Happy New Year!
I hope this message finds you in good spirits and good health.
2016 was a year for planting and I am looking forward to the harvest that I know 2017 will bring. God has orchestrated some new and exciting changes in my life and I can’t wait to share with you throughout this year.
On social media and personally, I’ve noticed that many people felt that 2016 was one of their worse years to date and were eager for the year to end. That was not my experience but I do know what it’s like to have a rough year that seems like it has no end. No matter what you experienced in 2016, I want you to remember God is still God and He loves you. In your high moments and the low, God is still reigning.
In 2017, God will still be God. He has the final say and sees the big picture for your life. Even when you can’t see pass your current circumstances, God is working it all out for your good. It will get better and I pray that your 2017 is better and is your BEST year yet. Leave all the bad in 2016 and take the beneficial lessons into 2017!
God is doing something special in this new year. I can’t articulate it but I can sense it in my spirit. Let go of the past and embrace this new beginning you have been afforded. If you don’t know God personally today is the perfect day to confess and repent of your sins, proclaim that Jesus died on the cross then rose again and accept in your heart Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you know Him, today is the perfect day to go deeper in your relationship with Him.
At the beginning of each year we set new goals and New Year resolutions but if God is not the center of our lives and efforts, our lives have no real meaning.
Often times we are encouraged to go deeper in our relationships with God but you may be one who wonders how, “well how do I really do that.” Once you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit will do the work. However, today I want to share with you how I stay connected to our Father on a weekly basis. I pray that by incorporating these activities in your day to day, you will be strengthened in spirit and mind. There is no remedy or blueprint to accessing God but I do believe that the following activities keep me intentional in accessing the Throne of God and strengthening my relationship with Him continually:
Church: Let’s start with the beginning of the week. On Sundays it is important to physically be in a place of worship with other believers. There have been many days where I was sad or discouraged and had to fight my way to get up and go to church. My determination was always rewarded with encouragement through worship by the choir or a word that was spoken directly to my situation by the man or woman of God on assignment. Each Pastor has been put on assignment by God and it is not the Pastor that is speaking the word to you but God speaking through His chosen vessel. It is important that we each find and plant ourselves in a church home and then become active in that community.
There is a difference between watching a service online and being in church physically. There have been days when I was unable to make a service, so I watched online. I would be frustrated once I saw how God showed up in the sanctuary “Oh my gosh I wish I was there!” I know that when God shows up in that atmosphere of community worship situations are changed, bodies are healed and chains are broken. Sometimes you have to SHOW UP, to receive what God has for you.
Make it a weekly goal to get up and go to church on Sundays. Whatever you’re doing on Sunday mornings is not more important than your relationship with God. It’s only 4 days out of the month. You can do it!
Daily Bible Reading: I try earnestly to read my bible every day. I’m not what people like to call a “morning person” but I’m up at 5:30 every morning seeking what God wants to speak to me through His word and God has been speaking a lot lately. It’s as if He honors my determination and always makes sure I get at least one lesson or nugget from my bible reading for that day. Some days I find that what I read that morning, I needed later in my day.
The Bible is one of the primary ways God speaks to us. This book has the answers to any and every question we may have and situation we may face. Even if it’s just one quick verse for the day, start there. The bible app selects a ‘verse of the day’, each day.
When I first started reading the bible, I began with a chapter of Proverbs a day. So say it was November 9, 2013, I read Proverbs 9 that day. Now God reveals to me what book He desires me to focus on. Try it out and be enthusiastic about the new lessons you will learn.
Sermons: On Sundays I receive the word that God has given to my Pastor for His people but I am also listening to sermons throughout the week. Sheryl Brady is my spiritual mother in my head and Bishop TD Jakes is my spiritual father. In 2015, God had me listening to Sheryl Brady’s weekly Sunday sermons later in the week. In 2016, I was truly a member of the Potter’s House. I didn’t miss one of Bishop TD Jake’s Sunday sermons. I also find myself watching old sermons on YouTube of various pastors. Through the week, I am constantly feeding my spirit with the word of God spoken through various men and women on assignment for God. A true relationship with God moves beyond Sunday service.
Music: I am a music girl and I grew up listening to all music but most prominently hardcore rap. To this day, I still love a good jam session and the latest trap music. However, I began to realize (admit) that the music that we listen to does alter our moods and spirit.
Think about it, when you break up with someone, you either listen to heart break music (Adele or Lauryn Hill) to reinforce the emotions you are feeling or up tempo tracks to get your spirits high and over the person (cues Beyoncé’s Sorry).
During the week, I like to begin my day listening to gospel music. Even if it’s just while I’m showering and getting ready. During various parts of the year I also like to fast all secular music at least one day of the week. You can still listen to Future but try incorporating some Tasha Cobbs and Travis Greene into your playlist.
Prayer: Prayer is simply open and constant communication with God. I like to start my day in prayer, even if I just say, “Thank you God for waking me up today.” Then I’m intentional about talking to Him all throughout my day.
You don’t have to close your eyes and bow your head. Just talk to Him openly or in quiet. Talk to Him to give thanks, petition to Him regarding your needs and wants or just tell Him about the day you had.
If one of your coworkers tries it and you want to let that person have it, don’t text one of your friends about it, tell God, “God she tried it.”
Just keep talking to Him honestly and openly. Begin to make it a weekly, then daily habit. Just as you do with your friends. Only difference is this friend actually has the power to change the circumstances of your day and life.
If you are a person who is desiring to open up your heart to God or go deeper in your relationship with Him this year, I pray that just one of these points helps in your journey. God is so amazing, He will meet you exactly where you are, He just needs you to welcome Him in. Strengthening our relationships with God and strengthening our spirits has to be an intentional thing. It’s not an easy task and some days you may waver in your bible reading or prayer but it’s important that you get right back on track.
We ensure that we feed our bodies daily, be sure to feed your spirit too!
Until next time…
Love & Happiness