Category Archives: Hope

GOT JOY?

Jumping woman at sunset

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.  John 15:11

 

If the only evidence that the prosecution had to convict us of being Christian was our countenance or our dispositions, our case would be thrown out and we’d get off scott-free! A lot of  church-folk are claiming salvation, naming the Name of Jesus and on their way to heaven anyhow, but most of them don’t seem to be enjoying the trip. If so, they forget to send an IM from their heart to their face!

One would think that if anybody should have joy, it’s the saints of the Most High God., right? But if the Saints are walking around with our heads hung down, broke, busted and disgusted with everything and everybody, then how can we persuade a lost world that life goes better with Christ? Don’t shout me down , now!

Don’t get it twisted, I’m not jus preaching to the choir, I’m talking to myself too. Since I’ve been saved, sanctified and walking with Jesus some thirty-sumptin years now, I learned that while it makes for a good shout, however, not everyday gets sweeter than the day before!  LIFE HAPPENS 2 the saints and the sinners!

Perhaps, some of us have become wearied on this journey  because we’ve mistakenly equated joy with happiness. While happiness is an emotional response based merely on enjoyable circumstances, joy is a constant internal state embedded in the Love of God, producing serenity and tranquility totally independent of external conditions.

Jesus looking from eternity past and seeing the many souls that would be saved, overwhelmed with joy made a conscious commitment to endure the pain, despise the shame, become obedient, even to death on the Cross of Calvary that His joy, might be poured out upon His people. (Ref. Hebrew 12:20) Guess what, that makes YOU the JOY of Jesus!

There’s more to Joy than goose-bumps. Nehemiah 8:10 says, “The joy of the Lord is our strength”.

Jesus Joy is a weapon of mass destruction in the believer’s arsenal. Hence, Jesus Joy is empowerment to overcome any challenge with courage and confidence!

Just knowing that every promise in The Bible is ours to claim with the assurance that Jesus will never ever leave nor forsake us should make every Born-again, Blood-washed child of God’s heart swell up to the overflow with pure Jesus Joy until we can’t help but HOLLA and THROW UP BOTH OF MY HANDS! JUS REMEMBER, JEHOVAH HAS THE FINAL SAY!

Didjaheardat? JESUS OVER YOU! WOW,  NOW DATZ POWERFUL! C’MON NAH, U GOT JESUS, U GOT JOY!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

INCREDIBLE

INCREDIBLE

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

 

There are so many wonderful things, about Jesus; there’s so many wonderful things about Him! His name is wonderful, He’s a wonderful counselor! There’s so many wonderful things about Him.  He is the Mighty God, Everlasting Father.
He Is the Prince Of Peace , So many wonderful things about Him. Wonderful yes you are  Wonderful! Marevouls! Glorious! Excellent! Yes You Are! ” (jus sang’n Bishop Trotter’s song, yall)!

 

Funny how over time words can be used so casually to describe so many different things, yet there are  times when those same words ascribed to certain people, places, class or circumstances take on a uniquely exclusive persona, huh?  For example, “I jus love  me some fudge!”  “I love my family more than anything else in this world!” Or “That  was a great movie ”  or  “Let’s make America GREAT, again!” #ijs!!!

However, when we attribute these same adjectives to intimate the supremacy of The True and Living God,  suddenly we’ve catapulted into a realm of reality that excels  far beyond the syntax of the natural man’s vision, hearing, touch, smell or taste, without the guidance and instruction of The Spirit of Holiness!  Jus ask Bishop Larry Trotter! 

No wonder the Bible says, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” (John 21:25)  OMG! Sounds like if the whole of what God has already revealed about Godself, The Bible would be too large to haul, much less carry, huh? At least, that’s how I’d paraphrase it, yall! Most of us are having a difficult enough time of digesting the part of the roll that’s been set before us! #AMIRIGHTABOUTIT!

One thing for sure, it’s indeed a WONDER! Anytime you bring GOD into the thought, conversation or circumstances, it automatically trips the wire and sets off the alarm signifying, “YOU HAVE NOT ENTERED INTO THE REALM OF IT’S SUPERNATURAL!”

As  previously mentioned, many of the same words that were once exclusively used to define the Inimitable Character of The Most High God, have been re-designated to insinuate something unusually pleasing or significantly unique. “The steak was amazing!” “Her performance was outstanding!”; “Did we ever have a wonderful time!” Et cetera…Et cetera…Et cetera! 

Nonetheless,  it behooves us to not get it twisted! ONLY GOD IS GOD!

The Bible illustrates this  TRUTH profoundly over and over and over!  Remember, God allowed Isaiah to get a glimpse of the cherubim and seraphim circling the Throne symphonically calling out to one another ‘HOLY, HOLY, HOLY Is The Lord!’ (Ref. Isaiah 6:3)  Again, God’s Glorious Power over all of Creation,  is clearly demonstrated as The Red Sea opened, becoming a Highway of Liberation for His Chosen Ones after 400 years of Egyptian bondage!  And Good God Almighty, there’s no denying God’s Amazing Grace and the Awesome Love manifested as HE single-handedly  ripped mankind from the clutches of Sin and Satan, sealing the deal once and for all, reconciling us back unto GODSELF (Ref. 2 Corinthians 5:19) WOW!

Can you even begin to imagine what Hell said, suddenly astonished, realizing that Jesus had been Victoriously resurrected from Death, Triumphantly proclaiming All Power and Authority in Heaven, Earth and beneath the Earth has been delegated to Him? (Ref. Matthew 28:18)

TRUST2KNO, some of the demons are still shaking, trembling confused saying, ‘“Aaaawww Hell NO! But, but, but…datz impossible, right?”

NAY! THAT’S GOD! INCREDIBLE!

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

SEASONED VS. SELECTIVE SAINTS

SEASONED VS. SELECTIVE SAINTS

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Matthew 5:13

 

WOW! With all that’s going on in this world TODAY, aren’t you glad that you’re saved, sanctified, living all you can to serve and please da Lord? I feel ya!

BUT! Before we go slappin’ 5 with our neighbors or yourself on the back, perhaps we need to take a closer look at today’s scripture. SOMETIMESWE—GOD’S-CHOSEN-THE SAINTS—have a way of judging others by their actions BUT judging ourselves by our good intentions, huh?

Whachatalkinbout? It’s easy to make yourself come out smelling like a rose, as long as we’re comparing ourselves to one another! However,  according to The Bible, God never intended to make our own warped flesh the plumb-line for gauging His Righteousness!

Remember the story of the Pharisee who went up to the Temple to pray, stood off by himself, looked across the room and seeing the tax collector, praying “God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.” (Ref. Luke 18:9-14)

Evrrr noticed how God’s elect often develop a severe case of selective amnesia once they’ve been saved for any length of time? Perhaps that’s why The Apostle Paul left a not-so-friendly reminder to snatch our minds out of the clouds as needed! “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11

Hence, DON’T GET IT TWISTED! No matter how many right things you manage to do on a daily basis, at the end of your bestest day—every single one of us must acknowledge “That if it had not been for JESUS…I coulda, woulda and shoulda _________” And y’all can fill in the blank! (Ref. Romans 3:23)
HONEST2GOD, there ain’t none good but GOD! That’s why He sent The Perfect role model for us to keep before us. JESUS…Righteousness Personified! (Ref. John 3:16-17)

TRUTHBETOLD, except for the Mercy of God’s Grace, NONE OF US WOULD qualify for Heaven! We’d all be consumed by our own sin!  But God, knowing what He was getting before we were even born, DECIDED TO PUT GODSELF in the midst of our fragile-clay vessels, therefore there’s yet HOPE of Glorraaaa! (Ref. Colossians 1:27)

So the next time, you’re tempted to bask in the glorraa of your own self-righteousness, CHECK YOURSEL! Remember that flicked human proclivity? Beloved, you betta recognize that God really does read hearts! (Ref. 1 Samuel 16:7)

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

WOW!  Jesus raised the bar, huh? Question is, of all the folk in your sphere, who’s going to heaven because of your influence, or who’s going to hell? Don’t shout me down nah! #ijs!

Sooooo, the next time you’re tempted to send ANYONE’S po’ soul straight to HELL, because they don’t measure up to your self-discriminating standards, MIGHT I SUGGEST THAT WE MAKE SURE THAT OUR OWN SALT IS SEASONED WELL WITH LOTS OF LOVE and LACED WITH LOADS OF MERCY AND GRACE! #IJS #SEASONED VS. SELECTIVE

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

THIS WAY OUT!

 

THIS WAY OUT

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. Psalm 25:1

I know we don’t like to talk about it much, huh? HOWEVRRR, sometimes, even the most seasoned of saints, find ourselves oscillating by the turbulent waves of adversity and drowning in the depths of desperation and despair. While we all know that trouble doesn’t discriminate, harassing the just as much as the unjust, somehow knowing doesn’t make suffering any less traumatic, especially to those of us who live intentionally striving to walk circumspect fully according to teaching of The Bible.

Perhaps this explains why so many believers prefer to deny rather than acknowledge that occasionally they encounter episodes of depression, shrouded by the wrath of terror, isolation and false humility that causes you to shrink back into a self-imposed exile! But today, allow the WORD OF GOD to emancipate you from the burden of secrecy and shame! Seriously, quiet as it’s kept, U R NOT ALONE!

Remember David, God’s ordained, ‘man after God’s own heart? Well, a closer investigation of many of his most infamous writings reveal several occasions when The Worshiper Psalmist is heard lamenting from the hub of his soul to his True Source of Salvation and Restoration, The Living God!

As we follow God’s Anointed King in The Scriptures, we see David relentlessly bellowing out his distress before his Friend, The LORD Adonai, uninhibited by reputation, shame nor guilt, but fully persuaded that what pleases God the most is genuine Trusting Honesty. David’s intimacy with his Faithful God, was the foundation of his every prayer!

Beloved, instead of running away from God, during those spasmodic seasons (that seem to contradict the prophetic promises to those who’ve placed their personal faith in the redemptive grace of their Heavenly Father), David learned to embrace the value and privilege afforded to him by fastening his hope to God’s Compassionate Heart with the same  ferverent tenacity that he’d so revently clenched during moments of ease!

Hence, like The Psalmist, when we truly understand that earnest-sincere-honest-heart prayer, stirs-up the atmosphere of Heavenreleases favor, guarantees Divine Intervention and opens the door to a way out of no way, prayer will become our first response rather than our last resort. Didjaheardat?

Now, don’t get it twisted by insulting GOD’S OMNISCIENCE with phony, fake emotional repetitions, as if He doesn’t already know your heart. Just follow David’s example, expose the nakedness of your heart, own your emotions and confess “But unto thee have I cried, O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee. Lord, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me?” Psalm 88:13

Whom have I in heaven but You? My flesh and my heart faileth; but GOD is the strength of my heart and my portion forever! Psalm 73:25-26

Don’t waste another moment of precious time, wallowing in the quick-sand of evil foreboding, fear, threatening desolation and impending dread! Instead of murmuring and complaining, take full advantage of the situation, flip the satanic script! After all, remember The Living Word, “Greater is He Who is abiding on the inside of you than any plot that the enemy can come up with!” (Ref. 1 John 4:4)

TRUTHBTOLD, The Good Shepherd can hardly wait to reconnect with you! When you recommit your life afresh, He causes you to lie down in green pastures, leads you beside the still waters and restores your soul, your focus and strength! (Ref. Psalm 23) Beloved, when we rely upon the Foundation of God’s Inseparable Love by entrusting our whole heart to The Faithful Eternal Lord of Glory, GOD so graciously reaffirms HIS PURPOSE FOR OUR LIVES! GO ‘HEAD NAH, TERRORIZE HELL! #IJS #PRAY4REAL!!

HONESTLY, God only orchestrates those momentary afflictions to build your faith, setting you up for Triumphant Victory. WHAA? DIDJAHEARDAT? AAAAWWW! SO WALK THIS WAY OUT!

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