ALL My Single Ladies Put Ya Hands Up!!

Beyonce is known for many things, but one of her most famous songs-to-date has to be All My Single Ladies. I know you are probably thinking, what does “Queen B” and her music have to do with your usual “inspirational style” blog? Nothing really, other than her catchy lyrics. If I were a betting person though, I would bet that nearly every person who reads the title who is under the age 50 just sang the title in their mind. 😉

all my single ladies

As I’ve grown up and  moved past the high school and college years, gotten married, and had kids I’ve found myself having 3 very distinct groups of friends. My married friends, friends with kids, then there is my most awesome group of single friends. So many times each of these groups can end up feeling so isolated because they feel like the only fit into one mold and no other, but today I want to speak specifically to my INCREDIBLE single friends.

A few months ago I did a Periscope with this very same title. During this broadcast I spoke to what you do while you are waiting on your “Mr. Right” and how not to settle for “Mr. Right” now. During this discussion we touch on the subject of isolation, worth, worship, and finding yourself. Take a moment to take  a listen.

PERISCOPE LINK TO – ALL MY SINGLE LADIES

     If you don’t take anything away from this video other than this know that God has the PERFECT person created just for you and you NEVER have to settle for anyone. God’s best is always worth the wait. WORSHIP WHILE YOUR WAITING! Be blessed and remember JOY COMES IN THE MORNING!

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Walk through your BREAK THROUGH!!

beAKTHROUGH

 

Sometimes the hardest thing in life is to WALK THROUGH YOUR BREAKTHROUGH. By request I’ve uploaded one of my recent Periscope sessions for you! The meat of the message begins around 7:30. Watch and enjoy! Remember JOY comes in the morning!

 

Unrealistic Expectation

Confession: I sometimes have unrealistic expectations.

How many times have I been online on my favorite social media site and scrolled down just to see pictures of picture perfect families, picture perfect homes, picture perfect marriages, the quintessential picture perfect Life. It seems like days when my house is not at its cleanest, or I’ve had a spat with my husband, or my children are acting like complete jacked- up baboons at a circus filled with laughing gas that I stumble upon the “perfect” photos or posts.

perfect family

I think that days like that we should ban ourselves from ALL SOCIAL MEDIA- I’m completely serious. When we see those “perfect” photos we immediately get in the wrong spirit and attitude and start judging our own life. We begin to give ourselves unrealistic expectations. We allow one or maybe a series of photos to ruin our day and or our self esteem/worth. We think  “if she had a baby 6 weeks ago and is posting a bikini picture then there must be something wrong with me, because I’m 6 months postpartum and could never post my photo because my body is so embarrassingly out of shape.” We begin to place value on our life based on the “picture” of the life of someone else.

not thin enough

If there is one thing in life i have found to be true, it is that Photo shop is a cool thing and more often than not an overused thing. Another thing i’ve learned is you never know what was going on right before that photo. It’s kind of like Sunday morning. Some days we walk in to church as a family and we are complimented on our matching outfits and upbeat attitudes. We usually smile in appreciation, but really in the back of our minds we  aren’t really even sure how we got there in one piece, because all I can think about is the fight I had with my 5 year old to brush her hair, and the gymnastic routine I had to do in order to get shoes on my 2-year-old. See a picture isn’t always what it seems. It’s kind of like the old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”

When we give ourselves unrealistic expectations we have to remind ourselves of the reality of a few things.

1.) WE ARE FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE.
Sometimes we are so busy trying to meet expectations we forget who we were made for and made like. I can’t help but think that when the Lord hears us complain about how we look or what we have that it hurts the heart of God considering He created us in His own image. We have to know we were fearfully and WONDERFULLY made.

2.) Talking bad about yourself hurts more than just you.
We have to remember especially if we have children, that little eyes and ears hear and see everything we say and do. We don’t want our kids to see us as someone who is ungrateful and low self esteemed. Our children emulate us including our attitude toward ourselves as well as others. We have to be confident in the life and body that God entrusted us with.

3.) Remember what you do have.
So many times we are so busy talking about what we don’t have or how fat we are that we forget what we do have, and just how blessed we are. Life is too short to not be grateful and enjoy what God has given us. Stop worrying and start rejoicing in your blessing. Even on your fattest, poorest, dirtiest day, your life is better than the majority of the earth. Instead of complaining start thanking God for the life that you do have!

So, that being said don’t let unrealistic expectations get the best of you. Be grateful for who you are, what you have, and who you serve. God’s purpose and plan for you is all that really matters at the end of the day. Serve God and love others and remember Joy comes in the morning!

whitney

God Works Well under pressure.

 

I recently posted a video about God working well under pressure. The more I think about it the more i realize how true that statement is. “GOD WORKS WELL UNDER PRESSURE”

Have you ever felt overwhelmed? Have you ever felt like God has left you in the very center of your struggle? So many times we get discouraged when we feel like God hasn’t helped like we think He should. Sometimes we feel like He has forgotten about us. Sometimes we pray and ask to hear God in hard situations and we feel he is silent. We have to remember that  the teacher is always quiet during a test. Sometimes God allows us to go thru test and trials so we will come out stronger on the other side. That being said, remember that God will NEVER leave you. His Word says  I will never leave nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 3:16) HE WILL NEVER EVER LEAVE YOU,  He always shows up on time. HE WORKS WELL UNDER PRESSURE.

 

Think of David and Goliath, David had to actually FACE the giant. He wasn’t saved before the fight he was saved IN the fight. Think of Paul and Silas they weren’t saved before they were shackled, they were saved in the pit of the prison while CHAINED. Think of Daniel and the lions den he wasn’t saved before he was thrown in the den, he was saved after he served his time in the pit with the lions.

My favorite story of God working well “under pressure” is the story of the three Hebrew children. They were sentenced to die in a fiery furnace, they weren’t saved before the fire, they were saved in the fire. Not only were they saved, but God joined them in the fire. So when you are walking through the fire remember God will not leave you. He will meet you where you are at and he will protect you, preserve you, and prepare you for where you are going next in Him. So hold fast and understand that we serve the God who loves you and can bring hope to your hopeless situation. Trust in him. Be encouraged, remember, JOY COMES IN THE MORNING.

Aint nobody got time for that!

So it’s been a minute since my last post. Life has been CRAZY. It’s been crazy busy, crazy trying, crazy good.  I’ve done a lot since March. Let’s see, I’ve spoken at multiple Ladies events and had a great time doing so, God showed up at each event for sure. In April Shane (my husband) ripped ligaments in his ankle and was in a walking boot for 8 weeks which resulted in him being on disability at his work. That was very -very trying. I went on a Missions trip to El Salvador – it was AMAZING! We went on vacation to Orlando, that’s always fun.  My youngest brother who has Down Syndrome, had open heart surgery, I’ve passed a kidney stone, and i’ve dealt with my 4 year old having Kidney problems of her own. In just  the past 4 weeks i’ve been involved in a school outreach, Karter turned 1, I spent a weekend doing a girls lock in with our youth department, I played a big role in our Churches Kids Crusade, and hosted a Birthday party for my sons 1st birthday. I did all of that while being a mom to a 4 year old and 1 year old, a wife, a worship pastor, music teacher, and business owner.
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I said all that to say this, sometimes we can be too busy. I’m one who has always said i’d rather be busy than board, and i’ve always been one who has had a hard time telling folks no, but I have to ask myself sometimes “Ok Whitney, what is keeping you so busy, is it God or is it you”. I am reminded of the passage of scripture found in Luke 10 when Jesus comes to the home of Martha.

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

So many of us are like Martha we are Christians and love the Lord but we keep our lives so busy that sometimes we neglect his presence . Sometimes we are so busy being mom, wife, coach, pastor, speaker, housekeeper, lunch maker, teacher that we forget  to embrace His presence.

