Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dream Again, Girls (Dress Rehearsal is Over!)

I revisited a post from 2007 called “Can’t a Girl Dream” and it made me smile. The image resonated in my heart and in my soul of women of all nations, colors and sizes, occupations and gifting, all wrapped up in a blanket of love…such an awesome dream. In fact, just yesterday, my eldest daughter drew a picture of 6 girls (all different colors) holding hands in a field of flowers and butterflies. It struck me, again, what an amazing dream this was and I was immediately inspired, I heard the soft whisper of the Holy Spirit… “Dream Again, Girls.”

Dream again. Every little girl, no matter her race, economic situation, experiences…has had a dream… It’s in our DNA to imagine. The dream may not be the same for each of us, but the capacity to dream is always there. As a child, I probably dreamed more than most, from day to day, week to week, I could be anything, from a princess to a doctor, to an Australian to a unicorn. But, the older I got the more concise the dreams became. I surmised that I was irreproachably gifted to write and this would be my gift to the world. Life became more real than the dream, and I thrust myself willfully into the depths of responsibility claiming to have never dreamt of such childish things. Still, within my heart lingered this desire to write. It was an inescapable part of me. So, I challenged myself at times, to balance, life and family with this innate passion. I struggled to differentiate between my will and God’s will, and where the dream itself fit in. If I didn't write I felt like I was neglecting the gift. Or if I did spend time to write, I felt like I was focusing too much on it and neglecting my immediate responsibilities. Strangely, I was most inspired to write when my life was the most chaotic. I would write about things relevant to my current situation and or things that God spoke to my spirit. I started “The Lady’s Rage” blog spot as an answer to God’s call and my willingness to be unveiled in a culture of pretend and make believe.

Still, my life was similar to a reoccurring dream that I had. In the dream, I was on stage doing a play I had already performed years ago; and I would never rehearse the lines until opening night. Frantically, I would search for the script, unsure if I still knew the lines. I would always feel this pressure of time. Like, man, maybe I don’t remember the lines. Maybe I should have prepared for this. And now, this is opening night and I have 45 minutes to remember this play. In reality, I was confronted with the same insecurities. Have I prepared enough for the real thing? Am I ready for the manifestation of God’s promises? Can handle being in the spotlight when I spent so much time in the shadows? Do I know what I am doing? Back in forth, I would go between complete surrender to God’s unveiling majesty and reticent reluctance to promotion. God said to me, a few weeks ago, “This has been the rehearsal. This time of waiting. This time of anticipation. This time of battle. It’s all been rehearsal.”

Many of us have been in stages of life that have been tumultuous, and difficult. We have received promises from God that have seemingly been unanswered. And while waiting for the manifestation of those promises, we have been met with every opposite reality of victory, joy and peace. Still, our hope remains. I can say with a certainty that I never, ever would have imagined THIS but I have gained such an appreciation for God’s word and for HIS presence in the midst of all of the difficulty, because at the end of the day I have found rest that cannot be taken from me. I have found peace that doesn’t exist because of things I have but rather because of whose I am. I have more today in terms of LIFE Abundant than I have ever had materially. And, I can say that all of the preparations of God through the various situations that have arisen have made me more than able to perform any task, at any time in any situation. I know my lines. I know what to say. I know my marker. I know my timing.

If you know anything about performing on stage, there are three things you must know. #1) Your lines. #2) Your mark. #3) Your timing. The rehearsal that we have been in has been about knowing the word, your righteousness through faith in God and the timing of God (prophetically).

The dream itself, the vision that God has given you is the means through which he is going to put you on stage… but ultimately, it is what you have rehearsed, that will have the most impact on those who are watching you. It is what you have done, in secret that will be on display. I encourage, you child of God, to dream again. Don’t let the passion die in you because of the trials of life. But rather, seek the Father, so that those dreams can live again. In His presence, there is fullness of joy. In His presence, there is everything that you need. Wisdom, joy, inspiration, strength, peace… you name it… wherever He is present, there is an abundance of everything that you need and want.

I pray that you will rediscover the dream that God has given you and that you will allow God to impact your life in such a way that it overflows to next generation. You are not without help, may God fill with his Holy Spirit and guide in His will.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

If I Perish, I Perish but I Will See God

My God, sometimes it’s the little things. Nobody knows. Nobody sees. It’s the little things that make the BIGGEST impact. You’re waiting for that BIG break through. You’re waiting for that ONE moment that changes everything… but God likes details… He gets into the finite things…

Look at the variation of fish. He didn't just make one fish he made all shapes, sizes and colors of them. He didn't make one shade of blue… or one shade of gray… He didn't just bless you one way, He blessed you in every way…He started off small… He spoke to your heart…then gradually you were transformed… maybe you were expecting to be in a different “PLACE” in life… but you are different today than you were before. I have felt weaker than ever… but I have felt His Presence strong… and all I have to say to those of you, who know what it is like to be crushed and brokenhearted, to feel abandoned and confused…there is something that God has done… in that secret hidden place, where no one knew that you were going through what you were going through, nobody but God saw your tears and heard you crying out for help…it was in that dark tunnel of fear, when you were so afraid and didn't know what to do… that God said, “Trust Me, I know what I am doing.” And you did.

I cried out the other day to God, “If I perish, I perish.” I lay it all out before him, my life, my opinions, my strength, my weakness, my ambition, my family, my love…there is nothing more valuable to me than my relationship with him. And I cannot be bought, I cannot be bribed… I cannot be told that my GOD is not the Lord of Lords. I am convinced of His love for you and I and we will surely see the Glory of God in the land of the living. The tides are changing… the hearts of the people have grown weak… and God has transformed our weakness into strength. He has made want was unknown… known… He has made the little things, Big…and the big things, small. Hear the word of the Lord. A day is coming and now is, when the kingdom of heaven will be represented in the earth and out of the darkness will shine a great light. And every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, Jesus Christ as Lord. He is he who holds the key to life. He is, the Alpha and the Omega, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. You cannot pander the anointing. When God begins to unveil His majesty, it will be to a broken people, a people of little or no regard… Humble yourselves under God’s almighty hand and in due season he will exalt you. Let Him crush you and rebuild you. Thank you Lord for the little things you do, that no one sees… But I see you Lord. I see YOU.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Knowledge of Things

Why do you hate?
Why do you blame men for your folly?
Why do you boast of things too wonderful for you?
Behave as a man.
Conduct yourselves as wives and mothers of children.
Do not trample the hope that was laid down for you.

If you are just, will not justice prevail?
If you judge, will you not also be judged with the same measure of fear?
If you love, will you not overflow with the measure of kindness you have filled others with?
Is it your belief in nothing that leaves you so empty?
Do well and seek your Father’s face.
In the morning His light will shine on you.
Do you think men are evil?
So are you.
Do you think men are good?
So are you.

There are but two things in this life.
Little things and big things.
The little things are the big things.
And the big things are the little things.
And both are worth finding out.
Our journey here on this earth is but for a mere moment in time
Do not say what tomorrow holds…
For tomorrow holds no promise
Today very well may be your last
Behave in such a way that if today your souls is called upon
That nothing is left behind.

Love when it is painful.
Give when you have the least.
And in the end you will have gained more than you gave.
Reach for the truth like a blind man in darkness
Take hold of it, though darkness surrounds you.
Take hold of it and do not let it go.

Why blame men for your folly?
When, even, your good intentions turn out bad.
Why blame the innocent for what you did not believe?
Why judge the creature for doing what he was born to do?
Why do you boast of things to wonderful for you?
You do not have answers for the questions you ask
And your speculations are full of lies.
Why do you behave like an illegitimate child when your Father is the king?
Why do you frolic in the mire and look for living things in the grave?
You will find nothing in the heap you dug…but death.

When you wake from your terrible slumber,
Who will you find besides you there?
“Nothing,” says the grave.
“Nothing” lays there.
“Nothing” says the soul crying from the deep.
“Nothing” lays there.
“Nothing” says the hope, cast away in the dirt.
“Nothing” lays there.
“Nothing and nowhere,” cries the soul separated from the truth.

Nothing boast of things too wonderful for it.
Nothing hears your lament for help.
Nothing shows no mercy.
Nothing is too wonderful for you.
Yet, something
In the quiet of your soul
Begins to stir at the utterance of that Name,
The One, who holds the key and the words of life,
Beckons to you…
Come all of you, who know absolutely nothing.
Come and I will show you mercy and
Things too wonderful for you.
Come and live again.

Monday, September 10, 2012

We Are Transformers

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

Some months ago, I felt compelled of the spirit of God to begin writing on the subject matter of transformation. I had heard the Lord whisper the word “Transformer” to my spirit. I immediately, thought of the blockbuster movies and the 80’s cartoon that those movies were inspired by. So, I Googled some images with the hope of finding a visual for what I sensed in my spirit; that we, the body of Christ, are Transformers. Sadly, I couldn’t find one. I looked for a definition of transformer and I found this:

1. One that transforms. 2. A device used to transfer electric energy from one circuit to another, especially a pair of multiply wound, inductively coupled wire coils that effect such a transfer with a change in voltage, current, phase, or other electric characteristic

With this definition in mind, I immediately knew where God was taking me. He said, “My people are transformers. I am the energy source. My people are the transformers.” He said, “And yes like the cartoon heroes that transformed from one function to another and one form to another; so it is with my people.” He said to me, “your perfection brings glory to you. But your transformation brings glory to me.” The Lord reminded me of a previous conversation that I had with him in prayer. I said, “Lord, I wish that I had walked these 17 years flawlessly. I wish I had always believed and never lost hope.” And He reminded me in that moment, that His strength is revealed in my weakness. He said, “When you were young in faith. You were self righteous. You believed you were righteous because you saw yourself as “good.” You had a checklist of things that you did not do. You felt that because of your ability to refrain from those things that you were right with me. You thought because you didn’t do this and didn’t do that, that you were good in my sight. You boasted in your own image; but you did not boast of my ability. You did not make yourself vulnerable. However, in the secret places of your heart, Natrietia, you held onto insecurities, rage and jealousies. You were alienated from me because of your fears.” He continued, “It wasn’t until you became vulnerable, that the power of my word transformed you. And that is where my strength is perfected.”

This kind of vulnerability and resulting transformation was best exemplified in the life of Jesus Christ. There was a glory that appeared in Jesus when he was resurrected. His resurrected body was different from the body that hung on the cross and the body wrapped with the ceremonial burial clothing. With this image of Christ before me, I heard the Father say, “You are the body of Christ. There is a glory that I am ready to release. But that transformation is happening when my people return to me with vulnerability. When they no longer resist the cross; but carry it through the pain, through the resistance, through the embarrassment and simply say, ‘Not my will, but your will be done.’ When they cry out, ‘Father, forgive them.’ When my children call me, Father. When they have relationship with me. When they talk with me. When they worship me in spirit and in truth. He said, “Call out to the people.” Write it and send it.

I heard him, this morning. I awoke with these words and they are true. “If you do not believe in something, you will die for nothing. Belief is a necessity of life. You wore born to believe.”

The Lord says, “I am willing. I am ready. I have accomplished victories for you. Will you believe? Will you trust me? Will you place no other above me?"

I don’t know if these words mean anything to anyone, but they mean a lot to me. I have personally been in a frustrated place. On the one hand, extraordinarily blessed, assured of God’s love, His ability and the gift of family. On the other hand, I have been confused by my literal circumstance and environment. I have been perplexed and wondered, why a specific area in my life, that is so very small, and doesn’t seem to fit with everything else that is so “right” in my life has overwhelmed me so much. The challenge really becomes whether or not I will trust the Lord in the midst of this death (of will, desire) so that I am transformed into something greater than my temporary want and or need. I mean, literally, whatever I fear in this life is only necessary for this life. And when we view things in this light, we see them for what they really are. Temporary. I am not living for this life. I’m not living to make my life here permanent. I’m living my life here temporarily, a mere visit on the planet Earth. It can be enjoyable, but my joy will not be dictated by things that are temporary because I believe in someone greater, who is Everlasting.

The Lord said to me “I see an army of men, women, old and young, spread wide and across lines…these men stand tall. These women stand tall. These children stand tall. This army transforms. They reach the heights of the enemy’s high walls. They leap over its gates. Their feet crush temples, strongholds and systems. The enemy’s darts are like toothpicks in their skin. Their skin is like armor. This army stands tall. Their feet are able to stand on the heights. This army of men, women, young and old is greater than the sea is wide.”

Confrontation is necessary for a life of victory; and because most of us spend our lives compromising we live lives of defeat. The Lord said, “You cannot begin to write about Transformation without laying a foundation of faith.” Your faith in the Word of God is the first confrontation that you will engage in and without it you will suffer endless defeats.

I want to gladly boast in the victories that I have won. The many accomplishments of the spirit and all the right decisions I have made. But they all would be empty without the knowledge of the source of my strength. If I had conquered in my own ability, what glory would it bring the Father? But through suffering, through the pain, the loss, the tears, the rage… The Lord transformed me. He made a saint out of a sinner. He made a prophet out of a liar. He made a wife out of a prostitute. He made a mother out of a barren woman. There is nothing impossible for God. Even my losses have been gains because I gained the knowledge of the Greatness. I gained the knowledge of His love and strength in the midst of my own weakness. The Lord has carried me and loved me and been the backbone of my life. Never before have I been so weak…yet, never before have I witnessed such strength.

This is a reminder to me and to all those who will be vulnerable before the Lord, that we were born to believe. Whatever this life has handed you, is but a temporary affliction, but the eternal things if God, faith, love, joy, peace, strength cannot be taken away. We are a fearless nation. We are transformers!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Into the Hands of God...The Brokenhearted will Fall

I cried. I wept. I snotted all over the place. I threw my hands up at God and said, “Whhhhhhyyyyyy?” for as long as I could without taking a breath. I murmured. I complained. I made suggestions. I countered. I made a case. I prayed. I gave thanks. I fasted. I suffered long. I obeyed. I tried. But near the end, right when I was about to give up, is when I knew. I knew deep down in my tired soul that I was born for this. Perhaps, if I hadn’t been so wounded and preoccupied with the pain, I would have KNOWN it sooner. After all, I had chosen the road less traveled. We, all, who see beyond, natural circumstances, have had to make the faith fall aka the trust test. God, stands behind you in a circle of friends. Your back is to Him, you don’t see him, but you know that He is there.

He beckons to you, “Trust Me.”

You say, “You mean, watch me fall?”

He laughs, more like a giggle, actually more like a roar of thunder. The sound is hearty. You feel lightheaded but at ease. You take the dive. And, Walla, you’re there, in the hands of God.

I wanted to remind you and me that we are in the hands of God. And with Him there is no failure. I know it’s been a difficult journey and the dream, we've been holding onto since childhood, has seemed to tarry longer than we ever expected. But I want you to know that your faith in God wasn’t in vain. Everything He said is 100% true. He didn’t lie to you. I woke up this morning with a strange song in my head, “Would I lie to you?” by the British duo, The Eurhythmics. The hook goes a little something like this, "Would I lie to you honey? Would I say something to you that wasn’t true?” The answer to this question, if God was posing it, is simply, “No.” He would not lie to you and He would not tell you something that was not true. You must love him and trust him. As he loves you and trust you with his word.

A few months ago, the Lord spoke to me and he said, “I want you to be fearless.” This call to fearlessness is so necessary to the advancement of God’s kingdom in the earth. Fear is a liar. It is a False, Expectation, Appearing Real. It presents the worst case scenario every single time. It never believes. I want to encourage you today, also, to be fearless. To look fear its dreadful eyes and say, “No more! I will not be afraid. I will put my trust in the Living God, whose love never fails, whose peace breaks every barrier. In him, will I trust.”

I know you have felt abandoned, disappointed, neglected, overlooked; but child of God, it has not been in vain. You have occupied the place that the Lord has commanded you. In secret you have sought him and interceded for others. And though they may not have acknowledged or seemed to appreciate anything that you have done. Know that the Lord has seen it all. And even still, while their lips betray you, you still believe better things concerning them. You will not be made ashamed says the Lord but you will receive double. Do not think that The Lord will not be good to you. Do not think that you have misjudged God’s ability or expected too much. But the Lord says I reward those who seek me diligently. He says what you do in secret I will reward you openly for. Do not envy anyone. Do not compare yourself. Do not be ashamed. But believe my word. Trust in me and know that I am good. I am unfailing love. I am the God who answers. I am the Lord.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Finish Well

It took me all day to write this. Though it was on my mind and in my heart, to spend some time alone with the Lord and to write, I found it hard to do. Considering the multiplied concerns that I face, the subject matter, of writing, though dear to my heart, seemed a back burner priority. Nevertheless, I found myself thinking about a conversation I had recently. I was in tears and I said, “God loves them, but doesn’t he love me too?” And my ever faithful husband said, “I know sweetheart, but Jesus could have said the same thing. He could have said, ‘God you love them, but what about me? I’m on this cross but what about me?’” He concluded with, “I just want you to finish well.” The day before, he had encouraged me to love and pray for people that I felt I had done a good service to. And his words to me, greatly grieved me. “Give more?” I thought, “I have nothing left to give.”

Oh, how dreadful those words sound to me now, “What about me?” Here “she” goes again, on her self-pity parade, singing that same old song, “Poor little me, just trying to do what’s right and everything in this terrible world is against me.” I was dreadfully afraid of being condemned in this prison of fear and failure once again. Had I done what I was supposed to? And if not, how much longer must I suffer? How much farther into this dark tunnel must I go? After all, I had been fool enough to say, “Lord, not my will but your will be done. Show me your glory. Reveal yourself through me. Lord, if I lose everything for your namesake and end up living in a car with my husband and my babies then it will be worth it just to know that I have done what you asked.” I had been that fool. And that wrapped up in God’s presence to believe that I really could just lie down and die to my own desires and personal ambitions… just to be that much closer to the love of my eternal soul, Jesus.

Oh, how soothing the promise is in my ears that God’s grace is sufficient. How beautiful the reminder that no matter how pitiful my faith that God remains faithful. I heard, a renowned evangelist, Joseph Prince, say this week, that “God is not anxious” about anything. He’s patient. He’ll take his time. He’ll wait for it, the it in you that he knows is there. Romans 5:5 says, “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” His great desire for us is that we would overflow with love. That even in our hardships, we would be so convinced of God’s love, that nothing could defer it. That we would be partakers of the hope that makes us so fearlessly flawless in matters of love. It is this love that never fails to believe.

I was expecting a major breakthrough, a tangible change to occur in my immediate future that has taken longer than expected. I staked my peace on this milestone. And once again, the Lord reminded me that my faith is in Him, not in the resulting occurrences because of my relationship to him. I want to encourage myself and you with these words. There is nothing that you and I are experiencing, no battle we are in that has never been fought before. There is no fear that cannot be overcome by faith. There is no door that God has opened that anyone can shut. You and I were made for this victory. The unfailing love of God resides in us. Don’t pout. Stop crying. Quit complaining. Just finish well. Fearless Nation, Let’s Go!

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Wait For It

Waiting? Got patience? Staying power? Ability? Wait for it. Some weeks ago I was inspired to write on the subject of transformation and when I woke up unusually early yesterday morning, I was reminded that I never quite got around to blogging about it. As I considered this, I thought about my own transformation and the whimsical expression of God through those changes. Change is a natural progression of life. We live for it. We wait for what will be. We venture to anticipate the unknown, but often times find ourselves revisiting the past. For what can man predict? What can man really be sure of, other than what God reveals? We think, but we don’t really know anything. We read books and we consider them true on the basis of the opinion or research of the one who finds it. We say “this person is legitimized by their study and therefore their words must be true since I have no knowledge of it.” But education does not make for perfect men and women. Knowledge, according to the Bible, puffs up but love edifies. (See 1 Cor. 8:1) It makes a man or woman, who depends on knowledge, inevitably unkind to those who lack what they have. Knowledge, without love, demeans those who are absent of it. Whether it is creative, self, social, brain or religious knowledge… knowledge though it appears to make one better, only segregates those who have it from those who do not, if not tempered by love.

If my knowledge does not have a vein of love in it, then it is only useful to me and no one else. It builds me up, in my self-awareness. It boasts of my successes and my reigning power; but it does not lend a hand to the needy. And this, failure to love, is the tragedy of men. For what do I have that wasn’t given to me? The breath of life, the bend of my hair, the framework hidden beneath my skin, the heart that beats so violently in my chest pumping blood throughout my body without end. The very ability to know, comprehend and understand was not measured to me on the basis of any knowledge I attained. Life was given to me and every day I have the choice to either live with the knowledge of that gift or to deny the very power at work within me. It may seem an odd consideration but I could not begin to talk about transformation, without addressing the nature of man’s need to know. We seek knowledge under the guise of preparedness, readiness and responsibility. But if our knowledge does not end in love, it is fruitless behavior. The transforming power of God is limited in us, the realm of our influence and the fullness of our innate gifts is never reached.

Several months ago I faced tremendous fear. I could not see my way out of a situation and I was tormented by my disability. I wanted to KNOW what I had done, where I held failed and why I was not getting the results I had anticipated. I had been obedient, faithful, knowledgeable concerning God’s promise and seemingly unrewarded. I saw no worth in my testimony and I pitied myself. I thought, “What a shame? All of these promises from God and I will see none of them. Perhaps, they are for my children and not me. I do not have the strength to believe God concerning this anymore.” But God said to me, “If you have me, you have everything you need. Your value is in Me.” He said to me, “You are awesome. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you are doing. You are awesome. You are the canvas of my heart.” He had taken notice of me and did not pity me. Rather, he esteemed me as awesome. I had misplaced my victorious destiny in the future, when I needed only see my worth in the here and now. In the dreaded place, between belief and transition, I was transformed. I saw a picture of God’s awesomeness, through his love for me. And if I had not waited, but allowed the knowledge of my circumstance to betray me, I would not have seen this transformation as I do now.

Awesomeness is contagious. The awesomeness of God is like a fragrance and a fire. (See 2 Cor. 2:14-15, Zec. 2:5)How awesome are you? Not sure? Wait for it. The promises of God will inevitably manifest in our lives. He does not and will not make a promise to you that he is unwilling to keep. The store of our faith, belief in his word and our prayers overflows generations. No prayer we have prayed will go unanswered. Though it linger. Wait for it. Though you face rejection. Wait for it. Though you suffer. Wait for it. Wait for his strength to be revealed. Wait for His love to be displayed. Wait for the courage to face your fears. Because his promise to you is this,

“For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3

The certainty of transformation is realized when our knowledge of God’s promises are met with impossibility. To venture in the boat of faith, one must rely on God as captain, sail, wind and wave. Though we may be thrust and tossed about a sea of impossibilities, our hope remains. That is the staying power of the knowledge of God’s love expressed through his will to give, you and I, life abundant. The uncertainty of life is not in God’s nature but in our own. When we compare his nature to our human nature, we display fear, angst and distrust. Our knowledge of life and death compels us at every turn to self-preserve. When we are met with difficulty, our mind searches for answers; and it wants to know, why this is happening and how can I fix it? But true faith doesn’t consider why or how, because neither answer can foretell the ability of God. Instead, true faith, relies on the knowledge of God’s unfailing love expressed through His son, Jesus Christ, to make dead things live again, impossible situations to turn out good, awesomeness to come to ignoble people. Why? Because He can. Just wait for it.

Awesomeness is Contagious

Awesomeness is contagious. The awesomeness of God is like a fragrance and a fire. (See 2 Cor. 2:14-15, Zec. 2:5)How awesome are you? Not sure? Wait for it. The promises of God will inevitably manifest in our lives. He does not and will not make a promise to you that he is unwilling to keep. The store of our faith, belief in his word and our prayers overflows generations. No prayer we have prayed will go unanswered. Though it linger. Wait for it. Though you face rejection. Wait for it. Though you suffer. Wait for it. Wait for his strength to be revealed. Wait for His love to be displayed. Wait for the courage to face your fears. Because his promise to you is this, “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Runaway Slave

Slavery brings up horrifying images of a dark and painful past. It grips at the heart and makes one wonder, how could this horrible trade have been a part of our American history? The murky shadows of hatred and the uneasy subject matter cannot veil the reality of this terrible page in history. Some might even agree, that, slavery’s legacy of prejudice and greed continues to influence the current culture. It is not something you go into the world everyday thinking about, at least I don’t. But I thought of it over the weekend and it seemed a witty comparison to my current state of mind. As I sat at home, Saturday after a morning of prayer, humming a melody from my new anthem, “Break Every Chain” by Jesus Culture, I thought of my enslavement. Not currently, physically bound to a brutal master who demanded me work in da fil pickin duh cutton. But, the enslavement of the mind, that traps one to a situation, a relationship, or a job that demands you to work for nothing and repays with abuse. I thought of the culture and how many of us are slaves to what the culture deems as important and necessary. The artificial way that we communicate with one other and the haphazard way we live. Are we all unappreciative, miserable little wretches desperately trying to make are unstable selves secure with faulty brand names and self gratifying philosophies? Surely not. I know some people that are legit. Ride or die. Down for whatever. But they come few and far between. So, I asked myself, are you a slave or a runaway slave? Am I bound to a situation, afraid to runaway or am I free? Am I chain breaker? To compliment the fact that yes, I am an African American who came to these blessed lands by means of slavery, yet having a lineage of men and women who broke through the chains of their oppression. Not by means of physical power or executive power; but by way of their spiritual power. These people, however, socially, economically destitute believed that they “was kind, smart and important.” (Adapted from The Help, novel) I was also reminded, in this rehearsing of history, of this faithful scripture in 2 Corinthians “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (Chapter 4: 17-18 NIV) Something on the inside of them caused them to see beyond the present condition. It was this foresight and belief that obliterated their temporary state and catapulted them to a state of being that was not limited to time and space. Likewise, you and I have the same opportunity; and whatever our past enslavement or less than stellar areas of our lives are, we don’t have to be chained to it anymore. Christ has become the chain breaker. He has broken the chains of your past and set you free. Galatians 5:1 exhorts us in this way, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” How meaningful is that to you? Freedom. God spoke to me, and he said, “I want you to be free and I want you to be fearless. I want you to know that I love you and that I am with you. It doesn’t matter what is going on, if you have me you have everything.” I read a cool pin-up on Pinterest over the weekend, and it simply said “If you woke up today, with everything that you thanked God for yesterday would you be happy?” I am not willing to give up the eternal things of God for the temporal things of this life. And that to me is freedom. I am a runaway slave. I am free. My freedom came at a cost. Jesus paid it on the cross. No matter the tragedy. I count it all joy. Every loss has become a gain. The victory has been won. Peace He gives And does not take it away I am happy because I am free. Sing with me. Run with me. I am free.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Reality Check

As I walked the tree laced streets of Valencia, CA yesterday afternoon, I took note of the various buildings and structures along the way. The carefully paved sidewalks. The tranquil breeze. The man smoking in the bushes flipping through his cell phone. The cars whisking by with drivers desperate to clock back in from their lunch hours. I thought of the calls that might be missed as I walked the tree laced streets. My headphones provided an escape from the monotony and I tuned into the voice of the spirit as He whispered to me. I nodded in agreement, “This is not my reality. This is not real. The heartache. The trials & tribulations. The arguments. The frustrations. The disease. The lack. The whatever is bothering me in this very moment. Is not real.” As I thought on this, I realized what is real. I said to the Lord, “My reality is your word. The things you have spoken to me in that secret place that is what is real. Your promises are real. The peace and joy that I have in your presence that is real. This other stuff is a lie. And whatever does not hold up to the truth of your word is not my reality.” The Spirit of God has painted a picture of your reality with His own words. Can you see it? Do you hear Him? He says, “You are healed. You are set free. You have peace that surpasses all understanding. You have the strength of an eagle. You have wisdom greater than kings. You are more than a conqueror. Your paths drip with abundance. Goodness and mercy follow you. You awake to brand new mercies every day. You are fruitful and blessed. You have more than enough. You are a spring whose waters never fail. Your life is preserved. You are filled with joy in his presence. You are the fragrance of Christ. You have food to eat that money cannot buy. Your children are all blessed. You are the temple of the Holy Spirit. You have been given power to succeed. You are a partaker of God’s goodness and unfailing love. You are destined for victory. You are never alone. You are protected and shielded from all harm. You cannot fail. You have received grace, strength and mercy to do extraordinary things. You are wonderfully made. You are considered by God, the apple of his eye.” Yes. This is your reality. Only believe.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fearless Nation

Fearless people cannot die, even in the grave their spirit lives… I feel a tremendous burden to share with you something that the Lord spoke to my spirit yesterday.
He said, “Child of God I want you to be fearless.” I want you to be unafraid and full of faith. Do not fear anything. He reminded me of the Valley of the Dry bones in the book of Ezekiel. In the text, he asked the prophet, “Can these bones live?” Ezekiel answered, “Only you know Lord.” Then the Lord caused breath to enter into them and flesh formed on the once dry bones. And they stood up a great army. The Lord said to my spirit, “I have an army of people, lying down dead.” He said, “See now, I breathe fresh life into them. Will they stand up and live?” I said to the Lord, “Only if they are fearless.” The bible says that faith must be living. Our faith must be alive… Our faith is made alive through belief in Christ. Our belief is made alive through corresponding action. To stand on the word of God, to believe the word of God and to boldly confess it without fear. It is our fear that causes us to disobey the Lord. Too many what ifs? And how can this be? Enter into our thought processes and we weaken ourselves by our own fear. We seek to self preserve and we end up losing more of the life giving spirit of Christ. We crucify him, the Christ, by denying his resurrection power, again and again through our disbelief and fear. Child of God, I am convinced of something very powerful concerning you. The Lord lives. And he has entrusted to you, the mysteries of the cross. He is manifesting Himself through you in this very hour. We have asked him, Lord, show yourself powerful. Reveal yourself to me. And the Lord’s reply is this, “I have shown myself powerful. I have revealed myself, but you did not expect that I would reveal myself THROUGH you. You have been looking for houses, and cars and money and things to dictate to you my pleasure with you; but these are easy things to do. See how I have clothed the fields? See how the sky is adorned? These all speak of my wonder. They display my beauty and my majesty. How much more, my sons and daughters should show my glory and goodness? But fear, has clouded your perception. You have not fully understood what has been given to you in Christ. You have not engaged your faith.” You say, “I believe you Lord.” But when I ask you to do something you disobey. When you do obey you complain. You complain because you fear that my word is not true. Oh how I have longed to see you beautifully adorned, glistening and white without blemish and without scar. But you forbade me, with dark fear, the terrors in your soul. The mountains you fought to climb when I said to you, “speak to the mountain and it will be moved.’ You did not always listen to me, but I have not forgotten my promise. I will not turn away from you, as you did me. My love is unfailing and I will see you yet alive and full of faith. You are mine and I am yours. I restore to you this day, the love you once had for me, at the beginning. And you will surely stand up a great army. Yes, my people will stand and not perish. They will live and have dominion in the earth. They will manifest my goodness in the earth and showcase my glory for they will be fearless.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Letter NO 1

Her head hangs low, her eyes do not meet his She appears weak, unstable, uncertain at first And then he extends his hand, forms his words, And says, “My Beloved, you are the apple of my eye. My one true love.” She cries, she lifts her head She says with a quiet whisper… “I love you too.” Truly there is no love like the love of God. If you are single, married and lonely, dating somebody but still longing, let me just tell you … that you are special and dear. Wonderful and beautifully formed… and most of all LOVED! Can you just hear Him, say it through the pages of this screen? I love you ... I love you ... I love you… Not for what you did… or what you do... who you are…or who you’re not… not because of the car you drive... or the bus you ride... not because of the expense of your shoes or the fineness of your hair…not because you got a “man” or lost a good one… not because you’re smart… or cute… but simply because HE LOVES YOU!!!! I was struck with awe over the weekend. I began to just think about how great God’s love is. I began to cry. I said, “Lord, your LOVE means everything to me.” I remember when I first came to know Jesus. All that mattered to me was that He loved me. I would cry and cry because I couldn’t believe that someone so great and awesome could love me so completely. I had never experienced a love so tangible yet so super natural. I can’t help it. Sometimes I have to remind myself; and go to that place in my mind and suffer the pain of remembering what it was like to not know that I was loved by God, and by doing so I learn to appreciate His love all the more. Too often we are in hot pursuit of a happiness that looks the part but empty of the joy only the Lord can give. We seek out the fulfillment of promises and dreams yet forget the most important thing of all… The love of God... Not just my love for him, which becomes limited when my thinking is focused on what I think I can do for him. Truth is, I have done nothing for God that he didn’t first do for me. And so a trail of humility begins to flood the teary eye, and I with gladness I receive His LOVE for me. His love is deeper than a caress and sweeter than a kiss. His love touches you on the inside. His love fills you with life. His love fastens you. His love makes you bold. His love heals you. His love gives you strength. His love is the best thing that has ever happened to you and to me. There is no love like his. So on this Valentine’s day, I want everybody to know somebody loves you… and His name is Jesus… Jesus… Jesus, there is something about that name…. Hallelujah. In his Love.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

No More Chaos...

As I worshipped the Lord this morning the Lord said to my spirit, “The chaos is over.” It’s over here and it’s over there, but the chaos is also over within you. As I meditated in the word this week and pondered on a number of inconsistencies in my own character, I said to the Lord, “Let the mediation of my heart be pleasing to you.” So often, we go about our lives and never take an introspective look at ourselves. We never stop and think “How can I better?” Most times, we’re saying if this person would do this or if this situation didn’t exist then “I” would be better or I wouldn’t have to deal with “this”. But it is the quiet mediations if our hearts that proves where I faith lies. I can speak BIG things when I have an audience of people looking at me, watching my life. What if there is only an audience of one? Who is watching my life when no one is watching? Who hears my thoughts? Who knows Natrietia outside of her occupation? Her role as a wife and mother? Who knows the depth of my own heart and will but God. And so, when I am faced with difficult circumstances will I fade away into the comfort of my complaints about this or that; or will I meditate in God’s word and believe that I am triumphant in Him. Surely the chaos has ended within. This trial, child of God, Daughter of Zion has ended in you! The chaos that raged within that attempted to steal your peace is over! The chaos that tried to distract you is over! The chaos that tried to get you unbalanced and make you fall. That chaos has ended! Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” We have a responsibility to protect whatever we let into our hearts because it is what is in our hearts that will direct us. There are many things that we keep in our heart. We hold so many things dear. We treasure our families and the memories that we share. We treasure our possessions. We treasure our lives. The things that we treasure we care for. And that is not a bad thing. But what we treasure should not weary us. Luke 10: 41-42 describes a woman who was full of cares. She treasured her name. She was a hard worker. She kept a clean house. She cooked a good meal. She had such a good name in her community that she even had Jesus as an invited guest. I mean, we’re not talking President Obama. We’re talking son of God, water walker, healer of the sick, Messiah. So, she had a reputation and a good name. She treasured and wearied herself trying to do everything to be super woman. So much so that she got angry at her “lazy” sister who did nothing but sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to him talk. She said (I’m paraphrasing) “Jesus, make her get up. I’m doing all the work and I’m worried that it won’t get done.” Jesus said, (I’m paraphrasing) “You’re worried about a lot. Your sister isn’t. And that’s a good thing.” So stop worrying. It’s time for you to rest at the feet of Jesus and listen to him talk. There are wonderful promises waiting there for you. There is peace in His Presence, unlimited goodness and abundant life! The Lord said to me, “These are the good times!” It’s time to rejoice. The chaos has ended for those who believe in and trust in the goodness of God. Give thanks!

The Preparation of the Spirit

The spirit of God reminded me of the scripture, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” (John 14:6) He said, whatever you need right now, I am the way, the very substance of it and the giver of it. If you need healing, I am that healing. If you need patience, I am the giver of it. If you need finance, I am your provision. Whatever the need, I am the answer. So I said to the Lord, “What do I need to do?” My humanity says, “if something is going to get done then I have to do it.” But, I have been called to live a very different life, one that opposes my human nature, and believes contrary to its common sense. I heard a wise man say, “common sense is foolishness to God because there is nothing ‘common’ about God.” God is not common, he is exceptional and everything he does exceeds expectations. The moment that I step out of the place of commonality is the moment that I step into the supernatural wonders of God through faith! When I asked God, “What do I do?” He said, “Believe.” Simply, believe. What you believe you will see in your life. It will become a reality for you.

He said, “I am putting a picture in the hearts and minds of my people. They are seeing themselves as I see them. Not in the darkness of religion and condemnation, but in the brightness and light of Jesus Christ.” When you look in the mirror, you will see the reflection of Christ. You will see healing. You will see peace. You will see prosperity. You will see glory. You will see forgiveness. You will see Christ in you, when you begin to look at Him. You think you’re not ready. You feel like you have to get all your ducks in row. You feel your weakest. But God says, “…when you are weak, then you are strong.” (2 cor. 12:10) You have been waiting for a moment to feel like you’re ready and the spirit of God is saying, “I have made you ready. Everything you have been going through was the preparation of the spirit for what is coming your way.” You have already won this fight. The battle has been won! The chaos is over! Now is time to rejoice!

Father, I thank you that you have made us ready for our future. You have laid a foundation of faith in our hearts and have taken away the guilt of sin through the blood of Jesus Christ. I thank you that daily I am reminded of your unfailing love and uncompromised truth. You are the truth. You are the way. You are the life. Thank you for the preparation of your spirit. You have made us ready and you are bringing us to the place that you have prepared. “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.” Exodus 23:20