Devotionals · Uncategorized

Leaning on the Lord when things are good

Greetings ladies! Welcome to the new site!

I’ve been working for the past few weeks on transitioning to a WordPress site (before I was with Squarespace). I never realized all the technological aspects of operating a blog, and although I am a fairly technologically savvy person I been confused quite a few times.

I am grateful that having a relationship with God is so simple. It’s unlike having a relationship with people. It’s so much greater than any relationship we could ever have with anyone.

God doesn’t play games, He doesn’t make us jump through hoops, He doesn’t fake on us to get us to like Him more. He just loves us. He unequivocally (which means, in a way that leaves NO doubt) loves each and every one of us and is available to us 24/7.

That’s such an awesome opportunity. I am grateful for my relationship with my Creator, but I struggle oftentimes with obedience.

You see, when times get tough, it makes sense to turn to God. Atheists say that people who need God are weak, and need a crutch to lean on in order to make it through life. Everyone leans on something or someone to get through each day, just some people choose wrongly to lean on people (including themselves) rather than God. Many people (including myself) did not fully turn to Him until we got sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I have found it’s actually a challenge to stay focused on the Lord when times are good. The Israelites experienced this many times. When they were slaves in Egypt they cried out to God, but once they had been freed and were on their way to the promised land– all they could do was complain. It can be easy to take God and His gifts for granted. It can be easy to ignore Him when you got the husband you had prayed for, or when you finally get the promotion you fasted for. Now that times are good and you have everything that you want, it’s easy to push Him to the side.

Whereas before you were keeping His commandments, praying daily and worshipping at the church in order to be blessed, now you are spending all your time with the man He blessed you with. All because you got what you wanted, and it shows that you wanted the gift more than you wanted the Giver.

The Bible says in Hebrews 12:14 that without Holiness, no man will see God. Holiness is a daily demand. We cannot continue to walk holy and circumspectly with the Lord without spending time with Him. He gives us the strength, desire, and ability to please Him.

So, as I look at all my friends who are living it up and reveling in God’s blessings, please know how happy I am for you. I am so glad that you are happy, healthy, wealthy and whole. I have been blessed mightily, and pray that I continue to give God the glory. I just hope that we remember to keep God first– when times are tough, and when times are great.

Have a great Tuesday!

xo,

Angela

Devotionals

Is It Ever Okay to Lie?

The answer of course, is no. Lying is sometimes seen as acceptable, however, it is never good. I have found that sometimes people think they are lying to protect people or to avoid unnecessary conflict. Rather than tell your boss you are late because you overslept, why not just tell them you are sick? Our society has really embraced the idea of “little white lies” which are essentially big lies that are told on a daily basis.

What’s worse than the big white lies, are the times when we lie to God and lie to ourselves. Over the next few days, monitor your thoughts. Ask yourself, am I being truthful with myself, or am I deceiving myself and trying to deceive God in the process?

The Bible is clear that God doesn’t like liars.

“For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

— John 8:44 (NLT)

In my past, there were many times that I wasn’t honest with myself. I knew that the decisions I was making wouldn’t help me to achieve my goals, and gave myself false hope that they would. I told myself that what I was doing was okay, knowing perfectly well that what I was doing was wrong and that I was hurting myself the most. I made excuses for the way my life was and lied to place the burden on others. It’s society that’s putting these burdens on me, or it’s my mom’s super religious beliefs that are making me feel guilty. Or it’s my job or my boyfriend that are making me unhappy. The reality that I couldn’t accept, was that the problem was me!

I was lying to me! Telling myself that everything was okay, that I was fine, that I couldn’t change if I wanted to, that the things I knew were wrong were actually right. I betrayed me! And for what? So that I could stay in a situation that deep down I wanted to leave? So I could do the things I knew I shouldn’t do?

And what was I telling God during this? I was telling Him that He should love me anyway. That He shouldn’t care about the choices that I was making. I was telling Him that I still loved Him with my whole heart, all the while hoping that He believed those lies! He doesn’t! He could see that my heart was focused on everything but Him. He knew that I was pushing Him away. He knew that I was struggling to spend time with Him and really had no desire to. He knew that, and yet I lied to Him hoping I could convince Him that He was wrong about my heart and my motivations.

One day I was finally honest with myself. I said to myself, “Angela, you are a fool!” Truest words I ever spoke to me. I was being foolish, trifling and childish. I was lying to myself, my family, and most importantly to God.  I didn’t even know where to begin with the truth. Isn’t it too late at this point?

