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Winter Blues

Winter is not my season. I tend to lack motivation during these months. My head is so cloudy, that it’s hard to process. No matter how much I exhale, I have butterflies in my stomach. I feel like I am all over the place and no place at the same time. This is a weird but familiar feeling. Although I don’t want to give voice to negativity, I had to acknowledge this verbally, if only to release it. This too shall pass.

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Unsettled

My day started really great. The weather was perfect. Things at the job flowed nicely. Lurking beneath the surface of my being, however, was this unsettling feeling. I felt as if I were holding my breath. I also had a feeling as if something bad would be happening in the near future. I know exactly where it came from. The news. I know how to extract just the right amount of details from the news to get the information that I need to have. I am also able to weed out the unnecessary and process the unfortunate events that are reported. However, there were recent events that took place that were horrific and unnecessary. These events happened in close sequence, which only magnified the darkness.

I did not intend for it to seep into my spirit but I found myself impacted by it. There it was sitting in my spirit subtly but very much present. I immediately started praying that God reached out his hand of protection and spread it over the world. I prayed for him to touch people’s heart and calm their war-like spirit. I prayed for him to settle them and turn their hearts towards him. I have no control over the world and people’s actions. However, I know that God is omnipotent and he can reach into the abyss of darkness and every single corner of the Earth and change the course of events to his will. Everything happens according to his will, unfortunately even the bad. Knowing this simple point helps to bring things in perspective to me.

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When You Find Your Tribe

One of the most meaningful things in life is making connections. That can look very different to different people. Even more, for some, it can feel like it’s non-existent. For many years, I subscribed to that thought process on the count of me being awkward and not fitting in to many spaces. But in certain spaces I have come to appreciate the beautiful and genuine connections I have made. I am grateful for these heart connections. These heart connections are the bonds that form your tribe. Your tribe is comprised of those individuals who you don’t have to talk to everyday, yet they get you. They accept all of you. They don’t judge and they bask in all that God created in you. They are genuinely concerned about your well-being. They offer their love and are not afraid to tell you when you aren’t walking down the right path. This is your tribe. Hold on tight when you find them. It’s a very simple thing yet it’s complex. With your tribe, you can be physically or virtually in the same space and there is an unspoken understanding that is present. It’s a wonderful blessing. I thank you God for my tribe.

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Lesson Learned: Energy is everything, don’t ignore it.

Lessons are presented to us every day. After the lessons are presented, it requires recognition and acceptance. One lesson I have learned over time is that “energy is everything, don’t ignore it.”

One of many powerful statements by Maya Angelou was, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them.”  I have been disappointed by people so many times that it is far too numerous to count.  Due to the amount of disappointments that I have encountered from people, I have learned to accept the energy I feel from them.

I believe in basking in the beauty of my fellow man, being a cordial person, and being reliable in building and maintaining relationships. Due to those beliefs, I could not fathom how another person would not possess those qualities also. Boy, was I naïve.

In the past, I had difficulty accepting why a person who just met me would not like me.  I also had difficulty being in one-sided relationships; relationships that were all about the other person and never about me.

It is not my responsibility to try and understand why a person who does not know me sees me in an unfavorable light. I also do not have to accept one-sided relationships.  It means that our energies are not aligned and that is perfectly ok. Once a person has drawn the proverbial line in the sand and wants me to know by their actions who they are and how they feel about me, then I accept that. It makes life so much easier. A relative of mine once told me “I deal with those who want to deal with me”.

It takes all kinds of people to make up this world. While it would be ideal for all people to be welcoming and possess beautiful spirits, there are times that it is just not the case. Energy is indeed everything. These days when I feel the energy emanating from a person, I accept it as such. Energy is quite truthful.

 There is enough dark energy in the world, so I strive to walk in the light as much as I can. There are days when it gets hard to walk in the light. But it is then I am reminded of the poem, “Footprints in The Sand.”

