Poet

Start Now

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Start NOW….

I came across this image on Facebook and it said:

“Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just……start.”

I have been very passionate about driving this message home. Maybe not verbatim but the point still is the same, “Just start.” I have a, ”Breakfast For Champions Women Empowering Women” Sessions that I do between February and April of every year. I begin each session giving my testimony about how God orchestrated the vision. When God spoke to my spirit to start these sessions to empower women from all walks of life and the format of these sessions, my battle was, ”But God, where should I have this? I need resources so where is that going to come from? When should I do it? Who should I target? And the questioning went on and on. Once I finished questioning everything, God said, ”Start where you are.”
Wait….What???
And you know what? I did. I did what I could and God did the REST! I opened up my home, sent out a guest list, brought in a speaker, ordered some appetizers and after that session, I opened it up to the public, created a budget, and these sessions have been paying for themselves with the participation of women from all over the community! God is not concern with our excuses and quite frankly, we miss the opportunities for our vision to come to pass because we make it about ‘US’ and not who it’s for—People!
Yep….you are struggling with your vision because you have allowed every excuse to hinder what God has placed inside of you to do. Habakkuk 2:1-2KJV says, ”I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. And the LORD answered me, and said, write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.”
I love the way Clarke breaks down key points in the scripture. Check it out (credit: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/clarke/habakkuk/2.htm)
(Habakkuk 2:1) I will stand upon my watch – The prophets are always represented as watchmen, watching constantly for the comfort, safety, and welfare of the people; and watching also to receive information from the Lord: for the prophetic influence was not always with them, but was granted only at particular times, according to the will of God. When, in doubtful cases, they wished to know what God was about to do with the country, they retired from society and gave themselves to meditation and prayer, waiting thus upon God to hear what he would say In them.
(Habakkuk 2:1) What he will say unto me – in my understanding and heart.
(Habakkuk 2:1) And what I shall answer when I am reproved – What I shall say to God in behalf of the people; and what the Lord shall command me to say to the people. Some translate, “And what he will answer for my conviction.” Or, “what shall be answered to my pleading.”
(Habakkuk 2:2) Write the vision – Carefully take down all that I shall say.

(Habakkuk 2:2) Make it plain upon tables – Write it in a full plain, legible hand.
Being obedient to your vision requires you to listen for instructions and move on what God has said to you by FAITH. Without FAITH, it is impossible to please God so with all that He has created you to be and do, it cannot be done without FAITH. Our ‘laundry list’ of excuses are just that, a list that ‘we’ have compiled together. I often think about the outcome of what would have been if I focused more on ‘sacrifice vs. obedience’ and not God’s plan. He made it real clear….”Just Start”

And that is exactly what I did and have not turned back!
Your turn….it’s time for you to “Just start”
On WHAT? You say…
That vision that God has placed in your heart that you keep talking about…

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Verbal Communication Is Lost…

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Transparent Moment:

Electronics are such a blessing and a ‘crutch’ to our society. And its amazing how you really have to think hard about how it use to be before cell phones, texting and tablets. Me and my childhood friends loved getting on 3 way and spending hours laughing but not AS MUCH as us meeting at the stop sign on the corner which was a perfect intersection between one friend living up the street and the other friend living across the street. We will be there until the sun went down laughing and talking about what happened at school. You really took out the time to get to know a person…facial expressions, laughs and all:-)

Now…talking on the phone is a last resort if you could text what you have to say and emoji’s express our thoughts in our head because our faces are not doing those expressions as we text. Our art of communication, even with multiple streams of communicating, is very limited because we are slowly becoming a generation that doesn’t want to express ourselves publicly or verbally if we don’t have to. I love communicating and even though its easier to text or email, I make a point to reach out through actions and deed. If I am in the office, I will walk to my co-workers desk instead of calling, just to make a face to face connection. With my friends, I try to pick up the phone and call or visit just to make the face to face connection. I want to see your face and hear your voice. I value the human connection.

