An Easter Tribute To Love

 

The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pexels.com

 

Today is Easter Sunday! Hallelujah!

Hallelujah! Jesus is alive. Jesus, my Saviour has been raised from the dead and now he lives for ever more. Now he is seated in heaven at the right hand of our Father. Now he ever lives to make intercession for me. And don’t I need it?!

But I don’t want to focus on my need today. I want to focus on my precious Father-God, my precious Saviour, and my precious Comforter and Counsellor, the inimitable Holy Spirit!

Thank you one and all for your presence in my life. Thank you dear Father-God for making me worthy to come into your presence and fellowship with you. And thank you Lord Jesus for all that you have done, to make it possible for me to be reconciled to God. Thank you for rescuing me from the clutches of Satan and redeeming me from the curse of the Law. Thank you for your obedience to the Father’s will, even to the point of death.

Hallelujah!

O Lord Jesus, I can never ever, ever thank you enough. I can never ever know and understand just how much you suffered and endured on my behalf. And when I think of this, I feel ashamed for the times in the past when I have been outraged, bitter and resentful, acted ugly because of the things I have suffered.

Ok, so they may have been unjust. But the difference between me and you, is that you have never ever sinned, never ever done anything wrong. You were and are perfect. If there is anyone in this entire universe who did not deserve unjust treatment, it was you. And yet you willingly took it. And took it without saying a word to those who meted out the false accusations, the insults, the mocking jibes, the physical assault and abuse. Nothing!

But I, who was born in sin and shaped in iniquity had plenty of things to say when I suffered. Forgive me!

Thank you for your wonderful and exemplary conduct. Thank you for your strength of character. Thank you for your incredible, extravagant, unconditional love. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

I love you. I appreciate you. I commit afresh, my life into your hands today. Take my life Lord and let it be, consecrated only to thee. Take my moments and take my days and let them flow in ceaseless praise to you, and to your Father, our Father.

Thank you for all you have done. And dear precious Saviour, I thank you that after all that you’ve accomplished, all that you’ve achieved, you are not resting on your laurels. You are still working, still serving. Because now that you are alive, now that you ever live, you are making continual intercession for me. I so need it! And I am so grateful.

Thank you for being the High Priest of my confessions of faith. Thank you for your precious efficacious blood, which speaks on my behalf from the Mercy Seat in heaven. Thank you for the loving eloquence of your blood, which effectively pleads for mercy, grace and forgiveness. Oh, how much better, how much nobler does your blood speak for me, than Abel’s blood, which had spoken against Cain when it cried out for vengeance!

I love you Jesus.

And I love you Father God. It was your brilliant plan. It was your wisdom and justice tempered with mercy that ensured it was executed. It was your miraculous intervention that implanted the seed of your Word within the Virgin Mary. It was your angelic protection that shielded Jesus from King Herod’s murderous edict. It was your ‘foolishness’ that conceived the idea of that accursed and monstrous cross. It was your awesome and miraculous power that raised Jesus from the dead. Hallelujah!

And you did it all for me!

You did it for the entire world, so that whoever would believe, and whoever would accept what Christ has done for them, could indeed be saved, aye, could be rescued from eternal damnation.

Such inexplicable, indescribable, incomparable love!

Father God, Lord Jesus, Precious Holy Spirit, I bow my heart and my will in reverence before you.

Triune Godhead, you are worthy to be praised. You are worthy to be glorified. You are worthy to be honoured.

Lord Jesus, be magnified today, this Easter Sunday, as I exalt your awesome name!

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

Happy Easter!

With love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

Author of: Petitions From My Heart

Are you looking for a resource that will help and encourage you to develop a consistent and confident prayer life? If so, don’t hesitate to check out the links below.

AMAZON UK – Print: click here; E-book: click here

AMAZON US – Print: click here;  E-book: click here

 

 

I hope you were blessed today by reading this post. If so, please share your response in a comment box below. Do you know someone who would also enjoy and benefit from its message? Then please don’t hesitate to share it. Thank you.

 

 

An Easter Petition

The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

I am sure it would not have escaped the notice of many of you who regularly read my posts, that I published a book of prayers last year, called Petitions From My Heart.

The prayer below is an excerpt from this book, which I share with you all, given the season of Easter.

I hope you will be blessed in your reading but I also hope this excerpt will serve as a sample of my book’s content and (if you have not already done so), will encourage you to explore its content further, even perhaps spur you towards a purchase!

Happy Easter!

 

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

 

Father God,

I thank you for sending Jesus to this earth to die for me and for every individual in the world, so that we might be redeemed from the hand of the Enemy and redeemed from the curse of the law.

Thank you for your perfectly executed plan, which not only satisfied your wrath against sin and demonstrated your mercy in providing an atonement but also outwitted the Prince of Darkness and his cohorts. Hallelujah!

Lord Jesus, you willingly relinquished your position of majestic power and prestige. Thank you for humbling yourself and assuming the limitations of human flesh in order to both identify with me and implement the will of the Father.

Triumphant Saviour, as I reflect on how you were betrayed and delivered into the hands of the Scribes and Pharisees, help me to learn from your exemplary conduct and your total commitment to the Father’s will. I thank you for your intercessory role and ministry and I pray your petitions will pave a path of humility in my life, enabling me to follow your example.

Holy Spirit, I acknowledge you as the one sent to walk alongside and assist me. Help me to walk worthy of the vocation to which I have been called. When occasion demands, bring back to my remembrance the relevant scriptures and motivate me to put my fleshly inclinations and desires to death and faithfully follow Christ. I thank you Holy Spirit for empowering me to take up my cross daily and follow Jesus, my Lord and Saviour. Amen.

With love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

Author of: Petitions From My Heart

 

Did you find the above post useful? Are you looking for a resource that will help and encourage you to develop a consistent and confident prayer life? If so, don’t hesitate to check out the links below.

