God Still Does Miracles

When you are in need of a miracle look to God. All things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26). When things seem impossible is where God does His best work. He will make a way.

Miracles are not just for biblical times, because God still does miracles. Don’t put God in a box is what my godmother always tells me. This perspective is so true. We often limit God, but He is limitless (Jeremiah 32:27). God’s word says He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will always be with us no matter what we go through.

The things we go through can seem impossible but that is where God shines the most. His glory is bright in impossible circumstances. We are to keep God first. He is our anchor in the storms of life. He is a solid foundation.

God will always do miracles. Sometimes he uses miracles to show us who He is and so He gets the glory in our struggles. Miracles are for today and don’t let no one tell you otherwise. Without God doing miracles my life would be different. It was a miracle that changed my life.

If you are waiting on a miracle, it is possible with God.

An Old Testament Miracle

Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead, and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the Lord: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.

 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not anything in the house, save a pot of oil.

Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbors, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.

And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.

So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.

 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.

 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest (2 Kings 4: 1-7).

Now let’s look at New Testament Miracles

 And this she did for many days.

But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour. But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities.

 And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city;  and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe.”  Then the multitude rose up together against them, and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods.  

And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely.  

Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake so that the foundations of the prison were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed (Acts 16:18-27).

My Miracle

Two years ago during the holidays I was hospitalized battling Covid and a severe manic episode. I was supposed to end up in a group home and I was tired of living with family. I said to God if no one wants to take me in I am willing to go to a group home. The doctors and nurses talked to my grandmother and she was willing to take me in. I will never know what would have happened had God not touched my grandmother’s heart and her love for me allowed me to stay with her.

He is always watching and looking out for us. In my heart, I never wanted to go to a group home and God knew that. I was very fed up, frustrated, and tired of going through with my family, but God had a plan. My life turned around when my grandmother took me in. Might seem simple to some but my life and story would be so much different if I had to live in a facility. A lot of unforeseen things happen in group home facilities and conditions can be horrible. God knew what I needed and He stepped in.

To God be glory eight months later after moving in with my grandmother I got my own place. I am thankful because God looked on my situation and saw my needs. Miracles are what God is all about.

The mother with a little flour and a little oil trusted God could do the impossible. Paul and Silas worshipped God and He moved. I was broken but I made a plea to God and He opened a door in my life to better my circumstances.

God still does Miracles!

Cloud of Pain

The clouds of pain held so much hurt that it seemed to always be storming in her world

Pain etched in her mind was as deadly as the tornadoes that came through tornado alley

She tried to remove herself from the hurt

Then the clouds brought the rain of trauma unresolved

What do you do when hurt seems to be the language you are most comfortable speaking

Words could never describe how deep the pain goes in the lives of traumatized women across thee globe.

Some would say get over it is the fix for the pain

The truth is healing is a process and the mindset about one’s self and the identity found in the pain must change.

The cloud of pain won’t remain a cloud if we learn to release the hurt and allow God to do the healing.

The pain etched in her mind and your mind would change, and you can heal from the cloud of pain.

Poem by: Shakera Williams

You Can’t Buy God

There is no amount of money you can tithe or give that can buy God into blessing you. God is in charge of it all. He allows us the blessing to acquire the material things of this world. He also gives us the free gift of His redemptive love. He does not need our money to bless us.

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. God provides for those who give.

Many people believe that if they can’t afford to pay tithes they are cursed or condemned and this is not true. Thinking that way is a form of bondage. God never intended for us to be bound to anything but a free relationship with Him.

You can’t out-give God. God is in charge of all things. His word says “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). It does not say I will supply all your needs as long as you tithe or as long as you do this or that. That shows us God will provide for us no matter what. He will provide when can afford to tithe and give an offering and even when we can’t. God blesses us according to His divine plan for our lives.

As we prepare for the holiday season remember being thankful or giving thanks to the One who paid it all. Also, the reason for the season is Jesus. We should live a life that glorifies God even when we give. There will always be seasons of abundance and seasons where there is a struggle. Our word teaches us that life is full of varying seasons. We see in God’s word where lands were plentiful and then we see droughts or famine. Stop thinking you have to buy God’s love or blessings that is not true. God’s love and blessings are free.

God sent Jesus to pay it all so we would not have to. You can’t deed your way into heaven. God divinely predestined us into the heavenly royal priesthood. You can’t buy a ticket. You can’t give your way in. You can’t tithe your way in. It is God who divinely calls those to be saved.

There is nothing wrong with tithing and giving an offering. There is nothing wrong with being a giver. The key is being balanced and understanding that you can’t buy God. God calls us and when He does no amount of money or lack thereof changes that.

Praise is What We are Called To Do

“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24).

“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Land with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who made us, and not we ourselves. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name” (Psalm 100:1-4).

