No One Talk about Bruno!

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Yes, this is another movie reference from Encanto. In the movie, Bruno, the son, had a gift that was perceived to have a negative effect on the lives of not only his family, but that of his community. So Bruno left and no one was supposed to talk about Bruno! During our family conversation after the movie, someone said “no one talk about Kevin!” and we kinda chuckled. But in reality, I’ve not seen Kevin, my son, is almost 3 years. Unfortunately, this is not the first time in his 43 years on this earth that he has just walked away from me. I used to ask often, “what did I do”, but then I had to stop, instead I decided to ask the Lord, “why do you leave this thorn in my flesh”? We often interpret this scripture with negative feelings, but as the Apostle Paul explained,

…even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

2 corinthians 12:7 nlt

So, I have learned to see my thorn as a gift that God has given me to help me realize just how much I need Him. He matches my thorn to my course, to my calling, not “to torment, but to mentor me”. It is what God has given me to teach me and to show me His extraordinary Grace, as He honors me with His presence. There are some things that God can’t teach us by advice only, so at times, we must endure adversity. It’s in those times that we must learn to boast and celebrate in God’s Glory for His Grace.

Copyright: gracel21

Is there someone that has simply walked away from you? Someone that you held close and you just can’t understand why they would leave. Is there a situation or circumstance in your life that God has allowed and it just makes no sense? Well, it’s ok to talk about Bruno! God already knows how we feel and He’s there to listen. The pain doesn’t go away, right away, and to be honest, we may never truly understand why God does what He does, but Paul said it this way …

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 corinthians 12:8-10

In the movie, Bruno does come back, but that’s all I’m going to say. I guess you’ll just have to watch the movie. As for Kevin, I don’t really know, but when I get a little anxious, I have to take a quiet moment and listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying…

For more about my revelations regarding my son and I, please read my blog post, Restoration

The Walls Must Come Down

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2022 has had a very interesting start for the Speight Family. I must begin by saying that God has graced our family with a love that cannot be described. During this pandemic, we have grown even closer, if that was even possible. As I’ve said before, the last 10 years have been amazing and even though there has definitely been some drama, God has transformed us in so many ways. But getting back to how our new year started, it began with us watching the movie, Encanto. By the way, I love animated movies and cartoons. 😀

I can’t tell you a lot or I’ll give the story away, however, the movie was about a family of very gifted people, but one of them did not have a gift. The family did not realize how difficult and hurtful life had been for the one without the gift. They did not intend to hurt her, but they constantly reminded her that she was different. So as always, we talked about what we gleamed from the movie and then something happened that we never expected. We began to discuss how other family members have hurt us in the past and many of those past hurts are still pretty painful, but just like in the movies, as we talked and walls started to fall down.

I would venture to say that over the years, we all have built up defense walls to protect ourselves; our feelings, our emotions, our hearts. It has been our only means of survival. We tell ourselves that it really doesn’t matter, we are ok, but in actuality, we are not ok. Our defense walls are thick, like the walls of Jericho and we can’t allow anything or anyone to permeate those walls or our wounds will be exposed. But the Walls Must Come Down! Unfortunately, the walls not only prevent pain from getting in, but there is also a guard at the door called unforgiveness, that also prevents true love from getting in or out.

As I prayed for my family at the table after all that we had said, I saw that all the walls had fallen, but there remained an archway for the door. In order to pass through the archway, we’d have to remove the guard of unforgiveness from the doorway. First, we must forgive ourselves for any part that we have played and for all the ill-feeling that we may be harboring. Then we must forgive all those that have hurt or offended us. Forgiveness is a decision, not a feeling. Many, if not all of us, will need the help of the Holy Spirit for this one. Understand, this is not to make you forget what happened, nor does it may them guiltless, but it allows you to release any bitterness that may be lingering in your heart and the healing process will begin. There’s already a strong foundation of God’s Grace and Hope to build upon.

