Humility

Humility is a trait in my life that I intentionally try to maintain. It’s something I admire and can see automatically in individuals who carry it. What if I told you humility was one of the keys to any type of success? What is I told you it is what unlocks an overwhelming amount of favor. What if I told you that the way to God’s heart is humility? Humility is the  quality of being humble. Being humble means having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.

Daniel was a humble man of God. In Daniel ch 9, he prays a prayer of repentance. He says, “ O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; WE HAVE SINNED, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgements. He says “WE.” Even though Daniel may have not been one of the focal people who blatantly disrespected God, he included himself with his nation when repenting to God. He never said “We are slaves to Babylon because of YOU wicked people” or he never went to God saying “Those evil people sinned”, but he included himself. Even though Daniel had so much power in the provinces of Babylon, he remained humble. He never sought attention like the other astrologers and soothe sayers because he didn’t care about people’s opinions as much as he did about God’s opinion.

If you want to get somewhere in life, you have to be humble. Humility is the vehicle that drives you through the street of elevation and brings you to success. When you have the golden ability not respond back to someone after they said or did something hurtful, you truly are humble. When you know the potential you have and are aware of the many ways God wants to use you, but still remain focused and do what He tells you, you are humble.

When we all of a sudden shift focus from what we were purposed to do, to all the “attention” we get, we make a dangerous shift. Can you imagine if Daniel started to boast on being put over the provinces of Babylon? Can you imagine what his friends would have felt like? What if he forgot about his friends and his God because he got so caught up in the Babylonian system and in the way God elevated him? I can imagine the 3 Hebrew boys saying, “How can Daniel do something like this?”

When we begin focusing on the glory, we forget about the work God called us to do. We forget about people. We forget about the cause. Why did we actually start doing what we were suppose to? Was it to please God and help others, or was it to be praised?

I’ve made the decision in my heart that the day I start boasting about anything God gives me or take glory for myself, I’d rather God rip it away in an instant because I understand that nothing (AND I MEAN NOTHING) done in my life was by self power, but by the grace and power of God. It makes no sense in even trying to share in God’s glory because you will end up no where. The BEST elevation is when God elevates you. The bible makes a great example of King Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. Daniel happened to be under King Nebuchadnezzar’s rulership. This wicked king made his people worship him and his creations, and he did evil things if they didn’t. But when God stripped him of his power, wealth, dignity, and pride, he became humble. He was humbled the hard way. The bible also states in the Matt 23:12 of the NLT version, “But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” This simply means that when you try to make yourself big on your own, you will be humbled. But if you allow GOD to make you big and you humble yourself, you will be elevated.

Be encouraged today. Don’t worry if no one is seeing your true value. God will intervene at the right time. God will begin exposing your strengths to people you wouldn’t even dream about. He will allow the right people to be around you at the right time. When you allow him to elevate you, He will be glorified.

 

 

 

Help, I’m Weary

We are now heading into the end of February and lets admit, some of us are getting weary. Maybe you didn’t necessarily make a “new year’s resolution” but you had a goal you wanted to reach. Maybe it was completing a bible plan without missing a day. Or maybe it was to be consistent with going to the gym. Maybe you’re in college and getting overwhelmed with the course’s workload. Maybe you’re struggling on finding what you want to do in life. Maybe you are the only young person pushing to go to church. To be honest, we all slow down sometimes.

 

It could be that you are overwhelmed with all the things you have to juggle. Maybe you are a mom, or maybe a person who has a lot of responsibilities. Maybe work has been crazy. Maybe there is no encouragement where you are. No matter what your situation is, it’s easy to get “burned out” if there isn’t a place of solace or peace you can go to. Your peace is important! Don’t forget that. It’s important to take time for yourself. Whether that consists of taking a walk, or driving. Maybe it’s taking a longer shower. Whatever it is, you need that place of peace. Create it. When you have that place, you can rest your mind. You are more likely to crash without that place of peace.

 

Another thing is preparing or doing things ahead of time. I am a wife and still learning what works best for me. Meal prepping is important. I cook on certain days, and I cook enough so that Ted and I can have lunch and dinner for the next day. I also have a certain day of the week I wash. I also have natural hair, and whew chile….that’s a full time job (I’m actually laughing right now) lol. My newest thing that I do now is write my blogs ahead of time. Because the two days that I do post, I now work. Sometimes, God inspires me the day of–and in that case, I’ll write that day–but now I find it easier to prepare myself ahead of time.

 

We all have a purpose on this earth, and if you are still learning what yours is, DON’T GIVE UP. God is about to put people in your life to help you discover what it is. If you are already aware of what your purpose is, keep on pushing! God is with you. Don’t give up because so many people are attached to your purpose. For example, if you are in school to be a doctor, maybe there’s a certain patient God knows will need to see specifically YOU! You will be that person’s help. Maybe going to the gym everyday will inspire others to get in shape. Maybe your goal is to read the bible more. Maybe God is depending on you to study and preach to people near and far. Maybe He is depending on you to teach and convert an Atheist to Christ. Maybe there is a little one in your church who admires you so much and if you stop coming, you’ll kill their drive to come. Do you see how big of an impact you have on others? Do you see how powerful you are by God’s grace? Galatians 6:9 in the KJV Bible says “And be not weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.” In other words, you are going to see the fruit of your labor if you keep pushing. You’ve got this!

Intimacy with God

This past weekend, I went away with my church for a retreat in Litchfield, CT. A retreat is when you get away from everything. A spiritual or church retreat is when you get away from everything to get closer to God. It’s a place of unwinding.

Saturday, the guest speaker spoke about being intimate with God and waiting on Him. I didn’t realize how long I’d gone without spending intimate time with God. The preachers lesson came from Psalms 91; the psalms about dwelling or staying in God’s Secret place. He was adamant about the importance of being in God’s presence; about how much joy and peace there is and how much power you receive after staying there for a while.

I have to admit, I was broken in that sermon, because I started to miss my intimacy with God. The funny thing is, I was fasting for the retreat and running around doing things. I was not only  preparing for retreat, but I was working, preparing lessons, mentoring teens, doing wife duties, working on CE courses and tending to other programs that I work in. Sounds good right? Not really. Too bad that after all of that, I missed out on good time with Jesus.

I felt like Martha in the Bible. She was so busy worrying about preparing a meal for Jesus and others, that she missed out on what Mary (her sister) was getting: quality time with Jesus. She even got upset with Mary, but Jesus quickly corrected her telling her that Mary is receiving the better part.

The preacher went on to say that “we get so busy doing the work of the Lord, that we don’t remember the Lord of the work.”

How many times have you got caught up with other tasks besides spending time with God? I know it’s not intentional, but are you aware of it? Let’s try our best as princes and princesses of King Jesus to spend time with Him. He delights in it. Just like how any husband or wife would want their spouse to make time for them, that’s how Jesus feels. That’s how we should feel too.

God loves when we are intentional about personal time with Him. He honors you when you take time out of your schedule to pray to Him. Let’s do it together. We won’t regret it.

 

Self Control

Self control; this is a big one! It’s something that I fight to maintain everyday. Self control is a wide topic to talk about but very important. We need it in all areas of our life; eating habits, money spending, expressions/reactions, the amount of time spent on things and so much more. Having self control is having the ability to restrain yourself from a desire or action even if you want to do that action.

Today while I was at work, God spoke to me in the simplest way. I had a new patient who came for treatment. She brought her 5 year old daughter with her. In my room, I have a little prize box for kids who get cleanings. My patient’s daughter saw the box and immediately ran to it. She wasn’t supposed to get a toy, but I allowed her to because she really wanted one. During her mom’s cleaning, she would get up and get more toys and put them in her bag. Her mom saw her and told her to stop, but the minute her mom’s eyes closed, she went right back to the box. Naturally, I was annoyed because not only was she not supposed to get a toy but she kept going back for more. I gave her the “look.” That look that my mom used to give when I acted up in public. I stared her down so long, (which I thought was hilarious because she looked so confused) that her cheeks got red! I tried so hard not to laugh.

In that moment, God started to show me how we as adults can act just like that 5 year old. We see those heels in Macy’s (girl, don’t lie), or that cute bag and we can’t resist. Then we pass by Foot Locker and see those sneakers and pass by subway 10 minutes later for a $5 dollar foot long when we have food home. Then when rent is due or we need gas money, and we pray for God to send the money…really?

How about the mouth? Are you one to quickly blurt something out without thinking? Do you speak or react when you are angry? You may not have a money spending issue, but what about the tongue? Can it be tamed? Don’t get me wrong, its hard not to react sometimes, but that’s where self control comes in.

How about those eating habits? Are we eating fast food every other day when we have 3 weddings to attend this year (talking to my self in this one lol)? Are you snacking on Doritos and Gatorade at 3 in the morning? How much water are you drinking?

Time management is a notorious one that people lack. How much time do we spend on social media, or on video games? It’s all about self control. Nothing’s wrong with either of the two, just try getting in the habit of doing it in moderation.

These are all areas in my life where I have struggled and still trying to pay attention to. We all do it; you’re not alone. For us to be successful in life and in our christian walk, we need self control. God has to be able to trust us. We can’t be stewards over things if we lack self control. Sometimes God want’s to bless us in BIG ways! Lets prove to God that we are accountable and that He can trust us even with the small things. Sometimes it takes hard work. A friend of mine says “No rest for the weary” (You’re welcome Aljoe)! However, the results are rewarding!

 

The Power of Prayer

I have been a church girl all of my life. You would probably even think I was born in the church. My mom brought me to every service that church held. However, I never became a true christian until about the age of 12. I dedicated my life to God at age 8 by repenting and being baptized in Jesus’s name. I had a hunger for Him. I started to seek Him when I was 12. Ever since then, I’ve developed a true relationship with Christ. I’ve built that relationship through prayer.

Has there ever been a time in your life where you felt an urgency to pray? I’m not just talking about the usual morning prayer, but that moment where you had to stop everything you were doing to pray. I had moments like that a good amount of times in my life. Sometimes God will give you that push to pray because someone’s life is depending on it. I remember one night a few years ago I was going to my bed. I tossed and turned but I just couldn’t sleep. I was talking to my fiance on the phone at the time. The moment I started dosing off, I heard my mom scream out. I thought she had a nightmare but she kept going. That was a different scream. I’ve never heard her like that before. When I went in the room, she was holding her chest and looking like she couldn’t breathe. She had a cyanotic/pale look. I was so scared. I immediately grabbed her and began to pray. My mom’s friend was there as well so she came upstairs and we started to PRAY! It had been a while that I prayed like that. We called the ambulance and when they took her, I threw my clothes on so quick. I forgot what time of night it was. I remember them bringing her in the ER and stripping her top off to read her heart waves. This pain was so intense that they gave her morphine and EVEN THAT didn’t help. All my medical people know how potent morphine is. She was crying and screaming so loud. Everything was happening so fast. I thought I was going to lose my mom that night. At that moment I didn’t care who was looking at me in that emergency room, I began to PRAY! Tears were streaming down my face but all I could do was scream the name of Jesus! I felt a peace come over me because I knew everything was going to be OK. We called all the praying people we knew we could get at 3 AM. They all began to pray. The doctors ran all sorts of tests on her and found nothing wrong with her heart. She was healthy. I knew this was a spiritual attack because just 5 days before that, I was in the hospital! Everyone around me was being attacked. But when you get to that place in God through prayer, things HAVE to change!

The devil knows the amount of power that lies in prayer, that he tries to stop us from praying. We get tired, or distracted. Sometimes we simply can’t find the words to say, but push! Push yourself to develop a prayer life with God. It really changes our life for the better.

In the bible we see many instances of how powerful prayer is. In the book of Daniel, king Darius put a decree out that everyone should stop praying to their god for 30 days. Even though the decree was made, Daniel STILL prayed. He knew the importance and power of prayer. When Daniel was thrown in the lions den, he didn’t have to worry. All those prayers that went up, were a covering. The power of God covered him there because he prayed. Another instance is when Jesus left everyone to be in prayer. Even though, He was God in the flesh, He stilled prayed. He prayed in the hours people were still sleeping. Later on in the day when his disciples were asked to cast out a demon and they couldn’t, Jesus explained that certain kinds of things can’t be done without fasting and prayer. Jesus was easily able to cast of the demon.

I’m encouraging you today to keep your prayer life strong. Prayer in your heart, pray out loud. Pray with your eyes closed, pray while driving to work. Whatever way you choose and whatever chance you get, PRAY!

The Value of “Nothing”

It’s Tuesday! Here’s another blog post. It’s been really slow at my job so I was able to take a break…a really long break. Today when I came in, I had no patients. Three slots of time were vacant. At first I was upset because not only was I at work doing nothing, but I wasn’t getting paid. I decided that I would take the 3 hr gap I had (excluding lunch break)  and find a place in Stamford that I can go to “sightsee.” Might as well right? Since I’m doing nothing.

Around 12pm I started to pray. I’ve been trying to keep the hrs of 6am and 12pm dedicated to prayer…even though I’m still a little shaky with the 6am (just being honest). So at 12pm, I started to pray and there was nothing. I mean I prayed what I usually pray but that was it.   When I got to my destination (Cove Island/Park) I parked the car and reached for my Bible. I opened the Word and began to read Psalms 33. My Church is on a week on fasting and prayer. Last night in our prayer service, we read scriptures from psalms out loud, to worship God and encourage ourselves. This is why I picked up my Bible when I had nothing to say.  Today, when I got to verse 4 of Psalms 33, I was really amazed. Have you ever read something over and over but on a particular day, that same thing stands out to you? The scripture said “For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth.”  Right away I began to tell God about how true His words are. As I prayed, those words began coming alive in my spirit. Then verse 6 of that same scripture says, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” Wow! Only by God’s word and breath was the heavens made. There is so much power in His word. I started to worship God and immediately my heart’s posture changed. I began to cry because God has been so merciful to his people even when he has power to wipe us off this earth. In just a faint whisper of His voice, there’s so much power. When there was “nothing”, He spoke “something” into existence. By His word, heaven and earth were formed. The void and emptiness that “nothing carries” can be filled in an instant by the powerful words of God.
Since had “nothing” to do for those three hours, I was able to pick up Gods word. When I had “nothing” to say in prayer, God’s word had more meaning to me. While writing this blog, I remembered a preacher who came to our church and preached on the value of nothing. That’s where my title came from.

Sometimes it’s good to have nothing; “nothing to do” or “nothing to say.” Sometimes it’s good to have “nothing” in your bank account or no resource. God becomes our source when all our resources are done. God’s word means “something” when there is nothing.

You may feel empty or feel like there’s nothing good going on in your life. Maybe you want to get closer to God, but you feel far away. You have no fire or zeal anymore. Be encouraged, because in your “nothingness” you will find God.

Going in The Deep

Something you’ll realize with me is that I learn a lot through my dreams. I believe that most times, it’s God’s way of speaking to me. Other times, I might just be eating too late…but this particular dream I am about to share, had a significant meaning. In the dream, I was in a car with one of my friends. There was a big group of us so we decided to split up into about 5 cars. I was in the front but I didn’t know the way, so I tried pulling to the side for my friends to pass me and lead the way. Oddly though, I didn’t see them. All of a sudden, the car that we were in started driving full speed by itself, right onto a ship! Now you might be thinking, “she was definitely eating late”, but the dream is going somewhere. When my friend and I got on the ship, we were thinking of turning back, but there was a big crowd of people behind us and it was hard to get off. I remember hearing a man speak as though he was the tour guide. He said “if you look to the left, you will see men building”. When I looked to the left, there were men doing construction (but we were still in the sea). Then the tour guide said “if you look to your right, you will see men sitting on the shore.” When I looked to the right, there were five bright colored canoe boats with a lot of people sitting in them. When they saw everyone on the ship looking, they all waved. They looked so comfortable and relaxed. Then I woke up.

As complex as this dream was, it had a clear significance. The friends that I waited for to lead the way were not going in the same direction as I was. I wanted to follow them, but I was destined to go in another direction. This represents many of us that God is calling. We often want to go the way our friends are going, but that isn’t what God wants. When my friend and I got on the boat and the tour guide told us to look to the left, we saw men building and working hard. They were in the deep. Those men represent the people who are willing to work and be uncomfortable while building God’s kingdom, or just simply being successful because they went deeper. They had construction builders’ clothes on. The men on the right however, were in beautifully colored Canoes and very relaxed just watching as our ship passed by. These people represent people who are comfortable with where their lives are. They don’t want to live above their means. They don’t want to try harder. Most importantly, they don’t want to know God on a deeper level.  So who are you right now? Who do you want to be. I know that I really want to be the one building and lauching into the deep.

