Archive | February 2016

Giraffe or Turtle?


A young lady shared this video with me and a few others the other day. I had to tell her that she should have put some type of disclaimer or warning label on the video because I was listening to it while driving home from work and literally wanted to raise my hands, stomp my feet and shout out loud!  Somehow I managed to fight back the tears, maintain control of the car and even resisted the urge to pull over for a praise break! This word was definitely fiya! So on point, so on time, so needed!

I am a giraffe. Not everyone is going to understand my views, my vision and my purpose and it’s unfair for me to expect them to….especially if you’re a turtle.  Our perspectives are not the same. Our worldviews are not even on the same level.

So the next time you are conversing with a turtle and find yourself frustrated or even discouraged, ask yourself (although the answer is evident), who am I talking to? Do not allow a turtle to slow down your progress or deter you from your destiny. You are a giraffe and the very nature of who you are will continue to drive you to higher heights, a higher vision and ultimately a higher purpose which is in Christ Jesus.

Thank you for the reminder, TD! I’m gonna have to put your sermon podcasts back in rotation!

Be Brave, Be You, Be Blessed!

~ForeverTrina

Raining Checks!

checklistI love checklists. I use them at work to measure whether I had a productive day or not. It brings me great joy when I can check off all the items on my list. One day I was checking things off one after the other….check, check, check…it was raining checks that day. I had an extra pep in my step. Then it happened…I had a conference call. I walked in with no “to do’s” and walked out with a full list…enough to last a week…to only be faced with more “to do’s” the next week. When would it end? Would it ever end? The answer is…no. There is always work to be done. Same is true for the kingdom of God. Your work will never be done. I use to think there was a magic formula to Christianity. If I pray and read my bible I’m all good. 1 + 1 should equal 2, right? Uh, no, have you met God? He uses that new mathematical system that can only be learned by reading one Book and even then you may never be able to fully comprehend the mysteries of His math. So basically you will never get to the point where you have “arrived”.

Well, I still kinda struggle with this. Just like my checklists, I like to see something tangible to show my progress. I look for an endpoint. A point where I can finally rest and coast. I’ve been climbing the corporate ladder and the Christianity ladder for years and I’m tired. But just like with every project assigned at work and the endless “to do’s”, same goes for the life of a Christian. The Enemy is very real and is on top of his game 24/7…365. And this being a leap year…366. Meaning, we don’t get a break. The Enemy is waiting for you to fall off your game. Stop reading your Word, stop praying, stop fighting  in the spirit. I have fallen prey to this more often then I’d like to admit.

So now what, what’s a girl to do? One word…realization. Realize that the road to your purpose will never end and you can never stop working on it. You will  encounter obstacles along the way and although it’s easy to do “let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

And in the words of Uncle Luke – don’t stop, get it, get it!

Be Brave, Be You, Be Blessed!

~ForeverTrina

 

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14 (NIV)

God of My Struggles

My Pastor released this audio sometime last year.  I listened to it then…in fact, there was a whole sermon series on it, but while watching the Elevation Network last night I came across it again.

It’s funny how something can hit you differently in different seasons in your life.  Kinda like prayers that I heard as a child.  One of the infamous ones was, “God, thank you for activity of my limbs and being clothed in my right mind”.  Of course I knew what it meant but you can’t truly comprehend the fullness of that prayer until you’ve been threatened with no longer having activity of your limbs or you almost lost your mind or encountered someone who had.  It is in those times that these prayers resonate high in your spirit and you can speak them with the utmost confidence because it was nothing but God.  My God!

Well, as I listened to my Pastor speak on the God of Jacob…the God of my Struggles…there was something about hearing, God is the God of my struggles.  Not just my successes, but my struggles, not just my victories but my defeats.  God is concerned about all of me…the whole me…even the unflattering parts of me.  Wow!

I guess that shouldn’t come as a surprise, huh? Certainly if God can be the God of Jacob…heel grabber…birthright stealer…prideful…issue having Jacob, surely he could be the God of you and me!

