Gratefulness

Today marks a new milestone for me as I share my initial sermon & become licensed as an Associate Minister of the Gospel. This was indeed a journey and there were moments when I felt like giving up for different reasons. Perseverance produces results, and with God’s help this is one of many results.

I pray that I become even more effective in my delivery in sharing the Good News. I am grateful for this opportunity & appointment. I do not take any of it lightly.

I request your prayers as I take this significant step.

Feel free to join us (there will be 11 of us) by streaming on www.cathedralinternational.org at 7pm ET.

Thank you.

Pursuing What Counts in 2013

This blog was first launched on December 29, 2010. Two years of triumphs and tragedies have passed since then, and I am thankful that I am still here to share this special moment with you – the end of yet another year.

We’ve seen significant changes financially, spiritually, socially, in politics, and in our communities all around us. We’ve buried many children due to violence, like the recent Sandy Hook Elementary School horror in Newtown, Connecticut (USA) and Trayvon Martin’s untimely death in Florida. Some cities like Chicago, Illinois (USA) have buried over 500 people in 2012 due to violence alone. Wars have erupted in the Middle East and in other world regions as governments and regimes fight for various rights or privileges. People crush each other any moment they get a chance (on social media, in the workplace) because of the fierce competition that is now ensuing.

What about our futures? What type of world are we creating for the generations coming up behind us? Are we proud to show our children how materialistic we’ve become? Is having all the latest gadgets, clothes, shoes and cars the only way to show that we’re “really living”? Do we make the effort to extend ourselves to help others, or are we content with the “us four, no more” mentality?

When we are at work, can anyone say that we genuinely care about their well-being, even if we are managers? Or is self-preservation the name of the game?

What about our church circles? The shame and embarrassment seems unending when news is broadcasted about our issues. Are we willing at all to step aside and allow God to take full control of our private appetites so they do not boil over and become public disgraces?

We need a revival of our souls. We are thirsty and are reaching for things that will never satisfy us!

2 Chronicles 7: 14 – 15 (NKJV, Holy Bible) states:
“….if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.”

I have such a spiritual hunger and thirst deep within me now that I cannot truly explain. I’m at a place in my life now where dressing in the latest labels and designs are a nice-to-have and is not required. Driving the latest model car means nothing to me now; I’ve done that twice before. Living in the “right” zip-code means very little; I’ve done that before too. What I NEED, more than anything else, is more of GOD. He speaks to me in the small things and in the big things. His care is evident. His love is precious. He speaks to my soul in ways I cannot describe adequately. Dreams, desires and ministries are birthed when we submit our lives into His hands.

As we embark on a new journey that begins in just a few hours (less than 12 hours), let us stop the busyness, step away from our electronic devices for some time and give God our undivided attention. He longs to commune with us. His presence gives us unexplainable peace of mind. His presence brings divine revelations on how to proceed in our lives. His love envelops us and heals us of past hurts and disappointments. These are not just cute sayings; these are REAL results when we stay and pray. Meditation on the Bible is vitally important in growing and developing us as living examples. Reading biblically-grounded books help as well. Take notes as you meditate, read and reflect. Allow God to push you into your next place of blessing (or testing).

I want to worship God with ALL my heart, mind, soul and spirit. I want to worship Him as I approach a new year with new challenges and new blessings.

Will you join me?

I wish a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2013 to you and your families!

Guests At The Party

Hopefully you’ve had the chance to attend at least one really good party, one that has a lot of pleasant memories.

Just imagine with me: You walked into the best party you’ve ever been to, and you found most of the guests (in their gowns and tuxedos) serving other guests, cleaning up spills and doing things they should not have to do during an event to which they were invited.

How much different is that from us? We have walked into the best Party ever, hosted by the King of kings and Lord of lords. He has placed us at his banqueting table of love. But when He turned His back for a moment, we got up and began cleaning up the room and taking away used napkins, etc. As He turned back around from what He was doing and found us in this frenzied, unnecessary activity (the activity of worry, unnecessary planning to “make sure” something works), He frowned at us in displeasure, but gently reminded us of this:

We are the Guests at this banquet! Why are we taking on the role of paid waitresses and waiters? Why can’t we accept that God did ‘all of this’ for our redemption? For our healing and deliverance? For everything we need for both now and later?

Trust is the key to believing that all God promised is true and MUST come to pass! Believe that you will receive and you shall have it.

So, put the napkins down and rest the used utensils aside.

God has called YOU to His banqueting table. You are one of the Guests of Honor, so why concern yourself with the things that only the Host should be concerned about?

Why do you allow your troubles to force you to step in and attempt to ‘help’ God out all the time? He doesn’t NEED our help! When we think we’re cleaning up and ‘helping out’, we’re actually making a bigger mess! We’re taking on a role we were not created to do!

Really!

May God help us as we resist the urge to clean up,

Michelle.

Your Response During A Season of Uncertainty

If you are alive for any length of time, life will throw uncertainty on your path. That is guaranteed.

What matters is how you respond.

Are you agitated/anxious? Do you complain? Or are you relaxing, knowing that you will be taken care of?

Because I’ve been a single mom for several years, I tend to have the mentality of  “I will fix this myself” when uncertainty knocks on my door. But over the past year or so I have learned that I cannot handle it all alone.

During those moments when we feel as if we cannot take another step or say another word, God sends HELP!!!! (Thank you, Jesus – praise break – excuse me!) We are never alone – even when we feel alone. I called out to God and He answered me with what I needed!

So the best response is to ‘cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)’ It matters to God what we go through. He comes to our rescue if we ask Him to!

 

The Link Between Strong Ministries & Servant-Leaders

Recently I had the opportunity to chat with an associate. We attended the same church several years ago, so we began discussing our varied church experiences. She made a statement that made me think, and I paraphrase: “Sometimes our season is over at a certain place and we need to be open to when God says it’s time to move on. Instead of moving on we may drag our feet or try to get comfortable, but the main reason that we should be involved in ministry is to serve.”

She is CORRECT! She elaborated some more by stating that we sometimes want to stay at a certain church because we are loyal to the leader there, but for various reasons it may be time to let go.

Please understand that this post is not intended to encourage anyone to move from church to church for no clear reason. What we discussed was the ministry needs of our families. Where we had attended was not ministering to our children effectively so they did not want to be there. They were not treated as priority, which saddened my heart. God has a special place in His heart for children, so why shouldn’t we?

We were also seeking ministries where our leaders were servant-leaders. A strong ministry has servants at their helm. When we have leaders who are self-serving and demand to be served, then we have an issue. Honor should be given where honor is due, but honor should be earned and not demanded. Respect and honor are automatically given to anyone who is humble and seeks to give, not take.

I am thankful for the ministry in which I serve now. My highest respect goes out to my Bishop who takes the time to invest in our youth. Our church is now too large for him to do it all by himself, but I know in his heart he wishes he could.

May God BLESS our ministries’ servant-leaders! You are indeed examples on how Jesus ministered to people as He walked this earth many years ago. Walking in His steps means serving “the least of these.”

Ensuring This Thing is Real…..

1 Corinthians 9:27 (KJV):

“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

While living as Christians on life’s journey, we may experience moments of praise and admiration from others, especially if our gifts and callings bring us constantly before others and we are good at what we do. There is nothing really wrong with praise and admiration – except that once we get a steady dose of praise we tend to believe our own press. Now we begin feeling entitled to preferential treatment and deference from those in “lower ranks” than ourselves.

We may preach, sing, dance (liturgically), prophesy, speak in tongues (and interpret tongues), dance in the spirit or even lay hands on others and they become delivered. Let us make sure that in all what we do or take part in, we are constantly communicating with God. Constant communication with the King of kings keeps us humble. Studying His Word will cause us to remember that we are flesh and blood who are as vessels being used by the Master. We have no entitlement. Respect is due to those who are in positions of authority and on whom a clear call from God is evident in their lives, but let us remember that what we have, He allowed. What we can do, He endowed. What we see, He permitted.

Let us keep ourselves prostrate before the King of kings. Let us make sure that what we have is real, tried and true. May we allow God to keep us focused, lest we preach Christ to others and we turn out as hypocrites in the end.

 

 

Can You Forgive?

Can you forgive?

I had the pleasure of listening to a prominent speaker recently discuss forgiveness as she shared examples from her own life. As she spoke, thoughts of past and present situations that seemed unfair to me started parading across my mind. Things I had forgotten about knocked on the door of my heart and caused me to reflect.

I had been the type to look at others over the top rims of my glasses – until my life situations changed and now I am the one that others are looking at in very strange ways. Having to forgive others who caused grief and pain and then realizing that I was also a source and grief and pain to others is not easy to handle from either perspective. I tend to store up my feelings and eventually hide them – which I know is not very good. As I practice sharing my heart with others via writing, I find it is now easier to express my deepest thoughts and reflections even while speaking. Vocalizing (or reading) what you have always thought is definitely a healing balm.

Prayer:

Jesus, I surrender my pain, my disappointments, any misunderstandings and my resentment of situations from my past (and my present) into your hands. You knew me before I was formed in my mother’s womb. You have purged my heart with your precious blood before; wash it clean once more. As I open my life before you and others, may souls be refreshed and may those who were once bound in spirit be loosed and set free to go forth and live out their purpose that You have preordained from the beginning of time.

Forgive me of the hurts I have caused. Allow me to let go of those who hurt me, intentionally or not. Help me to have the heart to say like Jesus did: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34, NIV)