Coffee, Devotions, Inspiration, ministry, Monday, power your day, seasons

Windows and Seasons

I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. ~ John 9:4

Back in 1996, I worked for NorthWest Airlines. As a Reservation Sales Agent, I had the opportunity to relocate to Honolulu, Hawaii because the reservation office there was short staffed. My friends and family were not shocked that I jumped at the opportunity. I reasoning made perfect sense “The opportunity is here now and it will probably never be like this again. I’m out!”

Within a couple of weeks, my clothes were packed and I was sitting in a hotel room in Honolulu, looking at the ocean. Halfway across the world, in the middle of the Pacific, I was living an opportunity of a lifetime.

Today, as I was riding in the car, I thought about windows and seasons. Depending on the season, the windows in the car or the house will either be opened or closed. It is our responsibility to take full advantage of open windows of opportunities.

Jesus explained that opportunities are not everlasting. He worked within the confines of time and took full advantage of his time in ministry. For three years, he taught, he preached, he healed, he forgave, he gave hope and he loved. When he died, he did so with the purpose of redemption. To his family and friends, the age of 33 may have seemed to early to die. However, within his life on earth, he accomplished everything within the allotted window of opportunity.

17342652_10209210706400964_1689519242651985321_nI dedicate today’s blog to a beautiful young woman, Nicole ‘Nikki’ Hudson. Although we mourn her passing at a young age, we rejoice that she lived a full life. She took advantage of all of the opportunities that life presented to her. Her life was ministry, she was an author, a playwright, producer, photographer, singer, sister, daughter and friend. Those who love her, will say farewell. Our lives were truly made richer because she made use of the opportunities God placed in her life.

Live life to the fullest. Take advantage of today’s open windows of opportunity. Come tomorrow, they may not be guaranteed.

Enjoy your coffee and Power up Your Day
Ayoka Boyce ~ Minister, Author, Blogger, Lover of Coffee

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Coffee, Devotions, Friday, Inspiration, power your day

Teachable Moments

Blessed is the man  who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night ~ Psalm 1:1-2

If I don’t bring breakfast to work, I will usually head down to the cafeteria and grab 2 or 3 boiled eggs. I chop them up, add mayo and prepare a quick egg salad at my desk. Today, I went down late. Breakfast was nearly over and of course, they were out of boiled eggs.

It didn’t help that I was with my co-workers. So with my serious face on I asked for 3 boiled eggs that clearly were not there. the server looked at me like I was nuts. Then I asked (another serious face) “Well why don’t you have any boiled eggs, because you have a pan full of these hard scrambled eggs that ‘no one’ purchased? If you know no one is eating them, why do keep making the scrambled when you can make more boiled eggs?”

I could have eliminated this in 2 ways…

First, I should have brought my own breakfast. at 85 cents an egg, I could have purchased the 18 pack

Second, (this really should be first) Even if I never bring breakfast or lunch, I should not have ‘scoffed’ at the situation.

I had to look up the word ‘scoffer’. I have been quoting Psalm 1 for years, but I have done so with an assumed understanding.

Vocabulary.com –  Scoffersomeone who jeers or mocks or treats something with contempt or calls out in derision

Yes , that was me today, a scoffer. All over an egg. And I let this put me in the same category as ‘being in the counsel of the wicked and standing in the way of sinners’. The egg wasn’t serious. My behavior was concerning.

So, I went back to apologize. The gentleman looked relieved. He wished me a great weekend and I wished him the same. I want to be blessed, but I have come to the realization that sometimes the small behaviors that go unchecked are the things that keep me from receiving the full blessings of God.

I keep asking why am I still at this job. But I see that some of my most teachable moments come from me being at work.

Life is full of teachable moments.   Enjoy your coffee and power up your day!

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

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Coffee, Devotions, Inspiration, power your day, Thursday

Multi-Purposed Strength

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. ~ Psalm 18:2-3

I keep a roll of paper towels in my desk drawer. For me, they are a necessity. The paper towel can clean up spills. Or it can be a ‘place-mat’ protecting my desk from a coffee ring. It serves two purposes, depending on my use, it either protects from a spill or it cleans a spill.

Like my desk, there are days when I need strength, either to clean up a messy situation or to protect me from one. Sometimes there are days when I am confident that I can handle all that God has called me to. But then there are days when I feel like I can’t do a thing. In either case, I have a constant – God is my Stronghold! I have to rely on Him for my strength. When I dare to rely on my emotions, I find that my thoughts and actions usually wind up in a messy left field.

David was a warrior. Certainly he knew that strongholds were difficult barriers to breakthrough. Those who hide and fight behind a stronghold have the advantages of both a strong defense and a strong offense. The stronghold provides a place which is difficult for an enemy to penetrate. Yet it also provides a strategic point to fight and prevail against an enemy. In this verse, David names God as his stronghold. He is both protected and has the tactical advantage to be victorious.

No matter where you find yourself today, on the defense or the offense, take refuge in God. God is sure to place you in the position of victory.

Enjoy your coffee and Power up your Day.

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

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Coffee, Devotions, Inspiration, power your day, Wednesday

Lying Through my Jeans

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. ~ 1 Sam 15:23

Jeans are not usually acceptable attire at my job. However, we can purchase passes to wear them. (The money goes to charity). I always enjoy it when the passes are in effect because of the ease and comfort that I can have throughout the day.

This morning, stayed in bed for a few extra minutes. I knew I would put on a pair of jeans with a top and be able to quickly head out of the door for work. but God had a conversation with me as soon as I went to pull a pair out of the closet. This is how the conversation went…

God: Are you going to wear those?
Me: Of course
God: Did you purchase a jeans pass?
Me: No, but no one is going to ask to see it
God: Does that make it right?
Me: It’s only jeans
God: So you are going to walk into work wearing a lie?
Me: Ummm
God: Every day you put on the jeans without a pass, you are lying. Do you think maybe that’s why you have so much trouble at work?

By now, I put the jeans down. I got it. I never thought that a small thing like wearing jeans without a pass could bring shame to the Kingdom. I got dressed thinking these things, ‘Do I think that it is okay to not follow the rules?’ And in the words of my pastor, Bishop Michael B Curtis Jr, ‘Does this bring glory to God’?

King Saul did not follow the rules. He was chided for his rebellion to the rules that God gave him in this battle.  Over time, his pattern of disobedience cost him his peace of mind, his favor with God and man, his kingdom and his life.

I don’t consider myself to be a liar, at least not with my mouth. God showed me that if I do not get this small thing in check, that I would be opening the door to the stronghold of lying, including deception, trickery, and denial. Small things in life add up, in time, this behavior could cause me to be rejected by God!

I am grateful to serve a God who pushes me in the direction to do better.

I am wearing slacks and it’s time for me to make some coffee. Enjoy your coffee and Power up your day.

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

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Coffee, Devotions, Inspiration, power your day, tuesday

Pray, Cry, Stand

I believed, even when I said, “I am severely afflicted.” ~ Psalm 116:10

A Facebook friend, Elder Davis, recently shared a video. It showed a group of praise dancers ministering to the song “stand” by Donnie McClurkin. The dance caught my attention, as it is high up on my favorites list. But I really wanted to see how the dancers would move to the lines ‘you prayed and cried, you prayed and cried’! (If you don’t know the song, I promise, it is awesome).

This part of the song is particularly touching. How many times have I prayed and cried? Sometimes tears were the only words that I could form. i had to learn that He understands when my heart is so overwhelmed that it causes my eyes to swell with tears. Even still, as the song says, after doing all I can, I am still determined to stand.

When we are afflicted, the enemy will take the opportunity to whisper lies ‘you won’t make it through this’, ‘God isn’t listening to you’ or ‘You deserve this trouble to happen to you’. Don’t listen to the lies. Believe God!

God takes these opportunities to speak to our hearts, to make us stronger and to bless us. Therefore, even when it hurts or is disappointing, we stand because we know the pain of the affliction is only for a moment.

Today, I want to encourage you. Be strong in every affliction. Believe even when tears have to flow. Know that God will see you through it, He is listening and He will have you to see the victory in it.

Enjoy your coffee, Power up your day and believe!

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

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Coffee, Devotions, First day of spring, Inspiration, Monday, power your day

A New Season

For behold, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone ~ Song of Solomon 2:11

Driving yesterday from Virginia Beach back to Richmond I drove through rain, sleet then heavy snow. By the time I reached Williamsburg, it was a light rain. Before I got arrived in Richmond, the skies were blue with a trace of dampness in the air. My best friend Toni said it best. Virginia is one state where you will experience all four seasons in the same week!

I love the Spring, never been a fan of the winter. I like seeing the buds come out and transform to flowers and leaves. The entire season reminds me that I made it past the winter days of long and cold nights. Everything comes to life again, full of great hopes and possibilities.

The spring is a time for change, we change our wardrobes. We change our heavy coats for lighter jackets. We pack up heavy sweaters for shorter sleeved shirts. We go through closets and attics for spring clean-up. In essence, it is a season for removing things that weigh us down so that we can move forward.

The season gives me a reason to change. I can put off bitterness, because I am in a new season. I don’t have to be offended by anyone’s actions, because I am in a new season. I can let go of fears, because I am in a new season. I can go forward in ministry and business, because I am in a new season. And if anyone asks, “Why today, why now? You’ve been in a mood for the last two weeks”. I can simply say, because I am in a new season.

The best part of entering into a new season is knowing that God can bring change to any and everything. If something in life has been weighing you down, if you have strongholds that have held you down, rejoice because you are in a new season!

Enjoy your coffee today and Power up your day!

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

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Coffee, Devotions, Inspiration, ministry, power your day, Saturday, Strongholds

This is Where it Went Wrong

And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, or nurturing anger, or harboring resentment, or cultivating bitterness] ~ Ephesians 4:27 (Amplified Bible)

I can’t rehash this week without taking a good, hard look at myself.

Yesterday afternoon, I knew I needed to run away for a few hours. I had a full tank of gas so I drove 2 hours to Virginia Beach. I arrived at my sister-friend’s house look feeling tired and beat up. I thought that I would writie last night, but all I could do was go into a restless sleep.

This morning, God led me straight to Ephesians 4. Have you ever been ‘told-off’ of ‘read’ or ‘checked’ by someone? Well, I was checked this morning. I am not newbie. I am supposed to be mature in Christ. No matter what was going on at work, I was supposed to know better.

5 things I did wrong this week

By not doing these five things, I gave strength to the strongholds. I didn’t tearnthem down this week.

  1. I gave place to the devil. I let him whisper all kinfs of negativity in my ear and I eagerly listened. I allowed him to play on me feeling self-righteous
  2. I did not take authority over my emotions. I knew better but I allowed myself to sit in anger and pity
  3. I did not resist. I should have stopped it after one day (that is the Word). I let my anger seethe past the maximum amount of time and sure enough I left the door open for the most unimaginable feelings of self doubt, pity and depression.
  4. I did not fortify my faith. I let this tear my faith down. I was supposed to jump in the Word. I should have spent at least one night in bed with Bible and let God minister to me. My weapon was available. Note to self – My weapon is the Word of God not an angry tongue.
  5. I did not go into intercession for this. I went straight into my emotions. I identified the strongholds in my life but what about the strongholds that exist at the job. I know there are issues but I only identified the ones that directly effected me.

Now that I am awake, literally and figuraively, it is back to business. There is work to be done: blogs to write, books to write, strongholds to be torndown. Plus I have to drive back home today, two hours in the rain. I am equipping this body with the Word and a cup of coffee.

Enjoy this beautiful rainy Saturday. Power up your day with the Word (it is always good)  and a good cup of Coffee!

Ayoka Boyce ~ Minister, Author, Blogger, Lover of the Word and Coffee

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