Lioness Queen Blog
Lioness Queen Blog
An ongoing series of encouraging messages to help you become totally "Residue Free."
VISION BOARDS DO NOT WORK
VISION BOARDS DO NOT WORK
You may ask yourself why would I say that Vision Boards do not work. Definitely it seems like something visually would spark one's mind to keep track and help remind individuals of what goals they are setting for the new year. If does seem quite reasonable and logical to think this way but creating a Vision Board often times is just like creating New Year's Resolutions. If we were honest about our New Year's Resolutions for the past 5 years, can you honestly say that you have completed every goal you set? I am pretty sure the answer is "no." It happens to all of us. We set goals and forget to take action on what we are trying to do.
Well here are the 3 top reasons I feel that Vision Boards do not work.
- SPECIFIC - Vision boards are typically created from cutting out things from a magazine, newspaper or even from something you printed. You can purchase creative paper, stickers, cards, paint, etc. to help make the vision board attractive to the eyes but oftentimes it is not specific. Without a goal being specific about what you are trying to accomplish, it doesn't serve any purpose. It is like having a dream but no details to really make the dream come into fruition. It is like deciding to change jobs to earn more money and you never put in one application. Unfortunately this is the norm, we set goals but without specificity to make it a reality.
- FEAR/OUTSIDE OF THE BOX - Now this reason may seem strange but let me explain. Oftentimes we include things on our vision board based on either our own experiences or things we know we can accomplish. How many of us really add things to our Vision Board that are so out of this world that they cannot even believe they could dream to that magnitude. We limit so much in what we believe that we fall short in the possibility of what could happen. When we create a ceiling to our faith of the possibilities of what could happen extraordinary in our life, we limit of what could happen beyond our faith. As a result, we keep something safe on our vision board that we say we can accomplish but oftentimes we fail to follow through.
- ACCOUNTABLE - Vision boards typically show these amazing goals we want to accomplish but no accountability as it relates to something that can be measured and something that has a deadline to push you to get it done. Sadly what happens to all of us is that January 1st comes along and we blink 5 times and it is June 15th not realizing that nothing that we set out to do on our Vision Board has been accomplished. As you went through those months you kept saying to yourself looking at the vision board that "I have time this is only January" not realizing how fast time does go by.
As a result of these 3 things, I created a new way to set goals for the year that will be beneficial to you called a "Golden Vision Board.' You may say to yourself "I have never heard of a Gold Vision Board?" Yes, this is a new concept that I created to help individuals create vision boards that are specific, measurable, accountable, reliable and time specific. Well you may have figured it out but a Golden Vision Board encompasses SMART goals that helps individuals take action steps to achieving their goals along with setting goals that are extraordinary but with SMART action steps. As you can see from the picture in this blog, my Golden Vision board has some of my own personal goals that I want to do this year.
I believe the easiest way to create a Golden Vision board is to create SMART goals every month that you can handle but on the flip side we should also add goals that are outside of the box. Yes create goals that are attainable but also create goals that supersede what you could dream is possible because dreams do happen everyday and you never know this could be your year. If the goal is beyond what you can do within yourself, set goals every month to work toward that goal. By the time you get to the end of the year you will feel so fulfilled and confident that you will be ready to try a new set of goals for next year.
Create your Golden Vision Board today and do some new things that you always wanted dreamed of doing. Learn some new things. Explore some new innovations. Travel to places you have never visited. Live life to it's fullest. This is what God wants us to do; live life and experience the NEW things he is doing everyday for you to experience, explore and enjoy. You only get one chance at this life so live it like it's you last chance. Many people didn't survive in 2020 and so live life in a way that you experience all of the beautiful things God has created for you in this world. This is the year that we all should live life like it's GOLDEN and take action on making our dreams and goals GOLDEN!
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Hindsight is 20/20
Hindsight is 20/20
January 12, 2020
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
by Soren Kierkegaard
When I found this quote, I couldn’t believe the creativity of how just a few words on a page, full of so much power but the quote is all connected to looking back or should I say hindsight. Just saying these words leave me speechless because the year 2020 has been hindsight in a certain regard but the question always is what did you learn in 20/20 about life, about yourself, about your relationships, about your relationship with God, about your growth (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually)? And what connection did you make with what was and what will be because God is a forward thinker God who sets up the past to push you into elevation, promotion, and growth? Ask yourself those questions?
Looking back always gives one, a different view they didn’t see when life was moving forward. It gives one a different perspective and allows one to evaluate the good, the bad and the in different but that is with anything but I truly believe God is asking you what did you learn from 2020? Yes we survived, we lived it moving forward but there were a lot of nuggets that God was trying to get you to see supernaturally so that you could embrace and walk in the new year, the new level and the new you.
I know I always talk about the children of Israel as an example in my podcast but I’m telling you there are always things that they did or didn’t that we can learn from for our spiritual growth. Right! That’s the goal right, to have a spiritual mindset in this journey we call life. And so if you think about it...before God changed Pharaoh's heart to let God’s people go, the children of Israel were enslaved, in prison, in bondage, living in inhumane circumstances, worked in deplorable conditions, and this went on for years not just one year like 2020 but decades. Can you imagine if we as a world and nation lived through multiple years of 2020, restricted, limited in what we could do and what we couldn’t do? Although it has only been one year, it sure feels like we lived multiple years like 2020. The bondage and conditions that the children of Israel endured will never compare to what we are going through but we complain like it does. Sadly it has built up so much residue especially with all of the loss that it is challenging to even see any possibility of the world going back to normal. God doesn't want us to build up residue but realize that he has been trying to get us to see more of him and not be distracted.