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Triggered

Life is not designed to be lived out in a perfect bubble. Trouble comes, darkness seeps in, and grief washes over us. However, I do believe that we can control our spaces by choosing to center ourselves with things that elevate us. To do this we must consciously try to avoid the landmines in our lives that can trigger negative feelings. In today’s climate it seems almost unavoidable to do so. It can be done. It just requires a concerted effort on our parts.

We must be aware of our surroundings and informed about the things that are happening in the world. But how do we navigate through the muddy waters of terrible news, vicious attacks, and hateful rhetoric? All of which are on constant display every single day. We navigate through those waters by choosing what comes in our space. Whatever is in your power to control is what you should aim for.

Stop following cycles of news that brings out the anger and rage in you. Stop following people that have viewpoints that will flame the fires of misunderstanding and negative emotions in you. Stop walking through landmines that you know will rage war in your spirit. There are many ugly realities of life that will show up on your doorstep without you having to invite it. Why trigger unnecessary drama in your soul by picking a fight? Why trigger rage within your spirit by purposely walking in the midst of situations that will cause conflict?

James 4:1-4 (ESV) says “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” Ultimately, that is what it boils down to, indulging in worldliness. We are inhabitants of this world but we don’t have to be of this world. For if we indulge in worldliness, we will be triggered by all of Satan’s traps. We will be filled with anger and develop a contentious spirit.

James 1:19-21 (ESV) says: “19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” We must tunnel our vision to the things of righteousness to keep things in proper perspective. God’s word is good. God’s word is true. God’s word will calm our troublesome spirit and help us to walk in his light. God’s word is the perfect counter to Satan’s antics that aim to remove us from the righteous path that he’s laid out for those who seek it.

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Pour Just A Little….

Lord, you’re amazing. You’ve been sending me signs all week. Messages sprinkled through a song, a friend’s encouraging words, and a potential new opportunity to grow to new heights in my personal life. I feel myself coming out of the darkness I’ve been buried in for far too long. Thank you for sending just a little love my way. Thank you for sprinkling a little grace on me today. Thank you for kissing me with just a little mercy. Thanks for being my Heavenly Father who loves me so. Thank you for pouring all of what you know I need to walk in my destiny.

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The New “Normal”

The new normal feels like a bad dream, even more so it feels like the beginning of Armageddon. I went for a drive yesterday and a thought ran through my mind, I can no longer feel the normalcy of the world. Ever since the pandemic seized the world, Pandora’s box of ugly things is seemingly falling out. With each passing day, it seems harder to find human decency. There is more abundance of rudeness and heartlessness. However, the pandemic has in my opinion, magnified it. It is a struggle to feel the beauty in the world more often than not these days. I am aware that prior to this pandemic the world had ugliness in it. The word of God prophesied it. However, reading it and living it are two different things. It’s downright scary. The world as I’ve known it, will never be again. This is the new normal and it will only get worse from here.

I will fight against this new normal. I’ll fight against it by staying connected with God. I’ll fight against it by connecting with nature. I’ll fight against it by searching for anything positive I can encounter. And once I encounter any positive thing, I’ll lock into it like a dog with his/her beloved bone. Through it all, God is still in control. He’s bigger than this new normal and all the ugliness that it’s tagging along with it. That fact along should dissipate the uneasy feeling that lingers beneath the surface of my spirit. Frankly, it does not. The uneasiness will just have to exist alongside the light I’m fighting for. I know the new normal is here to stay. However, I simply refuse to accept this new normal in my personal space.

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Arising from Hibernation

It has been four years since my last post. Where have I been during this time? To be frank, I’ve been asleep. I’ve simply been existing and not living. Inspiration has been non-existent. However, it was not by choice. Trust me, this is a horrible station in life. I have seen so much productivity all around me and it eluded me. It was within reach but it was not for me. It was absolutely frustrating. It was frustrating because I wanted to walk in my purpose and I was simply not doing so.

For the first time in years, I feel the beginning feelings of what it means to wake up again. I’ll be honest, I’m not fully awake right now, I would say that it is more of a stirring. The beginning of something. Inconsistency is the one thing that I have battled with for many years. My spirit wants to scream right now to get to it. But experience has taught me I cannot rush the process. I simply have to be in the process and let God lead the way.  My mind wants to run and think far ahead but I think that is why I kept having so many false starts. I have to take one step at a time and let God order my steps.

