Archive for May, 2013

Progress Report for Radical7even Goals ~Venus

Hello everyone!!! So this a progress report for my goals!

1.) To get a job in my field.-I haven’t gotten a job in my field yet. However, I have been applying to jobs. I think that I can do better w/ applying for jobs in my field. I’ve been slacking. However, last Saturday I did apply for an application I’ve been working on for about a week and a half. I applied for a position w/ the Mentor Network.

2.) To get my permit and hopefully a driver’s license.-I haven’t made too much progress on this goal. I drove a few weeks ago. I practiced parking. I hope over the summer that I will get my permit. I plan on taking the permit test. I plan on practicing more on my driving skills.

3.) To discover my life’s purpose by spending time with God through reading the bible, prayer, and fasting.- I was challenged by my friend Kelly on this goal. She challenged me to have 3 people pray about my life’s purpose daily. Well the result of it was great! My life coach made me realize that I was already operating in my purpose. Over the years, I’ve been serving others in the jobs I have had or by volunteered work. I also have a couple of confirmations related to my purpose by a prayer call and by listening to a sermon. One of my friends had a dream related to my purpose as well. So Kels, I thank you for challenging me on this goal. I know that my life purpose deals w/ me working w/ women. I already do that now w/ my sorority and volunteer work.

4.) To have to College Transition Program up and running by next year.-Well the program isn’t up and running yet. I’m have great ideas but I’m not sure exactly how to get the program off the ground. So please keep me in prayer about it.

5.) To go on dates whether it’s by myself or w/ guys.- I haven’t went on a lot of dates w/ guys. I guess you can say that I’ve been on two. The last date I was on was in April. It went ok. The date before the one in April was in December of last year. Well I’m not sure if it was a date because the guy and I went to a watch night service at his church. I haven’t taken myself out a lot. However, I’ve been hanging w/ my friends here and there. I have to work on doing nice things for myself even if it’s going to the park. I sometimes feel guilty of doing things for myself. I know that might sound silly because I work hard and I deserve it. I often think about whether I could be using my money towards something else like bills..lol..I try to be responsible w/ my money and use it towards what I need. However, I should buy some things that I want every now and then.

6.) To learn new recipes!-I’ve been doing pretty good on this goal! I’ve made a couple of things over the months. I love to look at recipes and watch Food Network to learn.

7.) To learn how to do my natural hair.-The last time, I did a new hairstyle was in Dec. last yr. I have been looking at hair tutorials on Youtube. I want to learn how to do mini twists but it seems like it’s time-consuming. lol! I’m not sure if I have that kind of patience because I have a lot of hair. I plan on trying a hairstyle soon.

God bless! ~Venus

P.S. So here are a few things I’ve done this month that were radical.. A few weeks ago, I went to Mellow Mushroom w/ my sorority sister for the 1st time! I know sad..lol..I had a Caribbean Jerk hoagie and it was good! I never had a hoagie before..Smh. I went to Montgomery last Friday and went to the casino (the Creek Casino) for the 1st time. I don’t if I was supposed to feel like this but I didn’t see anything that was special about it. It looks like people just put their money in the slot machine hoping to win money..lol..I didn’t play any games on the machine. I just was observing. I guess I expected the casino to be more fun but I really don’t see what is so fun about it. I guess I expected it to be like a Las Vegas casino or something.

I’ve joined two new ministries for singles. I joined a support group called I’m So Worth It last week. The group is for single Christian women that are struggling w/ their celibacy. I really needed that support! Dealing w/ my celibacy isn’t too bad but being dealing w/ my singleness is a little rough. I get lonely and I’m working on how I can deal w/ my loneliness.

I’m also working on letting God filling the voids that I have. I heard of the ministry on blackcelibacy.com. I was reading an article by Jasmine Harris and she shared her ministry page in the article. She has a Facebook Page called The Confessions of a Single Christian. You can visit her website http://www.imsoworthit.com. The other ministry I joined is called The Pinky Promise Movement. According the website, the Pinky Promise is “A promise to honor God with your body and your life”. It’s a ministry mainly for women. You can visit the website http://www.thepinkypromisemovement.com.

I’m also part of another Christian ministry for women called Wives in Waiting. You can like the Facebook page Wives in Waiting and also the website http://www.wivesinwaiting.com. Another Christian ministry that is helpful for singles that I like is Single Ready and Waiting. You can visit the website http://www.singlereadyandwaiting.com. I’m not really sure how I found the Christian ministries for singles. I think I found them by seeing them in my newsfeed on Facebook or seeing the ministries on a friend’s page. I thank God that I found them because they are very helpful! OAS:I plan on buying myself a purity ring before the year is out.

