Category Archives: RELIGION VS. RELATIONSHIP

TRIAL-SIZED gODZ!

TRIAL SIZED gODS

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me. Exodus 20:3-5

 

I recognize that the mere suggestion of idol worship tends to rattle the righteous indignation in the spirit of a true Believer! As followers of Christ, we know how despicably foul such worship is in the nostrils of The Holy God of Heaven and Earth, RIGHT? And for the most part, we’d never consider breaking  such Holy Commandment! After all, we don’t bow down before carved images of God nor do we display at the entrances or scatter stone replicas of God throughout our homes or businesses, right? Yet, will closer investigation of our lives reflect closely guarded idols formed in the recesses of our most sacred imaginations?

According to the scriptures ‘O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.’ (Ref. Matthew 12:24)  Hence, while man will attempt to hide the true intents, insights and purpose for being, ultimately, his lifestyle will reflect the secret things of his heart and clearly define where their loyalty lies!

Do we worship our personal ‘trial-sized’ images of God?

Don’t look at me with that tone of voice! I see further explanation is in order! We have a tendency to make up our own images to represent who God is to us!  The problem is we will never be able to fit “The All Encompassing Is-ness of GOD” into the small-minded-frail-framed-carnal-comprehension of our temporal-flesh. In other words, it’s absolutely impossible for us to fathom “Unlimited Presence, Power, Perfection and Potential” within the limitations of our humanity!

While The Living God is Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient, HE can only be known through Divinely-Impartated-Revelation!

GOD reveals His character, His purpose and His plan for each of as we traverse through our individual life experiences. It’s the knowledge gained through following The Good Shepherd’s lead, cautiously climbing cloud-covered mountaintops and timidly trembling through the death-valleys of our everyday lives that we learn the rewards of faithful trust, patient obedience and the security of resting in The Eternal Hope!

Today’s takeaway?

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his… 2 Timothy 2:19

Therefore, Beloved, as you continue to set the Lord before you, you shall walk in HIS Everlasting JOY!

AMERICA, WHO IS YOUR GOD?

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

IT’S THE GOD IN ME!

ITZ THE GOD IN ME

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know Him, for he lives with you and will be in you. John 14:16-17

 

Looking back through the lenses of 21st Century influence, we see that since the birth of The New Testament Church it has been plagued with  external and  interal controversy!  While most Biblical scholars agree that the Church was born on The Day of Pentecost, generally that’s where the consensus begins and ends.

According to The Scriptures, The Risen Savior showed Himself to His disciples, who were still reeling from the horrific events that had just taken place, and instructed them “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit”. Acts 1:4-5

God knew how much the disciples had come to rely upon Jesus’s Presence during the past 3 ½ years He’d walked with them, teaching, guiding and protecting them but now at Christ’s Ascension, would fall victim to their fears, confusion and discouragement!  Although, Jesus had on numerous occasions assured them that He would not leave them without Divine Assistance, but promised to send them another Comforter in the person of Holy Spirit to empower them to complete their assignment to spread The Message of Christ throughout the whole world–this revelation seems to have escaped them in the ensuing threat of impending persecution!

What is this PROMISE?  The Holy Spirit is known as the third person of The Triune God! While The Holy Spirit functions differently from God The Father and God The Son, He is reverenced as equal in Holiness in The God-Head!

Beloved, as a believer in The Saving Grace of Lord Jesus, God has given us the very samePromise. The moment we make a sincere profession of faith, The Holy Spirit moves into our hearts and fills us with hope, conviction and confidence that we are now a part of God’s Family, a Royal-Priesthood, a Holy Nation! (Ref. 1 Peter 2:9)

However, this is only the beginning! Along with this regeneration (the new birth) comes a challenge and a charge! As a born-again-blood-washed Child of The Kingdom, we are called to be ambassadors of our King to a lost and dying world! Therefore, we also need to be filled and empowered with the enabling Grace and Authority of the indwelling Spirit of Jesus in order to do The Father’s Will and glorify Him in the earth! C’mon nah, don’t shout me down!

Just as the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples in the Upper Room, God wants each of us to experience this same anointing! (Ref. 2:1-4) Unfortunately, NOT EVERYONE accepts this spectacular gift that God promised to as many who would receive Him! Yet, this does not preclude any one from partaking of the fullfilment of The Promise! (Ref. Mark 7:13)

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people…” Acts 2:17 

While it’s not my intention to persuade any away from their affirmation, as Martin Luther, “I cannot in good consciousience deny my own personal experience!” Therefore, I can stand firmly fixed in humily with adoration proclaiming, ‘There is absolutely no doubt in my heart nor mind, that any good that I do, any wisdom that I have, any knowledge that I’ve gained, any challenge that I’ve overcome over these past 30 years of walking in Christ, is a direct result of ‘The God in me’!

