Focal Point

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What is it that you desire out of life? Are you doing what it takes to achieve it and if not, why? Chances are it’s due to a lack of concentration or dedication that comes via distractions. Distractions are all around us but that does not mean we have to entertain them. However, as soon as we set our minds to focus, something pops up and takes it. Get that thing on your mind that you really want to achieve. Now, set boundaries around it to protect it from being tampered with by day-to-day locusts that are designed to destroy your harvest. Everyday an action should be taken to push you closer to that “thing” you desire. It may even be helpful to post inspirational quotes or photos in your environment as a reminder of what you are trying to accomplish. I, for example, place scriptures on my wall to read to keep me focus. God has plans for my life, a purpose, which serves as my focal point. I remind myself of it constantly, keeping the fire burning needed to bring it to pass but remaining focus is one of the key components to being successful at this task. I cannot spend all day talking on the phone because it takes away time from my purpose when I could be applying myself. It can be a struggle to juggle daily tasks, spending time with God, having time for self, making room for family, then, having to keep your purpose as a focal point. Oh, how easy it is to become distracted in our time. There are dozens of TV shows & social media sites that pulls at our attention daily which can take up to at least an hour of our time. Not to mention, you may want to call your friend to discuss what you’ve just seen which can take up another hour & just that quick 2 hours have been wasted that could have been used to push you closer to your purpose. Never lose focus! It’s one thing to become distracted for a little while but it’s another thing to lose complete focus. Never allow anything to cause you to lose focus. I’ll rather lose friends then to lose my focus.

“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate & make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed” -Paulo Coelho

Earlene J.

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The Face of A Man

Man Collage

Would you recognize God if He was staring you in the face?  How does He look?  Is He the man on all the pictures with the light skinned complexion and blond hair?  Or is He the man you pass by everyday with a buggy and torn clothing?  The truth of the matter is that we have no idea what God looks like.  Our physical eyes cannot see such beauty and if we could we would probably go blind because our natural ability isn’t equipped to receive that much glory at once.  Sometimes it can be difficult trying to serve what you cannot see however, we must remind ourselves of how irrelevant that thought really is.  For instance, we can’t see the devil yet we hear him telling us to do things we really don’t want to do daily.  Does that make him nonexistent because he can’t be seen with the natural eye?  Of course not, God is more than enough without us being able to spot Him out in the room.  When His presence is in the midst He can be felt.  A blind man relies on his other senses to direct his path and those senses are stronger to make up for what cannot be seen.  When it comes to our relationship with God we must rely on the Word to help direct our path.  We must nurture our relationship with Him so that our bond is unbreakable.  It doesn’t matter what we see because many times what we see isn’t realistic anyway.  God can have many faces.  He can take an open vessel who is willing to surrender to Him and use that individual for His purpose.  All the while, He can be across town speaking and serving through another individual with a different face.  There is not a certain race, face or physique that God has.  Stop looking at the man in the pulpit as if he is God because he is not, he is simply a messenger who is held to a higher standard.  Who is God?  What does He look like?  That question I cannot answer but what I can do is live my life according  to His word and allow His light to shine through me.  Allow God to use you as well, so that your face may be a reflection of Him.

2 Corinthians 3:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen:  For the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Earlene J.

And It Was So

DARKNESS

When God says He’s going to do something, you can rest for sure that it is going to happen.  God is not a man that He should lie, in fact, He can’t lie.  If He said it, then it is so.  In Genesis 1:9, God said “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear” and scriptures says ‘And it was so.’  God can simply speak and things can begin to come together in your life and peace will appear.  The problem is along the way to our promise we get distracted or overwhelmed, tired, emotional, and feel like throwing in the towel.  We must remind ourselves of the word that is over our life and use that as the fuel to our fire to chase after God with everything that we have.  He wants to be worshipped and praised for who He is and I believe if we step outside of ourselves the very area that we desire a breakthrough will be granted to us.  We need to get that in our spirit; It is so, It is so, It is so!  This financial burden can be lifted off of me, it is so.  God can heal my body, it is so.  God can save my family, it is so.  God can save my marriage, it is so.  God can change my attitude, it is so.  God can renew my mind, it is so.  I can recover from the rape, it is so.  I can move past the molestation, it is so.  I can break the generational curse, it is so.  All God has to do is say the word and it shall be done.  But we must continue to praise Him anyway regardlesss of what we are going through.  I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make her boast, the humble shall hear thereof and be glad. (Psalm 34:1)  This Christian walk is not an easy one but it is well worth it.  God is faithful and if He said it then it is so!

Genesis 1:3  And God said, “Let there be light” and there was light.

 

Earlene J. 

Power Couple

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Tall, dark, and handsome…bold, courageous, and fearless…powerful, anointed, yet caring.  My pastor is the truth as he walks confidently into a room and humbly grace others with his wisdom only to exit and leave onlookers at awe from his charisma.  He sets the bar high for what a man of God should be.  He disciplines and pushes his flock into greatness and expects nothing less, for he see’s the potential we possess.  Every Sunday he works the altar praying for individuals contagiously spreading hope and faith into our hearts.  In the pulpit there is no one like him who can give such exegesis of the text.  However, I can not leave out his exquisite wife “The LaShawn Traylor.”  She carries herself with the prestige and elegance of the powerful business woman that she is.  It is amazing how confident she is, wrapped beautifully in humility.  Beauty and brains, faithful and anointed, compassionate and understanding, yes she is truly the best.  You may see her cruising in her Jaguar tending to Kingdom business, rocking a flower in her hair that gives that extra “umph” to her look.  This duo have taught me so much in the short period of me knowing them.  They have set the bar high simply by their lifestyles.  Not only do they talk the talk but many can attest that they too walk the walk.  Together these two form a powerful compound that makes demons tremble with fear every time their eyes open in the morning granting them another opportunity to do God’s will.  They have endured so much over the years and their perseverance is what has them celebrating 16 years of marriage as of today.  What a blessing it is to have Pastor Lionel J. Traylor and Minister LaShawn Y. Traylor as the head of our house.  I believe there are people who actually sleeps on the greatness that they carry but in due time it shall be revealed.  They started from the bottom, now they’re here and God has so much in store for them.  I’m excited and grateful to be a part of their lives as well as their ministry.  I believe in these two as a couple as well as individuals.  I’m following the vision!  Happy Anniversary Pastor & First Lady!! ❤

“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Earlene J.

My Sister’s Keeper

Out of my twenty-five years of living, I can truly say that I do not see many women supporting each other sincerely.  There seems to be an underlying competition of one being better than the next.  When did we as women lose our self confidence?  Why is it so hard to appreciate the next woman achievements without comparing them with our own or someone else who may have a little more?  God created us all with a specific purpose that no man can take away meaning regardless of what your neighbor may be doing, it will not strip you of what God has planned for you.  For example, when a woman is being blessed by God it is okay to celebrate with her, her success is not going to cut into what God has coming for you.  Somewhere down the line our sisterhood has been lost, tossed aside like an unwanted bill.  Everything is not a competition and if you find yourself sizing other women up by their level of attraction, please have several seats.  That alone shows that you are struggling with low self confidence.  Of course, we all are struggling with something but do not allow your struggles to cause you to belittle another individual.  It is amazing how we as women can tear each other down and feel some type of gratification afterwards.  The word shameful does no justice to describe the act.  If you see someone lacking in their confidence, try encouraging and complimenting them out of love rather than pouncing on their weakness to make yourself feel better.  If you see a woman going through a storm, take time out of your busy day to uplift her in prayer because we all will need help at some point in life.  So often have I witnessed men toy over multiple women only for the women to go after each other excluding the male as if he had no part in the entire matter.  Fighting and hating each other over a man, competing in a dead end competition that neither can ever win because they have already lost when they “allowed” the man to disrespect their value.  In the meantime, men sit back in the cut with a big grin because he is the only one gaining from the situation or at least that is what he thinks.  We are worth so much more than this and it is time out for the pettiness.  I pray for unity amongst black women especially.  We have to be twice as good at anything we set out to do to receive even a portion of what we deserve and the last thing we need is to be divided.  Easier said than done but difficulty does not mean impossible.  When we tear each other down we teach our children to do the same and they teach their children to do the same thing so from one generation to the next toxic is being passed down.  It has to stop somewhere, why not right here with you and me?  Personally, I feel driven when I see another positive black woman working towards her goals and stepping out on faith to do so.  Ladies as you are reading this, I hope there is a desire to set a better example of how you treat other women.  Don’t be afraid of losing your place by being supportive and respectful to one another, especially the young women who are trying to do something with their lives.  Let’s not forget to lead by example to those who stand in need of guidance as well as encouragement to make better decisions for their lives.  I am not perfect and I am working on this as we speak and I challenge you to do the same.

“Why can’t women get along?  Because we’re afraid, we’re afraid to be vulnerable.  We’re afraid to be soft, we’re afraid to be hurt.  But most of all, we’re afraid of our power.  So we become controlling and aggressive and vicious.”  -Iyanla Vanzant

Earlene J.

I Do To You, What You Let Me Do!

I only do what you allow me to.  See, what you need to understand is that I don’t force anything on you, I never have.  All of those times I came in the house during the wee hours of the morning drunk, yes, you allowed me to do that.  Of course you bickered and screamed but guess what, you allowed me to stay right there.  That alone showed me it was okay and I could do that any time I choose to.  I don’t know why you act surprise every time you find out I’m cheating.  It’s nothing new baby, remember I had a woman when I met you.  Oh, it was okay then but it’s not okay now?  Okay that’s cool, I understand.  Please don’t cry.  I hate to see you cry but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop doing what I’m doing.  See, what I do feels good to me.  You are the only one with the problem and as far as I’m concerned it’s not that much of a problem because you would leave…right?  Aww, girl stop watching me from the corner of your eye to see if I’m going to leave my phone with you while I take a shower.  You know my phone goes where I go and yes it is plenty for you to complain about if you ever get your hands on it.  Too bad you can’t see what it is… *laughter* It wouldn’t matter anyway, you’re not going anywhere.  All I have to say is how much I love you and how I really can’t stand the person I cheated on you with and you’re right back where I need you…under Big Daddy’s spell.  See, I only do what you allow me to do.  Please don’t be surprise when I call you out of your name.  You know I was just angry.  I didn’t really mean the things I said.  Do you forgive me?  You do?  That’s what I like, stay right here under Big Daddy’s spell.  Ooou, that’s your daughter?  How old is she?  Oh okay, 14 huh?  She’s fine just like her mama.  I think I want her more than I want you.  Aww, girl stop getting upset.  You know I’m only playing with you.  Besides we are a family, I would never do something like that and risk losing you.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention this weekend I’m going out with the guys, don’t wait up.  Excuse me?  You’re going to change the locks on the door because you are tired of me partying?  Oh okay, that’s cool.  I’ll just go somewhere where I am appreciated.  It is plenty of women who want me and my money so you go ahead and change the locks and watch me change my address.  Don’t cry now!  You don’t want me anyway!  I Should stomp a hole in you for disrespecting me.  As a matter of fact, I think I’ll do just that.  We all know you are going to drop the charges anyway.  Look at you…walking around with your shades on hiding that black eye.  That’s love girl, don’t hide it, show the world.  See, I only do to you what you let me do.  I won’t lie, it’s hard to get turned on with you all swollen and a man has needs.  I’m sorry baby, I didn’t mean that.  Here you go, take my credit card and buy whatever it is your heart desire.  I’ll make sure your daughter makes it in safely from school.  Yeah, that’s a good idea you should buy her something too.  Boy, boy, boy this woman is like putty in my hands.  She is too dense to even see what’s taking place right before her own eyes.  Big Daddy’s spell is no joke!

*A month later*

Your daughter said what?  Baby, listen to me I know I’m not perfect but I would never say something so inappropriate to your child.  She’s just like my flesh and blood!  Don’t listen to her lies!  I’m crying because I’m hurt by her accusations not because I’m guilty.  She just doesn’t want us together.  Look around you…look at all the things I provide for you all.  I love you more than anything in this world.  Your daughter is just hot and fast, seeking attention.  I tell you what, we’re all going to start spending more time together.  Yeah, you like that idea?  You do, huh?  Okay, it’s a deal.  Come here girl, let me take your mind off of this nonsense.

*6 months down the road*

Baby, I don’t know why you are acting so crazy!  Oh, so you want to fight?!  Don’t get knocked out playing around with me, you know I’ll shove my foot up your butt.  Rape?!  Rape?!  You’re mad because your daughter said I raped her?!  Man, don’t nobody want you nor your daughter!  Police?!  Girl you better put that phone down!  PUT THE PHONE DOWN!!…Now you see what you made me do!  Don’t make no sense I have to pistol whip you in order for you to behave yourself!  Yeah, I took it so what!  Tell your daughter to stop walking around here like she’s grown and she won’t receive grown up things.  This my house and I get whoever and whatever I want!  Oh, now you’re hurt?  You can’t believe I did this?  It’s okay to be with other women, I just can’t have your daughter?  Well baby it’s too late, she’s not a virgin anymore.  So, dry your eyes and shut up because you see, I only do to you what you let me do.

So many times we as females ignore signs of a “no good man” because we’re blinded by something, whether it is money, lust (never love because love isn’t pain)the fear of being alone, etc.  We put up with the same mess over and over and over again then, wonder why we keep getting our hearts broken.  Open your eyes and realize you can do better than what you are putting up with right now.  If it hurts, it’s not love!  Love yourself first before seeking someone else to love you.  Don’t allow those connected to you to be hurt and torn because of your stupidity of purposely looking pass signs that are there to warn you. 

Proverbs 14:16 One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil but a fool is reckless and careless.

Earlene J.

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

They say beauty is only skin deep but who is really the judge of beauty anyway?  What classifies one from looking better and more appealing than the next?  Who is this judge that so many people break their backs to please?  Is it society?  Is it the owners of TV land?  Or is it the editors of the popular magazines?  Either way one shouldn’t look to the world for validation of self.  The world will always tell you you’re not good enough.  She’s not concerned about your well being, she only wants what she can get out of you.  She will suck you dry and throw you away like yesterday’s trash.  Somewhere a beautiful girl is starving herself to death because she can’t seem to look like that photoshop lady on the cover of the magazine.  She has unconsciously been brainwashed to believe she is unattractive and overweight.  She consistently stares in the mirror picturing an obese girl staring back at her, when in reality her skin is hanging on only by the skeletal frame underneath it.  Sadly, she cries herself to sleep at night from the quicksand of depression, sucking her into a world of deception and lies.  Tears soaked pillows lie beneath her precious head as she weeps from self inflicted pain, starving yet denying herself food due to her own beliefs that she can’t eat.  Her mother stands on the sidelines crying because no matter what she does her daughter isn’t hearing her.  Why won’t her baby eat?  Why is she killing herself slowly?  She refuses to bury her child due to something that can be controlled.  At night, she sometimes sit on her daughter’s bedside and rub her fingers through her hair while praying for the renewal of her mind.  Mirror Mirror on the wall who’s the prettiest of them all?  Why do we even compare?  Short or tall, skinny or thick, light complexion or a darker complexion, we all are beautiful in our own right.  We were created by one who is perfect and He made us “exactly” how he wanted us.  Some things we do to ourselves and then complain about it later, such as cellulite but that my dear can be fixed.  No need for self hate, instead do the opposite…Self Love!  So many people go overboard trying to reach perfection not realizing that perfection doesn’t exist especially where self love is lacked.  What is self love?  Loving who you truly are, taking care of your beautiful temple and treating it with care and respect.  No amount of money for the best surgeons to provide the best implants, injections or botox will replace the fact that you don’t truly love yourself.  I’m not against surgery, to each his own but I don’t agree with going to the extreme to make up for something that’s actually a heart problem.  Starvation is not self love.  Bulimia is not self love, abuse of any kind is not self love.  I pray for all of those who struggle with self hate, slowly killing themselves because they can’t seem to get a grip on who they really are.  I understand how it feels to feel as if you are the outcast that no one understands, searching for an escape that seems to be out of reach and twirling in a toilet cycle of things you hate doing.  Round and round you go, until you’re flushed completely out, the next thing you know you’re back to square one just for the cycle to start all over again, which is why I refer to this process at the toilet cycle.  I thank God for a place where I can stand before Him and slowly uncover my exterior to reveal to Him all of my dirt and sorrow while covered in a terrible stench but determined to be cleanse and restored.  To all of those suffering from a lack of self love in Jesus name be healed!

Psalm 139:13-16 For you formed my inward parts: you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Earlene J.