Category Archives: Joy Posts

How To Survive In This World As An Introvert

 

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Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

Introverts are labelled many things: stupid, antisocial, cold, rude, stuck up etc. Sadly, this only reveals the insecurity of the people making these judgments.

No one is the same. We are not born with the same temperaments. Some people are loud, in your face and full of energy. They love people and conversation, some can talk for hours and feel amazing.

Then there are introverts. No, we are not always shy, no we are not rude or even hate humans. We simply love quiet, being quiet and having short and straight forward conversations.

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Some of us need to get to know you first before opening up, so give us time to do so. Personally, it takes me years before I consider someone a friend or someone I can trust. If I am pressured to trust and open up before I am ready, best believe I will withdraw or never speak to you again. Give people room to make decisions for themselves. Sadly, I believe a lot of people look for validation from others. So, if an introvert doesn’t give them the attention they seek, they feel…less than.

Everyone wants to be a motivational speaker these days. It’s quite infuriating, honestly. I don’t mind others wanting to do it, but I surely do not. And I’m quite sure, there are others that feel the same. They will force you, shame you and nag you into public speaking, as if your worth and future depends on it. Give people the freedom to choose their own path and their own lives without the guilt trip. That’s right, saying someone isn’t going to make it in life because they don’t live up to your standards is controlling.

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Photo by Isaiah Rustad on Unsplash

It takes a lot of strength, as in introvert to say ‘NO’. We are shamed everyday for being who we are. We are not allowed to shine in our strengths but forced to change, to see ourselves as faulty. I believe true strength is quiet, sometimes. It takes strength to be different, to quietly assert your confidence in a way that is unseen. To be so secure in yourself that you do not need the validation of others, you do not need the company of others to define your worth or your future.

I had to learn how to speak up for my needs. I had to learn how to enforce boundaries and make it clear that I’m not changing and I’m not doing anything I am uncomfortable with or don’t believe in.

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

We need all kinds of people to function and strive in this world. Introverts have a great role to play. If you are a manager of a company, a teacher, a spiritual leader, a parent, or anyone in position of authority, please do not change or shame the introverts you lead. Be observant and you will begin to see a whole list of traits and skills that these wonderful introverts can add to your company, etc.

Introverts carry many valuable soft skills that are often overlooked and needed in a company. Some include : analytical skills, attention to detail, excellent written communication, patience under pressure, and the ability to work and stay focused. It does differ from person-to-person, but this is just to give you a general idea of what to look for.

A great leader observes a person as an individual with their own skill sets, not someone to mold into their image.

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

My hope is that this will bring some awareness to those that have an ear to hear, but also a source of comfort and encouragement to fellow introverts, who feel as if they are not allowed to be themselves, completely. I’m here to tell you, that while it will be a life long battle, you hold the power in your hands. ‘NO’, is a powerful word – use it to enforce your boundaries. Trust me, you will feel so much better that you did.

 

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God Is A Mystery

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

In this world, we are all striving to make money and do something with our time.

I’m up at midnight, reflecting on recent changes in my life. I realized that God is a mystery, literally. Does anyone know what He is truly thinking? Do we really know why things happen the way they do and for what purpose? Can we anticipate God’s next move?

I have come to the end of myself. I cannot rationalize or make sense of God’s ways. He does things that confuses even the wisest of us. We can judge all day long and still end up wrong. We don’t know what God is doing on the inside. He works mysteriously behind the scenes, in people’s hearts and in every circumstance to bring about His will. What is His will?

How do we know what God’s intent is in a given situation? What if a young woman and a young man love each other but one is saved but the other isn’t. Do we write him off completely? What about Esther? Didn’t she marry someone of another faith and culture? But her marriage to the King was God’s plan to save her people.

What if someone becomes homeless and that was God’s plan to get them to their destiny? What if illness was the means to draw someone close to him? What about Joseph and Daniel serving ungodly Kings?

We think we know, but do we know? Why God does the things He does? Why He chose to let Job be tested and trialed by Satan? We got a tiny glimpse of the dialogue in heaven. Who knows what is being said about us right now.

