How To Be A Vessel to Bless Others

The Life of a 21st Century Prophet
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“One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:24-25

One of the reasons God entrusts money to us is to bless other Christians by meeting their needs. God uses the transfer of money within the Body of Christ to build unity among Christians. Sometimes we withhold money that God has designated for someone else. He wants to bless through us, but His will cannot be accomplished through us if we are disobedient.

This was the case for a business owner who tells of the time when God told him to forego a company bonus one year. God directed him to share his year-end bonus with an employee to show his appreciation for him. He wrestled with God for three full days before obeying the Lord on the matter. When he finally met with the employee to give him his check, the man said he had been praying about a financial need he had three days earlier. He had decided to borrow the money to meet his need. The amount of money he borrowed was the exact amount the business owner gave him.

God had already planned to provide for the employee through the business owner, but because he was hesitant, he almost missed the opportunity to be an instrument of God in this man’s life. Even so, he could have prevented the man from having to borrow money. It was an important lesson for the business owner.

How many people do we let down because we feel the “harvest” God provides is all ours? In America, the pressure is always on to move up the ladder of material accumulation. Jesus warned us about this. If our focus is on accumulation, we will not look for opportunities to be God’s vessels of financial blessing to others. Ask the Lord if you have an open hand when it comes to finances.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

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2018 – How To Do Facebook Fasting

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Facebook is highly addictive and distracting. It accounts for a large percentage of unproductive behavior found in the workplace. In addition, it is also a distraction to many Christians and becomes an idol in their lives; stealing time, which ought to be spent with God.

Due to the addictive nature of social media, especially Facebook, I usually do a social media fast once a year. Recently, in 2017, I developed the habit of limiting or turning off all notifications from these sites.

Notifications tend to call your attention, willing and unwilling, to the applications on your phone. Therefore, you become programmed by an app and not the other way around. Since I implemented this practice, I find that I take up my phone less and the urge to scroll through my social media pages like a zombie, is ultimately eliminated.

Sin of Idolatry

In the modern era, social media is an idol; that is, anything that takes away your focus and time with God. Jehovah already stipulated in the 10 commandments that ‘thou shall have no other God besides me’. Idolatry is a serious offense and has gotten Israel in trouble with God on too many occasions, as we see outlined in the bible.

This is why it is important for us, as children of God, to make a purposeful attempt to rid out lives of any distractions that affects our relationship with the Holy Spirit. This means many other things, even beyond your phone, electronic gadgets or television. Remember, work can become an idol too or the people whom you have a relationship with. So no, being a workaholic is not a good thing. There is something called ‘work life balance’; look it up.

Good Media Practices

I have written about my TV show fasting and Facebook fasting in the past. Last month, I did the former for a few days. These sacrifices have changed my behaviour and choices for the better. For example:

I don’t watch television; I choose which shows I watch and do so via my computer. This helps me to not be programmed by adverts or other supplementary programming.

I don’t watch many popular un-Christian shows, as I did before.

I don’t have a lot of vile, immoral or sexually explicit content in my Facebook feed, because for several years, I have unfollowed anyone who posts such content; even unfriended the more putrid offenders, because guess what? They are not my friends anyway. Facebook also now has a snooze option that removes the person’s postings from your feed for 30 days.

Also, I tend to only like content that I would like to see more often. Because of the myriad of Facebook algorithms, your future content is decided by what you watch and like or react to most.

Facebook affects both your conscious and subconscious mind. It provides instant gratification, so you find yourself posting everything; from a half eaten meal, bedroom shots, bed pics, private moments with spouses or even your location. All unwise and not for public consumption. You also lose the ability to understand what is appropriate, public content. Therefore, I now mostly post Christian related material or anything associated with me being an author.

Finally, I make limited number of personal posts in any given day on any social media platform.

Committing to a fast can be difficult to accomplish. That is why you need the Holy Spirit’s help every step of the way. It is actually He who reminds me of these practices or commitments every year.

The Benefits of Fasting

Apart from having more quality time to be with God and to be aware of God; you have time to focus on other important tasks.

You have time to focus on people. You escape the zombie culture.

Think about this. Have you ever been in a public setting like a restaurant, train, bus or meeting and rather than interacting with each other, people are faced down into their electronic devices? It is a sad state to be in and the primary reason for antisocial behaviour today.

Less addiction forces us, as social beings to be social with real people in real time in the real world and not live stuck in a virtual reality.

Depriving the physical man of these pleasures, allows you to focus on other things that develop your spiritual man. That means reading your bible more, doing in-depth studies, researching to write a book, writing that book, attending and paying attention in church or any other number of Christ centered practices.

You escape the influence of mass media content that has been ‘programmed’ or created to influence your decisions.

Another benefit is that you notice the differences between yourself and others.

I have noticed how television content has become more depraved, immoral and blatant in the last ten years. I am shocked when I see curse words allowed in general online content as headlines and that which can be easily consumed or accessed by young kids.

I notice how idiotic and meaningless song lyrics are today. I notice how gospel and Christian music are actually more secular and many have nothing to do with worshipping God. Many are flesh-ly and only serve the purpose of gratifying the person or selling records or showing off vocal range.

Recap

Ok, so I have mentioned a lot of pointers in this article on how to do Facebook fasting or a general social media fast, but let me itemize them here.

  1. Choose a set time (1 week, 1 month)
  2. Choose a time you can successfully manage
  3. Turn off social media notifications
  4. Delete applications if necessary
  5. If needed, be accountable to someone. Telling a friend, who is more mature and Christian minded will help you stick to your fast.
  6. Read your bible more
  7. Download a bible app
  8. Do or go to bible study
  9. Join a ministry team to help occupy your time
  10. When your fasting period expires, leave notifications off. Have set periods when you check your messages.
  11. Unfollow/Unfriend/Snooze people who post unsuitable content
  12. Don’t use your phone when you are required to engage with others

As time progresses it will get easier. Breaking addictions- drugs, alcohol, porn, smoking, internet- can be difficult.

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you and stick to your plans. Consuming more of God’s word, praying and meditation will help to transform and repair your mind.

 

Copyright © 2018 · All Rights Reserved · Denise N. Fyffe

How To Embrace the Mess

The Life of a 21st Century Prophet
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“Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.” Proverbs 14:4

I used to walk through a new home subdivision. Often I would see the street filled with red clay from the land as bulldozers clear it to lay a foundation. The job site is littered with lumber, all sorts of trash from workers, and is generally a mess. The house looks ugly; it has all its insides exposed as it is being pieced together, yet this process is necessary to get to the finished product. When completed, the home is beautiful. The landscaping looks like it came out of a home-design magazine. Everything is clean and perfect in order for the new homeowner to move in.

Our walk with God is much the same process. Often we must go through a messy period of our lives in which all aspects of it are in disarray. It is in these times that God builds a new structure. He might remove some structural timbers in our lives and replace them with new ones. He might even add on another room. And unless this process takes place, we will never see the end product. The goal is more Christlikeness. In order to achieve this in us, He requires a period of removing all that is not of Him. It can be a painful process.

It would be impossible to keep oxen in a barn without having to clean up the mess from time to time. It just comes with the territory, but the result of the oxen is an abundant harvest. God may be allowing a mess in order to ensure a fruitful harvest in your life. Learn from Him so that you might experience the fulfillment of His purposes for you in these times.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

How To Guard Your Spirit on Social Media

The Life of a 21st Century Prophet
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Take Heed and GUARD YOUR SPIRIT!!!

As sons and daughters of the King of Kings, we are commanded to guard our spirit. That means be careful of what you listen to and what you watch.

Facebook is a beast.

Twitter, Instagram…SOCIAL MEDIA is a beast.

Be careful.

Guard your timeline vigilantly. Don’t be afraid to hide, unfollow or block people. You will watch and see certain things casually, then when temptations come your way, you fall like dominoes. Why, because you were slowly poisoned and made ineffective.

Don’t be afraid to hide, unfollow or block people who show negative, ungodly, foul, immoral or questionable material.

GUARD YOUR SPIRIT!!!!

How To Understand Situational Ethics

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“Lord, who may dwell in Your sanctuary? Who may live on Your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart.” Psalm 15:1-2

“I cannot believe they are not going to honor my bonus agreement,” said the executive who was about to take another position in a new city. Her understanding of her present work agreement called for a bonus at the end of the year. Management saw the situation differently. “It’s not right. I am entitled to that bonus,” she complained.

It was time to leave. The company had given her a laptop to use. However, when she left, she decided that because the company was not going to pay her the bonus she was entitled to, she would simply keep the laptop as compensation due her. “And they would never miss it,” she reasoned. She was now in the employment of the new company.

As each day passed, she grew uneasier about her decision. She could not get it off her mind. Finally, she concluded that the Holy Spirit was telling her this decision was wrong and that she needed to call her former boss to confess her action. She called him and confessed what she had done and why she had done it. Her boss accepted her confession and forgave her. Strangely enough, he allowed her to keep the laptop computer.

Truth never changes. It is absolute. When we make decisions based on other actions that are taken, we move into making decisions based on the situation, not truth and righteousness. The executive may indeed have been wronged, but she had to address the wrong in the appropriate way.

Trying to compensate for the wrong by doing something that violates another scriptural principle is called situational ethics. If the employer had never wronged the executive, do you think she would have felt justified in taking the computer? Probably not. When you isolate the two situations, you see that one action was taken in response to the other action.

Have you had any experiences in which you have used situational ethics? The Lord desires His people to have a higher standard, even at the cost of being wronged. Ask the Lord to reveal any business practices that may indicate situational ethics. You might be surprised what will happen when you do the right thing.

 

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

How To Identify The Spiritual Realm

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The Spiritual Realm

How real is the spiritual realm? My lawyer friend from Nigeria tells a personal story of how he was preparing for an important case. He knew that he must be prepared to argue five separate points. He was to appear before his country’s supreme court, so it was a very important case.

As he neared the time in which he was to go to court, he began to pray about how he was to argue the case. He spent much time in legal preparation and intercessory prayer. As he went to court, the Spirit spoke to him and said, “Do not argue point one, point two, point three, or point four. Only argue point five.” Imagine my friend’s struggle of faith. If he were reading this wrong, the shame and professional fallout would be devastating.

The time had come to present the case before the judge when my friend said, “Judge, I wish to withdraw points one through four. I wish to argue only point five.” The opposing counsel stood up and objected. “Your honor, he cannot do that!” “Objection overruled, counsel,” said the judge.

My friend went on to present his case around point five only, and then sat down. When the opposing counsel stood to present his case, he stood speechless for 12 minutes. He could not get a word out of his mouth. He finally mumbled a few words and complained to the judge that he was going to have to yield. It seems that the opposing counsel had prepared to argue only points one through four, but failed to prepare for point five. The judge ruled in favor of my friend.

The unseen Lord wants to help us in the physical realm of our work life. We must acknowledge His presence and tap into this incredible resource He has given to each of us. Seek Him today and ask Him to reveal His perfect plan for you this day.

 

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Daily Journal: Healing for Your Pain

The Life of a 21st Century Prophet
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I was hurt, wounded; my heart was sensitive with every breath. I was left to fight a battle that I did not start, nor did I foresee. The enemy was on every side plaguing my mind, my spirit; distracting me from being fully immersed in the work, that I was doing in the house of God.

Yes, I was setup by one of my own and all with just the release of a few words.

There is power in the spoken word. Our words are commands that are acted upon and executed in the spiritual realm. And on this night , those words had released a spirit of anger, hurt, distraction and unforgiveness.

I had to dig deep and prayed forgiveness, and that I could release the ones who had just unknowingly wounded my spirit. If I was a lesser woman, I would have succumbed to dejection, shook the dust off my feet and never return. But no, I was there to serve another and this was just another attack by the enemy, because of the effectiveness of our ministry.
But that night, instead of being fully supportive and functional, I was busy fighting off a personal attack.

When I got home, the Holy Spirit was there. He knew what I needed. I felt His presence overshadow me as I prayed to forgive, to release and to forget. I felt it all just wash away and then it was just He and I. You see the Holy Spirit cares about us when we are hurting. When you have a personal relationship with God, he will come to your rescue every time. Sometimes delayed and yet at other times, immediately.

Thank God for Jesus, because as I write this, I am being made whole. I am being restored.

Daily Journal: Bird Calls

The Life of a 21st Century Prophet
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“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:7-10 NIV

It is such a blessing to wake up and hear the thrilling sounds of bird calls.

It’s been over a year since I started working on my garden and though I am not as active as before, the ecosystem it has engendered and seeing it develop, has been a pleasant experience.

From moths, snails, toads, crickets, lizards, hummingbirds, butterflies, worms, cats, beetles, white flies and other creatures that I have no clue about.

Some of the encounters have been amazing, like having my own ‘pet’ hummingbirds. Who come down for a bath and to drink water when I water the garden. So what I do, is to wet up the numerous palm trees in my yard.

Watching these little marvels has been an immense pleasure over the last year.

Then there have been unpleasant experiences, like those with the cats who dig up my plants, killing my seedlings, defecating in the soil, patrolling my yard constantly, like it’s their own personal love shack and driving me crazy with their incessant ‘bab like cries’, screams and yowls – which I recently learned indicates the female is in heat.

It feels like the song ‘The 12 days of Christmas’ sometimes.  Poor Agnes! 😦

Not to mention the more scary encounters. The other night I came face to face with a bullfrog. I took off without looking back. As well as dodging the 40 legs, as we call em, which can be poisonous.

When did my yard become a haven for such a huge and diverse ecosystem?

But I remember…

It was all God and that it is all good. It is not only a haven for me, but for the other creatures of God as well.

I have had many pleasurable moments lounging in peace.

Lounging with Christ and hearing Him in my spirit; guiding me and answering my questions.

Lounging in the cocoon of clean air purified by my plants.

Lounging in what is a small representation of what heaven will be like.

Even if I am fighting with the 50-11 little cats; one day I will lie in peace with the big cats.

That is what heaven will be like.

So now, I simply sit and enjoy the bird calls, in the morn.

 

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Poetess Denise N. Fyffe is a published author of over 30 books, for more than six years and enjoys volunteering as a Counselor. She is a freelance writer for online publications such as Revealing the Christian Life, Jamaica Rose, Entertainment Trail, My Trending Stories among others.

Check out her book Fibroids: The Alien Assassins in My Body

Fibroids: The Alien Assassins in My Body by Denise N Fyffe

In this testimonial, Denise shares intimate details from her childhood through to adulthood. She discusses, how fibroids or as they are also called myomas, fibromyomas, or leiomyomas, have affected her daily life and the adjustments that she was forced to make. After reading this book, women will become more informed about a disease that affects 80 percent of women; while making life miserable for one in four.

Available at all online book retailers and Amazon.com.

 

Copyright © 2018, Denise N. Fyffe, The Island Journal