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In the Presence of Your Ememies

Perhaps the table being prepared (in the presence of our enemies) are provisions for us to love our “enemies,” to serve them, and to reconcile with them. ? God loves our “enemies” just as much as He loves us, and because they are our enemies does not necessarily make them His! Maybe He just wants to join us all at that table and share a meal together as friends…today!

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“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.

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And he said to David, “You are a better man than I am, for you have repaid me good for evil.

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#psalm235 #1samuel2417 #luke635 #revelation320 #peace #resolve #morningthoughts #positivity #faith #hope #love #⭐️?☕️

By Roderick Phifer

Morning Manna

Do we really understand what the “Favor of God” is.  People love to say they have it but do we really understand what it means. I  began to search for a definition and the one that I think describes it best is “the undeserved kindness of God”

We also must understand why God gives us his favor. God’s favor is not granted to us for our own pleasure or even to make us look good to others. I believe He grants it to us for two reasons. 1. That others lives can be changed because of what He did THRU (not for) us and so that He can get the glory.

When I think about the people in the Bible who we say see had God’s favor, we only see it because of the struggles that they went thru and then God shows up!  Joseph was favored by God and we know this because he was thrown in a pit, jail and then the palace.

Job lost everything but we see God’s favor it Chapter 42.

God favored Lazarus because He restored his life.

God’s Favor shows up when nothing else can help.  Favor shows up when we are in the valley.  Don’t discount when you go thru because that is where you see how much God favors you.

Don’t Confuse God’s Blessings with his Favor.  Your house and nice car are blessings from God. God’s favor is when you have bad credit from making mistakes and you are able to get a house you don’t deserve for the interest rate of someone with Good credit.  Your good job is a blessing. God’s Favor is when you background is full of mistakes and you get the job anyhow.  Your promotion from your hard work is a blessing.  Being promoted in 1 month when it normally takes everyone else  years on the job and more education than you have is God’s favor!

I appreciate everything that God has blessed me with but His Favor is what humbles me!

Good Morning!

For It Is By Grace You Have Been Saved

When we begin to understand Grace, we understand that it is not a “SpeedPass” on the Highway of sin, rather a realization that our sins against our neighbors and households ? (adultery, theft, lying, coveting, et al), are as injurious to us with the consequential discord and dysfunction. Our sins against one another are the manifestation and expression of our selfishness, our pride, and our arrogance. Grace and vengeance are mutually exclusive, thus those that struggle the most with receiving grace, are those that struggle most with dispensing it. Be a minister of reconciliation, giving and receiving Grace…today!
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“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you”…”All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;”
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#ephesians2:8 #matthew614 #2corinthians518 #forgive #love #grace #⭐️?☕️ #maplesyrupandjam #theGospelofyou #ministerofreconciliation#givegracetoyoutoo

By Rod Phifer

Why is LOVE the Only Thing Everyone Has Been Hurt by and Yet Still Want?

Why is love the only thing everyone has been hurt by and yet still want? I have been pondering this question for a few weeks now.  I have been hurt by those I have loved the most in various different ways, yet I still seek and desire their love. My initial thoughts were love is sacrificing self for others. The feeling I get when I see someone I love and struggle to put in words. The moment I held my children in my arms the first time, that’s love.  Right? As I contemplated so many definitions and examples, I began to wonder how other’s would define love.   So of course what’s the best way to find out, ASK FACEBOOK! Here are a few comments:

“I’ve often told my husband if I can name the reasons I love him that I would leave him. Love to me cannot be defined. It is what it is.”

“Love is giving someone the power to destroy you but, trusting them not too.”

“Doing whatever a situation requires for mutual (or communal) benevolence…or for the good of the other(s) whenever that is not possible.”

“Agape Love….it is not boastful, it is unconditional. It is the highest form of the human and spiritual realm….most times, it is unexplainable so I reflect on the love that God has given me. Then i use my personal “God moments” to explain what it REALLY means♥️”

Check out the link below for more comments.

Titled: Working on my blog post and I am curious on how others define LOVE. Please comment  https://www.facebook.com/shana.w.anderson

I even asked a few of my closets friends their thoughts on this thought provoking topic. One stated, “Love affects us like a drug. And we spend out lives chasing that high.” Another stated, “Love doesn’t hurt us. People and their actions hurt us.”

According to Webster love is defined as,” Strong affection for another arising out of  kinship or personal ties.” To my surprise it also stated according to Christian science when capitalized means GOD.   After a few weeks of struggling to answer this question, I decided to seek God and look for an answer. Love is mentioned 310 times in the King James Version of the bible.  There are four greek words that describe the types of love found in the bible –Eros (romantic love), Storge (family love) Philia (brotherly love), and Agape (God’s unconditional love). Maybe I will do a deeper dive into the 4 types in another post.  But love is first mentioned in Genesis 22:2 – “Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.

Another scripture, John 4: 18 reads, “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” If God love endures forever, should we also not constantly seek love? If God is Love, the feeling we have IS God.  Even though it may hurt or situations are tough, God is still there.   Therefore, we are always seeking LOVE = GOD. I personally believe God is telling us to love each other, our family, our neighbors (brothers) and most of all Him. I leave you with this question, what will you do to truly show God how much you love him?

Please  follow my biog and post a comment. I would love to hear from you! ♥️

By: Shana Wilson Anderson  

 

More than Just a Survivor

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Not only is it a time to bring awareness around breast exam screenings, and self examinations, it’s a great time to recognize our many survivors!  

I have the honor and privilege to know several strong survivors and would like to recognize and thank them for being an inspiration to me. But when I think of these women, the word “survival” doesn’t come close to who these women are.  I see women who have decided to live their best life. I see woman who have fought and won or who are currently fighting to win.  When I think of these women, they have so much in common that I must share with you. First, the most obvious characteristic is they are all God-loving women and have their own close personal relationship to God. I really don’t need to say anything more than that but for those who need a little more here you go.  They choose to be positive, to be happy, to be impactful to all they encounter. Each of them share their stories with other to inspire, motivate and encourage.

Today, you may not be battling breast cancer, maybe you are trying to survive from depression, financial instability, work stress or a broken marriage.

To all of you fearless, confident, beautiful women, the battle is not yours, it’s the Lords! Learn from the experts below and JUST LIVE!!!!

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When I am asked “What it means to be a survivor” I wrestle with this question. You see, the word “survivor” has never set well with my soul. So today, I spent some time unwrapping the word to understand what about “surviving” I did not embody. Then it came to me. To survive means to exist. Who wants to just “exist”? Life is meant to be lived!!! So I can’ tell you how to survive but I sure have a lot to say about living! Choose to let it be known that if it had not been for your faith in God, you would have lost your mind. Choose to say No. Do not allow negative energy or thoughts to occupy space in your life. Choose to be optimistic. To know that there is darkness is to know there is light. Choose to encourage someone else. Your testimony is not for you. Choose to be happy. Choose to smile. Choose to laugh. Choose to Love unconditionally. Choose unapologetically to Live your best life!!!!! And never, ever settle for simply surviving.  Leslie Wilson
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“More than just surviving to me is, I am existing and succeeding. I have favor with God. I’m faced with everyday challenges, but in my heart I’m a conqueror. I’m not just surviving, I’m living.”                                                      TC (Too Cute) Jones-Cannady
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“For me, being a survivor is so much more than ‘surviving.’ Its more so about embracing life and living it to the utmost. The Passion, Hunger and Appreciation that I have for Life surpasses my past and current circumstances. I’m living beyond Survivor-ship… I’m Living!”                                          Latoya S. Wilson

 

 

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“The strongest tool I found in my cancer battle was the will — the will to live, the will to love, the will to believe. I had to choose Faith over Fear! You can’t fight properly if you are afraid. My motto was “I’ll take this bull by the horns. Yes, it might throw me around a bit and knock me to the floor every once in a while, BUT, after everything is all said and done, I WILL BE THE ONE LEFT STANDING!” I refuse to let my diagnosis determine my destiny. This cancer does not own me! Cancer messed with my breasts, but definitely not my self-esteem! I can get through this and look good doing so!! Sometimes God has to take us through the renovation process to get us ready for the Grand Opening!”    Cicely Chapman McCray
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“Being a Survivor means I have a second chance at life. Also allows my testimony to be someone else’s savior.”   Leslie Porter
                                                                                                                                                                                            But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.   1 Corinthians 15

God’s Plan

God’s plan for us is that we have an abundant life, using our gifts and talents to bless and love one other (and Him or Her ??), and to share the Good News and to give Him glory. Our mistakes and “failures” neither surprise Him nor catch Him off guard, and they don’t derail or condemn us to Plan B, Plan C or Plan D. If we believe our mistakes have somehow disqualified us from His Grace, His Mercy, or His Plan, we have overestimated our own power and severely underestimated not only His power, but His love. Let Him love you, His arms are open wide…today!

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“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”

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#john1010 #romans58 #matthew2240 #romans520 #proverbs169 #grace #mercy #purpose #morningthoughts #positivity #love #giftedtogift #blessedtobless

When We Fail

When we fail, we often create distance, pushing those who love us the most the furthest away (including God). Perhaps this is because we feel unworthy and undeserving of their love? Perhaps it’s because we’d prefer some easy lust to some tough love? Imagine what we could overcome and what we would accomplish, if we would just see our immense immeasurable intrinsic worth. God has the very same love for you that He had for you, when you were born…today!
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”When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me
You have been so, so good to me…
And oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God…
And I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away.”
(Cory Asbury ~ Reckless Love)
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#romans58 #jeremiah15 #matthew1030 #morningthoughts #positivity#ohhowHelovesme #coryasbury #recklessloveofGod42705724_10216516494126371_3472920919301685248_o

My truth

So let me apologize if I ramble but God has really been downloading and I have so much I want to share and will probably be sharing a lot here over the next few weeks.  One of my concerns with the church especially when it comes to women we don’t like to tell anyone what we are going thru. So many women feel like they are the only ones or alone when they go thru things because we aren’t willing to share because we don’t want anyone in our business or we are ashamed. But if we have this mindset how are we ever gone to heal. How are we ever going to move forward.  I will be honest writing this is a struggle for me because honestly some things I don’t want to share but I know that is a trick of the enemy and if one person can read this and feel some hope and not be discouraged then God’s mission is accomplished. What I am realizing daily is that this journey is not about me but all about Him!

Deuteronomy 2:3 is what has pushed me into purpose. I have been circling the same mountain for quite some time and it is time to move on from here and the only way to do that is to share so here I go.

Over the last year I have struggled with depression. I am crying as I type this because this is the first time that I am sharing this. In the midst of this struggle I have smiled, I have encouraged others, I have ministered but I was still depressed.  See I couldn’t tell anyone because I didn’t want to bother anybody and I am a minister how does that look to be depressed. I could list the things that I have gone thru but as I finally began to deal with it I realize that the stem of it has to do with not really loving me.  This is going to sound so crazy to some of you but it is my truth. I look at myself in the mirror and I don’t see the strong woman everyone else sees.  I see a weak, unattractive person who is not worthy.

I am not sharing looking for anyone to tell my how strong I am or how beautiful I am but I am sharing because someone else needs to know you are not alone and most of all you don’t have to stay here. I hit my midnight about 2 weeks ago. I was preparing to go out of town to spend the weekend with friends and I didn’t feel like putting on the mask. See that’s what we do we put on mask to cover up what we are going thru but don’t realize how this hinders our healing. But I put on my mask and made it thru the weekend but then  I saw a picture of myself from that weekend and I think I cried for 2 hours because I hated the way I looked and then God took me back to Deuteronomy 2:3 and asked me how long am I going to circle this mountain. How long am I going to allow this spirit to keep me in this same place. Then I had my Midnight Moment and realized that I have to stop allowing the enemy to hinder me. So I am not saying that I miraculously healed. I am saying I am on a journey to be all that God has called me to be. It is time to move north and stop circling this same mountain.  So I began to write the vision! I didn’t write the problem I wrote the vision. I have written the plan to began to love the woman I see in the mirror. I thought God was going to wait until I came out (because I AM coming out) to share but He says I am going to share while I am coming out so that other women who are struggling with self-esteem issues can be encouraged and come out with me.  NO SOLDIER left behind!  We are going to come out on the other side!

Tomorrow I will share more about writing the vision! Be blessed and know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!!

There is a Method to the Madness: Surrender it All

TIRED AND EXHAUSTED!!!  I have used these adjectives several times recently to describe how I feel. In fact, even after 8 hour of sleep last night I woke up feeling once again tired and exhausted. Church was canceled due to Hurricane Florence yet I had a strong urge that I needed to hear a word from God. I received a Facebook alert that the Potter’s House was live and I tuned in and shared the broadcast on my television.  Pastor T.D. Jakes’ message today was titled, “Are You Open to Better?” Of course, we all want to respond, “Yes.” But are you really open to do things necessary to be better? The very thing that I love to do = help others, is the very thing that is causing me to be TIRED AND EXHAUSTED.  Some days I have so much on my plate there is little or no time to do what I have been truly called to do. My gift is destroying me.  How can my gift be destroying me you ask? Its simple – my method is not effective.  

My constant declaration of independence is the very thing that is causing me to be isolated, tired and exhausted. “Shana, do you need help with anything? I am here for you.” My response, “No, I got it. Thanks.”  All at the same time, I am wondering how in the hell am I going to get everything done. Well, now I know.  My method is ineffective. I cannot do it all by myself. 

God created us to be interdependent. He has surrounded his with people who share our same vision and passion. There is value in the people that we chose to surround ourselves with at home, work, church, maybe even the people we follow on Instagram and Facebook. People often tell me that they love my spirit. That my spirit is missed when I am not present. Well this very same spirit is why I have a relationship with so many. This is why these very same people are often passionate about the same things that I am passionate about. This did not just happen by coincidence. It is God working on my behalf. He has surrounded me with people that have the resources and potential to help me when needed.  Instead of saying I got it, I need to say, “Yes, and thank you.”  As a controller (Yes, I finally admitted it. It’s our secret),  it is hard to delegate things that are very important to me. However, in order for me to focus more on the things that I am passionate about, I must relinquish responsibilities more and trust those that are in my circle.  I am a limited valuable resource. I no longer feel the need to validate who I am to others because I know who and whose I am.  There is no one to compare Shana to but Shana.  And I am only accountable for the gift that God gave me. And I certainly cannot be everything for everyone every day all the time.  I have a BIG vision that I will be global and impact many lives and I know that I cannot do it alone. I am not only open to being better, I am open to doing better. I will commit to surrounding myself with people with potential that will maintain a high level of integrity, commitment, trustworthiness, competence and who do not break under pressure.  

I chose to be a VOLUMINOUS person. My capacity is big and my expectations even bigger. I will rely on others that support my vision, passion and purpose. I commit to giving my all, accepting and asking for help when needed.  I will continue to be open even if it means changing my method, shutting up, or doing the very thing that scares the hell out of me. 

Are you TIRED AND EXHAUSTED too? Let’s change together. Stop take a breathe, look in the mirror. What do you see? What areas of your life can you lean on others so that you can live your best life? Surrender all those things that are keeping you from gift, your passion,  your best life. There is a method to your madness, surrender it all. 

Listen to this song and be blessed.

“IT” Doesn’t Just Happen in Your Relationship

Relationships are such an important part of our lives. Yet, we often don’t take the time to do what we need to nurture and develop them. It is important to first take time to understand what is important to you. Stop and take inventory of your past relationships. What did you like? What didn’t you like? What would you want your significant other to do differently?  What do YOU need to do differently? Yes, I said YOU.

When you think you have an understanding, open your mouth and express your feelings and desires. Your understanding can and will change as you and your partner grow. Having an open and honest conversation will help ensure you have an understanding on what is expected from both parties.

This isn’t always an easy conversation to have but is probably one of the main reasons relationships fail. If you have needs and wants, you must be able to share them with the one that matters the most to you even if there will be hurt feelings. Not knowing and not getting the opportunity to have a choice to change exposes opportunities that if not corrected could lead to damaged relationships.

Years ago, my husband and I went to marriage counseling. The major topic – the “R” word aka Romance. Being the avid Harlequin romance reader, I wanted more. I recall explaining to our counselor how I wanted more romance and I wanted my husband to just do “it.” Well “it” rarely happened. While I was reading romance novels, he was watching football and apparently didn’t get it. But I had an ah ha moment when she simply told me to tell him what I wanted. He was willing, but just didn’t know what I wanted so what harm would it be if I explained my hearts desires.

Instead of suffering in silence or seeking romance elsewhere, we began to talk more and that void lessened. If you want “IT”, ask for “IT”, go for “IT” and make “IT” happen.

IT really doesn’t just happen.