Love God Greatly: What’s Your Story

So I have been using this app called Love God Greatly for about 2 months now and it really has some impactful devotionals. One of those devotions includes a 6 week study of  what it means to be “SOLD OUT” for Christ. 

As I’ve read through the readings the last few weeks, I’ve definitely been challenged in more than one area of my walk with God. The recent reading they shared really struck  me and it gave this great picture of the kind of servant heart we should have in walking with the Lord. It was a great way to sum up the study, that after all is said and done, this is the example that Christ left for us to follow:

LGG After reading this, I really did have to challenge myself and ask: What story am I leaving behind through my walk with Christ? Is my story going to be one of true impact of me living the Word out, or will it be one where I’ve allowed my own selfish desires to consume my way of life.

I pray to God, my story isn’t the latter. But at the same time, no one said writing the story would be easy either.  I’ve come to realize how your story is written, is based on the choices you make daily and if those choices are made to honor God, or your own desires.

I once read in a book called The Best Yes ” show me a choice and I’ll show you a direction.”

So I am challenged today to ask myself, is my story a true reflection of Christ working fully in my life. If I had to answer today, I honestly have to say no. Although I’ve come a long way in the last 2 years with my walk with God, there are still some things such as anger, bitterness, trust issues and un-forgiveness that hinder me from being a true reflection of God’s light.

But the good thing is Romans 5:8 is still true and it means that I also have grace everyday to try and try again to make sure my life is pleasing to the Lord.

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Click here to visit Love God Greatly and view more of their amazing Bible Studies and devotional tools! I highly recommend this sight for young women looking to stay connected and grow in their faith.

 

Washed

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1 Corinthians6: 11 “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

I know I haven’t written anything in months, and if I ever had an inconsistent year, it’s been 2017. Needless to say I’ve been going through a lot lately, and not necessarily bad things on the scale of what I have gone through before, but I’m really getting into the nitty gritty part of my sanctification with God.

I went through things before to help build my faith and cleanse me of some things before in my life, but this part of my journey has been much different. I’m in a spot where I truly am feeling the weight of my choices and where they could lead me.

Lately it seems I’ve been having all kinds of dreams about water and constantly being told not to be fearful ( even though I thought I left fear in 2016). And as I keep having dreams and talking with people around me, I just keep having this urge to be washed by the Word.

I know I need a good Holy Ghost cry at the altar to let it all out. I’ve been dealing with some heavy emotional things in my life and recently it seems like when I try to cry, I either stop myself or don’t cry at all. But I know I need to let it all out because healing can come through tears.

I am at a place where I don’t even have words to describe all the emotions I’ve been keeping inside. And I don’t think I need words with God, because he knows. I believe he just wants me to surrender and wash in his word to get healed and filled with him all over again.

So, moving forward that is my plan. I plan on getting back into reading my word and being intentional about it and spending enough time in it for it to get into my heart to produce true change in my life.

I know I haven’t been perfect and I’m not claiming that by any means, but I hope you also are encouraged to allow God to use his Word to help wash you of some heavy things in your life. I know one of the things I want to start doing is a study on scriptures that reference water and the Holy Spirit and being washed in his Word.

The more I think about water in the Bible, the more I realize how beautiful, amazing and scary that  metaphor can be when dealing with God and the Holy Spirit. There’s a lot to be said.

I pray that you are encouraged and maybe even join me in your own study of scriptures about being washed in the word and water references in the Bible. I think this will be a blessing as I allow the Lord to continue to dig deep.

Checkmate

CHECKMATE

I know I haven’t written anything in a while, because the last few months have been quite a journey. Today I had to go back to an old message that helped keep me during my walk with Christ a few years ago. Although this message is from 2015, it has remained a favorite message of mine that I always go back to.

It’s called “Checkmate” and it was preached at Celebrations’s SUB30 back in October 2015 by Pastor Clay.

When I initially heard this message, I was in a place where I had been in a constant five year cycle with men and relationships and I was constantly wanting to be free. Free from the cycle, free from fear, free from my past, free from everything that kept holding me back from really running after God at the time. And I remember hearing this message and envisioning myself free even though I didn’t “feel” free , or even though true freedom didn’t even happen until months later.

I always consider this message to be the catapult of me believing I could be free and that I wasn’t just trapped with no way out. And I remember writing in my notes that this message was of things to come. And ever since this message was preached, I find myself several times in a year going back to the notes I took, or even listening to it all over again on VIEMO.

I’ve included the message in this post and I pray that it blesses you as much as it blessed me 2 years ago. The message is still relevant for where I am and for where I’m going, and I pray it encourages you as well.

10/04/15 – SUB30 – Pastor Clay Baird – Checkmate from Celebration Church on Vimeo.

Starting with a bang!!!

Even though we are only a few days into the new year, already God has blessed me to start with much excitement.

On January 7th, I had the honor to be a part of an amazing stage play called “The Final Decision.” Written & directed by my church member & friend, James Webb.

The play was originally performed in 2014 for our church. This time around things were taken to another level. Not only was I in the play, but I was part of the production team as Marketing Manager. Also, the play was held at FSCJ Kent Campus where we sold out the entire show!!

What a blessing?! The show went well & we received such great feedback. I was just honored to be a part of the vision. I pray much more success in 2017 for Tangled Webb Productions!

Also today I started my new job as Communications Specialists with Elder Source. After 3 years with The Arc Jacksonville & job hunting for almost 2 years..this new job was long overdue. I am very grateful for God opening this door to new beginnings.

I look forward to more great things in 2017. Last year was awesome & I expect God to be just as great this year in my journey. Here’s to startig with a bang!!!

 

 

Small steps..BIG Faith

So, finally after deliberating for months..I’ve decided to take on my mugs and potentially create a business. This is something I wondered about for months, and just was never really sure if I was ready.

I  started doing my mugs as a fundraiser for my missions trip in July. The mugs did really well and I kept getting request to continue afterwards. A lot of people were saying I should go into business and that I was really good at what I did. If you had asked me a year ago if this was going to be a “thing” in my life…I would’ve laughed and said NO!

Anywho, all year long I’ve been enjoying creating the mugs for orders here and there. But now I’ve sifted through everything and I’m ready to take a step of faith and see what could happen if I went full force. I know that one of my goals has always been to run and manage my own business, but I would’ve never guessed this would be my route per say.

But, I figure start small and see what happens. Trust God as I go. So I kind of started marketing midway in November. I’ve created a Facebook and Instagram page for now, but in 2017 I am looking to do a lot more. And also, not just sticking to only mugs, but to expand to other simple home decor items.

It’s kind of scary, but also kind of exciting. I guess I’ll never know until I try and even if I fail, there’s always a lesson to be learned. I’ve been on the path before trying to start a business..in 2011 I wanted to start my own entertainment marketing company, but God was like no. =/ So…here I am..way more mature and way more spiritually minded about my path in life.

Please keep me in your prayers. Be sure to stay tuned and support! I’ve created a special tab on the page for Ignited Soul Expressions and 2017 should be very interesting.

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Visit the Facebook and Instagram pages for more details, information, prices and designs of all the product featured.

Questions, inquires: ignitedsoulexpressions@gmail.com

A Season of P.U.S.H.

It seems like 2016 started off really strong and really awesome for me. But then around September I hit a huge lag. Lately, it just seems like the fight to push beyond my feelings and circumstances has been harder and harder.

I know life is not meant to be perfect and trials and tribulations will come, but this season I’m in right now, it feels tight. But what I do thank God for during this season is that it hit me when I was mature enough to really stand firm without going backward in my faith.

What I mean by that is, if things had been this tight last year, I’m not sure if I would’ve held on to God like I’m holding on now. It would’ve been a lot easier to slip back into old habits to cope with all the stress I’ve been faced with lately.

Not to say that in the last few months or so I haven’t had my downfall moments, but I haven’t gone as far down as before where I haven’t had enough God in me to push and get back up again. I mean literally, I’ve cried so much in the last few months and I’ve felt frustrated, I’ve felt stuck, overwhelmed, tired and despite all of that; after the tears are gone and I breathe, I get up and say, but God you are my strength. My tears are not in vain and this will all work out for my good in the end. You know which way to lead me and you won’t give me more than I can bear.

It’s been a constant back and forth of having to remind myself of who God is. It gets tough sometimes because when I look at what’s around me, or my circumstance, it’s hard not to be discouraged. But faith comes by hearing and not by sight.

So recently God has given me a scripture to meditate on every time I start feeling the tightness of life: Proverbs16:3 “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.”

The whole chapter is really good, but this verse stood out to me the most. With all that I have going on with daily tasks, assignments at work and outside of work, I’m easily overwhelmed and I often feel behind because of this internal clock I have as a perfectionist. So reading that verse made me realize, that I’m not in control, but God is.Only what I submit to him will truly prosper and be of significance.

Knowing this makes me push. It makes me push when I want to cry. It makes me push when I want to quit. It makes me push, even when I want to cuss. ( Yes..I get tempted, and Lord forgive me but a few words have slipped from time to time.) But despite it all I know that God has given me the grace I need to get through this season. While in the tight I know he’s testing my attitude, testing my faith. Do I really love him? Can I hang in there when I feel like I’m about to reach my end? Will I still say he’s faithful even when I keep running into closed doors with my 2-year long job search?

Truly having the love of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in your life is the only thing that will make you push beyond yourself. I’m really learning that first hand. No everything isn’t perfect, but all my needs are met. It’s tight, but it could be worse. I still have so much more to be thankful for this year. God has still been faithful in keeping me, even when I wanted to go off the deep end. ( And back in September I contemplated that as an option, but Gid is a keeper!!)

So, I encourage you to push despite whatever your situation looks like. Despite the tears, you may cry or have cried. God hasn’t left you alone, he’s walking with you through the tears and all. He’s a high priest, touched by our infirmities. So believe me, he cares. Whatever you are facing, it’s not in vain. This season is only a piece of your story, but there are more chapters left to write if you trust God to be your author.

xoxox

Alex M.

 

 

Ignite. Create. Inspire

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This is what happens when you let God flow freely through your creativity. I sketched this tonight and for some reason it brought me so much joy and peace.

I realize more and more that as I create and let God flow through my creativity, it becomes a form of worship between him and I. Instead of a shout or a loud praise, sometimes my love for God and all he’s done is expressed through my art & creativity.

There are moments I truly thank him for his creativity he’s put in me. Sometimes I create things and I literally have to say….to God be the glory.

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This was one of those moments…!!

If only you all knew how much my creativity is such a gift that I don’t ever want to take for granted. This year God really took my creativity to a new level that was unexpected. And through this journey he keeps showing me what he can do. It’s amazing.