Sunday, April 10, 2016

Turned Upside Down!

We’ve all heard the quotes, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  When life throws you punches, don’t give up!”  We often see other people’s issues and problems but, we never think it’s going to happen to us.  Life has a way of turning upside down.  It can force you to put certain things in perspective! I’ve always been a family girl.  I love my husband and kids.  We go on trips, to the park, have family night.  I’ve always been a forgiver when it comes to my family despite how difficult it can be at times.  My husband and I are forgivers…because we know that God has forgiven us.  This is even more so important, when life throws us lemons and punches.  Life can simply change at a blink of an eye. 

I find myself now struggling to wrap my mind around the diagnosis that was given to my mother.  My mother and I have always had a strange relationship, or for some, the typical mother daughter relationship.  We would argue and make back up.  Sometimes, it would take a little longer to make up, depending on the circumstances.  Despite the rough patches, the little girl in me thought my parents would live forever (my heart smiles).  I know they are both alive now, but one isn’t feeling so well. 

Some Christian friends are saying, “Don’t claim the diagnosis!” While others are saying, “This is the opportunity for God’s glory to shine through healing.”  Despite what anyone says, our life is forever changed.  I find myself asking, “Is it better to watch your parent slowly die or is it better to be taken by surprise?”  I know neither is good.  My husband and cousin both said, they would rather be in my situation.  I have time to say, I love you.  I have time to take her to get her nails done, laugh, play, and cry together. 

I keep telling myself that we are all dying each day.  So, her situation is no different.  No one really knows the day or the hour of the coming of the Lord. I’m learning how to find comfort in that.  Is that even possible?  I believe in the afterlife.  Our afterlife is supposed to be even better than this life.  It is supposed to have mansions, no pain, and no sorrow.  This is what we as Christians believe God for, eternal life.  Can’t help but ask, why is it so hard to let go of the people in this world?  Especially, if we know that heaven will eventually be our home…. I’m still meditating on that question.  

As of right now, I’m still hopeful and prayerful.  I’m taking each day one day at a time, being mindful of self-care, time, and relationships.  My advice to you is to live each day to its fullest. Enjoy one another.   If individuals aren’t adding to your life LET THEM GO!  Reach for the stars.  Leave a legacy…people will always remember you for what you stand for.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

What a Difference a Year Makes!

Life is filled with many wonderful experiences! Toward the end of the year, we start to reflect on those experiences and how the year went.  Some things we may not understand.  While, others we recognize was a calling or an urging from God to go in a particular direction.   In all things there is a lesson to be learned.   Once, we receive the lesson, we must take it and apply it. 
When, I look back over this year!  I have been truly blessed!  I realized that the GOOD far outweighed the bad.  But, the one bad thing is often what we focus on!  It's not worth it!  It is often a distraction to take you off course.  
On my previous posting, I mentioned my trip to St. Louis and how I discovered how RESILIENT I truly am!  Through the ups and downs of childhood, I'm here. Getting ready to receive my Master's Degrees!  Getting ready to open a Counseling Center.  
But, this year didn't stop there.  In June, my husband and I RENEWED our wedding vows in celebration of our 15 year anniversary.   He is truly one of  the best gifts God has given to me. 
Then, we took a trip to West Virginia with my College Professor.  We didn't have to pay for anything.  He took us to his home church and this church looked just like the vision we have for our church.  The color of the walls were the same and even their church theme was similar to ours.  We took it as a sign from God.  God was telling us that our VISION can and will happen. 
In October, I went to the Women Thou Art Loose Conference.  The speaker spoke about being different and how he didn't fit in with the rest of the pastors in his area.  He didn't hoop like them.  He didn't preach like them.  He didn't dress like them.  It was okay to be different!  Once, he realized that God began to elevate his ministry.  God began to open doors! 
On November 7, 2014, we took a trip to Disney World to celebrate our 14 year Anniversary without the kids.  I had always dreamed of going to Disney World.  I have been to so many places, but never to Disney World.   It was everything I thought it would be.  Totally amazing!  God began to show me that DREAMS do come true!!
Despite the ups and the downs!  God said focus on the positive. Focusing on the positive is a choice!  Being Positive is a choice!  I have been taught to look for God in everything!  This year God has renewed me, showed me that our vision is not TOO BIG, dreams really do come true, and that I am resilient!  I can over come anything, with God as my help!

Sunday, June 8, 2014


Resilience-the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

Recently, I went to an American Association of Pastor Counselors Conference in St. Louis.  I had never really participated in any of the conferences offered by my Seminary.  Usually, I'm just really busy with school work, kids, and church.  I applied for a scholarship and received more money than  many of the students.  Most of the students didn't understand why, but I would say it was God's divine favor. 

As my family drove to St. Louis, I began to pray and ask God to have a word for me.  Whatever he wanted me to learn, I wanted God to have it right there.  I didn't want to miss it.  I wanted God to speak to me.  I needed a break from everything at that point in my life, I was totally exhausted.   At times, it can be very difficult being a co-pastor and counseling, because individuals are constantly pulling and your pouring out.  This trip was self care for me. 

So, we get to the hotel and its absolutely beautiful.  In a couple hours, I will go to my first class.  My first class was taught by Suzanne Mayer.  She taught on resilience and our ability to overcome life's hard times.  Some people are born with resilience, while others have to learn it.  But, we can survive physical illness, hardships, loneliness, and mental illness.   She mentioned "power of the positive" which is building individual strengths that help people overcome difficulties, achieve happiness and attain life success.  This requires a shift in our thinking.  We are often focused on the negative and have a hard time viewing the positive in our life or difficult situation.

She used the story of Maya Angelou as an example of resilience. As many of you know, Maya Angelou was brutally raped as a child. After the rape she became a mute for 5 years. Her mother was on drugs and was a horrible parent to small children. Maya eventually, spoke again through the encouragement of a teacher and family friend.  Maya overcame life's obstacles by becoming an world renown author, poet, and received 30 honorary doctoral degrees. 

Here are some of the quotes:

“If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain.” ― Maya Angelou
If you’re going through hell, Keep on going, don’t slow down. If you’re scared, don’t show it.  You might get out, Before the devil even knows you’re there.  -Rodney Adkins

What did I learn?

I had the opportunity to reflect upon my own life and I now realize how resilient I truly am. I have overcame so many life hardships. I learned to appreciate those hardships because they have made me who I am today. Life isn't easy, but it can be easier if you allow it. Sometimes, you have to reflect on the blessings that God has given, that we often take for granted (trees, grass, flowers, and air). We have to look at our hardships and see what we can learn from them. Look at the difficult situations and see God in them. What is God trying to teach you? What success is God setting you up for? How does this play into the vision that God has shown me? Does this situation set me up for future success? My answer after this trip to the last question, was a simple: Yes!
You can be resilient too.  Shift your mind set.  Think positive!
Challenges come to make us stronger!  Be resilient and overcome!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Be careful for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our requests be made known until God.   And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep you hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6, 7 KJV

Joyce states immediately that she was having a hard time believing certain things that she previously believed.  She didn’t understand what was wrong.  But, her unbelief seemed too had been growing in leaps and bounds.  She began to question her call and lose her vision God had once given her.  She kept hearing the words “mind-binding spirits” in her spirit.  So, she started a time of intercession and began to pray against mind-binding spirits in Jesus’ name.  After a few minutes of praying she felt a tremendous deliverance come to her mind. 

Joyce states that whenever she has received deliverance it has been through believing and confessing the Word of God.  John 8:31,32 Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  Psalm 107:20 He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.

Joyce felt that something had happened to her mind because within minutes she was able to believe again in areas she had been struggling with just prior to prayer.  One of my favorite quotes from this Chapter is when Joyce says, “Pay attention to the condition of your mind and keep it free, peaceful, and full of faith.” 

We pay so much attention to our outer appearance.   We make sure our hair looks nice and that our clothes are cleaned and pressed.  But, it’s time to give more attention to the inner man.  We have to give our mind some attention.  It is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to examine the condition of our mind often.  Philippians 4:6 simply says God can give our mind peace that passeth all understanding.   If we are in constant worry and never take the time to pray and quote God’s word back to him, there is no way we are going to experience the fullness of God’s peace.  The attack of the enemy usually starts with our mind.  Because if our mind is under attack, our actions will soon follow what the mind is telling our body to do.  It is this simple: If you believe you are a loser, you will act like a loser.  If you believe that you will never get out of debt, you will never take the steps to get out!

Pay attention to the condition of your mind and keep it free, peaceful, and full of faith.  Stay in the presence of God, by reading, and praying.  When you are praying quote God’s word back to him and stand on his promises!  It is hard to stand on his promises, if you don’t know them! So read!!  Be sure to mediate on these scriptures that Joyce has provided.  I believe God is going to give you peace in your situation today!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Battlefield of the Mind - Week 5/Part 2 of Chapter 3

This week we actually made it through the last couple pages of Chapter 3 and Chapter 4.  I will first discuss the last part of Chapter 3.  Chapter 4 will be discussed later this week.  So, please check back.

Let's start by looking at Deuteronomy 1:6-8:

The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, You have dwelt long enough on this mountain. Turn and take up your journey and go to the hill country of the Amorites, and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the hill country, in the lowland, in the South, and on the coast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. Behold, I have set the land before you; go in and take possession of the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their descendants after them.

If you recall the journey to Canaan for the Israelites was only suppose to take 11 days.  What was suppose to be 11 days took the Israelites 40 years.   The Lord told the Israelites, they had dwelt long enough on this mountain, it was time to move and take possession of their promise! 

Based upon the scripture, Joyce ask these two powerful questions: Have you dwelt long enough on the same mountain?  Have you spent 40 years trying to make an eleven-day trip? 

She goes on to say that she woke up and realized that she was going nowhere.  That she was a Christian without victory! She had many wrong mindsets and mental strongholds that had been built up over the years. 

Personally, I can see myself in this scripture and in Joyce's testimony.  Sometimes life's obstacles can keep us in the wilderness and dwelling on the same mountain.  For some it is debt and for others it can be a relationship or sickness.  It doesn't matter the issue, what matters is that you recognize it!  Once you recognize it, you can go into battle!  It is time to come down from the mountain and enter into the Promiseland!  It is time to let go of poisonous mindsets and strongholds that are meant to keep us from God's promises.  Keeping a wilderness mentality can keep us in bondage.  Scripture tells us that God came to set us free! God is willing to break every curse, chain, and stronghold off of our life!  But, we have to be a willing vessel!

Are you willing?  Are you like the Children of Israel still dwelling on that same mountain?  What will it take for you to really stand and believe God for his promises? 


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Spirit Spot: Battlefield of the Mind-Week 4

The Spirit Spot: Battlefield of the Mind-Week 4

Battlefield of the Mind-Week 4

Sunday School Review, Battlefield of the Mind -Chapter 3-Part 1

This Sunday we read and discussed Chapter 3, pages 25-26.  The discussion was so deep we only made it through a couple pages.  The first scripture up for discussion was Galatians 6:9: And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.

The title of this Chapter says it all, Don’t Give up!  In life we are faced with many challenges, situations, and temptations.  In class, we discussed how we have to stay focused on God.  We can’t allow our situation to become larger than God.  I heard a Pastor once say, “Stop focusing on how big the problem is, but focus on how BIG our God is!”  God is so much bigger than our situations.  We have to maintain our courage and try not to grow faint.  As Joyce Meyers states, “No matter how bad the condition of your mind, don’t give up! Don’t have that old “give-up” spirit. God is looking for people who will go all the way through with Him.” 

Isaiah 43:2 states: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you.  This brings to mind the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the three Hebrew boys that had incredible faith in God!  They did not give into fear.  Imagine being threaten with a burning death and still not budging in your belief.  Their story shows how God can protect us from death.  How God is with us in the fire!

Our fleshly mind will often demand us to go in the wrong direction with the attempt to persuade us to doubt God.   We have to combat those thoughts with the Word of God!  We had to have Radical Faith! Radical Faith comes with reading and believing the whole Word of God.  Isaiah 43:2 simply states that God will be with us; we will not be harmed or overtaken in our tough times.   Joyce says, “It’s easy to quit; it takes faith to go through.”  You have to be willing to go through the Fire. Then, TRUST that you will not be burned!

In the same way, there is always a dark tunnel, but there is also light at the end of it! 
Are you ready to face tomorrow? Do you have that Radical Faith like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?   If not, what changes are you willing to make?