Building Memorials for Creative Success: Week 2 #SeizetheDream #Goals #MondayMotivation #CreativeMotivation

*To see previous course encouragements see the Course Content Page.

Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe; and Joshua said to them: “Cross over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.” ~Joshua 4:4-7 NKJV Bible Gateway

Memorial. A memorial is something that we set up to remind ourselves of important events or happenings in our lives.

Wedding bands are memorials of covenant relationships with one’s spouse. Diplomas are memorials for academic achievement. Gravestones are memorials declaring the life and death of a loved one.

No matter the type of memorial, all of them have the same purpose, and that is to call us to remembrance.

Every memorial that is set up in our lives will either spur us on to a healthy and whole future, or they will hinder us from taking the necessary steps we need in order to truly walk in our desired creative success.

As creatives, and for those of us who are people of faith, we must be mindful of the kinds of memorials we are setting up in our lives. Are we establishing reminders for success, or stumbling blocks for failure?

As we walk into the second week of this creative journey here are 3 Memorials we need to investigate; Past, Present, and Future.

Past: Where You’ve Been

  • Learn to Forget

The memorial of the past consists of its fair share of victories as well as failures. The beauty of looking back at our past is that we get to acknowledge it for what it truly is–Our past.

Sometimes our past victories can become as crippling as our failures. Remembering the ‘good’ that we did in yesteryear can sometimes be the fading glory that prevents us from pressing into the present opportunity for ‘greatness’ in tomorrow.

We can become so intimidated by our past success that we feel as if we won’t be able to reach that former glory let alone exceed it.

In Philippians 3:13-14, the Apostle Pauls says:

13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

As creatives, seeking a greater dream, we must, like the Apostle Paul, realize that we may not be at the level of success we’d like but we cannot let yesterday keep us from aiming for that level either.

We must learn to forget those old failures as well as put our past victories in their proper perspective if we are going to take hold of our future success.

  • Learn to Remember

In the same token, we have to keep stock of the victories we attained especially when the odds were against us and it seemed as if we were not going to reach or goals.

In Psalm 23, King David says of the Lord that His rod and His staff comfort him (Psalm 23) Some text suggest that the staff that David carried and referred to was a patriarchal staff passed down from father to son. On this staff were the victories over trial, and the mighty works that God had done for His people.

Being able to look back and remember how in the toughest of times we still achieved our goal is a comfort and an encouragement that urges us forward into our next victory.

If we overcame yesterday, we can surely do so today!

Present: Where You Are

Many of us creatives have found ourselves having a desired destination in mind but finding several reasons today for why we cannot get there. This often comes from looking at what you have in comparison to what you think you need, and then counting yourself out.

When we begin to see our present as insufficient in light of what we what for our future, and thus determine that it would be useless to make steps to contradict the insufficiency, we position ourselves for failure.

This is obviously not the kind of memorial we want to build.

If you are a person of faith, you must believe that the God of Creation not only gave you your creative dream and vision but that He is also aware of where you are and what you have, even in the face of what you ‘think’ you need.

Hebrews 13:5 says,

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”~ NKJV

To be content with our present does not mean that we are ‘satisfied,’ nor that we are deciding to just lay day and allow life to happen at whim. Rather it means that we have taken stock of what we currently have in hand, and with the minds of faith, courage, and ingenuity we are trusting a power greater than us to bless our steps of faith.

When we learn to move with and beyond what we have, seeing opportunity instead of lack, that we grow in our creativity and ingenuity. Genius is born when we move in faith and courage where we are with what we have available to us.

  • Remember that presently you are___________/you have_____________but you shall______________because you have faith.

Future: Where You Are Going

Where you are going is determined by how you think and what you see in your imagination. Proverbs 23:7 tells us that as a man thinks in his heart so is he.

In order for you to sow seeds for creative success, you must:

  • Learn to see yourself as successful
  • Learn to see yourself victorious in your vision
  • Learn to see yourself beyond the current odds

Overcoming roadblocks build strength, faith, and endurance. Building proper memorials enables us to do that.

CREATIVE FAITH IN ACTION:

  • In your journal, take the time to write down your memorials. Using the principles outlined in today’s course write down:
  1. Where you’ve been
  2. Where you are
  3. Where you ARE going
  • Speak your success: Using an index card, write down five affirmations about the successful person you are. Example: I am a success. I am original. I am courageous. Speak these out loud to yourself especially when you are feeling discouraged.

SCRIPTURE FOCUS:

ADDITIONAL READING:

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS:

  • What memorials do you have that have helped you take the steps toward your Creative Dream & Vision?
  • How have past victories hindered or enabled you in your creative growth?
  • What advice would you share with others who have struggled to take hold of or regain their footing in conquering their dreams and goals?

Please share your wisdom and advice in the comments below.

FOR MORE INFO ABOUT THIS 12 WEEK JOURNEY, SEE Gearing Up to Prepare for Your Creative Success: Seeds We Sow

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

How to Achieve Your Dream Part 1: Believe You Can #MotivationMonday #SeizetheDream #Creative

Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” ~Theodre Roosevelt

One of the most glorious things about life is that even though it can be considered a canvas, it certainly is not a ‘paint by numbers.’ Life is not a one-size-fits-all even if certain ideas and concepts may mirror that of another’s. There still, and always, remains the glory of uniqueness in each person’s life and creation.

I believe that Yeshua Jesus has a plan for each of us, a perfect design that He wants us to be co-workers with Him upon. He gives us dreams for a reason. Some dreams we take hold of and bring to manifestation, while others, sadly we leave to float away like feathers in the wind.

Many times, the dreams that get away from us are the dreams that we can’t seem to muster the faith for or we allow our faith to be choked away.

But how do we cease to do this?

We have to make a connection with faith and hold on to it. The Lord tells us that all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed and nothing will be impossible for us (Matthews 17:20) The glory of such a small seed is that it becomes very large when placed in the right soil and environment.

The blessing for us is that anything that we put in the hand of the Master has the potential to be greatly multiplied beyond what we can even hope or imagine! (Matthew 14:13-21,  Ephesians 3:14-21)

We have to see more opportunities than obstacles.  We must no longer minimize the potential of the seed of the dreams we have and stop polluting the soil of opportunity with weeds of fear and doubt.

In order to do this, we need to remind ourselves of the great love that Yeshua Jesus has for us. He is the one who has given us the dream and He loves us. Fear, however, is the opponent of love (I John 4:18), and not only are you greatly loved but you have not been given the spirit of fear, but love, power, and a sound mind! (2 Timothy 1:7)

We also have to use our creative imagination with faith-filled courage and not fear-filled conjecture. We must focus on the potential truth of imaginative vision instead of the frailty of tangible sight.

The book of Proverbs tells us that as a man thinks in his heart so he is (Proverbs 23:7)These thoughts which soon become reality began as a seed of imagination. They can either be based out of fear as well as incomplete information or fuelled by faith.

To be ruled by conjecture is similar to looking into a pool and concluding that the waters are not deep because they ‘look’ to be shallow, only to find out you were wrong once your head is under water.

Operating in the truth of imaginitive vision is to step out in faith and we are encouraged in the Word that Faith is the substance of things not seen and the evidence of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1). Evidence is not conjecture. Evidence is truth!

Faith it out!

The beauty in this is that the greatest push for us to accomplish those dreams that make our hearts flutter is to first believe. Believing, making the commitment to take the step, is the greatest part of the journey.

It is the first step toward your dream, and believing enough to step out means you are already halfway there!

*Join me next week for Part 2 of this motivating series.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Plan Big!: A Word of Creative Encouragement #MotivationMonday

When God is your partner, make your plans big!” ~ D.L Moody

Plan BIG!

You’d think that that exhortation would make every person who heard it celebrate with a motivated fire for action when in reality it makes a lot of people shrink back in fear and hide under the heavy blankets of safety and mediocrity.

Dreaming is not so much of an issue for most of us. But dreaming big . . . well, that has the power to not only knock the wind out of many of our sails but sink our boats completely.

Like me, I suppose you are wondering why that is. If we are honest with ourselves we would have to admit that insecurity and the scrutiny of others is what holds us back. The old ‘what will people think?’ phrase acts as the perfect glitch in our plans of action.

The very thought of failing in front of others, especially those who’ve minimalized our former dreams with the constant song of ‘you can’t,’ strikes us immobile. Them witnessing our former failed attempts doesn’t help either.

But is any of that really a reason to shrink our globally-sized visions down to something that only fills a shoebox? Are our past ‘failures’ really messages that we are not able to achieve the impossible?

I dare say NO!

If nothing else our past ‘failures’ are signs that we are indeed able to succeed? Why? Because even when we aimed for the moon and didn’t even leave the atmosphere, we still have the gumption to load up for another shot.

We are indeed meant to plan big, and along with that, we must rest in faith that every seeming malfunction has a glorious function for our good. We learn from every step we take. We are strengthened by every closed door. We can actually become better with ever affront against our determination.

Isaiah 54:2-4 says, “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited. “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.”

Dreaming BIG is a gift, a costly gift. It means we will have seasons and moments when we look foolish. It will require us to cast out our nets just one more time in faith even though we’ve been fishing all night and caught nothing. (Luke 5:3-7) But when Yeshua Jesus is directing our casting even when the progress looks minimal the process is optimal and so is the final outcome if we stick with it.

What we must realize is that the God of all Creation has big dreams and plans for each of us. When we trust Him as our Father we are then positioned by faith to prosper. (Jeremiah 29:11)  His thoughts for us are all GOOD and PRECIOUS  and they outnumber the stars and the sand (Psalm 139:17-18).

But part of seeing these dreams come to pass rest in our willingness to dream big, plan even bigger and allow the Giver of Dreams Himself to guide us on the journey. (John 15:5) “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

There is nothing that is too big for Yeshua Jesus to do and when He is our partner there is NOTHING we cannot do! (Philippians 4:13)  But it requires us to believe in and on Him, and take great leaps of faith.

But then, that’s all it takes.

So dream, plan and do it BIG! He’s got your back.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

*Revised from June 2016

A Reason to Rejoice: A Word of Faith

rejoice-alwaysI’m sure that whether you are a Christian or not, you have heard that the shortest verse in the bible is John 11:35,”Jesus wept.” While this is true on one hand, there is a verse that rivals it for the two-word title and that is a passage found in I Thessalonians 5:16.

“Rejoice always.” ~I Thessalonians 5:16

While the two verses seem to have a world between then in meaning, I want to encourage you of how they both give us a reason to rejoice and empower us to do so in the Lord God Yeshua Jesus.

In John 11, we find Yeshua Jesus at the tomb of His beloved friend, Lazarus who has passed away, and Yeshua Jesus, fully understanding the grief of those around Him wept along with them. He being, fully God, and fully Man took on the role of complete friend and shared in the sufferings of those around Him even though He knew what He was capable of doing as the God of all creation.

Even with His infinite power, He allowed Himself to weep. Sometimes when we face hardships in life, we often feel guilty for being overcome by emotions. I don’t know about you, but there have been many occasions where I’ve had to remind myself that crying because of a situation does not mean I don’t have faith concerning the situation.

Just as my Savior wept in His sovereignty, you and I have the blessing of weeping in our salvation and hope.

When we face our ‘Lazarus’ situations, moments where life seems completely unfair and that which we were believing God for seems to have died, we may find it difficult to rejoice in anything at all. You may even be thinking that the Lord’s prompting for us to rejoice is somewhat unfair.

But again, just as Yeshua Jesus gives us peace of mind when we weep He also gives us the reason to rejoice.

These two verses, similar in their length, bless us with some key truths about the character of the God we serve and hope in:

  1. John 11:35 assures us that Yeshua Jesus understands our sufferings even as we share in His.
  2. I Thessalonians 5:16 reminds us that there is always a reason for hope.

The same way that Yeshua Jesus knew what He could do at Lazarus’ tomb, He is able and willing to do at the ‘tombs’ in our lives. In this we can rejoice! The call to rejoice is a call to take firm hold of our faith.

WE CAN REJOICE BECAUSE:

  • We are Rejoicing in Him: Philippians 4:4  Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” We rejoice in Who He is. We rejoice that He is soveriegn over every situation in our lives.
  • We are rejoicing in Hope: Romans 12:12  rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer…”
  • We know our Hope does not dissappoint: Romans 5:5  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
  • We know Christ in us IS our HOPE: Colossians 1:27To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
  • Becuase He is in us we are overcomers: 1 John 4:4 “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
  • We overcome because Christ in us has overcome the world and its troubles: John 14:27-29; 16:33 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. “And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe… …These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
  • He has counted us WORTHY to share in His sufferings and be persecuted on His behalf: I Peter 4:13″but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” Acts 5:40-42And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.  So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”

SO WHY DO WE REJOICE ALWAYS?

We rejoice because even though our lives may face sufferings and tribulations we know that in Him we have hope and our hope does not dissappoint, that He has counted us WORTHY to carry a cross to the glory and honor of His Name! He, Christ in us has blessed us to overcome every situation and to bring us out gloriously because He loves and cares for us.

So let us not be troubled but truly rest and rejoice in the peace He has given us, the same peace He gave us right before He was betrayed and led to the cross in our place!

No matter what you are facing, though you may feel the need to weep, do so, but always rejoice. He is with you and you will overcome! And HE IS ALWAYS A REASON TO REJOICE!

ADDITIONAL ENCOURAGMENT:

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

The Change in the Waiting: The Purpose in the Process

changes

God often requires us to change while we are waiting.” ~Wendy Pope, Wait and See, 2016, p.114  

Wait. It is a word that makes the average person cringe especially in the face of something your soul longs for. I don’t care how you spell it, weight, wait, the word just hurts. But more so than wait or its twin sister weight, change can be a doozy as well.

change-and-waitChange is the process that takes place in the cocoon of waiting. Change is what is required within the space of promise to manifestation. Some of us hear that we need to change and we think, ‘Hey, I’m a pretty good person. Why do I need to change?’

The reality is, that our level of ‘goodness’ (which only comes from Christ living in us anyway) has nothing to do with why we must change. A little girl must become a woman before she can bear a child and properly raise it. A boy must become a man before he can become a strong and sound husband, provider and father.

The beauty is that the promise given unto us, the dream of becoming is born from the potential that is already alive in us. It just needs to be cultivated and that takes time. That requires the change born out of the wait.

You decide you want to be a doctor. So you go to school for several long years and change while you wait for your graduation, the proof that you are ready to practice medicine. You have dreams of being a pilot, so you change by way of learning how to fly.

Wait. Process. Change. Promise!

The simplest example of this is found in the life of the caterpillar. The caterpillar is born with the potential and the promise of flight, but he cannot take to the skies unless he changes into a butterfly first. He must wait so that he can change.

In order for him to do this, he must yield to the process of change, and wait so that he can take hold of the promise.

3 Things Required in order to Change in our Waiting

  1. Boundaries: (Psalm 16:6) “My boundary lines fall in pleasant places
    —surely my heritage is beautiful.“~TLV. When God sets our course, He does so with a path in mind and this path is designed to get us to His and our desired location in Him and in our place within the Kingdom. But, we can only reach this place of inheritance when we submit to the ‘boundary lines’ set before us. Just like the caterpillar must yield to the confines of a cocoon, so too must we yield the boundaries set by our loving Father during our time of wait if we expect to change for the promise.
  2. Pressure: (II Corinthians 4:7-16, I Peter 4:12-13) The cocooned habitat of the caterpillar is comfortable for only a while. Soon as wings and other appendages begin to form, the boundaries become tighter and the pressure is put on. The same is true for us and praise the Lord God Yeshua Jesus for it! When certain situations become too comfortable our desire to leave them begins to decrease. That dream of flying starts to pale in the comfort of being securely suspended. But when the pressure is on, when the changes that have taken place in us and in our friend the caterpillar become evident, the desire for the promise increases. The blessing of the pressure can also be seen in the transformation of dusty coal into diamonds. No pressure, no change. The right amount of pressure for the proper amount of time and we end up with bling instead of coal!
  3. Struggle/Resistance: (Romans 5:1-5) Becoming a butterfly is a great and glorious result of change, but wings and legs unused and untried are useless. They are not strong enough to take to the promised sky. In order for the butterfly to survive in its new level of existence and promise it must have proven the strenght of its wings and legs. It is in teh struggle to be released from its cocoon that his legs adn wings develop the needed strenght for walking and flight.

As children of God, destined for promised lands and beautiful inheritances, we must do more than ‘look the part’ for our new positions within the Kingdom.

Our faith and trust in the Lord God Yeshua Jesus must be developed inorder for us to survive the attacks and temptations that will come our way even before we cross the threshold into our promised lands.

We have to encourage ourselves in the truth that there is treasure in our transitions of change. Their is purpose in our process of waiting. Our waiting is never wasted if we do it with Christ at the center and our faith yielded to His way. I Peter 5:6-7 says,

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.~NKJV

Our Heavenly Father knows that the waiting can get rough at times, but He also knows that it is worth it. Even He waited for the right time to come in the form of a baby, born of a virgin to redeem a sin stained world to eternal life and everlasting relationship with Him (Galatians 4:4-5, Romans 5:6).

Had King David not waited in the pastures where no one saw him fighting against lions and bears, living under the likely mocking and christcism of his seven older brothers, while developing his devotion to God the Father, his capacity to lead and care for a multitude, and his skill as a marksman, he would have never had the faith to defeat Goliath or the trust in God’s faithfulness to keep him while he overcame the harrassment and threat of death that came from King Saul during the many years that followed.

All of these things, the boundaries, the pressure, the struggles, were the very things that caused King David to change from shephard of sheep to the whole of Israel. It was in the process that his ‘wings’ developed the tried and trusted faith and ability to fly!

You and I are given the same opprotunity in our faith walk, to change in our wait to be ready for the promise. I pray that if you haven’t already, you would humble yourself under the loving hand of the Father, allow Him to guide you in your change and trust that at the right time your wings will have the strength to fly into your promise!

SCRIPTURES OF ENCOURAGEMENT:

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

Dressed for the Appointment: Hope for the Promises to Come

Urgent Message of Hope from December 26, 2012, ON TIME FOR December 2016: 

Four years ago I was led to write a short message reminding many of my friends on Facebook to keep holding on to the Word of Faith and promise that Yeshua Jesus had given unto them. Now, four years and two days later, I am urged to do it again.

The Lord laid this question upon my heart that only you can answer for yourself, really, and here it is. “Are you dressed and are you ready for the open door?”

It is easy to be given a dream and a prophetic vision for your future/destiny/purpose, but it is a whole other thing to not only hold on to it but to be prepared for it at all times. With many of the trails that we face, especially within the last year, it is easy to lose hope in the dream, allowing it to be transformed into the elusive ‘carrot on a stick’ dangling just out of your reach.

“Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh.”~ Genesis 41:14

The enemy has a way of trying to convince us that that that is what the promises of Yeshua Jesus are, elusive and out of reach. The good thing is that we know satan IS A LIAR! (John 8:44) As we know that our Heavenly Father’s Word never returns to Him void (Isaiah 55:8-13) ( And our Savior is the Living Word that did not return unto Him void…think on that a bit more 😉 ) we also know that the truth is not found within the enemy (John 8:44). If the Lord said He is going to do somehting in your life, HE IS GOING TO DO IT!

He (Jospeh) did not allow the circumstances that had tried him to keep him in the garments and appearance of a slave or prisoner but he presented himself as a free man to the very one who had the power to promote him. Joseph dressed for the open door, one he had been waiting on.

So again I ask you are you dressed and ready for your open door? Consider Joseph. Joseph was given many prophetic dreams about his destiny and purpose. He, like all of us called by His Name, was destined to reign (Romans 5:15-17). Our Heavenly Father embedded these truths about his future deep within his being so that Joseph would know what he was meant to do and who he was called to be.

