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Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div.

Visionary Strategist Faithful Innovator Inspirational Essayist

Salvation and Stilettos Blog


To Ignore or To Invest? That is the Question… #MyVisionFast

Posted on January 14, 2020 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (23)

My Vision Fast
January 13, 2020
To Ignore or To Invest? That is the Question… #MyVisionFast
This morning I reread the parable of The Good Samaritan as told by Jesus in response to the question, “And who is my neighbor?” [Luke 10:29ff]
Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.
 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.
’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
So, who is YOUR neighbor?  Of course, the “obvious” and oftentimes most forgettable answer is ‘EVERYONE.”  Friends, in truth, most of us limit our neighbor to the people who live in our neighborhood or those who are within our sphere of influence or to those who get us, understand us, think like us.  To put it more simply, those who like us.  Life would be just so much easier if we could limit our neighbor to the people who like us and celebrate us and want to be with us.  But since we are commanded to love our neighbor as we love ourselves with no specific restrictions articulated within this command to help us make exceptions of “certain” people, we must consider the magnitude of such love.
God is asking a whole lot of us.  God knows how those folks are and God knows how badly they treated us.  God knows we do not even speak the same language and we certainly are not in the same income bracket.  God knows our credentials do not match and our politics are in total conflict. God is asking, no, God is commanding a whole lot. 

I imagine that this is what the man who asked Jesus to clarify what is meant by the term “neighbor” had to be thinking.  I am sure that the social, political climate of that day would demand that there are some obvious neighbor restrictions.  Surely, Jesus knows this and will respond accordingly.  
Well, we just read how Jesus responds.  Your neighbor is everyone, especially the least of these – the hurt, the broken, the left out, the looked over, the walked around, the passed by…  AND you are a neighbor IF are moved with compassion and show mercy.
Friends, this can be a hard pill to swallow given the times we live in.  It seems like the good Lord would give us a break on seeing EVERYONE as a neighbor.  But then that would not be love.  Furthermore, God is not just telling us to SEE our neighbor, think about our neighbor or talk to our neighbor; but from Jesus parable, we are also being asked to invest in the wellbeing of our neighbor.  To love our neighbor means we cannot ignore ANY of our neighbors and out of compassion and mercy, we must invest in our neighbors.  Reread the passage if you need to but the Good Samaritan invested in the well being of his neighbor. 
Furthermore, given the tension between the Jews and Samaritans, Jesus use of a Samaritan as the “good” neighbor and not the priest or the Levite, was probably a mind-blowing concept for those who heard his response.  Think about a person whom you consider your social or political adversary showing you love in your time of need.  Many of us cannot even imagine ourselves as a “good” neighbor to this extent, much less a stranger or someone whom we would describe as our social and political adversary.  But can we try?
Can you try to imagine a world where we all thought of each other as neighbors AND we did what we could to invest in the well being of each other because we love our neighbors as we love ourselves?  Think about it.  This is the command of God.  It is not a suggestion.  Loving our neighbor is not a suggestion.
Lord, help us!
Lord, forgive us and help us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  Lord help us to not ignore our neighbors needs.  Lord, help us to have compassion and show mercy to our neighbors.  May we be willing to invest in the wellbeing of our neighbors… IN JESUS NAME, may it be so…
God LOVES You and I Do Too!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!


A Brief Thought on Prosperity… #MyVisionFast

Posted on January 11, 2020 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (4)

