Tag Archives: time

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

 

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

 

I DON’T MIND WAITING

I DON'T MIND WAITING!

SELAH Daily Devotions!

For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Habakkuk 2:3
If there’s anything that I find more detestable than eating okra, it’s gotta be waiting! Oh, don’t look at me with that tone of voice. I see your hand up too! Out of all of the spiritual gifts we crave, patience is probably at least next to the bottom of the list! The Ol’ Churrch Mothers used to say, ‘Baby, don’t ever ask God for patience, cause you’re inviting trouble to your door’!

But I’ve lived long enough to conclude, invited or not, Trouble’s bound to show up sooner or later. So it behooves us to not just expect it but to prepare for the unexpected. One of the first things…

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WARRANTY GUARANTEED!

WARRANTY GUARANTEED

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:6-8

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Corinthians 2:10

 

Well, we’re already 2 months into a brand new year that our God has so graciously allotted to us! Chances are, many of us have already dropped our bucket-list (resolutions) for this year, huh? While others, perhaps, are just so glad that we made it over, we welcome everything that the future can throw at us with open arms with a heart’s decree that ‘anything that happens gotta be better than where I’ve been! #HaveIgottawitness?

Nevertheless, I do realize that the self-righteous religious tribe, are still pumped, ready,  determined to build upon last year’s successes and primed for the next dimension of your personal aspirations and spiritual elevation! Howevvrrrr, for the rest of us, who truly love God with all of our hearts, spirit, soul, mind and body, must confess that beneath the surface of our confident exterior, somewhere deep within the pit of our subconscious consciusness, there remains an intrinsic urging to apologize to our Loving Lord, each and every day! Unquestionably, at some point between the time you roll out  and the time you crawl back into bed, you have inevitably fallen short of living up to God’s Righteous expectations! Fortunately, there’s yet hope for all of us! 

The certainty of Life’s uncertainties has trained us that the only acceptable way to embark upon each new beginning is with extreme gratitude, absolute humility and purity of hearts void of any resentment because God’s purposes did not live up to our best laid-out plans!  SERIOUSLY?

I know this seems a bit too ‘unconventional, irrelevant and marred by unsound ol’skool theological’ to the 21st Century 7-11 spin off  New Millennium Church, nevertheless, may I submit for your consideration, given the fact that HE is our Creator, God is perfectly justified in establishing specific standards of behavior for us to live by! Hence, it  stands to reason that because He has consistently shown such unfathomable loving-kindness, tender-mercy and unmerited favor towards us, that the only reasonable response should be radical thanksgiving and faithful obedience!  #ijs

Yet, try as we may, left to our own efforts, we’re totally incapable of reaching this level of holy worship that God so richly deserves. I mean, even those random days where we actually do some righteous things, will never equal out all our unrighteous thoughts, words and deeds!  Therefore, it’s pure folly to dare gloat on our egotistical star. Right? BUT THANKS BE TO GOD, there’s yet Hope for our terminal dis-ease!

Honestly, my precious ones, what God really expects from each one of us, is failure! And from sixty something years of personal experience, I can testify, with absolute confidence, that we can surely do! Royally! Can I get a  genuine Hallelujah and Amen 3x?

Trust2know, it’s only when we come to the end of self and acknowledge our weaknesses that God is truly glorified! 

For without Him, we can do absolutely nothing, however through Christ’s strength, we can do all things.(Ref. Matthew 19:26, Philippians 4:13) As long as we think we’re capable of doing anything on our own, we deceive ourselves and deny God the pleasure of delivering us from any and everything that is trying to hold us captive. That’s why The Bible encourages the weak to say I am strong. (Ref. Joel 3:10) THAT’S GRACE, YALL!

Therefore, it is with holy boldness and unspeakable joy-filled-anticipation, we humbly confess that the only thing standing between our strength and weakness, righteousness and wickedness, success and failure, is JESUS!

#PRAIZBREAK! GLORRAAAA 2 GOD! There is no failure in GOD!  YESSSSS MY LORD! Christ IN us, The Hope of Glory, guarantees our victory every single time! (Ref. Colossians 1:27)

WOW! WHO KNU FULFILLING GOD’S  EXPECTATIONS WAS THAT EASY! Christ IN us, The Hope of Glory, GUARANTEES VICTORY EVERY SINGLE TIME! #LET’S DO THIS!!!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

MEMORIES, huh?

MEMORIES, HUH

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

When He slew them, then they sought Him; and they returned and inquired early after God. And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their Redeemer. Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right with Him, neither were they steadfast in His covenant. But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity and destroyed them not; yeah, many a time turned He his anger away and did not stir up all His wrath. For He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind passeth away, and cometh not again. Psalm 78:34-39

 

A few years back, (but who’s counting, huh?) Barbara Strissand recorded a hit song entitled ‘Memories’. This song pricked the hearts of all of us! Hence, we all have memories of days gone by that lure us back to the way we were. For some of us, when certain ticker-tapes of past personal experiences cross our minds, immediately we smile. Other flash-backs cause our hearts to flutter, skipping a beat… or two, remembering when. And then there are those special ones that yet…still prompt silent tears to crease our cheeks. Memories, huh? Some are fading and some, we only wish we could forget.

Like all of us, I indeed cling to God’s promises to keep my mind focused, sharp and sound. That being my faith stance, I must confess that—every now and then—I have to cash in what my kids call, one of my ‘senior moments’ vouchers. Now don’t look at me in that tone of voice. Can we be for real? I believe we all suffer a bout of ‘Spiritual Alzheimer’s’—every now and then.

Today’s scripture text recalls how the Israelites’ sporadic attacks of ‘forgetfulness’ provoked God’s wrath as He carried them through the wilderness. Now don’t be so hard on them. Truth be told, any one of us, drapped in this fickle-frail-flesh-frame, are just as prone to spiritual amnesia when it comes to recollecting the Wondrous works of God!

Time and time again, God has proven Himself a Faithful Provider, A Way-Out- of -No-Way, our Rock-in-A-Weary-Land, A Shelter-in our-Storm, A Strong Protector, Committed Redeemer and Eternal Hope of our Salvation.  HOWEVERRRR, in spite of our own personal memories of all that God has already done, the moment we’re faced with a new challenge, does our response reflect a confident trust in our Compassionate Merciful God of All Grace? Or do we suddenly forget to remember that if He Did It Before, He’ll Do It Again? Probably not, huh?  #ijs…

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8

BUT! THANKS BE 2 GOD! EVEN WHEN WE 4GET…GOD ALWAYS REMEMBERS…PRECIOUS MEMORIES, huh?

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

JUS TIME…

JUS TIME 2

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Mark 8:36-37

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8

 

“Time is filled with swift transition, Naught of earth unmoved can stand, Build your hopes on things eternal, Hold to God’s unchanging hand.” (still saanngn yall!)

Remember that one? It’s the first verse to one of my favorite Gospel hymns. It’s probably been a while but, yall do remember Hymns, right? This song probes the core of every mortal’s soul provoking either aggravating or consoling intentional thought concerning its eternal destination!

While some would prefer to dismiss the inevitable potency of its reality, there’s absolutely no escaping it. The most precious commodity in the earth is not silver, gold, oil or even real estate—BUT TIME!

This contemporized Millennium Sociology teaches “Time is Money”; but I beg to differ! Time is much more valuable than mere mammon! Granted, you’d probably never notice the slightest hint of this, given the media’s promotion of the extravagant lifestyles of the rich and famous. Nevertheless, I think it not robbery to propose that if you’d ask any one of this world’s wealthiest man or woman, in retrospect, glancing back over their life’s achievements, “How much would you be willing to barter for one solitary moment of unrefined, unrequited love; one night of tranquil serene rest unhindered by foreboding betrayal; one day of normality without drug induced sense of well-being? Might I venture to declaim, the response would be an overwhelming ardent acclamation of—’ALL…I’D GIVE UP ALL!’?

