Pursuing God’s purpose is no easy road

I have come to realise, in my over forty years of existence, that the real beauty of success is that you are able to show that you have achieved it by honest means, through self-less efforts and by overcoming personal fears and challenges, facing your giants. It is these stories of endurance and perseverance, amidst discouragement, abandonment and disappointment, that really touches you deep.

On this Blog, I speak of pursuing God’s purpose and the truth is, it is not a sitting, waiting, getting along with everybody, no testing kind of experience. The word pursuing means to relentlessly go after something until you get it. And here our context is “God’s purpose”. We need to understand that pursuing God’s purpose often requires us to do some things that are hard emotionally, that would not be popular and that may even land us some enemies. It is no easy road. BUT, the fulfillment that floods your inside, when you know without a hint of doubt, that God is pleased, is reward enough.

What are those hard things you have had to do in your pursuit of God’s will for your life? Did you think it was too hard and buried your head in the sand? Did you try to stifle the urge to move forward?

I’ll tell you this, I think many times, we think too much before we take action, “what if” “is it really God”, “what will people think about me”, “i don’t feel good enough”, “let me wait to make sure”. Thinking and overthinking when we already know, in our hearts, it is o.k to proceed.

Another mistake we make is to tell others, thinking their approval would be a sign. Well, not necessarily! Sometimes we got to walk, work and pursue alone. Or maybe we fail to take action because of pride as it requires us to ask for help and we refuse to. Dangerous choice.

Be encouraged that in order to really persevere to the end, we must be willing to do what is necessary. No matter how many times you stop, accelerate again and keep moving. Stop “hitting the brakes”! No matter, how many said no to the help you needed, keep accelerating! No matter, how many gave you the silent treatment, never actively encouraging you, keep accelerating! No matter how many times members in your family scoffed at your vision, keep accelerating.

Remember the word is “Pursuing”, it suggests action, doing, moving and eventually reaching that goal. The Word of God describes it beautifully as “running a race”. Dress appropriately to run and run no matter the hurdles you see appearing before you. Run! You must believe that God will enable you to jump over your hurdles.

I embrace my past; I embrace my future more! –

Featured pic from Grenada Development Bank – My farewell party – November 2019 – Former Directors, My former boss in blue & grey, former co-workers.

In November, 2019, I took a step of faith. I resigned from my highly valued job as Administration & Human Resource Manager at the Grenada Development Bank, the only Development Bank on the Island of Grenada. A unique institution that has an amazing success story. I say highly valued because in those nine years I learnt a great deal. In those nine years, I confirmed so many things about life, about people and about myself. Through the grace of God, I was able to fortify my career as an Administration and Human Resource Professional. Yes, I was learning but I was also being established in both fields.

In those nine years and even before those nine years ( I was employed at GDB for 27 years), God used varied circumstances to remind me that when He is control, everything works out the way it should. He reminded me that I needed His guidance daily. He also reminded me that I just had to continuously walk in faith, looking at his face for assurance and not to others.

It is now four months since I moved on and many times I would remember moments at GDB. I remember them with such affection and such appreciation. I think, in my heart, I would always feel a part of GDB’s family and I can’t help but be grateful.

Now, everyday was not perfect, there were days when we argued to make our points clear, there were times when I did not achieve my best and there were times when I had to be involved in disciplining staff and it was no popular affair, but with God’s grace, I persevered. And you know what I am sure they know, I care.

The appreciating truth is that I miss my GDB family despite the downs. I have given so much but have received much more.

As I sat thinking about the past, I just thought…”My past is so important to my future success”. I embrace it, I own it, I value it and I am so blessed by it. I have gotten to know so many people, to influence so many people, to learn from so many people, to share Christ with so many people. My past is very very important to me. But here this, it is not more important to me than my future.

As, I look ahead, I have new challenges. I have a need to find strategies never tested, as I continue to walk into that door that has been swung wide open for me. Whenever I find myself doubting God, I seek to shake it off, reminding myself that every move relating to me leaving a job, that meant so much to me, to step into the unknown, was God-directed. I have do doubt that it was an answer to prayer. My God surprised me with an open door.

At GIDC’s Office – April 2019

What gets me at times, is the struggle to keep believing that God is right here by me side and I can accomplish the task that He has entrusted to me. I wish that mental struggle did not exist, but it does, I wish my energy would always flow but sometimes, I get weary, I wish I can act in a timely manner at all times, but sometimes, I hesitate.

