faith

I Hear Your Words, But I Only Listen To Your Actions

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I saw this quote circulating on social media and I had to pull it to discuss.
Unless you have been living under a ‘rock’, it is no surprise all of the turmoil our country, the United States of America, has been experiencing on a more frequent basis. I say a more frequent basis because all of the injustice of murders and racism in this country has been going on for centuries but with the advancement of technology, like camera phones and videos, it is capturing things as they happen and putting it right in your face..whether that is the news, your social media timelines or for some, first hand experiences with your own family…
….at times, I feel like I’m playing in a horror film anxiously hoping I’m not next to play in the scene…
….my heart has been hurting but my spirit has been pressing towards the only comfort that I can count on moment by moment, day by day and that’s through my relationship with Jesus Christ and the infallible word of God, the bible.
These times have challenged every Christian in America and the unfolding of this reality is not a surprise to God. In the word, He says….
2 Timothy 3:1 (NIV)
3 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

To me, the underlining issue that has linked the injustice in this country comes down to one thing: Racism.

Every act of racism in this country is taught.

No one is BORN racist.
And just like something you learn that has a negative consequence if practiced, racism can only be eliminated once a person’s heart is changed.
So, I’ve ‘listened’ to people who claim to not have a problem with race but their ACTIONS have quickly discredited that notion. Until you respond differently to something you have perceived in your mind and heart, ignorance will rule your actions.
Recently, I heard a local pastor, Pastor Hasker Hudgens, on the news with News Correspondent, Nigel Robertson and he was asked a question, “Do you think Prayers are enough?” and I like his response which were all ACTION items that needed to take place.
He said, and I quote, “ I want to say prayers are working but its four things I think we have to do: We have to humble ourselves, We have to Pray, We have to seek God’s Face, then we have to turn from our wicked ways, then he forgive us of our sins and then he will heal our land.”
Pastor quoted right from this scripture:
2 Chronicles 7:14(NIV)
14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
So, this is a call to ACTION…me included….
Social Media platforms are okay when expressing your concerns or voicing your opinion but the problem is, that’s ALL some people are doing…

Your VOICE and your ACTIONS are needed…

Xoxo Chiccy Baritone

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The Best View Comes After The Hardest Climb

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When I think about the difference between looking at a beautiful view that I took the elevator to see or one that didn’t require any physical effort vs. looking at a beautiful view that I climbed a mountain by hiking or any other physical effort to see, there is one major difference…

How I got there….

It affects the appreciation value…Yes, its true! And I will challenge anyone who cares to debate that…but here is what some won’t admit…it feels GOOD when you don’t have to put in the ‘work’ to appreciate something verses it being given to you. But our God is AWESOME…you know why? Because in life, God will allow us to experience BOTH….its called by Faith and by Favor….

We all have heard the scripture “Faith without works is dead” James 2:14-26 and having Faith requires that we ‘Work’ because work towards what we believe ignites the power of our Faith. When I think about some of life’s accomplishments that God has allowed for me to experience, they were never given to me. The work it took in order to achieve the end results of success will forever be implanted in my memory. Going through a process in order to accomplish anything in life creates lessons and an opportunity to learn what to do and what not to do. It fuels the teacher in us because there are now points of reference. You have the ability, because of the experience, to share with someone else and that to me is powerful and enlightening. The work of Faith is not easy and it has moments that feel like pure Hell and torture, but when we make the decision to keep going until the end, we have a different, profound love and deep admiration for the “VIEW”….

Then there’s Favor….So what exactly is favor?

It essentially is a gift from God. This ‘gift’ is not contingent upon anything that we say or do. It is God’s way of blessing us through His Grace. God gives us His grace to empower us to become like Christ.

God’s grace is His unmerited favor toward men through the blood of His Son. This unmerited favor includes not only being forgiven of sin but also receiving access to the very presence of God in the same way Jesus has access to Him. God will open doors of opportunity and create blessings for us with no ‘work’ on our part. As I mentioned earlier, He would allow us to take the ‘Elevator’ up to enjoy that view….no sweat, no climbing, no hills, no extra weight (or backpack), just a push of a button going UP….

We would LOVE for every thing we experience in life to be THAT easy, right? Of course! But if our gracious God had to go through trials and transgressions while on earth, he said, that we would also so we are not exempt from the ‘pain’ of life as we climb….but I’m grateful for the BALANCE that is created in me as a result of Faith & Favor!

xoxo Chiccy Baritone

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Every Time We Speak, We Are Prophesying Our Future

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A scripture I hold very close to my heart is Proverbs 18:21 and it says,”The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.”(NIV)….

So in other words, your life takes on the shape of what is spoken! Yes, being negative attracts negativity just as being positive attracts positivity. What will the fruit of your lips taste like? LIFE….or DEATH?

Years ago, I wrote this poem called,”Lips-based off of Proverbs 18:21″ which is on my poetry CD,”Wildflower Vol.1. Check out a snippet of the poem here and option to purchase! http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/chiccybaritone  —shameless plug::Ha! The  message in the poem is simply this…be careful what you SPEAK! If you feel like you live a defeated life and ‘everything bad always happens to me’ then check your conversation…Do you complain all the time? Have something negative to say all the time? Never look at a situation in a positive manner? Predict every outcome to be bad? Speak discouragement over every situation that is challenging? (….this list of negativity can go on and on, but I think you get the point) then your words and thoughts will begin to shape your life!

Going into 2016 and what this year will LOOK like for you will depend on what your ‘release’ out of your mouth. Your life will begin to take shape based on what you speak. So make a conscious decision to watch the words you speak…the conversations that you have…and believe by FAITH, that everything will work out! God said it would and I believe it! “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

I have enjoyed sharing my top 5 nuggets of 2015 with you. I pray these Blogs have been a blessing to you! Happy NEW YEAR!!!!!!!

2016..today is page 1 of 365

Happy New Year Nugget Blog#5 (last blog for the New Year series)

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Grow UP: Have You Ever Seen Anything Grow DOWN?

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2015 was a major year of transition for me in the area of my career. I had been with a previous employer for several years and found myself laid off. BUT….9 years prior, I was laid off for 2 months and it went a little something like this…

First 30 days: Oh My GOD! What am I going to do? God how could this happen? I have some money in the bank but not enough to go months without a job? I won’t stop TITHING no matter how bad it gets! I hope my bills don’t increase this month! I can’t travel the way I want too, I want to shop and I can’t, I want to eat out and I can’t, God what in the world am I going to do???????????

Next 30 days: (picks up journal, increase prayer life and faith) Okay God, I’m concern but I am going to TRUST you…I will do whatever you want me to do…so my writing increased, I begin to reach out to my network and share my situation of being unemployed. God used an old co-worker who decided to be a recruiter to land me a position! SWEET!

9 years later, I was laid off for 2 ½ months and it went a little something like this…

First 30 days up until the phone call that I got the job: I woke up every morning, prayed, then headed out in the neighborhood to work out as I saw neighbors leave for work. I would wave and smile and not allow my FAITH in God to waver. After walking, I would prepare breakfast, eat, shower then spend 2-4 hours working with recruiters, networking with old co-workers via phone and email. Then if there were networking events going on locally, I would get dress and network. I met amazing connections and kept in contact.

I never kept my mouth CLOSED while in transition….

I spoke positive about the outcome of my situation as God reminded me of how it took a long time, in my opinion, to trust Him. I didn’t want to spend days like I did before worrying about whether or not God was going to provide while I was in transition. I had a savings and I drew unemployment during this time. I also, like before, never stop TITHING and giving sacrificially because one thing I know for sure, I had a financial need and I could not afford, because of disobedience, take a chance in robbing God (Malachi 3:8-18) and not allowing any “seeds” that I have planted to be destroyed. The TITHE protects and provides and I have seen God protecting me as I gave what belongs to HIM…..

God connected me with an old co-worker in whom I had a great working relationship with. She sent my resume to a manger in the department at my new job and the rest is history!

From the first day the news was revealed to me about getting laid off up until the first day I walked into my new job, I had spiritually Grew UP. I could have easily allowed what happened to me before be the excuse to not change. I didn’t want to repeat the same cycle of panicking which was unnecessary if we believe God to be our provider. Philippians 4:19 says, ”And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Do you believe that? I sure do!! But I had to do more than just quote it, post it (on social media outlets), say it, I had to truly BELIEVE that in my MIND…then it became what I BELIEVED in my HEART as well. Then by faith, my life began to travel in the path of that truth!

Transition can be challenging but remember this. It doesn’t happen only once in our life. Our lives will include transition whether we like it or not! It is an inevitable part of life that God ordains in order for us to experience the fullness of Joy and Purpose. Whatever He needs to inspect, correct and direct in us to perfect us, He will do! Its not punishment—-its God wanting to protect and love us. He knows the plans that He has for us. Plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 Whew! What a mighty God we serve!

So as 2016 comes in, filled with blessings that come in the form of a disappointment or a victory, remember this…God wants us to experience growth, preferably growth that goes UP! Don’t let the pain of life take that growth in reverse!

Happy New Year Nugget Blog#2

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