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.

Continue reading “Zero Degrees”

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2015 Word of the Year: INTENTIONAL

Intentional: done on purpose; deliberate; calculated; planned, preconceived, purposeful

John 9:4 “We must work the works of Him Who sent Me and be busy with His business while it is daylight; night is coming on, when no man can work.”

IntentionalThe word “intentional” has been heavy on my mind for a few days now. I’ve reached a point in my life where doing something just to do it has lost its appeal. When I was younger I would make exceptions for things. It was the whole, “why not, I don’t have anything better to do” syndrome. What I’ve realized is that kind of mindset allows too much room for ambivalence, complacency, and distractions to wreck havoc.

No one likes the idea of being “ON” all the time. But the one’s that are see their dreams come to pass far quicker and far more frequently than those that want to “chill” all the time. Life is to be lived but what good is living if it’s not within your purpose… if you’re just roaming the earth attracted to every shiny new toy that comes within sight. When does the excitement of new “things” that are not in line with what you were put on earth to achieve lose their zeal? I’ll tell you. When you’re exhausted from the rat race of keeping up with everyone else’s rat race. When you finally ask God why you’re still breathing? When you realize that time is the absolute most precious thing we have. Not one person with an incurable, terminal illness is sitting around wishing they had more clothes, more women, more cars, more stuff. I guarantee that each one of them wishes for more time. Even when we lose family members, we as survivors wish for more time with them.

Intentional2It’s my 2015 goal to make better use of my time. Even my chill time has to be directed. I’m spending quality time with special people creating memories. I’m appointment viewing my favorite TV shows and as of right now there are only two and half (Jury is still out on Empire, lol). I’m not surfing channels looking for shows to take up my time, I’m not going out just to go out, and I’m not reading things that don’t inspire and help me create a better life for myself. I’m working on passion so that I can get out of the prison of having to work for a vision that is outside of my own. I’m putting my hand to plow to help overcome the social and humane injustices that have plagued a community that I represent far beyond the color of my skin. The heart I have for animals and their welfare will soon be shared on a bigger platform. I’m volunteering and using my gifts to enhance other people’s visions that I support because I believe what you make happen for others, God will make happen for you. I’m writing, applying, and learning more about my craft everyday. Yes, I am intentional about mine.

Habakkuk 2:3 “For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day.”

It’s about being intentional with your time, who you spend your time with, and what you spend your time doing. Don’t be thrown off by the time it takes to get to where you want to be. Relax. Take it one day at a time and remain focused.

And let me say this: stop getting sucked into the “Lifestyles of the InstaFamous.” Please understand that people only post what they want you to know. You’ll never know the real person through social media so stop measuring your life against theirs. Stop thinking you have so far to go when you have no idea what life beyond the selfie is like for them! Social media is a lot of fun but it can get dangerous when you think of how much it influences people’s thoughts and actions. I could go on for days about this but I’m getting off topic. Let me just encourage you to take inventory of how you’re spending your time this year. Every hour doesn’t have to be planned but you should have a goal for each day and everything in those 10-12 hours should be working towards accomplishing it! It’s time out for watching everyone else’s dreams unfold. Let’s make 2015 a year to remember for what we are able to achieve… in real life!

Eph. 5:15-17 “Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.”

Divorced AND Christian… The Response.

Well, I asked for feedback and you all did not disappoint! I loved reading each and every one of them whether I agreed with all of it or not. Let me just say that I find this to be a very complicated subject and it may have everything to do with the fact that I haven’t done my due diligence to really seek out the Word in its entirety to understand the idea of an “ordained marriage.” After this, I vow to do so that, right or wrong, I can have a clear stance on the topic and back it with scripture which I believe is very important. It’s not a matter of opinion. It’s all about truth and “The Truth” comes from the Bible. So I’m going to highlight a few comments and share a little of what I think as it relates to them. So let’s go! Continue reading “Divorced AND Christian… The Response.”

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 “Real Comfort Food”

I Need Just A Little More Jesus… What??

erica-campbell-all-white-long-hairIt wasn’t too long after I turned on the radio that I heard Erica Campbell’s newest single “I Need Just A Little More Jesus.” I actually heard the song a few times before and thought to myself … “What??” But this time I listened to as much of it as I could stand and promptly turned it off! I’d rather ride home in silence. I know, I know… how dare I say something about a gospel song with the name “JESUS” in it?! Well here’s the thing, I’m not moved by religion, I’m moved by relationship. In any relationship you must know the person you call “friend.” I’ve spent enough time learning Him to know through His own words that He’s done all that He is going to do. What more can you ask of someone who died for you? He not only died but resurrected and is with us every single moment of our lives. He is known as “I AM” meaning everything you will ever need He is. So tell me what more can He be for you or do for you?? …. I’ll wait. The truth is we tend to not recognize His presence until we’re beat up and torn down by our way of life. The song would make sense if it was about needing to make more time for Jesus but the way it is now is just dumb. Yes dumb. Continue reading “I Need Just A Little More Jesus… What??”

“I Sell Women”

BBOG1On April 14, 2014, an Islamic extremist group, Boko Haram, invaded a school dormitory in Nigeria and lured over 200 girls away by posing as military soldiers coming to rescue them. The girls were in hiding during a wrath of gun fire so they believed that the men were there to save them. It didn’t take long before they knew who they really were and it was not for their well being.

Hopefully many of you have been following the story and understand the severity of the matter. These men are against Western education, Christianity, and any Muslims that they believe are traders. After their leader Yusuf was assassinated, it was guaranteed that they would seek revenge. Though many innocent people have died at the hands of these extremist, young girls are the most recent targets. There are reports that the girls are being sold as child brides and sex slaves for as little as $12. The sad truth about the matter is that many people don’t feel at all connected to this tragedy. It’s thousands of miles away on a continent that many may never visit. The girls are without names that anyone beyond their families and friends would know. So many people will write this off as a sad state for Nigerians even after they post #BringBackOurGirls to their social media sites… I mean, it’s all about appearances right?

Continue reading ““I Sell Women””

The Lies You Tell

I channeled my inner Tamar with this one. I know the majority of you, at least the women, have heard the line “The lies you tell” being flaunted around by Tamar whenever she disapproves of what someone else is saying. I was reflecting on this song that I happen to love called “I Give Myself Away.” Now before you get all offended I know all about confession. I understand the meaning of speaking those things that aren’t as though they are. I also understand that doing so is just a bunch of words if you haven’t purposed in your heart to believe and ACT on what you are believing.

warOn this particular day we sung that song and instead of just singing the words, I shut my mouth and listened to the words. I meditated on what we were saying. I’ve sung that song many times and I truly felt it in my spirit but today was a little different. As I listened I began to think of all the things about myself that I hadn’t given away. You know those things that you find hard to give over control… to truly surrender. The pastor put it like this. In the world, when we surrender… when we wave the white flag it’s a sign of defeat. Think about it. When you’ve been cornered by the cops the first thing you do is raise your hands as sign of surrender. In battle, when your enemy waves the white flag, they’ve indicated that they’ve given up or lost the battle. When it comes to surrendering to God, it’s vital that we renew our minds. Yes we are giving ourselves away and surrendering our will but not because we lost… it’s because we want to win. We want to win in every area of our lives and we understand that the only way that’s possible is to surrender to His will for our lives. Continue reading “The Lies You Tell”

GIVE IT UP

You probably took the title of this blog two ways. We often use the term “give it up” to communicate to someone to stop what they’re doing… or it’s a slang we use to indicate we intend to have sex… neither is what I’m referring to in today’s post. Most of you have heard the saying “It’s better to give than to receive” but who of you truly believes that? I know all of you would say you do but let’s evaluate your actions.

1. When you give someone a birthday card or gift do you get bent out of shape if they don’t say “thank you?”

2. When Christmas comes around and you don’t get a gift in return for the one you gave do you feel some kind of way and vow not to make the same mistake next year?

3. If you see someone in distress and offer to help in any way do you then reach out to them later to arrange a form of repayment?

4. If your neighbor needs help with raking the leaves or carrying groceries are you upset if they don’t offer to pay you for your services?

5. For my church folks… Do you tithe because you want something in return and not because it’s a command in the Bible? Continue reading “GIVE IT UP”

I Need You, You Need Me

“… in Leviticus 26:8 and Deuteronomy 32:30, we’re told that “…one can put a thousand to flight but two will put ten thousand to flight.” We can do TEN TIMES more together than we can by ourselves! God was intentional about creating us so that we would need one another. We must be intentional in engaging in community with our brothers and sisters in Christ, because we need one another. We are more powerful together. Together we are an unstoppable force.” ~ excerpt from Victory World Church 21 Day Fast

There’s a song that we sing sometimes at my church where we join hands as a family and sing “I need you… you need me. We’re all a part of God’s body. Stand with me. Agree with me. We’re all a part of God’s family.” I thought of this song as I was reading the devotion for Day 15 of my fast. We sing it but do we truly believe it? There are things that happen in life inside and outside of church that have caused us to harden our hearts to people. I know that I have fell victim to the “All I need in life is Jesus” mentality and although He is the most essential part of my life, I’ve matured in knowing that I need others as well. God is people minded. He values community and unions, hence the significance of marriage.

In this month’s issue of Essence, there’s a great article about Steve and Marjorie Harvey. Now, I know some people may have some hang ups about the advice that Steve offers but there were some points made in the article that made me appreciate the couple for their commitment to each other. Continue reading “I Need You, You Need Me”

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