spirituality

A Caged Bird

caged-birds

So this post is kind of personal, so bare with me. Nonetheless, I am a natural thinker and so every situation I dissect and look to see what in the world the Lord is trying to teach me. That may sound a little cliché, but it is so very true. Last year especially, I was taught that in situations you don’t like and or understand don’t ask God why something is happening, but rather what it is He wants to show you and or do in, through, or for you. It inevitably changed my perception on so many things; my perception on life has matured and reinforced my mantel of purpose.

Needless to say, this current situation has made me feel like a caged bird. Although it’s already enough drama, I feel like I am walking on eggshells, even when I sing. In addition I want to write and express myself, but that is put under a microscope just as much. One thing, I am definitely realizing about myself is that mercy is not my spiritual gift. I mean I will be sympathetic and compassionate, but after a while people need a reality check and a push forward. That’s just me. Yet still, as much as I want to be me, I can’t. Like a caged bird, I feel locked up in my emotions and locked away from my passion, to spare others’ sensitivity.

Three quotes come to mind. This first one, I heard my dad preach in a sermon some time ago: “the goal in life is not to find your freedom, but to find your master, and in that you will discover your freedom.” So, when I look around I must ask who am I truly let govern me? Myself? The opinions of others? Or Christ? The most freedom I found is in Christ; He created me, so he knows me and what I need and even my deepest desires.

My younger sister blew my mind last night in our conversation when she said this, “freedom only comes from captivity.” This means that when I am locked up, one, it’s only for a season. Two, the glory will be greater and more effective when I come out on the other side. Freedom will be so sweet, in knowing what it means to be captive.

The last is from Dr. Seuss: “Be you who are and say what you feel. Because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” This reminds me to just be myself, and that those who need to be there will, and I won’t have to change who I am to accommodate someone else. And sidebar: truth hurts.

Yet, at the same time, I consistently question and monitor my own motives and attitude, because God can’t be glorified if I don’t have a mind of Christ and am not focused on Him. If my mind and spirit aren’t right, I can inadvertently compromise my testimony.

So all in all, if you feel like a caged bird, like I have lately, don’t be discouraged. God has a purpose and a plan, that He is setting up in the heavenly realm. He created you in such a way that some people just don’t understand, and can’t comprehend. But, know what God’s purpose is for you and stick to it. His opinion is the only one that matters. When He is ready, your time will come and the cage door will open, and the world will come to know His name by your name, which is why this caged bird sings: she has a purpose, and a gift that God calls irrevocable.

Desire

So yesterday, I went to church and the message was on the story of the temptation of Jesus (Luke 4). I loved most how Jesus went through this to prove his humanity, and desiring to show us that we can live victoriously, even in the face of dire trials and temptation. However, the catch is being full of the Spirit. Even as Christians, we still go through things, we still are put in adverse situations, even though it may not be out fault. Yet, this story proves that we can be conquerors.

The particular temptation we looked at in the sermon yesterday, was the first, the personal temptation, of Jesus in the wilderness. Satan had probed Jesus to turn the stone into bread, being as though Jesus was hungry from not eating 40 days. Still, Jesus said no and replied “it is written…” The sin in this situation wasn’t turning stone into bread; he hadn’t eaten in so long and it can be assumed he desired to eat. However, being in a close relationship was God, he knew it was not God’s timing, and blatantly going against God’s timing is the sin. Our flesh is a monster, still, our God is greater and we can fight the temptation of self, of the flesh, no matter how practical the temptation may be, and lets be honest sometimes we want it bad, real bad…but just as Jesus was in the wilderness, we are more than conquerors (Rom 8:37).

Furthermore, it was a great reminder to me that life is full of desires and things we want, and they aren’t all bad or sinful. However, we have to understand that God has a time for everything. It gets hard to wait, especially when you have your mind made up and planned the who, what, when, where, and how. Still, as it is written, we may have our own plans, but God orders our steps and it is His purpose that will prevail and it will always be greater than expected  (Prov 16:9, 19:21). He knows the desires of our hearts, and will give them to us (Ps 37:4). Yet, we must delight in Him and His will first, so that we can know His voice when the answer is yes, no, or wait. Your desire may in fact be good, but I pose the question, is the timing bad? That’s answer can only come from God Himself, so don’t get discouraged. He wants to bless you, and truth be told, He already has. Talk to Him…What is He saying…to you?…

 

Identity – James Fortune

I really have nothing to say apart from, this is my motivation for life: being more and more like Christ as much as I possibly can on this side of glory. In every thing I say and do I want Jesus to be reflected in me; I want his being alone to define me, and his glory be satisfied through my life. Thank you James Fortune for this song, you music is changing lives.

It’s Been a While

Oh my!!! It’s been so long since I’ve posted and I actually have things to finish writing. On top of that so much has been going on, so many emotions, many tears, many prayers, many smiles, good days, long days, productive days, and lazy days. I’ve been in the studio, broken a phone, lost a friend and realized how much of  a friend I had in someone else; I’ve encountered evil spirits when I was sent to pray them out of an apartment. I’ve been sick, hoarse, bitten, challenged, and put in the hot seat. I’ve learned that beating around the bush 9 times out of 10 helps no one, so in situations, I’m striving to be less passive. I’ve meet two celebrities, and learned how to do love knots, bantu knots, comb and finger coils, french braids, and 2-strand flat twist. I’ve been studying the book of Job in the Bible and it’s blown my mind and sometime soon I’ll share what I’ve learned. It’s just awesomeness. Likewise, I’m apart of the study of Jonah as created by an aspiration of mine, Priscilla Shirer, and yeah she’s awesome. “Navigating a Life Interrupted,” loving it.

Yet, for the sake of this post, I’ll talk about what I’ve learned just today. In the Priscilla Shirer study actually, in the book she questioned our place in life. This assumed that in some way or another coinciding with the “life interrupted,” we may not be in a place we thought we’d be in or what we may be doing may not be as grand as we imagined. Nonetheless it made me think of the verse Matthew 25:21:

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

In my life now, as I’m sure many of us are we are quite where we wanted to be, or where we thought we’d be, not forgetting God totally debunked your original plan. Still, even if we yielded and are in God’s will, like me, have the urge to go out and do more and reach more. Yet, for some reason you are home; you aren’t going out to the masses; your territory grown maybe and inch; you may not be getting the calls that you thought you would by now. When this verse came to mind, I was immediately humbled. God has me where He has me for whatever purpose, and if one thing is for sure my patience and faith is being stretched. As I read in James 1:3-4, I’ll be in this spot until His work is completed in my patience and perseverance.

So, in enduring during this interesting time of my life, no matter how much I want to explore and leave and force my dreams to come true by midnight tonight, and meet so many new people, I have to be faithful to where God has placed me, at this very moment, using and developing the gifts and talents He gave me. He promised me that if I am, my oh my, He’ll entrust me with so much more. His work in my life in this stage isn’t complete but when it is…well you’ll just have to see ;)…Ironically though I am scared out my mind, but I know He is with me.

Jewel of the Garden: Woman

The more I hear and think about the story of creation and consider all the characters and flowergemthe events that took place, the more I am fascinated by the creation of women. I’d like to think of us, women, as the Jewels of the Garden. Unfortunately, in today’s world it’s hard to feel that beauty and value, when it is often times measured by the superficial. However, God knew what He was doing when He created woman. He had a special purpose for woman that makes her so unique, which is why as women, we have to find our identity in Christ alone, so that our greater purpose can be fulfilled. He already has proven his love, in that he loved us enough to die for us, therefore, we should love him enough to live for him. Nonetheless, the whole story of the creation of woman shows what David meant in Psalm 139, and how we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

To start off, I read a book by a great author named Donald Miller. In this book he laid out the events that took place before God brought Eve to Adam. First, He created the world, then He created man. However, the point he made was that right after God created him, He put him to work. He told Adam that he was to work it and watch over Eden, and on top of that to name all the animals…ALL of them (Genesis 2:15-19). Can you imagine how long that would have taken. Think about all the animals, in the land, water, and sky. More so, all of them had mates…except Adam. The interesting thing is that even before God told him to name the animals, He promised Adam that He’d give him a suitor, because it wasn’t good to be alone. I don’t think Adam quite understood the significance of what the Lord had promised, until he began to see the mates of each creature and how they complemented each other. Thus, seeing pair after pair, and watching their interactions, he was probably more excited to receive his. It had to be a very long process. Think about it, naming everything, then after a while you have to make sure you don’t use the same name, and then having to classify the types of creatures.

gems5So, when Adam was finally finished working, God put him to sleep. It was then that He took from Adam’s side, his rid, not the ground, and formed Eve. I heard my dad preach one time, that in pulling out from Adam, to created Eve, He took all that was feminine out of man and produced woman. This explains why there is such the connection between male and female; the very make up of a woman He took out of man. As a result, how do you think Adam felt when He first saw and met Eve? I would think excited, in awe, but most of all appreciative. I think he recognized the undeniable value and irreplaceable blessing of the gift God had given him, and the uncompromising purpose he saw within her. So if Adam felt this way about Eve and appreciated her ever so much, why would a woman settle for a man that treats and feels about her any differently? God’s purpose was never that a woman be abused, taken for granted, mistreated, and or neglected by any man. You are the precious jewel of the garden, God knew it and Adam knew it. David O. McKay said it best:

“Women were created from the rib of man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from under his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.”

God already called you beautiful (Song of Songs 4:7) and truly takes delight and sings about you (Zephaniah 3:17). You are like a jewel in His crown. Do you know your worth?