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Who Do You Listen To?

In March I pinched a nerve and was laid up for quite a while. Only recently was I able to go back to work and only light duty for 3-4 hours at a time. I am happy because I’m finding that each day I can do a little more without bad pain! Praise God! My first day back was great! I felt like I came home seeing familiar faces. There were new faces as well but it was great seeing everyone again. Our GM passed away in July and it was the first time I worked without him. He was wonderful at what he did and who he was. So, here I go back happy to see everyone and anxious to get back into the swing of things. Needless to say, the swing wasn’t what I was familiar with. Of course, there’s always some drama in every workplace. I got bombarded with so much just a short amount of time back I didn’t know who to believe! As always, I sat back and watched and let the truth unfold.

Just this experience made me think of life itself. We all have those “voices” that tell us right from wrong ~ but which one do we listen to? Do we justify our actions and words by telling ourselves lies or by convincing ourselves that it’s not really that “wrong” (whatever ‘that’ is)? These are some powerful questions for all of us, definitely worth taking time to think about.

Recently, I was counseling someone and spoke about finding strength and peace in God and His word. She mentioned she had a Bible app and devotionals. All of that is great ~ but, my first instruction was to get rid of the technology and pick up the Book. Yes, you read correctly. Many times over we find ourselves so caught up with technology that we listen constantly to others on videos, their thoughts, etc. Pick up the Bible itself, hold it close to you. There’s something supernatural that happens every time I pick up the Bible itself; then more so by reading it.

I want to urge everyone to take the time away from what everyone else is saying and listening to ‘their’ thoughts and words. Pick up the Bible and let God speak to you; especially in today’s world with so many wrong teachings of His word. The Bible has answers for every question about what you need to do when you have questions. You may not like the answer but it’s there. We always ask other people what to do, what they believe, etc. and yet He is the last one that is turned to for answers and guidance instead of being the first one we should go to. So, in closing I ask you ~ who do YOU listen to?

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

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Remember when…

The other night my son was over and we were all on the back porch talking about “back in the day.” The conversation consisted mainly of the early years which included the stupid things we all did as kids, teenagers and early adulthood. It also made me think of when I took care of Mama during her last two years of her life. Even though she had dementia and her short term memory was not its greatest, she had no problem remembering even the fine details of things I did growing up that even I forgot! Hahaha! Not to mention she had no problem reminding me of them as well…

It’s interesting to look back at who you were and who you are now. Hopefully, everyone sees growth in themselves. I love thinking back in childhood years about good family times we had and my friends growing up. Even though some of us went different directions, there are still some that have remained true and by my side that I know will be there forever. It’s so neat when we talk and reminisce years gone by and laugh so hard about the mischief we got into.

Ah…but lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about heaven. How wonderful it will be to have an eternity with no pain, no sorrow, and no problems. I also thought about what it would be like to be sitting with Jesus and how the conversation might be. One aspect hit me ~ to look at Him and say “Remember when…” and His reply before I would even finish my thought would be “No.” Wow! That was quite a realization. In the Bible we are told that when we ask for forgiveness for our sins it is thrown as far as from the east to the west and remembered no more. So, that ends that conversation right there. The conversation may continue with Him saying “Remember when…” and pointing out something good you did that helped someone else, but it will never be about your mistakes if you have asked forgiveness.

I urge you to think about this concept for a while. Do you ask for forgiveness daily? I know lately I have come shy of asking for forgiveness in my prayers. In Corinthians 13 we are also told that love doesn’t keep count of wrongs. Just as our wrongs will not be thrown up in our face we need to try to live a life where we don’t throw up someone else’s wrongs in theirs. May all of our “Remember when(s)…” be positive and of good times when we speak to each other.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Rise Up!

Demons ~ we all have them ~ memories of the past that tend to resurface themselves every now and then without notice or probable cause. There’s no logical reason that these ghosts tend to bury themselves in the subconscious and show their ugly faces. On the other hand, spiritually speaking it makes total sense. The enemy attacks each of us through our thoughts, especially when it’s time to do God’s work. The last couple of days I found myself in a deep, dark place emotionally. Something happened within the last few months that also caused old demons to resurface. It was within family so the hurt was intense, just as it was a long time ago. When someone you trust betrays you, considering the source doesn’t make it hurt any less. Others see it going on and you wonder why no one stands up and defends you, leaving you feeling alone. Now that Mama’s passed away I don’t have that rock to talk to which gave me comfort; making the emptiness inside overwhelming.

 

Throughout these last two months there have been a few family members who have talked with me and guided me. At one point someone said “It’s not my fight.” True, it wasn’t, but I didn’t have what it took this time. This comment came to mind the other night and my feelings went from feeling alone to the question “Whose fight is it?” Conclusion: God’s. See, I didn’t ask for all of this to happen and am a firm believer that God has directed my life. In fact, the other day there was a girl at work that shared a traumatic event in her younger years and how it affects her still. My first question was “Have you forgiven this person?” Oh my, these words rung out loud last night as I was sitting on the front porch, drinking coffee and watching the thunderstorm.

 

As I sat there I started talking with God for the first time within these dark hours. I told Him that I do forgive them for what they did but it still hurts. I also told Him I was giving these battles to Him to fight. A few tears and a few hours later I felt peace for the first time in 48 hours. Before the night was over I went back on the porch and the first four lines of a poem came to me. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that was God talking so I grabbed pen and paper. He always tends to talk to me when I’m finally silent; it was 3:30 a.m. and my world was still. This was more confirmation of the verse Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God…” I consider this poem as a letter from God, not just to me but for anyone who has and still is dealing with these demons. May if give you a sense of peace and comfort.

 

Rise up and claim your victory!

The day is not yet done,

You’re not defeated, just feeling weak,

There’s a battle to be won!

The scars will heal and remind you

How strong you were this day,

Overcoming trials against all odds,

Nothing gets in your way.

 

Rise up and claim your victory!

These nightmares of your past

Haunt you, scare you, but never forget

Nothing is meant to last.

The pain is felt and your heart pounds hard,

Caught up in the waves of the storm.

Hold on with might, hold one with hope,

For tomorrow comes a new morn.

 

Rise up and claim your victory!

Claim it in His name!

Open yourself to feel the wings of His angels,

Watch the raging sea become tame.

Quit fighting your battles all alone,

Let Him fight these demons for you.

Lie down and rest, give it all to Him,

This simple task is by far the hardest to do.

 

Rise up and claim His victory!

When you called He calmed the seas.

He healed the scars and dried the tears,

Humbly thank Him while on your knees.

Life goes on, today will be forgotten,

You’ll live each day doing what you will.

Remember He is always there for you.

He claimed victory when crucified on that hill.

 

DeVaughn Rosendahl

9/4/2014

 

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.

Disabled yet Abled

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As I wait for the answer from filing for disability our financial reigns get tighter and tighter. I called my attorney and was told that there was a small amount I could bring in and it wouldn’t affect the case. There was a restaurant that was thinking about hiring me to fix the carry out bags. Once they realized that Sunday morning and night and Wednesday night was out of the question due to my commitment to the church choir I was not what they needed. Anywhere I went I was not able to lift certain amounts and stuck to my guns about the time I have set aside for worshipping God. It didn’t bother me at all that things didn’t work out because of me sticking to my guns about my prior commitments to the choir; although, having to admit what I am not able to do has yet torn me apart again.

Having limitations after being independent my whole life has been, and still is, quite a daily struggle. I have always been able to do whatever it took to make ends meet and get the bills paid. Now, my whole life is twisted 180 degrees. Accepting that I have to file for disability was hard enough; much less to continue to have to try to explain to others about invisible disabilities. I don’t mind explaining; what I do mind is people judging what they don’t understand. My qualifications are off the chart between college degrees and previous job experiences. For financial stresses to be as they are and not being able to take the jobs offered to me because of my qualifications, I truly look in the mirror and wonder ‘why.’

So ~ the question boils down to what can I do? Well, yes I am disabled. As the title also reads “yet abled.” I am able to continue to put my faith in Jesus. I am able to worship His name and call on Him for the comfort I need through these emotional dark moments. I am able to witness to others how great our God is with the disabilities as a part of my life. I am able to share my experiences with you praying that it may touch at least one of you. Yes, I am disabled but definitely abled as well! Remember Phil. 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.”

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.

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.

I’m Not Perfect….

Let’s get real for a minute – there are so many people we all know who seem to think they’re perfect. They are always telling you how to do things, how you could do better and this comes without ever asking. In fact, unless you do things the way they do you are wrong!! First lesson in life to remember – life is not a ‘one size fits all’. What works for one person may not work for the next. In fact, God spent time making sure all of our fingerprints are different for a reason. We all are unique by His design.

Second point in life ~ no one is perfect!!! Only Jesus Christ and His way is perfect. Does that mean we have nothing to strive for? Of course not! We can exercise every day and still look in the mirror and find flaws ~ at least one! We also know that even though some flaws remain and more will add to the list as we get older that exercising and a good diet will help us live a healthier life. In our spiritual life our exercise and diet helps as well. The more time and energy we spend in His Word the better our walk with Jesus will be. Our spiritual exercise is walking with Jesus in our lives daily and our diet is reading the Word to feed our minds the spiritual food and knowledge we need.

I will close today’s writings leaving you all with a reminder not just for today, but everyday. “I’m not perfect….but thank God I am forgiven.”

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Encouragement

As an author of her first book I truly have experienced how much a few words from others can mean. Of course, most people focus on the few words others say that have hurt them. Imagine how we would all be if we spent more time focusing and remembering the encouraging words, even if they are few and far between.

First and foremost when we feel the need for encouragement and/or inspiration all we truly need is to open the Bible and read God’s Word. We can also turn to Him in prayer and find a sense of peace in the darkest of storms. Then there are times when we need something with a little more flesh – someone we can ‘literally’ talk to and hear from right here, right now. For instance, a child may have a nightmare and you can assure them they’re not alone because they have God watching over them. Even with that assurance the child still doesn’t want to be physically alone. We need to remember we are God’s children and He recognizes our need to have someone here and He does put people in your life to help you for that very reason.

Take a look at your life very closely. Do you find yourself encouraging others or always telling them how much better they could do things (which in it’s own way is discouraging)? Every word we say to others makes a difference and we need to be conscious if we are making a positive difference in others’ lives or are we subconsciously tearing them down. I know that when I look to see how many views my page is getting, how many ‘likes’ my posts are getting, comments, etc. it encourages me to keep writing no matter how hard it may be that day. I thank you all for your encouragements.

Let’s all start this week out focusing on encouraging others as God instructed us to do in His Word. Yes ~ one person CAN make a difference.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Commitment

In writing my book I have found that it seems to get done a little here and there, which is pretty much the way most of our life is. Although, have you noticed how quickly things can get done when the pressure is on? For instance. when the in-laws all of a sudden tell you they’re coming for a visit. It is amazing how quickly the house can get cleaned! Well, possibly if we made a commitment to do a little at a time when we can it wouldn’t get that bad. Not too different than our Spiritual Life and our walk with Jesus. We all need to make that commitment to speak with Him daily and take the time to listen to Him as well. So ~ in summary for today ~ let’s all clean house (both the house we live in and our Spiritual life) and commit to keep it that way.

This is DeVaughn – bringing it home.

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