Why Do You Blog?

Blogging is not always easy especially if your goal is to help people as you strive to please The Lord.

About a month ago, I concluded that in order to grow and keep traffic flowing to my site, I must blog more than once a week. However, with my schedule, it has been difficult to make that happen. Therefore, I continue to send my blog posts each week.

As I continued to write weekly, I watched other blogger friends of mine and thought “Wow, they send out blog posts twice and sometimes three times a week. “How do they do it?”

Then…God did two things. First, he reminded me why I started my blog, (to uplift and impart as you go through your process to healing). Second, I received an email from one of my favorite Christian bloggers, Arabah Joy. The title of the email was, “Blogging on my Knees.” After reading the title, I remembered what was most important about blogging, and that is seeking God about what he desires for me to say, not how often I say it.

Matthew 6:33 “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”

Whether I blog once a week, twice a week, or five times, the question is am I impacting the people God sent me to? Ultimately am I blogging on my knees? Am I seeking God about what to write or am I seeking the latest trends and gaining my writing idea from it.

As a blogger, I certainly desire to see progress and growth, however, I must always go back to the premise as to why God gave me the green light to blog in the first place. And that is to impart into His people.

Whether you blog, teach, cook, clean or paint, remember, do it all for his glory and continuously seek the Lord concerning his will for your profession.

Lord, thank you for reminding me that only what I do for your will last.

Are you blogging on your knees?

Scriptures

Colossians 3:23 – “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

1 Corinthians 15:58 – “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Matthew 6:33Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”

Deliverance at the Root

For healing and deliverance to occur, it must be plucked up from the root. However, I have learned that most people do not realize there is a root at all.

Many months ago, I watched a documentary about our U.S. prison system. It was one of the most heartbreaking documentaries I EVER saw. My heart broke as I watched it. All I could do was cry and pray.  What made it worse was the documentary was about women prisoners.

One female prisoner touched my heart. She said she began committing crimes at age seven. She spent most of her life in prison. She said while in prison she felt “safe and respected.” I thought, “What happened in her childhood that caused her to act this way?” Then the same question I thought about her, I asked myself. And it brought me back to my childhood.

Growing up, I could not trust women (and I am still apprehensive sometimes). For me, it was difficult to get close to women. After many years of feeling this way, I decided it was time to open myself up. Unfortunately, I felt hurt and betrayed when women that I admired turned out to be the opposite of what they portrayed.

Truth is, these feelings came from the experiences I had with my mother. As much as I wanted a relationship with her, it could not happen. She could not be what I needed her to be. Instead of seeking God about my pain, I unknowingly put that burden on other women. I expected them to be what I needed instead of seeking God. After this issue continued to resurface, I realized I had to deal with the root. I asked God to help me and he did, but the process was slow because the roots were deep. This was one of many areas I needed healing.

The difference between myself and the women in the documentary is I had an opportunity to deal with my roots.  Most of the women have not come to terms with their own root issues and some never will. Although the women are serving time in prison for the crime they committed outwardly, they are serving another sentence for their inward bondage. What hurt most was their greatest need is healing, yet there is a possibility that healing will never come…so I pray.

My question to you is…Have you gotten to the root of your issue? Do you know why you do what you do? Is there something from your past that you are still holding onto? Are you holding onto something God told you to release, yet you will not let it go? Are you holding onto unforgiveness? Past pain? Mistakes? Issues with your parent(s)? Do you repeat negative behaviors?

Contrary to what the world believes or what we think, the only way to deal with negative roots in our lives is through prayer and the Word of God. The Word of God is what penetrates the heart and the heart and soul is where all of our issues lie. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Today I encourage and challenge you to expose the negative roots in your life to the Lord. He is the only person that can go deep enough to extract it out.

Prayer,
Father, I ask that you show me the areas of my heart and soul that are not rooted in deep pain. Help me to be healed and set free which is your will for me. Forgive me for the times you showed me those areas, but I refused to let you in those places of my heart. God, I repent, and I give you full access to my heart, mind, and emotions. You are a good God who has great plans for my life. Thank you for another chance to submit my life to you. In Jesus name I pray…Amen.

Blessings.

Scriptures
Hebrews 4:12
Jeremiah 29:11
Exodus 15:26

 

Sometimes THIS is all you need

Hello friends! I pray each of you are well…Can you believe its October 1st!

On Thursday, September 20th until Friday, September 28th, my family and I went on a long overdue family vacation! It was wonderful, and it was just what we needed. It is amazing how you can allow life to dictate what you should be doing, instead of having faith in God about what you need to be doing.

It had been over seven years since my family took an official vacation. We took weekend trips and some overnight stays each year, but nothing for an extended period. None of us truly realized how much we needed to get away until we went away.

We did not do a whole lot of things, but what we did was meaningful to us. We hung out with one of our favorite couples, my husband and I ate at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant, I had a Philly soft pretzel, Herr’s potato chips, and Wawa coffee (my Philly peeps understand).

Later that week we went to the beach and God blessed us with three days of unseasonably warm temperatures. We visited the local zoo for a donation of just $1 and it was beautiful; we saw a turtle flip onto its back and then get rescued by zookeepers (see video below). The entire week was simply splendid, and we were grateful.

The best part of our vacation was visiting one of our favorite churches. My entire family was blessed by the word that was brought forth. The word of God preached was directly what we were facing in our personal lives and it only confirmed why we needed a vacation. The message preached also confirmed why we faced so much opposition when planning our vacation.

When you are facing opposition from all sides, we should absolutely pray, read the Word, and gain strength from the Body of Christ. But there will be times that all you need is a vacation; time to regroup, and then get back to the tasks at hand.

We must remember with everything we do in life, work, family, church, etc., we must enjoy life. God actually commands it. Ecclesiastes 3:12-13, says, I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.

Remember…even God took rest on the seventh day!

Blessings.

Scriptures
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

Turtle video (don’t mind my son, he really enjoyed it) 🙂

 

 

A Letter to my Dad…A Letter to My Father (very long post)

Hello all!

I pray you are well, and you enjoyed your weekend. Today’s blog post is a bit different from ones I have written previously. I wrote this in June, read it over and saved it. But three weeks ago, I opened it and felt led to make it a blog post. I did not want to, but I felt strongly that I should. So here goes…

If you are reading this post, I want you to know that God loves you. He hears your cries for healing and deliverance in whatever area you need it.  God is always near to us, even when he is silent. God desires you to be healed and whole. But we must follow His plan to obtain healing.

…“If you listen carefully to the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I AM the LORD, who heals you.” – Exodus 15:26

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Dad,

It is your daughter Darlene. It has been several years since we last spoke. I want to talk to you, but since I do not know where you are, I decided to write. The first time we spoke was over the phone; it was in 1998. I was eighteen, so nervous, but excited. I am sure you do not remember, but the first thing you said to me was “Don’t get pregnant.” After you said it, I did not want to continue our conversation because I was already pregnant. I thought you would not accept me, so I never told you. We continued the conversation for a couple more minutes and you told me I had brothers and sisters, but I was your oldest daughter. I was excited to learn I had other siblings. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet them and that was the last time we spoke…twenty years ago.

I am now thirty-nine and a few months ago, I discovered how much I missed you. I miss what you didn’t give me. My childhood was not a good one and I often wondered where you were. I wondered if you thought about me sometimes. Did you care about what I was experiencing? I was so insecure growing up. At age twelve, I experienced my first heartbreak by a boy. I wanted to know where you were. I had so many questions to ask. I wanted to know what was wrong with boys. I thought I wasn’t pretty because the girl he dumped me for was much lighter than I was.

When I saw a picture of you for the first time, I was angry. I was angry because I realized where I got my dark complexion from. Of all the things you could have given me, you gave me the one thing I hated the most.

When I was fifteen, I started seeing a twenty-three-year-old man. I am grateful for the wisdom God placed in me at an early age. I knew I needed to get out of that situation or it would turn into something worse, so I did. When I was sixteen, I was violated by one of my mother’s boyfriends and it was a secret I held until I told my husband at age thirty-five. Later that year, I began dating the father of my firstborn son. Deep down, I knew I should not be with him, but he was light-skinned with green eyes and it made me feel special that I could attract someone who looked that way. At eighteen, I became pregnant and I was depressed. My light-skinned boyfriend with green eyes dumped me and my life was ruined, or so I thought. I told my mother, but she could not offer me any advice. I was on my own. In those moments, I mourned you most.

I remember the day I saw you for the first time.  I was nervous and excited and if it were not for my mother and husband, I would have opted out altogether. It had been six years since we first spoke. I was about twenty-six and by then I was married for six months. You met my husband that day and I could tell you liked him and surprisingly, he liked you too. When I saw you, I could tell you still had your own issues to deal with. I knew there was no way you were ready to be what I wanted. I said hello, shook your hand, smiled, and quietly walked away as I forgave you in my heart. As I walked away, I knew that day would begin my journey to healing from so many things.

When I was young, my mother told me how sad she was that you left her to raise me alone. She did not know how to handle that pain, so she inflicted it on me…I forgave her years ago. Did you know my mom passed away five years ago…Probably not?

Dad, I wrote this letter, not to make you feel sad or regretful, but to let you know, I love you and I am okay. I forgave you a long time ago. I respect you because you gave me life and I am grateful for it. I have absolutely no ill will against you. I want you to see God’s grace in my life because it is the only thing that has kept me all these years. I serve a GREAT God. I am hopeful and prayerful that the Lord would allow us to connect so I can learn who you really are, and you can learn who I really am. And I would love it if you could meet your ALL your grandchildren. Whatever God’s will for our relationship, I want you to know I love you. You were the best Dad that you could be to me at that time.

I love you with the same love Christ has shown me.
Your daughter,
Darlene
____________________________________________________________________________________________
Dear Heavenly Father,

You knew me before you formed me in my mother’s womb. When my mother and father forsook me, you took me up according to your word. You have been my comforter and my friend. You were the One I called on when I was being abused. You were the one I called on when I had to sleep outside on my front porch because my mother had an outburst. You have always been there for me. But Father, I realized I never had a conversation with you about my biological father. And this year, I realized it is time. I am so glad you were there for me when he wasn’t. I do not know what I would have done if it were not for you.

You have been my everything when I had absolutely nothing. You were the one who dried my tears when all I could do was cry. You were with me while I grew up in a halfway house with my mother and others, who had their own issues. You protected me when demons tried to kill me at night. You were the first man to tell me I was beautiful and fearfully and wonderfully made. You were the first man to love me unconditionally and forgave me when I made mistakes.

You loved me so much, that you sent me a wonderful husband; something that I did not expect. You sent me a man who loved me through the pain I did not know I was still carrying. He held me when I cried for no reason. He prayed over me at night while I slept, although he thought I was asleep. You sent me someone who told me I was beautiful. Thank you for giving me a husband with patience beyond anything I have known. You sent me a husband that loved on me and walked with me through my process. Most importantly, you sent me a man who loves me like Christ loves the Church.

Although the process was long, you healed me from my pain. You helped me to forgive so many people who broke my heart, especially as a young child. God, you allowed me to be a mother and raise all my children with ALL the love I did not receive. You were the only example of love that I knew. And I learned you were the only example of love I needed.

Father, I love you so much. Thank you for this journey that I would not trade for anything. It made me strong, wise, loving and softened my heart towards others who have experienced similar pain.

There are not enough words to express my gratitude. Thank you for loving me….now and FOREVER

Your daughter,
Darlene

Scriptures
Mark 11:35 – And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins

Psalm 27:10 – Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me

Psalm 139:14 – I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Ephesians 5:25-26 – Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her; to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word

 

An Exercise of the Heart

Over the last six months, I was visiting the gym on a regular basis. In two months, I began to see the physical difference in my mind, body, and attitude. I felt great, looked better, lost weight and gained stamina all while adding years to my life. I realized the benefits of exercising were worth every moment of my soreness and pain.

This summer, after my children finished school, my gym routine took a bit of a hit. I started at four days a week, then three, then one, and then nothing. I began to feel sluggish, tired, and I gained a couple of pounds back. I was so disappointed with myself, but I said it is time to get back on the horse and start over.

As I began caring for my physical body again, I began pondering on the heart, but in a different way. I wondered as Christians are we exercising our hearts spiritually? Are we praying, reading our word, repenting, and forgiving? Evidence of an unhealthy heart are negative words proceeding from our mouths, complaining, and unclean thoughts. These are some of the things that will happen we stop exercising our hearts spiritually.

What do you do when you have gotten off track when it comes to caring for your heart spiritually? Pray, read the Word, and ask for God’s forgiveness. Just like the health benefits for exercising our natural hearts, there are benefits for exercising our hearts spiritually. For example, you speak words of love and wisdom, you give God praise, and you desire to please the Lord.

Psalms 51:10 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” This is a scripture we should speak daily. The Bible tells us to fix our hearts on whatever is honorable, right and true, but if our hearts aren’t clean, it is impossible to do that.

There will be times our routine can suddenly change and it may interfere with our prayer life, worship or church activities, but we must be diligent about keeping a healthy heart because our entire life depends on it.

Scriptures
Psalm 51:10Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me”

Matthew 15:18-20 “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

Philippians 4:8And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

Psalm 51:17 – “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”

 

Marriage Lessons- Week 12

I am overjoyed. This is the final week of the Marriage Lessons. God is so good. I have been encouraged and uplifted as you have read, liked, commented, and followed my posts. I am grateful for every obstacle I faced in my marriage; whether it was my fault or just our journey. God has once again proven himself to be faithful. Today’s final lesson in the series is…

Lesson 12. NEVER GIVE UP

NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR MARRIAGE. Sometimes this is easier said than done. When I look back over the most tumultuous circumstances my husband and I faced, I am grateful we trusted God and walked through it. Sure, I did not feel that way while experiencing it, but I am better for it and so is my marriage. Those trials made us stronger as individuals. Our faith was made stronger and our commitment to each other deepened. Your marriage is worth fighting for. Your children are worth fighting for. If no one else is on your side, God is! Ask him for help, ask him for guidance, and ask Him for grace to get you through…when you don’t want to.

The scripture I leave with you today is found in Romans 12:12 and it says, Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

My Marriage Lesson & Your Lesson
1. Never give up

Scripture:
Romans 12:12

Now, let’s recap on the eleven lessons discussed over the past twelve weeks….

Marriage Lessons-(12-week-series)-Week 11

Happy Labor Day! Today is week eleven of the Marriage Lessons.

Lesson 11.    Being married to someone called to ministry is another level of sacrifice…work together

I was already in love and engaged for over a year; there was no turning back. We had faced so much in just one year of being engaged and I had no idea why. But I remember the day God revealed the reason and I remember it well. Someone I loved and trusted looked at the both of us and said, He’s called to be a pastor, and God has sent you to protect his heart and his blind side.” We both stood there stunned, eyes wide open.

After I let her words settle in, I became angry because long before I dated, I told God I did not want to be married to someone called to ministry. Truth is, I wanted my husband all to myself. I did not know much about ministry, but I knew I would have to share, and I knew there would be a level of sacrifice. However, the day I stood at the altar and said my vows, I knew my husband was called to ministry and I accepted it. However, I did not realize that meant I was called too.

I learned early, by way of watching successful married couples in ministry, the demands of it all. I learned women may be attracted to my spouse and not because of the calling God has on his life. I learned that when your spouse gets attacked spirituality, it will affect you too.

I learned it’s not always about you. I learned you must be mature and know who you are in Christ, so you can fulfill the destiny God has ordained for your life. I learned that understanding your spiritual gift will make it easier to understand your spouses’ gift. I learned to pray and ask for patience to deal with my husband when he is experiencing different emotions or mood swings because of the demands of his calling. And I learned to pray for my own emotions, so I can help him and not hinder him. Thankfully, I learned all this before anything became official.

Finally, I learned if your mate has a calling, you do too, and it will mean compromising, but not all the time. When it comes to marriage and ministry, there is no blueprint, but I have learned over the years to seek God’s wisdom and Godly advice. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.” One way to have success in marriage and ministry is understanding there is a time for everything. A time to minister, but also a time just for you and your spouse.

In some ways, a minister’s role is like being married to a doctor, lawyer, or any other professional that touches people’s lives. You must learn to balance it all with God’s help. Some professionals deal with the body, while a minister of the Lord deals with the soul.

Don’t expect to get it right all the time. Strive to do your best while keeping your marriage first and God at the center.

My Marriage Lesson & Your Marriage Lesson
1. Know who you’re marrying and prepare
2. Seek God for wisdom if your spouse is called to ministry or any other demanding career
3. It will take time and understanding; ask God for patience – Seek out Godly people with the same scenario
4. Your journey is your own

Scriptures
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Follow my blog with Bloglovin