Called To Greatness

Did you know you are called to greatness? Have you ever felt like there is more to this life than what is going on now? I believe that we are all called to greatness and to do extraordinary things in this world.

To better understand what greatness means, I Googled the word ‘greatness’ to see what the definition would be. That’s right, I used Google…because you know, Google knows everything! The word greatness means: the quality of being great, distinguished, or eminent. To break it down further, the word distinguished means to be successful and great respect, while eminent means being famous or respected, the presence of a positive quality. God can use us in extraordinary ways. I am not saying to try to be famous, but we should have a positive quality about us that people see Jesus and see His goodness. But, never sell yourself short. God can use you in extraordinary ways. I believe God wants to use His children in great ways. Why? Because He loves us and wants the world to see His goodness through us.

However, never allow doubt, fear, or inadequacy stop you from fulfilling the purpose God has for your life. You may feel like you are inadequate or can’t be a world changer. You may feel like your past is hindering you from moving forward or you may be thinking, “How can God use me?” But, this I know, God doesn’t remind you of your past; rather, He reminds you of your future. God likes to take the ordinary and turn them into extraordinary. He uses the ordinary in extraordinary ways. The Bible is full of examples. Take Moses for an example. In Exodus 3-4, Moses was tending flock and led the flock to the back of the dessert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. An angel appeared before him, and behold, a bush was in flames but not consumed. The Lord spoke to Moses and called him to lead His people (the Israelites) out of Egypt. God showed Moses various signs and reassured Moses that He would be with him as he spoke to Pharaoh (ruler of Egypt). However, Moses tried to make excuses as to why he couldn’t talk to Pharaoh. He felt like his speech wasn’t good enough. Even though God told Moses He would be with him, Moses still felt inadequate. In Exodus 4:10 [NKJV], it says, “Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but, I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”” God reassured Moses by saying (in verse 11 & 12), “…Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”

Never doubt your abilities. God showed Moses His power, and used Moses in significant ways. What God did for him, He can do for you. With God on your side, who can stop you? God will help strengthen your abilities and will not give you more than you can handle. Expect God to do great things in your life. You are destined for greatness. 1 Corinthians 2:9 [NKJV] says, “But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” Philippians 1:6 [NKJV] says, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

God has an amazing purpose for your life, what He started in you, He will complete. People may not understand and may be jealous of where you are headed. There may be people or friends in your life who may try to bring you down to their level. There may be some naysayers who will use their words to bring discouragement and bully. But, always remember this, God holds your destiny. Don’t allow what people say or do stop you from moving forward. You are a blessing looking for an opportunity. God’s favor surrounds you like a shield according to Psalm 5:12. My grandpa (who was a pastor) taught me from a young age that when saying my morning prayers, declare that I would not let people, things, circumstances, or worry rob me of my joy that day. Same for you, don’t allow people, things, circumstances, or worry rob you of your joy today! You are called to greatness! Let your words and actions show it. Instead of making excuses like Moses, know you are able to accomplish what is before you. It is in our weaknesses God is made strong. Instead of walking around all doom and gloom, walk confidently and victoriously, for you are a King’s kid!

You are Called To Greatness.

 

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It Is Time

I don’t know about you, but I am to the point where I can hardly listen to the news anymore. The chaos and evilness that is occurring in America, let alone the whole world, is overwhelming at times. Reports of wars, innocent blood shed, bullying, brink of a financial collapse, prices increasing, propaganda, healthcare being shoved down our throats, IRS scandals, VA scandals, lying, deception, murders…it is enough to make someone want to go hide under a rock! I have come to the point of limiting my news consumption and to focus on other things. However, among the chaos, my question is: where is the Church? Where are the Christians?

In Revelation, it talks about the seven churches. Each church received a warning and urged to repent. One church that was mentioned: the Lukewarm Church. Revelation 3:14-22 is directed to the Church in Laodicea, but I believe it is so relevant for the Church in America today. Jesus said, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”-Revelation 3:15-16 [NIV]. There are too many Christians and too many churches in America that are lukewarm. They are neither cold or hot. You are either for Christ or not. You are either grateful for what He did on the cross for you, or not. You either love Him sincerely or you don’t. It can’t be both ways. What I don’t understand is how some pastors and Christians can be only “Sunday” Christians and not Christians 24/7. IF you boldly profess to be a Christ follower, yet contradict everything you preach…how is that even possible? There are too many pastors and Christians who willingly compromise their convictions to be loved by the world. Therefore, they steer away from preaching about sin and the power of salvation, that Jesus dying on the cross for the world will free them from their bondage of sin, addiction, fear, doubt, anxiety, depression, loneliness, etc. That is too controversial, I guess. No wonder America is messed up!

I truly believe that Jesus’ return is so near and closer than we think. It Is Time for the Church to be the Church. It Is Time for Christians to take their relationship with Jesus Christ seriously. It Is Time for Churches to STOP being so focused on fame and fortune, and get outside their four walls and help America. Something that just absolutely cooks my grits, is when pastors and Christians in churches think they are “too good” to approach other people who may not be in the same “league”, “socioeconomic”, “status” as them. Did Jesus ever do that? OF COURSE NOT!! He was right there with the humble. Jesus reached out to those hurting. He healed the blind, caused the lame to walk, walked among the lepers…Jesus was never “too good” to be around those who were in need of help. I want to ask some of these pastors and Christians, “Who do you think you are? You didn’t get where you are at by your own works. You got where you are at because of God. Don’t forget it!” I wouldn’t actually say that to them, but you get my point. James 2:1-4 [AMP] says, “My brethren, pay no servile regard to people [show no prejudice, no partiality]. Do not [attempt to] hold and practice the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ [the Lord] of glory [together with snobbery]! For if a person comes into your congregation whose hands are adorned with gold rings and who is wearing splendid apparel, and also a poor [man] in shabby clothes comes in, and you pay special attention to the one who wears the splendid clothes and say to him, “Sit here in this preferable seat!” while you tell the poor [man], “Stand there!” or, “Sit there on the floor at my feet!” Are you not discriminating among your own and becoming critics and judges with wrong motives?”

It Is Time for Christians to be Christians. This whole “I will be holy on Sunday” and act like the world Monday-Saturday is sad. People who are not Christians are looking. Those who are trying to make a decision whether or not to be a Christian, watch too. They look to see if Christianity is real. Those who profess Christianity, they are walking testimonies and it would be a shame if their message became tainted and discredited because they were seen at a bar kicking back 5 shots of whiskey, 3 shots of rum, and 2 large glasses of beer, cussing profusely. Or, what is worse…is when you see the worship leader at a church buying a variety of cases of beer. If I didn’t know he was a worship leader, I would have thought no big deal. But, because I knew he was the worship leader, it changed my views of him (I actually saw this happen). You never know who is watching.

As Christians, we are ambassadors of Jesus Christ. When people see us, they should be seeing Jesus. We are called to be light in this dark world. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus-not just saying it but doing it. America needs help! If the Church would just stand on the Word of God and do what God commanded, to love one another…oh my gosh, can you imagine!?! Pastors need to stop being afraid of mentioning Jesus, sin, or America because they don’t want to “offend” people. Jesus said in John 12:32 [NIV] “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” When we honor Him, He will honor us. Christians can help America by electing politicians who uphold values, morals…better yet, Godly principles. Christians can help America by feeding the poor, help clothe the less fortunate, help the widows and orphans. Christians can help guide the youth in America by helping them reach their fullest potential and encourage them that God has a purpose for their life. Christians can stop bullying in the church by helping the bully and the victim. The Church can be a safe haven for those who are lost, scared, or have no hope. When people walk into church, they should be able to experience the love that the Father has for them, not judgment.

The good news: there is hope! It is not too late and it starts with you and me. Together, lets be the change the Church needs. We can start by showing kindness and God’s love to those around us. We can start by sharing words of kindness to those we come in contact with. We can start by encouraging our friends and family. We can start by posting encouraging tweets on Twitter and statuses on Facebook that are uplifting to the Father. I challenge you today to make a difference. Each day, purpose to make a difference in the life of someone else. Like I mentioned before, there is so much evil in this world. But, let us not be shaken and share hope. As hate increases, let our love increase. Together, we can share the faith, hope, and love that we have in Jesus Christ. Jesus said that when we lift Him up, He will draw all men near to Him. Jesus’ return is so near and there is no time to waste. Together, we can be the change and show the world that we are Christians who mean what we say and do.

It Is Time!

 

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Enough is Enough!

Every day 160,000 students stay home in fear of bullying. When bullying occurs, 4% of adults intervene, while 11% of peers intervene. However, a whopping 85% do NOTHING! When people see bullying, 85% do NOTHING! Are those not tragic statistics? I am firm believer of the saying “10% of a problem is 90% how you handle it.” When people just stand there and watch the bullying occur, they are (I believe) contributing to the problem rather than handling it. They are just as much to blame. This even includes the church.

What I am about to say may sound harsh, but it is something that needs to be said because I am sure there are those of you reading this who have thought or felt the same way. It is time for the Church TO BE THE CHURCH. Enough is Enough! It breaks my heart when Christians bully and churches allow it. Are we not supposed to be the hands and feet of Jesus? Did not Jesus say He “did not come to be served but to serve”? Why then are there Christians who act like they need to be served? Why are there Christians who usurp their will upon others? Why are there Christians who feel like they can label people? Jesus said he without sin cast the first stone. No one is greater than another in the sight of God. God shows no partiality. Galatians 5:26 [MSG] says, “…we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.” James 2 is very clear on partiality, that we should not look at someone who has fine jewelry and favor them, while we snub those who don’t look the same. James 2:2-4 [NKJV] says, “For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You stand there,” or “Sit here at my footstool,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?”

Time and time again, I have seen this very thing happen in churches. The worst part of it is, I have seen pastors show partiality, and participate in the bullying or excusing it, “sweeping it under the rug” so to speak. All throughout my life, I was bullied by “Christians” in the Christian schools and church. It broke my heart because I didn’t understand why people would treat me so hatefully. I share my story in my book, “Bullied Yet Victorious: How I Overcame Fear with Faith.” In high school, I was bullied at a church. To make a long story short, two women spread vicious rumors about me that spread like wildfire in this church my family and I attended. Sad thing is, I was 16 at the time and these women were 36 years old. To make matters worse, the youth pastor believed the lies and would not give me an opportunity to defend myself. My parents decided that it would be best if we left the church because we were not going to continue staying at a church that professed “Christ”, yet accepted the lies spoken over my family and me. After we left the church, my mom received an email from the pastor’s wife (pastor of the church) asking why we left. My mom emailed her back telling her what occurred and how two women spread vicious lies and gossip across the church. My family and I were flabbergasted when we received the pastor’s wife’s response. She sent us a very hateful email, not believing us because the two women who spread the lies…were her best friends! For the longest time, I struggled going to church and looking at people in the eyes. I was traumatized by what occurred, but somehow, I knew it was not God’s fault. I didn’t know why I was going through that trial, but now I do. I don’t regret going through what I went through because it gives me the opportunity to share my story with you. It blows me away how God gives beauty for ashes.

One summer, I was at a church in Dallas. One of the youth pastors spoke and talked about showing kindness. He told us that one summer he was leading camp and encouraged students to make a difference. He said one boy came up to him crying because he was being bullied by other peers at camp. The other boys accused him of being “gay” because he was happy, smiling, and full of joy. I was saddened when I heard that story. The youth pastor went on to say the boys began spreading that accusation on Instagram by posting hurtful things on this young man’s account. However, NOT once did I hear the pastor say what he DID to stop it! The young man was not gay, he was just happy. Is it wrong for a young man to be happy and joyful? Of course not! I don’t know who those bullies are, but to put labels on others are wrong. I am so tired of people professing to be “Christians” and go to church singing “Hallelujah” and turn around and start bullying. Where is Jesus in all of this? Churches treat bullying like it’s a taboo topic, but maybe if they actually talked about bullying and how words hurt….just maybe it would stop in the church. The church needs to stop putting its head in the sand!

This is the problem, Christians are taught to “turn the other cheek” because Jesus said so. But, I also believe that if Jesus were here on earth right now, he would intervene by addressing the situation. After all, he intervened when the religious were about to stone a woman accused of adultery. I can’t imagine Him standing there seeing bullying occur and walking by, not saying anything. Therefore, I do not think it is right for Christians to just stand there and do nothing. When bullying occurs in the church, it wounds people. People can become bitter, resentful, and even lose faith. And guess what? That will lay heavily on the church.

In 1 John, John is constantly telling us to “love one another.” Why then, is it so hard for Christians to love one another? We are the Body of Christ! We can’t exclude or cut out a member, just because he or she may look different or act different. We are all working toward the same common goal. That goal is sharing the hope and love of Jesus Christ.