I cannot control God. I cannot pray and believe that God will answer my prayers as I prayed them. I’ve learned to simply pray my needs but then end the prayer with : let your will be done. I’ve watched God open and closed doors. Doors that I thought would be answers to my needs and God said no, only to open other doors that make no sense at all.

God is loving, kind and patient but he isn’t swayed by human emotion. You cannot bribe God into doing anything He doesn’t want done. We can’t praise or speak out prayers into existence. God is sovereign, He doesn’t need our help.

Human beings know NOTHING. We are all carrying baggage and burdens. We all have a past , full of wounds and lessons. All we know is what we perceive. We don’t know what the best course is for our own lives, so why do we think we know the best for others? This realization made me humble. I need God. Human beings cannot tell me what is the best course for my life, only God can.

So seek Him. Seek Him out for the course of your life. He is the only one that knows what is best for you. I now know how to give people advice: pray and seek God. We may hear and see what someone is going through, but only God truly knows. This is where patience is needed, to wait for God to lead us in the way we should go.

We oftentimes want to jump ahead and make our own decisions because we think God is taking too long. We become afraid of losing time. Be patient, as everything has it’s time and season.

Don’t worry about those that laugh and judge you. Everyone laughed at Noah and Abraham. Noah built an ark before rain ever existed. God told him that there will be a flood and only those that take shelter in the ark will be saved. Everyone laughed at him. They thought he was a nut case. But Noah patiently obeyed God’s instructions. What has God told you that was hard to believe? What did you actually believe but have allowed others to convince you otherwise? Trust what you heard from God.

It’s hard to believe because we don’t see the evidence. It takes too long. People are laughing and mocking us. But if you forfeit the vision, what is your purpose? What aimless thing are you chasing after? All the crazy things biblical characters believed for, determined their purpose. Abraham the father of nations, Moses who led Hebrew slaves out of bondage, Noah and the flood, Esther and saving her people from genocide, Joseph and His dream that got him in trouble with his jealous brothers but was the door in which God used to help his family and various nations in time of famine.

If you believe in God and walk with Him, trust that every painful experience has a purpose. Trust that every odd circumstance has meaning. It all has meaning. Life isn’t meant to be understood anyway.

Until next time,


Just Be Yourself – Literally

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Photo by Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash

This week was full of anxiety. I cried so much over the weekend, and during the week, I was too scared to think clearly. The week went by in a blur and it wasn’t until today that I found many lessons – and a major one worth writing about.

You see, I am not a speaker. I’ve had the whole world and their momma (haha) tell me that I’m a speaker. Where I work, I am sometimes asked to speak and instruct. It’s nerve wrecking and it brings me great anxiety. I have tried, all my life to overcome this but it has only gotten worse as I got older.

Sitting Woman in sweater, holding her head and a mug on a table in front of her.

Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash

It hit me in the face, today, that I’m being someone I’m not. Well, I’m being pressured. People will say : “if you don’t overcome public speaking fears you will never succeed.” , “You are a coward.” “You can adapt and change.” “You have low-self confidence.”

I realize this is peer pressure dressed up in a fancy package called motivation. It demoralizes a person. Makes them feel less than and sub par for not meeting expectations. Watching the “I look down on you” expressions from people that want you to live up to their standards.

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Where they (and I for a short while) saw mistakes and failure, was where I saw strength and character. First off, congrats to me for even doing it. However, I realized my own strengths. I have the ability to break down hard concepts into simple and easy to understand examples. I can relate to people who are a bit slower than the rest and provide encouragement and a safe place for them to learn. I use my mistakes to help others avoid the same pitfalls. I also like brain storming with people – giving us all an equal footing , instead of me just lecturing and teaching something.

I was so focused on being like them, instead of being me and I refuse to do that ever again. I may not know everything – and I am honest about it – and I may not be the most eloquent speaker but I don’t need to be.

Never again will I allow anyone or anything pressure me to perform. Never will I be anything other than who I am. God made me the way I am and I will not change myself to fit in, be liked, or to succeed. There are skills and traits that I will develop over time, but public speaking just isn’t one of them.

I will succeed either way because I believe I will, not because other people say so. Remember, you must believe in yourself even if the world doesn’t. You must stand firm in your beliefs and identity even if the world rejects you. You don’t have to change to fit in. I don’t need anyone’s approval, nor do I need to speak unless I have something important to say.

I thought becoming myself was improving each part , piece by piece. But it was finding a hidden wholeness seeing the fractures as the design. - Brianna Wiest

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

I hope this message is clear: introverts , quiet people, don’t you dare change who you are for anyone! You were created this way for a reason. If everyone is the same, who will be different? It was all the quirky people that left a real mark in this world. Not everyone will do the same things and in the same way and in the same order.

Don’t let the world, or the church, family or friends pressure you to be someone you are not. You will feel like an impostor, you will feel anxious and afraid and you will most definitely NOT feel confident. There are many ways to take risks, many avenues and paths to venture. Don’t be forced to do anything but do everything out of love.

Be yourself, literally and don’t compromise!

Until next time,

My Father Is A King And He Dwells In The Heavenlies

Lady in Purple outfit

Proverbs 31:22 (NLT) She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.

One day, I was having an intimate conversation with God and I began to speak in poetry –

My father is a King and he dwells in the heavenly courts. It was the beginning of a powerful prayer, a prayer of identity.

God also told me to read Proverbs 31 during another time in prayer. I was like, “excuse me but, what does this have to do with what I’m going through?” I read it anyway.

Proverbs 31:22 (NLT) She makes her own bedspreads, she dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

This, Proverbs 31, woman knows her worth. She is frugal, a business woman, intelligent, wise and hard working. She isn’t lazy and she isn’t cowardly. She also obeys the Lord.

A lot of times people make this about a wife – and rightfully so, as she is a proverbs 31 wife BUT I believe all people : male and female can learn from her.

You see, when we know who we are in Christ, we start living like it. We start acting like people that know Christ. It’s not enough to say the sinners prayer, say you’re a christian, go to church etc. We must walk with God like Enoch, Moses , Daniel and Joseph did.

Photo by Jonny Caspari on Unsplash

Photo by Jonny Caspari on Unsplash

A Princess doesn’t hang around filth – which in our case would be sin. A Princess seeks the best and she is backed up by her father – the King. He has her back, she can run to daddy and he helps her. He protects and provides for her. This doesn’t mean trouble won’t come and it also doesn’t mean she isn’t required to rise up in her identity, but it means she has power and knowledge backing her up. She knows the God of the world protects her spirit.

She has complete confidence in God – not her abilities. Human beings are of great worth to God. We are precious to him. Christ gave up so much – coming to earth as a human and experiencing  life, death and betrayal. He was the perfect demonstration of God’s love – meeting us in our limitations but because He is holy – he is the perfect demonstration of a Godly life.

He is God because he didn’t stay dead and he didn’t continue to live on earth but once alive, he went back to heaven.

We have hope – because we all must die. But the hope is that we too get to spend the next life (after death) with Christ forever.

So, our time on earth, must be spent walking in that identity God has given us. We are children of a great King and everything he does is good. We must trust that our father loves us. We must trust him.

Like Daniel’s friends who trusted God – even knowing that God is not required to save them. But they love him no matter what.

Photo by antonio ochoa on Unsplash

Photo by antonio ochoa on Unsplash

If God doesn’t give us what we prayed for, will we continue to walk with him? Will we continue to talk to him and trust him?

Flee from sin. A godly life is your comfort and protection. Royalty does not mess with filth. Don’t let your wicked heart taint your life.

Purple is the color of royalty simply because purple dye was rare and costly. Only the rich could afford it. I’m quite sure most of us are not rich, but I truly believe that we can be rich/wealthy with whatever we have. We don’t need to walk around looking destitute, depressed and defeated.

Humility is a deposition. Humility involves gratitude. I truly believe God wants us to be creative and imaginative.

Remember your worth – God loves you. Don’t mess with sin – run from it and trust God. He is your father and he dwells in the heavenly courts. He has all knowledge and all power! He has ultimate control. Trust Him with your future and your soul and you will always be at peace.

God Bless,

Teacher – I Have A Question!

