Go Again!

Theres a cartoon type of picture that has circulated on the internet for a few years, its of a man digging his way through a cave trying to get to diamonds, the picture shows that at the moment he gave up, he had one more wall to knock down and the diamonds were right. there. That picture kills me every time, because what if in life we saw the scale of our progress and how close we were to that thing, was right on the other side of us saying,”I”m done! Its too hard/taking too long”.

You have a desire, passion, career goal, house goal, car goal, family goal, weight goal, etc. You’ve tried so many times and ways to achieve this goal. For some it only takes one failure for you to stop, for others you have tried countless times and now you give up! Whatever the case is, GO AGAIN! 

Some, if not all, of the successful people in life that a lot of us reference had to fight against so many no’s, so many doors slammed in their face, but still they kept trying and were able to obtain the thing they have been working so hard for, especially when their circumstances appeared to be telling them “This is never going to work, just give up!

The scripture I am using today, is from the Prophet Elijah, who told his servant to check the sky over the sea for the evidence of rain coming. *Backstory* in 1 Kings 17, Elijah prophesied that there was going to be a great drought for a few years. In the third year of there being a drought in the land, God told Elijah go present yourself to Ahab (Ahab was a King, who was married to Jezebel and Jezebel made it her mission to kill the Lord’s prophets, so Elijah going to him was risky business), present yourself to Ahab and I will send the rain. Elijah does as he is told and when done, tells Ahab raining is coming back to the land, and sends his servant to look for the evidence.

“Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked. 

“There is nothing there,” he said.

Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.” 1 Kings 18:43

Elijah sent his servant to look seven times. Seven times! Here why this number is A LOT. Elijah was on the top of Mount Carmel. So seven times his servant climbed up, seven times down, to say, “Bro! There is still no evidence of rain!!” Elijah is like, “I’m sure you’re not looking correctly, “Go back!” Just imagine the way the servant wanted to fuss at Elijah or say “Why don’t you go?!” 

Sometimes, we aren’t looking at our progress through the right lens. Sometimes, we expect it to look a certain way and if it doesn’t turn out that way, we count it as a loss. Sometimes, we want to step on the scale and it say down 10 pounds, instead it says .1 pounds down. But if you keep trying, and you look at things with the right perspective of all progress, whether big or small, as something to be celebrated, maybe then you will accomplish the things you’ve been hoping for all along.

“The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’” 1 Kings 18:44

I’m sure the servant expected to see thunder clouds covering the sky in order to bring back proof that rain was coming, instead he saw a cloud equivalent to a human hand. But regardless of the packaging of the progress, an accomplishment is still an accomplishment,  and rain still came upon the land!

So stop beating yourself up for what you haven’t done yet, put on your faith glasses and GO AGAIN!

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Clear the Room

We live in a very, very, VERY opinionated time. Everyone has something to say about everything. People judge what they don’t even have the full backstory on. Fake news is distributed so quickly, social media has become the new CNN. To make it personal, how many times have you went to someone with a good news and you got a really lousy response from them, similar to that of a *cough* hater *cough*. How many times have you shared a really cool idea with someone, but because it was too big for their brain to comprehend they suggested that you do something easier or even worse “girl, I don’t think thats going to happen”. 

Some of us have some of those individuals in our life right now and for whatever reason we still choose to keep them around…we still share our good news with them, we still ask for their input, and we still get annoyed at their response every time knowing good and well they have remained consistent in their actions. People like this only know how to celebrate with you when you’re mourning (sad,disappointed, discouraged), because as you know “misery loves company”. 

Let’s jump right into scripture:

“When Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing, He said to them, “Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him. But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose.” – Matthew 9:23-25

A little backstory for this scripture, Jesus is passing through a town and a ruler, the father of the young girl, approaches Him saying, my daughter has died come place your hand on her and she’ll live. When Jesus gets to the house all these people are crying over this little girl and just being a mess. Forgive me, but this story reminds me of every black family funeral! People being dramatic, most of these people haven’t seen the little girl or the family for years, some of these other people was probably just talking mess about the girl’s daddy and prob her mama, too. Half of these people probably owe the daddy money, but if they cry loud enough, maybe he’ll forget…I digress lol…. 

Anywho, so Jesus comes in and Jesus being Jesus, doesn’t have time for the extras. He’s like “NAH! What y’all not about to be doing is have a fit in this girl’s room!” And the people ridiculed Him like, “Bruh! Her daddy said she’s dead, I’m pretty sure she’s dead” Jesus doesn’t have time and is like y’all gotta get out! (this is really how I read the Bible, y’all, don’t judge me! lol)  BUT the MIRACLE happens when the doubters, naysayers, “misery loves company” folks CLEAR THE ROOM.

“But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose.” – Matthew 9:25

Doubt is a spirit. Fear is a spirit. Depression is a spirit. Envy is a spirit…Death is a spirit. If the people around you project these things on to you, the spirit will take form and take root in you. I’m not saying this to be scary, but if you are around a cheerful person often, you yourself become more cheerful. If you are around chaos more often, you yourself start feeling like life is chaotic. If you are around a person that comes around only when things die, you yourself will start experiencing more “deaths” in your dreams, ambitions, and overall joy to take on a new day. I challenge you to be fearless like Jesus, notice the noise around you that isn’t speak to LIFE and clear them out of your atmosphere. 

Prayer: Lord, thank you that your Word constantly speaks life. I come against anyone/thing that rejoices over the premature deaths of my dreams and goals. I ask that you help and guide me to disconnect from those that wish to see me fall in any capacity and Father I pray that you place incredible people in my life that would encourage, pray, and be life givers, so that the passions that you’ve given me can be birth into this world and bear fruit, in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!

Please feel free to share this with any and everyone you think would need to read this. You never know there may be someone in your contact list that needs to hear this right now! Love you all and I hope you pray for me as I pray for you!

Keana Harlow 

God’s Love

I had something really incredible written up, but I heard God say start from the top, share my love. I hope that as you read this and the way that He has me write this erases any doubt you had in your mind about how God feels about you.

The main scripture that jumps out to me is :

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?” – Romans 8:35

I love this scripture, because it is first positioned as a question, that is later followed by an answer from the Apostle Paul. A little back story on Paul – before his conversion on the Road to Damascus where he encountered Jesus, Paul was known as killing followers of Christ. Actually, on that journey where he encountered Jesus, he was traveling to go capture groups of Christians: (Paul formerly known as Saul)

“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.” – Acts 9:1-2

So, back to my point Paul, whose career was based around coming against everything of God, could present a question like this and help us answer it based on his past. Surely, a man who imprisoned/killed followers of Christ would have the testimony of knowing the power of God’s love:

“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:37-39

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? There is nothing more powerful than the love of God. A love that has the power to heal, deliver, and set free. A love that knows the depths of your heart, the things that we hide from everyone else and He still gives us His love. No mistake you have and will make, can separate you from His love. There is a scripture that says that we are His special possession (1Peter2:9). He is the Creator of the universe, but refers to you and I as his special possession?! Just rest in that! Read the scripture over and over to yourself, to understand the depths of NOTHING EVER being able to get in the way of how much God loves you! There is nothing that can compete against it! It is hard to truly comprehend, because as humans we cut someone off if we don’t speak to them often, but how many days have gone by where we don’t acknowledge Him? Even during those times He is staring at us through the eyes of His love. What an awesome God we serve!

 

Prayer: Lord, I hope that the reader of these words can move on today and for the rest of their days, resting under the power of Your love. I pray that they understand that your love has power and it triumphs over all fear, doubts, worries, and insecurities. I pray that we all are motivated to spend more time with you, daily. For those, that are struggling right now with forgiving themselves and seeing themselves worthy to receive such a perfect love, I pray that you whisper to their hearts, mind, and soul, and even right now as they rest in You let your Holy Spirit begin to minister to the parts of them that have been holding them back with having a real relationship with You. We love You, we honor You, and we receive Your love today. Thank you Father God, Amen.

 

Please feel free to share this with any and everyone you think would need to read this. You never know there may be someone in your contact list that needs to hear this right now! Love you all and I hope you pray for me as I pray for you!

 

Keana Harlow 

Being a Christian isn’t easy….

This post is not to complain, because I LOVE my life in Christ. It’s to shed light on the simple truths that people may not tell you when you welcome salvation….

1. You lose people

You start falling in love with God, and sometimes you may be the only person for a while that is committing and one by one they all flee. When those people flee, God replaces them with incredible, God-fearing, world shakers that awaken something in you and causes you to be a better you.

2. Self-condemnation

You begin to feel guilty with every single thing you do, sometimes it’s hard to sleep because you can’t stop thinking about yesterday’s mistake, but in those moments God gently whispers in your ears “Christ died for you, so you can live. I LOVE YOU and nothing will ever change that.”

3. You have to reassess everything

You may have been going down a path that doesn’t align with the path that God uniquely created for you, so now you have to start from point A and figure it all out……..actually, you just start from where you are because God has it all already figured it out and He knew you would get to this point before you did.

You know now that I think about it being a Christian isn’t hard at all, life without God is hard. Waking up everyday relying on your strength, depending on your own schemes, self-soothing with temporary things. Been there done that and I wouldn’t trade my new found freedom with anything.

 

FOCUS.

Without a doubt, I believe that Christ is working through you to be the answer to a crying world.

BUT YOU HAVE TO STAY FOCUSED!

To think that the stranger you just walked by is waiting to hear your story and how God brought you through, but you’re distracted by pointless things.

We blame the enemy for illnesses, drugs, alcohol, basically items. Guess what the enemy is doing the most of, but you have no idea….DISTRACTING YOU!…..what?!

How many hours are you on social media? How many times do you put off something for tomorrow? How many times do you say I don’t have time?

If you’re on social media, use it to shed light. If you get that thing done today, you can do something totally different tomorrow and you would obviously have more time, if you stopped putting things off and prioritized.

This may be coming off harsh, but you’re SO VALUABLE to lives being changed for the better around the world, but you’re distracted by things that ultimately don’t matter.

This is the year for authenticity. Dive in and be uniquely you and most of all stay FOCUSED.

iMessage.

“I met a cool guy today!”

“Really?! I need details!”

“He’s INCREDIBLE! I’ve never met anyone like him before.”

“Where’d you meet him?”

“I was just walking home from the bar last night, and I heard him call my name”

“Wait! He knew your name?”

“Yeah”

“Soo, you knew him already?”

“Umm, no”

“UMMM?”

“He knows me, more than I know him”

“Okay…how long has he known you?”

“My whole life”

“Wow!And he just randomly bumps into you, how cute!”

“Yeah!”

“What’s he like?”

“Beautiful, passionate, loving, protecting, incredible, amazing”

“HOLD ON! You met this guy last night and you’re already drooling over him?!”

“If you spent 60 seconds with him, you would feel the same way”

“Well, don’t be stingy! Does he have anyone for me?!”

“He has a son, that will blow your mind!”

“YES! LOL” 

“Can I meet your guy first?”

“You actually have to meet his son first, when you get to know him, you’ll get to know what his dad is like”

“Okay!When?”

“Right now is good!”

“Right now?! I have to fix my hair and change my clothes!”

“He doesn’t care how you look or what you wear!”

“He MUST be special, cause every guy cares!”

“I told you, there’s no one else like him!”

“Okay! I’m getting really excited! You better not be tricking me!”

“I’m not! He’s more than words can describe, seriously!”

“Well, can I have a first and last name, so I can google him just to make sure?”

“Jesus Christ”

 

What would life be like, if we were just as passionate about our Savior as we are about things of no value?