I am going to miss my GDB family but I am taking valuable lessons with me. (Featured pic done by Jinaele Douglas)

One of the beautiful things about life is that it offers you continuous opportunities to learn, once you are breathing, you can learn something new and exciting.  Whether simple or great, lessons cannot be overrated, for they enrich us for better living, empower us for making informed and wise decisions, and prepare us for our journeys ahead.

During my years at GDB, every conflict, every discussion, every crisis and every turbulence, worked as tools rubbing against my character; with every friction came pain, discomfort, fear of the unknown, doubt and at the same time, faith, hope and determination.

I am now one day old as a non-employee of the GDB (feel a little sadness here)  and honestly, I have no regrets.   Instead I have cherished memories and lessons that I would always hold dear to my heart.

I can say a lot, but I need to focus on just enough, allowing you to digest quickly as you read.   May you be encouraged to keep pushing against the tide, when all odds seem to be against you.  Remember your success requires perseverance!

Real pic of me. I believe this is the pic used by Jinaele. She did a wonderful job!!

Lessons learnt;

  1. As a youth, in the early years of your career, seek to associate yourself with experienced and accomplished persons who are willing teach you unconditionally.  In life we need sincere mentors who would not seek to exploit us or help us expecting something in return.  I pray that you will be able to know the difference.  I was blessed to meet some great professionals as a “just-starting” professional.  These relationships helped to steer me in the direction of advancement and eventually success.
  2. Don’t ever let others’ incorrect perception of you mar you or define you.  There have been times when I doubted the core of who I am.  After some wavering, I found my balance and started to believe again in who I was.  My solid upbringing as a child and my godly foundation was in tact after all.   I had to know me and believe in me, even in the times when no-one else did.
  3. Think the best of others first (always).   Be very careful when your colleagues at work come to you with complaints about others.   Remember, as much as we try to be good, as human beings we have sinful tendencies.  It takes practice and discipline to report a matter correctly and objectively when you are offended, experiencing jealousy, fearful, angry or even in a state of un-forgiveness or bitterness.  It seriously blurs your vision and hinders your ability to think clearly.  So when your work-mates approach you in such a manner, seek to listen carefully and remember many times there’s more to the story or even less.
  4. Despite how many times you feel put down, rise up to the challenge ahead; you need to ensure your energy is being well spent.  I was foolish enough sometimes to give-in to the occasions when I felt put down; I was wrong to give in.   I eventually learned how to direct my energies to positive thoughts, despite the temptation to slump in self-pity, and focus on the work I had to do on my desk, my annual goals and my personal achievements.
  5. When you are able to receive criticisms gracefully, whether the motive is to build you up or break you down, you have achieved greatness, especially when you are able to see value in the criticism and value in the person criticizing you.   We can choose to complaint about what others are saying or how they are saying it,  or we can choose to accept that there are some things we cannot change and instead look for gold and silver among the junk.   Look deeper! Look pass the faces and the sound of the voice.
  6. If you have started the process towards achieving a particular goal, don’t dwell on the process, focus on the prize.  I love focusing on the goal, the result, it always looks good and inspires me to keep moving.  We can choose to whine about the spills, the sleepless nights, the seemingly difficult people, the exams, the need to practice, the need to study,  our supervisor or our boss, or we can keep our eyes on what looks really good, the prize, the goal.  I know it is easier said than done but it really keeps us focused and moving.
  7. Listen to others even when they do not listen to you, do it sincerely.  If you are patient, change will eventually come.   I expect that this lesson would not make sense to some of you and you may have good reason to think that way.  I have practiced it however and it has worked.  Life is about building relationships, it is about denying ourselves the first word, the last word or any word at all.  In building relationships we must learn how to control our emotions and just be still.  I think there are three main reasons why someone may not listen to you but just want to be heard;  1)  They feel that they have not been heard; your body language suggests that you are not interested or have not been giving them undivided attention.  2) They do not think what you have to say is of any value to them and 3) They have come to you in protection mode (their defense is up), they are seeking to protect themselves from something about themselves that they prefer not to have explored or exposed.  Patience and understanding is required here.
  8. Finally,  when the stressful moment comes and the seemingly impossible situation comes your way, remember that this too shall pass.    Breathe and think about the time when it will be all over.   Seek help when you need it, but never give up as if it is the end, because it is not.   It is up to you to dig deep and find ways to survive the tossing waves.  You can still learn to swim.

I do hope these eight lessons would inspire you to face life more positively, especially at work.   Don’t let the negative forces influence you, see every moment as an opportunity to grow, to shine and to build a legacy of pure loyalty and commitment.

I write this article with special thoughts of Jinaele Douglas,  my former assistant, who has had to whether many personal storms.  May this article give you strength.

Featured picture is a drawing of me, done by Jinaele Douglas.  What talent!!

 

Faith affirmations for personal transitions

It was April 15th, 1991, I stepped into my current employer’s office ready to start my first day on the job.  It was my second real job after College.  The doors of the Grenada Development Bank opened to me in so many ways.  I did not know then what I know now, I was green, not even twenty yet, a bit naive but eager to excel.  I count it a great blessing to be employed consistently at the same place for such a long time; I have heard others talk about experiencing depression as a result of not being able to find a job for up to one year or suddenly losing the one they had.  In some cases these persons were treated unfairly by their former employers.  This was not my experienced, God blessed me with economical stability.

Twenty-seven years later and I am exiting the place I spent thousands of hours, the place where I dedicated most of my work life.  Yes, I am moving on, transitioning from one job to another.  I have been there for so long, it feels strange to leave.   I feel so indebted, grateful, touched, honoured and so much more, to have been part of this Institution’s amazing journey through life, 20 years plus.  After being a part of an organisation’s transformation from a doubtful future to bright hopes and vision, I cannot be any less but grateful.  As an employee moving through the ranks,  I  had great moments, not so great moments and those in between but every experience taught me something valuable.

What warms me the most is the fact that I saw God walk with me through all these years, teaching me how to listen, showing me where I need to develop, drawing me to the company I need to keep and planting in my heart the desire for excellence.   It was a desire that kept my eyes fixed on the fact that my job was a gift from God and He was worthy to receive the recognition for every little bitty witty of success I achieve.  He walked with me and I sought to let him hold my hand and lead me, most of the times.

As I sat on my bed this morning, I felt a bit overwhelmed and disturbed to a lesser extent;  I believe it was a combination of the fact that I need to get a number of tasks completed before I depart and that there is a need to be extra careful about allowing anxiety in others to distort my calm demeanor.  There is an extra urge to allow God to influence my planning, doing and saying; I am concerned about leaving right and leaving tall.  My journey ends at my current work-home on November 9th, 2018.  I need my Lord to continue walking with me.

So this extra thrust is being matched with a desire to lean on the everlasting arms of  God, to rest on his shoulder, and to listen closely to every prompt, every cautionary note, and every empowering word.

In seeking God to take me through the last few days, I received affirming words of faith in my heart and I started to write.  The outcome was six affirmations, all of which are shared below for your encouragement:

  1. He (God) will never leave me, never, never.
  2. I can speak with Him (God) when I want to.
  3. He promises to keep me in a peaceful state when I trust him to work it out.
  4. There is no weapon so powerful that he (God) cannot stop it from harming me.
  5. He (God) promises to give me wisdom, there is no limitation to the amount.
  6. When I need to be comforted He extends his love to remind me that I am His.

These six statements did it for me!   I felt empowered.  You see while they are not actual verses  quoted they all come directly from the Word of God where immense power lies.

Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God  who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations”

These six affirmations are my testimony.  God does it for real friends!

Care to comment, would love if you would share what God’s word means to you.

Everyone should be chasing after God’s peace!

Have you ever noticed how many verses in the Bible speak about Peace?

You see, in order to pursue God’s purpose in your life, you need stability, confidence, a sound mind and a clear vision and healthy relationships.   God’s Peace allows us to have all these and more.

Tap into God’s peace daily by reading and meditating on God’s word and talking to him through-out the day about everything that concerns you.

Here are some verses to get you hooked on God’s peace:

Proverbs 16:7

“When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”

Psalm 37:11

“But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”

Psalm 119:165

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”

Romans 5: 1-5

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”

Philippians  4: 6&7

“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

These are just some of the verses that would wake you up and help you realise that choosing a healthy relationship with God has awesome benefits.

Real, lasting, peace can be yours today, but you must be willing to let go of the unhealthy practices, habits and relationships that are feeding you conflict, torment and fear.  Instead embrace God’s word daily and allow him to guide you towards a life of true peace that even when storms arise, you would confidently walk through it, knowing that the Master of the sea is by your side.

You can’t pursue God’s purpose for your life if you do not know his Peace!.

Know God, Know Peace!