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With Love- Renee`

One Rad7even goal that I had this year that has been lost in the shuffle has been to do everything with the intention of doing it with love. I have to admit this goal out of all the others has been the most challenging and probably why I have not been as focused as I should.

I had an incident a few weeks prior where I was accused of something that just was not exactly how the event happened. First pride rose up and I was so sure that I was going to “defend my honor”, but in certain situations like in business and family this has to be done in such a tactful way. Needless to say I was not feeling very tactful. I just wanted to clear my name and quickly forget about anything else..I was “shamed”, I was “called out” and this had to be rectified immediately. The thing that I love so much about God is the quiet lessons He teaches. Like Jesus in front of a crowd telling parables; God shows me lessons in each conflict or test that arises I just NEED to pay attention.
The day of the set confrontation, I witnessed something absolutely incredible. I saw someone “fall on the sword” so to speak. An individual who really was on the outside of this issue, stepped in, stepped up and used herself as a bridge for peace and reconciliation. Total humility; instead of calling the other individual out she made sure that she just spoke in such a way that each party was at ease and the relationship was mended. I was amazed; simply because this was a confrontation that I expected to go completely different. Now, there are times when we must confront people; conflict sometimes is good, but we have to be careful that our confrontation is not out of ego, but of love,
There are numerous accounts of Jesus where He used love in confrontation and the results were amazing.Jesus had a Spirit of discernment and knew what to say and when to say it. Some of His harshest statements were not said to a prostitute, an adulterer,thief etc, but to religious people. My favorite example of this story is the woman at the well:
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 4

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.

Jesus could have totally called her out; making her feel unworthy or dirty, because of her sin, but instead He pointed to Himself and stated that HE could change her life. If only this woman would lean on Him; He could make her clean again. The chapter goes on to say that many of the Samaritans came to believe because of her testimony. How awesome is that. Everyone’s goal as a believer should be to win souls for Christ. If you truly believe that people need what you have discovered you wouldn’t want anyone to turn away. There will be those who we can’t reach for whatever reason; maybe their hearts are hardened by years of hurt, abuse and abandonment. Maybe they just are disenchanted with the church. Whatever the other reasons are; let us hope that people are not leaving or not coming to church on the account of the believers inside not showing love. When we are out at work, school and even in our homes we never know the condition of anyone’s heart. We must be careful of what we say and when we say it and make sure that it is God lead and Spirit approved. Again I am not saying that conflict should not happen, but the viciousness and callousness of the World should not be a trademark of those who claim to know Christ.

Ego deflated,
Renee`

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Dust, Wind, Dude~Audrey

When we are very young, before we were old enough to make our friends family, our family are our only friends. On my mother’s side I was very close to two of her siblings, my Aunt Shelia and my Uncle Donald. For periods of time, both lived at my grandmother’s place and I got a double dose of family. I would stay with my grandmother those weekend and enjoy time with the goofy adults in my family.
I was lucky enough that my aunt had a daughter just nine months older than me. Growing up we were very close and spent lots of time together. But even when she had to spend time with her dad, I would still stay at Shelia’s house. I remember one time very clearly. She still lived on my grandmother land and we were watching The Little Mermaid. I was young and did not understand why Ariel’s tale was a different color on her TV. She told me simply something were just different. This would be a huge lesson for me as I grew up and learned to be accepting of others. This simple conversation helped instilled in me that quality of equality no matter how different we are.
She and my mom also taught me not to be scared of ghosts. My mom would tell me friendly ghost’s stories, but my aunt met and talked with these ghosts! Her easy going attitude helped me rewrite a fear I had because of my paternal grandmother. The woman had said that the door shutting on its own in the room where I napped was a ghost! Needless to say I did not get a lot sleep then. But now I do because I know most are friendly.
My last memory of Aunt Sheshe, as I called her when I was young, was probably one of the best last memories to have. It was this past Easter, and I had encouraged my boyfriend to come so he could meet this wonderful woman. It was a small intimate family gathering. We ate and laughed and enjoyed each other’s company. She was more quiet than usual but looked well and always had a smile on her face. Her joy for being with her family was contagious.
At her memorial they played songs that meant a lot to her. On was the beautiful “Dust in the Wind.” I have to disagree with the lyrics in this case. My aunt was more than just dust in the wind- she was love, she was happiness she is memory and she still is love. Just because her body is gone does not mean that she still does not live with in me. In my heart, I carry all those memories, especially from the “yellow house,” and hold them dear.
I am not good with speaking words in the moment. But here is a written legacy of my love for this woman and my family. She leaves behind some wonderful people, and she will live on as part of them.

