“Belief or unbelief…still takes a leap of faith!”

lightbulbWhat up, good people?! Well, today I could not wait to share this Netflix movie with you! I am taking a break from social media and other Internet content to focus on my quest for truth and understanding. You know…trying to eliminate distractions in order to grow closer to God. Limiting what I watch or listen to—basically, only giving my attention to resources and materials that will increase my faith.

Case for ChristSearching Netflix, I stumbled upon this movie called “The Case for Christ.” After reading the movie description, I became curious and began to watch it!

To tell you the truth, the movie was nothing short of amazing! It provoked me to ask deeper questions about my faith. Inspiring me to reread the New Testament from beginning to end. It also stirred up a conversation between my husband and I, having us to revisit philosophy books from college. I could go on and on, but why should I? I think you should check it out for yourself!

As I stated in my About Me section of the blog, I want to share things that will uplift and encourage you no matter where you are in your journey with God.  So, without further ado, I would like to share the movie trailer.

Check it out! I am sure you will finish the movie inspired, motivated, and curious to know more about the Christian faith!

Peace and Blessings!

MrsMKauthor

 

If You Are Hurting Today

heartInitially, I was going to write about my inadequacies.

All the things that were robbing me of joy, love, and peace. But what good would that do? It would just bring more attention to my weaknesses, faults and shortcomings.

Instead, I am led to share resources that have really helped me to grow stronger in my walk with God. I am happy because God is really doing a work in my heart. Healing a lot of hurt. Brokenness. And pain that I have been carrying in my heart for many years.

I am a much better person because of His unconditional love. Isaiah 61:3 promises God will “bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” He is true to His Word. And for that I give Him praise.

If you are struggling with self-doubt or need deliverance from hurt caused by other people, this post is for you. Be blessed. And if you need prayer for anything, let me know via my contact page.

With love,

MrsMKauthor

 Disappointment with self

  1. Study: Philippians 3:4-9, John 3:16,Romans 8, Isaiah 53
  2. Read: 7 Symptoms of a Prideful Heart
  3. Listen to: Know Yourself, Enemy Within
  4. Watch: The Passion of the Christ and/or Son of God—the visual images highlight the words of Isaiah 53 & Romans 8…reminding us that Jesus paid it all! THERE IS NO GREATER LOVE!

Disappointment with others

  1. Study: Philippians 3:17-19, Proverbs 4:23, 1 Corinthians 15:33
  2. Read: Does God Want You To Spend Time With People Who Always Hurt You?
  3. Listen to: Common Pain—If you are hurt because people keep letting you down PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE listen to this message!
  4. Failed Relationship? God is able to bring you out! He has greater things in store for you! Be encouraged! Here is my testimony!

Inspiration for this post comes from Philippians 3 and my previous post: Keepin’ It 100.

Keepin’ It 100

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***Howdy folks! F.Y.I.—I will be switching up the format for this and upcoming posts. Instead of W.O.R.D. it will be R.O.W.D. to help my stories flow a lil’ betta. Ok? Cool? Now, on with the story…

R I’m not even gonna lie. Last week, I acted a complete fool. All over something dumb. Something trivial. Petty. I am ashamed of my behavior. But I am glad that it happened. Cause it was an opportunity for God to expose some dirt in my heart…things in my heart that needed to be cleansed. Let me tell you what happened…

So, there is this big Children’s Festival that happens in my city that only comes around once a year. I found out the date for this year’s festival in early 2017 and I immediately told my husband. We were so excited to take our one-year-old son. As you can imagine, we put the event in our calendar and looked forward to going in January 2018.

The big day finally rolled around on January 20, 2018. We were super pumped that morning to go…we had been talking about it all week. Punked out in our Vans sneakers, we piled into the car. (I decided that my son would wear his brand-new ones—pictured above—super fresh, right?) Yeah, so as I was saying, we piled into the car and had to make two quick stops for gas and Chick-fil-A. Suddenly, my husband realized he left his cell phone at the house. No problem. So, we turned around after Chick-fil-A to go back home and get the phone. Finally, we were on the road…headed downtown to have the time of our lives!

As we headed to the festivities, we noticed many detours along the route, making it difficult to find out where the starting point of the parade would be. We drove and drove and drove and drove around. We had our GPS navigating the way and my husband seemed to know where he was headed, but we still couldn’t figure out the location. Anxious and trying to keep my cool, I began to Google more information about the event to get a better idea of where we could find it. We drove and drove and drove and drove around some more. Nothing. (Insert annoyed face here…lol!) Okay, so we ended up in a neighborhood that appeared to be close to the festival for we saw decorated houses and families walking towards the event. But, there was a big problem: NO PARKING! UGH! Internally, I was fuming! Trying to keep my composure, I began to silently talk myself out of a meltdown. After all, it was just a stupid festival, right?

There’s always next year if we don’t make it. We can do something else. No worries, girl.

I wish I had a positive ending to the story. Nope! We didn’t make it to the festival or parade. We drove around for almost two hours, round and round, for nothing! I was angry and disappointed that we didn’t make it and that we would have to wait 364 more days to go to the next one!

Let’s just say the ride back home was a rough one! I had the biggest temper tantrum. And I would not let it go… coming up with every reason why we missed the parade. The blame game…all fingers pointed toward my husband. I was mad the rest of the evening. Went to bed angry.

In the middle of the night, I woke up crying (I don’t know why ‘cause I was sleeping good). The tears just rolled down my cheeks. And they wouldn’t stop. I cried uncontrollably. I began to feel a tugging at my heart. At the same time, guilt began to consume me. The day’s events began to replay in my mind. I felt awful. Just stupid. Then, I began to think about all the other horrible things that I did earlier in the week. I couldn’t bring myself to pray. Pray for what? I definitely didn’t act Christian-like in front of my husband and son. I was ashamed. With a heavy heart, I felt condemned. I believe it was probably the same feeling Adam and Eve felt when they ran away from God in the garden. I began to sink into the place I go to internally, when I “miss the mark”…a place of misery, sadness, self-pity and self-doubt. I knew I had disappointed God and my family. I felt bad.

In spite of this, I saw an image in my mind. Jesus sitting on His throne. Looking down at me with compassion. Instantly, I felt a shift in my heart. As if he was massaging my heart, telling me “I am here for you.” To be honest, I could feel His love. That made me weep even more. I could hear Him clear as day saying, “I never sleep. I am always with you. When you do good and when you do bad. My love for you never changes and it NEVER will. I died for you. What I did for you covers your past, present, and future sins. There is nothing that you could ever do to stop Me from loving you. What did I tell you in Romans 8? Nothing can separate you from My love. I am doing a work in you. When you are weak, that’s when you are strong. My power is made perfect in your weakness.” Comforted, I felt a release. I felt God’s presence. He began to show me some things in my heart that needed to be uprooted: living life based on performance-based standards, pride, self-righteousness, people-pleasing, anger and being easily offended. In the moment, I prayed and asked for forgiveness. After some time of reflection and journaling, I was able to fall asleep. The next morning, I apologized to my family.

All in all, I am not proud of my behavior that day. However, I am glad that it happened. God is doing a work in my heart. And for that, I am thankful. No one likes to talk about their weaknesses, faults and shortcomings, but I pray that I can help someone by sharing my journey in the next five or six blog posts.

Signed, MrsMKauthor

(This song depicts my feelings that night):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UapOiN52JY4

O I have been studying Philippians 3 for quite some time now. I now understand why. God is walking me through this chapter to show me some things about myself. I have a better understanding of where He is trying to take me and how He is trying to grow me in this season. The beginning of the chapter (verse 1) starts off by saying rejoice in the Lord! Then, the chapter goes on to explain: we serve God by His Spirit, we boast in Christ Jesus, and we should put no confidence in the flesh.

This experience has taught me how to shift my focus from looking at me to looking to Jesus. His love for me runs deep—it is unconditional. That is the ultimate reason to rejoice! And with that being said, there is nothing I can do to earn His love. For that, I can stop focusing on works and allow His Spirit to work in and through me. For this reason, I can boast all the more about Christ. I put no confidence in my flesh. My righteousness is in Christ Jesus and in what He has done. There is something good that can come out of even the smallest (pettiest) trial! (Insert smiley face here…lol!)

W Philippians 3:3 New International Version (NIV)

For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—

D Psalm 103 is my prayer for this week and weeks to come.

Getting My Mind Right For 2018

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W Philippians 3:20 New International Version (NIV)

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

O The whole chapter of Philippians 3 is AWESOME, but verse 20 is my focus for this post!

BUT our citizenship is in heaven! That portion of scripture in and of itself is very POWERFUL!

I focus every minute of the day on the “here” and “now”. What would my life look like if I focused on where my citizenship is?

My citizenship is not here in the United States—my citizenship is in heaven! My eternal home! My final destination!

What a blessed revelation!

R For 2018, I challenge myself to keep my mind thinking about how to prepare for my eternal home.

Self-Reflection

Question: What do citizens of heaven look like? Talk Like? Behave like? Think like? Walk like?

Answer: Citizens of heaven:

Look– happy, smiling, confident, etc. (the joy of the Lord is your strength—Nehemiah 8:10)

Talk– positive (let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths—Ephesians 4:29)

Behave– Christ-like (walk in love—Ephesians 5:2)

Think– constantly about things that are good (true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things—Philippians 4:8)

Walk– with their heads held high (be of good cheer: Jesus has overcome the world—John 16:33)

It is one thing to know the Word. And it is another to do the Word. As a daily reminder of keeping my focus, I decided to print this entry and post it in my home where I can see it daily. This is my goal for 2018. Fellow believers, I pray that you will have similar goals for 2018 (and the years to come) because this world is not our home! We are just passing through, my friends!

Signed, MrsMKauthor

D Dear God,

Thank You for an AWESOME Word today! Thank You for choosing me to be a part of Your Kingdom! I realize there is nothing special that I did to earn my citizenship in heaven—Jesus, You paid it all on the cross. I give glory to Your name!

Help me to live every second, every moment of my life with a Kingdom mindset! I desire: every thought, every decision, and every action that involves me to be centered on my eternal home with You! To God be the Glory! I love You, Father.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

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(Google Search-Image taken from: https://www.slideshare.net/alvanman/part-2-one-verse-copy)

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(Google Search-Image taken from: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/salvation-prayer/)

When Life Gets Crazy

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W Romans 5:2-5 New International Version (NIV)

through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

O Interesting points from this passage of scripture:

·       We have peace with God through Jesus Christ

·       We gain access to Jesus through faith–just BELIEVE in Jesus

·       We boast in the glory of God

·       We “glory” in our sufferings

·       The products of suffering: perseverance, character, & hope

·       Hope does not put us to shame, because of God’s love

R I’m not even gonna lie. I hate it when life gets tough. I consider myself to be a strong woman, but sometimes life can get a bit overwhelming. Bringing me to my knees. Sometimes bringing my face to the ground. Troubles coming from every side. Bringing even the strongest person, like myself, to a breaking point.

With my eyes to heaven, I have to ask God why?

Why me? Why my family? Why my friends?

Things can get extremely confusing—especially when you try to live right.

However, the scripture calls for me to “rejoice in my sufferings” (Romans 2:3). How in the world can you rejoice when you are in so much pain? Experiencing so much hurt? Disappointment? Sadness? To the human mind, rejoicing in the midst of troubles seems irrational…quite stupid. Cause who in the world wants to throw a party when all hell is breaking lose around you? The realistic response to trouble is to react: get angry, take revenge, and in extreme cases throw in the towel. Life can get crazy like that.

But you see, I am maturing.

As I continuously go through trials and tribulations in life, I am learning how to be happy about my sufferings. Why? Because through the hard times, I learn how to persevere. Through the hard times, my character develops. Through the hard times, I put my hope and trust in God, which ultimately increases my faith.

Through the storms, I rely on the following to keep my head above water:

1.       Pray—Praying is simply a conversation with God.  I keep it all the way real. Letting God know exactly how I feel. Then, I listen for His response.

2.       Seek God—God speaks in many ways, including: His written Word, confirmation through other believers, praise and worship songs, nature and His creation, and the Holy Spirit (you know that still small voice that speaks to you…nudging you to do the right thing?)

3.       Be patient—Sometimes we will never get an answer to why things happen to us, but God is always there to carry us through the storm.

4.       Fellowship with like-minded people—The company you keep can make or break you in any situation. So, if the people you hang out with don’t point you to Jesus, leave them alone! Being in the house of the Lord is also the best place to build your faith.

5.       Don’t Give Up—One way to keep the faith is to make a list of all the things that are going well in your life. Like those blessings we take for granted (re: life, salvation, family, friends, etc.). The old folks used to say Count Your Blessings!

I’m telling you, the last two weeks have been CRAZY for me and my immediate family. Applying these practical steps to our lives helped us to make it through.

Signed, MrsMKauthor

D Dear God,

Life is hard. Please teach me how to maintain a positive attitude in the midst of difficult challenges.

Pain does not always feel good. It hurts. But through the pain, I learn how to persevere. I learn how to become a better person. I ultimately learn how to put my hope in You. The outcome of my trials outweighs the pain!

Help me, Lord! Teach me how to embrace the good and the bad!

Thank You.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

5 Keys to Identifying Your Soulmate

I love YouTube. I am always finding resources that encourage, inspire, and help me. I found this video “5 Keys to Identifying Your Soulmate” and I absolutely loved it. Loved it so much that I sent it to my friends! So, I decided to post it today to help someone else who may need to hear this particular message. The speaker is funny, honest, and keeps it real!!!!!!!!! I definitely could relate to several parts of his story, especially the part where he says “you don’t have to go seeking out your soulmate, God presents them to you at the right time—when you are ready!” Whether you are single, married or divorced I believe you will enjoy hearing practical tips that will grow you in this season of your life. Have a blessed day everyone!

Tom Brady Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Him…lol!

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R They said my husband looks like Tom Brady. He’s even been called Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, Adam Levine, but my favorite is Jon B! Ha! My cousin, til this day, affectionately calls him Jon B. I personally don’t think he looks like any of them. In fact, I believe my man stands in a league of his own! Hands Down! No Competition! He is a special type of handsome. Fine from the inside out. A work of art. A masterpiece—one of God’s most precious creations! Sent to me from heaven above.

Came into my life when I least expected his arrival. If you have been following our story, you know that we met at work. Dated for a couple of months. Then, we were married. I would like to add that we kept our work relationship strictly professional—meaning we never spoke to (or even acknowledged) one another at work! So, no one knew about our relationship. Not until, I wore my engagement ring on the last day of school! It’s funny because we had the whole building buzzing! Ultimately, I transferred to another school so that we could keep our personal lives separate from the workplace. That was seven years ago…we’ve been rockin’ together since then.

Words cannot express how blessed I feel that he chose me to be his wife. My husband is my lover. My #1 homey. My rollie. My Ace. The kind of friend that Proverbs 18:24 speaks about—one that will stick closer than a brother.

Such an incredible man that has shown me unconditional love since day one. There were times when I pushed him away because I was too scared to let my guard down! Yet, he never let me go.

I couldn’t believe that a love like this existed in REAL LIFE. You know what I mean? Cause every time I turn around I see another failed relationship. Another divorce. And after experiencing my parent’s divorce there was a part of me that stopped believing in healthy relationships. I guess that’s why I gave him a hard time in the beginning (hence, the part of his story when he said I would show him something of myself and then work to lose him).

It took a long time for me to open my heart to receive this kind of love. The real thing.

God put my husband in my life to show me His love for me—a manifestation of Christ’s love in the flesh! I am so glad that God brought us together.

We have been through a lot. Ups and downs. But through it all we are happily married…and we intend to keep it that way.

‘Til Death Do Us Part.

With Christ at the center of this marriage, we cannot fail.

Signed, MrsMKauthor

O In some of my earlier posts, I’ve talked about how broken I was before meeting my husband. I read a quote somewhere that said: “Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.” Reminds me of one of my favorite love stories in the Bible: Ruth and Boaz. If you ever need some encouragement or a glimmer of hope, I suggest you read the book of Ruth. It is a quick read (only 4 chapters).

Ruth went through tough situations. Her story is one of triumph—how she went from being widowed, a stranger in a new country and then miraculously a beautiful bride to the man of her dreams (Boaz).

Her story confirms that blessings will find you—check this out (Ruth 2:10-12):

10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?”

11 Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”

God works through people! This passage of scripture goes to show that God will send the right person (or people) into your life to bless you in His timing. Doesn’t matter what the situation is: whether you are praying for a spouse, a child, healing for your body, a financial breakthrough…it doesn’t matter. I am a living witness! God is able!

God can turn any situation around. Give your life to the Lord! Trust Him! Have Faith! And know that all things work together for good to them that love God (Romans 8:28)!

W Romans 8:28 New International Version (NIV)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

D Dear God,

Sometimes life is hard. Especially when you go through trials and tribulations and you have no idea of how things are going to work out. You have promised us in Your Word that ALL things work together for our good. Teach us how to walk in that promise. Help us to believe that no matter what, You have our backs and will work things out for us in Your timing. You have answered my prayers and blessed me abundantly. I pray that You will do the same for my brothers and sisters who are reading this post.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

This YouTube version of the story is lengthy, but I liked it. Grab some popcorn and enjoy!

His Side of Our Story: Dinner, Pocket Combs, & Inside Jokes

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*** And so, our story continues…from my husband’s perspective.

That Friday after work, we met at the restaurant.

She had come directly after work and seemed hesitant. Her hair was cut into a bob and kept swinging over one eye. A rowdy after-work crowd was growing around us including a table immediately to our left.

“Are you guys on a date?”

The confident man standing over our table interrogating us also had a bob that was swinging over one eye. When he had walked into the restaurant, we had termed him “Justin Bieber.” Before his brazen question, I  had seen him in the men’s bathroom hogging the mirror and swooping his bob just-right with a pocket comb.

“Yeah, what’s up here?” Said a diminutive gentleman hugging to his side who we had ceremoniously dubbed “crawfish”.

Crawfish seemed to know that Justin Bieber was the alpha male of the two and was full-on wingman to the seductive powers of his hair. Or so, I guessed from my place at the table.

Previous to them walking over, a young lady who was part of their table had run out of the restaurant crying.

Now that they had warmed up, they made themselves comfortable hovering over us.

“We are both lawyers. What do you guys do?”

“We are teachers on a professional outing.”

“Oh, so this is not a date?”

“Me too. Thought it was date,” Crawfish chimed in.

“It is not, we are just talking.”

The trial team of Justin Bieber and Crawfish had set on us and were determined to unravel our first date before we even got started.

It is possible that another man might have been threatened by this dastardly team of young lawyers, but I only hoped they would leave to spare themselves any more embarrassment because it was obvious they were making a show of trying to pry my date, my future wife, away from me and to whisk her away into the night led by the glint of Justin Bieber’s trusty pocket comb.

Admittedly, at the time, I did not know my future wife all that well. However, I understood intuitively that Bieber and Crawfish had no chance. Not to mention, they had already been transmogrified into inside jokes. They were jesters beside our table and I was hoping we could get back to our conversation.

The more we talked, the more interested I became in the woman across from me. She was different. She was soft and yet blunt, funny but not cynical or self-deprecating and could handle being deep and still light.

It seemed the only way to keep talking was to leave, so I got up to pay the check and while waiting for the tab, my future wife absconded out the door.

I paid the check, pushed my way through the crowd and caught up with her outside.

And catch up with her I did. It seemed that for the next six months I was chasing after her, following her out of doorways and following her across bridges and paths that all led to a new and unknown place. She would show me something of herself and then work to lose me. But, love ran us both down. Love is pushy like that.

And, after six months, including about one month trapped inside together during a snow storm, we were married.

 

His Side of Our Story: Making A Move

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*** And so, our story continues…from my husband’s perspective.

As we neared the Thanksgiving break, I decided to email her.

ME: Hello,

      I am free after school to help you with the kids, if you still need help.

Your move.

HER: The kids would need help and they would greatly appreciate your expertise.

Hmm. Ok. The kids? Why are we talking about them? Well, I showed up after school and she promptly escorted me to the copy machine. The kids needed copies. So, after standing over the dumpy, chugging copy machine for an hour, I returned to my future wife making fun of my last name—our last name.

I could tell I was going to have to pick up the pace.

ME: I think it’s best that you give me your number, so we can work out the details for practice more easily.

She relented—hesitantly.

The minute I had her number, I texted her and asked her if she wanted to get some coffee after practice.

HER: I don’t drink coffee.

ME: How about a muffin? They have delicious muffins. Coffee cake.

HER: Is this a date?

ME: It is a professional outing.

HER: Are we going to discuss the National Academic League?

ME: Of course.

Of course, I had no attention of discussing the National Academic League, the kids, the croaking copier, the school, books, reading or any of the like. I wanted to know about her. I wanted to let the warm fireplace and soft acoustic guitar of the coffee shop take us away.

So, on a sunny and frosty day in December, we drove separately to our “first date.” And in the back room—a box of sunlight—we sat across from each other and talked.

In the toasty sanctuary of the cafe, my future wife refused my offer of a coffee cake muffin and looked at every beverage option as if it were poison. Yet, once we sat down, we had instant chemistry.

Talking was easy and we seemed to play off each other, to know how to load each other’s punch lines. The conversation was light and we quickly started to form a long list of inside jokes.

It seemed only natural that we go on another “date.”

The thing was we couldn’t call it a date because we were coworkers. It would be “inappropriate” to go on a date, so we settled for a “professional outing.”

I hardly knew what that meant under the circumstances, but she seemed more comfortable with that. So, I set about looking for a perfect location for our professional outing.

Settling on a restaurant that seemed like casual fine dining, I made my move.