Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Your Gift Is For You!

After praying this morning, I began to think of how well the enemy uses "people" in an attempt to stifle our gifts.  You've seen them:  the whisperers, the gossipers, those who envy, the jealous, the judgmental and the know-it-all cliques.  They come in all shapes, sizes and come from different denominations and economic backgrounds.  In other words, they're everywhere!

My job today is to let you know that God has placed something unique and SPECIAL inside of you that "no man" can destroy nor stop.  You don't have to beg for it and you don't have to apologize for possessing it.  It is a gift from God and the Bible teaches us in Romans 11:29:  "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance."  

Whatever God has called you to do to uplift HIS kingdom, DO IT.  He's already spoken it, so it already is. All you have to do is work it.   It doesn't matter if no one understands.  It doesn't matter if someone becomes angry.  It doesn't even matter if no one seemingly cares or wants to be bothered with you.  God has a way of opening eyes and ears to HIS purpose.  So please don't allow any demonic spirit to hold you back from your blessing.  If they don't receive you or your gift, then keep it moving. 

So how does the enemy cause us to back up on our gifts?  Through the spirit of fear, self-doubt, guilt, self-hatred, mistakes, unforgiveness, comparison and low self esteem - just to name a few.  Remember, the devil is a demon of the mind and if he can get you to doubt yourself and the Word of God, then he knows he's gaining territory.

Take Adam and Eve for example in the Garden of Eden.  God gave them dominion over everything.  He'd already instructed them as to what their purpose was and equipped them with everything they needed, but....

Don't allow the end of your story to be "but" (but I wish I would, could or should have).  Do it and do it well, with a fervent and determined spirit.  What's yours is yours and only YOU can do it.  Eventually, you WILL arrive in the land God has promised you and it will be GOOD!  I'm pretty sure Noah and Abraham would testify to this if they were here.

So get up and go!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Dare To Be Different

It's funny how God can use any and everything to bring revelation and encouragement.

This morning while at my desk, I began to think about the movie, "Boomerang."  You remember the movie right?  Eddie Murphy played "Marcus", a successful advertising executive who had a well-known reputation for being a womanizer and playboy....that is until he met "Jackie" (played by Robin Givens).  Anyways, the movie was a funny satire about karma and getting what you dish out.

Even though the movie was extremely funny, this morning the main characters were not who I found myself focused on. Oddly enough, I found myself thinking about a character named "Strange'" (pronounced Stron-jay), played by the infamous Grace Jones.   Strange' was in fact 'strange' in many ways.  She didn't look like everyone else.  She didn't dress like everyone else.  She didn't even act like everyone else  She was a beautiful and bold woman, who made no apologies for who she was.  When she entered a room, everyone took notice.  There was just "something" about her - something different that one could not put their finger.

As I pondered over this, the scripture Psalm 139:14 immediately came to mind: "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:  marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."  God's Word states that we are a "royal priesthood" and a "peculiar" people (1 Peter2:9).  In some instances, God expects us to have the attitude that Strange' exhibits.  We must recognize and accept the fact that we don't fit in with the rest of the world and we aren't supposed to be timid, fearful people, for the Bible states in II Timothy 1:7: "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and a sound mind."  

So don't get discouraged just because you're "different" from the rest.  Count it a blessing!  There is a reason for it and it's all working for your good.  As a single mother, I can recall many times when I witnessed other women in the same predicament as myself doing things that my beliefs would not allow me to do.  They partied, had men, drank, drugged, had bills paid for them, etc.  But the Bible states, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"  

Stay in the race you're in!  Ladies believe me, it simply isn't worth it to compromise your salvation and integrity for "stuff."  You WILL regret it if you do.  Dare to be "strange" and "different" and be content with it.  You'll find that people will respect you more for being who God has called you to be as opposed to "attempting" to keep up with everyone else.  After all, you ARE the best and only version of you and God Himself made you that way.  So don't waste time on mimicking others.  Be that peculiar, beautiful, bold, holy and "different" woman of God that you are.  And just watch and see how many you attract.  Others can't help BUT to be drawn to you.  You ARE unique!

Stay blessed sisters and I love you just as you are!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

God Will Provide

A situation that occurred last week is the inspiration behind today's post.
"Behold the fowls of the air:  for they sow not, neither do they 
reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.  
Are ye not much better than they?"  (Matthew 6:26)

My home church holds Bible Study each Wednesday evening and I live approximately 30 miles away.  So last week after work, I went home and changed clothes, ran an errand and off to Bible Study I went.  After leaving Bible Study later that night, I ran a few more errands and began to make the trek back home.  I decided to take the back, local roads instead of the Turnpike (which would have been much quicker), as I'd noticed a nail in one of my front tires.

About ten minutes into my journey, I began to feel my car pull towards the center of the road.  Immediately I wondered if the tire had flattened, so I pulled into a dark parking lot that was set close to the road.  It was raining outside and by now it was around 10:00 p.m., so any hopes of finding an open garage was next to impossible.  I exited my car and true enough, the tire was flat.  What was I going to do??? The area which I found myself in was kind of remote minus a few closed buildings, with a dark park across the street and a very small, shack-like bar (that I only noticed later).  Immediately I began to text and make phone calls for assistance but to no avail.  I was stuck, plain and simple. And yes ladies, I wanted to cry but I didn't.  Instead, as I sat in my car listening to the rain dance on the ceiling, I said a quick prayer.

Even though I had a jack and spare tire in the trunk, I'd never used them personally.  I'd watched others change tires in the past but never really paid any attention to what they did.  Nevertheless, I was determined to remember and somehow change the tire.  So I knelt on the wet ground, with rain still pouring and basically began to fiddle with the "contraption."  It quickly became apparent that I didn't know what I was doing.

All of a sudden, out of nowhere, a man appeared and asked if I was okay.  Since it was dark and I was a single woman who was alone, I told him that I was fine and was about to change my tire.  He must have noticed that I didn't know what I was doing because he replied by asking, "Have you ever done it before?"  I gave up and answered, "No."  So he said, "let me help you."  In the rain, a complete stranger got on his knees and changed my tire.  Not only that, he taught me how to do it myself so that if it ever happened again, I'd be prepared.  Just as he was finishing up, someone who I'd text, had left work and pulled up.  My problem was solved and my need was provided.

I tell you this story to remind you that whenever you feel as if you're backed up against a wall with no help, remember that God is able and He always has a ram in the bush to help you.  He DOES care for you for the Bible states, "Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you" (I Peter 5:7)  Remember, just as in the picture above, our heavenly Father provides for the fowls of the air and He'll do even more for us.

As a single mother, I understand the challenges we sometimes have to face that cause us to become frantic and make wrong moves and/or decisions out of desperation.  But if we can learn to wait on the Lord, He WILL provide.  We just have to allow Him to help us and realize that His solutions don't always come in the form we anticipate.  In this instance, not only did God provide but He also blessed me with knowledge to help myself or even someone else in the future.  What a mighty God we serve!  So don't ever think God can't help your situation.  Instead, simply call on Him!  The Bible reminds us that, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."  God WILL provide.

Stay blessed sisters!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Another Year

Yesterday I was blessed to celebrate my 47th birthday.  I thank God for allowing me to witness yet another year as I fully understand that many don't make it this far.  This year I decided to go somewhere I've never been before.  Therefore, I packed my bags and traveled to Niagra Falls, NY as I'd always longed to see it.

I must say that I'm glad I went and that Niagra Falls is absolutely breathtaking.  The rock structure, added to the force of water is an amazing testimony of God's immanent power.  I stood in awe as I watched the neverending flow of water crash to the rocks below.  I rode the "Maid of the Mist", which is a boat that takes its passengers for an up close and personal look at the falls and then I donned a poncho and sandals as I made my way through and up the "Cave of the Winds."  These are experiences I will never forget and I'm now composing a list of new destinations I've like to see.
As I reflect on my trip, I also give God praise because I can recall a time, as a single mother, when I couldn't even afford to take my children to Burger King, let alone a trip.  My financial status at that time was one of strict budgeting, which left little to nothing for entertainment or even relaxation.  I can remember watching other women go on trips and thinking to myself that I'd never be able to something like that.  But over time, God blessed me with new opportunities which opened new doors and soon, I was able to take advantage of different activities with my children and alone. 

So for those of you who are reading this and thinking, "I can't afford it", understand that this period in your life is simply a season.  Just because you can't do it now, doesn't mean you'll never do it.  If you continue to hold onto God's hand, He has a way of changing our circumstances in ways we could never imagine.  His Word says, "To everything is a season and a time to every purpose under the heavens." (Ecclesiastes 3:1) 

  Please sisters, don't get discouraged if  your "right now" doesn't allow for certain activities.  A "right now" is definitely NOT a "never".  Who knows?  Your season could be changing at this very moment!  So learn to thank God for what you 'can' do, thank Him for what you already have and dare to praise Him for what's yet to come!  Hold to His hand and each year will get better and better.  Don't ever doubt it!  I'm a living testimony.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

You Can Make It

This is a song that was sung at Sunday morning service this past week and has been ringing in my spirit ever since.  So I thought I'd share it with my sisters! *smiles*  I sincerely hope you enjoy it and more importantly, that it encourages someone's spirit.  Be encouraged sis, you can make it!  Thanks for taking this break with me.  ((Hugs))

Can God Still Use Me?

One of the most challenging questions I've ever faced in my spiritual walk has been, "Can God still use me?"  The reason I felt it to be challenging is because of the many poor choices I've made over the years.  My choices left me with an overwhelming feeling of guilt and shame, which led me to believe that I was the worst of the worst.  I oftentimes thought to myself, "How could God use someone who has gone against His Word, ESPECIALLY someone who held a position of leadership in His kingdom?"  I also wondered what others in the kingdom would think.  Would they accept me back?  Would they listen to me?  Why would they even WANT to listen?  After all, I already knew what was being said about me.  I mean let's be real, people talk!  I'd taken note of how some shunned me, as well as how others flat out refused to speak.  I saw the silent stares and the rolling of eyes.  I even remember once running into a minister and as I approached them to speak, they turned their back to me.  I really felt as I were an outcast, not only in the church but in God's eyes as well.

When I first entered into ministry, I was ON FIRE!  I was faithful to everything: Sunday School, Sunday morning service, Sunday evening service, Prayer, Bible Study and whatever auxiliary I chose to participate in.  I loved it and worked hard, sometimes to the point of exhaustion.  I was a faithful tither and did whatever I could to please God.  So when the choice was made to "pull back", after some time passed, shame and guilt began to creep into my spirit.  "How could I have done this to God", I asked myself.  I perceived the road back to Him to be one which required insurmountable strength, that I just didn't have.

One thing my journey has taught me is that the devil is most definitely a liar.  I know that's a familiar phrase which is continuously quoted, but nevertheless it's true.  He IS a liar.  The Bible refers to him as the "father of lies" (John 8:44), and all he does is "seek whom he may devour": the weak, brokenhearted, lonely, weary, confused, etc.  But if you study the scriptures, the Bible speaks to every single emotion just mentioned.  It specifically states:

  • "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (tricks) of the devil." (Ephesians 6:10-11)
    • It's not about how strong WE are but POWER BELONGS TO GOD!
  • "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." (Psalm 147:3)
    • No matter how painful our hurt is, God can and will fix it, if we just reach out to Him instead of other people.
  • "...There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." (Proverbs 18:24)
    • When all others have forsaken us, God is still awaiting with open arms.
  • And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."  (Galatians 6:9)
    • Even though we may sometimes become weary, if we do what God instructs, He will reward us openly.
  • And as a side note, let's remember that, "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." (Psalm 34:18)
    • So if we're dealing with difficulties, we're in perfect position for God to move.  After all, He doesn't need to save someone who has it all together right?
So again, the question arises, "Can God Still Use Me?"  Let me encourage your spirit with a resounding "YES!"  Yes God can still use YOU, just as He is using me!  The only thing that's holding you up is YOU.  Remember that God never left us, for the Bible states, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."  It is we who leave God and just as with the prodigal son, the father is still waiting for us to return.

Please remember that the Bible teaches us in Philippians 1:6, that whatever God has promised us He WILL "perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."  This means that you have a purpose that God uniquely placed inside of you and if you make up in your mind to serve Him, He WILL cause it to come to fruition.  It doesn't say that He "might", nor does it say He'll change His mind.  It say that HE WILL.  It's just a matter of us making the decision to allow Him to lead and guide our footsteps; after all, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord...".  (Psalm 37:23)  So whatever the gift, ministry or help that God has placed inside of you, no one in this world can do it the way God desired for it to be done EXCEPT FOR YOU!  

So what are you waiting for?  Get up and get going NOW!  Turn a deaf ear and blind eye to all those who speak against you because they will have their reward (just look it up).  Hear me when I say, if God can use an ass to speak to His people (Numbers 22:28), He most definitely can use you!  When you search the scriptures, the majority of the people and things God used didn't make sense to everyone else:  Noah was a drunk who eventually slept with his daughters; David was a cheat, murderer and liar; Abraham chose to listen to his wife instead of God.  But still God used them all mightily.

Do any of those scenarios sound familiar to your story?  I'd be inclined to believe that your story doesn't even compare to what Noah, Abraham and David did.  Am I right?  If so, then you need to get on up, hold your head high, get to work, give God the praise and allow Him to get the glory!  God CAN still use YOU!

And once you get back into your rightful position, please remember to revisit this site and share your testimony/testimonies of victory!  This will not only help to inspire others who are struggling with the same issue(s), but also show just how mighty our God is.  Remember, our aim is to build up and not tear down nor make spectacles of other's weaknesses.  I'll be praying for you and looking forward to hearing from you.

Thanks sisters!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Unfinished Business

I first created this blog in 2010.  The vision at that time was to create a forum in which single, Christian women could come together to discuss life issues while simultaneously encouraging one another.  The blog was a huge success, reaching sisters as far away as Asia, Europe and South America.  

I can't tell you how many accolades I received and to be honest, I truly enjoyed every aspect of the endeavor.  But as time passed, as you can imagine, the naysayers began to creep in.  I'd be lying if I said their cruel words didn't hurt because they did. Nevertheless, I did my best to press on.

Between the years of 2006-2011, several events occurred in my life (we'll talk about those later). But it was during that time in which many untrue rumors began to swirl about me. At first I tried to ignore them but unfortunately, I eventually confronted them.  Why did I do that?  Instead of praying more, I talked more.  As a result, "I" eventually made the decision to step down from ministry at my home church (I was on the minister's roster and a Sunday School teacher) and I also found a new church home.

In hindsight, I wish I would have stood my ground, after all, I'd done absolutely nothing wrong. But I've learned that the enemy has a way of magnifying situations (if we let him) to the point where we don't always see clearly.  Once I left my ministries, I also deleted my blog.  My moral was low, my two sons lost interest in church and to be honest, I was very tired, hurt and had no desire to do anything except live my life.

And that's was I did.  I lived my life!  I did anything I felt I was big enough to do!  I simply didn't care anymore.  I felt that if "people" were able to do what THEY wanted, then I should too!  And adopting that attitude was one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made in my life. I regret it to this day.  Let me be the first to tell you that regardless of what the enemy "tries" to bring to you or against you, nothing compares to the safety found in God's loving arms.  God is after all, our "refuge in times of trouble." (Psalm 9:9)  

After a few years passed, I found my spirit to be in a chaotic mess, yet there was a yearning in my soul that nothing nor anyone could fulfill but felt I'd blown my chance at whatever God had for me.  Isn't that something?  Despite being in sin, I still wanted God and unbeknownst to me at the time, He was still waiting on me.

Then one day, I met a very soft-spoken first lady in Cleveland, Ohio who I opened up to. She spoke loving yet powerful words of life into my spirit and encouraged me to restart the blog because, as she said, there was still some "unfinished business" to attend to.

So that's what I've done!  I'm back!  Sisterbreak was and is ordained of God.  My vision is to reach not only single women but also hurting women.  Women who feel as if they're barely holding on. This blog seeks to assist in reviving and restoring those single women of God who may have seemingly lost their way with love and no condemnation.  

So please, take a little bit of time out of each day for a "Sisterbreak" as we love and encourage one another.  We will complete this journey together!