Fire: Falling Away

I am so excited about my Guest Contributor this week! It’s my baby sis Jessica Starks! Future bestselling author, she is currently writer for Love, Girl’s magazine and Gossip and Gab. She has her own blog, The pen and the Needle, (click the link to check it out) and she recently got word that a publisher is interested in publishing her first manuscript! Not only that, but she is a young, anointed woman of God, and I am extremely proud of her. So watch out for her world! Thank you Jupee (that’s what i call her) for your contribution!

Anybody who knows me knows that I am a huge music fan. I’ll listen to virtually anything and have encountered some interesting things as a result. One of those encounters is the inspiration for this post.

I was listening to “Fire” by Vince Staples. At the time I had never heard of Vince Staples before, so I was intrigued to hear his music. At first the beat of the song caught me and he seemed to be a good rapper so I listened. Then I heard him say, “I’m prolly finna go to Hell anyway.”

…..I immediately stopped. I thought to myself, “Did he really just…..lemme look this up.”

My research led me to a horrible song and the sad case of a young man who basically knows where he is going.

My first issue with this song is that, because of the beat and his talent, young people are listening and repeating the words he is saying(I won’t post the lyrics because of all of the language; here is the link to the lyrics though. I’d advise you to read them before you continue reading). People nowadays don’t listen to lyrics anymore; all they hear is the beat. As long as they can dance to it, people could care less what is being said, and that is not wise at all.

 “Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated?”But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” ~Matthew 15:17-19

 

We have to understand that, especially as Christians, we need to watch what we listen to. Music is one of the tools that Satan, who was over music before his rebellion and fall, uses to rage war on us. If he can get us hooked on the beat, the lyrics are irrelevant and we start to sing right along with the artist. The people who are listening and singing along with this song are saying, “I’m prolly finna go to Hell anyway.” They are speaking this out into the atmosphere,and that’s a dangerous thing(Proverbs 18:21).

The second issue I have is that the artist truly believes this. If you stopped and read the lyrics you understand what I mean. The last thing he says in the song struck me the most:

You dig your own grave when you [messin’] with the Lord

Catch a fade, probably finna go to Hell anyway

 It was reported that Staples doesn’t believe in God and despises religion. He came from a harsh background, surrounded by violence and tragedy. He just lives. He just feels like, since he knows he’s going to Hell, he might as well make it worth it, and that is just the saddest thing to me. He even tweeted, “[Guys] like me wasn’t made to go to Heaven.” How depressing is that?

It’s people like this that we need to pray for. No, we cannot make Staples believe and accept Jesus; each person has to make that decision on their own(Phillippians 2:12-13). There are so many people out here like this artist, who have lost or still haven’t found their faith in God, and Satan is just sitting back laughing at all of it. Saints, we need to pray like we have never prayed before! The world we live in is full of lost souls and it is up to us to do our parts to keep as many souls as we can out of the devil’s grasp.

AMEN! Jupee! (That’s my nickname for her). I always think of Tupac Shakur’s “Shed so Many Tears”, He says in one lyric, “I know my destiny is hell, where did I fail.” And as we all know, he is now deceased. That always makes me so sad, because now that he is dead, and especially the way he died, we do not know if he made his confession. We have to pray for God to send workers into the field. The harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few.  It’s praying time ya’ll! Time to get to work! Thanks again Jupee 🙂 Love ya!

