Wednesday, December 30, 2015

ACCEPTABLE

Greetings to my #INSPIRED family!  I pray the following post blesses you mightily!

In my church, each minister is assigned a month to teach Sunday School.  I closed out the year of 2015 as Sunday School teacher.  The lesson dated for December 13th is entitled, "Acceptable Offerings."  In my preparation to teach, I read through the scripture lesson text and background reference scriptures concerning this topic, as I normally would do.

As I read through the Old Testament, it is safe to conclude that God was VERY particular concerning which offerings should be offered and for what purpose.  There were several key offerings the Israelites made to God: Burnt, Meat (Grain), Peace (all voluntary/free will); Sin and Trespass (required).  They each had their own purpose and significance. (Life Application Study Bible, KJV)  However, the Israelites couldn't bring just ANYTHING before God.  Quintessentially, we should be the same way-not in a prideful, conceited manner, but in a way that you realize your worth, realizing who and WHOSE you are (1 Peter 2:9). We shouldn't settle for just anything or anyone.

Let's use an example we all can relate to: Imagine going to a restaurant and that dinner you are PAYING for being served to you on a filthy plate.  The silverware still shows remnants of food particles from the previous customers.  There is a fat, red lipstick print on your coffee mug.  However, the waiter looks at you like, "here it is, enjoy," then walks away like their deed is done and you should be happy about it.  Honestly, you should feel offended!  Not only am I paying for this meal, but it's served to me, on filthy dinnerware? In the words of "Stephanie Tanner" from Full House, "HOW RUDE!"

Let's bring it a little "closer to home."  You are at the home of a dear friend or close relative for dinner. Your trusted friends/relatives serve your meal in a manner identical to that of the waiter we previously discussed. The dinnerware and flatware are still decorated with the remnants of the previous meal.  Your food is thrown on the plate like slop in a trough.  There is a long streak across the plate that looks like it was licked by "Fido."  Although you make a conscious effort to show appreciation for the meal, your stomach churns uncontrollably at the mere THOUGHT of even placing one forkful of that meal in your mouth...much less chewing and swallowing it.

NOW. PICTURE THIS!! Imagine how God feels when we present ourselves to Him in any way and then look at Him as if we are doing Him a huge favor, and He should be glad about it.  

Imagine "doing a work" for the Lord, but not putting forth your very best.  That's like serving God, the One who fearfully and wonderfully made us, a meal on a filthy plate.  The plate/fork/spoon, etc. is the vessel (US).  The meal is the offering (our works, lifestyle, way of living, etc.). Are you offering an ill-prepared, just-thrown-together meal up to God like OK, HERE YOU GO, FATHER. YOU WANT IT? HERE, TAKE IT.  I can hear "Sister Tanner" again:  "HOW RUDE!"

To present ourselves as holy and ACCEPTABLE, is to be OBEDIENT to Him.  Let's present ourselves in a way that aligns with the ways and statutes of God.  To be acceptable is to be pleasing. It is pleasing to GOD when He knows that we are truly giving our very best to Him.  It is acceptable and pleasing when it is done straight from the heart, with no hidden motives or agendas (Example:  "I'll sow this $1,000 seed cuz I want a husband, and I just know that if I give this money and 'put a praise on it,' He gonna do it for me, hallelujah!  I speak it, I declare and decree it!" *tongues commence*)

Uh, NO.  That is a selfish, self-centered, self-indulging way to give.

DISCLAIMER:  There is absolutely nothing wrong with sowing a seed.  There is nothing wrong with believing God for certain things; HOWEVER, let us put on, and keep on, our Matthew 6:33 caps:
SEEK YE FIRST.  I said, SEEK. YE. FIRST!  Seek God because He's GOD!  Seek Him because He is the source of our existence and the lover of our souls.  Seek God because without Him, we are NOTHING. Seek God because it is in His presence, the fullness of joy abides. Seek God because He is the director and guide of our lives. Without Him guiding us along with way, we will trip up and fall!  The awesome thing about THAT is that He is there to pick us up and carry us. Think about that famous poem, Footprints in the Sand.  If you are not familiar with that poem, Google it. 

If we love Him, we'll keep His commandments, John 14:15.  FLATOUT.
Obey Him.  THAT is what's acceptable to Him!  #Obedience

I pray you were inspired.

Shairon


Scripture references:
Romans 12:1-2
1 Peter 1:13-16
John 14:15; Chapter 15
Psalm 119:11, 105

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Essence of Marriage/PRAYER

Greetings to you all!  I pray the following words be a blessing to you!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a huge advocate and cheerleader for marriage.
I am a student of the covenant who surrounds myself with positive role models for marriage.
   
