2019 Dietary Makeover: 41 Days and Counting-A Commitment to Self-Care


1 Slice of Toasted Ezekiel Bread with Almond Butter (A common snack while studying)

First I want to apologize for the delay in posting status updates. In the 2nd week of this experience my life became really busy. I am maintaining the regimen I have shared thus far. I never appreciated the sustenance nuts provide to a healthy lifestyle. They are amazing! Allow me to specifically share with you how my commitment to self-care is changing my life for the better.

What is self-care? Using my own words, I define the term as any and all behaviors I employ to be good to myself. Prayer, Bible study, meditation and regular ministry outlets are aspects of self-care in my routine for over 20 years. So I am focusing on other self-care behaviors that directly connect to my 2019 Dietary Makeover.

  1. Intermittent Fasting – “Clean and Lean” living incorporates this process into the experience. My current fasting schedule is 14 hours a day – for the past 41 days. When I started out I feared I was overzealous in my effort to fast. I was so wrong! The Lord became my focus in ways where I was overlooking opportunities to experience God because food was such a stronghold. Upon releasing from its grip, I found the grip of Christ Jesus and His word to be far more satisfying. And so it is from day to day.
  2. Regular Body Movement – In the first month I made walking an intentional self-care experience. It began by deciding to park in the farthest row away from any retail outfit I visit. This season of heat in Atlanta is extreme. 90+ degree weather would normally be an excuse to avoid walking. Yet I found myself walking the entire distance of the parking lot of various Kroger supermarkets before and after my shopping experience. Secondly, I walk around the neighborhood regularly. I have even went to the gym and walked on the treadmill on a couple of times. Finally, I regularly take the stairs at school and, at home, make a point of going up and down the stairs at least 5 times a day.
  3. The stairs are a key element of progress with self-care I must tell you about. In the past, my disability made me avoid the stairs like the plague. Stairs were my nemesis for over 10 years. Avoiding them seemed like a justifiable form of self-care. The pain associated with walking up or down stairs made the experience difficult physically and mentally. I can not tell you how much I have not done because of stairs. I suffered greatly because of the dilemma stairs presented. Pain and weakness were a constant experience. “But God, who is rich in mercy..has quickened us together in Christ (by grace I am saved).”(Ephesians 2:4-5) Fear about taking the stairs is now overridden with daily faith in the resurrecting power of Christ in me raising me up out of “I can’t” and I am experiencing “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13). Week after week I continue to be amazed at the physical strength and endurance in me by being willing to try stairs and walking with pain.
  4. Preparing Healthy Meals – I have always been a great cook. My culinary skills were influenced by my mom, aunts and countless others who took the time to show me how… and there is nothing I can’t cook. Unhealthy cooking was my norm. Today, with the help of the 12 rules laid out in “Clean and Lean,” I now have guardrails to keep me on course with my Dietary Makeover. I eat salads regularly, infused with pecans/walnuts/almonds, dried cranberries, healthy vinaigrette self-prepared, grilled/broiled chicken/salmon after preparing fresh romaine lettuce, fresh spinach, green/yellow/red/orange peppers, cucumbers and onions as the standard items. I create all sorts of combinations which never disappoint. I cook hot food entrees using only chicken or fish with brown rice and fresh/frozen vegetables when time permits. I am slowly moving towards weekly meal prep skills to minimize my time in the kitchen. I have learned that it is important to spend time with food planning to avoid opportunities to indulge in unhealthy eating. Healthy snacking with fruit/almond butter combinations and/or almonds are always on the menu too!
  5. AVOID FAST FOOD – This is by far the most significant self-care exercise I have initiated. My ignorance about the practice of regular fast food visits being a form of self-harm eluded me for far too long. The commitment has set me free from the bondage of overeating/unhealthy eating facilitated with the ease of placing an order in the Drive-thru. There are still times when the thought of a double-cheeseburger and fries still becomes tempting. The biggest deterrent is the drink order. I can no longer have the drive-thru experience because I detest all of the beverage choices and it does not make sense that I order water with the meal. Therefore, I consistently resist the temptation and avoid the outlets altogether.

The next post will include more pictures. I am starting to wear my clothes differently because of the weight loss and decrease in inches around my waist. The goal is still the same. The 2019 Dietary Makeover will enable me to go anywhere, do anything and no longer be enslaved by unhealthy eating. Improving my eating habits will ultimately improve the way I look, feel and live. It’s a win win scenario with Heavenly benefits because I must keep my trust in Christ Jesus each and every day. “For without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God…” (Hebrews 11:1) By the way, this is how the Conqueror Lifestyle is achieved. My podcast will start on October 10, 2019.

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“It Ain’t Easy; It’s an Experience”(DDP) – Day 10: 2019 Dietary Makeover


I Still Feel Good!

Changing the way I eat, at this stage in life, is not easy. The experiences are akin to climbing a mountain. My success so far gives me more insight regarding the difficulty. It was simple for me to consume unhealthy meals and/or snacks. However, once I became willing to invest in healthy choices, the SIMPLICITY vanished. A changed dietary lifestyle becomes a catalog of experiences – occasions to experience God more intimately and episodes designed to prepare me to help others who are struggling. My dietary makeover is a productive investment in me.

I became exhausted with living a sedentary lifestyle due to physical disability. My behaviors need to change in order to realize different results. This is especially true in the investment world. When you are in denial of or dishonest about unfavorable rates of return, you are likely to suffer great loss. Investments are either productive or non-productive. Concerning my dietary investments, my health and body have greatly suffered as my returns have consistently been unproductive regarding quality of life. The more honesty I practice the more willing I become to change my investments.

The Natural vs the Spiritual

It is easy to be driven by sinful unhealthy impulses in the flesh. It is an experience to spiritually die to the flesh daily and live the Conqueror Lifestyle spiritually. I was invested in using food impulses to make me feel better. History has shown my dietary lifestyle was an unproductive investment in self. If I thought about it, I ate it – my dietary lifestyle was that specific. Regular emotional eating of unhealthy fried foods, sugary and/or salty snacks, vegetables cooked with fatty meats and lots of salt and a bevy of favorite desserts was an easy way of being regularly detached from a healthy lifestyle. The fast food industry enabled me to double down on my poor investment.

A dietary makeover is NOT easy! Similarly climbing a mountain is difficult. Healthy dietary productivity becomes possible when you understand there will be opportunities to realize victory over fast-food cravings, late night eating and overall unhealthy food choices as a new way of eating is on the horizon. This is what I experience every time I engage the Facebook Community of “Clean and Lean” subscribers. I am empowered spiritually by the Conqueror Lifestyle and naturally every time I connect to Dr. Ian’s content.

The combination of “Clean and Lean,” the product I use (I will unveil it on Day 20) and daily connection to the 10 Spiritual Directives of LiveTCL, are investments I have chosen to redefine my diet and redesign my active lifestyle.

Now, I know the returns will not come quickly. This productive investment is a long-term endeavor. I am be grateful for all results while I continue to embrace the daily experiences. I will not be deceived by self-defeating ploys for instant gratification like I used to. My gratitude is primarily based in God’s grace, loving-kindness and power. I am more than a conqueror through Him that loved me!

Yesterday I Won Over a Struggle

Here’s my inspiration for this post. I was having a great dietary morning/afternoon. The struggle to eat unhealthy food came, once again, as the result of seeing a McDonald’s commercial. At first I wanted to eat pancakes. Then I started thinking about making an iced lemon pound cake. The final thought was for White Castle double cheeseburgers and fries. The struggle with unhealthy choices became real intense! In the progression, the idea that I was doing well on the makeover and DESERVED a treat surfaced. My response was to use urban language and have a honest conversation with myself about what I REALLY deserved. Without sharing the specific content of my discussion w/ self, here are some of the highlights:

  • “You are not even hungry”
  • “Those foods you are thinking of are killing you, INCLUDING MICKY DEES”
  • “You deserve a better quality of life than to be fat, unhealthy and sedentary”
  • “You deserve the freedom to choose healthy options”
  • “Jesus Christ is your gateway to the freedom you need”
  • “Stop letting your sinful thinking influence you”
  • “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (I Corinthians 10:13)
  • “Walk by faith; not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7)
  • “Endure hardship (suffer trouble) like a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (II Timothy 2:3)

My new investment is in the POWER OF CHRIST in me! I can do ALL things through Him, not self. He made it possible to live in me, so why not be more willing to invest in me? He’s in me! I ended up having a good time with the Lord, enjoying the comforts of home and eating “Clean and Lean” to conclude Day 9. God is faithful to ALWAYS be there in moments of temptation, struggle and unhealthy options to keep us from falling. In Christ, we can remain steadfast, unmovable and determined to stay committed to the investments He has given us the opportunity to make.

