Spiritually Dry Christians

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What is filling your life? As a Christian, are you filling your life with the things of this world or the Spirit of God?

Look, let us be honest with ourselves. You can have the right teachings and all the right theology, but you can still be empty of God’s spirit. You can also have a spirit filled with fire for God, but lack a foundation of theology or any at all because you are missing truth. These two extremes have good things about them, but they are still missing the righteousness of God and His true spirit.

For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.
– John 4:24

We must understand that only the Spirit of God edified us and makes the word come alive in us. Without the Spirit, everything we do is in vain of Christ and the work…

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Stop trying to fit into a mold that was not created for you!

Everyone was created in a unique manner.  We all have been given talents and abilities that set us apart from everyone else.  There is a “special something” associated with us all that sets us apart from the rest.  It is time that we accept that “special something” and stop trying to fit in a mold that was not created for us. We were not meant to become duplicates of someone else.   Even in the case of identical twins, there is a uniqueness that sets them apart.  Some people spend their entire lives attempting to reach goals that someone else set for them.  They fail to find their identity because they are constantly trying to live in someone else’s.  These people, which a lot of us have been at one point, become consumed with doing what it takes to satisfy the desires of others, while they are dissatisfied.  They are trying to fit into a mold that was not created for them.

Sometimes we unintentionally feel obligated to live in the shadow of those we respect and admire.  In some cases it may be our parents. Sometimes it may be older siblings.  In some cases it may even be a close friend.  However, we must realize that regardless of how hard we try, that is not our mold.  We will never be able to fit in a mold that was not created for us.   We were created with visions and dreams that are unique to us.  We were created with special characteristics that cannot be erased, not even by DNA.  We were made to stand out in our own way and to create our own picture.

I encourage everyone today to discover and accept your mold.  Learn to appreciate the “special something” that defines you and only you.  Appreciate the fact that God has designed you and enabled you to create your own destiny and paint your personal picture.  You have a mark that is to be set only by you!  Know that you are extraordinary, one of a kind and irreplaceable.  Stop trying to fit into a mold that was created for someone else.  Embrace your differences, live your dreams and fill the mold that was designed specifically and specially for YOU!  You might as well do it because no one else can.

You have done all that You can do, now let Me handle it!

The other week while doing my hair I found my mind consumed with thinking about some things I desire for God to do in my life and that of my family. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t worrying, this time, I was actually just pondering about how, when and where.  As I was trying to figure things out in my own mind I heard these words in my spirit, “You have done all that you can do, now let me handle it”.  I must confess that it took me a few seconds to actually process this directive.  See, this was not just a statement but instructions. 

There are times we all find ourselves in situations that are completely out of our control. Although we want immediate changes to occur we have to accept that we sometimes lack the power to make those changes manifest.  It is important to remember that we are mortal beings with limited abilities.  God on the other hand is immortal with unlimited abilities.  He is all powerful, all knowing and all seeing.  Even people who deny his existence cannot take away his power and authority or the greatness of his name.  We cannot change people however, God can.  We cannot heal the sick through our own power however, God can.  There is no way that we can take away someone’s deepest hurt and fill voids that seem unable to be filled but God can.  We ourselves cannot deliver an entire nation from bondage but God can. 

After receiving the word on that day I allowed myself to meditate on it. I began to think on situations that I have been praying about, crying about and trying to fix for a long time.  Situations that I sometimes choose not to discuss anymore because I am just tired of talking about them.  You see those were the things that I needed to surrender to God completely.  Those things that I have trusted God to change or manifest but the appointed time has not yet come.  I realized that God wanted me to understand that I had given all that I could and now it was time for me to allow him to do what only he can.  He desires to handle all of my issues even things that may seem small and pointless to some.  When God “handles” a situation he is promising to do the work required to fix it.  He is vowing to control and manage it in the way that he sees fit, which will always be the best way.  When we release our desires and situations over to God we can then rest easier, focus more, become more productive and experience joy because we trust that he will “handle” them.  You have done all that YOU can do, now let HIM handle it!    –

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Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

The True Heart of a Mother

Mom and KeishaThis past Sunday many of us participated in one of the most recognized holidays. We took the time to give flowers to our mothers who are still with us and publicly remember those who have passed on.  Mother’s Day is a joyous occasion for many but a sad time for even more.  That day is not only used to recognize and honor mothers but also grandmothers, aunts and anyone else who has willingly taken on the role and heart of a mother.

The true heart of a mother comes in many forms. We have birth mothers, adoptive mothers, grandmothers, god mothers, foster mothers, step mothers and any woman that takes on the task and duties related to being a mother.  We characterize a mother as one who loves, nurtures, supports, cares, sacrifices, trains, teaches, protects, disciplines, corrects and much more.  True mothers have a true heart, a heart that cannot compare to any other when it comes to the love for their children.  In most cases there is an unfailing love that comes with the true heart of a mother.

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Throughout the bible we see examples of mothers who display this true heart. Let’s begin with the mothers of Moses.  His birth mother loved her son to the point she was willing to allow someone else to raise him in an effort to save his live.  She knew that by keeping him her son would surely be killed.  Although she may not have realized it but her heart for his life despite her misery helped her son to enter into God’s plan for his life.  He would return to his people at God’s appointed time for God’s predetermined will. 

Moses’ adoptive mother loved him in spite of his connection to her biologically. When he was found she immediately knew that he was not an Egyptian by birth but she loved him enough to raise him as one with all of the royalties that she felt was due unto him as her son.  She did not allow his identity interfere with her heart for him.  As a result of the hearts of his mothers Moses was able to walk into his destiny and fulfill his purpose.  His name will now be forever known.

Hannah had a burning heart’s desire to become a mother although she was barren. This longing could not be filled with anything other than the child she was so desperate to have.  The void in her heart caused her to be misunderstood as a result of her grief.   Hannah cried unto God and in her distress she offered the son that she was not yet able to have, back to God.  In his faithfulness, God remembered Hannah and blessed her with a son named Samuel.  Just like Hannah a true heart of a mother realizes that the best place to have her child(ren) is in the hands of God.  The mother of Samson was chosen to birth and raise him after being unable to conceive for many years.  God gave her specific instructions in raising her son and she was obedient.  The true heart of a mother realizes that the blessings for her children often lie in her obedience.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, had the true heart of a mother. One day while attending a wedding there was a need for more wine. Mary immediately knew that her son was more than capable of fixing the problem and meeting the need.  Although Jesus response to his mother seemed to imply that he had no business being involved in the situation because it was not his time yet, Mary continued to prepare the servants to follow Jesus’ instructions.  The true heart of a mother sees the potential in their children and despite the circumstances they always push them forward.  Mary knew that with her son in the place, the one and true living savior, there should not be any lack.  As a mother it was Mary’s job to motivate her son while showing him that she was his #1 supporter because she believed in his abilities.  We have no idea if Mary was expecting Jesus to perform a miracle or provide in a more natural way but we do know that she was confident in his abilities to rectify the situation.  This was the start of many miracles that would be performed by her son.

With the true heart of a mother comes many tears, fears and hurt. However, there are many proud moments, times of joy, laughter and excitement.  The heart of a mother is very delicate yet extremely strong.  Mothers have the ability to love unconditionally even in the midst of trying times.  The true heart of a mother knows she cannot deliver her children from all things but she finds the strength to help them endure.  The true heart of a mother never gives up on her children.  For those true mothers and mother figures out there I want to encourage you today that God will honor you as he did Moses’ mother, remember you as he did Hannah, favor you as he did Mary and your children will rise up and call you blessed!  You are great, needed and deserving of the honor you receive. 

 

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**This is dedicated to the woman who helped me become the woman of God I am today because of her true heart, my mother, Rose Brown. I love you mom and I thank for your sacrifice, your tears, your discipline and your teaching.  Your hard work has and is paying off.  Hugs and kisses from VA!!!  **       

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”  Proverbs 31:30

Wait! Don’t Give Up! It is Coming in Time!

No, please not another year! Do I have to wait another year?  What have I done to cause this long delay?  How do I find the strength to continue even though I am discouraged and tired?  I believe these are questions many of us have asked during our time of waiting.  When there is a strong desire, waiting can seem almost impossible to do at times.  Although it may seem hard, don’t give up, it will come at the appointed time!

What is an appointed time?  A time that is predetermined, predestined, set and fixed.  In every promise God has scheduled an appointed time.  For many years before the birth of my daughter I struggled with the ability to wait.  I knew that God had promised me a daughter but I often became overwhelmed with the process.  At one point I tried to convince myself that I no longer believed because that seemed easier then accepting that God had an appointed time for his promise to manifest.  There were many times I heard, “it’s not time yet” and honestly I would become offended and defensive.  How easy it seemed for someone who had a daughter to say those words to me.  I mean really, they had no idea how I felt! Well, that is what I believed at the time.  Actually, most of us understand what it means to wait.  Everyone may be waiting on different things but it does not change the fact that they are waiting.

 When I found out that I was pregnant with my daughter it seemed surreal.  It was really incredible since my husband and I had lost our twin daughters 3 years before.   God’s promise was actually manifesting after years of crying, times of questioning and moments of doubting.  I now realize that there was a set time for her conception, her birth and her life.  God had already preplanned everything concerning her and although the promise was given to me and the desire grew stronger each year there was still an appointed time.

 I encourage anyone who is in a time of waiting to be confident in God’s promises.  He is always a keeper of his word and no matter how bleak it seems never lose hope.  During our time of waiting it is important to stay encouraged.  Although you may have your moments of discouragement do not stay there.   Talk to a friend, begin to prepare for the promise as though it is on the way and continue to believe.  Utilize your time of waiting in a positive way.  Begin to focus on building your visions and dreams, self improvement and bettering the community.  Even in the midst of waiting there are opportunities to move forward and to achieve success.  Many times there is a path we must take prior to getting where we would like to go. Pray for guidance, walk your path and never give up because the desire will come forth at the appointed time. Regardless of what you are waiting for there is something for you to remember. Wait! Don’t give up!  It’s coming in time!  

 “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”    James 1:4

 

**Photography by JF Creations www.facebook.com/JFcreations**

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Yes, We are Separating!!!

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For years K.J. and I dealt with our issues within our home, with only the support of a few family and friends.  Our issue with infertility, post-deployment issues and other marital issues, were things that we sometimes silently dealt with.  Recently we decided to make our story known.  We collectively decided that it was time to use our experience, wisdom and trials to attempt to help other families that may also be suffering silently.  The decision to open ourselves up to the world and to allow others in was not an easy one.   We carefully considered the effects that this decision could have on our marriage, on our children and on other’s perceptions of us.  As a couple, we surely did not take the decision lightly.

Last year I began my blog and this past February we started our show “Family Matters with Kenny and Kwajalein”.  To say that this path we have begun has shown us a lot about ourselves and others would be an understatement.  Definite changes have come about within our relationship as well as in our family.  We can truly say that this decision has changed our lives in more ways than one.  With all that being said my husband and I have made a decision, a rather big decision, we are deciding to separate!

Yes, we are separating.  We have made a choice to distance ourselves from people and things that have no positive influence on our lives.  We are separating from choices that have caused us to move back instead of ahead.  My husband and I are leaving behind those things of the past that have kept us in bondage and distress.  Yes, we are separating.  We are moving away from habits that cause us to be stagnant instead of progressing.  We are leaving behind oppressed mentalities that cause us to see ourselves opposite of how God sees us.  As we stepped out into the ministry God gave us and started to tell our story we began to see how blessed we truly are.  We have gained a better understanding of ourselves and our marriage; although, we are far from perfect this journey has brought us closer together.  We have a different appreciation for God, our marriage, our kids and our lives.  So yes, we are separating!

 

 

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

With the miracle comes pain but with the pain comes power!

