365 Days of Growing Together
Hi WR2W, I want to empower us today to not allow anyone or anything to kill our dreams. Sometimes we get to a point in our life when we get tired of going through hardships. But, hardships are God ordained and a necessary part of shifting our purpose into destiny. These hardships are called “Dream Killers” and are meant to knock us off course. So, knowing this information, we must pick up our cross with a smile on our face and constant prayers to God in our heart and keep it moving. PLEASE NOTE: The question is not if hardships come to break us or make us stronger, but how do we respond when they do come, and the answer to that question, is we respond with a spirit of conqueror and not defeat. “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37 NKJV).
WR2W, let us take the story of Joseph for example. Joseph’s dreams were about his purpose and because Joseph was filled with the Holy Spirit, he knew these dreams meant he was destined for greatness and that he would one day rule. But because Joseph was still immature and somewhat naïve, he spoke what others was not mature enough to handle—his destiny. But thank God for his immaturity because what he spoke and when he spoke it was ordained by God to shift him from purpose into destiny. Therefore, hardships were necessary for Joseph’s destiny because he had not been through anything yet that would prepare him for the destination revealed in his dream. So, when the enemy sets traps for us, let us not complain, but view them as temporary stops on a battle ground to train us to be prepared to reign in excellence. No more feeling sorry for ourselves and resenting these “Dream Killers”, but it is time for us to start thanking God for them because they are a necessary part of the process of us becoming strong enough to handle anything, prepared for any situation, and better yet wise enough to handle the power that God has given us when we reach the dream of destiny fulfilled.
So, “Dream Killers”, thank you for the shifts in the hardships. And like many of us today, we are being shifted from being naïve to enslaved to imprisoned, but there is no need for us to worry because if we search deep enough we find that there is purpose in the pit of issues that brings us into isolation. Nevertheless, the shifts in the hardships have taught us that although we may be honest people with integrity, there are people who are carrying spirits inside of them that are bound to attack our purpose and shift us into our destiny. So again, thank you “Dream Killers” for the heartache, pain, disappointment, fear, and even doubt because all of it made us fall to our knees, draw closer to our God, and call on His name. Thank you for trying to kill our spirit which carries our dreams because all you did was push us on our knees when we could not fall on our own. Joseph was shifted from being a naïve Shepard boy to a slave to a convict and then a ruler. When Joseph’s brothers threw him in the pit then came back and sold him into slavery, they were shifting him closer to fulfilling his dream. Joseph’s destiny to rule was not in the Valley of Hebron in Canaan, it was not in Shechem, nor was it in Dothan; it was in Egypt, and although his “Dream Killers” did not know it, they were “shifting” Joseph up to feed them. Isn’t God good and won’t He do it? Yes, He will! So, WR2W, who is God “shifting” us up to feed? Each shift has purpose. I love each of you, be blessed, be encouraged, and be true!
365 Days of Growing Together
Hi WR2W, I want to encourage you today and everyday to “Put A Praise on It”! It is so important that we recognize God’s hand in every situation in our life and learn how to give Him thanks in all circumstances. For the scripture tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV), “Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for [us] in Christ Jesus.” So, if that is what the word instructs us to do then why are we not doing it? No more complaining and saying what God has not done, instead, let us thank Him in advance for what we have requested and are expecting Him to do. And yes, it is that simple so let us not say “it’s easier said than done” because we can prove this statement to be a lie simply by our actions. Every day let us get into the practice of thanking God for our current situation, no matter if it appears good or bad, again, in every circumstance we are to give Him thanks!
WR2W, God is waiting to hear our attitude of praise. Are we praising Him because this is what we feel we must do or are we praising Him because we are truly grateful for whatever state we are in and are taking delight in praising the God that we know is going to bring us out? The choice, He leaves up to us and depending on our choices is how God responds. God blesses obedience and faithfulness. If you do not believe me, check out the story of how God scattered the nations of Israel and Judah. Because of their disobedience and unfaithfulness, God removed His protection and peace from them, took His unfailing love and mercy away, granted no favors, and turned them over to the enemy (Jeremiah 16). But the great thing about our God, He did not leave them in this state, but restored them and bought them to the land He promised (Jeremiah 30). And just like He did it for them, He will do it for you and I as evidenced through the grace of Jesus Christ, who the scripture promises in Hebrews 13:8 (NLT) “is the same yesterday, today, and forever”.