A Divine Connection

Today I thought that I would shine the light on my best friend in the whole wide world Tisa. We have known each other since 2000. It is amazing how we were connected. We met at community college and I thought for a whole year that she was one of my suitemates, because she was there…ALL the time. I didn’t know until later that she actually had a room on another floor.

mandiandtisa-1             elder ordination

She was cool, friendly, I can remember she had a car, a Blue Chevy citation, and she would give me and my cousin rides from time to time to go to get something to eat. As I started to get to know her a little better, but still not really (LOL), she would come visit me in my room and lay in my bed…all under my covers…and eat my food. LOL! I used to think…what is this girl doing….she is getting super comfortable…but I wouldn’t say anything. Later on I found out that I reminded her of her sister that was overseas in the military at the time. When I went around her folks…a lot of them told me I put them in mind of her sister as well.

veterans day   cruise 2012

She had a sharp tongue at one point. Sometimes when she would tell you something, it would feel like a double-edged sword….LOL. Now it seems like we have switched roles…LOL! God began to work on her, and she got saved as she would put it ,”FOR REAL”, and it was on and popping from there. She was transformed.

Tisa is one of the most focused people I have met. I wish at times I were more like her, sometimes I feel all over the place! When she tells you she is going to do something, she does it. She is thoughtful, kind, a great listener, wise, sentimental, and very hospitable. Most of all, she is a God-fearing woman, a praying woman, and very sensitive to the spirit. Everything that she has set out to do, she has done. She joined the army, she got her education, she has traveled, and now she has opened her non-profit, Empowered for Life, Inc. (Check out her site and donate! http://www.empoweredforlifeinc.com/). #E4L!

We have been through a lot together. We have laughed, cried, been mad, road tripped, ministered, goofed around, and just chilled together…”Ole’ Teacake!” LOL! (inside joke). I couldn’t have asked God for a better best friend. I don’t know what I would do without her. She has blessed me so much. She is the epitome of what an asset is.

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Now, my bestie is about to get married, and that is going to shift our relationship a little, so the moments that I have been able to have with her this year has been extra bittersweet for me. I won’t necessarily hold the same place in her life anymore. That is how it is supposed to be though. We have prayed for this since we were 18 years old, and it brings me joy to see our prayer come to reality. God has blessed her with a man that loves her unconditionally. He is everything she needs and wants. God hooked her up!

tisaandfrancois

Tisa girl, I love you…I am proud of you, and I know that your dad is looking down on you and smiling from ear to ear. I know Glo is proud of you as well. When we met 14 years ago, we didn’t realize that we would be as tight as we are. I know that God divinely connected us, and for that I am so grateful. Some people are still looking for someone to call friend. You have became more than just my friend, you are my sister. You may go through your issues and problems, but you still manage to check on others and make sure they are ok. You have the heart of God. He has truly reduced you to love. I just wanted to express my appreciation for you publicly. My grandma always said, give people their flowers while they yet live. I know you are not necessarily a big fan of flowers….lol…but here’s yours.  Love you girl!

In His Abundant Love,

Miranda

INFESTATION

Hello my friends!

I am so excited to introduce to you this week, a dear, dear friend of mine, Ms. Chaquita Shannon. She has been my best friend for going on 15 years, and she is an awesome Woman of God. She loves to write devotionals, and when she writes them, I can tell that they are coming directly from the Throne Room! I asked her to be a guest contributor this week, and she kindly obliged, which I greatly appreciate. So, thank you so much Chaquita for your contribution! Love you chica!

INFESTATION

Throughout each summer of our childhood, my brother and I would always ride our bicycles up and down the street. For some strange reason, we tended to run into a swarm of bees. It was the type of group that stuck together no matter what. It seemed as if there was a secret code, which remained intact that allowed for no person or thing to break up its group. Like one adage states, “you mess with one, you mess with us all”. One question we would often ask ourselves was “where did they come from?”

Infestation refers to the state of being invaded or overrun by pests or parasites. It can also refer to the actual organisms living on or within a host, (www.dictionary.com). In order to understand the purpose of this message, you must first ask yourself “am I being overrun by any pests in my life?” Not to identify infestation mainly as “true” pests such as roaches or rodents but more so in relation to “nagging/complaining people, a loved one with overwhelming baggage, unhealthy cycling of being in and out of bad relationships and/or finding yourself in unexpected situations on your job”. If this is you, you’ve probably performed a checklist on yourself and have asked “where did all this come from?”

One alarming factor that stood out in regards to defining infestation was “actual organisms living on or within a host. A host is a person who receives or entertains other people as guests. With this in mind, is there something living on the inside of you that’s causing this infestation to occur in your life? WOW!!!

In Mark 5:1-9, the Bible depicts how a man had been possessed by an unclean spirit:

1 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.

And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:

Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.

And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.

For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.

And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

According to the Life Application Study Bible, a legion was the largest unit of the Roman army consisting of 3,000 to 6,000 soldiers. Clearly, this man was possessed by many demons.

Please understand that I’m not saying you have a demon or demons living inside of you but I do want to encourage you to perform self-examination on yourself and answer the above mentioned questions honestly. Once you’ve identified “the pests”, call those things which be not as though they were and cast them out!

Mark 5:11-13

11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.

12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.

13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

You read what happened to the “pests” once they realized who Jesus was.

REMEMBER HIS Spirit is LIVING inside of you. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy BUT my God has come to give you LIFE!

Peace & Blessings,

Chaquita

Again, that was an awesome contribution! If any of you wish to talk, just hit me up in my inbox at abundantheart14@gmail.com. Hope to hear from you! We will have another awesome Guest contributor next week. God Bless you and have a great week!

In His Abundant Love,

Miranda

Have I Done my part?

I am so excited to introduce and present to others Mrs. Sequelia Erskine. I have watched her grow and develop over the years and she has grown into a remarkable Woman of God. She is always posting great food for thoughts about life, family, love, and the Christian Faith on Facebook and Instagram. She is transparent, and balanced. She loves her family and friends, and she is a great example for young women. I asked her to be a guest contributor this week, and she obliged. Thank you Sequelia for being a yielded vessel! God Bless You! ~ Miranda

Judges 2:1-3

“The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land I swore to give to your ancestors. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, and you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars.’ Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this? And I have also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; they will become traps for you, and their gods will become snares to you.’”
This event marked a significant change in Israel’s relationship with God. At Mount Sinai, God had made a sacred & binding agreement with the Israelites called a covenant. God’s part was to make Israel a special nation, to protect them & to give them unique blessings for following him. Israel’s part was to love God & obey his laws. But because they rejected & disobeyed God, the agreement to protect them was no longer in effect. Yet God still refused to abandon his people. They would still receive all the blessings if they asked God to forgive them & if they sincerely followed him again. Although God’s agreement to help Israel conquer the land was no longer in effect,  his promise to make Israel a nation (through whom the whole world would be blessed) remained valid. God still wanted the Israelites to be holy people (just as he wants us to be holy), and God would often use oppression to bring them back to him. Has God ever had to oppress you, just to remind you to never forget who he is?
The bible tells of so many times where God allowed his people to be oppressed so that they would repent of their sins & return to him.
Do we resemble the Israelites, today?
Too often we want God to fulfill his promises while excusing ourselves from OUR responsibilities. Starting today, challenge yourself that before you claim God’s promise ever again, that you will always first ask yourself, “Have I done MY part”?
Quelia e
This was awesome! Thank you so much Quelia! This really hit home for me. Let’s get our houses in order people! Obedience is better than sacrifice! God love sometimes includes chastisement. As parents (and aunts, lol in my case) sometimes you have to disipline your child. You do this only out of love because you know what they can be, and you only want the best for them. God wants the best for you! I am thankful for a God that loves me enough that when I get out of order, he thinks enough of me to check me! I don’t want to be like the Israelites were, they had a Sheree moment off of the Real Housewives of Atlanta…the way they acted they were saying to God, “Who’s gonna check me boo?” And guess what, He showed them who was….and HE CHECKED THEM! LOL. I love you all, thank you again Sequelia for your awesome and on-time post. Please comment, and feel free to email me at abundantheart14@gmail.com. Until next time….
In His Abundant Love,
Miranda