Even with these truths and promises deep within him, Joseph still endured hardships and betrayals, letdowns and heartbreaks that looked and were completely contrary to the promise and vision, but Joseph did not relent on what God had shown him. Instead, he held on to the dream. For thirteen years Joseph trusted in God in the face of more storms and more roads that seemed to lead further away from the promise, but with each step down he kept looking up, waiting for his open door.

In Genesis 41:14 we read that when Pharaoh suddenly calls for Joseph, Joseph immediately shaved and changed his garments in order to go before Pharaoh. He did not allow the circumstances that had tried him to keep him in the garments and appearance of a slave or prisoner but he presented himself as a free man to the very one who had the power to promote him. Joseph dressed for the open door, one he had been waiting on (Genesis 40).

Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry. ~Habakkuk 2:2-3

All along Jospeh believed that he was meant for greater so he dressed for greater. He held on to the Hope that ‘This might be the day!’ and it was! His day did come. He did not allow thirteen years of imprisonment to convert him in any way to a prisoner.

But not only did Jospeh hold on but so did many others like Father Abraham and Sarah who waited over twenty years of their promised miracle son, Isaac (Hebrews 11).

Yet, here is something else we need to consider and that is how we are waiting. Are we really waiting on the promise dressed with faith or are we like the fruitless fig tree giving the appearance of faith but empty of the real thing similar to the five foolish virgins who held lamps they didn’t bother trimming and with very little oil, or are we truly ready and waiting with faith and hope? (Matthew 21:18-22*, Matthew 25:1-13)

So I ask again are you dressed for your open door or are you keeping on the clothing of a prisoner and a slave with no intention of changing them because of lost hope? I pray the Holy Spirit leads you in all you do and for whatever He has in store for you I pray you are getting dressed and ready because the open door is indeed coming! Be ready.

*If you are wondering about the fig tree, understand that fig trees have what is a preseason fruit, where they bear a first run of figs and then a second yeilding. When Yeshua Jesus approached the fig tree that He later cursed, it was during the preseason for fruit. The tree had the appearance of doing what it was supposed to be doing but was empty of fruit!

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

Encouraged in the Wait: Trusting in God in the Trial

encouraged-in-the-wait

Isaiah 40:29-31He [God] gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”

This passage from Isaiah is one that I’ve quoted many of times in my walk with the Lord Yeshua Jesus. Often times I’ve felt it come up from within my soul during times of, you’ve guessed it, waiting!

And although this scripture does indeed tell us, like many others found in the Bible, that the Lord is faithful to those who wait, the power of waiting in the circumstances that the Prophet Isaiah is writing on is what really moved my heart recently and I am certain it will do the same for yours.

When the Lord spoke to Isaiah, giving him these verses it was in response to what was going on in the hearts of the children of Israel. They, like we get many of times, were in great distress and felt abandoned by God in the midst of their trials. Justice was due them and justice was not on the horizon.

As He deemed us worth dying for, we can trust that He is worth waiting for.

Have you been there? I know I have. We’ve walked in the best of our faith and integrity and still it seems like we are the ones to finish last. It seems like our prayers and pleas are going unanswered and seemingly ignored, and like the Children of Israel, we feel discouraged and abandoned, and dare I say it, forgotten.

But here is what our Faithful Father said to Israel and to us:

Isaiah 40:27-28 Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel:“My way is hidden from the LordAnd my just claim [justice] is passed over by my God”? Have you not known?
Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LordThe Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary.His understanding is unsearchable.

You see, these are the verse that precedes Isaiah 40:29-31. It is in the waiting and trusting in the faithfulness of Yeshua Jesus especially in the face of injustice that we are renewed, that we are strengthened that we are no longer weary.

Psalm 31:5, 7-8Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth…I will be glad and rejoice in Your lovingkindness, for You saw my affliction. You knew the troubles of my soul. You did not hand me over to the enemy.
You set my feet in a wide-open place.

The glorious hope that fills my heart when I meditate on these verses, while I wait on the Lord, is in the truth that God is faithful ESPECIALLY when it seems like all the world is against me and nothing is working for my good. I am reminded that He is indeed our ever present help (Psalm 46:1). In Him we are never abandoned nor are we forgotten.

Isaiah 63:9In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the Angel of His Presence saved them; In His love and in His pity He redeemed them; And He bore them and carried them All the days of old.

He is with us in our afflictions and in His love He has pity on us. He sees what is grieving our souls and He is faithful to give us relief. His Word even assures us that He goes through our trials with us, that in our distresses He too is distressed.

Isaiah 49:13-16 says:

Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people, And will have mercy on His afflicted. But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, And my Lord has forgotten me.” Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.

Our Heavenly Father loves us beyond measure so much so that He would never forget us nor forsake us, especially not when we are distressed. Just as a parent is moved by the cries of their child so too is our Heavenly Father moved by ours.

Knowing that He loves us and has proven that through the nails that were driven into His hands let us sing for joy in the midst of our distress and seeming unjust circumstances, trusting that He has got everything under control.

He has assured us that He can never forget us as He has inscribed us to the palms of HIS HANDS and our walls are ever before Him.

Think about that for a minute. Think about the nail prints in His hands that He bore for us even before we knew Him. Being assured that He loves us that much, we can sing in our trials because He will faithfully come through. As He deemed us worth dying for, we can trust that He is worth waiting for.

Be encouraged that He is near you, He hears you, and He is for you! Meet Him in the secret place in the midst of your trial. Meet Him with songs of praise as you wait and are renewed!

MEDITATION AND REFLECTION PASSAGES:

Take a listen to the INTRO of this song by clicking HERE.

~Poeima, Poetry in Motion

Faith & Victory: Learning to Believe in our Trials

But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus the Messiah.” ~I Corinthians 15:57

The beautiful treasure and shielding power that is God’s Living Word, is in the truth that it (He) wields in the face of our impossible or discouraging circumstances, assuring us that we are already victorious through Him.

There are times that no matter how hard we seem to pray or believe, our circumstances seem to do anything but move.

But we must remember the truth and shielding power of God’s Word, that we are already victorious.

In Ephesians 6:16 Paul says, “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” It is almost a wonder that out of all of the ‘articles’ of armor that we are given in Ephesians 6, the shield of faith is the only one preceded with the statement ‘above all.

It’s in His steadfastness during our storms that we learn His beautiful character and unique love for us, and we see this by keeping our faith in Him.”

Our faith in the faithfulness and trustworthiness in the Lord Yeshua Jesus’ everlasting word and promises, even in the face of glaring contradictions and circumstances that tell us to give up, acts as the only shield against the fiery darts of the evil one.

When we continue in His word, walking by and resting in faith and not sight (II Corinthians 5:7,) speaking the word and meditating on it in the worst of times, do we begin to see its truth and power shine through.

Nobody likes trials but without them, our faith in Him and His faithfulness cannot be proved. We won’t be willing to stand on His word through every season if its strength is not tried and proven in our lives.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen[a] you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.~I Peter 1:6-9

It’s within trials that we prove the trueness of our faith and the trustworthiness of His word. It’s in His steadfastness during our storms that we learn His beautiful character and unique love for us, and we see this by keeping our faith in Him.

I’m not saying that this is easy. On the contrary. To trust and keep the faith is learned through experience. It is developed and strengthened when the ‘dross’ of doubt is purged from us during the trials that call us to hold on to faith.

In Malachi 3, the Lord challenges the people of Israel to ‘test’ Him and prove His faithfulness by bringing in the whole tithe so that He may  prove that He will honor His word to them by supplying their needs.

Although Malachi 3 is specifically speaking about tithe and offering it is addressing the issue of lack of trust or faith. The unasked question here is can we believe God’s word and walk in it in all seasons with faith?

No matter what you are facing today, the Father is asking you the same question with love in His heart for you, will you trust Him and His Word? Will you believe Him that through Yeshua Jesus you already have the victory?

We have to remember and continue to encourage ourselves with the truth that our feelings do not dictate our faith.

What you are facing today may seem impossible BUT we have hope that we can do ALL things through Christ Who strengthens us and the promise that nothing is impossible for them that believe! (Mark 9:23, Matthew 19:26)

Even when Paul penned those glorious words in Phillippians speaking about his ability to do all things and live in any circumstances because of Christ in Him, he tells us that he had to LEARN to do so.

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me.~Phillippians 4:10-13

Christ strengthens you and I-if we will let Him by faith-to do all things through Him as well, and to that end, see the manifestation of the victory He has already won for us!

We may not see the victory right now, from where we are currently standing in our trial, but this is why we must continue to walk by faith, shielded by faith. It’s tough to do when it seems the world is against us but that is why we must trust in the fullness and faithfulness of the Father’s heart and love for us that even when we were yet sinners He came and died for us. (Romans 5:8)

We have to remember and continue to encourage ourselves with the truth that our feelings do not dictate our faith.

I confess, I get blinded by my circumstances at times but I am grateful and humbled that He lovingly proves Himself anyway and He will do the same for you! It’s all a learning process.

Go in victory, loved ones, and do so in Faith!

~Poeima, Poetry in Motion

The Blessing of Trusting the Lord: A Word of Encouragement

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Psalm 56:3-4Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear.What can flesh do to me?”

 

In life, we all come to a place where we face fear. It could be something as grand as the fear of crashing your car or the fear of a needle during a check-up at the doctor’s office. But as with all things, there is always the choice of choosing to live beyond the fear, and we can do this by trusting in God.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 Thus says the Lord“Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord. 6For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited.“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the LordFor he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear[a] when heat comes;But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

Something I want to point out about the two men mentioned in the verses from Jeremiah. Both men were righteous men of God, but the first man turned His attention from the goodness of god and began to trust in other men for his preservation.

The fact of the matter is, no matter how sincere others are, no matter how sincere we are, we are bound to fail each other time and time again.

But failure is not in God! Not only that, but all of His promises are yes and in Christ, amen (2 Corinthians 1:20). He will do what He said.

When we chose to trust Him by faith, no matter the circumstances we trust Him we can:

The Word of God is full of words that don’t assure as that we will never experience or face fear, but rather that God is trustworthy to deliver us from whatever it is that has us afraid. Psalm 91 is a perfect example of that. Verses 9-16 express, like in Jeremiah, what the reward of those who trust in Him will be:

9Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; 11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. 12 In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. 13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation [Yeshuati=Jesus*].”

Psalm 91 shows us the trouble will try to overtake us and cause us to fear, but as long as we continue to make Yeshua Jesus our refuge and trust, He will cause us to overcome every scheme that comes against us and He will prosper us.

So, how do we, in the face of trial and fearful things continue to trust in the Lord? We do so by staying in and meditating on His word daily.

It is in His Word that we are assured of His goodness, in His Word that our trust and love and faith grows. It is in His Word that we obtain Salvation/Yeshua/Jesus! the Living Word! (John 1:1-16, Colossians 1:15-20).

So let us rejoice in His Word and trust in Him taking our rest in Joy for He is faithful who has promised (Hebrews 10:23, I Thessalonians 5:24) and He has promised to keep all who trust in Him! And oh, what a blessing it is!

Jeremiah 15:16 “Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

*The word used for ‘My Salvation’ is Yeshuati in the Hebrew. The Name of the Savior is Yeshua/Jesus.

I never saw it coming: Micro-Non-Fiction

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I never saw it coming: Micro Non-Fiction

I never say it coming. It caught me completely by surprise and shifted my axis until I was at a slant.

Love.

Love hit me in the chest with a fist that took my breath away in such a way that I was certain I had died…and I had. But somehow I found myself alive.

Colors were more vibrant, songs had a sweater melody, laughter became the very gift that my soul longed to give to everyone.

I stumbled upon life, lured by an invitation and an inclination to follow.

I followed only to become a leader, drowned in the rapture of His love, full of the life of Yeshua Jesus.

He caught me by surprise.

THE BEGINNING…

*3 minute Free flow write inspired by true events.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe Do. CONQUER!