unSTUCK

I can’t express enough how thankful I was for the year 2018. I was at a stand-still. I felt so stuck. God brought me back to a place I convinced myself that I escaped forever. At 28 years old, I was pushed to confront the little girl within me that was still raging for justice for the hurt I experienced growing up. I experienced a childhood I needed to heal from. I sobbed my heart out and embraced that little girl. I had to be where I was for her to be healed. She was stuck. I was still waiting for God to defend me and proved my anger over the years was justified. It was that I was lost, rebellious and reckless. Some things were done and said to me when no one was watching. People barely paid attention when my hurt was expressed in anger. When I messed up and could not seem to merely get it right. I hugged her and told her she was free; she was loved, she was enough. She has always been enough. God had vindicated me. It wasn’t how and when I thought he would, but I am blessed AND HIGHLY FAVORED. I regained freedom in forgiveness. It was a moment of brokenness for me. I was thankful for another altar build where I could rely on God with that fearful part of me. 

It was a season of growth, pruning and character building for me.

At the time I could only describe it as “feeling stuck.”

I wasn’t sure how to move forward or seek God about how I was feeling.  There were times when I felt insignificant, at times frustrated, and depressed even. I thought I had to learn how to cope, but God was showing me the root of my issues. It was always more painless to cope than to heal. Healing meant I needed to surrender that hurt little girl, I had to feel that main, and see how ugly that scar was. I realized God fought for me already AND WON! There was no need for me to continue to defend myself. I no longer desired to fight that same old battle. I could not answer destiny’s call hauling her along hidden in the shadows. I know the direction God is pulling me in, but I felt STUCK! I felt like I was in a position where I was incapable to move. I couldn’t go forward. I certainly had no desires to go backward. I wanted to get away from where I was, but I was unable to.

I had to deal with the unpleasant things I was unable to change or get away from. 

I was progressing and changing but I still felt stuck, not at the same level or stage I started the year with but by the things I could no longer run from. It was challenging to achieve the things I wanted to do, formerly did, or even had planned to do. I was frustrated. I didn’t know how or when I would ever move on from where I was. I wanted to implore God, why here of all places? I felt desolate. I realized God was at work, doing something more extraordinary and bigger than myself. God wanted to spend more time with me. He was dealing with me. The instruments he used didn’t matter if they brought out a change in me. It was time for me to grow.  Whatever made me uncomfortable was what I needed to get closer and deeper in Him. What will you sacrifice to see yourself the way God perceives you? 

God trained me to be empowered and equipped for the task at hand. He prompted me to draw strength and encouragement from Him through His Word, and during my prayer time. 

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and beforethou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11 

I faced many unpredicted battles, roadblocks, setbacks, mountains, and giants along the way and I thought, how am I ever going to win? It’s supposed to be my undefeated season. God’s Word helped me realize it still was and will always be through Jesus. NO MATTER WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE!

God was my peace and my motivation. God encouraged me to see beyond my distractions and fears. 

In the end, I was able to say…

“…If God be for [me], who can be against [me]?” Romans 8:31

I am becoming who God destined for me to be. Speaking of “Becoming” I’m looking forward to reading Michelle Obama’s book.

Isaiah 43:2 speak to my entire life story,

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”

Resistance represents a part of the journey. I thought I was just stuck and focused on everything I was not doing. I won battles that could only be fought alone in the presence of God. I rested in Him. When I felt insignificant, I rested. When I was vexed, I rested. When I couldn’t discern what to do, I rested. When I felt unaccomplished, I rested. When happiness felt far-fetched, I rested. When I was frustrated, I rested. By rest, I don’t mean sleep all day or do nothing. I mean I put in work when and where I could. I trusted God’s Word and His plan for me. I managed whatever time I had to prepare and planned for what’s henceforth. When I won, I rested. I rested because I recognized there will be other battles, but I rejoiced in him for every battle and minor victory I already won. This year I’m resting in knowing it is my season to soar like the eagle God says I am! 

My vision is direct. My goals are set. Faith without works is dead! 

An eagle will NEVER surrender to the size or strength of its prey. It will consistently put up a fight to win its prey or regain its territory. I told myself this and now I’m telling you, disregard what is behind you and be brave like an eagle. Fight to preserve what you love. Don’t devote another thought to the size of your enemy. King David didn’t. He completely trusted in God. He knew there was a cause. There will constantly be a cause. Put differently, identify your “why” and remember it. Fight for your vision. Be clear and focus on getting results. Grasp the bigger picture. Don’t complain about the storm, rise higher and SOAR ABOVE it. That’s what an eagle would do. An eagle flies into the storm and uses the wind of it to rise higher. Confront your challenges and when you feel tired implement the wind of them to rest and rise higher. Change. Grow. Learn something new. Defy the critics! You don’t possess time in your 24 hours. Make plans to soar higher!

We were created in the image and likeness of God. We ought to comprehend some things from that. Myles Munroe said it best, “God identifies himself with the eagle.” “If an eagle meets another bird at top flight, it has to be another eagle. They are the only birds that can fly at their altitude. If you keep running into pigeons, and ducks, and ‘tubaka’ doves you are flying excessively low. Eagles NEVER flock! You will exclusively discover them one at a time. What you think is more important than what you do.” Don’t let culture or traditions trap the God-given abilities you were born with. He also said, “convention makes no room for creativity. It doesn’t allow you to believe beyond the norm. The secret to anyone rising is what happens in their belief system.” Don’t limit yourself to failures, or other people’s perspective, believe who God says you are. The rest will be history!

SHIFT YOUR MINDSET AND SOAR!

Chosen Vessels

“God, I thank you that I am a chosen vessel!” -Cyvonne Davy

I thank God that I’m a chosen vessel. I was adopted and accepted by God. If you don’t know who He is, His name is JESUS. He picked me. He chose me. I was selected among several others by God. I’m a vessel for God’s Spirit and to carry out his purpose. I am validated in Him. I am who God says I am. For these reasons I am purpose driven. When you realize you were hand-picked by Christ you will not understand. This interview with founder and CEO of Chosen Vessels Apparel touched me, blessed me, and encouraged me! Faint Adams is beautiful, driven, funny, and a boss lady. She is one of the many hardworking women that I am glad to know and introduced to you through this interview. I learned a lot. Enough from me, let us get to why you’re here.

What is Chosen Vessels?

Chosen Vessels Apparel is a Christian Lifestyle brand that has a host of apparel such as t-shirts, hats, totes, etc. Chosen Vessels is a brand that can be worn by people of all ages. It is a brand that believes you can love God and be stylish through your apparel.

What do you believe and how has it influenced Chosen Vessels?

I believe that God gives everyone gifts and talents. It’s up to us, however, to cultivate them. Chosen Vessels is a “Christian” lifestyle brand and everything we put out is meant to make that statement. Whenever you see a CVA shirt, you will know that we strive to spread the love of God in everything we print. 

What was the first shirt you ever made? How do you feel about it now?

The first shirt I ever made was a shirt for Christmas when I was about 8 years old. It was something my mother and I would do for the holidays with her grand-kids and myself. I remember it like yesterday; making a shirt for my birthday using puffy paint and making a shirt for Father’s Day for my dad. Since my birthday typically falls in close proximity to Father’s Day, I would find joy in being able to create shirts for him as a gift. Going to Michael’s, Joann’s Fabric and Hobby Lobby always excited me and I can remember the feeling of purchasing hot glue guns, fabric and other crafting supplies. I never imagined that was God cultivating the gifts in me that would one day become my source of income. As far as the first Christian shirt, that was Acts 2:38. What inspired me was wanting to create a witnessing tool on my job.

How do you decide what to sell online or in retail?

Demographics play a huge role into deciding what to sell. Shirts that may be trendy and on high demand in one area, might not be so in another. For instance, in Michigan it begins to cool down around April. That is not the case in Florida. When customers are asking for hoodies there, it make sense to provide them for customers in cooler climates versus in retail in Florida where it is hot during that same time of the year. Additionally, some of our apparel does better in person via vendor opportunities than they do online. For this reason, we’ll take more of those items that we know need to be seen in person in order for the vision to be seen by consumers.

How do you decide what items to incorporate into a line?

Right now, we have about 25 shirt graphics/designs waiting to be released. The majority of our shirt designs come during a church sermon, while reading the bible, or from a thought that I am having. I have come to realize that just because you get an idea, does not necessarily mean that it needs to be released right then. You must truly be willing to figure out what it means for God’s people and when to release it. Ultimately Chosen Vessels is a ministry and we prepare our designs the same as any other minister would decide what sermon to deliver.

What is your strongest truth?

My strongest truth is that if it goes against what you believe and if it goes against God’s word, DON’T DO IT! The temporary reward or gratification may seem to be astounding and too hard to pass up, but if God has something for you, you’ll NEVER have to compromise your beliefs nor His word to receive it.

What are the best shoes to wear with a Chosen Vessels shirt?

That really depends on your style. Believe it or not, I am a sneaker-head, so I’ll match mine with a good pair of J’s. The beautiful thing about our shirts is the versatility. You can literally take the same shirt and pair it with sneakers one day, flip flops the next and then heels, a tulle skirt and a blazer the next. We love to see how our customers wear our shirts based off their own style and personality.

How much power does your customers have?

Hopefully they have that HOLY GHOST POWER!!!! LOL just kidding. I listen to their suggestions and watch the latest trends. There have been times when they’ve given us great suggestions that we incorporated into our designs. What I have found to be true though is that less is more, and you can’t please everyone. So, although we would love to take everything into consideration, we aren’t able to. We do love feedback! It helps us to see if we’ve grown, what we can improve and what their thoughts are concerning the brand.

What differentiates Chosen Vessels from competition?

Firstly, I want to bust a myth. People say if you’re so focused on yourself and your brand, you won’t have time to focus on the competition. I completely disagree. Paying attention to your competition can show you what NOT to do. The apparel business is a huge market and the “Christian” apparel business is huge. Most people and brands use “Christian” lightly and loosely. However, we strive to show in our brand that our God has a name, Jesus, and we’ll use that anytime we can. Like I said before, our shirts make statements and end up being great witnessing tools. For us, it’s not just about money, it’s genuinely about soul winning and witnessing. We love hearing how people have worn our shirts and had an opportunity opened up to talk about the scripture or the saying. Many times, friends have gotten baptized after discussing the shirt or strangers will approach people while working out and ask questions, which is what we want happening. This company literally started because the company we were working with told us we had to quit converting people; but that’s our goal. Witnessing can be hard for some people, so when we hear them say they have used our shirts as a conversation starter and gained the boldness they’ve been desiring, it makes everything worth it. We do what we do for the Kingdom of God, not for ourselves. You don’t have to compromise or collaborate with conflicting values/beliefs to be successful.

How committed are you?

I’m committed so much and love the brand so much that I sacrificed and left my job three months ago to run the business full time. We’re currently wrapping up a three-week summer tour. Our goal was to put the brand in front of as many people as possible.

Who can wear Chosen Vessels?

Anyone who loves God and loves being stylish can wear Chosen Vessels.

Tell us something about your background?

I will tell you something quirky about me: I am a very funny, easy going person BUT I hate being up front in the limelight. I am a behind the scenes person. However, this tour has stretched me outside of my comfort zone. I talked to people for as long as they wanted, but I got nervous the more people found out that I am the owner of the company.

How comfortable are you working with models to build your brand?

I am extremely comfortable working with models. Currently, Chosen Vessels utilizes a group of individuals who have been with the company for several years as models and brand ambassadors. We have used models in various social media posts, stories as well as brand/company videos and photographs.

14) What is the most difficult aspect of being an entrepreneur?

The most difficult aspect is being realistic and being a Saint. We’re not just entrepreneurs or “Christian” entrepreneurs. As a Saint, you might be asked to do things that are against what you believe. Learning how to say no was difficult but extremely necessary. Another difficulty is the fact that social media makes it look super easy, but they don’t see all the late nights and early mornings. Nor do they see the sacrifices. There are so many elements that go into it such as maintaining your spirituality, prayer life, putting each area of your life in its proper place. You MUST be a great manager of your time so that you have time for yourself, your family, and sticking to and maintaining your values despite what other companies may be doing. Many people think being an entrepreneur is simply owning a business. Starting a business is easy, sustaining and maintaining it is an entirely different thing. I’ve learned that you must give people the grace NOT to believe in you. Not everyone is a visionary and that is okay. They might not be equipped to handle your vision. Many entrepreneurs say you must be able keep going even when the excitement is no longer there. There are times where you might not get paid, but God always provides. Often He’ll send someone at the right time to offer an encouraging word that will help you see your “why” and keep going. Being an entrepreneur has increased my faith because it has taught me the true meaning of daily bread.

What should we look forward to from Chosen Vessels?

We just completed our first mini tour which is the kickoff to our brand expansion efforts. We’re also gearing up to launch our fall line in the next month or so.

I truly hope this encourages someone to keep going and continue pressing for their vision. I had my website up for an ENTIRE YEAR before I made my first online sale. NOW there are days where we’ll do 70-75 orders in one day. That aren’t itemized orders, they’re grouped orders. If we itemize them, it would come out to be much more. Entrepreneurship is NOT easy by any means, but it is SO worth it. No one will believe in your vision more than you.

Be sure to follow Faint Adams on Instagram (@ceofaint & @chosenvesselsinc) and Facebook. Subscribe via email for the latest changes, new releases, exclusive offers, sales and more. You don’t want to miss any of it. Chosen Vessels is looking forward to being in Tennessee this October and in California in November. Stay connected so you don’t miss the next tour to your city and state or one nearby.

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ChosenVesselsApparel.com

#HandPickedByChrist

The Little Foxes

“Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Songs of Solomon 2:15

The context of the verse is Solomon and his bride delighting in one another, which started in chapter 1 of the book and carried on to chapter 2. Verse 15 of chapter 2 caught my attention. I was wondering what the little foxes could be and how they would ruin their vines. Foxes are animals usually symbolic of deceit. They’re known for being subtle and crafty. Does this remind you of anyone? There are diverse ways this verse could be applied. I thought of it in terms of relationships. My relationship with my husband, my relationship with God, and The Church’s relationship with Christ.

“take us the foxes”

Whatever the foxes are, this right here is telling me that I can’t catch them on my own. It’s implying teamwork, “US”. Like Solomon and his bride, my husband and I need to strategize as a team against the foxes.

“the little foxes”

This tells me “the foxes” isn’t one huge fox or many huge foxes but several small ones. The trivial things. The petty things that are subtle. The things that get brushed off or go unnoticed but has lasting and damaging effects.

“that spoil the vine”

These little foxes apparently can cause some considerable damage. When something is spoiled it just needs to be thrown away. It can no longer serve its purpose. It’s no longer fit for use. We really need to beware of these little foxes; intentionally paying attention.

“for our vines have tender grapes”

“Tender grapes” here to me implies something that is already fruitful. It’s delicate, growing, and maturing. Unless the little foxes are caught those fruitful vines and tender grapes will be spoiled.

Solomon and his bride compared their relationship to a vineyard that is fruitful. His bride concluded that if they don’t come together to protect it, it will be ruined by the little foxes. Likewise, my marriage and my relationship with my husband will be ruined if we don’t work together against the little foxes that can destroy a marriage or intimacy. The same is true for my relationship with God. God is faithful in doing his part. I need to stay alert and beware of the little foxes that can destroy my relationship with Christ. I don’t have to do it alone either. I have his Holy Spirit to help me maintain our relationship. Both relationships need to be guarded against the forces that will stunt their growth and fruitfulness.

The following 7 little foxes can spoil any good relationship:

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In my relationship with Christ these little foxes can be sinful appetites, lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, the pride of life, comprise with worldly standards, disobedience, and indulgence in the desires of the flesh. I’m thankful for the power of the Holy Ghost to help me overcome these things in our relationship. He helps me to live a godly lifestyle that will keep our relationship growing and thriving.

This scripture can also be seen in relations to “The Church” (Bride of Christ) and its relationship with Jesus (The Groomsman). There are many little foxes that will attempt to spoil this relationship. The primary little fox in relations to this specific scripture is false lying prophets. The prophet Ezekiel talk about them in Ezekiel 13:4-16. The Apostle Peter also talk about them in 2 Peter 2:1-3. These are people who come in the name of the Lord and claim God said things he had not said. They cause people to believe the lies they are speaking and hope in them. God is against them. They seduce people away from the truth of God. The false teachers that are teaching heresies and their own truths that cannot be found in scripture. They will not go unpunished. God cast the angels that sinned down to hell for judgment. He will do the same with all false teachers and lying prophets that are deceiving his bride. They’re mentioned again by John in Revelation 2:2. These are people claiming to be an apostle but are liars who will be exposed by God in the end. Foxes are known to be destructive to vineyards. If the church is not cautious these little foxes can spoil many in the church through false doctrine and teachings.

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TEAMWORK, unity, is one sure way to catch the little foxes and destroy them. Whether it’s alongside your spouse or with the Holy Ghost, we need more than just ourselves to prevent our fruitful vines and tender grapes from being spoiled. We might be able to identify the little foxes individually, but it takes working with one another to conquer them. Solomon’s bride realized what they had was special, but it would take the two of them to protect it.

 

BEWARE OF THE LITTLE FOXES!

Broken and Poured Out

Many of us, myself included, are ashamed and afraid to be seen by others in our broken stages. Often that is when we can be poured out before God and be used the most by him.

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When I hear the word “broken” it’s usually about something or someone that is damaged, not fit for use, or able to fulfill its designed purpose. Broken means reduced to fragments, not functioning properly or out of working order, weakened in strength or spirit, and having given up all hope or being defeated. That’s basically the opposite of being complete, connected or wholesome. The Bible, however, gave me a different or should I say better perspective of brokenness.

Psalm 34 verse 18 says, “the Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit”. This verse is referring to our hearts being broken over our sins. When we are truly sorry for our sins, which is brokenness, the Lord is present according to this verse. How awesome is that? To know that God is present in my brokenness. I believe for this to happen we must spend time getting to know Jesus and building an intimate relationship with him. This kind of response to sin is a result of time spent alone in God’s word and presence.

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“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls”. Matthew 11:29

A broken heart and spirit is an acceptable sacrifice to God. Outside of this biblical or godly context, it’s unacceptable. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise”, Psalm 51 verse 17. God desires a repentant heart. A heart broken with sorrows for sin. Just as King David was in Psalm51 after the prophet Nathan came to him after he sinned with Bathsheba. True worship in spirit and in truth comes from a heart broken over sin and poured out before God.

There’s purpose in being broken and poured out. God will show up to heal us from the wounds of sin, forgive us, comfort us from our sorrow, then bind up our wounds. His presence can then fill us up with truth and righteousness. “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds”, Psalm 147 verse 3. Being broken and poured out results in us humbling ourselves before God.

Once we are broken we can empty ourselves and allow the Spirit of God to fill us. We can then pour out in worship and be an effective vessel to demonstrate God’s love, goodness, and mercy. God allows us to be broken to rebuild us for his glory. Our brokenness is supposed to draw us to the presence of God as he is near. Too many times we tend to hind in shame or fear. Pride can easily cause us to miss his presence!

In Psalm 34 verse 18 brokenhearted in its Hebrew origin “nishbar lev”, the one with a broken heart, is referring to our inner life, our affections, mind, and will. We can submit these things to God when we are broken and poured out before him. Our inner life of thoughts and feeling is usually expressed in our actions. When we are inwardly shattered we need God’s divine help and deliverance. Hence why he is near, but we must pour out and allow him to fill us up. We will miss him if we are full of ourselves and everything else contrary to his word. A heart that is humbled at God’s displeasure for sin is tender and willing to bend to God’s will. Then, God “will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit”, Psalm 51 verse 9.

Unfortunately, it does take an actual heartbreak sometimes to get us into the state of brokenness. However we get there, God will be near. “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”, Matthew 5 verse 3.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. 1 John 1:9

 

The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts. Isaiah 57:15

 

My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine. I, the Lord, have spoken! “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word. Isaiah 66:2

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REJECT REJECTION

Do you ever ask yourself, what is it about rejection that hurt so much?

I can still recall the very first time I felt rejected. At the tender age of ten. I experienced rejection from someone I was supposed to look up to as my role model. This person was supposed to make me feel loved and protected. It sent me on a mission to prove that I was worthy of that person’s love and approval. That mission was short lived. My heart was filled with anger and resentment. I put up a guard and promised myself to never allow anyone else to make me feel that way again. I felt like if someone close to me could hurt me that way others would attempt much worse. I became very defensive and critical of myself. My emotions spiraled out of control and my self-worth diminished. I lost count after that of how many more times I was rejected and rejected other people myself. I didn’t know the God who loves me yet and how he was going to wrap me in his arms to restore everything in me that was shattered, stolen, and broken. Today, I can say hallelujah thank you, Jesus! He thought I was worth saving. He changed my life. I am saved, free, and whole. I no longer fear rejection. At the age of ten, I didn’t know how to deal with being rejected or how it could possibly make me better. As I got older, I learned how I felt after being rejected did a lot more damage than what was done to me. I had more control than I realized. I was able to learn from being rejected after that and become better. I learned not to get caught up with what did or didn’t happen to me and press forward. I learned to not allow my emotions to control me. I had to stop allowing what happened to me determine what happened in me.

Rejection is defined as “the dismissing or refusing of a proposal or idea”, “the state of being rejected”. To reject is “to refuse to accept, consider, receive, or hear, submit to or take for some purpose”. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to feel ignored or feel like I’m being dismissed. Being rejected is a part of life. It’s a small part of life in my opinion but it can cause so much damage. Many of us after being rejected are left with a damaged mood, unstable emotions, filled with anger, and a low self-esteem. We become very critical of ourselves and other people. Often, we develop a strong need to belong or be accepted. The truth is you will be rejected many times, not every everyone will like you or accept you, and that is okay. Many people in the Bible dealt with rejection. God’s prophets were rejected by his very own chosen people, the Israelites. They were hated and killed by them for giving them the word God gave them. The people didn’t want to hear them or listened to them. The Apostles faced many trials and rejection. Jesus sends them out and warned them that they would be hated and rejected by the world just as he was. Jesus, who is God, came among us to save us and he was rejected and crucified. If we can all be honest we have knowingly rejected other people. At some point in our lives, many of us rejected the call of God to save us, even though he died for us while we were yet sinners. He chose us, and we rejected him. Too many of us today are still rejecting his call.

“He came to his own people, and even they rejected him”. John 1:11

“He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weakness he carried; it was our sorrows that weighted him down. And we thought his troubles were punished from God, a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all”. Isaiah 53:3-6

“if the world hates you, remember that it hated me first”. John 15:18

The next time you feel rejected:

  • Pray and give it to God. He cares!
  • Read the word. Redirect your thoughts to what God said.
  • Make your rejection a redirection.
  • Build your self-worth.
  • Work on improving your life.
  • Understand you’re not always rejected because of you.
  • Make a conscious decision to not live for another person’s approval.

In 1 Peter 2:4 Peter said, “you are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, be he was chosen by God for great honor”. Other people can reject you, but their rejection may be a part of God’s process to process you for greatness. It could just be God’s plan to redirect you and use you for a great honor. God will not reject his people, and you can give your cares to him (Psalms 94:4; 1 Peter 5:7). You can rest assured, in the end, “we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them”, Romans 8:28.

 

REJECT REJECTION!

ACTS OF LOVE

MATTHEW 25:40

Spread joy, kindness, and love.

Matthew 25:31-46

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing?39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

We often measure the importance of things or people by how much time we are willing to invest in them. We invest time in things or relationships that are important to us. 1 John 3:18 says, “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” In other words, loving anyone requires action.  God gave himself for us because he loved us (John 3:16). It was an unconditional sacrifice of love. A person can give without loving, but it is impossible to love without giving. Whenever we give our time to anything or anyone, we are making a sacrifice. Sacrifice is an attribute of love.

GET RID OF BITTERNESS

When I was in high school I dated this guy and in my mind, I thought he was it. It was real for me. This man did everything wrong you could have imagined; from lying to cheating with multiple women, and even being in other relationships. We broke up once and like any naïve, clueless, loyal woman “in love” with too much time invested I took him back. Nothing had changed, he was worse than before. I thought I could eventually change him and he’d realize I was worth more than that and do right by me. It is heartbreaking when a man can look you in the eye and say I love you, you can trust me, while he’s lying to you and cheating on you knowing you are loyal and faithful to him. He was only committed in words to my face, nothing else, nothing more. One day, he decided the military was the option for him and it was best we separated until he was ready in the future. I made sure to let him know that was it for me. There will never be a future for us. I had enough, I already sacrificed too much, I’m worth more than that, I deserve better, and would never be an us from that day forward. That day was in September 2009. I promised myself I would never let another use me or take advantage of me that way.

He wasn’t God’s will for my life. I had made a very costly mistake and unwise decision. We weren’t in a godly relationship, that eventually cost me my deepest regret & most precious part of me. I grieved it years after. I felt so ashamed, embarrassed, felt betrayed, guilty, heartbroken. I experienced so much regret and was extremely BITTER. I cried for days; not over him or losing a man worth keeping. I cried because I invested so much of myself in a person and relationship that I could never get back. I cried for the time and years wasted that could not be undone. I cried because I experienced some painful things no one should. I cried because I needed to release the pain I felt. From September 2009 to the end of that year I made it my goal to get myself together and focus on the things that matter. I stopped crying and turn to God. That was the only sure way I knew to stop the pain I felt and be restored. Through prayer and reading God’s Word I was over him and over it all. It was then God taught me true love 1 John 4:8. I meditated on that scripture and studied it, along with many others about love.

I thought I was good but throughout my pain and hurting process, the seed of bitterness grew within me. It took root and flourished. I despised all men and wanted nothing to do with any man. I couldn’t wait for that guy to hurt the way he had hurt me. I wanted him to suffer so he could feel the pain I felt. In my heart, I had murdered him (“Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer:” 1 John 3:15). I didn’t understand why God allowed him to hurt me and continued living. I didn’t want him to exist or ever have to look at him. I felt like he didn’t deserve any mercy. I was bitter and hateful and didn’t even realize it. I never thought I was capable of such feelings. I thought I was better than that. I began to have a series of dreams where my ex was begging me for forgiveness, “please forgive me”. Each time in each dream I would reply NO then walk away. I talked to my godmother about the dreams and she advised me to pray, God was trying to show me something.

I prayed to God. I asked him to help me understand the dreams and their meaning. I asked God to expose anything that was left in me I was still holding on, anything that was hidden from my knowledge. I didn’t believe I could ever hate anyone. I asked God to reveal it to someone and send that person to me. About a weeks later, my pastor at the time called me early Saturday morning to speak with me about a vision God gave him while he was in prayer. I didn’t have a close/trusting relationship with him or ever talked to him about the things that happened to me. He told me while he was praying God gave him a vision of God and myself. God was trying to take something away from me but I wasn’t letting it go. He said he’s not 100% sure what it was but from what God showed him it might be anger, hurt, or bitterness. As soon as he said that I remembered the prayer I prayed. I told him I knew what he was talking about and he told me then you should know what to do.

I went straight to my room that day and poured my heart out to God. I wept like I never had before. I told God how hurt I was, how betrayed I felt, how that guy never apologized to me for any hurt he caused me, I asked God to consider all the wrongs this man had done to me, how evil he was for hurting me and betraying my trust, and how I didn’t deserve any of it. God listened. As I sat silently before him. God pulled out a mirror and he led me to consider it. He asked me, what about you? Your own poor decisions allowed some of your hurt. You contributed to your own heartache. Why haven’t you trust me? I have been loyal and faithful to you. Why haven’t you accepted my love? I have pursued you. My love is pure. What about how you’ve wronged me and disobeyed my Word? How you ignored my warnings? At that moment, I realized how messed up I was myself, the lack of heart and respect I had for God and his Word, how I had defile myself, how lost and confused I had been, how broken I truly was, and how I was not any better than him. God gave me the scripture “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” Matthew 6:15. Just like my ex I needed forgiveness, I never apologize to God for my wrongs, I was a sinner in need of grace and salvation, and I had wrong God on so many levels and ways. Forgiving was no longer a choice. That was the day I begin to fall in love with God and his Word.

Bitterness is a poisonous root. Anger, depression, anxiety are all things that grow out of the root of bitterness. We complain when we’re bitter and unable to see God working on our behalf. I expressed to God I didn’t how to let go, and where to begin uprooting my bitterness. I didn’t have the strength. I told God I didn’t know how to truly forgive but if he showed me how I would do it. God did it. I repented of my sins and wrongs. God taught me several more scriptures about forgiveness. I have all my hurt, regret, anger, and bitterness to God. I left it there at his feet then allowed him to restore me. He stayed very close and healed my broken heart. He gave me peace and I found true love in him. He has since been my model for love and forgiveness. I could, later on, write a letter to my ex and express that I forgave him for everything. I forgave him because God had forgiven me. He never apologized or said I’m sorry. I was no longer searching or waiting for that. I found peace and LOVE, God himself. No man can compare to that.

If you want to heal from emotional wounds:

Let God rescue you from death and forgive all your sins Isaiah 38:17

Bitterness will hold you captive by sin Acts 8:23. Let it go.

Ask yourself: “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!” Psalms 43:5

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.” Ephesians 4:31

 

God is love! True love, forgiveness, and healing start with God.

 

God allowed it all to save me from a terrible situation. He had a better plan and a future for me. I’m married to one of the best husbands any woman could hope for. I would not trade the joy, peace, and amazing husband God blessed me with for anything I had then.

Once In A Lifetime

BY FAITH

“… The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17

 

Remember “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” Hebrews 11:1

“Through faith, we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3

“And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” Hebrews 6:15

Keep hoping for your unseen healing.

Keep hoping for your unseen breakthrough.

Keep hoping for your family and friends’ unseen salvation.

Keep hoping for whatever it is you need from the Lord.

Keep hoping because your faith will be the evidence of your miracle not yet seen. If it seems like you’re running out of time, you might be because our timing has a start and an end. However, in the beginning, God. He is eternal. He has no end. Time exists within him. He simply is everlasting. Hope for your unseen miracle in him. Your clock might be ticking but all is already established eternally in him. Live by faith. Not what you’re able to see. The unseen is evidence of faith. Have a never-ending hope in God’s power to fulfill his promises to you. Have faith the Lord will get the glory out of your situation. Your miracle might seem delayed or simply will not happen. Sometimes there’s a wait, wait on the Lord. Praise him in the meantime. Worship him in the meantime. Serve him in the meantime. It is hard, but he is always on time. Faith doesn’t promise us instant results or miracle. It’s simply evidence of the unseen things we’re hoping for. God’s will can be in a blink of an eye, minutes, hours, days, months, or years from now. His will, his timing.

Jesus waited until Lazarus died then showed up & raised him from the dead.

David waited years to become king after he was anointed a king. 15 years, he was on the run for his life.

God waited 40 years to speak to Moses concerning his people in Egypt.

Abraham didn’t birth his promise son until he was 100 years old.

Joseph spends years in a dungeon because he was freed. He was innocent.

Live by faith! Can you imagine if any of these people gave up or complained throughout their journey? When you live by faith it leaves little to no room for complaining, you can remain hopeful, encouraged, and focus. God’s glory will move mightily in your life when you live by faith. Hebrews 6:12 encourage us to be “followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises”. We must patiently endure for us to obtain our promises, like Abraham and many others did.

SPIRIT OF GENTLENESS

It is important that we seek God for a Spirit of Gentleness [Meekness]. It is a vital Fruit of the Spirit when it comes to dealing with other people.

It’s so important to be careful how we speak to other people or about other people. I can admit I have failed in this area countless times. I made a conscious effort to be kind and gentle. It did not always come to me naturally. Through prayer, fasting, and many test and trial this Fruit of the Spirit became evident in my life.

Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”

Proverbs 12:18 “Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.”

Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”

Choose to respond gently and in love towards other people. Choose words that heal. Think of words you use to describe others and consider how you would feel if these same words were used to describe you. If it’s hard for you, God is able. Ask God to help you to be gentle and choose words that are not hurtful to others. God is gentle with us. Even in our disobedience he gently led us.

God can use a heart full of gentleness. 1 Samuel 16:7 “…The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” God instructed Samuel to anoint David as king because he looked at his heart and rejected his brothers. We can’t always tell what’s on the inside. Sometimes outward appearance can cover the content of what’s truly in the heart. Acting kind and then having means thoughts or bad attitude towards others is not from a gentle heart.

There’s unfading beauty in a gentle and quiet spirit, it’s precious to God (1 Peter 3:4). People are fragile. Even more fragile and important than other things in life that holds so much weight and value to us. Our actions toward other, whether seen or unseen, can be proof of our heart’s condition. Whether it is hard or gentle. A gentle heart is gentle and kind to all, not just those we like or relate to. If we are honest, none of us deserve the kindness of God but he gave it to us anyways.

Choose to show God’s gentleness to other. Colossians 3:12 “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”