Monday, August 10, 2015

Stand Out

"You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." - Matthew 5:14

The call of Christ on your life is not an ordinary one. As believers, he is not calling us to be ordinary. We have been created for more than to just cower in the shadows of our fears and run from the gift he's placed in our hearts. God is calling us to stand out. Standing in opposition of the norm takes courage that only He can provide for us if we open our heart to trust him. 

I don't care what your past consists of or what mess you are currently in, the purpose that God has planned for your life has not changed. It's just waiting for you to accept the power of Christ's love and forgiveness so that you can surge forward to complete the work He has set for you. You were called to Stand Out. Don't let the enemy convince you that your sin has changed this fact.

What does it mean to stand out? It's an arbitrary phrase that I'm sure many of us have heard over the years. It's usually applied to individuals who surpass those among them and are therefore blatantly seen. The phrase Stand Out can be defined as follows:

1. project from a surface; be easily noticeable; be clearly better or more significant than someone or something;

2. persist in opposition or support of something.

Standing out is not something we can do without Christ's help. In fact, it is his power that allows us to face insurmountable odds and conquer them head on. His death on the cross has already ensured our victory. Ephesians 3:20 states, "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all we can ask or think according to the power that works in us." We have the power and ability right now to stand up for his love, spread the gospel and endure any opposition that comes our way. We first must use his power to garner the boldness to step out on faith and pursue His will for our lives. 

I implore you to fight against the odds. Put your fear under subjection and go after your dreams. Share the goodness of Christ when guided by the Holy spirit and don't be afraid to be unpopular amongst the crowd. His love will guide you through. Trust him and be bold in the victory he has already won for our sake.

Copyright (c) 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Anniversary Week - A Poem for Roscoe

"You are more handsome than anyone, and you are an excellent speaker so God blessed you forever." - Psalm 45:2

It's our Anniversary Week!!! July 17, 2015 will mark 6 years since my husband and I became a couple and 5 years since we have been married. He is such a gift from God in my life and I honestly enjoy sharing his company. These past 6 years we have: laughed, cried, dreamed, prayed, and loved together. No one knows me better and I have never loved another man more.

Before we became a couple, we met over the phone. Check out the blog on how we met at The day after our first phone conversation, I knew something special was happening. After praying, God showed me details about him and gave me a poem to share with him. In honor of our Anniversary coming up, I have placed that poem below. When we read the poem together it opened up so much for us. Not long after meeting, we fell in love. Our relationship has taught me the power of waiting for God's timing. I love you Roscoe and look forward to a lifetime of love.

A Poem for Roscoe S. Houston

You labor at the feet of the King
Pushing faith, coated in testimonies 
of how grace serenades your hands
Soothing the pain, feeding your belief
that nothing is impossible as you walk amongst dreams
lacing your manhood with the power to intercede

You give and they believe
You carry the salvation of countless seeds
waiting for the unmasking of the 
birth of your dreams
they ferment by your pursuit
to know and worship the Father in spirit and truth

How you shine amongst slaves
their bound all around you, they sway with their chains
Within your breath, they smell the key
to unlock the shackles shifting around their pleas
Your words form the staff where miracles bleed

You speak and they achieve
You speak and they cleave to the Father
who's love massages you through
You are the hope and cry of the Youth.

Copyright (c) 2009. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Missing You

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust." Psalm 91-1-2

I don't really know how to do this or how to be. I consider my family blessed to not have had to deal with a whole lot of death in our lives. We've had loved one pass away but for me, it has never hit this close to home. I always expect to see her on holidays, special occasions or on a whim for a visit.

There was a time in my life where I spent almost a year sitting at her feet inhaling as much wisdom as I possibly could. I would go over to her house everyday after work or during my lunch break and find myself laughing at her whit and sarcasm. Most of the time she did not mean to be funny, she just was. She pointed out to me that I can make life harder on myself than it has to be, that all I have to do is relax and slow down. 

There was always a lesson to learn from her and our favorite was the word of God. She'd remind me about the call of God on my life and no matter what she was going through she never reduced or push shade on her witness. Even in battling this illness, her faith remained strong. In the midst of horrible pain she would look at me and profess God as a healer and worship about his goodness. She, even facing death, put my faith to shame. Her relentless belief taught me how much more I needed to trust God; she showed me the power of loving God and walking by faith and not by sight. Some of Our last words to each other were about Gods goodness. I read her scriptures and she nodded and moaned in agreement. Once again, she reminded me of the gift God gave me in my husband Roscoe and what God has done in my life. 

Grandma, thank you for giving your heart to God. You've provided us with yet another amazing example of what it means to serve God with faith and honor. You allowed God To use you to build a strong legacy of worshipers and believers. Had you rejected God that faithful day one could deduce that I would not be standing here today. Your faith led to the salvation of my mother and subsequently the joining together of my parents. How could you know it would result in 7 grandchildren who all love God and 10 great grandchildren who are being taught the ways of the Lord? What a legacy. We celebrate your life. 

Grandma, I rejoice with your spirit today as it has made its way to heaven. I worship God knowing hat you have joined the millions of angels that sing his praises for eternity. I sing with a heart of thanksgiving knowing that you are now having long walks on streets paved with gold sharing  the love of God with  Job, Anna, Paul, and Ruth. 

At the same time, our temporary separation grieves me. I'm saddened that I won't get to see your face, share in your wisdom, or roll over in laughter at your whit and humor. I miss your contagious laughter, caring touch and the sound of your voice. I miss you terribly.  I can almost hear you now telling us not to worry about you and that you're in good hands; the hands of Jesus. Then I can hear the power of your praise as you speak in tongues and shout In his Name.

Save a spot for me in your mansion. When I get there I'd love to visit and once again share the goodness of God with you. It's going to be thrilling and its a moment I will keep in my heart until we meet again.

A Poem I wrote for her....

Remembering Mae

You have carried many names: Daughter, sister, wife, mother, 
grandmother, great grandmother, believer. 
You've blessed many without compromising your faith, 
you fought for your witness, your example to save.
your spirit uplifted and graciously forgave
All the wrongs you allowed God to mold into rights
Your heart for his Kingdom
Forged a legacy to fight and persevere for the sake of dreams.
Your children's children worship, in great love we praise our King
We stand on the prayers you prayed day and night, 
we float on your wisdom, we're guided by your light. 
Your spirit of faith over shadowed your pain, 
you called on his name, you never complained
We dance and sing cause on that faithful day, 
you gave your heart to Jesus now we know His ways
Rest our dear beloved, walk those streets of Gold
We'll see you when we get there, our beauty to behold. 

Copyright (c) 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Living With Scars

"The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel, and he was limping because of the injury to his hip."  Genesis 32:31

When I was in 5th grade I had my first of five surgeries. I was born with a genetic bone disease which can cause deformity in the bones and discomfort if aggravated. To be expected, after each surgery, I was left with a scar; a constant reminder of what I had just experienced and endured. In time, I would find myself with visible scars on my left wrist and both ankles. 

I made up in my mind that I would not be ashamed of my scars. I would not try to hide them beneath clothing or accessories but instead I would embrace them and live my life despite their presence. I discovered that people would only pay attention to them if I did. It was very rare that someone brought them up without cause or reason. When I was asked, I was usually surprised by it but unmoved. I love my battle wounds. I learned to define them and refused to let my scars define me.

In life, we are often left with physical and emotional scars that remind us of our journey and our pain.  Whether someone hurt us or we inflicted injury on ourselves, each of us carries some sort of remnants of our circumstances.We must take care not to mistake a scar for an open wound. We must make time to heal and Jesus Christ can help us through it all. 

 If we allow it, the incidences that are the source of our scars can propel us into the purpose and destiny God has for our lives. A scar is not necessarily an indication that something is wrong. It is a  reminder of complete healing. Though my surgeries took place years ago, my scars are proof that I came out victorious. God wants you to know, scars and all, He loves you and wants to use your life as a powerful testimony.

Unfortunately, some of us choose to allow our scars to cover up our story and blind us to what God has in store. We can find ourselves dwelling on the past and holding on to the hurt and the shame. We can choose joy over hurt and shame. Thank God, by His grace we have the choice to be renewed and set free. We do not have to be held captive by the circumstances of our lives. In His infinite wisdom, God grants us grace to use our pain for His glory (Romans 8:28). Our scars are proof of our victory. We should wear them proudly and embrace our journey. The best thing we can do is to fall in love with who God created us to be.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cast Away

"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT).

It's easy to be wrapped up in our day to day tasks and responsibilities. We work hard to get or sustain a good paying job to take care of expenses and our families. In the midst of adapting and learning how to survive in this world we can easily lose sight of who is really in control of our lives. 

We often worry and develop anxiety when troubles come. We worry about how we are going to pay our bills, get the next job, or fix an issue in our family relationships. In my life, I have found myself unemployed with bills to pay. I remember one time in particular, my department at a law firm was being bought out by another firm. Everyone ran around in a panic wondering who the company would bring over in the merger. One day I sat with some co-workers all asking each other what they were going to do in a panic. Rested and assured, I always stated that I would trust God in the face of unemployment. That principle applies to every area of your life when you are a believer. What does it say about our trust in God, when we live in a constant state of panic over what feels like insurmountable odds. Our issue should never be about how big our problem is. Our triumph lies in the greatness of our God.

Our hope is not in our supervisor or job. It is God who provides every single need. It is by his grace that we have food on our table and clothes on our back. In Matthew 6:25-34 talks about the importance of not worrying about everyday life. God has that in control. When we find ourselves stressing about family or work issues, lets take stalk in the God that we serve. Out of his great love, He sent his son to reconcile himself with us and to take our burdens. This includes the hardships that we deal with everyday.

When we feel hopeless, we must fight to come to a place of rest in who He is. 1 Peter 5:7 is a great example of how to come to a place of rest. I love the way the New Living Translation reads above. Other translations also say to cast all your cares...the act of casting is literally taking your hardship or problem in our hands, reaching as far back as we can and throwing it forward . Casting is the act of letting go. Let's let go of our hardships and chaos. Surrender them to God and trust that His love for us will meet every need. No matter what happens, nothing can conquer what His love has already won. Rest easy.

Copyright (c) 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spending Time With God

"She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard." - Proverbs 31:14-16

Before my feet hit the floor every morning, my mind is bombarded with countless things that need to be done throughout my day. As new parents, my husband and I have a fresh taste of how absolutely rewarding and challenging raising a family can be. The day starts before the sun comes up and all of a sudden, we look up, and it's time to go to bed again.

When my son was born, I struggled with finding the time to spend time with God. Now that we have a another baby on the way, I find myself re-evaluating how much more time will be needed to devote to our family.  My time with God has drastically changed since I was single. There are so many things to do, in what seems like, so little time. As a mother, a working woman, a wife, etc., how do I carve out some meaningful time with God? I found King Solomon's statement in Ecclesiastes 3:1 to be true, "For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under the sun."

As we grow as women, the way we spend time with God should take on a whole new framework. The key is being okay with that. We must take care to prioritize the important issues of our life. If God has been given a low priority, it will adversely affect every area of your life, including your perspective. The purpose of this post is not to beat ourselves up over it and live in condemnation. The path that God has you on is vital to the Kingdom of God. If you are a  wife and/or a mother you have been entrusted with a ministry. God can speak to us through anything; even the hustle and bustle of a chaotic day. I have found several tips to help me stay connected:

1.  Quality vs Quantity: meditating on one scripture throughout the day; 
2. Finding Time Alone: listening to sermons on my way to work, or 
3. Worship: playing worship music as I spend time with my son and husband.
4. Prayer Time: Praying with my Husband. I also pray while I complete a household task or run errands.

Doing these things each day can be extremely beneficial to our intimate time with God. We don't have to compromise his presence because we are too busy. Ask God to help you carve out some private time when you can get before him on your knees to hear what he has to say to you.

There is a way to his word and we must find it. Remember, our family is our ministry but if we do not feed our spirit, we won't have anything left to give them. Invest in a new study bible, write down one scripture a day or a week to meditate on so the word will constantly be in your heart. Ask God what he is trying to say to you in that scripture. Read the bible with your spouse and children at night.

I  want to encourage us today to continue to seek after his word despite what is going on in our lives. If you are feeling exhausted or empty, it may be that your spirit needs to be refueled with the word of God. Rest assure in the Proverbs 31 woman that you are. Our witness does not have to suffer due to the blessing of family but should be enhanced. When we allow God to shine in our private time, his Kingdom and our family reap the benefits.

COPYRIGHT (c) 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Blessing in the Chaos

"Dear brothers and sisters,when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. " - James 1:2-4 (NLT)

Over the course of my Christian walk, I found myself deceived by the belief that if trouble or turmoil came into my life it was because something was terribly wrong. Any chaos or struggle had to be a direct attack from the enemy. There was no way it could be the will of God. This type of thinking is a stark deviation from scripture. The embattled men and women of faith in the Bible never had a smooth transition. I do my best to avoid using absolutes but in this case it applies. I am yet to study, hear about, or read a passage of scripture that detailed an obedient servant with an easy unchallenged pathway to their destiny. My friend, I write to tell you today that if you are going through the worst storm of your life, there is a chance, as an obedient believer, God is using your trouble to bring you to a place of purpose and destiny. It is in your struggle that God seeks to develop a closer and more intimate relationship with you. Nothing will bring you to your knees quicker than your greatest pain.

We often hear the cliche, "...if it weren't for your problems you may not even pray." As you ponder that thought it is worth questioning: who gets down on their knees in awesome desperation when they have everything they need? Our place of comfort can be our biggest hindrance. In my discomfort I would wail before God. I'd ask him all sorts of whys and hows. Now I understand that my discomfort began with me. When I committed my life to God and asked him to use me, I also opened my life to be a testimony unto him. I had to learn to embrace the "test" in that testimony. I had to allow God to develop my story.

Before we gripe and complain and ask God to end our misery, let take care to take stock in the purpose behind the chaos. There is a blessing coming your way. It may take the form of something tangible or it may configure it's way into amazing spiritual growth and maturation. Nevertheless, to God be the glory. Worship Him with all that you have. As it states in Psalm 121, our God will never slumber on us. Even in your chaos, His strength puts you at a great advantage.

COPYRIGHT (c) 2015. All Rights Reserved.