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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The Issue of Submission

No, it is not in mere men that we trust. Ultimately our faith must be placed in God. And being submissive is not about becoming a doormat. Neither is submission a passive posture. In fact, submission is an active decision to put yourself in a position to be blessed by God. Submission is being a team player, whether in your marriage, in your job, or in the church. It’s allowing someone else to lead at critical moments to that person’s benefit and your own. In marriage it is the highest form of cooperation. It is proof of your trust in God. When you’re married, submitting to your husband empowers him to take his rightful positions in the family—leader, provider, and protector.
Now, life does happen. Your husband may not always be able to fulfill one of those roles at particular times or seasons of his life. This doesn’t lessen who he is or what his roles are in the eyes of God. When your mate is struggling, take the opportunity to strengthen your relationship by building him up and trusting God to fill in the gaps.
Submission empowers you as a couple to move in mutual cooperation, taking one another’s weaknesses and strengths into consideration, so that life is balanced between you accordingly. What this looks like will vary from couple to couple. We need to never force our mates into a stereotype or mold that doesn’t fit them. Each of us have been given specific gifts, and not all of us have the same strengths. Based on this knowledge, you and your mate will determine how your household will run. For instance, you may be better with money than your husband, so the area of finance may be delegated to you. He may be better at negotiating, so making large purchases may fall within his area of responsibility.
The conclusive word on submission in the Word of God is that we are called to submit to each other. This means no one is above or below another. Instead, we’re matched strength for strength in the spirit of respecting, complementing, and honoring one another. No one is less than the other. Woman was created to be a “help meet” for man; therefore, she was created for a position of strength.
Contrary to modern belief, “submission” isn’t a dirty word and doesn’t call for subservience. To believe that it is those things is to fall into the trap the enemy has set for all human relationships. The devil wants to sow discord and disharmony. He wants us to be in conflict. But in God’s creation, whether it be in romance or employment, there must be order for ventures to be successful. There must be an acknowledgement of roles and positions. Even in heaven there is a hierarchy. So we need to be clear on our position and make no comparisons because we submit in God’s name so all praise and honor goes to Him.
When we seek power for ourselves, strife and evil wiggle into our relationships. But as we walk in the best interest of one another, we submit to one another in a way that creates harmony and synergy. Love and good fruit grow in this environment of trust and faith. As we see the power of submission at work in our lives, we’re able to embrace it as a friend. Make it the silent partner in your relationships, and let it champion you to live the best life possible.

An excerpt from Michelle’s new book Getting Smart About Life, Love and Men. Order your copy from Amazon.com or Christianbooks.com today!

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How To Live The Life You Hope For

In order to embrace the joy, peace and fulfillment we all long for we need to understand some basic things. A lack of understanding can cause us to focus on the wrong things. Things that take us away from our goal rather than toward it.  We must first realize that God created us to reflect His presence and goodness by giving us entré to kingdom living. What is kingdom living? Righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy ghost. This is a place of surrender where we cease from striving against God’s instructions and revel in His provision of every good and perfect gift. The word “Eden” means “pleasure.” It’s true that God longs for us to live lives filled with pleasure! He wishes for us to be successful and be in good health even as our souls prosper in Him. He’s given us all things. But in the midst of this abundance, He withholds what He knows will destroy us. But He’s given us the ability and freedom to choose. So if we press past Him because we’re urged on by suspicions that He is a cosmic killjoy or is holding something good back, we set ourselves up for painful regrets that have lasting effects on ourselves and countless others we touch.
As in the case of Eve. the damage of sin is never to just one person. Others are affected because we’re bound together as a body under the headship of our God. And He is a loving God who longs for us to stop liv- ing lives of disarray and return to His perfect order and plan.
The garden of living in God’s will is a beautiful place of favor and provision, a place without striving where we are free to dwell as long as we surrender to Him. It’s a place where fruit abounds and is available, not by our physical might or our mental power, but by God’s Holy Spirit. When we yield to His instructions, we get to partake of that delicious fruit. When we resist His leading, we forfeit the pleasure of an
abundant harvest. We find ourselves striving to produce what we can in our own strength. But when we’re in sync with God and in His will, we produce more fruit without the stress.
The fruit of our hands and the relationships we’re in can grow bitter in the midst of our do-it-yourself works. We need to resist the temptation to drown out the voice of God with our own desires and demands. Guard against the spirit of entitlement that tries to make you discontent with God’s blessings. That spirit is the beginning of dangerous dis- tractions that can lead to choices that will destroy the joy and peace you seek.
Above all, be aware that God created a void inside of each one of us that only He can fill. The Beguiler would lead you to believe that if you could only have this or that your joy would be complete. This is a lie that will rob you of the very fulfillment you desire and alter your garden experience with God with every time.
God asked Adam, “Who told you that you were naked?” What a loaded question! In God’s presence you will always have exactly what you need. Nothing less…and so much more.
Your Hope
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 pic- ture 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.
Every temptation in life is not a personal attack, but it is a direct sabotage of your God-given destiny by the enemy of your soul. As you see the larger picture of God’s kingdom agenda being worked out in your life, you’ll make choices based on an agenda that reaches beyond your earthly perceptions to God’s heavenly vision. As His will becomes your mission statement, your decisions will be transformed to align with His heart. And that will take you to another level of living the life you hope for.

An excerpt from Michelle’s new release releasing Sept. 1st, Getting Smart About Life Love and Men.
A collection of letters sharing ancient wisdom for today. Order your copy of Getting Smart… on Amazon today! For more info log on to michellehammond.com

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Can You Be Whole Without A Man?

A lot of us grew up feeling that wholeness would come from a relationship. Women are taught and believe from a young age that a man will come along who will make everything all right. That some man would be their knight in shining armor. That he will to come sweep them up and rescue them from their doldrums, their boredom, their life as they know it and take them into a whole new life. This is a great hope but it is also an illusion.

Everyday  you read  any number of different magazines and self help books, all doling out prescriptions and remedies for making ourselves whole without the help of God even though some may talk of a higher power or Supreme Being. But God, in his attempt to make us whole, is much more purposeful and precise than the temporary fixes they offer. He knew we would mess up and came up with a permanent solution. One incredible dose of His prescription for overall wellbeing would restore our emotional health and wholeness – His Son Jesus. Isn’t it incredible that one broken life could make countless others whole?  The reason that Jesus came, it says in John 3:16 was to save us. To sozo us, as the original Greek infers. To make us whole, to give us a sense of well being, to save us from bondage and destruction. His desire is to give us an overall feeling of being whole.

Because the Lord is my Shepherd, He restores my soul. That is a promise from God as quoted by King David in Psalms 23. Upon receiving Christ as savior, our spirit is born again and renewed. But there has to be a transformation. That takes place in the renewing of our mind, the saving of our mind, will and emotions. The mind has to think a new way, the emotions have to be harnessed, and the will has to yield to a new and different set of instructions that will be contrary to popular world standards… Doing things Gods way is truly different. The world comes up with a lot of ideas on what it takes to reach that coveted place called wholeness but they are all temporary fixes at best. God has a more permanent fix in mind.

A pregnant woman quickly discovers as her pregnancy progresses that she is no longer in control of her body. The new life inside of her begins to rule. Certain favorite foods no longer agree with her system. She has to change the position she sleeps in. Her clothing has to change to accommodate the new shape she is in. No she is definitely not in control. When we make up our minds that we want a new life we can no longer do things the same way we used to do them. Our habits have to change to allow the new life we crave to be formed in us. These are changes we should be willing to make because we anticipate great things coming from the new life we expect. God wants to give us new life, and even better than that we wants to renovate our love lives but we must be willing to allow Him to rule.

The heat is on. The pressure is mounting daily as society on a whole has forgotten one crucial fact — that we are human beings not human doings. Our whole identity, whether Christian or non-Christian, has become defined by what we do. If someone is a doctor, a lawyer or have some other sort of vocation, which gives them a sense of definition and self, they feel good about themselves. But your vocation can never make you whole. For some people it is money.   If they have a lot of it they somehow feel safe, secure and whole. High- end clothing works for others. But money and material possessions cannot provide that which was meant to be provided by God.

THE KEY TO HAPPINESS

Now lets qualify this. There is the capacity for happiness in a relationship between a man and a woman that is not available to a single person. On the other hand, there is also a misery that people who are not in relationships will not experience. Ed Cole, author of Maximized Manhood, says that marriage is the closest thing to heaven or hell that you can find on earth. Therefore it is safe to say that marriage is not the key to happiness. God would not base our wholeness on something that requires another
person’s participation. It was always Gods ideal that when two people are married they were to share one hope, one spirit, treat each other with love, serve one another, and respect one another so that  it could be an awesome relationship that brought joy to the participants and glorified Him. However when one person is joined to  a mate that has different values that they do not respect they will have difficulty serving one another as they should. Unfortunately, for this reason more people are enduring hurting relationships than enjoying healthy ones.

The illusion that was painted for Adam and Eve is still being presented to us today — that we can be independent of God, make our own judgments, make our own decisions and still be whole. This line of thinking was proven wrong from the beginning of time and continues to carry us further and further away from the wholeness we crave… When God comes on the scene the question, “Where are you?” (the same question he asked Adam and Eve) voices His thoughts toward us. In other words, you did what you thought you should do and it turned out badly. Now are you ready to do what I tell you to do? Or do you still think my instructions are a hindrance that will somehow keep you from happiness as opposed to positioning you to receive it?

We need to take another look at an often-used Bible word “repent”.  Most definitions of this word say to turn.  If you look at the root and break the word down, re, the prefix, means to do over and pent means to think or to re-think. The reason we make bad decisions is because of a flawed belief system. We have arrived at inaccurate conclusions, the basis for wrong decisions, which sends us in the wrong direction. Therefore we arrive at the wrong location.

God wants to us to believe the counsel He offers, seize it, live it and get  on with the joyful business of being  whole. Noted author and teacher, Mike Murdock,  states that whatever has distracted you has mastered you. On too many occasions, while on the road to wholeness, we get distracted by the things that we were taught would make us whole. Just like our friend that Jesus found lying by the pool. In his mind, his wholeness was based on a person … Are you lying by the same pool? What will your answer be when Jesus asks “Do you want to be whole?” Surely you can think of a better answer than, “ I have no man.”

Excerpt from “What Women Don’t Know and Men Don’t Tell You” order your copy on Amazon.com or Christianbooks.com today.

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Taking Advantage of the Season

Getting our priorities in order and choosing to focus on what is relevant for the hour and season we are in is crucial to having a systematic plan that works for our lives. God is a God of order, it is in that order that excellence is found. It is He who created the seasons to reflect the cycle of our own personal lives. Truly there is a time for planting, a time of harvest, a time for eating the fruit of our labor, and a time for dying to give way to new and sweeter fruit. This cycle is present in every area of our lives, emotionally, relationally, financially, professionally, even spiritually. As we embrace the season, understanding its purpose and looking forward to the blessings on the other side of it we are able to weather our transitions gracefully and reap a bountiful harvest from each one.

So what does that mean for you right where you are today? Well, if you are single, rejoice and take full advantage of all that is solely yours. Take advantage of the time, space and resources you have to explore and enjoy every aspect of life being cognizant of the fact that this is just a season. And seasons do pass so plant well while you have everything at your disposal to do so.

Are you a newlywed? Rejoice in the honeymoon period of your life. This is a critical time for you to put certain things in place to secure your marriage. To set the course of your future by what you pour into the heart of your husband in these early stages of becoming one. Build honor, trust, unity and security. Make yourself a haven for him. One that he looks forward to running home to. Create habits now that will lay the foundation for your marriage to stand on. This is literally the beginning of the rest of your life. Therefore build your house well.

Are you a new mother? Rejoice in this time that goes by so quickly. Take all the time you need to nurture that new beautiful life and find your identity in the power of motherhood. After all, that precious little boy or girl could be a world leader based on your input and preparation. It is an awesome task and privilege to be responsible for the gift God puts in your care. Therefore give it your all looking forward to seeing your handiwork flourish into full bloom.

Are you a wife beyond your honeymoon years? Yours is the privilege of experiencing many incredible seasons, some warm, some hot, some cold, but all of them occasions for greater growth and greater rewards if you weather each season well. Purpose to always be fruitful no matter what. To continue planting, watering, fertilizing and harvesting. But also know when to rest and embrace the transitions keeping in mind that the end goal is to bear fruit that remains.