What is fascinating about the children of Israel is the fact that Gods love for the them was so insurmountable, unexplainable, endless...but they didn’t fully grasp and appreciate it. Definitely there was appreciation, excitement and elation initially when hope became a reality but something shifted shortly after. We have experienced that as well when God blessed us and our hope became a reality initially but as time goes on we don't hold onto that initial feeling we had. Just like in the beginning of the year there is a hope you have that soon the hope will become a reality. When it comes to reality there is so much excitement in the beginning but when time passes and things don’t line up the way one may expect in their way of thinking, it is easy to forget what God did, begin to doubt God and turn from the one who delivered you initially. This is what the children of Israel did. They forgot about the hope that became their reality, they forgot about that first day when they left walking in their freedom, they forgot and turned away. My question is how do you turn from the one who freed you and the one who freed you no matter what? How do you turn away from God when all of them probably were not living exactly the way they should, they all weren’t perfect people, they all didn’t have Christian values and morals, but even in the midst of their flaws, their faults, sins, mistakes, failures, and lack of faith, God still bestowed is unadulterated love toward them to let all of them just because they were his people. He did it just because! This is what I love about God, he does things just because you are his child. Whew!!!! Don’t let me get started because that is blessing me right there just typing it. God does things just because of I am created in his image. God does things for me just because I am his baby girl! So what are you saying Lioness Queen? Titus 3:5 says it all. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”
There are no prerequisites! You don’t have to work for it, you don’t have earn it but just because you are his child he will do it for you. This should make you get excited. But this was God’s position, when the children of Israel was freed, he just bestowed his love to free his people but in the midst of all of the blessings God provided and protected them through and through. God wanted them to look backwards and learn some things from where they had been and where God was taking them. It’s a connection… It’s a connection... This is all what looking backwards is all about; seeing your past in a way of what God did for you in the storm and where you are now. From then to now, so my question for you is how have you looked back... hindsight into 2020 in a way of what God did for you in the storm and where you are now? What did you learn in the process about who God is, what did you learn about what God is doing in your life, what did you learn about yourself, what did you find out about yourself that needed to change, what did you discover about yourself that still needs to be healed, what areas did you realized needed to be changed, and who in your circle did you figure out is hindering you from moving to the next level? What did you learn? What did you learn?
What did hindsight from 2020 teach you about yourself and life? This was the missing link for the children of Israel. Now I know Isaiah 43:8 says remember not the former things which is clear because God is doing a new thing every day but God didn’t want the children of Israel to look back as a way to want to go back to bondage or glamorize their life or refuel the fire of what was done to them but he wanted them to reflect on what God was doing through their lives which is a reflection of God as Emmanuel. He is a God who is always there no matter what! So even in the midst in their darkest and lowest points in their life that he was a keeper, he was a sustainer, he was a way maker, he was a doctor, he was a provider, he was everything that they needed in the valley and when they became free he wanted them to make the connection of he kept them when they were slaves and did not even have the right to keep themselves. He is still the God who could keep them when they were in the wilderness but they never made that connection. They forgot! Hindsight is never about what happened to you in the past, it’s all about what God was doing through you. What did you learn?
God is saying I need you to have the hindsight from 2020 and make the connection that I have been with you, I have kept you even when you didn’t see it, even when you didn’t feel God was around, even when you weren’t aware of how you were going to get out of the situation, he is a keeper just because you are his child. When you are a child of God you have special privileges but often times we fail to remember that we have special privileges just because we are his child, we have favor in our life when just because we were created in his image, we have access just because, we can walk in total freedom just because, our spirit lives forever just because he sacrificed his only begotten son for little ole you….so do not fret, do not get weary in well doing because in due season you will reap if you faint not.
Now I am only talking about 2020 but God wants to know what about the hindsight from your past? What about your past failures, past trauma, past mistakes, past heart breaks, past abuse, past losses, your past good, bad and indifferent. What did you learn? Definitely in the year of 2021 God is elevating his people like never before to possess the promised land but you must evaluate and reflect on the past in order to have the right mindset for your future. If you don’t make the connection then you will be afraid of the giants. It is time to stop making excuses, stop allowing someone else to control your future-you are responsible for you, Amen! You do not have time to allow your mind to go down into an alley that is dark, negative, unproductive and take control of your life. The enemy wants you to believe that you do not have control over what happened to you but that is far from the truth because God has already overcome your past but if you keep using it as an excuse for not growing spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically then how will you be fully equipped to be elevated to a higher level? God wants to perform some miracles in your life and take you to a place that eyes have not seen but you have to do the work. You have to use this time, use your hindsight vision to give you clarity on where God is taking you in this season because he is taking you somewhere. You can’t believe it if you can’t learn from your past.
Make the connection today, make the connection today. Your past was not a mistake; it was a set up for God to move you into a higher place that will build up the kingdom for his glory. Amen! Thank you for reading this blog. For you taking time to read this blog, check out this free Keto recipe book just for you below:
Detour of 2020
Detour of 2020
October 6, 2o2o
You know how we love to start out our blog with a quote or a poem and I thought it was so appropriate to start with a poem called:
A Thousand Steps
By: Wilma Neels (2011)
A thousand steps in between
who I was and who I am now
do I wonder about the detours?
do I wish I took the dirt road instead?
Would my path have been smoother if I said no instead of yes?
Would the worries have been less then what they are today?
I guess I’ll never know,
unless I go back in time
choose a different path
choose the least attractive offer and run with it
pipe dreams that is all my journey back in time would be
‘cause I would not have met you
and you would not be reading these words....
Everything in life boils down to an immaculate plan,
it may not be my ideal plan or yours
but in the end the voyage continues
whether we want to or not…
‘Cause it is all part of the bigger picture
in that image is your life and mine...
We just got to embrace the journey
no matter how uncertain it might be.
This month we are shifting our focus to a new theme called the detour of 2020. I truly believe that this year has been a detour we didn’t expect. I remember New year’s Eve at church, there was such an expectancy that God was going to do something great in the year of 2020 that you could feel it so strongly in the air. People were excited about what God was going to do for them and something felt powerful about even the double 20 digits as well. It felt special in some sort of way that everyone had high expectations of God moving mightily in their lives but something happened in the beginning of the year that shook the world and that was when Kobe Bryant died on January 26th. As a whole, the world was in shock, went silent and this is how the year detour 2020 started. It didn’t start out the way we thought but we still kept believing.
