Are We Really Living THAT Life?

Hello! I have officially been blogging again for a year! YAY! (June 28th made 1 year. I know I’m a few days late on blogging.) But anyways, I’m back again with some spiritual food! Let’s eat!

Image result for basketball player eating cereal gif

Today, I just simply want to talk about self-examination. I have been studying God’s word faithfully and consistently, asking for understanding as I read. Lately, I’ve been thinking Why did I do that? God has been showing me some stuff I did not want to see! LOL

On a serious note, God’s Word will show you who you are, where you fall short, what you lack, what you have. It will help you self-evaluate for sure. All of this has made me question if I am really living a life that God would want me to live. Of course, our sins and our choices to side with fleshly free-will keep us from some of the things God may have for us, but I just have been wondering if I am doing everything I can do to please God and glorify Him. Unfortunately, my answer at this point in my life is a big resounding NO! If you take a look at your life, I’m sure you may feel the same way, too.

I had a conversation with a church member about Stephen in the Bible. If you don’t know, Stephen was the first martyr, the first person to die because He so strongly believed in Jesus Christ. Well, this church member and I discussed what happened to Stephen and how he was stoned to death, but my church member pointed out something that I never noticed. The bible says:

“But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” ~Acts 7:54 ESV

Now, take a look at this scripture…

“So, then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into Heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.” ~Mark 16:19 ESV

Image result for whoa whoa whoa gif

Yes, you read that correctly! Jesus got up out of His seat for Stephen! Shook is what I was when my church member pointed that out!

Now, I have no idea how I will die, or if I will go through what Stephen went through for Jesus Christ. I do know that I want God to be just that pleased with me when it is my time. It’s time to let go of those things that we know are not of godly character. Don’t continue to be a slave to sin that you can be delivered from. It’s time to live THAT life,  that life that is pleasing unto God. I want to be able to say that I lived my life according to God’s will, and that with the life that He gave me, I used it all to glorify Him.

So, all I ask is for you to just take a look at your life. Stephen served his purpose, but are you? Are you living a life according to God’s will? Are you knowingly sinning, abusing God’s grace? I know we fall short, but are you striving every day to do what is right? Are you? Get into the Word of God and take a look at yourself. Ask yourself everyday:

Am I living THAT life? 

I strongly believe that God will reveal the answer to you. Keep the faith and keep on keeping on.

Until next time,

Jazz 🙂 ❤

 

Advertisements

~Perfectly Imperfect Me~

Hello, you. I hope everything is going great for you! These past couple of months have thrown me off, but I am back and ready for some inspiration time. Let’s get to it.

I felt like the picture above was very appropriate for one main reason. Some of the most beautiful moments in my life have been the result of something that was imperfect. Walk with me here.

Have you ever struggled with being a perfectionist? If you have and even if you haven’t, this is a message that is beneficial to us all. Maybe you don’t struggle with perfectionism, maybe you struggle with comparing yourself to others or feeling like you aren’t enough. I’m here to tell you that God sees us so much differently than how we see ourselves.

So, I’ll use myself as an example and be completely transparent here. I have always been very studious, striving to get the highest grades that I can get in every class I’ve ever taken in my life. This semester, I did not get the grade I was hoping for in one particular class, and I felt like I had completely failed. All of these different thoughts began to run through my mind, and Satan began to attack. I began to think that I truly had failed and that this would be frowned upon. It was absolutely ridiculous, and I had no peace about the situation. Thankfully, after talking to some people and prayer, God granted me the peace I needed. After reevaluating the situation, I realized that this would not have happened unless God allowed it. At the time, there were some other experiences I needed to mold and shape me. I’m at a different place now. (See what I did there! 🙂 See my previous blog.) The question I leave you with here is Should perfectionism drive you to lose your peace? (The answer is NO.) 

The Lord directed me to this well-known story in the bible, the story of Martha and Mary. He placed an emphasis on the scriptures below.

“But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion which will not be taken away from her.'” Luke 10:41-42 

In this story, Martha was so worried about making sure everything was perfect for Jesus that she was missing what was really important.  Martha got so tired of running around; she finally addressed that fact that Mary was at Jesus’ feet. She was “hot and bothered!” (I might have been, too.)   However, Martha was really supposed to be worried about receiving teaching from Jesus like Mary.

screaming scream animated GIF

We often set goals for ourselves that are not exactly the goals God has in mind for us. Sometimes, we think that God is expecting so much from us, when all He really wants is something simple like our attention or our dedication. GOD REALLY JUST WANTS YOU WITH YOUR PERFECTLY, IMPERFECT SELF. Think about the experience Martha would have had during her encounter with Jesus if she would have focused on what was really important.  He wants to take all of  our imperfections and make them perfect through Him (2 Corinthians 12:9). We worry about pleasing family, peers, or friends and making sure they approve, losing sight of Whose approval we really need.  That brings me to my last point.

I went to the movies yesterday to see I Feel Pretty starring Amy Schumer (AKA Renee in the movie). She wished that she was beautiful and  in turn gained so much self-confidence. It was sad that she thought she wasn’t beautiful before. Fortunately, at the end of the movie, she recognized that she had been beautiful all along. All of her imperfections made her who she was, and she was happy with that. She had an amazing job, people that cared about her, and so much more. She had many reasons to be grateful for who she was because she was her perfectly, imperfect self.

I say all of this to say that you need to recognize who you are. I can respect Mary and Renee because they realized who they were and were confident in that. Once they realized who they were, they did not let anything keep them from valuing what was really important in different moments in their lives.  There is no way on God’s green Earth that you should be trying to please yourself or others more than God. We miss the mark every single day (Romans 3:23), but what really matters is how you get back up and your effort.  You are made in the image of God, and your goals have to align with what He would want for you. You have to seek Him, and when He teaches you something, don’t miss the lesson. God still sees us as His beautiful children who were made to glorify Him. Never has He said that He wants us to be perfect. He is already that and so much more. Don’t lose yourself trying to be something that you were never meant to be. All of your flaws make you who you are.  Find your peace, your place, your purpose… You are perfectly imperfect, and God sees that. Will you? Once you realize this, you will appreciate those beautiful moments in life created from your imperfections.

I thank God for being so loving and forgiving. I thank Him for His son, and I thank Him for creating perfectly, imperfect me.

giphy

 

Until next time…

With love,

Jazz ❤

 

I’m at a Different Place!

Hello to you! Do I have something powerful to share with you? Yes! Yes, I do! I hope you have been well.  I want to jump right into this!

So, I was talking to some of my classmates, and I found out that they are either engaged or married already! I wondered How in the world can this be? We are all so young, but God can send your spouse whenever He feels like it, so I just moved on past the point of us being young.

We sat at the table, and these young women began talking about living arrangements, bills, weddings, and so much more. I was sitting there like…

Related image

I could not relate to them in any way during this conversation. I’m single, live at home with my parents, haven’t even thought about living arrangements or paying utility bills. For a split second, I thought Why am I not doing any of what they are doing? It seems like they just have it together. Then, God said it loud and clear. “YOU’RE AT A DIFFERENT PLACE!” I was sure I had misheard God. I was like “God, what are You talking about? I’m at a different place; I’m sitting here in the same position they are in: college student, young woman of God, intelligent, etc. Then, it hit me!

“For everything there is a season, and time for every matter under heaven.” -Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV 

How ignorant of me to even suggest that these young ladies and I were sitting in the same position. In that moment, God let me know that it’s neither my season nor my time for the things they had set before them. God has a different purpose for me at this point. Beyond me wanting my own place and praying for my Godly spouse to come along, I thought about how I always say God has a plan in every moment of my life. In that moment, I questioned His sovereignty. My friend, DON’T DO THAT!

I know you’re probably thinking “Well, when is my time? When is God going to give me the desires of my heart? I’m going to ask God why because I feel this or I feel that… When is He going to come through for me? ”

Image result for someone looking at clock gif

 

It can be discouraging to see others doing the things that you want to do or being at the place where you want to be. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that God is going to give you everything you want when you want it. I know God is a wise God, and He wouldn’t give you something at the wrong time or give you something you don’t NEED!” He is so strategic with His placement and timing. Come on, I’m sure you’ve heard your grandma or somebody say “He may not come when you want Him, but He’s always on time!”

I encourage you today. Trust God and His timing. Your time will come. Your season will come! Wait until it does! Until it comes, you focus on what God is calling you to do in this moment of your life.  I encourage you to let God do what He wants to do with your life. He is the author of your beautiful testimony. Never forget that! So often, we make the mistake of wanting to write our own stories.

All in all, while talking to those young women, I just realized that I am at a different place. I am at a different place in my life because God said so. God is calling me to do something different in my life at this moment. My story is not your story and never will be. We have to go through things differently at different times for Him to truly be glorified in our lives. Isn’t that what we ultimately want?

There’s a time for me to minister to someone. There’s a time for me to go through. There’s a time for me to stand my ground. There’s a time for me to get my own place. There’s a time for me to overcome my trials. There’s a time for me to be in leadership. There’s a time for me to follow. Do you get my gist here? Are you picking up what I’m putting down?! Wait for your time; wait for your season! Trust me, when it’s time for whatever it is you desire, God will bless you with it if it’s in His will. If somebody asks you,  BOLDLY say…

I’M AT A DIFFERENT PLACE! 

Until next time…

With love,

Jazz ❤

 

 

 

 

This is NOT About You!

Hello, hello! I hope you all have had a great start to the New Year! I know you all are probably thinking What is Jasmine going to talk about today? Well, I will let you know that God set me straight this morning. I really thought this GIF was very appropriate! LOL 🙂 I will be sharing some insight onto this journey of mine as a Christian once again!

So, I was sitting down googling the best encouraging scriptures that I could send out to my close friends, just to give them some hope. (I’m so indecisive.) Little did I know I would be getting the encouragement this morning. I came across these scriptures in 2 Corinthians.

” Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake, He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”                          ~ 2 Corinthians 5: 20-21~ 

My first thought was WOOOOOOWWWWWWW! Then, God said, “Exactly Jasmine. This journey is not about you!” A few months back, God gave me the Triple P, and he reminded me of it through these scriptures. I try to live by the Triple P on a daily basis.  The Triple P is composed of these three simple things:

  1. Purpose: God calls us to live with purpose. As Christians, we are called according to His purpose. If you feel like you do NOT have a purpose, trust me, you do. God will reveal it to you soon enough. Just keep seeking Him.
  2. Passion: God is a passionate God, so if we are striving to be like Him, we too must be passionate. So, this point coincides with purpose. When God reveals what our specific purpose is for glorifying Him, we are supposed to fulfill His will for us with passion.
  3. Praise: Praise is something that God deserves for eternity. Thank God for sending His darling son, so we can be ambassadors for Him. Through good times and bad times, you praise God for what He is doing in your life! Okay? Okay!

So, what am I getting at? Most of the time, if you are like me, you can get beside yourself. You can begin to wonder why things aren’t working out the way you want them to and start to cry “Why me, Lord?”

Image result for why me lord gif

I came to let you know friend that this is NOT ABOUT YOU! God has a plan for your life! Sometimes, we just don’t understand why God works the way He does, but He is using you for His glory. He wants YOU to go out and testify about His goodness. He never told us how our testimony would be. Each and every one of us has a different testimony, for we are unique ambassadors for Christ. THIS IS DEFINITELY NOT ABOUT YOU! Considering all of this,  I leave you with this question:

ARE YOU UP FOR THE CHALLENGE?  

God never said this journey would be easy, but it sure is worth it.

Stay encouraged, my friends! Until next time…

 

 

~How Am I Going to Make it Through?~

“Then, he said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” ~Zechariah 4:6

Hello, my friends. I know I am behind schedule on my blogging, but here I am! I hope you have been doing well because I sure have! I come today to present you all with some encouragement that will surely help you, and I want you to share this with others, too. Here is yet another example of God’s goodness. I hope you will be uplifted.

So, I believe in the last blog I posted, I told you all I have been trying to stay on top of my school work. This semester has been very challenging, but I prevailed. On Friday, I watched several graduates receive their degrees, and I got to help some of them with name cards. The 4.0 students came to the back where I was, and I happened to notice one of the student’s caps. The cap was beautiful and said “Not my strength, but His.” I was taken aback. She was perhaps the first 4.0 scholar I saw that publicly gave credit to God for her success at the university. I’ve seen several scholars reference God and put scriptures on their caps, but for some reason, this cap was different. This seemed very personal, and God spoke to me.  This student was referencing Zechariah 4:6.  In that moment, I bet she didn’t know it, but she gave me hope.

