Fast Wednesdays: Week of June 14, 2017 — Happy Father’s Day & Wait on the Wind (1 Chronicles 14)

Greetings Beloved!

Happy Belated Fast Wednesdays … as most of you know I started a Summer Internship Program last week at Tampa General hospital towards Chaplaincy. I have to get back into the swing of things working a 40 hour week, with people, commuting, preparing outfits for each day, idiosyncrasies, office politics, etc. This week is going much smoother but I did not get time to prepare Fast Wednesdays before now.

SONG:
Good Good Father – Chris Tomlin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_m5ZWchiZo

[Lyrics] –
I’ve heard a thousand stories
of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper of love
in the dead of night

And You tell me
that You’re pleased and that
I’m never alone

You’re a good, good father
it’s who You are
it’s who You are
it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
it’s who I am
it’s who I am
it’s who I am

I’ve seen many
searching for answers far and wide
But I know we’re all
searching for answers only You provide

‘Cause You know just what we need
before we say a word

You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
to us

Love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable
I, I can hardly think

As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
Into love, love, love

——————————————

I did not want this Father’s Day Weekend to go by without wishing all the fathers, MEN out there, a happy father’s day. I know we live in a society where many women have been forced into taking over some of the “traditional” duties and responsibilities of men because they have encountered some men who do not, for whatever reason, perform their duties within their relationships. I honor and admire these women. I was one. However, we (women) are NOT men. God had and has a specific purpose and plan for them. Something that no woman, even when she works hard to perform both roles, of mother and father, can perform. This comes through loud and clear within many relationships I observe. Even when and where dads are minimally involved it made/makes phenomenal differences in the relationships with the children. My own daughter has her share of stories. She thanks me often for pressing her to have a relationship with her dad. He had a good heart but life threw some curves….. My thoughts on him, were if he’s good enough to have a child with, then I should “honor” him as best I can. (If he’s good enough to sleep with don’t bash him later…I went there.)

I listened to the following sermon this morning. I am sharing it today for I believe it will bless you as it is blessing me. It comes from ROHO, an online site with numerous sermons on it. The nugget is “Go back to God again. When a problem or issue shows up again, pray, and go back to God, don’t YOU just use the same strategy God gave you last time. God may be doing a NEW thing and needs you to do a NEW thing. Don’t let people get in your ear and tell you to move and you do so without God’s direction. Be Faithful in Waiting on God.”

http://roho.io/wait-on-the-wind/?utm_source=Mailchimp&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=6_17&ampEmail=djf52055@gmail.com&utm_source=ROHO+Daily+Sermons&utm_campaign=f6b8885c3e-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_06_15&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_731e52dfe1-f6b8885c3e-133704025&mc_cid=f6b8885c3e&mc_eid=e0cc542059

For you father’s out there: “Even if you feel like your struggles are on repeat, don’t give up hope. God’s about to show up in a whole new way.”

SCRIPTURE: God’s about to show up in a whole new way. Don’t look for the same old, be ready for God to blow your mind. 1 Chronicles 14

Sometimes the issue that you thought you handled will show up again. At ROHO we’ve heard testimonies from people who thought they were healed from cancer, but then it showed up again. People who who did the difficult work of repairing their marriage, but then the issue showed up again. Today’s sermon is for all of the people who thought they left a problem in their past, but now it’s showing back up. This word will help prepare you for the devil’s second attack. More importantly, it will help you learn how to hold on and trust God when things are at the worst. Be blessed.

Click Here to Watch the Sermon: Wait On The Wind 

PRAYER:

Dear Father in heaven, we bring our prayers, supplications and petitions to you today. Your word states we are to cast our cares (burdens) on you for you care for us. Help us to learn, reinforce, and be reminded that there is no problem that you cannot heal. Discover how to take our challenges to you and leave them there. Thank you for being the ultimate father. Many of us only know you as father as some have lost their earthly dads in numerous ways. Thanks for representing the ideal dad. For those of us who have been blessed with precious earthly fathers, we thank you for the gift. We know some may not have been blessed with “good” dads. We ask that you would heal us where that is not the case. Bless expectant fathers, new fathers, mature fathers, dying fathers, happy fathers, concerned fathers, ill fathers, recovering fathers, ALL fathers, in Jesus name. Amen…

Love, Joy and Peace,

Debra J. Fuller Ellis

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us either by contacting me or I personally added you: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us for various reasons participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.”  Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog.

MeandDadCruise

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Fast Wednesdays: Week of June 7, 2017 – Happy Anniversary & New Beginnings

Greetings Beloved!

I did not post last week, May 31st, partly because I was celebrating my one year anniversary in retirement as I am certain other colleagues such as Kathy Johnson, June Burger, et al were doing. I cannot speak for them but boy time has flown. I am thankful to God for some fantastic opportunities he has brought my way which give me an even stronger sense of purpose and destiny.

On Monday, June 5, I began a twelve week, summer intensive internship program at Tampa General Hospital, in Tampa, FL, as I plan to pursue becoming a chaplain. This opportunity happened so quickly that I believe only God could have blessed me with this miracle. Others in my life began new jobs and other experiences recently. I am excited for you all. Share if you would like any new opportunities you have or on your horizon. I solicit your prayers for me as I pray for you.

Yesterday, in our interfaith chapel services, we reflected upon the following Scripture. I am sharing this and hope you find it food for thought as you move forward on your own spiritual quest/journey.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 The Message (MSG) There’s a Right Time for Everything

There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

2-8 A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.

SONG(S):

1. Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There is a Season), often abbreviated to “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, is a song adapted entirely from the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible (with the exception of the last line) and put to music by Pete Seeger in 1959. Turn! Turn! Turn! is the second album by the folk rock band The Byrds and was released in December 1965 on Columbia Records (see 1965 in music). For the baby boomers out there, you will remember this one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA2IYnGRYac

2. Donald Lawrence – “Seasons”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvKiwr9yIkA

3. Same song as above but depicted in praise dance, a form of worship I embrace fully.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTKyLLYiPlg

PRAYER:

Father, as we walk into new beginnings and seasons in our lives, we thank you for blessing us past, present and future. We embrace your word that tells us there’s a time and place for everything by remembering you are an “on time God.” Help us learn to be more receptive to change realizing that change is good for us and inevitable. You also remind us of the great news that the only thing that does not change is you. You are the same yesterday, today and forevermore per Hebrews 13:8. With this in mind, we need nothing but you. Thank you for your amazing grace and mercy for they minister, heal, reconcile, renew and refresh us daily. We give you all the glory, honor and praise. Amen…

Love, Joy and Peace,

Debra J. Fuller Ellis

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us either by contacting me or I personally added you: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us for various reasons participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.”  Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fast Wednesdays: Week of May 24, 2017 – “Jehovah Jireh: The Lord who Provides”

Greetings Beloved!

Source: Wikipedia – In the Hebrew Bible Jehovah-jireh (Jehovah will provide) was a place in the land of Moriah. It was the location of the binding of Isaac, where God told Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering. Abraham named the place after God provided a ram to sacrifice in place of Isaac. Today it is still a phrase used in many Christian and Catholic Churches.

“And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.” – Genesis 22:14 (KJV)

Song:
Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir – More Than Enough (God Is Working)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y60BY50NSbY

The Seven Compound Names of Jehovah
Jehovah jireh (Gen 22:14) “The Lord will provide a sacrifice”
Jehovah rapha (Exodus 15:26) “The Lord our Healer”
Jehovah nissi (Exdos 17:15) “The Lord our Banner”
Jehovah shalom (Judges 6:24) “The Lord our Peace”
Jehovah raah (Psalms 23:1) “The Lord our Shepherd”
Jehovah tsidkenu (Jeremiah 23:6) “The Lord our Righteousness”
Jehovah shammah (Ezekiel 48:35) “The Lord is Present”

I discovered the following information and am sharing the piece on Jehovah Jireh. It comes from a blog titled “the compound names of Jehovah. Perhaps you will have time to look at the questions, answer them and save this little worksheet as a resource/tool for later bible study.

https://bible.org/…/60-compound-names-jehovah-jireh-rapha-n…

Purpose: There is no better way to discover what God is like than to look at His names as we seek to understand how He cares for us.

Objectives:

1. You will understand how God provides for our needs.

2. You will understand and learn to trust Him to make bitter things sweet.

3. You will learn to lean on Him and trust Him when the battle seems more than you can handle.
Scripture Memory: The Lord is good – indeed, he is a fortress in time of distress, and he protects those who seek refuge in him. Nahum 1:7
Scripture:
Jehovah – Jireh: The Lord Who Provides Genesis 22

1. Read the text carefully and answer the following questions.

a. What was the setting for the revelation of this name of God?

b. What made this especially difficult for Abraham? See Genesis 15:1-6; Genesis 21:1-6; Romans 4:18-22.

c. Did Abraham really think he was going to have to take the life of his son Isaac? Genesis 22:5; Hebrews 11:17-19

d. How was this story something like the story of Jesus and the offering of Calvary? See Genesis 22:2, 5, 6-9.

The Revelation of the Name Jehovah-Jireh, Genesis 22:12-14. The meaning of this name is The Lord Who Provides. The name is literally, The Lord Who Sees, or The Lord Who Will See To It. This is what we long for when we have a need that is personal and special; One who will see to our needs and provide for us. This is what Jehovah-Jireh means; the Lord Who will see to it that my every need is met. One Who knows my need because He sees. One Who is able to meet my need in just the right time as He did for Abraham, and One Who can meet it fully. For Abraham, it was the ram caught in the thicket that was offered in Isaac’s place. For us it is whatever we need.

Prayer:

Father, today, we thank you for being our Jehovah jireh, Jehovah rapha, Jehovah nissi, Jehovah shalom, Jehovah raah, Jehovah tsidkenu, and Jehovah shammah. Be with us, as we go about our work and play. Help us to remember that just like Father Abraham, as he sacrificed Issac, that you have a ram in the bush for us. We must always be mindful that obedience is better than sacrifice. You are looking for our freewill obedience, more than anything. Actually, there is nothing that pleases you more, like your servant David did. A man, filled with character flaws, but one who repented when he sinned, and whom your word says “had a heart after God.” Remind us to guard our hearts but to work on making them clean and pure like yours versus hard and stony. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Love, Joy and Peace,

Debra J. Fuller Ellis

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us either by contacting me or I personally added you: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us for various reasons participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.” Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fast Wednesdays: Week of May 17, 2017 – “Selah: Pause and Calmly Think About That”

Greetings Beloved!

God laid Fast Wednesdays on my heart in 2011. Over the years, we have had some reflections that have impacted me in great ways. Our Fast Wednesdays for today comes from our archives, July, 2015. Occasionally, I like to post something from the past for various reasons. Today is one of those days: 1) I am relaxing in God’s grace and mercy today 2) we all could stand to pause and calmly reflect in this world of busyness and 3) there’s some great information on the word “Selah” to share/food for thought.

*******

The Amplified Bible adds “pause and calmly think about that” to each verse where “Selah” appears. When we see the word in a psalm or in Habakkuk 3, we should pause to carefully weigh the meaning of what we have just read or heard, lifting up our hearts in praise to God for His great truths. “All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name.” Selah! (Psalm 66:4).

Apparently there’s approximately 71 scriptures in the book of Psalms which end with Selah. The book Habakkuk has 3 scriptures.

Today, let us pause and calmly think about all the things we are grateful and thankful for and praise God for each and every one of them. Then let us remember those ancestors who sacrificed so much for us, followed by our teachers, mentors, doctors, nurses, co workers, and others who support us strongly, and next by those loved ones whom we see, feel, and touch, and perhaps take them for granted, thank them. Before you know it, we have created and avalanche of gratitude.

Back in July, 2015, I was inspired by former astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison. Her panel discussion was titled “The sky is NOT the limit!” and she shared that we all achieve greatness with: Exposures, Expectations and Experiences.

So remember “Selah: Pause and Calmly Think About That” and that you “are a vessel full of power” so make sure you let your light shine for you have treasure hidden in you from the Lord.

Song:

Kathy Taylor – “Corinthian Song” at Mt Zion Nashville

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahqlPGj31aY

Scriptures: (SELAH):
Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/selah.html#ixzz3ecdnzHxe

Psalm 3:2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.

Psalm 3:4 I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

Psalm 3:8 Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

Psalm 4:2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.

Psalm 4:4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

Psalm 7:5 Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.

Psalm 9:16 The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.

Psalm 9:20 Put them in fear, O Lord: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.

Psalm 20:3 Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah.

Psalm 21:2 Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.

Psalm 24:6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

Psalm 24:10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

Psalm 32:4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.

Psalm 32:5 I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

Psalm 32:7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.

Psalm 39:5 Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.

Psalm 39:11 When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah.

Psalm 44:8 In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.

Psalm 46:3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

Psalm 46:7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Psalm 46:11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Psalm 47:4 He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.

Psalm 48:8 As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah.

Psalm 49:13 This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.

Psalm 49:15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.

Psalm 50:6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.

Psalm 52:3 Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah.

Psalm 52:5 God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah.

Psalm 54:3 For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah.

Psalm 55:7 Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah.

Psalm 55:19 God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.

Psalm 57:3 He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

Psalm 57:6 They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.

Psalm 59:5 Thou therefore, O Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah.

Psalm 59:13 Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah.

Psalm 60:4 Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.

Psalm 61:4 I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.

Psalm 62:4 They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah.

Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

Psalm 66:4 All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.

Psalm 66:7 He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.

Psalm 66:15 I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.

Psalm 67:1 God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.

Psalm 67:4 O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.

Psalm 68:7 O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah:

Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

Psalm 68:32 Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah:

Psalm 75:3 The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah.

Psalm 76:3 There brake he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle. Selah.

Psalm 76:9 When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth. Selah.

Psalm 77:3 I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.

Psalm 77:9 Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.

Psalm 77:15 Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.

Psalm 81:7

Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah.

Psalm 82:2

How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.

Psalm 83:8

Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah.

In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations

Psalm 84:4

Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.

Psalm 84:8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.

Psalm 85:2 Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.

Psalm 87:3 Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.

Psalm 87:6 The Lord shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.

Psalm 88:7 Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.

Psalm 88:10 Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah.

Psalm 89:4 Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.

Psalm 89:37 It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.

Psalm 89:45 The days of his youth hast thou shortened: thou hast covered him with shame. Selah.

Psalm 89:48 What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah.

Psalm 140:3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips. Selah.

Psalm 140:5 The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah.

Psalm 140:8 Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah.

Psalm 143:6 I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.

Habakkuk 3:3 God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.

Habakkuk 3:9 Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.

Habakkuk 3:13 Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, we come to you today, thanking you for being God, the creator of the heavens, earth, the known and the unknown, and everything in between. We pray father, that today, we do not limit you or put you in a box. Let us have open minds, hearts and souls that adore you. Help us remember that we all achieve greatness with: Exposures, Expectations and Experiences. May you forever be glorified is our prayer. Amen.

Love, Joy and Peace, 

Debra J. Fuller Ellis

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us either by contacting me or I personally added you: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us for various reasons participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.”  Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog.

Attachments area

Selah

Preview YouTube video Kathy Taylor – “Corinthian Song” at Mt Zion Nashville

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Fast Wednesdays: May 10, 2017 — Removing the Shackles (Happy Mother’s Day)

Greetings Beloved!

Our topic for this week is “Removing the Shackles.” My professor for my “Muslims in North America and Europe” class must have know how busy I would be this week preparing for count down to graduation on Friday, May 12. He allowed me to write our blog today as a final project. You, like me, will be happy to know, I hope, I received an A in the class! It was one of the most greatest achievements of my studies at Hartford Seminary. I truly enjoy him and everyone from the school will know who he is and agree that the grade did not come easy. I wish I could have studied with him earlier, I would be Nobel Prize material by now.

Happy Mother’s Day this weekend. I have also posted a prayer in our Facebook Group. Let’s all be mindful that Mother’s Day is not as exciting and joyful for some as others. Actually, it can be downright depressing, lonely and miserable. I pray that God will keep us ALL in perfect peace as we keep our minds on him through it all.

Removing the Shackles:

While the politics of slavery still haunts and dehumanizes on so many levels, race and gender, provide an interconnectedness, not withstanding for women. As we fast and pray today, let us be mindful of some of the reasons for fasting especially as we connect together as a community. Reasons for fasting vary from, for freedom from addiction, to solve problems, to break crippling fears and other mental problems, to provide for the needy, for insight and decision making, for health and physical healing, for an influential testimony, and fasting for protection from the evil one.

Many of us, as women of African American heritage, know what slavery is about intimately, through our ancestors. However, if we think on slavery, from within our context as a community of women of various faiths, slavery is far older than the one our African American ancestors experienced when they came to America.1 We recently celebrated Easter. I was reminded of how the Israelites were slaves in Egypt until one season, when God told Moses to go down to Pharaoh and tell him to “let my people go.” God was their Jehovah Jireh, the Lord our Provider, as he even parted the Red Sea allowing the massive escape of over 2 million!

Slavery still exists in the world today, as we know. There are considered five major types of slavery: 1. Sex Slavery, 2. Forced Labor, 3. Domestic Servitude, 4. Child Slavery and 5. Bonded Labor.2 In addition to physical slavery, many people are enslaved in their minds or in what is called spiritual slavery/addictions. The mind, heart and soul are our primary focus in “Removing the Shackles.” A stunning 75 million people have a problem with alcohol abuse; more than 12 million people have sexual addictions; the number of people who have drug addictions is stated as being more than 23 million.3 Let us collectively pray for the elimination of slavery, in every form it raises its ugly head, as we fast and pray.

Certainly there is unspoken and invisible power, residing in many American institutions that are performing unjust actions against the common man, and in our case, women. However, what they often forget, is that the marginalized, victimized, and oppressed, occasionally unite and create change for the betterment of all people. We have a very visible reminder with the civil rights movement. When we speak truth to power by becoming activists even in the slightest ways we change the world.

John 8:36 21st Century King James Version (KJ21) 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. God does not want any of his daughters shackled in any type of bondage. This scripture is very liberating as it is telling us we do not have to be slaves to sin. The slavery the scripture is based on, comes in our minds. There’s a battle going on in the mind, heart and soul. Yet, no matter what we are struggling with, God has already made a way of escape and victory. That excites me and gives me hope. My prayer is you also have hope, excitement and liberty. Our forefathers had this hope and excitement too. They suffered much for us. It is now time for us to be steadfast, unmovable, loving on each other and the next generations.

SCRIPTURE:

Isaiah 58:6 21st Century King James Version (KJ21) 6 “Is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

Commentary on versus 6:4

  • Description of the true fast in which Jehovah delights. The duties include abstinence from

every form of oppression (Isaiah 58:6). This as the moral essence of fasting, the prophet may be guided by the principle so often inculcated by our Lord, that he who would obtain mercy from God must shew a merciful disposition towards his fellow-men (Matthew 5:7; Matthew 6:12; Matthew 18:35 &c.). Or the idea may be that the spirit of self-denial possesses no value before God unless it be carried into the sphere of social duty.

  • the bands (R.V. bonds) of wickedness] i.e. unjust and oppressive obligations.
  • to undo the heavy burdens] Lit. to untie the Bands of the yoke. Yoke can be seen on oxen and are used to help them been in harmony.
  • the oppressed is literally the “broken” (Deuteronomy 28:33; ch. Isaiah 42:3),—bankrupts, whose liberty had been forfeited to their creditors (cf. Nehemiah 5:5).

SONG(S):

I am sharing three songs today. The first one comes from a young lady I recently heard, Lizzie No. She is an African American, harpist playing, folk singer. Her CD is called Hard Won. She states “A lot of women, especially women of color, are handed this idea that we have to be really strong for everybody and that our anger and our sadness and our confusion is dangerous, and that’s something that I’ve internalized a lot throughout the course of my life,” No says. “So the title track, ‘Hard Won’ — it really is a victory, a personal victory for myself because I had to get used to the idea that it was okay to get mad and actually have anger be a tool for healing rather than something that’s scary.” I can relate to No. As the oldest sister, I felt I had an obligation to be strong for my four siblings. Whenever I had a failure, which we really need to start looking at as opportunities versus failures, I would beat myself up badly. Reason being, many times I was asked, not necessarily by my parents, but by well-meaning, sarcasm intended, adult family members and friends, “just what type of example are you setting for your younger sisters and brothers. You are not being a good role model. You are suppose to be strong and morally responsible.” The guilt would set in. I would angrily work harder to try and overachieve at every opportunity that came along. This was certainly not realistic. Thank God I eventually made peace with and let myself off the hook. Now, I have fairly decent relationships with my siblings and we have forgiven each other, long ago, for being human!

One of the songs on the CD is called:

“The Killing Season.”5 No says it “came out of the grief” she felt last summer, when she heard a string of news stories about people of color being killed by police. ‘The worst thing that can happen to a person is to not be allowed to be seen as fully human in the complex ways that we all are,’ she says ‘So I felt this need to start to describe my worldview and what I was experiencing. And I think I’m gonna keep doing it.6‘”

Second Song – Mary Mary – Shackles (Praise You)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7eZD3TKn_M

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance, I just wanna praise you, I just wanna praise you, You broke the chains now I can lift my hands, And I’m gonna praise you

I’m gonna praise you

Third Song – Break Every Chain – Tasha Cobb

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pD2zIuiC2g

There is power in the name of Jesus [3x]  to break every chain, break every chain, break every chain. [2x]

[Chorus:]

There is power in the name of Jesus [3x] to break every chain, break every chain, break every chain. [2x]

[Lead:]

There’s an army rising up. [3x] To break every chain, break every chain, break every chain. [2x]

[Chorus:]

There’s an army rising up. [3x] To break every chain, break every chain, break every chain. [2x]

[Vamp:]

I hear the chains falling.

[End:]

There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain, break every chain, break every chain.

PRAYER:

Father in Heaven, we come before you today, thanking you for your favor, grace and mercy towards us. Everyday you give us new ones and they fail not nor cease not. We thank you for your faithfulness unto us, even though we are often not faithful to you. Deepen our faith as we fast, pray and interact with others. Help us to break the chains of addictions and other strongholds that would seek to control our hearts, minds, and souls and devour us. Help us to throw off the shackles of a society that brought my people here from places such as Africa and enslaved them centuries ago. Please also break the chains of power, race and politics that seek to enslave us all today. We praise You for breaking the chains as does humankind everywhere. Amen.

Love, Joy and Peace,

Debra J. Ellis

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us either by contacting me or I personally added you: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us for various reasons participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grow! The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually. Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), FB (Debra Fuller Ellis), https://fastwednesdays.wordpress.com/

1http://www.slavevoyages.org/assessment/intro-maps

2 http://www.sbs.com.au/guide/article/2016/08/05/5-examples-slavery-world-today

3http://www.serenityrehab.org/blog/addiction/%EF%BB%BFunderstanding-the-spiritual-slavery-of-addiction/

4http://biblehub.com/commentaries/isaiah/58-6.htm

5https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRzUjFuFgww and https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/lizzieno3

6 http://www.npr.org/2017/04/15/523969838/folk-musician-lizzie-no-on-anger-that-heals


Love, Joy and Peace, 

Debra J. Ellis

 

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us either by contacting me or I personally added you: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us for various reasons participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.”  Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog.

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Fast Wednesdays: May 3, 2017 — Favorite Hymns Exercise: In the Garden

Greetings Beloved!

Here’s a testimony from last week’s blog titled “Don’t Give Up.”

Anonymous — “For sure that is one of my favorite songs no one can tell it like you can tell it. When we often look back over our lives there’s a shout in every memory, A praise for every victory, and a Hallelujah for how he has brought us through, there might’ve been a pause in your life or a delay but it doesn’t mean you won’t reach your destiny keep calling on Jesus and look up.”

And, in conclusion, that is the blog for today because this wraps the matter up nicely … just kidding.

I may have shared already, this semester I had a course called “An Introduction to Christianity: Defining Moments of a Faith. It was superb with Dr. Brian Clark! We had a couple of assignments where we were to share our favorite hymn(s) explaining some of what it means to you. Here’s one of my favorites and its significance in my life.

Please share the names of your favorite songs, should you have time this week or whenever, and perhaps why or what they mean to you!!!

“Listening to or singing hymns are tools I use to draw closer to God. I believe its one of God’s ways he designed to draw nearer to us. When I initially started to post my favorite song it was going to be Great is Thy Faithfulness because it is at the top of my list of songs. However, as I was doing a little digging and reading on it, I discovered a song that I do not listen to often but its one of the songs I clearly remember when I was in about the second or third grade and was probably one of the first songs that made me think more deeply and intimately about God and my relationship with him. Its called “In the Garden.” In verse 1, the song makes me think about spending time alone with God in the garden and especially early in the morning since the dew is still on the roses, a type of paradise similar to where he placed Adam and Eve. In this garden, time starts out endlessly but by the three stanza he tells me I have to go back out into the cold world of reality. Question/Side Bar: Anybody ever feel like me, when you are in your church worshipping you are so close to God, you do not want to leave the premises?

“In the Garden” was the most requested hymn for inclusion in The United Methodist Hymnal according to Carlton Young. “In the Garden” (sometimes rendered by its first line “I Come to the Garden Alone”) is a gospel song written by American songwriter C. Austin Miles (1868–1946), a former pharmacist who served as editor and manager at Hall-Mack publishers for 37 years. According to Miles’ great-granddaughter, the song was written “in a cold, dreary and leaky basement in Pitman, New Jersey that didn’t even have a window in it let alone a view of a garden.” The song was first published in 1912 and popularized during the Billy Sunday evangelistic campaigns of the early twentieth century by two members of his staff, Homer Rodeheaver and Virginia Asher.

The song has been recorded by popular folks over the times such as Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Doris Day and the husband and wife team of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. I have chosen to share it sung by two African Americans. 1st Mahalia Jackson, 20th century recording artist known as the Queen of Gospel and is revered as one of the greatest musical figures in U.S. History. She was a colleague of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and she sung at the John F. Kennedy inauguration. “I sing God’s music because it makes me feel free”, Jackson once said about her choice of gospel, adding, “It gives me hope. With the blues, when you finish, you still have the blues.” The second rendition is by Marvin Sapp. Pastor Marvin Louis Sapp (born January 28, 1967) is an American Gospel music singer-songwriter who has been nominated and won several Gospel Music awards which are similar to the Grammys.

BTW – in today’s contemporary world, we hear the term Praise and Worship songs more often than hymns in many churches and denominations. Music has come a long way and is such an integral part of many worship experiences. There use to be churches, and a few may still exist, where songs are sung acapella (meaning without musical accompaniment). There may also be churches where there is no music but it would be a minority such as Quakerism. “In the early days of Quakerism, music was rejected as part of worship. As the early Quakers tried to distance themselves from the practices of the English Church at the time, they also distanced themselves from the traditions of singing music, even Psalms. The practice was at times also viewed as frivolous, and not in line with the value of Simplicity.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_the_Garden_(1912_song)

Mahalia Jackson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2eSfKqMRbALinks to an external site.

Marvin Sapp

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uttIAHmW_8Links to an external site.

“In the Garden.”

  1. I come to the garden alone, While the dew is still on the roses, And the voice I hear falling on my ear, The Son of God discloses.

(Refrain)

And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own; And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known.

  1. He speaks, and the sound of His voice, Is so sweet the birds hush their singing, And the melody that He gave to me Within my heart is ringing.

(Refrain)

  1. I’d stay in the garden with Him Though the night around me be falling, But He bids me go; through the voice of woe His voice to me is calling.

(Refrain)

Scripture(s):

1 Chronicles 16:8 Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples.

Psalm 103:1-5 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; read more.

Hebrews 13:15 – Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.

169 Bible Verses about Praisehttps://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Praise

Prayer:

Dear Lord, we thank you for walking with us through the gardens of our lives. We thank you for the lovely bouquets of people you have connected us with who helped us on our journey. From our dearest friends and mentors to our greatest ‘haters.’ Your word says in James 1:2 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.” Father you know we have certainly been tested on this account. Though we thank you for our tests, for without them we would not have our testimonies, I ask and pray that you would keep us in perfect peace with our minds, hearts and souls steadfast on you. The devils wants to sift us like he did Peter. And, we thank you that, though he comes to steal, kill and destroy, Jesus came that we might have abundant life. We thank you also that like Peter, Jesus is praying for all of us. Help us to remember to pray for others … actually, it loosens us from our burdens when we think, pray and help others. These prayers we ask in Jesus name, Amen.

Reminder: The National Day of Prayer, May 4, 2017
Love, Joy and Peace, 

Debra J. Ellis

 

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us either by contacting me or I personally added you: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us for various reasons participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.”  Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog.

Attachments area

Preview YouTube video Mahalia Jackson – I Come To The Garden Alone

Preview YouTube video Marvin Sapp- in the garden

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Fast Wednesdays: April 26, 2017 – Don’t Give Up!

Greetings Beloved!

I am going to start today’s blog with our song for the week.

As I was driving back to Connecticut, from my last “official” class, which was held in Virginia, the following song came on the radio. I almost had to pull over to the shoulder of the road on the New Jersey Turnpike! Any of you with me? You are driving down the road, or anywhere else for that matter. Minding your own business, when you hear a “rhema”* song on the radio? Does it make you want to stop whatever you are doing and Praise & Worship God? The words in this song resonated with me deeply for they are a part of my testimony.

The artist, Helen Baylor, has told her testimony whereby she was strung out on drugs for awhile. Her grandmother always believed in her. Told her when she gets herself together she wanted Helen to come to her church and sing this song.

Today, I want to encourage you, if you are struggling in any manner. Hang in there. Persevere. Only the devil and your haters do not want to see you successful but God gives us thousands of promises in his word how he feels about each one of us. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. A royal priesthood. Chosen Generation. God said it, so that makes it true.

I was told at certain points in my life, I would never amount to much. Some actually told me I would not finish high school. For me, I embraced that positively. I put a smile on my face and said “Oh Yeah?” Well, that’s not what God says. How about you? Have others tried to “nail your coffin?” Well, if that’s the case, its time for your resurrection.

One word of enlightenment. It will be tough but do not say negative things about the people who say the negative things about you … whew … the sooner you let them go, the sooner God can release you, otherwise, you end up giving them too much power over your life. My husband often says “its easy to say something negative but very hard to say something positive.” Or let’s be like Michelle O’Bama, “when they go low, we go high.”

Song:

Helen Baylor – If It Had Not Been – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHSg8JaYmDs

Our title for the blog today and scripture comes from yesterday’s devotional from Our Daily Bread Ministries https://ourdailybread.org/ I use this as a devotional source often. You might want to consider adding it to your resources.

Scripture(s):

Galatians 6:9 Good News Translation (GNT) 9 So let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest.

Prayer:

Father in heaven, we ask for hope and perseverance to continue pressing towards the prize. In Revelation 3:11 you said “I am coming soon. Keep safe what you have, so that no one will rob you of your victory prize.” We pray you will keep us in perfect peace. That you will make us steadfast and unmovable. We look to you, the author and finisher of our faith, for wisdom and guidance. In prayer we call on you as you are “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” Ephesians 3:20 Amen.

Reminder: The National Day of Prayer, May 4, 2017

Theme this year is For Your Great Name’s Sake! Hear Us …Forgive Us …Heal Us! which is inspired by Daniel 9:19.

http://www.nationaldayofprayer.org/

*Rhema – The rhema word – What is it? In modern times, many charismatic Christians have used the idea of the rhema word of God as a way to express God speaking to them through the Holy Spirit. A person may claim to have heard the “rhema word of God” when he or she feels God has led them to do something in service to Him. https://www.compellingtruth.org/rhema-word.html

Love, Joy and Peace,

Debra J. Ellis

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us either by contacting me or I personally added you: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us, for various reasons, participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grow!

Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog https://fastwednesdays.wordpress.com

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