“Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.“-Psalm 95:2-3
We serve an awesome and matchless God. He loves us so much that he made a provision for our sins through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. I want to encourage us to never take our salvation and abundant life for granted. What a beautiful gift of abundant and eternal life we received when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We should always be in a posture of Thanksgiving. This holiday season and beyond, allow us to fix our eyes on God. God is our everything and through him we can take our next breath and have our next heartbeat. We want to always give God our best.
I want to also encourage us to open our eyes and hearts to ourselves and the people around us. Starting with yourself, please take a moment to pause and show gratitude toward yourself. Everything may not be perfect but you are standing in 2019 on the door step of 2020 which is a new decade and year. You made it. We made it. Next, take a moment to look at the people around us. There are some people who are grieving the loss of a loved one, friend, dream, job, friendship and more. Please make sure that you take this precious time to reach out to others. It could be through a prayer, phone call, text, email or face to face visit. However, you decide to be a neighbor, please do it. I am thankful for you reading my blog. I will never take you or your time for granted. I am going to close our time in prayer.
Thank you for a new day. You are the author and finisher of our faith. You sit high but you look low and are ever mindful of us individually and collectively as your children. Thank you for being a God who is always with is in the valley, on the mountaintop and every other moment in between loving us unconditionally. God, we thank you for this season of gratitude and thanksgiving. Allow us to always have a posture of thanksgiving and gratitude. Help us never to take you, ourselves or anyone else around us for granted. I pray right now in the name of Jesus for the person praying this prayer who does not know you. I pray they will confess that they are sinner and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I pray they will join a bible based church and reach out to a loving Christian to walk their new life as a Christian.
I pray in the name of Jesus for those who are dealing with any type of grief. I pray you would come close to them and comfort them. I pray you would pour out your love, peace and comfort during this time. I pray for those who are struggling in a relationship, friendship, their finances, health or anything else that could hinder their praise to you. I pray that they would stay in your word, pray and praise you during their storm. We know that nothing is too big or impossible for you. God, we love you. We thank you in advance for the great things you have in store for us. I say this prayer in the matchless name of our risen Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”-Matthew 6:33
Last Monday, I did a HIIT boxing workout with weights. This workout was an intentional challenge for me. There was a time in my life the thought of doing a workout like this would challenge and frighten me. Now, I welcome the challenge and opportunity to push myself a little harder. I was little sore days after my workout but I am so happy I finished the workout and it was excellent. I must lean on my rock and foundation who is God when approaching a challenge. I used to live in paralyzed fear of taking risks. I am now realizing that I do not want to have a bunch of regrets but want to live my life. I want to enjoy my life.
Are you living a life that includes risks or is your life predictable and controlled by you? Today’s scripture focuses on God’s promise for us. When God is first in our lives, he will take care of everything in our lives. It does not say when we do things in our own strength and put God to the side that he will bless us. God is our living water, daily vitamin and essential to living. We depend on God for our next breath and heartbeat. We must make it a priority to spend uninterrupted and intentional time with God. We are all different and our time with God will look different but the key is daily time with God. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.”
My prayer for us is that we will place God first. That no person, place or thing will hinder or disrupt our time with God. We will place sacred boundaries around our schedule and lives to keep God first in our daily lives. God should always be first place in our lives. As we move toward Thanksgiving 2019 and the end of 2020, may we stay in a posture of joy, thanksgiving, peace and love. As God pours into us, we can pour into ourselves and others. May God bless us as we continue to place him in first place in our lives always. God bless you!
Online dating is a useful tool for dating. The purpose of online dating is to make a connection with someone for the purposes of a friendship, long term relationship and marriage. Online dating has a lot of benefits and headaches but if used correctly you can find true love. I know I sound like a commercial for Match.com but I am not being paid. In fact, I am writing this blog to empower all of us when it comes to online dating.
What is your motive?: Why are you doing online dating? Are you looking for marriage, a friendship or something to occupy your free time? Whatever your motive, you need to be honest with yourself as to why you are doing online dating.
Profile: You need to have a transparent profile. You must use recent pictures of yourself in different settings and share basic details about your life. Please do not share every detail or your life but you should not be secretive. The purpose of your profile is for potential suitors to get to know you.
Honesty: You need to be honest in your profile. We must remember that online dating is not a game. We are dealing with the hearts of other people. Can you imagine making a connection with someone just to find out the person lied and to you? Honesty is the key and a very essential foundation to your dating relationship.
Communication: I would recommend waiting at least a week before exchanging phone numbers. You should use the communication tools on the website before giving away your personal information. You want to make sure this person is deserving of having instant access to you. Also, do not allow someone to wait days to hear from you. In the beginning you should be communicating very regularly with the other party. If you are busy, communicate that and do not allow someone to wait hear from you.
Red Flags: You cannot ignore red flags. If the person you are communicating with begins to talk about marriage, money or meeting right away you need to be very careful. Sometimes, we can become so focused on a potential relationship that we ignore common sense or our gut. So be very careful. Your life is worth more than a potential relationship.
Safety: You must be very careful with protecting yourself. You should never share personal details such as your full name, address, place of employment, make and model of your car, bank account or credit card information, social security number and anything else that is personal. There are a lot of scams and we do not want to inflict pain unto ourselves and our loves ones.
Deal breakers: You need to be honest with yourself and those around you about your deal breakers. I am a Christian and I cannot compromise that for anyone. You must be honest and be willing to wait until you meet someone who has your deal breakers in common. You should never discard your deal breakers for the sake of a relationship.
Love is a possibility. It takes two to be in love. To get to a true relationship full of love and more, we need to start slowly. We need to take our time. We need to be intentional in our words and actions toward ourselves and those around us. We need to make sure we are ready to be in a relationship. When we approach online dating with honesty, communication, integrity and more, the process will be peaceful and fun. I wish you a happy time of finding love. Here is to true love.
Can you believe that we are days away from Thanksgiving? Christmas is next month and we are going to be in 2020 shortly. We have made a lot of progress this year with our boundaries, allowing God to uproot our lives and removing toxic people from our lives. So now, I am going to take a moment to discuss ways to guard our hearts during the holiday season and beyond. I am not standing on a soap box telling you what to do. I am applying these guidelines to my heart also as a single woman. These guidelines are suggestions and have worked for me in my life this year.
Keep Closed Doors Closed: If you and an ex mate or friend are no longer associated, keep the door closed. I am a believer in happy endings but you must be very careful with opening closed doors. Heartbreak a second or third time is so much more painful than the first time.
Keep Things Light: When you are getting to know someone new, you should keep things light. If someone begins to talk about marriage and other long term plans, that is not healthy. If you want to make sure your relationship motives are the same, that is one thing. If you are discussing your wedding invite list on the first date, that is not normal or healthy.
Organic Connections: Your connections should grow naturally. When you plant a seed, the plant will grow little by little. The same is true of our associations with others. As we are getting to know one another in a relationship or friendship, it will grow naturally. There is nothing that is forced but it is natural growth. This is done so your new friendship or relationship’s foundation will be strong and unshakable.
Boundaries: I cannot express the importance of boundaries. You cannot give up who you are for a relationship or friendship. Your relationship should enhance who you are and you should be enhancing your mate. As goal-oriented people, we should continue our healthy lifestyle. If you do not know who you are or you are conforming to walking on eggshells, then you are setting yourself up for a failed relationship or friendship. Who you are deep down inside will come up and cause a future conflict.
Compromise: There are no two people who are alike. So, there will be compromise between the two people in a friendship or relationship. You should never compromise who you are for a friendship or relationship. I know from firsthand experience the pain of compromising my standards to be in friendship with someone. I stopped braiding my hair, traveling and more to please someone else. Then I realized I was in so much pain because I stopped being who I was to please someone else.
Have a great time dating and creating new friendships. I am excited about closing 2019 healed with new people in our circle for 2020. Happy Thanksgiving!
1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Fall is a hard season for me. I am reminded of the loved ones I have lost to death. I am reminded of the friendships and relationships that ended in the fall. I am reminded of other horrific events that occurred and are part of my story. Certain scents and events of fall will bring up a painful memory. Heartbreak is a part of everyone’s story. When our hearts are broken, it is painful event. We may still be dealing with the effects a heartbreak that occurred years and decades ago. Even during our heartbreak, God is with us. He will never abandon or forsake us. I want to encourage you to allow God to mend your heart day by day. When God heals and mends us, there is no doubt that it is him.
Today’s scripture is a reminder that nothing is too small or big for God. Whatever or whoever has you anxious, angry, upset, disappointed or heartbroken, give it or them to God. I know during the worst moments of my life; God was with me. He is always with all of us. I also want to encourage you to open your eyes to the people around you. Someone close to you may be dealing with heartbreak and needs your support. I am thankful for my tribe. I had a moment recently where I had to let my tribe know I needed their prayers and support. It felt so good to unload my burdens and be lifted in prayer because I was having trouble praying for myself. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. “
1 Corinthians 13 is beautiful reminder of the gift of love. I know sometimes love has pain and hurts but we need to remember love is always a great starting point. When we love others, we give them the benefit of doubt. We express patience when we have none left. We show joy and gratitude daily because they are a special gift from God. We love ourselves so that we can love the people around us. I would encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 13 on a regular basis to be reminded of the love God has for each of us and we should express to one another. I am honored to be walking life with you. May God continue to bless and keep you today and always.
The Baltimore Ravens won their eighth game of the season yesterday. After every Baltimore Ravens win, #Ravensflock can celebrate with a free medium hot or iced Dunkin Donuts (DD) coffee. You can get free DD coffee by taking the following steps: 1) Download the DD app by clicking here for Apple and here for Android. 2) After a Ravens win, the free coupon will be automatically added to the app the next day. Here is some fine print that you should know about: 1) If you add anything like almond or soy milk or an extra syrup you will pay the difference. 2) If you do not live in the Baltimore metro area, you will not benefit. 3) The coupon is only good the day after the win only.
One thing about #Ravensflock is that we are a large family. If you are not a coffee drinker, pay it forward to someone who you know is a coffee drinker. This could be the very thing that brightens up their day. I am not a coffee drinker but usually I try to partake in this free victory celebration coffee. It is always fun to see everyone at DD getting coffee and we end up chatting up the game. What a neat way to meet other members of #Ravensflock. Also, checkout the DD menu by clicking here. I had the Beyond Meat sandwich last week and it was great. Go RAVENS!
Can you believe that Thanksgiving is in less than two weeks? I am super excited for the time of relaxation and rest with the people the closest to me. I am so thankful for the progress we have made so far in 2019. We did a lot of important things such as removing and pruning people, places and things that do not line up with our destiny, pausing to celebrate our victories and getting extra motivation when needed to keep going. The holidays can set us back. I would encourage us to indulge a little but we cannot trash our goals until 2020. I am not talking about food only but I am talking about allowing our past to become our present, becoming so exhausted or overwhelmed that we lose ourselves and more. So, what should we do? Here are some practical steps to finish 2019 strong and start 2020 empowered.
What or who is your why?: In December 2018 or sometime this year, you decided to make goals. You may have made a vision board or just wrote a journal of your 2019 goals. What happened or changed that you decided to have goals? I know for me I was tired of being tired in so many areas of my life. I am thankful to be standing in November 2019 with a mind and life that is so much clearer and full of so much joy. Your what or who should be at the forefront of your mind always.
Boundaries: You must review your boundaries and decide as to what or who can be a part of your holiday narrative. I know the people surrounding me looks different than last year. Some people are absent because of death and others are absent because our association was no longer fruitful. This is the time of year that our past tends to come back. Please make sure you have strong boundaries and reach out to your accountability partner or group.
Plan: The holidays are a beautiful time of year but there is so much to do. I would suggest that you plan. Last minute surprises can derail your progress. I know for me I need to stick to my sleep, exercise and meal prep schedules. I know last year I was distracted but this year I am determined to stay the course. You do not have to wait until two weeks from now but come up with a game plan now.
Be Generous: There are many people among us who will not be festive or joyful this year. Someone close to us maybe grieving the loss of a loved one or friend through death or disassociation. Someone maybe experiencing the loss of a job, relationship, home and more. Someone maybe dealing with health or financial challenges. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to help someone. It can be through donating your time, money or/and talent to a nonprofit organization. It could be opening your home or schedule to someone else. We all can pay it forward to someone else.
Have fun: We must have fun. The holidays are a wonderful time of year for us to rest and celebrate the people around us as well as ourselves. I am looking forward to worshiping God and loving the people the closest to me without losing my boundaries or messing up my 2019 progress. I am currently going to start testing gluten free versions of my favorite recipes. This time of year, is full of so much joy and peace. Let us have a wonderful time as we close out 2019 and look forward to the beauty and promises of 2020.