I truly feel that “busyness” is a tool that the enemy uses to distract us away from God’s plan, purpose, direction, and presence. If the enemy can keep you busy long enough you may no longer have time for the presence of God.  The Bible also warns us about being too busy. “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”-Ephesians 5:15-17

Just like Martha, sometimes we can get whiney when we are busy. We can get whiney even if we are busy doing ministry. Sometimes we get so busy trying to fill a calendar with events or trying to do the latest greatest thing in ministry that we forget why we even do ministry and that is to expand His Kingdom and to WORSHIP Him. Lord, don’t let us get so busy serving and doing that we forget to embrace His presence.

So the next time you go to mark a party, an event, a lesson, a trip on your calendar think about it, pray about it. Don’t get so caught up up in busyness that you forget God and His presence. Just like Jesus did with Martha, He is willing to come out of his way to be in your presence- don’t be too busy that you don’t recognize His desire to be with you.

Remeber- JOY COMES IN THE MORNING.

Wake Up, You’re an Endangered Species.

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As a church we are dangerously close to extinction….. Dangerously close. The Pentecostal church specifically is what I would call an endangered species.  You may say well this week I attended church and it was full, maybe so but what was it full of? Saved people, church people, pew warmers, 4 songs, prayer, a message with three points and an “altar call” ?  More than likely I just described your Sunday service,  “altar call” was only if you are a lucky one. 
                I am so ready for the “church” to experience CHURCH.  As a Pentecostal, I’m a bit ashamed and embarrassed at the state of the church. When was the last time you attended church and experienced TRUE Pentecost in action? I’m not talking about the same elderly lady giving a message in tongues followed by a streak of goose bumps; I’m talking about an outbreak of the Holy Spirit. When was the last time you experienced Ministry from an overflow not just from leftovers. When was the last time you experienced divine healings in your church, or multiple people slain in the Spirit, or people running to the altar for salvation, or people being filled with the spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues?
                As Pentecostal churches we should be experiencing the Holy Ghost every day. Yes EVERYDAY. We should walk in the Spirit and constantly seek God, not just seeking the next big Series, or the next great Worship chorus or Media advancement. Yes all those things are great and wonderful and play a major role in having a relevant church, but when are we going to see that a relevant church has 0 power without the leading of the Holy Ghost. I don’t want to be so relevant that I can’t see Jesus through the bright lights.

 Why is the church becoming and endangered Species?  Well after studying endangered species in the wild, science answered why things become endangered and eventually extinct and the scientific explanation really relates to the extinction of the church.

  1.        Destruction of Habitat: Humans destroy precious habitat–the natural environment of a living thing. The church has drastically changed in the way it looks over the past 10 – 15 years. I’m not saying that I don’t really enjoy some of the ways that is has changed, but it definitely has changed.  I feel that the sanctity of the church our “precious habitat” has changed. The church in general has evolved into this easy going super seeker friendly “building” that has really taken away the sanctity of the sanctuary and the church in general. We have allowed fads to strip the church of its precious Holiness.
  2.        Pollution: Oil spills, acid rain and water pollution have been devastating for many species. Now this is a hairy subject, but we have allowed bad things to happen within our church or  within our staff and have left it un-attended or just given it a slap on the wrist.  I can’t tell you of how many times I have heard of SINFUL things going on in a church and instead of the church dealing with the problem they choose to give the person or people a slap on the wrist because they are “needed” to fill a job, position, or ministry. Another terrible form of pollution is WORDS. I’m so tired of hearing people talk about their pastor- their shepherd, every time you choose to talk about your pastor, you are choosing to POLUTE your church God’s Church. We have to be careful of every idle word we say and especially every word we choose to say about our Pastors, don’t forget they are CALLED they are Anointed (Psalms 105 :15)  There is LIFE and DEATH in the tongue. (Proverbs 18:21) The only way to stop pollution is to stop polluting. 
  3.        Hunting and Fishing: Many animals are over-hunted because their meat, fur and other parts are very valuable. Now this is funny….. I guess we could say the church is becoming extinct because too many people are too busy hunting and fishing on Sunday. Goodness me I can tell you that the church definitely experiences a drop in attendance during hunting season (especially here in the south) and as silly as it sounds it’s true. This is really a priority thing. People have become so busy with work, kids ball practice, dance practice, golfing, clubs, shopping, civic organizations that they have no room for God on Sundays and Wednesday s. The church has become so preoccupied that we have no clue we are pushing God right out of the picture. Busyness  is all part of Satan’s demise of the church. We are told clearly in scripture that we are the prey (1 Peter 5:8).  The church has no idea we are the ones being hunted.
  4.      Exotic Species: When animals or plants arrive into a new habitat from a foreign place they sometimes introduce diseases that the native species can’t fight. These “exotic” species can also prey on the native species. Did you know that Christianity isn’t the fastest growing religion in the USA? Islam is. We have allowed Exotic Species of Religion infiltrate our country and in turn infiltrate our churches.  Our churches are losing people at an alarming rate just because they are feeling anything anymore and want to find a new feeling in new religions or religious practices.

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It’s a sad thought to think that the church, the Pentecostal church is losing its way.  I want to do my very best to not just preserve the Pentecostal Church for my children and grand children but I want to see it explode again. I want the normal to be Miracles, Signs, and Wonders, not  just wonder if there will be a sign or miracle. I so desire to see a turnaround in the Pentecostal church.  I don’t want my children to wonder about revival and just study the Azusa Street Revival and Brownsville Revival; I want them to experience Revival in the church in their lifetime. I want them to see the dead raised, the lame walk, AIDS healed, Cancers fall off. I don’t want them to just read or hear about it. As Practicing Pentecostals it is our job to be the SALT and light it is our job to spread the Word and Pentecost in our homes, in our church, in our city, in this world. We shouldn’t be ashamed of the things of God we should be a people that are so on fire for God and so full of the Holy Ghost that people come from afar to watch us burn! I’m ready for revival and I’m ready for the Church to be the church, a Pentecostal Church. A church who doesn’t usher someone out because they are being overtaken by the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues,  a church that encourages the gifts of the Spirit, the call of God, the infilling of the Holy Ghost. I’m ready for the church to be the CHURCH. It starts with you, it starts with me. It only takes one spark to make a flame, and one flame to cause a fire. Be encouraged, JOY comes in the morning!

 

Those old Shoes

I often start my posts with confessions, so here is another one: I LOVE SHOES. There, I said it, I feel better now. I don’t just like shoes a little bit I honestly thouroughly enjoy wearing shoes, buying shoes, buying shoes for others, even just looking. One of my favorite things to do is go to DSW and and just look and try on, i’m telling you that is this girls cup of tea!!!! My love for shoes has lasted for years, one of the saddest days in my shoe loving life was when our home flooded in 2009 and I lost almost 100 pair of shoes.

One pair of shoes I did not loose though were my most FAVORITE pair of black flats. They were the perfect everyday shoe, they were black leather, had a cute silver buckle and could be dressed up or down. My mother calls these my boomerang shoes. See these shoes were very old. They were purchased when I was 14 or 15 so they were pretty old in terms of life of shoes. Since I was about 18 or 19 my mom tried her best to get rid of them because they were a little too “broke” in. The heel cap of the shoe had fallen off and made them very very slippery. My mom actually threw them away in the trash and I dug them out. I thought I could fix them. My mom did this probably 5 times and every time I would get those favorite shoes out .

closet full of shoes
After I got married and moved out, my husband started trying to get me to throw them away because they were broken, but I just knew I could fix them because they were so comfortable and I was so used to them. Last year I finally threw them away. The reason I threw them away was because I ended up hurting myself, they were so slick on the bottom I ended up BUSTING it! My family had tried their best to keep me from hurting myself but I was too worried about keeping and fixing what was already broken.

You know this story reminds me of us as  Christians. Too many of us are trying to FIX what God is trying to BREAK. See, God is trying to break some stuff- some chains, addictions, habits, sins, things in our life that will bring us down and not lift us up. He is trying to equip us with the things that we need to strive as Christians. The sad thing is too many of us have settled into our sins or things that feel good, kind of like my shoes. See my shoes were broken in and felt so good when I wore them, but they were bad for me just like the things God is trying to break. Sin is fun and comfortable but we know that it only last for a season (Hebrews 11:25).

Too many of us are like I was with my shoes, You will pray for God to break the sins in your life, but you try to live your sin free life and it’s too uncomfortable and you go dig it back up  just like I did. I was willing to go thru trash just to have comfortable feet again. When are we gonna wake up and realize that GOD has the best for us. When are we going to give up self and stop digging thru the trash of sin and let God have control and break what needs to be broken from our life. If we continue to try to fix what God is trying to break we will never get where God is trying to take us.  Be encouraged, remember JOY comes in the morning!!!!

Healing-Whatever it takes.

whatever it takes

Have you ever been desperate for a miracle?I know I have on multiple occasions. I really feel like Healing is something our generation and our new church culture doesn’t want to talk about. I think it is due to their lack of faith or either they are scared for a real move of God. I do feel like it is something that is still valid and available for every single believer. I could sit down and write why I think healing is for real and available but instead I’m going to post a link and let you hear a sermon I preached last year. In the sermon I talk about getting your healing “whatever it takes”. Please take a listen, if you are need of healing I know it will encourage you!

Healing Whatever it takes Please listen and be encouraged and remember JOY COMES IN THE MORNING!

Go with your gut!

follow-your-gut

Since having two children my gut has developed tremendously, and even though yes, my physical gut has expanded some that’s not what I’m talking about. I’d love for my actual belly gut to go away, but I’m talking about my inner self that “gut feeling” and I’m grateful for that.

This weekend we were going to go visit my parents. My husband had a 4 day weekend and we were going to take the opportunity to visit them since they live about 5 hours north. Well as I was getting our stuff ready I kept having just an unsettling feeling about the entire trip. I knew that we would be taking my husbands truck because we were hauling some stuff to them and I just kept getting this strange feeling about even traveling. I tried my best to brush the feeling off. I called my mom yesterday afternoon to tell her our plans and she was kind of hesitant on the phone, not about our visit but about bringing the truck and hauling stuff, so again I tried to brush it off .  Well the evening came upon us and I just continued to feel a heaviness about the trip, so I called my mom and told her how I felt and we decided to listen to our inside voice. Her words were “go with your gut, you never know”.  Now who knows, we may have traveled to their house with out a glitch, or we could have been in a terrible wreck, gotten sick, had car trouble all kinds of things but this time we were safe not sorry.

I like to call those funny “gut feelings” a check in my spirit. I have felt that way many times. I can remember one time in particular having some work done on our home and one of the workers kind of gave me a funny feeling, I had the fear of not wanting to be alone with him or in close quarters with him. My dog at the time was very very friendly and had never bit any one but every time the man would come in our home the dog would growl and the hairs on his back would rise as well as mine. The last day they were at my home working Seminole (our dog) bit him. I thought it was very strange, but still I apologized for my animals behavior. Not even 1 week after the incident with my dog I found out the man was arrested for drug possession and theft. I think that those funny feelings were legitimate, I think that is our body’s way and God’s way of warning us. Since I’ve had children I think I am more aware of it.

I also get that feeling toward new people I meet. In ministry I meet new people all the time and I get those checks in my spirit toward people quite often. See I think that if we are true Christians then we are led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14) I actually pray for the Holy Spirit to lead me in my relationships, in my choices, and in my everyday walk. I think He shows me He is leading me when he gives me those little checks and gut feelings.

So I said all of that to say listen to your gut, it very well may be the Holy Spirit protecting you or trying to warn you. Nobody knows your body or feelings better than you do. Always go with your  gut, it knows best. Be encouraged, JOY comes in the morning!