|Posted on March 30, 2018 at 3:50 PM||comments (0)|
Beloved, others don't have to understand your dreams, goals, or your motives.
I was recently sharing with a few women about my interest in "marketplace ministry." Someone chimed in it was because of the money that could be made. I quickly corrected their assumption.
I believe LIGHT needs to be everywhere decisions about my life are being made. The engineers designing these phones we stare into all day may never make it to a church or synagogue, but what if they encountered a voice of LIGHT during one of those company meetings or professional development sessions everyone hates. What if we envisioned that people could encounter the divine in every aspect of life, including in their workplaces and social spaces?
Did Jesus meet people soley in the temple, or did he encounter them at wells, in graveyards, near the sea, and moving through towns?
I'm glad today that Jesus' divinity didn't allow people to place him a box that could only accommodate his humanity. Many just want Jesus to be Mary's baby, the carpenter's son, and some still believe he was simply a prophet. I'm glad today that he was all of that as well as Savior of the world.
If they doubted Jesus' potential and motives then trust that they will doubt yours! So here's your Good Friday word not spoken from the cross:
Don't allow your dreams and visions to stay in "a tomb" because of what others think! May the Holy Spirit breathe life into those spaces of your life where you and others have already written obituaries.
The hope of resurrection reminds us that what you thought was dead can live again! May you be blessed on this most special weekend, and as always, continue to Look and Live!
Rev. Dr. Arlecia Simmons, Chief Encourager
#GoodFriday #reflection #ministry #inspiration #shifttheculture #resurrection #Lent #Easter #death #newlife #journaling #entrepreneur #looknlive
|Posted on June 6, 2015 at 12:55 AM||comments (0)|
There’s a lesson in everything. Most days, we just have to sit still for a minute to discover it in what may initially seem like a detour or possibly a stop. A few days ago, I announced to family and friends that I have my first pastoral appointment. Go, Jesus! #WontHeDoIt
In the midst of cyber celebrations, a mentor- friend suggested I begin a registry so others could sow into this new work. Preaching as an evangelist is one thing because there is often limited clerical attire needed. I need one good white suit, a good black dress, and a black or white robe! Because I often preach in Baptist churches, stoles have been optional. In February, a Presbyterian Church invited me to preach on the first Sunday of Lent. Oh, let’s just say it was a mad dash to locate a purple stole that was eventually shipped overnight from New Jersey! Yep, some things can get complicated.
My new assignment of preaching every Sunday and through the liturgical seasons will require additional vestments and church supplies so I created a New Pastorate Registry as advised.
Yesterday, a clergy sister requested the link for the registry. I forwarded the information. This morning, she searched for one of the items and sent me links to what she had found. After I looked at the items located, I realized I had not been specific about what I needed. Because of my height, I need stoles that are no more than 90”L. Additionally, things get complicated between “pulpit” stoles and “visitation” stoles. Because I did not grow up in what some call a “liturgical church” (although all churches are liturgical), I have only really gotten a handle on understanding all of this within the past 6 years. After viewing the links and measuring my existing stole, I realized that God was even speaking through this process.
I made a request but did not list the specifics. Had my friend just ordered a “pretty one” without consulting me, she may have order the 110” L which would have definitely been too long. As I thought about this scenario, I began to think that we often offer vague prayers up to God. Yes, God knows the end before the beginning, but if God is all ears then why aren’t we specific in prayer.
Last night one of my sisters in ministry hosted a prayer call at 10 p.m. She didn’t just ask God to heal those on the line, but she started to name all of the systems within the body. She prayed for the lymphatic system, the digestive system, the circulatory system, etc. She took us straight in as she prayed with specificity. I am finding that God does take our specific requests into consideration and often blows our minds with “upgrades’ we never requested.
So here’s what I want you to consider:
Instead of simply praying “Lord, I need a job,” ask God for specifics. “Lord, I need employment in an environment where the gifts you have given will be properly used and developed. I want to work with a diverse people who are respectful, fun, and committed to the tasks assigned. I want an environment that requires dedication but also values family.”
So often we can settle for what we do not want because we have been afraid to make our requests known. Sometimes we have expectations of others and we just expect them to “guess” what we need. Today I like to leave you with a few reflection questions to consider:
1) When is the last time you were upset with someone (spouse, loved one, co-worker, child, etc.) because you expected them to know exactly what you needed without giving them specifics?
2) What vague prayers have you been praying?
3) What are items on your prayer or life lists that you need to be more specific about the next time you make your requests known?
I leave you with this Scriptural Meditation found in Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. “
Continuing to look, live and serve!
Rev. Dr. Arlecia Simmons
|Posted on May 15, 2015 at 12:35 AM||comments (0)|
There are already too many gifts and talents stockpliled in the cemetery!
Each day I read about some young person who has died and begin to lament as the questions flow. While I often think of the impact on their family, my first thoughts are about their salvation and the work that was left undone. On Saturday, I will attend the funeral of a 40-year-old classmate which reminded this 40-year-old "I have to be about my Father's business."
So today I am about the business of pressing buttons and stirring up gifts that may be headed prematurely to the cemetery. Coaching or guiding you into your divine assignments will require conversations, prayers meditation, and other aspects this medium will not provide. However, I will attempt to make this post do what it can do. Here are some questions for you to consider in your personal time of reflection today. For those of us who accomplish much, significant time was spent in prayer, silence, and doing much internal work before our hands ever touched the external. Yes, you will need to do some personal non-social media reflection! Begin today by answering the following:
1) What are you afraid of? Failure? Success? Outgrowing your environment or friends? Struggle? The challenge or difficulty of the assignment?
2) What are the roadblocks you have created in your mind? Have you told yourself "I am too young..too old...too whatever" or "They won't let me in because I am a woman (minority,etc.etc.)..."
3) What are the time limits you have assigned? Why have you delayed pursuing something that God spoke to you about 5, 10, 15 years ago? Have you said "I can do it later...I can do it when I retire...I will do it when my money gets right..."
As you consider these questions, may you move from fear to faith as you confront the internal thoughts and external chatter that keep you from doing what your hands have been assigned to do!
In these final days of the Easter season, I pray God would resurrect dreams inside of you! I pray you will make a move, even if it is small one, in the direction of your destiny. I pray scales will fall off your eyes so you can see yourself in the future. I pray you will be strong and courageous.
As someone who has pursued many exploits sometimes without external endorsement or a handbook, I know the road to "there" isn't easy but it is possible!
To continue this discussion, consider a spiritual direction session with me. I would love to help you look and live!
Rev. Dr. Arlecia Simmons