Hello Fear, before you sit down

In 2015, I spent the least amount of time thinking about this area, but more time doing it. Today’s area is Mental or the things you plan, learn and visualize. It is usually one of my favorite areas until God takes over. At the beginning of each year, I create a plan and goals for the year.  I determine the areas I want to learn more about and set out to do it.

I plan safe things, like trips to the museum or to take a class in lighting for still photography. God tosses me in the lake and says “Swim, I got you.” God takes me on trips I never imagined and many of them have to do with the things I fear. He makes me look the thing I fear right in the eye.

What I love about this area is I get to do new stuff. I am seldom bored or lack something to do. God teaches me to think outside the box I have drawn around myself. He is teaching me to see myself as more than a mother or daughter.  More than a photographer or writer or filmmaker. As I look back over my life I see I am not staying stagnant. Life is truly an adventure.

Today’s adventure included a trip down culinary lane. For the first time, I cooked chicken fried steak. Yes, I have been a Texan all my life, but this was the first time I ever tried to cook the dish myself. I watched the Pioneer Woman do it this week. I thought it looked a little too complicated for my level of cooking. But at the grocery store today, the only thing I could find was the cubed steak…

As I work out the plan God has for my life, I enjoy watching it come clearly into focus. Make a plan. Set some goals. Yet don’t get upset if God interrupts your plans for His.  After all I set off to the store to buy a brisket, but cube steak was in my future. I did a good job and there is a sense of accomplishment.

Be part of helping others grow, not only by being an example, but also by coaching.  We should all continue to grow together because iron sharpens iron. If you are not helping someone become better, then you are getting in their way.

It is time to tell Fear goodbye. Walk in the adventure God has placed before you. Your future might seem uncertain, but God is in control. Dive in.

Destiny’s Dilemma

Zo had a life before she came back to Fort Worth. She covered news stories for real newspapers.

Her news story ran in several newspapers across the country under her press name: Z.F. Hughes. She showed her mother the news clippings.

Hattie rubbed the clippings between her fingers and smiles. She was too tired to read them, but she was proud all the same. She laid them on the pillow next to herself.

“You have always been a smart child. Jesus knew what he was doing when he made you.” Then Hattie started humming her favorite hymn, Jesus Loves Me, and fell asleep.

 

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For This I Give You Praise

My habits are not true to form of the Seven Habits because over time I have tweeked them to match my needs. The next area is Spiritual.  This is your soul, spirit and the things that make you you.

When I think of spiritual, I think of my relationship with God.  He created us in His image and I believe our spirit is what connects us. The more time I spend with God, the better I understand me. The more time I spend with God, the more I love Him.

I mean when you move in with someone you like to get to know them. If you are going to spend an eternity with someone, you want to know something about them. So I spend my spiritual time getting to know God better through bible study and prayer.

I was not one of those kids raised in church so the process was foreign to me.  I was in my late 20’s before I understood that God still communicates with his people. Once I discovered that, it was game on.  I began to understand how He speaks to me and what He wants me to do.  It all started with a wonderful bible study titled, Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby. Changed. My. Life.

The most important thing I learned was all I have to be is who He made me.  Not everyone likes or agrees with who I am, but the One I have to answer to does. We get off center when we try to be other people or what other people want us to be. But if you are close to God, He will keep you centered. You ought to stay with Him just for that.

He has a plan for each of our lives. We have to trust His plan. When the children of Israel were in the desert, the Lord reminded them that they were His people. He reminded them that He was with them. As long as He is with us, there is no drought that can over take us or enemy that can over come us.

I praise Him because He taught me that He fights my battles for me. He runs my enemies out of business. He destroys them in ways I can’t imagine. As I learned in the study of Revelation this week, it is to bring them to repentance.

Spending time with God builds up your spiritual muscles, strengthens your faith and teaches you a praise dance.

 

Destiny’s Dilemma

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She had heard that there was a black man who was the leader of the Republican Party in Fort Worth, but could hardly believe it.

“He knows how to talk to some white folks. He don’t get off the sidewalk when they walk up. You know he leads the Republican party in these parts. I think they call him the…the wha cha it?

“A delegate?”

“He’s the top dog.”

“A Negro is the top dog in the Republican party here?” she asked in disbelief.

“Chairman!” he said snapping his fingers. “He’s the chairman of the party. He helps people get good jobs after the election.”

Zo looked at Drew as if he had just spoken a foreign language to her.

 

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Let’s Get Physical

I am a big fan of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey.  One of the main principles is to put first things first. For more than 20 years I have been putting into practice some form of the idea of figuring out what is most important to me. When I set goals, I think about how I want to be remembered and what purpose God has given me in this life.

One of those purposes is to live a healthy life.

As a form of habit, I set goals for my physical body, after all it is my physical tool. If it doesn’t work, I won’t do the other tasks He has assigned. Getting older is not easy. I mean, I can’t read without my readers (glasses) but I don’t always put them on. Like my Aunt Maude use to say, getting old is not for the weak. (She didn’t use that term, but that is what she meant).

For the past decade, I have fought the weight gain problem and lost. When I got older, I did not lose weight as easy as I did when I was young. I am not a crazy dieter. I wouldn’t do the boiled egg diet, soup diet or the don’t eat anything diet. I have this problem with fried chicken and pie and soda. I like all of these things very much. (My fear is there won’t  be fried chicken in heaven – but I am going anyway.)

Although I was drastically opposed to working out in the beginning, my view changed. I have several people in my life who encourage others to work out and live healthy. It is the best way to live. Regular exercise can save your life and make healing quicker.  For example, I used to work out with this crazy instructor who loved making us do burpees and jump rope day. I hated jump rope day. One day, that fool sat in a F-150 (truck) and convinced us to push it around the block as our workout. (and I call him the fool. LOL)

Yet a year and a half later when I had surgery, I healed much quicker because of the strong core I developed working out with him. He has taught good principles and healthy eating habits. (Although I am never giving up fried chicken.) He has helped me make good lifestyle changes.

With my wee little human brain, I thought, God had me get healthy because He knew I would need it to heal faster.(Whenever you think you have God figured out, sit down and shut up) In 2015, I got to see what I could really do. I had some of the most grueling positions I have ever had. They required physical movement for 10 hours or more. There are moments I wanted to die because every inch of me hurt. I had no idea that something I liked to do could cause so much pain. I felt like an old lady.

As a result, I lost over 20 pounds and was able to reduce my high blood pressure medications. It was all God. As I was focused on other things, He took care of something I thought was a problem. All of the strength I had been building up over the years, the Lord used in an unexpected way and it blessed me.

Set some goals. Work towards them. Watch God bless you.

God brings amazing people into your life to bless you. Receive it.

Destiny’s Dilemma

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It was tough pretending not to be smart, but it was difficult pretending they were smart. Years as a journalist had taught her how to find out background information on just about anyone.  The truth was that the women were common and stupid, but still they had the power to destroy lives. She would have to watch herself around them.

 

 

An African American woman moved home to take care of her dying mother giving up the opportunity to experience a world beyond segregation. Zoraida Hughes Williams finds that some things have changed about her hometown of Fort Worth, Texas while some have stayed the same, like Hell’s Half Acre, an area where saloons, prostitution and gambling runs wild. Like most of the residents, she wants to keep her head down and stay away from trouble, but it comes in the unlikely form of an Anglo Baptist preacher. He messes up everything and almost gets them killed.

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A New Year and New You

Every day I continue to grow and know more than I did before. Just this week, Bobby Flay taught me how to improve my grilled hamburgers and the Pioneer Woman gave me an alternate recipe for enchiladas. This week, I also got to smell frankincense after reading about Jesus being born in a stable with livestock, thanks Bill Hybels for Seeing the Christmas Scenery.

Life is a great journey where you take in information that will help you make good decisions about your life. This year I am going to do some different things with the blog section of this page.

I will write on certain themes and present them as a series. Not every blog will be tied to a series, but some will. The first series is going to focus on how to be a better you. I am going to share some principles that I have been using for over 20 years. I didn’t create it, I just took it and made it my own. I will invite you to do the same thing. Stealing from the inventor of the system, we are going to put first things first.

This year, I will invite guest bloggers to share valuable information with you. I have learned that we work so much better in community and can learn wonderful things from each other. I know lots of talented people who enjoy what they do. You will enjoy them.

I will also continue with the music. I will use some popular music, but I am an old school girl. So there will be O’Jays and Earth Wind and Fire. Yet, there will also be Third Day and Kari Jobe.

God is working out good things in my life. It is going to be a fantastic year

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Destiny’s Dilemma

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She was on her way to somewhere…she just didn’t know it was the segregated South in 1912, but it proved to be an adventure.

An African American woman moved home to take care of her dying mother giving up the opportunity to experience a world beyond segregation. Zoraida Hughes Williams finds that some things have changed about her hometown of Fort Worth, Texas while some have stayed the same, like Hell’s Half Acre, an area where saloons, prostitution and gambling runs wild. Like most of the residents, she wants to keep her head down and stay away from trouble, but it comes in the unlikely form of an Anglo Baptist preacher. He messes up everything and almost gets them killed.

Destiny’s Dilemma is available

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Createspace

15 Things I Learned in 2015

I learned a lot spiritually in 2015 and I am sharing it with you. You can look back through my blog if you want the full version, but the cliff notes are below. I got to know God in a way, I have not known Him before.  I look forward to what 2016 holds.

15

Mourning is a process. You have good days and bad days. Own it, but don’t wallow in it. Ecclesiastes 7:2

14

Sometime we wait because the Lord has to take the teeth out of the serpent that is waiting to bite you Psalm 61:4

13

all of the struggles we are currently going through is God cultivating our hearts. He is taking hard dry ground and enabling it to grow something Ezekiel 11:19

12

Sometimes our blessings are in the storm Ezekiel 34:26

11

Remember who I am praying to. Revelation 4 tells me that I am not praying to a really good human being. He sits on the throne with flashes of lightning and peals of thunder. Four very scary creatures watch over him.  He is mighty, all powerful and sovereign.

10

We work better together. God put us in community to work together. I am so blessed to be among a group of women who love and serve Jesus.  Hebrews 10:24-25

9

He continually reveals himself to me. He tells me He loves me every day whether I hear it or not.  Deuteronomy 29:29, 1 John 3:1, 1 John 4:10

8

He trusts us with moments, don’t take any for granted. Some people you are never going to see again. Act like it. Isaiah 43:10

7

When things I want are not in line with what God wants, Be Still. Trust Him. Psalm 46:10, Proverbs 3:5-6

6

Prayer is an effective tool to communicate with Him. James 5:16

5

Until you are dead, it is not too late to start anything. Remember the Sunday School class for women in their 80s.

4

I think God listens to our crappy prayers and decides to teach us a lesson by teaching us we don’t know what we are talking about.

3

Even though some  things do not fit right now, I know that it will all come together because the one who made the plan completes everything.  1 Peter 2:7

2

I need friends who will remind me of God’s faithfulness. Deuteronomy 7:9

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Fearing the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. There are lots of scary things on the planet earth, but there is none that I fear above the Lord.  The study of Revelation has given me a grand picture of who it is I worship.  It is not an accident that there are lots of thunderstorms and earthquakes in the area during the year we are studying Revelation. He is giving us an overview before the real thing happens.  Deuteronomy 10: 12-13.

CeCe Winans says it best. Worship Him.