An Affirmation A Day…

We often feel the most debilitating emotions while we are waiting on God to shift our current circumstance. And sometimes the waiting period can seem like a tiring game of playing “on the river, on the bank”. We exist between places of worry and wonder. One minute we are expectant of seeing His glory manifested in our situation and the next minute we are worried about if we will be able to survive another day in our current crucible. 

One minute we resign to living with our present struggle and the other minute our hearts are filled with confidence and faith. One minute we neatly wrap our hearts with good-sounding logic so that we wouldn’t be disappointed if God doesn’t respond as we would prefer Him to; the next minute we are frantically removing the layers of “protection” that we have placed around our hearts and minds to cushion and comfort us if we end up disappointed.

This constant emotional and spiritual back and forth leaves us confused and overwhelmed. And, the only way we will be able to come out on the other side of this waiting period alive, and with our faith intact is through patience. 

Patience is not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.

One proven way that has helped me to keep my faith tank full and my attitude in check during this season of waiting is daily scriptural affirmations.

Scriptural affirmations, focus our attention on the promises found in God’s word. It eventually shifts our attention from the negative and the things that are not working in our favor to the hope-inspired thoughts that fill the Bible. Affirmations also program our minds to believe God’s word and somehow with the working of the Holy Spirit, they transform the attitude of our hearts. They find themselves in our subscious minds and over time, influence our attitudes, thoughts and actions. Most importantly, scriptural affirmations store the Word of God in our hearts so that when we are tempted by doubt and fear, we can deeply dig into our reservoir of divine wisdom and truth. 

For the next four weeks, I invite you to choose one of the following scriptures and repeat it for five minutes, three times a day. You can begin when you wake, during your lunch hour and before bedtime. Offer a prayer before you confidently repeat the verse or verses loudly. You can also write these affirmations on paper or in your gadgets and place them around your work or living spaces and refer to them, frequently. 

I have found that even if we review and meditate on the same scripture every day, God always reveals something new to us, each day. So, I invite you to purchase a journal to jot down your thoughts that the Holy Spirit reveals to you as you repeat, study and meditate on these spiritual affirmations.

Week One 

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. Psalm 24: 1 – 2 (NIV)

Week Two

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him. James 1: 12 (NIV)

Week Three

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2: 20 (NIV)

Week Four

As high as Heaven is over the earth, so strong is His love to those who fear Him. And as far as sunrise is from the sunset, He has separated us from our sins. Psalm 103: 12 (MSG)

Bonus

I know what I am doing, I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not to abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29: 11 (MSG)

We may never gain complete control to stop emotional temptations, like doubt and fear from flooding our minds, while we wait on God; but we can control the actions we commit to daily that are powerful enough to feed our faith and starve all other spiritual assaults by the enemy.

Love,

Dee

(C) 2017, Dentrecia Blanchette

I’m Salty – Sorry. Not Sorry!

Jesus was clear about our purpose on the earth in Matthew 5: 13:

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

All other purposes or visions for our lives should spring from this main purpose.

We were commanded to mix and mingle and share our faith. 
We were created to constantly remain the transformational agent in every scenario.

We are called to be the “salt of the earth” even when we are upset and bitter or caught up in our emotions. 

How does this command manifest itself in our everyday lives?

Salt must be mixed with other substances to work. “Salt must be mingled with the substance to which it is added; it must penetrate and infuse in order to preserve. So it is through personal contact and association that men are reached by the saving power of the gospel. ” Ellen G. White. Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 36. We must show ourselves as friendly and mingle with others to make a lasting impact in their lives. 

Salt preserves. Are we helping to improve a situation and keep decay from happening? 

Salt is valuable. Are our actions, adding value to our relationships?

Salt purifies, softens and melts hard ice. Are our actions bringing out the best in others?

Salt heals. Do our words or actions heal others or prevent the toxicity in their lives from destroying them?

The command to be “salt of the earth” is a high one. Still, it is our main purpose for being. We are to enhance and give meaning to life, and the lives of others. This is why it is imperative that we ourselves be personally transformed from the inside out. For, if we have not been changed, we cannot bring out the “God flavors” of this earth or more realistically within our own every day engagements and interactions.

Unfortunately, if we run from our calling to be salt, we will lose our influence as followers of Christ and be “trampled on”.

“Salt that has lost its savor is like a fruitless tree. It occupies needed space, and it raises false hopes-causing both waste and disappointment. How may we, then, avoid becoming as savorless salt? From the beginning, peoples who have been set aside to be special representatives of God have had a problem keeping God at the center of their faith. And without His being at the center of our lives, we become the center of our own lives. And that is the sure way to unfaithfulness. We are utterly tasteless without the life of Christ flavoring our lives.” Anon.

This week, I am partnering with God to add a little flavour to my friendship circle, on my job, in my relationships, my neighbourhood and in my church. I challenge you to do the same.

Love,

Dee

(C) 2017, Dentrecia Blanchette

Different Story. Still blessed!

If David were to compare his call to kingship to that of other kings, he would have doubted that it was God who was leading him. For, God’s call on his life was unique. It went against tradition and any call to royalty that took place in his time.

A king came from a royal line …. David came from a humble family without prestigious pedigree.

“Now David was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse, who was from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons, and in Saul’s time he was very old.” 1 Samuel 17: 12

A king was trained within the palace …. David was trained in the fields of nature while caring for sheep.

And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are these all the children?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is tending the sheep.” Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” 1 Samuel 16: 11

A king was a mature adult who served within his nation’s military…. David was a simple, young and inexperienced shepherd boy.

Still, with none of the traditional pre-requisites, God anointed him and called him to be king.

“Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel.” 2 Samuel 7: 8

It took deep faith on David’s part to trust the work that God was completing behind the scenes of his life and outside of the existing royal palace.

God has specific tasks for our lives. Some of us learn of these tasks through trial and error, prayer, divine counsel or through the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

And like David it takes deep faith on our part to trust what God is doing within our lives, even when everything around us proves unsuccessful and pointless.

Sometimes though, we miss these tasks because we count ourselves out, we believe the labels that others have categorized us with or we compare our life’s direction and unfolding against the lives of others.

God’s call on your life is different from anyone else’s.

You cannot study the success of others to get a glimpse of how God will usher in your life’s success. The story He is penning about you (and for you) is unique. It is just as beautiful as the stories of faith and success that you have observed or heard of others but it is unique.

And every second that you exert energy comparing where you are now to where others are, you miss seeing God work mightily in your here and now.

Every time you focus on the winning strategies of others, you neglect focusing on the winning strategies that God is faithfully placing in your Spirit.

Every minute, you dwell on the blessings of others through fearful, envious eyes, you allow discontentment and unhappiness to take root in your life. Comparison will always rob us of experiencing full joy and contentment.

The next time you find yourself comparing yourself to others or obsessing about the direction and blessedness of your life after comparing it to others, I want you to:

P – Let God into your moment. Put before Him how you are feeling and remain in His presence long enough for Him to reveal to you the source of your emotions and feelings.

Our emotions and thoughts reveal the depth of our faith and the strength of characters so allow God to use this intimate moment to make you more self-aware.

A – Ask God to fill you with joy. 

Sometimes, it is impossible to find it within ourselves to choose joy and contentment within the moment. There is nothing wrong with asking God to give you a Spirit and attitude of joy and contentment because you are unable to choose to exist within those states of being, at the moment.

U – Unplug. An occasional social media detox will do your spirit good. 

You can unplug for an evening, a weekend, a month. Find a time that works best with your life’s responsibilities and unplug. You don’t have to deactivate your social media accounts, you just need to turn off your device so that you can give your mind a minute to breath from the frequent updates of everyone at their best—as happy as can be, in love with life, on top of the world, getting engaged, getting married, getting promoted, having babies, or accomplishing big success. Sometimes our minds just need a break from seeing everyone at their best and time to reflect on real life – the one that is offline, less than perfect but absolutely blessed, nonetheless.

S – Set aside on paper or on any of your mobile devices, what God is doing in your life.

We often become discontent with our own lives because deep within, we are not convinced that the path we are on or where were are in this moment is blessed.

Take note of what God is doing in your life and let your mind visualize them in words. Note the external blessings as well as the internal ones.

Trust me, there is something powerful that happens when we physically see what God is doing in our hearts and lives on paper.

Try it.

E – Engage in an intentional activity that will not only draw you closer to the vision God has revealed to you for your life but an activity that will strengthen your faith.

Comparison almost always catches us when we are idle or in our free time.

But, if we are engaged in meaningful activities that will enrich our spirits, and our minds, we will have no time to focus on what others are doing or how their unique blessings are manifesting within their lives.

P – A – U – S – E.

Take a minute and refocus your emotions and thoughts on the true source of your blessings – God.

I will be doing the same.

Love,

Dee

© 2017, Dentrecia Blanchette

Shoreless Influence

Throw a pebble into the lake, and a wave is formed; and another and another; and as they increase, the circle widens, until it reaches the very shore.

So it is too with our influence.

Beyond our knowledge or control, our influence is as far- reaching as eternity.

It is either a blessing or a curse to those in our lives. For, we are all surrounded by an atmosphere of our own,–an atmosphere, that may be, charged with the lifegiving power of faith, courage, and hope, and sweet with the fragrance of love or heavy and chill with the gloom of discontent and selfishness, or poisonous with the deadly taint of cherished sin.

By this atmosphere surrounding us, every person with whom we come into contact is consciously or unconsciously affected.

So what can we say of our influence?

Is it enhancing our inner circles?

Is it reforming or preserving power in the world?

Is it counterworking the destroying, corrupting influence of evil?

Is it reflecting the Spirit of Jesus to those in need?

Ellen G. White says, “Every act of our lives affects others for good or evil. Our influence is tending upward or downward; it is felt, acted upon, and to a greater or less degree reproduced by others. If by our example we aid others in the development of good principles, we give them power to do good. In their turn they exert the same beneficial influence upon others, and thus hundreds and thousands are affected by our unconscious influence. If we by acts strengthen or force into activity the evil powers possessed by those around us, we share their sin, and will have to render an account for the good we might have done them and did not do, because we made not God our strength, our guide, our counselor.”

If for some reason you still believe that your influence is insignificant and your obedience to God goes unnoticed, consider our first Shero of the week – Belshazzar’s grandmother.

Belshazzar, king of Babylon and son of Nebuchadnezzar, was in the midst of a raucous party in Babylon, surrounded by a thousand of his lords, his wives and his concubines. In the mist of the party, Belshazzar saw a hand that began to write on the wall with long and elegant strokes. With his knees knocking and his face growing pale and terrified, Belshazzar was unable to understand the mysterious writing.

It was his grandmother who then instructed him to call on Daniel, the faithful Jewish visionary who had guided her husband, King Nebuchadnezzar, through many trials, including hallucinations, dreams and insanity.

Daniel, now an old man, was found, and read the message on the wall.

Belshazzar had forgotten Daniel but because of Daniel’s great influence, the grandmother of the king, remembered him a time of need. And because of her great influence, Daniel was called to the king.

Belshazzar’s grandmother remembered that Daniel had given the king, her husband, a sense of order and God’s presence through his difficult trials back in the day. She had seen Daniel and his friends walk through flames and not be burned; she had seen hungry lions lay down before him when he was thrown to them for food. She knew he was a holy man, one of God’s people.

When everyone in the kingdom had forgotten the influence of Daniel, one woman remembered him and His God.

When everyone was carried away by the terror of the evening, one woman, sober and quietly, used her influence for good.

I am comforted that God always registers the silent good work I am doing. Even though it may not be advertised or broadcasted.

I am also glad that in the right moments, He brings wise counsel to my mind to share with those in need.

No act that we commit is without notice or influence.

And if for some reason you believe that you are too young, too inexperienced to influence an older peer; or too poor, too ordinary to influence someone who is wealthier than you are; or you are too shy, or too uncultured to be used by God, consider the story of Naaman and the servant girl, our second Shero of the week.

Naaman, was a high-ranking military commander, yet it was his servant who led him to be cured of leprosy.

The young servant girl urged Naaman to follow the prophet’s Elisha’s orders to bathe in the Jordan River and because of her influence, Naaman obeyed the prophet and was restored to health.

Ellen G. White says, “Every person is exerting an influence upon the lives of others. We must either be as a light to brighten and cheer their path, or as a desolating tempest to destroy. We are either leading our associates upward to happiness and immortal life, or downward to sorrow and eternal ruin.”

God doesn’t need us to have a high ranking status, qualifications or years of experience to exert a powerful influence on His behalf to others.

He just needs your heart as He needs mine.

Love,

Dee

(C) 2017, Dentrecia Blanchette