Sunday, April 24, 2011

"On Fire": Heb yepat to’ar wîpat mar’eh

Ministers-in-Training (*especially those on the fast*):


You know, I thought this was going to be a message on "fear" (those participating in the fast know why); however, as I'm writing (well, typing) this, it would appear that Adonai has something else in mind. Someone once said, "We plan, God laughs" but personally, I think he's a bit more sensitive towards us than that. "We plan, he plans...better" (Proverbs 16:9&19:21) would probably be more...appropriate.

So anyway, as I've been penning a "Love" series (through the devotional mailings that I do), as I've been trying to get as many out as I can before I leave for the UK this week, it really made me smile, what the Comforter (John 14:16-AMP) led me to for today's "Girl, you know we love you" shout out from Elohim. It's not gonna be super short. Yet it is sweet (Psalm 19:9-11 & Proverbs 16:24). And potentially life-altering. If you allow it to be. Look at it like when you go to the mall and try a cosmetic over the counter. It's not to *change* who you are so much as it is to *enhance* the beauty that's already there. Sometimes things are meant to bring out a feature you never even really noticed before. Sometimes, in the right *light*, one sees themselves. Differently (2 Samuel 22:29 & Psalm 18:28).

The title for today's message? Y'all know I'm a Hebrew at heart (LOL). The translation of it is "beautiful in form and beautiful to look upon". It's the literal (Hebrew) translation of Esther 2:7 (NKJV):

"And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter." 

The New Century Version says that Hadassah/Esther "had a very pretty figure and face".

The Amplified Version says that Hadassah/Esther was "was beautiful and lovely".

The New International Version (before all of their new revisions-LOL) says that Hadassah/Esther "had a lovely figure and was beautiful".

The Message Version just came right on out with it: "The girl had a good figure and a beautiful face." (Can't you hear the translator just shakin' his head?-LOL)

So did the Complete Jewish Bible: "The girl was shapely and good-looking."

Yet, it's still the Hebrew that I adore. The most. It was something about her being "beautiful in form" that struck a cord with me. Hadassah/Esther had "qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc." when it came to her physique, yes, but "form" also means, "a particular condition, character, or mode in which something appears". Another woman who was noted to be this way was Rachel (Genesis 29:17).

Beautiful in form. IN FORM.

I prayed about what this meant for us in this season (Ecclesiastes 3). The Comforter took me to a line in 2 Timothy 3 (verse 5 to be exact). You know how the Word (John 1:1) says that in the last days there will be those who will be "having a form of godliness but denying its power"? I thought about that directly as it relates to the purpose of this blog. That there are women on here (and if we're all really honest, that would be all of us from time-to-time) who have a form of *beautiful godliness* but they are deny its power. Ah ha! So, I guess that fear *is* gonna rear its ugly head (only to be lopped off-LOL), anyway. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. Power is powerful. Love is powerful. A sound mind is powerful. And in a woman, it is *beautiful*. Yes, it gives great pleasure and satisfaction to see, hear and think about someone who operates in this way.

Then, the Comforter led (Luke 12:12) me to a line in Songs of Solomon: "O my love, you are as beautiful as Tirzah, lovely as Jerusalem, awesome as an army with banners!" (6:4-NKJV) Hmph. Maybe it's the warrior in me, but while some of y'all may have loved the "beautiful and lovely" part, I was stuck on the "awesome as an army with banners" portion. The man who loved the Shulamite woman found her to be *awesome as an army*! Again, beautiful godliness is powerful. And that is what I want you all to hold onto this week (actually, I probably won't be penning another one of these until Cinco de Mayo week!): that in your own distinctive *and purposeful* ways, the Creator has already made you beautiful. Just like David, we are *all* fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Period. 

Yet, if there was an addition, it would be this...

Do you notice how Esther 2 begins by making it clear that Hadassah/Esther was *already beautiful*? And yet, if you keep reading the chapter, you will see that she *still* had to go through 12 months of preparation along with the other women who were to go before King Ahasuerus:


"Each girl had her turn to appear before King Achashverosh after she had undergone the full twelve-month preparation period prescribed for the women, consisting of a six-month treatment with oil of myrrh and six months with perfumes and other cosmetics for women. Then, when the girl went to see the king, whatever she wanted would be given to her as she went from the harem's house to the king's palace."---Esther 2:12-13 (Complete Jewish Bible)

From the harem's house to the king's palace. Hmph. That could be a devotional unto itself. I particularly like this part of the story as it was translated in the New King James Version: the beginning of Esther 2:13 says, "Thus prepared, each young woman went to the king..." THUS PREPARED.

ACCORDINGLY EXPECTANT, ORGANIZED AND EQUIPPED, each young woman went before the king.

You know, most of us need to be grateful just for the simple fact that we don't have to do some variation of "The Bachelor" when it comes to our Beloveds (I'll let that marinate). But I do love how this story ministers even to the modern age. ALL OF US ARE BEAUTIFUL. THIS IS A SEASON OF THE CREATOR MAKING US EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL: OF US BECOMING *BEAUTIFUL GODLINESS* SO THAT WE WON'T JUST BE A FORM OF GODLINESS WHILE DENYING ITS POWER. Cause if there's *anything* that needs the presence of Elohim, it would be marital covenant:

"And He [Christ] answered and said to them, 'Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.'"---Matthew 19:4-6 (NKJV) 

I reference Ecclesiastes 3:11 often. That's because, to me, it never gets old: "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."

Look at this season (no matter how long or short-2 Peter 3:8) like you going from your parents' home to this place of (further) preparation. Very similar to the girls in the harem's house. This is the time when the Lord is putting on the finishing touches so that, just like Esther, when you come before *your king*, it will be *undeniable* that you are "accordingly expectant, organized and equipped" not to be *a wife* but...*HIS WIFE*. You were beautiful before. As a woman. You are being "thus prepared" now. To be a queen!

"Heb yepat to’ar wîpat mar’eh". Hold it close. As enhancements are being made.

Love to you,

SRW




 

Monday, April 18, 2011

"On Fire": Clear Response (THE FAST IS HERE!)

"God made husbands and wives to become one body and one spirit for his purpose—so they would have children who are true to God."---Malachi 2:15 (NCV)

OK...

Here I go (and if you want to join in, feel free!-Matthew 18:19-21). I *knew* a fast was coming at some point. I thought it would've been waaaaaaay before now. Yet Adonai's timing is always best and it would appear that the time is now.

I was led (Luke 12:12) to entitle this message in this way because it's the combination of two pregnancy tests (something that I knew about *quite well* in my past life-James 5:16): First Response and Clearblue Easy. When a woman wants to know if she is pregnant, she will usually go to the drugstore before going to the doctor to get one of these "under $20" boxes of assurance. Or reassurance. I guess it depends on the answer you're looking for. :-)

Yet here's the thing: Unless you're paranoid (and I had moments in the peak of my fornication where I *definitely can relate*), you usually don't make this kind of a purchase unless there are signs that something...has changed. Either you've missed your period. Or you feel like you've got the flu. Or your sleep and diet patterns have changed. Or you're nauseated. My point is that *something* is not like it usually is (or used to be) and so you want to find out if pregnancy could be the cause of the adjustments that have been transpiring.

Now here's the other thing: I think we've discussed the topic of "Pseudocyesis" before, right? Actually, we may have used the non-technical term, which is a "phantom pregnancy". It's when a woman *thinks* that she is pregnant, even has pregnancy symptoms...but....she's...*not*. Experts say that it comes from a psychosomatic state of mind. And what is *that*? Basically, it's a physical disorder that's caused by emotional factors.

Do you feel the set-up coming?

It wasn't until I was gearing up to pen "Pure Heart" that I really spent some time pondering (Proverbs 4:26) Malachi 2:15. And, while it's *all* powerful, the part that I want to emphasize, as it relates to this fast, is the first five words: "God *made* husband and wives".

Oh, do you know how many divorces (Malachi 2:16) could be avoided if people simply took *that* phrase literally? Man doesn't make husbands and wives. Adonai does. And, he does it for a purpose. 1) For them to become ONE body and ONE spirit and 2) so that they can create children who are true to him.

You know, a lot of people don't want to deal with this harsh reality (Ecclesiastes 7:18-Message), but there is a verse in the Bible that says, "The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies." (Proverbs 58:3-NKJV) I look around sometimes and I wonder, "How many of these children came from a MADE COVENANT?" How many are dealing with astronomical odds and challenges simply due to sexual sin (Hebrews 13:4)? "On Fire" women, we cannot let fear or age or desperation or covetousness or low self-esteem or pride or family or loneliness or our libido...*none of these things* to cause us to become apart of something that God *did not MAKE*:

Make: to bring into existence by shaping or changing material, combining parts, etc.; to produce; cause to exist or happen; bring about; to appoint or name; to put in the proper condition or state, as for use; fix; prepare; to bring into a certain form; to convert from one state, condition, category, etc., to another; to give rise to; occasion; to do; effect; to establish or enact; put into existence

In Matthew 24:4 (NKJV), it says that Christ said to the disciples (of that time), "Take heed that no one deceives you." Take heed that no one "mislead [you] by a false appearance or statement; delude". 

