Saturday, December 31, 2016

In 2017, I'm saying... So Long, Bye-Bye to Facebook "Friends"

There are only a few hours left. It's so close that I can already hear the fireworks being blast on the outside. The year 2016 is quickly coming to a close, and 2017 is anxiously awaiting to make its debut. One year closing and another one opening is a bitter-sweet experience for some; often times because it's hard to let go of what has been and embrace the uncertainty of what is to come.

For me, the year 2016 brought many experiences, and thanks be to God that the good far outweighed the bad. The Lord showed Himself strong in my life and in the life of my family. My husband and I were ordained as Elders in the ministry and installed as pastors of Deliverance Revival Church in Macon, Georgia. Royal Pen Network, the weekly radio show that I launched in 2015 celebrated one year of success on the Stellar Award winning Joynet Radio lineup of talk shows. I stood in the labor and delivery room alongside my son-in-luv and witnessed the miracle of childbirth as my baby daughter gave birth to my first biological grandchild. Oh the joy the flooded my soul!

But God wasn't through . . . 

My 22nd published work released, and I quickly began getting amazing feedback from the readers. My husband and I performed our first wedding; that of our niece and new nephew. And most recent of all, in this very month of December, I reached the beautiful milestone of qualifying for the 50's club (and the benefits of AARP) LOL! In a highly entertaining, yet very much Spirit-filled event, I celebrated turning fifty years old during a private event with 50-plus dear friends and family members. We all gathered at Open Door Community Center in Columbus, GA and marked the occasion with praise and worship, gospel singing, liturgical dance, spoken word ministry, Christian comedy, and delicious food. Yes, I welcomed "Chapter Fifty" with Jesus Christ at the forefront. I wouldn't have had it any other way. It was a night that I know I'll remember for the rest of my life.

But as much of a joy as 2016 was for me, I'm looking for greater in 2017. So much GREATER! In my life, the enemy has set many traps for me, but God has allowed me to trample on his filthy head and triumph each and every time. When God is for you, who can be against you? In 2017, I'm going to another level in every aspect of my life. I'm decreeing that God is going to blow my mind. In order to go where I'm believing Him to take me, I can't be afraid to let go of the familiar. Just a couple of days ago, I posted on social media these words: "Sometimes God has to shrink our circle in order to enlarge our territory." Although that posting touched many, it was a word for me.

And so . . . in the words of gospel artist, Jonathan Nelson, "So long, bye-bye." In his song, he was waving goodbye to his pains and sorrow. I'm saying the same to many Facebook "friends" who really aren't friends at all. For some time I've desired to disconnect from some because I've known all along that they are walking closely with others who I know for a fact mean me no good. God tested my patience and obedience. I wanted to cut them off, but God said, "Not yet." And although it was hard, I stood still and vowed not to make a move until He said so. And now, to my delight and relief, He has spoken. 

As this year bows out and the New Year makes its grand entrance, this is the last posting that many of my current Facebook connections will have access to read from me through my social media page (with the exception of a few post along the way that I may mark "public," making them viewable to anyone whether they are my FB connection or not). If you're reading this and you're one of the ones from whom I'm disconnecting my page, please know... I'm in no way angry with you. I promise; I'm not. There is absolutely no hatred, animosity, or even hard feelings. This isn't a personal lashing out. This is simply God shrinking my circle so that He can enlarge my territory. There is zero space in my life for so-called friends. God has released me. I no longer have to remain connected--not even in the name of being the bigger person--to those who partner with and support those who have not only hurt and betrayed me, but also tried to destroy my character and my testimony. 
It matters not if you know me by blood relation or by business or ministry affiliations, if you know the horrible details of the story, and yet you choose to still be friends with and support the person/people who mentally and verbally abused my children, maliciously attempted to destroy my relationships with family and friends, attempted to distort my testimony, and betrayed me and my daughters in the worst way... then certainly you're not for me. Saying you love me and that you're with me means absolutely nothing if your actions don't line up. Sometimes in life, we have to make hard choices in order to stand up for what is right and righteous. If you don't have the backbone to do that, then I'll make the choice easy for you. So it is without remorse that I bid you farewell. In spite of this online detachment, please know that I love you with the love of Christ, and because of that love for you, I leave you with these words of caution that the Lord has placed on my heart for you...

Please be careful. You can't drink poison and not become contaminated. Don't continue to allow yourself to be fooled. You know the truth. The devil can disguise himself to look harmless, but make no mistake about it; he comes but for three reasons: to kill, steal, and destroy. He will use you for as long as he needs you, and when your usefulness is up, his true self will show. See with your spiritual eyes and not with your natural.

And now . . .

Happy New Year to one and all. I truly pray that 2017 will bring you a new mindset, new discernment, and a new revelation in Christ.

To God be the glory!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Ten Days From Fifty...A Testimony

Today, as I walked in to the office building for work, I was stopped by a gentleman who kindly complimented what he referred to as my "classy togetherness." And as I thanked him and headed for the elevators, he added, "You always get here so early, and every time I see you, you look happy. What's the secret?" 

Man!!! God has a way of giving us such amazing impromptu opportunities to be witnesses of His goodness!

Now, I could have taken his words as obvious flirtation (which they very well may have been) and chosen to ignore him or give some sort of smug reply to let him know how unavailable and happily married I am (which I surely am). But that's why it's so important that we keep our ears to God's mouth and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Immediately when he said those words, I saw a door of opportunity open. Instead of admonishing him, I turned to him and said, "It's God." (I know that may sound cliche', but it's the honest-to-goodness truth.)

I went on to tell him that my purpose for arriving early each morning is to get into my work-space in time enough to pray and meditate without interruption. I pray over the atmosphere. I pray for God's protection over the building itself. I pray for the safe arrival of my coworkers. I pray for the success of all of our professional endeavors for the day. And my happiness, I told him, is rooted in the fact that I have Jesus in my heart. I explained to him that God has been too good to me for me to be a complainer or a killjoy. From my family life to my physical health to my faith walk...I'm living my BEST life. God is just so good! 

I've been through hell and high water. The enemy tried to take me out. He tried to make me lose my self-confidence, my hope, my faith, my mind... even my life! satan had a plot, but God had a plan. He set a trap, but God allowed me to trample on it. My personal experiences say that I should have never lived to see 40, but I'm just ten days away from turning 50! I shared with the man that my children should have never lived to become teenagers, but they are adults; grown, married, and have families of their own. We're all healthier and happier than we've ever been, and it's all because of GOD! No one gets the glory except HIM.

By the time I finished talking to the gentleman, I was almost in tears. My heart was overflowing with renewed joy at the remembrance of the extreme FAVOR of the Lord. He was quiet for a minute when I stopped talking. Then he said, "Well when you get to your floor today, will you pray for me too? I've been dealing with some things and maybe I've been telling the wrong people. Maybe God is the one who needs to know." I nodded and said, "He already knows, but I got you." And then I walked away. I don't even know the guy's name, but God does. And when I said my prayer this morning, I prayed for him just like I promised.

We never know who needs to hear our testimony. We never know who needs our prayers. We never know who's watching our life or who needs someone to be a witness of the goodness of the Lord. I'm so thankful that ten days 'til fifty years, God allowed me to be one.