Testify Thursday

$485.66 (Transportation, Food, Credit Card Payments, Health)

Subtract:

  • 37.73 RITE AID STORE
  • 65.00 CREDIT CARD PTM
  • 12.00 PAYPAL *KAPPA PSI
  • 10.00 METRO
  • 5.56 STARBUCKS CORP
  • 1.58 7-ELEVEN
  • 7.38 BESTWAY ADELPHI
  • 14.17 RITE AID STORE
  • 4.90 STARBUCKS CORP
  • 20.00 WITHDRAWAL
  • 3.61 CHECKERS
  • 4.60 CAFE
  • 4.94 CAFE
  • 4.40 GIANT FOOD INC
  • 18.70 ELLAS WOOD FIRED
  • 29.77 SHOPPERS FOOD
  • 6.67 POPEYE’S
  • 6.45 CAFE
  • 24.79 CHILI’S GRILL & BA
  • 1.49 CAFE
  • 17.89 PIZZA HUT
  • 35.00 CREDIT CARD PMT
  • 20.00 WITHDRAWAL
  • 12.54WM SUPERCENTER
  • 10.00 METRO
  • 7.43HIGHLANDS
  • 7.00 METRO
  • 18.42 PAPA JOHNS
  • 2.90 METRO
  • 12.01 CVS PHARMACY
  • 3.10 METRO
  • 20.00 MARYLAND ALLERGY & AST
  • 1.65 METRO
As of today: $33.98

This is how I spent my money in the past 30 days and how much I have in the bank as of now. I receive a refund check from my student loan the beginning of this year. The first thing I did with the check was pay my bills and rent to help me survive to June. My car died in the beginning of February, which allowed me to only work 4 hours at my job since the beginning of the year. Also my job has filed for bankruptcy, so I have to look for another job. I have applied to various jobs that will fit into my school schedule, but I have not received a response from any of them as of now.  My rent is due June 1st and soon I will have more bills to pay for my health and utilities.
1 Corinthians 2:5 “So that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”
I will admit that I know I could have spent my money a little wiser, but I can’t change the past. In the past months, I could not imagine surviving off of $485 a month especially with my hectic schedule. It is not the first time I had to pinch pennies, but each time this has occurred it surprises me. I ask myself how did I let this happen. If only I could have worked more…If my car would have not died on me. I could continue with the “what if’s” and all of the negative outlooks. This is when I have to remember who God is. God is faithful as He has proven to me many times. God always provides for me as He has done many times. Why should I worry?
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

I know it is difficult for most of you to understand this concept. I can become weary at times and wonder how will all of this work out. This just shows how wonderful and awesome God is to us. I am not starving. I was able to hang out with friends and colleagues. I paid my bills. I took care of my health. I have all of my necessities. I also donated money. With the help of friends giving me rides and my family giving me food, I was able to get this far. Also I have witnessed my parents just relying on faith in God to provide for us.
Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”
I wrote this to encourage you all that as long as you have faith in God and believe He will provide for all your needs, He will! Too many of us stress and miss fond opportunities due to finances. I am not perfect as well and have not completely trusted in God. I also questioned why God has not allowed for me to obtain a job right now or how I can raise money for others, but not myself. Well only God knows, but I do know that I am content with this situation and will continue to have faith. For I know that God will provide and is always on time.
Be Blessed and Have Faith!

True Forgiveness

So I have been wanting to write about this for a while. This is very difficult for me to share, but if I didn’t I would not be living up to this blog’s standards.

Colossians 3:12-14 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

I had to exhibit these verses in order to move on from this ordeal I encountered on the first day of this year. I was raped…not the typical kind that is usually depicted on television, but nevertheless something was ripped from me that was good and bad. I was intoxicated with friends of both sexes. Well since I was intoxicated my friend left me at the house to sleep it off because she and I both thought I would be safe. I was told by my guy friend that I could sleep in his bed. I looked at him crazy. He insisted that he would not touch me and would sleep on the couch. Trusting that he was my friend and also knowing he has a girlfriend, I decided to sleep in the bed.

However, I wished I would have chose different. He stayed in the bed. He continue to inch his way closer to me as I would move away from him. I was too inebriated to do anything more than say stop and slight movements. Well I guess he didn’t agree with my attempts to stop him and pounced on me. I tried to get him off of me but that only forced him to pin me down to proceed to get what he wanted. My initial thought was why is this happening to me. I did not want this. I wanted to cry…instead I just laid there and closed my eyes. I felt weak for being drunk but I did not want to express the pain I was enduring through the shedding of tears.  As he yelled obscene language towards me, I just kept asking God to take this fear I have inside of me away.

When I returned home, I attempted to move on with life as if nothing occurred. I blamed myself and went through the usual regret of drinking. I was reminded of the rape everyday for 6 weeks because of the knots I had in my back and the bruised ribs. This is when I realized something good was ripped from me. I was constantly sexually harassed throughout my life since I was 4 years old. I would never blame the males for the unexpected sexual advances. I would always blame myself…I need to cover my body up more…I cannot be left alone with guys even if I think they are my friends…I must have done something inappropriate to make them do that. It took for me to be raped to realize none of those things were my fault. I was freed from a 20 year battle that was inside of me.

Psalm 130:4 “But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.”

After the many talks with friends, the praying, and getting tested, I had to make a decision of how I will handle this situation. I decided not to report it because of the extra stress it would put on my busy schedule and the fear of having one or several of family members going to prison for his murder. The best thing I could do was forgive him. I prayed for his soul everyday. It was very challenging because I could not escape seeing him for we attended the same university. There were many times I wanted to kill him myself. I knew if I did not forgive him, I would not be able to continue to only fear God. I would be fearing my rapist too. I saw him a week ago and I was at peace with myself. I knew that what he did to me would not destroy my destiny. It seemed as if he made me fearless of anything but God.

Now I still have to confront him about what he did to me. I will do this when God gives me the opportunity. However, I have learned what true forgiveness means. If I could forgive him, I could forgive anyone that wrongs me and move on with my promising future. I am able to be nice and help those who have wronged me in the past and not think about it twice. I am rarely reminded of the rape. I also do not judge other males inappropriately because of what this one guy has done. I was able to move on with my life at peace and less stressed. Ultimately I know “God is for me so who can be against me?”

-Spread love to everyone as much as you can

Another Quickie

To get you over the hump…

Psalm 1

1BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.

2But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.

3And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity].

Stand firm. Continue to read God’s Word. Basque in it. Lavish in it. And know, you will see the results in due time, when everything has matured. What a promise.

Madness Mondays

So here is a little prayer that a friend prayed for me. I’m sure that you all can relate.

Dear Lord,

Please calm her loins

Gird them up with truth & not with penis!

Just say no to the penis

Keep mouths away from her privates

And fill her up so she doesn’t crave it

Lord hear our prayers

In Jesus name

Amen!

Often as women, we are regarded as objects of sexual desire. No one thinks about the fact that we have desires. And as we wait on the Lord, we sometimes need to open up honestly in prayer for the Lord to shut things down and help us. And we need to support our sisters in Christ! Intercede on each other’s behalf!

I Heard You the First Time

Do you ever pray, and pray, and pray and wonder: God, are you listening to me?

Do you ever look around at a situation that has persisted for weeks, months, YEARS and think: Aye yo God! What’s really good?

Do you ever stop and just know that God MUST have the TV on and it MUST be a new episode of Grey’s because that could be the only logical explanation for my ignored prayers?

Yea…me either.

As I turn the corner on year 5 of one particular situation (not to mention the ins and outs of plenty of other curve balls life has thrown my way) I’ve found myself completely distraught. I can’t tell up from down, left from right or in from out. I’ve fumbled my faith. I don’t believe God could handle my situation. I’ve found myself in the midst of “Your will be done” prayers instead of focused and specific prayers for the wholeness and healing that God promised me. What’s worse is I’ve found myself unable to even form coherent prayers about the current state of affairs.  Was God even listening!?

Then it hit me. Daniel 10. A scripture I have avoided for at least 3 days, at most 3 years. Look at verses 10-12. (NLT; emphasis added)

10 Just then a hand touched me and lifted me, still trembling, to my hands and knees. 11 And the man said to me, “Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up, still trembling.12 Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.”

Did yall catch that revelation? If not, don’t worry. It took me a minute, but here it is.

1. You are precious to God. This means a lot to me personally. Each and every one of us are precious to God. I often forget this, especially when I am feeling neglected or unheard. But this is truth. Everything otherwise is a lie. The truth is YOU ARE PRECIOUS TO GOD!

2. Don’t be afraid. Fear is easy. It is cowardly and defeated. We often default to fear so we do not have to confront situations and stand firm and strong. But God says, do not be afraid. We are precious to God, He isn’t scared and we shouldn’t be either.

3.Since the FIRST day. God is pretty much saying in verse 12, “I heard you the first time”. It might not look like things are changing, it might not look like prayers are being answered. But God heard us the first time! He is listening! He says, since the FIRST day we humbled ourselves, he has heard our cries. When we have laid broken before the Lord, acknowledging that we are nothing and He is everything, he hears us! When we have nothing else to say other than HELP!, he hears us! God hears us! The FIRST time!

4. I have come to answer your prayers. Not only has God heard us the first time, he has come to answer our prayers. God is on it! He heard us, and he is working it all out!

So, I know that none of us ever doubt that God hears our prayers and has answered them. This scripture just served as a reminder to me not to lose hope or fumble my faith. God heard me, and He hears you, the first time.

Grace & Love,

Ms. Panache

a quick lil nugget

Hebrews 13:5 (Amplified Bible)

5Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

wow. what a promise! 😉

in the stillness

sit and search.
i seek the one thing i have been missing.
the one thing i have longed for my entire life.
for the one who will invest in me. who will see the many facets and complexities of me.
i run, frantically, from person to person.
from emotion to emotion.
searching.
but always feeling empty.
never complete. never whole. never full.

until….

i found Him.
i realized that He had always been there. here. in the stillness.
waiting for me to quiet myself long enough to hear His voice.
His sweet whispers…
of assurance.
of acceptance.
of unconditional, unfailing love.
of unending mercy.
of unmeasured power.
of unquestioned sovereignty.
of unhindered authority.

He COMPLETES me.
He is what i have been longing for.
what i have overlooked for so many years.
and what i look forward to investing in for many more to come.

HE is my gift.
HE is just for me.
HE is just what i need.
HE is what i’ve always wanted.

i am grateful for the stillness.

Box of Chocolates

“Life is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get.” Some may ask what does that mean. Some may say that is true. I say it is true to a certain extent and applies to certain circumstances in life.

  1. I will like to know when has anyone come into this life with a box of chocolates??? I have never met anyone that receives a box of chocolates everyday.
  2. You may not know what is inside the chocolate, but if you don’t like it can you just throw it away???
  3. After eating many boxes of chocolates, should one be able to guess what is inside the chocolate???

Now let me answer those three questions for you.

  1. We are born into this world as sinners. There are consequences to sin. Therefore we will not experience happiness everyday in our lives. Romans 7:17-19 says, “As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.”
  2. In essence YES you can throw the chocolate away. Some things in life we can avoid if we are willing to and some things we cannot because we have no control over the situation. For the situations we cannot control remember Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
  3. Experience can teach you very valuable lessons throughout life. One is able to figure out what to do in life after a while, but there is still that chance that one will make the wrong decision. The key is not to know but to understand what life is all about. Ephesians 5:16-18 says, “Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”

We may not have a box of chocolates everyday. We may not always know what will happen. There are some things we can be certain of and bring joy to our lives. Jesus is our box of chocolates. He died for our sins, so that we will have eternal life. He assured us victory, therefore in the end we win! We will never know what will occur in our daily lives because the devil is real. Also humans are not perfect. We are very capable of making a million mistakes and causing harm to others. Although, we have to endure the suffering, we are comforted by God’s everlasting love. We may change, but God’s love for us will never change. He always keeps His promises to us.

Friends let us start waking up everyday knowing we have a box of chocolates. We may never know what will be inside each and every one of those chocolates, but one of those chocolates will satisfy your soul. For all the bad ones we encounter, at the end of the day we can say we are satisfied…resting our souls knowing that tomorrow we will have another box of chocolates!