This month, I’m challenging myself to a “make-over”. A make-over in the sense of breaking a few “bad habits”. I realized that there are some bad habits in my life that I really need to change if I’m going to be successful in certain areas. So often we complain, get angry, frustrated, and even depressed about our situations and circumstances. And yet, so often those same situations and circumstances are created by bad choices we’ve made, actions we took, things we said, behaviors we displayed, or bad habits that we refuse to get rid of.
From personal, social, financial, educational, mental, physical or spiritual bad habits – we all have them in one shape or form. Just to name a few:
- being late often
- never saving any money
- smoking or drinking to deal with stress
- eating fast food everyday
- not exercising
- not getting enough sleep
- not being able to set aside electronic devices
- not being able to detach from social media for a day
- being a perfectionist
- watching too much TV
- never taking a break from work
- using credit cards for everything
- not sticking to your budget
- not paying attention during conversations
- not returning what you borrow
- not paying people back
- not finishing projects
- worrying but never taking action
- using excessive foul language
- telling secrets
- always complaining
- being negative around others
- never listening to others’ advice
- giving up too easily
I resigned from my full-time job about 3 months ago in mid-October. A great company I had been with for almost 5 years had allowed another company to take over my particular site. It had only been about 5 weeks since the takeover and my life had taken a 180 degree turn. I wanted out for various reasons, but mostly because I realized that this new company didn’t have any room for growth nor did they value their employees at all.
After much prayer and confirmation from God that is was the right decision to make, I turned in my notice. I didn’t have a new job lined up. In fact I was a single mom, with a son who had just started middle school and had all the usual bills to pay. I made a decent salary, but my Uber/Lyft hours were not going to replace that. I was confident in my savings that I would be okay for about six months or so, but the rest I just entrusted to God. I was burnt out, stressed, suffering from migraines, insomnia, spending less and less time with my son and hating my job more and more each day. Despite the fact that I wasn’t wealthy or didn’t have a substantial emergency savings set aside, my body, soul and spirit were all telling me that I needed a change. But like every major decision I make in life, I committed my situation to God to see in which direction my upcoming breakthrough was going to come from – staying the course a little longer or taking a leap of faith and giving it all up and leaving it with Him. You see, God being God, could have worked things out regardless of the path I was going to take. But it’s when we involve Him directly in our decision-making process that things tend to work out a bit easier and quicker than if we go it alone.
Although I had every reason to quit my job, I’ve learned from past mistakes never to make decisions (especially major decisions) based on my emotions. I wouldn’t put in my notice unless I had direct confirmation from God. The week prior to me submitting my resignation, something new happened everyday – whether it was an incident at work, a text from a friend, a show I watched on TV or something I read during my devotions – everyday God spoke to confirm that it was time for me to depart and start a new path. It’s funny how when you ask for His guidance, He answers – sometimes in several ways just in case we don’t get the message the first time!
My first two weeks off were bliss – a much-needed staycation! I hadn’t slept so good in months if I was being honest. No migraines; in fact not even little headaches. I was stress free, enjoying time with my kid and remembering how to laugh, relax and have fun. Amidst applying for jobs, I poured hours into hobbies and personal projects that I had started but that went undone for almost a year. I published my first online course, finally attended the real estate workshop I had been wanting to go to, completed writing half a book, and learned and cooked more new recipes than I had all year! Then I started to increase my Uber/Lyft hours to get some income flowing, which turned out to be great for meeting new people and having interesting conversations. Rejection emails were starting to come in for some of the jobs I was applying for and I honestly didn’t think I would get a new job before the new year set in. However, Christmas was coming and I needed to make sure my son didn’t miss a beat.
