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Inspiration, Spirituality

The Relationship Between God And Our Ambitions

We all want to achieve something in life.

Some people desire to launch their own businesses, some want to find that special someone they can marry and start a family with while others want to rid themselves of debt. When you really think about all the many desires we have as humans, the list could go on forever. The thing about these desires, or ambitions if you want to use another word, is that they don’t just come to life on their own. There is always some level of action that must be taken in order to see them come to pass.

The word ambition* means “a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.”

Personally I have many ambitions but making it to Heaven and being a mentally and financially thriving entrepreneur definitely are at the top of my list. I work hard everyday to reach these (and other) goals of mine. But yesterday after hearing a sermon at CityHeart Church, I realized that I’ve been doing it all wrong. There was once a time as and when I would get in my feelings about being corrected by the Word, but yesterday I felt like Pastor Kevin had screwed all of our metaphorical light bulbs on and given us the real key to success. (Sorry, DJ Khaled.)  Continue Reading

Entertainment, Spirituality, Videos

(VIDEO) #ToBeHonest: Freedom Of Belief (The Religion Episode Pt 1)

Religion is such a sensitive topic to discuss whether you’re around people who share your same beliefs or not – and that’s why we included it in our discussion for this week.

This episode comes at a great time with the recent passing of the controversial “religious freedom” bill here in Mississippi by Gov. Phil Bryant (also known as the Devil).

Check it out below.

What did you think about this week’s episode? Do you share similar beliefs with any of the cast members? Let me know in the comment section.

If you’d like to meet us and ask us questions of your own AND watch part two of our controversial religion episode, RSVP for our watch party by clicking here. Hurry! There’s a limited number of spaces available!

Spirituality, The Jessica Diaries, Videos

I Read My Bible 411 Times In A Year, Here’s What Happened

Last year for my birthday project (also known as 100 In A Year) I challenged myself to read the Bible at least 365 times in a year. Not only did I complete this challenge, I exceeded my initial goal by reading the Bible a total of 411 times!

I didn’t actually read it everyday, most of the time I read once in the morning and once at night. During this time, I can honestly say that I grew…A LOT…and in many aspects of my life.

I’m far from perfect but I’m a lot more connected to God than I used to be. In fact, I’d even say that back in the day as and when I thought I had a relationship with God I really didn’t. I didn’t read my Bible on a regular basis or try to understand any of what I heard in church beyond what the pastor was saying.

Watch my video below for an explanation of the things I learned.

This challenged has helped me learn how to figure things out and read the Bible for myself instead of relying on someone else to tell me how I should live each day. Call me stubborn or whatever, but I was tired of taking other people’s word LOL.

Do you read your Bible? What is your favorite story? Do you have a favorite biblical character? Share your thoughts and experience reading in the comment section below!

Spirituality, The Jessica Diaries

(VIDEO) The Jessica Diaries: Just Like Delilah

Tuesday I started a six-week online bible study called “Wicked Women of the Bible” and I’m already amazed at how thought provoking it has been in just one study session.

For this first week we studied the biblical character Delilah, who is most known for tempting her boyfriend, Samson.

Most of us have only heard negative things about Delilah but this study challenged me to think of her as more than just a temptress. I had to look at her as a person and find parallels in my own life…and I found out that I’ve been just like Delilah a time or two…maybe three…

But who’s counting?

Anyway, I normally write out my weekly “diary” articles but I felt that the written word wouldn’t do this topic justice so I decided to record a video instead.

Check it out below.

Now that you’ve watched my video, do you notice any similarities between you and Delilah as well? Have you ever been manipulative to get something you wanted? Share your thoughts with me in the comment section below. 

P.S. – If you’d like to study Delilah with me before next week’s lesson goes live, click here to be redirected to the Wicked Women of the Bible, Week 1 session. You can also download my free Biblical Character Study Guide here. Enjoy!

Inspiration, Spirituality

The Naomi To My Ruth

Are you familiar with the biblical story of Naomi and Ruth? While reading about Ruth’s story using my biblical character study guide I found an interesting connection to her that once again showed me how God has given us a blueprint for our lives through the Bible.

The name Ruth in Hebrew means friend, companion and vision of beauty. Based on her name, we can already tell that she was a loyal and beautiful woman and it foreshadows what we’ll learn about her and why she deserved her own book in the Bible.

Ruth was a young Moabite woman who’d become a widow, along with her sister-in-law Orpah, after the deaths of their husbands. She and Orpah were married to the sons of Naomi, who was also a widow. To make a long story short, Naomi decided to go back to her home and told her two daughters-in-law that they should go on their own way and find husbands to start their lives over. Orpah obliged but Ruth refused to leave her mother-in-law’s side. Naomi had become a counselor, friend and second mother to her over the years and she would die before she left her. The two women returned to Naomi’s home and after continuing to follow Naomi’s instruction and trust her God (Ruth’s people worshipped idols), God placed Ruth right in front of her future husband who would change her and Naomi’s life forever.

(Read more details about Ruth and Naomi’s relationship here.)

I have a relationship in my life where I’m Ruth and my Naomi goes by the name of Aunt Nette. I met her during late summer 2013 and I had no clue whatsoever the impact she would have in my life and the lives of those closest to me. Her first name isn’t Nette and she isn’t even my aunt but we share a connection that I can only describe as divine.

I was spending a lot of time with her nephew and occasionally we would go sit with her at her home and visit, sometimes hours at a time, several times a week. I don’t know what led to it but I eventually visited her without him one day and that’s as and when it all started.

She called me to her dining room table and told me about what it meant to be a “Proverbs 31 woman.” At that time I wasn’t even close to being the spiritual person that I am now. I knew God and I was beginning to follow Him but I wasn’t there yet; but because I wanted to make a good impression and I’m polite by nature, I listened to what she had to say and I took the paper that she gave me to read.

We quickly became friends and I started to trust her with intimate details about my life. Writing this post has made me realize that while she and I haven’t known each other very long, we’ve had so many conversations and gone through so much together that I can’t even remember how our bond became so strong…but it did.

She became a counselor to me and to this day, two years later, I talk to her every single day. If I don’t, I feel off. She’s taught me so much about Christ and about loving others and she is the person who led me to start changing my life. She keeps me focused on my purpose even when my emotions cause me to be sidetracked. I don’t always like or want to hear what she has to say (ask her, she’ll tell you) but I listen and I can tell you this, she hasn’t been wrong yet.

Aunt Nette always tells me that she went through the things she went through in her life just for me and I believe her. Although we are as opposite as Ruth and Naomi were, we are still so similar and connected. Even when her nephew and I are at odds, she’s still there and is as neutral as anyone in her position could be. The best part about our relationship is that the love we have for one another has been extended on both sides and our families have become connected as well.

One of these days I’ll go into detail about it (I always joke that it’ll be at my wedding LOL) but I love her like a second mother because she could never replace my mom, nor does she try to, and I’m so thankful to have her in my life. Just like Ruth, I’ve promised to never leave her and I know that God directed my steps (and hers) causing us to cross paths and change lives, including our own.

Your turn to talk…

Do you have a “Naomi” in your life? What about a “Ruth?” Share with me in the comments section! You can also download a FREE COPY of my biblical character study guide to use for your own personal study time by clicking here.