Monthly Archives: June 2016

God’s Love is Beautiful

Love births change.

With love, we flourish, we strive, we live, we finally start living.

The love God has for us is complete and perfect.

Our worth doesn’t come from our size, body type or the people we know.

Our worth isn’t defined by our occupation or our achievements or failures.

Our worth doesn’t come from a man or a woman but from God alone.

We don’t have to do anything to win his love, it’s already freely given.

God is truly in love with us, obsessed with us. He is always concerned about every tiny aspect of our lives.

Just like a loving parent that knows everything about their children, so does our heavenly father know us.

It is embracing the intimacy of his love that we learn that it’s alright to trust him. That his love goes beyond this life and beyond us and extended to every other person.

It is in this love that we change, find hope and peace. God made each of us unique with different talents and skills. Use it to give him glory and help one another. Shine bright in the uniqueness that God has created you, for in that lies your true beauty.

A beautiful person is one who fears the Lord.

I challenge everyone, including myself to find the beauty in God’s love. It is in his love that we find security and true peace. It is in his love that we find the power and grace to live for him and sharing the gospel through our words and actions.

God’s Love is Beautiful

I wrote this on June 18th 2016 and presented it to my church. The LORD put it in my heart to share this with everyone. It’s my prayer for whoever reads it.

Love births change.

With love, we flourish, we strive, we live, we finally start living.

The love God has for us is complete and perfect.

Our worth doesn’t come from our size, body type or the people we know.

Our worth isn’t defined by our occupation or our achievements or failures.

Our worth doesn’t come from a man or a woman but from God alone.

We don’t have to do anything to win his love, it’s already freely given.

God is truly in love with us, obsessed with us. He is always concerned about every tiny aspect of our lives.

Just like a loving parent that knows everything about their children, so does our heavenly father know us.

It is embracing the intimacy of his love that we learn that it’s alright to trust him. That his love goes beyond this life and beyond us and extended to every other person.

It is in this love that we change, find hope and peace. God made each of us unique with different talents and skills. Use it to give him glory and help one another. Shine bright in the uniqueness that God has created you, for in that lies your true beauty.

A beautiful person is one who fears the Lord.

I challenge everyone, including myself to find the beauty in God’s love. It is in his love that we find security and true peace. It is in his love that we find the power and grace to live for him and sharing the gospel through out words and actions.

“Step into the Joy of the Lord”

There is a song that I’ve been listening to and it said “Step into the joy of the Lord.” I figured joy was something we simply wake up into but let’s break down this phrase to get a better meaning of it.

The definition of step into [something] according to thefreedictionary.com is to involve oneself in some matter, to interfere in an affair or dispute.

The word step means a single complete movement of raising one foot and putting it down in another spot.  One of a series of actions, processes or measures taken to achieve a goal. A stage in a process.

Verb: Stepped, stepping, step: to move into a new situation by or as if by taking a single step.

Taking the word intervene from the definition to get a clearer picture, according to dictionary.com, as a verb it means to occur or be between two things.

 

What can we conclude about this word step from the breakdown of its meaning? Joy is not something you simply wake up in, or find yourself miraculously in that state. The first time hearing the song, I thought to myself that maybe joy is actually something we must seek God for. It’s something we must get involved in. We must interfere, so to speak, with joy. There is a series of actions, or processes or measures taken to achieve this state of joy. It just doesn’t come to you, you must STEP INTO IT, INTERFERE WITH IT and BECOME INVOLVED.

So what exactly are the steps to achieving this place, or to move into this new situation or state of joy? Let me rephrase that. What is that single step that we need to take to enter into the joy of the LORD.

I was searching for every scripture I can find pertaining to joy and what I found was that joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. So joy is something only God can produce. Interesting right? I wonder if I was the only person out there that thought that joy was an emotional state. Hebrews 12:2 (NLT) says, “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” The reason I highlighted initiates is because it is only through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can find true joy. Now, I had to rewind a bit and ask myself what joy is. According to this scripture, Jesus had joy even when things weren’t going that great at the time. He was ultimately facing death and was tortured as well before his final moments on the cross. Even before this event, Jesus walked around knowing what he must do. In faith, awaiting what was promised to HIM and the salvation of the whole world, Christ was able to persevere and find joy in what awaited him in his future.

Let me make this clear. It is not easy to be happy during a crisis. It is not easy to be happy during humiliation. It is not easy. I am not one of those people that will tell you to put on a fake smile. To pretend you’re happy just to please those around you. For me, I need to understand before I can do something. I need to break things down, digest it and then move forward. I can’t just follow the crowd. I can’t just fake it until I make it. I move through conviction because I like being honest with myself. Life is not easy, being a Christian in this world is even harder. Each and every one of us has a personal, intimate relationship with God. We cannot manufacture anyone else’s experiences. We can learn and be encouraged by others testimonies, but it’s only through Christ that change occurs. We have the responsibility to teach in love, not guilt but love. Understanding that we all learn at different paces. Some faster, some slower than others. I consider myself one of the slower ones. I am about savoring the experience and truly understanding, for myself who God truly is.

This joy experience… it’s so funny that my blog has the word joy in it. Little every day blessings and finding joy in the everyday, each day. Having to keep in perspective that only the Holy Spirit can give us true joy. Only a relationship with God can produce this joy we need. It is not happiness. Some days we might not even look happy. We might weep. We will be like Job some-days and have friends that guilt us into producing a fake sort of joy that they can only see. And while I am not encouraging draining those around you with fussing and complaining, what I am trying to say is that God understands. He sees past our frowns, our tears and our downcast exterior. He sees the state of our heart and the prayers of our heart. In my time alone with God, he reassured me that he heard my hearts cry. He hears me even when I’m silent. I pray inside of my heart with longings. Even my tears have a prayer. My whole being cries out to God. He is ever real in my life. He is real to me, so everything I do, he always comes to mind. And I have seen, that even when I don’t pray or read the bible like the most holy Christian does, God has a funny way of meeting all of my needs and leading me to where I need to be. I’ll find that Word of encouragement somewhere. Today, my source of encouragement came from that song. God placed it in my heart to find out what joy truly means. My prayer before was Lord, help me to find happiness in you. Because guess what, I spent my whole life trying to be a good girl. I spent my whole life trying to do everything right so nothing wrong would happen. Guess what, wrong things happened anyway. I was naïve to think that I could trust in my own abilities. Trust in the plan I had for my own life. God halted everything and uprooted it, leaving me feeling a sense of humiliation and hopelessness. I am not blaming God for my problems, but I’m beginning to embrace the bigger picture. A bigger picture I do not fully understand but understanding that I do not need to. A God that reaches deep into the heart and pulls out everything and lays it out in full view so that I may see it and give it to him.

So this faith, that starts with believing in Christ and accepting his salvation for YOU becomes trust. Trust you say? Yes, another thing I struggle with. Trust doesn’t come easy for me. I love being in control and understanding and knowing everything. If I don’t know, then it won’t happen in my life. That’s how I am. However, according to that word mentioned above, Jesus perfects our faith. How does he perfect our faith? I won’t get into deep theology but it’s through the process of sanctification. It is through living a Christian life, learning about God and developing a relationship with him that we learn to trust him. We learn to trust his word. This helps me to understand why Atheists and other non-Christians do not understand the Word of God or its promises. They do not have the capacity to understand. Even a baby Christian or a carnal one would not understand this because there is no relationship (to be clear, this isn’t a bad thing. It just means that there is no history. People cannot speak about what they do not know). The stepping stone or the STEP towards joy is relationship through trust in God. Wow. What am I even saying? Well, all I can say is that we learn to trust God through the experiences we go through with him. We begin to learn of his character. It is not enough to hear the stories over and over again, we must have events and circumstances in life that allows us to apply that word to it.

This is to my brothers and sisters in Christ, let us be patient with those who are new to the faith. Let us understand that they do not have the same understanding as those that consider themselves mature and sharpened in the faith. Do not discourage but encourage.

As for me, I too am learning. My transition from sorrow and humiliation will be learning to trust in God through every season. That faith and trust is where joy comes from. Knowing that nothing is in vain. That God has something big in store for me. And whenever I forget like the Israelites in the wilderness, I must run back to Papa God and allow his word to sink into my heart.

My advice? Go off somewhere alone. Be alone. Too much noise, distractions, duties and people will hinder your time with God. Get some ME TIME with God. Spend it just being in his presence. There are no rituals, no order of service, no expectations besides just talking to him as you would your best friend or spouse. That’s what I did and look what came out of it! Now I truly understand for myself where joy comes from. It is not manufactured, it just doesn’t poof out of the sky. It takes time, it is a process. A wonderful process of love. It is in this joy of God that we find our strength to persevere.

 

God Bless.

 

Respect

Respect isn’t earned, it’s a right. We don’t pick and choose who deserves respect or when to give respect. It is something that everyone, regardless of who they are or what they have done, deserves. We are all created in the image of God. We are loved not because of what we do and don’t do but because God loves us with an unmerited, eternal love.

That’s why we shouldn’t repay evil, with evil but to do good to those that persecute us.

We also have the right to say no. To remove people from our lives that do not treat us with respect. It would be an injustice to allow people to mistreat you all for a false sense of kindness. God gives us discernment and he tells us exactly when we are to endure for the sake of the gospel or to flee. God loves us so much, he will not leave us in the dark. He will not leave us to figure things out on our own. At the end of the day, true love and kindness comes from God. It is not something we do just for the sake of doing it. It is not by our works that we are saved but through salvation through Jesus Christ.

 

From today, I purpose to do everything for God. I know that if I do things for him, it will be healthy and in wisdom.

The Beauty of Death

There is nothing in my head,

Nothing at all.

Empty, dead, what is there to find?

No matter how you try to look at it , everything died along with it.

Can’t cry, don’t need to cry anymore because one must accept that where there is a beginning, there is finally an end.

A beautiful end, a happily ever after.

The funny thing is, God can always rewrite your story. Cuz you see, we had a script we wanted to play but God’s vision for us is the masterpiece. 

So, I’m allowing my mind to die today. The beauty of death is the life in it, a life no one can take away.

Personal Responsiblity Vs Victim Mentality

I was just thinking about the recent success of Asian: Japanese and Korean media within the last couple of years. I must also include West African media as well. The key to their success is believing that they have something wonderful to offer. They portray themselves (for the most part) in a way that makes others view them as desirable. I have something that you might want to check out, is what they are subconsciously telling you. African music, fashion and movies are on the rise. Asian music, dramas and fashion are also on the rise. Out of their own mouths they have something positive to say about themselves and they wear their brand well.

So what can we learn from this? Believe with your whole heart, whatever your brand may be, that is has something to offer. It has to resonate with your heart and it must be something you’re willing to invest your time into.

Before this, I’d look at other non-white media, mainly African-American and shake my head. Most of their shows were always portrayed in a negative light. Who knows what sort of people were running things behind the scenes but even to this day, many African- American producers would cast all white actors, or majority white characters, portray their own race of people as inferior, uneducated, or brutish and wonder why these stereotypes exist today. I remember growing up in the 90s and even in early 2000s, where Asians and Africans were not looked upon as anything good, or having anything good to offer. They were obscure, in the shadows. Instead of coming out with a victim mentality, or a self hating persona, they simply express their culture with an innate sense of pride.

We are responsible , for the most part, for how others see us and treat us. Sure, some people will always have something negative to say, but what do you believe? Start chipping away at the persona that others want you to have. Sometimes people would love to see you fail but instead of rising above it, you succumb and embody the very thing that will destroy you just to fit in. At some point you are going to have to take responsibility for how you treat yourself. Define clear boundaries and then move forward in the best version of yourself that you can be.

In the end, believe to be the best even when others around you don’t see it. One day, your actions, confidence and achievements will override their opinions.

Consistency and Motivation are the Keys to Success

According to Merriam-Webster.com, the word consistent means:  possessing firmness or coherence; marked by harmony, regularity, or steady continuity:  free from variation or contradiction; marked by agreement; showing steady conformity to character, profession, belief, or custom.

Good habits are formed through consistency or consistent behavior. We are taught certain things as children and are expected to live out those rules even into adulthood. These rules and habits build character. What we believe builds character. What and who we surround ourselves with shapes our character. As we grow older, we are responsible for who we choose to become. We should always strive towards becoming a better version of the goal we set out to reach.

There is something I want with all my heart. I’ve made excuses as to why I couldn’t do certain things that would get me to that goal. Some excuses were reasonable and some were just plain silly. But recently, I had to slow down and take responsibility for what I was feeding my spirit. You are what you feed yourself. Whether it is internalizing what others may say or feel about you until they become your own thoughts, or they were your thoughts to begin with but unhealthy ones. In order for anything to get done in this world we must be willing to take risks and believe in ourselves. Nothing gets done overnight, but consistent progress (just like the tortoise in the Tortoise and the Hare story) is what will see us to the finish line.

The reason some of us give up is because we expect change in an instant. We are not willing to put in the effort or the time or the sacrifice to get there. We are more focused on the finish line than learning along the way, enjoying the journey and appreciating every day and moment spent doing that particular thing. Along the way, we will learn what is or isn’t proper and will have to tweak accordingly. Imagine getting all you want overnight. I’m quite sure none of us would appreciate what we had and we would be more than likely to continue the same mistakes that got us to where we are in the first place.

The Bible warns us constantly not to worry over things. Worrying truly gets us nowhere. It keeps us focused on the past. It limits our vision and chokes our passion. 90% of everything we strive for comes from motivation. The other 10% is the work. On the days we don’t feel like getting up, it’s motivation and a sense of duty that drives us to keep going. Don’t kill that innate sense of duty to get things done. The more you feed it (consistency) the more it will save you when there are days you would prefer to relax and waste your day watching TV.

In everything we do, we must be consistent. Be your own biggest cheerleader. Find the motivation to set forth towards reaching all your goals this year. Don’t wait until New Year’s 2017 to start, start now. Promise yourself that you will celebrate every accomplishment, learn from every mistake, keep pushing and in the end share all you know. We don’t become great people to keep it to ourselves, but to motivate others as well.