Counted In 

Life can sometimes seem harsh. Many feel forgotten, forsaken and abused. A weight of rejection and uncertainty can leave some making choices to either run away from process or take the matters of process in their own hands and under their own control. 

Hagar from biblical times was a slave servant who was brought in the midst of a foreign culture and people. She was forced into circumstances beyond her control. 

Sarai her mistress was in waiting for a promise from God to be fulfilled in her and her husband’s life. What do you do when you have a promise from God and waiting becomes difficult? How do you handle life when waiting starts to feel like God has forgotten you and what if you wait any longer and it doesn’t happen? 

Anxious Sarai takes the matters into her own hands and encourages her husband to go with her maid. In a moment of fear and insecurity we can make foolish choices that afterwards turns into a mess. Why would we take what God has given to us and put it with another and expect them to birth our promise? 

Grace is patient enough to allow the mess to happen, but not to throw away the promise. 

Hagar the maid began to receive harsh treatment and decided to run. What do you do when you experience harsh treatment or harsh circumstances for things that weren’t your doings, idea or plan? Runing to escape pain and suffering sometimes seems like the only way out of our condition when we feel like we are counted out. 

There is a God who sees when we are deeply hurt from harsh treatment. He shows up that we may encounter Him as ‘The God who sees’.  What do you do when the God who sees sends you back to a place of pain, harsh treatment and rejection and tells you to submit? That is often is where many will feel counted out and forsaken and say,  ‘God if you are really got me in this why would you allow me to suffer like this?’ 

Why would you allow me to eventually be casted out when I do go back to submit and left no choice but to endure the wilderness? In the wilderness lack seems to hit you in the face. Lack of resources, support and intimate meangingful relationships. Many begin to see and hear death and think that nothing will get better. I believe it’s in those places where we may be casted out that God has a special golden invitation for us to experience Him as the God who will always make a way even for those who are most rejected in society and those who appear to always struggle to suceed. 

There are many who feel counted out through circumstances and situations. Feeling counted out in waiting or/and feeling counted out in experiencing rejection or being overlooked. 



There are times when others both unitentionally and intentionally will count you out, but there is new life after every waiting process and there is provision for those casted out to be counted in. 


You’re really counted in!  You will never be left out of God’s purpose and destiny for you when we allow all that He desires to be give us the warm embrace and minister to our hearts and souls and heal our lives. 

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Prayer Points: The Secret Place of Protection 

Amoungst all the pestilence and danger all around there is a secret place. In this place there is deliverence from the snare of the fowler(Psalm 91:3).  As believers our faith prayers of declaring that God is our hiding place and security seals us under a protected dwelling place. Below are some points to consider on staying under God’s protection. 

1) Making God our habitation.

   

  God promises to deliver us when we make him our habitation and set our love upon him. When we know His name there is assurance we will be set on high. 



 

The secret place where we reside and dwell is where our praises flow unhinderedly.  Our praises is where God will always be. 




Hinderences to the Secret Place:

Drunkenness – When we are not sober we are open to excess of any evil. It gives Satan legal access to wreck havoc in our physical, mental and spiritual well being. Being filled with the Spirit is the solution to being set free from the snare of drunkenness whether physically, spiritually or mentally. “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit.”(Ephesians 5:18)




2) Setting Our Love Upon the Lord 


Where there is love there is no room for fear. Torment is not from God. Even when a host may encamp around us, when we abide is setting our love upon God our hearts don’t need to fear cause in loving on the Lord we remain in that secret place. When war rises up against us when we abide in love we can have confidence. 

Dwelling in God’s house, beholding His beauty and inquiring of Him in His temple are some ways we set our love upon Him through faithfulness and seeking after Him. 

As we trust that God will lift our head above our enemies we can sing praises unto Him and offer sacrifices of joy. 

Anxious and troubled many of us lack that ONE THING when we look in the spiritual mirror and see the reflection from  pain and failure. If the truth be told many of us struggle with being consistent with that ONE THING that God is asking of us. 

3) Knowing God’s name 


  In the secret place of protection we know that God is a strong tower and as the righteous that’s where we run and find safety(Proverbs 18:10). Knowing who God is and His ways gives Him access to be and do who He is in our lives. 

God shine your truth on us that we will learn to continually make you our habitation, set our love upon you and know your name. Help us to stand with the armour of power and protection that we are  shielded in your presence. May we continually decree and declare your promises trusting that the work is already done and believing that they will manifest just like you said. 

In Jesus’ Name, Amen! 





The Battle Against Inferiority

When void meets insecurity a massive attack takes place. That void where it is empty, lonely and painful. The insecurity where you just seem to always be the one that struggles with things you think should be easy and there feels like so many things are wrong with you. 

I can relate. When the two meet – void and insecurity you desire that longing, but you think you don’t have it in you to do well like a “normal” person or maybe after the mistakes you don’t desvere to have it. 

 You want to feel connected, but yet the whispers tell you you’re disconnected because of who you are and this is just how it is.

 Void and insecurity sees all the difficulties and lack and deep down wonders if there is any real meaningful significance and value that they can share outwardly and embarace inwardly.

 I can say I have truly been blessed and favored during this time in my life. But the truth is even those who are experiencing God’s blessing and favour don’t have it all perfectly worked out and always just finds themselves in a sweet and lovely place.

You can be greatly blessed  and favored yet go home for that void to scream at you “I’m still here.” Life has balance and will give a share of the pleasant and unpleasant. What will you do with it?  Favored of God yet wrestle with unwanted chaos, insecurities and issues that those who know you  may have no clue about it, but yet there is pressure to have everything in your life together and going wonderful. Life has contradictions and we don’t have to look very far, it shows up where we are.

If we were only real with what is going on. If we were ready to give this battle to the the Chief Commander to take charge… WOW I think there is no telling of how powerful this war would be won.

 I am reflecting on the areas the inferiority likes to attack and in my reflection it seems to be places of identity, security and safety and areas of both weakness and strength. Below are some points to consider on the battle against inferiority. 

1) God will reveal His special plans for you in the right season. 



  Just like God told Jeremiah before He  formed him He knew  him and before he was born He set him apart and appointed him as prophet to the nations, we can take in and digest that God already knew us, we are set apart and He is calling us to the nations even when there is a empty whole and a place we don’t feel like we are skillful and have mastered things.

 2) How we feel and what we see is not an accurate truth of who we are. 

 Whether is that you came from a family that had various struggles that always seem to put a mark of disgrace on your lives or you wasn’t an academic in school so you struggled with feeling less than and not embraced by your peers, the truth of who we are doesn’t begin or end with what we went through and what we presently go through. 

3) God will always send the encouragement we need. 



  Like God encouraged Gideon, He will encourage you. God is not going to beat you up cause you are struggling with inferiority, He will like a Father comfort you and minister to you in what way best reaches you. If God is leading you to do something in your discouragement trust Him to encourage you as He leads and brings about the victory. 

5 Lessons Through Summer 


Sun, heat, water, outdoor beauty and cold treats all relate to what we identify as a part of summer. Throughout these summer weeks and months I have been taught some lessons in various ways and have learned some lessons. Below are some lessons to consider through summer. 
1) Improve your health habits now while you’re still in young adulthood. 

I have been told previously that I don’t need to be healthy while I’m young. The statement most likely came from a well meaning place, but wasn’t balanced advice. 

This summer has moderately challenged me physically. As a younger adult I have seen the differences and results in the health choices I’ve made an effort toward. Our bodies, minds and souls need to be taken care of well and when we neglect them they will let us know. 
2) Stop rushing through moments that are meant to be enjoyed. 

It is ok to take your time to enjoy what’s happening around you. 
3) Follow when God leads in places that are uncertain to us. 

 Even if God leads  you to something where as a result  a resource is drying up and you may have little to nothing, God’s guiding will never lead you off His path for you. 
4) Be kind and merciful to yourself. 

I can be a critic to myself and be harsh on me at times. This summer I practiced not beating up myself over mistakes and imperfections. 
5) Embrace who you’re becoming. 

This summer has challenged me to look past a lot of things and trust in God for who I’m becoming through Him. 
What lessons have you been learning throughout summer? 