We are called to worship God. It is what we do to honor Him. Our praises to the King of kings and Lord of lords is our way of giving the Highest of high thanks for all He has done for us. We go into the house of God and we are to offer up our praises and worship to Him. There are no perfect churches because there are no perfect people, but when you find a church where you can worship and be accepted you have found a church home.

Some people find it hard to lower themselves or submit to praise and worship. When we worship it is not about us but it is all about God. We are allowing His holy spirit to flow through us as believers. I am not perfect and I deal with a lot of shame and guilt because of the mental health challenges I face. When I worship God He does not see any of that. He sees me in submission to Him and offering up praises to Him and no matter how other people see it God accepts our praises.

Remember, He does not need perfection and with God, it is all about our heart. If our heart is in the right place the rest will follow. That was satan’s problem he was too full of pride to submit to God and for that, he was cast out of heaven.

A songwriter wrote, “praise is what I do when I want to be close to you”. This is true when we worship and praise God we feel His spirit within us and we often feel closer to God. When you enter the church and it’s time for worship remember you are offering up your worship to God. You are allowing Him to be glorified.

There are seasons in our lives where what we need to do more than anything is praise God. Do not wait until the prayer has been answered to praise God. Praise in spite of what you see. Praise because you are thanking God that you will get the victory. We owe God our praise. No need to hold back because when God answers our prayers He is not slack. He answers them with our cup always running over.

Those who believe in God understand the value of praise especially if you have ever needed God to bring you out of a circumstance that was bigger than you. Praise is our way of saying to God “I thank you” or “God I love you”. It takes us into a deeper relationship with God. It took me a while to understand praise is for me and God. It allows me to release the things I am holding and it allows God to be glorified.

No matter what anyone says about praise. The word teaches us that praise is what we are called to do. Be a worshipper in all seasons of your life and watch God touch every circumstance and get the glory He is due.

When It Hurts God Understands

The storms I’ve faced in my life have weighed heavy on my spirit. I have had times where I thought God had forgotten about the troubles I was facing. I watched doors close and the pained piled on. Being misunderstood was an understatement through the maze of hurt.

As I face new struggles I have learned that God is with me and He understands. I often ask God why do we face challenges and as only a Heavenly Father could answer “How would you grow spiritually? How would you be able to lead others to Christ? How would you have a testimony? This is why you face challenges”.

Sometimes we must realize that the suffering we face may set someone else free through our testimony. It may help someone else to understand that they are not alone in the struggles they are facing. God is glorified when we face challenges and He is the only one that can bring us out.

It’s time to stop wrestling with the things you are facing. It’s time to give them to God and let go. The sooner you give it to Him the better you will feel. If He is truly the only one who can bring you out; give the situation to Him because it is bigger than you.

God knows you want to try and fix it but it’s time realize you are making a mess. The situation is getting worse. God does not need your help. He is God all by Himself. He needs you to surrender. As I illustrate this to you it is a reminder for me to surrender and stop wrestling with what is out of my control.

Come to God angry, hurt, offended, frustrated, misunderstood, lied on, rejected, broken, or scared because He understands. Let go and let God do what you can’t. He is our Abba Father. He loves His children. He knows you are hurting. Will you surrender whatever you are facing to Him sooner rather than later? He understands.

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”(John 4:4).

God already gave us the victory as believers. We have it because the Holy Spirit lives on the inside of the believer. We may face challenges and people may come against us, but the Spirit in us is greater than the carnal evil spirits in people. It is also greater than the struggles we face in life.

God understands when we have been hurt or wronged that we get angry and become frustrated. His word says “Be angry but sin not” (Ephesians 4:26). God knew we would feel fear but we are to not allow it consume us. God knew we would be anxious. His word says “be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving make your request known to God”(Philippians 4:6). The word, prayer, fasting, and godly counsel is how we overcome the struggles we face.

When life seems uncertain find refuge in God because He understands.

“I will say to the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God in Him will I trust” (Psalm 91:2).

“Domestic Violence Awareness: God never intended for us to be manipulated and controlled by anyone”

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is symbolized by the color purple or purple ribbon. Domestic violence can happen to anyone. It is most often women and children who become victims of domestic violence. Men are also affected by abuse.

Each year the number of domestic violence cases continues to rise and claims the lives of women and children in record numbers. Being a victim of abuse is highly likely among women of color who live in poverty. It also claims women victims who come from wealth and prestige. Many women and children who are victims endure the abuse in silence, feel helpless, and think there is no way out.

Domestic violence is about power and control. The abuser inflicts his or her will on the victim. It usually starts off with verbal abuse, mind manipulation, and later turns physical. Some abusers never use physical abuse but they verbally assault their victims to establish fear and control.

In the Christian community, many women believe they are bound to domestic violence due to the obligation to their marriage. This is untrue. Being unequally yoked is a sin and a marriage that was not called by God in the first place. God never intended for us to endure an abusive spouse that could one day end our lives.

