Showing posts from January, 2008

Day 10 of the 21 Days: God Gifts You with Talents

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. ~Philippians 2:3 The purpose of this 21 Day consecration is to focus on becoming more like Christ. The purpose of this blog is to share my journey as I try to do that and live the way he would have me to. I also hope that the readers join in by either leaving comments and/or sending in submissions of their own. With that said, I have already shared that although it is my hearts desire to be more like Christ, it is just easier said then done. Philippians 2:3 is a perfect example why. “Selfish Ambition” has been what my life has been all about. Although I have attempted to disguise it as passionate for success, I can no longer hide from the fact that I desire more than I should of this world. However, beyond the selfish ambition is dealing with the “lowliness of mind” and “esteem others better than” myself parts that are difficult for me. As a young African Ameri

Life's Purpose is God's Purpose

for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. ~Philippians 2:13 Life is not without purpose. I know that I have always thought there was a greater purpose for my life and have worked to accomplish great things. I have missed one big aspect though- I never thought of or worried about God's purpose for my life. Isn't God's purpose the best guidance we can have? Our life should not be about what we want and how we are going to get it. Believe me that is what most of my life has been about; however, I realize now that it should be about more than me. Shocker! Remember, if you are interested in figuring out your purpose according to God's plan, please join me for Lent when we will read The Purpose Driven Life .

Day 9 of the 21 Days: Got Skeletons?

You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel. ~2 Samuel 12-13 This passage is from Nathan who is taking David to task for the whole drama with Bathsheba. David basically had her husband killed so he could have her for himself. Obviously, God had a little problem with this. David thought he was so slick and secretive that he did not even realize that he had sinned against God. He was so caught up in satisfying his own needs and personal agenda that the thought did not even occur to him. David had everything and God would have happily given him more but sin is never satisfied. He was selfish and greedy and wanted what he wanted. He got it but not with out consequences. We go against God to act on our own so that we can make ourselves happy and when things start to go south, we wonder why. David was utterly clueless to what he had done until Nathan came and let him know that all your business will be put out in the street. There are somethings that

Day 8 of the 21 Days: We Are the Ones to Change

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve of what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. ~Romans 12:2 If we allow God, he can come into our lives and do amazing things. If we acknowledge and believe in Him completely. When we accept Him into our lives, we should be different. We should want to walk as Jesus walked. Yes, there are things, worldly things, that we have to leave behind. There is no great mystery about this because God first tells us all that we need to do in the Bible, but I also believe that if we listen to Him and pay attention in prayer and meditation that he will reveal to us directly what He wants from us and what direction He would like our life to head in. From personal experience, I know that when I am caught up in worldly things, I do not have time to listen to God. I do not make Him a priority; therefore, I am not reading His word, praying, o

Whatis Your Motivation?

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. ~1Corinthians 15:58 Recently, I had to take a close look at myself and the goals I had set out for my life. This was after I finally decided to give in to God’s plan and stop dictating my own. It was as though I was looking at my life through a different set of lenses. I have always been an extremely ambitious person. I believe I have an entrepreneurial spirit. Even though none of my ventures into the business realm have been overly successful, I still have an overwhelming urge to create something that generates income and longterm success. When I discovered my love for the written word, I thought I struck gold. Years later, I realize it was fools gold. My goals and my hopes for the future came from a totally selfish place. Sure, I said I wanted to do certain things to secure a future for my family and my chil

Day 7 of the 21 Days: Rest in God

And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ~2 Corinthians 12:9 To be completely honest, I was not feeling this particular consecration message. In order for me to get a better understanding, I decided to go and read the message in context and it bugged me even more. Here is Paul, a great servant of God, going on an on about all the bad things that have happened to him while on his mission. ... I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24Five times I received from the Jews forty lashes minus one. 25Three times I was beaten with rods, once, I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, ~2 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NIV) He goes on and on for the whole chapter like this, and he is proud of it. It i

Day 6 of the 21 Days: The Real You

Let us search out and examine our ways, And turn back to the Lord ~Lamentations 3:40 I have no illusions about myself. Over the years, I believe I have taken time to get to know myself, flaws and all. I love those people who say, "I am a good person. I live a good life. I don't hurt anyone ... blah blah blah" and think that's enough. I guess I used to be one of them. Of course, compared to the world and everything going on in it, I just might be a saint. The reality is, being a decent person is not enough. You can be a selfish decent person or a vengeful decent person or an angry decent person or a materialistic decent person or an unforgiving decent person. These things slip into life so easily that we barely notice them. You can harbor hate in your heart for someone you should have forgiven long ago and still be a decent person. Unfortunately, that does not make us good enough to get into heaven. We need Jesus for that but before we can even get to that point, we

Day 5 of the 21 Days: Pray and Pray Some More

... The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. ~James 5:16 (KJV) I know all about how great praying is. Really, I do. That does not explain why I do not do it more often. That does not explain why I keep my problems to myself and not share them with God. That also does not explain why I try to hide things from Him by purposely not praying about them. It also does not explain why I try to make major decisions without even thinking about praying about them first. The whole thing just does not make a whole lot of sense. I remember thinking to myself that I don't know how to pray because I can't pray like those other people. I would think that those "good" Christians can pray because the words would flow off their tongues like water and they seemed to remember everything and everyone. Their eyes were closed, sometimes they cried, and they were so passionate. Believe me, I don't ever remember praying like that. Naturally, I assumed that was the rig

Out of Focus

First off, if you are a person who takes notice of details, then it is apparent that I am considerably behind in my 21 Days of Consecration. It is life, man. It just keeps getting me caught up in stuff. This, of course, challenged my level of commitment to this program. I am committed but suck and prioritizing. Sleep, although it is for my health and well-being, sometimes feels like the enemy. Regardless of all the reasons why, I am two days behind. None of the clever excuses that I can come up with matter because the bottom line is that, at some point in the last two days, I decided to put God and my commitment to Him on the back burner. Ouch! That is pretty harsh. Fine! I will not dwell on it. I will move on and take action. I vow to get caught up today. It is a must because if I don't then, I will find myself on the 21st day needing to catch up on 17 days and missing the whole point. God commits everything to me, I can commit 21 minutes of 1,4400. Therefore, since we are surroun

Soweto Gospel Choir

Browsing YouTube, I came across the Soweto Gospel Choir. "The Soweto Gospel Choir was formed to celebrate the unique and inspirational power of African Gospel music ... The choir is dedicated to sharing the joy of faith through music with audiences around the world." Currently touring in Europe, it would be nice if they are able to make it to the states in the next couple of years. Visit their site at .

Anti-Gay Church to Protest Ledger Funeral- Grrrrr

By now, I am sure most of America knows that Heath Ledger a young actor died recently at the age of 28, leaving a young child fatherless. Now, this crazy church group (and I won't even do them justice by posting the name) is protesting his funeral. Why? Because he played a gay role in Brokeback Mountain . You can read the full article at Ant-Gay Church to Protest . By the way, please do not go to their site and give credence to their mess. At least they only have 50 members but it is 50 members to many. Grrrrr, they make my blood boil. They are wrong on so many levels it is not even funny. I cannot even begin to describe how they mock Jesus and God by their hate antics. They are going around perpetuating hate and attaching God's name to it and somehow they think that makes them better than everybody else. It does not make them any better than those fundamental Islamic groups that send out suicide bombers in the name of Allah. This is when, I want to forget about my salvation an

Day 4 of the 21 Days: Love Your Enemies

The whole point of this 21 Day consecration is to be more Christ like by the end of it. That sounds very good until today. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for then which despitefully use you, and persecute you. (KJV) ~Mathew 5:44 Uhhh, really? Now, Jesus did this at every turn of his life. When people were hurling insults at him, beating him down, betraying him, and crucifying him, He prayed for them; Jesus loved them no matter what. Ummm, wow! I have every intention of giving that a wholehearted try, but even thinking about it seems difficult to me. Off the top of my head, I can think of several people that I really do not feel like loving right now or ever. However, if I want to be more like Jesus, I have to somehow find it in my heart to try. I guess, I can start by at least praying for them. LOL, I can hear myself now, "God, please help X person stop being a back stabbing heifer. I am sure X person is u


So I got this sent to me via e-mail. As much as I hate chain mail of any kind, I thought it was pretty cool, so I decided to post it. It is cute and so appropriate for us in this technological advanced time. CELL PHONE vs. BIBLE I wonder what would happen if we treat our Bible like we treat our cellphone? What if we carry it around in our purses or pockets? What if we flip through it several times a day? What if we turn back to go get it, when we forget it? What if we use it to receive messages from the text? What if we treat it like we can not live without it? What if we give it to our kids/family/friends as gifts? What if we use it when we travel? What if we use it in case of emergency? This is something to make you go....hmmm...where IS my Bible? Oh, and one more thing: unlike our cell phone, we don't have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill. And no drop calls! -------------------------------------------- I don't know who the autho

Do You Write?

I want this to be a safe place of spiritual growth for everyone who comes to . I also want it to be a fun place. There is quite a bit I would like to do with this blog, but I know I cannot do it alone. If you like to write, this is a place to submit your work. I will select one possible two submissions on a weekly basis. Although not much, you will be paid for your submission. I hope as the site grows in popularity that I can increase the revenue and pay more. Submission Guidelines: Word length should be anywhere from 250-300 words. Please no more than 315 words. Clean language Topics can include praise reports, testimonies, book reviews (family friendly or Christian, fiction and non), music reviews (family friendly, Christian, or gospel), movies or DVDs (family friendly, feel good, positive message, or Christian), and social commentary, spiritual motivation, or any uplifting anecdote. It is pretty much open as long as it promotes positivity. Previously pu

Day 3 of the 21 Days: Jesus Already Walked Our Path

I am not going to front, I feel like it has been 30 days instead of just three. When I think that I have 18 days left, it just seems so much. Doubt creeps into my mind that I won't be able to finish or continue. That doubt is just how the negative thoughts start to take over. I have to think positive and know that I will not only get through these 21 days with ease but also come out of it a refreshed person. For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (NIV) ~Hebrews 4:15-16 I guess the thing we are to focus on is that Jesus knows what we go through. He was here; he lived our life. He is not unaware. The only difference is that he was perfect and without sin. We should be realize that through Jesus we are perfect and without sin

Day 2 of 21 Days: Do You Hunger for Righteousness?

Day two did not go so well. Sometimes it just seems as though time and sleep are my enemy. There is so much on my plate right now (all the time actually) that when the time came for my 21 minutes, I could barely keep my eyes open. However, I woke up this morning an hour earlier to do it. That is fudging a little bit but I will be caught up by the end of today because I will focus on this first before doing all the other things. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. ~Matthew 5:6 "Hunger and thirst" are serious cravings. Before I decided to go the direction the God wants me in, I do not believe I had hunger or thirst for His word or anything like that. Obviously, I have matured in the Lord in such a short time because he has revealed things about myself that I was totally oblivious to. Prior to that though, I loved Him and knew I wanted to be in heaven and basically tried to live life like he wanted me to; however, hunger and thir

Day 1 of the 21 Days: Fruits of the Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is not law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we list by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. NIV ~Galatians 5:22-25 I have always loved this verse. To know that all these good things that I wish I could be all at once are whats expected when we live a Christ-like life. Of course the reality is (at least for me) that we are never all of these things at the same time. Although I have the capacity to love unbound, I am not always in the loving mood. There are times when anger captures me and I am not thinking about loving my neighbor. Joy and peace escape me most of the time because I worry about the next calamity in my life, but when I keep my sights on God, I have found that they (joy and peace) lingers more often. Patience and I have never ever been th

21 Days of Consercration

So, I am doing this 21 days of consecration with one of the on line lists I am a part of. I have every intention to stick to this and grow from it. I will post something after my 21 minutes. Here are the basic guidelines: 21 DAYS TO VICTORY "A TIME TO BE DETERMINED" Foundation Scripture: Philippians 2:5; Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus GUIDELINES FOR 21 DAY CONSECRATION Leviticus 20:7 Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. 1) PLEASE follow all suggestions concerning prayer and scripture readings/meditations. 2) NO EXCUSES…If you are committed to this 21 day life-changing event, then be determined to complete all 21 days. 3) In 21 days our primary goal will be on developing our minds to think like Christ 4) In order to be like Christ, we must have the character of Christ, therefore, we will spend 21 days focused on prayer, meditation, and spending at least 21 minutes , each of the 21 days, without any interruptions, bef

Join Me For Lent

What is Lent? Lent is the 40 days before Easter. It is during that time that Jesus fasted and prayed about his situation. Today it is the time that Christians think of their life and what they can focus on to be closer to God. Usually we give up something for that time that means a great deal to us. Some people choose a type of fast. In the past I have given up things like chocolate or sweets or television. I have not done this in many many years but am deciding to do it this year. This is Lent starts on February 6, 2008 and ends on February 22, 2008 (the day before Easter). For this period, I will be reading and concentrating on the Purpose Driven Life. It is set up to be completed in 40 days, so I figure this is a great time to start. I do not really have a choice. I will post daily (okay, I will try LOL ) during this time and should you decide to join, you can leave comments about your thoughts in the comments section of each post. If you do not yet have the book there is not muc

The Whole Duty of Man

Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgement whether it is good or evil. ~ Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 I am sure you have heard the expression, "I'll put the fear of God in you." I have heard it plenty of times but I do not really think most people take it seriously. If a person does not care for God or even believe in God why would they worry about fearing Him? Personally, I have always had a problem with fearing God. Since I have a selfishness issue, I have pondered my real motivation for being saved. Ultimately isn't it my selfishness and sense of self preservation that leads me to wanting to go to heaven? Seriously, I don't want to be in hell for the rest of my existence. However, I have realized that I fear God because I love Him and believe in Him. It is like a child that does not want to disappoint her parents. Of course fear is a factor because he loves them. They nurture her, take care of

Sunday Notes: Finishing Strong

I have been meaning to post summaries or thoughts or whatever you want to call them about the messages that I get on Sundays. Obviously, since this is the first one, I have not been able to do so. This particular message was from a couple of weeks ago and the preacher, Bob Russell , talked about how some Christians fall into sin during the end of their walk. That does not mean that they have lost there salvation but they just did not finish strong. He gave a guideline with four focus areas that Christians should follow based off Ecclesiastes 11:1-12:1-14 Start Early - This is very practical look at our life. He talks about investing for the future. Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again. 2 Give portions to sever, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land. 3 If clouds are full of water, they pour rain upon the earth. ~Ecclesiastes 11:1-3 He talked about investing wisely. We should be living on 80% of our income, saving 1

I've Made Changes Already

It has not even been a month yet and already there are major changes to the site. It used to be called The Christian Gradient but I have since changed the name. Since I wanted to find a domain name that was easy to remember, I did not want to go with Christian Gradient. It is too long, and, I have to be real, some people won't even remember how to spell gradient LOL. Here is what my summary used to say: I often rate myself as a Christian. I know; it is silly. I know how unworthy I am and how much I sin on a daily basis. Everyday I wake up and thank God for His grace and that this Christian Gradient where the good ones are up high and the “bad Christians” fall to the bottom does not exist for God. He loves me in and out of His light and for that he is worthy of the best that I can give. Join me in the walk, even as we fall, through Jesus and the Spirit God will pick us up. I still feel that way; however I had to change things a bit to flow with the name. Change is not a bad thing as

Bible Reading Made Easy

21 My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body. -Proverbs 4:21-22 I cannot count how many times I have said, "I have to read my Bible more." In my case, I was not reading it at all so 'more' would actually mean reading it at all. I would even pray to God about it. I would ask God to help me read the Bible because I know how important it is. I would ask him to give me strength and focus so that I could read the Bible. Then I would go about my own business as if I never uttered the prayer and purposely not even make an attempt to read. There would always be something else to do, something better that got in the way. Truth is, even though I knew I should have been reading it because it was the right thing to do, I did not, in my heart, care for reading the Bible. It did not factor on my list of priorities. I

My Homer Simpson Moment: Reverting Back to Bad Habits

I did something foolish today. I reverted back to a bad habit. God broke me free from it and showed me the glory of his peace when I leave matters alone and keep my eyes on Him. Well, today I did not do that. Today I started to get back to the old problem-fixer Wanda. What a waste of energy! The only thing it brought me was annoyance and frustration. I probably made the situation worse by trying to set what I thought was a pretty good solution in motion. I am totally feeling like Homer Simpson right now. D'oh! It has been made clear to me that when I get these irrational must-fix-everything impulses that I need to set my focus on God even more. I need to pray on it right in that moment and let it be. God has already given me the peace and calm to weather the storm and it felt wonderful until I went and screwed it up. Now I have a feeling of unfulfilled annoyance because things did not go my way. With that feeling infringing upon my God given peace, I finally decided to seek Him.

What Makes You Different?

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. I think that some people think just because a person is a Christian that everything should be all good. That Christians should be perfect and that everything in our lives should be perfect. Well, Lord knows I'm not perfect, not even remotely close. I have got issues and faults to overcome like everyone else. My life has trials and hard times like everyone else. Although God wants to give us the world and wants to bless us without boundaries sometimes our human nature blocks his blessings and sometimes we are blessed regardless. We have free will to make choices on a daily basis and many times the choices we make take us away from Christ instead of bringing us closer to him. However, what makes me saved as opposed to someone else? What makes me a Christian? I love Jesus and accepted him as my Lord and savior. When I let

A Bible Reading Tip

Recently I have joined a lot of mailing lists- Creflo Dollar, Ed Young, Ron Jones, T. D. Jakes, and a couple of others. I get little scripture quotes sent via e-mail on a daily basis with comments and prayers. Why do I do this? Well, I need it. First off, since I have this urge to read more of the bible, those scripture messages help me by giving me a direction. The bible can be overwhelming and too much to take in sometimes; therefore I need guidance. When I go to my inbox and see these messages it is as if they are speaking directly to me. I get quite a few of them, so I do not get to read all of them on a daily basis but I focus on the titles that catch my attention and delve into those. I never run out of scriptures to study. This helps in those times when I just want to forget about reading for the day. I could easily say that I don't know what to read but having an inbox full of suggestions makes that excuse kind of pointless. If yo have a favorite messenger of God, join the

Go Wanda, It's Your Birthday!

Really, it is my birthday. Quite honestly, I did not remember. LOL. Until my husband wished me a happy birthday. Hmmm, okay. Birthdays are like the new year, to me. They bring about this urge to change one's life. It is my time when I reflect on the last __ (I'm not telling) years of my life and take an inventory. Have accomplished what I wanted to for my age? Am I where I thought I would be? Do I have what I want? I have not accomplished everything that I wanted. Not even close. I never had an idea of where I wanted to be, so I guess I am fine with where I live. If I am being absolutely honest, I most definitely do not have everything that I want (desire might be a more appropriate word). I will admit that I am a touch materialistic. Although I do not give in to my desires at the expense of my bills, family, and daily life; I do crave for a lot of things that I don't really need. So, no. I do not have everything that I want. I am not usually depressed with birthdays. I lov

Revenge is Bad, Really?

Romans 12:17-21 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing thins, you will heap burning coals on his head." 21 Do no be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. How about the above is so much easier to read over than to actually put into practice. Personally, I am pretty decent at letting things go. I do not hold grudges for years or even days. Once I forgive, I do work earnestly to move beyond the situation (too bad, I am not very successful at the forgetting part). It may take a while but eventually, with God's help, I move on. However, there are times when I feel like a good

This Jesus Christ Stuff Has Got Me Screwed

A few days ago, I was in a convenience store. I wanted to get a fountain cola. I was not paying attention, so when I put my cup under the dispenser I saw that it was unsweetened tea. I am not down with tea let alone it being unsweetened, so I poured it out to get my Pepsi. I decided to give it a taste because sometimes the drinks are about to be fizzled out or something. This one did not taste very good. I decided to go for it in the can and just get the ice. Before I could move from the drink machine the owner (I am not really sure if it was the owner. It could have been the manager) yells at me from across the store to put the cup down and get out of his store. I turned around and looked at him because I did not think he was actually yelling at me. Well, he was and he yelled at me again. I was shocked. I think I had an outer body experience for about two seconds before I realized that the man had lost his mind. We got into a yelling match. I finally left the store calling him a rude