My Vision Fast
January 11, 2020
A Brief Thought on Prosperity… #MyVisionFast
For the last 20years, and probably for many more, the “Prosperity Gospel” message has been promoted and critiqued.  To be honest, there are valid points on both sides of the argument.  We cannot ignore that words such as prosperity, riches, wealth, increase, and the like are in the bible.  However, we also cannot ignore that the pursuit of financial prosperity alone as “the” sign that you are in right standing with the Lord is quite shallow.  Financial prosperity is not a sin and your financial prosperity is also not the goal of the Gospel.
It can be challenging to live in the tension of what we read and believe to be true in the Bible alongside the life we experience beyond its pages.  I think at some level, those who promote “Prosperity Gospel” really just do not want to miss out on any of the good things they believe the Lord has for them in this life.  On the other hand, those who critique “Prosperity Gospel” really just do not want anyone to miss out on the transformative power of the Gospel to change the hearts and minds of people for the good of the whole world and not just your individual bank account.
I wonder if there is some common ground that honors the words and the principles that govern the words related to prosperity in the text.
I was thinking about these things as I was reading Deuteronomy 6.  There is clearly a promise of prosperity AND preservation IF the people are obedient and reverence the Lord [Deuteronomy 6:24].  This chapter connects prosperity to obedience and perhaps that is the missing link in our modern-day conversations.  Furthermore, I might add that prosperity today is so much more than financial abundance.  I am suggesting that prosperity for all people is the holistic redemption by the grace of God as evidenced through love and justice.  In other words, to think that prosperity is solely about money is narrow minded and to think that prosperity is completely unrelated to the Gospel – or the command in context of Deuteronomy 6 – is choosing to be blind to the fullness of all that God dreams for this world.
Now, I do not plan to do a full exposition on prosperity in the Bible in this post.  I do want to say this: we need to not be afraid to wrestle within this tension. I believe that our Crestor wants all of us to prosper.  I also believe that our Creator desires for all of us to be obedient.  AND I believe that our prosperity is holistic. This is the tension.  We cannot fully experience the prosperity of all that God has to offer to us in this life if we are not also obedient to the ultimate command to LOVE God with all of our heart, our soul, and our strength [Deuteronomy 6:5] AND LOVE our neighbors as we love ourselves.
So, friends, in what ways do you need to better LOVE God and LOVE your neighbor in order to more fully embrace the prosperity that God has for your life?  How will your obedience to the command of the Lord transform your perspective on prosperity and how will you use your prosperity to transform the world beyond your financial contribution to it/others?
Friends, Go, and Be Obedient AND Prosperous in the name of LOVE…
God LOVES You and I Do Too!
Blessings, Glory and Sunshine!

Get Ready. Get Set. Now Wait. #MyVisionFast

Posted on January 10, 2020 at 7:00 AM Comments comments (5)

My Vision Fast
January 10, 2020
Get Ready. Get Set.  Now Wait.
Friends, one of the last things we want to do when we need an answer from the Lord is WAIT.  I mean, let’s keep it real.  Doesn’t the Lord already know all things?  So, why can’t the Lord just go ahead and reveal all those things to us?  It seems that it would make sense for the Lord to not keep us waiting since he loves us and cares about us and all of that.  Yet, in spite of all of that love, the Lord will make us wait.
Some of us have been waiting for a while and some of us just started waiting for whatever our prayer requests involved.  Some of us are tired of waiting and some of us are not yet tired.  Some of us have preoccupied ourselves during the waiting time with activities and relationships that in the back of our minds, we know are going nowhere but we need “something” to do while we wait.  Some of us have secluded ourselves so as not to get overly distracted by the options that seem to present themselves as credible solutions to our prayer concerns. 
Friends, this waiting period is something else.  Honestly, if you are not waiting on one thing, you are most likely waiting on something else.  You might not be waiting for the new baby to arrive but you still waiting on that promotion.  You might not be waiting for him to propose but you still waiting for that check to clear.  You might not be waiting for a response to your email but you are still waiting for your neighbor to get their act together.  Friends, people talk about the storms and how if you are not in one, you are on your way to one or walking through one or you just got out of one.  But what about this waiting period? Perhaps you are waiting right now and if you are not already waiting, you just got through waiting or you are about to start waiting.
I think we are always waiting. Always. Waiting. I think we are always waiting for Something or Someone or Some way or Somehow. Waiting.  And honestly, we need to just prepare ourselves, every time we pray, for the waiting period.  It is not like we do not know that waiting is not part of life’s journey.  But yet we still get frustrated by the reality we already know is inevitable – waiting.
When we read the response of the Lord to Habakkuk about vision, I cannot help but to consider the time that Habakkuk watched for and waited for the Lord’s response.  We jump to the writing of the vision in this passage, but Habakkuk had to wait way before he wrote.  Perhaps that is the reminder that we need today.  You have got to wait for the word of the Lord to come into your life and wait for the word of the Lord to manifest in your life.  Even after Habakkuk was told to write the vision, he was told that the vision was for an appointed time, it would not tarry, and to WAIT for it.  That whole word from the Lord feels like such a major contradiction.  Habakkuk not only had to wait for the vision, Habakkuk had to also then wait with a vision.
For the vision is yet for THE appointed time, it testifies about the end and will not lie; though it delays, wait for it, since it will certainly come and not be late. [Habakkuk 2:3]
Friends, we have got to wait.  We have got to pray and then position ourselves to watch and wait for the word from the Lord.  Then, when we receive that word, we have got to write it down and wait again. So, get ready. Get set. Now wait.
Wait for it.
Wait for it some more.
And wait some more for it.
And at THE appointed time, it will surely come to pass…
God LOVES You and I Do Too!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!


Objection, Your Honor! #MyVisionFast

Posted on January 9, 2020 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (2)

My Vision Fast
January 9, 2020
Objection, Your Honor!
Friends, if you have ever watched any type of courtroom drama on the television in your den or on the big screen at your local movie theatre, you have undoubtedly heard this phrase, “Objection, Your Honor!” These words are uttered during the course of a trial when one attorney hears or observes something that is not in accordance with the laws pertaining to the case or the rules governing the procedures of the process.  The attorney will then explain why his or her objection is necessary and the judge will rule whether the objection is sustained or overruled.  Either way, the objection is an obvious rejection of what the attorney has seen or heard that would be disadvantageous to their client.
Have you ever had to raise an objection in your life?  Maybe something was happening or a conversation was in progress or you simply had a feeling that something was not right and before you could go on, you raised your own objection.  We raise objections in so many different ways. We raise objections by not calling people back.  We raise objections when we choose not to show up.  We raise objections by acting contrary to the directives given to us.  We raise objections in so many ways and for so many different reasons.  We raise objections because something is just not right or because we do not agree or because we simply do not want to do or say something for whatever reason in the moment. We raise objections and I am pretty sure that most of us have experienced the impact of another’s objections raised because of something we said or did.
We raise objections to our friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, parents, children, spouses, significant others, partners, mechanics, doctors, local politicians, teachers, and the list could go on and on.  Sometimes our objections are sustained.  Sometimes our objections are overruled.    Either way, we have all raised objections to the people in our lives and perhaps even to God.
Yes!  I dare to say that YOU have even lifted an objection or two to the Creator.  
Objection, Your Honor!  I do not think I am equipped for that!
Objection, Your Honor!  I am not prepared for this!
Objection, Your Honor! I do not think it is the right time to start that!
Objection, Your honor!  I will not be well received if I do this!
Friends, you are not alone.  For even in the bible, there was a prophet who spoke an objection to God’s prophetic word over his life.  His name was Jeremiah. [Jeremiah 1:4-8]
The Prophetic Word -
“The word of the Lord came to me: I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born;  I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
The Objection –
“But I protested, “Oh NO, Lord God! Look, I don’t know how to speak since I am only a youth.”
The Objection Overruled –
Then the Lord said to me: Do not say, “I am only a youth,” for YOU WILL GO to everyone I send you to and SPEAK whatever I tell you to.”
This flow of conversation might feel somewhat familiar.  The Lord gives you an instruction, a prophetic word, a directive, a command AND then you offer an objection [i.e. an excuse] as to why what the Lord says will not work or does not make sense.  Then, out of the abundance of God’s grace, God will overrule your objection and directly address the FEAR that is usually the ultimate reason you have presented objections in the first place.
The Affirmation –
“Do not be afraid of anyone for I will be with you to deliver you.”
THIS is the Lord’s declaration.
Friends, I want to tell you today that every objection that you have raised as an excuse to NOT pursue your dreams, to NOT live your best life, to NOT answer God’s call to ministry, to NOT speak up for yourself or others when necessary… EVERY objection is overruled!!!  You do not have to be afraid.  None of your excuses are good enough because just as the Lord was with Jeremiah so shall the Lord be with YOU.  THIS is the Lord’s declaration and it is so.
Do not live your life rejecting the prophetic word of the Lord over your life.  Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean NOT unto your own understanding [Proverbs 3:5].  Do NOT be afraid! Every objection that YOU [and others for that matter] have to God’s vision/purpose/assignment for your life is overruled!  So, what’s next?
God Loves You and I Do Too!
Blessings, Glory and Sunshine!
Join the My Vision Fast – a 21 day fast to seek and to see God’s vision for your life –


The World is Starving! #MyVisionFast

Posted on January 8, 2020 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (6)

My Vision Fast
January 8, 2020
The World is Starving!
Friends, at the time of my writing this reflection, war is imminent, racism is real, gender discrimination is still a thing, orphans outnumber the caretakers necessary for every child to grow up in a loving home, and the preschool to prison pipeline has not been completely dissolved.  There is so much going on in the world… so much hatred and pain, loneliness and abandonment, violence and hopelessness.  What in the world are we to do?  Where are we to go?  How do we keep on keeping on?
As a child, I learned the words to this song:
Jesus is the answer
For the world today
Above Him there is no other
Jesus is the way
And as much as I do believe that Jesus is the answer, I do not want to over simplify the complexities of the issues we are facing and our responsibility in addressing them.  Meaning, our belief in Jesus as the Savior of the world, and model for revolutionary love that transforms the hearts and minds of people is only part of answer.  The other part is our choice of whether or not we will yield to the impression of His counterpart that desires to lead, guide, and direct our path -The Holy Spirit.
“Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit.” [Galatians 5:25]
It is our belief in Jesus AND our living by the Spirit that will make the difference.
Unfortunately, the world is starving for people who will embody the fruit of the Holy Spirit that this world so desperately needs.  And while the adversary is an undeniably guilty culprit in the evil and destruction of our society, I cannot help but to think that the believers of Jesus have also been slack in their following of Jesus who also was led by the Spirit and promised that the Holy Spirit would lead us in His physical absence.  In other words, we who believe in Jesus also have the fruit that the world needs but when we refuse to follow the Spirit, we contribute to the starvation of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control in this world.  The scripture says that “Against such things, there is NO law..” NO limit… NO restriction…
Friends, I am suggesting that the world is starving and downright HANGRY [irritable or angry because of hunger] for the fruit that only followers of the Spirit can provide.  We are gifted with the endless possibility of providing the fruit of the Spirit to the world and when we do not bear THIS kind of fruit in abundance, well, the world starves.  And we all know what happens when it has been too long since our last meal, we get aggravated, frustrated, impatient, a little short… some of us get sick… some of us cannot think straight… some of us get attitudes that make us not so easy to be around.  Can you imagine a world with a visible abundance of the fruit of the Holy Spirit that feeds this HANGRY world?  Think about that for a second…
Friends, the world is starving for YOU to live by the Spirit and follow the Spirit so that YOU can bear the fruit of the Spirit that the world is so desperately craving.  We need you to feed the world with the unlimited supply of the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control that comes through you as you follow the Spirit.
Friends, let us feed the world! 
God LOVES You and I Do Too!

Join the My Vision Fast – a 21 day fast to seek and to see God’s vision for YOUR life –   

Gongs and Cymbals, Oh My! #MyVisionFast

Posted on January 7, 2020 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (4)

My Vision Fast
January 7, 2020
Gongs and Cymbals, Oh My!
Have you ever heard the orchestrated and measured sounds of gongs and cymbals in a symphony?  Now, have you ever heard the unscripted sounds of random gongs and cymbals – kind of like the sound of a toddler beating on his or her mother’s pots and pans? Would you agree that each evokes a different kind of memory, a different kind of feeling, a different kind of sound?
On the one hand, the accent of the gongs and cymbals in a symphony are at least tolerable and enhance the movement of a particular phrase in the piece being performed.  On the other hand, the toddler’s beating on make believe percussion instruments is annoying and definitely far from any organized musical rendition.
And while we might give room for the latter, at some point, we are going to ask that toddler to be still and give the noise a rest!
Isn’t that the same way you filter through the gongs and cymbals that is the noise of life?  There is so much noise around us.  The kind of noise that is not kind, not compassionate, not thoughtful, not loving.  So, when the author writes these words to open the chapter often referred to as , The Love Chapter, I cannot help but to recall the posts, the tweets, the sermons, the “testimonies,” the conversations that were nothing but noise.  Gongs and Cymbals, Oh My!
If I speak human or angelic languages but do not have love. I am a sounding gong or a clashing cymbal. [1 Corinthians 13:1]
Is that you?  Don’t answer too quickly.  I really want you to think about your most recent communications and ask yourself – Am I gong or a cymbal?  Am I just making noise?
This might be a hard question for some of us to answer given our desire to use our “Freedom of Speech” to say whatever we want to say about anything and anyone at anytime and in any place.  And while there is nothing wrong with sharing, this scripture warns us about the consequences of sharing our words without love.
When we speak or do anything for that matter without love, we are nothing, we gain nothing, and we sound like a toddler beating pots and pans.
Friends, I think one of the primary reasons that the writer emphasizes how important it is for our words to be seasoned with love is this:
For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face.  Now I know IN PART but then I will know fully as I am fully known. [1 Corinthians 13:12]
In other words, YOU do NOT know everything.  And YOU do NOT know everything about what you think you know.  And YOU do NOT know everything about love. You only know what you know IN PART.
So, at the most basic level, we must strive to live and speak in love because we do NOT know everything about anything.  Life is full of mystery even about the things we think we know and when we speak words of hate and discord, we only perpetuate the noise that the enemy uses as a weapon to kill, steal, and destroy us, That is not love.
We must speak in love and leave all of our gong and cymbal pontifications at the altar.  So, friends, think before you speak.  Think love before you speak.  And avoid being a gong and a cymbal in the already noisy lives we must filter through everyday.  Don’t be that person.  Think love. Show love.  Speak love.
God LOVES You and I Do Too!

Join the 2020 Annual My Vision Fast – 21 day fast to seek and to see God’s vision for your life.  www,


Posted on January 6, 2020 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (4)

My Vision Fast Blog
January 6, 2020 #MyVisionFast
This is a Public Service Announcement to remind you that YOU are necessary.  YOU. ARE. NECESSARY.  Please feel free to reread those three words as much as you need to so that they sink in, deeply.  

In the hustle and bustle of life, I can only imagine how transactional life can seem.  We run from here to there trying to make ends meet or trying to make a difference or just trying to make it.  And in all of that running, I want you to KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that YOU. ARE. NECESSARY.  I do not know if all that running you doing is, but YOU are. 
This is what I believe the author of 1 Corinthians 12 is trying to convey to the ancient recipients and what we can glean today.  Everyone has a part in the body of Christ and we need all parts to work together for the benefit and blessing of the whole. 
I have read this chapter many times along my journey and one of the verses that struck me today as I read it was 1 Corinthians 12:7:
A demonstration of the Spirit is given to EACH person to produce what is beneficial.
Before he outlines the gifts and ministries in this chapter, he offers this overarching statement to remind us that EVERY ONE of us is necessary.  There is no need to compete. There is no need to deny your gifts or the gifts of others.  There is no need to disparage any gifts or ministries.  We ALL have something to contribute to the whole body.  We all are beneficial to the whole body.  We all benefit from the whole body.  God made sure of that.
This connection is beautiful and beneficial and YOU are welcome.
You do not have to wonder IF you belong, You do.
You do not have to wonder IF you matter.  You do.
You do not have to wonder IF you are gifted.  You are.
A demonstration of the Spirit is given to EACH person to produce what is beneficial.
Friends, YOU are necessary.  So, live your life for the benefit of your brothers and sisters in Christ and hopefully, we will do the same for you.  And working together, I pray that we experience the production of what is beneficial to the body as a witness to the world.
God LOVES You and I Do Too!!!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!

Participate in the Ninth Annual My Vision Fast – January 6-26 –


Posted on January 22, 2018 at 8:34 AM Comments comments (12)
Sunday, January 21, 2018

I was determined to see the sunrise.
I researched the exact time – 6:53am.
I knew where I wanted to be – Point Udall.
I confirmed that the sun rises in the East – Thanks Google.
I set my alarm and reviewed the directions in WAZE.

I got up.  I used the bathroom.  I picked out my clothes.  I showered.  I got dressed.  I packed my backpack, grabbed my purse, my phone, and my jean jacket.  I headed out the door.

It was still dark outside.  I felt safe and I felt grateful.  I felt like a nerd.  I mean – Who gets up to drive 30 minutes to see the sunrise from one particular spot?

It felt like the longest 11 miles I had ever driven.  The road was curvy and bumpy and it narrowed as I got closer.
As I was driving, I was thinking, I cannot miss this.  I cannot miss this sacred moment.  I cannot miss this moment.

I saw the sky brighten.  I wanted to tell the sun, don’t you come up without me.

I checked the time.  It’s not 6:53am yet.
OK.  I still had time.  GPS said I would get there by 6:51am.
OK.  That’s 2 minutes to get parked, get out of my car, and get in place to witness this miracle.

It was the moment I believed I would “see” the heavens declare the Glory of God and the skies proclaim the work of God’s hands. [Psalm 19:1] 
And I did not want to miss it.
I did not want to miss seeing God’s glory in the light of the sun.
I did not want to miss the precise moment when the light of the sun would breakthrough and brightly whisper, Good Morning, Delesslyn.

I imagined that it would be beautiful.

I made it to Point Udall safely.
I parked.  I grabbed my phone,  I got out the car and locked the door.  I took a few pictures and I waited.  It was only 6:47am.  I was early.

I found the perfect spot and stood on the monument of the most eastern point of the United States and I waited.

I held up my camera.  I decided to video so I could watch the transition in the sky at some point in the future. And I waited.  It was 6:50am.

I thought about going LIVE via Facebook –but there was no service at this place on the island.  Besides, maybe this was not a moment to share.  After all, I wanted to see the sun say – Good Morning, Delesslyn.
I waited.

The video was already set to record but I knew my camera would be inadequate to capture the glory I expected to see with my own eyes.

And slowly the light that outlined the clouds that hung above the water got brighter. 
It was happening.
It was absolutely beautiful and it was so peaceful.
And even though I was not alone, it was like all of us gathered in this sanctuary reverenced this Holy moment.  It was like all of us knew that the Lord was in His Holy Temple, let ALL the earth keep silent before Him.
The waves of the ocean praised. The crickets sang a joyful melody. The butterflies danced.  And the grass swayed.  But we were all still.  And for that one moment, we were all on one accord.

Thank You Lord for waking me up this morning has a new meaning!
Thank You Lord that I did not miss this moment.
Thank You Lord for giving me the desires of my heart.
Thank You Lord for the sun and the beauty of her light.

May I never ever lose my passion to chase after your light.
May I never ever lose my passion to create space for your glory to breakthrough.
May I never ever forget the power of your light.
May I never ever allow anyone or anything to diminish Your Light shining in and through me.
Lord, Shine On Me!
Everyone is gone now.
And I hear you say – Good Morning, Delesslyn….
This is love...

Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!


Posted on January 9, 2018 at 10:04 AM Comments comments (4)

There are a few scriptures that have become staples for the My Vision Fast and Genesis 1:1 is one of them.  In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth.  When we are asking ourselves how we SEE God, I never want us to dismiss how GRAND and MAGNIFICENT and AWE-INSPIRNG our God is.  God did that.  God created the heavens and the earth and whether you believe it was in a matter of days or over millions of years, the larger point is that GOD DID IT.  Period. 

This year, I was led to add the first version of the human creation story at the end of Genesis 1 (Genesis 1:26-31).  The verses remind and inform us that humanity, all of humanity was created in the image of God and all of humanity, God declared was good.  I am good.  You are good.  We are good.  And as we begin the My Vision Fast, I think that VISIONARIES need to be encouraged by God's declaration over their lives.  YOU ARE GOOD because God said You are Good. 

Now that does not mean we have not all tainted our goodness by the choices we have made and the consequences we have endured.  For we have all sinned and we come short of the glory of God.  However, it is important to know that at the moment God imagined you, formed you in your mother's womb, and you breathed your first breath, God believed, declared, and fully intended you to know that YOU are GOOD. 

Sometimes, when we get off track or we feel lost or we are doubting ourselves, just look at yourself in the mirror and say I AM GOOD.  Say it.  I AM GOOD.  I. AM. GOOD. And if you struggle with this declaration over your own life, dig deep and ask yourself WHY?  Why do I not believe this enough to declare it over my own life?  God already has.  And I believe God will continue to believe that we are all GOOD even when we do not reflect the very best of God's image.  In those moments, God's love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness can be overwhelming so much so that when we do receive it, God's goodness is confirmed and our goodness is restored. 

Friends, YOU ARE GOOD.  And God's mind has not changed, dare I say, God's mind will never change about that...
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!


#MyVisionFast: Check Your Steps, Your Stance, and Your Seat!

Posted on January 24, 2017 at 12:13 PM Comments comments (0)

I know that we tend to dream about a lot of different things as we enter a brand new year.  And though we are nearing the end of January, I do not want to let this month go without raising a very critical consideration for us all.  Namely, the company we keep.

Your success is influenced by the people you choose to have in your circle.  There is some truth to the old age words of wisdom: Birds of a feather, flock together.

I remember being warned about certain peers while growing up and I did not always understand why my parents felt that a warning or an all out prohibition was necessary, but looking back, I am grateful.  I have learned so much throughout my life - and continue to learn - about how important it is to be intentional about the company that you keep.  It is true that everyone is NOT on your side and everyone does NOT have your best interest in mind.  This might be hard to read but everyone does not genuinely care about your overall well-being and whether or not your dreams come true.  It might hurt to acknowledge this reality but it will be an invaluable gift if you discern this as quickly as possible; or, at least, make the shift you need to make as soon as you can when someone with whom you have been in relationship true colors reveal that their connection is not to your advantage.

Actually, Psalm 1 is a good place to start to think about the people you are in step with, those you are standing with, and those with whom you feel comfortable enough to sit.  Let me interject that I know that we ALL will be in communication with people who may never be our best friends for the sake of a project or event or advice on a particular subject matter.  I get that.  I am more so asking all of us to reflect on those inner circle kinds of relationships, your ride or die friends, your besties, your favorites in your phone [Oops!  As soon as I typed that "favorites in your phone" I immediately thought of a few folks that need to be taken out of that category in my own seasons change but I digress...]  So, let's jump to Psalm 1 and as you read these few verses, think about the company you keep...

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

And there we have it!  I know it might sound extreme only because who actually wants to identify the people you have walked with as wicked or the people who have stood with you as sinners or your company as mockers.  These are not the terms of endearment that we want to use; especially since on some level, if we are honest, our comfort level of hanging out with them in some way is a reflection upon who we are.  And I totally do not want to go down the road of calling anyone evil, sinful, or mocking.  Psalm 1 handled that so I will move on. 

Nevertheless, this entire blog is all about being mindful and intentional about the company you keep.  It is about being honest about who you call your "close" friends and the mutual value that you add to each other's lives.  For at the end of the day, I hope that those who are closest to you delight in the Lord, meditate on the Lord, that they are planted and fruitful, and that they have a desire to see you prosper.

So, check in!  Check in with yourself first and ask yourself who are you in step with and who are you standing with and with whom are you seated?  Be honest in your evaluation of those relationships.  Pause.  Pray.  Then, as necessary, have whatever conversations you need to have to enhance or to dismiss.  You might find it to be hard.  You might find that you have felt the need to shift for a long time.  Either way, a periodical check in is in order.

And one final note... in your checking in, do not forget to look in the mirror to make sure that YOU are not the one who is a hindrance to the prosperity of those with whom you step, stand, or sit...

God Loves You and I Do Too!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!