“Insufficient Faith”

Recently, I was having a discussion with someone close to me, and I was doing some self-evaluation, trying to figure out the reason behind a decision I made. This person asked if it was possibly due to self-esteem or self-worth; to which I immediately replied adamantly, that it was neither. I may not have known exactly what it was at that moment, but I knew for sure it wasn’t either of those. Fast forward to two days later… I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, “Insufficient Faith.”

Insufficient – not enough, inadequate

Faith – complete trust or confidence in someone or something

Translation: I know God CAN do it. I’ve seen God do it for others. If I’m brutally honest, I’ve seen God do it for people who (in my carnal critical opinion) don’t even think about or acknowledge Him as much as I do. But, there’s still a part of me that thinks it’s just me for which He hasn’t done it. It’s not that I don’t have faith. I have faith for everyone else, and I have faith in every other area of my life. I just don’t have enough faith in this one particular area for myself; and if I’m not careful, that “Insufficient Faith” could cause me to try to do it in my own strength, or even worse, settle for less than God’s Best for me – simply because I didn’t have enough faith to trust Him and wait patiently on Him – in His timing. Whew, that’s the scary part!

Did I mention this particular area where my faith is inadequate is subsequently the place where I have experienced the most disappointment? Yeah, so there’s that. Could it be that’s why my faith is “Insufficient?” I won’t say it’s non-existent or depleted because there are moments where I will try to muster up a little faith in this area. But as soon as it starts to look like it’s not going to work, I’m reminded of all the other times that it didn’t work – all the other disappointments – and I get anxious and nervous, and I begin to doubt.

Does this sound familiar? Can you relate? Be honest. Good, I’m not alone.

So, what’s the solution?

It is written: “But you, dear friends, must build up your lives ever more strongly upon the foundation of our holy faith, learning to pray in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit (Jude TLB).”

We have to remind ourselves of every time God did answer our prayers. Remembering the times we couldn’t see how He was going to do it, but He did. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever (Psalm 23 KJV).”

We have to remind God of His Promises concerning us. “Lord, never forget the promises you’ve made to me, for they are my hope and confidence (Psalm 119:49 TPT).”

So, That Settles It. I know. I know. I know. It sounds ungrateful or even entitled; and maybe there is a hint of that. But God has done so many other great things (for which we are truly grateful), why not this ONE thing? But, when all else fails, we just have to boldly declare, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, “Our God is able…but even if He doesn’t… (Daniel 3).” This has to be our resolve; that we will still trust Him, even if He doesn’t – that’s how we overcome “Insufficient Faith.”  

“BIG & Malnourished”

Did you know that it is possible for a person to be extremely obese and still suffer from Malnutrition? Me either – until I saw it on the TV show, “My 600 Pound Life” – then I had to research it for myself.

Yeah, turns out just because you are BIG, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are receiving all the proper vitamins and nutrients that you need to be healthy. One may overindulge on things that are not healthy and consume very little of those foods that are needed to maintain good health.

Malnutrition is the condition that develops when the body is deprived of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients it needs to maintain healthy tissues and organ function.

Malnutrition occurs in people who are either undernourished or overnourished.

Undernutrition occurs when not enough essential nutrients are consumed or when they are excreted more rapidly than they can be replaced. Overnutrition occurs in people who eat too much, eat the wrong things, don’t exercise enough or take too many vitamins or other dietary replacements.

I can’t count how many episodes of the show, “My 600 Pound Life,” I’ve watched where the patient told Dr. Now they were eating right and doing the work to lose the weight and live healthy; but when the doctor wasn’t around, they would sneak food and eat all the things they knew they were not supposed to have. Then, when it was time to weigh-in they were either shocked or upset and couldn’t understand why they hadn’t lost the weight; and in some cases, gained more weight.