Prayer Points: Forgiveness

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One of the greatest hindrances that can happen on our prayer journey is holding on to grudges, hurts and offenses. No one is exempt from being hurt and mistreated. In fact often times hurt is a cycle where those who have deeply hurt us are deeply hurting and pass that hurt on to the next person. Forgiveness isn’t so easy when there is a wound that seems to have no time to heal before another thing hits hard. But that doesn’t mean forgiveness isn’t possible. In fact the cross shows us forgiveness is possible! On our own and in our flesh we can be enslaved to hurt, pain and offense. But with all that Christ has done for us we can be free to forgive. Below are some highlighted points to consider on giving and receiving mercy and grace.

 

Prayer Point: “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”(Matthew 6: 12) 

Receiving mercy and grace: Sin is a debt that we as humans cannot pay. But there is a loving Savior who is without sin that was sent to earth to pay that debt. Jesus suffered, died, rose and ascended into heaven all for us; in spite of our shortcomings. So when we pray for mercy and grace the gift of forgiveness replaces the captivity of sin and death(spiritual death). We are not under the curse of the law as some were in the bible times, but we have been redeemed! Hallelujah! Jesus became that curse for us so that we can be free!!! (Galatians 3:13)He thought that much about us to go through what mankind deserved.

Giving mercy and grace: Giving goes far beyond just visual and physical means. Forgiveness is a choice in the sense that we can choose to give and receive or we can choose to not give and not receive. We have to choose to surrender our heart, attitude and actions to God’s will in order to be transformed from being enslaved  to hurt, pain and offense to being liberated to extend grace and mercy. In our human minds we will at times remember the hurt, pain and offense, but right there and then we can respond in that grace and mercy. We can tell ourselves “Grace covered that!” “Mercy has got that!”

May we be receivers of mercy and grace and be givers of mercy and grace!

Declaration: I receive grace and mercy into my heart and I give grace and mercy from my heart. 

 

 

5 Lessons Through Nature

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Nature is something I enjoy spending time it. Spending time in nature helps me to continue and sharpen my observation and exploration abilities. Thoughts and reflections often come during those times that may not come at other times. The natural beauty of nature is catching to the eyes and therapy to the mind and soul.

Below are some highlighted lessons through nature.

 

1) Nature has natural art and creative tools all for free. When an artist and creative explores their outdoor surroundings, the scenery can become a toolbox. Leaves, rocks, flowers, other plants and almost anything you can find outside can be used for nature projects.

 

2) New discoveries can be found outdoors everyday. Those that have interests in nature and adventure often find and see what they have never seen before.

 

3) Nature is given to God’s creation to enjoy. Once this belief is embraced it can be experienced.

 

4) Outdoor creatures take full advantage of their environment. The creatures can often be seen gathering and hunting for what they need.

 

5) Nature isn’t always a pleasant sight or smell, but it’s real. Life is like this in the sense of not always having it all glamorous,  but you can experience the realness(if that’s a word lol) of it.

 

What lessons have you learned through nature? 

 

5 Lessons From 1 Samuel

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Samuel is the writer of the majority of 1 Samuel. Gifted as a prophet, Samuel gives a warning to the Israelites about their desire for him to choose an earthly king to lead them and the disaster it will bring. The Israelites didn’t pay attention to the warning and experienced much mourning because of their desire.

Below are some highlighted lessons to consider from 1 Samuel.

 

1) A persistent petition from a mother births a powerful legacy of seeking the Lord. Hannah who continued in prayer during barrenness eventually gives birth to a son(Samuel) who develops a lifestyle of prayer and worship unto the Lord during his leadership.

 

2) Outside of God’s presence is death and grief. When the glory of the Lord departs from a people, there is no victory during the battle – which brings much loss. After Eli’s sons(Hophni & Phinehas) were killed in battle and Eli died when he heard all that happened, Phinehas’ wife gave birth to a boy and named him Inchabod which means “The glory is departed from Israel”.

 

3) Human leadership has the ability to mislead and rely on self, but the Holy Spirit will never lead you outside of God’s covering. Saul walked in disobedience to God and thought he could do things all on his own and still reign.

 

4) Never give place to the devil in avenging yourself. God will take care of the mockery and deprivation in His timing.

 

5) Surround yourself with those who operate in wisdom. In our times of haste, their words can save us from taking foolish action. Abigail encouraged David in who he was in God and in leaving the situation(when her husband at the time mocked David and David’s request for payment of his men’s service was rejected) for God to handle.

10 Reasons to Choose Happiness

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Happiness is temporary. Happy moments are great to have and will bring balance along with sad moments. It’s okay to choose happiness even during challenging times and when we are not getting our way.

Below are some highlighted points to consider on reasons to choose happiness.

 

  1. Brings Sunshine to Others

Cheerful moments can be contagious! When others see us feeling up we encourage them to do so as well. We spread a wildfire of delight.

 

2. Open to See the Good During the Bad

When we decide to be happy we are more open to receiving good days during difficult seasons.

 

3. Broadens Our Imaginary 

When we are in situations where we need to show our artistic works, happy moments can be the boost to expanding what we can imagine.

 

4. You’re Rewarding Yourself

Sometimes after doing a good job and working hard, you need a treat. Treat yourself to a ray of happiness.

 

5. Helping Others with their Needs

A happy person is a helping hand. When we are happy we have the energy to get up and help somebody else.

 

6. Teaching Valuable Lessons 

Observers and watchful people are looking to see what they can learn. What do they see when they look at you? Perhaps your happy moments can teach them more than you think.

 

7. More Effective in Your Work/Job

Happy people seem to be more productive in their work. When they don’t get the approval of others, they know how to see the positive in what they do without the constant need of others telling them.

 

8. You Appreciate More

Those happy moments that are not always there, teach us to appreciate the good and not to take it for granted as if it will always be a happy day in this world.

 

9. Another Day May Not Come

The present is the time to be happy. No human knows what will definitely happen next.

 

10. Everything is not meant to be Serious

Happy people know how to see the humor and take a giggle even when things mess up.

 

I give myself these reasons to choose happiness when I want to. You can too!

 

 

Music Review: Redemption by Kwest

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Introduction: The intro gives a compelling upbeat of why the listener should listen to the message of the song. Titled song ‘LOVE’, briefly gives you an idea of the tune being about God’s love and how no other love compares to it.

Melody & Rhythm: The melody and rhythm are of a speedy paced nature and the instruments that are apart of the melody beautifully combines together.

Vocals: The singer’s vocals are smooth and powerful at the same time.

Instrumental & Digital Effects: The drums stand out in the background and enhances the song’s sound.

Structure of the Song: I think that the song was organized very well and neat. The track has been recorded with order and flows smoothly throughout the entire song.

Performance & Song Potential: I believe that the overall song is excellent and has been written, sung and recorded professionally. Love has the potential to reach a larger audience and to hit the top of the music charts.

Listen to ‘LOVE’ and more of Kwest’s music on YouTube. Click here to listen to ‘LOVE’. 

Prayer Points: Praying for Provision

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There are times we are in situations that we don’t know how to get out of. Wonderings of the heart and mind saying: How did I get in this? How do I get out of this? What do I do in this? How do I continue living in this? Sometimes it seems the bigger the efforts made by us and the desire craved, the higher the odds pile up. How does daily bread manifest in our lives when we are running on low of the very life we have and we are in need of life support? Below are some points, questions and thoughts to consider on when we are in need of provision when we feel powerless.

 

Prayer Point: ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’

Our daily bread is the provision of our daily needs. What are the necessities that we need daily, in a world that showcases the tasty, sweet and overflowing with glamour? Where our wants are advertised confusing us with what we really need.

What are your daily needs?

What are the daily needs of your family?

What are the daily needs of our community?

What are the daily needs of the strangers, friends and acquaintances around us?

What are the daily needs of the nation?

What are the daily needs of the world?

 

Luke 18:1 encourages us “that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”

That simply lets us know even when the odds are piling up and seems to get bigger than our desire and tries to threaten our needs of ever getting met – we are to continue in prayer for the needs.

What do we do when adversity seems to advance further than the outcome of our continual efforts? Prayer is what we have to hold on to when everything else seems to go away.

Sometimes fainting may lie and say that is the only thing we have left to do.

Fainting into despair.

Fainting into disbelief.

Fainting into desperation.

There’s something that needs to be revived in us again.

Revival of prayer, faith, walking in God’s will, declaring and decreeing specifically the needs and being relentless in the part we are responsible for.

Jehovah Jireh: God our Provider,

Reveal who you are in our daily lives. We give you praise and thanks for all the past and present revelations and provisions that you have been to us. Lord revive in us the faith that lives on and rescue us from fainting when we are overwhelmed, exhausted and dehydrated within. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!