Is This What You Call Fasting?

“Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord? ‘No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.’” Isaiah 58:5-12


It’s the beginning of a brand new year and your pastor has called the annual corporate, church fast, which is now to be expected, a thing of tradition. As you get ready to fast both mentally, physically, and spiritually, it’s important to make sure that you’re not wasting your time. Whether your spiritual goal for fasting is to grow in God or to have God intervene in an area that represents a stronghold in your life, God calls His people to participate in a true fast. A true fast is one that is not concerned in the least with natural benefits like losing weight, detoxing, or otherwise purifying or cleansing the body, but it’s concerned with the spiritual benefits of the purification and cleansing of the heart. In the book of Isaiah, chapter 58, Prophet Isaiah asks the self-righteous people of the day a loaded question as they went about their fasting ritual, he asks, “Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord?” You see these pious people were going through the motions of fasting, but they were not pleasing God nor getting ahead spiritually. Isaiah goes on to share what would actually please God and I suggest that you read the entire chapter in its context, and you will discover that God is not looking for a fast in which we simply forego our meals, but he’s looking for one in which there is changed behavior through a purified heart. Take for instance King David, a man regarded as being after God’s own heartand described as such with good reason. After David committed adultery by sleeping with Bathsheba, a married woman, he asked God in Psalm 51 to create in him a “clean heart” and to “renew a right spirit” within him. God honored the brokenness of David’s heart and like David, God desires for us to get to the place where we want to be made clean of our ways that don’t please Him and to be so broken by our shortcomings that we desire to be renewed spiritually so that we can be used for His service. Essentially, God wants us to fast or turn from our evil ways and start doing right and doing good work for Him.

So, don’t view your personal or corporate fasting as a religious formality, but rather as a purposed act of pure worship that shows God that your temporary abstaining from food and or from other things that distract you or bring you pleasure (i.e. sex, social media, online shopping, or Netflix), is just the beginning of your future practice of abstaining, for good, from the type of living that does not please Him. Again, this results in us becoming more useful to God for service. Through a true fast, you will experience God’s blessings and He will, among other blessings, restore areas in your life that need restoration and He will hear you and answer you when you pray (Isaiah 58:6-12).

Make 2019 the year that you embark on a true fast, fasting that not only benefits us, but humanity. Fasting that goes beyond our own personal growth and becomes concerned with how we can be of service to God’s people through acts of kindness, charity, justice, and generosity for this is what truly pleases God.


*Some excerpts taken from The Christian Girls Manifesto: A Declaration of Faith‘s chapter, “True Fasting.”

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Food for the Single Soul

If you’re a single woman, you may be regarded as lonely or as missing something, even the best out of life. However, despite your single relationship status and the subtle disdain by a society that views singleness as the plague, you are whole and not awaiting your better half, you are the whole person that God made you and no one betters you. Don’t allow society, age, or any other pressure to rush you into marriage as if it is a mission in life that all women are to attain or be able to check off of their list or to consider themselves as having arrived once they’re wed. The truth is, women have value whether they’re wearing a ring or doing their own thing. So single women would do well to remain single until God sends them one of His children because the Devil has children too, and his children are men after his own evil heart which means that they are not for you literally and figuratively.

Throughout the year, but especially during the holiday season, family and friends that you haven’t seen in a while, mostly with good intentions might ask, “So, when are you getting married?”, and then wait patiently for your answer. Don’t be blindsided. Always have an answer.

Here’s some gracious responses and switch questions:

  1. “I’m trusting God’s timing. What’s new with you?”
  2. “Any day now. What’s one goal you’ve set for next year?”
  3. “Not sure, but I’ll be sure to update you. How did you know that (insert their spouse’s name) was the one for you?”

If you don’t want them to ever ask you that question again (lol) use one of these responses:

  1. “I’m (insert you age), single, and I [really] don’t care!”
  2. “You know, marriage isn’t for everybody.”
  3. “I’m doing so well all by myself, that I haven’t given it real consideration.”

If a relationship is your heart’s desire, understand that God will not withhold any good thing from you. He is a good God who knows how to give good gifts to His children, better than any earthly father ever could, that’s for sure. While He will not withhold any good thing from you, including the good thing that is a husband, that does not mean that He will not allow that thing you desire to be delayed, to await perhaps His or your necessary preparedness and the perfect timing for the presentation of your perfect for you gift, into your life. Adding another person into your life comes with more than just having and holding, and for this, one has to be ready and willing and capable of managing and committing to all that comes with a God given relationship. Though your meeting with your one day husband is delayed, wait for him, because God will make your wait worth your while if you trust Him with all matters especially matters of your heart.  While desiring the temporary pleasures of marriage and family, desire more fully the eternal love that exists between you, your Maker and your Savior. That’s the type of love, dear single, that never grows old.

Today, I encourage you to spend your single days, your free, undivided time being devoted to the work God has prepared for you. What can you do for Jesus today as a single, that you would not be able to do the same if you were married?

Reader’s Note: I alluded to the book by Juliette Bush, “I’m 30, I’m Single, and I Don’t Care!” in the response above: “I’m (insert you age), single, and I [really] don’t care!”






Modesty and the Modern Woman

Modesty by definition is defined as freedom from conceit or vanity, propriety or decency in dress, speech, or conduct. According to 1 Timothy 2:9, in like manner also, women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array. Here we read in Scripture, the Apostle Paul giving one of his young leaders by the name of Timothy instructions for the church on structured discipline. We see specifically in this verse how Paul informs us women on how we are to govern ourselves both inwardly and outwardly. He has given us guidelines for public worship. Teaching us how we should not exploit our feminine charm.

Oftentimes we hear the sayings beauty is in the eye of the beholder, beauty is only skin deep, and going further to say that you are only as beautiful outwardly as you are inwardly. I find each one of these statements to be true because we see it demonstrated daily. When there is a lack of an essential quality present whether it is of confidence, or having insecurities inwardly, it shows outwardly. To give you a much clearer example, when we are not confident and secure within ourselves we oftentimes feel that we have to present ourselves in such a manner as to receive validation from someone, in order to make us feel worthy. This manner is not just seen in attire, but it is displayed in our speech and conduct as well. It is almost a normal sight to see women degrade themselves in attire in order to attract attention, as well as conducting themselves with distasteful and obscene behavior using corrupt and profane language to try to prove meaningless points. I believe that this happens because some women have adopted a false reality that allowed them to believe that in order to be desired or accepted they have to degrade themselves. What this type of behavior really shows is, there are women who are unsure of themselves in terms of knowing who they really are in Christ. It is not unscriptural for a women to want to be attractive. However, to what degree should women pursue attractiveness?

Now, we are not to get sidetracked or thrown off when Paul talks about the braiding of hair, gold, pearls, and expensive clothes and think that we can’t have those things. While understanding the Scripture you have to understand the time period. So for us today Paul is not implying that we should not wear these things, he is simply indicating that we should not try to draw attention to ourselves with these things. I believe that this general rule emphasize that the way we dress and our behavior must express reverence for our God.

As for me, I have always been fashion forward. I have been a true lover of fashion since I was a little girl. It’s my birth mark, it’s going to stick with me forever. Growing up I was big on being different. I literately would get upset if someone had the same shirt or shoes that I did and my mom knew it and came up with a solution by redesigning everything that I wore, because I wanted to stand out. My mom worked in the retail industry so I was always exposed to trends early. However, I was taught early in life that appearance played a big part in how people would perceive you. And that has stuck with me since my youth.

Now was I always a conservative dresser, umm! Not every day, but for the most part I was. I didn’t care too much for short shorts because I had very skinny legs and I didn’t think that I looked right in them. Halter tops and tied up shirts were my thing. Now, in these days we have far too many women wearing things that are not made to fit them. That goes for every shape and size. We have to understand that what looks good on someone else does not always look great on us. You have to go with what works for you. I believe that as women who represent God, we have to raise the standard in this area. Although God is not focused on the outer appearance, he looks on the heart, I believe there needs to be some accountability to have respect for both ourselves and God.

The reason why I am big on modesty, dressing appropriately, is because of my love and reverence for God. My heart’s desire is to please God and represent him well. Oftentimes we claim to be followers of Christ, but our action demonstrate otherwise. Our life and life style should model that of Christ. I want to cause people to come to Christ, not run away from him. The only way I could be that light is by living my life according to his will.

We as women of God have to be actively concerned with the things of God. There is a generation of young believers seeking to be led by women who are equipped and ready to win with Christ. God does not want us to be preoccupied with materialistic things causing us to give our attention to everything except him. Looking good is a plus for the believer in Christ, however God does not want us to become overly consumed with primping ourselves before a mirror, chasing the latest fashion, but he wants us doing something beautiful for him, and become beautiful doing it. True beauty is possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see. We as women of God possess an abundance of great qualities.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to just be remembered as the lady who wore nice jewelry and fine clothes. I want my life to exemplify more than just materialistic things.

Modesty and Decency are the key words to reflect on.

How do they fit into your vocabulary?

Tips for a Successful 2018

I created this list shortly after midnight on January 1. It was originally drafted on my cell phone to be used as a quick, short post, but it became more extensive than I thought it would and for that, I realized that the word count clearly called for a blog. I was hesitant to share this because it is not one of the blog topics that I have decided to write for 2018, but I’m a teacher at heart and a serial encourager so I had to share.

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

  1. Keep God Guided Resolutions (Read Proverbs 3:5-6; Proverbs 16:3): Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance as to what you should pursue…follow where He leads, I highly discourage pursuing any resolution or goal that God is not in…as a wise woman once said, “it’s better to be in God’s perfect will than in His permissive will.” Meaning, it’s you choice, God’s perfect will and plan for your life or God’s tolerance.
  2. Mix it with Faith (Read Hebrews 4:2) Once you consult God who has your master plan, mix whatever “it” is that He purposes for you to do for 2018 with faith. Act on what you hope for with your best effort to achieve your goal and God will grace you where you need help. That’s a sure recipe for success. Remember that faith without works is dead. (James 2:26)
  3. Be Spiritual, Be Social (Read 2 Timothy 2:15): Social media is a great way to connect with others, hey, I personally love it, but don’t let it occupy more time than Jesus does. Because being spiritual and giving God face time is what will set every day of your year. Also, we are set in communities of people to love and sharpen one another. Get together for coffee with a friend, schedule a playdate with your children and a friend, do something together. We are meant for community. Keep being social, but make those spiritual connections with God as priority number 1 and with people in real life.
  4. Gather (Hebrews 10:25) Studying God’s word and gathering together regularly at a Bible-teaching church will have you well-equipped for every good work you’ll do this year & ready for every test you’ll face. We all have a fight on our hands as believers and you out there who don’t have a relationship with Christ, I know you’re fighting something too. None of us have always been saved from sin. Anyway, it’s important that we know how to fight according to (Ephesians 6:8-13) so that we will be able to stand and not fall during our battles. If you cannot physically go to church because you are disabled or otherwise unable to attend, Live Stream! You can even support most ministries with your tithes and offering virtually so that the Kingdom of God is even more funded to fulfill the Mission of Jesus Christ.
  5. Organize Your Year with a Planner Having a space where you can write your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly plans is invaluable. Since last August, I’ve been using Corie Clark’s @corieclark @purposefulplanner, and have heard great things about #passionplanner, and there’s tons of others—find the one that suits your needs. Leave a comment below with your favorite.
  6. Give Thanks There’s something joyful about being thankful, I believe that’s why God tells us to ask Him for what we need with our thanksgiving on our lips (Read Philippians 4:6). I started using a Thanks Journal just before the New Year and it is so good! I had been patiently waiting to get my shipment of journals in the mail. Grab a cute notebook and begin the practice of writing down what the Lord has done. That way, you will not only lift your spirit, but you can also have a record of ALL the wonderful things that God has done. Know that, thanksgiving is not a seasonal offering to God on a holiday, our thanks as believers, must be perpetual.
  7. READ! There just isn’t an excuse not to read. I’m pretty sure that I read more books last year among all of my writing deadlines, than I’ve ever read in one year. They were all pretty much free audiobooks through my local public library system’s Hoopla app. While I bought some really good paperbacks last year and I only had time and energy to scan over my hard copy of Jerry Jenkins, Writing for the Soul, which reads like a writer’s manual. It is amazing! Audiobooks saved my reading life during that deadline season, now I look forward to cracking open several of the books that I actually purchased hard copies of during last year. I’d love to hear what you’re reading or what you’ve read and recommend. Share in a comment below.
  8. Join a Community Joining a community that’s centered around your interest(s) allows you to be confident that you already share something in common with the people you are connecting with. I write, so I was blessed when Karolyne Roberts @thewritersretreat, created the Write VIP @thewritevip, a FREE, professional, craft sharpening network for writers and creatives alike. I also just love the pure heart and storytelling acumen of Jena Holliday, of @aspoonfuloffaith…She is helping mamas and simply all women alike over at #MotherCreative. You should check her out. Just, find what interests you and then seek out ways to connect with those people.
  9. Know What to Entertain and What to Ignore I have stated this for years and it is still necessary to hear. We cannot get a second of the time spent wasting our energies on things that should have never had our attention in the first place. A wise man once said, Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. When we give attention to useless arguments, we are not stewarding our time wisely. He continues, But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms. Sometimes you do need to answer back, I see it all the time, people with large platforms being personally attacked on social media, but no matter your notoriety, we all could benefit from choosing our battles. Some criticisms are constructive and purposed to build you up. Other criticisms are meant to tear you down and leave you rehearsing your hurt feelings over and over and over again in your mind. Please rest from that this year and cast your cares on God.
  10. Take a Digital Detox Of course there’s other ways to discipline oneself from distractions that eat at our time and inhibit our productivity. Here’s just one way to rediscover calm, quiet, and clarity among all the noise. Take a digital detox if you feel that you need one in order to get stuff done. No explanation or warning to your followers is even necessary. This could very well be what you need in order to make those faith moves that you’ve been dreaming of. A couple of years ago, I chose to do a digital detox while pursuing graduate studies, that decision gave me amazing clarity of thought and as a result, I achieved straight A’s every semester while working full-time.
  11. PRAY! No matter how many times we have to #prayfor someone or something or someplace, it is our connection to our Maker that heals us, that calms us, and directs us in all seasons.
  12. Protect Your Peace! Guard it as if it were your most prized possession. Threats to your peace are inevitable, but go to God, your spiritual leader, and or to a wise friend to discover what should be done to pursue your peace. Everyone’s situation is different. And God does speak to you through the wisdom of others.


Now that you’ve read this far, implement what you’ve read that applies to you.

My prayers for a joyous year full of peace in your heart and home, productivity, and wonder!

Was this helpful? Leave a comment to let me know. I would love to hear from you!

Could a friend or family member benefit from reading this list? Please share this with them. Your community needs to be as sharp and as strategic as you are for 2018.

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Citizens of Heaven

Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. Philippians 3:17-20

When I focus on earthly things–cares of this world, senseless tragedies, I am concerned, anxious, and upset. In the midst of my unsettledness, God elevates my thinking and reminds me that this ain’t home. I’m not home here on earth, I’m going home to a celestial place that is prepared for me and all those who love God and accept His Son, Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ready to go home just yet, however majestic, magnificent, and perfect it is. I’m just encouraged by the fact that, heaven is going to reduce this “momentary affliction” of a lifetime of constantly being between two extremes– trouble or tranquility, heartache or happiness, sorrow or joy to its proper size–so small, so temporary when compared to the eternally “far more exceeding weight of glory” that is to come (2 Corinthians 4:17 KJV). So, I am a citizen of heaven, the highest ground, a place whose God we will all one day, bend our knees before and declare our total allegiance to, above this country, above this world (Romans 14:11 NLT). So take heart, be encouraged that, the trouble, heartache, sorrow all serve as reminders that there is a better place that those who believe are destined to go.

Thank God that, this ain’t home.

Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I’m taking.” John 14:1-4 The Message

The Empty Seat at the Table

pexels-photo-196648“‘Tis the season to be jolly,” and all the rest. You are making and checking your gift-giving list. You are trying to make as many things merry and bright as you possibly can, but you cannot shake the feeling that this is not just another holiday season. The holidays are just not as cheerful as they would be if the empty seats at the table were filled with the presence of your lost loved ones. Whether it is one or more loved ones lost, the weight of their absence is often more heavily felt during the most wonderful time of the year. Their missing kisses, hugs, warmth, smile, and good-humor is magnified this time of year. Yet, no matter how much loved ones are missed, it is important to realize just how much of a vapor life is. So while you still have breath in your body, it is important that you live and find the joy that remains here: the smile of a child, the dawn of each new day, children at play, the spirit of giving, the birth of a baby, wedding bells, the encouraging words of those that give comfort, or more importantly, the peace that surpasses all understanding. While it is okay to move forward, to live, to enjoy your life without your dear loved one by your side and to find happiness in new joys and experiences, it is also okay to grieve as long as you need to. You may never get over the loss of a loved one (and you never have to), but you can get through it and go on with your life. Mourning is a temporary event that becomes a little less familiar with each passing day, or month, or year. As mourning reaches its end, the fondness of memories can be reminisced with a smile instead of a tear, with honor instead of pain, and with gratefulness to God for the gift that was the presence and connection you were favored to have had with your loved one. So while the empty seat at the table may reflect a deep hole in your heart, it can also or will hopefully begin to reflect your heart’s abundance of precious memories of happier times when laughter came easier and smiles were brighter.