Strategy for victorious living

Scripture Reference: Nehemiah 1:4-11(the entire chapter)

                                    Nehemiah 2:16-20(the entire chapter and Chapter 3)

Step 1- The prayer and planning strategy

When you look at the Nehemiah 1:4-10 you will find that Nehemiah has just found out that his people are suffering from the lack of a protection from the wall that had been torn down.  And not had the guts or the intention to rebuild it.  In fact, it was just laying in ruins, it had been burned with fire.  The Jews were going through some rough times. And when he heard this he immediately went to God.

“When I heard this, I sat down and wept, and mourned for days, and fasted and prayed{constantly} before the God of heaven. And said, O Lord God of Heaven, the great and terrible God, Who keeps covenant, loving kindness and mercy for those who love Him and keep his commandments: Let Your ear now be attentive, and Your eyes open, to listen to the prayer of Your servants which I pray before You day and night for the Israelites Your servants, confessing the sins of the Israelites, which we have sinned against You. Yes, I and My father’s house have sinned against you.  We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, statutes and ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. [Deut. 6:1-9]

Remember earnestly what You commanded Your servant Moses: If you transgress and are unfaithful, I will scatter you abroad among the nations. {Lev.26:33}  But if you return to Me and Keep My commandments and do them, though your outcasts were in the farthest part of the heavens[the expanse of outer space] yet will I gather them from there, and will bring them to the place in which I have chosen to set My name[Deut.30:1-5]  Now these are Your servants and your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand. O Lord , let your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and the prayer of your servants, who delight to revere and fear your name(your nature and attributes); and prosper, I pray You, Your servant this day and grant him mercy in the sight of man For I was cupbearer to the king.  Nehemiah 1:4-11 AMP”

As you read the above verses notice how a plan is forming as he is praying and how he is repenting for he has remember himself the promises of God and the warnings of God. But even in the warnings God give a way of escape and away to make things right and to come out of devastation. He says just like any good parent would; you will have to deal with the consequences for your actions but that does not mean I don’t love and I don’t want to bless you or for you to do well. Just come back and do what you know to do.  But no one besides Nehemiah had the wherewithal to actually pray and seek a plan a strategy to rebuild.

As he was praying, fasting and seeking God’s face and his ears. He reminded God of His words. He used the bible, the very laws that were given to them from Moses that came from God. He enacted his faith and trust in God and in God’s words and begin to seek a plan a strategy to help his people.  Because he was living well, he was the Kings cupbearer he didn’t worry for his safety or his family, he cried out because his people were suffering.

One thing a lot of people don’t realize is that prayer opens you up to receive from God, Prayer is preparation and planning. It opens a doorway to God. Consistent prayer will set you on a path unlike any other. It clears the way if you allow it too.   As you continue to read on into Chapter 2 you will find that Nehemiah goes before the King in the month of Nisan which is the first month on the Jewish calendar and when Passover is celebrated.  It is also the month we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We know that Passover is one of the Lords feast days that he sat aside to be with us.  So, I want you to pay attention to this because we are in the month of Nisan right now. On our calendar it started on March 22 and will go through April 20.   This is the time to repent as Nehemiah did; to be redeemed as the Children of Israel were when they were freed from Captivity from Egypt.   This is also a time to be mindful of what you speak, as you express your deepest feelings and insights.  This is the season to put your best foot forward.   I know you are saying but we are in quarantine and social distancing and sickness is all around us.  People are dying every day. Let me let you in on a little secret people have being dying everyday before this hit the world. The problem was that people dismissed the plague of murder that was in our lands.  Because it didn’t affect their people or their population.  Families are being torn apart by laws and immigration standards.  Lies are killing people everyday and it never made the news or cause any to raise any concern.  So, before you give me the excuse that you don’t know how this is going to help you stop. Don’t say a word because if I offended you in anyway in the previous statement that meant you too were turning a blind eye to what has being going on in the world around you. Let’s just say you didn’t think about like that and go from there shall we?

This is the perfect time to get closer to God to read your bible because guess what you have time. There is no restaurants or parties to go to, there is no movie that can’t be watched at any time. Not even a tv show that you can’t watch later.  So, exercise your spirit man and connect with God.

The most important part of Step 1 is the prayer.  Read the scriptures for yourself and then when you are truly ready to move forward, say the prayer that will be at the end of this lesson. It is the prayer God gave me when I begin studying this in 2018.

Now one thing I must tell you of is that when you do begin to build something new and different in your life people are going to try and mock you. They will laugh and talk about you they may even try to stop you but the scriptures give us a way to answer them You see Nehemiah had to speak to his mockers, those naysayers that said it cant be don and that he was foolish.

So, when that happens this how you should respond: “The Great God of Heaven, He will grant us success and prosper us greatly. Therefore, we His servants, His children we will arise and build but you shall have no right, no share or part in this.”

Now you are ready for step 2.

step 2- The WORK {BELIEVING, receiving and action}

This is the part where we sometimes fall short because we sometimes want to act before it is time or some time we wait too long to act.

 You must be mindful of your timing in this step.  It is doing this stage that you will experience miracles, because you are moving and doing what he has given you to do. It is doing this phase that will test your relationship with God, it will mock you itself if you allow it to. This is where you will find out how much you trust God, trust yourself.  You will see just how much faith you really have and if you do know the voice of Holy Spirit.  Because he might give you what seems to be an impossible task, so the question then is this do you have the faith to do it.   You see before you even began on this path in prayer your faith should have been strengthen.  Because in order to believe and receive you must believe that God is and That he is a rewarder of those that seek him. [Hebrews 11:6]   You see this is an act of faith not just knowing the word of God. Nehemiah never once doubt himself because you already knew it wasn’t up to him it was up to The God that he served to provide a way and the create the opportunity for him to succeed. He got into a position of prayer, repentance, and humility. When you read Nehemiah chapters 1-3 you find that Nehemiah did not make a big announcement about what he was doing in fact when he left to go build he left the city at night so as not to bring attention to himself or  to gather distractions.  He didn’t even tell the Jews until he got to where they were. And when he got there, he shared with them what he was going to do and that God was with him.

At this point is when the naysayers begin to speak and laugh at him, they even despised him. You see people will not like simply because you had the courage and the faith to step out and do what God has called you to do. Why? Because they have allowed fear, tradition, lack of faith and self-believing or self-doubt to stop them. If you look carefully in the passages of scripture you don’t find him boasting about himself. He has the confidence that God is with him so there is no need for him to boast of himself.  He simply says God is with me.  Then after answers his naysayers he begins to build, and people come to assist him. Connections are formed because he simply prayed, believed and acting in faith.  God sent people to help him achieve which he sought God to achieve and God heard and answered his prayer.  This is not the time nor the place to give up, this is the time to rise and build.  Do this now and watch God move on your behalf.

The prayer of Restoration (add your name and your family names where I have mine)

O Great Elohim, I beseech thee. He who keeps covenant with those that love you and those you love. Those that keep your commandments you favor. I pray O lord God of Israel that you hear your servant’s prayer that I pray day and night. I confess the sins of my father’s house and my mother’s house.  For we were to be a great nation unto you and for you. Somewhere we lost our way. All the lesson was not taught. The stories were not passed down. I pray that you remember the words spoken over my house{ The Merritt family, the Fleming family, the Mctyer Families, The Perry Family} Remember your covenant with me Catherine Marie( replace with your name) who you surnamed  Please Lord, be attentive to your servant on this day. Redeem us unto you with your great power and your strong hand.  Lord equip me to build and to rebuild your house back unto you. For you said that my words my voice opens doors. You said seek me and all you need I shall provide. So, El Shaddai it is you I seek and ask for forgiveness and repent for the sins of my father’s house my mother’s house as well. Let them rise again unto you allow me to find success in the presence of man. Pleas Lord let your ear be attentive to me you servant Catherine (your name) and to those of Your servants that love you and who delight to revere your name. Give your people success today and have compassion on them in the presence of man. Free us your people form the mind traps and word traps that we have laid for ourselves free us from the snares that we unknowingly set in our own lives with careless words spoken in this time.

In the name of Jesus, I pray AMEN

This prayer is not to be taken lightly and you need to say until not only you believe but you can see it through your eyes of faith.

Catherine M. Cobbins

Pastor and founder of In His Arms Ministry

Follow us on Facebook at In His Arms Ministry.

Pantry

It is a strange new day that we are living in today. We are facing some circumstances that seem right out of a scifi movie. People at the grocery stores over buying products and running scared and not thinking at all just reacting.

I went to the grocery store for some basic stuff for my home and looked at people’s baskets and it brought up some questions.

One of the questions was this do these people never grocery shop?

The other question was this ” Do these people even know how to grocery shop?” You might say these questions are mean, but they are very real question that I asked and I know I am not the only person that asked these questions. If this pandemic hasn’t taught you anything else it should have taught you to be prepared no matter the circumstances. So with that in mind, I am going to share with you a few tips I learned from my grandmother back in 19….. Ha Ha anyway.

I was a young lady about to get married and my grandmother said it was time for me to learn how to grocery shop and cook from scratch. So for the whole summer before my wedding I was in what I call marriage bootcamp. I was taught and groomed to be a wife before the wedding day. She would wake me up around 6 or 630 am to cook breakfast and on saturdays we would go to the farmers’ market to buy produce. She taught me everything from making pancakes from scratch to cakes and cookies.

She showed me all I need to start a love of cooking. She even helped me make my own cookbook. She also gave me a cookbook. People don’t give cookbooks as gifts anymore, why I don’t know. But I actually still have the first cookbook she gave me it is the picture you see above. She gave it to me because it not only helped me to cook for two but it had in the back what I needed to stock my kitchen. She had taught me but she wanted to send me off to Groton,Ct with something because she wasn’t going to be there.

I am not going to type everything in the book but I am going to give a list of things that you should all have in your pantry. This blog is simply an informational post. Because I don’t want to see people unprepared for what ever comes up next. I have shared this list several times during my life with friends because grocery shopping is not something most think to teach. But I realize that just as cool as I was because I had the basics in my cabinets a lot people were not. So lets go

Basics to have in your cabinets, cupboard or pantry whatever you call it is as follows:

  • Sugar, flour
  • salt, pepper
  • baking powder
  • baking soda, yeast
  • coffee and or tea
  • shortening
  • butter,margarine
  • spices, hebs
  • chocolate, vanilla
  • cereal
  • mayonnaise and or salad dressing
  • oil
  • pickles, olives
  • mustard
  • worcestershire sauce
  • steak sauce, ketchup
  • bread, rolls
  • eggs
  • meat
  • salad greens
  • vegetables, fruits
  • juices milk, cream
  • can goods( including canned meat, fruit and veggies)
  • boxed prepared dinners- such as hamburger helper etc.
  • frozen juices, soda
  • peanut butter
  • jelly
  • evaporated milk
  • dry pasta
  • dry beans, rice
  • potatoes

There are so many other tips I will be giving over the next couple of weeks. Just remember the best way to avoid being overwhelmed is to be prepared no matter what the world brings. I have a couple of saying that I go by one of them is this ” if you fail to plan then you plan to fail” The other one and the most important one is this ” poor planning on your part today does not constitute an emergency for me tomorrow” Now think about this if you don’t plan don’t expect someone else to see your lack of preparation as a priority for them in their life. Get this now so later you will not find yourself mad at someone because they won’t hurry to your rescue because you were not prepared. This doesn’t just apply to groceries but to life. What do you need to sit down and plan? I am sure besides making a more detailed grocery list there are somethings that you need to work on as we are all in the house lets work truly on ourselves. Look at these days as personal development days. Start with your pantry in your physical home then take an inventory in your mental pantry, your spiritual panty and emotional as well. You will most definitely find some things have expired and need to be thrown out and replaced. But there may be things in you that need to be discarded never to return again. Now lets go get prepared.

OFF SCRIPT

As I am building my business so many things impact me. To be completely honest I have been an entrepreneur all my life but being raised in a very practical and education driven family setting my talents were not recognized. We are a traditional people that believe for the most part education is the way to achieve success. My talents were not dismissed but just not celebrated or pushed. As a child I was always told to do good in school then go on to college and get a career. I was always taught to do things the practical way. You know become a teacher, a social worker, a nurse or doctor. You know all those things, the normal stuff. But being a child with a great big imagination it was never easy for me to stay focused on the practical for long. I would soon create a world in my mind that was fantastic and beautiful to me. I would watch tv for that fueled what was in me I would read books because it helped my mind to fly even the more. I loved dance and music. They spoke to me like nothing else in the world. They gave me something traditional education never could. They gave me me. When I begin to share my words with others it excited me. It was wonderful for me as a child to make up stories and tell them to others. Some people misunderstood and even thought I stole the words from another source. Once in jr high we had an assignment to complete and it could have been a real story or a make believe one, so I created a story and it was so believable that the teacher asked me about and when I told her I wrote it. She didn’t believe me instead gave me a good talking to about the story and even told my mother. So I stopped writing for school in the fullness that I was capable of. But still I wrote.

When I made up in my mind that I was going to be a writer, I had no idea where to begin. This was around 2008, I started several books but didn’t finish them. I had no idea of how to be me by then, I knew how to be a social worker for DHS, I knew how to be a single mother of five. I knew how to be a daughter, a sister, a minister, a friend. But not how to walk in my destiny, my true identity. Being a case worker was second nature to me, it was and always has been like writing or walking it is just what I do. But when it came to getting back to my basic nature, to me, it seemed as if there was some sort of blockage something in my way stopping me from getting there. Fast forward a little to 2013, I decided I will start a blog and write a book of poetry. I begin researching how to blog and read all the articles I could. I took online courses, I signed up for blogs. I followed the steps everything it said to do. Yet no success, nothing changed in my life. What no one ever said to me was that you have to be you. But honestly I didn’t know I was leaving me out of the equation. Personally I was trying to prove to people that I was who I said I was. I didn’t have good support system, people close to me just didn’t believe in me. But why should they when I didn’t believe in the real me. I had hid her for so long that I think I hid her from myself. The voice that I had been given at creation was silent. I did not look inside of me to use that voice on in the inside of me. Instead I tried to follow steps laid out before me but never being forthcoming with my authentic voice.

Needless to say I gain no momentum in my quest. Yet I kept trying, I did publish my book of poetry, I opened an in home bakery. Yes sounds great doesn’t it? But neither was successful, why because I wasn’t me. I tried to do things the way other people said I should do them. I had many stumbling blocks in my way and I tripped over them several times.

The thing is they were not new stumbling blocks they were the same ones over and over again. Basically I was tripping over nothing like I was woman in a c rated horror moving. I ignored my own instincts that had helped be successful in other areas of my life. I keep the voice of the imaginative little girl quiet when she should have been the loudest one in my head. I didn’t always heed to the voice of Holy Spirit, I was in uncharted territory and I didnt know anyone that had been where I was attempting to go. So there is no map or outline to get there I just have to go. I had to accept that every time I achieved something it was not done in a traditional pattern or way. It was out of the box and extraordinary. I can’t follow their patterns or their how to plans. I can learn from them but I have to adapt it to me or not use it at all. This brings us up to today. A few years ago God gave me a name of a group. I was not sure what I was going to do with but I knew it would be something. At first I thought it was like a group for different types of artist to hold each other accountable to the standards of Christianity. But a little over a year ago Holy Spirit revealed to me what it was for and who should be working with me on it.

It turned out that the name He gave me is for a company a multi media group company. And my business partners are my oldest two daughters. I had been looking for a team and they had been here all along. I gave birth to them. So for almost a year we have been gathering information and establishing our names individually and now we are doing it collectively to create the company that God put in my spirit years ago. It is coming together, we are building this company according to the instructions that Holy Spirit gives us as well as learning all we can from other sources. You see God is a prepared God for a prepared people.

The walk of destiny and purpose may not always go in a straight line, it will have bumps, blocks and even holes along the way. Just don’t stop walking. To you it may seem like it took me to too long to get here but I got here just in time to make sure my daughters get on their path at the right time. I am successful not because I have gained millions of dollars or followers but because I am me . I am in full effect;I am the person God created me to be before the foundation of time. I am the writer, the dancer, the singer, the musician, the mother, the wife, the daughter, the sister, the friend, the minister, aunt, the teacher, the business owner and everything in between that He called me to be. Because they are all me.

Do what is before you to do

One moment in His presence got me back on track

Yesterday I was having a moment. During this moment I was asking God why and why not. I was saying am I on the right track, so forth and so on. I was basically whining and it didn’t feel natural at all for me. One reason is because I am not customarily a whiner. I don’t even acknowledge children that whine. So I most definitely don’t listen to adults even myself during a whine session. So in the midst of me, doing this I stopped and I said this isn’t me and I know that there is an answer to my questions.

So as I was stopping my phone rang and it was my daughter and I begin talking to her about it and she proceeded to encourage me. Then I shared with her how it didn’t feel genuine to me. We talked a little longer and I got off the phone. But when I got off the phone I prayed and asked Holy Spirit for guidance.

He lead me to Matthew 25:21 it says this ” His Lord said to him Well done my good and faithful servant; thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the Lord”. This scripture hit me right in my gut. Because I understood without any doubt what He was saying to me.

You see I was feeling discouraged over how many readers and listeners I had on my blog and my podcast. I was complaining and whining over just one listener. That is when this hit me I understood that I was looking at all wrong. The statement I have made over and over again in my walk is if I reach just one then I have accomplished what God has called me to.

I have to be faithful over that one listener. I must be faithful over the one or two readers I have. I must stay consistent and keep improving on my writing , my speaking. Even more so I must be grateful for what God has blessed me with so far. I know that the path I am on is the one that I have been ordained and destined to walk.

You see at that moment I was being like the servant with one talent and I was burying it in the sand instead of putting it to market and multiplying it. I was not walking by faith I was just making unnecessary noise. So this is my word to you whatever God has given you to do no matter what it is do it.

Be consistent and faithful in it. When you operate in your gift you are honoring God every step of the way. I somehow forgot that temporarily call it a lapse in my true identity. Be grateful for your progress no matter how big or how small. Celebrate it and praise God every step of the way.

Balance – Key words to establish balance

Word Number one is NO. That is right no is the first word in establishing balance in your life. People especially women we love to say we know how to say no. But do we really? It is a simple word but not used to its fullest capacity. I want to you think about the amount of times you say no in a course of day.

Now you can’t count when you say no thank you to extra napkins or if you want to order something else. I mean when you say no to someone or something you know personally and may even care about.

I am talking about people you don’t want to let down but you have to say no anyway. If you are honest with yourself I am pretty sure that number is low. Let me tell you the issue I use to have. I would not say no if I couldn’t think of a valid reason to say no. I would take on more than I could handle and then regret it later. I would find myself stretches to do things for family, friends and church. I would do things I didn’t like to do or didn’t really have the time to do. Thus causing extra stress and strain in my life and even a few health issues seem to creep up. But I soon change it to if didn’t have valid reason to say yes I said no. Now saying no is a learned art, you must practice it. Try standing in the mirror and just telling yourself no. Oh wait did I forget to say that you are going to also have to learn to tell yourself no. Remember self discipline is part of the process. There will be times in your life where you are the one that is causing the problem and you have to shut it down. As you build up your ability to say no I need to remember this one thing. No is a complete sentence it does not require and explanation unless you want to give one. When your boss or your friend asks you can you squeeze something in your schedule answer honestly say no.

Let yourself off the hook of trying to be every woman or man to everybody. I know it is a great song but realistically it isn’t healthy for your body, your mind, your soul or your emotions. You see you are your greatest asset but if you are tired, drained and wore out you aren’t good to anyone least of all to yourself. Say No it is good for you.

Balance the Key to my Sanity

Happy New Year!!!!

Welcome to 2020 a new year and the beginning of a new decade. I don’t know about you but I am excited about this new year and new decade.

To the year off right I am going to start with “Balance”. Yes that ever so elusive thing that we are all after. Some would say that it is not achievable but I would say not so. Only if you are willing to do the work that it will take to establish boundaries.

This is not an easy transition it will take practice and honesty with yourself. It will mean that you might have to make a few people uncomfortable but it will be worth in the long run.

Allow me first to give you a little background on how this lesson came to past in my life.

I am a firm believer that some of our greatest lessons are learned when we are at a low point in our life because we feel as if we dont have any other options. These are the time that we are more willing to listen to Holy Spirit because at this point it is like I have nothing to lose.

I was at a very low point in my life. I was homeless by definition except I wasn’t living on the street but I didn’t have a place in my name. I was living with my grandmother and my children where living with my mother. When I was being evicted she told me that my children to live with her but I couldn’t. So my grandmother said of course I could live with her and was a bit upset with my mother. But that has nothing to do with the lesson I learned. I needed to be away from my children it helped me get some perspective on my life and where I wanted to go in my life. But it is also where I was able to learn one of the most important messages in my life.

I found balance and I will share with you how I found it.

Weekly I will be sharing points on establishing balance and maintaining it during this first month of 2020.

Today I am going to give you two definitions of balance one is from the bible and the other from the dictionary. Biblical Defintion: Beloved, I wish above allt hings that thou mayest proper and be in health, even as thy soul propereth. 3 John 2

Webster Definition: State of mental or emotional equilibrium: harmony among parts of anything.

Now the first point I want to share is this Self control is needed to set balance and balance is needed to maintain self control. You have to start with putting yourself in order in order to establish balance in your life, in your house and in your family. Being honest with yourself what have you been relaxed in concerning you? Have you just accepted that this how you are going to be instead of striving for more within yourself? See, balance is not just for others it is for you first and foremost. So if you are truly ready to make some changes, I will see next week .

Think on these things and next week we will dive deeper into Balance the Key to My Sanity.

Tune in to my podcast as well Legacy Conversations with CatMare on anchor fm. Well I go into more details about my testimony concerning balance. https://anchor.fm/catherine-m-cobbins