Cracked Pavement

pexels-photo-343469.jpegIt was a morning like any other morning. Typical rise with the disgruntled “it’s too early for this” stroll across the floor to my closet. I didn’t feel any more reflective or spiritual than the day before. I  stepped out the house with headphones in ear, work bag on shoulder, probably just praying that this day would be an anomaly and I’ll actually get a seat on the train. It’s the little things that make my day. I didn’t realize that a even smaller moment in time would teach me a life lesson just steps outside of my home.  Continue reading

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Zero Degrees

“God defies the idea of any degrees of separation.” ~ DeVon Franklin

DeVonThere is absolutely no way that anyone can convince me that God is not the orchestrator of my life after reading DeVon Franklin’s latest book The Hollywood Commandments: A Spiritual Guide to Secular Success. For those who may not have been following my blog since the beginning, DeVon has been a virtual mentor of mine since 2013. I’ve written many thought pieces on him and how his words have had an impact on my career and life choices dating back to his first book Produced By Faith. However, this particular entry holds a bit more weight than anything I’ve written in the past. There’s so much to glean from that I can’t simply write a few paragraphs outlining my takeaways from The Hollywood Commandments. I’d rather share just a few of the gems by telling the story of what led to this moment in hopes to create dialogue and reveal how Chapter 10, “Your World Is Smaller Than You Think,” has shown itself true in my life.

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RESTART

restart I love how God uses everyday, nominal occurrences to grab my attention. Let me paint the picture for you. I’m sitting at my writing desk wrapping up Sunday online service when that annoying pop up banner appears with the same pesky alert that reads something like “Update available. Do you want to restart your computer?” The options read: RESTART or LATER. For months, I’ve hit the LATER button continuously irritated that it just won’t go away!  It’s not that I don’t think the updates are necessary. I don’t have a particular issue with updating my computer; however, what I do have an issue with is how long it usually takes to complete. When I take time out to sit at my computer to do anything I want to do it now. I don’t think about completing the updates any other time. It’s only when I get that pesky pop up that I think, “I should really do that but I don’t have time.”

I literally had the cursor hovering above the LATER button when I stopped dead in my tracks. Images flooded my mind of my computer taking forever to load, or the video buffering while I’m trying to watch them, or site freezing in the midst of me scrolling. Then the question arises, “Why do you think you have so many challenges when you’re trying to complete a task on your computer? Should you just replace the entire computer? Is it trash or could it have anything to do with those pesky little updates that you’ve continued to ignore over the past few months?”……This is where the moment of sheer stupidity and revelation mix. Continue reading

Unhappy Tuesday

The day started off abnormal. It was 71 degrees at the end of November after a fierce cold winter blast just days before. I welcomed it with open arms, even though I knew it wouldn’t last long. The day was pretty chill and the evening began with front and center seats to see one of my favorite artists in concert, Chrisette Michele. I knew what lingered ahead but for just a few hours I was able to block it all out and pretend that music was the cure to all of life’s injustices. It was approximately 9:20P when reality hit and I was brought back down to earth. The radio disc jockey announced just two words: NO INDICTMENT. Back to the norm.

fergusonNot at all surprised since we were all being primed for this very outcome. And yes, the days leading up to the announcement gave clear indication that justice would not be served but the priming started well before Mike Brown. Emmitt Till, Rodney King, Sean Bell, Trayvon Martin, and many more names that never made it to the headlines. History repeating itself and the sentiments of fed up Americans sounding like broken records. I had to shut it all off.  I was just so full with anger, sadness, and too many questions without any answers. Continue reading

Version 3.3

I’m sitting here in the wee hours of the morning of my birthday reflecting on my first 33 years of life. It’s crazy ya’ll! I’m going to try to put it into words so bare with me please. Many times, on our birthdays, we reflect only on our past year and give ourselves a “grade” on how well we did since the last one.

Did I accomplish all that I planned?

Am I happy with where I am at this age?

How many more years do I have until I reach “that” age?

birthdayWell, if I were to be completely honest I’d say if I measured my happiness on just those questions, it wouldn’t be the happiest of birthdays. Real talk! I know the saying “just be thankful to be alive” but I’ve always been the hardest on myself and I never just wanted to be alive… I wanted to live! Live to fullest! Yes, I haven’t done bad for myself and each year I get better but I still feel like I could be doing soooo much more! I have a feeling I’m not the only one.

So today, after I asked myself those three questions and began feeling a little bummed, I heard God say loud and clear “Think about all 33 years. Don’t start from the last one.” So I did and here’s what came out of my time of reflection: Continue reading

I Don’t Know

I-Don’t-Know.

Three words I absolutely hate to say and definitely never like to hear. But I uttered those words last night. I actually said them a few weeks ago and both times I couldn’t believe I actually said them out loud. I don’t ever claim to know it ALL but what I do believe in is finding out. If ever someone asked me a question related to work and I didn’t have an answer, it was never just “I don’t know.” It would be either “I’m not certain that I have all the information so let me review and get to back to you close of business” … or “Give me a moment and I’ll find out.” Both insinuate that I don’t have the answer but it’s never a blanket statement of “I don’t know.”

The biggest no-no for me is to always, and I mean always have a plan and what bigger plan can you have than the one you have for your life. I mean it’s your life! If you don’t know then who else is going to be able to tell you?? That has been my thinking forever and in many ways it still is so when I said “I Don’t Know” when asked about my life plans last night I felt like a complete loser. But I had to be honest and I truly had and still have no idea what’s next. Scariest feeling ever for someone who has always known her next move. I had to slow my mind down enough to get back on course and I can say now that I have a new and refreshed understanding of what all this planning is about. Continue reading

Divorced AND Christian? Hmmmm

divorceThe beauty about having a relationship with God over simply doing religion is that you have an open heart to receive messages that are rooted in love and transparency. Pastor Toure Roberts opens his heart to talk on a subject that is deeply rooted in his own personal journey of life after divorce. YES! You heard that right. He is a pastor. He is divorced. Oh and he’s unashamed. Oh and one more thing… HAPPY! Not happy that his marriage didn’t last. No real person enters marriage desiring to be divorced but it takes two mature individuals to recognize what is and is not of God and have the courage to move forward, especially as a spiritual leader.

Now listen, before you throw stones, I come from under a teaching that lives, breaths, and praises all things marriage! My pastors have been married for almost 30 years. They lead an awesome ministry called “Marriage Made EZ” and they offer pre-marital counseling to all members who are contemplating marriage. So I am a huge proponent for marriage. Godly marriage. I desire to be married. I believe that marriage should be something that you do not get out of alive. However, for the first time I witnessed a different side. Not until a few weeks ago did I hear a man of God talk so openly about dividing marriage into two components. Marriages that are ordained of God and those that are entered into outside of the will of God. It’s not to say that all marriages that are done prior to getting saved are doomed. It’s to say that when people grow into their purpose and realize that they are not aligned then it leaves open the question “Is it God’s will for us to sacrifice His purpose in order to save a marriage that wasn’t designed for us?” It’s a heavy topic and one that I’m sure will lead to deep conversations. Which is why I want to try something different this week… Continue reading

Are Your Toes Wet Yet?!

 

“You can’t be afraid to dip your toe in the thing that you think God wants you to do even when you’re unsure.” ~ DeVon Franklin

Devon

When you ask God for answers be prepared! He uses many life experiences to show us how in charge he truly is and this past Sunday, He used DeVon Franklin in a powerful way. Rarely am I bought to tears but when someone can wrap all of your emotions into one lesson and shed light on issues so real to what you’re going through, you know it’s God. If you feel trapped and too afraid to move but too afraid to remain the same, this is for you. If you’ve stepped out on faith and the world seems like it’s crumbling around you, this is for you. If you simply love God and want to grow in your relationship with Him so that you don’t miss a beat, this is for you. To get directly to the message click the photo on the left to watch any of the 3 services. For the 8 am service begin video at 01:19:14. For the 11 am service start video at 01:03:00 and for the 1 pm service you can begin at 01:19:56. You can’t go wrong with any of them. Trust me I’ve watched them all! So check them out and let me hear from you! Happy Tuesday!!

“God may have allowed the storm to arise because you would never do what you needed to do without it.”

“There is “more” in my spirit that won’t let me settle or be complacent.”

“Real life starts when you get up out the boat.”

“Anything I pray for I will prepare for!”

STOP PLANNING!

Yeah, you read the title right and no I haven’t lost my mind. This message is coming from the ULTIMATE planner. I plan EVERYTHING! I like to know what, when, how, and why for anything that I get involved in. I’m from the school of “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” So let me explain why I can still hold true to the notion of “Stop Planning” even when I have intentions of continuing to plan.

ERICTHOMASLast night I listened in to the Mentor Mondays’ Spreecast with Paul Brunson. He’s one of my favorite people to follow on social media and I’ve been fortunate enough to have met him a few times since he also lives in DC. The guest for the evening was a man named Eric Thomas who is a world renowned motivational speaker. Once a 16 year old high school drop out who later received his GED and is currently working towards his PHD! I love stories like that!

Just to be clear, prior to last night’s spreecast I’d only seen one of his YouTube videos and although I thought he was excellent at public speaking, I didn’t latch on to him. His delivery is a little abrupt and in your face and it seemed like his messaging was geared to a younger, more adolescent crowd. Indeed, his messaging is focused on urban youth to help them see the bigger picture and believe that they can be more than what their environment says they can. I honor him for that. But last night, he was speaking to grown men and women. Many of us educated, professional, and somewhat established in careers. None of that mattered. He had a solid word for us. Here’s a few nuggets that stood out: Continue reading

Real Comfort Food

sunset-straight-road-1920x1080In the perfect world, I would get up every morning excited about the day that lies ahead, especially on Tuesday when it’s time to release my blog post. The truth is, although I’m grateful for every day that God blesses me with, I’m not always all that thrilled about what the day brings. For the past few weeks, I’ve had quite a few down moments. Moments when I wish I was under an invisible cloak so that I wouldn’t have to deal with anyone or anything until I could get it together. Of course, that wish never came true and when I thought I was about to completely lose it, I retreated to the Word. It’s a shame to admit that much of what I was going through was because I was focusing on all the things that were not going in my favor. Instead of praying, I was worrying… and worrying a lot. Eventually I stilled my mind long enough to disappear into the pages that redefine the meaning of comfort food. Continue reading