Misplaced

At the wrong possible moments we somehow misplace the keys to our cars, our home, we misplace our debit cards, our eyeglasses, and our purse or wallet. We even lose track of time thus misplacing our time. As minuscule as these things may seem, they are detrimental  when misplaced.

So then what would you say happens when our worship is misplaced? What happens when we worship the wrong things and people, making them to be our idols instead of worshiping The Lord, our God? In the Spiritual Discipline Handbook by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, she defines worship as ‘that thing that we look up to, to get us up in the morning and keep us going throughout the day. Worship reveals what is really important to us.’ Pretty deep huh? What wakes you up in the morning and keeps you going throughout your day? Any worship given to anything outside of The Lord our God is misplaced worship and can be hindering and harmful to our spiritual growth in Christ.

2 Kings 17, the children of Israel decided to worship other gods even after being delivered out of the hands of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They were sent messages by prophets to turn from their evil ways and worship God alone. They rejected His statues and refused to hear from God. Two different Nations of people worshiped idols after God instructed them to turn from their evil ways. Both nation of people were killed off by lions sent by God.  The third nations were given the same instructions and worshiped idols as this was what they were accustom to in their previous land, God in turn placed a generational curse on this nation of people.  Their children continues to worship other gods and God is not pleased with their behavior. That means  nation after nation after nation, they continue to misplace their worship and God is not pleased with that nation of people.

What if how or better yet what we worshiped affected our nation, our lineage, our children’s children? Would it change how and what we worshiped? Would it change what we looked to, to get us up in the morning and keep us throughout the day? Would it change our worship?

We seemed to have misplaced our worship.

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In The Beginning…

The alarm on my phone begins to play Grammy Nominee Travis Greene's song 'Soul Will Sing' from his album 'The Hill'. As peaceful and touching as the song is I cringe when I hear it at 530am. This is the time and type of alarm I set for myself in order to wake up on time. Not just to simply wake up and go to work but to also read my word and pray. You know to start my day or have a head start on my day, if you will. Very seldom am I successful at staying awake… it is by far the hardest and toughest task that I face throughout my day. No I'm not depressed, just sleep deprived. I am very active in my community, church, career, as well as going to extracurricular activities in order to support my fifteen year old daughter. Leaving me very little time to get a solid 8 hours of sleep, yes I am working on it.
The thing is as much as I love, and need God's word to help me throughout the day, that is not what comes to mind when the alarm goes off for me to do so. I cringe, I fall back asleep, I wake back up I pout to God, my eyes burn, and THEN I try to appease the guilty feeling I have by praying while sitting up in bed. Of course I'm convicted to get out of the bed and walk around to read the word of God and pray outside of my bed. It's a struggle every single morning to do this!!! 😔 And I know I am not the only Christian that does this, so don't look at me in that tone of voice. Why though? Why do we put off the best attribute of God, His promises for us, the directions He left for us to live this life more abundantly? It is truly our GPS, yet we drag our feet when it's time to get going.
God is the most creative in the beginning of each day. Why would we not want to be included in that? Why are we okay with missing out on God's most creative work? How can we decree and declare what will become of our day, if we are not reading His promises from the start of our day?
Let's take a look at what scripture says about God's word…

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God."
John 1:1 NASB

The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one.”
John 1:1-2 MSG

– The word was first with God, what makes us think that we are excluded?

Then it says…

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
Genesis 1:1, 3 NASB

– God is the most creative in the beginning or at the start of something.

'I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.'
Psalm 130:5 NASB

– It's in God's word that we shall have our hope.

In order for God to create in us, or mold us to who we need to be, His word has to be present in us, just to start the process. His word creates more in us, His word begins to shift the atmospheres we are apart of. His word sheds light on the dark parts of us, our hearts, our environments. It allows us to see the things that we didn't see before. Necessary and unnecessary things. Once we see them we will begin to prune away the unnecessary and embrace the necessary. The Word has shown us that it has always been first, since the beginning of creation, why are we trying to change that? Even if we are not where we would like to be at in life when we arise in the morning, it's in God's word that we have our greatest expectations.
So shame on us for hindering His creativity in and the pruning of us.
Forgive us Father for not indulging in your word at the start of our day. Forgive us for hindering your most creative work that you desire to do in us. Help us Father to be better stewards over your word at the start of our day. We shall keep Your word first in everything that we do. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Love Always,

Your Praying Heart

Any Other Way

I hate, No… I'm disappointed in you
drawing me nearer
only to push me away.
For being silent and
Not finding the courage to say
You don't want or need me anymore.
You don't want or need this anymore.
You'd rather dream of the more
Than to have it walk through the
Doors daily asking about your day
Chasing all of your cares away
Too much like
the perfect life to live?
Something to you I still can not give
cause I'm at the end of your extended hand
Pleading my case as to why I love you, 'The Black Man'
Heart bleeding from piercing words
I gave it to God, He made it new, there were damaged nerves.
Your mental anguish and abuse
I dismissed you after my heart was misused
That's the black girl's ordeal…. Will we ever get back to being The One to cook the black man's meal?
food for thought… just don't be his thot? Question? ….. How do we bring you out of the dark, placing your love back in our hearts.
Where and when did we become so misplaced? Was it In the Garden of Eden or was it arriving at America's place?
A Place of inequality but God's word says we're made in His image, The Perfect face of equality.
How did this get so complicated, maybe because I gave you my virtue or was that confiscated?
There I go sounding like America again, accusing you for all the neighborhood break-ins.
Well then, what do I call it? when at first you complained that I wouldn't let you in? Put your guard down, relax a little don't be a rock. I will treat you like we're married or even my Queen ….MAYBE NOT!
If this is Queendomship then I renounce my throne, better yet I think it would be best if I am just left alone.
Or if this is what marriage feels like with you, I'll pass, I'm walking on egg shells here…. no worries I'll walk fast.
And light so that I don't disturb your sleep, you're angry and always have a rebuttal, so I just don't speak.
Then again that's too much like being submissive and allowing you to lead. You know the biblical roles of the wife and husband, but that's not your speed or lane.
Sadly there within God's word and house lies your past pains. I attempted to give you the love of Christ so life wouldn't be so cold. You rejected it, breaking my heart and destroying my soul
Sleep is where you will remain, cause when you're there at least I know my heart holds no pain.
Good night my sweet prince, tomorrow's a new day. I wanted to call you my King but you wouldn't have it any other way.
~ 7/19/2016 ~

Love Always,

Torn Black Woman

At 34….

At 34…… The world looks different, and so does the people that live there within. Your problems are now more annoying rather than being life threatening. You lose patience for nonsense, lies, disloyal people, corruption, child-like behavior… Mind-sets… Talk. You tried to muffle your lack of patience with a smile, a prayer or maybe even a vague response…. ‘Give it to God, He will work it out.’ When you really want to say, get over yourself it’s not always about you and what you want, it’s never been about you, suck it up, and let’s move on.’ But then that would be rude, inconsiderate, and selfish on my part. The older I get I come to realize more and more about myself, which in turn helps me to see that I knew nothing…. About myself. Christy Dawn Smith has been a conformist to other people’s plans for her life. An emotional and lifestyle contortionists, if you will. Contorting my thoughts, my plans, and even my dreams to everyone else’s. All because I was brought up to respect my elders, be considerate of others feelings in what I said and did, it’s not about me… Ever. In turn I lost who I was trying to please every one else. Now I am currently at a crossroad or maybe just a resting place of when will I be heard, considered, truly loved on, understood, poured into, nurtured, embraced for who I am? At what point will anybody hear my views, opinions, voice, dreams and know that I too matter.

In the past, my relationships failed from the beginning, right from the start, because I didn’t know who/whose I was, let alone how to show them how to love on me. Now my relationships suffers because I TELL them how to love on me , and my standards are higher because I saw just a glimpse of who and what God desires for me to be and have became aware of whose I am. In knowing whose I am, and knowing where I came from is what have removed the veils from eyes. When someone can tell a poverty stricken 8 year old, molested 11 year old, a self-hating 14 year old, a hand me down wearing 16 year old, a part-time fatherless child, a single-mother, a fornicator, a liar, a weak minded 21 year old, a drowning in debt 24 year old, a failure in college 26 year old, a 28 year old with broken relationships, a poverty stricken 30 year old that she is a child (one of many, I am not alone in this, I am not the only one that reaps the benefits of the inheritance) of a King. Not just any King but The Great I Am, The Lord of Lords, The King of kings, The Majestic One, The Wonderful Counselor. That tells me that it’s ok to keep my standards high, it’s ok to lift my head above the trees, it’s ok to expect more out of those that desire to be connected to me, I matter, my concerns are being heard… Daily, my life has value, my story/testimony has value, my skin is beautiful, I am beautiful, I was meant to walk with confidence and pride in my step. It was destined for me to have an educated tone when I speak. So if you are offended by my educated response, or that I walk with high knees and confidence in my step, forgive me and then step aside. While you are on the sideline watching me walk past, know and understand The God that I serve is waiting and wanting to give you a royal spa treatment as well, washing you clean with a fresh anointing, He wants to introduce you to The New You that you knew nothing about. So please don’t be offended by my royalty, because it’s enough to go around.

To be continued….

Offense

Well let me first say that it has been a long time since I have written in this blog. I do apologize for not being as committed to this as I should and need to be. I am not quite for sure what it is that I would like to or what I should be speaking on. With that being said I am going to just type and go from there. I mean I can always edit prior to posting right? Ok here goes….
As you know, or may not know, I became a licensed minister as June 2013. Along with three other women of God, we have all been called to spread The Gospel of Jesus Christ (each one in our own God Gifted ways). With that being said we are held to a higher standard, if you will.
This does not mean we are better Christians than any other. It doesn’t mean that we will not mess up nor does it mean will not fail or make mistakes. It does mean that people are watching… Closely…. At all times. Some hoping we mess up, some are watching so that they can have an earthly example to follow by. I strongly recommend that one would follow Jesus, as he is the best example! I still fight with my flesh… Daily. Anyway, getting to my point.
About two weeks ago I found myself at odds with another leader, whom unfortunately was offended by my actions and the lack of concern that I had shown her. Initially, I was upset and thrown off by her blunt confession of being offended (as it was sent in a text and that’s how I received it). I began to justify my actions, thoughts, and lack of empathy for a person. I thought ‘well that’s her problem if she’s offended.’ ‘She is too sensitive.’ ‘Who does she think she is for me to address her in a certain way?’ I was, truth be told, livid, and too through with her.
As I thought on where my lack of empathy or concern would have been during our past conversations or interactions. I didn’t see where my heart or intentions were in the wrong place. I mean of course everything I have said, done, how I have acted towards anyone was most definitely not intended to offend ANYONE. Let alone a fellow leader within the place that I worship in. So now my emotions are those that are hurt and baffled to think that I, the Minister of Intercessory prayer could be ‘offensive’ to anyone. That’s who I am… Empathetic, compassionate, taking on the burdens of others. Who was she to tell me how and when to be those things?
Well, she was a hurting soul, that had been overlooked and was pleading for me to recognize that. She had a broken heart that needed some mending. In ministry, as leaders we can sometimes get caught up in serving those that are not yet leaders, that we overlook when a fellow leader is in need.
God had to tell me that as justified as I am in my feelings…. So was she in her feelings. Who was I to tell her NOT to be offended? Or that it was crazy that she was offended? So I had two choices, I could allow the spirit of offense to dwell in me and turn into bitterness, and it shows later in a Sunday service. OR suck up my pride, go to her, apologize for any wrong that I had done in offending her. I chose the latter, because I knew the enemy wanted an open door just so he could come in the ministry and try to tear it down. In choosing this, it would accomplish a number of things. It did not give the enemy his open door of opportunity that he desired. It stopped any further vicious cycles of ‘hurt people hurting people’. I don’t know who else she informed of our disagreement, but in choosing the decision that I did, it served as an example to whomever was watching as to how to resolve Christian issues. This reaction released me from offense and placed the option to forgive in her hands.
God gave me an example to look at my delima. He reminded me that The Church is supposed to act as a hospital for those that are spiritually sick or dying. The leaders and workers in The Church act as the doctors and nurses. Well, if the staff comes to work sick, how then can we help those that come in the hospital (The Church) to receive healing? We can’t, we are only making them sicker. Passing more germs to them. If we never treat the issue then we will just get sicker, those that come around us will get sick, and it will take longer for healing to take place.
We are given a free will to do whatever we want in this walk with Christ. Let’s make sure we choose freedom in Christ Jesus with every thing we do and decisions we make. Even when you think no one is watching, just know the world still sees you. Keep your head high and your faith in Christ even higher!

‘Give your life for something’

Let me first say that this is not my original work. All credit belongs to Rick Warren and his daily devotional that I receive through The Bible App!

I read this and it just made me think of how so many Churches are dying spiritually and physicalIy because the faithful few are burnt out from serving. Its not that they do not love The Lord or do not want to do His Work. As they have served the people of God they have watched other people sit and not be moved or motivated to serve along with them, many of them having the same excuses as found in this devotional. That can be discouraging when we see that our work is in vain, which is an indicator that our flesh is taking over. We should focus on if God is pleased with our service not man, and we should leave the moving to the Holy Spirit. Let that be The Holy Spirit’s job to touch hearts and motivate people to do more for The Kingdom of God.
Enjoy!

God’s Praying Heart

‘Give Your Life for Something

You are going to give your life for something. What will it be – a career, a sport, a hobby, fame, wealth? None of these will have lasting significance. Service is the pathway to real significance.

As we serve together in God’s family, our lives take on eternal importance. Paul said, “I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less . . . because of what you are a part of.” (1 Corinthians 12:14a, 19 MSG)

God wants to use you to make a difference in his world. He wants to work through you. What matters is not the duration of your life, but the donation of it.

If you’re not involved in any service or ministry, what excuse have you been using?

Abraham was old; Jacob was insecure; Leah was unattractive; Joseph was abused; Moses stuttered.

Gideon was poor; Samson was codependent; Rahab was immoral; David had an affair and all kinds of family problems. Elijah was suicidal; Jeremiah was depressed; Jonah was reluctant; Naomi was a widow.

John the Baptist was eccentric to say the least; Peter was impulsive and hot-tempered; Martha worried a lot. The Samaritan woman had several failed marriages; Zacchaeus was unpopular; Thomas had doubts; Paul had poor health; and Timothy was timid.

That is quite a variety of misfits, but God used each of them in his service. He will use you, too, if you stop making excuses.’

Oklahoma City Prayer

Father,

I come to You asking for healing in the hearts of those that have lost a loved one in the mist of this tornado. Comfort them with Your loving arms as well as through the love of friends and other family members. Your word declares that they will be blessed because of their mourning…. ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.’ (Matthew 5:4 NIV)
I pray that you give them peace that surpasses all understanding, peace that will allow them to sleep and not slumber tonight. Father, I pray that they are able to still praise You in spite of, even if they don’t have the words to say, or feeling up to it. And even if they are not able to muster up a praise, I pray that You shall keep Your word that says You will lift them to safety.
‘The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.’ (Job 5:11 NIV).
I lift these families and individuals up to You Lord and I give You praise for their VICTORY OVER THE ENEMY. In JESUS’ name I pray, AMEN!

Faithfully Following Christ,

Your Praying Heart