“Please Don’t Give Up On Me”

Do you feel like you always seem to do something that’s not pleasing to God? Have you ever felt like the more you try to do right, the more you end up doing wrong? I have!

It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong (Romans 7:21 TLB).

I believe God already knew that we would make mistakes; that we would mess up; that we would make poor decisions. He knew and yet He still loves us.

It is written: Where sin did abound His Grace does abound the more (Romans 5:20).

I was recently having a conversation with a friend and I shared that I have made the entirety of Psalm 119 (TPT) my daily declaration. There is one verse that has become my daily supplication: “Please Don’t Give Up On Me (Psalm 119:8 TPT).” She looked at me in an inquisitive way. I nodded “yes,” to assure her she heard me correctly. One thing I am certain of is, no matter how many great exploits I do for the Lord, I make just as many (if not more) mistakes and fleshly decisions. So, I have purposed in my heart to remain humble and maintain this stance: “Please Don’t Give Up On Me God.” I am grateful that I have moved beyond the self-pity and self-guilt in those times that I miss it. I forgive myself. I am patient with myself and I am honest with God. With humility comes God’s Grace.

It is written: But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (James 4:6).

So, That Settles It. Just be honest with God. Confess your weaknesses to Him and ask Him to help you in those areas that are a continuous struggle. By no means is this a license to sin and live recklessly, but this is a reminder that we are human and flawed; and we will miss the mark. But we give thanks that God’s Grace is sufficient. In those times that you feel unworthy of His forgiveness and His love, let your prayer be, “Please Don’t Give Up On Me.”

“No, He Won’t Do It…”

Happy New Year!

So, I am just going to get right to it. I am not even going to try and ease my way into it – I’m just going to dive right in…

One of the sayings or colloquialisms that I am not particularly fond of is “Won’t He Do It.” Don’t ask me why; I really have no justification as to why I don’t like it, I just don’t like it. Maybe it’s because it has been overused and improperly used; nevertheless, that’s my choice, I don’t like it. Maybe it’s because the reality is: No, He Won’t Do It…not always. Wow! You read that correctly – No, He Won’t Do It…not always.

I recently walked through a situation where there was something that I really wanted and I really believed it was God sent. I spent much time praying and fasting asking God for confirmation after confirmation. I was excited and hopeful that the answer would be “Yes,” but I was still careful (according to my ability) to try not to move too quickly until I had peace and confirmation from God. So, in the end, the answer was no (or at least now right now). Initially, I was upset – I was upset with God – I was just upset. But then He reminded me of my prayer that I prayed boldly to Him: “God if this is not from You, shut the door and let me (or anyone else) not be able to pry it open.” Now, my truth is when I prayed that prayer, I hoped it would be an open door because it was from Him; but just in case it wasn’t from Him, I trust Him to protect me and keep me from making a mistake that could potentially cause me harm and/or take me out of His Will. But the door was closed. So, to answer your question “Won’t He do it,” – No, He Won’t Do It…not always. Before you think it, NO I am NOT bitter. I am grateful because I know He Won’t Do It if it’s something that is going to hinder your purpose. He Won’t Do It if it’s something that is going to hurt you. He Won’t Do It if it is something that is going to take you outside of His Perfect Will. He Won’t Do It if there is going to be trouble and pain for you down the road that you can’t see right now. He Won’t Do It if it is not His best for you. Oftentimes we want God to do what we want, when we want it, but can we trust Him when He doesn’t do it? Can we trust that He has something better for us?

There’s a story in scripture (2 Samuel 12), David was praying and fasting asking God to save his child; but the child still died. What confounded the servants and the people around David was when the child died, he got up; he cleansed himself up; he ate; and he praised the Lord. Not long after that the Lord blessed him to conceive a son. What am I saying? See what happened??? David wanted God to do one thing, but even though God didn’t do it, David yet praised the Lord. Then God allowed him to conceive a son. Do you trust God? Will you still praise Him even if He doesn’t give you what you want? Could it be that’s what He’s waiting to see?

