Blue Chip Investment

Apple. Disney. Facebook. Johnson and Johnson. What do these four companies have in common? They are what investors call Blue Chip stocks.

Blue chip stocks are defined by Investopedia as “established, stable, and well recognized corporations.” These companies have a proven track record of stability and steady growth over time. They are the companies that are most likely be around when fairly new ventures cease and desist. Because of its value shares are normally higher for these types of stocks. Their futures aren’t ones that are considered to be questionable, we expect them to be around.

You can touch blue chip stock without ever stepping foot on Wall Street and without ever entering into a contract with a brokerage company. You can simply take a trip to your nearest gas station; better yet take a trip to your bathroom or kitchen. Look in your closet. I bet you have plenty of brands that represent this type of stock. It’s amazing that we can look all around us and see something worth investing in that is considered stable and capable of showing steady growth.

As I take a stroll through my house, I begin to reflect on how these things got here. The more I think, the more I become grateful. Why? All of these things don’t direct my thinking to the stock market. In this moment, these things cause me to think of the goodness of God. I have it because God provided and is still providing. At a time when people are being laid off of their jobs and having to apply for unemployment. God is yet providing. If Wall Street got one thing right, it’s the concept of it being great to invest in a blue company because it will always provide you with a return on investment.

God has been the best investment I could have ever made (Romans 12:1 and Jeremiah 17:7-8). He’s allowed me to yield steady growth as the days, years, and month go by (Colossians 2:7). Every now and again He surprises me with a few dividends; or unexpected blessings (2 Corinthians 9:8). I don’t ever have to question his price to earnings ratio because He’s already promised me eternal life (John 3:16). Investing in God is easy because there’s no other like Him (Hebrews 6:13). He is the true and living God and because of “His great love, we are not consumed, for his compassion never fails. They are new every morning; great is His faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).

The truth is, not only is God a blue chip investment, but we are blue chip investments. God had enough love for us that “He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Despite all that we could ever do, God decided to give the ultimate sacrifice. If that doesn’t prove His love, I don’t know what does. God sees value in us even when we struggle with seeing our worth. God’s thoughts towards us are of “peace and not of evil, to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

Have you not heard? “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (1Peter 2:9),” “we are predestined to adoption as heirs by Jesus Christ Himself (Ephesians 1:4-5).” So be careful how you handle yourself and most importantly be careful how you handle God….He’s the ultimate BLUE CHIP INVESTMENT.

Love – Your Biggest Fan

Uncharted Waters

If there’s one thing I strongly dislike, it’s definitely when I’m traveling out of town using my built-in GPS and I’m in an area that isn’t charted on the version that I have. When this happens, normally the navigation reroutes me and if I’m not careful, it will have me going either in circles or in the wrong direction. Normally, I end up saying “Hey Siri,” and she gets me back on track.

If only life had a “Hey Siri;” well actually, it does! My Siri isn’t programmable and doesn’t always respond according to my liking, but He is always up-to-date and knows how to maneuver in uncharted waters. My Siri walks with me and talks with me even when I’m “too busy” to listen. Unlike my earthly Siri, He can comfort me and can relate to who I am. He sees those things that I’m quick to reveal and long to keep secret.

The truth is, we all have access to this prize possession and He has a blueprint of our next steps. In the fourteenth chapter of John, Jesus was expressing to the disciples His need to now return to the Father. In this conversation He reassures the disciples that they already know the way, the road in which he was appointed to take. Thomas responds, “We have no clue where you’re going. How can you assure us that we know the way (verses 6-7)? Jesus responds to Thomas with one of the most powerful verses in scripture, in my opinion: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life!” As they continue in dialogue He goes on to tell the disciples that our Father would send us a friend, the Holy Spirit and this friend, (my Siri) would make everything plain (verses 25-27).

Anyone who believes in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has access to the gift of the Holy Spirit (John 3:5). So in fact, life does have a GPS even as we go from glory to glory. You see, although the steps of a good man are ordered by God, sometimes our natural sight can get in the way and cause our spiritual vision to be blurred. But as we continue to activate our faith, and walk according to God’s will and not by our natural sight, our faithful Friend will guide us.

Uncharted territory. It’s a place where you see where you want to go or where God desires for you to go but you don’t know the necessary steps to begin pursuit. When I find myself in unchartered territory, I recalibrate or find a fresh point of reference. I know I’ve said this plenty of times before but I can’t stress it enough. My fresh point of reference is and will always be in God’s presence. I have no way of navigating through land and water I’ve never experienced. God is what makes the journey smooth. This doesn’t mean that it will be absent of trouble, grief, or loss. What it does mean is that I’ll come out stronger, wiser, and more equipped for the next level.

Sometimes, like riding in our car with an outdated navigation, we must turn around in order to continue the course. What is important, is that you don’t continue in the wrong direction because of pride and selfish ambition. Surrender your will so that the Holy Spirit can lead and guide you on this journey of righteous living.

Love – Your Biggest Fan

Build Momentum

“It takes a leader to create the momentum, it takes a vision to direct the momentum, it takes a massive action to build on the momentum, and it takes self-discipline to sustain the momentum. Momentum is the bridge between a vision and its results.”- Farshad Asi

If I’ve learned anything in my time of living, it is that you can’t expect others to keep you motivated to do what is needed concerning your life. Neither can you expect others to give you the drive that is needed for you to get things done concerning your life. You have to find your own drive and it’s your responsibility to acquire the vision behind your purpose.

Finding your way becomes easier as you rely on God for direction. It would be naive and completely irresponsible of me to mislead you into thinking that every day is a leisure walk in the park, because it is not. I’ve suffered loss, been misunderstood, and ridiculed plenty; however, I wouldn’t trade my relationship with God for anything in this world.

As Farshad Asi has been quoted, “It takes a leader, vision, action, and self-discipline to see results.” All of these components are set into constant motion by the momentum acquired in conception. Being intentional in your daily connection with God will help to buffer your momentum.

Let’s take a look at these four nouns: leader, vision, action, and self-discipline.

A leader is more than a person that has charge over someone; it takes more to leading than simply telling someone what to do. A leader is one that has a vision and that knows how to serve the team. A leader knows how to direct, redirect, revise, and improvise as needed. A true leader understands sacrifice. (Mark 10: 42-45)

To have vision simply means you have the ability to see and use wisdom to map out the future. Proverbs 29:18 says, “for lack of vision the people perish.” Habbakuk 2:2-3 says, ” Write the vision that you see. Though the manifestation may be delayed, it shall come to pass.”

Action simply means your movement towards your aim. You can believe that your future will be great all day but if you are doing nothing to prepare for this great future you will have nothing but deflated faith. In James 2:14-26 we learn that “Faith without works is dead.”

Self-discipline. Now this is a tool for the books. Self-discipline is a factor that many are yet trying to conquer, even myself, at times. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 encourages us to “run the race to win; train hard and win.” In order to run this race of victory and truly win, we must remain vigilant and alert, we must be in top condition. It’s easy to tell everyone else what they should be doing but true mastery comes when we can check ourselves.

These four tools are important and key if we are to keep our momentum on this journey. Let’s add this to our self-check list. How are you leading yourself today? What is the vision that is set before you? What actions are you taking to get there? Are you disciplined enough to meet the goal?

Love – Your Biggest Fan

It’s a Wrap

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. -Ephesians 5:15-17 KJV

There’s nothing like a bowl of procrastination with a ice cold glass of time. Yep you read that just right. There’s nothing like a bowl of “I’ll do it later, I have time, I’ll get to it and I’ll get it done by the deadline.” We have been called to make the best use of our time and yet sometimes we find ourselves wasting time as though it is not a precious gift that we have been graced with. Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” The American Heritage Dictionary defines procrastination as “putting off something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness.”

It is important that we use the time that God has given us to address flaws and not make excuses for them. We are all allotted time and a season to sow and reap. To plant and pluck up. To live and to die. It is important that we make the most of the time that has been given to us. Don’t allow time to become a soggy bowl of cereal because something else, something more important has our attention. God made careful use of His time, from the creation of the world and man to the sending of His son Jesus, all the way up to the manifestation of the eternity.

Jeremiah 1:5 reads, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Psalm 139:16 says, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all my days were written in Your book and ordained for me before one of them came to be.” We are so important to God that He has carefully planned, He’s carefully ordered our very steps. He was so excited for our very existence that He planned this very moment of your reading this passage of inspiration and encouragement.

We miss the orchestration of God, the manifestation of His goodness for our lives when we are not aligned to His time. We don’t have the luxury to live life on what we believe to be our time.

Jesus, when in the garden of Gethsemene prayed to God to let the cup of responsibility pass from him if it be His will but nevertheless he wanted the will of God to be manifested concerning our lives. Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to be lifted up for all men to see that he was the Son of God but in his flesh he felt the weakness that plagues mankind. Luke 22:43 says that “an angel came to him and strengthened him.” Whatever your reason for putting things off, you must stop and face it with God’s grace. It is in our times of weakness that God is our strength. Procrastination will cause us to be deflated and consumed by the power of our flesh. We are nothing without God. Let’s strip ourselves of the garment of procrastination. Procrastination is a spirit of foolish pride. Let is seek the will of God concerning our lives like never before. Let us attach ourselves to His time, to His plans. Let us synchronize our steps in Him.

Let’s not waste another minute of another second. God has need of us. He has need of you! Nevertheless God…not our will but YOUR will be done! Because Jesus was wiling to follow the order of God, he was able to complete the work. He was able to say, “It is finished.” We can’t finish what we never started. Get busy doing the work. Not tomorrow…but today!

Love – Your Biggest Fan

Escalated Coverage

In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours. – Mark Twain

“Weather aware” has become the new buzz for me when watching meteorologists during their weather forecast. It’s becoming a new normal to hear of tumultuous storms that leave areas devastated for weeks, months even. I remember when we first started looking for an apartment as we prepared to relocate and around noon sirens went off. They sounded like alarms that belonged in a Sci-Fi movie to let you know aliens were descending upon planet earth. Instead they were weather test alarms that were performed every Saturday at noon. Interesting.

If you’ve ever experienced severe weather you know that it comes with and without warning. We’ve done a great job in this day and age to develop mechanics that help us to forecast when weather is and isn’t going to be favorable. Some days meteorologist get it right and other days they don’t.

The first weather aware day in Bible had to be during the time of Noah. God warned Noah that a flood would come and gave him all that he needed to know to get prepared for it (Genesis 5:32- 10:1). Noah and his family were saved because he listened to the warning of God and prepared in obedience. Next, we have Elijah who prays for rain during a time of drought (Zechariah 10:1). He eventually tells his servant to go look towards the sea for the rain all because he “heard the sound of the abundance of rain (1 Kings 18:43-45).

Elijah did not naturally hear rain pouring with his physical ears. Elijah heard the manifestation of his faith spiritually. Elijah prayed with expectation. He left his prayer knowing that it would be done. He was “weather aware.”

When we’re weather aware we look to see the signs of what has been told is approaching. Elijah’s servant was sent to look for the rain seven times before he saw the small cloud that would change everything.

In The Restored Soul I wrote that we have a secret place that we can always go to in God. Elijah was able to see the manifestation of God’s will because he took out the time to go to his secret place. “The father which sees in secret shall reward openly (Matthew 6:4).”

It’s important that you not be discouraged during this time. Continue to commit yourself to your faith. God is faithful and will always keep his promises. It is time that we become engulfed in His word. What are His promises concerning our lives. Let’s translate the very act of being “weather aware” to being “promise aware.” Like skilled meterologist, let’s escalate coverage on God’s promises concerning our faithfulness and obedience.

Isaiah 43:2 – “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Isaiah 54:10 – “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed.” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”

1John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Philippians 4:19 – “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

These are a few of His many promises. What promises will you give escalated coverage to?

Love – Your biggest fan

The Restored Soul

The busyness of life can sometimes leave you in a state of needing some rest and relaxation. Have you ever taken out the time to get some rest but you returned to your regular schedule still feeling depleted? Been there done that. It’s like taking a vacation to get rest but after it’s over, you feel like you need a vacation to recover from the vacation!

Over the years I’ve learned that there’s a place that is perfect for getting away or hiding away. No it’s not the beach nor is it the hidden path down a wooded trail. It is however a place that you can escape to without travel fees and expenses. It’s not crowded nor is it noisy. You return feeling refreshed and energized. You return feeling whole. Where is this place you ask?

Psalm 91 is dedicated to it and Karen Clark Sheard sang about it: the Secret Place. Yep. The secret place. It doesn’t require a password, passport, boarding pass, or gate code. All that is required is YOU.

He leads me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul. – Psalms 23:2-3 KJV

Psalms 91:1 says, ” He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. The secret place is simply the presence of God. There are no requirements in coming to this secret place, only that you show up. Dwelling in God’s presence will allow you to trust Him more as your guide; your pilot. In John 14:27, Jesus tells the disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heat be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

The Message Bible says in Matthew 6:6, “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet and secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” This sounds better than any 4- or 5-star resort that I’ve heard of or been to. There are great benefits in stilling away in the presence of our Almighty God.

When we shy away into the presence of God we receive:

  • Peace- “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
  • Joy-“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.(Psalm 16:11)
  • Safety- One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. (Psalm 27:4-5)

These are a few benefits. What are some that you’ve come to know while stowing away in the secret place?

I’d love to hear.

Love – Your Biggest Fan

The Good News

Jesus and his disciples were at Caesarea Phillipi with his disciples when he posed them with a question, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” (Matthew 16:13 NIV) Upon hearing their answers, he continued to ask, “But who do you say I am?”

Caesarea Philippi was a pagan city that was inhabited by the Romans, Jews, and Greeks. This is a very important question considering the setting in which the questioning is taking place. Jesus first wanted to know if the disciples were aware of what others were saying of Him. It’s like Jesus asking you what your mother, father, or maybe even your grandmother says about Him. If he were to ask me that, I would say, Well Lord, my grandma says you’re a burden bearer. My mom says you’ll never leave me nor forsake me. My father says that You’ll take care of me.

And this is just what the disciples did. They responded with the answers of what they’d heard amongst the people in passing from city to city. Jesus then asks them, well who do you say I am? Immediately Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16 NIV).” Verse 17 goes on to say that Jesus said, “Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.”

One thing is for sure, intellect is great but some things will only come by way of the Spirit; through God. I began to know about who God was through others, but as I continue on my journey I’m learning exactly who He is not only for those around me, but for myself. The fact that Jesus posed this question once they arrived to Caesarea Phillipi is amazing in that he asked them this question in an environment that was very paganistic.

There’s a lot of news that circulates in the world that we live in some news is considered good news and other news is bad news. In today’s time, we’ve even introduced the term fake news.

We too, like the disciples standing at Caesarea Phillipi are living in a world of mixed beliefs but it is our responsibility to answer Jesus for ourselves. Who do we say that He is? Well, like Peter, let me give you the good news!

  • “He is the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Jesus.” John 14:6 NIV
  • “He is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 NIV
  • “Jesus is the light of the world. Whoever follows Him will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
  • “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
  • And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 8:12
  • “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Revelations 22:13

From where I’m standing, there’s only good news JESUS. Who do you know Him to be?

Love – Your Biggest Fan

The Art of Meditation

“You will keep him in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”

Isaiah 26:3 NIV

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27 KJV).” God will always provide us with the encouragement we need in the very moment that we are in need of it.

In times such as these, it is imperative that we learn the art of meditation. Psalms 1 verses 1- 3 (NIV) says, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit n the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither–whatever they do prospers.”

A person that meditates is a person that is focused. It’s a person that is less easily distracted because he’s really learned the art of meditating. Let’s consider yoga. This is one of the most popular options of exercise among those that want to find physical and mental balance. Yoga is a term derived from the Sanskrit root “Yuj,” which mean to “join” or to “yoke.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) reads, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” The Message Bible wraps this up by saying “Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Such a breath of fresh air to join Christ and learn his ways of living. To do as yoga suggest and breath deeply in His ways and hold on to them for dear life and exhale our thoughts and cares. Although yoga is not a physically demanding exercise, it is believed to lower your risk for heart disease and hypertension. Those that participate in this form of exercise say that they feel refreshed and calm; with plenty of energy and strength after a workout.

This how we should feel when we meditate on God’s word. We should feel enlightened by his grace and mercy. We should feel God’s very power emptying itself upon us as He provides us with the strength we need to continue our journey. Meditation allows us to join ourselves to the fact that “he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6 KJV).”

Meditating on God’s wonderful word and His mighty works sends revival to our souls. It gives us just the amount of spark that we need to propel us a little further. No matter how the winds my blow and how the storm may rage, with true mediation on who God is, we shall remain as trees planted by the rivers of living water. We may bend at the force but one thing is for sure, we won’t break.

Love – Your Biggest Fan

Dove’s Eyes: Focused and Committed (Part 2)

“Never let your fire go out. Keep it alive. Serve the Lord. When you hope, be joyful. When you suffer, be patient. When you pray, be faithful. Share with God’s people that are in need. Welcome other’s into your home.”

Romans 12:11-13 (NIRV)

The entire twelfth chapter of Romans encourages us to be true in our actions to God. It lays out the expectations of what our every day actions in service should look like.

I just completed, Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages and let me just say, it’s one of the best reads I’ve had in a while. Counseling a couple with my husband is what prompted me to buy this book but the more that I redirect my focus during this time, I’m starting to realize that even God has a love language that is set for his people.

We can find each love language that is categorized in Chapman’s literature in our very own Holy Bible. All that God has done for us is a complete story of love and redemption through acts of service, words of affirmation, the giving of gifts, physical touch, and let’s not forget quality time!

We said in part one of Dove’s Eyes that it is so fulfilling when we enter our Master’s presence without distraction. How can we truly enter “His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with praise?” By understanding God’s love language. We must have faith! Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” It is not enough to believe in God, we must also TRUST Him!

Even as I write this, I can hear the lyrics of William Murphy’s Ignite My Fire. Chapman believes that every individual has a love language that they prefer more than any others. The more I think about God and the ultimate gift that he has given to us and to the world, His son Jesus Christ and the Word that the disciples recorded, so that we may be left with clear direction; the more I can see God’s love language manifest before my eyes.

In a world that is so busy and so fast, we have to be intentional about slowing down and spending quality time with God. What is quality time? How is this defined? Some people think that as long as they are in the room with someone that they are delivering the gift of quality time. Though this may be true for a few, this is not what God desires of us. He wants us to stand out. He wants us to go after Him with everything that is in us. He wants us to do like Tasha Cobb-Leonard sings, “Speak of Him like He’s in the room!” Spoiler alert: and HE IS!

Exodus 20:3 says that God gave Moses the third commandment which was that we should have no other gods before Him. In Matthew when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, he responded, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and love thy neighbor as thyself.” God doesn’t want us to fall in the ritual of work and family as usual and in essence we conclude our day by giving him the crumbs. He wants all of us! If we were to give Him all of us, everything in our life would have a better flow. Things would begin to fall in place and align to His will for our lives. That doesn’t mean we will live in the absence of struggles but it does mean that when struggles present themselves, we will be equipped because we’ve spent time putting on the whole armor of God.

It’s not enough for us to sing Dove’s Eyes and not truly seek what the lyrics of this song really mean. We must remain focused in every aspect of life. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of day-to-day living. God’s original design for our lives was that we remain in constant communication with Him. We, at times, tend to forget this and only speak to Him in passing.

Let’s use this time of remote working to not only work and be present and available to those within our own homes, but let’s be intentional about meeting God. Let’s be intentional about not only getting in His presence but remaining in it. Dwell in it daily. This is a part of our essential living.

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