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

Coffee, Inspiration, power your day, Thursday, worry

Provision or Prison?

So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging…Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. ~ Jonah 1:15,17

I have been debating about doing something for almost a year. This morning I think I’ve just about made up my mind. I’m going to file for chapter 13 bankruptcy where I can pay off my bills through a trustee.

I don’t want to do this.  What I really want is for one of my cousins to win the Mega Million and hit me off for a couple of million dollars. Somehow, I don’t think that will be God’s provision for me.

Was the fish provision or punishment?

Whenever I looked at Jonah and the story of him being in the fish, I always thought that the fish was his punishment. I never thought of the fish being his provision. Jonah never would have survived in the water without protection, and that fish, although it may have been a little uncomfortable, was his protection. It provided him a safe haven to live, and then to go forward and do the work he was sent to do.

I’m Jumping out of the ‘familiar’ boat

It’s familiar for me to live paycheck-to-paycheck. It’s familiar to me to get a few dollars from my mother or another close friend. The stronghold says ‘stay where you are, just keep borrowing and going deeper into debt. The stronghold says you’re never going to be any better anyway so stop trying.  Freedom says just stop the madness.

God has actually already made the provision for me, I just have to leap off of this familiar boat of what I am used to having and what I am used to not having. Worrying about money and not even looking forward to payday is not a pleasant way to live. The real prison is staying in the stronghold.

Just some thoughts that I’m having this morning. I guess the next decision I have to make is whether I’m going to hire a lawyer or tackle the paperwork myself. Decisions,decisions, decisions.

Don’t be afraid of God’s provision, especially if it will loose you from a stronghold. 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, ministry, power your day, Thursday

Attitude Check

But I am in pain and distress. Let your salvation, God, protect me. ~ Psalm 69:29

I say this often, I get one day a month to feel like this – blah. Today seems to be that day. It was a fight to write the blog this morning. I have started 4 different topics this morning, but they just were not right. And God let me know that it was okay for me to write the truth. Somebody needs to hear this.

There are days that we don’t feel great. Sometimes, it is for no particular reason at all, we just feel blah. It isn’t intentional to feel this way.

But there has to be an intention to come out of the funk. I know that the longer I ‘allow’ myself to stay in this mood, the more susceptible I am to falling for the tricks of the enemy. Before I get to this point, Lord let your salvation protect me! Protect me from depression, irritation, loathing and every emotion that comes with this. Let your salvation protect me from making emotional decisions including spontaneous online shopping or choosing to eat a large unhealthy but comforting lunch. Let your salvation protect me from reverting back to old habits of drinking and self-harm. Let your salvation protect me from making phone calls to people I don’t need to be talking to…

The Psalmist David

Prior to this verse, it would appear that David was having ‘a day’. He is drowning from emotions and trouble and claimed to be exhausted from calling for help. He doesn’t seem to have a friend in the world, he is surrounded only by enemies who want to do him in. (Yes, that has been how I felt this morning) But David prayed that he not stay in that place. He switched his words of complaint and distress. He began to praise and magnify God, understanding that his complaints were not pleasing. He then changed the atmosphere around him and implored that even the heavens and earth should join him in praising God.

What a turnaround he made! The question is, what am I going to do now. I do believe, I will get my life together, and change the atmosphere around this place. If I can influence an icky mood, surely with the help of God, I can switch this mood around.

I need an afternoon cup of coffee.
Be intentionally happy! Enjoy your coffee and power up your day.

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

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Coffee, Devotions, Fashion, Inspiration, power your day, Thursday

‘Fashionable’ Ministry

 The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.~ 2 Corinthians 10:4

I love the early mornings because it is my quiet time with God.

As you know, I love to blog and recently, I have taken on writing fashion blogs for a new clothing company. As a writer, I started the project with the assumption that it would be easy. After all, fashion blogs, in general can be fifty percent or more of pictures.

So why in the world has writing the blog stumped me every night? I could not figure out why the words were difficult to write.

Then this morning happened.

In my prayer time with God, He revealed to me that I have been trying to write about fashion but I had not addressed the ‘ministry’. He reminded me of how I feel when low self-esteem comes around. He also reminded me of how negative feelings can be torn down, even in fashion. the fashion blog was difficult because this ministry would be tearing down strongholds of pride.

Ministry isn’t always easy! Not only has the writing been a challenge but I was starting to encounter feelings of failure and fear that I would not be able to deliver what I committed to do.

tearing down the stronghold

The stronghold of pride, hides behind low self-esteem and low self-worth. Pride is not only evident when women wear certain clothes for attention but it operates when women use clothes to hide themselves.

I am going to write today’s fashion blog submission equipped and ready. I am clothing myself ‘fashionably’ with the whole armor of God.

Today, I encourage you to look for ministry. Enjoy your coffee and power up your day by finding ministry right where you are.

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

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Coffee, Inspiration, power your day, Thursday, time, worry

Living in the Moment

Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble -Matthew 6:34

We live in the age of “moving on to the next thing”. Everything is about what’s happening next. Who is the next rising star? What is the next fashion trend? When you go to the store in the winter to try to shop for a sweater, you find yourself surrounded with next summer’s bathing suits (An absolute annoyance as my body is still in winter mode).

So it is little wonder that I find myself living in the fast forward lane to life. On to the next day and mentally listing all the things I have to do or what’s on the agenda because what I do today effectively has an impact on tomorrow. But hardly do I stay on the path of today. By days end, I find that I hadn’t really been present. I hadn’t lived in the present. How many of us do that?

Don’t feel bad, God said in Matthew 6:34 for us not to worry about what tomorrow will bring. Now He wasn’t talking about not preparing for tomorrow. That’s different.  Careful planning is a necessity of life because it alleviates unnecessary worry. We are to prepare what needs to be done for the next day, and then leave it there.

Oftentimes, I prepare for the next day, and I’m still in the next day not paying any attention to what’s going on in front of me.  In time, before you know it, the kids will have grown, precious moments will have been missed, and loved ones will have transition from this life to the next, and what do we famously say? ‘Where has all the time gone?’ Or ‘Time is moving so fast.’ Yea it goes by quick. And if you are not diligent enough to be present in the present, you will miss it.

God by His grace gave us right now, this moment. Today. Live in it! I’ve gotten in the habit of asking God to keep my mind to focus on the now, and He is faithful. Besides, God is so Awesome. He already knows what we need before we even ask him. (Matt 6:8) and He leaves no stone unturned (Phil 1:6).  He even fulfills needs that may have slipped my mind.  He’s that good. It’s also an awesome thing to be present in His presence.

Don’t let worries creep into your quiet moments with Him. He’s already in tomorrow and He has taken care all of the details (Matt 6:31).  Don’t let today pass you by.

Enjoy your coffee, and live in the moment

Lavahn Davis ~ Writer, loves God, hubby and kids…. the rest are just fringe benefits

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Coffee, Inspiration, Thursday, victory

Giving Voice to Your Victory

Can you celebrate when things look impossible? I can be an introvert at times, but when I get excited about anything good (i.e. football game) I can shout very loudly.  I have never been a casual cheerleader and from what I have heard, there is a bold sound and dance that you wouldn’t expect from my quiet demeanor.  If things shift from an experience of victory to defeat, my tenacity is quenched.  I never thought about how my response to sports events mimics my response to challenging moments.  When I feel like I am winning, my celebration is exuberant and unrestrained. I cannot be silenced! When I feel like things are continuing to come against me, I do not have much to say.  In fact, I usually do not want to celebrate.  Can you relate?

There can be wisdom in being silent, because sometimes what we want to say is not what we need to say.  Sometimes we need to regroup, refocus, and rest to get up again.  Then there are times we need to be vocal.  Psalm28:7 says, “The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving”(NLT). As sons and daughters of God, we can rejoice in all seasons because God is with us.  We can rest assured that God is not sleeping on any matters in our lives and we can trust Him without reservation.

When we are in fiery moments, we must learn how to lean into God. God does not send us into any experience without the proper attire. We have been given the whole armor of God(Ephesians 6:11-17) to withstand every dart the enemy might send our way. The armor is hand-crafted in His word, which continues to stand and never fails. Allow Holy Spirit to reveal scriptures or promises that you may need to pray and meditate on, which will serve as a reminder of who God is. Sometimes you may not feel like reading His word but listen to the word of God.  It builds your faith and strengthens your stance. Do not abandon His word, because His word includes His promises for every circumstance.

We must also press into the power of worship.  Worship is more than lifting our hands, bowing our heads, or closing our eyes.  It is the posture of our hearts in everyday obedience to God.  In our worship, we acknowledge God for who He is.  We reverence Him and we continue to release who He is in the face of trials.  Even insurmountable challenges must bow to God because His name is above every name and His rule supersedes all other rulership.  Give voice to who God is, even when you do not feel like it.  God will strengthen you in ways you never imagined.

We must also learn to burst out in thanksgiving (celebration). I can speak of this one from experience. I have been facing a long battle and Holy Spirit led me into singing about victory. Our humanity wants to say, “God, how can I sing when this promise has yet to be fulfilled?” The celebration improved my confession because I was focusing on God’s will and His will in the matter says I win. As you are actively waiting for God to deliver you or to unveil a promise, give voice to what God is saying.  Celebrate and rejoice as God is maturing you and sharpening your voice for His glory.

As you begin your day, remember to give voice to your victory.  You are a citizen of the Kingdom, so your conversation is royal.  Agree with what God is saying and watch the shift that happens as the will of God in Heaven is fulfilled in the earth.

Enjoy your coffee and declare a victorious day!

Ashley Sauls~ Minister, Author, Speaker, Encourager

 

Coffee, focus, Inspiration, power your day, Thursday

Re-Centered

You will keep perfectly peaceful the one whose mind remains focused on you, because he remains in you. ~  Isaiah 26:3

Last night, I had to visit a salon that I had never been to before. I knew the general area where it was, and I used the phone for Navigation. That sounded good except I put the wrong address in the phone and walked into the wrong salon.

Completely embarrassed, I headed back to my car, and drove according to the GPS. This time, the phone sent me in the opposite direction. After 10 minutes of driving, the GPS now said I was 20 minutes away. Then I noticed it was prompting me to ‘re-center’.

I did just that. I re-centered. Pulled the car over, got the correct address, then doubled back in the correct direction. I arrived 45 minutes late and the salon was only one block away from where I originally was.

I had to re-center this morning. I was starting to feel overwhelmed. It is a full plate at work today. As I  was preparing for my next meeting, I realized the time and I still have not posted this blog. And out of nowhere the thought comes, ‘so just don’t blog today’.

Oh, I see what this is now. No, I will just skip going downstairs for a break. I am blogging. This is ministry!

The more I am studying the Word, the more I realize that life is not as random as I thought it was. Everything happens for a reason. Every action and every non-action  has a pending result.

Three questions to ask yourself when you need to re-center

  1. Why do you do this?
  2. What is the purpose God has for you to do it?
  3. Why do you think you are being distracted from completing it?

Just a few thought for this mid-morning. I’ve had my first cup of coffee but I think a second cup will be coming soon. Enjoy your coffee, stay focused and Power up your day

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

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Coffee, Devotions, Inspiration, Mindset to Finish, power your day, Thursday, What if

Mindset to Finish // Part 5

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,  redeeming the time, because the days are evil. ~ Ephesians 5:15-16

Unfinished tasks and goals will almost always end in missed opportunities.

About two years ago, I went into a car dealership to inquire about trading in my car. I test drove a gorgeous Malibu that had every bell and whistle I wanted. Unfortunately, my current car was ‘underwater’. The costs that would come from trading that car in would have placed me in a financial noose.

I was given advice: open an account with the credit union, keep the account active and in good standing, and pay my bills on time as much as possible. After a year, I would be in better financial shape to trade in my car..

A year later, I spoke back to the dealer and he asked if I had followed the steps. I told him no. He stated ‘Imagine if you had started a year ago and finished the plan, you could be driving the car that you want.’

Not only did I not have the mindset to finish, I did not even have enough faith to get the process started.

No more excuses

We can redeem our time with excuses or we can redeem our time by finishing the goals before us. I redeemed my time with excuses.

I cringed at the advice because one year seemed to be too long of a process to get a new car. In the two years from that conversation I did not finish the process laid before me. I held back my own progress. I kept my financial situation in bondage. I stayed in my underwater car. All because when I received the good advice, I did not grasp the mindset to finish the process.

Today I encourage each of you, and myself, to keep the Mindset to Finish. Let us be wise with our time (there’s that time-management again) and faithful to fulfilling our purpose.

Enjoy your coffee and Power up Your day

Join me each morning with Morning Coffee and Daily Inspirations

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

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Coffee, Devotions, Inspiration, power your day, Thursday

Fear Free Living // Part 2

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 

 

We all face times in life that can seem overwhelming and where we can become inundated with thoughts and feelings of inadequacy. Oxford dictionary defines the word inadequate as “lacking the quality or quantity required; insufficient for a purpose.”

As a single mother, I’ve always wanted to make sure that my children were well taken care of. At  times, I’d become overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy, “How was I, a young mom, going to be able to juggle the demands of raising a family….alone?” I came to realize that those feelings of inadequacy were fear disguised.

The Bible is filled with accounts of people who just like you and me dealt with these same types of thoughts. A constant theme woven throughout scripture is God saying to His children, “Do not be afraid….You’re not alone…I am with you in this.” As a parent, I’ve said this to my own children, “Come on…you can do it…I’ll catch you.” In both cases, the child must enter that place of trust….confident that they will not be let down.

Rather than carrying the burden of single-parenting, I decided to grab a hold of some of the promises I found in the Bible that would build my faith and trust in God in this area. In doing this, I’ve become confident in God’s love and care for me and as a result have seen His faithfulness time and again.

When we are grounded in His love for us, fear doesn’t stand a chance! More on this tomorrow….☕

Colette Oliver

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