Saturday, December 31, 2016

ELEVATING

Wow, this year has flown!  I remember this time last year, I accomplished my goal of getting my year-end blog post published.  Here I am, a year later publishing another year-end blog post.  God is good and for that, I must give Him all of the praise and honor due to Him alone.

A couple of days ago, I saw the following image in a post on Facebook:

I must describe my 2016 as ELEVATING.
I have embraced elevation in several areas of my life: mentally, emotionally,  spiritually, and ministerially. In a nutshell, my faith elevated to a new dimension, to the point I've witnessed God's movement in the smallest, yet most impactful ways. 
It's amazing what can happen in a year's time.  It's amazing what can happen in a week-in 24 hours, even!
Thinking back to this time last year, I was in a different place mentally. I've heard of "positive affirmations" but gave them no consideration.  An affirmation is simply defined as, "the act of affirming" which is "to say that something is true in a confident way."  It's not a crazy ritual; it is the act of making positive statements that will not only create a positive atmosphere, but will breathe fresh life into your mindset overall.  It is key essential to speak life into your own lives.  The Bible says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof" (Proverbs 18:21). There is POWER in what we say; a lot of things are "spoken into existence."  Great example of this:  The heavens and the earth. 
God did not physically labor to create the world we live in; He spoke, "Let there be..." and it was.  As heirs of the Kingdom of God, we have the God-given power and authority to speak life.  I've heard it for years, and just this year, 2016, I tapped into it and it totally reformed my way of thinking AND speaking.
I was given a "Favor Confession" about five years ago.  I looked at it and thought, "this is nice."  I tucked it in my Bible and gave it very little attention.  Over time, I would come across it, look at it and back in the Bible it went.  Then, earlier this year around March, I was introduced to the ministry of Dr. Cindy Trimm.  Another friend of mine sent me a link to one of her prayers.  It was powerful.  That ultimately led to binging on other Dr. Trimm YouTube videos.  The one that stood out to me the most was "Commanding Your Morning," which is based off her book.  She expounded upon the power of WORDS - words spoken, written and thought.  Then, I thought back upon that little Favor Confession I tucked in my Bible.  Around April, I was still fresh on my "War Room" kick, so I took a page from that movie, taped that Favor Confession to my bedroom wall and read it daily.  I noticed that as I read it, each day going forward I began to tailor that confession to fit me; I read it with a firm belief and authority.  My thought process ELEVATED.  I began to notice little things happening-I was commanding my morning!  I noticed positive results.  No, it's not a "genie in a bottle" type ritual; it's an act of FAITH.  I spoke what I believe, and I believed what I spoke!  I began to speak blessings over my life, my ministry and ultimately, my businesses.  Yes, that's plural. I'm building two businesses.  
When I received that confession five years ago, I gave the idea of entrepreneurship/building a Kingdom-minded business little to NO thought.  I was content with my
"9 to 5." My contentment lead to complacency.  Had no clue that my mindset would be reshaped over the course of time.

To boil it all down, here's a sequence of events that took place after I began to command my morning:
April: SLT Inspirations LLC became a legal entity, a book I co-edited hit Amazon's Top 100 Best Sellers
May: I became a wellness advocate with doTERRA International, LLC (an essential oil company)
June: I began actively building both businesses


July:  I was ordained as an elder in my church

August: Let me pause here.  This is a pivotal moment where I saw "Commanding My Morning" come to life. 
My car needed some expensive work done.  I was in no shape to take on that expense, with the risk of something else possibly happening because my car was an older car.  Driving to work, my car sounded like a Mack truck.  With the weight of the world on my shoulders, I went to my office, closed the door, and played Dr. Trimm's Entrepreneurial Declaration prayer.  I turned my worry into worship in those moments. I began to speak life although it didn't look the very best in that moment.  Less than a week later, I was blessed with a new car, driven right off the showroom floor.  Don't worry or bellyache; give thanks and speak life!
September: My rank advanced with doTERRA.
October-December:  I was hit with the ebb and flow of business.  Sometimes it looked bleak, other times it was good; however, I witnessed God's provision in moments where I needed it most - moments where it seemed like nothing was going to happen.  Because I chose to continually believe and continually speak LIFE!  Unspoken prayer requests were ANSWERED! It was a desire of my heart, and God heard it.  In the last quarter of the year, God revealed Himself as Jireh, for real for real!  The Lord, our Provider.
I've also started my own single women's ministry group page on Facebook, which was inspired by a blog post I published a couple of years ago:  SSW: Single, Saved and Waiting Sisters.
With all of that being said, I've experienced an elevation in various ways.  It's like, I have absolutely no tolerance for negativity.  Even when people around me attempt to take me down that road, I divert it with positive, encouraging words!  I tell them about the works of Dr. Trimm and how I thank God for her ministry. I have a fresh, new zeal for life.  I have a greater appreciation for all things.  I am learning to take the life lessons out of all the unfortunate things that happen.  I'm not living a life of tangible luxury accentuated with no worries; but I have a newly elevated mindset and awareness to not allow any bad circumstances to alter or shape my life and attitude.  I bring those things under subjection to the spirit and hand it right over to God.  Yes, I deal with challenges. I have to give myself a pep talk once in a while, words of faith and inspiration.

Let's go into 2017 with an elevated mindset; let's improve our thoughts, our initiative and our words.
There's a saying that goes like this:



God bless you all and have a wonderfully blessed and prosperous new year!

In His love,
Shairon

Sunday, November 6, 2016

CHECK YOUR MOTIVES


This blog is for the waiting woman, the one who's believing God for their future husband.
From one waiting sister to another, I feel your pain and frustration.  I originally submitted this post as a guest blogger for my sister's blog, but I felt led to share with my own audience as well.  It's quite transparent; as I drafted this blog post, I cringed and laughed at myself.  Nevertheless, my aim is to HELP my sisters who are struggling with this.  It's not easy, but as we keep Jesus as the center, it'll get easier and before you know it, you will not find yourself constantly and consistently dwelling on "When Lord? Where is he, Lord? Why Lord?"  Totally thankful for GROWTH.  Here we go.


I am so grateful for the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.  Not only is the Holy Spirit a friend, a teacher and guide, but He is one who convicts.  Many times during my walk with Christ, I’ve had to check and double-check myself and my motives behind certain initiatives.  I had to make sure that my motive was pure and not self-centered. I would ask myself:  WHY do I want this?  Is it self-serving? Will God get any glory out of it?  Am I seeking God ONLY to gain? 

I must be honest: there was a time where I was seeking God ONLY to gain favor and God-given goodies. 
I wanted to see some fruit behind my “naming and claiming” and “declaring and decreeing.”  Bump seeking God because He desires a relationship with me.  Bump seeking God because He first loved me.  I was going to “speak it into the atmosphere” and prepare by “FAITH” for my "Boaz," my future husband!  And I knew God was going to do it expeditiously, in Jesus’ name!



And here I am, 13 years later and still, SINGLE. 

But guess what?  I am NOT bitter about it!  TRUST: I used to be.  Fussed. Cried. Complained about it, A LOT.  However, the reality was this:  I needed to grow and mature in Christ and as a woman, period.  It was imperative for me to develop a real relationship with GOD, one that extended beyond the four walls of my home church.  TRUTH:  Contrary to my own immature thinking, I was not ready for marriage in my early 20s!  I needed deliverance – starting with my mindset!  I really had not grasped the true spiritual concept behind marriage and what it was all about.  Marriage goes beyond the pretty wedding gown, the steamy, sultry honeymoon and having a picture-perfect family.  I’ve learned that when you marry, you DIE to yourself.  Why do you think that the bride meets her groom at the altar?  The altar is a place of SACRIFICE.  You sacrifice your self-motives, your agenda and your will for a far greater purpose.  I knew nothing about that as a babe in Christ.  Had the Lord allowed me to marry in my early 20s, we probably would be divorced or miserably married by now-unless God intervened and performed a miracle overhaul!  I’m in my early 30s now, and I’m so grateful for my learning and growth.  I still desire to marry, but it’s no longer an IDOL in my life.

IDOL?  Yep.  You read that correctly. 

The idea of a wedding and marriage literally became an idol in my life.  It wasn’t until I began to seek God, “for real-for real,” that He revealed that startling bit of information to me.

Everyday, I religiously went on David’s Bridal website in search of a dress. Literally, everyday.I created an online account with them.  Put in a bogus wedding date "by FAITH" (when you create an account with them at that time, you had to put in a wedding date).
I had my wedding meticulously planned out, from the color to the flower.  You know, I was “planning by FAITH,” while Jesus, figuratively speaking, sat on the shelf in my life.  I snatched Him off the shelf only when it was time to “declare and decree.”  I only went to Psalm 37:4 when it came to my Bible reading. I’m sure every single Christian woman knows THAT Scripture; that’s our foundational “waiting on GOD” Scripture! Truth be told, I was pitiful.  As I’m typing, I’m shaking my head, laughing at myself.  Lord, I thank You for deliverance.

As I wait, I’m seeking God for what He wants me to do for Him and how I can contribute to building the Kingdom.  I’m focused on becoming a better Shairon, because I refuse to be “rottenness in my husband’s bones.” (Proverbs 12:4)  I pray for my husband and thank God for him in advance.  I don’t look at the clock and bellyache over the “When, Lord?!”  I’ve learned to rest and simply trust God with this love story He’s writing.

As I began to really seek God out of my desperation for Him and Him only, my prayers are less about self.  I’ve matured a bit.  Now, I’m an ordained elder and currently building two businesses.  My personal ministry is Desire to INSPIRE, my blog site (this site-smile!).  The more I focus on the LORD, soaking in His presence and sharpening my skills as a budding entrepreneur, I don’t have time to wonder about my husband or “WHERE HE AT?!”  Sure, I pray for him in advance. I surround myself around godly wives for wise counsel and preparation; but I don’t go around 24-7 wondering about him anymore.  I don’t post subliminal messages or “Dear Future Husband” statuses on social media.  (DISCLAIMER:  I don’t knock anyone for posting “Dear Future Husband” statuses; I just refuse to do so.  I take that to God in prayer).

So, to my dear single sister who desires marriage: I feel you. TRUST ME, I do. 
As one who is the youngest of six and ALL of them, except ME, are/were married (one sibling deceased), I understand your frustration.  God has not forgotten about you.  Appreciate your singleness, because all of that will become null and void immediately upon “I do.”  Embrace your singleness.  Travel.  Go out.  Fellowship with like-minded believers.   Focus on becoming a better you.  Steal away time with the Lord, just to pray and talk with Him.  Allow Him to patch up and heal those broken places that could possibly harm to your future marriage. It will all be worth the wait.  Believe THAT!   

Make sure you seek ye first, and quash your agenda.  Check your motives, seek His will and in everything, give thanks …

Shairon  

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Power of VOICE ACTIVATION

I was recently blessed with a new vehicle that's equipped with the latest Bluetooth technology.  Overwhelmed and in total awe of God's blessings, I sat in the driver's seat and watched my salesperson sync my phone to the car.  This technology enables me to make phone calls without removing my hands from the steering wheel.  With the alarmingly increasing rates in automobile accidents attributed to distracted driving/phone usage, this technology serves as a convenience and safety precaution.  I press a button on my steering wheel and the prompt tells me to basically make a command.  I tell the feature to "Call ______." 
They'll search my contacts to match the name with my command, confirms it and proceeds to fulfill my command.

It's funny how this feature has really been around since Creation, and many of us (Believers) are just now tapping into in.  This entire universe was VOICE ACTIVATED.  God spoke, and it was, SO.
God said, "let there be ...," and it was.  As His children, we also have the power to declare and decree a thing.  We are part of a royal priesthood, according to 1 Peter 2:9.  We are kings, queens and priests in God's kingdom.  Dr. Cindy Trimm made this plain in one of her "Commanding Your Morning" videos. 
She expounded upon the role of a king, queen and priest.  They declare, decree and pronounce blessings.  We have that God-given right and authority to command our day!  Of course, we have to have some works behind our words; it's not a "genie" type of faith, where we speak a thing and POOF!  There it is! 
However, we can VOICE ACTIVATE some things in our lives.  In fact, we can even THOUGHT ACTIVATE some things.  So a man THINKETH, so is he, right?   That's what the Bible says (Proverbs 23:7).  If you think of yourself as a failure, that's what you are.  If you think of yourself as successful, that's what you are.  Change your thoughts, change your words, change your LIFE. 

Have you ever had a thought, and it came to pass?  Example:  I am an editor, hired by authors and even fellow editors to edit manuscripts, and various pieces of written content.  During one season, it seemed like I couldn't complete one manuscript before I was hired to edit another!  It was back to back editing, and I was grateful for the overflow.  And, as life goes, I reached a slump.  At this particular time, I really needed the extra funds to fulfill a particular need.  So, I sat on the side of my bed, and thought, "man, I wish someone would send me a manuscript to edit."  Once again, I THOUGHT it.  It wasn't a direct prayer and I was not thinking "out loud."  It was inaudible; but, I thought it.  Approximately two hours later, my colleague emailed me saying that she had a manuscript that needed a second round of edits and wanted to know if I could do it.  All I could do was look up and whisper, THANK YOU GOD

Even my thoughts, God considers them.  Isn't it amazing?  So, imagine what OUR VOICE can do, when we speak, declare and decree with authority. 


I have this Favor Confession that was given to me about five years ago.  At that time, I'd read it and dismissively thought, "oh this is nice," and tucked it away.  I wasn't into declaring, decreeing, confessing at that time.  Then earlier this year, I watched "WAR ROOM."  A total life changer for me.  It sparked something in my prayer life and birthed an awareness of the power of positive affirmations.  I've heard of affirmations but I wasn't "into it."  So I wrote some prayers, some affirmations, grabbed my old Favor Confession and placed them on my wall.  Since I've embraced the practice of prayerfully making positive affirmations, I've noticed a radical change in my thought process and in my life altogether. 




I found myself getting through my day without allowing negative circumstances to alter it.  I've learned to not subject myself to a negative situation, but to bring that matter under subjection and hand it right over to GOD.  Life happens, yes. It's natural for us to get upset, but I refuse to allow my emotions and temporal situations to rule me, my mind and my life.


When my car started tripping, worry rose up. I was thinking, "NOT NOW."  Then, I fell back on what I knew best:  the Word of GOD.  I got to work, closed my office door, turned on a Cindy Trimm prayer and began to worship my way out of the funk I was headed to.  I turned my worry into worship.  I posted some affirmations on Facebook.  I began to speak some things over my life and handed that situation right over to God.  Less than a week later, I was blessed with the car I referenced earlier in this blog post.

It's amazing to me how God works.  It's almost like He placed us in a position of training on how to use the authority ALREADY given to us!  Admit it:  we honestly live beneath our authority at times.  Just because we don't see instantaneous results does not mean that God isn't working!  Think about it:  Although God spoke Creation into fruition, He didn't do it all in one day.  I'm sure He could have; but there's a reason why He did what He did, in THAT fashion.  He gave man the knowledge to create voice-activated devices for our convenience and benefit; but as I began utilizing the voice-activation feature on my phone and in my car, it was at that point when the SPIRITUAL significance behind it all slapped me!  I was like, "wow God; since we are a technological-driven society, you placed technology in place, so we can grasp the CONCEPT behind what You initiated in the beginning!"

We can frame our world with our MOUTH.  We can tear down a person's character with our MOUTH.
We can MURDER a person's spirit and confidence with our MOUTH!  Words go a LONG way.  That's why we MUST think before we speak, and be careful what we ask for.  That's why I always include the "Jesus Model" in my prayers by saying, "nevertheless, not MY WILL, but THY WILL be done!"

I challenge you from this day forth, to SPEAK positive words over your life.  Pray the WORD of GOD. Affirm (make firm) what you desire for your life.  Here is an example:

"Father God in the name of Jesus, I thank You for life, health and strength.
I thank You for where you have brought me from, and where You're leading me to.
You know the plans for my life, which are peaceful and not evil according to Your Word.

I thank You for Your abundant blessings and helping me to be a good steward over all You place in my possession.  I will operate in wisdom and knowledge.  I will not cast my pearls before swine.  I am a giver.  I am a sower.  I thank you for the harvest that I'll reap.  I thank You for equipping me to obtain all You have for me.  I thank You for removing leeches and destiny blockers from my life.  I attract wealth.  I am grateful for divine connections, reconnections and disconnections.  I declare and decree that my business will experience good success.  I thank You for good health.  I thank You for molding me into the man/woman, husband/wife, father/mother You're calling me to be.  I thank You for placing me before great men and women who will be key players in my launch into the next phase of my destiny. I suffer NO LACK in Jesus' name.  You supply all of my needs according to Philippians 4:19. 
I will think and speak nothing but good things.  I am anointed and appointed for such a time as THIS.  I thank You for helping me to remain humble in all that I do, You alone be exalted and glorified..."
and go from there. 

Place this into practice and watch your mindset change. You have a voice, now it's time to activate some things.  When you pray, SAY.  (Luke 11:2)

Be blessed,

Shairon

#Desire2Inspire 

Scripture references: Joshua 1:8, Job 38:12, Proverbs 18:21, Ezekiel 37:4-10, Matthew 7:7; 21:21-22
Luke 11:2; Philippians 4:8

Sunday, August 21, 2016

STORM ALERT: TAKE COVER!

I was deathly afraid of tornadoes as a child. 
I remember staring at a newspaper clipping of a dark, ghastly-looking funnel cloud that my science teacher had on the wall.  It looked terrifying, like a scene from an old horror flick. 
If the sky cloud up with dark clouds, I instantly thought, "TORNADO."  Whenever I heard the local meteorologist mention "Tornado Watch" or "Tornado Warning" for our county or city, I would head to the basement.  There was no "oh maybe it will pass over" or "I'll just wait until I actually see a funnel before I retreat."  There was no consideration for the possibility of the storm passing over.  I heard TORNADO and I acted like it had hit my block.  I would take cover with absolutely no hesitation.  I was just that afraid.



According to the National Weather Service, a tornado is "a violently rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm down to the ground. Tornadoes are capable of completely destroying well-made structures, uprooting trees and hurling objects through the air like deadly missiles. Tornadoes can occur at any time of day or night and at any time of the year."  I remember my science teacher describing a tornado as "hot air colliding with cold air."  Hot and cold creates confusion and could ultimately cause death and destruction.
So, if storm cells are brewing on the radar, meteorologists often instruct viewers to take certain safety precautions like:
TAKE COVER.  Seek shelter immediately!
Stay away from windows. 
Go to the LOWEST part of your home/building.  If there's no basement, go to the CENTER of an interior room, like a closet.


QUESTION:  How do we react when the storms of LIFE appear on our radar?  Do we complain?  Do we run to the ark of safety, that being Christ Jesus?  There are many passages in Scripture that compares God to being our place of safety and refuge.  We can retreat to Him during those terrible times when fiery trials (hot air) and stagnation, no growth, no fruition (cold air) collides.  We don't run to Jesus because we are afraid of the storm; we run to Jesus because we know that in HIM, there's safety. His name alone is our fortress. 

"Tornadoes can occur at any time of day or night and at any time of the year."  Trials and tribulations do not abide by a clock or calendar, and they CERTAINLY do not focus on a particular region.  Life happens, at any moment.  A week ago, I found out about the EXTREMELY unexpected and untimely death of a loved one.  Talk about mind blowing!  I think everyone who knew this individual was incredibly shocked and lingered in a state of disbelief.  Although terribly sad, death is a part of life.  So, when life happens, what do we do?

TAKE COVER.  Seek shelter immediately!
The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. Proverbs 18:10
Now, that is mighty powerful; we find safety not only in Him, but also in HIS NAME.
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Psalm 91:1-2
For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. Psalm 61:3
That is our TAKE COVER mode.  We seek shelter in Him for He is our stability.  Everything else is counted as "sinking sand."  God and His Word shall stand and stand STRONG!

Stay away from windows.
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding
(Proverbs 4:7).  Understand this: a window is an open space of opportunity.  Being in the open space of a tornado, or knowingly placing yourself in a position of opportunity to be attacked is not wise (Example: snake handling in churches).  If you know danger is approaching, retreat to a place of safety.  Do not tempt God by placing yourself in harm's way, thinking that you'll be protected.  The Bible is clear; the righteous runneth into it (the name of the LORD-strong tower) and finds safety there!  Not in front of an open opportunity of being destroyed!  Utilize the resources God gives us.  Run to the Source!

Go to the LOWEST part of your home...to the CENTER
The center is a place of stability; it is a principal point.  Sometimes, the storms bombard our lives to serve as a reminder.  We should never become too comfortable with life or our walk with God.  I am using the word "comfortable" in the sense of contentment, being unconcerned, ultimately becoming lackadaisical. 
Life can be basking in a season of peace and joy to where you visit Jesus only on Sundays, and He's pushed to the back for the remainder of the week.  You might glance at the Verse of the Day notification from your YouVersion app, but you won't meditate upon that Scripture and allow it to minister to you.  So, to give you a wake-up-call, God will allow a storm to roll through.  What do you do?  In the natural, we take cover by going to the LOWEST part of the house/building.  Spiritually, the lowest place we need to hit: OUR KNEES.  Go into your War Room, your prayer closet and PRAY. We need to get back to that place of PRAYER, of seeking His face, allowing Him to be the CENTER of our lives, again.

Don't think of the storm as a cruel tactic; take it as an opportunity to seek shelter in the One who first loved us.  There's a storm out, take cover in CHRIST.

Be inspired, be blessed...
Shairon  










For storm safety tips, check out this link: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/severeweather/

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Too Far Gone?

"I MESSED UP, AGAIN!  I told God I wouldn't do it again!"
"I keep messing up, I might as well stay where I'm at; God won't take me back now."
"God will NEVER forgive me!  I'm just TOO jacked up!"
"I am a mess; God can't use me."
"God doesn't love me; if He did, I wouldn't be in this position.  He would make me better!"
"Why won't God just make me DO RIGHT?!"

I think it's safe to say that most, if not all of us, have been there, on multiple occasions. You ended up in bed with that man/woman, although you told God you wouldn't allow yourself to make that mistake again. You've picked up that drink when you've vowed to never drink again when He delivered you from alcoholism.  You started lying your way through life again, when you vowed to be truthful. You are bitter and jealous towards your loved one because they are abounding in the blessings of God, and it seems like you're left in the corner.  You navigated towards those sexually-driven forms of media to pacify your need for fleshly gratification because you're single and God is dragging His feet with sending you your mate.  You've picked up that blunt when you told God that you would not desecrate your temple like that anymore.  You went back to those friends that refuse to give Jesus a chance to be their Savior. In fact ...  some of us may have blamed God for our indiscretions, thinking that because He's perfect, He's loving and generous, He'll just make EVERYTHING, including us, "RIGHT." NOT!  Before we fell, we had a CHOICE. We have to be prepared to deal with consequences of our choices.  God always makes a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13).  When you felt yourself being drawn away of your own lusts, you had the opportunity to realize the gravity of the situation, turn around and FLEE. (James 1:12-16).

One of the awesome things about God is that He does not "make" us love Him. I know I do NOT want to "make" a man love me, so of course, God feels the same.  God is a gentleman; He will not force Himself upon you.  God wants us to come to Him willingly, of a humble heart and broken in spirit.  God wants an intentional relationship with us! Be intentional in your Walk with Him.  Although His infinite power will allow Him to do whatever He wants, instead, He'll gently tugs on our hearts, draw us towards Him (Jeremiah 31:3).  And if you are reading this, right now, guess what?  He is NOT done with you!  TODAY is the ACCEPTABLE day of salvation, the acceptable time to make the conscious decision to dedicate every fiber of your being to Him for His glory which ultimately works to your benefit
(2 Corinthians 6:2).  Oh...it's a costly Walk (dying to yourself, your will, your thoughts and completely yielding to the will of the Lord), but the rewards are oh so worth it!

Jesus' brutal death was costly, too,wouldn't you agree?  It paid for your SALVATION.  Paid for mines, too.

He continuously extends His loving hand of grace towards us.  How?  By simply allowing us to see another day - another day of grace and mercy - another chance for a "do-over."   It is July 31, 2016.  He brought us through another month.  Many didn't make it, but you (the reader) are here!  Now, does that give us a ticket to use grace as an excuse to sin?ABSOLUTELY NOT.  Read Romans 6.  One of the things I love about Jesus is that He first loved ME; and because I love Jesus, I refuse to abuse His grace!  I dare not use grace as my "crutch."  It is a GIFT, unmerited; one I totally DO NOT deserve!

Oftentimes, the enemy likes to create this illusion in our minds that we can be so heavily immersed in sin, that the possibility for redemption is practically null and void.  Sometimes we have to get to our lowest point before we realize that our Father (GOD) loves us and is awaiting our return.  You might be in your own trough of sin right now; you might be in fellowship with swine (naturally/spiritually malodorous and contaminating conditions) but God is waiting for you, with outstretched arms!  You were created and chosen for PURPOSE (Psalm 139:14; John 15:16).

A couple of months ago, while I was deep into editing a manuscript, the author used Luke 15 in a certain chapter of their book.  Luke 15 contains a couple of parables told by Jesus Christ; one of which being one of the most popular parables: The Prodigal Son. Despite his Father's wishes, the Prodigal Son took his portion of his inheritance and moved away.  In order the inherit something, typically the person who's administering the portions of inheritance has to die.  So, in essence, his father was dead to him.  He just wanted what he wanted so he can live it up.  That alone, is saddening.  It was like, "Dad, I really don't care about YOU; I'm only interested in what you got for me."


But, it took the son to get to an extremely low point in life (pig trough) to realize that he had a father who he could return to.  And when his father saw him, he didn't shun him; he didn't scold or ridicule his son saying "yeah I knew you would be back." No; he met HIM halfway, and loved on his son!  He was so grateful that his son came back home!  This love is truly representative of Father God's love towards US. 

I think most of us have experienced a "Prodigal Son" moment.  We were only interested in the benefits and blessings of Father God and didn't give a care about GOD.  We want to "speak it into existence" and "name it and claim it in Jesus' name," expecting God to "hop to it" because, you know, there is power in our words.  Yeah, okay. What is your motive?  SELF CHECK.  Will God be glorified?  Are you just using the Scripture to your self-serving advantage, or because you realize that the Word is nourishment to your soul and spirit? 

With all of that being said, once again, if this is YOU, and YOU are reading this right now, know that you have been given another day of grace and mercy, and another chance to REPENT (CHANGE). You might have done this and that.  You might be angry in your heart towards God for some things that happened in your life.  Do you realize that you can express that to Him?  Tell Him how you're feeling!  You are not too far gone; you are alive with another chance to patch things up with Father God through His Son Christ Jesus.

Don't believe the devil's lies. The devil is a deceiver.  Snatch that veil that the enemy has placed over your eyes and run to the feet of Jesus.

In the words of Heather Lindsey, Jesus loves you like crazy!  Sounds a bit "out of character" vocabulary-wise, but it's the truth anyhow.  He totally thought you were to DIE FOR.  LITERALLY.


Be blessed, be inspired,
Shairon

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

TOTAL TRUST: The Gethsemane Route to Prayer

Hello and GOD BLESS to my #INSPIRE family!  I've been away for a little while, and all for good reason!
I will share my testimony in a future blog.

For the last couple of months, the LORD has dealt with me on TRUST.
Ironically, 16 years ago today (5/11/16-date I published this post), my father, Joe L. Taylor, Sr., made his transition.  I talked about his untimely death in my previous blog post entitled, ABBA.
That was truly a time where my trust was put to the test, but I made it!

In this particular season of my life, there are certain areas I am really seeking God about. One of my biggest fears is leaning to my own understanding and possibly traveling down a road that wasn't ordained by God!
Yes, God is so mindful of us that He can reconstruct our mistakes to work for our good (Romans 8:28), but if I know the fire is hot, why take a chance and stick my hand in the blaze anyway? Because of grace?
I would much rather avoid pitfalls and operate under the Proverbs 3:5-6 initiative.

I look at my "current situation" in certain instances, and in my mind, I'm thinking, "Okay, I need to make some moves, and make them SOON!" However, God could be saying, "SIT DOWN, BE QUIET AND REST IN ME."  That's when your trust is placed to the test.

DISCLAIMER:  Most of the time, when God says "be still," that doesn't mean to just totally stop doing everything and become idle!  No. What He wants is for us to place that matter(s) in His hands, allow Him to guide you and just relax in His presence!  I have been learning that lately, especially since I've been reading Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  (I highly recommend that devotional; go buy a copy!)

Trusting God is SO challenging.  Honestly, it can be totally frustrating!  I recall seeing this meme on Facebook with Kermit the Frog holding a cell phone, looking utterly despondent.  The message said something like, "I wish that Jesus could just text me and tell me what to do."  Because we can't physically see or touch Jesus, it's makes things even more challenging.

What does it means to truly TRUST in the LORD?  I was blessed with the opportunity to minister upon this very topic on March 20th. One of the things I found funny, yet humbling, is how the Holy Spirit took me straight on the route to the Garden of Gethsemane under the umbrella of TRUST.
At the time I ministered upon Total Trust, we were approaching Holy Week, marking the Triumphant Entry, the Last Supper, the Garden, the Cross and the Resurrection.  How timely, right?
Let's look at the meaning of TRUST.

TRUST means assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.
To TRUST something or someone is to fully rely on it or them.
To TRUST means to depend upon (Jesus is our Rock and our Source who provides resources).
To TRUST is to confide in (we can cast our cares upon Him.We can go to HIM in prayer and have no worries about Jesus gossiping about your business).
To TRUST is to have confidence in (All power is in His hands!  Nothing is impossible with God, Luke 1:37).
To TRUST is to count on (God will never leave us or forsake us. Man will, but there is no failure in GOD).
To TRUST is to hope (Jesus is our "Blessed Hope").
To TRUST is to believe (blessed are they who have not seen and YET believe).
To TRUST is to have expectation (I don’t see it in the natural, but yet I SEE IT).
To TRUST is to have total reliance (we can rely upon God!).

Also, TOTAL TRUST means COMPLETE OBEDIENCE. Yep!  This means being obedient to GOD even if a thing seems to be illogical or simply crazy.  Total trust means setting our faces firm upon God and not abandoning the faith especially in the midst of craziness.Total trust means totally yielding our will to God.

Sometimes, you might feel bamboozled right in the midst of trusting Him!  That thing you’ve desired and prayed for is given to you, only for God to take or attempts to take it away.  Think about Abraham (Genesis 12, 21, 22). If anyone trusted God, it was this man.  The LORD made so many promises to him, and they did not come overnight.  He had to TRUST GOD and WAIT.  Isaac-the very son who was given to Abraham-God told him to kill him.  So, not only did he have to WAIT for his promise, but he had to turn around and KILL him?  He could have argued with God like, "Really, God?  You promised me a son, and NOW, you want ME to take his life?"  But because he loved God, and trusted Him, he was obedient and proceeded to carry out the instructions until an angel stopped him.  There was a ram caught in the thicket by its thorns for Abraham to use for sacrifice.  God tested him and Abraham passed.

Think about this:  A ram is a male lamb, that was provided as a sacrifice in Isaac's place.
Jesus is known as the LAMB OF GOD, who was provided as a sacrifice in OUR PLACE.

Speaking of Jesus, I mentioned earlier that God led me to the Garden of Gethsemane with regards to the subject of total trust.  Jesus is our ultimate model for totally trusting God with your very LIFE.
I want you to understand the significance of taking what I call, the Gethsemane Route to Prayer.

We walk by faith, and we go through the NAME IT AND CLAIM IT AND SPEAK IT INTO EXISTENCE phases; meanwhile, God is looking at us like, yeah okay. You’re singing “MY LIFE IS NOT MY OWN, TO YOU I BELONG” but yet, you’re dishing God a list of commands and requirements instead of taking the Gethsemane route of prayer: NOT MY WILL, BUT THY WILL BE DONE!

In His despair, the human side of Jesus arose and prayed this prayer:
 ... O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
(Matthew 26:39)
To be frank, GETHSEMANE IS WHERE YOU DIE TO YOURSELF.  Your plans, your thoughts, your ideologies, your ways die upon accepting His total will for your life. The word, Gethsemane, means oil press, small farm.   Oil signifies RICHNESS, ANOINTING, FRUITFULNESS.  There is oil (gifts, anointing, etc.) abiding on the inside of YOU that must come forth!  Someone is depending upon your oil!
Your gifts and service are not meant to be self-serving!  It's not about you; it's about a greater purpose, which is fulfilling His will! Gospel recording artist Evangelist Jekalyn Carr gave us a "crash course" on the process of making oil.  She says that the olive has to go through three stages for its oil to run: beating, shaking and the pressing.  Jesus went through a terrible "beating, shaking and pressing," but who reaps the benefit from the horrific process? US!  Why?  Because He first loved US!

Even when you know it’s gonna hurt like hell fire, even when you know it’s gonna strip you, God is asking, WILL YOU STILL TRUST ME, WILL YOU STILL PRAISE ME?   Jesus knew what was about to go down, but He didn't back down. Jesus said, NEVERTHELESS, NOT MY WILL BUT THINE WILL! 

Do you have that type of trust in God, to obey Him all the way?  If you are battling with that, it is okay!
Tell Father God about your troubles, weaknesses and fears!  He understands!
You can pray to Father God through His Son in this manner:

God, I’m coming to you with all of my fears, all of my frustrations, all of my mess, all of my brokenness and I’M GIVING MYSELF TO YOU…I place myself into YOUR hands…YOU are the Potter and I TRUST YOU to make me over, give me a clean heart and a pure mind loaded with a renewed faith and TRUST in YOU, that I will not waver, that I will not run like Jonah, only to end up in a filthy mess and STILL can not get out of the mandate you’ve place on my life!
  By faith, I trust You FATHER GOD to equip me with everything I need to tackle the assignment you’ve placed upon my life.   GOD, help mine unbelief!





Shairon

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Monday, February 29, 2016

ABBA

Before I proceeded to hammer out this post, my eyes literally welled up with tears of joy.  I shrugged my shoulders, looked heavenward and smiled.

Honestly, I can't fully articulate all I really want to say right now.  My mind sojourned back to some of the toughest moments of my life.  As unfortunate as two particular events were, it actually gave me a clearer perspective and greater appreciation for hence, the topic of this post: ABBA.

According to BibleStudyTools.com, Abba is a term expressing warm affection and filial confidence. In the Easton's Bible Dictionary, Abba is a Syriac or Chaldee word which is translated "father."  However, Abba carries a more endearing, intimate essence in its meaning for father.

My earthly and spiritual fathers are deceased.  It's quite bittersweet for me to publish this on the last day of February.  My biological father was born February 26th; my spiritual father was born February 27th, and he transitioned on February 12, 2012.  Both of those events, unexpected and somewhat expected respectively, literally tilted the axis of my life.

Of all times, my earthly father, Joe L. Taylor, transitioned two weeks before my senior prom. This was supposed to be one of the happiest times of my life!  I was salutatorian of my graduating class, recipient of a couple of scholarships, and was Wayne State University bound!  Things were going great until Thursday, May 11, 2000.  He had a massive heart attack while mowing the lawn.  The beauty of it all was that his death was immediate and without pain. God didn't allow him to be diagnosed with some terminal illness that came with taking multiple medical prescriptions.  He just slipped away.  That was grace; I realized that much later.     

The most interesting moment about that day was when he dropped me off at school.  Before I got out of the truck, I said, "See you later, Dad."  He said, "Ok."  I saw him later that day; but, he didn't see me.
Lesson learned: Carpe Diem.  Think about it.



My spiritual father was Apostle E. K. Wilson, Sr.  For over ten years, I sat under his pastoral leadership and guidance.  He was a true man of God who not only loved the Lord, but he loved his wife, his family and God's people.  In fact, he and his wife, Mother Elnora Wilson, were two of the first people at my house after my Dad transitioned. When his health failed severely, I made every effort to spend time with him while he was coherent.  I remember my last visit with him; he was so detached from me.  He smiled at me, called me "Baby girl," and we talked briefly; but, I felt the difference and the void that was slowly developing.  He was slowly transitioning out of here.  When I left the hospital that evening, that feeling of hopelessness began to take root.

The following Sunday morning, he entered into eternal rest.  I sat in the nurses' station, holding the blanket my sister made for him and wept sorely.  My "PawPaw" was gone.

   
It's amazing how when you lose something or someone, other things among you are magnified or intensified. It is said that the remaining working senses of a blind person are heightened because they lack one of them-that being the sense of sight.  Their senses of smell, touch, taste and hearing are heightened.  Oftentimes, lacking in a certain area actually could work to one's benefit.  I googled "blind people's senses" and many links about how heightened their working senses are appeared on the screen.  I found this paragraph to be interesting from an article on Livestrong.com:

          "Rebecca Atkinson published an essay on July 17, 2007, in the Guardian newspaper about her gradual loss of sight from a condition called Leber's congenital amaurosis. Atkinson states, 'Suddenly you can smell the world and sense when someone is standing out of your line of vision. Your brain grows on the inside, and things on the outside start to matter less...while a blind life is different from a sighted life, it is not lesser.'"

The absence of my earthly and spiritual fathers made me even more aware of His presence. It was like God was the "last man standing," if that makes sense.  Lacking in the area of being naturally fatherless heightened my awareness of Abba Father.  And because God is so awesome and mindful of us, he gave me a godfather, the Rev. Charles Barden.  Rev. Barden, who I affectionately call "my Goddaddy Barden," is literally like my Dad.  He is loving, shows genuine care and concern for me, and God uses him mightily with me.  Frank and to the point, he often chastens me with the Word of God.  


My relationship with my biological father differed from that with my spiritual father; however, I can tie both aspects in with that concerning my relationship with Abba Father.  

My relationship with my biological father was not verbally intensive. We talked, but not often.  I do not recall ever having a "deep conversation" with my Dad.  He was not a "touchy," physically affectionate type of guy, and I was okay with that!  I knew that he loved me, my mom and my siblings.  He was an awesome provider and we never went without.  However, do you know what I enjoyed most about our relationship?  His PRESENCE.  I found the greatest joy in being his shadow.  Just about everywhere he went, I wanted to go. Oftentimes, we would ride in the truck in silence.  We would exchange a word here and there. I was comfortable and content with his quiet demeanor.  It was simply being in his presence that made me happy. Mull over the word PRESENCE... 

My relationship with Apostle Wilson was definitely verbally intensive.  I loved talking with Apostle Wilson. I adopted him as my grandfather, and I affectionately called him "PawPaw."  I sought wise counsel from him on many occasions.  There were times when I used my free time to visit with Apostle and his wife at their home and just talk.  I loved their presence and the atmosphere of their home.  I was thirsty for wise counsel.

Guess what?  That's exactly how Father God, Abba Father, wants us to be!  He wants us to find joy and contentment being in His presence.  I found joy being in my Daddy's presence, but in God's presence, there is FULLNESS of joy!  Abba Father is the totality of my joy!  And the joy of the LORD is our strength!! (Nehemiah 8:10)  There is nothing like sitting still and having quiet time with the Lord.  It's utterly rejuvenating! Psalm 46:10 says, Be still, and know that I am God:  I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.  

Just like we should have quiet time with God and bask in His presence, He wants us to come to Him with our every care and concern.  Psalm 55:22 says, Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee:  I used to run to Apostle with my cares and concerns, why?  Because I trusted him and his wise counsel.  Although Apostle was very wise, why not run to the Source, first? James 1:5 says, If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  Yes, God gave us leaders; Christ's gift to the Body was the Five-fold Ministry (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers). However, our leaders can not and should not replace or deprive us from having our very own relationship with Father God through His Son, Christ Jesus.  Get to know Abba for yourself!  He is there waiting for you.  Are you willing to run to Father God and share your thoughts and sentiments of your heart with Him?  How many just enjoy basking in the presence of God? How many can just abide in the shadow of His wings and rejoice?

Just knowing what God did for me, and you, through His Son...alone warms my heart.  It lets me know that I am truly loved.  Imagine placing your ONLY CHILD on trial for something he/she didn't do.  Imagine allowing them to be put to a horrific, slow, embarrassing death.  You can't even begin to TRY to conjure up such image.  Why?  Because that's your baby!  Sometimes parents will hurt just seeing their baby cry, let alone seeing their lives on the line in such manner!   Speaking of the crucifixion, even Jesus referred to Father God as Abba, in His moment of passion and weakness. 

And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.  And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take this cup from me:  nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.  Mark 14:35-36


And because of the passion of Christ, one of the many awesome things about Abba Father is that through His Son, He lives inside of us!  Thank God for the indwelling of His Holy Spirit!  God is not just some big, gigantic being that we should respect and be fearful of; He is literally our Daddy!  He adopted us as His own, through the Blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father.  Romans 8:15

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.  Galatians 4:6

God is our Daddy, point blank. We can come to Him and ask Him for whatever we desire! He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord our provider. 
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?  Luke 11:9-13

Learn to embrace and love on Father God as ABBA, as "Daddy."  You can crawl on his lap and cry out to Him through you heartfelt prayers. Allow the presence of Abba to comfort you daily. Allow Daddy to embrace you with His love, through His powerful Word. 


The following is a link to a beautiful song entitled ABBA by Jonathan David Helser.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X34NLbEw2o 


(image courtesy of Google.com) 
With love, I pray you were inspired...
Shairon 







Scripture references:
Mark 14:35-36
Romans 8:15
Galatians 4:6

Sources:
Easton's Bible Dictionary (Abba)
Life Application Study Bible, KJV
http://www.livestrong.com/article/268986-how-does-becoming-blind-affect-other-senses/
http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/abba/



Saturday, January 9, 2016

Hannah, UNWAVERING.

Greetings and a very happy new year to my #INSPIRED family!  I pray the following message inspires you!

Some of the most successful people have endured some level of physical, mental and emotional pain in all efforts to reach their goals.  Fulfilling your PURPOSE and walking into your divine DESTINY is not, and should not be "peaches and roses."  As the saying goes, "easy come, easy goes." The process certainly doesn't feel good, but the end rewards are so worth it.  Not only you'll come out on top, you'll come out STRONGER.

Some of the most precious, unique things on this earth weathered trials of various, yet severe natures. Married/engaged women:  take a gander at that beautiful diamond(s) on your wedding or engagement ring. Do you realize that you are wearing a lump of coal that was placed under extreme pressure in an effort to bring that diamond's sparkling beauty into fruition?  A diamond is an example of beauty exemplified through pain and pressure.

I truly believe that one of the "sheros" of the Bible who could testify about enduring trials, the one I believe we ALL, quintessentially can relate to in some way, is HANNAH. There are so many themes we can pinpoint from her story: faith, prayer, steadfastness, purpose, pain, infertility, etc. Although everything about Hannah, of course, is not chronicled here, the most pertinent themes God wants us to hone in on are detailed in the Book of First Samuel.

First of all, she shared her husband, Elkanah.  As common as bigamy and polygamy were during that era, I can imagine one, if not all wives in that situation, individually "felt some kind of way" with having to share their husband.  However, Peninnah, Elkanah's other wife, was Hannah's agitator and adversary.  She tormented Hannah sorely, all because she was barren. "And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb." (1 Samuel 1:6, emphasis added) So, not only was she barren, but her state of infertility was caused by the hand of God!  Now that's thought-provoking!

The Bible says that Elkanah loved Hannah more, and gave her a worthy portion; however, gifts and luxuries become irrelevant when it comes to longing for that particular thing you TRULY DESIRE...and yet, CAN'T HAVE. Hannah was the favorite wife, but that was not enough!  Hannah was barren and relentlessly teased about her situation.  Try to imagine Hannah's position and the possible mental agony behind it all.

However, as unfortunate as her situation was, it did not prevent Hannah's worship.  Instead of pointing the finger at God like, "Why can't I bare children?  Why did You do this to me?  What did I DO wrong?", she continued to seek God, in the midst of her affliction.

So many of us fall out, kick and scream when things don't go our way.  We have temper tantrums and threaten to walk away from God. In fact, some have even departed from the faith because things didn't go their way. But God, being Abba Father (Daddy), totally understands our frustrations. He says "no" or "wait" oftentimes because the timing is premature. Learning about God as ABBA will be described in greater detail in an upcoming blog post. *smile*  

Let me ask you this:  can you turn your WORRY into WORSHIP?  Are you able to PRAY and WORSHIP your way out of that funk? Can you be real with God/Abba Father and tell Him how you truly feel, how burdened and sad you are?  Are you able to confess everything that's plaguing your heart out AND still tell Him "no matter what happens, I will continue to serve You, love You and tell of Your goodness because You are GOD..."? Can you be troubled on every side, yet remain UNWAVERING in your faith? Also...if or when God actually blesses you with that thing(s) you prayed so fervently for, are you willing to give it back to HIM?!  You read that last question right.  Will you give it back to Him?

Let's do some deep introspection:  Honestly, ask yourself:  Can I, or am I willing to do that?
Does it seems hard to do that?  Don't know how to do that?  Allow Hannah to show you how.



" So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the Lord. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head. And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli marked her mouth. Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto. Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad. And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the Lord, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her. Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord."  (1st Samuel 1:9-20) 

There are several things happening in this particular passage of Scripture.

Hannah knew her true source and utilized it.  Instead of dwelling in her sorrowful spirit, she went to God in prayer and poured out.  Although bitter in her soul, it didn't deter her from entreating the Father.  Saints, we have to be rooted enough in our faith to know that, no matter what happens or how it might seem like God got His ears plugged up while saying "la la la, I'm not hearing you," you have to be bold enough to still pursue Him.  How bad do you want it?  More importantly, how bad do you want HIM over those things you're praying to Him about?

Second:  She was rebuked and falsely accused by Eli of being drunk, simply because she prayed inaudibly. Her mouth moved, but no words were heard.  This made me think about "church hurt."  Many have left the church because of things done or said to them.  Many have experienced hurt from leadership, fellow congregants, have endured false accusations and rumors, etc.  That accusation could have stung Hannah to the point of sending her in the opposite direction.  Instead, she respectfully responded by saying that she had no alcoholic beverage, but simply poured out of her soul before God.  In turn, Eli spoke a blessing over her.

Third: VOW.  A vow is defined as, "a serious promise to do something or to behave in a certain way."
How many of us made vows to the Lord, and kept them?  How many have made a vow out of desperation and then regretted it?  In 1 Samuel 1:11, Hannah vowed that if God blessed her with a son, she would give the child back to God.  God opened her womb, and Samuel was conceived.  After she weaned him, she gave him back to God.  "For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him:  Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD.  And he worshipped the LORD there." (1 Samuel 1:27-28)  She honored her vow to God.

Fourth: Importance of worship-individually and jointly. Elkanah and Hannah together, made God their first priority.  They rose up EARLY, and worshipped before God.  They placed God FIRST.  They gave God the first fruit of their time.  And afterward, they came together as ONE.  The marital relationship is TRIUNE-God, man and woman.  When a husband and wife worships together in spirit and truth, this is pleasing to God.  It was THEN when He remembered Hannah's plea.  Their son, Samuel was conceived. Samuel means, "because I have asked him of the Lord." If you read chapter two, it opens with Hannah's song of thanksgiving.  After she fulfilled her vow, she gave thanks!

Have you ever did something nice, or even fulfilled a vow/commitment, then felt some type of regret afterwards like, "dang, I wish I could have kept this or that."  I think we have all been there to some degree. Good example:  giving a sacrificial offering in church for an extremely important cause.  Because there was a need, out of the goodness of your heart, you gave; but inwardly, you are like "man, I had plans for that money..." *smacks lips in disgust*  Hannah COULD have felt that way, but instead, she blessed God and gave thanks.  As a result, God blessed her with FIVE more children. "And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters.  And the child Samuel grew before the LORD."  (1 Samuel 2:21)  The number five, in biblical numerology, means GRACE.  God extended His amazing grace to Hannah.  Just know that if you seek Him first, He will surely see about you! (Matthew 6:33)  What God did for Hannah, He can certainly do the same for you.

Life is a journey, filled with ups and downs.  There will be days and seasons where it seems like the blessings are on overflow.  Then, there are days where the storms of life will blow treacherously. We will not always like the hand we are dealt. For example, have you ever played the card game, Uno? We are dealt a different hand each time.  Sometimes we'll have a good hand; other times, our hand will look so poor, you just know that you're gonna lose.  Well...life is like that to some degree.  The key is this: with JESUS, we WIN, by default! Whether we have a "good hand" or a "bad hand" in the game of LIFE, JESUS is that "wild card" that changes the entire game.  Back to Hannah: at first, it SEEMED like Hannah was dealt a bad hand.  She didn't just accept it AS IS; she sought the Lord, and He blessed her tremendously. Hannah was unwavering and steadfast in her devotion.

God desires an obedient, yielded, unwavering vessel who He can use for His glory.  Be unwavering in your FAITH and devotion towards God.  I challenge you to TRUST God, no matter what.  Remember that God is not only God, but Abba Father.  Tell Daddy how you are having a hard time trusting Him, and how you need His help.  Ask Him to help you, and seek His face. Make a vow to God and don't take it back. Remain fervent in your devotion, and watch God work.

I pray you were inspired,
Shairon  


Scripture references:
1st Samuel 1 and 2
Psalm 37:4; 55:22
Matthew 6:33
1 Peter 5:7

Sources:  
The Dake Annotated Reference Bible (KJV)
Life Application Study Bible (KJV)