Category Archives: intimacy

STORMS

 

STORMS

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Isaiah 43:2

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. Psalm 27:4-5

 

Aaawwwww…Fantasy! Believe it or not, that’s where many escape to when the painful realities of life become much more than a person can bear!  Perhaps, this might explain why that 1965 Classic American Sitcom “I Dream of Genie” (staring Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman) drew such a faithful following!

Week after week families gathered around their b/w TV’s anxiously gasping for any momentary retreat from the real-time burdens facing our nation. I mean who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to have anything their heart desired suddenly appear simply by swiping a lamp, right?  Yep, those were the good ol’ days, huh?  I suppose that’s what He mean’t by “LET’S MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, too? #WOW!

History records President Lyndon B. Johnson struggling to lead the nation through a multiplicity of vexing controversial challenges and at the same time maintain some semblance of the homeland security that many cleaved to so dearly.

Remember, The First Combat Boots landing in Viet Nam and the Dominican Republic, the arrest of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King along with 2,600 others in Selma Alabama for demonstrating against voter-registration rules. Malcom X was shot to death in a Harlem rally, while the newly recognized Afro-Americans were rioting in Watts others were rudely awakened to the undeniable existence of racism in The Land of the FreeYep! Yep! #thoseweredadays!

The point is, despite the torrid winds of time, we survived!

Truthfully, as long as we live and breathe on this earth, there will be storms of adversity. In today’s scripture text, the Psalmist offers a brilliant ray of confident hope, strength and encouragement to those who yet contend for the faith found only in an intimate personal relationship with The God of all flesh.

Having been victimized by jealously, hatred and malicious rejection from those closes to him on numerous occasions, David sticks out in history as a true, honest, God-revealing companion to the desperate and down casts. A recap of God’s servant’s life depicts one who repeatedly finds himself besieged by fear, doubt, betrayal, death and isolation from human kindness. Yet in the midst of chaos, terror and tragedy, The Shepherd boy/King, David discovers the Source of true solace under the watchful care of His Sovereign Lord!

 

Beloved, we’re living in a day in time where it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of hussle and bustle, striving for the world’s standards of successful accomplishments and accommodations! However,  in spite of those poignant pathetic prophetic voices declaring peace and prosperity, sometimes we are left trembling and shaken by the inscrutable ungodliness of the systems of this world! 

Nevertheless, the Prophet Isaiah reaffirms The Eternal Promise of The Covenant-Keeping Creator and Sustainer of All Life  offers comfort to souls weired by the tremors of unexpected intrusive earth-quaking episodes that befall the saints as well as the sinners! Come what may, TRUST2KNO, WE ARE NEVER ALONE! GOD IS ALWAYS AS CLOSE AS A WHISPERED PRAYER from a BELIEVER’S TRUSTING HEART! #Didjaheardat?

Beloved, as we keep our eyes pointed HeavenwardThe God of All Comfort has delared that we too will be blessed, revitalized and restored by that Peace that passes all understanding, swept over by the unspeakable Joy and resting assured in the Presence of the One Savior and Lord that David delighted in, Jesus Christ! THE PERFECT ANSWER TO EVERY STORM!

SELAH!
 
PAUSE, PONDER, PRAY & PRAIZ!
 
Ann Caffee

DON’T DIE B4 U LIVE!

DON'T DIE B4 U LIVE.jpg

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

The thief cometh not but to steal, to kill and to destroy; I AM come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.  John 10:10

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory; Colossians 1:26-27

 

One of the most tragic phenomenon befalling humanity is leaving here without ever knowing and becoming the fearfully, wonder-filled, exceptionally-crafted Masterpiece our Creator intended before you were formed in your Mother’s womb. (Ref. Jeremiah 1:5)

Could that be why some say that the richest piece of real estate in any city is the cemetery? Don’t get melancholic on me! In fact my objective is quite the opposite; to spawn enticing hope-filled adventurous tomorrows!

We live in a society where conformity is the paramount attribute of success. If you want to be in you’ve got to fit the mold, otherwise you’re considered not one of us but part of the othersUnfortunately that leaves a whole lot of us outside of the clique, huh?

But here’s where I stand on such matters; who gave you the authority to authenticate what God has made in the first place? Only the creator of a thing has the right to determine its true value and potential! Hence, too many of us walk around, ignorant of self-identity, self-rejecting, convicted and/or condemned to a lifetime of regret-filled apologizing to others for who I AM!