That said, the fast, in this season, is simple, although I think the revelations that will come from it will be *quite* diverse. Proverbs 4:23 (AMP) says, "Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life." When we as women don't do this, I believe that it sends a lot of us into a kind of  psychosomatic state. We see a guy and he makes our heart skip. We go to sleep and we dream about him. We have a few good conversations. Our friends tell us how good together we would be. He compliments us on more than one occasion. He calls us endearing names. There are *signs* that he may been into us, but we're not really sure. Yet, some of us are so caught up in the signs that we start to believe that he actually is...not just into us, but our future husband. That he is *the one*.

Hmph. Phantom pregnancies. Phantom relationships. Both can end up taking a lot of energy. Both usually end up being *huge* disappointments.

I *know* this is of the Lord because there is a *huge* burden on me to take this on. There is need for a lot of women within this movement to take a "covenant test" in the sense of, if there's a guy that you desire, before acting like he's your husband (emotionally, spiritually, verbally, financially, SEXUALLY, etc.), how about you find out if he is the one...*first*? AND YOU CAN'T DO THAT. AGAIN, GOD MAKES HUSBANDS AND WIVES.

Tomorrow is April 19. Biblically, "19" symbolizes "divine order" *with* "judgment. How fitting, how fitting! From tomorrow thru June 21 (the longest day of the year), I am going on a fast for the Lord to do one thing: GIVE "ON FIRE" WOMEN A CLEAR RESPONSE FROM HIM RE: THEIR FUTURE MATES. 

Now here's the deal. *Only* those who email me re: prayer in this area, will I be sharing the details of this fast. It's serious business and a bit strategic. If there are onlookers (like the fellas who are members-LOL) who would like to join in and pray, that is most appreciated. However, I have been claiming Mark 9:23 in my life for some time now. I *know* that all things are possible to those that believe and I BELIEVE that those who are seeking (Matthew 7:7-8) him in this area, some *divine order* will be put into place *and* that those who are involved in deceit, phantom relationships, a waste of energy and heart space, some clear "judgment markers" will be put into position as well.


*Feeling* like you're in love is one thing. *Being* in love is something else.


"‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’"---Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV)

Hmph. You just gotta love him. And his timing.

Love to you,

SRW






Saturday, April 9, 2011

"On Fire": One Wedding, an Engagement, an Article and a Few Videos...

"Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun."---Ecclesiastes 9:9 (NKJV)


A couple of years ago, I did a series entitled, "Commands We Don't Keep" because certainly there are the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17); however, they are *many other instructions* that Adonai has given us to honor as well. I can't help but to wonder how many married couples take this particular one in Ecclesiastes, for instance, seriously; not just the "live with your wife all of the days of your life" part but the LIVE JOYFULLY portion as well.

It's fitting that the Comforter (John 14:16-AMP) would lead (Luke 12:12) me to this verse today because it's been nothing but covenant talk/announcements/information in my space all week long. For one, later this evening, I will be attending a covenant ceremony of a couple that I had the *extreme honor and pleasure* of counseling (Shaynaanddeji.com). Unions based in sexual purity (Hebrews 13:4) bring me a special kind of happiness. What a beautiful thing that tonight, *as virgins*, they shall become one (Genesis 2:24-25). If you are a virgin reading this, especially if you are of the *pure variety* (I Timothy 5:22), know that you have something *very rare* and *very sacred*. The thief (John 10:10) is out to steal gifts. Please guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23) and your temple (I Corinthians 6:19). For the one (the only one) who is worthy.

Earlier this week, an "On Fire" gal got engaged. The entire story is...spiritually precious, yet there was a line, in particular, that as I've revisited, I found to be truly divine: "Jesus said to my heart, 'By choosing him, you choose me as well'." Indeed, if the man is not bringing you closer to Elohim, it's something you should really reconsider...considering. You can check out Miss Audra Rose's engagement and *fabulous ring* (LOL) here. Also, one of the other "On Fire" sistahs that we've shouted out before sent me a link to her photographer's website (so Nashville chicks, you might want to keep the info in your hope chest!). If you go to the site and scroll down to the second couple (the first black couple), you will see Renee and her Beloved. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Talk about LIVING JOYFULLY!!!

Also a couple of days ago, I read a story about a married couple who *endured* (count 'em) *six natural disasters* while on their (whew!) honeymoon. I loved this line in the interview: "'I know marriages have to endure some trials, but I think we have been through most of them,' Mr Svanstrom said." Yeah, I won't get too deep on this today, yet I will say this: some of the tests (Psalm 7:9) that some of you may be going through now may be to see what your relationship is *really made of*. The Comforter led me to another link earlier this week re: this very thing (check out the beginning through 3:15). For one or two of you, from it, you may receive some confirmation...on if what's happening is a test from God or some drama that you are sending yourself through. When God's in it, grace abounds. When he's not, mercy is needed.

Yet, it was something that I "happened upon" *just this morning* that really made me smile. It was a YouTube entitled, "Kay &  Lee-84 Years Old-Wedding Interview". Now I *assumed* that it was a vow renewal video. It ain't (LOL). It appears that they got married last April (how ironic) after both being previous widows. The whole video I recommend you checking out; however, there were a few things said that stood out to me:

In speaking of the courtship: "We were falling in love, though our hands had not touched."

In speaking of the bride: "My God, I've fallen into royalty."

And just with those two sentences alone, does their union not seem extraordinary? Marriage is a faith-based union and Adonai is Spirit (John 4:24). It is *very possible* to grow in a courtship *without* an initial physical connection (some people need to be reminded of that...*daily*). And as far as the wedding day sentiment, I Peter 2:9 (NKJV) immediately came to mind: "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy."

In a couple of weeks, my mom and I will be going to London to be "Prince William and Kate" groupies (LOL). It's a mother/daughter bonding trip pretty much based on the fact that when Prince Charles and Princess Diana were wed, I remember being a little girl and staying up basically all night to see their wedding take place. But William and Kate are royal based on the world's standards. We come from royalty as daughters of the King of kings and Lord of lords and according to Revelation 17:14 (NKJV), "...and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” When it comes time for *all of us* to be united with our covenant partners, the declaration that came from 84-year-old Lee should be the same one mutually expressed in our relationships. If you are courting (not dating...*courting*-LOL), even now you should be treated with *dignity*. You should be revered as *regal*. You should be honored as a queen (and remember what one of my poems says: "Queens can't balance crowns on their backs!"). If you're not treated as "called, chosen and faithful" *now*, please take heed. Good buildings are built on solid foundations and less the Lord builds the house, yes, one labors in vain (Psalm 127:1).

Which brings me to the end of this blog and something that Kay said during the interview that really stood out to me. She said that Lee got the "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval". Hmph. I'm sure a few of you have heard that a husband is a *house-band*: the one who holds everything together. I thought what Kay said was a really cute way to put that. Lee was going to be a good husband, a good house-band...a good HOUSEKEEPER. Psalm 121:5 tells us that the Lord is our keeper. He guards and watches us. He is responsible for our maintenance. He has the responsibility of preserving us...because we are valuable. Ministers-in-Training, our (future) Beloveds are to model themselves after the Lord in this way. They also are to assist in guarding and watching over us. They also are to assist with our physical, emotional and spiritual maintenance. They also are to want to serve as a type of curator in the sense of being a spiritual superintendent: SUPER-INTENDENT (love that!) *No man can learn how to do that without a relationship with the Father.* Absolutely *no man*.

Well, I'm gonna get off of here so that I can figure out what kinda cute I'm gonna be later at the wedding. Oh, how I LOVE weddings that transpire on the Sabbath day. In the meantime, my prayer for each and everyone of you is that as you check out those various links that the Lord will speak to you *right where you are* considering your situation. He didn't forget Kay and Lee. He hasn't forgotten about us, either. Of this you can be more than sure. You can be *very sure*.

And that's something, even now, that you can (and should) LIVE JOYFULLY about!

Love to you,

SRW

Saturday, April 2, 2011

"On Fire": Accomplished. NOT Ambushed.

"A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul..."---Proverbs 13:19 (NKJV)


"You have to feel comfortable about laying your head on your pillow at night before you can ask someone to lay their head down with you." 

With a good night's rest under my belt, I am seeing that my Rebox dollar on a B-list movie was a dollar *well spent* (LOL). The movie? "My Girlfriend's Back". The premise? One woman in a man's life gave him a sense of *accomplishment*...while another? She was *ambushing* him.

Guess who won out?

I thought about that as it relates to the *real world*. You'd be amazed (or maybe not) how much art imitates life in this particular fashion. Women threatening men. Ultimatum-ing men. Manipulating men. Nagging men. *Resenting men* all because since *they* have decided that it's time to be married (or even in a serious relationship), then it must be (I'm saying that with a big hint of sarcasm). Y'all probably know by now that one of my favorite Message version Scriptures in the Bible of *all-time* is Acts 1:7, "You don't get to know the time. Timing is the Father's business. What you'll get is the Holy Spirit." Hmph. I wonder, being that the Amplified Version of John 14:16 defines the Holy Spirit as *the Comforter*, how many times the Holy Spirit actually prompted a woman to act in such fashions. *Especially* being that the Word says that *when a woman is married*, it is her *conduct* that has the amazing ability to win her husband over; that it's a *quiet* and *gentle* spirit that is precious in the sight of our Lord (I Peter 3:1-6). Nothing about a spirit is quiet or gentle when you're pressuring a man to marry you. Or court you. Or date you. When you're *ambushing* him.

A wise man once said that the way a relationship starts speaks *volumes* to how it will continue. So many women, in their approach with men, I fear, don't even realize that they are 1) emasculating the men and 2) putting themselves in a place of severe distrust because if you're "having to" (again said with a big hint of sarcasm), "attack [a man] suddenly" or "unexpectedly from a concealed position", then you may be setting yourself up for *always* having to do that to get what you want. That's not love. That's emotional assault. And it's not fair. To either one of you.

I was just telling a girlfriend of mine yesterday that I found a particular balance in relationships between the opposite sex to be interesting. After Adam and the Woman sinned and the Lord gave out the curses, he told *the Woman* that she would desire her husband...greatly (Genesis 3:16) while the man would toil in the fields for provision (Genesis 3:18-19). Ah, the circle of life. Here (many) women are not feeling (totally) complete without having their covenant partners by their side, while men seem to feel not totally complete without provisions being met. A woman feels lack without a mate. A man feels he needs a mate...only after he has a significant amount of surplus. Once he has reached a certain level of personal achievement. Fulfillment. *Accomplishment*.

And to be honest with you, it makes a lot of sense. *Even before sin*, there were things that Adam had in place before his Ezer Kenegdo was *brought to him* (Genesis 2:22). He had a relationship with his Creator (a very intimate one). He had designated duties. *He had a life*. The blessing of a wife wasn't something that he saw coming. It was *Adonai* who decided that it was not *good* for Adam to be alone and so therefore, he would make someone *right* for him (Genesis 2:18). Prior to that, it would appear that Adam was pretty *content*. And being *self-content* is within the will of the Lord: "Now godliness with contentment is great gain." (I Timothy 6:6-NKJV)

That's why I can really get down with the quote that starts off this message for today. As I'm walking my own "journey towards covenant", something that has become a prayer focus of mine more andmore is, "Lord, please make my Beloved *content* with his own life. With his own purpose." Way before I come into the picture. Because, indeed, while I will bring favor to his life (just as a good wife should and does-Proverbs 18:22), I want to bring "goodwill", "kind regard" and "love" to godliness...a man who is satisfied with his life, who is at ease with his world...a man who believes that I will only add to his abundance. More than anything, his abundant life in Christ (John 10:10).

Yeah. I know that a lot of chicks who seem to see this in another way; that it's romantic to fill some void in man. And to it, I will qualify that perspective by saying, "Being a man's rib, being his support, being his help is a beautiful thing. Because it's a biblical thing." (Genesis 2:21). However, I also know that the Word says that the Lord makes *everything* beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). *A wife is to support things that the Lord has already put into place for the man.* We are not to be his security blanket. We are to be his helpmate. *We are to help him with things that he and the Lord have already worked out between themselves*. More times than not? *Well before we arrived (in the wife capacity)*.

I have watched enough crazy relationships (both on and off the tube) to realize that when a woman is pushing a man towards marriage (or a serious relationship), 9.8 times out of 10, she has not either heard or understood this revelation. And yes, many things are destroyed for a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). So indeed, B-list movie, I *wholeheartedly* agree that a man should feel good going to bed at night before he decides to bring me to bed with him (Hebrews 13:4); that he should have a sense of self-accomplishment well before I arrive on the scene. And that when he doesn't, when I try and force him anyway, I'm not courting the potential of a dream wedding so much as additional warfare. Not from Satan. Within myself.

So what do I do in the meantime? I pray for my Beloved to come closer to our Father. I pray for him to be on task...that he will grow spiritually...that he will feel content with who he is as a son of THE GOD so that when it's time for me to bring my favor into the mix, it will not be like oil and water; that we will blend rather than separate. When it's time. Because it's time.

Cause at the right time, that's when it will be beautiful.

Love to you,

SRW