Photo by Marcos Luiz Photograph on Unsplash

Photo by Marcos Luiz Photograph on Unsplash

I’m stumped! I have no advice to give you, maybe some words of encouragement but here is just a glimpse of a mind full of questions.

What do you do when a situation makes absolutely no sense. It makes sense based on patterns, human nature and folly, wickedness, sin, and just simply life. But, I hear all the time Christian leaders tell us to have expectation, to speak to our situation etc.

If God is sovereign, if his ways are higher than ours, if his wisdom is meant to confuse the wisest of men, what are we to expect? What about those that are martyred for the faith? Those that lose everything? What about people that die despite trusting God?

I remember, last year, I was sick and I told God that I loved him. I washed my face, fixed my hair and got dressed. I set out to live my best life , sick and poor.

I am simply going to make that same confession: God, I love you. You healed me last year and even though things are not exactly how I want them, I am going to fix my hair, wash my face and get dressed. I am going to serve you afraid. I will serve you confused. I will serve you as I am, where I am and with what I have.

I have no answers. I cannot put the puzzle pieces together. I don’t even know what the puzzle looks like. I have no clue what God is doing but all I do know is that I love him. He has done more than enough for me. He is my strength, even now.

All I can expect in this life are two things: Human suffering and that Christ died and rose for me. Because of what He did, I have eternal life. That is the only guarantee in life. I could lose my life, all my material possessions, friends and family but the only thing that remains is my faith and the hope of salvation.

How God chooses to help me, if he even helps me – is his business. I won’t complain or tell him what to do.

The greatest peace I had was waking up and going on with life with the goal of living! I will not just survive, I will strive. I will utilize all that I am and all that I have.

I am thankful. He gave me everything I needed to face the unknown storm heading my way.

It’s like reaching new levels in a game. After winning each level you gain new skills, higher XP and learn better strategies to overcome. Each level makes you stronger.

Daniel 3:16-28(NKJV)

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

Read the rest from the link above…

To those that lost everything or might lose everything, to those that are suffering in different ways, and those that were taught to speak to their situations and to believe in the false doctrine of the Law of Attraction, hear me:

Trusting in God does not mean bad things won’t happen. Trusting in God doesn’t mean you can speak to a situation and change it. God decides in the end when and how things will end. You must reach a place where you are willing to lose everything for Christ. To accept that persecution and troubles are part of life and especially the Christian life. We are not promised riches, fame or anything these false prophets have shoved down our throats.

Photo by Joshua Hanks on Unsplash

Photo by Joshua Hanks on Unsplash

Our goal is sanctification – pruning and refinement. To become virtuous – humble, meek, gentle and kind. To have great faith and to walk in holiness. These things will never fade away.

God has the power to save us from all trouble but we must learn and be willing to learn. It isn’t always about our comfort. God is not a genie. But He did say he is our friend, our comforter and guide. We don’t know what kind of life God has planned for us, but all I know is that whatever it is, it is ultimately for our good and the good of those around us.

Keep the faith,

 

You’re Almost There

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Don’t give up, you’re almost there.

These are the words that ring through my head on a cold Sunday night.

Faced with opposition and the coming of a storm, the natural reaction is to either run in fear or shut down. It’s natural to want to give up or go another direction.

God revealed to me a very vague blue print of my current season. It was in that blue print that I found direction, comfort and peace. I had many opposition and trials but I stood firm on the foundation of God’s word.

However, the incident before me is greater than any I could imagine. Sort of like a tsunami that I  can see from the distance. It’s right over my head and there is no escape. The normal reaction is to either run or shut down but my spirit woman is saying to grab something flat and learn how to surf. I have no swimming experience. I’m out of shape and agility and balance is out of the question. I can’t consult YouTube , google or even another person. I just have to pick up the board and ride the waves. I have to be observant, deliberate and then just hop on. I have to study the waves, maybe I’ll be washed out, maybe I’ll drown . But there is another likelihood that i’ll find my footing and find myself the queen of the waves.

You are almost there.

Whatever you are doing – if God told you to do it, don’t let it go. Don’t give it up, even if you find yourself losing resources, support etc., just keep going! Don’t lose sight of the vision and trust that God will get you there. If He said it, He will do it. God is faithful to perform his word!

Have faith!

Hebrews 11: 1:

Faith shows the reality of what we hope for ; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. NLT.

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation’under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd. MSG V 1-2

Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality – faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]. AMP

God requires our faith to serve and honor him. He gives us a dream or a destination and it will take all of his children great faith to get there. No Christian life is marked by comfort. All true Christians will have to leave their comfort zones and give up everything for Christ.

Have faith and believe in his word! Don’t allow anything in life stop you!

 

Don’t Numb The Pain – You Have A Choice!

Photo by frankie cordoba on Unsplash

Photo by frankie cordoba on Unsplash

One of the greatest things I’ve done in life was sit through the pain. I didn’t run away, didn’t rationalize, didn’t find unhealthy ways to cope. I dropped everything and sat in my anger, shame and pain.

I sat there and embraced it, completely.

It was in my pain that I saw a loving God and the strength he has given me. In that lonely and painful time, it was then, that I realized that I am in full control over my decisions and actions. I decided, that the greatest power I have, is wielding my faith and holding on to my integrity. All the pain:  self-inflicted or caused by others, was not going to make me into a horrible  person.

I knew I ready won. No one can take God or my integrity away from me.

Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

I can do good and be good.

I can rise above the pain of life.

I can hold on to what I truly believe in.

I can explore life with faith.

I also accepted that I knew nothing about the promises of God. It’s not enough to do good deeds, we need to know why we do them.

Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

We do good to off balance evil.

We do good to help others.

We do good to glorify God

We do good for our own future – storing up treasures in heaven that never rot or decay.

Photo by Daniel Apodaca on Unsplash

Photo by Daniel Apodaca on Unsplash

The sight of heaven and being with God as a reward, made it easier for me to press on. Our mistakes and failures are meaningless under grace. We have a choice, every new day, to chase after God and his ways. We must be willing to throw out human opinion and fear of man to rise up. We will be misunderstood, hated and suffer all kinds of things when we decide to follow God. But, don’t focus on that. Focus on God and what he tells you to do. No one can make you do anything or be anything. No one has that power unless you give it to them.

Photo by Oliver Roos on Unsplash

Photo by Oliver Roos on Unsplash

It’s a choice that affects every other choice you make.

Always aim to choose wisely.

How God Used Web Development To Prune Me

Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

It’s about time I talk about my journey in Web Development. If you follow me on twitter, you will see tweets about events I’ve attended, splashed here and there.

My journey started in late 2017. I learned HTML, CSS and JavaScript fundamentals in a class setting. It was an amazing experience. I fell in love with code: mainly design (JavaScript kicks my butt, but I haven’t given up) and I’m now learning WordPress and PHP.

I learned so much over the span of this experience. It was difficult. At first, it was like a dream. I was excited and dedicated. Then life hit me, and I had to make decisions that challenged my faith.

I mentioned in a previous post about attending a Boot Camp. Well, that was an eye opening experience in itself. I want to start of by saying that the aim of this post is to serve as a source of  encouragement and also a teaching lesson. I almost lost everything – including my life – BUT it was all God’s plan and it was only at this moment that I could fully accept this as truth.

You might remember my angry posts. My posts about not being happy and losing joy. I was in a very dark place. I was worried I lost everything – all that God had given me – over something so stupid.

I won’t get into details over what that thing was but the root of it was – I wasn’t solid in my understanding of who God is. This was a teaching moment for me and God was going to let me fall on my face so I could understand.

We must be rooted in God’s love for us. My greatest fear happened to me and I was thrown off course. I was upset – I questioned God. How could He allow the very thing I was trying to avoid. I was content with where I was and where I was going. I was content with the future I had planned out for myself. It was as if God led me right into my fears and then left me alone to see how I would respond. Prayers were not answered: I ran to and fro to anyone that could give me counsel. I was embarrassed and ashamed.

by: Tim Mossholder

by: Tim Mossholder

I began to doubt God’s love for me and my heart grew dark. I was angry with God. I wanted to shut down my blog – I felt as if I was living a lie. How could I write about joy when my joy is gone? I knew I had to be honest. I knew I couldn’t lie about how I was feeling.

The boot-camp was not the thing that made me angry with God, but because I was angry, I couldn’t hear God’s voice. God’s voice leads us in our choices in life. Well, my spiritual ears were blocked so I couldn’t hear or recognize that God was telling me not to go.

I worked so hard for this opportunity. Every door slammed in my face during admissions. I finally made it to the end and awaited judgement. Verdict: access denied. I was so upset. I worked so hard just to push down every door that closed in my face. I received a call back, saying a spot was opened that I can fill. I accepted but I wasn’t able to celebrate with sincerity. Honestly, at this point, I was so upset with God that I threw everything out the window. I stopped praying, etc and I was beginning to revert to a part of me I didn’t like. I tried to tell myself this was a miracle – but deep down I wasn’t so sure this was God opening a door for me. It felt more like He gave me what I wanted because I threw a horrible tantrum.

Everything was fine in the beginning. I had this major distraction in my life. It was a person. I realized that every time I’m about to do something important in life – a distraction comes my way in the form of a person. This person undermined everything I sought out to accomplish. At first, person was nice and sweet but over time, person began to chip away at my core beliefs. Person tore me down. I made excuses for person. I thought person was my friend and had my back. I want to warn you: be cautious of who you allow in your inner circle. Be cautious of who you share your inner thoughts and feelings. Some people may appear to be kind and loving but their agenda is to destroy you. They might not even know that they are doing it. Remember, we are fighting a spiritual battle. Sampson , a mighty Judge , was cut down and his destiny cut short because he allowed Delilah to wear him down and expose his weakness. Our enemy is Satan. He sends people – like the Philistines sent Delilah – to uncover your weaknesses. They pose as a friend or a lover – someone you should trust.

Everything became chaotic in my life. It has always been chaotic but because I had lost sight of Christ, the chaos began to affect me. Let’s just say I was a mess. At this point, I wanted to give up on life. I had reached my limit and I was tired. It felt as if all of heaven and earth was against me and I was fighting to survive. Desperate – but cautious – I visited a local church because people were nagging me to fellowship with other Christians. This too was another distraction. You might say : but isn’t fellowship with other Christians a good thing? Not always. Again, not all people that say they are Christians, really are. Christians are also human beings that struggle with sin tenancies, some that are not too pleasant to be around. Then there are others that believe in false doctrine.

Honestly, I believe what happened to me was for a reason. I had to see first hand a lie that is floating around in the Body of Christ and allow God to show me the truth in his word. Some churches are so focused on hyper spirituality that they forget to serve the people. Assembly line prayers – I reached out for prayer and all I got was judgement. Prayer full of judgement and when I sought out a listening ear I was told that I needed to sit down because I was already prayed for. I was appalled. I left the building with a sense of emptiness. It was then that I grit my teeth and said to myself : WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!!!!

I got really quiet in my spirit and started cutting people out of my life – again. One by one, I closed the door without a word. I did not care who was confused or upset. I was not concerned with pleasing others – I was focused on getting better. While I was cutting people out, I dropped out of the boot-camp. At the time, I was very sad but I knew I had to. It was the best decision I made that year. I spent 2 months recovering – I stopped coding, tended to my weary body and started praying again. It was a painful process – I was very run down.

God began to speak again, or rather, I was able to hear his voice. He comforted me in ways no one else could. When I opened my heart to see the filth inside of it, God cleaned it up and then told me what He was doing. You see, it was his plan the whole time. I had a lot of inner issues I needed to deal with. I realized I had a lot of beliefs that were not really my own. I just accepted them because I accepted the label of Christianity. I learned about the bondage of guilt and shame and that Christ died to get rid of that. He doesn’t want us walking around with guilt and shame. He doesn’t want us to repay for our sins – he already paid for it. But I was walking around with so much baggage – trying to live holy, not because It truly came from my heart, but because I thought it would compensate for my short comings. I also allowed people to heap on burdens on me. I allowed people to wear me down. God held up a mirror and showed me my true identity, outside of the garbage people kept dumping on me. It was then that I knew what He wanted me to do. The vision of my life became clear and my joy returned.

Photo by Sushobhan Badhai on Unsplash

Photo by Sushobhan Badhai on Unsplash

Now my joy is rooted and grounded even more in God’s love. God was pruning me. It is an unpleasant experience but don’t give up. God showed me my growth: instead of completely running away from him, I told him that I would wait for him in my anger. I had to go through the pain and turmoil of my negative emotions. I didn’t run away.

I can now share this experience with the hope of encouraging you to keep the faith. Embrace the pain, the frustration, the anger and the confusion. Like David said ” wait on the Lord.” Sometimes you do everything a good christian is suppose to do and it’s not enough. We cannot manipulate the situation – all we can do is wait on God to teach us and renew us in time.

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

God is refining us. I am no longer bound by the garbage people try to throw at me. I am no longer bound by my preconceived notions about how my life should be – I’m free to accept every good blessing from God. I am free to be myself without shame. I was willing to lose everything I worked hard for to have God and he turned around and gave me so much more.

Love, peace and joy are worth so much more than money and prestige. It’s worth more than any earthly relationship and it’s a true blessing from God. Seek after it with all you have and you will have all that you need.

Please let me know in the comments of how God has pruned you? What did you learn?

Until next time,

The Battle For Your Mind – Satan The Deceiver

Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash

Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash

Finally, I’m back.

I have something to share with you all. The deception of binding and rebuking! *insert weird music here*.

You know what is floating around in the Christian world these days and I have been guilty of it in the past: ” Satan, I rebuke you.” or ” I bind you Satan.”

Seriously, It’s hard for me to keep from laughing but I was talking to someone recently and after taking inventory of all my bible knowledge, I came to the startling realization that Satan is truly a deceiver.

OK, so let me break this down for you guys. Spiritual warfare is real but not how you were taught.  We don’t bind and rebuke Satan. We don’t even need to rebuke or bind spirits. Satan’s main function is to deceive. You see, the battle is in our minds and hearts. Satan attacks our belief about God. Ever wonder how Satan never comes to tempt an unbeliever. Let’s get this straight, an unbeliever serves their flesh. There are three forces in this world : God, human flesh and Satan/demons. Sometimes we blame Satan for our own fleshly desires.

In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were given instructions. God had established something in their lives. Satan’s main duty was to come and challenge what God told them.

He works by:

1. Getting people to doubt God. 

2: Getting people to turn away from God.

3. And ultimately getting people to sin. 

But he starts with challenging our belief system. 

Genesis 4 : 3-7(NIV)

In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

In the case with Cain, Satan wasn’t in the picture. In this case, this was Cain’s own heart. He was jealous. He had a heart condition and our loving God even warned him to get it right.

Matthew 4:1-11 (NIV)

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a]by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d]” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Now, In order to defend ourselves from Satan’s lies, we must know the Word of God. Jesus gives us the perfect example when He fasted for 40 days in the desert. He threw so many” it is written” like a Samurai sword! Seriously, don’t mess with Jesus. *laughs* But the interesting part was how Satan also threw back scripture. However, Jesus knew the word deeply, for he was the word but with the help of the Holy Spirit, we too can wield our weapons of faith and scripture. 

Here, we see all three forces in action :

1. Jesus’s flesh – He was hungry

2. Satan – The Ultimate Liar

3. God’s Word 

Here we see that Jesus conquered his flesh with the power of God’s word when Satan tried to get him to go against the fast that God had established. Jesus had faith in God, the written word and also his destiny. He knew what he was here for and who he was living for.

The battle is for your mind. 

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NLT)

We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

BINGO! Capturing rebellious thoughts and TEACHING THEM THROUGH GOD’S WORD to obey Christ. Don’t chant these words, believe them and apply them.

If you fall, get back up and keep applying. Like a seedling in the ground, allow God’s word to grow in your life. When he gives you a word, or whenever you read his word, cherish it like the most important thing in your life. God’s word will save your life!

John 8:44 (NLT)

44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.

 

The Lord Is Faithful, So Let Faith Make You Move!

Photo by Rachel Pfuetzner on Unsplash

Photo by Rachel Pfuetzner on Unsplash

Hey guys!

July 26, 2018 marked the 1 year anniversary for littleeverydayblessings.com!

I am so happy and excited to have another year to explore all that God has in store.

I will tell you, it came with great struggle. Let no one tell you that doing anything in this life is smooth sailings. There will be time of doubt, fear and just plain foolishness. At one point, I questioned if I wanted to continue blogging but God made sure I didn’t give up! What happened really amazes me.

This blog is truly a work of faith. I prayed really hard, worked really hard, planned super hard and did everything I could to get this blog up and running. Here’s the story.

Last year, I earned $200 doing a cleaning/organizing gig for someone at my previous church. At the time, I was greatly ill, so this was just a nice little thing to do on the side (but boy did it kill me). So, after that gig was done, things happened and I found myself, by myself and with only $200 dollars. I asked myself, what can I do with this money?  I spent the first half on ridiculous things and I said to myself, OH NO WAY, please do not waste this last $100 on nothing special.

So, I went to God and I asked Him what I should do. At the time, I was blogging but not regularly. Sometimes I’ll go months without posting anything. It was then that I realized that I wanted to blog and I enjoyed doing it.

Not too long after, I experienced a miracle and God healed me of chronic pain and other ailments. It was then that I continued praying over that money, asking God what I should do. However, time was passing by and I became frustrated with myself and said “I’m taking a leap of faith God. I only have $100 but I will make this work.” I conducted research everyday, prayed everyday, every minute and during every situation that came up. I had many “setbacks” but also witnessed a lot of mini miracles. It was through this experience that I learned that faith truly produces action. You don’t just pray , you move.

I was able to get everything I needed to start my blog with just $100. This includes other things I needed to ensure that I could pay for services etc. God gave me wisdom to find ways to get what I needed for less.

Fast forward to a year later and I had to renew my subscription. I had no money, as I was in a boot camp learning web development (that in itself was a long and complicated story for next time.) and I did not know where the money would come from. I prayed and said “God, this blog, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ve been so busy tending to other things in my life. Why did it end up like this?” Even though my prayer didn’t seem really powerful, it was. God heard me and gave me this grand idea to save whatever money I get from whatever source I get it. I had another source of income lined up for me, but I had no idea when it would come. I knew I couldn’t depend on that so, I saved almost every large bill I received.

A few days away from having my service cut, in my heart I worried and said “God should I just give up? I’m not sure I’m going to make it in time.” I heard in my spirit so clearly, “Don’t give up. Just wait. It will come.” I felt peace and continued saving whatever I received.  A day or two passed and I nonchalantly decided to count the money I saved. To my surprise I had enough to cover the expenses with change left over.  I screamed from the top of my lungs praising God! I was contemplating going the cheaper route but God covered the expenses for what I needed.

What made it even more awesome was that I didn’t even have to use the money that I was waiting for.

To some, this might seem like nothing, but in my lack, God came through for me. I learned that the righteous must truly walk by faith. Sometimes I find myself complaining about why I don’t have certain things but my struggles teach me about the sovereign and loving Savior that rescues me all the time.  This experience really touched me deeply and it is what I refer to when I feel sad and alone. God truly cares about everything in our lives, including the small things. He isn’t distant, judgemental or careless. He will guide you if you truly believe in Him.

Don’t beat yourself up if faith doesn’t come naturally. It didn’t for me but as I continued to walk with God, I learned that He is everything and all I ever need.

A job, education, people, my health… they all failed me. And I’m not saying that some of it was on purpose. It’s life. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that are just a reflection of what a fallen world we live in. However, when trouble comes, we must believe that God is able to deliver us.  Faith produces action. Faith without works is dead or rather fake. You can’t fake faith. You either have it or don’t.

I can’t even say believe in yourself anymore. All I can advocate is believing in God. He gives divine strength and wisdom that none can, not even yourself.

I challenge us to continue trusting God for whatever it is we need but let’s not hesitate to MOVE.

Matthew 19:26 (NIV)

 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 17:20 (NIV)

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”