So, today, I reminded myself to keep speaking words of affirmation, words of hope, declaring the promises of God, declaring what has been given to me as a Child of God. Today, I am reminded not to deny my Christ, never to be ashamed of being a Christian, because, God is the only person that I can bet my life on. He is for me, in season, out of season, when everyone around me seems scary and cannot be trusted. He is there!

Jekalyn Carr in her song, says “You will win, win”! And, I believe that, not only that I will win, but I have already won so many battles of the mind, of the body and of the will because God’s word is a source of strength. I believe I have won and I will continue to win.

My past has definitely helped to shape my future, but my future is bigger!!

What about you? Are you too attached to your past that you find it difficult to believe that you will survive the open door? “You will Win!”

Finding strength in the Joy of the Lord!

It was Sunday morning and from the comfort of my bed, I looked outside and observed ‘What a beautiful day it is!”. There was absolutely no need for me to hustle that morning, it was a day for taking it slow, to refresh my soul and to receive inspiration from God’s word.

I decided to look-up verses on “the joy of the Lord” and this exercise did wonders for me.

My hope in God’s promises were renewed, I felt energised and excited to continue pursuing His plan for my life, I became filled with great expectations. Even my countenance changed from gloomy, to bright.

What really happened? Were those verses magical? Well, they are embedded in truth, power and hope, so I guess they are more than magical, they are majestic, like the Author himself.

Phillipians 4:4 was the first verse I read:

Rejoice in the Lord alway; and again I say rejoice – KJV

Rejoice in the Lord always; I say it again. Rejoice! – NIV

Oh, this little verse lifted my spirit and reminded me that despite my circumstances and how much I really don’t feel like focusing on God’s joy, I need to try anyhow, because it always works. It reminded me that my joy is not a product of my possessions or my achievements but knowing that God loves me, has a plan for me and I can trust him. It is understanding that pleasing God first keeps me joyful.

Another verse that lifted my spirit was Psalm 5:11 -KJV “But let those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

Here is the NIV : “But let all who take refuge in you be glad, let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you”

We cannot ignore that there is a condition for experiencing God’s joy. We must make that choice to love His name, to find contentment and pleasure in His character, in His mission and in what He has written in the Bible for our benefit.

I am convinced that if some people could only experience the joy of the Lord, they would not give up on their marriage, they would not consider suicide, the would not abuse others and the list goes on and on.

There are so many verses that talk about the joy of the Lord, I am just getting started.

I inspire you to pursue the Joy of the Lord.

Embracing the Imperfect Me!

Featured picture by google images

I saw this post on Jonathan Mc Reynold’s Instagram page a few weeks ago and it stirred me to write, it says  

“Shame made me feel like I had to be perfect.  But man, I am just soooo not.  Physical flaws, sins, personality flaws, bad choices, etc. but I’m slowly shedding the need to be perfect.  The “imperfect me” must be valuable because that’s the only “me” that God ever made, ever used and ever blessed.  All I can do is all I can do. 

What I have just read for you is a sticking point for many people.  We are always worrying about our flaws, our past failures, our weaknesses, when will we behave ourselves.   When will we behave as if we know better, because in most cases, I think we know better. 

We know that man is imperfect.   Only God is perfect.   Yet, we criticise others when we become aware of their flaws and we do the same thing to ourselves.    Hey, it is not fruitful, it would not help you in any way. 

When I read Jonathan’s post, I immediately typed a response and it says;  You spoke for all of us my friend, you are not alone in this “imperfect me” journey.  What matters is that you have already touched our lives for the sake of Christ and you did it because you allowed God to use you.  In my view that is when it becomes perfect” 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be perfect?  Just try to imagine it.   There will be no need for growth, no need for overcoming, no need for learning valuable lessons, no need to depend on God, no need for anyone, as a matter of fact.   I guess our knowledge would be limitless, absolutely no gaps. 

Life is great when we come to terms with its sweet liberating truth.    We are all imperfect, on a journey of self-discovery, growth and transformation.  We all need a perfect God to guide us to the correct destination.  He guides us by being present, vocal and ready to support if we would let Him.   He desires to use the imperfect men and women that we are.    Living life in the presence of a Perfect God is all we need to make it!  

Keeping it real!

Sometimes we feel tired, swamped and simply worked-out. We all have those days, those weeks, those moments.

Achieving, winning and growing can be exciting and we can easily get lost in the “air of success”.

Achieving requires exerting our energy, sacrificing our personal time and hobbies. And yet, it is important to remember to keep it real. Keeping it real speaks of acknowledging that it is still necessary to take care of this beautiful gift, our body, keeping it real speaks of taking timeout to connect with your family and to read and meditate on content that would broaden your perspective.

Keeping it real allows you to remember your simple past, moral foundation and values that has brought you success. Keeping it real reminds you that you are existing in a wonderful body, an amazing world of resources and yet understand that man is not in control of everything. God is the one in control and He can easily overrule our plans.

Keeping it real allows you to see what’s happening around you, it keeps you connected with current affairs, it allows you to be sensitive to the needs of others and it allows you to constantly evaluate where you are at.

Prayer: Dear God please help me to remember that my success is all because I have found a way to keep it real, I have found a way to constantly reflect on my current status and the fact that it is much more beneficial to allow you to guide my every move. I am grateful for my experiences with you, it has certainly kept me grounded, watchful and hopeful. I understand that I must always lift you up above all else and you would take care of my daily needs. Understanding your plan for my life and pursuing it daily amidst endless distractions is certainly a walk of discipline and endurance…but I really love keeping it real.

Are you living a life of pretense, trying to be who you are not, compromising on values and standards that have brought you success? Keeping it real, helps you to realise the things that really matters in this life; Family, positively impacting the lives of your colleagues at work and making a difference in your home, school, church and community, growing and becoming a better you and gaining a clearer understanding of who God is and why He considered your existence. You and I are just men, totally dependent on God’s grace. We better keep it real!!

I love to associate with “real people” who love keeping it real! 🙂

Should you be praying or Acting in Faith?

Time passes by very quickly, the birthdays, the graduations; oh how time flies. We all have the same amount of time at our disposal. However, some of us waste it terribly and regrettably so. Time wasted cannot be regained. I believe you have heard this saying before.

I wish to remind us to “Act”. Sometimes we have no reason to wait, to sit and to do nothing. All that is necessary now, is to take action. Remember we are given gifts and resources and it is not for us to be selfish with it but to impact the world positively. For the believer, it is for building the Church of God, the Kingdom of God.

It is wearying to see us labour in prayer, doubting God, looking for a sign from heaven, when all we need to do is take that first step, second step or that next step in faith, understanding that you are alive now and can only act while you are alive. Someone’s life is going to be better because of your willingness and discipline to ACT.

Work against your doubts, act against your fear, move against the ungodly tide, take responsibility for that gift you have been given and ACT.

Go speak to Dad and let him know you have forgiven him, go speak to your boss and share your interest in the new position, stop procrastinating on sharing Christ with that co-worker, stop putting off your quiet time with God and His Word, start that book, start working on that business idea, start working on that ministry……just ACT. Act now, before there is no more time left.

PURSUE PURPOSE!

Let’s work on our Writing Skills!

Let me start by admitting that I do not read enough.   However, I often read articles posted by other bloggers.  From time to time, I also read poems written by other writers, and pieces that may be shared with me personally, or posted on other blogs not owned by the writer.

To a lesser extent, from time to time I would read books.  Let me say that I am better at reading shorter articles, maybe 2 to 5 pages.   It is more of a challenge for me to read an entire book from front cover to back cover.

The point is, I read and lately, in the last year, or so, the content I am reading are from local writers.   One of my observations as I read, is that there are too many grammatical errors, too many displaced words and too many pieces that does not seem to have a central theme.   Mind you, I critique my work often.

So here are some practical tips for all of us, some have been shared with us before, by Presenters at our October 13th Event:

  1. Read often!  If you want to improve your quality of writing, it is not enough just to have something to say. or to be passionate about saying, it even if you believe it came directly from God.  It needs to be written properly and one way you can improve your writing quality is to read.   Read properly written articles.  Articles written by universities or well known producers like “Time Magazine”, “Forbes” and “Business Week”.   Read books produced by well established Christian Writers or organisations eg: Focus on the Family, T.D. Jakes, Joyce Myer and many more.   Read! Read! Read!  Read poems, read commentaries, read varied types of pieces.
  2. When you write, remember not to focus on getting your grammar write on the first draft, just write freely, capturing your thoughts as they flow.  After you have done that, leave it for a few minutes then go back and edit.  This process can be repeated as often as necessary but you may want to edit at least three times.  The larger your content, the more you should edit.  As a back up, to ensuring your editing is thorough, ask someone to edit your work as well.  In other words, invite feedback from others.
  3. Always keep your reading audience in mind and be sure to write to communicate.  Readers should not be confused after reading your article;  I see this many times in poetry.  Notwithstanding that some poems are designed to make you think and develop your vocabulary, it is important for you as the Writer to remember that you are not writing to yourself but to someone else who is not carrying your brain.   Your language needs to make sense.
  4. Do not use words if you are unsure of their meanings.  Study and understand the meanings first and once you are convinced that it is the right word to use within the context you are writing, go right ahead.
  5. When you are writing, seek to have a central theme.  For example if you are writing about “The Wind”,   focus on the wind, don’t stray and begin to speak about “The Snow”, unless each stanza is speaking about a different aspect of the Weather.  If you are writing a book about “Forgiveness”, try not to create confusion about your focus.   All your examples, illustrations and sub topics should connect to “Forgiveness”.
  6. Read articles that would help you to develop your writing.   Take advantage of the teachers in your family or in your circle or those who have a very good command on the English Language and ask  them questions.
  7. Finally,  spend lots of time with the one who gave you the gift, the ability and the desire.   Spend time with God, discover and rediscover who He is and who he wants you to be.   If you don’t, you would find your writing is shallow and ordinary and lacks spiritual foundation.   Even if you are writing a fictional piece, somewhere, somehow, your beliefs would seep through.  For a believer, every aspect of our lives should be governed and directed by God himself.

That’s all for now.   All we need is a few practical reminders to keep us focused.

Do you have a tip to share with us?   Please do in the comment box below.

Have a wonderful writing journey!!

Obedience to God is never in vain. Talking about our Writers!

On October 13th, 2018,  I was blessed to be able to successfully host, the first ever Christian Writers’ meet-up.   It was a vision given by the Holy Spirit Himself.  Sorry, I really have no apologies, but I can’t take the credit.   If you don’t believe the Holy Spirit can speak to people, then the rest of the article may not interest you.

I confirmed that it was the Holy Spirit when I saw the outcome of the Event and when I received feedback from those in attendance.  I met a number of persons for the first time at that Event and I immediately connected with them, wanting to get to know them better.   Following feedback received, through the evaluation forms circulated at the Event, I saw the need to organise a simple follow-up activity and that’s what I did.   On December 8th, we held a follow-up Social. 

Now, if you were one of the persons who sponsored the Event held on October 13th, you would be happy to know that it was not in vain.   As a result of your blessings, as a result of the support of each Writer who attended and as a result of the faithfulness of God, I can truly say, it was not in vain.

One writer told me that he has been writing for years, has written 13 books  and now he is seriously considering embracing online technology as he prepares to launch his 14th book.   Maybe, just maybe, he would start his first website.   

At our Social persons in attendance shared what God has used the Event to do and what he is currently doing in their lives.   One lady said, “before I would receive inspiration, have a lovely thought and never write it down, then I would loose it…..not anymore, I have been noting  those inspirational thoughts that come to mind”.    One young lady spoke about her fear to share her poems with others as she thought they were not good enough and told us how she finally found the courage to share them and received unexpected highly positive responses.  

What really stood out to me was the testimony of  another young lady; she indicated that she has been taking notes at church during the sermons.  Her Pastor recently presented a series of messages and as a result of faithful note-taking, she was able to summarise these messages and present it to the church as a “Spoken Word” or Poem.   This was certainly a new idea to us.  We loved the fact that she took the initiative to approach her pastor, requesting his permission to present it during the church service.  Because he said “yes”, persons were blessed and got the opportunity to see poetry in action at church and it was well received. 

As persons continued to share, I felt a warm sensation in my stomach and a comforting reassuring peace that this step of obedience, this drive and perseverance to walk this vision towards life, was not a coincidence but a well thought-out plan orchestrated by God himself.   

Too many times we live as if we are powerless, hopeless, totally ridden of resources and we can’t make things happen.   I think it is because our eyes are often on ourselves and not on God and others.   Life is supposed to be about pleasing God and others.

So, to my dear fellow writers, if you are enjoying some success as a writer, don’t let pride sneak into your heart.   Remember you are gifted with a purpose; please stay on course and honour God with your gift.   For you who are still struggling, trying to write something that others would read, keep practicing and for others who are prompted to start and are waiting for a golden pen to fall from heaven, stop waiting.   Take up the pencil and the pad available to you and start jotting down your daily thoughts.  Yes, you can start right there.

I am thankful to God for breathing hope and life into others through this recent movement to motivate Christian Writers to write, so that someone in their world can be reached.

I will be posting a related article later today, presenting useful tips for developing your writing.  Be on the look out!

 

 

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!!

 

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.