I want to encourage those of you reading this, if you were ever bullied by the Church, I apologize. Hurting others is not the heart of God. I apologize to you if you have been bullied or hurt by the Church. God has you in His hands and He has an amazing purpose for you. A counselor once told me, “Don’t put your trust in people, for people will fail you. Rather, put your trust in God because He will NEVER fail you.” If there are people who have put negative labels on you, don’t listen to them. Who are they anyway? It doesn’t matter what others say about you; what matters is what God says about you. You are a blessing. You are priceless. You are valuable. You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are smart. You are an overcomer. You are victorious. God has a way of turning things around on your behalf. What the enemy meant for harm, God turns around for our good for those who love Him according to His purpose-Romans 8:28. One of the greatest things you can do is pray for those who have bullied you. Ask God to heal your heart, to help you forgive those who hurt you, but more importantly, for Him to change the hearts of those who have bullied. God can do it! He helped me to overcome bullying. I know He can help you too!

The church is a place for worship, praise, healing, help, guidance, and fellowship. How does bullying fit into this? It doesn’t. Enough is Enough!

 

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Show Compassion Will You?

I know that I haven’t written any blogs in a while, but now I am playing catch up. I meant to write this a few weeks ago, but life was so busy I forgot to. So, here I am today just sharing what has been on my heart lately.

A few weeks ago, I was in my room reading my Bible before my mom and I left to go shopping. As I was sitting there on my bed, I happened to flip over to Luke chapter 7. There were so many things that really stood out in that whole passage, it blew me away. But, what amazed me the most was the compassion Jesus Christ showed toward others. In Luke 7:11-17, it talks about this widow who lost her son. As her son (her only son) was being carried out in his casket, the widow began weeping and a large crowd was with her. Jesus saw what was going on and Luke 7:13-15 says, “When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.” Jesus saw the pain and hurt the mother was in, and He was moved with compassion. What does compassion mean? According to Webster Dictionary, compassion means: deep sympathy. Jesus had deep sympathy for the widow.

Or what about the woman who was a sinner and washed Jesus’ feet with extravagant oil? Jesus showed great compassion toward her. Luke 7:36-50 talks about how Simon (a Pharisee) asked Jesus over to his house to eat. When Jesus was over at Simon’s place, it says in verse 37-38, “And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.” This passage goes on to say how Simon, a Pharisee-a religious person, chastised the woman and couldn’t believe that a so called “Prophet” would allow a sinner of all people, to touch His feet. However, I love what Jesus said. He didn’t just stand there and let Simon put both of them down. As Jesus turned toward the woman, He told Simon, ““Do you see this woman? I entered into your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”” Luke 7:44-48 [NKJV]. Jesus saw the heart of the woman and had compassion toward her. He saw her intentions which were pure, not trying to gain anything from her actions.

It amazes me how compassionate Jesus is, yet it is hard to find Christians these days who are. I mean think about it, Jesus had compassion on you too, to the point He went to the cross for your sins and shame. He bore your sins so that you could have a relationship with God and spend eternity with Him. Jesus took on your guilt on the cross, so you can be presented faultless before God when you see Him face to face. How mind blowing is that?

I know we are all human, and there is no perfect person (or Christian). Please know I am not here to bash Christianity because I too, believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. However, I have seen so often “Christians” act religious and treat others just like the way Simon treated the woman who washed Jesus’ feet. I have seen “Christians” who say things because they feel like it’s the right thing to say, but not do what they say they are going to do. I have seen “Christians” not show compassion toward others, rather they are stuck on themselves. Jesus wasn’t focused on Himself, He was focused on others. He didn’t make life all about Him, but rather about His Heavenly Father. As Christians, we are ambassadors of Christ…why then is hard to find “Christians” who are compassionate like Him?

I want to challenge you today to go beyond yourself and reach out to others. Show compassion. Everyone has a story, and you never know what someone else may be going through. And, if you are going to profess to be a Christ follower but then don’t act like Christ…you make Christ lose all credibility to outsiders looking in. I want to challenge you to pray and ask God to show you how you can be blessing to others, not so you can gain something from it…but to truly show the love of God to others. Don’t be like those “Christians” who just give lip service but no actions follow. Religion is mere talk. Christianity isn’t religion, but relationship. Show others the difference. Show compassion will you?

 

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Bullied Yet Victorious

Have you heard about the book “Bullied Yet Victorious” or have you seen the commercial? There are many people who do not know that I have written a book. I would like to use this opportunity to share the reason and purpose I wrote, “Bullied Yet Victorious: How I Overcame Fear with Faith.” But, first I would like to tell you that this Saturday, February 22nd, I will be having my first book signing event at Firewheel Coffee in Garland, TX, from 1:00-3:00PM.

In the summer of 2011, before I started my junior year in college, I was sitting in my room thinking about the bazar bullying incidents I endured growing up. As I sat there recalling what occurred, I grabbed my computer and began to type away. I began writing the incidents as if I were talking to someone and within a few days, I finished my book. I read it to my mom and she recommended I get it published. In my junior year, I was on the search for a publisher to accept my manuscript. I knew what I wrote would encourage the reader. I knew that I had been given this book for a reason. As the search continued, I began to get discouraged because publishers were not accepting solicited manuscripts. I was disappointed because I knew this was a dream God had given me, yet I wasn’t seeing doors opening.

In the summer of 2012, I received an unexpected email from a representative at a Christian publishing company. The rep requested that I send him my manuscript and notified me that within a few weeks, they would inform me of their decision. It was less than a week when I received an answer…”Congratulations, we would be honored to publish your book.” I was ecstatic! I couldn’t believe it! Finally, someone was interested in my story! I was stepping closer to the dream God had given me.

In the summer of 2013, my book was nationally released-on July 23rd, to be exact. The first challenge I faced was finding a publisher. The second challenge I am facing is spreading the word-getting the word out about the book. I didn’t realize how tough it would be! However, I choose to believe that every day is a step closer to fulfilling the dream God has given me. Whatever challenge that arises, it just makes us stronger! God’s timing is ALWAYS perfect! We may not understand it, we may not see things happen right away, but we have to trust in His PERFECT timing.

If you are wondering what my dream is, I will tell you. I was bullied all throughout my life. When people see me, they have a hard time believing it because they say, “You don’t look like a bullied victim, you look like the popular girl at school” or “Why should people listen to you? You look like someone who has been raised with a silver spoon in your mouth.” Both statements are false and judgmental. I didn’t realize that to be a victim, you have to have a “look.” I am not a rich person, my parents never raised me with a “silver spoon in my mouth.”  Sadly, the bullying took place in the Christian environment-Christian schools and church. I was a straight ‘A’ student, athlete, involved in extracurricular activities, and involved in church; yet, I was bullied. However, I love what Romans 8:28 [NKJV] says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” What the enemy meant for harm, God turned around for my good.

Bullying hurts. Bullying is real and it can happen to anyone. I am living proof of that. However, I learned that it doesn’t matter what bullies say about me. What matters is what GOD says about me. In the Bible, He says I am blessed, overcomer, worthy, beautiful, smart, priceless, and victorious. There is truly hope in the Lord. I wouldn’t have not been able to face bullying if it were not for relying on the Word of God and realizing I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength according to Philippians 4:13.

I wrote “Bullied Yet Victorious” to encourage teens who have faced bullying or dealing with bullying. I share my personal encounters starting in the second grade (I was bullied by my teacher/principal) all the way to college (I felt like I was living in a movie my freshmen year of college). I encourage the reader to dream big and know that God will help them through. This upcoming generation needs help and their self-esteem built. Every time I hear on the news that a teen was bullied or a teen committed suicide due to bullying, it breaks my heart. IF only someone would have helped. IF only someone would have stood up and told the victim, “Don’t give up, you have a purpose. It doesn’t matter what bullies say, they don’t define you. You are more than what they say. You are victorious. You are an overcomer and God loves you very much.”

That is my dream. That is my message. Bullies don’t determine your future, God does. Bullies come and go, but God is everlasting. Don’t let the words of bullies get you down. You have a purpose according to Jeremiah 29:11 and wonderfully made according to Psalm 139:13-16. You are a blessing!

My dream is to write more books; but, while on this journey, encourage teens they have a purpose. I believe God has given me this book as a platform to testify His goodness and uplift, encourage the broken hearted. My heart’s desire is to speak at conferences, youth groups, and churches. I  want to challenge churches to be the church…bullying should not even be happening in churches. I don’t believe that is what God intended for the church. In my opinion, bullying can hurt worse when it happens at church. I was devastated and didn’t want to go to church for a long time because I was bullied by church members my junior year of high school. I didn’t blame God for what happened, but I couldn’t believe how people who professed to be “Christians” were so mean and hateful. Bullying in the church can cause serious damage. In 1 John, John constantly mentions how we should love one another. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength…and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Why then, is it hard for some “Christians” to truly show the love of God?

If you have been bullied or dealing with bullying, I want to encourage you that you are meant for so much more. You have been created for such a time as this. God has a wonderful purpose for you. You are priceless, worthy, smart, beautiful, overcomer, and you are, victorious. You are Bullied Yet Victorious.

Faith in The Storm

The past couple weeks, I have not blogged due to life. However, there is a topic that has been on my heart lately that I would like to share with you. It is about having faith in the storm. I believe more people need to be encouraged that regardless of the circumstances we face, God is for us. He is always there and even when it seems quiet, God is there. He promises us in His word that He will never leave us or forsake us, Hebrews 13:5-6.

In college, I majored in Communication and Government. I find government/politics very interesting, but I cannot stand how dirty it is. Why can’t the people we elect to represent us on Capitol Hill walk out integrity, honesty, and leadership? Sometimes listening to the news can be overwhelming, to the point, I have to turn the channel. All of the nonsense that is occurring and how “We The People” are losing our freedoms, liberty, and privacy…it is scary! America is not like what it used to be and I don’t think we will ever be the same. However, this is not the point of my blog.

In spite of a shaky economy, broken healthcare system, unstable government, and financial hardships…always remember that God is with you. I love how in Psalm 37: 25-26, King David said, “I have been young and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging for bread. He is ever merciful and lends; and his descendants are blessed.” God promises that He will take care of you. Jesus said in Luke, if God cares about the sparrows, how much more of value are you to the Father? If you are concerned about your future, don’t be! I know it is easier said than done, believe me, I know. But, one of the greatest things we can do is trust and have faith that the Lord is working out all things for our good. We may not see the results we want right away; but, one thing I learned, God doesn’t operate on our time frame. God is working behind the scenes, so to speak, on your behalf. He is perfecting those things that concern you, Psalm 138:8.

If you are facing circumstances or issues that you cannot control, and you are troubled by it, God will be there to help you through. In Psalm 107, King David talked about how we should be grateful and show thanks to the Lord for His goodness. But, he also goes on to share examples of God’s goodness and mercy. A perfect example of God’s support, mercy, and grace in the time of trouble is Psalm 107:23-31. Many people are familiar with the story in the New Testament of how Jesus and his disciples were in a boat when a storm hit. The storm came, the winds blew, and the disciples were panicking asking Jesus for help. Jesus calmed the storm by saying, “Peace be still” and told the disciples, “Oh you of little faith.” However, did you know that there is a similar story mentioned in Psalm 107? I was reading Psalm 107 the other day and found this to be interesting.

“Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters, they see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep. For He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves to the heavens, they go down again to the depths; their soul melts because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” ~Psalm 107:23-31

The fishermen were troubled by the storm, yet they cried out to God for help. God not only calmed the storm, but He guided them to their destination. Often times in life, we face challenges that are like “storms.” We face circumstances that hit us hard and unexpectedly; the winds of life appear drastic and shake us up. Are you facing a “storm” right now? I love how in these verses you see compassion from the Lord, “…He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, so that its waves are still…He guides them to their desired haven.” God did three things: brought them out of distress, calmed the storm, and guided them to their destination.

I believe that God is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. Just like the fishermen, I believe that God can pull you out of your distress, calm the storms of life around you, and guide you to where you need to be. However, one of the greatest things you can do is pray…pray and ask the Lord for help. Invite Him in to your circumstances and believe, trust, have faith that God will work all things out on your behalf. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call unto Me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Stay focused on what God has done for you and be excited for what God has in store for you. God is a good God. He is faithful, and I know that He has a purpose for you. How do I know that? Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Have faith in the time of trouble. I have heard this quote many times, “Don’t tell God how big your problem is. Tell your problem how big your God is.” God is a great God. The same God who parted the Red Sea for Moses… is the same God who is there for you. The same God who helped David overcome a giant… is the same God who is there for you. The same God who saved Daniel’s three friends from the fiery furnace…is the same God who is there for you. The same God who loves the world so much that He gave His one and only Son to die for us and our sins…is the same God who is there for you.

Be encouraged today, to not let what is going on around you personally or in the United States to steal your joy. Don’t focus on the circumstances, rather keep your focus on the Lord and give thanks. Greater things are to come and the storm you are facing is only temporary. I believe your break through is on the way, and the sun is fixing to burst through those storm clouds.

Have Faith in The Storm!

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He Is My King

The Christmas season is in full swing with the hustle and bustle of traffic, shopping, bargains, food, family, parties, baking, and traditions. First, I would like to say that I cannot believe that in two days it is Christmas. Second, I cannot believe how fast December has flown by. Can you believe the first of 2014 is next week? This is all too fast for me! But, despite the fast paced holidays, this time of the month can cause great reflection, memories, and traditions that are shared among families. However, the true meaning of Christmas can become overshadowed with the stress of trying to accomplish plans made in order to make Christmas Day spectacular.

I have a Sheltie. He is 13 years old but still has a puppy’s heart. He is so adorable, especially now that he has a Christmas sweater! Every year, for 13 years, I purchase little presents so he has something to unwrap on Christmas morning. Well, this year, he found his presents early. He found the goodies, and helped himself to a bone. Unfortunately, he spoiled his surprise. Therefore, today, I managed to brave the storm and went to Pet Smart. When I say storm, I don’t mean the icy weather that is hitting the northern part of the United States. I mean the flood of cars, the horrendous traffic that DFW has, the furry of shoppers, the tension between people as they gather their last minute gifts. This goes to show how spoiled my dog is! I managed to go out into society, just to get him a bone. Actually, two bones-it was a fabulous bargain! Unfortunately, the Pet Smart that I go to is right next to a Best Buy and a grocery store. It appeared like everyone and their mother was out today. Bumper to bumper traffic, crazy drivers…there was a moment where I wanted to pull my hair. The slow pokes, the speeders, the cautious, and the cutter-offers were all out today. I wanted to ask (more like yell), “Where did you get your drivers license?” If people would just move it! Trying really hard not to get frustrated, I happened to notice the man driving the vehicle in front of me. He was alone, shaking his head, throwing up his hands, smacking his steering wheel as if he were pitching a fit in his truck. After seeing his actions, it made me wonder if he looked forward to Christmas or if he had family to celebrate with. He appeared intolerant and agitated. Of course, he could have had a blue tooth on and was caring on due to the conversation. But, it caused me to ponder and reflect. This time of year, it is easy to become stressed out rather than walking in peace, love, and joy. We become so consumed with the holidays, that I often wonder if people miss the real reason for Christmas. Preparing for the holidays can be exhausting, but I think if we focus on the real reason for Christmas, it helps to put things back into perspective.

I am a Christian and I believe that God sent His Only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sins. John 3:16 says, ” For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” The real reason my family and I celebrate Christmas is to remember the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Can you imagine the day He was born? I mean think about it, during your childhood, was there ever a gift you wanted so bad and looked so forward to, you couldn’t wait for it? You just knew that you knew you were going to receive it, but didn’t know when? That is what I imagine Israel went through. In the Bible, Isaiah prophesied the coming of a Savior who would save humanity. Matthew chapter 1 and 2 talks about the birth of Jesus.  In Matthew 1:20-23 says, “But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him [Joseph] in a dream saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Sprit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins. So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God is with us.”” But, when Jesus came, the Jews didn’t see him. They didn’t recognize him to be the Messiah. They demanded a murderer be released and Jesus sent to be executed. The injustice Christ faced literally blows my mind! Here the Jews waited for this glorious gift that they heard about for hundreds of years, and when He finally showed up- they mocked Him, betrayed Him, threw rocks at Him, spat on Him, and denied Him. He died on the cross for us, yet His own people couldn’t stand Him. Jesus was sent to earth to save us from our sins so that we may be reconciled with God and spend eternity with Him.

Yes, Christmas is about family time, serving, giving, resting, and following traditions. But, it is also about the birth of Jesus Christ. It blows my mind how people can be so offended by the name Jesus or Christ. Regardless of how you celebrate Christmas, I am thankful that the King of Kings, Prince of Peace, and Lords of Lords was born. I am so grateful that He Is My King. The clip below shows why I celebrate Christmas.

As you and your family prepare for Christmas day, I pray that you don’t miss the time spent with each other. Embrace the company, joy, grace, love, and peace…and try not to stress out!

Hope you have a wonderful and blessed Merry Christmas!