Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Suffering- A Way Of Life

Suffering is a reality of life. It is something that everyone experiences, and sometimes for unknown reason. But in our suffering it is so important to allow God to be God as we go through instead of complaining, crying and wallowing in it.

 How we allow God to be God is by holding our heads up in the midst of how we really feel, we stop running around trying to fix our change our circumstances, we pray and thank God inspite of what things may look like. Romans 8:28 says, If God is in suffering, only good can come out of it; so he must have good reason for it.

I havent always been able to embrace struggle. There were times when I would try to fix or change every mishap or problem that came my way in life. But what I have learned is when we do this, we show view God when it comes to our lives. It proves to Him that we dont trust that He will take care of us, so we have to do it on our on.

Honestly, I can still freshly remember going through a situation recently where I wanted to do something about the problem in front of me. I was even plotting and planning, how I would do it and a still voice came to me and said, "when has doing it your way ever worked out anything" and as clear as I could hear this voice, I understood clearly that my battles are not my own. God truly wants to carry our loads. We just have to trust and beleive that He will.

We live in a world that believes only in what we see and experience but we have to remember that this world is also spiritual and satan is often allowed by God to test us and take us through things that can result in suffering. Knowing this should make us more prepared,  more armed and more ready when problems and issues arise. Because we know we are going to be tested we should constantly be praying for strength and endurance and when the test arrives be in prayer even more. We've got to stop asking God to take away the struggle and asking for strength to endure through it.

God will take us through things and sometimes allow us to go through things just so we come to realize none of the trivial (small) things we are concerned about are as important as getting to know Him.

When someone comes to you for advice or to share their struggle, be mindful that you dont get caught up in trying to explain their problems to them as if you know why they are going through. When people are struggling all they need from us is compassion, understanding, a listening ear and prayer.

Many times we cant explain why we go through things, so we definitely are not in position to explain someone else's problems. But what we can do is recommend a God who can explain and answer any problem, great or small. Keep your eyes on God, not your struggles.

“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

Monday, June 25, 2012

Its Okay To NOT Be Okay

For quite some time I have struggled on how and if I would ever share this story with anyone. I never really knew if I would have the strength or courage to reveal what I am about to say to my family, my friends or even my personal blog. It wasn’t until today, as I sat in church and heard Pastor Conway say, “It’s okay to NOT be okay, as long as you’re on your way to BEING okay, and at that moment I knew it was time. For several years now I have been “NOT OKAY” with some things in my life and it wasn’t until recently that I started being okay with the things about me that were “NOT OKAY”.
Have you ever woke up and looked in the mirror at yourself, only to see someone you did not recognize? A person that is so familiar but yet so unfamiliar staring you right in the face. Well 7 years ago after giving birth to my first son I became unrecognizable, to myself. Most people would say, “well its natural for your appearance to change after the birth of a baby”, and yes that is correct, lots of people’s bodies, and features change after giving birth to a child, but nothing I had ever seen on any woman could have prepared me for the person I would become shortly after giving birth.
Before my son was born, my husband and I agreed I would stay home with for a least the first year, this one year plan ended up becoming almost 2 before I actually went back into to workforce; but this is one chapter in my life that I am extremely grateful to have been able to write. During these few years my body and outer appearance took a toll on me that I never saw coming. In over a year I gained almost 50lbs of excess weight.
My husband and I got married in September of 2003, at the time I was 5 foot 2 inches weighing 120 lbs. Now I never expected to stay that size for the rest of my life, ( I didn’t want to)  but I also didn’t expect to ever become the size I currently was.
 For some time I was in denial about the weight. I lived 600 miles away from my home town so most the people who knew me before all the extra baggage, were miles and miles away so I didn’t really have to worry about anyone bringing  the weight to my attention until I traveled home which was only once or twice a year.
But the minute I would arrive there I was faced with comments, unsolicited advice and all sorts of opinions about my new size. I was embarrassed, to say the least. I was ashamed and many times hurt. I didn’t realize how much emphasis my previous appearance made on how people treated and reacted to me. Even on people I didn’t even know.
Before the weight gain, I could step out of a car and stop traffic not because I did anything to get the attention, but because for whatever reason, society and people put much attention and emphasis on thin people. After the weight gain I don’t recall even being glanced at except by my husband. It was through this journey God would use my weight for purposes I never knew exist.
Three years after carrying the extra weight I decided that if I was going to be a “big girl”, I would embrace it and work with what I had. So that is what I did. Although I hated the larger sizes, I embraced them and worked them as if I was still a size 2. I had to learn to love who ever I was, in the skin that I was in.
I would be lying if I said this task came easy. I can remember a time being home in Louisiana for a visit and I would still get the unwanted comments and opinions about the weight. But as I would prepare myself for this trip home I would pray and ask God to sustain me before I got there; because let me be clear, although I was uptight and embarrassed about the weight, underneath it all was still an attitude and mouth that could pop off in 0 to 90 secs if given a reason, and believe me I had reason. So as I visited my family back home God would literally give me physical strength and willpower to hold my tongue no matter what was said about the weight. But in the midst of God sustaining, He was also doing some revealing…..
As I prepared myself for whatever was to come, God began revealing the hearts, minds and truth inside of people I considered family and friends. He began to show me how outer appearances were much more important to these people than who I was on the inside. I started to pay attention to the people around me and how they treated me prior to the weight and after.  As I looked at them God begin to show me a part of myself. He started to reveal to me, my own vanity and self-centeredness through people who had now turned the tables on me. What I saw disgusted me but helped me to see a side of myself that I didnt like, but I definitely recognized.
Let me press rewind for a moment and bring you back to a petite young woman who married the man of her dreams almost 9 years ago. I am reminded of how she turned heads, and walked with a strut that coined her nick-name “runway queen”; and she dared anyone to tell her any different. She was very self involved, self-centered, a judge-mental young woman, and she was now beginning to show through all the people I now watched judging me.
So I started praying and asking God for forgiveness for treating people the way I had in the past. As I would pour my heart out to Him, I would explain to Him, how people now treated me and how horrible I felt for the people I had treated in the same manner. I wanted to see people’s hearts and not their appearances, just as I wanted them to see mine.
Throughout this revelation period, I saw God shifting a lot of things in my life, and while I thought this shifting was to reveal to me the hearts of others, I soon learned this process, including my weight gain struggles and the attitudes I had endured, were all a set up to reveal the person I was and the way my heart looked underneath my former size (2).
So I began making friends and acquaintances with people who were less attractive on purpose. I would literally scan a room and look for people who would be considered unlikely, by society views and I would intentionally seek true friendships with them. I didn’t want to see the outer of anyone; I needed to be friends with their heart.
After a few years of being pruned and gleaned, it was time to address my issues with my family. Once I addressed my heart issues with them, we were able to rebuild genuine relationships.  
Throughout this whole process the one constant I have not forgotten, is that Jesus could care-less what size we are, how much we weigh, or how pretty we look. All He wants is your heart; and if you’re heart isn’t in it, He doesn’t want it all.
Today I write to you a lot lighter, a lot slimmer and much healthier. Having struggled with this weight for over 7 years and never being able to seriously get rid of it, I have found that loosing the weight was never my issue, but loosing the vanity, self-centeredness and messed up heart was. When I allowed God to reveal the true me on the inside, and perform a heart transplant on who I really was; He began to shed the pounds off with little to no effort on my part. I tell you this story in awe of what God can do with those who give their entire lives to Him wholeheartedly. I am a true believer that God will use one situation for a thousand different purposes.  
I pray you will be encouraged by this, for whatever season of life you are currently in and realize that it is okay to NOT be okay, as long as your own your way to being okay.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

GOD and Fear Don’t Occupy the Same Space

Webster’s Dictionary defines the word fear as an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger and accompanied by increased autonomic activity. Based on the current condition of the economy and the ups and downs of everyday life, we all can agree that in one form or another, fear has hijacked our minds, bodies and souls. After 9/11, people were fearful of getting onto airplanes, and the world was backed into a corner by fear as news of the Swine Flu outbreak hit the media circuit. Fear has been around for thousands of years as Mark 4:38 tells us how fearful the disciples were of drowning as the scripture reads, “The disciples woke Him and said to Him, 'Teacher, don't you care if we drown?” Fear has a way of destroying our confidence, hopes, and dreams. I wonder how many marriages have ended because of fear. I wonder how many people continue to put off joining a church because of fear. I even wonder how many people battle with self about reading GODS word because they are fearful of the transformation that will take place in their lives if they open the bible.
As I was listening to one of the great thinkers and speakers of this time, he made a statement that ultimately inspired me to share this word about fear. Civil rights activist Dick Gregory said, “GOD and fear don’t occupy the same place”.  After closely analyzing this statement, I begin to look at fear in a whole different way and I came to the conclusion that if GOD is present in your life, then fear has no room to work.  To make more sense of this great thought, and to prove its validity, I turned to the word of GOD. What does GOD have to say about fear? Let’s take a look at a scripture from the bible to bring light to this statement.
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with Mmy righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10 NKJV
In this particular scripture, GOD makes it plain. GOD tells us “Fear not” which should put us at peace because our Heavenly father is telling us not to be afraid. GOD is giving us advice and who better to get advice from than GOD. More importantly, in the next line, HE tells us, “For I am with you”. This one phrase speaks volumes as it brings to light the statement made by Dick Gregory that GOD and fear don’t occupy the same space. If GOD is telling you that he is with you, then fear is not present. If there is anything that scares fear, it’s GOD. If you are afraid of losing your job or your house because of the down turn in the economy, GOD is with you. If you are fearful that your son who is running the streets will go to prison or end up dead, GOD says fear not. The scripture then moves on to say “Yes, I will help you”. If you truly look at this particular line, GOD has already answered our prayers for help before we even ask him to intervene. Who else do you know will answer your prayers and help you before you even ask them to do so?  Finally, GOD says, “I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” This one line informs me that GOD wants to have an up close and personal relationship with us and HE will be with us as we go through our earthly storms. No matter what situation we face in life, GOD will eliminate fear, strengthen us, and keep HIS righteous hand in our daily lives.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rhema Word

Married people are always talking about how great married life is, and how blessed they are to have been sent a man of God. Well I never want to be one of those married people who only give the GOOD and never share the UGLY. My husband and I are not always on the same page, and after 8 years of marriage we are still working on lines of communication. There are times when we have what we like to call "Heated Fellowship". It’s an argument, (but not really) because no one is talking. Last evening was one of our heated fellowship moments and I was “HAUGHT” with this brother, I had gotten mute, only talking to him when deemed necessary and usually only about the day to day things, (work, kids, home, etc.)
 Well this morning after having quiet time, a small voice said, "you know you're being petty and he's not a mind reader", my inner self thought, "Well he should be" but my outer knew exactly what God was saying to me... “Tasha, let it go, and let it go now, it’s just not that serious.” Many people think they have never heard from God or never been able to recognize his voice, when the truth is, we hear it daily, and we hear it often. It’s called a   “Rhema Word”, the moment when God speaks loud and clear to you and your specific circumstance. As I grow with God I am learning that He will speak to us in every situation we are in; we just have to be obedient to listen and act. So in saying all that, “hot chocolate” and I severed our ties at the gas station while he pumped my gas this morning and I am looking forward to spending a quiet evening with him tonight. We aren’t “the perfect couple” by any means, but we are lovers after God’s own heart and image.

Spend time with God and watch Him speak into your life and your situations.

