Archives for the month of: December, 2014

Psalm 27:13
King James Bible
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

New International Version
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

New Living Translation
Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.

When times get rough, and you have done all that you know to do, then stand on the promises of God. He promises that He will never fail or forsake us.

For many, the past few years have been hard. It feels as if God has forgotten about you. For some, those unanswered prayers are simply a promise or a vision. For some, they are waiting on God to provide their basic needs: a home, clothing, shelter, and freedom.

Today, there is a young woman (or man) reading this who is “trapped” in a lifestyle that she (he) did not chose. There are people who have touched you in places that God has not granted them access to. You have prayed to God to make it stop, but these people continue to violate you. Princess (Prince), keep praying! God is not asleep. He hears you. He has not forgotten about you! He WILL deliver you!

Today, there is a Ruth who is waiting on her Boaz. She has trusted God with her everything, but still it seems as if God is silent. Daughter of a King, trust that what God has in store for you is greater than anything you could ever imagine. It’s His greatest love story yet!

Today, there is someone facing jail time. Know that even in your weakest moment, God is still alive. Moses killed a man, yet God redeemed him and allowed him to lead His people out of captivity. Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament, was once held captive, yet God is still using him to change generations yet to come. Joseph was falsely imprisoned, yet God used him to save a nation from starvation!

Today, there is someone on the verge of what they perceive as financial ruin. They can’t tell which end is up. Know that God is the author and the finisher of your faith. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning, Psalm 30:5. If God did it before, He can do it again. God is not a one hit wonder.

Today, there is someone who wants to end it all (kill themselves), and as a final plea, has asked God for a sign. Know that this post IS your sign. Know that God has not forgotten about you! He knows you by name. He has your name written in the palm of His hands. He will carry you through your greatest pain until your days are restored with joy and laughter. He misses the sound of your laughter. He longs to see your heart smile. He is right there beside you!

The thing I love most about Psalm 27:13 is this: It is an acknowledgement from God that we DESIRE and we NEED to see the manifestation of His Word in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13 reassure us that we will see the goodness of God, not just in Heaven, but here on Earth as well! Keep believing that you WILL see God’s goodness in the land of the living. You can and you will experience God’s best. Don’t give up on Him because He hasn’t given up on you!

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Writing is such a big part of my life. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my That Next Level Thinking journey!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 52 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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The greatest lesson that I’ve learned this year is to be present. It’s one of the hardest things to do. It’s so easy to always be looking forward to tomorrow or reminiscing about yesterday. But there is something to be said about living in the moment. If you’re constantly living for the future or the past, your whole life can pass you by. On this Christmas Eve, I want to focus on living in the present moment. The year 2015 will get here eventually, but 2014 is only here for a little while longer. We will never ever again experience today. When 2014 is gone, we can’t experience it anymore. Enjoy each day. It’s a gift. Merry Christmas 🙂

Came across this from a year ago. I wanted to share.

ThatNextLevelThinking

The final day of our prayer challenge has come upon us.  So, what do we do now? Now, we wait. Not quite the answer you were expecting, huh? Wait?  We just spent an entire week waiting and believing for God to move.  Surely, God is going to meet our faith now.  Surely our worlds are about to dramatically change.  The truth is, God’s army doesn’t always launch a frontal attack.  Sometimes, they take the path less traveled.  In other words, life doesn’t always happen according to plan.  It is quite possible that the blessings that God has in store for us could very well appear out of left field. None of us know what God has in store for us.  We just know that as believers, we have to stand firm on His Word.  Below are a few of the top lessons I have learned during this past season that…

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Many Christians that I know entered into the year 2014 declaring that it would be a year of double portion. For some, including myself, the events of 2013 felt almost cataclysmic. Now, I am catastrophizing just a little, but none the less, for some, the year 2013 was indeed tumultuous. For those who have studied the Biblical meaning of numbers, they know that the number 13 represents rebellion and lawlessness. For many, 2013 was a season of rebellion. It’s no wonder that many of those same Christians were looking forward to 2014, the year of double portion.

There are individuals who have experienced a double-fold of blessings in 2014. For those who have not, just know that the year is not over yet. In my own life, 2014 has been a year of tremendous growth. There have been so many lessons that I have learned over the course of the past 12 months. Many of those lessons are going to be the very tools that I will carry over into 2015—the year of rest. Below are a few of the lessons that I have learned in 2014. I hope that they bless you as they have blessed me.

14 Spiritual Lessons from 2014

  1. God is still on the throne.
  2. God is NEVER out of options.
  3. Only God can define who you are.
  4. “The last shall be first, and the first shall be last,” (Matthew 20:16).
  5. Find, and enjoy, the things that bring you joy.
  6. You don’t have to have it all figured out.
  7. You WILL come out on the other end.
  8. The devil is a liar.
  9. Not everything/everyone deserves/warrants an answer/explanation.
    1. You don’t have to explain yourself.
  10. Listen longer than you speak.
  11. It’s okay, and sometimes necessary, to move on.
  12. Don’t be held captive by other people’s insecurities.
  13. You are not defined by who you were yesterday (or five minutes ago for that matter).
  14. You were created for such a time as this!

Shortly before Christ died, He made a promise. He promised that believers would be able to do the same or greater things than He had done.

12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it, (John 14:12-14, NIV).

Wow, that’s quite some promise. Yet, when I look around, I wonder whether we are truly experiencing those greater things. Are we truly a faithless generation?

No, I think there are many who call themselves faithful in our generation. I just think the majority of our generation has a misguided sense of how faith works.

The Bibles says faith without works is dead, (James 2:17). Notice when Jesus healed the paralytic, He told him to pick up his mat and go home, (Mark 2:1-12). In our generation, many of us want God to bless us without having to work for it. My friend, the only free gift in the Kingdom is salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). Everything else requires work.  Please don’t misunderstand and think that I am saying that we have to earn or work for God’s favor.  We don’t.  However, we have to work to maintain the blessings he gives us!  Think about it this way.  Imagine if someone gifted you with a brand new car–fully loaded and fully fueled–yet you never refueled or serviced it.  Would it continue to work?

I believe the reason why many of us have yet to experience the greater work that God mentioned in the Bible is because we have not yet learned to fully release and exercise our faith. The Word says, “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him…”2 Chronicles 16:9. God is constantly looking for those whom He can trust with His vision. However, there is a cost. Jesus talks about that cost in Luke 9:57-62:

57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”

But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”

62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God,” (NIV).

I believe many people miss the significance of the first verse due to its metaphoric nature. Jesus said. “Foxes have holes and birds have nest, yet the Son of Man does not have a place to lay His head.” There are two important principles in that verse. First, Jesus, the Son of Man, is looking for a place to lay his head. “Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything,” Colossians 1:18, (NLT). If you put these two verses together, it tells you that the Son of Man is looking for a place to lay His Church. Many of us are looking for the church behind four walls, but the Church begins in our hearts. Remember earlier, we said, “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him…”2 Chronicles 16:9. Jesus is looking for a place to lay his head, the Church.

The second important point that I think many miss in the verse, “Foxes have holes and birds have nest, yet the Son of Man does not have a place to lay His head” is the reference to Jesus as the Son of Man. We just mentioned that God is looking for people with whom to trust His vision. In other words, God is looking for leaders. The mention of Jesus as the Son of Man is crucial. “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many,” Matthew 20:18, NLT.

In order to lead, we have to know how to serve. Many of us want to lead, but we don’t want to serve. Leadership sometimes requires that we roll up our proverbial sleeves and get our hands dirty.

The above verse could have easily referenced Jesus as the Son of God, yet it didn’t. Jesus knew who He was and walked in that authority. He didn’t have to hold his title over others in order to lead them.

So, what are these greater things that Christ talked about? The Bible was filled with recollections of the impossible and the miraculous. Jesus healed the lame, the leper and the blind. He multiplied a morsel and fed a village. He thought of ingenious ways of creating revenue—drachmas from the belly of a fish. Jesus promised that not only would we be doing these things, but we would be doing more amazing things. Now, that’s a promise! Today, I pray over the greater things in my generation.  I pray over the future curers of cancer, HIV, diabetes, paralysis and all other sicknesses. Today, I pray that people will be able to lay hands on each other and cure each other, including exorcising their “demons.” I pray that Christian entrepreneurs will launch their billion-dollar industries and advance the Kingdom. I pray that Christian marriages will be consummated and Christian families will be restored. I pray that in my life, and in the lives of those who believe, there will be greater things. In Jesus’ name, I pray! Amen!