The Value of Connections

God has wired us to be interdependent with each other while being completely dependent on Him. He uses people to assist us in our life journeys. We need one another to survive. We need one another to be fruitful. We are the body of Christ. The Word explains how we need to work together by likening us to a physical body. The hand can’t say to the foot, “I have no need of you” because every part in the body is necessary. This principle of connection is the essence of what took place in the garden. Adam needed to be connected to another human to complete the assignments God gave him. Though the man walked and talked in the cool of the evening with God, Adam needed to be joined to someone of his kind to be more fruitful in life.

Jesus understood the value of connections. He said, “I am the vine; you are the branches…apart from me you can do nothing.” Our entire existence and capacity to flourish relies on our connection to God and the relational exchange that affords us. In Him we live, move, and have our being.  Apart from Him we are nothing, but in Him all things are possible! There are endless scriptures that stress the importance of relationships and that we are not islands unto ourselves. King Solomon, renowned for his wisdom, said, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.”
Excerpt From: Michelle McKinney Hammond. “Getting Smart About Life, Love, and Men.” Harvest House Publishers.
[Available for purchase on Amazon,iTunes, GooglePlay & others. For more information, visit www.MichelleHammond.com]
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Trust God

My friend, You may not always understand the way God moves in your life. At times His denial may even seem cruel. But I encourage you to always trust that He knows best. That He has considered what you can handle and, based on those calculations, He determines the path that is best to fulfill His purposes and your destiny. When you can’t see God’s hand, trust His heart toward you, which is always focused on working all things for good. The more you are able to rest in Him and trust His motives, the happier and more fulfilled you’ll be.

Excerpt From: Michelle McKinney Hammond. “Getting Smart About Life, Love, and Men.”

[Available for purchase on Amazon, iTunes, GooglePlay & others. For more information visit www.MichelleHammond.com]

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Your Hope

The only power the past should have in your life is the ability to teach as you move forward. The past is not your present…not your future. Don’t listen to any lies that tell you life seldom changes. That life will never get better. That you are doomed to repeat your story. These are all lies from the enemy to hide the truth of God’s promises to you.

True, life isn’t easy. But it wasn’t meant to be. It was meant to prove us, purge us, and refine us to be even greater than when we started out on this journey. Yes, chastening for the moment does seem grievous, but it eventually bears the peaceable fruit of righteousness if we allow God to finish what He started in us. You don’t want to stop. You don’t want to lie down on the job of life. I encourage you to continue to trust God in spite of how you feel or what you see.

Excerpt From: Michelle McKinney Hammond. “Getting Smart About Life, Love, and Men.”
[Available for purchase on Amazon, iTunes, GooglePlay.  For more information, visit www.MichelleHammond.com]
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How to Deal with Haters

This truth may save your life, dear sister. There will always be people who don’t see your value or recognize your worth. Understand that others may try to superimpose their insecurities over you and try to rob you of your security. They may despise your confidence. The very thing they envy about you is what they’ll try to destroy. Be still before them and let God handle it. Give God room to intervene. Don’t cast away your confidence in Him. He is with you even when you feel alone in your struggle. He will take your part when you walk with Him.

Unapologetically, I am,
The Cushite
Excerpt From: Michelle McKinney Hammond’s “Getting Smart About Life, Love, and Men.”
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Woman to Woman: Lot’s Wife

Un-forgiveness, bitterness, and unresolved disappointment is quicksand. It sucks us in and roots us to the spot. It halts progress—our ability to let go and move on. A weariness blankets our souls and smothers the will to live, to move, to shake off the past, and to see the present for what it is. This weariness is subtle, insidious, and dangerous. We have a tendency to romanticize the past no matter how bad it really was. We prefer the leeks and onions we knew rather than the unfamiliar manna God serves us in the midst of transition. We resist where God is taking us because we prefer to cling to what we know. Like Lot’s wife, we can all get stuck. Stuck in the past. Stuck on the idea of how life was supposed to be. Stuck on what we didn’t get. Just plain ole stuck. But in those instances the only people who really get robbed are us. Life goes on for everyone around us. It certainly did for Lot and his daughters. You see, others get hurt when we get stuck too. Life isn’t just about us. It’s also about the parts we play in the lives of the people we interact with to complete the greater picture of God’s design for us all. If we will just persevere long enough, God will bring us through the difficult places so we can reach the oasis He has in store for us.

Excerpt from Michelle McKinney Hammond’s Book: “Getting Smart About Life, Love and Men.”

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The Other Side of Being The “Other Woman”

“My friend, if I could leave you with one single thought it would be this: Never fool yourself into thinking you have the right to take someone else’s husband. That is a war no woman can ever win. If you take him, you will live with shame and fear all your days. The shame you may be able to get past in time, but the fear will steal your peace. You’ll be constantly reminded that stolen goods come with no guarantee of remaining yours. Loving someone else’s husband brings death to your dream of “to have and to hold forever amen” a shining, gallant prince who will carry you away on his steed with sweet promises, forever loyalty, and the intent to love you as God intended. It puts an emptiness in your eyes that should not be there and robs you of the security God wants every wife to have. Yes, wait. Hold out for the husband who will be truly yours. The one God gives you.”

Single-heartedly,

HAGAR

Excerpt from Michelle McKinney Hammond’s Book: “Getting Smart About Life, Love and Men

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Woman to Woman

Whatever your regrets, know this: Not one of your experiences in life is wasted. God uses all your mistakes and failings to reveal a greater picture of Himself and the redemption He so generously offers. Though He breaks you, He will also bind your wounds so you will become stronger than ever in Him. And yes, you will become even wiser. It is your Father in heaven’s good pleasure to give you His kingdom. He wants you to experience righteousness, peace, and joy through the Holy Ghost—all the things that are conducive to leading rich and fruitful lives filled with more than you can imagine. Is it possible for your dreams to come true right here on earth? Absolutely! But only as you learn to rejoice within the safe confines of the garden God provides.

Excerpt from Michelle McKinney Hammond’s Book: “Getting Smart About Life, Love & Men

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Tribute to Lady Milan…

Today marks the 7th day of Milan’s passing so I though I would render one final but certainly not the last tribute to her. Teh pathology report revealed her colan had gotten irritated and twisted causing complications that eventually brought her passing. It has been a strange week. There is most definitely a large and greatly felt void at my house and her presence is sorely missed. the out pouring of love and memories of Milan have been both heartwarming and comforting. It has been bittersweet but also very profound. I reflected on my own feelings and the countless comments and found a common strain. Milan left no one she met unchanged.She definitely had her own ministry going on.smile emoticon She was an evangelist in her own right. If you didn’t like dogs you loved them by the time you left our house she made sure of that. Many went off and got a dog after an encounter with Milan. So whether you liked dogs, didn’t like them or merely weren’t interested, as one of my male friends put it. “Milan turned me out.”
She was a human trapped in a dogs body. A true princess. She was opinionated. Knew what she liked and didn’t like. She loved pink. Gravitated to it in all things. She didn’t like sadness. Would not leave you alone until she was certain your mood had lifted. She was a nurturer, very sensitive to others and their state of being. Fastidious, feminine, careful, thoughtful, calculating, obedient and always genteel. A true lady. She was well traveled- from Vegas to New York, Texas, LA and even Africa. Stayed at all the finest hotels from the Ritz to the Four Seasons, Westins, Hiltons and Omni’s. Met people from all walks of life and rubbed paws with everyone from the rich and famous to people on the street. She appeared in commercials and television shows.
She lived the life! She got her hair done more than me and slept with more men than me definitely! Hah! Yes Milan slept around (chuckle) She lived for a belly rub. She made sleep look so good. It was the only time she was unladylike. Rolling onto her back, her underside exposed to the world as she snored like a man… She loved food and a good breeze on the front porch. She had a driver, housekeeper, cook and security guard whom she greeted daily. What was there not to love about life if you were Milan. And what was there not to to love about her if you were us.
To all who have recounted their Milan stories to me over the last week as even grown men cried I thank you. It is a fitting tribute to a truly rare little one. She was a living lesson about life, love, God and faithfulness.
Perhaps my most profound lesson from Milan is how many lives she touched and changed without ever saying a word. She simply was who she was and that was amazing enough. She was truly a little gift from God. A special kiss to me. The only problem with angels is they die too soon.

Proverbs 12:10 (GW) A righteous person cares [even] about the life of his animals, but the compassion of wicked people is [nothing but] cruelty.

Milan Pink Sweater - Version 2 Black & White- Milan MilanBoth in Trouble41iDIf7T8oL._AA160_

 

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The Price of Entitlement: Eve

Though we were made from dust, God breathed His life into us. We are more spirit than flesh. Our spiritual state will always be subject to physical repercussions while we’re here on earth. My friend, believe me in this. I am talking to you not only as a sister, but as the “mother of all the living.”  5 This is one thing that did not change as a consequence of sin. My purpose remained in spite of my sin. God’s agenda was greater than my own.

That being said, you know my genes lie resident in you. You will have the same inclinations. I noticed this in my first two children. I grieve over the fact that my son Cain murdered his brother Abel. In a similar way, I’m aware that I’m guilty of bringing death to humanity both spiritually and physically because pleasing God wasn’t my first desire.

So, girlfriend, I hope that you’ll heed my advice and avoid some of the mistakes I made. I’m glad I have the opportunity to share with you because that eases the pain of the consequences for my sin. I’m glad I get to tell you what I’ve learned. God gave me everything pertaining to life and godliness, but I pressed past His provision because I believed a lie.

Don’t believe the hype anyone tells you about being your own person, about being the master of your own ship. Don’t believe the master tempter. You don’t owe yourself anything. What you deserve you really don’t want. I’m telling you this from experience.

I encourage you to stay grateful for God’s blessings. Resist invitations that appeal to the spirit of entitlement within you. Embrace God’s choices for you, and avoid the things He says no to. His instructions lead to abundant life, love, joy, and peace when you trust Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. God’s choices for you will bear more fruit than you’ll ever be able to harvest apart from Him.

And whatever you do, don’t entertain serpents! They are beautiful but deadly.

I remain your sister in timely surrender,

Eve

*An excerpt from Michelle McKinney-Hammond’s Book: “Getting Smart about Life, Love, & Men.*

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Grammy Wars

Much has been said about Beyonce singing “Precious Lord” at the Grammys, My take is basic. Ledisi sang the song in the movie and should have sung it on the Grammys, it has nothing to do with what Beyonce has sung before or any of that. She posted an explanation for why she wanted to sing the song but totally disregarded that she robbed someone else of a moment that she has already had. The height of Girl Power is unselfish support of other women, especially if you have already made it where they are trying to go.
I think Beyonce is extremely talented, gifted, amazingly beautiful and probably a very sweet person. I think she has gone through a lot, maintained her sweetness and flawless image and I am a fan. However I am deepy disappointed that she does not guard her own gifting more closely or realize who she really is. She is far above the level of most of the singers today and yet she compromises her standards in a way that threatens to erode her legacy in years to come. She can actually really sing, therefore she does not have to lower herself to raunchy standards. She giftings put her in line to be an icon. She should be on the level of a Diana Ross and other legends, therefore she should retain a class act.
Only those who don’t really have the chops and sing like her need to resort to questionable lyrics and videos to get noticed, she is not of that caliber. It ruins her witness as a Christian and makes others question her commitment to God. God has standards and those who identify with Him are responsible for representing Him in a way that does not make us wonder if you really know Jesus.
I am not impressed with people praying before doing a show, that means nothing if your life does not align with your prayers. Jesus said many would say Lord, Lord we cast out demons in your name and He would say “I never knew you.” So no I don’t mind if Beyonce sings gospel or secular. I just want her to know her value and maintain standards that will solidify her legacy and not make people question if she really knows God or not. The Word says blessings and cursing cannot proceed from the same fountain. It is time for those who call themselves Christians to be more careful. Our lives are the only Bible some people read and the world knows what knowing God should look like even if they don’t want to live it themselves. Saying God knows your heart is old and tired. He does not compartmentalize our intentions from our actions. As a Man or Woman thinks in her heart so is she, so there is no separation. What everyone wants is Gods approval and anointing on what we do. Don’ t forget the devil will anoint also, in order to bind, deceive and destroy you. Don’t be lulled into thinking every success is God’s blessing. Every good thing is not God. We need to stop worshipping people who can’t help but disappoint and center all that worship on God who never disappoints. If we defended the cause of Christ the way we do stars we adore it would take Christianity to a whole different level where an impact would be felt on the world!

Have you read “The Power of Being a Woman” by Michelle McKinney Hammond? Get your copy today by logging on to her website at michellehammond.com or amazon.com

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