Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Double Life: Secret Motives"

Today's Meditation: "A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways." James 1:8

Who are you really? When you're alone and nobody is there to observe, criticize, analyze, admire, or serve you? How do you really worship God? You know, when you are not at church, in the choir, in the pulpit, or ministering in dance on someones platform. When the spotlight is not on you, and you are simply at home with you--who are you really?

Our lifestyles represent our values, morals, and beliefs. For the professed Believer, these things should line up with how we govern ourselves, and the Word of God. But, beloved--how can we strive to live "above reproach" with God and humanity when we are caught in the web of living a double life? Ministers and ministry leaders: do you not know maintaining a double lifestyle will eventually cut, diminish, and destroy the flow of blessings and the anointing in your life? Try to deny it and justify it if you'd like--deep in our souls, we know when the glory has departed!

Double lifestyles are plaguing the Church Universal. With the advent of Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Youtube, texting, "sexting", IPhones, IMs, and more, we are able to create on-line personalities which sometimes, are completely contrary to the real us. Blatant disrespect, promiscuity, adultery, immorality, bullying, and mean-spiritedness is practiced openly--in and out of the church. Pastors, Elders, and ministry Leaders attempt to preach righteousness on Sunday morning while secretly engaging in physical, sexual, and emotional abuse behind close doors. Conferences and meetings have been used as private rendevous opportunities for brothers on the down-low, and sisters wanting to be seen AND last. But, is this a secret?

The 5-fold ministry gifts are being perverted, watered-down, and hi-jacked by men and women seeking elevation through self-imposed titles; who travel the world producing charismatic worship productions, disguised as revelation knowledge and authentic ministry. Even some professed Christian organizations publicly endorse unity in the Body, while continuing to perpetuate subtle discrimination, supremacy, and racism.

When one's ministry appears to be thriving worldwide while their marriage is falling apart, it may be time to take a look at why I do what I do. If my call to minister to the nations REGULARLY supercedes my covenant to minister to my family (which God also gave me), I may just be out of balance. Today, God has placed the ministry of the Gospel, and the ministry of dance in the global arena--the World is watching; i.e. the secular world and the nations of the world. Success, prosperity, advancement, and position are all great--but only when it comes from living a life of integrity, peace of mind, joy, and transparency.

If we continue to present the facade of holiness and purity in public, while our true lifestyles are an abomination to God, there will be no true levitical remnant with clean hands and a pure heart left to carry the glorious legacy of Sacred Artistry and ministry into the next generation. As you begin to line-up your will with the Father's will, supernatural grace and courage will be upon you.

Let this be our Year of Exposure. Look deeply and shamelessly into your spiritual mirror, remembering that people with nothing to hide, hide nothing.

Amen and Selah.

Rev. Steph

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Hands-Free Faith"

Today's Meditation: When the commander of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to him, "The Lord your God decreed this disaster for this place. And know the Lord ha brought it about; he has done just as he said he would. All this happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey him. But today, I am freeing you from the chains of your wrists." Jeremiah 40:2-4

In today's technologically advanced world, the term "hands-free" has been adopted and used to describe equipment that can be operated without the use of ones hands. While we commonly associate the ability to be "hands-free" with the possession of a Bluetooth device, or earpiece, the science of functioning in a hands-free capacity can also refer to a system governed via Voice Command. In essence, kings and high officials in the days of Jeremiah the Prophet ruled by way of Voice Command--whatever the King said, so shall it be.

When operating in the authority, priviledge, or position granted to us, we are not bound by our physical strength, abilities, --or lack thereof. All that is required of one in power is to only "speak the word", and his/her desires are carried out by those who follow. Leaders who speak both with authority, wisdom, and compassion have no need to "micro-manage" their people. That was exactly the case in regards to King Nebuchadnezzar and his then prisoner Jeremiah. Although captured and jailed by the Babylonians, the King had already declared that Jeremiah was to be looked after and not harmed; the King and his Babylonian Commanders were highly superstitious, and while they believed in the power of magic, they also respected the power of God. They had heard Jeremiah say repeatedly that his God would rescue him from trouble.

It is amazing to me that even today, many people recognize that God is real, has power to do miracles, yet they still refuse to personally accept him...

After Jeremiah's hands were set free, the Commander told him, "the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please". Jeremiah chose to return to his land of Judah. Had he stayed in Babylon, Jeremiah would have experienced comfort and protection; in Judah he would be poor and unwanted. Had he stayed in Babylon, he would be favored by the Babylonian rulers but hated by others who remained in exile.

Jeremiah's faith led him home. Judah in the Hebrew language means "praise". Don't let your haters keep you in exile! I believe that even when our hands appear to be tied; when it seems that all the forces of evil and darkness are rising up against our prophetic destiny in God; and when every attempt to achieve success with our own strength and limited intellectual capacity has failed; we must return to JUDAH! If my hands are bound, my feet are still free to dance and my mouth still has utterance--that is, if I know the Word of God.

Activate your body-temple as a supernatural "hands-free" device and see the Lord do just what he said he would do. He's Able!
--Rev. Stephanie

Friday, January 14, 2011

"Dream Catchers, Dream Killers"

Today's Meditation: "Here comes that dreamer!" they said to each other. Come now, let's kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we'll see what becomes of his dreams." Genesis 37:19-20

Do you dream? Before you answer, consider that there are a few different ways that one may dream. There are the kinds of dreams that one experiences when in a deep slumber. They may reflect past events, present circumstances, or future possibilities. Dreams come in scenes; sometimes in color; sometimes in black and white. Sometimes dreams are marvelously wonderful--othertimes they are terrible and scary. When we rise, we are thankful to know that "Whew! it was only a dream." But there are also those dreams that one experiences when they are completely awake. These types of dreams are similar to visions--a grand plan, a strategy, a futuristic fulfillment of an idea or concept too great for one person alone to fulfill. In the life of the Believer, it is understood that great visions are implanted in our hearts and manifest through our prophetic imaginations. This could only be accomplished with the help of Almighty God. And, to the dreamer with the ability to see what lays ahead, the dream may even seem overwhelming--even impossible.

Being in the presence of a true dreamer will either inspire, intimidate, or irritate. Understand that dreamers are not in control of their optimism nor their confidence, for their faith lays not in their own ability, but in God's--they already know that they will be victorious! Dreamers can cause friction, jealousy, negativity, and envy to anyone in their midst who may themselves be too lazy, insecure, or "stuck" to dream their own dreams, yet become indignant when they realize that your dream is in fact, coming to pass...Miraculously, these same people become motivated--to kill your dream!

Joseph, like many dreamers, was hand-picked by God. He did not pre-plan his birth placement as the youngest of his siblings; he did not ask for the special coat of many colors; and he did not seek out the gift of dream interpretation. Maybe you are a Dreamer who has come through the challenges of hatred, hardship, rejection, and isolation. Like Joseph, we can learn from our mistakes, immaturity, and naivity. Dreams are birthed in our hearts, minds, and spirits; they must be nurtured...inwardly...before they are revealed outwardly. Catch the vision for your life that God has planted in you. Dare to dream boldly. Never allow fear, social, racial, economic, or educational challenges suppress what God has designed for your life.

You ARE a Dreamer. Now go forth and catch them all, to the glory of God! Amen.
--Rev. Stephanie

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Year, New Rules

Today's Meditation: But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. (Romans 7:6)

As another New Year comes, our minds and hearts can become bombarded with a myriad of resolutions, declarations, promises, affirmations, goals, dreams, and timelines: all designed to create a New You in the New Year. While these things are admirable, if we are not careful in their prayerful execution, those very things we purposed to help us can end up leaving us worse off than we were before. How many of us have promised to strengthen our relationship with God by spending more quality time in prayer, reading the Word, attending worship services more regularly--only to discover that we had bound ourselves into a ritualistic pattern of "doing" spirituality instead of LIVING a spirit-filled life?

With each passing year, I believe that I die a little more. Although my symbolic "annual deaths" are not without a struggle, they do manifest various levels of freedom from bondage--whether real, imagined, or self-imposed. The ability to die to those things which once bound us comes with the realization that you are complete in Christ! Thus, no need to hold on to outward signs of so-called success if inwardly, your spirit is failing. Today, and throughout this year, let us die to:

  • Undeserved Expectations of Others
  • Negativity and Critical Spirits
  • Unclean and Impure Thoughts
  • Lack of Integrity
  • Stunted Creativity
  • Lack of Giving
  • Unnecessary Conversation
  • Unwillingness to Celebrate Success in Others
  • Spiritual Arrogance
  • Living Above Our Means
  • Mediocrity
  • Shadiness
  • Over-extending and Over-obligating Ourselves
There is no sense in trying to keep God's rules, laws, and customs when our minds and hearts remain perverse, rebellious, and disobedient. Release yourself now into the New Way of the Spirit! What is it? Allowing the Holy Spirit to take your eyes away from your own performance, recognition, and title-seeking, but seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all these things will be added unto you. Amen.
--Rev. Stephanie