Tag Archives: Faith

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

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Well, according to Tina Turner it’s a ‘sweet old fashioned notion’. But love is so much more than that. Love is timeless. It never goes out of style. In light of February being the month of “love”, its only right that this month we talk about LOVE! What pops into your mind when you think about love? Your spouse? Your parents? Your friends? That failed relationship that left you thinking you would never love again? Does God immediately pop in your head?

Most people are always so focused on receiving love, they chase after it, demand it and sometimes would do anything for it, but I wonder how many lives would be changed if instead of focusing on receiving love, we focused on giving love. When we truly love one another, we give each other permission to be ourselves, to be vulnerable, to admit our faults and shortcomings without regard of what someone may think, and we are able to do this because perfect love cast out fear! When we truly love someone and we are loved, we feel like we can conquer anything, and even if we make a mistake we know that we are loved beyond our faults and because of that we have no fear with trying again.

We underestimate the power of love, and how the love that has been given to us should be extended to those around us. If you ever wanted to test how much love resides inside of you, take a look at how you treat those around you. In the book of Proverbs chapter 12 it reads

Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers all wrongs.

Some might read this and roll their eyes because what they’ve seen of love has not been beautiful, it has not been uplifting, it has not given them courage. Its important that we don’t shun the notion of love, or never extend love to others, especially if you’re a person of faith. John 15:12 puts its quite simply

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

No metaphor, no parable, this is a straightforward command that because He loves us and has shown us how to love, we are to do the same.

Tina Turner kept asking over and over what love had to do with it. And the answer is, it has to do with EVERYTHING! We were made to love and to be loved.

How do you like to share or show love to others? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

-Kiara Janai

Next Week: Let’s talk about Self Love

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2016: Got Faith Goals?

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Well folks, it looks like we’re coming to the end of another year! With a year ending comes endless social media posts about all that things that we are either leaving behind in 2015 or the things we will pursue in 2016. Often times these posts consist of starting a business, making and saving more money, traveling more, paying off debt, or starting an exercise regimen.

While all of these all great things, this morning I woke up and wondered how much would our lives be enhanced in the new year if instead of focusing so much on the “being a better me” goals, we wrote down our faith goals for the year. What Is A Faith Goal? I look at these as goals to help you grow deeper in your relationship with God! After all, when we begin to align our lives correctly with God, he will begin a work in us so great and everything that is for our lives will be attracted to us.

So in the next few days while you’re taking moments to reflect and figure out what you want out of life for 2016, I encourage you to take time to figure out how you want to grow in your walk with Christ in the New Year!

I’ll share a few of mine with you and the reasoning behind them!

Monthly Book of the Bible Study: Although I try to read my Bible everyday, I want to go more in depth during my study time, so for this year my goal is to focus on a book each month to study and explore. For January I’ll start to the Book of Romans!

Study & Develop Spiritual Gifts: I’ve always ran away from the spiritual  gifts God has blessed me with, mostly because I didn’t understand how to use and apply them in my everyday life. So I have a goal to study these gifts so I can effectively use them in the purpose He has for my life!

Pray For An Hour Everyday: This is something that has been on my heart to do for awhile. Prayer is so essential in our relationship with God, just like any other relationship. If I can spend an hour on social media, watching a movie or talking to a friend, I should be able to spend a consistent hour in prayer with my Heavenly Father. I won’t jump right into this, but will start with 15 minutes straight, then 20 minutes etc. until I’m able to pray for an hour straight with no distractions.​

~Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.~ Colossians 2:7

What Are Some Of Your 2016 Faith Goals? Share with me in the comments!

Sincerely,

Rhapsody

 

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What Are You Fertile Ground For?

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If you look up the word fertile in the Dictionary you’ll find the definition reads capable of growing and developing; able to mature. When a farmer is planting seeds for his crops to grow, he hopes that his seeds will be planted on fertile ground, the whole point is for whatever he is planting to grow and mature and you can’t do that without fertile ground.

The other day I made a series of snaps on Snapchat (my friends call them ‘snap sermons’) about being purposeful and selective about the people you closely tie yourself to, and I used Jesus as an example of how he was always around people, interacted with people, but those He was closest with (disciples), He was super selective about.

The next morning I woke up and had a feeling I should delete them, thoughts ran across my mind and I began to doubt I thought “Just delete it”, “You don’t know what you’re talking about” “People are probably getting annoyed by you talking about God so much”. After a moment I stopped and said outloud “Kiara are you doubting? Why are you thinking that way?” Just that quick, a seed of doubt was planted in my mind.

