Saturday, December 25, 2010

"On Fire": Inamorato

"Then He said, 'What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches.'”---Luke 13:18-19 (NKJV)


I was just telling an "On Fire" gal a second ago, via email, that I love it when Christmas falls on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11, Hebrews 4) because (sigh) at least every seven years, the world observes the Fourth Commandment...by default. And so, since this is the time when our culture chooses to observe Christ's birth and because the Sabbath is the day that Adonai *specifically* blessed and hallowed, I encourage you to take this petition of King David and apply it to your own heart: "Open my eyes to see the miracles in your teachings." (Psalm 119:18-NCV) You may be surprised what he shows you on this special and sacred Christmas Shabbat Day. ;-)

Personally, my prayer for all of you today is simple and somewhat inspired by something my mother said on yesterday. Ladies, if you don't have a "Titus 2 Older Woman" (shoot, more than one, really) in your life, please make it a point to get one (some). There's something to be said for knowledge, no doubt. Oh, but there is so much more to be said for wisdom.

So anyway, my mom was telling me about a women's group that she participated in on last weekend. In it, single ladies, a lot of them *our age*, were talking about a variation of what the last blog was about: creating back-up plans when it comes to being in a relationship due to "man famines" across the land (they, in South Africa feel the same way many of us do right here in America). What my mom said to them in response, as she often says about spiritual revelations, "flesh and blood did not reveal" (Matthew 16:17): "There may be a famine of men in *the world*, but there is everything you need in the *kingdom of God*." Amazing how the Word (John 1:1) has a "prescription" for all that ails us:

"The Lord knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied."---Psalm 37:18-19 (NKJV)

Hallelujah! In the days of "extreme and general scarcity". In the days of "extreme hunger", the upright shall be satisfied. When you make a commitment to *consistently* abide in the Word of God (John 8:31), you are considered one of Adonai's disciples. And as a disciple, "Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh." (Luke 20:21-NKJV) Those of you who hunger *now* are blessed. And you shall be filled. Those of you who weep *now* are blessed. And you shall laugh. It's coming. IT. IS. COMING.

Last year, one of the married women who "peeks in" on this blog said that she understood why I was (still) single because I (probably) wouldn't be as passionate about this movement if I were (already) married. Yeah. Well. When it's time to "pass the torch", I won't have *no problems* throwing it far from me (LOL). However, yes, I get where she's coming from. Ladies, this is *just as much* of a faith walk for me as it is for those of you who are still awaiting your "relational status transition". In some ways, quite frankly, it's even harder because the Enemy doesn't want me to encourage us all to keep our "eyes on the prize". Real talk? I can remember *many* Christmas mornings that I awakened to someone in my bed (or some bed) and...I liked it. To be held and cuddled and kissed...to be kept warm during cold weather is...a wonderful life. And yet, in sin, like the two-hour movie, it never lasts. It's always a temporary existence. A fantasy. More and more, on this side of relational purity, I see that when it comes to things done outside of God's kingdom, the moment you engage, you have set a time clock on the relationship. It's beginning only to bring about an inevitable end. And usually, one some level, one way or another, a hard, taxing, emotionally-debilitating, broken, bitter end. A nightmare.

For a few years now, I have been holding on, tightly, to Ecclesiastes 3:11: "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end." Usually, I'm either focusing on the "beautiful in its time" or the "no one can find out the work that God does" part. However, today, as I am as King David once instructed, mediating on my bed and being still (Psalm 4:4), the section that the Comforter (John 14:26-AMP) is honing on in is "He has put eternity in their hearts." Matthew 19:6 says that what God has joined together, no man should separate. What I am seeing is that as I am waiting on God to make my future covenant union beautiful, he is putting *eternity* in my heart. He is putting within me, the desire...the knowledge...the wisdom...the commitment...to have the next man in my bed be the absolute last. Until death parts us or Christ's returns (these days, whichever comes first!).

And in the meantime, I wait. I wait for God's will. I wait for God's timing. I wait for God's especially-appointed (and anointed) son. I wait for God's best. My inamorato. That was the word the Holy Spirit introduced to me a couple of weeks ago. It means "a man who loves or is loved; male sweetheart or lover". It comes from the Italian word, "innamorare" which means "to cause to fall in love". TO CAUSE TO FALL IN LOVE. 


Psalm 10:17 (NKJV) says, "Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear..." Hmph. I wonder how many of us look at our romantic love journey in this same fashion. That in Adonai-ordained love experiences, he is truly the one who *causes* it to happen. That he is "the reason or motive for some human action". That he constructs the "principle, ideal, goal, or movement to which a person or group is dedicated". That he is the "executive producer" of an effect. My mom served as an executive producer for a lot of projects. They are the people who are responsible for many of the business and legal issues surrounding an endeavor. Take an LP, for example. The talent that you hear wouldn't be possible if someone wasn't behind the scenes making sure that contracts were signed, fees were paid, studio time was available, etc. There's so much that goes into a successful album that no one really knows about. A successful marriage is no different.

I love it when the Comforter brings a "random" word into my psyche. I didn't know anything about "inamorato" before recently and yet, I love...I adore that the word means a man who is loved *and* loves...simultaneously. It can't be unless I love him *and* he loves me. At the same time. And, I love...I adore that its origin comes from something---in this case a Spirit (John 4:24)---that causes it to happen. I don't make my love affair happen. GOD DOES.

And right now, what do I have to base that upon? My faith (Hebrews 11:1 & 6). The lead verse for this message says that Christ defined the kingdom of God as a mustard seed that a man puts into his garden...and it grew...into something large.

"And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.
 

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, 'Why could we not cast it out?'

So Jesus said to them, 'Because of your unbelief;  for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.'”---Matthew 17:18-21 (NKJV)

So, what am I saying? I dunno. You tell me.

Some of you may need to repent of your unbelief. Some of you may need to purpose, today, at this very moment, to plant a "mustard seed of faith" into your heart's garden. Some of you may need to go on a prayer and fasting mission. *Some of you need to cast some demons out*.

Whatever the case may be, what I do know for sure, is that if you're reading (and receiving) this, you can be at peace in the midst of this "world man famine". You can know, without question (or fear or doubt-James 1:2-8, I John 4:18) that your Executive Producer is at work, at this very moment, doing things behind the scenes that you know *absolutely nothing* about. That when it's time for your gifts and talents to go to work, he will call for you. Until then...just stay open. Open to the miracles of his teachings.

There are so many "On Fire" women who had *no clue* this time last year that they would be united this time this year and yet, here they are. Married. Miracles, especially inamorato miracles, happen every day. It's not about what you *see*. It's about who you *know*. It's not so much about what you do. It's about what you surrender over to the Spirit of Elohim. It's about what the Godhead allows.

Enjoy today. It's a preparation step for what's to come. TAKE. IT. IN. FULLY.

They don't call it a "leap of faith" for nothin'. Walk ye in it with joy...and expectancy.

And see how big your God is and the love he has in mind for you becomes.

How full you will be...in the midst of this famine.

Besides...look at two other "kingdom of heaven" comparisons. Look at the *character* of the man...and the merchant. Give all you have to God. And then watch the *great lengths* your Beloved will go through for you:

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."---Matthew 13:44 (NKJV)

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it."---Matthew 13:45-46 (NKJV)

Love to you,

SRW

Saturday, December 18, 2010

"On Fire": God Doesn't Need (or Even Want) Your Back-Up Plan

"There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand."---Proverbs 19:21 (NKJV)


I love my "love brothers". I really do. In so many ways, they are healing me from my "past male spiritual violators" (*and* teaching me how not to be a "present female spiritual violator") in preparation for my union with my Beloved.

With two in particular, there's kind of this ongoing joke (although usually when I say it, I don't see anything funny). When I learn a new "Ooo, that's gonna make me da bomb wife someday!" lesson, I will follow it up with "Where is my husband?!?" Hmph. One of them got me good yesterday when he said, in a text, "Looking for you. Be still." Iron does sharpen iron (Proverbs 27:17). Ain't no doubt about dat!

In some ways, it would seem that "Sit down somewhere!" would be the current heavenly theme as well. Although it comes with a bit of a twist: "Sit down and don't DO ANYTHING, either" is what's more accurate. I heard it through a movie that I checked out earlier this week, "Nice Guy Johnny" when one of the main characters said, "Some things can't be compromised. They must be supported." Then I heard it LOUD AND CLEAR via a special gift that a spiritual sistah sent to me a couple of days ago. There's a line in it that says, "Waiting and not being sure was better than action she couldn't believe in." (Oh, please believe a devotional will be coming out of that, for sure!) And *then* I heard it again via another movie (yep...been checking out quite a few on my laptop as of late) that I just got around to seeing: "The Back-Up Plan" (Jennifer Lopez).

If you haven't seen it, basically, she's a lot like a lot of us (minus following the "On Fire" blog...oh, and actually existing-LOL). She's attractive. Accomplished. Ambitious. And single. And older. And wants to have children. AND SO SHE TAKES MATTERS INTO HER OWN HANDS BY CREATING---NO, CONJURING UP---A BACK-UP PLAN. It pseudo backfires, though, because on *the very day* that she finds out that she's pregnant from artificial insemination (a name that personally, to me, should cause reason for pause off top), she meets the guy...that she never thought she would meet...which is why she came up with a back-up plan to begin with. According to her, "I never met the right one. I was afraid I'd miss my chance."

Yeah. Well. See...

Here's the "funny" thing about "chance". On one hand, it can be an "opportunity". Oh, but on another, it can be a "risk" that ends up turning into a "hazard". When it comes to serving the Lord and doing things his way, you will never end up in the latter situation. And yet, because we serve our intentions rather than his direction, so many of us do. As it relates to the mission of "On Fire" here are some possible scenarios:

*We're afraid that we'll never get married and so we settle for the guy who pays us the most attention.

*We're scared that our relationship will end if we set some boundaries so we keep on fornicating.

*We're anxious about our clicking clock and so we try to force marriage so that we can enforce motherhood.

And where does fear and anxiety get you? Into straight-up chaos! (Perfected) love casts out fear (I John 4:18), remember ?You have *no idea* how many wives I listen to/counsel re: how they regret the timing and/or motives in which they jumped their broom(s); how much they encourage me to do just as my "love brother" instructed and "BE STILL" because while women need to be prepared to be a wife (and you can't ever get bored with that preparation, trust me!-Proverbs 31:10-31), MEN ALSO NEED TO BE PREPARED TO BE HUSBANDS.

Now that I do premarital counseling (um, yeah, Paul was single too-I Corinthians 6 & 7), one thing that I  require of couples upon completion is to be (re)baptized together...as a couple. My reason? Because a lot of marriages are failing because people are entering into covenant as "their old single self" rather than "their new married self"...and it's not working. Effectively. Like so many things in this culture, a lot of focus is placed on what the woman needs to do (or isn't doing) and yet, we cannot (nor should) do all of the work to make a marriage work. Just our part. It's a collaborative effort in every way and something that the Lord is showing me in this season of my journey is that while if I were completely ready, I'd be married, the focus right now needs to be on me praying for my Beloved to become further prepared...to embrace the *awesome responsibility* that comes with covering his lifesaver (Ezer Kenegdo)...that comes with being my "spiritual bodyguard" so-to-speak.

Adonai is a trip, ain't he? Just when you think you have nothing to do, that you are becoming bored with the process, he comes up with something else to focus on...to "grow up in". Truth is, when I take his assignments seriously, I don't have time to come up with any back-up plans, man-made miracles...colossal catastrophes...MISTAKES. Cause really, when does God come up with something and then say, "OK, I need y'all to 'back me up' on this"? He doesn't need our *approval* just our *obedience*. For our benefit. Not his sake.

Easier said than does sometimes. This I do know. I asked him about that too. Through the power of the Comforter (John 14:26-AMP), this is what I was given to share.

A lot of times, in church, if you're going to a biblically-sound church, you will hear the leadership speak of the "God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" (Exodus 3:6). In the Hebrew it translates into "Elohei Avraham, Elohei Yitzchak ve Elohei Ya`aqov". Oh, but there is another name for him that I believe is especially for his daughters. Abba Father is also the "God of Sarah, God of Rebekah, God of Leah, God of Rachel". In the Hebrew, he's "Elohei Sara, Elohei Rivka, Elohei Leah ve Elohei Rakhel". When you're in doubt about the delivery/method/timing of the Lord's counsel, especially as it relates to your future covenant, this is who I believe you should spend time with.

*The God who gave the barren woman, Sarah, her son, Isaac." (Genesis 17:15-27 & Genesis 21:1-7).

*The God who, by serving a stranger, blessed Rebekah with a covenant partner." (Genesis 24)

*The God who heard Leah's cries of feeling unloved and blessed her with children (Genesis 29:32).

*The God who heard her sister, Rachel's as well and blessed her with Joseph and Benjamin (Genesis 30:22 & 35:16-21).

Dare I say it? Sometimes we focus so much on what the Lord did for *the men* in the Word, that we fail to forget the miraculous loving power that manifests for his daughters as well. I venture to say that for whatever you are feeling right now, good or not-so-good, you can find a woman in the Bible who could relate. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). And speaking of "back-up plans gone awry", the next time you're tempted to "do things your way", you might want to check out (again) the story of Sarah and Hagar (Genesis 16). We're *still* dealing with that decision today. Again, the Lord does not need our help...just our obedience. Our humility. Our trust. Our faith.

OUR TOTAL SURRENDER.

I'm willing to bet some good money (that's how confident I am) that some of you are tired of waiting and are tempted to DO. SOMETHING. I mean, *do* do something...but not as it relates to getting a man. Take a class. Start a business. Buy a house. Get out of debt. Break a bad habit. Pamper yourself. *Forgive yourself*. Do "those kinds of something". However, in this season of waiting, with everything in me, I know the Lord is beckoning you not to present to him a "Cain offering". Don't give the Lord what you want by doing what you want to do and then expecting him to bless it (Genesis 4:3-5). The Lord doesn't want "some thing". He wants *the best parts* of us and that is our obedience. Indeed, to obey is better than to sacrifice. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. (I Samuel 15:22) Besides, you don't want to "get a man". You want to *have a husband*. You can cause the former drought. It's the Lord who can bring forth the latter rain (Deuteronomy 11:13-15).

You don't want the "back-up plan". You want the Lord's absolute best for your life.

The ones he knew about before you even knew...about you. Let alone some desire for a husband.

Besides, the plans that you're still *guessing* about? Be sure your Father already *knows*.

"For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you."---Jeremiah 29:11-12 (NKJV)

Love to you,

SRW

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"On Fire": Stanley and Corrine

"This is how God has cared for my family. God made a lasting agreement with me, right and sure in every way. He will accomplish my salvation and satisfy all my desires."---2 Samuel 23:5 (NCV)


I just love babies. Oh, and old(er) people.

I don't know. Babies are just so "new and innocent". Old(er) people are just so "old and innocent" (LOL)...in a really peculiar kind of way. The circle of life really is something. We come into this world depending on so many and if we are blessed to reach a certain state, we exit in the exact same way. Perhaps that's why James 1:27 tells us that true religion is taking care of orphans and widows. Hmph. I'll have to really give that some (more) thought.

Anyway, it is this love for the elderly that I'm sure caused me to take notice of a couple walking into Whole Foods earlier this week. What's really a trip is that I had just told my "love brother" about a film that referenced the male love interest saying to the female one, "I will carry you." He was saying that due to the fact that she was in Stage One of Parkinson's (Disease). The couple who was talking into the store? Now, I am a Michael J. Fox fan through and through (THROUGH AND THROUGH!) and so due to his physical state, I have done a bit of research on Parkinson's. I could pretty much tell that the wife, Corrine, was in Stage Four. That's a bitter (bitter) pill.

And yet, they were so sweet. So tender. So innocent. SO COMMITTED.

I basically stopped my love brother in mid-sentence to go and "tend to them". And because this is not about patting myself on the back (Matthew 6:1), I'll just say that my full intention was to make their load lighter in some way. I pray that I did.

Anyway, my purpose in blogging this is that while I was sitting with Corrine as she waited for her husband of 33 years, Stanley to go and get the car, I found out some things. I discovered that she was 75 and in a couple of weeks, Stanley was going to be 86. I found out that they had children (three, I believe) and that they met while selling the Yellow Pages years ago. And, I found out something that I wish more people realized: the power we have to continue in this life or begin to fade. My mother is a chaplain. I used to visit nursing homes. I have a great-grandmother now in her 90s and I have been by more deathbeds than I would care to speak of. I know the signs.

As Corrine spoke of having a full life and being tired (she's had Parkinson's Disease for 15 years now---whew!), I knew that probably this was my only time engaging Corrine (they did ask for my mailing address, though, so...we'll see!) and maybe her last Christmas with her family that, as she spoke of them, brought her frail body a sense of joy...and hope...and relief.

I told Stanley that I would bring his "precious cargo" to the car. When I saw him looking for us through the glass windows, I went to the side of the table to help Corrine up. All she kept saying was, "Now, don't let me go. I will fall flat on this ground if you do." You would've thought she was made of glass, the way I grasped on to her after processing that she was being quite literal.

As I walked away from Stanley and Corrine, as they were on their way to her doctor, I was full. Because of three reasons:

1) Sometimes we can be so busy being selfish that we don't realize the word/confirmation/lesson/blessing that the Lord has for us when we choose to pay attention. When we choose to serve. At a moment's notice.


2) That marriage...that marital covenant really is about holding one another up...in times of great need. Whether it's convenient...or not.


3) Stanley and Corrine have been married for 33 years. That means that they married when she was 42 and he was 52.

It's that last one that I'm really going to hone in on as it relates to this blog message for today.

Now, I'm not sure what their story was before meeting one another. Honestly, I'm not sure if it's really all that relevant or that matters in the here and now. What I do know is that they married at an age that many would consider "late in life" and yet, do you know what the Comforter (John 14:26-AMP) told me?

"That's what a mature married couple looks like. Trust me, you want that."

Indeed, there are couples who divorce for far less reasons than a life-debilitating disease. And yet, at the same time, the reasons seem to be far more. Far more trivial. Far more selfish. Far more fickle. Far more (spiritually) immature. Indeed, as Christ said in the Message Version of Matthew 19:11: "Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life."

Mature enough. MATURE. ENOUGH.

I was talking to a married girlfriend of mine about it on yesterday. She and her husband got married when she was 22 (I believe). I'm sure, if, as the old folks say, the Lord shall tarry, they too will be walking wrinkled hand-in-hand someday YET she also says that she doesn't really prescribe young marriage to the masses. "I know the Lord was in our courtship because I [now] see how little people at that age know," she said.

Indeed. Think of you at 22. Even if you wanted to be married back then, do you really think you were ready for it?!? How "I can't wait to ask Adonai about it someday" (if I still care by then...and I may not) odd for modern medicine (cause Abba Father can do *all things*-Hebrews 11) to tell us that birthing children would be ideal in our 20s and yet...more and more (and I have a boatload of people in my life who agree) it seems that *at least 30* is best...because you really do have so much that you don't know...and should...before entering life-lasting marital covenant (Matthew 19:6).

That's what was playing "on repeat" in my mind as I gave Stanley and Corrine more thought. As my mother says, "God doesn't give you someone for where you *are* but where you're *going* and no one knows that but him." For almost half of Stanley and Corrine's marriage, she's been battling Parkinson's. I'm sure that was the *last thing* on their mind on their wedding day and because more and more I believe in Elohim's perfect timing, I get that because the Lord sees ALL OF TIME (Revelation 1:8), I'm sure he used some of Stanley's 20s, 30s and 40s to prepare him...mature him...mentor him to cover Corrine in the way that I have no doubt that he does just by watching how he held her and talked to her. Truly, it would appear that his prayers are not hindered because he dwells with her with understanding (I Peter 3:7). And, as I looked at Corrine, all limbs shaking uncontrollably , it is without question that the Lord also used her 20s and 30s to prepare her...mature her...nurture her into being able to receive a love like her husband's.

Hmph. I'm willing to bet good (good, good) money that when Corrine was 36 (my age) that she was not on her knees, praying, "Lord, please bring me a man who will be with me through 15 years of a debilitating disease. Who will dress me. Who will feed me. Who will still be there when all of my motor skills have gone awry." If anything, she probably prayed what many of us do: "Lord, bring a man who will love me."

But don't you see? God sees love...in it's totality. Not just the wedding day. Not just the wedding night. Not just the long vacations, positive pregnancy tests and family holidays. He sees the health scares, the seasons of absence, the miscarriages and loss of family due to impending death. HE SEES ALL. True love always does (I Corinthians 13:4-8).

The lead Scripture? It's an excerpt taken from, what the Bible entitles, "David's Last Words". I love how David speaks of Adonai's care for his family and how the Lord honored his covenant agreement with him. Yet, even in his last words, look at what David said and the order in which he said it: "He will accomplish my salvation and fulfill all my desires."

I don't know if you have an engagement ring awaiting you this holiday or if, like me, you...probably...don't (LOL). That doesn't make the Lord any less caring about where you are and what you need. I love that I Peter 5:6-7 commissions us to FIRST humble ourselves under God's mighty hand and THEN to cast our cares upon him. Yeah, I'm sure he gets that we would like to kiss someone under the mistletoe this year but any *boy* can do that. It takes a real *man* to walk you into a grocery store...when you can barely stand. On your own. Sometimes we need to learn how to stand on our own *now* so that we will be better at learning how to lean on someone else *later*. It's really hard to use a crutch when you've never known how to walk to begin with. *wink, wink*

My thoughts and many prayers go out to you, Stanley and Corrine this year.

Thank you for another lesson about El Berith, the God of Covenant's, perfect time...and purpose.

For you and me (and y'all) both.

Love to you, "On Fire" ladies. HOPE DOES NOT DISAPPOINT. (Romans 5:5)

SRW

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"On Fire": Read Esther. Again. Wednesday, December 8. All of It.

OK,

So this is probably the shortest blog you will *ever* see on this site. ;-)

I am actually in my own meditation time and so I don't really have much to say for corporate purposes right now. However, I did want to make you all privy to the fact that on Wednesday, December 8, historically, that is the day that Esther was officially made queen.

A time when it's bitterly cold. On this side of the hemisphere. A time that I'm sure most of us were not aware of...as it relates to this. Sometimes miracles happen when we least expect them. When we don't see (or feel) them coming. When it's not "the most popular time" for such things to manifest.

A great article that I read as it relates to all of this is by a woman by the name of Marsha Hoehne. It's entitled, "The Miracle of Marrying the King". I recommend that you check that out too. More and more, as I pray for others and myself, I am realizing that covenant is so much more than being in love and being with someone. It's really about joining forces against the Enemy. I'll share more about that in my "Stanley and Corrine" blog...later.

Remember, "The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly of the Lord [even the events that seem accidental are really ordered by Him]." (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) I'm not sure what all of you are praying about, at present, but I'm sure the Lord had me put you onto this info for a reason, season and magnificent purpose. If not now. Later.

His words never return void (Isaiah 55:11).

Enjoy!

SRW

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"On Fire": On the 12th Day of Christmas...

Actually...

This blog has *nothing to do with that song* (LOL). It just seemed like a cute title!

Tomorrow marks December 1. The 12th month of the calendar year and also World AIDS Day. I find it fitting that the Comforter (John 14:26-AMP) would have this song on repeat in my head as I read another praise report from another "On Fire" sistah who will be jumping a broom (relatively-speaking) in a couple of weeks in Australia (much peace, love and blessings to you, sweet Miriam!).

12. Apostolic Fulfillment. That's what the number biblically-symbolizes and personally, I am excited with anticipation to hear how this month turns out...for a lot of you. I think if you pay close attention to the workings of the Father, it just may blow your minds (Ephesians 3:20) *and* lift your spirits.

Anyway, as most of you know, PURITY has been a big theme word for me this year. I went to research Scriptures that referenced 12 months. A very popular one came up. However, what caught my attention was that the Amplified Version had the word "purification" in it:

"Now when the turn of each maiden came to go in to King Ahasuerus, after the regulations for the women had been carried out for twelve months--since this was the regular period for their beauty treatments, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with sweet spices and perfumes and the things for the purifying of the women--then in this way the maiden came to the king: whatever she desired was given her to take with her from the harem into the king's palace.

In the evening she went and next day she returned into the second harem in the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She came to the king no more unless the king delighted in her and she was called for by name."---Esther 2:11-14 (AMP)

The commission is simple. As we enter into the 12th month of the calendar  year and due to the fact that "12" symbolizes apostolic fulfillment, I encourage you to pen 12 things that you would like to have purified in your life...moving forward (Philippians 3:12-15). And then commit your ways to the Lord re: instructions that *he will give you* on these matters. Psalm 37:5 assures us that when we do (commit ourselves), he will bring such things to pass.

Purify: to make pure; free from anything that debases, pollutes, adulterates, or contaminates; to free from foreign, extraneous, or objectionable elements; to free from guilt or evil; to clear or purge; to make clean for ceremonial or ritual use

It could be your sexual status. It could be your relationships. It could be your junky closet. It could be your attitude. It could be your diet. It could be your perspective. It could be your sleeping habits. It could be your fetishes. It could even be your senses. ONLY YOU KNOW. All I know is that when the Comforter introduced me to Esther 2:14 and a line in my very first "big girl poem", "I'm Single and That's All Right With Me" back in 1997 ("Esther 2:14 states that I'm to wait on my king and when he's delighted in me, he will call me by my name. My Mama didn't name me 'Needy' or 'Desperate'."), he was onto something...BIG! Elohim always is.


Psalm 37:4 says that when we delight ourselves in the Lord, he will give ourselves the desires of our heart. When we have "a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment; joy; rapture" in the KING OF KINGS (and Lord of lords-Revelation 19:16), he will give us our hearts' desires. Focusing on the King of all kings gets us what we want in this life...what we need to want, that is (wink). Hmph. Seems to me what it also does is puts us in a *pure place* of seeing our value, therefore not needing to feel the anxiety, impatience, neediness...desperation of having to go before our "human king", our future Ish, before he calls for us. And what I'm sensing is when he calls, it will be when he awakens, when the Lord awakens him (Genesis 2:18-25); when our husbands look at us and verbally acknowledge us as be the "bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh". Yeah. That was a light bulb moment right there: to know that when our own individual king calls us by name, he will call us his "Ezer Kenegdo" because he will take a pleasure and joy in us unlike any other. Because we are his and his alone.

THE PURIFICATION PROCESS PREPARES US FOR THAT.



All we have to do is focus on bringing the Lord joy and he will take care of the rest.


ALL OF IT.


"He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.---Psalm 24:3-5 (NKJV)


Love to you, 


SRW

Friday, November 26, 2010

"On Fire": There's *Saying*...BUT Not Before *Knowing*

Ah...

The Holiday Season. OK, personally, I'm still trying to figure out why so many people (in this case,  Christians) put so much pressure on themselves during holi-days when those very same people seem to not observe holy-days...but that's another discussion for another time (and quite possibly another blog!). Either way, being that Thanksgiving took place on yesterday and some of y'all are gonna actually be bold enough to (whew!) do the whole Black Friday thing today, the Comforter (John 14:26-AMP) and I thought this would be a good time to pen this lil' gem of insight. Well, being that some of you may be quietly wishing for a "big thing in a small package" from a special someone next month.

I can't remember if I penned this before, on this blog, yet it's definitely worth repeating if I have. A "love brother" of mine (thanks James!) who's been married about 20 years was interviewing (or was it interrogating?) me a few months ago about my dating situation. Actually, I'm not in a dating situation with anyone. It's more like a praying situation and I am more than fine (and free-John 8:32!) with that; however, there was something that my love brother said that I will hold dear until my status changes from "single" to "engaged" (with a date set within 12 months of the engagement. Statistics reflect that there are some serious red flags when engagements go longer than that!)

"Shellie," he said rather matter-of-factly, "A [responsible] man is usually not going to say he loves you until he can answer the two following questions for himself: 'Do I love her enough to marry her?' and 'If so, when?" Until he knows that, there's no point in getting either one of you frustrated by saying it."

First of all, *this* is why I think women need to talk to men about men more! I mean, what woman have you ever heard give*that* kind of pearl of wisdom?!? Kinda reminds me of when my Baba (my mother's husband) once said, "Never look a bull in the eyes. When you're hurt, but hurt like a lady. When you're mad, be mad like a lady. Men don't argue, they fight and so when you all are doing all of that yelling and hollering, we get confused because we *see* a woman but we *hear* a man? We don't know what to do and so that's why we usually walk off in an argument. We don't want to hit what looks like a woman." (LOL) Yeah...you can try and challenge that if you want to but the Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17) does speak of a wife needing to have a gentle and quiet spirit (I Peter 3:3-5) Yeah Baba, flesh and blood definitely did not reveal that (Matthew 16:17). Sounds like a "parable revelation" to me!

Anyway, last week I received a confirmation of what my love brother said in the form of WebMD article entitled, "11 'Don't-Tell-The-Wife-Secrets' That All Men Keep". Some of the things on that list I'm still unpacking, but 11 was a timely winner in my book due to some of the personal emails that I continue to receive:

Secret #11: Give us an inch and we'll give you a lifetime

I was on a trip to Mexico, standing on a beach, waxing my surfboard and admiring the glistening 10-foot waves, when I decided to marry the woman who is now my wife. Sure, this was three years before I got around to popping the question. But that was when I knew.

Why? Because she'd let me go on vacation alone. Hell, she made me go. This is the most important thing a man never told you: If you let us be dumb guys, if you embrace our stupid poker night, if you encourage us to go surfing -- by ourselves -- our silly little hearts, with their manly warts and all, will embrace you forever for it.


And that's the truth.

Did you catch it? I hope you caught it.

It's "funny" because I was just talking to one of my male relatives (who is currently single) yesterday about this very thing...sorta. About how he digs his current love interest because she not only knows how to BACK. UP. but she encourages him to "do his thing". However, while not giving the kind of love that smothers and suffocates (cause that's kind of stalker-ish) is a valid point, what I really hope you took note of was what I underlined: that he knew that she was "the one" at one point and said what he knew at another. One of my favorite "daily reminder Scriptures" is I John 3:18 (NKJV), "My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue but in deed and in truth." This is from the Bible and yet so many women seem to go the magazine, Internet, "word of mouth" route when it comes to courtship (if what they are in is indeed what Abba Father would consider a courtship, which is another blog for another time as well!). Seems like so many of us just want to hear "I love you" that it's almost as if we don't care if the men 1) know what that word really means 2) mean it or 3) can back those words up...because indeed, as Adonai said, love is about deeds...and truth more than any level of lip service.

Personally, I like that the dude on surfboard took some time to know that the woman was his wife before actually saying it to her. Kind of reminds of the Scripture in the Bible when Christ said that he was leaving this earth to go and prepare a place for us. My favorite line in that particular passage? "I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:2-3-NKJV) I really love that "receive you unto myself" part. Hmph. Who said the Lord was not an incurable romantic? ;-)

Anyway, there's something to be said for preparation. I was just telling my prayer partner and a fellow "On Fire" gal recently that I find it really interesting (and poetically co-incidental) that some of the traits that a man who desires to be married is supposed to have starts with the prefix "pro": PRO-tect, PRO-vide...oh and looka here: PRO-pose. Yep. Before being considered a "pro", there's some *personal preparation* that must take place. Ain't it a trip (and a bit sad) that women don't seem to have a "love pro" be on the top of their "husband wish list"? Good at sex? Check. Good at work? Check. Good at loving? Oh...yeah. Never really thought about that.

Again, the Word of God says that love is about DOING. SOMETHING. Before doing it, you should know what to do. Some people say, "Don't say it if you don't mean it." Me? Especially these days, I'm more in the lane of "Don't say it if you can't do it."

Yeah. I was just telling some people yesterday that I have become amazed with what really loving myself has done for me because I too am learning how to not just "say" but "do" because of what I now *know*.  My motto right through here is that if I could procreate with myself, I'd probably marry myself (LOL). No man taught me how to love me like this; to do how, as Stephanie Mills so powerfully once sang, "Respect the power of love"...even self-love. It was something that Elohim had to reveal...and it took time. Now that I have found my "self-love niche", finally, I'm not into trying to get a man to say that he loves me. I'm into having the Father show me, daily, what love is and then have me recognize it in others...as he deems fit.

Now, don't get it twisted. More than ever, because I think I'm really getting the purpose of marital covenant down, I desire marriage. Yet, I'm in no rush to *hear* or *have* what has already manifested within because if a man is gonna tell me, "I love you", he needs to be at least where I am when it comes to my own level of self-affection and it didn't come for me overnight...I choose to extend that same mercy and grace to my Beloved as he prepares to receive what I have already learned to embrace. That's what "deed loving"...true loving is all about.

And so, this is probably my holiday prayer for all of you: that you will settle in your mind that if the Lord promised you a husband, he is true to his Word. He cannot lie (Titus1:2). However, just because you are not "hearing what you wanna hear" that doesn't mean that preparation is not taking place. AND, just because a man is not *saying* that he recognizes who you are in his life (yet) that doesn't mean that he doesn't already *know*.

Remember those two questions that James brought up. Love is patient (I Corinthians 13:4). Let your "him" answer those for himself...first.

So that when he comes to you with his "follow up" question, he won't just be *saying* marriage but *doing* it.

Because he'll already be a "Pro". At what he *knows*.

(Oh, and the "just too good" sidebar: "I Me Wed" is coming on the Lifetime Movie Network in about 45 minutes. HILARIOUS!!!)

Love to you,

SRW

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"On Fire": New Hope Road

El Berith? I really do love that dude. (LOL)

Today, I went to church to go and support a "love niece" of mine that got baptized. I smiled because 1) I decided to wear (off) white, which is something that I *rarely* do and 2) it was communion at the church. Isn't that just how the Lord is? A year to the day that the "On Fire Fast Movement" began and the day that the 21-Day "Wedding Night Fast" culminates, I'm in church, in white, taking communion. To be honest with you, once I took it all in, there was such a confidence that came as a result that when some people asked me if I wanted to be apart of the singles dinner that the church was having, I casually said, "I'm the Bride of Christ. I'm good."

And I meant it.

In my spirit, I knew that Abba Father was pleased...deep within, today, I heard: "You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you." (Isaiah 62:4-5-NKJV)

Earlier this year, I had a shirt made with "Hephizbah" on it. It means, "My delight is in her." Beulah? That means "conjugal" or "married". I am geeked because do I sense a promotion, of sorts, is on its way? Most definitely. Yet, more than anything, I love how the parallel is made in Scripture; that just as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride (and none of us should settle for any less than that, ladies!), so shall Adonai rejoice. What a thought...to have the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 17:14) rejoice over us, delight in us...be glad about us.

As I knelt during a portion of the communion service, I asked the Lord if there was anything else I was to give to you all. I kinda thought the "husband revelation" was going to be all there was to it. Hmph. I don't know why I thought that. He can always top what we think is his peak (Ephesians 3:20). So, I shouldn't have been surprised that when I opened up my Bible, it landed directly on the following verses. Now, what was the assignment during these 21 days? To get a piece of lingerie for our hope chests, right? The Amplified Version of Proverbs 16:33 tells us that even what seems like accidents are of the Lord. In the New Century Version Bible, I Peter 1:3-9 opens up with (catch it!) this title: "We Have a Living Hope":

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In God's great mercy he has caused us to be born again into a living hope, because Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Now we hope for the blessings God has for his children. These blessings, which cannot be destroyed or be spoiled or lose their beauty, are kept in heaven for you. God's power protects you through your faith until salvation is shown to you at the end of time. This makes you very happy, even though now for a short time different kinds of troubles may make you sad. These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold, which can be proved to be pure by fire but will ruin. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is shown to you. You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You cannot see him now, but you believe in him. So you are filled with a joy that cannot be explained, a joy full of glory. And you are receiving the goal of your faith—the salvation of your souls."

How rich! During this journey, we have been holding onto the fact that Romans 5:5 tells us that hope does not disappoint. As we enter into a new year, we now see that we have a living hope...a remaining hope...a persistent hope...a lasting, surviving, luxuriate, prospering, thriving hope! This is the kind of hope required to receive the blessings from our God, and the troubles (temptations, challenges) that come in the meantime? They are the "refining fire" needed to purify our faith because we know that without faith, it is impossible to please the Lord (Hebrews 11:6) yet with him, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26)!

As I read the part in bold, I couldn't help but smile in church and giggle now. Just as we have not seen Christ...but still love him and just as we cannot see him, but believe in him, I believe that we are to receive his promises---including the desire to be joined to our future covenant partners---at whatever time he deems fit (because his time is the best time). In the meantime, we must hold onto his Word that, "For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." (Mark 11:23-24-NKJV) For some of us, this means that our prayer lives need to increase...significantly. It's not just things we ask for in general, but things we ask for when we pray that when we believe, we receive. Either way, just as you love a Christ you cannot see, I am encouraging you to love the husband that you may not see, yet, either. It's a man who discovers a woman to be a wife once he finds her...he's the one who gains favor with the Lord (Proverbs 18:22). WE MUST BE WIVES NOW.

Yet, the Lord wasn't done. There was more in this chapter that he wanted me to share. This next part is entitled, "A Call to Holy Living":

"So prepare your minds for service and have self-control. All your hope should be for the gift of grace that will be yours when Jesus Christ is shown to you. Now that you are obedient children of God do not live as you did in the past. You did not understand, so you did the evil things you wanted. But be holy in all you do, just as God, the One who called you, is holy. It is written in the Scriptures: 'You must be holy, because I am holy.'

You pray to God and call him Father, and he judges each person's work equally. So while you are here on earth, you should live with respect for God. You know that in the past you were living in a worthless way, a way passed down from the people who lived before you. But you were saved from that useless life. You were bought, not with something that ruins like gold or silver, but with the precious blood of Christ, who was like a pure and perfect lamb. Christ was chosen before the world was made, but he was shown to the world in these last times for your sake. Through Christ you believe in God, who raised Christ from the dead and gave him glory. So your faith and your hope are in God.
 

Now that your obedience to the truth has purified your souls, you can have true love for your Christian brothers and sisters. So love each other deeply with all your heart. You have been born again, and this new life did not come from something that dies, but from something that cannot die. You were born again through God's living message that continues forever. The Scripture says, 'All people are like the grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass dies and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord will live forever.'— Isaiah 40:6–8 And this is the word that was preached to you."---I Peter 1:13-25 (NKJV)

Ministers-in-training, does that not sound like a promotion for you as well? Prepare (you only get ready for something when it's almost time to receive it) yourselves for service and as you do so, have self control. All of your hope should be for the gift of grace (unmerited favor). Your faith and hope should be in God, the One who makes all good and perfect gifts (James 1:17) manifest themselves. Your obedience to truth is what purifies your soul which gives you the ability to have TRUE LOVE for those around you; that is how you can LOVE DEEPLY WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART. This kind of journey shows you that we come from something that does not die but lives on throughout eternity.

We are graduating to a new level, those who have remained committed and on course. The Word couldn't be any more clear! And to top it off, although most people know that I'm pretty much a homebody, later on today, I'm going to have dinner with another "On Fire" sistah and her family. Guess where I'm traveling to? NEW HOPE ROAD. Tell me that today ain't divinely ordained! (LOL) It's not just about having hope now. It's about having a "fresh" and "unused" perspective as it directly relates to "a thing, situation, or event that is desired".

And so, as we enter into a new season (Ecclesiastes 3:1), it's my prayer that you will remain alert, aware, positive, obedient and with a spirit of anticipation. Some of us have been traveling a long time and we're about to approach an exit. I hope you take it...


Can't nothin' bad come from a place filled with signs of *new hope*.


Happy One Year!


SRW

Friday, November 19, 2010

"On Fire": HAPPY ONE YEAR: "But I *Know* God Said You're My Husband!"

"Sow for yourselves righteousness;reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you."---Hosea 10:12 (NKJV)


So...

Let me get the housekeeping done first:

1) Did everyone get their piece of lingerie for their hope chest yet? Shoot, for that matter, did everyone get their hope chest (Romans 5:5)...yet? Remember that was the instruction (from the Lord) while I am on the prayer fast for everyone's wedding night and the fast ends on Sunday (the One Year Anniversary of "On Fire"). Make sure to do it. It's important!

2) I almost want to be like the teacher that got on everyone's nerves for calling names out for bad grades in class. That said, I really am surprised, and a bit disappointed, as it relates to *how few* 10...Again nominations that I've received from actual "On Fire" women. Well, I'll do it like this: Thank you Lori, Jennifer, Shamine, Melissa, Nicole and Rolesha for making the time. Have you looked on the left-hand side of the blog to see how many "followers" there are? Yeah. It kind of reminds me of when I transitioned off of FB (anybody seen this link? It's...um...yeah...yet I kinda get his point, actually). It takes real effort to seek out information (Matthew 7:7-8) rather than have it spoon-fed (i.e., tagged) to you all of the time. It takes real effort to also plant a seed into a married couple's life yet for those who seek...for those who make time for these kinds of efforts, the rewards are great. They really are. I Corinthians 3:8 to the ladies who are consistent in their concerted efforts. Prayers of encouragement for those who are not. That's my "red pen through the paper" (LOL) statement for the day.

Now on to the message for this week...

If this particular "On Fire" sistah wasn't so private, I would *definitely* shout her out because she was a conduit that the Comforter (John 14:26-AMP, Luke 12:12) used to bring about a very interesting and somewhat miraculous discovery this week; one that I think will truly and *finally* set at least a couple of ministers-in-training on this blog fully free (John 8:32)! It's kind of a long (and private) story, but after getting her feelings hurt by a certain guy---one that she believes (Mark 9:23) the Lord said is her husband (bookmark that)---she found herself a bit down. I couldn't really shake it. "It" being two things:

1) That she believes this man is her husband, even though his current actions are...let's just say very contrary.

2) How many times I've heard women say that...or at the very least wonder it? And how many have apparently not been as right as they would've liked?

What gives?

Yeah. This is gonna be good. Elohim always is.

OK, this isn't really about my friend. Only she knows what the Lord told her and I will stand by her (Matthew 18:19-20) that Abba Father will lead, guide and direct (Proverbs 3:6-7) her into the next level of truth that she needs in this season of her life. What this is about is what I was led to ask her to consider: "Why don't you ask the Lord if you are his wife rather than if he is your husband?"

And here's why: Because I have heard that so much in my life (the "The Lord said that so-and-so is my husband" with sometimes several women saying it about the exact same man...sometimes at the exact same time!), I decided to go and look up the word "husband"...and "wife". Hmph. Basically, when I went to look up what "wife" meant, there was only one meaning: a woman joined in marriage to a man; a woman considered in relation to a husband; a spouse.

Oh buddy, but look up husband and...well...you'll see:

Husband: (n) a married man, especially when considered in relation to his wife; a manager; (v) to use frugally; conserve; to till; cultivate

Whew-hew! Several years ago, the Lord gave me and my prayer partner the exact same verse from two very different sources. It's the lead Scripture for this message. Certainly, without question, I believe that the Lord can tell you who your husband is; not only that he can but often does. Certainly, without question, because a lot of people confuse love with lust, many can open themselves up to having the Liar (John 8:44) deceive them into thinking that they heard from the Lord regarding a certain "man in question" (a surefire way to know that you are "hearing impaired" is if you live a conscious and habitual life of disobedience, especially sexually, when it comes to this matter). Yet, I think what causes a lot of people personal confusion (I Corinthians 14:40) is that they hear "a word from the Lord" yet they don't know what that word actually means.

I can't help but to wonder how many women believed a man was their husband and thought God meant "spouse" when what he was really saying is that he was going to use that man "to till"..."to cultivate"..."to break up fallow ground" within them...especially spiritually. Fallow ground is ground that is not in use. Ground that is inactive. Ground that is uncultivated. When something is cultivated, one of the definitions is that it's "develop[ed] or improved by education or training"; refine[d]". From that, experiences like love and friendship may be "fostered", yet doesn't that suddenly make some past journeys or current internal inquiries make so much more sense? When you believe that you hear, "So-and-so is your husband" in your spirit, it very well may be the Lord saying, "I am going to use so-and-so to cultivate you...he is going to be your teacher when it comes to a particular lesson as you enter into this next level of 'Wife School'."

That's rich right there, y'all. It really is!

And then here's the other pearl of wisdom: If you seek to know if you're someone's wife rather than if they're your husband, doesn't that put a lot of the responsibility on you to prepare (Proverbs 18:22, Proverbs 10:10-31) rather than give you the space to obsess about what "he's" doing, what "he" wants, when "he's" going to come to his senses? Yeah...flesh and blood did not reveal this for real (Matthew 16:17)!

My Mama often says that delay is not denial. I often say that oftentimes we confuse "dead" with "dormant". The Lord always says that he does things decently and in an orderly fashion (I Corinthians 14:40). My point? What's the point in planting the seed(s) of covenant into an uncultivated foundation? Shoot, that's why we're seeing the kind of "crazy marriage crops" that we are now! The Lord gave me the "theme verse" for the "On Fire Fast Movement" for two reasons. One, because wives are ministers and ministers are a flame of fire. Yet (and this is where Point 2 comes up) in order to be a refiner...one must be refined.

It really is a trip how many women were following "On Fire" when it was served up to them and how many decided to do the extra work once it was not. For you (the latter), here is your promise from the Lord as we enter into (wow!) a new year (can you believe it?!?) of this blessing from El Berith, the God of Covenant:

"And it shall come to pass in all the land,' says the Lord, 'That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, but one-third shall be left in it: I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; and each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”---Zechariah 13:8-9 (NKJV)

Psalm 37:4 tells us that if we delight in the Lord and he will give us the desires of our heart, yet because Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that the heart is deceitful, yes, there must be a refining process that takes place...first.

Over the course of this year, I have been amazed by some of the developments that have taken place both personally and when it comes to some of the women who've signed up. I recall one "On Fire" woman in particular who, this time last year was like, "Girl, I'm moving to New York and you'll be married before I will." HONEY PLEASE (LOL). She's now living in the deep South and not only married but newly expecting! You can't beat God's giving...no matter how you try.

Happy One Year Anniversary, Ladies! I guess for some, you could call this your "Groundbreaking Ceremony". Yep. One ceremony at a time (LOL). Either way, here's to even more wife preparation, less husband obsessing and even more revelations. Such a beautiful (and blessed) journey this is into our own individual (Psalm 33:15) Promised Lands. Indeed.

Love to you. Big time!

SRW

Friday, November 12, 2010

"On Fire": The EXCEPTION. Not the RULE.

"For this is the will of God, that you should be consecrated (separated and set apart for pure and holy living): that you should abstain and shrink from all sexual vice, that each one of you should know how to possess (control, manage) his own body in consecration (purity, separated from things profane) and honor, not [to be used] in the passion of lust like the heathen, who are ignorant of the true God and have no knowledge of His will, that no man transgress and overreach his brother and defraud him in this matter or defraud his brother in business. For the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we have already warned you solemnly and told you plainly. For God has not called us to impurity but to consecration [to dedicate ourselves to the most thorough purity]. Therefore whoever disregards (sets aside and rejects this) disregards not man but God, Whose [very] Spirit [Whom] He gives to you is holy (chaste, pure). But concerning brotherly love [for all other Christians], you have no need to have anyone write you, for you yourselves have been [personally] taught by God to love one another."---I Thessalonians 4:3-9 (AMP)


Consecration: to make or declare sacred or holy; sanctify; to dedicate (one's life, time, etc) to a specific purpose

So...

Speaking of consecration, did you get your lingerie goodie for your hope chest (Romans 5:5) yet? Yep, I said it! Even within the context of this message. ON. PURPOSE.

This week, when it comes to news that's been released, I've really had to take a breath/break and exhale a bit. Like today, for example, I read an article about how Amazon.com actually published a book that's (hope you're sitting down) a guide to pedophilia. YEP. And what's really scary is that 1) they basically defended it on the basis of free speech and 2) that it became a best-seller! The current stats on molestation? 1 in 4 girls will be molested by 18 and roughly 1 in 8 boys. And, these are of reported cases.  Remember the Scripture found in Malachi 2:15? Indeed Elohim established marital covenant with one of the main purposes/reasons being that godly offspring would be the end result.
Not too long ago, I was talking to someone about how I wish people would really seek the Lord FIRST before having children, even in marriage. They were like, "I mean, the Bible says 'Be fruitful and multiply' (Genesis 1:28)." They're right. However, I'm starting to wonder more and more if people are getting the "BE FRUITFUL" (Galatians 5:22-23) part down, first! 

And then, as if that was not enough, The Washington Post published in article citing that as much as 72% of black babies are born to single mothers. 72%. Well and above over half. CHILDREN NEED FATHERS. However, as I was checking out one site's discussion on the matter, it amazed me that the following brainstorming questions were asked re: how to stop the pandemic: Should we stop glorifying the hip-hop culture? Should we stop welfare?Should we choose better partners? Oh yeah...and this one was a real doozy: SHOULD WE GIVE UP SEX ENTIRELY?

Um, how about SHOULD WE GET MARRIED?!?

The foolishness of the world (I Corinthians 3:19). Amazing how much, in man's ignorance and presumption, one is oh so quick to find any kind of solution...other than what should be the obvious one: the godly one.

And so, I just want you to know...I want to assure you, that when the Word says that "wide is the gate to destruction" (Matthew 7:13), that although this is often used in re: to heaven vs. hell, I am more than certain that it can even be applied to the quality of life that people have here. As I was praying for our wedding nights, one of the things that the Comforter (John 14:26-AMP) told me is that "You are the exception, not the rule." Not just me, but all who are taking this "On Fire Fast Movement" (eh hem) seriously. Elohim is using this time to fashion us to be true Ezer Kenegdos...true helpmeets...true lifesavers for the one that was created just for us. The "rule" is what everyone else is doing and it's the reason why we have stats like the one presented above and utterly despicable books like the one on pedophilia. The "exception" says "I am not conforming to what others do"; "I am willing to live in direct opposition to the popular opinions of what the world thinks"; "I don't mind being criticized for being distinct, extraordinary, peculiar and unusual. Even if it means people choose to see me as abnormal or strange."

Just today, a spiritual sistah (with a growing marriage ministry of her own, by the way) put me on to a guy by the name of Mark Gungor. Being that I am praying for our "coming together as one for the first time" nights, I found what he said about the Song of Solomon woman to be pretty interesting. If you really pay attention to how she was described, her body didn't really seem *perfect* but to her Beloved, still, she was *exceptional*. I'm willing to bet that a big part of that was because of the *kind of woman* that she was more than what she looked like.

As we enter into another Sabbath (HALLELUJAH!), this is my desire for us all. That we will not get discouraged. That we will know that all of the good steps of a (wo)man are ordered (Psalm 37:23). That our labor is never in vain. And that the El Berith, the God of Covenant, is working...incessantly and diligently...to make us the kinds of wives that his sons, his princes, need. Not only need, but require.

Women who break the rules...to be exceptional.

Women who are willing to remain in a constant state of consecration to do it.

Love to you,

SRW 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"On Fire": A Homework Assignment

OK,

I guess charge it to all of the praying (LOL), cause here I am again! This will be really brief, though.

A few years ago, I watched a documentary on marriage called, "51 Birch Street". It's about...actually, it's too multi-layered to get into. However, I do like how the website that promotes the film starts off with, "Do you really know your parents?" That's a pretty good teaser into the entire dynamic. ;-)

Anyway, I can't recall, other than the fasting, if I've ever been led to give a homework assignment. Let's call this a first! This morning, I saw that Hulu.com has the film available for free. It takes about one hour and 30 minutes to view yet, *please make some time*. Let me tell it, this addresses lack of intimacy and communication, generational curses, settling, fear, resentment, routine...and a whole lot of other things (just wait til you get to know the dude's mama...she was gangsta-LOL).

Here's the (must copy and paste) link:

http://www.hulu.com/watch/186560/51-birch-street 

Feel free to comment, if you'd like, once you get a chance.

The Lord really is preparing us, y'all. He's soooooo good.

SRW

Friday, November 5, 2010

"On Fire": Pray for a KING

I know, right?

Didn't I *just* pen a note a couple of days ago?!? Indeed, I did. Woke up this morning with this semi-brief message on my mind, though.

OK, as the "signs and wonders" child that my mother says that I am, you know that I am totally stoked (LOL) that our one-year anniversary falls into this month and that biblically, "12" symbolizes "apostolic fulfillment", right? And yeah, some of y'all can *go in* right there because apostolic fulfillment is the full manifestation of the characteristics of an apostle. Matthew 10:8 (NKJV) says that when Christ sent the disciples (apostles) out, his instructions were "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons." I've read some of the concerns that have been on you all's hearts. I am encouraged to encourage you to claim this power for yourself (John 8:31). When Elohim is within us, there is nothing that is too hard (I John 4:4). ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Yet, that is not the real purpose for this message. As I am interceding for you all's wedding nights, I am led to implore you to pray for a specific thing as well. I'm not sure when it was but some months ago, the Comforter (John 14:26-AMP) led me to a particular verse in Scripture as it relates to my own Beloved:

"The Lord can control a king's mind as he controls a river; he can direct it as he pleases."---Proverbs 21:1 (NCV)

Keeping this posted up in my bedroom has done three things: 1) it has served as a good dose of "emotional anesthesia" when I am tempted to freak out about the Lord's timing and methodology; 2) it reminds me of the kind of man I am worthy of: A KING and 3) it "reins me in" when I'm tempted to try and manipulate a situation to go the way I deem fit. Because really, since the Lord can control a king's mind, why don't I just move out of the way and let God be God, totally, in my circumstance?

And so, yes, it is also my prayer that you will take it upon yourself to pray for that 1) you will allow the Lord to bring a king into your life and 2) that you will truly trust that El Berith, the God of Covenant, has your journey TOTALLY under his control. A king is a "male sovereign". A king serves as a "chief authority". A king  (and I LOVE this!) is "a person, animal, or thing considered as the best or most important of its kind". A king is the best and most important kind of man (Ish, husband) and because Proverbs 12:4 tells us that "An excellent wife is the crown of her husband", I'm led to believe that a godly woman deserves no less than a man of true spiritual royalty. DON'T. SETTLE. FOR. LESS. 

Oh! Speaking of kings, if you're a Mommy, or desire to be the mother of a son someday, this article is worth checking out in re: to preparing young men to be kings. Big sistahs have to help out the little sistahs: "How to Raise The Men We'd Want to Marry".

 Is that it? Yep. Gotta lotta writing, praying and pondering to do today and so I must be going. However, I hope this provided some of you with some additional comfort and others some real clarity.  

You ain't "got this". God does.   

Trust him. After all, he is the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS: 

"And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."---Revelation 19:16 (NKJV)


SRW

Monday, November 1, 2010

"On Fire": Wedding Night Prayers

Yeah. Well.

Not sure what it is but some of R. Kelly's handiwork has been all up in my head space as of late (if you're on my devotional list and you read "Mass Confusion...Eliminated" then you know what I'm talking about). Not entire songs...just liners. One that has been "ringing around" for a couple of days now is from the song, "It Seems Like You're Ready". The liner? "I'd like to know am I the one you're preparing for?"

Yeah. Well...again.

A little bit of logic sprinkled with some good ole' common sense tells me that he probably wasn't writing this song for his wife (LOL) and to be honest with you---and y'all know I'm the one to be pretty darn forthright---upon my introduction to this song, many, many moons ago, I wasn't thinking about my future Beloved, either. Matter of fact (gasp!), I gave my conscious virginity away to this very tune.

Yet a funny (ironic, I mean) thing happened when I thought about it this past time. My past didn't resonate. Not one bit. I didn't get that tingling feeling that I used to, almost every time, in times past, when I thought about my first. Another matter of fact? I didn't even think about him, in relation to it, until just now. Hmph.

What I did think about was the fact that I didn't prepare for pornea (Greek for "fornication"). Not one bit. Now that I think about it, when I gave my virginity to "him", we obviously didn't do much preparing at all because those of you who have read "Inside of Me" know that when it came time to "do the deed", it was in his Mama's house in his Mama's bed while his little sister was asleep in the next room. Whew! DIS.RE.SPECT.FUL. And, if you continue to read the book, you will notice that I didn't really prepare for the rest of dem jokers, er, men (LOL), either. A memoir of drama would not have been penned if that had been the case.

I think hard. I make no apologies for it and so to be honest with you, as I'm "penning, processing and pondering" (Proverbs 4:26) all of this, I'm kinda trippin' that the song that I would "lose it to" is the one that is causing me to further prepare for "yahasey min" (Hebrew for "sexual relations"). Amazin' ain't it? Sometimes you just don't see how preparation will come.Or when. I think we need to pray about preparing for preparation. How about you? (LOL)

Indeed, Isaiah 42:9 (NKJV) tells us, "Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them." I can't really explain it, yet it's almost as if my Beloved was channeling (for lack of a better word) me through Mr. Kelly: "Shellie, are you preparing for me? I don't care about your past. I'm interested in the right here and right now. Are you allowing the Lord to put your human trinity---your mind, body and spirit---into 'proper condition and readiness'? Are you honestly making yourself 'adaptable' so that 'adjustments' can be made? As one of my love brothers (hey Shannon!) says in one of his songs, are you being too emotional to be 'coachable'?" (LOL) Ladies, now I must redirect the line of questioning: Are you looking at this season as a time of "nothingness" or are you taking this blog for what it is: a time to "develop", to "fix", to "perfect" and "settle" yourself? To allow the Master Matchmaker, our Abba Father, to get you into position to be presented (Genesis 2:22) Indeed, are you preparing for the one that the Lord had in mind for you...all along?

As I prayed about how this related to you all specifically, the Comforter (John 14:26-AMP) led me to a site that I didn't see coming (the Lord *did* say that he would do exceedingly above all that we can ask or think...he always does!-Ephesians 3:20). It was (I know, right?) Wedding Night Dot Com. Yep. It's just what you might think it would be: a website that prepares people for their wedding night. By no means was I under the impression that it's a "Christian website" yet, I really did appreciate them taking to time to even publish an article entitled,"6 Reasons to Wait Until Your Wedding Night" with one of the reasons being that you will have no regrets. You will have no regrets.