So, That Settles It. To answer the question, “Won’t He do it,” – No, He Won’t Do It…not always. Sorry not sorry. If it is not His best; if it is not in His Divine timing; if it is not His will, No, He Won’t Do It. We just have to trust that if God says “No,” it’s because He has something better in mind for us and/or He is protecting us. This is where our faith is tested and strengthened. He loves us and He does not want us to settle. Even if the thing before us is the best thing that we have seen thus far, it does not mean that it is His best. Read that again. Even if the thing before us is the best that we have seen thus far, it does not mean that it is His best. So, be encouraged. Trust Him – even when He says “No.”

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~Proverbs 3:5-6

“I Am Doing A Great Work; I Cannot Come Down”

As we near the end of this year, I want to encourage you to finish what you started (whatever it is). No matter what may come your way, your attitude has to be: “I’m Doing A Great Work; I Cannot Come Down.”

There is a story in the Bible about a man named Nehemiah who was working to rebuild a wall for his people. When the work was almost done, some Opposers, Enemies, Haters, Naysayers, (you fill in the blank______), tried to distract him so that he wouldn’t finish.

Nehemiah’s response: “I knew they were scheming to hurt me so I sent messengers back with this: I’m Doing A Great Work; I Cannot Come Down. Why should the work come to a standstill just so I can come down to see you?” {Nehemiah 6:1-3 MSG}

Whenever you are doing a Great Work, you can rest assured there will always be opposition, Messengers of Satan, who will try to get you distracted and discouraged. Their assignment is to get you off course, and ultimately, to make you quit. So, here are a few tips to help you recognize and combat Satan’s devices, so you can Finish Strong…


~The first thing you have to ask is: “Who sent you?” Scripture tells us to try the spirit to see is it of God (1 John 4:1).

~The second thing you have to ask yourself is: “Will this get me off course?” If you answered yes, then this is a key indication that this was not sent by God. DO NOT entertain it! Ignore the distractions and keep working.

Nehemiah recognized their motives. His response: “They were trying to intimidate us into quitting. They thought: ‘They’ll give up; they’ll never finish it.’ I prayed, Give me strength.” {Nehemiah 6:9 MSG}

~The next thing you need to be conscious of, is if they are trying to intimidate you; if they are trying to make you quit, it is because they don’t want you to complete the Great Work God has allowed you to start. You should pray and ask God to give you strength. It is written: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” It is written: “It is not by might nor by power but by the Spirit of God.” YOU MUST ignore the distractions and finish the work – AT ALL COSTS (Philippians 4:13; Zechariah 4:6)!


So, That Settles It. As we close out this year, our goal should be to finish that which we have begun. Remember, the enemy is trying to distract you and discourage you because he knows you are doing a Great Work. If it were not so, he wouldn’t try to so hard to intimidate you and make you quit. DON’T STOP BUILDING! Serve your enemies notice: “I Am Doing A Great Work; I Cannot Come Down.”

Just think of how mad your enemies are gonna be when they get word that you finished the Great Work, because God was backing you and there was nothing they could do to stop you…

The wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul. It had taken fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard the news and all the surrounding nations saw it, our enemies totally lost their nerve. They knew that God was behind this work. {Nehemiah 6:15-16 MSG}

Keep Building And Finish Strong!

“I Choose To Praise”

For about a week now, I’ve had this burden for people who are on the verge of giving up, and I am praying for you. I want to encourage you by reminding you that in life we all have the freedom to choose. When you Choose to Praise God, even in the midst of disappointment and uncertainty, your faith is restored and your strength renewed.

It may not make sense. Maybe you’re thinking, “How can I praise God when He hasn’t done what I asked Him?” Well, just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean He isn’t doing something – working behind the scenes. Also, since this is a relationship between you and Him, what if He wants to know you will still love Him, trust Him, praise Him, and worship Him; even if He hasn’t done it, or if He doesn’t do it?

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
~Hebrews 13:15 NKJV

What about choosing to praise Him for what He’s already done???

O Lord, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God; you do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them, just as you said!
~Isaiah 25:1 TLB

But, what if it feels like you are being consumed???

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
~Daniel 3:17-18
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Sometimes, there is no logical explanation as to why you are going through this. But, Choosing to Praise God is to the spirit what exercise is to the body – Strengthening.

So, That Settles It. Be Encouraged.

I Choose to Praise” – Let this be your mindset and watch your perspective and your situation change.

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.
Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.
~Psalm 34 KJV

“Don’t Settle For Me”

Last week as my friend and I were praying together, I asked her to stand in agreement with me that God will make me a suitable mate (while I am waiting to be found). I want to be the answer to a man’s prayers. I don’t want him to ever feel like he settled for me. 

A few years ago, this same friend and I each made a list of what we desire in a mate. At the top of her list was that he would be able to pick her up without falling; which is funny because she is a petite woman. But, that was a good one, so I added that to my list as well. Then I pondered, “How strong would he have to be to pick me up?” While I want him to be able to lift me up without falling (or injury), am I being realistic considering my current size? More importantly, what am I willing to do to make this more attainable while I’m waiting???

We should love ourselves, true. But, that includes loving ourselves enough to admit there are some things we need to work on – not to please others – but to ensure we are whole, healthy (mentally and physically), and happy with ourselves. Also, if the thing we want requires something of us, we have to ask ourselves, “How bad do you want it?” Sometimes, we have to put in some work for the things we desire. In the meantime, let’s not expect others to settle for us (when we are not settled with ourselves).

Example: If a man is adamant that he is not interested in a plus-size woman, then I am probably not his choice – and that’s okay. Why would I try to change his mind, or convince him to choose me? I have two choices: 1) Try to lose weight in hopes of gaining this man’s attention after the weight loss; or 2) acknowledge that losing weight is a great overall benefit for my life and health. THAT should be my motivation, not to please a man, or anyone else for that matter. When the time is right, the RIGHT man will notice and appreciate all of me.

I learned this a long time ago: Whatever we have to do to obtain something, we must do to retain it. Meaning – in this scenario, I would potentially find myself always trying to prove my worth to this (hypothetical) man; and it may never be good enough for him. Nope! I say: “Don’t Settle For Me.”

A big part of being a confident and mature individual, is understanding that we all have areas in our lives that may need improvement. We may not be everyone’s cup of tea – and that’s okay. However, we should never stop working to be the best version of ourselves. Then, we can confidently say, to anyone who doesn’t think we are good enough, “Don’t Settle For Me.”

So, That Settles It. When you know your worth, you surround yourself with people who celebrate you and not those who simply tolerate you. Tell all the people who don’t believe you are enough: “Don’t Settle For Me” – and Free Yourself! 

You’re beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless.                                                                                             

~Song of Solomon 4:7 MSG

“Do YOU Believe?”

Do YOU Believe you matter?

Do YOU Believe you have a Purpose?

Do YOU Believe you can do it?

Do YOU Believe your life can inspire someone else?

Do YOU Believe in YOU?

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If you have stopped (or never started) believing in yourself, this message is for YOU. We all have a Purpose in this life. It is your responsibility to find it; pursue it; hold on to it; and never let anybody talk you out of it, or convince you otherwise. What I know is when you discover and pursue your purpose, your life changes…

You no longer settle for less than you deserve.

You no longer minimize yourself to make others feel comfortable.

You no longer see quitting as an option.

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So, That Settles It. Throughout life you will encounter many different people – some who will believe in you and others who won’t – and that’s okay. But, the bigger question will always be, Do YOU Believe in you? For, when you believe in yourself, you become an Unstoppable Force and you will undoubtedly succeed!

I pray that God, who gives hope, will bless you with complete happiness and peace because of your faith. And may the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope.

~Romans 15:13 CEV

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Great News! We just launched the That Settles It Podcast – now available on Spotify. Check out our first episode!

“Be Authentically YOU!”

“This above all- to thine own self be true.” A famous quote from William Shakespeare’s play, “Hamlet.” The perfect quote as we continue the discussion on being Authentically You. I want to delve deeper into why this is so important. So, let’s start with an explanation as to how I came to know this to be true.

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My personality is VERY BIG and multi-layered. Just when you think you know me, another layer may be revealed. This is partly because I am truly self-aware and I know the dangers of trying to thrust all of me on anyone at once. When you first meet me I am usually in observation mode. This is the “Getting to know you” phase of the relationship – and I am observing and deciding if I want to pursue the relationship any further. I go out of my way to try and make you feel comfortable being “You.” I am also aware that I am not most people, so my introduction takes a little longer. As I get to know you, I decide if I feel it is safe to start letting down my guard a little. After the initial stage, I talk a little more, laugh a little more, joke a little more. Then I observe to see how you handle it. If you are able to accept that, then we enter the next stage where I share my more opinionated side. I am totally aware that I am more opinionated than most, but I own it. I also know it is my responsibility to ensure that those I invite into my inner circle are able to handle it. If you can handle the first three stages, then you are privy to the final stage: vulnerability and insecurity. This is where I feel “safe” enough to share with you, without fear of judgment, criticism, or condemnation, what most people will never know about me.

I know what you’re thinking: Who does she think she is? Why does it take all of that? But, the truth of the matter is, if you think about it and if you are wise, your process of deciding whom to let in is probably similar to mine.

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A study published in the ‘Journal of Social and Personal Relationships’ recently calculated that on average it takes about 50 hours of time with someone before you consider them a casual friend, 90 hours before you become real friends, and about 200 hours to become close friends.

Many of us have suffered countless heartbreaks, disappointments, and failed relationships because we let the wrong people in too soon, or for the wrong reasons; and ultimately all we were left with was rejection, regret, and questioning our self-worth and value. That is when we started trying to be who people want/need us to be, instead of looking for those who will embrace us being Authentically us – no masks.

Now, I don’t believe most people are out to intentionally hurt us. I do believe however, that we get hurt when we don’t do our due diligence and really learn the people with whom we interact; and we fail to allow them to get to know the real us. Think about it: We’re asking people to be “Real” with us, but we aren’t real with ourselves or with them. Then when they miss the mark, we blame them for letting us down; but this is unfair to them.

My advice is this: In order to Be Authentically You, you must first know yourself. Self-awareness is key. It is impossible for people to get to know you when you don’t even know you. Instead, what happens is you paint a picture of who you “believe” you are, and if they are not discerning enough, they will believe you. Then as time goes on, the veneer of the faux version of you chips away and they may not like everything they see. They have a right to their feelings; after all the facts are distorted. They feel you were dishonest, and you feel rejected – all of which could have been avoided if you were more self-aware, thus able to Be Authentically You, and allowing them to see the real you. Another thing to consider (and accept) is that you are not going to form a relationship with everyone you meet – and that is okay. You should be selective, as should they.

So, That Settles It. Learn and embrace who you really are, at your core. Be Authentically You – Always – At All Costs. Then you will attract the right people who will accept you as you are. You will find the right Tribe/Circle/Support System and synergistic relationships.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. 

~Psalm 139:14 TLB 

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“It Was Necessary”

If it feels like you are losing friends and relationships; like you no longer have anything in common; or if you’ve lost touch with people you never thought you could live without, it is not a coincidence – It Was Necessary. Those dysfunctional, codependent relationships that were formed during some of the lowest times of your life – that all you had in common was hurt, pain, and failure – can no longer sustain you. It does not mean that you are better than those people, but it does mean that you are better than you were, when those relationships were formed.

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Don’t cry, don’t beat yourself up or feel guilty. Beware of those times that you feel lonely or isolated. Don’t make the mistake of trying to go back. Trust me, it will not work. You may even feel like they abandoned or rejected you, but perhaps it is because you were instructed to let the relationship go and you were hesitant…You knew you didn’t belong there. You tried to get them to go with you, but they refused – whether because of fear, complacency, laziness, or pride. Nevertheless, you made the decision not to die there; even if it meant leaving them. You exercised your faith and put in the work, you allowed God to heal you and set you on the path to your Purpose.

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So, That Settles It. It’s okay to mourn the demise of relationships that were formed out of dysfunction and codependency, but under no circumstance is it okay to go back. It Was Necessary to prepare you for such a time as this. Now you are in position and you have what is needed to bless others who are ready to receive the help. They have been waiting for you. Aren’t you glad you didn’t give up and die in that place?

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

~Romans 8:18-21

 

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“Justice Must Prevail!”

Last night as I prayed for Justice, I couldn’t seem to let it go; so I decided to share my prayer as this month’s blog post. May it bless you, strengthen you, and encourage you.

Justice – the quality of being just; righteousness, equitable, moral rightness.

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Prayer:

Lord, You are the God of Justice. So, we cry out to You for Justice. Let Justice sweep this land. Justice is a joy to the godly – only those who are truly evil despise Justice.
Your Word declares: Blessed are they who observe Justice, who do righteousness at all times. We will do good. We will seek Justice. We will help the oppressed. We will defend the cause of orphans. And we will fight for the rights of widows just as You have instructed us. We understand there is a way that seems right to a man, but the end is death. So, we look to You Lord, for You are the Way. Teach us Your way – the “More Excellent Way.” Let us not be moved solely by our emotions or the provocation of others, but by Your Spirit.
Evil men do not understand Justice, but those who seek You understand it completely – we know You love Justice. Let us dwell together in unity and oneness. That is the only way we will be successful in the land – for a house divided against itself cannot stand.
We await Your Divine Instruction God. Give us strategies and plans to pave the way to Justice for ALL. Give us Wisdom and show us how to take the right actions that will yield long-lasting positive results. Lead us from a Mono-cultural Mindset to an Intercultural Mindset
Even the Pledge of Allegiance states:
“One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL.” That should include black men, women, and children. We cry out for the Preservation of Life for our black people. These things we pray in Jesus’ name, Amen (Isaiah 30:18; Proverbs 21:15; Psalm 106:3; Isaiah 1:17; Psalm 37:28-29; Proverbs 28:5; Deuteronomy 16:20).

We all have a part to play. It is up to each and every one of us to find our role and fill it to the highest degree. I know that the first part of my role is to pray, so I start with prayer – for my instructions are clear: “Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.” So, this prayer is for His Wisdom, His Direction and Guidance, His Strategies – and for Justice to Prevail. While I recognize it will take more than prayer to overcome centuries of oppression, this is where I must start. I don’t hide behind prayer, but I know if I receive instruction in prayer, then God will preserve me as I move and act according to His Will. Then I can boldly say, “I will not fear what men can do unto me because the Lord is my Helper.”

So, That Settles It. We serve the God of Justice. We will learn and do our part. We invoke Heaven to back us. Justice Must Prevail!

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“On This Day…”

On this day, May 13, 1977, Shawndell Susan Winfield was introduced in the Earth. It was a Friday; and while many see Friday the 13th as a scary day, on this day, the only one scared was Satan! See, on this day, a relentless enemy of hell was birthed in the Earth.
On this day, Greatness was born.
On this day, Purpose was born.
On this day, a Fighter was born.
On this day, a person of Great Determination was born.
On this day, a Natural Leader was born.
On this day, a Bold Individual was born.
On this day, a Trailblazer was born.
On this day, an Intercessor was born.
On this day, a Worshiper was born.
On this day, an Atmosphere Shifter was born.
On this day, a Chosen Vessel, a Vessel of Honor was born.
On this day, a Beautifully Sculpted Masterpiece was unveiled in the Earth. And it was Good.
On this day, a Beautiful Young Girl that would blossom into a Beautiful Woman was born.
On this day, 43 years ago, the Daughter of a King was birthed in the Earth. This child would endure many hardships and trials, but she would remain faithful. Her Destiny was already pre-determined. Her future is written in Heaven. The fires didn’t consume her, but instead she emerged from the ashes as pure gold – without being singed or burned – without even a hint of the smell of smoke. Hell couldn’t stop her. Man couldn’t block her. She is focused and she won’t quit – it’s not in her DNA. This is her moment. This is her hour. This is her day. This is her Season. She was created for such a time as this! On this day, Heaven and Earth stand in agreement that Destiny shall be fulfilled for Shawndell Susan Winfield!

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit them together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion! You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book! ~Psalm 139:13-16 (TLB) 

So, That Settles It. Follow my lead. Don’t wait for people to celebrate you – show them how it’s done. It’s not self-centered. It’s not selfish. It’s not narcissistic. It’s you inviting the world to celebrate with you – while you’re here to witness and enjoy the celebration of your life.

Happy Birthday to ME!!!

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