Monday, January 27, 2014

Weekly Devotional: Never Give Up

Throughout life we all go through different journeys, seasons or phases. Some short some long, some easy some hard. Sometimes it may seem as if we are just stuck in a never-ending cycle. As if we are going nowhere fast. We don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, or lose sight of the goal or end result. Similar to the movie Groundhog day starring Bill Murray.

In the movie Groundhog Day, Phil (Bill Murray) is a weatherman who to his dismay is assigned to cover “Groundhog Day” for the fourth year in a row. At the end of the day he goes to bed wakes up the next morning and he ends up reliving the same day (Groundhog Day) over, and over again. With no end in sight, Phil struggles to find a way to escape his seemingly hopeless situation.

Many of us face similar situations. Not in the literal sense of reliving the same exact day but figuratively. We may be at a job we aren’t particularly fond of and do the same routine mundane work, day in and day out in which we are growing tired of. We may have an ailment or sickness that never really goes away, always sticks around and we are just tired of dealing with it. There may be a prayer we’ve been praying, wanting a miracle to occur yet it hasn’t so we are growing weary, tired of having nothing to show for it. We may be tired of not finding that right person, tired of not finding the right job, tired of not finding any job, tired of being sick, tired of studying but not learning the material, just tired of whatever situation we may be in.

As tired and exhausted or fatigued we may feel we must not give up. We can’t lose our passion, we can’t quit, we must continue to wait upon the Lord and hope in him. “28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah40:28-31. With God victory is around the corner. With God all things are possible. With God your new job, your healing, your answered prayer, your miracle is but an instance away. God promises he will renew our strength. We can run and not be weary, walk and not be faint. We wont have to go through life, defeated, run down, stressed and depressed by our circumstances. We will soar through life on wings like eagles, overcoming all obstacles, roadblocks, hurdles and barriers, defeating all enemies and accomplishing our God-given goals and dreams. We are the head and not the tail, we are above and not beneath, we are conquerors through Jesus Christ.

Like a staff, we can lean on the Lord as we journey uphill. Trust in him at all times, the staff will bear as much weight as needed.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


        So it’s the first week of classes and I move back in to my dorm on Monday. I still had some unpacking to do, but I wanted to get organized first and print out all my syllabi from my classes as well as my class schedule. So I open up my computer and begin to login in to my email. As I begin to login I reach for my cup of water and somehow and the cup slipped out of my hands and onto my computer.

      I was calm. I just got a towel and quickly dried the water from my computer. My computer was fine, everything was working properly, no problems. As I am continuing to dry the water from my computer all of a sudden it just turns off. I’m like ok, let me just try to turn it back on. I press the power button and it comes on for 5 seconds and then it turns off again. I do this 10 more times and the same result keeps happening. Every time I try to turn it back I slowly began to panic more and more. All of these thoughts rush into my head: Omg! I need my computer for class! Lord, please no!  I don’t want to have to go the library! In Jesus name, in Jesus name! Of course this would happen the day before classes start! I just bought this computer! I don’t have money to get a new one or even time to get it fixed! Why did I have to be drinking water while using my computer! Millions of thoughts rush into my head. I am on the verge of tears.

      I begin to pick up the phone to call my dad and then I stop myself. I said, you know what, no, I am not going to panic. I am not going to call my dad and start crying, I am going to have faith. I am not going to lose my faith that easy, I am going to trust in God and increase my faith. I began praying and I quoted Mark 11:24 “Therefore I say unto you, whatever things you ask when you pray ,believe you receive them and you will have them.” I just kept repeating that and saying that I will not doubt and that nothing is too hard for God. Then, I remembered the verse Christian quoted at the YARCS meeting about how God is not a man that he should lie. I kept saying that as well. I was just like, Lord it is your hands, in your timing. I am going to let go of trying to fix it myself and I am going to wait on the Lord. It will be in his time.

     So after praying and increasing my faith, I decided to just leave my computer alone and finish unpacking my stuff. As I am unpacking, every now and then thoughts of doubt entered my mind, but I shut those down with the verses. An hour passes by and my computer is still not turning on. My friend comes over and we began talking and I tell her about what happened. I go over to show her and I press the power button and ….. my computer comes on!  The relief I felt and the praise that I began to give God was like no other.  Letting go and letting God work in his time is something that is very hard for me to do, but I think this experience proved to me that God is faithful and if we just have unwavering faith and we wait for him to work, he will work things out. Having the faith that God will be able to work a situation out is one thing, but waiting on God and continuing to have that faith is another. 




                                                                    Leaning on God
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thin own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” - Proverbs 3:5-6
Many of people know this proverbs verse by heart, or have heard some version of it before. Fittingly, I have held onto these words at various stages in my life and walk with God. Coincidently, seeing that I used the same proverbs reference as my High School Senior yearbook quote, it makes sense that it is one of the first verses to come to the forefront of my mind even today.

Going through the different situations that we often face in our lives, it is sometimes difficult to stay focused on God and not fall into the temptation of “lean(ing) unto our own understanding”.

Personally, I have struggled in the past whenever it came to truly forsaking “my understanding”, my own desires and wishes. Instead, I would find myself in situations and certain circumstances that could have easily been avoided had I followed God’s straight and paved road, instead of my own faulty and makeshift path.

I was not acknowledging God as the keeper of my soul and allowing him to work, lead or direct my life. As a result, many doors were closed due to my disobedience. There were periods when I was frustrated with my profession and I found myself unable to pray to God for deliverance or guidance. Frustration would soon morph into moments of depression, and anger. I became an unapproachable, bitter individual who was difficult to speak to and rejected the help that was often an arms reach away.

Doing things my own way only hindered me from growing as an individual and in turn caused me to be ostracized from the people who loved and cared about me. And yet, although it was not deserved, I always had people who stood in the gap on my behalf, who interceded and prayed for me continually and without ceasing.
It took me years to learn that in order to advance or overcome any obstacle, that it was imperative that I learn humility. In order for me to grow, I needed to seek after and accept guidance. Once I changed my mind’s orientation and attitude, and adopted a more humble persona, I literally positioned myself to be blessed. My job and living situation changed for the better. I became a more positive and optimistic person, and it even showed in my outward countenance. Fred Hammond-Your Steps are Ordered
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighted in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.” -
Proverbs 37:23-24

Regardless of my disobedience, God still continued to keep me. It amazes me to think of how undeserving we all are of grace and second chances, and yet they are freely given by our heavenly father. Independent of my attitude or unwillingness to trust in God totally, he still had my back.  I found myself realizing that a total change was necessary and I submitted myself to God’s will and way. I desired for my faith to be rekindled and my life to be purposeful.

“[b]ut whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” - John 4:14

When I think of God’s grace and unwavering love, I can’t help but smile. Thinking back to where I’ve been and where I am now, it is evident that God’s path for my life is golden. To him I owe him my all.
 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” - Ephesian 2:8-10


Sunday, January 19, 2014


“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt mediate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”  Joshua 1:8

This is my 1st post for 2014 and I have a confession. I did NOT read the entire bible last year. I read a good portion more than I ever read before, but I did not finish the entire bible. To my fellow bloggers I am sorry for not holding up my commitment. Starting this blog in 2014 I was slightly disheartened because I had not made it through the entire bible last year. However, God revealed to me that it was okay. In fact he actually showed me a way to read his word and learn from it. By picking a theme, reading verses related to that topic, and meditating on those scriptures throughout the day.  This way of reading the bible allows us to focus on the meaning of the scriptures rather than trying to read through long portions without understanding . I encourage everyone reading to try this simple method of bible reading this year. Choose a topic each day find scriptures related to those topics, mediate and apply those scriptures to your life.

For me this week the topic is LOVE. As you may have read I got engaged last year to fellow blogger Ron and we have begun the interesting journey of pre martial counselling. This week’s counselling required us to read 19 scriptures related to love and write the meaning of those scriptures among numerous tasks. These scriptures related to God’s love and how God wants us to love one another.  I had previously read the scriptures but never took the time to look at the meaning behind the scriptures. This assignment forced me to look at the meaning and what I discovered was mind blowing. God requires us to LOVE EVERYONE. I know we say this, but to actually do it is something else. Think about it if someone were to attack one of your family members would you love your families’ attacker? When someone does something wrong to you do you love that person? God commands us to LOVE everyone no matter who they are or what they have done. Below are a few of the scriptures that I read this week.  

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, That ye have love one to another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Luke 6:27-36 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

28. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

29. And unto them that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.

31. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

Luke 10 tells the story of the good Samaritan who helps a stranger who was robbed , beaten and left for dead. The Good Samaritan not only takes care of the injured man but he makes sure the man’s needs are taken care of for a long time. If you saw someone hurt would you pay for all of their hospital bills, put them in a hotel and pay for him to be taken care of? This story shows that loving people is not always convenient.  Sometimes love requires us to go completely out of our way to take care of someone you do not know.

Reading the scriptures about God’s love left a lasting impression on me. All week long I have been reminding myself to love those around me. When someone makes me mad at work do I still love this person or do I let my attitude get the best of me? I encourage you all to keep God’s perspective of Love in your life. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

WEEKLY DEVOTIONAL: Letting Go of 2013 & Living in 2014

I would like to first start off by thanking everyone who has contributed to the growth and progress of this blog from the bloggers, guest bloggers, those who visit this blog, those who have "liked" the Facebook page, those who follow us on Instagram and Twitter, those who have applied our blog posts to your lives, and those who have passed the word along. We are extremely thankful and grateful for you!!! Thank you and continue to pray for us as we tackle on another year of pursuing the word of Christ -- it's not easy but we are all living testimonies that it is more than WORTH IT.

This week I feel like it is more than appropriate to focus on "LETTING GO" especially with 2013 behind us and 2014 ahead of us. We have 11 more months to make this year the BEST year yet! How can we accomplish this??? We can start by changing our attitudes like Jael said, but also by LETTING GO of any and everything that may have hindered us in 2013. The Bible makes it clear that when we hold onto old things, we block our future blessings. When I think of this topic I think of life as a drain. When we fail to remove old things or when we refuse to let things go our water supply (fresh blessings) cannot be easily accessed by us. They are temporarily on hold until we properly address what issues/people/things are blocking our water supply (blessings).

I have already claimed this year 2014 as the year of Peace and Prosperity and I'm expecting God to do some great things not only for my family and me but also for everyone who is connected to me. I'm claiming myself as a blessing magnet -- my prayers, my touch, my presence, my spirit, my talents will place individuals in a particular place to be blessed. I'm not sure how but I know that God will handle the rest I just have to be willing to put in my work. In order for me to expect so many great things from God I have to learn how to LET GO. I need to LET GO of things that I cannot change, I need to LET GO of things that I can change but should not change, I need to LET GO of things that are not beneficial to my life, I need to LET GO of things that are not perfectly aligned with my purpose (including any slight distraction that can serve as a possible detour). 

 Damita Haddon - No Looking Back

So How Do We LET GO in 2014?

1. Forgiveness

   Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:31-32)

   Probably the biggest obstacle that we have in terms of receiving our blessings is that we expect God to move in our lives when we struggle with forgiveness. Often times I thought that forgiveness was about forgetting what someone/something did to me but I was wrong which is why I probably delayed my blessings at one point. Forgiveness is not forgetting, forgiveness is understanding. Forgiveness is realizing the people are human and they make mistakes, but that everyone like you and I deserve a little compassion. The Bible tells us to forgive as much as 77 x 7 (Matthew 18:21-22) which basically means to forgive without ceasing. We can't expect God to bless us today if we're too stuck harboring the mishaps of yesterday. Let's forgive as freely as Christ forgives. LET IT GO

2. Acceptance

   Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6)

   Sometimes we have to accept things in life just as they are. We are not God. We are simply trying to be more like him everyday and in doing so we can't trust our human thinking (doing so won't get us very far). When it comes to people who constantly abuse us, mistreat us, or even use us sometimes we can't try to change people we must just accept people for who they are. In accepting them we must make a conscious effort to hold them up in prayer as well. That was something that I had to realize in 2013. There are so many times where I can replay a situation over in my head and refuse not to accept the final outcome (whether it be a relationship, an employment opportunity, or any situation) because it wasn't how I wanted it to happen. Things don't always go as planned and I need to start realizing that it is what it is, but it's not over until God says it's over. As with any self-help program the first step is acknowledging/accepting you have a problem. Acknowledge/Accept that problem/issue/outcome. Move on. LET IT GO.

3. Knowing Your Worth

   Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14)

   Just as a woman in general we often times struggle with our self-worth. I see it all of the time especially through the media. I just wish every woman (men too) would understand how valuable she is to the world and especially to God. For 2014 we have to start to reinforce our valuableness to the world because believe it or not, there are KINGS AND QUEENS in each and every one of us because we are CHILDREN OF THE MOST HIGH. When we know our worth, people/things cannot interfere with our purposes and they surely do not block our blessings. We are all striving to be more like Christ and if we keep our goal of being rewarded in Heaven in mind then we will not fall victim to situations that block our blessings. Some people/things look great and possibly even temporarily make us feel great, but that doesn't mean that they are valuable to us. In terms of relationships, if their plans do not coincide with your plans or somewhat align with your plans, then maybe they are not that valuable to us. Knowing your worth is knowing that you cannot entertain people who lack vision. Knowing your worth is also knowing that you are far too special to God to harbor old feelings about anyone/anything else. Greatness is in your Bloodline regardless of who is and/or is not in your life (God is your father) -- remember that! LET IT GO.

4. Trusting God

   For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11)

   For 2014 let's start to trust God; not halfway, but 100%!!! Let's give God all of the glory and the honor. Let's trust his plans for our lives and pave the way for our blessings to flow. God's plan for your life will ALWAYS be far greater than any plan you originally planned for yourself and that's a fact! I can remember old relationships/friendships/people who came into my life and left. I remember being angry, sad, depressed, and even hardened at the fact that many of them left. During those dark times I clearly wasn't trusting God because I was so stuck in my feelings. If I knew back then what I know now, I would have handled those situations so much better -- I would have been smiling from ear to ear like I am now lol. Sometimes you have to look at situations from God's perspective. If something did not work out then maybe God had something better in store. If someone left you abruptly then maybe God was protecting you from something. If someone is causing you heartache and pain then just maybe God is preparing your heart for a greater love. Those moments where you lose all communication and contact (I'm talking about no interaction through social media, no bumping into them on the street, and no contact information for whatever reason) are completely cut-off are probably for your benefit. When things like this happen, God is usually giving you time to strengthen your faith to allow you to properly walk away from situations that no longer serve you any purpose. Sometimes the greatest thing that God can do for you is to remove someone/something from your life. Sometimes we just have to take that leap of faith and trust God with our hearts. Before you try to take matters into your own hands, try to trust God. LET IT GO.

5. Think Positive About the Future

   “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43:18-19)

   In order to reap the blessings of the seeds that we sow we have to start speaking things into existence. It may seem silly but it's not. It'll gradually build your faith in God and if it's God's will then you'll walk in your purpose. Think about your future when you're in certain situations that leave you bitter, heartbroken and/or confused. There will always be a light at the end of the tunnel. God doesn't want us to focus on old things or the things that hold us back. Believe that when things don't work out the way we see fit, that God is preparing our future. Just as the saying says, "This is Just a Setback Preparing Me For My Come Up." Speak positively over your future regardless of how your situation looks -- there is power in your tongue. LET IT GO.

This week let's start LETTING GO so that we can be fully prepared to receive our blessings!! I say this because I was reminded in bible study that when we come to God we are new creatures. That means that our slates are clean. God doesn't hold what we did yesterday against us. God doesn't hold what we did this morning against us. God doesn't hold what we did a second ago against us. That's not who he is. Doesn't it make sense for us to adopt his attitude and forgive and to LET GO. We deserve to live a life that isn't chained to the weight of the world. We deserve to live this kind of life because we have God on our sides. I encourage you to LET everything GO because we should not hold ourselves prisoners to a past that God has already pardoned us for. LET GO of the bitterness in your heart. LET GO of the anger. LET GO of the frustration. LET GO of the doubt. LET GO of those who do not add value in your life. LET GO of those who do not share your vision or any positivity. We can start by:

1. Forgiving Others
2. Accepting Situations/People for who they are
3. Knowing your worth and not letting any person/thing determine that
4. Trusting God with our situations because we cannot do it alone
5. Thinking Positively about the future -- Learn from the past and watch God work!

Israel Houghton - Moving Forward

Thank you Heavenly Father for always being who you are and never giving up on us. Even when we fall short you're still there. Thank you for your undying love. Today Lord we ask that you give us a heart of peace that will transcend throughout this year. You have already prepared the way before us and so we trust you to deliver on your promises. We ask that you prepare our hearts. minds, and souls to be ready for the blessings that you are about to bestow upon our lives, because we are expecting abundantly and exceedingly above all that we can imagine. In doing so, we are praying that you help us to let go. We want to let go of yesterday and focus on what you have prepared for us tomorrow. Today Lord we choose to forgive all who have hurt us. Today Lord we choose to accept people and situations for who and what they are. Today we choose to know our worth and refuse to let people determine it for us. Today we choose to trust you with all of our situations because you can see the beginning and ending. And Lord today we choose to speak positively over our prosperous futures of letting go! Lastly, Lord we ask that you continue to guide us and lead us in our purpose. We are excited about the future. Thank you for your unconditional love. We love you. Amen.