The covenant of marriage was instituted by GOD; in fact, marriage is a ministry.
Marriage (the holy union between man and woman) illustrates the love between Christ and the Church.

Look at the following photo.  The first time I saw this photo was around fall of 2014 on Facebook. 


After being asked what came to my mind when I saw this piece, this was my response:

As he's led by God, whatever God pours into him, he pours into his wife. He presents her without spot or blemish, cleansed in the washing of His Word. 

Apostle Paul said, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." Ephesians 5:25-27

Pay attention to the bowls (actually their heads). Hers is tilted to where the overflow falls BACK ON HIM. There may be, and will be times when he may not be operating in the 100 (marriage is not 50/50, but 100/100) and she, as his HELP-MEET, will be able to pour BACK into him through her humble SUBMISSION, love, gentleness, prayer, warfare, etc.  

The topic of submission is almost "taboo," but the Bible is clear on that subject.  Submission is not slavery, nor does it gives man the right to become tyrannical over his spouse.  The two are no longer two, but ONE.   As he loves her as Christ loves the Church, she will have no problem submitting to him as unto the Lord.
The marital relationship consists of three parties:  GOD, man and woman.  They are triune.
Think about a triangle.  It is a shape consisting of three points and three sides.  God is the top point, man and woman are the bottom points.  As the man and woman draws closer to God, they are also drawing close to one another.

Help me pray for the courting, engaged and married couples:

Father God, in the mighty name of Jesus, first of all, THANK YOU.
Thank You for this day, for Your love, for being our constant Companion and Friend.  Thank You for giving us access to You through Your Son, Christ Jesus.  Father God, I come to you on behalf of each courting, engaged and married couple.  I thank You for these couples.  I ask You, dear God, that You be the center of their lives and relationships.  For the courting/engaged, I pray that they learn to abstain and/or continually abstain from all sexual immorality.  Allow their friendship to grow and become the solid foundation of a relationship built upon Christ.  Fuel the spirit of prayer in their lives, that they'll learn how to pray and war with and for one another.  Allow them to be great, godly examples to the world, showing that godly relationships are not only possible, but enjoyable as well.  Let each one recognize when the enemy is approaching.  Empower them to use the weapons of their warfare-prayer and praise, in Jesus' name.
For the married couples, I pray that Ephesians 5 will resonate in their spirits.  Father God, please help them to grow in love with Christ all over again. Allow Your Holy Spirit to teach them how to love each other.  Fuel their desire to put away selfishness, and that they'll continually learn how to mutually make each other their priority.  Let no thing (major or petty) intervene and attempt to corrupt/destroy what You joined together.  Let their eyes be for You and for each other only.  I rebuke the spirits of lust, pettiness, selfishness, jealousy, gossip in Jesus' name!
No separation, no divorce!  Any problems that come their way, help them by the leading of the Holy Ghost, to resolve each matter in a way that's acceptable in Your sight.  Open/widen their lines of communication-face to face, one on one, uninterrupted conversation.  Build and fortify their prayer lives.  Let it create an intimacy that will take their love to a higher, yet deeper level.  I thank You for this covenant, keep Your mighty Hand upon the couples.  This I humbly ask in Jesus' name, Amen.
  
~Shairon

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Broken, but NOT Insignificant!

Hello and God bless my #INSPIRED family!  I pray this blog post blesses and inspires you all!

First and foremost: God is simply amazing, period. He will never, ever cease to amaze me.  I had an interesting moment almost two weeks ago.  I was going through old mail and documents and stumbled across a sermon the Lord gave me almost a year ago!  That sermon wrecked my heart something crazy!  As I sat on my bedroom floor reading this sermon, tears flowed unrestrained.
It spoke directly to my "current situation" at that time.  It encouraged me so, I was in a "WOW" state of mind for a while.  It is astonishing how God gives you a Word to share, and that it is only a matter of time before you realize that it was truly for YOU as well!  In fact, whenever God gives you a Word, it is to YOU first, then to your audience.

I remember the day that Word dropped in my spirit.  I was reading about one of the many miracles of Jesus: the five thousand miraculously fed, the meal consisting of only five barley loaves of bread and two small fishes (John 6:9-14).  During my reading, the word FRAGMENT literally stood out to me in this verse:  "When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost." (John 6:12)
I began to wonder why this word was leaping out to me! I mean, I knew the meaning of the word, "fragment." However, whenever something like that stands out, I know it's a prompt by the Holy Spirit to take a deeper look into the meaning and significance of that Word...and oh boy!!  A sermon was birthed.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a FRAGMENT is simply defined in two parts:
“A broken part or piece of something.”
“An incomplete part” (bit, fraction, piece, scrap)
Full definition being: “a part broken off, detached or incomplete.”

When we break something, depending upon the item/quality of the item, what do we usually do especially nowadays?  We THROW IT OUT for more reasons than one.  Back in the day (like 40+ years ago), whatever was BROKEN was FIXED.  Due to the value of merchandise being so low, it’s better to BUY NEW than to FIX because the COST OF FIXING would be EQUIVALENT to, or more costly than, buying NEW.



Think about it:  The ultimate price was ALREADY PAID for us TO BE FIXED and MADE NEW – 2 Corinthians 5:17.  When sin entered the world through one man’s disobedience, according to Romans 5:19, sin separated us from the love of GOD.   Because of JESUS and the price He paid, we have access to being made NEW in HIM. We are COMPLETE in Him!

God does surgery on the heart and the spirit; He fixes us, molds us and shapes us into something beautifully brand new and complete.  WHO WOULDN’T SERVE A GOD LIKE THIS?  Psalm 51:10 says “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”  Ezekiel 36:26 says “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”

God can take our fragments and create something wonderfully brand new.  Being a fragment is not a candidate for disqualification.  Being a fragment does not make you an automatic reject or a "damaged good."  In Christ, you are made NEW and RENEWED daily by the gentle touch and refreshing of His Holy Spirit!  Thank God for Jesus and for the Comforter (Holy Ghost)!

"When they were filled, (emphasis added) he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost." John 6:12
Usually when you’re filled, you are at a point of completion and fulfillment.  You really have no need for anything else until you run empty again.  Right at that point, Jesus could have said OK, THAT’S IT.  YOU CAN DO AWAY WITH IT, WE DON’T NEED THOSE CRUMBS, THOSE BROKEN PIECES.  Instead, He said GATHER UP THE FRAGMENTS THAT REMAIN, THAT NOTHING BE LOST. Think about crumbs.  Unless you are going through a point of starvation, on the norm we throw them out, brush them off our pants, and trample them under our feet.
We have NO NEED for broken pieces; but GOD has need of you and your fragments.  You might be BROKEN, BUT YOU ARE NOT INSIGNIFICANT! 

During our Walk with Christ, the plagues of this world wears and tears on us-our hearts, our bodies, our minds, even to the point to where we may think, WHAT IS THE POINT?  Sometimes, things will tear us to the point we mentally and physically feel like broken up fragments, scattered about.  You’re over here helping this one, over there attending to the needs of that, you've allowed the wrong people into your lives and hearts, only to be stripped of your sanity, peace and joy. We can be so torn and weather-beaten by people and circumstances that we feel like there's absolutely nothing left in our reservoir.  We are now in a severe drought.

Don’t make the mistake of putting your fragments in the hand of man.  Put your fragments in the Master’s Hands.  We fail by putting our full trust in man, thinking that man is our complete help or will complete us, but know this: Man can’t complete you, but THE ONE who formed and shaped MAN, and breathed LIFE into man's body makes you whole.  Part of the problem with people today is that we often find ourselves looking for validity and acceptance and significance from MAN (mankind). First of all, KNOW WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST JESUS-that way you won’t have to settle for just any old thang! 

Once we are complete in Christ, God sends a mate to compliment/enhance us to fulfill a bigger purpose.    Think about a cake.  Once the cake is done, it comes out of the oven complete. You have a perfectly baked cake.  Although it is complete, it’s something about icing that compliments it.  Ironically, some prefer cake without icing.  Just give them the cake.  There are some who are content with Christ alone-they are complete and have no need or desire for anything/anyone else BUT Jesus.  However, there are some of us who are complete in Him, and a mate sent from above becomes the icing on the cake-that deliciously extra sweet ingredient/enhancement that makes life a lil’ sweeter.  Just know that true completion is in CHRIST and everything/one else falls in place as life's enhancements. 

Beloved, you may feel very insignificant on this day.  You may feel belittled, feel like dozens of broken pieces of no value, scattered everywhere.  You may feel like you have no purpose, but there is a purpose in you that THOUSANDS could benefit from.  When the Father, through His Son calls you forth, you'll recognize your purpose and the significance you have in and to the Kingdom. He didn’t cast the fragments away.  Those who were fed benefited from the FRAGMENTS, FROM THE BROKEN PIECES-WHY?  Because the CREATOR, the One who sees our beginning and stands at the end, know there is a bigger purpose in us than what we can fathom.  Thousands are waiting to be blessed by your fragments!  You are valued and valuable!  "Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten."  (John 6:13)  

God is saying PEACE, BE STILL.  I want to heal you, I want to gather up those remaining fragments of YOU.  I want nothing to be lost, I will make you WHOLE and ENTIRE.  I am the POTTER, and YOU, my Beloved, are the CLAY.  You are in my Hands.  You are safe and YES, you are significant to me. My Son's Blood was shed for YOU.

JESUS WANTS YOU, every single, solitary bit and fragment of your life.  Give it all to Him, you will not be disappointed. 

Every day is an opportunity for a fresh start.  Seize the day with a grateful and humble heart.
I pray you were inspired...


Your sister in Christ,
Shairon 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

READY? RESET/REBOOT!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  

I must begin this post with a heart of thanksgiving.  The LORD is great, and greatly to be praised.  He brought us through 2014, and now we are in the middle of January 2015!  I thank Him for the grace, goodness and mercy He continually extends to us all! 

I think we all like the idea of NEW. "New Year, New Me," "Great Things in 2015," "This is MY YEAR,"etc. are positive, motivational cliches. I believe that's why new year's resolutions are made; everyone is excited for the "fresh start" and make proclamations or set goals that often fall through the cracks (I'm guilty of that one). DISCLAIMER:  there is absolutely nothing wrong with using a phrase or cliche as a tool of encouragement and motivation.  However, is your mindset aligned with those encouraging words?  Are you putting your feet to faith and actually making steps toward newness, self-improvement and greatness?  Are you determined to accept and embrace change, even within YOU?

Let's look at it from a totally different perspective:  EVERY SINGLE MORNING God allows you to see is an excellent opportunity for a fresh start!  We can command our day!  Don't wait for the last week of December heading into the new year to make positive affirmations!  Do it EVERYDAY! 

Personally, I make an effort to speak positive affirmations daily, especially during my prayer time.  A portion of Proverbs 23:7 states, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:"  Guess what?  More often that not, if you think it, much less SPEAK IT,  that's how that cookie is going to crumble.  Think/speak positive, you'll gain positive results.  Think/speak negative, you'll gain negative results.  Simple. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverbs 18:21)

We serve an awesome God Who desires the very best for His people.  3 John 1:2 says, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth."  Thank God in ADVANCE for His bountiful blessings, grace and favor!  Thank God IN ADVANCE for a beautifully blessed day filled with joy and not sorrow!  Thank God IN ADVANCE for another fresh start, for the REBOOT!  

Each day we see is a great time to hit that "reset button."  A lot often happens within 24 hours, to the point we HAVE to hit that "reset button."  Don't stay in a funk. Don't bellyache over what happened yesterday, last week, last month, last year, etc.  As I'm typing this in an effort to encourage you, believe me: I'm preaching to Shairon as well! 

I have to hit the "reset button" quite a few times, and that's ok!  Just like a car runs out of gas, we also, run out of fuel.  We don't leave the car parked simply because it's out of gas.  What do we do?  We make a beeline to the nearest gas station to REFILL it so we can keep it moving.  We, as people, have to stop at a filling station to be refilled, rejuvenated and refreshed!  How do we do that?  There are multiple ways:  We pray and believe God to answer our petitions.  We indulge in the Scriptures as food for spiritual nourishment.  We go to church (the filling station) to hear the Word of God, be refreshed in His presence and embrace an awesome worship experience.

There are times when we have to "keep the car parked" in an effort to "RESET" ourselves.
Naturally speaking, possible reasons for the car being parked could be financial, maybe the car is in need of repair or you're sick and unable to drive, etc.   Spiritually speaking, maybe God is saying, BE STILL and KNOW THAT I AM GOD (Psalm 46:10).  Now, that is not a reason to fall into stagnation.  You be still for a while (not permanently), rest in God's presence, wait for divine inspiration and instruction and GET BACK IN MOTION!  RESET BUTTON HAS BEEN ACTIVATED!

Therefore, do not be afraid or ashamed to hit RESET, RESTART, REBOOT, etc.  We have it on our computers, tablets, phones, etc for a reason.  As human beings, we have to hit that button at times.  Sometimes, our minds are on overload, and as a result, we become emotionally and physically sluggish, lacking motivation.  Sit down and hit RESET.  Crack your Bibles open, or set your audio Bible to your "go-to" Scriptures.  Read a devotional. Remind yourself of your goals and positive affirmations, declarations and confessions.  Know that God is GOD. He will refresh you and equip you to embrace all that He has for you.  READY?  RESET/REBOOT!

I pray you were inspired...


For His Glory,
Shairon


But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9