Day 5: Dietary Makeover & I FEEL GOOD!


It is Day 5 and I am not HUNGRY!!! To God be the glory for getting to this all important milestone (future posts w/b every 5 days). Here are some of the developing details:

  1. I am sleeping soundly
  2. I wake up with energy
  3. I drink 2 smoothies a day – 1 before 10 am and the other before 830 pm
  4. I eat 1 meal a day that is low in carbs and high in protein and fat – after much research I realized that this would be my starting formula – AVOID ALL WHITE PRODUCTS LIKE THE PLAGUE (a DIRECTIVE from Dr. Ian Smith “Clean and Lean”)
  5. I use a SPECIFIC PRODUCT – I will endorse eventually – in my smoothies:
    • It keeps me full
    • It tastes great
    • I mix it with coffee/almond milk every morning
    • I mix it w/ green vegetables and berries at night
    • The more cubed ice the better
    • I AM NOT HUNGRY and I AM EXPERIENCING INCREASED ENERGY DAILY
  6. My thoughts are clear WITHOUT the food obsession/cravings/greed manifestations
  7. I am more connected to Jesus Christ in my daily prayer life
  8. I NEED TO MOVE MY BODY – walking in place/standing in stead of sitting while watching TV, daily walking outside (with my disability I am realizing more progress with stamina with the aide of my devices) and I am working my abs while listening to House Music w/ light cardio movements.
  9. I drink water when I am thirsty
  10. NO MORE LATE NIGHT SNACKING WITH CAKES/PIES/COOKIES/POTATO CHIPS/CANDY/ICE CREAM

I Do Not Think About or Focus on Weight Loss in My Daily Routine

I believe the weight will come off over time. I did not accumulate it in 60-90 days – this body started developing in 2006. Most of all, I have a commitment to NO LONGER LIVING A SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE. I am CONVINCED it is the primary cause of ALL my weight/health issues.   However I have natural bowel movements daily. I also recognize the deflating of my belly – at some point I will share the pictures of it the night before I started the makeover. My focus is on re-establishing what I put into my body and listening to how my body is speaking to me. I have a firm belief in the process of Spiritual regeneration/renewal. For clarity read Faith in CPR² DAILY.

Therefore, my soul gets the overflow of my spiritual regeneration/renewal. As the overflow continues it has profound effects on my body. Conqueror Ministries platform introduces my personal belief in the tenets of 2 Corinthians 5 – I am a new creature in Christ: “Old things passed away(died i.e. Galatians 2:20), new things have come” (v.17). This is the process of Spiritual development/growth most Christians want to wish away/deny/bypass.

The older I get the more I become aware of the fact that I must die to the flesh so that the Spirit of Christ in me can introduce me to “new life.” I wrote about this: Conqueror Ministries Suit Up Series.  6 days ago, absent of utilizing the “helmet of salvation,” I was allowing for the works of the flesh to manufacture deceitful/deceptive ideology about food which produced lies I believed. In the past 5 days the helmet is firmly affixed, my mind is stayed on the LORD and the truth continues to set me free from the bondage of poor eating choices. 

I Feel Good Gif 2

After 21 days I will begin to follow Dr. Ian’s 30 Day plan for the development of consistent progress in the #2019DietaryMakeover.  I can only hope and pray that this report will continue to be relative to my experiences on this leg of the journey. I firmly believe that my use of the #LiveTCL Directives (10 Spiritual Directives to live by featured in my upcoming book releases) are majorly responsible for these results. This joy that I have the world did/can not give to me. In the wake of all the National Terrorism in the news, I have a blessed hope in our Savior Jesus Christ and his uninterrupted/unfailing love. By His grace, I am more than a conqueror through Him.

 

It’s Time for a Dietary Makeover


2010 at Family Circle CupBeing overweight was normal for me. There was a time when I was conscious of my food choices to the degree that White Castle was no longer a desire. Today I keep a six pack in my freezer. I used to be a regular fixture at the local gym – doing cardio, taking step classes, lifting weights, playing racquetball and regular pool activities – to keep my body lean, toned and pleasing to look at. Now the only exercise I get is walking from my house to the car, parking away from the entrance of the supermarket and occasional restaurant visits and taking a shower – by the way I avoid the bathroom mirror’s imagery of all the blubber as often as possible. It is time for a makeover.

