Coffee, Devotions, faith, Monday, morning coffee, power your day, prayer, Uncategorized

Where did I put my Faith?

If you follow my blogs, or follow me on social media, then you know that I misplace things often. Keys, notebooks, etc can go missing for weeks and then pop back up in the strangest places.

What I noticed today is that I misplace the things that I use most often. It’s frustrating to look for keys that I know I ‘just’ had in my hands and literally cannot get my hands back on them.

Today, I’m looking for my Faith. I know I just had it. It was in strong operation yesterday when I read the Word and prayed in church. This morning, I need that same confidence.

They say when you lose something, retrace your steps. So what happened between yesterday and today? I left church, had dinner, watched a little television. I know I didn’t leave my Faith at church, I had it with me on the drive home. I completely believed God would show me the way out of this storm.

Did I misplace my Faith when I got home? Is it hiding around here? Maybe it got buried underneath the mail that has bills that I don’t have the money to pay. Or I could have dropped it outside by the car, which is behind in payments. Then again, it could have gotten lost in my phone when I was pressing the ignore button to phone calls I didn’t have the heart to answer.

It’s Monday, and I need to find my Faith. I literally just had it yesterday. Not just a feeling, I had the substance in my hand as I worshipped and hoped. I had the evidence of everything being worked out even before I could see it. Now the substance I seem to hold is an empty purse, a broken spirit.

They say you always find what is lost in the last place you look (duh). So I looked in my Word. I don’t remember leaving it there but I remember finding it there before.

I looked for my Faith in the 4th chapter of 2nd Kings. I found the woman who was moments away from losing everything. She cried to the prophet Elisha and he showed her a strategic plan to immediately get out of debt.

I read it and said, wow, this lady could be me. Hurting and at the end of her rope. No one to turn to and no where to go. There was no escaping or hiding from her situation, she had to face it.

I believe that her cries were not from defeat. If she was defeated, she would have already given up. Her cries mustered up strength that she didn’t realize was there. It didn’t matter how bad the situation appeared to be. It did not matter that time had pretty much run out for her and her sons. There was still faith for fuel.

That’s where I am this morning. I found a reserve of faith that I didn’t realize I had. It didn’t let me give up today. Instead, I activated what I had and I looked in the Word for my missing faith.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6 KJV

That was my reminder. God wants me to have faith. He doesn’t want me to misplace it, or simply not use it. He is pleased when I believe in Him. He is pleased with me when I diligently seek him.

So today, I’m working. Just like the woman in 2nd Kings, giving up isn’t an option. If you happen to see tears on me, I’m pulling on my strength. And when you see me in my Word, know that I have found my Faith. It’s in the last place I looked. And it is in excellent working order.

Enjoy your coffee and power up your day through faith.

Ayoka Boyce ~ Minister, Author, Blogger, Lover of coffee

Coffee, Devotions, Good Morning, meditation, ministry, morning coffee, power your day, reflections

Lost, Again

Well, I lost my keys this week, again.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that I’ve lost my keys. And to be even more transparent, I lost my ‘spare set’ of keys a couple of months ago. Those have yet to be found.

I didn’t worry ,at first, because I sort of had an idea of where the keys were. I compromised and drove my mother’s car instead of mine. It worked because her gas  tank was full and all was well until yesterday when we both needed to use her car.

So I earnestly looked for the keys again.  I went to where I thought the keys should be and they weren’t there. I moved things, re-sorted things and still, the keys were not found.

Now, I started to worry. Could I have tossed them in the trash? I was on a coffee binge on Wednesday and cleaned out my closet, I prayed the keys didn’t get caught up in those clothes.

My mother allowed me to use her car again, she rescheduled her appointment. But her tone let me know that my grace had run out. It was either find my keys or pay for a locksmith to make a new key for my car. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t have been the first time I had to do that. I really do have a tendency to lose my keys.

By evening time, I still didn’t locate the keys. There was an event I wanted to go to attend, but I didn’t want to ask to use her car. This was ridiculous. My car was sitting in the driveway for days just waiting to be driven.

Here’s the thing. My panic turned into anger. I went back through all of those clothes and literally threw things all over. I smacked a printer and it hit the floor. I banged things. Stomped around and was just about ready to curse those keys. I was ready to turn the entire house upside down. I WANTED MY KEYS!!!!!

But God…

“Go look in your pocketbook.”

I heard the Holy Spirit a few times earlier . Look in your pocketbook. I had looked several times prior, but I didn’t see the keys. I didn’t understand why in the world I was being told to look there again. It was a purse with my wallet case a couple of pens and some loose change.

“Take everything out”.

My pocketbook was in my mother’s car. By now, it was dark outside so I used the flashlight in my phone. Dumped the bag, no keys.

“Move your wallet.”

My wallet sits inside of a small black case. It’s like a purse inside of my purse. I unzipped it, took out my wallet and my keys were sitting right there. I couldn’t believe it. They were always in the right place but still they were lost.

Or imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it you can be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbors: ‘Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ Count on it—that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God.” Luke 15:8‭-‬10 MSG

I came back in the house, embarrassed by my behavior but happy for my prize. “I found my keys ma, they were in my pocketbook this entire time.”

This morning, Mom has her car. She is already out and about. And The Holy Spirit reminded me of how my behavior was last night. I was ready to do anything to find what was lost and recover what belonged to me.

There were times when I was in the right place yet still lost. There were times this year when I was physically in the building, but not one person there could find me in the place where my mind was.

I’ve seen my world turned upside down, just like I did to the room, just to recover and save me from the hidden places of my mind. I’ve been rescued more than once from places of sin and even places of depression.

God asked me last night, when will I be obedient and put my keys on a hook? Or am I willing to continue to lose the things that have been given to me?

Just like for my soul, am I willing to continue cycles of being lost, having to be rescued? Or will I be obedient and keep my mind on Him, follow His precepts and walk under the Blessing?

Then I had to look further. What about people who are lost? Are people as important to me as those keys? Am I willing to keep going out, witnessing and doing ministry until people have been recovered to the Kingdom? How many people do I encounter daily that are lost, but in my sight? Am I willing to put in the effort for what and who really matters?

Just some morning thoughts. I have my keys. And after my coffee I’m sure I’ll be hitting the road soon enough, in my own car. Oh wait, I still have to clean that mess I made… make that two cups (and some water).

Ayoka Boyce ~ Minister, Author, Blogger, Lover of Coffee

 

 

Coffee, Devotions, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, focus, Inspiration, Mindset to Finish, Monday, morning coffee, power your day, Renewed Mind, Uncategorized

The Run-Walk-Crawl to Victory

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward” – Martin Luther King Jr

Dr. King showed us 3 wise choices… Run, Walk, or Crawl

This morning, as I begin my new week, which is full of hope and possibilities, I am ready to take off running.

It sounds great, except I feel this way almost every Monday. Yet by the end of the week, I’m exhausted, mentally and physically beat, and more discouraged than encouraged. Things get accomplished but not everything, and not usually with ease.

The Holy Spirit gently reminded me this morning that I am not a runner. Just as I move at slower paces in my body, I work best when I operate at slower paces in the Spirit.

Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, And he who hurries with his feet [acting impulsively and proceeding without caution or analyzing the consequences] sins (misses the mark). PROVERBS 19:2 AMP

In other words, If I apply the knowledge and direction that God freely offers, I can make it to the finish line without being overwhelmed, exhausted or mentally/ physically defeated.

Last night, I made my weekly checklist. Today, I begin to execute with His grace and wisdom.

And as for running through this week, I will remember these the lessons from Dr. King…

  1. It’s okay to move at your best speed. I won’t unfairly compare my speed with others. When I go at my best pace, there’s a better likelihood of me reaching my goals.
  • You don’t have to stay at the same speed. I have different levels of energy at different times of the day, evening and week. I will stop expecting to have the same output at 11:30 in the evening as I do at 11:30 in the morning. I’ve tried, it leaves me exhausted with bouts of insomnia. Instead, I will capitalize on my best times and move intently on my slower times.
  • You move to victory, victory doesn’t move to you. Keep moving and make every move toward victory. If not, I will be standing still or going in circles in the wilderness.

The great thing about new mercies, is the opportunity to get it right today. So even though I ran in circles in the wilderness last week, and I didn’t accomplish everything I set out to do, today is a new day.

And in the words of one of my favorite pastors, Bishop Hezekiah Walker, “I do believe I’ll make it”.

Stay on pace! Enjoy your coffee and power up your day. – Ayoka Boyce,  Minister, Author, Blogger, Lover of Coffee

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Coffee, Devotions, focus, Fruitful, Inspiration, ministry, morning coffee, power your day, Thursday, Uncategorized

Be Fruitful

This morning, the Holy Spirit guided me back to the beginning, the book of Genesis.

And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
Genesis 1:22

I didn’t know for sure why He took me back to the beginning. Genesis 1, I can nearly recite it. Nothing new there right?

But, there was something new there, revelation.

I saw it…the first recorded words that God gave to man, “Be Fruitful”.

I never saw this command. I never realized the power given to us in those two words. And I never understood why this is where the enemy always comes to fight.

Be Fruitful – Be productive in such a way that yields positive results.

Then it was more than a command, God spoke life into us. He defined what our nature should be. “Be fruitful.”

Fruit has seed that replenishes when it is planted in fertile ground. The seed we plant, is expected to grow and not die.

The enemy will try to fight our nature to be fruitful. He tries to keep us still, stagnant, never producing anything or planting good seed in infertile ground.

Then if the enemy doesn’t keep us still, he will keep us busy being fruitful in the wrong areas of life.

Then I peeked a little further in the Word, and I saw that being fruitful comes with multiplication and growth.

And I saw that if I’m not growing then I’m not being fruitful in the manner that God wants me to be.

I am always fruitful but I don’t always acknowledge what is growing? Trouble or peace? Abundance or debt? Heartache or joy?

What areas are producing ‘fruit’? The areas that I give my time, my effort and my attention.

Quick example… I have an author page on Facebook that stayed at 81 followers for about 2 years. I never cultivated it, worked on it, so there was no fruit. Two weeks ago I placed my link on a post and got a few more followers. Then I made it a goal to hit 200. Not only did I make the goal but I exceeded it and this week’s goal is to make 300.

Okay it sounds good but my church membership has not grown. The nature of being fruitful works, but I didn’t apply it to ministry.

So what if I’m fruitful, state my goal this week, go out into the streets of Richmond VA, and introduce them to Christ? What if I put the effort into souls?

Be fruitful. That’s my command, my nature, and my result.

My thoughts this morning, coffee is already brewed. Now it’s time for me to get up and start the day being fruitful.

Ayoka Boyce, a Fruitful Minister, Blogger, and Lover of Coffee

Autumn, Coffee, Devotions, Fall, Inspiration, ministry, power your day, seasons, September

Holding on to the Leaves

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1

Happy 1st day of September. Is it me or did the seasons seem to change overnight? I saw a tree this week and its leaves were already beginning to change colors.

And I wonder..what  if the trees were unwilling to lose their leaves.

What if they rebelled against change and held onto their leaves because they wanted to hold on to their colors which draws the attention of men?

What if they said I will hold on to what I have, in spite of knowing there would not be enough water or moisture to sustain the excess?

What if the trees pushed back their assignment to make provision for squirrels and small animals with the nuts that fall to the ground?

What if they said they wanted to stay the same and did not care if there would be no room for the next period of growth in the springtime?

What if the trees that were designed to change said, I want to be like the evergreen and keep what I have?

What if the trees, did not want to sow their leaves into the ground?

What if the trunk decided it did not want to draw from the nutrients and water provided by the leaves, and decided to try to stand on it’s own strength?

What if they did this year after year, held on to the beauty on the outside while dying on the inside?

Change is inevitable. We must be willing to let go of what no longer belongs to us. We must be willing to go bare for a season in order to have life for the next season. We must recognize that God’s plan for change is to sustain us and not to kill us.

Just a few thoughts as I think of the changes that are happening in my life. I have some leaves that I need to let fall to ground. Pondering with my coffee in hand.

Enjoy your coffee and power up your day

Ayoka Boyce ~ Minister, Author, Blogger, Lover of Coffee

Ayoka Boyce 31 Writing Prompts for your Blog

Coffee, Devotions, Inspiration, morning coffee, power your day

Stop Riding the Brakes

Oh, that my ways were steadfast, so I may keep your statutes. ~ Psalm 119:5

It feels like I spent the last week of my life driving.  I drove I-95 from Richmond VA to Queens NY and back, plus all of the driving in NYC. And when I got back home, I had to do another drive to Washington DC and back. It was a lot, but I appreciated the time on the road because it gave me time to think and reflect on life.

On the way back to Richmond, somewhere in Maryland, I somehow managed to get behind this one driver who insisted on using brakes every few seconds. We were in the left lane and with the flow of traffic, I was stuck. After about two minutes of this, I put on my aggressive hat and managed to safely maneuver from behind him. Of course, there was no one in front him! He had no reason to keep putting his foot on the brake. 

The person who rode his brakes, caused me to have to use my brakes, and the person behind me had to also react accordingly. The truth is, the person in front of me was the leader and had the vision, but because he rode the brakes, he caused us danger. We had no way of knowing if there was traffic, if there was an accident, or if this person was going to come to a complete stop.

It gave me a thought. We cannot regulate our speed through life by putting on brakes. Just like it doesn’t work on the highway, it doesn’t work in life. Riding the brakes is an improper use of the tool. I can slow down and regulate my speed more effectively by easing off of the accelerator, letting go of excess baggage and not taking on too many projects at one time.

We all, in some areas of life, are leaders. We see things that the people behind us cannot see. We can slow down our acceleration and regulate the flow, but we cannot effectively lead by riding our brakes. How many times have I had people to follow my example and I got nervous and slammed on the brakes? How many times have I started a project and rode the brakes, never keeping a consistent speed? Is it any wonder that some would not want to drive behind me if I consistently ride the brakes?

I pray that God reveal to me areas where I have been riding the brakes. Something for me to meditate on while I enjoy my morning coffee.

ayokaboyceAyoka Boyce ~ Minister, Author, Blogger, Lover of Coffee

 

Coffee, Devotions, Inspiration, morning coffee, power your day, Saturday, Time Management, Weekends

Close The Door

Just yesterday, I spoke about having a plan and structure. I failed to say that following the plan is key to making it all work.

I didn’t follow the plan this morning. And I confessed it in an email to my July Writing Challenge Group. This is the email…

Good Morning Writers,

I had a late start this morning, and it was completely avoidable.

Instead of going to prayer and going to my word, I picked up the phone and went straight into Facebook. I started chatting and liking posts… Right after this, the phone rings and my cousin has an ’emergency’ but he really only wanted a ride. While I’m driving through Richmond, alerts on my phone were going non-stop.

And I had the revelation why. I literally forgot to begin my day with God. The moment I picked up the phone and chose social media over Him, I allowed access to distractions, irritation and turmoil.

Lord, close the door! I am beginning this day over. I want this day to fall in line with God;s will.

I share this because as writers, we must develop and stick to the routines. If we don’t stick to routines then we allow access to distractions.

As we finish up this challenge, identify where you can ‘close the door’ so that you can concentrate on writing and accomplish your plan for the day.

Happy Writing!
Ayoka “Author Serene” Boyce

I’m playing catch up, but the door has finally closed. I thank God for giving me the revelation of what I have been doing to block my own blessings.

Enjoy your coffee and power up your day with God first

Ayoka Boyce ~ Minister, Author, Blogger, Lover of Coffee