I had jubilantly wrote. It wasn’t easy, and it still is not, but it is Truth. That peanut-size knot in my gut represented a valuable wrinkle in time, not time wasted, but time of pruning. I know now what I had missed back then, and I continue to pursue the King.

This book centers on a teaching in Proverbs 31. Its purpose is to usher the reader into a deeper relationship with Christ who is the King. We fall short in fulfilling the King’s mandate when our focus is misaligned. This new monthly series of blogs is purported to correct that malalignment to re-focus myself and anyone else following this blog so that we may run with relentless clarity the path that is set before us.

You can purchase a copy of The King’s Court on Amazon at the following link:

https://www.amazon.com/Kings-Court-Wendolynn-L-Allen/dp/1932196463

(it may currently appear to be ‘out of stock’, but it really isn’t. Once you complete the ordering processing, it will be sent to you directly from the publisher)

Do you remember …?

August 2, 2013

Do you remember where you were 5 years ago?

I do.

I went to bed at 1am that morning after spending 16 hours loading every single earthly possession I owned into a sixteen-foot moving truck.  I was awake again at 9am because I had an appointment to make it to that day.  I finished up a few odds and ends and unfortunately ended up about 3 hours behind schedule.  I finally drove my car up onto the tow-trailer connected to the moving truck and then I was ready to hit the open road.  I had my route planned out — down Dessau Rd. to Palmer Ln. which would connect me to US 290 then onto I-610 and finally, once I hit I-10 I knew I was on the last leg of my journey.

While I was on 290, just north of Houston, I was met with an interesting encounter.  I initially attributed the bad driving style of the SUV in the lane next to me to inconsiderate, “road rage”-prone, and possibly drunk college students, so I decided to decrease my speed to let them pass.  The funny thing is when I decreased my speed, they did the same, in fact, the vehicle seemed to be drawn to me like a magnet  for at least a couple of miles.  At this point, I was really getting nervous because I was driving an over-sized vehicle with a trailer attached and limited viewing capacity.  I started a conversation with God petitioning Him for safety.  After a few minutes, the vehicle corrected its erratic driving and seemed to slow in order to allow me to pass.  As I did, I glanced over into the passenger window of the SUV and read a sign that they had just placed in the window, it read, “Good Luck Coach Win!”  My heart sank and leaped  for joy at the same time.  It turns out that riding in that SUV were a couple of kids that I had worked with that summer (and several consecutive summers prior to that one).  They were with their parents heading to the coast for a quick vacation before school started.  The reason for the erratic driving was, evidently, to buy them enough time to find something to write there well wishes on.

But what are the odds that out of the whole state of Texas highway system, on a Saturday afternoon, that family would meet up with me in such a manner.  Up until that encounter, I was frustrated because I was three hours behind my anticipated schedule for the day, but to see how God planned such a delicate opportunity helped reassure me of His call and remind me of His promise to never leave me nor forsake me.  As I continued my trip, I grew more expecting.  I had already made several “spy out the land” jaunts to investigate my destination, but, this particular time, I was taking the big plunge.  As I said before, I knew once I merged onto I-10 I would be on the final leg of my journey … a journey that ended in Central City New Orleans at the intersection of Terpsichore and Freret at 11:30pm.  I had “stepped out of the boat.”  It was here that my appointment was.

5 years ago today, August 2, 2008, I arrived in New Orleans in answer to God’s unction within my spirit.  His mandate to me was, “Affect the city for the Kingdom”.  That’s a weighty task.  These last five years have been unremarkable to say the least.  So much has happened in just a short time, yet I know there is more in store.  I am not that girl who left Texas 5 years ago and I haven’t yet fully stepped into the task He has assigned me to, but, just this morning, I seem to have stepped into an opportunity that most effectively resembles the vision that He has placed within my spirit.  This is the starting point!  I take great pleasure in realizing that I am on the mission field to which He has called me.