Article By Denisha Daniel

While visiting Facebook today and scrolling through my feeds, this article caught my attention.   I did not feel like reading at first but then something about the title captivated me and I got turned on.  The article was full, colourful and engaging.   It is the kind of article that would make you think, shake yourself and decide to persevere no matter the challenges that come your way.   I immediately wanted to share with others and sought the Writers’ permission to do so.   Thank you Denisha!  Do enjoy!

Written by Denisha Daniel

Grow through what you go through!

Situations in life arise that are tough. With the progressive style life takes, each challenge you overcome, ushers an even more challenging one in tow. Challenges foster growth and bring out the best in you…. here’s the clincher… “IF YOU ALLOW IT TO”.

I’ll be the first to admit, there are times I just don’t care enough to see it… the silver lining.😒

You can become bitter, calloused, cold, isolated and distrustful, in character, due to the things you face in life. Or, here’s another option courage offers, you can become BETTER and you can GROW.

There are times I’ve clung with lifeline tenacity to the scripture in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (MSG) “We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles…. we’re not sure what to do… we’ve been spiritually terrorized… we’ve been thrown down…” specifically leaving out the hope portions the verses offered simply because these parts resonated with me and I preferred to sulk.🤔
The hope parts of the verses say, however, “BUT we’re not demoralized… BUT God knows what to do… BUT God hasn’t left our side… BUT we haven’t been broken… “

When embracing of this, hope and courage, you can GROW through what you GO through. Purpose to see that hopeful side and push through, maybe even drag through… but just keep moving with a vision of “betterness”, not bitterness

Be triumphant in life! 
WIN! 
And succeed at the best “YOU”, you can be.

GROW THROUGH WHAT YOU GO THROUGH.

Happy anniversary to my blog and happy birthday to me…

God has given the gift of life to many, but today I felt as if I was getting all his attention.  I am sure there are thousands who celebrated their birthday today, but yet I felt it was just me.  I felt loved, special, valued and considered.

I woke up with pleasant thoughts, I was just so happy to be alive!  I was excited about reading my bible, I wanted to find a passage appropriate for my day.   I got my wish; Psalm 34 was my passage; I read the most of the psalm (22 verses), soaking in its relevance and comforting declarations.

The verses I really love are verses 1 to 4; This is how I chose to capture them;

  1. I declare – I will bless the Lord always and his praise shall continually be in my mouth
  2. I shall not boast of myself but only about what the Lord has done through me and for me.
  3. I desire for others to magnify the Lord with me. I love good spiritual companionship.
  4. I have sought the Lord many times when I was in desperate situations and he has always heard me and delivered me.

Today is also special because It is the first anniversary of this blog.  Happy birthday day to “InspireMe – the Blog”.   When I started to blog, it created an opportunity for me to breathe into others, inspirational thoughts and considerations, as I expressed my inward yearnings, thoughts and promptings from the Holy Spirit, I too found myself exhaling, releasing virtue and wealth.  As I gave through writing, I gained intimacy with God and a growing bond with the unseen and unmet readers across the world.

Today, I celebrate good success and I offer up a sacrifice of praise to my Enabler, the Holy Spirit himself.

I sincerely say thank you to those of you who subscribed.  Thank you to those who provided constructive feedback which allowed me to get a sense of how you were ministered to, inspired or touched.  Without readers of my blog, all I would have is a conversation with myself.

Thank you for allowing me to touch your lives.

As a new year begins, I can only expect better, further, higher and greater!!

You may be wondering why the guitar.  Here is this, during the past year, I recommitted myself to learning to play the guitar better, to becoming more confident, to practicing regularly.    My relationship with this six string wooden instrument has been renewed and my success with the guitar thus far (though small) has proven that “nothing is impossible with God”.

I shared this story to inspire you to live purposefully!

 

The Health Journal Idea

About a month ago, I received a gift from a friend.  It was a lovely rectangular notebook with a beautiful painting of flowers on the bottom half of the front cover.    As you can see from the featured picture, the upper half carried the letter “J”.   “J” means a lot to me and to my family.  My first and last name begins with “J”, my daughters’ name begins with “J” and my son’s name begins with “J”.

Some people call me “Jay” others “JJ”; some prefer to call me by my official first name “Janel”.

The point is, this note-book is special to me because, I count the giver a genuine friend and as stated before, because of the cover.   I wanted to use it for something really meaningful to me and while I received it about a month ago, more like two months ago, only one week ago, I finally knew how I wanted to put it to use.

My pretty, most valued notebook is now my health journal.  I have fought to start a healthier lifestyle, internally motivating myself to take small steps towards this goal, but it has not been easy.    I do not intend to give up however.

Two days ago, I started my health journal as a  further push to myself to go big.  I must say that it has helped me thus far.  As I embark on this journey, I am seeking to apply things that work for me and not others.   I cannot achieve the success I want by wishing I can do what others are doing.   I must find ways to meet “me” where I am at, understanding that I can only be “me”.

For me lifestyle changes has and would continue to include, better planning of my meals, healthier choices, healthier methods of preparation.

Progress thus far (note that my journey started a while back but I have just been struggling with consistency:

Nutrition:

  • I limit “milk” in my diet – not good for my sinuses and allergies –  I do have milk now and then, maybe once every three weeks.
  • The sugar content in my juices and teas are limited and sometimes none.
  • I enjoy (not often enough) blended smoothies, one of my favourites is beet root with bananas and spices with Almond milk;  I add anything I wish to add to that, eg: carrots.
  • I seek to have a portion of vegetables everyday.
  • I use whole grain rice and not white rice.
  • I try to limit the use of other oils, sticking to “Olive Oil”

This is progress and listing them makes me feel really good.

I am currently doing a water therapy, meaning I am rehydrating myself with lots of water, more than usual, and I already feel the effects of its cool refreshing properties.

For me, constantly telling myself to keep pressing and imagining a body that is more awake and alert is my motivation.  Now that I have started the journal, I have taken it a step further.

I would share more next time.

Let this little experience inspire you to keep working towards “the start” or the “re-start”.

Remember, to live out God’s purpose, we need to feel well!

 

I write about pursuing purpose but I try to practice it too

Very soon, I will be sharing about the “Christian Writers’ Meet-up”, believe it or not, it would soon be something of the past, I expect good things.

On September 25th, 2017, InspireMe – The Blog was born.   It was born out of a renewed passion to write.   I was in a dry, boring place spiritually and I needed to feel alive again.   My sweet and caring friend, Jesus, sent me some love and comfort and as a bonus he gave me some inspiration.  He used a good friend of mind to push me to my feet.  While rising to a standing position, I wavered and swayed but eventually with the conviction that it was all God, I stood.   I stood and I lifted my eyes to the hills, I knew my help would come from the Lord.  He would get me through this.

A few months after, I received another wave of inspiration “A Christian Writers’ Meet-up”.   “What’s going on here, Lord? I don’t want to do anything for my glory or popularity, I don’t want to pursue this if your blessing is not upon it.  Would my husband support me, would my family support me, would the christian community support me?”

My search for answers drew me to my knees and to quiet inspection and evaluation and I sought to find renewed focus.  My purpose is to encourage believers to live life to the fullest within the context of God’s plan for their lives and in so doing cast a beam on the non-believer providing an opportunity for them to experience sustainable peace and joy.

I am excited about October 13th, and I am excited about beyond October 13th.  I don’t know what tomorrow holds for the earth shakes, the storms surge, but He’s got this big world in his hands.  So I persevere, allowing him to use me.   Let him do what he wants to do at this activity, I accept the closed doors and the open doors, as his divine intervention.  I pray for only sincere supporters around me, I pray for divine favor.   I write about pursuing purpose and I seek to practice what I preach.  This is purpose pursued, this is focus renewed, this is a garden of new plants, seeds have been sown and reaping will take place later.   Joy fills my core for I know my heavenly father is pleased.  I pursue his purpose, not just my personal ambition.

Dreams are coming through but I yearn to see even more of God’s power and his might, I wanna hear someone say “I want to change, I want a new life, a life with meaning, a life with true fulfillment.   How can I start a relationship with Jesus?”   There must be more……Lord, let this count for something eternal.

 

Enjoying peace daily! – How is that possible?

Just thinking; Why do I have a Peace of Mind?  How do I normally maintain a Peace of Mind?

Was thinking today of my normal composure even when there is a storm around me.  Usually, if you look across at me from the table or the room, you would see a calm, composed individual.    I am not pretending; I really surprise myself at times.

When others expect me to be heavy-hearted, I am light-hearted, skipping along my way, when others expect me to be disturbed, I am quietly comforted, when others expect me to be angry, I am feeling sad about their current situation.   It goes on and one and the questions is “How come?”

Let me hasten to say, I am not always at peace, there are things that momentarily disturb my peace at times; living down here does not permit us to escape challenges and storms, but still there is peace.

Here are some reasons why I am able to enjoy peace of heart and peace of mind most times;

  1. I practice thinking good about others – No Malice – Daily, I chase the malicious, negative and destructive thoughts of others from my mind. I believe everyone has good qualities and bad qualities but, overall, they are precious and special human beings, loved by an Amazing God who is in the business of patiently working on all of us.   So even though you may have done something I dislike or sincerely despise, I still see you as somebody.
  2. I manage my perceptions of people as perceptions only; often, what seems to be, is not. The worse thing I could do is assume what someone else is thinking or doing when I have no proof whatsoever.  I firmly believe in thinking the best of others.
  3. I seek to be kind and pleasant to people even though they are not kind and pleasant towards me. Why? It is the right thing to do and it makes me feel really cool inside.
  4. I constantly remind myself that I am alive to fulfill a divine purpose and being an agent of confusion, war and slandering, is not part of my divine purpose. I am hear win others to Christ, not to chase them away.
  5. I embrace conflict not as a fight but a way towards resolving a problem and improving relationships. Consequently, forever is not too long to work on a relationship.
  6. I purposely present a peaceful approach when individuals come to me and complain about others; I seek to present an objective view, helping them to think soberly.
  7. I am connected to the Prince of Peace and we speak daily. This peace that I experience daily, is not of my own, it is because of the influence of God on my life.  God represents truth, joy and love, three qualities that would bring you peace.  I try listening to his voice, I really try.
  8. I examine myself daily, acknowledge and confess wrongs and weaknesses.

 

That’s it!  That’s how I embrace peace 😊.

Let’s all aim for excellence!

Have you ever wondered why some people, groups, organizations or churches seem to settle for sub-standards, average, mediocrity?   It is a sad thing when as a people, a country or a nation, we settle for average, just because it takes too much effort, or time or maybe some measure of conflict; we prefer just doing what is the mere necessities.

I believe that the God who created the universe, shows excellence in his handy work.   The galaxies are not average, the seas, lakes and rivers are not average.   The natural wonders of the world, they are not average and man and his ability to create and to produce is nothing close to average.   And yet we allow ourselves to settle in the pit of mediocrity.

Perhaps God wants you to be an agent of change or an agent of excellence.  Next time you are planning that church activity or staff meeting or community outreach programme or whatever it may be, seek to influence others to do their best, to invest their time and resources for maximum results.

Next time you are responsible for chairing a meeting, do not begin to prepare just a few days before, it would be difficult to give of your best.  Think about the ambiance you wish to create in the room, think about the objective of the meeting and what needs to be accomplish; you must allow yourself thinking space if you ought to be adequately prepared.   You see, God expects that anything (that which is good of course) we put our hands to, we do it with all our might, we must always seek to do our best.

We often hold back, because those around us, those on our team are often critical of us when we begin to show the potential for greater.   When we are seeking for excellence, others may interpret it as being “fussy”, “a perfectionist” or “plain show-off”.    While you cannot evade such critics entirely, you can seek to be humble in your approach and share your vision with those who may be willing to listen; try to practice inclusion as much as possible. One thing you should not do however, is compromise on excellence.    The time and effort expended will not be in vain, someone will be watching, someone will be inspired and receive courage to aim for excellence as well.

The darkness in our world is great, but it just means that light is needed everywhere.  When we are connected to a God of excellence we desire excellence as well and we should not suppress that drive to experience better or to climb higher.   We must understand that we are designed to walk in freedom, fulfilling our purpose on this earth and as we do so, we would emanate light, thereby expelling the darkness.  When light enters, learning can take place, our understanding would increase, and our positive and creative juices would flow towards producing the unimaginable, that would lead to lives being transformed.

I long for God’s church to embrace excellence.  Why do we settle for the broken sound system, the rusty chairs, the soiled gospel tracks and the poorly maintained church properties?  Why do we settle for poorly managed churches,  corruption in our finances and in our decisions, WHY?  We possess so much within and yet we are happy with just towing the line.  We often choose to be poor by our failure to walk by faith; we often think that righteous living is turning up for church every Sunday and looking pious.  We forget that failure to do our best is also a sin, we forget that when we discourage someone else from doing their best, we are being a stumbling block in that person’s life.

But, we can do better!  Yes, We Can!

Do you believe in the God of Excellence?

Thank you for reading, please feel free to subscribe and/or to leave me some feedback on the comment form below.