 

AMAZON UK – Print: click here; E-book: click here

AMAZON US – Print: click here;  E-book: click here

 

I’d love to know your response to this post. Please share your thoughts in a comment box below. And if you know anyone who would benefit from a boost to their prayer life, please don’t hesitate to recommend my book and share the purchase links. Thank you.

 

 

 

Effective Prayer Requires Sacrifice

 

Every morning you’ll hear me at it again.

Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on your altar

and watch for fire to descend.

(Psalm 5:3 The Message)

 

Even though my mother (God rest her soul) inducted me into a lifestyle of prayer, it was not always easy to maintain a prayerful lifestyle. I admit it was probably not as hard for me as it is for some others within the body of Christ, who did not have that particular example and influence around them, but I nevertheless sometimes struggled.

Usually, it was because of difficult circumstances which the Enemy used to demean and distract me.

Just as King David did, I discovered that there are times when you have to speak to your soul and encourage yourself in the Lord.

The following is an extract from my writing journal, where I sought to both speak to and motivate myself, so I could continue to pray for myself and for others, regardless of how I felt; so I could deal with those issues which often tripped me up and prevented me from praying, or else undermined the effectiveness of my prayers.

I share this journal extract in the hopes that it will speak to the hearts of those who truly love God and want to please him, yet struggle in their walk with the Lord because of disappointments, or discouraging circumstances which the Enemy uses, to try and break their focus (often successfully).

I share in the hopes that those who struggle to maintain a consistent prayer life, will be encouraged to push through with determination.

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

 

PRAYER.

The power to change things. Change me, change others, change my community, change my world.

Prayer.

It is the positive power of the tongue. When you pray, you are able to join forces with God, imitate him, when he spoke in the beginning and said: “Let there be…”. There was darkness, there was void, there was no life. However, he spoke and it changed the earth’s atmosphere and environment.

Carol, are you not happy with your life, your relationships, your social and economic environment? Then change it! Take the Word of God and apply it by speaking to your circumstances with authority and in faith.

To speak with authority there must be belief in what you are saying. There must be confidence that you have the right to ask, or declare that thing. There must be confidence that what you say will come to pass.

What undermines that confidence, that assurance?

It is sin. It is the sneaking suspicion at the back of your mind that you are not quite there spiritually, that you have blotted your copy book so to speak with your rebellion and stubbornness.

You know what the Word of God says about forgiveness but nevertheless, you feel that your case is an exception, or you feel that to obey God’s word in that regard is too costly.

Yes, it is costly. Costly to your flesh. To your pride, to your self-esteem. You feel to forgive is to render you a doormat. Render you weak and impotent and pathetic whilst your offender is empowered over you.

You think to hold on to your unforgiving attitude is to hold onto the last vestiges of self-respect. That person doesn’t respect you. Onlookers who see and know what has been done also do not respect you.

Who respects the weak? Who respects the put-upon, the one who is put down not just once or twice or even three times but again and again and again and again until it becomes a cycle, until it becomes a way of life, until your thoughts and your heart and your entire life is wrapped around tightly with the scorn, ridicule and contempt, of others like a silk worm in its cocoon. Wrapped so tightly, until that person’s hatred, or jealousy, or malice, or reproach, seeps into your soul, poisoning your entire spiritual immune system.

You have the Word of God in your heart. You have the blood of Jesus that declares you righteous and justified but somehow you have allowed the poison of other people’s opinion and antics to break down your spiritual immune system. You have treated the Word of God, the name of Jesus, the blood of the Lamb, the anointing that breaks the yoke, as insignificant, in comparison to your woes, your wounds.

What is significant (to you), is that this person or those people should not get away with making you feel a non-entity, a no person, a bottom of the heap hobo. And yet… in the Kingdom of God, when it comes to our relationship with others— particularly those that mistreat or persecute us—that is sometimes how God wants us to view ourselves.

If you hold onto your life (your reputation, your self-esteem, your pride blah blah) then you will lose it! But, Jesus says if you will lose (i.e. deliberately let go of) these things for my sake, then you will find it (a higher, God-blessed life).

What a paradox!

In comparison to this world and how it thinks and operates, the Kingdom of God is a topsy-turvy way of operating. The world says: celebrate yourself, pamper yourself, live for yourself! But the Word of God says: crucify your flesh, die to self, deny yourself.

Carol, where are you in God’s equation?

Choose you this day whom you will serve—will it be your Father God, or yourself (i.e. the demands of your unruly flesh)?

[end of journal extract]

***     ***     ***

Dear friends and followers, I am choosing to be a victor. I am choosing to be a victorious overcomer.

How about you?

With much love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

Author of: Petitions From My Heart

 

AMAZON UK – Print: click here; E-book: click here

AMAZON US – Print: click here;  E-book: click here

 

Related Reading: Underdog or Overcomer

Did you enjoy reading this post? If so, please share your thoughts in a comment box below. Do you know someone whom would benefit from its message? Then please don’t hesitate to share it. Thank you.

 

A 21-day Thanks-Fest (Day 10)

 

Thank You Father God

Hello dear readers. It’s Day 10 of my blog challenge to write a gratitude post for 21 consecutive days.

Would you like to join me in this challenge? If so, you can simply share your own post and link back to mine, or leave your contribution in a comment box below.

May I encourage you to do this even for one week? Of course you may wish to keep your thoughts private and write in a journal and that’s perfectly fine. Just mention in a comment box below that you are taking part. You will truly find it a benefit and God just loves our expressions of gratitude. So go on – make His day!

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

(2 Timothy 1:7)

 

“Fear can keep us up all night long, but faith makes one fine pillow.”

 

Father God,

Today I want to offer my grateful thanks that I’ve not been given a spirit of fear.  And I also want to thank you for the comfort and power resident in your Word, which I often use to meditate upon and confess, in order to counteract those feelings of fear or anxiety, which has sought at times to overwhelm me.

Whether those fears were for my health or safety, or concern about what others thought of me, or anxiety for my loved ones, I’ve come to realise that those fears were needless.

In this age, where there seems to be any number of reasons to be afraid (the threat of terrorism, debilitating illnesses and terminal disease, or catastrophe of some sort), I thank you that you are teaching me to develop and exercise a sound mind with disciplined thought patterns. I thank you that you are enabling me to reject that spirit of fear and focus upon your abiding presence, for you have promised that you will never leave me or forsake me.

I thank you Father God.

Love,

Carol ♥

 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil;

For you are with me;

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

(Psalm 23:4)

The following are two posts I have written regarding this topic, which you may care to read.

  1. Fear or Faith?
  2. The Art of Anxiety

If you would like to download a free booklet of tips on how to overcome fear and anxiety, please click here. (Scroll down a little and look to your right for the free guide).

 

CREDIT: The above CC0 images come courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Have You Heard?

Hallelujah!

I’ve Been Redeemed!

 

But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. (Luke 24:2-3 NKJV)

—————————————————————————————————-———-

REDEMPTION:

  • The act of redeeming or state of being redeemed
  • Anything which redeems
  • The freeing of humanity from sin by Christ’s death on the cross

—————————————————————————————————-———-

 The Bible encourages us to do so but when last have you uttered this important truth?

What truth?

The amazing fact, the absolute reality that you have been redeemed!

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!

I try to declare this regularly, even several times a day.

Have you acknowledged?

 

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,

Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy

(Psalms 107:2)

 

Today, as I consider the story of Easter, as I remember the resurrection of Jesus, as I celebrate my redemption and He who has made it possible, I can only humbly lift my hands and say: I am redeemed.

And whilst I declare this fact with triumph, I’m reminded that my redemption came at a price:

 

 

Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold […] but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

(1 Peter 1:18-19)

The shedding of blood requires death. And in the context of our Easter story, only Jesus’ death would do.

But Hallelujah! Jesus is alive.

 

Have you appreciated?

The joy of our Easter message is that he was dead. He was buried. But today, he is alive!

And because he lives, I can face tomorrow.

I can face tomorrow no matter what tomorrow, or even today brings.

Even if my future holds abandonment (like Christ’s disciples), betrayal (like Judas), denial (like Peter), fickle love (like those who spread palm leaves in Jesus’ path then later cried “crucify him!”), rejection (like that of the scribes and Pharisees), or reluctance to side with me openly (like Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea)—I can (and I have determined in my heart that I will), face today, face tomorrow with faith, with boldness, with an unwavering commitment to follow Christ.

I will, because the Word of God tells me that I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

I will, because Jesus is worthy.

I will, because Jesus and Father God have done so much for me, and provided all the spiritual resources I could ever need, in order to triumph, in order to walk victorious in life, in order to combat the pernicious lies of the Enemy, in order to stand strong against his unrelenting attempts to undermine my confidence in God, to unleash the forces of evil, destruction and hatred within and against my life, within and against the lives of my loved ones, against the people of God, against God’s good and perfect will for the world he created.

Yes.

I am redeemed!

I. Am. Redeemed.

 

Have you appropriated?

I’m redeemed from the hands of the Enemy and I’m redeemed from the curse of the Law. When Jesus died upon the cross he became a curse for me, and for the entire world. It was all part of God’s great and grand plan of salvation. Jesus became a curse, so I, so the entire world (if they choose), may be freed from that curse and enjoy the blessings, favour and protection of God.

Now, I don’t want what God has freely given to me (his generous salvation package of redemption, restoration and eternal life), to not be fully appropriated in my life. I don’t want Jesus’ supreme sacrifice to be in vain, or for God’s resurrection power to not be fully activated in my life, just because I’m living less than I could, or should.

I want to honour him. I want to demonstrate my love and gratitude to him – ALWAYS! Not just when I’m experiencing the ecstatic highs of being in his presence during praise and worship. Not just when all is going according to my plans. Not just when the present scenarios of my life look picture perfect.

God demands that I love Him with all of my mind, heart, soul and strength. This may seem extreme, or even egotistical. And to the unregenerate heart, such a command may even seem a little controlling.

But why would he ask for anything less?

I mean no disrespect but my God is an all or nothing guy. When it comes to our commitment to him, He is a jealous God! And why shouldn’t He be? He has given his all. Furthermore, He sent his only son to give his all. So, why should I do less? How could I?

 

Have you affirmed?

When I examine and analyse and meditate upon the breadth and length, depth and height of God’s love for me that he would send Jesus to die for me; when I do so with the measure of understanding that I have as a mere mortal, and when I consider the cost to my Father God, the cost to my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ—how can I live any longer purely for myself? How can I ignore the ultimate price that was paid?

Nay. I cannot!

Only ignorance would do so. Only complete and utter selfishness would do so. Only arrogance would even consider doing so.

I cannot! I will not. This Easter, I am realising afresh that I am not my own. I’ve been bought with a price. A high price. A terrible price.

And so, today I cry out to you Father God. I cry out to you with a heart full of gratitude. I cry out to you in wonder and amazement. How is it that you love me so? How is it that you chose to redeem me at such a costly price as the precious blood of your only begotten Son, Jesus?

“…Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”

“My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb… ”

(Genesis 22:7-8) 

 

Father God, I bow my knees. I bow my heart. I submit my life, my hopes, my dreams, my future to you afresh. You are amazing. Your love is amazing. Your sacrifice is astounding – in fact, it is beyond comprehension. It is beyond words.

Thank you Father God. Thank you my dear, sweet Saviour and Lord.

Dear reader, Jesus is very much alive and because he died, because he now lives—I AM REDEEMED!

Hallelujah!

 

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

 

WoW friends and followers, if you agree with the sentiments expressed in this post, if you are grateful for Christ’s supreme sacrifice, if you’d like to join me in responding to God’s extravagant and unconditional love, please say “Thank You Father God” in a comment box below.

