It Takes A Village…

Village_Cover_Image

The Village is everyone, everywhere!

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The village is everywhere!! Before children are walking/talking, they are capable of navigating through electronic devices. It’s almost amazing how effortlessly it happens. Its also very scary! YouTube is awesome and scary at the same time. Those next video suggestions that come up don’t always relate to the previous video, needless to say, your kids aren’t always watching innocent cartoon shows! The same works with the television. I have to say, I really do not believe in a TVs in the bedroom! Many think I’m a little extra for this but the truth is, we should be supervising what are children are consuming. “You are what you eat!” So we’ve got to watch what we are allowing our children to consume. This e-generation is causing our children not to read on time or as early as children used to. But of course they are pretty tech savvy!

Outside of the house, you’ve got the boys/girls in the hood. This is basically the peers of our children. We know kids are always watching and listening! Despite the fact that we don’t let kids outside as much as we used to (we won’t discuss obesity); when they are outside, they are learning from these people that they see interacting in the streets of our neighborhoods.

School
Let’s be clear, when we send our children to school, the teachers are not the only ones teaching! Students go to school to learn social behaviors as well as academics. Let’s talk about recess. Recess is where it all goes down! Students are alert and learning from each other in that sandbox or under the swings. Why do you think our young kids come home learning news dances and saying phrases that you never taught them. They actually get it from their peers in school, who got it from their many influences (often times older siblings, boys/girls in their neighborhoods, etc.).

Church
Same thing goes for the Church. We send our children to Sunday school and church but some of the kids in the classroom are bringing knowledge from the classroom or their neighborhood. Many of them may be really paying attention and learning spiritual matters, but we cannot be blind to the fact that some of our children are learning social behaviors from the children and youth at our churches (that pick it up from elsewhere).

Don’t Shelter, Filter!

This is scary! As a single woman with no children, but a whole lot of nieces, nephews, cousins and kids around me, I am scared to have children in this world. I go back and forth with the idea that I want 8 kids so that my children have plenty of sibling-friends or just not having any children at all. Eventually my children have to go outside and I don’t want them to catch whatever seems to be in the air with the kids out there these days!

My advice, don’t shelter your kids, just filter! Filter what they are watching, filter who they spend time with, filter everything. No need to get crazy (like I assume I may be at the beginning when I have my first child). But we have to pay attention to what has our children’s attention. Many defects are developed in childhood. We can help shape our children by simply explaining to our children why we do not allow them to watch certain shows or hang out with children whose parents don’t supervise them. The scariest story is the ones where children go to a ‘friend’s house’ and are left unsupervised, then they come home speechless. Years later, parents find out that something inappropriate happened because the friend simply let the kids do what they wanted in the back room without supervision, assuming they were good.

Pray and Teach

All we can do is pray for our children and teach them the right path.
‘Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. ‘
Proverbs 22:6

‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ‘
Philippians 4:6

Prayer is truly the only way to cover your child. We can’t shelter them. We may not always be able to filter who/what they will encounter. (Won’t even mention police brutality or molestation from family members teachers, coaches and priests). You really can’t depend on people! Instead of worrying, we can choose to train our children up in an upright manner and pray for them and with them!

We should take some of that TV or YouTube time and create at-home bible study/prayer time. Just the same way we can’t expect our children to learn everything in the classroom from their teachers, we most certainly cannot depend on the Sunday School teacher to teach our children all spiritual matters themselves. We must be teaching our children at home. Homework is more than academics! They need to be building their characters as early as they are learning the ABCs, they can be learning/memorizing bible verses (that’s the sword, they will need that later!). As they are learning about bullying, they can be learning about compassion and the Love of God. We must be intentional with raising our children. Teach them to pray by actually praying with them and letting them take the lead. We must teach our kids at home all of the things they may not find in other places in the Village.

We are the Village

Don’t let the streets raise your kids. As the notorious Auntie Kencia, the kids around me know when I come through, I’m asking about God, school and life! It’s corny and may seem annoying at the time, but the truth is, I have realized my place in the village. Some of their parents don’t have the time to ask some of the questions that I ask their kids, so I play my part. I shape the children around me. I urge you to do that same! Pray for the children around you. If you see them slip up, shape them up! You don’t always have to beat children to keep them in check. Ask my nieces and nephews, Auntie Kencia is Queen of Lectures! They probably hurt worse than the beating, I always make them shed a tear or two, but the lesson sticks more than the beatings! Even doing a shoulder drive-by. Take a look over their shoulders to see what the kids are watching on their electronic devices. Let’s play our part in the village. We have to watch what our kids are eating and doing! Eventually, they will be the doctors that operate on us, pastors that pray with us, engineers that build for us, etc. We have to mind their future success even if they do not understand why now. It’s our job to train up our children and shape them now!

I pray that you were blessed and you were encouraged to go and play your role in the village so we can shape our children in the right way!

Until Next Post…

~ Kence

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The Weight Loss Yo-Yo

We all get to the place where we start to get focused on a goal and we go IN! But then somewhere past that, reality hits and you lose your focus. If you don’t know much about Oprah, you do know that she has been small, big, and medium like eighty times. This is known as weight cycling or the weight loss yo-yo. In this post, I briefly discuss the journey through the cycle and how to get out of the yo-yo.

Many of you may know, I started to lose weight back in June 2015. I really transformed into a new person. I got focused and started to shed weight. I lost 80lbs the first year. I went to the gym, I barely kept up Insanity videos at home (but I did low moderation 2-3 times a week), I went for run/walks and ate right. Life was great. It seemed so simple. Eventually life happened. Shawty started living/eating right part-time. I would skip days at the gym. I got tired just thinking about Insanity or any workout videos. I ate more cheat meals. I slowly lost focus. I began to get comfortable. Many of my friends and family would compliment me on my progress (whether it was genuine or not, I’m still not sure). People would simply say “you look good, girl!” almost effortlessly (some days I even looked a HOT mess) because they believed that’s what I wanted/needed to hear their compliment. I somehow allowed those compliments to make me lose focus. I decided that this was a good enough weight because people finally noticed my progress. Obviously my eyes were on the wrong prize! Had I been focused on the right thing, I would have remained steadfast in my journey to eating right for life.

I want to encourage you to get back on the horse! Gaining weight after you know what size you used to be is the worst (especially for us ladies). Its about your focus. Get your mind back in the game! Below are a few points that I think will help as you jump out of the weight loss yo-yo

June 2015 to Sept 2016

((June 2015 to Sept 2016))

Jeans Don’t Lie: Get over it!

If you find yourself in a rut because you notice that the jeans don’t fit, make your move! Don’t just get mad/sad and complain. You’ve got to get that behind up and get back to the basics! Start today. I hate that ‘tomorrow’ or worse, ‘I’ll start Monday!’ No you wont! You should start today.

Proverbs 27:1 says Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what that day will bring.

Need I say more!? You don’t know if you have tomorrow. Take action today. Even if you lose an ounce today, you really just got your head in the game. Tomorrow you are likely to do better because you know that you had progress. The thing about little progress, is ITS PROGRESS!!! Stop playing, get over the rut and get up!

Ignore the Noise

Your friends and family are all noisy! The compliments or the discouragement about your appearance should not be the reason for your drive. You really need to find your motivation within. As a child of a Haitian, I have to suffer from the bi-polar directions on how to look. My mom will tell me that I need to lose weight, out of concern that I’m too big and its unhealthy. But then after I finally began the journey, she would express concern that I am getting too skinny (my “collar bone is sticking out”). As you would imagine, that’s too much to be trying to keep up with. There is enough noise in your head as the Enemy feeds your thoughts about your self image and how it relates to your worth. Not to add watching TV or looking at magazines to see ‘beautiful’ people that you would love to look like. The truth is you’ve got to write down the goal and put it up some where you can see it. I would like to say put your written goal (Habakkuk 2:2) in your prayer closet so that you don’t forget to pray about it everyday. While you’re at it, pray for the haters that are distracting you from your focus.

