God Can Use Anyone

I hope your having a great morning!!! It’s official I have read through the entire bible for the first time in my life it took about two years. This is kind of funny because it was suppose to be only one year. I’m back reading Genesis and it’s so good to read about how the Creator formed the Earth and man. There was something different about reading the story of Noah this time. Here you have the only man and family to receive God’s favor over an entire generation of people. He was given the opportunity to repopulate the earth by building an ark to save his family and 2 of every animal. Building an ark is a huge assignment and is cool because he is practically the first shipbuilding. Noah was faithful and obedient. God sends the rain and everyone dies except for those on the ark and God promises not to flood the earth ever again. A rainbow in the clouds is the reminder of the covenant between God and humanity. Noah plants a vineyard and one day gets drunk so drunk that his son Ham sees him naked. This was probably embarrassing to his children but instead of Ham covering up Noah, he chooses to tell his brothers about it. Noah cursed Ham because of his decision. (Genesis 6-9 NIV)

Noah may not have been setting the best example for his sons by getting drunk. But God still used him, I’m sure God was not surprised when this happened. I would call it perfectly imperfect, no one is able to be perfect only God is, we fail sometimes and sometimes we fail forward by learning from our mistakes. Sometimes we fail and repeat the same cycle all over again. But that does not mean God cannot use us for the greater good of the earth and others. Lets choose to live a life pleasing to God but if we mess up sometimes lets not condemn ourselves but ask for forgiveness and move on. Be empowered by the Holy Spirit living in us, the power of Jesus still exist don’t quit. He did not die for us to feel sorry for ourselves and fearful but to give us power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV.) Walk into your destiny by stepping out and trying something that may fail. You will never know if you don’t try. I hope this encourages you this week. Be blessed.

 

 

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Keep Seeking

I want to encourage you today. Just because God is silent or not answering your prayers does not mean He does not hear them, doesn’t care or won’t answer them. The timing may just not be right. He truly cares about our heart and desires and I believe He wants to bring them to life in the physical world. Dreams really do come true please hold on to the promises He provides us in His word. “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 May you be encouraged to keep praying, being persistent and intentional. Most importantly don’t lose hope. Be blessed and have a great week!!!

Car Troubles and Faith

Last week Sunday, the thought of putting oil in my car came to mind. I ended up forgetting and driving to work on Monday and then I heard a weird sound coming from under the hood and my car started stalling out. I pulled over turned the car off and then on again. It sounded like the noise went away for a second but after a few blocks it stalled out again. My car was making so much noise, but this time I was near a gas station. I pulled in and there was a mechanic standing there. He looked like he just stopped to get a snack and was willing to help. But me being so uncomfortable talking with a man alone, I declined saying I had some oil in my trunk. I put the oil in and the car does not cut on at all, it completely died. In that moment, I starting looking back and wondered if the Holy Spirit was warning me that this would happen but I ignored it. Did he then send me help (the mechanic) and I rejected it. Did I fail to see the warning signs? It’s possible and I’m sorry if that’s the case. I learned a valuable lesson that my negligence cost time, money and energy. God is gracious and merciful; He loves us so much and will forgive if we ask for forgiveness.

I am grateful that my husband was able to pick me up and take me to work. He also got the car towed to a mechanic. The end result was blown pistons and a repair cost of a new engine, which was more than the car was worth. We were able to sell the car to the junkyard for $90, which covered the expense of the tow and diagnostic. Praise the Lord, I’m faithful that God will provide a new vehicle for us and repair the issues with the van we are now sharing. I’m so grateful because I know everything I have is loaned. I don’t know how this story is going to pan out but I know I have a Father in heaven that cares. I can’t wait to share the update. If your facing a difficult situation, please believe that God is working on your behalf, He is with you holding your hand. I pray that God will sustain you and give you strength to keep seeking Him. If you would like prayer please comment or email me at effortministry@gmail.com.

“For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.”‭‭ Psalm‬ ‭18:31-35‬ ‭NIV

See Truth

Have you ever misplaced something? Then spent hours looking for it when it was right in front of your face. This happened to me a few days ago early in the morning. I misplaced my glasses and had the whole family helping me look for it because I couldn’t see it. We moved furniture and everything. Thee only thing that got me out the house that morning was my last pair of one day contact lens. I knew I would need to find my glasses before I took them contacts out. After work, I got home and started looking for it again but still could not find it. The whole family got involved again. My pastor preached a great message this last Sunday about pausing, praying and then making a decision. So I said lets do this different. Lord, can you help me find my glasses because I need them Amen.

The crazy thing is that I have looked in my closet so many times but this time I saw them. Some may say what a coincidence I say no, my Lord revealed it. I literally could not see something that was right in my face. Sometimes the thing we need the most is right in front of us but we can’t see it because we are so blind. Lord, take the scales off my eyes and help me see your truth because without your truth I would be so lost. I walked around for so many years thinking life was all about the next party, drink, outfit, earning more money, purchasing a big house, looking better than others, trying to be perfect, etc. It’s all a lie because inside I felt like crap and didn’t even know whom I was or what I was placed on this earth to do. We all have a purpose in this life for his perfect and pleasing plan.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future“ Jeremiah 29:11.

Jesus gives me the opportunity and ability to see that less is more and without Him I‘m nothing. He is the truth and the life. I did not feel peace or know love until I started chasing Him with all my heart because I always knew there was more to life. I’m not perfect and have messed up so many times but I know one thing for sure. He is very real, heaven and hell is very real. The enemy wants to keep you away from God and his truth because once you start doing right; things start to change, and your life starts to change. The enemy is always whispering lies about what you did and what you can’t do, making you feel guilty and condemned. But God says everything is possible with Him. God’ word is truth, so maybe the truth is right there but some can’t see because they are too preoccupied with the world. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not real. Open you eyes; seek His truth read His word and have a blessed week!

Encouraging Faith

A few years ago, I started reading a woman’s guide to reading the bible in a year by Diane Stortz. A year has come and gone but I’m hoping to get to through the entire bible one day, no rush I want to make sure I understand what I am reading. So if you struggle with taking forever to read a book your not alone. But while reading Daniel for the first time, God does a miracle that gives me so much encouragement I want to share.

King Nebuchadnezzar makes a gold image and asked everyone to worship it when the music comes on. Daniel’s three friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused and were summoned to the king. The king promises to throw them into a blazing furnace if they don’t worship his gold image.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us [a] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18 NIV

They have so much faith and are bold to tell the king who God is, clearly the Lord of their lives. They believe with their heart and soul that God would deliver them. King Nebuchadnezzar heats the fire seven times hotter than usual and gets the strongest soldiers to tie up them up with all their clothes on. They are thrown into the fire and the flames were so hot that the soldiers who threw them in died. The king then sees four men walking around in the fire unbound and unharmed, one looks like the son of gods. He commands the three out of the fire.

27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. Daniel 3:27 NIV

What!!! So you’re telling me they were walking around in the fire with someone else and nothing on them is burnt except for the ropes they were tied up with. This blew my mind, they were set free just like how Jesus delivered us from our chains of the enemy. When we accept Jesus as Lord, we are redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness and poverty. Jesus reminds me that we are healed by his stripes, free from the law of sin and death and that He will meet all of my needs according to his glory and riches in Christ Jesus. The God in the Old Testament is the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow, the difference is we have a new covenant that includes grace. He can rescue you from the fire and you can leave unharmed if you let him be the Lord of you life. I’m so encouraged this morning to let God guide my steps even when they seem so difficult because He knows what is best for me and will protect me. I hope this encourages you today!! Be blessed.

Favor and Fun

It’s Monday…back to work from some and a day off for others. I decided to let my hair down this weekend and just have fun with my family. It was husband’s birthday and I planned a surprise party for him. I did not know that event planning could cause so much anxiety. Boy, was I going through it what if he doesn’t like it or some of his friends don’t show up. I kept having to repeat Philippians 4:6 because I was anxious for no reason. Worrying does nothing but prayer changes things. I know that God always guides me, directs me, cares for me, and provides wisdom especially when I have no idea what I am doing. He is so good to me and shows me favor. But sometimes I still feel anxious and this reminded me about how much God cares. We went to see a baseball game and I remembered we had a ballpark coupon. Found out it doesn’t start until May 1st and I was going to have to pay regular price for everyone. We get to the ballpark and a lady comes up and asked if I was going to buy a ticket. I said yes and she gave me a voucher for a free ticket. I was so excited about that, there were so many people standing online to buy a ticket. I didn’t even get to the line yet and she offered it to me. Praise the Lord, only Him. It felt good to just focus on my family and have fun. This weekend has encouraged me to have more fun with my family and remind me that God is always working things out for those who love Him. Have a great and productive week!!! May God bless you and shower you with His favor!!!

He is Risen

Jesus died on Friday but today the tomb is empty and is always interceding on our behalf. Jesus is alive and at the Father’s right hand today in heaven. Jesus fulfilled scripture when he was resurrected. “You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭30:3 NIV

When something dies that does not mean that their won’t be life again. It just means God has better plans to bring glory to Himself. It gives me life and the greatest hope knowing that I will live again after I leave this earth. Life is available to everyone. Only you can make that decision?

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:9-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Have an awesome Easter Sunday!!! And a great week!!

 

Saved by Grace

About 7 years ago, while waiting for the D train in the Bronx. I was minding my business, just waiting which is the norm in New York City. Also, having a conversation with my then 3 yr. old daughter and a short black man approaches me. At first, I thought he was going to ask me for my phone number, make a comment or ask for money. This is how the conversation went.

Man: Accuse me, do you know Jesus? (strong African accent)

Me: Huh?

Man: Do you know Jesus?

Me: In a surprised voice, I’m not sure if I know Jesus.

Man: Would you like to know him?

Me: Sure

Man: Well let’s pray

Me: Ok (strange look on my face)

Man: Repeat after me

I don’t remember the exact words he used but it was the sinner prayers. Repenting of sins and believing that Jesus died and was resurrected and accepting him in my heart. Alright your saved and the train arrived. Little, did I know that simple prayer was going to change my life? It was the beginning stages of finding Jesus, leaving a really sad and unhealthy situation, meeting my husband, getting pregnant, moving out of the city, finding a church, mending my heart, building my faith, being baptized and choosing to follow Christ. Not because I love God but only because he loved me first. He loves me and accepts me into His family and calls me His child. This is God’s grace, which my bible defines as his free and unmerited favor for sinful humanity. I believe the day in the train station was a divine appointment. God lined it all up.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

I did not deserve anything He has given me but He gives it to me anyway because He loves me just like how He loves you. I was dead, heartbroken, filled with guilt, shame and searching for love. Jesus is the only one that can fill that void. God grace is big enough for any situation, He is all knowing, and already knows what’s going on. He is just waiting for you to accept Jesus and repent from sinful ways.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9-10

Hope this changes someone life, just like the man on the train did for me. Praise the Lord. Have an awesome week!!!

One Year & Counting

I can’t believe a year has passed since the Lord put Effort Ministries in my heart. At the time, I was not sure how I would find time for it but it just all worked out. I was not comfortable speaking in front of other and knew I needed a platform to share the miracles and blessings God is doing in my life. Today I’m still a work in progress and very grateful for the opportunity. Just taking life one day at a time. If you have ever thought something was too hard or time-consuming. God has equipped us to do the work of the kingdom; we just have to trust that He is able. He can use anything for our good. Have a great week!!!

Loneliness

I absolutely love Sundays because it normally includes church, breakfast and quality time with family. I love Jesus, to eat new things and love on my family. It’s a great way to start the week. I’m so happy to share what my lovely daughter said about me this weekend.

My daughter: Mom, I don’t want to be mean but you need friends.

Me: Huh? Laughing. Your bored aren’t you.

My daughter: Yes

I laughed at the time but after thinking about it she may be right. Have you ever been surrounded by people but still feel lonely? I know I have. I struggle with building new relationships because I do not trust people easily or their intentions. It breaks my heart that others may feel the same way or are going through the same thing because it’s not easy. Here we are in 2017, surrounded with ways to connect but the connection is just not there. Authentic connection. The feeling of loneliness has a way of just creeping in sometimes, when it’s so quiet and I feel so alone. I know that God is always there because His word says it. He will never leave or forsake us. If you feel lonely today like you have no support or genuine relationships with others. His word reminds us that He will never leave us. Maybe I just need to start drawing closer to him and pray about it. God can change our perspective, our hearts and mind. We are never alone, God knows and sees everything. Being lonely sometimes is good thing, even Jesus had to go to quiet places and pray. God can give you a spouse, family, and friends in unexpected ways but seek Him first. My daughter suggesting I need new friends made me realize that maybe I do. In the meantime, I will look at feeling lonely sometimes as an opportunity to pray to the Creator of the universe. I hope this encourages you today, have a great week!!!!

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV