Purpose

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years-that-ask-questions

 

As 2016 comes to a close and 2017 is quickly approaching I pause to reflect on what was, what is, and what I hope is to come…I write a list of what I want to accomplish during the year 2017. I didn’t do this in 2015 in preparation for 2016, or did I…I might have but this time feels different, more purposeful. 2016 had unexpected painful moments of loss and frustration but there were also surprisingly pleasant moments that were better than I could have ever hoped for, but isn’t that what every year consists of?

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As 2016 is coming to a close I am deciding that I want to live life more on purpose and with purpose because I am becoming increasingly aware of how short and fragile life can be. As I strive for that goal, I struggle to determine what that should look like for me. Could one’s purpose be something so simple as “to help people”? Could one’s life purpose be that vague? That general? I have always felt like one’s purpose was something unique, direct and specific. I feel like “help people” is what I’ve done my whole life, sometimes willingly with pleasure and sometimes overwhelmingly and with resentment but that has been my whole life, helping others. People like me, they confide in me, they ask me for sound advice. Meanwhile I don’t trust anyone (but God!), yes I have friends and family but I dare not confide in anyone about anything for fear of being judged, ridiculed, misunderstood, whatever is going on with me, I suffer silently, tears streaming down my face while laying in the dark and I try mostly to figure it out on my own (and with much prayer). Yet everyone everywhere I go sees me as a leader, I don’t set out to do this, it just happens. It’s like I have an invisible banner that everyone can see but me. So I mostly spend my time trying to live up to this role because I realize that I am talented in some ways that people need and so always, every time I can, I help.

why-am-i-here

I’m at a great place now in my career where I feel settled and I have never ever felt settled I have always been looking for the next best thing. But now, in this season, work is good, it pays the bills well, but I know that’s not all I’m here for, this cannot be all there is, I have to identify and pursue my real purpose, my real passion, my real reason for living and I intent to start in 2017.  I want to do more, give more, be more, so for 2017 I’m chasing purpose. Cliché, yeah kinda, but it’s true for me right now.

the-purpose-of-life-is-a-life-of-purpose

What are YOU doing in 2017? We ALL have a purpose, what’s yours? I know that life is busy. We all have a lot going on, a variety of demands tugging at each of us all the time. But what kind of life are we living if we do not enjoy it, if we are not fulfilling our purpose? So as 2016 comes to a close and 2017 is quickly approaching I encourage everyone to put some thought into it, into your life and how you want to live it, because this life, your life -it will be over for all of us before we know it.

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Psalm 138:8
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Relatable Song: Live Like That by Sidewalk Prophets

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Not Perfect…

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not perfect

My life is changing. I think I’m growing up or something. About time, in a sense. Even though I aspire to be forever young I am starting to mature in some ways and at my age I should be.  It is no surprise to me that I’m not perfect, we all know no one is perfect.  However, what I am actually realizing is that there are some aspects of me that I need to change for the benefit of myself and everyone around me that for a long time I actually didn’t think warranted change.  One of my main goals this year is self-improvements so here we go!

The main change I feel that I need to make first and right now is my relationship with Anger. Yes, I am one of those. Now I don’t think that I need anger management, I haven’t busted the windows out of anyone’s car, I haven’t smashed dishes or punched walls or anything like that, when I get angry my weapon is my words (makes sense I’m a writer).  The point is I always felt entitled to my anger because in my mind it’s an authentic feeling, if something or someone pisses me off am I not allowed to demonstrate that I am mad?! Not to mention I’m not the only one like this, I get my fiery anger from my dad and my older brother shares this trait too, if you make them mad you will hear about it verbally. So to me in my mind, my reactions are normal.

Anger is never

Lately I’m becoming more aware of it and I’m starting to feel that maybe this anger is not necessarily a good thing. I’m also reading a few books now for growth and improvement purposes and these may be impacting this decision as well indirectly.  So I decided to look at why I get angry to see if I can get to the bottom of this and overcome it. I think that the reason for my anger stems from my desire to have control.  I’m a very structured and organized individual by nature, that’s just how I am and how I live my life, I am not controlling by any means but I do like when things go according to plan, my plan.  There are times when things do not go according to my plan and quite honestly it can make me furious especially when it is due to someone else’s doing.  I take time to meticulously plan my day and my life, why can’t others do the same instead of imposing their lack of planning or thoughtlessness on me and wreaking havoc in my life.  This is how I think.

im so angry

Fortunately or unfortunately the world, my world, is filled with friends, family and strangers alike who all at some point interact with me in a way that goes contrary to the plan that I had for my day. Most times I handle it in stride and it doesn’t bother me at all and some days I get pretty angry about it especially if it causes an unexpected inconvenience to me in any way, shape or form.

I am realizing that it is in my best interest to be more flexible in everything and make more efforts to control my temper. Life always comes at you with some crazy plot twist so I should just accept that this is how it is and embrace it because resistance is certainly futile with this. So I’m working on letting go of wanting to control circumstances around me based on how I expected things to go in my mind and embracing a new mindset. I’m trying to go with the flow to some degree, it’s very freeing.

blessed are the flexible

What-screws-us-up-most-

For the people who know me best, my fiery angry side is no secret to them and has been a part of me from ever since I can remember. So this is now a new part of my journey to be less angry and more accommodating, period. I also came across something on Pinterest (you know that awesome black hole of endless information that eats up so much of our time) that really spoke to me. It was very specific and came directly from Philippians 1:27. It stopped me in my tracks and made me realize that my actions as a Christian are always being watched by everyone around me and also by God. So, that challenged me even more to conduct myself better, no matter what. Challenge Accepted!

whatever happens

 

your life may be the only bible

So these days I aspire to be better, I will never be perfect, no one will, but I do aspire to be better one step at a time and one day at a time. Yes, there will be days that I fail, frankly I failed this morning stuck in traffic on my way to work, did I mention that I am also impatient at times which doesn’t help my anger any at all.  But even when I fail, I will keep trying, that’s the new plan.  Instead of giving into anger I want to exhibit the fruits of the spirit and have better control of my thoughts and my actions regardless of what is happening around me.

anger is poison

 

Maybe anger isn’t an issue for you, and if not good for you! Anger is bad for you mentally, physically emotionally and spiritually.  However, if you are prone to anger issues see if you can get to the bottom of why, there are a whole variety of reasons for why one is angry.  And maybe you’re not angry but maybe you are something else that is also not good for you or those around you…jealous, bitter, a complainer, a procrastinator, makes repeated bad decisions, …I don’t know your issue, but everybody has something, as stated earlier no one is perfect.  Whatever your issue is, why not decide to change it? Changing this will only make you better and who doesn’t want to be better. Change is hard, but with God all things are possible, so you go ahead and make the necessary efforts and then just trust God to help you make the changes you need to in your life. He is in the transformation business and he will complete the work in you that he has begun, you need only believe that it is possible, do your best and trust God to do the rest.

good better best

Prayer for God’s help with changing:

” Heavenly Father, I need to make some changes in my life.  I seem to be constantly struggling with (insert your issue here) and it is affecting me and those around me negatively. I want to do better, I want to be better, please help me, equip me, guide me and lead me.  I know that with God all things are possible and so I am praying to you and trusting you to help me to make the necessary positive changes in my life.  Please free me from anyone or anything that will hinder me from making these positive changes. Empower me and strengthen me to think better, do better and be better. Thank you for being with me and for me, thank you for helping me as I aspire to accomplish these positive changes in my life for my betterment and the benefit of those around me, in Jesus mighty name I pray. Amen.”

Need a personal relationship with Jesus Christ or want more information about it? Click here.

Relatable song (click link below to listen):

Shoulders by King and Country

Relatable scripture:

Philippians 4:1321st Century King James Version (KJ21)

13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:8New International Version (NIV)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

 

Suicide – I don’t wanna live!

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permanent solution to temporary problem

I’m not an everyday blogger. I only write when I have something deep, profound and worthwhile to say. That was my intention when I created my blog to make a difference with my words and my stories, to make an impact, to inspire, to help and to show people that wherever they are they are not alone.  That was the purpose.

Suicide statistics

So, being completely honest here suicide has crossed my mind at one time or another in my life. And if we are all completely honest we can agree that this is a fact for most of us.  Well, most recently someone I know committed suicide and I was absolutely heartbroken for her.  I cried immediately when I got the news.  It was a young woman, in her mid to late twenties, with a precious three year old daughter so on the surface it would seem that she had so much to live for but in her mind clearly there was nothing to live for. I thought to myself when I got the news, how could this happen?!  We all go through stressful times, painful times, difficult times, we all entertain the thought but at what moment do we decide, I’m doing this! I wish I could talk to her, I wanted to understand why she felt like this was her only option, I wanted answers, but I would never have any.  She was gone for good and now those of us that knew her were sitting around talking about going to the memorial service to pay our last respects. Everyone who heard the news was shocked. I’m assuming that’s the case though in most suicides.  This madness has to stop!

Suicide 1

People that we know and interact with sometimes even daily are hurting and suffering knowingly or unknowingly to us. They should not be deceived into thinking that suicide is the answer to all their problems because it’s NOT! All suicide does is give you a MUCH bigger problem!

See I believe in heaven and hell, I believe the commandments of the Most High God are to be obeyed including the commandment that states do not murder (which includes murder of oneself). Now obviously obeying all the commandments are difficult at times.  Some sins are easier to avoid than others, no one is perfect but we each have to try our best, because yes sometimes life is hard, but that’s LIFE!

As long as there is life there is hope, so every single day that we are alive we get a chance to do better, to be better, a chance for change. Nothing lasts forever, good times don’t last forever and neither do bad times. Life is cyclical, we have to take things in stride, that’s how you survive, you accept that there will be ups and downs and you work through it, the sun will shine again. It’s never going to be dark forever regardless of what it feels like right now.

It devastated me to think that at that moment when she took her life, that she opened her eyes only to wake up in hell where she would burn for all eternity in the lake of fire with the Prince of Darkness and his tormenting demons. Now I know, I know, I believe the bible and everyone does not believe the bible, I get it. So if I’m wrong about what I believe I just die and go into a hole in the ground to be worm food or I go off to purgatory or I’m reincarnated or whatever doctrine that has been fed to the masses that turns out to be right would then occur.  BUT if the bible turns out to be true after all and there is really life after death well then there is just heaven or hell!  And that’s an awful way to find out you were wrong all along to just wake up in hell after you die.  The greatest trick the devil has ever played on this world is how strongly he has convinced them that he doesn’t exist.

Satans names

With that said, I’ve placed my bet on Jesus, the way, the truth and the life. Not just because the odds are in my favor, but because I’ve tried it for myself and know it’s absolutely real. And it’s not about religion, or which church you go to, or how many times you go to church.  It’s all about your personal relationship with the creator of the universe who you can only get into relationship with through your acceptance of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  Click HERE for more on that if you are interested.  (Also, besides suicide, death can come suddenly for any of us from many unexpected accidents, be ye ready!)

Anyway, I’m coming down off my pulpit to focus on the issue at hand.  Suicide is stealing thousands of lives a year and must be stopped. I urge everyone who reads this post to please check in with your friends, family and loved ones, physically and verbally let them know that they are not alone, they are loved, they are supported and that hard times don’t last forever.  So many people around us are suffering silently while the spirit of suicide seduces them into taking their own life convincing them that death has got to be better.  No one should feel like death is their only choice or that death is better, because it’s simply not true.

The scariest monsters

Here’s a prayer that you can pray if you have been feeling suicidal lately:

“Lord Jesus, I come to you now because I need help.  I feel like the things I am going through are choking the life out of me.  I really don’t want to die, I want to live, but it’s been so hard lately.  Please help me to see the good in life and not just the bad.  Help me to feel your hope and not feel despair.  Fill me with your atmosphere of light, love and peace, remove every spirit of suicide and darkness from my life, give me freedom, strength, your guidance and direction, come into my life and save me, because I need your help!  Please Lord Jesus forgive me for my sins and deliver me from these feelings of darkness, heaviness, guilt and shame, in Jesus mighty name I pray, amen.”

Resist the devil

I truly believe that if you pray this prayer and you believe you will notice a change in your life and things will begin to get better. The only way to know whether or not God is real is to try him. Just try him, there’s nothing to lose.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please get help contact the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or check out their website at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org or go to the nearest local church and ask for help. Believe me when I say this no one wants you dead, there are people that want to help you and there is so much to live for, your life could improve next week, next month or even tomorrow, anything is possible, please don’t give up!

Suicide Hotline Info

I pray peace, blessings, and love upon everyone who reads this post because yes life is hard sometimes but it’s still a beautiful experience worth fighting for.

Relatable Songs (click each below to listen):

Grace Wins by Matthew West

He Is With Us by Love & The Outcome

Relatable Scriptures:

John 10:10-29  English Standard Version (ESV)

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Psalm 14  King James Version (KJV)

14 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.

The Best Writing

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My best writing comes from my deepest, darkest, most painful experiences.  From having gone through something fierce and arriving on the other side of it.  The real pain and emotions of what I am feeling, flowing out onto paper.  Some things you never forget. Some things change your life forever.  Yet, even when the pain is old, I can still recall it fresh in all it’s honesty and vulnerability, that transparency… that’s what makes it good!
Ms. Meraki

Your Lazarus Situation (It’s Never Too Late…)

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its never too lateJohn chapter 11 – The Death of Lazarus . (Click here to read full story)
John chapter eleven states that Lazarus had gotten sick and died. On top of that he had been dead AND buried for four days and even then Jesus went to him and brought him back to life.

Do you have a situation in your life that has been pronounced dead by you or someone else? A relationship, a business, a health issue, a dream, a goal…something that seems to have died with absolutely no hope of resurrection ever again?

That is your Lazarus situation and I’m here to tell you that whether your Lazarus has been dead for 4 days, 4 weeks or 4 years God has the power to bring your Lazarus back to life. You see I am facing a Lazarus situation now in my own life and I didn’t realize it until recently when one day as I prayed to God telling him that it’s obviously too late, that there’s no way that it can happen now that this story was brought back to my memory. 

The key to overcoming your Lazarus situation is you have to believe that God can do this for you.

In the story, John chapter 11 verse 40 it says “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?”.

believe

 

faith knowing God will

The bible clearly states in Hebrews chapter 11 verse 6 that without faith it is impossible to please God.

Even though your situation in the natural to our eyes may seem to have died, even though you feel hopeless, discouraged and defeated.  Even though you are in the midst of mourning the loss of your Lazarus, please know that if YOU believe then your Lazarus can rise, can be resurrected so that God can be glorified through your situation.

faith seeing light with heart

I urge you, whatever it is that you feel has died, don’t despair and DO NOT give up hope. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.  In the story Lazarus’s sister believed, that’s it, that’s all she had to do and Jesus went to where Lazarus was and made it happen.  Just like that he can also come right where you are to your situation too!

Believe.  Have faith. Give God a chance to show you what he can do, for you.

have faith and succeed

Scripture:

John 11:43-44New International Version (NIV)

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

 

Relatable Song: “Hope In Front of Me” by Danny Gokey (click here to listen)

 

The Love Story

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heart on fire

love is

In the spirit of the upcoming Valentine’s Day, I decided to finally open The Love Story page.

Three years ago I made a single decision one night to go somewhere I wouldn’t usually go, with people I wouldn’t ordinarily be with.  That single decision, at the time unknown to me, would take me on a journey and change the course of my life forever. You can read all about it here.

For those of you looking for love, real true deep love, it can happen, it does happen, it will happen and oftentimes when you least expect it.

Relatable Song: (Click on link below)

God Gave Me You by Blake Shelton

Where is the love?!

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Created to be

So…LOVE, let’s talk about it.

This month is the month for love, February, Valentine’s Day etc.

However, my focus in this post is about a very different, very basic, very simple kind of love.  Love for one another.

The majority of us generally only have love reserved in our hearts for our loved ones and that’s it. No one else.  There are some who do display and actually have love for others and they give their gift of time to charities or the gift of finance to efforts that they believe in.  

That’s great, but where is the love for the people that cross our paths every day? We each encounter hundreds of people a week! People that we barely acknowledge barely notice and constantly overlook.  Where is the love?

                      be love

Sometimes I feel like our society is lacking in basic kindness and general politeness things that are so easy to share with others and that will cost you nothing.  We are all just humans on this planet trying to survive, trying to make it.  A smile, a hello, that’s all it takes because a little kindness goes a long way and I am sure we each encounter someone each day that could really use it and we probably overlook them. 

The majority of us know how to love our spouses, children, girlfriends and boyfriends, friends and families well, but what about everyone else we share this planet with? Where is the love? Keep in mind the sad reality is some people don’t have a circle of family and friends to love them, some people have no one, that stranger you passed on the street, that hello or smile you gave, that might be all they get.

 begin today

So in the spirit of this month of February, a month that has become all about “LOVE” I urge each and every one of you (myself included!) to show love to someone outside of your own circle.  Someone that crosses your path regularly or someone that happens to be a complete stranger, that choice is entirely up to you.  Just make it a part of your regular routine, better yet make it a part of your life’s work to show love to people. Sometimes you are in a position to offer more than just a smile, a hello, or a kind word. Sometimes you find yourself in a situation where you can show love by providing the help that someone needs right in the moment that they need it, if the opportunity presents itself, do it!

Whether you believe in karma, or the golden rule of do unto others or whatever it is you believe, it is the same wherever you go, love is a gift that keeps on giving. Start sharing the gift.

 our job

i love everyone

judge not

live as if

John 13:34-35

English Standard Version (ESV)

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

Relatable Song: (Click on link below)

“Love God Love People” ISRAEL HOUGHTON

GOAL DIGGER!

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  hello 2014

Nothing GoalsWe are now in 2014, a New Year!

This is not the year to do nothing; this is the year to do something.  This is the year to achieve your goals, this is the year to be a goal digger! So dig in deep, get going, make those goals happen. This is that year.

I have a few goals I am working on this year a few projects already set in motion for me to accomplish and I’m sure you do too.  This time of year most people make resolutions and set goals.  Sometimes after a few weeks or months all desire to accomplish these goals and resolutions fade away into nonexistence. DON’T let this happen to you in 2014.

Let 2014 be a year unlike any other…let 2014 be YOUR year!

this is my year

If you haven’t set your goals yet – it’s not too late, set them now, you still have plenty of time to make it happen.  Your goals for this year do not need to be monumental and life changing it just needs to be important to you, that’s it. The point is to strive for improvement in whatever way shape or form you see fit and you see necessary for your life, where you are, what you need and where you want to go.

post it goals

 doing today closer for to tomorrow

Three Important Things About Goals:

  1. Most likely something will go wrong.
  2. Don’t Give up.
  3. Don’t give up.

The list is self-explanatory, when on that journey to accomplish our goals things sometimes go wrong, expect it, it happens, but don’t let it stop you. Do not give up. And now here is a completely different perspective on goals.  When I’m working on a plan and things go awry I have to take a moment and pause because it reminds me and forces me to acknowledge some things. God cares enough about me (and you!) to intervene in life at times for reasons far beyond our comprehension. Sometimes when something doesn’t work out that is God literally reaching down from heaven saying don’t go that way, go this way instead. 
no mistakes

So, sometimes in pursuit of our goals we may need to pause and evaluate and confirm if these are the right goals for us or not.  Pay close attention to these types of moments…because we don’t want to spend our time and efforts beating at a door that has been closed for a reason or trying to climb over a wall we have no business climbing. So as you are pursuing your goals make sure that they truly are the right and best goals for you.  Then there are times when you experience something really hard, it’s not always to test your faith.  It can be that because of your faith God allows you to experience this because he is giving you an opportunity to strengthen your faith even more, a chance to use your faith (as a testament to yourself AND to others). He expects you to be faithful despite whatever you are going through.  He is faithful at all times, so we should be also. Just keep in mind that in each life a little rain (in some cases a lot of rain) must fall.

rainbow without rain

So as 2014 is now laid out before us a brand new long sprawling open road filled with endless unknowns, decide what you will make of it.  Decide right now what you want out of 2014 and decide right now how you are going to go about getting it. BUT…don’t get too busy chasing your goals that you forget to enjoy the ride. Part of the fun in achieving our goals is enjoying the journey and taking it all in as you ride the 2014 train because before you know it 2015 will be here and 2014 will be just a memory…so here’s 2014 what are you going to do with it?

 the difference

 to get where you never been before

 dream big

Proverbs 16:9 (HCSB)

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps.”

Relatable Songs:
2 good ones to start your year off Right!
(Click on the links)

“Go Get It” by Mary Mary

“Get Up” by Mary Mary

If you are struggling with motivation and inspiration for achieving your goals this year click here.

If you need Jesus – his love, his forgiveness, his help to move forward in this year click here.