WR2W, it is time for us to exercise our faith and “Put A Praise on It”. It, being whatever our circumstance, as stated previously. For instance, I have been dealing with my home warranty company about my upstairs AC unit. I have had two servicing companies to come out and for four months (May – September), the problem still existed. Now, I cannot tell you I never fussed, did not tell the warranty company and the servicing companies what was on my mind because I did, but I must tell you I gave it over to Jesus and when I did, I was at peace and then I became quiet. I no longer gave them what was on my mind, I no longer became upset, I was quiet. Anybody who really knows me, knows when I get quiet, that is not a good thing for whoever I am dealing with at the time, lol. I remember last week, getting on my knees and saying, now God, in the name of Jesus, I asked you to reveal the problem to the servicing company and to me, so the problem can be fixed because you know my current situation. Lord, I can deal with the heat, but not my mom Lord nor anyone else. And I ended the prayer with God, I know you are here so please just fix it! Then I felt a calming in my spirit and I felt at peace about the situation. But let me tell you just how good God is, and we need to recognize His hand in every circumstance. That same night, my mom said Tam, you noticed how it is not hot upstairs and we have a little breeze even though the unit is not working properly. I had to stop and “Put A Praise on It” because she was absolutely right.
WR2W, from last Friday until this Friday when they came to fix the unit, God gave us a breeze and I cannot tell you where it came from because it was hot as hell outside and I never been to hell, definitely not going, but from what I could imagine it is hot! But it gets better, I thought they were coming to replace a part as I was told, but WR2W, they replaced the whole unit. When I asked the man about the part yesterday and was about to ask another question, He said Ms. Hawkins, we are replacing your entire unit. When I tell you I “Put A Praise on It”, I “Put A Praise on It”! A unit I did not have to pay for or even asked to receive. WR2W, God did it! All we have to do is trust Him in all circumstances and “Put A Praise on It”! My circumstance could have been worse. Both units could have been out or not working properly, but God saw fit to let the downstairs unit work in excellence and allowed a breeze to come through upstairs until the appointed time to not replace a part but replace a unit. WR2W, we are asking God to fix and replace parts in our lives when He is trying to replace units. It is so important for us to learn to see God’s hand in every circumstance and “Praise the Lord! Let all that [we are] praise the Lord. [Let us] praise the Lord as long as [we] live. [Let us] sing praises to [our] God with [our] dying breath” (Psalm 146: 1-2 NLT). The word instructs to “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6) so “Put A Praise on It”! I love each of you, be blessed, be encouraged, and be true!
Forever Putting A Praise on It!
365 Days of Growing Together
Hi WR2W, I want to empower each of us to “Get on our Marks, Get Ready, Get Set, and Go” conqueror the issues of life! Many of us have been to track meets or have seen them on TV and heard the announcer say, “Get on Your Marks, Get Ready, Get Set, Go” and then the gun goes off. Well, this is how we need to approach life. If you have ever watched the Olympics, you have seen men and women from different countries in one straight line on their Marks, Ready, Set, and then they take off (Go) when the gun goes off. They all are running the same race, and striving to achieve the gold, but it is important to understand that each are in their own lane, looking straight ahead, not worrying about the next runner, but focusing on running his or her best race. If we want what God has for us, then we must stop worrying about what God is doing for those on our left and right and just be glad we are on the track. We must realize that although each runner is running the same race, they all have not had the same training. Some may have had the same trainer (meaning teacher), but different training because their lives are totally different. There are culture differences, their body make-up and mental capacities are different, and the everyday challenges they face are different. So, it would be impossible for them to be trained the exact same way for the same race with all these differences. In order to receive the proper preparation (meaning training) to not only run the race, but to endure (meaning last, make it, persist, suffer) to the finish line with hopes of achieving scores that will put them in the right position (meaning placement) to receive the gold, their training must be unique (meaning designed just for them)!
Now, I know there are other medals, the silver and the bronze, that can be achieved. But in spiritual terms, at the end of God’s race (the race that you and I are on), there are only gold medals at the finish line because God only gives the best! And what I love about God, it does not matter what number we finished, but how we finished. Did we finish with character and integrity, remaining faithful to God? In the end, will we be able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” (2 Timothy 4:7)? When we understand that we are not running this race on our own strength, but on God’s strength alone and come into the knowing of His providential care, we can accept the fact that it is not about the swiftness of finishing the race, but how God lines everything up for us according to His timing and His way. The scripture tells us in Ecclesiastes 9:11 (NLT) that “the fastest runner doesn’t always win the race” but Matthew 24:13 (NLT) says, “but the one who endures to the end will be saved”. This scripture confirms that whether we finish first or last (meaning we stuck it out to the end, did not give up no matter how much we had to suffer, no matter how hard it got or how long it was taking us), we made it and received the same reward from Christ, salvation, which is the gold! We did not cheat, did not hurt anyone along the way, maintained our character and integrity, and guess what, we made it!
WR2W, let us keep in mind that when we are striving to achieve the gold medal that God has purposed for our life, we will need to “Get on our Marks, Get Ready, Get Set, [and] Go with the 4P’s!!!
Number 1: “Get on Your Marks”
- Pray – develop a prayer life; MEDITATE!!!
Number 2: “Get Ready”
- Prepare – write our vision and make it plain (clear), ZONE IN!!! (begin to focus)
Number 3: “Get Set”
- Plan – develop a plan of action (how will we accomplish these goals?), FOCUS!!!
Number 4: “Go”
- Persevere – endure to the end, DON’T GIVE UP!!!
I love each of you, be blessed, be encouraged, and be true!
On My Mark, Ready, and Set to Go!
365 Days of Growing Together
John 4: 7-10 (NLT) – (7) “Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” (8) He was alone at the time because His disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. (9) The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink” (10) Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
Hi WR2W, we all have issues, but it is up to us what we do with them. Do we allow our issues to keep us stuck in a place of shame, unforgiveness, fear, and doubt or do we surrender them to God and allow them to aid us in meeting our potential? Let us take the Samaritan woman for example. She was a woman with many issues. One was the fact that she was of a mixed race known as the Samaritans and another resulted from a few romantic experiences with men. However, Jesus used her issues to bring her to her potential and if He did it for her, He will do it for us. Every day come rain or sunshine, He allowed her issues to keep her appointment with Jacob’s well at her regular scheduled time, 12:00 in the afternoon. And although she was unaware, but it was because of her consistency, which was based upon the shame of her issues, that she met her Potential. What I love about this story is that when she arrived at Jacob’s well, she did not have any expectations. Nevertheless, her Potential was expecting her arrival, sitting there like a perfect gentleman, waiting patiently in the heat of the day. How many of us know that Jesus, He will wait on us because our issues do not stop Jesus from paying us a visit, if anything they draw us nearer to Him and when this happens, He will draw nearer to us? For the word tells us in James 4:8 (NLT), “Come close to God, and God will come close to you.”
WR2W, Jesus was the potential she so desperately needed, and although she did not have expectations, and most of us do, He is who we need to meet our potential. Our problem is not that we are showing up with expectations for our spouse, financial breakthrough, family, job, or whatever we are expecting, but that we are in a hurry every day to meet it. There was no hurry, no rush, and no urgency with Jesus. He was just patiently waiting for her alone during this rather unusual time of the day and He is waiting for you and me, but it can only come, when we learn to take Jesus’ approach and patiently wait for the arrival! Like the Samaritan woman, we are extraordinary; one of kind, and although we have issues, it is something different about us. We are the chosen ones, handpicked by God for such a time as this! If God says it is our time, then that which we are waiting on has got to come to pass because it is a part of God’s plan for us to reach destiny!
Do you think Jesus needed her to give Him a drink? Do you really think He was thirsty? He is the “living water” when we are thirsty. But because Jesus understood His assignment and was willing to fulfill the work of His Father, this perfect gentleman in waiting, did not ask her for a drink; instead, He told her with boldness to “Please give me a drink.” We better learn how to speak to the very thing we have been waiting on with the virtues of boldness, confidence, and authority. It is no time to fear! For 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) states “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” It is time for us to stop asking in fear and start declaring in faith, “Please give me a drink” (the spouse, financial breakthrough, family, job, or whatever we are expecting). WR2W, we may have issues, but we still have potential and Jesus is waiting on us. I love each of you, be blessed, be encouraged, and be true!
My Issues Met My Potential
365 Days of Growing Together
Psalm 34:8 (KJV) – “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.”
Hi WR2W, in life we are faced with many trials and tribulations, some expected and others unexpected, but either way, we are faced to deal with them if we want to experience the peace and joy that comes after the storm. The reality of life is we do not choose to go through these storms, but we are chosen for the storm. These storms would be defined as the hardships and the difficulties that life most often bring. The bible promises us in Job 14:1 (KJV) that “Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble”. So, there is no need for us to go through life thinking that life is going to be a bowl of fulfilled dreams, 365 days of happiness annually until we leave the Earth, or that we will never experience trouble or what we perceive as things that are so unfair because we would be lying to ourselves and setting ourselves up for a life of disappointment.
WR2W, we must face the fact that most often we do not choose our storm, but our storm chooses us. We do not choose cancer, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, lupus, lung disease, blood disorders, kidney disease, musculoskeletal disease, or any type of life-threatening illness, sickness, or disease but many of us, we must suffer through directly or indirectly through the life of a love one. Is it easy? No, it never is and more days than not, it is emotionally draining and tiresome. And for some, health issues are not the problem, but we all have something so maybe you are experiencing the difficulty of being forced to deal with an unruly and ungrateful child that continues to give trouble no matter what you do, a spouse that has asked you for a divorce unexpectedly, or financial struggles that has come as a result of the loss of a job or something you could not prevent. Whatever our story, most often these storms bring about pain, grief, depression, anxiety, fear, and/or mixed-emotions no matter how long we have been on the battlefield for the Lord. But the problem is not that these emotions come knocking at the door of our mind, the problem is who and/or what are we opening our mind to when they come knocking. In times like these is when the enemy comes hard to overtake our mind, so we can taste (try) him (drugs, alcohol, sex, deception, manipulation) instead of tasting (trying) Jesus (grace, mercy, peace, unconditional love). In times like these, we need to keep the door of our mind shut to the enemy and open the door of our mind to Jesus and “taste and see that the Lord is good” no matter the situation (good, bad, ugly) and experience His abundance of blessings no matter how they come or by what means they come because indeed “He’s Just That Good”.
WR2W, if we want to see the joy of His blessings we must taste His Word and come into the knowing and understanding of the Lord. From the Word comes our power, from the Word comes our prayer life; which has the power, from the Word comes the declaration of the defeat of the thing we have under subjection, from the Word comes our authority and the casting down of strongholds. To taste and see is to put in the work and trust that whatever we are going through is already conquered in the name of Jesus because God says so in His Word (Romans 8:37). To put in the work means when cancer attacks, we do not give thought to the process, but we see the expected end of healing, deliverance, and restoration. We stomach the process by speaking and praying the Word and calling on the Master Physician while going through cancer treatments, surgery, and the after effects of both. To put in the work means to put in the Word because the Word is what does the work and brings forth the Glory of the Lord because “He’s Just That Good”! I love each of you, be blessed, be encouraged, and be true!
Tasting and Seeing His Goodness