Monday, December 31, 2012

How to Get Over Your Past?~Don’t Look Back-Keep it Moving! Part 1

Part 1 So we are fast approaching the end of another year. Usually this time of year everyone starts looking over the year(s) and tries to figure out what they have accomplished throughout the year or in their life: another degree, better job, new relationship, more money, new car etc. Many of us will look back on our life and see what all we have “accomplished” thus far.

 It is so tempting to look at where we are and feel that we have not reached that point where “we should be by now”. You do not have the relationship or marriage you thought you would have, you don’t have the money you thought you would have and the list goes on. From all this, it is so easy to start focusing on our “have nots” rather than our “haves” or to focus on all of our shortcomings or the things we are not so proud of.

Like that relationship we stayed in too long, that guy that said he loved you and then left you, that girl that was only was interested in your material possessions and then she abandoned you, your ex that you dumped and he/she just got married and now you wish you had stayed together, that house you bought and now upside down on your loan. I remember when I was in bondage to my past. I felt that God would not forgive me for my sins and that every bad decision I made would come back to haunt me.  

I lived in fear which gave birth to anxiety. Regret of past sins and unforgiveness are Satan’s favorite tools to defeat us! The Word says in John 10:10 “The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy.” The thief is the enemy, Satan, who wants us to hold on to our past, make us feel bad of all the not-so-great decisions in our lives to make us feel worthless or to experience hopelessness. In that passage, it goes on to say “I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.” The Old King James Version states so you can have life more abundantly.

So how do we avoid keeping the thief from holding us in bondage? How do we reach this abundance? Well there are eight things that you can start doing in 2013 to move you from bondage of past mistakes so you can be freed to live in abundance today. (The first three are posted below and the next five will be posted next Sunday).

1.) Stop comparing your success or failure based on other people or material things! Simply put, this is a waste of time and is not a true measurement of anything.  People buy cars, homes, clothes and take vacations they cannot afford all the time! Why waste time being envious of that? God will take care of you His time. Trying to fill your life with material things will leave you short every time. It is like filling a bucket with a hole in it. It will never be filled! So stop trying.
2.) Pray for forgiveness of Yourself and Others, Release of Your Past, and Vision for Your Purpose Pray every morning when you wake up and before you go to bed, that God releases you from your mistakes. Ask God to give you the strength and courage to forgive yourself, forgive others who hurt you either an ex-partner, divorce of your parents, or bullies at school. Whatever it is, ask God to forgive and thank God for His forgiveness.

God gave up His only son for our sins because he KNEW we would not do right. He KNEW it! The flesh is weak. Jesus already paid the price so STOP trying to reimburse Him! Please do not argue with NO CHARGE! Forgive yourself, forgive others, thank God for His forgiveness and move on! 

3.) Read at least one verse of the Bible or scripture a day or purchase a devotional book. I recommend reading the book of James or Psalms. James is very easy to read and to understand. Psalms is more poetic but is very encouraging.

For devotionals for ladies, I recommend Joyce Meyers “Love Out Loud” 365 Day Devotion. I purchased this book sometime last year, but I will be reading it again in 2013! Very encouraging!

For devotion for ladies and men, I recommend T.D. Jakes 365 Day Devotion to Praying, Healing & Blessing. My husband and I have been reading Joyce Meyers. Although I haven’t read any couples devotion, Gary Chapman’s book, The Marriage You Always Wanted is highly recommended by others. Start today with these three actions to start letting go of your past. Next Sunday I will post the next five. Until then be blessed.

Jill Bulluck
Detour Movement Inc.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

How to Get Over a Heart-Break | Pressing Through My Pain:

