Category: Self Empowerment

P.R.E.S.S. Into 2019

Another year is quickly fading away. In less than 48 hours, for those blessed to experience the transition, we will be embracing the New with the power and diligence to forsake the old.

For me personally, 2018 has been excessively bittersweet. A great deal of pain, disappointments and unexpected events occurred this year. Yet all accompanied by great opportunities for spiritual growth. I watched God be a healer, provider and reconciler. I often take a moment to reflect on what was in order to prepare for what shall be.

As I share my heart on this final post for the year, I hear in my spirit to make this phrase a purpose filled priority.

P.R.E.S.S.

As a foundational acronym:

Praise & Pray:

Inspite of the experience in hurt, uncertainty, grief, need, lack of direction, illness, rejection and delays.

Rest:

In the arms of your Heavenly Father spiritually and mentally. Allow Him to touch those tender areas that no man can. Don’t forsake your body of the ease it requires to sustain this next chapter of your life. You’re going to need it!

Exercise & Eat Healthy:

Take care of your temple by committing to a consistent regime that promotes prolong life and stamina. This is not optional in order to bring what God has ordained to be reveal to and through you!

Settle:

In your mind that the past is the past! It happened but doesn’t define your future hope by any means necessary! Use these experiences as growth tools knowing that God is STILL for you!

Walk into 2019 with gratitude no matter what your reality looks like naturally. God’s blessed you with more time, another day and another season. It ain’t over yet and the best is still yet to come!

Knowing Your Worth

Being a survivor of more than two decades of chronic depression, I vividly recall struggling with knowing my worth.

During those extremely dark years, my self esteem was low; more like non-existent! I had such a warped perception of myself and didn’t see value in who I was as a person, woman and even a Child of God. During my stent with daily depressive mood swings, I professed to be a Christian the entire time but was not experiencing the victory over my mind which was rightfully mine!

As a result, many around me failed to value me as well. Why should they? If I didn’t value myself there was no way I could demand that anyone else do the same. I allowed myself to be taken advantage of, disrespected, overlooked, passed by and so much more. I wasted so many priceless years looking to be validated by those who never deserved me in the first place.

Fast forward to today, my stance and how I view myself is the healthiest it’s ever been! I know who I am and who I belong to! My Heavenly Father is a King so that makes me a princess! I expected to be treated as such!

In my marriage

By my friends

By my children

In my Career/On my job

In my community

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not looking for people to bow down to me like the Queen of England. That’s not what I mean by any definition!

It just means that I demand to be respected, heard, valued and treated as a rational human being. That’s what knowing your “Worth” will do! It will give you the power and strength to stop others from harming you with their words, deeds and actions.

We are all worthy of this in every facet of our lives and should never allow another to treat us any less than the precious Children of God that we are!

Nuff said; That is all!

Photo/Set Backdrop Designed by Kay Lynn of Diamond In The Ruff Event Planning

Women of Wisdom – Pastor Barbara Blackston 

This word is for the body of Christ in particular. One day while I was in prayer I asked the Lord what else can we as believers do to help this world besides praying. Prayer is good and does have the power to change things, but I was asking specifics on what more is possible. I heard the Spirit of the Lord Say, “Occupy Until I come.”
 
After hearing this I began to search the Word of God and found Luke 19:11-13 which is a parable or story that Jesus told. It speaks of a nobleman who needed to leave his  servants for a time to establish a kingdom. Before leaving, this man called 10 of his servants, gave them ten minas (one for each of them equivalent to one hundred days of wages) and said “Do business or Occupy until I return.”

Photo Credit – cracked-pot.com

Although this portion of scripture relates to money and the Lord expecting his people to do business until he comes back, He showed me that the interpretation surpasses even that. God is reminding His people to take what I have given you and rule, dominate, and seize until I come again. 
 
Before the Lord left us, He supplied His people with 3 very specific tools for use by every believer in our obedience towards doing his business.
 
1) The Holy Spirit –
The Holy Spirit is to be used in witness and effective ministry amongst the body of Christ and towards those who don’t know Him. We use the Holy Spirit to edify, uplift and encourage others as well as to build up ourselves so that we ourselves can remain strong.

2) The Fruits of theSpirit – 
He left us with the fruits of the Spirit which are Love, Patience, Faithfulness, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Joy, Self-Control and Peace. We need to operate in them all to attend to the body of Christ and those who don’t yet belong. It’s our duty to continually show love and compassion because of  the evil and concerns of this world. We must remind and get others to see that God came that we may have an abundant life! (John 10:10).


 
3) The Anointing –
He gave us the anointing that is useful in breaking every yoke of bondage that people suffer from. We are called to tear down strongholds and things that the world feels that they can’t control or matters that are controlling them. The anointing is also effective in breaking these same matters that try to bind us as well.


 

In order to assure that we who believe remain focused on this instruction, we need to develop a consistent and purposed routine to get before the Lord. A daily fellowship with Him is necessary. Preferably early in the morning if possible. Start off by first giving him thanks for allowing us to see another day. Read daily devotions and speak aloud affirmations. This process is preparation for the day which sets the precedence for what lies ahead. 

Ask God To show you what to do and how you can be used to bless other people. Don’t go out  naked before the world and let the enemy wreak havoc over your life.
 
Represent the Savior, don’t be moved, overwhelmed, and don’t compromise. This is certainly how we must occupy until his return.


Pastor Barbara Blackston has been a Believer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for nearly 40 years.
She attends Victory Christian Fellowship in New Castle Delaware and has been a member for the past 3 years.  
http://www.victoryexperience.com/
She serves as a Prayer Minister and Street Witnessing Evangalist.
She is also active in the Daughter’s of Esther Ministry under the leadership of Pastor Mary Cooper.
http://daughtersofesther.org

Finally she serves in the Women of Wisdom ministry though intercessory prayer.

 

Time for a Spot Check!

What are you doing and where are you at?

Yes I so boldly begin this post by getting all in your business!!

Oh, By the way,  Happy August!

This glorious month leaves us with just under 5 left in 2016. Time is really flying!!

Which brings me back to my initial inquiry; where are you?

Let’s do a quick life spot check!

Are you still working towards those goals you so enthusiastically set at the New Year or have you run out of steam?

Has life thrown you a few punches leaving you questioning the process?

Are you paralyzed by procrastination due to fear and lack of faith that you too can make it? 

Here are some clues that may confirm that you may have lost your way a bit…

Each day looks like the last and hopelessness is setting in.

You have mistaken your career as your life’s purpose putting all your time and energy into what does not and will not produce lasting joy.

You have stopped putting effort into your goals. You’ve lost sight, hope and remain at a standstill.

You are feeling bitter, slighted, antsy, impatient, doubtful, angry and a whole host of other negative emotions….

So these things happen to us all from time-to-time. I have both hands up confessing that these mental barricades have tried to take camp in my journey as well. But I have become radical and refuse to go backwards for there is nothing behind me that’s beneficial. I must keep moving.

So do you! If you are not happy in you relationships, job, business or have qualms with yourself, God has given you all you need to change your circumstances. They won’t alter on their own, YOU MUST DO SOMETHING!

Stop with the excuses, the pity party and the blame games. Especially as believers in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, it’s either we believe his Word or we don’t!

It’s not too late! Five months is still a good bit of time especially since we serve a very Big God who is able to do all things!

What will the end of your 2016 look like? You decide!

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.

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

From Trash to Treasure

Several months ago I walk away from a job that I absolutely thought I needed. It was extremely scary for me because it was the most money I had ever made and I held the medical benefits for my family. Not only was I scared and naturally worried about provision, I also suffered a tremendous blow to my self-esteem, worth and value in the corporate arena.

I thought I was smart, savvy, confident, personable, results driven and the right person for the job initially. But within 6 months I was told indirectly that I was incompetent, unapproachable and ineffective. At one point I was even labeled Hostile!

As my health began to take a turn for the worse in such a short period of time, I finally threw up my white flag and walked away without a back up plan. I did a lot of crying and reminisced on every account. I blamed myself for it all, hung my head down low and felt like a can of discarded trash! I remained in this clouded harsh self-judgment for weeks.

While left alone, there was nothing else for me to do but pray. Boy did I do a lot of it!!! God responded immediately by answering my requests for provision and then showing me quickly that I wasn’t the problem but rather the work environment. It was an ill match for my professional views and values. God did not choose that job for me but I went against his Will, did my own thing and tried to call it HIS blessing! What an excruciating lesson that was for me!!

Today I am back to work. This position I now hold was selected by my Heavenly Father for certain! I was interviewing with multiple companies and ask God to close any and all doors I am NOT suppose to enter into. There were two jobs I just knew I would get offered, but I didn’t. Although confused and still to this day unsure why I was not selected as a final candidate (I had 3 interviews with both!!) I completely felt secure and trusted God 100% with the process.

I’ve been working for 1.5 months and already highly regarded by my current employer!! I have been able to make effective contributions and my efforts have been acknowledged locally and abroad. I’ve got my mojo back! My professional charm, charisma, drive and beyond gel effortlessly in this place. Those I work for make me feel like a discovered treasure!

Have you ever been in an environment, job, relationship, church or organization where others belittled your value? Are you in one now? As you sister in the Gospel of Christ Jesus allow my soul to encourage yours to seek your Heavenly Father for direction. If how you are regarded speaks the opposite of how precious you are in God’s eyes, then you are NOT experiencing His best for your life.

You may have to loose money

You may get your heart broken

You may be called weak or foolish by man

You certainly have to surrender your own will!

Believe me, I know how difficult the shift may be, but there is great reward on the other side when you surrender and transition from Trash to Treasure. 

Related Article: 

 Hey Boss, I Quit!! | The Real life/Real Talk

https://therealliferealtalk.com/2016/02/

Soulful Sunday – The Day Nor The Hour

  

Do you feel or have you ever felt invincible? Nearly convinced that tomorrow WILL indeed come? I have, especially in my youthful years! We make plans, promises and work towards our purpose. All the while taking for granted that each day we rise and find ourselves still alive, is a blessing outside of anything we could ever control.

  

Truth of the matter is, the scripture says we die daily. (1 Corinthians 15:31) Each day that we are blessed to wake up, we are a day closer to the moment when we do not.

It’s a very difficult reality that many of us suppress. We typically don’t think about this until someone we know takes their last breath.

  

This past Wednesday felt heavy, dark and gloomy. Our world lost yet another iconic legend and it hurts. I was also informed within the same hour about the untimely death of a 16 year old young lady at a local school only 10 minutes from my home. Her mother dropped her off in the morning only to see her lifeless body in a morgue that evening. She was beaten by some other girls her age over a boy. According to details, both deaths appear to be incredibly premature.

PRINCE – June 7, 1958-April 21, 2016

Although My heart truly hurts, my spirit reminds me that no man knows the day or the hour when we will take our own last breath. That’s just a fact we can’t change. This holds true for the famous and not so famous alike.

Amy Joyner – RIP April 21,2016

So how are we living in the now knowing this reality? Do we simply mourn over those we have lost for a time then return to our lives as if our day is guaranteed to be eyons away?

I’m not suggesting to have a mind set fixed on death indefinitely. Even scripture says there is a time for everything. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) We should not live in a constant panic but reflection on how we are living. Are we making the best of our time with family friends our gifts and destiny are the questions and true wake up call.

Most importantly, the Word says every knee shall bow before God – (Romans 14:11) That excludes no one! So people can choose to be Non-Believers or represent the Gospel half hearted. What ever the choice, one day we all will close our eyes on this side of life and enter a new one to face that God and our Heavenly Father is indeed REAL! Make the most of your NOW, without forgetting that our day too shall come.

  

Rest In Peace to all the greats, not so greats and mankind in general. For peace is what I wish for all because life is indeed very difficult at times. From the human heart, It’s almost understandable that many would question a Heavenly Father’s existence when we are confronted regularly with burdens, tragedy and tremendous loss. But He too faced the same and left his Word to remind us of such.

Stay blessed and encouraged; this day and always!

  
#prince

#amyjoyner

Would You Turn That Mess Off!!

  
Recently I stumbled across the Blog of a woman who is battling chronic depression. The way she so eloquently expressed the mounting issues she faces daily, reflected my own life easily. It all sounded eerie and so familiar of how I once thought regularly. She claims she is defeated, and without options. My heart and soul connected with her instantly. She has my empathy, sympathy and more. I absolutely commend her for writing about it, for I know this is therapeutic in surviving this mental health issue. She’s a brave soul, But she needs to know she has control if she wants it…..
  
For me, Depression is like watching a 24 hour marathon of the old TV series M.A.S.H! Some of you may remember it well. Back in the 70’s and 80’s this once popular television program flooded many American living rooms at least weekly. I apologize in advance if you were a fan. I just didn’t get it or I probably never gave it a chance. I was so young back then and never found any appreciation for the series by far! As soon as I would hear the theme music, I would cringe, get up and turn the channel immediately!  To me the music sounded depressing! The show may have been good but I couldn’t get past that darn theme song!!!! 

  

When I started experiencing depression very early in my life I could relate to my fellow blogger. I listened to what ever channel was playing in my mind all day. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear at all, yet I entertained whatever was playing as if I had no options! I won’t, I can’t, I’ll never, no one loves you, you don’t deserve, your father doesn’t care, your mother isn’t there, you will always be poor, you are socially odd and will never have friends, you’re not smart, you are ugly, you are a failure, Yadda, Yadda, Yadda…..TALK ABOUT DEPRESSION!!! All those thoughts were some real M.A.S.H.
  
The above was the M.A.S.H. in my life for 20+ years!!!!  As a result I’ve purposely put myself in danger and have felt suicidal multiple times throughout my youth, young adult years and part of my adult life. All because my mind was stuck on the wrong station!

  

One day I got up mentally, picked up an old rusty pair of pliers, (for those who understand that knob on old model boob tubes!) and changed the re-running channel playing repetitively in my pretty little head! 

  

Those pliers were the Word of God that spoke the complete opposite of what naturally played the moment I woke up! Glory to God, I have a new program I’m completely addicted too!! Don’t get me wrong, clear reception did not happen overnight. I had to put much pressure on the tool to get the knob to actually turn! That station was stubborn! Sometimes I used both hands until I got the first click! 

  

That old M.A.S.H. re-run would always try to come back on, but by applying much purposed resistance through the Word of God, that Stinkin Station finally went off the air!!!!

  

Do you have some M.A.S.H. In you life that has gripped you from experiencing who you REALLY are as defined by God? (1 John 4:4, Galatians 3:26, 1 Peter 2:9-10, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:5, These are just a few! Look them up!) You have the power to shut off those negative voices in your head by getting in your rightful position. (2nd Corinthians 5:21 calls you the righteousness of God!) 

  
  

It takes work daily in order to get more positive reception, but the efforts are worth it! At least you don’t have to get up anymore. The pliers have retired! Now we have remote controls and accessing the Word through social media, the Internet and other forms have made these efforts a lot more plentiful and easily accessible! 

   

Kick the enemy out of the DVR in your mind, re-program your mental TV guide and walk into God’s best for your life! You and your destiny are so well worth it!
 

 

Now for those who I’ve offended, here is my peace offering; that M.A.S.H. theme song! Enjoy, if you can! Geesshhh! 😜

Rear View Mirrors

  

 
I’m a bit annoyed today! PO’ed, disgusted and down right angry. Not at anyone or anything in particular; just the foolishness and stupidity of the spiritual adversary.

  
His tricks and lies have so many bound up that they fail to see that life has so much more to offer. Will you join me and stop wasting so much time entertaining his agenda? He’s doing his job consistently. When will we begin to do ours with that same level of tenacity and more? 

  
I know a mature woman who has endured a great deal of trouble in her youth. For her, these days occurred well over 30 years ago. She’s a believer in the Gospel yet she’s majorly stuck in her past. I don’t talk to her much and frankly I just can’t. Whenever I do she finds a way to bring up her past as if I haven’t heard the story countless times already! She’s wasting her precious later years dwelling on yesterday. She says with her mouth that it’s her testimony but is not using the experience effectively for the good of others. Her actions clearly reflect that she never got over the pain leaving other areas in her life completely unfulfilled. Although I have a level of sympathy for her it does not run deep. She has options but chooses to think the same way, producing the same results while her time is winding down…

  

Does this story sound familiar? Is this someone you know? Is this you? If so, How long will you remain stuck, affected, paralyzed, play the victim, seeking sympathy, operating in jealousy, living in lack, non-prosperous spiritually, physically and mentally?

  

If you are a believer in the gospel of Christ Jesus, His sacrifice, His resurrection and His precious blood, I honestly believe it is an insult to all He has done for us if we CHOOSE to remain defeated! The mentality is indeed a CHOICE! It’s a mindset and no one else can be blamed certainly after a time.

  

He blesses us with a new day, everyday to take steps to walk into our destiny. He won’t affect your free will to remain hopeless but why choose that when he said that He came that we may have life and life more abundantly? (John 10:10)

  

We will always have trouble in this world. (John 16:33) We can’t get away from it! So will you remain ineffective, unproductive, heavy laden, cast down and defeated all the remaining days of your life? That’s exactly what the enemy wants! Stop allowing him to run amuck in your mind! You have the power, authority and dominion to live in abundance! (I’m not speaking of just material things.) Open your mouth, speak those things, get up and fight back! Don’t leave this earth with a gift you never shared, a ministry/business you never birthed, a testimony you never spoke and a destiny you never experienced because you allowed the enemy to win!

You can’t blame anyone else for your current circumstances especially if the offenses occurred 10,20,30 40 or even 50 years ago! 

So you were rejected 

So you were robbed 

So you were molested 

So you got fired 

So you were denied 

So you filed bankruptcy 

So your loved one left you

So you got a bad report from the doctor

So your child disrespected you

So that person you prayed for died anyway

So your life doesn’t look the way you planned it…..

What are you going to do inspite of?? Grieve for a while but NOT indefinitely!!!How long will you remain unproductively stuck???

  

We must Live and not die! (Psalm 118:17) While we still have a chance, another heart beat, another breath, can still walk, can still talk, can still think….. Get Up, shift and make today the beginning of the rest of your life. Just in case you forgot, The Bible declares We Win!!

  

#Destiny #wewin #Jesus