 

One of my favorite stories in the bible is told in the gospel of Luke chapter 2.  The one I am referring to begins at verse 21, when Mary and Joseph take Jesus to the Temple on the eighth day to be circumcised.  During that visit Mary and Joseph received more than what they expected upon their arrival.  I would like to focus my attention on Mary, the mother of Jesus, as I often feel that I can personally relate to her.

While at the Temple in Jerusalem, Mary came in contact with a man named Simeon who spoke something to her that I am confident changed her life. “And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many may be revealed” (verses 34-35).  Simeon was overjoyed when the Messiah arrived because he had been chosen by God to see Jesus before his (Simeon’s) death.  He knew that the Messiah would change the world although the change would come at a great cost to Jesus and his mother.

In the statement that Simeon made to Mary he was forewarning her that she would go through a great, heart wrenching pain.  Mary did not quite understand God’s plan at the time but she knew that she had already given him a “yes”.  With that “yes” Mary would witness the unfair and brutal death of her son who would be innocent of all charges.  Mary’s “yes” would cause her to come to the realization that her child did not only come as her son but also as her savior.  Mary was going to endure a pain like no other as she also experienced firsthand the greatest miracle to ever enter the earth.  With Mary’s miracle would come pain but with that pain she would receive power.

Like Mary, often times we go through situations that cause us a tremendous amount of hurt, questions and even confusion.  We sometimes wonder what we may have done wrong or what we did not do right.  I am sure that Mary questioned a lot of things as the years went by leading up to the death of her first born son.  Although she knew He was the Messiah, she had no idea what his very own people would physically put him through.  Mary was there for the birth of Jesus, she was there when he took his first steps, said his first words and she was also there when he took his final breath.  I am sure that the birth of Jesus brought her much joy but eventually the fulfillment of his purpose caused her much pain.

However, even with the pain she endured Mary knew that Jesus’ death occurred for a purpose and she was a part of that purpose. He came to earth to die for our sins so that we could be reconciled back to God.  We are now able to live in abundance and we have the power to overcome any obstacle.  The pain that Jesus suffered and that Mary suffered as his mother came with a great reward.  Mary’s son became her savior.  He became the sacrifice she desperately needed but was unable to provide just from her natural body without God’s help.  Because Jesus died Mary was given the opportunity and freedom to have a personal relationship with God through his son.  Mary was given the chance at eternal life because she endured the pain that came along with her miracle.

When I read this scripture I often think about the most difficult time I have endured in my life. The death of my twin girls was such a painful time for me.  The same pregnancy that brought me so much joy ended up being the one that brought me the most hurt.  That pregnancy was a miracle and with that miracle came a pain I never expected.  Since that time I have come to realize that the pain also brought me to a place I never imagined.  That pain taught me to trust in God like never before.  I learned that God is truly the healer and deliverer.  Through that pain God showed me that he would never leave me or forsake me.  In that place of pain I realized that I had the strength to survive and I never knew that it was there.  In the midst of my miracle came pain but through that pain I received power.  I received the power in God to overcome some of the toughest obstacles.  The power to preserver even in my lowest valley was found in the center of that pain.

When we find ourselves in the midst of painful situations sometimes we must realize that these circumstances are opportunities for miracles. In order for a miracle to manifest there must be a place of lack, sickness etc…  In order for us to truly see the healing power of God there must be an opportunity for him to heal.  If we truly desire to see his delivering power then there must be a need for deliverance.  When we claim to know that he is a provider it is only because he has been given the opportunity to provide.  Know that pain does not come without a purpose.  Even in situations that we bring about on our own can be turned around and used for God’s glory and our good.  We have to choose to see the positive and focus on God’s never ending power and embrace the idea of being a miracle.  With the miracle may come some pain but with that pain can also come power!

 

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I Am Worthy!

It has been almost a year that I have been on this writing journey. I remember when I first embraced the idea that God had called me to write and how nervous and unsure I was.  Although people, primarily my husband and my mom, had been telling me about my writing for years I refused to accept what they were saying.  One reason is because I honestly did not feel that I had a passion for writing and I was really unsure of myself.  When I decided to go ahead and launch out into the deep I had many doubts. I wondered whether or not I would be able to gain followers.  I would ask myself if I were “educated” enough to write.  Would I be able to make a difference in anyone’s life?  All of these were things I asked myself and honestly I still do.  I almost allowed these fears and questions cause me to back out of doing what I truly believe in my heart that God wants and needs me to do.

Now here I am 8 months later, grateful that I started the journey but still dealing with the same fears. Honestly, I am still not sure if I can answer those questions that I asked myself last year.  When I post it is always amazing to read what others have taken away from what I have written.  I don’t know if people realize it but my writing comes from a place of vulnerability.  It comes from a place of realness and a place of passion.  A place which was once very broken but is now being healed more and more each day.  My writing really does come from my heart which is what I desire for people to see.

Sometimes I get discouraged when I do not get the amount of readers or followers that I hoped for. Sometimes I question my decision to even take the risk.  However, even in the midst of my insecurities something inside of me keeps pushing me to continue.  Something keeps motivating me to not give up and to remember that I am worthy of the call God has given me.  I am worthy of the talent that I was graciously given without my asking.  I am worthy of the gift that I sometimes fail to appreciate.  When I think about giving up I have to remember that I am more than a conqueror and that the present is not my end result.  I must remind myself that although the numbers may be low today tomorrow still leaves room for increase.

I am worthy to accomplish my dreams even when it takes longer than I desire. I am worthy to call myself what I know that I am even when I do not feel like it.  Those days I fail to complete the mission I set for the day I am still worthy.  I am worthy even when others do not see my worth.  Regardless of how it looks or seems sometimes we have to say to ourselves “I AM WORTHY”!

 

Take Your Power Back!

There are so many times we run behind things and people that are either not meant to be in our lives or choose not to be. In some cases they are meant to be in our lives, however, they often mistreat us or discourage us whether it is intentionally or unintentionally. We must remember that although people may say and do hurtful things to us, these things can only tear us apart if we allow them to. We have the power and we must take it back!

We have the power to keep pressing and keep believing in ourselves even when others do not. We have the power to overcome obstacles regardless of what others say about us. We have the power to live out our dreams and achieve our goals even if some do not believe that we can. We have the power to allow ourselves to be healed and delivered from things that happened in our lives that could have stripped us of our self esteem and knowledge of our worth. We have the power to make a difference in the lives of others and in our lives as well. It is time to take our power back!

Often times we allow rejection and negativity from loved ones define who we feel we are. Those words and actions cut deep and can often have a way of keeping us from living our lives to the fullest. We unintentionally begin to make life decisions based on limitations because we have allowed people to stop us from seeing our greatness. It is time to stop allowing people that power. We can no longer allow the insecurities of others impact us to such a magnitude. There is no need to continue to pursue and chase those who have made a decision to dismiss us because they refuse to recognize our value. We must stop giving them power that they do not deserve! Know your importance! Know your own value! Know your abilities and take your power back!

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Invest in Yourself

 

I realize that I have a bad habit that needs to be broken. The habit that I am speaking of is actually common among many people I know although I don’t know if they realize that it is a habit.  Sometimes we become so consumed with the cares of life and we forget to invest in ourselves.  We invest in our spouses, our children, jobs, churches, community and etc…but we forget to invest in ourselves. 

It is important to devote some time, energy and resources into ourselves.  I am in no way speaking against doing things for others; however, we must remember how important it is to do something for ourselves.  This is something we must put into practice on a regular basis and not just every now and then. 

   I want to encourage everyone that has an issue like I do to make it up in your mind that you will strive to change today.  If you are putting hours and hours of work in on someone else’s job, try to make time to work on your own business.  If you always buy for your family and forget about yourself take a day and buy just for you.  If you always sacrifice your rest for others take a day to rest for you.  If you are always listening to others to help them with their issues take a day to allow a friend to listen to you.  There are so many ways to look out for you, take care of yourself, love yourself, buy for yourself, and take time for yourself.  However you need to just ensure that you invest in yourself!