Look Again

The winter gives an allusion of barrenness.  From what we can determine with the natural eye it appears that nothing is growing which in our estimation equals infertility.  But there are many things occurring under the surface that “eyes hath not seen.”  In fact, winter is a very active season in the earth.  There is receiving, replenishing and replacing taking place.  The earth is renewing itself for another cycle of refreshing! So it is with us.  We go through seemingly unproductive times, but if you are in that season currently, understand there is production going on and the results will show soon!  Truthfully, the fact that you cannot see it indicates that God himself is working on it. How exciting!

In our neck of the woods spring is coming into its own.  Each day there are changes and it appears that the movement is nonstop!   Currently buds are popping up on bushes and trees and diversities of bright colors of pink, white, yellow and green are on full display.  From morning to evening revolution is in the works. Another day brings the promise of continued growth and advancement.  The longevity of the day allows for increased development and activity. It seems the earth has awakened; however, it was never asleep- you were!We tend to draw conclusions based on our observation and our observations are often inappropriate based on improper perceptions.   The humanity in us causes us to be sensory led; therefore, if we cannot see, feel, smell, touch or taste it we do not believe it is a reality.  When we maneuver according to the senses we eliminate the spirit; consequently, completely discounting the work of God!

Thankfully, God knows us and gives us buds so that we understand that He is activated in the midst of us! Buds show us that a work has begun, but they must develop!  

Frequently we are so excited to see something new that we harvest before it is ready and start running.  Confusing the bud with the finish product discontinues expansion. We repeatedly hamper improvement because we fail to appreciate the bud as a sign of what is to come and enjoy the process of blooming.  

It is Gods will that we blossom into an ample flower giving glory to Him with our grandeur and splendor.  As a flower we provide nectar and pollen that feed and nourish entire communities (bees) and are able to be spread and reproduced.  As a blossom we are blessed and a blessing! 

It is time to wake up, open our eyes and look again.

Responsible Actions

I was recently privileged to hear a great speaker teach a class on the subject of “Taking Responsibility by Walking in Our God Given Authority’.  The 4 points provided at the end of the lesson were simple, but impacting and definitely worth sharing.  I believe that we all can work our way to complete victory and triumph if we apply these principals in every aspect of our lives.  Special thanks goes to Min. Antoinette Hines for giving me permission to distribute what God gave her and add to it what He’s given me. 

1.       Consult God First

It is apparently apart of human nature to attempt to complete things ourselves first and ask for assistance once we’re in the middle of disorder.  We have this idea that we are disturbing or distressing our leaders, bosses, or friends when we ask questions before we begin a project.  We learn later that it was their desire that we inquire of their expertise, listen to lessons learned and success stories before we begin our journey.  When we consult before we begin we can go further faster because we have been advised of what’s coming. 

Our heavenly Father knows the end from the beginning and has written our days beforehand in His book.  Who better to refer to when starting a voyage than someone who has been where you are going?  

2.       Write the Vision

Encoding is the organic method by which the things we perceive transport to our brain where they are analyzed. Writing improves the encoding process.  This means when you write something down it has a better chance of being remembered.  If your days are anything like mine writing becomes essential to accomplish the many activities that must be done.  Your vision should be so important that you will not risk missing even one part.  Also, if it’s written you can read it and declare it which takes it to the next level! Because we know that once it is declared, it shall be established! 

3.       Strategize

Strategizing includes inquiring, thinking, discussing, researching, planning, and even role playing.  It is the process of walking an idea through possible scenarios to determine a possible outcome.  Most games whether they are board games or computer/video games take strategy.  Many of us perfect our tactical skills and become calculated in the decisions we make and direction we pursue in a game, but fail to initiate a strategy for how to implement the vision God has given. It is past time to make yourself and God’s will a priority!

4.       Execute the Plan

Execution requires a WEB.  That is Willpower, Energy and Boldness.  It is said that webs are stronger than steel.  It’s hard to believe, but here is why.   [i] Spider dragline silk has a tensile strength of roughly 1.3 GPa. The tensile strength listed for steel might be slightly higher—e.g. 1.65 GPa, but spider silk is a much less dense material, so that a given weight of spider silk is five times as strong as the same weight of steel.  The task of accomplishing what God has planned for us will not be stress-free, but it will be satisfying.  It will take self-discipline, determination and resolve.  There will be obstacles and opponents to discourage you and attempt to thwart your arrival at the finish line, but with endless energy and brash boldness along with the knowledge that “I can do ALL things through Christ” the plan can come to fruition.  

These four points will change the trajectory of your life if you apply them!  Isn’t it time for a new course? If so, don’t delay. Do it now! 

[i] Wikipedia 

Preeminence and Providence

I am often dumbfounded when I take a few moments out of my day to think about the immensity of our God.  He is preeminent. This means there is no one that parallels his greatness, excellence, or prominence.  He is the ultimate “distinguished gentleman” surpassing all others and yet and still he is intimately concerned with the day to day events and the moment by moment particulars of my life.  It’s truly mind-blowing! 

One of the definitions of providence is the protective care of God. As the days, weeks, and months go by God’s providence becomes more palpable in my life.  The question is asked of God is Psalm 8:4 “What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?” It is hard for the human mind to determine how a great God who is peerless and incomparable could look upon faulty, meager mortal beings with such mindfulness.  It is simply magnificent! 

Psalm 121:3 describes how he is constantly watching to make sure we do not stumble.  He is designated in Psalm 23 as Lord and described as our shepherd.  He is the master and ruler who is charged with taking care of us and also our keeper, leader and protector causing us to never be in the position of lacking or missing out.  He is the one who knows the number of the hairs on our heads and sees us as more valuable than many sparrows. [Matthew 10:30-31].  He is so marvelous! 

As I look in retrospect over the last year of my life I see both his preeminence and providence working deliberately on the behalf of my family.  Please believe that He has a planned strategy to work things to your advantage in order to prosper you as He sees fit and that it is key because sometimes prosperity comes in terms of money, but often it comes in growth, maturity, and wisdom which far surpass the benefits of mere currency. We must see and discern in the way that He sees and be confident that He knows the end from the beginning and is working all things for your good!

In the next season I choose to be an active participant in my life.  To not sit back and wait but to daily see God in new ways.  To actively name His characteristics and seek to recognize who He is daily. To identify Him as more than Jireh in the sense of financial provider, but the “one who sees to it” and takes care of every area of my life.  I will strive to recognize Him as El Shaddai, the all sufficient one, who has everything I need and ample supply in and for ALL parts of my existence.   Lastly, I’ll understand that He is El Roi, the one who sees me and is concerned about my well-being. 

A Time To

Ecclesiastes 3 starts with a simple yet profound statement “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven”.  The writer then explains comprehensively every season of life.  Not the literal seasons of winter, spring, summer and fall, but the phases of life that we will all experience as we journey through.  

My observation is that figuring out the right time to react, respond, and rejoice are keys to navigating cheerfully and effectively. 

Aside from birth and death we have the ability to make choices regarding the events that enter our lives whether they were planned or unexpected. 

Traversing the developments that present in our days is not as easy as it may seem.  Due to our attachment to emotions we often allow life events to dictate our response instead of being firm, fixed and forceful to continue on the decided pathway. 

We can become dismayed when it is time to “pluck up that which is planted” because we have enjoyed the process of watching it germinate and cultivate into something both beautiful and useful failing to understand that it cannot be beneficial unless it is garnered. 

We become confused when the things we have grown accustomed and comfortable with are at the point of crumbling or faulty and need breaking down in order for a new start to occur.  

We dread the moments that cause us to weep (even when they may be moments that cause others to laugh) all while knowing that joy is coming in the morning.  And we loathe the times of mourning when we know it is a part of the ‘circle of life’.  We often fail to rejoice with others because we are focused on our personal results. Learning to respect and rally around others instead of being inward focused changes our perspective and ultimately our outlook and the outcome of our lives causing us to recognize more times to dance!

We must never neglect the time to dance! We cannot push it off or “wait until the next time” because we have no idea when it will come again.

The great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. advised, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” There is a time to keep silent, but equally so “a time to speak”.  We must choose wisely and stand up and out for what we believe is right.

Love is both simple and complex. It is confused by many and labeled incorrectly more times than not, but it is always “a time to love”.  Who you love should not be selective, only who you are intimate with.  We should love all mankind.   This is inclusive to those who hate us and those who love us back.  

In conclusion, when we learn to properly react, respond, and rejoice to the stimuli of life we will then find the journey is to be anticipated and purely amazing! 

Updating Your Preferences

Somewhere along the way we were told that we cannot change what we like.  Someone impressed upon us once your preferences are declared they can never be altered. I do not know who disseminated that thought system, but I am here to tell you otherwise.

We are constantly developing.  Science confirms that our sense of smell and taste change as we age.  It also informs that are body has the ability to adapt based on external stimuli such as our environment.  Blood vessels constrict in cold weather to help conserve body heat, and the body redistributes blood throughout the body when it is in high altitudes to decrease the amount of blood to digestive organs and increases blood flow to the brain, heart and lungs to protect the vital organs. Change occurs autonomously in our bodies to provide the best result for our wellbeing. 

As we become more aware of the world around us through travel, technological advances and our personal contact with diverse cultures and ethnicities we are exposed to new things in every capacity.  New flowers, insects, fruits, clothing, food choices, landscapes, languages, etc. The knowledge of new things grants us the ability to make modifications to what we prefer due to the enormity of selections. 

When I was young my favorite color was cornflower blue.  As I aged my favorite color changed to midnight blue, then hot pink and then again to purple.  I used to love to eat yogurt, but it is a rare occasion that I consume it now.  I would not allow myself to taste coffee until I was in my mid-thirties and now it is a morning staple.  As a teenager I loved short haircuts; but as a seasoned woman I prefer hair that is more easily styled and maintained.

Statistics state that professional’s review and update their reference list at least once a year.  A yearly assessment is done to determine if the person is still in the position and in relationship with you to provide the best benefit for you going forward. 

If we can update our references annually we should also be comfortable updating our preferences.  We do not have to keep the same friends, hang out at the same locations, and eat at the same restaurants year after year.  It is OK to determine that you prefer some people, places and things more or less than you prefer others and more or less than you liked them at a certain point in time.  Perhaps the “nouns” in your life have changed and are no longer beneficial or bring satisfaction, but conceivably you are the one who has changed.  Nonetheless, permission is granted to promote your current preferences! Do it now because you cannot be sure when you will transform again!   

A Chance

I am not asking for special favors or privileges extended

I am just asking for you to look at me through unbiased lenses

I am looking for an opportunity to operate with integrity and function in my skill

I am not understanding why me being me seems like a violation of your will

Why is what I bring to the table not welcome on your plate

Is it that you feel my uniqueness and brilliance in the room your presence will negate

Is it because when you finally pry the door open we not only run in

But in a one on one battle we decisively win?

In basketball and football we dominated

And my devoted sisters are now the most educated!

We are innovative, creative and very resourceful

Despite of the world around us describing our understanding as being void and null

I am not asking for accolades

Only acknowledgement of who I am

An intelligent and inspiring person who is

demanding the basics

And that is simply a chance!