No! It is never too late to start being honest. Write down things you know you have been dishonest about with yourself, God or others. Next to them, write the truth. The truth is a complete parallel to the lie. The truth will set you free. I understand now that I can tell people the truth about who Angela is. About her failures and weaknesses, about my lies, my foolishness, and mistakes. And it’s okay! The truth sets you free, and if you share it you can set other people free too. When I started this blog, God wanted me to share things I have never shared before. He wanted me to be honest with others about where I had gone wrong, and while sharing this with you all, I began to see the truth myself. This blog exposed me, but it opened me up to heal.

Reasons to tell the truth

1. Tell God the Truth so He can heal you

2. Tell yourself the truth so you can make better choices

3. Tell others the truth so that you can receive honesty and intimacy in return

“Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.”

— James E. Faust
Devotionals

Slown Down!

I want to talk about something very important. I want to talk about the importance of patience.

Some smarty pants scientist or someone coined the term “microwave generation” and it stuck to millennials like glue. Honestly, impatience is a human condition.

There is a reason that patience (or longsuffering) is a fruit of the Spirit. It is something that requires testing and spiritual strength to develop. 

We’ve all seen that impatient mother beat the crap out of their kids for doing something silly for the nineteenth time, or that kid who just couldn’t wait to be baptized (video below). 

It’s easy to see those people and judge them, although we have no idea what their day or even their life looks like. We don’t know the pressures they carry and the situations their facing. In life, we can only fix ourselves. 

Lately, I’ve unfortunately been impatient with God. I want the things He has promised me and I want them now! I want to be healed of the past immediately, and don’t want to have to feel pain anymore. I want to be a billionaire already (and start the Billionaire Girls Club lol) and own my own company. I’m tired of doing the monotonous hard part of growth and life. I just want to skip ahead to where things are good and I can tell people how God prospered me and made everything perfect and how I vacation every other day. 

Thankfully, God completely ignores my whining and complaining, and instead continues His promise to heal me, mature me, and test me when necessary. He doesn’t let me skip the painful parts (which I HATE!), or the parts that are boring and aren’t worthy of social media posts (my life right now), or the parts where I have to struggle and trust in Him in order to make it through.

We can’t just skip to the part where we are the happy, successful people we dream of being. That finished product takes a lot of work! It takes consistency and a lot of faith. Many people never make it because they just give up. 

They never get their fairytale family, because they got tired of being lonely and settled with Average Joe Schmo. They never have the career they wanted, because they burned bridges in and couldn’t get back into that industry after they got fired. They got tired of the waiting process, they got tired of the unglamorous toil and loneliness– and they gave up, took life into their own hands, and sentenced themselves to a mediocre life.

The life we dream of having, no matter how big or small, will require a lot of sacrifices. I am really hoping that I don’t give up. I’m praying that God helps me to be patient! Keep in mind that patience also requires a lot of faith.  

For example, let’s look at Abraham and Sarah. God told Abram that he would have children in Genesis 12. Abraham trusted in God to bless him even though Sarah was barren. 10 years later in chapter 16, Sarah was tired of waiting on God. She told Abram to sleep with her Egyptian slave, Hagar, and then they would raise that son as their own. That did NOT go well! Suddenly Sarah hated Hagar and wanted her and her son thrown into the wilderness. Don’t worry, God still took care of Hagar (read about it in Genesis 16).

Finally, in chapter 21, Sarah has Isaac. By this time, Abraham was 100 years old and this was over 10 years after God has promised them a son. Remember ladies, If God gave you a promise He will fulfill it. You rushing and hustling and coming up with schemes to make it happen won’t bring it about any quicker, it will just create problems for you. Might as well be patient! 

Lord, give me strength to trust Your promises and wait for Your best for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Daily Devo

How Am I Doing? An Update on Angela

*How do yall like my real classy bathroom selfie? Lol. I took that in my new office last week!*

I’ve learned a lot over the past year. 2016 brought a lot of ups and downs. I am grateful that I can always rely on God to take care of me, to watch over me, and to heal me.

3 Major Lessons I learned last year:

1. Bad decisions = negative consequences

When we do things we know we shouldn’t do, we may not get in trouble like we did when we were kids, but we definitely don’t get away with it.

2. You cannot escape reality

No matter how badly you may want something,  if it is not right you cannot make it right.

3. God is the only way out

When we get ourselves into trouble, God is the only way out. All the schemes and manipulations in the world cannot save you. Only God can save you.

I know and understand now that nothing can separate me from God’s love, but that I can reject it. When I reject it and choose to go my own way, I will eventually regret it.  Get it? Rejecting God = regret.

I woke up last year and realized that I was so lost, how did I get myself into such a mess? How did  I get so far from where I wanted to be? I made my relationship an idol. I didn’t prioritize God and family first. When your priorities are out of order, it is easy to make mistakes.

A Questions for Angela:

Are you single? YUPP

Have you had a boyfriend since your ex? NOPE, not even close. I have been dating again, and that’s been fun

What’s your greatest regret? Neglecting and hurting my family and friends over the past few years

Do you think you will ever fall in love again? YES! One day. God has given me hope

Any crushes? YES… He’s cute and ambitious, but just a crush right now

What are your goals for 2017? 1. To write a book (possibly a devotional) 2. To start a side business in marketing and publicity 3. To finally have a car!

What are things you’ve done recently that you are proud of? Reconnecting with my old friends was such a blessing, I’m still working on being a better friend and sister, aunt, and daughter. I’ve lost 15 pounds since my breakup and feel so much better about myself. I am super proud of this blog and how it’s allowed me to open up wounds and heal. I am excited about what the near future holds.

How is your new job going? It’s amazing! I do marketing and publicity for Christian books. It’s a new challenge, but the people and atmosphere are great and I have learned soo much. Keep in mind, that this is a job I didn’t even apply for! I saw that five-step application process and quit on step one (why the heck do I have to fill in my job experience if I already uploaded my resume?!). I had to go back and fill out the application after I’d gotten the job. I had been praying for a new opportunity for a while when God opened this door. Trust Him sis! He won’t let you down! 

Reach for the stars, ladies! We can do anything. We have no limitations in life. Whenever you start to doubt that, read your Word. We can accomplish anything, and God has a plan and purpose for our lives. Whatever mistakes we’ve made– it’s not the end of the world– God still loves us and can still use us!

Peace, love, and blessings,

Angela

Uncategorized

You Talk Too Much!

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.”

— Proverbs 18:21 (AMP)

“She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.”

— Proverbs 31:26 (NLT)

I’m working on keeping those verses in my mind. Sometimes y’all, I talk too much. I have had to learn some tough lessons in life about keeping my mouth shut. It’s unfortunate when you say something you shouldn’t have said, and it gets you in trouble.

Have you ever “accidentally,” told a secret and it broke out around your friend group, church or school? I have. I only told one person, but it was the wrong person! The one who talks too much and loves to have gossip to talk about. I wasn’t being malicious when I told her, just not being wise. Unfortunately, sometimes once trust is lost it’s gone forever.

I had two friends (let’s call them Sheila and Ayesha) who had been arguing over something I felt was silly. I talked to Sheila in confidence, and she explained the issue she was having to me. I felt Sheila’s issue was fair, and that due to all the people involved and saying different things, that her issues were being confused with other people’s issues.

Once I talked to Sheila, I decided to be the UN and fix the issue myself, when I really just should have stayed out of it. So I went to Ayesha and told her that Sheila wasn’t mad at her for the things that she thought Sheila was mad at her for. She pushed for details and I gave her a few small tidbits. I asked Ayesha not to tell Sheila that I told her those things.

Ayesha went immediately and told Sheila everything I told her and even added a little more. Sheila then told Ayesha things I said about Ayesha and added a little more. By the end, they were united against me, all because I shared what Sheila told me. That drama was all during exam week btw. Anyway, I should have stayed out of it, and I shouldn’t have shared what was said to me in confidence, even if I felt like I had a good reason to.

“He who goes about as a gossip reveals secrets, But he who is trustworthy and faithful keeps a matter hidden.”

— Proverbs 11:13 (AMP)

Are you trustworthy? Can people rely on you to hide their secrets? If not, that can actually be a spiritual issue. Either you lack wisdom or you lack self-control. Some even want attention. Either way, check your motivations. As I frequently say, understand why you do the things you do.

For some reason, people have always been willing to come to me and tell me their secrets. I have had to make sure that I don’t speak out of turn. I have gotten to the point where I listen and then try to forget what they said! Just so I don’t hurt another person.

As a Christian, we should always be looking out for others and seeking the best interest of those around us. Everything always comes back to the golden rule: treat others the way you would want to be treated.

“In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.
But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.”

— James 3:5 (NLT)