Monday, December 16, 2013

*Let Your Light Shine

From my upcoming book, "Not Without You"
1 Timothy 4:12 NLT Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.

Age does not always determine one’s level of spiritual maturity or faith & responsibility bestowed upon them. Young adults can be examples to anyone: older, younger or peers. When one has been chosen by God to declare His word to His people, the life of that person should be encouragement to those whom they teach and to those outside the body of Christ.

Sometimes younger Christians can be so modest and humble in that we can miss a moment to glorify God in our words or deeds because we are in the company of someone older and of whom we perceive to be more spiritually mature. However, we should always allow our light to shine because we never know who needs to see it to be encouraged by it.

Don’t let your company change your character. Remain firm in your faith and in your calling. The Lord can use you at any time so don’t flick your light on and off, hiding behind your age; always be a willing vessel by making yourself available to Him.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, please give me courage and boldness to let your light shine through me at all times, regardless of who I’m with. I want to be a vessel for you to speak encouragement and life to your people. Let me not be intimidated or fearful because you have given me the spirit of power, love and a sound mind. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Additional scripture reading: 1 Timothy 4:11-16

Monday, November 18, 2013

Money Monday - Consider the cost

Luke 14:28 NLT But don't begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculation the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?

In this passage of scripture, Jesus was talking to the crowd about considering the cost of being his disciple. Everything comes with a cost and we must consider this at all times but since we're focusing on money, let's talk about that.

The holiday season is quickly approaching and if you haven't noticed, the stores are already bombarding customers with their "biggest sale ever" ads! Before you begin shopping this holiday season (or if you're like my mom, you started several months ago), be sure to plan your holiday spending. With all of the both online and in stores, it is quite easy to go over your budget and buy far too many gifts that you'll end up paying for throughout the next year.

Here are a few tips:
-Create a budget specifically for holiday spending.
-Make a list of who you're going to buy gifts for - friends, family, coworkers, white elephant gifts, etc.
-Think about what you want to buy for each person and/or determine a spending limit for each person
-Search for sales and coupons online. Comparison shopping is your best friend plus it saves time AND money.
-Consider pulling names.
-Stick to your budget.
-Do not use credit cards unless you plan to pay them off completely the following month. That $20 sweater will no longer be $20 after interest accrues over the next few months.

The holiday season is one of the times of the year that budgets are completely blown out! Shop smart so that you can continue on your path to financial freedom! Be blessed!

***Thank you to each of you who voted for me to receive the Reader's Choice Award at the Christian Literary Awards. We did it!!! I won!!! I had such an amazing time and it was truly a humbling experience. Thank you for reading and sharing with others! As a special thank you, you may purchase my book for $10 via my website this week: The e-book may be downloaded from for $5.00 during this week! Use promo code AT32M. ***

Monday, October 21, 2013

Prosperity and Famine

Genesis 41:35-36 NLT Have them gather all the food produced in the good years that are just ahead and bring it to Pharaoh’s storehouses. Store it away, and guard it so there will be food in the cities. That way there will be enough to eat when the seven years of famine come to the land of Egypt. Otherwise this famine will destroy the land.” (Additional reading: read the entire chapter)

In the above referenced scripture, God spoke to Pharaoh through two dreams serving him notice of what was about to happen to his land.  There was going to be seven years of prosperity and seven years of famine. Joseph interpreted the dreams and advised him to put an intelligent and wise men in charge so that they may save food for the period of famine.

The great thing here is that Pharaoh was warned about the period of famine that was about to come upon the land. Oftentimes, we are not warned when we will experience a period of lack, such as a loss of a job, underpaid job or a period of recession. Joseph's advice was great advice to Pharaoh and great advice to us today. Save a portion of your income.

In many instances, this can be difficult especially if you haven't been saving.  You will need to make lifestyle adjustments so that you will be able to live if and when these things do happen.  I've been to many financial seminars and workshops and each one suggests a different thing. Some say to save 6 months, 9 months or even 12 months of expenses in the event your family experiences a period of famine.

Take some time to look at your finances to see where you can cut back and begin saving. If you have debt, saving may be difficult.

Things to consider: Invest in your company's 401k. If your company matches a certain percentage, at least invest that amount (it's free money).You also reduce the amount of income tax you pay because your investment is pre-tax.  When you receive a raise, put aside the increase. You were living off the pre-raise salary before, you can do it now. Direct the increase to go into your savings account, preferably one that you do not touch. If you do this in the beginning, you won't miss it.

***My book, The Life Your Spirit Craves, has been nominated for the Henry Award in the devotionals category. In addition, readers may vote for their choice to receive the reader's choice award. Please take a few seconds to vote for my book here: ***

Monday, October 14, 2013

Do Not Despise Small Beginnings

Zechariah 4:10 NLT Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”

Managing finances and becoming a good steward over the finances that God has given you can oftentimes be intimidating and in some cases, discouraging.

Let's talk about saving.  This is left up to your own discretion based upon what you have and what you want to do. We all want to be comfortable and enjoy the fruits of our labor but we must do it wisely. Saving requires commitment and discipline.  Once you set money to the side as a reserve, you practically have to ignore that its there, especially if you lack discipline.

So how much do you put aside? Depends on your goals and what you can afford to put aside.  You may have to start with $1, $5, $20, $50. The point is that you need to have some kind of savings system in place and not get discouraged by the amount that you put aside when measured against your ultimate goal.

Most banks now have clever ways to help you save money. Two ways that immediately come to mind are: 1) Every time you swipe your debit card, the bank automatically puts $1 in your savings account and 2) The bank will round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and put the change in your savings. For example, if your purchase is $28.30, the bank will put .70 in your savings account. 
You can also set up balance alerts to keep you from draining every penny out of your bank account.

Another smart way to find extra dollars to throw into your savings account is to trim your grocery bill. This is one of my favorite things which I think deserves its own post. Until then, if you don't already have one, come up with a savings plan. If you have to start small, that is perfectly okay. Small things often become great things. (Think about seeds that are planted)  The first step is simply starting and the second is sticking with it.

***My book, The Life Your Spirit Craves has been nominated for the Henry Award. The award will be presented at the Christian Literary Awards next month in Plano, TX. In addition, readers can vote for their favorite book in the Reader's Choice category. Please vote and share the link with others. It takes less than 10 seconds. Thank you!!! Voting ends on 10/31/2013. *****

Monday, October 7, 2013

Write it down

Habakkuk 2:2-3 NKJV Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.  For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry. (you knew this was coming, didn't you?) :-)

What is your vision for your finances? What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to save more money? Pay off debt? Make a large purchase? 

Answer these questions before you begin with establishing a budget. It is very important to know why you're setting a budget because the "why" will help you stick to it.

Now that you've sorted through your finances to determine what your monthly income and expenses are and you have your vision in place, begin creating your budget (WRITE it down). Note: You do not have a budget if it's in your head and not on paper.

Begin by first writing down your fixed monthly expenses. These are things like tithes, mortgage, rent, daycare, car notes, insurance, and savings.  These items are the same amount each month. Then write down your variable expenses which is everything else that you allocate funds to each month.  Variable expenses such as food, gas, utilities and miscellaneous expenses can be budgeted based on how you've spent money in these areas in the past.

Spend some time and play with the numbers to get them to look how you want them to look if possible. Add another line item for the extra amount of money you want to save or the additional payments you want to make towards debt. Remember that your budget is yours and it needs to reflect your vision for your finances. Keep in mind that it takes time to reach financial goals so don't give up or become anxious if things do not look the way you want them to look at the time.

One thing that I do to manage the family's finances is to set the budget based on when the income comes in (by paycheck).  Things look a lot different based on when bills are due. I think this is a more realistic approach because it allows you to see exactly how your money is being spent every time money comes in. It will also help eliminate "thinking" you had x amount of dollars left in the bank (or in your budget) when you really don't. I'm a huge fan of writing things down so you really need to keep a check register and write down every purchase as soon as possible. Do not keep track of purchases in your head (no matter how good you are at this). 

Does your financial picture look anything like what you thought it looked like? 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Know Your Status

Proverbs 27:23 NIV Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds.

Being a good steward over the resources that the Lord has blessed you with is part of being spiritually healthy.  As you go about assessing your spiritual fitness, spend time reviewing your financial status. 

The bible instructs us to know the condition of our flocks. In biblical times, their wealth consisted of herds and flocks and not money, stocks, and investments as wealth is measured today.  How do you determine your financial status?

A great way to start is take a pencil and paper (or use your computer) and write down your monthly expenses. Also take note of your monthly income. Include all sources of income: salary, wages, child support, alimony, self-employment income, illegal funds, etc.  

Compare what you're spending to what you're earning/receiving? Are you overspending? Are you being wasteful?

You should assess your financial situation every month or at least every other month to have a solid grasp of your financial status. Once you know your status, set financial goals. 

*I'm going to dedicate Mondays as "Money Mondays" to discuss money management.  Next week, I will continue by discussing setting financial goals and developing a budget. If you have an area in money management that you'd like to see posted, let me know. I will work to get a guest blogger if needed.*

Be blessed and manage that dough! :-)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

You can say NO when you KNOW!!

An encouraging word from my dear friend, Tiera. Be blessed!

In order to grasp your Purpose in God, and take hold of your destiny, you must have an understanding of Who and Whose you are.

Unless you KNOW what God declares about you, you won’t have the courage to say NO to the fallacies and temptations of the enemy (my people perish due to lack of knowledge, Hosea 4:6). There are plenty of times when I approach God with a heart weighted by “whys”. Why do I continue to fall for the same tricks and traps? Why am I not where I want to be financially? Why have I not tapped into my purpose? Why am I not where I desire to be professionally? Why am I still single? Why, why, why???
God recently blessed me with a revelation that has forever changed the trajectory of my life: “When you don’t KNOW your true worth in me, you’re easily manipulated by the enemy and don’t recognize when to say NO to his counterfeits.” Just like with counterfeit money, if you don’t know what a real hundred dollar bill looks like, you’ll be bamboozled by its counterfeit. This is exactly what the enemy hopes for and preys on. Your adversary walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1Peter 5:8). He seeks out those areas where we are blind to the truth and presents a counterfeit. The enemy’s deceits about your marriage, your finances, your relationships, your children, your employment, your health, and your worth must be battled with the truth of God’s word. The only way to say NO to the enemy is to KNOW who you are in God.

Transparently speaking, God has more for me and thinks higher of me than I could ever imagine. Generally speaking, at times we lose sight of the GEM we are in His Eyes. We get overwhelmed by the “little big things” in life, and become blind to how FAB (Favored, Anointed, and Blessed) we are. God declares that we are Fearfully and Wonderfully made and His thoughts towards us are to give us a hope and a future. I have learned that we must remind ourselves daily about our true identity. We must look in the mirror and celebrate Who and Whose we are. Otherwise, our self-esteem will go whichever way the enemy blows. And like the three little pigs, our straw house of esteem will come crashing down.
Yes, it is vital to surround yourself with people who are going to rejoice with you and where you are going. Nevertheless, always remember that it starts with YOU recognizing and appreciating how FAB you are. Only when you KNOW that you are God’s treasured possession, is this truly possible (Deuteronomy 7:6).

To KNOW more about who you are in God’s eyes, and gather the audacity to say NO to the enemy, please read: Psalm 62:5-8 and Psalm 139.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I can do ALL things

Philippians 4:13 NKJV I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

What dreams or visions have God placed in your heart? What have you done to prepare yourself? What have you done to see them come to pass?  There are several truths about the dreams/visions that God gives to you:

*He chose YOU to see it to fruition.
*He has already equipped you to accomplish it.
*It is for His glory.
*He knows that you can do it.

What can you do to beat procrastination, fear and doubt? First, you must know that these are all of the enemy. His job is to kill, steal and destroy your spirit. He does not want you to live out God's will by doing what God has called you to do. He will do anything to stop you. Secondly, develop a written plan to hold yourself accountable and stay on track. Begin by setting goals and working on seeing your vision come to pass one step at a time. Sacrifice time in front of the television or some other time stealer.

Keep yourself motivated by not giving the enemy room to work. Remember that you are doing it for God's glory and you can do ALL things that you were destined to do. You can do all things through Christ because He is the one who gives you strength.

Prayer for today: Father in heaven, thank you for the visions that you've given me. Help me to stay focused and commit to doing your will. I desire to live a life that is pleasing to you. Order my steps and lead me in the paths of righteousness so that I may bring glory to your name. In Jesus' name, Amen.

*** Be sure to check out my website: ***

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

But with POWER

Romans 8:11 NLT  The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

I have watched the movie, "The Lion King" at least 365 times. When my baby sister was about 2, she wanted to watch it everyday and we did! Sometimes, we watched it several times per day. It is a really good movie.  Now that I am an adult with my own child, she has watched it a few times.  "The Lion King" is actually a very powerful movie with quite a few life lessons in it.

As a young cub, Simba was excited to become king! In fact, he sang about it and talked about it quite a bit. It was his destiny. He was born to become the next king and he knew this. As life happened and he grew older, Simba lost sight of who he was and who he was destined to be. He started to live as though he had no purpose because of something terrible that happened to him and caused him to become discouraged.

Simba's new found friends, Timon and Pumbaa eventually learned that Simba was supposed to be king. When they became aware of this, their attitude changed toward him. Pumbaa started graveling at his feet and Timon said, "wait, he's not the king! Are you?" Simba then commented that he was going to be but that was a long time ago. He told them that they didn't have to treat him differently because he was still the same person. Timon said, "yes, but with POWER!" I love that part of the movie!

It reminds me of us as God's children. When we accept Christ as our savior, we are still the same people but with the power of the Holy Spirit on the inside of us!

Don't take this lightly or for granted. You were created for purpose and you have the power of the Holy Spirit on the inside of you. Do not allow past circumstances to cause you to become discouraged. If you have, today is the day to reclaim the power that you have been given by the Holy Spirit.

Walk in the power and authority that you have been given!

Many blessings to you this week!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 13

Exodus 33:15-16 NLT Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.”

On several occasions, I have been asked, "which day of your book resonates with you the most?" Or "What is your favorite day?"

My answer "Day 13 - Who's going with me?"

When I stepped out on faith and began to take steps to complete and publish my first book, I wanted everyone to be just as excited as I was that I was being obedient and doing what God laid upon my heart to do.  However, everyone was not excited and I didn't share the visions regarding my book with everyone in my life. I didn't want the doubt or the 'non-excitement' of others to damage my spirit.  I had to protect what God had given me.

It is human nature to want the love and support of everyone around you when you're stepping out to complete any major accomplishment. If you do not receive that, I'm here to encourage you and let you know that it doesn't matter when you're doing what you have been called to do. When you are walking in the will of God, He will give you provision and place people in your life to help you along the way.  All you have to do is be obedient.

As you begin or continue to walk in faith to do what you have been called to do, don't worry about who will be walking alongside you. God already has a plan in place. Do not miss your moment of opportunity to be all that God has called you to be because you're worried about who is with you. God is with you and that's what matters most! Stay in faith!

To purchase or learn more about my book, visit

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pray, Guard, Protect

Nehemiah 4:9 NLT "But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves."

In Nehemiah 4, Nehemiah discusses how their enemies opposed them rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. Their enemies were disgusted with them continuing on with what God called them to do in the midst of how everything looked.  Nehemiah and the rest of God's people who were committed to rebuilding were scoffed at and talked about as they were doing their work.  If you refer to verse 9, our meditation verse, you will see Nehemiah and his team's response.  They prayed and guarded the city to protect themselves and the work that they were committed to.

When you're committed to doing the will of God, the enemy is going to be in your ear--whispering (sometimes shouting) about what you cannot do, will not accomplish, shouldn't do, or have no business doing. Since you know this: Be ready! Arm yourself with the word of God to remind yourself of why you're doing it and who you're doing it for!  Nehemiah took very important steps that we should all take:

1. PRAY!!! Do not neglect your time alone with God praying and seeking guidance.  This is a time of refreshing and spiritual renewal and empowerment.

2. Be on Guard! Guard the dream/vision that God has placed in your heart and don't allow anyone to stop you from accomplishing it!

3. Protect yourself! How? Protect yourself by equipping yourself with God's truth. Fight the enemy with the word of God--what you already know to be true!

Additional scripture reading: Nehemiah 4

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Paper vs. Peach Pie

Great morning! Today I am sharing a post written by a dear friend of mine. I was encouraged as I read it and I hope that you are too!

I’ve entertained countless books on how to “connect with your inner-self, identify your purpose, and write your vision”. I have even taken many “1st steps" by writing down my vision and making it plain. However, in many areas, that “1st step” has been my last step; only to find myself statuesquely suspended in a mid "2nd step” pose. Recently, I asked myself, “does that make me a visionary?”. The answer came to me like this, “does writing down the recipe for homemade peach pie make it so? Can I take just the words, eat them, and it taste just like when mama baked it?” Just imagine, I would be the next big inventor on “Shark Tank”, showcasing my lucrative creation, a pen with a fork conveniently attached… Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Unless I enjoy the taste of ink and paper, I need to take the next step(s). Dreams and visions written in journals, shared in conversation, and/or etched in our thoughts are just recipes. Visionaries are those who recognize the substance of their visions and press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil 3:14).  They choose to live with intention and purpose; transforming their recipes into something, sustaining, edifying, and tangible.
I was contemplating over the lives of many Visionaries who have blessed this earth with their lives, and I noted a common thread among them all. I believe we are all born with a vision and a purpose. A Visionary is simply someone who connects with their God given vision and chooses to give it life. From my survey, a Visionary encompasses the following:
·         Courage. Joshua (Joshua 1:1-7) and David (1 Samuel 17:33-37) are pristine examples of courage being exercised and the vision coming to pass.
·         Say “NO” when necessary.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego (Daniel 3:8-18) risked their lives when declaring they would NOT worship Nebuchadezzars idol. Their brave “NO” was met by God’s bold “YES” in the fiery furnace, further confirming that no weapon formed against you shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17).
·         Diligence. Noah (Genesis 6:11-14, 22) was given a vision and brought it to life. His diligence and obedience afforded the survival of humanity during the great flood. What if he had just wrote down the metrics and instructions, but chose not to build the ark?
·         Compassion for something beyond yourself. Jesus Christ (Luke 22:42-44) is the epitome of Compassion and Love. Without His compassion for you, he would not have had the wherewithal to endure the cross for our sins.
Are you a Visionary? Read through your journals, listen to your most recent conversations, and take inventory of your thoughts… If your visions are arrested in your journals, conversations, and thoughts, there lies a strong possibility that you’re operating far below your Visionary Potential. Fortunately, as long as you’re breathing, the tools to become a Visionary are still welling within you. You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you (Phil 4:13). Choose to Take Action beyond your "1st step"! The majority of the time, our visions and dreams have a reach far beyond ourselves... Your vision, once developed and exercised, may be the solution to a greater problem or need in the life of another. During moments of self- doubt, fear, or uncertainty, please ask yourself, "do I prefer the taste of paper or peach pie?" The decision is yours
Proudly eating my Peach Pie,
Tiera Gilder

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Not Your Battle

Great morning! I'm working on my second book- a one year devotional! I'm so excited to share with you all that God has been sharing with me during my personal study time.  Today I'd like to share with you a page from my upcoming book! The subtitle is "365 days in your presence!" May this devotional bless and encourage you!