 

Happy Easter!

 

CREDIT: The above CC0 images come courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

 

It’s An Un-Pretty Path!

 

Just before starting to write this post, I felt like crying and weeping and crying some more.

Why?

I had just watched The Passion of the Christ.

It is something I like to do every year on Good Friday. I do it because I don’t want my relationship with God to be something I take for granted. I don’t want my profession to be a Christian and the life I live as a result of this claim, to be a light-hearted matter.

I want, no I need, to be reminded of what God and his precious Son Jesus, has done for me. And so here I am today having watched Mel Gibson’s dramatization of the last few hours of Christ’s life.

It’s brutal. It’s graphic. It’s thought provoking. And it’s deeply, deeply moving.

I have been moved.

I would not describe myself as a nominal Christian. Someone who attends church only on a Sunday but has no relationship with God during the week. Nor am I someone who attends only for those occasions such as Easter, or Christmas, weddings, christenings and funerals.

Nor am I what I’d describe as a tick-box Christian. Someone who attends church because it has become a routine affair in their life and they feel it’s the right thing to do, yet somehow that vital connection… that life-giving relationship is not there.

I say all the above to give you some context. I love my Father-God. I’ve fully committed my life to Christ. I am not someone playing at “churchianity”. When I attend church meetings, I do so because I want to connect with God and with the people of God… because I recognise that when you attend, if your pastor or leader is spirit-filled then there’s a protective anointing released over your life.

When I attend, I do so because I want to be obedient to God’s Word… because I want to enter that higher realm within God’s presence, which you only experience when you present yourself with other members of Christ’s body and offer a corporate sacrifice of adoration, thanksgiving and praise.

So, as you can see, I am committed. Some might even say that I’m passionate when it comes to my relationship with God.

Now I’ve watched this movie before. I’ve been touched by Gibson’s portrayal before. And yet today, something different happened to me. And the only way I can describe it, is to say that I’ve been deeply, deeply moved.

Something has shifted in my heart. A new desire has been birthed within me. A new determination to walk, even soar in life, as a purpose-driven achiever.

It occurred to me whilst watching the movie that Jesus came down from his glorious and majestic habitat in heaven, specifically to die. For me. For you. For the entire human race.

As I watched, as sorrow settled in my heart, as tears pricked my eyes and mysterious lumps formed in my throat, it occurred to me that Jesus had both pursued and achieved his God-ordained purpose. Never mind whether anyone wants to believe it or not. Never mind whether anyone wants to accept it as the truth or not. Never mind whether anyone wants to come avail themselves of his free salvation package, or not.

What matters is that he did it! My Saviour pursued his purpose and fulfilled his destiny. He was and is, a purpose-driven achiever.

Now if we accept this, then we have to accept that pursuing our purpose is not always an idyllic path, a pretty picture of success. Using Jesus as an example, let’s reflect on the route he had to travel for us. Let us consider those times when he was mocked, scorned and spat upon, when he was stripped and humiliated, when he was whipped without mercy and all within a hateful, hostile atmosphere. Does this look, or sound like success? No!

Let me reiterate – the path of success is not always a pretty one. It is not paved with primroses and daffodils. It is paved with blood, sweat and tears. And for Jesus, it was literal blood, literal sweat and for his loved ones, literal tears.

You will recall me mentioning I’ve been deeply moved. Having re-read the account of Jesus’ crucifixion and the events preceding it. Having watched Gibson’s graphic depiction of Christ’s Passion. Having recognised that only someone deeply committed to God and to obeying his will would choose to die such a cruel death.

Yes! Deeply. Utterly. Moved.

Dear reader, pursuing your God-ordained purpose and becoming a purpose-driven achiever, may mean you being at the receiving end of betrayal. It may mean someone you’ve been good to, turns against you. It may mean people who do not understand you or who see you as a threat, will attempt to discredit you, even dispose of you.

Dear reader, when the baggage of past negative experiences meet with the pressure of current difficulties, and when the vision of your future seems cloudy, burdensome or overwhelming, you might (as Jesus did) be tempted to ask God to relieve you, to take your cup of troubles away from you. We all want that idyllic path but more often than not, success requires us to travel via a thorny crossroad.

It is at this point of pressure that we face a choice. Do we back away from the path we have chosen, or do we trust God to empower us, to enable us to carry on?

Are we truly committed to our Father-God so that honouring him, obeying his will, takes priority over our own desires, disappointments and discomfort? Are we focused on the bigger picture, knowing that once we achieve success, it equips us with the means to bless others?

You are perhaps familiar with the saying “no pain, no gain!” Well Jesus embraced it. Jesus lived it. Jesus modelled it.

Having endured the pain and shame of the cross, Christ emerges as a purpose-driven achiever. He achieved victory over a desire for self-preservation. He achieved victory over Satan. He achieved victory over death and sin. He did it for you and for me.

Purpose-driven believer and dream achiever, whilst it’s right that you should pursue the best life you can live as a Child of God and be the best person you can be as a disciple of Christ, in all your pursuits, in all your endeavours, your aim in life should be for God to use you to liberate others—from pain, from lack, from sorrow, from darkness.

Dear reader, I’d like to take the opportunity to encourage you on this special day of remembrance, on this Good Friday.

I’d like to remind you that if it were not for Christ’s sacrifice, you and I would not be in a position today to take advantage of God’s goodness, mercy and loving-kindness. Furthermore, I’d like to encourage you with the wise words of one of my favourite actors, Denzel Washington, who said: don’t just aim to make a living, aim to make a difference!

Dear reader, as you pursue your dreams, consider Christ’s example and remember—to be a purpose-driven achiever is to make a difference to the lives of others—whether family, friend, or foe.

Wishing you a happy Easter!

Best wishes,

Carol

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

PS: Have you been to my Easter Blog Hop party? No?

Then don’t delay – hop across today!

Here’s the address:

 

CREDITS: All the above CCO images are courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Spring Has Arrived – Twice!

 

The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.

Harriet Ann Jacobs

 

Because there seemed to be a difference of opinion about the official start of Spring, I decided to do a little research on the matter.

I discovered that there are two perspectives.

If you took the meteorological view, Spring starts in accordance with the Gregorian calendar – i.e. on 1 March each year.

But if you go with the astronomical viewpoint then the start of Spring occurs when an equinox takes place. This changes each year but usually falls on either the 19, 20, or 21 of March.

I’m not particularly bothered either way. In fact, being greedy, I’m happy to embrace both perspectives!

However, what I do love about, and take from my recent discovery is this—there is more than one opportunity to welcome Spring into our lives.

And so, in a metaphorical sense, I’m opening my heart, my life to the season of Spring. I’m inviting the Holy Spirit to come and bring freshness, growth and an abundance of fruit.

Spring, you are welcome!

Come burst into our lives with blossom and buds, soft showers and sunshine.

 

QUESTION:

Are you welcoming a new season of Spring? Are you preparing for and expecting spiritual growth?

 

 

CREDIT: the above CCO image comes courtesy of Hans Braxmeier of Pixabay.com

 

A Time to Celebrate

 

Hello friends and followers,

Today is Mother’s Day in the UK.

It was an occasion that my mum just loved, particularly in the last few decades of her life. Because we utterly spoiled her. We celebrated her. We did our best to show just how much we loved and appreciated her.

Mum has passed away now. But I still want to remember this incredible, faithful woman of God. I still want to celebrate her life. I still want to give God thanks for the privilege of being her daughter.

Below is an extract from my diary which I’d like to share with you all. The entry was written about 3 weeks before my mother died.

 

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

 

Hello Diary,

I feel like bawling my eyes out. I feel like breaking down and sobbing until every fibre of me has been ridden of pain and disappointment and disillusionment.  I am writing this in a new place (not my Ivory Tower as usual).  I am at my mother’s home, sitting at the dining table—the scene of so much laughter and joy and boisterous revelry.

I sit at my lap top with all the signs of my mother’s warm personality and godly commitment around me. Upon the walls are framed photographs and certificates. Photos of good times, of birthday and graduation events and of her Bishop’s ordination. Photos of celebrations. Photos illustrating Bible verses. Pictures reminding the onlooker of the power of prayer. Certificates testifying of my mother’s commitment to a certain Christian ministry and to her completion of a Bible course. 

I grieve for the mother these photos and certificates portray. A strong God-focussed, prayerful, caring, committed and compassionate woman. 

Earlier, I had borrowed one of her many Bibles. This one sat upon the dining room table. I borrowed it whilst I sat in the overgrown, neglected garden, which is another cause of grief, since it does not bear any resemblance to the garden my mum loved and tended for years. 

Oh it’s not the kind of garden that you’d see in a gardener’s magazine.  It was too haphazard in layout and design for that.  Mum’s garden contained an apple tree with the sourest apples you could ever hope to eat.  There were also potatoes, green beans and gungo beans, spring onions and mint.  All this mixed with rosemary and strawberries, roses and pretty pink flowers (the name of which I do not know). 

But nowadays, along with invasive weeds, mum’s back garden seems to have sprouted old furniture, disintegrating bits of wood, parts of a vacuum cleaner, rusty pipes, containers of industrial fluids and God knows what. There is also a massive eyesore of a building that one of my brothers decided to build—against the wishes and vigorous protestations of his siblings and without my mother’s permission.

Whilst I sit typing at mum’s home, she lies in a hospital bed – a mere shadow of the woman I came to love, respect and highly admire and whom I still love to her very bones, whom I still respect with every fibre of my being and whom I still highly admire, as an example of the woman of God I desire to be.

And as I sat in the back garden on this beautiful day, a day that sported a cloudless blue sky and bright shining sun, there was a stark contrast between my mental climate and the gorgeous weather. 

Our lives have changed.  Indubitably. Undeniably.

No more mum to call upon and ask for prayer.  No more mum to bring our problems to, knowing she would plead and intercede for us to Father God. No more mum on her knees in the earth tending to her beloved gardens. No more mum to arrange family get-togethers and cook extravaganza feasts… to sit back in satisfaction watching us eat and enjoy her food… to bask in our compliments and expressions of gratitude… to listen to the same old family anecdotes and the same old good-natured ribbing of one another. No more mum to join in with the hilarity.

It seems so unfair that this wonderful woman who has been responsible for raising us up single-handedly since the untimely death of my father, this woman who was responsible for making such warm beautiful memories for her family, should have these same precious memories wiped from her memory bank, so that all she is left with is the knowledge that she is incapacitated and without dignity and, the very condition she’d said she would never want to become a feature of her life (having seen it in the lives of others), should turn out to be her own experience.

My father often used to say: “Life – it no easy!”  I would further add: “Life – it’s just not fair!”

Anyway, whilst using the Bible for my quiet time with the Lord, I came across a letter at the back dated 1 November 1989 from one of my sisters. This 4-page letter contained an outpouring of her heart about a particular situation, which had remained unchanged, despite ongoing prayer.

It was such a heartfelt letter. I was touched to the core of my being, so I can imagine how it must have touched my mum. I have no doubt that this letter prompted a session of passionate prayer and intercession on behalf of her daughter and grandson. I have no doubt this outpouring of sorrow and confusion and hurt prompted a phone call in which my mum encouraged, consoled and sought to strengthen my sister. I have no doubt because that was the kind of woman mum was.

As the old saying goes, life is not a bed of roses. Challenges and changes come and we either face up to them and deal with it, or we can run away in the hopes that distance will give us respite, or we can allow our problems to press us into a place of defeat and victimhood.