Copyright: marganingsih

Once the walls are down and the doorway is clear, love can flow freely in and out. God commands us to love as He loves us. He also specifically says that we must not only love those that love us, but also those that may hate us and despitefully use us. For He knows that if we truly love Him with all our heart, all of soul and all our mind, His Love will compel us to love our neighbor, as ourselves.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT

Unfortunately, this does not mean that we will never be hurt again, but the Lord promises that He would guard our hearts and when we trust Him, the pain will not go as deep and won’t last as long.

Lord, I pray that You prick our hearts so that we’ve sensitive to Your touch and can feel Your unfailing love for us. Then prick our ears so that we’re sensitive Your voice and will hear what the Holy Spirit is saying….

Shout Now and Sing Loud!

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It’s a New Year! Don’t wait Shout Now! Hold Up…. I didn’t ask rather you felt like it! Shout Now and Sing Loud! I may be a little older than you, but I remember those days when I’d be in my car and my favorite song would come on the radio. I may not have known the words but I’d crank it up and sing loud! Even when I didn’t really feel like it, something changed in the atmosphere and I felt like dancing. Today, you don’t even have to be in a car, you can take your music everywhere.

Usually when a new year begins, we start with an unfounded assurance that this year is going to be “better” than the last one…better being relative! So I would strongly suggest that you Praise Him Now Anyhow! We don’t necessarily know what our life will be like this year, but we know that God’s got something even better in store for us. We may not always get what we want, but He loves us so much that we will always get what we need.

There’s an old song that we used to sing that said, “Don’t wait till the battle is over shout now”. It was sung by Walter Hawkins, but I’m not sure who wrote it. The words go on to say, “When you’re burdened down with the cares of life and you’re striving seems in vain. Hold you head up high…”. Now initially the basis of the song is about going to heaven and yes, that’s going to be a glorious day, but I don’t know about you, but God has promised me an abundant life down here and I am definitely not ready to go just yet. But then the song goes on to say (lyrics modified):


Gonna thank Him for the rain,
Gonna thank Him for the pain,
Gonna thank Him for the trials He brought me through.
What is the highest praise? When the battle is over, Hallelujah!
So, why should I wait? Going to praise him right now
Gonna thank him when I’m happy.
Gonna thank him when I’m sad.
Gonna thank him when I’m lonely because he has made me glad.

It’s a New Year and life will continue to have its ups and downs. Remember, God has always been and will always be Faithful. So, although there may be moments when life gets hard and the battles may be fierce…

Don’t wait till the battle is over… Shout Now and Sing Loud!

Remember to always take a quiet moment to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying…

Trust Him and Find His Peace

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As another really tough year ends, there is something that we need to know, if we don’t know it already. Although it may sound blunt…

God does what He wants to do, when He wants to do it!

– AND –

We have to TRUST HIM to give us exactly what we need, just when we need it!

– BECAUSE –

His LOVE for us is Unfailing (constant, everlasting, inexhaustible) and Unconditional (not based on anything that we’ve done or could do)!

As 2022 closely approaches, I’d like to leave you with the scriptural sermonette…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart [with your entire being; mind, body and soul]; Lean not on your own understanding [Please stop trying to figure God out. As far as the heavens are from the earth are His thoughts higher than our thoughts and His ways above our ways]. In all thy ways, acknowledge Him [He is Alpha and Omega, He knows the end from the beginning. He already knows what we are going to do. I often say that God watches our lives like a movie that He’s already seen], And He shall direct our paths [Our steps are ordered and the Holy Spirit leads, guides and directs us to make the right decisions].

Candy’s translation

Once we completely TRUST the Lord, we will find His Peace, a Peace that passes ALL understanding. No matter the most difficult times of uncertainty and anxiety, there will be a sense of calm in our spirit that just can’t be explained.

Copyright: ipopba (123rf)

As a New Year begins, and yes, there will still be challenges, but there will also be God’s Blessings and Favor on our lives, so don’t forget to take a quiet moment to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying…

A Faith Anchor

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I pray that you don’t mind if we continue our discussion on Faith. I truly believe that faith or the lack of faith is at the heart of our biggest challenges and our greatest struggles. As we know Hebrews 11:1, the Faith scripture is very familiar. I’ve always been told that God’s Word, the Bible is “alive” and new truths will constantly be revealed to us through the Holy Spirit. This is why it is so important for us to read our bibles in anticipation of revelations, especially if we’re waiting on an answer from God or we just may need to be inspired or encouraged for the day(s) ahead.

So, last week the Holy Spirit showed me something about the Faith scripture that I don’t believe I’ve truly seen before. Hebrews 11:1 has 2 distinct parts that must operate as 1:

NOW Faith is the substance or tangible, solid presence of things hoped for; … which speaks of our belief in God Himself, truly knowing that God exists. We see His creation all around us. [AND] the evidence or proof of things not seen, which means Believing Knowing that God is going to do exactly what He says.

Hebrews 11:1

Now, many of you may be saying, so what’s do different? My perspective! My Revelation! In my most humble opinion, the second part is my challenge, “how in the world is He going to work this out this time?” This is why we need a Faith Anchor, that person or persons that keeps us grounded, who constantly reminds us that God has NEVER failed us yet and He NEVER will! My Faith Anchor is my husband. Now before you put on the rose colored glasses, our journey has not been easy. Side Note: if you’re married, been married or looking forward to being married, marriage can be tough at times, enough said. However, it is through those tough times that the Lord has allowed our faith to grow stronger together. God promised that our latter years would be greater than our former. Our first 25 years or so together were pretty rough, but I must say that the last several years, although still not a cake walk, have been so, so much better. There’s a sense of peace that we have that can’t be explained, no matter the situation. But I must admit, I more readily consult the Holy Spirit before speaking these days and I’m sure that he does too.

After reflecting back over the highlights of my Faith journey, I decided to ask my husband “What does faith mean to you?” and this is what he said…

“Believing in something that you have no reason to believe in. When times may not be easy, you have to trust in the Lord to be true to His Word. If God ever goes back on His Word, the entire world would cease to exist.”

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Who is your Faith Anchor? We all need one. It could be our parent, a sibling, a friend, even our grown child, someone that we can confide in and trust. Someone to pull us up from our lowest point, someone to be that light when we’re in a dark place and yet someone to share our joy, our happiness and our successes. But if you don’t have that someone, Christ Jesus, our Lord, is always standing by waiting to take your hand, just when you’re about to go under.. Ask Peter!

So, in those challenging times when you need just a little more faith and there’s no one else around, don’t forget to take a quiet moment to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying…

… and Having Faith!

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Let me begin by saying that this post gets a little more personal than I’d expected. May I say that when you’re intentional about hearing from the Holy Spirit, don’t be surprised if you’re asked to do or say something that you hadn’t anticipated. Later in this post, you will find that I was asked to share a few highlights of my story. I’ve shared my story before, I’ve even written a book about it, but I found it interesting that the Holy Spirit found it appropriate to share again as I talk about “Faith”?!

Over the past few weeks, we talked about “Experiencing Doubt.. but Choosing Joy…and now Having Faith?” So what does the word “faith” mean to you? We use that word ALL the time. We’ve even memorized and recited Hebrews 11:1 numerous times, but what does it REALLY mean to you?

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The New Living Translation says it this way…

Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

Hebrews 11:1-3

As I wrote this post, I had to answer that question for myself. In it’s simpliest form, the answer is, “Believing in God!” The Word really makes it plain, it’s impossible to have faith if you dont believe in God and without faith you can’t believe it God! Boy, is that a mouthful… but think about it. No matter what you need faith for, whatever it is, it can’t happen without God. We keep trying to make it complicated. It is what it is! Throughout the book of Hebrews, there are numerous examples of people who had faith; who believed that God would do exactly what He said.

Here’s just a few:

Abraham and Sarah – to give birth to a child in their 90’s

Joseph – to become 2nd in command of Egypt, after the pit and prison

Moses – to lead the children of Israel, after telling God “they are not going to listen to me.”

David – to face Goliath the giant, as a teenager, after tending the sheep and then he becomes king.

… and then there’s Candy, who had to believe God for a husband, when marriage was the farthest thing from her mind, for a child after 3 miscarriages, for her own business after a 32 year career with no real financial preparation for retirement, for her grown son to have a true relationship with Christ, who may already be on his Damascus Road, etc. etc. etc. As I think back, was my faith really that strong or did my belief in God sustain me? But I can definitely say that my faith is a whole lot stronger now as a result of my life experiences and all that I’ve learnt along the way. The path may have been bumpy, but the Lord has stayed with me every step of the way.

