Monthly Archives: November 2013

Checking

I am attempting a simple post from my cell for when I am traveling. I don’t have internet at our new home yet. Let’s see how it works.

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Proof of Faith

Day by day we encounter the unexpected, otherwise known as life. The budget looks great on paper, until…; the trip was going smoothly until…; break it down even smaller, the day was going great, until… Yes, life happens and we are never 100% prepared no matter how hard we try. Those who live with faith in God tend to handle these times a little better than those who try it on their own. Then again, remember most of us have learned by trying on our own to have that faith.

Is there proof that faith in God really helps? Look in the scriptures. Noah was told to build an ark when there was a serious drought going on. By having faith and obedience in God he did and was saved from the flood. Moses was at the Red Sea with armies chasing to slaughter all of them. Through obedience and faith he raised his staff as instructed and the seas were parted. Abraham just packed everything up and left not knowing where he was going to go but had faith in God that all provisions would be taken care of. Serious paraphrasing here ~ Jesus does tell us that if he would take care of a sparrow’s needs, don’t we think we’re more valuable than that sparrow to him?

Now it’s time to take a look at ourselves. When we encounter an until…do you panic? Do you worry? Do you immediately pray or do you take it on yourself and then if you can’t work it out, then pray? Most of us fit into the latter category. We always tend to want to be in control and just jump in and take care of it, no matter what it is. How many times do you stop and pray for guidance before you do?

In closing, my thought/question for the day is ~ do live your life with faith in God or just claim you have faith in Him? Can others who know you see this faith as they could with Abraham? Does your life show others proof of faith? Always remember, the way you live your life is a testimony to others.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Time Out

Now since the feast is over, kitchens are once again clean, and refrigerators are stuffed with leftovers it’s over, right? Well, it’s just beginning! After the long hours of preparation and cleaning many went mad with shopping – the Black Friday sales!! Ha ~ after spending your day being thankful for all you have only to run out and stomp over people to get something you don’t have. Today everyone is still shopping for the sales and what might be leftover from last night. This is not even including family that is still visiting and/or stopping by. The next few days will be watching football. If you notice in that game, at least the coaches know when to call a time out for the players to regroup and get a good strategy going. Do you call ‘time out’?

In this fast-paced, highly competitive world we live in people have forgotten the most valuable commodity of life – time. It is the one thing you can never get back, once the moment has passed it’s gone only to be a memory. Right now in my life I am staying with my mother in Florida to take care of her and visiting my husband and doggies once every 3 months. In more ways than one have I learned the value of time. As we hit the adult years busy with our own lives and growing up we forget that somewhere along the line our parents were also growing older. When I came down I didn’t expect it to be this hard either. Spending every day watching someone slowly drift away wondering where all the time went. On the flip side, you really appreciate the time with your spouse and being able to see them daily. So, going from 24/7 caregiver to wife back to caregiver, repeat ~ survival requires prayer and asking God for strength and one more thing – an occasional time out.

Some of you can relate to what I’m doing and others can relate between kids, spouses, jobs, housework, etc. STOP!!! Take some time for yourself. For some it’s hard and I have had to learn it myself. Now though, I truly enjoy it. Just for a few hours if nothing else I take time out for me. Also, if you don’t you will not be good for others.

God instructed us to take time to rest. If He rested on the seventh day don’t you think we need to? We are not created to be able to continually go without this rest. We are also told to take time out to talk to God and be in His Word. Is that on your list of things-to-do? If not, re-work your schedule. Make the time in your daily routine to spend with Him. Life truly is better when you do!

In closing ~ you’ve taken the time to prepare the feast, entertain family and friends, shop, etc.; make sure to take a time out for yourself for mental and physical rejuvenation. Most importantly, take time out with God.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Just today?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and thank you for stopping by! This will probably be shorter than you are used to reading due to the fact that I, just like you, suffer from the exhaustion of the holiday. It is the one time of the year that family and friends come together, have their traditional dinner and catch up. It is also the time of year where everyone will start listing on Nov. 1st what they’re thankful for. My thought today is why just today? Why do we only get together as a family for holidays? Most importantly, why aren’t we just as thankful everyday? I will share my list here with the world ~ I am thankful for:

Jesus dying on the cross for me; my parents who guided me in walking the right paths; my son, who not only is my miracle but taught me more about unconditional love (all parents learn to have it); my husband, my everything; all of my friends, both those I personally know and those I have gotten to know but not yet met; last but not least ~ each one of you. You encourage me every day to continue to write with your comments, likes, etc. As an author that is priceless, and I thank you.

May we carry this gratefulness we have today all year through.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Gains and Losses

In the world of business decisions are made by looking closely at the gains and losses of investments. Analysis, budgets and many other reports by specialists are constantly being run and rerun before any action is taken. Once in a great while someone goes by their gut instinct, some call it a hunch, and ignore all of the numbers in the reports and go for it. Sometimes it turns out, sometimes it doesn’t. There are cases that companies have gone bankrupt only because of making that one decision; although, sometimes it has nothing at all to do with any decisions. After 9-11 happened the amount of businesses that folded were numerous which shows how it’s not always the business owners fault if it goes under.

This is not just in the world of business. We find ourselves always checking the numbers to make sure the bills can be made. The wonderful budget that lies in front of you always looks great ~ that is until life happens. We are not always prepared for emergencies and find ourselves re-working the numbers, otherwise known as “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.” When it comes to having to purchase a new car, another home or any big investment, like major business owners we consult the numbers over and over to make sure it’s doable. Going into such an investment with numbers on the paper that support the decision doesn’t guarantee it will work out because once again, we have no control of the future.

The one thing that doesn’t fit our logical sense of profits, investments, gains and losses is a decision to do something when you know ahead of time you’re going to lose. To complicate it more is the thought of doing something that causes you to lose and someone else to gain. How many of us would be willing to give someone else everything we have and walk away with nothing? None of us would, not one. We would be willing to share as long as we would still have something but to walk away with nothing and give it all to someone else? Not! We are greedy by nature.

One person did the unthinkable ~ Jesus. He knew from the beginning of time that he would have to give his life for us to have salvation. Not just that, he also knew HOW he would die and how he would be treated. To top it all off he knew that even after he died on the cross he would still be rejected by most men. That decision doesn’t make sense when we think of gains and losses. Jesus was the Son of God and didn’t have anything personal to gain by his decision. He died on the cross out of love so we could have ~ His loss became our gain.

I will close with a short thought. The next time you don’t feel loved, you feel like you’ve done so much for everyone else and are forgotten by others; remember ~ Jesus thought of you when he made his decision.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Raw Diet

With Thanksgiving coming up in two days everyone is planning their meals and beginning to prepare their side dishes for everything to be ready and on the table for the yearly feast. The Thanksgiving Dinner has been a tradition for many years which follows with the agony of overstuffing yourself. I am sure there are many of us who never learn the lesson to eat moderately and we eat to the point that our bodies cannot hold anymore ~ then we follow up with dessert. 🙂

This is about the only time, other than Christmas dinner, people nowadays take the time to prepare a home cooked meal. In today’s fast-paced world running through a drive through and grabbing some fast food for dinner has become more and more common. Along with eating the fast food comes the decrease in society’s health. Scientific studies have shown this over and over. The people who live in what we consider ‘poor’ countries survive with raw diets, fruits and vegetables and nuts, and by far healthier. For most of us it takes the decline of our health to really start doing something about our diet, not just how much we eat but what we eat as well. More and more it is becoming popular to eat a raw diet and people are experiencing those side effects ~ they are healthier!

