Month: June 2016

Putting on Game Face!

Nearly 8 years ago I was working a part time job as a Health Claims Instructor. I had 18 students in my class and they were more of my life than I initially revealed.

I was going through straight hell and they were the ONLY bright spot in my life at that time. They gave me reason to keep going when I truly wanted to simply lay down and die. I was going through a difficult divorce, got terrible news from the doctor about a chronic medical illness, I lost my house, my finances were in complete shambles, nearly every friend I had at the time walked away and my church family did not provide the support I thought should have been automatic. Depression was deep and I had no reason to want to live less my girls!

As expected, during tough times throughout the program, some would show signs of growing weary by the challenge of working by day, going to school by night and all of life’s demands in between. To add insult to the already injured, The curriculum at this vocational career school was also far from stellar! We all began to discover this fact together mid way throughout our studies. They were beyond offended and I for them as well! Never-the-less, I vowed to stay committed until the end and give them all the knowledge I had obtained in the industry over the years for optimum success.

At times they didn’t understand and I couldn’t let them see that I was silently screaming their same sentiments as I found myself counseling them one-on-one. I couldn’t let them know I was dying inside and commissioned myself to stay strong for their benefit. I lost one or two through out that journey, but those that stayed the course I offered a consistent perspective.

Put on your “Game Face!” I would often encourage. Meaning life is indeed difficult and certainly won’t be easy as you attempt to make positive changes. Even when you are given a raw deal that can’t be changed or you can’t get out of, you must exercise “The Game Face” mentality.  

It’s not always appropriate to wear your emotions on your sleeves all the time or show those around you that you are going through. It’s necessary sometimes in life to endure publicly with the best of attitudes even if that means breaking down to release how you really feel privately just for a time. This builds character, strength, and resilience which are essential characteristic traits valuable in both the corporate world and beyond. 

For Christians, “Game Face” also means it’s time to fight! No I don’t like the circumstances and even question my abilities and the outcome, but no devil is going to knock me out this race!! I’m going to be victorious despite of what it looks like! I’ll position myself and act like a winner even before the victory naturally manifests! 

As it relates to my students, I sustained my personal “Game Face” my entire time with them. It wasn’t until their last official day of class that I opened up about why I stressed operating in the principle. My transparency shocked them for they never knew I was sacrificing how I really felt for their success. As we literally cried together and said our goodbyes on graduation day, I knew these women made an everlasting impact on my life that I will never forget. Even as I penn these words tears fill my eyes. As I was helping them, they were indeed sustaining me!

Me and a few of my precious graduates!

Have you ever had to put on “Game Face” as you endured a complicated life matter?

How did you make it through that period?

Did God show you the lesson that had to be learned during that time?

Maybe you are going through something now and need to put on “Game Face”. It may indeed be difficult but there is victory at the end of the challenge if you don’t give up.

Soulful Sunday – This New Creature

The woman I am today hasn’t been around all that long. I’m not use to her but I want to get to know her better because I like her an awful lot!

You see, I’ve known the old me longer than the new. The old is familiar and comfortable. I have over 30 years of history with her and I know what to expect. But she’s dark, oppressed, depressed, lacks a healthy self image and confidence. This new demeanor is bold, aggressive, feels she can do anything she puts her mind too, will tackle matters even if she feels scared and refuses to give up! She’s only been around for a very short time. Where has this chick been all my life!!!

As a believer in Christ Jesus, I wish I could say that the transformation from the old to the new was some instantaneous metamorphosis! Well, it hasn’t been! The truth is, I fight almost daily to walk in 2nd Corinthians 5:17. 

The good news is that every day the old me is being pushed out of the spotlight, while the new me takes center stage, exudes all of her fabulousness and is completely taking over!! I am intimidated by her for I don’t know what she’s truly capable of! I also admire and look up to her. She has to stay for I trust the God who has called her forth.

This may sound like an oxymoron to many who know the new me but I still struggle to feel on the inside what I look like on the outside. It’s a tug of war daily but a fight the new me is destined to win! Those accustomed to the old watch, wonder, whisper and stare. That’s ok, because the new me can handle all of that!

She has plans in spite of her past. She has strength that the old me couldn’t begin to fathom. She’s holding on to her faith in assurance that Job 8:7 will be a sure part of her destiny. Soon and very soon the old me will rest in peace, while the new will continue to operate in humility in remembrance of what she evolved from. It’s all in the Name of Christ Jesus.

Are you in transformation? Can you relate to this inner battle I have shared with you? It’s real but a journey I am so privileged to be on! The world hasn’t begun to see what the new me has to offer. For the first time in my life, I’m excited about the possibilities.

Happy Sunday!

The New Me

The Bigger Person

I recently had an encounter with a woman who is obviously bitter and stuck on a series of events that occurred nearly 12 years ago. Her demeanor towards my husband and I on a day that was suppose to be nothing but sheer joy was just down right inappropriate!

My flesh wanted to rise up so badly but I was able to reframe from counter reacting in the same way. There were children around and I considered the conduct of God so I said nothing. 

As I walked away I felt my insides boiling hot!! This is not the first time this person has been disrespectful to me. Previous times were indirect but this time was right in my face! I wanted so desperately to shut her down but knew I would not have been able to do so with the love of the Lord. 

Several days later I still felt myself reliving the event. Does she think I’m weak, a push over, or some simple woman because I remained silent? I don’t ever want her thinking that this sort of behavior will be both tolerated and acceptable going forward! I had to consult my Heavenly Father about what to do at our next encounter; for there WILL be one!

I clearly heard him speak of what Proverbs 29:11 says; “A fool uttereth all his mind, but a wise man keepeth it till afterwards.”

Furthermore, Ecclesiastes 10:14 says “A fool multiplies words; no one knows what is coming…”

He also reminded me that in the event that we meet again, a soft answer will turn away wrath. (Proverbs 15:1)

If I decide to respond in the same manner, a war of words at minimum will indeed be the result and two fools will be present vs. the initial one!

 

My flesh of course wants to give her not just a piece of my mind but the entire thing! She has it coming, but what good will that do and how will I be honoring my Father who has provided the ultimate instruction? She hasn’t gotten over or won anything, rather continues to prove how immature she steadfastly remains.

Have you ever had a situation like this before?
What happened and how did you handle it?

Were you able to represent Christ although your natural man wanted to completely take over?

I know for sure that a war of nasty words by exchange would have been instant gratification to my flesh. The outcome also could have been worse. I thank God for helping me that day not to consider an eye for an eye. This woman too is a believer and still a child of the Most High God Never-the-less.


Turning the other cheek may not be what we want to do in instances like this, but is the action our Savior certainly expects when we represent Him.

The Never’s of My Life


Today is Father’s Day! An unsung day of sorts that we recognize nationally. Kudos to every man who found it not robbery to operate in selflessness for the well being of their offspring. I salute you!

Unfortunately this level of sacrifice I have and will never know. My biological father chose to live his life for himself, denying me of much and contributing to the many “Never’s” early in my fragile existence.

I never had a birthday party.

I never went to summer camp.

I never went to prom.

I never graduated from high school (GED obtained)

I never had a daddy/daughter date.

I was never treated priceless by the opposition sex.

I never went away to college.

I was never Daddy’s little girl.

I was never mommy’s molded angel

I was never mentored as a youth.

I was never anyone’s sacrificial priority to groom, prepare, and pave a decent pathway towards the start of my future. 

I was never unconditionally loved in the natural.

 I have simply stumbled through life becoming excessively used, abused mistreated and ill regarded. One left to figure out the mass complexities of life alone with no direction.  The scars and mistakes have been many. Mostly invisible to the human eye but tattered and torn fragments were left behind on my heart and soul for countless years.

As a result I have struggled with chronic depression and low self esteem for the majority of my life. 

I was never the life of the party

Never had a lot of friends

Never felt socially acceptable 

Never felt comfortable letting others get too close….

Do you hear the violins playing?? So enough of that broken record! It’s old and redundant! I’ve wasted well over two decades wallowing in self pity over this major void.

These are mere facts of my life that have contributed to the way I was shaped in the natural. I can’t spend the rest of my days reliving how painful these memories have been. My Never’s” as of lates paint a completely different picture!

I have come to believe, accept and adopt in my heart the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He is my Heavenly and Abba Father; the only form of provider and protector I have experienced. It’s the only thing I’ve been introduced to that makes sense and is applicable to my entire situation! 

Because of Him the Never’s in my life have been redefined.

I am never alone for He will never leave me.

I will never be without because He supplies all my needs.

I will never look to any man for affirmation because He thought I was to die for.

I will never be without friends for He regards me as just that.


I never have to be concerned about being loved for He loves and accepts me free of conditions.

I never have to worry about my future for He has those plans covered. 

On this day I give praise and credit where it is due. So I say “Happy Father’s Day to my Lord and Savior” ; the only Example of a true Father I have ever known.

Dangerous Thin Lines

Last month I had an opportunity to attend a two-day women’s conference held in a state prison. I have never imagined myself ministering to women who have been incarcerated and was not sure how God would use me in that setting.

When the Ministry team and I arrived, the experience became completely surreal! Being stripped of things I take for granted daily, being ordered around and told what to wear, reminded of what to leave home, being searched and shaken down. We had to walk through heavy metal electronic doors. Hearing that chilling sound of the same slam behind us then lock up, definitely struck a cord or two! The experience surged through my core creating apprehensions that this life for many truly does exist!

The corridor leading to the chapel where the inmates were waiting for us was very dull and gloomy. Although not maximum security, it was clear that the facility was far from modern in every way. Those unfortunate to call this place home are offered no more than the bare necessities to survive. 

To my surprise, when I entered into the chapel the women were already engaged in praise and worship. I was taken aback because of the ignorant perception in my mind of what I thought I would see. The women had their hands raised and eyes closed in reverence of the Lord. They were clearly open and ready to receive! Any mental defenses I had up immediately fell as I silently whispered to my Savior, “Lord, use me in this place!” I was in complete awe of their genuine tender hearts and was willing to serve in any way possible. 

As I took a seat and waited for direction from The Ministry Leaders, I scanned the chapel. It was quaint, warm and inviting. The presence of God was without question in this place! Had it not been for the guards, warden and state uniforms worn by the women, I could have easily felt like I was simply visiting a new church. The atmosphere really helped to ease my preconceived notions I had conjured up in my mind days leading up to the visit.

I then scanned the faces of the prisoners. I was in shock as I considered them. Many looked like me! Normal, non-threatening, sweet, mature, beautiful and loved God. They were mothers, wives, girlfriends, grandmothers and more. What the heck are they all doing here?? I’ve got to be on “Candid Camera” for there is no way ALL of these women are capable of unthinkable acts….

I discovered that I was amongst physical abusers, drug addicts, alcoholics, thieves and yes, even murderers…

As several shared there stories of how they arrived at this place, my heart broke as their tears fell reminiscing on the days they simply made the wrong decision that drastically changed their regular lives forever. It only took a second, a fleeting moment in time that caused them to put dangerous undo pressure on some very thin lines.

I am very familiar with those moments, for I have had several throughout my life. In fact, The last, not that long ago. Outraged beyond reconciliation , responses without thought when I am offended; wanting to plot revenge against one who has hurt me; basking in unforgiveness, hate, cruelty and near insanity! My own thin lines could have very easily placed me exactly where these women are.

Although thankful that my Savior has saved me from myself today, I need Him tomorrow and always to teach me to respond the way He instructs: 

With soft answers that turn away wrath -(Proverbs 15:1)

Love my enemies – (Matthew 5:44 & Luke 6:28)

Leave revenge to The Lord – (Romans 12-19)

Forgive as He has forgiven me – (Colossians 3:13 & Ephesians 4:32)
And so much more…

My prayers remain with those women that have had such an impact on my spirit. As I was there to minister to them, they actually did the same for me. They are currently living through their testimonies and God STILL wants and loves them. I can only pray that I will encounter at least one in the future to see how God turned everything around for their good. (Genesis 50:20 & Romans 8:28)

Are you walking dangerous thin lines today? If so, please stop and consider your future. God has the answers to all that troubles you. Don’t allow the matter to eat away at your soul like acid. If you do, you can easily find yourself in the state of one of these women or worse. No matter how offended, hurt or unfair it all has been, seek God to stabilize your path; He will turn those thin lines into concrete boundaries that only He can sustain.

Video Blog – June 2016 – Views on MS

Hi there readers!!!

Been longer than I anticipated in recording a video blog! Last night I became inspired by another blogger I ran across  yesterday.

Warning:  It’s quite raw, unrehearsed and the quickest one I’ve ever done! It’s me with no make up or primp and prepping! Chanel in the flesh!!! Lol!

I speak candidly about my views on Multiple Sclerosis, a topic that I typically shy away from. After reviewing this you will certainly know how I feel about the matter! Nuff Said!!

Blessings to you all!

I DECLARE WAR! – 4 Steps in Spiritual Warfare

Recognizing spiritual attacks when they come against us is a must for The Body of Christ. Knowing how to respond to them effectively is even more crucial.

Scripture says we do not fight against flesh and blood but against the powers and rulers of darkness. (Ephesians 6:12) To break this scripture down in lay terms means that we can’t win the battles in our lives by what we physically see. We must fight Satan himself! Here are a few examples of fighting with our flesh against what we see:

Yelling at our children when they rebel repeatedly.

Combatting verbally and physically with our spouses when we hit tough spots in our marriages.

Plotting against our bosses and co-workers when they become unreasonable or unfair.

Stop speaking to our friends, associates or church family when they don’t conduct themselves as we feel they should.

Looking down on our neighbors when they cause offense.

There are many more but I trust by now that you get the picture. These fights break out and reek havoc amongst those matters we care for the most. This is especially true regarding our health and finances.

A natural first level of defense when we have trouble in these areas is to respond with our flesh. We yell, get mad, worry, feel defeated, complain, seek revenge, give up or do things we may later regret. When this happens we give our power to the enemy allowing him to win!

Satan, The enemy and adversary of our Lord and those who believe in Him constantly roams the earth seeking whom he may devour. (1st part of John 10:10) You can’t see him but he is there in the spirit and often uses what humans can see naturally. This causes confusion to those who don’t understand the enemy’s tactics causing responses to his antics in the wrong realm. The later part of that same scripture boldly states that Christ came that we may have life abundantly!!

Just like in the card game, WAR, we declare to our opponents that it’s on! We put on our game faces, line up our strategies and reiterate to the other player that they are going down!

When we fight in the spirit, we need to Declare War on Satan, gear up and send him roaming else where!

How do we effectively fight in the spirit? First and foremost we must learn to resist responding in the natural! This can be very difficult but is essential if we want to overcome! Here are four critical steps towards fighting spiritual wars:

1. Prayer – This may sound like a cliché but it’s a must nonetheless! Depending on what you are fighting, a 5 minute prayer asking for the same thing won’t do! You must up the anti! Get up early, stay up late, walk the floor, get a prayer partner and/or write down those things you are standing for. It’s sacrificial and your own flesh is not going to like it! You must push past those feeling and the voices in your head if you intend on winning!

2. Fasting – Turning down your plate is a powerful source to strengthen your inner spirit for this type of war. As you begin to kill the desires of your own flesh, your spirit will begin rising up and taking precedence. Adding fasting to committed prayer will sharpen your ear to hear from God. He will instruct and guide you as you show him that you are seeking his power and strength against what you are facing. (I recommend “The Daniel Fast”)

3. Word Declaration – Speak those things as though they were! (Romans 4:17) Verbal declarations of the Word of God is a powerful resource against the enemy. Starting with a few scriptures and speaking them out your mouth and into the atmosphere is a remedy toxic against Satan’s plans.

4. Praise – This speaks for itself! Exalt the Lord your God because it confuses the enemy! He expects you to be disturbed by the issues he is causing. When you begin to praise God he doesn’t stand a chance!!

If you are not use to doing these things it may feel unnatural initially. I can only encourage you to try it especially if how you are responding now is not working! I guarantee you responding in the flesh is a vicious cycle that will reap the same defeated results!

Do something different with the troubles in your life by putting on the full armor of God. (Ephesians 6:11) Declare Spiritual War for the back of the bible says We Win!!

My all time favorite song when preparing for Spiritual Warfare:

War Cry – Micah Stampley

It gets me hyped!!! 

Listen and PUMP IT UP!

#spiritualwarefare fighting #fightthedevil #theenemyisdefeated #wewin

The Extraordinary You!

Not long ago I was invited to be interviewed By the founder of Heart Ministry Radio, Brenda Divers for her talk show entitled “Extraordinary People In our Neighborhood.” I was absolutely overwhelmed by the opportunity to reach God’s people on this platform! A willing and humble vessel I was and gladly accepted the invitation.

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But I had one problem leading up to the day of the recording; I was far from feeling anywhere near Extraordinary! As I examined my life in its current state, to me, I was looking and feeling rather ordinary!

Kind of mediocre in a sense that at this point I have not reached any defined pinnacle in my goals and visions I know have come from the Lord. Yes I’m walking out in faith concerning my destiny, but I am so far from there! I found myself asking, is this meeting actually premature?

So I have learned that personally I can not trust the voices in my own head most of the time! Some want to keep me labeled as common. Well, the devil is a Liar!!

During the prep session for that interview, some things were bought to my attention and pulled out of me through God’s precious daughter! How grateful I am for the body of Christ for iron truly does sharpen iron!! (Proverbs 27:17)

I didn’t think that some challenges I was brave enough to face were kind of impressive! I had to hear myself speak them out before I was actually able to embrace these matters as true accomplishments. So many others have struggled with the same and have been inspired by my testimony.

By the time the record button went on, I think I was feeling pretty remarkable!
The God we serve does not specialize in average! Everything he makes is exceptional and everyone he calls holds greatness within! He refers to those who believe in his power, Grace and sacrifice through Christ Jesus, “Peculiar People” (1 Peter 2:9) We stand out, Are Royalty and far from just being Regular!

If you struggle to see yourself as accomplished because by your own standards you don’t feel you have “arrived”, stop and begin to see yourself as your Heavenly Father does. During this Christian Journey we all need to be reminded periodically just how extraordinary we truly are!

#Jesus #Royalty #beyondordinary #extraordinary #heartministryradio