Allow that to sit with you.  And then speak these words out loud….”God is the God of [insert name here]”.

Be Brave, Be you, Be Blessed!

~Forever Trina

“Then he said, “I am the God of your fathers,  the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.”…”

On Purpose

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Over the past week I’ve received confirmation after confirmation that I’m exactly where I need to be.  This single season is very much on purpose and in line with God’s purpose.

Sometimes you wonder, is there purpose in this pain, in this loneliness, in this dry season?  Yes – absolutely!

It was in this seemingly “bad hand that I’ve been dealt” season that I have been stretched, I have grown, I have matured and I am finally at a place of peace.  It took me some time to get here but now that I am, I wouldn’t trade the journey for the world.  Where I am now and the process I went thru to get here will be needed in the next season.  God is setting me up and preparing me for all that He has promised. I thought he had forsaken me but quite the opposite. He waited for me. He chased me. He allowed people to come in and out of my life and He always remained constant.  You rarely get 1 + 1 = 2 with God.  He never is and never will be that predictable. But in an equation where there is a constant and a variable, He is always The Constant…The One.

Ladies, there is purpose in the process.

What situation are you enduring today that you’re like, “God, there is no way you can be in this.  Why would you have me to endure such pain? I want to see you in everything but this one right here, I don’t know…you’ve truly thrown me for a loop”.  Well, I am here to tell you, from experience, that it is in these moments you should be confident in knowing you are exactly where you need to be.  He is preparing you for something big and pushing you closer to what He has promised.  He is pressing and pruning you …God is trying to get us to a place of total reliance on Him despite what it looks like and despite the circumstance.

~

Truth moment…I use to look at relationships and marriage as something that could provide love, affection, sense of identity, belonging, feeling wanted, etc.  Although those are characteristics that can result from a healthy relationship and marriage, my expectations were for the relationship to be all these things all of the time and that is impossible and an irrational expectation on my part.  That person would fail each and every time.  Not to mention, I am placing an unattainable and unreasonable expectation on someone.  This person was never meant to be and incapable of being all things to me.  God is the only one who can.  What I wanted and ultimately needed was not in man, but in God.  With this renewed perspective I am able to approach relationships differently.  A lot less needy and a lot more healthy.  I finally put man and God in their proper place.

So now what, the things I thought I should receive from a man, I should actually be receiving from God??? Sooo, what do I need a man for? Lol…

Well, my man, my husband will be a physical representation of what I’m already receiving from God.  Doesn’t that sound awesome?  And a lot less pressure on the man too!  He would have literally had to take on some superhuman qualities.  Now when my husband is presented to me,  I have a renewed perspective and outlook on marriage and what role we should both be playing.

Do you see why this season is so important?  Without it, you will lack what you need in the next.  God’s ultimate goal is to enhance His kingdom.  Not too much of what we may be going thru is about us but it’s to reach a greater goal and purpose in Him.  And believe it or not, God is just that loving that he wants to steer us clear of any unnecessary heartache.  After all,  His thoughts are not our thoughts neither His ways our ways.  If I moved into the next season prematurely, before being given what is needed to endure in that season it could  actually cause more harm than good.  Trust God’s timing and trust that He has your back, your front, your side and everything in between.  He’s looking out!

Let’s wait patiently, expectantly and on purpose. There is so much beauty in the discovery process. God will prove not to disappoint.

Be Brave, Be You, Be Blessed!

~Forever Trina

 

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.   Jeremiah 29:11

 

Not Gonna Cry…

So my Cats lost…and I was pretty upset…disappointed…sad.  I pretty much left the press conference a lot like Cam…

Not sure how many of you follow sports but all week there has been big talk about Cam Newton’s actions after the Super Bowl.  Players are required to speak to reporters after games, it’s part of their job.  Well, after a devastating lost and the press conference being strategically placed next to the Broncos celebration, it was a recipe for disaster.  The rival team was literally on the other side of a curtain talking about their win..giving victory speeches, hi-fives and fist bumps.  I’m guessing emotions took over and Cam just abruptly left.  Many were saying he was unprofessional, etc, etc…

I didn’t plan on speaking on it but to all of the critics, life happens.  We make mistakes, we fall down but in this case it was in a very public arena where there are more than just a few haters.  It’s a lesson learned and we do better the next time.  A lot of things in life are judgement calls and we make the best decision with what we have in that moment.  And it could be good, bad or indifferent.

I’ve learned not to judge because I don’t know how I would handle certain situations had it been me.  I can easily get on my high-horse and say what I feel the best course of action should be but until you’re there, living and breathing that individuals “truth” you really don’t know.  Experiencing a few things in life, coming to decision crossroads and falling on my own sword once or twice humbled me and caused me to become a lot less judgmental and a lot more understanding.  We are all works in progress and may not always get it right the first time around. But it is important that we take it as a lesson learned, get up, dust ourselves off and try it again the next day.  God’s grace is sufficient.  How many of you would agree?

Carolina had a great season.  Though I was hoping for a storybook ending…all stories don’t end that way.  But this is just one chapter in a story that is still being written.  Looking forward to next season…the next chapter.

My Forever Champs….Keep Pounding!

Be Bold, Be You, Be Blessed!

~ForeverTrina

 

“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” 2 Corinthians 4:8-12 (NKJV)

God, my God, I yelled for help and you out me together. God, you pulled me out of the grave, gave me another chance at life when I was down-and-out. ” Psalm 30:2-3  (MSG)

The Scarlet Letter

Now ladies, you know we all love this song….even the married ladies be singing it….oops!  But how many of ya’ll actually throw your hands up outside of this song? Who wears that single title as a badge of honor? I know I don’t.  Why is that? Why is being single like wearing The Scarlet Letter but instead of the letter A it’s a big S on your chest and you’re pretty much a leper.  How do we change this stigma?

We renew our minds….

It’s a mindset.  Society is gonna be what it’s gonna be but that doesn’t mean we have to fall in line with that thinking.  Throw your hands up!  You are not gonna be an old spinster with a thousand cats, five dogs and a singing canary.  Your husband is coming…God says it in His Word…”Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”.  Are you delighting yourself in Him or are you sitting around singing woe is me? Serve in your local church, serve in your community, have fun, travel…don’t wait for your husband before you start living your life.  Two halves don’t make a whole – are you whole? If you met your husband today would you be ready to hit the ground running with the things God has purposed you to do as a couple?  Or would you be so busy dealing with the little stuff that you lose sight and never get to the real?  Let’s not start behind, let’s get ahead of the game.  Let’s build ourselves as singles so we can rock it as a couple.  Not saying you won’t have any problems but you won’t be dealing with problems that you should have taken care of before marriage.  So single ladies…throw your hands up!

Be Bold, Be You, Be Blessed!
supergirl_wallpaper_by_mystermdd

~ForeverTrina

 

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Romans 12:2 NIV

Rep Your Church

ElevationChurchLogo_t

If you love your church, raise your hand, stomp your feet, jump up and down or simply say Yaaaaas, girl!

We know how to rep our favorite sport’s teams, so don’t you think it’s about time we started reppin God’s team?!?!  Contrary to popular belief, the church is still relevant.  My previous Pastor use to say, if your church ceased to exist, would your community miss you?

As Christians, we often remain within the four walls of the church fellowshipping with other “believers” when we need to be effecting change in other people and in our community.  We should be hitting the streets telling everyone we know that God is not dead, he’s still alive and he lives in me!

The church should be raising up and developing bold and fearless leaders.  The church should challenge you to change.

~

My church has challenged me from day one and continues to challenge me week after week.  I’ve been in church all my life so I knew “church” and have experienced “church”.  It became routine and something I was supposed to do.  Very little change was taking place in my life…I was constantly being defeated in different areas.  Then along came Elevation (big shout out to my fellow Elevators).  I loved the atmosphere.  It was the first time in a long time…maybe even the first time ever that I felt so free in worship.  I felt like I could be myself, unashamed….unjudged and I sensed that with all the uplifted hands, others felt the same way.  We shared in this liberating experience.

Well…Elevation was based in Charlotte, NC and I was 1.5 hours away.  So I had two options, commute on Sundays or sell my house and move.  Since none of these were really viable options at the time, I did the next best thing…I started listening to podcasts throughout the week…thank God for technology!  Eventually I did move, not to Charlotte, but the city I moved to happen to have an Elevation location.  I began attending but didn’t get the same feeling I felt before.  I continued to go back because the Word was still there but for some reason I still didn’t feel connected.  I could have easily followed this feeling but instead I signed up to participate in an outreach event, eventually began serving and also joined a small group.  My life has not been the same since.  I thought I had moved from religion to relationship earlier in life but the relationship that Elevation pushes for is on another level.  Their sole purpose for existing is “to see people far from God be raised to life in Christ” and they are fully committed to this purpose.  Even though I knew God for quite some time – I can actually say, I have been raised to life in Christ since attending Elevation.  I had a new perspective of who He was in me.  I became excited about church, excited about people coming to Christ and excited about serving.  When the weekend rolled around I was looking forward to Sundays.  It was no longer a chore, something I was supposed to do.  But it was now, I get to do this.  The 7am set-ups weren’t so bad because I was surrounded by other volunteers with the same excitement and passion for God.  We were a part of setting the atmosphere for the people who would later come through those doors and experience God for the first time or come to know Him again.

So why do I rep my church?  That is why I rep my church!

What about you?

Be Brave, Be You, Be Blessed!

~ForeverTrina

 

“…and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it”  Matthew 16:18 NIV

Runway Walk


Ladies…have you ever had a runway walk moment? A day when you were so fly and you knew it? Everywhere you went you heard a beat playing in your head and those 6″ red bottom stilettos followed the beat as you walked.  You walked with purpose, expectation, vision and boldness.  You slam dunked that interview, you slayed it in the board room, you aced that final exam or maybe you were simply fly and you knew it.  Whatever that fly moment was for you…lean with it, rock with it! God intended us to celebrate our victories, after all, you have Favor Leading You and it has manifested itself for all to see….so let them see your runway walk!

Be Bold, Be You, Be Blessed!

~Forever Trina

#ForeverFly #FavorLeadingYou #F.L.Y.

 

“…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16

 

 

Commitment Issues

 

I was watching a movie on the Hallmark channel. Yes, I said Hallmark, don’t judge. There was a really profound statement that was made. A lady was complaining about always dating guys who were noncommittal.  An “expert” then said, maybe you’re noncommittal.

That statement made me think about my dating history.  It didn’t take me long before I realized I had a similar pattern.  I too was noncommittal…but my commitment issues were surrounding my faith.  You know the saying, “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”.  Well, I never stood strongly on what I believed.  I was a chameleon. I was a master at blending into my environment.  Therefore the standard on which I lived my life was constantly changing.  And without a clearly defined standard and not being rooted and grounded in what I believed – my relationships inevitably led to a lot of frustration.  I was asking men to be something that I refused to be for myself.  I hadn’t fully acknowledged who I was in Christ.

My frustration with men was really my frustration with myself.

Without knowing who I was and not seeking God for His truth, how could I make an informed decision? I would continue to choose wrong and fail in this area until I committed to choosing God.

What obstacles do you continue to encounter in life because of your commitment issues? What continues to frustrate you over and over, year after year? What battle in your life do you want to win once and for all?

Let’s, like Shonda Rhimes, make this year, the Year of Yes.  Yes God, I will commit to choosing you.

I choose you heart3

 

Be Brave, Be You, Be Blessed!

~ForeverTrina

 

 

“So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth” Revelation 3:16 NIV