Category Archives: Hidden Treasures

PERSISTANCE PREVAILS!

PERSISTANCE PREVAILS2

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

For our light affliction which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory… 2 Corinthians 4:17-18a

 

Someone, with far more wisdom than you and I, penned these words, “Winners never quit, and quitters never win!” Granted, we’re living in times that could easily tempt us to just fall apart, succumb to our dire situations and even begin to doubt God‘s ability to turn things around in our favor. Yet, Jesus never told us to rely on what we think, we see or even what we feel. The Word admonishes us to put no confidence in flawed fickle flesh, particularly our own. Believers walk by faith and not by what it may look like in the natural. Believers believe!

When the enemy comes upon us flooding our hearts with intimidating fear, worry, doubt and discouragement, we must not ALLOW it to reign, but we remember that we, as Born-Again, Blood-Washed-Baptized-Spirit-filled Children of The Most High God, have been empowered to pull down strongholds and bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ!  (Ref. 2 Corinthians 10:5) When we acknowledge WHO WE ARE, IN CHRIST, a Spirit of Super Tenacity, and Holy Boldness, begins to flow up from the pit our inner most being and when it kicks inTRUST2KNO, it really doesn’t matter what we go thrua true believer will refuse to throw up our hands and give in! 

The Ol’ Skool Churrch used to say, “COME WHAT MAY, I’M IN IT, 2 WIN IT”! You see they knew something that’ll  still work in this new millennium Age—I don’t care who sanngs,  OUR God Reigns, therefore it ain’t over until God says it’s over! #Didjaheardat?

Beloved, when it appears that the circumstantial evidence against us pretty much guarantees we’re going down for the count, we have a secret weapon on the inside of us that assures us the victory! Greater is He that is in me than anything that comes against me! (1 John 4:4)

The Apostle Paul, encouraging a troubled Corinthian Church, lets us know we’re don’t have to deny the severity of our situation, we just deny it’s  power to work against us. (Ref. Isaiah 54:17) Didjaheardat? Yes, it’s okay to acknowledge what’s happening, but don’t just stop with the bad stuff,  BUT also keep in the forefront of your minds Who we have going right for us!

Okay, we might be feeling some pressure, but we’re still standing! We might not have all the answers, but we know The One who does! Our circumstances might not be what we expected, but God already knew about it before He allowed us to be in it! It may seem as if the burden is much more than we can take, but God’s Grace is sufficient! We might not know how long we’re be in it, but God knows! He’s predesignated a set time for our deliverance! And when God brings us out we don’t come out empty handed, but we come out with Greater Glory!

YEP! Believers may bend, but we don’t break! We hold fast to the Hope that is within us! (Ref. Colossians 1:27)

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

BELOVED, DON’T STOP, ‘TILL YOU GET IT! GET IT?

Seriously!  Obviously Satan didn’t get the text, huh? So you tell ’em, ‘Ain’t nobody got time 4 dat; check the back of the Book, WE WIN! Ain’t NO QUIT In ME BCUZ PERSISTANCE ALWAYS PREVAILS!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

 

WHO’S ON 1st?

 

WHO'S ON 1ST

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

“Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you…” James 4:8a kjv
 

Ever heard the term ‘1st chair’?  Well, according to the Law, the Legal definition of First Chair is the lead attorney in a case.  However, The Farlex Trivia Dictionary defines First Chair as “The premier musician playing a particular instrument in an orchestra—seated closest to the audience, taking the lead for that instrument’s movements, and playing any solos. “ My point being, ‘WHO’S IN CHARGE OF RUNNING YOUR LIFE’?

Really? 

Then why are you still complaining? Apparently, there appears to be a direct correlation between the amount of time one spends in HIS Presence and the amount of time spent worrying, murmuring and complaining, questioning and judging God’s decisions regarding our lives. OMG! WHO KNU?

Seriously, the The Holy Scriptures is filled with testimonials that further substantiate this observation!  “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”. Matthew 6:33 and…“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:6-7 

Let’s be for real! Too many of us are still trying to fix stuff that God never intended for us to. That’s why He invites us to come to Him with those things that are concerning us. Uuuh, isn’t that what prayer is all about?  #ijs It makes no sense to ask God to meet you on the rooftop when you’re stuck in the basement, right? Unless your pride is bent on self-reliance, which is  basically no help at all!  #Don’t shout me down nah!

Still need help? Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalm 16:11

Beloved, GOD doesn’t ask any of us to walk this journey of LIFE independent of His Awemmaazzing Grace! That’s why The WORD says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”  Matthew 11:28-29

TRUST2KNO, whatever you’re struggling with today, God calls light-duty?

And guess what? GOD DON’T NEED NO CO-PILOT! WOW! #didjaheardat? Strap yourself in The Love of GOD and He’ll take You THERE–WHEREVER HE WANTS U 2 B!

Looks to me LIKE DATZ A RAP, huh?  Jus another perspective 4 U 2 PONDER! NOW, WHO’S ON 1st?

SELAH!
 
Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee 

SHOW-OFF!

 

SHOW OFF

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

“I called upon the Lord in distress; the Lord answered me and set me in a large place.” Psalm 118:5

Those who know me, already know how much I love to decorate, redecorate… and decorate again!  Yep! My name is Ann Caffee and I’m an HGTV/DIY addict!  LOL! Several years ago, there was a reformation in the Home Décor arena. Remember that old piece of furniture secretly sequestered in the backroom, garage or attic? Yeah, like your Mother-in-law’s first nightstand! Well it was no longer considered an eyesore, but it resurfaced as ‘shabby chic’!  WHO KNU, huh?

Of course furniture manufacturers picked up on it and immediately began to build new pieces that resembled those old used and somewhat abused pieces. What was once disgustingly dubbed ‘old-timey’ was now the new ‘distressed’! I can only imagine the timidity of the challenge to abandon traditional artistic craftsmanship to achieve this look.

OMG! The brutal assault and the punishment inflicted upon each piece—painstakingly beaten, burned, chipped and hammered with metal chains, and torched…but once the process was completed the item was pompously positioned on the showroom floor.

Now doesn’t that sound slightly too uncomfortably familiar to the what believers go through at the Hand of The Master. Oh, we know, no one actually told us that once we turned the reins of our lives over to Jesus, it would be smooth sailing on The Ol’ Ship of Zion; but for real—we had no clue that life would take on this new persona. After all, we came to Christ to get out of hellright?

While we’re encouraged to gravitate to the Covenant Promises of God, nevertheless, we’re totally oblivious to the progressive transformation from receiving Christ as Savior to submission to His Lordship! As disciples, we’re taught to pray and believe God to enlarge our territory, increase our anointing and give us wisdom to impact our families, church and communities and TRUST2KNO…God answers our prayers! Unfortunately, we tend to grossly misinterpret the process thru manifestation! It’s the refiner’s fire that produces the purest gold! 

Don’t get it twisted! Trusting God to take care of you in the midst of overwhelming stressful circumstances is quite a challenge; but that’s exactly what we must do!

The first step to this amazing transition is acknowledging that God is not trying to harm you. God loves you, and is committed to seeing you reach your highest potential!

Once this Truth  is firmly affixed in the seat of your soul, the devil knows he’s in big trouble!  That’s why he works double-time and a half to fill your heart with guilt, shame, condemnation to the point where you actually doubt that God knew exactly what He  was getting when HE CHOSE YOU!

HOWEVRRRR, being armed with a personal reality and intimacy of God’s Loyal Love enables you to walk in a state of inward rest, frees you to experience the strength and encoragement to live the-above-circumstances-abundant-life that Jesus’ sacrifice procured for you. (Ref. John 10:10)

Remember, no matter how out of control life  you think your life is,  there is NEVER a moment when  your Sovereign God is not in ABSOLUTE control of it ALL!

DISTRESSED? DIG-IN AND ENDURE! YOU’RE BEING PROCESSED FOR  SHOW ROOM PRESENTATION!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

SMALL BEGINNINGS!

SMALL BEGINNINGS

SELAH Daily Devotions!

And said to his servent, go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up and looked, and said. There is nothing. And he said, go up again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, behold there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, go up, say unto Ahab. Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass in the meanwhile, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. 1 Kings 18:43-45

For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.  Zechariah 4:10
Anybody can say I trust God, huh? However, it’s how we endure the proving time that determines the genuineness of our trust!

