Category Archives: Change

I NEED A DRINK!

I NEED A DRINK

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14

Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink–even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk–it’s all free! Isaiah 55:1 NLT
Remember what they taught us in the ol’ church, first the physical then the spiritual! Most of us know that water is essential to our survival. Experts tell us that we can live without food a whole lot longer than we can live without water. As one who struggles to get near the recommended amount of water ingested daily, my 60 sumptin body quickly sounds the alarm, ‘you’re thirsty, fool! Drink some water’. Likewise, my spirit man has a innate personal service announcement alert system that lets me know that your soul is thirsting for The Living Water—JESUS!

The journey of Life has a way of siphoning out the wellspring of joy, strength, hope, calm, favor, peace and sheer delight of being a Child of The Eternal Father. We can become so distracted by the happenings of daily duties, drama and disappointments, that the benefits of our new Life in Christ takes a backseat, to the stress, chaos, depression, mumuring and complaining. Oh, is that too real 4 U? #ijs!

Like the Samaritan woman, many of us we come to Jesus believing that our initial confession of faith will make life easier; not understanding that Christ doesn’t promise us a life gliding into Glory on a flowery bed of ease, but the power to overcome life’s challenges by trusting in His Faithfulness! As you learn to walk with Jesus, knowing that Christ (your personal Savior and Lord) lives in you, changes you, empowers and enables you to live in a state of continual, hopefilled-joy…REGARDLESS OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES! #WOW #Didjaheardat?

However, we must also understand that this is not a one-and-done-once-a-week-only transition! The Apostle Paul, a faithful companion, sheds insight as to how we can keep the stream of living water ever-flowing in the midst of  drought, famine, confusion and persecution that often encompasses us on this journey. “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” Ephesians 5:19

Saywhaaa? ‘Lady, you obviously don’t understand what I’m going through!’ Perhaps not, BUT GOD DOES! And not only does He know every detail but He’s the Only One who can solve every problem and bring you out better than you were coming in! The Ol’ Skool Mothers said it like this, “Baby, keep a song in your heart and a praise in your mouth, bcuz you’re gonna need it!”

Didjakno how doing this confuses hell? Imagine Satan’s hell hounds scratching their heads, having dealt that last blow, thinking that one would surely make you give up all hope and turn away from trusting Jesus! Ha! Ha! But instead, as you remind yourself of how good God’s been to you, suddenly, the flood gates burst erupting exuberate praise out of your belly, awakening a fresh view of GOD! #GREATGODALMIGHTY!

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2

Precious one, when you’re tempted to fall head-first into the pit of hopelessness and accept the devil’s invitation to your own private pity party, just remember, HOW GREAT IS YOUR GOD! He Alone forgives all of your sins, heals all your diseases, redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion; satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles. (Ref. Psalm 103:3-5) And suddenly, your well swells up and fear turns to trust, dispair gives way to hope, grumbling flares-up into gratitude and your soul gets intoxicated on praise for all the blessings that God’s Grace avails!

Guess what? You don’t have to pay a dime for this experience? If you’re really thirsty, it’s free for the asking! #Seriously! 

Aaaawwww shucks, SOUNDS LIKE YOU’RE PRIMING THE PUMP, huh? ITZ ALL GOOD! GOD’S RESERVED AN UNLIMITED SUPPLY! THIRSTY? GO ‘HEAD..DRINK UP!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

MEMORIES, huh?

MEMORIES, HUH

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

When He slew them, then they sought Him; and they returned and inquired early after God. And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their Redeemer. Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right with Him, neither were they steadfast in His covenant. But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity and destroyed them not; yeah, many a time turned He his anger away and did not stir up all His wrath. For He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind passeth away, and cometh not again. Psalm 78:34-39

 

A few years back, (but who’s counting, huh?) Barbara Strissand recorded a hit song entitled ‘Memories’. This song pricked the hearts of all of us! Hence, we all have memories of days gone by that lure us back to the way we were. For some of us, when certain ticker-tapes of past personal experiences cross our minds, immediately we smile. Other flash-backs cause our hearts to flutter, skipping a beat… or two, remembering when. And then there are those special ones that yet…still prompt silent tears to crease our cheeks. Memories, huh? Some are fading and some, we only wish we could forget.

