Browsing Tag

Friendship

Meditation

The Feminine Plural

Many women feel less than, as if they lack something that will give them value. They may be estranged from their family, single or divorced, abused, infertile, lonely, or voiceless. They compare themselves to other women or men around them and all they can see is what they don’t have. But what if God’s intention for women is abundance in all the expected areas of life – family, intimacy, fruitfulness, friendship, and purpose, but only if she was willing to receive it in an unexpected way.

 

EVERY woman is capable of being a feminine plural.

EVERY woman is called to be a daughter, a wife, a mother, and a sister.

 

God has purposely chosen women to be a representation of the fullness of God. Just as He named Eve, the mother of all living – abundance is inherent in the makeup of a woman. She was designed to carry seed and produce life and live purposefully. A woman’s God-given heritage is waiting to be re-claimed.

 

Women —your fulfillment is in being ALL that God has created you to be. And that fulfillment is found in the company of the Triune God and His love for you.

 

Not in having an earthly family, but in being accepted in the Beloved.

Not in marrying a man, but in setting yourself apart to be the bride of Christ.

Not in having babies, but in birthing the Word of God from your spiritual womb.

Not in being liked or followed, but in denying your self and uplifting others.

Not in being a worldly success, but in living out your Spirit-driven purpose.

 

Family, marriage, pregnancy, community, and worldly success are earthly shadows of kingdom principles that are not yet fully manifested in their glorious state. Not all women will experience these conventional or expected norms, but the mystery is that abundant life can still be grasped. Who can ignore the distant echo of Jesus’ words reverberating down generations, The kingdom of God is within you.

 

Every woman has the potential to be all that she was made to be in the here and now. And its varied forms can happen all at once or in different seasons of a woman’s life. There is no need for jealousy or envy. God has given every woman the capacity to overflow in abundance.

 

EVERY woman can be a daughter — I will be a father to you. {2 Corinthians 6:18}

Some women have been adopted as children or have been in the foster care system, abused, rejected, neglected, or abandoned by their parents, victims of divorce, orphaned by disease, death, war or drugs. Simply put, some women feel alone and cry out for acceptance.

And from the deepest reserve of His love, God’s voice whispers, You, my dear child, are my daughter. I have chosen you. I knew you before you were knit in the womb. You have always belonged to me. Father, Son and Spirit are your dependable family and refuge.

 

EVERY woman can be a wife —Thy maker is thy husband. {Isaiah 54:5}

Jesus is calling every woman to be His bride – to an intimate spiritual relationship. She will be cherished, honored, empowered, fruitful, and safe. Jesus will meet a woman’s every need and transform her if she gives her self wholly to Him.

And He says, Come, come sweet bride. Listen to the gentle whispers of my love for you. I will comfort your aching, longing heart, and prepare it to receive. The secret of the depth of our fellowship is time. Set aside time every day to talk with me and I will reveal my secrets to you.

 

EVERY woman can be a mother — For more are the children of the desolate woman than the married wife. {Isaiah 54:1}

Once a woman has decided to give her heart to Jesus, the result of their union is abundant life. She will become a fruitful garden. He will tend to her and cause the North Wind to blow out her fragrance into the lives of the people around her.

As the seeds of God’s word are planted in her spiritual womb, the voice of Jesus whispers, The excess of my love will spill out for others through you. And you will comfort and care for my wounded children and you will feed the hungry – these are fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers. I have bundles of joy for you.

 

EVERY woman can be a sister — She had a sister who sat at the Lord’s feet. {Luke 10:39}

Surrendered women have a dynamic, personal assistant in the Holy Spirit. He reveals the deepest mysteries of Jesus. In silence and stillness, make time each day to listen and focus on the words and work of God. In yielding yourself, the Holy Spirit will be your influencer, your mentor, your teacher, your revealer, and your reminder. Strengthened by the Spirit you bandage, you carry, and you love your wearied, broken sisters.

And the gentle whisper of Jesus says, Be that sister who sits at the Lord’s feet. Be the sister who has loads of love and encouragement, the sister who edifies, the sister who teaches her sisters to seek the Lord with all their heart.

 

EVERY woman can have a purpose ­– You have come to your position for such a time as this. {Esther 4:14}

God makes everything beautiful in its time. All our sufferings are used for good. Some women feel like they’re permanent residents of a wasteland of buried dreams but God has a plan for each woman – confronting her past with her future to bring forth a dynamic now. You may be in a season of suffering or a season of waiting or a season of intimacy. But these are all leading to the revelation of your unique purpose.

And Christ whispers, Come with me, walk with me. Let’s hold hands. My visible scars will remind you I understand your brokenness. I will wipe your tears away in the company of my faithful love for you. I have wonderful plans for you – for us. Set your eyes on eternity – on me, and do not look back. Do not be afraid of your future. I am there.

 

My prayer for you, dear sister, is that God will empty your heart of regret, pain, loss, the shadow of death, loneliness, barrenness, and dreams deferred to make room for the fullness of God.

 

Embrace your feminine plurality. Abundance is yours!

