A Designer’s Original

I love to shop. Normally when I walk into stores, I head straight to the sales rack(s) looking for items that others may have picked over or just didn’t have a vision for.  I like things that are unique, but snazzy. Then there are other times…times where compromise is not an option. I see it, I want it, but I always look around to see if I can find it anywhere else. You see, my uniqueness causes me to not want to always look like everyone else. Sure it’s fine when required or needed, but for the most part, I want to be the original.

 

I love the fact that when God created me, that’s how He saw me.  He didn’t make me as a part of a mass production, but He made me a designer’s original.  See, people can wear the same dress, have on the same shoes, even wear the same makeup (God forbid!), but no one can wear it like you can.  YOU ARE A DESIGNER’S ORIGINAL! Read more

The Value of Relationships

2 When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. 2 Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, 3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” 10 Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, 11 “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” 12 And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”  Mark 2:1-5, 10-12 (NLT)

 

Remember when you were in secondary school and you so often used the words, “best friend”? Remember dressing alike in those iron-on t-shirts (“2 Hot 2 Handle”), coming up with names for yourselves from your favorite groups (Salt N Pepa), and those sleepovers that lasted all night with you talking about your “boyfriend” (ANYBODY from New Edition)!  These were times that you promised that nothing would separate you, and for some of us it didn’t, and for others, it did.  Read more

Confronting the Imposter

“I am who I am.” That was my go to response for most things that required me to explain my “actions”.  Everyone pretty much accepted it too. It was my attitude; and I justified it at every turn.  It even had a name. In fact, it had several names. My family and those close to us called it the “Burroughs Attitude” or “Burroughs’ Scorn” and my friends identified it as “Nadine being Nadine”.  I was branded and I accepted it. I took ownership of it. I protected it. After all, it was me!

 

Instead of accepting my “I am who I am…get with it or get lost” attitude. I wish someone would have responded, “Yes. But, who are you?”  That simple [yet complex] question could have rocked my world.  It could have catapulted me to the road of authentic self discovery.  You see, although I would say “I am who I am”, I actually had no clue as to who I was. Not only that, I was completeIy oblivious to who I was created to be. I was only acquainted with who I was conditioned to be. And even that self, I couldn’t articulate. Read more

The Value of Rest

I heard a message last night by Pastor Stovall Weems called “Be Seated” that gave me a fresh perspective of the word rest. All my life, I thought the more I did, the harder I worked, the more successful I would become. The truth is, the more time I spent trying to be successful, the less time I had to spend with the One who has predestined my success.

 

Sometimes we can find ourselves working like it depends on us. We work until the wee hours of the morning with the “if I can just get this done, then…” mentality. We are challenged with the desire to compete with the rest of the world’s ideas to make ours bigger, better, and more innovative. Here’s an idea: what better advice to get than from the One who created the heavens and the earth? The Creator of the moon, the stars, the mountains, the hilltops, the animals (big and small), the grass, the trees, day and night! You can’t be more creative than that… ever! Read more

The Guts to Do It Again

Have you ever tried a business venture that didn’t work?  Or put a contract on something that fell through?  How about getting into another relationship, even after the one you got out of hurt like crazy?  These are all things that have tried our patience; and at every point, our faith.  They are things that sometimes people closest to you taunt you about because they “told you so”.

 

I want to take time to encourage you to find the guts to do it again!  Find the thing that you’ve been called to and regardless of where you are right now, do it again. When we step out on faith in any situation, it is difficult to plan where the next will come from.   Will the customers come back?  Will someone reorder?  What if I totally disappoint this person?  These are all likely ponderings, but they should not deter us from trying.   Read more

One…More…Time!

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.    He called out to them,  “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered.    He said,  “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”  When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. (John 21:4-6 NIV)

 

There are a few things to note in these scriptures, but I will write about one in particular. The power of obedience. To be in a place where you feel like nothing’s happening, and even those who walk with you are getting frustrated due to lack of results, can be taxing. Sometimes you’re even asking yourself, “How long will I be in this place?”   Feeling stuck, powerless, and unmotivated, finding strength can be hard when someone comes along, and tells you to try it one…more…time.

The Result of Being “Taken”

I absolutely love the movie, Taken.  It is about a teenage girl (played by Maggie Grace) who travels abroad with her girlfriend, who’s also a teenager.  Her father (played by Liam Neeson) is a retired special-ops agent who is very hesitant about allowing his beloved daughter to travel out of the country for what he later finds out to be a rock band tour.  I’ll try not to give it all away to those who haven’t seen it, but the story becomes an increasingly heart-pounding trail of events leading to the girl’s kidnapping and selling into a high profile trafficking ring. One of my absolute favorite lines in this movie is when the kidnappers have actually just taken the daughter and the kidnapper gets on the phone and says nothing.  The father, knowing that the kidnapper has the phone to his ear says this, I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”

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The Reality of the Fragrance

We have two 16 (almost 17) year old, athletic boys who live for the game of football and track.  Of course, this comes with a price.  I went in their room the other day, and even more than normal, it was a mess! Clothes thrown everywhere, musty football socks, worn compression shorts and sweaty jerseys were scattered throughout the room. In my momma voice I demanded the room be cleaned immediately and windows open to let in fresh air!  One of my sons quickly responded, “Ma, just spray some air freshener and it’ll be alright!”  What?! With my face twisted and my pressure up, I responded, “You cannot put air freshener over funk and expect it to fix the problem!”  As I quickly exited the room to calm myself down, I realized that that is exactly what has been happening in our society…and the church.

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Default Christianity

The other day, I walked in the room and there was a movie on. It was a very popular movie that I hadn’t seen before, so I was pretty excited to catch it. As I was looking at it, foul language began flying out and I quickly looked to the lower right of the screen to make sure I was looking at an appropriate station. It read, “ABC Family”. I surprisingly wondered how the language on the movie connected to the word “Family”. Although the moral of the movie was amazing, I was distracted by the other “stuff” that came along with it. The intent was good, the content was off.

 

Are we that way as Christians? Do we use the word “Christian” as a cover when there’s a different reality?  Is our Christianity more a theoretical belief but not a personal conviction?  Do we publicly serve but we privately complain?  Do we wear crosses around our neck and slogans on our shirts but we have selfishness and backbiting in our hearts?

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Strange Living

I recently heard about the lifestyle of a salmon and was totally amazed. I did not know that a salmon swims upstream (opposite the current) to survive. To my surprise this creature isn’t one that looks at other fish and decides he wants to turn around and swim the way everyone else is swimming; besides, that’s what he should do right?  He should go with the flow, go with the way everyone else is doing it and maybe, just maybe he’ll be “cool” or “in style”! The truth is, if this fish made the decision to swim with the other fish, he’d die.

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