The Lord WILL Renew Your Strength

Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.   He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.   Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;   but those who hope in the Lord  will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

This post is for everyone currently believing God for something, whether big or small, know that God has NOT forgotten you!!

Sometimes when we feel like we’ve been waiting, standing and trusting for a while without seeing results, we start to doubt and grow weary. But we must remember that our time is not His time and He has a plan. He sees us, He hears us and He loves us. His word says NO good thing will he with hold from us.

Keep the faith. No matter what it looks like, feels like, what folks saying, what the enemy is whispering in your ear. If it ain’t the word of God, cast it down and keep it moving.

Our hope is in Christ alone. He WILL renew our strength if we keep trusting in Him. No matter how weak you feel, no matter how bad it looks, God is by you’re side cheering you on. My Pastor, Andre Butler, preached a awesome series titled, God’s Cheering For You.Imagine Jesus walking next to you, fist pumping in the air, chanting your name. JOANNA JOANNA JOANNA!!!

Lord, please renew our strength. Help us to keep going even when we feel faint. Thank you for making us to be like eagles. Thank you for your word and the promises of God which are true. We love you Lord and praise you in advance!!

A Little Scandal Never Hurt Nobody

Shonda Rhimes is the brilliant writer and creator of several hit TV shows including Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder. I first became familiar with her work back in the day when I used to be big fans of Private Practice and Grey’s Anatomy. Those shows, I will admit, had their share of typical TV love scenes and drama but Shonda’s new shows have taken TV to a new level of raciness.

Shonda is an amazing writer and she has awesome casts so of course her shows are major hits. I love Kerry Washington, the star of Scandal. I think she’s smart, pretty, bubbly and talented. What blows my mind is that behind all the interesting suspenseful storylines and super cool cast members, are plots full of pornographic scenes glorifying infidelity, fornication and homosexuality, and yet it seems like everyone, saints included, are obsessed with these shows.

I was once a Scandal fan. I watched the first season and I was all in. I enjoyed watching Olivia Pope be the stylish fixer. I tried to ignore the infidelity aspect, though that was the heart beat of the show. Finally after continually having to fast forward through gay and straight sex scenes just to get through episodes, my spiritual convictions caused me to stop watching it all together.

How To Get Away With Murder is her latest show and the amount of graphic sex scenes and infidelity  just blows my mind. Again the plot, writing and acting had me pulled in but I had to continually look away because my saved grown married eyes could not handle the pornography that was being shown. It wasn’t long before I dropped that show too. Another one bites the dust!

I understand that most prime time TV shows have mild sex scenes and have gay characters and I need to figure out what’s benefitual for me to watch and what isn’t. What I’ve been doing lately is searching for wholesome entertainment and cutting the TV off more to read books and write. What I will not allow writers like Shonda Rhimes to do is desensitize me into thinking that infidelity is sexy, fornication is harmless fun and homosexuality is an acceptable way of life because my bible and beliefs tell me otherwise. I will no longer support TV shows that don’t support my beliefs and lifestyle.

I’d be devastated if my life was full of scandals and I found out my husband had cheated on me. I don’t want that life so why would I enjoy watching someone else have it? Infidelity isn’t entertaining, sexy or justifiable. Why do married couples enjoy watching this show together? And as followers of the gospel, aren’t we called to be holy and set apart? Watching this stuff isn’t helping us to be holy or set apart, if anything it’s giving us a blue print of how to mess up ourlives and get out of the will of God.

In a nut shell what I’m saying is, as Christians we must guard our eyes, ears and heart. We can’t let sin become entertaining and acceptable just because Hollywood wraps it up in a bright shiny box. We’re each accountable to God for our own actions so I challenge you to seek God regarding your entertainment (TV, movies and music) ask Him to show you what you should and shouldn’t be consuming. If you decide that you need to let go of somethings, be brave enough to be set apart despite what’s trending on FB or Twitter. We must fashion ourselves after the Word NOT the world.

Why PDA is Good For You’re Children To See

family1

I read a cool quote today that said, “Be great parents, gross out your kids.” The pic showed a mother and a father kissing. I agree with the quote and the picture made me smile. My parents have always been affectionate and loving towards on another infront of my brother and I. I grew up in a loving, peaceful, affectionate family and for that I am truly grateful to God and my parents.

My husband and I have been blessed to provide the same type of environment for our daughter (soon to be two daughters). Our daughter Elyssa just turned two years old on April 1. On her birthday we were taking pics with her and she pushed our faces together so that my husband and I could kiss. I thought the moment was very special because she was grinning from ear to ear. At the tender age of two, our daughter knows that her mommy and daddy holding hands or kissing is very special and to be celebrated. Sometimes we’re all sitting together on the couch and she’ll push our hands together so that we can hold hands either as a family or just he and I together. She walks around the house saying “kissin” and smiling. She likes it when we laugh and play together or turn on music and dance.

We have the peace of God in our home and for that I am grateful. We pray, play gospel music and keep a calm atmosphere so that our daughter feels safe, secure and loved. It’s important for children to see their parents happy, communicating appropriately and showing each other love and affection. Of course my husband and I have disagreements but we talk them out or table them until we’re both able to talk through them effectively. It’s important to us to be role models for our daughter becuase we know she’s watching us. When she and her sister Elaina (arriving in 8 weeks or less) get older, they will be grossed out by mommy and daddy’s public displays of affection and thats ok. I will show Elyssa the pic that we took on her 2nd birthday and reminder of how she thought her parent’s kissing was the cutest thing.

Don’t Be Deceived, The Grass IS NOT ALWAYS Greener

I have many friends in all stages of life; single, married, children, no children, employed, out searching for employment and stay at home moms. Some of my friends are  in their mid 20’s, some are turning 30 this year, like me and some are in their mid to late 30s. While we are all in different stages of life, we can learn from each other and be a blessing to each other as long as we’re careful not to walk in envy or discontentment.

In talking to many ladies, I’ve come to see that it’s easy for us to start comparing our lives and feeling like the grass is always greener. Let me explain what I mean: a single woman could say, I wish I was as successful in my career as my other single friends or I wish I had a husband like my married friends, a married woman could say, I wish my husband was like your husband, a pregnant woman could say, I wish my pregnancy was easy as your pregnancy and a mother could say, I wish my baby was as peaceful and well behaved as your baby. The truth of the matter is no one’s life is perfect and we ALL have something to be grateful for. We are to thank God for our health, sanity, jobs, housing, friends, families, marriages etc. We can also thank God in advance for what He is going to bless us with in the future (such as a job, car, spouse or children) because God knows what we need and desire. Psalms 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Today I want to encourage and remind my readers as well as myself to continue to trust God and walk in His peace and contentment. God knows where we’re at in life and where we want to be. Today I pray that we all learn to seek His face more so that we can receive the answers and direction that we need. I pray God shows each of us what is HIS perfect will for our lives. I pray that we learn to allow God to lead and us to follow, not trying to tell Him what’s best. May we continue to walk in Psalms 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. God’s got us, there’s no need to worry!!

Psalms 37: 25 KJV

25I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

Philippians 4:11-13 NIV

11I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

1 Timothy 6:6-8 NIV

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

2 Corinthians 9:8

8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

James 1:3-5 KJV

3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Pregnant & Lovin It: Week 28 Mom & Baby Update

I’m 28 weeks, 7 months pregnant! I’m feeling good and Ms. Elyssa Janee is doing great! I’ve passed all of my prenatal tests, my ultrasounds have all gone great and the doctor doesn’t have any concerns regarding me or the baby! God is so good and forever faithful!! This ultrasound was taken at week 22. She’s an even bigger girl now!

Christmas time was lots of fun. Many people brought Elyssa gifts. We brought her two outfits. We took family pictures with my parents, brother, sister-in-law and our niece. Eddie and I took two pics to show off my belly and our growing family. It’s amazing to see my body change weekly. We’ve been taking a few progression pictures a month for memories. I’m so blessed that this pregnancy has been smooth and enjoyable. God gets all the glory!

I just started my third trimester and I can already feel the difference! My belly is getting in the way of me bending down; sometimes I need my husbands help with putting on my socks. I find myself getting tired in the afternoon but I am able to shake it off without having to come home and take a nap most days. I’m still taking several bathroom breaks throughout the day but I’m used to that now. I used to get hormone headaches and suffer back aches but those have decreased greatly praise God!

The best things about my pregnancy so far have been:

1. Feeling Elyssa moving and kicking. It’s amazing how God created women to carry babies. I count it an honor and privilege to carry a child because I know not all women are able to do so. I love that I get to carry her around inside me and keep her safe and comfy. I love when my husband and I have bonding time with her like when we call her name and poke my belly and she kicks back. Those are such special memories.

2. Preparing for Elyssa’s arrival with my husband. It’s so much fun to learn about her development together. To pick her name, plan her for the nursery, shower and register at stores together.

3. To be pampered by my husband and loved ones. It’s so nice to have people cater to me and look out for me. It’s such a blessing because I know that many women don’t have the support that they need and deserve during this time. We live in Michigan and we get bad winter weather around this time, therefore my husband holds my hand when we are outside and he always treats me with care to ensure that Elyssa and I are safe and comfortable. I love Eddie Willis III very much and thank God for him!!

28 week update from fitpregnancy.com:

 Your baby has doubled her weight in the past month and is now the size of a bag of flour. She now weighs almost 2 1/2 pounds. Her total length is nearly 15 inches. Your babies lungs are now capable of breathing air! This is big news. It means if the baby is born from now on, she’ll be able to survive with less medical intervention. Your baby’s main job right now is to put the finishing touches on major organ systems such as her brain, lungs and liver. As you can probably tell, she’s also working on gaining layers of fat. Her body fat is about 2 or 3 percent. Your babies eyes, which were covered by her eyelid folds at 6th wk of development, are capable of opening this week. Her sucking and swallowing skills are improving.

Shout out to ALL my 2011 moms to be!! Several of my friends are expecting babies this spring and summer. Elyssa will have many many playmates and a few babies that could be future husband materail 🙂 

**Moms, what were some of your favoriote pregnancy memories?**

Christian Brothas, Where Are You? Hola If U Hear Me

The majority of churches, Christian events and single bible studies all over the world are packed with women. I firmly believe that there are fine saved men in the world, who love God, are living holy and handling their business, the question is WHERE ARE THEY?http://churchformen.com/allmen.php Lists the following facts about men and church: 

• The typical U.S. Congregation draws an adult crowd that’s 61% female, 39% male. This gender gap shows up in all age categories.

• On any given Sunday there are 13 million more adult women than men in America’s churches.
• Midweek activities often draw 70 to 80 percent female participants.

• The majority of church employees are women (except for ordained clergy, who are overwhelmingly male).

• More than 90 percent of American men believe in God, and five out of six call themselves Christians. But only two out of six attend church on a given Sunday. The average man accepts the reality of Jesus Christ, but fails to see any value in going to church.

My husband and met at our church 7 years ago. Our church is very large and therefore it has a large single population. If our group was 30 deep on a particular night, only 10 of the 30 would be males. As a single woman, it was frustrating to always go to Christian parties, concerts, bible studies and always have the girls out number the guys AND have it continue to be the same handful of guys that consistently hung out. My husband was bold enough to develop a friendship with me and pray about pursuing me in God’s timing. When he felt the time was right, he asked me out stating “I want to pursue marriage with you.” We had a courtship, engagement and then marriage. The thing is, many Christian guys drag their feet when it comes to dating and marriage. They don’t ask girls out and many of them appear to be comfortable being single, but that’s another blog for another day.

Now that we’ve been married for over 2 years, the same problem still remains for my single girlfriends who are living for God, successful in their careers and haven’t been chosen yet. Even though more women go to church then men, I know there are Christian men in my city who do not come to Christian events or even seek out friendships from other males or females at their church. Why is this? Where are the men at? Why don’t they get involved at their church or reach out to others for Christian fellowship? My group of male and female friends do all kinds of fun stuff together, bowling, house parties, concerts, movies, dinner, ballroom/hustle parties etc. We have good clean fun and if other men are living for God, they should be desiring and seeking out the same thing. It’s important for believers to fellowship with other believers and do life together. I’m not saying that Christians should cut themselves off from the world and look down on those that don’t believe but as a Christian, my friends are Christians.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (The Message)

Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way: “I’ll live in them, move into them; I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people. So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good,” says God. “Don’t link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself. I’ll be a Father to you; you’ll be sons and daughters to me.” The Word of the Master, God.

To my brothers in the Lord

If you are active at your church please continue to do so and invite other men to attend and get involved too. If you see a new guy at your church, take time to get to know him and make sure he feels welcome so that he will come back. If you are a man who goes to church but leaves right after service, doesn’t get involved, volunteer or fellowship with other believers, ask yourself why and pray about changing. Living this Christian life alone is hard but when you have others around you who love God, are living for Him and growing in Him, your relationship with God will become stronger. Coming to church and getting involved will bless your life and who knows, you may find a wife!!

To my sisters in the Lord

Sisters continue to be patient. God has not forgotten you. Don’t believe the lie that there are no good men out there. Majority of my married friends found their husband at their church. Worldly men can be very aggressive and Christian men, in their attempt to be gentlemen, can sometimes move a little slow. A man who moves slower than usual but is honest and seeking God every step of the way is much better than a man who is only out for one thing. When a new guy comes to church or a Christian event, PLEASE don’t bombard him like a piece of meat. We don’t want to intimate the new male faces and cause them to not come back. Let’s continue to learn how to treat each other like brothers and sisters in Christ. If a friendship develops into a relationship then fine, but don’t force things to happen because you’re tired of waiting. God knows your desires, He knows just want you need and when you need it. Keep trusting in Him.

Steps Towards Healing From Abortion

Life Application Ministries has an awesome website for women who need to be restored from the aftermath of abortion. Please review this article and click the link to read this beautiful woman’s testimony and words of wisdom and encouragement. No matter what you’ve done, God loves you and is waiting to take you in His arms and make you whole again. http://www.mindsync.com/lam/recovery.htm

 There are 3 principles.

  1. Recognize – acknowledge where you are in your heart right now.
  2. Responsibility – whatever happened in the past, today, begin taking responsibility for your life.
  3. Repent – Confess to God

The first step is to Recognize. Before anyone can be healed within, they have to admit where they are. – Recognize that abortion was wrong. Recognize it was sin. Don’t be afraid to admit this. The bible says that “The truth shall make you free” (John 8:32) We have to admit that we had the abortion and not be afraid to speak the truth. I believe many of you reading this do acknowledge this in your heart but it has sat there and sat there causing you pain and grief. but there is HOPE once and for all for you. Keep on reading this information and I believe you will be brought out of all that pain once and for all!

Second step is Responsibility. We need to get back our lives and begin taking responsibility for all our actions. We need to stop blaming others or our circumstances for our choices. Simply accept the truth that you made the decision and that is that. Those who are alcoholics need to acknowledge they have a problem BEFORE they can get helped. It’s the same with abortions. It could have been the spouse or boyfriend that made us feel like the abortion was the only choice. It could have been a parent or guardian. It could have been a nurse at the school. It could have just been your own fear of how you would take care of a child. It could be ignorance, like I had, to use the abortions as a means of birth control. I had to stop blaming the people who told me abortion was OK, after all, the baby isn’t real yet. I simply stopped all that blaming and took the responsibility upon myself for those decisions. But it doesn’t stop there. I know this one is a hard one to grasp, but keep on reading.

The third step is to Repent. I’ll bet many of you have been so sorry all your life. Acknowledge the sin before God and confess it to Him. Receive His forgiveness and forgive yourself. (I believe this is the place where many can’t get past because we can’t forgive ourselves or even think we should be forgiven for the things we did – this is what I’ll be covering in detail. I believe that you have already done steps 1 and 2 to some degree, now it’s time to get past all that and move into a new phase in your life. I understand that you may have been grieving for that child (or children in many cases) for so many years. You have difficulty parenting the children you do have because of your guilt and shame. It’s time to be healed. It’s time to take back your life. It’s time to move on. It’s time to stop grieving. It’s time to get out of your grave clothes and walk in the land of the living. If you are ready for this, then continue.

First and foremost is the acknowledging your need of a Savior. Because dear one, we cannot save ourselves from anything. So first things first. To confess Jesus as Lord and receive Him as our Savior. To acknowledge that only through Him will you be healed in your heart and mind. If you want to make this decision, click the link above on “How do I know I’m a Christian?” The Bible tells us that Jesus is the healer of a broken heart. So let’s start at the beginning, which is a pretty good place to start. He receives anyone who calls upon Him, no matter WHAT we have done. I’m speaking from experience because if there was anyone who lived a “wild” life, it was me. God is the only one who can heal. Start by asking Jesus in your heart.

The second thing is to allow Him to love you. This is where everyone has a problem. I have known many Christian women who had abortions at an early age, or later in life but are still tormented by those thoughts and other past regrets. But it all boils down to not receiving the Love of God personally. We think, “How can God love me, look what I’ve done?” But the truth is, He does. This acknowledgment is very important for your restoration and healing to occur. God’s love is unconditional. And let me set the record straight, this is NOT the unpardonable sin. The unpardonable sin is to reject Christ as Savior. I know that my past and my relationship with my father (or men for that matter) were not very good. As a matter of fact, this is my fourth marriage and I can’t count on my feet and hands all the men I lived with before, in between and after each marriage. I was seeking Love, but I wasn’t getting the right kind of Love. What a mess my life was! In my case, I had been a Christian for 18 years before I truly received the Love of God unconditionally for myself. That’s when my heart and life began changing. The Bible says that perfect love casts out all fear because fear has torment (I John 4:16-18). If we are sad all the time, in pain about our memories, if we are fearful, if we have doubts and worries about our future, then we are not receiving His love. If you are not receiving the love of God you are probably in self-hatred, self-rejection, and always feeling guilty and condemned about something. You may think that you don’t deserve to be happy because of what you have done. You may even suffer from stress, anxiety, phobias and panic attacks as I did for 30 years. I heard a doctor say something that I believe pertains to us. “If my mental patients knew they were forgiven, they would walk out of this hospital within a week healed.” I believe this is true for us too. We have a hard time forgiving ourselves let alone receiving forgiveness from God. We think we have to carry that pain as “penitence” but to tell you the truth, you are trying pay for something you can never repay!

To know God loves you will help you forgive yourself. See while we were yet sinners Christ died for us because of the Love of God toward us. “We love Him because He first loved us.” (I John 4:19) We cannot even love God correctly without His love in us first. The problem is not with God the problem is with us believing He loves us and has a good plan for our lives NO MATTER what our choices were. The problem is us not receiving that love. When we receive that kind of love, nothing is impossible. We begin to love ourselves properly, WITHOUT condition. See, our love is human love, it is full of conditions. There are flaws and ultimatums in our love with ourselves and with others. Sometimes we think we have to “do” something to be loved. But with God, HE IS LOVE, He cannot do anything else, nor are we to do anything else but receive it. (I John 4:16) He loves you RIGHT now even with all the past mistakes. He saw you do them, He was right there watching. Nothing was hid from Him. Yet He loves you. Yet He wants to heal your heart. Why? Because you are His daughter. The children that were conceived are with Him right now. He beholds their face every day. He wants you to join them someday in Heaven. He wants you to look up toward the heavens not down to the ground. By allowing the truth to penetrate your heart, and recognize the things that you have done point blank, will bring healing! It’s “knowing” the truth, which sets us free. Don’t be afraid to see the junk in your life. Once you see it, then it’s God’s job to clean it out and heal you!

The third thing is to receive forgiveness from God and forgive yourself. Of course you and I both know that this one is very hard. Until you begin receiving the Love of God for yourself, it will be literally impossible to forgive yourself. So how do we do this? By confessing your sin before Him. This is an example of how God began restoring me. I prayed, “Lord I had many abortions. Each one was a child Lord. I admit my sin and I thank you for forgiving me of my sins. God, you said in I John 1:9 that if I confess my sins You are faithful and just to forgive me of all my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. By faith I receive the forgiveness for my abortions. In Jesus name. Amen.”