Tuesday, September 22, 2020

He Reigns!


There is a song that the powerful group Mercy Me sings that every time I hear it my hands go up and the tears flow down my face. It’s called You Reign!

Do you know that you and I are not in charge? Do you know Who Is?

Before my wonderful encounter with my Lord, I had the foolish notion that I was going to be the master of my fate. At 15 I had left the rule and oversight of my caregiver and been handed over to the rule of a man, my husband. For 11 painful years I was subject to this man who I now had to learn how to love and serve. At 15 I failed miserably. After my first child was born at 17 I now had someone over which I could rule. I failed again, and again, and again. Until ultimately the marriage failed and for once in my life I was in charge of my life! I was free to conduct my life in whatever manner I chose. And once again I failed!

No mater how much I plotted and planned, the frustrating failures were wearing me down. I would attempt  to set in motion things I thought would make me acceptable, well liked and successful. I was not only delusional but absolutely crazy. Literally, and I had several stints on the psych ward to prove it. When things didn’t go as I planned, or the person I was pursuing didn’t reciprocate or pay me any attention I would loose it! Then the loud borage of negative descriptors of my character began playing in my head. Stupid, ugly, unwanted, looser would echo in my ears as the “noisome pestilence” of Psalms 91:3 would overtake me and off into a deep and dark depression I would go.

That is until Jesus showed up. I had not been looking for Him. My mom had sent Him after me before she died. She believed in Him. I didn’t. No one could suffer what I suffered and this so called God would allow it! No...there is no such thing as God was my assessment. However, He came after me, introduced Himself to me and I melted into a sobbing heap, totally humbled by this strange encounter with the Lord God Almighty. He disarmed my fears and said He was not angry with me. He said, “Nadine, I love you.”

There I was, this meaningless specimen of failure, bowing before The King of Kings and Lord of Lords Who made it a point to visit me and actually call me by my name! I yielded that day and surrendered my life and my love to the Sovereignty of the Creator of all things Who that day gave His attention to me.

Over the 40+ years following that divine encounter I have learned that He Reigns! Glory hallelujah He reigns sovereign over my life and has never failed me! Never! I discovered this passage in Hebrews 13:5b and have watched this word be performed in my life. Beloved, hear the heart of the God that I love, worship and serve, “... for He has says, “I WILL NEVER [under any circumstances] DESERT YOU [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], NOR WILL I FORSAKE or LET YOU DOWN or RELAX MY HOLD ON YOU [assuredly not]!”” Hebrews‬ ‭13:5‬b ‭AMP‬‬

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Have You Been To Bethel Yet?

Many times I have had the privilege to mentor another sister in her faith walk, I have asked them to share their personal encounter with Jesus Christ. No few times I have been met with a quizzical expression lending evidence to the fact that they had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. I soon learned that not only was my question not clear, but it often left them with a question about their salvation.

Although questioning their salvation was never my intent, my question presented me with a wonderful opportunity to add context and a wonderful opportunity to share my testimony. My personal encounter with the Lord was not very conventional. By that I mean, I was not sitting in church listening to a powerful, life-changing sermon. Nor was I listening to some profound heart moving hymn or song that brought me to realize my need for salvation. No, no one was telling me about the importance of giving my life to Christ. As a matter of fact, I was actually enjoying a glass of Johnny Walker Red and marijuana. As a matter of fact, I was so removed from all things Holy that I was indulging in this act on a Sunday morning when most folks were headed to worship Him.

I was what the old heads call a heathen. I was the one spoken of in Ephesians 2 that "...walked according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience...fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind: and were by nature the children of wrath..." I was wicked and loved it. I was mean, sarcastic and hateful. No, there was no hope for me, or so I thought.

On this particular Sunday morning, God had something in store for me that I would never have imagined. I had three children at the time and always would send them to the little church that met in our apartment complex on Sundays. That way I could get a couple hours alone with my bottle. However, God put boldness in my middle son's heart to question me about why I would always send them to church but would not go myself. Well, needless to say, my response to his inquiry was indicative of the alcohol and drugs I had ingested. My response startled him and he dropped his little bible. This wicked woman wouldn't even let him pick it up but demanded he head down to the church immediately. After he and my other two kids left, I sort of felt that the bible shouldn't just lay there on the floor so I got up to pick it up. It was upon picking that bible up that I experienced my Bethel moment. The bible had fallen open and as I picked it up I glanced at the page that it had opened to and as I glanced over the words I heard the voice of God speak to me in audible terms. I know, it would have been easy to blame that incident on the weed and liquor. However, I knew that was not the case because the moment I heard Him speak, I became sober! I then fell to my knees as He convinced me that it was Him speaking, telling me that He was not angry with me but that He loved me. I can't express the joy that came over me! It was so strong that all I could do was weep. I somehow knew that I was bowing before the Lord and He was standing right there in the room. I couldn't lift up my head. All I could do was weep, and I wept and wept for what seemed like an hour. But when I arose I read the chapter of my son's bible that spoke directly to my need. I read Isaiah 12 and when I was done I was convinced that God has just pardoned me and was giving me the opportunity to know Him. I responded, God, thank you. I don't know what just happened but thank you. I don't know you but I want to. I want to know you. Although He didn't respond audibly, He began speaking to me in my mind, confirming that I didn't have anything to worry about, He would take care of everything.

From that day forward, I stopped drinking, smoking, and taking drugs. My husband, who was my partner in crime, thought that I had lost my mind. My pack of Virginia Slims laid on our nightstand for weeks and he knew I was a chain smoker. What in the world had happened to his wife? Well, needless to say, I couldn't explain it. And when I told Him God spoke to me, he wasn't having it. Nope, he didn't want to be with a holy roller. We had too much at stake with the setup we had established dealing drugs and all. I had become a problem.  Our marriage suffered greatly but today we serve in ministry together. I tell women all the time that if I had to do it all over again, I would! It was doing that 15 years of waiting to see God do for my husband what He had done for me that I got to discover how powerfully awesome and loving God is.

So, I ask you reading this blog today, do you remember your Bethel moment? Jacob's Bethel encounter was so powerful that he built an altar, poured, and offering of oil and wine on it. Back in the day that was a significant recognition of milestone moments in his life. He had been running from his brother who had vowed to kill him and in his despair - God showed up! It was in my despair - God showed up! It is in your despair - God shows up! But He didn't do it just once for Jacob, He did it again when Jacob had to run from Shechem after his sons had murdered the king and his men. Jacob feared for the lives of his family and ran. God told him to go back to Bethel and when he got there, once again, God showed up!

So beloved I ask you, are you in despair? Is life causing you to want to run away? Go to Bethel! Take out your bible or pull it up on your phone or iPad, and begin reading from the very beginning. I promise you that if you do so with a genuine desire to meet God, get ready. His word says that if you seek Him with all your heart, He will be found by you. It's His promise to show up. Jeremiah 29:13

Monday, June 15, 2020

In spite of all that is going on around the world, God is still in control!

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. 

He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! 

For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. 

The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. 

The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. 

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!”

‭Psalm‬ ‭33:6-12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Monday, May 18, 2020

Let It Go!

If you are able to read this post, it’s a blessing. God spared you yet another day. But since He did spare you, there is no doubt that the purpose He put in you is yet to be accomplished. You are still here learning and developing the necessary information and abilities to fulfill your God-given purpose. However, if you haven’t checked the anger that’s brewing in your heart, you will not be able to fulfill God's purpose for your life. Your anger, if not released to God will grow and poison you and all those around you. Anger that is from above has a divine purpose that produces hope and unity, a Godly outcome. Anger that is wrought from selfish, fleshly pride is demonic and breeds hatred and division, a Satanic outcome.

If you say you are a follower of Jesus, follow His instructions - let Love Rule you, not anger. God IS Love and He calls all that follow Him to love, even your enemies.

We are living at an hour of great frustration and uncertainty. If we allow fear to set in it will contaminate our ability to reason and see things God's way. We will begin to look to blame and punish, without the reasoning necessary to determine the truth. Mounting frustration and helplessness begin to cause us to want to take matters into our own hands instead of calling upon the only One able to help us.

Perfect Love casts out fear and the resulting torment that it breeds. No, fear is not the portion of the righteous. They have received divine power, perfected love from God, and the soundness of mind it breeds to enable them to resolve and overcome life’s challenges.

Love is the first commandment. God knew what He was doing when He made it such. Hate is the evil nemesis to love and life. As we who follow Christ come across those that promote and engender hate, don’t respond with hatred, pray earnestly for them and let the love of God be rich in you. There is no law greater than the law of a Love! There is no greater destroyer of life and hope than hatred spawned by unrelinquished anger.

May the Love of God prevail in the heart of our nation so that His Righteousness will overcome the divisive sin of hatred. A house or nation divided will not stand! If God has not already sent judgment to punish our hatred, we can turn back to God by obeying His commandment to love Him and one another.