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Strengthening the Inner Man


I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his spirit. Ephesians 3:16

Our Spirits are the parts of ourselves capable of truly worshipping the Father. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well, that the Father was seeking those who will worship him in Spirit and in truth. Scripture tells us that “A cheerful heart is like medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” Proverbs 17:22. 

 A weak spirit leaves you vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. If your spirit is weakened, you may be experiencing an unbearable feeling of grief, loneliness and despair. In addition, a wounded spirit causes you to be easily overwhelmed by challenges, wreaks havoc in relationships, and keeps you hostage to living with a victim mentality.  A weak spirit can be evidence of a deteriorated prayer life, and a lack of immersion in God’s word.

 God places more of a priority on your Spirit, than he does on your physical body.  Paul wrote to Timothy cautioning that while exercise was good for the body and useful, it is in living a Godly disciplined life that is even greater for it not only prepares you to live life in the now, but it prepares you for an eternal life with Christ. God wants you to be strong in spirit, and he has already equipped you with the mind of Jesus Christ. Now, you are accountable for cultivating the Spirit of Christ within you. 

Prayer: Father, in the name of Jesus, your word declares that a broken and remorseful heart you would never despise and turn away. I offer myself to you now Lord, please make me whole again. Strengthen me where I am weak, give me a hunger and thirst to drink more of you.  Speak to me clearly, that I may know and do your will for my life. Thank you for being my strength. Amen.

Now, take at least three minutes, consider at least two areas of your life where you may have been experiencing chaos, those things that may be out of alignment with the principles of God. Write them below, use only line. Then, write down how you feel God is be leading you to correct them. 

Aspire: Fighting for Victory

This weekend I had the honor and pleasure of seeing my little cousin, who isn’t so little anymore graduate from college. As I watched her and the other graduates receive their degrees, my heart smiled. I loved being in the stadium as family and friends shouted and whistled their celebratory cheers. The air, thick with positive energy and joy was rather exhilarating.

 I had experienced many challenges as I prepared to travel to my hometown, in fact at one point I thought I was going to have to cancel, I’m glad I didn’t.

 I was excited for the weekend to arrive. I was eagerly anticipating being with my family for such a special occasion. Especially, since pomp and circumstance usually inspire and excite me.  However, the day before I prepared to leave, it seemed as if “all hell” broke loose. Suddenly, it seemed as if chaos manifested out of nowhere. I began to feel overcome with despair. Except, chaos doesn’t just happen suddenly. Or, does it?

Sudden Chaos

Does chaos just happen suddenly? No! At least that’s my opinion. Now, I’m not talking about events that are truly beyond our control such as terrorist attacks, or illnesses. I’m specifically referring to things we can control like, budgeting, or household needs, time management, etc.

Truthfully, we plan for chaos when we fail to plan. We also invite chaos when we don’t seek to properly inform ourselves. Honestly, I created the chaos because I failed to pay attention to the small details of my life. Which oddly enough, has been the story of my life……. Until Now!

Here are the main three reasons chaos found its way into my life this week:

  1. I’m used to Chaos- It’s a residual effect of the lack mindset that once ruled the way I saw the world.
  2. Failure to Plan- Disorganization and a busy lifestyle are a recipe for disaster.
  3. Procrastination- Is a real thief. Putting off important tasks for later.

From Chaos to Calm

I really can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. I can have the life he purposed for me to have, if I am bold and courageous enough to ask him for what I want and need. And, what I want is to see order, joy and peace permanently restored in my life. I want to pursue and accomplish goals. I want to be a blessing to others every time the opportunity presents itself.

 In order to achieve these blessed outcomes, misaligned values and priorities must be synergized with the Godly principle which governs that value. The word of God declares that as long: as the earth remains there will always be seed time and harvest (See Genesis 8:22).  

Very plainly, the Lord advises us that whatever a man sows, the same is what he shall reap (Galatians 6:7-9). If I don’t plan for success, then success will elude me. If I don’t enhance my skill sets, then I may miss a golden opportunity to increase my income. If I want to lose weight, then I must follow the laws and principles which govern health and wellness. I must plan healthier food choices and exercise. If my finances are out of control, then I must adhere to the rules of economics and finance if I am to regain control of my financial health. The point is, you get from life, what you put into it.

Aspirational Contentment

I want MORE! I know, I’m a Christian and I’m supposed to be content with whatever station of life I am in, or at least that’s the way I used to think. And, yes, I am content only because I know GOD is with me, even when chaos comes rolling in. But I have seen God’s original vision and plan for my life, and it’s the life I want. So, unashamedly I AM saying, I want More! I want MORE of his Spirit. I want MORE freedom. I want MORE time with my family. I want MORE Peace.

As long as I live, there will always be challenges, threats to my life of abundance and peace. “Because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me” (1 Corinthians 16:9).  The struggle simply creates the opportunity for me to experience Christ’s victory. I’m thankful I have been taught the principle of re-framing my thoughts to change my perception of whatever reality I may be experiencing at any given moment. Even as I was crying, I was praying and giving thanks to God for making a way for me even when it seemed to be hopeless.

I will never again be so willing to throw in the towel, to give into despair.  I’m aspiring to greater levels in my life.  Because of God’s grace, I can make plans and present them to him for guidance and words of wisdom. I don’t have to stay in cyclical chaos, because I host the presence of Christ, and where he is, there is freedom and peace. I don’t have to be a slave to procrastination, because I have what it takes to resolve any issues that may arise. I AM prepared to fight for the life Christ died for me to have. Thankfully, I don’t really have to fight because Christ fought for me, and He WON!

Leaving chaos behind like….
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Getting Along Together: Joy to the World

I’m new to the Blogosphere, and I’m loving it.  I want this blog to be a blessing to all who visit this site. I hope to have 1 million followers one day soon. But, it’s not about me, or what I want. After all, I was called and sent to preach one message, Christ, and Christ crucified.

This is what is known as the Good News Gospel!

Many in the world are getting ready to celebrate the birth of Christ on Christmas. There will be Christmas Cantata’s and carolers singing, “Joy to the World for the Lord has Come, Let Earth receive her King” ………

As we prepare for the upcoming holiday season, I can’t help but replay the line; “Joy to the World for the Lord has Come.” And, I wonder how many of us may have forgotten, or perhaps rarely consider that not only has the Lord already come, but he is yet still COMING. Indeed, Earth will one day again receive her King. BUT, are we ready for his return?

FAITHFUL AND TRUE WORDS

Are we ready for Christ’s return? In asking this question, I consider the state of my own heart, the state of our World, and I am sad to say we are not ready for his return. Truth is we should be making ourselves ready every day. We should also be helping each other to get ready as well. Instead, we fall prey to division, feuding and petty arguments.

As for myself, I have been guilty of letting myself become distracted with petty arguments and feuds. But, at this very moment I hear the Lord saying, “Pursue Peace with all men if at all possible” (See Romans 12:18 NIV). I especially love the message version which says: “Don’t hit back; Discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do” (Romans 12: 17-19 MSG).  From a heavenly perspective,I don’t have time to be upset over petty arguments. Neither do you!

Come Lord, Come!

Christ is returning, and there are so many people who need to hear the message of Love and Redemption. In Revelation, the Lord say’s he is coming back with his rewards. He will be handing to every man the reward for his deeds, but to those who washed their robes and made themselves ready, they will have the right to the Tree of Life, and will be able to enter Eden, Paradise.

People need to know Christ died for their freedom. People need to know that you don’t have to earn Heaven, Christ earned it for them. People need to know all they need to do is Believe! Believe, Jesus is the Son of God. Believe, he died; rose again, and is yet still alive!  For some, the Cross is utter Foolishness, but to whoever will believe, the Cross is the Power of God to those who are being Saved (See 1 Corinthians 1:18).

Therefore, I Urge You……

Dear Church Folk, my Dear Brothers and Sisters, Let’s Get over ourselves and be about Our Father’s business.  From the beginning of time, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful people are attacking it (See Matthew 11:12 NIV). The Kingdom is upon us Now! Let us Act. Let us Love. Let us Heal. Let us Care for the orphan and the Widow. After all, our service is our worship to him.

Lord, I am sorry I let the cares of this life distract me even for a moment. I am mindful of your grace; in my weakness your strength is perfect. I’m very weak right now, so I trust you to be Very Strong thru me. I am Blessed because of you.

 I’m a Blessed Woman, only because I am willing to let God display his power and love to a dying world thru me.  After all, God still loves this world very much, even though the world doesn’t love him back.  

LET THERE BE LIGHT!

Friday’s (Show Me My Worth)

For years, I worked in Risk Management, and conducted incident investigations (I loved it).  In Risk Analysis, the goal is to discover the Root Causes of faults, or problems.  Once the “root” is identified, then we establish the proper controls to either eliminate the hazard or mitigate the damages.

