The Beauty of Thanksgiving

As I was reading through Ephesians 5 this morning, this verse jumped out at me:

“Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I had to stop and pause. I reread. I broke it down. And this is what the Lord allowed me to see. While He showed me what I’m about to share with you, He revealed myself to me and what I need to do.

1. Let all obscene behavior, foolish talk, and coarse joking go.

Why? Because these things aren’t the character of God. When we accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, we put on His character. The old me/you passed away. So we no longer live according to our flesh, but the Spirit.

2. Don’t hang around those who act and talk in such a way.

Why? Because 1 Corinthians 15:33 tells us that bad company corrupts good character. So if we am hanging with someone who practice these things, they will contaminate our character. Our Spirit, if not strong enough, will be contaminated too.

3. Partake in the beauty of Thanksgiving.

Why? Thanksgiving sets an atmosphere of praise. When we are thanking God, we are thinking on everything He has done for us. In return, we offer praises to Him. We are putting a smile on His face by partaking in the beauty of Thanksgiving. Since we are choosing to eliminate the things that don’t please Him (obscenity, foolish talk, and coarse joking) and act out the things that do (thanksgiving), we are living a thriving life and on the road of righteousness. And this road leads to Heaven.


#HowIThriveDaily

❤️

This Week

God gave me some scriptures to hold onto and to apply to each moment of the day. I’ll share them with you. These scriptures will help me to have a successful day which will lead to a successful and peaceful week. I will meditate on them day and night. I will speak them. I will put them into practice.

“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:1-2, 4-9, 13, 19‬ ‭NIV‬‬


What scriptures will you hold onto this week?

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This Thing Called Religion 

The only life that I want to live is a life that’s pleasing to Christ.One filled with malice, maliousiness, twofaceness, and hate just isn’t right. The life that I live on social media must match my reality. That’s important to me. Some say, Jess you take this thing to seriously. No, I act like this “thing” is important to me. I rather be known as the prayerful, loving, Jesus giving girl. Then the one that cursed someone without a care. Maybe if enough of us took this “thing” a little more seriously, the hurt and lost would be more willing to listen. But right now, all they see is the church being the world’s equal. Instead of the church without a spot or a wrinkle.
Give Jesus. The people need Him. 

God has the juice 

Quick story…
My 2 year old niece stayed the night with me. Like most toddlers, she took over the bed and invaded my space. lol. I slid her over to her side multiple times. But the last time I moved her little body, she opened her pretty eyes to look for me. She stretched out her hand and moved back over towards me. What I then realized was that she didn’t just accidentally wander to my side, it was more than that. She wanted to be held. She wanted to be close. Maybe she just wanted to feel loved? Maybe she felt protected? Whatever she longed for, she knew that I had it.  
Long story short….GOD HAS WHAT YOU NEED!
I began to think, how often does God try to get our attention? How much would He love for us to just stop what we are doing and reach out to Him? Run to Him? Love on Him? Cry out to Him? Worship Him?  
HE HAS WHAT WE NEED.
Get into His presence.  

Worship. 

Pray. 

Fast. 

Cry out. 

Read the Bible.  
Peace and Blessings.

I’ll forever Claim That You’re Still Good

Dear heavenly Father,
I come before You interceding for Your people. Someone is going through. Someone is having a hard time. Someone is down. But I come before You, God knowing that nothing that we face, is too big for You. Nothing that we face is too hard for You to fix. Nothing that has happened or is happening is news to You. You hold our world in Your hands. You know our endings from our beginning. You are a good Father. Help us to look beyond our fears, hiccups, and pain and push to give You the praise in the midst of it. Help us to worship from a deeper place. Help us to honor You with the fruit of our lips. Help us to hold on to Your word knowing that it won’t return void. Many things will change in this world, but one thing is guaranteed, You will remain the same. No matter what is going on, You remain good. No matter how we feel, You remain good. No matter the test, You remain good. In lack, You’re good. In sickness, You’re good. In sadness, You’re good. In the midst of the storm, You’re good. You’re good when all is going well and we will claim the same when we hit a trial. Lord, how mighty are You. Your thoughts and ways are higher than ours. Give us the patience that we need for you to complete a perfect work in us. Give us the joy that will be our strength. Give us the endurance to remain in the race. Give us the peace that will surpass all understanding. Give us Your Word, for it is true and dependable. We will forever give You the praise and the glory. In Jesus Name. Amen. 

Freedom to Worship

For those who don’t know, I no longer work a 9-5. God allowed me to leave my job on May 26, 2017. I no longer have to clock in and be on someone else’s time. I have the freedom to spend the day how I want. Which is normally Spirit led. I didn’t want to go into this new season being irresponsible. I want my days to be lived with purpose and in purpose. I wanted every move to be intentional. I must be a good steward over this season. So I acknowledge God in all my ways so that He will direct my path. This scripture has become my testimony. And since I released my will to Him, my days are oozing goodness and mercy. It’s drenched in greatness and favor. 
I speak abundance, yes. God showed me that I can have abundance in all areas of my life and there are different types. This season brought an abundance of freedom. But can I share one thing that I am most thankful for? The fact that if I want to drop to my knees and pray, I can. If I want to have a moment of worship right where I am, I can. I no longer have to sneak to the bathroom to praise. I no longer have to keep my music at a “whisper”. Whenever I have to urge to lift my hands, I can do this. And for this I am so very grateful! I love Jesus!! 
I encourage you to continue to speak or start speaking Gods word over your life. He absolutely honors His Word!
Much peace and many blessing to you❤️

Can you hear Me now?

It was 2011. I was cruising through life. Caught up in doing things my way knowing good and well I was going against God. But I was ok with this. Why? Because my God is soooo gracious. Yupp, I was doing my thing and didn’t care. I had SOME nerve!! 

So one night around 10 pm, I was chilling. The room completely dark. The room was quiet. I was alone. So I thought. All of a sudden, I  heard “don’t take advantage of My grace.” I jumped up and looked around the room. I got up and turned the light on. Looked around some more. Now, I did all of this knowing that I wasn’t going to find anyone in the room but me. I knew it was God. I sat on the bed. Thought about what I heard and immediately repented.

This would be first of many times I heard Him.

Now, I wish I could say that I got my act together right then and there. I wish I could say I became this great Christian… nope! (But thats another blog for another day)

After the moment I just told you about, years passed before I heard the voice of the Lord again. Sure, I knew His hand was on my life. Yes, I would see signs of Him being present. But He wasn’t speaking. Or was He? It wasn’t until I joined my church on a months fast in January 2016 that I began to recognize His voice. As I was fasting and praying (because they go hand in hand) I would take a moment to stop and listen. The more I tried to hear, the more I heard. Now during this time of fasting, I needed to make a decision in life and needed to know if this was Him or not. At times, I would think I heard Him , then would brush it off. Like naaaa, that was just me talking. This happened a lot during that month. Then one day I was sitting in the living and I said something (I can’t remember what) , but His response was “I’ve been speaking all along.” My mouth dropped. Clarity. This is all I wanted. To hear and recognize my Lords voice. This was a humbling experience. I wanted to cry and smile at the same time. Who was I that He would decide to visit me, sit with me, and talk. I was grateful. 

As I grew, I looked back on the event. I realized that I made myself available. I sought after and found Him. I called and He answered. As I quieted the noise around me, the volume of His increased. 

When was the first time you heard God speak? When was the last time You heard Him? Have you ever heard Him? How do you know when He is speaking?


You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13 NIV

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
James 4:8 NIV

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
John 14:26 NIV

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Revelation 3:22 NIV

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord , for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord , but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

1 Kings 19:11‭-‬12 NIV

I See You – Part 2

Dear young lady,

You are loved! I know, I know. I can hear your question…I am loved? I can hear your “yeah right.” But don’t stop reading. Please, hear me out. I know things my be a little rough. I know life seems unfair. Yeah, it’s hard to smile genuinely. No one sees the pain you carry. No one hears the “help me” through the fake laugh. No one hears the “I’m over life” when you say “I’m ok.” So you think….

Your eyes tell your deepest secret. They long for an ear to whisper to. They reach in hopes they will find an individual that will care. You don’t say “help me” with your mouth because you don’t want to be a burden. So you stay burdened. Hindered. Stuck. Depressed. Down.

But, I see you!

“No you don’t”, you say.

Yes I do. How? Because I have been in your shoes. So please know that there is hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel. There is a hand reaching out waiting for you to grab. This hand wants to save you from sinking any deeper. This hand is being extended by Jesus.

He is the way. The truth. The life. He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. No weapon formed against us shall prosper for We are more than conquerors through Him. His joy is our strength.

Reach out and grab His hand. He loves you. He cares. Trust Him with your life.

Behind the camera.

Want to know a secret? I go through the same process everytime it’s time for me to photograph.

I book a photo session months in advance.
I am fine. No biggie.
The week of, I’m fine. No biggie.
The day of…yup you guessed it. Perfectly fine.

But the hour of the session, I get nervous.
I pray.
I quote scripture.
I breathe.

Then…I arrive at the location.

All of the nervousness ceases and I go into “I can do all things through Christ” mode. It’s like my superpowers are released. I’m in a totally different zone.

I pose. I shoot. I laugh. I cry. I encourage.

Then its all over…done.

I look at the images thankfully because Jesus trusted me with this amazing gift. Because He talked me through it. Because without Him, I suck. I am glad I still get nervous. Because in that nervousness, I pull on Him even more.

I would like to share with you guys a few images of a wedding that were taken on 6/10/2016. Enjoy.

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Wheres my cape?!

Want to know a secret? I go through the same process everytime it’s time for me to photograph.

I book a photo session months in advance.
I am fine. No biggie.
The week of, I’m fine. No biggie.
The day of…yup you guessed it. Perfectly fine.

But the hour of the session, I get nervous.
I pray.
I quote scripture.
I breathe.

Then…I arrive at the location.

All of the nervousness ceases and I go into “I can do all things through Christ” mode. It’s like my superpowers are released. I’m in a totally different zone.

I pose. I shoot. I laugh. I cry. I encourage.

Then its all over…done.

I look at the images thankfully because Jesus trusted me with this amazing gift. Because He talked me through it. Because without Him, I suck. I am glad I still get nervous. Because in that nervousness, I pull on Him even more.

I would like to share with you guys a few images of a wedding that were taken on 6/10/2016. Enjoy.

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