It’s been some time since my last post, as I’ve struggled to find my creative voice on paper (…and on the laptop,) as of late. Part of the reason, is because I haven’t had as much free time, due to other obligations. However, a message that I heard today so convicted me that I felt compelled to listen closely to my inner voice- so that I could dig deep and write. So here goes.
Power by definition means, “the ability to act or produce an effect: capacity for being acted upon or undergoing an effect.” Merriam- Webster. These are just two of the many definitions that I came across, but something about “produce an effect,” really stood out. It made me think about the power of the Holy Spirit and the role that He plays in our day to day walk. Power can mean the difference between someone being freed from a life of bondage and someone remaining in a state of hopelessness. According to Acts 1:8, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in all Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” NIV Bible. Great news friends, Jesus did not leave us powerless when He departed!!! He left us with an internal guide- the Holy Spirit, to help us not only navigate our way through this life, until His return, but also to help us NOT live a defeated life. Miracles, signs and wonders take place when this (Holy) P O W E R exists! People get delivered from unforgiveness, beat lifelong addictions, overcome hidden sins, and get loosed from sickness and disease. However, in order to receive this power, one must first have a relationship with the Son of God. Titus 3:6 says, “God poured out the Holy Spirit abundantly on us through Jesus Christ our Savior.” Do you want to live a life of power, rooted in great faith? If so, ask Jesus Christ to reveal Himself to you today, if you don’t already know Him. Confess with your mouth that He is Lord and believe it in your heart and you shall be saved- Romans 10:9!! Be blessed and walk in POWER!!!
This is what life with the Holy Spirit is like… Are you ready to experience this power and connect your passion and purpose?
Nobel Peace Center- Oslo, Norway
What is wisdom? According to dictionary.com- wisdom is the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise. Based upon this definition alone, answering the door when wisdom comes a knocking is well…uhm… wise. I’ve been thinking a lot lately, about life as well as my daily routine in general. I’ve also considered how my choices need to look moving forward, as well as which ones made in the past, led me to this point. I’ve endured 3 and a half years of pruning, stripping away, testing and intense faith building. Though not always the most pleasant of times, the spiritual outcome thus far, has been fruitful. I’ve developed a deeper intimacy in my relationship with God and a stronger faith overall. As a result, I now realize that this is a crucial part of the process, if I’m to truly connect my passion and purpose and be effective. Here are a few adjustments that I’ve made over these last few months.
- Protecting My Space
I’m doing a much better job of guarding my space. What I mean by this is that I’m balancing the negatives and the positives. I tend to be a sounding board for a number of people, and that can take a toll on anyone. I’m an introvert by nature, with some extrovert tendencies of course, so I naturally recharge away from people. With this being said, I’m setting new boundaries. I think this is part of the adjustments that God is calling me to make this season. Yes, I still plan to be here for people mentally, emotionally and most importantly spiritually, as much as I can, but with an understanding that there has to be some limitations in place. Otherwise, I can’t be “my” best. I was literally feeling drained by all the complaints, problems, issues and woes of everybody else, while trying to make sense of some of my own. It was energy sapping and was causing me to run the other way every time I heard my phone ring. I, myself, am in a place where I am faced with some challenges, so I’m clinging more towards words of encouragement, inspiration and messages that refuel. Right now, this is what “I” need, to successfully reach the next phase of my life. I’m learning that it’s okay to protect your space when you need to. There will be seasons where you are fully equipped to bare the weights of others, and then there will be times, where you yourself will require the weight baring. Embrace where you are in life, make the necessary adjustments and own it.Your energy and space are important!
- Seeking Peace
This whole message on peace first came up some months back in a book that I was reading. “Pathway to Purpose,” the book, became the catalyst in my own quest for a better understanding of peace. I discovered that I had to seek it, like Psalm 34:14 teaches us to- “Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.” The term kept popping up everywhere- online, in messages and even became the theme of my recent visit to Oslo, Norway. Thus, I knew there was something to it, so I took notice. Personal peace also ties into #1, regarding the protection of energy and space. Since Jesus is the Prince of Peace, when I keep my mind stayed on Him, I am in perfect peace. When I don’t…well, we know how that goes. We live in a chaotic world, with all sorts of things vying for our attention, so if we don’t get a grip on this, it can aid in the complete and utter breakdown of our peace. It’s okay to guard your heart and mind- and to protect your peace. Your sanity depends on it!
- Staying Alert
Keep your eyes and ears open. The Holy Spirit may speak to you differently in different seasons. Your senses may be more heightened at certain times, so be alert. For the past several months, I’ve personally experienced a keen sensitivity, spiritually. Truthfully, I started to notice a change a couple years ago, but as of late, it’s been on super high alert. It’s as if the Holy Spirit has been placing a sharp bulls eye on people and things. It’s caused me to closely observe motives, and to see clearly through smoke screens. I’ve been able to pick up on things that I otherwise might not have paid attention to previously. Thus, I have greater clarity, and the ear of my heart is wide open. I’ve gotten confirmation on messages released by way of scripture -which will be a constant throughout life, as well as through creation and nature, people, places and even through an elaborate tattoo on a man’s arm in Tampa. Never underestimate how God may choose to speak to you,so stay aware and alert at all times.
These 3 things have helped me to make wise adjustments in my current season. Since the theme of open and closed doors has also been a staple in recent times, when wisdom came knocking, I knew I just had to answer. Ask God what changes might be in order for you this season, then be ready to make them! Be blessed my friends. I bid you peace, love and happiness!
Have you ever set out to locate a certain item, only to come across a thousand other valuables in the process? Well, this was the case for me today. I was looking for a voucher that I’d safely (or so I thought) tucked away, but ended up “finding” everything, but what I was looking for. Don’t feel too badly for me though, because this story ends happily.
Earlier this week, I asked God some very specific questions, with the hope of getting some very precise answers in return. I am glad to say, that today was the day for answered prayer. He spoke clearly and in volumes. As I scoured through one of my old totes, searching for an envelope, I was met with my past, as well as some answers to future decisions. It was completely unexpected. The more I combed through the bag, the more it spoke to me. I’m not crazy. I’m referring to the ear of my heart…you know when the Holy Spirit speaks to you. Okay, I just wanted to clarify that. With each hand full, I was met with more puzzle pieces (figuratively) to connect. I was beyond thrilled to receive such clear and specific responses to some of my most poignant questions. A few of these issues have pained and drained me these past years, months and weeks, so to hear from God so clearly on them, was a huge relief for me. This bag was like a treasure chest, complete with tons of spoil and plunder that I’d gathered, from all across the globe. I re-discovered hotel keys with the words “Open Doors, You Never Knew Existed,” and “Opening Doors,” among several other things. There were maps of Paris, France and Bonaire Island and a guide for Aruba, an older copy of Global Living Magazine (where I wrote a piece on one of my colleagues,) 3 of my old business cards (from previous ventures,) along with several other business cards of others, including 3 different marketing and communications companies from Cleveland, Atlanta and Tampa. There was also an unopened CD titled, “Moving Forward,” by an artist named NERMA (I have no idea where I even got this from,) a journal with the Eiffel Tower on the front of it, and little sticky pad sheets with sermon notes and scriptures on them. In addition, there was a bright red ink pen from Orlando, a partially read book titled, “God A Good Father (which I’ll now finish,)” a pen that I had made for my consulting and coaching business 3 years ago, and a host of other fantastic items spanning from Rome, Italy (pink Iphone Power Bank) to Arlington, VA. Then, there was that one tube of hotel lotion that I uncovered deep down, inside one of the inner pockets… that really got me. It was a rich crème by TempleSpa, with the words, “Peace Be Still” on the front of it. Trust me, that said it all. I knew at that very moment- that I was supposed to go on a hunt in that bag today, and make the amazing discoveries that I made! Although I didn’t find what I was looking for, I found just what I needed and more.
He is God all by Himself. That is all that I can say. In the midst of what’s noted above and the rest of what I came across in that beige tote bag today (and believe me it was a lot of stuff) –it all had deep and incredibly personal meaning. It literally held the contents of much of what I’ve experienced over the coarse of the last 3 years, as well as provided glimpses into the future. Only God knows what I asked of Him, and only He knows how to answer me in such a specific and profound way.
My prayer is that you will seek God today and ask Him some very clear-cut questions for your life, as well. Don’t be afraid. Then, trust Him to answer you in some unique and amazing…and sometimes very simple ways. Who knew a tote full of answers, in the form of hidden treasure was just a bedroom away. Stay alert and anticipating my friends. God loves you! Peace and blessings to each and every one of you.
Some of Today’s Recovered Treasure
I just celebrated another year of life last Thursday, and I have been in deep thought ever since that day. These last few years I’ve been in the pruning process, and it has not felt good. This milestone birthday proved to be no different either. There was no big party with balloons, a cake or even lavish outfits for a month long celebration. Instead, it was filled with…well, a lot of thinking actually. Considering I spent it in my hometown with family and friends, it was still a real joy, especially since I got to love on our newest edition to the family, my 16 mos old great-niece, who is simply a blessing. When she laid her head on my shoulder on my actual birthday, I felt God’s love. As a matter of fact, every moment I get to spend time with her, I am reminded of the Lord’s magnificence and grace.
One of the other great presents that I received this year was a book titled, “Pathway to Purpose” by Katie Brazelton. It was given to me by someone who has become one of my trusted advisors and friend. This present was timely, because it has challenged me every step of the way. It has forced me to leave some things and people behind, as well as to examine my peace, my character and my space. I haven’t finished the book yet, but I am confident that by the time that I complete it, that more changes will be made. Part of me looks forward to that, and well… truthfully, part of me does not. Why you ask? Because “Pruning is uncomfortable.”
As mentioned in the last post, the pruning process is necessary though. We cannot expect to be all that God has created us to be, without shedding certain things at certain times. That list can include attitudes, behaviors, characteristics, people, places and “things.” Just fill in the blank as the journey continues. So as we walk the path that has been set before us, let us take heart in knowing that God has already “ordered our steps and that He delights in our way.” Psalm 37:23. Be encouraged and stay faithful to the call that has been placed on your life.
A lemon retrieved from the lemon tree, during the pruning process~
This Labor Day… I labored. When I thought about the term, I decided to look up the word “labor” on dictionary.com, and this is what I found: work, especially hard physical work. It also gave synonyms like- hard work, toil, exertion and drudgery, to name a few. While I didn’t toil physically yesterday, I certainly did so mentally. Does that count as labor? If it doesn’t, it should…because it sure felt like it. Upon further review of the word, I could definitely identify with the verb definition, which stated work hard; make a great effort. That is exactly what I did on Monday, and if I’m honest with myself, it’s what I have done many days this season. It seems as if I have a million thoughts a day and truthfully, a good portion of them feel like labor. I’m facing some unknowns right now, and when this happens, I have to make a conscious effort to chill out mentally. I told myself that yesterday should’ve been a day of rest and not work, but that’s not quite how it all “worked” out. In fact, I labored… a lot. Yes, I physically did some typing on my laptop, but more than anything, I experienced a number of rather intense and deep thoughts. They drained me to a degree, and here I sit now typing, yet again and thinking back-about the magnitude of them. However, I know what some of the problem is. It’s the controller in me, who has often struggled with relinquishing things. I toss and turn my thoughts over and over again like a fish out of water, trying to make reason of them. Why is it that I do this? For some reason, I still spend a great deal of time trying to just figure stuff out, even though God has proven time and time again -that He always works it out, and for my good. I need to just let go and let God. I’m sure you’ve heard that cliche tons of times, but there is real truth in it. I can’t understand why I continue to allow my thoughts to play out a million different ways, instead of just resting in Him and His power. Another part of it, is that I really appreciate knowing how the chapter will end. My life chapters that is. Let’s be clear, I don’t mean my entire book of life. I pray that extends well on until my 101st birthday, if at all possible, but I mean the chapters of life that are marked by seasons. It is the impatience in me that longs to know ahead of time how each current chapter ends. It can be incredibly frustrating not knowing (control freak,) and this is where the battle begins.
The second half of II Corinthians 10:5 comes to mind- “…..and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Why is this so important? It is because a war over our mind has been waged. Thus, it is imperative that we make each thought subject to the right Master. One of the best ways to gain control of roaming thoughts; ideas and concerns, is to read the Word of God. I find that it instantly causes me to re-shift and refocus when this happens. When I don’t take the time to do this, what happened yesterday, is exactly what happens. The overthinking goes on for hours and it goes haywire. I was happy that I finally submitted my thoughts before closing out my day, so I didn’t have a restless mind all night. I wrote in my journal and reviewed some previously noted scriptures before going to bed. This past Labor Day, I labored mentally, so I guess I’ll take a little time off in the holiday’s honor today.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
It’s been a long time since my last post. I’ve been so focused on developing my travel brand and all that accompanies that process, that I’ve neglected posting here. Now completely overwhelmed by the numerous branding strategies I’ve studied, webinars I’ve participated in and conversations I engaged in about expansion….I find myself running back to this place. It’s safe here. It requires much less energy. It’s raw, relate-able and unfiltered. Yes, it’s true that travel is most definitely part of my passion…and ultimately plays a role in my purpose, but there’s still within me this deep longing to make a real difference in the lives of others. For so long, I’ve pondered over just how to fuse my two primary brands together. No, I’m not wrong for wanting to have things aligned and reproducing. I mean we do have to live…but there are times that it can become overly consuming. Just a couple days ago, that quiet voice within me spoke- and challenged me to be still. I was led to Psalm 46:10. “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” For the last couple days, this is what I’ve been thinking about. There’s been so much activity and so much energy spent on business building, strategies, plans and concepts, that I haven’t really just sat…and been still….long enough to really hear. Yes, I start my day with prayer and quiet time (though probably not long enough some days) and even continue on with prayers throughout the day. However, my hours have been so filled with other “stuff” that at times it’s easy to get lost in the midst of the madness. So here I sit typing, just knowing that someone, somewhere out there will relate to this post. My hope is that you will now know- that you are not alone. I also hope that you realize that others in this world endure the same, very real struggles that you face. Thus, my prayer is that this message will calm you, soothe your soul and quiet your spirit all at the same time. Join me today, in being still and knowing that HE is God! Allow the Spirit to pour out blessings and fresh insight upon you today. Be encouraged!!
Quiet- early mornings in St. Maarten
It’s a new month…again. I say that with a spirit of gratitude, realizing that there are many who were denied the privilege of turning the page on the calendar yesterday. I’m certain that we can all think of someone who was here last February that didn’t make it to this point (2016.) In that thought alone, there is much to be thankful for. This leads me to further ponder my next question. How truly committed are we, as humans, to fulfilling the purpose for which we have been created? I ask myself this question often, considering my journey appears at times to have been a lengthy one thus far. Lengthy not so much as number of days, but in the sense of one that’s been packed with a plethora of intense experiences, filled with twists and turns. I always jokingly say, “It’s been a good one, but a wild one to date.” I’m grateful though, because I realize that each day is a gift. Viewing each day as such, takes some of the sting out of the tough days, as well as makes the best days that much more pleasurable. I spend a great deal of my time on the road and juggling, what seems like a million different projects at a time…but if I really think about it, this is exactly what I prayed for, hoped for and labored for, for quite some time. No, everything hasn’t fallen perfectly into place like I envisioned in my mind, but there is so much beauty to behold in each day. As I witness the unfolding of my dreams and the manifestation of all that God has promised me, I am humbled and in awe. Yes, the climb is rather steep at certain points…BUT…the blessings that accompany the ascension are difficult to describe. They’re unbelievable, incredible and often times leave me speechless. Would I consider trading in some of the challenges for more mountaintops? Yes, of course. However, I know that it is impossible to have one without the other. This is both a faith journey and a fight. In order to fulfill the mission that’s been assigned, we will have to give it our all at times.
As you walk the path this new month, remember that life is a gift and should be treated as such. A new level of faith is required for each new leg of the journey. Stay the course and faint not! God has a specific plan and purpose for your life and He desires for you to fulfill it. Enjoy where you are, as well as all the blessings that have been afforded to you!!! I know it’s hard sometimes, but it will not overtake you. You will have the victory. I know that I’m personally looking forward to many, many, more spectacular, faith- filled days – hopefully retiring somewhere around the ripe old age of 101. 🙂
It was the late, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who once stated, “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” As I ponder over this quote, I am confident that there is so much truth in it. Why? ….Because I’ve found that life often calls us to move before we “see” the next set of steps. Though this concept is frightening, it actually aids in our development; by stretching us and helping us to increase our faith. We can’t allow fear and disobedience to hold us back. Since standing still isn’t the answer, what do we do? “Do it scared.” I once read this phrase and something about these words have stuck with me ever since. Doing it scared doesn’t mean we rid ourselves of the fear, but rather that we’ve made a decision to not allow the fright to indefinitely detain us. Thus, we take the leap of faith, knowing that if God has called us to do it, He’s already provided the parachute. Trust God and trust the process. In the book of James, chapter 2, we are told that “Faith without works is dead.” Therefore, we must put our faith into action, having full assurance that God has already worked everything out for our good.
If you are facing a crosswords today, obey the voice of the Lord and know that He Who has called you is faithful, and will do exactly what is needed- to fulfill the plan and purpose that He has for your life. Stepping out is just the move that’s needed to get you to your next place! Obey every detail of the matter and watch what happens next. Have faith!!!
Taking the first step…next leg of the journey continues!
What exactly are divine appointments? Per yourdictionary.com, divine means relating to God or extremely good, and the word appointment by definition means a meeting at a set time. Therefore, if we put the two together, we can safely assume that divine appointments are “set time meetings orchestrated by God.”
Why are these appointments so important? They allow us to play a major part in the activity of God, so we should always be paying attention, with the expectation of joining His divine Hand. I believe we interact with everyone that we come in contact with for a reason. It may not be the exact reason first assumed when we connect, because there is often a deeper purpose. It could be that we have something that the other person needs to hear, learn or have use of. It could also be that they have something we need, can learn, or make use of. In many cases, there is an exchange of ideas and reasons involved in the equation. These meetings are so important for our spiritual growth, and should not be overlooked or even taken lightly. We get an opportunity to participate in the Creator’s plan. How awesome is that??? Additionally, they help to increase our faith, we get to enjoy God’s favor, and we ultimately blossom as a result. It’s always about growth, even over comfort in many instances.
So think about it. When was the last time you had a divine appointment? How did you handle it? What will you do the next time one surfaces?
Let’s make sure our eyes are wide open, and that we are listening with attentive ears! Until next, watch for God’s activity, and join in.
Unexplained upgrade to classic plus ticket….enabled me to switch my flight to a different day at no cost- I had a divine appointment that delayed me.