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

Bonus Video: Prison Break

I think I may have done this one other time. Posted two blogs in one day. I just felt compelled to share the message I referenced in my earlier post titled “My High Tower.” Not to mention, I want to share the greatness that the iNgage Movement has been to the community, led by a young man named Nelson Bowen. His series is titled “Prison Break.” This particular message hit home with me and from it brought peace and understanding that surpasses anything I could have possibly imagined at this time in my life. Some things are just too good not to share.

This is the first of many iNgage pod casts so I hope you take the time to watch in its entirety. After you do that, make plans to join us on the 1st, 2nd, or 4th  Saturday of every month.

  • Instagram: @ingagemovement
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  • 1st Saturday: 900 S Crain Hwy, Glen Burnie MD 5:30P
  • 2nd & 4th Saturdays: 1001 Monroe Street NE, Washington DC 20018 5:30P

My High Tower

Psalm 9:9 “The Lord also will be a refuge and a high tower for the oppressed, a refuge and a stronghold in times of trouble (high cost, destitution, and desperation).”

Imagine you think you’re about to be hit with a pillow stuffed with feathers but instead it’s one stuffed with bricks. That was me. It would have been great if I was still on my writing hiatus but as fate would have it I’m back at it and things are so out of sorts for me right now. I’m looking for the “Do Over” button like now!

There are times when I write out of joy and revelation knowledge and there are times where it is out of complete and utter desperation. That’s where I am today. Not that I’m desperate for readers or public approval but out of the need to feel closer to God so that I can make sense out of senseless situations.

writingHere’s what I know about me. When I pray I don’t usually hear anything from God right away. My prayer time is often me thanking Him, pleading to Him for instruction, asking Him for protection, etc. More often than not, I hear him at the most random moments! I can be driving in my car, listening to a song, having a conversation with someone and He’ll just interrupt me. However, what I’ve learned most recently is that my special time with God is when I write. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pen and pad or a keyboard, that’s our official quality time together.

I didn’t realize that until today. So often I’m delayed in writing because I want to know what my message is before I sit down. That’s been one of the main reasons I went on such a long hiatus earlier this year, but God revealed to me as I’m typing this that He waits for me to follow His instruction to sit down and write so that He can give me the words as I go. Sometimes I know a head of time but in times when I feel unprepared (I’m a habitual planner!)  I still need to show up. Take that as a lesson, if God leads you to do something that you don’t feel ready or able to do just show up! He’s waiting on your obedience, not your perfection. 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.”

Make ‘Em A Believer

I could moan and groan over the fact I spent an hour drafting a blog that never officially saved and at the moment I was about to post it my computer froze and I lost everything…

…OR I could decide to skip this week and chalk it up to it being a bad day.

…OR I could just repost an old blog and make up some deep meaning behind why I’m recycling a previous post for today. (Not that I haven’t done it before. It’s just that it was for a specific purpose. The only purpose for me doing that today would be done with the frustration of having my thought perfectly aligned and ready to go only to have it disappear in an instant.)

… OR I be determined not to be distracted by taking my focus off what’s important and dwelling on what’s least important …my emotions!

stick to itLife is always about perspective. My original writing for today was all about staying focused and not allowing yourself to get off track by circumstances or people. Well, here was a true test of my faith. I choose to be a living example of what I originally wrote in my lost draft. Here’s the thing I’m learning, our behavior is not for God. God is less concerned with our actions than he is with our heart. How we live is important to drawing others closer to God. Men and women can’t see our heart, only God can do that. So people only know what we believe and what we are about by our actions. Start acting like what you say you believe.

Over the past few weeks, Nehemiah 6 has been a reoccurring theme during my study time. Nehemiah was focused on completing the plan that God designed just for him. While he worked, other men got wind of what he was doing and summoned him to meet with them. He repeatedly turned down their requests to meet for the sake of staying on track with the work he was doing unto God. Frustrated at being rejected, the men shared with him the rumors circling about what he was doing and why he was doing it. They were all lies made up by people who had no understanding of what God had promised him. Instead of letting them be a distraction and trying to defend his name and his mission, Nehemiah never left the wall and was even more determined to finish what he started because of their ill intentions. 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

An Evening Out: Purity w/ Style Launch Party

danille-e1407897010589A few weeks ago I received a personal invite to serve as press for the launch of a young woman’s clothing line. Although I was honored, I wasn’t quite sure why I was chosen. I write a blog about various experiences in my life and in the lives of others but never had I covered an actual event as press. I hesitated for about 3 minutes before I responded with, “Absolutely!”

There’s nothing like a night in a swanky loft in the heart of DC spent with women of power, prestige, and a love of all things pure. I was able to get a few moments to chat with the lovely Danielle Stradford, founder and CEO of “Purity w/ Style.” Aside from her gracious smile and welcoming spirit, she’s a beautiful force behind a powerful movement to redefine the look of purity. Here’s a look into the life of the visionary and her new lifestyle brand: Continue reading

The Voice

Everyone says when you hear God’s voice move in the way that he instructs you to move. No hesitation. No second opinions. Just go! That sounds good in theory but lets take in to account someone who has been unsuccessful at shutting down all the other clutter that fills their thoughts. What’s the secret to extracting His voice from all other voices that fill your head with things contrary to what you believe He is telling you to do. Not all things contrary have to be bad. They can just be logical, safe, or comfortable. In other words, if you chose to follow the contrary, you wouldn’t necessarily be doing yourself or anyone else any harm… or would you? 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

The Main Event

celebration3We live in a world where a person’s success is measured by a major event… a graduation, a promotion, an engagement, a milestone birthday… You get the picture. It’s no wonder why many believers carry that same mindset into their relationship with God. We celebrate God when something we’ve been believing Him for comes to pass. But what about those things that happen for us that we didn’t seek out from God. What about those “minor” things that aid us towards accomplishing those goals. I use the word “minor” loosely because if we fail to conquer those smaller areas, the main event is impossible to reach.

I’m thankful to a group of young ladies who helped me to remember those things in 2013 that weren’t on my “To-Do List.” The assignment was to list out our successes from 2013 that weren’t goals for us. Initially it was hard to come up with but as I dug deep into my memory bank, I had at least 6 things that I had accomplished or witnessed that I never saw coming.

celebration1Stop waiting around for that big desire to manifest itself. Every moment of your life matters. EVERY moment. Celebrate the small victories. It’s because of them that you are able and prepared for the big ones. You think an Olympic track star got there without having to train daily and win a ton of smaller meets? You think a team gets to the Super Bowl without having to gel during training camp and  have a winning regular season?

Think about it. Your journey is a day to day process of renewing your mind, overcoming obstacles, and fulfilling assignments that will equip you for the big show… whatever that may be. Each time you make a decision that aligns with God’s will for your life… celebrate! When you pay off one of your 10 credit cards … celebrate! When you let go of that toxic relationship and go a week without contacting that person… celebrate! When you finish the first chapter of the book you’ve been trying to write for months… celebrate! When you complete that class you dreaded with a passing grade… celebrate! Don’t let another day pass by without thanking God for the simple things in life… Air to breathe, mobility of your limbs, a roof over your head, a job to go to. You don’t have to have a cheering section. You don’t need all your friends around. It’s okay to celebrate you all by yourself… knowing that God is pleased. Be grateful and smile… with God by your side you always have something to celebrate!

… And since you would have so much practice celebrating, can you imagine what the celebration is going to be like when you reach the main event?!! You ain’t ready! 🙂

Happy Tuesday and Love Month!!

Love, Bianca