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Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “personal pursuits”

Book Review: Goals…Set Them!

BACKDROP

I knew I needed to get a particular book, but I had no idea where or what it was.  What an odd feeling—knowing you are being nudged to read a book, but not knowing its title.  A couple of weeks passed, but it would not go away.  I knew I needed to be obedient, so [finally] off to the bookstore I went with two conspicuous ideas in mind:

  • an athlete’s mind and
  • setting goals.

Getting out of my car, I did not know if I should first visit the Sports section, the Self Help section, or the Adult Fiction section.  Maybe the book is in the Non-Fiction section or the New Release section?  Books are everywhere.  I could see them walking to the entrance, but when I opened the door and stepped inside the strangest thing happened.  I was instructed to go to the Christian Life section.  Off I went to find what I was looking for.

REVIEW

This morning I finished the book entitled, The Circle Maker.  See:   https://www.amazon.com/Circle-Maker-Praying-Circles-Greatest/dp/0310330734   What a timely read!  It had been pressed upon my spirit that I needed to pray more, so much so that I had begun mentioning it to people.  I am blessed to be surrounded by people who hear my cry.  One friend got so excited when I said this and soon after I discovered why.  She gave me a movie to watch.  YES….She gave me War Room.  Clearly, God wants me to tighten up my prayer life.

Woman Praying

War Room was recently added to my Movies To Watch list, but I had not gotten around to viewing it.  [Can’t help but think that maybe that was by design too.]

The Circle Maker, inspired me to start a prayer journal, one that is devoted to prayer and goal setting.  Within a week I jotted down, what turned out to be, two answered prayers.  Now, I know that more than two prayers were answered during the week but these were two which resulted from specific prayers I prayed.

If you want to grow in your prayer life, I would highly recommend reading this book.  I liked it because it is not “preachy”, yet it gives tools which encourage you to PRAY BIGGER.  By the end, I knew I was not praying BIG enough.  [After all, God can do all things!]  The realization that I had not been praying BIG enough sadden me just a little.  More so, however, I was excited for my future because I knew I was about to make some changes.  Memories of past visions were triggered.  Images that God showed me in dreams and confirmations I received were surfacing.  I know now, however, that prayer is essential and praying with others is important.

Some people have the spiritual gift of intercession.  I am not aware that I am one of those people, so reading this book is a blessing and verification that the time has come to seriously focus on my assignment.  There is work to be done and settling is not an option.

I won’t share (all) the tools that Pastor Batterson gave as I would encourage you to buy and read the book, but when thinking about how the Holy Spirit led me to this book and ministered to me while reading it I cannot help but wonder if it was because of someone else’s circle.

Note:  This book makes a great group read.

Who Do You Say I Am?

Today I did something sooooooo incredibly awesome as a result of accepting an invitation to be a Guest Messenger at a church.  Listen to the message I delivered earlier today.  No worries—it’s less than 18 minutes. (LOL!)  I hope it is a blessing to you!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YKJDy3sae4&feature=youtu.be

Silent Watch, Public Praise

Do you believe in angels?  Seriously, do you believe that they exist TODAY?  I do.

Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”  The angel answered, “I am Gabriel.  I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and tell you good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you will not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.”  —Luke 1:18-20

The year before I enrolled into law school, I attended a summer law program at the University of Richmond.  While there, I met a woman who identified herself as a Dean at another law school.  She told me that if I delayed attending law school by one year, I would receive a full scholarship.

“Really,” I thought.  How could I be sure that this would really happen?  I did not know this lady and she did not know me (or so I thought).  I had only met her that day.  Needless to say, I delayed my plans to attend law school.  After finishing the law program in Virginia, I returned home and got a job at a non-profit organization.  Only one or two family members knew why I was delaying attending law school.  It was not something I talked about, probably because I was skeptical of this good news.  Have you ever received news that seemed so miraculously good and you did not believe it?  Why would we ever struggle like this?  Should not we live knowing that all things are possible through Christ?  Believing impossibilities should not be our obstacle.  THIS should be our expectation!

Rest 

After returning home, I continued to prepare to go to law school while spending time with family.  Being home ended up being a greater blessing in hindsight because one of my grandfathers died during my first year in law school.  (God knew.)

While I was home, I spoke to the Dean only one time.  Interestingly, I had a certain peace about the situation.  Then, several months later it happened.

Immediately his [Zechariah’s] mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God.  The neighbors were all filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things.  —Luke 1:64-65

Via mail, I received notification that I had indeed received a full scholarship, inclusive of a stipend, to attend law school.  What a HUGE blessing!  I still praise God for this manifested promise.

A strange thing happened, however.  When I called the home phone number I had used one time prior to thank the Dean, I was told I had the wrong number.  Likewise, when I called the law school where she said she worked I was told there was not, nor had there ever been, anyone who worked there by her name.  I thank God for sending me an angel who delivered His message.  I thank Him for being patient with me as I silently watched His promise manifest.  I thank Him for allowing me that experience to remember regarding other promises He has made.  I thank God that this experience will encourage and bless someone else.  Yes, I am still singing His praises!  People are still in awe!  After all, if He did it for me, He can do it for you!

An Open Letter

What you do not know is that I have gotten hateful emails because I write a blog that expresses how my biblical studies apply to my life.  I would get them weekly, but I kept writing.  When I wrote my first blog, I wrote solely for my growth.  I shared those writings with specific people and encouraged them to share them if they were led.  (I still encourage sharing my blog entries.)  At that time, I did not know much about blogging.  Actually, I am still learning.  Still, I was moved to write in this arena and I adhered to that supernatural instruction.

3.26.15 Instant hand on neck - Copy

My original blog was not via this vehicle.  Initially, I wrote as a way to discover balance, find peace, and shore up my foundational beliefs.  Then, every blog entry was biblically referenced.  I was not attending a church regularly, but I had not forgotten from where my answers come.  Where I was at that time, I knew the importance of me being still and hearing from God.  I had learned how He speaks to me.  He was speaking.  My attention was undivided.  I was listening.

After few months of blogging, it became apparent to me that people could relate to my experiences.  It took a longer time for me to upgrade my blog experience because, well frankly I was intimidated by “Blog Land”.  Eventually, I did and that is when it started.  Although I would receive hateful messages, they were balanced by the encouragement I received.  From Day 1, I received support.  Some people only show public support when your “name” becomes trendy/safe.  (I have grown to appreciate both public and private support.)  Some will direct hateful energy towards you in public ways, however, before (and after) you become “trendy”.  Note To Self:  People who are whispering are watching.  It is all spiritual.  I understand that too.  Funny what prepares us right?!

This blog is mostly a mixture of faith-based and gender-related expressions.  It is not for everyone.  It is not meant to be.  Everyone who reads and relates to this is not Christian.   Everyone who reads and relates to this is not a woman.  These are not prerequisites.  I am writing about a human experience.  Can you relate to that?

In my real life, I love and appreciate diverse friendships and experiences because I understand the value of the operation of having healthy parts for the Whole.  Diversity assists in bringing out the best in me.  Listen, I am trying to be the best me that I can be.  That, for me, means deepening my personal relationship with God and going forth in that which I believe is my purpose.  I am growing.  This is a progression.  I understand that.

I believe that there is a community of people who are committed to being their best self as well.  Many times in pursuing our greatness, we experience things that we do not talk about—things like receiving hateful emails and dealing with people talking negatively about us.  Many times, these things stunts a person’s growth.  Do not let it halt yours.

I am glad I continued blogging.  Not only have I received blessings, but I have been able to be a blessing.  I am working  on more to come.  It is exciting.

I hope that if you are being called, nudged, movedinclined to do something that encourages your growth, that you DO IT.  Do not let fear stop you.  Likewise, do not let hateful messages—in any form—hinder you.  WANT IT MORE!  It is on your mind for a reason.  Appreciate encouragement if you receive it, but your progress should never rely on it.   People will not always understand your ways nor your actions.  It is ok.  Your faith walk does not require them to do so.

When I first sat down and blogged, I had no idea it would lead to what I now have in mind.  I believe doors of opportunity will be opened and a good work will be done.  Have you ever started something by faith and its vision grew into something far bigger than you could have ever imagined?  Share your story, if not with me then with someone.  The world needs to hear/see more positive stories.

Be Well,

Multiple Streams of Income

Very early in my professional career I learned the importance of having multiple streams of income.  It provides an avenue for more options.  That is significant, especially in this day and age when so many are unhappy and/or unsatisfied in their jobs.  Are you one of those people?

Fortunately for me, I like my job and the flexibility it provides.  I do, however, have a deep desire to pursue a vision I believe God has placed in my heart.  In doing so, I understand that I need more resources.  No doubt they will be provided, as long as I continue and allow my faith to be BIGGER than my fear.  Oftentimes, I am now finding myself routinely astonished by the various ways God allows me to meet positive and encouraging people, many of whom are searching for someone like me to invest in.  Through many of them, I am reminded how having multiple streams of income provides certain freedoms.  Money, money, money, money……makes money.  But this is the thing, at least for me and a number of the people I am meeting, the more you have means the more you can, and are willing to, give.

money and woman

Have you ever wanted to help someone or give to a cause, but could not because you did not have anything to give?  (It could have been money, energy, time, etc..)  Because you did not have it, you had no option.  Your desire to help was met with your reality of deficit. Do you believe God wants you operating in surplus?  If God wanted to increase your net worth, would you let Him?  Would you step out on faith and try something new?  Would you allow the team He sends to help you?  Would you bring others along too?

It is time for me, and maybe you, to add income streams.  Can there ever be too many?  People often stay on jobs they hate because it pays their bills.  Likewise, some (most often women) stay in marriages for the same reason.  If such people had financial options, most would let it goooooo……let it goooooo.  Then you have those like me, people consciously pursuing goals which require resources, resources that increased income bring.  God wants me to be blessed in every way. THAT, I BELIEVE.  Do you?

Balancing Act

Some things I have yet to outgrow. I still love balancing my weight on beams and playing on teeter tooters. Sometimes I walk on edges of curbs. Frequently I balance myself on one leg (or the other) while exercising. Now that I think about it, I have been doing a balancing act for a long time. When I was younger, the challenge of balancing things was fun. These days, I like to think of it more as an art form, which when accomplished is rewarding.

Balancing Book on Head

Last night, I had a great conversation with a friend about the importance of having a “work-life” balance as women. We talked about our family obligations, the demands at work, and our spare time personal pursuits. It is a lot, but like many women we manage…and many times we do so making it look easier than it actually is. Do you think women are pressured to appear perfect? What an impossible expectation. No one is perfect.

The older I get, the more important I find it is to have a “work-life” balance. I have been through the stage of focusing so much on work and missing valuable time with loved ones. I have attended funerals and cried, wishing to have shared more time with the person. That’s not fun.

I have been through the stage of spending precious time with family/friends and have watched professional opportunities pass by. I have wondered if I was making the right decisions. Through trial and error I have found a schedule that I am forever tweaking, however, it is working. I am focused and relaxed, as I am expected to be while balancing. I am at-one with my core…balancing…gracefully. Are you?

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