is the thing that blesses you the most. I learned many years ago that when that thing you fear the most comes upon you, let it. It is in those moments you meet God in a whole new way.
Let me explain. I had been praying over some things waiting on God’s answer. Writing in my journal and waiting. Some of the strangest struggles I have ever experienced came upon me. Imagine all of the things you feared happening all together at one time. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is where your bible memory verses come in.
When your situation starts to deteriorated, you have to remind yourself of who God is. You won’t always have access to your bible or the app when Satan starts reminding you how dire your situation is. You got to know God’s word. Remind yourself of God’s character. He said he would never leave you or forsake you. (Heb 13:5) He said He knows how to give good gifts (Matt 7:9-11) You must trust what He is giving you is good even though the world and people around you will tell you it is bad.
Because of my struggles this week, I got to spend time meditating on Lecrae’s new album, All Things Work Together. Wow. What an incredible young man and powerful prophet! I love how God speaks to us through vernaculars we understand. I could relate to his need to be “Black Black” and a “prophet who visits the chicken shack.”
God knows me well. He knows what gets my juices pumping and what inspires me. He knows my heart and how to reach it. As I listen to the words of this album and hear this young man’s story I can’t help but say “God, you are so awesome!” I can’t do nothing but praise Him.
More than anything, I found this young man’s journey compelling. He shared his pain and his triumph. His rhymes draw a picture of a real life poured out to Christ. He is not a fake smile who only wants to talk about Jesus, but a real person who dealt with depression, anger and doubt. And he took it all and ministered to us. But God told us our sons and daughters would prophesy (Joel 2:28)
What I prayed over for months, He answered in a moment. He taught me through the words of a rap album. A song said “Crooked sticks draw straight lines.” Sit on that, cause we the stick. We ain’t doing the drawing.
Sit down and let the Lord of the Universe draw. He gives us the grace to take it.
They can’t take it away from you. I learned about art and spent time with aspiring artists. I learned to draw and process black and white film and create digital art. It gave me different eyes to look at the world with.
I don’t know what your 2018 will hold, but I hope you choose to do something that will change your point of view about the world around you. I hope it will help you look at the world though another lense. I hope you will try to do something you never thought you could do.
These are some of the 17 things I did this year that are different from what I have done in the past. Each year of your life, that you are able, you should explore this amazing world that God has placed you in.
My faith has been stretched in 2017 like it has never been before. I have had some of the best laughs of my life on Twitter. And I learned how to make an incredibly good grilled cheese sandwich.
It doesn’t cost anything to live life. Go
Peace and Hairgrease.
I love Christmas and it is my most favorite time of year. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you this girl loves Christmas. By this time I have usually finished Christmas cards and got them in the mail with my Christmas Letter and Christmas Photo. I would be half way through Christmas shopping and planning who I will be celebrating with.
This year there are no christmas cards, no christmas photo, no letter, no presents, no parties and no shopping.
There are two finals, 1 photo project, 1 drawing project, a couple of photo packages, an unkept home and a cold that will not die.
BUT I still love Christmas. I mean think about this. The Creator of the Universe loved us so much that He came down from heaven to see about us. He didn’t try to keep His apartment in heaven. He didn’t go home to heaven every weekend to kind of help Him get used to our ungratefulness. When the choice came for Him to lose communication with heaven, He gave it all up for us. We were important to Him. (How can you not fall for a man who will do that for you?)
I love Christmas because He didn’t come on His terms, He came on ours. He came as a human baby raised by human parents. He dealt with poverty, rejection and death. When He says He understands what we are going through, we believe Him. We got a wonderful counselor, a mighty God, everlasting Father and a prince of peace!
I don’t have to shop for this. I don’t have to send cards. All I have to do is accept the free gift He offers and spend eternity with Him.
I do have a Christmas tree which reminds me that even though it is strong and sturdy, it is the lights that give it the beauty. The same is true of us. We may be strong and sturdy, but it is Christ’s light in us that give us our realy beauty.
I love this season and how it changes people’s hearts. I hope it changes your heart.
What an incredible life we get to lead. We live during a pivotial time in history where God is doing amazing things. In a time full of darkness, I have seen things that give me hope.
The thing that makes me giggle, and I am very grateful for is that God does not forget our prayers even when we forget. This year I was reminded of how I prayed to be surrounded by people who pray big prayers and believe God more than a decade ago. This year I was surrounded by a church standing up to do that exact thing. It is exciting and scary at the same time. It is exciting to watch God work, yet it is scary as you step on that limb and walk toward the edge.
This has been a transition year for me as I teach my daughter to adult and begin my own personal journey. I am thankful for the blessing God has given me in both areas. Again, I was surprised at what I could do when I surrendered to God’s leading.
I am so grateful for phenomal the people God placed in my life this year. They have been His Hands, His Feet, His Voice, His Encouragement, His Strength and much more. My favorite moment was when I couldn’t hear. I didn’t have insurance. I didn’t have cash. Some folks I love stepped in the gap.
If you never need anything, and no one ever helps you, you will miss the mightiest blessing of all. It provides for a need, but what it does for the heart is more powerful.
But the thing that gives me hope is that people are seeking God. They are not seeking a church or a minister, but the One who Created the Universe. I sit in BSF and wonder where did all these women come from. There are so many new women, I seldom see the people I have known for years. This gives me hope.
Twitter gives me hope. Unlike the rest of the world that puts up with nonsense, twitter will take a stupid idea and beat it with a baseball bat. Like the word of God, it is a sword that separates joints and marrow, soul and spirit. In 140 characters, it reveals the heart of the writer. I met some amazing hopefilled hearts on there.
My prayer this year has been, if I ask for bread, the Lord will not give me a stone. He has been faithful. I am thankful. I praise Him for the journey..
I wish you and yours the best of Thanksgiving,
Peace and Hair Grease
I really mean it. I know many of you wonder why I spend so much time at bible study. Because there is nothing more enthralling to me than when someone gets up to speak on a portion of scripture I am familiar with, yet they are able to help me approach it from a new direction. Ms. Lisa Harper tore me up today teaching on patience and waiting. But the moment that floored me. How you spend all your time praying for something, and when God give it to you, you complain about it.
You see we learned earlier today that grumblers and complainers died in the wilderness not able to reach the promiseland.
I am so glad I have friends who love God and want to get to know Him better.
As I sat in the room with thousands of women, I couldn’t help but think of the one woman God used to change the trajectory of my life. I had never encountered anyone who loved Jesus like she did. I wanted some of that.
I have done 10 of her bible studies. Believing God was my favorite because it taught me to take Him at His word. It gave me courage to walk in the purpose He gave me.
I have not been disappointed in Jesus, but in some of the circumstances faith has led me to. I have learned that God is far more interested in my character than my comfort. He always uses His word to remind me who He is. He will have my pastor at church, my weekly bible study homework and a weekend conference I just happen to attend quote the same verse to let me know that He can do exceedingly beyond all I can imagine.
Today the teachers and preachers taught us that words are powerful.
For me: Doubt dies unborn if it is never spoken.
To quote and old bible study
God is who He says He is
God can do what God says He can do
I am who God says I am
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
God’s Word is alive and active in me
I am believing God
(Believing God Five Statement Pledge of Faith)
Over the last 90 days I have expanded my view as an artist. I have learned how to do new things, but also strengthened my current skill set.
The funny thing is when I was making goals for this year, none of these new skills were even thought of. That thought makes me truly excited about all of the things I will learn next year.
I achieved about half of the goals I had for this year. The truth is lots of things in my life changed, but it changed for the good. I am always amazed at this time of year when I sit and review. I look at all that I have done and it floors me. God is good.
It is very important to write down the things you want to accomplish. That list will remind and encourage you to make those things happen. It will also help you cut down on the distractions in your life. Those are the things that come along and are good things to do, but they don’t really fall into plans for your life. They distract you from accomplishing the plans God has for your life.
Make 2018 a year like no other in your life.
First, write down a list of things you want to accomplish in 2018.
Second, pray over that list everyday.
Third, keep that list in a prominent place. Maybe create a folder for it. I keep a list of overall goals, but also one that has specialized goals, such as financial, spiritual, etc.
Fourth and Final, get out of your own way. Sometimes we don’t accomplish stuff because we get in our own way. We don’t believe we can do something. We would much rather believe the negative things people say about us, rather than the beautiful things God tells us about ourselves every day.
God places desires in our hearts that He longs to accomplish through us. Believe Him. I am doing things I never dreamt I could do. It is fun. Trust God to take you on an adventure that will change your life.
or are you sitting on the fence waiting to see which way the wind will blow?
In today’s sermon, my pastor discussed how it can be deadly to just pretend to be all in when you just trying to look like other church folk. In Acts chapter 5, Ananias and Sapphira wanted to look like good church folks. They even had their lie together so whether you questioned them together or separate, you would get the same answer.
What they failed to realize was that God knew their heart and their game. It cost them everything they had thought they gained. Are you building up treasures in the right place?
We only fool ourselves. God is not surprised by our actions. It is kinda like those lights above. The white lights are rising above the fray. There are some white lights mixed in with the colors. They look like they are all going the same direction. But. They. Are. Not..
Darkness and fake light does not fool God. He sees right through to your heart. It is our hearts that decide if we are all in or not. Pray for a responsive contrite heart. It is a battle everyday to lay it down and not pick it back up.
Lets remind ourselves of Joshua’s words in chapter 24: Choose for yourself this day the one you will worship. As for me and my family, we will whorship, Yahweh! Joshua 24:15.
Do you find that in a day that is designed for 10 things, you do 20 because you are wonder woman or captain america? You are tired, but you can handle it. Let me just say that this is not your calling, One of the things you have to learn to say is NO.
God will not call you to be so busy you don’t have time for this gift He has given you called life. I think we get so wrapped up in other people’s callings that we wear ourselves out trying to accomplish things that we were not meant to do. Learn to say no so some stuff that looks good so that you can get what is better. One of the things I prayed for was a spirit of discernment. Lord, teach me what to do and when to do it.
Since I have let go of other people’s callings, God has taken me places I never would have imagined. I stopped trying to be what others wanted me to be. I began to embrace the things God called me to. I have found myself doing several things I never thought I could do. In the next two weeks I will meet new challenges as an artist, as a photographer, as a writer and as a jesus follower. I am amused and scared at the same time.
One of my ahha moments this year was that God has a different idea of what success looks like that does not always match mine. Sometimes God just wants us to try some new stuff. Some of us are so caught up in the same ol same ol that we won’t try anything new without a good reason. (I know from which I speak)
I have been on this journey with God for a while. I have not looked up to Him and said “Lord, I’m bored.” Kinda like a kid on an amusement park ride, there have been days I have asked to be taken off the crazy ride or to slow it down. It is like when you start trying to teach your baby to walk. Some of them find it scary because they fall and their legs are so unsure. Once they get used to it they appreciate the new ability.
God is the same way. There is so much He wants to teach us, but we get so scared we sit in the floor and say “I am not ever going to do that, it is too scary.” But God knows that once we trust Him and get the hang of it, we will love it. He created us for it.
Over the next couple of weeks I have some amazing challenges before me. There will be the tendency to sit in the floor and say “I can’t do that.” But I am going to put everything I got into it because success is not defined by me or determined by me. I find my confidence in Christ because He called me to it.
This week I learned that art is hard and endangered. While I spent the week fighting with draping and achieving good tone, I learned today that many arts programs are on the way out to make room for more STEM.
The world is not a good place without art. Without art there is no science and technology because first you have imagine and create.
This semester I have had a professor who continues to drive home the connection between science and art. I get to challenge myself in a way that I have not before and find in the discomfort of it I am growing in new areas. Everyone deserves the chance to do this. I hope you will join me in praying for a reversal.