Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
Psalms 29:2 KJV
Many a times we are tempted to account for our efforts when something happens.Innocently we blubber of how much we had prayed and fasted.We consider what lengths we had to go before receiving the miracle. But today I thought about many who are better or more connected and more invested than we are yet they have not received.
Does that make us better than them? No we are not better and they are not less favored. God in his divine will choses to bless you.It’s all Him and all glory should be unto Him.
If hard work resulted in blessings the hardworking would be really blessed.
If connections resulted in promotions then those who are connected in high places would be promoted on and on.
For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
Psalms 75:6-7 KJV
Let’s give God the glory of all He has done despite your inputs.
Seasons come and go. Some we enjoy while the others we endure; Still no season lasts forever. Our attitude and altitude differ in each season.There are times when we are high from feelings of satisfaction and at other times so low and depressed by our unmet expectations.
Despite the season, you are in stopping is not an option. We keep moving and refuse to be stuck. Unfortunately, some don’t change when the season change they hang on remaining stagnant with no progress.
All is left are stories of the good old days.. .. when I was young
….when I had money
……when my so or so was alive
…..oh when I was working
Ok, so you went through a shift in life things changed, and it’s not what you anticipated. Yeah me too plus a million other people. Remaining stuck is not a must, but it’s a choice. Imagine still wearing summer clothes while winter comes and vis verse. The suffering would be unbearable, yet it is self-inflicted.
Stop blaming people for the change in seasons of life. Stop being angry with God for the unmet expectations. Stop blaming yourself for not following your premonition.
Accept when seasons change we change too. Learn and adapt to the discipline of each season. Above all remain connected to the author of all seasons.
Jesus prepared His disciples for everything, including war. They saw Him casting out demons. In fact, He sent them forth doing the same. But before He sent them out, He charged them to become wise “as serpents” yet innocent and harmless “as doves” (Matt. 10:16). This fusion of divine wisdom and Christ-like innocence is the taproot of all spiritual victory. Indeed, we can defeat the enemy, but wisdom must precede warfare and virtue must come before victory. We must learn the ways of God, which means we must thinkwith wisdom. And we must be pure of heart, that we may see God and gain discernment. Almighty God, give me Your wisdom in all situations as You write on my heart what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, excellent, and worthy of praise that I might dwell on these things constantly as I contend by Your grace against evil and offer oppression no peace. Amen So even though wisdom is better than strength, those who are wise will be despised if they are poor. What they say will not be appreciated for long. Ecclesiastes 9:16 NLT Better to have wisdom than weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much that is good. Ecclesiastes 9:18 NLT “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. Matthew 10:16 NLT
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good and his mercies endures forever.
Thanksgiving is a selfless act that sees beyond what you have not received.
Thanksgiving is a choice once made brings joy and great fulfilment to both parties involved.
A grateful heart is a positive heart.
A grateful person is a graceful person.
I would rather spend time with one who is thankful than spend time with one who is resentful.
Ten lepers met Jesus and pleaded for healing.They were given a command to go and shew themselves to the priest.Great was their faith they never hesitated but started the journey in obedience to the Lord’s command.
Alas!along the way they were healed I imagine their jubilation as they proudly displayed the healing to one another.
One of them a Samaritan to be specific may have raised the idea of going back to the source of their healing and give thanks. I imagine his idea was drowned by the others suggesting maybe to visit families or tour the city they lived outside it’s walls.
Yes!only one came back to Jesus to say thank you. No matter how much we receive from the Lord, thanksgiving is a way to remain connected to the source of your resources.
Choose to give thanks.
Live a thankful life.
Daring Faith: Jael’s Resourcefulness
Let’s face it: sometimes, life can feel a bit ordinary. We may dream of adventure and far off places, but most of us wake up each morning to an alarm clock, and if you are like me, a couple rounds with the snooze button. We live in the same neighborhood, take the same route to work or school, run the same errands, and pay the same bills. In the midst of our everyday living, we can all too easily forget to look for the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Jael in Judges 4 could relate. Her life was incredibly ordinary. She lived in a tent in the desert. She seemed far removed from anything exciting, until one day when an extraordinary thing happened. The enemy of God’s people, the terrifying war general Sisera knocked on her front door. She welcomed him into her tent. Exhausted from battle, he fell asleep, and she quickly began to plot. She had no weapons. She had no combat training. All she knew was that an enemy was in her tent, and she had to do something.
So she improvised. She picked up a tent peg and a hammer, seemingly ordinary items in her ordinary life. But when put to use, they quickly became weapons that ended Sisera and his tyranny.
Jael had daring faith that made her boldly resourceful. Sometimes, that’s what faith is. It’s using what you’ve got.
God specializes in using what seems ordinary to bring about the extraordinary. In fact, God sees what you have right now as all the necessary ingredients for a miracle. And yet if you’re not careful, you can easily become blinded to the extraordinary opportunities to exercise faith right in front of you.
Beware of underestimating the power of what you do and overestimating the power of what you don’t have. Instead, imagine what would happen if you stopped worrying about what you didn’t have and began putting to use what you do have?
Life is filled with sanctifying tensions. Sin meets grace. Obstacles spark growth. Pain yields to joy. There are dark periods where we cry, often followed by light moments where we laugh.
But sometimes we get stuck.
When we’re stuck, we stay on the dark side, unable to reach the light. Sin feels undefeated. Obstacles don’t give way. Suffering persists.
Often we aren’t in a state of crisis or chaos.
We just feel stuck.
Life is just not what it could be. We aren’t moving forward. Everything feels like it is on hold.
And if we were honest with ourselves, it’s like being a frog in water slowly, slowly rising in temperature. There’s nothing really wrong – but we know if we stay where we are, we’re in hot water filled with regret and dissatisfaction.
Have you felt this way? Maybe you feel that way right now.
There are three ways the Bible illustrates breakthrough:
God is the God of the breakthrough Gospel breaks through the veil of law and religion Grace breaks through our sin and guilt.
In the passage from Chronicles, God is called the “God of the breakthrough” by David when God defeated the Philistines at Baal-perazim.
The victory that David experienced by the “God of the breakthrough” foreshadows Christ’s work at the cross. Christ’s death broke through the veil separating us from God, tearing it from top to bottom, as described in Matthew.
As a result of that death and resurrection, grace breaks sin.
Signs of Stuck
If you are feeling stuck right now, you probably want to jump immediately to what the breakthrough solution may be.
However, it actually might be more important to understand your current state than trying to escape it. After all, being stuck doesn’t put you in sudden, impending danger. It’s usually a condition that has been brewing at a low-simmer for a period of time – one worthy of grasping.
In today’s reading, we will try to name the nature of our “state of Stuck.”
Do you relate to any of these seven symptoms below?
The above are different flavors of being stuck. Naming the feeling or nuances that you resonate with can help you understand how to engage with God to experience breakthrough.
Sliding describes making one positive step forward but backsliding another two.
Stalled is feeling as if you are just waiting on something, but you don’t know what. Life is in a holding pattern.
Stalemated is feeling you have run out of options. Or each option you think you have is immediately blocked or leads to a bad outcome.
Strong Armed is a state of feeling forced or intentionally limited by someone else.
Surrendered describes your own feelings about the situation where you have given up as not changeable.
Surrounded is a lack of options, with hostiles all around without help in sight.
Suffocated is the lack of air to breathe, literally, the lack of inspiration.
Seven signs of stuck. Don’t gloss over this. Name the specifics of your situation so you can move on.
For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
Psalms 22:16 KJV
I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me. I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
Psalms 142:2-4 KJV
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
John 21:15-19 KJV
Today, we will explore possible causes of that “stuck” feeling: things we do or thoughts we think that lead us to the place called “stuck.”
Because we feel like we are going nowhere, these causes are Dead End Drivers. There’s some behavior that is driving us into these dead ends. Whether we are aware of these behaviors or patterns, they are like tiny misguided engines that have taken us down the path to where we are now. Our wheels are just turning and the engine keeps revving along.
Here are a few common Dead End Drivers:
Determination (being overdetermined)
Doing (too much)
All of them stem from a life that puts ourselves above God.
Determination is normally good when meant as perseverance. But when someone is “overdetermined,” they are prone to blockage. Have you ever insisted on your way, your outcome, even when it runs counter to God’s priorities and commands? That overdetermination can lead being stuck and a need for breakthrough.
Despair is believing your situation is greater than God’s sovereignty. It means to disobey his call for us to have hope and joy and to lose sight of God’s truth for us.
Deceit refers to the self-deception that springs from our own heart.
Denial is remaining oblivious to a problem by denying there is a problem.
Deification means elevating a goal, outcome, or person above God.
Doing too much – busyness for its own sake or because of poor priorities – can leave you stuck in one place. And exhausted, too.
Doubt is being uncertain, maybe fearful, of a next step, decision, or of God, himself.
The list of stumbling blocks isn’t exhaustive.
Each of these need an examination of your own heart. This step of examination can hopefully lead to revelation into how we may be creating our own state of stuck.
It is then that we can experience God’s breakthrough.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1 John 1:8 KJV
A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.
Proverbs 16:9 KJV
And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.
Jeremiah 25:6 KJV
Catalysts of Change
What does it take to get Unstuck?
When we feel stuck we often need to take some action that will lead to the breakthrough. The action we are searching for is the catalyst.
What we really want is not the catalyst, but what a catalyst brings: change.
Change. Isn’t that what we ultimately seek when we are searching for a breakthrough?
Doing the same things we did that led us to become stuck will unlikely lead to breakthrough. It will likely lead to more of the same.
Some kind of change, even if seemingly small and imperceptible, must happen.
That agent for change, the spark, the push is a catalyst.
Here are five Catalysts for Change that can lead to breakthrough:
When we allow these catalysts into our lives, we can unblock ourselves and better see God’s guidance leading to breakthrough change.
Conviction reveals an error, a sin, a rebellion in our life. It’s often required to begin the process of experiencing God’s breakthrough.
Clarity comes from removing the distractions, getting clear on God’s priorities, eliminating bad influences or advice, getting the right perspective.
Choice is the actual act of making a decision. It involves intentionally moving forward with a person, a path, a commitment.
Cutting means removing a habit, a temptation, a relationship, or a desire from our life and thoughts.
Caring means digging into what really matters, peeling back the masks and numbness, actually coming face to face with your feelings and vulnerabilities.
Calm is often the precursor to clarity and comes from separating from the noise or being still in God’s presence.
Courage is the heart and strength to move forward and embrace what God wants to bring into your life.
All of these catalysts can be drawn from God’s written word. Not from our own fleeting and deceptive emotions, but from the firm foundation of God’s truth and faithfulness.
When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
Luke 5:8 KJV
Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
Matthew 18:8 KJV
Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.
Isaiah 54:4 KJV
Big Ideas behind Breakthrough:
Before you got stuck, God knew and went before you. The breakthrough you desire isn’t something you wait or influence by earning God’s favor.
Just as you can’t influence God’s acceptance of you as righteous, the opportunity to be accepted by God was offered to you before you became a sinner.
God has gone before your trial or stuck state. It may not seem like it, but he has. And that subtle shift in thinking matters in seeing the breakthrough.
Belief in God’s sovereignty and unfailing love matters. Maybe the breakthrough will happen in ways you don’t want. You should expect that. What you should stand on is that he will remain faithful to his promises and to who he is – God of the breakthrough.
Birth is the first breakthrough for the world and for you. When Christ was born into a sinful world as a man, he broke through six hundred years of silence. He broke into a dark and hopeless world.
Similarly, when you experience the birth of the spirit, you break through. Birthing – if you have ever watched or given birth – is truly a breakthrough – breaking water, breaking out of the womb.
If you have truly been reborn, that was a breakthrough that will model and shape all breakthroughs.
If God can reconcile your sin and invite you into a kingdom of eternity, what else awaits you?
God has gone Before you.
God is all you need to place your Belief in.
God has graced you with a new Birth in the spirit.
Breakthrough can be a life change. I don’t mean you get your goals and dreams. The Bible makes no promises that we will achieve those. In fact, it warns against devoting our attention to our visions and plans.
Breakthrough can accomplish the same as reaching your goals, but will be more fulfilling and surprising.
Real breakthrough is a God breakthrough. And that journey competes with other forces in the world – demands, distractions, and deceptions.
Don’t let this itch for breakthrough disappear. Make sure you press on.
Sometimes life can be hard sometimes, situations can be confusing when we walk in the darkness in the moments of despair our hope is in the Lord.
The enemies of the children of Israel followed them in hot pursuit
The red sea stared back at them hindering their progress.
High rocky cliffs gnarled at them teasing them to try and climb over.
The only place to look was up in the sky and wish for wings to fly away.
Looking up where their help was assured paid off and God made a way for them.
They sang a song of victory and watched the salvation of the Lord God from everything that threatened their lives.
“Your right hand, O Lord , is glorious in power. Your right hand, O Lord , smashes the enemy. In the greatness of your majesty, you overthrow those who rise against you. You unleash your blazing fury; it consumes them like straw.
Exodus 15:6-7 NLT
Receive a new song too.
@pastor Lucy Paynter
Seasons comes and goes but the faithfulness of God is Constant.
Friendships may last for a reason or a season but the friendship of God is Constant.
Our attitude and our altitude may change but despite God’s altitude His attitude is Love.
I know beyond doubt that God is my unshakable, unmovable Anchor⚓
In storms or in the absence of storms His presence is ever with me.
In wilderness season where I have experienced lack and hardship His embrace kept me going.
In abundance season where my tears are wiped and comfort is given His wisdom taught me discipline.
He Is My God of ALL Seasons.
© Pastor Lucy Paynter
The Center of humanity and nature is creativity – it is from the creative mind of God that we are in existence. In fact, I usually say that creativity is the epicenter of life. It is the raw material of the desired and imagined things made true. According to the Merriam Webster Online dictionary, creativity is the ability to create. Grammatically, it is an abstract noun emerging from the verb create. The word has various synonyms, but for the purpose of this talk, I will stick to two – invention and innovativeness. Hence, we will examine creativity as such; and an invention or innovation.
What is to create? In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void… (Gen 1:1-2). From this verse, it is apparent that to create is to bring into existence from a state of formlessness. Out of a formless state – a non-existence – a void, God created the earth and the heavens. Then, what was the raw material for these new creations? Out of God’s creative faculties – his innovative mind, existence was borne. Therefore, to create is to bring into reality the abstractions of imagination. And the process itself is the creativity.
Thinking Outside the Box
I usually say that the allegorical box represents the confines of the normal and the usual. It denotes a status quo – which is a limiting mentality. People who never think out the box can never be creative – they can never come up with new ideas. New notions are always reserved for those who move from the comforts of the box and venture into the uncertainties of risks made probable by the belief in the innovative and creative self. In other words, when talking about creativity, thinking outside the box denotes a risk! A risk whose only assurance is the belief in the capability of the wondrous nature of imagination. Being creative starts with thinking outside the box.
Innovation: The Corporate World and creativity
If there is a section that appreciates the value of creativity is the business world. Here, the term that usually represents creativity is innovation. People in the business world are usually divided into two regarding innovativeness: discovery-driven people; and delivery-driven people.
The delivery-driven people, despite having all the requisite resources, they will rarely take risks and venture into new dimensions. Theirs is to stick to the status quo and continue doing the usual things. These are the people who will start a store, and it will never grow. Somehow, their most significant achievement is never growth but existence – in the sense that they fear the unknown and settle for the common known. However, they may increase their magnitude of delivery within the same channel. Diversity is not their thing. Eventually, they are the most prone to the risks of uncertainty than the risk takers. They are inside the box thinkers.
Discovery-driven people, on the other hand, are courageous and will always venture into the murky waters of uncertainty. They hunger for fresh ideas, and they will at the opportune moment do the unthinkable. Like the typical entrepreneurs, they will always take risks by testing unknown techniques. They encourage the stimulation of thoughts through new experiences and diverse interactions. A discovery-driven person brings about growth through innovation. They will always desist the comfort of the streamline of normalcy and venture into the turbulence of the discovery.
Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple Inc. once said that innovation (read creativity) distinguishes between a leader and a follower. He also said that part of his job was to move around and just explore things. As earlier stated, exploring the imaginative faculties and actualizing the new thoughts is the major ingredient of creativity.
Richard Branson, of the Virgin Atlantic, says that we should be encouraged to innovate whenever possible. Out of the simplest innovations, there is a potential for revolution moving the world forward. A world that is devoid of creative thoughts is a stagnant one – where problems are overlooked, and the desire for change is dead.
The philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus (500BC) once said, that the only constant there is, is change. Change is inevitable they say, but what they never say is that the vehicular instrument for this change is creativity and innovation. Progress results from a creative mind somewhere.
Creativity as both a gift and prerogative
I usually say that creativity is both a gift and a privilege. It is a God-given endowment that can be traced through the biblical history of creation. When people are called upon to go forth and create; as commanded by God, is that a call for copulation only? I vouch for no. Considering that God is the cradle of creativity – being the ultimate creator – we are to follow in his footsteps. Make the world a better place by utilizing every possible chance of coming up with something new – that which can inspire the world. People may be gifted differently: there are those who will come up with beautiful music, other with comedy, others will innovate in the field of technology. The list is endless as humanity is diverse. Therefore, it is godly to be innovative and make the world a better place. However, creativity is a skill that ought to be nurtured. Remember, unnurtured talents may waste off.
One of the most important techniques of nurturing, realizing, and actualizing creative gifts is through idea networking. This calls for the interaction with people from different and diverse backgrounds. Once people expand their diversity network, they benefit from a rich pool of knowledge that stimulates their creative thoughts. The interactions will surely lead to great successes that will make the world a better place.
Creativity is a God-given gift to humanity in furtherance with God’s cause. It is a biblical truth that man was created in the image and likeness of God; and that God is the creator – the epitome of creativity. Hence, I always believe that when one utilizes the creative genius within them, they are fulfilling their God-given purposes and mandates. That is why I say that creativity is both a gift and a prerogative. As such, as we hunger to do God’s will, so should we desire to improve our creativity. Thus, strategies such as idea networking are essential to humanity since it triggers our creative faculties into work. It is a strategy that has been utilized by the corporate world – people such as Branson and Jobs knew and know the value of creativity and innovations. Their billion dollar turnovers vindicate them! As God thought of the world and created it; so is my wish that we will think of great, useful, and beautiful things and make them come to be. May creativity be your portion. God bless you…