I took a moment and began communicating with God trying to figure out why that even happened. He showed me how the enemy will plant bad seeds in your mind to make you doubt what God has spoken to you or told you to say. Now if I hadn’t been pursuing Christ in the way that I have been and took the time to pray about what I was thinking, that seed would have began to get developed throughout my whole day. It would have made me doubt my ability at work, doubt my connections to people, doubt what God has called me to do. It would have slowly taken root in my spirit and would have made for a miserable day.

After praying I chuckled and said “Devil, you tried it! But do you know who my Father is? You only come to kill, steal and destroy, and you have no business here, so keep it moving and try that somewhere else, because it won’t grow here, and this temple is NOT fertile ground for doubt! Through this incident, I was reminded how important it is to stay connected to God and to be secure in what He says about my  life.

I want you to take a moment and think about what type of seeds you’re fertile ground for. Are you allowing bad seeds such as fear, doubt, and worry to be devloped and matured inside of you or are you allowing good (God) seeds such as faith, courage and love to be planted?

Choose today to let God seeds take root in your mind, body and spirit!

Sincerely, Rhapsody

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Your Mistakes Don’t Define You

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Honestly making mistakes is never fun, a lot of times making mistakes can leave us heartbroken, embarrassed, confused, and feeling like we can never recover from what we’ve done. Mistakes often come when we stop relying on God to lead us and we begin relying on our own will. Mistakes for me are truly a learning lesson, every mistake I’ve made has taught me something and helped me grow. I know it sounds cliché but it’s true.

For instance 2 years ago I was getting prepared for graduate school I had the choice to take classes online or on the campus. So I decided I was going to pack up my life and move thousands of miles away where I didn’t know anyone and place I had never visited before. I got there at the beginning of the semester and I immediately realized that it was not for me. I knew I couldn’t live there and that I wasn’t supposed to be there. At first I was so afraid of going back home, I felt like I had let everyone down or that I couldn’t cut it away from home. I’ll admit for the first few months I was feeling like I had made a mistake by coming home, because I didn’t have a job and now I had to take out more loans for school, instead of getting school paid for if I would have stayed. You know I could have stayed in that space and just constantly felt bad for myself, but I didn’t, I stayed connected to God, prayed and asked for clarity in what had transpired. He quickly revealed to me all the things that I would have missed had I stayed there. Even 2 years later, he is still revealing all the great things that have occurred since I came back home.

So I want to encourage you not to beat yourself up when you make a mistake. Maybe yours wasn’t making a move before it was time. Maybe you’ve lied to a loved one, maybe you fell into temptation, maybe you’ve turned away from God and you feel like you can’t come back from that. I’m here to tell you that your mistakes don’t define you, you are defined by who God the Father says you are.

Here are four things to focus on when you are trying to move pass a mistake.

  1. Come to the realization that we all make mistakes and that nobody is perfect!
  2. Go to God and be open and honest with Him about your situation.
  3. Forgive yourself and others if someone else is involved.
  4. Take time to explore what the lesson was, what did you learn from it?
  5. Grow from it, it won’t be the last time you make a mistake, but you want to strive to avoid making the same mistake over and over.

After going through these steps, we may have moved on, but our mistakes can sometimes have consequences but we can’t let that define us and who we are and once you’ve given that to God and forgiven yourself, you have to continue to live your life and glorify God while doing it!

Forgive, Get the Lesson, Move on

Sincerely, Rhapsody

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It Was Him All Along

 
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My Heavenly Father courts me, He has courted me from the beginning even as I continued to give my attention, my mind, my body, my soul to people who did not deserve it. He pursued me relentlessly. I didn’t recognize Him, I shut Him out, gave Him the cold shoulder, but all the while He pursued me and finally I realized it was Him that I was looking for. He was the one who loves me unconditionally despite all my mistakes, my flaws and my shortcomings. I was not an option for Christ, He willingly chose me, He chose to love me, to save me, to give His life for me! No love on this earth can compare to His! Why you ask? His love is unfailing, His love is consistent. His love is true. His love gives life. His love gives strength. His love comforts. His love is not based on feelings, its unconditional! There is no greater feeling than being covered in His love and knowing that He is persistently pursuing me.
How has God pursued you?

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Don’t Become a Human Sinkhole

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Sinkholes are quite an intense phenomenon, I’ve never seen one up close and personal but I’m always intrigued by how they happen. From what I understand a sinkhole happens when the resources that are underground slowly begin to dry up and the surface of soil starts to lose its support and because of this everything begins to cave in leaving a huge, terrifying hole.

This made me think about how we can easily become human sinkholes! Sometimes in our faith walk we get to a place where we are only doing for God and not being with God. We serve, we talk about God, and we might even pull out our Bibles from time to time to make ourselves feel like we’ve done our “duty” as Christians. We begin to pull on our own strength, thinking we can handle it all, but slowly our foundation begins to get weak. We aren’t spending time with Him, and continuously growing in our relationship with Him. On the outside we look like we’re doing fine but we’re losing our source, our support, the Father and slowly everything begins to cave in and then we’re left with this void (hole).

I want to encourage you today to focus on what’s inside or underneath the surface! Keep feeding your soul, keep sitting at the feet of the father and allow Him to replenish you and strengthen you. Let’s not become human sinkholes. Keep seeking His face.

I waited patiently for the LORD. He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire. He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God (Psalm 40:1-3, NIV).

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On Turning 26: A Birthday Post

As I sit in my apartment I began to think about the last 25 years of my life the first thing that came to mind was a basketball game. This 1st quarter I came out ready to play, energetic and optimistic about what I would I do! I knew I had the skill set to win thanks to parents who supported me and always made sure I wanted for nothing and my determination was at an all time high. The quarter started off great, I had all these dreams, goals and visions of what my life would be like and I was heading towards them with full force, I was winning, I was on fire and ready to take on the world. At some point during this quarter, my momentum started to give out, my energy level just wasn’t what it was in those first few minutes of the quarter, in my mind I was losing. Why did I think I was losing? I’m glad you asked. In my mind I had this idea of what the 1st quarter would be like. I would have attended my dream college, in this quarter I’d have a vibrant career and be able to travel the world, in this quarter I’d be married with at least one child, in this quarter I’d be all I ever saw myself being. But that wasn’t the case, this quarter had me questioning Why? What? When? Where? I questioned God, I ranted to Him (oh did I rant!) I called myself debating with Him and even at times thinking I knew what was better for my life as if He didn’t already know everything that would occur before I was even in my mothers womb back in 1989. I wasn’t feeling the way my life was going, people close to me knew this on a surface level, but underneath all of that I felt like a failure. I felt like I was letting everyone around me down and not living up to my potential and worst of all I felt like I had let myself down. I essentially just wanted to say forget everything and not put any effort into anything anymore. So here I was nearing the end of the first quarter with all the zeal I started with nowhere to be found.

But then a commercial to mark the momentary break in the game before the next quarter.

During the break I strengthened my relationship with God, I thought about my life and what I wanted and what God wanted for it and made vision boards, I built great friendships and met some amazing people. The break was a time for me to refocus, reflect on what made me lose my momentum and prepare myself to move forward! The break allowed me to learn about me and what makes me happy. I got amped again, but you want to know the difference this time? I wasn’t trying to do it all by myself! I had a coach (Holy Spirit) guiding me, counseling, me comforting me and showing me what my future would look like. I didn’t try and continue ordering my own steps but allow Him to order them. Then after I surrendered all, I was refreshed, refueled and ready to head back to the court! 

So as I prepare to lace my shoes back up, drink a cup of Gatorade and begin the 2nd quarter I’m excited! I’m excited because I know that even though everything won’t always be perfect and I don’t always have the answers or may not know what’s next, I’m confident that all things are working for my good! I’m looking forward to what this 2nd quarter will bring and I’m walking into it with happiness in my heart and a smile on my face! 
Happy 26th Birthday to Me! 
   
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Boring Faith Story?

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Can I be transparent? Whenever I hear other people’s testimonies about coming to Christ I am just in awe of their stories I would think to myself after hearing a powerful testimony “That was powerful, God really moved in their life”. Then I would begin to think about my spiritual journey and well- I thought it was quite boring. I felt like I didn’t have this elaborate story of change and transformation. I began to question whether or not I was really saved because I hadn’t had this dramatic event happen in my life. I thought “Am I really a Christian if something extreme hasn’t happened that made me turn to God?” I didn’t grow up in church, I had a pretty good upbringing with a great family, so what was it? How had God shown up in my life? Then God showed me. I ran across an old journal from when I was around 14 or 15 years old and what I found really surprised me.

I opened that journal where I used to write poems and it was riddled with the ups and downs of “love”, searching for identity and very low self esteem. I don’t know if I just never acknowledged that I had low self esteem or blocked it out of my memory but I was baffled by the things I had written and how hard I was on my self. I’m in my head talking back to the words I see, thinking “No babygirl, you are fearfully and wonderfully made” “Your identity is found in Christ not your looks, a boy,or what other people say about you” I was getting frustrated with this girl and then it hit me. Although there wasn’t a big event that initially made me come to into relationship with Him, my taking a step towards God allowed Him to develop my identity in Him step by step.

God rescued me from a life of feeling less than, the girl who wrote those poems could have went down a very different path, a lot of things could have hit her life and she may have allowed herself to be mistreated because of her lack of self esteem and who knows where she would be now.But GOD! He kept me, He covered me. When I submitted to Him and learned what it means to be in relationship with Him is where I learned who I was in Christ, step by step and day after day God wrapped His arms around me even when I tried to fight Him, when I submitted to Him I no longer worried about getting validation from the world, a guy or anyone else, I turned away from what I thought made me who I was and embraced the One who made me who I was.

All the while I was looking for an outward event that marked my transformation, but it was what God did and continues to do internally that shows me the transformation I’ve made. He helped me to see myself the way that He saw me. I could not imagine my life without Him being the center of it! I’m so grateful that He loves me, (despite all the reasons I don’t deserve it) so much that He met me right where I was and gently breathed life and identity into me!

I wanted to share this to encourage you. There may be some of you who feel like your story isn’t worth being told. NOT TRUE! Encounters and relationship with God vary amongst all of us. I think that’s the beauty of it all, God loves us all, but He knows us so well that He knows how He communicates and teaches me is going to different than how He does with you, but at the end of the day He loves us, and your story is important. So don’t be afraid to share it!

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Stay Ready & You Won’t Have To Get Ready

 

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I’ve had a variety of jobs in different industries. Although these jobs were all different one thing was always consistent. I would walk into work one morning and all the supervisors or managers would be in panic mode. I would hear over and over “Corporate is coming!” No matter how many times I’ve watched this scenario play out, I always laugh because all of a sudden everyone wants to appear as if excellence is in the DNA of the company and that they’ve been prepared. This got me to thinking why do we wait until the moment something happens to prepare ourselves?

When you’re standing at the altar about to be married, you don’t automatically become a wife or husband in that moment, you should have been preparing before then by reading books on marriage, studying other married couples, living a life that a future husband or wife would be proud of.

When its time for you to graduate, you can’t just all of a sudden put some effort into your courses in the last month of school and expect to show up  and think you’re going to walk across that stage if you haven’t done so before then.

I’m not sure where this idea came from but I’ve heard it many times. If you were standing in an elevator and someone offered you your dream job would you be ready for it? Have you properly prepared for the life you desire? Or are you waiting until the last-minute to throw something together?

Should we only strive for excellence when people are around? The work and preparation we put in while in private will promote us and help us excel in public. Let’s not wait until the opportunity presents itself to be prepared and walk in excellence. Let’s strive to do this even when no one is watching so we stay ready and never have to worry about getting ready.

I love you and Jesus loves you more!

 

 

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Submit To Him

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Submission. When many people hear or read that word they often have a negative thought in their mind, but I find it beautiful in the right context. When we submit to God we are letting go of our old viewpoint and our own agendas to come under His. We have full confidence that He will lead us in the right direction (Proverbs 3:5-6). Whether you’re a new believer or you’ve been walking with Christ for years submitting to God’s will is such an important part of your journey. Now, I won’t say that its easy because if we’re honest we often want to be in control of everything, at least I know that I do. But when you know that the Father wants nothing but good things for your life you will begin to realize how much your life changes.

Submitting to God now is also important for other areas in our lives. I hope to one day be married and when I get married, I must be willing to submit to my husband. On the flip side of that a man must be willing to submit to God before marriage so that he can properly lead His family and so that his wife is okay with submitting to him because he has submitted his life to the Lord. If I struggle with submitting to God and allowing Him to lead my life now, how can I think I will be able to do that in a marriage with a human man who is flawed and imperfect? Now, I’m not saying to submit so you can get married, but this just shows how submission now, helps us in other areas of our lives in the future.

-What is God asking you to submit to Him?

– What is keeping you from fully submitting to Him?

Make the decision today to give up your will for His perfect will (Romans 12:2)

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Romans 8:7

I love you and Jesus loves you more!

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