God’s Plan!

In order to fully understand God’s plan simply means to fully embrace that God is in control no matter the situation or outcome! Contrary to what James Brown so passionately sung; THIS IS GOD’S WORLD! He created it, He owns it, and He alone controls it. Even though there are many things we may fear or dislike during the course of God’s plan in our life, we must have faith that in the end His plan leaves us perfect, complete, and lacking in nothing.

Two powerful OT passages to consider when God changes gears is Jeremiah 10:23, “LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps” and Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s heart plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”

In all honesty, the beauty of having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ is knowing that God is in control of our lives and that He causes ALL thing to work together for our good in spite of our lack of faith, sin, and rebellion! (Roman 8:28). When we struggle with life’s many disappointments just knowing that God has a a bigger plan should fuel our hope and bring focus/clarity into our everyday lives. God will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews13:5 ) so just because things don’t go our way doesn’t mean God isn’t moving positively and strategically in our lives! In times of ambiguity or uncertainty, it’s our duty to cleave and cling to the cross of Calvary and when this happens our relationship with God grows deeper and our anxieties and fear becomes less and less gripping!

#BeStrong

#TGBTG

#Encourage

#Empower

#Inspire

#GodsPlan

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God Can Fix It!

Jesus was crystal clear in John 15:5 when He said, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” Jesus knew that no matter how hard we tried and how many good things we did, we wouldn’t measure up to God’s standard of perfect righteousness.

Additionally, Jesus understood that becoming more like Him is a lifelong process that’s only perfected on the other side of death. However, while we are alive, it’s God doing the work, not us alone. The moment we try to go it alone and fix things in our lives apart from Jesus, is the moment we discover we can’t do it without Him and trust me, I know this from personal experience.

Self-help tactics can be useful and not all of these concepts are totally bad, but none of them are 100% effective! I totally get the process of accountability and I firmly believe that faith without works is dead, however faith without Jesus is equally terminal!

SIMPLY PUT: WE NEED TO PUT THE DUCK TAPE DOWN! JESUS DONT BELIVE IN WORK AROUNDS OR TEMPORARY FIXES!

At the setting of the day and dawn of the morning, our life is a journey we must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get us out of that dead-end, empty-headed life we grew up in. He ungrudgingly paid our debt with Christ’s sacred blood! He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God knew exactly what He was going to do for us! It was because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that we trust God, that we know we have a future in God because ‘He that has begun the good work in us will bring it to perfect completion’ (Phil 1:6) in Christ and Christ alone.

Jesus is the only One that could ever measure up to God’s standard of perfect righteous and without the Vine (Jesus) we (the branches) would be forever flawed and imperfect.

#BeStrong

#TGBTG

#Encourage

#Empower

#Inspire

#GodCanFixIt

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4Giveness Is Not An Option!

I love the NLT literal and dynamic translation of Mathew 6:5-18. While teaching the disciples how to pray and fast, Jesus also admonition His disciples to forgive others. In vv 14-15 Jesus said, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Hands down, everyone of us has been wronged, offended, and sinned against at some point in our lives. However, the real question is how did we respond to the offender? Come on, let’s be honest…we probably failed to exhibit Jesus’ love, peace and compassion—right?!

According to additional scriptures, we are commanded to forgive others. Ephesians 4:32 declares, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Similarly, Colossians 3:13 proclaims, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” The key in both Passages of text is that we are to forgive fellow believers as God has forgiven us.

In lieu of refusing to forgive, it’s incumbent upon every believer to refuse not to forgive. Extended forgiveness should never an option because as mentioned above, we too have been forgiven. On the other hand, forgiveness doesn’t necessarily excuse the offense, but it does release the offender from pending or further prosecution! As it stands, the same Jesus that died for our past, present, and future sins also died for the people that offend us. Go figure…..

Point blank, quit harboring unforgiveness. It’s physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually unhealthy and it compromises your peace with God! Life is too short! Let it go! I know some of you are thinking, the pain is too much to bear. Well, nothing outweighs the excruciating pain Jesus experienced when He was falsely accused, condemned, beaten, spat on, whipped, and crucified on the cross for all our sins.

At the end of the day, everyone of us has tasted God’s grace, felt God’s mercy, and benefited from God’s forgiveness. Therefore, let your grace, mercy, and forgiveness for others reflect God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness for you!

#BeStrong

#TGBTG

#Encourage

#Empower

#Inspire

#ForgivenessIsNotAnOption

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God ♥️s You!

“For this is how God loved the world: He gaveg his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17

#BeStrong
#TGBTG
#Encourage
#Empower
#Inspire
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Perspective!

Perspective is how you view something, someone or a situation. You can have a change in perspective by moving and looking from another direction. This takes work and is not simple adding more information. But physically or mentally shifting your position on many things to impact your perspective on one thing.

I believe that one of the largest hurdles for people is to simply trusting God in all things. In most cases this creates a perspective problem. Trusting God involves much more than just simply remembering a Bible verse (s). It’s allowing God, through His Word and the circumstances of life, to shift your perspective. Not just your perspective on one small event, moment or problem in your life, but on your whole life. Once you see something one way it becomes very difficult to unsee.

A change in perspective requires nothing more than a simple shift. When we shift our perspective from holding life tighter we enable ourselves to live life with open hands and this leads to trust in God and worship.

Additionally, we must also consider shifting our perspective from that of a microwave to a crockpot. Contrary to this instantaneous driven world we live in, growth takes time and you can’t rush it!

I know some of you maybe shock to hear this but, we should also consider shifting from trying to understand God’s perspective with fully understanding our perspective. There is a human perspective and a God perspective. It is not our Job to have God’s perspective. It is our job to trust and worship God.

Still struggling with this disposition? I invite you to read or re-read the 33 chapters in the book of Job. The reason God asked Job all of those questions was to show him, that he cannot understand why God does what He does. But He does it because He is God. Job never got to know why. All he got to know was in the end, God knew exactly what He was doing.

As we go through life, as we live life with others. We can look at Bible verses and we can try and live them. We can raddel them off for others going through a time where things don’t make sense. But let’s be honest, sometimes information alone is not enough. We may need a perspective shift. Going from God change my circumstances to God change me. At the end of the day, the shift in your perspective does not change what is happening, it simply changes how you see it.

#BeStrong

#TGBTG

#Encourage

#Empower

#Inspire

#ShiftInPerspective

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Stronger Than You Think!

Christopher Robin said, “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think!” We can certainly learn a lot from a cartoon bear!

I know that certain situations and circumstances can knock the wind out of our sails however in times when that happens we must continue fighting the good fight of faith. I know it’s hard, but it’s doable. Victor Hugo once said, “People do not lack strength; they lack will.”

I’ve learned that God’s will is best defined as the actions taken or words spoken based on love, selflessness, honesty and purity. Whereas, self-will is the action taken or words spoken with the ego and the determination to have one’s way, to get what is most desired and at times no matter what the cost.

Praying to God and then listening to God are the two windshield wipers that removes the obscurity in discerning the differences between the two wills. Most of us have no problem talking to God, but with the barrage of competing thoughts clamoring for our attention clearly listening to God for his direction can be a bit of a challenge.

Furthermore, though we may talk with God often, we may not be opening our ears to hear His answers and guidance. When you are finished praying, don’t quickly turn on the loud movie you were watching or immediately climb into bed for the night. Take time to stop, look, and listen for God’s answers to your prayers. Make sure you listen as much as you speak with Him because as you know communication goes both ways.

If I were to re-word Hugo’s quote it would read, “People do not lack strength; they lack faith and clarity.” My brothers and sisters, we find our true strength whenever our self-will aligns or subordinate with God’s will, plan and purpose for our lives. It behooves to live out the words spoken by John, the Baptist in John 3:30, “He must increase; I must decrease.” Make no mistake, the depth of our strength is grounded in our faith and spiritual discernment!

#BeStrong

#TGBTG

#Encourage

#Empower

#Inspire

#StrongerThanYouThink

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Prayer Is Our Weapon To Win!

Father God, in a time when so much has been taken away from so many people, You never once abandoned any of us! You may not have delivered us from the entire impact of adversity, but one thing is certain; it was You that mitigated it’s sting and for that we are extremely grateful!

Father God, we stand before Your throne room of grace beaten, tattered, and worn just to say thank You because of Your unending provisions we are still standing!! Despite the various world wide shortages You continue to provide food in abundance and protection under the shelter of Your wings. You always grant us rest and renew our strength to continue fighting! You effortlessly guide us along the right paths so that You can restore our souls. Even though we are constantly confronted with potential danger, Your presence is always close beside, in front, and behind us like an impenetrable shield.

Father God, when we truly reflect back over all You brought us through, one thing is certain; we lacked nothing. Your goodness and unfailing love relentlessly chased after us and kept us from catastrophic hurt, harm, and danger and for that O’God we say Thank You in the matchless and all providing name of Jesus, Amen and amen!!

#BeStrong

#TGBTG

#Encourage

#Empower

#Inspire

#PrayerIsOurWeaponToWin

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Humility Wins!

Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.”

#BeStrong

#TGBTG

#Encourage

#Empower

#Inspire

#HumilityAlwaysWin

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No One Left Behind (NOLB)

Former President Bush signed, The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (“NCLB”) into law on January 8, 2002 with overwhelming bipartisan support. In a nutshell, NCLB was the product of a collaboration between civil rights and business groups, as well as both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill and the Bush administration, which sought to advance American competitiveness and close the achievement gap between poor and minority students and their more advantaged peers.

I’m not going to delve into the various pros and cons of this piece of legislation because in 2015 the NCLB act was succeeded by a new law called Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”).

I believe the principles of both of these acts were grounded in the foundation that Jesus built nearly 2,000 years ago.

In Luke 15:3-7, Jesus shared the parable of the lost sheep. He said, “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

I believe this fable helped to influence both the former NCLB and the now current ESSA! God doesn’t want anyone of His children to be left behind. 2 Peter 3:9 confirms, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”

Jesus tells the parable of the lost sheep to show that the Kingdom of God is accessible to all, even those who were sinners or strayed from God’s path. Jesus stresses that when the shepherd finds the lost sheep He rejoices over it more than the 99 who did not go astray.

The reason why we are here on this planet in a time such as this is to do our part fulfilling the great commission (Matt 28:20). No ONE should be left behind and this declaratory statement is what fuels my purpose to make it to heaven and to take as many “ONES” with me!

Will you join me?

#BeStrong

#TGBTG

#Encourage

#Empower

#Inspire

#NoOneLeftBehind

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Amazing Grace!

No Cap: Jesus made me, He saved me, He sustains me, and He keeps me. No matter how many times I mess up, I still belong to Him. He keeps me safe in the palm of His hands. I do not have to worry about my future, because I know what Jesus started in me will be brought to perfect completion (Phil 1:6). When life is hard and things are difficult, Jesus promised to never leave my side (Hebrews 13:5). Though family and friends abandon me, Jesus is still there (Pslam 34:18). Knowing Jesus, gives me the best of both this life and the life to come (John 11:25). With Jesus there is joy, hope, peace, purpose, and life more abundantly (John 10:10). He is everything to me. This is why I don’t think I’m better than anyone! I’m just extremely grateful that Jesus chose to save a sinner like me!
#BeStrong
#TGBTG
#Encourage
#Empower
#Inspire
#AmazingGrace
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