Beauty for Ashes: A Global Outcry for Justice and Equality

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand for ever. Isaiah 40:8

Oh, Nation! Do you hear our voices? Do you hear the cries of the people? The people who are constantly shot and killed on the streets and in their homes of America? The people constantly under assault and persecution for the color of their skin? The people striped of their identity and vandalized of their basic human rights to live free on this earth?

Our cities are burning due to the blind eye for justice. For generations, we have been raped of our humanity and dignity. How long do we have to continue on the same cycle of racism, prejudice, bigotry, harassment, discrimination and ignorance?

Oh, stiff-necked nation, repent for the sins against humanity. Turn away from your idols. Change from your wicked ways, devices and weapons of destruction against the people of color. Have you not learned anything from past generations?

This racist spirit; this racist attitude is a condition of the heart. It is a learned behavior that is passed on like a contagious virus. It is a disease of the soul that has infected every political, educational, judicial, and economical system throughout the world.

Do you not understand there is a penalty? That there is a price to pay for injustice? That you are accountable and responsible for your actions or complacency?

Why did it take cities to burn across the nation to the arrest four white men for the death of an innocent man?

Your hands are bloody and unclean. Your hearts are like filthy rags. Your mind is like a cancer.

We are at a crossroad in America for justice. We can’t go back to insanity. The repetitious pattern of hatred has to be extinguished. The time is now!

This moment is a pivotal point in history. The embedded racial coding throughout American culture is exposed and guilty as charged. Do you realize that there are consequences of an unchanged heart filled with arrogance, greed, ignorance and disobedience?

Oh city of Babylon, judgement is upon you. Purge from your evil ways before it’s too late. Its midnight hour in America and in the world. Extreme measures of correction, action and resolution is the torch that will lead the way out of darkness. The wind of change is upon us.

Will we finally have beauty for ashes?

The message is simple. Love.

I Peter 4:8

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

John 13:34

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Jer 50:23-25

How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!

24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the Lord.

25 The Lord hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord God of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.

Jer 50:26-29

Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left.

27 Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation.

28 The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, the vengeance of his temple.

29 Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her: for she hath been proud against the Lord, against the Holy One of Israel.

Jer 50:38

A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols.

Jer 50:43

The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail.

Jer 51:7-11

Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.

Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.

We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.

10 The Lord hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God.

11 Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of his temple.

Jer 51:17-18

Every man is brutish by his knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.

18 They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.

Jer 51:43

43 Her cities are a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness, a land wherein no man dwelleth, neither doth any son of man pass thereby.

Isaiah 61

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.

But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.

For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.

For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed.

10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

The Valley of Dry Bones


Ezekiel 37: 1- 14 1 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. 4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. 9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. 11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.

Laboring in Love

Then he said unto his disciples. The harvest truly is plenteous but the laborers are few; Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest. Mark 9:37

The Lord is calling his people to step up. Often, we do not feel like we can accomplish the purpose and will of God. We may not even understand or know what His plan is for our lives. His plan is always much bigger than ours.

Allow the Lord to lead you down the right path. He knows what’s best for you. You will be placed exactly where you need to be. He has a strategic plan that is magnificent.  The spiritual eyes are so much more powerful than what man can see with his natural eyes. Seeing is not believing. “For we walk by faith and not by sight.” 2 Corth 5:7

Work diligently unto the Lord and not for man. Toil in sweat, blood, and tears and continue to shine His light in a dark place whether it be in a rough neighborhood, workplace, home, or school.

Do the work of the Lord in love. Be an example of His love, forgiveness, grace, and mercy. No matter what your circumstance or schedule, put God first in all that you do and He promises all these things will be added unto you. Matt 6:33

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

Remember you are blessed and highly favored.

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Copyright Yolanda Berry – 2015 -All rights reserved.

How to Conquer Spiritual Warfare

 When you read the Word of God, a seed of hope is immediately planted in your heart. You should feed your spirit daily with words of encouragement and hope. Much like watering a plant, it will become dry and withered, if not watered on a regular basis.

However, you must guard your heart against discouragement, fear, doubt and other negative emotions that can instantly rob you of the Word and strip your spirit. Mark 4:14-20

When you constantly look at the world’s problems or your own, you may feel a sense of hopelessness. There are many things in life that can discourage you and plant a sense of fear or doubt in your mind. When you continue to focus on the wrong things, it will begin to grow bigger and stronger like a brush fire.

Guarding your mind is essential to fighting off defeating thoughts.

“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things that are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things that are pure, whatsoever things that are lovely, whatsoever things that are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Phil 4:8

Girt Your Loins with Truth

When you stand on the Word of God, you stand in the truth of the character of God and His power. It releases you from every bondage of sin. You can be released from addictions, sickness, fear, anxiety, doubts and worries. You allow God to carry all of your burdens. However, you will not attain this source of freedom unless you have complete trust in Him in which you can only receive by knowing (spiritual discernment) and understanding (spiritual wisdom).

 Walk With the Breastplate of Righteousness

We are made in God’s image. Although we are not perfect, we have been made righteous through Him. When you know the Word of God and it’s planted in your heart, you do not have the desire to sin. You want to please the Lord. You shine His light in dark places. You walk as salt in the earth.

It’s through the anointing power of the Holy Spirit who teaches you all things. The Lord renews your Spirit. Your hands are made clean and you are made whole through His grace and mercy. All sin is washed away. He does not remember a trace of your past history. Forgiveness is the greatest gift, but His love is unsurmountable.

Rest in the Gospel of Peace

It’s hard to walk in peace with conflict and everyday chaos all around you. The stresses of daily routines and busy schedules can take a toll on anyone.

When you meditate on the Word of God, it brings order to your day. It aligns your daily tasks, weekly plans and long-ranged goals in complete alignment with the Lord’s plans and purpose for your life. You also have the ability to walk with a sense of peace and do not focus so much on the daily challenges and obstacles that get in your way. You receive a peace that surpasses all understanding. Phil 4:7

Put on the Helmet of Salvation

You have a special covering when you receive Christ as your Lord and Savior that the world does not have. It’s like having an invisible shield of protection through the Blood of Jesus Christ. It guards you from harm and danger.

However, certain problems and circumstances are allowed to enter into your life to mold and shape you for His purpose. Unfortunately, no one is exempt from heartaches, but those walking with Christ has an ability to fight off evil plots and schemes that the devil sends your way.

“And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” Phil 3:9-10

 Pick up Your Shield of Faith

When Peter walked on the water, he kept his eyes on Jesus. When he started to look around at the stormy waves, he began to sink. He lost his faith. Much like Peter’s experience, you may lose your faith when you continue to look at your circumstances or world conditions.

Speak Boldly With the Sword of the Spirit

Photo Source: www.mysunshineforeverblogger.blogspot.com

The Word of God is life. It provides strength and vitality to a weary soul. When you speak the Word of God on a consistent basis, it breaks every stronghold in your life. Consistency is key. Believing is mandatory.

Final Thoughts

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things freely given to us of God.” I Corth 2:12

“But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for it is foolishness to him; neither can he know them; because they are spiritually discerned.” I Corth 2:14 

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that you will be able to withstand the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Esph 6:10-13

Spring Cleaning: Time to Get Your House in Order

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.” Matt 12:25

As we eagerly wait for Spring to arrive and leave the harsh, bitter Winter behind, our minds are focused on warmer weather, budding flowers and spending time outside. We welcome fresh renewal by purging the old items we no longer want, cleaning our homes and reorganizing our spaces.

The foundation of our living space should be a peaceful dwelling place. I usually refer to home as “My sanctuary.” It’s a place where you should be comfortable and it should provide an escape from the outside world.

Sadly enough, some people do not have a steady foundation. Their homes are built on disrespect, lack of trust, abuse or neglect. Instead of the home being a place of refuge, it’s a place of war consisting of conflicts, stress and strife.

When your spirit (also known as your “temple” or “house”) is out of order, it mirrors your personal space. The confusion often felt on the inside manifests itself in the physical realm.

When your space is clean, organized and quiet, you have the opportunity to think better and even have more peace. You will also have harmony,  balance in your home, and increase in productivity.

The same way we clean a house; we should clean our spirit daily. We need to give up:  Sin, temptation, lust, jealousy, gossip and bad language. We also need to let go of the past, purge negative thinking and release pain, guilt or shame. We should forgive others, accept what we cannot change and begin to move forward with faith and hope. If there’s anything that is blocking us from getting closer to the Lord, we need to relinquish and surrender to be set free. When we welcome Christ into the midst of our house, the atmosphere will change (internally and externally). “Thou will show me the path of life; in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalm 16:11

Scripture References:

“All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Either make the tree good, and his fruit is good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.Matt 12:31-34

 “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, I will return into my house from which I came out; and when he is come, he finds it empty, swept and garnished. Then goes he and takes with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.” Matt 12: 43-45

“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord; till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12-13

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit; and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Heb 4:12

“Therefore whosoever hears this sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house (spirit) upon a rock; And when the rain descended, and the floods came; and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. (The Word of God). And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell and great was the fall of it.” Matt 7: 24-27

 

The Magnitude of God

While driving home in rush hour traffic, I was thinking about my life and how God is involved in every aspect. He knows my needs, desires, obstacles, challenges, weaknesses, and strengths. He knows everything about me, even the things that I have not discovered or I don’t’ yet understand about myself. He is aware of the intricate details of my being.

As I looked at everyone waiting at the red light, it hit me. Not only is He involved with every detail of my life, but every single person in this world. My mind started to randomly think of people all over the globe: Life events, natural disasters, political wars, economic crisis and terrorism that wound and distress the spirit.

Through all these difficulties in life there is hope for a new beginning; a new tomorrow by the power of God. I always seem to hear people blame God for the bad things that happen to us. But, I have never heard anyone blame the devil.

Although God has unlimited power, Satan is real and has the power to influence people’s thoughts, words, deeds, and actions. Overcoming spiritual battles is learning to use God’s word to destroy the enemy, praying and worshipping. God’s word is full of promises and truth. I have many testimonies to share how God has changed my life. He is not a God that should lie. Once we effectively learn to fight spiritual warfare with the armor of the Lord, we walk in victory.


People may argue if God is in control why does He allow bad things to happen to us? He is the creator of all things. He even created evil. I understand this is a very strong statement. I was even surprised myself when I found it in scripture. But, His character is of good not evil. He forms our character to be more like Him once we acknowledge Him as our Lord.

 God is working out His divine plans in our lives. He allows us the freedom of choice. We can be full of rebellion and strife or full of obedience, faith, and peace. He fills us with His grace and mercy which is a gift. His nature and presence are Holy and pure. He sent His son, Jesus, to save us from sin and death. Once we confess the Lord as our Savior there is no such thing as guilt or condemnation. It is allowing Jesus to pay our debt and we are set free from the burden of sin. Confess the Lord as your Savior and open your heart to Him.

 Scripture References

Isaiah 45:12:13
 12I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.
   13I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts

Isaiah 45:16:25

 16They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols.
   17But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.
   18For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.
   19I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.
  20Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.
   21Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? Who hath told it from that time? Have not I the LORD? And there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me.
 22Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
   23I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return void, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
   24Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.
   25In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

The following passages are from Isaiah 45:5-7 

I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
   That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
  form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

John 3:16
So God, so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

 Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.