Monday, July 28, 2014


First, let me start off by saying that this past weekend I have had the pleasure of attending one of the best Christian Conferences of my life entitled, Pinky Promise 2014 which is vision that God gave Heather Lindsey. This conference spoke volumes to the direction that my life was headed, the direction that my flesh wanted my life to go, and the direction that God desires me to go. To all of you who struggle with growing closer to God, I encourage you all to at least experience a conference not just because they are great and fulfilling, but because when a multitude of people come together for a uniform purpose of serving and giving glory to God, there are endless possibilities for what God can do. For all of the males, don't fret there was a men's conference occurring at the same exact time as the women's portion of the conference. Information for the men's conference can be found here: The Men's Conference 2014. I hope to see some of you there!

Prior to attending the conference I was struggling with my dedication to God. I was spiritually struggling not with the existence of God, but with the location of God. Where was God exactly? I was praying and crying out to him but I felt like he was nowhere in sight. Essentially I felt lost. Have you ever gone to the grocery store with your parent and got lost, although you thought you knew their location, however you still couldn't find them? That's how I felt! I was in a familiar store with my father (God) and I thought I kept my eyes fixed on him but before I knew it, God was gone! So in panic I went back to the place where I had last seen him, but after searching he still wasn't there. Consequently, because I was the epitome of hopeless, I started to acquire about his location from other people. But when I did this no one knew exactly where he was and I was still left there stuck just as I had been...all alone. This is EXACTLY how I've been feeling for the past 2 months or so. That panic was real, that loneliness was destructive, that peace was distant.

Webster's dictionary defines "lost" as (adj.) unable to find one's way; not knowing one's whereabouts; denoting something that has been taken away or cannot be recovered. I was unable to find my way, I did not know God's whereabouts, my circumstances indicated that God had been taken away from me and he could not be recovered. I was stranded in my lack of faith, in my uncertainty, in my worry, and in my weakness. Have you ever seen a lost person? They are easy to identify because they are so uncomfortable due to the fact that they do not recognize anything familiar to them. And because that person is lost, their situation leaves them vulnerable and exposed to anything. They jump at the first site of help and because they are desperate they rarely look at intentions. Consequently, that same lost person takes direction on how to find his/her way from anyone willing to provide direction. And in cases where that same lost person does become hesitant of the intentions of others who provide directions, they often will seek their own personal advice which causes them to either  travel in circles or go further away from a help site because they do not know where they are going. I was all of these of these things! After this weekend I have gained a fresh perspective and realized that I was never lost because God was where I had left the back of my heart and in the back of my mind.

Dear Lost Me, .... Why Do I Feel So Lost?
Loneliness is a feeling so it's determinative on the ways in which we perceive our situations. Some of the richest people with some of the nicest things that money can buy can feel lonely. Additionally, some of the most blessed individuals that we know, can in all actuality be some of the most lost individuals. I know because I once felt lost. Now, what I'm learning is that you're not always lost when you don't know where you're going, because you can simply be lost because you don't know whether to make a right or left. For example, you can know how to get to Main Street from where you are, but maybe you do not know how to  get to Park Avenue? Do you make that left or that right? 

O Lord why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I am in trouble. Psalms 10:1. 

I was lost because just like in the grocery store, I took my eyes off God. I too busy being entertained by the countless distractions that I got so caught up in what didn't matter that the things that did matter fell by the wayside. When I finally did look up to see God, he was nowhere in sight. It was as if he left me stranded. During these past 2 months what I couldn't understand was that if God loved me the way he said he did, then why would he leave me? Why would he not comfort me? Why would he walk away while I was looking for him? I think the problem with me was that I was so focused on what I thought God was doing towards me that I never once acknowledged what I was doing to God. Yes, God is a merciful God and yes, God loves us but when God blesses us it is his choice to do so. So, when God allows us to go through trials and tribulations it is because God chooses to test our character and it is up to us to decide whether we'll trust him or trust the abilities of ourselves. When I was dealing with my feelings of loneliness, when I was feeling lost, and when I felt like I was stuck at the fork in the road where I didn't know whether to turn left or right, I chose not to trust God and that was a decision that I made. However, when I finally did turn to what was familiar to me and cry out to God I was reminded of God's promises that he once gave me. The Bible states, Moses accepted the invitation, and he settled there with him. In time, Reuel gave Moses his daughter Zipporah to be his wife. Later she gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, for he explained, "I have been a foreigner in a foreign land." Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to grow under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act. Exodus 2:21-24. As soon as we cry out to God sincerely, God realizes that it is time to act on our behalf and he does! 

Dear Lost Me, .... God Never Left You .... God Was Where You Left Him
The Lord remembers us and will bless us. He will bless the people of Israel and bless the priests, the descendants of Aaron. Psalm 115:12. What I had to realize through my struggles of navigating God's location in my life, was that God was exactly where I had left him. When things were going great I was quick to thank God for his blessings, but when things seemed uncertain I questioned whether God really loved and was there for me. He never left me, he was just waiting on me to sincerely need him and to believe in him. I remember when I was a little girl I got lost in Walmart. Prior to even walking into the store my mother told me to either get in the cart or stay near the cart. If I wasn't going to get in the cart that meant that I had to stay close to the cart and could not stray. Well just like I had done most times before, I decided to stray away from the cart (what I was told) and took a different direction. 

As soon as I went too far away from where I was supposed to be, it was too late because I was already lost and could not find my mother. Everything happened so fast! I was panicking and calling her name but she didn't answer me and so I cried. I cried and I remember that I got into a rack of clothes because although I did defy her orders about staying close to the cart, I feared that I would get taken just like all of the other kids plastered on the Walmart entrance doors. As I cried and prayed quietly to myself, I looked up and my mother was there! It was as if she was watching me the entire time. She watched me walk away, she watched me panic, she watched me cry, she heard me cry out her name, she saw me hide because I was ashamed, and just when I felt hopeless and searched for some guidance she was there! God acts in the same way! In my state of feeling lost, he watched me stray in my beliefs/faith, he watched me become overwhelmed in my sorrows, he heard me cry out to him when I felt hopeless, and just when I was about to give up I looked up and he was there! Just as my mom did, God never left he had to watch me suffer the consequences of my lack of my obedience to him. Why didn't I just listen? Why didn't I just keep my eyes on God? Why didn't I just trust God? Why didn't I just remember that God is always there? God never once left me even when I left him! He never once conditioned his love for me even when I conditioned my faith on my circumstances. The Bible states, I will be your God throughout your lifetime--until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you and I will save you. Isaiah 46:4. Circumstances doesn't change God's faithfulness to us.

Dear Lost Me, .... Let God's Will Be Done In Your Life 
When we go through those seasons of loneliness and those seasons where God seems distant we need to realize what things we're entertaining. If you truly believe in God then you truly believe in his power over your life. You don't question things that seem dim. You believe that he will meet all of your needs just as he always has. And once you recognize this, you also recognize what truly matters. Things that interfere with your faith should be deleted because they only serve as distractions. As a kid in the store I saw distractions of candy and toys that would lure me away from the safety of the cart to a world that exposed me to so much danger, both seen and unseen. And even when I did disobey God he still protected me and allowed me to remain unharmed. Those toys that I searched for in the store were nothing compared to the peace that I found in my mother's arms after being found. As Christians when we doubt God we need to take accountability for our faith and examine what we're entertaining in our lives. We shouldn't search for God through other people. No, we have to set the foundation for our our own personal relationship with Christ. Although I want so many great things to happen in my life, I am truly at peace with missing out on anything that is not in the will of God. If it doesn't have God at the center then I don't want it! I am no longer lost in my situations, no longer lost in my selfishness, no longer lost in my desires, no longer lost in my doubt. Dear lost me, I am found because God never left....But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless--like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile. Ecclesiastes 2:11.

New Breed Oh, How He Loves Us

But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears. (Psalms 18:6).

Stay Blessed and Let God Find You: Jamera 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekly Devotional: Walking Away from Selfishness

What is Selfishness?
Selfishness is an inherent work of the flesh, meaning it is something that humans do, oftentimes without even realizing it. Selfishness is most closely linked to your ego. We all have egos. I know the word “ego” sounds like a psycho-babble term, but it basically gives a name to your will which seeks to fulfill its own desires—desires that often are not in line with God’s will for us. Clearly, selfishness is not of God.

Selfishness can manifest itself in many ways. From the way we react to people when they confront us with issues (unreasonably offended), to the way we pursue our own goals (fiercely above all else, EVEN GOD), to the way speak of ourselves (with undue praise to be reserved only for God).

2 Timothy 3:1-2 & 5 speaks specifically to selfishness and the way that it will pervade our culture in the “last days” (the time right before the return of Christ and the end of the world, which many Christians, including myself, believe we are currently living in). It says in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money… They will be unloving and unforgiving…They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.” From this passage I derive my definition of selfishness as—love of SELF and all things that will benefit SELF (like money).

Why is selfishness “bad”?
I mean on the surface this seems like a pointless question right??? I’m sure you can remember being told as a kid not to be selfish and to share your toys with your siblings and/or friends. I’m sure that if you don’t remember anything from the Bible, you remember God’s commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” (essentially a mandate against selfishness). I’m sure you can recall your grandmother (ßor insert other older family member here lol) gossiping about how selfish so-and-so is because she leaves church functions early without helping with clean up, quietly vowing to yourself that you don’t want to be like her. But to truly understand the problem with selfishness, we have to examine it biblically not just socially.

Philippians 3 gives directions about the type of attitude we should have as Christians. Verses 2-4 explicitly state: “Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”

Do you ask others about how THEY are doing rather than always talking about yourself? Do you think of people as better than you (not in a self-deprecating way, but in humility)? Do you work well with others? Do you love others wholeheartedly and without pretense (without thinking about what they can do for you)? Are you always trying to impress others and fulfill your own need to be liked, wanted, loved, etc. or is your goal to please God?

I really believe that God has just recently shown me ways in which I have been (and sometimes still am, unfortunately) selfish. When I pre-teen/teenager, I was extremely selfish! Exhibit A: I remember getting mad EVERY SINGLE TIME my mom told me to wash dishes. I now know that I was told to do dishes because I had to contribute to the household in some way since I wasn’t paying bills, not because my mother didn’t care about my needs (I always had those taken care of). Exhibit B: If someone said something that upset me I would pout (visibly frowning) for as long as possible, aiming to let go of my fixed frown only after a prolonged length of time.

I selfishly wanted to manipulate their emotions to gain their attention, and I wanted to show them that not only was I a serious adult but that I was the one with the power in the situation. I’ve since come to find that all I was showing was their power over my mood, my childishness, and my utter stupidity. Even as an adult in relationships with males, I noticed myself doing similar things, manipulating to get reactions, affection or even gifts that I selfishly desired, and acting based on my ego rather than loving and working together with one mind and one purpose. I’m sure that my selifhsness was a large part of the reason that those relationships did not succeed, besides that fact that they were not godly and I am sure that they were not meant to be to begin with lol. Thank God I finally realized that he is the only one that should have power over every situation and every relationship. He is the head, not me! That’s a lesson that I’m glad I learned, and in some ways am still learning, because I know that it is helping my current relationships and will help me in future ones!

So you might be thinking—what is the point of any relationship if I am not supposed to ever do what I want to do? Does this mean that I shouldn’t go after what I want, that I shouldn’t even think of myself at all and just do whatever people ask of me without protest? The answer is NO, not at all, that’s slavery! God made us in his likeness, but each with our own different characteristics and wants. We each have our own mind, personality, and will for a reason—to use it. We use it for creativity and problem solving and God uses it in molding us for our life’s purpose. The issue arises when that is ALL we use, when we are totally motivated by how we feel who we like, and what we want. The point is balance and wisdom--knowing that of course it is impossible to ask God before we make any and every decision (otherwise it might take me 2 days to walk a block up the street) but that we have to consult him in decision-making in order to ensure that we are not being selfish. Furthermore we have to know ourselves and know His ways so that we can identify selfish tendencies and our minds can be renewed and freed from them. At the end of the day, we should be seeking for God’s power to govern every aspect of our lives and for His Holy Spirit to lead and guide us.

Like 2 Timothy says, a lot of times we act religious, but reject the power of God. For example I’ve noticed that some (definitely not all or even most!) Christians like to use the phrases “God said,” “I heard from God,” etc. and then proceed to give directions tainted by SELF. While I do not question the individuals to whom God speaks, the manner in which he does so, or the word that he gives (or does not give) them to deliver, I do know that the purpose of prophecy is to strengthens the entire church (see Corinthians 14:4) not the esteem yourself above others. Furthermore, Romans 8:1 says that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. So we should be lifting each other up! Reproaching or correcting others should be done out of love and out of a genuine desire to help rather than a selfish desire to fill a void within you.

I know this one woman always has something (usually something unkind) to say about women who she believes are dressing inappropriately. At first I used to get upset and wonder why she was so focused on what other women were wearing when that’s between them, God and their husbands, if they have one. Then I realized that she isn’t intentionally being malicious. She just is subconsciously putting her ego first, exerting her influence and belittling others because of something she does not like about herself. And honestly, my heart breaks for her because I know what that feels like, and I now know that is not an attitude or characteristic that I want to have. By faith, “selfish me” is someone that I am steadily walking away from. I’m not looking back as she gets smaller and further behind me. I will not embrace selfishness or invite it into the Lord’s temple (my heart).
Now that you understand that selfishness is not just hoarding toys from a friend or quarters from that homeless person on the street, and understand how pervasive selfishness is in our society and probably in your own life, LET GO! Let go of the selfish thoughts, desires, and things that are binding you more tightly to your own ego and to sin, separating you from God. Talk to God about it and ask him to show you yourself. He can put things into perspective by showing you who he has called you to be. Ask him to change your attitude and for help in making your motives pure. Remember that just because it is your first instinct to look out for yourself, that doesn’t mean that’s what you should do. Keep walking away from selfishness J


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WEEKLY DEVOTIONAL: Bought With a Price

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
1 Corinthians 6:20 (KJV)

I love this verse and what this verse means. Think about this. Throughout life, many influences have said to youth and generations that we are worthless or that we have no value. And think about this, the devil goes through so much trouble to steal, kill and destroy. The devil tries to steal our joy and steal our value. If we allow him to steal our joy, then it will happen. However, the devil cannot steal our value because we have been BOUGHT with a PRICE!!!!! The price for our lives was paid by Jesus. What an awesome thing to realize what Jesus did!!! He went to the cross for our victory and freedom. 

If we look at Romans 6:23, the wages of sin is DEATH!!!!! Therefore, being sinners, we should be receiving the penalty of death. However, Jesus paid the price!!! We are free from this penalty. Jesus freed us by dying for us. Therefore, everything that has been assigned to us by our past can be removed. When we come to Christ, He can remove anything from the past by the blood. Jesus paid it all!!! He experienced every pain that we experience. Jesus was whipped and beaten for our transgressions. 
Isaiah 53:5 says "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
The beatings and stripes that Jesus received was for our mistakes and to cover the price of our faults. THANK YOU JESUS because You paid it all!!!! 

This song is an awesome song!!! If you just listen to the words, THANK YOU JESUS is all that can come forth. Think about it. Jesus went to the cross with SELFLESS reasons. He died for people that did not exist at the time!!! Jesus having ALL POWER at His hand, He stayed on that cross and took those ridicules so that I can have life. What type of love is this??

This brings me to the last part of 1 Corinthians 6:20. Because you were bought with a price and your sins are taken care of, now is the time to glorify God. Give God the praise. Many times we forget about the cross and what Jesus really went through. Or some times we forget that God is the one that brought us through our situations. ALL the glory belongs to God!!! 

This next song is another awesome song!!! This song for me is my jam!!! This is the truth!!! Jesus, I will worship You forever. Because when things go wrong, you stayed on that cross. Whatever I have suffered in my life, you suffered more through your life. You did not have to go to the cross or have your own people ridicule you. You did not have endure the beatings, the spitting, the cross, or the trials that your own people put you through. But because You PAID the price for me, I will worship you FOREVER!!! 

While you listen to this song, I encourage you to listen to the lyrics. They are powerful. 

With nails in His hands
Nails in His feet
A crown of thorns on His head
Not a mumbling word and You stayed there
I won't forget what You gave up for me

And forever You're my Savior

Forever My Redeemer
Forever I'll remember the price that You paid
Forever You are Holy
Forever You are Worthy
Forever I'll sing Glory to Your Name!!

LOVE THIS SONG!!! I encourage you to NEVER stop thanking and giving God the glory for what He did on the cross!!! He is worthy of it all!!!!

Stay blessed and remember that YOU are BOUGHT with a PRICE!!! You are valuable!!!

Steven Gable

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

Thursday, July 10, 2014

WEEKLY DEVOTION: Fire of Affliction

Behold , I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? And I oill not give my glory unto another.

Isaiah 48:10-11

The furnace of affliction sounds like a terrible thing.

When I think of furnace these words come to my mind: fire, burn, death, fear, destruction, trial, tribulation, test

When I think of affliction these words come to my mind: disability, incomplete, infirmity, incapable, impossible, obstacle

Terrible right?

Not so!

This week in bible study I learned the furnace of affliction that God is talking about in this verse is the process in which God takes us through to bring us to our promise.

I remember I use to question the process and God so many times WHY? WHY?

However, God revealed to me this week that I shouldn't be questioning the process but I should be thanking God for it as well as keeping a good attitude while going through it.

WHY do you ask?

Because in the end God will bring us to our promise or destiny in life that God intended for us.

Oil refineries use furnaces to refine oil into useful products such as petroleum, gasoline,
 Kerosene, petrolum gas, asphalt base, and diesel fuel.

Like oil God refines us in the spiritual furnace of affliction. He takes us through certain things in life that he knows will help mold, shape, as well as prepare us for the purpose that God had for our lives.

Don't lose hope, God is with you. I encourage you to keep pursuing God, and the purpose for your life will be revealed for you even when you think your life isn't going anywhere.

Stay in God's Peace not in pieces,  love ya guys!! : )