Godly Friendships- A Priceless Commodity

IMG_20160328_230543My Dear Friend,

Please know you’re appreciated. Every prayer you’ve prayed. Every kind word that was spoken. Every hug that was given. Every text that was sent. Thank you. You make me smile with just the thought of you. I thank God for you every moment I can. I pray for you daily. I sometimes sit back and ask myself what I’ve done to deserve someone as awesome as you in my life? What have I done to have the great privilege of calling you friend? Your smile warms my heart. Your presence is forever wanted. The beauty of words are forever etched in my mind. The sound of your voice changes my mood from good to great. Your laugh is contagious. Your life is inspiring. You’re empowering, motivating, encouraging, and supporting. You’re forever rooting for me…pushing me. Every time we speak, I’m reminded of Gods love for me. Thank you for being a friend. Thank you. I love you!

Your friend and sister,

Jessica

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He makes a difference.

So many are hurting. Whether they go through the pain privately or silently, encouragement is needed. How can we encourage someone who doesn’t ask us for it? How do we know when they need it? What do we say?

There are three words that will answer all of these questions and more: The Holy Ghost.

When we have Him and move as He says, there’s no question that we have what the person needs exactly when they need it.

Quick story #1…
A friend of mine (we will call them Friend..creative, I know haha) prayed for a woman that was pregnant. Friend was led by the Holy Ghost to pray for woman. This was 2/3 years ago. Today, March 14, 2016, Friend ran into woman at the store. Woman brought up the time Friend prayed for her and child in womb and how much it blessed her and she saw the manifestation of that prayer in child. She thinks on that moment often. Friend told me that she remembered this moment clearly because the Holy Ghost was operating through her.

Friend had no idea what to pray for, but because she allowed the Holy Ghost to move freely, He gave her what she needed to be a blessing.

As you can see, having the Holy Ghost makes a difference. We are no good to anyone when we are operating in our flesh. Stay in the spiritual realm, and be led.

Let’s not only keep others lifted in prayer but reach out (actually pick up the phone and call) to those that God places on our heart. Just hearing your voice can be exactly what they needed. Something so small to you can mean the world to them. Your call can be what stops that knife from slicing a wrist. Your voice can be what stops an emotional breakdown. Your voice can be what stops a divorce. Your voice can be the very tool that brings a soul to Christ.

Be used by Him. When you hear Him, move. Someones life may be on the line.

 

I love You, I’m just not that into You.

I find myself talking to my friends more than I talk to you.

I find myself entertaining others more than I pray.

I long for your presence but am busy to call upon Your name.

Praying before I leave the house in the morn? Sorry, no time because I overslept. Is it okay to pray on the go? We can have intimate time during my 10 minute drive to work. Don’t worry, i’ll lower the radio for a moment.

The best way to get to know someone is to spend time with them, but my time is too precious for You.

Yes, I binge watched a full 5 seasons this weekend and felt it was ok to say a quick thank You before I went to sleep.

I decided to take matters into my own hands, because my will is more important than Yours.

We can try Your way after we try my way.

I read the verse of the day in my bible app while at a red light.

What my friends are tweeting and posting is so much more interesting.

Hold on wait, my favorite YouTube couple just posted their latest vlog.

Ok, let me settle down and focus on You.

ZZZZzzzZzZZzZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I’ll do better tomorrow…

 

Ladies and gentleman, let us not take advantage of Gods grace.

 

To Be Continued….

What’s love got to do with it? Everything!

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NIV)

image

A special thank you to She.Unique Photography for capturing my vision.

You are what you think

I would be retired and traveling the world if I had a nickle for every time I heard “I hope you have a backup because I’m going to break your camera”?! This statement is often said jokingly, but they truly feel the words are true.
One day I had a client who said this to me as soon as she walked into the studio. She was 60 years old. Right after she uttered the words, I knew she was serious. “I know I’m ugly and my daughter knows that I’m ugly. She tells me all of the time.” Needless to say my heart was broken. How in the world could she believe this? And on top of that, hear it from her daughter? So I went on to ask, “How long have you felt this way?” Her response was, “For 60 years.” I was shocked. I wanted to just embrace her and tell her what she felt isn’t true. But the schedule didn’t allow for a good ole therapeutic session. For me to stop taking photos and just sit and talk to this lovely lady was not an option (especially while on company time). So, I had to change my approach. Often times, I’ll have my client repeat a word or phrase after me to help get them to smile naturally. I would do the same with her, but these words would be positive and uplifting.
Long story short, every effort that was put forth in the 30 minute session was not accepted. She left feeling the same way she came in. She said, “Thank you, but there’s nothing you can say to change the way I feel.” I really had high hopes that what I said to her would take the place of what she trained her brain to think over the course of her life and the words she accepted from her family. But, I know a seed was planted and pray someone else comes along to water it.
How often do you look in the mirror and dislike what you see? You stand there and it almost seems as if all of your “flaws” are illuminated. Why? Because you’re focusing on them. Quick story(yes another one lol): I have this tooth that’s a bit crooked. One day as I was looking in the mirror, I noticed that it was even more crooked then the day before (it really wasn’t). Because I focused on it, it was like I put a magnifying glass to my tooth and this is all I saw when I looked at myself. Like the lady in my previous story, I began to look at myself differently and as a result didn’t like what I saw staring back at me. I had to quickly “slap” myself and change my thoughts. I begin to speak words of greatness. As soon as did, I began to see myself in a different light. I looked “normal” again.

As you may already know, the mind is a powerful tool. You are what you think. If you constantly put yourself down and allow your negative words as well as others to change the way you view yourself, you will forever be enslaved to them. You have the power to accept or decline words spoken over your life. The way you think will ultimately determine the way you live. Soon you’ll notice that you’ll have an “I don’t care attitude”. What people think will not affect you in anyway.

We know that the mind is powerful. You are what you think. Change the way you think and you will change your life.
#OperationMe

WWW.Facebook.com/OperationMeJCP

 

Randomness

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Allow those eyes to be yours.

Love yourself.

Embrace your uniqueness.

You are dope.

Beauty. Its more than appearance. Allow it to radiate from within.

When you value yourself, others will too.

Be the person that make things happen.

You are capable of doing great things with your life.

Jesus loves you.

#TeamNoFilter

But first, let me take a selfie.

Let’s be serious. Let’s be real.  How many of us have taken a selfie and was actually satisfied with it on the first try? 1 selfie turns into 5. 5 turns into 20. Before you know it, you have just taken 50 selfies and you aren’t happy with any of them so you delete them all.  You look at yourself and nitpick.  You put yourself down.  You list things you don’t like when you see yourself.

My double chin is showing.

My hair is ugly.

Ugh. Look at my teeth.

Smh. Why is my forehead so big?!

Look at the way my eyes are shaped.

This pimple just had to pop up today.

Thanks for giving me this huge nose dad.

I never knew how big my head was.

The list goes on and on….

Then you muster up enough courage to take one more.  Finally. You get one.

You smile.

Okay. Now to find the perfect filter.

Let me ask you this, why are you putting a filter on a masterpiece? According to Merriam-Webster, masterpiece means a work of outstanding artistry, skill, or workmanship. There’s no need to alter something that has already been declared outstanding, perfect. How dare we insult God with a filter?  How dare we try to alter what He deemed an incredible work of art? If He is perfect and we were made in His image, doesn’t that make us perfect?

Guys, I know there are going to be days when we don’t feel our prettiest and aren’t satisfied with what we see.  But try to look at yourself through Gods eyes.  If you do this, you’ll realize that the first selfie that was taken was perfect all along.

You are beautiful. You are dope. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.  You are God’s masterpiece.

Let’s leave the filters for our mouths…lol. But seriously.

I love you. Thank you for reading.

 

Suggested Reads:

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10)

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works,  And that my soul knows very well. (Psalms 139:14)