That is until we come into the personal saving knowledge of Christ Jesus and get a revelation of who and Whose you are! This personal encounter with The Source and Sustainer of The Universe opens up gargantuan possibilities,  unimaginable potential and inconceivable prospectives that eyes have not seen neither have ears heard of!  

Why waste another moment of the precious time alloted to you being a copy of anybody or everybody else when God has distinguished you from every other individual born in the earth. Check your fingerprints?

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16

Locked up in you is the answer to someone’s question. You are designed to be the miracle that person’s waiting on! You are the gift of hope to some despondent soul! You are the treasure that one somebody’s been seeking for and was about to give up on, disgusted by a history of repetitious seconds and hand-me-downs! #Didjaheardat? 

Oh what liberating Truth erupts from our souls realizing that despite of what some folk may think or even said about you, in Christ, you have been empowered to stand-sure-footed in His Grace and profoundly proclaim, “I shall not allow anybody to deny me the right to be, become, have and do everything God ordained me 2 BE!  Because I belong to The King of Kings and The Lord of Lords,  I  can do all things through Christ Who Strengthens me! Therefore I CHOOSE LIFE!”

Beloved, TRUST2KNO, Absolutely Nobody, BUT GOD can make you who you are!  DON’T DIE B4 U LIVE! #GO4IT!

SELAH

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

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

 

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 MATTERS?

GOD MATTERS

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:1-2
Is it just me, or have you noticed the newest 21st Century jargon? The sheer variety of objectivity seem to suggests that there has been an awakening in the consciousness of The Millennials that has shifted away from ‘It’s all about me’ to ‘a genuine concern for the well-being of other than self’! Or NOT! Okay yall, I might as well let the cat outta the bag. I’m referring to the popular trending idiom ‘MATTERS’.

Apparently, everything and the kitchen sink, has taken on a persona of distinctive significance. And there’s a T-shirt somewhere out there to prove it! Hey, I’m not judging, simply highlighting the obvious, k? If you ask anybody what are some of the things that they’re most interested in, it’s guaranteed that their responses would be endless. However, may I suggest that given the innate nature of humans to be drawn to individual preferences, in order to secure its fundamental security and uniformity, certain things are essential to the future of any society!

Obviously, there will be those who’d swear that being ‘pet parents’ is no different from parenting ‘live human children’ or wearing pants 25 inches below your waist-line to a job interview is as acceptable as nudity in a court room. As long as you’re comfortable with yourself, huh? Now that The Supreme Court has determined that regardless of sexual orientation, Love Matters! The capitalist affirm that it’s the bottom line that counts, not human rights! Hence Money Matters! Since, The NRA ascribes to ‘the right to bear arms’, above the ‘right to live in a safe neighborhoods’ thus—everybody’s packin! Billions of funds are being funneled to Animal Rights activists discretly away from those insidious issues of education, homelessness and hunger! Seriously!

Of course, we are not implying that as Christians we’re not supposed to have interests outside of the church. But! Does anyone care about what Matters to God? Well?

Looking at the more contemporary-all-embracing, newly-enlightened, come-as-u-r-stay-as-u-r doctrines of the 21st Century church, apparently, ain’t nobody got time for dat? It’s common place, now that church-folk tend to gravitate (assembling together) to like-minded sophisticated folk who prefer creature comforts above christian character! And if the ol’ skool preacha insists on sticking to those irrevelant antiquated suggestions of The Holy Bible and preachilng against SIN, well we can just Google the net and find another church that’s more condusive to our religious persuasions!

#DON’TSHOUTMEDOWNNAH!

Far be it for me to infer that Father GOD knows what’s best for His Children! However, isn’t that the reason that He drew us out of the world? God wants us to be happy and holy! That’s why He sent The Holy Spirit to live in us, leading and guiding us through the maze of a hellish world, instilling godly morals to assure that we get safely home to Heaven’s Glory! “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” Heb. 12:14

It’s perfectly understandable that an unregenerated person has no hope beyond this life, hence their universe is focused on accumulating a wealth of materialistic trinkets! However, where did so many carnal-minded christians come from?

I still remember when those who have a personal trust in Christ, peering through the clarity of the Scriptures, wore our earthly life as a loose-fitting overcoat, easily discarded and replaced by the robes of righteousness, laced with Love, Loyalty, Grace and Mercy as garments of praiz while eagerly awaiting The Trump of GOD to sound beckoning the Faithful TO COME UP HITHER! WOW! #GOALS #RAPTUREREADY #GODMATTERS!

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