Category Archives: General

Investments

I am finding that people in our society today have become more materialistic than I have ever imagined. For example, it’s “cool” if you invest any money in a new car but take the same amount and invest it into your health, your smile, etc. and you’re considered foolish. Every dime we make is invested one way or another and we choose whether it is going to be something to benefit us for the long haul or to satisfy a fleshly craving. Of course, who doesn’t want the brand new car and/or European vacation and/or two week cruise?! We all want these things! As I get older I realize that where my money is invested is more and more important. Almost a toss up sometimes ~ be cool for a little while with newer things or be healthier longer. I choose the not so popular ~ healthier.

As we have also always heard time is money so how we invest our time is even more valuable than we consider. Do you spend too much time on the internet or Facebook? I know I have gotten caught up in it a few times. So, as always, let’s look a little deeper. Are you investing any time at all in your spiritual growth? How about checking the Word in the mornings to see what message God has for you BEFORE you check your emails, Facebook, etc. We are all guilty of this and can all use some improvement. How much time is spent talking with Jesus in your daily life? Do you pray often or more like an emergency room Christian ~ only when there’s a crisis. Prayer every day is really preventive medicine ~ helping our spiritual health.

I am going to encourage all of you throughout December to start incorporating Christ into your every day life and not just on Christmas. Let’s start little by little changing some of our routine to include Him. By starting this now, more like tomorrow being December 1st, by the time the new year arrives we’re already there! New Year ~ New You!

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

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Damaged

How many of you like to shop second hand stores? I know I do!!! Especially the thrift stores that still has the tags on brand name items, there’s just a minute flaw that hardly anyone could see! A lot of times the truth behind the saying “Another man’s garbage is another man’s treasure” comes into play as we hit garage sales, estate sales, consignment stores, etc. Now, there’s two different views that go with this ~ one is the shock that someone would actually get rid of something so wonderful and the other is the sales associate who can’t believe we’d want something with flaws. If we didn’t cherish “things” with flaws how can we love another human being? We’re all full of flaws!

As I’m heading towards the end of my manuscript to be submitted I realize that a large portion of my book I have put myself out there for everyone to know my mistakes, heartaches, flaws, etc. Once someone asked me why I would do that, let everyone know all about me. Well, I answered honestly. I just told him/her that my mother already knows everything about me and still loves me so what do I have to be afraid of? God still loves me!

Many times over so many people have gone through so much in their lives they consider themselves “damaged goods.” I know I did for a long time. Even though I didn’t say it, my subconscious was continuously reminding me how horrible I was because of all of my mistakes. Subconscious? More like the enemy! In a conversation with Rick Curren, III, I was asked “When did you make that conscious decision that you don’t deserve better?” That really hit home. I mean, I really had to look hard in my rear view mirror and realize when I did. It wasn’t a matter of “if”, my life already showed I “did.” Then came the reminder from my roots ~ Jesus thought I was worth it ~ why didn’t I?

One last thought ~ if Jesus thought we were worth dying for then why do we ever have low self-esteem? He knew we were damaged and yet gave his life for us! So, the next time you doubt whether you’re good enough, look at your past to evaluate who you are, etc. remember, Jesus loved you before you were born. He died so you could have salvation, He knew exactly every mistake you’d make and all of your flaws yet you were still worth dying for. You were worth it to Him.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

To Be or Not To Be

Famous quote ~ “To be or not to be..” ~ my friends, that IS the question of the day. Lately I have experienced a lot of tragic circumstances in my life, the main being the passing of my mother. I still tend to pick up the phone to call her. Especially on these days that the walls of life seem to feel as if they’re caving in. Yes, I miss her and especially talking with her and getting advice from her; yet, the answers come to me as if she were on the end of the phone ~ always pointing me in one direction ~ God and His Word.

Yes, to be or not to be, it’s all up to me ~ and you. First, let’s take this in the mild top layer, success and happiness. It is totally up to us as individuals whether or not we will be successful and happy. To rely on someone else for either is a mild form of either ignorance or stupidity. Was that blunt and to the point? Yes. Does that make it not true? No. I have to continuously remind myself when I start feeling bummed that it’s up to me to make myself happy. Yes, there are those “low” days and sometimes phases that no matter how hard we try, for some reason we’re feeling bummed. Answer: pray it away. If not for yourself, pray for someone else. Repeat until all better. LOL. Sounds simple, it is. See, there was a time where I hated being alone and one particular night really stands out. I was dating someone who was agnostic and I didn’t want him to leave because I just felt so alone. His response before leaving, “If what you believe is true, you’re never alone.” Wow!!! That truly hit home! Why? Because it is the truth!!! A lot of times our unhappiness comes from the ‘feeling’ of being alone. Put on some good upbeat music, after praying of course, and start dancing, cleaning, whatever may take your mind off of how you ‘feel’ for it’s just that ~ a feeling; and feelings come and go. Tomorrow’s another day.

As always, everything has it’s layers. Let’s take a look at our Spiritual life. To be or not to be an every day Christian ~ yes, that choice is always up to me, and you. What does that mean? Have mercy people, open up your Bibles and read what that means! Loving and forgiving others, giving to those who are in need, not judging others; and the list goes on. Now, some people think that there’s so much you can’t do if you’re a Christian and living a Christian lifestyle. Again, read the Word ~ if you look closely you’ll find there’s a whole lot more do’s than there aren’t don’ts; so if you spend your time doing the do’s you don’t have time to even think about the don’ts. Ever feel like your life isn’t ‘exciting’? Go ahead, start walking everyday with Jesus and get ready for the ride!

Digging down deep now. Let’s take a look at our home lives as spouses. Our marriage, to be or not to be. “Things just aren’t like they used to be.” Nope, sure not. People grow up, have children, responsibilities and all of a sudden there’s the feeling of “I don’t have a life.” My friends, yes you do. That IS life! Satan continuously attacks in the home putting thoughts of what we’re “doing without” and our fleshly desires and he’s good at it. You have to realize it for what it really is. All of us have a tendency at some point or another of bringing up the past when disagreeing. Stop it! Satan wants you to look at the past so you can’t even believe in a wonderful future that God has in store! We’re human. We have flaws and we make mistakes. In 1 Corinthians 13 there is a verse that specifically states, and I’m paraphrasing, that love does not keep count of wrongs. Look it up! That’s God’s instructions! So, at this point we have a choice when we feel like all hope for our marriage is gone: our way or God’s way. To bring this “Christian” lifestyle and thoughts into our marriage will make your decision whether this marriage is to be or not to be.

Yes, we need to look back once in a while so we don’t continue to make the same mistakes. At the same time, don’t pitch a tent and camp there ~ there’s too much of a future ahead of you and you don’t want to miss out on what God has in store for us! God loves you and forgives you daily, show this love to others, especially within your own family. In every aspect of your life you have a choice. To be or not to be ~ you decide.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Thought for the day

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When Tears Fall

Last night I was blessed by chatting with some Facebook friends I have made in the Philippines. One of them being a young girl whose parents’ home was destroyed in the typhoon. It now appears that her college will have to wait and this saddens her. She is truly devoted to her family and is trying to find a job to help. As she put it ~ a lot for a 17 year old.

We chatted for a couple of hours, which for me turned into wee hours of the morning due to time difference. My fatigue today and pain in my hands (arthritis) from typing so much was well worth it. Everyone wants to be strong and doesn’t want to let others see them cry. Crying is seen by most as a weakness but not in my book. It actually takes courage to cry and admit to yourself that you’re sad and/or emotionally exhausted. I also can never see crying as a weakness for in the Bible is the shortest verse ~ “Jesus wept.” Jesus was not weak in any way and yet even he cried.

The physical aspect of when someone cries is an emotional release which is healthier than keeping things bottled in. Stress builds up when negative emotions keep piling up which will harm the body. So yes ~ cry, scream, go take a walk, get into a cleaning frenzy ~ whatever works for you to release everything. It’s only after you do that your mind clears and you can start taking positive actions.

Life is full of it’s ups and downs. It is boot camp for heaven for it’s through these trials we learn to walk in faith. We always want to ‘fix’ things and this frustration comes when we find we’re not succeeding. The problem here lies we aren’t turning it over to God. My point of view is to turn it over to Him, he’s up all night! If He can create this whole universe I’m sure my issues are a walk in the park.

In closing ~ it’s when we feel we’re reaching the end of our limits when tears begin to fall. That is also the point at which God can start doing something because you finally are letting go of it.

God Bless you all ~ and may you let Him wipe away your tears.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Why Not Me?

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Here’s the short version of my history. I started having seizures and got epilepsy at the age of 9 and was constantly teased. My music and playing the piano was my comfort. In my teenage years I went through statutory rape from my friend’s father. Later I went through an abusive marriage, got fibromyalgia, died from a seizure resulting in PTSD, got carpal tunnel and had the surgery. I ended up with complications from the surgery and arthritis in my hands, can no longer play the piano and even writing increases the pain in my hands. Wow ~ a lot for one person? Maybe. Sometimes I wish it were different and I didn’t have all of this happen to me but – why not me?

When my son went to war someone once asked me if I was scared – DUH!!! I did tell them I was concerned but did view it as why not my son? Why did it have to be someone else’s? If I did lose him in war it would be honorable. I don’t know, maybe I’ve watched too much Star Trek and got the Klingon view. 🙂

Why am I sharing all of what others see as tragedies in my life? Too many people sit around with the “Why me?” attitude and not enjoy life. They feel sorry for themselves and get to a point where they just don’t care anymore. This is sad. You have to realize that we are here for God’s purpose and it’s not all about us. Also, if you go back and read Job you will realize that you don’t have it so bad. Read a little more into the chapter where Job starts questioning God and you’ll find that God asks him a few questions! I love that part! I am going to do some serious paraphrasing here but it all boils down to who are we to question why? It’s not like we created the universe and are all that and then some; yet, we question God. Did that one hit home?

You see, if God is going to use you the enemy will attack you because you are a threat to him. YES ~ you can become a threat to Satan!! You just have to realize it for what it is. When I went through everything when I was young all I said was I wouldn’t wish epilepsy on anyone, not even my worst enemies. And the statutory rape, well as long as he bothered me he was leaving someone else alone! Yes, my life has been a constant mess. But without a mess you can’t have a message!!! I was able to later counsel many people who went through similar things. I can take something good and ruin it but God ~ it’s so awesome how He takes something horrible and works it all for good. (Romans 8:28)

In conclusion, instead of seeing your life as “Why me?” try saying “Why not me?” God doesn’t call the qualified – he qualifies the called. Remember, because you aren’t sometimes seeing how what you have gone through has somehow helped someone else doesn’t mean that it hasn’t. It’s wonderful to be used by God and remember the ones who make the biggest difference in others’ lives are the ones who have gone through something. Change your view to ‘why not me’, give it to God and start watching what happens.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

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