2012

Bloom

Bloom: a state or time of beauty, freshness and vigor; a state of high development or achievement; to mature into achievement of one's potential; to flourish in youthful beauty, freshness or excellence; to shine out; glow

 

A number of weeks ago, the word “bloom” sprang up in my heart. Given the fact that I absolutely love doing word studies, I immediately began to search high and low for the various definitions of bloom and the scriptures associated with it. I even preached a message on it at my church! Over the last few weeks, a new joy and hope for this Spring began to rise up in my heart. As you know from my previous post, I absolutely love Spring. But this study of the word "bloom" and what the Bible has to say about Spring has given me a new-found love for the season. There is so much goodness packed into this five-letter word that is rarely used outside of Springtime and often overlooked. I truly believe that our Heavenly Father is speaking in the midst of this season, and through this simple yet profound word. My sisters, my friends, it is officially time to bloom. It’s time to arise from our sleep, as a seed rests in the darkness of winter below the ground, and spring forth into the newness that God has for us.

“For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers, and as a garden cascades with blossoms, So the Master, God, brings righteousness into full bloom and puts praise on display before the nations.” Is. 61:11 MSG

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This past weekend, we celebrated the beautiful sacrifice of Jesus' death on the cross and His glorious resurrection. As a result of His life, death and resurrection, righteousness and praise have sprung forth throughout the world as people of all nations have received Him by faith. In other words, because He rose, we can arise! Because He bloomed, we can bloom!

This Spring, I am full of expectation for God to move in a great way in our lives and resurrect some things that have lay dormant. As my mom says in her book, Pray-ers Bear Fruit, "without a death, there can be no resurrection". Maybe you have been in a dry season for a while and it seems like God's voice has been a faint whisper, or maybe even silent. Maybe you've experienced the death of a dream and feel like there is no hope for a new beginning. Maybe you're in a relationship that is struggling to survive and you feel like the love is long gone. Oh, my sister, Jesus is about to resurrect your situation. He is fully aware of and well able to raise up that dead situation in your life and breathe a new life into it this season. Encourage yourself in the Lord. Build your faith through the Word. Don't believe the enemy's report. Believe the report of the Lord! He has positioned you for a miracle this season! We are about to see things that we've never seen before, do things we've never done before and go places we've never gone before.

Get ready to shine. Get ready to spring forth. Get ready to glow. Get ready to bloom.

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Emonne Markland

Leave Your Beauty Mark

The Whisper of Spring

For a number of years now, Spring has been a season of new beginnings in my life. As many of you know, I had a health trial in April 2007 where I had to undergo and recover from major lung surgery to remove a malignant mass. It was quite a storm, but looking back I know that it was the catalyst to many of the blessings that were to come in my life. Then, fast forward two years later, I married my husband in April of 2009, a special sign of redemption and love from the Lord that brought and still brings me great joy. Now, fast forward another two years to April 2011, the month that I gave birth to my gorgeous daughter Grace, once again showing the great victory that we have in Jesus and His ability to give us double for our trouble. So, as you can see, Spring has a great connotation to me personally and brings me great joy. The following scripture passage was in my wedding program and beautifully expresses the joy and abundance of this lovely season:

Song of Solomon 2:10-13

“My beloved spoke and said to me:

‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

For lo, the winter is past,

The rain is over and gone.

The flowers appear on the earth;

The time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes

Give a good smell.

Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.’ ”

As the Spring blossoms appear all throughout the country, I believe that there is a whisper of change being proclaimed to those that have ears to hear and eyes to see. Not just in the physical, but in the spiritual as well. Seeds that were sown in times of darkness, quietness and uncertainty that once were dead are springing forth in our lives, giving evidence to the faithfulness of our God and His ability to make all things new. The season of cold, difficult, laboring, toiling winter is coming to an end and a new season of joy, peace and rest is arising. God is calling us to rise up, shaking off the guilt of the past and forgetting the things which are behind. Come out from the shadows and chains of sins and grab hold of our freedom in Christ. He is calling us to shine forth in our God-given beauty, referring to us as His “fair ones”, fair meaning beautiful, lovely, clean, pure, fine, pleasing to the eye or mind especially because of fresh, charming or flawless quality. It’s time to embrace who we are in Christ, not necessarily because we deserve to be called fair or even feel fair, but because that is how our Father sees us. Lastly, He is calling us to come away with Him. Come to Him and away from the world. Draw near to Him and allow Him to draw near to us. Get lost in His presence. Make time for Him and go deeper in intimacy with Him, silencing the noise of our busy schedules and tuning our ears to the voice of heaven. As we surrender our plans and our agendas to set aside this special time with Him, we will begin to bloom.

Prayer:

Father, I thank you so much for your Word, that beautifully restores my soul and uplifts me in my time of need. I thank you for the season of Spring, as buds form and bloom throughout the earth as a sign to your children of the new things ahead. As we take time to come away in your presence and meditate on your Word, I ask that you reveal Yourself to us in a new way. Open our spiritual eyes to see and our spiritual ears to hear your voice through this season. Enlighten us by your Word. Captivate us in your presence. Illuminate us with your glory. I pray right now, Father, in Jesus’ Name, that you will help us to keep our focus on you. That we will begin a new season of devotion and commitment to you as we prepare to celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Just like a seed, He died, was planted in the earth and rose again on the third day, springing forth as a majestic, eternal bloom, bearing the seeds of generational salvation for many to come. We thank you and praise you for your mighty works, God. To you be all the glory and honor and praise, both now and forever. Amen.

Emonne Markland

Leave Your Beauty Mark

P.S. I encourage you to study and meditate on Song of Solomon 2:10-13 this week. Allow this passage to get into your spirit and spring forth new revelation. I personally have found profound revelation on these scriptures from the commentaries of Matthew Henry, Scofield’s reference notes (1917 edition), Wesley’s explanatory notes and Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, all of which can be found within the free Bible Study Tools app. In these references, Song of Solomon 2:10-13 is explained as a metaphor of turning away from sin and the law and the beauty and newness of Christ’s coming, bringing a wonderful season of joy to those that receive Him. I highly recommend reviewing those commentaries, as they are rich with truth. As you study, please feel free to come back to this post and share your thoughts on what the Lord is revealing to you through this passage.

Sealed

The door that never opened. The job offer that fell through. The relationship that you've been forcing to work even though it's not. The house deal that flopped. Whatever the situation may be in your life. Maybe, just maybe, God has it sealed for your protection. Don't force it open. You may find yourself opening a can of worms.

Friends, I really believe this to be true. So many doors have closed in my face over the years, some even opened, allowed me in, and then pushed me back out! I used to get mad, disappointed and even a little depressed a few times. Now, I know that I don't even have to worry about it. If something doesn't work out my way, I trust that God has something even better on the way.

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This year, we are all expecting great things and I believe that great things are coming! That being said, we must keep in mind that things may happen much differently than we expect them to. You may be focusing on and preparing for door A and God's will for you in 2012 may be door Y. Trust Him no matter what. He's in control. And His plan is always better than ours. Be blessed and have a joy-filled weekend.

Emonne Markland Leave YOUR Beauty Mark

No More Abuse

Abuse: improper or excessive use or treatment; misuse.

Every day, products and goods are created all over the world for a specific purpose. Forks are made to eat with. Chairs are made to sit on. Computers are made to type on and create documents and images. But what if you took your laptop and tried to cook your lunch on it? Imagine becoming angry when your chicken and vegetables don't sauté. That would be completely ridiculous right? Well, often times, that's what we do with our own lives. Each of us has been created for a specific purpose. And yet, we spend year after year in abuse, misusing the gifts and talents that God has given us by seeking after whatever we want to do and be. Sure, a fish may want to be a roaring lion, but outside of the water it won't survive!

This year, we MUST discover and devote our lives to God's purpose for our existence. There is no more time to be a fish out of water. If people around you have been holding you back and forcing you into a box that your "circle" doesn't fit in, let them go! God is doing a new thing in our lives! It's not going to be a bed of roses, and along the journey to purpose there will be many inconveniences and pressure, but we will come out of the fire like gleaming, pure gold. Today, make the decision to seek God like never before and allow Him to reveal to you your true purpose. Not your plans. Not what your parents, husband, friends or professors always said that you would be. God's divine purpose for your existence! He has such great things in store for us! You won't even recognize yourself by this time next year! You are equipped with God's power to do great and mighty things! I have prayed for you this morning and called many of you out by name. I pray that you will be all that God has created you to be, and never misuse the gifts that are inside of you.

That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you...(2 Timothy 1:6 AMP)

God doesn't want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible. (2 Timothy 1:7 MSG)

Emonne Markland Leave YOUR Beauty Mark

*This post is inspired by the Sunday morning sermon by Bishop T.D. Jakes from today. Every Sunday on my Instagram account (beautymarkedmom), I write a "Sunday Recap" post from what I learned in church that morning. I have encouraged others to do so, and a number of IGers have joined in and shared what God spoke to their hearts in their Sunday morning church service. It's a great way to review your notes and share what God has spoken to you. If you are on IG, join in and add hashtag #SundayRecap to your post! If you're on Twitter, you can do the same there too! It is great to see what God is speaking to His people around the world.