Knowing you and Embracing you

Becoming a person of authenticity and purpose isn’t easy to do, and it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work, deliberate effort and patience…lots of patience. To become a person of purpose, it’s almost like you’re training for the run of your life or for the fight of a lifetime.

Purpose follows persistence and persistence follows passion.

PASSION –> PERSISTENCE –> PURPOSE

Sometime, you will walk along life’s path and not really have a clue as to what your purpose is, and if you’re seeking that answer, this season of unknowing can be incredibly frustrating!! But, just as I’ve heard Pastor T.D. Jakes preach,

You’ve got to figure out what your passions are. When you figure that out, you’re half way there to finding your purpose! Just continue in that passion. Fine tune your strengths. Figure out your weaknesses and work to improve those areas needed. Get a coach who can challenge you and “get in your grill,” someone who will cheer you and not take “No” or “I quit” as answers. Keep pushing forward until you realize you’re working in your purpose.

Just as a boxer finally knocks out his opponent when he stays persistent in the fight, always looking for the weakness of his foe, and just as a runner finally crosses the finish line when she stays persistent even when her legs scream “just quit,” you will become an authentic person of purpose when you keep on keepin’ on!! 😉

Find You. Know YOU. Embrace you. Become who you were meant to be! You can do this! I believe in you!! 💕

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Consumer VS. Producer

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The concept of Consumer vs. Producer might sound a little odd when equating with God; however, just stick with me for a moment while I grasp your attention, please…

A producer is someone who makes something for the good of another. A producer has a dream or a vision which they work toward. A producer is giving out, not taking, expending or exhausting the efforts of another. Producers have a passion for bringing forth, giving birth or putting together something for the well being of another.

A consumer is someone who takes something for the good of oneself. A consumer may not have a dream or a vision, they simply have a craving and desire for more of what they have. A consumer is taking in, not building, developing or yielding fruit. Consumers have a passion for engrossing, absorbing and even devouring what they have in front of them for the well being of themselves, sometimes, even to the detriment of another.

When it comes to our relationship with God, we can never out give or over produce what He has to supply for our lives. We can never pour out more than He can pour in; however, we can be all consuming of His goodness to the point of becoming “fat and happy” on the blessings of God, never giving to another, never reaching and never reproducing what we have found.

We must have a passion for reaching this world for Christ. We must have a desire to give to others the love and goodness we have found in Christ. We must have a vision to reproduce and give away this hope that only God can bring. When building His Kingdom becomes our goal, that is when we become producers for His glory.

So, I ask you which are you, a Consumer or a Producer?

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Are You A Fan?


As I was reading this Scripture today, it made me think of being a fan. Not an electric, “cool you off fan,” but a “I am so excited! I am going to scream and holler for my team” kind of fan.

When you’re a true fan, you follow the team. You get excited when they are on the tv screen, playing national championships or in town for a big game. When you go to the game, you shout, you raise your hands, you get excited over the good things they do in order to win the game.

When we’re a fan, no one has to tell us how to get excited, how to cheer or even how to clap when our team scores. Noone has to instruct us, because we love our team. No one has to encourage us to cheer, because we are passionate about who and what we love!

Yet, too often, when we come to the House of God, we allow our mood to dictate how we react. We allow the circumstances of our lives or the people around us to influence how we worship. We my sit through a whole worship set, and even half the sermon, before we allow our face to crack a smile.

Yet, we say we are “fans” of our God. We tell other people we are passionate about the man who saved us. We express to those around us how we love Him, the man who gave His life that we might live. We share with new converts how we must reach out, share the gospel, and tell the world of the good things He has done, because He brings hope to all.

Really??

If you call yourself a Christian, could you ask yourself today, “Am I really a fan?”

Are You Comfy?

Comfort and apathy can go hand in hand. We are all creatures of comfort to some extent. I love warm cups of coffee, good books and a great big quilt to snuggle under for an enjoyable night of reading. Some like to drive for comfort, some like to sleep. Some like to get comfortable in the quiet while others enjoy the comfort of people and noise. Comfort for one might not be the comfort of another, but we all enjoy being comfortable over not.

Yet, in our prayer life, our worship and our passion for God, comfort should not be the mode of operation. Comfort can create apathy and apathy creates a death of passion. Comfort and apathy can creep into our prayer lives when we grow comfortable in where we are and over confident in what we are doing. It can lull us to a slumber where we neglect the voice of God and, eventually, even neglect the things and people of God.

When we grow too comfortable, we will become callous in our prayer life, lazy in our worship and apathetic in our God-message to others. Too often, as God did with Moses, He will call us beyond our comfort zone to reach the world around us and to deliver them out of the bondage in which they live. If we are only seeking what causes us comfort, then, we will be more apt to resist change, challenge and things controversial to the common worldview around us. God never called us to blend into this world. He called us to change this world by showing them His love, and His love will always challenge them to leave behind the sin in which they live.

Just as Moses did, when we decide to follow God and walk out of our comfort zone, we may question our ability. We may walk into ridicule from our own families and friends, and we may face a king who hates us and desires destruction for us, “but if God be for us, who can be against us”? (Romans 8:31)

Can we sit back and let this world ‘go to hell in a hand basket’ just so we ourselves may remain comfortable? NO! We must find our voice. We must step out of our places of comfort, complacency and apathy and seek His face. We must step up and allow His passion for the lost to infiltrate our lives to go and seek them. Look around you. See those who need Him and share His message for the redemption of their souls!

“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.Philippians 2:1-4

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2

 

 

 

To Write or Not To Write

If I was asked to speak to young writers (young by either years or experience), this is what I would tell them…

WRITE. BE INSPIRED. BE WHO GOD CREATED YOU TO BE!

Write, Write, Write!

Write when you’re passionate…let that pen bleed. Write when you’re not passionate…push that pen to speak. There will be times, you won’t have much to say. Write anyway. It doesn’t mean you have to share it with the world. Just write it to keep the words flowing. I have heard it said… 

…if you dream of being a writer, then you must begin writing today! 😉 Write when you’re “blocked.” This is when outside sources come in handy. Sources like the daily prompt on WordPress is a great option. Keep journals. Don’t limit yourself; use different mediums. Try drawing, word art, poetry, typing and even word games to prompt your senses. Social media is a great outlet, too; however, be careful here! Remember, whatever you put out in the internet world can stay there forever…and sometimes, it can come back to haunt you (Avoid drama)! 😉 Try writing with different styles, different themes and different methods. Write short stories, fiction, essays, poetry, blogs, songs, etc. Enter contests, writing sessions and other opportunities where your writing can be stretched and subjected to someone outside your sphere of influence. Over time, you will be amazed how strong your writing will become. 

Be Inspired!

Read everything and anything to gain inspiration. The more you read, the more inspired you will become. Find a mentor within your orbit who loves writing even more than you do, someone who can gently critique your writing styles to help you consistently improve. Find a mentor outside your orbit to whom you can look for inspiration, as well as, after whom you can model a portion of your style. If you are a person of faith, it is incredibly important to read your Word and become grounded. There are so many fallacies in this world that if your foundation is not the Word of God, you will find yourself swayed by every wind and doctrine that comes along. Unplug. Get alone at least 30 minutes each day. Unplug from electronics and get out in nature. You will be amazed how inspiring this can be!

Believe In God!

This portion was written specifically for the audience of whom I had prepared; however, it’s great advice for the masses…

God gave you a gift; use it! He wouldn’t give it to you if He wasn’t going to use you, even if it’s for no one else but yourself! 😉 Believe in yourself. God does. Take a minute to read through Psalm 139. YOU are fearfully and wonderfully made, and He has created you for His purpose. Find that purpose as you write about it. Don’t ever let the perfect become the enemy of the good. Too many authors, poets and writers, if they could return from the grave, would tell you there’s treasures in those words they buried while living. 

Believe in others as well as yourself. Be willing to submit your works to others. Remember, iron always sharpens iron. Friction can bring out magnificent beauty in the gold. As well, be encouraging of those around you.  You will find as you lift up another, you will be blessed, too!

Well, I do hope this has been helpful, and I’d love to hear from you! What have you found to be helpful in your writing endeavors? What inspires you? 😊

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Are You Crafty?

  

The sign read, “If you work with your hands, your mind and your heart…you are a craftsman.”

So, my question to you today:

Are you a craftsman?

To Speak or Not To Speak

For our relationships to be healed, mended and restored, we must speak up and be heard, but we must also shut up and listen. Sometimes, what you are assuming leads to misunderstanding and confusion. Sometimes, what you are avoiding leads to brokenness and pain.

Proverbs 17:27-28 tells us, “He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.” Maybe, you need to slow down and listen more. I had a teacher in my young life who said, “God gave you two ears and one mouth. Learn which one He wants you to use more.” This has really stuck with me through the years.

 

Maybe you contend that it’s easier for me to stop and listen than it is for the next guy. Maybe my introverted personality affords me more latitude. This doesn’t mean the next guy is necessarily excused from the need, from the expectancy of others. This doesn’t mean he has a better excuse than I. No, it just simply means he might need to work a little harder to open his ears and shut his mouth.

Other times, it’s better to speak up and be heard than to remain silent. In just a few chapters later, in the book of Proverbs, this instruction is given to us, “Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy.” Sometimes, when you remain silent, what you are feeling is not simple discomfort, it is pure conviction for what you are observing, hearing and the situation of which you are allowing yourself to be a part. When you remain silent, your actions further condone what is happening. If it is wrong, speak truth. Stop violence. Stop harm against the innocent. Stop evil with your bold speech.

 

 

I could argue that, maybe it’s easier for you to speak louder than it is for me. Maybe your extroverted personality allows you more fortitude. This doesn’t mean I am excused from the necessity of expression, from the desperation of the wounded. This doesn’t mean I have a better excuse than you. No, it just simply means I must put more effort in the articulation of my voice.

The perfect balance comes between the tension of knowing when to speak and when to remain silent. It comes from the acknowledgment for the need of both and seeking the right one at the perfect moment. It comes in knowing our own weaknesses and strengths and drawing from them both for the courage to do right, and finding our passion in one and releasing our will for another.

That is the beauty of conflict and the harmony of perfect peace.

 

Fire Vision

What do you see when you see fire? 

Do you see this evil and all kinds of danger?


Do you see dancing and fun times?


Maybe you just see a whirlwind of emotion and thought…                          

Do you simply see a light to brighten your path along the way?

…or a spark to ignite your passion?

…or maybe a flash of hope in a darkened world?

 What do you see?

The Old Gnarled Tree

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What caused those knots?
Blistering winds, relenting storms, sickness that threatened death? A tiny animal who burrowed its way in, stunting growth and nourishment?
Maybe it was just simply the challenge of growing upward that proved to be too hard, maybe the weight of growing older was just too heavy, and that pressure tried to bend and hinder the life of the tree.
Yet, somehow, it kept thriving, kept pushing forward, kept pressing on. Even past the knot. Even past the “pain,” always striving for greater heights, always moving beyond the simple expectations.
It kept reaching upward regardless of the hardships that came. The hindrance may have made it pause, resulting in the knots, but the tree strained and pushed beyond the limitations to continue on the path up toward the heavens.
Isn’t that how our lives should be? We will face turmoil. We will face strife. We may even face death a time or two, but where is our resolve? Where is our tenacity to carry on through the trial? Where is our strength to push back against this adversary called life and reach toward our destiny?
Don’t let the pressures of this life pull you down! Don’t let the winds of defeat threaten you and cause you to quit! You can make it through! You can do this! You can reach the end with dignity and grace. You can choose to win.
It may not be easy. It may not even be fun! Just remember there are those coming behind you who need your courage. There are those coming behind you who need your faith. Show them the way by shining in the darkness. Clear the path so that they may cross over as well.
We all have a purpose. We all have a place. Even when you feel battered and bruised, hindered and held back by the limits of this life, you have a destiny to reach.
So, keep fighting the cold; keep pushing back against the winds. Even when the twists and turns leave knots and gnarled bark in your way, Stay the course. Remain vigilant to the path. You can do this. You can win.
Just remain. Just have faith. Just believe.

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

Who I am and Why I’m Here

On Monday, I plan to start the Blogging 201 Challenge; however, I just recently started blogging and haven’t completed the 101. I guess I’m a little fanatical of doing things in order; so, I thought I would start at the beginning and work forward until Monday. I may end up overlapping the two challenges a little, but maybe that will be okay in the eyes of the reader as you will learn more about me over a short period of time. I hope you will find this interesting and intriguing and not find it boring or an overload of information…

So, who am I and why am I here?

I am a wife, a mom and a woman of faith. I relish in the essence of truth, honesty and authenticity. I love the antiquity of life and the refreshing surprise of tomorrow.  I am passionate about my family, my standards and my God. I absolutely love the mountains, waterfalls, trees and all things nature; however, I also enjoy going to plays, fancy restaurants and shopping in the city. I thrive on spending time with my husband and our boys. I’d rather be with them any day than be with any celebrity or wealthy person in the world. I guess, you could call me a little eclectic for I have an appreciation of all things antique as well as brand new. I can be touched by the oldest Hymn and “jam out” with my son listening to the newest rap artist. I suppose, you’d say I’m an introverted introvert but maybe with a little surprise hidden within, for I thrive on solitude and quiet moments; yet, my husband often calls me a “social butterfly,” because if there’s activities going on, I don’t want to miss out! I delight in the smallest of things and, often times, look at things from that very angle. I have quirks and dislikes probably much like the next person; however, I cannot stand for fabricated lies, contrived sweetness or fictitious honesty. I love to see strength in humility, courage in timidity, and boldness in righteous indignation. I admire realism, gentleness, honor, mercy and gracious love.

This blog is just my way of sharing with you a little about my journey of adventures. I have always had a passion for journaling; my bedroom shelves are lined with a huge assortment of journals from years gone past. I decided to begin this blog to hopefully make an impact on those who follow me. As I start sharing these words penned on this (“cyber”) paper, my prayer is, whether it be as a word of encouragement, exhortation, or just a simple thought of, “I’m not alone in this journey,” that God will somehow take these simple notes, “mill” them through His refining fire, and bring about His glory; thus, the reason for my calling this The Grizzle Grist. I hope you enjoy this journey with me.