In the dining room where I sit, there is a cabinet crammed with wine glasses, champagne flutes, candles, crockery and cutlery. Most were gifts to mum over the years and were used for our birthday celebrations, dinner parties and Christmas get-togethers. Some items, such as a colourful set of sherry glasses, were not used anymore because they were so old-fashioned. However, mum didn’t get rid of them and they kept their place in the cabinet.

Looking at this cabinet, it set me thinking…

As Christians, when we encounter the difficulties of life, it’s a relief to know we have a Heavenly Father that cares. It’s wonderful having a loving Saviour and friend in Jesus, upon whom we can cast our burdens. And it’s comforting and reassuring that we have the Holy Spirit who has been called alongside us to help and counsel us.

But are we actually benefiting from these spiritual resources that we’ve been given to enable us to walk victoriously in life? Or, are we merely keeping them like trophies in a cabinet, which we take out now and again, perhaps even use on the odd occasion but otherwise, they serve no significant purpose in our lives?

 

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

 

Thank you dear friends for sparing the time to read this post. For all those who may have lost their mother recently, I pray that the God of all comfort will be with you… that you will be able to look back at the time you’ve shared in the past and rejoice over the memories.

And for all you mothers amongst my readership, may I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day!

 

CREDIT: the above CCo image comes courtesy of Terri Cnudde at Pixabay.com

 

Encouragement for your journey (6)

Success is a journey – not a destination!

 

Hello dear reader,

It is now the second month of 2018. So, how are you doing?

When the clock struck midnight and a New Year was ushered in, every living soul who has God’s breath in their body was given a fresh opportunity to write their own story. A new story. A story of success. A story of accomplishment. A story of personal growth and development. A story of a victorious lifestyle, of spiritual increase and supernatural blessings.

But that story will only get written with the quill of zeal and determination, with the ink of wisdom, faith and hope.

So, how will the next 10-11 months shape up for you?

With the opportunities that 12 chapters and 365 pages each New Year grants, what type of story do you want to see emerge? What story are you planning, shaping, expecting? Will it be a tale of woe and regret, or an exciting saga with twists and intrigue?

In every good story there has to be a beginning and an ending. In every realistic tale there has to be a conflict, or problem which needs to be resolved. There is a protagonist and an antagonist. And just as the author is in control of the story she or he writes, so you are in control of your story, so I am in control of mine.

Perhaps you’re thinking:  No Lady Cee, I am not in control. What about those who oppose me? What about the unexpected events that throw me off track? What about God’s will for my life? What about my responsibilities? What about Satan and his evil cohorts? 

 

What about him? What about your accusers, your back-stabbers, your mockers, naysayers and saboteurs? Are you forgetting something?

What about God Almighty? What about Jesus your Saviour and the author and finisher of your faith? What about the Holy Spirit—your advocate, counsellor, helper and intercessor?

And what about you? None of the negative aspects of our lives, mean that you and I can abdicate responsibility for our failings and short-comings.

Dear friend, you can choose to feel despondent about your traumas, trials and tribulations and you can choose to stay in a slough of depression, or else you can arise. Arise in strength. Arise in faith.

And, you can say, as Habukkuk did:

Though the fig tree does not blossom […] and the fields yield no food, […] yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation.

The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places of trouble, suffering, or responsibility.

Habakkuk 3:17-19

You can look at the shenanigans of those who oppose you, marginalise you, hate or despise you, and you can believe they have the upper hand and that you are their victim.

Or, you can look at those same situations and see an opportunity for God to amaze you, strengthen you, hone your character, transform you. And you can be confident that Father-God will fight for you (vanquishing those enemies as he sees fit). You can be assured that he will remove you from the reach of harm, even forge a path of favour along your route to success.

Dear reader, can you see how whatever happens in your life, you can gain the upper hand, you can be in control, you can be the head and not the tail, above only (in your estimation and according to God’s reckoning) and not beneath (because of the warped estimation of others)?

You can take control of your story in 2018! It’s a matter of your mind-set. It’s a matter of your free-will. It’s a matter of choice.

Over the remaining months of this year, we can choose to follow our dreams, pursue our destiny, trust God, believe His Word and draw closer to him. Or we can choose to walk on the path of mediocrity, swim in the pool of stagnancy, or reside in a cul-de-sac of confusion and despair.

Dear reader, you and I are God’s creative masterpiece! So let’s remember that. Let’s you and I over the remaining months of this year, write a humdinger of a tale, one that the Lord would be proud to read.

Have a blessed and victorious week!

Love,

Carol ♥♥

 

CREDIT: The above CC0 Images come courtesy of Pixabay.com

Encouragement for Your Journey (5)

 

Each year, each month, each week, each day, even each hour, we are presented with an opportunity to change, to aim for a better, higher expression of ourselves as a child of God, as a spouse, as a parent, as a colleague, as a human being with a unique personality.

Why not aim to make this year, a year of significant achievement or breakthrough, in terms of drawing closer to God, in terms of our relationship with others, in terms of our areas of weaknesses, in terms of our dreams?

 Is it possible?

Can anyone who has ingrained bad habits, a negative mind-set, a propensity to start but not finish their projects, change?

YES THEY CAN!

Dear reader, perhaps you are entertaining doubts. Perhaps your doubts are singing loudly from the rooftop of your being, or perhaps they are quietly niggling you at the back of your brain. However they may be troubling you, don’t ignore them and certainly don’t accept them!

Instead dismiss them. Address them each time they show up and say: doubts – come out! Serve them notice. Evict them. Refuse to give them free board and lodging in your life anymore.

Perhaps you are thinking: that’s easy for you to say Lady Cee but I’ve tried in the past and failed.

So have I, dear reader – so have I! But that is not going to stop me from continuing to try until I succeed.

Listen to me – I heard a man of God speak the other day and the gist of his encouraging message was that every champion, every president, every entrepreneur, every man or woman who has achieved significance, had wanted to give up.

What you and I have to do, is purpose in our hearts, no matter how long it takes, no matter what obstacles we face, WE WILL NOT GIVE UP! As a well-known proverb advises: If at first you don’t succeed TRY, TRY, AGAIN!

So about those doubts. Why might they be there?

Perhaps you had parents, or school teachers, or a spouse, or some other significant person in your past, who said you were not going to amount to much. Listen, there is historical evidence that such figures of authority have been proved wrong. Very wrong!

 

Stop Doubting Yourself!

 

They were wrong about physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Albert Einstein. They were wrong about successful business magnate, Richard Branson. They were wrong about renowned motivational speaker, Les Brown. And they are wrong about you!

Decide in your heart that no human being (other than yourself) is going to have the last word in your life about your capabilities or prospects. God says you are his creative masterpiece. Listen to him and accept his assessment of you.

Perhaps you have a past record of beginning projects and not completing them. I know I have. And the memory of these unfinished projects, these unfulfilled “vows” with yourself, sit smugly within your consciousness and point accusatory fingers. The devil himself makes sure to give you his unsought opinion. And the little demons that attach themselves to these memories, scoff and taunt about your ability to change, to be diligent, to discipline yourself, to sustain interest until the point of completion.

Am I right? But more to the point, are they right?

Don’t let them have the last word. You can change. The Word of God says that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. So ask God, believe and expect mental and emotional strength. Ask for, believe and expect to receive an ability to withstand the pressures of your life, to overcome those forces designed to distract and deter you.

Again, the Word of God says all things are possible to him that believeth. I understand that the “eth” at the end of words in biblical text signifies a continuous tense. So to achieve your heart’s desire, it’s important that you not just believe whilst the going is good but continue to believe – today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year – regardless of what happens and for as long as it takes. Are you willing to believe and believe and believe? Are you willing to do whatever it takes?

And about those obstacles, whether within yourself, or outside of yourself, you have a choice of whether to allow them to win, or whether to soar over them, plough through them, or wrestle them into submission to your dreams, goals and strategic plans.

If human beings, severely disadvantaged in life, refuse to let those disadvantages deter them; if disabled people can paint with their feet, successfully compete in races, and achieve extraordinary results; if individuals so beaten down by life they’d planned to dispose of themselves, can come back from the dead, so to speak, to effectively change and empower themselves, then we as blood-bought children of God—who’ve been given the requisite supernatural resources to enable us to endure, to overcome and win, and enjoy abundant life—have absolutely no genuine excuse!

Dear friend, the following is a short video which concludes today’s pep talk. If you need to watch it again and again and again throughout the coming weeks and months, until that message sinks in, until those doubts do not even dare to peep out of your soul, then please do so.

 

 

WoW follower and visitor – you can do it BUT you have to choose to do so! So choose today to be a victor. Choose today to be a victorious over-comer. Choose today to follow your dreams, to pursue your goals, to make this year, your year of jubilee!

With love,

Carol ♥♥

 

CREDIT: all the above CC0 images come courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

The Caged Bird’s Song

 

FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY

Q: What is Five Minute Friday?

A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one-word prompt on her blog at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate visit her blog at: Heading Home.

Dear readers before I continue, I have to make a confession. Although this post began life as a 5min exercise, it has since been amended and refined!

 

 *****       *****       *****

 

 

CC0 Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Five Minute Friday Prompt: SING

 I don’t know why but Maya Angelou’s book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, came to mind, as soon as I saw this week’s prompt.

In the context of this blog’s purpose (which is to encourage women and to motivate us to walk as victorious overcomers), I see Christian woman who are habitually defeated or depressed, as akin to caged birds.

Most birds have the potential to sing joyously with abandon, to soar, to explore and enjoy their freedom but caged birds, in effect, have had their wings clipped.

Continuing with the above analogy, the cage (representing limiting beliefs, negative behaviour and Satan’s lies), both confines and defines.

Now of course the caged bird can sing but is its song true? Does it sing with the same harmony and sweetness as its counterparts that enjoy liberty?

Women of God, it is our choice whether any negative circumstance in which we may find ourselves, serves to imprison us. It is our responsibility to ensure that our Bible-based confession, or our testimony of faith becomes the spiritual song God hears, thus enabling him to liberate us.

Let us follow the example of the following writers, who confidently declared:

 

Behold God is my salvation,

I will trust and not be afraid;

For YAH, the Lord, is my

Strength and song;

He also has become my salvation.

(Isaiah 12:2 NKJV)

 

You are my hiding place;

You shall preserve me from trouble;

You shall surround me with

Songs of deliverance.

(Psalm 32:7 NKJV)

 

So, let me ask you dear Women of Warfare, how do you sing? As a caged bird, or as a potential bird of paradise… a beautiful bird of liberty?

 

 

Your Country Needs You!

CC0 Image - Pixabay.com
CC0 Image – Pixabay.com

 

Lot chose to live in Sodom and Gomorrah but the inhabitants’ ungodly behaviour vexed his righteous soul. However, if it were not for Abraham’s appeal to God, Lot may well have been destroyed alongside those degenerate souls (see Genesis 18:16-33).

Fast forward to today’s world and I think many of you readers will agree that it has reached a similar state of lawlessness and depravity.

The Bible declares that “…the whole world lieth in darkness” or “under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). Certainly, as Christians and prayer warriors, the reprehensible acts of so-called Church leaders who abuse their power and position, the various international crises, the troubling escalation of social ills, can seem utterly overwhelming and unresolvable.

But hallelujah! We serve a God who is able (and willing) to heal our lands and deliver the ungodly from the grip of the Enemy (2 Chronicles 7:14). He is merely looking for someone to step into the breach, to seek his assistance, to plead for his mercy, to make a demand upon his miraculous might.

So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Ezekiel 22:30 (NKJV).

Will you be that person? Will you allow God to transform your concerns into compassion? Will you don your spiritual armour today and pray?