Like all of us, I indeed cling to God’s promises to keep my mind focused, sharp and sound. That being my faith stance, I must confess that—every now and then—I have to cash in what my kids call, one of my ‘senior moments’ vouchers. Now don’t look at me in that tone of voice. Can we be for real? I believe we all suffer a bout of ‘Spiritual Alzheimer’s’—every now and then.

Today’s scripture text recalls how the Israelites’ sporadic attacks of ‘forgetfulness’ provoked God’s wrath as He carried them through the wilderness. Now don’t be so hard on them. Truth be told, any one of us, drapped in this fickle-frail-flesh-frame, are just as prone to spiritual amnesia when it comes to recollecting the Wondrous works of God!

Time and time again, God has proven Himself a Faithful Provider, A Way-Out- of -No-Way, our Rock-in-A-Weary-Land, A Shelter-in our-Storm, A Strong Protector, Committed Redeemer and Eternal Hope of our Salvation.  HOWEVERRRR, in spite of our own personal memories of all that God has already done, the moment we’re faced with a new challenge, does our response reflect a confident trust in our Compassionate Merciful God of All Grace? Or do we suddenly forget to remember that if He Did It Before, He’ll Do It Again? Probably not, huh?  #ijs…

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8

BUT! THANKS BE 2 GOD! EVEN WHEN WE 4GET…GOD ALWAYS REMEMBERS…PRECIOUS MEMORIES, huh?

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

A LISTENING GOD

A LISTENING GOD

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything, according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. 1 John 5:14-15

 

Ever found yourself at the end of your rope? That’s silly; of course you have! We’ve all been there! But did you ever think that that’s exactly where GOD wants you? Probably NOT, huh?

According to 21st Century world view, we’ve been led to believe that you, as the master of your own life, will never face a challenge that you can’t get past. After all you’re an intellectually stimulated, highly educated, acutely sophisticated and exceptionally self-sufficient individual, right? Wrong!

As you’ve probably figured out by now, there are some things, try as you may, ‘you still don’t know how to fix this mess’, huh? But again, GOD sets it up, jus like dat? He never intended us to live life independent of GODSELF! Where do you think fellowship began? That’s exactly right; like everything else, in the mind of God!

Unfortunately, GOD knows that except we have these “impossible” situational intrusions, you know that thing that seems to just pop-up outta no where blocking our path, there’s a high probability that some of us wouldn’t even think we needed GOD! Don’t forget GOD knows your heart! So don’t even try to wiggle your way out of this Truth!

Every so often, we find ourselves smack-dab-in-the-middle of time-sensitive circumstances where you just need one somebody to talk it over with. Even if they can’t change your situation, right? So you call your Mama and your Daddy, your BFF, your Dawg and errrbody else you can think of; hoping, that if somebody just listened, it would ease the pain, frustration and helplessness jus enough to bring a bleep of clarity. Or, perhaps make you feel like at least they care! But then again, can you really trust them to not put your business out there on social media blast or even worst, alter their impression of you?

Beloved, we have this confidence! God is never shocked by anything and He knows everything! And to top that, whenever we call Him, He shows up! And whenever He shows up, He’s never empty-handed. He has all the answers that you and I will ever need in this lifetime and the world to come. 

Truth be told, at the end of the day, who else can you depend on like Jesus? C’mon nah, U already know what I’m talking about… that thing, that situation, that person who’s got your heart so troubled, k? Well, stop procrastinating and start talking to JESUS! HE’S ALWAYS WAITING!

C’mon Now! Bow your head (pride) and your heart (shame) and like them Ol’ Skool Mothers said, ‘Jus take it to The Lawd in pray’r’!

TRUST 2 KNOW, GOD IS GRACIOUS AND HE SPECIALIZES IN MAKING WRONG THINGS RIGHT! OUR HEAVENLY FATHER LISTENS!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

LIFE GOES BETTER WITH CHRIST!

LIFE GOES BETTER WITH CHRIST

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living? Psalm 56:12-13

 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. Ecclesiastes 9:11

 

The Bible is so real that it’s difficult to understand how too many yet consider it irrelevant to today’s contemporary society. Amassed within 66 Books, 929 chapters in the Old Testament and 260 chapters in the New Testament, GOD has captured every aspect of the human experience from eternity past, eternity present and eternity future!

Unlike many of my readers, I wasn’t born on the left-hand-back-pew of the church! In fact, I wasn’t even raised in a so-called Christian environment. Hence, I’ve lived on both sides of the Cross; therefore I’ve experienced both ends of the sin spectrum. I said all that to say,  unequivocably,  I truely believe  in the miraculous, uncomparable , incomprehensible depth and breath of God’s Grace and Mercy to transform the life of the  most ungodly into the sanctified! 

Sometimes, life comes at us fast and hits you hard! Nevertheless, how we respond to the unexpected, is ultimately a matter of perspective! King Solomon, dubbed as the wisest man in the known world, having been set-up from birth to inherit God’s riches blessings, decided to turn away from following in the footsteps of  his Father David, preferring to fulfill his fleshy lusts, eventually found himself plunging headlong into the endless pit of  darkness, desperation and dispair!

While Salvation does not guarantee automatic exemption from experiening test, trials or tragedy, as followers of Christ, we have this assurance, absolutely nothing happens that ever takes GOD by surprise!

He knows our endings from the beginning! Not one smile is ever unnoticed nor is one tear ever undocumented. (Ref. Psalm 56:8) Nothing that you’ve been thru; nothing you might be going through now escapes His Watch!  God doesn’t promise that every day will be a stroll in the park on a sunny day dancing through flowery beds of ease, but it behooves us to be content, confident that “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Ref. Hebrews 13:5)

As you voyage through The Scriptures, you’ll discover that God’s servants were tempted, tested and tried by the same tactics and schemes that we are; all launched by our common diabolical enemy, Satan. Nevertheless, they persevered and prevailed with the help of self-same Good Shepherd that’s available to you and me.

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8

GOD has promised to supply everything we will ever need to overcome and conquer every and any thing that attempts to resist or prevent the absolute fulfillment of every vow that He’s spoken over our lives. Don’t allow fear to limit your expectations of what GOD has prepared for you!

Don’t let your past cause you to doubt or settle for less than He’s promised! Take care that your steps don’t become slack lingering too long in what’s behind. Keep moving forward; remembering what God has for you is always in front of you!

While Life continues to be a journey into unchartered territories, keep walking; fully persuaded that you are never alone.  Yes! There will be some valleys to tread, some mountains to climb, some twists and turns to meander and some dead-ends to re-calculate from. Nevertheless, I encourage you to keep your hand in HIS HAND, confidently trusting in The Master of all Life; knowing that what’s ahead of you is always greater than anywhere you’ve been! IN THE END YOU WIN!

BELOVED, JUST KEEP WALKING, LOVING, LEARNING, LEANING AND LIVING! …LIFE GOES BETTER WITH CHRIST!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

GOD DID IT!

 

GOD DID IT.1

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

And thinkest thou this O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgement of God? Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness, and forebearance and long-suffering; not kowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? Romans 2:3-4

 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:24-25

 

A while ago, I heard a preacher confessing that at one time he was an avid believer and willing partaker of one of the greatest lies that Satan has perpetrated. As he went on to talk about his early perception of God, I began reflecting back on the  B.C. (Before Christ) in my own personal life, I humbly concluded, “You ain’t by yourself preacha!” If we would be honest, for real, a whole lot of us would have to raise both our hands and say “Amen 3X, Preacha!”

How many of you once believed that somewhere, way out there, there was a Great Big Ol’ Angry God, watching and recording every single thing you did? And when you had accumulated that mystical, unknown number of sins, His Hand of Wrath would suddenly appear from heaven, striking you down with a big sledge hammer, crush you and fling your po’ soul straight into the devil’s hell! Oh, C’mon nah; don’t play me like you never…

Perhaps you were with that other group—the self-righteous, who ascribe to the lie that when they get themselves together, they fully intend to start going to church but they’re not going to be no hypocrite, like all them other folk. They’re gonna be real about serving God! And we all know how that’s gonna turn out, huh?

Truth be told, this  sin-thing started way before any of us were born! Because of our original progenitor’s high treason against the Righteous instructions given by The Creator of Life, we are all born naughty by nature! Thus, every human born into the earth since our fore-parents’ willful rebellion is corrupted by an innate disorder called iniquity! Now, don’t look at me with that self-righteous attitude! (Ref. Ps. 51:5) 

But, it goes deeper! The Glory of Innocence that once covered Adam and us had now been disrupted by sin, exposing us to evil, guilt, shame and fear! That precious intimacy with God that man once enjoyed in Paradise was violently yanked from him plunging all of creation into gross darkness and utter chaos! And as they say, the rest is history, huh?

Now, just think about all those times GOD could’ve, should’ve, BUT didn’t serve you your just desserts! Remember all those unfulfilled promises you made (lies) just before GOD delivered you, againEvvrrr wonder, how many times God chose to withhold justice prefering to dispense Grace and Mercy towards us? WOW! Haven’t got a clue, huh? Neither do I! #ijs

Can we be for real? You and I will never, ever be good enough to remotely qualify as ‘acceptable’ to a HOLY GOD—SO….get over you! God already knew that we’d fall short numerous times, BEFORE AND AFTER WE RECEIVED JESUS!  That’s why, before we were even formed in our mother’s womb, God’s plan of Salvation was already established!

Ephesians 2:8 declares, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”! Didjaheardat? God never left it up to us! Salvation is God’s free gift.

That’s the GOSPEL! It’s called GRACE, YALL! And guess what?  This offer is still available to WHOSOEVER will humble themselves before God, acknowledge themselves as sinners who have no other Hope for Salvation but JESUS and accept His Amazingly-Gracious-Merciful GIFT OF FORGIVENESS!

NOW, don’t get it twisted! There is such a thing as frustrating the GRACE OF GOD! Hence, it behooves each of us to make a sincere concerted effort to daily live our lives doing those things that are pleasing to GOD! Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? GOD FORBID. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Ref. Romans 6:1-2)

I KNOW THIS SOUNDS 2 good 2 be true!  YET, IT IS! GOD ALREADY DID EVERYTHING NEEDED 2 SAVE ANY ONE OF US! THAT’S JUS HOW GOOD GOD IS! NOW??? WHAT’S UR EXCUSE, huh?

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

NON-NEGOTIABLE

NON-NEGOTIABLE2

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15

 

Who nu? Dictionary.com would have so many different definitions of the word ‘DEBATE’!

So, I’ve decided to add my compilation synopsis to the list. Here goes:

“To engage in formal/informal discussion, argumentation or disputation with another person or group, to deliberate upon, to consider and/or to contend for or over opposing viewpoints, in which the affirmative and negatives side of a proposition are advocated by opposing speakers”

Now, ain’t that a mouth-full? No wonder there’s seems to be no end to the perplexity of issues up for debate, huh?

The ancient Grecians were famous for their fascination with prolific debating practices. There’s still open-ending discussions regarding whether the art of Grecian debate played a significant role in developing today’s American society… or not. Apparently, while many antiquities of social traditions are extinct, the debate goes on and on!

One might ascertain that Humanity’s Inalienable Right to freely express his/her own opinions and to make choices regarding issues they presume relevant, sets us above all other creation, or not!

This concept of “either /or” has existed since the Garden of Eden. God allowed Adam to exercise his freedom of choice giving him access to a garden variety of luscious fruit to select from, with the exception of one particular tree; The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. (Ref. Genesis 2:17) And we all know how that worked out! Huh?

Temptation makes it extremely difficult to resist engaging in some form of debate. Does chocolate taste better than vanilla? Are Marines better equipped than The Navy Seals? Is marriage better than remaining single? Creation vs. Evolution?

Logic leads us to this conclusion. Even though we do have the freedom and power to choose our actions, when it comes to the consequences of our decisions, it’s completely out of our hands. God’s Sovereignty over His Creation is NOT UP FOR DEBATE! Hence, there are some decisions that command intentional consciencous reflection, consultation and evaluation because the aftermath of an erroneous selection is irrevocable!

Unfortunately, this often doesn’t sit well with some. Many a disillusioned soul has taken issue to this kind of ‘authoritative manipulation’ resulting in habitual sinful rebellion. But! God looks down from His Throne and laughs at this foolish obstinacy! (Ref. Psalm 2:4)

The Great Debate continues to infiltrate various sects of society. Hence, Absolutes vs. No Absolutes! Either you are male or female, saved or lost, spiritual or religious, Calvinism vs. Arminianism? Does God exist or not? Is there One God or many? Is Jesus Lord of all or not at all? Apparently, there will always be those who disagree with with our preferences, yet there’s no denying that these tough issues warrant careful deliberation! 

Amazingly,  the Graciousness of a Holy God still allows man the power of choice to either bow now or bow later! #ijs

Beloved, may I submit for your consideration, BEFORE YOU RESPOND, TAKE A MOMENT TO PAUSE AND PONDER! AFTER ALL, THE CONSEQUENCES ARE ETERNAL! IT’S EITHER HEAVEN OR HELL! BELIEVE it or NOTultimately, The Word of God is NON-NEGOTIABLE!  #WOW #Didjaheardat?

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

RELEASE URSELF!

RELEASE URSELF

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus For good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should Walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

 

Okay, let me begin by saying, it’s not my intention to offend the sanctity of The Holy Writ, however to simply relay my personal internal experience!  Down the these 60 sumthin’ years, I’ve discovered that oftimes the process of life application is ‘easier said than done’!  #Understatement! Needless to say, transitioning this mindset to real-life tends to involve hauling along its own measure of self-accusing, doubt, ignominy and guilt. After all, we’re people of faith, right?

Fortunately, when we understand The Truth, that God Himself, fully aware of who and what we are capable (aka incapable of), has saved us, not because—but—in spite—of, we get a snapshot of impregnable fortress of our Heavenly Father’s Loving Kindness towards us, laced with a whopping dollop of reality!

Hence, armed with this intelligence, give yourself permission to get over you! News Flash! As difficult as it may be to latch onto, my Precious One, you are not the ‘good news’! JESUS Is!

None of us is saved by trusting in ourselves, but anyone can be saved by trusting in God’s Mercy! None of us can keep our selves saved through our own volition, however by trusting in God’s Grace we are sustained through His Sufficiency!

Ultimately, its placing your personal confidence in The Almighty God, realizing (as the Ol’ Skool Church Mothers’ sanng) “JESUS PAID IT ALL, ALL TO HIM I OWE, SIN HAD LEFT A CRIMSON STAIN, AND HE WASHED ME WHITE AS SNOW”, and accepting as Truth, that everything required to satisfy The Righteousness of God, Jesus already did it, releases us from the daily burden of ‘being good enough to deserve God’s goodness! Didjaheardat?

WOW! JESUS, Perfection Personified, got it all right for you!

Now that doesn’t mean we’re off the hook! Don’t be foolish; be grateful! Because of His Once-and-for-all Sacrificial Death,  no longer will we be judged according to our filthy righteousness but are now free to live hope-filled, holy, God-Honoring, God-Witnessing lives, reflecting the Light of God’s Glory to a dark, lost, and dying world! (Ref. John 10:10)

As we continue to walk with Jesus, entrusting our very lives to Him, our faith increases, our knowledge expands, and our experiences will teach us that trusting God is about releasing yourself from the futility of struggling to meet the unrealistic expectations of others, and most importantly, releasing yourself from devastating side effect of self-imposed exile, self -rejection!

If you are a bona-fied, Blood-Washed-Born-Again-Child of The Most High God, your life is hidden in Christ and you are kept by The Hands of The Almighty God! Remember, The Omnipotent, Omnscient, Omnipresent Creator of Heaven and Earth is always with you, working everything out in your life for your highest good and His GREATER GLORY! WHEWWWW! So, REST IN HIM  & RELEASE URSELF!  #GETIT?

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee