Through the Fire

by Danielle N. Hall

3/21/2017

(Originally written on 3/14 for My Sister’s Corner)


I remember learning of a lady by the name of Edith Childs about 10 years ago. If you recall during the campaign of former President Barack Obama, there was this catchy chant: “Fired up! Ready to go!”. Apparently Childs, a councilor in Greenwood, SC, was responsible for getting this chant going. Since it’s popular debut in 2008, I must say that I find myself saying it often when I’m on assignment or on a mission. The truth is, I’m passionate about serving and I can’t help but to be fired up and ready to go! There are, however, times when being motivated is challenging. 

When life happens, it can sometimes be overwhelming and draining. During these times I’m reminded of the account in Daniel Chapter 3…when Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego are cast into the fiery furnace which was punishment for those who failed to compromise and bow down to the decree of King Nebuchadnezzar. In the case of these 3 fellows, they weren’t just thrown into the furnace: they were first bound and the furnace was heated seven times hotter than usual. Yet, they remained steadfast. While in the fire, two things were discovered: they weren’t alone and they weren’t consumed.

We learn from this passage that when we purpose in our hearts to honor God because we are passionate about His love and His will for us, though He will allow us to be tested, He doesn’t desire for us to be consumed. They say “He’ll turn your test into a testimony.” I can say I’ve had to endure many tests and have had to do so all the more since I’ve given my life to the Lord. From dealing with sexual abuse earlier in life to trying to balance between home, work, ministry, and self: there have been maaaaaany tests. From them I have a testimony and that is: “I’m fired up and ready to go!”. Not only do I have a testimony, I’ve got a song. “Through the fire, to the limit…Through the fire, through whatever!”. 

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test you [that is, to test the quality of your faith], as though something strange or unusual were happening to you. But insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, keep on rejoicing, so that when His glory filled with His radiance and splendor is revealed, you may rejoice with great joy.” -1 Peter 4:12-13 (AMP)

Christ’s purpose fueled His passion. How could one be so passionate…even to the point of death? When you understand your purpose, you’re willing to go through whatever, come what may, to fulfill it. In John 4:34 (AMP), Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to completely finish His work.” He consumed purpose so that nothing else would consume Him. That same mind that Christ has is the one we’re encouraged to also have in us. When we adopt a Christlike mindset and are as steadfast as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego we can also go through the fire and not be consumed. 

For a final thought I’d like to leave you with these tips for keeping the fire burning…even while going through the fire:

1) Pause to celebrate the small victories. 

2) Renew your mind daily.

3) Surround yourself with firestarters.

4) Feast on His Word, so you can discover and absorb your purpose.

These helpful hints can help us go “through the fire, to the limit…through the fire, through whatever!”. 

Advertisements

Wait Watchers

by Danielle N. Hall

8/14/2016

“For every manifestation or success there was a waiting time.” -Ikechukwu Joseph, Unlocking Closed Doors

One of the most challenging experiences we can have is the season called “WAIT”. If we are honest with ourselves, our longsuffering is probably one of those fruits that needs a little more time to ripen. You see, longsuffering is not the ability to wait: it’s how we act while we wait. We often like to look for an identifiable example of what to do. I’ll encourage you to consider an example of what not to do. The children of Israel had an extended staycation in the wilderness because they murmured often. When we observe their experience we see evidence of discouragement, disdain, and disbelief. Surely that’s not a model we want to follow while we are transitioning from our place of bondage to our promised land. We want to watch how we wait. Here are a few things to consider while transitioning:

KEEP THE FAITH

We learn from Hebrews 11:1 that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The Message translation reads this way: “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.” Even and especially when we are in the season of WAIT, we ought to hold fast to our faith in God because it is the firm foundation of what shall manifest.

KEEP THE FIRE

If you look into the eyes of one with hope, you see passion and if you’re that close to them, you feel the energy of their heart. Think of your heart as a fireplace and each promise of God as a log to add to the flame in your heart. We know that God is not a man that He should lie and His Word will not return unto Him void. It is tried and true and is the perfect fuel to keep the fire burning!

KEEP THE FOCUS

I just heard the following stated by Dr. Derek Grier: “Anything in your life you can experience, God remains larger.” While we are watching our WAIT, we should keep our minds fixed on the Sovereign God. As a matter of fact, a song by one of my favorite recording artists has that very title. Its chorus is as follows: “You are the Sovereign God: bigger than ALL my problems and every situation. There is nothing too hard for the Sovereign God.” These words are simple, yet profoundly true. I encourage you to listen to the full song by clicking on the following link: http://youtu.be/-3o_IZGtLHA


Dr. Grier also said: “You can’t let the path blind you from your future.” What a tasty nugget! The truth is that the process doesn’t look like the promise, but if we keep the faith and keep our fire burning and keep the proper focus, we will surely experience the milk and honey that awaits…WATCH YOUR WAIT!

The Halves & The Half Nots

by Danielle N. Hall

7/6/2016


All this week I’ve had on my mind a famous line by Chuck Brown: “Whatever you do big or small, do it well or don’t do it at all.” This is one of those simple, yet profound statements.  My late grandmother had another way of saying it that may not be suitable for all audiences, but even from her creative way of expressing the same message, I understood the importance of striving for excellence.

What we input has a direct effect on the output we yield. The “Halves” are those who engage in half-hearted efforts and will later find that their output leaves something to be desired. The job gets done, but there are some elements missing that could’ve enhanced the outcome. The “Half Nots” are those who put their entire hearts into what they are doing whether they are on a mission to buy a greeting card, completing a major work project, or any other endeavor.

Sometimes, when we don’t understand the value of certain opportunities, we tend to fall in the category of the “Halves”. For instance, I can recall while being in high school being afforded the opportunity to take college courses as a part of the HI-SCIP (High School College Internship Program). The first semester, I enrolled in a psychology class and I enjoyed it. I paid attention, learned much, and applied myself. I earned a B in that class. The 2nd semester, I was enrolled in a World History class which wasn’t of interest to me so I took a half-hearted approach and squandered the opportunity. I earned a D: an outcome that certainly left more to be desired by me. 

That experience was both a learning and a teaching point for me. I just recently shared with my children the contrasts in the outputs based on my inputs. I’ve learned to not waste valuable opportunities by having the mindset of the “Halves”. If I am going to do it, whether it’s big or small, I’m going to do it well or not do it at all. Consider me a “Half Not”.

In which of the two groups are you?