Painting The Roses Red


“As much as we thirst for approval we dread condemnation.” -Hans Selye

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God has really put it on my heart to write on the subject of honesty.

While witnessing to several people over this past month, I noticed that the majority of them seemed to share the same feelings of unworthiness and regret.

Worse however, they all seem to be in the same season of denial in regards to their situations.

In one way or another, each person had expressed to me that they were feeling lost. That they could not seem to find one glimmer of hope. Absent of faith and out of patience.

Immediately a familiar song, “Painting The Roses Red” , from Lewis Carroll’s Alice and Wonderland popped into my head.

(Click the link above to view lyrics)

Many people claim to be living a happy life, but in actuality they are only hiding behind the walls of what they believe happiness should look like to others.

If we are living only on the outside, but dying on the inside, that kind of suffering can only remain undetected for so long.

When we try to paint our hearts red (full of love, God, goodness and purpose) but can’t even feel them beating in our chests, we set ourselves up for inevitable damage.

When our lives become more like lies then we need to be aware that God eventually will expect us to reveal our true colors.

If we do not get honest with ourselves and others willingly, God will most definitely allow circumstances in our lives to do it for us.

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“The white rose is the symbol of purity and innocence. However, if everyone were to be a white rose, none would truly be white. We grow, we make mistakes, and who doesn’t bleed nor have a scar? Painting the roses red is our cycle of life in all it’s mystery.
Everyday of life is another day towards deaths arms…Are you living or dying?
Reality: Life is the ONLY most contradicting phenomena ever.
How good of a painter are you?”- Philosophy by MKR

James 4:6 – God shows favor to the humble and oppressed

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The reason our faith grows grey and our hearts lose their beat is not because God has forgotten about us or because we are not useful to Him any longer.

Faith fades when we suffocate our spirit and live to serve our flesh.

If we lose hope in God then that means we have put too much of it in the world.

We cannot be two shades of ourselves in this life. If we are on fire for God and trust in His plans for us, the embers of that fire should burn brightly for the world to see!

If we refuse to be the color God needs us to be in a black and white world, we cannot be surprised when we are left feeling dull, inadequate, or bored while others beautifully color the pages.

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“The absence of flaw in beauty is itself a flaw.” -Havelock Ellis

God knows your heart, your desires, and your priorities.

He created us all with beautiful flaws, each of us a unique shade of who He is, and collectively we are breathtaking by His design.

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“Lean too much on the approval of people, and it becomes a bed of thorns.” -Tehyi Hsieh

If your heart is hurting, don’t paint a coat of denial over it thinking nobody will notice.

God knows what is underneath.

Be sure you remain true to what’s right; remain true to the truth.

Short cuts to happiness will only leave you with short term happiness.

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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Maryanne Williamson

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. – 2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)

Breaking Away From They


As you start your day, your week, your mission,  this new season, be sure that what you are laboring for is also laboring for you!

If you’re a bit sick to your stomach from all that is going on around you and a bit heavy laden from what lies before you on that never ending “to do list”, rest assured that all of us are also feeling very much overwhelmed.

While this pandemic is by all means relentless, we must not forget that the love of our heavenly Father is far more relentless and that He is mighty to save.

How can one be saved though if they refuse to call out for help?

How can we go on about our daily lives in fear, while pretending we have it all together?

This happened every year when they went to the Lord ‘s house in Shiloh. Peninnah would say bad things to Hannah to cause her to cry.

Then Hannah would not eat anything. Hannah’s husband, Elkanah said to her ‘I do not know why you are crying. I do not know why you are not eating. You should not be sad. I am better than 10 sons.’

One day they were at Shiloh. They had finished eating and drinking. Hannah stood up. Eli the priest was sitting by the door of the Lord ‘s temple. Hannah was very, very sad. She cried very much and she prayed to the Lord.

And she said a promise to God. She prayed, ‘You are the Lord Almighty. See how sad I am. I am your servant. Remember me and do not forget me. Please give a son to me. If you do that, I will give him back to you for all of his life. Nobody will ever cut his hair

– ‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭1:7-11‬

All the times you think you are waiting on God He is actually waiting on you…to speak up!

God cannot address the sorrow, the pain, the bitterness or the confusion we choose to bury down in our hearts and try to block away from our minds.

The enemy is a thief and a liar, but sometimes  it’s God that allows us to walk though unpleasant circumstances in order to provoke us to reach our breaking point.

The point where, like in the above passage, Hannah finally reaches after years of being provoked and prevented from properly giving her sorrow over to Lord.

The point where we ourselves stand up and open our mouths to confront Him about things that have been weighing us down.

We cannot stay in the place we are or operate the same anymore and shout

THAT’S ENOUGH!

God…

“I cant do this anymore!”

“I want to know why my friend is sick?”

“Why did my family have to go through this?”

“Why is all this happening to me when I had it all together?”

This direct confrontation with Him about our private pain, sorrow or rage not only brings us back from self reliance and back into His arms and protection, but it allows us to be honest with ourselves about the things we often try to distract ourselves from, but then wonder why things never seem to change. 

A direct confrontation with what is holding us back is what will allow us to walk forward into Gods promises over our lives.

We must ask God to use our suffering as a seed. The fruit that grows from sharing our story with others does not go to us it goes back to God where in belongs.

He gets the credit not us and His people seek His face not the strength of us or other people.

Asking God to relieve you of your circumstances so that you can feel better about  your own works or to spare your ego will leave you unanswered and in turn resentful.

I too am very familiar with what it is to be priority challenged. Sometimes, actually, most of the time, I find myself easily getting  lost in the world’s whirl wind of distractions.

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Now more than ever it is critical that we focus on today and that we begin to

Break Away From They 

Theyare those that tell you it is hopeless or you never will.

Theyare toxic relationships or friendships that block you from spending time with God so He may reveal to you the mighty purpose He has on your life.

Today, no matter how small it may seem to you in comparison to the big mess our world Is in, make sure that you make it a priority to do something to

Break Away From They

Theybeing old patterns of your own behavior that have you stuck on settling.

Most of us work so hard at anything to try and feel alive and that we have a bigger purpose. We often toil in vain and are only left feeling drained and defeated while doing a whole lot of nothing at all.

There is no peace without purpose and there is no purpose without a plan.

As we walk through this season let us ask the Lord to restore in us our passion and reveal to us our purpose.

Let us never stop praising Him in our progress and loving one another in our pursuit of breaking away from they.

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To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.

(Colossians 1:29 NKJV)

Saying I’m Sorry: Relentless Repentance


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“Let us be very gentle with our neighbors’ failings, and forgive our friends their debts as we hope ourselves to be forgiven.” -William Makepeace Thackeray

The song featured below, Luck by American Authors, beautifully expresses the art of saying I am sorry.
Personally, the lyrics hit so close to home in regards to my testimony that I wanted to share them with all of you!

When I finally accepted accountability for my horrible behavior as an addict, the next step of recovery was to try and rectify the relationships I had destroyed because of my actions.
I was awful to my family, my friends, myself and to God.
I had so much to apologize for and for the first time in a long time, I sincerely sought to be forgiven.
Unfortunately, some things cannot be repaired after so much damage has been done, but that has not stopped me from relentless repentance.
We are not always forgiven by the people we have done harm to, but by grace we are always forgiven when seeking God’s forgiveness.

Although my days of destruction and addiction are over, I now make it a priority to tell God I am sorry when I am wrong every single day.

Please listen to this inspiring song to get more of a glimpse of how I said I’m sorry then, why I say I’m sorry now, and why I am forgiven by God forever!
I have provided the lyrics for you to read!
God bless you all and be forgiven! Say your sorry and mean it! That’s all it takes.

I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down,” says the Lord GOD. “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.” (Ezekiel 34:15-16 NKJV)

LUCK– lyrics by
American Authors

How can we make amends when we said all we said?
I call and you don’t pick up
How can I say instead that I hope it’s for the best?
I won’t, and I won’t give up

I’m sorry, Mother
I know I let you down
I’m sorry for how I up and left this town

How can we push aside all the bad and make it right
Now you got me all choked up
I’m sorry, brother
I know I let you down
I’m sorry for how I up and left this town
Please just listen cause I don’t ask for much
I am my own man
I make my own luck

How can we both pick sides when we know nothing’s right?
Open up the door that’s shut
How can I have my pride and drink away my soul tonight?
Sorrow’s filling up my cup

I’m sorry, Father
I know I let you down
I’m sorry for how I up and left this town
Please just listen cause I don’t ask for much
I am my own man
I make my own luck

Well some birds aren’t meant to be caged
And I just can’t see the light of day

Please forgive me
I can’t remember
Please forgive me
no one is calling
Please forgive me
I can’t believe it
No…

Gonna pick myself up, so I don’t let this ever grow
Even if I mess up, I won’t let this ever go
It’s hard to stay
It’s hard to stay
Cause some birds aren’t meant to be caged