Are you a business woman? An entrepreneur? Plant carefully and prepare to reap from what you have sown. Be a wise steward of your increase. Like the ant be aware of the season for harvesting and storing, trusting God to fill your store house to overflowing for the purpose of being able to pour out to others in need.

Are you in retirement? A widow? An empty nester? Look beyond yourself to see a field ripe for harvesting—those in need. There comes a time when the experiences we’ve reaped along with rewards both spiritual and financial bring us to the place of benevolence. Where we use what God has given us to bless others.  This is truly the greatest season—the full fruition of our labor manifesting the greatest blessing of all–  the privilege of giving wholeheartedly.

To everything there is a season and a purpose. As we embrace this truth and learn to embrace where we are we grow in grace and in the sufficiency of all that we need in that season to walk in excellence.  To lag behind or grow impatient with where we are the two impulses we must resist. Only you know which season you are in and your attitude toward that season. Begin now to take stock of where you are and how you view yourself in light of that knowledge. Then step up to the diva-licious challenge of being all that you were created to be—a woman of excellence, thriving in her purpose according to God’s divine timing.

Excerpt from “A Woman’s Gotta Do What A Woman’s Gotta Do”. Subscribe to her YouTube Channel at HeartWing Ministries for inspiration.

 

 

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How To Stop Sabotaging Your Love Life

The bottom line is we attract what we are or what we think we deserve and the two trains of thought are not that exclusive from one another. If we are what we attract, what have you been attracting or not attracting? What do you deserve and what have you been settling for? The sword cuts both ways. Once again at the beginning of any healthy relationship or interaction is you, the central character in the love story. A lot rests on how you see yourself. If you don’t like you it is going to be very hard for you to have genuine good feelings for anyone else. Or worse still, you won’t be able to handle/receive true love if someone came up to you and forced you to take it. Small wonder, right up there after to the first commandment to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength is the command to love your neighbor as you love yourself. This is not talking about being an ego maniac or being full of yourself, it’s talking about having a healthy appreciation and respect for God’s creation. That would be you and everyone else that you encounter. Since you will always be your first reference to everything else, how you take care of yourself is going to naturally be how you deal with others around you.
It’s quite clear to see that critical people are also quite hard on themselves, while people who don’t take themselves that seriously usually have an abundant measure of grace and graciousness for others no matter what they do. To the pure everything is pure while crooks don’t trust anyone and recognize one another if you know what I mean. Usually what irritates us in others is what we are most guilty of ourselves, this is why we recognize it so clearly. Go ahead, say ouch and get over it.
Exactly what does it mean to love your neighbor as you love yourself? Well, are you kind to yourself? Can you forgive yourself when you mess up? Can you celebrate when you accomplish something? Can you speak the truth to yourself in love? If you can then you will exercise the same grace with others. If you can’t, then you’ve got major work to do. Perhaps you were raised by a parent who was critical, who called you ugly or stupid or worthless. Unfortunately these things stuck in your spirit and took root. After all, in the mind of a child the parent is always right. Whether right or wrong, early impressions spoken by parents or others can lay the foundation for beliefs that affect our mindset and our ability to give and receive love for the rest of our lives.
Perhaps you need to make friends with yourself and educate yourself about you. Find the things that should be celebrated and change the things you have simply tolerated but wished you could change. You have the power to change your world and your view of you. Remember people will see you through the lens you look through. This can take you on a road that leads to nowhere but disappointment, because you will always reinforce why others should not like you, love you or respond to you because of how you feel about yourself. Do you believe you deserve lasting love?
What are your fears about love? I have to confess that I was always attracted to men that would not commit to a relationship because I was a commitment-phobic myself. I felt safe with men that I knew would not commit. I would never have to worry about making the decision to commit. Yet something deep within longed for the very commitment I ran from. Many people are divided internally. Their mind says one thing but their heart says another. Usually it takes getting sick and tired of being sick and tired to force you to look in the mirror and make a mental shift. Namely deciding what you truly want and being willing to do whatever you have to do to get it. This is where the work should begin on yourself. Getting rid of the lies that rob you of the love you want. The love you deserve whether you believe it or not.
Go ahead stand in front of the mirror and take stock. Physically, intellectually, professionally, emotionally and spiritually. Make a list of the things you need to celebrate about yourself. Make a note of the things others celebrate about you. Do your lists match? Perhaps you have trouble receiving a compliment. Why is that? What lie is blocking the truth of who you really are and robbing you of the joy you should be free to experience? It’s time to dismantle all the things that have made you a person who sabotages your opportunities for love.
Now someone just said, I never meet anybody! That is not true. We have the potential to meet someone new every day. But based on how you feel about yourself you could be repelling people everyday! No wonder the Bible says that in order to make friends you should show yourself friendly. People that would like to meet you but the frown on your face told them not to bother speaking to you. You didn’t even know your face, demeanor, posture, or attitude was sending signals that were thwarting possible new friends and love interests. Trust me someone is always checking you out. Whether its someone you would be interested in is another story but the bottom line is, most people are completely unaware of what is going on around them. Lack of knowledge makes us draw many unhealthy conclusions—such as, no one is interested in me. Perhaps the disinterested party is really you.
How you feel about you is how others will feel about you. So check yourself and do the work it takes to have an attitude shift. Take the time to renew your mind. Find out what God thinks about you and embrace healthier thoughts about you. You are the most incredible creation on the face of the earth because you are God’s handiwork and everything He made was good. Say that yourself until it takes root in your spirit and you believe it. You have got to change your confession. I have a friend that has the same response when I ask him, “How are you,” no matter what is going on. “Fantastic!” He says. And you know what? No matter what is going on with him, things usually take a turn upward. Things always do turn out fantastic for him. He refuses to be ruled by his emotions or circumstances. He will not bow to feelings of failure or whatever he is tempted to feel when facing difficulties.
If you’re not feeling that way, you simply have to decide to take steps that will make your emotions line up. I always say you need to look and act like where you are heading to. If you begin to carry yourself as a person who should be taken seriously when it comes to love, a job interview, whatever it is that you are pursuing, others will have to respond to you in kind. The more positive responses you receive the more your mindset will change because there will no longer be anything to confirm your old ideas and feelings about yourself.
For the most part if we really ‘fessed up and kept it real we would have to acknowledge that we are our own worst enemy in most instances. We will get what we allow. Nothing more, nothing less. As is apparent from some of the letters I get like this one.
Dear Michelle,
I seem to be a magnet for deceit, manipulation, dishonesty. I’m told we reflect or attract what’s inside of us. People get to know me, are turned off, and run. I generally try to live honestly and lovingly and to always think about how God would like me to behave; I am a good woman, mother, and all around person, but keep coming up short in the love department(men, friends, family). I am not the worst person in the world; I don’t seek to hurt others; I’m not perfect, and generally seek to do good and see good in others, but people are turned off. On this vast green earth, does God truly not have one person willing to stand by my side? Am I this unattractive? (maybe “boring” as you would say) I repel others and am left alone to raise my children by myself.

Sincerely,
Major Turn Off

Dear MTF,
Of course God has someone who will be willing to stand by your side, but you have to believe that and act accordingly. This letter is laden with conflict. On one hand you seem to have a positive picture of yourself, on the other hand you don’t. A bad magnet, a turnoff, a repellant, that’s pretty strong language! Really? Everybody is terrible or turned off by you? Is that really true? However, when you are the common denominator in all the situations listed one must stop and ask themselves some very deep questions. First, is it me or is it them? After all, do all these people know one another? Probably not, this rules out the theory that they all got together and conspired to ruin your world collectively. Therefore we have to ask if there is something you need to change. Like your choice of friends, men and associates, or a personal habit that could be putting a damper on your relationships. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions and see if their answers sound like a broken record. If it does, listen to the song and see if you can change the words. Sometimes the truth hurts but its always good medicine that will set you free. However if you are making the wrong choices of who to walk with or simply not exercising discernment on who to trust, keep or eliminate again the onus falls on you to master your personal world. Take charge! Decide what you want your relationships to look like and then find people who fit that picture. Begin by being that picture yourself, from the inside out. You see, if you believe you deserve kindness in your life cruelty will be unattractive to you and you will be able to recognize it in a persons’ character right away. A huge part of stopping the madness in life is cutting it off before it starts, girlfriend. So ask God to expose their hearts before you invest yours. Why? Because it’s priceless. You better know it!

Okay I couldn’t resist. One more– same root, different fruit.

Dear Michelle,
My ex boyfriend and I broke up more than 3 months ago. We’ve been together for around five years. It has been an on and off relationship. There were many problems in the relationship including his not giving me enough time and not being thoughtful; and on my part being easily angered, strict and a little bit of forcing God into him. We are both Christians, but he’s not truly committed to God. He doesn’t enjoy going to church or reading the Bible.

Two weeks after the break up, he promised me that we could try again on his birthday which was on September 28. On the 28th, I reminded him of his promise, and he resented me. He agreed to try things out but he said that he is really just forced too. I didn’t contact him for the 3 months because I was really looking forward to fixing things with him. When I greeted him yesterday for his birthday, I started crying again, and the feeling of rejection was overwhelming. I really hope that we could still work things out. I am really so lost and confused. I want to be with him so much but I feel that it’s wrong to run after him. But how can I show him that I am better now if he won’t give me a chance. Please help me!

Sincerely,
Trying to Make It Work

Dear TMW,
You said you did not want to pursue him but you are! Why are you reminding him he is supposed to give you another try? My even greater question to you is why are you trying to make it work? You said he didn’t give you enough time. Was not thoughtful. Not committed to God. Basically didn’t do anything that was important to you. Furthermore you stated he resented being reminded he was supposed to give you another try again on his birthday. On his birthday. How convenient. Just in time for you to buy him a present, right? You say he inspires feelings of deep rejection, being lost and confused. Why, why, why do you want to be with this man? While you are trying to be worthy of him, he is not worthy of you. Is this all you think you deserve? This is not God’s best, or His design for women who belong to Him. First of all HE is supposed to be pursuing YOU! He is supposed to think you are the best thing since sliced bread and want to do whatever it takes to win your love. But this all begins with you getting a revelation of your own worth. Men treat you they way they are allowed to. Drop him like its hot and move on. Allow yourself to be found by someone who loves God and you respectively without the drama and heartache. After all, I don’t need the help of a hair product to tell you, “You deserve it.”
Okay, here’s the deal. You will not put up with nonsense like this if you believe you can have something better. The only reason you would not believe you could have something better is if you think so little of yourself that a bad man is as good as you can get. In this case nothing would be better than something my sistah. You need to kick boyfriend to the curb and work on yourself until you have a better appreciation of your own value. While you’re at it pick up a few of my other books to help you get your head and your heart together. (see list at the back) Trust me, when you tighten up your perception of yourself and your worth you will flip the script on your expectations. Men like him won’t be attractive to you once you figure out you deserve someone who doesn’t need to be schooled about God or how to love you.

Come on now! Love is God, was created by Him and embodies Him. Everything about love reflects the nature of God—nurturing, giving, protecting, making you even better than you were before you chose to embrace a relationship with Him. Love should make you better than it found you.How can you let a human being mess that up?! Back to loving yourself. Someone with a healthy sense of who they are and how much their love is worth will not tolerate bad behavior from someone who claims to be interested in them. They demand they be treated well by the way they treat themselves and what they choose to allow in their personal space. Because God loved us it cost Him everything. That which was nearest and dearest to Him—His Only Son. Love does not withhold. Love gives. Everything. Nothing Less. Selfishness is not an attribute of love. Selflessness, however does not mean that you become Boo Boo the Fool. You should have such a great sense of self, what you have to contribute and the power of your love that you freely give because it doesn’t cost you anything. After all there is plenty more of that where it came from. It’s up to you— your love should not be for free. It should cost the person who wants you. Everything. Why? Because you are worth it.
Here’s to Celebrating You!
Michelle
Wise Up

excerpt from The REal Deal on Men and Love. Get your copy on Amazon.com and ChristianBooks.com today! For more info log on to www.michellehammond.com and sign up to be on the mailing list.

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