The Word + Obedience = Healing

John 5:5–6 (New King James Version)
5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?

 

I’ve read this scripture so many times. There was always one thing that amazed me.  I wasn’t amazed that this man had been sick for 38 years. I wasn’t even amazed by the fact that he was laying by healing waters.  What shocked me is that Jesus asked him if he really wanted to be healed. To me, that seemed like such an insensitive question to ask someone who was sick.  

However, after thinking about it, I got a revelation. There are so many people who do not want to be healed. They want to talk about their problem but they don’t really want a solution.  The reason being that their problem has become a part of them. It is their identity. Therefore, if they were healed, they would lose a part of themselves.

So many people have been tricked by the enemy. They believe that there is nothing that can change their situation. So, they settle and stay sick.

Just think about the divorced woman who allowed the end of her marriage to make her bitter and not better.  Never realizing that her divorce decree was not a death sentence. Or what about that man who was fired from an executive position? He had given his all to the company only for them to give him a pink slip.

If these individuals allowed their life experiences to lift them higher, just imagine the possibilities.  The divorcee could meet the love of her life. The man could take the skills, knowledge and experience gained at his last company to create his own.

So, I ask you…is there anything making you sick? And if there is, do you really want to be healed?  Do you really want a healthy, happy marriage? Do you really want that promotion? Do you?

If you do, then I challenge you to read the word, be obedient and receive your healing because that will lead to your abundant life!                  

 

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The Pool of Bethesda (Source: Bing Images)

 

 

Mama Said, “There Would Be Days Like This!!!”

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Have you every had one of those days? Well, yesterday was one of those days for me. You know one of those days that nothing goes as planned. One of those days that is supposed to be simple and easy but ends up turning into the day from “H-E-Double Hockey Sticks.” One of those days that you arrive 45 minutes late to an important meeting because someone gave you the wrong address, you get an email from your child’s teacher with a concern, and your spouse forgets to do EVERYTHING he/she said they were going to do.  Did I mention that it rained all day and I forgot my umbrella at home.  Ugh 😦

Yup!!! I had one of those days.

But you know what, God never ceases to amaze me. And for that and so much more, I’m forever grateful.

In the past, it would have been so easy for me to become upset, frustrated and irritated. However, I’m learning (slowly…very, very slowly) that I just have to go with the flow and keep pressing. When I change my focus from the problem to the possibility, I realize how amazingly blessed I am. I’m blessed because I have an amazing career, incredible children and a forgetful spouse that would go to the end of the earth for me. And although every day is not perfect, I serve a God who is!

So, the next time you have one of the days, look up, laugh and remember that Mama said, there would be days like this.” And enjoy every second, as you keep living abundantly!!!

May I Ask You a Question?

 

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Lately the word “Believe” has been on my heart.  It’s made me ponder what I’m believing God for. So, I wanted to pose that same question to you.

What are you believing God for?

Most people would answer this question with something like a new car, a new job or a new house.  However, I want to challenge you to think about this.  What are you really believing God for?

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Surely, God is not a genie in a bottle who is standing by to answer your every command.  Therefore, I’m not simply talking about materialistic possessions.  He knows all your needs.  As a matter of fact, God promised to supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19.)

He’s created each and every one of us for a purpose.  When He formed us, there were certain things that He designed us to do.  We were destined to accomplish it, from the beginning.

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So, again, I’ll ask you.  What are you believing God for?  Are you still believing Him for that dream, desire or goal that He placed in your heart?

I’m talking about the dream that you had for years but because you came against some challenges, you let it go.  I’m talking about the desire to fulfill your purpose; but fear crept in and caused you to stay in your comfort zone.  I’m talking about that goal that you wanted to achieve, but you made every excuse not to accomplish it.

Let me tell you something, it’s still there.  It hasn’t gone anywhere.  You’ve just stopped believing God for it.

But you know what, it’s not too late to pursue it.  Each day is an opportunity to start anew.  It’s an opportunity to begin believing.  A chance to start pursuing.

Are your ready?  Because if you are, not only will you be living life with purpose.  You will be living the life that you were destined to live…and living it abundantly!

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The Greatest Message

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On March 27, 1989, I read this letter for the first time.  My mother had left it in an envelope next to my Easter basket.  That day, I read it quickly and tossed it to the side.  Four years later, my mother passed away.  

A few weeks before I left for college, my heart was heavy.  I was missing her and wished that she was still here.  I was sad because major events in my life became reminders that she was gone.  As I looked through some old boxes, I came across this letter. 

Her words brought me so much comfort that I framed the letter and placed it on my nightstand.  Throughout the years, this letter has taken on different meanings at different times in my life.  Her words are as relevant today, as they were in 1989.

On that day, my mother gave me one of the greatest messages that a parent can give a child.  She gave me the message of Jesus Christ.  She showed me the path to salvation.  

Now that I have children of my own, I have passed on the same message.  This beautiful Easter morning, as my children went downstairs to find their baskets, I had them read this letter.  Like I did years ago, they quickly read it and began looking in their baskets.

However, one day, her words will resonate in their hearts.  And they too will realize that this is the greatest message….

Wishing you and yours a Happy Easter (as you continue living abundantly)!!!!!!

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There is Purpose in Your Pain

When I was in Basic Training (Boot Camp), I had a drill sergeant that would yell, “pain is weakness leaving the body,” as he smoked us in the sandpit. Now for those of you who have never served in the military, let me define what “smoked” is. To be smoked is to have an individual wearing a park ranger hat bestow physical torment upon you. This physical torment includes, push-ups, sit-ups, flutter kicks, jumping jacks or any other awful exercise that comes to their mind.

HOOAH!!! Just the thought of those smoke sessions make my neck tighten but it also brings a smile to my face. I smile because I  remember that it was around the 3rd week of boot camp that I realized that I could do 27 push-ups without stopping.

Now, this is the same “soldier” that couldn’t do a single…and I mean zero push-ups during the first week. You see, every time I struggled to lift my body up and down in that 96 degree Fort Jackson sandpit, my body was being conditioned.  And even though I had sand in places that it shouldn’t be, I learned to appreciate the smoke sessions.  Yes, I was in pain.  However, weakness truly was leaving my body. I was getting stronger and stronger.

As in the physical realm, so is it in the spiritual realm. In life, we all go through painful situations….sickness, divorce, loss of a loved one, financial hardships, etc. The pain from these situations can seem unbearable.

But, know that there is purpose in your pain.

The pain is only a symptom of the situation. It does not feel good because it is not supposed to. It exists to remind you that you are human. It exists to remind you that life is not always fair.   It exists to draw you closer to God.

The purpose of your pain is to push you to your next level…a higher level. It may remove you from a damaging, toxic or hurtful situation. It may help someone else so that they do not have to go through the same thing. It may show you that there is something greater.

If you press through the pain, you will become stronger spiritually, emotionally, mentally and even physically. If you allow the pain to teach you the lesson, without allowing seeds of bitterness and resentment to take root, it will condition your mind, spirit and soul. You will begin handling painful situations in ways that you never thought you would or could.

Now drop and give me 20….or you can just keep living abundantly 😉

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Got Frustration?

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Can I be honest with you?  I’ve been frustrated lately.  I’m frustrated professionally and personally.

Webster’s Dictionary defines frustration as

: a feeling of anger or annoyance caused by being unable to do something : the state of being frustrated

: something that causes feelings of anger and annoyance : something that frustrates someone

: the act of preventing the success of something : the act of frustrating something

Yup! That’s me, check, check and check.

Professionally, I’m frustrated because I’ve been sowing a lot of seeds and I’m not seeing any of them come to fruition. I’m not getting weary in well doing. But, I am feeling annoyed because I thought that surely by now I would see some growth.  I mean, certainly, when you do the right thing, at the right time, you get the right results.  Isn’t that how its supposed to happen?  So, what’s going on?  What’s the problem?

Personally, I’m frustrated because there are certain things that I want for myself that aren’t coming to pass. It feels like I continue having the same conversations, with the same people, making the same promises only for them to be broken.  Relationships that once uplifted and motivated me are beginning to drain and annoy me.

So, what do you do? When you’re annoyed, angry, disappointed and nothing seems to be working out the way you want it to when you know you’re doing everything that you know to do.  What do you when the very people that should be working with you continue to work against you?  How do you keep going when sometimes you just want to give up and throw in the towel?

You acknowledge your feelings, accept the situation and realize that this too shall pass.  You hold on and keep doing the right thing.  So, you will reap the reward…in due season. 

It may not be in your time.  But, it will be right on time.  And eventually, you will understand that the delay was not a denial.

Like so many other things in life, it’s easy to say but so much harder to do.  But, if you’re anything like me, you’ve come too far to give up now.  So, stick in there and keep living abundantly! 

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Hurting People

Life is funny.  People are even funnier.  I say that because, sometimes if you don’t laugh, you will cry.  It still amazes me how some people will judge, mistreat, use and abuse you.  It took me a long time to understand that when people do this, it has nothing to do with you.

Guess what?  Hurting people hurt people.  That’s right!  When people are hurt, in pain or unhappy.  They tend to transfer that to those they come into contact with.

So the next time someone talks about you, rolls their eyes or is just plain mean to you for no reason.  Say a prayer for them.  The struggle that they are dealing with is so much bigger than you.

Don’t repay their evil with evil.  Instead, offer them a smile, kind word or hug.  Why? Because that simple act of kindness can change someone’s life.

And, that’s how you continue living abundantly 🙂

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Marriage

As I continue living abundantly, God continues to ask me to trust Him.  With that, comes the need to get out of my comfort zone and share my life.  It amazes me how difficult this is for me.  However, I realize that my life is not my own.  So, here goes…..

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This picture is from our Wedding day.   Every time I see this photo, the feelings and emotions from that day come rushing back.  This day was the beginning of our “Happily Ever After.”

Like so many people, we believed in the fairy tale.  Then, one day, all of that changed.  My Prince Charming turned into the Beast.  And to be fair, I’m sure that he would say that his Cinderella turned into the Wicked Witch.

We stopped loving each other and began loathing each other.  As two imperfect people, we stopped focusing on our commitment and began focusing on ourselves.  This led to an all out war.  After various battles and struggles, our “we” turned into “I.”

I was tired.  I was frustrated.  I no longer wanted to sacrifice or compromise.  I had had enough drama to last me a lifetime.  Besides, I deserved to be happy.  So, I was done.

However, when you’re done with your marriage, there are a lot of decisions that have to be made.  How do you divide two lives that have became one?  How do you equally split assets and finances?  How do you go from waking up to your sweet munchkins every day to seeing them 3 days a week and every other weekend?

The struggle was real.  However, it was during that struggle that the most beautiful thing happened.  I gained wisdom, knowledge and strength.  I gained an understanding and closer walk with the Lord.

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I had an epiphany.  It is impossible for two imperfect people to maintain each other’s joy and happiness.  Besides, why would I want to place that burden on someone else?  I am responsible for the gift of my life, regardless of my marital status.

As I was going through this transformation, the Hubs was going through his own.  God had touched his heart too.  He began to see the beauty in the struggle.  Our pain, tears and hate began to turn into joy, laughter and love.

So, the “I” began to turn into “we.”  We wanted to see God’s Promises come to pass.  We wanted to have a testimony.  We wanted our marriage to last for better…and worse.

We know that the road will not always be easy.  However, we are determined to travel it together.  And, we’ll be living abundantly every step of the way!

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Will You Let It Go?

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Once upon a time, there was a little girl who absolutely adored her Daddy.  One special day, he gave her an imitation pearl necklace.  Oh my, how she loved that necklace.  So much so, she wore it everywhere she went.

One day, her Daddy came to her and asked if he could have it.  She immediately cried, “Oh no Daddy, this is mine. It’s my favorite.”  Her Dad simply said, “okay” and walked away.  The second day, the Dad came to his daughter again.  “Honey, can I please have that necklace.”  The little girl exclaimed, “No Daddy no, this is my favorite necklace.”  Her Dad hung his head low and walked away.

Finally on the third day, the Dad came to his daughter and asked could he have the necklace. Seeing the look in her Daddy’s eyes and the love that she had for him.  She relented and said, “Daddy, if it means that much to you, even though it’s my favorite, you can have it.”  Her Dad took the necklace.  As the little girl turned to walk away, he tapped her on her shoulder.  As she turned to face her Daddy, her eyes rested on the most beautiful pearl necklace that she had ever seen.

How many times has God asked you for your imitation pearls?  How many times have you told Him no?  Often times, we have to let go of the imitation, so we can grasp hold of what is real.  Are you ready to let it go?  If so, do it…don’t wait any longer.  Who knows what He will replace it with.  Now, that’s what I call living abundantly!