What’s waiting for You right around the Next Bend?

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In a recent social media post, I asked the question, “When is the last time that you looked back and celebrated just how far you have come and yet looked ahead to what’s in store for you.  I’m 65 and I know that God has a lot more for me to do… How about you? Your very next turn may revolutionize your entire life. So, I wonder, have we stop striving to be our very best selves? We may be oblivious to the fact that a life changing experience for someone just might come through us.  Now is not the time to become complacent… because we don’t know what waiting for us just around the next bend.

I was listening to a message the other day and the preacher defined “complacency” by asking five interesting questions:

  1. Are we no longer striving to do our best in all areas, as a woman first, a wife, a mother, an entrepreneur, etc.? Now I must stop here for just a moment…There is a way to strive for excellence in our lives, without being busier that we already are, and I’ll explain more about that later.
  2. Are we operating off an old playbook? Doing the same old things, the same old way and expected new results.
  3. Are we seeking to take new opportunities? Increasing our knowledge, learning new skills, exploring new business ventures.
  4. Are we building new relationships or are we hanging around in the same old circles and no one is growing or maturing?
  5. And this one has bothered me for years and continues to bother me at times and that is not sharing my ideas and opinions, because I am afraid of being wrong?

Complacency expects reward without sacrifice.  We have often heard it said that whatever is worth having is worth working for.  So, I’m sure you’re wondering how do I do all of this “work”, when my plate is already full?   Above all, don’t do anything without the Lord and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

It has been/is his good pleasure to give you the will [the desire] and the to do [the ability/power].

Philippians 2:13 (Paraphrased)

This may be hard to believe, but our journey to becoming our best selves, just might begin with saying “no” to those things that may be counterproductive to our mission.  We can only do so many things well.  In my corporate days, we called them the “Vital Few”.  We must establish our priorities, set boundaries and be strategic.

Now don’t worry, there will be moments when we may feel insecure or inadequate, but just remember that the Lord has put everything we need to fulfill our assignment in us.  It’s in those moments that we need to celebrate what we have achieved thus far.  It doesn’t have to be finished to be good! God himself said that we would be a work in process until Christ returns. Philippians 1:6 (Paraphrased). However, he did not say to stop making progress, but celebrate every step.

The steps of a good man/woman are ordered by the LORD: and He delights in every detail of our lives.

Psalms 37:23 (Paraphrased)

Before I leave you, I want you to think of that one person who is always pushing you to move into new territory.  Has that person become your worst enemy or your greatest hero?  Think about it… It just might be the Holy Spirit nagging you to do what He needs you to do. 

It’s time to birth our next miracle, so we will be required to push! 

We can’t afford to get tired, our next blessing, our next assignment is just right around the next bend and remember to…

Always take a quiet moment to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying.

Are you Stuck in the Here and Now?

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A LOT have happened and continues to happen every day.  OMG! Every day in this world today is an adventure and that’s putting it mildly.  You may be feeling that you’re finally getting back some semblance of Order in your life, and you are taking it one day at a time.  We all must admit that in any given moment we revert to survival mode just to get by.  But I have something to tell you… God’s assignment for you has not changed.  You may remember that last week I said…

10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Ephesians 2:10 NLT

There is nothing that has happened or will happen that will change God’s mind about you.  NOTHING!  I will give you several translations of Romans 11:29, with my paraphase and it says this…

29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (He doesn’t change His Mind). KJV

29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (They can’t be cancelled). NKJV

29 For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn. (He won’t take them back) NLT

God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty—never canceled, never rescinded. The Message Translation

The Here and Now is OK and we are extremely grateful for every day, for every breath we take, but don’t get stuck in today!  Take a moment to look back and celebrate just how far you have come and then look ahead, because God’s got a whole LOT more for you to do…The only thing standing in your way is YOU!!  If you are not sure how to begin, well, in James 1:5 it says,

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Now, like never before, it’s imperative that you take a quiet moment to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying…

If You are Up, then Pull up Another…

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During the month of April, I spent a lot of time talking about falling, but now we are up and running or walking really fast.  Now, while many of us are tired of talking and or even hearing about the last two years and believe me I understand. The Lord has allowed us to live during a phenomenon that we had never experienced before.  Many of us have fallen and so many others have fallen around us, so if we have gotten up than we must pull up another. 

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The Holy Spirit continues to impress upon me that although the mask mandates are over and people are moving back into the offices, primarily because we are so very tired of living in a pandemic and again, I understand.  But I believe that it is even more critical now than ever for those of us who are up and running to pull up someone else.  There are those that may look ok and tell you that they are ok, but we are Not ok.  In addition, there are some of us that the Lord has continued to prosper beyond measure even during the pandemic and yet, there are others that are still struggling to get up.  It is for this reason that I want to challenge you that if you are up to act on what the Holy Spirit has been saying to you…

Where you are or what you have gone through may not be just for you… Now is the time to simply share a word to encourage to someone, or it may be sharing your testimony on how you are surviving or have survived, it may be a book, a podcast or maybe even a new business.  The Lord has allowed me to do all three and more.  But please don’t misunderstand… I am not boasting!  All my endeavors have been my acts of obedience and WAY out of my comfort zone and yours may be also. 

Most recently, I’ve been tasked to partner with a psychologist, Dr. Sislena Ledbetter to create an on-line course to help women to get their lives back. I believe that many of us have lost who we and have become what we do.  Many have lost their hope and joy of life itself.  We have had to learn that it’s ok to take care of ourselves first, because when we are totally depleted, we have no more to give to anyone. The Lord allowed Dr. Sis and I to cross paths over a year ago, but God’s timing is impeccable.  If you or someone you know may be interested, you can find more details about “Move Your Mountains” by clicking this link.  But my point is that We ALL have been called to use the gifts and talents that God has given us on behalf of His people and ultimately for His Glory. 

The Bible says,   

10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 NLT

Ephesians 2:10 NLT

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 5:16 KJV

I beg of you, please do not just go back to business as usual. There is someone that you have uniquely designed to reach.  What is the Holy Spirit saying to you?  Are you listening?  May I remind you that the Lord has parted the Red Sea for us, we have walked across on Dry Land and we can Not go back to Egypt!

As always, I pray that you’ve enjoyed this week’s blog post, and something has been said to inspire and encourage you.  If so, we would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment or two.  But if for some reason, this episode does not resonate with you, please share with someone who you think might need it. 

Run, Don’t Walk!

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You’re up now and you have a lot of ground to cover.  Shout with the voice of victory!  … and Run, Don’t walk!    It’s time to run to Jesus even while the Devil is still talking.  We must trust the Lord beyond our knowing exactly what lies ahead.  We must believe even though we haven’t seen the whole picture. 

It’s called faith.  The Lord is growing and maturing our faith.  Faith in what He’s preparing for us to do.  Faith for what’s ahead.  The enemy tries to instill us with fear that what’s ahead must be bad.  But’s that’s not necessarily so.  However, at times, the Lord may disappoint us to elevate us… to get us up! 

But we will say…

  15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust [in] him:

Job 13:15A

The Apostle James says, Count it All Joy!

Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

jAMES 1:2-4

But, unfortunately, some of us may still be thinking, what if you don’t feel like running.  Then I’d suggest that you tell God about it, you can’t fight the enemy in your mind. Some of us have been taught that we can’t complain to the Lord, but David said otherwise…

I cry out to the Lord;
    I plead for the Lord’s mercy.
I pour out my complaints before him
    and tell him all my troubles.
When I am overwhelmed,
    you alone know the way I should turn.

Wherever I go,
    my enemies have set traps for me.
I look for someone to come and help me,
    but no one gives me a passing thought!
No one will help me;
    no one cares a bit what happens to me.
Then I pray to you, O Lord.
    I say, “You are my place of refuge.
    You are all I really want in life.

pSALM 142

Let me tell you a little secret, I don’t like to run at ALL, ever!  But, I will walk very fast.  I’m kinda out of shape, so walking very fast will get my heart rate up and I’ll start to sweat. So, you may have to run at your own pace and if you don’t really feel like running, then start walking really fast!  Now that you’re up, don’t let anything or anyone knock you down again.  Only go down on your own terms and then, get up running or walking really fast! Because, the Lord has exceeding abundantly above all that we could ever ask or imagine, according to the power that worketh in us.  So, we must remain humble… it’s all for His Glory. 

Here’s Special Word for the Entrepreneurs/Business Owners that might be out there:

There is someone out there that waiting to see the numbers to determine their success.  Number of likes or followers, or maybe dollars, or clients, I don’t know what you number is, but the Lord is saying that your obedience will determine your success, not a number.

Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,

“I will never fail you.
    I will never abandon you.”[
a]

So we can say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper,
    so I will have no fear.
    What can mere people do to me?”[
b]

hEBREWS 13:5-6

Remember, always take a quiet moment to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying…

Ok, Now Get Up …

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Last week, I allowed you to just lay there for a little while longer, to get your head together, to gather your thoughts.  You really needed the rest, you were so very tired, but you’ve laid there long enough, so it’s time to get up.  Although you may still feel tired, …

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 NLT

I pray that you’ve taken the time to allow the Lord’s anointing to fall fresh on you and you are ready to face those mountains that’s standing in your way and confront those things that are holding your back or holding you down.  He promised that He would…

Fill in the valleys,
    and level the mountains and hills.
Straighten the curves,
    and smooth out the rough places.

Isaiah 40:4 NLT

It’s time to get up, quiet time is over …

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“Quiet time is not an excuse for the lazy, but a wise investment for the diligent.”

Priscilla Shirer

If you’ve truly been listening to what the Holy Spirit has been saying, you have received His guidance and direction. 

We can make our own plans,
    but the Lord gives the right answer.

Commit your actions to the Lord,
    and your plans will succeed.

Proverbs 16:1,3 NLT

I pray that you’ve enjoyed this week’s blog post, and something has inspired and encouraged you.  If so, we would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave your comments below.

“What If You Fall…”

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It is so very interesting that when you decide that you are going to quietly listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying, you discover that He talks all the time.  I must admit that when this blog started, I didn’t think that it would last this long.  To be honest, there have been several times that after I’ve written the week’s post, I assumed that it would be the last one. It’s the same thing when you decide not to move forward, or you stop short because you are afraid to fall. I’m saying all of this because even when I wanted to stop, the Holy Spirit just continues to feed into me, which has compelled me to continue to feed into you.  Hence, this week’s post entitled “What if you fall…”.

Last Monday, I was sitting on my bed after sending out the podcast version for the week and my eyes were drawn to the cover of my journal which says, “God is with her, she will not fall.” Psalm 46:5 … Now I found that quite interesting, in light of last week’s post, “Falling on Our Faith”.  So, I was a little confused. But think about it, falling on your face usually denotes failure, but falling on your faith, isn’t really falling at all.  But, of course, I had to go the Bible for further clarification. The New Living Translation says it this way,

God is our refuge and strength,
    always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come
    and the mountains crumble into the sea.
Let the oceans roar and foam.
    Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! Interlude

A river brings joy to the city of our God,
    the sacred home of the Most High.
God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed.    From the very break of day, God will protect it.

Psalm 46:1-5 NLT

So guess what, we are that city.  God dwells in us and He protects us.  Ultimately, the question is not “What if you fall… It’s when you fall?”

To coin a not-so-funny cliché, do you feel like you fallen and not you can’t get up?  Are you laying there wondering if you if even want to get up?  Then you need to know that the Lord is laying there right beside you, waiting for you to decide.  But, He is not going to help you up until you are ready. You may want to just lay there for a minute or two, rest for a moment, catch your breath and gather your thoughts and that’s ok.  There’s no rush, but while you are laying there…

Make sure that you take a quiet moment to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying… 

As always, I pray that you’ve enjoyed this week’s post, and something has been said to inspire and encourage you.  If so, we would love to hear your thoughts and comments.  But if for some reason, this blog does not resonate with you, please share with someone who you think might need it. 

Have an Amazing Week!

Falling Flat on Our Faith!

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Last week, we talked about “A New Beginning”!  So Now What?  Oftentimes, when we start something brand new, or when we’ve made a huge decision or encountered a major change is our lives; in the back of our minds, we wonder if we’ve made a BIG mistake, and that we might just “fall flat on our faces”.  Today, as we begin our lives afresh, I’d like to suggest that we try to “Fall Flat on Our Faith”!

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.

Psalm 139:23

The month of April marks the end of the 1st quarter of 2022.  It’s truly hard to believe.  However, it’s amazing how much society and culture has such a great impact on our thoughts and behavior.  There is one term that is looming large these days, it’s “The Great Resignation”.  I believe that people have decided that it’s time to get off the hamster wheel.  Many have decided that they prefer their virtual offices and have found that they can be more productive on the job AND spend more time with the family.  No more rush hours and long commutes.  In the process of living differently, we have been given an opportunity to birth our dreams, to push beyond our limitations, move past all obstacles and reach for the stars.

I am just really concerned that we are being pushed back to the way things were, but in my heart of hearts, I don’t believe that that is what God intended.  God has moved us out of Egypt, and He never wants us to return.  It’s time for us to prosper and flourish in the places that He has put us or possibly, the places that He is sending us.

So, what are you going to do now?  I am praying that before you go back to busy, stressed, and anxious, if you haven’t already, that you stop and give some thought to your next steps. Take a quiet moment to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying… Instead of fearing that you might fall flat on your face, try falling flat on your faith and allow the Lord to Order your Steps!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Don’t just say it, Do it…

If you fall, He will catch you before you hit the ground!

This is a New Beginning…. Not a Do-Over!

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I would venture to say that most of you will not be able to truly enjoy this week’s podcast, because you are just too busy.  The only time you can even take 5 minutes to listen, is while you are driving to work, working, or driving home and for those of you that are not commuting, I’m not sure when you’d have time.  But I would like to challenge you to take a few moments to stop what you’re doing….

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  • Close your eyes
  • Inhale deeply through your nose until you feel it in your core
  • Hold for a few seconds … Focus your mind on your breath
  • Exhale through your mouth

Now, Open your Eyes to your New Beginning…

10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. 

Ephesians 2:10

But this is not “a do-over”.  The last two years have taught us that we can live life differently. We can’t turn back the hands of time and start our lives over again, but we can start afresh. It’s a new day! Open your curtains and let the sun in.  It’s time to wake up refreshed!  Imagine yourself taking a cool shower in a waterfall and you’re drying off with your feet on the warm sands of the beach.

It’s Your New Season! It’s time for us to come out of the valley and go to the top of the mountain and look at all the vastness of what’s ahead. Spring is the time of year when the earth refreshing, renews and restores, and we should do the same.

Now, I know what you are thinking… I have a very vivid imagination and real life just ain’t like that and you are right. BUT, we can’t allow ourselves to simply go back to busy without some thought.  At times, we are so very busy, but accomplishing so very little.  Maybe this is our opportunity to…

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1) REIMAGINE our Vision

2) REFINE our Goals

3) REENERGIZE our Plans

No one can limit us, we limit ourselves.  So, what’s standing in our way?  What are the mountains that we can’t climb?

Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain…

Isaiah 40:4

Some of you know my testimony, I never dreamed that I’d be able to leave Xerox (no, I’m not telling you to quit your job). I was 55 years old, and a career move at that age…  Are you kidding? 

But God opened a door…

Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life… Philippian 12b-16a

Philippians 2:12b-16a

But, think about it, if you are listening to this podcast, you are surviving a pandemic, one day at a time. I heard a pastor say, “God will allow a famine, although we will try to pray it away, so that we are forced to move”. He will tell you where to go and you must stay where He puts you and He will provide and prosper you there”. Let’s stop settling for “I’m blessed, I woke up this morning and yes, thank God for that, and will never take that for granted, but God has so much more for us than just to wake up. He wants us to live abundantly and that does not necessarily mean with a lot of stuff.  What does “blessed” mean to you? We would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave us a comment.

Now I feel the need to say that you may be living your dream and this episode does not apply to you, then may I ask that you share that joy and encourage someone else to continue to strive to achieve their dream. 

Let Today be a New Beginning… not a Do-Over! 

It’s time to move forward and be sure to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying…

We don’t Always get it Right, but…

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Full disclosure, I’m kind of a perfectionist.  I’m sure for those of you that know me, it’s hard to believe. LOL! But seriously, it used to be and sometimes still is, one of my biggest character flaws.  Over the years, God has had to teach me what “perfect” really means and I’m still learning.  It means that I can pursue excellency, but I should not try to be excellent. That’s His job!

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. 

Philippians 1:6

So, I guess you are wondering where I’m going with this… We don’t always get it right, but we are not meant to be perfect.  We often find ourselves in a constant mental battle over those small mistakes, ultimately things that we can’t change, even if we wanted to. Now, this does mean that we should justify, defend, or disregard our mistakes, especially those that negatively impact and hurt others. But we should not beat ourselves up for the things that really don’t matter.  For instance, when we assume that others are talking about us, when they have not given us any thought at all. 

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. 

Romans 12:2

We don’t always get it right, but the one opinion that really matters is that of the Holy Spirit, which is why we must always take a quiet moment to listen to what He has to say ….

When the Door Opens

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Last week, we talked briefly about knocking on doors. So now, I’m somewhat curious as to what doors are we waiting to open?  Have you been knocking a long time and the doors just won’t open?  For some, it’s time to open the door and for others, the door is open, but you may be a little apprehensive about going through.  So, the ultimate question is will we be ready “when the door opens”?  As we ponder those questions and I would love for you to share some of your answers in the comments.  Now, I realize that many of us are in a place of healing and therefore, your doors may be very different than those that I’m eluding too here. But remember, God’s Word says…

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 

Matthew 7:7-8 NLT

So, let’s continue from where we were last week, we were knocking and I believe that while we wait, there are a few things that we should consider:

Persistence.  You may get tired, but don’t give up. While, we’re waiting for the door to open, we must have a plan. Write the vision and make it plain. Our plan will be in accordance with God’s plan if we seek the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit.

Perseverance.  Times may get tough, so keep making progress by pushing forward. No matter our age, we must continue to grow and mature spiritually. Although, we must give God total control, we still must do the work in order to be ready when it open. When God opens the door, we should expect new things. Remember what we read in Isaiah…

18 “But forget all that—
    it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

Isaiah 43:18 NLT

We shouldn’t look back. This pandemic has motivated us to live life differently, as we continue to navigate into new and unfamiliar territory.

Purpose.  When the door opens, walk in with purpose.  Don’t be afraid. Everything you need to fulfill your purpose is in you. Our true purpose in life is be blessed to bless others.  Now open a door for someone else….

And as we wait for the doors to open,

It’s imperative that we always take a quiet moment,

To listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying…