Monday, November 18, 2013

Guard Your Heart and Mind

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are (NLT).

Hey Everyone,

Remember that rough week I told you about in "#enduretotheend" blog post, well everything worked out for my good and for God's Glory. During my time of testing I learned, once again, that I shouldn't take things personally...God is at work and my faith should be on Jesus. Satan tried to steal my joy, my peace, my victory, my focus, but he wasn't successful (Praise God).

Even though the outcome was in my favor and I felt VICTORIOUS and wanted to have my "ROCKY" time or do a happy dance (which I didn't), I remembered to "guard my heart and mind". It would have been real easy for me to go from one extreme to another, the week before it was disappointment, this week it could have been pride and self-righteousness, thank God, I didn't fall into that trap.

A few years ago (around 2007), I was in a season of, let's call it "misunderstanding" between myself and another individual. It took me three years to come out of that thing, I know right! That whole experience taught me a lot about myself and the importance of "guarding my heart and mind", my mind was so set on being right that I was unaware that bitterness had taken root in my heart. When this person did apologize, not that he/she had anything to apologize for, it didn't mattered because that root was so deep. I was no longer clothed in righteousness, but I wore anger, unforgiveness, slander, yeah!, and that's a lot to carry and the Lord let me carry it until I got tired.

This thing consumed me to the point of misery, I went to bed with it, I got up with it, I talked about it constantly, until I just made myself sick on every level - mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. When I did finally make peace with God and with myself, there was still this battle going on within my mind and I had to learn how to "cast down" thoughts, it was a humbling experience. Humility is key, my being right/wrong is not important, it's more important for me to do what's right in the sight of God so that He gets the Glory (recognition).

Philippians 4:6-7 Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus (NLT).

Last week I learned the importance of the "Be Still" moments. It's during those times of anxiousness and  frustrations that we get out of the Will of God, and begin to "lean to our own understanding" and become judgmental and harsh, so "guard your heart and mind" against anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, gossiping, or any evil intentions. The "Be Still" moment is also a time of quiet reflection, when it's just me and God and I give Him honor, exaltation, thanksgiving and reverence for being Almighty God. I'm reminded of just how powerful He is and how weak I am, so be still, remain faithful and you will grow in the grace of God.

Proverbs 3:5-8 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your path. Don't be impressed by your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn your back on evil. Then you will gain renewed health and vitality (NLT).

Psalm 46:10 Be silent (still) and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world (NLT).

John 15:5 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 (NLT).

One more thing, I learned that God is pruning me, He's cutting away things that are not like Him so that I may be more like Christ and be fruitful in the things of God. Jesus is my life source/power source and apart from Him I can do nothing, but I also know that, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." You and I must "guard our hearts and minds" by obeying God's word, being imitators of Christ, always be thankful, live peacefully with one another, and let the love of Christ be your guide. To God be all the Glory.

Until next time, you are BLESSED!

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Hebrews 12: 1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy He knew would be His afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God's throne in heaven. Think about all He endured when sinful people did such terrible things to Him, so that you don't become weary and give up.

* Endurance-the ability to withstand hardship or adversity. (Miriam Websters Dictionary)

Hey Sweetie,

It has been ONE OF THOSE know the kind that makes you throw your hands up or makes you want to get in bed and stay there all weekend or binge eat and watch comedies, yeah, its like that. All I can say is, "Lord, I Need You To Help Me."

I'm so hurt and disappointed right now, even though I know I have the victory (Praise God) it doesn't take away the pain. UGH!!! I SOOO HATE feeling this way, I'm trying not to take my frustrations out on anyone and you know it also makes it hard to celebrate with others when they share good news. I feel terrible.

Friday, I was going through the motions, trying not to complain, but I did....trying not to be angry, but I was...trying not to let it consume my every thought, but it has. Why do I always let one bad thing overshadow everything else? So, I feel like I just had, a SETBACK, full of REGRETS, and I'm like REALLY???, but  Holy Spirit is saying to my heart, ENDURE.

Proverbs 4:23, Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.

So, I decided to go into hiding this weekend by staying in my bedroom, separating myself from others, no social media, no phone, no tv, just me, God and my Bible. I've been meditating in the book of Hebrews 11 & 12, reading about faith & endurance and it has given me the power I need to stand in this adversity and KNOW that Jesus is with me.

Now, I've come to this conclusion, "Yes, I had a tough week but I had some wonderful things happen also, the behavior of two of my students on the bus was AWWWWESOME!!! (complete turn around), the blog/fan page is doing really well (thanks everyone for your support and positive feedback) and Jesus still and will always love me-no matter what."

Right now, I choose to give every foul emotion to Jesus and just trust Him and know that everything will work out for my good and for His main objective is to stay in His Will and trust Him with the outcome.

Romans 8:28, And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. (NLT)

"You are the chosen one", that is what someone told me....she said I was chosen for this situation for a reason and a purpose and that I will be alright and I was like, "I don't know about all that", but....what if I am?  Hmm....

You know, she made me remember that God uses people to accomplish His Will and sometimes it's uncomfortable (kind of like standing to close to the fire) I'm just a vessel He is using to set in motion whatever it is He wants to accomplish. So, I guess I should be grateful that He thought I was worthy of the task and seize this opportunity to grow in Christian knowledge, wisdom, patience and love.

1 Thessalonians 5:18, In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (KJV)

James 1:1-4, Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything. (NLT)

Trying to see the "bigger picture" was not difficult once I got my "big head" out of the way, LOL... meaning my way of thinking and putting on the "mind of Christ". People all over this land have endured far more difficult circumstances than I have experienced, this is minor is comparison. Even though it took the whole weekend to get understanding, it was time well spent with God. Hmm...Do you think He allowed this just so I would spend more time with Him? Just a thought, LOL.


*Oh, I did go to Church today and I did get on FB briefly to post Pastor's sermon and to share this week's blog.

Monday, November 4, 2013

From Mourning To Morning...

"It's another day, that the Lord has kept me. I could have been dead sleeping in my grave, but you made death step back and behave. It's another day, that the Lord has kept me."  My Dad's favorite song to sing.

Hi Sweetie,

You know the expression, "when it rains, it pours", our family was in a downpour for a few years. My mom's youngest brother-Ellis passed away in June 2008, then her other brother-Ernest passed away in October 2009, then her oldest sister-Janie passed away in July 2011, then her closest cousin-Yvonne, who is like a sister passed away August 2011, and then her husband-Curtis (my dad) passed away February 2012 and then her sister-in-law-Betty Jo passed away August 2013. That's just in the immediate family, there were so many cousins that passed along the way as well.

With that being said, we all have a time of mourning in our lives, sometimes it last longer than we would like, but by the Grace of God, He brings us through all things and we hold on to the promise that "joy will come in the morning" Psalm 30:5 and "those that sow in tears shall reap in joy" Psalm 126:5, God's word is true and it brings such comfort during those times. With each trial that we encounter, it is an opportunity to grow in the knowledge and love of the Lord.

Even though as a family we all grieved, it was my mom's endurance through it all that was truly inspiring. She lost (for lack of a better word) her brothers, her sisters and her husband and people would always say, "she's so strong" but she would be the first to say, "it was the strength of the Lord Jesus that carried her through that" because it was a difficult season.

It's so refreshing to know that we are in our morning and reaping joy. In April 2012, my Uncle Ellis son got married to his sweetie (Sean & Alexandria Crawford) and Yvonne's son got married in June 2013 to his sweetheart (Dexter & Kimberly Wimbish) and this month my sister Devonne & Calvin Slaton will welcome their second child into the family. We are expecting a boy and his name will be Collin Curtis Slaton, YAY!!!, looking forward to meeting this little guy.

Only God can restore what has been taken away and He knows when and how to do it. Yes, we miss our loved ones, but we can rejoice because we have the assurance that they are in the presence of God. So, don't let your MORNING pass you by, everyday with Jesus is a time of rejoicing. Even in the tough times, choose to REJOICE!!!! The joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Ecclesiaties 3:1 "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven".

Until next time, you are BLESSED!