There is no way for mere man to live the HOLY abundant life as prescribed in The Word without the counsel, guidance, and help  of the indwelling navigation of Holy Spirit! And isn’t that what God expects of all of us? Revolutionary, huh?

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 1:27)

WOW!  IF YOU SUPPLY THE SACRIFICE, HE SUPPLIES THE FIRE! IT’S ALL GOD IN US!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

 

UNDER CONSTRUCTION 2018.jpg

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Philippians 1:6

 

I wasn’t born and raised in the church like a lot of you. I was one of those who kinda fell up in the doors of the church after years of getting beat up and beat down by the devil’s abuse. But thanks be to GOD! The Gracious Compassion Savior took me in and saved me anyhow! Being naïve and overwhelmed with pure joy and gladness to be saved, I actually thought everybody would love, welcome, accept and celebrate with me, because they were so glad that I was now part of the family of God!

Needless to say, I was shocked to discover that people are still people—in and out of the church. I still remember Mother Annie Carter, (my 1st spiritual mentor) pulling me under her wing, warning me “Stay close to the praying part of the church, baby”.  At the time, I wasn’t quite sure what Mother was talkin about, howevrrrr, it didn’t take long for me to realize that only THE REAL TRUE GOD can make a saint!

Beloved, you see what I didn’t know was that the Church is a construction zone and the Master Builder is GOD! He doesn’t build His House with brick and mortar, but with flesh and blood (dirt and water)!  Through the Precious Blood of Jesus and the regenerating Power of THE WORD, Holy Ghost equips ordinary, imperfect people to do extraordinary exploits!

While, some of us just need a few minor adjustments, others may require little more or even a major overhaul. TRUTHBTOLD, most of us  are so jacked up by the time we got to Jesus that we need a longer stay in the furnaces of afflictions than others before we’re done.  So don’t be surprized when you get a little too close to a brother or sista and get pricked by a thorn!

Always remember, there’s some good in the worst of us and some bad in the best of us, okay?  Nonetheless, we are all under construction according to The Master Carpenter’s specs and all of us  need the same GOD to help all of us!

Even if your intentions are just and honorable, sometimes helping people can hurt you! The Scriptures back this up numerous times!  Yes, even the most sainted, faithful and committed servants of The High God can become entrapped, disenfranchised, hopelessly discouraged and find ourselves retreating to dark caves or the backside of mountains and valleys.  It doesn’t matter how long or how far you’ve walked with The Lord, any of  God’s faithful-elect, can find themselves overwhelmed by the cares of this world to the point that you’re tempted to just give up and leave the church! #shuturmouth!

But, before you do something foolish, can I remind you of this one thing? There is NO PLAN B!

We’re it! God chose us name by name to expand His Kingdom in the earth, fully ware of the challenges of this seemingly impossible task.  That’s why He sent Holy Ghost to equip you to overcome!  Yep,  The Holy Ghost is your personal trainer! He takes your everyday life, places you on pathways strategically designed to stretch and strengthen your christian character, develop your trust, build up your confidence and fortify your commitment!

While it may not always look like God’s anywhere to be found, HE IS ALWAYS RIGHT THERE preparing you for a glorious future!  (Ref. Hebrew 13:5)

 BELOVED, TRUST2KNO, HELL CAN’T STOP ANYTHING THAT HEAVEN STARTS! GOD COMPLETES EVERYTHING HE STARTS!  UNDER CONSTRUCTION? UUUHHH… REALLY…MAKE SURE YOU’RE WEARING UR HARD HAT! #Didjaheardat?

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

 Ann Caffee

HONEST 2 GOD?

HONEST 2 GOD 2

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139:7-10

O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts, bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure. Psalm 7:9

Sorry Father Adam, but once again this is on you! 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! Like Adam, the Glory of innocence that once covered us had now been disrupted by sin, exposing us to evil, guilt, shame and fear!

The 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!

Hence, there’s an inbred-inclination to cover ourselves with fig leaves attempting to hide from the Only True Source of Hope for deliverance and restoration!  The moment we allow our desire to satisfy the wickedness of self’s lust to take precedence over our desire to please God, the hedge comes down and all hell breaks out! And as they say, the rest is history, huh?

That’s why God hates sin! Don’t get it twisted like Eve and fall for the deception of the Tempter who caused her to doubt the sncerity God’s motives in placing certain restrictions on she and Adam! God was not  trying to control us! Nor is He arrogantly trying to keep us down! God certainly doesn’t want to keep us from enjoying ourselves!  God’ s reasons for setting boundaries for us is not even because He’s Sovereign Lord! And He is! But because God loves us so much He hates SIN!  God is HOLY and  SIN robs us of the freedom, peace and pure delight to openly commune with The Lover of our souls!