Pressing Through MY Pain | You will never be complete until you really understand that you are complete in Jesus. Incompleteness is not the result of being single, but of not being full of God. When two “incomplete” singles get married; their union will not make them complete. You were not created to complete one another but to compliment. Completion is Jesus’ responsibility and complimenting is a woman’s privilege. Being with a man is intended to enhance your happiness; not make you happy. Still this day; I struggle with overcoming a love that I thought would last forever. I gave up all of me just to find happiness with him. I fought through family and friends and defended my chosen love. Smiling all the time on the outside but inside I was screaming for help; I was longing for someone to understand. I wanted them to know him for who he was not for what they saw. There were no limits to what I would do for him. I was happy, beyond happy; I finally had someone I loved that I called mine. Until that one day when my world came tumbling down. The day that he told me; “let’s just take a break”. He told me that he wasn’t the man I needed him to be right now. As he is talking; I was hysterical thinking “how can he do this to me”. I felt like he took my heart right out of my chest and put it in his pocket for safe keeping. I thought how could you try and leave me after everything we have gone through; how could you leave me after I defended you the way I have? I felt like a failure, I felt like I could not even keep the man that I loved so much, what would everybody say? My perfect world had finally slid through my fingertips and there was no way for me to catch it. Now how many of you are struggling to put the pieces back together and that same guy you loved says I would never leave you, turns and walks away? You can spend minutes, hours, and even months, analyzing a situation trying to put the pieces or you can leave the pieces on the floor and move on. If someone walked out your life, let them, do not fight for them to return; if it is ordained by God, no time, no distance, and nobody can interfere with God’s plan. I was once told God never allows you to go through a situation that he didn’t already know you would overcome. A lot of women do not know it but we are stronger than we think. The fire, the storm, and the rain that you go through are just preparing you for something greater. The same man that walked out your life might be the man for you but you guys just met at the wrong time or maybe he was not the one for you so he was a lesson learned. Get on your face before God concerning your situation. It won’t be easy! For my situation, I put my man in the position of God; I had him so far on a pedestal that he reined in my life. And we all know our God is a jealous God, so that is why I feel like God removed him. God may have removed him for a season or we may never be together again but in the meantime I have corrected the error of my ways. I learned how to stop depending on a man to supply my emotions for me. I learned how to not be so dependent on one person and I have learned how to be strong within myself so that I do not lose myself the next time I get into a relationship.
I learned how to put my foot down and keep my standards leveled. I stopped running to everybody to solve my problems and made up my own mind. At this point; I am pursing a modeling career and I am in my last year of college. I am writing a novel and have started my own business. I am also beginning my own women organization. I have chosen to be a role model for girls who do not have that guidance. I have given up sex so that I can present my body as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to Christ. I do not worry about if he is coming back or not because I have given that to Christ. I cast all my cares on God and he takes them because he cares for me. This is a preparation phase; a phase to prepare me for what is next in my life. I became independent when I stopped worrying about the things I could not fix and I have came to a place where I am happy with myself. I pray this prayer every day, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”. I am finding wholeness in Christ and never again in a man. Sometimes it is great to find the good in the goodbye. A woman does not stay in a situation that's continuously causing her hurt; for her to stay there is insanity. Ladies, do not miss out on your best chasing after what could never happen again. I know that wall is up higher than it ever was especially dealing with your first heartbreak but allow God to do the healing and mending and learn to forgive. Forgiveness is not for the other person but it is for you. If it is for you it will work out in your favor and if it is not; I promise you God has something better.

~Te'Aire~

Stay connected and join this kingdom movement by going to detourmovement.org and filling out the short form!  

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Let This Mind Be In You - Transformed Mindset!!!

Let this Mind Be In You – Transformed Mindset!!!!! Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” What does this mean exactly? How can we as humans adopt the mindset of Christ? After all; we were all born as sinners (Psalms 51:5).

I am not sure about you; but I would hear this mindset message all too often and it would somewhat annoy me because I would be like “how in the world can we have a mind of Christ when we are like filthy, dirty rags” (Isaiah 64:6)? 

For the life of me; I could not grasp this concept nor did I understand such a command. Now; I did understand “obeying my father and mother and that my days would be long”; as well as “paying tithes and offerings”; ensuring not to rob God and so many others but adopting Christ mindset was impossible and unrealistic (as though I thought).

No one really took the time to delve deep into the scriptures and explain exactly what it said; everything was taught on surface. I would hear the seasoned Christians quote scriptures with little to no understanding following.

It was only when I became more mature in my walk with God and was able to sit under a Pastor who understood the Word and was able to explain it in laments terms what God was trying to say to His people.

Adopting the mindset of Christ is basically allowing the way you think to be transformed once you accept Christ as your Saviour. There is no possible way; your thoughts or behavior can remain the same and you are fruitful according to God’s Word. It’s simply impossible; our minds are something else and if we do not bring every imagination and high thing that exalt itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; we will be defeated.

The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy and he often uses the mind to do just that. If the devil can attack your mind successfully; he has you captive. The same way God has a plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11); so does the devil (1 Peter 5:8); but he also knows that he is defeated and will spend eternity in hell (Revelation 20:10).

In knowing this; we have to be aggressive in not allowing him to influence or overtake our minds. We have to be assured that Christ is in us; the hope of Glory and greater is He that is in us; than He that is in the world. Although the world may display a different picture; we have to accept truth (Gods Word) and live it. Whoever told you that once you got saved; you were “Scott Free”; and your life would be blissful? They lied to you!  

The enemy will attack you (including your mind) even the more because you are no longer on his side. You are now a #Threat to the kingdom of darkness. Everything begins with a thought; your mind is one of the most powerful and sharpest weapon; and the devil knows that.

Dennis Avey said it best when he said “The mind is a powerful thing. It can take you through walls.” I wholeheartedly believe this; it is up to you which walls you will allow it to take you through.

So; how can one adopt the mindset of Christ? I am glad you asked.

First and foremost; you have to accept Christ as your Lord and savior and commit to living for him. (Romans 10:9)

•Mediate on God’s word always (Joshua 1:8)

•Walk in love toward others regardless of how they treat you (1 Corinthians 13; Matthew 5:44). I know this is difficult but it is vital in having the mind of Christ and living a fulfilled life in God. •Let Go of the Pass – You are living in your Now years; not your yesterday (Philippians 3:13-14) – Get rid of the waste or you will dissolve in it!

•Be Determined to think on good things… Period DOT! – (Philippians 4:8; Romans 12:2) Until next time; let’s be Mindful! Adopted Christ Mindset,

Treal Ravenel,
Co-Founder of Detour Movement Inc.

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Resolving Conflict Between Friends


I remember back in high school where there were those girls who were known to confront someone based on a rumor that got back to them or when they had a disagreement with another person.  I can recall at the time how other students made it so taboo when one of these girls would confront them or someone they knew.  Sometimes these girls would bring a friend along to witness the whole situation.  Oftentimes people thought a fight would eventually breakout but often that was not the case.  As I have grown in Christ, I have learned that this type of confronting is actually a very important biblical teaching.   For in Matthew 15:18 if someone trespasses or sins against you, you should go tell him his fault and keep the drama between you in the other person.   If that person is bullheaded or try to be manipulative then you should bring one or two witnesses along with you.  If then that person still will not hear you out, then you are free to tell the world or scripture says you should tell the Body of Christ (aka the world ;-))  It is extremely important for us to confront our friends, family and even our enemies for the purpose of reconciliation.  This allows us to resolve any misunderstanding, to hold the offender accountable for their violation, and to maintain mutual respect.  More often than not, conflict arises out of differences of opinion of two parties or from sin (adultery, lying, jealousy, envy, proud, greed, etc.).  And sin born all types of emotions from a temporary feeling of pleasure, fulfillment to bitterness, resentment, and/or irrevocable hatred.  Because we all have our own minds that has been shaped by our family, religion, education, genetics, environment (regionally) etc., we all have different opinions on various issues, various beliefs and values, and even various attitudes.   In addition, our gender has a huge influence on shaping our perspective.  The fact of the matter is conflict is a part of life and no healthy relationship will exist without conflict (Larry Alan Nadig, PH.D 2012)  According to Dr. Nadig there are various styles of resolving conflict from avoidance or denying the conflict even exist, to giving in rather than working through the conflict, sometimes folks become angry and blame the other person and plays the role of Vicky (victim), “others are competitive and try to win; using their power and influence to control and get their way”, others appear to be compromising but subtly being manipulative trying to gain more ground, while others give up their self-serving pursuit and genuinely seek a fair solution which is known as creative integrative approach (Nadig 2012).   Growing up I practiced avoidance and denying, being fearful that bring up a disagreement or conflict would offend the other person, make me appear difficult/problematic, cause the situation to escalate or just out right end the relationship.  As I’ve matured well over into adulthood, I discovered conflict is paramount in order for me to have healthy relationship with others & myself and to avoid those negative feelings I mentioned above.  Conflict can sometime be a gate way to liberation; freeing us from holding all these feelings inside.  Prior to that time, I would foolishly suppress my feeling in the name of peace.  But I do not believe I am the only one who has practiced this type of conflict resolution.  I believe we all have suppressed our feeling at one point or another or act cowardly talking about others behind their back and refuses to address the issue that was bothering us.  Not only does this create an unhealthy relationship between us and the other person, but must shamefully it creates an unhealthy relationship with ourselves.  The relationship with ourselves is the most important relationship we have outside of our relationship with God.  In effort to elevate our relationship with ourselves and others to another level, I encourage you to confront folks when something they do or say is not true or accurate or make you feel disrespected, verbally assaulted or just uncomfortable.  The best time is on the spot right when the incident occurs if you are not emotional charged.  If you are emotionally charge, pray about the situation, wait until you gain control over your emotions and then confront the person keeping the end in mind, reconciliation.  In order to achieve a creative integrative approach you should be prepare with one or two solutions to rectify the situation.  If you are the person being confronted, I challenge you to first seek to understand the other person, before seeking to be understood (Steven Convey).  Be respectful of the person's feeling and concerns and think of a solution to resolve the issue at hand and strategies on how to avoid this type of situation in the future.  Remember that this type of approach resolve problems and differences rather than the false perception of creating one.  Well until next time, that ti my time.  Be blessed!
Jill Bulluck
Co-Founder to Detour Movement Inc. 

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Understanding Your Purpose: Strategically Designed




 Have you ever been in a place in your life when you felt like you just did not belong?  Have you ever felt like the odd man out because everyone around you were doing things differently and you find yourself wanting to do those same things just to fit in with the crowd or perhaps even just to make new friends?  Well I can recall a few times when I wanted to do what everyone else was doing.  I wanted to be accepted by everyone and I did not know how to say the magic, very important word “NO” or even “no”.  I was young, vulnerable, and oh so trusting.  I thought that other people had my best interest in their heart but as I got older I learned that I had to look out for my own interest and I could not expect others to do that for me.  But before that point, I wouldn't think for myself; I figured that other people had a better plan for me than I had for myself.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  When I was twelve years old, I told a family friend that I wanted to be a Social Worker when I grow up.   She quickly told me I would never make any money as a Social Worker.  So she suggested that I “do hair” like her daughter and from that time, that stick with me.  Not long after that encounter I found myself doing hair.  I continued doing hair for several years limiting myself and deferring my dreams.   I made a critical decision about my career, my life to be a hairstyle for over 20 years, because someone else thought that was the best thing for me. It wasn’t until a few years ago I realized I had the potential to be and to do so much more! 

I believe we all struggled with embracing who we are at some point in our lives.  For the ladies, you know that time you felt like you weren’t pretty enough, that your physique wasn’t developed to your liking.   Or for the guys that time when you felt you weren’t tall enough, or that your triceps or biceps were not large enough, or that you just didn’t have what it take to get that girl or achieve your dream as an athlete, musician, engineer or lawyer.  Sometimes we subconsciously focus on our inadequacies or weaknesses rather than our strengths.  At these times in our lives we somehow fail to see the good in ourselves because we accept other people’s opinion about ourselves and we try to live up to other people expectations.  But truly do their opinions really matter?  Should we be accepting anyone’s opinion?  Food for thought, why not accept the Creator’s opinion or better yet the Creator’s plan for our lives?   
God says we are uniquely crafted individuals and whatever we put in our mind, we will be able to conquer.  There is no reason to have any reservations or fears.  For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (II Timothy 1:7).  See there are some times, we do not realize our exceptional make-up!  It is ssssoooo amazing what can happen with the power of knowing.   Remember in Jeremiah 29:11 it says God knows the thoughts He thinks toward us, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give us an expected end.  So in the moments when we are not sure of ourselves, we ought to seek God because it is He that created us.  Remember to always believe in yourself!  Reject anyone negative opinion about who you are or what you cannot do.   No matter what someone has said about you in the past be sure to know we have been fearfully and wonderfully made; fearfully made with caution, great reverence and a heartfelt interest for each of us.  God does things intentionally; he designed each of us to have our own creative, unique looks and aspirations.  We are all Fearfully and Wonderfully Made; having our own strategic design not made by man (Psalm 139:14)!
Author Karron Griffin
Co-author Jill Bulluck
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Guest Blogger Karron Griffin w/ Co-author Jill

A4J followers and first time viewers please help me welcome our second guest blogger as she shares her experience of  self-esteem, confidence and the Power of knowing.

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

“A Call to Commitment”

Christians need to be “ready for radical commitment and change.” The Lord calls us not only to leave the status quo, but also to take that calling seriously by following Him.

Following Jesus demands our all. David McCasland


How many of us know that being committed to something or someone will ultimately produce a return of some sort?  This just makes sense right? Kind of like an investment.  I am reminded of my commitment level as I reflect on an incident that occurred on my job just last week. I had to make a decision to commit to my lifestyle of being a child of God or allow the enemy to have victory in challenging my commitment level.  I am proud to say that I walked away with the victory in that situation; however, this hasn’t always been the case for me.  It took spiritual growth/maturity and much needed change to take place in my life before I was able to produce a good return.  At one point; my initial reaction was not to consider my walk and proclamation of living a Christ-like life but to deal with the person or thing and think about God (my walk) afterwards.  When I speak of commitment; I am referring to my commitment to live a life that is set apart from regularity and destined to set and meet high expectations and regard; the ability to rise above every situation and most importantly my commitment in being a follower of Christ.  God also has this same goal for your life.  Sometimes as Christians we are faced with severe levels of adversities that challenge our commitment with God.  Some people often refer to these instances as tests or trials but I  refer them as opportunities.  In any circumstance we are confronted with that may appear to be a stumbling block; we should reverse it and view it as an opportunity.   An opportunity to display our commitment to the call of being a Christian; set apart for God’s propose.  This may come as great difficulty sometimes.  Many of us have not allowed ourselves to be elevated to the place where we are ready to live a life to commitment to God. Conversely, sometimes the pressures of life and the demands or our attempts to meet our commitments and responsibilities to our significant others, our children, our jobs, school and even our church activities get us off track from our commitment to God.  God is calling for a greater level of commitment from us.  He wants us to experience him in his fullness; wholeness in every area of our life.  That means nothing missing; nothing broken but whole and complete.  We will not be able to walk in this level of wholeness without a greater level of commitment.  We have to make a decision today!  Will we choose our way or Gods way?  It is our choice and God has allowed us to make that decision all by ourselves.  He trust us that much to allow us to choose this day who we will serve (Joshua 24:15).  Receiving salvation (being a Christian) is a beautiful thing but it is just the beginning.  Once we develop a relationship with Christ and become a friend of Christ by following his commandments is when we get to the next level; commitment.  Commitment is so much bigger than religion.  A commitment is a term or an agreement that is made between two parties. We established our commitment when we made the decision to follow Christ.  In the same manner we have made a commitment to our children, partner, job, church, etc.  So how do we fulfill our commitment with God at the same time fulfill all the other commitments we have?  I am glad you asked the question.  For starters, begin to commingle your activities with your family life with your spiritual life.  No we are not talking about taking the kid(s) to church on Sunday or you and your boyfriend/girlfriend or friend going to church together on Sunday, great activities but not relational activities necessarily.  What we are referring to is in the morning when you wake up; get your child (ren) or spouse up ten minutes early and read a scripture and pray together.  Have a movie night with your kids and/or significant other, rent a good Christian movie like Fireproof, Jumping the Broom or even a sector clean movie like Blindside and discuss the message of the movie.  Ask the question what Christ-like characteristics were exemplified.  Use it as an opportunity to develop your relationship with them through dialogue about the film and at the time you all will growing in Christ Jesus.  I know it is difficult to balance all the areas in life.  I struggle with this as well.  But I challenge you to make a commitment and commingle your activities and incorporate God at least once a day so you, your friends and family can move towards being set apart for God’s purpose for your lives.  We all experience situations that will challenge our commitment level; but we have to choose to rise above and remain in a committed state and know that small daily encounters with God can make all the difference.  

Treal Ravenel

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Establishing Boundaries

Over the last year, I have had the opportunity to talk to several guys from different ages and races. In our conversation; the comment arose that when women says “no”, especially as it relates to their willingness to engage in a sexual encounter, they really do not mean it.

And how about when guys tell us ladies “No I am not looking for a relationship or anything serious, I just want to have a good time”; as women sometimes we think that eventually we will convince him that you are the “One”; when he is not even looking for the “One”.

 I’m thinking what ever happened to the saying/rule “No means NO”? Ladies can I share a quick secret or should I say fact with you (guys you can thank me later) for the most part; guys don’t just fall in love, guys get to a place in life and realize that they do not want to spend the rest of their lives alone and that they desire a mate.

When they have this revelation; then and only then do they proceed in finding their mate. When men are ready to look or want to make themselves available, they will let us know. For scripture states “A man that findeth a wife or woman; findeth a good thing” – Proverbs 18:22. Women are wired completely differently.  

Women naturally have a higher “NEED” and I really mean need for emotional fulfillment. And oftentimes; women misinterpret attention or physical attraction as an emotional connection while guys see it as a sexual opportunity or “just having a good time”. This free interaction sometimes ends up going too far and we wonder how we allowed ourselves to be in a compromising situation once again. Guys oftentimes you find yourself with a (young) lady who is SPRING OUT on you aka demanding more time, attention and/or commitment. All these things you never intended from the beginning. The simple answer to resolve this issue is to avoid loose boundaries and establish boundaries that protect you from compromising yourself, trying to meet a long-term need of deep intimacy with a temporary fix, sex. Men naturally have a strong passion to fulfill their sexual desire (some like myself argue their “need”). And like women they have a need for a deep level of intimacy.

God gave us these needs, desires and passions so we can enjoy one another under the covenant of marriage prior to that time, it is in our best interest male and female alike to set boundaries until that time and seek God to fulfill our need for intimacy and glorify Him. Think of the door to your home. It serves to prohibit bad/unwanted things or people from coming in and at the same time allowing good/desirable things or people to come-in (Pastor Battle 2012). We have to have something like a door in our own lives to protect our spirituality, emotional sanity and sexual purity. Without that door or boundaries, anything can flow in and out of our lives. Some examples of boundaries are:

1.) Avoiding house dates or being alone during your courtship.

2.) Avoid passionate physical interaction like kissing and cuddling.

3.) Avoid movies and music with sexual content, oftentimes soft pornography.

4.) Limit how much you give of yourself. Don’t allow yourself to go into full and complete submission. Avoid thinking of that person so frequently (i.e a couple times a day) and replace those thoughts with prayer and scripture reading.

5.) Think about something or things that you can save for your life partner like even those three special words: I Love you (Jeanna Mayo) or even kissing on the mouth.

6.) Commit to be in love and dedicated to God’s will (the BIBLE) and choose this over your own desires.

7.) Choose to accept only things in your life that glorify God and avoid or expel any and everything that is not consistent with his Word.

If you are ever curious or concern if your relationship or decision is what God has for you, line it up with the Word of God and if it is not consistent with the Word, they you know “It is not God”. If it is consistent with God, continue to pray and wait for God to order your steps but when He orders your steps; be ready to move your feet.

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Jill Bulluck,
Founder of Detour Movement Inc.

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Guest Blogger Kel B

A4J followers and first time viewers please help me welcome our first guest blogger as he unleash the truth of what it means to be a slave by leaving a comment with your feedback. Thanks for your continual support!

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The Slave Mentality

As many of you know, February is Black History Month. A variety of noteworthy black Americans are honored during this time of year, while milestone events, such as the Civil Rights Movement, are celebrated & remembered, but one thing that always comes to my mind during this time is the institution of slavery.

Now, we've all heard the horror stories of slave life in the South but the focus of this message is not on the hardships of slavery, it's about how the characteristics of being a slave relate to that of being a true Christian.

Here's a fact for you: in many of the translations of the Bible, the Greek word, "Doulos", has been translated into the English word, "servant" or "bond servant", but "Doulos" literally means SLAVE! So, the next time you read a Bible verse that uses the word servant, substitute it with "slave" & then reflect on your own relationship with Christ. For example, Romans 6:17-18 (KJV) says, "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." You see, before we turned to Christ, we were slaves to our own sin.

Sin had control over our lives as if it were our master, but once we submitted ourselves unto the Lord of lords & the Master of masters, we became slaves to His will & His way. I’ll let you marinate on that for a moment… So, you may be thinking that the word “slave” is inappropriate or awkward in this sense; or you may be a little confused because even God’s word says that the truth shall set you free (John 8:32), so how can slavery & freedom co-exist???

Well, first, let’s look at some characteristics of slavery in order to start connecting the dots:

Characteristics of Slavery
The slave is bought at a price
The master has the power in the relationship
The slave must submit to the will of the master & obey his commands or face punishment
The master provides food, shelter, & clothing for the slaves
The slave is dependent upon the master to meet his needs
The master punishes those who are disobedient
The slave fears the master
The master has a plan for utilizing each of the slaves
The slave’s ultimate purpose is to serve the master

After reading these characteristics, we begin to see the similarities between slavery & Christianity. To further drive the point home, we could take the list above & replace “The Slave” with “The Follower” & replace “The Master”, with “God” & it would still make perfect sense to the believer. After looking at these characteristics, can we say that our relationship with Jesus mirrors that of a Master/Slave relationship?

If we are to walk this walk like God wants, we must submit ourselves to Him in much the same way a slave does to his master. Our bodies & souls are not our own, which is why abstaining from any & everything that doesn’t line up with the will of God is so important.  

He cannot dwell in us or use us to our maximum capability if we are constantly in sin & not obeying his instruction from the Bible. Remember, we don’t have to live in the bondage of sin any longer because we have been set free from it.

You see, this is how slavery & freedom can co-exist. In choosing to become a slave for Christ (by surrendering your life to Him), you have traded in the shackles of sin & death for the unchained freedom of everlasting life. Being a Christian & still living defeated in sin is like living day after day with a set of tight handcuffs on, even though you have the keys to take them off! 

It sounds foolish but it’s happening all around us… I’ve even partaken in this foolishness, myself but glory be to God for snapping me out of it & guiding me back to the right path. Are you currently living with the burdens of sin & looking for a way out? Maybe you've been wearing the shackles of sin for so long that you aren't even aware of them. Or maybe you are a faithful Christian but realize that you haven't fully submitted to Him in EVERY aspect of your life. Regardless of our circumstances, we must first acknowledge & confess our sins & then turn them & our FULL selves (true repentance) over to THE Master & Lord, Jesus Christ.

Of course the major difference between Jesus as our master & the worldly masters of the old slaves days is that Jesus has his followers (slaves for Christ) best interest at heart because he LOVES us. When we seek & obey Him because He is worthy (& not just because of what he can do for us), He blesses us in ways that exceed our own expectations! What other slave master has the ability to do that?!

It’s important to understand that either way it goes, we WILL be slaves, however, we do have the option of choosing the master that we serve. Whether we submit ourselves to the things of this failing world & the enemy himself (Satan) or our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ, we will inevitably be in a servant position. So, I’ll leave you with this last question; who is your master?...

By Kel B

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

“INTIMACY WORTH WAITING FOR”

“Intimacy Worth Waiting For”
True love is worth waiting for and you will know in your heart of hearts when it arrives. I believe the most costly mistake for women is falling for it before its time and making an investment that has no return potential. We as women make that mistake all too often. We overly extend our mind, body and our will oftentimes for the sake of what we believe equates to “true love”. Our nature consist of many characteristics and personality traits that can sometime land us in a bad mental, physical and emotional state; one we’d rather not be in but because of our lack of emotional intelligence (the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups); we have a hard time of getting out of that place. There are a majority of reasons why we as women stay in stuck mode concerning our "love” life and relationships; I will list only a few: Inability or unwillingness to be alone; longing for something or someone that is artificial; desiring the wrong type of mate; refusing to love oneself first and accepting who you are; believing the lies that were spoken over your life from your ex or others and the list goes on and on. The word of God lets us to know that Jesus came to seek those who are lost Luke 19:10. When he speaks of the lost; it is a figurative term as it relates to your soul being lost (without Christ). When he said that those that hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be full; he provided assurance to the believers and unbelievers that if you give your life for him; you will experience the fullness of what life offers and that includes your uniquely designed mate (husbandman). More so than you giving your life and casting all your cares on him; he desires for us to be whole in every area of our lives; knowing our true sense of worth and value as the pure form being he created us to be. Once you discover who you are in God and what your bloodline consist of; you experience “true love”; love that will never fade away; harm you; use and abuse you; or jeopardize your worth, values and morals. Then and only then; will you be able to embrace all that God has for you as it relates to true love with the opposite sex. No longer will you accept or allow the artificial form of what God is attempting to provide to you.
“Desiring a relationship with Christ is the true meaning of Intimacy”. Reach deep down within yourselves and ask “Is this worth the wait”?

By Treal Ravenel

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Let's Talk About Sex





So what is the big deal about premarital sex and other sexual activities outside of marriage? To start let’s focus on the affects of sexual intercourse. As a woman; we give a man part of our body and our soul.  As Juanita Bynum once described; women receive a deposit and men lose strength every time intercourse occurs outside of marriage.  What deposit(s) and strength(s) were Juanita referring to?  I believe the deposit a woman receives is a spiritual transmission where part of a man’s spirit resides within her. Almost like a mini clone of that man trespasses into the soul of a woman which increases her loyalty or desire to be with that man and her connection to him.  This type of connection is sometimes called a soul tie.  This level of connection or intimacy between a man and a woman was only intended to happen in the institution of marriage.  The loss of strength or the weakening of a man occurs during that spiritual transmission where part of him is left with that woman, his physical strength being exerted and a physical deposit left behind.   When a man releases, oftentimes at one point or another he will have a feeling of emptiness which is representative of his lost strength.  Value is the relative worth, merit, or importance [placed on an individual or their personal beliefs] (dictionary.com).  What value are you placing on yourself?  What price are you currently exchanging your mind, body and spirit for? Phone calls, affection, a relationship, or perhaps companionship outside of God?  Or maybe it is the fear of not having companionship that you are exchanging yourself for or perhaps your own lustful desires. This is because the fulfillment in which we are seeking is not in any sexual encounter be it intercourse, oral sex, masturbation, pornography or any other sexual immoral behavior.  The fulfillment we all are seeking is in Christ Jesus and until we let go of our lustful flesh or our own self passion and start aggressively pursuing the things of Christ; we will continue to have this level of emptiness and wasted energy in things that are not of God. For the Word calls us to flee sexual immortality.  In Corinthians 6:13-15 & 18-20 it advised that whatever we yoke our body with we become one with that be it a man or woman or God. “Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.  And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.  Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body (NKJV).”  So with this loss of strength and devaluing self-worth, why do we commit these types of sins against ourselves and God?  Mostly out of fear and the lust of the flesh.  Delving a little deeper, some of us are allowing ourselves to be consumed by our fleshful nature rather than resisting temptation and fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives.  Sexual immorality separates us from our Savior because he cannot dwell in sin and if we are sinning with our bodies, how can he dwell within us?   The body is supposed to be sacred and Holy.  The scripture tells us this “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (NJKV).  Throughout scripture God is constantly calling us to let go of sexual sin and honor our bodies for his purpose and will for our lives. If we answer the call to live for Christ, he can restore our bodies as His temple.  Isaiah 1:18 says "Come now, and let us reason together," says the Lord, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool."  In this scripture we are hearing the promises of God of no matter how deep we are in sin that he can purify our body and we can start operating in his divine purpose.

P.S. I would love for you to be part of our community of sisters where we pray, support, encourage and inspire one another. Sign-up for our free gift, an MP3 Download entitled "Making the Right Choice". 

 


 














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