life, Self Esteem, Spiritual, success

Misfit

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Have you ever felt like you were a misfit? Have you ever been in a situation where you have even been told that you are not the right fit? Do you stick out like a sore thumb in your social arena or family?  Have you ever felt or been made to feel like you are a square peg trying to fit into a round hole? Well, you are not alone!

Often when we feel or have been made to feel like a misfit due to society’s standard or our associations, we think that we serve no real purpose or even worst are not valuable. Negative thoughts cascade through our minds and the will to break-free of the strongholds that disempower is nowhere in close proximity.  However, I dare to let you know that this is not true. You are very important! You are valuable! You were designed with a purpose in mind. In fact, your creator called and fashioned you to be royalty. You were formed to be holy and peculiar, to stand out and not be conformed to the standards and imaginations of this world. Don’t believe me?? Well, the manufacturers manual is filled with case studies of those who were considered to be misfit heroes.  Not only were they misfits but they were viewed as broken, barren, undone, unworthy, not good for anything, etc. But the beauty in these stories is that it did not end with them remaining in the state that they were viewed. Instead, like a butterfly, they were transformed from their seemingly ugly cocoon stage to a masterpiece of beauty.

Misfit heroes like David, Joseph, Moses, Jabez, Ruth, Rahab, and Jesus stories turned around. David who was deemed only good enough to attend to the sheep, yet in the end, he became the king of Israel. Joseph was hated by his own family, sold into slavery and imprisoned for being lied on. Yet in the end, he became second in command to the leader of Egypt. Moses had to be placed on a river in a basket, separated from his birth parents, and run away to the backside of the desert to save his life. Yet, in the end, his story turned around, and he became the deliverer of the nation of Israel. Jabez was named one who makes sorrowful as his mother gave birth to him in pain. Yet in the end after crying out to God, he was blessed, and his borders were enlarged. Ruth was an Edomite, an outcast, and had lost her husband. Yet in the end, her story shift from being an outcast and she married one of the wealthiest men. Rahab was the ultimate cast away as she was a harlot. She was looked down on because of choices that she had made,  and was often scorned and talked about by those in her hometown. Yet, in the end, her family was saved because of her, and it was through her lineage that the Savior came.   Jesus was born in a manager, he was looked upon as only a carpenter’s son and was questioned as to whether or not anything good come out of Israel. Yet in the end, he became the Savior of the world.

Today you may be faced with the challenge of not fitting in, but do not worry, you were born to stand out. Do not let the pressures of wanting to be a part of something causes you to conform and change who you are. You were born to be the best version of yourself. Go ahead and be the authentic you. Yes, you may be quirky, not educated, highly educated, slim, wonderfully plump, not popular, not wealthy, or whatever you may view as your downfall, but you are you. You are designed to prosper and to be successful. Take the limits off yourself. You story regardless of the trauma that you have endured has not ended. Your best is yet to come. Shine forth and be the authentic you that you have been called to be, that the world is waiting to see.

08/17/2017 Dr. R.A.

Spiritual

Real test of Love, Maturity & Greatness

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Love is a word that is used very loosely in the society in which we live. People consistently profess their love to one another, but at the first instance of proving that professed love, they vanish like a magician’s trick.  The biblical definition of love as expressed in the book of Corinthians is almost nonexistent like a unicorn or purple squirrel. That is because in our society people practice loving each other momentarily when all is going well. However, as soon as the sky turns bleak they run. The Bible, however, teaches us that loves endures ALL things, believes ALL things, suffers long, think no evil, is not easily provoked, etc. It is in practicing these things that we will develop maturity.  Getting to a place of maturity is necessary to achieve greatness. As strange as it may seem age does not constitute a person’s maturity. Maturity is hinged on a person’s ability to consistently display the characteristics of love as defined biblically. As such life has a way of creating perfect opportunities called ‘challenges’ to test our level of maturity to determine whether or not we are ready for greatness.

The true test of love, maturity, and greatness comes when we are able to make the hero out of someone who has done us wrong (lie, neglect, backbite, backstab, character assassination, etc.). Whenever we are faced with such challenges, we initially think it is impossible to do good to those individuals much more to make a hero out of them. Truth be told we often think of ways to get even with them, or secretly wish that what they have dished out to us will be served to them in a greater portion. Giving them a dose of their own medicine so to speak. However, that is not what is being required of us. We are being required to show that person love and even make a hero out of them. Jesus laid the perfect example for us in that He was rejected by the Samarians and instead of saying what horrible persons they were He told a parable (the good Samaritan) & made then the hero. In doing this Jesus depicted that he epitomized love, maturity, and greatness.  Jesus did not allow the fact that they were not able to realize the greatness that he possessed or that they did not show him love or acceptance to deter him from doing good. He remained in the character of who he was – the embodiment of good.

