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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The Power of Wisdom

“People ruin their lives with their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.” Proverbs 19:3-4 (NLT) Let’s face it. God and the devil get blamed for many things that are not their fault. God has given us a tremendous gift along with His generous grace. it is called the gift of choice. Our choices are determined by our mindset. What we know as well as what we don’t know. This is why the Word of God encourages us with all our getting to get an understanding. Be able to count the cost of your decisions and determine your steps based on your projections.
The price and the cost of a thing are two different matters. The mortgage is the price of the house but the upkeep is the cost you will pay time and time again. The wedding is the price of a marriage but the maintenance of that relationship is the cost you will continually pay. Have you budgeted for the cost of your decisions? It is no accomplishment to acquire a mate or something you’ve wanted to purchase. It is an accomplishment to be able to keep and maintain what you have acquired long term.
Wisdom is the principle thing needed to make all decisions in life.
It is wisdom that gives you good judgement, knowledge, discernment, common sense (sense is definitely not common) success, insight and strength. These are the seven pillars Wisdom built her house on and these things helped it to stand. Before God created anything he created Wisdom because wisdom was needed to establish all things. This is why there is safety in a multitude of sound council. And it is stated that a fool despises correction. Wisdom will add years to your life. if you become wise you will benefit, but if you despise wisdom you will suffer. Prov 9:10
I would dare to say that most of the stress people suffer from that affects their health comes from bad decisions and the negative consequences of foolish choices fueled by lack of knowlege pride and strife. All of these things are self destructive.
This is why I love the Word of God. He promises to be a lamp unto your feet and a light on your pathway. God is relevant and will instruct you in the way that you should go. A path that leads you to the desire of your heart– victory in every area of your life. When you embrace His Wisdom you will find life and favor. but those who miss it injure themselves and suffer the death of the very things they longed for. In this new year let us make a deliberate choice to embrace wisdom. Wisdom may not always look attractive at the onset but it will give you the greatest joy in the end.

Read the latest book by Michelle McKinney Hammond, “Getting Smart About Life, Love and Men”. Log onto her website michellehammond.com for more information.

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Who Is Lord? God or Satan?

