On The Path From Pruning To Promise

i was talking to God the other night about His promises. i was quite depressed because it seemed that all the promises that were starting to grow and be fulfilled in my life were now being chopped down. it felt like all the “ground i’ve gained” had been taken away…and not due to punishment. i became frustrated and decided to take a nice long walk with God to vent a little (lol).

during my walking and venting, He asked me if i wanted to quit. He told me that He was in control of it all and He was doing this to help me grow in faithfulness. i realized that i was at my limit of faithfulness and patience waiting for all of God’s promises to come to pass. i was a breath away from quitting all the waiting i had done and was about to take matters in my own hands.

later, after my walk, a friend sent me a forward from a morning devotional email she got. in the article, there was this statement:

After Samuel anointed David to be king, he had to stand back and wait for 7 long years while Saul jeopardized Israel’s future and forced him into hiding.

it was then i realized that i had seen the “promises of God” as a beginning. i had seen the things that i were waiting for as the start of my “real life”. but when i looked at the callings, promises and prophecies given to david, joseph and even paul, i saw that the promises of God were more symbols of ending/completion than of beginning and starting something.

God promised joseph great things, but it took joseph 30 years before he could take hold of it. during that time was much hardship, pain and misunderstanding. the fulfilling of the promise was the culmination of what God had been training him for. God had taken joseph from an immature arrogant boy to a wise patient leader full of integrity and love. becoming the leader of the eygptian nation and having his own family under him was a sign of “completing and passing the class”.

the same was true with david. he was promised kingship and authority, but for the next 7 years he ran and fought for his life. during that time, david had the opportunity to “shortcut the process” by taking matters in his own hands. some of his soldiers found the chance (actually twice) to kill king saul (the one who was trying to kill david) and end all the pain and running, but david knew that God’s promises would be fulfilled ONLY when God desired them to be. until then, david knew the God was trying to teach him things that would finally let him take hold of his kingly promises and prophecies.

many times the Lord puts us in trials that seem to cause us “loss”. these situations find us wondering what happened to the promise. it seems sometimes that even the ground we had has been taken from us…like we’re moving backwards from where we were. but these times in our lives are pruning times. it may seem that you’re walking away from the promises God has given you, but in reality, you’re walking towards them. pruning is the only path that leads to promise. the promise is at the end of THAT road of pruning and once you receive the promise, you start a new road of pruning towards God’s next promise, until one day we take hold of our “heavenly promise”…a city whose builder and maker is God.

so i encourage you, take heart. God is not slack concerning His promises and He is not a man that He would lie. what He has declared and promised, He will surely do and give.


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I Have My Own Hymn?

just wanted to drop a quick note. my friend was searching for a hymn and in the hymn book she saw a hymn named “manchester” (my last name). so she looked at it and decided to email it to me. it is so the progressive calling of my life. so for your reading pleasure, here are the words to “I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go” (the alternative name for the song):
It may not be on the mountain’s height
Or over the stormy seas
It may not be at the battles front
My Lord will have need of me
But if by a still small voice
He calls to paths I do not know
I’ll answer dear Lord, with my hand in Thine
I’ll go where you want me to go

 

Perhaps today there are loving words
Which Jesus would have me speak
There may be now, in the paths of sin
Some wand’rer whom I should seek
O Saviour if Thou wilt be my guide
Tho’ dark and rugged the way
My voice shall echo the message sweet
I’ll say what you want me to say

 

There’s surely somewhere a lowly place
In earths harvest fields so wide
Where I may labor thro’ life’s short day
For Jesus the crucified
So, trusting my all unto thy care
I know thou lovest me
I’ll do Thy will with a heart sincere
I’ll be what you want me to be

 

I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord
O’er mountain or plain or sea
I’ll say what You want me to say , dear Lord
I’ll be what you want me to be
do you find the progression from doing to speaking to being difficult? what is your favorite hymn?

My Life 2008: Part 1

it’s been a long time since i have given an update status on my life so i decided to post updates semesterally (meaning 3 times a year). so here is some highlights of my life for the past 5 months:

  • school
    i was accepted into stetson university this past semester. the issue is that, after i was accepted, i had to find $105,000 (3 years of tuition at $34,000 a year). i have always known that my finances are the confirmation to where i am to go. after applying for many scholarships, grants and loans, i could not come up with enough money to come for a year. so after getting counsel from my senior pastor, i decided to continue my aa degree at daytona beach college (i will finish this summer) and then transfer to university of central florida in the fall to pursue a major in marketing. although i already have a degree in digital media design, design is not my main passion. solving problems regarding products, organizations and communication is. so hopefully this degree will do me some good in my future (although i am always up for a “media pastor” position in our church…lol).
  • church marketing team
    i was asked in the beginning of the year to be a part of a brand new marketing team that my church leaders formed. this was a dream come true for me. my pastor talks about influence being better than authority, and that’s what this team is all about. i get to share my thoughts on how to improve our church and it has been very exciting to see the changes that we have made. i am also one of the two graphic designers in the group, so my design services have been used a lot more and it’s nice to help bring our church into this decade. all the changes i have helped make and all the artwork and advertising i’ve designed can be used in my portfolio and resume, so this is a great thing even for the long run in my life. you can see some of the stuff i’ve been working on my flickr page.
  • blogging
    i am coming off a spontaneous blogging vacation. due to finals and other hectic things in my life, i haven’t posted anything in a month or so. while i haven’t been thrilled about that, the break has helped me rest and has refreshed me to keep blogging. i have several drafts right now being worked on for upcoming posts, so keep checking back. 🙂
    i am also excited that several of my friends have gotten blogs recently. i look forward to reading their thoughts and linking to their sites from here. i’m funny how it all started with this one post (just in case you think that nothing you write makes a difference in other’s lives).
  • thecall florida and onething lakeland
    i had the blessing to go to thecall florida in february where thousands gathered to pray for the nation and state. it was a very powerful time. i was also fortunate to go to the onething lakeland conference sponsored by ihop kansas city. it was life changing. so many things turned and were refocused during that conference. it has been a different spiritual ballgame ever since!
  • twitter
    one of my favorite things about the past 5 months have been my newfound love for using twitter. many people don’t use it or “get it” yet, but it’s one of my daily joys. twitter is basically a site where i can write 140-character posts and it will update my blog, facebook and many other sites and devices. i usually update my twitter account 3-5 times a day (usually from my phone). i am able to give updates on really small and funny things in my life…things that aren’t worthy a blog post here, but things that my friends enjoy hearing and finding out. if you desire, you can follow my rants and “tweets” on my twitter page or you can check my blog where the most recent post is displayed on the right hand side.

well, those are the main things that have been going on in my life. if you ever have any questions or desire to know a little more about me, please drop me a message by clicking the contact button on the top of this blog. i would love to hear from you and i will do my best to respond in a quick manner.