Saturday, June 1, 2013

In All Seriousness

This morning I was reading in Psalms and was drawn to a few Scriptures. While I pondered them, I decided to paint all of my nails and have coffee. As I was working on this little self project, I began to feel the Holy Spirit fill the room and speak to me. I will try to articulate what was impressed upon me, but even if this sounds a bit disjointed, trust me, I'm going somewhere.

Psalm 33:13-22 (NLT)

The Lord looks down from heaven
    and sees the whole human race.
From his throne he observes
    all who live on the earth. 
He made their hearts,
    so he understands everything they do.
The best-equipped army cannot save a king,
    nor is great strength enough to save a warrior.
Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory—
    for all its strength, it cannot save you.
But the Lord watches over those who fear him,
    those who rely on his unfailing love.
He rescues them from death
    and keeps them alive in times of famine.
We put our hope in the Lord.
    He is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord,
    for our hope is in you alone.

Recently, a friend of mine and I were talking, briefly, about politics and the glut of anti-government permeating the internet. I'm not all that into politics and believe God works things out in His time, but it does sadden me to see many of the headlines and captioned photos regarding our government heads. God is love, I know and believe this will all my heart (1 John 4:8), and if we are to live biblically, I believe we need to consider this Scripture wholeheartedly.  In all of this political mayhem and corruption, I often think we have forgotten about seriously praying for our leaders. Too quickly, we judge them by their actions and forget the office they hold; too often we jump on the "anti-whatever" bandwagon instead of getting in our prayer closets to pray for them. Regardless of their actions, they hold an anointed office, and we must dig our heels in to pray, in all seriousness, for them while they are in office. David had opportunities to kill King Saul, but refused to touch him for Saul was anointed by the Lord in his office as King. David had done nothing (much like most of us our government decides to persecute), yet because Saul was king, he did not strike him down, nor did he slander him (1 Samuel 24:6). As Christians, there are many lessons in politics we can learn from the story of David and Saul, and we must study this biblical perspective to increase our understanding of politics today. If we have no love for our fellow man, how can we call ourselves by Christ's name and effectively pray for our leadership?

Often, myself included, we forget others are also human and prone to make mistakes. We see outwardly, but God sees the hearts of all men (1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 33:13-15). Because we aren't able to see the heart of a person, we should not be quick to judge actions and behaviors, condemning them based on what we see. We should not label others based on our perception of reality and surrounding circumstances. Each and every action and thought we have should be heaven-centered and love should be our crown. I understand and know how difficult it is to be love centered; it is, after all, much easier to condemn and walk away from difficult people and tough circumstances. It is easy to leave things to the hands of others and not get into the trenches, but is that what God really wants us to do as a Church? Who are we to condemn the lifestyles, decisions or actions of others? When we speak condemnation into the lives of others, whether directly or indirectly, we risk keeping God from moving in the situation and discourage the Holy Spirit from using us fully to bring glory to God. 

Groupthink - this is a term I first heard in college, yet has been popping up a lot lately in my thinking. One definition of it is, according to 
the lack of individual creativity, or of a sense of personal responsibility, that is sometimes characteristic of group intereaction. With the internet, I am of the opinion that groupthink is more of a reality than a concept, especially within these harsh political waters. We must break out of the habit of following the crowd, and follow our Shepherd instead. We must react to others with Christ-like behavior, and not conformity to what someone else believes. We must test everything we hear, everything we see, everything we do to make sure it lines up with God. I speak to myself as well as to you regarding this. I, too, have been guilty of groupthink, but God has been gradually guiding my thoughts to be more in tune with His Spirit (1 John 4:1). 
The other definition of groupthink is
the practice of approaching problems or issues as matters that are best dealt with by consensus of a group rather than by individuals acting independently; conformity. This is where I believe unity within the Church comes into play (1 Timothy 2: 1-3). We must be unified in our prayer for others, not just on a personal level, but on a corporate and national level. We must be unified to pray for heaven to touch our earth, and for God to use us to bring this to pass. In our political climate, regardless of the issue, we must take a posture of love and pray for those in office to have encounters with the living God, and to lead and guide our nation according to His principles and love. 
It all comes down to love. When we love as God loves, change happens. When we trust God to change our hearts to love as He loves, we will reap the rewards of such love. Our best example of this was Jesus, Himself. He walked this earth, touching those on the fringes of society, drawing the lost and forgotten to His love. He never condemned anyone; the only people He ever challenged were the religious elite, who themselves condemned others. He died and rose again so we could enjoy reconciliation with our heavenly Father, and He gave us life eternal through this act of love. We are human and as humans, it can be difficult to love those in authority over us, to love those society, and even the Church, deems unworthy of love or unlovable, but we must constantly ask for God to increase our capacity to love as He loves. Colossians 1:8 says, "He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you" (NLT).
"My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:18). Let us be quick to pray for ALL men with loving and serious hearts. Let us approach the Lord in expectation that He will answer our sincere prayers in the political, corporate and personal arenas, and set our hearts to trust Him and fully love others. 
Lord, thank You for Your everlasting love. Baptize us in this love and increase our capacity to love. Help us to overcome the concept of following man, of trusting in man, of trusting and following in man's reality and strengthen us to forge ahead by trusting solely in You. May You touch the hearts and minds of all the people of this earth, revealing Yourself to us, softening even the hardest of hearts. May we test every spirit, even those within the Body, and grant us greater discernment to know which is from You and which is not. Father, awaken Your Church, bring us to unity and take from us our conformity to this world. We desire for heaven to touch earth, to live by Your Spirit, to be the change in this world You desire us to be. Let us come before You with sincere hearts to pray for all men, to lift up our governments on all levels and to pray as You would have us pray, not to pray from a place of fearfulness, but from a place of trust in You. Father, show us Your glory. Let us be a Church looking ever upward into heaven and be vessels of Your love to those here on earth. Father, You deserve all honor, all glory and all praise for our hope is in You. We stand before You today in the loving name of Jesus, Amen.
Prudence ♥ 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Image courtesy of


Awake, awake, Oh Sleepy Trees
Your winter blanket slowly dissipates
A wildlife canvas stirs

Exquisite in flight, red-tail hawk soars
Reminder of the watchful eye of our Creator
Climbing ever higher, watching, waiting

Oh Sleepy Trees, stretching at dawn in the new day
Reaching for heaven on tippy toes
Evergreens follow your lead

Awake, awake, Oh Sleepy Trees
Bright and morning star comes
Sing praise, sing glory!

Friday, January 18, 2013


Your love is overwhelming
A tidal wave
A warm breeze
A mother's kiss

You catch tears
And wipe them with Your hand
A soft caress
A breath

You laugh with joy
At happiness
A giggle
A chuckle

You speak with thunder
Rumbling inside
A trembling
A quiver

Your word is fire
Bubbling up from within
A searing
A all consuming flame

Your love is overwhelming


“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace" (Numbers 6:24-26 NKJV)

This is one of my favorite songs. It is a powerful prayer as well as a blessing. It ministers to my core, enabling me to picture God shining and smiling down up me. It has often been my prayer for God to shine down upon me and those I lift up to Him. When He does, I am reminded of the grace with which He covers me. 

"Shine down" is a powerful phrase. When something is illuminated in such a way, you see every detail. The best it has to offer is highlighted, and every side is brought into focus. The same thing happens when God shines upon us! We are illuminated and spot-lighted, allowing for the best of Him in us to be brought to the fore-front. God-shine is empowering and encouraging!

In my former church, I was blessed with the opportunity to lead worship alongside other talented vocalists. Sometimes I would record our rehearsals on my cell phone to make sure I knew my parts backwards and forwards, and often God would show up, bringing spontaneous songs to minister to our team. I was able to capture one of those moments where God used me and one of the other vocalists to minister. No matter how many times I listen to it, I can feel Him shining down and sense the smile on His face. 


Turn us again to yourself, O God.
    Make your face shine down upon us.
    Only then will we be saved (Psalm 80:3 NLT).

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


A few years ago I determined to work on exhibiting the fruit of the spirit. I decided self-control was a fruit I had not fully eaten and been satisfied with, so I would take each day to work on it along with one other portion of fruit, such as kindness or gentleness. To say it was an epic fail on my part would be an understatement. My discipline in cultivating this area only lasted a short while and then petered out. There are a few areas in which I tend to lack sufficient self-control and discipline, allowing for distraction and my own selfish desires to take precedence. What I have only recently come to realize is where I have no self-control, I also don't have love, joy, patience, peace, kindness, gentleness and faithfulness.

Every translation of the bible I have (which is only a few) speaks of the fruit of the Spirit in the singular, meaning they are all in one. So, what I have found is if I don't have one in an area, I don't have all. I gave some thought to this a few weeks ago, but put it out of my mind until it boldly smacked me upside the head this morning. 

How we sometimes need those blatant reminders?! How I often need a reminder! I have been on a journey for the last few years (notice I said years) to lose weight. This journey has been long and arduous with little to show for it. As I was smacked reminded this morning about it, I realized it's my own fault for not fully understanding how important self-control is. I saw my human frailty  and how selfish I have been for wanting to satisfy my taste-buds and not nurture my body the way I should. Food has become an idol, of sorts, to me and it's time to break the idol of food, consuming it as nourishment for my body and not my soul.

When I put food in my mouth just because I want it, not because I need it, I am not only lacking self-control, but I have no joy in it, nor am I being loving and kind to my body. All I am focused on is satisfying myself. Guilt has a way of overshadowing spiritual fruit and it really does rob joy. How can I function properly if I'm stuffing my face and feeling guilty? I can't! 

It takes a new mind and heart-set to begin to fully understand and walk in Spiritual fruit. I believe when we walk in it one area, it will become easier to walk in it in others. In answer to my revelation today, I am taking over my thought process and changing it. I am going to get to the root of my selfish problem so I can begin to walk upright and with confidence. I cannot change on my own, but need to rely on the Lord to give me strength. 

Today, I declare I am walking in the fullness of the fruit of the Spirit, and not in part! When I put my hand to my mouth with food in it, it will be because I need to nourish myself and not because I think I need it and will die without it! 

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things (Galations 5:22-23 NLT)!

A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls (Proverbs 25: 28).

Monday, January 14, 2013

Thinking Differently

I have come to a point in my walk with Christ where I need to challenge my thinking. I used to limit myself to what devotionals I read, to certain preachers, even to specific worship music, as well as how to pray. Over the last few months, I have begun to challenge myself to pursue spiritual food from other sources and allow the Holy Spirit to filter truth from man-made truth.

My husband and I have been attending a new church since October. We visited there last Spring, but wound up becoming too lazy to go to church. We knew early last year God was going to send us elsewhere for a more deeper teaching of Himself; however, we allowed ourselves to get comfortable where we were. I found myself missing some fundamental things - fellowship, women's prayer, study and fellowship (the kind where you can share and not be judged, yet know the women around you understand and pray), but most of all - teaching which promotes deeper thought and the pursuit of God. Where we go now has met all of these cravings, and even more!

I have discovered some really great teachers, and while I still have trouble accepting some of the teachings, I allow the Holy Spirit to filter everything I hear. The more I open my mind and my heart to different biblical perspectives and chew on them, letting the Holy Spirit burn away the chaff, the more I notice God's grace and the change He is doing in me. I am also less likely to judge another because Scripture is so much more alive to me, and my hope is to bring grace to them instead of pointing fingers at their sin, condemning them to hell because they aren't saved.

I have never believed it's my duty to tell others they are going to hell if they don't pray a prayer and "get saved", I believe it's my duty to share the love and grace of Christ, and to allow the Holy Spirit to work through me in showing others their need for Christ. Make no mistake, I am not denying the existence of hell, nor am I down-playing it, but this world has heard so much about sinners going to hell and not enough about Christ's love and grace for the sinner. I work with people who have always been condemned, and it's difficult for them to accept Jesus as a loving, living person, when they've only had hell shoved down their throats. Do I agree with their lifestyle?  No, and they know this, but they also know I am not condemning them for it. I have made it my purpose to show love and extend grace when all they've known is condemnation and ridicule.

I am grateful for this year of deeper contemplation of God and for the teachers I have chosen to help me walk this path. I am grateful for grace and truth, and for learning just how important my thought life is to my spiritual life. I've listed some teachings I have found interesting enough to ponder on.

The Father's House - Identity Theft
The Father's House - Step Into Life
New Testament November 25 - I Am

Wednesday, January 2, 2013



Intricately woven as a colorful tapestry
I am
Colors and threads skillfully chosen
Expertly woven

Hands that fashioned earth and sea
Knit me
Gold and silver, red and blue
Purple royalty

Decorative and functional
I am
Created to bring love and joy
Tapestry I am

© 2013 Prudence Ramos