Monday Motivation: The Value of a Friend

Proverbs 18:24 (NLT)

  There are “friends” who destroy each other,
    but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 20:6 (NLT)

Many will say they are loyal friends,
    but who can find one who is truly reliable?

Last week I traveled to beautiful San Diego for a girls trip with my friend Tiffani.  We have been amigas for going on 26 years, and wanted to celebrate!  We met when we were 7, and while those details are fuzzy to me, she can recall that day verbatim. While I may not remember exactly how it all started, one thing I know for sure is that I am thankful to have her in my life!  It hasn’t always been smooth sailing, and we have some major differences, but through thick and thin we have been there for each other.

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Tiff and I showing off the end result of our ‘paint and palate’ class.

 As time goes on I have a deeper appreciation for  the value of a true friend.  Friendships, like all relationships, are fragile and need to be tended to.  As growth and maturity occur, it becomes more about the quality, not the quantity, and I’m incredibly fortunate to have a solid group of women I can count on.  Some have entered my life more recently, and there are those I can share elementary and middle school memories with.  I appreciate these ladies at whatever point our paths crossed, because, like us all, I’ve experienced the deep hurt, disappointment and betrayal that may come when a friendship ends.  It’s not always easy, but I know that with my Father’s guidance and wisdom there is always a lesson to be learned.  With the fragility of life and relationships, I don’t take the special bond I have with these individuals for granted!

This trip was a refreshing reminder of the wonderful things that can come from being willing to make a connection with someone, and making the decision to put forth the effort in maintaining  that connection.  As much as I value what my friends contribute to my life, I must continue to seek the Lord in discovering ways I can be a better friend to them as well.  Being loyal, trustworthy, and dependable is a wonderful way to reflect God’s love, and to have that reciprocated by those you surround yourself with is a blessing!!

Tiff and I during our whale-watching trip!

Tiff and I during our whale-watching trip!

 

I’d love to hear from you.  

What do you value most about your friends?

 

 

BLESSINGS TO YOU ALL,  AND THANK YOU FOR BEING MY FRIEND!! :)

 

 

 

 

 

Music Monday: I Am Forgiven

I made mistakes.

I messed up.

I bumped my head.

I blew it.

I fell short.

I repented, but can God truly forgive me??!!

Yes, yes, and YES!   I AM FORGIVEN!    

 Romans 3:23-24 (NKJV)

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus

 

1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Psalm 103: 8-12 (NKJV)

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)

22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness

 

 

BE BLESSED IN GOD’S LOVE!

Music Monday – Joyful, Joyful

 

Psalm 148 (NKJV)

Praise to the Lord from Creation

148 Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all you stars of light!
Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
And you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For He commanded and they were created.
He also established them forever and ever;
He made a decree which shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
You great sea creatures and all the depths;
Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
Mountains and all hills;
Fruitful trees and all cedars;
10 Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and flying fowl;
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
12 Both young men and maidens;
Old men and children.

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above the earth and heaven.
14 And He has exalted the horn of His people,
The praise of all His saints—
Of the children of Israel,
A people near to Him.

Praise the Lord!

My daughter and I have been dancing and singing along with this song all weekend.  

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, and praise His Holy Name! It will definitely make you smile!!! :) (click on ‘Watch on YouTube’ to watch this video in its entirety)

BE BLESSED!!!

Monday Motivation: Your Life Matters!

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 Pastor George C. Clausell and I.

This past weekend I traveled to Alabama to attend the 80th birthday celebration of my former pastor.  It was a quick trip, but one I was determined to make.

I was a student at Tuskegee University when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and the ministry he’s been called to shepherd, Greater New Life Church International, became my first church home.  It was there that I received an irreplaceable foundation in godly (Bible-based) knowledge and spiritual wisdom, forged life-long friendships with some incredible people, and became a part of a family that will always hold a special place in my heart.

Held at the Embassy Suites in Montgomery, the night was one to remember.  The 200 or so attendees were all dressed to the nines, the food was delectable, the entertainment was splendid, and the various presentations and tributes were awe-inspiring.  There were numerous highlights, but in all honesty nothing could begin to compare to simply being in a place full of people who so loved this man.  

As I surveyed the room, I saw men and women from numerous walks of life who traveled from all over the country (and even Nigeria!!) to show their appreciation for Pastor Clausell.  It was an incredible blessing to see him being honored in such a way, and it made me realize that it was much, much more than his accolades and achievements that brought so many people together.  It wasn’t about titles or specific accomplishments.  He could very well boast of the many things he’s done in his 80 years, but it’s his humility, integrity, and the example that he is as a man of Christ that brought us all there that night.  Not a perfect man, but one who, without a doubt, honors God first and desires to leave that as his legacy for his family.

I’m confident that Pastor Clausell has at least 20 more years in him, :) but regardless of the time we all have, let’s do the Lord justice and use it wisely!  Let us seek after God and shine our lights brightly in this darkened world.  Let us take the small and large opportunities to represent our Heavenly Father, and remember that with or without our “party” one day, our lives will always be significant when we glorify Christ.  In Him, our lives alway matter!!  

Matthew 5:16 (AMP)

Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.

BE BLESSED DEAR FRIENDS.  BE BLESSED!