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Showing posts from December, 2016

Picture It

A few years ago I had a conversation with a guy about what he thought about his life. He told me something I hadn't ever heard before. He told me he didn't have goals, because he didn't think he would ever see them come true. Now this shocked me, because I thought everyone had goals. Growing up I always dreamt about lots of amazing things for my life. To me that was normal. I spent hours upon hours thinking about abundant extravagant dreams and visions. I would get lost in my imagination. It was endless and in my mind there was no doubt I would achieve them all. I was convinced I would do amazing astronomical things in this world. Even my mother thought I would. It's amazing how she knew, yet she did. Fast forward to a few years ago and I think that's why I used to give myself such a hard time, mostly at night. Perhaps that was why I was disappointed that I had not achieved more than I did. I considered myself a failure of my dreams until I had a few conversatio…

Ask for Help

I've been listening to a guy named Patrick Bet-David, lately. He seems to know quite a bit about the field of internet entrepreneurship and the information I've been getting from his videos is priceless.
I stumbled across him during a podcast interview he had with Amy Porterfield. Bet-David is a millionaire entrepreneur who started from the bottom selling insurance and is now an online mentor for entrepreneurs. Porterfield is an online entrepreneur who specializes in internet and social media marketing. While watching one of Bet-David's Youtube videos, he said something really interesting about why some people gain more success than others. He said the people who had average or below-average high school/college GPA's and who were involved in a sport or an extracurricular activity typically grow up to do better socially than the 4.0 independent, non-team orientated type students. Now before I go on let me throw in a disclaimer right now and say, as an educator and som…

Why Don't You Believe?

Are you one of the people who will take the leap for God? Some people will and some people won't.

The leap is one of just trusting God even when we don't know everything He's doing (Proverbs 3:5). The leap is giving Him a chance to see what He will do. The leap is going out on a limb if God told you to and trusting Him to catch you. The leap is learning to hear His voice and being in tune with His desires for your life. The leap is total commitment in believing in His promises.

Some people won't even try to accept any of that, because they want to understand everything and as long as that's the case God will seldom move in their lives. How can He when they don't believe He's the God of the possible and the impossible? They can't fathom that He can create many ways out of no ways. So they go through life getting the crumbs and living mediocre ho-hum lives. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there's more to God than that. How can a God like His H…

Change the Channel

You have the remote, so you can tune in to something else anytime you want.
When those thoughts of doubt, despair, fear, frustration, and regret come crashing in, don't believe them. Immediately change the channel to something more God-like and more inspirational. I know how those negative thoughts can play out in our minds. As you know, I lived there for a long time and it's such a waste of time being all sad and depressed about what coulda, shoulda, and woulda happened if we did this and that or if we didn't. My strategy now is to simply turn to something more productive that will help me, not hurt me, and to keep things moving in an upward flow. I refuse to look back. The Lord said not to look back and I trust Him completely. Our life is not behind us, it's in front of us and although we can't see everything God is going to do, at least we know we are moving in the right direction. Forward is good and backwards is stupid. 

God has so much for the …

Do "Boring"

That's right, paint the town!

I hope I didn't confuse you with a blog post title that says, "Do Boring" and I turn right around and say, "paint the town." If I did I can clear that up right away. My intent is to tell you that you can and should spice things up, make your mark, and do it in a way that brings honor to God. That doesn't mean doing stupid things and doing things that bring you down. It just means you will be able to indeed paint the town, but it may have a delay with it. It may mean you will have to wait for the blessings and the opportunities, but they will come. They usually come after we have put in the hard work by actually working, praying, reading, seeking the Lord, worshiping, serving, having a positive attitude (throughout the negative), and starting the process all over again until we are able to have fun and paint the town. It's a process that never ends -- boring, paint, boring, paint... Just realize that the hard work is ne…

Puppets

They want to pull you here, push you there, swing you over there, shake you right here. They want to control your every move. 
Like a puppet.

It's an insecurity they have. They deem themselves important and you insignificant. They have believed the hype, drank the Kool-aid, and inhaled the smoke. Their life experiences have been humbling, but only to a certain extent. Once they feel as though God has finished dealing with them, they're right back to their old ways. Back to the manipulation, back to the controlling ways, and right back to the bottom.
Like a puppet.
They want you to be impressed with their intelligence or their knowledge or their wealth or their affiliations or their something. And when they feel rejected by you they make it seem as though you're the problem. It bothers them immensely when they are regulated to the back row, because in their pompous arrogant minds they deserve to be first. Their past mistakes don't matter, because they are still who t…

Seeing Visions

Calm down, I'm not talking about anything spooky, ok?

I'm talking about visualizing the visions and dreams God has for you. I'm talking about operating in what has been in your heart for so long now you're wondering if it's ever going to come. Join the crowd. I'm right there with you. And you know what I'm going to say next, right? Don't you dare start growing all weary and too tired to make another move. Don't you dare start thinking you're going to stop tomorrow, because those visions and dreams are too big and they aren't going to come. Stop that thinking. You have to stay faithful and trust that God's ways are better than our ways and that His plans are just that -- His -- not ours (Isaiah 55:8). If you're anything like me, you need to stay far away from trying to do things in your own power, because it won't work. It would be a great hot mess. Stay away from trying to help organize things for God. He's got this. We best…

Who Are We Following?

Birds of a feather flock together. There's nothing original there. It's simply true.

We have to watch who we "follow" in life and on social media. It's important, because we can find ourselves doing and saying some crazy things. It's not only young people who need this advice, we all need it. Some people follow the crowd just to be part of something. That's an insecurity. Personally, I have no desire to fit in with the crowd. Why be like everyone else? Boring. It's ok not to accept invitations of nonsense. Just be alone if needed until God brings the right people in your path. You're not desperate. It's just better than being around crazy.

On the flip side, it's great when we follow the people who are "leading" us towards greatness. We become better when we are around the people who are striving to get better themselves. And of course following God is the smartest choice we can make. That goes without saying. Consequently, at a …

A Strong Tower

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe" (Proverbs 18:10). 
Some people complain about the world, about the planet. But we really have nothing to complain about. The world is imperfect, because we, the people, live in it. Yet, we are welcome to embrace the Lord in all His splendor. For some of us, He is our resting place, our refuge, and our safe place to dwell. He's a strong tower for sure, but not literally, because that would be too small for His majesty. Spiritually and figuratively, because He's king of all kings and Lord of all Lords, plus much more. No one can really explain Him in His entirety. He's just that awesome, for lack of a better word. Walking through life without Him would be like being lost in space. 
Just know He's there for His children anytime. His spirit and His light never runs out. His presence is everywhere. You want His covering? Ask Him into your heart as you believe and confess with your…

Stay Connected

"Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment (Proverbs 18:1). 
Isolation. To a certain extent that was me just a few short years ago because of all I had gone through in my life. I didn't open myself up to people (at least not right away), because being hurt...hurts. Lies told against me and backstabbing by the same people who were so jealous they wanted people to accept them at any cost even if it was to my detriment. Thus, rejection from people I thought were all in. As a result I would stand distant, not getting too close, and not taking too many chances to get hurt again.

But that was then and this is now. I'm free to talk about it now. I'm free from the cares of the world. I'm free to tell you about my life if it will help you with yours. We both win. Now I'm willing to take more chances -- smart ones -- with people and risk everything. That's faith and it's what's necessary if we want to be emotional…

The Best Of a Mess

We're a canvas and God is using us to let others know there's more to us than meets the eye.
I was talking to a special person yesterday and was told how this person was betrayed by someone close. There were tears, pain, and heartache in the words that described the situation. My heart went out to the person, because as you know, I've been through that. I shared all the times I was betrayed, lied about, talked maliciously about, and condemned by the people I felt were close to me. Only to be hurt emotionally by their words and bad deeds. After we were done talking and sharing, you could see the visible transformation of the person's demeanor. It was like night and day. I felt great, because the person had a breakthrough. God was at work once again.
This is what our testimony is about. Our story, our journey, our narrative is about helping people see God in our trials and struggles. None of it is for us to wallow away in our grief. That doesn't help anyone or anythin…

Choose Your Battles

Fight if you must, but fight smart and choose wisely.

Just seek the Lord first and have Him direct you in how to go about getting what's yours. When people do you dirty it's best to let go and let God unless He says otherwise. Retaliation is from the Lord, not us. That means fight when He says fight or trust Him to do our fighting for us.  In 1 Samuel 30the Lord told David to fight when David asked Him if he should pursue the Amalekites who raided his camp, set fire to it, and kidnapped everyone's families. David was free to take care of business and he was serious too. He went full force and took no prisoners, literally. He cleaned house.
The Lord protects His flock and gives us the ammunition we need against our enemies. So there is no need to fear any man. Whether we fight or the Lord fights for us, we will get everything back that was stolen from us. That can be our joy, peace or anything else that we have a right to. Read 1 Samuel 30 and see how David got everything …

Continue On

Sometimes no matter what you do, there are people and the pathetic forces that live inside them, that try to stop you. 
There's always something or somebody trying to throw a wrench in things. Don't be moved by any of it. Continue on. Keep those goals and dreams front and center that the Lord placed inside of you. Don't let anything or anybody stop you. You know what it is that lives inside your heart. It's lived there for a long time and it's finally coming to you. It's so close you can almost touch it and as soon as you reach out to get it, bam! It's snatched right back. In fact, it's moved back even farther. You know why this is the case? It can be two things. It's because you're not ready for it and the Lord knows it, so He's allowing it to stay away from you or it's because the enemy, the devil and his cronies, are trying to stop you. In either case the Lord can change things up in an instant. That's not a problem. Trust and be…

Be Quiet

We have to know when to speak and when to remain silent.

Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent" (Proverbs 17:27/28).
Part of the challenge I've had with many of the students I've taught over the years has been getting them to understand that there are times when they must remain silent even when they want to speak. And that they must refrain from blowing up when they find themselves angry or when they feel backed against a wall. I see much of my younger self in them and that is part of the reason I'm so passionate about getting them to change. It's a long and arduous process and sometimes I feel like I'm not making any headway. Yet, I'll never give up on telling them some of the things they may not hear anywhere else.
The scripture above is timely, because it speaks to such an issue. It's about rem…

A Double Portion

Did you know God has alot for you? 
Like a double portion? Like double for your trouble? Like blessings for all the mess you've been through?  Oh yes, His word is clear. "Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours" (Isaiah 61:7). What fabulous news that is -- that God will give you everything back you've lost, plus a whole lot more, plus double the blessings. That's right, all the hell you've been through, God will give you blessings that far exceed your pain. Then you will be able to tell the world what He did for you and others will believe your testimony of His goodness. Then they will believe God. They will know He is real. Then He will do it for them when they follow the steps. All because of your diligence in standing firm in your faith.  Yes yes yes you've earned your wings. You stoo…

Walk with the Wise

"Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm" (Proverbs 13:20).

That scripture is not at all rocket science. Nothing deep. One doesn't even have to give it a second thought. In a nutshell? Those of us who hang around wise, smart, capable people are better off than those of us who don't. Just like we are what we eat. We are also our friends and associations. The people we allow in our lives can make us or break us. It doesn't matter how strong we are, our relationships will have an impact on our lives. Even subliminally, so we have to be careful who we let in our space and why. Dave Ramsey says if you want to be wealthy, study (and model) wealthy people and if you want to be skinny, ask skinny people what they do and do it. In both cases it's about the influences in our lives -- who we listen to. It doesn't matter whether we know them personally or not. If they effect our lives there exists a relationship. And relat…

You're Never Alone

You feel alone, don't you? It may seem like nobody is with you or knows what you're going through, but you're not alone. 
You just have to look past the physical and get in touch the spiritual, is all. When you do that you will know that God is with you right now and always was. The question I often ask is, are we with Him? That's the million dollar question. And if the answer is yes, then there you go -- you're one step farther than the person who is unsure or flat out knows they're not with Him. And if that's the case then they will have a harder road to tow. If I were them I would get with God asap, because God has a way with people. That's not hard to understand being that He made people. At any rate, He knows what we need and when we need it, so there's no need going it alone with God. Thus, it's better to be in the kingdom of God than not. It's better to be the righteous than not. It's better to be at peace than not. No need for a…

It's All About Control

It's clear who's driving my life spiritually and it's clear who's driving my life naturally.
At least to me it is. I'm driving and my path is clear as day regarding where the Lord is telling me to go. I may not know every toss and turn and that's ok. As long as the Lord is leading me and driving me, I'm good. How about you?

Sometimes I think part of the problem is where others get it mixed up. Some of them think they're driving our lives, because they like to get all up in our business. They think they can tell us how to think, what to say, how to say it, what to do and how to do it. Not so. No way.
Remember my blog post about the Pharisees (December 12, 2016). The people who are trying to influence how others think and how they proceed are similar to them. They are the religious people who think everything and everybody should be perfect just like their religious self-righteous selves. Well guess what? Don't you buy what they're selling. I'…

Lovers of Discipline

"Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid."
Don't get mad at me. I didn't say it. They aren't my words. They are the Lord's words and they're inProverbs 12:1.I don't need to explain what those words convey, do I? Perhaps I need to remind us, so I'll do that then. They mean, the people who are disciplined enough to listen to those who speak knowledge (and wisdom), are the smart ones and the people who don't, are...well...stupid. I used to be stupid, really stupid, because you couldn't tell me nothing. I thought I knew just about everything, so I learned things the hard way by bumping my big stupid head into just about everything I went into. Now I am happy to report that I am smarter and wiser after life punched me in the face a few times too many. And this is the thing, being disciplined doesn't mean listening to just any ole body who has knowledge and wisdom. They have to be the people who have y…

Sticks and Stones

John 8 talks about a woman who was judged by people (the Pharisees) in the bible who loved judging people and casting stones at them. 
These people had two standards. One for themselves and one for everybody else. The chapter references a woman who was caught in adultery, which we know was wrong, yet the Pharisees wanted to stone her. They quoted the law of Moses, in which people could have indeed been stoned back then. But Jesus protected the woman by His grace. He told the Pharisees, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7) and guess what each one of them did after Jesus said that? They walked away one by one. I can see it now.Can't you? Look, I know we have all messed up and some of us messed up just like the Pharisees. Sometimes we were the ones who judged and sometimes we were the judged. But thank God for His grace (covering) when we do in fact fall short huh? He loves us in spite of ourselves. 
So, just let that scripture be a re…

A Good Day

Yesterday was a good day.
We have good days and bad days, don't we? To say otherwise wouldn't be honest, so let's give God the glory when we have a good day (Psalm 96). I will do that in this blog post. 
I had lunch with two awesome friends of mine yesterday. The three of us have been great friends for about four years now and we get together a few times a year. We share life's ups and downs, highs and lows, joys and sorrows. As you can imagine, we had a lot to talk about. How about you? Do you have friends you can trust with the things on your heart? With the things that happened in your life? With the things you may need to talk about to get you to a better place in life?

For a long time I didn't have that. At least I didn't open myself up to it. Just in case you're new to my blog, part of my testimony is that I had trust issues, because of all the crap I took in my life. All the lies, the backstabbing, and the jealously. So I shielded myself to a certai…

The Accuser

Do you know you're being accused?
Of something you've done in the past. Yes, satan, the enemy of everything you have been delivered from, is the one always trying to bring your past back up. You're moving right along, everything is good, and bam, you start to rethink everything God has told you to do with your life. You start to feel like there is no way you can do it after everything you've done or that has been done to you.
But don't you know the devil is a liar? If you don't, you better act like you know. It's true. He is an accuser of the brethen/Christians (Revelation 12:9-11). He likes to make us feel bad about the things we no longer regret. That's why it's extremely important to stay rooted and grounded in the Lord. He will continuously direct your paths and make them smooth and straight. 
You have nothing to feel bad, down, ashamed, or guilty about. That was then and this is now. God has forgiven you, so forgive yourself. Don't let any…

It Doesn't Matter

It really doesn't matter what comes my way, I'm not going to stop doing what the Lord told me to do.
That's what I, we, have to constantly tell ourselves. Listen, the storms are going to come. Why are they worse for some than others, I don't know. I would imagine it has something to do with how God built each one of us. He made some stronger than others in different areas, but all of us have equity with God. That means we may not necessarily be created equal in every sense of the word, but depending on the circumstances, one may sometimes rise quicker than the other, but still we rise. I am totally convinced that God made everyone with the ability to withstand storms (see Psalms 107:28-31). So we can't say, because we're going through things we can't handle them. We have to push through despite them. We have to rise up through the ashes and God will transform them to beautiful headdresses. Believe that.
Consequently, this is my stance: no matter how diffi…

No Separation

"Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:39).
Yes, that's right. He will love us forever and ever, amen. I hope you believe that. If you do you can walk around with the power that the Lord has given you to conquer anything, because He has made you more than a conqueror. Once that is established, you are His everything. And since you are also a representative of Him, He gives you the backing to do what you were meant to do -- in His name, that is, not yours, not mine. Wow, that's amazing, isn't it? If everyone only knew who they were and could be in Christ Jesus. I'm telling you, there would be no worry or lack. When we really grasp that concept, we will always walk upright and never downcast. We will look towards heaven (the light), not Sheol (the darkness). Why? Because Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk …