Hello, hello, and WELCOME! We are glad to have you join us. There is no need to be bashful or clandestinely hope for racy topics stemming from your pre-conceived ideas about our title. While the conversation of romance may appear from time to time, we focus our attention on all of the intimate pillow talk conversations that take place as you rest your head and share your most insightful ideas, vulnerable moments, and heartfelt reflections. So, whether you’re single and having those personal conversations with yourself or having those special conversations with your significant other, join us with your favorite cup of coffee at your bedside, relax, and enjoy a stimulating experience. By the way, what’s your favorite BEDSIDE COFFEE?
Blog Contributor: Mrs. Anitra Bender | Jackson, Mississippi
My name is Anitra Bender and I supervise a Call Center during the day, however, after 5:00, I am an addicted “couponer”. I picked up on this addiction in October 2013 while my dad was visiting. He asked to wash his clothing before traveling back home and I had a “corner” of laundry detergent available for use. Very ashamed, I vowed to never get low on it, ever again.
At that time, couponers, as we call ourselves, were beginning to soar within social media. Everyone would gather their items, set up a display and post it to Facebook. Seeing these photos would make anyone want to get involved, not only to save money, but, also have a “stockpile”. A stockpile is an accumulation of all items obtained through couponing. So, I reached out to a person that I would always see getting household items, Stephanie. She gave me my first coupons and tips on “how” to coupon, while maximizing my savings. That was all I needed, and from that point to this, I have been changing lives of many that I know and come in contact with.
Many benefit from my addiction, especially, my family and close friends. I share items and coupons with them and even, at times, teach coupon classes. My first coupon class was held in January, 2014. It was held at a facility that could accommodate at least 300 individuals. It completely SOLD OUT! This event was so big that news reporters visited to cover the event!
My best friend, Renetta, named my pile “Bender Mart”!! This is by far the best addiction I have ever heard of! I think it is simply amazing, therefore, just like Stephanie gave me those tips, I give them, here and there because we all love saving our coins!
- Subscribe to the Sunday’s paper
- Utilize a coupon clipping service to purchase coupons, online)
- Always apply a sale with your coupon (look for items already on sale)
- Never throw away coupons, even after expiration (some stores take expired coupons)
- Familiarize yourself with store coupon policies
- Join store loyalty programs
- Know what’s a good deal and what’s not
- Make multiple transactions
- Use overage to get FREE ITEMS!
- Look for unadvertised deals
- ALWAYS take coupons with you, even when traveling
Read more tips here:
By: Ashleigh Kotter
Praying is a simple task. Praying is really just communicating with someone you don’t see. Often times we hear things like prayer works. Yet, let’s consider this, prayer to just anyone or anything is not what works. Who you pray to counts. Without getting too deep into a wide array of discussions we can simply look at this truth – there is a Kingdom of Light (God’s Kingdom) and Kingdom of Darkness (Satan’s Kingdom). It is important to note these kingdoms are not equal. One has all power and the other only has delegated (distributed) power. Both are spiritual, and both can have prayers directed toward it. And both have power to accomplish certain things. Which one would you rather pray to? The Kingdom that has all power, is about good and love toward all mankind; created you; loves you; has your best interest at heart; and can protect you; keep you; and cares for you in every way; is strong enough to handle anything and will never ask you for anything that will harm you or others. Or would you like to pray to the kingdom that has every level of strife and contention to breed between mankind; harmonizes in chaos; prefers mankind’s most manipulative and deceptive darkness; births disarray and feeds on hatred, loneliness, discontentment, emptiness and vain pursuits.
With the Kingdom of Light we are invited to pray to the King who knows in the most detail (intimately) your entire life, personality, reasoning and cares for you today as much as He ever can. You cannot lose your place of endearment and value in His eyes. He wants you to call on Him; and acknowledge Him in all details of your life. Giving Him the opportunity to bless and prosper each aspect of your life – He wants to direct your path to purpose and life and joy! As you pray to Him this gives Him the opportunity to do that. This builds your relationship with Him and is essentially what your relationship with God is based around. Communication is the key connector to any relationship, right? And just as you take time to pray and acknowledge Him He responds to you! He gives you answers and you gain clarity – even in the most confusing times and situations.
Now to intercede is much more. It is still prayer, yet it comes from understanding our position in Christ. This position being a place of authority, as we understand who we are in Christ; we know we have been restored to the place of dominion and authority that Adam and Eve were endowed with. This being the same authority they surrendered to the Kingdom of Darkness when they chose sin. The work of Christ restored that which was lost (“that” being this authority). All of this means you being on this earth is purposeful you have dominion over something assigned to you. God made your life with the intent of restoring His kingdom reign over the area that your life covers in this world. To do this requires intercession. We can stand in the gap for someone, a group of people, a nation, a principle that needs to be established, utilized and accomplished in the earth. Your intercession is attached to what your purpose is intended to accomplish in the earth.
So what does this standing in the gap look like? How do you do it? For me personally, I used to let the enemy plague me with the idea that I could not pray for everything that I “needed to.” That was many years ago and simply came from the desire to pray for everything! I did not understand that God had a level of sovereignty that can handle everything. I’ve been praying for others and certain concepts and standing in the gap for others for most of my life and I feel like with a solid biblical understanding and spiritual maturation that God has brought me into I now have a better perspective and developed prayer life that includes skilled intercession. What it looks like to intercede is connecting with God – quieting your heart and mind to be able to sense what it is that He needs to be covered in prayer. How I do this… sometimes it means I take some time to sit quietly and reflect on Him – who He is, how good He is; other times it will be verbally exalting Him and magnifying (making Him look as big as He is to myself); this makes us more spiritually aware and sensitive. The Word says when we draw near to Him He draws near to us; He inhabits the praises of His people – so if you want Him to be near – acknowledge, worship and praise Him!! Draw near to Him – you are always welcome in the courts of this gracious King!!! I think that was a praise break 🙂
What I do after exalting Him is thank Him for the gift of intercession. See His gift of intercession is always going forth – He is continually at the right hand of the Father – ever living to make intercession for you!! (Makes me want to shout!) Ask Him to show you His intercession – it is a marvelous thing! What comes 2nd to that in marvelousness (yes, making up words;) is that He invites us to join with Him in this gift of intercession. We tap in, if you will, to His intercession and He will lead us in what to pray. The things that are on His heart. He – the God of the Universe shares with us what He is thinking and feeling! And asks us to be a part of establishing it in the earth by using our words. You can visit nations through your prayer while never leaving your car, home or office. We must also be willing to take the necessary actions if it requires anything more from us. Yet, like I mentioned before it is often times what you are already called to that God will have you declaring truth over and even downloading heavenly strategy through your prayers.
This my friends is intercession joining with Christ in declaring truth, His word and praying solutions into the atmosphere as it is a part of His strategy. If you are asking how can just saying things change anything – remember this – thoughts are things and words are spirit. They carry things – power of life and death is in the tongue. You set things to react and change around you with your words – especially, when guided by His thoughts and words. I pray for your intercession to increase in time and effectiveness. It is a skill to develop – and like the church mother’s and elders say, “Let Him use you, baby!” There’s a whole world to tap into through prayer and intercession. Explore!
Have you ever endeavored to accomplish a dream – an accomplishment that reaches beyond your natural ability? Your dream could be obtaining that ultimate career or profession, becoming an actress or actor, becoming a better spouse or parent, owning your own business, starting a foundation, having your dream home, or any worthwhile ideal. If you are in the minority that has actually taken the leap of faith towards your dreams, you know that the action towards them is solely up to you, but the obtainment of them depends on a source much greater than you. Growing to this type of understanding requires submission, faith, and self-discipline that must be refined at every level of growth.
Identify your fears and challenges. Along with setting goals and pursuing a life of purpose is identifying potential challenges. In most cases, the greatest challenges are internal, providing false images of what often never comes to life. God tells us in Joshua 1:9 to “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Once you identify your fears, immediately dismiss them, and never give them energy. These fears are mere distractions, facades, smokescreens that will choke you if you stand in them. You don’t have to wait until the smoke clears (in some cases it won’t ever clear), sometimes you have to walk through it. Activate the spirit of power in you by moving through to the other side of your fear. You become what you think about, so
you have the choice of giving those things power, ignoring them, or using them to fuel God’s power in you.
Demolish strongholds. There are countless things that attempt to monopolize our efforts when pursuing the work that God has called us to do. On the surface, you will have to experience periods of isolation from people and environments that are not conducive to the development of your vision. However, the true battle is eradicating behaviors, habits, and thoughts that build themselves up against what God has revealed to you. The source of these things is not carnal, and we do not wage war against them with tangible or worldly ordnances. These arguments can be captured and made to obey through the guidance and conviction of the Holy Spirit, our understanding and use of God’s word, and the unwavering exercise of our faith. A word of caution is that there will be great resistance and disappointments; however, you must adopt the attitude that it is necessary and will be worth it in the end. Ultimately, you find strength in knowing that God is faithful.
Affirm what you believe. Get comfortable with speaking exactly what you want. Words have the power to manifest what you believe God for. Speaking the right things has a way of confirming what you picture. Understanding “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he,” God gave you the power to create in the natural what was first formed in the spirit. The repetition of written, visual, and verbal affirmations has an amazing way of tapping into your psyche, propelling you to better thoughts and ideas. Surround yourself with affirmations of what you expect to manifest as if you are campaigning for the greatest position you’ll ever hold – the life that God purposed for you.
Discipline yourself accordingly. Of the countless personal-development specialist, and enumerable amount of success principles and philosophies, none will add any substantial value to you if you lack the self-discipline to establish and maintain them. Having the mindset that seeks to focus on personal growth more than the development of the thing you are working to achieve is an investment that will always yield a good return, and applies to any area that you wish to achieve success – businesses, relationships, personal goals, ministry, and services. Cultivating yourself in spirit, mind, and body perpetuates an increased desire to reach your goals, and set new ones. Disciplining yourself is the expression of faithfulness necessary for any dream to come to life. Perhaps the most assuring thing in the pursuit of purpose, dreams, goals, or whatever you would like to call them, is the absolute, irrefutable truth that God never leaves nor forsakes us, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
“For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may endure for a night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.” – Psalm 30:5
Once the SMOKE that’s meant to harm us clears……the hurt, the doubt, the lies, the hatred, the foreclosure, the repossession, the layoffs, the failed relationships, the divorce, the miscarriage, the disloyalty of friends, the non-supportive family, the church hurt, the std, the racism, the bankruptcy, the one night stand, the old you and so much more SMOKE that is meant to still, kill and destroy God’s purpose for your life. ONCE IT ALL CLEARS AWAY… WHO WILL YOU BE? #teambitter or #teamBETTER
Their is pure JOY available to us all once the smoke clears BUT it can’t be recognized by #teambitter (ungrateful, unappreciative & unforgiving) for the obvious reason. The Joy is for #teamBETTER (renewed, refocused & restored by God).
I AM #teamBETTER
When we consider the difference between operating in our own plans and functioning in the work that God has for us, we ultimately see that our plans are limited, they lack true fulfillment, and they only come to fruition if they are a part of the work God has for us. Proverbs 19:21 says “many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” During the process of us transitioning from jobs and careers to operating our own business, we anticipated and attempted to plan for every aspect of our lives, potential obstacles, and expected goals to be met. Again, there was never a perfect circumstance, and though we were very calculated in our own success, we still felt that there was something else. No matter the circumstance, the things that we were consistent in doing were praying and seeking God’s guidance and wisdom, working, and building each other up.
Seek God’s expectations to avoid mismanaging His resources. It is very possible to miss the mark when God calls us to do something. Liken to the ball player that has finally been called into the game to play, we can become so excited by the opportunity that we don’t take time to fully listen to the play that’s being given. Your Coach can give clear instructions because He has insight on the whole game, your opponents, whose working with you, and your ability as a player; however, your eagerness to play has now hindered your comprehension for execution. Once the game is in play, you begin to wing it, realizing that you’ve lost your support (playing solo), you’re no longer in possession (you’ve become responsive to external factors), and a timeout has been called (you have to be re-instructed or loose the opportunity to play). In scripture, the parable of the talents gives a great illustration of how understanding God’s expectations and properly acting on them allows for a greater return. When we are faithful over a few things, God will put us in charge of many.
Commit to His work to receive guidance. Throughout scripture, we are told that if we “commit our work unto the Lord, He will establish our thoughts (Proverbs 16:3).” John 22:28 says “You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you, and light will shine on your ways.” Isaiah 30:21 states “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” This is comforting to know because we often face periods when we crave to hear God’s voice, receive His wisdom, or feel His presence. When you make a decision to commit to His work, developing a listening ear is a discipline that is a part of the process. You also understand that you must continue to do what He’s instructed you to do until He gives you the next step. One major thing to understand is that God will go before you and make your crocked places straight. This means that He has already determined your destination, and has the necessary provisions in place. This, however, does not mean that your journey will be easy. In actuality, many aspects of the journey will be challenging. We understand the crocked places made straight to be a state of mind that is clear about where you are going, and why.
Create a mastermind alliance to complete the work. The work that has been purposed for us is to be completed with a harmonious spirit. From Adam and Eve to the disciples being sent out two-by-two, we understand that God did not give us work to do on our own. The growth, support, balance and encouragement given within the alliance fosters an environment that guards against failure and builds intimacy and a perpetuating eagerness to fulfill the work. The fidelity, solidarity, and edification given within the relationship will become apparent to others, causing them to follow you, find value in your work, and ultimately seek God for themselves.
Have you ever been challenged? Perhaps the better question is what’s you initial response when you’re challenged? Justification, right? I know that is the answer for me. Though I have gotten better, I still find myself feeling the need to justify my thoughts or actions, even becoming defensive at times when I’m challenged. The problem with it is that it’s saturated with reason and logic, wrapped in emotions and insecurities, and leaves little to no room for understanding. When God challenges us, and we move from personal justifications to submission, we open ourselves to revelation and clarity. Understanding Romans 8: 30 where it says “And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified,” helped me to move away from my own personal justifications to trusting and submitting to God’s call.
Have a desire that will Qualify you. Earl Nightengale defines success as the progressive realization of a worthy ideal – the person who does or becomes what they said they would. By this definition, I was a successful educator. I had checked off every benchmark that I set for myself in regards to my career; however, I had reached a point where I was lacking fulfillment and simply desired more. If you’ve ever been in this position, that desire represents your qualification to be called for work. In actuality, Philippians 2:13 says that it’s God that works in you to give you the desire to will and to work. It’s important to note that at this point, you have no idea what the work is or that you’re even being called to do something.
Be intentional in your listening. In 1 Samuel 3, God called Samuel three times and he didn’t recognize His voice. Eli had to instruct him that it was the Lord that was calling him. He was to go back to the place he was before, when the Lord called again, he was to say, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” Most people would agree that there is a difference between hearing and listening. We can hear tons of great motivational messages, songs, conversations and the like, but God has an appointed time when He will use specific things, people, or situations to instruct you to seek Him, to listen to His voice. I love the fact that the scripture notes that during this time, there were not many visions. So your desire qualifies you to be called apart from those in an environment that lacks vision, especially vision that doesn’t coincide with what you’ve been called to do.
Submit to gain clarity and peace. A few years ago, a good friend of the family shared something with me that I have not forgotten. She said, “Sometimes, you can see land, but you’re too far out from shore. Wait until you are close enough to the shore to where you can just walk onto land.” That made perfect sense. At that time, I received her advice wholeheartedly, however, a while after that, I acted on a faith that at some points ventured beyond reason. Reasonably, there are many things to consider and ensure to be in place prior to leaving an established career and/or job: From resources like time, money, and people, to personal attributes like self-discipline, mental attitude, and existing habits. We had many of these things in place, but not all of them. There was no perfect situation and the plan that we had in place turned out much different than what we managed for. The truth is, we are glad that we jumped off of the “ship,” because we learned that we had strengths and abilities that we were unaware of, and when we were too weak, we relied on God’s strength. Looking back at things now, I feel that if we had gotten off of the ship when we were close enough to walk onto the shore, we may have seen our accomplishments as something in our own strengths. We could have rationalized with God about all of the details that were not in place, justifying why we personally felt it wasn’t the right time. Honestly, there were moments when we did do this, but we didn’t have peace until we humbly submitted to what He was instructing us to do. Like the story in Mark 4, we followed Him, and storms came; however, we didn’t receive clarity as to why He told us to follow Him until our faith had been tested in the storm.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BEST FRIEND!
I still remember the first day we met
We were too shy to say much at all
It’s funny to think back to that time
Because now we’re having a ball!
They say that true friendship is rare
An adage that I believe to be true
Genuine friendship is something that I cherish
I am so lucky to have met you.
Our bond is extremely special
It is unique in its own way
We have something irreplaceable
I love you more and more each day.
We’ve been through so much together
In so little time we’ve shared
I will never forget all the moments
that you’ve shown me how much you cared.
Friends are forever
Especially the bond that you and I possess
I love your amazing personality
Somehow you never fail to impress.
The world could use more people like you
it would certainly be a better place
I love everything about you
You are someone I could never replace.
You are always there for me
When my spirits need a little lift
I cannot thank you enough for that
You are truly an extraordinary gift.
You are everything to me and more
I could never express that enough
Life is such a treacherous journey, and
Without you it would be even more tough.
Our story will continue to grow
With each passing day
Because I trust that with you by my side
Everything will always be Okay.
You are so dear to me
You know I will love you until the end
I will always be there for you, and
You will always (and forever) be my best friend.
Love You Carebear
NATASHA MICHAELA ROACH
#MYBESTFRIEND #MYWIFE #MYLOVE #MYLOVER #MYMOCHA #MYCROWN #MYYESLORD #MYDST #MYGIFTfromGOD #MYPARTNER #MYMOTIVATION #MYJOY #MYGOODTHING #MYSMILE #MYBLESSING #MYICINGONMYCAKE #MYFAVOR #MYMYMYMY #MYOOOOOLALA #MYNURSE #MYVISIONBOARD #MYBESTFRIEND
Have you or anyone that you know been at a place for a while, and you lack fulfillment? Perhaps you’re frustrated, or lack desire with where you are. It could also be that you are in a really good place of comfort, but you feel that there is something else? I’m sure that you answered “Yes” to at least one of these questions along with every other person on the planet. Well, I experienced this feeling three years into my career, ultimately acting upon a significant decision seven years later. I know some may find significance in the numbers three and seven, but I’m simply using them to reference time. Trust me, during this 10 – 14 year time span, I was clueless as to how my life was being orchestrated. However, there is one thing that I was, and will forever be, certain of – God is real. Now, this blog isn’t intended to be an expression of religion, but relationship as I share (in three parts) the experiences that I learned within one year of leaving a profession that I trained and worked 14 years for.
My chosen career path was education. I was passionate about it, had earned 3.5 degrees (just a few hours shy of a doctoral), and had experienced many disappointments and successes in performance and relationships within my career. I had the opportunity to really experience education. As a veteran educator once shared with me when I first started teaching, “Work until you have seen a full generation of children come through your classroom.” Not only had I done that, I was heavily exposed to every aspect of education from family and friends in the field. So, what happened? I wanted more. Not necessarily for myself, but more so for the children.
By my third year, I was an emotional mess inwardly, but on the outside I was thriving. I recall sitting on the bed one morning before going to work, crying out of frustration, and praying. “God my job shouldn’t have this kind of effect on me. I’m not saying that I want it to be easy all the time, but I’m about to make a decision and I need peace. I can walk away from this, and pursue another interest, or I can stay in education. If Your desire is for me to stay in education, use me so that I can help to change it.” I’m laughing now, because whenever I hear or say “Lord use me” I think of a minister who said that’s a dangerous prayer…don’t say that unless you really mean it!
To fast forward a bit, seven years into my career (yes I stayed with education), I experienced a shift as if something was pulling me away from what I was doing. Even though I was working on my doctoral degree, I loved my students, had a great working relationship with my department, and had the best performance throughout the school district, I still felt that there was something else. I, like many people never wanted my focus to be on the numbers, but on the children, the people. Regardless of the field of work that you’re in, when demands and pressures hit, the focus has a tendency to shift from the very people that should be serviced, to production in numbers. During my last three years, I began to pay more attention to the spirit of my children. These were some of the most amazing young people – full of creativity, intelligence, and confidence. Their personalities, dreams, abilities, and even fears all became lessons by which I learned.
While at a conference, a speaker made a statement that nudged me to act on what I had been feeling for so long. He stated, “In life, you will inevitably encounter circumstances and situations that will at some point cause you to drift in life. The only way to stop drifting, is to make a decision.” I had to stop drifting. So through prayerfully seeking wisdom, I gracefully resigned. Prior to leaving, I had some of the most genuine conversations with my students. I generally asked all of them Who believes in you? and What is your biggest fear? The vast majority of them didn’t identify themselves as someone who believed in them. Also, the overwhelming response to the question about fear was the fear of failure. How was it that these seventh and eighth grade students gave the same responses that I hear many adults talk about as well? As a result, I decided to create a mural on the classroom wall for them as a gift, but failed to ever complete it. It would have read, “I BELIEVE IN ME.” Unknown to me, the plan that my husband and I had following my resignation, was the very time God had orchestrated to teach us that same lesson – to believe in ourselves. Join us on the next three blogs as we share insight on the lessons learned After I Left A 10 Year Career.
New year, same you? By: Ashlee Moss
We are so very excited to announce the release of Your Daily Verse today, December 24, 2015. This 21Day devotional is available on Amazon.com in the Kindle ($0.99) and print ($14.95) versions. Amazon has given us a 24-hour period to make this an amazing launch. So with your help, we can get this book to #1 Best Seller by you downloading it for just $0.99 and getting others to do the same. There is an amazing foreword by musical artist Laurie Walker Hall along with many other features that will bless you and others. We look forward to your reviews. God bless, and continue to walk in purpose!
Merry Christmas everyone