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Friday, April 18, 2014

Suck It Up

By Keesah Pelzer

Part of being a responsible adult is accepting that there are tons of things in life that we don't care to do, but we do them anyway because we have to. 

Keeping your mouth shut about situations that need to be addressed is totally apart of the packaged deal.

I'm the type of person that's verbal-sometimes obsessively- especially when I'm in my feelings, or when I feel like someone is dead wrong, and they need to know. Like right now, I'm going through a rough patch in my life where it's completely hard and nearly impossible to communicate with certain people because of the tension that's in the air. 

Sometimes we want people to see where we're coming from, and how they've caused hurt and pain in our lives, and they're not in a place to hear you out, or receive what it is that you're saying to them, so it gets ugly! Fingers are being pointed, old feelings erupt, and before you know it, you guys are screaming and arguing...then you can't function for the rest of the day because you keep replaying what happened over and over again in your head. 

You think of even more rude, and disrespectful things you could have said to get under their skin after the fact, and continue to rehearse all day and sporadically through out the rest of the week about what you're going to say to those people when you see them.

People tend to push every single one of our buttons-all at once just to get us upset- most of the time I have to swallow my pride, and deal with it. I realized that I may never be granted with an opportunity to confront those people, and give them the most organic peace of my mind-no filter, no anything- but instead, I have to allow God to step in and take control. 

It can be hard not to go off on people and always voice our opinion when someone is in the wrong, and I had to learn that I don't always have to react, or get out of character when it happens. I found that when I just suck it up, and let it go, it's not so bad either. No headaches, no stress, just staying focused on what's really supposed to be done.

Some people may never apologize for the wrong they've done, and it might take longer than expected to be healed, but the most important thing is to actually receive healing and allow God to work things out, no matter how much revenge we want, we have to remember that God can get them where it hurts the most.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Seasons Change

By Keesah Pelzer

Much like the seasons that change with the crazy weather we've been experiencing, so do the seasons in our lives. There's a time for rain, a time for sleet, hail, snow, and a time for the heat from the sun, but just as we sometimes see the negativity in the downpour of the rain (weather-wise), we also get upset, and discouraged when clouds start rolling in during the peeks of sun when life seems to be going smoothly.

I was in the kitchen this morning when my daughter said to me, while looking out the window, "Mommy, I'm tired of the rain!" and I jokingly replied to her without even thinking, "Sometimes we have to go through things that we don't want to go through just to get the next season in our lives." And when I gave what I said to her some thought, I could have totally used that for myself, because its true. We ALL have rough patches that we have to stand strong in. It could be our current living situations, getting over something or someone that hurt us, or even facing our fears, but it can be done all with the help of God.

Out of the many storms in my life, looking back, I cant really complain, because some how, some way, in the midst of that, God has brought me out and made me stronger, and I now value and appreciate the struggle, even my current ones. How can we possibly be thankful for the new, and promising times in our lives, if first we haven't experienced the tough, and dry times? And vise versa, how can you be thankful for the rain, if you haven't been scorched by the sun. When God brings us through hard circumstances in our lives, its to bring us closer to him, to make us stronger and more appreciative of what we have, and what's soon to come. When its all said and done, we have to be mindful that if nothing else in life is guaranteed, the seasons will indeed change, and although it seems like we're trapped in the coldness of the rain, and winters storms, we have to remain patient and wait on the Lord, because the warmth of summer is just around the corner if we keep pressing forward.

It may take us years to reach another season, but if we do what we're told, God will look out for us, and see to it that we have everything we need, even in a drought.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Made Transition

By Patricia McKinney

I believe that change leads to personal growth, and causes you to transition from one place to another.  To transition means to move forward, to change your surroundings and concepts, and it says that you're making progress in one way or another.  I've learned that in this lifetime you never stop learning, and there's always room for improvement and the opportunity to build upon what you know, as long as you allow yourself to be open minded.  You have to be opened to the fact that you don't have all the answers, and there's always someone with a piece of the puzzle that you might need, or a  new experience that presents itself that will expand the way you think to new horizons.  But it all begins with your own mindset.

Your own mindset (thoughts, ideas, and perceptions) play a major role in how you function in life.  There's an awesome proverb that's written in the book of Solomon that says, "As a man thinks in his heart so is he". This speaks volume of how people measure themselves and their surroundings based off of the way they think.  The way we see ourselves can either limit us or cause us to excel, and it dictates to what we expose ourselves to, the people that we surround ourselves with, and the choices that we make in life.  This process is rooted in how were raised and what we've learned throughout the years by the examples set before us, and most of the time we'll adopted their way of life as our own way.

In order to change and transition (move forward, and make progress) from one place to another requires that you "go against the grain" of what you know and what you're accustomed to, which also includes old behaviors. But this process starts with "the man in the mirror", that means "you".  To make major changes that last a lifetime requires more than your strength alone, or the encouraging words and quotes from friends or a book, but it requires the power of God and strength from him to break old habits and mindsets, and that includes seeking him in prayer and asking for help.  But you first have to acknowledge that you have flaws and don't know everything, it calls for you to change your surroundings, and the same comfortable set of people that your used to.  Usually people that stay in the same predicament, have not come to grips with the fact that they have issues or have made mistakes.  They've become comfortable in their own deteriorating condition, and they continue to do the same thing, around the same kind of people, over and over again. Some have grown comfortable with nasty attitudes, being racist, sexist, unforgiving, filled with pride and ego, and being partial to people that's from only their own culture or sect of people, simple because they don't desire to change within.

Years ago I met many people that played a part in shaping the code of conduct, and the integrity in which I choose to live by.  I know you may be thinking that in order for someone to help shape the way you function in life means that they've set a good example, but this isn't always the case. Sometime people will cross your path to teach you what not to do!  They'll present character flaws that set a poor example while tainting good people, that guide them in the wrong direction, causing them to astray from good morals and integrity. If you lack wisdom, you can find yourself accepting dysfunction as the new normal and the acceptable code of conduct to live by. In order to know the difference and not be influenced by them requires that you separate yourself, and expose yourself to the unfamiliar (people,places, and things). This is what I had to do in order to transition, which brought about internal, spiritual , and natural fulfillment. 

But the key to finding change and transitioning into a new place that brings fulfillment and peace spiritually and naturally starts internally, and requires a change of character within you.  This kind of newness comes with seeking God, and it's expressed in his word, and his love and understanding that shows no partiality. It's clothed in wisdom, and building others up, and living to be pleasing to him. I know that when you learn to operate from his love, there is no boundaries to what you can do, be, or obtain. He will take you places beyond what your own mind could ever imagine, and cause you to transition to places that you never thought was possible.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Who's Watching?

By Keesah Pelzer

Say you were walking from the parking garage to the mall, and the elderly lady in front of you drops a large amount of money, what would you do? Would you pick the cash up, save your own money, and spend hers at the mall, or would you quickly pick it up, catch up to her, and let her know that she dropped her money? Needless to say, many people without a doubt, would execute the first option, hastily spending the extra cash. After all, no one saw them pick the money up...or did they?

From my point of view, people seem to be tempted the most when no one is watching. Think about all the people who discreetly "dig for gold" in their noses while they're driving along the high ways. The people that steal towels and soap from out of their hotel rooms while traveling? Still not convinced? Well what about the chefs that frequently drop food on the floor, and because the boss happens to not be in peripheral view, they pick it up and serve it to you any way? You'd be flabbergasted at some of the things that goes on behind closed doors.

I'm definitely no angel when it comes to following the rules while being unobserved. Before I started to take my walk with Christ more seriously, I would totally kick against the prick, and do all sorts of things that I had no business doing that God wasn't pleased about. You know what they say: "When the cat's away the mice will play". I knew that I wasn't supposed to be partying like that, sleeping around, and having ungodly conversations, but I still would try to sneak and do it. I would say, "Prophet can't see me, so I might as well get it in!" No, she couldn't see me in action, but God could see my every move, and to make matters worse, he would show her! I didn't realize how that was messing up my relationship with God. I was deliberately sinning because I thought that I could hide. 

