7 DAYS OF CONSUMING GOOD FRUIT

GENTLENESS/GOODNESS

 

Good afternoon!

I pray you all had a very Merry Christmas and enjoyed fellowship with family friends.  Most of us I know are back to work for a few days then off to enjoy the New year.  Today we are discussing the fruits gentleness and goodness. A fair warning, this blog will be filled scriptures!  The word of God is very clear about the display of these fruits.

 

Psalms 18:35 (KJV)

Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

 

God is good!  When you begin to learn more about God you realize that he encompasses the same fruits that he says we should have.  And if you think about it we should already have them.  Why?  Because the spirit of God dwells in us already!

 

1 Thessalonians 2:7 (KJV)

But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

Whenever and however you choose to witness to someone, you should always be gentle!  I go more in depth about this in my book, “To be a Light in a Dark Place.”  Don’t immediately go into the repentance speech!  Always find out the “why” behind the behavior.  Then you can witness, then get them to receive salvation.  Be kind!

 

 

Titus 3:2 (KJV)

To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

 

Pay attention to the first part of the verse!  It is crucial for believers!  Speak evil of no man! That means stop gossiping, stop saying mean things, stop being petty, stop criticizing others!  Remember what your parents or teacher taught you!  If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.

 

Romans 2:4 (KJV)

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

 

Did you see that?! “not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance!”  I am super excited!  As I stated earlier when you witness to someone you should always be gentle.  But it is not for us to lead them to repentance. Think back to what lead you to repent.  Was it a worship service, the pastor preaching, or experiencing God’s presence for the first time?  For me it was a broken heart that led me to Christ.  Understand that we plant seeds, water, but God gives the increase.

 

Psalms 33:5 (KJV)

He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

 

Remember these scriptures when you think of the gentleness and goodness of the Lord!  He is awesome!  He is worthy of praise always for his goodness and gentleness.  That is how we should appear as his children!  People should say, Aretha is always good, she is gentle!

Selah….

 

 

 

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THE CHRISTIAN DELIMMA

After 2016 single season, I’d rather not continue conversations about the opposite sex and dating.  But because of my current state I have no choice I gather.  I am learning that interestingly enough men talk about dating just as much as women do, without the commentary.

One young lady said to me, Husbands are nice but they require a lot of attention and work. No ma’am, you are selfish and not ready to be a wife!  Let’s just get to the root of the matter.  In reality she requires a lot of attention and if her list of requirements aren’t met, then she passes the men by.

Sadly, this is the world we exist in today.  Men and women have ridiculous list made out that almost seems like a list made by the government or media on what’s required from their mate.  And what’s worse is they haven’t even met the person.  We don’t know what they look like, their personality, nor their purpose!

So my question to Christians singles with the “must have” list is this….Where is your list of obligations and duties to your mate!  So you want them to meet this and that requirement?  Where are your requirements to your mate?  What are you bringing to the table?

I hope it matches what you are demanding!

It’s time out for the foolishness.  God can’t give you his best if your mind is made up of what you want.  You can get that on your own!  What do you need God’s approval for after you have created your own Adam or Eve?

Just saying…

 

Copy and paste the link below to purchase your copy of “To be a Light in a Dark Place”.  Available on amazon books now to learn more about Evangelism.

 

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7 DAYS OF CONSUMING GOOD FRUIT “LONGSUFFERING”

I remember the first time I heard the word long-suffering.  I honestly did not have the best reaction to it, my facial expression said it all.  The word long-suffering sounds like your life is about to end by something traumatic and extreme event. However, the bible reassures us that long-suffering is a blessing.

long-suffering: having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people.

This is probably a fruit that is often overlooked, or we believe falsely that is has been obtained and utilized.  As I observe our world today I don’t know if I can point out anyone that truly exemplifies that fruit of long-suffering except God.  Maybe our Pastors and leaders, but even they lose patience with members and the flow of the church.

I asked a few friends what long-suffering meant to them.  Here are the responses I received:

SICK

SET BACK

PAINFUL

Another friend responded:

ENDURANCE

PATIENCE

The first set of answers may seem to come from baby saints while the other set may seem to come from more mature saints.  Honestly, no matter what phase you are currently set in through your transformation process ALL OF THE ABOVE will be accurate!

When I read these answers, all I see is Jesus!  His body was sick from all the beatings, the false accusations, the lies, the piercing in his side, and him drooping from the cross.  It seemed a set back that Jesus was given life only to die. Indeed we know otherwise!  He is now seated next to “God the Father” in heaven!  His trial was indeed painful, but what did Jesus respond with? “Forgive them Father, they know not what they do.”  Luke 23:34.

Endurance and patience!  That’s all we see displayed in the gospels.  I still can’t grasp to this day how Jesus managed to walk with a cross on his back with help to Calvary!  I can’t see how he lived past the beatings.  The bible says he was beaten beyond recognition.  The version we see in the movie Passion of the Christ is light compared to the gruesome reality of Jesus demise.  He obviously had the power of God upon him.  This is the true definition of long-suffering; Jesus!

We can’t focus on the trials, problems, dysfunction in our lives.  We have to understand that long-suffering is a part of the process.  This is why Jesus says, “Pick up your cross and follow me.”  We all go through things we don’t like! Focus on the what your reward will be.  In the end we will all receive a crown for the tribulations we suffered through.  And in the next life, we won’t even remember the former things.   God bless!

 

Copy the link to pick up your copy of the book, “To be a Light in a Dark Place”  to learn more about evangelism.

https://www.amazon.com/Aretha-Lumas/e/B00L4IG1VY

 

7 DAYS CONSUMING GOOD FRUIT “PEACE”

fruits20of20spirit

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. KJV Phillipians 4:7

2016 was my year to activate the spirit of peace.  What a wonderful feeling to be at peace no matter the circumstance. How did I come to finally be able to walk in this fruit of the spirit?  By learning how to in 2013, 2014, and 2015 by going through various trials and tribulations!

It seems unreal but eventually a stormy season will always eventually bring forth a calm.  Just ask your local meteorologist.  In the mid-west we get battered with tornado and thunderstorm warnings during the months of March-June.  It’s one after another and some cause extreme damage to towns.  During this time we can be on edge and naturally concerned, but we look forward to the calm season! When summer arrives, we know the severe weather has come to an end.

As a kid and some of my adulthood (giggles) I was sore afraid of storms!  I don’t like them.  They are loud, scary, and the lightning is unruly.  I remember always running downstairs to my mom’s bed for safety when terrifying overnight storms hit.  My mom would smile and sometimes be waiting on me if she was awake.  She knew me very well.  For some reason I knew being next to my mom would protect me from the fierce lightning strikes.  Eventually I would fall asleep and by morning the storm was gone and my fear gone too.

One of God’s attributes is that he is like a parent to us!  This is why Jesus said Abba, Father!  God protects us the same way during the storms in our lives.  He is protecting and covering us during the tough times as we wait for the calm to arrive!  It’s awesome to watch God work.  He sends little reminders that he is still with you.  He sends small blessings to make you shout for joy.  It keeps you believing and trusting in him.  It’s a true saying that storms don’t last forever, but this is what I will add to it!  Your peace is yours!  You can always maintain your peace.  Nothing can take it away from you unless you let it.

How do you maintain your peace?  By not worrying!  When you start questioning how God is going to do it.  You are worrying!  When you start wondering what you can do instead of trusting God….you are worrying.  Instead do what this scripture says!

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; NKJV Phillipians 4:6

Pray about EVERYTHING!  Not just the things you think you can’t handle!  God always has a solution.  Don’t forget that!

God bless!

 

If you would like to learn more about evangelizing for Christ copy the link below to order, “To be a Light in a Dark Place”

https://www.amazon.com/Aretha-Lumas/e/B00L4IG1VY

 

 

7 DAYS CONSUMING GOOD FRUIT

fruits20of20spirit

DAY 2-JOY

Joy and Happiness are not the same no matter what anyone tells you.  The bible shows us there is a clear difference.

Here are just a few pointers to give a simple explanation:

  • Joy is based on God, happiness is based on you.
  • Joy is something you can only receive from God.  Why do you think it’s listed as one of the fruits of the spirit and not happiness?
  • Happiness is based on an external condition.  That’s why the antonym for happiness is sadness.  If something happens that is negative it can make you sad instead of happy.
  • Joy causes you to think and look forward for what’s to come.  Happiness often reflects on what was or is.

Even in the midst of chaos and turmoil you can experience joy!  Let me explain…My mother passed away at 57 years old in 2014.  I still managed to have joy in the midst of that situation for only one reason….God!  I was so full of joy knowing that my mother got saved a week before she passed and she was now a kingdom citizen!  You see I don’t have to live wondering where her soul will spend eternity!  That in itself is a blessing!  I thank God she received salvation every day!

Joy you can experience everyday while happiness you can only experience when something good happens. Which would you rather have? Something that’s temporary or something that is for eternity? Think about it and have a blessed Thursday!

If you would like to read a book on evangelism copy the link below to order your hard copy available on amazon or download the e-book version on your Kindle.

https://www.amazon.com/Aretha-Lumas/e/B00L4IG1VY

7 DAYS CONSUMING GOOD FRUIT

There comes a time in our walk with God that we desire to discover the hidden treasures of the Spirit.  There is so much God wants to reveal to us about him often we just don’t know how to ask for it or find it.  I always start with the word.  Anytime I spend time in God’s word there is always a new revelation revealed.  I have been in a place where I truly want to know who I am in Christ.  So this journey began of course by an unction of the Holy Spirit to look up “the fruits of the spirit” found in Galatians.  Over the next 7 days I will be posting a new blog so we can walk through the 9 fruits of the spirit. I want you to know exactly what you have inside of you.  His spirit lives in us and we should exemplify these fruits daily!

Galatians 5:22-23New International Version (NIV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

I have read and seen this scripture many times.  Every once in a while I like to travel back to it in the bible just to see how I am doing.  Notice the second sentence in this scripture: against such things there is no law.  Powerful!  Paul in this verse is explaining that Christians that live there life demonstrating these fruits are not bound by the law.  Seems easy enough right?  Not really, sometimes life can throw curve balls our way that gets us off our game, or we have not been fully delivered in some areas.  What we need more of is revelation!  So let me start of this blog with some revelation I have received.  Plus, I will still keep it short and sweet!

THE FRUIT OF LOVE

There is a clear difference between what God defines as love and what the world defines as love.  Here is a break down:

GOD DEFINITION OF LOVE                                                        THE WORLD DEFINITION OF LOVE

Agape-unconditional love                                                         Love-intense feeling of love

Love is thoughtful                                                                        Love is based upon emotions

Giving                                                                                               Needy

Beauty is of the heart                                                                  Beauty is about the outside first

Spiritual attraction                                                                       Sexual attraction

If you already knew that that’s great!  But here is a way to test yourself, this includes ladies and gents.

  1. Do you ALWAYS find yourself looking at the opposite sex?  Always comparing and rating them on a scale?
  2. Are you sexually aroused often around the opposite sex?
  3. Are you always listing out what the man/woman can do for you, and not what you can do for them whether your single/married/in a relationship?

If you answered yes, maybe, or kind of”” to any of these….and you honestly answered truthfully, then you should definitely pray to God about it.  The ultimate example of love that we have is God and his wonderful son Jesus!  But if your like me I needed to read what not to do first and that you can find by reading the same chapter in Galatians where you find the good fruit (Galatians 5:19-21).  Paul gives us a great list of what is not love.

I hope this helped in some form or fashion!  God bless you all!  Keep reading your bible, praying, and seeking God!  It’s time we all come to know who we really are.

If you would like to read a book on evangelism copy the link below to order your hard copy available on amazon or download the e-book version on your Kindle.

https://www.amazon.com/Aretha-Lumas/e/B00L4IG1VY

 

 

CHECKMATE!

So love is in the air!  Usually before the first snow hits the ground, new couples are on the rise!  They magically find one another in time for New Year’s Eve and Valentines Day.  It’s super sweet to see them holding hands and adoring one another.  This is indeed the most wonderful time of the year!

There is a common theme though when it comes to Christians or at least it should be.  We have been told many times that we are in the world but not of it (1 John 2:15-17).  Observing the culture today you can barely tell the difference between a Christian couple and non-Christian couple.  Some say it’s due to the unbalanced standard between men and women in the church.  Women are taught to wait on God, while the men in the church are taught to go find a wife.

There is always the assumption the woman is not ready, but never questioning is the man ready.  Just as women are emotionally damaged sometime before marriage, men often times are emotionally unstable!  The problem is on both sides, however there’s a double standard that needs to be addressed.  Here is my suggestion:

Men…allow God to choose your mate.  Yes just as women are told God will send you man, yes God will reveal to your woman.  No need to go on a dating binge until you find “the one”.  It is wise to see the Lord before you go out on this adventure.  Have you ever stopped to think on your quest that He knows who she is!  Just like he revealed to you your promises, blessings, destiny, he can reveal her to you.  Seek ye first comes in handy right here.  You won’t have all the headaches that come with finding 6 wrong one’s, before you find the right one!

Women…Wait with Grace! Meaning, build your confidence!  If you need every good looking man that passes you by to tell you your beautiful you need a confidence boost!  You are beautiful!  Know that!  Walk in it!  Wait on God!  An aggressive woman comes off as thirsty to a godly man, keyword “godly”.  Third, let your heart heal from old relationship wounds.  Trust me on your first few dates it is not attractive to reminisce about your past relationships and heartbreaks.  Who wants bruised fruit!  You want your fruit ripe and juicy (healthy)!

Allowing God to choose your mate is like how your first girlfriend/boyfriend needs the okay from your parents.  What happens though is are first relationship never meets our parents and we hide them because we know they won’t approve.  We do the same with God.  We never ask God before we step out into the deep.  Before we know it.  We are praying to God to remove the person.  You can’t just go with the flow.  You’re wasting her time or his time.  Don’t date while desperate!

WHY DID I GET MARRIED?

I guess the questions is….why do I wanna get married?  Whether single, widowed, divorced, just got out of a relationship, serial dater, player, born again Christian….the question will come to mind why get married.  If you have no desire to be married, leave Christian singles alone.  That’s the first step.  If you are are a Christian and you wanna marry….fellas keep your zipper up and ladies keep your skirts down.  You can hold out.  Yes it’s hard (I speak from experience).

Sometimes we need to just take a step back and let God deal with our hearts before we get married.  Sometimes we just need to deal with some mindsets that can’t work in a God-given marriage.  Here are 3 types of women & men that need to do a self examination before marriage.

house

WOMEN

  1. Status

So you think a man in a higher position can take you places you’ve never been?  Perhaps you only want to be a first lady of the church, or you only date men that make a lot of money.  You are suffering from a need to be validate.  Money can’t validate you, having nice things can’t validate you.  It just means your bank account is always drained trying to maintain a lifestyle you can’t afford.  And when you marry you drain his.  Power couples don’t struggle together they build together! Ladies don’t look for a man to validate who you are.  God did that when he created you.  Know who you are before you say yes at the altar.

2. We settle

Don’t ever settle!  God promises to give us his best!  Never settle for a man just because he is the only guy available in the singles ministry.  Does he match your destiny, do match his???  Is he praying for a woman like you, are you praying for a man like him?  If your not sure wait.

3. He fine

Looks fade!  Men grow bald. Usually earlier than women. Bellies get bigger.  You get the drift looks fade.  That six pack won’t last.  His integrity, character, demeanor will last.  A man that can treat you well and has vision, that’s sexy!  Looks can be deceiving the bible warns us.

 

MEN

  1. Trophy

Fellas your wife or wife to be is not a trophy!  Something that you put on display for all the men to look at.  Don’t be shocked if one of your so-called friends try to steal her away.  What did you expect, you set a sheep in the middle of a pack of ravenous wolves.   She is a treasure not a trophy.

2. She treat me like my mom treat me

Please momma boy’s find a life outside of your mom.  Yes you love your mom and we love our’s. But God says leave your father and mother and cling to your wife.  Your wife is not your mother and she can’t ever be.  She wants to be your wife, partner, help-meet.  Appreciate the little things she does for you.

3. Control

Women are not pets.  You can’t control another human being.  As the head of the household do not take your position as a way to mistreat her.  You are still a team.  Yes she is to submit to you, but you also must submit to her.  Your body is not your own and neither is her body her own.  You belong to one another.  You are joined together as one.  You will have more peace in your home and less struggle if you learn to yield to each other.

 

If you fall in any of these categories you have the wrong perception of what love is.  Time to change your mindset. Love is willing to serve another person.  You care about their needs before yours.  It’s selfless.  In return the other should be willing to serve you.  Care about your needs before their’s.

*****

IMPERFECTIONS ARE PERFECT!

I just love Peter!  He is one of my favorite people that is recorded in the Bible.  He was an imperfect person perfected in Christ.  Most people know Peter as the one who curses.  He was also a boaster, prideful, and probably a few other things we may not recognize.  But all Christ could see was his finished product.  “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”  Luke 22:32

Leah is another profound woman in the Bible who didn’t have a lot of options and God still used her and her unwanted seed for greatness!

I can’t stand bullying.  It infuriates me to know that more and more kids are committing suicide because of it.  There is so much blaming going on that there is not an obvious solution to the problem.  I have experienced bullying as a child however, it never drove me to thoughts of suicide praise God.  My generation was taught to fight back.  So in essence that’s what I did. If you made fun of me I made fun of you.  If you hit me I hit you.  Now that I am older and saved I often question how I will tell my kids to handle a bully.  Christ said to turn the other cheek right?

I remember a kid bullying my little brother when he was just in the second grade.  I was in the fifth grade.  As I said before I wasn’t always saved.  He was pushing my brother and I came to his defense.  Needless to say we took care of the bully on the school playground.  But as a Christ-loving child how would I have acted, how should I act?  One day I was flipping through the Instagram help section and say that they have a link to click if you need help with thoughts of suicide.  This broke my heart!

I pray that we are teaching our kids to friend those who are bullied for being different and to the kids who attend school with the victim to not stand by but get help when someone is being bullied.  I pray that the schools begin to crack down harder on kids who bully and parents of bullies to become more aware of how your child is behaving at school.  Victims of bullying often feel that there is something wrong with them.  I know this torment seems to go on forever, but trust me it doesn’t.  I am living proof of that!

We all have different views of why we aren’t perfect.  I absolutely hated being skinny.  I was teased for so long I hated my body!  It’s funny how I was considered ugly as a kid and now in my 30’s the same people who made fun of me say they wish they were me. Perhaps you don’t like your skin tone, height, location, circumstances, whatever the case me be know this; God sees you as perfect no matter what!  He can take what the world sees as imperfect and perfect you!

I want this blog to shared with someone you may know is dealing with thoughts of suicide and to Christian children and parents that read this.  God bless you!

 

DON’T GIVE YOUR PEARLS TO PIGS

 

I just had to run with this title after listening to Pastor Steven Furtick’s sermon called “Fix Your Focus”.  It comes from the scripture Matthew 7:6 “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”  You can find this awesome sermon on youtube.  It took an interesting turn with this scripture and relayed it to relationships quoting…single Christians, don’t give your pearls to pigs.  So often we do give too much of ourselves to someone who isn’t worthy of our time.  And we wonder why the divorce rate with Christians is just as high as other groups.

It is my belief that we actually need some good foundation teaching on what it means to marry for a Christian.  Pastor Furtick mentioned that we are so excited about falling in love, that we don’t take time to learn what it really means to be in love.  I honestly think we’ve all seen too many movies.  We don’t understand the fundamentals of marriage.  We don’t understand what a man needs and what a woman needs.  We miss out on learning about one another by spending too much time on the physical stuff!  Meanwhile many suffer from what I call “courting amnesia”.  They forget to ask God.

God knows who would be perfect for you.  Just like he knows your thoughts, your ways, and heart.  We tell God I got this, I know what I want.  Then, we go after the package and worry about the warning label on the back later.  Soon after we are disappointed that the person didn’t live up to our potential and we are ready to return to sender.  So to avoid any heartache and pain, why not ask God first?  I’m not denying that there is trouble even in a God send marriage, but there are some red flags you can avoid. Remember this person is tied to your destiny.  You want someone who will compliment that.

Just something to think about singles.  Comments are welcome.  God bless!