Last week, I completed step #1 of the original game plan he presented before me.  I used to think that that step needed to have been completed within the first 2 years of me being in NOLA, but it turns out that when He unveiled that plan to me, there were a few things hidden in the crease of the book that I did not see.  And it is a good thing that I did not see those things before I came upon them, because, otherwise I may have never taken this plunge.  As difficult and heart-wrenching as those things were, it was a much needed time of emotional healing, and I know that they were necessary to get me to the point I am at today in which I am able to embrace each event and opportunity He places before me and have confidence that, “He knows the thoughts and plans He has for me.  Plans to prosper me and not to harm me.  Plans to give me a hope and a future.”

Do you remember where you were 5 years ago or even just 2 years or 10 years ago? … He does, and He has always got a plan drawn up just for you.

Psalm 91:1 (W.O.W. translation)* —

He who makes his home in the secret place of refuge that belongs to the Most High will in reality be securely fixed and stable under the protection of the inseparable companion of The Almighty.

see also:  Psalm 16:9; Psalm 19:21; Isaiah 42:3; Hebrews 13:5

* W.O.W. translation means World Of Wendolynn, It is my personal paraphrase of the scripture.

Souvenirs of 2020

October 28, 2020

A few weeks ago, my mind seemed to randomly wander to the word “Souvenir”. Maybe it was because I hadn’t been on a vacation in a while, but I did have some vacation plans already made. But still, it seemed like an odd word to cross my mind at the exact time that it did. So, as I allowed my mind to finish the bunny trail it seemed to be wandering, the fuller thought came to me of “Souvenirs of 2020”. Now this aimless wandering was getting a little interesting, so with a little chuckle I fully engaged in the thought process.

What is a “Souvenir”? It is something you take ownership of to remind you of something like a place you went or an event that occurred.

I placed that definition into my complete thought and began to wonder what would be my souvenirs of the year 2020. A remarkable year, to say the least. This is the year that the entire world got grounded. Yes, it was just like when you were a child and your parents told you that you could only come out of your room for meal times and occasional recreation. There was a curfew, and there was even some strife among siblings possibly due to the restlessness as a result of the uncertainty of all the events. Then the strife went overboard and caused more disproportional hurt and the grounding was extended even longer. All this because some people were playing and one coughed on the other then got on an airplane and carried his forbidden stowaways to his neighbors. This is just a paraphrase, but that’s pretty much how the story went.

But do you remember when?, just a few short, ten, months ago when there was an excitement for the year 2020. Who would have thought that there would be joking gestures to eliminate the final calendar days of 2020 as early as the start of the final quarter of the year. It seemed that it would be a pivotal year just because of its title, The Year 2020. And of course, don’t forget that the numerical significance of it resembles the prognosis from the Optometrist that everyone desires, 20/20 vision. So, in essence, this year of 2020 was (as of December 2019) supposed to be a year of new and exciting ventures, adventures, and viewpoints.

But was it?

I think it is a matter off perspective.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

James 1:2-5

As we are now a third of the way through the final quarter of 2020, let us reflect on, not the difficult times we endured, but the times that we remained steadfast and are now where we are today because of our patient endurance. No doubt, none of us are where we anticipated we would be when we dreamt about it a year ago, but please consider whether or not that is a bad thing. Personally, I never phathomed the events of 2020 but, as they encroached, I found myself building a fortress in the unfailing arms of my saviour, like never before. A new peace was birthed in me as I learned that His love for me was even stronger than I could ever imagine, and beyond any words that I could use to describe it here. It was unfortunate that the plans I wrote out to accomplish for myself did not get completed, but what He completed in me was priceless. He completed, or should I say, He ended the cycle of rejection that had plagued my life for 46 years. He loosed my tongue to not only praise Him in song but also in the preached prophetic word. He released my emotions from a ball of ‘Yuck!’ to a ribbon of compassion. It is all a work in progress, but had this year proceeded according to the plans I had made, I would not have the souvenir I can now claim.

