A Sudden Change

I was not going to share this but figured it might help someone else. This is the conversation I had in my car the other day. “Lord, you say in your word do not be afraid so many times.” But I’m afraid right now. The sound of hail falling, the wind blowing and rain unlike any rain I’ve ever seen. “You have absolute power over heaven and earth.” But again I’m afraid. Then I saw shingles, wood and siding (parts of roofs) rotating in the rain, and it dawned on me this is a tornado. So I pray and the peace that surpasses all understanding fills my heart and I start to calm down. The tornado passes and I run out of my car home. There is nothing like home on a day like that one. Whatever your situation, circumstance or heart may look like God is always there.  Prayer changes things.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

The first verse I memorize and mediated on because I use to have anxiety. God promises are available we have to choose to hold onto them. Hope you have a great week!!!

 

 

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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!!!

God Hears You

I’m so thrilled to share that the Lord has answered my prayer in the City of Virginia Beach to extend their half-day kindergarten program to a full day program and expand their Pre-K program. Early childhood education is where I received my passion for learning. I think it’s important that every child gets a good head start. My heart breaks for children that don’t have access to education because their family can not afford private preschools especially in this region. Currently, the way the program is full-time working parents will need to supplement working hours with childcare. The Lord put this on my heart last year and to see the request for funding approved with a 6-5 vote is tremendous progress. Praise the Lord for meeting the need of the city and for answering prayers. God hears your prayers, stay persistent and remember it’s His timing.

 

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

Love

Before I was saved, there was a deep longing in my heart that something was missing and I could not pinpoint it. Anxiety and fear made me feel like I was always running and chasing the unknown. To this day it’s still hard to explain to others the holes in my heart that Jesus was able to mend. I’ve been working on this post for over two weeks now. I just could not put into words what I felt lead to share. I did not experience love until Jesus found me. I honestly thought I loved others and maybe I did selfishly. But it wasn’t until I experienced His love in my heart, it was different I genuinely loved people I did not even know. I loved people in the grocery store, people riding by on their bikes or walking while I’m driving, people in the elevator etc. I was given a heart for children that I did not have before, a love that’s unexplainable. So what exactly is love? According to my bible dictionary, love is strong affection, desire, or devotion. God heart is probably the size of the earth or larger because he has enough for each and everyone of us. God loves you and He loved us first by sending His son Jesus to die on a cross, be buried and resurrected on the 3rd day, so we can have a relationship with Him. God reveal to me His love and my life will never be the same. Let’s love one another more. Have a blessed week!!!

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:10-12

 

30 Day Challenge

I challenged myself to withdraw from social media for 30 days last month. At first it was really hard, I literally had to log out of the accounts and unplug. I still found myself in boredom going to the apps on my iPhone and realizing I was logged out. My brain subconsciously was attempting to access this apps because I created a habit. I didn’t realize that I was using extra time and focusing my energy on what everyone else was doing. Instead I chose to used that time to read the word more, do extra things with my kids, focus at work, have lunch dates with others and complete my tasks on time. I felt like I had more time to get stuff done. But never realized how distracted I was when I was on social media. Sometimes I would complain about not having enough time to get what I need done. But was it truly that I didn’t have enough time or was I not using my time wisely. My take away from the 30 day challenge was don’t let distractions like social media, take you away from the purpose God has given you. If you don’t know what that purpose is seek Him he has the answers. One of my favorite verses reminds me and encourage to keep walking regardless of the circumstances.  

“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 ‭NIV‬‬
The Lord has restored some of my passions and visions of things I loved doing as a kid. But stopped because life got in the way. He mended my broken heart and gave me life I never knew existed. I hope this encourages someone today. Be blessed!!!

Wondering Thoughts 

My brain wonders sometimes, which I’m sure happens to everyone but I really shouldn’t. It goes places it has no business being and I want to keep my thoughts obedient to God. Paul reminds me to think of these things. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬. Recently, when my thoughts start to go where they shouldn’t I begin to sing/worship and my thoughts start change. Sometimes I have to mediate on the word over and over again until it stops. This has helped me get through some really tough days. Hope you have a blessed week!!!

Popcorn & a Movie

I’m always looking for clean movies or clean TV and came across King’s Faith on Netflix. It’s about a 18 yo boy that has aged out of the foster care system after being released from prison. This is his last chance to change his life around. He accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior in prison and is looking forward to living a new life. I don’t want to give it all away but if your looking for a clean faith based movie, it has some action, and you know God always shows up making it work out for the good of those who love him. Have an awesome week!

New Year’s Resolutions

During the first week of year, I was so excited about setting goals and holding myself accountable on meeting them weekly. I realized this week that I already failed, because I didn’t make time for writing on this blog last week. I was a little bummed but realized again for like the 50th time. I’m not going to be able to meet these goals if I keep trying to do everything in my own strength. If you set some New Year’s resolutions and are at the point of not wanting to do it anymore or feel like you have messed up too much. Don’t let your failures discourage you from starting again. Pray about it and stop trying to do it your own strength, ask God for provision and strength. Be blessed and have a great week!