Are you using your imagination in a positive way?

by admin in Follow-Up Friday, Session 5 Leave a comment
week_10As we are cutting things out of our lives striving for our more abundant life we need to be mindful of how we are using our imaginations.  Are we aware of the things we are imaging daily?  Are we using our imagination in a positive way?
 
Just like most things we are able use for our benefit or our demise, we have something called an imagination.
 
Let’s paint a picture:
 
1)   You’re on an island.  The sand is beautifully white and soft to the touch.  The water is blue as a clear sky.  The ocean breeze is refreshing and rejuvenating to your body.  The water is soft and warm.
 
Just thinking about such a place how does it make you feel?  Happy, refreshed, hopeful, free?  Now think about this:
 
2)   You are on your way home after a long day at work.  It was not one of your best days.  You get home and head to the refrigerator to get your dinner but the food has all been eaten.  You walk into another room and you find stuff all over the floor.  The house is a mess! As you keep walking to your bedroom to change your clothes, you find everyone at home relaxed watching television.
 
How does this make you feel?  Frustrated, annoyed, resentful?
 
You see both of these events didn’t actually happen to you today, at least I don’t think so, but could you tell the difference in your feelings as you visually pictured the condition mentioned?  I was ready to book that flight to that Island!  
 
The visualizations exercise we just did was for you to use your imagination. Imagination is defined as “forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses.”  Through our imaginations, what we are visualizing in that moment can seem real.
 
Each and every day, we are free to imagine just about anything.  That “thing” could be positive like our beach scenario or not so positive like the scenario of coming home to chaos.  With those images, emotions are created which are at times very strong and can have an impact on the actions we decide to take.
 
Is your imagination leading you in a direction of great faith or of great fear?  Well  we have some good news!  In 2 Corinthians 10:5 we are compelled to cast down our imaginations… and to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.  
 
Furthermore, in Philippians 4:8 we are told to think of whatever is true, right, pure, lovely, excellent and praiseworthy!
 
You see, our imagination is a simple but a very powerful resource at our disposal everyday.  It can be used to steer our lives.
 
Albert Einstein once wrote, “Your imagination is your preview of your life’s coming attractions.”  
 
I challenge you this week to take hold of your imagination and to focus it to truly be a preview of WHAT YOU WANT IN LIFE. 
 
Maybe your approach is to create a vision board of what you want whether it’s your dream home, career or some other facet of the life you want.  Or maybe it is writing a descriptive letter to yourself of what you want in your life.  Whatever your unique style may be, use it and imagine the life only you can dream of!
 
Have a blessed week!

Step 9: Be careful about your romantic connections to people

by admin in Follow-Up Friday, Session 5 Leave a comment

week_9Be careful. Be cautious. Be vigilant and awoke when it comes time to make decisions about who you get involved with. Every person you connect with takes a piece of you and you take a piece of them. And occasionally our souls become tied to another. Now I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this, but maybe it’s just time for a reminder. As we are still on this journey of cutting things out of our lives, one of the main lessons we have learned is that every decision we make is important and matters. Matthew 5:31-32 basically tells us that when we connect with someone, we are connected for life. So be careful of the covenants you make. Remember that covenants are a binding agreement made before God. So whether it’s a marriage or even a friendship, God takes those bonds seriously. So if He takes them seriously enough to warn us of the effect the relationship could have on our future, it must be pretty important and we should heed the warnings.
So this week, take time to evaluate all the relationships you have. Pray for those people you are connected to and ask God if they are the right person to be connected to. And the challenge for the future is to remember the effects of a relationship and to always consult God when it comes time to enter a covenant.


What are you feeding on?

by admin in Follow-Up Friday, Session 5 Leave a comment

week_8We have moved now to step 8 of cutting things out of our lives. As we remove certain things or people from our lives we have to feed ourselves as well. What are you feeding on in your emotional life? Are you putting yourself around people and things that are uplifting, encouraging and positive? What are you feeding on in your financial life? Are you making wise investments and saving for your future goals? How about your spiritual life, do you spend time talking to God and reading his Word?

We can view what we are feeding ourselves as “seeds”, which will reap a certain harvest. So what is a seed and a harvest?

Seed – The beginning of something, which continues to develop or grow.
Harvest – the result or consequence of any act, process, or event.

Genesis 8:22
“As long as the earth endures,
· Seed time and harvest,
· Cold and heat,
· Summer and winter,
· Day and night
Will never cease.”

The Word of God tells us that seed and harvest will always exist. Sometimes we take our seeds lightly because they are small and seem trivial. However, our seeds have much more power then we give them credit for. For example consider 10% of $1000 or $100. This amount may not seem like much and can easily be mishandled or we could decide to plant it in a responsible way like our tithes and a emergency fund. How about one hour in a day. It is a small fraction of our day that could be invested spending time with God but often we mishandle our hours in worthless conversations, television watching or playing on our phones/computers.

Every moment of every day we are planting seeds for our future. The question we must ask ourselves is if the seed being planted leads us to a life of destiny and abundance or a life of lack, frustration and defeat. The answer is in the seed.

Galatians 6:8
Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Since there is much power in our seeds, lets pay attention to the small decisions we make this week. Lets make decisions to sow to please the spirit. We can do this in the following ways:

1) Recognizing if the “seeds” we are planting are pleasing to God or not (not to focus on “good” or “bad” but “God pleasing” or “not God pleasing”)

2) Choose to connect with God in your personal style this week through talking with Him and reading the Bible

3) Counterattack isolation by fellowshipping or talking to other believers (there is power in connection but defeat in isolation)

Have a great week!
God Bless


Run!

by admin in Follow-Up Friday, Session 5 1 Comment

week_7The 7th step for cutting things out of our life is a simple word. Run!

When we say run we are dealing in particular with sexual urges. This is a hard discipline to embrace and even to talk about. If you think about it, sexual struggle has so many layers. First off, sex is before us all day long. It’s on our televisions, in our music, billboards, magazine, social media… it’s everywhere. So much so that we are numb to most of it; after all it has become a norm in our society to satisfy our desires.

Now, lets look internally. Throughout our lives, we have a desire to find love, experience passion and meet our soul mate or to have a family. These are all normal God given desires. Also, in our past, there may have been certain activities that happened as children or young adults such as watching pornography or other sexual encounters that draws us to those experiences over and over again.

Maybe we feel like we are missing out, that we are weird or that we may lose something/someone for not “doing it”. Whatever is the source of our individual urge/pressure, when our desire is delayed we can become extremely frustrated. As you can see, the sexual struggle is an intense battlefield. We are under attack in our minds, our emotions and even physically (sexual urges).

The attacks are so strong that to really find victory in this area there is basically one solution. Make it easy on yourself and Run!

Matter of fact, in 1 Corinthians 6:18 we are called to “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.”

But I don’t want to run, so why should I?

Well let’s ask some basic questions. How are things working for you really? Have you had to fight to get yourself out of a situation that you were entangled in? How about working to get out of dead-end entanglements and dealing. How long did it take you to recover? Is there any lingering guilt about your behavior? Did you wake up one day and realize that you saw your life going in a whole other direction?

What is the point of all this anyway? We are talking about a journey of breaking free from the captivity that hinders us from living a life of abundance.

So how do we run! You may say I have tried before but I found myself in the same situation again.

The thing is as believers we have a person fighting for us and will give us the power we need to run. Romans 8:13 encourages us that if we live by the Holy Spirit, we put to death the deeds of the body and we will live! What a good promise!
What are some actions we can take to live by the spirit? For starters we can persist daily in these areas:

1) Pray and ask for Holy Spirits help and believe He is assisting
2) Fill your mind and behavior with the fruit of the Spirit: be loving, joyful, restful, patient, kind, good, trustworthy, humble and disciplined. (Galatians 5:16, Galatians 5:22-23)
3) Apply Biblical wisdoms to the situations you face in your life

God is directing us to a more abundant life. Run! If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. If you can’t crawl, then simply just turn toward God. He will help you!

God Bless!!


7 Day Affirmation Challenge

by admin in Follow-Up Friday, Session 5 3 Comments

week_6Hello! Hello! Hello!

How is your world doing (your family, school, job, friends etc.)?! As I write this, I pray that as you scroll on your phone or computer to read my words that you have tangible reflections of God’s love for YOU, yes YOU reading this and hopefully smiling right now! LOL and in case you don’t follow, a tangible reflection of God’s love can be found in literally EVERYTHING! It could be in the couch you’re sitting on or even the phone you’re holding. Yes grace may have been involved which allowed you to get something better than you were able to afford but even at the core of grace is God’s timeless love! Once we acknowledge His love for us, it becomes easier to settle into the truth of our value and His awesome-ness! Super random, but I still felt impressed to share. (Don’t Judge Me!)

Ok, now let’s get to business!

I’m in your face (virtually) to just check in on you and see how you’re handling this task of maturing as we journey through the process of CUTTING THINGS OUT OF OUR LIVES that hinder us from being who God created us to be.

Whether you joined us in person for the last session (Jan 29th), have been reading our blogs every week or if this is the first time you’ve scrolled across our page, all that matters is that you have a desire to be better and to want more! If we have that in common- by all means get your sneakers and run with us at whatever stage we’re in or you’re in!

This week I’m going to talk about Communication and the Power of Our Words! In the book Steps To Cutting Things Out Of Your Life (available on amazon today! (good plug huh?!)) Pastor Jon tells us that the more we talk to [the thing/person] that we need to CUT out, the more it lives.

Now, when I read this chapter, I realized that I can sometimes knowingly and unknowingly pay attention to things that I KNOW are hindrances. I admit, I gave the side eye because I identified this as one of the roots of my continued incongruence and ultimate dissatisfaction…Expecting One thing but Doing Another. Expecting Freedom from bondage but still caressing my chains. Knowing a relationship or habit isn’t good for me but still giving it a foolish amount of attention. SMH But thank God for this book and Thank God for this community, because instead of shying away and telling myself that I’m not ready for this step or this process, I continued reading and was absolutely blessed by four little words at the end of the chapter. It said “Verbally direct your life”. In that instant, I was reminded of my/ our power and saw exactly how foolish it is to continue to feed/nurture something that I desperately need to die!

It is with this power that I invite you to join me in Verbally Directing Our Lives. Let’s do a 7 day Affirmation / Declaration Challenge where we intentionally direct our lives with our words! Write it out and or post it on your facebook page and recite it 3xs a day for 7 days!

Here’s an example:

I am a child of God! Today I have everything I need to handle everything that comes my way. I am more than a conqueror! I will pursue success until I achieve it. The devil might try me today but he won’t win! I am focused! I have the grace to successfully transition from who I was to who I am destined to become.

Join me in a 7 Day Affirmations Challenge where we verbally direct our lives towards our goals for a consecutive 7 days!

Affirmations also known as Declarations allows us to intentionally speak our TRUTH in Christ despite our REALITY. It allows us to anchor ourselves and become unmovable when distractions come. The POWER of life and death are in the tongue.. in what we say! Let’s be intentional  about verbally directing our lives this week and see what happens with our thinking and our actions!

Sample Formula For Writing A Good Affirmation

Make (1-3) “I Am” Statements (based on who God says you are) + Make (1-3) “I will” / “I have” statements (based on what you declare) = A Good Affirmation

Say with confidence 3xs a day!

Are you down?!