2 Chronicles 20:15 NLT He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

The battle that you and I fight each day is a spiritual battle not one of flesh and blood.  It is important that you understand and believe this biblical truth.

In today’s key verse, the Lord spoke through Jahaziel to the people of Judah and Jerusalem in response to their prayers and fasting. The word from the Lord is this: the battle is not yours to fight. In fact, all you have to do is stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, don’t be afraid. Believe in God and His word and you will succeed! If you continue reading, you will find that is exactly what happened! They didn’t have to fight. They Lord fought their battle for them!

Each day that you wake, you have a choice to make: believe in God’s word or not. This may not always be easy but this is exactly when your faith is tested: at that moment when you’ve been praying and fasting for something and all hell seems to be breaking loose. Even still, the battle isn’t yours to fight. Equip yourself with the word of God, stand firm, praise Him, believe in Him and His word and watch what happens.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, you are so awesome and mighty in power. Help me to remember daily that the battle is not mine but yours and to trust that you already have the victory! Sometimes this can be a challenge for me but I give up my doubt and choose to replace it with faith in you and your Word.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Additional scripture readings: 2 Chronicles 20:1-29; Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 10:4

Monday, May 20, 2013

What Did You Expect?

2 Kings 5:11-12 NLT  But Naaman became angry and stalked away. “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me! 12 Aren’t the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of the rivers of Israel? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed?” So Naaman turned and went away in a rage.

Here's a little background: Naaman went to Elisha to be healed of his leprosy.  He went to Elisha's house and waited at the door for him. Instead of coming out, Elisha sent a messenger giving him instructions on what he must do to be healed: wash seven times in the Jordan river. As you can see from today's meditational verses, Naaman became angry because he thought he would be healed in a different way. He thought that things would play out differently.  Doesn't this same thing happen to us as well?

We seek God for a closer relationship with him, new careers, new opportunities, financial stability, etc. and He answers us.  But what happens? The answer comes in a way that we didn't expect.  We've prayed about this thing for so long that we've already come up with how God is going to do it! Right?  Then all of a sudden, we're in for a big surprise! We become frustrated, angry or even disappointed.

Just because things don't happen as we thought they would, we shouldn't get discouraged. God's thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. (Isaiah 55:8) I encourage you to be receptive to God's answers to your prayers even when they don't come in the way you expected. God knows what is best for you and His plan for your life is far greater than anything you can imagine!

Be encouraged and have an awesomely blessed week!

*Read the entire chapter in your free time*

Thursday, May 16, 2013

First Things First

1 Kings 22:5 NLT Then Jehoshaphat added, "But first let's find out what the Lord says."

When you're troubled and need an answer from the Lord, it is perfectly okay to go to someone and have them intercede on your behalf.  However, it is even more important that you go to the Lord, praying and seeking His face.

The Lord is your savior and you must have a relationship with him.  Even if someone comes to you with "what the Lord has told them about you," you still need to go to the Lord on your own.  Do not allow intercession or prophets to take the place of you seeking the Lord for yourself.

Remember that the Lord always confirms His word and His sheep know His voice.  I encourage you to spend time studying God's word to learn His voice and His ways.  Always consider what the Lord says about every situation that you're in. I can assure you that He will never get tired of hearing from you because He desires to have a relationship with you.

Wishing you confidence in your walk with God! Enjoy the day that the Lord has made!

*I encourage you to read the entire chapter when you have time. This should encourage you even more to always seek the Lord.*

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How Much Longer?

1 Kings 18:21 NLT Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.

There are obviously many different distractions the enemy uses to get us off course.  However, it is up to us to remain steadfast and faithful to what God has called us to do and who He has called us to be. 

In the text, Elijah was challenging the people of Israel to follow the Lord because at that time, many of them were following another god (Baal).  If you continue reading throughout this chapter, you will note how the followers of Baal were doing all sorts of silly things to themselves to invoke a response from Baal to set fire to the altar.  They shouted unto Baal from morning until noon and cut themselves with knives and swords until blood gushed out.  Guess what? Nothing happened. Silence from Baal.

Elijah goes on to prove that the Lord is God, the only true and living God. He had them drench the altar with water, prayed to the Lord and the Lord set fire to the altar.  This was done solely to prove that the Lord is God.

James 1:8 reminds us that "a double minded man is unstable in all His ways."
You may not be serving Baal but you may have some other thing(s) in your life that you elevate to the position of a little god. Dismiss it! You cannot serve it (them) and the Lord!  I challenge you today to choose the Lord, spend time getting to know His ways and live the life you have been destined to live.

Have a truly blessed week seeking to become all you were created to be!

Friday, May 10, 2013

The In-Between

1 Kings 17:22 NLT "The Lord heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he revived!"

Have you ever found yourself "in-between?" You were obedient, you received your blessing and then it seemed as if during the time you were enjoying your blessing, you were cursed.  The period of the curse and before the restoration is the "in-between?"  Have you ever found yourself there?

In 1 Kings 17:8-24 (read when you get time), a widow experienced this very thing.  In this particular story, the widow and her son had very little to eat and Elijah comes to her asking for food.  She explained to Elijah that she didn't have any food but only a little flour and oil to make the last meal for her and her son because afterwards they were going to die for lack of food. Then Elijah gives her instructions from the Lord (v. 13-14) to not be afraid but to use what she had to prepare a meal for her and her son but to feed him first! As a mother, my initial thought would have been "I have to feed my child first!" I don't know what her thoughts were but the bible says that she did as she was told. She was obedient. (v.15).

Because of her obedience, she was blessed!! She received exactly what was promised to her. (v. 16).  Then there was a sudden turn of events.  All was well until her son became sick and died. (v.17). Lord, you have been faithful and have done just as you said. Now, you're taking my son away?  Those were her thoughts. She questioned what Elijah did to her and why he came there. (v.18). 

But the Lord is faithful and gives restoration! Although her son died, Elijah took him upstairs to pray for him. (v.21). The Lord his prayer and returned the child's life back to him! (v. 22) Praise God! Isn't that an encouraging story?

Oftentimes, we can too be in a similar situation where we're obedient and then receive the fruit of our obedience-the blessing.  Just when things are going so well, something can surely go wrong.  However, while you're "in between" and waiting on God to restore you, just remember that He is faithful! Continue to seek Him in all that you do!

Have a blessed weekend and give a Mother a hug! My book is now available as an e-book. You may download it here:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Be Certain

1 Kings 13:21 NLT He cried out to the man of God from Judah, “This is what the Lord says: You have defied the word of the Lord and have disobeyed the command the Lord your God gave you.

In 1 Kings 13, the Lord sent a man of God from Judah to Bethel to speak of the Lord's disapproval of Jeroboam and his policies.  The Lord gave the man of God specific instructions not to eat or drink anything while he was in Bethel. The Lord also instructed him not to leave the city the same way in which he entered.

In verses 8-10 and 16 he held fast to the Lord's command and did not eat or drink anything in Bethel.  Well an old prophet approached him and requested that he come to eat and drink with him and he changed his mind after the old prophet announced that he too is a prophet. He proceeded to lie to the man of God by telling him an angel gave him a command from the Lord instructing him to bring the man of God home to eat and drink. After hearing this, the man of God conceded and went with him to eat and drink (exactly what the Lord instructed him not to do).

I find it interesting that after the man of God was given explicit instructions from God regarding what not to do in Bethel, he changed his mind and did those things just because someone else said they received a message from God regarding Him.  He seemed pretty sure of himself before but what was it that made him change his mind?  Was it because of who the old prophet announced himself to be?

When you receive specific instructions from God to do or not do something, be careful not to waiver because someone else (regardless of who they are) comes to you and tells you about some message that God gave to them for you.  You're ultimately responsible for the decision that you make especially when you've already been given specific instructions (when you know better).

It is very important to seek the Lord for yourself and to spend time learning His voice and instructions. His instructions are written in His Holy Word.

Be encouraged to know that God loves you enough to lead you in the path that you should take in life. Do not allow anyone else to attempt to lead you otherwise.

Take a moment and read 1 Kings 13:1-26.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Who Are You Talking To?

1 Kings 12:13-14 NLT But Rehoboam spoke harshly to the people, for he rejected the advice of the older counselors 14 and followed the counsel of his younger advisers. He told the people, “My father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!” (Read the entire chapter when you have time)

Take a moment and consider who you turn to for advice.  You may have different people in your life whom you talk about certain things with.  For example, if you need financial advice, you would probably talk to someone who has some type of financial background or who does really well managing their own finances.  If you need marital advice, you would most likely talk to someone who has experience in that area as well.  You wouldn't ask a friend who has never been married to give you marital advice (at least I hope not).  If you need parenting advice, you would probably talk to someone with experience in parenting, etc.

The commonality regarding the examples that I listed above is this: experience!  It is only wise to take advice from a person who has experience with what you're dealing with or has some type of expertise in the area.

Let's take a look at today's key scriptures.  King Rehoboam took the advice of his younger advisers--those he grew up with--who had just as much as experience as he did. Although what happened was part of God's plan to tear the kingdom away from him, the lesson here is very important. We must be careful about who we seek advice from.  King Rehoboam received wise advice from the older advisers, who were also advisers to his father, King Solomon. They had experience and experience oftentimes breeds wisdom.

As you go about your week, remember to seek and use wisdom in all areas of your life. Proverbs  8:11 NLT says, "For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it."

Have an awesomely blessed week! Remember that God loves you far beyond measure!

Friday, May 3, 2013

What Does the Lord Require?

Micah 6:8 NIV He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

I mentioned earlier this week that the Holy Spirit speaks to me a lot when I'm dealing with my two-year old. I'm often reminded of how much more God loves me and is so much more patient with me when I'm not acting the way that I should.

If you've had children, you know how most two-year olds are! Stubborn!  There are many times when I'm trying to get her to do something and she just really isn't cooperating.  Well, one particular day, I think I may have been asking her to pick up something off the floor. She continued to be stubborn with her usual "no's" and "I did it already" but then she turned right around and asked for a snack or to watch something on tv. I can't quite remember because this is pretty constant. She's usually asking to watch Mickey Mouse, The Princess and the Frog or some other Disney show. If it isn't that, the request is for something like a freeze pop, Cheetos, etc.

Back to the story: So we're in the kitchen and she's being rebellious but yet she wanted whatever it was she was requesting at the time. I said to her: "You cannot continue to be disobedient and expect to get what you ask for all the time!" Immediately, it was as if I heard the Lord repeating those exact same words to me! However, He reminded me of His faithfulness and mercy to me even when I don't deserve it!

Oftentimes, we are not being the person whom God has called us to be and yet we continue to ask Him to bless us and do all of these things for us in our lives.  Although, God often grants our requests when we haven't done what we're supposed to do, our scripture today reminds us of what is required of us.   There are also many scriptures throughout the bible that reminds us that God wants our obedience.  When our prayers aren't answered, we should also check ourselves to make sure that we are doing all that God has called us to do!

I pray that as you go about your day today, you truly seek to be obedient and think about how faithful and kind the Lord is to you even when you do not deserve it.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

No More Bubbles

Proverbs 4:13 NIV Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding

My toddler loves bubble baths.  Mommy does too! Well for some reason, when I'm taking my bubble bath, I cannot get her out of the bathroom. She is essentially soaking up her clothes because she is too busy reaching over into my tub full of bubbles attempting to blow them into my face.  Recently, we had a "bubble fight" and I blew bubbles into her eyes. I wiped the bubbles off with a dry towel and we continued to play. Well, apparently she enjoyed it because she then started rubbing bubbles into her own eyes (on purpose)!

I, of course, requested that she stop but she would rub bubbles in her eyes and then say, "ouch mommy, it's itching."  She continued to do this about 3 times until I distracted her by sending her out of the room to do something else.

Most of her shenanigans cause me to say something to her that in return, the Holy Spirit speaks to me.  In this particular instance, I thought about how we as Christians, continue to put "bubbles" in our eyes even when we know that it will cause some level of discomfort.  We often know what the outcome will be when we do things like overeat (gluttony), procrastinate, lie, hold grudges, etc. but we continue to do them anyway?  Why do we keep putting these "bubbles" in our eyes?  Why do we continue to do things that will pull us away from God? Why do we not spend time reading our bibles, studying or praying?

Whatever your answers are to those questions, I pray that you recognize them for what they are: excuses and ploys of the enemy to keep you right where you are.

I pray that as you go about your day today, you refuse to put any more "bubbles" in your eyes and that you are encouraged to walk along the path that God has created for you! Once you know better, you should do better. Walk in wisdom!

Monday, April 29, 2013

What Are You Wearing?

Ephesians 6:13-17 NIV Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

My two year old is absolutely engrossed by anything princess-related! Disney movies, dolls and dresses!  In fact, she associates any type of dress with being a princess.  A few days ago, I wore a dress to work and she said, "Mommy, you're a princess!" :-)  Whenever she pays attention to our wedding photos, she points to me and says, "princess." Whenever she wears a dress, she identifies herself as a princess. It does not matter to her what kind of dress it is: summer, dressy or casual.

The point is that when she wears a dress and identifies herself as a princess, her attitude is different. She feels prettier and she's prancing around the house, twirling around in her dress!

My question to you today is "what are you wearing?" Are you putting on the full armor of God? When you're wearing the full armor of God, is your attitude different? It should be. You are an ambassador of Christ and what you "wear" should be representative of this fact.   The scripture says that we should wear the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, gospel of peace as shoes, shield of faith, helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit.

As you begin your week, be sure that as you're putting on your physical clothes, you do not slack in dressing your spiritual man as well. What you're wearing spiritually is very important as it will impact your attitude and your entire day.

May you experience the life that God has called you to live as you dress as Kings and Queens in your spiritual gear!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

God will bring you back!

2 Samuel 14:14b But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.

When I read this verse in my studies the other night, I thought, "wow, that's pretty awesome!" :-)

Sometimes we can find ourselves in a strange place not knowing how we got there.  When we make a series of wrong choices or choices outside of God's will for our lives, we will definitely end up in a place where we shouldn't be.

God's desire for us is to love Him and His people and walk according to the purpose that He has set before us.  When we do not spend time in His presence praying & listening to Him or studying His Word, we end up "lost."

Even though we won't always do what God wants us to do when He wants us to do it, the great news is that within His wonderful plan for our lives, He has meticulously arranged for us to find our way back to Him.

So every time something "bad" happens in your life, don't give credit to satan. God may be just using that situation to bring you back into His loving arms.  He desires closeness with you!  Whenever you find yourself drifting away, He is only a prayer away!

May you experience peace & understanding beyond your comprehension today! Wishing you many blessings!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


2 Samuel 11:27 NLT "When the period of mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her to the palace, and she became one of his wives.  Then she gave birth to a son.  But the Lord was displeased with what David had done."

Have you ever sinned? Well of course you have right? What kind of question is that? Have you ever tried to cover up your sin by trying to make it right?

This chapter discusses how David sinned when he slept with Bathsheba (another man's wife) and got her pregnant.  David attempted to cover up his sin by sending for her husband (he was away at war) so that he could come home and sleep with her.  When that didn't work, David arranged for his murder.  In addition to that, he brought her into the palace and married her after her husband's death. (This was David's attempt to make it right)

Although many of us may not have done exactly what David did, we may have times in our lives where we tried to "fix" our wrong.  The truth is that we cannot fix our sin.  We must simply confess our sin and turn away from it.  We cannot be deceived and think that we can fix our sin or that we won't reap the consequences of our sin.

When we are aware of our sin, God expects us to live better. We are not to continue purposely living in sin.

1 John 1:8-10 NLT If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

May you find strength in God's word and power to redeem your sins.  May you also have the courage to be faithful in your daily walk with Christ!

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Find Your Strength!

1 Samuel 30:6-8 NLT David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the Lord his God. Then he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring me the ephod!” So Abiathar brought it. Then David asked the Lord, “Should I chase after this band of raiders? Will I catch them?”
And the Lord told him, “Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!”

David came back to find that he and his army lost everything (including family).  His men then started speaking of stoning him.  In the midst of all that, David found strength in the Lord.

How did he find strength in the Lord?
1. He sought after God for direction.
2. In return, God answered his prayers and told him that he would be restored!! So refreshing!

God is faithful and His Word is true.  Even in today's time, God can restore you!  You may lose your job, possessions or family but God can give that all back to you (remember Job?); He simply wants your obedience and faithfulness.  I've been in a place where I lost my job [even with my degrees and certification, I was certain that I am one of the best qualified. I thought if I ever lost a job, I could get another quickly because of my credentials.  None of that happened the way I thought it would.  It took 6 months to find employment again, however, I learned through it all that most importantly, God wanted my heart. He wanted me to seek Him!] So, I can testify that God is certainly faithful.

I encourage you to find your strength in Him daily. Seek Him daily! Love Him daily!

Have a blessed rest of the week!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fearful friends?

1 Samuel 23:1-5 NLT One day news came to David that the Philistines were at Keilah stealing grain from the threshing floors. David asked the Lord, “Should I go and attack them?” “Yes, go and save Keilah,” the Lord told him. But David’s men said, “We’re afraid even here in Judah. We certainly don’t want to go to Keilah to fight the whole Philistine army!” So David asked the Lord again, and again the Lord replied, “Go down to Keilah, for I will help you conquer the Philistines.” So David and his men went to Keilah. They slaughtered the Philistines and took all their livestock and rescued the people of Keilah.

In the above referenced passage of scripture, David asked the Lord a specific question and received a specific answer.  The interesting thing is that even after David received confirmation from the Lord, the fear of his mean caused David to question the Lord and ask him the same question again. He asked in a "Are you sure, Lord?" kind of way.

I think it is wise to seek Godly counsel but I don't think that we should allow the fear and doubt of those around us to question what we already know to be true or question what God has already confirmed for us.  This is why it is so important to seek the Lord for yourself! Seek the Lord above all things and He will certainly direct your path but you must trust Him and walk in faith.

When those around you are causing you to question the direction that God is leading you in, continue to stand firm in God's Word.  Remain steadfast and unwavering. Do not be a double-minded person.

May the Lord continue to lift you by His power, encourage you to stand strong in faith and equip you to walk along the path that He has predestined for you!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Be Anxious for No Thing

Philippians 4:6-7 NIV "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Yesterday, I was having a conversation with my husband and a dear friend regarding knowing who you are in Christ and what you have been called to do.  It was a very interesting conversation and a lot of great points were brought up.

As we discussed how important it is to know what you're called to do, we also discussed how important it is to know what you're not called to do!  That is very powerful.  If you're in a place where you're unsure of what you're supposed to be doing, you will probably end up constantly distracted and all over the place.  Even though what seems like a great opportunity presents itself, you will have the power to turn it down if you know that isn't what you're supposed to be doing.  (Good opportunities can be distractions too)

One of the examples that was brought up during our conversation is about my friend's mom.  In her example, she discussed how her mom was presented with an opportunity to host a radio show!!! Doesn't that sound awesome?!?  Of course it is, but it wasn't the awesome opportunity for her! She turned it down with confidence because she is very much aware of where she is supposed to be and the open doors that are meant just for her!  I thought that was awesome. I'm sure some of the people around her thought that she was missing out on something great but she knew where she was headed!

There are times when we're in a place where we dislike our current jobs and would be willing to jump on the next train coming just to get out of the position we're in.  However, I'd like to encourage you to seek God and where it is He is trying to take you.  When you're aware of your destination, you know that all trains won't take you there. Be patient and wait on the train that is meant to take you there!

As you go about your week, I pray that you seek guidance and find peace in the direction that God is leading you. Don't be so quick to move if you aren't sure where you're going. Let the power of God's Holy Spirit lead you! ;-)

Have a blessed week!

(If you missed my radio appearance on The Review with Joy & Company radio show, please be sure to check it out on my website. It is now posted there. Go to and click on the 'Craves & Conversations' tab)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Don't Be Afraid

Joshua 1:9 NLT This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

This is one of my favorite scriptures!

Why? It encourages, inspires and comforts me as I strive to live the life of destiny that God has called me to live.

In the midst of our excitement to operate in excellence and live the lives we were destined to live, we will sometimes become distracted, confused, frustrated or tired.

How so?

When you're doing what you're supposed to do, the enemy's primary goal is to get you off track so many distractions will come.  The distractions will come up in many forms; whether they are things that you enjoy doing, time wasters, or even people.  Confusion will often surface when there is the slightest bit of uncertainty. The enemy will use this opening and drive it way out of proportion.  We become frustrated when things aren't going the way we thought they would (even when we believe that God is leading us). We can even become tired and worn out from all the of the energy that we put into our assignment.

Even though things may not always go as planned, just be mindful that God is always with you. He encourages us in His Word to be strong and courageous because He knows that there will be times when we will not feel this way.  His presence should comfort us because he promised that He would be with us wherever we go.

If you're doing what you're supposed to be doing, be encouraged to know that God wants you to be strong and recognize that He is with you. His presence will set you apart. So don't be afraid, walk in the victory that you have already been given in Christ Jesus!!

 (Tomorrow is the Big Day! Tune in to 100.7 FM The Word at 7:30p.m. to listen to my radio interview discussing my new book, The Life Your Spirit Craves. Don't have the station? Catch it online live at

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What God thinks or what I think...

1 Samuel 15:17 NLT And Samuel told him, “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord has anointed you king of Israel."

Earlier in this chapter, God gave Saul specific instructions to destroy the Amalekites.  Saul did what he was told but with variation. He was partially obedient.  He decided that he would keep the best of the animals--all that appealed to them and he spared the king's life.  In God's eyes, partial obedience is still disobedience.  Because of Saul's disobedience, he was rejected by the Lord as king of Israel.

Saul didn't quite understand the magnitude of his position.  He didn't understand that he was held in high esteem because of chosen position. God specifically chose him to be King of Israel.  Likewise, in life, I don't think we fully understand our positions either. We are ambassadors of Christ! We oftentimes don't act this way or think of the effect our actions have on ourselves and those around us.

A few things to think about:
1. What is your current position in life?
2. What has God called you to do?
          -Remember that to whom much is given, much is required.  In this case, Saul was in a position of authority and given a task to complete.  Regardless of what you think of yourself when you are in a leadership position, you have to realize that you are an ambassador for Christ and that you have been chosen! Your actions matter! God wants your obedience more than anything. See verse 22.
3. Examine yourself.  Are you being obedient and living up to the standard that has been placed before you? 

You are a King! You are a Queen! It's time to start living like it! You are called to live up to higher standards.  You cannot live any kind of way. Live like the King or Queen that you are!

May your day be filled with the peace and presence of Almighty God!

(Be sure to listen to my interview discussing my book, "The Life Your Spirit Craves" with Joy and Company on 100.7FM The Word on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. You may also listen online at

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sharing the Vision

1 Samuel 10:16 NLT “He told us that the donkeys had already been found,” Saul replied. But Saul didn’t tell his uncle what Samuel said about the kingdom.

Earlier in this chapter, Samuel anointed Saul as king and then explained several signs that would be fulfilled.  Everything Samuel told Saul was fulfilled that very same day.  When Saul ran into his uncle at the place of worship, his uncle questioned where he'd been.  Saul explained that he went looking for the donkeys (which is what he initially sought out to do not knowing the plans that God had in store for him at that time).

In today's key verse, Saul told his uncle what Samuel said to him regarding the donkeys but he did not share the vision that was given to him (Saul being king).

We can learn important lessons from Saul's choice to not share the vision with his uncle. One of the most important lessons is that you cannot share your vision with everyone. I learned this little nugget when I began writing my first book.

1. Others can sometimes cast doubt and discouragement when you share your vision. This may not be intentional but everyone will not be able to see where God is taking you and what He wants to do in your life.

2. Timing: It may not be the right time for you to share the vision because you may not be prepared.  You may have the vision but no plan.  Make sure that you have done all that you need to do before you share the vision. Don't share it prematurely!

3. Some people are just downright mean and can't handle the vision!  They will just have to wait until the vision comes to past.  These people may not even believe you if you told them anyway.

The bottom line is that you have to protect and cultivate the vision that God has given you. Don't be discouraged if others don't believe in you or your vision as much as you do. God believes in you because He gave it to you! Continue to seek Him for guidance and everything will work according to His plan!

Peace and blessings upon you today!

(Check out my radio interview with Joy & Company on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. on 100.7 FM The Word.  You may also listen online at

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Speak Lord, I'm Listening

1 Samuel 3:10 NLT
And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”
And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.”

If you read the previous verses in this chapter, you will learn that Samuel has just discerned God's voice.  Once he did, he made himself available to God to receive the message that God was giving him.

Quite often in our lives, we're so busy with tons of things that we don't even set aside time to hear what God is saying to us. We often pray but we rarely make time to listen.

If you desire a more intimate and meaningful relationship with your Savior, I encourage you to set aside a specific time in your day where you can commune with God uninterrupted: no TV, no spouse, no kids, no cell phone, no Internet or anything else that will distract you.  Make yourself available to Him.  I often find that it is those times when I'm by myself that I receive all of the inspiration, direction and encouragement I need from God.  It is in those quiet moments that I receive my fill of Him.

God is waiting for you to make yourself available and say, "Speak Lord, I'm listening."

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Here I am...Is God calling you?

1 Samuel 3:3-10 NLT "The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God. Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!”
“Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?”
He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
“I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So he did.
Then the Lord called out again, “Samuel!”
Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
“I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.”
Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before.
So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy.
So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed.
And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”
And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.”

In this passage of scripture, Samuel learned the voice of God.  This was the first time that God spoke to Samuel and the first three times the Lord called his name, Samuel didn't recognize His voice.  The scripture tells us in verse 7 that Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before.

How easy is it to miss God speaking to us?!  Here are some reasons we may miss God speaking to us:
1. We don't know His voice.
2. The way in which He speaks to us is unexpected.
3. We don't know God.

The scripture tells us that God reveals himself by His Word.  We cannot know God's word unless we study and live it.  When we learn God's Word, we learn His voice. (John 10:4)  When we learn God's Word and His voice, spiritual discernment will help us to know and understand when God is speaking to us.

My prayer is that we as God's people, learn His word and His ways so that we may not miss the message that He is giving to us!  As you go throughout your day today, may your heart and spirit be sensitive to God's voice and where He is leading you!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Flirting with the enemy

Scripture reference: Judges 16:1-22

There is something that has always puzzled me about Samson.  After Delilah constantly asked what made Him weak, then attempted to trap him with those very things he told her would make him weak, he told her his secret anyway! Why would he do that? Didn't he know that she was setting him up? Was it that he was so deeply in love with her?  The bible never says that she loved him back.  She was using him to get the money promised to her by the Philistine rulers.

After pondering this for a while, I started to think about myself and the behavior of the entire Christian community.  Don't we also "flirt" with the enemy?  We know that the enemy wants to steal our joy, depress us, strip us of our faith and power and yet we continue to entertain the likes of him and what he offers.  We know what our weaknesses are.  We know what makes our powers low and sometimes without a second thought, we give the power that God has given to us to the enemy.

How?  We continue to engage in sinful activities.  We go places we shouldn't. We say things that we shouldn't say.  We don't spend time studying God's word or in prayer! These things, among others, deplete us of our power.  We are sucked dry, drained of our power when we are not being who God has called us to be.

Today, I encourage you to examine your power meter. Don't allow the enemy or anyone else to drain you of the power of God that has been placed within you.  :-)

(If you haven't already, please be sure to check out my new book, "The Life Your Spirit Craves" at

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Understand your position

Genesis 50:20 NLT You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

The story of Joseph has been used in various illustrations to demonstrate how God can and will use unpleasant people and situations to get the glory.

Far too often, we get discouraged when things don’t happen the way we think they should. However, it takes wisdom and maturity to seek God and to truly understand that many times, the situations we encounter are not for us, even though they may happen to us.

When God uses uncomfortable and undesirable situations to demonstrate His power in our lives, I believe that we should try to look at the bigger picture instead of focusing on what is happening. We should focus on God and the lesson that He is teaching so that we can share it with those around us.

I really like Joseph’s statement in our key verse today. Here he explains to his brothers that they were simply tools in God’s plan. Even Joseph’s brothers didn’t realize that they were being used by God throughout the entire ordeal. Joseph understood that the fulfillment of the dreams that he was given weren’t for his glory but for God’s glory. Ultimately, Joseph’s position helped save the lives of many people. While in Egypt , he helped to store food for the period of famine and ended up saving the lives of the same brothers who sold him!

Where is God taking you and why? (Remember that where you are in your present and future positions are for God’s glory)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Listen Closely: The enemy knows you have the victory

Judges 7:9-15 NLT That night the Lord said, “Get up! Go down into the Midianite camp, for I have given you victory over them! But if you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah. Listen to what the Midianites are saying, and you will be greatly encouraged. Then you will be eager to attack.” So Gideon took Purah and went down to the edge of the enemy camp. The armies of Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east had settled in the valley like a swarm of locusts. Their camels were like grains of sand on the seashore—too many to count! Gideon crept up just as a man was telling his companion about a dream. The man said, “I had this dream, and in my dream a loaf of barley bread came tumbling down into the Midianite camp. It hit a tent, turned it over, and knocked it flat!” His companion answered, “Your dream can mean only one thing—God has given Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite, victory over Midian and all its allies!” When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship before the Lord. Then he returned to the Israelite camp and shouted, “Get up! For the Lord has given you victory over the Midianite hordes!”

Fact: God has a plan for you!

Fact: God will give you instructions regarding this plan.

Fact: You have been given the victory and the enemy knows that you have been given the victory!

When I studied this passage a few nights ago, I did a little dance afterwards. Why? I think there is something very important about this story. You see, even though God had already told Gideon that He would give him victory, He also allowed Gideon to receive confirmation! The awesome part is that the confirmation came from the enemy’s camp! Wow! Life lesson: The enemy will fight you even though he knows that he will lose the battle! Therefore, you cannot become discouraged!

Although the voice of the enemy that we hear may not be as positive as Gideon’s confirmation, it is confirmation nonetheless! The voices of negativity, discouragement and defeat are not from God and are simply designed to get you off track. Don’t fall for it! Don’t lose focus!

All you have to do is be obedient to what you have been called to do! Fight! You already have the victory and the enemy knows it! It’s about time that you know it (and act like it) too!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Have you moved yet?

Judges 6:17 NLT Gideon replied, “If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the Lord speaking to me.

Judges 6:36-40 NLT Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.” Then Gideon said to God, “Please don’t be angry with me, but let me make one more request. Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.” So that night God did as Gideon asked. The fleece was dry in the morning, but the ground was covered with dew.
So often God speaks to our hearts and we allow the opportunity to act on the directive(s) to pass us by because of fear and/or uncertainty. We often question, “Lord, is that you?” “Are you sure you want me to do that?” “Can I do it later? You know, after I’ve done _____?”

Even after the questioning, we ask God to “show” us if it’s really Him. We ask for signs like Gideon in today’s meditational readings. I guarantee that if you’ve asked for a sign then you have received it. Did you miss it or did you ignore it?

Take a moment to think about what it is you have been called to do in this season of your life and your conversations with God about it. What are you waiting for? Why haven’t you moved in the direction that you’ve been called? Today is a new day filled with God’s new mercies and grace. The Lord is with you (v. 12 and 16). It’s time to move!

Many blessings to you this day! I pray that you do not miss an opportunity to be all that you were created to be!