Peace Begins With Me

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5: 9

A Beacon of Light
On March 16th, I woke up to the devastating news of the mass shooting which took place in New Zealand. As they prayed peacefully, gunmen opened fire on the worshippers; their families now left to mourn in agony. I asked God to mend the hearts of those affected and to bring peace to their souls.

He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. “Psalm 147:3

The Bible instructs all Christians to be the light in this troubled world. It is my duty to live peacefully among others, despite our differences. It is the duty of all Christians to shine, especially when everything else is falling apart.


You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” — Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

My BC ( Before Christ) Life
I always find it useful to reflect on my life before Christ. It helps others to see that I had many flaws, yet I was still chosen.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. John 15:16 NIV

I spent most of my life uninterested in making peace with my father’s side of the family. I never lost any sleep over this; I felt it wouldn’t make much difference in my life. How silly was I? The week prior to my baptism, peace became my heavenly assignment. My instructions came through dreams. It was as if God was saying, “How can you follow Jesus, when you have not done what I have asked you to do.”

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23‭-‬24 NIV

Following this revelation, I placed my pride aside and acted in obedience. I extended a hand of peace and I thanked God that I did .

But He gives us more grace. That is why the scripture says: God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble. James 4:6 NIV

Peaceful Living

When I became a Christian, I realised that peaceful living can be difficult, but necessary. Can I say this, the Bible reiterates that peace might not be possible at all times, but when it is possible, we must do everything in our power to live peacefully.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18, NIV

Let’s quickly look at Acts 5:28-29. In the following scene, Peter and the other apostles are being told not to teach in Jesus’ name. We all know that this command was impossible to obey. Despite being flogged, they continued to break the law. In this case, peace was not possible.

We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! Acts 5:28‭-‬29 NIV.

Where peace is possible, the help of the Holy Spirit is required. God’s wisdom prevents us from falling into sin. His wisdom gives us a greater understanding of any situation.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Time to be silent

For the past few months, I have been asking God to provide insight into a situation in my life, by asking for the necessary wisdom to understand my colleague. Last week, her actions caused me a great deal of pain and embarrassment. As she spoke to me, I was hurt but remained silent, for only God knew the right words to say.

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” James 1:19

In that moment, God had a plan up His sleeve. He was going to use fifteen minutes to soften my heart. As I pulled myself together, I mustered the courage to ask her about her plans for the remainder of the week. Yes, I was searching for an opportunity to have a peaceful ending to my day. I would have NEVER done this in my BC life! I thrived in tense environments. I enjoyed blocking persons from my memory. I walked aimlessly, back and forth, waiting for God to drop His miracle in. I couldn’t leave just yet! Suddenly, God prompted her to say the right thing at the right time.

In that moment, God revealed her pains. As I drew nearer to her, she shared the regrets of her youth and the desires of her heart. I was overwhelmed with compassion and in that moment, I knew that I had forgiven her. I embraced her. As I departed, I thanked God for that window of opportunity. He had seen my willingness for peace and through Him peace was made. I thanked God for the wisdom to remain silent, when her actions stung.

“A time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak.” Ecclesiastes 3:7

Peace begins with me
God always finds a way to teach us about ourselves and others. How can we share peace with others when we are not at peace with ourselves?

“We don’t need to take on the world in order to produce peace, all we need to do is start with ourselves.” Unknown

The fruits of the spirit comes in a particular order for a reason. Without love and joy, there can be no peace. We are called to love our neighbours as ourselves, but how can we love our neighbours when we struggle to love ourselves? I pray that God will reveal himself to her, for it is only Him who understands her heart.

Healing
So what do I do when I have reached out to make peace and its not reciprocated? I am learning to be content with the thought that I have done everything which is possible to live in peace. God knows my heart, He lives within me. I continue to pray that God will heal their hearts and in time peace will prevail.

Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it: I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. Jeremiah 33:6

Forgiveness
What happens when I’m waiting for someone to make peace, but it hasn’t happened? Have you ever had to accept an apology that never came? Me too. Peace comes from learning to forgive others, even when you haven’t received an apology. It comes from learning to forgive others, because God has forgiven us even when we haven’t apologised to Him.

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21‭-‬22 KJV

Today’s Prayer


Love,
Ann

Envy : Another form of cancer

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30 KJV

Hope

This week, I wanted to share with you one of my recent struggles. I do enjoy writing to you, because I do believe that we face similar struggles,whether we are a Christian or not.

Nonetheless, it’s important for us to work on these struggles together. I do have some good news though! Just as seasons come and go, struggles do not always remain with us. As we waved goodbye to winter, we can celebrate the beauty of spring; a season which signifies revival, hope and growth.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot Ecclesiastes 3: 1‭-‬2 NIV

Yes! If God is able to uproot and resurrect the plants, there is hope for us to be resurrected. God can pour his Spirit upon us, He can uproot the bad habits and plant habits which are pleasing to Him.

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.1 Peter 2:1 NIV

Jealousy and Envy

Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is also disorder and every kind of evil. James 3:16 GNB

This week, I wanted to talk to you about my struggle with feelings of envy. Yes, envy! One of the seven deadliest sins. Cain was the first person in the Bible to commit murder, because God favoured Abel’s sacrifice over his.

After some time, Cain brought some of his harvest and gave it as an offering to the LORD .hen Abel brought the first lamb born to one of his sheep, killed it, and gave the best parts of it as an offering. The LORD was pleased with Abel and his offering, but he rejected Cain and his offering. Cain became furious, and he scowled in anger. Genesis 4:3‭-‬5 GNB

Its always important for me to remind myself that I will always be tempted by the devil. I was a member of his kingdom, it is his desire for me to return. I must always be alert and watchful, for if temptations are acted on he will win.

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 NIV

My BC (Before Christ) Life

Envy- “To desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable thing belonging to someone else.”

I was never one to be envious of a person’s success because I was determined, overconfident and over ambitious. I would say that in someway I felt that I was God, because I sometimes forgot that it was Him who gave me the ability to accomplish everything.

So then, you must never think that you have made yourselves wealthy by your own power and strength. Remember that it is the LORD your God who gives you the power to become rich. He does this because he is still faithful today to the covenant that he made with your ancestors. Deuteronomy 8:17‭-‬18 GNB

I spent many years preparing my mother for my riches! Everything else had to be placed on the back burner, until I felt contented. That time never came.

“Those who want to be rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” 1 Timothy 6:9

Upon reflection, my desire for extravagance stemmed from my love for the things of the world. I longed for the finer things in life. You’re probably thinking, so what’s wrong with this? Well, Christians believe that Jesus was poor, he was humble and he sacrificed himself for us. Can you imagine if Jesus desired the finer things too! He might have said, “Die on which cross? I need to develop my carpentry skills to build my mansion at age thirty three.” We thank God for Jesus! Let us be more like him, Oh Lord .

My liking for finer things consumed my life. My favourite television series was “Being Mary Jane”, a successful single black female, who had it all, but was so unhappy. I wanted that luxurious lifestyle! Most of my actions were influenced by the media, but I couldn’t see it then. Ultimately, it lead to selfishness and unhappiness.

” You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. Yo do not have, because you do not ask. James 4: 2

When I became a Christian, that strong desire for wanting the material things of the world disappeared. I do have hopes and dreams, but I no longer allow these dreams to control my life. My priorities have changed; my greatest desire is to seek God first.

My Christian Life

A few weeks ago, the feelings of envy returned in another form. The enemy came with the intent to create confusion within my marriage.
My husband and I believed in God, but we never had a personal relationship with Him. It was in my fight for my life, I found Christ and commenced my worship in church. My husband never had this encounter for himself, therefore I felt that it was important not to force him to attend church with me. My daily prayer consists of asking God to use me to steer my husband towards Him, then God will do the rest..

In the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. o show him the way, for him to see God in a personal way. 1 Peter 3: 1-6

I felt this way for quite a long time, until recently. As I looked around the church, I was filled with envy as I watched couples worshipping together. Where did this come from? I wanted that for myself! You see how the devil tries to distract you from the message of God. He wanted me to become resentful towards my husband and those around me.

Thankfully, I saw what was happening, so I called on Jesus. I realised that I felt hurt because my other half did not love God the way I did and in my heart I truly wanted him to see God’s power. I asked God to uproot these feelings and He heard my call.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 NIV

Little Miracles

Praise the LORD , the God of Israel! He alone does these wonderful things. Psalms 72:18 GNB

It took this scripture and another to change my perspective (your girl can’t find the other scripture, but this is good too). Anyways, I made a list of all the wonderful things that God had done in my life and it was an eye opener. As I looked at my life, there were little miracles all around. I had forgotten the wonderful changes which have taken place in my marriage, I was too busy focusing on the ones He is working on. I felt ungrateful.

This revelation has taught me about the importance of being patient and waiting on God. I must focus on what God had done for us, instead of what is yet to be done. I am also mindful of how I respond to situations which I cannot control, as others are looking at my responses as well. If I want people to see God’s power, then it be first seen in me.

You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 1 Corinthians 3:3

I don’t have to be an ordained minister to talk about God or praise Him in my home. I can do this with my other half, until God is ready for him to take that next step. The Bible reminds us that where two or three are gathered in God’s name, God will be there ( Matthew 18: 20 NIV).

I will continue to praise my God everyday, including Sundays at church, because my salvation means more to me than anything else in this world. I will not worry or be envious. When the angel told Mary that she will bear a son, she didn’t worry about Joseph. We later see God sending an angel to work on him. Mary did not even have to explain what was happening. This gives me reassurance.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:20 NIV

Tonight’s Prayer

I don’t know what struggle you might be facing. If you’re seeing this message, be ever so grateful, there is someone who was born without sight or has just lost their sight. Instead of focusing on what God is doing for others, open your eyes and count all the blessings around you.

Say, ” Lord, if I am ever envious, please forgive me for being so ungrateful”

I pray that God will uproot any feelings of envy or any other deadly sins within your bodies. I ask God to plant: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control in your hearts.

God please let us share the fruits of your spirit with Christians and unbelievers, for we are all your children.

My final prayer is that we learn to trust God, for he sets the timing for everything in the heavens and the earth. It is God who knows it all.

May God continue to drop you little miracles each day, may God bless and keep you always.

Love,

Ann 🙂

Walking By Faith: A Personal Spiritual Journey

For our life is a matter of faith, not of sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 GNB

Walking by Faith

A few weeks ago, my friend and I discussed the blog, through a regular phone call. Shan and I discussed the time it took to write, edit and publish a piece of writing. I’ll tell you this, whenever a blog post is published, I am never quite sure of what to write next. I don’t have a list of topics which I intend to write about,  neither do I say, “I’ll write this today.” I must have a burning desire to share a message, then I must consult our Father. I’ll bring the message to His attention and ask that He confirms it, then I’ll  patiently wait for a response. 

“But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8: 25

The responses will come in different forms. In some instances, I will hear the word repeated through someone or I will see the message elsewhere. I love these confirmations! Then through the power of the Holy Spirit, I’ll write. It’s worth noting, in the beginning of my writing, this process did not take place. It’s quite different now. Tonight, I wanted to share with you how this came about. I felt compelled to share how walking by faith can change your life. 

So then, as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without actions is dead. James 2:26 GNB

Separation

A few months ago, I made the decision to leave my place of worship. It was a difficult decision.  This was the church of my baptism, the place where I had encountered Jesus for the first time, so it was quite painful.  I am sure a number of you can relate to this. My heart was broken, however, I knew that it was the end of one journey and the beginning of a new one. At the time, I had no idea where I was going, but I knew one thing,  I was not about to turn away from Jesus. I was not going to be the person I used to be. 

We are not people who turn back and are lost. Instead, we have faith and are saved. Hebrews 10:39 GNB

Fear

Having felt a sense of security at my old place of worship, I was consumed with fear; fearful of the unknown! I was leaving my church family behind and was venturing off on my own. I knew that the decision to leave or to stay, had to be confirmed by God. Looking back, this was the beginning of me learning to trust God and waiting for His responses.  Today, I use this process to write the blog. 

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1: 7 KJV

I’ll tell you a bit about fear and what it did to me. Fear was the cause of my anxiety and depression. I had allowed fear to consume my life to the point of being afraid of driving, leaving my home or just being on my own. The funny thing is, the devil had no idea that it was through fear I was going to find my peace!

Hallelujah!

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8: 28

Getting rid of the crutches

My friend Georgina called one day. “It’s probably time for you to get rid of the crutches, probably God wants to see how you’ll make it on your own”. Those were her words, but I believe that God was speaking through her. I had a dependency on those around me for many personal reasons. I felt that without their support, my depression would return. I worried that I would no longer be supported with writing the blog. I felt that I would no longer be inspired to write. 

“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are things I will do; I will not forsake them” Isaiah 42: 16

How beautiful is this scripture 🙂 

In the beginning of my writing journey, most of the messages were inspired by the Sunday sermons. The moment I decided to leave the church, the fear returned. This is what the enemy does! He shows you the worst possible outcome of any decision. He intends to steal your joy, through a swarm of lies. Instead of believing his lies, I turned to God for the truth. I took a day off work and fasted for the day, then I waited on God to reveal the truth to me. 

 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10: 10- 29 NIV

 

God Deserves the Praise

This situation has not only shown that I was extremely weak, but it showed that I didn’t believe that God had healed me from my depression. It showed that I had a greater belief in men, than in God. I had forgotten that it was through the power of the Holy Spirit that I was saved and it was through Him that I would be healed. 

Lord, heal me and I will be completely well; rescue me and I will be perfectly safe. You are the one I praise! – Jeremiah 17:14 GNB

With this revelation, I was on a mission to find God in a personal way. I knew that in order for this to be accomplished, I must have complete reliance on him. This meant I had to get rid of the crutches. It’s interesting, this was not the reason for me initially wanting to leave, but it was now one of the most important reasons. I had to learn to trust and believe in God. I had to take a leap of faith in order to find myself. I was not going to let fear win anymore. 

God is Everywhere

In early February, a priest decided to take a cruise on a Royal Caribbean Cruise line. Through God’s divine connection, he was going to send a message to me. Yes, a stranger was going to share his story with my mom. He had shared with her a mistake he had made in the beginning of his early ministry and how it led to physical suffering. He wanted to let me know that I had made a decision that was of God. Why was he so certain about this? Because I did not make the decision with two minds. I had asked God in faith and He had given me an answer. I am at peace because I trusted His response. He reminded me that God was everywhere and it was Him I must follow. 

“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person  must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1: 6-8.

Something New

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43: 19

The day that chapter of my journey ended, God began working on a new me.  I am learning to trust God and I patiently wait on Him. I marvel at what God is doing through me and the life of those around me. Instead of waiting on the Sunday sermons to write, I am inspired by God to share His word.

Each day comes with its own worries, but I know that fear is no longer the boss of me. Like any relationship, I continue to ask God for spiritual stability. I am yet to find a home church. I wait on God to tell me to stay or to leave, who knows what our God is up to? You might see me rocking up to your church one day. I am so here for it!  I go wherever the Holy Spirit leads me. 

Tonight’s Prayer

Tonight, I am not telling you to pack up your Bible and leave your church. I am telling you about the importance of trusting God and waiting on him to help you in difficult situations.

Probably you are in a difficult relationship, but through fear you’re finding it difficult to leave that place. Perhaps you desire for a new job or to start studying, you’re worried about how you will manage.  Please know this; every situation demands a test of your faith. It is through your faith  you will receive your reward. 

I want you to know that your present situation is not your conclusion. To receive your conclusion, your faith must be put into action. It is through your faith you will be made well. 

“And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”  Mark 5: 34

I pray that God gives you the strength to conquer your fears. I pray that you will call on Him in good and bad times. I pray that you will grow to trust and believe in Him today and always. 

Love,

Ann :)

The Lies, Habits Or Thoughts Which Keep Us Imprisoned

The LORD gave us mind and conscience; we cannot hide from ourselves. Proverbs 20:27 GNB

Discipleship
Last year, was the year of my water baptism. To be baptised with water, was to signify purity or cleansing from sin and a complete devotion to God. I had made a covenant with God; I will be called his disciple.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19, NIV)
On the day of my baptism, I was filled with new joy! As family and friends celebrated the joyous occasion with praise and worship, my heart smiled. As the weeks passed, I felt like I was a new person! I truly felt at peace. I continued to attend my regular church services and continued to read my Bible. As I grew closer to God, I became more aware of my thoughts and feelings. This was the power of the Holy Spirit! Feelings which were hidden were now being resurfaced. I couldn’t hide my thoughts anymore, believe it or not! I was now baptised, but I still did not know if I loved Jesus. I was grateful that I was rescued from a dark place, but could I really say that I loved him? Was it truly him who rescued me? Did I love Jesus enough to be made a disciple?
“Those who come to me cannot be my disciples unless they love me more than they love their father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and themselves as well. Luke 14:26 GNB
No, I did not love Jesus more than I loved my husband. Jesus did not even make my top ten list!

My BC ( Before Christ) Life

In my BC days, I lied to God without even thinking about the consequences. I made promises and bold negotiations too. I’d be like, “Lord, if you do this, I promise I will never do this again.” As soon as he comes through for me, BAM, door closed! I will say a very quick “Thank You Lord!”, then back to my old ways. Can you relate? Don’t you lie, you know God can read your thoughts right? In my BC days, I was a top negotiator and a very creative liar!
I appreciated God’s kindness, but I never paid attention to the person behind the act. Here I was, caught in a similar dilemma. The only difference was, I knew I was never going to slam the door on him. I was leaving the door wide open! I was not going to stand at the door or wrestle with the doorknob, I was going in. I was going to walk to the end of that long hallway, until I met him face to face and I was not turning back. I was going to approach him with humility and truthfulness, because I had made a vow which I was not about to break. I was going to be made a disciple! I was going to love him more than I loved anyone else.

Lies

“‘Do not steal. “‘Do not lie. “‘Do not deceive one another. Leviticus 19:11

If it’s one scripture I knew as an unbeliever was the above scripture. As children, my sisters and I will say,” Thou shall not lie” in the hope that one of us will speak the truth. “It’s interesting, the scripture tells us not to lie, but this particular scripture does not say to whom. You see, we sometimes fail to pay attention to the lies we tell ourselves. We neglect the thoughts that God so wants us to pay attention to. However, there is good news! The moment you are in Christ Jesus, everything which is hidden will come to light. Yes, even those lies or thoughts you wish you can bury forever.


From darkness to light

“Whatever is hidden away will be brought out into the open, and whatever is covered up will be found and brought to light. Luke 8:17 GNB

Everything that becomes visible becomes light. The moment we shed light on our deepest thoughts, the enemy becomes scared. You are about to deal with a situation he thought you didn’t have the guts to face. He knows that anything brought into the light, will be dealt with by the power of God! This scares him! Remember that the devil was once an angel, he knows that God is forgiving and will always look after his children. He knows the power of God!

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (John 1:9 King James Version (KJV)

So I went to the best place, I went down on my knees and shared my thoughts with God. I openly admitted to God that I wanted to know Jesus, because he was not on the top of my list. I wanted to love this person who died for my sins and I wanted to minister to others about him. I was embarrassed at first, but I was not about to let my feelings get in the way. I trusted God completely and I was willing to learn.

“Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to those who knock.

From natural to supernatural


Within the next few months, Jesus was going to reveal himself to me in ways only the spiritual person understood. Did I see this coming? No, I didn’t. I just trusted God! I dedicated my time to get to know God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Did you know that I did not know the difference between Jesus and the Holy Spirit? It was through my quiet time, I learnt the difference. This “quiet” time was just an hour or just forty five minuites, reading the Bible, meditating on scriptures and listening to what God wanted to teach me. When you can, dedicate some of your time to the books of John and Acts. If you’re a baby Christian like me, these books will help you to understand a bit more. Get yourself a NIV or Good News Bible and The King James Version Bible, it makes a good comparison. Anyways, as the months flew by, I saw my life changed from natural to supernatural. Jesus was going to do some wonderful things in my life, through the power of the Holy Spirit! Unimaginable and wonderful things 🙂

Whoever does not have the Spirit cannot receive the gifts that come from God’s Spirit. Such people really do not understand them; they are nonsense to them, because their value can be judged only on a spiritual basis. 1 Corinthians 2:14 GNB

We met most mornings at 3 am, No, He didn’t appear to me glowing like an angel. I am glad he didn’t, I might have jumped out of my skin! Yes, I would have; my faith game wasn’t that strong at that time! I’m sure he wouldn’t have wanted to scare me. I just felt his presence, like you would know when a friend is near. There were patterns which I grew to learn and feelings only I understood. It was the beginning of a relationship. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, I received spiritual gifts and was able to share these experiences with my family. They had no choice but to believe, for the dreams which I shared came to pass and the visions brought tears to their eyes. These experiences created a bond between my family ( Georgie and Shan included) and I. We had encountered something new and we were in awe of it. These experiences brought my family and I closer to God.

The list of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 includes wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues.

The following weeks, I felt like I was in a new relationship! I was never late for church and I never missed an opportunity to talk about Jesus. You remember how you felt when you were dating your spouse? You always wanted to see him, you were never late, you would be on the phone for hours, until he starts to appear in your dreams! That’s the feeling I got! As the weeks turned into months, I saw Jesus moved from the bottom of my list to the top of my list. Today, my soul continues to crave for him.

As the deer pants for water, so I long for you, O God. 2 I thirst for God, the living God. Where can I find him to come and stand before him? l craved for him! Psalm 42

Finding God

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 New International Version (NIV

God did not lie when he said that if you are truly willing to find him you will! I made up my mind to find him and I found him. I did this not only for myself, but I did this for my loved ones. I did this because I wanted to be his disciple. We are all accountable for how we use our time for God and we must use this time wisely. As disciples we are called to put HIM first! How could I minister to my husband about God, if I didn’t love Jesus or know him personally?

Tonight’s Prayer

No one can hide from God. His eyes see everything we do. We must give an answer to God for what we have done. Hebrews 4:13-15 New Life Version (NLV)
Tonight, I pray that the Holy Spirit gives you the gift of boldness. I pray that you will find the strength to bring forth the lies, habits or thoughts which have kept you prisoner for so long.
As I reflect on my life, I think how different it could have been if I didn’t confess my true feelings about Jesus. I may not have been able to write this blog with such passion and commitment. My family may not have loved God the way they do now. I would have been a very quiet disciple and how would people know Jesus through my silence?

My friend, I do not know what lies you have been telling yourself, but pay attention to what God is revealing to you. God reveals the truth to us, so we can be set free. He doesn’t want us to be slaves to sin, but children of God.

While you’re reading this, the devil is shaking! He doesn’t want you to believe this message, because he wants your soul for himself. Get on your knees and show him that God is BOSS! Don’t be afraid, God will set you free and who God sets free, is truly free indeed.

Good night and God bless,
Love,
Ann 🙂

Heavenly Instructions- Living as the Lord’s servant.

As the Lord’s servant, you must not quarrel. You must be kind towards all, a good and patient teacher, gentle as you correct your opponents, for it may be that God will give them the opportunity to repent and come to know the truth. 2 Timothy 2:24‭-‬25 GNB


Gentleness

It was during the festive season, when I overheard a conversation between two persons. It appeared that one individual didn’t get why Christians celebrated the season and somehow didn’t believe in all of this ” Jesus stuff “. As the two individuals conversed, my ears grew hot and my heart ached.

In this environment, everyone is aware of my Christian beliefs, however I chose not to partake in their dialogue. Actually, I had no reason to speak, as God spoke for me. As they conversed, someone said, “You see, some persons may have had their own experiences with Jesus which have caused them to believe in him.” The unbeliever appeared to have accepted the response, he listened carefully to what was said and the conversation ended quite positively. I felt pleased in the way they discussed such a sensitive topic; no one argued, it was a gentle conversation.
A soft word turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1 NIV

As I reflected on the dialogue, I realised that God had given me an opportunity to listen to my old self. He replayed a clip from my BC life and in that moment I could not judge him.
Do not judge others and you will not be judged. Matthew 7: 1 GNB
My BC (Before Christ) Life

There was a time in my BC life when I denied Jesus. No darling, it gets worse! I once denied God’s existence too. As I became more ambitious, I became just too busy for God. Life was going well, why bother with God? My belief in Christ became quite blurred as I embraced all aspects of university life. I drew further away from God as I advanced in social knowledge and cradled societal beliefs. I accepted and advocated fearlessly for these beliefs in my university work and through group discussions. There were times I questioned God, “What kind of God will do this to innocent children ?”. Looking back, who was I to question God in such a disrespectful way? If God was like man, I would have been made dumb for attacking his character. Thankfully, God is ever so patient with us, He wants us to change.
But do not forget one thing, my dear friends! There is no difference in the Lord’s sight between one day and a thousand years; to him the two are the same. The Lord is not slow to do what he has promised, as some think. Instead, he is patient with you, because he does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants all to turn away from their sins. 2 Peter 3:8‭-‬9 GNB
Kind To All

The Bible states that all scriptures are inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instructions for right living (2 Timothy 3 :16 ).
As the Lord’s servant, you must not quarrel. You must be kind towards all, a good and patient teacher, gentle as you correct your opponents, for it may be that God will give them the opportunity to repent and come to know the truth. 2 Timothy 2:24‭-‬25

The above scripture provides us with a heavenly instruction. It instructs us on how we should live as the Lord’s servant. It does not tell us to be nice to people who are kind to us, it tells us to be kind to everyone. I found this quite difficult to understand in my BC Life, if someone was unkind to me, they were also dead to me. I lost many friendships and ended many family relationships due to this attitude. Today, I am thankful for God, as he has truly changed me. I try my very best to be kind to everyone, as it is not only my duty, but it is actually the best way to live.

The Collins English Dictionary defined the word “kind” as, “having a warm-hearted nature; being considerate, friendly, helpful or agreeable”. When I thought of kindness, the first thing that came to mind was acts of Kindness. For example, undertaking charity work and giving back to society. I do love these pieces of hands-on work. However, if as soon as I walk away from doing these honourable tasks and enter my home, I turn into the most disagreeable human being or I am the most inconsiderate colleague at my work place, does this mean I am truly kind? Is it ok just to be kind in some situations or should we be kind to everyone in every situation?

I had an interesting experience a few weeks ago, it really left me with a feeling of guilt and embarrassment. I was extremely unkind to someone who questioned me about God and in that moment I realised that I did not represent Christ in a respectful way. I forgot that there was a time when I too questioned God. Someone sent me a piece of writing a few days ago, it said ” Unbelievers may not be reading the Bible, but they are reading you. They look at how you behave and some make up their minds based on how well or poorly we represent Christ.” Sad, but very true!
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone,” Col. 4:5-6
God do not have any favourites
For God does not show favouritism. Romans 2:11 NIV

When my sister visits, we always have a great time. My sister and I are on different journeys, but I know she has a heart for God. On one of her visits, we sat down on the bed and we created our ideal church. Who would we want to attend? Together, we agreed that we would welcome every one. We didn’t care who you were or what you did, we wanted you there. For if the Church wasnt accepting of those who were different, where would they go? The pub will definitely welcome them and we might never see them again.
If someone thinks he or she is somebody when really they are nobody, they are only deceiving themselves. You should each judge your own conduct. If it is good, then you can be proud of what you yourself have done, without having to compare it with what someone else has done.Galatians 6:3‭-‬4 GNB

Can you imagine this church! Yes, just imagine the diversity! The people with dreadlocks, tattoos and the “hairy biker” crew in the front, my girl Georgie would be with this group! I can see myself with the first timers, the ones with the scared look on their faces, totally unsure of why they were in church, the ones who do not really know who or what to believe. Yes, I’ll love to provide some reassurance to this group. I can see Shan with the single mother and all three of her children. My sister will sit next to the pregnant teen, the one who was abused all of her life and was finally seeing a bit of hope. If only she can find someone in the church to confide in, how happy she will be. Then there’s my girl Shanta, she will welcome the “show girl” ( oh how I hate these terminologies) who just finished her night shift. Yes, I can just hear her opening up to Shanta, telling her how much she wants God to save her. Shanta begins to minister to her in song and in the end we embrace her with love. Oh what a sight to behold, all of God’s children working to build each other.

How wonderful this will be!
So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.John 8:7

Jesus reminds us that we are all sinners, therefore we cannot judge others. God loves the sinners and unbelievers, as much as he loves you and I. He truly does not have any favourites, as he wishes for everyone to be saved. Therefore, I must live by biblical instructions if I am a servant of God. Although this may seem difficult to do, I know that I must learn to engage positively with outsiders. The Bible provides us with many instructions, therefore with God’s help we will be able to be obedient to God’s teachings.
Tonight’s Prayer

Tonight, I pray that we can be gentle and kind towards all. We do not know the plans He has for those who have not yet found Him, so teach us how to be gentle with them. Let us be considerate and wise in our responses, let our language be tasteful and let our attitude be welcoming.

Lord, if it is your will, I pray that those who are reading this blog will have an encounter with you. It is possible that through this encounter, they will understand the power you possess. Then they will be able to understand your love in a personal way.

Lord, forgive those who have not represented you well, including myself. I pray that you will teach us your ways, let us be obedient, let us follow the instructions of the Bible so we can serve you well.
May God richly bless you.
Goodnight and God bless,
Ann 🙂

“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.”-Oscar Wilde.

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalms 107: 1

Thankful

A few weeks ago, I met a very interesting lady. As we sat opposite each other, I couldn’t help but notice that her left side of her face showed the effects of a stroke. In the past, I worked with stroke survivors, however, it will be wrong for me to say that I understood her illness, it was personal to her. As I looked at her I was quite pitiful, I immediately realised that I had made a judgement about her in my heart. I was judging this person based on the standards of the world.

“But the LORD said to him, “Pay no attention to how tall and handsome he is. I have rejected him, because I do not judge as people judge. They look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7.

You see, God will always provide opportunities for us to learn what is truly within our hearts. He does this as He wants the Holy Spirit to work on us until we become Christlike. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. “When you receive the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true–it is not a lie. 1 John 2:27 . This encounter showed that I must continue to work on my heart.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5: 8

As we begun worshipping God together, she begun praying. Her voice was like caramel, flawless and oozing with love. As she prayed, I no longer saw a face that was different, but I felt the heart of an angel. Her prayers were dancing towards heaven and God was just taking it all in. God compares prayer with sweet-smelling incense that pleases Him (Revelation 5:8). God loves when we pray to Him.

This angel was praying for the people who couldn’t board the flights out of England, because of the drones! She was praying for them to return safely to their families in time for Christmas. How random, but ever so important! On the opposite side of the room, I was praying for my family and close friends. You can tell I’m a baby Christian!

I was in awe of this beautiful human being! I was comforted by her words, I felt safe in her presence. I became more relaxed, so I revealed to her how I came to encounter God through my suffering. She looked at me and said, “I truly thank God for my brain tumour.” I was extremely taken aback by her words, because her words were on point. Two individuals were bonding over a situation that we once thought we could never truly overcome. How amazing is this 🙂

“We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.” Romans 8: 28

Give Thanks
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I saw a post somewhere, it said ” God, let 2019 be a stress free year.” Wouldn’t we all love for this to happen, however, God loves us to much for us to remain the same. If we are not tested, we will never grow, we will never become what God wants us to become. Instead of asking God for an easy life, we should be asking for opportunities to test our faith.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

In January of 2018, I returned to England after a wonderful holiday in St. Vincent. I was filled with enthusiasm, as it was my final year of university. My hands were itching for the financial blessing which was on it’s way. I waited four years for this, I was ready to live my life! I completed university in June of 2018 , a few months later I begun to experience panic attacks, then depression showed it’s horrible face. What kind of blessing do you call this? This blessing came in the darkest of times, but in this darkness I found true light. God called out to me!

“Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11: 28- 30

Today, I am truly grateful for that experience, for I now know true happiness. Whenever God permits something to happen, it’s always out of his love for us. If only we can always see this, how different will our lives be.
Our human fathers punished us for a short time, as it seemed right to them; but God does it for our own good, so that we may share his holiness.

When we are punished, it seems to us at the time something to make us sad, not glad. Later, however, those who have been disciplined by such punishment reap the peaceful reward of a righteous life. Hebrews 12:10‭-‬11 GNB

New Year
In 2019, we will face many trials, however, we can overcome these situations if we see trials as bundles of blessings. It will be silly of us to have no ups and downs while we are alive and breathing. Someone once told me, “When you look at a heart monitor ( I’m sure there is another name for this machine) there are lines going up and down, those high and lows indicate life. The moment you see a flat line it’s all over for you.” So those lines are so important, they not only show that breath is within you, but it shows that you are making each breath count. We are to give thanks for every experience we face. The moment we learn to be grateful not only for the good, but for the pain and suffering, we will see God in a different way. God will not only change your situation, but he will reward us for trusting in him.

Tonight’s Prayer

I have no idea what you are going through at this moment. Probably you have brought a lot of anger into 2019 and you are worried about how you will cope in the next few months.
It could be that a relationship has turned sour and you can’t understand what’s happening. Do not be worried, Jesus is trying to connect to you, he is that vine which you must cling to.
Tonight, I pray that this year brings you tons of blessings, however, they must be the end result of hard work. It is only through this we are made stronger in mind and in Spirit.

I pray that as the year continues, we learn to place our trust in God. Remember, God is not like people, who lie; He is not a human who changes his mind. Whatever he promises, he does; He speaks, and it is done. Numbers 23:19. We must always trust and believe in Him.
I am wishing you a wonderful 2019.

May God bless and keep you safe.

Sleep well,

Ann