I Don’t Receive That

I Don't Receive That

Yesterday was my first official day of school and I can’t say that I missed it! This school year is one with a lot of moving parts, as I have to keep up with application deadlines and projects, all while maintaining stellar grades. Anyway, I had a great post, ready to go this morning, until Satan decided to send me a message…

I was brushing my teeth and combing my hair like normal people, when I started having images of flunked tests, fear and failure. Quickly, I had to put Satan in his defeated place, out of my life and remind him of his untimely fate. Never before have I had Him directly afflict me in that way. Yes, people would irritate me. Yes, situations would discourage me. But, those were all indirect sources of evil.

Satan in his end reign is getting bold and we as Christians, have to get even bolder! He is destroying everything in his path and trying with all his might to rope us into his rapidly sinking boat. When Satan sends you a message saying, “You aren’t going to make it through the class, health report, financial strain, family dysfunction etc.”, don’t hit ignore, say “I don’t receive that, Satan. It is written… and my Redeemer lives!

I am expecting an amazing year of prosperity as Satan can only factor lies from the truth. He is too incompetent to think for himself, so he takes all of God’s original information and duplicates it with his trademark, switching love for hate, joy for sadness, stress for peace. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, was not written as a mistake. Matthew 4 (when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness) is not a filler story. God knew that Satan would tempt us and because of that He gave us tools to bind the enemy AND a story of someone who successfully did.

Satan may talk, but you don’t have listen…

Until Sunday,

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Love Lights the Way

Love Lights the Way

What influences your life? Or better yet, who? I like to believe that God and His Words frame my world, but last night, I realized that was not all the way true…

“Storage Almost Full

You can manage your storage in Settings”

Yep, I got this message on my phone last night! And you’re probably wondering, “How does one burn through 60 gigabytes of memory in less than a year?” Easy, a phobia of running out. You see, when I take pictures I don’t just take one or even two, I have to have at least 4 or 5. And instead of deleting all the duplicates, I always find a reason to keep them. Like, “What if the picture is too big/small to be cropped?” or the infamous one, “What if the other three get deleted by accident?” The thought of not having enough, whether it’s contact solution, batteries, gas, or lead is just downright frightening. Now, we all have quirks of some sort so don’t judge me J!

It is human nature to search for security and center our lives around those things. My day is already off to an interesting start if I have to put some elbow grease into getting my morning toothpaste! The day is not even broken in yet, and I have already allowed a fleeting phobia to hijack my life! Whether it be financial security through an investment or emotional security through pets…we are trying to fill void that can only be sufficed by God’s love and light.

As children of God, we cannot allow our quirks to pave the way for our lives. We cannot allow negativity, jealously, fear or any other ungodly thing(s) to rule our lives. With God, we have everything we will ever need and thus want for nothing. God loves us with a love that outweighs any and all other things that try to take our lives off the course that he has already charted.

Love lights the way and in those lights of love there is no darkness…

Psalm 119:105 & 1 John 4:18

Until Thursday,

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New Beginnings

New Beginnings

Getting all four of my wisdom teeth removed last Friday left me in a rather painfully peculiar position. And somehow, in between moments of mental insanity (thanks to the strong painkillers) and excruciating pain, I was able to take a walk of reflection through my life.

Most people would probably contend that fresh starts come from drastic changes such as a new year, new job, new relationship or new location. And though those things often bring a breathe of positive energy, they aren’t the only method. January 1, is just one of the 365 clean slates we receive from God, within every year of our lifetimes. Everyday is essentially…a new beginning.

Given my condition, I was quite still and that afforded more than enough time to overanalyze my life. As if I wasn’t feel bad enough already! However, after I planned and attended my own pity party, it was like God came to me and said, “Are you finished? Because I have a few things to talk to you about…” And talk He did!

Instead of rehashing the past, God showed me how to get past it. In my morphine induced sleep sessions, He gave me peace about a lot of things in my life, like the ones I knew I was struggling with and even a few that I wasn’t aware still needed some TLC. We all know that one thing that in our minds is water under the bridge, but in our hearts is definitely carved in stone. Yep, that thing (regret, hurt, person)…

Still and quiet time with God, no matter what lands us there –difficult circumstances, difficult people or even difficult oral procedures– is time for us shut off all other voices and harken to The Only Voice that matters. In our meetings with Him, what I like to call Moments With The Maker, we allow God to bestow on us, the things we are lacking and grow in us, the things that should be thriving.

It feels good to be free. Free from the past, present and future. My face doesn’t look like pickles and for once, I’m truly training my eyes to see life through the silver-lined sunglasses that Jesus sacrificed so much for me to obtain. From my view, I see new beginnings!

What does life look like from your view?

P.S. Although, I typically try to refrain from using the word “thing” excessively, this post is the exception to that. Hopefully, you can make this post a little more personal to you by replacing the generic words with ones that pertain to your life.

Until Sunday,

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A Personal God

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History has always seemed to astound me. It always amazes me how people of the past were able to find “joy” in some of the most joyless circumstances. Anne Frank’s diary, stories from African American slaves and even wartime journals from soldiers and their families, all have elements of happiness despite the “worse case of scenario” being their day to day reality.

I cannot even fix my mind to say that one group of people suffered more (or less) than others, because suffering is suffering. Just like opposition from Satan comes in many disguises, but one general form. Health, financial, family and career challenges are all tools of irritation that the devil often employs. The challenges I face are likely a little different than yours and that is what makes God so awesome! He attends to each and everyone of our personal and individual needs. God does not mass produce His comfort and answer to our prayers! He won’t recycle the same message for me that He gave to you, because you are special and unique!

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

-Isaiah 46:4 NIV

I love how a lot of the Bible reads in first person and much like a dialogue. God gave us the ultimate sign of love, by sacrificing His only Son for our salvation. And because He is so awesome and omniscient, knowing that sometimes we need reassurance about His Love, He gave us 66 books with endless reminders of who we are to Him. We are loved and that is enough…no matter what we are going through!

Until Sunday,

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What If…

What If

I am ashamed to admit that when I am faced with the unknown, I quickly jump on a racetrack of “what ifs” and race towards all the things that could go wrong. Failure, rejection and on and on the list goes, until I have practically painted a picture of bad things that haven’t even happened!

There is no denying the fact that thoughts of terror and fear are going to find their ways into our lives…it’s inevitable. However, what isn’t inevitable is how we choose to approach those thoughts. Sure, jumping out of our comfort zones could be bad decision. But, what if, it becomes one of the best decisions we ever made?

Life is teaching me to get excited about all the things that could go right, instead of all the things that could wrong! I wonder how much more fulfilling life would be if we were quick to reach positive conclusions, as oppose to negative ones? Probably, a million times better!

Although, God’s promises do not come with a shipping tracker, we know that they will reach us…someway…somehow…someday soon. Adopting a positive outlook on life, no matter what may be staring us in the face, is not an act of crazy, but of confident faith. We know the end from the beginning. Jesus won, which means we win. End of story and probably the best book spoiler I have ever gotten!

In essence, rationality is a way of life. The human brain cannot fully comprehend or accept God’s Word without some “what ifs”. I personally see it this way: I might as well look for all the good “what ifs”, that are more likely to happen than the bad ones!

Happy Father’s Day to our Heavenly and earthly fathers…this life wouldn’t be possible without them!

Until Thursday,

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Subordinate Sense

Subordinate Sense

My name is Vivian and I am recovering from a chronic sense of subordinance.

Addictions come in all shapes, forms and sizes. Alcohol, drugs and other physical addictions are not the things that can cast bondage on our lives and imprison us.

The summer months give me plenty of time to maul over my life and critique it from various angles. Now, that practice is double edged, as there has to be a good balance of recognizing your faults and then moving on to fix them. FYI, I’m still working on that balance. At any rate, this week during my Maul Moments with The Maker, God showed me that taking worry thoughts and seeing myself as inferior has negatively impacted more than just my day-to-day existence.

Stress is a smooth criminal, as he robs people of their present joy AND future peace. I can’t be happy now, or have peace about the future if I am worried about it. That’s a double setback. And Sense of Subordination, SS is one conniving manipulator. If my mind has a stronghold that I am undeserving of great things, then I will never have them. God’s promises are twofold, with belief, first and confession/faith, second. Entertaining SS in my life, kills the promises before I can even put faith behind them!

So, I don’t know about you, but my summer schedule is suddenly full…in the best way possible! I can’t think of a better adventure to undertake, than working on myself and getting closer to God.

 “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”

– Philippians 4:6-7 MSG

Looks like Philippians 4:6-7 was penned just for me. Though we may have different challenges, God loves me just as much as He loves you. Somewhere, in those 66 books, is a bible verse penned specifically for you and your personal needs. Our God is a relentless God, who never leaves anyone (no matter how hard-headed, far gone or imperfect) without His support and guidance…

Until Sunday,

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His Understanding

His Understanding

Thursdays and Sundays are the typical post update days for AD, but this Thursday I was away at camp and did not want to just throw something up for the sake of tradition! So, I owe you all an extra special post in the near future.

Due to my inability to craft words like God can, I going to copy and paste His message to me just as it came:

“When you enter my Throne Room like Esther, putting all your eggs in my basket and completely submitting yourself to me. I start moving. I start shaking. I start turning…THINGS AROUND for your good. Though, at the moment of my miraculous madness, it might not make sense. When you can’t figure it out, that means I already HAVE.”

I cannot think of another verse that corresponds more perfectly than Proverbs 3:5 (MSG). Which says “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.” My mind cannot fathom how or when God is going to answer my prayers. I only know that He will and can. At the end of the day, when push comes to shove and the curtains close, God’s promises and the security of those promises, thanks to Jesus, remain…always and forever.

I pray that God will touch your heart giving you comfort about the past, peace for future and joy in the present.

Until Thursday,

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No Means No

No Means No.jpg

“No means no.” I would dare say that is one of the most popular phrases that parents and older siblings say to younger kids! A simple “no”, doesn’t always communicate the need to stop whatever they are doing. So, saying “no means no” serves as a reinforcement statement.

Last week was a big week. I took my last final for school AND AD turned 7 months on the 13th! You would think that I would be over the moon with excitement and joy, which I am…to a degree. I seemed to have switched from present stress to future stress! I have realized that life will always give me something to stress or worry about…if I permit it.

There are a lot of “nos” in the bible. We have The Ten Commandments and various other guidelines that God has set before us. When God says, “Take no worry thoughts” in Matthew 6:34, He absolutely means it! No means no, in all contexts. Whether it is telling an employee to not be late or a child not to eat too much sugar.

There are consequences for children and employees that do not heed the warnings that they have been given. The threat of what might happen is often enough to make people follow the rules. But, unlike earthly superiors, God does not disown us as children or fire us from our God-given callings, He gives us grace and sees the best in us. People will often abide by man-made rules, but completely disregard God’s, because there isn’t immediate punishment.

As we, God’s children, become closer to God, I pray that we will hearken to His voice and truly obey His “no means no”.

Until Sunday,

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The Final Editor

The Final Editor

When it comes to reading books, I have no self-control! But, being addicted to books is probably one of the most beneficial addictions out there…

A book touches many hands and sees many eyes, before it reaches libraries and ebook shelves. For starters, you have the author and maybe a co-author depending on the story. Then you have advisers and mentors that give feedback along the way. And last but not least, you have the final editor, who checks for fluency, grammar and overall story completion. With all the hands involved in the actual making of a book (excluding other steps that must also be taken), it is highly likely that even the finished product of a book, looks a little different than what the author originally had in mind!

Life is much like writing a book. Books have chapters and pages. Life has years and days. To a degree we hold the cursor for our lives. We can make decisions and choices that alter God’s original path for us. We may look back over life and ask the all too familiar question, “How did I get here?” The answer to that question looks different for everybody!

I consider God and myself to be co-authors on my life’s story. Not because we are equal, but because God actually cares about what I desire to have out of my life. He also wants the absolute best for me, and even though He knows what that entails without me telling Him, I believe He still likes to hear it! And of course, The Holy Spirit and Jesus are great mentors for me to emulate. However, God is still The Final Editor in my life’s story. Even if I desperately feel that something is pinnacle to my happiness, if God says no (for whatever reason), then it has to go. On the flip side, if I make a choice that alters my life, God can still work my mishap into His already remarkable vision for my life.

Life would be so much easier, if we had an explanation for everything that happened and alarm bells for what was to come. However, through all of Satan’s mayhem that tries to derail our life’s stories, God remains as the final authority. What God says always goes…always has…always will, Psalm 93:5 (MSG).

Living life knowing that God has the last word, frees us from trying to “figure it all out” and forces us to truly develop a relationship with Him. How can you trust God with your life’s story, if you don’t know Him?

Until Sunday,

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Warnings from Heaven

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Sometimes meteorologists do not have to announce that there is a 90% chance of rain, because the color of the sky and movement of the clouds tell us that we will need our rain gear. Whether from weather experts or the clouds themselves, we normally get a fair warning of what is to come!

Life, in my experience is a lot like the weather. We don’t always know what will happen from one day to the next, but thankfully we serve a God that does!

Recently, I have seen Him prepare my heart for challenging situations. Whether it was the huge final assignment I had to complete or the difficult people I encountered, God was not mum on the fact that challenges were coming my way. And when I was faced with what He had warned me about…I was prepared (as much as humanly possible)!

However, the biggest lesson that I have learned from those painful experiences is that, The Father, Son and The Holy Spirit, all serve different purposes in my life, when it pertains to trials:

  • The Father, warned me, as He saw what I could not.
  • The Son, comforted me, as He has went through the hardest trial of all.
  • The Holy Spirit, directed me, as He has supreme oversight.

I can’t think of anything else I would want or need in the midst of tribulations…warning✓…comfort✓…direction✓. God truly makes the way, leads the way, and provides provision throughout the entire way!

When we open our ears to hear God speak, we authorize Jesus and The Holy Spirit to assist and move in our favor. Trouble is going to come, but with God and His army on our sides, we already know the end…WE WIN!

Until Thursday,

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