This was my first semester taking courses that dealt specifically with my major. I had heard all of the students saying things like This semester is going to be so hard… or things like Get ready for your first Bs. I immediately tried to get rid of those thoughts. I know the God I serve, and I went in thinking God has been faithful for all of these years. This may be hard, but I will maintain my 4.0 GPA through Him.  I’m sure God was like Okay, Jasmine. Let’s see if you really mean that. God will always try to test you to see if you really trust Him like you say you do. Some classes I was not concerned about at all, while others I constantly stressed over throughout the semester. Over the course of the semester I found myself asking, How am I going to make it through?  On my progress report, I had a B in a class. I was worried, wondering how I would pull it up. Once I took my final exams, I gave each and every one over to God. I began to praise Him, thanking Him in advance for whatever He gave me in the classes. I knew that the only reason I would not have a 4.0 GPA this semester would only be because that was not in His will for me. But God is faithful though, and He will do just what He said. Your girl still has a cumulative 4.0 GPA!

So, where am I going with this? That young woman with her cap set a fire in me. I went from doubting to praising. I went in the semester with all the faith I could have, and the devil continued to chip at that, constantly taunting me, trying to make me doubt my God. After I saw that cap, God said to me “Jasmine, you’re forgetting whose strength you are depending on.” I cannot do anything on my own, and I want you to know that God wants to be our strength. He wants to hold us up. He wants to be right beside us, pushing us along the way. Through His strength, we can do anything. Through our own, we will surely fail.

Have you found yourself asking How am I going to make it through? Maybe you are not dealing with struggles in school. Maybe you are trying to figure out how you are going to stay strong for your family. Maybe you’re having some challenges on your job, challenges with your finances. You might be wondering how you are going to make ends meet, how you are going to provide for your family, wondering how you are just going to make it through whatever it is you’re going through. God can help you with all of that. God wants to take any burden we have and make it easier for us. All we have to do is trust in Him. I know you are thinking easier said than done, Jazz. If you said that, think again. Faith without works is dead. Works without faith serves no purpose. How are you going to be strong if you do not believe God can help you be strong?  You’ll end up breaking down in no time, wondering how you are going to put yourself back together. Let God do that. Let God have control in your life. When we accepted Him into our hearts, we gave our lives to Him. We have to continue to stand firm in that. We have to believe that God will help us fulfill the purposes He has set out for us. YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE! You have to know that all things work together for your good. You have to KNOW this wholeheartedly.

I encourage you to lean on God through all things, not just when you think things are going the way you want. I want you to lean on Him, fully lean on Him, my friends. How are you going to make it through? 

Not by your strength, BUT HIS!

Be blessed, my friends! Until next time…

 

Who’s in Control?

“They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!'” ~ Mark 4: 41, NIV

Hey, you! I hope you have been as peachy as I have been over these past few weeks! I’m jumping right into this blog now! My fingers are ready to get this out to you!

Do you know the story of Jesus calming the storm? We are often familiar with the “peace, be still” part, but let’s take a moment to really dissect this text. If you look at Mark 4:35-41, you see the whole situation. Jesus was asleep, the disciples were panicking, and Jesus saved them from drowning and calms the storm. The end! (Not the end, by the way.) I want to offer you some encouragement today, my friend. We often have many storms in our lives to test our faith and help us grow as a Christian, which brings me to my first point.

1. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! SOMEBODY CARES!

Reference verses 35-38. The disciples and Jesus were out in Sea of Galilee. Jesus had fallen asleep, and the disciples were going wild over this storm! At one point, the disciples wake Jesus asking Him if He cared that they were about to drown. I find that so ironic because God tells us to cast our cares on Him, so of course He cares! (1 Peter 5:7) In your storms, know that somebody cares. We often feel like everyone around us couldn’t possibly understand what we are going through. We feel like we are alone, just out there fending for ourselves. Do not turn to man when God is there always. When family and friends fail us, God will always be there, every step of the way. He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6), so go through these tests preparing yourself for an awesome testimony.

2. Who’s in Control? 

Reference verse 39. Jesus got up, and He told that storm to settle down! Jesus was completely calm in this situation, and he gave that same peace to the disciples when he calmed the storm. Don’t you know God can give you peace in the midst of your storms? He has already foreseen you going through your storm and coming out victorious. Now, I do not want to mislead you. Some people don’t get out of their storms here on Earth. Sometimes, their whole lives are storms, but whether you’re victorious here on Earth or in Heaven, be mindful of who is in control. Do not let God see you give up as His servant. Praise Him through the good and the bad. I always think about Paul. Paul (formerly known as Saul) was going around persecuting Christians. Once he turned his life over to God, he was persecuted until he died. He never gave up serving the Lord, and we must do the same.

3. Why Don’t You Have the Faith? 

Reference verses 40-41. Jesus asked the disciples why they were afraid. They were still lacking the faith needed to endure that storm. Trust in the Lord with all your heart nd lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). You cannot expect to get the peace you need within your storm if you keep depending on yourself. You will not understand why you are going through whatever you’re going through until GOD brings you out of it. Those disciples  had no faith when a little faith (the size of a mustard seed) can move mountains. DO NOT LET YOUR LACK OF FAITH KEEP YOU TRAPPED! God might not bring you out of situations until you get the lesson you need from them. Oh, but when He does bring you out, what a glorious time!

4. Wait on the Lord 

Take this time to reflect on what your problems or storms may be. We are impatient people. We always want God to do what we want and FAST! God doesn’t need us to tell Him when to give us our breakthrough. He sure doesn’t operate on our time, and He knows what’s best for us. My brother or sister in Christ, why don’t you wait on the Lord? They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength! (Isaiah 40:31)I know it might be hurricane season in your life. I know you might be wondering when God will get you through this time. I know you may see others around you being happy and living, but you’re living, too. I guarantee you their lives are not full of sunshine and rainbows. God is good to us, and we have to find joy in our situations and struggles. Be patient my friend, and let God do His thing in your life.

There’s a blessing in the storm! Just wait on it! When you receive that blessing, do not forget where God has brought you from or what He has brought you through! Be blessed!

 

 

 

 

Understanding God’s Will

 

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just because I seek not my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.” John 5:30 ESV 

Hello to you! I know it has been a while, but I tell you school has been keeping me on my toes. I have literally been doing assignment after assignment, but I digress, on to the good stuff.

Rejection has to be one of the hardest things for us to deal with. If you’re anything like me, I immediately begin examining myself, wondering what I could’ve done better or why I was rejected. However, when experiencing this, God whispered to me. He said, “I am preparing you for greater. Now is not the time, Daughter. ” 

I sat on my bed late one night and waited for a particular letter. I was hoping that I would get accepted. I felt I had done well on everything, but unfortunately, I received a letter of rejection. At first, I was taken aback. I was like “now why in the world did I not get in?” It was something I had been preparing myself for since January of this year. That just shows how sometimes you can prepare yourself for something you think you want, but if it’s not in God’s will for you, you won’t get it. I ended up thinking about Proverbs 3:5-6 (Trust in the Lord…), but I began to do some research and ran across the scripture at the beginning of this post. I began to repeat this scripture over and over again to myself, and I felt God’s presence in my room. I felt a sense of peace, for I knew that God was comforting me.

My friend, I want to encourage you today. Man’s rejection is often God’s redirection. (Steven Furtick) You may feel like things are not going the way you want. You may feel like you are in a dry patch. You may feel like everyone else around you is getting their acceptance, but I dare you to trust God. I dare you to believe that His plans are always much greater than yours. I DARE YOU TO WALK IN HIS WILL! Tingling sensations went through my fingers as I typed that. We are always so ready to  do what we want to do, but we have to seek God in times like these. Maybe what you want isn’t best for you. Maybe God wants you to do what you want but at a different point in your life. Maybe God is wanting to place you somewhere else where He may be glorified. Are you picking up what I’m putting down, friend? I surely hope you are.

You have to believe that everything is working together for your good. You have to prepare yourself for some rain in your drought. You have to make sure that you are always seeking to glorify God in whatever you do. That is specifically why we were placed on this Earth. That is one of our most important divine assignments.  I encourage you to seek His will. I encourage you to let God redirect you. You will not regret it!

Be blessed! Talk to you soon!