It had been about a month when a random phone call came from a contact at my previous company (the one before we were taken over) about a remote opportunity that would pay me my old salary and allow me to work hours that were convenient for me – and they wanted me to start the next week if I was up for it! Of course I accepted the position and my first few weeks through the end of the year were the most laid back weeks of training that I had ever had! I even got an opportunity to fly down to the main site in Dallas, TX for a week – 70 degree weather in December! Great company, co-workers, capability to work in my pjs, stress free, own schedule, nights and weekends free, time with my kid, and no decrease in my salary! Just in time for the holidays! God is amazing!
I’ve been at my new job for a little over 2 months now and its been about 90 days from the day I resigned from the old place. Earlier today, I started getting phone calls and text messages from old co-workers telling me they were just laid off. I found out that the company that took over had laid off 90% of their employees and were relocating to a significantly smaller work space. Then came the voice of God again in my ear – “I always know what is best for you”. Although at this point, I had already come to the realization that God had it all in control from the beginning, He was showing me an even broader piece of the picture. A reminder that everything happens for a reason and even if we don’t understand our circumstances, or are confused or frustrated by them at the time, that God knows what’s best because He sees the big picture of our lives.
It’s so vital that we incorporate Him into our plans, our decisions, our lives! And even more important that we actually listen to Him when He speaks to us. There is so much headache, pain, wasted time, effort and energy that we can all avoid by simply inviting God into the core of our lives and actually listening to His Voice. Sure I could have stayed at that job until the very end and been laid off with the rest. And God being my father certainly would have opened a door for another opportunity. But look at how much I would have lost in just those 3 months had I not listened to His voice and followed His direction from the beginning. I praise Him for the time off, the much needed rest, my personal accomplishments, the incredible time spent with my son, and my new work from home position which allows me so much freedom in a stress-free environment. Not to mention the fact that I would have missed out on that specific opportunity had I not been unemployed at the time!
His Word tells us that when we acknowledge Him in ALL our ways – bring Him into every aspect of our lives – He will direct our paths! It’s a GUARANTEE!……according to the mirror of His Word! It’s up to us to listen and obey when He speaks.
A pet peeve I absolutely can’t stand
Yet we all do it
Without even using our hands
Focusing on everybody else
Counting all their wrongs
Their flaws, mistakes, sins
Gossiping about it like songs
But I’ve been praying
for God to shift my mindset
to focus on growing in my walk with Him
Not on my surroundings or past things I regret
Ain’t got time to be stalking, or
Worrying about peeps on the Facebook
Don’t care what they eat, where they go
What they wear or how they look
Tired of following celebrities
Just to hear the latest news
Of adultery, scandal, abuse
Or some violence after a lit fuse
Cousin Rick cheated on his taxes
My neighbor Sarah bought a Benz
My friend LaQuisha got fired
And Jenny is pregnant….again
Its like we look for things to talk about
The good stuff so we can be jealous and mad
The bad stuff so we can put it on blast
To everyone we know; which is just sad
I want to take a few moments today to just say “thank you” to all my wonderful followers and readers! Your support has been everything to me this past year. It’s not easy to promote love for and attention to the Word of God in the society we live in today – not even in the Christian arena. I am grateful to be a vessel for God, to be used to encourage and motivate others toward greater things in Him! I pray that each of you will continue to be blessed and inspired through this blog, and that His Word will bring changes that will draw you closer in your walk with Him.
To express my gratitude and appreciation to each of you, I would like to extend FREE lifetime access to my recently published online course “Learning the Bible 101: Benefits, Methods, and Hindrances”. If you have already signed up for the course, please share the link as a gift to any and everyone you know who could benefit from it:
May you enjoy the course and feel free to send me your comments, as I would love to hear from you. Most importantly, please continue to join me in this mission to promote the relevance, value, importance and divinity of the Word of God in a world that has strayed so far from its principles.
Stay focused on Him and saturate yourself with His Word always!
