WELCOME......

Thank you for taking the time to stop by. My prayer is that you will be encouraged to continue to press towards your destiny, and that you will be as blessed by reading this blog, as I am blessed by your visit. Don't forget to become a member and post your comments. They are 'food' to all those who read them....especially me. Stay Blessed!



Denise Searles ( Lady Dee)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I'm Still Standing...

But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.  Genesis 50:20 KJV.

In the natural, I tend to like 'tests', especially if its in an area that I excel in.  I get to show off my skill and pat myself on the back. 

On the average, teachers let you know when to expect a test.  They give you clues on what to study for.  They give practice tests, so you can gauge where your strengths and weaknesses are, and better prepare for the real thing. 

Wouldn't it be great if in the spiritual realm it was this simple?  You know exactly when the test is scheduled, who will be administering it, and the grading system that will be used.

Then there are other educators that take great pleasure in giving 'pop quizzes' and unscheduled exams.  They love using the element of surprise to keep you on your toes.

God, the master teacher allows for both types of testing.  Most of the time, however, we are caught unaware due to failure on our part to prepare.  How does one prepare?  Through not only study of God's word, and application of it to our lives, but also by communication via prayer.

Recently, I made a grave error.  I did something that was good, with good intentions, because I believe in paying it forward and backward.  It didn't end well.  I was made to look like the bad guy.  Had I prayed first, I probably would have said "No' instead of 'Yes'.  What ensued, had I been weaker, could have made me walk out on my family.   I thank God for wisdom, and the Holy Ghost who prevailed.  The plan and purpose of God for my family, is too important. It's too important not to fight for!  So what did I do?  I called the enemy what it was to its face, and told it to "GET OUT".

What did I learn/re-learn?

Pray first!  Even when the action is a 'good' thing.
Just because something is good to do, doesn't mean that it's my assignment to do it.


Prayer for direction allows for fewer errors on our part.  The good news still is that no matter the test we face, the situations that we smile through, and the devices of the world system, God's plan even through all of life's trials, is still to prosper us.  God still gets the glory through it all.  We come out wiser.  We come out victorious.  We come out more than conquerors.  What was meant to kill us has the reverse effect.  It brings new life not only to us, but to the lives of those that we impact for the kingdom of God.

So, no matter the test, scheduled or seemingly out of the blue, the plan and purpose of God triumphs over it all.



In the words of Bishop Paul Morton....

I'm still standing
I'm still trusting
I'm still holding on to what I believe
Still motivated
Fully persuaded
I'm still standing on the word that's in my heart.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Don't Relinquish Your Hope....



Psalm 42:11

Why art thou cast down , O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God (KJV).

Why, my soul, are you downcast?  Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God (NIV).

 Why, I ask myself, are you so depressed? Why are you so upset inside? Hope in God! Because I will again give him thanks, my saving presence and my God (CEB).


Hebrews 10:35-38

Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.  For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.  For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.  Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him (KJV). 


I do love the psalmist David.  It seems to me, that he has a way of adeptly expressing all the deepest groaning of the spirit and soul of man.  It is in times when words fail me that I find that I can turn to almost any psalm, and David, or one of the other psalmist...he didn't write them all..lol.. have penned for me the praying song I could not utter.

Depression...not a word that the average bible-thumping, Holy Ghost-filled, saved, sanctified Christian wants to deal with.  Most of us prefer to ignore it...forget about confessing it...even when it glares at us at every turn.

But I am convinced that even great prophets, women, and kings in the bible faced this particular spiritual attack.  David, Elijah, Jeremiah, Moses, Hannah, Rebekah, etc...Yet God did mighty things in them and through them.  Even in their despair, disappointment, disillusionment, and outright depression, God still had the last say, and their ending was better than their beginning.

Truth is many of us wrestle with it..depression...from day to day.  Like the prophets of old, even after a mighty move of God, we are left alone to face our frailties, shortcomings, and perceived failures.  In our heads we keep a list of the things that didn't go right, instead of a list of the things that God has done to blow our minds.  Our mind, will, and emotions (the soul of man) constantly bombards us with 'woulda ,'coulda, shoulda', and the 'what-ifs' of life.  If that isn't enough, the enemy of our souls is constantly on the attack to steal our joy and peace, kill our dreams, and destroy our hope.

When faced with difficult and painful circumstances; death, sickness, divorce, troubled marriages, difficult children, financial burdens, broken promises, and unfulfilled dreams; depression almost seems inevitable.  The aformentioned ingredients by themselves most certainly leave a bitter taste in our mouths.  However, the master baker knows the recipe for the delightful dessert he desires to make of our lives, and works, mixes, and kneads all the ingredients together in carefully measured proportions to accomplish his purpose in us.

In spite of our circumstances; there's Good News!  Paul admonishes us in the book of Hebrews, not to cast away our confidence.  Simply put, don't relinquish your hope!  He lets us know that there is a reward, and at the appointed time the purpose of God will be revealed in us.  God is working patience in us.  Patience will lead to experience, and experience will strengthen our hope.  This hope, which is in us because of the Holy Spirit, who will not let us give up, won't let us stay defeated; this hope will also not let us be ashamed.  This hope is only in the God of all hope....Don't relinquish your hope!  Hold on to the promises of God.  He that shall come, will come, and will not tarry.


P.S.  The above was written during the last few months of 2012.  In 2013 as we begin this year, I want to encourage us (you and me)...not to lose our hope, but to actively fight to maintain our hope as we walk by faith (the just ...righteous ..those in right standing with God...live by faith) on a daily basis.  Blessings....

 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Extra-Ordinary Blessings in Ordinary Things.....

When you think you are forgotten, alone, despondent and lost.....hope, courage, all gone...heart is failing, friends are few, and unfaithful....He remains ever faithful and true....



 Those of you who are near and familiar with me, know that in the last year, I have become something of a 'coupon freak'  gasp...LoL. Well approximately three weeks ago I was in desperate search of a coupon deal that was posted...for my fellow addicts...nothing gets the blood flowing and the adrenalin pumping like the next 'fix' especially when we see the flashing neon-light word "FREE". Such was my predicament when I saw the posting for the Johnathan Adler Cottonelle Bathroom Tissue container with roll of tissue included..for $1.99 with $2 ECB ( that means you get back $2 in store money)..and you could do this deal 4 times each card (It was rolling ....one ECB paid for the next item)....well I just had to have one, or two, or four. Yes, the word for it is obsession!



 I was practically livid that I hadn't seen the post until Thursday of that week...needless to say I went to my nearest CVS stores with no success. Did I give up?  Not a chance!  I doubled checked..."Do you have any in back? Will you get more in? I was disappointed every time I was looked at like I was from 'Mars', and  politely told,  "No".  Still undeterred, a week later I checked my nearest CVS stores again. As a last thought,  I decided to check one that I didn't go to very often. There was a gentleman working in the area stocking items. When I told him what I was looking for he took me to the Cottonelle flushable wipes...again I explained what I was looking for. A light bulb seemed to go off.  He went to the back and came out with the entire display container filled to capacity. He asked, "Is this what you're looking for? With a grin from ear to ear, I said, "Yes". He further explained that the display container was damaged during shipping, and they just didn't have any space to put the product..so it had been in the back for 2-3 weeks. I was able to get a total of 8 containers, share the 'find' so a friend could also get in on the deal, and then go back days later and score another 4. I know those who don't coupon think I've gone off the deep end...but my fellow coupon addicts understand the 'sickness'.


 Ummm. You're thinking...'Your point....?' Simple. God dropped in my spirit, how that what I was waiting for and desiring was already set apart and waiting on me. Hidden, out of sight, reserved Just for Me. No one else was able to claim it...it had been reserved for me alone, and those who were in relationship with me were also blessed because of it. In this simple, unimpressive event...God reminded me that even when things don't seem to be working the way I'd planned and hoped....that he still has a plan for my life...and He's working it out for my good. You may say it was a coincidence, or luck...there is no such thing! The odds were against me. The product had been out for weeks, it was not being re-stocked.  Any of you who live in the Summerville/Charleston area, know that couponing is serious business around here. It was a divine appointment! Yeah, I said that. I needed to be in the right place, at the right time, to meet the right person. As it is in the natural, so it is in the spirit realm. Our destiny is not dependent on a person, but God uses people to accomplish his will in the earth.


 That being said...I had all but given up..just like the widow woman who had decided to use the last of her meal and make a cake for her and her son and then prepare to die- I was ready to give up! At that point, what I had been seeking was revealed! So even now when I feel weak, and tired...ready to eat my last cake and die...I am reminded of the extra-ordinary in the ordinary..and that at the end of my constant seeking, asking, knocking..the door that is purposed for me to walk through will manifest itself.  Sometimes even the simplest things God does brings tears to your eyes, and gratitude in your heart...I know it does mine...when I am reminded in that moment that I am the apple of his eye, and that his thoughts towards me are good.  Can you find the Extra-ordinary Blessing in the Ordinary Events in your life....What has he done for you lately?



1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Poured Out.....The answer is in YOU!!

II Kings 4:1-7



>NOW THE wife of a son of the prophets cried to Elisha, Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. But the creditor has come to take my two sons to be his slaves.2 Elisha said to her, What shall I do for you? Tell me, what have you [of sale value] in the house? She said, Your handmaid has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.3 Then he said, Go around and borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels--and not a few.4 And when you come in, shut the door upon you and your sons. Then pour out [the oil you have] into all those vessels, setting aside each one when it is full.5 So she went from him and shut the door upon herself and her sons, who brought to her the vessels as she poured the oil.6 When the vessels were all full, she said to her son, Bring me another vessel. And he said to her, There is not a one left. Then the oil stopped multiplying. 7 Then she came nd told the man of God. He said, Go sell the oil and pay your debt, and you and your sons live on the rest.






What you need is in your house...its not from without- another conference, another prophecy, another confirmation, another laying on of hands- it's in you.


Notice that the ingredient (oil-annoiting-Holy Spirit) that allowed the widow and her sons to escape from certain enslavement by the creditors, was in her possession already.


The man of God just asked the right question...unfortunately she like us, so often fail to recognize our worth. Whether it is our appearance, our character, or the gifts we possess, we so readily say; "Oh, this old thing", "Oh I'm not really that good", or "It's not my best".


Then, once she stopped discounting the value of what she possessed (your handmaid has nothing in the house except..) she then followed the voice of God, and was obedient to the instructions given via the prophet.


Did she need to borrow vessels? Yes! However the vessels in and of themselves were useless- sitting around un-used and barren, collecting dust, in storage, until she found use for them (SN: The Master has USe for YOU!).


So often to our detriment, we fail to be cognizant of the "treasure" that lies within each of us. But, if we can tune our ears to hear the voice of God..whether he speaks through his word..his prophet (one who says what God says..not what itching ears desire to hear..and not neccesarily a 'title') or however he communes with us individually, and if we follow in obedience where He leads, we can't help but triumph in all situations.


Find your treasure...pour it out...and you will live in trimumph!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Daddy......


Sunrise: Feb 4, 1925
Sunset: May 27, 2011

I SEE YOU-6/4/2011 Denise Hamilton-Searles (copyright applied for)

I See You….
Walking swiftly, weight upon your head, sweat upon your brow, smile upon your face….

Cutting bush with cutlass in hand motions deft and swift…
Mixing, pouring, setting cement.....working on our home…
Planting, reaping, grinding corn….
Beating conch, cleaning fish, grating sweet potatoes -bread for us to make.

Down Old Lorimers Road, with buckets of mangoes sweet laden down, you pass my window by
I see you….Money in my hand for I leave for church…you would follow later


I Hear You….
Footsteps entering as in you came…..I dare not look around
You‘re singing Savior Pass Me Not…Oh How I miss that sound….
I hear you say; “Is this my baby?”, when I phone – and I say, “Yes it’s Dee”…


I Feel You…
Work worn hands…rough and large
Meeting out punishment and pain, but love the same….
I Feel You……The safety that your presence brings…the peace---the calm security-


I See You! ……..not as of late ……..But-
Tall! Proud! Strong! Brave! Free.….

See me …..
See me tall, proud, strong, brave….free
Proud to bear your name….see me Dad....it’s Dee…
Forever Donald’s Gal!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Chase....


Eccl 2:11 "And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind."


So this is May. It has been quite a year so far. In February, I turned fourty. No..I was not in complete dread, in fact I was somewhat looking forward to it. I was not however, looking forward to some of the changes that this year has brought.

On February 21st, three days before my birthday, my aunt Ivy Stubbs went home to be with the Lord. The last time I spoke with her, I told her I would be coming to see her in Florida when she went to spend time with her daughter. I had hoped that she would hang on until Spring Break-she couldn't. She passed from death to life in Homestead, Florida.

Her funeral was held on March 5th, 2011. But, before our family could even begin to grapple with that loss, my sister called on March 3rd to say that her granddaughter, Kelsey Sands; seven years old, had passed away from complications of kidney surgery. In January, Kelsey underwent an operation to remove a tumor from her kidney. This type of surgery is not unusual, and she was expected to make a full recovery. She didn't - at least not on this side of heaven. Kelsey was seven years old at the time of her death. My aunt was 71. They were both February babies like me, and both loved the color pink-no its not my favorite.

Last night I learned that a sister that I loved and admired, Jackie Heyward ended her fight with cancer, and went home to be with the Lord. She was fourty-five years young. She leaves behind a legacy of love for her husband, and her three children around whom she centered her life.

As I face the reality of aged parents, a father who is battling dementia, and last month did not recognize my brother, who sees him almost everyday, I wrestle with the fragility of life, my purpose, my faith, and my hope in what I cannot see.

As a child, and teenager, I felt the world was my oyster. I could do anything, be anyone, go anywhere. This is not untrue, however we make choices that steer us in different paths as we grow and learn. I wanted to have a fabulous career, make lots of money, and gain prestige. So, I wanted to be a doctor. Wouldn't everyone be proud of me? But I wasn't doctor material-at least not a medical doctor. But after seeing my mother sick as a teen, and feeling helpless, and scared, I felt surely if I were a doctor I wouldn't feel helpless and scared-I'd know just what to do.

Then I went to nursing school. After excelling in the top five of my class, making it all the way to clinical rotations, and the last 2 months of training - my daughter got sick. She had to be admitted to the hospital. I missed clinicals for three days. I was told I would have to start at the beginning again. Needless to say I never did become a nurse.

I went back to college part-time, and continued with full-time motherhood. I became a teacher . When I became a teacher, I realized that I had always been a teacher. I've taught Sunday School since I was a teenager. I've taught my children how to read-actually my mother with a 'fourth grade' education taught my oldest child how to read, just as she taught me.

Now, in this year 2011, as I approach what has been almost eight years in public education, I again search for purpose in doing and being. I may not be the best teacher - but I am a teacher, whether in a school system or not - I teach. Without even opening my mouth - I teach.

I remember as a child, I didn't want to be my mother. I wanted a 'life.' I wanted more than cooking meals, and making beds, and nursing wounds. I wanted to be appreciated and important. I also didn't want to be my sister. First of all, to hear my Dad tell it; she was perfect. I think in my mind, I wanted to be a doctor so he could brag on me-so I'd be the good daughter. And 'in my mind' I really did try to be 'good.' I didn't want to be my sister because she was nice. She was also pretty - I wasn't. But I was smart-or so I thought- so I wanted to capitalize on that.

As Job said, the thing I most feared has come upon me...I am my mother! I am my sister! And I am proud of it! I do not know of two more stronger, nobler, kinder, caring, tenacious women than them. Because the world has mistaken kindness for weakness, and not valued the worth of women and mothers we are a nation in dire straits. I am domesticated. I am totally engrossed in my kids lives. My love for them is like my mother's and sister's love for me-deep and never ending. It is a love that anticipates needs, and wants. A love that knows you intimately, faults and all, and loves you anyway-an agape love.

Jackie lived life well. She loved her family and friends, and her God. She was always ready to lend a helping hand and I valued her advice as a mother raising teenagers like me. I would look to her for guidance. Her love for her children was a deep palpable one- the love I hope my children feel from me.

My aunt lived her life well. She worked in the tourism industry for many years, but her passion was sewing and traveling. She traveled to Rochester, New York for my impromptu wedding. She made me pregnancy clothes simply becuse I needed them- I never asked. As a teenager I practically lived at her house-it was an escape when my sister and I disagreed. She never took sides, just waited for us to work it out.

Kelsey in the few years she graced this world with her presence, brought immense joy and happiness to her parents and all those who knew her.

My sister is living life well. In 2003, I discovered just how strong she is. Her strength continues to amaze me. She is my mother, my sister, and my friend. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that she has my back. When I grow up, I'm gonna be just like her.

My mom at eighty-three years young, is still living her life well. I don't have the energy to keep up with her. She's making television appearances at home, attending dinners and brunches, not to mention regular church activities, all while helping to care for my father. What I know about motherhood, I learned from her. If I am a good mother-and I am-it's all because she modeled it for me.

The world may never know these women. Their stories may seem unremarkable to many. Yet, I believe that they get it! They got the meaning of life. They live/d their 'purpose' on purpose everyday. They used their God-given gifts and abilities unselfishly.

I'm giving up the chase. The chase of material goods, fame, notoriety, and prestige. I'm done. I'm only doing the things that bring me JOY! Not happiness- but JOY! I'm using the gifts HE gave me. I'm going to be the best mother I can be! I may not be in anyone's classroom in August- but I'm going to continue to be the best teacher I can be. I'm going to be the best wife, and friend I can be! And since I hear Him say, "Write, Daughter, Write", I'm going to be the best writer I can be.

When I lay me down to sleep, I want to know that I have become who I was created to be; and won't my Daddy be so proud of me!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hold On To What You Hear!!!

Wednesday Night Bible Study (1/19/11)

Part I: He that hath an Ear let him Hear



Matthew 13: 1-23
The parable of the sower. All the seed that was sown was good seed. The problem was not the seed, but the ground. Some ground was stony, some ground was overtaken by weeds (thorns), and then there was good ground. Ground that was fertile, and prepared to recieve the seed that was sown.

Question: How do you hear?

Yes, the sound waves enter through your ear, but it is not until your brain interprets the sound..that you hear what you hear. In the natural the Brain is the control center. As the brain is the control center- through which all our senses interpret and respond to the world around us, the "Holy Spirit" is the control center for the spirit man.

Revelation 2:17
He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;...



Part II: Hold Fast!



Revelation 2:25
But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.


Revelation 3:1-6
Acts 27:27-44


In Revelation, the Spirit was speaking to the church/es. The church at Sardis was admonished to be watchful (ears and eyes- on alert)strenghten the things that remain, that are ready to die.

Sometimes we are so caught up in the things that have been taken, that we've lost, missed out on, or the things we've wanted, but haven't gotten, that we fail to see the value in what we have left.

We look at what we have in our hand and say it's not good enough, so we refuse to use it. We look at the seed (money, gifts, etc) that we have left, but because it's little in our eyes, we refuse to plant it. If we were to plant what we have left, even though it seems small, the harvest from that one seed -planted in good soil-would blow our minds!

In Acts, the apostle Paul is on a vessel that is experiecing a storm. While those with him are fearful, Paul- whose ears have been tuned to hear from God-tells the others that no flesh would be lost if they stay (abide) in the ship. The storm became so furious that it tore the ship apart, yet no life was lost because they made it to shore on broken peices. Just like the remnants, the broken pieces of the ship were still sufficient to help them obtain their goal.


Here's the chant:

Leader: He that has an ear
People: Let him hear
Leader: What is he saying?
People: Hold Fast!


Hold fast to whatever you have left. Even if you're hanging by a thread. If it's a little faith-Hold Fast! A little joy - Hold Fast! One WoRd from God - Hold Fast!

This is the word of the Lord to NVT--Hold Fast!

SN: Those in attendance were given a peice of 'the ship' to hold onto. If you weren't there and want one let me know.