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Weekly Messages

What Do You See?  Is it presumption or is it reality?

By Angela Willingham


I have shared that 2013 is the year of The Real Woman.  It is our opportunity to get past being what others expect us to be and being who God created us to be.  I have had discussions with friends that have made significant changes in body, mind, spirit and relationships, yet they still see themselves as they use to be.  Women that have lost significant weight and still see themselves with the weight on.  After all of these conversations and giving them encouragement I realized I also sometimes have a problem with my vision, with seeing the new me, with seeing my situation and circumstances clearly.

What Do I See?

God has done a great work in changing my attitude and my behavior.  I have seen situations that would have caused me to do or say one thing result in my doing or saying something completely different.  No more upset, no more getting caught up in the confusion, but often waiting for His response and direction in what I am supposed to do or say.  I have watched Him change my perspective and how I view or see things is not the same.  No more grudges about the things you did or said to me.  Like Joseph in Genesis Chapters 37-50, I understand that every single thing that happened had to happen.  It was all part of God's plan to get me to this place.  Many times when we see the origination of the problem we look at the wrong thing, but if we will be still and be patient God will reveal the reality of the situation to us, but you must wait on Him.  He will give us a new perspective and no longer will we live in presumption.  There is usually a real problem in need of a real solution, a God solution and the only one that can solve it is God.  He wants us to stop being the fixer like Olivia Pope in the new TV series Scandal and turn that thing over to Him, the only Fixer.  Maybe you haven't noticed but Olivia Pope has her own problems and in all her fixing and manipulating those problems are very real.

When you look at yourself What Do You See?  When you look at  your situation and circumstances, What Do You See?  Do you still see another person as the enemy?  Do you still see yourself as not good enough?  Do you still see the glass as half empty instead of half full?  Do you still see all of your mistakes instead of the good that God has brought to you through those mistakes?  Do you still see the pain that others caused you and want to get back at them?  Do you still see and feel the anger and unforgiveness?

I was talking to a friend and while I can see the changes God has made in me, spiritually, emotionally and relationally, I could not see the physical changes.  I knew I had dropped almost 20 pounds and she has lost a little more, but when she said that her clothes were fitting baggy, I said I have not reached that point yet.  That is what I saw.  Forget the fact that I was wearing clothes I had not been able to wear for quite some time, my red suit and my purple suit (my favorite fitted suits).  Forget that.  I could not see the physical changes.  People would tell me what they saw, but I could not see it.  Lisa my friend and fitness instructor would tell me all the time.  I had gotten better at saying thank you, without all of the comments we make denying the changes because we can't see them.  I realized on yesterday, I was just like everybody else, what I saw was not in alignment with the truth.  Yesterday, when I got dressed I saw the pants suit I was wearing not fitting my hips the way it had in the past.  It was no longer fitting right.  (I said this to my friend and she said it is fitting right for your new size.  Okay, I get it.)  It use to be fitting on my hips and thighs and now it was just hanging.  I had been in denial about what was really going on with my physical body.  The weight loss was real and it was evidenced by the scale and the way my clothes fit. 

As I was driving to work, God gave me a few additional revelations about some other issues in my life.  While they had looked a certain way to me, He showed me that my perspective was off.  He showed me His perspective on the situation.  Being the gentleman that He is, He waited until I was able to deal with it.  Many times we see things a certain way when in actuality it is something completely different.  Often we want to deny the truth because, hey it allows us to live in fantasy not wanting to believe that the enemy really can and does use people that we care about in negative ways.  We want to believe they would never do that, when in actuality they can and will.  Do we need to blame them or find fault with them?  No!  We need to recognize them for who and what they are.  We need to pray for God to do something new in them and to open their eyes to their situation, while in the meantime moving forward with what He has given us to do.  Don't get caught up in the new revelation to the point that it messes up your forward movement.  Accept it for what it is and keep moving forward.  Let God be God in the situation.  Let Him be The Fixer.  For me God wanted me to see that what I had seen as the real problem really wasn't.  The problem was much deeper than that and I had to step back and allow Him to do what He needs to do with it.  I can see clearly now, what God is doing in me and around me and it is all good.  It may not always look like it but it is.  He needed to get me to a point where I would not trip or act unwisely, but would wait on Him and allow Him to fight my battle.  I have not always been at this place.  There was a time when I would have had to let you know and any Real Women reading this knows exactly what I am talking about, but no more.  God can do a much better job than I can with better results.  I am grateful for the opening of my eyes, the new revelation and the forward movement.

Ask yourself today-What Do You See?  Is it presumption or is it reality?  Be prepared to accept the truth about yourself and about your situation.  I am the better for it and you will be also.

Scripture References:

Psalm 139:13-15

New International Version (NIV)

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Genesis 45:8

New International Version (NIV)

“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.

Genesis 50:20

New International Version (NIV)

20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

Romans 8:28

New International Version (NIV)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.



The Real Woman-A Poem By Queen E. Lacey

She is strong in some areas, and in some areas she is weak

She is a master in covering her flaws, so to the world she looks totally complete
The real woman has issues and has to deal with consequences resulting from choices she makes

But don’t get it twisted, no matter how well she applies her make-up, please don’t call her fake

Don’t make your selection based on her mental status or her membership to a prestige ivy league

Neither is her realness determined by her race, age or creed

She cannot be boxed in a certain financial status or by the color of her skin

Realness has nothing to do with what you see on the outside, realness comes from within

Don’t make your selection based off a glamour shot you’ve seen, they enhance those, that’s a fact

True realness comes from ones character, you can’t airbrush that

Don’t box her in by her stature or a certain body frame

Don’t even box her in by certain culture driven birth given names

She could be the woman next door or the one down the street

It could be any woman you meet

I’m simply trying to get you to see

The real woman is you, the real woman is me

Thank you Queen.


A Solid Foundation!

By Angela Willingham


I know you have heard the story of the three little pigs.  They all built houses.  One built his house of straw because it was easier and allowed him time to go and play.  The second built his out of wood and the third built his out of brick.  The brick house took longer because of the all of the extra work that has to be done to lay brick and make sure that it connects together properly, you know putting the mortar between each brick to make sure it holds together.  Imagine the three houses.  The straw hut, the wooden shanty and the brick house.  All of them were houses and all would provide you with a place to sleep.  Which house would you want to be in when the storm came or in their case, when the wolf came and threatened to blow their houses in. 

I think we all would agree that we would want to be in the brick house under either condition, whether it be a storm or a wolf.  The question we have to ask ourselves is which house are we living in.  Which house does our life represent?  Does it represent the one that wants to hurry up and get finished so I can get out to play, hang out with my friends, lay around and watch some tv?  Doing it the easy way?  That would be the straw house.  What was that little pig thinking?
Then there is the wood house.  The one that knows the straw won't make it if it rains, but I am willing to go for just good enough.  Medium.  Middle of the road.  Better than straw, but not as good as it could be.  The wood house in this case is just good enough.  Mediocrity.  How many times have we seen that?  I know the dangers, I know what is required, but I am just not willing to take the time to do it right.  I know the wolf is out there.  I know he breathes fire.  I know the possible consequences of my choice, but I'm still going to go with this wood house.  What was that little pig thinking? 
It is easy to look at the little pigs and question what they were thinking or to even kind of laugh because it seems so obvious what should have been done, but what about us? 
The solid foundation was the one that was built out of brick.  Just like that little pig we have a choice to make.  Will we take the time to build a foundation that is strong and will stand or will we take a quicker out?  A solution that allows us to get on with our lives and doing whatever we want to do?  Unfortunately many of us take the straw and wood houses.  We just don't want to do what it takes to do it God's way.  Somebody offers us quick money, fast money so we go for it, thinking we can get there without doing the work.  We try to walk into situations and take over through manipulation and cheating, thinking we can take the place of the person that did the work and laid the foundation.  The truth is that none of that works.
When my son reminded me of the story of the three little pigs, he also reminded me of how the story ended.  The two little pigs that took the easy out ended up with the one that built the brick house when their houses were destroyed.  This kind of reminds me of the story of Joesph in Genesis.  His brothers wanted to get rid of him, but in the end they ended up with him saving their lives.  I can see the pig with the straw house and the pig with the wood house walking by the pig that was building his house of brick every day pointing, laughing and giggling.  Asking him to come out to play, daring him to just give up and come on.  Telling him all of his hard work was not necessary.  All of thar until the fateful day that the wolf came.  That is the same thing that happens in life. 
People will tell you it is not necessary to follow the rules.  It is not necessary to try to do it right.  It is not necessary to be righteous.  Come on let's go to the mall instead of studying your bible.  Let's hang out instead of putting in the work to build the ministry or business God gave you.  All of this to cause you to miss your destiny and if your foundation is not strong you just might do it.
Follow the rules, build your house on a solid foundation no matter what the house in your situation represents.  Yes, people will lie, cheat and steal, but what you have done by building on that rock, brick, solid foundation will never be able to be taken away.  Let them do whatever they want to do, but know that at the end your foundation will hold.
In Matthew 7:24-27, the bible says, 24-25 “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.  26-27 “But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”   (MSG).  If we want a foundation that is strong and solid we cannot just talk about it we really have to believe it and live by it.  It does not matter what everyone else does.  What matters is what we do.  How we live.  What we say and how we act.  Stuff is like rain, it is going to come and it is going to happen.  Some of that stuff may even threaten to take us out, but if we are truly grounded it can't.  Just like a storm and the brick house in the three little pigs story, it might be shaken, but in the end it and you will still be standing.
The question you have to ask yourself is are you willing to do the work to still be standing in the end, not based on what you want or think, but based on what God has said?  Not based on doing what you want to do, but based on heeding the instructions that have been given to you.  Walking in obedience to the word and will of God.  Don't build on the rock because you want people to come to you, don't make this about pride, make it about believing God and walking in obedience to His will and His word.  Do it because it is the God thing to do. 
Do it by studying the word, praying about everything and being obedient in everything God tells you to do.  I heard Charles Stanley saying this morning that if you totally put your trust and focus in and on God your conscious will tell you when you are out of order.  That is so true.  Purpose to build on the rock.  Purpose to build a solid foundation in the word and your conscious will let you know when you are moving away from your solid foundation. 
The question, where are you right now looking for the easy answer, operating in mediocrity or building a solid foundation?  Where do you want to be in the end, safe in your own brick house built on your obedience and foundation in God or running for cover?
Scripture References:

Matthew 7:24-27

Building on a Solid Foundation
24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”  (NLT) 

Matthew 7:24-27

24-25 “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.  26-27 “But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”   (MSG)

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