Having just started taking my call to the ministry serious within the past few years, I have found that it is a completely new world with its very own tough questions and difficult situations. I have decided to share this with the world, in hopes that it might help someone who has heard that call that radiates from your soul, to your heart, and then to your head. The call that God needs you to do what He designed only you to do…….HELP THE PEOPLE (thanks to my Chamily* sis, Chanda for that one).
One of the first things that I began to think about when I realized the type of call God has designed for me, was the reaction of my husband, Ron. I had a good laugh, because during the beginning of our relationship, when I found out that Ron has been a reserved police officer, I told him I had decided never to become involved with a police officer or a preacher. Now here I was, almost 18 years later, accepting my call to the ministry and living my life as the wife of an active reserve police officer.
I have not currently discussed what I am writing in my blog with Ron, so there are some details that I will have to leave out. However, I will do my best to give you an accurate description of the events that occurred. Ron was seemingly not surprised at my declaration. Somehow, he seemed to have sensed from the way I had been acting that something was beginning to change. He had begun to see that singing was not the total fulfillment of God’s call on my life; and he was willing to support me all the way.
The next person I had to talk with was a little more intimidating. My older brother, James, had always been easy for me to talk to about anything; right up until he became my Bishop. I found myself always wondering which part of him would come out when I needed him to help with difficult situations; the comforting Spiritual Covering on my life, or my straight-shooting older brother, who rarely fell for any of my crap. Having witnessed a couple of experiences at the altar during prayer between myself, and some of the closest people in my life, James came to me first. “Is there something we need to talk about? Yeah, my office, Tuesday at 3,” and then with the kiss on my forehead that has been our way since I was a baby, he walked away and I knew I was in it for the count.
Did he try to scare the CRAP out of me during that meeting, oh yes, he did! It was necessary that he be certain that I understood the magnitude of the life I was now entering; and that I was wholeheartedly dedicated to the task. I told him I was willing to do whatever was required and quietly left his office. My first thought as I made my way to the back of the sanctuary was “Wow, he’s still really easy to talk to. Guess that’s just in the genes.” However, by the time I made it back to the end of the pews, my heart was pounding and I was finding it hard to breathe. I slumped down in the last row of seats and started a reality check with myself. “Did I just tell my brother/Bishop that I was accepting the Lord’s call on my life to minister the Gospel in a way other than singing?” Yep, I did. “Did I just say out loud that I was willing to do whatever was required to learn to minister to God’s people in a way that would foster their growth in the faith?” Yep, did that. After the reality check, things stopped spinning and I began to feel a calming. God was in control, I had no need to worry, because although I could not have told you where to find it then, I knew that somewhere in the Bible, it indicated that (paraphrasing) “Those whom God has called, He also qualifies.” So the fact that I felt I was the last person in the world who should have been “called” to the ministry, I had faith God would change my qualifications so that He could use me for His glory.
The next couple of years flew by in a blur. There was a little running from the calling; a few old lies that needed confessing; a few relationships that needed redefining and an attitude that needed major correction. However, through it all, I kept remembering that God was changing me, and I was in full confidence that when I came out on the other side of the change, He would get the glory.
*At Spirit & Truth Christian Ministries, 1335 Oakman Blvd, Detroit MI, where Bishop J.A. Williams, II is the Senior Pastor, we affectionately call members of our church family, Chamily. Just a little name our Chief Elder Angela Charley thought up that stuck.
Sometimes, even when its what’s best, you find it hard to sit still. As a fibromyalgia , chronic fatigue sufferer, today would be called a bad day. I admit to being in pain from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. Still, I had intentions for today, and they won’t let me rest.
So this morning, I’ll deal with the unreliable voice recognition on my phone, and get this post out regardless.
Today, I wanted to speak on procrastination. This is a topic that I know a lot about. At some fault of my physical disabilities, and at most fault of internal fears of failure and success, I have become Queen of the Land of I’ll Do It Later. Yes, as usual, this also has a spiritual connotation, as it allows the devil to keep me back, having to do very little work himself, because I’m doing it for him.
Yes, the lack of finances have kept me from doing a lot of what I would want to do. But the lack of finances could have been helped out by a little creativity on my part. Right here, there is no need to get into what I could have done, why I didn’t do it, or even if I plan to do it now, the problem is learning to fight the PROCRASTINATION.
Today would have been a wonderful day for me to procrastinate, however, I choose to turn the day around. It will be a productive day, I command it. Follow me on Twitter @Inpraize. I’ll be posting as I get stuff done. Ready, set……… ACCOMPLISH INTENTIONS!!!!
My mission is to proclaim the gospel of Our Lord & Saviour, Jesus Christ, through the spreading of unconditional, yet uncompromising love.
My vision is to create educational and occupational opportunities for the financially distressed in a greater capacity than the facilities currently charged with that job.
My testimony is that in 47 years, though I have never felt worthy of love or acceptance, God has always showered me with both and put individuals in my existence that did the same.
WOW, those words have been burning in my spirit since the first Sunday in March 2011, when while watching my brother, Bishop James A. Williams, II (author of The Book According to James… Timely Biblical Truths for Victorious Living, available on Amazon and JaWill Ministries) delivery another well constructed, study laden sermon that sent praises to the rafters; I heard a still softness in my spirit that almost knocked the breath out of me…..
“I didn’t send you back here to be the “Williams” factor in a pew. I sent you back here because you’ve seen what’s out there. You know how my people are being lied to and you know I’ve embedded the truth within your family. Just as there were people your dad couldn’t have reached, that James could; there are those who will not know me unless YOU tell them.”
Oooo, I have got to tell you, my mind started racing and I started a round of mental discourse that topped the fast, slick talking I used to skip class my entire 10th grade year and still maintain a 3.5 gpa. I could talk to two people at the same time, give them two different excuses and they would be convinced I was totally truthful in both statements. But, fast & slick don’t work wit’ God (not a typo, you know me better than that…LOL).
So, I ran, and ran, and ran a little more… I’ve always been a bit slow in learning when it’s time to give up…lol.
So here we are, two years later, coming up to the eve of the first Sunday in March; the first Sunday that I begin to WALK the WALK instead of TALKING THE WALK.
Am I ready you ask? Umm, nope.
Am I scared you ask? Ummm, yep.
Then, why now you ask?
Because there are too many people who feel the same hurts, disappointments, disillusionment, abandonment, distressive, depressive, disheartening and jus plain disgusting life events that I have in my life…….
There are too many people who have sat on the edge of their bathtubs with two handfuls of random pills and a pressing desire to escape; and when God intervenes after the pills have been swallowed and says “Not now, not this way.”; sits on the edge of that same tub thinking “Okay, now what?” ……..
Because there are too many people who have been hurt and injured who feel like a bother to those they birthed and nurtured….
AND BECAUSE I SURVIVED…. I’m here because God wants me to be. No freak seizures at age 3, no ironically hilarious suicide attempts at 30-something, no car accidents at 30-something plus……….
I’M STILL HERE BECAUSE HE LOVES ME!!
“I’ve a story to tell you, bout some things that I been through; but I’m healed, oh I’m healed. “.. (Thanks Donald Lawrence)
It’s my time to declare to those who have ears to hear…… There is a one word answers to all your questions, JESUS. Let me tell you how just how good He is.
If you haven’t fallen asleep yet, or clicked off to a more interesting blog, then this last message is for you:
You are an original design. Flawed, but still under construction. The Builder is a Master at His craft. He knew every mistake before you made it; every lie before you told it; and every other act you’ve taken from the day He created you. He wants but one thing…….. Come and let Him finish the building. It’ll be more than you could ever create from the sands of life surrounding you.
God bless and goodnight.
Review as posted on Amazon*:
‘Til the Last Drop by Marquis Boone is one of the first books that I have started reading and have found difficult to pull myself away from in quite a while. From the very first pages, Boone pulls you into the world of a family that you cannot help but become invested in. As you move through the story line you find yourself uncontrollably sending up prayers for the characters in the story and for the parts of your wounded self that need the same touch that the heroine of the story does.
For me, the most riveting part of the story is the Heavenly interactions. They bring you to a better understanding of what it means for Jesus to be sitting at the right hand of the Father running intercession for us (Romans 8:34).
Beyond the review thoughts:
When given the opportunity to read ‘Til the Last Drop for review, I was a little skeptical. With this being Pastor Boone’s first stab at writing fiction, I expected something spiritually based, but lacking true interest. However, Pastor Boone has truly proven me wrong. To say that ‘Til the Last Drop will be on my favorites list for January and to say that I’m hoping Pastor Boone is currently working on another book, would be terrible understatements.
If you can read through these pages and not experience some type of spiritual awakening, you’ve got more trouble than you think. If you have any questions about God’s love and dedication for you; or what dedication from your loved ones should look like, pick up this book and get to reading.
The Closing One-Liner:
Pastor Marquis Boone has written a book that depicts the epitome of love, both Heavenly and Earthly.
*My reviews on Amazon are written under the name Skylar Dawn (lol).
Over 46 years, I had always felt like I just wasn’t enough. I had always compared myself to someone else or someone else’s opinion of who I am suppose to be. Needless to say, this has cause many a sleepless night and many a shed tear.
I vowed that 2012 would be the change of it all, but I have to admit that as I quickly approached and passed my 47th birthday, I hadn’t done much to actually change how I feel about myself. While there are valid reasons (at least in my mind) that this hasn’t been accomplished, I know that being reasonably intelligent, I should have (and in fact could have) found ways around the barriers.
Now that we’re into the middle of the first month of 2013, it’s time to put away the excuses and get to moving. Now, there have been things that I have changed to better get to the person I know that I am. I have laid down the creamy crack (relaxer) and gone natural. After going through a seven month stage where I thought Locs were the way for me, I’ve decided to enjoy my loose natural hair as I learn to care for it properly and watch it develop, beautiful and free.
In addition, I have started paying a lot more attention to physical beauty. I understand that I have family and friends who do not understand my newest love for makeup, but it makes me feel beautiful….plus it’s fun collecting and playing in all the pretty colors.
I’ve also become consumed with nail polish….same thing with the pretty colors. I still continue to get my gel tips, but I have started to grow a polish collection and decorating utensils and supplies.
You probably won’t hear much about this changes here on this blog, but you can check out my other blog at http://www.nutz4beauty.com and it’s accompanying YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/nutz4beauty.
I have also stopped running from my calling and this year will be diving in head first to the ministry which God is calling me. Trust me, I never wanted to consider myself a minister, but one Sunday, as I was standing in the choir stand singing my heart out (and thinking this was my ONLY ministry), and clearly hearing God tell me, “You have to declare my word to those who only you can reach.” As crazy as I am, my first response was, “They don’t like music?” Anyway, after trying to slip ‘n slide my way around, I decided I was getting pretty close to taking the Jonah path and I’m not going out that way. So, as scared as I am, I’m reading everything I can about public speaking and working on that all important first sermon.
I’ve also started looking for local groups to become involved with, as I need to broaden my scope of associates and friends. From using my love of board games, my desire to be a photographer, or my love of reading; I know there are others out there who share the same interests.
I know I worry my family (especially my husband and brother) by being a recluse; and I have to admit that it isn’t the life I want for myself. I had begun to think that changing wasn’t possible, but now I realize that it’s impossible not to.
So here’s to 2013, a year that will bring positive change to all those who embrace it.
P.S. No, I haven’t forgotten that I need to lose weight this year, I’m just saving that subject for another post. LOL
One of the hardest things for most people to admit is when they truly believe their not in their right minds. And as hard as it is for most, it can be virtually impossible for “Christians”, even more so for “Ministers in Training”. Well, it’s just not right…….so here we go…
Yes, I am an unapologetic Christian who loves the Lord with all my heart; I believe that the Lord has called me to declare His truth to the masses; and I suffer from extreme bouts of depression and anxiety!!
Furthermore, I believe that this “thorn in my flesh” is there for a greater purpose.
Those in the ministry spend almost as much time trying to find the key to reaching individuals as they do perfecting their knowledge of the message God has given them. We all find that there are things in our personality that draw certain people to us. We are able to reach them because we can relate to their issues, their concerns or their perceived shortcomings. That is where I believe my illness comes into work; and yes, I said illness….a condition requiring medicinal control and constant monitoring.
You may be wondering what my purpose is for posting this, and I’d have to admit that it isn’t completely clear to me, however, as I have been plagued by the necessity to write this post for more than a week now, and I believe that my current round of insomnia and nightmare filled nights are a direct result of putting it off, I’m posting this for whomever it is suppose to reach.
Yes, you may struggle with doubt, depression and anxiety, but that is your illness, not who you are. God created you for purpose and that purpose is not based on your strengths or weaknesses, but on your ability to walk out on His word for your life. My favorite scripture is Philippians 1:6, which reads “Being confident of this very thing, that HE which hath begun a good work in YOU will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” KJV
There is no shame in admitting you’re less than, we all are in different ways, but never give up…… Get medical help AND spiritual help and you’ll make it through, just like I do.
Loving you in the real,
Anyone who has known me for an extended length of time knows that I frequently refer to my son, Justin, as my “comic relief” child. While his birth was an initial course in Trauma 101, once we cleared that hurdle, he was off and running just to the left of “a little strange”. I clearly remember holding him up to the window of our hospital room and just talking to him, when a group of birds flew a little too close to the window, scaring the crap out of me (I don’t like groups of birds anywhere near me). I jumped a little and let out a little scream and I could swear Justin started laughing. Of course, this started me laughing and he’s been doing it every since.
Another instance of Justin keeping me laughing comes from when he was about 5 or 6 years old. We were taking a drive somewhere and the car had become very quiet. All of the sudden, Justin says, “I wonder what my spirit is doing right now.” The car immediately erupted in laughter and I was forced to come up with a serious and relevant answer quickly because we realized that Justin was the only one that didn’t think what he’d said was funny.
Justin also had a unique way of interpreting things that were said to him when he was younger. I remember sitting across from him at the breakfast table one morning, when Ron (my husband) had decided that Justin had played in his food long enough. Ron’s instructions to Justin were clear, “Roll your sausage in your pancake and finish eating Justin.” However, Justin’s interpretation was hilarious. Justin proceeded to take his fork and roll his sausage across the top of his pancake. Needless to say, more laughter and breakfast was over.
I have to admit that I don’t always value Justin’s unique sense of humor because he uses it to defuse tense situations; and he uses it quite effectively. However, as I am maturing in the spirit, I value the lessons that he has taught me about not taking everything too seriously.
So today is dedicated to Justin, my “comic relief” child who blesses my days with love and laughter (and good food…. the boy can throw down ya’ll!! And he starts Culinary School in January!!)!!
Once again, it is in the wee hours of the morning, and I find myself wide awoke. Whether its the Prednisone, the sleep apnea or the overactive bladder, it really doesn’t matter why I’m up, just that I’m up.
This time, it’s a little different, though, I realize that while this happens frequently, I typically waste this precious time aimlessly wandering the net doing nothing productive for myself, my family, my walk with God, my businesses, just plain wasting time. Well, not today. I am proud to say that I have been utilizing this time getting stuff done. Yes, I’m all over the place with what I’m doing (writing this post, putting up ads for tax season on Facebook and Twitter, making a grocery list, looking for a bargain on a much needed deep freezer, and yes, even looking for a few “girlie” deals), but nevertheless, the time is productive and will add value to my daily life.
I guess you can probably tell by the beginning of this post that I have a BIG PROBLEM WITH PROCRASTINATION and MOTIVATION. I have been gifted with many talents, but over the years I have let illness and weakness and fear keep me from activating and accessing those talents for any tangible purpose.
The last couple of years, since losing my mother in May ’09, I have had mini bouts of productivity, but they have not been what they should and have not been previously sustainable. THIS HAS TO CHANGE!!…. and it starts with a commitment.
A total commitment is paramount to reaching the ultimate in performance.
So my commitment to this blog (and its connected YT channel located at http://www.youtube.com/user/inpraize) is that I will either upload a blog post or video at least twice each week during 2012. I am trying to develop ideas for post/video topics that will interest many and welcome all suggestions. However, I suggest that you allow me to post in January and view them so that you can get a taste of my “flow” and determine if it melds with yours.
Looking forward to getting to know you (and me) better in 2012!!
Leaping off the edge into the darkness, because I know that HE is waiting there to guide me!!
~ Forever InPraize
Once again, I am sitting here unable to go to sleep and wondering how long this will last. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that I chose this particular time to decide to create a blog post, but hey, who knows what tidbits of wisdom might come out of this.
As I start to think about this year and how it’s gone, I’m noticing that I’ve changed a lot. I’ve learned to let some things go and I’ve learned to be honest, not only with others, but with myself. Now I find myself looking eagerly towards 2012.
I am excited about the changes that are about to take place for my family, my businesses, and my spiritual life. Some of the changes make me nervous, but it’s funny, I’ve spent the better part of the last eight years feeling little more that desperation and dispair, so excitement is feeling really good right about now.
For the record, starting January 1st, the following businesses are back in full effect…. MOTOR CITY BALLOONATICS/DESIGNER TOUCH EVENTS….. offering the very best in wedding and event planning and decorating services (http://www.motorcityballoonatics.com – under construction); THE KEEPER OF THE BOOKS….. offering professional administrative clerical, bookkeeping and income tax prepartion services, now featuring the SNAP*LOAN (in coopration with Santa Barbara Bank & Trust).
I am also excited (although I probably look more like a deer caught in the headlights) about this new chapter in my walk with the Lord. It’s funny, someone accused me of running from my destiny for more than 15 years, and for the first time in my life, I had to admit that they were right. I heard the call, heard it clearly, but I ran in the other direction as fast as my feet would carry me. But the best part about it is, A DELAYED DESTINY, IS NOT A CANCELED DESTINY!!….. I’m glad that I finally have the courage to step up to the plate and be what God planned for me to be. I have a testimony and it’s one that can be a blessing to others…. wow…. you could blow me over with a church fan right about now, but it feels good to say it.
My hobby channel (http://www.nutz4beauty.info and/or http://www.youtube.com/user/nutz4beauty) has been just as neglected as this blog and my vlog channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/inpraize), BUT NOT IN 2012.
I still have to setup a blog for both businesses, but I believe that I have been given a divinely organized plan to accomplish everything that God has placed on my mind and heart. I had to learn to stop running from the ideas He kept giving me because if He’s giving them to me, then He’s going to make certain that they come to pass because He knows what He’s doing.
Well, I’m getting a little tired of typing and I think my brain may have shut off about 5 minutes ago (lol), but there is one last declaration that must be made before this blog goes any further…. I DON’T CARE HOW IT HAPPENS…… I’m determined to lose 45% of the ME that I currently carry around everyday. Not certain how I’m going to do it, but with prayer and a keen knack for researching the crap out of a topic, I WILL LOSE THIS WEIGHT ONCE AND FOR ALL …. my goal is to leave out of my house and walk about the block with my husband.
Well, that’s about all I can think to say in this post… hopefully, I’ll get more interesting as the days go by.
Stay Saved, Stay Sincere and Stay Connected!!!
My name is Stephanie and I’m going on a journey.