Meditation

Breaches

Abandoned HouseAbandoned homes are a sore sight – boarded windows, overgrown grass, missing doors. And when a home is abandoned it becomes susceptible to breaches. Obviously this happens because the house is not maintained and looked after. Certain areas become weak over time and simply fall apart, forming entryways for unwanted guests and pests. The damage can be costly and devastating.

Sometimes the damage can be repaired and sometimes it can’t and the only option is to tear down and rebuild. If only someone had taken the time for maintenance. Most likely the damage could have been prevented.

This can be the case with our lives and our relationships.

According to good ole’ Webster, a breach is …

  1. infraction or violation of a law, obligation, tie, or standard
  2. (a) a broken, ruptured, or torn condition or area; (b) a gap (as in a wall) made by battering
  3. (a) a break in accustomed friendly relations; (b) a temporary gap in continuity : hiatus
  4. a leap especially of a whale out of water

I believe that we are walking temples that need constant care in body, soul, and spirit. And all to often we experience signs of spiritual dehydration due to our wanton wandering. We’ve walked away from truth, from God, from covenants, from our callings, and from the destiny of our true selves.

If we fail to pause, reflect, and choose new thoughts and behaviors, not only will we suffer but those around us will as well. Taking care of our temple, what’s inside, and what it surrounds itself with is not only our right but our duty.

Breaches affect our identities, our spiritual, physical and mental health, our relationships, our churches, our cities, and our nations. Whether we’re trying to avoid or repair a breach the following four power points can help put some focus on the areas to work on.

To avoid breaches we need upkeep.

Good maintenance demands nutrition, rest, and prayer. The first two can be understood from a physical and a spiritual perspective. If we don’t take care of ourselves physically through diet, exercise, and sleep, we will not function at our optimal best and at worst, can become ill. And if we don’t take care of ourselves spiritually through an intimate relationship with God we’re setting ourselves up for a breakdown that can affect the soul (mind, will, and emotions) and the body.

To avoid breaches we need integrity.

God requires truth in the inward parts. Embracing truth keeps you sound. Lies cause division and confusion. Without truth it’s impossible to have integrity. Our integrity is guided by moral principles. And for integrity to take root we need to be consistent in godly thoughts and behaviors when we are around people and when we are by ourselves. Being a man or woman of integrity gains trust and builds and maintains solid relationships.

To avoid breaches we need security.

Someone or something is constantly influencing our minds and hearts. Either we take charge or we’ll be taking in whatever the world throws at us. Choosing what are five senses will be allowed to entertain is crucial. What we focus on will form us. Knowing what we stand for and what we want our life to be about is key. If it doesn’t line up with our principles and life goals let’s shut the door. If we are not proactive with the life we want to live, others will most definitely determine it for us. That includes our beliefs, our for-life partners, our friendships, and our callings.

To avoid breaches we need humility.

Humble hearts have followed their Master, leaned their head against His shoulder, and washed His feet with their tears. We need to humble ourselves before God and each other in a spirit of peace and forgiveness. This is the doozy because it goes straight against the human ego to be right, to be in control of our lives, and to feel a sense of superiority. Having a teachable spirit is a major key to receiving God’s wisdom.

Abandoned dwellings are a waste. But if they’re still standing there’s always hope for repair, for rebuilding, for disposing and replacing. There’s also hope for those who have breaches in their personal lives and relationships. Isaiah 61:4 says, And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations and they shall repair the former cities, desolations of many generations.

It’s time to repair the breaches and rebuild our lives!

Meditation

An Unlikely Tribe

summer-sport-bikes-bicyclesI recently attended a meeting at work with two judges, one prosecutor, one defense attorney, and two probation officers. They were telling the federal offender population I serve about a Second Chance program which offers them a support team comprised of the aforementioned individuals who would meet with them every two weeks for about a year and provide guidance and resources to aid their reintegration into society after incarceration. Their allies would be composed of unexpected people.

At first mention, the offenders were suspect of the group members. Afterall, aren’t they the ones that pointed the finger, convicted them and locked them up? Well now, that’s a matter of perspective. This is where we would have to throw our biases out the window and take a risk. If we play the blame game and refuse to budge, we’ll probably rule out potential supporters.

We can choose to surround ourselves with folk who will propel us forward or with those who will say what we want to hear and remain stuck. We need people that will challenge our faulty thinking and steer us in the right direction. We need a fellowship of people that believe in our capacity to change and succeed.

And if we want real and lasting change, we need persistence. We need accountability. We need good examples around us. Especially if we’ve been going around in circles for a long time.

We need people who will teach us that sometimes we have to face the consequences and that it won’t be pretty. We need cheerleaders who will encourage us to keep going even if we get snagged, veer the wrong way or just plain fall flat on our face. We need people who will not give up on us when we’re giving up on ourselves.

And once we’re strong enough and become who we hope to be, we must become part of a tribe for someone else. We owe it to each other. Because along the way, we’ve all crossed paths with people who have lifted us up, who have shaken us awake, and who have loved us hard.

Let’s pick an unlikely tribe to walk our journey with us and if we’re feeling adventurous, we’ll let them pick us. Either way, it’s really not about what we want, it’s about what we need. And let’s not be quick to rule people out of our inner circle. When you expect the unexpected you invite a secret array of colorful people to surround you. That is your tribe.