All in the Details

pexels-photo-268941.jpegI’ve recently been studying the different covenants God made with man. This has been very intriguing to look at the story of Noah, Abram, Issac and Jacob in a new light. As interesting as each of the covenants have been; there is one thing that specifically stood out to me and it’s the details.

If you take a moment to read Genesis 15:9: The Lord told Abram, “Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”

God was very specific in what He wanted sacrificed. He was specific in what He spoke.

As I pondered on this more, I began to wonder why we limit God in thinking that He can’t give specifics today. God was meticulous in how He formed the world, how He knit us together in our mother’s womb, and how He created us as masterpieces; yet when we approach Him in prayer, we put limitations on what He can do.

Maybe you are believing God for something in this season and you are looking for specifics, I pray that you are reminded of how He can and will provide the details needed to make the right decisions.

Let us remember that He is a God who specializes in the details but it is up to us to seek, pray and believe.

 

 

 

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What’s Your Vision?

AdobeStock_28014010.jpeg Friday night, I hosted a vision board party with a few of my friends. I had talked to them individually about goals and their purpose but it was my first time doing a vision board party so I wasn’t sure what to expect or how to facilitate. Initially I wasn’t even sure if anyone would be interested. All I knew was that it was on my heart too strong to ignore it.

In 2016,  I really began to pray fervently about my purpose. However while I was praying and receiving signs, I also began to pray for those around me. I always say that I look forward to the day where we are all living the life God called us to live.The day where everyone around me is walking in their purpose.

So on Friday night, we ate our appetizers and got situated with our boards and magazines in hand. I looked up for a moment to see these women working earnestly to capture their visions.

I love that every woman had great plans that fit their personalities and styles. Some plans were things that will take time to produce, others were things that would take discipline and conquering fears but what I loved is that to manifest each board, will require bold faith. It would require each of us to remember that although it may seem impossible given our current circumstances, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). As long as our eyes stay gazed towards God and things ahead and as long as our ears are tuned into God’s voice, we will be on the right path.

I don’t know what will happen as a result of these boards but it is my prayer that faith would be built, peace received and when they close their eyes, they will see exactly who God created them to be.

I could have easily ignored the idea of a vision board party because it can seem a little elementary but it was my prayer that it would spark creativity and motivation but also give each of us an opportunity to know exactly what to believe God for -not just for ourselves but for our sisters in Christ.

I’m believing for God to do amazing things in each of their lives. Not just through the vision board but in their hearts. I’m hopeful that God will change and build these women to be who they were created to be. It is my prayer that they won’t play a tug of war game with God but completely surrender their plans to him and confidently declare: “Not my will but your will be done (Luke 22:42).”

 

New Year, New Opportunity

2017 new year silhouette against bright sunset or sunrise

A survey by Pollfish revealed that 1 in 3 Americans believed 2016 to be a bad year. With all of the protests, life events and so much uncertainty, 2016 left many in despair. For some reason, I really feel like 2017 is going to be a good year. I’m not sure what that means but I am confident of God’s plans through it all. I learned so much in 2016 and I pray that the truth of those lessons will be revealed.

Since it is the beginning of 2017, everyone is talking about their New Year’s resolutions. Around the office everyone is dieting, placing bets on who can lose the most weight and making new work goals to build and foster relationships. All of this is great but as we know, we often start the new year off with great motives but then fall short at the first sign of failure, disappointment, or things not going as planned.

Unfortunately but fortunately this is life. As much as we set and strive towards goals, we will fall short in some areas. But honestly that’s ok. We weren’t created as perfect humans who’d be able to check off everything on our list. We were uniquely created as a flawed individual who can be graced for our occasional stumbles.

I think it is so important to prepare and write your goals down but as you begin to think about what you want to accomplish this year, I want to encourage you to make your heart the main focus this year.

Your true beauty comes when your heart is pure and faithful. As much as it is important to climb the corporate ladder, graduate from school, it is also important to ensure that your heart is focused on the things that matter. I believe when your heart is right, the favor of God will begin to flow through you.

Let’s begin this year by setting a goal to get to know your Heavenly Father more. Commit to spending time with him every day and studying his word. Allow him to speak the truth to you through his word.

Next, fast & pray. This is critical in your spiritual walk to devote a specific period of time towards sacrifice. Your fast can be whatever your heart desires just make sure it’s a true sacrifice. If you love reality television, commit to turning the tv off and giving that time to God in prayer. The beginning of the new year is always a great time to do a fast.

Lastly, having an accountability partner is so important. You’re not created to do life alone. I encourage you to have someone to walk beside you during your journey. My prayer has been: Lord, attract me to people who see me the way that you see me. I want people in my life who will really pray and encourage me. People who won’t judge me for my stumbles but are there to lift me up. People who aren’t quick to throw something in my face but choose to love in spite of my falls. I want the same for you.

I pray that God’s blessings pour over you this year. I pray that he will give you visions for your life to chase after but I also pray that you will commit to having a heart fully devoted and after him.

 

God Bless the U.S.A.

America patriotic message

As we gear up for Election Day, I think it is important to pray for our nation. For the last few weeks, we’ve take a moment to do this in church but it is so important to do this at home as well. The person who is to be President will be, but all we can do is vote and pray. Regardless of your political views, it is important to be prayerful and confident in knowing that whomever it is, will be a part of God’s plan. It doesn’t matter if you agree with the results, it matters that we pray that the leader of our country can receive the covering of us Christians praying for him/her.

I always struggle with election years because the differences in opinions tend to bring out the worst in people and ultimately produce a divide because of it. Political topics run all through social media and memes are created as soon as a debate ends. People are arguing throughout status updates and there are commercials every few minutes attacking opponents. It just gets ugly and very dark during these times. But it doesn’t change the importance of our responsibility to vote. If you have the opportunity to vote, devote the time to do so. It is our civic duty to make our voice heard especially in such a controversial election.

How does God feel when his children can’t come together because of their differences in views?  Everyone says it is “socially unacceptable” to talk about politics and religion but why? I don’t understand how adults can’t disagree and still remain respectful. You don’t have to like my views on certain topics but I pray that you are comfortable to address your views while still respecting mine.

The greatest commandment is for us to love the Lord our God and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:29-31). My hope is that we can remember these commandments as we power through these next few weeks. It is all about a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. You can have strong opinions but don’t tear each other down to try to convince others. You can speak your truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).

I encourage you to pray for our nation and the leaders. Let’s not put all of our focus on who the leader should be because God will work it out. But let’s take a moment to pray for the strength and wisdom of our next leader. May God cover and protect him/her during such a pivotal time in our nation. God bless the U.S.A.

Quiet Time

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I can not express to you how important it is to be spend time with God. He tells us to “seek first His kingdom and all things will be given to you”-Matthew 6:33. Whatever you may be going through, my friend, it is important that you allow God to move in your life.

In order to seek His kingdom, you have to get in His presence. In order for Him to speak, you have to know Him for yourself. You can only know Him by spending time with Him. fBelow is an outline of how I utilize my quiet time.

  1. Find a time of the day that you are the most alert-I like to spend time with Him in the morning before I leave for work. I don’t want to leave the house without being in His presence. Maybe for you, the evening works better. Whenever you are the most alert, you should devote time to be in His presence.
  2. Study a chapter/verse-Maybe you are struggling with a particular area such as worry, find the verses of worry and take time to understand what the Lord says about that subject. Make an effort to learn a new verse a week (or whatever timeframe you need to really get that verse in your heart).
  3. Pray-Allot time to pray over that verse and how it is applicable in your life. God wants to meet you exactly where you are.
  4. Be still-This is by far the one that has taken the most practice on my end but it is so important. In order for God to speak to you, you have to be still. Quiet your mind for a moment after prayer and truly allow Him to comfort you during this time. It may be hard at first but it is important in your walk with Him.

I have made this a routine in my life. Yes, there are certain days where I try to skip over a step to rush and get my day started but honestly I do not feel complete. God wants us to devote time with him, uninterrupted (phones off, TV off and away from any distractions).

It is my hope that we all get to a point where we feel incomplete without being in His presence. Before you run to your friend for help or act in your own will, seek Him first.

 

 

Navigating Tests on the Job

When I was in school, I hated taking tests. I was one who would much rather write a paper than be forced to sit through a multiple choice test. And don’t let it be a standardized test, God help us all. Those things were the enemy in my head. As much as I like to think that the idea of tests  ended once I completed college, it didn’t. Then there’s life after college.

You see in life, there are many tests that come our way. Many obstacles to face, sometimes even daily. Whether you are beginning your career or been in corporate America for a few years, you have faced some tests on the job. Maybe someone constantly challenges your ideas, refuses to work with you, or doesn’t even acknowledge your existence, regardless of the situation you have experienced some tests.

Don’t let it get you down. Never let anyone make you feel less than God’s best.I believe that you are given the tools to handle these difficult times. Yes it will be uncomfortable but I don’t think God would position you where you are and just leave you to fight it all by yourself. It can be hard to navigate conflict on the job as you want to remain professional and keep a healthy working environment. Plus, no one wants to be labeled as being a difficult person to work with but below are some helpful tips that I’ve learned along the way.

  1. Stay grounded: Stay grounded in your faith and who you are. Never allow someone to get you out of character
  2. Own it: If you make an honest mistake, own up to it. It’s difficult to admit these things but it’s important for your professional growth. Whether you unintentionally said something to someone who was misconstrued it or made an error on a project, it’s important to come up with a solution as soon as possible and own up to your mistakes.
  3. Be kind: I know, I know. This is the last thing you want to read. It’s difficult when someone is everything but kind to you but the truth is, you never know why they are that way. Maybe they are dealing with hurt/pain at home, now this doesn’t give them an excuse but it allows us to show some grace. Sometimes if you seek to understand the root of it all, you begin to wrap your head around why they are the way that they are. Now, I’m not saying to let them walk all over you but give a little grace as you’ll be rewarded for doing so.
  4. Don’t gossip: This is hard. Gossiping is part of some people’s DNA but don’t fall into the trap. It is so easy to  gossip especially when there’s so much of it around you but I challenge you to be different. It has always made me uneasy when someone walks into a meeting room and it is obvious that others just finished talking about them. It’s not a good feeling. I always try to put myself in their shoes and I can only imagine how that may feel.
  5. Pray: I saved the best for last. I believe that prayer changes things. I encourage you to take your tests to God to work on your behalf. You can’t change the people that you work with (or your situation) but you can vent to God. He will show you the areas where you can improve and also begin to work on some of those “challenging” people that seem to make life harder.

I hope you take time to practice these things on the job but please remember,your job is to remain faithful during the difficult times. Don’t get discouraged, take these tests as a chance to build a bigger faith!