Some people can’t change because guilt has a stronghold on them. Grace and mercy and forgiving yourself will fix that.
You may have to apply grace and mercy to your life over and over and forgive yourself over and over until you get to a place of acceptance. Or you could accept the grace, mercy, and forgiveness that is available to you at all times. You may think you can’t accpet it until you change completely and how is that working out for you? Change is a process and accepting grace, mercy, and forgiveness until the chains of guilt are broken is part of the process.
When you start to blame yourself, feel guilty, remind yourself that you are forgiven and you are covered by grace and mercy. You do not have to stay defeated. You do not have to live a defeated life because of guilt. You can move on. You can grow. You can enjoy this life.
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
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.
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 mean seriously. How many delays in life can one girl have? I know delays are not denials but, it sure seems like it lately. Maybe I am exaggerating a bit but, I am feeling some frustration about not being able to do EVERYTHING I want to do right now! Yes…whining a bit. However, I know that I must prioritize and sometimes, like this time, sacrifices must be made. Sacrifice never feels good.
So, what can I do to ease the frustration?
I can do what I can and not fret about what I cannot do
I can find free things to do around the city
I can create things to do with family and friends that are cost efficient
I can spend time organizing my home
I have plenty of crochet work to catch up on
I can try new recipes
I can spend in nature or on my porch with a cup of coffee or a cocktail
I have a book to read for a book club
I can start writing my third novel
So, there is much to do. Although, it may not be the other things I want to do, I can still occupy my time and enjoy it. Also, there will come a time, because of the financial sacrifices I am making, I will be able to enjoy the things I want to do, when I want to do them.
Timing is everything. It’s about time and the time is right for a BOLD NEW CHAPTER in your life. You’ve been playing safe. You’ve been dabbling but, now it’s time to venture out into the deep! Don’t get scared now and if you do, move beyond, over, under, and around the fear. The deep is where the treasures are. The BOLD moves is the action that creates a reaction called manifestation. A BOLD move is the move that triggers the waves and waves of success.
I don’t know what you are doing this month but, it’s a blank page. It’s a new chapter. WRITE BOLD visions. TAKE BOLD actions.
There is a bold new chapter waiting to be written by me.
I know the plans the Creator has for me. Plans to prosper, to give me hope and a future.