Maybe you don’t realize you are sleepwalking through what could be the BEST and MOST fruitful time in your life???!!!!! It aint over! It aint over! Your work, your life, is incomplete! You are not finished being a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a friend, a spouse, you are not finished!!! You’ve got more life left in you! You’ve got more to give! Wake up!
You can’t stay mad too long. You can’t stay sad too long. You can’t stay nonchalant too long. You’ve got to grow. You’ve got to move on. I know it’s difficult. I know it’s scary. I know it’s not fair but, you must, we must wake up and see what’s going on. We must open our eyes and deal with the reality and tragedies that are going on. God is asking you to care about the church. God is asking you to care about yourself! God is asking you to care about other people!
Believe it or not, God really does care about you. God cares about your success, progress, your hopes and dreams. God cares about your disappointments, heart breaks, and let downs. God cares. And I am mighty glad that he cares, and he is working things out for you! But you’ve got to get back in the game of life! You can’t win sitting on the bench!
~Nikki, from my message last Sunday, Strengthening What Remains
The church and our lives are in a time of great stagnation and mediocracy on many levels. I’m talking spiritually as far as the church and our lives. I’m talking about career and personal goals, dreams and so forth. I love to be the one to tell you that there is no room for stagnation and mediocracy in our lives!
No, no! This is not the time to sit back and see. This is not the time for compromising on your standards and requirements. This is not the time for tolerance and complacency.
He came that you may have life and have it more abundantly. The Word says may you prosper, and be in good health.
From my teaching (preaching, okay sermon), Strengthen What Remains
It’s the late, late, late edition! I took the week off because it was one of the most activity/ to-do lists, filled weeks of this month. I made time each evening for myself as one thing that was non-negotiable on the list. I made an exception only if I felt up to staying up late to work one night and I did because I had so much energy (which rarely happens) to burn.
I spoke at my home church this Sunday and the message was STRENGTHEN WHAT REMAINS (Revelations 3:1-2). I will post some keynotes Wednesday and Thursday. The only thing I mused about Sunday was how to make September a month in which I can replenish my spirit, body, and soul. I am not rushing this month away but, I am ready to do much less. I am over Women’s Month at church this month and I know, in my spirit, I should have said no!
Why? Because you can’t keep rescuing people or they will never learn to help themselves. I regretted the moment I said yes. I knew I was out of order. I started to dread the whole thing. I felt a low mood and anxious mood creeping in. I felt overwhelm-ness coming in like a dark cloud. I thought, “I’m just going to do the bare minimum. I’m going to keep it simple. I just want to get it over with.” But God was like, “You can’t do that. You have to give it your very best. You have to work as if you are working for me because you are. Although, you are out of line.” So, I asked God to help me, to give me strength. I also asked for and received forgiveness.
Later, I asked myself what could I do not to become overwhelmed and stressed this month. I knew the “energies” of the month. I wrote this down:
Go to be on time
Shower and soak as often as you need to
Take a sedative if you need to
No food after 8:30 pm
Limit your social media using the well-being app and no social media after 9pm
Enforce boundaries with everyone
Come to a stop with your work and wind down
Throw in some fun even if it’s limited
Women’s Month went from basic to me doing it the way I tend to do things I’m over and that is with excellence. Not perfection, although I can be a bit of a perfectionist, but excellence. Well, at least I will try! So far, things have worked out.
On the 1st Sunday we had a guest speaker.
2nd Sunday we had a tribute to strong women from the history of the church
On the 3rd Sunday we will have a skit on mental health and therapist to speak on mental health and the black community
4th Sunday we will have female Saxophonist to bless us with song
Dressed in Strength is the theme from Proverbs 31:16-17.
I have blabbed enough tonight. I hope you rest well or enjoy your day depending on when you are reading this!
I don’t have to tell you that gas and groceries are high. Most of you are here in America and you have to eat and go back and forth to work so you have been to the pump and the grocery store. Before any of this took place I’d been concerned about finances. I took a long hard look this year at how I spend my money. I had some major things happen and it feels as if my savings account will never recover. It seems as if I get some savings and then before I can build on it, it crumbles.
It is clear to me this morning the key is I must save more. I must make some huge sacrifices and that sacrifice may be no vacations this year. One vacation is already out the door and another has one foot out and one foot in. I am on the fence about it. I should say I am simply prolonging saying “I’m sorry family. But I will not be able to join you this fall for vacation. I need to save.”
I really want to get away from it all. I need to. So, what’s a girl to do? Perhaps I will get away in my own city. A stay-cation sampling the good life of the Uppercrust in my city or maybe, do a vlog of living high off the hog on a budget. Perhaps, I will prepare for an amazing vacation next year or maybe push my vacation back to December. I don’t know.
Inflation and changing my spending habits has been a challenge. I have discovered that if I am restricted for a long period of time of not getting things I want, I tend to binge spend. Yes. I regret it later. But this time, if I play my cards right, I will be able to pad my savings and purchase things I want for myself and for my home. It’s a new month. It’s a new day. I am really grateful that grace and mercy is available every morning but, I need to stop the tangent splurges and not need grace and mercy in that area so often.
August brings to the table a 5 energy and a 14 energy. Whether you believe it or not energy exists. You can walk into a room a couple was arguing in and “feel” the tension. Tension, just like happiness, carries energy. You are made up of energy.
If you take heed of last month’s energy, you will be prepared. If not, you will have to get prepared as you go. You will need to ground yourself often this month because there is not much structure to the 5 energy. It likes its freedom. It does not want to be nailed down. It can be unpredictable. So, you may have your own plans and God will have plans. Life will have plans. People that you are working with will have plans. All of these plans will work out but, there will seemingly be so many hiccups big and small. BUT BY ALL MEANS…PLAN!
It will all work out if you remember to ground yourself and breathe. And pray. And meditate. And go for a long walk. Whatever it is you do to HELP you to think of solutions. If you are getting your rest and doing some of these things regularly, you will be able think quickly on your feet. After big episodes or back-to-back episodes of annoyances, TAKE SOME TIME to unplug and enjoy yourself. Go to your hobby. Take a weekend getaway or staycation. This is grounding.
This is a good time for adventure and socializing. Get outside of your comfort zone. Change is good. But make sure it’s CALCULATED. Do something different. Try a different Starbucks refresher. Try a new exercise routine. Change may come quickly and catch you off guard. You will have to adapt.
The five energy is very, very RESOURCEFUL. This will help you as unexpected change comes and plans go awry.
Take a look at your goals from the beginning of the year. Where do you stand? What can you do, what needs to change, and what has to be let go of?
The 5 energy comes with a warning. It can be excessive and addictive. This is why I suggest grounding often. Unplugging often. Getting rest. Making sure you have your plans for the day, week, or for a project mapped out. It’s your guide and remain flexible to the unexpected. You don’t want to drown your sorrows, frustrations, etc. in drugs, alcohol, sex, TV, books, the gym, or get lost in a hobby. You may question some of those things such as books or the gym but too much of anything will keep you from facing your problems, solving them, and moving on even if it seems to have a benefit. I can’t game all day, all week, all month because what about my real-life goals? Balance my loves. Balance.
Plus, this is promotion energy. This relocation energy. This is turn up on your dreams and goals. “The strong will survive and the wise will thrive. Therefore, be strong and wise.”- Nicole Jackson
I’m back from my RESET Weekend and I’ve decided to extend it into this week. Overall, I feel great but I’ve really felt some discouragement due to the disappointment in the lack of participation in an organization I’m a part of. I’m having to channel my inner David and ENCOURAGE MYSELF.
I can do all things through Christ that strengthen me. All of my help comes from above.
Wait (hold on a minute, rest up, do nothing, be patient) for the Lord to renew your strength (by sending you a Word, giving you deep rest, sending solutions & confirmations).
The JOY (what I know) of the Lord is my strength.
I did some deep cleaning in my kitchen/sitting area and my pantry/laundry room on Saturday. I also took a bath in lavender Epsom salt and Pink Himalayan Salt (1 cup each). It draws out the toxins and helps you to relax and unwind.
Most of us saw the clip of a well-known controversial gospel singer saying some unkind things in a bazaar rambling floating around on social media. The court of public opinion was held and boy, were there ever so many opinions and spin off topics. I just want to say in my opinion, she was wrong. It wasn’t a good look for her and just like many organizations those that are associated with an organization get lumped into one person’s pot of mess.
Here’s something I think we need to remember; we are all responsible for our OWN journey in this life whatever your beliefs are. She is not a reflection of ALL Christians no more than if a non-Christian man sleeps around. That man is not a reflection of ALL men. I know we have been conditioned to think the opposite. You can’t even say the majority of a certain group is this, that, or the other unless you have statistics and even that can be up for debate. Just like you and me, ultimately, she is responsible for her own behavior and relationship with the Creator. The way we form opinions of certain groups based on religion, race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, and even age is often based on STEREOTYPICAL thinking and misinformation.
Now, there are people saying that she, people like her, is the reason why they don’t go to church. Facts: there are mean Christians in church. They are usually pretty mean on the job and in families. There are mean Christians in church that hold positions and continue to be mean and continue to hold these positions. Who’s responsible for that? Leadership and that particular organization. I have found the person is usually related to someone higher up, a friend, a longtime member, an elder, they were promised that position, and they give big bucks or their family has been at that church a looooooooooong time. All pretty lame excuses for continuous abuse of power and authority.
Mean people exist that are not Christians at all. Why do you think Christians are held to a higher standard or the Church is held to a higher standard than the world? Why would they not be? James 3:1-2 states
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
You may be thinking, because you have been taught James is talking about teachers and preachers. Leaders. But in deeper reflection, a Christian is a teacher to the world. The Church as a collective is a leader and teacher in this world. We receive stricter judgement. AND WE ALL STUMBLE IN WORD. And when he says perfect, he means MATURE. Stricter judgement comes with the territory.
In honesty, throughout history the church has been pretty “judgy” about the world and non-Christians. We’ve been heavy on YOU’RE GOING TO BURN IN HELL and light on HOW CAN I HELP YOU personally. I know the church has been a pillar in communities and historically black churches have been a place of refuge for the black community. I know the church feeds, clothes, and houses those in need. As they should if they are financially able to and if not provide resources that can help. I think when you sow seeds of “we are better than you” or “something is wrong with you”, we get some harvest in return. We shouldn’t expect grace and mercy from others and yet we cannot only give it to those in position and authority either. Maybe our slogan should be, “Welcome to church where we are all imperfect people serving a perfect God. Here we learn and grow together so that we may better serve our communities and humanity.”
Now, why can’t people get over CHURCH HURT or find another church? I find it unsettling that we can be so dismissive of people’s feelings. Let your significant other, child, parent, or friend be dismissive of yours and all hell breaks loose. I am really glad Jesus wasn’t. Probably, because he didn’t lump all experiences into one. You don’t know what hurt they experienced, first of all to tell them to GET OVER IT. Secondly, what’s nothing to you may be something to them. Thirdly, you probably don’t have the wisdom to look deeper into the pain and examine where it may be coming from. It could be coming their past. Or how about you examine where they are in their walk in Christ. What level are they on? Fourth, he or she who lacks wisdom, let him ask. Fifth, he or she that leads a congregation or may be responsible for counseling souls need to take some courses in counseling or read numerous books on counseling. Sixth, he or she that leads needs to know when their counseling skills are limited and the person needs professional help.
I think habitually mean Christians need deliverance and counseling. I think habitually mean people in general need the same thing. We are possibly all mean at some point and time throughout our lives. But, to do and say mean or nasty things, to exhibit that behavior without care and regularly, let’s me know there within lies a deeper issue that needs to be addressed.
PS These are MY thoughts, opinions, and observations. I present them as so and not hard facts.
I was going to write this whole blog post about gospel artist Kim Burrell, the Kim Burrells of the Church (The Mean Girls or the people allowed to do and say whatever and remain in power and position), and the spin off topics that were made. Questions such as should the church be held to a higher standard? And why can’t people with church hurt find another church and/or just get over it?
I am still going to write my opinions, my thoughts, and my observations. But I had to stop, breathe and make sure I wasn’t writing from a place of bitterness. I needed to condense my thoughts and not rant. I needed to organize my thoughts and make them cohesive.
You see, sometimes we fly off the handle. It’s pure emotion and our thoughts are all over the place. WE that are responsible with our words must be more responsible with our words. It wasn’t me that halted my hitting the publish button, it was God. It was Spirit saying, “Don’t do it. Don’t put that out there like that. Don’t do it. Hold off. Hold back. Don’t do it.” So, I trashed it until I could come up with a better way to express my thoughts clearly. That will be Sunday’s post.
I hope you enjoy your weekend. I have unplugged from some social media spaces for the weekend. WordPress is not one of them. I plan to reset and get ready for the rest of the things I am to do by the end of summer.