I recently posed this self-reflective question at an event, “If Jesus were sitting next to you right now, what advice would he give you?” As I reflect on 2017 and embrace 2018, I have to ponder the answer to this question for my own life. Yes, 2017 came with many challenges, but there were many blessings as well. There were some sorrows that I endured and I also experienced some momentous occasions. But throughout every experience, there was always one constant. Jesus was orchestrating my life and for that, I give Him praise. Read more
Read Daniel 1
As I began to prepare for the Daniel Fast this year, I came across something that I had not paid attention to prior to this year. I kept noticing the words, Daniel Plan and Daniel Fast mentioned in secular articles. Growing up in the church, I always heard of the Daniel Fast, but it hasn’t been until recent years, that this seems to be a growing movement. More people are choosing to start the year off with this type of fast. This is a trend both inside and outside of the church. Since Daniel is a role model for us in the Christian faith, I had to pause and ask myself, why is this movement growing in the secular culture as well? Read more
Recently, PAUSE66 hosted their winter “Shades of You” event with a Ladies Paint Night. The theme was, “The Vision to Excellence: What Path are You Following in 2018?” This was explored by giving the ladies an opportunity to reflect on the challenges that they encountered during the year. Afterwards, they wrote those obstacles on a canvas and painted “red bottom shoes,” to symbolize the trail that they will follow in 2018. Read more
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Psalms 127:3
Those of us that have been blessed with the responsibility of parenthood can probably spend many hours sharing stories about the numerous funny moments raising children. If we stop to think about it, many of those times that cause us to break out in hysterical laughter or that cause us frustration can become teachable moments if we allow ourselves time to pause and open our ears to what God may be using our kids to teach us. Read more
As I am writing this blog, it 2:16 a.m. and I got out of bed because I was tossing and turning because my heart is heavy. During the last several days of scrolling through social media, I have been inundated by countless examples of the “inhumanity of man.” One image showed the disfigured face of a twelve year girl, who had been scolded by hot water at a sleepover. Another article described how a three-year old died, as a result of being repeatedly hit in the head by her mother’s boyfriend. Lastly, I do not believe anyone has escaped seeing or hearing about the recent acts of racism displayed in Charlottesville, Va. Adding to this incident, a friend contacted me after she heard that a group of men were doing other perceived racist acts in the community, where I work, that appear to celebrate the Charlottesville tragedy. Read more
As I was preparing for the next Ladies Luncheon that will take place on July 1st, I was reading an article entitled, The Loneliness Epidemic in Today’s Christian Woman. The article gave a startling statistic from a Christian therapist, 85% to 90% of her clients deal with loneliness. John Ortberg, a Christian author and pastor offered the commentary, “Although loneliness is something the vast majority of people wrestle with, hardly anyone wants to openly address it.” Read more
As I was preparing for the next “Shades of You Ladies Luncheon” (Shades of You Luncheon July 1, 2017 registration), I came across this quote on social media, “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” This quote challenged me to reflect upon the relationships with the women that are within my circle of influence. I had to evaluate whether or not I am guilty of falling into the habit of comparing myself to them if I view them as a threat in some manner. Read more
The other day, I noticed that a beautiful flower had bloomed next to my patio deck. This was the first year that I noticed it and I wanted to know the name. So, I took a picture and checked the laymen encyclopedia, social media, to find my answer. I was quite confident that some of my friends and family members have also seen this same flower or at least had more knowledge than I had on this type of perennial. Just like I predicted, within minutes I received several responses. This started a friendly disagreement as to the type of flower. Some people called it is an “azalea” and others are classifying it as a “rhododendron.”
“But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said.’Then neither do I condemn you,”’Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’ -John 8:1-11
John 8:1-11 teaches us a lesson about compassion. Jesus was teaching to a crowd of people and the religious scholars brought a woman before him that was caught committing adultery. The punishment for that crime was a public stoning, so the scholars questioned Jesus about whether or not to stone her in order to follow the law. Now, they were not asking Jesus his perspective because they cared so much for this woman, or even because they thought that the consequence was too harsh. They only asked Jesus in order to try to trap him into not abiding by the law of Moses. Wow! Talk about lack of empathy.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 NLT
Self-Reflection is important to personal growth. Some people choose only to self-reflect at the beginning of each year, but I also think that it is important to evaluate oneself during milestones. Birthdays are a great opportunity to remember the life lessons that God teaches, in order to shape us more into His image. So, while some women shy away from telling people their age, I am learning to appreciate every day that God gives me on this earth; it allows me occasions to celebrate the woman that I am developing into during this season of life.
This week I celebrated my 43rd birthday and I would like to share with you some lessons that God is using to teach me how to embrace my destiny in Him. These are things that I had to learn to release in order to receive the plans that God has for my life. His plans are to prosper me and not to harm me and to give me a hope and a future Jeremiah 29:11. This applies to your life as well when you learn to submit to whatever process God wants to use to prepare you for whatever He has in store for you.