PARK IT!

I don’t know why I still get so amazed at how God speaks to me. It starts with me noticing something that is so common place and seeing it through a new perspective. It’s like I have new or child-like eyes that are trying to process something that, on a normal day, I would walk by without a glance. Let me paint the picture for you…

smartcar1Everyday I go to work, I park in the same garage. I can admit, I’m not the most fond of the parking attendant and it often drives me nuts when I’m unable to find a space and then forced to leave my key with him. Well this particular day, I found a space albeit a bit further away than I’d like. As I’m walking to the door, I see what I thought was a space right outside of the doorway but as I got closer I realized that someone parked their “toy car” in the spot… okay, okay it was a smart car or something! Very miniature!!! And the first thing I’m thinking is, “they don’t even need that big ‘ole GOOD parking space!!!!” I was so annoyed for no other reason than I wanted to just push it out the way with my big ‘ole “normal” size car! I know it’s petty but that’s just how I was feeling that day.

Little did I know, God had a lesson in all of that. Here’s the picture he painted… Continue reading

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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.”

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

Timetables

“For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].”
timetableWhen you think of some of your most prized possessions what comes first to mind? In the materialistic world we live in, it’s so easy to list out all the tangible things that we couldn’t live without. They don’t even have to be costly things just something that you would hate to have taken from you. Here’s what I’m willing to bet. Many of your lists would not include “time.” Time is such a fragile part of life. It can be taken away in an instance without any warning but we take it for granted far too often.

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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? 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

When I Was 7… Yesterday

1 Cor. 13:11 “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”

Number 7I never knew about her earlier life. I knew of her activism, her poems, and her infinite wisdom but yesterday was my first glance into young Maya Angelou. That is — 7 year old Maya Angelou. In one of her many interviews with Oprah Winfrey, she spoke of being raped at age 7. A few days after being released from jail, the man she accused was found dead. It was the end of his life and the end of her voice – for several years. Her 7 year old mind led her to believe that her voice was the cause of the man’s death and that if she continued to speak then more people would die. Where did she get that from? Who did she consult about those thoughts?… No one. Continue reading

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

Hellooo 2014!!!

UnknownWow! It’s New Year’s Eve! 2013 is coming to an end and 2014 is staring us down! Resolutions are being made across the globe. We all know the drill… people are losing weight, changing their diet, starting new hobbies, finding Mr. or Mrs. Right; the lists go on and on but let me change the game up for you this year! Let’s all focus on committing to ONE specific thing this year… PURPOSE! It’s the one thing that will bring incomparable joy and satisfaction. I guarantee if we all focus on that one word, all the other things we desire will fall into place in due season. I literally stumbled upon a passage the other day that planted firmly in my spirit. It speaks volumes to the importance of TODAY and the gift that each day is to each one of us. It’s my hope that you’ll meditate on it and see the big picture. Continue reading

Simple Humanity

I really shouldn’t be surprised but I am! I decided at the last minute to reschedule my blogs so that I could repost an older piece that would speak to the legacy of Nelson Mandela. I decided on “Simple Humanity” only to see that the original version was posted almost an exact year ago to date. I posted this last year on 12/11/12. How amazing that it would be so fitting a year later. No, it doesn’t speak to Nelson Mandela directly, but it speaks to everything he stood for and the legacy he left to the world. We honor you Mandela and we’re grateful for your long life of sacrifice, service, and leadership.

At 6:00 this evening, I still wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to share today. I almost thought I would skip this week. That was until I ran into a familiar friend. A friend that may not even remember me or the day we crossed paths. Last year, I wrote a blog about a woman name Elizabeth. A fragile, elderly woman who I met on her way home. Well, as I was rushing off to an event this evening, I caught a glimpse of her… in the same long trench coat, hunched over, juggling the bags in both her hands. I said aloud,  “Elizabeth!!” She couldn’t hear me; my windows were up. She couldn’t see me because we were on opposite sides of the street. I thought about trying to pull over to wait for her but wasn’t sure if I would scare her. I mean it has been ages since our paths crossed and though I gave her my contact to reach out if she ever needed a ride anywhere she had not taken me up on the offer.

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