Well, when I found myself at my lowest point in life. I found it necessary to ask GOD to reveal to me the “Root Cause” of the issues in my Life. I’m a writer of Poetry, and this is the Prayer/Poem I wrote. I called it “Friday’s (Show Me My Worth). At the time, I hated Friday nights. Loneliness seemed to be at its LOUDEST on Fridays.  Not anymore, thankfully. 

Anyway, I’m dedicating this to anyone who may feel discouraged, overwhelmed or Lonely. God is with you. You are Loved.   More importantly, you are NOT alone.  Jesus Loves you, and I Love you too. I hope you enjoy.

Friday’s

I wish that I could say that

I’ve never been a fool for love

Never Been the type to be

Took advantaged of But,

That’s not my truth and I don’t feel the need to lie to you.

I wish that I could say that

I never act CRAZY,

All the time, Every Time I act like a Lady But,

That’s not my truth, I Know my truth. Now, so do you.

I wish that I could say that

I’ve made the Best decisions

Never said a word to cause any Division But,

No, I’m not perfect. Yes, I’m imperfect. Beautifully Broken.

I wish that I could say that

Every man I’ve ever loved

Always Loved me back But,

That’s not the truth, Truth is Never, Not one.

Never, no not one

Never, no not one

Was well enough to be the man I needed

My heart often conceded or maybe I’m just conceited

Lord, show me the Root Cause of my Hurt

My Heart, Oh God it hurts

Show me my worth Lord

Next time I’ll Seek you First

Friday’s the worst day, Friday my love went away

God, I need to know, show me the Root cause of my hurt

My heart, Lord it hurts

Show me my worth

I wish that I could say that

I’ve never been a fool for love

Never Been the type to be

Took advantaged of But,

That’s not my truth, I know my truth. Now, so do you.

LOYALTY It seems my greatest Strength was my greatest Weakness

LOVED him UNCONDITIONALLY.

I WAS Loyal to a Fault, when he was NEVER Loyal to Me.

I wish that I could say that

Every man I’ve ever loved

Was always Worthy, But

That’s not the truth,

He didn’t deserve it, they don’t deserve it, Heck No, he didn’t deserve it.

Lord, show me the Root Cause of my Hurt

My Heart, Oh God it hurts

Show me my worth Lord

Next time I’ll Seek you First

Friday’s the worst day, Friday’s a tough dy.

Friday my love went away.

God, I need to know, show me the Root cause of my hurt.

My heart, Lord it hurts

Show me my worth LORD.

Next time I’ll keep you first.

Unrestrained: Anxious, For What?

I’m a dreamer. Today, I take delight in this assertion. Admittedly, this was not always the case. I’m also an empathic, romantic idealist (which basically means I sometimes I prefer to see things the way they could be, rather than what is).

Trust me, this is not always as endearing as it sounds. I hated these labels because people often mistook me for being weak, naïve and emotional, as If being mindful of your emotions and the feelings of others somehow makes you incapable of being rational.

Nevertheless, today I take great pride in who I am, and in the person, I am becoming. I fully confident in Jesus, who is the author and finisher of my faith.

I Had a Dream….

Last week, I dreamt I was 9 months pregnant, and I was once again in a relationship with my Ex. I was so happy, then I began to go into labor. However, rather than go to the hospital, my ex began speaking into a microphone in front of a crowd.

As he spoke about another woman, I was embarrassed. I remember being astounded at his lack of empathy for how his words and actions were affecting me. I was hurt, and I no longer wanted to be in a relationship with him. Then, my contractions ceased, and my labor stopped. So, the dream ended with me being way past the due date, and unable to give birth to the baby I was carrying.

I knew the dream was a message from God for my life (Yes, God still speaks to people see Acts 2:17).  So, I asked him to give me an interpretation, and he did!

Restrained Affections

For me, 2019 has been a year of intensely seeking God’s will and plan for my life. While I was keenly focused on seeking the Kingdom of Heaven (see Matthew 6:33), I enjoyed:

  1. Increased peace
  2. Increased self-awareness
  3. An enhanced ability to hear from God

As the year progressed, several distractions began to surface. These external influences threatened to erase the growth I had attained and attempted to keep me from growing any further.

Some people are afraid to enter a relationship with Christ, because they are afraid of living a restrictive life. For many years, all people ever heard about the Christian life was what they “can’t do” where they “can’t go”, or “what they “can’t wear.” We tend to blame God for our unhappy situations. However, as the Apostle Paul expressed in 2 Corinthians 6:12, it is not the gospel which restrains us, but we are restrained by what we highly esteem and value. It is not that we should not aspire to accomplish goals, but we should be careful not to consider our own self-ambition over the plan and will of God.  We should always remember God’s primary plan is to prepare a Bride for his Son, Jesus. And, we our lives should be aligned to accomplish this mission, everything else is secondary.

