Tag Archives: suffering

FRONT-LINE WARFARE!

FRONTLINE WARFARE

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.  2 Timothy 3:12
Thou therefore endure hardness, a a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangled himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 2 Timothy 2:3-4

 

OMG! Do we ever love to sing those ol’ songs that tend to stir up our emotions and at the same time, placate the reality that each and any day of this life we might find ourselves on the front line of a battlefield!  Most of us recognize, at least on some cognitive level, that when we enlisted into The Lord’s Army, that Ol’ Ship of Zion is a battleship and not some luxurious ocean front cruise liner! Yet, there’s an innately human propensity to glamorize our voyage to the ultimate conquest, Eternal Life with our Heavenly Commander-in-Chief.

Sometimes,  season-saints can forget that Christianity has always attracted danger,  persecution and even death! Hence, our decision and commitment to become disciples of Jesus Christ must not be taken lightly, but emanating from a heart fully persuaded, entrusting wholly our spirit, soul, mind and body, that… come what may, He Who called you is well able and willing to keep us from  failing  and falling prey to the wicked devices of our common Adversary! (Ref. Jude 24-25)

Didjakno that your enrollment into God’s Kingdom demanded rebellion against your former slavemaster, Satan, Ruler of The Kingdom of Darkness and his host of enthusiastically organized agents of disastrously diabolical deeds? Remember how hard you had to fight to get out from under the clutches of his domineering cruelty? BUT for The Grace of God, you never could’ve, would’ve, should’ve made it, huh?

Nevertheless, sometimes—even, Born-Again-Blood-Washed Believers wearied and overburdened by the cares of this world, can become slouthful, letting down our guard, leaving a inch-sized crack in your armor, thereby exposing your vulnerability to Satanic strategies. How? Any good soldier knows the crucial sine qua nons of assuring that your weapons are kept  readily accessible and armed for optimal peformance in case of sneak attacks of your arch enemy. Therefore, it’s incumbent upon God’s footmen to engage in diligent daily exercises to ensure confident courageous valor!

According to the Scripture, The Apostle Paul, instructed his young protegee, “Timothy, your entire life’s experiences have been training ground for this assigment. And now, I admonish you to advance forward, fearless in your struggle, keeping a firm grip on the faith that was delivered down to you from your Mother and Grand-Mother. Son, this is a fight for your life! If you hope to succed in this mission, you must stay prayed-up! Pray every day and every way you know; pray about everything and every one!” “And above all, keep your faith energized and ablazed by The Power of The Holy Ghost, because this walk means you’re guaranteed to experience your share of suffering, simply for sharing The Gospel of Jesus Christ. BUT! If you will stay your life, focused, firmly faithful and rooted in the Love of Christ, regardless of what comes against you—your victory is imminent!”

The Apostle continues encouraging the young servant, “Timothy, run for your life, keep this commitment to the letter, don’t slack off and don’t ever give up. Arm yourself with the same mind as your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Epitome of a True Warrior of Faith!”

Beloved, perhaps today life has launched you smack-dab-indamiddle of a spiritual war zone,  but GOD has already equipped you to win! Jus remember what them ol’ skool Mothers said? “GOD DON’T NEED NO COWARD SOLDIERS’! 

WELL? WHACHAGONNADO?  Hold fast to His Eternal Promises! Be strong and courageous. “Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake.”  (Deuteronomy 31:6)

 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” 2 Corinthians 10:4

As an experienced 30+ veteran of the Faithulness of God, may I audaciously suggest your best option? “Stand your ground and guard your treasure with your life! Be faithful and with holy boldness, pass on His Word and The Grace of God will always keep you safe, secure and saved!”

B READY 2 RUMBLE…AFTER ALL, THIS IS FRONT-LINE SPIRITUAL WARFARE!

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

 

WALK BY FAITH!

WALK BY FAITH 2

 

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Jesus replied,“The time is coming, ma’am, when we will no longer be concerned about whether to worship the Father here or in Jerusalem. For it’s not where we worship that counts, but how we worship—is our worship spiritual and real? Do we have the Holy Spirit’s help? For God is Spirit, and we must have his help to worship as we should. The Father wants this kind of worship from us. But you Samaritans know so little about him, worshiping blindly, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes to the world through the Jews.” John 4:21-24 TLB

 

Unless you were born late last night or just landed on planet earth early this morning, you gotta recognize that this whole world has gone crazy! I don’t care who you are, where you live, how many tongues you speak in, you’ve gotta admit the stuff is going down around us today that Mama and Daddy ‘nem never could’ve imagined. We’re living in desperate times, huh?

You don’t have to be a bible scholar or seminary theologian, or even have the Holy Ghost to be able to discern the signs of the times. We are living in the last of the last days. And Jesus is soon to come. Amen 3x? #DON’T SHOUT ME DOWN!

Let me assure you, it matters not whether you’re young or old, everybody needs to know Jesus for themselves. It’s getting darker and darker out here, and there’s no guarantee that you got all that time you think you have to get yourself together. But while you have today, we need to stop blaming or comparing ourselves with everybody else and figure out how to work out our own soul salvation! None of us should allow what nobody else is doing to distract us and make us miss Jesus, huh? #4REAL

It doesn’t matter who’s in the White House, Senate, Congress, Court House, Jail House, Out House or who falls off the financial cliff, YOU need to be very sure that this world is not your Source of provision, comfort, joy and certainly not your peace! Them ol’ skool Mothers sanng, “My Hope is built on nothing less, but Jesus Blood and His Righteousness, I dare not trust the sweet frame, but wholly lean on JESUS NAME”!

Beloved, time is spirialing into eternity at the speed of LIFE! Hence, recess is over and time’s out for fakin’ it till you make it! We no longer have the luxury of procrastinating! You’ve gotta get off the proverbial fence and make a decision. Either you’re going to walk by faith or allow the cares of this lost and dying world to slamm, trample and sift your joy, strength and hope for better days to come! If the only hope you have is in this world, you’re destined to live a most miserable life!

Saints, God has a better plan for His children. “I come that you might have life and that more abundantly” (Ref. John 10:10) Yet, contrary to New Age Gospel-Lite doctine, God’s Promises are conditional! As the CEO of your destiny, The Word of God must take priority over everything! Therefore, it’s not enough to hear the Word, you must believe it to the point that you live it; i.e by walking it out in your everyday life!

Stop allowing your intellect to compromise your faith in what God can do. This ain’t the first time, the odds have been stacked against you. Remember, what you see is only temporary, but the Word of God stands forever, eternally established and secure!

Precious one, TRUST2KNO God is looking for those who will worship HIM out of a spirit of faithful obedience. Don’t allow corruption and collusions of the ungodly demoralizing systems of this world to distract you from  your God-ordained plan and purpose for you life! #DIDJAHEARDAT?

Stay focused, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your life; encouraging yourself, giving praise and Glorraaa toThe True and Living God Who is Faithful and Powerful enough to keep every promise that He’s ever made. Don’t stop til u getit, GETIT! #WALK IT OUT!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

MY CUP

my-cup

SELAH Daily Devotions!

But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. Matthew 20:22-23

WOW! I’ll never forget that look that came across her face when I innocently reiterated that jealousy, envy, coveting and competitiveness had no place amongst the Saints of God! Was I really that naive or was I simply rightly dividing The Word of Truth? Either way, I must admit that there’s a whole lotta this stuff going on in the Body of Christ. And apparently, it started long before we came in, huh?

According to our scripture text, even those who literally walked with Jesus from the beginning of His Earthly ministry until His Ascension didn’t understand the real mission of The Kingdom of God in the earth. Mrs. Zebedee, the mother of James and John, went to Jesus, supposedly to worship Him, but was actually trying to get a hook-up for her boys. Seems like the more things change, the more they stay the same, huh? Hence, believe it or not, there are still folk today who play the same kinda religious games. Perpetrating, as if they’re following Jesus, but knowing their true motives,  Jesus also knows them that are His! Sunday after Sunday, folk will pack out churches everywhere; unfortunately, not out of a genuine personal love for Him or pure adoration for Who He Is, nor in sincere appreciation for all that He’s done, but rather for what they can get out of it! As if God is a Sugar Daddy! #Don’tshoutmedown! #ijs

Jesus warning the Mother, ‘be careful what you wish for, you just might get it! And chances are it won’t look like anything you thought it would.’ As a parent, naturally, we want our children to be successful, however, our personal desires must never take precedence over praying for God’s specific Will for their lives!

Turning to The Sons of Thunder, Jesus asked, ‘Can you drink the cup I’m going to drink?’ Both responded in ignorant arrogance, (having no idea what the true cost of The Anointing entailed) “We can!”  Finally, Jesus told them in so many words, ‘Ok, be it done unto you as you have said!’ And as history records, indeed they would! James would be imprisoned and eventually executed and John would be exiled for spreading The Gospel of The Kingdom!

Looking from the sidelines, perhaps bedazzled by the illusion of glitz and glamor, one might misinterpret the Glory of Transformation! (Ref. 1 Peter 1:16-18)  The lust for power, fame and wealth has lured many a soul to judge, criticize, complain and even compare themselves to someone that God’s using to carry out His Plan! However, wisdom suggests that until you’ve actually walked in their shoes, you don’t know the contents of the cup and the weight of the cross they’ve borne to prepare them for the Crown! Remember, to whom much is given, much is required!

Consequently,  21st Century Millenniums, who ascribe to the dictates of a ‘instant-gratification-go-getter-Burger King’ contemporary society, are ill-prepared for the challenges incurred while waiting on The Lord to promote them! In fact,  there are many who seek positions without persecution! Could this be the reason for so much back-biting, brown-nosing, coveting and competitions in churches, huh? You do know that  a slick suit, dob hat, pointed-toe leather shoes and an alligator briefcase does not denote a personal relationship with God anymore than carrying a BIG Bible, drapping your body in a prayer shawl, and wearing Red-Bottom  7 inch Stilettos equate one’s anointing?  That’s not what The Bible means by, ‘count up the cost’!  #4REAL!

Looking into The Cup, tasting the bitterness, seeing the pressure of Gethesemane, nevertheless, Jesus humbled Himself to the tyranny of human hatred, the bruising inflicted by the cat-of-nine tails, the shameful slander and mockery of His accusers, enduring the painful piercing of crucifixion, the unspeakable agony of being separated from His Father’s Presence, went through Hell for The Glory of redeeming you and I back  into rightstanding  with The God of Compassionate Grace and Mercy!  (Ref. Matthew 26:39) #Didjaheardat?

Beloved, Jesus’s Life was an illustrated sermon to teach us that real ministry means submitting to the process, making a courageous commitment to stand up for Jesus  in the face of testing and trials and power and authority based on serving rather than being served! Right? Question is, are you really willing to drink from His cup to follow Him?

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

GOD’S HANDS

GOD'S HANDS

 

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

 
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 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. 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 got to be an endangered phenomenon! Can you imagine the 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?

Watching my son’s life ravished by sickness, unemployment, discouragement, 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 my 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!

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 one into The Kingdom. Weeping may endure for a night, but with every breaking of a new day, God is 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, today, if it seems like the sun ain’t never gonna shine again, keep looking up! You’re not alone! Truth be told 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, 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!

HIS GLORY RESTS IN THE CLOUD!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

 

JESUS 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 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!

If anybody should have joy, it’s the saints of the Most High God. 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!

Perhaps, some of us have become wearied on the journey of life 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!

Didjaheardat? JESUS OVER YOU! WOW,  NOW DATZ POWERFUL!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

B HAPPY…IN JESUS!!!

B HAPPY IN JESUS 2

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34

 

Many of us who have heard the 1988’s hit song, ‘Don’t Worry; Be Happy!’, written by Bobby McFerrin, remember that while it topped the charts in America’s Pop Music Culture, the song also came under the scrutiny of critics who felt that the lyrics were promoting a philosophy of denial to escape our unpleasant reality.

As Christians, we should be accustomed to the backlash often associated with our belief in the reality of The Invisible God!  Yet, when confronted by opposing views, we must remind ourselves that The Supreme One is always in control of every aspect of our being, and has promised to supply everything that we need to live abundantly in this present world! (2nd Peter 1:3)

Don’t get it twisted. We, the Body of Christ, are not denying the reality that we’re living in turbulent times. All over this world, people  are being inundated by the cataclysmic convulsions of the systems of this world causing epic fear, frustration and panic. We are certainly not suggesting that we’re to stick our heads in the sand and act as if we can mystically dismiss  what’s right before our eyes! Not at all, we’re still on earth, not Heaven!

However, what I am purporting is that because we know Truth, we confidently expect that someway–somehow you’re going to persevere  thru the tumultuous state of human affairs and  when you come out, you’re not gonna look like what you’ve been through! Remember, Goshen? (Ref. Exodus 9:26)

Today’s scripture reference reminds us how The Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent Master of our destiny takes care of the wildflowers who never spend a dime or a moment of time worrying and working, shopping and primping, and yet they’re fashionably arrayed such that would put the Parisian Designers to shame!

Unlike those who don’t know God as The Source of their life, health and strength, our personal faith history allows us to maintain a stance of  unwavering confidence!  As joint-heirs to The Kingdom of Heaven,  we don’t have to be so preoccupied and traumatized by what we’re going to eat or drink, how we’re going to keep a roof over our heads, how we’re going to pay our bills, that we lose focus on that we do know!  

Walking with our Shepherd, we’ve learned that reliance on His Faithfulness allows us to press courageously through any adversity, resting assured that the same God who delivered us in the past is the same God now—and is yet well able to carry us through this into our future victory again, and again!

Beloved, if God takes care of the birds of the air and flowers of the field, how much more will He provide for those created in His Own Image, huh? While sometimes  it seems as if the world is falling apart, remember, absolutely nothing happens except God allows! Fear not, little children! You’re never outside of God’s sight nor His reach. Our lives are hidden in Jesus and we’re sheltered under the Shadow of His Almighty Wings!  (Ref. Hebrews 13:5)

GOD’S GOTCHA! #didjaheardat?

SO? RELAX, DON’T WORRY ABOUT A THANG! BE HAPPY…IN JESUS!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee