Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Raspberry Tea Bath

I know that you're probably thinking "where is she going with this blog title"....just wait, once you read the blog you'll understand.

This past weekend I had lunch with a friend. The lunch went great. We talked, laughed, shared stories...you know just having a good time. Well, as we were finishing up the waitress accidentally knocks over my glass of raspberry tea and it spills all over me. No, I didn't go into panic mode, I actually sat there a minute trying to process what had just happened. However, the young lady did go into panic mode and quickly went to get towels. We requested a manager and he came over in such high spirits and said, "I heard what happened. I heard that you had a raspberry tea bath".We all laughed but my thought was, 'now what are you going to do about it'. He informed me that the meal was on him and that he would take care of the dry cleaning if necessary.
During all of this I was really thinking about how the waitress felt. Did she at all think that I was going to be disgruntle or irate because of her accident. This was the perfect time to show compassion and grace. As we were leaving the restaurant, I stopped the young lady and gave her a tip. She immediately said that she couldn't take it. I then said, "well can you at least answer a question" she said yes and I asked her if she had a relationship with God. As I was asking her the question I continued to hand her the money. She smiled and said that she did. I encouraged her to continue to grow in her relationship with the Lord and remain strong. She then seemed relaxed and accepted the tip.
You see, she forgot about the pleasant service that she had provided. She provided great customer service, very attentive and full of smiles. She did the work that her employer expected her to do. But, she allowed a mistake to become a shadow over the positive things that she has done. We do the same thing. There are times when we forget about the good because we have allowed ONE bad moment to spoil everything. God has told us what we need to do in this life and yes we do make mistakes. Me sharing the gospel with the young lady was a way restoration. God shows us this kind of grace and restoration daily. When we make a mistake, He shows us grace by allowing us another chance to do it right.
Hopefully my actions will remind the young lady that no matter what, you can't give up. Although a mistake was made, she still needs to continue doing what is expected. I tell you, that no matter how many times you fall, GET BACK UP!! Continue on the journey God has so graciously given to you. He has already laid out His expectations, now Let's do what He expects Us to do.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Other Parent

Many single parents are in the situation to where you are probably feuding with the other parent. Regardless who has custody, there is a battle. It all comes down to expectations. Each parent has some sort of expectation(s) for the other. The expectations usually come down to finances and time. In other words, child support and visitation. The custodial parent expects the non-custodial parent to pay a certain amount of child support regularly and to spend time with their child(ren) and the non-custodial parent expects the custodial parent to use the child support a certain way and to spend a certain amount of time with their child(ren). When those expectations aren't met, the battle begins. Usually this brings on other issues that we expect the other to deal with and adjust to. It's an on going battle until one gives in and submits to the other. But how often does this happen?

I've learned throughout my time as a single parent to lower my expectations. Not to say that the other parent isn't meeting them, it's just so that I can stop myself from being upset. I also realized that eventually the children will see and come to understand what is going on. I just need to do my part. I also must be an example as well. Being an example means to show respect at all times and to love when I don't want to. Yes it gets hard but it's not about me.  As time passes, it gets easier. The headache also decreases, lol. Are there times when the other parent frustrates me.....YES, but I learn to put it in God's hands.

God continues to remind me to love. God reminds me that He is loving me when I do things that He doesn't want me to do. God is the perfect parental role model. When things get rough with the other parent, think about how God loves you. Think about the times when God, our Father, guided you through your circumstances. Think about how His love, restores. Hopefully this will give you peace and the strength to make it through the times of single parenting and struggles of dealing with the other parent.

Be Blessed!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hypocrisy at its best

This morning I woke up and turned on the news, Fox 4 KC, as I do daily and was immediately confused when I heard Mark Alford and Lauren Halifax asking viewers to respect the family at this time and to please bear with them...that this is a time for family. So for an hour I have been watching the news trying to figure out what they were talking about until I received a phone call. A friend of mine called and informed me that meteorologist, Don Harman, has passed away. I was immediately saddened by the news. I truly enjoyed watching him on the news and listening to weather reports in the past on radio stations. He was a true character and a ray of sunshine on the show.
As I was watching the news, another friend sent me a message regarding hypocrites. As I was responding, something hit me. Although the news isn't intentionally acting in hypocrisy but what they are doing regarding the passing of their own friend/family/co-worker is hypocrisy at its best! They are asking viewers to respect the family and to bear with them as this is a time for family. I had to let out a sarcastic chuckle on that. I'm thinking about the many people who may have dealt with something and the News Stations didn't respect that family's wishes.
In 1998 my family had to suffer through a painful loss of a family member by a tragic accident. My younger cousin was accidentally shot by a family member in my home. By the time the hospital called and declared my cousin as deceased, there were several news stations at my home. We pleaded with the news stations to not show our home, not to request for interviews, basically to allow our family to process what had just happened and let us deal with the loss of a loved one. One of the responses that we received was "we're going to do this story". Anger arose within. Some news stations did leave and ask what we could do at a later time. Some followed family members to different areas (police stations, hospitals, etc). We allowed a vigil to occur down the street from our home and we attended. Of course the news stations were very much present. Later that night we watched the news (flicking through different stations) and saw the many attempts to get to our home....disrespecting our family's wishes. We saw how the news interviewed neighbors, asking what type of family we were. I am very thankful for our neighbors. We've heard many positive compliments and received much support.
During this WHOLE time, it felt that we were hounded and bombarded by the media. This morning to hear the news station request respect from it's viewers.....now you see where my sarcastic chuckle came from, hypocrisy at its best. Yes, I understand that the reporters are only doing their job. The News is THE NEWS. Will this incident change the response for future reports? Maybe.....then again, maybe not.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Grieving Child

Life has it's way of throwing curve balls when you least expect. One of those curve balls is death. Yes, we all know that death is a part of life but when it hits home....it's a whole different ballgame. On November 17, 2011 my children, along with hundreds of other people, began to grieve a loss of a loved one...Waylon Greene. My children attended school with Waylon and have developed a really close friendship with him. As I spoke to my children about it, I began to notice the heartache and sadness in their voices. My daughter was closer to Waylon than my son but my son expressed hurt because his sister was hurting. The only thing my son could think about was his sister's sadness. That speaks volume for the love that they have for one another. This is not the first death of a friend that my children have experienced. This is the third death of a friend in 6 months. How do you deal with that??
As I am thinking and praying about ways to comfort my children, I began to think of God's love for us. These three children died for a reason unbeknownst to men. Then I thought to myself....I wonder if these children knew God? Were they saved? Did someone take the time out to share the Gospel with them? Although these moments are very sad and heartbreaking, the work of the Lord must continue. I will continue to encourage my children to share the Gospel with their friends and others they come into contact with.
As I speak about encouraging my children to share the Gospel, I want to encourage you as well.

Be Blessed.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What is too young?

One of the fears of being a parent is knowing that one day your child will hit puberty. At that time the body changes and wants to do it's own thing in which certain feelings and desires come about. Then we as parents begin to wonder when we need to have that "talk" with our child(ren). At what age should you begin talking to a child about sex?

If you're one to read/follow my blogs you know that I have two children, a son and daughter. My son is 13 (he will be the big 14 on Christmas Eve....time is surely flying by....ok ok, back to the blog) and my daughter just turned 12 (you would think that she is 30). As they were growing up I kept thinking...when should I sit them down to have the talk. I remember taking my children to the doctor when they were around 4 or 5 and the doctor asked them about good touch/bad touch. At that moment I realized that this talk is going to happen in phases. Children need to know at an early age what is appropriate and what's inappropriate. Every now and then I would ask my children about good/bad touch, just to make sure that they understood. When they hit elementary school other factors came into play. I had to think about what they were exposed to. On one particular day, my daughter came home and told me that two children were kissing and talking about sex on the playground (she was in the first grade at this time). I was thinking "WHAT...where in the blank blank did these kids get this from". Instead of reacting hysterically, I asked my daughter "what do you think about what you saw". She told me that it was nasty and that kids shouldn't be doing those types of things. I then asked her why. She responded by telling me that it's not right. It was then that I began to share a little more with her. I then asked my son about the kids his age and what are some of the things that he is seeing. Oh by the way, he was in third grade at the time. He informed me that his friends were talking about sex. I asked him how did he feel about it. He told me the typical child answer. "it's nasty and it's not right". Of course I asked why is it nasty and not right. He began to tell me that having sex when you're not married isn't right and God wants you to wait. I was stunned by his answer yet pleased coming from a 9 year old. At that time, I began to share a little more.

Once my children hit the double digits, I realized that the time is going to come for me to go more in depth. I started to think back on when I had my first kiss...etc. I realized that I really need to make it a point to make sure that they understand the implications and complications when it comes to sex. As each year passes I began to share more with my children.

 It's all a matter of maturity. As their bodies develop and change, they need to understand what it going on and why. You know the maturity level of your child(ren). At 12 and 13 my children know about sex and everything that can and could come along with it; mentally, physically, and spiritually. Society is playing a major part in our children's lives when it comes to sex. This is not a one time conversation that you have with a pre-teen. Start early with just touch and continue to talk to your child(ren) as they mature.

As always....Be Blessed!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Building Relationships

There are many reasons why one becomes a single parent; child out of wedlock, divorce, death, adoption/guardianship, caring for a child, etc. In which ever way it happened....it happened. Now the burden is on you to fill the parental role that has been designed for two. Sometimes this parental role is extremely tough. For a single mother, it would be hard for her to display a father's love as well it would be hard for a single father to display a mother's love. This is where you show strength in looking at others. Not to fill the void but to support you in the parental process.

I am a single mother of two, a son and daughter. Not having a male in the home can become difficult. Who is going to teach my son how to be a man? Who is going to show my daughter the genuine love from a man? I can only do so much. As I ask myself those questions, I began to think about the people in our lives. My children are blessed to be able to have a father that is still a part of their lives. But it doesn't stop there. My children have god-parents that have been nothing but a gift from God. Through their god-parents, my children get a sense of what marriage is suppose to look like. Their god mother, Theresa Sheffield, is a model of a godly wife, not only for my daughter but for me (if God leads me in that direction). My daughter will be able to see how a godly wife should serve her family. Their god father, DeLano Sheffield, is a model of a godly husband. My son will be able to see how a man should lead his home and treat his wife in the way God has designed it to be. Then there are other role models, our Youth Pastor, Antoine Richardson. I've entrusted my children to Pastor Richardson's hands on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings to help their spiritual growth and development. Through that, a relationship has grown. My children are able to see another example of a godly man, husband, and father. His wife, Dr. Sequita Richardson, displays the characteristics of a godly wife, mother, friend, and physician. I've been able to entrust her with our family's health physically and spiritually. Then there are friends who know you're struggling and don't ask questions....they just do. I don't want to start listing names because I don't want to leave anyone out. Last but not at all least....FAMILY. My father has not only been PaPa to my children but another father figure as well. It would take another blog entry to talk about my dad.

I say all of this to say....build godly relationships with others. Earlier I said that there are several ways that one becomes a single parent. Be a support to others as well. God has not designed for the Christian walk to be lonely so don't live life that way.

Be Blessed!

Be Blessed!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What are you leaving behind?

As I sit and reflect on people that have passed on, I wonder.....what am I leaving behind? What is my legacy? How will people remember me?
There have been many professional entertainers that have passed on, but the death of Heavy D really got to me. As I reflect on him, I remember growing up and dancing to his music. Not only me, but my mother, father, brothers and other family members as well. He had music that the whole family could listen to. True hip hop. He sang songs about how he wants to love and find that one girl...love that will lead to happiness. I also think about how he was on several television shows and he was the same guy....a man full of smiles. His presence will surely be missed. Other things that were going on during the time of his death was the trial for Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor for the legendary pop artist, Michael Jackson. As I reflect on the death of Michael Jackson, yes the first thought was WOW, he was a real icon. But then I began to think on the trials that he faced throughout his life and then I began to think about his spiritual life. It was reported that Michael Jackson was a Jehovah Witness. Thinking about that is when my heart began to sink. There is only one way into heaven and that is through Jesus. So, there's the speculation on whether or not he's with the Father.
I used these two major icons because they were well known for their contribution to the entertainment/music scene. They were a major influence and role models to many. Thinking about all of this made me ask myself, when I go on to glory, what will I leave behind?
Being a single parent, I had to work a little harder when it came to raising the children. My children will remember me being at their games, working two jobs to provide for them, coming to school functions, and will share many disciplinary stories. But will they remember me praying for them? Will they remember how I allowed God to use me to lead them to Christ? Will they say, "mom really loved the Lord"?
The most important thing that I can think to leave behind is the love of Christ. If I can share his love with others then I have really left something that is significant for others. Yes, the other things sound good but having the comfort of knowing that someone is with the Lord provides a sense of peace for healing and hope for others to know that one day you will be reunited with that person. Jesus left the most greatest gift behind.....Himself. His legacy exceeds any other. Because of Him, we have the opportunity to live for eternity.
As you live the rest of your days, think about what you're leaving behind.

Be Blessed

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Writers Block

Have you ever desired to do something so bad but was incapable of doing it? That's how I feel right about now. I want to write something so bad, but I am having what we writers hate the most.....WRITERS BLOCK!!! This is one of the most frustrating things to have as a writer. I wake up in the morning and say "I am going to write something today" and then I get in front of the computer and draw a blank. But then I sit and think about somethings, hoping to gain some motivation. Again, nothing.

Whenever I decide to blog, I want the reader to feel that they can relate to my writings. I like to encourage and inspire others through my words. But lately I feel that what I have inside isn't so encouraging and I don't want to depress anyone. I've talk to other writers and the response I get is to keep writing. Of course my initial thought is 'didn't you hear what I just said.....I have nothing'. Again they say, 'keep writing'.

When I first started this blog, I was writing once a week and then I faded away. Well, I am hoping that something will come to me soon. Yes, I have been through a lot that I can share but I don't want to bore my readers with details, lol. Then again, what I've been through could encourage others. We'll see. Keep me lifted in prayer and continue to encourage me and other readers that you may follow.

Be Blessed.

Friday, August 12, 2011

When God Intercedes

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary intercede means to intervene between two parties with a view to reconciling differences: Mediate. I understood what the word meant before reading the definition but once I read it after a situation, it meant so much more.

My church home, Macedonia Baptist Church in Kansas City, MO, is going through the series Experiencing God: Your Church Experiencing God Together by Henry T. Blackaby and Melvin D. Blackaby. I have learned so much about myself and corporate body worship through this series. In the lesson titled 'The Church in the Kingdom', there was a question that just really made me pause and think about ME. The question is, How does your lifestyle reflect your reaction to Jesus Title? The answers to choose from are: (1) I protest Jesus' kingship over my life; (2) I question Jesus' kingship over my life; (3) I ignore Jesus' kingship over my life; or (4) I accept Jesus' kingship over my life. Well of course I immediately went to the last one, I accept His kingship over my life. Then I was immediately convicted. I was reminded of what had just happened the day before and then I realized that I am really protesting Jesus' kingship over my life. It is a disappointing feeling knowing that you are actually protesting the Lord. You may wonder how can a believer protest God? It is very easy to do so.

I am struggling with sin.....yes I said it. There are things in my life that I would like to overcome. So, each day I pray to the Lord for strength that I make it through the day without having to face my struggles. Well, yesterday I completely threw that prayer out the window and was ready to give in. At that moment, I was protesting Jesus' kingship over my life. Instead of doing what God wants me to do, I was prepared and ready to do the opposite. I had set the plan in motion and was ready to execute....but God. God had something else better for me, He interceded for me and kept me. Later that night when I realized what had happened, I couldn't do anything but praise Him and thank Him for what He did. I took my eye off of Him and wanted to go down my own path of destruction and had the nerve to tell God that I just can't do this. I am not strong enough for this. He showed me that where I am weak, He is strong. What a Mighty God! If God wouldn't have interceded......hmm, I don't even want to think about it.

Jesus interceded for you and I, by giving up His life. He came between two parties, mankind and God, so that we can be reconciled with the Father. During those moments where you feel like giving up and telling God that you're not strong enough, allow Jesus to intercede for you. He is our strength.

Be Blessed!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Encouragement from the past

We are often told in life to not look back and just keep looking forward. Yes, this is good advice but what is pushing me forward? I can only know by looking back.....sometimes. Today I decided to take a look at my past....I thought about my life, decision making, and even read some of my previous blogs. By just taking a brief moment and doing that gave me encouragement to keep pushing forward. I was reminded of my growth, I was reminded of my blessings, and most of all I was reminded that God is always with me. Now you're probably thinking, "Kish..you should know that God is always with you". Yes, I know that. But just like we don't pay attention to every breath that we take or every blink that we make, that is how easy we can take our mind off of God and the inevitable. So I say to you, take a look back....and always be encouraged!

Monday, August 8, 2011


Promises. Many are made, many are broken. As parents, we often promise our children many things. When we make those promises, we intend to see it through. There are times when circumstances will not allow us to follow through and then we carry the burden of guilt because we feel that we have failed in some way. I tend to find myself in this situation A LOT! I often wonder if my children will lose faith in me. I find myself at a point to where I am learning not to use the word "promise" and now use the phrase "I will try/ do my best to.....". Should things really have to be this way? I honestly don't have an answer for that. As I am dealing with this issue, I can't do anything but thank God for His promises and that He has and will follow through. I am constantly reminded of Hebrews 13:5, that God will never leave me and never will He forsake  me (I chose to make it personal). My hope is that I don't burden my children with failed promises and that when they hear the word "promise" that they don't cringe or become faithless. I will do my best to show them as though there are times that I may fail, there is One who will never fail and that He will follow through on all of His promises.

Be Blessed

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


It's been a while since I have blogged. Sometimes situations can cause a person not to be inspired or just become complacent. Well, I became uninspired but now I am refreshed and back!!!
Last week I spent a week in Golden, MO at the Kids Across America Kamp (yes "K"amp...lol). It was an awesome experience. There were so many things that I was able to experience, servanthood, worship, and watching children praise God. I would encourage parents to look into this camp for their children and themselves. I will be attending this camp again.
So now that I am refreshed, I should be back on the grind of blogging.....be on the look out!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Healing

This week has been an interesting week. You know when you're going through something and you just can't seem to understand why all these things are happening to you? Well that's what it has been like for me. But then God revealed everything to me. My pastor has been preaching a revival and the message spoke about my situation. The reason why I was going through so much is because I was wounding myself, self inflicting wounds.
Earlier this week, I felt myself about to give up and give in to sin. I felt that I wasn't strong enough to keep from that sin. I talked with a friend who was reminding me of who God is and that He resides in me. But I wouldn't listen. Then I messed around and went to church. My pastor began talking about the wounded spirit/soul. Then it hit me, that is where I am. I cried throughout the whole sermon (those who really know me, know that it doesn't take much to make me cry). I just began to pray to God and pleaded for Him to deliver me from that sin. Lord, please don't allow me to fall back, take it away. As I cried out to the Lord, I received a text message from a friend about their wounds and we began to cry out to God together. By the end of the night, I was at peace. But it didn't stop there. The next day, the wounds were still there. I was reminded that some wounds don't heal overnight, it may take a couple of days. Well, God spoke to me again through the sermon by my pastor. Again, I cried because I knew what I had to do. It's time to stop self inflicting myself with wounds (sin). I need to surround myself with some Jeremiahs and when I see others self inflicting themselves I need to be Jeremiah in their lives. What is a Jeremiah? The prophet Jeremiah interceded by praying for the people of Judah (Jeremiah 8th chapter).
I know that I need healing, spiritually and emotionally. I have and will continue to reach out to God. You don't have to be a wounded soul. Cry out to the Lord. Reach out to Jesus and allow Him to heal your wounds. Pray with and for others for their healing.

Be Blessed!

Monday, April 25, 2011

When there's nothing nice to say

For the past couple of weeks I have been in a writers block, so I thought. I began a blog a little while ago and after I had written a couple of sentences, I realized that my words came across very negative. I stopped and erased everything. At that point I decided that since I didn't have anything nice to say, then I wasn't going to say anything at all. Well, I have realized that maybe what I had to say could actually encourage someone. Sometimes just knowing that you're not alone in a situation helps you to fight/push harder.
There are times in the single parent life where you feel all alone. Yes we know that there are people to support us, but there are those times when we feel that no one can really understand what we're going through. Especially when the other parent isn't doing their part (time, communication, financially, etc). During this time of feeling alone, we tend to think about how we got to this point. Well, I was at that point. I've allowed my frustrations and anger take charge of my thoughts. What I should have done was turn the situation over to God. Carrying around anger in your heart does nothing but adds an extra burden to your life. Don't add anything that will cause more stress.....LET IT GO! Yes, I will learn to take my own advice, lol.
It's funny how you know what you're suppose to do but instead you do the opposite. When will we ever learn.

Be Blessed.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Am I that immature?

I used a question to title this blog, "am I that immature?". I had to ask myself that question after receiving an awesome word from the Lord on Sunday. My pastor, John Brooks-Macedonia Baptist Church, preached a sermon titled "What are you going to do?". The sermon came from Matt 25:14-30, the parable of the talents. As God was using my pastor to tell me how I am not being a good steward of the money that He has so graciously provided me with, I began to realize that I really need to mature in this Christian walk. I say that I love God and that I trust Him but how can I when I am not handling my (well His) money how He sees fit? What's crazy about this is that for a few weeks I have been telling myself that I need to do better and I am going to do it with the next check, and then when that check comes I then say 'oh the next check'. Well, how many more checks will I receive before God says, "no more, your time is up?" I was truly convicted by the sermon. All I could do was sit there and say, "Lord, I am sorry".
When things got rough for me, I took matters into my own hands, yet at the same time saying, 'Lord, I know that you're going to work this out'. What was I thinking? I quit allowing God to be the captain of my ship. I tried to take the reigns, quit assisting in areas where I was needed and tried to do things on my own. As time went on, God went from being captain, to co-captain, to being a crew mate, and then I realized what I did. As I kept pushing Him back (unintentionally), I quit depending on Him like I should. My time and money were no longer invested in Him but into my own problems. As this was going on, my ship kept sinking. But by His grace, he didn't let me sink to the bottom. He did something that caught my attention...He anchored me. What I mean by that is that he made me sit and think about what I was doing before I could go further. I am thankful that He did so. By anchoring me, I am clearly seeing my immaturity in this Christian walk. I need to quit trying to take the lead. If I told Him that He is Lord of my life...then so be it.
God has given me a package. The package contains the following: my job, finances, children, car, home, friends, family, spiritual gifts/talents, and a voice (just to name a few). With this package, He has given me a command to go out make disciples. He has entrusted me with many things for the purpose of His kingdom. When he returns to collect, I should be able to show something, not just what He has given me but the growth of the investment that He has instilled me.
God has given you a package. That is His investment in you. Investments are made to grow. When you invest in something, you expect positive outcomes. Show God the same thing. I have been convicted....I am glad that He hasn't come to collect from me....He just checked on it. Now, it's time for me to really show some maturity in this walk.
Be Blessed

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Special Moments

You know, there are times in every parent's life that their child does something that only a parent (grandparent, guardian, aunt/uncle, etc) could love. Today I attended my son's school's talent show. My initial thought was 'who has a talent show on a Thursday morning at 8am?' To answer that question...it's Bernard Campbell Middle School. Anyhoo, I do thank God for allowing me to have a job that has flexibility so that I can attend events at such strange times. So, for the past couple of days my son has been rehearsing constantly (oh by the way...he plays percussion so, anything that remotely looks like a drum stick was beaten against anything that made a noise). He also felt the need to remind me every 30 minutes to bring my video camera to record his performance. One day, he, along with many other children, will understand that they don't have to ask their parent(s) to record them, this is something that we love to do....basically so that we can show everyone how talented we think our child is (thank God for new technology). OK, back to the show. So, I sat there and watched some children beat on chairs, play out of tune, sing off key, and dance off beat. The audience, consisting of a few parents, staff, and all  of the students that attend the middle school, enjoyed every moment of it. We cheered and clapped after each performance, no matter how many mistakes were made. At the end of the show, I realized...there are times during parenthood that no matter how bad something sounds or looks, that if your child is a part of it, that is one of the most special moments in your life.
If you're raising a child, helping someone raise a child, caring for a child at anytime (baby-sitting, visits, etc), enjoy every moment you spend with that child. Those small moments are actually very special moments that the child will one day look back on and remember that you were there to share it with them.

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thank You

Throughout life, we'll come across many people. Some will be there for a moment and some will be there for a lifetime. Some will cause havoc, while others will comfort. Some will laugh and cry with you and some will make you laugh and cry. There are some people who you rarely talk to and then there are those that you talk to everyday. Sometimes it seems as though the ones that you don't talk to daily are the ones whom you're very close with. I have friends and family that are my encourager, cheerleaders, support and help. There are some that I talk to daily and then there are some that I only talk to weekly, monthly, or yearly. But all in all, they all serve some sort of purpose in my life as I do in theirs. I thank God for friendships and relationships that have been established throughout my life here on earth. Sometimes I don't understand why He placed a certain person in my life during a certain time, but I do know that it all works out in His timing.

Appreciate those that God has placed in your life (good/bad). Some of those people have made you stronger. Some may have caused you to be humble when you were arrogant (we all have those moments). Some may have shown you the true meaning of friendship and love. Take the time and tell someone "thank you" for allowing God to use them in your life. Thank God for allowing you all to cross paths.

Be a blessing to others.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Wait

When I made the decision to become a Christian....wait a minute, let me rephrase that. As God was dragging me to Christianity and I was trying to say "no", of course we all know that I wasn't going to win the battle between me and God, and soon came to realized that I needed God and finally said "Lord, You are my saviour and the Lord of my life", I did not think that this walk would be difficult. Whenever I am going through trials and tribulations, I try to remind myself that God is in control and things will work out. But there are times when I do get discouraged and don't want to hear anything positive. I hate when I am in that state. I've been going through some tough times (as we all do) and have grown tired during the wait. I had family and friends constantly encouraging me, praying with me, and I also put on a facade so others wouldn't know what I was going through. Then I got to a point where I felt like if I was to try to reach up, I would still be scraping the bottom. But the interesting part was, I could see the sun shining from afar.....I just didn't want to wait. I wanted immediate satisfaction. Thank God for friends/family that don't give up on you. A friend of mine reminded me of what Jesus went through. The promise of suffering is not an easy pill to swallow, but there are things that come along with that. Jesus suffered so that a measly, wretched, sinful, creature as myself, could live eternally with Him. He loves us so much that he suffered being lied on, talked about, beaten, hung, spit on, tortured, (need I go on) so that we can have everlasting life in heaven with Him. So, after thinking about His wait from birth to crucifixion/death to being raised from the dead, surely I can get through the "waiting" part. I also have to understand that at the end of the waiting period, the end result may not be what I want it to be but it's all working out for His perfect Will.
So while you're waiting, continue to keep your eye on the Lord. It will get tough, if you feel like crying..cry. Cry out to the Lord. Allow the encouragement from friends and family to strengthen you, because it's only God using them to remind you that He is there.

This song is very encouraging during those waiting periods. Keep on believing.

While You Wait Lyrics

Joe Pace & The Colorado Mass Choir

Verse 1:
While you wait,
you might have to stand in the rain.
While you wait,
there may be some heartache and pain.

Chorus 1:
While you're watiting for your promises
to be fulfilled in your life,
remember God is not late,
so just praise Him while you wait, wait.

Verse 2:
While you wait,
your friends may not stay by your side.
While you wait,
your eyes may ache from the tears you've cried.

Chorus 1

Weeping may endure for a night,
but joy comes with the morning light.
God's never late,
so praise Him while you wait,
while you wait.

Verse 4:
While you wait,
you can hold your head up high.
While you wait,
know that very soon you will fly.

Chorus 2:
While your waiting for your promises
to be fulfilled in your life,
remember God's never late,
so just praise Him while;
God's never late,
so just praise Him while;
God's never late,
so just praise Him while you wait,
wait, wait.

While you wait,
keep on believin',
keep on believin.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Acceptance vs Rejection

In life we will face many things and cross many paths. Two of which are acceptance and rejection. There will be times when we apply for certain things (college, jobs, positions) and the response will either be, you have been accepted for____ or sorry but at this time we're not able to offer you_____. How we respond to either answer really displays the full character of who we are. When some people are accepted into position, they become arrogant and have a high and mighty attitude. When some are rejected, they become angry, bitter, and sometimes jealous. Is that how we should act? I think not.
Let me take it further. In the Christian walk, we were called to be God's child. We didn't have to submit a resume, sit down for an interview, or ask 3 people if they would mind being a reference. All we had to do was accept His invitation. Now that we're in, it's time to work. In this walk we are called to work in certain areas and to hold different positions. God has blessed us with talents and gifts to use for His glory, not ours. Everyone is not called for leadership and that is something that we must accept. There are many times when we feel that since God has blessed us with a certain talent or gift that we ought to work or be in a certain position. Not necessarily. For instance, God may have given you the talent to sing. Well just because you can sing doesn't mean He wants you to lead the choir. Maybe He wants you in the choir making a joyful noise along with His other children. Maybe God has blessed you to teach. Well you feel that you should teach the young adults and God is saying, "NO, I want you to teach the children" (or maybe "I want you to teach your children). There are times when God wants you to actually do work in your own home with your family rather than in other places (ie church, school, job, etc). God doesn't give us talents and gifts just to use outside the home, use them in your home. Teach your wife, husband, children, cousins, etc the Word of God. Sing songs of praise while you're cooking dinner. Shout for Joy when you walk in your front door (you have a door to walk into). Turn off the TV and pray just because it's 7pm. Just because a door doesn't open up when and where we want it doesn't mean that we are being rejected. God isn't rejecting you, He is just telling you that he has something else that He wants you to do.
There are times when certain individuals are in a position where they feel is best and they do not use it for His glory. In 3rd John 1:9-10, Diotrephes had a leadership position and he was also very arrogant. He used his position for himself and not for the Lord. When we go into positions that "we" feel that is best for us (not going where God wants us), we could cause trouble and hinder others from doing the work or receiving a Word from the Lord. When God calls us, we must humble ourselves. We must understand that we are merely instruments that are being used for His purpose. Let God use you! Allow Him to lead and place you where He wants you. All that we do, we must work together to serve one purpose....God.
Be Blessed!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Racial Ignorance

I was reading a blog by Sister Teri Brooks " Racist or just "comfortable"? Racial Division in the church" and it sparked something inside me. People who know me know that race is a very sensitive issue with me. I DON'T LIKE IT! I really hate when race is an excuse for ignorance or lack of acceptance. Now let me say this, I know that discrimination exists and I am not naive to think that it's going to end anytime soon. My point for this blog is again, I hate it when race is used as an excuse.
My parents raised me with the understanding that I could be whatever I wanted and that I could do whatever I wanted as long as I put my mind to it. Growing up, I heard comments and was called certain names based on race (yellow, oreo, light bright...just to name a few). Most of it was from African American/Black people (however one wants to be addressed.....that is a whole different issue in itself). I didn't let that make or break me. I kept it moving.
In early adulthood I noticed how some of the things I dealt with as a kid and teenager still continued and it began to irritate me. One of the biggest things that irritate me the most is when people say "you're acting white" or "you're acting black". Can someone PLEASE define acting white/black? How come no one ever acts Asian, Hispanic, Cuban, etc. It's either black or white and then people will always make it look like acting "black" is a negative thing. So, because I speak proper English, don't act like I'm from the hood (I'm NOT), or use ghetto slang every other word, I'm acting "white"? That right there will start an argument with me, even if you are my friend or family member. Again, the sad part about it is that it's coming from African Americans/Blacks. At times like this, I would immediately challenge someone to define black and white and then tell me how I should or should not act. That is when I would get the typical response, "oh you know I was just playing" or "you know what I meant". I would tell them that I didn't understand and would like for them to explain themselves and that is when the argument would start and I would win (sorry...pride moment....forgive me) because they couldn't justify what they were saying. Then people like to go further and say "the man is holding me down". Really? Most people who use that excuse either dropped out of school, got in trouble for doing something wrong and stupid, or just being lazy (just to name a few). Race is not an excuse for failure!!
What's even more crazy is that it exist in the church (referring back to the article written by Sister Brooks) a place where we should unite for one purpose, God. People, we are all going to be together one day praising God for who He is (that is if you're saved). If God cared so much about our race then why are there so many races? If it were meant for us to be the same, then God would have made us that way. I am so glad that He didn't. I am glad that we are all different. That's the spice of life. Because we are different, we can learn from one another. Being different allows ways for us to love each other more, give, receive, show kindness, etc. We learn all these things to be more like Him.....Christ.
Don't let race be a factor of ignorance but use it to accept who you are. Embrace your heritage, love who you are and love others just because........Christ did it for us.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Bless You!

"Bless You" is the most common response whenever someone sneezes. Many of us learned that response as children. Other responses are "excuse me", "thank you", and "you're welcome". We were told to do that so much that it became a habit and a routine in our lives. At what point in your life did you understand what you were saying and actually meant it? Even to this day, do we actually say bless you and mean it or are we still stuck in the routine of being respectful and courteous? Let's take this a step further and look at our relationship with God. Is your relationship with God based on a routine that you were taught as a child or is it something that you have taken the time to understand on your own? As children, some of were taught the standard children's prayer "now I lay me down to sleep, I pray to Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray to Lord my soul to take. AMEN." Some were taught the extended version... God Bless...momma, daddy, grandma, grandpa and every relative, animal, cars, truck that you came across. How many of us are still praying a prayer that was taught to us when we were younger?
When things become habit/routine, you are completely missing the meaning or purpose it has on your life. Christianity should not be a routine in our lives. It should be our lives. As we are walking in this Christian life, we should be learning new things. Especially how messed up we are and how God really don't need us for anything, His Grace and  Mercy. We should strive to be more like Him; loving, kind, gentle, humble, just to name a few. We shouldn't be accepting of things that are not of God but showing others what it's like to be His child. That is something that can't be a routine. Think of a politician (yeah I know....but hear me out), does a politician give up? NO, they keep pushing until they get to that highest position. We should keep pushing until we reach our highest position....being in the presence of the Lord.
Salvation should not be taken for granted. The gift of salvation is the most precious gift that we can ever receive. Don't stop once you receive it. Keep working, living, loving, sharing, and GROWING. Don't get stuck in a routine. If you find yourself there, pray to the Lord to lead you. Follow Him. Trust, He will not let you stray.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Looking Back

As I look back over my life,
I can see how Your love has guided me,
Even though I've done wrong, You never left me alone,
You forgave me and You kept on blessing me,
This I recall to my mind therefore I have hope,
It's because of Your mercies that we are not consumed,.
Because Thy compassion fails not, they are new every morning,
Great is thy faithfulness, Great is they Faithfulness.
You've been, Lord You've been so faithful.......

That is just the first part of a song that touches my heart every time I hear it. "As I look back over my life", as we go throughout life you'll hear many people say "don't look back, keep going forward. I have an issue with that. If we don't look back, how would we know where we came from? Looking back allows me to fight on and keep going. To know what I have overcome and the things that I have achieved is like a little push forward. The big push that keeps me going is knowing what God has brought me through. As I think about the things that I have gone through and where I should be today...... if it had not been for the Lord.....I can't do anything but praise God for keeping me. Looking back helps me to see God's grace and mercy. Take a moment in your life where you thought it was a miracle that you did/made/got/received________ (fill in the blank). Remember what I said, what you thought it was a miracle. I am here to tell you that it wasn't. It was God. Now look at your life today. What did you have to go through in order to get to today? You didn't go through it alone. He was right there. What gets me is that there are some people that don't acknowledge God for those victories. There are some people right now trying to figure out how they made it today. There's only one answer.....God.
Once again, take a look back over your life (childhood, teenage life, college, parenting, last year, last month, last week, yesterday, a few minutes ago, etc), think about all those times when you felt that you couldn't _________ (fill in the blank). God allowed you to make it to NOW. Notice I didn't say today. Today (whatever day you're reading this) is not over. That right there is Joy in itself.
I want to challenge you.....if you don't know God, try Him. If you don't know how, ask me. For those that do know God, THANK HIM! Tell someone about Him. Tell your story. Your story will help someone else. God Bless.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Run or Talk about?

This week I was hit with something that I wasn't prepared for. I've worked with a lot of youth over the years (be it volunteering or employment). I continue to work with the youth today. I was approached by a young lady that is dealing with a very serious issue....SEX! First, I have to say that I was humbled when she opened up to me about what she is dealing with and actually valued my opinion. So, I asked her what was going on and she told me that her friends are having sex and now her boyfriend wants to as well, but she isn't ready. She said she spoke to her mother about it but she got the standard parent answer, "you know that I don't want you to have sex, but if you do make sure that you use protection." She said that her first thought was 'do you care that I have sex?' That hit home for me. I have two children at home ages 11 and 13 and I know that this issue is about to enter into their lives. I read a blog earlier this week "I don't want you as my Facebook friend" by Sister Teri Brooks and it reminded me about the relationships that teens have with adults. Some are good but sometimes we as adults make so hard for teens to be themselves (great read). So back to the young lady, as she was talking I was trying to figure out how to respond but then it hit me. Be honest and be truthful, don't run from this conversation. First I congratulated her on waiting and told her that it was very big of her and that I don't want her to have sex either. I also told her that her mother cares and that telling her to use protection was a way of educating her. She then told me that one of her reasons for waiting is her relationship with God (thank you Jesus). That is powerful, especially coming from a 15 year old girl. But I had to keep it real. I told her that this is an issue that is not going to go away. At 30something and single, I am dealing with it (FLESH) daily. I told her that I have a friend (accountability partner) that I can call on whenever I am faced with that issue. We pray together and I am also reminded that I love God more. I also told her that sometimes I have to repeat over and over "I love God more, I love God more". I told her about some of the stories that I have heard from some men that said that they didn't have premarital sex because their wife said no...wait until we're married and they did just that. They waited. They felt that she was worth it. These men prayed for a wife and when God blessed them with the women, they respected them and obeyed the Word of God. She and I talked about what most boys (and some girls) would say when you tell them that you're not ready, 'don't you love me', if you don't someone else will', don't you want to keep him'. I told her to respond, "isn't God's masterpiece worth waiting for?" She smiled at that one. At the end I had to ask, "did I help?" She said yes and that she is going to hang in there. I then thought about how to talk to my own children. I can't run from this conversation, I will have to face it. Little did that young lady know how much she had helped me. I can't give my children that standard parent answer. I really need to talk about it with them. As a parent I want to protect my children from the world but I know that I can't. What I can do is continue to educate them on what they will face, continue to support and nurture their relationship with God, and be there when they need me.
So my question for you is, when that time comes will you run or talk about it? For those who have been there, did you run or talk about it?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Have you ever...?

Have you ever done something and then realized, hmm I wonder if that's how God treats me? I have those moments quite often. I have noticed the love of God more and more as I take this journey through PARENTHOOD! When I look at my children or other children in my life (nieces, nephews, cousins, kids I mentor, etc), I see a person that God has placed in my life. As an adult, I have set guidelines, boundaries, and laid out rules for them to follow. But we all know that many of them will be broken. So, at times when those guidelines and rules have been set, punishments have been listed right behind them. Many times, we as parents have said them all in one breathe, "if those dishes aren't done by the time I get home, I promise there will be some consequences and repercussions". God has done the same with us. God has said what we should and should not do and has also told us what would happen when we disobey Him, but has that stopped us from sinning all together? Not at all. I was reminded this past Sunday of reconciliation. As the preacher was preaching I had to step out and change my nephew's diaper. I went to the nursery and one of my other nephews was in there. He saw me and we greeted each other with a hug and kiss (he loves his auntie baby....our nicknames for each other). Well as I was leaving the nursery I noticed him starting to disobey the rules and being disobedient towards one of the staff members. I intervened and spoke with him. My first words were, "Do you want me to get you?" He immediately shook his head no. As I saw his little face turn down, I felt my heart melt because I had to discipline him. I then looked at him in his little eyes that I adore so much and told him that I loved him and if he knew that. He said yes. As I walked out the nursery with the other nephew in tow, I thought 'hmm, I wonder if that's how God treats us'. How many times have we done something that we KNEW that we wasn't suppose to be doing and that voice chimes in saying 'you know better than that'. I know that God is compassionate and gives us so much grace that we don't deserve but at that moment, I realized how many times God could've "got me" but yet he didn't. I also realized how God has made a way for me to reconcile our relationship regardless of what I have done. He still loves me. Now there have been times that I have been punished by God and I am going through some of it now but I understand why. Disobedience, sin, comes with consequences. Now there are different levels but they are most definitely there. Through this journey of parenthood I have come to understand the love that God has for us more and more. I don't want my children to fail in life, bump their heads, or anything but I know that it's going to happen and when it does, they will know that I am right there, STILL LOVING THEM.
I thank God for salvation and allowing reconciliation. I thank God for using parenting as a way of reminding me of the Love that He has.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

His Journey

The journey of life is not easy, you have your ups and downs, things seem to get in your way, decisions to make regarding your future gets  harder has you get older, etc. But the Christian journey is much more complicated. On this journey, you must realize how insignificant you are. First, you must understand that God has hand picked you to travel on this journey and secondly you need to get to a point in your life when you realize that it's not your journey but it's the Lord's.
As I have been studying the Word, listening to sermons and bible study, I have been reminded of God's grace. I have come to understand that it is really not about me. I mean, yes we say that but when you get to a point when you finally realize it, it makes a huge difference in your walk through His journey. I have ran into some stumbling blocks, been through some storms, and came to some forks in the road that has slowed me down at some points but I kept going. As I keep going I am growing to understand God's love for me, His love for us. As I am understanding this more, this journey is becoming more enjoyable. I can smile because I have peace and I can keep going because I know that He's with me.
As you walk through this Christian journey, enjoy it. Remember, you were personally invited by God to travel on His journey. Be eternally grateful that you had the chance and opportunity to accept the invitation.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Truth vs Disobedience

This past New Year's weekend was good. I heard a great word from several preachers. I was motivated through songs of praise, and I saw smiles on everyone's faces. But there was something that disturbed me. Well, during Sunday Morning worship my pastor (John L. Brooks...Macedonia Baptist Church....nice plug huh), anyhoo, my pastor made a statement about how we need to teach the TRUE word of God. He also encouraged the youth pastor (Dr. Antoine Richardson.....a great leader for the youth) to continue teaching the children so that they can go to school talking about Jesus. So, I turned to my daughter and asked her if she talks about God at school and she flat out said "NO". I was actually disturbed. So I waited until after church to carry on the discussion of sharing the gospel at school. So after church we stopped by their god parents house (the Sheffields are AWESOME) and this time I decided to ask both of my children about sharing the gospel at school. That is when I received clarification on the matter. They both told me and their god parents that they would get in trouble if they talk about Jesus so that is why they don't say anything. So, Theresa asked if they talk about Muhammad and my son said yes because he is in the history books. So then we, the god parents and I, encouraged the children to talk about Jesus. Fear has set in on my children. They are scared to share the Word because they don't want to get in trouble. As a parent, you don't want to teach your children to be disobedient but when it comes to Christ, I don't want them to be hindered from sharing His word because of fear.  My children love the Lord and my goal (with the Lord's help) is to work with my children so that fear will not hinder them from sharing God's word with others.
If you have children, are around children, working with children, know someone who has children.....PRAY!! Pray that fear won't be a hindrance. Children should be excited about God outside the church just as much as they are when they're in the church.

Be Encouraged!!

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6