How can I set us free?
I’m what you taught me to be
Shouldn’t that be enough?
It’s time that we make amends
Let’s forget the things we said
You know we were all just talk

I’m sorry, Mother
I know I let you down
I’m sorry, Father
I didn’t stick around
Please just listen cause I don’t ask for much

Uneven Exchange: Freedom For Failing


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There are ties that hold us to trial and chains that bind us to our fears. The way we choose to do things on our own is the very thing that keeps us from the freedom we so desperately hope for.
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There is peace in sweet surrender and there is gain in our letting it go. We cannot accept what God has planned for our lives while clutching on to what we are or what we need. The hardest part of beginning is ending what was. So many of us go nowhere on purpose because we are comfortable where we are. So many of us remain in our circumstances even when we are miserable just because we are afraid of what we don’t see. We settle, we struggle, and we stay.

“Spiritual progress is like detoxification. Things have to come up in order to be released. Once we have asked to be healed, then our unhealed places are forced to the surface.” -Marianne Williamson

The surrender of all you have to God includes your mind, your body, your spirit, your plans, your past and your problems. It includes your fears, your feelings, your fears and your failures. We have to be willing to give it all to God and let Him keep it. We cannot beg for freedom and ask to take our chains as souvenirs.

Give me all of you!!! I don’t want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work. I want YOU!!! ALL OF YOU!! I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman, but to KILL IT! No half measures will do. I don’t want to only prune a branch here and a branch there; rather I want the whole tree out! Hand it over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them ALL over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self—in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart. C. S. Lewis

Time after time we beg God to take our burdens or circumstances and ask Him to give us the things we want instead. God is mighty to save and He will come to the aid of all who seek Him, but do we even consider how insane that in itself is??
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We do not deserve a thing from God, but He tells us we are loved. We fail Him daily and in exchange He gives us freedom. We give Him our fear and He fills us with bravery. We give Him our hearts when they are broken and He gives us His own son to heal them again. God does not do this once for just one of us. He does is over and over and over now and forever. He longs for the tears we shed and He conquers all of the things that cause them to fall.

Give God your failures and He will show you what true freedom is. Until we can open our hands, God cannot hold them. Until we give Him our hearts He cannot heal them.

LET GO AND LET GOD
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[as a woman]

A Much Needed Reminder


Ok everyone. God has cleverly allowed me to stumble upon this gem of a song in order to get my heart right before bed tonight.

I have not listened to this song in almost two years because it made me miss my bestest friend Regina who moved away. Gina and I used to sing this song every day to all the grumpy people on the 405 in traffic to make them laugh.

I am going to post it for you all now in hopes of getting a laugh or two outta you!

We should be happy always because God has told us the battle has already been won by the blood of His Son!

When He said IT IS FINISHED He meant it!
Rejoice in the Lord you guys. Laugh in the face of fallace.

It sometimes takes a little video like this to remind me of what I know. To snap the fun back in being a follower. We all deserve better than the world tells us we are worth, but Jesus said we are gonna have wait a little while.


Please take a minute and watch this. If you don’t feel better afterwards let me know and I will pray for you. Soundtrack of my life right here… Enjoy

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Faithfully Flawed


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“Adaptability is not imitation. It means power of resistance and assimilation.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Dear God,

The pain of the world is causing my pain.
The attacks of the enemy are making people act insane.
I do not regret the cause of my scars.
For the ways that you have trained me.
They are such a small price to pay considering You actually spared me.
Your hands are a reminder and your feet once tired like mine.
A body can easily be broken, but the spirit does not fear time.
We are beat up,we are fed up, we are caught up, we’re flawed.
Yet you stay right beside us, You guide us, You even beg to be our God.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights
(Habakkuk 3:19)

When I was caged in the darkness, when hope was far away and when the light seemed uninterested.
You reached for me, took hold of me and then Your plan manifested.

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“The absence of flaw in beauty is itself a flaw.” -Havelock Ellis

We act like children on a ferris wheel, around and around we go.
We like to lose ourselves to the world so quickly, but when it comes to walking with You we’ve never been so slow! !
Addicted, conflicted, almost admitted, I have always been flawed.
Yet You pick up my heart everytime I seem to drop it to show me You’re still my God.

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You are so much more than we can know and most of us are afraid.
That despite the sacrifice You made for our sake, the promise never was made.

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Father forgive us, some of us know just what we do.
Some of us would rather die slowly instead of live for You.
The enemy waits in the shadows and preys on the unarmed.
He drowns the naive in his rivers of nonsense and most do not even realize they are being harmed.
Jesus, I am selfish, self absorbed, and can never find my phone.
I may be jaded, but with You I am never alone.

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You say I am a beautiful disaster, that we all are, and we were born to be flawed.
Why can’t we humble ourselves and realize You alone are God?

The enemy is a faker, but if he keeps fooling Your people, the joke is our eternity.
Please give me the strength to be the woman You need me to be.
To be a lamp,a hope, and the proof that although we are flawed,
That You will forever love us, eternally fight for us, and that there is a reason why You alone are our God.

Faithfully Flawed,
Erica D.

“Adaptability: A wise man adapts himself to circumstances as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it.” -Unknown

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Stranded: Survival of the Fittest


God is waiting eagerly to respond with new strength to each little act of self-control, small disciplines of prayer, feeble searching after him. And his children shall be filled if they will only hunger and thirst after what he offers.” –Richard Holloway

 

 

The Lord has taught me a few different things this week, but I have noticed that fear has been the common denominator of each lesson. This post is what I took away from the subject and hope it reaches some of your hearts who may be going through a season of fear or insecurity.

 

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I have talked a lot about fear both here at My Message and on my on line radio show Turning Your Mess Into Your Message, but when the opportunity of addressing the issue presents itself I take it.

We are very much loved by a powerful and protective God. He asks very little of us yet paid a very big price for us and our salvation. We should acknowledge Him first in all things, be obedient when hearing His instruction and constant in our application of the wisdom He provides so that we may share it with those who need and deserve to know the power of His love is for them and everyone. The Lord showed me of course, the desert to illustrate the point. We get caught up in and with things that seduce us and cause us to start seeing things which do not really exist. Such mirages are used by the enemy to take us deeper into the desert of our lives only to leave us lost there stranded and scared to death we can’t get back. You all remember 40 days and 40 nights as well as the enemy trying to run the same game on Jesus in the wilderness!

It is so important to know that no one is perfect and God knows when you’re going to get a bit lost sometimes. God does not expect us to be perfect, but He has given us the tools needed to better our lives. He teaches us daily through His Word, has blessed us with the ability to pray and communicate with Him and has promised that no matter how deep the waters or big the desert, we are with Him. Do not get stuck on stupid when the enemy baits you with false fear.

James 1

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“Any existence deprived of freedom is a kind of death.” -Gen Michel Aoun

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pray

A particular song has really resonated with my spirit this week and while I was writing this post. Oceans, by Hillsong United, is featured below for you to hear. The lyrics are also provided because they beautifully express to you the main idea behind this message and the concept of living boldly in your faith. We need to put serious thought into the roles each of us play during our time here and be confident that God is with us at ALL times. He is preparing us for any and every thing the enemy may try to use to keep us from peace and keep us in pieces.

Oceans

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

water

wipe

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Relapse: The Familiar Fall


A man should never put on his best trousers when he goes out to battle for freedom and truth. – Henrik Ibsen

A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox’s or bear’s, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.” -Meister Eckhart

Faces covered in mud, knees scraped and covered in blood.
Minds spinning like a DJ, while our focus fades away.
The way we are left when we run before we should,
The way we refuse to listen even though we could.
Groove slam work it back, one slip up and our world’s off track.
Where was our reverence when the hunger returned?
Why did we choose to repeat the lessons already learned?
Oh that’s right, we are but fools,
Dangle disaster in front of us and our mouths drool.
So much grace God, so much time,
Yet here we go playing ourselves one more time.
Help us to stop this track on repeat,
The melody of our old selves and our defeat.
With eyes full of tears, our ears are closed,
To your wisdom and to you telling us how not to end up below.
Tricky is the trap and we waltz right in,
Only to have You come and untangle us once again.
Help us to fall, but into Your peace,
To free us from the enemy’s grip only You can release.
Groove slam work it back, seek You first so we don’t relapse.
-Erica D

But You, Oh Lord, are a shield for me, My Glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill.

Psalm 3:3-4

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 4:8

Song Lyrics to the featured video of Freedom by Josh Garrels

Professional or beginner doesn’t matter
Every sinner is a prisoner in a body that is subject to time
Now my entwined mind tries to form a straight line
Not like twisted scoliosis of the spinal chord

Construct
Cross eyed carpenters are cuttin’ crooked lines
Can’t construct
Man-made shrines when the winds and the water move sands of time

Many minds on a deadline yet live life like a live wire
I’m not tired!
Of blood and fire
Spirit’s moving higher than the green grass ever lifted me

Spirit’s moving higher…
Than anything else ever lifted you
Mm see

We got spirituality
It’s living in us like one in three
Injustice is concerning me
In the non-linear eternity
I’m speaking paradoxically
But you can nod your head now when you understand me-e-e-ee…

This is for my free men
Whose backs wont bend in the lions den
Now with their eyes on the ending

This is for my free women!
They fight with their love
The bearers of our children

Free men whose backs wont bend in the lions den
Now with their eyes on the ending

This is for my free women
They fight with their love
The bearers of our children

We shine like lights exposing
What lies underneath decomposing
Unearth those chains that are rusted
My sweet Lord is that what I trusted in?
That sin? that tomfoolery? ugh!
What it is, is mental jewelry that I adorned myself with

The enemy’s gifts the man-made myths the ignorant bliss
Of marijuana spliffs and alcoholic fifths
I got so sick and tired of it

Delivered and redeemed
By Christ I mean
It’s time to start livin’
And get a reason for the rhyme

I don’t wanna be dead-wrong on the deadline
Standing on the dark side and all out of time…
Like a blind pantomime’s fantasize
Climb up his own ladder to the sunshine

Nothin’s mine
That hasn’t been given
No ones alive here
That hasn’t been risen
For 19 years i was trapped in a prison

Feeding my escape by means of derision
But every man-made attempt just failed
When trapped in a jail
Of my own guilt shame and iniquity

I was looking for freedom
How’d I find freedom?

Oh! oh freedom…
From all of this

He said believe
He said believe

Who are you telling me to belei-e-eve… yea
‘said I’m the Christ

Oh!
…He said I’m the Christ

So i believed.

Freedom!

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Spiritual Eclipse: One Foot In The World


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There is a light that lives peacefully in a town of darkness. A candle that burns happily in it’s own company while surrounded by show stoppers and candle wax wickedness. The flame of our spirit continues to fiercely flicker, not a bit intimidated by the uncertainty the darkness brings.

mywy

Each of us has a very rich nature and can look at things objectively, from a distance, and at the same time can have something more personal to say about them. I am trying to look at the world, and at myself, from many different points of view. I think many poets have this duality.
Wislawa Szymborska

While love kindles the fire of our spirit, God tirelessly protects it from burning itself out and from the winds of change always trying to catch it off guard. The light respects the need for it’s drab counter part, but the dark grows increasingly irritated by the sparkle constantly in it’s eye. Eventually it devises a plan to smother the spirit resulting in what I call a spiritual eclipse.
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Jesus continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You belong to this world; I do not. That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I AM who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.” “Who are you?” they demanded.
Jesus replied, “The one I have always claimed to be.” -John 8:23-25(NLT)

Duality. I think of it more as complexity. Some say it is a dilemma, but in reality it is war. For everything that is there must also be that which is not. Light and dark, good and evil, faith and fear, God and the enemy. It is impossible to have one without the other and as children of God living in the world, we are prime hosts to internally feed conflict and confusion.

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For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. – 2 Cor. 4:6(NLT)

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We must realize the light burning inside each of us is that of the spirit of God! There is nothing which can separate us from His protection or warmth of His love. We are all created to face the same challenge which is duality of self and spirit. We all have to try our hardest to burn brightly and confidently in spirit during constant worldly blackouts masked as trial. I can personally tell you the struggle to see in the pitch black of being unemployed is exhausting. If I simply allow God to work instead of always trying to figure things out, I would be led by His light instead of fumbling in necessarily over every obstacle the enemy places in my path to prosperity. The blockages to my blessings are my own reactions to trial and fear. To believe is to receive and it is not possible to believe God and live in fear of the enemy at the same time. We usually sabatoge our prosperity simply because we waste time trying to understands with our finite minds what God only could manifest.

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.
Audrey Hepburn

So many of us want to progress, but refuse to change moving forward. That is not how it works. We must be looking confidently ahead and be willing to surrender all fear and whatever else we are asked to by God to leave behind in order to walk into His will for us.

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God is the same today, tomorrow, and always despite our constant changing. He will always light our way as long as we do not block His plans out with our own. We remain in the shadow of a self created spiritual eclipse.

The enemy will use every trouble you can imagine to make you forget the peace that God has already given to you with Jesus. Get behind the light and in front of your destiny which God has promised. Embrace what you go through and who you are for the Kingdom. Believe Him when He tells you He loves you in life and In death. You are forever protects and do not have a need to fear.

Allow the shadows to shade you , but never allow them to fade you. Be brave, be blessed, burn bright!

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