Tuesday, November 12, 2019

#iSmile – Are You Packed Yet?


It’s been said that people may not remember what you said to them but they will always remember how you made them feel. This is how I remember Brock Benbow as one who would make me smile. I’m one of those people who if I hear someone laughing, I don’t even have to know what they are laughing at, I’m probably gonna start laughing too! Same goes for when someone smiles: you smile, I smile. Brock had a smile that seemed to be etched on his face, it never moved. I imagine that even the undertakers will not be able to contour his face away from that smile.



God decided to call Brock, my Sunday School student, home on November 11, 2019 at the tender age of 24 years old. So young, so sudden. I’m finding it hard to grapple with this one and I even find myself at times questioning God. Why him God? Why this one? Why now? The questions fill my head but they topple over when I re-focus on the fact the God knows best. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to spend the majority of the last weekend of his life with him. He came over to my house Friday night along with his best friend Lamont to help me move some furniture around and I took them both out to dinner afterwards. Ironically, one of the topics of conversation at the dinner table was ‘friendship’. Brock and Lamont affectionately talked about how they met and how their friendship had flourished over the years. They talked about things they wanted to do in the Youth Department at our church and just things in general. The food wasn’t that great at Cracker Barrel that night but I remember Brock ate his food with a smile regardless.

I saw him again on Sunday for our church’s 92nd church anniversary. All smiles again as he was donned in his purple to represent our current Pastor. He asked if we were all going to go to Mia’s house (my cousin) after church and we all agreed after some laughter about it from Minister D’Warren! As everyone gathered at Mia’s house the laughter and jokes commenced. I caught some of them as I was in and out of sleep but one of the last questions I remember asking Brock was, “Are you packed yet?” He was set to go on our Pastor’s birthday cruise Saturday, November 16, 2019. He replied, “No, not yet”. I said, “You betta get packed because Saturday will be here before you know it!” and he calmly replied, “I will, tomorrow”.

Tomorrow came and what I discovered was that he was indeed already packed and ready to go on his final trip.

Are you packed yet? Are you ready for your final trip when it’s time for it? I hear you asking ‘what exactly do I pack for that trip, what type of luggage do I bring?’ For this trip, you must prepare for it early. Your heart is synonymous with your luggage and you must carry certain things inside! Let your luggage be:

-Stuffed with the gift of Salvation (Romans 10:9-10)
-Layered with Love (Galatians 5:22-23)
-Jumping with Joy
-Padded with Peace
-Kindled with Kindness
-Growing with Goodness
-Filled with Faithfulness
-Girded with Gentleness
-Saturated with Self-Control

So, I ask you again, are you packed yet?

Brock is with Jesus now, cruising in heaven. I will miss his etched-on smile, his mannerly personality and his calm, even-keeled demeanor. I never imagined that my conversation with him on the couch at my cousin’s house would be my last conversation with him. You never know what God’s plans are and how any given day will go. What I do know is that I was blessed not just to know him but to have a relationship with him; a caring young man who was saved and loved the Lord!

I will truly miss you Brock but I know you’re with Jesus now in eternal rest.
So, I’ll just sign off with this:
#iSmile

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Finish Strong!


Well it’s about 60-something days left in 2019 and I want you to know that some great things can still happen! Maybe you’ve missed the mark on some of your 2019 goals. The good news is even if you didn’t fully get to goal, there is still some time and room to make some serious strides! Here are 3 things you can do to finish strong in 2019:



-Re-Visit! – Visit your ‘why’ again, that reason why you wanted to complete this goal in the first place! Why did you want to start the business? Why did you want to begin the ministry? What is your big ‘why’? Visit that place and discover why you wanted to complete this goal! 

-Re-Ignite! – Once you’ve re-discovered your ‘why’ now you can re-ignite the fire that gets you pumped! Read some inspirational posts like Girrrl Stop or put on that song that motivates you and gets you going! Whateva you gotta do – do it and re-ignite the fire within you!

-Re-Do! – Just do something! I don’t care what it is, do at least one small thing that will inch you toward your goal. If it’s to start a business, work on getting your website up and running or even your business cards printed! Do something!!

Taking small steps toward goal are great ways to have quick wins!
Quick wins are a surefire way to finish strong!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

It's All Good!

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
I wanted to just touch on this scripture a bit more this week as we talked about it briefly the week before last. What I love about this scripture is the assurance it gives us because of the One who is in total control! Let’s look at it a little more closely. 
And we know…
I don’t have time in this post to touch on the conjunction ‘And’ because that would have us speak about the verses before this one (Girrrl you should read it tho!). So for purposes of this conversation we will start with the word ‘know’. There are some things that we have to be completely sure of and have no doubt about! We have to know who Jesus Christ is and recognize his full authority over all of the earth and things outside of the earth. When we recognize God’s true authority and omnipotence (having all power), we will stand in full confidence that no matter what comes our way, God is in control. We must know this, being fully assured in this fact so that we never waiver on it. 
all things 
There is something that my Pastor says all the time about the word ‘all’ – it means the same in Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, whatever – all means all! All things means simply all things: good, bad, ugly, hard, indifferent – ALL. We have to keep this in mind especially during the stormy seasons of life. You have to know that even these times are apart of the ‘all’ and although they are necessary – they are only temporary! All things work together for good! Even the not so good things may come for your development or to draw you closer to Christ. Either way – it’s all good! 
love God
They say membership has its privileges – it pays to be in the family of Jesus Christ! Loving God goes beyond just words but the word ‘love’ should be viewed as a verb, an action word! This means that we must show the love that we say we have for God! How? By living our lives as best we can according to God’s Word. 
His purpose
God has a purpose for all of us. What trips us up usually is that we tend to focus on our own purpose, plans, and desires instead of honing in on what God’s purpose is for our lives. When you key on what it is that God has for you to do, the obstacles of life won’t get you down as bad because you are always working toward the greater end! 

All things do indeed work for our good! The good things work for our good, the bad things work for our good, and even the hard things work for our good! This is comforting to know that because of who God is and who he designed us to be, no matter what the situation - It’s All Good! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Setbacks Are Set-Ups for Comebacks!


If you’ve lived long enough you’ve experienced some setbacks. Whether it is with your career, school, business, or just your personal life, we have all had a setback or two or three or four (you get the picture)! When things don’t quite work out as expected It tends to bring on feelings of depression, discouragement and despair. These places of emotional residency are not where God wants his believers to reside and settle but rather they should just be a short pit stop at best, as you push your way through this thing called life.

Don’t sweat the setbacks! I repeat, don’t sweat the setbacks!

Why? Because they are the foundation for your next set-up! I hear you asking how can that very thing that has weighed me down, caused me to suffer and almost taken me out be the catalyst for my victory? The answer is God! God has a way of setting things up just right and making them all come together for your good! I’m reminded of the story of Joseph. His brothers were jealous of him and conspired together to get rid of Joseph. They put him in a pit and decided to tell their father that wild beast had eaten him. But the plan changed when some travelers were coming by on their way to Egypt. So the brothers decided to sell Joseph to these people for 20 shekels of silver. Those people in turn sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharoah. The Bible says repeatedly in this story that the Lord was with Joseph. Joseph went from the Pit, to the Palace, to the Prison and back to the Palace as head over all of Egypt (Read Genesis Chapter 37-47 – it literally reads like a novel)!

The point here is that even in Joseph’s setbacks the Lord was with him and the Lord had a plan for Joseph’s life and the life of the people of God! God used Joseph to protect His people during the famine – everything was a part of God’s plan!

The Bible says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”. Do you believe this? Do you believe that God has a plan for your life and that He is in total control just as he was for Joseph? Joseph’s setbacks were in place to prepare for God’s Set-Ups! So it is with you. God is working behind the scenes even in the rough seasons. He is using the setbacks as set-ups for your comeback!

Setting you up for success in your life: family, career, business, finances, relationships – EVERYTHING! 

Believe it today! 

Next week let’s look at Romans 8:28 a little more, there are some key things in that verse that we must be clear and sure on. We gotta believe this thing for real in our hearts, minds, and spirits!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Determined To Win

I’ve been doing a series on ‘winning’ all coming from Ephesians 2:10. The first was Designed to Win as we are the workmanship/masterpiece of God and therefore he designed us to WIN! Then we looked at being Destined to Win because the ‘good works’ that God designed us for he ‘prepared them beforehand’ therefore making us destined to WIN! As we explore Ephesians 2:10 even more we see that God did design and destined us to win but we also see that we have a part to fulfill, we have to be: Determined to Win! 

Ephesians 2:10 states, “For we are His workmanship (design), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand (destined) that we should walk in them (determined)”. God says ‘I’ve given you the foundation for you to build on, I’ve given you the assurance that you were designed and destined for success and I’ve given you the insurance by my death on that old rugged cross’. Essentially God is saying ‘I’ve given you what works – now work it!’




When we read ‘that we should walk in them’ the word walk denotes that some action has to take place on our part. God opens doors for us but what good is an open door if we don’t walk through it! No matter what season you’re in, no matter if things are good or bad, no matter if you have a ton of support or no support at all, God is calling you to WALK in those things that he as prepared for you beforehand. You have to have a determination that says no matter what comes my way, no matter the setbacks, setups, set asides or whatever – you have to be determined to win!

Determination to win can help you withstand any circumstance if you choose to fight through. Determination to win can help you keep your head above water even when outside factors dictate that you should be drowning. Having a determination to win will often times confuse the enemy because in the enemy’s eyes you should be sullen, sulking, and surly. But because of your determination and unwillingness to give up, outside factors cannot and will not keep you down!



Sis, put yo’ walkin’ shoes on!
It's time to walk in your purpose!
It’s time to walk in your anointing!
It’s time to walk in your victory!
(In Stilettos of course!)

You were Design to Win!
You are Destined to Win!

You must be Determined to Win!










#iSmile – Are You Packed Yet?

It’s been said that people may not remember what you said to them but they will always remember how you made them feel. This is how I reme...