Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christ is Christmas! Happy birthday Jesus!






Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
We are grateful for many things in this season:
Family, holiday traditions, good food, the laughter of children, Christmas cookies, Christmas carols, opportunities to serve others and quality time with friends.

The greatest gift, however, is relationship with Jesus Christ. We pause to acknowledge His day. Happy birthday Jesus!
We're blowing our horns in our hearts and hanging the streamers of thanksgiving. We're showcasing your character and putting the day in its proper perspective.
You are the reason for the season.
We give you praise!

We are thankful for the generosity that God displayed when He sent His precious son Jesus as the Savior of our sins.

He came down 42 generations, was born into a dysfunctional family, lived and dwelt amongst sinners, took persons that were marginalized and ostracized and brought them into his inner circle and changed the lives of all that came into contact with Him.
Jesus. Game changer.
Heart fixer.
Grace giver.
Problem solver.
Savior.
Perfect lamb.
Lord.
Fully God.
Fully man.
Faithful friend.
Righteous Redeemer.

We celebrate His birth that has made our rebirth possible.
Whatever you need Him to be, He makes Himself available to you today.

Join us in worship with the angels, "Joy to the world the Lord has come. Let earth receive her King."

Our prayer is that you will experience His amazing grace and unending love today.

Unwrap the greatest gift that the world has ever known.

"Today in the town of David a savior has been born; he is the Messiah."
Luke 2:11

His life makes eternal life possible and we cherish the manger that held the baby and the cross that held our sins as our Savior died.
Take a moment and celebrate that Christ is Christmas and He is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Money and material possessions will lose value, earthly kingdoms will rise and fall but Christ will last always.
He reigns over an unshakable Kingdom.
Bow at His feet and worship Him as the world celebrates His birth and purpose.
Choose today as the day that you will make Him the Lord of your life.

C. S. Lewis said, "the Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God."
What a glorious gift!

Unwrap salvation today. It is a free gift just for you.
"Confess and believe and you shall be saved." (Romans 10:9,10)
You don't have to wait another minute.
Move from hearing about Him to knowing Him. What better birthday gift to give Jesus than your heart?

Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you that the manger and the cross are inextricably tied and we give you praise for the life and ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
As we enjoy family, let us remember where we would be if Christ had not come. Help us to grasp the reality that you bankrupt heaven to give us life eternally by sending the perfect combination of divinity and humanity.
We worship you, holy and perfect King.
Thank you for deliverance and a destiny that is sure.
Thank you for giving us access to the heart and family of God.
Save. Heal. Repair. Restore. Forgive.
You are the Christ of Christmas.
May our praise be endless.
We worship you. We honor you. We love you. Thank you for salvation. Make us faithful.
Celebrating you...
The God who is and was and is to come.
******************************************
Merry Christmas from Cross Spring Ministries.
Celebrate Jesus. Follow the Star.
Wise men still seek Him.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

What I Thought I Knew About Love/ A tribute to my husband. Rev. Timothy Robinson.

Love.
A guide.
Like the wind that directs kites to fly high into the heavens and commands sailboats to make their home on the sea.
Love.
Like water on a hot, summer day.
A thirst quencher that you cannot get enough of.

Is that how you envision love?
It's exactly how I envisioned love for most of my life and especially when I was a single woman anticipating marriage one day.
I had so much to learn about love.
Love can be all of those things, but it is also so much more.
My portrait of it was seen through rose tented glasses, through relationships in the media, through the illusions of perfect relationships around me and through a perspective that had not yet been tested by life.

Love as a girl is fantasized.
Love as a teenager is romanticized.
Love as a young adult is often dramatized.

Today,  I'm thankful for a grown up understanding of what love really is.
Love actualized.

I rejoice in 8 years of marriage to my best friend and seminary sweetheart.
He is my heart, my love, a supportive leaning post and covenant partner.
He is Rev. Tim Robinson. Tall. Dark. Handsome.
(Que Johnnie Gill singing, "Mymymy.")

I honor him today on our anniversary for the strong leader that he is, for his commitment to academic excellence and for being the pastor of our home.
I'm thankful to him for being the provider and prophet and priest.

He is affirming and encouraging and he stimulates my intelligence.
Thankful for his life.
I'm so thankful to be his wife.
He's my man. God's man!

We have celebrated together.
We have suffered together.
We have lived on a lot.
We have lived on little.
We have grieved together.
We have laughed until we have cried and we have sat crying in silence.
We have grown together.
We have been encouraged together and have evolved together.
We are recipients of God's amazing grace.
We are discovering what love is and is not together.

Love is a gift from God that never fails.
(1st Corinthians 13: 8.)

It is not selfish, self seeking, prideful or impatient. Love does not insist that the person you marry will remain who they were when you met them or who they were on your wedding day because each of us evolves continually. Love leaves room for change.
Love is not entitled.
Love speaks the truth in love.
Love is not petty or immature.
Love is not based upon feelings but based upon commitment.
Love apologizes and love forgives.

It is growing and changing and maturing daily.

Love.

It is as elegant as classical musical and as good as 90's R&B music and hip hop.
It's as timeless as Nat King Cole.
It's all over the place like finger paint.
It's warming or destructive like fire.
It's exhilarating and exhausting.
Love agrees and disagrees.
Love listens and speaks.
Love gives.
It's unpredictable and it's unique.
Love is a classroom.
It is childlike and it is grown up.
It's a riot. It's a circus. It's a fairytale and life often brings moments that are nightmares.
It does not throw in the towel.
It does not pretend to have it all together.
It is impossible without God, prayer, sacrifices and a healthy support system.

Love.
The great, insatiable, paradox.
One moment it is magical and another moment it is messy.  It cannot be achieved without supernatural power.

Shakespeare suggests that "love is rigid and crucial to endure life."

The Bible says that love is truth in action.
(I John 3:18)

I agree with both.
It's life giving, heart expanding, character building, complimenting and complicated. It's also deliberate dying to oneself and perpetual faith and servitude in action.

I am thankful for it and praise God for the Ministry of marriage that makes each of us more like Christ each day.
I love you....deeply love you, Timothy Robinson. Humbled by the shared journey. Thank you for loving, sharing, laughing, enduring and protecting. Because of you I have known real love.

Dear Lord, for your abiding love and divine plan to bring life purposes together in marriage, we thank you.
For using two imperfect people who are striving to live out your perfect plan, we thank you.
For the waiting room that prepared us for one another, we thank you.
For joys and sorrows, we thank you.
For defining and redefining true love, we thank you and give you praise.




Friday, November 27, 2015

Thankful For The Limp



It's a great season to be thankful. "Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5:20).

What are you thankful for?

Many have shared or posted in social media the things that they are thankful for:
Relationship with Christ
Health
Family/Friends
Jobs/Ministries
Opened doors/ opportunities
Dreams realized
Homes/Warmth/Shelter
Food
Peace/Freedom/Safety

My prayer is that our gratefulness will not be limited to this Thanksgiving weekend or the holiday season, but will remain an attitude of gratitude that is a lifestyle.  One writer said, "Gratitude takes what we have and turns it into enough." I couldn't agree more.  Each of us has so much to be grateful for. All that we have, if we are honest, is more than enough.

Have you stopped to thank God for your life?
Your life was made on purpose. You were not a mistake and God took great care in tailoring making your body, mind and spirit so that you can be the 'YOU' that He intended.

"Before I formed you in your mother's womb, I chose you..." (Jeremiah 1:5).

Aren't you glad that no one can beat you being you? God, the creator of the earth and the world,  made each of us uniquely and purposefully. We should pause often to simply be thankful for who He is and for who He has made us to be.

Every hair, fingerprint, dimple, freckle, personality trait, and strength that each of us has were designed to reflect God's image.  Aren't we thankful for His generosity in His creativity and creation?

You know what else we can be thankful for? Life's setbacks, strains and struggles.

That sounds strange to some to hear because we are use to being thankful for material things, for people that we love and for unforgettable opportunities, but the older we become the more we see the maturity and testimony that struggles bring. We can be thankful for struggles? Yes, there is a blessing in struggle.
Have you taken a moment to praise God for life's hiccups and painful moments?
Just like God designed  our lives, families, fingerprints, character, opportunities and paths, He has also designed our struggles.

Our devastating moments, failures, betrayals, moments of loss, and hurts may also bring His heart great pleasure-not because He likes to see us hurting, but because He knows what the hurts will produce. "That I may know Him..."(Philippians 3:10) can not be a verse that we memorize without it having a message that is internalized.  Knowing God in an intimate way involves suffering. Knowing Him involves growing in Him.

Pause a moment and thank God for opportunities to grow in Him, to grow in patience, to grow in hope, in forgiveness, in humility and in resilience.

"Therefore I am well content with weakness, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:10).


Someone may be struggling with receiving a pink slip after a lay off or the impact of being fired. Someone else may be dealing with the pain of transition, the surprise of a recent diagnosis, the side effects of a new medicine, the adjustment of being a single mother or father, the agony of losing a spouse to death or divorce, the ups and downs associated with starting a new business, the discomfort of launching out into new territory or a friendship that has gone sour.  Someone may be enduring being called out of your name or suffering due to your religious beliefs.

Perhaps you are not experiencing any of those things, but have found yourself feeling overwhelmed or discontent because life doesn't seem as calm or comfortable as it use to be.

There's good news! "God will never leave you nor forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6)

He not only walks with us on the mountains but He also walks with us in the valleys of our experiences.

In the recent months, there have been many walks to support breast cancer, diabetes, aids and other life altering diseases that need global recognition.  One of the signs that I appreciate seeing posted at national races for the cure says, "Limping is still walking."  It is so encouraging because it helps runners, joggers and walkers to see that you are still in the race even if you are limping.

It is very important to know that just because we experience 'limps' in life that we must not lose sight that we can still 'walk.' Limping means that we may walk slower. It means that we find a new perspective and a new norm, but it doesn't give us an excuse to quit, to become consumed by defeat or depression.  Limps are still reflections of God's grace.

A few months before I married my husband I went on a mission trip. It was an extraordinary trip to Izmir, Turkey.  Although there were many life changing experiences involved with studying the 7 churches of Asia Minor, prayer time and tours with classmates, witnessing to non-believers, meeting great Turkish people and learning about their incredible culture, my trip took on a new lens when I had an accident and injured both legs, both ankles, knees and both feet. I returned to the states with a temporary limp and a testimony.  Although I got back to school, ministry and life as normal, by the time my wedding day rolled around, I still had to wear a knee brace under my wedding gown to give me support and to relieve pain.

The brace was present but not disabling. It didn't stop me from having a wonderful time. It didn't stop me from walking down the aisle to the man of my dreams, greeting guests and it didn't stop me from dancing the night away.  It was also an ocular demonstration to me of an incident that changed me but didn't cripple me.

The brace was a reminder of grace!

What's your 'limp?'

What's your brace?

 What has changed your life and is a reminder to you of God's continued grace...of God's amazing grace?

Take a moment and praise God for His brace of grace on your life. He is our brace!

Jesus had been mocked, humiliated and beaten all night long. He was so exhausted that He didn't carry His own cross to the place 'of the skull.'  Yet, He didn't allow insults and exhaustion to keep Him from His purpose. He continued pushing His way to the cross because the cross was where He would complete His earthly mission. It was the entire reason that He was born.

If Jesus didn't allow cramps, fatigue, burnout, bleeding, threats or pain to keep Him from living out His mission, surely you and I can continue our mission as well.

Sunday can not be welcomed unless Friday is endured. Finish the race!

Victory is on the way! Suffering leads to strengthening.

Remember, just because you're limping doesn't mean that you can't walk. 

_______________________________________________________________________________________
Dear Lord, thank you for life's limps and lessons. We ask that you will endow us with your power to overcome life's challenges. Thank you for victory over all things. We praise you for being the brace of grace that keeps us steady and strengthened. Receive glory and honor in our celebrations and in our suffering. Thank you for a promised day of victory in the race that you have already won.
In Jesus name, Amen!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Clergy Appreciation Month Tribute/ Remembering Rev. Dr. E.K. Bailey- A Heart Note

Remembering Daddy, Rev. Dr. E.K. Bailey
Pastor's Appreciation Month 2015


Today we celebrate our father's promotion day in heaven.
Thank you for stopping by this blog today to help me honor him.
On Oct. 22, 2003, our Dad, the late, Pastor E.K. Bailey was called from life on earth to better life in heaven. We are grateful that the clergy community, the city of Dallas and friends around the nation paused with us to acknowledge his life, work and contributions as the Founding Pastor of Concord Church in Dallas, TX, as a proud son of California and Texas, as an author, evangelical statesman and mentor to many and as a pioneer in expository preaching. We will never forget the outpour of love then and the love that remains through many precious relationships.


Before losing a parent, I considered death anniversary's to be morbid and sad. I never wanted to get caught up in the depressing reflections, however, I have since learned, that reflections don't have to be depressing. Many memories are filled with laughter, joyful tears, silent and impacting thoughts of his wise words and memories that provoke a heart which erupts with gratitude.

Now 12 years later, it has been a joy to keep his voice alive on social media platforms, in mentoring others and in simple moments that make my heart smile because something that he did or said is recalled and remains relevant for continued growth.

I know that one of the greatest tragedies of  any generation is to develop social, relational or spiritual amnesia.  We must commit to never forget those persons that placed us on their shoulders, that lived faithful, fruitful and faith-filled lives.  We must acknowledge that they existed and that we are better because they introduced us to Christ, championed for families, celebrated our victories, suffered with us, pushed the potential of students, singles, marriages and children, maximized the lives of many, prayed, listened, sacrificed, cried, dreamed, established paradigms, inspired people and preachers and advocated so that many of us could experience life as we know it today.

Clergy persons, like the global church, are treasured 'institutions' of higher learning. If you have a minister in your life who encourages, inspires and challenges you, we must pause together to celebrate those indelible influences and teachers. Some professors impact us in classrooms, some preachers are mostly inspiring from the pulpit, but many more impact us simply by being accessible, honest, encouraging and present. This month we honor all clergypersons and I'm grateful in that process to honor my first pastor, my father and friend. The world knew him as Pastor Bailey. The academy knew him as Dr. Bailey. His family knew him as Kinsley.  His classmates knew him as Bailey and our family lovingly called him, "Mufassa."

It will take a lifetime to recall all of the special moments shared but some of my favorite are:

  • Devotional time at the kitchen table with our family each morning before we went to school reading the bible, a devotional piece and praying together.
  • Running to his office to grab a snack or juice after services and to grab a quick hug.
  • Rides in the car with him to revivals, bookstores, church services and meetings.
  • Trips with the family for fun and rest and Daddy/Daughter dates and chats.
  • Picking out our favorite suits and ties that he wore with him.
  •  Hearing his voice on the phone simply saying, "How is my baby?"
  • Hearing his insatiable laughter on the phone with friends.
  • Seeing his joy as he watched God use his friends in preaching and leadership.
  • Getting the '411' on his thoughts of our friends and people that we were dating.
  • Participating in writing projects with him.
  • Serving on his staff and growing under his leadership.
  • Watching his favorite t.v. shows and enjoying his favorite meals with him.
  • Hearing his jokes, kissing his forehead, holding his hand and later, caring for him with our mother and siblings.
  • Watching him study regularly and push other preachers to do the same.
  • Watching his reaction to conflict. 
  • Hearing his passion for Christ and preaching each week.
  • Chats with our friends in the living room, Dallas Cowboy game day and holidays shared together.
  • Seeing him adjust to a new way of leading, preaching and serving.
  • Watching the sermon of his life in suffering.
  • Hearing others share how gracious he had been to their families and watching him never slight his family caring for other families.

Oh the joy of remembering a great Dad and of being an unapologetic Daddy's girl!

Take a moment and write out or reflect upon the people that God has used in your journey of faith.

Why reflect?

It is beneficial to pause to reflect. In words spoken from the sages we are continuously mentored,  challenged and encouraged by their thoughts.
It has blessings. It helps each of us to slow down from the busyness of life to become keenly aware of what is behind us, before us, around us, and within us.

In the movie The Lion King, one of the great animated children's movies of all time, we see many purposeful adult themes and life lessons.  One of the big take away moments in the film was when the young 'lion in training' saw his late father's reflection and hears his father's iconic words, "Remember."
He was arrested by those words because up until that moment he had forgotten his purpose and his father's legacy which had played a role in him not fully living up to his own potential. He saw the immediate need to abandon fear and to walk in his purpose with courage.

How about you? How have you and I stunted our growth by not taking time to remember?

Reflecting cause us to do necessary remembering. It awakens us to what lies in our spiritual DNA and pushes us from having potential to actualizing that potential within.

Equally important, it is biblical to reflect. Reflecting allows us to honor others.

Exodus 20:12 says, "Honor your father and your mother..."
Reflecting helps us to honor God by honoring others and plays a major role in our family's structure, in our own character development and in the development of our family's moral compass and legacy.

Luke 22:19 says, "Do this in remembrance of me." Each time we take communion we remember Christ's body that was broken and His blood that was shed on the cross. We can not remove remembering from holy communion.  In remembering we share in the suffering and fellowship and worship of Christ. Similarly, we cannot remove remembering from our life scope and experience.

Therefore, today's post is a thank you card to heaven to God, our perfect Heavenly Father who has been so gracious to us and a tribute to our beloved earthly father's life, love, lessons and impact.


We celebrate who he was, but we also celebrate who he is right now in Christ. We are thankful that his life continues to teach us how to trust God in all seasons, how to invest in people, how to rebound when life has unwanted interruptions, how to love and work well and how to finish well.

Praise God for His benevolent kindness to all clergypersons and all of His children!

God bless all clergy persons who are leaving legacies that will far out live themselves. Thank you for your life, sacrifices, families, faith, commitment, prayers and witness. We salute you! Know that your existence matters.
___________________________________________________________________________________

Daddy, you are my forever hero. I miss you madly. Always looking up to you.

Thank you for  the ministry of you. We hope to make you proud by living out our purpose, by serving God and mankind, by standing on your shoulders and not in your shadow.
We commit to simply remember. Thank you for being a great Dad. Enjoy Jesus.

Love,
Cokiesha

Monday, October 5, 2015

A Prayer for Survivors, Cancer patients and families


In October we pause to bring awareness to the world on breast cancer and  its impact, we celebrate heroic breast cancer survivors and urge everyone's responsibility in receiving regular checkups. We also cheer for patients who are currently and bravely fighting cancer and we remember those who have finished their battle with dignity.

Join me in praying for cancer patients and families and please find a person and cause to invest in this month that will encourage the cancer patients and survivors in your families, communities and sphere of influence on their journey:

Dear Lord, thank you for life and for abundant life through Jesus Christ.

So many families have been impacted by cancer but we thank you for being Lord of all and for being God that conquers disease, is able to heal, comforts broken hearts and restores.

Today, we want to honor you for being a God who has kept your promise to "never leave us nor forsake us."

We give you praise for every life and testimony. We thank you for how you have used stories to inspire, brokenness to better, tears to produce triumphant witnesses, agony to bring awareness and sickness to reflect your grace and glory.
Thank you for faithful witnesses and thank you that you are the Faithful One that is tried and true.

We thank you for your loyal love. We bless you for your keeping power and for joy even in the valley.
We celebrate your stability and ability to reveal to us more of yourself in suffering.

Today, we ask for your continued provision for all families that are impacted by cancer and other life-changing diseases. We ask for your peace that surpasses all understanding and we ask for you to provide support and encouragement in this very hour.
We pray for a cure to be found for all cancers and for the patience to wait on your divine deliverance.

We pray for patients, families, doctors and nurses and their medical teams as well as health care providers and care takers. Meet every need and display your power at work each day.

Thank you for being a God who does not turn His head in our sorrow or look away at a distance when we are hurting. Thank you for being an ever present help. We thank you for being a God who is accessible and available and who demonstrates his authority. Touch bodies, hearts and spirits even now.
Thank you for survivors. Use them to tell of your wonderful mercy and healing. Grant new faith and continued protection. Hear their prayers. Raise up more warriors in each survivor by faith.

We submit all desires and requests and all cares to you and surrender doubt and anxiety to you and praise you for answering prayers according to your will.

We remember the memories of those that have been promoted to glory and thank you that we will be united with them again.

Thank you for hope. Thank you for healing. Thank you for moments to reflect on your kindness and consistency in character.

You're merciful.
You're loving.
You're good.
You're immutable.
You're just.
You're compassionate.

We rejoice that "we can trust an unknown future in the hands of an all-knowing God."

Get the glory from every story in your precious name. Point people to you in your mighty name that is able to heal and renew. Turn heart break into a halo of hope and turn devastation into celebration in Jesus name. We stand in your power and give you praise. Amen.
_____________________________________________
Be encouraged! God cares for you.

"...casting all anxieties on Him for He cares for you."
- I Peter 5:7

"...after you suffer for a little while you will be strengthened, settled and sustained."
- I Peter 5:10

"But as for me, I will look to the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation;  my God will hear me." - Micah 7:7




Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Have you ever been Chopped?

One of my favorite culinary TV shows is entitled, "Chopped." The concept of the television show is for skilled and professional chefs from around the world to come together and display how well they can cook and create under pressure with a surprise basket filled with ingredients.

At the end of each competitive segment, the judges have to select a chef that can not advance and must be "chopped."

My question for you is, "Have you ever been chopped?" Have you ever been fired? Excluded? Displaced? Have you ever experienced a broken heart? Have you ever been asked to leave a relationship that you really wanted in business, ministry, in the community or in your sphere of interest and influence?

We all have experienced one or more of those categories. It never feels good to be chopped knowingly or unknowingly.

What always baffles and encourages me is when I see people on the TV show being chopped and asked to leave the set immediately (which is always devastating) and yet, upon the decision for them to be terminated from the kitchen, many of them thank the judges joyfully for the opportunity and leave simply grateful.

This reminds me of how God has designed the human experience. He has ordained certain life experiences that we will face
because He knows that being chopped may be difficult for us but will be worked out for our good. If we really believe that Romans 8:28 is true, we must accept that even when life chops us,  it is still being worked out in our favor. He is strengthening our testimony, growing our faith, teaching us humility, showing us that value does not come in tasks or titles but in Him and reminding us that failure is not final.
He is also trying to help us to learn to be grateful even in being tested, terminated or tried. We, in essence, become more like Christ who endured the cross.

What surprise basket in life have you been given and asked to use under pressure? God is creating men and women in life's kitchen that can "cook" up faith, hope, perseverance, authenticity and resiliently rise to the occasion even when they've been chopped.

We must have confidence that we are always victorious in Him.
Without Queen Vashti's moment of being "chopped," we never would have the biblical reminder that women do not have to allow themselves to be disrespected and never have to agree to stay in a position that is exploiting.
We also have learned in Esther's story that God can and will raise up other "queens" amongst us to fulfill His plans for His people for such a time as this.
Without Joseph's story that looked like his destiny was being "chopped," by his jealous brothers, we never would have seen God take him from the pit to the palace into a place of prominence.
"You intended to harm me but God meant it for my good." (Genesis 50:20.)

Being chopped has its benefits. We get a front row seat to the supernatural hand and provision of God for His children and continue to be conformed into His image.
Victory is ours!

You may feel disappointed because you were not allowed to go to the next round but this could be the springboard for your next level. Jesus went down in the grave and came back up in victory over death. Go down to go up.

Today, take a moment and thank God that He loves us so much that He allows us experiences to be chopped and simply tell him thank you for this opportunity.

Dear Lord, thank you for breaking us to better us. We praise you for hurts that have helped and for choosing us to endure hardship, insults, and misunderstandings. Make us more like you.
Thank you for taking each of us from one level of faith to another by way of the chopping block.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Worst News and The Best Outcome

What would you say is the worst news you have received?

The loss of a loved one?
A devastating diagnosis?

Perhaps it was the betrayal of a friend or something so painful that you have never spoken to anyone about it.
Everyone in this world has had their share of bad news. I recall the day that seemed to be the worst day of my life.
My doctor shared that I was very unhealthy and his next words shook me to my core. He said, "You are a very intelligent woman but you have not made good choices with your health and if you do not lose weight you will not live much longer...you may not live to see 40 years old."
I sat there with tears in my eyes.  I was dumbfounded and partially offended, but most of all frustrated, scared and disappointed in myself.

He said for me to start taking a walk or getting on a treadmill for a minimum of 10 minutes a day and to immediately change my lifestyle.

When I first started exercising those 10 minutes were excruciating but I knew that I had to stay with it if I wanted to see my 40th birthday and to live longer.

Before I knew it 10 minutes turned into 15 minutes and 15 minutes turned into 30 minutes. Not only that, new choices were made in the things that I ate and as independent as I am (or thought I was), I learned that I needed a support system and a team of people to help me reach my goal of improved health. It has been a long road but I am so thankful to God that my medical reports have improved, significant weight loss has been experienced and I feel better now at 42 than I did at 22. When my body craves exercise and I get excited going to walk and jog all I can do is praise God because I remember how far He's brought me.

Clearly, the worst news of my life produced the best results in my life.

What about you? Do you also need someone in your life to tell you the truth about yourself in a way that is so painful that it will wake you up from your spiritual, relational, professional or physical slumber? Will what you have lost be re-purposed in the new evolution of you? Will your moments of devastation lead to your destiny being fulfilled?

Perhaps your worst news will produce the best results for you as well. Bad news draws us closer to God.
No matter where you are on your journey please be encouraged.
Where you are right now does not have to be your end. It could be one of your defining moments and a springboard to your testimony that will bless others.

In Genesis 22 Issac and Abraham's lamentation turned into celebration when God provided a ram.

In Luke 23:46 Jesus died on the cross. His gruesome death ensured the best of our salvation.
What looked like the disciples' worst news ever would lead to the best news ever in 3 days when they would experience Jesus had been resurrected. (Luke 24)

Today, let's pause and thank God for bad news that leads to the best news ever.
He was dead but now He's alive!
Because He lives all of our bad news can be overcome because of the cross.
"Because He lives I can face tomorrow, because he lives all fear is gone, because I know who holds the future and life is worth the living just because  He lives..."

Dear Lord,
Thank you for bad days that have and will lead to better days. Thank you for being a God of another chance. Take our brokenness and receive honor . No matter what bad news we have or will experience, we know that you will grant an outcome that gives you glory. Thank you for testimonies and victory in Jesus Christ. We bless you for the gift of your marvelous grace. You lived, died, rose again and now are seated at the right hand of our Father interceding for each of us. Thank you for more good news to come. Our hope is in you.
Make us faithful!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Happy Birthday Cross Spring Ministries


Last month my sister and I both celebrated our birthdays and we enjoyed a fun and memorable 2 week long celebration. We welcomed Shenikwa into the 40 year old club and I am so excited for her and immensely enjoyed her birthday festivities.

Last week our brother Emon celebrated his birthday and we thoroughly enjoyed celebrating with him as well.  My husband and I deeply enjoyed a birthday dinner with him and hearing his excitement about the days ahead gave us great satisfaction. What a joy to watch your siblings grow in life and maturity.

Today I am so thankful to celebrate another birthday. This is not the birthday of a person but it is the birthday of something that is very much alive.

God has birthed a ministry by the name of Cross Spring and I am grateful to be the servant-founder.  I welcome your continued prayers for this brand new ministry.

Respected and influential philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas once said,
"The things that we love reveal who we are."
 I love many people and things including: my husband, family, friends, good food, learning, social media, a good book, good preaching, authentic conversations with authentic people and traveling, but there's someone and something that I love even more passionately :
I love Jesus.
I love what He did for us on the cross.
(John 3:16).
I love that He has given us
Himself and allows us the opportunity to participate in His activity.
I love that God places His treasures in trashcans and yet allows us to present the Living Water to others who are thirsty in a myriad of ways.
Cross Spring Ministries is my new love.
Like birthing a child, it has come with prayerful planning and pain and the process has been worth it. I am so thankful that the vision has been born and we are anticipating a future with God who will grow this dream and mature it for His glory. It's the birthday or inception of Cross Spring and my desire is that it will simply be given back to God and overseen with integrity and care. Today I am praying for all "parents" of ministries.

We are living in a world where people establish ministries or become the leader of a ministry or organization and assume that it is their kingdom. That arrogant and sinful mindset has added fuel to the flame of narcissism within the local and global church.
In a moment of reflection we can often sit and ponder the type of ministry or organization that we do not desire because we have seen the colossal mistakes of others.

Today was special and solemn because it gave me an opportunity to spend the day in prayer asking God to remind me daily that this ministry belongs to Him and not myself.  It is a platform to introduce others to Jesus Christ and to push the potential of others who are seeking their purpose. It is a means to offer hope for the hurting and a place by which encouragement can serve as an arrow that points people to Jesus Christ. It is not a platform for growing in popularity and celebrity, manipulative agendas, or personal gain but a platform of servitude.
Why? Because it is a matter of stewardship.
Genesis 2:15 shares how God gave the garden to man with the expectation of him cultivating it and keeping it.
Many times we desire God to bless us but we reject the responsibility of cultivating and keeping the blessing that He has given.
Today, on the birthday of this new ministry, my desire, by the grace of God, is to till the soil, to plow and to water the seeds that God has planted because of His love.

What has God given to you that He is asking you to cultivate and keep daily because you love Him?
Is it a business or ministry? A marriage, a family or friendship? A job, opportunity, team, task or dream?
As we move in our hectic day to day activities, let us pause to remember that we are only borrowers of what belongs to God.
May we fix our eyes on the responsibility of cultivating.

Dear Lord,
We humbly give back to you what you have so generously given to us. Take our lives, gifts, resources, titles and tasks, platforms and the people in our care and make us faithful keepers.

For your glory!


Friday, August 14, 2015

Welcome!


Welcome to my new blog spot and another place to call home.

This will be a place that will give a small window into some of life's experiences, reflections, and lessons learned on the journey.

I hope that it will be a place of prayer, promise, purpose, and possibility.

Perhaps it will be one of the many places that you will stop by to visit each week or month that will invite you to worship God, to be engaged in thought, to have real talk about failures, victories, growth, or a place that simply offers you encouragement or respite during a busy week when you simply need to slow down to inhale grace.
It's a place of grace.
"Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see."

I look forward to the things that we will "see" together.