Prayer Over Pills

Most days when wake up, I try to start my day by asking God to use me to be a blessing to others. When the opportunity comes, I can sense it right away. Well sometime last week I had a patient come in for a dental cleaning and exam. She was very beautiful. Prior to doing any treatment (I’m a dental hygienist), I always have to ask if there had been any changes in “Medical history.” This means, is there any new medication, any medical conditions, any recent hospital visits or allergy changes. Believe it or not, even though I am mainly working in the mouth, any of these changes can effect treatment. So while waiting for a response, I thought “this lady looks perfectly fine.” Until she softly answered “yes, I was hospitalized recently.” She also listed out a long set of medication she was taking. She told me she was facing severe depression a few weeks ago. Now I’ve treated others with depression before, but for some reason, her response really stood out to me. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that depression in some cases can be a mental thing, and we should reach out for help when it gets overwhelming. But when she said her daughter–out of no where–started to get depressed, I began to pray in my spirit. I prayed hard. I knew this was a moment to talk with her, but I didn’t know where to start. But then, I started out by saying, “I pray that someday you won’t have to take those pills anymore.” I went on by asking if she believed in prayer. She said yes she did. She started reaching out to people about God and He had been helping her. I remember saying to her that Jesus is the one who can fully heal her depression. She stopped and and looked at me for a long time. She began to get teary eyed when she heard what I said. She told me to keep her in prayers and that she wanted to see me the next time she came. Her appointment ended and I thought that it was a special moment. I prayed, God got the glory, she left empowered and that was it.

Fast forward to this week, and actually to a few minutes ago, I was praying. LOUD, SO LOUD…while praying to God, I heard clearly “prayer over pills” and immediately that lady came back to mind. So I started to write, and here we are. To the person reading this right now, you may or may not be facing depression. You may or may not even be taking pills. But I’ll ask the question, what can you be “putting  over prayer” today? Is it worry? Is it shame? Is it bills? Sickness? I challenge you today to go to Jesus Christ in prayer. 1 Peter 5:7 says “Casting all your care (worries) upon Him; for He careth for you.” Philippians 4:6 says “Be careful (worried) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Mind Food

This morning was a weird morning for me. I did a lot of reflecting. On my way to work, I usually talk to God in prayer. This morning though, I was distracted and sort of disturbed by my dreams I had the night before. I started out in the dream by walking with two people. Note these are two people who I didn’t know personally, but I remember their faces because I follow them on one of my social media pages. While walking with them, some really weird things started happening in my dream. I cant go into detail now, but I can tell you that I woke up so disturbed. I was wondering why I dreamt what I dreamt. Here’s the part that made me think; why was I walking with those two people? I don’t know them personally. Their social media name is “Mind food.” So as I began praying to God in the car, I said ” why was I walking with ‘Mind food’?”. Right there God gave me clear understanding. The people weren’t as significant to the dream as their name was. Mind food. What are we feeding our subconscious mind? The bible says in Proverbs that we should guard our hearts because out of it flows the issues of life. What ever we let into our heart or our mind in this case, we begin to subconsciously think on them. How do these things get there? Well sometimes its simply by the shows we watch. Sometimes it’s the things that may have happened to us in the past that we seem to “regurgitate” every now and then– even though we thought we had let it go. So what does a person do in a situation like this? Well simple, Ask God to clear those things from your mind. Be intentional about what you allow your spirit to take in. We were actually spiritual beings before we received our body. Did you know that? Before you were born, God knew you. How? Well because we were spiritual beings before. We were made in God’s image. The spirit living inside of us is housed by a body. So while taking care of our body by working out and eating well, let’s take time to make sure our spiritual being and our mind is doing well. The bible tells us how to do this. In Philippians 4:8 (KJV) it say, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” What does your mind food look like? What are you thinking on?