Love in Christ,
- is the very Word of God
- is a collection of 66 books (39 in the Old Testament, 27 in the New Testament)
- was written over a period of 1600 years (from about 1500 BC to AD 100)
- was written by approximately 40 different authors (kings, prophets, leaders, followers of God)
- has 1,189 chapters
- has 31,101 verses
- has 783,137 to 788,280 words (depending on what version you’re reading)
- was first put into print in 1455 with Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press
- has approximately 1,260 promises
- has approximately 6,468 commands
- has been translated into approximately 3,300 languages
- is not only the best-selling book of all time, but the best-selling book of the year, every year!
- is sold, given away or distributed in the U.S. 168,000 times daily!
How does such a book become so irrelevant, undervalued, and underutilized among Christians today?
Happy New Year Everybody!
It’s 2019, and I’ve been asking myself what does that mean or look like for me? I personally love New Year’s, because for me it represents a new start, a fresh beginning. It’s also a time of reflection to look back at the ups and downs of the previous year. But most of all, it’s a time to reflect on the fact that God brought me through it all, and I’m still standing.
Statistically, it is said that 80% of the people who make “New Year’s resolutions” fail by February! Not only is that sad, but I believe it’s directly aligned with the society we live in today. Simply put, we are lazy, unmotivated, undetermined, distracted and confused people, who constantly procrastinate, have little to no goals, and a lack of clear vision for the future – and yes, this includes those of us that are Christians as well.
We too, so often fall into a trap of just “existing” on earth, when God has placed us here for a purpose. I’m not writing to convince or influence anyone to make a list of resolutions. I’m writing to motivate and encourage having a vision that is aligned with the Word of God. A vision of where we want to be or go; of what we want to become; of what we want to accomplish. After all, the bible dictates who God wants us to be as believers. Our entire Christian journey is supposed to be about getting there. The problem is that most of us don’t want to align ourselves with God’s plan for us, so we result to simply having no vision at all when it comes to our spiritual growth.
This lack of vision on the spiritual side, so often coincides with a lack of vision in all other aspects of our lives: physical, mental, social, educational, financial, relational, etc. Other believers may even find themselves at the other end of the spectrum, where their entire vision focuses on all the other aspects of life, while the spiritual side gets little to no attention. Either scenario is detrimental.
God has called us as believers to grow in our relationship with Him and to become more Christlike. How do we do that? Well, like all things spiritual, it all starts with spending more time in His Word. It always baffles me how Christians want and expect so much from God and yet we do so little to cultivate our relationship with Him. The more time we spend in His Word, the more His Word can convict and change our hearts, attitudes, words, thoughts, desires, actions, and our goals to align with Him. I promise, in fact I guarantee, that everything else in our lives will begin to fall into place from there.
Whether you want to work on having a better attitude, lose weight, save money for a new car, get your master’s degree, buy a home, learn a foreign language, travel overseas, get married, or start your own business – whatever the goal may be (short or long term) – aligning ourselves, our goals, our lives, our everything, with God and His plan for us, is the best way to ensure success! In fact when you align your vision with God’s Word, God begins to work in ALL aspects of your life, in ways you could have never imagined!
My family and friends can attest to what God did for me in 2018 – far beyond what I envisioned, prayed for and set out to do via my list of goals! And now, I’m all the more motivated to continue to seek His face through His Word even more in 2019, because I know for a fact, that it will indeed be an even better year for me!……..and yours can be too!
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This past week was my first week of getting back into the gym regularly, and Friday was the day I would meet my goal of working out for 5 days. However, Friday morning I woke up an hour earlier than usual around 5 a.m. with a slight headache and couldn’t get back to sleep. Because it wasn’t time to get up yet, I decided to login into my banking mobile app from my phone and check my direct deposit since it was payday for me. To my utmost surprise – no direct deposit! Then I nearly fell off the bed trying to get up and stubbed my toe. With mixed emotions – tiredness from lack of sleep, anger from the missing money and pain from the headache and toe – my mind automatically started going with random thoughts: “I’m not going to the gym this morning”, “I’m not going to work”, “why can’t things just go right”, “OMG, my rent is due, where is my money”, “life sucks”, “I just want to go back to bed”.
Those few things that happened all within minutes of each other had already started impacting my entire day and it was only 5:15 in the morning! It’s so easy to get angry, frustrated, discouraged, depressed and lose motivation when things start to spiral downhill in our lives. It may start with something minor, then it may turn into something major that you may or may not have control over.
Either way, God’s Word tells us how to handle those situations, and no part of the resolution involves giving up, running away, or crawling back into bed for the day. All those reactions are exactly the way the devil wants us to handle all bad things that come are way – by retreating, quitting and getting frustrated. God created us with a ball of emotions, but He also equipped us with His Word and access to Him personally to talk to in moments just like these. We can find encouragement to push through in Scripture and we can talk to Him about anything at anytime.
So today I ask, what stops your progress on a daily or weekly basis? Is it your circumstances? Something someone says? A situation going on at work? A personal relationship or lack thereof? A negative friend? Financial struggles? Your health? Whatever the case is, remember that everyday life is going to happen to all of us. As Christians, God did not promise we wouldn’t have any troubles. However, He promised that we would be equipped with the tools to handle our troubles. We have everything we need in Him to face any of life’s challenges. The problem is, our most valuable resources are often under utilized.
In fact, the moment you start to set goals or set your mind to accomplish something, there will be several things that come your way that will try to distract you, kill your motivation, or hinder you from progress. If we prepare our minds for this by spending time in God’s Word and prayer, nothing should hinder our progress.
Why are we letting our feelings about the newly elected President Donald Trump dictate how we behave as Christians? Does the bible call for us to respond with anger, hatred, slander, protests, frustration, violence, vandalism, or disrespect towards our earthly authorities?
Once again, we allow the enemy to defeat us as we behave more like non-Christians and less like Christians who are empowered to bring about true spiritual change. We not only forget about our call to spiritual warfare, but also completely disregard the Word of God, leaving our most vital weapon un-utilized. Instead we waste our time, efforts, resources, and energy, deceiving ourselves into thinking we are actually helping to bring about change, when the true root of all the “issues” in the world today is our spiritual enemy.
Why do so many Christians today want to “experience” the power of God in their lives, but yet want little to nothing, to do with the source of that very power – the Word of God?
It’s sad that most of us fail to realize just how much power we inhabit and have at our disposal through our relationship with Christ. And its even sadder that most of us won’t take time to pick up our Bible to begin to really tap into that power.
“After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” – Acts 13:22 (NIV)
I love the fact that God called David of all people, “a man after his own heart”. In fact, God chose him and appointed him ruler over Israel, because of this. Why is this relevant/important? Because God, being God, knowing ALL things including what was to come – chose David and identified him as a “man after his own heart”. If you don’t know the full story see I Samuel chapter 16 and then II Samuel chapters 11 and 12 for context.
In the story David is chosen by God to be Israel’s new king. After many successful victories, David ‘falls’. Long story short, he lusts after a married woman, sleeps with her and gets her pregnant, befriends her husband (one of his own soldiers) and then puts a plan in place to have him killed in battle. David’s plan succeeds and the other man is reported dead. Then this ‘man after God’s own heart’ lets the wife mourn briefly, then marries her to ‘cover up the affair’, she has the baby and they continue with day to day life as if nothing has happened! See you haven’t seen a real Lifetime movie until you’ve read the Bible!
God then sends his servant Nathan to confront David regarding the situation, as well as, to pronounce the punishment that God has set forth, which is not a light one at all:
Samuel 12:7-12 (NIV)
Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own. This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”
After all this, there is no denial, no excuses, no lying, and no running away. David simply responds as follows:
This response, is genuine, basic, straightforward and true. In his words of confession that “he has sinned against the Lord”, David not only acknowledges his sin, but he shows agreement with God by calling what God has deemed as sin to be sin. It is this very reason that God seeing David’s heart, and knowing exactly what sin David would commit when he appointed him as king, that God still considered him to be ‘a man after his own heart’. David wasn’t perfect, Continue reading →