Domestic violence affects the survivors often for a lifetime even after they are no longer being abused. It changes how they view themselves and how they view relationships. It alters their self-worth and dignity.

Abuse can happen in many relationship dynamics. Parents can abuse children. Children can grow up and abuse elderly parents. Employers can abuse employees. Relationships can appear friendly and then turn into abuse, manipulation, and control.

Many people often view domestic violence as partner abuse. Domestic violence can happen in any relationship dynamic where there is control, manipulation, power, and abuse. Know the warning signs. You should be able to maintain full control of your actions, will, desires, and identity in any relationship. You should never have to change how you carry yourself or be in fear of being you because of being controlled by another individual.

“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, as to being together of the grace of life that your prayers may not be hindered (1 Peter 3:7)”.

“Husbands love your wives and do not be bitter toward them” (Colossians 3:19).

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy, love does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

God never intended for anyone to be a slave or bonded to another person. Life is sometimes unfair, and people are under the influence of evil spirits and do not see themselves. God loves us unconditionally and when we face these situations at the hands of others, it is not God’s doing, it is the enemy.

Speak up and speak out, especially if you are a survivor. I am a survivor of many forms of abuse. We need to understand many people suffer in silence, think no one cares, and feel they are alone. Help is out there. You can get out. You can survive.

No one has to remain a victim of domestic violence. No control. No manipulation. No abuse. There are no chains holding you or me. Jesus came to set the captives free. This is freedom from all forms of bondage. This is spiritual as well as physical. You are meant to be liberated and free.

Resources:

Domestic Violence Coalition

North Carolina Domestic Violence Coalition

In the United States, there are domestic violence shelters. Each county in each state will have domestic violence resources and law enforcement work with these agencies. Some agencies provide legal aid but they are limited. Seeking legal assistance can be costly but getting out of an abusive situation is possible. Be encouraged.

Dreaming and Overcoming the Challenges of Life

Have you stopped dreaming because life has been hard and the obstacles keep coming? It’s time to dream again. It’s time to start over. It’s time to let go. When we go through things repeatedly, we may think to stop trying and feel it’s useless to hope for better. This is not true. We go through things because God is the Potter. The situations we face are molding us for the better.

You have to use life as a boxing ring and put your spiritual gloves on and fight. The word says, “we war not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of darkness in this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in Heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Since the word tells us this it should be no surprise that we face challenges in life.

As you seek spiritual guidance be mindful of who teaches you. A lot of pastors preach prosperity gossip. They make you think you can pay your way out of facing challenges or going through things. This is false, if Jesus went through you must know you will too. Some pastors also make you think following spiritual rules will keep you from facing struggles. This is also false.

There is an abundant life but it’s not about riches and wealth. It’s about living a godly life. God intended for us to build a relationship with Him. Through this relationship he wants us to mature and bring others closer to God.

We must stop being stuck on who left, who didn’t support, who never apologized, and who hurt us. Life is too short to be stuck on things out of our control.

It’s not that I arrived and have mastered the struggles of life, but it is that I strive to grow spiritually. No one is perfect we all make wrong choices. The good thing is every day God breathes life into us is another opportunity to change our lives.

The life we all live was never meant to be easy. Dreaming again may be hard but it’s not impossible. Life can be so difficult that we start to believe we should give up. This is not the answer to your struggles. Put those spiritual boxing gloves on and fight. Try giving life some more swings until you knock down what you are facing like the battle of Jericho (Joshua Chapter 6).

Overcoming what is happening in your life takes strategy. It takes fasting, praying, godly counsel by seasoned believers, faith, patience, endurance, and a relationship with God.

Over the course of my life, I began to understand the power of words. You must speak life over yourself. Don’t take it lightly that what you say to yourself and others has no power because it does. As you try to do life God’s way your biggest weapon is what you say to yourself. “The power of life and death are in the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21).

Another key piece of strategy in overcoming the challenges of life is learning to let things go and not allowing them to overtake us. I have struggled with this for many years. God is working with me on letting go. God knew we would have that struggle but He does not want us to remain stuck.

It’s time to heal from the brokenness many of us may feel. Letting go is not easy and it takes time to realize how long you have been holding on to things and what is the reason you do it. It creates bitterness which can hinder us from moving forward in the purpose God has for us.

As you work on healing from the things that may have you bound remember God is there. He will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:8). He is an ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). He is waiting on you to decide you want better for your life. Start dreaming again and ask God to help you endure, overcome, and heal.

God Will Bring You Out

There are times when we wonder where God is in all that we are going through. We may even wonder what we did to cause the pain we feel. God does allow things to happen to us but it’s often the enemy working in other people or the circumstance. God wants us to live free from spiritual hurt, but we must remember Jesus’ suffered as a perfection something we will never measure up to. I won’t say it’s wrong to question the pain we face in life, but we must remember it’s a part of life.

