Broken People Glorify God

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“10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”-Isaiah 41:10

As we the end the first month of 2019, how are you feeling? Have you experienced being broken? It may have been your heart, spirit, a promise, an illusion, your finances,  bones in your body and much more. Can I remind you that God loves to heal and restore things that are broken. The healing and restoration process is not a patch up job. It is done in a way that will leave you speechless. When we experience being broken, it is an opportunity for God to show up once again on our behalf. Isaiah 61:7 says, “7 Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.” 

I am going to be honest. Being broken is painful and sometimes devastating. You could be in a state of pain and more for a while. My encouragement to you is to keep your eyes on God. Hebrews 12:2 says, “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” Jesus endured the cross so that we could have a real and authentic relationship with God.  A real relationship that allows us any second of our lives to be broken in his presence without judgement or condemnation. We do not have to wear a mask around God. He can see beyond a mask and look into our heart to see we are broken. He love us no matter what and that includes when we are broken.

When we overcome our being broken, God is glorified. When we speak about the goodness of God, it is not from a book but from first hand experience. Who’s testimony would you trust, someone who experienced and witnessed first hand something or the person who went online to research what a first hand witness should feel? You would trust the first hand account witness. Allow God to heal and patch up your wounds so that he can be glorified through the very situation that was supposed to take you out.  Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

You are too valuable to this world and the Kingdom of God to allow a moment of being broken to prevent you from becoming all God has called you to be. God can use anyone and any situation to glorify himself. You are better and stronger than your biggest heartache. God can redeem and make anything right if we allow him. God loves us too much to allow us to live below his abundant life standard. May God mend every wound and strengthen you to be used in the Kingdom of God. May God bless you!

Release It To God!

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28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”-Matthew 11:28-30

Are you tired? I am not talking only about physical fatigue. I am talking having a weary soul. It may come from being overextended in your schedule. You may also be weary from trying to fix every person, place or thing around you. You may be weary from trying to go ahead of God and “help” him. It does not matter where your weariness comes from, the solution is the the same: Release it to God! I know this is the last thing you want hear but I would recommend and encourage you to release whatever the it or who is in your life to God.

God can do things instantly or he will wait because he needs to prepare us for what he is about to do. You have a financial problem that appears insurmountable despite working seven days a week? You have an illness that you have tried multiple medications for and you are still in pain? Your job or marriage that was once a blessing now has some symptoms of strain? You may have some grief, heartbreak, anger and more that you have been carrying for hours, days, weeks, months, years or longer? God can bear it better than you so you can rest in him. It takes a lot of faith and trust in God to sleep knowing there maybe a looming deadline.

God dispatched a solution before you knew there was a problem. Matthew 7:7-8 says, ““Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” So go ahead and ask your Heavenly Father for the impossible, incomprehensible and miraculous right now. God can understand and take your tears, sobbing, heartache, confusion, unbelief and everything else. Jesus died so we would have an authentic and honest relationship with God.  Release it to God and watch how God will astound you once again. May God bless you!

Dating Untangled: Holiday Aftermath

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Happy 2019 to everyone! This article applies to anyone who is dating, exclusive or very single. You know I am a firm believer in dating yourself. You cannot give away what you do not have and I would recommend you go out to eat one time alone. It is insightful. So we survived the holidays and 2018. Now as we head into Valentine’s Day, this is a great time to take an analysis of what worked and did not work during the holiday season. No one is perfect when it comes to dating. The purpose of this analysis is to allow for honest conversation, healing and important decisions if needed. Instead of making the same mistakes over and over again, we can take a moment to apply what we have learned and grow into our very best version of ourselves. So here are some way to take analysis.

  1. How do you feel? It is okay to be honest. If you are joyful, disappointed, confused or angry, say so. The worst thing you can do is bottle up your feelings. Be honest about how you feel and do it in a calm manner. This brings me to my next point.
  2. Confront in Love: If you need to talk to or confront someone, do it in love. The worst time to have a serious conversation is when you or the other party is tired, emotional or sick. You should do your confrontation when you are both up to it. Text messaging is not a confrontation. Your confrontation should be done in person if possible. Remember you love this person. If you are confronting yourself, you love yourself.
  3. Still tired? The holidays may have wiped you out. It is okay to take some time for yourself to rest and relax. You can do a lot of things to recover rest as well as rejuvenate yourself. It may take weeks to recover from a tiresome time in our lives.
  4. Prioritize yourself: You should always be a priority. Sometimes we can be so focused on other people, we forget we need to pour into ourselves. It is okay for you to schedule time for yourself. In addition to my devotional and prayer time, I set aside time for working out. I cannot be interrupted during those times. I need to have a space that is for only me. You should do the same.
  5. Healing from heartbreak: You maybe experiencing grief from the loss of a relationship, loved one or friend, job, business, dream and more. I am sorry to hear about your loss.  I hope you will take this time to heal and reflect. It is okay if you are not ready to resume your normal activities. It is okay to cry and express your true feelings.
  6. Create a safe place: Your safe place should be a place where you can go and be your true self. It could be your therapist’s couch, your church small group, your best friend’s house, your mate’s shoulder and more. You cannot be strong all the time. It is okay for you to express yourself without judgement.
  7. Love is beautiful: It is okay for you to fall in love. You deserve to be loved and cherished. If there is someone who loves you and you love them, congratulations. Love is hard work but in the end it is worth it. Enjoy the butterflies, all the milestones, the extended smiles and more. You should never apologize for being in love.
  8. Enjoy the journey: Wherever you are in your journey, enjoy it. Take life one moment at a time and do not punish yourself over and over again because of mistakes. Tomorrow, is a new day and this is a new year. Let us not live in the regret of yesterday when we can enjoy the harvest of the present and future. I wish you nothing less than the best.

Victory Formation

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When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. -Psalm 56:3
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.-1 Peter 5: 7 
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 
-Hebrews 11:1 

In a NFL football game, when a team is leading with very little time on the clock, they get into what is called a victory formation. A victory formation is when the quarterback kneels down with the ball and his offensive line protects him and the ball from being touched by the opposing team. The quarterback does not try to score or do anything fancy. The goal is to anticipate the victory by taking a knee, which is the most humble gesture in football.

 
Are you in a hard place right now and it is hard to believe the promises of God? Maybe you are still dealing with the residue of 2018 or another period of time? Maybe you are experiencing a disappointment or heartbreak?  Maybe you are believing God for a miracle? God is bigger than anything our eyes can see. No matter what your circumstances look like or what people are saying about you, I want to encourage you to get into your victory formation. Allow God in his timing show up once again on your behalf. Allow God to leave your haters speechless. Jesus did not die for us to live a mediocre life. Jesus died so that that we would not only be in right standing with God but so we can live an abundant life. Your victory formation is letting God know that you believe him before you see the final result. God can heal, restore, set free, deliver and so much more if we would get off his throne and allow him to reign over every person, place and thing in our lives. 
 
What does a victory formation look like? You have to continue to pray even with tears in your eyes and doubt in your mind. You have to stay in the word of God. God’s word is powerful. You have to continue to attend church and Bible Study/Small Group. This is necessary so you can stay encouraged even in a stormy season. Next, ask people you trust to pray for you. It is a blessing to have other people help you shoulder your burdens. Be honest and transparent with the people the closest to you. Let them know you are not okay and that you need prayer. My prayer is that no matter what is happening in your life, that you will stay in your victory formation. 
 
Heavenly Father. We thank you in advance for the miracles of 2019. Forgive us for not trusting and obeying you. Forgive us for taking matters into our own hands and not waiting on your perfect timing. As your children, help us to keep our eyes focused on you. God help us not be distracted by people, places or things that have no comparison to you. Help us to get into our victory formation. Help us to stay humble and focused on the calling you have given us. We love you so much. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Seven Ways to Accomplish Your 2019 Goals

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Happy New Year! It is so exciting to be in a new year. This is the perfect time to make an honest evaluation of 2018. You can build on the things that worked and learn lessons from those things that did not work. It is better to try something new and fail than to sit on the sidelines and do nothing. If you are still reeling from the effects of 2018, you should take a moment to exhale and regroup by clicking here.  It is okay to take an honest pause to evaluate what worked and did not work. Also, it is okay to celebrate making it into a new year. It is also okay to grieve if needed.

The time has come to set our goals. I am not talking about a vague list that you will write down and not look at again until December. Let’s not only write down goals but take real steps to accomplish our goals.  You have to make a decision to keep pushing forward no matter what and yes there will be valley moments. Yes, there will be moments of uncertainty but you have to keep pushing forward.

  1. Write down your goals: You memory is not enough for goal setting. You have to write down your goals. When you are doing somewhere, you need to know where you are going. How will you know where you are going?
  2. Measure your goals: You need to measure your goals. This will allow you to know that if your goal has been reached.  If you want to save money, you have to give an amount.
  3. Be realistic: There is nothing wrong with dreaming but you do not want to overextend yourself. Your goals do not have to be easy but they have to make sense. If your is to be a chef of a five-star restaurant by the end of 2019 but you have never turned on a stove, that is not realistic.
  4.  You need accountability: You need people in your corner who will not only love you but who will hold you accountable. People are who are not afraid to call you out in love. I am telling you from first hand experience, it makes a world of difference.
  5. Remove negativity: If you have people who are speaking against you or your goals, remove them from your realm. Everyone is not going to be supportive of you, so recognize that and be careful who you share your dreams with because everyone is not a fan.
  6. Enjoy the journey: It will take a lot of time and dedication during the journey. Enjoy all of it. The good, bad and in between is all apart of the process of getting you to your successful destination.
  7. Stay Strong: You have to make a decision to stay the course and be determined no matter what because you do not want to be sitting here on December 31, 2019 full of regret.  You can modify your goals as needed but never give up.