There are insurmountable amounts of information that is lost through a lack of physical and verbal communication. Those pieces could be holding healing, love, misunderstanding, creation, freedom, resolutions and peace…….so I challenge you…before you allow the disappointment of a disagreement to be the last word in a conversation via text or email…Pick up the phone or get in your car and go see the person. What we try to resolve with no human connection can sometimes eliminate unnecessary time lost and restoration of that situation can sometimes be resolved in a moment::

xoxo Chiccy Baritone

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You Are Not Alone

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You Are Not ALONE….

 

One of my cousins got married a few years ago but before the wedding, we decided to take her on a trip to Miami, FL to celebrate! While on the trip we had a lot of activities planned but one of the activities on our last morning in Miami was a game that her best friend suggested. It didn’t have a particular name or anything but what we had to do was write down three of our “Fears” on a piece of paper. Once everyone finished we shared the three fears with the group. The exercise was so powerful and so liberating! There were laughs, tears, stories, moments of silence, and reflection while we listened to each girl reveal a part of them that they may have only mention to God in private. As I was listening, I knew my turn was approaching and for me, this was no easy exercise because I didn’t want to be emotional. *Exhale*…Here it goes….as I slowly move my eyes down to read my three fears. Now listen, I am not going to share ALL of my fears but I will share one with you that meant the most and that was “the fear of dying alone”. One of the other young ladies there, who is single like myself, agreed totally and said, “Wow…I didn’t think about that but it’s so true…I don’t want to die alone.” The best part of the exercise was what we did next. We tore off each fear into three strips of paper, folded them in no particular way, and then put them inside of a balloon. We each held our balloons up high over the balcony of the hotel, I was asked to say a prayer and we released them in the air, vowing to God to work on overcoming those FEARS!! Even thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes because it took a lot of courage to admit to being afraid, scared or anxious about anything in life. However, on that day, four women’s desire to overcome FEAR was greater than the FEAR itself because of our FAITH to believe that God can and will remove anything that is unlike HIM.

Okay, so let me further explain what I mean when I say “alone.” I am talking about physically being by myself when I die because no one knows when or how they are going to die. The absence of family being there or even a companion was starting to become a concern when I thought about it because if we will all be honest with ourselves for a moment, everyone desires to be loved by someone beyond the extension of family. As Christians, we do realize that we are never alone because God is with us always, in spirit, but physically, we want the return embrace of a mate God assigned to us. Even the bible states that, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10). There is absolutely nothing wrong with desiring to have someone in your life but what if you don’t experience marriage on earth, does that mean that you are being denied the fullness of Joy? Not at all, however, let us put it in perspective. We all came into the earth individually even if you were born a twin, and we all are going to leave individually and be judged by God for our work.(Revelation 20:12) Our concern about being single can be consuming and a huge distraction. Being alone can have negative connotations if we accept it from people who plant seeds of “FEAR” in our minds saying, “You need to find someone or do you want to die alone?” Who said that life will follow the order of marriage, children, grandbabies then death? HE knew us before the foundation of the world and the beginning of our existence before entering the earth. He even knows the number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30) so surely HE knows what is best. God just wants to fulfill the purpose HE has ordained for each and every one of us and being alone or married should not affect the work being done. So If I die now, what would it matter if I am by myself? Why does being alone now develop FEAR when I think about dying alone? To God, it’s not important but my relationship with Him, my work on earth to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and my use of the spiritual gifts given to me to spread the Gospel IS important. My focus on my status has no relevance to my ability to fulfill my assignment in the earth just as my “Joy” has no relevance to my status. So, you are alone, or ALL ONE for now and if it never changes, what I “do” on earth, not my “status”, is God’s desire for my life. Hello Fear…I am not alone….so Goodbye.

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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Give Back

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Give Back

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”

Maya Angelou

“The only way you can serve God is by serving other people.”

Rick Warren

“Only a life lived in the service to others is worth living.”

Albert Einstein

“Happiness… consists in giving, and in serving others.”

Henry Drummond

“Identify your divine gift and use it to serve humanity.”

Lailah Gifty Akita

Trust me…I could have made this whole Blog post a list of quotes pertaining to Giving Back through acts of service because that is how important serving others is to me and hopefully you feel the same way.

This nugget #4 is one of those, “exceptions to the rules.” Which only means this is not only unique to something I made a priority in 2015 but this is something that has been a lifetime practice for me, starting in my home. My mom and dad are givers and being around it became a part of me. Every quote that I chose to illustrate ‘Giving Back’ are all special in unique ways.

Earlier this week, I posted this on Facebook & Twitter:

***Pet Peeve: Selfish People

It is outrageous to me for people to be selfish when nothing we do can be accomplished ALONE…ever…yep, I said it…think about that for a minute….

And now think about how impactful and powerful God could really use you if you used your gifts, talents and abilities with the goal of helping someone else!

That is what God would want. Here are a few bible verses about “Giving” that I want to share along with the quotes I mentioned earlier:

**Acts 20:35 “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “ 

**2 Cor. 9:7 “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

**Prov. 18:16 “A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.” 

**Prov. 11:25 “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”

Being a ‘giver’ and creating a life of ‘service’ to others has been the most fulfilling part of my life. I take great joy in being a blessing not for acknowledgment or show, but because I am the child of the “Most High” God who gave the most sacrificing gift to us all…His son Jesus the Christ!

So, even if your parents never taught you what it means to ‘give to others’ you have one of the greatest examples in Jesus who gave unselfishly! I promise you, in some of my most hurtful, disappointing times in my life, I found ways to give of myself. It took my mind off of me and put it on someone else in need. It’s a feeling that can’t be explained….I challenge you all to do more “Giving Back in 2016!”

Happy New Year Nugget Blog#4

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“When The Roots Are Deep There Is No Reason To Fear The Wind”

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“When The Roots Are Deep There Is No Reason To Fear The Wind”

~African Proverb

I love this African Proverb. Well, this is one of many that I love. I wanted to talk about the meaning as it relates to something I learned about myself through the challenges of 2015. The moral values taught to me by my parents, the wise counsel from friends, family and mentors, and my spiritual relationship with Jesus all contributed to the depth and strength of my roots!

So what does this African Proverb mean? It can be a reference to how a firm grounding results in a natural resistance to shifting circumstances.

For example, if applied to private economy, it might mean that a solid savings account and a steady job mean that you don’t have to fear unforeseen expenses. Metaphorically, the wind cannot knock you over, because you’ve set deep roots that hold you in place. In relationships with people, you may be tested through disagreements or arguments that provoke you to respond in a way that is unethical. You resist the temptation because your desire and beliefs in not projecting an action that is not ‘like’ you are spiritually deep rooted! You have learned things to do so that you don’t respond! —like remain quiet, walk away, etc…(Help me Lord….I’m still working on this but I do not respond nearly as much as I use to!…Okay….just had to testify real quick! I don’t want to give the impression that I have mastered this!)

But a few scriptures that correspond to the point of this proverb that I love are:

Psalm 1:3 “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not witherwhatever they do prospers.”

Jeremiah 17:8 “They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

 Wow….did you catch that in the scriptures? Both made mention of a key point…that nothing stops the TREE from bearing FRUIT!!! Despite the change in conditions (heat, drought, etc.) it is PLANTED or ROOTED! WHEW!!!!!

My Prayer: God, please plant and root me in your WORD! No matter what storm comes and no matter how strong the winds are, I shall not be MOVED! I thank you God for endurance, steadfastness, forgiveness, humility, peace and LOVE. For Love covers ALL! As I approach this new year of 2016, help me to grow deep roots in the characteristics of you!

In Jesus Name I pray…AMEN!

Happy New Year Nugget Blog#3

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