In my conversations with God, I plead the fifth…

I Plead the Fifth. Pleading the Fifth means to refuse to answer questions for fear of incriminating yourself. I have been working really hard lately to keep my mouth closed! Not so much towards other people, but towards myself. I am practicing not cursing my own words, and more importantly not cursing God’s Word over my life by complaining and speaking doubt.

It’s challenging. I do not remember the day I realized that I was delaying my own blessings by releasing certain words from my mouth, but it has truly been a shift in thinking, feeling, and my spiritual behavior. If God says I have the “power to move mountains”, I can no longer say “I’m powerless”. If God says “I will be wealthy”, I can no longer say, “I can’t ever get out of this debt.” If God says, “a turn around is about to take place in your life”, I can no longer say, “nothing ever changes.”

These are all real examples of the conversations I’ve had with God, and with the enemy. The moment God releases a Word from His mouth about you, is the very moment you have to choose to Plead the Fifth. It is not only your constitutional right, but your spiritual weapon to receive all that God has for you. The enemy hears what God says about you and immediately springs into action to discount, destroy, and delay the Word God spoke over your life. Here’s where we go wrong, God releases a Word and the enemy immediately springs into action against what was spoken. When we hear the release of God’s Word over our lives, we sit back and try to process and qualify ourselves with what God says about us and do not immediately spring into action. Instead, we stand in disbelief, telling God he has the wrong person, trying to figure out how it will happen, etc. We don’t immediately spring into action to guard our hearts and minds against evil talk and evil thoughts concerning the Word of God. Many of us say things such as, “I don’t want to do that.” “I’m too old/young/not smart enough to do that.” “That is too much responsibility.” “What would people say?” “I didn’t ask for all of that, God.” Meanwhile, the enemy has already taken the lead in our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

The wonderful news, God holds our position through our transition, one of my favorite quotes. He loves us so much He does not take back His Word concerning us and our future. God’s Word cannot return to Him void! There may be some delays, but never denials, unless we choose to forfeit our own blessings.

The Bible says in Proverbs 4: 23-27 (MSG), “Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.” So, the next time you receive a Word from the Lord concerning your life, choose to Plead the Fifth. Intentionally choose not to speak against the Word. Don’t disqualify yourself, don’t try and figure it out. Just receive and expect God’s Word to come to pass, no questions asked.

Dr. TC

I stopped counting my followers…I only need two!

Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalms 23:6 (NIV)

We are living in a society where many of us are defined by the number of social media friends and followers. Honestly speaking, I do not think there is anything wrong with this, unless a person is only defined by these parameters. I think there are many people that do not know who they are or only feel valuable and special when someone comments, post a reaction, or “likes” their page or posts. This level of dependence on what others think or feel based on how they interact with you on social media may mask low self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-love.

I get it. I too have had fleeting moments of watching my followers and wondering why certain material gets more likes and followers more than material I produce, which is intentionally shared to uplift, encourage, and empower. These moments lasted only a short while until I allowed the Holy Spirit to speak to me…”Stop counting your followers, you only need two.” Of course, I was taken aback by this response and wondered, “What two followers are the most important ones to have (as I am scanning my friends list)?” And then the Holy Spirit said, “Goodness and Mercy (love)”. My emotions and spirit were immediately comforted and empowered to keep following the leading of the Holy Spirit with every written word I shared on social media, knowing that God was pleased with my work.

I’m not sure why I was inspired to share this post with others. I believe there are some out there that “people watch” on social media and are emotionally anguished when certain goals are not met. I also believe there are some that define their success solely by the number of followers they receive. Still, there are others that post material on social media because they are seeking to find their purpose, to have an impact (good or bad), or to be noticed. This is the audience I’m hoping to encourage. God defines your purpose, not people. God’s work in and through you are what will make you famous, not feedback from others. In 1 Chronicles 4, Jabez prays, “‘Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request.” When God guides your words and your work, his Goodness and Love are the only followers you need to create opportunities, open doors, and blow your name on the wind! I too, hope to grow my audience, but not at the expense of God’s plan for my life and in the way He would have me walk in my purpose. Sometimes, too, you just have not yet reached your season.

Commit daily to checking your followers, Goodness and Love. Ask yourself, “Am I doing God’s will for my life?” “Am I allowing Him to guide my words, thoughts, and actions?” “Am I making a positive impact on the lives of people?” I guarantee, just like Jabez, if you surrender to His will, your territory (followers) will be enlarged and His blessings will flow abundantly!

Be well, Dr. TC

From Employee to Partner

partner

The title of this post has been sitting in my drafts for over a year. When I created the title, I was referring to our partnership with God in our lives. Since creating this title, I have definitely grown from being God’s employee to God’s partner in life. So what is the difference? Next, I will offer my perspective…

An employee is defined as “a person employed for wages or salary, especially at a nonexecutive level.” There are “good” employees and “bad” employees. Good employees uphold their duties they have been assigned, at times go above and beyond to complete their tasks, are generally reliable, and are a good representation of the company. Employees also earn wages or a salary for their work and may do some things above their duties, but not too much, as they will expect compensation for their time invested after a while. A bad employee shows up to work (most of the time) and may or may not fulfill their full work duties day to day. A bad employee is not reliable, but consistent in their behavior. They may be reprimanded, but never quite do enough to be fired, as they know their wages or salary are attached to their role. A bad employee often brings down the morale of the company and often complain as they are performing the duties they consented to when first being hired. As an employer, it’s quite painful to pay a bad employee.

In your relationship with God, which type of employee are you, a bad employee or a good employee? Do you dutiful perform the tasks given to you? (Dutiful meaning you are obedient, but lack a real desire or enthusiasm to do the work you are doing.) Do you go above and beyond, only if at some point compensation is attached to your efforts? Are you reliable? Or do you begrudgingly show up to work everyday? Do you complain about every task given to you? Do you only perform your duties if God compensates you for your work? Do you continue to hold on to your job only because you idolize your paycheck? Are you a good representation of your employer?

In contrast, let’s explore the difference between an employee and a partner. A partner is a leader within a company and adds value to the company’s mission and vision. Here are the characteristics of a partner (some information taken from an article by journalist Katia Lavoie):

  • Partners have stronger ties and a deeper commitment.
  • Partners have better decision-making skills.
  • When an employer hires a partner, they are able to secure higher financing because that person serves as good “collateral”.
  • Partners share the wealth with their employer.
  • Partners hold themselves, the employer, and other employees more accountable for their work because of their personal and emotional investment in the company.

I believe God desires to find more partners with Him on the Earth. God desires a deeper commitment to His plan for our lives and desires our personal and emotional investment into His desires not our own. Although God values employees, good and bad, God knows who He can truly rely on to utilize their Faith, sacrifice their time, invest their time and money with or without compensation, while still displaying the same enthusiasm in helping the company to grow. Additionally, I believe God delights in compensating (blessing) partners in ways they couldn’t even imagine because of their obedience and sacrifices.

I believe over the course of our Christian walk, God desires a transition from employee to partner. God desires a deeper commitment to His will for our lives day by day. I believe God is looking for people to bless abundantly and miraculously for their obedience and sacrifices. I believe God has a storehouse of blessings for partners.

Are you comfortable being an employee or are you ready to live uncomfortably to become a partner? Employees enjoy a comfort partners do not. Employees gain some type of compensation for every tasks performed, whereas partners often sacrifice long hours without (immediate) pay. Employees perform their duties and then clock out, whereas partners are always “working” and making decisions to benefit the employer no matter the time of day. Both have a purpose, yet are different in their positions and compensation. Not all employees are eligible to become partners, not because God’s lack of desire, but because of some people’s lack of willingness to sacrifice the time and commitment required to reap the true benefits of a partnership. Partners often do not see immediate compensation but understand “in due season we shall reap if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9

The seasons are shifting, are you ready to transition from employee to partner?

Dr. TC

What a week…

The past week has been a week of trauma. An experience that drained me physically, broke me emotionally, and confused me spiritually. I’m stronger physically, but still emotionally fragile. Two hours before the trauma hit, I was under a heavy spiritual anointing on an appearance on a podcast entitled “On The Brink Of A Blessing”. As I’m talking about blessings and encouraging others, little did I know how much I was going to need my own words of hope in God.

I had a miscarriage. I lost a life without warning. I experienced an internal death that has shook me to my core. The actual loss was traumatic but the process of miscarriage was also a very traumatic experience. I have never experienced anything like this and I was hoping this would not be apart of my story…but it is.

With every weapon we could grab hold of, we used it to believe for a miracle. We prayed, we joined with other prayer warriors, we used scripture, we worshipped, we had Faith, we trusted, we believed, we spoke into the atmosphere God’s Word to us. And we still experienced loss.

I’m hurt. Based on my previous post on death and birth, I have been seeking God’s understanding on how this experience will help others, and what meaning is in it for me personally. I still believe life is manifested in death. I do believe all things work for my good. I do believe a miracle is still at play. There is no way God will ignore our petitions and deny His own Word. I know the miracle we believed for is going to show up differently than we expected. And…as long as God is in control of my life (and He is) there has to be some good in this.

I don’t like it. I’ll be honest. My heart still aches. Tears still fall for my lost child. One thing I have definitely learned, if God sees fit to give me life, I will accept it, be grateful for it, and never again say “I don’t want to be pregnant”. I want what God wants.

If you are reading this and have a similar experience, reach out with supportive words and kind thoughts. I’m still processing the experience and I welcome your words of comfort.

Blessings Are On the Way!

I keep getting the feeling something great is about to happen. In my years of experience just living life, whenever there is death, birth immediately comes. For example, I cannot tell you the countless times I have experienced family deaths and soon after, someone is also preparing for birth. It’s as if God designed the two to go hand in hand. Interestingly, sometimes life shows up first, as an indication you just “died” to something and entered a new season. Personally, I have been in a “dead” season in my life where my fight has seemed hopeless. Just this past weekend, I found out I am preparing for life (birth) and within a few days, it hit me. I just “died” to something! My season just shifted! God just opened doors! Hallelujah! Now, I am expecting blessings to show up one by one. I am expecting the fulfillment of prophetic words spoken years ago. I am living in expectation!

In my recent post Life Resurrected, I discussed Jesus being the overcomer of (all) death through his life that was resurrected. As I’m pondering this phenomenon, it is not just physical death that precedes birth or life, it can be death in any form. For instance, it can be death of a poor relationship, death to negative thinking, financial death, dying to oneself, death of a season in your life, etc. In all these instances of death, in some way or form, birth or life follows. This was the ultimate plan of God. There is hope. In this, no matter what may appear “dead” or “dying” in your life, a birthing (of something) is simultaneously taking place. Your dying circumstances will not overtake you, but bring new life-breathing opportunities. Keep hoping, believing, and expecting life to show up! New opportunities, new open doors, new relationships, and new life transformation moments are on the way.

As an activist, I am continuing the fight for racial equality and civil rights in my local area, I expect growth and progress. Justice, unity, and equality are not “dead” beliefs (as I once thought), but with the right approach, achievable realities. Endurance in the fight brings victory.

What appears “dead” in your life? I want to encourage you. Let’s continue the discussion.

Dr. TC

Life Resurrected: How to Live When Everything (Seemingly) is Dying All Around You

There is HOPE. I have so much hope for my future and the future of this world…right in the midst of the chaos. Why? Because I live and teach the principle that, “Things get worst before they get better.” With every great victory there is a period just before the end where it seems that victory is nowhere in sight. It may feel that all hope is lost and everything is out of control and out of balance. This is the place to rejoice because the Bible shows us over and over Triumph over Tragedy.

You may wonder, why do things have to get so bad before they get better? My belief is that in order to defeat something you have to get down on its level in order to come out on top, and literally stand on its head. For example, you wouldn’t know true happiness if you’ve never been depressed. You wouldn’t know how to truly live with hope unless you have experienced hopelessness. You wouldn’t know how to maintain a good marriage through all circumstances if you have never experienced some bad times. You wouldn’t appreciate the true blessing of good health if you have never been sick. And in recent times, we wouldn’t appreciate and yearn for unity, equality, and peace if we never experienced racism, segregation, and discord.

You see, tough times build desire, determination, and desperation for better. Desperate people are willing to be vulnerable and sacrifice EVERYTHING to experience better. The world is not dying, God is in preparation of something BIG and something BETTER. Death, even of this world, was defeated when Jesus died on the cross. The world is not ours. No manner of death can and will happen as long as Jesus LIVES! And…He is ALIVE!

Shalom, my friends. When things are seemingly dying all around you, cling to the Overcomer of all death and rest assured He is in full control. Believe in your heart that victory and triumph are near. Unite with a community of believers to find strength, comfort, and the stamina to persevere.

Dr. TC

I just want peace…

I’m broken-hearted because I’m black. I’ve asked God where can I move me and my family so that we can leave in peace and unity and feel safe. I’m waiting on an answer. I just want peace and I’m grieving over the reality this may never be…for me. I don’t understand why White people fear us so much that they continue to find (intentional) ways to take us out. One by one. If only the hope of real change could comfort my broken heart.

A Creative Brain Has To Create

Have you often wondered why you are “different”? If you are not a “different” kind of person than you wouldn’t get it. If you have ever been told that you are “different”, but never really told what that meant, then you understand exactly what I am trying to portray. I have been told that I am “different”. I never doubted it, I don’t believe, I just never really grasped what it meant to be “different”. In my recent reflection times, the concept of “different” continues to emerge from my unconscious mind to my conscious mind in my efforts to discover my “niche” in the world.

One thing that I am sure of is that I am creative. I have a creative brain, and that very well can make me “different”. It’s hard to describe how my creative mind words on a daily basis, and it is even more difficult to describe to others exactly how I “work”. The most sure thing I know is that I get bored with monotony and I have to constantly find new ways of “creating” something new. This itch for creating can be resolved internally or externally. I can create new perspectives, new insights about myself or the world; or, I can create new programs, services, or written works to satisfy my creative itch. I also enjoy using my influence to create something new in others. After all, it’s an art form to change lives. I came across an article of 25 inspiring quotes for creative people and began to process these quotes through my own reality of creativity. (And, to know me means to know that I LOVE quotes. Quotes are a sure way to ignite my creative juices.)

“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” -Ayn Rand

Creative people just want to know that the colors and patterns they chose have developed into a beautiful canvas. Has my work made a difference? Has my vision come to pass?

Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

Creative people are always imaging the next project, developing the next vision, working towards the next goal. A creative brain cannot rest. It has to create something…always. I love creating new experiences and opportunities for myself and others. Whatever it is I desire to do in life, I don’t apply for it, I create it. I find a way to start a course of action that moves towards that desire, which leads to the next reality…

An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” – Edwin Land

I’m not afraid of failure, I just don’t like it. I take risk, I utilize faith, and I am not afraid to be the one to try something no one else has in my circle. Again, a creative mind wants to achieve, that is our greatest success, to create something that works, that is effective for the purpose it was created for. Whoa…I just had an intrusive thought…isn’t that just like God?

Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it”. – Dee Hock

There is no empty space in a creative brain. It always fills the space with something new to develop. Creative people do not like feeling “stuck”. Why? Because being stuck means you are not using your creativity to grow, develop, and move forward. Creative people create paths that don’t exist. Creative people see color on blank canvases. Creative people create worlds from nothing. Now, that’s God!

An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.” -James Whistler

Whew…this quote resonates deep within me. The visions I have are so mind blowing, so beyond what I can do, yet seem so achievable I can’t rest. Vision. vision. vision. My vision is clear, the journey there is muddled. The journey is sometimes discouraging, the vision is always awe inspiring. Creative people can not let go of vision. Creative people always see what is not there and create the reality of it, first in their minds and then in reality. Creative people are problem-solvers. Creating solutions is a great reward.

If these words resonated with you, fit your personality in some way, then continue to dare to be different. The world was created by the Creator of creativity, the master Creator. Your creative mind can take what seems like nothing and create something great. Your creativity helps solve problems and create solutions in the most beautiful, colorful way.

Dr. TC

The He(art) of Storytelling…

When I think about my relationship with myself, I ask myself do I like all of me. Do I like the way I look? Do I like the way I talk? Do I like my character? My personality? Do I like my successes? My failures? Am I satisfied with my my wins? Am I content with my deficits? Do I admire my strengths and willingly share my weaknesses?

As I have reflected on these things, I have come to conclude I like all of me. My relationship with me is solid. I know I am not perfect, but I believe my imperfections show my humanness and I am not blinded by those areas that need healing. I am not an emotionless shell of a person and I am not an overemotional bomb. I have been both, and I have learned to always come back to my place of grounding, the place where I give myself permission to experience my emotional realities deeply and without shame. I also give myself permission to surrender my emotional realities to God.

It brings tears to my eyes, as I am facing some difficult emotional realities presently. I’m vulnerable, but in this, the only way I know how to survive until my healing comes is to serve. I offer my story to demonstrate the power of sharing. I offer my story to demonstrate the power of connection. I offer my story to demonstrate the commonalities among us more than the differences between us.

There is someone somewhere who needs to hear your story. They need to hear your truth, the reality of your experience. Those things that have broken you and developed you. That experience that nearly destroyed you. Someone needs to hear your testimony of God’s grace, healing, & deliverance. I want to give you a safe space to use your voice to tell your story, to be intentionally vulnerable to tell your story, to heal yourself and others. So many times the most painful parts of our stories identified as traumatizing or shameful, silence us. But what if trauma and shame are our greatest strengths? What if sharing those parts of our story is the real game changer? You don’t have to be an elaborate orator or professional author of any degree. Your experience, your autobiography told from your unique perspective qualifies your story to be a best seller. Nothing more is required than your courage.

The true He(art) of storytelling is being willing to tell your story for His glory!

Dr. TC