Although, I don’t believe that I’ve given you a recipe for having faith, I guess you just have to believe God for it… and regularly take a quiet moment to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying…

Experiencing Doubt… but Choosing Joy!

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Last week we talked about experiencing Doubt and I felt that it warranted a little more discussion. Doubt is such a natural response to a situation that we are uncertain of the outcome. When we are in a situation or circumstance where doubt is prevelant, it’s usually one that we did not foreseen, nor can we determine or change the outcome. Therefore, doubt can only be a temporary state of mind and our task is not to allow it to last too long.

Please allow me to give you a recent example… my husband was in a car accident a few weeks ago (Thank God he’s ok!) But now he is without a vehicle so we had to rent a car. Although he knows that God ALWAYS comes through for us, my husband was stressing about whether his car would be fixed, how long would it take, etc. etc. Ultimately, he had to be reminded that the end result really doesn’t matter in the scheme of things. He will either get his car fixed or he’s get another vehicle. Now, please don’t misunderstand, things are a whole lot different when our situation involves a mental or physical challenge or illness. The mere thought of the outcome can be overwhelming. Invariably doubt will turn into stress and anxiety if we let me it, but that’s for another blog post.

But with God! …He does not see different levels or degrees of doubt. God says that no matter the situation, “[His] grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness”.  James puts it this way; “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” James 1:2-8 NLT

Joy is a choice! It’s up to us to decide that the “Joy of the Lord is our Strength”. This is not about feeling happy, it’s choosing to be content, not to doubt and have faith that the Lord is faithful. Realistically speaking this can be easier said than done at times, which is why I say again, doubt is not the absence of faith. It’s about our desire and commitment to overcome it. A friend sent me some notes from a message she’d heard recently from Pastor Tony Evans and he said (paraphased) that faith requires action. It’s like when you walk into a dark room with a motion sensor, your movement causes the light to come on. In the same manner, we must be in motion in order to activate our faith. There is no way to determine the potential outcome of our circumstances solely by what we see…. and or feel.

In the meantime, remember to take a quiet moment to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying …

.

Experiencing Doubt…

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Recently, I have read that the more we try to suppress, repress and even rebuke our doubt, a feeling of uncertainty; and other uncomfortable feelings, the more stressed and anxious we become. I purposedly included the word “rebuke”, but before you disconnect, please hear me out. Many times, we find ourselves blaming the enemy and try to pray away what God wants us to experience. PRAYER IS EXTREMELY POWERFUL! It’s amazing when we enter into His presence and worship Him for who He is. There have been times that I have awoke so heavy that I could bearly get on my knees, but when I do, I experience His refreshing. But then, if I’m honest, it doesn’t take long for me to be weighted down again, wondering if (not when) my situation will be resolved.

We should talk to God about EVERYTHING. We might as well be honest, because He already knows how we are feeling. But, unfortunately, we will pray about those uncomfortable emotions or those difficult situations and when they don’t go away, right away, we become discouraged and disappointed and we feel that God has not heard us. The Good News is that He always hears us, the issue is how to we handle His silence….We do have choices.

The first thing that I strongly suggest that you do is go to His Word. Do you realize that the Bible talks about every conceivable emotion and or situation we could have? For those of us that are not bible scholars, you can always start in the Book of Psalm. David had numerous conversations with God about how he felt.

Let’s see what the Bible, says about doubt in the New Living Translation…

Unless the Lord had helped me,
    I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave.
18 I cried out, “I am slipping!”
    but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
19 When doubts filled my mind,
    your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. Psalm 94:17-19

In Matthew, Peter has enough faith to walk on the water, …

But when he saw the strong[a] wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.  Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”  When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Matthew 14:30-32

Then later in Matthew, Jesus gets mad with a fig tree (you have to read the whole story) and …

The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?”  Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. 22 You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”  
Matthew 21:20-22

These are just a few of the scriptures about doubt. Jesus knew that we would experience doubt, but He also gave us ways to overcome it. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus spoke to his disciples (us) in parables or stories, so that we would have an understanding of what would be some of the different situations we would encounter and what we should do to handle them. He wanted them (us) to be prepared and not be caught off guard. Jesus knew that there would be a constant battle between our soul (our mind) and our Spirit (His Spirit in us).

This is why it is crucial that we are intentional about listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying…

Spiritual Vitality

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I have found that Spiritual Vitality starts with a real, long, DEEP breath. This is where spiritual rejuvenation and restoration begins. The Holy Spirit is often referred to as a breath or the wind… He’s invisible, yet very powerful! Today we have an opportunity to breathe in the strength, power and calmness of His Spirit. So, may I suggest that you breathe in the Holy Spirit with every long, deep, calming breath you take, so that your soul can be revitalized daily.

Sometimes when we look and listen to social media, we could get the distinct impression that everything is ok now. Although, my exposure to social media is limited, there’s not a lot of information these days on COVID, political unrest or racial injustice, which was at the forefront of our minds and lives a year or so ago. But, for some reason, I don’t believe that everything or everyone are “ok”. However, I do believe that in our desire to go back to the way things were, we may have been lulled into a false sense of security.

Now, don’t get me wrong, some of us may have hit our stride. We’ve have established our rhythm and we are well on your way. We have a new daily routine, but are we breathing? Or have we simply pushed pass our feelings and our fatigue? Have you even taken time to close your eyes and take a real, long, DEEP breath?

If not, may I suggest that we breathe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of God, with every long, deep, calming breath we take. God’s faithfulness to us, gives us hope, which is oxygen for our soul. Spiritual Vitality comes when we breathe and our soul will be revitalized, renewed and restored.  In John 14:26-27 KJV, it says…

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  I sense an atmosphere of quietness and calm, so that we can hear what the Holy Spirit is saying… 

Spiritual Vitality comes when you breathe…

I sense an atmosphere of quietness and calm, so that we can hear what the Holy Spirit is saying…..

Spiritual Fatigue

I pray that you were with us last week, when we talked about “Waiting is Hard”! Although, this week I thought that we would look at Jeremiah 29:11, one of my favorite scriptures, the Holy Spirit had other ideas. So, last week I was listening to a message and the preacher was talking about the children of Israel leaving Egypt (Exodus 14… coincidence? I don’t think so!) and he said that they could not stop walking across the Red Sea, even though they may have gotten tired and weary. Then he said the words, “Spiritual Fatigue” and thus my message for you today. One of the main reasons why “Waiting is so Hard”… is “spiritual fatigue”! We become physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually tired. We are just Tired! But, as I said last week, we simply can’t afford to stand still while we wait for what the Lord has for us, life is just moving too fast. Fortunately, when we take just one step, the Lord will show us the next one.

Now we need to get some preliminary things out of the way…

  • You may not know the Lord… well, for now, that’s not really ok, but He knows you! You will just have to trust me on that. We will talk more about that later.
  • You may know the Lord, but you are not very happy with Him right now. Well, that’s ok too, because He knows that already.
  • Either way, we need to have a conversation with the Lord and let Him know that although we’re tired, we’re going to take the next step … one foot in front of the other. Fairly simple, right?

No, not really… We will wake up tomorrow to a new day!… but we feel the same way.

So here’s some advice:

  1. Tomorrow when you wake up, try not to snooze and put your feet on the floor.
  2. Turn off the phone or at least silence it for one hour. Please do not scroll! … because everyone else in the world seem so happy????
  3. Find a quiet spot and open the curtains to your new day. Rain or shine, it’s gonna be a good day! By faith, you have to declare it, before you feel it.
  4. Open the window, if possible, we can definitely use some fresh air.
  5. Fix you a cup of coffee or tea, take a deep breath and now you are ready for your next step.

We’re Moving Forward by Faith… but it’s definitely not easy. Life may seem dark at times and we can’t see what’s in front of us, but with each step we take, the Lord will light up the next one.

Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path.

Psalm 119:105

I’m just not sure what we’re going to talk about next week, we will just have to wait to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying…