Coffee, Devotions, Fear Free, happiness, Happy, Inspiration, power your day, tuesday

Seven Days of Happiness – Day 2

I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. ~ Psalm 34:4

Freed from Fear

In spite of what my family thinks, I am not fear-free. They think that my willingness to try new ideas, ride the tallest coasters or pick up and travel at a moment’s notice makes me fear-free. It really just makes me daring.

Real fears go much deeper. As many of us do, I tend to fear the consequences if my life loses stability. What if I lose employment, will bills be paid? What if there is bad weather or a fire should come, will my home be lost? There are countless things in life that the mere thought of them can keep us bound in fear. Being bound in strongholds of fear is not the life that God has for us.

David was at a place of fear. His fear was so great that he changed his behavior and those who sought his life thought that he had lost his mind. It could have been his fate to be locked away or even still be put to death. God did not only spare his life, but He made it so that David did not have to continue hiding in fear. God delivered David, kept him in his right mind, and he never again had to go back to that place of fear.

When God frees you from fear, you can move forward into purpose, pursue goals, and step into successful endeavors. Being freed from fear means that even if things go off track, God has already prepared a way of deliverance for you.

Today we are happy because by seeking God, He will hear us and deliver us from all of these fears!

Walk forward in happiness because God frees us from the stronghold of fear! Enjoy your coffee this morning and power up your day.

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

ayokaboyce

Coffee, Comfort, Devotions, Inspiration, power your day, tuesday, worry

Keeping Glad Thoughts

My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD ~ Psalm 104:34

“What a mighty God we serve, What a mighty God we serve”. My song of choice this morning is Lord You’re Mighty, by J.J Hairston & Youthful Praise (awesome song). I hummed it on the elevator and have since been playing it on my headphones. The song is appropriate for my mood of the day. I simply love and trust the mighty God.

I started off this morning worrying. I was worried about my niece going on a field trip to DC today. I was worried about getting to work on time because I had to take her to school early.  I was still thinking about last night’s Home Going Service for Nikki, which hundreds of us attended in person and by live-stream. There was so much on my brain this morning, that I even left my coffee on the kitchen counter.

On my ride to work, God reminded me that He is mighty. Nikki’s family and friends would be okay, He comforts those who mourn. Nikki’s absence from her body means that she is in the presence of the Lord. My niece would be fine on her field trip. I arrived to work on time. And as far as the coffee, my desk drawer is full of Keurig cups. Nothing is missing and nothing is broken.

Knowing that He is mighty, we can dismiss worry and simply meditate on him. Worry is a stronghold of the mind that distracts our thinking. If there is any worry on your mind this morning, I encourage you to replace the thought by reminding yourself of how mighty God is. Be forewarned, meditating on God can lead to worship!

Be Glad in the Lord today. Enjoy your coffee and Power up your Day

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

ayokaboyce

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

author-ayoka-boyce

Coffee, Devotions, Inspiration, ministry, power your day, tuesday

Wearing Two Faces

Be angry, yet do not sin. Do not let the sun set while you are still angry, and do not give the Devil an opportunity to work.~ Ephesians 4:26 – 27
A couple of weeks ago, I was presented with this question, ‘Who would I be the LEAST likely to invite to church, a family member or a co-worker?’ Hands down, for me I am least likely to ever invite a co-worker with me to church.

I invited two people to a women’s event a couple of years back. One other time, a coworker came by for a Christmas program because she worked with the praise dancer. Other than that, I can’t say that even I think much about my coworkers outside of my working hours. Certainly not enough that I would invite them to church.

But It gets worse

No one here has ever pulled me to the side and asked about coming with me to church. I had to evaluate, am I not showing the love of Christ when I get to work?

Truthfully,  they usually see me in an almost daily battle with my boss. And can I really say that I am approachable when I make sure to keep headphones in for the majority of the day? They get to witness me not smiling, frustrated over the work, unhappy about being there, and dissatisfied. When I occasionally share a Social Media picture of me, they are surprised to see me happy…

Work is the only place where my guard is up 99% of the time. There has been a strong battle here, which started right around the time I first became a minister. This morning, I wonder, just how strategic the attack has been at work?  Has the enemy been setting me up every day, intentionally irritating me, so that my reaction would stink to my coworkers? Who is really going to follow an irritated, standoffish, minister to church?

Looks like I have work to do and an attitude to fix. I am going to start off on a new note by actually offering coffee. Which, believe it or not, has been the one thing that I am not ever willing to share while I am here.

Ministry is all around us. Enjoy your coffee and Power up your day.

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

nikki-p-serene

Coffee, Devotions, Fear Free, Inspiration, tuesday

Who, me?

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” Ex:3:11

Has God ever called you to do something and you’re like, “Who, me? Are you talking to me? You cannot really be asking me to do this…. But God?  I don’t know. Me? Really. Me. For real?”

Recently my sister-friend asked if I could help her out and contribute to a project.  I was hesitant. I knew that I should say yes. that I needed to say yes. Otherwise it would be a missed opportunity and I would live to regret it. I knew that the proposition was God ordained even without her telling me that it was (she later shared with me that God indeed had instructed her to ask me.) And the minute that I said okay (and I was shaking in my boots when I did) thoughts of inadequacy and doubt surfaced. “Is she sure? Is this for me? what if I mess this up? What if I end up looking like a fool? Can I do this? I haven’t done on anything like this in like…..ever!”

On and on, these thoughts rolled around my mind like a rock. It was then I was reminded of Moses when God had called him to lead his people out of Egypt to the Promise Land. Moses sat there and listed all the reasons why God had gotten the wrong man for the job. And God promised Moses that He would be there each step of the way. Moments of doubt and insecurity can creep in when we feel that we are less than what the task God is calling us to do. We feel that because we lack certain credentials or experience in the matter, surely we are not qualified. But God doesn’t operate like that. He doesn’t want us to rely on “chariots” or own abilities because the glory wouldn’t go to Him.

We would never know how big God really is if we weren’t painfully aware of our shortcomings.  I told this same bestie of mine that by doing this I will be ‘jumping off the cliff’. To which she replied, Jump! There is a scene in this Indiana Jones movie where Indiana is standing at the edge of a cliff. He has to get to the other side. Problem is there no bridge-that he can see. The thing of it is, the bridge will only appear if he believes that the bridge is there even if he can’t see it. But first, he has to step out.  He closes his eyes, raises his foot, and takes a step. When he opens his eyes he finds that he is standing on a solid surface. The bridge appeared because he believed it was there. If he doubted, he would’ve went tumbling down into the ravine. See what just happened there?  We spend so much of our time wondering if we are good enough when all we have to do is trust in the One who is.

We are often plagued by our insecurities wondering if we are up for the task. God had to point out to Moses it wasn’t about his ability. It was about what Moses could do through God (Phil 4:13). HE is all Moses needed.  I’m not comfortable doing this new thing. And I guess that’s the point of it too. God has to move me out of my comfort zone just as He had to move Moses out of his. And just like Moses, I listed every reason why He couldn’t possibly be talking to me.  He’s moving me to a place where I am learning to put my trust in Him. And that’s no easy feat.

Is God calling you to something else? Are you on the edge of a cliff that leads to your divine purpose? What un-comfort zone is God moving you to? Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and trust His Word. Take that next step. The bridge will appear.

Enjoy your coffee, grab a hold of God’s hand and jump!

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

lavahn-davis

Coffee, Devotions, Inspiration, power your day, tuesday

God Answers Us in Dark Moments

This is God’s Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own (Jeremiah 33:2-3, MSG)

Have you ever tried walking in your home when it is dark? The moments I have been brave enough to try I have dropped things on the floor or been unfortunate enough to stub my toe(ouch).These experiences remind me that I am not invincible and sometimes I need to reach for the light switch for my own well-being.  Such was the case of Jeremiah who found himself in a dark moment of a different sort.  When we meet Jeremiah, he is in prison and God is speaking to him!  I find it amazing and encouraging that many times God decides to speak to His followers and reveal His might when they are in prison-like situations.

Was Jeremiah in prison for doing anything wrong? This is our natural assumption when we see others experiencing difficult moments.  We think, “I wonder what they did to receive such fate!”  Jeremiah continued to speak God’s decrees, which angered the political leaders and some of the religious figures of that time. He was right before God, but wrong to those who disagreed with his stance.   Did Jeremiah feel discouraged or hopeless? Yes, I am sure he had those moments.  Did Jeremiah remain silent and abandon God?  No, and as a result, even in darkness, God continued to speak to him.

In the dark God said to Jeremiah, “Call to me and I will answer you.  I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own” (Jeremiah 33:3, MSG). The key to going through dark moments well is not losing sleep, worrying excessively or trying to figure it out with your ingenuity.  It is calling to God for an answer so He can reveal His plans that we cannot see.

When you examine the entire text, you are able to see redemption at work. God promised to restore the desolate and torn areas for His people.  He promised to express His mercy to His people once more.  God’s people were suffering at the hands of their own decisions, which Jeremiah forewarned would occur.  Yet, all was not lost!  God brought a message of hope and encouragement to Jeremiah that He is not only a God of punishment but of redemptive love.  This fresh wisdom from God would sustain Jeremiah through the dark moments he still had to endure until this promise was fulfilled.

You may find yourself in a dark moment that feels like it will never end. You may be asking yourself, “What have I done to deserve this experience? I’ve done nothing wrong!”  You may wonder if there is an answer, but struggle since Heaven appears silent.  Ask God for an answer and allow Him to reveal fresh insight and hope.  Allow God to reveal answers that will show His might and bring His light to a dark experience.

Enjoy your coffee and expect God to speak with you today!

Ashley Sauls~ Minister, Author, Speaker, Encourager

Coffee, Devotions, Inspiration, power your day, tuesday, Valentines Day

She was full of…

And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. ~ Luke 10:41

Worry is a choice

Martha was so busy, seemingly taking care of the needs of her extraordinary houseguest, that she became full of worry. The more she worried, the more she worked. Vice versa ~ the more she worked, the more she worried. Perhaps this was part of who Martha was, a worrier.

Her going back and forth must have been troublesome. Was she worried that her home was not good enough for her special guest? Or perhaps she was not satisfied with what she had to offer Him. We know that her thoughts were so consuming that she just could not keep still.

Jesus did not address her actions, instead he spoke to her heart. Her heart was full of worry and trouble. With such a full heart, there was no room for Martha’s heart to receive the words of life.

We have never been instructed to worry. Worry is a part of fear. It is a type of fear that is practiced and rehearsed within our heads and our hearts. Worry gives life to fear. If is is not cast down, it can produce very real and negative manifestations in our lives.

The difference between Martha and Mary

Mary sat down in the presence of Jesus. She allowed Him to minister to her heart. Martha never gave Him a chance. On the flip side, Martha became angry at Mary because she expected her to be as flustered as she was.

Have you ever been there, worried about a situation and angry at everyone around you  because they don’t seem to be concerned or worried? You seem to be the only person caryying the weight of worry and fear.

Remember, we were never instructed to worry. Don’t let worry consume your morning. Cast your cares on Him.

Be encouraged this Valentines’s Day! Spend time with Jesus and let him speak life into your heart. Surely, He has the right words to fix everything that is ailing the heart!

Enjoy your coffee, and power up your Valentine’s Day!

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

ayokaboyce