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Breathe On My Soul

Breathe on my soul God. I hate being here. So void inside. Can’t feel. Running rampantly through life is never a good thing. At first it starts where you barely know that you are doing it. Next thing you know you are on a treadmill running at 100 miles per hour through your own life. You are running so hard and so fast that you cannot feel or hear your thoughts. Everything becomes chaotic. I am patiently waiting for God to breathe on my soul to restore peace so that I can walk in what he has for me to do. Writing this is the first step. I am just going to keep putting one foot in front of the other until I get out of this “mud”.

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I Am In The Wilderness

I have been in the wilderness for some time now. Void of feelings. Existing yet not living. I know exactly what is robbing me of life. It will subside very soon. But presently I am buried beneath all the debris. The fact that I see the tide turning in the very near future is very hopeful. Thanks God for the reset that is soon to come.

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Choosing Positivity

Life will not always present itself in a package full of roses. Life is what you make it. Your thoughts hold the key to how your journey will feel.  It will not change your journey, but thoughts play a vital part in how you choose to travel. You can travel life’s journey with a pessimistic viewpoint or an optimistic one. Take charge of your journey by choosing positivity.

Satan will always be on his job by throwing his darts your way. You have the power of the Holy Spirit inside you that will help you endure trials in an optimistic way. Philippians 4:8 says : “Finally, brethren, whatsover things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things..”

Capture negative thoughts and throw them back to Satan. Choose positivity today.

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Finishing Strong

Life gets in the way so strong sometimes that it can cloud your view. It can consume you so much on the negative side that it slows down your momentum on your Christian journey. Even worst, it can crumble you to pieces.

There you lay bruised and broken by the ugly tribulations of life.You want it to stop and go away. You don’t want to feel anything. You live your life holding your breath. You’re constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. The darkness is so deep that you can’t see the forest for the trees.

No one wants to feel bad and go through tough times. What is really difficult is when you are running to and for God and you’re met with crippling disappointments. God has words to help shift our perspective in the right way.

James 1:2-4 says “Count it all joy,my brothers,when you meet trials of various kinds,for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect,that you may be perfect and complete,lacking in nothing.”

James 1:12 says “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial,for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life,which God has promised to those who love him.”

In our human experience it’s very tough to remain steadfast while going through. How can you remain steadfast when the cards are stacked against you? Sometimes you have to forcibly push yourself to run to the Father. Sometimes you’re so bitter and angry from being battered by the storms of life that you can’t even pray. So how do you get past that? You have to push through it by forcing the word in your space. You may not feel better instantly, but by pushing through with the word it is a balm to your battered soul. You move along when you don’t feel like moving. Before long you’ll be back running your marathon. You’ll come out stronger. You’ll finish strong.

On the other side of it all you will be appreciative of the lessons learned. Psalms 119:71 says “It is good for me that I was afflicted,that I may learn your statutes. When you can grow to that point after all the trials, that is how you finish strong.

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God’s Got This….Thanks for The Reminder

I love how God can use different things in our lives to teach us lessons. Those lessons brings us back to the understanding of the fullness of who he is and what he is capable of. For the past three weeks, I have been anxious within my soul in the midst of a  physical storm. Of course I had no reason to be; knowing who my Father is. But the human part of me took hold and try as I might I could not shake my anxiety. Though it would subside from time to time, it would reappear.

Through it all, the Lord’s been faithful. He kept me and my family safe from hurt, harm, and danger. I truly thank him for that. Perhaps the most important message I received that I can take from it all is that God’s Got This. It is because he’s got this that I can rest in that and focus solely on him. As I encounter an upcoming obstacle I thank you God for that reminder.

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6, 7

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Confidence In The Lord

God knows how to get our attention. He also knows how to bring us back to him. I’m personally in the midst of a “potential” fearful place in my life. I have purposely placed quotation marks around the word potential because it is exactly that “potential”. It does have the potential to bring me to a fearful place in my life as I go through this ordeal. However, it would only happen if I choose not to keep my eyes on the Lord.

However, I choose to have confidence in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He’s the ultimate source of peace. His word reminds me in II Timothy 1:7 (For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.) It is already well.

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God’s Acknowlegment

Everyone wants to be acknowledged in some way for the good things they do. We all have an innate desire to be appreciated. It hurts when our concerns, our help, our voices, or our work goes unnoticed by others. If we’re not careful resentment can easily seep in. We may start to say things like, ” ‘Why should I say anything it won’t make a difference. Why should I vote, my voice won’t be heard or nothing will ever change. Why help no one will notice what I’ve done.’ ”

Have you ever thought that those feelings are Satan’s ploys? He doesn’t want us to help. He doesn’t want us to pour into people. He wants us to throw up our hands and say why bother. It’s how we choose to look at these situations that makes all the difference. We should not work unto man in the first place. We should work unto the Lord. Proverbs 3:6 says “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path.” Psalm 118:8, 9 says “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.” Psalm 146:3 goes even further and says ” Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.”

This simply means that man is not perfect and is subject to frailties and faults. With that said he or she is incapable of being another’s complete source of satisfaction. He or she is incapable of providing the deep spiritual needs that most of us desire to be filled. For example, we may seek acknowledgement and understanding but because we all are mere humans and subject to brokeness ourselves we are unable to always provide that to others. But we have a God who can provide the very things that we so desire. He is the only one that can fill the needs that we have. John 4:14 says ” But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into an everlasting life.”

If we seek God first we will acquire everything we need and be surrounded by his blessings. We will have peace that surpasses all understanding. We will have joy unspeakable that will overshadow the brokeness we feel when others don’t understand or acknowledge us. Why? Because we will have gained the proper perspective. We will then know God will provide all that we need because we will have acknowledged that HE is the source of everything that we need. So when we recognize that God is that source we can rest on that. 

As we go out into the world to be about our Father’s business ;whether it be by showing a simple act of kindness, helping those in need, working in our careers, tending to our families, or providing our civic duty let’s remember why we are doing it. We’re not doing it for show, or to boast and brag, or to get a pat on the back such as the Pharisees. We are doing it unto the Lord. It will put things in it’s proper place and we will avoid the trap of the enemy. Galations 6:9 says “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” And in eternity we will have the greatest acknowlegment where it counts the most, from God himself. Matthew 25:21 “His Lord said unto him, Well done thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler of many things: enter thou unto the joy of thy lord.”

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Identity Crisis

Is it possible to be a Christian and not know who you are fully? The answer is most definitely a yes. Identity crises come in many forms. I’m sure to some this concept of a professing Christian struggling with an identity crisis is foreign.

In our society today we truly don’t give God his just due. We don’t place him in the proper position in our lives. We place everything and everyone in his space instead. We place our careers over God when we allow what we do to define who we are and if we’re worthy of even being “somebody”.

We place others (like our spouses, family members, friends, business partners etc.) over God when we’re concerned with the way they respond to us. We try to make them want us, love us, and stay connected to us. We try to use human wisdom to create bliss within the confines of a relationship. We seek affirmation, validation, and adoration solely from others.

We place our children over God when we’re concerned with molding them to conform to the world’s idea of success, which is nothing except external factors of such. We deposit in their little minds all the wordly deeds it takes to live a happy life. We’ll even throw a Christian cliche  (for example: don’t forget to put God first) in for good measure when we “counsel” them.

We place causes over God when we pursue it to the point of exhaustion or worst, to be recognized as a good person either by God or man. After we go behind the scenes of trying to mold and whip our own lives into a perfect little box, we are often exhausted and disappointed. When the smoke clears after all that “hard work” we begin to see all we’ve really accomplished is chasing the wind.