The normalcy of being a fat, middle-aged graduate student perplexes me to the nth degree. Self-loathing is inconsequential as I do my best to keep up a positive outlook everywhere I go. Most of the time it is because I am living the Conqueror Lifestyle which keeps me Spiritually fit. But lately I am struggling with my lack of physical fitness which is apparent to everyone I come in contact with as well. Those I encounter are met with a dichotomous interaction with a sober, Spiritual core that is housed in a body that is diabolically unfit. My experience with “let your light so shine before men”(Matthew 5:16) is congruent with realizing that people are not inundated by my good works but rather the un-pleasingly plump persona present in the room.

Now I must admit I am hanging in some pretty “nice” circles because no one has said anything to me about being overweight. They appear to be accepting of who I am. Some are even complimentary about my appearance in the clothes I choose to wear. However, lately I am really feeling strange and, at times, invisible in some of the locations I visit. It is as if people don’t see me. I have honestly NEVER felt this before. Prayer with introspection became as regular as inhaling.

“Lord, what is this I am feeling?” is where my prayers began. Upon further self-examination I became tearfully aware of how miserable I am with all the weight I am carrying. Then afterwards, I proceeded to eat 2 hot dogs – mustard, sauerkraut, relish -, pork and beans seasoned to perfection, a plate of french fries and a steamed White Castle double-cheeseburger. I washed it all down with my signature flavored sparkling water and diet cherry-pomegranate mixed drink on ice. Late night snacking on a daily basis coupled with an overdose of fried foods was my flesh’s way of coping. All of my deceased, overweight family members began to come to mind. In my family, food is an emotional product capable of supplying instant gratification that kills! We willingly consume it and all it’s perilous derivatives – diabetes, heart disease, stroke, esophageal varices and obesity.

Eating is no longer satisfying to me. In fact, I am at the point where I’d rather not eat. The toxicity in my stomach and small intestines which compels me to put sugar, salt and empty calories in my body frightens me. I eat because I have to not because I want to. Upon further honest appraisal of my appetite, while in constant conversations with Jesus Christ my Savior, I began to explore alternatives I could afford. Being on disability does not afford me the luxury of many current weight loss outfits out there. Look for another article on how difficult it is to eat right on a fixed income another time with solutions the Lord gives me. By God’s grace I became willing to invest in my future by committing to using a product a friend introduced me to last month that I will share later on. In conjunction with this product, I am also a believer in Dr. Ian Smith’s “Clean and Lean” brand. It is a system I choose to implement as I re-establish my eating habits over the next 2 months.

I am not on a diet. Since I am a child of the 70’s & 80’s, I watched the diet industry develop into what it is today. I believe in the Oprah declaration “diets do NOT work!” Today is the 1st day of my dietary makeover. I have eaten one meal today and I awakened at 6:30 am. After seeing it in action with my roommates for years, I am now a regular at making smoothies. Yes I have a particular product I am using as a meal supplement twice a day to get my body healthy again. It is AMAZING! I have not felt hunger all day. I drink water, I eat almonds as snacks and I am “walking by faith; not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). I believe the Lord sent me the answer by way of the product I am using.

I now believe being overweight is NOT normal. For me it is sinful! Gluttony, greed and sloth have kept me in bondage to food for far too long! For the record I read “Clean and Lean” in 1 day last month. I joined the FB group and posted my trepidation on 2 occasions which were met with much encouragement and empathy. The food costs are high and I need to begin stockpiling “Clean and Lean” foods little by little. Here is where my budding smoothie lifestyle is the first phase of my dietary makeover. It is my hope that I will continue to add this content to ConquerorShots as it is further proof that #LiveTCL is an effective Christian lifestyle. “…The Lord is the strength of my life…”(Psalm 27:1) and in Him will I trust. I know this is another leg of my life’s journey He has me on and as long as I remain connected to His power “I am more than a conqueror through Him that loved me.” The joy is in the journey!

 

YOU’VE GOT TO WAIT


Did you know that everytime you wait it is an opportunity to strengthen your faith? God has sovereignly maintained the use of time to develop our faith muscles. Yet we do all we can to avoid the wait or keep ourselves occupied with outside influences which distract us from the boring, wearisome experience. It is the soul and body which objects to the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years of waiting. All the while our spirits are starving for freedom which only the Spirit can provide. You’ve got to wait on the Lord in the midst of it all.

I am going to restart the Cyber Bible Study next week. It is a labor of love I started last year with my mom. Thankfully, it is an archived experience I will have to remind me of our Spiritual relationship now that she is no longer here. Every morning I am reminded of her loving care for me as her first born. She is the one who, with the help of the Holy Spirit, taught me the importance of waiting on the Lord. It is time well spent!

This morning I heard the Lord in my quiet time. He said, “Job waited on the LORD!” This was a phrase from a gospel song I used to sing in my youth now becoming a shining glimmer of Spiritual inspiration as I pondered the remaining lyric “tell me why can’t I…” I began to reflect on the intensity of his experience. Since 2011 I have realized how important the Book of Job is for me as I continue to recover from being divorced after 20 years of marriage. I have lost my strength, my career, my wife and family, home, cars, vacation properties, savings, security, social standing and youth. Through it all I have had to “endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist and fulfill my ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:3) The rewards are eternal! The waiting is so unnerving! His voice reminds me of  My mom who taught me these 2 verses as a child:

Job 13:15 NASB  “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him…”

Job 23:10 NASB  “But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold…”

The first verse compels me to share with you how, in spite of all my loss, I found the value of “this treasure (I have & you may too) in earthen vessels (our bodies) so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” 2 Corinthians 4:7. God has strategically removed from me ALL the things I used to IDOLIZE so that I would learn to trust in, rely on, have faith in the excellency of the power of the Spirit of Christ, the risen Savior, in me. It is from this source of power that I wait patiently on the LORD with good courage and He strengthens me in ways I can’t even explain. I NEED HIS HELP DAILY!! And because of His steady supply of strength I will maintain my case that He is my waymaker, heart fixer and mind regulator in whom I trust in as I HAVE TO WAIT ON HIM FOR ALL MY HELP!!! (Hallelujah Praise is in my hands!)

The next verse was mom’s favorite! We will ALWAYS be affected physically, mentally and emotionally by the wait. From a human perspective we just don’t like it! It causes us to worry, doubt, fear or become anxious because of whatever it is we want right now. Whether it is waiting on our children to come home from an evening out, or a package coming in the mail or public transportation to get to a destination, the wait causes our bodies and souls to suffer. When we use the distractions of the ear buds, phones, empty conversations or to the extreme become irritable – even to the point of belligerence – we miss out on the lessons of faith during the wait. God uses hardships, difficult circumstances, uncertainty, distresses, anxieties and fears to manifest new growth in our faith muscles. Always remember He is the Chief Proprietor of time. The way He uses it for His glory makes the difficulties with waiting diminish exponentially.

Job said, though He causes me to experience loss, pain, disappointment, weariness through overwhelming circumstances, I know it is GOD who is allowing these circumstances for my good and His glory! He knows what He is producing as my flesh is devastated with the results of the wait. God’s loving response to the difficulty is “YOU’VE GOT TO WAIT!” My faith, my hope and my confidence in Him is going to produce GOLDEN results in eternity which I can’t even imagine!

In the meantime, the waiting is much more satisfying when you focus on His presence, His POWER and His peace which are revealed through His Word while you wait. Can you imagine how Heavenly the wait can be? You will have some of the best encounters with the risen Savior when you hang with Him during the wait! That is what He created us for in the first place. Stop allowing the world and its influences to detain you from your appointed time spent with the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth! Spend all the waiting time with Him, His Word and His Spirit in you! YOU’VE GOT TO WAIT for the experiences to prepare you, train you, teach you just how FAITHFUL AND POWERFUL HE IS!

The next time you are bothered by the wait, read CONQUERORSHOTS, the Psalms, Isaiah 40:28-31 ,Ephesians, Colossians or Hebrews 11 & 12 and realize when you wait on the Lord in the midst of the external opposition to the wait, He will reveal the faith growing exercise He planned just for you! It is the epitome of His love for you that makes the wait worthwhile. Sign up for the Cyber Bible Study for more.

 

 

 

 

 

What Shall I Render?


Do you struggle giving your first to the Lord?  Do you struggle with giving your last to the Lord? Are you a tither? Do you give church offerings sparingly or bountifully? Most of all, why do you give your offerings? If you do not practice this NECESSARY sacrifice, what prevents you from it?

