But…He blocked my path.

Blocker

This year, one of my favourite verses is Psalms 23:3:

He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

It gives me great comfort to know that My Father doesn’t guide me on any path that is not right. This assurance laid the trust foundation for me to jump without worrying as much as I used to, knowing Daddy will surely catch me.

The mention to “right paths” stuck with me. If there are “right paths”, there surely must be “wrong paths”!

I recently came across the story of Balaam who was called by King Barack to curse the Israelites. Check out Numbers 22:22-34 for the full story. This story showed how our desires can blind us to the blockers that God placed in our paths to stop us from progressing down the wrong path. The thing with these blockers is that they will cause something to happen to us. Like the angel in Balaam’s path:

  1. A blocker can force you to redirect your path. The donkey diverted from the road they were travelling on into a field. (verse 23)
  2. Trying to get around a blocker can result in you getting hurt. The donkey tried to squeeze by and in the process crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall. (verse 24-25)
  3. A blocker can cause you to come to a total stop/halt, unable to progress further. The donkey stopped and laid down in the street. (verse 27)

If you are anything like I used to be (and sometimes still am), you sure would have gone down a lot of wrong paths. Side note: I used to consider myself the poster child for getting into scrapes (paths) that were not God-ordained. I would often imagine how frustrated God got with me as He steered me away from one scrape after the other. I call them my “Come, booboo come!” moments! God knows I’ve had so many of them!

I hope, by now, I have you reminiscing, thankfully, about some of the times that God lovingly steered you away from the wrong paths. I am sure you are better for it!

I also hope you paused to consider your current situations. Are you currently on a path that is bringing honor to God’s name? What blockers have God placed in your path that, being blinded by your desires, you just cannot see? Are you like Balaam who was so blinded by his desires that he didn’t even realize that his donkey spoke? Will you continue to force your way down the wrong path, ignoring all of God’s blockers and their results?


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XOXO
Chañel

But…will You catch me?

Jump

I am a water lover with a shameful secret… I can’t swim! Horrible?! I know right?! 😅

I had the below experience a while back… Please turn on video captions, if you are not a patois speaker or can’t hear clearly.

I hope you laughed as much as I did when I came across this video. As I watched it, for the fifth time, God spoke to me: “Isn’t this your behaviour sometimes when I tell you to jump into the deep end?”

Guys, I kid you not! I stopped laughing immediately. My mouth locked shop! The bubbling laughter died a painful death in my throat! I got serious! Because, God was right! Don’t you just hate and love that about Him?

Too often than not, when He tells me to jump, I react just as I did in that video. I pause. I laugh nervously, wondering if He is joking. I ask Him if He is sure. Not once. Not twice. But multiple times. Then I ask the persons around me their thoughts before going back AGAIN to Him to check if I should do it (hoping He may have changed His mind). Even then when He says YES! I hestitate, wondering what would happen if I fell or things worked out badly. Still unsure, I once again ask Him: “Are you sure you will catch me?”

And even then, there are many times I stay on the ledge, refusing to jump, swamped by fears, doubts and my analysis paralysis. I am sure God looks on sadly as I let what He earmarked for me go, without even taking the leap of faith and trusting Him.

But on the flip side, there has been times, when despite the fears, the doubts and analysis paralysis, I say a little prayer, trust that My Father will catch me and JUMP! And guys, I kid you not… those jumps were some of the best experiences of my life! You can’t see the end result after the jump in the video but I tell you, I smiled from ear-to-ear and went willing for the next jump that was way deeper than this one.

Pause for a moment and reflect. Does this sound like you? Be confident of one thing, Your Father, who “keeps track of all your sorrows” (Psalms 56:8), has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

So…what are you waiting for?! JUMP!


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XOXO
Chañel

Who is in your bad?

This week has been an emotional rollercoaster for me. In one of the first rounds I experienced, I felt like I had totally lost my footing. My first reaction was to feel sad, overwhelmed and lost. My perspective focused on the black and white where either things worked out the way I wanted (meaning a win for me) or they didn’t (meaning a loss for me). In that moment, my energy was focused on reacting to all the black. This perspective made me miserable to the point where I found myself breaking down in tears and crying inconsolably to God before brushing myself off and with a heavy heart heading out to deal with the day-to-day craziness of my job.

As I left, I felt led to set my playlist on some praise and worship. I chose a playlist of songs sung by Anthony Brown and Group TheRAPY’s and Trust in You filled my ear. As I listened, though my heart was heavy and my mind chaotic, my spirit calmed. I wouldn’t have won any smiling contests in that moment and anyone who looked into my eyes would have seen that I was far from okay but I felt my spiritual perspective shifting. I began to rejoice and talk to God from a stance of rejoicing and gratefulness:

I will trust in You, Lord. Because when I trust in You, nothing that happens in my life is ever just purely black and white, as it seems to me in the moment. Though my heart is heavy and focus shot, I will trust that my dark moment was meant to serve a part in your bird’s eye view plan. Because all things work together for the good of them that trust in You.

As I listened and spoke to God, I felt the tightness in my heart and ache in my chest unfurling. God got down in the bad thing with me and I came out better for it because He gave me a perspective that changed my narrative. Everything was not okay but that was okay because I trusted that, like many times before, God has me covered with His feathers and under His wings I had a guaranteed shelter. From that perspective, like Habakkuk 3:17-18, I could declare:

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

In that moment, God took the time to remind me that “My situation can’t all be bad or for naught when He, the Master of all storms, is in the midst of it.” I felt comforted. Tonight, from a place of gratefulness and rejoicing, I say the same to you.

Copy of Possible

I would love to hear about your experiences in which you invited God into the midst. Tell me more in the comments section below.


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XOXO
Chañel

Is there anything too hard for God?

Possible.png

In preparing for God’s visions for our lives for the year ahead, my church Transformation Church (TC), has undertaken a 21-Day of Fasting. In beginning my journey, I prayed and randomly selected a Bible App plan about vision to guide me on my journey.

Day 1 gave the story of the 12 Israelites who were sent to explore Canaan. Only 2 returned with a glowing report and a confidence of victory. Numbers 13:27-29 tells the perspective of the remaining 10 spies.

This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan Valley.”

The spies shied away from the bountiful blessing that God intended for them because they perceived the inhabitants of the land to be stronger and more fortified than they were.

Does this sound familiar? “Lord, I am not ready. I am not strong enough! There are others who a better and more qualified than I am! If I go, they will surely see that I am a fraud!”

It should ring a bell! Day after day whenever God approaches us with his vision for us, our responses are centred around our feelings of our own inadequancy. We forget that there is nothing to hard for God.

 

A QUICK STORY

In 2005, I started high school. My mom struggled to find lunch money for me daily. But God was already working things out long before we even knew there would be a need. Before leaving primary school, I caught the attention of the vice principal. Through her, her sister took an interest in me. Unbeknownst to my mother, her sister lobbied on my behalf at her place of employment. One day, shortly after beginning school, I was called to the guidance counsellor’s office. Through the sister’s lobbying, two total strangers committed to giving me lunch money for the remainder of my high school tenure.

 

THE POINT OF THE QUICK STORY

As I sat in the stillness, awaiting God’s voice, He reminded me of this aspect of my story.

With God at the forefront, the “im” in “impossible” becomes “I’m Possible!”. Trust the visions God has for you and the journey they require. Even though to the natural eye, there may be many things to fear, trust Him because there is not too hard for Him. He places us where we should be and has long ago put measures into play to ensure we come out on top.

So, is there anything too hard for God? No, there is not!


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XOXO
Chañel

 

It Will Fit in Due Season – Part 2

Aligned

As I stood reviewing my 2019 vision board, I felt a bit saddened by the fact that I had not made significant progress on my number 1 goal. This goal I had simply labeled “House” to indicate my desire to own my own home.

As I stood in my disappointment, the Lord spoke to me:

God: “Are you sure what you wanted to be done regarding house aligned with my intent?”

Me: (confused) “Lord, what do you mean?”

He then reminded me that at the beginning of 2019, I had expressed a strong desire to move from the house and area in which I was renting because I did not like the landlord/his son and disliked the surrounding area and what it represented. He then guided my thoughts to the fact that I was now standing in a different house. After house-hunting for 3 months, He had guided me to an apartment that I fell in love with on sight. He had also provided the means to ensure that I could afford to live there comfortably.

At the reminder, I paused, stunned. My perspective of the goal had not been realized but God’s has. Not only that, I had wasted an entire year trying to make my version of the goal fit in a season that it was not meant to bear fruit. It was then the thought dropped in my spirit: “When writing and acting on the vision, ensure your version of the goal aligns with God’s.”

So often in our haste to achieve what God has promised us, we fail to confirm that our version of the vision aligns with His. In that moment, I could relate to Abraham whom God had promised would become the father of many nations. To fulfil this promise, God intended to give Abraham and his wife a true heir, a legitimate son, in the right season.

However, it would seem that Abraham and Sarah’s desire did not align with God’s. Tired of  waiting for the true heir, their desire centered on just getting a “son”. Similar to my definition of “house” that misaligned with God’s seasonal intent, Abraham’s definition of “son” misaligned with God’s intended season of provision. Their desire for that son led to them “helping” God out. So, Abraham had an illegitimate son (Ishmael) with Hagar, his wife’s handmaid.

The story doesn’t end there! In due season, just as He had promised, God gave Abraham and Sarah the promised son (Issac) and Hagar and Ishmael are sent away when Issac is weaned.

Today, the repercussions of that misalignment are still evident. The descendants of Issac and Ishmael still disagree over who is the true heir to Abraham’s Covenant blessings. From this disagreement stems the Middle East conflict between the Arabs (Muslims) and the Jews.

Wouldn’t you agree that it would have been better if Abraham had waited? I am happy that my reprecussions were just limited to roadblocks and disappointments.

Don’t rush the process. Take time to consult God and trust the pace of Grace. Ensure you and God are aligned on the goals He wants you to work on. Don’t miss God’s season of provision because you focused on the wrong goal. Once God has ordained it, whatever you are waiting for will fit in due season.


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XOXO
Chañel

I Chose FEAR and SETTLED.

Fear.png

The biggest F-word is FEAR. It is one of the most debilitating factors that triggers one of the biggest bad words: SETTLING.

One of my earliest memories is of 4/5 year old me wanting a baby. Instead of a baby, my mother gave me a Barbie doll. I burned it! About a year or so, I got my baby brother, the boy who to this day, everyone in my family affectionately refers to as my son. I consider that memory one of my early examples of me refusing to settle. I was bratty? Yes! But I was a girl who knew what I wanted and unwilling to settle even if it meant going out on a limb to get it.

Fast forward 13 years later. During a Youth Service at church, I was asked to give a word. My immediate internal reaction was one of fear and denial. Eventually I went up to the pulpit, legs and hands shaking, and opened my mouth. To my shock, non-stop words of power flowed out. Then a strange thing happened. I got into my own head: “Shit! Am I making sense?” as voice asked. Immediately as my nerves (fears) took over and my doubts crept in, my voice was stifled and I stopped and couldn’t continue. From that day on, I turned down almost every opportunity that I was given to bring the Word. I choose to settle in my roles of Sunday school teacher and praise and worship leader, shying from any opportunity to deliver the words that God often placed in my spirit.

Two versions of the same person but two different attitude to fear. Somewhere along the way, young Chañel morphed into a woman who settled because of fear. I allowed fear to become the pilot of my life, polluting it with doubts and second-guessing. Throughout my childhood, I was the one who let my younger sister take our childhood spotlight because of my fear of exposing and being rejected because of my inadequacies when compared to my sister. At 13, I was the teen who let her best friend have the guy she crushed on for three years, afraid to let her feelings known and face probable rejection. At 15, I was the person who saved for months to buy her dream phone and then settled for another when an unexpected price change deterred her, fearing that if she didn’t get it today, she never would. At 21, I was the Christian who turned down the request to speak during our Sunday School Convention, although I was given the Word two weeks in advance. After that, I would often wonder why God didn’t use me more. But who could blame Him? He couldn’t trust that I would deliver when:

  1. I was the person who allowed fear to become the pilot of my life.
  2. I allowed my circumstances to set my limits, the height at which I dared to fly.
  3. I let the expectations of others dictate the roads I took. I settled again and again.

Each time a new path/option arose, I often made a conscious decision to settle when I couldn’t be certain of the outcome. I placed my dreams on hold, afraid to take a leap, focusing on the voices that dictated my pending failure. I feared what others would say if I stood up and voiced my truth, shaking off the chains that shackled me. I doubted and I settled constantly. I settled for the mediocrity I hated. I settled for the friends and boyfriends who did not inspire me to be. I settled for the persons who silenced me while simultaneously trying to be my voice, speaking their inaccurate renditions of my truth. I bowed to the pressures of her job and life, settling for the immediate comfort and failing to pursue the things that made my soul sing. It was always tomorrow, never today.

In essence I became a person full of regrets about the roads consciously not trodden.

Image result for regrets memes

I regret the times when I was asked to preach or be the lead singer but I turned down the opportunity, even though I had already been given the Word or knew the song. I sometimes wonder what would have been the results, if I hadn’t settled in the safety of being a Sunday school teacher or singing on the choir or leading the Praise and Worship team. I regret the times when I had the opportunity to voice ideas but stifled myself because I may look foolish. I settled and settled some more.

Somewhere along my walk on this earth I forgot 2 Timothy 1:7:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

I have no control over yesterday but I do have a say in the outcomes of today and tomorrow. Today, I choose to trust God who sees beyond today and tomorrow. Today, I choose to live with the spirit of power, love and self-discipline that God has bestowed upon me. I choose to stop settling and to just begin. Will you join me?

A SPECIAL NOTE:

Image result for fear meme

I am choosing to face everything and rise. As a show of the commitment, I am undertaking a “30-Day Journey of YES!” in which I will both say yes to any opportunity that my spirit agrees with. I look forward to documenting the testimonies that I am certain God is already in the process of making.


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May the Peace of God go with you!

XOXO
Chañel

 

Bible in 365 Days – Day 166

DAY 166.png

Focus Chapters:

  • 2 Kings 2
  • 2 Kings 4

 

Standout Verse(s):

THE ACTION

2 Kings 4:1 NLT

One day the widow of a member of the group of prophets came to Elisha and cried out, “My husband who served you is dead, and you know how he feared the Lord. But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves.”

 

THE REACTION

2 Kings 4:2-7 NLT

“What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?”

“Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil,” she replied.

And Elisha said, “Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.”

So she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. Soon every container was full to the brim!

“Bring me another jar,” she said to one of her sons.

“There aren’t any more!” he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing.

When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, “Now sell the olive oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on what is left over.”

Observation (s):

  1. The widow considered her little flask of oil as inconsequential, “nothing”.

    “What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?”

    “Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil,” she replied.

  2. God saw the potential of the little oil and maximised it.

    And Elisha said, “Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.”

    So she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. Soon every container was full to the brim!

  3. The oil only stopped pouring when all the jars were full.

    Bring me another jar,” she said to one of her sons.

    “There aren’t any more!” he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing.

     

Application:

I love fried dumplings. I enjoyed baked products. However, we rarely consider the secret agent in these products. That secret agent causes them to increase exponentially, in size. Yeast or baking powder is the little that becomes much. When yeast or baking powder is in the midst of the batter, it becomes the activating agent that catalyzes the little’s transformation into much until it reaches its limits or fills the pan.

God is the yeast in our lives. When God is in the midst, our little has the potential to become much. The widow classified her small vial of olive oil as “nothing”. What we oftentimes consider as inconsequential can be maximised by God to give us a big blessing! When the widow watched how God used her little to make much, even she became a believer, demanding more jars so that they could be filled. The little oil only stopped pouring when there was nothing left be filled. Just like with baking, with God, our yeast, in the midst, our little will expand until it has reached the limits God has set or our needs are met.

Do you have an urgent need like the widow? Let God be the yeast in your life. With Him in the midst, your little can increase exponentially.


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May the Peace of God go with you!

XOXO
Chañel