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Problem vs Problem Solver ***Gem***

Talking about your problems doesn’t solve them. It doesn’t. Trust me. I talk to people about their problems for a living and one thing that I know for sure is…problems get solved when you talk about the solution. As a therapist, I am solution focused at times mainly because I know once you’ve carefully examined your choices and you want something to change it is important to make new/better/different choices moving forward. That is the best way not to end up in a predicament that you previously found yourself in. Many times the biggest choice is ….changing the way you THINK about the situation.
As Christians, I think we forget that at times the solution to every problem is God. So instead of lamenting about this or complaining about that it would benefit us more to talk about our ultimate problem solver-God.
I often have people tell me that they had no idea that something was ailing me or troubling me and trust me I have my moments where I am upset about something and engage in a general conversation about _____(insert anything that could possibly be negative) but I try very very very hard not to get in the habit of continually lamenting about something. I have my days where I want to shout from the rooftops how awful the day was (and I do!) but I am trying to develop of habit of recognizing the problem ,asking for prayer and leaving it alone. Give it to God and trust that he will take care of it after you have given it to him. Continue to PRAY about it as opposed to continuing to TALK about it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. The interesting thing is the same energy that I take magnifying the problem is the same energy that I could use to magnify the solution/problem solver/God.
This of course, is way easier said than done but it is something that I have to do very often. There are somedays where I have to check my thoughts (and my mouth) once every hour. Sometimes I can go 2 or 3 days at a time really focusing on magnifying God and not my problem.
I encourage you to make this a daily, hourly, minute by minute practice. The problem solver has your back!

One day at a time,

Gem

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Don’t Burst My Bubble **Danielle**

Doing this Radical 7 journey has caused me to look at everyday things as a way to be radical, from trying a new task to watching a television show. This Friday, I relaxed after a day of being at Special Olympics. I always like to unwind by watching a good cartoon movie–On was BOLT. I love BOLT’ S storyline–This TV dog, who had never been outside in the real world and surrounded by cameras and special effects, comes to find our that he is just a regular dog. However, he comes to realize that even though he doesn’t  have superpowers, he is still able to make a difference.

What if we weren’t limited by our fears and doubts? At first, I felt sad for Bolt because his whole life was scripted but then my radical brain started to work. There are so many fears and doubt that are put in our spirit by outside forces–where we think we should be compared to our fellow man, and inside forces–not being where we thought we should be at a certain age.

So, here’s a radical idea: Instead of allowing inside and outside fear lead us, we put ourselves in a faithful, fearless bubble making bold moves in the name of the Lord.

Still Pushing,

Dani G.

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Waiting on My Moment ~Venus

Hello everyone! I’m writing this post out of frustration. I have no other word to use but that one..lol. I’m trying to figure out where to start w/ this post so I guess I start from somewhere. I’ve been single for about a yr and few weeks. It seems like the guys that have been coming my way has been going in the NEXT category. lol! I met a guy recently that was weird. When I met him, he was telling me about how he was. For example, he told me that he had a pottie mouth, he drinks but he doesn’t smoke, and that he believed in the Bible and God but didn’t follow the Bible. I ended up giving the guy my number (trying to be friendly) and when I talked to the guy on the phone he became even weirder to me. I was going to try to be friends w/ him and hang w/ him but at the advice of my friends and following my intuition, my friends told me that I should let him go. I was going to have a conversation w/ him to let him know that I was going to let him go but that conversation never happened because he never contacted me when I told him to. So I didn’t bother contacting him and I haven’t heard from him so oh well.

I don’t know but for some reason I attract guys that are the opposite of what I want. I’m getting frustrated because I want to meet a guy that is decent and has good head on is shoulders. I’m just tried of the bullcrap that I have to deal with regarding guys. Since I’ve been celibate a lot of guys don’t understand my reason for celibacy and they see that I don’t budge regarding my decision about that. The reason why I’m celibate is because I wanting until marriage to have sex. I just want to do things the right way. It seems like the guys in my age group (I’m 25 yrs old) want to party, have sex, drink/smoke, and just isn’t responsible. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that all men in my age group are like that but that’s what I often encounter. That’s not the type of man who I want in my life. I’m at the point of my life where I’m trying to get myself established and I want a guy that wants to settle down. I need a man who is shares the same values as me and has goals for himself. I don’t need in a man in my life that is trying to play any games. I’m past that level and I don’t have time for that. So until I meet a guy that is worthy of my time, I guess I will remain single! lol!

Another thing that I’m frustrated about is my career. I want a career so badly and it seems like things aren’t happening as fast as I would like to be. I know that I have to wait on God’s timing and also spend more time applying for jobs. I guess the thing is I expected my life to be somewhat different at my age. I don’t think I’m doing bad for myself but I do desire more and better for myself. I’m trying my best to hang in there but it gets discouraging at times especially when you don’t see results of what you are working towards right away. I have goals that I’m working on so I get where I want to be. I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B in my life. I know that everything you do in life you have to take baby steps and it is a process. I guess I’m getting a little bit tired of waiting on things. My patience is definitely getting tested right now. I’m like ok God when am I going to have my moment (as in when will things turn around in my life) and how much longer do I have to wait? I’m trying to do my best by keeping myself encouraged and pressing but it gets hard sometimes. I hope that this post doesn’t sound like I’m complaining but I just want to be more established than I am now and I don’t want have to work so hard (I know that you have to work hard to get what you want but dang a girl gets tired lol). So just keep in your prayers and post some encouraging scriptures or stories when you reply to this post. I sure can use them. God bless!

~Venus

P.S. I was happy to see one of friends that I haven’t seen in a while this week. I also met his daughter. =) I was also happy that my mom enjoyed her Mother’s Day dinner that I cooked for her and the cupcake I bought for her. Yesterday I hung out w/ my sorority sister which was fun and Tuesday I hung out w/ my best friend and her boyfriend at the mall. I really need to work on getting out the house until I go back to work at the end of the month. I’m so not used to sitting still!

I also wanted to mention that last week my mentor Chante Truscott talked about waiting on God on a teleconference call called the the Hour Prayer. She talked about the story of Sarah and Hannah. She compared their stories. She discussed how Sarah got impatient even when God promised her and Abraham that they were going to have a child. You know in the story that Abraham laid w/ Hagar because Sarah felt that God was taking to long to bless them. The story of Hannah is different. Hannah prayed for God to give her son because she was barren. God blessed Hannah with her son Samuel. The gist of my mentor’s message was to wait on God because he always keep his promises. My mentor said that in the period of waiting we get frustrated and we sometimes take things into our own hands because we want to speed up the process. The story of Hannah can be found in 1st Samuel 1 & 2. The story of Sarah and Abraham can be found in Genesis 15-18 (the story of God promising them a son and the outcome). By the way please like my mentor’s ministry page Wives in Waiting on Facebook. Also check out her website http://www.wivesinwaiting.com. Her ministry is a blessing!

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There Is Power In the Name of Jesus- Renee`

This week has been very,very interesting. I started reading the book The Resolution; which is the female version to the book Courageous. It has been challenging, because I keep getting one word from God. The Word seems to be focus on “us”; and by us I mean the relationship I am building and maintaining with Him. To not get so caught up in what other people are doing or not doing. To really speak when He leads me to and not because i feel like something needs to be said. (this is pretty tough). 

I am a stickler and feel that my moral compass points North most of the time; so when I see things (injustices as I call them) I get really unnerved by them. It is what makes me such a great social service worker. That same passion for right/wrong can sometimes spill over into other areas of my life and unfortunately for me I have some issues seeing gray areas a lot of the time. 

When you move from one place to another it is natural to compare things. I’ve compared my entire life before I moved to this area. Again..not a lot of gray area when I was looking at how different this place was from my former home. Honestly, it caused me to have a harder time transitioning here because I was clinging to what I had before. My husband is one of the most positive people I know. Everything from him (in my eyes) seems to be seen from what I call the butterflies and rainbows perspective. Nothing seems to rattle him or upset him for the most part. He’s the eternal optimist. I on the other hand consider myself to be a realist..whatever that really means. And don’t quite see things as positive as he does. It’s amazing how two people can be in the exact same situation and handle things entirely different. Remember my question in the last blog about what separated people when bad things happened to them. And I stated it was the belief of the sovereignty of God. I keep getting confirmation that this is the absolute truth. While discussing my point of view with my HIS Gem she stated it is better to look at things through the rainbows and butterflies perspective than the thunder and roaches one. I agree..but how in the world do I change my natural inclination to worry or fret or complain? Again…really believing that God is sovereign and all powerful and all mighty. That no matter what happens in the natural that HE is always in control.I have to renew my mind daily. One thing that helps is music. Music is something that can really speak to your soul and stick with you. There’s a song called Break Every Chain by Tasha Cobbs that I just LOVE. It is powerful.

Here’s a link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pD2zIuiC2g 

and here are the lyrics:

Lead:
There is power in the name of Jesus(3x)
to break every chain, break every chain, break every chain. (2x)

Chorus:
There is power in the name of Jesus(3x)
to break every chain, break every chain, break every chain. (2x)

Lead:
Theres an army rising up.(3x)
To break every chain, break every chain, break every chain.(2x)

Chorus:
Theres an army rising up.(3x)
To break every chain, break every chain, break every chain.(2x)

Vamp:
I hear the chains falling.

End:
There is power in the name of Jesus
to break every chain, break every chain, break every chain.

Read more at http://www.lyrics.com/break-every-chain-lyrics-tasha-cobbs.html#ByvurFOVOSJE6u0s.99 

Chains off,

Renee` 

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