Mrs. Team Anthony

Teach Me How To Love

 As I travel this love journey each day, my prayer is the same, “Lord teach me what real love is and make me a loving person”.  Love is a word we use so lightly, but yet so many of us including myself have no idea what it means to truly love someone. I believe the only way to experience love in its real state is to first learn to Love Jesus before any one and anything else.
I know we all say, “I Love God, I know Jesus, and just because I don’t go to church like most, don’t read the bible and pray or mediate daily, or tell everybody I know about Jesus, doesn’t mean I don’t Love Him.
We’ll I guess that means if I came home to “hot chocolate” every now and again or text him a few times a month but never mentioned him to anyone, he would just know that I Loved him and you all would just by osmosis know that we were in a relationship. (Yeah Ok)
 I talk about my husband because he is an eminent part of my life. I talk about Jesus in greater lengths because He is above everything and everyone else what my heart desires daily. He is the most important part of my life.
I don’t share  my love for God for show, or praise I share my love for Him in hopes that someone else will seek an intimate relationship with Him and become bold enough to shout it out loud, so that others around them will seek Him too.
As I pray this daily prayer, I become more confident that LOVE works and that it is the most powerful motivator and greater depth than anything we can imagine. We are born with a lifelong thirst for Love; our hearts desperately need it like our lungs need oxygen.
Love inspires us to become patient, it changes our motivation for living, and it helps us extend that same Love to others around us.
We can continue to walk around saying I love God, He knows my heart, I give to people, I am a good person, thinking that this type of on again, off again affair is a true relationship with God or we can get serious about what the bible clearly says our purpose is on earth, which is to be made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27), having  the ability to know God—and therefore love Him, worship Him, serve Him, and fellowship with Him.  Our job is to seek His will for our lives by picking up your bible and reading what He says we are here to do and then become obedient in doing so. This ultimately gives Him glory.
Love is the essential ingredient to every relationship, especially the one we create with GOD!

Let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7

A Woman With An Issue

“WOMAN WITH AN ISSUE”… We may not be the woman with a bleeding illness for years, but we may be the woman with an issue of secrets….. We may not be the woman with the issue of singleness, but the woman with the issue of pretending….. or the woman with the issue of abuse, the woman with the issue of financial struggle, or the woman with the issue of loneliness, the woman with the issue of trust….
Last night my heart rejoiced after listening to the teaching of the courage and faith shown by the  woman with an issue of blood. She had such faith and courage in Jesus after being disappointed in healing and remedies for so long. I thought to myself how many of us walk around day to day, month to month, year after year, with our own infirmities? With our own issue of something…  Lonely, Confused, Hurt, Afflicted, Pretending.. never having enough faith to step out our comfort’s zone and reach for Jesus. This morning I am so thankful for a God who can heal a

Sufficient Grace

“If you give me your deficiency, I will show you my sufficiency”
How many of you know that God’s grace is sufficient enough that no matter how deficient we are, his grace is ALWAYS enough.  If we would give God what we lack, He is faithful enough to give us exactly what we need.  He doesn’t say he will grant us riches, but He will always grant us enough of what we need. Isaiah 41:10 says, Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. In those times when you feel low and discouraged, whenever you feel the cold flood of discouragement engulfing you, remember Isaiah 41:10, where God tells us, Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. God will strengthen and uphold you throughout your discouraging time.

Remember God's Grace Is ALWAYS Sufficient.

Mrs. Team Anthony

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Her Purpose

Ever wonder why God placed you here? Do you ever think why me? Why not me? Or when will it be me? Well, you're not alone. We all have questioned, wondered and sat up at night asking God why. I do not have all the answers or a secret recipe to your specific purpose, but I want to share with you what I discovered about my purpose while searching after God. Daily we wake up seeking to find what God has already written in His word as our manual for life. Our core purpose of being on earth is to seek a relationship with Christ and once we establish that relationship, share it with others so that they may seek Him too. The bible is open and given to us freely to help find balance in the midst of our hectic, fast paced life. For me it has become the only constant source that truly sheds light on all of my life situations. Find your purpose,by starting a life in Christ today! Mrs.TeamAnthony


Welcome to Team Anthony- ServingGodOnPurpose

We are excited that you are here. It is our prayer that your coming here brings great change to a new life in   Christ, and a new life's  purpose. Join us as we Serve God On Purpose!

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
Proverbs 19:21