Friday, December 19, 2014

Forgive Once More by Nina Keegan

Just the other day as I was enjoying a walk on a  warm December, yes December day in Houston, a sudden onslaught of hurtful thoughts came flooding to my mind ..out of no where  I was painstakingly reminded of the betrayal I had suffered that ended in divorce.. the enemy was bringing up all the old facts and taunting me with them..

Then suddenly I recognized the bullying for what it was and immediately resisted the enemy at his onset .. James 4:7 and then as the scripture instructs I submitted myself to God.  I asked God to once again help me to forgive my ex and his girlfriend and then even harder .. I asked God to bless them. 

I am not writing about this to try to remotely acknowledge that it is as easy as that.. It's contrarily by far one of the hardest things God asks us to do. Living for God and doing His will is most often the road less traveled because it's not  the easiest fork in the road of choices. It's the more ambiguous road that beseeches us to live and act as Jesus himself would and follow closely and in the mirror image of Him.

Our realization of what we need to do is most often in complete opposition of what we ( in our flesh) want to do. We must grasp the understanding that we by  forgiving, become the living benefactor of blessings and this life changing wisdom comes straight from the words of Christ Himself when He was asked how many times we should forgive...

Matthew 18:21-22
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven. 

70x7... Wow.. Christ is lovingly notifying us in this Scripture that He knows forgiveness is extremely hard. He's also stating that if it was as simple as merely saying "I forgive them," one time we would not need our loving Father beckoning us to keep forgiving over and over again. God realizes that the need for continual forgiveness is a process that with diligence and fortitude will bring with it a divine healing of the soul. 

One very important key I feel to be a total necessity to moving forward in complete forgivness is that Forgiveness does NOT excuse the behavior of those who have hurt you.. you forgiving them is absolutey for you!  God will judge them for their behavior and bring justice upon them for their deeds.  We are not to be concerned or distracted by the punishment God has planned for the godless..

Job 36:17
But you are obsessed with whether the godless will be judged. Don't worry, judgment and justice will be upheld.

Forgiveness however; is to benefit ourselves, the ones who have been hurt. IT IS FOR US! It's hard to believe that on top of being hurt and betrayed by someone that we could continue to hurt ourselves by not forgiving them and by not letting go; but there is nothing more true...we simply MUST forgive! 

Wholeheartedly forgiving those who have hurt us will actually set us free from the binding chains of hurt, anger, bitterness, pain,angst and turmoil that can take over our entire mind, body, and soul and paralyze our spiritual growth locking us down on the burdensome road of heaviness and despair and simultaneously blocking our own blessings by drowning out our peace and our ability to experience joy. 

The Lord's blessings continually flow down to us, He never stops blessing us, NEVER!  Through bitterness and unforgiveness however we are in a sense choking off the flow of our own blessings by not letting go of the past hurts.

The enemy knows if he can continually stir up our past pain and cause us to always remain looking in the rearview mirror with hatred and contempt over those who have hurt us; then he will successfully block us from being blessed and simultaneously from moving forward in the glorious victory that God has in store for us! 

We must let it go, it's time to forgive, it's time to let the Divine Blood shed of Jesus Christ cover our hurts and our pains as we forgive one more time! We must lay it all down down at the foot of the cross thereby resisting the enemies lies at the onset! 

 Lord we seek your strength as we forgive those who have hurt us in the same manor in which you have so preciously forgiven us, we ask for your peace and joy as you lovingly heal our souls bringing forth victory and a glorious testimony as to the truth of your Word and how you diligently watch over your Word  to perform it!  Amen!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Begin Again by Nina Keegan

Zechariah 4:7
  Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the head stone with shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’”

Recently while I was cleaning out my garage I happened across a 30 gallon storage tub filled with many items that were bought with good intent and excitement for certain projects and ideas that are now  seemingly abandoned and left in the giant sea of "things I never finished"!... It got me thinking...what else in my life have I ignored and left unfinished? What happens in the gap between exuberance and disinterest?

  Lately  I feel like God has been repeatedly trying to resurrect something in my heart that He placed there long ago. He wants me to accomplish that which has remained unfinished. 

I'm sure that happens to many of us and sometimes we don't know how we could possibly begin again ...we make declarations and rationalizations about how busy we are or that maybe we would get to it later at another more convenient time.

 When God  gives you something to do, He always gives you the enabling grace to do it, regardless of how dauntingly impossible the task may seem . God's GRACE!  That wonderful enabling Grace will help us get through it with a spirit of ease that will simultaneously cause dreams to manifest and come to pass. 

 God doesn't change his mind, his plans are brilliant for us the first time when He so diligently wrote our stories and thought up every last detail and sequentially numbered the pages of our bios long before we were ever born and before one day ever came to pass. 

 We can either be obedient and walk into the promised land or we can have one more trip around the proverbial mountain!

  What is God asking you to resurrect today?  What dreams and ideas have you been laying aside? What have you been putting off in sheer avoidance or because of the enemie's voice whispering thoughts of failure,  incompetence and lack of qualifications? What has kept you at a stand still frozen in your steps? When have we become so complacent in our thinking that we would rather succeed at nothing than fail at something?

  God does not call the qualified he qualifies the called!  It's when we are obedient in the small things that He so proudly and lovingly bestows more trust in us and gives us a bigger assignment laced with blessings and manifestations all so intrinsically designed to bring him glory as endtime harvestiing witnesses for His Kingdom. I believe they're all tests that when passed, allow us to be propelled forward expeditiously into preeminent levels in our relationships with Christ. 

We should never want to be in the same place too long because we want that thirst and hunger to always be growing in our relationships with the Lord.   We want to continue to follow God's brillliant plans. Reach for it, grab it, hold onto it and never let go! Step out in faith, do it afraid but with a heartfelt trust that God is closer than your breath walking side-by-side and leading you to where He wants you to be. 

We are to grab the headstone( the final piece) see the end from the beginning..  We are to visualize our mountains being leveled! We are to bring our dreams and our purposes forth with Shouts of Grace Grace! 

We cannot do it alone.. We are nothing without God.. He is the one who causes all things to be!!  Believe wholeheartedly that we can do what He says we can do. We can do all things through him who gives us the strength (Philippians 4:13 ) He equips us with the abilities we never knew we had. We wouldn't want to take one breath without him! 

How many times have you lost your lack of vision and gotten burnt out on something that could've been a glorious victory for you?  The enemy loves nothing more than to see us abandon that which God intended for our blessing.

I believe the Lord is saying it is time to begin again, it is time to hope again, it's time to get the vision again, it is time to believe in yourself again, it is time to finish what you have started! God is the Author and the Finisher and He who began a good work will finish it in your life until the day of completion!

 God will not stop,  He hasn't given up on you, his vision for you still stands! Whatever is left unfinished, whatever you have failed to accomplish; God is saying it's time!! It's time!!  Bring it to pass with shouts of Grace, Grace!
Grace, Grace over the child that needs salvation!  Grace, Grace over the marriage that is in crisis!  Grace, Grace over that business idea!  Grace, Grace over the book that hasn't been written! Grace Grace over the dream that has been laid aside for fear of failure!  SHOUT GRACE GRACE!

  I'm declaring grace Grace over every unfinished dream ,over every unrealized calling, over every single desire of your heart that has not yet come to pass! it's time to pick it up, it's time to begin again! It's time to see the victory!  When you bring it forth with shouts of Grace, Grace all the help that you need will come running ! God does not give you an assignment and then abandon you.. He's going to help you every step of the way.. Trust In Him!
God will help you realize your dreams but He's  asking you to grab hold of it, believe! Dream Big! 

Take the first steps.. step out in faith.. do something!  Stand up for something or fall for everything! It's time for your old dreams to be resurrected!  It's never too late to begin again! What dream have you laid aside? it's time to go pick it up again! in Jesus name I pray ! Amen!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Get A New Vision.. By Nina Keegan

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Proverbs 29:18

God created us in His image yet we are all so uniquely different. God is everything to everyone so we all have that special, highly individualized, unambiguous piece of God in us that makes us who we are.

I am sure that at one point or another we all get "stuck in a rut", or a little sick and tired of being sick and tired of what we are doing in our lives even if what we are doing is the passion and desire of our heart. Even the best possible scenario could  eventually become routine overtime. So what does that mean? Does a severe case of the doldrums mean we're not doing the right thing? Does it mean we're not living on purpose? Does it mean that we need to jump ship and find a new vocation, a new lot in life, a new purpose, direction or destiny? Have we messed up and missed it.. Missed the calling on our lives?   No.. to the contrary, I believe that a little restlessness now and then is good for us. Irresolution helps to motivate us and push us further beyond our own preset limitations and limited thinking. Uneasiness causes us to think outside the box and perhaps expand on what we're doing and how we can better use our time, efforts and talents to further glorify God through our own vocations.

 Moving beyond the status quo helps to reestablish and reaffirm that we are meant for greatness . We are unequivocally designed for a highly specialized purpose to glorify Christ and to enhance God's purpose for the kingdom.

So as for the scripture above, it specifically states that if we don't have a vision we would perish.. what does that mean..? I believe it means that when we can see our victory..when we get a clear vision in our mind, there is a shift in our mindset  and we then have a fresh zest and a new zeal to live deliberately and on purpose. We gain a new propensity and penchant for life that excites us! A new vision can jump start forethought action, and awaken dust laden ideas and abandoned desires of our hearts to positively motivate us and keep us moving forward! Basically we are called to live with expectancy of hope in a brilliant future without which we essentially do perish. Quite simply if we are not living according to God's will; then we are just not living!   It is not God's will for us to just stand still, be commonplace and without motivation and drive to succeed...His idea and master plan for us is to propel us forward from glory to glory to receive His richness of favor and to be habitually living in the abundant blessings of heaven. We are to be an example of God's goodness and glory on earth and  to set the precedence for others to see the fruit of having faith in God's divine plan. 

In the Bible, God told Abraham to abandon life as he knew it and basically walk off the map.. the map that Abraham lived on, ( his world as he knew it) and to visualize and grab hold of a whole new country that he did not even know existed.. 

The Call of Abram

12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

“I will make you into a great nation,
    and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.

God was broadening Abraham's visions all with a purpose that Abraham knew nothing about. God's omniscient plan was in place before Abraham even moved ..God gave him a fresh vision, one that would direct him and order his steps bringing God glory in every way. The New Vision came with some significant blessings.. Abraham had to wholeheartedly trust God with the unknown.. When God blesses, He always multiplies.. And the blessings on the back side of obedience are enormous!

ACTS 2:17 17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see VISIONS, and your old men shall dream dreams.

This scripture clearly tells us that God is the one who gives us the new visions. He allows the uneasiness  in our lives so we can turn to him and receive from the master visionary a fresh outlook. Then doesn't it seem that if we are living a stagnant and routine life;  that we just simply must ask God to renew our vision whereby showing us divine revelation so that our vision would be His ? The Word clearly states that we should think like God thinks and have the mind of Christ so we could "see" the victories and blessings that God has in store for those who ask, believe, and are open to receive.  For those whom God has called for the greater purpose which is to glorify him and further the kingdom of heaven.. There is always a great vision first! 

What visions do you have for yourself? What is God putting on your heart that you have been putting off? Get the vision.. Put on your proverbial rose colored glasses ..see it .. Declare it.. Then go get it!  Let a new attitude dictate your thoughts and then,  take the necessary steps to move toward the vision and watch God move accordingly... God is calling you today to rise up , to seize the victories he has in store for you.. Let a fresh new  boldness fill your heart and soul as you take action steps toward the new calling on your life! Appeal to your better self! God doesn't call the qualified he qualifies the called.. Visualize your victory! When you can see it... It's yours! 

There is absolutely nothing we cannot do through him who gives us strength...believe! Phil 4:13

Friday, August 8, 2014

God Does Not Change by Nina Keegan

God Does Not Change, He is still on the throne... 

 A recent get together with some childhood friends sparked a longing for the nostalgia of " good ole days" ..when days seemed endless and carefree and when summer itself was by all accounts infinite.

When I was a kid, we had only 3 television channels, all of which aired family friendly programs and never did our parents have to monitor what we watched..  we practically lived outside and at the first glare of the street lamps we knew that was our cue beckoning us home. We drank out of the hose, caught fire-flies in jars, rode on the handle bars of bikes, lived at the municipal swimming pool and played games like flash-light tag, .. "not it" and hide and seek and built endless snow forts.  No cell phones, video games, or lap tops ...instead, we played records and collected posters for our walls from Tiger-Beat magazine. 

Our hang out was the little league baseball park or the A&W where everyone showed up at dusk for ice cream and root-beer floats after the games. Inside our few square miles of a tiny Illinois town were endless memories of a place that seemed larger than life and more spectacular than I could ever imagine.  A tiny patch of wholesomeness carved from the midst of a cornfield canvas. We felt safe, you knew everyone in town and saw everyone in church on Sunday mornings. No one locked their doors.. There was no need.

It seems nothing is more real or carries a more enormous guarantee than change. It's coming.. Like it or not.. We are living and breathing change at an alarming pace.

There is an old adage that says ~The more things change, the more things stay the same~.. 

 After thinking about the statement I decided that it really wasn't true ..virtually nothing has stayed the same! Except..that is for one thing, our one constant, our infallible, unchanging, brilliant, Creator and Heavenly Father!  He's our one guarantee!  God! HE is still on the throne HE is omniscient, divine, always has been and always will be! He reigns supreme for all eternity! We can count on that!

