Saturday, March 14, 2009

"Such a fierce war cannot be won by the Cosmetic Christian who only puts on the appearance of holiness and godliness. We only have power over the enemy and authority over territories if we are in agreement with God...inside and out. Being saved with a worldly mindset just won't cut it."

Scripture reference - Ephesians 6:10-12.

Friday, March 13, 2009

SHHHH, Your Father is Speaking

Can you hear Him? I couldn't, and for a while I really didn't notice it because I was trying to do my own thing. But then I NEEDED Him to speak, aint that something, didn't notice it till I needed something. Anyways, and He would not....or so I thought. I've heard other people say they couldn't hear from God for various reasons. There may be times when we cry out and don't hear anything, however I believe that on more occasions than we are willing to admit, we just aren't listening. I got to a point, at the end of 2008 where I was determined, I needed to hear again! So I started really thinking this thing over, walking around questioning myself trying to figure out if He wasn't just talking to me, or if I, the busy body just wasn't paying attention. In my personal situation, I found it was the latter. I'm a trendy girl, so I have interest in some pop culture. I'm young and vibrant so I like to go out and have a good time with friends. I am single, so I do flirt....on occasion :-). But I was consumed in it all. My days were loaded with things through cable, internet, radio, etc that had my attention on lock. My body and mind was cluttered with everything under the sun created by man, I was caught up. I was ashamed at myself because when I sat back and thought about it, I literally had sqeezed God off my speed dial. I was sending Him to voicemail and not checkin it. 1 missed call, 5 missed calls, would just get cleared out so I could call someone else. The sad part is this was all unintentional. So as I stepped into the new year decided it was time for a cleanse. I was listening to Usher, Kanye, Lupe, and Wayne, all the time, so I took the CDs out the car. I couldn't miss ESPN, ANTM, I Wanna Work for Diddy, Making the Band, so I turned off the cable. I drank and ate the most fermented, sugary and fattening of things, all the time, so I stopped. Anything I felt was part reason and in my way, I removed it. But when I look back, I see I did have some help. When I was in Atlanta, I was living it up! Going out, ALL THE TIME. I thought I would die if I missed a specific happy hour or planned outing of some sort. I stayed at "the spot" wherever it was, even if I had to go alone. Hmmmm, maybe why God orchestrated my move to Chicago where I am now so comfortable and content with sitting on my couch? These things have worked to my benefit because I now can once again hear the small, still, voice of the Lord. Now I'm not telling you to stop living your life, and neither do I plan on not living mine, i'm merely speaking on what my issues were, what I needed to do, and what has worked for me. I'm sure I will once again do many of the things that I have taken a break from, I'm assured that i'll be in the beautiful South ready to "be owt" again, i'm definite that i'll hit J.R. Crickets for their wonderful lemon pepper wings and daiquiris once more, however I am more mindful today to not let those things consume me, tomorrow. I challenge you to take a look at your lives to see what may be keeping you from God's voice, instruction, and peace. Really ask yourself if you have pulled away, evaluate your line of communication, check your router for solid green lights, better you now than Him, later.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fa Sho

How many things can you name in life that are certain? Not many. The only things I can think of off the top of my big head are aging and death. Not really topics that I nor anyone I know would like to deal with on the regular. Most of us dread getting older and we try to avoid discussions that relate to dying or death. But we all know both will happen, fa sho. For all my non southerners, this term "fa sho", that I so eloquently use and one that I over extend more times than not is just urban southern dialect for "for sure". Of course my generation has put a twist on the term and we have slang'd it out. I've come to find that sometimes my "fa sho's" do actually mean "for sure" in a structured sentence. But more times they are just per se' the tag line on the end of my sentences specifically to reiterate the certainty or to solidify my statements, actions, or feelings. I've also come to find that my "fa sho's" mean the word "yes" if it is in response to a question. If someone is asking me a question, and the answer is yes, I may respond with, "fa sho". If I am making a statement and I want to put an emphasis on the importance of it, the last thing I might say is, "fa sho". Like a handshake at the end of a business deal, a period at the end of a sentence, or the click of a lock after a door is closed. A "no questions asked" type of ending, a literal "it's done". The phrase itself is ironic because of where I'm going. Now since we can't think of too many other certainties, we'll go with death for $500. But don't fret on that topic because there is a twist. There is a certain death that I can be happy about. Jesus' death. This is a death that I can talk about without feeling sad. Did you know that what Jesus represented on that cross had a tag line? A "fa sho" if you will, and without a doubt the best one yet. His sentence and statement was what He did for us, His "fa sho" was what He said after it was all done. Therefore our questions are answered and promises fulfilled with this responded "fa sho" because He is the resounding "Yes". The "fa sho" that I'm talkin about and the best "fa sho" I've ever heard of were Jesus' last words on the cross, when He said, "It is finished". Can someone call Stevie Wonder about THESE three words? When Jesus uttered these words, we can only imagine the atmosphere. Some bibles say the earth shook or quaked. But He has placed in our hearts the spirit of what those words truly mean. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, so hear me when I say...Everything you deal with has already been dealt with. Anything you have to face uncomfortably, has already been handled. Things you've done in the past are over, gone, and forgotten. Things you haven't seen or heard yet, hey now, He got that too! Turn it all over to Him now because He said "It is finished", and since those were His last words, where I'm from that means, "fa sho". He solidified His purpose so we could be free, fa sho. It is certain that Jesus has already fought the battle, fa sho. We are winners in Christ, fa sho. He will never leave nor forsake you, fa sho. In Him you are forgiven, fa sho. He is on your side, fa sho. Who cares if things aint right, He will fix them, fa sho. The devil has been defeated, fa sho! You have been given the keys to the Kingdom, fa sho. He loves you, fa sho. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, fa sho. Jesus, fa sho. So as I continue to wear out my southern slang, after all the times I've used that term to close a deal, confirm or make certain of what I'm saying, or just to say it cause I am reppin that wonderful Dirty South, there is nothing more certain than what Christ did for us, what He is to us, and who we are in Him. He, His actions, love, and purpose is the ultimate, realest, most personified "fa sho" I know.

Copyright ©2009 Crystal Dion Lewis

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Be Still And Know That I Am God

Why is movement important? I can remember as a child, I always had to shake and move. Oh and don't let someone specifically say, "be still", I think I would literally turn into a centipede, just dreadful. Then I would get that look that said, "didn't I tell you to be still, I am your mother and I said be still!" It isn't much different when It comes to God and our adult lives. We are still movers and shakers, however in different ways. But "be still" is very much the same. My Ma had to always tell me to be still. When she would do this, it could've been for any reason cause I was just a busy body. She could've been trying to press my thick unrelaxed hair, amazing at how even a hot comb fresh off the gas stove didn't even frighten me into stillness. But most and many times it was mainly because I was out of order, maybe just didn't have any real reason to be moving, or about to break something I had no business holding or being around. Kinda like when me and Tiffany(my childhood bestfriend) would be talkin and playin in church, and I just so happen to glance up in the choir stand dead smack into the eyes of Patricia Ann, that's my Ma yall. I got still then! Sound familiar? God's word specifically says, "Be still and know that I am God", so why do we continue to stress, shake, and nervously move? Lets follow the Fathers instructions, leave stuff in your life alone, BE STILL and find peace in the fact that He is God, nothing is too great for Him, and what He says goes because He says so and because..... it is so.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Let the bad out weigh the good

Life can be a struggle sometimes, I'm sure we can all testify to that. Trying to live day by day as best you can without falling off course. And once you get on your personal straight and narrow, sometimes it can feel pretty good. Other times it can seem like so much pressure with the gap closing in never ceasing. My life has been on both sides many many many times, but I rarely pay attention to the significance of the most important. But when I look back, I wonder which occasions are the most significant, the good or the bad. If I had asked myself this 10 years ago I probably would've said that good. Today, I know its the bad. Of course much of the bad, I could find joy in lighting a match to it, never to be thought of again. And the good times, oh I can speak on those for days. However, which is of better benefit, harping on the good or things I did right, or meditating on the bad or things that were just incorrect. Now when I say meditate, I'm merely stating to think on it. After being on this earth for 30 years, I am just realizing that I rarely found reason to really evaluate the bad. How can this be, I should know better! Well God is merciful, and has excused me for being so off track with this. And he has shown me that if I push the bad or unplanned situations that sent me over the edge to the back of my mind, then the whole experience would have been in vain. I am now more aware of the uncertainties and left turns. I pay more attention to detail in situations so I can learn the moral. I've learned to understand that the bad is for my growth and maturity, but only if I take note of it. Old folks from down south say all the time, "the good out weighs the bad," which I do believe is true. However, I'm willing to let the bad out weight the good in the spiritual sense in order to grow. Hey, God meant all of it for good right, so why not?

God Makes No Mistakes

Many times things occur in our lives that we have no control over. But what we don't understand is that more often than not situations come to pass through ways of intention. The operative word is intention. Who's intention? Who else but the Most High. I've had my life sway from one extreme to another, some good, some horrible. I've had people commit relational suicide with me, i've had others turn around and walk in the other direction, and i've had specific ones who just flat out left me out on a limb. And then I, the southern debutante from the Heart of Dixie chose to move to Chicago before the worst winter in almost a decade, what is really going on? However, there is a God I serve who sits up high, and looks down low, and is smiling down on me. Why is He smiling, because He makes no mistakes. I rest in the sacred cares of His affection, because He has my back. I can sleep at night knowing He will never slumber on His shift. Supernatural tech support, how bout dat! Now the ironic thing about my mistake less God is I see His passion for me to grow as an inconvenience, hurt, frustration, and set backs. When He has purposely set me up to succeed in mighty ways. I fought, cried, and whined when things started to change, I allowed my eyes to focus only on my discomfort, all four of them. The price per gallon for being hated was going up quicker than diesel. The melodic sounds from the record of my life skipped repeatedly, cause my vinyl had been scratched bad. Remaining faithful was on the back burner, and I was pretty upset with my God. Even when I realized some of the reconstruction was due to me going in my prayer closet, oh I was really heated then. I wanted Him to warn me of what could or would change before I stepped out. Explain to me how things would really be. How spoiled of me. How mighty of Him. To ignore my laziness knowing if I knew the half I would have politely declined makes me smirk now, cause mommy does that too. To object at showing me a glimpse of what's mines, my destiny, and my peace because He needs me to trust Him wholeheartedly. To overlook my tantrums and still raise my stock. In this economy? WOW indeed. God makes no mistakes. Change is courageous, people leave, friendships die, situations blow up, love blossoms. Next levels are waiting on me, new and improved people are making room for my presence, the winds are calm, a seed of love has been planted, I can smell the rain. How do I know? God doesn't forget to do what I forget to do sometimes, take out the trash.....

~throwin da deuces~


Copyright ©2009 Crystal Dion Lewis