#LoveMeFirst: A decision to continue to love, forgive and heal

Earnes Pugh You Are So BeautifulValentine’s Day comes the same time every year. It’s met with open arms from those who are married or in a relationship. However, for some single’s it’s just a reminder of their singleness. Last week, I hosted a #LoveMeFirst chat with Gospel Recording Artist Earnest Pugh and moderated by Pamela King, the founder of Still Dating My Spouse and Sol Search. I have always loved Valentine’s Day and my status has never been the deciding factor. My very first Valentine was my father and he did a great job at making me feel loved year round.

One of the questions asked during the chat brought up the topic of how a person is raised affects the way they love. Question: How does one get over loving from their understanding or by what they were raised by? Shedding what has been taught or learned is a process. While my father was amazing at demonstrating love, my mother not so much. When I realized that the type of love my mother had given was the type of love I was receiving in my relationships, I had to do the work. Praying, reading and meditating on scripture was where I started. This was one of the first decisions made to #LoveMeFirst.

Another question we discussed was, “Do you believe the way you love yourself can affect the way you love others?” Not loving yourself will attract people into your life that do not mean you any good. Our moderator let us know that if we don’t love our self we will take anything. Though Valentine’s Day has come and gone and the chocolate hearts and bears are now on sale make sure you are not discounting the love that you give or receive. Loving yourself first, allows you to love others better. And in the words of Earnest Pugh: “True love is withholding nothing from your mate and expecting nothing in return”.

Make sure you download Earnest Pugh’s latest single “Your Are So Beautiful”, now available.

Search the #LoveMeFirst hashtag, there is something for everyone.

“I show my scars so that others know they can heal.” Someone needs to see your scars!

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Sunday Mourning

A Conversation With My Father…

It’s been a little over three years since my father passed away but often times I find myself daydreaming about a much needed conversation. He was my best friend, protector, inspiration but most of all my Father. I still feel like I have so much to talk to him about and questions to ask. If I had one last chance to talk to him, it would probably go something like this:

Hi Daddy,

I should have known you knew exactly what you were talking about all these years. Thank you for all the advice, even when I still decided to do things my way. But oh did I learn and you never stopped loving me or judged me. There are still quite a few things left for me to learn, I just wish you were here to teach me.

Dad, how were you able to turn every moment possible into a learning experience? Putting together 2000+ pieces of a puzzle together, I learned patience and how to pay attention to detail. Let’s not forget how I learned my colors. While combing my hair you would let me pick out the barrettes and we would say the color of each together.

One more question, how did you remain so focused and dedicated? You never downplayed the responsibility you had been given and never spoke an ill word. You focused on the task and not the circumstances in which they were created. One last question, when life seems to be at a standstill how do you I keep going?

Well enough with all the questions. You’re in a place where there is no worry, just rejoicing. No sickness, heartache and pain, though you have taken your rest, your living was not in vain. Love you daddy!

Happy Father’s Day!

And I Will Always Love You…

Whitney Houston   -   Concert in Central Park ...

Whitney Houston - Concert in Central Park / Good Morning America 2009 (Photo credit: asterix611)

*Grabs my duster* It has been a while since I posted.  Well actually only a week, but it feels like an eternity.  The past couple of weeks my words have been colors and pictures, really making it hard to write.  But today, I have to find a way because there is so much on my heart. 

Yesterday, after hearing the news of Whitney Houston passing, my heart was so heavy.  I grew up listening to her music as a little girl, watching her movies as a teenager and learned of her struggles as an adult.  But what bothered me more and the first thoughts that crossed my mind were that she was a mother, daughter, friend and so much more to a lot of people.  Working in my field, these are the types of phone calls that greet you on a Monday morning to start off your week or close out your week on a Friday right before you plan to start your weekend.  There is a Whitney Houston that does not wake up every single day and hour. 

It could have been me.  Sometimes the cares of this Ole world can become hard to bare.  I am thankful that when I couldn’t carry the load, didn’t know where to turn or who to depend on, the Lord continued to extend his hand.  “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3 KJV  He never gave up on me, never rub all the wrong I had done in my face but instead HE washed it all whiter than snow. 

We must learn how to love, become love and be love.  For some, we are the only point of contact for them to experience the love of God.  Another life has been lost, let this not be a life lost in vain.  We watched an icon struggle publically and the are some many others struggling behind closed doors all alone.  If no one else has told you, I LOVE YOU.  I don’t care what you are going through, what your past may look like but I will always love you.  “And above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].” 1 Peter 4:8 AMP

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

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?



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

Love Is In The Air…

With February being the month of “Love”, I thought it would be perfect to start the month off with an interview with Shon Hyneman.  If you follow him on twitter, you know him as @1DrLove.  He is a Husband, Father, Minister, Author, Radio Show Host and a source of valuable information for those desiring a relationship or those in need of working out their relationship.  He currently has three titles that are available and is working on his fourth.  Find out more about this author below.

From your first title, “If you apply these principles…God is more practical than we think”, what is one principle that impacted or changed your perception the most? It has to be the importance of time management. As I got older I realize that time waits on no one. We can always pick up a check, but once time has passed we can never get it back.

How did you develop such a passion for relationships and marriage? Being birthed of adultery and knowing the hurt of a missing parent. I wouldn’t want any child to witness that kind of hurt, so if my wife and I can help others…When I became Christian, my pastor was passionate about marriage & relationships and I became a sponge and soaked up everything on what the bible had to say about marriage and relationships.

You often share some of your testimony, how would you describe your relationships prior to giving your life to God? Slick. Everything I did had a motive behind it. I only tried to impress others for something in return. People labeled me as a “good guy” because I was able to put a façade in front of others. I knew what I was doing and my motives were all wrong.

How did Never Again Ministries begin and how did you decide on such a powerful name? Never Again Ministries began after I wrote my first book in 2008. God had given me so much material we had to put out in the atmosphere! It began when I was out of work, and I had nothing but time on my hands so my wife and I stepped out in faith and all our needs was met regardless of a limited income.

The name came from us giving spiritual guidance to married couples and when people were fed up and was ready for change they would say “never again” when people are at their breaking point and are ready for change that’s where we come in as a ministry.

Was the ever a moment that you wanted to give up or felt like it was too much?  Yes! Sometimes people put demands on you and want more and more. Sometimes it seems like your best isn’t good enough and that’s when I start to get weary at times.

Who have been some of your constant motivators and encouragers? My wife has always been my biggest encourager. Dr. Myles Munroe, Dr. Mike Murdock and Dr. R.A. Vernon are my motivators.

Describe the support and encouragement that your wife gives? Sometimes life will throw you a curveball and just to know that my wife is consistent with her graceful words of encouragement and eagerness to help me speaks volumes. She does a great job of keeping me accountable also.

Is there a topic that you both have different views on? Not that I can think of. We are two peas in a pod (Laughs)

What can we expect from Never Again Ministries in the future? More speaking engagements, books and special guests on the Doctor of Love Show in 2012.

What is one thing that you would say to a couple that was experiencing some turmoil? That turmoil is not a bad thing, it help you grow. It is only a season and it will come to past. We have to learn how to have a stick and stay mentality during those tough seasons in our life.

What advice would you give to the single men and women?
Be the best YOU God has created you to be. In order to have a successful relationship, be the right person as opposed to being needy. Work on you as opposed to looking for someone to “complete” you. You should be complete when we meet.

Any last words? No. Thank you for the opportunity!

Thank you so much for taking out the time.   I encourage all of my readers, if you are struggling with love or even considering giving up, seek out some counsel.  If you have been through a rough and rocky relationship in the past, make the vow today, “Never Again“.

Do This As Often As You Must…

“And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19

I have found myself at a new place of brokenness.  And this Scripture has been recited over and over again in my head.  The impact is a stronger desire to serve.  The problem, is that I keep trying to put the pieces together. But the same Son that was broken, that suffered and died for the sins of the world lives within.  Is it not a wonder that I too would be broken, that I too would suffer so that I may serve others?  For its in our suffering that we strengthen our faith, grow deeper in our relationship with God and learn what it means to demonstrate genuine compassion for others. 

 Just as Jesus broke bread amongst his disciples, he breaks us down so that we may spread the message of love to others.

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

A Simple Act of Love…

Cinnamon rolls.

Image via Wikipedia

Christmas break is coming to an end.  So for me that means three out of five children will be heading back to the classroom.  While out at the grocery store stocking up on their favorite snacks, I decided to grab some cinnamon rolls.  Not the already made, the Pilsbury cinnamon rolls that you bake in the oven and then put the icing on when you pull them out.  Yummy, right.  Well my son comes and ask, “mom can you make those cinammon rolls for us”.  I said sure.  On his way back to the livingroom, he says, “I love you”. 

It is in fact the little things that count the most.  Do something nice for someone, make an unexpected phone call, just remember to show love.

Day 5 – My Circle

Typically, I am not one to run with cliques. I have my close friends who I have known for years and then I have recent acquaintances that I have gotten to know through social media. No matter how I have come to know you, you have all played some role or purpose, whether it was to tweet an inspirational tweet, comment on my status to let me know you had been through the same thing or even to teach a lesson that everyone just isn’t for me, plain and simple.

I guess I had been a little naive. I mean even Judas, who was amongst Jesus chosen 12, betrayed him. But instead of dwelling on it, I am learning from it and moving on. Will I proceed with caution to whom I extend myself to? Maybe, but it won’t hinder from showing the genuine love that is in my heart for people. “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24

A Mother’s Love

As little girls, we fantasize about finding our Prince Charming, having the fairytale wedding, living happily ever after and experiencing the joys of childbirth and entering the world of motherhood. For some the blue print is clear and the steps are ordered. For others some steps are skipped, others prolonged and for a few motherhood ends up being more of a burden than a joy.

I’m entering a new season in my life, though I’ve been a mother for almost 10 years, there were and are so many things that I had not learned until now. I realize that the love my mother showed me was the only love she knew to give. However, I know its not the love I want to show towards my children. Love is patient, love is kind and those qualities can’t be bought. I’ve replaced the material items, with more quality time spent, instructions given and structure set.

I am mature enough now to realize that I do not have all the answers and will not do everything perfect the first time around. I became a mother, before I became a woman, yes I was an adult by definition, but I was immature in my understanding of life, love and family. So as I venture down a little further on my journey, I am going to share my experiences as a mother making changes. I’m breaking old habits and making new ones. They say it only takes 30 days, so for the next 30 days I am going to do a post a day.

What are some changes that you want to see? Or have you experienced any growing pains as a mother? Please share.

~Mother 2 Mother building relationships of accountability and trust with all roads leading to love.~

A Lesson in Love

A Lesson in Love
When I first started out on this journey. I questioned love, I understood where and who I learned how to love from but I didn’t know how to allow the love of God to work through me and build me up. I was broken, but in the perfect position to be molded, my mind renewed and life transformed. Love has become my foundation. The sad part is that the final portion of the lesson was taught to me through the passing of my cousin, Kimmy.
We spoke almost daily throughout this past year. It was as if both of us were on our own journey trying to find our way back. Worried about the guilt and shame of our past, but believing in our heart that we had been forgiven but so worried about people. Being bound by guilt and shame, we were looking for the light, that covering of love. So many people had let me down that I had no choice but to take my eyes off man and look up, God is love. Man’s love is conditional, wavering and even misleading at times. However, sometimes when our path seems dim if the right person travels that road (the Good Samaritan) we can find our way. “And behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” Luke 10:25-28

In this life we need each other, but most importantly we all need the love of God to work through us. We may not understand the pitstop that someone is at along their journey but love will lead them back. God is the only one that can save, we were instructed to love and displaying the love of God brings him glory. For love covers, it heals, it protects, it instructs, it cares, it forgives, it endures; God is love.

The parable of the prodigal son, has been on replay in my mind for quite some time. This is a story of love and restoration. Sometimes we can confuse showing love with obligation. Doing something out of obligation and doing something out of love is two different things and the difference is felt. The prodigal son was living a life of sin which is a separation from God’s love and fellowship. He had to get tired of himself and his lifestyle to understand that God’s love, grace and mercy were available to him. He had to let all the pride go to understand that God hadn’t left him but was yet and still present. The father received him home with open arms. The older brother felt like he was still undeserving and was judgemental. “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he sid unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out and intreated him.” Luke 15:24-28 When we love out of obligation we outwardly keep God’s commandments but inwardly have a religious and judgemental spirit.

“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have love you.” John 15:12 Last year was my year of being broken down so that HE could build me back up. Now I am on a sure foundation, a foundation of love. Now I am prepared to build on it. I love you and there is nothing you can do about it.

R.I.Love Kimberly Lynn Walton