Don’t Quit (Pt. 2)

A week ago I wrote the first Don’t Quit post. Those very words had been playing over and over in my head. Usually when that happens, I have to do something with what I’m hearing or seeing or it will persist. So as I often do, I wrote about it. I wanted to hopefully inspire someone even though at the time I was feeling rather uninspired.

The month of January had taken me on an emotional roller coaster. I applied to countless jobs only to get one call back and an interview. A few days after that interview a dear friend of mine passed away unexpectedly. I began to doubt and second guess everything I was doing and even whether or not I should remain in Las Vegas, NV. I’ve gone through a lot in the 5 and a half years that I’ve been here.

After hiding under my covers for almost a week grieving, I was notified that I did not get the position. Which was probably best given my emotional state. The entire month of February, I assisted my dear friend’s 25 year-old daughter with going through the necessary process of gaining legal guardianship of her younger siblings. I also began planning my departure from Las Vegas.  Yes, I was prepared to throw in the towel and head back to California to be around my family.

The Queen Maker BoutiqueThe last week of February is when things began changing. I wrote the don’t quit post and immediately something shifted. I was contacted by two different individuals that were interested in purchasing “My Scars” tees in bulk. One being Domonique “Pastor D” Scott from TLC’s The Sisterhood and the other a friend in North Carolina. The simple words “Don’t Quit” took on a greater meaning in my life. I now had a reason to fight for everything that I’ve worked hard for in this past year.

And if that wasn’t enough, I received an email last week from the one job that I had interviewed with that had decided to go with another candidate. I was asked if I was still looking for a position. Of course my response was yes. We scheduled a time for me to go in to meet with them again. Well I am now the Creative Attaché for a National Business Development Company, delayed but not denied.

God knew that with everything that had transpired in January that I would not be able to take on a job at that time. But He also saw all my other needs and provided for each one of them, financially, physically and spiritually. You may not see a way out of your present situation. You may feel like every door and opportunity has been blocked but don’t quit. God is faithful and His timing is always perfect.

If you have been following my blog for a while, then you also know that my background is in Psychology. I did not go to school for Journalism, PR or anything relative to that field. I have just been using the gift(s) that God gave me. Last year, I was given a position with a local newspaper as a Staff Writer. Now, as a Creative Attaché, I will be utilizing those same gifts that I have worked hard to develop for the past few years to fulfill the job. And RN Brand Tees will be sold in 3 different States and will make their debut in the UK in two weeks!!! Your gifts will make room if you Don’t Quit!!!  Many of us quit just before the  point of a breakthrough but hold on and hold fast.

“I show my scars so that others know they can heal.”

Have you liked the Showing Our Scars Facebook Page? We are “Showing Our Scars”!

https://www.facebook.com/ShowingOurScarsMovement

You can also order your “My Scars” Tee!

www.rnbranddesign.bigcartel.com

Find out more about the story behind “My Scars”

Sunday Mourning

About these ads

Retake…

“Please put all of your notes away and remove your text book from your desk.  You will need a #2 pencil and a scantron to complete this exam.”

I can remember always feeling unprepared when taking a test.  I was never one to study.  I always relied on being a good note taker in class.  Sometimes it was as if I could see the exact page and line of my notes that the answer was in.  But pass or fail in college, there never seemed to be an opportunity to retake a test.

Lately, I have been tested, my faith has been tried and those same feelings of inadequacy have surfaced.  But the test, I/we have been given are open book.   “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11  And we know that without faith it is impossible to please the Lord.  So what is causing my faith to waiver?  It is important to stay connect.  I must continue in prayer, consistent in my devotion, earnest in praise, pure in worship and having done all, STAND.

Thank God for the opportunity to retake a test that has been failed.  The lesson is taught whether I pass or fail but it is up to me to learn it, apply it and make the necessary adjustments.  I can tell it is His desire for me to  pass because the test are coming closer and closer together.  I’m determined to get through this test because just on the other side is my testimony.  “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.”  Philippians 3:14-15

If Only…

Hong Kong Orange

If there was one thing you could do and was certain that you wouldn’t fail, would you do it?  If opportunity knocked on your door would you be prepared to answer?  How many times have you had that “aha moment” and didn’t take the time to write it down?  Only to find out years later that someone had acted on their gut instinct and that “aha” became someone else’s reality.

If only I had the time, support and money almost makes for a compelling reason to give up but it’s just not enough.  Opportunity is around us constantly but anything worth having is going to take some time and commitment.  You may have to find 100 different ways to do the same thing, in order to get the attention and recognition needed but do what ever it takes until you get the results you desire.

The worst thing ever would be to give up right before breaking through.  I am determined and as long as I am able, I am going on.  Now is not quitting time, if only I can help you see.  Be encouraged!

O Lord, Hear My Cry

“You either need to kill me or rescue me because I cannot handle this.”  I can remember saying these same exact words as I called out to God in prayer.  It seemed as if my world was caving in on me, but GOD.  I am so excited to share this wonderful interview with such a beautiful author.  Author Zari Banks is a mother, editor, author and a prayer warrior.  I am sure you will be blessed by this interview and her series of books.  Prayer changes things.

What inspired you to begin writing the “O Lord…” series?

I’ve journaled my prayers for years. So, the writing of the prayers would’ve happened regardless of publication. But, specifically the first devotional, O Lord, Hear My Cry was an answer to prayer itself. A year ago I made the decision to relocate my son and myself to my hometown in Washington State. I had been laid off from my position as a school district Instructional Coach and wasn’t able to find another position, even outside of Education, with comparable pay. I had been supporting us on savings and a part-time job at my church for a while and something had to give. So going home to get back on feet made sense. Well, my ex took me to court to stop me from relocating and requested temporary custody and the judge awarded it to him. I was beyond shocked.

So, on March 2, 2011 I had to drop my son at his dad’s and he crying and I was crying. So, I sat in my car in the library parking lot and I was screaming at God from the top of my lungs and said: You either need to kill me or rescue me because I cannot handle this. You promised that if I called out to you, you’d answer and tell me things I can’t understand. I need you to answer now!

God simply said, “Read the Psalms.”

That may not seem like rescue to some, but as I read through the Psalms with a new focus – with the intent of finding the message God was giving me – I was changed. I was ushered into a real and raw relationship with Christ. And, what I discovered in the Psalms is that my struggle wasn’t new God and neither was my restoration.

Had you ever considered writing or publishing a book prior to this series?

Yes, and these devotionals are actually my 3rd, 4th and 5th books.

How long have you been writing? And when did you realize writing was something that you wanted to do?

I’ve been writing my whole life. The earliest story I remember writing and illustrating was from about age 7. And, I was so serious about my desire to be a writer I got a Bachelor’s in Journalism.

What is the most important message that you want people to walk away with after reading your series?

The message is that God is real and bigger than anything we have ever imagined. We cannot limit Him or really know what He can and will do until we die to self and have to submit to Him because it’s so messed up there’s no earthly hope.

How important has prayer been in your life over the most recent years?

Prayer is extremely important to me. I wouldn’t be here today without prayer.

How has prayer changed your life?

Prayer has saved my life.

What would you say to someone who feels like they don’t know how to pray?

Prayer is simply conversation. Everyone can do it. And, though God doesn’t require one specific process, you learn what He likes as you get to know Him. It’s just like any other relationship – only better.

Was it a hard decision to share your prayers with the world through your devotional series?

Well, I shared the prayers with a small group of other singles – some parents, some not – and their encouragement about being able to relate to and be uplifted after hearing those prayers caused me to thank God while praying one day for allowing my pain to help someone else. And, He told me, “I can use these prayers to help more.” So, I put them in book form and showed it to my mentor, Patti, and she told me to go for it.

What can your readers expect next from you?

They may notice me as the editor of some books published in 2012. Other than that you never know. The sky’s the limit.

Are you interested in writing in any other genres? 

Yes, I have three fiction children’s books already written that I’d like illustrated for publication at some point.

 How do you balance your own writing projects and the editing projects of others?

When I’m editing I make it a point to not write anything similar to what I’m editing. So, right now that means I’m not writing much at all because the projects I’m working on run the gamut of topics.

 Any last words?

 While I don’t wish struggles on anyone, I hope that everyone comes to the end of themselves, and tastes and sees that the Lord is good. The abundant life Christ promises is a reward of the relationship established through complete and utter trust, faith and submission to God. He will knock your socks off.

Connect with Author Zari Banks at Z Writes Words

Love With A Punch

English: Boxing Gloves Deutsch: Boxhandschuhe

Image via Wikipedia

I often post about how it is important to surround yourself with people who are going to love you unconditionally, hold you accountable and speak life into you when you can’t speak life into yourself.  I am so thankful for those that God has placed in my life, who are so willing to share their faith and do it freely.  I received an email this morning from on of my Sorors that made my spirit leap.  And with her permission, I am sharing it with you.

The email reads:

Hey everyone,

I’m writing you today to share something that is in my spirit. I was writing an email to a friend just encouraging her on her journey of faith and I realized that there are certain promises God gave me (us) in his Word, and I often rest upon these  in prayer- and apply them to my life… but I find they come up mostly when I’m feeling defeated, overwhelmed and exhausted…

When I’m frustrated, ready to give up, throw in the towel or go cry in the shower- it is then that these warfare scriptures resonate within me. These are etched on my heart and when battling the enemy – proclaiming God’s words and not my own, really bring me peace. First, the faith- your belief that these words are powerful- is what activates the retreat of the enemy and the release of Peace… I find comfort in knowing that when I speak these things out loud- change happens. I believe it- even when the change isn’t immediate.

Lets’ set a foundation-

Before you can punch the enemy dead in his face without fear of retaliation – you must bind up the spirit of fear… and know that God hears and will answer- even if it isn’t the answer you desire- he WILL answer.

2 Timothy 1:7- For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

How does one bind fear… who gives us that right?

Matthew 16:19 -And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

God hears you and your prayer prevails in accordance to his Will.

Isaiah 65:24- And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

James 5:16- Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (Some versions say the “Fervent prayer” & that word can be described as- having or showing great warmth or intensity of spirit, feeling, enthusiasm, etc.; ardent:)

1 Thessoloians 5:17 Pray without ceasing. (Never stop praying!)

So basically, God answers before you open your mouth, but pray, and pray often. 

What makes you righteous? The acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for your life.

1 Corinthians 6:20- For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

God purchased you as His own with the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ! The words you speak (praying or otherwise) have power- so know that your words have weight…

Proverbs 18:21- Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and he that loves it will eat from its fruit.

Now that we’ve established that you - yes you -have the right (through Jesus Christ) to loose and bind up, loose, speak and walk in the authority of the Most High and battle on His behalf and for His kingdom.

The Punch

Your belief, your words, your authority and your knowledge of God’s Word & promises are what make you a force to be reckoned with!

So here are the promises to rest on when the world is shaking around you and nothing seems to be stable…

Jeremiah 29:11- For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Isaiah 54:17- “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD.
I also like the New Living Translation- But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the LORD; their vindication will come from me. I, the LORD, have spoken!

Luke 10:19- Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Romans 8:28- And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Matthew 18:19- “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.

So HERE IT is ya’ll….

  1. God has given you power over the enemy- he cannot hurt you!
  2. NO WEAPON (or tongue) formed against you will prosper!!!!… what are you fearful of? 
  3. God has a plan for you and it is GOOD, it is not to harm you or destroy you.
  4. Everything in your life (good, bad, and ugly) work together to completely and totally equal GOOD in your life- it is all to make YOU better, stronger, and in the end, since you cannot take credit for it- it GLORIFIES your CREATOR. God gets all the glory!
  5. Find someone who will stand in agreement with you just to seal that deal and make it a little bit sweeter. Find someone who really believes and will pray with you, cry with you, stand with you, and then PRAISE with you! :-)

KICK THAT DEVIL’S BUTT- YOU WIN! God is so good… I love you all and hope this lifts you as it did me… God is a wonderful God who has a plan for our lives, and who wants to prosper us according to His will and riches…. he’s given us bulletproof armor to go on our journey and promised our needs to be met, and our desires to be fulfilled… what else can we ask for?

Sara

www.brazenwordz.com

“Building relationships of accountability and trust with all roads leading to love.” RATL

Her Children Arise Up and Call Her Blessed

A question was asked based on the recent video that Tyler Perry recorded about success, How to Be Successful

Question: “Do you all think God predetermines success?”

My response:  We are all given what we need.  In God there is no failure. 

Then another question was asked, “Do some get a headstart?” with Blue Ivy used as an example.

I believe that each generation is based on the decisions and obedience of the previous generation.  For example, King Saul’s children could not proceed him as King because of his disobedience.  His children had not been disciplined or instructed to fear the Lord.  They sought after the desires of the flesh.  King Saul was eventually proceeded by King David due to his own lack of obedience.  “And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubborness is as iniquity and idolatry.  Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king. ” 1 Samuel 15:22-23

I even went on to take it one step further.  Abraham was a righteous man, strong in faith and obedient to the instructions of the Lord.  He instructed his children in the same manner.  He believed that if he did not obtain the promises of the Lord in his lifetime that God was still able and would fulfill it with his children.  This faith was passed on from generation and generation (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob).  They never stopped believing but they STAYED ready to obey the instructions of the Lord and receive all that had been promised. 

 Some of us have a delayed inheritance because of the disobedience of those who came before us.  It doesn’t mean that it is no longer available but it is going to take some work.  Generational curses have existed since the days of Adam and Eve, but can be broken.  I choose to obey the instructions of the Lord and walk upright before him in all that I do, so that I might be blessed and my children blessed.  “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” Proverbs 31:28

“Building relationships of accountability  and trust with all roads leading to love.” RATL

T.G.I.F.

Thank God it’s Friday.  Friday, for me, has always left the feeling of something coming to an end, closure.  Whether you have completed a week long task, an exhausting work week or just the normal day to day routine most follow during the week, Friday brings it to an end. 

My week, to say the least, has been one of the most trying weeks for me in a while.  It seems like no matter what I did, opposition presented itself.  I wanted to just give up and throw in the towel.  But sometimes it just takes a quick moment of reflection to understand where you come from to understand where you are going.  If I had to reflect on one thing, it would have to be life.  I am still alive and well so there is definitely still some work for me to do. 

So when life throws you some lemons, you have 4 things to do:

THINK: Reflect on how you once turned those lemons into lemonade.  If you could do it once, you can certainly do it again.  Through Christ all things are possible.

GO TO GOD:   Take everything to the Lord in prayer. 

INSTRUCTIONS:  So many times our prayers are answered in the form of instructions.  Follow them, that is the most expedientway for a change to come; obedience.  If the instructions aren’t clear, write them down until you get clarity.

FAITH:  Trust and believe that it is already done.  What God has promised will come to pass.

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

“Building relationships of accountability and trust with all roads leading to love.” RATL

 

Goaltending or Goal Setting

Basketball

Image by mvongrue via Flickr

In basketball, when an opponent puts their hand to close to the hoop when a shot is being made , it is called goaltending.  Sometimes we set goals for ourselves and we become our own opponent.   We doubt ourselves and ultimately block ourselves from our own blessings. 

Whatever God has purposes in you heart, you have to trust and believe that it won’t fail.  There is no failure in God.  You may face obstacles or disappointments, but press your way through.  Keep making shots, change up your angle and approach until your goal is achieved.  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Galatians 6:9 KJV)

How It All Began

English: Reflect in God. Kinnoull Church and H...

Image via Wikipedia

It is amazing how little things will cause you to reflect on the bigger things.  With my site being blacked out for SOPA, I spent a lot of time away from the internet, very little facebook and twitter.  But it caused me to reflect on why I had even started this blog and how censorship could affect it.  Yes, for now it may just deal with music or vulgar language, but what if it started to impact a person’s faith and how they expressed their beliefs?

In 2010, life’s changes brought me to my knees.  I had spent the previous 10 years of my life literally going through hell.  I knew I couldn’t fix it because I had messed up so much on my own.  “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13  I was broken and in need of a breakthrough.  I asked God to show me my heart, show me those things that were causing me to self-inflict more wounds.  He gave me (3) areas, strongholds, surrendering and transparency.

I didn’t realize that for 10 years, I had been carrying baggage.  Baggage that had become stronger than me and weighing heavy, causing me to live in so much guilt, shame and self defeat.  It wasn’t until I got honest with myself that I was able to get honest with God and surrender it all to him.  The more I surrendered to Him, the good, the bad and the ugly, the more peace and joy began to enter into my life. 

So if you wonder why I don’t mind sharing and being open, it’s because I spent years hiding, hanging skeletons in my closet that were strangling me.  Through my transparency, I pray that you can witness that power of God when he has his hand on your life.  Everyday is not perfect, but each one comes with another opportunity to surrender my will for God’s perfect will.

“I show my scars so that others know they can heal.” RATL

 

Cast Down but Not Destroyed

So many times we replay our hurts, rehearse our fears and hold on to shame.  We fail to learn the lessons that lie within each failure.  If there was a lesson in every failure, would you still consider it a failure?  I often say, lessoned learned, not I failed.  I mean I have made some BIG mistakes, HUGE.  I beat myself up for them for years.  I also let others hold me back because I had convinced myself that I couldn’t move forward.  However, now I can say I have learned some major lessons and I don’t mind sharing them.

 

I have found a way to use all my flaws, hang ups and let downs for a greater good.  I am not perfect, but I thank God for sending his only Son to be a perfect savior.  I dressed up my wounds for years.  But when I surrendered them all to God he healed them. And now, “I show my scars so that others know they can heal” ~ Rhachelle Nicol’