Current weight

((Current weight))

Remain Consistent

That’s the name of the game! You just gotta stick with it. Don’t allow your schedule to get so busy that you don’t have the time to keep up with your goal. I love this quote: “I don’t diet. I just eat according to my goals.” If I could change it, I would say schedule your life around your goals. If you want to be connected with God, you should have quiet time on your calendar. Same thing with fitness, you should schedule your gym dates and even your meal prep times. My friends know my calendar is my life (literally). If you don’t have a slot on there, you won’t be seen. Put a reminder on your phone. Keep the sneakers in your trunk. Always have a gym bag. You will eliminate excuses.

Those are my pointers on getting over the weight loss cycle. I hope you are encourage to get back on track. Comment below if you have any questions, I would love to encourage you throughout your journey. May the Lord grant you the determination and focus to remain consistent and focused until you meet your goal and He returns (and you’ll be all sexy!). Amen!

Until Next Post…

~Kence

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As for me and my house, We shall BUDGET!!

As for me and my house, We shall BUDGET!!

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As you may know, I began working at a new job a few months ago. Today actually marks 3 months here. Naturally, with the new job, can a raise. This time last year, I decided to follow the teachings of Dave Ramsey, I like to call him Uncle Dave because I feel like we’re family (as much as I read/listen/watch his teachings). 

Since May 2017, I have been debt free and I no longer use any form of credit to pay for anything. It’s been a rough road; I have to say! When I graduated from college in 2012, I thought I was balling because I thought “I can pay $500/month” for a car payment.” Then I moved out of state and got a higher paying job and naturally determined that I was getting a raise so I could afford more stuff! After the grieving of my brother in 2012, I even determined, I was balling enough to buy my mom a car (attempts to make her happy after such a tragedy) I just knew I could make both payments as long as she didn’t have a Lexus like me. So I got her a Toyota (Lexus Jr.). I was one of the lucky Americans that graduated school with very little student loan debt. I only owed $2,500 for a subsidized loan. I was ‘smart’ to get that because I did not have to pay the interest while in school. I tried to rush into grad school when I moved to New Jersey, but soon found that wasn’t such an easy task. So I paid a little more than the minimum payments.

Then life happened and I was jobless. Unemployed. Living alone away from my family with no support but food stamps and waiting for unemployment approval. Life got REAL real fast! Being the hustler, I’ve always known how to be, I quickly started working several jobs. I worked a substitute teacher and I found a job working at a hotel in the front desk. I hustled my behind off! I was able to keep up with my payments but had to use my credit cards to survive beyond the food stamps. Fast forward a year, I finally got a job in my industry and was making ‘real’ money.

I knew about Uncle Dave and his teachings but wasn’t sure I was ‘about that life.’ One day my friend made it sound appealing, so I decided to give him a chance and listened to his podcast. I started listening every week. It was crazy, I was definitely binge watch all of the previous shows on YouTube. I got myself hyped! I paid off my student loan (that I had been playing with… I could’ve BEEN paid that off!) within a month. Then I moved to my credit card (low max so that was easy to pay too). Then I sweated over those car payments for a while. I paid mine first, then tackled my mom’s car. I did that but never was serious about a budget.

Budgets are probably the most un-fun math problems you can do! I don’t care how much you hate calculus, you’re probably going to hate budgeting more because it gets REAL when you look at your numbers and have to balance your income and your financial goals at the same time. The sad part is budgeting is simple math. Its literally adding and subtracting. I know many people that will take calculus over doing their monthly budgets. I started out by using simple budget applications on my phone. But then Uncle Dave challenged me to stop using my debit card and go all cash! He practically ruined my life with this suggestion. I am on week three of a full cash budget and I love/hate it. I love it because I know I feel the money leave my pocketbook, but I hate it because, darn the money really left my pocket! I separate my money in categories using the envelop system and it makes my nerd brain feel organized. But there’s definitely a constant battle distinguishing between wants and needs.

Now that I am debt-free, I am careful about the people I hang with. I know many people that aren’t watching their finances and certainly try to send me to start spending $10 here, $5 there. They don’t realize it but this is why American’s have so much debt! We think “It’s Just a….” This mentality gets us into trouble because we begin spending more money than we make because we don’t realize all of the small purchases must be coming from somewhere (generally not your bank account). I love/hate budgeting. Its long some months (especially during the holiday seasons), but I know that it’s the way I will save the most money in order to be a good steward of the resources that the Lord has given me.

As for me and my house, we shall ALWAYS be on a budget! Everything is worth budgeting for. Think about it, if you have to pay for it, the money has got to come from somewhere! Even that’s from that money tree in your backyard. I don’t have one of those, so I watch my money and I do what John Maxwell says, I tell my money where to go! Some months my money needs to go to a full wardrobe (weight loss/gain struggles). This month I will do a lot more food shopping for thanksgiving, so I told my money it’s got lots of work to do at the end of the month. We got to get food then buy gifts on Black Friday, it’s all in the plan. No surprises. Thank God for wisdom to budget and keep the finances in check! That’s my simple story about my journey to budgeting. Please let me know if you want to know any info about finances, I would love to share resources with you to support you in your journey to financial freedom. 

 

Until Next Post…

~Kence

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Its a New Season: Get Ready!!

 New Season

 
As my last day of work is approaching, the Holy Spirit has been urging me to get ready for a new season. Every time someone passes me, they ask, “Are you ready? Are you counting down?” Honestly, I’m not. Not sure what I’m feeling… I guess I’m still in my old season. I was listening to a sermon series by John Gray from Lakewood church about season changes and I got a DIME. Three things need to be done when shifting seasons. Determine, pray, and prepare for the season.
 
Determine your season:
You can either be in a sowing season or in a harvest. Its important to know where you are so that you are doing the right thing. No sense in looking for harvest when you should be sowing. I’ve spent the last few days working and getting things ready for a smooth transition out. If I decided to leave my work unorganized or just decided not to work at all after I presented my notice, I would be burning a bridge. I know that the last 3 years can’t go to waste in my last two weeks because I got too excited that I was leaving. This is the end of my sowing season, so the hard work doesn’t stop yet.
 
 27th Birthday Party
 
I like to say that I give good/thoughtful gifts. I don’t believe in ‘half stepping’ on anything I do, but especially gifts. At some point I started to get discouraged because sometimes I wasn’t receiving the Thank You’s and appreciation I wanted. I had to pray for the Lord to sooth my heart and revise my intentions. I knew the Lord was pleased with my acts of generosity but I had to stop expecting a jumping and shouting of joy every time someone opened a gift box from Kence- it caused a lot of disappointment-for real! But I noticed I gave a lot more gifts than I received. I even had a hard time accepting the few I got because it was so unusual. Now I realize, that was my time of sowing. This past year I started to shift seasons, I had a huge birthday party at a bowling alley (crazy- never expected so much love), my launch party was a success (mad love again), my graduation was celebrated with lots of love and gifts! I noticed I was getting more love/gifts (interchangeable because acts of service is a gift to me) than usual. Things as simple as a Thank You note, a $5 gift card, a lunch date to a local restaurant or even as big as a FAT check! Its clear to me now, that my season of sowing has now shifted to harvest and I can now get used to receiving because this is the season I’m in.

 

At the end of the night, I was so overwhelmed so I took a group pic with the people that were still there

At the end of the night, I was so overwhelmed so I took a group pic with the people that were still there

 

Pray for the new season:
 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Be sure to go about all things prayerfully!
 
Going to a new season requires wisdom. You may not know what to expect. I know I get nervous every time I think about leaving my current position for a new position. I’m nervous that because its a ‘new place,’ I won’t know what to expect. It took my 3 years to get used to my role and the people around me. My constant prayer is for the Lord to give me wisdom as I go into this new place. I even added prayers about new work friends. Its so hard to leave the comfortable old for the scary new. So I’m sure to pray that the Lord will go ahead of me and provide me with the wisdom and courage I will need to step into new territory boldly knowing this new season is my next destination in His great plan for my life path and purpose.
 
Prepare for the new season:
Lastly, we need to prepare! Get ready!! For me, I’m starting my preparation with a vacation. I know the power of a renewed mind and know that I have to take time to allow the Holy Spirit to pour into me. Coming out of a season of sowing can certainly be draining and I’m tired (in my country accent- TaYYYY’d)!!! I know I’ve been working my butt off trying to make sure everyone is ok at my current job before I leave, so much so I haven’t even thought about the little things for the new journey that’s about to kick off. After a week off, I can pray and get a refreshed spirit to start this new season off right! I know that once I get through my preparation, I will be set to begin my new season confidently knowing that the Lord has me there for a mission.
 
So, my people, this short post is to simply encourage anyone moving from one season to the next… get ready!! God’s certainly got something waiting for ya! Identify your season, pray for the new one and get ready to go in!! 😜
 
God bless ya!
 

Until next post…

 

– Kence

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The Threat of the Big Ant

Big Ant Syndrome

I was on the phone with a friend the other day and got news that she has big ant syndrome (totally made up by me).

I went for a walk and I saw this big ant. I stopped and starred at it for a few seconds. Then I found myself a little nervous so i stepped on it. I didn’t step on it for a particular reason, mostly just because it was big and it bothered me. The ant was a black ant, we all know black ants don’t bite. I just decided, it didn’t need to live so that it could reproduce more of its kind (cruel, I know).

While I was speaking to my friend, she described a situation where she was just doing what she was called to do. She is an up and coming dancer. She also dances with other good dancers, but her career  is a little more promising because she has been making appearances on big stages with famous artists. Off stage, she still dances with her friends for smaller gigs (church or other shows that they are invited to perform at).

She called me frustrated with her dancemates because she was under scruntiny (something like the ant) because she was now the big ant on the same stage as them. When she was not performing for big name artists, she was not a threat, she was just ‘one of them.’ If ever she had an ‘off day,’ it was simply that. But now, her friends consider her to be a threat so they shame her for an off day.

I had to explain to my friend that this big ant syndrome comes with the new territory. As you get bigger, people will start to attack you because you’re bigger than the rest of them. All ants we see aren’t big ones. Big ants are unusual. Thus, you are unusual. You are chosen. They hatin’!! You’re no longer one of them so you have to understand that its normal for such actions to come from these people. So ladies and gents, I pray that y’all can realize that as you move up, you are threathening the people in your former circle because you are a big ant! Dont take it personal. Recognize it and start chilling with the big ants! I heard this quote, “Since we can’t change people, change the people around us.” As you change the people around you, the new people will teach you lessons and help you grow rather than scrutinize you or hurt your feelings as an attempt to keep you stagnant.

I pray that this DIME will encourage you to evaluate your circle. If you’re the big ant, don’t get stepped on just for being different. Recognize your gift and thrive with the big ants.

Until next post….

Kence

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Find a Way to Win!

When David went to take Goliath down (1Samuel Ch. 17), it took courage! He knew that they had to take down this bully!! So he got hungry! No matter who tried to talk him down/out of it, he still persisted because he knew that there was a need to take this giant down. Thus, he went to solve the problem. In Verse 32, David made known that ‘He got this!’ But Saul doubted his ability to fight Goliath by looking at his current track record (young man, only familiar with working with sheep). But David had to make known to Saul that he certainly could take down Goliath because he’s struct a bear before! He had to take down lions that tried to attack his sheep, so he knows that the Lord will deliver him from the hand of Goliath because many times before God delivered him from other vicious creatures.

32David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” 33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lordwho rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
 
This is the type of confidence and faith that we need to take when it comes to winning in our own situations in life! David didn’t have time to complain, he was determined to go for it! Despite Saul, the king, telling him that he can’t possibly win a battle over Goliath, David was only a young man. Reminding David that Goliath has been a warrior since his youth so he’s got years of experience as a warrior. David definitely proved that he turned Saul’s “can’t” into “can” when he triumphed over that giant with a sling and a stone (verse 50). Glad David didn’t listen to Saul when he mentioned that he couldn’t take down Goliath because he was only a young man.

Lesson: Raise up the standard to win! Give it all you’ve got. Do whatever it takes to find a way to win!  Regardless of what people say or do, remember what you are in it for and go get it! Naysayers will be there. They are likely to be the most influential people around you (your family/friends). Pay them no mind, keep pushing and aim to win!

Characteristics of a Winner:

  1. Hunger to Win
    • Know what you are doing this for! What’s your motive? Find your drive
    • Get HUN-gray!
  2. Needs Discover-er:
    Determine what needs to be done & “get er’ done!”
    Spirit of a ‘Go Getter’!
  3. Problem Solver
    • When people say you can’t, you show then that you can

What Winners Should Not Do:

  1. Complain
    1. Turn your complaints into a to-do list
    2. #ChopWood don’t let it build up
  2. Let others or problems get to you
    1. Stay focused on the end result
    2. Realize that obstacles will occur… just remain faithful until you reach the finish line
  3. Quit

Thanks for reading. God Bless Ya! 

Until next post…

-Kence

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Real (Neighbor) Love

 neighbor love

Happy Valentine’s Day, Folks!! In reflection about love, (in my singleness) I wanted to post about real love… even while single.

I have found that many people (often times, us women) ‘beef’ for others. Let’s make up a practical example. Example: My friend, Laura has a problem with April. I may have been friends with April previously, but because Laura is no longer friends with April, it causes me to be indifferent toward April for the sake of Laura (the ‘closer’ friend), even if April did nothing to offend me personally/directly. This is not exemplifying Christ-like behavior!! It is important that we think about the W.W.J.D. principles (“What Would Jesus Do?”) we learned when we were younger. Though this may seem so elementary, we have got to get back to the basics! After all, Jesus did say that whoever takes the lowly position of a child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:4) I like to interpret this as meaning that we must be humble and teachable.

What if Jesus did this to us?:

I can’t help but to imagine if April knew Jesus (back when He walked the earth). What if April went to Jesus and said, “I can’t stand Kence because she is always walking around overly confident like she cuter than me, don’t die for her sins, Jesus.” Or “Kence is such a horrible friend, she don’t call me (I don’t call her either) but she ain’t right! So Jesus, please don’t love her despite her flaws.” Or “Kence doesn’t hang with me any more, she thinks she somebody, Jesus don’t mess with her!” I would be horrified if Jesus actually listened to such bogus requests! Imagine! Thank God that Jesus does not have the ‘All-for-one’ attitude towards us! Thank God that the Lord isn’t influence by April, people or even my right or wrong doings! His grace is sufficient and his love is free (and it endures forever)! What if it was flipped and the Lord (who actually knows my shortcomings… the ones I wouldn’t even dare speak of), told April about them and said not to speak to me ever again! That’s crazy because the Lord really knows I’m not worthy. And all the facts He got on me, no one should be my friend at all, maybe ever! But thank God that He calls me friend and He remains a faithful friend despite my inadequacies and flaws. He could easily ‘cut me off,’ if He were using the same standards as Laura or April. But thank God that He was not all about that ‘All-for-one” stuff. My beef with others does not influence or change His love for me.

love

 

What about Love?:

The bible is clear that love is the greatest/most important commandment. After loving the Lord your God, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22: 37-40). We must love, above all because love covers a multitude of sins! (1 Peter 4:8) If we could get that part together than all else will be effortless. Ever hear the saying: ‘Love is blind,’ it means that once we love someone we can easily look over their flaws. This type of love should be shown beyond romantic relationships and to all of the people we encounter. If Laura and I could get our lives together and love April despite the drama, we would be able to see that it is a temporary limitation and something to simply correct (with love) and look over. We should extend love and grace to one another. Remember the Lord ’s Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses (sins or shortcomings) as we forgive those who trespass against us.” (Matthew 6:12; Luke 11:4) If we remember how you needed to be forgiven, we will then freely extend the same type of forgiveness to others. This is not to say that this is an easy task! But it should be our aim to forgive as we have been forgiven.

realLove

The Lesson:

I hope you (though convicted) were encouraged by this post on what real love for others should look like. I pray that God will give us the grace to genuinely love everyone without jumping on the team because others have their own disputes. Let’s be sure to settle our differences (Laura vs April) privately and quickly! (Matt. 5:25) If you quickly settle these concerns, you can move past them before bitterness sets in and makes it even harder to love your neighbor.

Let’s make every effort not to beef for others, rather let’s love them (including April) – just as we love ourselves. I know I love me! So that’s a lot of love I should be giving April! Pray for our friends like Laura that try to influence others to beef with people and jump on their team. This is not like a sport. It’s a bad habit! Let’s confront the Laura’s in our lives and show them what love should look like. Love should make us patient with others as they learn lessons and move past their current limitations/issues. Keep on loving the April’s in our lives that people do not want to extend their love to because of their blemishes. This will differentiate us from others. We know that we all have imperfections and have weak moments where we need an extension of compassion. This is our chance to show the love of the Lord in our action (and choice) to love. I really do live by the golden rule (Matt. 7:12) that say “so in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you”… Let’s forgive so we can be forgiven. Above all, let’s love so that we can be loved.

 

Until next post…

  • Kence

 

 

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Pace Yourself: Find Your Pace and Stick to it!

 

 

 

 My experience:

I love Spin! I take a cycling/ Spin fitness class every week at work. In class, the students listen to the instructor. The very fit instructor tells us the levels. I look around the room and see that people are warn out. They wear themselves out because they are trying to push themselves too hard. I like to find my pace. And go with it. If the instructor’s screaming “Level 15” but spinning faster than the students, I realize that I am not on ‘that’ level, so I find the level that will allow me to work just as hard and fast as she is. I want to keep up with the instructor but I know that if I stick to the numbers she’s calling out, I won’t be able to keep up. So I find a lower level, my level, and I keep up.

 

 Spiritual connection/ Inspiration:

Often times we look to people spiritually at another level than us and we go crazy trying to do things the way they do them. We shouldn’t do this because we overexert ourselves which can later cause disappointment. Find your own gift and pace and go with it. Not everybody can be a pastor of a church (too many chiefs, no Indians). We need some Indians that are good at what they do! Be a good singer, a good sound technician, a good usher/greeter, or just be a good general body member. Sometimes, we touch the most people by the general body members. These are the people visitors look to for support. Just be yourself. There is no two of you! Wherever you are in life, or in your spiritual journey, someone else is probably there too! Stop trying to keep up with the Jones’!! The people will sniff that out! They will know that’s not you… eventually you will not be as effective. You will remain effective if you are true to you! No faking. If you are a baby Christian sipping on milk, own it! Do what it takes to move from level 1 then to level 2, as you progress, remember where you came from and how you moved up so that you help carry someone else through. We meet people everyday. Every person we meet is on a different level. Some people are a few levels higher than you, and can drop a few dimes your way to help whenever you reach that level. Others may be a few levels lower than you, or where you were last week or last year. Have compassion and drop a few D.I.M.E.S (Divine Inspiration Meant to Encourage Spiritually) for them! They will need a little encouragement, just like you did and will.

 Lesson: You shouldn’t get lazy and stay on the same level the entire time, but you shouldn’t try to get on the instructors level just for the sake of keeping up. Find your pace and stick with it. Often times people out do things and then never complete tasks because they give up. If you go to cycling everyday and overexert yourself, the truth of the matter is that you will eventually get tired and quit. However if you find your pace and you keep at it for 3-4 times a week, you are more likely to maintain your commitment and stick it through! Find your pace & stick it through, people!  Don’t get content at “level 2”, because someday “level 2” won’t work anymore and you will not get the desired results until you go a level up to keep your body engaged. So don’t be afraid to try new levels until you find the one that’s just right. Once you find it, stick to it until its time to move up again, do not stay stagnant.

 

I love y’all lots! Until next post….

 

–          Kence

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