The answers will undoubtedly cover a wide spectrum of opinionated responses that lack sound Biblical teaching. While Israel’s experiences provide a dominant viewpoint that is upheld throughout Christendom, I want to emphasize that long before God called out the Nation of Israel from the world through Abraham and his promised son Isaac, God has ALWAYS required a sacrificial offering from mankind. More specifically, whenever we are blessed by God OUR THANKSGIVING IS BEST ACKNOWLEDGED THROUGH OUR SACRIFICIAL GIVING.

Abel’s offering to God in Genesis 4 is the first example of sacrificial giving. His brother Cain’s response to God’s acceptance of Abel’s offering is still GREATLY felt throughout the USA. Men and women are still trying to defy God’s requirements for sacrificial giving by rationalizing their human works as a means to get God’s approval. Case and point: a professional legal secretary will bring his/her skills into the church and work on various auxiliaries where the skills are needed. They will give from a place of authority and certainty which is coupled with human merits. In doing so, they will naturally assume that God is pleased with their efforts. They give to the church body with their professional skills. But when the church offering is administered they will struggle with monetary giving because they rendered professional services that were NOT compensated.

God requires sacrificial giving! It literally means GIVING UP SOMETHING GOOD. Noah is the example that represents this best! In Genesis 7:2-3 God tells Noah to gather up every clean beast on the earth by 7’s, both male and female. For example, Noah was responsible for loading 7 male sheep and 7 female sheep. The Godly instruction gives rise to the DIVINE EXPECTATION FOR THE SACRIFICE. The breeding would be maintained by the 6 and the SACRIFICE IS THE 7TH! It is also a revealing appreciation for the PROVIDENTIAL WILL OF GOD CONCERNING MANKIND!

God gave Noah the instruction as He welcomed Noah and his family into the ARK. The UNIVERSAL DEATH OF THE EARTH AND ITS INHABITANTS ENSUED. In Genesis 8 the rain ceases and God gives the instruction to exit the ARK:

Genesis 8:15-21 KJV
15 And God spake unto Noah, saying,
16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.
17 Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.
18 And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him:
19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.
20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

Noah did not build a house for his wife and family FIRST! HE BUILT AN ALTAR! His gratitude for SALVATION FROM THE UNIVERSAL DEATH compelled him to sacrifice one of every clean animal to God on the ALTAR. The altar of sacrifice has ALWAYS been a representation for the COMING OF JESUS CHRIST, HIS DEATH, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION. Genesis 8:21 once again infers God’s understanding of THE PLAN of REDEMPTION Christ would fulfill. Today God no longer requires blood sacrifice from animals BECAUSE OF OUR ONGOING FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST’S FINISHED WORK!

If you KNOW YOU ARE SAVED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS, like Noah we are REQUIRED to give – “not grudgingly, not out of necessity. God loves a cheerful giver…”(2 Corinthians 9:7) Our cheer, willingness and sacrificial giving of our finances is an outward expression of the THANKSGIVING in our hearts and minds for SALVATION. Under the auspices of God’s grace PROVIDING the FREE GIFT OF SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE, we can NEVER give too much. At this stage of Christian development, financial giving, church service through ministry and talents and any other form of “giving” is acceptable and pleasing in His sight.

Finding Out Where the Lord Wants Me


Our guest blogger is a dear cousin of mine – Sister Georgette Gude – who has faithfully served in the church for over 40 years. I have come to know her as an upstanding Christian woman who works hard, serves the Lord consistently and constantly stands for the truth of the gospel of the grace of God. She reveals personal contemplation that we can all identify with. Her lesson is worth reading about. Thank you Georgette for contributing to ConquerorShots.    Rev.D

Finding where the Lord wants me – placed in Him – has been challenging experience. Honestly, I am guilty of not always trusting God to perfect His will concerning me. All my life I’ve been judged by others based on my appearance. Family, friends, etc. look at what they see and often fail to understand God’s will for me. People naturally voice what they think I should be, where I should be and so on. I can no longer be shaped by what people think or say relative to where I should be. Finding out where He wants me did not have to be so difficult.

I realize today that life is a journey worth taking when Jesus Christ is Lord. He is ALWAYS exposing His omniscient leadership over my life. His amazing grace is consistently sufficient in my weakness. Most of all, His unconditional love has kept me from decade to decade while revealing exactly where He ALWAYS wanted me to be.

I have made it hard for others to know me because of my personal struggles all my life. By covering up my pain caused by horrific acts I experienced that no one knew of, I have maintained a tough exterior which affected my authenticity to me and others. I have worked hard to hide the ongoing pain from my past. Today, my personal time is consumed with emotions I can’t understand or articulate. One minute I can be smiling and laughing on the outside and suddenly, without warning, I begin to feel disconnected from everyone and all I know. The older I get, the more these emotional swings drain me. My soul cries out to the Lord God Almighty “I am weak and I need Thy strength and power to help me over my weakest hours.”[1]

I Corinthians 12:20–27 But now there are many members but one body, and the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body but that the members may have the same care for one another, And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ’s body and individually members of it.

Over the years, God has shown me how these verses help me to know where the Lord wants me to be. As I wonder where He wants me now, I am reminded of my mother. She loved me “just as I am.” She would sincerely ask me how I was feeling. She would not accept superficial answers that I learned to use to mask my true feelings. In the course of our conversations she always found a way to inquire about my experiences reading the Bible. She taught me to always read His Word for strength, leadership and power to live a victorious Christian life. She made time to listen to what God’s Word was saying in ways that inspired me to read it more often. She was never condescending or judgmental concerning the Bible. She lovingly wanted to show me that God loves and cares for me unconditionally. God placed me in my mother’s womb and knew she would give me Jesus Christ.

In spite of the failures to honestly relate with others, I am convinced that GOD has known me from the beginning. He knows me in my awakenings and my slumber. He knows my thoughts afar off. He ALWAYS loves me from a sincere place “just as I am.” I never would have made it to see my marriage to my husband and the birth of our 3 beautiful sons without His unconditional love for me. I never would have made it as I had to watch my husband suffer with sickle-cell anemia throughout our marriage. God’s love kept us while I cared for him as he withered away while maintaining his love for me and his boys. Living through his death and raising my boys to become men was possible because of His love keeping us in the midst of it all. God allowed me to come through more and more pain and disappointment as He lovingly convinced me to trust and believe Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. My church home has always represented my Spiritual placement.He placed me where He wanted me to be then and now.

I am writing this because God has shown me that He has ALWAYS wanted me to be placed in the cleft of the Rock of ages. Jesus Christ is my rock in which I have found a secure crevice in HIM where His love, grace, peace and care are never ending. In Him I am unconditionally accepted in the beloved.  He will ALWAYS direct me in the way He wants me to go. When I focus on the exterior me I get confused concerning my insecurities. If I look around at others – family, friends, etc. I am overcome with uncertainties. My uncertainties, insecurities, struggles and fears are in my life to continuously push me to realize my position IN CHRIST. In Him I am uniquely positioned in the Body of Christ. In Him I have the ability to relate with a countless number of coequal members perfectly affixed into the Body. At the same time I am equipped to live an imperfect human life as more than a conqueror through Him that loved me. I know there is unlimited POWER available to me In Christ.

God wants me to be willing to rest in Him as I live the life He continues to provide for me. I will trust His call on my life. I will follow Him wherever He leads. I will not let fear dominate me. He has graciously placed me in Him. I am EXACTLY where I am supposed to be because He is my strength and my guide – then, now and always.

  “Lord I thank you for a mother who showed me pure love without hypocrisies. Thank you for showing me your unfeigned love and making me feel accepted without pretenses or shadiness. Lord, PLEASE protect my heart, clean me up and create within me a pure, unselfish heart. Encourage me to continue to seek your face and give you all the Glory. Help me not to care how loved ones, family or friends view my intentions to serve you. Guide me into the fullness of your will for my life today and always.  I thank you for how you enable me to have a closer walk with you. The Scriptures have given me the confidence to know you and rely on you in all times. Regardless of my human status, I stand daily IN CHRIST trusting I am complete. I must be honest with myself and appreciate who you have made me to be. Always help me to remember what you spoke to Samuel in the selection of David – Man looks on the outside, but God looks at the heart! No one knows me like you do! I have moved my membership to a new church under your leadership. Now Lord, lead me in my new church home. Continue to direct me through your love. Reveal your Word to me and enlighten my life with newness. I trust in you who NEVER fails to place me where you want me. In Jesus name, AMEN”

By: Georgette Gude

[1] “Lead Me, Guide Me”, Akers, Doris, http://www.hymnary.org/text/i_am_weak_and_i_need_your_strength_and