Day 30: Moving Forward and Trusting God



You did it! It takes 30 days to form a new habit. During the past 30 days, you began the transformation of a new habit of seeking God, processing truth and finding ways to lie out God’s Word. You also practiced dying to self by choosing the right things-ways of doing life that are biblical but might be uncomfortable.

Our best fullest life becomes ours as we focus not on self but on Christ and his ways for us. It is amazing how making this change, even for a day can make a huge difference in attitude and action. But as you move forward, you can be certain of one thing: there is an enemy lurking about trying to rob you of your faith. You must purchase a security system and install it on your life! The security system is Joy. To install it, you must remove your previous system of fear, worry and doubt. Once you change service providers, your life will be safer, more peaceful and fuller. You have to make a decision to change. The offer is always open…but you have to choose the new provider.

When we do something repeatedly, it becomes a habit. When a habit is done repeatedly and well and is producing something good, it becomes the art in which we live.

Develop the at of looking up. Make a habit of intentionally choosing your focus on Jesus Christ. Focus on who He is, how faithful e is, who you are in Him. Surrender to His plan…always look up!

Your life is no longer your own. Your life is not random, it is hidden in Christ. You are protected, shielded, cared for, provided for…all by Christ!. You are covered by his faithfulness and power. To look up, focus your attention on what is biblically true rather than on what you are feeling..

In moments of stress, pain or doubt…stop. Choose instead to tell yourself what is true about you, your life in Christ and God’s love and faithfulness. Take a new position, stand firm in who Christ is and who you are to him. Look up! Look to Him! Choose to believe.

Start a new morning habit. When you look at yourself in the mirror, thank God for the truth. Say to him ‘Thank your Lord, that I am alive in YOU! Thank you for the gift o salvation. I am your work and you have prepared good works for me to do today, as I live to honor you!”

Do not give up! Do not allow discouragement to have its way in your life, fight it with biblical truth! Set your focus on faith in God!  Thank God that his grace renews you daily! Refuse to lose heart. Instead always focus on truth and look up!

Today is a new day of basic faith, one truth at a time, one choice at a time and one day at a time!

I pray that you enjoyed the 30 Day Faith Dare and that you experience God’s Love and Presence on the Journey Of Life! I pray you learn to challenge yourself daily! Trusting God with your very life and following his profound truth!

His word works! We just have to apply it!

Be Blessed!

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Until next time, stay in God’s presence!


Day 25: Dare To Use Your Tongue to Bless and Build Up Others


Meditate on Proverbs 10:19, 12-18, 16-21   Ecclesiastes 10:12   Ephesians 5:19  James 1:19

Words hurt…we all know that. We all realize that our words can deeply wound others. Things we say can start so innocently and end so terribly. Gossip, negative comments and condescending attitudes are all things that tear others down.

Today take inventory of how you speak to others. Become accountable to God for your mouth. Recognize the impact of positive words and begin to use them accordingly.

James 1:19 is a constant reminder to me

Be quick to listen

Be slow to speak

Be slow to become angry

Today’s Dare: Pay attention to what comes out of your mouth. Watch for gossip and refuse to converse in a negative fashion about anyone. Look at  your heart attitude. Look for ways to turn a negative conversation into a positive one. Counter negative talk with positive words. Find words of encouragement to give to people in your life. Realize that when you encourage you are

Prayer: Father I come to you my mouth. Teach me how to manage it. It is an instrument of cursing or blessing nd I declare it to honor you, blessing you and others. Give me encouraging words and warn me when conversations are getting to a place of gossip and dishonor. I desire to love you by loving others!

Bridal your tongue and loose your blessings!


Day 14: Dare To Believe You Are Not Enough In Yourself


Meditate on 2 Corinthians 3:4-6, 3:12 and 3:17-18

The words “Not enough” can haunt us for a lifetime! Some of us live with that mantra all of all lives. We strive to always be more than enough…more of who we are…more of what others perceive us as.

Many Christian women have it worst, because we always trying to be perfect in a world than constantly places us under a magnifying class. As long as we are trying to be enough, we will always be about self instead of God.

Insecurities keep us at arm’s distance from others and from God. We often distance ourselves without even realizing it, believing that we can never measure up. Some women quit trying to be all that God has dared us to be and all that he has planned us to be. When this happens the enemy has won!. He celebrates and we suffer. Once was a light of hope in the promise of Christ has been reduced to a dependence of self to try to make ourselves good enough.

We can not do it on our own…it is not God’s plan for us. He never created us to be enough. He wants us to know that we are enough- because of him and his life in us!

Its time to quit stressing and look to God. He is enough for us in ALL THINGS. His spirit , which is powerful within us, changes us and transforms us from a woman of self focus and insecurity to a God focus woman with confidence.

The word competent means good, worthy, sufficient, adequate, or all though we may not not be all these of ourselves…WITH GOD, we can totally rely on Him and look to Him for everything!

God is our letter of recommendation, and he is forever writing our story

Today’s Dare: Think on this question

If I believed I am enough because Christ lives in me and makes me enough… How would I view myself differently? Would I live a different kind of life? What risks would I take? Would I be less afraid and more daring to follow Christ? Would I quit putting myself down?

Prayer: Lord deliver me from self focus and insecurity. I want to understand the significance of your life within me. I want to be changed into your likeness and to live in confidence that in you. I am enough for anything and everything you have mapped out for my life!

Dare to believe today, refuse any negative talk and thought for the next 24 hours. Be as kind to yourself as Christ is to you!

I dare you, because YOU ARE ENOUGH!


Day 8:Dare To Plug Into The Power Source


Meditate on John 15:4-5, 7-8, 11      1 John 2:27

Did you get that Power Source yesterday? Now are you PLUGGED IN? We are familiar with so many items around our home that can be used for specific purposes. Our televisions are there to entertain us. Our hair dryers dry our hair, our refrigerators keep our food cool…but here is the kicker…in order for them to work properly and do what they are made specifically to do…they must be plugged in!

The same is true for us. God designed us for a specific purpose. God wants to work through us. Even though many times, we may feel like we are so underserving of his love, yet He so freely gives it. And we are unable to do this Christ walk in our own strength…so God provides that power. What God intends for us spiritually, cannot take place unless we are plugged into the biggest outlet of power

A branch cannot bear fruit apart from the vine, anymore than any item that runs on electricity can do without being plugged in. Jesus said we are like the branches attached to the vine (Christ, our power source). When we are not connected, we have no power and bear no fruit. However when we are connected, all things are possible in and through us!

When you are connected, your life is filled with the very things you need and desire…love, joy…peace…patience…courage…strength…faith…the list goes on and on…

Connect to God through prayer, through his word, through fellowship and through obedience. We can not please God and walk in the fullness that He wants for our lives without staying connected to him.

My favorite time of connecting with God is early in the morning! The 5 am hour brings such a calmness to my spirit, and the rest of the world seems quiet. I can truly connect to God and hear all he has to say to me.

Today’s Dare: Plug into your power source today. Get away from everything and everyone for a couple of moments and just pray before God. Ask to be cleansed from your sin and filled with the Holy Spirit. Read the scriptures listed out loud, let each word resonate in your spirit. Dare to step out your comfort zone and experience Gods power everyday. Make time, find the moment of the day that works for you

Prayer: Father be my power, the rhythm of my life, the cadence of my steps. Live in me, work through me, have your way in my life today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year…forever more! I desire to remain in you and be fully connected by your power, presence and love.

Get plugged in today…and stay there!

Join us in September!

Faith Dare

Join us for our next Bible Challenge! We are doing the 30 day Faith Dare, based on the book “Faith Dare:30 Days to Live Your Life To The Fullest” By Debbie Alsdorf!


I’m excited to be studying, gleaning and gaining insight from this magnificent study! I will be providing information from the book, as well as reflections from my own life.

I pray that you will take this 30 day Challenge with us, starting Sept 1. Please follow the blog here and link up with us on Facebook at “Simply Soul Sisters.”  You can also request to receive the information via email, by dropping us a line at

I hope you will share your own experiences and thoughts on your Faith journey with us!

Be blessed, and be encouraged!


Leviticus 2: The Need to Respond


On Monday we looked at Leviticus Chapter 1, which solidified the fact that God can be the only fulfillment of our desires. The sweet aroma we emit when we have truly committed our lives wholly to him is pleasing!!

Now we come to the “meal” offering, as many versions call it. In the King James Version it is called the “meat” offering because meat was the old English word for “food,” or “meal.” But there is no meat in it at all. In fact this is the only one of the offerings that is bloodless. In all the others, animals had to die, but in this one no blood was shed.

It could be offered in any  three forms. In Verses 1 through 3 of the second chapter of Leviticus we find that the first form was that of simple, fine flour.

“When one brings a cereal offering as an offering to the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour; he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense on it, and bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests. And he shall take from it a handful of the fine flour and oil, with all of its frankincense; and the priest shall burn this as its memorial portion upon the altar, an offering by fire, a pleasing odor to the LORD. And what is left of the cereal offering shall be for Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the offerings by fire to the LORD.” (Leviticus 2:1-3 RSV)

You can see that this was intended to be food for the priests. Their meat and cereal came from these offerings. In Verse 4 there is a second form in which the offering could be presented:

“When you bring a cereal offering baked in the oven as an offering, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, or unleavened wafers spread with oil.” (Leviticus 2:4 RSV)

They could bring loaves or cakes of unleavened bread which,  could be either baked, grilled, or pan fried. The third form is found in Verse 14:

“If you offer a cereal offering of first fruits to the LORD, you shall offer for the cereal offering of your first fruits crushed new grain from fresh ears parched with fire.” (Leviticus 2:14 RSV)

They could take freshly harvested wheat and shake the grain out by hand and crush it. This  was then acceptable as a cereal offering. It is obvious that the essence of this offering was that it was bread. It was food, the staff of life. This theme is the key to the cereal offering. All through the Old Testament you find people offering meal offerings, often in the form of three loaves of bread. And in the tabernacle there was the showbread.

In the New Testament, after the great miracle when he took loaves and fishes and fed five thousand people, Jesus stood before the people and said, “I am the bread of life. I am the living bread which comes down from heaven. He who eats me shall live by means of me,” (John 6:33-35). He was indicating that he himself is to be our food and that we are to feed upon all of his character and his life!

This gives us a clue to what the meal offering is depicting. It is a description of mankind the way God intended it to be. We should be drawing from and  feeding upon God, our living bread!

Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me,” (Galatians 2:20a KJV). His perfect humanity is available to me. All the fullness of his life, the fineness of his character,  is available to me. And as I draw upon it by faith, as I expect him to link himself with me and to be part of me!  And we are privileged to present that perfect humanity back to God to be used as he wants. That is the fullness of the gospel and that is what the meal offering is all about.

Think about fine flour. If you take a pinch of fine flour and run it through your fingers, there is no coarseness, no roughness. There are no uneven, jagged corners nor anything sharp. It is smooth. It is consistent, no matter where you sample it. Fine flour is such an great picture of our life with God as it was intended to be and which is available to us in Christ…balanced. Without him there are chunks, chips and straw…

Balance is so hard for us in our own doing. You do not have to balance the life of Jesus. It is already a balanced life. And if you draw upon it, if you expect him to live in you, what you do will be balanced. Because he is the meal offering with its perfection of fine flour.

There were three things always included in the meal offering and two things which never could be included.

The three things always included were oil, frankincense, and salt.

The oil was used in two ways: it was mingled with the fine flour and it was also poured on top of it. The frankincense was perfume. It was a delightful fragrance. The use of salt is specified in Verse 13:

You shall season all your cereal offerings with salt; you shall not let the salt of the covenant with your God be lacking from your cereal offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt. (Leviticus 2:13 RSV)

The symbolism of these ingredients stand for the three elements of our relationship with Christ.

The first is oil, which is a type, or picture, of the Holy Spirit. All through the Scriptures you find that it symbolizes the Spirit of God. With this offering the oil is to be used in two ways: It is, first of all,  the indwelling Spirit. When you became a Christian by faith in Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God was shed abroad in your heart. He came in to live in you and he is part of you.  That is also called the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It has nothing to do with speaking in tongues; it means that, by the Spirit, “we are all baptized into one body,” as Paul puts it in 1 Corinthians 12 (1 Corinthians 12:13a RSV).

But then also, when you do something, when you minister, you need to have the Spirit anointing you, empowering you. You need to take fresh hold of him, so that you speak or act or think or write or work with power. That is the pouring of the Spirit upon you: “We are all made to drink of one Spirit,” (1 Corinthians 12:13b RSV).

In Jesus’ own life. He was filled with the Spirit from his mother’s womb. But then there came the day when, in the baptism at the river Jordan, the Spirit of God anointed him for his ministry. This is to be true of us as well.

The second element  is frankincense. The frankincense was all offered to God. Verse 2 says, “And he shall take from it a handful of the fine flour and oil with all of its frankincense; and the priest shall burn this as its memorial portion … a pleasing odor to the LORD.” In other words, this is primarily something which God wants, something which he sees. Therefore it is not something outward, but something inward.  Things that  delight God. What would you think is something about your life which delights God, which pleases him?

Mine is always a cheerful heart and praise…

Because now when we present our offering , we dont have to bring the ox or the bull,  just bring a thankful, cheerful, praising heart. That will please the Lord. In Hebrews 13:15-16:

Through him[i.e., Jesus] then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews13:15-16 RSV)

In other words, the frankincense of our lives is to be a thankful, cheerful, willing, voluntary, obedient heart. That is what God likes. That delights him.

The third element is salt, which, as you know, is a preservative.

You remember that Jesus said to his disciples on one occasion, “You are the salt of the earth,” (Matthew 5:13a RSV). That is, “You Christians are intended to be the thing which keeps society from getting rotten, from degenerating, from becoming corrupt and smelling.” And he said, “You are the light of the world,” (Matthew 5:14a RSV). Light, of course, is truth revealed. And salt is truth obeyed in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Then there are two things which were excluded from the offering, and both are found in Verse 11:

“No cereal offering which you bring to the LORD shall be made with leaven; for you shall burn no leaven nor any honey as an offering by fire to the LORD.” (Leviticus 2:11 RSV)

Leaven is  yeast. When you have made bread you have taken yeast, or leaven, and put it in the dough. Why? Because it has the power to expand, to puff up. Thus leaven is a fitting illustration or symbol of that in our human life which puffs us up. What is that? Pride.

Paul said to the Corinthians, “Love builds up, but knowledge [i.e., pride in your knowledge] puffs up,” (1 Corinthians 8:1 RSV). This is so true. You see, what God is saying is, “When you come to offer your humanity to me, don’t have any ego in it. Don’t be doing this for your own glory. Don’t be trying to derive from this a certain amount of satisfaction or credit for yourself.” “No flesh,” he says, “shall glory in my presence.”

There must be no leaven in the offering. Second, there shall be no honey. Here are some scriptures I found in regards to why Leaven or Honey was not needed or wanted by God in the offering

  • Leaven symbolized hypocrisy (Luke 12:1)
  • It represented false doctrine (Matthew 16:12)
  • A little could corrupt the entire congregation (Galatians 5:9)
  • Yeast risen bread spoils quickly
  • To the Jewish people, rising bread dough speaks of puffed of pride/self righteousness
  • To the Jewish people the warm loaf of yeast-bread entices the senses, a picture of lack of self control
  • Honey was a delicacy that was frequently offered to pagan gods in the Canaanite regions.
  • If you know anything about cooking, you know that honey can make things sweet that were not so originally. Likewise yeast can add a bitter/sour flavor that was not there originally.

The prohibition against leaven and honey is really a picture. We are to come before the Lord just as we are and He will do His work. We must neither appear sweeter than we are or worse than we are. Pride and false humility are two sides of the same sinful coin. Neither has any place in the offering.

There is one other thing to note about the meal offering . The children of Israel never offered a meal offering by itself. It was always accompanied by an animal sacrifice. These meal offerings were designed to go with one of the animal sacrifices, and most often with the burnt offering. That is why it is put right next to the burnt offering in the order of the sacrifices. There is the burnt offering, then the meal offering, then the peace offering. The meal offering is always offered in connection with the burnt offering.

That is very instructive, because it is telling us something significant about the meaning of this meal offering. The burnt offering, remember, was the need to be loved — the need to be accepted and to belong. But if God reaches out to you and says, “You are mine,” then that lays a demand upon you, doesn’t it? You need to do something. You need to say something back to God. You need to respond to his love. You need to open up your life toward him. Love  cannot develop, it can never go anywhere, it can never fulfill itself until it is ready to respond to the love which reaches out to it.

This is why you read in Hebrews 4:2 that when the good news reached the people of Israel, “the message that they heard did not benefit them, because it did not meet with faith” (Hebrews 4:2b RSV). That is, they did not do anything in return, they did not respond to the Word when it came to them. This is why Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians cries out to them with such pleading eloquence:

Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return — I speak as to children — widen your hearts also. (2 Corinthians 6:11-13 RSV)

He says, “There is nothing limiting us. We love you and want to help you, to reach you. I want to minister to you, but you are not responding. You won’t say anything back. You won’t open your heart. You won’t widen your life.” And so he pleads with them as a father. “I speak to you as children,” he says. “Let me in — widen your hearts also.”

In Hebrews 11:6 the most basic approach to God is described in this way, “whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who diligently seek him,” (Hebrews 11:6b). God has been seeking us, and he says, “Now it is time for you to begin to seek me. I’ve been reaching out to you. Now you reach back to me.” Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. This is the law of response in human nature. This is why John says, “We love, because he has first loved us,” (1 John 4:19 RSV).

This is why the meal offering is the second of the offerings. In the burnt offering you have God reaching out and saying, “You’re mine. I want you.” But in the meal offering you must say in response, “Yes, Lord, I’m yours. I give myself to you.” This is what God is after. Love creates the possibility of response. But if that response is refused then nothing can happen until, at last, the heart begins to respond.

This is why God, again and again through our lives, calls us to times of crisis, times of decision, times when we recognize that we are shutting ourselves away from the grace and love he wants to give us. And we have to come to him and say, “Lord, here I am. Here is my redemption, with its oil and its frankincense and its salt, but with no leaven and no honey.  I give myself to you. Here I am, Lord. Let’s walk together this day.”

Have you answered Gods call? Or is there an  area where you are saying no to God?  Are you puffed up with pride, extra sweeteners. Or coming forth in humbleness, so God can use you as He sees fit!

I pray I can remain humble, teachable and reachable. Lord decrease me and increase you!!!


Leviticus 1:The Need To Belong


Leviticus picks up where Exodus ends. The title Leviticus means “matter of the Levites” The tribe of Levi, also known as Levites, were the priestly tribe of Israel. Leviticus is God’s instructions to the Priests on how to assist Israel in worship and living a holy life.

There are ceremonial and civil laws in Leviticus that are not meant for us to practice today. However the key points of each chapter are for us to take away the seriousness of our sin, the need for blood to cover our sin and the need for atonement!

All of the sacrificial elements point to the death of Jesus on the cross. He was the final sacrifice. When Jesus died he declared “It is Finished!”

As we go through each Law, focus on the character of God through each Law. Leviticus is a shadow of Christ and his redemptive work on the cross. Focus on specifically what God wants you to learn about him and yourself! The first 7 Chapters give us a symbolic insight on what God was teaching the Israelites as they brought their offerings forth!

In Exodus, God gave Israel  truths that they needed to know. The 10 commandments are a revelation of the kind of people that God expects us to be, or,  the kind he designed.  He actually designed humans to do the things which are recorded in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17). Some of the commandments pertain to our relationship with him: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” Others deal with our relationships with our neighbors: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” “Thou shalt not steal.” “Thou shalt not bear false witness…”

After the tabernacle was built,  God gave a whole series of sacrifices as a picture of the New Covenant, the new arrangement for living, in which a death would occur, and a priest would be present to help us with our emotional and intellectual problems, and he would make it possible for us to live with a wholesome God even though we had been violators and breakers of the Law which he had set before us. That is what these sacrifices are all about. Truths that we as Christians need to know!

We are going to hit some important parts of each chapter. I urge you to read each one and ask God to reveal his truth to you! Leviticus 1 gives us insight on the Need To Belong!

First the book of Leviticus opens with these words:

The LORD called Moses, and spoke to him from the tent of meeting,[the tabernacle] saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, and say to them, When any man of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of cattle from the herd or from the flock.” (Leviticus 1:1-2 RSV)

Here is the introduction to the offerings.

Notice that this whole system of sacrifices was never given from Sinai. It was given from the tabernacle, the place where God had come to live with man. This is significant for us. God never placed the demand of the Law upon us without also intending to meet it from within, God dwelling in us. Therefore God has provision for us when we break the Law— guilt,  condemnation, self-hatred and all the other afflictions which come to us from within, and which keep us from being the kind of whole persons that God made us to be.

When you look at the offerings, the  first offering is the burnt offering. It followed a five-step pattern, like all the rest of the offerings.

First a selection of the sacrifice had to be made. If an animal sacrifice were required then either a male or a female had to be chosen. In the case of the burnt offering, it was always a male. It had to be without blemish, without any kind of disfigurement at all. Animals were the most valuable possession of these nomadic Hebrew people. It was a costly sacrifice taken from their treasure, their animals.

Then, after selecting it they laid their hands on it. What does that mean? Well, that is God’s way of teaching the great truth of substitution, the fact that we human beings are all tied together with each other, that we belong to one another and share life together, therefore there is a way we can substitute for another.We are linked together by the  laying on of hands. When we send someone out, pray for someone etc, we often bring them up  and lay hands on them. In this sense, we are saying, we are with you! We are going to be praying for you and helping you to meet your need.

In dealing with our deepest guilt that substitute had to be a spotless, sinless person. And the only human being who ever fulfilled that qualification was Jesus Christ. That is why he is the only one who can redeem us.

The third step was to kill the animal involved immediately. I believe he wants to impress upon us the fact that the problem he is dealing with is so intense and so deeply rooted in our human lives that nothing but death can solve it! Immediate death to sin!

The fourth step was the sprinkling of the blood, or the burning of the portions of the sacrifice, as an act of consecration, of commitment to God. You see, the instant one of these animals died, it became acceptable to God. Death solved the problem of separation, of alienation, and then the sacrifice could be offered to God. Crucifying that sin is the only way!

The final step was a ceremonial indication of a restored relationship. Usually they sat down and ate part of the meat of the sacrifice.  God gave them a means of indicating the relationship was restored and that there was peace again.

Here is another point to take away! The burnt offering was available for everyone!

They had three choices as to the kind of animal, Verse 3:. Three choices for sacrifices. Even the poorest of people could offer something as a burnt offering

If you were rich enough you brought a bull. But if you could not afford a bull or if you did not have a herd of cattle but only a flock of sheep or goats then another provision was made; Verse 10:

Finally, if you were very poor and had no animals at all you could bring a bird; Verse 14:

Lets look at some important aspects of the offering..

It was a male without blemish.In the scriptures, the male also stood for leadership, initiative, dominion. Females, in Scripture, always signify support, following, response. There were certain offerings for which a female was specified.  They were always told specifically what to do, which taught them the truth of what they needed to learn. So for the burnt offering they had to bring a male without blemish or disfigurement. That was a recognition of the fact that in this most basic of all offerings God was dealing with man as a king, as a sovereign.

You see man was made to rule. He was never made to be in bondage to anyone. He was never made to be a slave. That is why we are restless when we are enslaved or held in bondage

What is man that thou art mindful of him,
and the son of man that thou dost care for him? (Psalms 8:4 RSV)

And he answers his own question,

Thou hast given him dominion over the work of thy hands;
thou hast put all things under his feet, (Psalms 8:6 RSV)

All the fish and other inhabitants of the seas, all the animals and birds, everything is put under the authority of man, as God created him. We are made to rule

The second distinctive of the burnt offering, was that it was to be totally consumed. Nobody ever ate the meat of the burnt offering. Look at Verses 6-9:

“And he shall flay the burnt offering and cut it into pieces; and the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar, and lay wood in order upon the fire; and Aaron’s sons the priests shall lay the pieces, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire upon the altar; but its entrails[intestines] and its legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall burn the whole on the altar, as a burnt offering, an offering by fire, a pleasing odor to the LORD.” (Leviticus 1:6-9 RSV)

There were three sacrifices that were said to be pleasing odors to God The first of these is this burnt offering. God says that there is something about man which, when he recognizes his right to rule and gives himself wholly to it, is pleasing to God. God is thereby teaching us that man was meant to be his, wholly, totally. The whole man — body, soul, and spirit — is to be the dwelling place of God. Only this enables man to rule, and rule adequately. That is the sweet aroma that God loves, total commitment to Him!

This is recognition of the most basic hunger of man. It is a reflection of our need to belong, to be accepted, to be loved, to have an identity, a relationship, a cause to live or die for. Man is forever restless if he does not have this sense of belonging. And we will never find fulfillment in our humanity, in expressing ourselves, until we find it in committing ourselves totally to God.

A third characteristic of the burnt offering — and this is most important — is that it had to involve a death. Death in these offerings is always a picture of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf. So when these Israelites offered this sacrifice they were learning the great truth that only by means of the death of an acceptable substitute can man ever satisfy this great longing to belong to and to be possessed by God.

The fourth and final distinction of the burnt offering is given in Chapter 6, where there are some additional instructions to the priests about how to make these offerings. In Verses 12-13 they were told:

“The fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it, it shall not go out; the priests shall burn wood on it every morning, and he shall lay the burnt offering in order upon it, and shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings. Fire shall be kept burning upon the altar continually; it shall not go out.” (Leviticus 6:12-13 RSV)

What is God saying by that? Simply that this is the most basic relationship of your life, that no other need can ever be met until this need is met. You can never find any other hunger of your life  until you have found this one answered, until you have found that you belong to God, that you are his wholly and completely, body, soul, and spirit.

If you want to solve any other problem of life you have to begin there. “I belong to the Father, I am one of his family. I’m a child of God. I know him as my heavenly Father. I have been accepted by him. He loves me.”

Wow, Chapter 1 of Leviticus gave me insight on the need to belong and the burning desire that truly only God can meet!

Im thankful for the desire that burns within me! Are you totally commited to God, do you give off a sweet aroma?

Share your thoughts on Chapter 1! Love you…live free


Some info is used from Ray Steadman’s book on Leviticus Living Wholey


Martha & Mary: Working & Worshipping

A69568C8-498E-4817-B297-BA769A8F1788Two extraordinary women, Martha and Mary were always together in scripture. They lived with their brother Lazarus in a small village named Bethany, which was in easy walking distance from Jerusalem.

Martha and Mary were different in a lot of ways, yet alike in the fact…they both loved Christ. Just like with all the women we have studied, Christ was their focus! Mary and Martha became cherished friends of Jesus during his ministry on earth. He also loved their families (John 11:5)

No one knows how this particular family became so intimate with Jesus. But Jesus often made himself at home in their house.

Martha was always portrayed as a meticulous hostess. Even her name  is the feminine form of the Aramaic word for “Lord” She truly presided over her home. Her name was often listed first, suggesting she may have been the oldest sister

One particular day, Jesus and his disciples stopped at the house of Martha and Mary and Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to his words. Martha, meanwhile, was distracted with preparing and serving the meal for the group.

Frustrated, Martha scolded Jesus, asking him whether he cared that her sister had left her to fix the meal alone. She told Jesus to order Mary to help her with the preparations.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

For centuries people in the church have puzzled over the Martha and Mary story, knowing that someone has to do the work. The point of this passage, however, is making Jesus and his word our first priority.

If all 12 of the disciples were there, Martha had reason to feel fixing the meal was a major job. Like many of us, Martha  probably became anxious over taking care of her guests.

Many folks compare Martha to Peter: practical, impulsive, and short-tempered to the point of rebuking the Lord himself. Mary is more like John: reflective, loving, and calm.   Some of us tend to be more like Mary in our Christian walk, while others resemble Martha. It’s likely we have qualities of both within us. We may be inclined at times to let our busy lives of service distract us from spending time with Jesus and listening to his word. It’s significant to note, though, that Jesus gently admonished Martha for being “worried and upset,” not for serving. Service is a good thing, but sitting at Jesus’ feet is best. We must remember what is most important

Good works should flow from a Christ-centered life; they do not produce a Christ-centered life. When we give Jesus the attention he deserves, he empowers us to serve others.

Surely, God knows and understands everything. But this story is a reminder that we need to set our priorities right. Our first and foremost choice must be our daily quiet time with God, everything else can come after that. Everything else can wait. This is not some legalistic thing that we need to follow. But we need to do so because it is a “better choice”.

Time spent at the feet of Jesus is never wasted time. It is an incredibly invested time. It is my own personal experience, when I allocate time with the Lord from my busy schedule, Lord always returns back even more time. All of sudden, I seem to have that little extra time for other chores. The clock seems to be ticking little slower! The problems or issues that I am working on, gets fixed quickly. It might just be my perception or a coincidence, but I have noticed that more time I spend with God, more of these coincidences happen! Jesus emphasized the similar approach in Matthew 6:33.

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Questions for Reflection:

Do I have my priorities in order? Am I worried or anxious about many things, or am I focused on Jesus? Have I put devotion to Christ and his word first, or am I more concerned about doing good deeds?

Think about where the bulk of your time lies today…


Excerpts taken from 12 Extraordinary Women, James Macarthur

My Muse is dancing…again.

10896868_10153448060554638_1964738172058921800_nAt the end of 2014, I was privileged to attend The Watering Hole’s 2nd Annual Writing Retreat. The Watering Hole is an online community dedicated to supporting and inspiring poets of color. I was privileged to be a part of the genesis, the 2010 Cave Canem South workshop in Columbia, SC, which were hosted by poets Nikky Finney, Kwame Dawes, Patricia Smith, and Frank Walker. Watering Hole co-founders Candace Wiley and Monifa Lemons envisioned a community of African American writers and sprinted like relay runners! They ran with fervor, passing the baton back and forth when needed, yet never allowing it to touch the ground. Dedicated and committed to their mission, I am humbled and blessed to be privy to their synergy.

I was honored to be among such a diverse group of poets from all over the world in such a sacred spot in Santee SC.  I made the drive from Columbia SC, excited, anxious and full of apprehension.  I wondered if this retreat would be beneficial or just another mundane vacation of sorts.

After depositing my bags in my cabin, I looked out across the lake and exhaled… something I had not done in a long time.  You see I was dangerously close to falling off the edge, giving up everything.  Life really meant nothing to me. I was just going through the motions of existing I was tired, trying to think of a way of escape.   Writing was missing, my muse was gone…my words didn’t talk back to me…my pen didn’t move. Depression had sunk in and it was dragging me overboard.

You see I have always been a person who lives through my pen. As a writer of poetry and short stories, my escape from life is my words…my characters embrace me…without them I feel dead…literally.

On the first day, I walked down the pier to the lake with pen and paper in hand determined to write. After that moment, every free moment was spent writing. I was afraid to put down my pen in fear of losing the momentum and energy. These frequent trips to the lake between the awesome workshops were beneficial to my process of becoming full circle. One of my fellow tribe members noticed I had missed one of the workshops and she asked, “Where were you?” Embarrassed by my noticed absenteeism, I explained time had slipped away from me on the pier. Her nonchalant response shifted a change of mindset for me.

“Girl I understand, I just wanted to make sure you were okay. Do you. That’s what we’re here for. Shoot do you!”

Do you!

Do me?

I must admit it was exactly what I needed to hear. Once I begin to do me, I begin to reclaim what was once mine. I dug in for dear life.

The workshop facilitators pushed me into a space of my life that was uncomfortable, but familiar…

NAACP Image Award winner and Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker, told me to write from the place that I viewed as bitter. A recent divorce only allowed me to spill blood and words of rage upon paper. Scribbled up pieces of papers lined my bedroom floor and each poem seemed only to bridge the last.   I told him, I didn’t want to be a bitter poet and I couldn’t get past the hate. “Someone needs to hear that pain,  that hate, that frustration…so they can heal. Sometimes people need a blueprint, you’ve experienced it. Perhaps you should give others something to go by.”  I was never lost to the fact that someone else’s pain could heal another….I just never envisioned my type of pain as useful.

Editor, Author and Poet Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie ignited my senses. She used my sense of smell and touch to pull the unfamiliar words from my psyche. She pushed me into nature, a place where I have always been able to hear God’s unmistakable voice. While standing at the water’s edge, God and my mother spoke to me. My mother visited me several times at Lake Santee in the form of a redbird, once greeting me good morning when I opened the blinds in my cabin.  Her voice was clearer than I’ve ever heard it before. She constantly reminded me that she was enjoying her time there at Santee as well, appreciative that my mind was clear enough to enjoy her memory …without tears.

National Poetry Slam Champion and  HBO Def Poet Roger Bonair-Agard took me back to my childhood, a time when I would sit under the kitchen table in my grandmother’s Philadelphia home…listening and writing…watching and writing. Characters would speak to me and tell me their stories.  Lately, they were disappointed in me, “Why aren’t you writing?” they would ask.  “You’ve summoned us here, yet you just sit there, ignoring us.”   When they arrived at Santee, they were overjoyed to hear the scribble of my pen on paper. “She’s writing again” I heard one of them faintly whisper.  I settled in one night in the cabin and they told me some remarkable tales.

And alas Nikki Finney, National Book Award Winner, writer, motivator and the list continues. She simply summed up the why of my existence,  the “why” of my work, the “why” I must continue to write.  Assuring me my desires to be different were normal.  Alas, for poets…different is who we are. Dfferent is who I am!

I embraced Monifa on the last day of the retreat and informed her that I had returned from the edge. My life was now back spinning on its axis…turning in rhythm…not dancing to some foreign tune  like before.

On Tuesday when I packed to leave, I was sad. I didn’t believe I could keep or reclaim the energy and momentum from Santee once I left the campground. I gathered dirt, and rocks, believing that somehow this would make the difference.

If I could just take some of it with me…

I arrived home, unpacked and lay across my bed.

It was then my muse tapped me on my shoulder and said ,  “Awesome trip…let’s get to writing.”

I cried, thinking I had left it all in Santee SC.

Monifa and Candace will never know how beneficial the Watering Hole Retreat was to me. I just pray they never stop running.

I’m grateful for the experience and the tribe of poets whose souls and spirits resounded loud and clear throughout each workshop. Traveling through the rustle of leaves, flowing through the breeze.  I heard each and every word with clarity.

I’m just grateful to be back on solid ground, thankful to be back on beat.. literally.

Peace, Love & Empowerment



Miracles….”31 Days of Estrogen”

SANY0092“31 Days of Estrogen” continues with a celebration by my sister Colette Jones. She shares a personal tribute to her son. Reminding us that God always has a perfect plan.

Thank you for lending your voice!

This poem is a very personal tribute to my son, Devin Dean, Jr. He was born with arthrogryposis. His condition was not detected during pregnancy. At the time of his birth, I was married.  We already had two daughters, so his father and I mutually decided that DJ would be our last child.  I was ecstatic about the fact  we had finally produced a son! I was not prepared for the painful  hushed silence in  the operating room as DJ announced his presence into the world.  I can remember the moment as if it occurred yesterday. I can feel the chill in the air as the nurses responded to my request to place another blanket over my arms to fight off the cold. I can vividly recall the excitement in his father’s eyes as he eagerly awaited to make an introduction to our son.

The nurse leaned into my ear and tried to gently explain to me and his father their initial assessment of his condition. His father was near the sink, being assisted in cleaning DJ after delivery. I immediately became afraid when I noticed the tears in the eyes of the other nurses, as they fought to keep their emotions in check. The doctor took over from the nurse who originally started the conversation. I had never even heard of the word arthrogryposis! At first, I felt a sense of dread as the doctor did his best to allay our fears with stories of “successful cases” of individuals who had various forms of DJ’s condition. Then I heard a voice that echoed in my spirit: ” Colette, DJ will be fine.” So with tears streaming down my face, I asked if DJ was missing any body parts. I was informed that outside of his upper mobility issues, he was healthy.  I asked them to perform the tuballigation. The doctor then looked at the nurse standing next to my head and nodded. She said, ” Mrs. Dean, are you sure? You may want to try again in the future for another child.”  I instinctively knew she meant “normal” child.  Asking God for strength to state what He placed on my heart to say, I said in a choked voice to all assembled in the room, “The God I serve has taken care of me throughout my pregnancy. He blessed me with this miracle and I know that He will continue to watch out for him.”

DJ and I have faced many obstacles since the day he was born, July 28, 2001. It has not been easy and with each day, I am often presented with other challenges yet to be tackled.  Yet, just as I claimed in 2001, God has never ceased to provide, protect and prove Himself to all who do not believe that God is real. He is in the healing business and He is here to stay in DJ’s life!

~Colette Jones~


Contained within the walls of my lyrics chronicles

My testimony for those who do not believe in miracles

God touched my womb

Long after I humanly assumed

I was finished

With children, He replenished

My spirit by infusing me with His power

Eventually it would allow me to tower

Over pessimism

Injecting optimism

While preparing me for His gift

God commenced to seal my spiritual rift

The day my blessing was born

My heart was torn

Because I was immediately told

Things that would make a mother’s blood run cold

Yet God tapped me on my shoulder

In the midst of my tears, He asked me why if I believe did I pick up this boulder

Reaching down to tap into my holy reserves of His strength

I felt His warmth as it enveloped my length

Per His instructions, I committed to fast

My prayers initiated the understanding it’s my faith that would help DJ get past

Natural challenges that many of us take for granted

God implanted

Hope, determination and ambition

Uprooting the choking weeds of despair, helplessness and apathy because of his condition

On my knees, I carefully monitored His seeds with love and maternal toil

With my clasped hands, I restored weak dirt with angelic soil

Youthful blossoms of crawling and walking began to sprout

Small flowers of talking and hugging spread throughout

My garden of kissing and sleeping

As petals of DJ’s sweet fragrance drifts on a daily basis

Scented phrases of Mommy floated in the air from “slow” chases

With his tricycle in the front yard

Proudly displays his name that he wrote on a construction paper card

Karate chops and jumps “from the top rope” of the living room couch

DJ’s lips that tremble in his attempts to be strong as he shows me his “ouch”

From DJ’s special move as he hears his favorite song or when I catch him in my room getting ready to plunder

Every day, I have learned to appreciate what some may describe as a wonder

You may call him a phenomenon, a marvel or an awesome occurring incident

However to me, my son, a daily miracle, will always be heaven-sent