Recently I went to visit a church. After a wonderful time of worship the pastor stepped forward. Without even acknowledging God or mentioning Him in any capacity he launched into full-blown warfare binding devils, witches and every principality he could think of. You could feel the atmosphere change and not for the good. As he continued he finally managed to corral the congregation via guilt and whipped them up to a fine frenzy that looked and sounded like Baal worship by the time it was over.
I stood in fascination. All I could think was I wondered how God really felt about what I had just witnessed. I thought how would I feel if someone came to my house marched past me and spent all their time shouting orders at my servants without acknowledging me? After all if they acknowledged me it would take one word from me for my servants to do what they desired by my bidding.
Jesus said to take his yoke because it was easy and his burden is light. Yet a lot of believers make serving God a lot harder than God ever intended. They work as if working for an idol made of wood who cannot respond or help them instead of approaching a merciful and interested Father God who has invited us to cast our cares on Him because He cares for us. This same God says the battle is His not ours. To be still and know that He is God. To stand fast and see the salvation of the Lord.
Yes the devil is real. Yes, he seeks whom he may devour. Yes he has power. Yes we need to respect that power and observe the right spiritual protocol when dealing with him. Yes it is true that we should not be ignorant of the devils devices and people perish for lack of knowledge. However all of this needs to be put into proper theological perspective. We must align ourselves with the knowledge of God and not pervert His principles based on culture, the occult, fetish or juju spirituality. God’s ways are not our ways. He says our lives will be transformed with the renewing of our minds, therefore we must cast off old mindsets and not try to blend them with the unadulterated word of God.
Though we battle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, rulers, and spiritual wickedness in high places. The inference is that we should not take the things that happen around us personally. We should know the source behind the occurrence and see with spiritual eyes the root cause. When we know what the root is we will have the right response. We will not draw back in fear, fall into depression, give into anger, bitterness and un-forgiveness because we are armed with salvation, truth, faith, and the word of God that will direct and navigate us through the circumstance to victory.
Knowing that the person who offends or hurts us is being manipulated by evil redirects your focus to not internalize what was done but to seek God for direction and victory.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Collossians 1:16-17
The bottom line is God has ultimate authority and power over even evil and uses it all for His own purpose to complete His plan. The devil is a created being under the thumb of God though he seems to run rampant. He has already defeated the devil and the devil knows it. Believers also need to know it and keep him and his works in perspective.
Let us do the math. The devil led one third of the angels from heaven. This leaves two thirds of the heavenly host aligned with God, plus all the believers on earth. The devil is outnumbered! He is neither Omnipotent nor Omnipresent. He does not have time to harass you 24-7. He can’t continue to barrage you unless you give him a point of entry. That point of entry is sin. A curse without cause cannot alight. The prophet Balaam said “I can not curse what God has blessed.” When we submit to God and resist the devil he will flee from us. This is one act, not two. Submission to God is automatic resistance to the enemy. He cannot get to us when we are aligned with God. Our obedience becomes the secret place of the most High so that we abide under the shadow of the Almighty. His presence is a fortress that protects us from the enemy, where no weapon formed against us can prosper.
Jesus stripped the devil of all power. When he died, he descended and took the keys of Hell and Death. Satan can’t even go to hell without the permission of Jesus. Jesus has to let him in! No one can die until their appointed time appointed by God. Hell and Death belong to God. Therefore we don’t have to live in fear of anything because to be absent from the body is to be present with Christ.
God says that He will contend with those who contend with us. Trouble those who trouble us and rebuke the devourer for our sakes. The battle is not ours but it is the Lords’. What then should be the focus of our contention? We are instructed to contend for the faith.
So what do we believe? God is Sovereign. We are not subject to the devil. Neither do we have to spend all our time talking to, yelling at or rebuking the devil. There are seasons and times for that. As we are directed by the Holy Spirit in prayer He will call our attention to what we need to confess. But it is God that does battle for us in this dispensation. His battle on our behalf is empowered by our obedience to Him. As the devil operates in legalities he can only attack that which is uncovered. God will not and cannot justify or cover sin. The devil has become a decoy from our own sin. We no longer want to be responsible for our choices, therefore it is easier to say it is the devil instead of claiming ownership for our circumstances.
If we look at history there were only two times that the Israelites went into battle. One, when claiming the promises of God, and two fighting for freedom from their enemies. When they fought to claim the promises of God, God fought for them and won the battle for them. When in bondage to their enemies the cause was always because they had sinned. It was their own sin that lead to their enemies overpowering them and taking them into bondage. When they cried out to God, he taught their hands to war so that they would recognize the state of their own hearts, repent and appreciate the mercy of God and His blessing. Whenever they forgot and fell back into sin they were recaptured.
When we look at the story of Job it is clear that the enemy had to seek permission from God to attack him. God gave Satan permission but it was on the basis of the sins of Job’s children. Job made offerings for his children but he could not be their redeemer. Therefore the door was open for the devil to wipe them out when they sinned. They partied all day and drew their sisters into their feasts. However Job was seen as righteous in the eyes of God. God made a hedge around him and his household that the enemy could not penetrate. But grace was lifted from everybody else around him and they were no longer protected from the enemy. There always has to be an open door before the enemy can strike. In spite of all these great losses Job did not sin or lay charge against God foolishly. Job continued to worship God. He did not give into the influence of his wife or even his friends. This is why Satan was not given permission to kill Job. Satan was used by God to make Job even greater than before.
Every attack on our lives should purify us more. To every blessing there is a process. If we believe that when trouble comes we will remember that Jesus already fought and defeated the enemy in our lives. We are to stand armed with the word ready to submit to every Word that God has spoken. As Jesus did in the wilderness when tempted by the devil. Jesus took every curse on the tree. Arm yourselves with this truth. You are grafted into a new family. Free from generational curses. You now inherit the generational blessings of Jesus Himself as you have been made a joint heir. Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament therefore we live there no longer. We have entered the dispensation of grace that speaks greater truth. As we walk in obedience God builds a hedge around us. The only time it is lowered is when we ourselves choose to sin or if God chooses to take us through a process that will make us greater in order to receive greater blessing.
So let us look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. He is our focus. He is our strong tower the righteous run into and they are safe. Let us stop going through the motions and fooling ourselves into thinking we can really order the heavens around. It is not proper spiritual protocol. We have given the devil way too much credit. And not given God enough credit for being Lord of His creation. The devil was created and so are we. He is Lord over all. Let us become the worshippers He called us to be. He is looking for worshippers to worship Him in spirit and in truth. Not warriors warring for our own personal gain. He is calling for worshippers who want to further His kingdom agenda. When the kingdom is established we will all experience true peace and joy.

