Empower Yourself.

I have often been asked the question, “how do you stay so encouraged?” This question was one of the many reasons Beloved was born. I wanted (and still do) to not only empower others, but to teach them how to empower themselves as well. Today I will share with you a few things that have helped me to be able to encourage myself.

  1. God’s Word

Every year I like to find one verse and that’s the verse that I cling to the entire year. I memorize it in January and anytime I am going through something or facing a challenge I simply speak that verse either out loud or to myself. By doing this I am empowering myself with the Word of God. I’m speaking life over myself and my situation. Also, with each year that passes by it’s just another verse that’s written on my heart and used alongside whatever verse I may have chosen for that year.

In the past I also did V.O.W. This stood for verse of the week. I would write it on my whiteboard at home or on the pages of my planner for that week. This helped me to see it daily, speak it daily, and also reflect on it as well.

2. Devotionals 

Devotionals go hand in hand with reading God’s Word. I like to think of it as an opportunity to break down God’s Word into ways where you understand it better. Not only that, I also treat my devotional journal as my love letters back to God. Doing daily devotionals helps me to reflect on both God’s Word and my life. It requires me to be open and honest with myself so that I can get and be better. The way that I do my devotionals is S.O.A.P. Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. I pick a scripture, after reading it I write down the things that I observed from it, or learned from it. After that I pin point areas in my life where these things can be applied and then I end it with a prayer. There are many nights where I don’t want to do my devotionals because I am tired, but every time that I do them I always feel so refreshed and refueled.

3. Worship

I could write/talk about this part for days. I want to encourage you to get into God’s presence as often as you can. When you do this then it becomes an automatic whenever you’re going through something. Pastor Sheryl Brady once said that when life squeezes you, whatever you are filled with will come out of you. That is why I encourage you to worship God as often as you can. Fill yourself up so that when the enemy comes and tries to squeeze you all that will come out of you is praise and worship unto God. Remember, worship is not a feeling. It is a choice. It’s a decision to honor and express your love, adoration and gratitude to God no matter what. Worship grants you access to His presence and in His presence is His power.

4. Notes to Self

I write encouraging notes to myself on either index cards or post-it notes and I leave them in my planner, around my house or work space so that I can constantly see it. I even write on my bathroom or vanity mirror. They either have bible verses, quotes, or sometimes just one word that has a powerful meaning behind it. I make sure to put these in places where I can see them often.

5. Choose Positivity

I will be the first to tell you that a positive mentality does not happen over night. It is not something that just happens either. It takes work. The biggest, and sometimes the hardest step is to choose to be positive. I am not oblivious to the fact that when the enemy attacks, he attacks hard. I understand. I also understand that it’s during these times that I need to choose positivity the most. It helps to keep making this decision every day you wake up because when the tough times roll around you’ll find your mentality has grown. When you choose to have a positive mentality and outlook on life then you’re also choosing to empower yourself.

These are five things that I do to help empower myself. Like I said before, it is not always going to be easy. There are going to be days where empowering yourself will be a breeze and then there will others where it’s the last thing you want to do. Just remember, the more you encourage and empower yourself during the good days will greatly impact your mentality and faith during the harder ones. Don’t just empower yourself during the struggle. Empower yourself from the start. You talk to yourself more than anyone else in this world. Make sure it’s empowering things.

Also, don’t forget to tell yourself that you are beloved.

Rejoicing always,

Davina

Hosanna

The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c]

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

-Matthew 21:9

As I have gotten older my love, appreciation, and gratitude for Easter continues to grow. The story of what Jesus did for us on the cross is an amazing act of love, and what he did three days later is the most miraculous story that could ever be. There’s one word that I want to focus on today.

Hosanna.

A week prior to Jesus rising from the dead, he was welcomed with adoration, praise and shouts of Hosanna.

One definition of Hosanna is save us. Knowing what happens later that week has me in awe. That’s exactly what Jesus came to the earth to do and that is exactly what he did. Jesus saved us. I love knowing that even to this day when I cry out Hosanna that Jesus still hears me and comes to my rescue.

Another definition of the word is salvation. That Sunday when the people were pouring out their praise and paving the path with palm leaves, they were declaring salvation. Jesus performed the greatest act of salvation when he took our place on the cross. Hosanna in the highest indeed.

Lastly, Hosanna also means thank you. No one knew yet what was to come later that week. No one knew that Jesus was going to be arrested, falsely accused, badly beaten, and crucified for all the world to see. They didn’t know yet, but I do now. I know that Jesus was given a choice. I know that despite being innocent, he still chose to take my place. I know that it should have been me, so today I loudly shout Hosanna. I am thankful for what he did for me. I am unbelievably thankful.

Today, take a few minutes to cry out Hosanna. Let God know that you are thankful that He sent his son. Tell Jesus that you are thankful that he loves you so much that he took your place. Shout Hosanna.

Rejoicing always,

Davina

What Comes Next?

Have you ever had to start over before? Maybe it had to do with your career path, relationship, or a change of location. Starting over can be overwhelming for many people. I don’t believe it’s because of starting over itself, but more so the fear of the unknown. A new beginning always presents a new journey to embark on and it’s the uncharted territory that can cause people to suffer from cold feet. Despite not knowing what was ahead of her, there was a woman in the Bible who knew that it had to have been better than what was behind her. Her name was Naomi.

The book is called Ruth, but it also tells the story of a woman named Naomi who had no other choice but to start over. Not only did she lose her husband, but her two sons had also passed away. She found herself alone in a foreign land. Starting over was the only option she had.

This is the case for majority of us. Our experience may not be that of Naomi’s (or maybe it is), but regardless there has been a time in our lives where starting over wasn’t a choice but the only thing left for us to do. Whether it was being laid off, an unexpected breakup, an eviction, or even a sudden death in your life; there was a moment where we faced the beginning of a new journey.

After Naomi had lost everything she heard that the Lord had helped his people in Judah so she decided to return home. This is the first lesson we can learn from Naomi when starting over. Go with God. Go towards God. Go back to God. Wherever you may be in life, learn from Naomi and get into His presence. Go where He is because wherever God is you can be confident that you are in the best place possible. The best place to start a new journey is always in His presence.

Naomi didn’t go alone, although she wanted to. Her two daughers-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, decided to go with her and she told them both to turn around and go home. One did and one did not. Ruth was persistent in staying with Naomi and going with her wherever she went. Even in Judah, Ruth set out to work in the fields to provide for both her and Naomi.

When starting over find yourself a Ruth. Someone who will stick with you no matter what. See, Ruth was suffering and hurting as well. She could have easily turned around, went back home and started over in a land where she was comfortable, but she didn’t because of her love and loyalty to Naomi. Many times when embarking on a new journey most of us like to go at it alone. It’s nothing personal, we just prefer to suffer in silence or in isolation. Trust me when I say life is always better with others. Ruth helped Naomi more than she could have imagined and that’s why it is important to find your Ruth. It’s better to have someone who will encounter the unknown with you.

In the end Ruth had found favor in the eyes of Boaz, a relative of Elimelech, Naomi’s belated husband. Ruth had found so much favor that she became Boaz’s wife, had a child and giving Naomi a grandson. Both women’s lives were restored and it was because of God.

The biggest fear that comes with starting over is the unknown; not knowing how things might turn out or what lies ahead. I’ve been there. Sometimes, I’m still there regarding my health, however we can learn from Naomi. Go with God and find someone who will encourage you and hold you accountable as well. When you do that you can be confident that things will work out, just as it did with Naomi and Ruth. It won’t necessarily be easy. You will have your moments, but no matter what, keep going. Although you may not know what lies ahead, take comfort in the fact that God already knows and when you go with God you never have to fear what comes next.

Continue, Beloved. I’m rootin’ for ya.

Rejoicing always,

Davina

Focus, Remember and Charge!

Nestled in the middle of 1 Samuel is the story of a giant who caused fear everywhere he went and the young boy who defeated him. It’s the story of David and Goliath.

It’s a story that is constantly used to demonstrate great faith, and today there’s three points in particular that we will focus on. They’re actions and choices that David made that can be easily overlooked, but they’re monumental things that we should all do in the face of our fear and situations. Let’s take a closer look.

Goliath was a Philistine who stood about 9 feet tall, wore armor that weighed about 125 pounds, and carried a spear that was about 15 pounds. Not only was he an intimidating man, but he was a pretty gutsy one at that. Goliath boldly defied the armies of God and the men of Israel that heard him, “were dismayed and terrified,” (1 Samuel 17:11).

How many of you can relate to the Israelites? Can you blame them for being afraid? Growing up as a child I would think of Goliath as some mythical creature (he was described as a giant after all), and now as an adult it’s still a hard concept for me to grasp. This man was huge in every aspect and fighting someone of his size seems impossible. Of course I would be afraid…and that’s the point right there.

When it comes to fear our tendency is to look at whatever we are facing and magnify it to unimaginable proportions, just like Goliath. We focus so much on how big our situation is that we fail to focus on how big our God is. David, however, did not forget.

When Goliath made his usual defiance against The Lord the Israelites ran in fear at the sight of him, but this time David heard what was said. He went to Saul and urged him for permission to fight Goliath, but Saul looked at his size and doubted him. David remembered that God had been with him when he defeated the lion and the bear and because of that David knew and believed that God would be with him and deliver him from Goliath as well.

David remembered what The Lord had done for him. Sometimes that’s all we need to do to overcome fear; remember what God has brought you through before and believing that He can and will do it again.

After receiving Saul’s blessing David went to meet Goliath. The giant laughed at the sight of his opponent. He mocked and teased the Israelites for sending a boy to battle, and as he laughed in disbelief David stood their in full confidence of the God that he served. David boldly confessed that God would deliver Goliath to him and that he would strike him dead. This angered the giant.

“As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.” -1 Samuel 17:48 NIV

David didn’t run away from Goliath; he ran to the battle line to meet him. Stop running away from the thing that sparks fear in your life. Go with God, charge the battle line and face fear head on. When you do you will find your results to be similar to that of David. You will be victorious!

So, when it comes to facing fear simply,

1. Focus on God
2. Remember what He has done
3. Charge the line

It’s time to be fearless, Beloved. I’m rootin’ for ya!

Rejoicing always,

Davina

The Certainty of Uncertainty

Doubt.

A simple five letter word that can cause an avalanche of emotions in one’s life. From worry and fear to stress and anxiety; doubt has a way of creeping into our lives in the tiniest way possible and growing into the greatest giant we have ever seen. Why? Because we allow it to.

The thing about doubt is it holds whatever power we allow it to have. Doubt grows because we constantly feed it by acknowledging it and investing time into it. The word itself simply means fear or to lack confidence in. In other words, doubt is the opposite of faith.

This past week has been an epic roller coaster type of ride for me. The word uncertainty was used and that scared me. I am someone who loves to be in charge of herself and her life. I am one who takes action, and in this case there were no actions that I could have taken to ensure that I would be okay.

The uncertainty scared me.
The unknowing worried me.
The unimaginable haunted me.

However, as I continued to enter into God’s presence in worship I began to feel His peace and it dawned on me. The only thing certain about uncertainty is that I serve the God who IS faithful, mighty, able and so much more.

He knows.

He knows what the outcome already will be. He knows how things will work out. He knows what He’s doing. He knows and the only thing that I need to be certain about is who He is.

That right there is the beauty of faith. It’s choosing to believe in God and His word even when life tries to fill your heart with doubt and fear. I don’t need to concern myself with anything else. I just need to focus on Him.

My prayer for you is that as you continue on throughout 2019 that you continue to turn to God during the good times and the bad. I pray that you learn to praise Him for what He’s done and to worship Him for who He truly is. I pray that you allow God into your heart and allow him to light up every crevasse where doubt may try to linger. I pray that you grow to be certain in uncertainty.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

-Isaiah 41:10 NIV

God is with you always, Beloved.

Rejoicing always,

Davina

Still.

“Mountains are still being moved.
Strongholds are still being loosed.
God we believe.
Yes, we can see it
That wonders are still what you do.

Bodies are still being raised.
Giants are still being slayed.
God we believe
Yes, we can see it
Wonders are still what you do.”

This is a Move by Tasha Cobbs-Leonard

Still.

There are many definitions for this word, but the one I want to focus on is this.

Always, continually.
In a progressive manner: increasingly
In spite of that: nevertheless.

-Merriam Webster Dictionary

When I first heard this song by Tasha Cobbs-Leonard the line that stuck with me the most was the very last one. “Wonders are still what you do.” 

Still.

That means that God is still able, He is always working, and in spite of some of the choices or decision we have made that may have us thinking otherwise, guess what. Wonders are still what He does.

God is still in the works of doing wonders in your life. He is still able, He is still mighty, and He is still faithful. All we need is one move from God.

This led me to think, what am I doing as I wait for God to move? Am I moving towards Him in prayer and devotionals? Am I still praising and worshiping God? Or am I still growing impatient and discouraged? Am I still complaining? Or am I just standing still?

When facing moments of stillness; times where it seems or feels as if God is not moving or present, that is when it is most vital that we move towards God. Get into His presence through the word. Get into His presence through praise. Get into His presence through worship. Just get into His presence. This is where we apply the definition of still. See the following:

“God, I may feel alone right now but I will still (always, continually) worship you.”
“Lord, it seems like it’s just one thing after another, yet your praise will still (increasingly) be on my lips!”
“All hope seems to be lost, but nevertheless I will still (in spite of) trust in your Word and in you!”

You may think that I’m crazy, but I would never encourage you to do something that I haven’t done for myself. I know what it feels like to be afraid and worrisome. I know what it feels like to have done all you can and have no other choice but to give it to God. I know what it feels like to not want to be in God’s presence, but it’s the only place where I needed to be and ever felt peace. I know what it feels like to stand still and I know what it feels like to still move towards God. I highly recommend the latter. Not only does it grow your faith in God and your relationship with Him, but you will be filled with such an unexplained peace and grace.

I pray that you continue to move towards God today and always, Beloved. I’m rootin’ for you.

Rejoicing always,

Davina

 

 

 

Table Talk

Join us this evening for the first Table Talk of 2019. We will be discussing the importance of the MOVE. A blog will be posted tomorrow as well covering what we discuss tonight. We hope to see you at the Table.

Table Talk

7:00 pm

Facebook Live: @Belovedincorporated