Sadly, I have seen this in the spiritual world as well. If we are not careful, we can work really hard to appear “BIG” spiritually, but in reality, we may be spiritually Malnourished. We may say and do the right things when people are around,” but when no one is watching, we indulge in things that don’t feed our spirit, only the flesh; and because we appear to progress (on the surface), we assume it’s okay to continue on that diet of self-indulgence.

Those of us who are spiritual have a responsibility to make sure we are “Practicing what we preach,” literally. Ask yourself: “Am I eating what I’m serving?” Let’s not make the mistake of becoming BIG – preaching, blogging, podcasting, and YouTubing power-packed sermons – of which we are not first partakers.

One scripture that I pray often is “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27 NLT).”

Now, if your motives are impure, and your will is more important to you than God’s Will, then this will not appeal to you. But, if your desire is to do the Will of your Father, then make sure you don’t just have the form of godliness, but that you are intentional everyday about walking upright and circumspectly as HIS Ambassadors in the earth – especially when no one is watching. AND if you are using His name to try and make a name for yourself, woe be unto you! Not only are you misguided, but you are misleading those who are following you – STOP IT!

If you are a non-believer and you are thinking: “That’s how most Christians are – fake and phony,” I can assure you that is not true. But I implore you to get to know Christ for yourself; and don’t let the misrepresentation of others deter you from making the Best decision you will EVER make in this life. If you are a Believer and you know people like this, 1) Don’t be discouraged thinking you are not “qualified” to be used by God simply because your worship doesn’t look like their veneer of holiness and righteousness. 2) Pray for them and make sure that you don’t fall into temptation.

“Not all who sound religious are really godly people. They may refer to me as Lord, but still won’t get to heaven. For the decisive question is whether they obey my Father in heaven. At the Judgment many will tell me, Lord, Lord, we told others about you and used your name to cast out demons and to do many other great miracles. But I will reply, you have never been mine. Go away, for your deeds are evil (Matthew 7:21-23 TLB).”

So, That Settles It. We are called to first honor God with our lives, and as a result of our obedience, HE will use us for HIS name’s sake. The worst thing we can do is let the accolades of men puff us up and make us BIG naturally, but we die spiritually from Malnutrition; because we were more focused on looking spiritual, than actually living a spiritually healthy lifestyle.

“All Things New”

AND we’re back from celebrating my birthday (May 13) during the entire month of May. 😊  As I mentioned previously, my New Year officially begins on my birthday – and my declaration for this new year of life is: “All Things New.”

To prepare, I needed to do some “spring cleaning” in my life; take inventory; and get rid of some old things to make room for the new. I had to really assess some relationships that were not beneficial and make the decision to let some people go. Funny thing is, since there was no reciprocity in those relationships, it probably won’t really hit them until the next time they need me. I had to do some introspection and acknowledge some things that I need to work on myself (internal and external). I had to take stock of my thought life and admit how I had become slack in certain areas, as it pertains to what I allowed myself to think and/or meditate upon.

This was no easy feat; especially for someone like me, because I need to know the “Why” for EVERYTHING. So, as I was eliminating some people and things, I found myself questioning myself about why I allowed them to stay so long. To which I had no real explanation, aside from the fact that I, like many, had allowed myself to become complacent and too comfortable with the familiar. So, let’s unpack that. Tell me if this sounds familiar?

You know this person is not really good for you or to you, but because you have known each other so long, or you have been there for one another through some difficult times; even when you realize you have given waaaaaaaaaay more than you have received from this person, you will still try to find a reason to stay because it’s FAMILIAR. Then there’s the thought of having to start over and learn to trust an entirely new person, especially after you’ve invested all of this time in this old “friend.” Familiarity (alone) is not a good enough reason to stay!

Or, what about this one: You know there are some things that you need to work on for yourself; whether it’s your temper, your attitude, the way you talk to people sometimes, your weight, your health, etc. But you have become COMPLACENT, and because those closest to you can’t REALLY be honest with you because of your temper, your attitude, the way you talk to people, you continue down this destructive path.

And let’s not forget all the things you’ve done to please others. You’re not even really sure what your Purpose is, or what makes you happy because you’ve spent most of your life doing what pleases others – all for the sake of being accepted. Putting your feelings aside has become the norm, it’s all too FAMILIAR to you and those who benefit from your need for acceptance.

If any of these rings true for you, then you’ve got some work to do; as do I. Get rid of the old things that no longer (or never did) work for you and welcome, celebrate and embrace the new. What I’m learning is that once you start eliminating things that were taking up space in your life, the new and improved things will start to show up.

~New perspective

~New and improved version of self

~New friendships/relationships

God says it like this:

“Stop dwelling on the past. Don’t even remember these former things. I am doing something brand new, something unheard of. Even now it sprouts and grows and matures. Don’t you perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and open up flowing streams in the desert. Wild beasts, jackals, and owls will glorify me. For I supply streams of water in the desert and rivers in the wilderness to satisfy the thirst of my people, my chosen ones, so that you, whom I have shaped and formed for myself, will proclaim my praise (Isaiah 43:18-21 TPT).”

TALK ABOUT RESTORATION (RENEWAL)!

So, That Settles It. It’s up to us to make space and prepare for All Things New. Don’t cry over the old. Those things served their purpose, even if their purpose was to show you what NOT to allow into your life anymore. Learn from it. Grow from it. But, don’t go back to it. Keep Moving Forward!

“Do It Rejected”

Have you ever been rejected – felt rejected – been called a “Reject?”

Reject (noun) – Dismissed as inadequate, inappropriate, or not to one’s taste. A person or thing dismissed as failing to meet standards or satisfy tastes.

Reject (verb) – To refuse to accept, consider, submit to, take for some purpose or use. To refuse to hear, receive, or admit.

If you are a called to do something great in the earth, rejection is a part of the process. But, being rejected is not an excuse to stop, quit, or give up. You must still go forth in the work of the Lord. Do It Rejected.

Jesus said it like this:

“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me (John 15:18-21 NLT).”

Jesus was our Greatest Example and proof that you can Do It Rejected.

Beware of Familiarity. Rejection usually comes from, and hurts the most, when it’s family and those closest to you. Think about it; if you’re anything like me, you’re not going to be too broken up when somebody you’re not really close to rejects you. It’s those closest to you who have the capacity to hurt you deeply by rejecting you.

He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him (John 1:10-11 NLT).

Then, there are those who will reject you simply because of where you’re from, i.e., family, location, background, and etc. They will reject you because you turned out better than they thought you would.

He returned to Nazareth, his hometown. When he taught there in the synagogue, everyone was amazed and said, “Where does he get this wisdom and the power to do miracles?” Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers—James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. All his sisters live right here among us. Where did he learn all these things?” And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.” And so, he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:54-58 NLT).

But Jesus wasn’t our only example of people who chose to Do It Rejected. Remember Joseph in the Bible (read Genesis 37-50)? Joseph shared his dream with his brothers, and because of his brothers’ envy and jealousy, he was sold into slavery and had to endure prison, being lied on by Potiphar’s wife, etc. Not quite what he had in mind when he had a vision of being “Great.”

But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden. Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison. The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything. The Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed (Genesis 39:21-23 NLT).

As it was with Joseph, there are benefits when you to Do it Rejected:

~God is with you.

~God will favor you.

~God will cause everything you do to succeed.

You are probably asking, “Why do I have to Do It Rejected?” I’m glad you asked!

As Joseph told his brothers when they were begging for his forgiveness: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people (Genesis 50:20 NLT).” Your rejection is not about you. It’s about you being positioned so that the lives of many can be saved. Now it makes sense why the scriptures say:

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them (Romans 8:28 NLT).”

So, That Settles It. It will not always feel good, but Do It. Do It Well. Do It Rejected.

For it is written: “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land (Isaiah 1:19).”

**HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME – MAY 13!**

“Mourning to Morning”

I don’t know who this is for, but It’s Morning! That’s right. You are going from Mourning to Morning.

I heard this last night and my spirit was in total agreement. I received it for myself as well.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning (Psalm 30:5).

If your last season was filled with weeping, grieving, mourning, loss, sadness, depression, etc., Morning has come. The Son is shining on you. Things are beginning to bloom in every area of your life. New songs you will begin to sing. Dance in the rain (showers of blessings).

There is a song by Israel Houghton, and the lyrics go something like this:

“It’s a new season

It’s a new day

A fresh anointing

Is flowing my way

It’s a season of power

And prosperity

It’s a new season

And it’s coming to me.”

Just begin to make this your declaration. Even if you don’t feel any differently (yet); sing it and declare it with great expectation. This requires faith – so exercise your faith for yourself for once! Believe for You like you believe for others. Declare it is so!

I know you’re thinking: “What will this require of me?” I’m glad you asked. It is important that you stay connected or get reconnected to the One who controls the weather/seasons. His promises concerning you are “Yes” and “Amen.” No, you didn’t blow it in the last season; no matter what you did, or didn’t do. Something else that is required is belief and expectation. For it is written: “for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).” Believe Him; Seek Him; and get ready for your reward in this new season.

So, That Settles It. Confess, Repent, Reconnect, and enjoy the Morning. You are going from Mourning to Morning. Get ready. Believe it. Receive it. It’s your time. It’s your season. It is so!

He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of God’s favor to them has come, and the day of his wrath to their enemies. To all who mourn he will give: beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness. For God has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory (Isaiah 61:2-3 TLB).

“Evolution”

Evolution – a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state: GROWTH.

This past weekend a good friend of mine had a small birthday dinner with about 10 friends and family members. During the dinner each guest shared how she impacted their life. The next day when she and I were reflecting upon the dinner and what everyone had to say, I told her that her dinner guests were a great depiction of her Evolution. She asked me to expound upon it a little more. I told her she was surrounded by people who represented different seasons in her life – some represented “Seeds;” some represented “Time;” and some represented the “Harvest” of her life.

The same is true for all of us. As we evolve, our circle will undoubtedly reflect different seasons of our Evolution.

So, to continue with my dissertation upon my friend’s Evolution

I told her those representing the “Seeds,” served two purposes. Her brother and she are from the same seed and even though they grew up worlds apart, they both were predestined for the Kingdom of God. Then her spiritual parents also represent “Seeds;” because their role is to sow seeds of righteousness and affirmation into her life to help nurture her as she grows in her purpose.

Those representing “Time (I was included in this group),” are those who have known her for 10 or more years, and who remained, in spite of her shortcomings and downfalls. We have endured every season of her life and we chose to stay. We were aware of the bad, but we were even more aware of the good and the promises of God concerning her.

Those representing the “Harvest,” are those who have only known her for the past few years. These people are now experiencing the “Harvest” season of her life. They get to come and glean and eat from this tree of righteousness. They get to enjoy the good fruit this tree (my friend) now produces. There are some things about my friend these people will never witness in this season of her life, because she has matured and is now producing much fruit. But the same cannot be said about those of us who were there during the planting and the pruning seasons of her life. We saw the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Our stories took us on a journey through her process of Evolution. Those who knew her in the earlier days had an opportunity to hear how she is presently blessing people with some things she didn’t possess earlier on, and therefore couldn’t offer us. While the newcomers had an opportunity to hear some “hard-to-believe” stories of the person she used to be. The conclusion was unanimous that every season of her Evolution was necessary for the development of the woman we all came to celebrate.

So, That Settles It. We all will grow through different seasons in our lives. But it is such a tremendous blessing to look around one day and see and hear how you’ve impacted peoples’ lives, in EVERY SEASON of your life – even in those times that you didn’t know what you were doing, or if you would make it – someone was still inspired, encouraged, or empowered by you. Enjoy the process of Evolution – because as long as you live, you will continue to evolve. Evolution is inevitable.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. ~Psalm 1:3

“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
ESV

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