Everyone Needs A Stone

Then God went up from him at the place where he had talked with him.~

Genesis 35:13 (New International Version)

I have a stone. It is small and nondescript, smooth to the touch and primarily colorless.  It is my stone of remembrance.  It reminds me that, no matter what is going on in my life at any speck of time, God still appears in the middle of my situation. And He speaks.

I call it my quiet stone. Quiet because it diminishes my flagrant urge to gush and tell God all about something He already knows. The secret to effective Godly communications, for me, is listening. But don’t just take my word for it; let’s ask Jacob.  Jacob had that kind of encounter at a place he named Bethel, “house of God.”

Jacob called the place where God had talked with him Bethel.~ Verse 15

Let me be clear. When I say God speaks I mean He actually does talk to us.  The One Who is Creator of the universe will show up.  Often because I ask Him to.  Periodically I find myself saying, out loud:  “Lord, I just need you to come down here and see about me.”  I need Him to weigh in on my situation.  Then, occasionally He shows up just because.

I’ve learned that having a brief memory lapse is a typical human frailty.  It is easy to forget what God just did yesterday.   I need a stone to remind me that God is adequate.  He is enough.  He has everything that I need.  My stone reminds me that God is sufficiently able to do everything He has promised.  I’ll need that stone tomorrow—when I may not hear His voice so clearly.

My stone is a reminder of God’s presence whenever there are flashes of distraction, anguish or pangs of sheer perplexity, when I ask, “What was that? What just happened to me?”

Jacob set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him…  Verse 14

I’m getting ready to walk around the house and yard to find the place that I will name my Bethel.  It shall be the place where I place my stone.  A place where I meet God and visit with Him.  We all need a stone.

God’s vision for Jacob was of him producing kings, procreating millions and generating a nation. God’s vision for us is possible, but it is not inevitable.  It materializes if we yield to His will . You will be great; you will do great things.  Your stone reminds you that God is with you and that He has a vision for your success far greater than anything you have imagined.

 (iStock Photo, Steve Gray)

4 Ways to Leap into the Future God Designed for You

Ordinarily, we would be finished with February about now. Yesterday would have been the last 24 hours in this month. But 2012 offerered the wonderful blessing of twenty-four extra hours.  It’s a bonanza! Here are some ways you can soar into March with a bound.  These four steps will give you guaranteed triumph:

  1. Lift—Elevate the name of the Lord in all you do. Every moment infused with praise becomes a moment of power.  Lifting Him connects you with the source of power you need to accomplish your life’s mission. Plug in, hook up, energize = praise God!
  2. Encourage—Lend confidence and support to someone. This is much like doing spiritual push-ups. You may not know what your life’s work is, but know this—it has something to do with benefiting, inspiring, encouraging and uplifting others.
  3. Assert—You are a chosen vessel of the Most High God.  Profess it clearly. You have a right to declare the authenticity of who you are. Claim your heritage as a King’s kid.
  4. Pray—Like lights, your prayers ascend from your lips to the very throne room of God. Even if you whisper, God leans over the edge of heaven to listen. Prayer makes a difference.

God Made You and the Sun…You’re Both Awesome!

Back in March I authored a post about God’s awesome creation, the sun.  We rarely stop to think about how incredible it is.  I (reverently) called our marvelous sun a Bad Mama Jama.

Well, just a few days ago, NASA issued a new high definition video taken from the spacecraft which has been in operation for about two years.  It photographed sun tornadoes dancing across the sun’s surface.  These solar twisters blow with unbelievable force. What is so amazing is that we can see them.


This video reminds us that everything in the universe is energy.  It is the energy that our great God created.  Please take a moment to watch this video as an awesome reminder of the greatness of our God.

You are also His creation.  Just think of the energy and power He has placed in you and available to you, as you work to accomplish remarkable things.

With your faith, you can access the awesome power of God.  Here’s how

1) Look inward. Depend upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit to fill and to guide you, directing every thought and action.

2) Look up. Pray; thanking God for His anointing on your life.

3) Look around. Ask God for guidance to use His power in accomplishing your assignment on earth for the benefit of others.

God is awesome, and so are you.

Photo and video:  NASA/SDO

The Power of Love

L L Cool J, the celebrity actor and rap artist, was interviewed on television the other day by Piers Morgan and asked about the key to his successful marriage.  “What is the secret?” Piers asked.  After just a brief moment of contemplation, his reply was brilliantly direct and simple, “Eat your soup and let her talk.”  Indeed!  Even as someone who has always enjoyed having the last word, I can appreciate that. In fact, I greatly love the quotation by theologian, Paul Tillich, who said:  “The first duty of love is to listen.”

In its best example of the power of love, we express our thankfulness and our praise for one another. Not just on the occasion of an annual love holiday, but every moment, every day, all year long.

The knowledge of how to live your best and most lovingly joyful life will forever transform, illuminate and unshackle you.

The celebration of Valentine’s Day is an occasion for us to exchange flowers, candy, gifts and verbal or written expressions of our love and commitment. We share love with others, not because they demand it, but because we choose to.

As one who was married and committed to one person for nearly fifty years, I know for certain that having a truly personal relationship with a loving God is best demonstrated by how well we love those around us.  And that includes our spouses, parents, children, friends, fellow Christians, neighbors, coworkers, colleagues, strangers—everybody.  Love demonstrates what living your best life is all about.  On the deepest level, the energy of our love reflects the energy of how much our Creator loves us.

Real love transcends distractions, procrastination, unforgiveness, and all of the reasons why we should not love one another.  To experience the true power of love, learn to express your love, even to those who may not love you.  After all, loving those who love you first is the easy part.  When you can love the difficult people in your life, then you know for certain that you’ve got this love thing figured out.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.~ 1 John 4:7 

(Photo:  ©iStockphoto.com/cillay)

What Work Will You Accomplish Today?

There is so much to be done…

There is a task for each of us to perform.

There is a soul to be won.

There is a cross to be carried.

There is a light to shine.

There is a gift to be used.

There is a life to be lived.

There is a book to be studied.

There is a talent to be shared.

There is a devil to be defeated.

There is a stand to be taken.

There is a testimony to be told.

There is a storm to be faced.

There is a burden to be lifted.

There is a habit to be conquered.

There is a child to be guided.

There is a senior to be loved.

There is a youth to be trained.

There is a goal to be reached.

There is a struggle to be fought.

There is a course to be finished.

There is a faith to be kept.

There is a work to be done.

               Dr. Floyd Prude, Jr.~Excerpt from Pastor’s Annual Report,

               Emmanuel Baptist Church, Beloit, WI,  November, 2006

 

IS DAT A BOMB?

If you are ever having a foggy day and your joy seems to have fallen into a funk, just take a moment to chat with a kid. That is guaranteed to snap you out of your gloom, really fast. The questions they can ask sure beat anything you could pay to hear at the comedy spot.

Some years ago my husband was standing next to a father and son while attending an event during which a commercial blimp flew overhead.  The little boy gazed quizzically at the sky, tugged his father’s shirt tail and asked:  “Is dat a bomb?”

My daughter, Sherri, directs a Black History Month program every February.  A few weeks ago on a Saturday, she invited anyone interested in participating to meet with her to discuss ideas.

Her most enthusiastic attendee was eight-year old Jeremiah.  Jeremiah—the walking encyclopedia on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—announced that he envisioned himself playing lead in several scenes from Dr. King’s life. Immediately, a role reversal took place and Jeremiah began directing himself.  “First, I’ll need a wife,” he said.  Then he described the other actors and staging needed for his most vivid scene—being shot on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.  Jeremiah had it all figured out.

Amused, Sherri listened then proposed her own idea. “You are on the balcony, there is a shot and then you fall.” Jeremiah looked at her aghast.  Brow wrinkled, lips pursed. It was a trick and he knew it. He saw the script changing, his lines cut, his most creative scenes eliminated.  Jeremiah snapped back fast. “Then, there’s the funeral…right?”

When Sherri told me that story I fell out laughing at Jeremiah’s quick wit. Sure enough, the following Sunday when she drove around to pick me up at the curb after church, there was Jeremiah sitting in the front passenger seat. He had brought his favorite pictorial book about Dr. King to church. Proof for Sherri of his research, of course.  When he offered to get out so that I could sit down, I insisted that he stay put. What? And miss the next Jeremiah-ism, up close and personal?

If Art Linkletter had not written the book or if Bill Cosby had not already done the television show, I would launch my own version of “Kids Say the Darndest Things.”  We need to laugh more. Laughter reduces the stress that taints our lives. Laughter can eliminate our sleep and anxiety disorders, eradicate panic attacks and conquer fretfulness.  Life is stressful. Living fearlessly is best accomplished with a full dose of deep chuckles, quiet giggles or full-out belly laughs. Take your pick.

A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.

~Proverbs 17:22 (New King James Version)

 

4 Secrets for Defeating Satan–Use Everything You’ve Got

This is a battle, and you’ve got to be in it to win it.  You are an overcomer.  In Christ, you are destined to crush Satan under your feet. Just use everything that you’ve got.  So…what are you doing with all that power?  Here are four tactics to apply right now.

  1. Use Your Mind. Think Satan’s defeat.  Your first weapon involves your mind. By thinking positively (Philippians 4:8) and expecting your faith to triumph, you gain the victory.  You win!
  2. Use your Eyes.  You need clear vision. Focus, focus, focus:  keep your eyes on Jesus.  (Hebrews 12:2) Then, stop searching for the faults in others; instead, look for their good.
  3. Use Your Ears.  Listen for the right sounds. What you hear is the source of your faith; faith comes by hearing. (Romans 10:17) Be perceptive; fill your ears with good teachings and positive reinforcement. Shut out the destructive noise of the world. The one thing Satan does not want you to do is to listen for God’s voice.
  4. Use your Mouth. Speak joy, your best verbal tool. Resentful, hurtful and critical speech is destructive.  Pronounce words of joy, healing, love and understanding. Accomplishing Everyday Joy is the strategy of overcomers.

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.~1 John 5:4 (English Standard Version)

Change Your Joy, Change Your Life

In 2001, I received the shocking diagnosis of stage 4 non-Hodgkins lymphoma.  It was a cancer that I knew very little about at that time.  I had repeatedly gone to the doctor to complain of bone-penetrating fatigue, initially, my only symptom.  The diagnosis was life-altering.

From that moment on, I learned that the right attitude can change your health.  It can certainly change your life.  I researched and collected every healing scripture that I could find in God’s Word.  Next, I applied those scriptures, just as if they were medicine.

Transformation evolves out of information and I believe that information has power. Even though your transformation may come about through prayer and suffering.  Despite that devastating diagnosis more than ten years ago, I was determined to be healthy again.   Today, I remain healthy and cancer-free.

I knew, without hesitation, that God would work through the excellent medical care I was poised to receive.  My faith did not preclude seeking medical therapies–chemotherapy, etc.  My immediate reaction was:  So, what kind of medicine do you have for this? By the time I had my first meeting with my wonderful hematologist-oncologist, Dr. Edward Prendergast, I was well educated on the disease, clinical trials and cutting-edge medicine.  Most important, I set out to learn all that I could about the spiritual side of healing.

Those lessons are meant to be shared. The book that I am writing is a collection of healing scriptures and stories that describe more of my experience…as well as telling the stories of others who believed for and received healing miracles.

I know that Christ still heals, just as He did in Biblical times.  “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?”  When we allow the joy of Christ to overflow into our personal universe, it transcends the harsh realities of whatever may be happening at that moment.  We rise to a new level of being.  A level in which we actually think like Jesus thought.

            Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.~Philippians 2:5 KJV

Please share with me your personal comments, questions or interests about healing. I’d love for your input to help craft my book. You may share them as public comments on this site or as personal comments to my email address:  regina@reginaprude.com.

Living Everyday Joy

Three Things you can do today:

1)        Leap forward in faith. Then stretch. Be bold enough to dream a ridiculous, almost-unachievable, very-nearly unattainable, you-never-thought-you-could-reach-this dream.

2)      Getting to everyday joy has a great deal to do with the words you speak.  Answer strong; never waiver in speaking your highest goals.

3)      Envision it. See yourself coming into your destiny. Promotion, increase, Divine favor—they are all yours.

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.~Psalm 37:4 NIV

 

 

You Are Relational

Black Man on Beach with Open Arms

When you look into someone’s face, do you see the real presence of the person you encounter?  Do you understanding our connectedness.

You are relational!  You are connected to others.  You are not a separate entity, traveling through life on your own.  Wrapped up in your own identity. Engulfed in your own little world.  So often, we get caught up in the “me” and “mine” of life—my money, my job, my family, my issues.

The dictionary definition of the word “relational” is this:

          Concerning the way in which two or more people or things are connected.

Last Saturday, the men’s ministry in our church hosted a prayer breakfast. We gathered at individual tables;  after sharing pleasantries, we got down to the business of discussing the assigned topics.  Near the end of the teaching period, each person shared a brief prayer with the entire audience.  As we went around from table to table, the room was electrified by the presence of the Holy Spirit.  It was as if someone opened a window to let us peer into the life of the person sitting nearby.  We had a personal glimpse of private conversations with God.

A mother spoke of the imminent challenge facing her son—returning home in a few hours after twenty-five years of incarceration.  A young woman sought Divine direction in meeting the mate God designed for her.

We are connected to one another, even our enemies.  For years, I told myself I had no enemies.  That was all right; even when I discovered I was wrong, it didn’t matter.  When you can tolerate being injured by a person and not resent them for it, you become a stronger person.

When we understand that we are relational, we choose not to react to or get sucked into anyone else’s anger, resentment or hatred.  Otherwise, you wreck your immune system.  Being reactive results in inner dis-ease. You cannot become internally angry about a situation without making yourself ill.

Being conscious of our connectivity doesn’t make you vulnerable, it makes you powerful.  You can become immune to negative energy.  Nothing can hurt you; you reserve that power for sharing love. Transmitting love and joy may not change how others feel about you, but it sucks the negative energy out of your reaction.

Experiencing everyday joy means opening your eyes to those around you to see your coworkers, casual acquaintances, friends, family members. Learned joy is caring enough to understand the challenges others are facing and what is going on in their lives.

There is even scientific evidence that life connects us and that we affect one other. You are an eternal soul, encased in a temporary body. The energy that I want to transmit is that of healing, connection, communication and compassion.

That’s how it is with us. There are many of us, but we each are part of the body of Christ,

as well as part of one another.  ~  Romans 12:5 (Contemporary English Version)