Bold, Brave, but Bleeding

Cafe, Girl, Book, Reading, Read, Drink, Leisure

I’ve ‘known’ Shell Vera for a number of years now as a fellow-blogger and recall her being one of the very first to engage with me in a meaningful manner, regarding one of my posts. As a newbie blogger, I appreciated this so much. To date, Shell Vera is still a regular reader and commenter at my blogs, so I had no hesitation about supporting this publication of her creative endeavours.

BOOK REVIEW: When I Stopped Remembering Tomorrow

Hang on I thought, how can someone remember tomorrow – let alone stop remembering it?

I was intrigued from the get go!

Apart from my curiosity over the title, it’s not often we have the pleasure of having a personal insight into the lives and hearts of people we know. Granted, I only ‘know’ Shell Vera as a fellow blogger but it’s still somebody I know a lot better than most authors I’ve read, whether famous or otherwise.

I bought the book.

I loved the book!

And now I’m sharing my response to Shell Vera’s powerful, poetic pieces.

I don’t know about you but when I don’t really know the author, I hardly ever read the front matter, unless it is pertinent to my understanding of the book. Now that I’m a published author and when I’m reading books from fellow bloggers, I peruse these pages with eager anticipation.

I was happy to see a dedication to fellow warriors and overcomers. Well that includes me! So from the short distance of the title to the dedication page, already my attention has been piqued.

But then I felt slightly put off after reading a comment regarding the church, which seemed harsh and unfair, and to which I could not relate  – was I going to like this book after all? Is there more of this kind of thing to come?

I read on.

The long and the short of it is that Shell Vera fell in love, met her true self for the first time and in doing so “truly met God.”

I like the framework.

Part 1 shares poetic pieces about her yesterdays followed by a separate prose section in Part 2, providing background information, or explaining what Shell had sought to convey in those pieces, or providing encouragement to hurting souls who have suffered similar abuse, and feel their dreams are impossible.

Often, we readers interpret poems according to our own, or vicarious experiences, according to literary evaluations, personal perceptions and conclusions, which usually differ to what the author originally meant or intended. It is therefore nice to actually know what the writer had intended to convey.

And now for my assessment of Shell Vera’s creative endeavours (bearing in mind the fact that I am not a poetry expert). I discuss in terms of my personal reactions to her work.

Heartfelt compassion stirs the heart of the reader, and contrasts with the cold uncompromising truth of the writer’s experience in pieces like Alone and Detached (1992): Here’s an example:

This girl has given up hope for the future,

She’s only living still because when she knocked,

Death refused to open the door for her.

Powerful pieces like The Final Nightmare (1999) will haunt you.

And in her poem The Dance (1999), Shell Vera’s beautiful and clever depiction of the dance of life, reminds us that either we ourselves, or the people with whom we tango, can become catalysts of change, for the good.

Her poems make you think. Force you to consider what it is you believe, how you interpret the gospel and how you embrace it within your own life.  After reading Wandering (2012), I wonder, how many of us need to take Jesus down from the cross of our limited imaginations and actually invite him to be a living breathing being in our day-to-day lives?

When you think of warriors, you tend to picture someone strong, staunch and solid, someone tough and triumphant, despite the odds. We think of people like Hercules, or Alexander the Great, or even King David, who was known to have slain his 10,000s.

But in our normal every-day life, particularly as a Christian where there is often pressure to present a false ‘super-spiritual’ picture, a true warrior is someone who faces the rigours and injustices of life and survives. They are warriors because they live to tell the tale. They are victorious overcomers because instead of remaining as downtrodden victims, they drag themselves up from the dust and mire of catastrophe or rejection, and push forward through the doors of hope.

Women of Warfare friends and followers, only when you have truly met and committed your life to the Lord, only when you have engaged in prayer warfare and entrusted your well-being into the hands of your Creator-God, will those negative circumstances of life become a spiritual launching pad, enabling you to soar as victorious overcomers.

So, if you are guilty of doing this, stop wasting your life yearning for tomorrow.

Start living in the present, praying in earnest, and yearning for meaningful spiritual encounters with the God who holds your tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I’d encourage you to buy the book!

Order here

You may visit Shell Vera at her website and blog  

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

Start living in the present, praying in earnest, and yearning for meaningful spiritual encounters with the God who holds your tomorrow.

A Tale of Mr Little, Nothing & No-one!

 

We all learn lessons in life. Some stick, some don’t. I have always learned more from rejection and failure than from acceptance and success.

Henry Rollins

 

Too many Christians have a commitment of convenience. They’ll stay faithful as long as it’s safe and doesn’t involve risk, rejection, or criticism. Instead of standing alone in the face of challenge or temptation, they check to see which way their friends are going.

Charles Stanley

 

Our self-perception determines our behavior. If we think we’re small, limited, inadequate creatures, then we tend to behave that way, and the energy we radiate reflects those thoughts no matter what we do. If we think we’re magnificent creatures with an infinite abundance of love and power to give, then we tend to behave that way. Once again, the energy around us reflects our state of awareness.

 

Have you ever been made to feel like so high?

Perhaps it was your boss at work, or a colleague.

Whoever it was, they managed to convey their low opinion of you – that you are of little, or no significance – in their estimation that is! And I can bet the Enemy lost no time in confirming those thoughts.

In the Bible, we read of a character named Zacchaeus, who was not only little of physical stature but also little in the eyes of others. As a tax collector, he would have been rejected, scorned, even reviled. And so you can bet your life (don’t do it though!) that even the religious people of his day marginalised him and dismissed him as of little, or no consequence.

How about you?

Have there been people in your life who have shoved you to the margins of dignity or respectability?

And have circumstances or the way you are treated, reinforced within your mind any negative feelings you may have about yourself and your future?

 

STOP!

Don’t listen to the voice and lies of the Enemy. He used the same tactics on Jesus and will do the same to his followers. After all, Jesus himself said:

A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. (Matthew 10:24 NKJ)

 

In terms of how others were ill-treating him, listen to what Paul said of himself and his fellow-workers:

…being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now. (1 Corinthians 4:13 NKJ)

 

 As I wrote this, I suddenly had an epiphany.

You see I’d get upset with God because since He is in control, why is he allowing my ill-treatment and persecution? Why does He allow it to continue? And how does being constantly maligned and misrepresented bring glory to you Lord?

But what I, and what you need to realise, is that we occupy different roles and those roles carry different responsibilities and attract different challenges and trials.

  • As an ambassador I am supposed to reflect the principles of his kingdom and promulgate its benefits.
  • As his child, I am supposed to love and trust him, develop my relationship with him.
  • As his disciple, I am supposed to pick up my cross daily and follow him.
  • As a member of the Body of Christ, I am to live according to rules which differ from those of the secular world and adopt a mind-set that usually thinks contrary to popular opinion.
  • As a servant of God I am required to serve him faithfully to the best of my ability.

Swimming against the tide of popular perceptions

It is precisely because we are swimming against the tide of popular perceptions and what is deemed as normal behaviour that we Christians can become a target.

Like Zacchaeus, we need to get out of the way of the crowd… raise ourselves above the environment of the status quo. However, realise that in doing so, the spotlight of other people’s malice or contempt will almost certainly focus upon you.

Now dear reader, if you have been, or are currently being mistreated, climb out of the box in which others have pigeon-holed you. Don’t passively accept or participate in those scenarios of victimisation or rejection, which other people have orchestrated for you.

In order for him to see Jesus, Zacchaeus’ strategy was to elevate himself above the general crowd, above his circumstances and the perception of others (i.e. his littleness of stature and character).

Dear friend, choosing to stay on the same level as the crowd means you will limit your perception of self… means you can only see this crowd… means you’ll become carried away by it or absorbed into its mentality… means you’ll only see yourself in relation to it.

Now, if you can relate to anything I’ve said in this post, allow me to counsel you today. Learn a lesson from Zacchaeus who chose to climb higher—and go do likewise!

Choose to be a victor!

Wishing you a peaceful and victorious week.

Love from

 

Carol (aka Lady Cee) ♥♥

 

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

Have you been blessed by this post? Why not share it with others? And would you be so kind as to let me know your response in a comment box below? I’d love to hear from you.

 

25…My Rebirth — caterpillartobutterflyblog

Pillows wet Today’s dusk to tomorrow’s dawn And all the suns in between Today, tomorrow, yesterday…all the same No season was safe The mental self-harm, profuse How could the world not see the scars…fresh blood Seeking validation The need to fill a God-sized heart hole Led her to all the wrong places, humans, things Just […]

via 25…My Rebirth — caterpillartobutterflyblog  

Hello Women of Warfare friends and followers,

I came across this beautiful, heartfelt poem, which immediately made me think of the prodigal daughters and lost lambs in God’s kingdom.

When I refer to lost lambs I am not necessarily speaking about those who have turned their back upon God, or walked away from their faith.

I am referring to those who may be attending church yet do not feel as if they are a part of the body of Christ because either they’ve been rejected by their brothers and sisters in Christ, or they’ve not made any meaningful relationships. I also refer to those who may have been hurt by leadership, felt misunderstood, or been wrongly accused.

And then there are those who have become disillusioned with their faith, or those who still maintain their confidence in Christ but wish to distance themselves from church life for personal reasons.

To all such lost lambs and segregated sheep, Jesus, who is the Good Shepherd and Overseer of your souls, is standing at the door of your hearts asking you to let him into those areas of hurt and doubt, confusion, even bitterness, so he can tend to your wounds, heal your hurts and make you whole.

Yes, his message to all such prodigal daughters is: Come Home!

I hope this blogger’s beautiful poem will encourage you to respond to Christ’s call and return to his sheepfold.

With love,

💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖

 

Push A Different Button!

Those of you who have read my posts for some time know that every now and again I share something from an excellent devotional resource that I use, the UCB Word for Today, written by Bob & Debby Gass.

I cannot recommend this highly enough. Even if you don’t get on with daily devotional books (for a long time I didn’t!), you can read it as a straight forward book, or dip into it from time to time (as I started out doing). Before you know it, I’m sure you’ll become a fan (as I have!).

The following is an extract from last month, which I feel led to share with you all.

 

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MIND-SETS ARE patterns whereby your mind automatically operates a certain way. That means you can set yourself up for misery by reacting to the same people and circumstances in the same way, and expecting different results.

Maybe you are saying:

‘After all these years I thought he’d change…’

‘No matter how hard I try, my family doesn’t appreciate me…’

‘How come I’m the only one who makes an effort to stay in touch?’

 

It’s easy to blame your problems on others.

‘Look what he’s doing.’

‘Look how long I’ve waited.’

‘Why doesn’t she call?’

 

We think the answer lies in getting the other person to do what we want, but that kind of thinking is self-defeating; it gives control to others.

Your happiness isn’t determined by other people, even though you’ve convinced yourself it is.

An experienced counsellor writes:

‘If you don’t like the same results… try pushing a different button. Look at your relationships. Is there a situation that’s going downhill despite your best efforts? Are you waiting for something to change, instead of doing something different? Stop pushing the same button, and ask God for clarity to see the situation honestly and to act with wisdom and responsibility.’

 

You’re not a victim of circumstances; you don’t have to stay stuck or keep going in circles.

Paul says, ‘Put off… your former conduct… and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.’

The word for you today is: you can change!

 

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WoW followers and visitors, I hope you find the above useful, even timely. If you enjoyed reading and know someone who could benefit from this post please do not hesitate to share it. And why not drop me a line and tell me what you thought about it in the comment box below? I’d really appreciate your response.

*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from: FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please go to: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

The above CC0 images used are courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Don’t Be A Fool!

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“Count your blessings and be grateful not a great fool.” ― Habeeb Akande

 

 

Hello dear readers,

Thank you for joining me on the final leg of my 6-day “thanks-fest”. I trust by now you are aware of how much I appreciate you all for taking the time to read my posts and interact with me. Given the amount of great content on the web and in the WordPress Reader, I count your continued interest and support an honour. Thank you!

And now to the task in hand.

Gratitude. Or its ugly and contrary opposite twin—ingratitude!

Whilst doing some research on this theme, I came across the following:

The Discipline of Gratitude means we are practicing and producing an attitude of gratitude, of being thankful, even when we cannot see what we have. This is an aspect of our worship of Christ—expressing to him our appreciation and reverence for how he has benefited our lives. We are grateful because his blood has redeemed us. This also has a relational application in that it helps us deal with others as we show our support, appreciation, and benevolence to them for how they have benefited our lives.

Dr Richard J Krejcir

 

Dr Krejcir’s observation, brought to mind the biblical story of Nabal. Are you familiar with it? If not, and you’d like to read it for yourself, or refresh your memory, the account can be found at 1 Samuel 25:2-38.

Nabal is a man who benefitted from the kindness of David and his warrior men, when they provided free protection to his herdsmen. This is a man who is wealthy and could afford to offer a gesture of appreciation without it affecting him materially. But this mean ingrate, not only refused to do so, but decided to slander David. Nabal acted true to his nature and the meaning of his name, which is “Fool”!

The biblical account provides us with an example of both gratitude and ingratitude. Nabal’s churlish behaviour, provoked outrage and almost cost the unnecessary and violent loss of life. In the end, only his life was lost!

Abigail’s generous expression of gratitude not only saved the day but prompted praise and thankfulness to God from David. He appreciated her generosity and wise intervention, which prevented him from taking matters into his own hands and seeking revenge for Nabal’s insults.

 

Ingratitude is a crime more despicable than revenge, which is only returning evil for evil, while ingratitude returns evil for good. William George Jordan

 

Ingratitude is an insult. It diminishes the ingrate. Gratitude opens the door to favour and goodwill.

As I have sought to encourage over the past few days, we are to reflect upon the goodness of God and thank him for the benefits he has bestowed upon our lives. However, we should also remember to thank those who’ve sown positive seeds in our lives.

Have you recently benefited from someone’s kindness? Have you thanked them, or thanked God for them and asked him to bless them?

 Women of Warfare! followers and visitors have a blessed week.

 

New PDA Post! – May I Wash Your Feet?

Hello Fellow Bloggers,

I write for another blog site but for some obscure reason my posts from there do not appear in the Reader. Consequently, I have no means of driving traffic towards this other blog, or making potentially interested bloggers aware of its existence.

I am therefore resorting to advertising my new posts through my Women of Warfare! (WoW!) blog and appreciate your forbearance.

 


 

 

JesusWashingFeet (BennoOosterom)-1051030_960_720

Image from Benno Oosterom – Pixabay.com

In recent weeks we’ve been looking at life metaphors. One of mine is that life is a journey. I believe most of you would agree with me that we are all on a journey of some kind—a journey towards our dreams and aspirations, towards God’s purpose for our lives and ultimately towards our eternal destiny.

In biblical times it was the custom for hosts to wash the dust and grime from the feet of their guests. It was an act of hospitality but also seen as an act of servitude. To wash someone else’s feet requires humility, as demonstrated by Jesus when he laid aside his garments to wash the feet of his disciples.

To read this post in its entirety please visit: https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com/2016/03/25/may-i-wash-your-feet/

If you are minded to leave a comment, like, or rating of this post, please do so on my PDA blog site. Many thanks!