Friday, September 30, 2011

"On Fire": Praying. IN DETAIL.

"His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage."---Malachi 2:14(Message) 

"We think in generalities, but we live in detail."---Alfred North Whitehead


This won't be too terribly long.

In preparation for this new year that I am embracing, something that I am giving back to Adonai is my time. For those of you on the devotional list, you may have peeped that one revelation from the "Because...You're Worth It" message is that doing things that are worthless is doing things that are impractical.

This "On Fire" mission has *much worth*; however, I have to make sure that I am accountable, fully, to Adonai in what I do with it. Therefore, I may not be *as available* as I used to be in the inbox. There are simply not enough hours in the day. However, I will respond *as led* (Luke 12:12). It would be foolish and spiritually irresponsible not to.

The segue on this is that I have been a full believer for a long time now that one should pray *in detail*. That people who don't often avoid it not due to *conviction* but *fear* that if they come to the Lord with the *specific aspects* of their lives, they may not like the answers that they get. Personally, I'm like, "The sooner I get a 'yes', I can prepare and the sooner I get a 'no', I can release." And so, if you have *specific prayer requests*, please send them to missnosipho@gmail.com. I will place them in the prayer book that the Divine Spirit and I have been chatting it up about for a couple of weeks now.

A book, that, it must be time to fill up because today, from a spiritual sistah, I received a fresh new journal, unexpectedly. I'm not even the "pink kind of girl" and yet, I'm big on symbolism. Pink represents love and romance, caring and tenderness, *acceptance and calm*. ALL OF WHICH, I BELIEVE, EMBODIES THE MISSION AND PURPOSE OF THIS SITE!

I have some people with the Gift of Intercession in my personal space. *I know what the power of prayer can do*. Oftentimes, more than anything else, it's the *absolute best thing* that we can offer to another person (James 5:16). If we do it from a righteous place. If we pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17). And so, "On Fire" sistahs, as I await to see what other messages the Lord will share on this blog, in the meantime, I look forward to receiving your requests. And even to those, I will respond *as led*.

Just as I told someone today, I sense that this is gonna be a *very* "Get some popcorn and watch what happens" season. To all who are willing. To receive. What Adonai has. In his time. In *each and every detail* of their lives.

Ahavah Shalom,

SRW

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"On Fire": UNORDINARY MEN. GET ONE.

"David went to Nob to see Ahimelech the priest. Ahimelech shook with fear when he saw David, and he asked, 'Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?'

David answered him, 'The king gave me a special order. He told me, 'No one must know what I am sending you to do or what I told you to do.' I told my men where to meet me Now, what food do you have with you? Give me five loaves of bread or anything you find.'

The priest said to David, 'I don't have any plain bread here, but I do have some holy bread. You may eat it if your men have kept themselves from women.'

David answered, 'No women have been near us for days. My men always keep themselves holy, even when we do ordinary work. And this is especially true when the work is holy.'

So the priest gave David the holy bread from the presence of God because there was no other. Each day the holy bread was replaced with hot bread."---I Samuel 21:6(NCV)


Happy Rosh Hashanah!

To those who observe it, anyway (good link here) and I certainly am one of those people.

Anyway, I see that "On Fire" is going through some *on fire shifting* (royalty, honor, leadership will be recurring themes within this season) yet today, I won't be with you super long. It's just that when I "happened upon" (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) those verses above this morning, it was *too good* to pass up an appointment with Adonai to further discuss. We reasoned (Isaiah 1:18) it out. Here's the point:


PRAY TO BE(COME) AN EXTRAORDINARY WOMAN TO BE BROUGHT TO AN EXTRAORDINARY MAN.

Yeah. It may *seem* obvious, but extraordinary is not a common word. *Obviously*. Something---well in this case, *someone* who's "extraordinary" is someone who is "beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular or established"; it's someone who is "exceptional in character, amount, extent and degree"; it's someone who is "noteworthy" and "remarkable"; someone who is "rare", "phenomenal" and "special".

Now, some of y'all may pray this already re: your future Beloved and if you do, I'm *really impressed*. Yet, based on what some of you write me, I think this is actually gonna shift your standards and enlighten some dark places (Psalm 18:28) re: what you've *been accepting* and what you see you should be, by your own character, aligning yourselves to be *preparing to receive*. I mean, just *rare* alone caused me for pause. And once I looked up the definitions (whew Abba Father!), I saw why:

Rare: unusually great; unusually excellent; admirable; fine; (catch this one) coming or occurring far apart in time; unusual; uncommon

Timing is the Father's business (Acts 1:7-Message). Sometimes, the rare ones require a bit *more time*.

Yet, it takes *a lot of humility* (Luke 14:11) for one to realize that they are not (yet-James 1:4) what they desire for their lives; that to embrace an extraordinary man, there's some "counting up the cost" (Luke 14:25-33) that is required to be an *extraordinary woman*. And that if you *really make that your focus*, you're *committed* to doing whatever that requires.

AND THAT IT REQUIRES...*a lot*.

That is what's so *on point* about the verses for today. Some of us, in our (new) quest for a rare man, are not *alone*. We are simply *apart*, from them, for a season (Ecclesiastes 3), as the *extraordinary-men-in-training* that Adonai has *set apart* (Psalm 4:3) for us are *about their Father's business*.

I LOVE that David said that he and his men were without women, even in doing *ordinary work*, so that *they* could remain holy. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THAT!!! And that, when it came to holy work (ministry, philanthropy, missionary, etc.), it was *especially so*. And as a result of such a commitment, the men were given, not just bread. But *holy bread*. You know me, I go to the deep end (LOL): "It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’"(Matthew 4:4-NKJV)

A (SINGLE) MAN WHO *CHOOSES* TO KEEP HIMSELF FROM A WOMAN, ESPECIALLY *HIS WOMAN*, AS HE IS DOING HIS WORK SO THAT HE CAN KEEP HIMSELF HOLY IS *EXTRAORDINARY*. NOT ONLY THAT, BUT IN HIS SERVICE TO THE FATHER, HE IS GIVEN *EVERY WORD* THAT PROCEEDS FROM THE MOUTH OF ADONAI.

One of the things that would include? *How to treat his (future) wife.*

Oh, how so many women settle for men who, based on their *lacking* spiritual diet, cannot even *begin* to comprehend what it means when the Word says, "Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself." (Ephesians 5:24-28-NKJV)

Indeed, perspective changes *everything*. While the thief is trying to rob (some of us-John 10:10) blind (literally) into thinking that we have been forgotten, Adonai actually has our men either away from us or not with the ability to give us the attention that we desire (yet) because, in their being *apart from us*, he is actually *feeding them* with the *holy bread* revelation of how to treat us once we arrive (Genesis 2:22). In full manifestation. Because, the quote that people love to send me about a woman having to be so deep in Christ for her man to find her now has a new twist: a man has to be so full of Christ even comprehend why he needs "her" in the first place. If we were to take this "bread analogy" further:

If the Word is the "bread", the wife is the "dessert".

And a *good Father* makes sure that his son has his dinner, his staples...*first*.

Yeah. That was good, God. *Real good*.

Y'all can settle for the ordinary if you want to. On this side of wisdom, *rare and unordinary* suit me just fine.

*sending you love post cards in the form of prayers, my Beloved. Until you return*

Ahavah Shalom, Ladies...

SRW

Monday, September 26, 2011

"On Fire": About QUEEN Business

"Now King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all she desired, whatever she asked, much more than she had brought to the king. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants."---2 Chronicles 9:11-13(NKJV)

Well...

This one is a bit...odd (LOL). Maybe because Rosh Hashanah is upon us and I'm gearing up for a new year (9/28 sunset thru 9/29 sunset), yet as I was doing some other biblical research, the lead Scripture caught my eye: that even on a platonic level, when two members of royalty met, there was an exchange. Queen Sheba did not come empty handed and left with far more than she gave. And,  if you read the story in its entirety, it wasn't just material things that she took back with her. She received a great dose of King Solomon's *wisdom* too.

SHE GREATLY BENEFITED FROM THE TIME SHE SPENT WITH HIM. *EVEN PLATONICALLY*.

Indeed. Being that a wife is to bring favor to her husband (Proverbs 18:22), being that the Word, which is Adonai (John 1:1), tells us that we are of a royal priesthood (I Peter 2:9), and being that King Solomon himself was inspired (2 Timothy 3:16-17) to pen that, "An excellent wife is the crown of her husband..." (Proverbs 12:4), why would it not be *completely rational* to believe that the Lord is using this as a time to have us in *queen class* as well as a covenant minister-in-training lessons?

And one thing that a queen is, in her own Adonai-led way, is...a leader.

Of course, all of us lead in different ways. That doesn't mean that everyone is to be a CEO of a corporation. And in a marital relationship, a (spiritual) queen *supports* the leadership role of a (spiritual) king. Yet, no matter where you are in your individual (Psalm 33:15) life journey, what being a "queen leader" *does mean* is that, in the spirit realm, a woman understands that as a daughter of the King of kings and Lord of lords, she understands the Word when it says that "and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” (Revelation 17:14-NKJV) Called. Chosen. Faithful. To fulfill their purpose (Psalm 20:4).

She's knows that she is to be about QUEEN BUSINESS.

You know, a trigger word for me in this season is "honor". When you are honorable, you are honest, fair and you operate with integrity. I am in a completely focused mindset of giving and expecting that in my relationships, both personal and professional; of truly learning the *power of honor*. And as I thought more and more about the exchange between King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, things started clicking. She didn't make it a point to just go see some...dude. She was about royal business.

It's funny. I was having a conversation with an older, married spiritual sistah of mine earlier today and I said, "I'm not about running into him. He needs to be running towards me." We were discussing something of a personal nature, but I'm sure you get the gist. A queen puts herself in a position where men don't just *happen upon her*. No, a *divine appointment* has to be made. Everything is done *on purpose* and *with purpose*. After all, we are made in the image of the Most High, to reflect his likeness (Genesis 1:26-28) and you can best believe that everything he does is *on purpose* and *with purpose*. Every. Single. Thing.

Every. Single. Time.

[Disclaimer: even and in some ways, especially, when the Woman was brought to Adam (Genesis 2:22), it was still by divine appointment. My running statement is not about being hunted down as prey by some man. My running statement is that "he" should be having a *purpose* for interacting with me. Or he's just not to be so much of a priority. Feel me? Cool. Moving forward...]

If this sends a spark somewhere within you, there are two books that I recommend. One is "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" by John C. Maxwell (and let me tell it, these are great marriage principles to apply as well). The 21 Laws are as follows:

1) The Law of the Lid: Leadership Ability Determines a Personal Level of Effectiveness
2) The Law of Influence: The True Measure of Leadership Is Influence---Nothing More, Nothing Less
3) The Law of Process: Leadership Develops Daily, Not in a Day
4) The Law of Navigation: Anyone Can Steer a Ship, but It Takes a Leader to Chart the Course
5) The Law of Addition: Leaders Add Value by Serving Others
6) The Law of Solid Ground: Trust Is the Foundation of Leadership
7) The Law of Respect: People Naturally Follow Leaders Stronger Than Themselves
8) The Law of Intuition: Leaders Evaluate Everything with a Leadership Bias
9) The Law of Magnetism: Who You Are Is Who You Attract
10) The Law of Connection: Leaders Touch a Heart Before They Ask for a Hand
11) The Law of the Inner Circle: A Leader's Potential Is Determined by Those Closest to Him
12) The Law of Empowerment: Only Secure Leaders Give Power to Others
13) The Law of the Picture: People Do What They See
14) The Law of Buy-In: People Buy Into the Leader; Then the Vision
15) The Law of Victory: Leaders Find a Way for the Team to Win
16) The Law of the Big MO: Momentum Is a Leader's Best Friend
17) The Law of Priorities: Leaders Understand That Activity Is Not Necessarily Accomplishment
18) The Law of Sacrifice: Leaders Must Give Up to Go Up
19) The Law of Timing: When to Lead Is As Important As What to Do and Where to Go
20) The Law of Explosive Growth: To Add Grow, Lead Followers---to Multiply, Lead Leaders
21) The Law of Legacy: A Leader's Lasting Value Is Measured By Succession

The other? "Choosing ME Before WE: Every Woman's Guide to Life and Love" by Christine Arylo. Now, this isn't a (eh hem) Lifeway book, but there are some real gems within it. Take this, for instance:

"My messed-up motivations drove me into an engagement that never should have happened. I was like a racehorse, focused on one goal---winning the race. The race and my goal were clear: to be married and beat all of my friends to the altar. After all, they had been dating for way less time, and, in my mind, their relationships were clearly flawed! Admitting defeat was not an option. Not getting married was an inconceivable option.


So I did what any obsessed, focused woman would do: I pushed my fiance' to propose. I dictated the day, the ring, even the store from which the ring had to be purchased. And on Christmas morning, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I accepted, even though I knew I was settling for less than I wanted. That fateful morning, I made a deal to sacrifice part of my soul for a diamond and the hope of what 'could' be. Six months later, the marriage and life I had dreamed of ended before it started. 

The lesson I learned the hard way was; When we settle, we don't choose ME; we choose LACK. We let our fears and the shoulds drive us to bad choices."---pg.116-117

And how does this book tie in with the queen message? Well...yes, while one definition of "queen" is "a female sovereign or monarch" and another is "the wife or consort of a king", check out this one: "a woman, or something personified as a woman, that is foremost or preeminent in any respect". Now, I'm sure you get it! Yeah. Choosing ME before WE, when it means choosing ME before LACK is...a royal way of living! Especially since the Word tells us that love, even self love is patient (I Corinthians 13:4) and when patience has its *perfect work*, we end up *lacking nothing* (James 1:4).