No matter what changes and no matter what causes us fear and pain as the world teeters on the brink of its very existence as we know it; we don't have to fear anything because God is unshakable! Watching the news can send our anxiety levels through the roof as we witness war, crime, hatred, terrorism and cruelty like we have never seen before in our lifetime.... Yes...God is still on the throne! 

The Bible has many scriptures providing proof and evidence that God is unchanging and that He is and always will be who He says He is. It is important to listen to what God's Word says but it is much more important to obey it and do what it says.  We can measure the effectiveness of our time spent with God by the effect it has on our behavior and attitudes. So no matter what is constantly changing... trust that our God never will...

 Spend time reading The Word, and being in the presence of God. As you seek a lasting and intimate relationship with Our God and Father.. You will see His character and you will see,~ The more things change, the more God stays the same~

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever 
(Heb. 13:8).

Ps. 119:89
God's word is settled in heaven; it will not change.

Ec. 3:14
Whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to or taken from whatever God does (cf. Deut. 4:2; Rev. 22:18-19).

Heb. 6:17
God's counsel is immutable (i.e., does not change).

Jas. 1:17
There is no variation or shadow of turning with God. There is absolutely no change with God.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Wanting it All! by Nina Keegan

  If someone were to ask you right now what is it that you wholeheartedly want in life and where you realistically see yourself in the next 5-10 years; what is your absolute dream, your defining goal and your personal quota of happiness, What would your answer be? Would you even know the answer to that ? Or do you ignore the  long-term commitment required in striving for future goals only to replace them with an " I want it all now or nothing perspective ?"

 What is behind the crazy psychology of perpetually wanting what we can't have? Society as a whole these days just seems to have the innate opinion that the grass is always greener in our neighbor's backyard. Why is it that we can never be fully satisfied right where we are? We are incessantly feeling like we're missing out.. there is an anxiousness and a restlessness that keeps us in a constant inner battle and in search of the next best thing and the world's latest and greatest and for certain, an instant gratification. 

Our prolific yearning that something is missing and our unceremonious need to have more creates in us an insatiable pit that by the world's standards can never truly be filled.

We are so far away from a"bloom where we are planted" attitude. We live in the absolute antithesis of that!  We indulge the adversary of why would we even entertain putting roots down and be planted anywhere?  No.. We are moving on, moving up and moving fast! This is life in the fast lane and we are so caught up in the whirl wind of the "I gotta have it now" band  that we are losing our very souls in the desire to have the materialistic" things of this world !

Mark 8:36For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 

 It would seem that we are missing the whole point of having the blessed life that the Bible says we are to have and enjoy continuously! That means NOW.. We should be inhabiting a divine peace no matter what or where we are on our timeline of the exhaustive search to have it all!  Maybe, just maybe we ought to stop and just be present, be here... be in it today.

So many of us spend our time pining away for the glory of the good old days or looking ahead to the "I can't wait" and "if only " or "I wish I could "and "maybe someday" that we are undoubtedly missing out on God's daily dose of blessings , supernatural gifts and divine appointments! 

Are we too busy to even notice the subtle Godly nuances that He's so lovingly spreads across our paths?  Are we stumbling over our own selfish desires and simultaneously tripping over the good stuff  and missing out on the enormity of the beautiful blessings He has for us today?

Psalm 118:24,  This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Ephesians 5:15-16, Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity…

God wants us to enjoy every moment, to live in the present! We can pray and ask God to let us make wise choices according to His brilliant Word; that we might have and enjoy this very day to the absolute fullness of His grace. We should live like there is no guarantee of tomorrow ! We should put on our proverbial rose-colored glasses and see the world the way God sees it, that we would also bask in the glory and enjoy God's presence and the beauty surrounding us every single day! 

Tomorrow is still coming, it's still out in front of us! There is always going to be things to strive for and of course we should always want to better ourselves and look forward to an exciting and glorious future in Christ but that all comes with first appreciating and enjoying all God has set before us today! 

We must be a truly grateful for the here and now! Praise and thank God every morning for His mercies are new. The blessings that are ours to have and enjoy should be appreciated each one in its own right, one simple, glorious blessing at a time!

Don't despise the day of small beginnings, when you appreciate all that you have and where you are and enjoy this very space and time; that's when God can trust you and truly bless you with more of His brilliant and unending glory and give you the grace you need to fulfill  your divine purpose through and for Him!

Matthew 6:33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.