Dear WoW! follower and visitor, your country needs you! Not as a critic. Not as a self-appointed judge. But as a committed soldier in Christ’s army, as a stalwart warrior. Please don’t hesitate to enrol and take your place on the battlefield. Your prayers can make a difference!

Wishing you all a blessed and victorious week!

Psst! Have You Heard…?

Carol, you are a sweet positive minded soul that I’ve been fortunate to connect with in this place. I would like to thank you for all your support, for your beautiful posts infused with wisdom and love. It’s been a pleasure relating with you. A Bit About Me My name is Carol and I am […]

via Getting To Know Beautiful Carol — a cooking pot and twisted tales  (before you click – please see intro below – Thank you).

INTRO:

For those of you who would like to have a personal insight into me the individual, the person behind the blogger, I hope you will visit Jacqueline’s site to read this interview.

If you have not already come across her name on your cyber-travels, I would be most surprised, as nearly everywhere I visit, her Gravatar image is already there amongst the likes, or the comments.  As I’m always telling her, Jacqueline is one of the hardest working bloggers I know (as a visit to her site will soon reveal – there are sooo many posts!), and her desire to collaborate with and support other bloggers, is just cause for admiration.

And the winner is . . .

FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY!

Q: What is Five Minute Friday?

A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one-word prompt on her blog at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate visit her blog at: Heading Home.

 

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 Five Minute Friday Prompt: MIDDLE

 Jesus. Me. Satan.

I’m in the middle!

Three distinct personalities. Three different beings.

To my right is Jesus—Lord of lords, Kings of kings, Prince of Peace.

In the middle is me—redeemed child of God.

And to the left, is him—accuser of the brethren. Deceiver. Thief. Father of Lies. The Evil One.

Either side of me, each personality vies for my attention. Each being seeks to influence my thoughts, govern my actions. One lovingly seeks to do so for my ultimate benefit and welfare. The other maliciously intends to steal my confidence, to kill my dreams, to destroy me.

Who wins? The one to whom I accede control. The one to whom I submit.

I’d like to think it is always Jesus. I’d like to say: ‘Jesus, of course!

But unfortunately, that wouldn’t be the unvarnished truth. I have to admit that there are times, when I want to govern.

STOP [end of 5mins]

There are times when I question the Word and therefore I am questioning Jesus, since he is the Word made flesh. And there are times when what I want is more appealing to my ego, or my sense of comfort, or my understanding, than what Christ demands.

And so there is a tussle. There’s a spiritual wrestling between my soul (mind, will, emotions) and spirit, between my intellect or sense-knowledge, and the logic-busting, God-type of faith.

And what of the other side—Mr Diablo, Mr Evil personified? How does he fit into this scenario?

Well Satan, the devil, my enemy and God’s arch-enemy, hates me. So he seeks to muddy the waters. He schemes to undermine my faith. He challenges and sabotages my beliefs, which were based upon the unchanging promises of God’s Word.

His subtle questioning (Did God say. . . ?), his sowing of sneering doubts, (Well, God may produce miracles for Bible saints, or significant men of faith but what makes you think He’ll do it for you?), assault my mind daily, hourly, even at times moment by moment, until I begin to waver, until I, at times, agree with him and re-examine my thinking, my hopes, my expectations.

Who wins?

Dear reader, after years of suffering from this spiritual tug of war, I reluctantly report that sometimes it is Jesus and sometimes it is Satan.

But what about you? (I hear you ask). What about me? (I playfully respond).

Dear reader, I may well be caught in the middle but the truth is, there are only two master influences, two spiritual forces, at work in this world. The first and foremost is Jesus: the Son of God, the Living Word, the one who “upholds all things by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3).

The second (a significantly inferior power), is Satan: the one whom Jesus saw fall from heaven, the one whom Jesus conquered, the one whom Jesus disarmed when he arose from the dead in resurrection triumph and, stripping Mr Diablo and his evil principalities of their powers, made a public spectacle of them all! (See Colossians 2:15).

Even should I be deceived into thinking that I’m exercising my own will, governing my own life, the fact of the matter is, that in reality I am not! Either Jesus is, or Satan is (there is no middle ground)—and that goes for every single being upon this planet.

When I submit my thoughts, attitudes and actions in obedience to God’s Word then Jesus reigns. He is Lord of my life. But when I agree with the lies and suggestions of the enemy, which are contrary to the Truth, when I selfishly decide I want to do my own thing, then guess what? I come into agreement with the devil and I’m allowing him to manipulate my life, whether I’m aware of this or not, whether you believe it or not.

And if you don’t believe dear reader – think Adam and Eve. Think serpent. Think subtle deception. Think satanic manipulation, provoking self-willed disobedience. Think transfer of allegiance. Think paradise lost!

 ***     ***     ***

CREDIT: CC0 Image – courtesy of Steen Møller Laursen at Pixabay.com

The Hiatus

CC0 Image - courtesy of Kai Stachowiak (Pixabay.com)
CC0 Image – courtesy of Kai Stachowiak (Pixabay.com)

 

 

Hello dear readers, faithful followers and visitors,

You may have noticed that there has been no activity from this corner of cyberspace for a good while.

Apologies for the inactivity and lack of explanation.

Following on from my recent post:  “The Politics of Hope”, it is with sadness I report that my dear mother went to be with the Lord. As you can appreciate, I’ve had other priorities!

Many thanks to all those who visited during my absence and kindly left your comments and likes, or honoured me with your follows. I do appreciate you.

I hope to begin posting again this month. Thank you for bearing with me at this time.

Kind regards,

Carol

(aka as Lady Cee)

 

PS: If you are a new follower of, or visitor to this blog: Women of Warfare! – you may be interested in reading the post (“A Celebration of Motherhood and Tribute to my Mother”), which provides further background.

 

Wishing you all a blessed and victorious weekend!