Let’s take a look at the story of Joseph, the visionary. Here we will see pain, but will also see him redeemed from it.

Now when they saw him afar off even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. Then they said to another, “Look, this dreamer is coming! Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, “Some wild beast has devoured him. We shall see what will become of his dreams (Genesis 37:18-20).

We see here the heart of jealousy Joseph’s brothers had because of his God given ability to interpret dreams. Joseph had done nothing to his brothers but the evil in their hearts caused them to turn against him to the point to try and destroy his life. Joseph was a young man in this scripture.

Sometimes this is our story. Someone has taken advantage of us out of wickedness and we have done nothing to deserve it. There are too many people blaming victims for the evil people plot and scheme against other people.

Let’s see God work in Joseph’s life.

Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And the master saw that the lord was with him.

At this point in Genesis Joseph has been thrown into the pit and his father was told that a bear ate him by his manipulative brothers which was a lie. He became a slave and now a servant to Potiphar but God is with him. God is with him so much that his master sees it.

Let this be a lesson to us we can go through things but God is present. Joseph is a servant in another man’s house but God is with him so much the master sees it. Think back to how much God has favored you in unfortunate circumstances. Times where you thought the enemy would win and you would lose. Times where you should have lost your mind and been shut in somewhere.

Let’s look at more struggles for Joseph.

Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife… “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” that she caught him by his garment saying lie with me. But he left his garment in her hand and fled and ran outside. .. The Hebrew servant whom you brought to us came into me to mock me (lie). Then Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined (Genesis 39:6-20).

Set up for Joseph’s redemption.

Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; And Pharaoh said to Joseph I have a dream and there is no one to interpret it. Joseph answered Pharaoh saying it is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace (Genesis 41:14-16).

Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, Inasmuch as God has shown you all this there is no one discerning as wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word, only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you (Genesis 41:39-40).

Joseph faced many challenges but God had a plan for his life. We must stop focusing on what we see, who left, what we lost, and who betrayed us. God placed the ability to interpret dreams in Joseph. His brothers despised the gift so much that they caused him to struggle. It was that same gift that rose him to power beside the Pharaoh of that era. Joseph probably did not see a way out if the prison but his gift made room for him to be blessed (Proverbs 18:16).

It does not matter how long it takes God will restore what the enemy tried to steal. Keep reading because Joseph will see his brothers again. This time he will be the one that they need.

God loved Joseph past what He was going through. Being in prison was the setup for greater for Joseph. God pruned him for greater. I know the things he faced did not feel good, but they worked out for his good (Romans 8:28). God will do the same in our lives. I know it can be hard, but shift your focus to what God is doing and never give up. God sees what you are going through. He loves you and wants to see you out of the pit and redeemed just like Joseph.

You Can’t Control Everything

I was having a therapy session with my trauma-focused therapist and she said “you do realize you can’t control everything and the only thing you can control is you”. This was not the first time someone said you can’t control everything. This was the first time I was asked did I realize it. My response was “yeah but I still try”. She stated, “that’s insanity you will never be able to control everything”.

It was in this session that I realized I needed to stop trying to control people and everything that happens to me. It was in this session I realized the times when I could not control my abusers something in me sought to control the things I thought I could and I never learned how to balance it. I never learned how to determine distinctly what is under my control and what is not in my control.

There are so many people that are against therapy but with the right therapist, patience, and time you can begin to grow and understand the things that have you stuck. Yes, God can speak to us but sometimes God uses people to get his message to us.

God never intended for us to be able to control everything that happens to us. Yes, it is unfortunate when people take advantage of our trust, and kindness, and inflict their will on us. God knew we would face things like that. It is not a question of why, but a question of how can I heal from it and grow past it.

You have to learn what is in your control and what is or wasn’t. As little children, we have less control and it is never your fault what happens to you. It is your parent’s or guardian’s responsibility to ensure your care and safety as children and adolescent.

Most of us know that that is not always the case. This creates many adults unsure about what they should have been able to control and what was really not their fault or in their control. Sometimes in life, it is what it is. We have to learn that it’s time to heal so we can grow.

We must learn what we can control and what we can’t control. We can control everything we are responsible for. We can’t control other people and what they do with the things they are responsible for. Sounds simple in context but for most of us who have experienced trauma, it isn’t. We want to control everything and everybody.

Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is relinquishing control. Stop worrying about other people and what they do with the things they are responsible for. Stop trying to be God in people’s lives. God has His job under control. Stop wanting people to live their lives like you. Unfortunately, they are not you. You can’t live their life for them, stop trying.

“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). God intended for us to love one another not control one another. God himself is not in control of us. He showed us that by giving us free will.

Try and remember you can’t control everything.