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

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.”

Drop Your Anchor

It’s been a minute my friends! I know some of you may have thought I had thrown in the towel. Nope! I just had to regroup. The last few weeks of 2014 were chaotic. Not so much in my personal life but in the world that I woke up to everyday. My mind just couldn’t settle on one thing. I was angry about the injustices and feeling helpless in it all. I was disappointed in the faith community that I hold in high regard and want to see as leaders beyond the pulpit. I was distracted by my disappointments of not meeting certain personal goals. On top of that I had worries about family and trying to close out the year with a bang while still planning for the new one staring me in the face. I had so much to talk about and absolutely no idea what to say. I know that sounds weird but one thing that you will always get when you read my blog is transparency. The last few Tuesdays of 2014 I felt pressure to keep up with my perfect record of never missing a week. I felt the need to just write something but when I settled myself, I realized that I needed a break. I needed to clear my head, regroup, refocus and just take a breath. This blog has never been stressful before and I was determined not to let it become that way so I stepped away for a bit BUT here I am, back at it for the first Tuesday of 2015 and it’s GO TIME!!

anchorSo many people inspired this post today. I truly could write about a multitude of topics but today it’s all about “commitment.” I’m not even talking about New Year’s Resolutions. Never been interested in those. I’m talking about those things that God placed in your heart years ago. There are dreams and visions that we have carried around for years and have either never put our all into making them our reality or have never even attempted because of fear and excuses. I imagine a lot of us look like wandering ships sailing across waters too afraid to drop our anchors. The purpose of an anchor is to hold a ship in its set place. Even when the engine is not in use, without an anchor, the ship can be moved from its set place by the motion of the water. The only real security that ship has from not getting off course while it’s not in motion is its anchor. The anchor represents commitment. Where is your anchor this year? 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.

Continue reading

The Leaky Faucet

 

leakyI’m that girl that will try to fix or put together almost anything. If it’s a bookshelf, a table, and even a toilet… I’ve tried my hand at it and succeeded. That’s one of those things I get from my dad. Aside from our smile, not being morning people, and slow eating… I inherited the trait of being pretty crafty with my hands. (Note to future hubby: Being a Mr. Fix It is not a pre-requisite, however, if you knew just a little bit about cars that would be a major bonus!) Anywho, back to the matter at hand.  I’ve been dreading having to come out of pocket to replace the faucet in my kitchen. Out of nowhere, it started spewing water that would eventually run onto my counter and spill over to my floor. Without any real knowledge of the issue, in my mind the damage was beyond Ms. Fix It’s ability and would need replacement. Of course I had too many other things going on at the time. The last thing I wanted to deal with was Home Depot! So I put it off for a few weeks which meant cleaning up water every time I used the sink. So annoying!

Continue reading

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

What About Me?

answer-girl-colorI can’t be the only one that has questioned if God had forgotten about me. I know I’m not the only one that has thought that I had done too many things outside of His will that I would be spending my days trying to prove that I was worthy of His love and attention. I believe that some of the most difficult things to discipline are your thoughts. The enemy can take up residence there and have you lose your mind, literally! It’s so dangerous when you don’t know how much God loves you and when you question His heart towards you. If ever you or I have any of those feelings rise up in our spirit again, be reminded of this:

There’s not enough good deeds, “right” decisions, giving of self that we could ever do to deserve God’s love. We don’t do things pleasing to God to earn is love. His love is a gift! All we have to do is receive!! We seek after His will because we want an intimate relationship with Him. It’s the same as a mother and father’s love for their child. They love you from the time you were first formed in the womb. They don’t say “let me find out how obedient he/she is” or “let me see if he/she turns out to be all that I imagine my child to be” before I know if I love them. Their love is unconditional and without warrant. Still, even their love can’t match God’s love. Continue reading

The Scenic Route

clockI have to admit, I’m a stickler for being on time. Aside from those types of events that lend themselves to being “fashionably late,” I’m all about early arrival. If I have to rely on directions to get somewhere on time, I need them to be accurate and precise so there’s no way for me to possibly get lost. If someone wants to give me details about nice places I could see along the way, I’m not interested. Tell me how to get to my set destination please… that’s all. I have somewhere I have to be and I need to know EXACTLY how to get there. Precision is key. Of course, if I’m on vacation or having a leisurely day, I’m much more relaxed and willing to take in the experience. Making an appointment or special event is totally different. Continue reading

No Frill, No Fuss… Just Me and Him

Okay so I was pressed to get this out before the clock striked midnight! I am positive that the storm I’m going through right now is not for my benefit but for the benefit of others. So when the option was to hibernate under the covers or write out my thoughts for my B&F family to read… you know the choice was easy! Since I’m racing against the clock, there’s no pictures, no bible quotes… just a quick story of the conversation I had with God today. Continue reading

TIME THEIVES

Where do I even begin? I seriously have so much to write about that I don’t know what to write about. Life!! I don’t care how prepared you think you are for it, there’s always something that will try to throw you off course. In my case, there have been a lot of “somethings.” I truly believe that the greatest battles you will ever have are the ones in your mind. I’m sure I’m not the only one that has a lot to juggle on a daily basis. I don’t know how anyone can survive in our society without the ability to multitask. Dreamers have to set aside time to plan out your steps to making those dreams reality. If you’re independent, you have to hold down your job to provide a stable living for yourself. If you have family, you have to be the sounding board for them and assist them in anyway possible. Relationships, whether romantic or friends, demand of your time. Anything worth having is worth investing in.  So how do you manage it all without losing yourself in the mix? Continue reading