Complete In Christ

Complete. Whole. Intact. Fulfilled.

These words describe what we strive to be in life. We are a work in progress. No matter if we recognize it or not, we will always look for something to complete us. Whether it be a relationship for love, degrees and titles for recognition, or endless pictures on social media for likes.

What if I told you that there is only one thing that will truly complete you?

That is Jesus Christ.

We as human beings are always looking for something in this world, but as Ecclesiastes tells us, it’s all futile. It’s a waste of time when we search for things and people to complete us, but never look to the One that created us. We look to the created, but what about the Creator?

Jesus made the greatest sacrifice anyone that has walked this earth ever made. He died for us. Before we were even born, He died for us because He knew that was the only way be could be reconciled to God and not just be born, live, and die in our sins. He became the bridge between us and God, therefore completing us in a way that nothing and no one else ever could.

Only you can choose Jesus as the missing piece that completes you. He will always leave the choice in your hands. He will not try to convince you or kick the door of your heart down and walk Him. He is waiting for you to seek Him and have an open mind and heart to Him in.

Choosing Him will free you to be who He created you to be. You will not be able to do more than you imagined in life without Him. Nothing and no one in this world has the ability to help you be better and keep progressing but Christ can. He is who you need so choose Him today!

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Feeling Pressured?

You ever feel like everyone wants everything from you? It’s like no matter what, they have placed something else on the list of things you should be doing. No one seems to realize that you are living your life for you and no one else. Their plans shouldn’t concern you because the only plan that matters is the one God set for you before you were even formed in your mother’s womb. Expectations can be super high with some people, but my question is, when is the pressure enough?

Everyone has goals for their lives, whether that be to become a doctor, lawyer, actor, stay at home parent, or even just playing video games all day. But they know what they want or at least think they know what they want. The problem is when others decide they know what’s best for you at certain points in your life.

I am 27 and I’ve always felt this pressure that I needed to do certain things and live a certain life. For instance, I still get the question about being single and needing to do all of these things to find someone. Although I know that every person that ever asked any of these endless questions and give advice concerning what I need to do without my initial inquiry actually care about me, I still to this day get upset when questioned. It’s like they know what’s best and I know nothing. But no one knows me more than God and myself.

I’ve been hard on myself all of these years because I thought there was a certain way to do things because of what I witnessed in the lives of those before me and what people told was the better route to get where I wanted to be. Throughout my teen years I began to feel the pressure manifest physically in my body and I was always so tense, I would experience crazy headaches, blackouts and chest pulling. I was headed in the wrong direction when I went off to college and chose a major that would make sure that I made a lot of money, but I didn’t really want it in the end. I was miserable following what others decided was best for me.

I’m sure you’ve had family and friends to question your decisions regarding your life. I’m sure they care and just want you to live a greater life, but they don’t always know what’s best for you. You know what God has given you and for some what He wants you to do at this moment of your life. Yes you may have a degree, you may be single, you may have a job and not career, right now, but where is God taking you. Only you know where you’ve been and where you’re going. Sometimes you’re confused on where to go from here, but following the directions of other human beings will not always help you.

When the pressure comes you begin to feel boxed in and move around like a robot, but laying down all that “they” tell you and following Christ will free you. Being free to do the tasks that He has assigned to you will always lift you higher than you ever thought you could be. It won’t always be easy, but it’s worth it to let go of the opinions of others and only focus on what God tells you to. Be obedient to Him and watch Him do above and beyond anything you could ask or think. No more pressure. Choose to live according to what God has revealed to you. Continue to seek His kingdom and everything else will be added to you. Cut off the pressure.

 

Happiness or Joy

When you look at your life right now, which one would you rather have, happiness or joy?

Happiness is connected to your current circumstances and whether things are going in your favor or not. Joy is foundational, it’s with you no matter what is going on in your life. Both of them are great and you need to experience both but only one of them will help you navigate through life with more ease.

Life can be very hard and you may find yourself as continuously knocked down, but will you allow that to change your feelings and how you go through life. It can be hard at times and we don’t always know what to do or how to even feel, especially when things keep going in the wrong direction. I’ve found that your response it what matters and it depends on if your life is based upon happiness or joy.

Happiness is fleeting because the things in life that we tend to chase are fleeting. From careers to relationships, we are always chasing something or someone that we think will fulfill us but, they only fill a void, but it won’t be able to stay there for long. Then you are moving on to the next thing to make you happy. There’s nothing wrong with being happy, but you have to understand the ups and downs of life and that you won’t be happy every single day of your life, but you can choose to be grateful. Be grateful for what you have right now and where you are right now, because of the work you’re doing to get to the next place.

Joy is everlasting. It stays with you no matter what happens around you. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Joy is deeply rooted in you when you are satisfied in Christ.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Because Jesus never changes, we can be assured that being rooted in Him will always leave us in a good place. Situations change, but God doesn’t. When things are shaky, but you have joy, you don’t have to worry or be sad about your situation. Your joy will show your strength and how you can make it through anything.

Stop chasing happiness and all of the surface feelings it brings with it and seek joy. You will have a more balanced life and be able to do what you are called to do in life.

The Power Of Now

The messages of having resolutions, a vision board, or 5-10 year goals are always bombarding us. It seems like we have to plan everything and keep looking toward the future. There’s nothing wrong with that, but can you say that the person you are today will be able to live the life you want in the next 5-10 years?

Having goals isn’t a bad thing, but when we continuously live in the future while in the present, we can become lost, discouraged, or even stressed. Always living in the future while you’re in your current state can become overwhelming and cause you to lose your desire for life altogether.

I’ve decided that I will begin to live a simple life, where I have goals, but I also remind myself on a daily basis to be grateful and live a healthy and happy life. I want joy and peace, not being hard on myself or projecting my feelings onto other people. So I’ve chosen to not worry anymore.

Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? (Matthew 6:25)

Can any of you  add a single cubit to his height by worrying? (Matthew 2:27)

Worrying can bring you down. It can affect your emotional, spiritual, financial, physical and mental health. It has the ability to destroy if you allow it to drive you into the ground. Some people are so acquainted with worry and stress that they feel weird if they don’t encounter them on a weekly basis. It’s really sad because if you as a Christian say that you believe in Jesus Christ then worry and stress should be far from you.

I know that as humans sometimes those feelings will come up, but your job is to take every thought/feeling captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Don’t allow your current circumstances to get you down, but use these moments as building blocks to help you become a better you. No matter what you want in life, your number one priority is to make sure that you are who God wants you to be.

Now is the time to look at an area of your life that you need improvement in and ask the Lord to guide you through this transformation and renewing of your mind. Half the battle to become better starts in your mind. So right now asked for a new mindset, or better yet, the right mindset to move forward.

You are on a journey, not a quick foot race down the street. Take your time. Tomorrow will come if it’s meant to come, but today is here so take full advantage of it. Push past your feelings and focus on now. Live for today. Tomorrow will take care of itself, so trust God right now and He will blow your mind.

Who Is Your God?

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)

So many people come in the name of God and say He told them to tell you one thing or another. But have you ever questioned them to see if they truly were sent to you by God? Have you ever listened to their words and tested them against the Bible? Everything that is said is not from God and you shouldn’t be taking it in, practicing it, and putting God’s name on it.

A lot of practices that are being presented to us today, especially in the U.S., are trying to pull you away from God. They seem to be harmless and they help you become at peace and fulfilled in life. But, what if they only give you a sense of peace and fulfillment because they feed your human nature and want to control everything.

There’s so much being thrown at us and many people are buying in. From manifesting things, speaking it into existence, constant talk about money and more money, and many other things. These things sound like something we as humans need in life so that we can get what we want in life. Other people have done it and got what wanted, so you begin to feel like you can begin to get all that you want by doing the same thing.

But what does God say?

He says, test every thing that comes your way, especially if His name is being included in it. Would you want your family or friends to believe someone tells them to do something because you said so, they do it, and end up harming themselves because they never came to you to make sure the command/statement actually came from you? God wants you to discern whether something is right or wrong. Whether it is has His blessing or not. If you never go to Him and test what is being said, then you are choosing something/someone else as your god.

Outside of the many practices that are bombarding us lives, our biggest distraction is money. Money is the greatest competitor of God. If you are honest with yourself, you can look at your entire life and see that money has always been needed to get basic needs met and something we deeply depend on. People get divorced because of it, some get married for it, others seek certain careers or illegal activities to have more of it.

But, can money fix all of your problems?

Can it heal you?

Can it give you peace that surpasses all understanding?

Can it give you eternal life?

Can it love you?

If you don’t know who you are, whose you are, who God is to you, and who Jesus is, and all you know is money, then you will be overcome by it. It will destroy you in ways you never thought could happen. The number one thing is when you believe in it and feel that it’s all you need, you will be pulled away from God. But if you don’t catch yourself, it can turn on you and you’ll begin to lose it. You’ll be like the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), spending all you have on foolish living, everyone leaving you, then recognize that God cares for you.

It’s time to choose who you will serve this day. Is it what other people are throwing at you, money, or is it the one true living God (the creator of everything!)? I suggest that you choose God, but I can’t choose Him for you. He gives you free will and you can do whatever you want, just know that there is a result from what you decide.

Who will you choose to be your god?

 

God’s Hand v. God’s Heart

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalm 37:4)

In today’s society the message of “securing the bag” and “getting money” and every material possession you could ever think of, is all around us. From social media to commercials, and television shows to conversation,s people are talking about being a hustler and never sleeping, but striving for more and more stuff. But what happens when they try to add God to what they are already doing?

Question.

When you go to God in prayer are you immediately asking Him for things that you want and nothing else? Do you ever stop and just thank and praise Him for just being Him? Not for what He has done for you, but because He is God.

Many people quote Psalm 37:4 and they tend to only say God will give them the desires of their heart. But what about delighting in God? To delight in someone is to experience great pleasure and joy in his or her presence. You can only delight in someone when you have spent time with them. Not just 10 minutes a day either. Would you prepare for an exam by only studying for 10 minutes a day? I would hope not. So why give God only a limited amount of time and only focus on everything you want Him to do. Prayer is a conversation between you and God so some of that time should be you listening for His voice.

What is the condition of your heart? Have you questioned why you want those things and how they will help you draw closer to God?

To be honest, a lot of our desires, if not all of them are carnal and they don’t line up with what God wants for you. We’re almost like hoarders where we do nothing but want more and more but it’s just laying all around the house. I’m not saying there’s anything with wanting a nice car, house, great income, spouse, and children, but what about desiring more patience, love, joy, long-suffering, peace, or self-control? We must make sure that our desires what God wants to do at that moment. If God allow you have all the things you ask for, would you be able to handle them? Are you mature enough to be responsible with all that you’re asking for?

You can’t look to the world and see what they have and begin to believe that you will never have anything in life, because what you have doesn’t look like what you see all the time. If you have Jesus, you truly have all you need. All things were created by Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16). You must learn to be content with what you currently have and allow Him to show you how to work with what you have. If you submit everything to Him and begin to follow His direction, He will work with you. With your obedience, He will see your heart and even trust you with more.

There isn’t a formula to get God to give you all of the desires that pop in your head, but He desires a sweet communion with you. Jesus died for you, and He has only asked you to come to Him and lay down your life, be made new and follow Him. You can’t be made new if you are always looking to the world for the next step. They don’t have it. You should always be on your face in prayer asking for instructions.

Your desires before Christ may be one thing. But ask Him to give you His desires and they will exceed anything you could ever dream of. He qualifies His children, He opens doors, He makes your way straight, but the most important thing will always be your relationship with Him. You can’t want His hand as if He is a genie and not His heart since He is your first love (Revelation 2:4) (or at least He should be!).

It’s time to stop following people that tell you that you need all these things and your life will be super fulfilling and if you don’t you are a loser or that you’re lacking. Choose to serve God and just like David, be a man/woman after His heart. Ask for a desire for Him and a thirst for His righteousness. When His desires become your desires, things will go more smoothly for you and you won’t be forcing it. Life will always find a way to knock you on your behind, but continue to seek Him because He will never leave you, nor forsake you.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)

 

 

 

Secret Sins

Sin is so prevalent in the world. It’s all around us. You can turn on the tv and before the 30 minute mark, you will find yourself  thinking about something ungodly or even laughing at something said or done that was wrong. How do you think God feels when He looks at you living down here on Earth?

Are you doing something that no one knows about but you (and God, of course)? Do you struggle on a daily basis to not follow through with those acts? Could it be lust, sexual sins, jealousy, etc. ?

Sin is horrible, but secret sins are another beast. They’re those sins that we do without anyone suspecting anything. Everyone thinks you’re on fire for God and yet you’re drowning in sin and see no way out. All because of your secret.

What do you do when God convicts you for the umpteenth time and it’s time to tell someone about your struggles? Do you take your time being open or do you pray for an accountability partner or more mature believer to confess to?

Over the years, I’ve struggled with addiction to pornography and masturbation. I would love to say I started, was convicted, stopped and never went back to it. But that’s not my story. I constantly indulged in it. I could go months without it, then I would see scenes on tv, listen to certain music from my favorite artists and before I knew it I would be in the act again. I began to feel hopeless because I thought it was just a thorn in my side that I wouldn’t be free from. I tried so many things to get away from it, but my heart was hardened so nothing good could take root. So I decided to go on a fast recently and it was AMAZING. I’ve never been so close to God and only want Him. My desire for things that only pull me away from Him has dwindled.

I’ve learned what Jesus was talking about when He said some things only come out by fasting and prayer (Matthew 17:21). That desire is no longer there, but I’ve been shown how easy it was to fall and how I never set parameters beforehand. So I began to set a plan where I can set myself up to win instead of falling again.

Yes sin is all around us, but it no longer has power over us. Christ died that we may be free from sin. When He rose from the dead, He completed His job. Just like myself, you don’t have to give in to temptation when God always provides a way of escape. Dying to yourself and living unto Christ is the choice you should make today. Our flesh wants the complete opposite of God every second of the day, but we can’t be led by it. It will only  lead to death.

Create a plan to stop yourself before sin even tries to creep in. What are you listening to? What are you watching? Who are you hanging around? I’m not saying those things are bad, but when done in the wrong context can lead you to destruction. Find more music that uplifts you and glorifies God, movies that lead you in a better direction, people that want the best for you and aren’t afraid to correct you.

Today you are free, but will you choose that path? Will you keep struggling in secret or let someone know, so you can start walking in the freedom that is readily available to you?

Waiting On God?

Waiting may be one of the worst things that we all have to do in our daily lives. From waiting at a red light when you are trying to make a right turn, but the person in front of you is going straight. Or being put on hold while you are on the phone with customer service. Waiting is inevitable is in life, but what happens when you really want something to happen, but you still find yourself waiting for it weeks, months, even years later?

When you find yourself in the “waiting room”, what do you do in the mean time? Do you sulk and complain to anyone that will listen or do you put your head down and get to work?

There may be something that you’re asking God to do in your life, like give you a mate, a job, a new place to stay, or even directions for your life. But you’re still waiting on His instructions or an open door. You may begin to feel like God isn’t hearing your cries for help or that He doesn’t care about you like He does for so and so that you see on Instagram living his/her best life now.

You can’t worry about what someone else has while you’re waiting. You don’t know what they had to do in order to get what they have. Maybe they actually followed God’s instructions for them and He blessed them with more, or they could be living a life of disobedience that led them to get what they have. You never know. So DO NOT COVET ANYONE ELSE. You can’t allow your eyes to wander to left or the right, but continue to look to God because He is the one who sustains from day to day. He is your sole provider. He cares about you and He will never leave you, even in this moment of waiting.

It’s only for a short period of time that you will be waiting, as long as you are following what He has told you to do first. I recommend reading your Bible, fasting, and praying. Those are key principles for the Christian life. If you want to know God and how He operates, read His Word, talk with Him, and He will reveal Himself to you.

Could it be that you are waiting because of your disobedience. Are you procrastinating when you know that God has told you to do something 6 months ago? Are you putting everything in front of Him although the Holy Spirit is telling you to slow down and spend time with Him? Being busy and doing a lot of things don’t mean they are doing what God wants you to do. Everything you do for God should be with purpose in mind and not just to look busy.

If God has promised you something, you better believe that it will come to pass, because God will never lie (Number 23:19). Waiting is only for a short amount of time, so use that time wisely. Time is of the essence and we can’t get it back. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Time is the greatest blessing we have, but what are you doing with it? Give your time to God right now and allow Him to fill you up while you are waiting, because when He says GO, you must GO and you will remember this time in your life and how He blesses you even in the frustrating and quiet moments of waiting.

Waiting is a time of building character and a foundation that you will need later on in life. Allow God to build in you so that you may do His work later on. Rejoice right now for where you and don’t worry because there is more on the other side of the “waiting room”.

You Were Made To Serve

When you hear the word service, what comes to mind?  Time. Sacrifice. Inconvenience. These words and many others can be connected to serving others and serving God.

To be honest I don’t always want to serve people. I sometimes feel that I need to just cater to myself, and that may be true at times, but serving others can help me more than I could help myself. And it can do the same for you.

To serve is to perform duties or services for (another person or an organization). Sometimes this can be done as part of one’s job where they get paid for the duties they perform or it can be done where you give your time and energy to help someone and you seem to get nothing in return. But could it be that you do get something in return?

I have had countless opportunities to serve, and I didn’t always want to do them. For instance, earlier this year I was asked to pick someone up for church and I knew that because this person lived in the opposite direction of the way I was going, it would take me way longer to get the church than I planned. So I picked her up, but I wasn’t happy about doing it. What normally took me 5 minutes turned into a 30 minute trip.

But one day the Holy Spirit brought it to my attention that my car is not just for me, but for whatever is placed in front of me to do. So if I have to take someone to school or to work, then I should gladly do so. I struggled with that some days, and I still struggle with it, but now I know that I can serve God and be obedient through my service to others. I’ve gained patience, time management, and how to give hospitality through those moments of service. My most all I’ve learned that my abilities are not just for me, but for me to serve God and all of His creation.

Christ said that He came to serve, not to be served (Matthew 20:28). Jesus came to give His life for the entire world, past present, and future and He never complained. There is only one moment recorded of Him recognizing that the tasks He was given was hard, almost unbearable and He asked for it pass away from Him (Matthew 26:39). But He still did it. His death allowed us to be free to do what He places in front of us. He gives us opportunities to do as He did. We are called to lay our lives down, pick up our cross, and follow Him. That requires sacrifice of all that we’ve been taught by the world that we need to have. But if you have to choose between yourself and all you have and Christ, I pray you will choose Christ.

With the freedom He has given us, it’s important to use it where it helps others. So what are some ways you can serve?

  • Check with the church you attend and see where help is needed (there’s always a need) and volunteer in one of those ministries.
  • Sign up to volunteer at a local food bank or homeless shelter
  • Sign up to be a Big Brother or Big Sister
  • Sign up to be a tutor
  • Volunteer to baby sit for a single parent or overworked couple
  • Volunteer to read to children at your local library

 

How have you chosen to serve this month?

 

The Kindness of Strangers

Southern Girl in the City

When Southern Mom died, my linesisters in the DMV rallied together, brought me dinner, bought my plane ticket home, and loved on me when I wanted to be left alone.

As the plane descended upon the city where I grew up, I cried silently to myself.  The flight attendant saw me, gave me some Kleenex, and asked if she could hug me when the plane landed.  I said a soft, “Yes.”

I’m not sure how they knew, but what each of those women gave me at those moments are what I needed, even if I didn’t want it or think I needed it at the time.

Upon my return to DC, I cooked dinner for linesisters.  I wish I had gotten the airline attendant’s name that was so kind to me so I could have properly thanked her.

It’s amazing to me how strangers or your friends or people you…

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