Courage Through Peace: Faith for Creatives

And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.…” ~MATTHEW 18:2-4

Often times in our lives, no matter our age, no matter our victories or triumphs, we find ourselves in a place of uncertainty. Forces in the atmosphere have a way of coming at us out of nowhere, with the sole design to catch us off guard and to knock us off our axis.

I thank Christ Jesus for His Word, that He instructs us to have child-like faith because as His child I have no need of shame when I come to Him for affirmation. A child, no matter their age, is always welcome into their Father’s arms. And it is in those instances when we lift our hands to Him and allow Him to draw us up into the safety of His arms that our courage renews.

We come to Him as children, rest in the gentleness of the Lamb, and are empowered by the Lion of Judah. For in our weakness HE is strong in Power. (II Corinthians 12:9)

I can’t tell you how beautiful it is to find courage through His peace. That is something that you have to experience all on your own.

Be encouraged, no matter what. The Great I AM is HERE and He loves you! If you feel troubled, if you have lost your peace, let Him be I AM.

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

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The Art of Tireless Pursuit: The Expression of Faith in Creativity pt 3

Faith is not only defined by giant leaps but is often reflected in the tiny steps.” ~Candice Coates

A few years back, I was sitting in front of my television, watching some show on HGTV, eating a plate full of room temperature leftovers (good leftovers nonetheless,) when a thought popped in my head:

You will never know where you are going if you never take a step.” ~Candice Coates

The thought seemed simple enough, for, as I was watching HGTV, eating room temperature leftovers, I was also thinking about this creative platform, my writing career,  my art, and all the other things I had planned to do in that year which seemed to have been getting derailed from every angle. Truth be told, I am still thinking about all of these things.

But when I first had these thoughts, I was thinking about my serial-blog-novel, ASCENSION GRAVEYARD. I will be honest, AG (for those of you who are just now tuning in, AG is my blog novel that I started writing in June of 2014…it is still a work in process and progress,) had given me some reason for creative pause.

I felt like it might have turned out to be a far longer novel than I planned for it to be, and coming to terms with that had been difficult. I have said this before. But even with my previous mention, I felt like the thought alone had caused me to stop my creative motions.

Even now, I am planning to charge at this unfinished body of work with full faith and force this summer. This will be my fourth attempt at writing this novel. If that is not fighting tirelessly, I don’t know what is. But still, there are some questions that remain unanswered, that need answering, as I continue on with my creative pursuit.

What do I want for this novel? What do I want for this creative platform, for my art, for myself? Where am I going?

I want a lot and sometimes I feel like the chasm between here and there is just so wide. But that only leads to the next question.

How do I know it is wide unless I take a step? 

It’s like looking into the rippling waters of a pool and trusting my first impression that the waters aren’t that deep when in reality they might actually go twelve feet down.

The realization that I have come to, is that none of it really matters, the true depth or my perception if I never take a step forward at all. And how will I have the faith to step? I have to want it enough and be willing to fight for it until I get it. I have to be willing to count the cost and press until I have a breakthrough. (Luke 14:28)

We all must step forward. We all must have the faith and tenacity to pursue our dreams even at the risk of error. Sure, we will reach moments where we look at how far we have come, scan over our maps and wonder if we have gone the wrong direction. That is part of the faith process.

But even if we have gone the wrong direction, that is not a cause for us to cease proceeding forward, to set up shop in the place of the unknown just for fear of having lost our way. It is all about recalibrating, getting your bearings and then stepping forward in the right direction, again.

So what you may not know where you want to end up exactly. Maybe the answers will only come once you start walking.

So many biblical pictures come to mind; Abraham being told to leave his home by God and go to a place  He (God) would show him (Genesis 12:1). God didn’t tell Abraham where exactly he was to go, he just said go, take a step of faith. Believe.

Then there is Psalm 119:105, which says, “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” That to me indicates that more times than not the steps ahead of our current footfalls are shrouded in the dark, but we have got to take another step to discover that which lays hidden from view.

For me, I have just got to keep pressing forward, keep stepping through the darkness and trusting the Light to make my way plain. If I want ICFTS to flourish and to nurture the creative growth of myself and others, then I’ve got to keep seeking the Lord for answers to creative questions and sharing what I find.

If I want my art to stretch itself out and grow, then I have got to give it a platform to do so. If I want my writing career to take off, then I have got to keep writing. I have to take steps and keep stepping after that. And I have to have the confidence in the Lord that HE is guiding me and has made room for me for the times that I stumble.

 “Do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” ~HEBREWS 10:35-36

No matter how big or small the step you take toward accomplishing your dream, celebrate the courage that you displayed in the step that you took and the ones that are sure to follow.

Each stone you put forth is one more to add to the foundation of your future. Be grateful for your progress and keep moving forward no matter how long it takes! Keep stepping, tenaciously in your creative journey and see how the Lord honors that faith.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow wearyand lose heart. ~HEBREWS 12:1-3

So getting back to the original thought I had, it is true that we will never know where we are going if we never take the first step…but that is only if you plan on going nowhere.

Press forward. Keep dreaming. And keep seeking.

~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

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.

The Message of Christ’s Ambassadors : The Cry of God’s Heart

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So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,[c] so that we could be made right with God through Christ. ~ II Corinthians 5:20-21

Ambassador. An ambassador is a person who is sent by a country, government, kingdom to represent the cause of said country, government or kingdom. This person is commissioned to stand for and speak, not his or her on thoughts or opinions, but those of the one who sent him.

Those of us who have accepted the free gift of salvation, given only through the atoning sacrifice of Yeshua Jesus have taken up the mantel of Ambassadors for Christ.

But what is it that Yeshua Jesus, the God of all Creation, has commissioned us as His ambassadors to say to the world? “Come back to God.”

II Corinthians 5:14-21 outlines the transformation that we have from being wicked to righteous of no work of our own but through the great exchange of Christ taking our place and our punishment and transforming unto all who believe, His glory and His righteousness.

The beauty of this is not the He forces ANYONE to come but HE APPEALS that all should come to Him and accept His love and atonement.

To appeal is to make an urgent yet serious request. The God of all Creation forces no one into His love, but HE requests that all will come to His love and enter His rest.

II Peter 3:9  The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” 

From Fire & Ashes: A Poem & Word of Faith

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Oh sweet fire

Burning from embers

Kissed by gales of rushing wind

Charred black my loveliness

Til all seems lost

And I must start again

Bring forth new life, Oh sweet fire

From death spring fertile ground

In the wake of your scorching pyres

Is where my future will abound

Oh sweet fire

~Candice Coates

From Fire & Ashes: A Word of Faith & Encouragement

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Fire rips through the hilly countryside, leaving devastation in its wake. All seems lost. Hope is suffocated in the thick choking smoke that rises from the ashes of what used to be treasures and dreams. 

And when the orange and black fades, giving way to sunlight, nothing can be heard but mocking silence. The fire has one and all is lost.

…Or is it?

If you live long enough, if you haven’t already, you will drink of your fair share of disappointment. Something will come and snatch the proverbial rug from beneath your feet and leave you on your back winded.

None of us are  immune to it. There is not inoculation to prevent tragedy or disappointment from burning through the plains fo our lives. We have no choice deciding if ‘fire’ will come, but we do have the choice of what we accept as true in regard to the ‘fire’.

Maybe it’s the fire of losing a loved one, being let go from a job that had you anticipating promotion. Maybe it’s a relationship that suddenly ended. Fire. It came out of nowhere and left nothing behind it but ashes.

The glory of the fire, however, is that though it burns the life from what we see, it sets the stage for incredible rebirth beneath the soil in what we cannot see.

Dozens of studies over the past two decades have shown that a severely burned forest is a living, thriving habitat that has always been a natural part of western forest ecosystems. Severely burned forests are filled with animals that feast on superabundant food, such as insects and seeds, created by the fire. Anyone with the opportunity to experience a severely burned forest like the Rim Fire is blessed with a cacophony of birdsong, the hum of insects, and a wildflower and pollinator show like nowhere else on the planet. ” ~Some Like It Hot: The Truth About Forest Fire by Monica L. Bond and Richard L. Hutto

The Word of God encourages us with the hope that He (God Yeshua Jesus) will give us beauty for all of our ashes (Isaiah 61:1-3,  Luke 4:16-21). But to get that beauty there has to be a fire. For gold to be refined, there has to be a fire. (1 Peter 1:7)

I take hope and heart in the truth of God’s Word in Romans 8: 28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” not just because I’ve read it, but because I’ve lived it.

What we need to be grateful for, despite the temporary burn of life’s fires, is the truth that not “some” things but “all” things work out for our good. God recycles what was lost to bring us greater beauty and gain.

Sometimes it takes the fire to set us free. The very fire that the three Hebrew boys went through in the Book of Daniel Chapter 3, the very fire that was meant to destroy them, was the very fire that removed their bindings. (Verses 23-25)

What is even more glorious is that Yeshua Jesus was walking in the fire with them, the same way He is willing and wanting to walk in the fire with all of us and to bring us out free and refined! (Isaiah 36:7-9)

The truth we need to cleave to about the ashes that seem as the glaring reminder of what we once had or what we once lost, is that those ashes are the very thing that fertilize our soil and enrich it to produce better fruit and stronger foliage.

We must decide whether or not we will  remain buried beneath the result of the fires or if we will allow those ashes to be tilled on our fallow ground to bring forth a new and greater harvest!

Sing oh barren woman! God is faithful good is coming even out of your ashes! Isaiah 54

Oh, sweet fire!

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion