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Archive for the ‘God’s Gift’ Category

Well, I’m pleased to announce the release of my second novel, A Sad Soul Can Kill You! Although written as a stand alone novel, A Sad Soul Can Kill You is a continuation from my debut novel, Yesterday’s Eyes. However, if you did not read the first novel, fear not. A Sad Soul Can Kill You is written in a way that allows you to empathize – whether you’ve read the first novel or not – and relate to the trials and tribulations that each character goes through.

Synopsis

After reconciling with her mother and grandmother, Tia Sparks has made a new life in Chicago with Lorenzo, her husband of thirteen years. Still, overcoming the trials and tribulations from her past has not prepared her for this latest set of disheartening challenges.

Lorenzo has been harboring a secret for years and it’s threatening to physically destroy him. It’s turning him into a man that Tia no longer recognizes. With her frustrations continuing to mount, Tia makes a decision that she quickly finds herself regretting.
Serenity, their thirteen year old daughter, struggles to find her place amidst her own low self-esteem and the distance of her parents. With nowhere to turn, she makes an irrational choice that places her directly in the path of an unstable neighbor.
Soon all of them begin to realize the high price they must pay for their discontentment, and Lorenzo fights to relinquish the nightmare he’s been holding onto.
With God all things are possible. But can each of them find redemption and deliverance before a marriage is destroyed and lives are changed forever?

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Often, we look for solutions outside of God’s plan. We have an urgency that is not compatible with His timeline. It becomes a challenge to wait on God. And so without consulting Him, we make choices that turn out to be mistakes.

And then we expect God to bless something that He has never played a part in, something He has never condoned.

Psalms 127:1 tells us, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain…” That means if God is not a part of our plan, we’re going to have some problems with it whether it be in the execution of it, the structure, or the maintenance.

Waiting on God’s timing is sometimes hard to do. But I have faith in His wisdom that surpasses mine. And it’s worth it because God (the One who created us) knows what’s best for us (His creation). Likewise, He knows when it’s best for us. And I can testify that the reward for waiting is well worth it.

I had been waiting a year and some months for God to answer a particular prayer of mine. While He did not answer my prayer directly, He indirectly answered it by not opening any doors for me or allowing any alternatives that I could see. That clearly said to me, “wait”. And so I did.

Sometimes, though the enemy will throw a distraction at you in the midst of your waiting period. It becomes unclear whether the distraction is God answering your prayer or whether it is from the enemy.

This is when wisdom and spiritual discernment become invaluable tools. As a believer, I asked myself the following questions in order to discern whether the answer I received was from God or was a distraction from the enemy.

– Am I ready and in a position to receive that which I have been praying for?
– Is the answer I’ve received going to require much difficulty and discomfort on my part?
– Does the answer appear to be logical or does it create a whole new scenario of unanswered questions?
– After receiving an answer, is there still a sense of uncertainty within me?

It was clear that the answer I received was from God. It was clear because what once seemed impossible had now become quite achievable. Everything fell into place and the door that had been shut was thrust wide open for me to walk through.

So just when it felt like the last minute was upon me, it wasn’t; it was just God working on His own timeline. He had answered my prayer, and the thing once withheld from me was now mine to have.

Some have no desire to wait for Lord. They exclaim “I know what’s best for me!”, as if they are truly the captain of their own ship…well, to some extent they are. We all are when it comes to the ability to make choices – and even that is a gift from God.

So we can choose not to wait on God and execute our own plans, but if we wait on the Lord and let Him guide our footsteps, we’ll always have a 100% guarantee that everything will turn out fine.

If you are not a follower of Jesus Christ, consider turning your life over to Him. Come before Him in repentance, and stop trying to do it all on your own. It’s okay to look to the Lord for your direction. It’s okay to wait for His guidance. He will never steer you wrong.

Nothing offers a 100% guarantee on all things at all times…but waiting on the Lord truly does.

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When I decided to go on a 10-day fast in January of 2014, I expected to grow closer to God and to be able to understand His will for me with greater clarity. I asked myself what I needed most from Him at that time, and my answer was two-fold: I needed clarification and guidance. I wanted to hear His soft, undeniable voice internally whispering His will for me. I wanted to feel His spirit and confirmation.

 I began my fast hoping to receive clarification about a situation that I had been feeling guilty about. It was a circumstance that I had no control over. Still, I could not shed the burden of guilt and I continually tried to make amends for the ill behavior of others. I was reminded by my sister in Christ not to force doors open that God had shut. Yet, somehow I felt it was my duty to make everything right for everyone.

 During the first day of my fast, God blessed me with a revelation. He showed me that the burden had never been mine to carry. Although I knew this to be truth, somehow I had been unable to grasp the concept. While fasting and praying, God helped me to realize that if He had wanted me to take care of it, He would have made the provision for me to do so. But He hadn’t. I understood. Not only was the door shut, it was locked. And finally, I was able to relinquish an unnecessary burden.

 There was another kind of guilt that resurfaced while I was fasting. This one revolved around a particular television series. I had allowed it to entertain me with all of its profanity and behavior. For one hour each week, I found myself firmly planted in front of the television set ready for the drama the show was sure to bring. I was so attracted to the performance that I made sure I had my DVR set to record the entire series in case I missed an episode. That was my vice. It was like a soap opera, always ending on a cliff-hanger. But it was an ungodly cliff-hanger, and deep down inside I knew better.

 This type of guilt did not require fasting. This one simply required me to obey the word of God and diligently protect what my eyes see and what my ears hear. Watching the weekly program had always produced a twinge of guilt in me, and I would promptly try to eradicate the feeling by justifying my actions. But how do you justify not obeying the word of God? The guilt would not recede, and I questioned myself – did I really want to invite this negativity into my home every week? I had to confess that I did not, so I made the decision, while fasting, to stop watching it.  

 The guidance I sought from God was of a financial nature. Although working part-time, I pondered if I should decrease my hours even more. My logic was that this would give me more time to dedicate to my love of writing, and explore other avenues of the craft as well. The answer did not come quickly. As a matter of fact, it did not come at all while I was fasting. But God had a plan. It just hadn’t been revealed to me yet.

 Eighteen days after the fast had ended, I reached out to a literary agency inquiring about an intern position as a content editor. The owner told me that she had recently received several projects and had been praying to God, telling Him that she needed more help. There was my guidance. God, in His omnipotence, had devised the master plan! I had my answer. There was no need to decrease my hours, and I could still expand my writing and explore other avenues of my craft. 

 Through fasting, I found peace of mind, deliverance, and direction – everything I was seeking. I know my path is determined by wherever God leads me. My only desire is to recognize when He is leading and to follow Him. Much like spring is a time of renewal, so too is fasting. And by the grace of God, I will be renewed, reviewed, rejuvenated, and improved – not just once a year, but whenever needed through the power of prayer and regular fasting.

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I’ve had several jobs during my life time – dish washer, waitress, data entry clerk, surgical technician, and a career as a registered nurse. With each of these positions, there was always something lacking. I felt a yearning for something more, a feeling that I was meant to be doing something else. Deep down inside I knew what it was. I knew because I had been doing it since the age of ten. The something else I was meant to do was write.

It began with poetry, and then progressed to short stories – just a page or two. I remember walking into bookstores and seeing the selection of books displayed on the tables. I told myself that one day my book would be displayed on one of those tables as well.

By the time I was in my early twenties, I was a data entry clerk by day and an aspiring freelance writer by night. I submitted short stories to various magazine publications on a regular basis – and was rejected by them just as often. I also freelanced for a local newspaper for a brief period of time.

I tried to remain faithful to my purpose. I enrolled in the university and majored in mass communications. But life has a way of distracting you. At the time, I was a divorced mother of three with a full-time job (that had nothing to do with writing by the way). I became exhausted trying to juggle school, family and work so I chose to discontinue my education.

After working for eight years as a data entry clerk, I returned to college and became a surgical/ob technician, later graduating with a degree as a registered nurse (again…nothing to do with writing).

In 2008, my youngest child graduated from high school. I continued working as a nurse until the restlessness began two years later. I realized that my dream of becoming a published author remained unfulfilled. Sure, I had freelanced for a local newspaper briefly, but I wanted to write a book. My unfulfilled prediction of seeing my own book sitting on a table in a bookstore began to nag at my soul.

I had worked as a nurse for sixteen years, and maintained an on again/off again relationship with writing that had lasted for more than forty-one years. I began to ponder why I had pursued a career as a registered nurse instead of pursuing my dream of becoming a writer.

I looked to God for the answer and for His guidance, and I found it in Revelations Chapter 4, Verse 11: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Through these words of wisdom, I came to understand why my purpose had remained unfulfilled.

Although God had instilled the gift of writing in me, it had not been my time to use it. I had strayed away from Him, and had abused the gift He’d given me by using it to write about ungodly things. Once I rededicated myself to Jesus Christ, the new me began to infuse itself into my writing.

After eight months of prayer, I ended my nursing career and fully embraced my God- given purpose. I began writing for the glory of God. My affirmation that I was on the right track came when my debut novel Yesterday’s Eyes was published in 2012.

Today, as I journey through the second half of my life, I continue to fulfill my purpose. I have a part time job that involves writing ninety percent of the time, I am a freelance content writer, and I have recently expanded my purpose to include the world of content editing which I discovered I enjoy a great deal.

Trusting in the Lord has become a lesson in faith and a victory for me. With God’s help, I am able to identify and remove anything that threatens to distract me from my true purpose. I now reject the toxicity of phrases like ‘later’, ‘one day’, and ‘when I retire’.

Today is the day!

Through my writing, I can be used by God for His glory over and over. Fulfilling my purpose has not made me financially rich, but I am rich in spirit and I am doing what I was meant to do. Even though it took forty-one years for me to embrace my true purpose, I can say quite happily, “Better late than never”.

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A troubled spirit combined with a fragile heart keeps the soul in a state of weariness. You might pretend that everything is alright but you can never be delivered from this type of bondage by pretending.

As a work in progress, I continually pray the same prayer that David prayed in Psalms 51:10: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (KJV)

Through the power of Jesus, your spirit can be renewed. Your heart can be cleansed from all the negative, unproductive clutter that’s been residing in it.

These lyrics from the song “Awesome” by Pastor Charles Jenkins say it all:

“My God is Awesome

He can move mountains

Keep me in the valley

Hide me from the rain

My God is Awesome

Heals me when I’m broken

Strength where I’ve been weakened

Forever He will reign…”

If you’re still dealing with a mountain of burdens, if you feel like you’re drowning in the storms of life, if you’re feeling broken and weak, and you’re still holding on to memories of mistreatment from the past, it’s time to let go.

It’s time to let Jesus shine His light into the dark recesses of your heart. Let Him remove all the neatly organized grudges you’ve been holding onto.

Suppression can be fatal.

The feelings you’ve been harboring in your heart are manifesting themselves in the form of:

Depression

Obesity

Strife

Heart disease

High blood pressure

Stomach ulcers

Addictions, and a host of other physical and mental ailments.

If God has blessed you to see another day, it is because He is giving you another opportunity to surrender yourself to Jesus and be delivered.

2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  (KJV)

Today is your day. Be delivered from the old you and start enjoying the new you – the one who’s been finally set free.

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He Is

This poem is contributed by Fatima Manson, poet and freelance-editor:

Magnificent as He is
He is downgraded by many
The Creator of all things
But discredited by plenty
Mysterious yet seen
Denied and misread
He is forever crucified
Though His life He bled
His truth is ignored
And His name worshiped in vain
Forgotten by some
Still His love remains
He is a protector and healer
The warmth from the cold
Yet his word is taken for granted
As just another tale to be told
He lives within a realm
Some don’t think exist
They uphold scientific theories
While His seven days get dismissed
He left behind the manual for life
But we still cry anxious tears
How can one think there is no God?
Look around, His evidence is quite clear

© 2013 Fatima Manson

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