Monday, December 31, 2012

A New Year's Prayer

 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:18-19

As we anticipate stepping into the new year, many of us are busy at self examinations and making New Year's resolution, here's a prayer for you and me, to help guide us on our journey into the new year. 

I pray for boldness, though fear tries to take the best out of us; I pray that everyday of this new year, you may hold your head up high and take a step towards your destiny. 

I pray for joy; do not let situations get in the way of you experiencing great joy!

I pray for a willing heart, willing to let God take control, willing to let others in, willing to love and willing to forgive

I pray that you will let go; let the past remain the past, do not let the mistakes of the past dictate your today and rob you of your tomorrow 

I pray for confidence, the confidence to take a step even when your cheerleaders are few 

I pray for great vision; trust in God your visions will come to pass

I pray that you are surrounded by love, people who believe in you and truly want the best for you

I pray for courage, be strong and courageous to walk through the doors God has opened for you

I pray for resources; that God will provide for everything you need to succeed

I pray for financial blessings and as God blesses you financially, I pray you will exercise great discipline and bless others in return

I pray for great success to accomplish all of your goals in 2013 and beyond.

I pray that you will create the time to spend with God daily; there's no success without God! 

I pray that if and when you have failed, you will not take failure as defeat. I pray you will have enough strength and courage for just one more step. 

Let us step in 2013 with great expectation that God will see us through this next season of our lives. Let us take a bold step into the new year! 

Happy new year 2013!  Bonne Anne!!!

Provided by ElevateHer international Ministries  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Life Lessons of 2012

My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything. James 1:2-4

Every situation in life is an opportunity to learn a valuable lesson.  Failure to learn these lessons will result in being presented with newer situations as an attempt to learn these lessons.  These lessons aren’t designed to hurt us but to grow, mature and develop us.  I have found with God, we can survive the unthinkable, thrive and live to tell others.  So when trials occur in our lives, maybe the question should not be “why me?” Perhaps it is more appropriate to ask God: “What do you want me to see?” 

Below is my year in review of lessons learned and in the process of learning. 

1. Sometimes it is necessary to take steps of faith with no idea of future outcomes.
2. Stopping and resting are necessary parts of refueling and growth.
3. Being fully present allows you to be a participant of the events taking place in your life; good and bad, don't miss a thing.
4. Though fear is a necessary force that often works as necessary opposition to build your confidence muscle, there is no greater feeling than facing your fears and slaying them.
5. Sometimes those closest to you may not be the ones to help bring comfort in times of need.
6. Do not hold on too tightly to any temporal things, there's no telling how God will bless you when you let go of them.
7. Pain is a necessary part of growth, no way around it!
8. Healing is hard work but there's no moving forward without it.
9. Every life challenge is an opportunity to grow in an area you have been neglecting
10. Some struggles will hurt like hell but when you look back, you will realize those situations developed you more than any other.
11. Make time to experience joy, all of life does not have to be lived as a tragedy.
12. Laugh as often as you can.
13. Whenever possible, Eat a good meal slowly, alone!
14. Doing good, never gets old.
15. It is not how much you give but how you give that is most important
16. When you feel like you have nothing else to give, it is very important that you do not give up!
17. We all have a unique purpose to fulfill, it is very important you find out what it is and live it out
18. God has given us the permission to purposely and intentionally live life; it is very important for us to live it boldly, holding nothing back.
19. What you do is almost as important as the environment in which you do it. 
20. Though relationships scare many of us, healing cannot take place outside of engaging in relationships.
21. Though God frustrates us at times, healing cannot take place outside of a relationship and connection with Him; God's dynamic position in our lives is undeniable!

What lessons have you learned this year?

Provided by ElevateHer International Ministries.  Stay Tuned...

Monday, December 24, 2012

My Grown-up Christmas List

One of my all-time favorite Christmas songs is "My grown up Christmas List" especially sung by Amy Grant; Kelly Clarkson also does a great rendition.

While many of us are wishing for that special gift, the singer's Christmas List is for:

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up Christmas list

To which I say: Yes!!! That's the message of Christmas! That's why Christ came! That's the hope of Christmas! This should be our daily hope and prayer.

Right now as I write this blog there's an ongoing war in the DR Congo where women are used as weapons of war and are being brutally abused.

Right now there are women in prison who have suffered years of abuse by someone close and they have now resulted into their selling bodies because they find no dignity in who they are as children of God.

Right now there's a woman looking the other way as her husband violates their wedding bed over and over again and as she looks the other way, he brings a viral disease that will eventually take both of their lives.

Right now there's a woman in deep emotional pain, unable to move on, unable to let go, unable to forgive and live a productive life.

Won't you join me in singing my Christmas wish list:

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up Christmas list

This is why Christ came! This is what Christ came to do during his first appearance on earth and until his second return we have work to do. 

Please join me as I aim to empower women to heal from wounds of trauma and advocate for more training and education for women through ElevateHer International Ministries.

As you celebrate Christmas, say a prayer for the healing and peace of women all over the world.

Provided by: ElevateHer International Ministries

Stay Tuned…

Saturday, December 22, 2012

When Tragedy Strikes

Isaiah 55:8-9“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”.

As a follower of Christ, I constantly wrestle with God; trying to understand his hands at work. I especially struggle when tragedy strikes. I often ask: "God where are you?" "why?" And the most daunting: "what have we done to be punished in such a way?"

Sorry this blog is not to answer any of the above questions; for my debate with God usually leads me back to his words; Isaiah 55:7-8...Your ways are not my ways…But you are our refuge and strength; so I will not fear…(Psalm 46).

However, this blog is to help in responding with grace while allowing God to be God in the midst of tragedy.

During my last semester in college, I became pregnant by my love but this pregnancy was by far planned. And of course having a child out of wedlock is frowned upon by Christians and non-Christians; deep down inside, every parent wants their children to have children after marriage.  That wasn't my story. I was pregnant, living in a dormitory, last semester in college and sick to death. This pregnancy had its way with me. It felt like I was poisoned. I lost 25lbs during the first trimester. And one visit to the emergency room. I was doubtful I would ever finish the semester to graduate. Many people called to check in on me but there was one of phone call, I will never forget.  The call started as all the others.  “I heard what happened, how are you?” And I went through the list of my symptoms and without missing a beat this woman said "you know when we sin, God punishes. This is God's punishment for your sin".


I was not ready for that.

When we got off the phone, I wept bitterly.  A part of me accepted my “punishment”. 

But over the years, I’ve questioned God about many other situations.

How do we explain women who miscarry? What sins have they committed? The death of the innocent children in CT. What sins had they committed? And I'm sure you have your own list of unexplained tragedies.

I was beyond hurt by her words. I have forgiven her for her hurtful words but God has used her painful words to teach me how to not approach tragedy when it strikes.

The truth is we cannot always equate sin and tragedy to God's punishment. Does God punish for disobedience? Yes he does. Does he show mercy when his people cry out to Him? Yes he does! Can we always call one situation as punishment over another? That's up to God to decide. Our job is to pray, teach others about God and weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice!  And whatever you do, when someone’s in the midst of pain, refrain from giving theological answers because no explanation can pacify the pain of the tragic death of a six year old. Instead, sit with them, pray for them, make them a meal, clean their house, do their laundry or take their children out for ice cream.

One friend did exactly just that during that last semester in college.  She came over, rubbed my back, greased and massaged my scalp (black hair regiment) and sat with me.  I have always been grateful to her for showing me how to love in the midst of difficult times. 

For this Christmas season, live out your faith in action!  Find someone who seems to “deserve” God’s wrath and punishment and love them deeply with your actions.  After all, isn't that the message of Christmas?  Christ descending from heaven and loving sinners who deserved punishment.

Brought to you by: ElevateHer International Ministries…Stay tuned!