Blog Archives

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.

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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.

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.

You Wouldn’t Understand!!!

“You just don’t understand!” How many times have you said or heard this? If I had a dollar for each time I’d be retired instead of tired. 🙂 Then again, there are those who say “I understand…” and have no clue because they have never experienced what you’re going through. I know after living with ‘invisible’ disabilities I have found myself in positions that I have to attempt to explain a lot and still others just can’t understand.

You see, we can all understand what it’s like to have a headache, the loss of a loved one, etc. but there are a lot of things we can ‘think’ we understand and truly don’t. Talk to a former war veteran and say you understand what they’re feeling and look at the expression they have then. If you’ve never been to war you couldn’t grasp the slightest clue to what it’s like and the nightmares they will live with. Rape, abuse, neglect ~ these are other categories that unless you’ve been there don’t say you understand. With that being said we all need to remember that everything is said in context. For example, there are those who think they have been neglected vs. those who truly have been.

Throughout the Holidays many people feel alone and get truly depressed. They are by themselves or possibly family issues from the past so holidays are hard. For some it’s going through another holiday season without someone they love. Many times we try to be encouraging to others when we see their pain and then go to enjoy a feast with our own loved ones. I know I can relate to this when my son was in Iraq, my family in Florida and me on top of a mountain in western North Carolina and I was single. I finally found that if I went ahead and put up a Christmas tree and played my Christmas music I felt better even though I was alone.

There is one person who does understand the feeling of being alone ~ Jesus. Yes, the Son of God truly understands that feeling. Think about it. Even though He had many followers He had only a few close friends, and even one of those betrayed Him and gave Him to the Roman soldiers for money. His ‘friends’ were nowhere to be found through His worst time and his closest friend denied even knowing him. So when you feel like no one understands ~ Jesus does. He understands feeling alone, being abandoned and mocked and ridiculed as well!

If you are someone who can help someone feel less alone, take that step. Trust me, the Holidays can be hard and I know what it’s like to wish someone would ask you over just so you wouldn’t have to be alone again. If you are someone who is alone ~ I do understand. Not that that helps you feel any better but I can tell you what will. Talk with Jesus. Spend your alone time with Him and getting to know Him better ~ for not only is He listening to you and will help you through ~ but He does understand.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Feeling Alone?

There’s not one person who hasn’t gone through times that they didn’t feel totally alone, even in the most crowded of rooms. When life starts getting rough it is too easy to fall into depression and most people stay to themselves more then resulting in an increase of aloneness. Others handle this feeling at the total opposite end of the spectrum and will stay out and keep themselves busy until they can no longer go anymore and then sleep. Any of this sound familiar? It does to me. None of us are strangers to feeling alone or depressed.

One thing to remember is that feelings are temporary and not to let them control your life. You can have multiple feelings at the same time in fact. Also, think about right after you get married and that cloud nine you’re on. Ah yes, the honeymoon stage. At some point you think something’s wrong with your marriage because you don’t “feel” the same as you used to. The cloud nine’s in life are wonderful but also temporary. In a marriage love is a commitment, not a feeling. Surprised? Well, be glad because being angry is a feeling too and you don’t want to stay angry your whole life either!!

There are a few things you can do to help bring yourself out of this funk. I have found that going for a drive, a walk, sitting by the river or waterfall, anything that surrounded me with beauty and God’s presence. Also, embrace these feelings and recognize them for what they are, temporary and then the next day make a commitment to yourself to do something that makes YOU happy and feel good. There have been many times when I was single and living on top of a mountain that I experienced feeling alone. When I finally realized what was going on I would make a tray of veggies, deviled eggs, cheese (you get the picture) and put in the frig. Then I would fill the bathroom with candlelight and soak in a hot bubble bath with smooth jazz music playing. After the bath I would bring out the tray of goodies, put in a movie “I” liked and would end up having a nice evening. After a good night’s rest and feeling at peace I would set out once again to conquer the world until the next time.

During all of this I continuously reminded myself that not only was this a temporary feeling but I was never alone for God is always with me. There were other times I just started cleaning with some great Gaither tunes playing and felt better because not only was I productive, but singing along with Gospel tunes lifted my spirits as well.

There’s no particular set thing (such as bubble baths, driving, walks)  for anyone to do to just make this feeling go “poof.” The one thing we can all do is pray and count on the fact that God is listening and He will help you through this time if you ask Him to. Also, remember you are not alone ~ we’ve all been there ~ it will get better. May God bless you all!

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.

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