You do realize that God knew exactly where and what Adam had done when His Voice came walking through the Garden asking, “Adam, where are you?” God IS The All-Consuming Presence over space and time! There’s NO spot where GOD IS NOT! Someone once said, IF GOD MOVED TO THE LEFT OR RIGHT, HE’D BUMP STRAIGHT INTO GODSELF!

But do we also hear the pain of God’s Heart, knowing that He would have to evict His Family out of their home to keep them  away from certain eternal death and destruction...until JESUS came to our rescue? Do we realize that there’s no such thing as a little sin? SALVATION IS FREE BUT IT WASN’T CHEAP! #WOW! HONESTLY!

Yet, like David, sin perverts our mind and we foolishly assume that if we don’t tell God, He won’t figure it out!

Do you realize that confession benefits us more than it does God? “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” Psalm 119:67 Beloved, we don’t pray to inform God, but we pray to invite Him to step into our misery and fix our mess!

When we confess our faults (sin) to God, He’s able to heal our broken spirit, revive the brittleness of our bones and clear our hearts, minds and souls of the debris that’s left behind by sin’s breach! 

It was a good thing that God sent Nathan to uncover David sin, huh?  This allowed David the opportunity to repent honestly before God, liberating him from the burden, torment, tragedy, grief and condemnation that resulted from harboring secret sin in his heart and hindering him from enjoying the fellowship of God’s Presence!

If we confess our sins, HE is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 #Didjaheardat?

Jus wondering? When was the last time you had some REAL face2face time with God? THAT LONG, HUH? Well, last time I checked, JESUS WAS STILL SEATED ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE FATHER, WAITING AND WILLING TO INTERCEDE ON YOUR BEHALF! SOOO, WHACHA WAITING 4? HONEST2GOD?

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

MORE JESUS!

MORE JESUS!

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29

The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. Psalm 119:130

 

Back in my B.C. days (before Christ, y’all), I met this very special lady. Subsequently, Ms. Annette and I grew as close as two peas in a pod. Whoever coined the phrase “a little bit of country and a little bit of rock n’ roll” had to have met my friend “Anna” (self-identification of her alter-ego). By day, Ms. Annette was a successful-sophisticated-know-her-stuff-RN. BUT! By nite, that Hattiesburg-Mississippi-Black Water-Country-Ebonic-Talk’n-parta’-down-like it was 1999-Anna would emerge! And guess who would try to hang-out right with her? Exactly!

Evrrrr noticed, that if you spend a lot of time around someone you admire, who happens to have a strangely-peculiar personality, the strangely-peculiar affect they tend to have on you? Startlingly, without consciously realizing when nor how(until my kids so happily pointed out to me) my conversation conspicuously became sporadically seasoned with some of the same words, same dialect and same mannerisms as my friend! Obviously, a little bit of “Anna” had rubbed off on me!

Didjaknow? It works the exact same way when it comes to strengthening your personal relationship with God! #4REAL!

As believers, the Father’s Plan is to mold us into the image of JESUS! The moment you are born again, Holy Spirit begins the process of Supernatural Empowered Transformation of our spirit until it looks just like Him. Spiritually,  when you sincerely ask God to forgive you of your sins and come into your heart, you were instantly changed on the inside; howevvvrrrrr, the progression of outward change depends largely upon us! #Didjaheardat?

Evidently, there’s a significant correlaation between the amount of time spent pursuing the things of the Spirit and the rate of our personal spiritual growth and development. If most of our time is spent satisfying the lustful desires of our  sin-loving flesh, inevitably our spiritual growth will be stunted!  Don’t shout me down nah! #ijs!

However, as you begin to separate yourself apart  from the worldly (carnal and ungodly) things of life (#sanctify) and deligently dedicate more time to studying The Word of God and mounting habitual alone-time with Him (consecrate), The Holy Spirit will ecstatically teach, guide and share Christ-Likeness with you.  Hence, He’s gonna rub off on you until His ways become your ways!

The more readily you yield the more of you to HIM, abiding in His Presence in prayer, meditating in His Word and surrending yourself in worship, you will be absolutely amazed at the miraculous change that will take place on the inside and out! I’m telling you, personally, you’ll hardly recognize that new man in the mirror! Seriously!!!

Truthfully, until you have a real-life personal encounter of The Divine-Kind, you are clueless of Who and Whose You REALLY ARE? Not to mention the worth and purpose that’s yet to be revealed in and through The GOD IN YOU!

Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. Isaiah 60:1 #Didjaheardat?

Ohh, by the way, guess who introduced me to Jesus Christ? Yep, Anna!  My friend has since gone HOME to be with The Lord, BUT THANKYA JESUS 4 unexpected Angels, huh?

I “D-DOUBLE-DARE” YA! LET MORE OF JESUS RUB OFF ON YOU!

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

 

LET’S GO DEEPER!

LETZ GO DEEPER

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an everlasting spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.” John 4:13-14

It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration. John 4:23-24

 

A closer investigation into GOD’S ETERNAL WORD will reveal that throughout Jesus’ public ministry,  most of his criticism came not from the heathens, but from religious folk!  I’m not being sacrilegious BUT…Can I tell ya something, Jesus hates RELIGION!

Now that might shock some of you, because all your life, you’ve been lead to believe that that’s what church is all about. But Jesus never came to start a new religion! In fact there’s too much of that going on now and it makes God puke! #ijs!

According to the scriptures, religious folk claim to be close to God, but their rebellious lifestyle of disobedience proves otherwise. They’re simply going thru the motions and their religion boils down to simply checking off the boxes in an effort to comply with shallow practices of routine rituals. Howeverrr, MAN LOOKS ON THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE, BUT GOD READS HEARTS! #SERIOUSLY!!!

Just imagine The Omniscient, Creator God, looking deep into their hearts, seeing that there’s is nothing real about their worship, no real love for Him and no sincere thankfulness to HIM for all of Lovingkindness towards them!

Hence, TRUST2KNO…No matter how high they jump or how loud they shout, GOD’S NOT IMPRESSED! In the Sovereignty of God’s Mind, HE KNOWS that there’s absolutely nothing personal about their relationship, they’re simply empty pots making a whole lot of noise—but ain’t saying nothing to touch His Heart!

The Prophet Isaiah says, ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men –who turn my words upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Can the pot say of the potter, HE KNOWS NOTHING!” (Isaiah 29:13-14)

In other words, God’s not affected by our performance, remember God is SPIRIT! So those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth! Beloved, God longs to have an intimate fellowship/communion that goes beyond our flesh and makes its home within our spirits! He wants us to meet Him Spirit-to-spirit. That’s what the scriptures means when it says, Deep calls unto deep! Jesus died for us in order that we could draw nigh to Him humbly, transparently, honestly, withholding nothing but recognizing WHO HE IS and accepting who WE ARE IN HIS PRESENCE! Y’all jus missed a shoutin’ moment!

Saints, what separates Christianity, not just apart, but above every other religion, is when we invite Christ into our hearts, immediately we shift from one Kingdom to another Kingdom! We transition from DEATH N2 ETERNAL LIFE! That’s what Salvation thru Jesus Christ is all about! YES LAWD! NOW AIN’T DAT GOOD NEWS?

The Heavenly Father welcomes all to come as you are, but once you come into The Body of Christ, you don’t just stay where you are! It’s a rite of passage, kindred to taking a quantum leap from religious rituals to personal relationship! Once you taste of The Goodness of Jesus, you can’t resist the Holy Spirit’s promptings and urgency to change.! BCUZ YOUR WELL GETS DEEPER! #4REAL!

Could this be why carnal folk don’t understand why you go to church on a Tuesday nite, tithe the whole 10% , and give a LOVE offering every time you come to church? #interesting, huh? However, you can’t get mad at them, because spiritual things cannot be carnally discerned. (Ref. 1 Corinthians 2:14) They’re just speaking out of the shallowness of their well! Believe it or not…some folk are just content to be CME …CHRISTMAS, MOTHER’S DAY AND EASTER WORSHIPERS! Don’t shout me down nah!

Nonetheless, there yet remains a remnant of witnesses in the Earth who unashamedly dare 2 testify,

“ I can’t take no credit for none of it all…BUT HE CHOSE ME anyhow and SINCE I met JESUS… my well is continuously getting deeper. I no longer need my environment to consent that I need to praise God. I don’t have to have my circumstances to be perfect to determine whether or not MY GOD IS WORTHY 2 B PRAISED! BUT WHEN I FOUND  A LOVE THAT’S STRONGER AND FLOWS DEEPER THAN DEATH…

I MADE UP IN MY OWN MIND…COME WHAT MAY… I WILL BLESS THE LORD AT ALL TIMES, GOOD, BAD, UGLY AND INDIFFERENT…MOUNTAIN TOP OR VALLEY LOW…I WILL LIFT UP MY VOICE AND MAGNIFY HIS NAME…FOR IF IT HAD NOT BEEN FOR THE LORD ON MY SIDE, I COULDA, SHOULDA,WOULDA BEEN YET THE WALKING DEAD, WITHOUT A GOD ON MY SIDE! SHUCKS, CHANCES ARE I’D PROBABLY NOT EVEN BE HERE TODAY!” BUT GOD, huh? #BOUT2LOSE1/2MYCHURCH

C’mon now! HOW DEEP IS UR WELL? WOW! #LET’S GO DEEPER…

SELAH!
Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!
Ann Caffee