Jesus, take the will

Humility
backlit clouds dawn dusk

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

Do you know the song by The Beatles, “Let it Be”? I love the melody but hate the message. That is, my ego hates the message. What my ego loves is not letting things be and manipulating things instead.

I came face-to-face with this ugly truth – yet again – yesterday. The situation was innocent, I was innocent, or so I thought. All I wanted to do was make things more organized and convenient–for myself. So, I took it upon myself to take someone else’s idea of organization and reorganize it to fit my needs.

I didn’t think anything of it until my actions were mirrored back to me – within minutes – by that same someone reorganizing something that I organized. And then it happened: Within seconds, a light bulb formed above my head and shed light on the master lesson I had received from the Master Teacher.

*Charlie Brown voice* Good grief!

What I grieved was knowing that I was the one who started the karmic loop of reorganized noise. What I – and my ego – grieved most was making a direct amends for my originally willful actions because it meant acknowledging that I was wrong and that the other person responded within their rights.

As a recovering perfectionist, I prided myself on being right approximately 99 percent of the time. (Now, it’s more like 90 percent.) In any case, my overwhelming sense of pride can overpower my willingness to fully account for my wrongs.

King Hezekiah of Judah was another person who was mostly right but whose pride in his near-perfection actually seems legitimate, considering that God legitimized it.

“Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.” ~2 Chronicles 29:1-2, NKJV

King David was God’s benchmark for royal and righteous servanthood. So, the fact that He saw Hezekiah’s actions in the same light as David’s shows just how legit Hezekiah was.

The Bible shows that Hezekiah ordered the cleansing of the temple, which had been defiled by the generations before, and restored worship within it, which is what it was intended for. He also kept the Passover and made significant reforms that refined Judah into the crowning jewel of God’s eye.

But between Hezekiah’s regal reforms and lasting legacy lies the hiccup of hesitant humility. (Ah, the mark of a true perfectionist, recovering or otherwise.)

“In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death, and he prayed to the Lord; and He spoke to him and gave him a sign. But Hezekiah did not repay according to the favor shown him, for his heart was lifted up; therefore wrath was looming over him and over Judah and Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.” ~2 Chronicles 33:24-26, NKJV

Hmm. The Spirit is indeed willing, but the ego is weak.

Much like Hezekiah, I, too, suffer from a weak ego that tries to act strong until God confronts it with my undeniable wrongs. And then…I go to pieces. When I finally do fess up, my frenemy-ego then finds all of my faults and tries to act strong against me!

Yet, while the ego is fickle, God is consistent in His desire to reach us by any ego-deflating means necessary. His point is not to cause us psychological harm but to give us emotional support through teaching us to love one another from a place of mutuality rather than hierarchy.

“…For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” ~Romans 3:22-23, NKJV

So, the next time you and I sin and fall short of perfection, we – with our egos – can fall onto “[God’s] grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” knowing that if we humble ourselves before Him, He will catch us every time.

Facebook-icon thIf you could use a Spirit-boost and an ego-check, then click the links to find, follow and fellowship with us on Facebook and Instagram. We all need somebody to lean on!

Three books are better in one!

Books

front cover

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

Fear would have us believe that our flaws are our curses when, in faith, they are the foundation of our callings by which we can bless others and, ultimately, ourselves.

That written, I can’t tell you how many days and nights I cried, how many heavy breaths I sighed, and how many times I berated my brain and heart and beat myself up for being a “Head-Smart/Heart-Dumb Girl”.

English, algebra and social studies–A, A, A.
Dating, relationships and self-love–F, F, F.

I was so F’ing tired of flunking life’s classes on love that I didn’t know what to do. Until one night – prompted by my and a guy’s discourse, which would’ve surely led to me failing another love-course – something within me clicked and I heard myself say:

“You know what? I’m going to write a book. And I’m going to call it, Just Because He Says You’re Beautiful…”

True story.

That was six years ago. Little did I know that that book was just Part 1 of my story. In the time since then, I’ve learned a lot more, which is not to say that I’ve learned it all–hence, Parts 2 and 3.

More Heart-Dumb mistakes? Check.
More excruciating heartache? Check.
More lessons to teach the masses and myself? Double check.

The Apostle Paul was another person who made a lot of mistakes. He caused and suffered his share of disheartening experiences. What’s more, he wrote several books’ worth of lessons to share with the masses. Moreover, Paul shared a personal lesson about the proverbial “thorn” in his side.

“Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.” ~2 Corinthians 12:8, NKJV

What was the Lord’s prescription for Paul’s pain, you ask?

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” ~2 Corinthians 12:9, NKJV

Ouch.

At first glance, God’s response to Paul may appear more on the side of tough than love. But with a second look, we see that God’s grace not only soothed Paul’s pain, but saved him from his own self-righteousness so that he could rest assured on the righteousness of God–the only One whose righteousness has been cross-tested and Christ-approved.

And guess what? God’s grace and Self-sacrificial righteousness can soothe our thorny issues too. (Even if those “issues” can be transcribed into multiple volumes.)

So, by the grace of God and the goodness of His righteousness, I offer you the ‘thorn in my flesh’ in the form of this book. It contains prickly points I wish I had known sooner, practiced more recently and pray I won’t repeat–again.

Being perfect is one thing; being “perfected” by the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ is another.

While our thorns may be tenacious and our flaws a fact, I believe in the power of prayer, surrender and the name of Jesus to break every chain over our lives. Thus, I don’t mind being a Head-Smart/Heart-Dumb Girl as long as God says that I am “The Head” Head-Smart/Heart-Dumb Girl and not the tail. (Amen, somebody.)

So, go tell somebody – on the mountain, in the valley or at the summer school nearest you – that there’s hope for the hopeless romantic and help for Head-Smart/Heart-Dumb girls and women everywhere.

Click here to learn more and purchase a copy of Parts 1-3: Things Every Head-Smart/Heart-Dumb Girl Should Know. Live! Love! Learn!

Failure is practice for success

Faith

If God calls you to do the impossible... (2)

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

In my world, believing is seeing. In other words, I see what is and what is not visible. So, in addition to reading between the lines, I see between them as well. Along the lines of sight-reading my way through life, I’ve performed some pretty tricky numbers that, at the time, appeared to require more skill than I could muster.

For instance, in 2013, I read Spirit’s notes that I should move to Maui, Hawai’i. At the time, I lived in Austin, Texas, and had a job, apartment, car and all the other trappings of adulthood (i.e. bills). As I saw it, I was trapped between an untouchable fantasy and very tangible realities.

But, while I was focused on the responsibilities of ‘reality,’ Spirit showed me that I had a real responsibility to myself–to march to the beat of my own drum and not die with my music still inside. So, I listened to Spirit and my inner-drum beat, and marched toward Maui in July 2014. And by September of that same year, I fled Hawai’i – broke and broken – back to the mainland.

What was THAT about?

Was I wrong in my reading of Spirit’s Hawaiian melody? Or, did Spirit mislead me with the wrong notes? Well, with almost three years of residency on Maui now under my belt, I can see that neither one was the case. I was, in fact, in the right place at the right time to have the exact experiences that I needed to prepare me for my future Hawaii Life. Of course, at that present time, my experiences looked a lot more like failure than preparation.  

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” ~Romans 8:28, NKJV

I may have fled Hawai’i with a sour taste in my mouth, but not before I learned to cut sugarcane with a machete (“In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight…”). I may have fled Hawai’i with my dreams dashed, but not before I was able to endure the nightmare of spending the night in a public bathroom (The Pursuit of Happyness-style). I may have fled Hawai’i broke and broken, but not before I was able to squeeze a book out of my escapade (Good Erotica for Good Girls—check it out).

What HGTV won’t tell you, but I will, is that it takes a warrior to actually live the Hawaii Life. And while I may not descend from King Kamehameha, I am a child of the King, who also knighted me as a rebel with a uniquely noble cause. Therefore, my failure to make Maui my home in 2014 was merely a test-run to test me and my warrior within.

Truth is, though, my battle is already won. Before the foundations of the world were set, I was pronounced a winner in Christ Jesus, who, with the Father and Spirit, devised a Divine plan to save me from any real defeat. So, even when I’m down, I’m not out. And even when I’m left bitter, disillusioned and penniless, I’m still winning. Though God’s plan for me includes countless cliffhangers – much to my parents’ chagrin – I know that if I keep hanging on I will win, simply, because I’ve already won through Christ.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” ~Philippians 4:13, NKJV       

 

Facebook-icon th If you are hanging in there but are holding on by a thread, then click the links to find, follow and fellowship with us on Facebook and Instagram. There is no failure in God!

    

     

 

 

 

 

Affirm Yo’ Self

Positivity
mirror

Roar.

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

As I was dreaming up this post, I could hear Parks and Recreation’s Donna and Tom exclaim, from within a luxury retailer dressing room, “Treat yo’ self…to an affirmation!” While I can hear and heed this imaginative advice today, prior to 2013, I couldn’t have imagined it nor did I have any idea what an affirmation was.

That year was a huge turning point in my life. I turned 30. I turned into an author and life coach. And I turned my Christian upbringing on its ear by turning my attention to a trio of celebrated New Thought teachers: Alan Cohen, Doreen Virtue, and Louise Hay.

Well, they weren’t celebrated by me – not at the beginning of that year, anyway – because I really didn’t know who they were. But honey, by year’s end, what I didn’t know was how I had made it that far in life without them.

Alan taught me the essence of God and the metaphysical quintessence of Jesus Christ. Doreen taught me that I wasn’t crazy for believing in signs, angels and other mystical and ‘mythical’ beings. And Louise, well, Louise taught me love.

louise

In the Bible, God the Father and God the Son are noted several times as commanding those who believe to “love your neighbor as you love yourself“. As one who believed church to be a second home – as I was there all the time – I heard this commandment all the time as well.

But that doesn’t mean I followed it, and I didn’t, to be honest. I went to church religiously and was just as spiteful and unforgiving as I wanted to be. I tried to be nice to people and, really, I was – and am – a nice person. Nevertheless, despite my nicest efforts along with those times when I didn’t give a flying effort, there were just some “neighbors” who I believed were just too hard for me to love.

And so, because I couldn’t locate the loophole to this ‘impossible’ command to love, I eventually left the idea of church at the open door in hopes of opening a window to a world where love was always on my side.

Ha!

What I actually walked into was a brick wall of self-loathing, which was illuminated by my lack of self-love. Enter Louise…

“If you have had experiences in your life that are not comfortable, on some level, they’re mirrors of you. We don’t always like to hear that, but everything in our life is a mirror of us. So if something’s happening out there that’s not comfortable, we have to look inside and say ‘How are we creating it?’ ‘What is it about me or what is it within me that believes that I deserve this experience?’ ‘Cause otherwise, we wouldn’t bring it to us. So, perhaps, I would say a little more loving yourself would help because when you get that flowing, you won’t bring in uncomfortable experiences.”

~Louise Hay on “Receiving Prosperity”

In my errant search for a loophole to Universal love, I stumbled upon the wisdom of Louise Hay and was thrown for a loop. When I finally came to, I saw that the bitterness I felt toward my ‘unloveable’ neighbors was really just a reflection of how bitterly I viewed myself. Moreover, I learned that my lack of love for others was in direct response to a lack of love within me for me.

Well, in the years since first stepping foot into Alan’s, Doreen’s, and Louise’s classrooms, I’ve had plenty of occasions to put this theory to the test. Upon concluding each experiment, I’ve confirmed that while it can be trippy, it’s always true: Only love for ourselves equals love for others, not vice versa.

This consistent result has since resulted in my constant use of affirmations–a domain in which many ‘New Thinkers’ deem Louise its queen. Though I, too, hold Louise in this high regard, I admittedly regard my paraphrased version of Alan’s definition of an affirmation as my favorite:

An affirmation is a statement about yourself that just reminds you of who you are.

In other words, an affirmation isn’t aspirational, it’s actual. Of course, an affirmation that states “I spend money wisely…I always have what I need” can seem a little far-fetched when we seem to have only a little amount of money to spend. But if we can suspend our belief in what we seem to see long enough to really remember that the Source of our abundance is infinite and owns “the cattle on a thousand hills“, then we will really start to see that abundance materialize in our lives. (Amen to that.)

And amen to the teachings of Alan, Doreen, and Louise, which have all had such profound impacts on my life. As good teachers do, their teachings have also taught me to prize the profundity within. So, I bring this post to a close with five of my personal affirmations that I use to remind me of who I am.

1. “I am a Divine sexual being. I fully embrace and express my sexuality in ways that are fully aligned with my Higher self. I am free from sexual guilt and shame. My sexuality is a gift from God and I love, cherish and enjoy my God-given sexuality. And so it is, in Jesus’s name, amen💖”

2. “I am abundant in all areas of my life. I trust God easily and follow where He leads me. I fully trust God to take care of me, my finances, my material needs and wants. I am rich in love, peace, beauty, and emotional strength. And so it is, in Jesus’s name, amen💖”

3. “I am healed. My mind and my body are at ease. I am free from all distressing thoughts and my body is free from all forms of distress. I love my body and my body loves me back. I love my mind and my mind loves me back. My mind and my body are united as one in love. And so it is, in Jesus’s name, amen💖”

4. “I am whole. I lack nothing. Everything that God says I am, I am. Everything that God has for me is mine. I am a child of the King. Only good is my inheritance. I walk in God’s goodness now and I see it everywhere I go. And so it is, in Jesus’s name, amen💖”

5. “I am pure and as innocent as the day I was born. My purity is not earned, it is already mine. I am light in the darkness. I am warmth in the coldness. I am love in the midst of fear. I am kindred with God. I bless others and receive others’ blessings. And so it is, in Jesus’s name, amen💖”

 

Facebook-icon th If you’ve forgotten who you are and you’d like some help in reclaiming your identity, then click the links to find, follow and fellowship with us on Facebook and Instagram. I know your name.💖

Food–it’s an honor

Power

Temples

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

Not to brag, but my vehicle is a high-quality brand. I noted this again the other day as I pulled into my favorite gas station – i.e. the cheapest gas station nearest me – to fill up my tank.

While I am price-conscious, I am also conscious of valuing value. That’s why, despite my high interest in low prices, I still fill up my gas tank with the highest grade of fuel.

Nowadays, I hold the same high-grade philosophy toward my body’s fuel–food. However, this wasn’t always the case. It took the Divine, numerous times, to intervene and direct my dining habits Higher.

Some people have prayer closets in which they seek God’s voice; I have prayer cards, two decks, in fact.

cards

The two cards on the left are part of Doreen Virtue’s “Magical Messages from the Fairies Oracle Cards” deck and the one on the right is from her “Angel Therapy Oracle Cards”.

In any case, all three cards gave me a mighty fright when I began pulling them repeatedly about two years ago.

“NOOOOOOOOO!!!”

That was my repeated response to their Higher guidance.

In a past decade, I was a vegetarian for approximately six years. Moreover, I was a well-intentioned but naïve college student for much of said decade; so, suffice to say, I was a naïve vegetarian as well.

Potato chips? Check.
French fries? Check.
Refined sweets and cheese galore? Double check.
Actual fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that didn’t come in aluminum, plastic, or Styrofoam containers? (((Crickets)))

Not only was my view of vegetarianism askew, but my health, as a result, was too. Therefore, when I got the Supernatural call to eat on a Higher plane a couple years ago, naturally, my mind revisited my past wayward attempt and I immediately hung up the phone. Not to mention that my intention for originally traveling that wayward way was for a guy. (Please send Gloria Steinem my regrets.)

So, how is it that nearly a decade later I am a happy, informed, feminist, plant-based vegan and have been for 10 months? Well, there are only so many times that you can hang up on God before you begin sensing the threat of a real disconnection–you know what I mean?

After the umpteenth time of receiving the Higher eating-call circa January 2017, I finally answered it in the affirmative. God, through my cards, promised me greater power in my life if I surrendered to His power in my life through my diet, or my “live-it” as I now like to call it.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Though I accepted the call in one day, I didn’t make the powerful change from flesh to fresh overnight. It took time – a lot of it – blocked into several stages: Pescatarian; vegetarian; junk-food vegan; and finally, plant-based, gluten-free, no-salt vegan.

And I have to tell you that I feel more powerful now than I ever have before. Of course, it’s not my personal power that’s driving me but the power of God vested in me via veggies, fruits and other natural delights, especially the delight of His powerful love coursing through my digestive tract and my heart.

“And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” ~Luke 22:19, NKJV

thFacebook-iconIf you want to experience God’s wonder-working power in your life by exploring a live-it that works natural and Supernatural wonders, click the links to find and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Live! Love! Learn! (And bon appetit!)

Virtual reality

Faith
pexels-photo-193349.jpeg

Welcome to the Jungle Matrix

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

Chances are my reality is not your reality.

Yes, I see “skies of blue and clouds of white” – especially living in Hawai’i – but, as of late, my wonderful world has drastically diverged into two distinct though directly-linked spheres: Non-physical and physical.

Of course, the two have always existed, well, at least since the non-physical spoke the physical into existence.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” ~Genesis 1:1-3, NKJV

As its eternal guide, the physical can’t help but follow the non-physical’s lead. Therefore, what I see with my two eyes is really a figment of my third eye’s vision.

But vision is tricky, isn’t it?

While – as Habakkuk heralds – vision can be plainly written, it is dang hard and downright exhausting to make vision plain to those who either can’t or won’t see things as you do.

Just ask Moses

and Joseph

and Noah

and me.

visionary-2.png

This is how I define a visionary. This is also how I define myself.

I don’t remember when it all started, but I’ve long since felt ‘touched by an angel,’ even before Della Reese and Roma Downey premiered during primetime. Signs have always seemed to speak to me, more than “Merge,” “Stop” and “Yield”; instead, I hear them give more specific directions like:

“Move to Maui!”

“Quit your job!”

“Be a friggin’ BOSS!”

And though I can hear and see these and other signs quite clearly, it’s quite clear to me that not everyone shares my perspective–actually, hardly anyone. (Cue Harry Nilsson.)

Thank God it only takes the power of The One to make non-physical vision physical reality. (Cue Donald Lawrence.)

Nevertheless, a visionary holds a powerful position as well.

As the projector of God’s promise, a visionary is given the harrowing task of walking a fine line between multiple versions of reality. But I guess it’s only “harrowing” in one dimension; if I care more about others’ thoughts of my vision than the vision itself, then it’s a death-defying trip. In another dimension, however, being a visionary is a breeze–as long as I sway in God’s direction.

That’s not to say that seeing through the haze of physical 3-D ‘reality’ is always easy because it ain’t, believe me. But it does help when I attune my sixth sense to the non-physical signs that God sends me. It also helps – a lot – when I surrender my entire self to God, period.

“The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the waters.” ~Psalm 24:1-2, NKJV

Here’s how I see it: You and I belong to God, whether we acknowledge our relationship with Him or not. In addition to being All and creating all that there is, God created all of us in His Divine image; therefore, we are Divinely His.

Yet, to reap all of the benefits of belonging to God means to acknowledge Him, not just as our Divine Designer, but as our Father and ourselves as His children. Ideally, children obey their fathers and mothers, and show themselves worthy of receiving the gifts of their parents by heeding the instruction of their parents.

Though there does come a time when God’s vision for our lives supersedes our earthly parents’ sight, and we must choose the view in which we will direct our gaze. Even Jesus the Christ, the Son of God and the son of Mary and Joseph, saw the gap between His Father’s and His parents’ lines of vision. And because Jesus is the master visionary, He clearly chose the better view, even at the age of 12.

“And He said to them, ‘Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?’ But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.” ~Luke 2:49-50, NKJV

Dang. Notwithstanding His parents’ misunderstanding, preteen-Jesus didn’t mince words, did He?

Well, as for 30-something-Stephanie, this is my current version of the vision that the Father gave me:

IMG_20180403_150534_350

No, my Father’s business doesn’t physically look like much, but trust me – and the Father – when I write that there’s more here non-physically than meets the eye.

Of course and understandably, like Mother Mary and Papa Joe, there are loving and caring people in my life who don’t understand the statement that I am making with this business. Unlike preteen-Jesus, however, I am not the Savior. So, I will save my rebuke and, instead, supply God’s reassurance to me and my fellow visionaries, as well as to those who fear for our lives love and care for us dearly:

“Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you as a prophet to the nations.'” ~Jeremiah 1:4-5, NKJV

Dang. Not only does God’s knowledge of who we are pass all others’ understanding, but His non-physical vision of who He called us to be surpasses any and all limitations that we and others can physically perceive.

Therefore, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills” – and the mountains – and set my sights on what God has for me. Further, I will visualize my laptop and cup of tea non-physically as a slingshot and stone that will launch me in the direction of my vision. Finally, I’ll see you when I get there.

 

Facebook-iconthIf you’ve been shown a vision for your life and you’d like some like-minded company and encouragement on your journey there, then click the links to find and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. See ya!