Falling Back in Love with the Holy Spirit

 

If we’re all honest with ourselves, we can say that in the past we’ve pushed away from God and His will for our lives. I remember the times when I wasn’t trying to hear anything God was saying in regards to what He wanted for my life. Those were days full of much frustration, anxiousness and bitterness. Sure, at the time I was thinking that I knew what was best, but in all actuality I didn’t. How could God ever know exactly what I was feeling and going through? He knew nothing about being abandoned, brokenhearted, lied on, stabbed in the back by those that were closest to me and being used for someone else’s satisfaction or selfish desires…BUT God did know how all of that felt and so much more. I think every now and then we forget just how much our heartbeat matches that of our Father’s.

So during this time of reconciliation with Jesus, I began asking myself “how did I get here?” I know we’ve all been there. That’s always how sin starts off. We begin flirting with the idea and before we know it we’re deep off into a cycle of desperation and recklessness. Sure we may think that we’re living the life now but in reality we’re COMMITTING SPIRITUAL SUICIDE. Many things can cause us to push away from God and chase our own selfish cravings. Trying to fit in with the world and not realizing we were created to be set apart is a definite way of merely existing and not living to your full potential. Just because we were made to be set apart doesn’t mean we have to have a boring life. So many people think that if someone is saved, that means their life has to be bland, dull and boring when that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Another thing that can cause us to push away from God is disconnecting from Him and not spending time communicating and being in fellowship with our Father on a daily basis. Some people think that it’s not necessary to have that quiet time every day or it’s only needed when they come against hard times. I was one of those people. I wasn’t being disciplined in making sure that I kept God number one in my life or I would only communicate with Him when I was praying over my meals for the day. Wow, how many of us have been there? By doing that, we allow ourselves to become vulnerable to the things of this world. Something that has always stuck with me throughout the years is that WHATEVER YOU FEED WILL GROW. A farmer doesn’t plant potatoes and then later on expect for his harvest to be grapes. No, he plants exactly what he desires his harvest to be. The same goes for us. So if all you’re doing is watching shows that glamorize adultery, murder, fornication, foul language…Then that’s exactly what you’re PLANTING and NOURISHING into your spirit. If all you’re doing is listening to music that idolizes money, violence, sex, disrespecting women and ourselves as a people…Again, that’s exactly what will harvest in your own life.

We have to be wise about our relationships and make sure that we’re not attaching ourselves with distractions and toxic relationships rather than divine connections. I’m not saying that every relationship or friendship will be peachy perfect but we all know when we’re linked to someone or something that we shouldn’t be. We also know when The Holy Spirit is pulling us away from what could be detrimental to our purpose. So the question is do you know if you’re currently attached to something or someone that you know isn’t of a great benefit to your life and purpose? If so, it’s time to face the music of reality and truly figure out if you want to continue to commit spiritual suicide or if you want more for your life. I believe that God has so much more for you than what your current circumstances are telling you. I may not know what you’re going through right now but I do know that everything that you could ever need or want is found in Jesus. It doesn’t matter if it’s depression, low self-esteem, heartbreak, abandonment, struggling with forgiving yourself or someone else, a marriage that may be going through a challenging season right now, anxious thoughts, financial strain, WHATEVER IT IS…The answer is Jesus.

You’ve waited long enough. It’s time to repent, uproot and address those toxic emotions from the past, cut off whoever or whatever it is that’s aiding in keeping you stagnant and truly chase after God.

Father, we just want to say thank You for just being who You are. Thank You for loving us in spite of the times when we didn’t love ourselves. Thank you for the forgiveness and freedom that we have in You. Right now I come praying for your child. You know their situation and you know what they are in need of today. Dad they want to get right with you. They want more of you. So give them Your courage and strength to walk away from anything that’s not a direct reflection of You. Mend their brokenness and make them whole in You. Remind your child how much You love them and all that You see in them. That they are not their past! Their value is not dependent upon what anyone else thinks but their worth is in You and who You say they are. Let them know that there’s nothing they could ever do to make You love them any less. Let them feel Your presence right now as you fill their heart with Your love, joy and peace. Help your child to walk in the boldness and authority that You’ve given them. Remind them that right now in this moment, whatever they were holding onto, You’ve wiped the slate clean. Today is a new beginning in You! A fresh start. In Jesus name, Amen!

De’Andrea xo

Braised Balsamic Chicken

braisedbalsamicchicken

I found this amazing and tasty recipe and had to share! This will go great with some rice, couscous or pasta. Let me know when you try it out. Happy eating!

PREP

10 mins

COOK

25 mins

READY IN

35 mins

Ingredients

Original recipe makes 6 servings
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon garlic salt
ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Directions

1. Season both sides of chicken breasts with garlic salt and pepper.

2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook seasoned chicken breasts until chicken is browned, 3-4 mins per side. Add onion; cook and stir until onion is browned, 3-4 mins.

3. Pour diced tomatoes and balsamic vinegar over chicken; season with basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme. Simmer until chicken is no longer pink and the juices are clear, about 15 mins. An instand-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

For more information, go to http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Braised-Balsamic-Chicken/Detail.aspx?evt19=1

Open Letter To Our Nation

imageEveryone who knows me, knows that I’m a very positive person and will try to see the best in every situation. HOWEVER as a woman of color, I can no longer sit back and not speak MY TRUTH. I’ve seen so many nasty, cruel, evil-spirited and ignorant comments on the news, facebook and other social media forms. Some of these comments are even from people I went to school with almost 15-20 years ago.

It truly breaks my heart to see the state that our world is in and has been in for some time now. It often makes me wonder where did we go wrong as a nation? To those that have tried to find every “excuse” that’s in the dictionary to justify that ANY UNARMED MAN (regardless of what he’s done in the present or past) DESERVES TO BE KILLED (shot like an animal or put in a chokehold until he takes his very last breath) I truly feel sorry for you.

I will never forget the FIRST time I experienced racism. I literally remember it like it was yesterday. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was. It was my first time voting and I made a mistake that sometimes first voters do and there was an older white man who was in his 70’s that told me “YOU’RE IN TROUBLE NIGGER. THAT’S GOING TO BE 30 LASHES FOR YOU.” His wife stood there laughing like she was proud of her husband for making that hateful comment. That was only ONE of many occurrences.

YOU WILL NEVER TRULY UNDERSTAND THE DEPTH OF IT ALL UNTIL YOU’VE PERSONALLY EXPERIENCED IT. YES, every white, brown, pink, blue and purple person is not racist but please don’t sit there behind your computer or cell phone and tell me that WE’RE ALL DELUSIONAL and making this stuff up.

When will we as a nation learn from our past and rise together as one? It’s time to let these HATEFUL FAMILY TRADITIONS AND WAYS OF THINKING GO. BROWN ON BROWN HATE, BLACK ON BLACK HATE, WHITE ON WHITE HATE AND THE LIKE. IT HAS TO STOP! #BlackLivesMatter #WhiteLivesMatter #BrownLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter

Unstuck

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LIFE…It can be quite challenging at times to cling on to hope when everything in the world is telling you to do the exact opposite. For some reason, it has become extremely convenient for us to give up and throw in the towel when the unexpected emerges in our lives. People are running in the opposite direction of their dreams of having a fulfilling life due to fear or the opinions of others. Then there are others who have given up on the idea of living an abundant life because somehow things didn’t transpire the way they thought it should have or the timing didn’t line up with their desires. So what do you do? How do you get out of the funk and frustration of being stagnant so you can live life with passion and purpose?

 

GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY AND REFOCUS-Sounds so simple doesn’t it? However, many of us struggle with the sugar-coated reality of our own stubbornness and casual mindsets of “oh it will get done when it gets done.” No, it will get done when you put some action to your goals. There’s a quote by Antoine de Saint which states that “a goal without a plan is just a wish.”

James 2:14-17 (MSG) says “Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?”  Take some time to clear out the clutter, whether that is physically, emotionally or spiritually; it must be done in order to successfully move forward.

 

CUT OFF ROTTEN ROOTS. PLANT MOTIVATION AND POSITIVITY

How many of us can admit that we’ve bullied ourselves with toxic self-talk and thinking? It’s one thing to say that you don’t entertain the company of certain people because of their negative mindsets and behavior but have you taken inventory over your own thoughts lately? What seeds are you planting in your life and the lives of others? What do you spend your time listening to, reading and watching?

It has been said that we produce up to 50,000 thoughts in a day. What surprises many is that with some of us, out of those 50,000 thoughts, 80% of those are negative. As a believer, it is important to know that all of those negative thoughts (satan’s lies) have no truth to them and in fact, they are an exact opposite of God’s truth and promises for your life. So how do you cut off negative thinking before it takes root in your life? The first step is to shut down any and all intruding toxic thoughts as soon as they come to mind and replace them with the promises of God. God’s word says

For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].” (Philippians 4:8 AMP) Here is another translation of that same verse. “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” (MSG)

How powerful is that scripture! Once you have redirected your thoughts to God’s promises, the next step will automatically come naturally.  Know who you are and Whose you are. When you know who you are in Christ, you leave no room for the enemy to disturb your thoughts. Sometimes we can get comfortable in our walk that we tend to forget the power in the truth of God being our Father and that same power from thousands of years ago is STILL just as powerful today.

 

KEEP LOOKING FORWARD-I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running and I’m not turning back. (Philippians 3:12-14)

We all know that distractions will come but it’s how you handle those distractions that make all the difference. Yes, things will be thrown in your path; that comes with the journey of life but always try to have a positive outlook from a not so great situation and continue looking forward to all that God has for you. Remember, the choice is yours. Your current circumstance does not have to define your outcome.

 

Abundant Blessings!

 

A Moment Of Reflection

This is coming from a place of love. Beloveds, do you know how much GOD loves you? How much He truly adores you? When was the last time you actually stopped to reflect, not on man’s love BUT on the Father’s love? How deep and endless His love is for you.

I see so many hearts that are broken. Broken in such a way that they cover up their hurt with many illusions. From painting a picture of what they think perfection is, half naked pictures, choosing to use ignorant words (including profanity) towards themselves and others..Even posting pictures of themselves with money, cars (material things) that serve of no purpose but to boost their ego momentarily which in turn hinders their growth in the long run.

Never live your life trying to be something and someone that you’re not. No matter who you are or where you are, your purpose is life changing and someone’s deliverance, breakthrough and yes for some, walking into their purpose is connected with you boldly living out YOUR purpose. I encourage you to stop and reflect on the validation that you have through Jesus Christ and His unwavering love for you!

Peace & Abundant Blessings xo

From My Heart To Yours

Great Morning Family,

There’s much on my heart so let’s jump in! There are many people out here that will try to sell you a dream. Something that is one-sided where only they will get the gain. Don’t allow the wool to be pulled over your eyes. THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL! THE TIME IS NOW to not just chase your dreams but to START LIVING THEM.

Ask yourself, what am I passionate about? Lord, what purpose of YOURS do you want to be fulfilled through ME? Some people haven’t asked these two questions..Others have and even received the answer but have YET to put one foot in front of the other. NEVER BE AFRAID TO BE GREAT! So this is me giving you a nudge, a push because I love you and I want God’s best for you. STOP wandering through life aimlessly and START living life on purpose! RUN towards God’s will, RUN towards your dreams and the vision that HE has given you!

Abundant Blessings xo