So as we reflect on this poem by Ms. Neels, I love the part in the poem about there are “a thousand steps between who I was and who I am, do I wonder about the detours?” I can just stop right there because the title of the poem is called “A Thousand Steps” which makes me think about the scripture 2 Peter 3:8 that says “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” This means that God’s timing is different from our timing and sometimes the things that we expect may not happen on our time and may not even happen on our terms but God is always trying to show himself strong in your life which is why sometimes he creates detours. The detours are never for your demise but always trying to build you up more to believe in who he is and what he can do through your life. See its not ab0ut you… Say that with me… it is not about me! Remember he has to show himself strong but he must use you to manifest and display his deutmas power and glory so others and you will believe he is a God that never fails.
Then the poem goes into if I choose a different path would my destination look the same or different? This part is crucial as well and this is what I want to focus on today as it relates to the detour of 2020.
When the year started especially in the month of March when we found out the disease had already spread to America we were devastated. I mean the world was in shock, disarray, disappointed, trapped, scared, worried, terrified, unsettled of the unknown disease called COVID-19 that we thought just came to our land; the land of the free, the richest country in the world.. which now the people who are free had to quarantine in their homes for months. This is what I am calling the detour of 2020. This is not what we expected this year to be like. We did not expect this year to pan out this way where we are stuck at home, couldn’t work anymore, couldn’t go out and socialize with others, couldn’t have celebrations birthday parties, couldn’t have graduations and graduation parties, couldn’t go to school, couldn’t celebrate the life of even of a loved one who died, couldn’t go out to eat, couldn’t go to gym to work out, and even couldn’t go and fellowship with other believers at church anymore. Everything was on a halt, everything was on pause, everything was on hold and we felt trapped, blindsided, stuck, and helpless, hopeless just like the children of Israel felt at the red sea. Laugh! See sometimes God takes you on a detour in your life or should I say a journey that is 1) unfamiliar; 2) sometimes uncomfortable and 3) sometimes takes a little longer to get to the desired outcome or to where he is leading you to be. And just like the children of Israel didn’t understand the detour and didn’t understand the red sea; many of us do not understand the detour of 2020 either. Yes this is our red sea experience just like the children of Israel and we are blaming everybody and the kitchen sink for allowing this to happen the way it did. We are blaming Trump for not acting or responding sooner, we are blaming scientists and researchers who knew this virus was coming especially when Coronavirus is on the back of the Lysol can, can I get an Amen microphone...right….so we are placing blame on everyone when we fail to forget the destination has nothing to do with the journey. God has always promised the destination; but sometimes the journey or should I say the detour is a miracle in disguise…
Remember God told Moses to lead the children of Israel through the desert toward the Red Sea versus traveling through enemy’s land. This journey was a detour and a longer way to their destination and made Pharoah think that the children of Israel was confused but Pharoah didn’t know that there is always a miracle in the detour. Amen! Yes and this applies to our detour 2020, there is always a miracle in in the detour but unfortunately we lack the faith to believe in the detour because it was not what we expected, not what we have experienced or even heard of before in our lifetime but never base your future on what you see in the natural, what you see in your present situation, what you see in what is going on in the world, what you see in other people’s lives, what you see in what decisions the government is making or lack thereof because there always is a miracle in the detour when God orchestrates it.
The children of Israel felt Moses was to blame, leading them into a trap where the Red Sea was to the east, the mountains were to the south and west and the Egyptian army was coming from the North. As a result, the children of Israel felt trapped with nowhere to run and nowhere to go but they failed to believe that the detour that Moses took was a miracle in disguise. Instead the Children of Israel complained and murmured about being in a place where they were trapped with nowhere to go and nothing they could do on their own merit. Since Moses led them out of slavery and it appeared that they were free without any resistance or backlash but there was a reason why God led them that way. Here are some reasons:
- God knew that there was a shorter route but they would have had to walk into the hostile Philistine country “For God said, ‘If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’ So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.” (Exodus 13:17–18) As a result, many would have gone back into slavery if they went the short route. God knew that they were not mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally prepared for this encounter so God chose the detour. Just like the detour of 2020, God knew that there may have been an easier way for the pandemic to unfold but it is not about the how but it is all about God’s protection even in the midst. He is always looking for the best way to protect you, keep you, and sustain you in all situations even in the detour of 2020. It may not feel like it, it may not seem like it but God has always protected your from dangers seen and unseen and if you don’t believe me just trust and know that COVID was in America before the shut down and GOD still sustained you along with other illnesses you could have got not because you made the best decisions with your life but because of his grace.
- God was trying to teach the children of Israel, there is no going back to bondage; however, God knew based on their mindsets of being enslaved, he needed to reprogram their minds in a way to trust God daily just like they trusted the Egyptians. Now our detour of 2020 has tested our freedom especially being forced to stay home for months. The question lies in, are you free in your mind. See freedom from God’s perspective is all about how you think and process your Red Sea experience. When we are brought into a place of new life in God but are not yet living as a new creation, we need to learn to depend on the LORD daily, and this is what God was trying to teach them and what he is trying to teach you. God sometimes brings us through Red Sea experiences so that we will not turn back to our lives enslaved to former things we were dependent on. What do you think the detour of 2020 has taught you? It should have taught you that we need to trust God daily as our source. It is more about us staying grounded in who we are and realize how much he wants us to depend on him for everything even now more than ever.
- Lastly, God wanted the children of Israel to know without a shadow of a doubt that they were the chosen nation. It was all about God’s love for them and fulfilling the promise to the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Ultimately, being the chosen model nation, God’s purpose was to serve others as a model nation reflecting God’s statutes showing God’s love but sadly their disobedience led them to their demise by not keeping the covenant. But no matter their unfaithfulness, God is a God of a second chance. He is a God of grace and mercy. Every Red Sea experience is a reminder that we are chosen for the experience. The one thing that is so important to remember is that when you are chosen, then whatever Red Sea experience comes up in your life is not based on one’s own strength but it was all about how God was going to use them to show off his strength only if they believed.
We can learn a lot from the children of Israel of what not to do because this pandemic is our Red Sea experience. This pandemic has made us all feel in between a rock and a hard place. It has made us feel stuck in a position and place where there is no other place to go but to depend on God. Sometimes God allows his chosen people to be pushed into a corner so that we can come to the end of ourselves. It is during this vulnerability and nakedness that we are in the best position to move into the passenger seat and let God figure it out because he was the one who ordered our steps in this direction. If God planned this Red Sea experience or should I say the detour of 2020 then he has already figured out a way of escape beyond what your finite mind can conjure to believe. Faith without works is dead and when you realize that God ordained this journey, led you to this time and season, planned these trials and tribulations in this detour of 2020, then you can have a revelation that miracles, signs and wonders can be revealed in this detour 2020. It is time for us to stop, questioning the Red Sea but thanking God for the miracle in the midst of the detour. It is time to realize that he already figured out a way to escape before the pandemic came, before you got in your jam, before you lost your job, before you get sick, before your marriage issues, before your children started acting out in school, before the loss of a loved one….but you must put your faith into action. How do you do that? It is just believing that God can do it. You know how when you use your legs to walk. There is a belief that you already know that your legs will support your weight and hold you up. In the same regard you must believe that God is your legs, that God has the power, authority and dominion to keep you standing. God has the power to keep you during this detour 2020. He didn’t plan it for your demise but he planned it just to show you that he performs his best work during Red Sea experiences only if you stand on his promises. God wants you to remember that the path was already chosen not to harm you but to give you a hope and a future only if you believe.
Regeneration Can Happen If You Just Stand
Regeneration Can Happen If You Just Stand
September 30, 2020
As we end the last day in September, I want to talk about the significance of how the regeneration of a tree is connected to its ability to stand during the changing of seasons. As we are entering the season of Autumn, I thought it would be so appropriate to talk about this object that the scriptures metaphorically talks about as it relates to our perspective.
Let's start off with a poem that connects with our theme and topic.
by June Kellum Oct 1973
There’s nothing as fine
as an autumn day,
with the smell in the air
of fresh mown hay.
Each tree is a wonder,
of beauty, untold.
Each leaf brushed with color,
a sight to behold.
There’s a nip in the air
-crisp, cool and clear-
to remind us that winter
soon will be here!
But for now we have autumn,
the ‘Show-Off of seasons!
My favorite, by far,
And these are the reasons!
This poem walks one through their 5 senses in a way that you see, hear, smell, taste and feel the season of Autumn through these words from June Kellum. I love how descriptive it walks us through all of the changes that transpire within the season. The question I have with the particular season is that “does the season ever get used to all of the drastic changes it experiences?” For example, do trees get used to the drastic changes that take place year by year? I know trees are not humans but even as an inanimate object, does it do anything to prepare for the drastic change internally or is it something it deals with year after year? How does it feel year after year to lose all of its leaves that have grown and become accustomed to the new growth over the past few months?
If you think about this time during COVID, we have experienced drastic changes and lost a lot of family members, friends, and co workers during this time. Losing people we love and care for is always a challenge and a change that is hard to bounce back from. Just last month we lost Chadwick Boseman, the Black Panther and the world was absolutely devastated by the loss but sadly death is all a part of life.
It would appear that both of those words death and life should not even coincide with each other but they are so connected in God’s eyes that we fail to see the beauty in both. Just as a tree loses its leaves, we lose loved ones that we hold dear to us and rightfully so. There is an emptiness when something is lost and there is an uncertainty of how one will recover but no matter the trials we face, no matter how overwhelmed we feel, no matter the heaviness or weight of the loss; God is always close to the brokenhearted! Although trials and tribulations are not comfortable to say the least; there is comfort in knowing that we never go through things alone. We are never alone. AMEN! We must remember that this world is not our permanent home. We have a home not made by hand but we have become so accustomed to this foregin land we live in and it gives us a false security of this place and space. The false sense lends itself to the fragility of humanity in a natural sense but it also lends itself to the beauty in eternity which we all have an invitation to if we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
A few months ago in the Lioness Queen podcast, I talked about being like a tree from Psalms 1:3 but this week I wanted to emphasize on another area from that same scripture that God showed me as we are talking about the seasons changing especially the season of autumn. The scripture reads “and he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” When you look at Psalm 1, it is all about righteous versus unrighteous; good versus evil; blessing versus curses. David gives us in the first two versus an understanding of what righteous living looks like and as a result of this conditioning; one will be able to stand, grow, regenerate and prosper.
It is interesting David and Jeremiah use the same metaphor perspective of comparing humans to trees and it is also used in other accounts in the scriptures. The beauty for me in this metaphor is the underlying premise of regeneration of the tree and ourselves which is all connected to the source. As you think about the most critical time in a tree’s life span; one is easily prompted to think about the seasons of autumn and winter. It is the time of the year when a tree experiences the most drastic changes due to natural elements caused by temperature, moisture, sunlight, soil, etc. This does not mean that trees don’t experience natural changes during other seasons but autumn and winter are times when trees are the most vulnerable.
Research does show that trees have this inner mechanism that alerts them of the changes that are coming to protect themselves but at the same time trees know that if they stay connected to a source then their life can be regenerated even more than the previous year. Now if God can regenerate a tree; how much more can he regenerate you and what you are going through? It is all about our perspective!
Now the scriptures are clear in John 16:33 that in this life we will experience troubles but trust God because he has already overcome the world. This scripture alerts us that yes there will be things that come up in our lives that will throw us off. Every major obstacle that you have ever experienced in your life has all revolved around one word “change/seasons.” Acts 1:7 indicates that it is not for you to know times or seasons that will come up in your life but God has the final authority over them. If God has foreseen your future and if he is already aware of the changes or seasons that come up in your life then why fret because if he’s seen how it starts; there is also comfort in knowing he’s seen how it ends. What a powerful statement that if we stay connected to the source, we never have to worry because in the end there will be a brighter day. WE MUST HAVE THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE!
During this pandemic many believers have been scratching their heads in how could God allow this to happen? How could God allow all of these people to die, how could God allow leaders to be in a position that do not have a love for all people, how could all these innocent people die violently from individuals who are in authority positions to protect and serve communities, how could God allow all of this injustice to happen, how could God allow all of these family owned businesses to unfold and bankrupt, how could God allow all of this domestic violence to happen during the pandemic, how could God allow all these people to lose their jobs? There are so many questions that possibly could lead one to feel discouraged, disappointed, fearful, isolated, overwhelmed, uncertain, revengeful, hate, blame, shame, disillusioned, etc. but Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 is very clear about times and seasons. The beauty in that scripture connects to a mindset that one must have and that is the mindset to STAND like a tree.
A tree may have the inner capacity to know a season is shifting but the tree doesn’t know year after year how bad the elements will be or even how bad it will lose parts of itself, leaves, branches, mold, diseases, and/or parasites. However, the only thing the tree knows how to do is to STAND; that is how God commanded and created it. The was only instructed to just STAND!!! Whew!!!! Yes just stand! See we on the other hand, have the Holy Spirit which is our inner mechanism that can provide comfort and help us to stand. What does stand indication; it indicates our faith. Standing is equated to faith!
The tree knows that no matter what life may throw at it; there will be another season; there will be regeneration at some point that God will restore whatever was taken, whatever was lost, whatever was damaged, whatever was destroyed, whatever was thrown away and Lioness Queen's that is called a faith mindset. Now trees do not have a mind like we do so why are we so caught off guard when the seasons changes, when a little wind blows in our life, when life throws us a curveball and we are thrown off balance? Consequently, we fail to stand, we fail to believe, we fail to trust in who he is, we fail to believe in his authority and we fail to know that he has already foreseen the end before the beginning. The question God is asking us today is what are you standing for? Often times we think standing involves us being an active participant but when a tree stands the only thing it does is stand; the only thing it does is wait for God to move; the only thing it does is anticipates a change in seasons, the only thing it does waits quietly while God shows himself strong but this is something humans struggle to do. We equate standing to being involved in the matter or situation when that is where we fail. It is not in the doing but the right perspective or mindset.
In this pandemic, how have you been standing during this season? Are you more fearful or are you believing in God’s unadulterated word that all things are working together? Are you doubting what you are seeing and hearing more than believing that God is a God of restoration and regeneration? If we have the mind of Christ (his perspective), we should be able to remember that God is a God of reconciliation, he is a God who can create from nothing, he is a God who can restore more than what was lost, he is a God who can give you back everything that the locust has eaten and consumed from you only if you STAND! In other words you must believe Lioness Queens.
There may be things going on right now in your life that have you unsettled, discouraged, fearful and doubting who God is but I am here to declare to you that God is a God of regeneration, restoration, and reconciliation only if you believe or should I say Stand! When a tree stands, it just indicates that the tree believes in its source that a brighter day is coming. God doesn’t ask much from the tree and doesn’t ask much from you either. God is only asking you to believe in him, he is not asking for you to be strong, he is not asking for you to help him figure it out, he is not asking you to use your skills or your money to help, he is not using you at all but this is the problem we face in living in this foreign land so long. We feel so independent in this life that we often think we need to do something when God just wants us to stand. Unfortunately, this pandemic has tested our independence, faith within ourselves, everything that we have believed, our financial source that we thought we had, our relationships or lack thereof, the fragility in mankind but the testing of our faith produces steadfastness (the ability to STAND) which is a faith mindset….which is the only perspective God wants us to learn during this season. Definitely this season was never intended for your demise but to wake us up in knowing who we are, who we believe in and who God is to us. Amen!!
Regeneration, restoration and reconciliation can only happen when we come to the end of ourselves and realize all we need to do is STAND! It is okay to be vulnerable and show your fragility because God doesn’t need any superheroes; he just needs people to deny themselves, surrender to him and lay naked before him in a way that shows your surrender so you can be all he called you to be. What is your perspective today Lioness Queens? Do you have a perspective that no matter what life throws your way, you know what you are dealing with right now is only temporary? Say it to yourself! What I am dealing with right now is only temporary. Say it again! What I am dealing with right now is only temporary. The season you are in right now is only temporary Lioness Queens, God just wants you to STAND today! Your perspective should only be to STAND and let God fight your battles for you, let God do all the work, he just wants you to get out of the way so he can do it.
Lioness Queens, God is going to use you like never before but regeneration, restoration and reconciliation is coming only if we stand. It is time for God to build up your spiritual immune system for the purpose in your life with the right perspective!
"Do You Have the Right Perspective?"
"Do You Have the Right Perspective?"
September 10, 2020
Our theme for this month is all about perspective. It is so critical on how much our perspective determines how we process our life, process life around us and process how we view God. This topic is so relevant to everything that is going on in the world in this season of 2020.
If you have ever listened to one of the Lioness Queen podcasts, you already know Rev. Dr. Marisha loves starting out reflecting on a poem that connects to the theme for the month. Here is a poem that gives a great insight on the thoughts we fight in our head that can shift our perspective about ourselves.
"A Life in Progress"
By: Krista O’ReillyDavi-Dagui
Fear is loud and bossy.
She can be vicious at times.
And the worst of it is that
She is often mingles truth with fiction
But you must learn to challenge
The stories she feeds you.
You get to be the boss of your thoughts.
You can learn to question
Whether or not
Everything she tells you is truth,
And nothing but the truth.
Since you have done the work
To deepen self-awareness
When she throws all your past failings
In your face you won’t crumble
Because you already know you are imperfect
AND you are beautiful
Of a building
Thoughtfully crafted life.
This poem is a great segway into the theme for the month with having the right perspective. The part of the poem that says “we must challenge the stories she feeds us, and we get to be the boss of our thoughts.” Yaaassss!!! We need to be more in control of the things we think about especially as it relates to negativity. This is where we have the most trouble with our perspective because we often believe the lies of the enemy and false narratives not realizing we always have control of your thoughts. God is a gentleman. He is a God of freedom and so he doesn’t use manipulative ways to control us. This is indicative of our free will; we have control over ourselves but often in our lives there is a specific word that gets us stuck in a place where we feel inhibited to do things. The inhibition to do, to conquer, to overcome, to heal, to forgive, etc all stems from this little word. As you read the items below, you will be able to identify with some of these sayings that we have all said either verbally or to ourselves that have inhibited our perspective.
- I cannot stop certain thoughts
- I cannot change the bad experience
- I cannot stop what they are doing
- I cannot stop being addicted
- I cannot stop feeling this way
- I cannot get a handle on my emotions
- I cannot stop thinking about it
- I cannot stop things from happening to me
- I cannot change what they did to me
- I cannot stop the negative thoughts
I am sure you figured it out but the word “cannot” sadly has infiltrated our subconscious in a way that we think and say more about what we cannot do than what we can do. If that is the case then who is actually in control? When we say we can do all things through Christ but consistently contradict God’s word, what happens to the power in that word? Have you ever thought about how many times you have said or thought the word ”cannot” versus what you can do through faith. Honestly, I believe all of us would be flabbergasted as to the amount of times that word has come out our mouth. In God’s eyes this equates to the number of how many times we have discounted his word. The question is why does that little word have so much power over us? Where did we learn the word from? Why does it have the ability to change your perspective? Have you ever thought about who controls your thoughts, emotions, feelings, and behaviors?
Let’s go all the way back to our childhood. Think about when you were growing up and how often you hated being controlled by your parents especially if you were a strong willed little person. The rambunctious child who never wanted to follow the rules or even the sneaky teenager who thought they knew everything. But no matter what, you knew that one day, you would be in control of yourself. You knew that one day you didn’t have to follow any rules in your house. One day you would live on your own, not required to make up your bed after you get up, not required to clean your room once a week, or didn’t have to wash the dishes after you ate. If this was your thought process as a child then there was an element in you that wanted to have the authority to control your life: mind, body and soul. When we were children, we weren’t afraid of anything until a circumstance altered our perspective. Normally as young people we are unstoppable and could believe in anything regardless as to what we saw or heard. We didn’t even realize the faith mindset we had as children but sadly often family, friends, and even authority figures have been the reason for the shift in our perspective.
Honestly, there shouldn’t be a difference in wanting to be in control of your life as a child and being in control of our life as an adult. What is the disconnect? Why do we allow circumstances to alter our perspective in a way that strongly influences and controls aspects of who we are? How is it that we allow experiences to shape how we think, how we feel and how we behave. We even allow the experiences of others to shape how we think, feel and behave. This perspective has the notion that we are our circumstances, trauma, tests, trials, and tribulations. Some kind of way we have allowed our subconscious to believe that we are our circumstance which is far from the truth. The reason for the disconnect is all about our faith or lack thereof. Sadly, this perspective has been taught to us subconsciously and we didn’t know it.
Let’s look at the scripture
2 Peter 1:5 - 9 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
In this scripture, Peter gives the christian virtues that everyone should pursue. Remember perspective is all about a disciplined faith mindset that God has already made provision for you to be able to accomplish as a believer. During this time, Peter is addressing a lot of the false teaching that was going on during that time. I honestly believe over the years, there has been a lot of subliminal deceptive teachings and ideologies that have gone forth in the world and even in the kingdom to water down the truth in God’s word. As a result, due to the deception and subliminal subtle messages, many have believed the false narratives and lies in their identity and their relationship to God. And this stance or belief system in the subconscious, opens the subconscious in a way that exacerbates our feelings, emotions, thinking and behavior over the truth in God’s word, over who we believe in, over who we are connected with, over our discipline to have the mind of Christ, over how we are suppose to pursue specific virtues because we are his children but it only can happen with the right perspective or in other words a discipline faith mindset.
The scripture starts out with that we are supposed to supplement our faith with and that is God’s “virtues.” The first virtue the scripture starts out with is “knowledge” which encompasses who God is; he is the living truth. Then the last virtue Peter talks about relates to God’s number one commandment and that is love. He starts with the word and ends with how we are to love others as we love ourselves. Having God’s virtues privies us to have access to everything we need. When you live based on God’s truth and walk out your life in love then your perspective will realign with the right perspective and a disciplined faith mindset.
We must be reminded that provision has already been made to handle our thinking, feelings and behavior. If this is the case, then why do we allow circumstances to shape these three areas in our life when we have access? In 2 Peter 1:1, Peter mentions that faith is given; it is a gift to believers and so it is the acceptance of this faith that walks us into a perception of who we are in the world and the power we have within. God does not require us to have faith without him and it is through him that we have the right perspective and disciplined faith mindset.
Now at times we can feel overwhelmed, anxious, traumatized, devastated, lost, and fearful for various reasons. This happens to all of us; no one is exempt from trials and tribulations. 1 Peter 1:6-7 says that sometimes our faith is tested and tried but on the other side of the coin it is strengthened as well and through this strengthening we have the ability to control our thoughts, emotions and behaviors but it requires the application of hearing and walking out the word of God which ultimately shows our character, it shows who we re in him. This is faith! We cannot allow any circumstances we go through to control how we think, feel or act when we use our faith. Our response to circumstances proves the character of our faith which shows our fruit or lack thereof.
In addition, when we do not have faith then we become nearsighted and allow subliminal and carnal messages to begin to take root in our subconscious. As a result, we fail to believe, fail to walk in God’s character virtues, fail to believe in who we are through him and fail to believe in what he can do. In other words, our nearsightedness of our circumstance can impact how we attach the circumstance to our identity. We attach it almost like it's another person living inside of us. It is a label that for some odd reason we want to carry the load and burden of it. Almost as if the attention from the negative circumstance boosts our self esteem in a way. Everything boils down to our faith; the gift God has given all of us freely… When we appropriate our faith leaning on his understanding not our own then we will begin to have the right perspective. What perspective do you have today about your life or your circumstances? Do you have a nearsighted birds eye view or a broad farsighted view?
If you think about God’s view from heaven. Is he really looking at your circumstance with a magnifying glass so that he can see things close up or is he looking from a broader objective perspective or view knowing that the circumstance will work together for you good? Now let me be very clear; God is concerned about everything that concerns us. He is a God who walks with us every step of the way and intercedes for us when we are so overwhelmed and do not have the words to say or pray. God knows that circumstances can be overwhelming just like they were overwhelming to his son and Jesus asked 3 times to take the cup from him. But even in the midst of our trials, God is always with us. We must be reminded that faith is an assurance that provision has already been made for you. It was made for Jesus before, during and after his death and it has been made for you. So when we face circumstances here are some things I would say from a Romans 8:28 perspective pops up in God’s faith mindset that he is asking you:
- What did you learn about you that needs to change?
- How can the circumstance bring me glory?
- How did you grow spiritually?
- How did the circumstance bless someone else?
- How did you bless the one who hurt you?
- How did you change your mindset to believe more in the supernatural power of God?
- How did the trauma from your childhood push you into your purpose?
- What fear did you overcome?
- What did you learn more about who I Am?
- What did you learn more about what I can do for you in your weakness?
I could go on and on but when you are too close to a circumstance you are blindsighted from seeing all of the endless possibilities, opportunities and blessings that can evolve as a result of experiencing the circumstance but it is all about your faith and it's your faith that determines your perspective. My question for you today is how is your perspective on your life right now, on the world and on your faith in God? If you are allowing the circumstances in your life to shape your thoughts, feelings or emotions then you have a nearsighted perspective.
Here is an exercise I want you to do.
For the next 6 days journal about the following ways how God can help you gain the right perspective over your life. It is not enough to know God can help you in any circumstance but we forget that it is not based on our strength but his strength. The energy from faith comes from him as your source not from within ourselves but it is the connection you have with him. Oftentimes we need to be reminded that when we have the right perspective then God can show himself strong in our lives.
Knowing God has already made provision for you. Write about what provisions God has made for you over the years past, present and future. Reflect on these provisions and remember that if he did it before, he can do it again. He is a God that doesn’t have favorites; you will always be his special gift. Remember the right perspective is receiving the gift of faith and applying it to your circumstance.
Knowing all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 is a powerful scripture with the right perspective. Write about a setback you experienced that the enemy tried to stop your from moving forward. Then write down all of the miraculous wonders that came as a result of your experiencing that setback?
You are never at the mercy of your circumstance because God’s grace is sufficient for you and his strength is made perfect in your weakness. Write about a circumstance in your life when you felt your weakest. Then write how God came in and showed himself strong in the circumstance without your help, skill, or ability. Remember your weakest moments are the times when God endows us with the strength we need to believe and have the right perspective.
Philippians 4:8 tells you what to think about and if you look at the list. The first item God tells you to think about is his TRUTH=THE WORD OF GOD! If you look at the list of ways we are supposed to think from this scripture, write about what you think is the most challenging to do and how you can surrender this over to God to do it. Always thinking positive is challenging especially when you are not facing the best of circumstances. There are things from this scripture that will not always be in the forefront of your thinking but when the negativity thoughts arise declare the word of God over that circumstance immediately. It is time we stopped listening to the voices in our head and declaring the word of God over our life. Just as the world was spoken into existence, it is time for us to speak life into ourselves in a way that triggers our subconscious to line up.
Renew your mind daily in order to be continuously disciplined in your thinking. The enemy will always try to get you offset and distracted. Write about a circumstance you thought you were delivered from but then a trigger popped up in your subconscious and took you 10 steps back. Write down your triggers and ways you can overcome them with affirming God’s word. Remember the enemy is always on his J-O-B but it is your job to know that he has had the same tricks since the garden of Eden. He cannot make you do anything against your will. The only trickery he has is to plant suggestions and seeds to see if they will grow. It is your job to know how to fight his devices with the word and the armor of God. You have a uniform but we need to use it.
Remember you are not your circumstance! Lastly, list 25 affirmations that are contrary to your circumstances. God never intended for circumstances to become our identity but when we do not have the right perspective we open our subconscious up to believe something God never intended us to believe.
Lioness Queens it is time to use the gift God has given us to have the right perspective about our life, the world and who God is to you. We are too consumed with what is going on in the world right now and do not have the right perspective about the pandemic, political, racial, health, disparities, inequality issues and the biggest issue we always say is that “we will never get back to norm.” Again it is all about our perspective; maybe God wanted a better norm, a better appreciation for all people, a better healthcare system, better police departments, better school system, better prison systems or even better political system. No matter what, it is time to use our faith and believe God has everything in control and that should be our perspective….it should not be what we “cannot” do but what we can do through Christ.
Tribute to Chadwick Boseman - "The Right Perspective"
Tribute to Chadwick Boseman - "The Right Perspective"
September 1, 2020
I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman. Due to the unexpected passing of this young man, I felt the need to pay tribute to him and who he was. Although I didn’t know him personally I truly believe that he gives me a perspective on life in a way that you must treasure every movement and live your life to the fullest. The only way to do that is with the proper perspective. I truly believe how we think and how we believe is all based on our perspective on ourselves, our perspective about the world and our perspective of God.
I love poems and quotes but I found a poem on google with an unknown author that I feel epitomizes how Chadwick Boseman lived his life.
“An amazing thing happens when you get honest with yourself and start doing what you love, what makes you happy. You stop wishing for the weekend. You stop merely looking forward to special events. You begin to live in each moment and you start feeling like a human being. You just ride the wave that is life, with this feeling of contentment and joy. You move fluidly, steadily, calm and grateful. A veil is lifted, and a whole new perspective is born.” Unknown Author
This poem was truly heartfelt and gives us insight into how Chadwick Boseman lived in a way that we must embrace every moment. Of course it is easy to embrace the high moments but we also must embrace the low moments as well when we don’t feel like it; when we don’t see it; when we struggle to believe it; we must still embrace the moment and the only way to embrace the moment is to have a certain perspective about life.
Everyone was so caught off guard by this young man’s unexpected death. Although it's unexpected to us; things are never unexpected to God. He knows our death date even before we are born. The dates have already been set but the question is for you “how thick is your dash?” What I mean by your dash is the line that people see in between your birth date and your death date. What have you contributed to the kingdom? What difference have you made in the world for the better? Who did you help along the way? What change agent did you become to create something new? I can go on and on but sometimes it is not about how much time we have in this foreign land but it is the thickness of the dash that makes the difference.
We all can attest to experiencing Chadwick Boseman’s dash… He had some amazing roles representing some amazing African Americans in our world...i.e., his roles in 42 portraying Jackie Robinson, Get Up portraying James Brown, Marshall portraying Thurgood Marshall and let’s not forget our remarkable portrayal of T’Challa in Black Panther. I have been researching his life and it’s extraordinary how many celebrities commented on him as a man. People who knew him raved over the free spirit this young man had; how noble and humble he was; what a generous and awesome human being he was; what a light he was to the world; the big heart he had; and a brilliant and one in a lifetime talent. Let me share what Oprah Winfrey said "What a gentle gifted SOUL. Showing us all that Greatness in between surgeries and chemo. The courage, the strength, the Power it takes to do that. This is what Dignity looks like."
This man dealt with an aggressive illness while STILL creating greatness all at the same time. This gives me goose bumps…. This is what I call perspective. Chadwick Boseman had a perspective before he was diagnosed and even after diagnosis and still did not discount his perspective. He realized that everyday is a gift, everyday should be embraced but more importantly he realized that everyday was an opportunity for him to shine his light.
After hearing that this man had been battling over the past 4 years with colon cancer and still pressed his way to making 5 star eye dropping movies leaves me speechless. A man who did not allow an illness to change his perspective of who he was and who he could become. He made a conscious decision to not take roles that would portray him as a negative stereotypical African American male. He wanted to make a difference. He wanted to make a change and wasn’t willing to settle just because. He had a perspective that one day a change would come; one day he would get roles where he was portrayed in a positive way; one day he would be someone young African Americans could look up to. One day he believed that his purpose would be fulfilled. This is what you call perspective! And what was the perspective, you ask? His purpose being fulfilled and believing even when you can’t see, believing even when you don’t have the money, believing even when you feel your lowest, believing in spite of the distractions going on, believing even when your body is in pain and believing even when evil is all around. It is your perspective on you, the world and how much you trust God in the storm, in the adversity, in the loss, in the pressure, in the trauma, in the set backs… Your purpose is birthed from pushing, contractions, pressure, tiredness, pain….and this man pushed his way to greatness.
In this life the word is very clear that we will have trials and tribulations but then it says no matter what life throws at you be of good cheer for God is with you… I am not sure if you are familiar with cancer, surgery, treatment but it takes a big toll on your body…. If we think about ….we will never really know how his body responded to chemo treatment, how the strong medicines made his hair fall out, how strong the medicine was that upset his stomach, if he couldn’t keep food down and didn’t have an appetite, if he was constantly nauseous from the chemo, if infections occurred from all his surgeries, if he had headaches and migraines, difficultly sleeping, and how weak chemo made him. We will never know because this honorable man had a perspective that no matter what was going on with him, everyday when he got up was an opportunity to create greatness. In the face of adversity this man still knew there was a purpose to be fulfilled. He still knew he needed to let his spirit shine. He didn’t allow his condition to dictate his purpose because he knew a God that would give him the strength he needed to fulfill why he was placed on this earth…. What about you? Are you going to allow your situation to dictate your purpose? Are you going to allow you loss to stop you from your destiny? Are you going to allow your setback to stop what God purposed you to do?
We need to learn from Chadwick Boseman because it was his perspective that helped him create greatness in the midst of adversity. What about you? When are you going to stop wallowing and complaining about stuff that does not matter. Chadwick Boseman was a man who fought the good fight of faith, who created a legacy for young people of color, who impacted the world, who was a change agent to change how African Americans are viewed in society but what about you? When are you going to stop complaining about things when you can be creating greatness yourself. There is always a seat at the table for everyone but only if you have the right perspective to believe you are purposed for destiny. You can’t believe if you do not have the proper perspective about who you are, your purpose in the world and your faith in God.
I must say as I am reflecting on my life and the things that I have been through, I must say that I have no reason to NOT work on my dash, my purpose, and my destiny. What about you? We have no excuse… It is unacceptable to sit back and watch life go by when there is greatness in us to change the world.
So today Chadwick Boseman we honor you, your legacy and your humble spirit that changed the world better. We appreciate your sacrifice, your impeccable gift, your incomparable talent; your unstoppable grit, your never ending drive, your supernatural creativity, your stunning wit, your flawless character, your determination to not fit in the status quo, your unmeasurable love to change the world for your community. I can go on and on but you will always be a hero and not because you portrayed Black Panther but perspective on yourself, on the world and your faith shines brighter than any Marvel character. You are a true man of valor whose character will always shine onto future generations...that my friend is a true superhero. Thank you for giving hope to young people that shows them with determination, grit, drive, and sacrifice; dreams do come true. Thank you! We love you! We will miss you but I truly know that we will never be the same because of the dash you left the world.