After conviction, and a few bad dreams later, I came to the conclusion that maybe I should stop trying to sweep things under the rug. To this day I still catch myself though-not in the previous acts listed above- but like when I'm supposed to clean the tub after every use, and I don't feel like doing it. I can easily say, "My mom can't see if I'm doing it or not!", but God can, and I believe its those little things that he looks at. I want God to look down on me and say, "You know what, Keesah is really handling her business...I now can trust her with more!" He wont say that if every time someone isn't looking, I do exactly what I'm NOT supposed to do! 

It took me a while to get here, but I have to make sure I do things with the right motives, and make sure I stay open and honest with God, even if it feels shameful, and uncomfortable when I'm explaining it to him. So the next time you're alone and you think about doing something that you shouldn't, just remember... people may not always see you, but God is the one who see's EVERYTHING! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

If It Were You

By Keesah Pelzer

When you offer advice to someone, in a time of need, do you in return, take that same exact advice for yourself when the tables turn? It's easy to judge someone when you have never walked in their shoes, or even seen the path that they've taken, and it's even easier to mentally place yourself in their shoes and say what you would and wouldn't do if you were them. What I've noticed is that people always seem to feel inclined to give their carnal opinion about aspects of life that they have no idea about, let alone have never even been through.

I was talking to this women a few weeks ago who just so happens to work with children, she has none of her own, but she seems to think that she's qualified to give unsolicited advice about what others and myself should do with ours. She tried to step in and take over as if she was schooling me about how to interact with my own kids. She was saying what she would do if she were me, and how she does things on her job, but how does she know what she'd really do if the shoe was on the other foot? I'm sure she meant well, but to someone who tirelessly takes care of their children day in and day out, it's almost like a slap in the face. She has no clue what it takes to raise a child. It's more than just providing financially, and knowing how to get on their level mentally. 

It's very simple to obtain a degree to work with children, but the best teacher is experience from having your own, and it takes God himself to really show us how to be the best parents that our children need us to be. All the handbooks in the world can't teach you that.

I also remember giving the "if it were me speech" about women who stayed in abusive relationships and tolerated that type of behavior from their partners. I was so quick to pass judgment, and say, " How does she put up with him? I would never stand for that, I would never be the side chick! I'm better than that, and I know my worth!" until I found myself in that very situation that I said I would never be in, sinking fast and totally forgetting about all the confidence I put in myself.

It's easy for us to forget our own personal glitches, and pull someone else up on there's, but we have to remember that we're human and we come with all types of flaws and weaknesses. God only knows what you would do if you were the person that was sleeping on the streets, had three kids of your own, or was a recovering addict, instead of being the one giving the advice. So next time you're about to fix your mouth to say, "If that were me" think long and hard about what you would really do, because you'll never know until you're faced with it.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Whole Truth & Nothing But The Truth

By Patricia McKinney

We all know that the truth is not always pretty, in fact it can be hurtful at times. But it's like a good dose of Castor Oil. Though the taste is unpleasant, and it's hard to swallow, it's good for your health.

I've always been a person that's "real" and honest when I'm called upon to give my opinion, or provide advice. My duty as a Counselor, Life Coach, Mentor, and Pastor requires this type of ethic and integrity. If you're looking for a sugary, candy coated, glazed over answer to your question, nine times out of ten, you're not going to find it here. I feel that the truth spoken gracefully, with wisdom, and love (even tough love at times) is like that good dose of castor oil, that's good for you, no matter how you slice it. It's especially important, when dealing with the people you love and care about, for example your children, a spouse, a friend, or someone in need of help. You'd rather not see them make mistakes that can be avoided.

I also appreciate the truth when it's presented to me, or I'm in need of help and advice from others. We don't always have all the answers. I believe as long as you live, you'll always be learning (if you're opened to it).
Unfortunately, many people don't share the same belief. To be a person that's real and truthful, that tries to be honest about important matters the majority of the time, comes a dime a dozen.

I've come to the conclusion that we live in a world of people that live their lives by covering up the truth or living a lie. They'll lie to the themselves or live in denial about their present situation, they'll pretend to be an Ivy League Scholar, they'll lie under oath, with their hand smack-dab in the middle of the Bible, even when their out on a date, or to their spouse. They'll lie on the job to avoid termination, and have someone else take the rap for something they've done. They'll cover up deep dark family secrets. Some will even portray an image of wealth and rather be seen driving a "2014" Limited Edition Mercedes Benz that they can't afford, while struggling to pay bills and keep food on the table. They'll put themselves in debt all to put up a bold front to people that might not even like them!