My souvenir is the depths of the most valuable relationship of all. And for me, that is true 20/20 vision.

What about you? What is your perspective? Do you have disappointment because this year did not go as you had planned? Let me encourage you to reflect on the out-of-the-ordinary ventures, adventures, and viewpoints you came up close and personal with this year. Wasn’t there something that caused personal and spititual growth? It is oftentimes the unexpected events that allow us the most valuable tools of growth.

So, with just over 60 days left in this remarkable year, check your perspective and find your “Souvenirs of 2020”.

Have you tried walking?

July 29, 2020

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath. –John 5:2-9

Sometimes, we get caught up in our routines and forget that there just might be another way. We even call it a tradition…”that’s just how things are because that is how they have always been”. Well, here in this scripture, we see Jesus challenging that to encourage us to step forward into the “new thing” that God is doing (Isaiah 43:19).

The man here had been waiting at the pool of Bethesda for his healing for 38 years. He was respectfully observing the traditional “rules of engagement”. When the waters began to stir, it was supposed to be the first invalid to step into the water who would receive the healing. So, when Jesus approached him to ask, “Do you want to be healed?,” He gave the only answer he could, the one faulting tradition as the reason why he couldn’t have what he wanted. His excuses were, …”there was no one there to put him into the pool”, and, “whenever he got close enough on his own, someone else jumped in ahead of him.” There’s a spirit of co-dependency and rejection, right there.

Have you ever been in circumstances which seemed so insurmountable that you felt you had to have someone else come to deliver you out of them? Or, have you ever tried so hard to achieve something that it seems that just as you were at the brink of  success, someone else came in and snatched it out of your hands, leaving you standing (or lying) there in disbelief that “this is just how it is gonna be”.

Well, let me tell you that “that is not how it is gonna be” if you don’t want it to be like that. It took the power of Jesus coming to this gentleman and commanding him to do that which he never could do. And, because of his obedience in that instance, the man was healed. However, let’s consider the possibility that this gentleman had been healed years, or months, or weeks, or even days early than this moment in which we see him walk in verse 9. Perhaps he had been healed as a result of his faith to remain at the pool to wait for his healing. I mean, the scripture says that he had been there for 38 years, so he obviously believed that that is where he needed to be in order to be healed. But I think he erred in the fact that he let tradition set the pace for him.

Because the tradition he was taught said that he had to be the first in the water when it stirred, he saw that inability as a road block to reject him from his healing manifestation. But, this need not be true. We serve a big God who heals in numerous ways. His one requirement is that we have faith (Matthew 17:20) and it seems to me that this man had plenty of that. But what he lacked was the courage to just WALK! and that is what Jesus gave him in his command.

I reflect greatly upon my life as I write this and I know first-hand how difficult it is to have the courage to do something that you have never done before, or were always told you couldn’t do. And in each of those situations, the answer was for me to just walk. Though I encountered even more opposition, the only thing I could do was begin to and continue to walk.

Healing comes in the journey. It is an instantaneous miracle that is unveiled as we press through and venture down the path. Maybe this man would have realized earlier in his life that he could walk if only he had tried. But I am not speaking negatively against him, just using him as an object lesson. To hear the direct command of Jesus and exercise instant obedience is definitely an honorable thing, but what more of an exercise of faith than to press through even when confidence is waning and you don’t feel secure (John 20:29).

For as long as I lay there thinking of my lack of others to help me or understand, I only glued myself more tightly to my “sick bed” of depression, rejection, co-dependency, and oppression. But when I attempted to walk, and yes, I needed the stern, yet gentle and gracious, command of Jesus resonating in my ears (Mark 5:41), I found my healing in my journey.

Just like the ten Lepers in Luke 17. They shouted from a distance for Jesus to heal them and he commanded them to go show themselves to the priest. In obedience to Jesus’ words they started walking to the priest, and scripture says that as they walked, they were healed. They made conscious action to act according to their request.

Have you tried walking?

 

Keeping the Flow

June 14, 2020

“Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23

I used to think that the term “guard” in Proverbs 4:23 meant the term as a noun and implied to set a impenetrable fortress around one’s heart to protect it from harm. I was partially incorrect. It does imply setting an impenetrable fortress around the heart to protect it from harm, but the term “guard” in this scripture is more accurately a verb, not a noun. A noun translates into a solitary fact which is unalterable, but, as a verb, it is an action word. A word better explained as “being aware”, “being intently watchful”, “to keep”, “to guard against offense”. Offense is a tricky thing. That is why we need to be guarded against it. But it is important to realize that as Cristians, our opposition to offense is not defense…that is God’s position. “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’” (Romans 12:19). In our opposition to offense, we lament to God then commit to being watchful for His expression of His answer to us and His expression of dealing with the issue of concern. Habakkuk gives the perfect example in chapter two verse one. After expressing his heart-woes in chapter one, he states that he will not only wait to let God answer, but he will rise above all else while he is waiting so that he will not be distracted. We should follow suite and place our trust in God to keep us in His peace according to His righteousness (Isaiah 26:3). In keeping us, He is that active guard for our hearts. But our diligence/vigilance must be to seek Him above all else. Jeremiah 17:5-8 details the curse that is upon a person who trusts in their (or other man’s) counsel while negating God as well as the blessing that is before the one who presses onward with their trust fully in God. Then, in verse 9, he gives the reason why — the heart is full of deceit. The human heart without God can only make a feeble attempt at self-preservation. The only method for inciting this requires the closure of all routes to the heart (affections), both inward and outward. In other words, there is no expression of true peace or true joy because the heart becomes dry, brittle, and bitter because of the lack of “living water”. Jesus is that “living water” (John 7:37). A dehydrated human heart can not properly coordinate the necessary signals and rhythms required for sustaining life. And neither can a dehydrated spiritual heart.

“Then on the most important day of the feast, the last day, Jesus stood and shouted out to the crowds— ‘All you thirsty ones, come to me! Come to me and drink! Believe in me so that rivers of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being, just like the Scripture says!’”
‭‭John‬ ‭7:37-38‬ ‭TPT‬‬

“So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.”
Proverbs 4:23 TPT

“… that you may be able to endure it.”

June 5, 2020

In 1 Corinthians 10:13, there is a forgotten phrase at the end of the scripture. Or at least, I should say, I have forgotten it. And this oversight has caused some misinterpretation of the passage. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” In this scripture, there are 4 stated facts about God, but the last one often goes overlooked and I am sure that it is due to the subconscious reasoning of Man.

1) No matter what God has allowed us to be tempted with, we are not the first to be tempted by it.

2) God is faithful and knows the weight that each and every person is capable of tolerating.

3) God has provided a way for each person to break free of burdens.

4) But that route means that we MUST live through and experience the encounter God has presented to us.

I often hear those first 3 points, and have myself, used them to encourage others through difficult times. But just today that last phrase, point #4, jumped out at me. How often do we press into God for increased growth and strength yet, when trials come, we plead with Him to remove the trial or we have a temper-tantrum blaming Him because we think we did everything so correct that there is no reason for the trial to be there. We want what we are asking for, but we don’t want the testing that proceeds the mastery of the concept. We forget that John 16:33 says, “In the world you will have tribulation.” And yet again, we casually overlook the last phrase of that scripture also, “But take heart; I have overcome the world.” These are the words of Jesus, and because we know that Jesus never spoke or did anything that was not originated by the Father (John 5:19), we can attribute these words as a promise from the Father. Jesus has overcome the world and our inheritance is in Him. We are His legacy and He has therefore given us the strength, power, and authority to overcome the world as well.

And now, back to point #4 in 1 Corinthians 10:13, actually, points 3 and 4 are connected. Our way of escape is through our faith and belief in Jesus as The Christ. This leads to our wherewithal to live through and experience the encounter God has presented to us with His peace as our anchor of hope (John 14:27; Philippians 4:7; Hebrews 6:19).

Have you been lost and seemingly forgotten in the world wind of life? Do you feel as if you are in a labyrinth with no clue of understanding which passageway you should take next? My encouragement for you today is “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). Place your hope and your trust, your strength and your might, your confidence and your conviction all on Him. Set your affections upon the Lord today. For He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7) and desires to fulfill you and fill you with an endless supply of His life-giving streams of water. He is the sustainer of your soul and ever-present help in times of need (Psalm 46:1-11).

“…that you may be able to endure it” is a precious valuable promise from our Heavenly Father — God. The life He has ordained for each and every one of His children has been divinely fixed that we should prosper and have success according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). That which has been allowed to come before you is a crucial puzzle piece to clearly defining the future that has been prepared for you. Dare to embrace it with patience, joy, and zeal that you may be ever enriched by it.

“‘And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, ‘Be gone!’” (Isaiah 30:20-22)

Do you see what I see?

May 29, 2020

Do you see what I see? A question Jesus asked his disciples many times. On one particular occasion, he was talking to Peter when He asked this question. Not in those exact words, but in Matthew 16:23 Jesus tells Peter that. He says until you can see what I see, the way I see it, get away from me because you are a distraction. He said that He views things from His Father’s divine eternal perspective but Peter sees through temporal human eyes with finite perspective.

What about you? Could you possibly be guilty of not seeing circumstances from God’s viewpoint. Perhaps this has caused you to be hardened by life’s deceitfulness. Beware, lest this turn into rebellion. Rebellion against the artist, the potter, the manufacturer of your soul and circumstance. God’s vantage point is sovereign and takes into account many aspects, more than we can fathom through our finite reasoning (Psalm 139:5-6). Do you think that when he created you, he was unaware of His plan and intents for you? It is an unfortunate reality that others He has created have chosen to not properly play the part He has set forth for them and that unfortunate happenstance has caused you to acclimate to your current condition, but you must not give in…Don’t stop there…You can’t stay there! There is still time for his plan to work for you. And those others as well. When He created you, He had eternity in mind. He chose a route for you to encounter your destiny and this is it. Nothing that you have endured was meant to destroy you, but instead it was meant to build you. If it was God-ordained to destroy you, then it would have. But it didn’t. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Your way out is through. That is what is meant when Jesus said, “take up your cross” (Matthew 16:24). This pain, this stronghold, this addiction, this chain will not be your defining shame. It’s purpose is to draw you nearer. There is hope. It is inside of you. It is the risen Christ (Colossians 1:27). “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20). God’s love for you is that you recognize His work in your life. He sent His son Jesus to the cross for you. By that, if we acknowledge and accept His merciful sacrifice, “he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5). And this is that time, “the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 5:7). Pick up your pain, your rejection, your hurt, your disappointment and follow Him. Better yet, let go of it and just give it all to Him. He is pleading with you,“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Choose to encounter His love at this very moment and know His peace.

“Christ’s resurrection is your resurrection too. This is why we are to yearn for all that is above, for that’s where Christ sits enthroned at the place of all power, honor, and authority! Yes, feast on all the treasures of the heavenly realm and fill your thoughts with heavenly realities, and not with the distractions of the natural realm. Your crucifixion with Christ has severed the tie to this life, and now your true life is hidden away in God in Christ. And as Christ himself is seen for who he really is, who you really are will also be revealed, for you are now one with him in his glory!” — Colossians 3:1-4 TPT

Choose to Believe

May 16, 2020

Have you ever picked up a discarded piece of paper that you thought was trash?

It was already crumpled up and left on the floor by the original owner, then you come along and figure it just needs to go in the garbage?

Maybe you have felt like you were that piece of paper? Just laying there on the floor getting stepped on and kicked around until someone finally comes to put you in the garbage can. Perhaps what you are living now is a garbage can life. Stinky and dirty, just waiting for the incinerator?
Well, I have felt like that. I endured great rejection and abuse throughout my childhood and as I became an adult, life just seemed overwhelming. I have felt kicked and stepped on an awful lot.
It wasn’t until I learned the reality of who my original owner was that I was able to overcome the life I had been living. I thought my original owners were my birth family, the ones who started the abuse and rejection cycle in my life. Things they did to me, said to me, and said about me were very hurtful, and that was powerful.
I allowed those things to shape what I thought about myself and how I lived.
But then I learned that God, creator of the whole world, also created me. That would mean that He was my original owner. And as my original owner, I began to learn of what He says and thinks about me. I learned to use His words as the Truth that I choose to believe. Though it was hard and is hard some days to wake up and keep making that choice, I recognize that His plan for my life far outweighs the pressure of the feet that kicked and stepped on me, then and now.

So, back to that piece of paper… I know people who have seen what they thought was trash on the floor, but upon closer inspection they realized that there was something very valuable inside (money, jewelry, important phone numbers…).
And that is what I learned about myself. And that is what I am saying to you and about you. You are not trash! You are not negligible! Neither am I. We are all valued by God and valuable to God. We are the piece of paper that he has written on. In fact, we are stamped with His image (Genesis 1:27) and sealed with His guarantee (Ephesians 1:3-14) if we make the conscious choice to believe that He is for us. He purchased us by sending His son to die for us. “For this is how much God loved the world—he gave his one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life” (‭‭John‬ ‭3:16‬ TPT‬).
We are valuable to Him because He intends to use us as the advertisement of His love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness. “God chose those whom the world considers foolish to shame those who think they are wise, and God chose the puny and powerless to shame the high and mighty” (1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:27‬ TPT).
God brought me into this world and placed me in a family that was supposed to exercise good stewardship over me, but, unfortunately, they did not because they really didn’t know how to. They didn’t understand the depths of what  I am explaining to you.
Maybe you come from that same type of atmosphere? Please hear me say that I am very sorry that you had to go through that. But please also hear me say that we have an even better hope for the present and the future. We can “Celebrate with praises the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has shown us his extravagant mercy. For his fountain of mercy has given us a new life—we are reborn to experience a living, energetic hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We are reborn into a perfect inheritance that can never perish, never be defiled, and never diminish. It is promised and preserved forever in the heavenly realm for you! Through our faith, the mighty power of God constantly guards us until our full salvation is ready to be revealed in the last time. May the thought of this cause you to jump for joy, even though lately you’ve had to put up with the grief of many trials” (1 Peter‬ ‭1:3-6‬ ‭TPT‬‬).
It is God’s goodness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4), and His goodness is unconditional love. He has that for you today. He is reaching His hand out for you. You need only to grab hold and say, “I want you Jesus. I accept your sacrifice for me and I want you to be the Lord and Savior of my life.”
“This is GOD ’s Word on the subject…‘I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.’ GOD ’s Decree. ‘I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you’— GOD ’s Decree—‘bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen’” (Jeremiah‬ ‭29:10-14‬ MSG‬‬)

Connecting the dots

January 2, 2014

Remember your childhood coloring and activity books.  I hadn’t seen nor even thought about those in many years.  As I was travelling to visit family and friends for the Christmas holiday, God gave me a glimpse of those old coloring books that had pages with what seemed to be random dots and numbers next to each dot.  I believe they were called ‘dot-to-dots’.  The objective was to draw a line to each numbered dot in sequential order and by the time all the dots were connected, it would reveal a picture that oftentimes one could never have imagined would have resulted from such a random formation.  God reminded me of this childhood activity and said that He was about to start connecting the dots in my life.

When I look back over my experiences in life, there seem to have been many occasions when I obsessively wondered “why”.  I am sure others can relate as well.  Opportunities, issues, or situations appear to be just random dots in our life and our finite understanding cannot fathom what broad purpose they serve so we tend to settle for the narrowed and self-absorbent view that those challenges were just meant to hurt us, oppress us, and depress us.  We can’t see the big picture from our perspective.  Remember when you were working those activity pages?  If you just focused on one dot you were never able to see the picture.  You had to come to the realization that the numbers were by each dot for a reason and you had to have faith that if you connected each dot the picture would appear.  It was in hopeful expectation that you took your pencil and began drawing lines between each dot.  There were times that you got a bit eager and, after connecting only half of the dots, tried to predict what the picture was but the true picture could only be revealed when you finished the task you started by faith.  From our perspective, the picture is always skewed because we are an imperfect people, but, from God’s perspective, the picture is perfectly in focus.  We have to faithfully hold on to the sovereignty of God   and remember that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

As I reflect over these last few months, I realize that God had already begun to connect some of the dots in my life and during the few days with family and friends He connected a few more.  But I know it doesn’t stop there.  There is a beautiful picture waiting to be revealed that connects all the events of my past, whether good or bad, and I choose to hold tightly to God’s sovereign and unchanging hand as He ushers me into seeing my life from His perspective.  Today we begin a new year and before this year is over I will turn 40 years old.  I am reminded that the Israelites crossed over into the Promised Land after 40 years of wandering the desert and experiencing what seemed to them like a few stray dots.  When they finally learned to see from God’s perspective, they finally stepped into the land of abundance that was promised to them, “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Joshua 5:6).  So I decree, this is my year to cross over.  I am packing up and moving into a land flowing with milk and honey.  I am packing up my past to set it aside, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14), and I wait with “earnest expectation for the manifestation” (Romans 8:19) of that which God has prepared for me.

I am packing up and moving into a land flowing with milk and honey.

And you can too.  Will you join me?  This year can revolutionize [verb – change radically] your life if you let it.  Whatever is in your hands preventing you from raising them in absolute and total surrender to God’s sovereign plan, pack it up and set it aside.  Walk into this New Year without a resolution but with a resolve to be unhindered and excited to see the change that God will bring in 2014.

The way I see it

September 2, 2012

Facebook post for 8/27/2012:

I was walking to school this morning, definitely feeling the wake up breezes of our friend Isaac as he cruises through the Gulf ever-so-briskly on his way to visit us, and I turned on Pandora Radio to hear Jesus Culture singing, “blow mighty breath of God…move in power and grace”.  Coincidental?  I think more like Ordained-ental (Psalm 139:16).  Remember, whatever Isaac brings, God is in control and those that have a covenant with Him can Rest assured.

Blog written 9/2/2012:

WOW!!!!  A lot has happened in a week.  When I look back at the moment I posted the above comment on Facebook, I must admit that I didn’t imagine that the next five days would play out as they did.  First of all, I must preface this by saying, for those of you who don’t know, I am a Texas girl and, even more so, I was born and raised in the suburbs of one of the largest metropolitan cities of that state.  In other words, if my name were Dorothy, I would be telling my cat, “Joy, I don’t think we’re in Texas anymore”. It’s been a little more than 4 years that I have resided in the New Orleans area and, for at least three of those years, I was in culture shock.  That’s not a bad thing, it just, well… you take a single girl in her mid-30s, pluck her up and replant her 524 miles away from her original roots and …. I think farmers and gardeners know what I am talking about.  I came to fulfill the specific mandate that God gave me – “Affect the City for the Kingdom”.  I am still maturing into the vessel that God needs to use in order to fulfill that mission and I am almost constantly reminded that God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called (Hebrews 13:20-21).  And sometimes He is ever-so graceful to beat that equipment into me while I am kicking and screaming.  He is such a loving Father.

When we were dismissed from school at noon on Monday, I was excited because it meant extra study time to catch up on reading assignments that I was behind on (I am in school full-time for the first time in 16 years and I have a fully loaded schedule).  Still hampered by my Texas mindset, I was optimistic that this storm would blow over very quickly, despite the forecast predictions, and we would be back to work and school by Wednesday.  I was diligent to immediately attack my studies so as to take advantage of the extended weekend that I was granted.  However, by Tuesday evening when our friend Isaac officially knocked on the door and forced his way into our land this Texan got a weee bit nervous.  I can only recall one major almost natural disaster that I have experienced in my life and that was about six years ago in Waco, Texas.  Whereas the Gulf is “Hurricane Central”, there is a portion of Texas that is known as “Tornado Alley”.  It was a close call, but fortunately the tornado only took out the restaurant that we (the high school track team that I was coaching) ate dinner at 5 hours previously.  The horrific sirens were the scariest thing about that whole ordeal.  Anyway, back to Tuesday night, the gust of wind and rattles at my door started to disturb me as well as the flying roof shingles from my neighbor’s house.  Then, when the power went out I tried to stay strong as I slept through that first night by remembering the 3 weeks I recently spent in Uganda with no electric and no running water.  I thought I was a pro.  Wednesday wasn’t too bad, as I got used to the wind surges and found a bucket to catch dripping water from a leak, but once we neared the 24-hour mark of no electricity and I ran out of books to read and things to clean, I got a little ansy and that’s when I realized that this was only a Category One storm.  WOW!  According to the calendar, it was August 29.  Exactly 7 years after that massive Category Five storm hit this same area.  In fact, the house that I currently live in was under water as a result of that event (then again, because of that, this house had to be completely remodeled in order to be habitable and I am the recipient of this gorgeous living space).  REALITY CHECK!!!!!!

The week before Isaac graced us with his presence, I began to hear the buzz that has become characteristic of this season of the year.  It was an unfortunate incident that has left a huge scare.  Initially, I only received second hand press-released information as I was securely residing in my Texas home.  Little did I know at that moment 7 years ago, I would have the opportunity to meet and work with those who had the first hand experience?  Those of you who know me know that I tend to maintain several part-time jobs because I like the variety and flexibility.  One of those jobs happens to be at the venue that served as refuge from the storm for many during that time.  Periodically, as co-workers and I are tending to our duties, a trigger will spark a memory and cause them to reminisce about how they survived and participated in an incident that no one ever predicted.  Throughout the last 4 years, I have been blessed to have the opportunity to hear many stories of the ‘real deal’.  Then, I reflect on how Ordained-ental it was for God to guide me to attend a church that I soon found out was one of the first food distribution headquarters as the City began to rebuild from such a traumatic experience.

As I sit here writing this, I really can’t pull together all my thoughts concerning this incident and I am sure that it sounds like I am just mindlessly rambling, but believe me when I say that I had a good purpose for writing today, I just can’t figure out exactly what it was.  For the last eight weeks, I have heard God almost constantly whispering, “what’s in your hands”.  In the natural, I look at them and I see that they are empty, but as we are to know all things and people after the spirit and not of the flesh (that includes ourselves), I have to realize that there is plenty in my hands, and it is sufficient enough for the task at hand.  Let’s also look at the storms and times in the same light; we must see it after the spirit and not after the flesh.  Isaac was the son of the promise “and Isaac dug again the wells of water…” (Genesis 26:18).  That water is symbolic of the new life, refreshing river.  That water is a symbol of fresh joy.  There was a catastrophic hurt seven years ago and at that time God gave me a vision of refreshing waves sweeping over NOLA.  A few months after that, He prompted me to make preparations to move to NOLA to be a part of what He is doing.  I believe that seven signifies the number of completion (I am a Bible College student, but not a scholar, please forgive me if I am wrong). Like I said, I am not yet fully mature for what God has called me to here in NOLA, but I do see that it is time to possess the healing for this land and it is time for us to look at “What’s in our hands”