For more info log onto mchellehammond.com. Order a copy of Why Do I Say Yes Wnen I Need to Say No today!

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Start Moving and Inspiration Will Come

One of the most common misunderstandings that keeps us stuck is the belief that we need to feel inspired to get started. So we wait for inspiration. We wait to feel like moving forward before we move forward. Days, weeks, even months can pass without that feeling showing up, so we stay right where we are. Paired with that idea is often a simultaneous, erroneous belief that the people out there forging ahead– unstoppable in their progress –are somehow more inspired. Well, that is partly right. They are more inspired. But not for the reason we insist on believing.
Those who are more inspired didn’t get that way because inspiration finds its way to them more often. They are more inspired because they don’t wait for inspiration to move them. They understand that if they start moving, the inspiration will come. So they get moving. They start uninspired. They see the work that needs to be done and realize it must be tackled. They must dive in. They don’t always feel like diving in. They, too, are bombarded by more instant –gratification distractions. However, they have disciplined themselves to not be lured by those distractions – at least not for long.
This single piece of wisdom is worth taping to your desk or using as the background on your laptop or posting somewhere you can be reminded: Start moving and the inspiration will come.
Declaration – I choose to move toward that to which God is calling me. I don’t have to have all the answers up front. I just have to have the faith and self-control to get started.
If your blog is faith –based, feel free to use the prayer below:
Today, God, help me take a step forward. Right now. Not an hour from now. Not tomorrow. When I start moving forward in faith, inspiration comes. Thank You for what is about to happen as I take a step forward in faith! Amen.
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The First Step to Getting Unstuck

Stuck is a pattern of counterproductive thinking or behavior that results in your not moving forward to that which you desire. It is typically a result of internalized fear, confusion, chaos, overwhelm, being lost, lack of clarity, or pessimism. By this definition, being stuck is not something that happens one time. If you stumble once, get back up, and move on, your are not stuck. That’s a mistake. That’s life. But if you find yourself repeatedly in similar situations, struggling with similar challenges, then stuck is an appropriate description.
Maybe there isn’t any one event that seems to define your stuckness. Instead, stuck has become a way of life. You’ve gotten used to it. You may not even think of yourself as stuck anymore. You’ve rationalized that this is just how life is. But deep down, you know you are settling- and you’re really not okay with that, even when you try to convince yourself otherwise. You feel constant uneasiness – a lack of peace – about where things stand in your life. You are somewhat in God’s will, but you want to be perfectly in His will – and that’s going to mean making some shifts and changes.
The first step to getting unstuck is a simple one: Tell yourself the truth and behave based on that truth. Telling yourself the truth is a simple act, but one of the most courageous. It will set you free and on a path to a life that is absolutely unstoppable. Answer some simple but bold questions:
What are you afraid to admit?
What are you really afraid will happen if you take action?
Whose approval are you so afraid of not gaining that you forego your dreams, your vision, and your freedom?
What do you avoid for fear of facing the consequences of change?
What would you have to let go of in order to move toward the life God imagined for you?
I realize these aren’t easy questions, but I believe the answers lie within you. They are so powerful that when you answer them truthfully, your next steps begin to unfold in a big way.
Declaration – Today, I choose to listen to the divine inner wisdom that whispers the truth to me. I will not ignore it. I will not hide from it.
If your blog is faith-based, feel free to use the prayer below:
Lord, give me the courage to face the truth and not ignore it. Give me the faith to trust Your nudges when the truth makes me afraid. Empower me with boldness and courage to take actions that matter. Amen.
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