The Branch

My mom and step dad were cutting down bushes and trees a week or so ago. After they were finished, they loaded all the limbs onto his truck and placed them on the side of the road. After a couple of days went by, I noticed the leaves on the branches looked completely different. All the leaves looked dead, dried out, and lifeless. I thought to myself us humans are the same way. When we detach ourselves from God or his word we get dried out and dead. God is the vine and we are the branches. Just like trees we need sunlight and water, we need God and his word. If we do not have these then we will get dried out, lifeless, and dead. John 15:5-6 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” This really spoke to me because the past few weeks I admit I got tired and dried out. I wasn’t reading my bible like I should have and I got lazy in many areas of my life, my blog being one. My job was getting the best of me and draining me. No matter what happens in your life, we must remain in the Lord and in His word. The scripture says if we remain in Him we will bear much fruit. God will give us strength and power. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We can’t afford to let our lives slip away and to get lazy. We must press on and especially stay connected to Him and His word.

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Your Good Season

Your Good Season

I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Psalm 145:1-2 NIV (New International Version)

It’s easy as humans and Christians for us to stop doing things when life is going good. Some people don’t pray as much when things are going good in life. Students may not study as hard when a class is going easy, or you may not do all your supposed to do at work if things are going okay without you performing your duties. I have observed this from myself, family, friends, and coworkers for the past three weeks so I know these are facts. We don’t do it intentionally, it just happens. When things are going well, we feel because they are going so good that we can stop trying extra hard and it doesn’t work like that. True enough for a couple of weeks it won’t show, but a month or so later it will. Especially with prayer. When all hell is breaking loose we are prayer warriors, but as soon as life starts sailing smoothly we stop praying as much. I admit I am guilty of this, but I figured out a way to stop it and it’s one word. Consistency. We have to be consistent in everything we do. Like the scripture above says I will praise your name every day and forever. No matter how smooth life is going you should still pray and thank God. Honestly, we should be praising God more and thanking him for letting us go through a “good” season. God uses good seasons so we can learn to praise him just because. Keep praying no matter what, keep worshiping every day, keep doing your job like you’re supposed to, study every day. Use your good season to grow and become who God wants you to be so when the storm comes you don’t have to prepare yourself, you’ll already be prepared.

Thank You

Thank You

My God, whom I praise, do not remain silent, for people who are wicked and deceitful have opened their mouths against me; they have spoken against me with lying tongues. With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer. Psalm 109: 1-4 New International Version (NIV)

For the past three weeks, this has been my passage to study, along with two other scriptures, but this was my favorite. Not only was this my passage to study, but I was living it. I was faced with a situation where I was attacked for no reason. A person was being deceitful towards me, lying on me, and having hatred towards me for no logical reason.  It wasn’t until this past Saturday that I realized what God was doing. God was testing me and I am very proud of myself because I passed. I admit I stressed for about two or three days, but the problem went on for about two and a half weeks. God spoke to me and said you are going through this so that at the end everyone will know I am God and I am the one who delivered you from this. The problem wasn’t about me at all, it was to show that God is almighty and in control. There was nothing I could do about the situation, only God could fix it. God showed up and showed out. God removed the person from my life completely and the situation was deleted. I want to say thank you to the person who tried to block my blessing. Thank you for being deceitful, thank you for lying on me, thank you for having hatred towards me. Through the whole process I became a prayer warrior, I learned to give it all to God, and I learned to truly love my enemies. I learned so many more lessons in those two weeks that I couldn’t thank God enough for. It was rough at first, but after I began to pray every day and trust God, it got easier every day.   Whatever you may be facing, trouble, enemies, co-workers, family members, etc. You have to stay positive, speak positive things into existence, and pray. Prayer changes everything and I believe that 100%; God it worked for me so I know it will work for you. I owe all the glory to God for fixing my problem. What the devil tried to use to destroy me, God used to build me up. No matter who tries to block your blessing or come between your blessing it won’t work. What God has for you is for you.

Freedom Friday with Taneshyia Smith

Lady Chic Boutique is the place to shop! Owner Taneshyia Smith born and raised in Opelika, AL is on a mission to let everyone know that “style is who you are.” Taneshyia who loves to enjoy outdoor activities and traveling has a passion for fashion.  Just being able to look at different fabric and knowing the correct terms and knowing the history gives Taneshyia a thrill. Taneshyia has always wanted to have her own store and plans to have a store front location in two years. First, Taneshyia began researching other boutiques and asked God to direct her and place someone in her life with an entrepreneur mindset and a month later she met her boyfriend, who is an entrepreneur. Taneshyia got the name for her boutique because she wanted something to describe her; therefore, Lady Chic Boutique was born.

There are many boutiques around the area that are located online and storefront. You may be wondering what makes Lady Chic one of the best? She’s affordable. Taneshyia says that she’s  looking to lower her prices very soon to reach a wider audience. Taneshyia is very hands on in her business and selects all her own pieces. She provides the best customer service and believes that once you display good customer service your customers will return. One thing I personally love about Lady Chic Boutique are the raffles. Taneshyia says she does raffles to build clientele. Although building a clientele was challenging at first, Taneshyia seems to have that under her belt now and can focus on building her business. Taneshyia also just had a pop-up shop to allow customers to try on the merchandise before they buy. Taneshyia stated that she gets the most joy knowing that her customers are pleased with their items and the customer service that she provided. To shop with Lady Chic Boutique, you may reach her at 334-524-6405, in person at 506 Dunlop Drive Opelika, AL 36801, or online at ladychicboutique

Don’t Worry Be Happy

Don’t Worry Be Happy

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Philippians 4:6 (New Living Translation)

I’m sure everyone is familiar with the song “Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin.  I’m also sure that either a love one or a preacher has used the expression if you’re going to pray don’t worry, and if you’re going to worry don’t pray. One thing for sure is that it is easier said than done to just be happy and not worry, or to pray and not worry. We are all humans and it is common to worry and think about problems that we face but we must trust God and do our best to not worry and let God do his work. Like the scripture above we are instructed to not worry about anything, but instead pray. I was faced with a situation last week and I struggled with this very thing, but I finally grasped it after a few days. Every time I would get a thought in my head about worrying I would say God I trust you, let the thought go away. It took time, but I eventually let the problem go. There are so many problems that we face, but most of the time there is nothing we can do to fix the problem, and that is when our faith is tested the most. Like Bobby says in his song, “in your life expect some trouble, when you worry you make it double.” We can’t spend all our lives worrying about everything. We must simply leave it with God and trust him. This week don’t worry, be happy everyone!

Be Patient

Be Patient

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”  Psalm 27:14 English Standard Version (ESV)

We have all heard the saying patience is a virtue, but what does it really mean? A virtue is a behavior, so having patience as a virtue simply means to have the behavior of patience.  And patience is a virtue means the ability to wait for something without getting angry or upset, this is a valuable quality in a person. We all long to have patience or be a patient person, but it is sometimes hard. We want things done immediately and we don’t like to wait, but the bible says wait for the Lord and be strong. Maybe you’re praying to God and he’s not answering, but wait for the Lord. Maybe you’re facing difficulty at home, on your job, or at school, wait for the Lord. No matter what you are facing be patient and wait for the Lord. For He holds everything in his hands. Be strong, keep your faith, and wait for the Lord.

Do the Right Thing

Do the Right Thing

 “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” James 4:17
New International Version (NIV)

We all know right from wrong, but the problem is when we know right from wrong and still decide to do wrong. The scripture above says if anyone knows the good they ought to do and do not, then it is sin. Sometimes I get worked up when I see others doing wrong and I know they aren’t doing the right thing, but it is not my job to worry about that. God sits high and looks low and he knows our every move. We should all do the right thing to please God and because it shows integrity.  When we do the right thing, God blesses us and it pleases him. This week I challenge everyone to do the right thing, and if you run into others that aren’t doing the right thing just pray for them and run your own race.

Freedom Friday with Iesha Dunn

I believe that it is important to support small businesses and especially our small black businesses. One small business I stand behind firmly is Bow Couture Designs By Iesha. She’s professional, her work is amazing, and she’s an overall great business owner.

Iesha Dunn, 25-year-old native of Opelika, Al has one child by the name of Karrington. Iesha is also a recent graduate of Troy University where she received her degree in Social Work. Iesha is training to be a social worker in Opelika and she’s planning to continue her education next year. Iesha enjoys crafting, sewing, shopping, traveling, and spending time with close friends. Iesha’s biggest passion is being able to express herself through her business. Iesha started her business just 5 years ago as a hobby. Iesha started off making hair bows for a relative and everything went from there! Iesha taught herself how to monogram and do different designs. Iesha currently specializes in t-shirts, tutu sets, tumblers, custom hair bows, event decorating, and many more!

Iesha is passionate about her business and you can tell through her work. Iesha says she loves what she does because it gives her a chance to keep her mind fresh and creative while she gets to do different designs every day and work on different products which all giver her joy. Iesha says she loves her customers and some of them get birthday outfits from her every year and she enjoys seeing them grow up. What makes Iesha different from other monogramming shops around here you may be wondering. Well, Iesha is the sole owner and creator of all her work! Yes, Iesha does it all by herself, and she doesn’t do it for the money, she does monogramming because she enjoys it. While all business owners face challenges Iesha says the hardest part of running her business was running it while finishing her last year of college. Iesha was in school, running her business, working two jobs, doing an internship, and on top of all that raising her daughter as a single parent. Can you say wonder woman?

Iesha’s daughter is her biggest inspiration being her model, fashionista, strength and reason to keep striving. Iesha has a great support system including her boyfriend and family. Iesha doesn’t stop at custom work, but also does event decorating. Iesha started doing event decorating during her pregnancy. Iesha planned her own gender reveal and developed the love there. Iesha says her favorite event to decorate is baby showers.

Iesha says that God and her vision keeps her going. She knows that God gave her a gift for a reason and she wants to continue to use her gift. Iesha plans to open multiple store front locations and expand her business beyond belief. Not only that but Iesha wants to teach her daughter how to be a boss, that’s something that money can’t buy. Iesha’s biggest advice is her favorite bible scripture, “Be anxious for nothing, but in ALL things, make your request known to God.” Iesha stated, “the reason why I provide that advice is because there will be days you want to give up, you will feel disrespected by clients, you will feel like your craft isn’t good enough, but God will provide. If it’s meant for you, no one on earth can take it from you.”

You can reach Iesha Dunn on Facebook , Instagram: @bow_couture13 or email: bowcouture13@gmail.com

God’s Positioning System (GPS)

God’s Positioning System

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 New International Version (NIV)

 One thing I know I have a hard time grasping as a Christian is that God sends us through storms and not just the devil.  God uses storms for our good to help shape and mold us, but no matter the storm we must remember that God is in control. I like to think of God as my GPS or God’s Positioning System. No matter where I am in life I have to remind myself that God has me there for a reason. God has everything under control and just knowing that should bring a peace over us.

Just like a real GPS, God has our final destination mapped out. All we must do is follow His directions. Even if we face road blocks, detours, and speed bumps it’s okay because God has everything mapped out. Like the scripture above says even though I walk through the darkest valley I will fear no evil, for you are with me. We will face some dark times and valleys, but the good thing is that God is with us every step of the way. Stay encouraged and know that you are on God’s Positioning System and you are right where he wants you.

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