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EXPERIENCING RENEWAL & TRANSFORMATION ON GOOD FRIDAY!

Good Friday collage created by Linda Mose Meadows

 

“Kites,rise highest against the wind, not with it.”

Sir Winston Churchhill

On Good Friday I shared reflections at St. John Episcopal Church of New Haven’s 7 Last Words “I Thirst “(John 19:28). This power packed afternoon examined Jesus Christ’s human response during a horrific crucifixion. The other esteemed participants were: The Rev. Canon George Kovoor, Dr. Grace Kim, Dr. John Hare, Mrs. Terry Hare (cellist) and Mr. Robert Messore (guitarist).

I shared a fascinating account about a young man, Kingsley who lived in the Cameroon (West Africa), resided in cramp, overrun dwellings with his family, worked as an underpaid life guard and was determined to have a better life. On his second attempt he and his family made the difficult and excruciating decision to scrape their meager earnings together and allow Kingsley to venture on to Europe. Long story short, Kingsley survived a horrific journey, several set-backs, including being stranded in the Sahara Desert and enduring an overcrowded rusty boat ride nearly capsizing! Kingsley clearly shares that his life is “very, very hard” but feels that there must be a solution for a better life.  He’s a young man in a valley depressed situation and is seeking refuge outside of his familiar surroundings.

Admittedly life’s setbacks and hardships will cause you to hang your head, bury your head in the chest of loved ones and sob. And  these occurrences may just catapult you in the hands of the wicked who intend to crucify you. Oh it’s harrowing and just possibly you end up facing a treacherous shore with a fleet of rusty boats and no life-jacket. But what does this have to do with Jesus, so glad you asked?  I believe there’s a distinct correlation with being thirsty and yearning for more of life. Yes, more choices, more freedom, more! Jesus is clear about his need and his unnerving pain. Kingsley may not have endured the pain Jesus suffered but there is a deep down desire for relief! Surely it’s not the relief which 5th Avenue and Wall Street declare is needed. But I discern that more agape love, peace, joy and encounters that keep us humbly seeking God’s grace and mercy are the order of the day.

 

CeCe Winans’ lyrics aptly describe what it means to thirst for God”:

We thirst for You, we search for You

In a dry and barren land we’re longing for Your hand

To guide us to a place where You can cleanse us with Your rain

Baptize us once again we thirst for You

We thirst for You, we search for You

In a dry and barren land we’re longing for Your hand

To guide us to a place where You can cleanse us with Your rain

Baptize us once again we thirst for You

Oh Lord, we are waiting

Let Your river flow

Come flood our hearts again

Quench our thirsty souls

We thirst for You, we search for You

In a dry and barren land we’re longing for Your hand

To guide us to a place where You can cleanse us with Your rain

Baptize us once again we thirst for You

Oh Lord, we are waiting

Let Your river flow

Come flood our hearts again

Quench our thirsty souls

We thirst for You, we search for You

In a dry and barren land we’re longing for Your hand

To guide us to a place where You can cleanse us with Your rain

Baptize us once again we thirst for You

We thirst for You, we search for You

In a dry and barren land we’re longing for Your hand

To guide us to a place where You can cleanse us with Your rain

Baptize us once again we thirst for You

We thirst for You, we search for You

In a dry and barren land we’re longing for Your hand

To guide us to a place where You can cleanse us with Your rain

Baptize us once again we thirst for You

 http://www.songlyrics.com/cece-winans/thirst-for-you-lyrics/#o3Eep0s2HsMz2tRb.99

Thank God there are power packed scriptures that remind us how to quench our spiritual thirst:

John 4:14 (ESV) 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.[a] The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

 

John 7:37 (ESV) Rivers of Living Water 37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.

 

Isaiah 44:3 (ESV) 3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land,    and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,    and my blessing on your descendants.

 

John 19:28 (ESV) The Death of Jesus 28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.”

 

John 7:38 (ESV) 38 Whoever believes in me, as[a] the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

 

Lessons Jesus Teaches When He Utters “I Thirst.”

Endurance-we must have endurance and not give up or give in! Endure hardships, calamity, tests, even exposure for the world to scrutinize. Jesus remained on the cross, the scriptures were fulfilled because of his obedience. We should thank God for Jesus having an obedient spirit! What often appears and finality is not entire story. Your triumphant moment is yet to be revealed. As He endured the suffering and shame on Good Friday, Easter morning was on the horizon. On lookers could only see what they saw.

Prayer- Jesus teaches us to remain steadfast and in a posture of prayer. Surrender your will, even when faced with righteous indignation, surrender! Whisper in faint tones, cry out if you must-especially when we are facing desert experiences, it’s essential that we thirst for more of God. Seek Him through studying the word of God. Don’t know what to pray, pray the scripture, use those very words when you need direction. More of Him and less of _____________            ( you complete the sentence).  The divine Jesus is draped in humanity audibly expressing a real need to be rescued! This simple petition with the life altering sentiment states “I thirst!”

Drink- In other words, “Lord I need you to save me right now!” Remember Jesus’ words to the woman at the well in John 4:14 ESV 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.[a] The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Jesus “the bread of heaven”, the giver of life needs a lifeline! He goes directly to the source. Mimic that and be assured that God knows what’s happening to you.

Remain Humble- Jesus has modeled for us bold humility! He didn’t operate in his might to obliterate all those that betrayed and him, instead he remained suffocating and drowning in his own blood, body sagging from the pull, weight and gravity of a mean, cruel life experience. The enormity at that moment was more than his body, soul and spirit could sustain! Heaven must have wept for our crucified Lord & Savior.

Acknowledge Your Fears-Jesus demonstrates for us that fear is natural but we must not allow it to navigate our decisions. And more importantly not to grumble when the world gives us sour grapes!! It’s prophetic indeed in Psalm 69:21 “They gave me poison for food and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.” And I recall Jesus stating in John 6:51 ESV ‘I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

Be Transformed & Enjoy The Living Water-And finally brothers and sisters in Christ we can partake in our transformation and declare that: “When you/ [insert your name] pass through the waters, [Jesus] will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2

And why is that? Because God has a plan to prosper and not harm you! Jeremiah 29:11 assures me of all of this. Kingsley reaches his destination, weary and warn but he makes it! Surely you can too! Thirsty, go on friends drink up!

Transformed by the Love of God, Linda Mose Meadows; Blogger, Motivational Speaker and Inspirational Author of: Destined To Receive: Reflections and Devotionals Celebrating The Love of God (Createspace, 2013) and Blessedness of Believing  A Devotional Journey of Life’s Lessons and God’s Promises (Tate Publishing, 2007) 

 http://blessednessofbelieving.blogspot.com/

 https://blessedauthorlm.wordpress.com/

 http://eyesoffaithmagazine.blogspot.com/   

WORDS, USE WITH EXTREME CAUTION- IT’S SO IMPORTANT!

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:21 King James Version (KJV)

It’s no accident that my experiencing Bishop Vashti McKenzies’ Praycation set my day in motion. It had a tremendous domino effect. This soul satisfying spiritual retreat with participants from varying locations was compacted into approximately 40 minutes of uplifting prayer, scripture, exhortations and testimonies that provided excellent, yes restorative fuel for life’s ongoing journey. But it truly was an elixir for the day. And it’s virtual to boot! It was by no means a passive experience, but a morning of giving and sharing! The many words spoken quenched my parched soul!

After receiving this spiritual fortification from Praycation, it was no happenstance that I’d be in a discussion with a dear friend on what it means to battle effectively; as folks would say, “Batlin hard!” in spiritual warfare. So there it was a day starting with the tools for acquiring spiritual muscle, followed by a discussion and application of taking that exercised muscle and punching the devil out instead of getting knocked out! But how? Hold on to that question friends. I believe the Holy Ghost will reveal the answer.

 Let’s fast forward to Youtube. My dear sister friend urged me to check out Juanita Bynum and Dr. Cindy Trimm as I began deliberately speaking to my trials with authority using “kingdom language.” I listened intently to the videos. It was clear that God had woven a theme throughout my aha moments for that day, and it all seemed to point in the direction of appreciating the significance of words spoken and the impact they have on us-past, present and future.

The word “impactful” not generally used, I feel is the most appropriate-from the very start of the day it was jammed packed with words reverencing God and my having divine authority to speak life into dying circumstances. We are encouraged to fashion our language with affirmations, abandoning a defeatist tone and a smoldering diatribe.

Remember your mother saying, “Watch your mouth?” Well I was a mouthy youngster and sometimes my childish remarks crossed the line and warranted correction. It’s no mystery that well intentioned words shape and color our perplexed lives! It’s a fact that praising God one moment and spewing profanity or cursing another moment will potentially rock our worlds. One remark cancels out the other!

Our world is shaken to the core with words uttered in anguish, words spouted in thanksgiving, words expressed in conviction and yes, words pronounced in declaration! Our presence is important, but our words fuel the course. We are atmosphere changers-it takes words! Yes, these words mark us. They permeate the atmosphere and set us up for eternity. Our children’s, children will know the impact. Words can empower us. Prayerfully we are now transforming our speaking and our thinking. Our thinking is aligned with the realization that God is the source and strength of our lives. These profound words can heal, but more importantly they usher in positive occurrences and improved realities are then manifested.

Ask Dennis Kimbro regarding his success and being the bestseller of : Live Your Dreams, Think and Grow Rich-he’ll tout that in his book: What Makes The Great, Great that prayer is the greatest need. The words of prayer which aide in changing our thoughts to alter our condition! There it is!

Dr. Cindy Trimm

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxdGD8X153M&NR=1

Powerful Prayer !

 A psalm of David, regarding a time when David was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. (NLV) Psalm 3:1

 Words, words, refreshing words! Speak and declare that “God you are my God! ” Relish in the natural and spiritual benefits of God’s Holy Word. As you break the cycle of negativity, take to heart that God’s word will not return to you void. The more scripture you study, the better inclined you’ll be to embrace transformative language and living. Be encouraged and meditate on all the attributes of a loving Lord and Savior! Dr. Cindy Trimm says folks repeat what they hear. Don’t you love the truth? Change your destiny by changing your language. I have been enthralled with this realization. She inquires and asks the poignant question, “What are you feeding on?” And if I were to piggy back on that thought, my question to you would be: “What dialogues do you entertain with yourself and others? Friends, never mind the grammar, it’s good gospel ain’t it?

 Dr. Trimm says, we can download success into our day! So if we get in the mindset that we can decree doom, guess what? It will unfold! Imagine cultivating dread, pandemonium and being assured that and expecting it will springboard and blossom! It’s in our conversations, thinking, and actions! But the flip side is we have the power to manifest positive outcomes, decree and build formidable lives with wonderfully great outcomes. Thank you Holy Ghost I am grasping this now. And Lord knows I want to jump up and down, because emotions have been the ruler over much of my conversations. But, today I am praising God for deliverance! Don’t tell me that listening to sage, anointed advice and reading scripture won’t usher you to higher heights! So here it is friends, if I think better of myself and apply these truths, God will bring it to past!

Transformation is vital for our life and generations to come. We must select our choices. What’s your preference? Living or dying? I entreat you to choose life, it’s on the tip of your tongues. It made sense that Paula White and Cindy Trimm are encouraging us to tape record our conversations! Many of us think that’s ridiculous, but what I am sure Paula’s revelation is really reinforcing us to stop and begin to listen to our own words. These words are spoken often with no regard for the impact that they’ll have on us, our situations and circumstances. So if the words have hindered us and entrapped us, we ought to desire a shift, not to give in to the demonic forces that entrap us!

 Let’s begin to break the pattern of negativity! Whatever I bound in heaven and earth is loosed and bound! I must take authority halt victim thinking and fix my thoughts.

As Dr. Trimm says, “Press your ears to the word of God.” Come on and get hungry! Where’s your appetite for God’s truths: that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, created for such a time as this! No every day is not going to be blissful, but there’s no need to sit crouched in the dark room, shades drawn, awaiting the fall!

 We aren’t abandoned, but instead blessed and exonerated by His loving kindness and grace. We’re not thrown away-God is faithful. He is our banner, our strong tower, our help, our deliverer! He is Jehovah-nissi (“Jehovah is my banner,” Ex. 17: 15, suggestive of triumph), Jehovah-shalom (“the Lord is peace,” Judges 6: 24), Jehovah-shamah (“Jehovah is present,” Ezek. 48: 35), Jehovah-tisidkenu (“Jehovah is righteous,” Jere. 23: 6), and Jehovah-Jireh (“Jehovah will provide,” Gen. 22: 14).

We can dismantle the architectural design of the enemy! It starts with our speech!

 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45

 Audibly speak these words found in Prayer Book by Christian word.org I declare God, the battle is already won. God is removing the enemy. AFFIRMATIONS II*

 I declare that my God will take care of the enemy that has come against what God has ordained for me.

I declare that my God is preserving me for what he has ordained for me.

I declare that we have won the Victory!

I believe God has sent His Word and it will not return void.

 I declare that God has finally anointed us to do His will.

 I declare that God has given us Divine healing and Divine Life.

I expect the Victory that Jesus has won the Victory for us on the cross. God’s Favor and Blessings are on me today.

 I expect God’s Mercy and Grace on me today.

 I expect God’s Favor on me today.

 I expect God to extend my life to the next rapture.

I declare that God is going to give me supernatural increase till the next rapture.

I will live and not die, but declare the Works of the Lord

 I declare that God’s Favor is on me, that He has given me His Strength, Wisdom, Blessings, and Peace .

I expect God’s blessings in my life today.

 I believe God has given me His Abundant Life.

* A declaration outside the Will of God is witchcraft.

 * Declarations only work if we are in right-standing with the Lord Resource: http://www.christianword.org/prayer_book/PrayersBook10a.pdf

Come on now let’s breathe and worship God for his awakening that his holy presence lives, moves and operates freely in each of us! I must turn my words into ladders, rungs if you will that elevate me to possibility and prosperity thinking, not just for the material benefits but to be a spiritual trailblazer feasting on the knowledge to who I am and allow that spill into empowering language. Decree and declare friends!!!

Thank you Jesus Christ! Expressing Thanksgiving and Joy! Linda Mose Meadows, Urban Views Weekly & Empower Magazine Columnist and Inspirational Author of: The Blessedness of Believing A Devotional Journey of Life’s Lessons and God’s Promises and Co-publisher of Eyes of Faith Magazine http://blessednessofbelieving.blogspot.com

https://blessedauthorlm.wordpress.com/

 http://eyesoffaithmagazine.blogspot.com/

PAY ATTENTION TO THE SIGNS!

Photo by: Linda Meadows
This plant often surprises me.
Some mornings it’s blossoming with new flowers!

Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragement, and impossibilities:
It is this; that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”
—Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), historian, essayist, satirist

Could it be that the most driven personalities, the most audacious, determined spirits walk their own paths in life and feel that they need not borrow from our platter of experiences? Come what may, they are going to do things their way and in their own time. Many of them may see the signs, the seemingly very obvious indicators (to me and you) telling them to go another way, avoid the pitfalls, smell the coffee, get out of that business plan, abort that agenda, leap from the burning building, or squash that dream. But they shrug their shoulders in disbelief and ignore us! Their exuberance can’t hold a candle to the voice of caution. It’s a “faith system” that befuddles most. They read the “signs” differently! You can’t get in their way. That’s that resolve that reminds me of the scripture that “God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of love and a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Several days ago I realized that during my noon walk I pass a line of trees, not very tall but they are lovely. If I am too absorbed in thought, I miss them all together. Move too fast and I am around the corner and back in my office. Depending upon the season, the transformation of leaves and buds has occurred over night. The leaves and flowers appear and re-appear in varying brilliant colors- the weather and the season play a huge factor. The trees have that tell tale sign that a change has resulted. Are we having an “aha moment”? I believe that Holy Spirit is speaking:

 He desires that we understand that that change is eminent. We will experience seasons of lack, prosperity, joy, pain, and the trying of our patience, but we can be like the trees planted on my lunch walk! Change doesn’t deminish it’s beauty. It’s foundation is strong! Is yours?

Our spiritual foundation will sustain and nourish us during the harshness of the elements. Study and pray to become further rooted and grounded in God’s word. Let love and faith will anchor you. The benefits of your spiritual foundation will help you to thrive. I am a witness!

 Are you paying attention to the seasons in your life? Are they serving to mature you and encourage you? Remember it’s all a life lesson –just pay close attention to the momentum. Growth is evident. Take a moment and let your mind escort you back to all that you’ve encountered. Remember God’s grace? It’s right there.

  • I am confident that God desires that we understand that that change is eminent. We will experience seasons of lack, prosperity, joy, pain, and the trying of our patience, but we can be like the trees rooted and grounded-still standing! We too can be determined to live and not die, no matter the season!
  •  Literally enjoy the signs of nature, the artistic impressions, the billboards, the graffiti, the conversations, the relationships, the dynamics and the words, so many words along the way; learn from them!. Take them as signs to assist in navagaating your way. Filter what has no place in your spirit! Pay attention to the signs! Go on and tuck them in your heart.

Friends it’s a fact, God doesn’t abandon His own! Your blessed pursuits–whether they be unchartered waters or familiar avenues; fully rely on God! Surely you’ll know victory.

 Shared With Joy,

Linda Mose Meadows, Columnist & Inspirational Author:

The Blessedness of Believing

A Devotional Journey of Life’s Lessons and God’s Promises

http://blessednessofbelieving.blogspot.com/

https://blessedauthorlm.wordpress.com

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