Coffee, Devotions, happiness, Happy, Inspiration, power your day, testimony, Throwback Thursday, Wednesday

Seven Days of Happiness – Day 3

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen. ~ 2 Pet 3:18

Growing up in church, I remember there being a time set aside specifically for testimonies. People would stand, give glory to God, then tell how He kept them and brought them through a tough situation with victory. As a child, I sat back and listened. As a teenager, I would struggle with this, I did not want to get up. I did not have a spectacular story or testimony. As an adult, give me a few moments, and I will give my testimony with joy.

Ten years ago, if someone would have told me I would be alive today, in Richmond VA, in ministry, writing and blogging…I would have laughed them out of the door. Five years ago, if someone would have told me that Jesus would be my everything and I would be happy…I would have slammed the door in their face. I am here today because of His grace and mercy. I don’t even have to talk about the enemy, I myself have self-sabotaged and walked a path of destruction on purpose.

Today we celebrate happiness because God has blessed us to grow in grace. We know more today than we knew a year ago. With growth, God continues to open new opportunities for us. His supply for us is bountiful.

My testimony today would wrap up like this: “I am happy today, because I am growing in grace. The more I get to know of Him, the more I want to know. I am daily surprised with blessings. I am always reminded of His love for me. He comforts me as he pushes me to go forward.”

Do you have a testimony of how you have grown in grace? Share your happiness today by telling someone how God has raised you up. It will bless others and you as well. Enjoy your coffee and Power up your day.

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

ayokaboyce

 

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

ayokaboyce

 

Coffee, Devotions, Fear Free, Inspiration, Morning, power your day, Wednesday

Get Over the Hump

The angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him, “The Lord is with you, you valiant warrior!” But Gideon replied, “Right… Sir, if the Lord is with us, then why has all of this happened to us? And where are all of his miraculous works that our ancestors recounted to us when they said, ‘The Lord brought us up from Egypt, didn’t he?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us over to Midian!” ~ Judges 6: 12-13

When my father was alive, there was this one line that he would say often, “Ayoka, I’m going to be here just long enough to get you ‘over the hump’.” He would usually say it when he wanted to make a point, like telling me to save money or to study. When he passed away (I was 19) I took on the thought the he must have believed I was ready. He thought I was over the hump.

I did not think so. I was terrified. I believed I was too young to take on the responsibility of being on my own. He was supposed to stay around to pay the mortgage and household bills. He was still supposed to be here to give me money every week so that my needs would be taken care of. He was not supposed to leave, I still needed my college tuition paid! Did he really leave me like this and think I was over the hump?

I really had doubts that I was equipped to get through the rest of my life. I was young and spoiled. For a while, I forgot that even though my dad was gone, my Father (God) was still with me.

Remember the story of Gideon

Gideon was chosen to lead Israel in battle. The angel found him threshing wheat but addressed him as a ‘Valiant Warrior’. I can imagine Gideon saying ‘Who me? No, I’m not ready for this.’ Actually, his words sound familiar… “God abandoned us here in Midian. How can I be the one to deliver Israel? I am still the youngest!”

God gave Gideon instructions. He had to tear down the idols and strongholds from his father’s house. He was afraid, but he did it anyway. When he initially counted an army of 32,000 soldiers to fight with him, he found that only 300 men were commissioned be God to go with him.
Gideon had fears and questions about his abilities but it was never about what he could do on his own. His father, God, was with him to fight the battle and get him over the hump!

The one thing to remember about any trial that we face – they come to make us strong. Our Father will get us over the hump! Happy hump day! Enjoy your coffee and Power up your Day.

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

cropped-more-than-a-conqueror

Coffee, Devotions, Inspiration, Morning, power your day, Time Management, Wednesday

‘In time’ but not ‘On time’

I examined my lifestyle I examined my lifestyle and set my feet in the direction of your decrees. I hurried and did not procrastinate to keep your commands. Psalm 119:59-60

As I prepared myself for work today, I noticed that I was about twenty minutes ahead of my normal schedule. My clothes were ironed, my eggs for breakfast were boiling. I thought to myself “this is going to be a great day, I will get to work early. No rushing today!” But instead of staying on pace, I started moving slower. Sure enough, I found myself leaving the house as usual, hoping there are no accidents or incidents, so that I would arrive to work in time.

And God showed me a lesson in this…

Since my younger days, I have trained my thoughts to do things ‘in time’. I can see the results of this in many areas of my life. Paying bills ‘in time’ before cut offs and repossessions. When in school, I would turn in assignments ‘in time’ before they would be marked as late or lose grade points. Even my arrival times at work and church are just ‘in time’, underneath the threshold of being late, but certainly not early. When did this become acceptable, do get things done just in time?
Does this make me unreliable, untrustworthy, or flaky? Can God trust me to move when he says move, or will I continue to mix my convenience with His deadlines? Is this why I have struggled with time management for so long?

It’s evaluation time. I am finding that I should evaluate my life at least once a week. In doing so, gaps are closing.

  • Stop winging things. Create a written structure for everything. It can be a to do list, form or a sheet.
  • Use the calendar. Utilize it to finish projects, pay bills, etc., before deadline dates. Deadlines are all about being ‘in time’
  •  Unless there is a true emergency, stop allowing people to infringe on scheduled time. And even then… It is okay to say no.

I am pressing toward making my mornings free from worrying about deadlines and getting things done in time! I keep saying that by the end of 2017, I will be a master of time-management. That stronghold of procrastination will be torn down.

This morning, I switched things up, I am sipping on tea. (Although I did have a sugar free energy drink) Enjoy your coffee and be on time to power up your day.

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

ayoka-boyce-outdoors-massanutten-va

Coffee, Inspiration, power your day, Wednesday

Are You Including God in the Equation?

Have you been trying to solve a problem, but forgotten to include God?

Sometimes I find myself feeling a certain way and agreeing with something that is not in my spiritual DNA.  As I was studying about prayer the words of this scripture were sharp: “ But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking”(Matthew 6:7, KJV).  Ouch!

The word heathen means behaving in a way that is foreign or strange. When we pray for the sake of being heard or believe that God must listen to us because of our use of the English language, we are missing the importance of communicating with Him.  God loves simplicity and prayers such as, “Lord, please guide me” are still powerful.

There have been times where I have wondered, “God are you here!” God does not leave us when we are going through difficult moments, but it can feel like it.  When we are walking through dark times, we can interpret our answers the wrong way.  In our desire to hear from God, sometimes we “do things” to get His attention.  This might look like Googling any prayers to get results without seeking God.  This also looks like picking up random materials on prayer in hopes of getting an immediate answer from God. I know because I have done it before! These actions are strange because as sons and daughters of God we should know God’s nature. He is interested in everything concerning us and He cares. Whenever we try to lean on our works and performance, we have excused God from the equation.

What should we be aware of so God is included in our decisions? When we seek God for answers, He wants us to come in faith. James 1:6-7 says, “ But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.  Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” (NLT).  This means that we must trust Him for the answers versus trusting our strategies.  Think about His answers as math equations.  There are different problems to solve: some simple and others complex.  You can utilize the same principles to solve problems, but you must treat each problem as unique.

God is just like us: He loves conversations that are heartfelt and direct.  If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, He knows your voice because you are His child. Just come to Him and let Him know what you need.  Then make sure to listen for His response.  Remember God wants to share with you great things that you could never figure out on your own.  Is there a problem you need to surrender to Him today?

Enjoy your coffee and expect God to provide solutions!

Ashley Sauls~ Minister, Author, Speaker, Encourager

 

Coffee, Devotions, Inspiration, power your day, Wednesday

I’m Taking this Off Today

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; Hebrews 12:15

It is the day after Valentine’s Day. For all of us single people, the world is back in working order! I was having a great day yesterday, until I allowed two people to get under my skin. Two co-workers slighted me at separate times. One slight, I am sure was unintentional. The other I am sure was 100% intentional. For whatever the reasons were, both actions sent me into a bad and bitter mood.

Today, we have an office party and I have to see these two again. I have three choices:

  1. Completely ignore them and do it in a way that I make them feel slighted
  2. Speak to them as normal. But be sure to get a slick comment in about yesterday
  3. Forgive, move on, and treat them with the same respect that I would want to be treated.

You already know, I am choosing number three. Not that I can’t do the first two with perfect execution, but there comes a point and time when you let things go. Sometimes God will allow things to happen in order to expose the things that need to be cleaned up in the heart.

There was a lesson in it

I learned that it was not the slight that bothered me. What bothered me was the feelings that it sparked. It reminded me of EVERY time I was slighted, passed over, felt I was not good enough, and told that I was not good enough. Of course this was an designed attack, it happened on Valentine’s day.

I refuse to wear bitterness today. I refuse to let the enemy use me to cause this office to be in an uproar. I refuse to ruin someone else’s ‘today’ because I had bad ‘yesterdays’.

Today, I encourage you (and myself) to wear your joy. Enjoy your coffee and Power up your day.

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

ayokaboyce

Coffee, Devotions, Inspiration, Morning, power your day, reflections, Wednesday

Who is my Distraction?

Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Psalm 25:4

The race that many began on Monday has already fizzled out for many. Diets have been abandoned , plans tossed aside and ideas with great intentions and potential have yet to be implemented. It can easily become disappointing to look back and see half of the week has passed without much personal progress.

I thought back on all of the distractions that I had since Monday. Admittedly, I am rather disappointed in everything that I have yet to get done. And this morning, I asked God, what is the purpose of the distractions?

I asked Him this as I drove in minor frustration because other drivers seemed to be in my way

I asked Him because the project I wanted to finish last night did not get touched

I asked Him because my to do list is getting backed up and I don’t want to be overwhelmed again

What is the point of the distraction?

I saw myself in the mirror. I was fussing at other drivers. God said, “none of these drivers are thinking about you or what time you have to be at work. you should have left on time.”

And I thought, ‘well I would have been on time but’… then I saw myself again. No excuses. I caused my own distractions.

Lord, teach me to do better!

Accountability

We can spend the rest of our lives blaming distractions. We can continue to rehearse our past and never move into our future. Or, we can look closer at the distractions. What is God showing us?

Is He showing us how to be better time managers?

Is He teaching us to be accountable for making good food choices for our health?

Is He saying that we should limit our social media scrolling and work more on purposeful work?

Just some purposeful thinking this morning.

ayokaboyce