 God reveals that when we chase the wind we’re wrapping ourselves inside idols. He reveals that we don’t yet know fully who we are in HIM. So we instead try to establish our identity through these and other sources. Idols cannot heal, cannot love without fault, cannot satisfy, cannot quench, cannot save, and cannot nurture our souls. Idols cannot affirm or validate us. They can’t reach inside that essential part of soul and spirit where only God can reach.With idols we will always have a disappointment or a reoccurring longing  because we choose to put anything in God’s position, instead of God himself.

After the disappointment(s) are feelings of disbelief, bitterness, and emptiness. We have our expectations riding on different factors. Many times we miss so ultimately our lives become spinning circles. Once we put on our spiritual eyes, we become aware of the major identity crisis issues we have. But this is the very place to start. By looking at our surrounding circumstances, other people, and ourselves through spiritual eyes we get to learn who we are in God. It’ll bring peace and joy unspeakable.

This is no small feat. It is a process. Processes are not always fun but is neccessary for our progression and growth in spiritual matters. Once we ackowledge and relish in the fact that we are wonderfully and fearfully made by God, that we are made in his image, that we are a royal priesthood, etc., we can rest in him because we’ll finally know who we are. After that freedom will abound.

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Fire

It’s amazing what goes on when Satan is attacking you.  It can feel like your world has totally collapsed. Your spirit is beyond crushed. Your soul feels hollow. All hope seems lost. You walk aimlessly through life not knowing if you are coming or going.

As a Christian who is familiar with the word, you know all about the Scriptures that can be a balm for your wounded spirit. Yet, you fall so low you can’t even seem to grab hold to what you know will be good to you and good for you. You my friend are smack dab in the middle of a raging fire. You’re dropping and rolling constantly trying not to get burned. It is sheer agony.

I am here to tell you DO NOT MOVE. Yes, you’ve heard me correctly. DO NOT MOVE. As much as you want to take matters into your hands, the battle is not yours, it’s the Lord’s. He will fight on your behalf and win. You will be delivered from the fiery grips of Satan and his agents. Two passages of Scripture that are especially helpful to me in circumstances like this are Daniel 3: 26-27.

Daniel 3:26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.

Daniel 3:27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

More passages of Scriptures that can help you quench the raging fire that surround you are Ephesians 6:10-16.

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Ephesians 6:12 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.

Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt, about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Ephesians 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Stand, child of God. While tears wash your face, stand. While your knees shake, stand. While your legs are about to give way dig your heels in the earth and stand. All the while that you are standing communicate with the Almighty and watch and see the power of God move on your behalf. You will come forth from the fire shiny and new with God’s glory.

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The Safest Place……

As I look back over my life thus far, I realize I am truly blessed. I know there are some days that are darker than others but overall I treasure the fact that I’m covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. However, I was born with a sin nature, so I’ll naturally do some things that are contrary to my faith. But as foolish as I can be sometimes, he still looks after me.  If I am lost, he finds me. If I act unseemingly, he tugs at my heart. For everything bad I do, he’s always there to counter it with something good.

I am not saying that to say that I can live my life with no regard; but God grants us grace and mercy for such times. I  thank him for it because he doesn’t owe me anything. He gives it to me because he’s God.  I want to walk in his will because it’s the safest place to be. The power of prayer can make that happen. I do trust that the work that he has begun in me will be made manifest.

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One Step At A Time

God never ceases to amaze me. Prior to my last post, I felt well…. blah. I was in the throws of complacency and irritable over being inconsistent in my Christian walk. Almost immediately after I posted it, this feeling of renewal started to erupt inside of me.

It is as if God said ” I was just waiting on you to come forth so I could give you what you’ve been longing for.” I have heard it said that if we make one step he’ll make two. Words won’t do justice to how remarkable I feel right now. So I’ll just bask in His glow. Yes I’ve fallen and I will fall again and again. But I will get up and walk closer to him one step at a time.

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Falling Away

In November I blogged about the fight to hold on. Well, those words ring so true for me  right now.  To be frank, I feel awful about my Christian walk at this moment. My inconsistency irritates me to no end. I feel as if I am walking in a desert and seeing water from a distance. I walk closer only to discover it is a mirage.

I can see the communion with Jesus and the solid peace one gets in his presence (because I have experienced it myself time and time again). I know that to have this  the heart and spirit must be in sync with him. But I am void of the passion it takes to firmly hold on tight. I want it but I feel as if I am lacking the will to be firmly locked in his care. It sounds confusing because in most cases it is simple. If you want it just go after it, or just do it. But for me, the will in spiritual matters is complex. I have allowed different things to pull me away so my passion for things spiritual has waned. I have breached my connection to God and that was not my intention.

While blogging this entry, I already see an answer; which is to pray. I can do NOTHING without him. Not even become closer to him.  I was born in sin and shaped in iniquity. Even though I know this, it still feels awful to fall away from Jesus when I know the truth. But I am trusting God that he will restore the breach that I have placed on our connection. Thank you God for loving me in spite of myself.

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All I Want For Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching. Only a few days away and we will be celebrating the birth of Christ Jesus. At least that should be the focus of the holiday. In the hustle and bustle that happens during this time, the holiday seems to have been overtaken with aspects of materialism and commercialism. It appears to be about the newest and shiniest electronics, automobiles, jewelry, toys, clothes, etc.

If we are not careful Jesus can get lost in it all.  We tend to rely on Christmas decorations and gifts to get us in the “Christmas spirit”. We create Christmas lists as personal checklists of desires ; anxiously anticipating if our requests are under the tree. I have not submitted any requests to any of my loved ones for Christmas. But I do have one request that I will submit to Jesus personally. All I want for Christmas is HIM. After all, as the saying goes, “Jesus really is the reason for the season.”

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Everyday is a day of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving. It is the official holiday set aside for us to tell of all we are thankful for. As Christians, we should know that everyday is truly Thanksgiving. Or at least it should be. God has done so many things for us. He sent his son Jesus to give us salvation through his death. He gives us provision, protection, security, his love, grace, mercy, etc.

When we start to think of God and his nature, thanks can become overflowing. I want to take time today to thank God for his presence, his nature, his love, etc. I will thank him everyday because of who he is and because he loves me.

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Fight To Hold On….

There is never a dull moment on the Christian journey. There are  frequent twists and turns that we as Christians encounter within ourselves. Sometimes it can feel like we’re walking with our knees knocking, while other times we can feel like we’re standing sturdy like trees. This little fact just makes me know that complacency is not for the Christian. An upset to the game plan can happen in a heartbeat. When events in our surroundings are lining up just right and all seems well in our personal lives; we must be on guard. During this time we need to immerse ourselves in the word of God. We must crawl and scratch our way toward him. Though it is not our intent, this is usually the time that we allow our hands to slip away from His.

Our hands slip away by the internet, the children, the spouse, the job, the extended family, the friends, the enemies, the media,  the worthy causes, etc. It’s a little bit here, then a little bit there. Before we know it we have totally let go of the Father’s hand. Personally, I hate this place. I would love to stay in heavenly bliss with the Father at all times. The beauty of constant and tight communion would be ideal, but it is not the reality.  The fall of man and Jesus’ ascension on earth to die for our sins represents the tug of war between the carnal and the spiritual sides of us. As much as I would love to keep my grip of the Father, my reality can best be described in what Paul has to say in Romans 7:14-24.

On a personal note, things for me now are “decent”. To be frank that scares me. It scares me because this “decent order” in my life has not been good for me spiritually in the past. It hasn’t been good because I did not know how to walk in it. So with that said, I am running to the Father. I am reminded of Jacob’s struggle with the angel in Genesis 32:24-29. In the midst of the struggle he would not give up the fight. He stated that he would not let go until he received his blessing. That scripture is very powerful in navigating through the waters of complacency on the Christian journey.  In the struggle we must fight to hold on.

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I’m Not Staying There…. I Am Resting on God’s Word

I heard God tell me what his purpose was for my life.  So naturally, I want to be about his business and move towards it . However, I recently encountered yet another setback on the journey toward God’s purpose for my life.  This is not exactly new territory for me. I have been in this place before. When this latest roadblock appeared, I felt the despair seeping in. Then I thought “wait, you know what he can do. You know what he has already done  for you. You also know what he told you. You know what he gave you to do. ” 

No matter what rocks, boulders, or stones the enemy throws on my path; I know that God has mapped out a  plan for my life. Ultimately, he is in control. I know what he has given me to do and I am determined to live and walk in his purpose for my life. I have to rest in the fact that God has infinite wisdom and he knows how to orchestrate time and events for a given purpose. 

I have to be reminded to move out of the way and let him lead. I cannot move ahead of him. I must also be reminded that there is a purification and refining process that has to take place in order to get to my purpose in God. I have to rest in the knowledge that he knows best about everything, including time. Not right now does not mean not ever. Especially when he told me what his purpose was for me.  

It becomes a matter of gaining the wisdom to see the difference between God’s truths and Satan’s lies. Satan knows the word as well and he is so subtle that  it can be easy to fall into his trap. So I am purposely seeking God through this. I can’t allow Satan to pull me away into the darkness of despair. My focus has to be about staying in Christ. My focus has to be on praising his name, in spite of my circumstances. These roadblocks are devices that Satan uses to try to knock me off of the path that God has laid for me . It will get harder and hotter along the way, but I am choosing to trust in what I know for sure. I hear Satan trying to call me to despair and discouragement. I’m not staying there. I am going to rest on God’s word instead.

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I Know I’m Not The Only One

 As I stated in an earlier post , I have not arrived but I am ever becoming.  I know that I will not arrive until I hear those infamous heavenly words ” well done thy good and faithful servant.” Until that time, I will be stretched, pulled, bent, and twisted on this journey. With that said, at times I have “unique feelings” about the Christian journey. I often wonder about some Christians who appear to have it all together to the point of looking down their nose on others. Allow me to expound on that.

There are times I encounter certain Christians and it is always “praise God” or quoting scriptures after every other word. What’s  ironic is that those same individuals could never reach me where I was. It seemed they could never identify with what I was going through at the time. Whenever I turned to them for advice or direction, I felt a coldness. It felt as if they were too lofty for little old me. I often left feeling even more alone than before I met with them.

I often said within myself, surely they weren’t always “this together”. Have they ever felt empty sitting in church? Have they ever felt indifferent? How did they overcome complacency? Have they ever felt angry at the seemingly unfair judgments of God?  How did they get their confidence in God’s promises? But when I would try to ask for a personal testimony of how they felt inside while going through, they always seem to avoid that part and expound on typical Christian cliches.

I started seeing things in the body of Christ that were contrary to what it said in the bible. I read in the bible in Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith”. I also read in Romans 12:16 “Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.”

I also read the various accounts of Christ’s ministry when he came to earth in the flesh. He always had the ability to reach people where they were. He associated with people that were not exactly the “choice” people of the day. He could also identify because he was met with all the things we face such as temptation, sorrow, weariness, etc.

Here is my personal testimony for getting through these “sour feelings”. I am honest with God about the less than favorable feelings I feel. He already knows so why pretend? I also tell him how I don’t want to feel that way whether it is anger towards someone, using profanity, acting ugly, overcoming addictions, feeling complacent or indifferent on the Christian journey,etc. I ask him to take it away from me or give me the grace that is needed to go through it. I ask him for the grace to accept his will.

 I go deep with God because I desire a  deep and meaningful relationship with him. I don’t want pretense. It is not a bed of roses.  What I am learning is that when you decide that you want to go deeper in your relationship with Christ, attacks of every kind intensifies. I am also learning  that when I truly seek answers from him he shows himself in a mighty way.

He started sending fellow Christians my way that were unlike the ones I spoke of earlier. They could identify with what I was experiencing. They could reach me where I was because they had been there and did not mind sharing their experiences, raw emotions and all. I saw such rich lights  illuminating from them. There was so much substance in the words they spoke.

God also starting revealing himself to me personally through his word. He revealed that his chosen prophets had doubts, did not obey, lost their way, etc. He revealed that Jesus himself could identify with my trials. That always blows my mind. It is then that I know his word is true. It is then that I know that I’m not the only one.

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The Empty Christian Life, Who Knew of Such A Thing?

When I first decided to live for Christ, the spiritual high I felt was nothing short of sheer ecstasy.  I was so enthusiastic about living and working for the Lord. Things were going pretty well. As usual, there were a few trials that came along the way.

I sought the only solution I knew, which was Jesus. He worked it out. I said thank you and life moved on. Wow! I thought what a wonderful formula. Then the trials started coming more frequently and more heavily. They also stayed a lot longer. The assurance and confidence I felt inside slipped away from me. I fought to hold on through “surface”faith and will power.

The fire I had within was suddenly extinguished. I could no longer feel the warmth that flooded my soul. It was replaced by a cold and numb feeling. I knew where to turn to make this feeling go away. But I was so empty and listless that I could not pray. I could not talk to HIM or read the Word. I simply could not move beyond the despair.

Even while sitting in church services, I felt empty. I saw the spirit moving and wished I could grab hold to just a little. But it passed right over me. So I did the only thing I knew to do. I asked God to come back to me. I asked him to help me. I wanted to feel him again. I leaned on him while I felt empty. Revelations came strong as he started speaking to me.

He told me that he never left me. I just took my focus away from him and onto my circumstances. I allowed life to block my view of him. He also planted in my spirit the scripture where Peter momentarily walked on the water (Matthew 14:28-31). When he focused on Jesus he walked on the water. When he saw the boisterous winds he was afraid and began to sink.

Another revelation was given to me while sitting in a church service. While sitting through a sermon that was drowned by the emptiness I felt inside, the preacher said something that hit me like a freight train.

He stated “God is not always in the sensational, but he is in the still small voice”. I knew then that God was calling me to another level of maturity on this Christian journey. Growth is usually not a walk in the park. There is a lot of twisting, stretching and pulling. But it is a necessary component to bring me to the purpose that God has for my life. I have not arrived, I am ever becoming.

 I have to  remain plugged into the power source that is Jesus. He tells us in his word that he wants us to abide in him (Matthew 15: 4-10). Whenever I remember the feeling of emptiness,  I see the importance of abiding in him. It will overcome emptiness every single time.

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Moving and Growing Through Disappointment

Life can create a series of blows to our character and spirit. We encounter many issues on the journey. Some of which can be devastating to our inner person. We experience loss, grief, rejection, and many other negative responses. These seemingly earth shattering events can take us out; if we allow it.

There are things that we can do to overcome the despair. The following suggestions can be used to move and grow through the disappointment.

1. Have awareness- We should be in tuned with ourselves and our emotions. We must take full ownership of them.

2. Process properly-Processing our emotions should be done  in stages.

  • We should allow ourselves to grieve, feel hurt, feel displaced, feel rejected, etc.  We must be honest with ourselves about our true feelings. However, we shouldn’t remain in that place.
  • Be objective while participating in self assessment. We should give ourselves a hard and honest talk but shouldn’t embrace the “woe is me” approach. Now is not the time to have a pity party.
  • Embrace optimism and positivity with passion and purpose.

3. Deposit- Despite what we feel we have lost or don’t receive, we should sow into the lives of others.

  • Pray  for ourselves. Pray that God remove resentment and bitterness from our spirit.
  • Pray for those that have hurt us with the love of Christ. It is especially helpful to pray at the onset of a disappointment to keep bitterness from setting in.
  • Don’t expect reciprocation. This may prove a very difficult principle. However, by learning to give without expecting anything in return we can love freely without conditions. Thus, enlarging our investment in love and joy.
  • Give of ourselves with joy. When our spirits get low we should immerse ourselves in God’s word, which will produce his love and positivity within us. This will also silence the lies that Satan can plant in our spirit.

Disappointment can prove to be uncomfortable. If we choose to use God’s tools and fight through with determination we’ll see the bright side of life. We will also be the better for it.