The effort that people put into masquerading is endless. Most of the time, people live in fear and cover up because the truth exposes their human weakness and flaws. They don't understand that by masquerading, they're living imprisoned without bars. Usually, people are taught to lie by those that set the example before them. We live in a world where men cover up their feelings and are taught not to cry or express themselves, because they'll be viewed as a wuss or a punk.

We live in a world where Botox and Silicone are the number one rule. No one is content with what they have. They feel that a butt job, a boob job, or plastic surgery is the key to instantly change the unappealing, instead of working on or accepting the "parts we cannot change".

They live by cliches that tell you to "Fake it 'til you make it", "Never let 'em see you sweat", and so on and so forth. So they build their life on lies, until the truth is revealed and they're exposed, which is no laughing matter, especially if you're a well known icon living in the public eye.

To live life masquerading is like a full time job. You even have to work overtime to keep the lies going until the truth is revealed. So, ask yourself the question. Do I fit into this catergory? Have I been masquerading to appeal to people who really don't like me, or play a significant role in my life? If so, don't you think it's time to "let your hair down" and say "hey, this is the real me", a work in progress, a combination of good and bad, with weaknesses and flaws, in need of Gods help, and loving care. Stop trying to fit into everyone elses agenda. It's good for your own mental and spiritual well being to accept who you are. No one is perfect. Everyone has something that they don't like about themselves, even if they're not brave enough to admit it.

Who's said you have to live up to everyone elses standards anyway? Why spend what you can't afford to impress someone else, or be a walking boob or butt job to fit into societies, portrayal of the next top model? God created you just the way you are, to till your own ground and work it, to be the best that you can be, and maximize on that.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

They Can't Stop Him

By Keesah Pelzer

In the world today, there are billions of people who are struggling in every way possible. They have no idea where to turn, and they just can't seem to catch a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel. People around them are tearing them down, and discouraging them from moving forward. They're trying to put a block and damper on the great things that God has in store for them, but little do they know, he can't be stopped.

I had people claim they love me, yet tell me that I wasn't ever going to make it out of the mindset that I was in, or the problems that seemed to be overtaking me. There were plenty of times where I had no one to depend on. My parents weren't trying to help me, I didn't have any friends, I had exhausted all of my resources, and to top it off, I didn't have any money to make anything happen. I felt uncertain, alone and petrified!

I can remember confiding in my spiritual mom, and she said to me, "Welp, now is the time where you have to depend on the Lord" and to a person with little to no faith, that seems insane! How can I depend on God when I can't even SEE him?! But all those trials were orchestrated so that I COULD see him, not his face, but his power, how mighty he is, and how much he loves me. She could have easily stepped in and extended her hand to help me, but because she understood how God works through her own personal encounters with him, she kept her hands off of it, and empowered me through words of encouragement and her testimony, that God was going to work it out on my behalf. "He knows everything we need, so why wouldn't he help you when you need him the most?", she said. She was right! I've tried everything else under the sun, so what could go wrong if I gave God a try? That seemed to be my only option, yet the best chance that I've ever taken.

It definitely took me a while to move by faith when my back was against the wall, especially when I have to wait for him to rescue me out of situations that seem nearly impossible. To be honest, sometimes I still do get a little nervous, but he has never failed me, and I can always reflect back to how many times he's showed up for me when I called on him. That's when I started to it realize that it pays not to listen to others, because they'll try to block the blessings that God has in store for us by trying to pour doubt, fear, and disbelief into our ears, and some might even try to pray against us to try to paralyze our faith, but who God blesses, no man can curse. I used to feel helpless when someone would speak negative into my life, but once I realized that they have no effect over my destiny, I learned to just let them talk, and keep moving forward with the help of God.

In life we're going to be faced with times of uncertainty, and feel as though we're stranded in the middle of the ocean, especially when we don't know what's going to happen next, but that's when we have to sit on our rafts in the middle of nowhere, in that unfamiliar place, ride the waves, and go where God is leading us, and sure enough we'll see the hill from where our help comes, and we'll be strengthened and have another level of faith in him.

So don't give ear to people when they speak against you, and don't be mad or discouraged when they don't want to help you either, because what's for you is for YOU! Things will fall into place even if they don't help you. God is in control, and no one can stop him!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

True Beauty

By Karen Ricketts
 

If beauty can only be seen through the eyes
Then when does a good heart win the prize?

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder they tell me
Then my internal beauty that beholder will never see

Looked down on because of beauty you couldn't see
Unable to perceive the beauty that exist inside me

Beauty is not superficial, it penetrates deep beyond the skin
Though it's cautious, discriminate it won't and all are welcome in

My beauty you will see, if you can get pass the physical me
Though observed as plain and not much to see, the beauty I posses is extraordinary

You seek only for outward beauty and attractiveness to adorn me
But awesome and wonderfully I was made by Him who created me

To behold true beauty requires more than sight
It's a quality found deep inside, my Light

A gift from God, a piece of Him to treasure
More valuable than anything your eyes will ever measure
 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Never Give Up, You Never Know Who's Watching

By Patricia McKinney

Today I'm filled with joy and gratitude from where God has brought me from and where He's brought me too. I never knew that I'd be where I am today. I discovered that our journey in life is not clearly seen at the beginning, but one thing I do know, is that when you seek God for His plan and purpose in your life, He will make things clear, and things will begin to unfold. It doesn't happen overnight, but with persistence, and determination, accompanied with the right heart for God and mankind. It's like walking with what I call "Blind Faith", meaning you don't see your purpose or even know the depths of it's meaning until you arrive. While you're walking this journey in life, there's much to be learned and you gain wisdom as a result. In the process, you inspire others along the way by your strength to keep going, even in the face of adversity.

I encourage you today, to keep striving, be strong and never give up. You never know who's watching you while you journey in this life, and who's being inspired by your determination, and tenacity. Your life could be an example and encouragement to other's, to show them that God has an awesome plan for their life as well, yet to be discovered.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Today's Role Model

By Keesah Pelzer

A role model is defined as someone whose behavior is imitated by others, so how is it that one can possibly be a good role model to anyone else and allow their life to be a testimony for change, if they're not living right in God? 

The other day I over heard this young woman that I know talking to one of her friends. She was talking about how she's a single mom, she has a new car, makes great money at work, and just bought a new home, and how she's an excellent example to for her children to follow. That's awesome that she's accomplished those things, but it was kind of hard for me to overlook the fact that she has two smaller daughters, but yet she posses all over social media with her middle finger up, posting video's of girls fighting, and in every picture she's either bent over showing her boobs and butt, half naked, or both. To top it off, she has a filthy mouth, and she curses like a sailor.

That's no role model, at least not a good one, because kids imitate what they see, especially when it comes to their parents. Now in no way am I passing judgment, because a few years ago that was me all the way! I was lacking morals, and taking pictures in my bra (for the world to see), I was bending over in Aeropostale sweatpants talking about "1987 was a good year" with a baby in my belly, but who told me that I was dead wrong? No one did! 

I have three girls that I'm raising on my own with the help of God, and there's no way that I would want them to look up to someone like Rihanna as their primary role model when they have the greatest example right in their own house hold that's been out there, that knows what its like to be in the streets, to be in a gang, and in bad and abusive relationships. I don't want my children to have hoodrat tendencies like I had, and nor do I want them to suffer like I did either, so who better than me to teach them but me, by continuing to allow God to clean me up so that I can be effective in my girls lives. 

I didn't always see things the way I see them now, because my thoughts were submerged in my own lustful desires. It wasn't until I came into the knowledge and understanding of God, and how he wants me to conduct myself that I began to see things for what they really were since day one. He also has blessed me by placing me under the care of awesome leaders that have submitted to him in order to be qualified to show me the ropes of life. I can't stress enough how gratified I am to have two God given parents that serve as superb role models in my life. They have taught me things both naturally and spiritually that I couldn't get from my biological parents, and that's not to discredit them in any way, but they couldn't give me the jewels of life because they didn't have them their selves. 

My spiritual mom has taught me by example how to be domestic, how to carry myself like a young lady in Christ, and how to get to know the Lord for myself. My spiritual dad is such an awesome man, and if I ever get married, I would want my husband to have the love of God in him just like he does. It's awesome to see how he takes care of his family without someone forcing him to do so, and how he protects them. 

Needless to say, there aren't many effective role models out here today. It takes submission and the spirit of God to bring forth change in someone in order to make them capable of having a positive effect on someone else's life. 

Being a good role model is not about showing someone how to buy a new car, or how to stunt (show off), but it's more about helping and encouraging someone to do better through the light that shines within you.

Friday, April 4, 2014

BLOOD IS NOT ALWAYS THICKER THAN WATER

By Patricia McKinney 


Who say's blood is thicker than water? This may be a fact scientifically, but when it comes to family or people we've known long-term that we treat as family, this is not always a true statement.  Have you ever had a friend that stuck closer than a brother? The two of you were inseparable.  During your time of hardship they provided their natural or moral support when you needed it the most.  They may have even opened their home to you and provided you with a place to lay your head during a time of trouble. Every now and then, and angel will come our way in the form of a person that will be the glue to hold us together and keep us going.  They'll do the unthinkable that's never been seen before among our own people.

Many people grow up with the expectation or teaching that family is the most trusted source, and the only ones to confide in during a time of crisis. Being raised with this concept, can leave you opened to wounds that are more severe than wounds inflicted by a stranger.  Sometime we grow up with false expectations and a false sense of security.  We as human beings make the mistake of trusting people simply because we know them or they're related to us.  We tend to overlook flaws with the mindset that their behavior won't effect us.  We take a passive stance and tell ourselves that "they would never do that to me" even if they did rob a bank, somehow during desperate times they'll overlook my pocketbook and go on to the next candidate.  

Many family members have tolerated behavior that would normally land a stranger in front of a  judge in a court of law, or behind bars.   Some even put their lives on hold, jeopardized marriages, put their children in harms way, emptied out their pocketbooks, and come away from family like wounded soldiers, disrespected, dishonored and disregarded.   There have been many cases where crimes have been committed by family members.  A child's first inflicted wounds can be cause by those right in their own camp, their own family. Most rapes, molestation and forms abuse, and even more heinous acts against children are committed by those in the home, or by someone close to the family deemed to be a "trustworthy" source. Even though all people are not the same. We should dwell with people according to wisdom and use good judgement when making decisions, even if it is our own family.  Put our emotions to the side and look at things for what they really are. Although this may not apply to all people, there are many that realize blood is not always thicker than water, and they can separate fact from fiction when dealing with people.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Young & Free


By Keesah Pelzer

In todays world, God has become the trending topic, especially among young adults. What I've noticed is that it's cool to talk about God, but live the complete opposite, and it's considered corny or old-fashioned for us young ones to really live according to his will. People think that you have to be old in age to give your life to the Lord and really submit to him, but that's one of the most common misconceptions about God.

I remember about five years ago when I first started going to Manifested Glory Ministries. I was sitting in my chair during bible study, and listening to the teaching from my spiritual mom Patricia McKinney. She was talking about the things we had to give up in order to follow Christ and to be effective. As I was sitting there, I remember thinking, "Oh my gosh! This is waaayyy too hard! I have to give up this, and that, and stop going here and there, and cut off this person, and THAT person? If this doesn't work out, I'll just come back when I'm older and ready to give all of these things up, because I'm still young, and I want to have fun!" In an instant, God showed me that if I were to wait that long, by then it'll be too late for me, because the times that we're living in now are crucial. It;s hard to survive without God in today's world, and me, nor anyone else for that matter, isn't promised to make it until we're old in age.

True, I did have to give up things that I didn't want to, but in return for that, he's giving me balance, structure, healing, understanding, protection and peace. Those things are far more valuable than what the world can offer us.

People tend to think you can't have fun in God, but that's not true. I'm having more fun now than I've ever had in my life, but the only difference is that it's good and clean, mature fun this time around. When you get closer to God, it makes you want to do what's right in his eyes. Not just because you're supposed to do it, but because you want to do it.

As I continue to follow his lead, through the help of my leaders, things are starting to become more clear to me. Don't ever let anyone tell you that with age comes wisdom, because that only applies in certain areas. It's totally possible to be an old fool, and a young one too. It takes God to reveal to us right from wrong. Yes, he does love us in spite of our iniquities and short comings, but we can't use that as an excuse in our youthful years to do everything under the sun. I know nothing happens over night, because it took me a long time and few falls to get where I'm at today. Although I have an EXTREMELY long way to go, I'm reminded that he died for our sins so that we can have an abundance of life through him, young and old, and so that he can show us how we really ought to live, not for us to bring a whole bunch of excuses before him as to why we're way to young to live right and serve him.

Looking back, I thought I was liberated because I was of age, and I had my own apartment, and all the cliché things that come with being a young adult. But now I know that true freedom comes from God, and you're never too young to be free in him, because "Who the son sets free is FREE INDEED!"



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

My Success Is Their Nightmare

By Patricia McKinney

Just about everyone that's destined for greatness will go through a time in their life when they're in the "valley" or at such a low point where they can't visualize anything promising in their future. In a place like this, there's only two things you can do.  You'll either look up, and believe that God has greater things in store for you and strive to obtain it, or you'll take the "easy road" and look around to find comfort in those that are in the valley with you.

When your in the valley, it's easy to surround yourself with like minded people that are in a low place like yourself. Most of the time, these kind of people are comfortable with the status quo, or living just to get by, and they're just fine with mediocrity and repeating the same patterns over and over again.

Repetition is their comfort zone, and they find security in familiar faces, attitudes, partying, drinking, sexing, lying, cheating and manipulating, and living on "crumbs" or pretending to have much when in actuality, there's very little.  They're what I call "stunter's" those that front as if everything is "peachie" when it's not. They're struggling just to get by.  Usually people with this mentality don't take to well to those that actually strive to attain more in life, but they find comfort in looking down on those that they feel are less than them, or are in a worse state.

For example, in my early years, I endured a tremendous amount of pain, abuse and rejection that stemmed from trauma, and spiraled into drug addiction and prostitution.  During that time in my life I couldn't see a bright future for myself because life was moving at such a rapid pace,  and my addiction separated me from the thought and present reality that God had something much greater in store for me. 

This low place in my life allowed me to witness first hand what lyes deep within the heart's of mankind, and I've learned that some people in low places like to step on and mistreat those that feel are in a worst state than them. Usually when people don't feel good about themselves, they find someone else to look down on so they'll feel better about their own situation.    I discovered that your valley determines who has "your back" and best interest at heart, and who doesn't. Eventhough it doesn't feel good to be there, it's a place where you learn about life.

It was during my low point that I remember being called everything under the sun except a child of God, and I recall what it was like to be abused and mistreated in relationships by those that I loved.  Some thought that I'd never be able to rise above the valley, but boy were they wrong! God had already destined me for great things in life and it was already in his plan.  He also has a  plan in store for you as well.  Sometime the evil that lyes within the hearts people won't allow them to express goodness toward you, and they'll even grow comfortable with the fact that your suffering. Usually people that don't see anything bright in their own future, can't visualize anything bright in yours. It takes you to change your surroundings and the negative energy of people that don't have your best interest at heart in order to see this.

But I'm so amazed that God had something special in store just for my life, and that my past didn't predict my future, but it was used as a stepping stone and an absolute miracle of what He can do. He'll prove himself to you when you put your life in his hands, but again it takes you to open your heart up to God by seeking him, and in return he'll extend his loving mercy and give you the strength to come up from a low place. Remember that your past doesn't determine your future! God has also placed something special within you. When He created mankind, he gave every human being an immeasurable amount of potential to possess greatness. God doesn't show partiality. That means he's placed within you an awesome place of destiny to fulfill in your own special way, but the first step to discovery and tapping into what he has for you starts with acknowledging him.  He's waiting for you to take the first step.

When I look back over my life, I'm amazed at where God has brought me from, and I've not only forgiven those that hurt me but I love them,and God used my valley experience to help someone else. He blessed the fruit of my hands and made me successful.  He gave me a good family, businesses, good health, a peace of mind and love in my heart.  Unfortunately my success has become the nightmare of those that desired to see my demise, and what some meant for evil, God turned it around for my good. You know, I've learned that it's hard for those to face the one that they've mistreated.

God can also turn things around in your life by changing everything about you right before the eye's of  those that desired to see you fail, just to prove to you and others that he has greater things in store for you. Then he'll make your enemies your footstool, and your success will become the nightmare of those that desired to see your demise.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Devil Is A Liar

By Keesah Pelzer

It seems like everyday I hear someone say that "The devil is a liar!" In my mind, there's no second guessing that he is indeed a liar, but what I found is that although people use this phrase loosely, they still manage to believe him and all of his lies, especially when it comes to their personal situations.

For over ten years, I've been illegally driving around without a license. I kept putting it off, making up all sorts of reasons why I can't, won't, and shouldn't schedule an appointment. Truth be told, the reason why I didn't go was because I was scared that I was going to fail, so I played it safe until I couldn't play anymore.

During the few days that I spent preparing for the test, the enemy would bring fear and doubt, and tried to make me believe that I wasn't going to pass because I wasn't ready, and that I'd forever be "riding dirty". The enemy has a way with making you think that things will never happen for you, even if it's the smallest of things. He will bring to your recollection all the people before you that tried, but failed in that area, and try to make you believe that you're next, so that you'll give up, and won't proceed into what God has in store for you.

When I got to the DMV it seemed like everyone around me was failing, all I was hearing was "Well, better luck next time!" and of course the devil was trying to use that to make me nervous, but that's when all the teachings of my spiritual mom and dad kicked in. They always taught us that God knows our every need and that he willfully supplies them. He never places us in a situation to leave us high and dry, knowing that we need and depend on him.They also taught us that God doesn't make things easy for us all the time, because if he did, there would be no need for him, because we'd be able to do it on our own.

I went in there thinking that God was going to give me all the easy questions that I already knew, but he did the complete opposite and gave me the ones that I didn't even study for. As I sat at the computer, I felt uneasy because I was thrown a curve ball, and the enemy was talking again, but I kept the faith and that's when I was able to see God move, because I passed the test! Had I kept putting this off, and buying the lies that the enemy was marketing, I would have missed the opportunity to see God move a different way in my life.

I'd be lying to you if I said that satan hasn't tricked me quite a few times into making me believe the illusions that he was creating right before my very eyes. Ninety nine percent of the time he'll come at us with a bag of tricks, and the same old ones at that, but we have to remember that God is in control of everything, and reflect back to how he's helped us in every situation when we were stuck between a rock and a hard place.

We have to take those experiences and use them as stepping stones to in order to get closer to God. And although easier said than done, we should never believe the hype, because as the church folks say, "The devil IS a liar!!"


Monday, March 31, 2014

You've Made Your Bed

 
By Keesah Pelzer

As human beings, we're sometimes forgetful that there's consequences for all of our actions, both good, and bad. Often we make our own beds, but shortly after, we find that they're not as comfortable as we presumed them to be. Some of us have burned bridges with our loose lips, while others have walked away from a once in a life time opportunity that only God can fulfill. Whatever the case may be in those situations, we've made our beds to lie in them, subsequently leaving ourselves to deal with the horrid title waves or repercussions that follow.

A few years ago, I befriended someone and our relationship didn't last very long. Things turned sour between us and some awful things were said. To them, I was the worse person on earth, and they prayed that they'd never meet anyone else like me. They couldn't wait to get away from me to venture out and discover new relationships. Years later, now that the dust has settled, they've gotten just what they've been looking for, only to find out that it was worse than the friendship that we shared, so there's no guessing that they're now trying to slowly ignite our old closeness by bringing up old jokes, and fond memories.

What I've learned from that situation is that it's usually the people who do us the dirtiest, and talk about us the most, that always seem to want to come back to the very thing that they considered "Hell on earth". But in all actuality it wasn't hell, they were just upset because they couldn't run the show, and that we're no longer around to tolerate the things that they've been dishing out for years. They've finally realized that after dealing with the REAL crazy people, we aren't as bad of as they thought we were.

When I first met Jesus, I didn't think about the consequences nor the severity of my own actions. Having child after child out of wedlock, and not listening to warnings when they were presented to me, made a pretty uncomfortable bed, but through all of that, I grew to learn that no one will ever escape the aftermath of their decisions. So it's mandatory that we consider the cost before we jump to do something.