Celebrating the New 4:20

If you dared to read this post, you may be thinking, “I thought this was a Christian blog.” No worries friends, it is. I’m celebrating what happened in Matthew 4:20. I’m hoping others will now remember this scripture and have a real reason to celebrate 4:20 with me. In Matthew 4:19 Jesus calls his first disciples to leave behind what they were doing to follow Him. In Matthew 4:20, they accepted, left behind the things of old and began to follow Jesus. Today, it is my hearts desire that those reading this post will use this day as a day of transformation and start to celebrate something new. It is my prayer that those reading would accept Jesus’ call to leave behind the ways of old and on 4:20 follow Him. It is my prayer that similarly to Matthew 4:20 that this would be a day that disciples would be made and would decide to follow Jesus. It will be a day you will never forget. Come on – Join Him, Join Me and Let’s Celebrate! Let’s celebrate the new life of new disciples starting today. #thenew420 #Godapplied #God_applied #Celebration #Christianblogger #devotion #Matthew4:20 #fishersofmen #Jesus #blessed #grace #transformation

Matthew 4:20…at once they left their nets and followed him.

Be blessed!

All rights reserved. 2021.

The Stone Can’t Stop You!

Death Valley

Last week was great. I am a huge fan of self-help, motivational, overcoming types of books so I am still charged up on all the reading I did last week about what I would consider to undoubtedly be the biggest account of overcoming to ever occur. It was one of those real nail biting stories of a man who overcame so much. He overcame being falsely accused, police brutality, abandonment from some of his closest friends, you name it. Every obstacle was placed in front of him but he was on a mission and he had the right team supporting him.

In case you are wondering the story I’m referring to is that of Jesus’ overcoming. Even when it seemed as if he was out of the game, he wasn’t. Everything was done to keep him from His mission. In Matthew 27:62-65, the Pharisees decided that they needed to ensure that Jesus wouldn’t accomplish what He set out to do. In order to ensure that they placed guards at the tomb and a huge stone to keep Jesus from accomplishing the greatest work ever.

Matthew 27:65-66 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

In our life, we all have things that we are purposed to accomplish but we have roadblocks in our way. Just keep in mind that if a stone blocking a tomb guarded with soldiers couldn’t stop Jesus from accomplishing what he set out to do that there is nothing that anyone can put in front of you that will keep Him from accomplishing what he wants to accomplish through you. Your roadblocks are as temporary as the stone trying to block Jesus. #Godapplied #Resurrection #WritingCommunity #Peace #Grace #Blessed #Devotional

Be blessed!

No Pretty Path to Purpose

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What an example of this that we just paid remembrance to this weekend. Christ had a purpose. His purpose was to preach the gospel, make disciples, and ensure salvation for mankind. It was a tall order and definitely an important one but it wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t easy. His purpose, I’m sure we would all agree, was the hardest of all…but he pushed through in spite of. He endured in spite of, for the greater good — our greater good — and accomplished what He set out to do.

God has a plan for all of our lives. He put us here for a purpose, but sometimes we get caught up on the challenges associated with the purpose. By that I mean we don’t want any of the challenges — but hey ladies, gents…there is no perfectly pretty pleasurable path to purpose. The path to purpose is not paved with roses but rather lined with opportunities to stretch, grow, recover, re-plan, and push through.

As we continue to pursue our purpose, let’s remember that while it may not be perfect or pretty, that doesn’t mean that it won’t come to pass. It will. It will likely require tough days and long nights but just keep pushin’ – someone else is depending on it. #Godapplied #Purpose #Push #Devotional #WritingCommunity #ApplyingGodin2021 #PurposeDrivenLife #grace #blessed #wordpress #author

HOPE

Free Vector | He is risen. easter background.

Happy Resurrection Day Friends! After more than a year or COVID, economic challenges, societal unrest and political anxiety, this day provides a much needed peace. Today, because Christ got up, we can too. We can get up from the anxiety, stress and emotional unrest that we may have had over this year and become renewed by the greatest hope that there is. Christ rose for our salvation. Salvation means not only “deliverance from sin and its consequences” but it also means “preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss.” He died and rose so that we could – we could be delivered from our sin, from our depression, from our loss, from our lack of confidence, from our sickness and disease, from our anger issues, from our imposter syndrome, from our victim mentality, from our selfishness, from our loneliness, from our lack, from our job loss, you name it.

After such a hope-challenging year, I am so thankful this morning for the HOPE that this Resurrection Day represents. Don’t keep this hope to yourself friends, but share it with the countless folks that can’t see a way through. Introduce them to the Hope that comforts, heals and delivers. #Easter #Resurrection #Risen #RiseUp #Devotion #Godapplied #Covid #Hope #Writingcommunity #Christ

Reflected Back at Me

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Being a parent can be tough. Over the course of our lives as parents we put everything we have into creating a great, safe, life for our children. We sacrifice our time, our physical bodies, our emotional energy and all that we have to ensure that they have every opportunity in life. This doesn’t happen necessarily once they arrive but oftentimes long before they are born.

Lately, I have definitely felt the challenge of parenting. I have been dealing with the feelings of entitlement and lack of gratitude. After all, does this kid realize how much I do and have done to provide him with the life he leads? I heard myself a few days ago, having the internal parental rant about how much I have poured out and sacrificed for my child(ren), yet feeling the hurt and pain of this recent nonchalance about it all. It hurt me. I cried even — and just as I was about to wipe my tears, I thought about this very time.

I thought about how the Lord sacrificed His only son for me. I thought about Jesus on the cross for me — taking such abuse and death for me. Talk about a sacrifice. Talk about how much was given to ensure that I had all the opportunities of life. (The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10). Talk about all the stuff that Jesus had to endure for me. I wonder how hurt the Lord is when I am nonchalant about all that He has sacrificed for me. I wonder if it makes him cry. All I can say is humbling. (Funny how the actions of our children often mirror our behavior with Christ.)

I thought about how easy it can be to focus on putting out the spring bunnies, prepping the kids baskets and planning the Resurrection Meal and missing out on the depth of the sacrifice that Jesus made. I thought about how I (maybe we) can also exhibit a version of nonchalance toward the ultimate sacrifice. In my head I could almost imagine God saying, “Girl, do you realize how much I have sacrificed for you? Do you realize what I have done for you?”

On this day and weekend I pray that we would focus on the sacrifice that our Lord and Savior made for us. I pray that we would reverence it — not just this weekend but each weekend. I pray that we would shed our cloak of entitlement and put on the garment of gratitude. I pray that we would remember how we feel when our children don’t truly grasp their blessings and our sacrifices to provide them; and let that reflect the gaps in our own heart.

Lord, you have made the ultimate sacrifice and provided us the ultimate opportunity. Thank you for being a Good, Good Father. #Resurrection #Reflection #Gratitude #entitlement #Godapplied #GoodFriday #Parenting #grace #appreciation #ApplyingGodin2021 #writingcommunity #devotion

Happy Good Friday to All!

Changing the Tone

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The other day I read a great posted on #LinkedIn. It was of a woman sharing her updated profile photo with her natural hair. She was sharing her courageousness in being her authentic self amongst her professional peers. She was sharing that she felt safe enough to do so. All good things I thought. I was happy for her. There were so many applauded her transparency (which I think we can all agree on can be tough in our own areas). Then I made the mistake that I make too often on social media — I scrolled down and read a few comments. It was a very short scroll before the negativity piped up. I just had a hard time understanding why this post had a reason to go so left and so angry. Sadly, I see this on social media all the time. There is a constant state of combativeness and strife. Realizing that this is becoming a trend, I thought back to a phrase from elementary school. They would always say, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. What if we just stopped feeling the need to comment on everything we read if it doesn’t really add anything to the conversation. What if we spent more time posting encouragement and not comments that condescend or tear down. What if we responded on social media with more love and more God. What if we could be social media tone changers? If we could do that, I would say we could have a real shot at collectively being real life world changers. Here are a few scriptures to consider when responding to (or not responding to) social media posts:

  1. Proverbs 11:12 “It is foolish to belittle a neighbor; a person with good sense remains silent.”
  2. Proverbs 11:17 “Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel.”
  3. Proverbs 15:4 “Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
  4. James 1:26 “If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.”
  5. Titus 3:2 “To speak evil  of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy to all people.”
  6. 1 Peter 3:9 “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
  7. James 1:19 “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
  8. James 3:9-10With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

Be blessed! #Godapplied #SocialMedia #ToneChangers #Positivity #ApplyingGodin2021 #blessed #grace

It Starts with Love

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Last night I was on the couch getting caught up on the lecture material for a new professional certificate program that I am in. It’s a cert for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) which I am very interested in. It’s awesome to check out if you are interested and free! #USF #USFMuma. Anyway this week’s lecture focused on emotional intelligence as the foundation of #DEI. Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express ones emotions and handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. This morning, as I read 1 Cor. 13:4-6, all of me just screamed this is the root of DEI. This scripture is about loving others, not thinking that we are better than others, but supporting others, standing up for righteousness, and seeking to understand others. Why is this so hard? Well I guess we still find love to be hard. Yes, love of family, spouse and kids can be challenging at times but many of us have an extremely hard time connecting the concept of love and the principles of love to those outside of our circle. Don’t get me wrong, love is a constant work in progress and a constant personal test but we should be trying, actively, to do the work.

If we can pledge to keep 1 Cor. 13:4-6 or at least try our best with not just our circle but all that we come into contact with, just maybe we have a chance at evolving into a society and a world that lives out diversity, equity and inclusion.

We think of so many things as new topics of the day, but nothing is really new under the sun. The bible truly provides us life instruction if we would only apply it. It is not the book of old but rather the book of yesterday, today and tomorrow. I would love to hear your thoughts, additions or modifications on the below. Let’s live it. We are called to change the world. We have the tools — let’s just come together and do the work. If we can’t spread God’s love (1 Cor. 13:4-6), how can we spread the love of God (the message of God). If you are up to the challenge, join me in the comments. Will you pledge with me? Will you invite others to pledge. Share the pledge. Print the pledge, Live the pledge.

Love Pledge

In accordance with 1 Corinthians 13:4-6, I will uphold the principles of love and apply them not just to my circle but those in my work, church, and community. I will apply them and uphold them with those that do not look like me, do not speak like me, do not believe as I believe, or think as I think.

I will be patient enough to listen to the thoughts, feelings and perspectives of others with an open mind. I will seek to be aware of and patient with the needs of others.

I will be kind and thoughtful even when I do not understand. I will be open to revisiting my ideas of what kind and thoughtful could mean to someone else.

I will not be jealous or envious of the strengths and successes of others but I rejoice in them. I will not try to repackage their strengths or ideas as my own but I will support the strengths and successes of others and support their advancement.

I am aware that I have no reason to be arrogant because the things that make me me are not the differences that make someone else less than me. I will not be arrogant because we are all God’s children.

I will not dishonor, demean, mistreat or ignore others. I will not be easily angered, rather, I will seek to understand the backgrounds, ideas, perceptions and experiences of others, even when they do not align to my own and respond in love. I recognize that God makes the determination of right and wrong and that He is the judge, not me.

Regardless of how I am affected, I will not delight in or make excuses for evil, but I will rejoice with truth.

Happy Sunday! Happy Palm Sunday! Hosanna! Be blessed! #Godapplied #ApplyingGodin2021 #DEI #Devotional #ChristianProfessional #ChristianLeadership #WritingCommunity #Love #Blessed #Grace

Rise and _________

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Back in the day this phrase would typically read “Rise and Shine” but in the age of gig economy, booming entrepreneurship and just a culture of maximized productivity, we tend to see Rise and Grind. It’s popular. You see it everywhere. One morning I woke up and thought to myself “Rise and Shine” and then I also thought of the popular “Rise and Grind.” There is nothing wrong with Rising and Grinding, but I think I want my emphasis when I wake up to be Rise and Shine as my key purpose. Interestingly enough to know me is to know that I am the queen of being productive. I like efficiency, time management and accomplishing what I set out to do. The thing is that I am realizing that when that is my focus, I sometimes forget miss the opportunities to shine my light. I sometimes neglect relationships. Rise and Grind could cause us to prioritize the work, the tasks, our to-dos and accomplishments over connecting and remaining connected to our relationships — at least for me. Instead I want to make sure that I focus on continuing to Rise and Shine. I want to make my key focus each day my relationships, interactions, opportunities to share with others and generally speaking letting my little light shine. I will of course manage to “grind” (accomplish, complete and do) but I just will be mindful to not let it overshadow the thing that God wants most of us – to connect with others, bless others and support Him in the great co-mission.

Well – Happy Friday guys! Rise and Shine!

Natural Medicine

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The other morning, I found myself in a funk thinking about something that happened at work the day before. Then I had a random thought of encouragement based on the lesson from bible study the night before that I shared with some friends in attendance. We started texting and sharing insights, thoughts and links from there. From there, I posted something encouraging in my LinkedIn Christian Professionals groups and started seeing and reacting to comments. At the same time, I started writing a few blog posts and was just on a role. As I was working, I received the chime from an instant message. I was sharing with my husband that I was bummed this morning because of a known work frustration. As I shared with him, I realized (only then mind you) that I was no longer bummed out and hadn’t been since I started sharing and encouraging and posting this morning’s God-sights (like insights).

Sharing God’s goodness, encouragement and motivation is good natural medicine. It is a natural mood lifter. No side effects just life affecting for both you and the recipients. I hope and believe that someone was blessed by the encouragement that I was pouring out to my friends, LinkedIn, and in the blogs that I wrote earlier that morning but I can honestly say that I surprisingly and without even noticing, was being uplifted and blessed as well. Being good and doing good to others, sharing God’s message with others, and knowing that you are being a help, blessing and encouragement to someone, is good natural medicine. I think I will keep this at the front of the medicine chest.

If you are feeling down, lift someone else up. You will be surprised at how it lifts you up in the process.

Bless and Be Blessed!

Dressed for the Day?

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I have established a decent routine during COVID. I wake, pray, read my affirmations, read a scripture or Bible chapter, exercise, get dressed and go about my day. I feel good about this routine. It’s got God, exercise and positive focus — all the essentials, right — or at least that’s what I thought until this very moment. This morning, I couldn’t help thinking about my 30 minute one-on-one with my new manager. Every time we chat, it is just an emotional drain to my positive energy. With each engagement, I become less enthralled with the work that I actually enjoy (and that’s putting it mildly). This morning I still felt the drain from yesterday. Then the scripture came to mind to Put on the Whole Armor of God. But I do that right? I read the word each morning. I read my affirmations each morning. Is that not enough armor? The realization that I had this morning was that maybe I am not necessarily dressing in the right armor for the particular day.

When we get up and get dressed, we tend to dress for the day — the weather and the activities, yet when we “put on the whole armor of God,” perhaps we are putting on our generic Godly armor. I mean, we read a scripture or scriptures, we pray, we read our standard affirmations but we haven’t put on armor for the weather, the activities of the day. By now, I know the days that I meet with my manager and I know the effects. Perhaps I should be armoring up with the words and scriptures that cover me and speak to what my day might hold and not just the scripture that aligns to my reading plan or devotional.

I have heard so many say I read my Bible every day (or even that they want to) but I don’t really know what to read. I too have said that. Reading a devotional or a planned reading is a great place to start but in the spirit of personal / spiritual refinement, perhaps a step further would be to look at what is on our plate for the day (assess the weather) and align our Bible reading and our prayers to cover us, protect us and build us up from the elements that we know are sure to hit.

So, are you dressed for day? I’m not but before I get dressed tomorrow, I plan to start checking the weather and armoring up accordingly. #Godapplied #christianencouragement #grace #armor #continualimprovement #ApplyingGodin2021 #ChristianQMS

Be blessed friends!