The Lord is preparing me, preparing us all if we take our preparation time seriously, to have a NEW NIGHT with our man, our Ish, our covenant partner...forever...filled with *no regrets*. I love my Father and how he works in my life. He would actually allow the very song that I sinfully gave my virginity away to, to remind me that "going all the way" the next time was going to be a very different experience. Then he led me to a website that reminded me that because I am preparing, even now, my wedding night will be one that 1) is not difficult; 2) will be personally rewarding; 3) I won't regret; 4) I won't have pressure attached to; 5) won't have a pregnancy scare involved (a *huge* first for me!); 6) will be worth it because we waited.


Do you recall when the Lord instructed us all to get a hope chest? DO YOU HAVE YOURS? If not, how can the Father proceed with the next step when you are not adhering to the last one(s), he's given? GET ONE. If you already do, over the next couple of weeks (or paychecks), treat yourself to a piece of honeymoon lingerie. A pair of panties that say "Bride" on them. Or a teddy. Or some fishnet stockings. A slip. Some slippers. As the Lord is preparing our souls, spiritually, for giving ourselves to our husbands, celebrate your walk in faith (Hebrews 11:1) by getting something to decorate the fearfully and wonderfully (Psalm 139:14) canvas known as your body. One of the main things that the Lord will use to bless your husband...especially.


Yeah. It's all making sense now. Like stepping out of the boat and walking on the water (LOL)! I get why the Lord wanted me to pen this...today. "On Fire" ladies, we will be ONE-YEAR-OLD on 11-21-10. For the next 21 days, I am going to intercede on you all's behalf for this one thing and this one thing only: that you will have an absolutely amazing, awesome, special, refreshed, *renewed*, sacred, wondrous and magnificent wedding night. Yep. That's all I'm being led to pray about/for. I think it's because since the El Berith, the God of Covenant, thinks so highly of the marriage bed (you might want to check out this link some time too for additional preparatory information...an ounce of prevention, right?), we cannot forget that it is a major staple in a marriage (Hebrews 13:4, I Corinthians 7:1-6).


And so, because I will be going to the Father about thwarting off the past sins that can tend to easily beset (Hebrews 12:1) those of us who didn't wait to give our virginity away to the one who is truly worthy (cause your mind can be renewed but you are only a virgin one time...let the truth [John 8:32] about *that* set you free from lying to your future covenant partner, please!) AND to calm down the anxiety (Philippians 4:6-7) of those who have remained a virgin and/or those who have not had intercourse but need their PURENESS rejuvenated (Psalm 51:10), if you have a specific request/fear/concern that you would like the two of us to "touch and agree" on (Matthew 18:19-20), in confidence, please feel free to drop me an email at missnosipho@gmail.com.

In the meantime, get your little lingerie item to place into your hope chest, again as your personal act of faith. I will be praying for you because I know that hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5).

And my future Beloved, here's to the Lord sending up some kind of "spiritual smoke signal" (LOL) to you that the answer would be a resounding "yes". YOU ARE THE ONE THAT I'M PREPARING FOR. I've got a hope chest full of goodies and a heart full of expectancy to prove it!


See you (in God's time) soon.

SRW

Saturday, October 23, 2010

"On Fire": 5. It Really Is a "Lucky" Number.

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly."---Psalm 84:11 (NKJV)


Today is one of those days when I'm gonna preach to myself. For real.

All this week, I couldn't totally put my finger on why, but things were *really rough* on me...emotionally. I kept getting the sense that I was grieving something. As I was reading up on detoxing last night (that's what the Lord led me to read about), I came upon a list that oddly seemed to bring me comfort:

There's a wide variety of reactions that could manifest during a cleanse/detox, the most common are:

Cold or flu-like symptoms
Diarrhea
Extreme fatigue/restlessness
Cramps
Headache
Aches, Pains
Arthritic flair up
Insomnia
Nausea

Sinus Congestion
Fever/chills
Frequent urination and/or urinary tract discharges
Drop in blood pressure
Skin eruptions, including: boils, hives, and rashes.
Mood swings
Anxiety


Amazing how sometimes you have to feel worse before you can feel better, ain't it? It's a trip how sometimes, even when you are doing your best to live right...things feel all wrong. As I took an assessment over my life and the commitment I have made to not "go back there", even if it's just to temporarily relieve this perpetual ickiness I am experiencing, while reading over this list, I decided to chalk up a lot of my current discomfort to just this: spiritual detox...and the grieving of someone who was once very special to me.

Whenever people ask me what it's like to lose a fiance', especially at the age of 21, I often say that the hardest part is knowing that Damien never got to meet the woman I am...now. Lord, I was such a mess back when "he knew me when" that I often describe our relationship as "Hosea and Gomer. Part 2." My self-esteem was so low at the time that I didn't know how to love him the way that he deserved. I recall Bill Clinton once saying, in response to why he cheated in his wife, Hillary, that he did love her. He just didn't love her well.

I get it. I soooooo get it.

And so, as I was trying to put together the source of my insomnia, anxiety, irritability and tears...tears that seemed to come out of nowhere almost every day for about the past five days, I thought about the season that I am in. Damien would've been 36 on October 6. It will be 15 years since he died on November 3. 13 days from the day I'm penning this. In the Bible "15" symbolizes "divine grace". Hmph.

The detox part of the journey is that I think I am really and fully letting him go this year. Not my love for him but my using him as a standard of what I need in this life. Damien Ashley Bell was who I needed...at that time. This time...it's time for something different. I'm a new woman. A new experience is awaiting me.

The grief comes from wondering what my life would have been like had he still been here. There is a part of me that wishes so much that he got "this Shellie" rather than "that one". I went to Damien's funeral but I now see that our relationship, I never fully buried. It's time for that too. My human trinity (mind, body, spirit) is telling me so. He's taking up some heart space that belongs to someone else. It's time to reconcile that now.

So what does this all have to do with the title of today's message?

I read today that Celine Dion gave birth to her long-awaited twins. That made me smile...for a lot of reasons. One, because she's 42 and as a 36-year-old woman who still desires a child (or two) of her own, it's nice to get a nudge, once again, that "timing is the Father's business" (Acts 1:7-Message). Yet, what really caused me to feel a sense of joy that I haven't been able to find all week long is that I remember what Celine was quoted as saying...just months ago. In the February 10 (2010) posted article on People.com, in response to four failed in vitro procedures, Celine said:

1) "I'm going to try this until it works."

2) "Five's my lucky number. So this is the time it's got to work."

Romans 5:5. Romans with two "5s" tells us that "Hope does not disappoint." My mom calls me her "signs and wonders" child often. It's cool because even the Word tells us that what seems like accidents are of the Lord (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) and I love waking up and expecting the Lord to speak to me...randomly. Some may say it's by pure chance that I would wake up from my all-day Sabbath nap today and read Celine's praise report. But you see, I know what "5" biblically-symbolizes. It's GRACE. I also know what "8" biblically-symbolizes. NEW BEGINNINGS.

It was just eight months ago when things seemed really bleak for Celine and her husband Rene. JUST EIGHT MONTHS AGO. And now, not only does she have another child...but two: twin boys. She said that "grace" is her lucky number. In our bleakest moments, this is how we should see our lives as well. Just as Hebrews 4:16 encourages, when things seems hopeless, because we know that's not true...because we know that hope does not disappoint, we should not just "go to the throne of grace" but BOLDLY SO to get the mercy (divine favor) and grace (strength) that we need. Because indeed, Elohim supplies all of our needs (Philippians 4:19).

Some days we need grace more than others.

There's a verse in the Bible that says, "But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony." (Luke 21:13-NKJV) Just think if Celine had given up hope. I would've awakened from my slumber and, while I'm sure the Lord would have provided a glimmer of hope in some other fashion, it would've affected me in another way. Today, like Celine did just eight months ago, in spite of the pain, grief and God-inspired release, I am also saying, "I'm going to try this until it works." I am also saying, "Grace is my lucky number and so this time it's got to work."

Of course it will...whether I feel like it will today or not:

"And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'”---2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)


"If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself."---2 Timothy 2:13 (NKJV)

Cause here's another thing worth pondering (Proverbs 4:26). The reports of the babies' births are that they were over 5 lbs a piece. That's really good for twins and so I'm led to believe that they weren't preemies. This also leads me to believe that in February, because that was just eight months ago, there's a great chance that Celine was pregnant...and she just didn't know it. Yet. Ladies, there's a great chance that we are on the verge of receiving some of the very things that we are longing for as well. We just don't know it...yet.


"5" works wonders...and miracles...and new beginnings. Believe it.

I'm certainly choosing to. I am hopeful and hope does not disappoint.

Love (and grace) to you,


SRW