Tag Archives: journal
Question of the day: Is your life a reflection of who God is?
As believers, it has become a custom for us to say that we are Christians. It’s become a tagline for many but when our fruits are not a reflection of who God is, we automatically think that someone is judging us because our lifestyle is not like the church goers or the average Christian. We are reminded in John 17:19 that “You do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” We live in the world but we are not apart of it. We are set apart. Yes, being a Christian isn’t always easy but it’s not meant to be but when you seek God, he walks hand in hand with you throughout the journey. “When people see God at work in your life, they’ll be drawn to you. The secret to growing spiritually lies in being rooted and grounded in God.” The more you spend time in the secret place, the more your character becomes more like Christ.
Ten Categories of People. Which one of them do you identify with?
Sandra wants to have a better relationship with God. She has started going back to church again after two years. She’s taking the time to read the Bible. Though she doesn’t understand certain things, she takes notes and ask questions when she meets her friend/church members. She’s been attending Bible study. She’s even seeing some change in her life.
Joseph spends time with God. He makes it a priority. He desires to grow spiritually in his walk. He is bearing fruit for the Kingdom. He wants to share the Gospel but he’s afraid.
Anna just gave her life to God a year ago. She’s been finding this walk difficult at times because her friends are separating away from her. She finds herself going back to old habits. She feels alone in this walk and finds herself questioning whether giving her life to Christ was worth it.
Malachi once believed in God but because of the loss of his mother, it made him question if God is real. He is hurt and broken that how can a God who saves take his mother away from him. It’s been five years since his mother passed. He has a friend who has stuck by his side since Day One. He encourages and prays with him. Malachi wants to start afresh. He wants to have a personal relationship with God again.
Jason doesn’t believe in God. When asked why he doesn’t believe, he says that he didn’t feel the presence of God at a younger age. He believes in himself and that’s all that matters. He has to work hard in order to be successful. As long as he does his part, that’s all that matters. He doesn’t need any God in order to live.
Ava is in her second year of college. Due to her schedule in school, she finds it difficult to spend time with God. She’s taking 15 credits this semester along with being active on campus. She doesn’t know what to do now. She doesn’t know where to start because she feels so far way from God.
Bella is a freshman in college. Before she came to college, she would go to church with her family once in a while but now that she is college, she feels like she’s losing herself. She’s been drinking and hanging around the wrong crowd. She feels depressed and lonely when she comes to her room. She finds herself crying from time to time. There’s a void within her. She’s tired of hanging out with the wrong crowd but those are the only friends she has made since she came to college.
Jackson is a father of two. He’s always heard about who God is but never had a personal relationship with him. He’s only 23. He’s a college dropout. He’s made decisions that’s led him to where he is now. He’s struggling financially which is affecting him mentally, emotionally, and physically. He wants to go back to school. His girlfriend is the breadwinner. He wants to provide but he’s been finding it difficult to find a job.
Olivia is 24 years old. She grew up in the church but when it comes to her having a personal relationship with God, she admits that she doesn’t. Her faith was always dependent on her mother/grandmother’s faith. She reads the Bible from time to time when she’s going through tough times. In general, she finds it difficult to open the Bible because she feels like it’s complicated.
Tyler has a heart for the Lord. His life is a reflection of who God is. He admits that this walk is never easy but God has been faithful. He attends Bible study. Spending time with God before leaving his house is very important. Taking the time to pray is crucial. Without God, he is nothing. He has a good supportive system. He came to know about God through a good friend of his while in high school. He admits that giving his life to Christ is the best decision he has made. Yes, there are times when he falls but he still clings on to God. Some of the things that has helped him along the journey includes surrounding himself with Christlike minded people, spending time with God, meditating on a verse for the week, listening to praise & worship, attending Bible Study, fasting/prayer and asking God for the grace to live a life that glorifies him.
No matter where you are in your walk with God, know that God is for you. He is waiting for his children to draw closer unto him. Whether you have never heard of his name, have gone astray or desire to grow deeper in your walk with God, know that God is available for you. Make room in your heart for God. In Luke 15, we are told about a parable of the lost sheep.
“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus.2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. -Acts 4:12
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. -Romans 10:9
Prayer: Father I come before you. I thank you for blessing me with yet another day to be alive. I am not worthy of your love but you love me still. Please forgive me of my sins. Purify my thoughts and every part of my being. I admit that I haven’t walked in your truth. Draw me closer to you. I desire to walk in your way from this day forward. Help me O’ God. In Jesus Name.
Until next time, stay blessed & encouraged 🙂
Welcome to the month of February. I’m so grateful to be among the living by the Grace of God. I must admit that the month of January was tough for me but by his Grace alone, I’m here. I don’t know your expectations for this month but I pray that you will seek first the Kingdom of God. I pray that in this month of February, you will draw nearer to God. You will make God your priority. You will not lose sight of who He is no matter what trials come your way. This month, dream big. Take time to write down your goals if you haven’t done so yet. Stay focused. Distractions will come but don’t let them get in the way of what you are pursuing. Life is what you make it. I hope that this month will be a productive, fun filled, graceful month for you all. Until next time, stay blessed & encouraged. Jesus loves you 🙂
- Study A Book In The Bible
- Participate in the 21 day challenge in the Holy Bible App
- Pray for someone other than yourself
- Random Act of Kindness
- Take time to say Good morning to someone outside your home.
- Make it a priority to pray everyday
- Meditate on a Bible verse for the week
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
What have you placed your confidence in? Is it your family, friends, money or even yourself? What has caused you to place your confidence in these things/people? How’s that been going? In times of distress, it is so easy for us to put our confidence on things that are visible rather than fixing our gaze on God who is invisible but yet ever present. Most of the time, we put our confidence in our self because we feel that God is taking so long to answer our prayers. So instead of waiting, we do everything in our own power to get what we want only for us to search to and fro to return back to square one. We place our trust in our own resources rather than seeking/waiting on the Lord. It is one thing to seek but it’s another thing to wait. It’s like knocking someone’s door to ask them a question. You knocked but because they didn’t answer, you decided to open the door only to find out that they were doing something important. We want things very quickly in this fast paced generation. If we don’t get what we want in the time/manner we imagined, we will try to do everything to get it. Well, our way of doing things is not how God works. We are reminded in Isaiah 55:8-9 that God’s ways aren’t close to us.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
No matter the plans we have set for ourselves, if it is not God’s will for our lives it will not work. We are reminded in Proverbs 19:21 that “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” That’s why it’s important for us to commit all our ways unto the Lord. There is something about a person who seeks the Lord and includes God in their everyday activity/life. Even when things don’t go as intended, there’s this peace that God gives you. I don’t know what you have your placed your confidence in, but I pray that you will surrender everything to God. Whatever you are waiting for in this season, trust and believe that God is working it out for your good. It may not look like God is working in your life, but know that just as a farmer plants a seed without watching it at night doesn’t mean it isn’t flourishing. God is present even when we feel like he’s absent. Sometimes, it is at our darkest hours that we need to reach our hands out to God for him to direct us into the light. We must learn to seek God at all times not only when things aren’t going well. When we only come to God when things aren’t going well, we find it difficult to cultivate a genuine relationship with him because our relationship is solely built on what God can do for us not who he is. So with this in mind, take time to reflect on your relationship with God. As you do so, invite the Holy Spirit to reveal the parts/areas of your life that you haven’t surrendered to God? Take notes and pray over it.
Verse To Ponder On:
The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. -Psalm 34:10
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. -Psalm 34:5
Song of the day:
Until next time, stay blessed & encouraged. Jesus loves you 🙂
“It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
Php 2:13 NIV
THIS YEAR RECOGNIZE YOUR CALLING
By recognizing and fulfilling your God-given assignment in life, you free yourself from a sense of failure and are able to stop worrying about what others think. Why? Because your self-worth no longer depends on people, but on God! However, you must do these three things: (1) Be honest about your gifts, and recognize your limitations. Don’t go through life as a stranger to yourself. Honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses; ask the hard questions and be willing to live with the answers, even if it means letting some things go. Michael Novak writes, “God knows what’s in us for He put it there. And He intends us to do something with it.” Each of us has been given a calling in life, and happiness belongs to those who find and fulfill that calling. (2) Allow God to work on you. Sometimes an amateur potter limits the potential of clay by seeing it only as a flowerpot. But a master potter sees much more—he or she knows what it can become. Watch them; they don’t merely impose a shape on it, they release the shape that’s already within. And that’s what God does with us. (3) Recognize your source. Fulfilling your life’s assignment begins with identifying the desires God has placed within you. “It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Who’s at work within you? God! Where do your desires come from? God! Where do your abilities come from? God! So make knowing God and walking in step with Him be your highest priority this year.
What is the Big Event? The Big Event is a retreat that takes place in the last weekend in October. It’s a little weekend retreat where college students from different campuses all over NYC, Long Island and New Jersey come to experience Jesus through worship, various activities, and free time. Before coming to Big Event, we are given the opportunity to select the track that we are interested in for our time in the retreat. It took place from October 28-30. Some of the tracks included this retreat were Evangelism, Leadership, Living For Jesus, Mentoring, Scripture and Redeeming Sexuality. If your thinking about going, just sign up.
So it was my first time ever attending Big Event. I attended Basileia back in May and it was beyond a blessing. I didn’t even think twice about attending Big Event. This time around while registering, I looked over the description for each track and I felt a tug in my heart to partake in the Mentoring track. Upon registering, I prayed and asked God to have his way as I went to this retreat.
I went to the retreat with two of my sisters in Christ. We rode there together but we were all in different tracks. The people from my campus were already there. When we arrived, it was really dark outside and chilly. We had to go and check ourselves in before we were given the numbers to our rooms. After check in, we had a night of worship. I was mind blown by the amount of college student in the auditorium. Students from NYU, Farleigh Dickinson University, Columbia University, Juilliard School, Baruch College, Rutgers University, Montclair State University, Cooper Union and etc. The list can go on.
The track that I selected was Mentorship as I mentioned previously. This track focused on transformational relationships using the examples of Paul and Timothy in 2 Timothy as a model. We explored the ways to help our friends mature in their faith by mentoring them through Scripture, Prayer, Conversation and Bible Study. On the first day in our tracks, we were given a Blue folder. Then, we were instructed to go around the room to find someone whose birthday is close to us. That person was going to be our partner in every activity we had to partake in during our time at the retreat. After, we watched a clip from the Lion King to demonstrate the relationship between Scar and Simba. We also had to go into our folders to get a paper and list anyone in our lives that we could mentor or we knew that haven’t given their lives to Christ. This activity was interesting but at the same time thought provoking. After our time of writing and sharing with our partners, the staff shared their experiences and we listened to praise and worship and after we were dismissed for the night.
This is a picture of a few girls walking to the Prayer Room. Prayer started at 8:00am. It amazed me because everyone woke up and was ready to be in the presence of God whether they were sleepy or tired, we arrived ready to hear the word. After prayer, we went to eat breakfast. Upon eating breakfast, we went to our designated tracks. For my track, we were given 30 minutes of quiet time before meeting up together as a group. In our folders, we assigned scriptures to read and questions for us to answer. So during my quiet time, I went to the lake. There is something about nature that makes my Spirit at peace. Honestly, when I arrived at the lake I was excited to take pictures. I spent a few minutes taking pictures of people by the lake. Here are a few pictures I took. 😊
After taking pictures, I took time to read the Scriptures and the questions assigned. I enjoyed reading the scripture. We were assigned to read the book of 2 Timothy. It was an interesting read. After I walked to my track with a person from my mentorship track. During track time, the staff shared their experiences and showed us different techniques in approaching situations. We also went outside and played a game with our track members and staff leaders. We were given one ball. It had questions all around it. We were supposed to throw to someone from our track and wherever their hands landed, they had to read the question out loud and answer it. Here are a few pictures:
After lunch, we were had free time for two hours. There were activities for us to partake in such a rock climbing, zip lining and many more. I didn’t partake in anything. I was too busy being a social butterfly and taking pictures of the scenery/God’s people. I had a photoshoot with people. I wanted to create memories of the time spent at this retreat. Below are some pictures I took during my free time.
During this time, I also got the opportunity to worship with a few students from other colleges. We sang to Sinking Deep by Hillsong and a few other songs. It was beyond a blessing. I feel like crying just thinking about it. Tears of joy. God is so good.
After our free time, we headed to our tracks for the last time for the night. We spent at least 2 hours in our track. We learned more about mentoring even more than the day before. We played a game where we were given 1 minute to vent to our partners about anything. It was so random. This activity was played to illustrate how it feels like when we are frustrated. We had to give our partners advice in regards to their situation. After there were a list of questions on the projector that we had to ask our partners. It was s great activity. I can definitely say that I took something away from this track. After our track, it was time for worship. I can say that this was everyone’s favorite part. We all got excited and just so ready for the sermon and worship time.
Some of the songs played during our time of worship includes:
1. Holy Spirit You Are Welcome Here.
2. Every Praise: Hezekiah Walker
3. Great Are You Lord
After worship, we headed out to our rooms. We took our showers and prepared for the next morning.
Final Day of The Big Event: 10/30/2016
It was so bittersweet walking to my track this morning. Before heading to our tracks, we had to change our bed sheets and take it to the designated place. I headed out to my track only for me to arrive and see no one. I was confused because the schedule said that we were supposed to meet at 8:00. When I got there no one was there. I was sitting to the point where I rose up several times to see if anyone was outside heading to my track but unfortunately no one was heading my direction. So during my time in my track alone, I prayed. When it was 8:45am, one of the staff members arrived. I was asked to place some papers on each chair for my track members. I enjoyed placing the papers on each chair. A few minutes later, my track members arrived. During our last track time, we prayed for one another and the staff members prayed for us. The papers I passed out had a survey and a questionnaire for us to answer. Upon our arrival, we were given granola bars. It was such a precious moment in our track time. One the staff members played a song which still resonates with me. It’s a song by Amanda Cook called Shepherd. If you get the chance, listen to it. I really enjoyed every moment in this retreat especially during my track time. My partner gave me a note and creates note card with Psalm 139 written on it. After our last time at track time, we headed to brunch with all the students that came to this retreat. Here are some pictures.
After brunch, we all went to the prayer room where we gathered for worship and the sermon for Big Event. It was a blessing being able to see people give their lives to Christ. Overall, going to Big Event was a great experience. If your thinking about going, pray about it. Don’t worry about the money. Ask your campus leader. There’s always provision. Won’t God do it? Yes he will.
Pictures I took before we left the retreat. (Final Day of Big Event)
“Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” -James 5:16
Isaiah 43:19: See, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wildnerness and streams in the wasteland.
Many times, it may feel like God has forgotten about us. We tend to look and compare our lives to everyone around us that we don’t even count our blessings. I’m here to tell you that God hasn’t forgotten about you. As this year wraps up, take time to reflect on all the things that God has done for you this year (2016). If it means writing it down, feel free to do so. Pray over the list. Write down a list of all that your still trusting God for. Pray over it. Looking back in this year, I can say that it wasn’t easy but God brought me through. I can say that this is the year I drew closer to God. It has been a blessing. I’m forever grateful for all the experiences, trials and the people I’ve met in this year. Thank you Lord. So with this said, stay rooted in the Lord, read the Bible, pray for others and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. I’ll be praying for you all. Thank you for everyone that stops by my blog. God bless you all.
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. -Psalm 126:3
Welcome to a New Month. I hope it’s going well by far. Below is my devotional I read today. No matter what your facing today, know that God is working it out for you. Call on his name. He hears your prayers and he sees your tears which are also prayers. Be encouraged.
“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,
but a good word makes it glad.”
Pr 12:25 NKJV
DON’T BE A CRITIC, BE A CHEERLEADER
Why do we find it easier to be a critic than a cheerleader? (1) Our self-importance. Once we’ve achieved a certain level of success, we think that “we know best.” But sometimes what we are ready to teach, people are not ready to learn. And at that point we have a choice—back off and let God deal with them, or try to ram it down their throats. In such times we’d do well to remember the old adage: “A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.” Perhaps there was a time when you were not very teachable, so pray for them and allow God to work according to His time scale. (2) Our gifting. We don’t stop to consider that our talents and experiences are unique to us—given by the grace of God (See Ro 12:6). So we expect everyone else to come up to our level, and we put them down when they don’t. “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Ps 127:1). Back off and let God work on them! (3) Our earliest experiences. We are molded by the attitudes of our caregivers. They nurture in us the coping mechanisms, positive and negative, that we work with. Indeed, some of our parents actually believed that praise would hurt us and criticism would help us. So we must change our way of thinking and begin to line up what we say with what’s in the Word of God. “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.”Stay Blessed. Praise Him. Have a great day 🙂