Saturday, May 30, 2015

All It Takes Is Action Faith



If you could do one thing for the rest of your life what would that be?  Many of us have a dream, but we fail to notice that we must act on that dream. Our conversations take on a whole new excitement when we talk about our dreams but in reality, we are not acting on them. Why? What excuses have you given yourself that stops you from truly living and breathing in your dream?  Take some time and think about that.

Life can cause us to stop dreaming and when that happens we become complacent, sitting in the dugout of our own game. Watching all of the other players running around each base, sliding in and stepping over obstacles. Getting to home plate at all cost is the goal. You can do that too.  Look at the little notches on the shoes of a field game player, they are there to help keep a players footing while running in the field. After each run, they win some and they also lose some, but notice that they don’t stop playing in the game. Get up and do one thing that will get you closer to your dream.  It does not have to be a big move unless you refuse to loose. It can be as simple as writing out your short term and long term goals. It could be organizing a closet or box of papers. It could be reading a book about your goal, better yet reading about creating a business plan, every business, dream needs a business plan.

If we look at the men and woman in the Bible, you will see that many of them had a dream, a goal and they each worked it in faith. We are told that faith without works is dead, what does that mean?  Let’s look at Hebrews 11:1 in the NLT – What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot seen. Move on down to Hebrews 11:6, So you see, it is impossible to please God without Faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a god and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.  You see, you can rest assured that your faith, your action faith, your determined faith, will activate the Holy Spirit to intercede for you.

I encourage you today to step back and look at your dreams. Your dreams and you are needed to do that which God has giving you to do in building the kingdom of God. Your gifts will come to fruition if you take that step of action faith. You can run the race.  Don’t you agree?  Lace up your running shoes and take action.

Be Blessed

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Meet Lewis P. Bryon - A Poet


 
 
Today I would like to share with you a talented poet, Lewis P. Bryon.  This young man is very dear to me as I have known him since he was just a little man running around laughing and bringing joy to everyone with his infectious smile. His mother and I attended grade school together and I have watched him grow up from afar. I was so happy to learn that he penned his first book and since, he has produced several more. And I love that he is a local author from the Pacific Northwest. Here is his.

Bio: 

A native son of Seattle, WA, Lewis P. Bryon is a father, husband, the second youngest of four brothers, a former dance ministry team member, a Christian, and a lover of all things expressly creative. Lewis found a passion for poetry in the fifth grade after getting his hands on the sonnets of Shakespeare. Two years later came the desire to be a "serious writer", cultivating a love for words, phraseology, and creative writing in general. Over ten years later marked the beginning of his "serious writing" career, independently publishing the first of five works: "The Experience: Memoirs of a Man", an autobiography; "Process of Praise, Second Edition", a book of Christian poetry; "Family As We See It", a transcribed compilation of interviews with various people about their family experiences; "Black Bubblegum", his first spoken-word collection; and "Love Letters to St. Louis", a book of romantic notes, letters, and poetry written to his wife. 

I asked Lewis a few questions and here is what he shared:

1. Why did you want to be become a writer? Believe it or not, a lot of it had to do with my father. The irony is a two-parter. For one, he's not a writer, or otherwise very expressive in fine arts. For two, he got a lot of his higher understanding of words from growing up reading comic books, but I don't write any kind of science fiction. I used to refer to him as a walking thesaurus. He has always read a lot. Even though he wasn't a high school graduate, he understood what any politician, scientist, engineer, thesbian, educator, or reverend said. And that is personal power. What made me try writing was when my older brother introduced me to Shakespeare's Sonnets and Poetry by Robert Frost, Emily Dickenson, and Langston Hughes. Being an innate romantic, I tried it and found that it was natural to me.

2. What is your writing process?  My writing process seems to be ever evolving. Generally, however, I make observations of the community I live in, and respond with written expression. I am a poet at my core, but I have done and do different forms, each meriting a different approach. Even per style, each work requires a method suitable for the intent behind its conception. My first book of poetry was a collection of poetry written over several years. My second book of poetry and spoken word was exclusively written on the move, or while I listened to music with a lot of movement. To keep it bubbly but substantive to tell a story, but to a beat. Good music without a musical.

3. What do you enjoy most about connecting with your readers? What is funny is that I generally don't like poetry. It seems as if some people would like to enjoy poetry as much as the next person, but they need something from it in order for them to have that experience. And they may not know what needs to be different until they read my poetry. They typically like mine, and it makes me feel like the answer. Even greater than someone wanting to do what I do because of their experience with me is the connection made when someone tells me that I put their story, their dream, their thoughts, or their internal experience into words. There is no connectivity deeper and more humbling than that. No greater compliment. No better way to know I am responding to my community from the right place.

4. What two pieces of advice would you give to aspiring writers? If there are two things I would share with any writer, especially my aspiring brothers and sisters, the first is to despell the myth about "the flow". The flow, the galaxy river, the wave of creativity, the vibration of vivacity, or whatever we want to call it; it's internal. All external factors just help guide us to that place in us where we resonate with our connection to the universe in and around us. We don't have to frantically find a smartphone, pen and paper, or monitor and keyboard every time we get an idea or feel a creative surge. We can access whatever we need if we know how. With that said, some productive quality is sensitive to a moment. That wisdom is key which leads me to my second item. We must trust ourselves. At the risk of all things possible, good or bad, positive or negative, we must trust ourselves as artists.

5. What are you currently working on?  Right now I'm working on a collection of interviews with fathers from around the country about why they do what they do. Western society celebrates the love of mothers, coining it as unconditional. But our fathers are almost painted as the villains. A mother cares while a father toughens. A mother loves while a father demands. A mother teaches while a father expects. This is the ideal norm. We fathers are damned if we don't fill those shoes, and damned if we play that role. This is my attempt to allow an explanation of our hearts.

6. Do you have any book signings coming up and where? After some recent heartbreak, I have been flying well below the radar with my writing and promotions until about April of this year. Even then it's been just Instagram and Facebook. No book signings quite yet.

7. If you were not writing and publishing, what would you be doing? If I wasn't writing and publishing, I would probably be singing and creating fictional character’s. I pretty much do these things anyway, but my singing would be a prevalent item on my schedule.
 
 

 



 



 

Excerpt from, Love Letters to St. Louis

Pennies for Nickles

"on this train
dreaming
praying
trying to figure how i landed someone so giving
someone who loves freely from a place of open wounds
and i would be so selfish
in this thirsty tap dance over hot coals from convention to altruism"

 
I thankful that you stopped by. Please show your love and spread the word about this new voice in poetry.

You can connect with Lewis at the following links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lewispbryon
Facebook: https://.facebook.com/lewispbryon
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/s/ref=is_s?k=Lewis+P.+Bryon

Be Blessed

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Never Fear



How was your day? I am sure when someone asks you this question you no doubt want to go into a barrage of what your day was actually like, hell on fire. From backed up traffic to the children not listening as you request them to do a task. The little gas tank on your car indicating you need to stop and get gas, but you are already late for a destination. You need food, medication, a bill paid and only have a few dollars which will not get you near all that you need.  Never fear, God is with you. Let me say that again, never fear because God is with you.

This morning after reading a daily devotional by Dr. Charles Stanley called, Understanding Anxiety, I felt led to pen this post because millions of us are living in anxiety, we feel lost, helpless, and hopeless. We are angry, we blame, and we out right just cannot stand the day. Many have committed suicide and hurt others all due to anxiety. The following is what really stuck with me from that devotional. I encourage you to visit Dr. Stanley’s website at Intouch.org and read this devotional in its entirety.  Here is it:

Regardless of the cause, anxiety will take our eyes off of our omnipotent, loving heavenly Father and focus our attention on our circumstances. No wonder God repeatedly reminds us not to fear—He wants His children to feel secure in His capability and trustworthiness.

Let me back that statement up with a word from Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV which Paul tells us; Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Isn’t God good to have the issue of anxiety included in His word?

I suffer with anxiety and even though I have learned through prayer and the warnings from my doctors, I still get a little anxious about many things in my life. I am a self-proclaimed perfectionist, it is all in my head they say. I even struggle with OCD-Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. My sister used to tell me that I was a clean freak. I was and still am to a lesser degree. LOL. When an issue presents itself, I become aggravated, my heart races, I even scratch imaginary itches all because I cannot control the outcome of a situation. Many things I can and actively have changed, many I have no control over what so ever. When we get it in our thick and beautiful heads that we are not in control and that God is the orchestrator of our lives, we will become calm and know, that He is God.

When was the last time you really got down on your knees and petitioned God to do what His word says He will do? Have you fasted and really read Gods word? If not, I so encourage you to step back from it all and really seek God’s face. He is there. He is waiting. His arms are open wide just for you.

I leave you with this and I want you to think about it for a while and the next time you feel yourself getting anxious, go in prayer, take a walk or run. DO something that brings you much joy and activate those endorphins. Anxiety, depression, and fear are not of the Lord. I am NOT saying that there is no medical reason for such issues. Seeing a doctor is a very important thing to do if it is believed to be needed and I absolutely encourage it. These and many more emotional strongholds are of the enemy and his band of snakes. Satan wants to distract you from God’s plan. Satan is the creator of confusion and if he can get you to that confused state of mind, he knows that you will fall away from God. He knows that you will not pray and give praise to our loving Father. Stand firm on the blood of Jesus and rebuke that enemy. Never fear, God is with you.

Be Blessed 


Sunday, May 10, 2015

From A Child's Heart



I would rather be under a rock. Days like this are bitter sweet. Mother’s Day. Millions of deserving mothers of all fashions will be celebrated and appreciated. Flowers, cards, and trinkets. Hugs and kisses to last a lifetime. Laughter and stories of love, chastisement, and joy. December 11, 1979 my mother was called home to be with the Lord. I was 16 years old and months away from giving birth to my own child and now at the age of 52, I dread this day almost as much as I dread Christmas, considering the month itself. I pen this with a hole opened wide in my heart and the fire of tears threatening to fall. I absolutely want to scream, but I write instead.
My mother was a beautiful woman standing about 5’7 with legs of a dancer. Jet black hair pressed and bumped at the ends with a slight touch of gray brushing her shoulders. Brown eyes that danced when she smiled. With gold covered teeth with a smile that lite up any room.  A laugh that was contagious. A stern look that said, try it. In the neighborhood I would often hear statements like, that is a classy lady or your momma don’t play. Momma would wash and press my hair. She would cook and keep a clean home. I watched her wash cloths by hand with a wash board in the bath tub. I watched as she hung clothes on the line so the sunshine would brighten and the air freshen. How I wish I could show her how much I appreciated her. With her hands she would sew, needle point, crochet, and all of this she taught me and then some. On a good day though there were not many, she would dance a little and drink homemade wine with my aunts or an occasional beer which I found astonishing. I remember on night her and my Daddy were going out. She put on her dress, heels and make up and was absolutely stunning. Some Sunday’s she would take me to church and to hear her pray enlightened me. I wanted what she had, a connection to the Almighty.

Momma would suffer from life threatening asthma attacks that kept me out of elementary school on many days and up most nights fanning her for her air. I would sleep on the floor on quilts right next to her so if she called out, I would hear her. Those memories are very vivid. I remember going to the hospital and the nurses in their crisp white uniforms with those funny little hats said I could not stay and had to leave. I was crushed, my big sister my only comfort. Calling 911 for an ambulance which would take her to the hospital, a child I was. Never during those times did I think I would be without her, never entered my mind. Going fishing and hanging out at the Goodwill rummaging through large bins of everything imaginable. Finding treasures and feeling like a million bucks in the school clothes that were found there, I miss those times. My mother would rise up early in the morning making coffee and watching her television shows. Wonder where I got it from? Though she did not work outside of the home, she always combed her hair and put on her clothes. She said, a lady should always be presentable. She would surely fuss me out if she could physically see me on the weekends. Tom Jones was o.ne of her favorite shows along with Tony Orlando and Dawn. She loved the tallest singer, said she looked like my big sister, and she did too.  As a child, I thought sometimes that the lady really was my sister



So many good memories and yet so much pain. Emptiness has always been my closest companion. I know emptiness very well. Throughout years I have learned with God’s help and His alone to celebrate my mother. To cherish all that she said and taught me. All that she did not say. To live in the blessing that I am still in my right mind to even think on her contribution to my life, I am grateful. I have heard many people young and old say, I was not asked to be born. This is such a disrespect and verbal slap in the face to the life of a person who carried them, raised the, nursed them through sickness, and sacrificed their existence all so that they could have a life and to have that life much better if chosen. No matter how ugly they acted, mothers still there and in their corner even though they may not want to hear the honest words of unfiltered truth about their children. I have learned to remember the good times and be thankful that due to her health, she is not suffering or in pain, but healed. Thank you Lord for your grace and mercy. Looking back, I had so many plans to take care of her until her last days as best I could have imagined. I had plans to give her comfort where she never had or felt it even though she never once complained about anything. She made due with every turn and twist, and I wanted her to have her due rewards.

Today, Mother’s Day I say thank you Mommy. Thank you for giving me life as God saw fit for you to do. Thank you for combing my hair. Thank you for making dresses for me. Thank you for bathing me in Ivory soap. I smell it now. Thank you for the Christmas toys you tried to hide from me. Thank you for pulling up a chair to the kitchen counter and teaching me to cook whatever you were cooking that day. Thank you for allowing me to burn my hair out with the pressing comb when you said, that it was time for me to learn to comb my own hair. Thank you for having a plate ready for me when I got home from school every day that I can remember. Thank you for those whippings I knew at the time I did not deserve but you knew I needed it. Thank you for every no you said because you knew what was best. Thank you for everything you did to the best of your ability. Thank you for being my living and breathing Mommy for those short 16 years and thank you, for being my Mommy watching over me from your divine seat from Heaven above. Thank you for all of the warnings you gave me. You were right.  I know when you are closer than close. Thank you for breathing on me when I need it like right now, I no longer want to cry. I pray one day to be right next to you. I will be holding your hand and I will never ever let go. I love and miss you Mommy, my golden light above.

Happy Mother’s Day




Saturday, May 2, 2015

Are You Listening?

 
Job 33:14-15 NLT - For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds.

Have you ever felt that God has spoken to you? I have and it is very humbling to know that God chose me. He has chosen you too. There are countless stories in the Bible where God has spoken to someone and they were like, um who? Me? No Lord, not me. Yet, they stood up to the task and it was often times victorious and other times it was not so victorious.

Job was challenged beyond measure. He lost everything. He lost all of his children and their spouses. He lost is livelihood and he lost his resolve. On top of that his body was covered in painful boils and he cut on himself out of anguish. His friends judged and mocked him. His wife was not all that supportive either, she told Job to curse God and die. Job 2:8-10 NLT - Job scraped his skin with a piece of broken pottery as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.” 10 But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?”  So in all this, Job said nothing wrong.

Job talked to God and he also listened. At the end of that hard and trying journey, Job was restored with blessings greater than what he lost and he also came away from that horrifying situation with valuable lessons. All of us have had many challenges. We have cried ourselves to sleep or we may have gotten angry and gave up all hope. I know what that is like. Throughout my adult life God has spoken to me to do something, say something, and even not to say or do something. For me it seems that God talks more to me in my sleep. I wake up like okay Lord, what was that about? I don’t always get the answer right away and there are times I don’t get an answer at all. But when the answer is revealed, I am amazed. What I have found out is that when I do exactly what he tells me to do, it works out and I or someone else was blessed. There have been times when I did not do what I was directed to do and that was a valuable lesson.  Think about that next time God speaks. It can either be a blessing or lesson. At the end of the day, all that we face is so that we can look to God and praise Him.

Psalm 85:8 NLT - I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying, for he speaks peace to his faithful people. But let them not return to their foolish ways.

 
I encourage you to slow down and listen for Gods whisper. Spend some quality time in His word and let the words minister to your heart. Examine yourself. Examine your integrity and disobedience. Ask God to forgive you and know that He has and then, forgive yourself. I will say that again, forgive yourself. The next time you are called in your spirit to go to that quiet spot, get moving because God is waiting for you. Are you listening?

Be Blessed.