Monday, June 19, 2017

Making Peace Over Petty Situations

Everyone experiences a “falling out” with someone they care for at least once in their life.

Sometimes relationships end for legitimate reasons and other times, they end for petty reasons that aren’t even memorable.

2017 has taught me that it is sometimes better to be kind than it is to have pride.

There really is a reward for being the bigger person.

Forgiveness is good for the soul. Holding on to negativity is poisonous and can even lead to health problems.

But letting go of grudges and making amends with people is a wonderfully peaceful experience.

So today I’d like to encourage my followers to make amends with someone that they no longer speak to.

Of course, there are relationships that are better off ending.

Sometimes we love people the best when we love them from afar.

However, if there is a relationship that meant a lot to you… a relationship that ended over something silly; I encourage you to reach out to that person and start anew.

Make someone’s day. Be kind. Be a peacemaker.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Feeling Inadequate


Do you ever doubt your gifts?

Do you ever doubt that you deserve recognition for your talents?

It’s tempting to fall prey to feelings of inadequacy when we feel like we don’t measure up to the world’s standards.

But we fail to realize that when we doubt ours gifts, we are actually doubting God’s ability to give us exactly what we need.

It’s like receiving a gift and being unappreciative of it because you don’t know how to use it.

If you don’t know how to use something, what do you do?

You learn how to use it!

If we pray and ask God to help us use our gifts, He will bless us with abilities we didn’t even know we could possess.

Let any doubts or fears that you have dissipate in the presence of God’s giving Hand.

Food for thought: God was able to use Moses regardless of the fact that he had a speech impediment (Exodus 4:10).


Think about that. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

When It's Hard To Let Go

Loss is something that everyone on earth experiences at least once in their life.

Loss comes in many forms; the loss of a job, the loss of a loved one, the loss of a relationship, the loss of a house…

There is no quick fix solution to letting go of what you love without feeling pain.

But the Bible does say in Isaiah 26:3 that, “Thou wilt keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed in thee.”

The storm may last longer than you expected it to. The winds may be stronger than you anticipated.

But if you trust in God, He will give you the peace, wisdom and understanding that you need to get through the trials of life.

He will give you the strength you need to keep living when life beats you down.

Faith in God is a powerful thing and when you put your trust in God, He will give you the courage to face your problems and stand strong when they threaten to destroy you.

Trust in God and He will give you perfect peace.

He will give you the strength you need to get through the process of letting go.




Wednesday, June 7, 2017

For Such A Time As This

The biblical story of Esther is one that most Christians are familiar with.

Esther is a story of a Jewish young woman, Hadassah, who becomes queen of Persia due to a series of pivotal events.

One of the main lessons that I feel can be taken away from this story is that, when it comes to God’s plan for our lives, no event is simply random. Every single step we see Esther take leads her to a purpose that is greater than even she knows.

The first two chapters of Esther are like a prologue as they give us insight into the political climate in Persia where Hadassah lived with her cousin Mordecai, who lived in the palace, having been carried away as a captive when Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar took King Jeconiah of Judah into exile (Esther 2:5-6).

At the end of chapter one, we find out that the current queen, Vashti, has been stripped of her title because of her refusal to come before King Ahaseurus’ court during a feast (Esther 1:12-19).

In the beginning of chapter two, the king is being advised to send out officers throughout his kingdom to gather fair young maidens and bring them back to the palace so that they can be purified and brought before him.

One maiden will be chosen out of this group to become the new queen (Esther 2:2-4).

The decree goes out and Hadassah is gathered up among the young maidens that are chosen. But when Hadassah goes into the palace, she doesn’t reveal that she is Jewish because Mordecai has told her not to. It is believed that her name, Esther, was given to her for this reason.

The process begins for the king to choose his queen (Esther 2:12-13) and Esther, who has obtained favor by everyone she’s come across at the palace, is chosen (Esther 2:15-17).

To some people this would be considered nothing more than favorable happenstance, however, we learn later on that it was all in God’s plan because a plot is eventually devised to destroy the Jews (Esther 3:8-11) – but God already had a representative in the palace to save His people.

You see, Esther didn’t know exactly why she was chosen but God will put us in positions that we never imagined we’d be in – all for His glory.

You never know what you will be asked to do when God brings you into high positions of favor and we must be ready to say “yes” when God asks us to move in certain directions.
When Esther first finds out about the plot to kill the Jews, Mordecai charges her to go before the king and plead for mercy for her people but she is fearful because to approach the king without being called means death.

Mordecai responds with, “Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14)

These words are enough to change Esther’s mind and she tells Mordecai to gather all the Jews of Susa to fast in solidarity with her.

Esther then comes to the conclusion that if she dies, she dies (Esther 4:15).

But God, once again, brings her favor when she goes before the king (Esther 5:2).

Esther invites the king and Haman, who hates the Jews (Esther 3:5-6), to a banquet.

At the banquet Esther makes her plea for her people (Esther 7:2-6).

Can you imagine what would have happened if Esther had completely ignored Mordecai’s words? Imagine what would have happened to her? Imagine what would have happened to the Jews?

When your time comes and God places you in a position that He will use as a vessel for His purpose, plan and glory – will you say yes? Will you sacrifice? Will you take a step forward regardless of the risks?

God was not going to forsake His people. He was with Esther when she went before the King, He was with her when she faced the man that wanted to destroy her people and He was with her when the king granted her request to undo the evil that had been written against the Jews (Esther 8).

God was with her even as she was being taken into the palace.

God did not send Esther to step out on faith alone, He held her hand the entire time.

Just as He held her hand, He will hold yours.

But you have to step out and trust His plan.

You never know what palace you could end up in.

You never know if you were created for such a time as this. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvpp-WHwpkU

Image source: pexels.com (Bradley Hook)

Monday, June 5, 2017

When Life Looks Bleak

Isaiah 40:31 says, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint”.

Suffering is, unfortunately, a common occurrence in the world.

Sometimes the trials that we face cause us to feel like life is completely against us.

But we have to remember that God will never give us more than we can bear. He will always save the people that love Him and we’re never alone, even when we think we have no one on our side supporting us.

Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”.

God saves those who are crushed in spirit. No matter how bleak life looks, rest assured that God will save you.

God is a just God and if you are facing something that feels unfair, wait a little longer.

Your redemption is nigh. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hn0Jw4KFl24

Image source: pixabay.com (Klappe)

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Who Are You Inspiring?

Is there someone in your life that inspires you?

Someone that you look up to? Someone that inspires you to chase your dreams and go after your goals?

Someone that will never truly know how much they have impacted your life?

Did it ever occur to you that you are that someone for someone else?

Someone right now is holding on because you are motivating them to.

Whether it’s through triumphing over your struggles or refusing to give up hope – you are motivating someone to keep the faith.

You might feel as though you aren’t affecting anyone’s life but you don’t realize that every day your existence serves as a shining light that assists someone in crawling out of a hole they may be burdened with.

So keep working, keep believing, keep doing good.


You never know who’s watching. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIMSHRsHs98

Image source: pexels.com (Miguel Á. Padriñán)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Quality Over Quantity

In today’s society, almost everyone you meet spends their free time on some form of social media platform.

The main purpose of most social media websites is to allow users to share thoughts, life events and milestones with friends, family and sometimes acquaintances.

However, more often than not, people become enamored with the idea of becoming “social media famous”.

The more likes someone gets on a post, the more “popular” they are considered.

Sometimes people become so obsessed with social media popularity that they forget how important quality is over quantity.

If you find out you’re having a baby and you make a post announcing your pregnancy on Facebook, what’s more important – the amount of likes and comments you get on that post or the fact that friends and family are taking the time out of their day to congratulate you on this new milestone in your life?

We can get so caught up in the logistics of social media that we forget to focus on the true purpose of it – to connect with the world around us.

At the end of your life, the amount of followers you have on Instagram is not going to matter.

What will matter is the lives that you have positively impacted during your time on this earth.

That is what will be valuable to you.


That will be your true legacy. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gt9yna1z67E

Image source: unsplash.com (Robert Katzki)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

God Will Never Fail You

Everyone gets discourage.

Everyone has moments in their life journey where they sit back and think to themselves, “Am I really making a difference?”.

If our answer to ourselves is, “maybe” or “not really” then we tend to feel like we’re ready to give up – not realizing that we’ll never fully know the impact that we have on the lives around us.

Whether or not we know it, there are so many people that are inspired by our daily walk.

We never know how God is using us, so that feeling of inadequacy or uselessness is not accurate.

Even now God is working behind the scenes on things that we can’t even imagine are possible.

At our worst depictions of ourselves we have no idea just how beautifully God sees us.

At our worst moments we have no idea how God is using us.

If you feel like you aren’t making a difference… if you feel useless… wait on God.

God will use you in ways you never imagined.

He will use you to touch lives you never thought you’d come in contact with.

If you allow God to use you, He will show you why you were born.

He will allow you to fulfill your God given purpose.

Don’t be discouraged.

God is sending your breakthrough soon.

Amen. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jD6jgUZuRwk

Image source: pexels.com (Lukas)

Monday, May 22, 2017

God First


Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
 – Proverbs 16:3

It’s easy to say “God first”.

It’s easy to say that God is first in your life.

But it’s important to take a step back and evaluate whether or not we are really allowing 

God to take first place in our lives.

Putting God first in our lives means asking Him to guide every decision we make, it means listening to His correction, it means trusting Him through difficulties and praying that He will guide us through the storm.

When we operate on our human understanding, it becomes easier to make the wrong decisions.

But trusting God allows us to act with discernment.

When we act with discernment making the right decisions becomes a clearer process.

Our God is the creator of the universe and there is nothing wrong with letting go and letting Him work in our life.

When we put Him first, His magnificent hands will work glorious miracles in our lives.

So this week put God first, sit back and watch how your life changes for the better. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOhMenJoQ_U


Image source: pexels.com (Nastasia)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

When Your Dreams Intimidate You



When you dream big it’s not rare to find yourself in a place in life where your dreams intimidate you.

It’s easy to find yourself in a place of mind where you begin to doubt your talents and capabilities. You might begin to question yourself and your desire to “change the world”.

You might become skeptical that your dreams can actually come true and begin to expect negative results from your hard work or you’ll avoid making big decisions to save yourself from invisible heartbreak.

Through all the ups and downs in my life, the one thing that has remained constant is that if God wants something to happen for you – it will happen.

No matter how we try to avoid our destiny, God will allow us to come face to face with it so that we can fulfill His purpose for our life.

You can run for as long as you want but at some point you have to turn around, face the music and accept who you were destined to be.

Don’t let fear or intimidation deter you from your calling.

You have God on your side.

That is enough.

That is all you need. 




Image source: unsplash.com (Greg Rakozy)

Monday, May 15, 2017

When God Says No


As children of God, we have the amazing privilege of being able to lay our wants and needs at the throne of God. 

However, sometimes our inquiries are met with a “no”.

When we hear God say no, we might not totally understand why. If we haven’t spiritually matured to the point where we completely trust His plans, we might even question His answer.

Sometimes we try taking matters into our own hands and we end up in situations that we could have avoided had we simply listened to God in the first place.

God is never wrong. He is powerful, omnipotent and almighty.

He knows things that we may never know. He can see far beyond what our human eyes can see. He knows what’s best for us and what isn’t best for us.

So it’s actually beneficial to us when God says no. 

Although our human minds may fixate on what we’re sure is best for us, when we let go and trust God’s say in a matter – magnificent doors open up to us.

Simply being obedient to God can produce results more powerful than any results we might force out of our own doing.

Next time you hear a “no” from God, say thank you.

That "no" is sure to lead you to a million yes’s that were specially designed for you by Him.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBIwvtrpdfQ 


Image source: pexels.com (Markus Spiske)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sunflowers (Poem)



Sunflowers bloom in deteriorating houses
Where there are cracks in the walls
And holes in the ceilings
Where light shines through in the daytime
                                  
Sunflowers grow beneath collapsing ceilings
As rain comes pouring through
Cracks in the structure of a home
That once knew better days

Sunflowers stretch and bend under dark skies
And starry nights
When there are no clouds
Only shining beacons of light between vast distances of emptiness

Sunflowers grow though they are trampled on
Barely seen or acknowledged
But they are determined to reach the sky
Daringly defiant and valiantly bold

Sunflowers grow out of deteriorating houses
They stretch, bend and bloom through rainstorms, droughts and hurricanes
They stand firm in deserts and survive barren wastelands
Sunflowers bloom where they are planted


Image source: pexels.com

Sunday, April 16, 2017

He Is Risen

The gift of a lifetime
Undeserved grace
A debt I could never repay
The Savior of my faith

He is risen
From the grave
The tomb is empty
He has overcome

And just like the heart
He renewed in me
New life has come
All old has been swept away

He is risen
My Savior, my King
The tomb is empty
He has overcome

Love and mercy
Fill the kingdom
Heaven rejoices
For the King’s majesty is abundant

He is risen
Jesus Christ, Son of God
The tomb is empty
He has overcome


"He is not here: for HE IS RISEN, AS HE SAID. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."
-Matthew 28:6

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Pray For Someone


If there’s anyone you’ve been thinking of all day… If you’re focused on a certain someone that you can’t seem to forget.

If you want to reach out and touch a hand that you’re too far away to hold…

Pray.

Pray for someone.

Pray.

Prayer changes things even when that someone you’re praying for has no idea you’re even thinking about them.


“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.”
- 1 Peter 3:12

Because you have been made righteous through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22), God will hear your prayers and requests.

Never accept that someone is too far gone to receive grace.

There is always hope.

All it takes is one word lifted up to heaven for the sake of someone who needs it.

That someone on your mind could be one powerful prayer away from a breakthrough.

So pray. 


Image source: pexels.com

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Waiting


Patience is an interesting concept.

Most people would probably maintain that they’re pretty patient until being patient gets too hard.

It’s easy to get excited about your goals, dreams and aspirations. But it can be incredibly difficult to keep that enthusiastic outlook once you realize that it’s going to take longer than you thought it would to reach your destination.

The struggle can be so real and so grueling. Especially when you know how life changing an event could be if it would just occur.

But athletes don’t become physically fit overnight. It takes hard work, training and determination to build your body so that it can work at its best ability.

The work can get difficult and, at times, even overwhelming.

But once that goal is reached, all the work that led up to it starts to make more sense.

There’s a sense of gratefulness that comes to us when we discover that all the hardship, waiting and contending served a greater purpose in our life.


“But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” 
- 1 Corinthians 2:9 (KJV)

God has many wonderful things prepared for those that love Him.

Many of these prepared things require that we, ourselves, be prepared before we can receive them.

If we don’t allow God to prepare us then we may not know how to handle our blessings when they finally come.

All the hard work we encounter in life isn’t meant to deter us from our destiny. It’s meant to push us forward and encourage us to work toward the height of our God given potential.

The waiting can be riddled with frustration, pain, impatience, tears and hopelessness.

But if we keep our eyes fixed on God, the waiting can transform us, make us spiritually and mentally stronger, empower us and enhance our faith in God’s ability to fulfill all of His promises to us.

Sometimes we give up too close to the time of our redemption.

If we can just hold on a little while longer, we’ll successfully reach our destination.

And little by little as we enjoy the rewards of our promise, we’ll understand just why things happened the way they did.

We’ll be grateful for the struggles and even the waiting.

Because without the waiting, we wouldn’t be so aware of how satisfying it feels to have a promise fulfilled.


Image source: pexels.com

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Forgiven


I fail God daily.

Though I desire to please Him in every aspect of my life, I am still a fallible human being.

I often find myself going over my mistakes in my head. I sit and agonize over how imperfect I am.

I easily forget that it is not my job to be perfect.

It is my job to stay focused on the cross. It is my job to accept God’s perfect and pleasing will in my life.

It’s my job to love and be loved. It’s my job to drown myself in the magnificence of God’s Holy Word.

It’s my job to sing God’s praises morning, noon and night. It’s my job to spread the Gospel. It’s my job to spread the love of Jesus.

It has never been my job to be perfect. God knew when He formed me into existence just how imperfect I would be.

And yet He still loved me. He still sent His Son to die on the cross for my sins.

So that I would have the ability to be perfect – and yet – forgiven. 


Image source: pexels.com

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Worship (Poem)



I wrote this in honor of today being World Poetry Day... ♥

The storms are raging
The wind is beating in my ears
The waves are roaring
I am surrounded by my worst fears

I’m calling for you
But where are you?
Come save me
Before I am overcome

I call, I call out to you
Lord, only Your amazing grace is enough
To rescue me
So I call out to You alone

And then like the sun breaking through
It’s over
And I am back before Your glory
All because I waited on the Lord

So I will worship You
Where ever the clouds may sail
I will lift my hands up to the Lord

For He has heard my cry

Amen.


Image source: pexels.com

Friday, March 3, 2017

Dear Younger Me


Dear younger me,

First of all – you are not ugly. People are not lying to you when they tell you that you are beautiful. Every single day you wake up with an invisible weight on your shoulders because you have allowed yourself to believe lies that have been spoken over you. You don’t know this yet but you are not defined by what man says you are. Your worth is not defined by the boy that doesn’t like you back. Your worth is not defined by the friends that talk about you behind your back or the people that use you.

You are defined by God’s unfailing faithful love for you and your status as the child of a King.

You will have awkward moments and you will end up with so many embarrassing stories that you won’t be able to remember them all. But contrary to what you believe, God is not out to get you. Really He loves you more than you will ever understand.

He doesn’t say no to you to punish you. Someday you will thank Him for every single time He told you no and redirected you to something else. Because in saying no to you, He was really keeping you on the right path toward your destiny.

I know you’re in pain right now. You don’t understand why certain events in your life have taken place. But years from now, down the road, you will look in the mirror and be incredibly proud of the kind, mature, self-assured and brave young woman those experiences have caused you to become.

You may have flaws and a tendency to be immature at times. But don’t let the voice of Satan trick you into thinking that you are nothing but your flaws.

You are human and you are young. You are not called or expected to be perfect. Life is about growth not stagnant perfection. Stop torturing yourself.

Be proud that you are black. Be proud that a part of your DNA is linked to a country that is historically known as the first independent nation in the Caribbean AND Latin America.

No your hair is not naturally straight. Your hair is kinky and coily and someday you will love it tremendously for exactly what it is. You are not obligated to conform to what society says is beautiful. Please ignore anyone that tells you otherwise.

You will do things you never thought you could. You will walk boldly in the direction of your dreams. You will watch God open doors for you. You will be faced with opportunities that are intimidatingly big.

One day you will put down the hateful words that you use to describe yourself. You will throw away the self-inflicting mental weapons that the enemy has caused you to embrace. 

One day you will love yourself enough to be perfectly content with your own presence. You will know how to reject hatred that is disguised as love. You will understand that you have every right to functional, stable love.

You will be protective and proud of yourself.

One day you will love yourself enough to decide that it’s time to tell the little girl inside of you how much she matters. You will love yourself enough to speak peace into the scars that the world wants you to feel ashamed of.


One day you will love yourself enough to know that you are worth loving.