The Message

In my dream, I was pregnant. The pregnancy was symbolic of the gift the Lord has paced within me, meant to be shared with the world. However, when I allowed my focus to be redirected to my ex, my labor ceased. My ex was on a stage and speaking into a microphone. This meant I had placed or was beginning to place a higher importance on my own desires. I was beginning to serve my own needs, rather than serving others. Therefore, the gift God placed in me was being hindered.

I am not going to let this happen to me or to you!  Below are four ways to live an unrestrained life:

  1. Know your own Limitations and put the proper boundaries in place.  When we are being tempted, we are being tempted by our own desires, not by God. (See James 1:14)
  • Be Anxious for Nothing, make your requests Known. Pray About Everything.  Be patient in hope. Waiting only increases the Joy you will experience when your desire is fulfilled.  (See Philippians 4:6)
  • Be mindful of the company you keep. Surround yourself with people who are honest and encouraging. Form the right alliances, can light have fellowship with darkness?  (See 2 Corinthians 6:14)
  • Serve God faithfully and with all your heart. God will give you your reward. You don’t have to strive to force things to work in your favor. (See Colossians 3:23-24).

 I love the new life and freedom I have found in Christ. Yet, there are times when I am reminded of my own shortcomings and desires.

I don’t always respond to every situation in the most Christ-like manner, and at times I still wince at an engagement video or wedding photo from time to time.  However, I believe the Lord was telling me not to allow myself to become too wrapped up in the things that I want to accomplish.

Perhaps, you too are waiting to receive the promises of God for your life. Or, maybe you need a resolution to a very difficult problem. Well, take heart God sees you, and he knows exactly what you need. Seek Be anxious for nothing and PRAY about everything. May God’s grace and peace be upon you, and I hope you all are empowered to DREAM BIG.

Authenticity: Take the Filters Off

Almost, every image-centric platform such as Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook lets their users post filtered photos. Millions of new images are updated daily, and these sites let users filter, edit, and crop out any undesirable aspects of themselves. Interestingly, it usually takes about 4 to 6 selfies, before a person usually decides to upload the one photo deemed to be upload worthy.

Unfortunately, this constant, secret visual manipulation creates an unrealistic portrait to onlookers of what other people and their lives look like. Consequently, this fixation on what we look like has led to decreased self-esteem, and increased anxiety. Now, there are studies being conducted to gain insights into just how much these unrealistic portraits are contributing to a mental health crisis.

Sadly, there are many people whose identities and self-worth are attached to the number of likes, and thumbs they receive underneath their photos. Unfortunately, those same people are left disillusioned by the social media world. And increasingly, as a society we are more concerned with creating the right illusion, that we are forgetting how to create meaningful real-life experiences.

So, it’s no wonder this disillusionment has spilled over into
the dating world……

Dating, whether meeting a person online or organically requires the dater to assume a level of risk.  So, when we decide to take on the daunting task of getting to know someone, we naturally and instinctively will put our “best foot” forward. Our desires to make a good impression intensifies as we inwardly ask, “Could this be the one?”

As a result, we often will withhold certain aspects of our lives and personalities from our prospective beaus. This is a completely normal and acceptable act. After all, you shouldn’t “expose your hand” up front. Especially, since the first date may be too early to know where the relationship is heading.

However, the problem arises when you are six months to one year into the relationship, and you still have not shown your true self to your beau.  This is what I call the “Filter Dating Syndrome.”

Filter Dating Syndrome

The truth is, falling in love, is scary!  Unfortunately, many people use filters in dating. We hide our true selves to make ourselves seem more attractive. We inherently believe that if another person knew all about our imperfections, then they couldn’t, and wouldn’t want to love us. This is caused by having a low self-efficacy. It means that the way we see our true selves is so low, that even if another person were to see your true value, you would distrust that individual.

On the other hand, there are those who are so afraid of being hurt, that they have imprisoned themselves behind a wall of hardheartedness. These people pretend not to care and keep people at a distance. This too is a filter.

Sadly, the root cause of our inferiority complex runs so deep, that it goes unrecognizable even to ourselves. So, we wear masks to hide behind, we put on the rainbow, flower filters, and just smile for the camera. All the while, we’re crying on in the inside and repelling the one thing we truly desire……. Authentic Love.

“We long to share our best selves with the person who would be trustworthy of receiving our best.” Shawn Bolz

 Authentic love requires vulnerability. Vulnerability is defined as the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. No one likes to be vulnerable. No one wants to be in a position where they must give someone else the power to hurt them. Yet, until we do so, we will not receive the deep, satisfying love our heart desires, and that Our Heavenly Father desires for us to have.

Three Ways to be YOU!

  1. Guard your Hearts

Scripture tells us in Proverbs 4:23, “above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” What we think, feel and believe about ourselves impacts our behavior. Take time to pray and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance on identifying the toxic, root cause of your faulty thinking. Seeking help from a Professional Counselor will aid in restoring a healthy self-concept.

  • Start Where You Are

According to Psalm 139: 14, You are fearfully and wonderfully made, so praise God!  Your journey is a God filled journey, and who you are right now, as you read this is so full of value. You are worthy, you are ENOUGH! The person who is meant to love you will celebrate your achievements and your failures, because it made you the person you are today.

  • Practice Being Vulnerable

I love Lamentations 3:40, which says “Let us examine our ways and test them and let us return to the Lord.” Ask yourself, how did you get to this point. Practicing vulnerability simply means, to be honest.  You only need just one person within your sphere of influence with whom you can be comfortable with sharing your story. Tell them your fears, your hopes and dreams. There is so much safety in the multitude of counsel and sharing our thoughts with people helps to provide a fresh perspective. Also, it forces us to consider points of views we may not have considered on our own.

Pouring out our grievances help to strengthen our inner worlds, so we can see God in the outside world.  If you don’t have people surrounding you that you can trust, then I pray the Holy Spirit aligns you with empathetic, and trustworthy people who can listen without prejudice.

In closing, I just want all of you to know that who you really are is worth loving. So, be free in the Lord’s presence.

Be free to show them who you really are. Take the filters off!

My face when I’m trying to see the Real YOU!

Let There Be Light: Erasing Mental Confusion

State of Confusion

Over the past year, I’ve experienced some pretty exciting, and stressful life changes. I begun a new job, moved, endured the unraveling of relationships, explored new business ventures, and started a blog 😊. All these circumstances presented their own unique challenges, and benefits. And, while I am grateful for every circumstance of life (benefits of contentment), at times I still feel stuck as I grapple with mental confusion.

Now, granted there are some who battle mental confusion due to an underlying disease, but my confusion is more closely related to information overload, stress and sometimes fatigue. However, mental confusion can also be the result of feeling as if you are not connected to your purpose. Purposelessness is stressful and unfulfilling. While lying across my bed, the Holy Spirit led me to explore the remedy for purposelessness, and it was found in the book of Genesis.

In the Beginning

Although, Genesis is the story of how the world came into existence, the Holy spirit began to reveal to me another aspect of the story. An aspect I had never considered before. More specifically, I began to see how the creation story also related to the human psyche. For those of you who need a refresher, see Below😊:

“Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the face of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” Genesis 1: 2-3

At the beginning, the earth was a giant gaseous ball of confusion. It had no function, and whenever there is no function, there is no purpose, and without purpose there is chaos. Confusion is defined as a lack of understanding, uncertainty, or the state of being bewildered.  However, this confusion was disrupted when God spoke “Let there be light.” I found this fascinating, because God spoke light into existence even before he created or called forth the Son (that’s another discussion 😊). At any rate, this phrase “Let there be Light” began to take on new meaning to me. In other words, something in me, began to Illuminate.

The Origins of Light

Light is produced deep within the Suns core via a process known as Fusion. Fusion is an intense interaction between the nuclei of two atoms merging into a new element. This process creates a photon, the particles of light that are released from the sun. Interestingly, it takes 40,000 years for these particles to travel from the innermost core to the surface of the sun. Once, these light particles reach the sun’s surface, it takes 8 minutes for this illumination to travel 93 million miles to Earth….WOW!!!! (You can read more about this fascinating phenomenon here by NASA). But, how does this relate?? Hang with me.

The Sun is vital to life on earth. It provides us light during the day and is vital to completing many tasks. Also, Light is vital to establishing order. Truly, the Sun in my opinion is the most fascinating star. But, in a spiritual sense light is revelation. Light is Life. God, himself is Light (See 1 John 1:5). And, just as the sun is vital to our existence, so is revelation and enlightenment of God’s will and purpose for our lives.

The Greek word “Psyche” means life or soul. It is where we derive the word psychology, which is the study of human behavior. Our souls are at the CORE of who we are. It is the place where our will, thoughts and emotions dwell.  I believe, we are whatever we allow our souls to interact with the most.  Proverbs 23:7, says “As a man thinks, so is he.” And much like the Earth during its Genesis, our souls start out being empty and void. We are shaped by what we focus our Eye (Mind, Soul) on. “If your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body is full of darkness” (Matthew 6:22).

 In other words, we do not function properly without the presence of the true source of Light. And, there is only One Light.  Confusion is a result of walking in the dark. So, when I am confused, it’s a signal that there is darkness clouding my understanding, and I am disconnected from the Light. The Light is Jesus Christ.  Furthermore, it is evidence that I have not fully put a matter under the Lord’s care.

Now, I truly believe I know my purpose in life.  However, being more aware of your purpose doesn’t totally eradicate feelings of confusion if you are still unsure of the steps it takes to get there. Knowing your assignment in life means you need more direction and guidance on how to move towards your purpose.

 Often the process it takes to close the gap between you and your destiny can be so intensely frustrating, that it causes information overload and discouragement. In addition, it can make you impatient.  And, this is the state I found myself in.  

Let There Be Light

In Genesis, the first command God spoke was “Let there be light.” Before he shaped and created the universe, he established light and it was very good. In parallel, before I can work or serve, light (understanding) needs to be established within me as well. Wisdom is the principal thing; Get wisdom and in all your getting get UNDERSTANDING. You can’t apply to your life what you don’t Understand (See Proverbs 4:5-7).  In this, the Holy Spirit began to teach me to pray a very powerful prayer. And, I am honored to share it with you now.

So, if you are in a place of purpose confusion right now, or maybe you just need more clarity, and help with strategy formulation, then declare “Let there be light.”  You don’t have to yell or scream it out loud. Unless, of course you feel the need to do so. Then, by ALL means, “LET THERE BE LIGHT!!!!!!!!!”

Inevitably, when there is light, there must also be OBEDIENCE.

In the past, I would shut down, and engage in self-defeating behavior as discussed in last week’s post. However, today I’m learning to PRESS pass this disorientation, and I gain success when I pray “Let there Be Light.” Granted, success may manifest by gaining more peace, more rest, and more faith.  But you can be sure that he who begun a good work in you is faithful and just to complete it.  

Just because you don’t yet see the full manifestation of the promise doesn’t mean there isn’t anything happening.

Discouraged? Then,

Consider again the origins of light. The light you see today, was produced 40,000 years ago! The moment you had that BRILLIANT idea, the moment you had that GLORIOUS desire, that was the moment GOD Fused with your SOUL and created Light! Don’t despise the day of your small beginnings, God is Producing Light and Abundance in you. And, it’s ALL for JESUS! All for HIS Namesake, not ours (See Psalm 23). God wants to see his goodness manifested in your life even more than You do! So, don’t let grief and despair overtake you! So, go ahead and Kiss the SONshine, and LET THERE BE LIGHT!

Expiration Dating: Knowing When it’s Time to Leave

We are often willing participants in our own victimization, and I hate that. I equally abhor how we stay in disappointing relationships longer than we should. So, the question is “Why do we stay in relationships long past their expiration dates?” So, to better understand this behavior, and why I engaged in such self-defeating behavior for so long (and on more than one occasion), I prayerfully began to explore this topic and discover my own truth. 

My most recent relationship lasted for about 6 ½ years. He was unlike anyone I had ever dated before. However, early in the relationship he told me that he had no peace in moving forward in building a long-term future with me. Granted he was guilty of sending mixed signals, but this isn’t about him, this is a self-examination of my own defeating behaviors. And self-examination is the starting point for growth, (Soooooo, two times for growth! WHOOP WHOOP!).

What is Self- Defeating Behavior?

Self- defeating behavior is any behavior that takes you further away from anything you truly want. It is sabotaging your own health, well-being and happiness. It is doing what you know is not good for you to do.  According to Practical Recovery, some common self-defeating behavioral patterns include:

  • Stubbornness: needing to always be right
  • People pleasing: at the cost of your own happiness or health
  • Obsessing about perfection
  • Blaming: inability to accept responsibility for your own mistakes
  • Procrastination
  • Inability or refusing to ask for help
  • Fear of taking healthy risks
  • Negative Self talk
  • Self-guilt and feeling undeserving of good things in life

More on these behaviors can be found at https://www.practicalrecovery.com/prblog/recognizing-and-changing-self-defeating-behavior/

After examining this list, I realized that I possessed and demonstrated ALL these behaviors at one point in my life. Thank God for his Grace and mercy which allows for growth. But, for years I was bound, I was a prisoner in my own mind, and I didn’t even know it. These worldly, and inferior mindsets robbed me of the opportunity to have a healthy and viable relationship. Don’t let this happen to you!

Why I Stayed?

First, I used to think he was way out of my league, that he was a person that I should aspire to be like. While, I don’t think it was wrong of me to admire his good qualities, it was WRONG that I believed I possessed no good qualities of my own. So, the issue was that I was blind to my own value. I was oblivious to my own loveliness.  Honestly, because I lacked Identity, I shouldn’t have been trying to date anyone. I believe, this is one of the reasons why the bible tells us not to awaken or arouse love before it’s proper time (See: Song of Solomon 8:4).

Secondly, I had low expectations and I failed to set standards. I was hopelessly short-sighted, and I had no real vision for the type of relationship I wanted.  In conjunction with the first reason, if you don’t know who you are, it is IMPOSSIBLE to know what you truly want or Need for that matter.

Lastly, I thought I could change him. Now, this is more difficult to admit. Of course, there are other reasons, I stayed, (but Whew, Chile we only have time for 3 today 😊).  I should have listened to him when he first told me, he had no peace in moving forward. I ignored the flags. In hindsight, I really believed that he would see things from my perspective, and we could move this thing along. However, all this did was force the both of us to live a lie, and not living according to your conviction is hypocrisy. And, hypocrisy murders your spiritual life, and diminishes your peace and your credibility.

Truthfully, this isn’t the first relationship in which I adopted such grandiose delusions of erroneously thinking, “I could change” another human being. Especially, since it is the work of the Holy Spirit to change an individual. I am convinced that we grossly overstep our realm of authority when we attempt to change or control someone, this is manipulation. Manipulation is as witchcraft; IT IS NOT OF GOD!   I have been guilty of this before, I’m sure we all have at some point. Thank God for Grace and Mercy!

The point is, staying in a relationship past its expiration date does more harm than good. I wish I had exited the relationship 6 ½ years earlier, then maybe today we would still be Friends. Now, if you find that you are currently in the same situation as I just described, then I encourage you to be honest, and seek help with moving towards transitioning out of your unhealthy dating situation.  

Today, I am more content with my singleness, and learning to be more content day by day. I still desire a Godly marriage, but that desire does not rule me. I know the next time will be the right time, and the right time is God’s best time for my life. I Trust you LORD.

3 Ways to Move towards Wholeness:

  1. Examine yourself: Examine your ways and your circle of influence. Are you seeing good results? Are you growing, or are you diminishing as a result of your actions? Your interactions? (See Lamentations 3:40 and Matthew 7:3-5)
  • Set Standards For yourself: You teach people how to value and respect you based on what you tolerate from them. You must know your value, which means you must first pursue inner healing, and renew your mind. Stop the negative self-talk. Be honest, kind and compassionate to yourself first. Be Authentic. (See Romans 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 10:5)
  • Accept that you can only change YOURSELF: Take responsibility for your life. You can’t force someone to love you no matter how badly you may want them to. Let them GO! You only want people in your life who will Celebrate you, edify you and people who will have your best interest at heart. You want people who will give you Honest feedback. (See Matthew 10:14)

Be Blessed!

For Marriages Check out this resource.

Fortified: Firm in Faith

The term metamorphic is an adjective relating to a rock that has been transformed by undergoing a process involving heat, pressure or other adverse conditions. If I had to choose only one truth that is common to all people on earth, it would be that all people will at some point will have to face difficult situations. Adverse conditions are as common to the human condition as birth, growth, reproduction, love and death. However, we are not our circumstances, we are victors OVER and ABOVE them.

A Time For Everything……

I’ve experienced every season of life. I’ve had ups, and downs. I’ve been in and out of love. I have celebrated successes and mourned over failures. Yet, as this very moment in my life I can say with a heart full of gratitude, that I would not trade places with anyone else. My story is mine…….ALLLLLLLL Mine!! All my story hasn’t been pretty, and I’m still dealing with the consequences of bad decisions, but I am no longer just surviving, but I am thriving! And, it’s all because of the Love, and Grace of My Heavenly Father.

Yes, I do have some regrets, but regrets are just proof that I’ve gained the wisdom I was supposed to gain from each lesson of my life. I use to suffer from having an inferiority complex and struggled with low self-esteem. I was paralyzed with fear and would often not take advantage of new experiences, while sabotaging great business opportunities, and relationships. I believed life held no joy, and good things wouldn’t happen for me because it seemed as if everything in my life was going wrong. I lacked peace of mind, and I had no Joy. I was overwhelmed, confused and alone.

Life is Like A Game of Chess

Life is like a game of chess, every move you make can be either an advantage or a disadvantage, but we are to keep moving forward. Today, I feel like the Apostle Paul, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12-14).  I can not pretend that I have attained all of the goals that I have set for my life, nor can I say at this moment that I have the man of my dreams (since I’m still single), but I can honestly say that I enjoy the growth and wisdom I have gained from every trial, and every experience of my life.

 Now, the Just Shall Live by Faith………

I am learning everyday what it means to live by faith. I have a joyful expectation that God will give me the desires of my heart. Although, for now I am in a season of waiting, I am experiencing the Lord’s faithful provision for my life. More importantly, I know that I am seated in the Heavenly Places with Christ. Challenges and problems seem so small from this ascended position, and I am anxious for nothing.

 I am more aware of his presence, and I hear him speaking to me more clearly than the day before. I AM so in love with him and his good plan for my life.  Faith without works is pointless, and I am excited to learn new skills, enjoy new cuisines, travel to new places and meet wonderful people. I know that in order to elevate to the new heights and levels God is taking me to will require Faith, Courage and Boldness. There will always be challenges to face, and obstacles to overcome, but Christ has already overcome them all. So, until then I’ll be dancing, and embracing all the joy my heart can hold.  I’m here for it ALL !

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To Keto or Not to Keto? That is the Question.

Keto is everywhere; it’s the new buzzword, the new favorite among those looking to shed pounds, and the new hate victim of the food-pyramid-spouting-eat-your-whole grains mainstream medical industry. The keto diet, while it is not the magic cure-all for every single disease on the planet, does a pretty dang good job at being the potential causer of healing many horrible conditions. So, let’s cut through the science, separate fact from fiction, and look at the benefits of the keto diet.

Benefit #1: Weight Loss

Okay, so this one isn’t so astounding, but it is one of the most common reasons people embark on the keto diet. So why is weight loss usually so easy on the ketogenic diet instead of other regular diets? For all the following reasons:

•   The keto diet is composed of approximately 75% fat, 20 % protein, and 5% or less carbohydrates. The high fat content and lack of sugar means diminished cravings, lack of blood sugar swings and binges, and increased satiation. Increased satiation=eating less. Many people also have food sensitivities to grains, even gluten-free ones, so eliminating them may lead to an increased ability to absorb minerals like magnesium and potassium, which in turn means your body is more nourished and you have fewer cravings

•   Ketones. When your blood sugar is running low, your body turns to its glycogen stores for energy. Typically, glycogen stores house about 2000 calories of “backup” energy for when you run out of glucose. Like the intelligent machine it is, your body depletes the glycogen stores and then turns to your own body fat for fuel.

IMPORTANT: The ketogenic diet is not a free-for-all eat however much cheese or super low-carb fat bomb treats you want diet. If you are eating way more calories than you need, you will not lose weight. So, focus on keeping your diet around fatty cuts of grass-fed meat, butter, eggs, avocados, lots of green veggies and cruciferous, and be modest with the keto desserts, dairy, and sweets.

Benefit #2: Brain Function

A poorly functioning brain, as you may have already experienced, leads to lessened work productivity, which in turn means an unhappy boss, lack of job satisfaction, sugar cravings for energy, and depression. It’s a horrible domino effect. The original ketogenic diet was formulated by Dr. Russell Wilder in the early 20th century to treat epilepsy. The success rate was phenomenal, and it is still used today to treat epilepsy and other brain disorders. Research also indicates that ketones are more efficient brain fuel than glucose. (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5102124/)

Benefit #3: Potential Cancer Benefits

One study showed implementing the ketogenic diet led to a dramatically increased survival time and slower tumor growth. (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5450454/)

Conclusion

If you’re reading this article now, chances are that you are probably like me. I was recently diagnosed as pre-diabetic, and truthfully it scared me. I am proud to be Chunky, Cute and Christian, and I want to be at my absolute best so that I may serve in the Kingdom of God with vigor, and passion. So, if you may have found yourself in the same predicament as I am, then let’s use this information, don’t just skim through it and store it in the back of your brain and say “that’s nice for some people”, motivate yourself to change. Always consult with your physician. Remember, We Can Do All things through Christ who strengthens Us.

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He orders my steps….
Press it out
Squat it out
Planking in the park
It hurts…in a good way
Finished…Still standing