LACKING. NOTHING.

Aight queens! I'm off to a class of my own.

Here's to a wonderful week and for those who do observe the Jewish (rather than the pagan-LOL) New Year: MAY IT BE YOUR MOST SPIRITUAL SOVEREIGN ONE YET!

Lech Lecha,

SRW

Saturday, September 24, 2011

An Ounce of Prevention: "Get to the Root. THEN UPROOT IT."

"So the Lord said, 'If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.'"---Luke 17:6(NKJV)

"Hear good things, see good, do good, then you get the Grace of God, as all the evil tendencies will be uprooted."---Sri Sathya Sai Baba


A seed. Can pull up a tree. BY ITS ROOTS.

I think that's going to be a new spiritual mantra for me in this season (Ecclesiastes 3). That said...

I am *so excited* about this week and what it has in store! In honor of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year (sunset Wednesday thru sunset Thursday), I am going to be partaking in a very special and sacred renewal ritual. I feel led to not corporately share the details; however, I do believe that I am to share a big (HUGE, actually!) "ah ha" that was birthed from committing to partake in it.

These past six months have brought about *quite a bit* of transitioning for me. In every way. In every category. And so, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that when I met with a pregnancy center where I will be teaching classes this fall, the subject matter that I pitched was one that Adonai, through the power of the Divine Spirit (Luke 12:12), would say was an area for me to revisit. *Ahead of time*. The class is called, "The Root of It: A Class that Explores How One's Past Leads to One's Present".

I have said it before and yet, I don't think that even for me, it has fully sunk in just how *thorough* Adonai is. And continues to be. *Relentlessly so*. That said, as I prepare to enter into the new year that I observe, as I prepare to partake in something that symbolizes and celebrates that newness, *root* came to mind. Not just to teach. But to learn more...about.

There's a book for children called, "What Do Roots Do?" and in the explanation of it, it talks about how roots lead (whew!) *a secret life* under the soil, anchoring and nurturing the plant. One definition of "anchor" is "to fix or fasten; affix firmly". One definition of "nurture" is "to support and encourage, as during the period of training or development; foster". Matter of fact, let's share this one as well: "to bring up; train; educate".

A *root* affixes a thing (or one) firmly. A *root* supports that thing (or one) during development. A *root* TRAINS and EDUCATES that thing (or one).

OK, and what does the lead verse for today say? If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can speak to a mulberry tree and it will come up *by its roots*. Not only that, it will be planted by the sea.

Now watch how all of this comes together...

Mustard *Seed*, Mulberry *Tree*

I am big on symbolism and so I went to look up the biblical reference re: a mulberry tree. I love how Psalm 147:5(NKJV) tells us that, "Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite." In other words, nothing...*nothing*, if you choose to *spiritually discern it* (I Corinthians 2:13-15)---and you need to worship Adonai in spirit *and in truth* for that to transpire (John 4:24)---is *ever* as surface or shallow as it seems. There were many trees in biblical times: olive trees, oak trees, poplar trees, apple trees, mulberry trees...the list goes on. Oh, but Yehoshua chose to use the *mulberry tree* to illustrate this particular point. Actually, before we get into that, let's also briefly look at the fact that he also used a *mustard seed* to paint his "faith picture" as well.

On a simplistic level, a mustard seed is a small seed that turns into a big plant. Oh, but after doing a bit of "digging up" myself, I also discovered that the mustard plant is considered to be a great plant because of not only its culinary pleasures but (please catch it!) *medicinal values*:

"Mustard plant contains volatile oils which have antimicrobial properties Mustard plants are able to cure many problems...

Powdered mustard is used an appetite stimulant, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient, diuretic, laxative, digestive aid, emetic, irritant and for many other purposes. Mustard plant is also used to combat sinus problems. It enhances blood circulation. Mustard plant gives mustard flour when sprinkled in socks save the toes from frostbite. Seeds of mustard plant are used as preservatives. They are used as a medicine for spleen and liver complaints. Mustard plant also gives mustard plaster which if used as a dressing, increases blood flow to injured areas of the body. Mustard plaster is also used to lessen rheumatism, arthritis and toothache. Muster plaster is an official treatment for reducing fever...

Greeks have described the Mustard plant as the greatest plant because of its usefulness to mankind. Mustard plant has the ability and capacity to sprout, bloom, and mature at a remarkable rate. Despite rapid growth, their quality is long lasting. Mustard plants have the ability to reproduce itself through the process of natural germination. These plants are functional and useful year after year. Every part of mustard plant can be utilized effectively. Mustard plant is also used for treating patients suffering from cold.  Mustard seeds if applied to chest will prevent pneumonia. Leaf mustard can also be used as a salad. So the next time you see a mustard plant do not uproot it as it is extremely useful."


Isn't that exquisitely *divine*? A mustard seed grows into a mustard plant that is a cure for many problems: appetite issues, blood issues, pain issues. It has the ability to grow rapidly, have a long lasting quality and within it is the ability to reproduce itself year after year. If you apply this to the Scriptural metaphor:

MUSTARD SEED FAITH (ALSO) DOES THIS. WHEN WE ALLOW IT TO COME. AND GROW.

Next point. When I went to do some research on the mulberry tree, one writer said that, "The mulberry tree, or Morus nigra, features in backgrounds against which ancient biblical battles rage and biblical kings receive God's instructions to persevere against enemies." Ephesians 6:12(NKJV) tells us, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." If you also apply this to the spirit world and Christ's teaching:


A "MULBERRY TREE", IN "REAL TIME", CAN BE SEEN AS A BATTLE OR AN ENEMY.

OK, yet what I couldn't get over was that the Word, which is Adonai (John 1:1), says that a *seed* can pull up a *tree*. A "small part" of something can do this. The verb tense of "seed" is "to place, introduce, etc., especially in the hope of increase or profit". When something is *introduced with the hope of increase or profit* (and hope does not disappoint-Romans 5:5), it can pull up the tree-sized battle or enemy...*by its roots*.

The Amplified Version of I Timothy 4:16 tells us this: "Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you." Therefore, I am choosing to share that the Lord and I, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the *Comforter* (John 14:16-AMP), were having a conversation on this blessed Sabbath day (Exodus 20:8-11 and check out Exodus 31:16 sometime!) on a root that I had never really thought about, at least in its entirety, before.

I have spent a lot of blood, sweat and tears thinking about the *physical* and *sexual* ramifications of my childhood sexual (and verbal and physical) abuse. Yet, not really the *relational* results. I shared it with one of my confidants this morning as I was piecing it together: "I don't (always) expect people to honor me. My relationships have crossed all kinds of lines because I was taught to operate that way as a child because there were no good boundaries set. A child loves unconditionally and so they allow things, even unhealthy things, to transpire, because they don't know how to discern otherwise. And even in the abuse, they continue to love, without a clear understanding of what's acceptable and unacceptable, without assessing if they're really being loved in a good way, anyway." You have *no idea* the *extreme exhale* that came from that!

Here's why...

How It All Adds Up

You know, the Liar (John 8:44), the thief (John 10:10), the devourer (I Peter 5:8) is more strategic than we give him...awareness of ('cause I don't want to be giving him a lot of *credit* moving forward). It's not just about attacking us, but attacking us in ways that will not just *hurt* us, but potentially *harm* us as well. You see, when we're hurting, it can be about *bodily* injury or *bodily* pain. Oh, but *harm*? When we are "harmed", it can also be about "mental damage" and more importantly, "moral injury". Satan comes for us in ways that will potentially cause *moral injury*. Definitely something to think about (or reconsider) when Romans 13:10(NKJV) tells us that "Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." People who cause moral injury to you do not love you. People you do moral injury to, them you do not love, either. One of the greatest struggles in life is navigating through all of that. Gravitating towards the kind of love that is *harmless*. This is why lust is love's counterfeit. It masquerades as love but its mission is to do whatever it takes to ultimately bring about harm. This is why we are told, "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts." (Romans 13:14-NKJV) Mostly because, "Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death." (James 1:15-NKJV)

Love gives life. Lust breeds death.

I come from a lineage with a lot of love to give. A miraculous abundance of it, actually. AND, I come from a lineage with *loads* of abuse within it. Satan's agenda? I see in a really enlightened way (2 Samuel 22:29, Psalm 18:28), that the abuse was to *root us* into lust (death) because he is *so threatened* by how Adonai blessed us to love...to love to life. Because remember, the root of something actually educates and supports something else. A *bad root* can have you living one way when you were purposed to do something *entirely different*. Indeed, a lot of us need to “unlearn to relearn”. 2 Timothy 2:15(AMP) doesn’t tell us just to *study* but to study in a way that brings about *approval*.

Hence the need for certain things to be *uprooted*. Hence the beauty in the assurance of this lead verse.

How fabulously life-altering! That a seed of spiritual medicinal value can pull up a spiritual battle the size of a tree! Indeed, an idea...one simple faith-based and hope-driven idea...can change everything! No matter how small because it's inspired by something that pleased Adonai (Hebrews 11:6) and *greater* is he who is in us than he that is in the world. No matter how *large* Satan may seem...at the time. Wow! Now there is greater insight into why John 4:4(NKJV) is translated in the way that it is: "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." Although we may seem little, with our Abba Father on our side (before us, actually), we have the ability to overcome...the biggest of things!

Final point. You see how it says that not only can mustard seed faith uproot a tree, but that it can plant it into the sea? There's an assurance in the Word of Adonai which states, "But He made His own people go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock; and He led them on safely, so that they did not fear; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. And He brought them to His holy border, this mountain which His right hand had acquired." (Psalm 78:52-54-NKJV) Remember how one explanation of the mulberry tree was that it came with an enemy connotation?  You see how these verses say that the sea would *overwhelm* the *enemies* of Adonai's people? Not only that, but lead verse tells us that the mulberry tree would be *planted* into the sea. It would be "put" there. "Established" there. "Deposited" there. Into a large mass of water. Oh how so many things *get lost at sea*. And it's especially hard to find your way back to dry land when you've been *planted* out there. Whatever our "mulberry situation" may be, our mustard seed-sized faith can actually uproot it from our lives and establish it far from us. Into the sea of forgetfulness. If you so choose. By your faith. It will obey.

Yep. A wise man once said that, "An idea can stretch you so far that you can't return to your original size." Indeed. And just as a woman by the name of Carrie Latet once said, "An idea whose time has come was waiting there all along." Timing is indeed the Father's business (Acts 1:7-Message) and a little idea...can change you to where yes, it uproots things within you. Big things! As for me, it’s not so much about my current challenges so much as this revelation about my past that I am praising El Elyon, the Most High, for (Psalm 117:2). Because indeed, when you know Adonai’s power, you see your worth and you focus on living a life of true value. On giving and receiving…lasting value (Matthew 10:31).

I don't know what your "mulberry tree" situation(s) may be, but I encourage you to really *envision* the life-altering information within this devotional thought. The lead quote was right...

Good uproots evil. Past, present and future.

No matter how small the good or how big the evil.

Because again, a faith-sized seed...can pull up a spiritual battle-sized tree...by its very roots.

No matter how strong the support, how long the training or how complex the education.

Adonai is the Master teacher. He is bigger than them all!

To get you to the “root”...to uproot it.

To alter the tree…

To bring forth good and lasting fruit (Matthew 12:33, Galatians 5:22-23). In your life!

Selah. And amen!

©Shellie R. Warren/2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"On Fire": Make a Rendezvous. With God. And Your Man. NOW.

"[LOOKING FORWARD to the shepherd's arrival, the eager girl pictures their meeting and says] Oh, that you were like my brother, who nursed from the breasts of my mother! If I should find you without, I would kiss you, yes, and none would despise me [for it]. I would lead you and bring you into the house of my mother, who would instruct me. I would cause you to drink spiced wine and of the juice of my pomegranates. [Then musingly she added] Oh, that his left hand were under my head and that his right hand embraced me! I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you never [again attempt to] stir up or awaken love until it pleases."---Song of Solomon 8:1-3(AMP)


Oh for grace to trust Adonai more!

On yesterday, I saw an old teacher from my high school days. Boy, when the Word, which is Adonai (John 1:1), speaks about blessings and cursings coming out of the same mouth (James 3:10), he ain't neva lied (why of course not!-LOL-Titus 1:2)! In the midst of all of his questions (and some accolades), in almost the same sentence he said, "You'd be a great mother" and when I replied with "Someday", he then said, "You're 37. Your eggs are drying up." I remained calm (because a man, *and woman*, of understanding remains that way-Proverbs 17:27) as he pushed. The issue. "You know as you get older, it's harder to pass eggs", to which I replied, "I'm fine." He kept pushing the point. Rather...*his point*. I finally said, "If Sarah could do it, then..." He paused for a brief moment and said, "Well, that's *different*. God had his hand on that." Sometimes I wonder if we really *listen to what we're saying*. My response? "God's hand is in every pregnancy." That silenced him.

It's so...well, wonderful really, to be at a place where anxiety does not *infect me* in the way that it used to. To be at a place where I don't just *tolerate* but *embrace* being on Adonai's time schedule (Acts1:7-Message), which, being that he is eternal (2 Peter 3:8), is really just a matter of being trusting, faith-full and obedient. I keep telling people that *the Sabbath* (Exodus 20:8-11), because the Word says that it is *blessed and hallowed*, brings about many sacred wonders (which is why the Deceiver works so hard to have so many not keep it). And so yesterday, when the Ruach HaKodesh, the Divine Spirit...*the Comforter* (of all comforters-John 14:16-AMP) said to me, "Faith is developing the kind of character that transitions your request into God's will", I knew he was onto something; that a new *glory-to-glory* (2 Corinthians 3:18) revelation was upon me. Upon the entire "On Fire" team, actually. *If you choose to receive it. And it is indeed your choice*. Oh, but when I say that it is a gift from the heavens just for your heart...oh is it!

RENDEZVOUS.

That was the word that I heard in my spirit (I Corinthians 2:13-15) on yesterday as well (see what I mean about the Sabbath?) and while (and sadly), the word is usually used only in a romantic or sexual (and oftentimes "sneaky sexual") context, I was pleased to see what the *actual definition* means: "an agreement between two or more persons to meet at a certain time and place". Amos 3:3(NKJV) asks us to ponder, "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" This lines up quite beautifully with some words that King Solomon was inspired (2 Timothy 3:16-17) to pen once upon a time re: the power and (some of the) purpose of intimate friendships (the foundation of *any* healthy relationship):

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken."---Ecclesiastes 4:9-12(NKJV)

You know, even to this day, a lot of people don't realize that there are actually *three main characters* in the Song of Solomon: King Solomon, the Shulamite woman and the shepherd (there's a pretty thorough study on it here). Anyway, while Solomon was in hot pursuit of the Shulamite, it was the shepherd that she longed for. It was the shepherd that she truly adored. Makes sense being that a shepherd is defined as "a person who protects, guides, or watches over a person or group of people". All spiritually-discerning women who *really understand* the purpose of marital covenant (Genesis 2:24-25, Malachi 2:15, Matthew 19:1-10, I Corinthians 7:1-16, Ephesians 5:22-33) should desire a man, *their man*, to have the heart of a shepherd; a man who follows after the heart of *the Shepherd* (John 10:1-30), most of all.

And so, earlier this morning, when I heard a character on a television sitcom tell his girlfriend that he had not yet slept with, "I'm not waiting *for* you. I am waiting *with* you" AND THEN, the Comforter led me to Song of Solomon, all of the pieces started coming together.

1) The spiritual maturity and resolve of the Shulamite woman to *look forward*. Her willingness to experience a place of "advancement", to go "onward"...to move "ahead".


2) How eager (in a good way: enthusiastic, desirous, intent and earnest) she was to meet with her shepherd man.


3) How she states that at one point, he was like her *brother*: the thing that *all men* are to be honored as in our lives *until* marriage transitions the relationship. To the role of "husband".


4) The fact that she was open to instruction on what to do re: her Beloved. Indeed, there is safety in *wise counsel* (Proverbs 1:1-7).


5) The symbolism of pomegranates. Being that I am a Rosh Hashanah observer (and have been since I've been abstinent), I am aware of the fact that they symbolize *righteousness*, *fruitfulness* and *fertility* in Jewish and Christian culture. It's actually a divine delicacy during this time of celebration.


6) The fact that she was also *spiritually mature enough* request that love not be excited within her until it was time to. Side note: if you have friends that don't encourage and/or support your purity quest and wife preparation, *re-evaulate the purpose of the relationship AND reset some boundaries*. There are a million and one ways to guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23)!

And then rendezvous began to make more sense. Perfect sense, actually!

Oh, how Satan wants to rob us of this *very special time* of love development (James 1:4). So much so that a lot of us are more focused on "lack" rather than what we stand to *gain* within this season.

"Don't fret. Don't fear. Don't lose focus. Simply make a rendezvous with me. With us, actually."

That is what I heard the Spirit (John 4:24) say to me. Simply *agree* to meet with Adonai and my shepherd at a certain place and time. ADONAI'S APPOINTED PLACE AND TIME.

That's it? Yep. That's it.

A lot of times, we're doing so much *extra* that we put more stress into our lives than we have to. See because when you *agree* with the Lord, what you're saying is that you are going to make a concerted effort "to have the same views, emotions, etc.; harmonize in opinion or feeling" as him; "to live in concord or without contention; get along together" with him...(whew!) "to be consistent" in what he requires during the preparation process.

You know, I once read somewhere that if you can't live with your family then you have no business getting married. Apply that statement to this and if you can't get into agreement with your Heavenly Father, how do you expect to do it with your husband? Decently and orderly (I Corinthians 14:40), even when it comes to love, are how things are to be done. Is how Adonai expects them to be done.

And so, when the Lord says, "make a rendezvous with me and your future husband", I'm sure you see the beauty in it all, right?

"Agree with me that I will get 'him' in agreement with me to put the two of you in agreement with one another."


What a *delightful* way to look at things! And as most of us know, "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4-NKJV) That's not a *possibility* that is a *definite*.

This week, I *strongly encourage you* to book some "reasoning together" (Isaiah 1:18) time with your Abba Father about your upcoming rendezvous with your shepherd. Agree that *his place* and *his time* is not just good for you, but *right for your relationship*.

And then watch where agreement gets you.

Much further than you could *ever* get (or have been getting-*wink, wink*) on your own!

Lech Lecha,

SRW

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"On Fire": TWO BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS: "Pursuing the Pearl" and "Saving My First Kiss"

"Keep me from looking at worthless things. Let me live by your word."---Psalm 119:37(NCV)


Yeah. You can thank the author of the first book for that Scriptural reminder! Anyway, as I'm doing some of my usual research, I "happened upon" (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) two books that I think might be a good fit for some of you right now:



Being that the pearl is my birthstone (June), I *am* pretty partial. However, this also caught my attention because, for as long as I have known of the simple-yet-profound one-sentence parable found in Matthew, it has been something that has reminded me not to settle:

“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(NCV)

For a lot of us, the focus needs to be on being a pearl *of great worth* as the Lord places within our future kings the desire that they will have to surrender their all to our Father in order to make a mature-and-lasting commitment to us. You can order the book here.

The other one? Well, I just love the title:




I'm also a lover of raw honesty and so I appreciated Lisa's candidness here:

"I can't say any of those things honestly. There are still days when I hate my virgin lips more than anything else. Even today I might feel a lump rising in my throat when the flowers get delivered to someone else. I still struggle to find confidence on lonely Friday nights. 

I'm not sure if any of my self-esteem issues will go away completely. They might; they might not. What I do know, though, is that they have gotten better. Much better. Immeasurably better. 

Planning a First Kiss Party has been a fun addition to my life, but it hasn't been the only thing that has changed for me over the past two years. In reality, the party itself is just the tip of the iceberg, because the biggest change that has happened to me has been a change within

I used to think that a fairytale relationship would fill the emptiness that I felt inside of me. I thought that if only a guy would accept me and approve of me, somehow my life would seem less vacant. In my twisted view of the world, I was certain that dates and kisses would make me feel worthwhile, valuable and whole. 

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Today, rather than seeking satisfaction in a relationship that could fade, I'm learning to fill my life with things that bring true contentment---things that will last forever. Instead of defining myself by the number of boyfriends, dates or kisses that I have had (or, haven't had), I'm finding my true identity comes from being a daughter of God. Although it seems almost impossible to move beyond 'Never Been Kissed', I know that I must seek to do so. No matter how much my loneliness consumes me, I must strive to get past it. I must become more than my dating status.

It's so tempting to look in the mirror and to see there nothing more than a girl who can't get a date. When I evaluate my life, it's hard not to focus on the fact that I'm a perpetually single woman who has gone two decades with virgin lips. It's tempting, it's hard, but I know I am much more than those things. 

I often let myself forget that God thinks I'm great enough to deserve His love---the best love the universe has to offer. He loves me enough to sacrifice His Son for me. I often forget that He cares about me that much. His opinion of me doesn't even factor in my dating status. [Shellie here: love that last line!]

I'm working hard at trying to see myself the way that God sees me, trying to look at the world through His eyes. The better I get at viewing love and romance from God's point of view, the less trouble I have accepting my own love story---or complete lack thereof.

So today, although my dating status has not changed in the least, I know true happiness. Despite my inexperience in romance, life doesn't seem empty anymore. And even though I'm still waiting to be kissed, I understand what it is to feel like a treasure." [Shellie here again: love that last line too!]---pg.25-26 (you can get Lisa's book here)

Me (Shellie)? Oh, I've been kissed before. But it's been so long that I've pretty much forgotten what it's like, so I feel her pain. *And her written resolve*. Although, I'm pretty sure it's all by Adonai's design, time to myself has revealed that I don't want to "rate my mate". I want to enjoy him, plain and simple and when you've "added to Adonai's formula", it often takes awhile to get reprogrammed to think along the lines of *purity* (I Timothy 5:22) rather than *performance*. It's only spiritual maturity (Hebrews 5:12-14) and doing things the Lord's way that gets you to a place of, "I don't *want* to wait, but I know I *can* because it's God's *will* that I have his *best*." Every good and perfect gift comes from him (James 1:17), not from my random "taste testing" (hmm, and you thought "Contagion" should make your paranoid!-LOL).

Oh, and now that I think about it, *as you wait*, I do have a few "Purity Is the New Virginity" (on the front with "Keep Yourself Pure on the back) shirts that I'm willing to bless...hmm...five of you with. Yep, I'm willing to part with two olive ones (warrior chicks-LOL) and three purple ones (royal queens). The catch? You have to be able to wear a L. If  you fit the bill and won't look all hoochie mama in it (cause that'll kinda defeat the purpose, wouldn't you say?), it's a "first come, first serve" kinda blessin' so, hit me up at missnosipho@gmail.com and we'll see how it all pans out.

Til then...

Lech Lecha Ladies!

SRW

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"On Fire": A MOVIE RECOMMENDATION: "My Girlfriend's Boyfriend"

I mean...

'Cause it's cute. It's *non-violating* (thanks Alyssa!) and...it's a good reminder that sweet love stories...still exist:


Make some time. It's worth it.

tmm,

SRW

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"On Fire": Questions to Ask Yourself *About Yourself* Before a Relationship

"For the commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,' 'You shall not covet,' and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"---Romans 13:9(NKJV)

"It's not your job to like me - it's mine."---Byron Katie


I love, love, *LOVE* Aish.com!

While fishing around on there today, I "happened upon" (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) an article that I posted on here under the "Other Stuff I Didn't Write...But Kinda Wish I Did..." section. It's entitled, "10 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married". The subtitle given is: "How to Know You're Ready to Tie the Knot". It's a real winner. And a real ride. *If you're honest*. With yourself and your relationship. If you're currently in one.

Anyway, as I was pondering (Proverbs 4:26) over it, the Comforter (John 14:16-AMP) challenged me to edit it. Just a bit. To fit the needs of the women following this blog. Because, indeed, in the wise words of a man by the name of Robert Half, "Asking the right questions takes as much effort as giving the right answers". And so, the checklist below comes with the title, "10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Entering a Relationship: How to Know You're Ready for One":


#1: Are You a Good Friend to Yourself?

If you have a hard time being by yourself, that's definitely something worth investigating. And, being on social media platforms all day (and night) also qualifies. It's one thing to be sociable. It's another thing to be a people addict. And, an unpopular-yet-accurate truth is that a lot of people can't be by themselves because that would force to them to actually *deal with themselves*. It's easier to be in the "kiddie pool" with acquaintances than to go to the "deep end" with the Lord. Lately, I've become more and more leery of people who, whether blatantly or passive-aggressively, seek applause. As one of my favorite on-air personalities, Stephen Colbert says, "Applause is like putting your ear next to a seashell for which you have stuffed your own ego." That's not intimacy. That's an illusion (Proverbs 28:23). People tend to spend (intimate) time with those they like the most. Words to live by when assessing how much time *you* can (and like to) spend time alone. 


#2: Are You *Emotionally Honest* About Where You Are as an Individual?

There's a book out entitled, "I Quit! Stop Pretending Everything Is Fine and Change Your Life" by Geri Scazzero with Peter Scazzero. What really caught my attention was this:

"If Jesus did not say no for fear of disappointing people, he would not have fulfilled the mission and purpose God gave him. He would have lived up to other people's expectations instead of his own. Exercising a healthy no is essential if we are to fulfill the Father's destiny for our own lives as well. 

It's important to know that both 'yes' and 'no' are loving words. Remember, when I say no, it's not *against* you but *for* me. And while my no may make you sad, it doesn't make me bad. Most importantly, if I say yes when I prefer to say no, I erode my integrity and hurt both of us...we must be able to say no if we are to say a healthy yes. A healthy yes comes from a sincere heart that both desires and is able to do something. It is infused with delight, without strings attached and absent of any resentment."---pg.128-129

A lot of women, because we were created to be helpers (Genesis 2:18), tend to overlook that *support* and *codependency* are not synonymous. Therefore, they often find themselves in relationships and situations that are *none of their business* (I Thessalonians 4:11) because it's not something (or one) that God assigned them to. Where *he* assigns, he *equips*. *Our doing* requires mercy. *His commissions* provide us with grace (I Corinthians 3:10). It's easier to be *gracious* when you're *obedient*. Remember, the Word, which is God (John 1:1), *instructs us* to "Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life." (Proverbs 4:23-AMP). A big part of being emotional healthy is keeping your heart (Jeremiah 17:9) where, and with whom, it belongs.


#3: Have You Learned How to Resolve (and Not Repeat) Your Own Problems?

In the desire (or is it quest?) for a covenant partner, a lot of times women don't realize that they are not looking for someone to *complement their life* but *fix their problems*. Not only is that manipulative and potentially unrealistic (Ecclesiastes 7:18-Message), but it's also extremely unfair. One of the admirable things about the Proverbs 31 woman is that she was *proactive* in the matters of life. Proverbs 18:22 speaks to a man finding a woman and favor coming into his life as a direct result. Favor. Not baggage. The more work you put into fixing your problems now, the more of a blessing you can be to a man's life. Later.


#4: Do You Take Care of Your Own Physical, Financial, Spiritual and Professional Needs?

Some people have financial debt. Even more people have character (Colossians 3:12-17) debt. On some levels, we all do, because flesh is apart of us (Galatians 5:16-17) and we all have fallen short of Adonai's glory (Romans 3:23). Debt speaks to liabilities. One definition of "liability" is "something disadvantageous". No one on this earth, other than Adam and the Woman *while in the Garden of Eden* (Genesis 2:18-25), gets married as perfect people; however staying on top of your needs keeps you from becoming subconsciously *needy*, which keeps you a leg up from having "Savor Syndrome" with your covenant partner. Only Christ is your Savior. The best a man can ever be is your husband. Adonai made it that way. By design. Honor it.


#5: Is Your Life One Worthy of Being Admired and Respected? 

This explanation is pretty short-n-sweet. If you died today and your worst enemy (and people who believe they don't have any are probably in the most trouble, because *all believers* should have a few-James 4:4) was legally in charge of your epitaph, what's the best thing they could say about you? And mean it.


#6:  Do You Live a Responsible Life?

I love (and appreciate and receive) that one definition of "responsible" is "having a capacity for moral decisions". The New Century Version of  Galatians 6:5 states, "Each person must be responsible for himself." Each person must have a capacity for making moral decisions. *On their own*.

Something that I've been *making it a point* to say is "I've been almost five years abstinent from sex" (1/9) BUT "I've been almost two years *truly abstinent*" (October-don't know the *exact day* because I was initially peeved when I made the decision to stop masturbating!-LOL). I Timothy 5:22 says, "Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure." Whether it's on the body of another in lust or oneself in lust, *it's not purity*.  When two people get married, they *share in one another's triumphs and burdens* (Galatians 6:1-4). In order to assist someone else in making moral decisions, it is advised to be *very clear* and *very honest* about where you are on the moral compass. The blind (and those in denial) often get other people lost. Or more lost.


#7: Do You Believe in Yourself?

Mark 9:23 tells us that all things are possible to them that believe. To have a belief in something is to be confident in it. To have faith in it. To (check it) *accept* it.

The older I get, the more my "look" is leveling off. I consider myself to be a pretty creative person and so my running joke with the musical men in my family is "My hair is your studio." Change isn't a bad thing. But *consistent radical change* is something you might want to self-assess. Earlier this morning, I read a quote by the late actress by Bette Davis which said, “People often become actresses because of something they dislike about themselves. They pretend they are someone else.” Hmph. Reminds me of another quote by Oscar Wilde: "A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction." A lot of times, people are so consumed with changing the *vessel* because they are discontented with the *soul*. And they still end up being unhappy because "You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." C.S. Lewis said that.

King David praised the Lord because he recognized that he was fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). *Just as El Elyon, the Most High, made him*. The way you look, the spiritual gifts that you have (Romans 11:29), the talents you are developing to execute those gifts...your personality, your skills, your ability to love and to give to others...how much do *you* believe in them? If you don't, how can you expect someone else to? *Why* would you expect someone else to? An ex once told me that people come into our lives to *confirm* more so than *reveal*. That's pretty much the best thing he did for me in that entire relationship. All things work together (Romans 8:28).


#8: Are You Trustworthy?

When someone is trustworthy, it means that they are *deserving* of trust and confidence. It means that they are dependable and reliable. Something that I've been working on in my own life is not taking on more things until I do the things that are already on my plate *in excellence*. I'd rather have a good credit score than another book out. Sometimes, people take on new endeavors to distract them from the obligations at hand. Being a popular person with a total sham of a personal life? Is that someone that your future husband would find to be a blessed addition to his life? Probably not.

On a relational level, there is something really beautiful about how Jonathan said that he loved David as *his own soul*; that a covenant came as the result of that (I Samuel 18:1-3). Your mate should be able to trust you because you love him like you love yourself. You can *say* that you love you all you want. *Your choices are what really make that determination*. Can you be *trusted* to make wise decisions? Can you be *trusted* to responsibly and assertively prioritize? Can you be *trusted* to put God first in *all* things? These are the signs of a person worthy of entrusting one's heart with.


#9: Do You Know What You Want Out of Life?

One day, you're a writer. The next day, you're a dancer. One day, you're called to ministry. The next day, the CEO of a company. One day, you want to live overseas. The next day, you want to move back home.

Sometimes lines from movies will just pop into my head. As I was typing those things out, I heard Ryan Gosling's character in "The Notebook" break in and ask (with just as much enthusiasm), "What do you want?!?" (LOL)

Yeah. What *do you* want?

Some people like to romanticize. Me? I used to be in love with love (well, it was more like sex with manners-LOL), but not really was I caught up in being (or being with) a romantic. Good thing too being that the word carries with it synonyms like "fantasy", "fiction", "charm" (Proverbs 31:30), "HAZARD" and "RISK".

I'm bringing this all up to say that some people spend more time *romanticizing* about their lives than actually *living it*. And yes, with that, comes loads (upon loads) of potential hazards and risks. If you think you might fit this bill, there's a great book out entitled, "The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery". One great point within it is that a life without God (and godly direction-Proverbs 3:4-6) is a life that is filled with illusion (and is delusional). Psalm 34:9(NKJV) "Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him." There is *no want* to those who *respect the Lord* because when you honor what he wants for you, you trust him to withhold *no good thing* from you (Psalm 84:11). Another cool read? "Conversations on Purpose for Women: 10 Appointments That Will Help You Discover God's Plan for Your Life". "Pathway to Purpose: Connecting Your To-Do List, Your Passions and God's Purposes for Your Life" (by the same author, Katie Brazelton) is a good find as well. You have *no idea* how unhappy a lot of wives are *now* because they *thought* they knew what the wanted on their wedding day, but really...didn't. 


#10: Do You Have Peace of Mind About the Kind of Person That You Are?

One of the best ways to have peace of mind is to do *just as* Paul was inspired (2 Timothy 3:16-17) to recommend: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-8) When anxiety, distress, worry, fear (2 Timothy 1:7), uneasiness of mind...even *tense desire* and *eagerness* come, we have to remember that if we don't stay on top of that, via an *active prayer life* (I Thessalonians 5:17), grave consequences can occur: 

"Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad."---Proverbs 12:25(NKJV)

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life."---Proverbs 13:12(NKJV)

Hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5) has been a recurring theme with these blogs. You know what just made me smile in reading Proverbs 13:12, though? Psalm 37:4(NKJV) tells us, "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." A lot of times when *we* make life selections on our own, due to our anxiety or what *appears to be hope deferred*, we end up getting caught up in "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil" (Genesis 2:15-17) matters (or is it traps?). But when we allow Adonai, the Giver of Life, to *bring us to our desires*, it is like partaking of the Tree of Life again. It is an *eternal* blessing and experience (Genesis 3:22) because, "I know that whatever God does will last forever; there is nothing to add or subtract from it; and God has done it so that people will fear him." (Ecclesiastes 3:14-NKJV)

Christ knew *exactly* what he was saying when he told us to love our neighbors *as ourselves*.

Love Adonai. LOVE YOURSELF. And *then* seek to love someone else.

It's a great formula for relational success. Every single time.

Lech Lecha, Ladies!

SRW

Monday, September 5, 2011

"On Fire": Don't (Just) HAPPEN to CHOOSE

"'Choose wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men from among your tribes, and I will make them heads over you.’"---Deuteronomy 1:13(NKJV)

"And in life, it is all about choices we make. And how the direction of our lives comes down to the choices we choose."---Catherine Pulsifer


Earlier today, I heard someone say, "No, she 'happened to be there'. You 'chose to be'." I'm sure enough of y'all know how I am (in this vein) by now to know that a sistah thinks hard (LOL). I really did ponder (Proverbs 4:26) over that. And in the context of this blog, how many men "happen to be" somewhere and how many women *choose to be in their space*. As a direct result.

How many women get themselves into emotional/spiritual/sexual/relational/financial trouble all because they *choose* to be where someone *happens* to be.

And then I thought about some reading (2 Timothy 2:15-AMP) that I've been doing about the Promised Land. How Moses, *with Adonai's cosign*, instructed the people of Israel to *choose* wise, understanding and knowledgeable men to be heads over them.

And how, as I'm still praying for the women who made specific requests re: the *individual features* (Psalm 33:15) of their future covenant partners, I *then* thought about how that verse of instruction applies to women who desire marriage even today. How it's not good enough to just or simply want a husband, or to even settle for the ones who *happen to be* in our (physical or heart) space. That how, as the upcoming priests, kings and lords of our future homes, we are to *choose* men (I could do a whole blog alone on just choosing a *man*-I Corinthians 13:11) that are WISE, UNDERSTANDING and KNOWLEDGEABLE to be heads over us (Ephesians 5:23). How we should *wait* until the Lord comes to us and says something similar as he did of Bezael the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah:

"And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship..."---Exodus 31:3(NKJV)

What kind of peace of mind one must have when they know that the Lord has filled someone with his Spirit (John 4:24). Indeed, women need to wait for the Lord to *choose* their *choice*.

You know, I recently heard a (character) minister say, "God would never destroy a relationship that he created." Now *that's* something to think about. You know, I'm in a counseling session in this season with a woman who basically can't stand her husband (anymore) but maintains that the Lord told her that he was her husband. Now, there's a lot to be said for timing. There's also a lot to be said for *telling God* who is your man vs. *asking him* because when you ask, he promises to give you wisdom (James 1:5, Proverbs 2) and to tell you things that you probably wouldn't know otherwise (Jeremiah 33:3). Yet, being that she maintains that as a fact (Ecclesiastes 7:18-Message), although she's about sick of me right now (LOL), I continue to hold her to her truth. If God said it, he's *especially* not going to condone the covenant ending (Malachi 2:16). Indeed, God is faithful. *Even when we are not* (2 Timothy 2:13). He will not deny himself nor the standards and principles that he puts into place. I'm praying that truth will free (John 8:32) her from her bitterness. Sooner than later. Bitterness is a troublemaker (Hebrews 12:15).

Yet as for us, the "On Fire" gals, I hope discerning her situation can be your teacher rather than allowing experience to be. If you believe that what you are in, relationship-wise, is of God, there is no "falling in or out". Don't make a mockery (Galatians 6:7) out of God by speaking your emotions rather than his directives. Even, and especially, in matters of the heart. And if you're not sure, take some steps back and think again what about what it takes for a man to be the head of a home. Not just any home. *Your home*. Cute is a not a synonym of wisdom. Potential is not a synonym of understanding. Charismatic is not a synonym of knowledgeable.

Ecclesiastes 8:5 tells us that a *wise man* discerns both time and judgment. A wise woman does the same.

Some of us are getting closer. Therefore more and more options are presenting themselves. *To distract us*.

You can only have one husband. Don't just happen upon one. *Choose him*. WISELY.

ykl,

SRW

Saturday, September 3, 2011

"On Fire": So, What'd You GET? What'd It COST You?

"An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones."---Proverbs 12:4(NKJV)

"Sex without love is violence."---Eric Jerome Dickey 


Yeah. Well.

It's short-n-sweet this go 'round. *Really*.

On today, the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11), ironically, I am *working* on *resting* more (Hebrews 4). And so, I try to sign off from technology until the sun, on Saturday, sets.

More and more, I'm starting to see why.

Most of you know that I work with X3Church.com and so I often use the weekend to prepare to pen my blogs. Anyway, I was pretty much sick to my stomach when (just) I read that R&B singer, Ray J. will more than likely be earning $7-10 MILLION DOLLARS for the sale of the sex tape that he "starred in" with Kim Kardashian. As I was just telling a friend of mine, more and more, I see just what the Word, which is God (John 1:1), means when it says that money is *a root* to all evil (I Timothy 6:10). It's not so much the money, but that it is used to fund so much straight up and utter foolishness. It's a root to evil's movement.

Anyway, I said this was gonna be brief and I want to be true to my word. It's simple. The next time you decide to partake in *any kind of sex* outside of the marriage bed (Hebrews 13:4, I Corinthians 10:23), after knowing that Ray J. just earned *millions* (although Romans 6:23 doesn't change. You can be in physical wealth and still remain in spiritual poverty-Matthew 16:26), be sure to ask yourself two questions:

"What are you going to get out of it?"

"What is it going to cost you?"

I had always heard that I was sitting on *a million dollars* are giving it away for a Happy Meal. A wife is a *crown* for her husband. An immoral woman is the gateway to hell (Proverbs 5). Tryon Edwards told us that "Hell is truth seen too late." I've been the Proverbs 5 woman. It cost me, not gave me, the emotional equivalent of millions. I'm in "Proverbs 31" recovery now. It's worth it. To wait. Even if it's just so that my husband doesn't have to know that tons of people can gawk at the gift he's been given. 14, for me, is *more than enough* (sigh).

Vivid Entertainment didn't pay $30 million  for nothin'.

Sad that Satan (and his agents) are finding more value in our "goods" than we are.

Choose wisely.

ykl,

SRW