Archive for the ‘Motivational’ Category

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

 

 

There are all Kinds….

Revelation 1:5b: “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood and has made us kings and priests” — (witnesses)—“to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen.”

Thanks so much for stopping by Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and our Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United. I just love Wednesdays…and His Word that never, ever fails to steer us in the right direction.

Did you know that you qualify as a witness? Yep, that’s right, a witness to what He has done for you…not what you have done!

I was reading in the Book of Revelation the other day, and this subject of being a witness came up, and He gave me such a great analogy using my job to help me relate and understand in a way I could share with you: court-reporting.  I just love how He does that, speaks to us, about us, for us so He can speak through us.

Anyway, let me share this analogy with you.

There are many types of witnesses, and as a court reporter, I have reported them all. J For example, there are hostile witnesses, those who are angry at being called to testify about what they’ve seen or experienced. There are third-party witnesses, those who say he said/she said; in other words, gossipers, or unrelated parties. And there are those I call unprepared witnesses, those whose answers are 90% “I don’t remember” or “I don’t recall,” and these are usually witnesses for their own case! J Then there are expert witnesses, those called because of their expertise in the subject that the attorneys are there to talk about. And lastly, the most common kind of witness I’ve reported as a court reporter is a percipient witness, or an eyewitness. This is a witness who testifies about what he/she actually has seen, perceived with their own senses.

As I was reading John’s first letter to the churches and to all of us, this thought hit me like a ton of bricks – well, maybe a bit more gently than that – but if we all qualify as witness for Christ, what kind of witness are we?

Are we the hostile witness, angry at or with God because of a tragedy and our need to understand everything?

Do we tend to slip down that slippery slope of gossip in the name of “prayer,” acting as a witness to someone’s misfortune or bad choice, or talking about our own mountains, making them bigger and bigger, instead of looking to the mountain mover? Are we so focused on others that we are a third-party to our own walk with Christ?

Are you the type of witness who forgets all He has done for you, allowing your troubles to outweigh His triumphs in your life? Forgetting to have an attitude of gratitude?

Or are you an expert witness, one who professes their faith and lives it and is paid by His protection, provision and promises and guided by His principles?

Oh, I want to leave a legacy that says: she lived what she knew; she was so in love with Jesus that many considered her an expert in her faith!

Witnessing…

Evinda

Tuesday’s Trench Truth and Invitation, Too!

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017


Sometimes our brain needs a lane change!

Thanks so much for stopping by for Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and our Tuesday’s Trench Truth with Trench Classes United. Come on in for a moment of truth that came to the surface of my heart just last week.

Last week, I had an incredibly long drive to what turned out to be a short deposition. But oh, how thankful I am for that long ride to Glendale. I had determined in my mind that I was going to make it a great time of worship and praise, a time for me and Abba to hang out, and a time for me to hear Him above the noise of life. He’s such a joyous God, with a crazy funny sense of humor, and He will go to great lengths to sit us down, causing us to be still so deep can reach out to deep. And the parking lot of the 210 freeway proved to be that quiet place!

The entire two-hour drive was spent listening and agreeing with so many pieces by Hosanna Poetry, words that worked as coals of fire with sparks of conviction into a couple of areas of my life, sparks burning away deeply-buried resentments, resentments that were close to growing roots but now with the cry of repentance melted away like a dying ember.

There were moments of such deep conviction driving me right there in the parking lot of the freeway to cry out for God to forgive me for what had been growing, unbeknownst to me, inside my heart because of an ongoing situation.

And then there were moments of just thanking Him, of feeling His arms reach out and enfold me in a huge and gentle hug all the while keeping the hands on the wheel of my car driving me to my deposition.

What could have been a real bummer of a drive turned out to be such a time of refreshing renewal…it was as if my brain had a lane change!

Coffee Hour friend, sometimes we just need to be still in the most unsuspecting places and times and soak up His presence, allow our brain to experience the ease of a lane change that will propel our heart right back to Him.  What goes in is what comes out!

Are there people, circumstances pulling on your mind, taking you down the roads of resentment, bitter, angry? Join us to learn how to experience that brain lane change and live fearlessly!

 

Love,

Evinda

Megan’s Mantra

Monday, August 14th, 2017

Is it mandatory to experience an “AH HA” moment when you commit your life to Christ? I sure hope not, because I didn’t!

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Megan’s Monday Mantra with Trench Classes United. Warm up that cup of coffee you’ve been carrying around all morning and join me in my salvation story.

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Jesus knew how much I already needed Him, so He snatched me up early…

My Mom thought the neighbors were undereducated. In other words, STUPID!

She reluctantly let me play with Bobbie and Tom because they were the only kids in our neighborhood close to my age. I thoroughly enjoyed their company but Mom always wished I had someone more my “equal” to play with.

One Sunday morning, Bobbie and Tom’s parents asked my Mom if I could go to church with them. To my surprise, she allowed me to go. I will never forget pulling into the parking lot of a pink brick church. At the impressionable age of 6 years old, I had never seen a pink building let alone a pink brick church!

There were no Sunday School classes, everyone just filed into the church and filled the pews. I can still distinctly remember where we sat – fifth pew from the front on the left side facing the altar.

No one could ever accuse my neighbors of being a traditional prim and proper type of family. They worked hard, played hard, and then some. My playmates, Bobbie and Tom, were always into some kind of mischief, which was what I liked most about them. Today was different though. Today they all sat in a neat row, backs straight, hands folded in their laps, and feet firmly planted on the floor, waiting expectantly for the sermon to begin.

The most colorful character I had ever encountered, up to this point in my short life, confidently approached the pulpit. His presence was so huge that the pink brick church could hardly contain it. His booming voice filled the city block surrounding him and he wore the coolest cowboy hat I had ever seen. His name was Preacher Cowboy George!

I know he delivered a great sermon because the congregation was on fire. The only, and most important, part I remember is when Preacher Cowboy George asked, “Have you committed your life to Christ? Have you asked Jesus into your heart? If not, then come on up and we will do it together here, today!”

My first reaction was to jump to my feet and head straight to the altar, but not before looking to my neighbors to do the same. There they sat, calmly watching and smiling at those who were making their way to the front of the church. UH-OH! I didn’t know anything about asking Jesus into my heart, yet clearly my “undereducated” neighbors not only already knew – they already had! I was ashamed.  I lagged behind on the way out of church. I had been too afraid to stand up in front of the congregation, to accept Christ, all by myself.

That lone “UH-OH” moment led to a nightly prayer for Jesus to come into my heart for the next 16 years! That lone “UH -OH” moment has led to some very special “AH-HA” moments throughout my lifetime.

I’ve not felt concerned with the kind of moment I experienced when I committed my life to Christ. Instead, my biggest concern has been whether or not I am allowing Christ to work visibly through me, so that others might recognize His presence and be blessed by their own type of “AH HA” moments as they commit their lives to Him.

So, as you work your way through this week, remember, oftentimes God’s “UH-OH moments” actually turn out to be “AH-HA’s”!

In closing, I’d like to share one of my husband’s favorite Monday morning texts to me,
“Enjoy this day that God has given you.”

Your comments are always most welcome.

Lovingly in Christ,

Megan,

 

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, August 7th, 2017

I Want to Do What He Does!

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Monday’s Mantra @ Trench Classes United.  I’ve determined in my heart to have a good Monday, and I’m praying you will too. Grab your coffee and join me for another one of my court reporting stories, a spiritual principle He spoke to me yet again, and a beautiful splash of grace.

Last Monday I showed up at my office in LA at 8:45 a.m. for a 10:00 and thereafter, a 2:00. I take the train, which alleviates all the self-inflicted stress and aggravation of driving and it’s really a great way to travel. The only bummer is I have to get up before the birds, at 4:00 a.m., which the older I get, the more challenging that gets! Oops, not being negative, just keeping it real!

Anyway, I had some time to take care of a couple of things, and then I was asked if I could have a court reporting student sit in with me as she needed her internship hours.  I explained they were getting two for the price of one, that I would be reporting the questions, and any arguments, and she would get the answers. You should have seen her face…and theirs! It was so funny and I wanted to just leave it at that, but I’m not that cruel. “Just kidding,” I nearly shouted.  You could feel the tension lift and a cloud of laughter swept the rest away.

The witness was a soft-spoken guy whose consistent answers to questions were “I can’t recall.” Now, inside I’m thinking, well, when it comes time to settle with you, the defense isn’t going to recall how! In other words I was already beginning to judge him….until the last half hour of the proceeding where the truth came out and we all discovered he had had a heart transplant. Oh, my goodness, that explained so much. As I’m writing – with one side of my brain – the other side of my brain was beating me up. There was this convo going on: How could you even be critical of this guy? You know better than to make judgments on others, to form opinions about them without hearing all three sides of the story, defense, plaintiff and the truth.  To say I was frustrated with myself, well that is an understatement.  My only comforting thought was I was so, so thankful I hadn’t blurted out my opinions to our client or the court reporter student.

That wasn’t the case on the next job. Within the first five minutes the preliminary questions are asked, like name date of birth, if she had drank anything of an alcoholic nature the night before – to which she said yes – after learning that she had drank the night before, she was asked what her address was.

“I don’t have an address.”

 Question: “Are you homeless”?

Answer:” Yes, I’m homeless.”

I was punched in the gut yet again with my own critical spirit. However, the rest of the deposition revealed that this woman was/is definitely a victim of her circumstances and definitely is having a hard time in life due to her choices – but that doesn’t meant that the workers’ compensation system should pay. It also doesn’t justify my critical opinions I had no problem sharing LSometimes I wish I couldn’t think during these things, just be completely plugged into my Source.

The next morning in my quiet time, conviction met me, washed over me, and I begged God to help me with this weakness. He is so very, very faithful, Coffee Hour friend. I just love how He speaks to me – He uses what He knows will speak to our hearts, because He knows how we will listen, and when he speaks, there’s no denying His love.

Anyway, He took me back to the night before on a much-needed walk I took with my husband, our two dogs and one grand-dog. The weather had just cooled off as we headed up Oak Glen and then cut into the golf course.  We like to let the dogs off their leashes here and just let them run. It’s so fun to watch. And they know the routine. Instead of heading straight towards Fifth Street, my little one actually led the way and went in the direction of the gate to the golf course. She’s almost 14, and aside from the night-blindness, and the being deaf, she’s full of life and still so adorable and sweet to cuddle.

About ten feet into the course, and surveying the area to make sure no golfers were there, George and I agreed we could let them all go. I bent down and unclipped the leash from my baby, and George had a double leash he removed from the two boys. I never tire of watching each of them, different in their personalities as night is from day. Sparky bolted forward as if being shot from a torpedo, Alvin, our grand-dog, was a bit uncertain of what he was being allowed to do. I swear dogs have a language because Sparky turned around as if to say “what are you waiting for,” and Alvin took off. And little Evinda trotted close by my side.

I stopped to watch them for a moment, and time stood still. It was just a perfect night. I stood there basking in the sound of the warm summer breeze rustling through the trees, causing the leaves to dance in the wind. It was just so refreshing after a long day on the record. And laughter, I love to laugh and these dogs rarely disappoint in that area. as my heart nearly burst with a smile that quickly reached my face. I began to giggle as I watched them.

Now being boys, Sparky and Alvin find it necessary to water every bush, and every tree and I have no idea where they get all that pee!  It’s like a competition between them, to see who can out-mark the other! And then here comes little Evinda (formerly named Baraca’) a safe distance behind them, to remark their territoryJ But the almost hilarious thing about it is she does it just like them; or she tries to! It’s like she thinks she’s a boy dog or something and mimics them, sniffing around the spot, going in circles, crouches down and then finally, ever so carefully and precisely, she lifts one of her back legs and tinklesJ  Now she doesn’t do it every time, probably because she’s half their size and has the bladder a size of a grain of pepper, but when she does it, it’s so stinking cute and hilarious at the same time. On the way back she did it in such a precise and succinct way that I just couldn’t help it; laughter burst out as if contained for too long, belly-hurting kind of laughter that cleanses the soul and just thrusts all cares away.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because that’s the reminder He gave me the next morning, reminding me that He wants me to imitate Him just like my little Evinda mimicked our other two dogs: from the locating the spot – analogous to being on the lookout for divine opportunities to be Jesus to someone – to getting in the right posture – analogous to prayerfully inviting Him into the moment – to letting it flow – analogous to allowing Him to speak through me…which means His thoughts of that person/situation, versus my own critical thoughts! I want to do what He does…and would do in any of my situations He allows me to be present in.

Oh, to be like Him…as much as humanly possible

Love,

Evinda

Foster’s Faith-Filled Friday

Friday, August 4th, 2017

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Foster’s Faith Filled Friday with Trench Classes United! You are going to love Breanna’s transparency as she shares about something most of us can relate with for sure, difficult co-workers! Grab your coffee and come on in!
Have you ever dealt with a difficult coworker?

Recently, my office hired a new employee that – well, let’s just say she rubbed us all the wrong way, and that’s putting it mildly. My office is very much a laid-back, small group of women that get along very well together. We are all able to chit-chat while we work, potluck often, and even hang out outside of work. We all have a genuine bond with each other.

Unfortunately, this new employee was not receptive to this type of atmosphere and didn’t care to be a part of anything we did and made this very apparent with her attitude toward us. Talk about some serious tension in the office.

 

I found myself becoming snappy toward her and developed a sense of bitterness that even I could taste. So one night I prayed about it, for the Lord to soften my heart toward her and help me to give her grace. I heard the Lord say to me “Still show her My love.”

It was hard, trust me, but I continued to try and include her. With every attempt to do so, she would push me away even more and almost become angry. But still I continued to try and scale this wall she had built around herself.

 

I didn’t know this woman and I don’t know her story or why she does the things she does, but I was determined to be as nice and loving as I could. Eventually, I became tired of the negativity and considered it a “waste of time.” A couple days passed and she was let go and I instantly felt this sense of relief (sad right?).

 

I reflected on my attitude that night and realized I was treating her like an enemy. With enemies, it’s a natural reaction to want to overcome them and win the fight. But Christ tells us something different:

 

Matthew 5:43-45 43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

 

The true test of our Christian walk isn’t how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ, but how we treat those who are openly hostile to us. We were once enemies of God and are still plagued by sinful nature that is at war with Him, but while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)

 

Who are we to decide which one of us is deserving of God’s grace when we ourselves are not?

 

I realize now that I did not treat or react to my co-worker out of a heart of love or how Christ would have treated her. Instead, I judged her and was so quick to want her gone.  If only I had dealt with this from a Biblical stand point, maybe I would’ve had an eternal impact on her. I missed my opportunity.

 

Finally, consider this; are they really your enemy? They are not. We might not like the way they act, but we do need to love them. Speak life, show love, and point them to the Gospel of Christ, the only one who has set us all free, the One whom I know will grant me another opportunity to be more like Him the next time I encounter a difficult co-worker..

Thoughtfully,

Breanna

Thursday’s Trench Truth

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

Thanks for stopping by for Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Thursday’s Trench Truth with Trench Classes United. Grab your coffee and come on in for a moment of truth and an invitation, too!

I find myself in conversations with women over and over again that have the same theme, a song with a melody but no harmony, women who are disgruntled because their man runs from conflict, or won’t communicate, and yet, the way this is handled doesn’t invite harmony into the song of love, either.

Why do we run from conflict? When someone steps on our toes, don’t we say ouch? So it should be with our emotions: when we feel someone has stepped on our emotional foot, why don’t we say ouch? Or why do we scream ouch instead of saying “that hurt” without an attitude?

Oh, the joys and juggles of relationships! Would you like to learn how to conquer conflict? Join us for our Night of Purpose, an introduction to our new four-week class, Living Fearlessly! You won’t want to miss it!

 

Looking forward to seeing you,

Evinda

 

Tuesday’s Trench Truth

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Thanks for stopping by for Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Tuesday’s Trench Truth, and invitation, too with Trench Classes United. Grab your favorite break-time beverage, and join us for a moment of truth.

Have you ever noticed that the more we talk about our problems, the bigger they get? It’s the same thing with fears; the more we feed them, the smaller our faith becomes.

I know I used to do this in the name of “venting,” and perhaps you have, too. Coffee Hour Friend, can I just keep it real right now? There is a fine line between venting and vomiting! The more we talk about something, the more we are hanging on to it. How many times do we need to regurgitate the same thing in order to feel validated? In order to feel heard? Or, in order to make a point?

Perhaps we need to think about who we vent to, and our motive behind the venting! Today, can I challenge you to feed your faith and quiet your fears? And if that seems a bit of a stretch, mark your calendars for our Night of Purpose which will be an introduction to Living Fearlessly!

 

Looking forward to seeing you,

Evinda

Foster’s Faith-Filled Friday

Friday, July 28th, 2017

He’s Got This!

TGIF! Whew, so thankful for the weekend! Grab your coffee and come on in for our Faith-Filled Friday.

 

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. —Isaiah 26:3

 

Life can seem unbearable at times.  Physical pain, difficult decisions, financial hardships, the death of a loved one, or shattered relationships threaten to engulf us. All of these thing can leave us plagued by doubts and when we are plagued, we may even find it difficult to pray.

 

We become so overwhelmed by chaos that we lose sight of God’s will. I find myself thinking “I got this,” and attempt to try and do it on my own, wanting to control situations with every intention to make it better. Well, Coffee Hour friends, we can’t do it by ourselves and can I tell you there is such a sense of peace we experience when we realize the Lord has already taken care of everything. He’s got this!

 

I know for me, recently I’ve had so many moments where I felt like “what the heck!?” “How/why is this happening to me?” I love the Lord; I follow Him and I try my hardest to show the love of Jesus to others. Yes, I fall short, A LOT! And thank the Lord for His grace. But why on earth isn’t His love enough? Why do I find myself thinking about how I’m going to handle this situation? I start looking to the left and right instead of keeping my eyes on the Lord.

 

I had such a revelation. The Lord wants me to trust Him even through the low valleys in my life because if I can trust him through them, He will bless my obedience and I will soar as if with wings of eagles to the mountaintop. It will be uncomfortable and yes, it will be hard, but God continues to prove His faithfulness in His promises for me, for us. I/we just need to trust him!

 

I’m sure you have heard the story in the Bible of Peter walking on the water. I love Peter because he reminds me of myself a little bit. He is quick to act, often without thinking. He shoots off his mouth when discretion may be the better choice. Peter understands failure. After all, he denied Christ. He experienced forgiveness, and he has the joy of being used greatly by God on the day of Pentecost. Peter preaches the sermon that leads 5,000 people to join the church.

 

Jesus didn’t die for perfect people; He died for imperfect people like you and me. He wants our obedience; He wants us to trust His will for our lives even when we go through difficult seasons.

 

When it comes to trusting Jesus, what keeps you from getting out of the boat? What keeps you from daring to trust Jesus? Today I want us to dare to trust Jesus completely.

 

I John 4:4, “the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” If we focus on the problems then we will loose sight of the one greater than anything!

Love,

Breanna

Wednesday’s Word Summer of Psalms

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

My Defense: My Defender!

In addition to putting ourselves into the Psalms, I had another idea; we can go through a few verses and maybe add somebody’s name who we are either burdened for or in conflict with. This, too, can provide so many a-ha moments and deepen our understanding of God’s principles and promises to us and for us. The Word does not have to remain an overwhelming mystery to us, Coffee Hour Friend! Let’s get started in Psalm 26, a Psalm about how commitment to God can give us strength to stand up to opposition and examination!

Have you ever felt like you were getting the third degree, like your every move was being watched and/or questioned? Or how about being falsely accused of doing something you didn’t do? It’s not a good feeling, and it’s the extreme opposite of how our Loving Father wants us to feel as He guides us through opposition and/or examination.  David is a great example of one who has his heart “cleansed” consistently, showing up to meet with Abba for his cleansing. Listen to his plea, which is almost in the form of a defense in the first five verses:

1Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord. I shall not slip. 2Examine me, O, Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my hear ,3for Your loving kindness is before my eyes and I have walked in Your truth.4I have not sat with idolatrous mortals,  nor will I go in with hypocrites.5 I have hated the assembly of evildoers and will not sit with the wicked.

Okay, let’s try and bring this home to our hearts. Do you have at least one person’s name that your heart is just aching over, or a person with whom you are in conflict with? Okay, let’s do this!

1Father, when will you vindicate me in the eyes of those who persecute me? Despite their attacks, give me strength to walk in and with integrity, to trust you, Lord that I do not slip by fighting this spiritual battle that has eternal value with my worldly flesh.

Now, if you really want to add more life, put an actual name in there! Let’s go on to the second verse.

2Lord,  help me to examine myself, staying in my own lane, my own car, not swerving into others’ causing wrecks in the wake, so that when you examine me, my mind and my heart will both be found clean, according to you. Your love helps me to walk in truth, O, Lord. I cannot deny that even when I veer to the left or right, your love not only pulls me back, but washes me clean. I’m so very thankful for your steadfast love!

Let’s push pause for a second. See, I don’t know about you, but I often need this reminder, that He is the examiner of the heart and soul, not ME, so by staying in my own car, driving in my own lane – not in others’ business, not pointing fingers – I can come before Him and allow Him to examine me and correct me because I long to have a pure heart, to be found as a good and faithful servant, especially in relationships.

So when we sit for just a few minutes in His principles and promises, the need to defend ourselves takes a turn back to the One who defends us and there is suddenly no need to defend ourselves, but to seek His truth, that we may be found defended!

Go ahead and continue with your rewrite and remember, sharing your heart is not a grammatical exercise of perfection…it just requires transparency.

Soaking up the Psalms…

Evinda

Tuesday’s Trench Truth

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017


A fear of approaching others with a possible problem or conflict can be as a result of a fear of things.
Save the date and plan on joining us for an introduction to Living Fearlessly, a night filled with purpose as we walk you through your relational strengths, and weaknesses with FREE assessments, and share the value of learning about the 7 most common fears each of us face daily!

 

 

 

 

 

It’s going to be a great, great night!
I look forward to meeting you
Evinda