Life inevitably includes dark times when there’s no evidence to substantiate that God is with you and even less that He’s sees you or is even listening to your prayers. It’s during these times, when the pressure is on us to faint and to give up, that we learn how to dig in our heels and encourage ourselves, intentionally, by regurgitating what God has promised! It ain’t cheap! But it is possible! This kind of holy-boldness, that stares suffering in the face, determining that in spite of what it looks like, my heart shall remain fixed on God’s Eternal Word requires time-tested commitment, patience and endurance!

In this 21st Mellinium Age of high-tech instant gratification, waiting has become an endangered phenomenon! Can you imagine  Elijah’s servant’s frustration, running back and forth six times before he was able to see what His Master saw? I know I can. (Hint! Hint!) Thank God for Elijah’s faith, not to mention God’s compassionate patience to wait on the servant’s eyes to be opened, huh?

Like the Prophet Zerubbabel, I know,  all too well, the struggle involved to overcome the external and internal challenges of any Pastor, assigned to build a new ministry from the ground up! Especially, when it means persuading. encouraging and emboldening a small group of believers, firstly, that this is The Lord’s Doing and not ours! Secondly, we must be prepared to endure the ‘mean time’ armed with the realization that God’s vision for the church is always greater than natural eyes can conceive.

As leaders, we must also accept that everybody’s not going to be eager to jump onboard! Nevertheless,  God has assigned His number to lay the foundation and rejoices in the faithfulness of those who are willing to grab hold to His Word and move forward, convinced that despite of the opposition, under Jehovah’s watchful Eye and empowered by Holy Spirit, the vision shall come to pass!

Beloved, as Blood-washed-born-again-Children of The Most High God, we must understand that Satan’s never gong to High-5 us and say, ‘Uncle’! But from the cradle to the grave he’s going to work overtime to cause us to give up on our Lord! Hence, we must expect our faith to be stretched beyond our comfort zone!

Watching my son’s life ravished by sickness, unemployment, discouragement, depression, hope dispelled by hopelessness grieved my heart unlike anything I’d ever experience. Little did I know that in the midst of everything that the devil meant for evil, God was there waiting behind the cloud, leading and drawing him closer to Himself. I remember how my soul rejoiced hearing that he had given his life to The Lord during a bible study class the evening before! God used the storm to woo my son to seek Him for himself thereby positioning him for the showers of blessings that would follow!

Always remember, the prayers of the righteous don’t have an expiration date, but your troubles do! We must remain confident that God will do just what He needs to bring our loved ones into The Kingdom. While weeping may endure for a night, however, with every breaking of a new day, God reminds us of His Faithfulness to those who trust in Him.

Precious ones, when we can’t see our way, God guides us with his eyes! His vision is far greater than 20/20; it’s from eternity past, thru present, into eternity future!

Beloved,  if you find yourself smack-dab-in-the-middle of what  seems like the sun ain’t never gonna shine again, keep looking up! You’re not alone! TRUTHBTOLD, many of the saints are under satanic attack and afflicted by all manner of maladies. Tragically, some have lost their hope for life getting any better. But instead of surrendering to what you’re going through, can I offer you a ray of Son Light? Rest assured, absolutely nothings ever happens that takes your Heavenly Father by surprise!

Saints, your Heavenly Father works the night shift! Like Elijah and Zerubbabel, gird up the loins of your mind and remember WHO you’re trusting! He who promised is failthful!  Don’t allow the darkness to scare you! God is using the clouds to position to receive His Abundant Blessings! Look up, your Redeemer’s Hands are in the midst of the clouds!

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Eccl. 7:8  #SMALLBEGINNINGS!!!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

HOW BAD DO U WANT HIM?

HOW BAD DO U WANT HIM

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death. Philippians 3:10

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6

 

One of the most intriguing topical discussions amongst expectant mothers and women who have become mothers (besides swapping labor stories) is the abnormally-intensified cravings that we experience during pregnancy awaiting the birth of their beautiful bouncing bundle of joy!

While, much to my amazement, my eldest is presently encroaching 50 years of age, yet, I can still summon up that daily occurrence of overwhelming ferociousness, provoking me to walk my big-belly-self five city blocks up to MLK Avenue to get my hands around a 6 in., lettuce and tomatoes, fried onions, mayo, ketchup and mustard, salt and pepper, heavily-loaded with pickles steak and cheese sandwich. This became such a ritual that the moment I wobbled through the threshold of the deli, the cashier would holla to the cook “Steak and Cheese Special for the big lady”. And off I’d be to our little one-bedroom apartment on Oakwood Street, five blocks back, just as happy as if I’d discovered a treasure chest filled with diamonds, rubies and gold.

Somehow, the journey back never seemed as difficult or as long, perhaps because I’d be that much closer to relishing the second I’d take my first bite of my bounty! Oh my, what we won’t do for love, huh?

Well guess what? That’s exactly how believers ought to be in our quest for Jesus Christ!

We see this truth evidenced in the life of The Apostle Paul. We can almost feel the earnest urgency with which The Apostle sought after his intentional personal, intimate- knowing and understanding of “The True One” Who had apprehended him on the Damascus Road. (Ref. Acts 9) It was as if Paul was driven by an uncommonly unique passionate desire that set him on a course that remains unchartered territory to even the most astutely-religious 21st Century church-goers today.

Yet, there is that remnant of us whose yearning for more JESUS consumes most of our waking moments and often invading our nights with dreams and images of His Awesomeness. Imagine my surprise at the realization that not everyone in the church shares this delight-filled insatiable lusting for The Living Water and The Bread of Life! #4REAL!

This might very well explain why some who profess Christ, are content with following Him a far off while others are compelled to dig-out the secret treasures hidden in The Word of God, diligently, intentionally searching the Scriptures daily that they might know HIM in ways that may never be actualized by the second-handed-casually-acquainted follower—experientially! (Ref. Acts 17:11)

The Word of God is Alive and gives LIFE to any who have a desire for The God Who Speaks revealing GOD-SELF through His Auto-Biography, inscribed through Genesis into Revelation, that all who seek Him with all of their hearts, minds, spirit, soul and body may know HIM (TRUTH) intimately. Sadly, not everyone who calls Him Savior seek Him as Lord, huh? #ijs Yall!

Therefore, much to their own sorrow, they miss out on the true wealth and reward of a personal, dynamic, GOD-involved relationship that awaits us who lend our hearts and attention to discovering The Father in the face of His First-Begotten Son, Jesus! (Ref. Colossians 1:15-16)

My precious one, seeking God, although often challenging, should never become be a chore! However, may I submit for your momentary consideration, that our response to His drawing is vindictive of the level of love, faith and commitment towards Him!

“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” (Psalm 34:8)

HENCE, WHATEVER POSITION GOD OCCUPIES IN YOUR HEART DETERMINES HIS PRESENCE IN YOUR LIFE! #IJS HOW BAD DO U WANT HIM?  

 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

GOD IS HOLY, BUT MINISTRY IS MESSY

GOD IS HOLY BUT MINISTRY IS MESSY

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at His footstool—HE IS HOLY.

Moses and Aaron were among His priests, And Samuel was among those who called upon His name; They called upon the LORD, and He answered them.

He spoke to them in the cloudy pillar; They kept His testimonies and the ordinance He gave them.

You answered them, O LORD our God; You were to them God-Who-Forgives , on their deeds. Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at his Holy hill, For the LORD our GOD IS HOLY. Psalm 99:5-9

 

Considering all that God has done through the Life, Death, Burial and Resurrection of our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ, it’s just our reasonable service to esteem His Righteousness and exalt His Name as Awesome and Worthy of reverent adoring praise and worship! After all, except Jesus humbling Himself, leaving The Holiness, Glory and Majesty He’d known throughout Eternity Past, coming down to dwell among wormy humanity, we’d never know the Love, Justice, Equity and Righteousness of The Invisible Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Omniscient Living God and Creator!

And to think, He was so committed to fulfilling His Father’s plan and purpose for His most precious of all creation, He submitted Himself so graciously,  ignoring our rejection and despising the shame and bore the burden of our sin that we might become sons of God! #AWEMAAZING #GRACE

He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: John 1:11-12

Likewise, we who have accepted the Benefits of so great a Salvation, have been charged with the responsibility to carry out our Redeemer’s assignment that His Joy may be filled to the overflow! Unfortunately, as God’s Intercessors Moses, Aaron and Samuel discovered, the pathway of Righteousness is often plagued with test, trials, trauma and travesty! In other words, it’s not always easy to help those you’re assigned to minister to! Ministry is Messy!

Nevertheless, it behooves us to remember Whose we are and Who we’ve been called to serve!  In other words, since we represent Christ, we must take on the same character. It ain’t about making a name for ourselves but it’s about lifting up The Name of Jesus! This tremendous task requires compassionate gentleness, meekness, discipline, loads of tolerance and a whole lotta intentional knowing that Sinners sin and hurting people, hurt people!

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me!” John 15:19-21

Didjaheardat?

Beloved, if it had not been for the LORD, reaching way down and snatching you and I out of our miry clay, where would we be?  I don’t know about you, but my heart yet flutters  shamefully at such thoughts! BUT GOD, huh? Yes Lawd!

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness, shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthews 5:20

Never 4get, we are all called to be intercessors, if for no other reason but eternal gratitude! Hence, don’t be so easily offended but gird up the loins of your mind, strap yourself in the whole armour of God and report for duty!

TRUST2KNOW, without the test, there’d be no testimonies and without treking though the swamp of human misery, there’d be no ministry! #ijs…MINISTRY IS MESSY! #CARRYON!!!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

 

THE GOD WHO NEVER FAILS!

 

THE GOD WHO NEVER FAILS

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

The LORD gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass. Joshua 21:44-45

 

Anybody remember, ‘integrity’? Barely, huh?

Apparently, it’s relevancy has been cast aside as an ol’ antiquated byword resurrected only as necessary to mete out convenient manipulation! Just look at what’s happening in this world! Emanating from The Oval Office down, people are being embolden by a demonic-induced spirit of deception to qualify and quantify truth to suit their own evil intent! Henceforth, we’re living amidst a broken, untrustworthy system of disillusionment Those who we ought to be able to believe and trust have proven to be profound liars, totally devious and temperamental! Unfortunately, without the assistance of Truth Personified, there’s little hope for distinguishing reality from fake news!

According to our text, the promise God made to Abraham while he was in Ur, was fulfilled generations later when God intervened on their behalf, driving out all the inhabitants of the land and allowing Israel to go in and conquer the land under Joshua’s leadership! Not only did God give Abraham’s ancestors all the land He’d promised but He also gave them rest all around! #Didjaheardat!

God’s miraculous deliverance proved there’s yet One, you can count on to be Faithful, Dependable and Unfailing! Family and friends may try to be there for you, but as history has revealed, sometimes they’ll let you down. But TRUST2KNO, no matter what you may be going thru, with GOD a delay is not a denial! GOD WILL NEVER LET U DOWN! GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU! (Ref. Hebrew 13:5)

TRUTHBETOLD!  Even in those dark seasons when it seems as if GOD’S response was a direct contradiction to what you were believing for, yet while we’re indulging in our ‘internal WHY’, we must realize that GOD is not a man that He should lie and seeing beyond our circumstances, GOD always operates in HIS SOVEREIGN PURPOSE & HIS WILL!

I recognize that Millennials may not be able to personally attest to all the Great and Mighty works that The Lord has done for His Chosen African-Americans, but if I could pass the proverbial ‘mic’, undoubtedly, there would be cloud of witnesses extolling testimonies of God’s Divine Interruptions, preventing imminent disasters and devastation from dangers seen and unseen, giving way to ineluctable eruptions of glorious praiz and adoration, culminating in “If it had not been for the LORD on my side, I never would’ve made it!” Yeah Baby, The Lord has brought us a Mighty, Mighty long way! And Thanks Be 2 God’s Grace and Mercy, God’s not ‘nary thru blessing all who will genuinely repent and seek His face in Truth!

Beloved, there’s no denying it, the struggle is real! However, GOD IS GREATER! It’s through the tests, trials and disappointments of life that God cultivates our faith, trust and confidence in HIM! As we travel the often tumultuous terrains,  tightly clasping The Hand of The Eternal Promise Keeper, it’s in our suffering, we learn that IF GOD SAID IT, HE’S ABLE AND WILLING TO BRING IT TO PAST! JUS HOLD ON! 4 OUR GOD IS FAITHFUL & NEVER FAILS! 

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee