Archive | March 2014

Waiting on the Lord

 

waiting         Waiting on the Lord.

Psalm 27:14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

According to Merriam –Webster, wait is defined as (1) to stay in a place until an expected event happens, until someone arrives, until it is your turn to do something, etc. (2): to not do something until something else happens and finally (3) to remain in a state in which you expect or hope that something will happen soon.

Most people tend to think of waiting as sitting idly by doing nothing. It takes tenacity, grit and perseverance to wait on God. Sometimes I tend to think it is one of the hardest things to do…. To just wait in earnest expectation for the manifestation of God.

One of the things that drives us crazy in the wait, is the time that it takes for our waiting to come to an end. In my own life I have come to realize that I was not fully ready to embrace what it is that I asked for in the first place.  A few nights ago, as I laid in bed awake I begin to ask God for something. I could hear Him clear as day say “be quiet, you are not even ready for that.” My initial chuckle bloomed into a full laughter. He didn’t say no. Sometimes we ask God for things that we are not ready for and therefore we must wait. When God gives us things that we are not ready for we become much like the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). We will squander the opportunity, the relationship or the blessing.

The other side of the coin is what we shall do in our time of waiting?  We should prepare. Pure and simple our waiting is our time of preparation. What is it that you have been petitioning God for? Is it a career opportunity? Are you preparing for it while waiting for the manifestation? Going back to school. Taking an English class? Participating in professional development.  Is it a spouse? Are you preparing for them? Cleaning up your credit. Cleaning out the skeletons in your closets, getting psychological help to get rid of the baggage of past relationships? You do realize that whatever you are asking God for them to bring to the table, you should have yourself.

When we wait on God he strengthens and prepares us in the waiting. Will the waiting be easy? Probably not but live your life so that it will at least be fun. Stop watching the calendar and the clock. Go live while you are waiting.

 

Copyright © 2014 by Cassandra Baker Durham

www.cassandradurham.net

 

Suffering, But Not Stopped!

tough decisions  Day Three

What Faith Can Do ~ Faith say’s to us we’re suffering, but not stopped

 

Daily Reading: Luke 8:48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.

 

The book of Acts is an amazing testament to the power of the Holy Ghost. It is also an amazing testament and example of suffering that the disciples experienced while spreading the gospel. Why is it that we think that by coming to Christ, our days of suffering are over? Why it that we are somehow convinced that now, since we have joined team Jesus, that He (Jesus) did all the suffering for us while on the cross? When we come to God, we are telling the devil, “I no longer belong to you”, which means he (the devil) is going to do anything to get you back, and the devil always means business. The devil is going to use your co-workers to try to get you to cuss and act a fool. The devil is going to make the smoke break area seem so attractive (After all, that’s where all your work friends hang out at). The devil is going to have the teachers at school messing with your children. The devil is going to at-tack your finances. The devil is going to cause someone to want to fight you. Every-thing that he does will be an attempt to essentially put out your light for Christ. Do not let the suffering stop you. Consider the disciples in the book of Acts; they were stripped, beaten, imprisoned, locked in dungeons, faced mobs, but they did not let that prohibit them from preaching the gospel. The suffering at the cross did not stop Jesus. The Word of God cannot be stopped, nor will it be stopped because we didn’t hold up our end of the blood-stained banner; it just means it may be delayed. So when your suffering time comes, don’t let it stop the light of God from shining through. Don’t let it stop the Gospel from being spread!!

 

 

Prayer of Praise: Lord, thank You for all that You’ve done and for all that You are. It is because of Your redemptive work on the cross that we are all able to endure our suffering and hardness as good soldiers.

 

Thought for the Day: I may be suffering, but I am certainly not stopped!

Copyright © 2013 by Cassandra Baker Durham

Excerpt taken from the book Fully Constrained: What Faith Can Do by Cassandra Baker Durham

Is Your Faith Working?

faith work IS your faith working? Is it doing anything? Is it active faith or is it a dormant, lazy, hit or miss, depending on what type of day it is faith? The reason that I asked is your faith should have a job. Your faith should never, ever be unemployed, or on lay off.

The dictionary defines faith as a strong, unshakeable belief in something, a complete confidence or trust. I submit to you this morning, that is not enough to just have a strong, unshakeable faith in something, nor is it enough to have complete confidence or trust. You can sit in the house and believe all day long, but if you do not put any action with it. Then it is just wishful thing. Strong, confidence filled wishful thinking.

This is how I am convinced that “your faith must get a job,” James 2: 20 tells us faith without works is dead. I don’t know about you, but I cannot afford for my faith to become dead. I need it, you need it. We need it in order to do the things that God has called us to do. Our faith must be active, moving, growing and thriving. And in order for it to do that you must fertilize it with the Word of God. Nothing spiritual can grow without God’s Word being applied to it. This fact is backed up in Romans 10:17 so then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Your faith gets a job the very moment you decide to get up and do something about the things that you have faith in God to do. If you have the faith to believe God for a job well then you have fill out applications. If you are believing God for a new house or car then your faith gets a job as you do the things to get yourself in position to be able to purchase those things.  Sure, God can grant us favor to obtain these things, but the favor is much more magnified when we put ourselves into position to obtain a blessing. So how will you help your faith to get a job today? Don’t focus on what you don’t have or what you cannot do. Focus on what you can do and the rest will fall into place.

~ Let your light shine!

 

Copyright © 2014 by Cassandra Baker Durham

http://www.cassandradurham.net

What is Lent Anyhow?

lent

 

What is Lent Anyhow?

 

 

What is it?

Lent is a special time of prayer, penance, sacrifice and good works in preparation of the celebration of Easter. There is a 40-day period of fasting.

What is the significance of the “40”?

“Forty” has long had spiritual significance for Jews and Christians in regard to preparation. For example, Moses was with God for forty day and nights on Mount Sinai in preparation for receiving the Ten Commandments (34:28). But the primary focus for Lent is on: Matthew 4:1-2, where Jesus is portrayed as fasting for “forty” days and nights; Mark 1:12-13, depicting Jesus as being led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil for “forty” days; and Luke 4:1-2, telling of Jesus being led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to fast and to be tempted by the devil for “forty” days. Taking into consideration how Jesus prepared for his ministry, “forty” was determined to be the number of days his followers should use in preparing for Easter.

When does it begin?

March 5, 2014- April 20, 2014. Ash Wednesday still marks the beginning of Lent, which lasts for 40 days, not including Sundays. The present fasting and abstinence laws are very simple: On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, the faithful fast (having only one full meal a day and smaller snacks to keep up one’s strength) and abstain from meat; on the other Fridays of Lent, the faithful abstain from meat. People are still encouraged “to give up something” for Lent as a sacrifice. (An interesting note is that technically on Sundays and solemnities like St. Joseph’s Day (March 19) and the Annunciation (March 25), one is exempt and can partake of whatever has been offered up for Lent.

Why would I want to participate in 40 days of giving up the things that I like?

The focus remains the same: to repent of sin, to renew our faith and to prepare to celebrate joyfully the mysteries of our salvation. For Christians, Lent continues to symbolize the self-sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The period of fasting from certain foods, drinks and activities serves as a reminder of the sorrow and joy of the Resurrection and the truly loving and compassionate spirit of the Christian faith.

 

Copyright (c) 2014 by Cassandra Baker Durham

http://www.cassandradurham.net

Answering God’s Call

Answering God's call Answering God’s Call

Daily Reflection: 1Samuel 3:9-10 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.10 And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

Most of us while growing up can remember our parents or some other family member standing on the front porch calling our name over and over. Especially if it was time to come into the house or if we were needed to run to the local corner store. Most of us, if we were playing an especially rousing game of tag or hide and go seek, did not respond the first time our name was called. If you were especially precocious you would run a little further away from the sound of the voice calling your name. Fittingly the calling of our names did not stop just because we did not answer. Usually they didn’t stop calling until we answered verbally or answered by putting in an appearance.

In some respects God operates in the very same manner. He calls us clearly and succulently. And we like little children run from the sound of his voice. Some of us do not want to stop playing in sin and debauchery. Some of us are afraid because we do not want to come into the house (usually because of things we have seen and heard in the house of God). But lo, there are some that will answer God’s call the first time He mentions their name. We thank God for those that faithfully listen for the sound of His voice and answers when He calls the first time.

Then there are those of us that have to be called several times and that too is okay, but we better answer quickly. God has a purpose and a plan for each of our lives. He has to call us out of darkness and into His marvelous light so that we can illuminate our cities, towns and states in this very dark world.

Answering God’s call will require us to do things that at first we may not want to do. Consider Samuel for a moment, and all that he had already leaned under Eli. Now think about the first things God told Samuel about what was going to happen to Eli and his family. We can imagine that Samuel probably did not want to deliver this particular message. Yet nevertheless he had to do it. Why? Because he answered God’s call. When we answer God’s call, we are no longer our own. We then become owned and operated by our Creator. Who are we (the creation) to tell the Creator, what we will and will not do. Answering God’s call will never be easy, but it will be worth it.

Now get out there & Let your Light Shine!

Copyright © 2014 by Cassandra Baker Durham

http://www.cassandradurham.net