What are you living for?ย 

โ€‹But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesusโ€”the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.

Acts of the Apostles 20:24 NLT

   For years I have been told that I was a writer. I don’t think about what I am writing, I just do it. In high school and thereafter, I wrote essays, poems, and discussion questions for friends and even strangers sometimes for cash. I didn’t want to be paid but I surely didn’t refuse it (LOL!). I simply wanted to write. Writing has always been something that just came natural to me, like breathing. I think I enjoy writing as much as I enjoy talking and reading…and that’s a lot!

 Writing for me is a way to speak publicly without having to actually speak in front of people. I have battled with the fear of public speaking for years and have developed several tricks to overcome “Glossophobia” or fear of public speaking. I smile a lot (more than usual) to hide my nervousness. I don’t make eye contact with people, I actually look up a lot instead. I talk very fast, move around a lot, and volunteer often just to get it over with. The tricks I use to hide my fear have in turn worked in my favor. Instead of appearing nervous, I look like someone who enjoys speaking in front of people. 

So what happens when you get a super shy yet outgoing social butterfly in love with writing, talking and helping people?

You get a woman anointed and ordained by God to proclaim His Gospel. 

For years I ran from my calling. Feeling unworthy, shy, not good enough, not brave enough. I proclaimed to God that He had chosen wrong! “Not me Lord. I had 2 kids out of wedlock from 2 different men before I was 21.” Or, “Not me God. I look average. Ain’t nobody tryna see me. I’m not even that pretty!” And even, “Naw God. Can’t do it. I can’t never finish what I start.”

   See one thing about God is, He is great at being God. He don’t need no help, no recommendations, no coaching, or no input. He is the same from everlasting to everlasting! Many times in my life, God has straightened me about my place as “child”, in our relationship. I’m grateful for that! See God will choose the foolish things for wise. He will use anybody He wants to to get the job done. Take Moses for example. When God commanded Moses to go before Pharoah, Moses said to God “Pardon Your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to Your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”(Exodus 4:10).  Nice excuse right? Kinda like me saying “God I can’t write, encourage, or speak. I’m shy, I don’t think I look as nice as other girls, and I talk fast.” But God being God says to me as He said to Moses and as He says to any of you inspired to do His will…


“…Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” Exodus 4:11-12 (NIV)

 Why do you do what you do? Are you living for self? To get all you can get out of life? Are you striving daily to reach your goals? Maybe you want to travel the world or try different deserts or be with as many men or women as possible. It’s all gotta mean something though. Your purpose is usually bigger than you. It’s meant to make a difference for you as well as those you encounter. My writing, encouraging, and speaking is not for me…it blesses me but it’s more about helping others.

What are you living for? 

Called and Chosen

You have been chosen and called for a time such as this. That thing that lights your fire. That thing that makes you warm inside. That thing that you wake up first thing in the morning and absolutely have to do…it’s time to do it. I don’t know what it is for you but you do. I don’t know what God has led you to love, but you do. My friends it’s time to stop running. Stop running from your calling. Stop running from your passion. Stop running from your purpose! What have you got to lose? What is stopping you? What are you afraid of?  The thing you want most is right on the other side of the door that you have refused for so long to open. Open it! Do it! Walk through it! Quit being afraid of what others might say, how they might feel, or what the may think of you. Are you REALLY going to let how the next person feels deflect you from what God has called you to do?! Is man your Creator or was it He who knit you in your mothers womb and knows the plans He has for you? Quit playing with your life! Quit playing with Gods time! Quit playing with the lives of others because in actuality your gift is not even for you…it’s for other people! Your tests are not about you, they are your testimonies for others. The mess that brought you to seeking your purpose was meant for you to relay a message to others. I know you’ve been trying, seeking, searching, praying, looking, asking, wondering, and growing tired. You’ve tried to live right and things go wrong. You feel like giving up but you can’t my friend…you’ve been CALLED and CHOSEN. You are called and chosen to do excatly what it is that’s set in your heart that brings you peace. Maybe it’s to teach, maybe write, maybe preach, maybe run, maybe sing, maybe model, maybe build, maybe design…only YOU and GOD know! 
Waste not another second. Contemplate no more. Stop wavering. Stop wondering. Write the vision and make it plain. The time is now and my friend, I decree there is a blessing tied to your obedience. One that will blow your mind and show EVERYONE who doubted, lied on you, criticized, and hated on you that they were wrong.  

You have been called and chosen, for such a time as THIS.

 

Dad knows Best!

โ€‹Not only does your Father know what is best for you, He knows what is good, what will hurt, your vices, your indiscretions, bad habits, your flaming tongue, that bad attitude, the bitterness, the secret sexual habit, and anything else that remains covered that He could display on front street but provides grace instead. Father loves us right where we are so it’s up to us to bend as He commands. It’s only for our good! 

So why do we fight the change? Why do we insist upon doing things our own way, fighting a losing battle? Why do we try hard to hold on to people who have their own minds, beliefs, and purposes? Why do we walk in anxiety knowing that God controls it all? The Father will press and crush at His desire to get the good juice (fine holy oil) outta you. He’s not letting go till your blessed! He’s gonna wrestle with you, even knock your hip outta place to do what He needs to do in your life. That thorn (trouble/pain/sorrow) in your life, is Gods way of displaying His grace. His grace is sufficient! You are not perfect. Sometimes you’re gonna yell. You may curse, scream, and cry. You may stumble, fall, or backslide but your Daddy sees it all. He knows your heart and He would rather you call on Him then call that no good friend, see that no good man, call that no good woman, read that no good Instagram meme, pick up that no good joint, or take a shot of that no good liquor. All things are permissible but not all things are good for you, that’s why you have to submit and allow this sanctification to take place. 

The Lord knows the plans He has for you my friend! They’re even better than what you have for yourself! Quit fighting this battle. Lay down your weapons and surrender to Holy Spirit. Say “yes” to the Lord and “no” to anything out of His will or that does not glorify Him. When we act out of our flesh, demanding the things that we want, going the way we desire, and saying whatever we feel like saying, we are acting outside of Gods will. Mince those harsh words. Cut that jealous stare. Hold your tongue because it can do so much damage. We are to match our hearts with God so that eventually we are so in sync with Him, that whatever we do is of Him. We may have to cut some things off but it’s for our good. Yes that includes certain people aka the leeches, haters, naysayers, and frenemiesin your life. It’s time to detox and cut them out once and for all before God does it for you! Cease from the luxuries that are crippling you. If you know your rent is due, don’t pay it late. Stop spending your gas money to get high! Stop spending money on wine without a tithe for the Lord. Allow the Holy Spirit to convict you before God has to correct you! Cease from thine own will and let Gods will be done. If what you want for yourself is magnificent…wouldn’t what your Father wants be so much more than that? 
YSIC-Cj ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ‘‘๐Ÿ’

HELP!

 You’ve been crying out for help a long time now. Praying in your closet, wondering if God hears you. Worshipping Him with tears whilst walking in a fog. It’s time to take your eyes off of your circumstances. Today! Quit wallowing in self pity. Stop moaning about the things you can’t do or have yet to accomplish. Stop resting at the pit stop of doubt. Get away from the devil of damages and distractions. Run fast from the alley of regret. Set your eyes on your Savior friend! Declare this with confidence and imprint it on your heart:

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.”

-Psalms 121:1โ€ญ-โ€ฌ2 

Stop looking to your parents to save you. Stop thinking that your paycheck will solve all your issues. Stop waiting on the A-Team to rescue you. Stop putting your trust in man and put your confidence in God! Lift up your head because you have received promises from the Most High. Dry your tears precious child. Look up and see that your help has never left you. Your Lord is present and available in your time of need, always has been-always will be! Just because things aren’t going the way you expected, or how you like, or the way the horoscope said, or how the fortune teller predicted, or the way it went for Tyrone n Dem or Susie-Bell, does NOT mean that God ain’t working it out. Are Gods thoughts and ways not higher than ours? Was Jesus not tempted to bail on the task (like us) but continued His mission anyways (what we MUST do)? He was ridiculed, lied on, talked about, mistreated, persecuted, falseley condemned by His own people, yet in His execution He still finished His work sent by the Father. The trial will make you stronger brother. The betrayal will make you stronger sister. The broken heart will make you stronger prince. The lost job will make you stronger princess. Get your eyes on God, on His handiwork, on His Word, on His promises and off of satans lies. Rise up in victory child of God! The devils goal is to make you lose your focus. He wants your eyes to remain hazy and blurred. He wants you depressed, confused, anxious, and restless. The devil wants you to take your eyes off Jesus and panic like Peter did when he walked across the water. Alas, Jesus reached out and rescued him and He will do the same for you if you waver! Praise God for our Savior! Take your eyes off the temporary situation/fear/worry and focus on eternal things. Set your eyes to the hills EXPECTANTLY. 

 Be encouraged, Gods got you my friend.
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Hold Fast

โ€‹”Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”

Hebrews 10:23 ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ™Œ
The Lord is faithful to His children. The Lord is faithful to His Word. The Lord is faithful to do what He says. The Lord is faithful in His provision. The Lord is faithful to forgive us when we ask for forgiveness. The Lord is faithful to blot out transgressions. The Lord is faithful to be your refuge. The Lord is faithful to you daughter! The Lord is faithful to protect and keep you son! Hold on to that hope, that dream, your faith, your belief, your love, your children, your marriage, your career, your God-given dreams and desires, your friendship, your future, your worship, your praise, hold fast to your God! When things are hardest you’ve got to keep trusting Abba without wavering. Don’t you dare doubt! Don’t you dare stray! Don’t you dare go backwards into Egypt cause ain’t nothing there for you except slavery, strongholds, trouble, bondage, and death! The world has nothing for you but remember that  you my friend, are the salt of the world. God called you OUT! God handpicked you. He looked down from Heaven and decided that you were right for the job. He’s sending faithful others to lead you, so yes, when called, you must go. Soon it will be YOU leading and feeding His sheep! Be courageous. Be brave. Be steadfast. Do you think He has brought you out and to the Red Sea to let the enemy overcome you? Nah brother and sister, you know better!!! He is doing miracles! He’s giving visions! If you claim to be bout your Daddy’s business then stand up today and be about it. Drag YOURSELF up out of the pits of despair. Stand in the heat of the furnace and declare that God is faithful. Face the lions knowing you will triumph! Even in prison you must testify my brother! Pick up your stones and slay the giant girl! I decree that if you would choose to be brave today, hold on to your faith and not doubt, believing God is faithful to do what He said….you will see the glory of the Lord. Be encouraged. Your faith has brought you this far. It’s time to turn up, walk the walk, and live like Christ!
YSIC-Cj ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿ™Œ

Room For One More?ย 

โ€‹Close your eyes and imagine you’re at home at your dinner table. You have called upon your loved ones to join you in appreciation of life and new beginnings. There’s a huge meal you’ve prepared, you’re set to feast with plenty of people you know. Your spouse or boyfriend, kids, friends, parents, your siblings, and grandparents. Your church family is there and everyone good that you know. In walks our leader President Obama and behind him are drug dealers/lords, drug addicts, prostitutes, rapists, murderers, liars, and thieves. You see OJ Simpson, Cayley Anthony, George Zimmerman, Michael Vick, Michael Jackson, Osama Bin Laden, and Andrea Yates. Your loved ones are appalled! What do you do? Kick them out? Refuse them your wonderful meal? Turn up your nose and give them the scraps? What about your promised meal of new beginnings? Can you show others the Christ in you or is it reserved only for the good people? In Mark 2:14-17 we find Jesus in a similar scene. He has just called Levi (Matthew), the tax collector (a sinful line of work), to be His disciple. While dining at his home, other tax collectors and sinners come to join them and the Pharisees are disgusted. But Jesus reminds them, it’s not the righteous, holy ones that He is here for, because the healthy don’t need healing. Eh, the sick need a doctor therefore the sinners need Jesus! Before we judge or look down at someone for what they have done or been through we gotta look at ourselves. Let’s remember that we too were (some still are) in the world. That’s why love is so important!! Jesus came because God so loved the entire world, righteous and unrighteous, Jew and Gentile, black or white, gay or straight, man or woman. So before we condemn anybody, we need to see the Christ in them and know that Jesus came to save us as well as those we see differently. We are not saved by the works that we do nor is anyone better than the next because of a title. The Word tells us that the first shall be last and the last shall be first (Matthew 19:30). Therefore,  those with titles,  training, or education may very be called after those who have been imprinted with life’s difficulties! We will be rewarded for all of our works when Jesus comes (Matthew 16:27) but we are given the second greatest commandment, to love one another. Loving each other my friends, is inviting the sick, the fallen, and the sinner in to dine with you. 
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Be You!ย 

Praising God that His divine and perfect will be done in your lives. It may not be as you so desire. It may not be what your friends said it would look like. It may not be what your Grandma prophesied. But one thing it will be, is just as God commanded and that is for your good! Don’t get caught up in what the world tells you to do, say, eat, like, travel, enjoy, watch, say, post or believe. Do not strive to be like a celebrity, rapper, athlete, or entertainer. Your imitation centerpiece is Christ and Him alone. He is the model for your mindset so let who He sent guide you (Holy Spirit). Let your mind, attitude, habits, and entire being be changed by what He says is good or bad. The Lord is trying to make you over in the best way possible because He sees in you what you can’t even imagine! He does not want you to be just like anyone else. Not another Beyonce or Serena or Taraji. Not another Lebron, Steph, or Denzel. He wants YOU, Symone, Hannah, Shantae, Shenikwa, Donesha, Candace, Tasha, or Gloria, to be YOU! He wants YOU, Michael, Terrance, Randy, John, David, Richard, or  Merton, to be YOU!  God wants me to be Cj. He wants my Mother to be Saundra. My cousins to be themselves. He wants to mold each of us. He wants to shape us. He wants to prune each of us. He wants to purify us and give us clean hearts and right spirits. He wants to use each of us as the called out ones, the chosen ones! My friends when His perfect will is complete… When we submit, pray, and obey…that’s when God can really show out in our lives. It’s not about us, it’s all about Jesus and His power for the glory of God. Let Him have His way in your life that He might be lifted up. Let your life reflect that God is exactly who the Word says He is. 
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Romans 12:2 
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