In our spiritual life our diet, if you will, is what we put into our minds. Take a close look at what music you listen to, TV shows you watch, etc. and do a reality check of how positive they are. God’s Word is the best ‘diet’ one can mentally have, to engrave His words into your heart and mind. Take a little closer look though. Even with the Word there is what I call ‘fast food’ and ‘raw diet.’ There are many who will be reading and come across a scripture that really hits home, something they don’t want to hear or change, the page is turned immediately or the Bible may even be put down at that time. Ah, the fast food kicks in. Read what you want and makes you feel good for the moment about yourself. When you take the time to read the rest though, you get the raw diet. There are no additives, no preservatives, no sugar coating ~ just the raw truth. You will find that if you start to switch from fast food dieting in your spiritual life to the raw diet, your daily walk with Jesus will be more filling.

I urge you to look closely at your Spiritual diet and see if you have the fast food diet. If so, start the raw diet today. Your Spiritual life will be healthier and you will be happier.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Comparisons

How many times do we continuously, whether conscious or subconscious, compare ourselves to others? It is so human to do especially in this competitive world we live in today. The sad part is when our self esteem is affected by this. Being a woman I can so relate to this!!! Peter is always getting onto me about comparing myself to someone else when I see their figure, smile, and the list goes on. Once again I am reminded that God has made each of us the way we are for a reason and we need to be happy with ourselves. That doesn’t mean not to do the best you can to improve but it does mean don’t compare yourself to someone else.

Now since we’ve touched comparing on the outside and how that can affect your self esteem let’s bring it a little deeper, shall we? How about how we think of whether we are successful or not? Once again, another comparison. Usually people will consider themselves successful by the amount of money and/or assets they have. Even in that sense how do you compare your success? For example, do you compare where you are this year compared to last year, last month, last week, etc.? We need to be careful with how we compare our success but especially by what standards as well. Compare yourself to Will Smith and his success – yeah, well – you see where I’m going with that. As long as you know at the end of the day you have done your best that is success no matter what ‘category’ you think you’re in.

As always there are layers so now we’ll touch real deep ~ thrashing deep. How many people are glorifying themselves as Christians by comparing themselves to others and talking about how they aren’t “stand-up” Christians? There are many that proclaim to be a Christian because they say they believe in God and know the Scriptures. OK, my turn to compare. Satan believes in God AND knows the Scriptures so now, compare yourself to that thought and what makes you stand out differently? Oh, I get it, you go to church. My friends, going to church doesn’t make you a Christian or open the doors to Heaven. Does it help? Of course! It always helps to surround yourself with like-minded people. Also, we are instructed to be around other Christians worshipping. Just always remember though, we are instructed NOT to judge others and where they stand.

You want a real comparison? Compare yourself as a Christian to Jesus. Are you forgiving? Do you love others unconditionally? That list definitely goes on. Being more Christ-like is a goal but also unattainable for we are human and have many flaws. For improvements we compare ourselves to Him but never get discouraged when you do. You can also compare where you are now in your Spiritual walk to where you used to be for a closer look at yourself. Just make sure you’re honest when you do because He already knows the truth.

In closing, I urge you to only compare yourself to you, where you were and who you were to now. Don’t make the constant mistake of comparing yourselves to those of the world or even those you consider Christians. Focus on you for you are the one who will answer to Jesus about your life. One last thought ~ if you truly want to feel and be successful, make a difference in another’s life. Then you have succeeded.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Who is Welcome?

In our society we tend to gravitate towards those who are successful, dressed well, driving nice cars, and this list definitely goes on and on. If you ever noticed people tend to walk away from those who live on the poor side of town. I mean, we have seriously gotten to where we only have something to do with someone if they can do something for us. Have we gotten so blind that we can’t see people?

When Jesus walked the earth, he wasn’t someone whom you would particularly take a second glance that. He wasn’t that tall and was a carpenter so his hands were rough and callused.  After walking through the deserts for days, in sandals I may add; when he walked into a town he didn’t exactly look the greatest. No one could tell by his appearance on the outside that this was Jesus, the Son of God. It was the moment they looked into his eyes his heart shown through; then they knew he was special. They listened to his teachings. Some listened closely and followed him, but others turned him away and called him a blasphemer, and He was the Messiah!!

Because we have gotten so small minded that we care more about the outward appearance of people and what they can offer us, here’s a good question for all of us… would you walk up to Jesus the way he was dressed and appeared? Would you think that this man was a mere carpenter and fisherman was truly the son of God because he was dressed simply and not wearing a royal robe and crown? In other words, would Jesus be welcome at your door? I’m sure your answer is yes at this point. But what if you didn’t know it was Jesus? I mean, think about at how he “appeared.” One last question, do you find yourself running to those that others run away from? Remember, Jesus told us, “… the least you do unto my brethren you do unto me.”

With that thought in mind I want to close reminding you that every time you reach out a helping hand to someone it truly matters in the grand scheme of things. It also matters just as much, if not more, when you turn away from helping someone. Be cautious of this, you never know when Jesus is knocking at your door.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

I Needed That!!!

Yesterday I was talking with Peter about getting published. Of course, everyone dreams of their book being a best seller, but I spoke with him about the flip side of reality ~ the possibility that it may not do that well. His response was perfect in every way!! He said, “But it’s not up to you or even the publishing company ~ it’s up to God how well it will do. Just leave it all in His hands.” I said, “Thanks, I needed that” Trying to stay humble and not get hopes high I did the one thing I tell others not to do and that is look at the worst case scenario. Of course, in a lot of ways it is good to do that. The one thing we always tend to forget is that God is in control and He makes the impossible possible!!

I am finding that when I write daily it has become my own devotion. Actually, most of what I write about on here are reminders to myself as well. A few short minutes ago I was talking with a friend, Geri Bowden, about how tired I am and I had to write. It’s not like it was washing dishes or laundry, something that is just second nature. I actually have to think!! I had told her what Peter had said and she gave me the idea to write about that. Again, I found myself saying, “Thanks, I needed that.”

Day after day we find ourselves where a light bulb turns on in a thought, in a rush to get somewhere and the light all of a sudden turns green, and the list goes on. We don’t think much about it and most of the time we find ourselves considering ourselves lucky. Once in a great while do we actually realize that it was God. When I broke my back and was laid up I went from believing in God to having a close relationship with Him. After the worst was over and looking back at who I was vs. who I became ~ I was able to say to God, “Thanks, I needed that.”

Start your day off with God and ask him for his favors throughout the day. Red lights changing, a parking space all of a sudden becoming available, etc…you will see God in action. You too will find yourself telling God quite frequently ~”Thanks, I needed that.”

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Way To Go God!!!!!

the_naked_truth_bookHave you ever had that moment when you just want to scream “Way to go God!”? Well, I have had many. My CD – Miracle of Love – and it’s production, the home Peter and I recently were blessed with and yes, even my son! 🙂 Today is another biggie for me. It is now official – I have signed with Tate Publishing to publish my book. Wow ~ and I can say it backwards ~ Wow….

We are told many times over to leave everything to Him and basically kick back and enjoy the ride. I have been writing this book on and off going on 3 years. The dream of having it published was merely just that – a dream. I continued to write here and there and after kicking it hard again and finishing another chapter God started working. I started talking with Publishers and researching ready to go full force. It’s exciting to think about but the reality of what it requires is a whole different ballgame. Anyway, I just figured I would do what I can when I can and not worry about it anymore ~ until my phone rang last night. And as Paul Harvey would say at this point, “Now you know the rest of the story.”

So, here I am with complications with my hands and yet God moves this mountain and I just signed for publishing. Well, if He moved that mountain He can move all of the others. All it takes is the faith of a mustard seed. Over the last 24 hours I have gone from feeling excited and overwhelmed to second guessing myself. Here’s the key though, we don’t have to have faith in ourselves or our ability; all we need to do is have faith in God.

In closing today I would like to urge you to never give up on your dreams. When you hit those moments that you wonder if you can do it, remember one thing ~ With God ALL Things Are Possible!!! (Phil. 4:13)

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

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