Hence, that’s the crucible of every one of our lives! What makes life meaningful, and more importantly. what in this life that’s truly worth dying for? “If in this life only we have hope, we are of all men most miserable.” 1 Corinthians 15:19.

BUT! Thanks Be To God! Elohim is a Master Economist! He dispenses time and talents based on projected recompense. (Ref. Matthew 25:14-30) Hence, we have been given the gift of time called ‘TODAY’ to fulfill God’s Purpose for our lives, one day and one step at a time!

Someone once said (and I am not quoting) “The only thing that’s certain is uncertainty. Life is change and change is growth and growth is evolving into the ‘being’ that God has created in us”.

Listen up! I may not be the shiniest penny in the pocket, howevvrrr, sounds to me like a reasonably intelligent person would count up the cost and build their life on things eternal, huh?

DON’T WASTE IT—LIVE LIFE TO LAST ETERNALLY! REMEMBER, IT’S ALL ABOUT TIME!

 

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

A LISTENING GOD

A LISTENING GOD

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything, according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. 1 John 5:14-15  KJV

My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion. And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he’s listening. And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked for is as good as ours. 1 John 5:13-15 THE MESSAGE

 

Ever found yourself at the end of your rope? That’s silly; of course you have! We’ve all been there! But did you ever think that that’s exactly where GOD wants you? Probably NOT, huh?

According to 21st Century world view, we’ve been led to believe that you, as the master of your own life, will never face a challenge that you can’t get past. After all you’re an intellectually stimulated, highly educated, acutely sophisticated and exceptionally self-disciplined/self-sufficient individual, right? Wrong!

As you’ve probably figured out by now, this human experience (we call life} is plagued with sporatic incidental  ‘try as you may, you still don’t know how to fix this mess’, huh? But then again, it’s GOD Who sets it up, jus like dat? He never intended us to live life independent of GODSELF! Where do you think fellowship began? That’s exactly right; like everything else, in the mind of God!

Unfortunately, GOD knows that except we have these “impossible” situational intrusions, you know that thing that seems to just pop-up outta no where blocking our path, there’s a high probability that some of us wouldn’t even think we needed GOD! Don’t forget GOD knows your heart! So don’t even try to wiggle your way out of this Truth!

Every so often, we find ourselves smack-dab-in-the-middle of time-sensitive circumstances where you just need one somebody to talk it over with. Even if they can’t change your situation, right? So you call your Mama and your Daddy, your BFF, your Dawg and errrbody else you can think of; hoping, that if somebody just listened, it would ease the pain, frustration and helplessness jus enough to bring a bleep of clarity. Or, perhaps make you feel like at least they care! But then again, can you really trust them to not put your business out there on social media blast or even worst, alter their impression of you? #WOW!

Beloved, we have this confidence! God is never shocked by anything and He knows everything! And to top that, whenever we call Him, He shows up! And whenever He shows up, He’s never empty-handed. He has all the answers that you and I will ever need in this lifetime and the world to come. 

TRUTHBTOLD, at the end of the day, who else can you REALLY REALLY depend on BUT Jesus? C’mon nah, U already know what I’m talking about… that thing, that situation, that person who’s got your heart so troubled, k? Well, stop procrastinating and start talking to JESUS! HE’S ALWAYS WAITING!

C’mon Now! Bow your head (pride) and your heart (shame) and like them Ol’ Skool Mothers said, ‘Jus take it to The Lawd in pray’r’!

TRUST2KNO, GOD IS GRACIOUS AND HE SPECIALIZES IN MAKING WRONG THINGS RIGHT! OUR HEAVENLY FATHER LISTENS!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee