Encouragement


January 20, 2009 has arrived. So many are excited and I must admit I’m one of them. Once again, the eyes of the world are focused on our nation and this period in our history- this period in world history. President-elect Barack Obama will take the oath of office today (in less than two hours). Record crowds started to flow in earlier than expected in an effort to secure a spot for the big event. I, on the otherhand, have secured a spot on a comfy couch in my living room. I plan to watch this significant event snuggled under a floral quilt with a cup of hot tea in hand.

It seems quite apropos that yesterday was our national observation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and now today the first president-elect who also happens to be a Black man is being sworn in as The United States of  America’s 44th President.  I pray for him and his lovely family and will do so often. 

I’ve heard the question asked many times in the last couple of months, has Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream been realized- is the election of Barack Obama the culmination of the dream?  Unfortunately, no this country has certainly not become a walking manifestation of Dr. King’s dream.  Yet, it is quite a significant step for our nation with its tormented past.  For those of you who can’t quite seem to understand that I have to liken it to the thrill of the first man walking on the moon-what actually comes to mind is the statement Neil Armstrong made when he took a step on the moon saying, “One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind!”  This is a thrilling day.  Once again, I urge you not to miss this moment.  In the history of this country and even amongst international communities this is no small day!  So join in the celebration and be blessed!  It is so worth it!  My goodness!  It’s time to get back to my spot on the couch! I wouldn’t miss this and I know I’m not the only one.  Be blessed!

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Alright, I felt led to repost this one originally posted here  last year around this time.  It seems it was extremely helpful to many people then so I’ll probably repost it every year around this time because it is so important.  If you haven’t already, please take time to read The The Virtuous Woman Demystified.  I believe you’ll be blessed!

08thanksgiving1

A Very Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours!

turkey2

 

The Holidays are upon us once again, and that means people getting together with their families and/or loved ones to celebrate.  It’s wonderful to celebrate but sometimes it can be draining to say the least and even at times a downright fiasco!  Especially, if your get-togethers usually seem to stir up a little drama.  So, all of you who like to cause (or usually just end up causing) the holiday celebration drama- just give it a rest why don’t you?  A celebration is not a time to make someone the butt of your jokes, or get so angry you can’t even enjoy yourself (nor anyone else).  It’s not a time for self-indulgence when you know that particular deed could hurt someone.  It’s not a time to focus on yourself and what you want.  It’s a time to be grateful for all the Lord has done in your life and to show that gratitude through your actions, your deeds, your words, and your attitude.  It’s Thanksgiving, so let’s give thanks!  Be blessed!

justanotherlovelyholiday

 

 1.  Mr. & Mrs. Perfect Host/Hostess

2.  Mr. Too Cool for School

3.  Ms. “I’ve slaved all day in the kitchen” Drama Queen

4.  Mr. Negativity – nothing is ever good enough

5.  Ms. Bitter and Unforgiveness

6.  Mr. Hot Under the Collar

7.  Mr. Positively Wonderful

8.  Mr. Mischevious

9.  Ms. Peacemaker

10.  Mr. “I don’t want to hear it!”

11.  Mama Love

12.  Mr. Sickly

13.  Mr. Big Mouth

14.  Mr. Vampire (will drain the life out of any party)

15.  Mr. “Let’s get this show on the road” Clock watcher

16.  Mr. Interrogator or Mr. Investigator

17.  Ms. Cell Phone to the Ear at All Times

18.  Mr. Anger Management Class Candidate

19.  Mr. Prayer Warrior

20.  Ms. “I can’t hear you…”

21.  Mr. Bratty Kid

22.  Ms. Angelic Child

23.  Ms. Photopgrapher

24.  Ms. Closed Mouth Cousin

25.  Ms.  “I ate toooooo much…”

26.  Mr. Emotional

27.  The World Traveler

28.  Mr. “I’m still in the Witness Protection Program” (so don’t take any pictures of me!)

 Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

 1 O LORD, you have searched me
       and you know me.

 2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
       you perceive my thoughts from afar.

 3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
       you are familiar with all my ways.

 4 Before a word is on my tongue
       you know it completely, O LORD.

 5 You hem me in—behind and before;
       you have laid your hand upon me.

 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
       too lofty for me to attain.

 7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
       Where can I flee from your presence?

 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
       if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.

 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
       if I settle on the far side of the sea,

 10 even there your hand will guide me,
       your right hand will hold me fast.

 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
       and the light become night around me,”

 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
       the night will shine like the day,
       for darkness is as light to you.

 13 For you created my inmost being;
       you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
       your works are wonderful,
       I know that full well.

 15 My frame was not hidden from you
       when I was made in the secret place.
       When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

 16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
       All the days ordained for me
       were written in your book
       before one of them came to be.

 17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
       How vast is the sum of them!

 18 Were I to count them,
       they would outnumber the grains of sand.
       When I awake,
       I am still with you.

 19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
       Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

 20 They speak of you with evil intent;
       your adversaries misuse your name.

 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
       and abhor those who rise up against you?

 22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
       I count them my enemies.

 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
       test me and know my anxious thoughts.

 24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
       and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139 NIV                                        

So, who’s standing in the way of your dream?  Chances are, it’s probably you!  Heaven knows, timing has a lot to do with it and there are seasons of preparation peppered with seasons of restraint.  Yet, ultimately, no one else can keep you from fulfilling that God-given dream except you.  Oh, there can and most likely will be lots of discouragement…. however usually there is encouragement as well.  Perhaps, you’ll have to stir yourself up and be your own encouragement- if that’s what it takes, then learn how to do that.  It’ll help you out in this world.  There is no lack for the need of encouragement in this life and the sooner you learn how to encourage yourself and to be an encouragement to others, the better off you’ll be.

Also, you’ll need to let go of the negativity.  If you sit there and meditate on all the reasons you can’t do it, and all the horrid things that may have happened in the past that keep you from doing it, chances are you won’t do it…. at least not until you give up that way of thinking.  You don’t have to accept and agree with every thought that comes in your head… every voice from the past that says you’re not good enough… that says you have no right to dream for the manifestation of what God has placed in your heart… you don’t have to keep those thoughts.  You don’t have to keep mulling over curses that were spoken over you and your future.  If your dream is worth fighting for, then you need to fight! 

How?  First of all, you’ll need to replace those negative thoughts with promises of God.  Yes, you’ll have to do some research in the Word, but most definitely it won’t hurt you any and it’s sure to help!  Find a promise that relates directly  to the issue you’re dealing with- whether it’s low self-esteem, worry, lack of finances, condemnation over sins that have already been repented of, etc.  and meditate on those scriptures.  Repeat them over and over to yourself until you know that you KNOW you know them and the next time one of those negative thoughts comes into your mind- don’t accept it, don’t agree with it, don’t believe it- just replace it with a promise of God.  Should an issue come up that you can’t recall a promise for, then that’s a clue it’s time to dig into the Word again to seek the promise that refutes the issue.  Is it work?  Yes, but if it’s the dream you’re fighting for- isn’t it worth the effort? Aren’t you worth the effort?  Well, of course you are!  God thinks so.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God!  So, start believing it and begin reaching for that dream!  You may have to start by taking baby-steps but, even so, take them!  Don’t let pride get in the way!  Despise not the day of small beginnings!  After all, if you (along with God’s guidance and help) were incapable of fulfilling this dream, He never would have given it to you.  He knows you better than you know yourself and He knew you before you knew yourself.  So, what’s stopping you?  Who’s standing in the way of your dream?

 Despise not small beginnings.  This popular saying has been on my heart for some time now.  I believe it comes from Zechariah 4:10  “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…”.  Many times it may seem that we are behind in completing a goal, or perhaps it seems that we don’t quite measure up compared to other’s standards or, perhaps, even our own.  However, when looking at ourselves and making comparisons with others, we should stop and let the Holy Spirit speak to us about the timeline, the standards, and the comparison itself.  Comparing ourselves to others and their accomplishments (or lack there of) is always a negative thing.  First of all, we each have our own course to run, so to speak.  We don’t need to look at anyone else to gauge our own effectiveness or success in completing our course.  We should look to God for the gauge. 

If we’ll only ask, the Holy Spirit will let us know how we’re doing in respect to running our course.  What may seem as falling way behind to us may actually be right on schedule in reality.  Only God knows for sure.  You’re not going to get the kind of confirmation that will meaningfully affirm your standing from your peers, your family, your best friend, your mate, the church crowd, or even your pastor.  For a truly meaningful state of the (your name here) address, we have to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Man looks at the outer appearance, but God looks on the heart.  He sees and knows the whole picture as well as the masterplan He created for you.  Perhaps you’re far away from that plan, but maybe you’re just a few steps from being smack dab in the midst of His perfect will for your life.  Only He knows for sure.  But one thing is certain, no matter where you are currently on God’s timeline, one step at a time will get you exactly where you need to be.  Look to Him for direction and despise not small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.  Be blessed!

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