This teaches us to have our eyes aligned with the focus on God and who He has called us to be and not ourselves. We have to realize that not everyone has the capacity to celebrate and affirm our greatness. As such we have to learn to love and forgive others as God would. Not holding grudges, shaking off negativity. Let negativity not impact us and cause us to act out of character.  Instead, let it be like water poured on a duck’s back. Don’t allow it to let you loose sight of who you are and who God has called you to be. As you do good to those who have hurt you God will elevate you and cause every desire and dream to come to manifestation. Trust God and wait on Him and you will mount up with wings like eagles.

Prayer: Father sometimes the fantastic opportunities that You have given to us to display You can be challenging. However, in those moments of weakness, we ask for Your strength to superimpose ours. Let us be a reflection of Your love, maturity, and greatness. We desire to be more like You and therefore ask that You continue to mold us into being what You had in mind. We submit ourselves to You completely. Keep our eyes fixed on You so that we do not become distracted by the world’s definition of what greatness or love. Have Your way in us. Amen. 

6/27/17 Dr.R.A.

Spiritual

Trust God when it doesn’t make sense

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Life has a way of screaming emphatically to us that it does not make sense to trust God. As believers, we often think that as we make a request to God, that instantaneously our request should be granted.  The fact that our prayers are seemingly not answered in the blink of an eye can lead to frustration and further resulting is a skewed concept of who God is.  This is because we make a request for help in what we would consider a bad situation and instead of receiving the help needed from God, He allows the circumstances to get even worse. In fact, our most severe problems become outright impossible to be resolved. As such, our mind begins to formulate questions regarding God’s location, His character, His nature, and sometimes even His very existence. We start to wonder whether or not the promises of God is true. We deliberate as to whether or not God really cares.

We feel like we have been brought to a precipice and are being forced to plunge headway to our death. However, it was said that if God brings us to the edge of a cliff and tells us to step off, either of two things will happen. One, He will catch us when we fall or two, He will teach us to fly. Either way, we will be safe from harm.

I want to remind you that although your current situation may be deafening with the thought that it does not make sense to trust God that you are not alone and that it will all work out for your good. How do I know this? Well, from the lives of the patriarchs of old.  The Bible tells us a story at the beginning about a man named Noah. Noah was asked to build a boat to house animals and people as it was going to rain. Now in Noah’s days, it had never rained before. Building a ship to protect both animals and individuals from something that had never happened before just does not make sense. The ark took years to construct, and one can only imagine the ridicule that Noah endured as He built this ark expecting rain. As if that was not bad enough it did not begin to rain immediately after the ark has been constructed.  Noah could have felt like it just did make sense to trust God to build the ark after enduring all the ridicule and looking stupid throughout the process.  However, as soon as all the animals and Noah and his family were safely in the ark the floods came. God proved to Noah that His words are true and that it pays to trust Him even when it does not make sense.

As a child, I used to play a game where a person would stand behind, and I would fall back into their arms. There was no fear or uncertainty within me as to the ability of that person to catch my fall. However, as I grow older and bigger, I became more apprehensive to play that game as I became aware that it is a game of trust. To fall back unreservedly into the arms of someone behind without looking requires us having faith in that individual. Is it possible that God wants us to fall back into His arms without reservations? Could it be that our situations moved from bad to worse and from worse to impossible because God wants us to trust Him even when it does not make sense? I must admit that having that kind of confidence will expose us to ridicule, loneliness, pain, hurt, etc. But is it possible that God wants us to trust Him even when we are feeling lonely, hurt and unpopular? Won’t you trust God when it does not make sense in your impossible situation?

Prayer: God in our most desperate time of need when we feel like it does not make sense to trust You we are asking for Your wisdom and direction. We pray that all the doubts hidden in our hearts will be vanished and replaced with faith in You. We request that the knowledge of who You are, and that You have our best interest at heart and will work everything out for our good will be reaffirmed in us. Empower us to fall back in Your arms without hesitation or reservation. Amen.

Dr.R.A, 6/18/17

life, Spiritual

What are you gravitating towards?

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There are so many things in life that vie for our attention. The gravitational force around these things can be so powerful that if we are not careful, we lose sight of our purpose. The distraction can be so hypnotic that we become lackadaisical, weary, complacent and just wanting to fit into society’s mold. The pull to be normal beckons and we find ourselves effortlessly drawing closer and closer to its magnetic field. Little resistance is made as we wander away from opportunities because they are wrapped in problems/challenges. We encamp at the base of the mount as its steep and rigorous sides exclaim “it’s too difficult to try and climb.” Additionally, the need to take others along the journey dissuade us from continuing the path.  Excuses, excuses fills our backpacks. And whenever asked or pushed to continue the route we simply pull one out.

We allow fear to disarm our shield of faith. While authorizing doubt to keep the sword of the spirit in a shield. The whisper of the enemy persuades us to think that the promised inheritance is sour. Our need for comfort having feasted on the menu of the world causes us to remove the belt of truth that girds our loins. The desire to feel the wind in our hair coax us to remove the helmet of salvation. Shame convince us to cover the breastplate of righteousness with a cloak. The turmoil within and without robbed us of our gospel of peace shoes. Aimlessly and passively we stroll along life’s meandering path.  Not taking into account that we are being robbed of our present and future. Our eyes fixated on the accomplishments and victories of yesterday, yester-months and yesteryears. While our zeal, passion, and flames for that which is ours have been blown out by the winds of life. Procrastination becomes the way of life as our attention has been captivated by the glitter of an easy and simple life. We are completely unaware of the urgency to become that which we have been designed to be, so that we can achieve our heart’s longing desire. Instead, we are just being led by the pull of life’s magnetic field.

As you walk this journey called life what are you gravitating towards? Are you gravitating to the familiar when you have an opportunity to walk in the faith field? Are you leaning towards the base of the mountain when the advantageous circumstance exist for you to be on the top of the mountain? What has compelled you to slacken your pace to progress? What it is that has paralyzed your desire to accomplish? What is pulling you or has pulled you off the path that you have been destined to walk? Have your emotions kept you bound?

Yes, walking by faith is lonely, cold, dark and scary but the benefit that lies ahead cannot be compared to anything. Can you not hear the sound of endless victories beckoning to you? They are echoing your name. Their sound waves are penetrating the gravitational force field around you. You were not meant to abound in this lowly place. Muster up the courage and vigor needed to step out by faith and be the “called,” be the “chosen,” be the “king” that you were designed to be. Don’t let fear paralyze you from achieving what God has designed for you to inherit. There is nothing dim as it pertains to the plans that God has for you. Your future is shining bright with white light and waiting for you to step in. You have been designed to possess your promised inheritance. Break loose from the force field of worldly desires and gravitate to that which God has prepared for you.

Prayer: Father, today we ask that the magnetic field of the desires of the world be shattered from our lives.  May our skewed perspective of being normal be realigned, so that we will recognize how awesome it is to be the peculiar people that You have called us to be. Increase our desire for more of You and more of the things of Your kingdom. Open our eyes so we can clearly see the advantages in following hard after You. Let our emotions be grounded in You. Amen.

6/13/17 Dr.R.A.

Daily Post, Spiritual

Portion

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We live in a society that is very health conscious.  We are being advised frequently to watch our portion size and calorie intake to aid us with weight loss or gain.  A portion is a part of a whole which satisfies an individual’s crave.

In the book of Lamentations, we find the Prophet complaining about his condition. However, in the midst of his complaint he made a remarkable statement that he remembered the faithfulness of the Lord and how His mercies are new every morning. After which he expressed emphatically “then said I to my soul, the Lord is my portion, therefore I hope in Him.” The prophet believed that God was that which could satisfy the craving of his heart.

We too like the prophet sometimes finds ourselves in a position where our circumstances are so grievous that we cannot help but express our grosses. We feel extremely disappointed, hurt, angry, broken, and even hopeless. However, it is in those moments that we should be like the prophet and focus on the faithfulness of God.  Focus on the fact that you are in a new day that is filled with brand new mercies. The fact remains, that the condition that is causing you to gripe has not changed. As a matter of fact, it may seem like it will never change. But do not let your condition be your focus, but rather let the focal point of your life be on God, His faithfulness, and new mercies.

Regardless of your condition, speak to your soul. Encourage your soul to hope in God, because He is your portion. He is the one that is more than able to satiate the longing of your soul.  Additionally, you do not have to count your calorie intake with God. As such, you can consume as much of God as you possibly have need of.  And the more of Him that you consume is the more satisfaction you will feel. Let your soul know that it can take courage, as God will make a way somehow. It is a fact that you may not know how, when, or where He will do it. But God will make a way. If He did it before He will do it again. In your night season let your song be “the Lord is my portion”.

6/7/17 Dr. R.A.

via Daily Prompt: Portion