spiritual growth

Are You Coming In Or Are You Staying Out?

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6876E33D-053D-41C8-BD70-BD2F957F9AF4Are You Coming In Or Are You Staying Out?

I can remember on those hot summer days playing outside with my friends, we will make frequent stops at my house to either use the bathroom, get something cool to drink or going in and out “just because”. I can still hear my mom screaming from the inside of the house saying, “Are you coming in or are you staying out, because you are letting mosquitos inside the house!” My friends and I would quickly run out and shut the door behind us. My mom was very adamant about a decision being made and if we didn’t make it she was definitely going to make it for us. Having the door swinging open and close was never an ideal situation because not only were mosquitos a problem, so was her central air! Running your air conditioning unit in the summer was expensive and my hard working parents didn’t play that!

 

When I think about the importance of understanding the changes in relationships (platonic and personal), I feel like my mommy and her feelings on letting the air out. A decision has to be made. Either you are in or you are out. Managing and dealing with relationships changing is tough and sometimes down right difficult. Whether you have been friends over several years or made an acquaintance with someone fairly new that you are interested in, feeling like a relationship is starting to feel or become lukewarm has to be acknowledged but not necessarily addressed. This depends on the nature of the connection and the reason you may feel that it has reached an ‘in-between’ state.

Guess what? This is also the same way we deal with our personal relationship with God. We are in and out..just fickle… Sometimes we go to church and sometimes we don’t. We don’t pray and sometimes we do. We don’t read our bibles to gave knowledge and wisdom and sometimes we do. We don’t cultivate the relationship and build on desiring a deeper relationship with God for various reasons and then claim to not understand why we are not experiencing the fullness of God. The bible calls this behavior being ‘lukewarm.’

“So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” ~ Revelation 3:16

This is by no means a personal attack, so please don’t take it as such. Rather, think about the areas in your life where you know you could give God more because we ALL have them. Let me raise my hand FIRST! Just like you don’t care for someone who seems to be ‘in and out’ of your life, God feels the SAME way! As a matter of fact, He is so disgusted by this behavior that He says that he is about to spit you out of his mouth! What an analogy. Picture THAT!

Make a decision about who you desire to be in God. When you think about your relationship with God, does it represent growth? If it was a chart will it have multiple spikes of high and low points or will it be a curve (not a perfect curve), but one that shows an increase that shows that you are not the same person you was 20, 15, 10, 5 years or even a month ago?!? Don’t spend your life running ‘in and out’ of your ‘Daddy’s (The Lord) house. No, once you make a choice you then form conscious, intentional decisions to walk with God every step of the way. Life is short and at some point that door to life is no longer going to swing in and out….so where will you be? IN or OUT.

Xoxo Charlene Evans

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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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