You know how we feel like the fruits are in total operation in our lives until you are placed in a situation and realize that the fruit you thought you have was no longer on your tree, or either just a little rotten. Well, that's exactly how I was and I'm truthful enough to say, "My fruit tree needs to be prune and repaired." If you are wondering how can it be done, let me tell you. In order to reproduce, grow, prune, or replace any of your fruit, you must go back to the giver. Now might I add, you better be careful when you go there because you will be put to the test until your harvest is developed!
Sometimes we feel that as soon as we get the Holy Spirit, we should readily be equipped with all of the spiritual gifts and fruits of the Spirit that He gives, but unfortunately that's not so. Just as you came to the realization that you needed the Holy Spirit to become involved in your life, so it is with His gifts and fruits. He is readily able to produce in you what can rightfully belong to you, but you must come to an awareness for your need of them; with gifts, you must understand the purpose of having them which is to edify the church. Now your Spiritual fruits are to equip you for life in harmony with the Spirit and others who have been blessed with the same fruits. So here's my dilemma.....
I decided to let each fruit of the Spirit have its very own tree in my life. By this, I can put each one to use as needed and recognize where the lack is and the need for pruning, picking off, sharing, and cutting down to replant. So in my life I have a love tree, joy tree, peace tree, long-suffering tree, gentleness tree, goodness tree, faith tree, meekness tree, and temperance tree. The blooming and production of each tree allows me to maintain a level by which my flesh is constrained. Now, as most of you know my husband was in a horrible wreck December 2012 and it has taken so much and many of my fruit to maintain the level of care that he has received from me. As well as, to give to others who at their point of need bring buckets to my tree. Now he's doing much better but in order for him to have liberty of moving around in our home, I had to remodel!
If any of you know the hassle of remodeling while still living in the home, you can testify that it is not easy. There have been days that I wanted to throw the workers out, the supplies out, and my husband out and just say, "All y'all come back tomorrow!" Nevertheless, my fruit would drop on my toe causing quick realization that I shouldn't even feel or think those thoughts. Then, as I sat this morning in meditation, I realized that my long-suffering tree was getting weak. I somehow got one of those fruit bugs on the loose. He's chopping at that tree and no doubt has went to his nearest kin to let them know a party is going on. This morning I realized that my tree sort of resembled a tree that has been battered by the winter storms. My long-suffering tree is suffering a deficiency! With that said, I had to pray this morning for some more power to suffer through.
I know some of you like me are dealing with a lot of suffering lately. It almost seems like when you finally get over one storm and your suffering pains seem few, them something else is thrown in the mix. Well, if I can encourage you today, I would start by saying to you, "Tell the Holy Spirit exactly what fruit you need in order to make it!" Then I would encourage you to ask Him to give you whatever He sees you lacking. See sometimes we think it's our temperance tree and it's really our long-suffering tree or even sometimes we thinks it's our peace tree and it's really our meekness tree that needs help. But one thing is for sure, the Holy Spirit knows exactly what fruit needs attention because He gave, can sustain it, and knows when it's in need of His help. Just say this, "Holy Spirit one of my trees needs some work!"
Like anything else in our bodies, when there is a deficiency going on we feel it. Boy! Do I feel my deficiency. And although my body isn't aching as my proof, the spirit of anger jumping in is all the proof I need. When the spirit of anger invades my life, I have come to understand that there's only room for him when I have a deficiency in either the Fruits of the Spirit or usage of my Spiritual Gifts. You must know your body, soul, and spirit in order to detect what's ailing you. So with all that said, pray for me as I continue to pray for you. Pray that the worm that's on my tree is killed and the kin folks he brought with him suffer just as he. Then come into agreement with me that all is well no matter what, and I will do the same for you. Be Blessed!
I am so grateful for the opportunity to guest blog on Books By Lyn Cote! Please take a look at the blog and do leave a comment to let me know you've stopped by.
I never take for granted the connections God make concerning me, and I am ever humbled by Him putting me on the hearts of others. Humble is the way and in due season, God will exalt you to the very place you've always dreamed you were meant to be. Here's the link, stop by! Be Blessed!!http://booksbylyncote.com/SWBS/
Have you ever been in a place in ministry where you felt like giving it all up? Normally it's (ministry) what I do and has become a huge part of me, but there was this void and I could not for the life of me figure it out. Well, I journeyed through the rest of last year thinking, once I finish school I'll shift focus off the preacher and on the counselor. Yes, I had it all planned out and all because I felt like God was not using me enough. Can I be real with you all? Sitting still will drive the average preacher out of their mind. It's like the great commission "GO", gets under their feet and they don't care if they are preaching in a storefront church or a house church…. they just want to Go Preach!
So all of you who know me, are connected to me through social media, or live anywhere near have heard about my husband's December 5th, 2012 car wreck. It was the day before Woman at The Well 2012 Women's Conference; the conference that I host and close out. I'm pausing a great deal because this is actually my first time publicly writing about the accident. This was one of the most devastating events in my life, but I understood that in order for me to allow God to be God, I had to go and praise the God who gave Scroggins to me and I did just that. I went to the conference three days as plan and I preached the third day to close the conference out.
Many said, "I didn't come because I just knew you would cancel." Just God! My mind said, "If the devil wants to fight dirty, I'm going even dirtier." I'm going to show this fellow that no weapon formed against us shall prosper and I'm going to do what God has commissioned me to do. I realized something in this, just three to four months prior I was thinking of giving it all up and now, I'm more determined than ever to preach the Gospel; one, so that God will be glorified, and two, to show the enemy that as long as God has given me breath, I going to tear his kingdom down-taking back every soul I can that belongs to GOD, in JESUS name!
So, now I'm home being the care-taker of my husband and can't go preach but God is showing me something. He's showing me that I am most effective when I trust Him completely; in my going or in my sitting still. Then one day the Spirit says, "Go check your website." I know when it's His voice! Whenever my flesh questions what I heard, I know to move and move quickly. Well I sit before my website and the Spirit says, "Check your mail". I say, "Lord all my mail comes to my email; I don't have anything in it." Yet again, my flesh questions so I move. There in my mail was an invitation to Victory Outreach Church in London where Pastor Richard Taylor is Sheppard. I was blown away. Just when I was feeling like giving up, God was preparing to send me to the Nations.
Imagine my surprise. Then with tears in my eyes, I repented. I repented because long ago I decided that my life was not my own. I decided that if God used me or if He didn't I'd be just fine as long as I'm in His will. I even decided that my life was not about me, but somewhere deep down I had forgotten this. I shared with Scroggins that God needed me to see me before He sent me out. He needed my trust in Him to be so rooted and grounded that no matter what happened in my life, I know He has it. He needed my focus to remain about doing His word instead of building my brand (name or ministry). So let me encourage you, even when it doesn't look or feel like God has you on His mind, He does. He knows what's best for you, He knows when it's your time, He knows where He wants to send you, and most importantly He knows YOU! Don't ever give up on God or what He has purposed you to do.
Sometimes huge things happen in our life to give us small lessons we really needed to learn or they enhance the lessons we already know to make them more vibrant in our lives. I think both happened to me as a result of this accident. So to you I go even farther and say, “Embrace your suffering!” TRUST that God is showing you something in the midst of your suffering to allow you to become more connected, fully persuaded, and ever dependent upon Him. Until the next time, Be Blessed!
Shout out to Pastor Richard Taylor. Thank you for being led by God and helping me to learn the greatest lesson of my life. You are my brother and I'm praying for you!
As I sit here this morning, I cannot help but thank God for all the opportunities He sends my way. You know, I am finding out that God will bless you with gifts just so you can help others in need. It's that simple. You think you know all the things you know just because you went to school, or started a new hobby that turned into financial gain but God is saying, "I blessed you to be a blessing to others."
If you are a natural giver, it is sometimes easy to get caught up in the whole "I can't let them use me" feeling. Why? Because people ask you to do things or expect you to do things that they'd pay anybody else to do but you. Nevertheless, God showed me something. Sometimes you have to view your deeds as seeds and you sow them now not expecting a harvest. We all know seeds take time to grow, and just when you go to sleep a couple of nights and wake up a couple of mornings, the seeds are working for you to produce in your favor.
What I'm saying to you is don't get wearied in well doing, even if you feel used. Rest assure that God sees you and He will reward you in due season!
God even showed me something in John 9 that I have never seen. You know Jesus pass by the blind mind and because He pays attention to him, the disciples do also. The blind man never asked to be used for God's miracle, but God used Him (without him asking), so that He would be glorified. So my brothers and sisters, God will use you not because you asked Him to (cause God doesn't need your permission to use you), but so that He can get the glory and sometimes His leading the people to you for your help, is a GLORY MOVE.
Now instead of feeling used by people, know that you are being used by God; and no matter how it looks, feels, or seems---nothing just happens---and the person who thinks he or she is using you, were only set up by God to show that you my dears are truly His children. Be Blessed!
Now do you feel better about what you are doing for someone else? Are you determined to keep on giving and doing as unto the Lord? Let me hear from you!
About four months ago, I had the distinct privilege of sharing my home with Landyn and his mother Renee.
Well, one day Scroggins and I decided to watch after Landyn instead of taking him to the daycare. To be perfectly honest, I could not see how I could stretch my gas so it made more sense to me to keep him for the day. After dropping his mother off at work, we went by my mother's house.
Every year around this time, my finances get tight. Every year the first full weekend of December I host my yearly conference. Of course someone would say it's in a tight time but I know what God said. So because of my demeanor, God will start to drop little lessons before me, to change my attitude about myself, my faith, and Him. So here is where Landyn came in...
My mother has a step that is maybe four inches leading into her hallway. With ease Landyn stepped up in the hallway but coming down was a whole other story. When he realized he had to make a step he stood there. First, he had this God-help look in his eyes. Then he reached out his hands to Scroggins who said, "Step down man." So after he could find no help that way, he turned towards me and I said, "You can do it Landyn, step down."
Surely, both Scroggins and I knew that he would not fall, but what was a small step for Landyn became a big step in his mind. I kept begging him to come down and he began to cry. Although I felt so sorry for him, I knew that if I took Landyn down, he'd be in this same situation again and he'd expect others to get him out. I wanted him to use the measure of faith that God gave him!
So, I moved directly in front of him and stretched my hand out but not enough for him to catch it. I said, "Come on big boy, you can do it and all of a sudden, Landyn stepped one foot down, looked up at me with the brightest of eyes, smiled, and brought the other foot down. Scroggins and I began clapping and screaming like Landyn had just won a prize when in reality he had. He'd used the measure of faith God gave him!
Well how was that a lesson for me? This conference is a huge step for me. Primarily because I never have the finances to meet the budget for the conference. I was in a stooper one day and God allowed me to remember Landyn. He said, "Daughter you think you are high but you are not. You are just on the base and although I'm not going to put my hands out to grab you, I promise that after you've made the steps, I'm going to celebrate your efforts and do the rest."
I'm releasing this story today because on yesterday I was speaking with my Pastor.....after a long conversation briefing him on what dilemmas still lay ahead and crying about only one early register, he said, "Daughter, you've done all that you can do, now it is up to God to do the rest."
It was indeed conformation from what God already shared with me. I don't know what the 6th through the 8th of December is going to hold, but I do know that I took the steps to make it exactly what my vision thought it out to be. I wrote the vision, worked the vision, took huge steps, and now it's up to God to do the rest.
Forever, all my life, I will remember the day that Landyn thought me to always be able to step up and step down. You step up into the vision by downing all you know to do, and you have to step down and watch God do the rest. Be Bless!
There is nothing done under the SUN that the SON has not already purposed! I am so compelled as I write this blog thinking heavily at the hurt in the heart of my little girl.
If I were to leave this world, the one thing that I would my children understand is that nothing in life just happens. Sometimes, we'd like to all say that we distinctively masterfully planned our own course and that things went exactly how we figured, but this is not so in most of our lives. Some of us never knew what we wanted to be and surely it is clear as I look at a lot of adults who are saddened and lost, indecisiveness still hunts them. But God!
Who could have ever told me that I'd be a teenaged mother turned pastor in 1987 when I first entered high school? I would have laughed in their face and said, "Not me!” Then I look at all the turns and detours my life has taken. Some were to keep me protected (from my very own self), and some were to walk me into situations that would forever be etched in my life as the moment I learned or gained instrumental wisdom. So whether protection or learning, every event was etched specifically in my life as a defining moment and for my good.
So what about the times when I wanted something so badly and it didn't happen or I wasn't picked? At the time, it felt like my heart would break into. It felt like I was so close to what was purposed for me, but still so far away. Then age happened. It took years to finally now look back and see that God was there all along and I was just a student learning that nothing just happens. Whether heartache or heartbreak......it was placed in a pivotal moment in your life to expand your horizon!
Does the ache of desiring fade away once you run into a wall or should it? The answer I give will definitely start with an "N" and end with an "O"....NO! It goes back to desire and the seeds that have been planted. Some things are just not meant for us to be a part of, and some things we will have to fight our way into; but trust whether you get in, fight to be in, or never get in...God knows what's best for you. Accept what He allows and move forward knowing that beyond any shadow of doubt, you are placed in purpose and promise~ and all things will work together for your good.....so nothing just happens to you ever, but all things are working to reveal the greater good in you and for you.
Congratulations Dobrielle on becoming a part of the ULL Homecoming Court 2012! And although it may have blocked you from something you wanted so badly, understand that NOTHING JUST HAPPENS! God knows, sees, and when you truly belong to Him, your life is not your own. Represent for black women all over this world who believe in Jesus, walk in integrity, and love because it's what we are commanded to do. Your Momma!
So I'm riding in my car and one of my favorite people in the whole wide world calls me and she's going through. I instantly go into prayer for her but at the same time I'm dealing with my very own situation and getting almost impatient as I wait for God to deliver.
I finish praying, get off the phone, and it almost feels like a lump is attacking my throat. The Spirit of God says to me, "SHOUT". I shake my head because I am in the car and Reynard and Dobrielle already looking at me hoping I'll be okay. Then I hear the Spirit again say, "SHOUT!"
This time, I obey and I shout "HALLELUJAH"! It felt so good I shouted "GLORY"! That felt even better so I shouted...."YEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!" I know you are wondering why "Yes" of all things? It goes a little like this......Yes to Your Will Lord! Yes to Your Way Lord! Yes I'll wait on Your promises! Most of all YES I believe Your Word Lord!
And as I continued on, I heard the Spirit of the Lord say, "When you SHOUT you break the chains of the enemy. The chains he's trying to use to hold you down in your mind.....are broken. The chains he's using to keep you broke financially.....are broken. The chains he's using to break your soul's prosperity.....are broken. When you SHOUT....you come OUT!
So today I encourage you, when it seems like you are overwhelmed with your surroundings and the happenings of your life, go into what I now call SHOUT-Mode. If you truly want to come out of whatever it is that is holding you hostage, you'll get with the program nomatter how silly it looks, or how crazy you look. Matthew 10:27 says...."What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!" So today, I'm standing on the housetop of my webpage, telling you to SHOUT if you want to come OUT!
It is no surprise that even though our spirit is willing to receive the things of God, our flesh desires to reject them. When God gives us a vision or purposes seeds within our atmosphere or energy that transforms into desires, it is so easy to have momentary gratification from the notion but never move forward. Think about all the good ideas you thought just popped into your mind out of nowhere; most importantly, think about how many of those ideas you aborted.
Desire is meant to be nourished because desires turn into purpose, but so often because of the adversity we face or see, we determine that maybe God is not in the program. Take a look at Habakkuk....he knew indeed who he was but did not understand how God could allow His people's enemy to be raised up against them. I saw so many wonderful things in this first and second chapter.
First I saw a man question the only one who is able to give you an infallible answer. The old people use to say, "Don't question God", but what they should have been saying was, "You can question God but the reality of the matter is that you should put all of your faith in God. If you have faith in Him, you understand that no weapon formed against you shall prosper and that every trial is allowed to move you into position, break some things off that are keeping you from moving into position, and for God’s purpose to work in your life." Habakkuk was troubled by God's decision and when God answered, he realized that the decision was made due to God's judgment. Again, God allows some things in His permissive will in order to shake us back into position, which aligns with His purpose for our lives.
Then note how Habakkuk came back with a question that this time states the status of God in his life, but still questions His will in allowing the enemy to misuse His people. God sometimes wants us to recognize whose we are as well as who we are. Habakkuk was the prime example of someone who forgot who they were; when we remember who we are, we remember His word ascribed to or concerning us. Believers are more than conquerors and nothing or no one shall by any means harm us. So this time when God answers Habakkuk he says, "Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."
See sometimes our spirit is willing but our flesh is weak, and in order for your flesh to attain the things of God you have to use a mechanic of your flesh (your eyes) to obtain what your spirit already has. So as you write the vision and make it plain, your flesh can come into agreement with what your spirit knows. For we all know visions fad away almost as quickly as you get them, but if you write it, whenever you begin to feel low or become discouraged, you can always refer back to what you wrote because the vision shall speak and not lie. And although it may take a while, keep nourishing and referring back to what you put in ink because eventually, it will come to past.
I have some promises from God that I often refer back to; especially when the Devil tries to plant seeds of doubt in my atmospheric energy. I often say, "Devil you a lie, God told me if I keep writing His word where His people can get the lessons, He will put my books on the shelves and in the hands of readers all over the world." I believe in this thing so much that I put the vision in ink. So regardless to how things look around you, believe in the promise. Your desires are small pieces to the promises of God being revealed in you and through you. Embrace them but most importantly….Put It In Ink! Be Blessed.
Have you ever wanted something so bad until it seemed to hurt? You did everything in your power to bring light to your situation but no matter how or what you tried, nothing happened. Then you decided to pray about the matter. After praying and crying, and crying and praying God still seemed to have turned a deaf ear to your request.
Then you say what comes natural for us, "Lord, it must not be meant for me!", or "If it was supposed to be, Lord you would have honored my prayer." And God is sitting right at the rim waiting to see if you are going to give up or hold to His promise. In all of this you have to understand that desire does not just float into your atmosphere. The seeds of desire are planted into your energy some righteous and some unrighteous. Your job is to disregard the unrighteous seeds by simply: Resisting the devil and knowing at that moment he will flee from you. Then take the righteous seeds, plant them, and nourish them.
Are you saying to me that desires can come from God? Did not the word say, "I will give you the desires of your heart?" Do you think God is going to give you something that does not align with His plan for your life and His purpose? So yes, the seeds of righteous desires are planted in your atmosphere and energy by a righteous God.
Hannah thought that her desire to have a baby was all about her. Little did she know, God would take the very child He would bless her with and make him the last of the judges and the first of the Major Prophets. He would prophesy to the same priest who blessed his mother, Eli. This same son would appoint two of Israel's most prominent kings: Saul and David.
It was Hannah's desire but God's purpose. So the moral of this story is that God can use your desires to usher you into His purpose! Remember this and hang on to the desires of your heart believing that God can make them happen. Be Blessed!