The Initiative

Inspiration: Hebrews 12:1-3

Given all the complaining we do, can we stop and realize that we still here by God’s Grace & Mercy? Do we get that wrapped up in our issues, that we only talk the Christian lifestyle, but don’t put it to action?  When does one get tired of the same conversation and same issues to say enough is enough? When does one take the initiative to do more?  To trust God?

The word, Initiative, means the first step in a process that, once taken, determines subsequent events….

Folks when we are at the breaking points, for a minute, stop. You want the deliverance, the breakthrough, but the suffering didn’t come over night. And neither will the breakthrough. It’s a process that got you to the low state and it will be a process that you get you to prosperity in Christ. Once you understand that, then and only then are you ready to take the initiative to change. Don’t believe me… let’s go to the Word.

Hebrews 12 (The Message Bible)

Discipline in a Long-Distance Race

1-3Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

THOUGHT:  Today is a great day to start… won’t you try?  Your eternity is connected to it…

Steps…

Hey everyone! It’s been quite some time since I posted anything. I think I’m ready to get back to writing some. So for the month of November or should I say Movember… I decided to do two challenges; raise a $1000 for men’s health awareness and do a 120 miles for the entire month. Well the fund raising has been challenge but I’m glad I put it out there. The bigger thing is the actual 120 mile challenge.

For the month of November, as part of the Movember Movement… I decided to participate in the walk challenge. For the month, I challenged myself to 120 miles total for the month. That broke down to 4 miles each day of the month. Initially, I thought this challenge would be a mountain to climb. But to much surprise, it was fun and fairly easy. So… how would I be able to reach this goal? I would literally have to make the time to walk. Okay sounds easy enough? Yeah right lol. I work in the office environment and deal with numbers, so it’s pretty easy to get lost in the numbers and forget to get up and walk around. So now I had to start thinking what do I do to ensure I get in 4 miles per day? Well the first thing I did was download an app that monitor my progress. Now I don’t have a Fitbit like many do, so I actually downloaded an app called Argus. It’s actually pretty cool. I may do a blog on it later on. But it follows the progress of miles and steps. So I got the thinking… maybe I should shoot for 10,000 steps a day. That’s over 4 miles… Why not?

Again, I didn’t know what to expect so I wondered if I would stick with this challenge? I was very surprised that not only did I stick with it, I surpassed it! That in itself humbled me. But what really humbled me was the reason. Each step was to show support for men’s health (cancer, mental illness); but the major reason was suicide prevention. This was personal for me. See I was facing suicide 12 years ago. Trying to figure out life then was not something that was on my mind; I was in my 20s… just wasn’t a thought. I figure I got all my life to deal with serious stuff; I’m having fun and doing what I want. Then 2005 hit and life completely changed. I immediately shut down from family, friends, myself, God… it was a dark time. So dark that I wanted to end my life. Thankfully, God had another plan…

Fast forward to now…I realize as I continue to make the steps, I was doing this for me. Not just because of the suicide attempt over a decade ago, but also because here’s something that I set out to do… Because God laid it in my spirit. I guess one thing I have learned through this challenge is that I can be truly committed to myself; meaning, I’m being intentional about investing in myself. Physically, because it’s great exercise. My legs and thighs are thanking me lol; I’m pretty sure of that… I even want to getimg_1150 back into running. Baby steps though lol. But my blood pressure has stabilized more. Mentally, it’s really relaxing. I mean, it’s amazing what a 30 minute walk can do. Again I love my numbers, so when the numbers start running together… yeah a good walk really helps. On top of work, my mind is everywhere at times, so walking helps my mind to relax. Which leads to spiritually… Spiritually, it’s peaceful… Definitely can take it all in and be grateful to God. I recall the second day of the challenge. I decided to walk around the National Mall in DC. From my job, I walked to just all the monuments. Man, talk about surreal? Just to simply take in all the trees, the reflecting pool, the monuments and if those weren’t enough… the clear skies with the moon just shining right beside the Washington Monument. In taking it all in, all I could think was God, thank You and forgive me for taking your creations for granted… people, places, and things.

So what was the verdict on the challenge? Did I meet it? And by how much? 368,700 steps or 156.82 miles!! How about that!! I was amazed some days I did up to 20,000 steps… the last day of November, I decided to do 25,000 + steps… I’m really glad that I stuck with the challenge. There were days when I didn’t want to get in my steps, but I still managed to do so and to know that I pushed myself feels good. The cool thing is that, I’m not stopping with November… I’m incorporating my steps in daily … It has motivated me to get back in the gym some and I’m grateful for that. It’s helping with the overall health (mental, physical, and spiritual). All and all… I’m a better person because of this.

The Standard of Rose Marie…

Today is an amazing day in history… Indeed it is. Now I know many are on their hustle and bustle… But today is my mother’s birthday!!!

Today, join me and my sisters as we celebrate Mom’s Birthday.  Rose Marie, girl you done cross into a new year!!!  Out of fear tha14370404_1226823864005680_1166484384654453922_nt I will be cut and taken out of the will, I won’t tell Rose Marie’s age lol.  But I will say, she looks younger than her age… hence why I am 35 and can pass for younger lol.

You know, the biggest thing that sticks out to me about my mom is her willingness to be a nurturer and to give people words of affirmation that continues to help along the way.  In my opinion, my mom has always been one that encourages.  Someone that will immediately lift you up when you are feeling the blues.

Mom and I talk a lot and she has shared a lot with me; life lessons, her past, her future and so forth.  And that’s on top of the sacrifices she has made for Erika, Monique, and I.  But I think about the conversations and I’m like wow…

1381885_646617615359644_115724964_nWhen I think of mom I am reminded of the smile on her face.  And there’s nothing fake about it.  She understands the importance in a smile.

Point #1.  Smile, because you really have a reason.  Folks, yes; the world presents challenges and experiences, but each day you are blessed to open your eyes is reason alone to smile.  Take a step back and realize, you can smile, because God loves you.  After all, He allowed His Son to die so that you and I can live.

Also, Mom is serious about the Kingdom of God…

Point #2.  If, in fact, we are children of God, understand that we are charge to live a life of Holiness unto the Lord.  Folks, let’s challenge ourselves to live holy.  Let’s live a life that will be a standard for others to see. It’s not the most popular thing to do, but the blessings 1381719_645625432125529_1779268673_none receives, the lessons one learns, the example one can be… is all worth it…

Leviticus 20:7 (The Message)

7-8 “Set yourselves apart for a holy life.  Live a holy life, because I am God, your God.  Do what I tell you; live the way I tell you.  I am the God who makes you holy.

And so…

Mom,

I just want to say thank you for all you do.  For the lessons you teach me, the discipline you give, the respect you demand, the example you set as a mother.  Thank you for being a praying Mother.  When I was going through and even though you didn’t know exactly, you 14606455_1246482892039777_469489225996726294_nsteadily prayed and I thank God for you.  God has blessed you as a daughter, a wife, a mother, a sister, an aunt, a grandmother, a friend and most importantly, God’s Daughter.  Mom, Happy Birthday to You… and May God continue to bless you all the more.

Love,

Son…

P.S.  For Mom and everyone else…  Enjoy the best of Jesus…

 

Romans 16:20 (The Message Bible)

19-20And so while there has never been any question about your honesty in these matters—I couldn’t be more proud of you!—I want you also to be smart, making sure every “good” thing is the real thing.  Don’t be gullible in regard to smooth-talking evil.  Stay alert like this, and before you know it the God of peace will come down on satan with both feet, stomping him into the dirt.  Enjoy the best of Jesus!

A Journey of Wisdom… Remembering Grandpa…

Inspiration: My Grandfather, Haywood Perry Barnes, Sr. and Proverbs 3

14317476_10155230417966679_9182297703261013377_nThe first thought of this great man that comes to mind is the amount of wisdom he possessed. Always willing to teach… show… inspire… I know many always focused on the tangible of my grandfather. And yes, it had its place. But then there was the intangible of my grandfather. His strength… His knowledge… His tenacity… His perseverance… His Love of Christ…

Here’s a man that was all about his walk with Christ. He would speak on it, but he preferred to put it in action. Always humble with a servant’s heart. Always willing to help fellow man out. Always the defender of family.

I can recall many times of being in the workshop with grandpa. There I was, helping him build this and that. In the garage or car port helping him work on Betsy emoticon20n-1-web … That’s what we called his blue truck. How many times, did I have to go on a job with him and we first stop at Hardees… I’d get sausage biscuit lol… He get his steak biscuit and from there… we are installing furniture all day LOL! Those were some good times… As he got older, we would talk and talk and talk. He would always tell me, “Vincent… Always keep God first and you will be alright.”

I continue to hold onto those words, especially now that he is no longer here. After learning of his death, I was going through my phone and stumbled across something that reminded me of some things that he would always tell me…

Proverbs 3:1-6; 21-26 (NIV)

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,

For they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

6 In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

21 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion;

22 They will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.

23 Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.

24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

25 Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,

26 For the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.

Here’s a man that understood what it meant to love you the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind. Here’s a man that understood what it meant to love your neighbor as yourself.

Here’s a man that understood and applied Romans 15:1-2… paraphrasing, we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. We should have a desire to build up fellow man for their good.

Here’s a man that understood that he still had joy when facing trials, because the testing of his faith develops perseverance and that perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything…

This was a man that stuck by his motto: “To let your yea be yea and you nay be nay…”

Grandpa… you were blessed to live an incredible life. You taught so many… You were instrumental in my love for math, science, and technology. You were inspirational in my 14310339_1228518283836238_5449568540964846771_ocareer choice in statistics. You were the standard of a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, brother, cousin, friend… but most of all… You set the standard of a man of God. I hope to be half the man you were. God I thank you for my grandfather, Haywood Perry Barnes, Sr. For the wisdom You blessed him with. For the love of family he had for us. Grandpa, you were my last earthly father… but you now are another angel watching over me. I will miss you. Take your rest… You have earned it.

Love… Vincent

P.S. Kiss Grandma for me. Tell Dad hey… I love you.

Haywood Perry Barnes, Sr… Natural Birth: September 9, 1927 ~ Eternal Birth: September 17, 2016

The Lesson He Taught

Inspirations – My Dad, Mr. Vincent Augustus Davis, Sr. (Natural Birth: May 13, 1951 ~ Eternal Birth: January 27, 2003) & Ronnie Laws – Friends & Strangers

It has been 13 years since my father, Vincent Augustus Davis, Sr., went home to be with IMG_0858the Lord. In the last few years, I’m more into the music my parents would listen to. My sisters, mother, and I always talk about how my dad loved his jazz. It’s funny, because you could always tell his mood by the music he’d listen to. From Kenny G, to War, to Temptations, to Boney James, to Bill Withers, to Roy Ayers, and so forth. But there was one artist that he would listen to on any given day, Mr. Ronnie Laws. As a lil’ dude out in the yard cutting grass with Dad, he would have his beer with him and the radio would be on blast with Mr. Laws.  One of my favorite songs is Tidal Wave… but Dad had another one that we all liked, Friends & Strangers…

One thing about Dad; he was a quiet man. Always watching his surroundings. He was not one to call everyone friend.  His circle consisted of my godfather, Larry “Vann” Cousins… my uncle, Haywood P. Barnes, Jr., Mr. Larry Coker, Mr. Paul Bess, and Mr. John Allen. There were a few folks from the shipyard as well. Vincent, Sr. had a genuine love for everyone, but he was very conscious of who he went around. He never threw around the word, friend, causally at all. Today I think back on that and realize I’m the same way. I do it without thought. Yet my circle of friends isn’t small, but still strategic like Dad’s. Often, I wonder though, why Dad was like that? And then it hit me… Dad had something that each of us should ask God for on a consistent basis… Discernment.

A time back, my god-brother and I spoke about how sometimes folks will try to take advantage of the weak for the purpose of exploitation. It angers me, because many of us are in position to be a blessing, yet we choose to be a curse. Yet if we ask God to give us discernment, we can then start to see if folks are for us or against us. When I think back, Dad was good for this. He could always tell if someone meant good or harm. After all these years, I think I understand the lesson that Dad was trying to teach me…

A friend will always be real with you. A friend will tell you what you need to hear; good or bad. A friend will hold you accountable. A friend will honor and respect your personal relationship with God. A friend will pray for and with you. A friend will love you as Christ loves us all.

A stranger can come and go. A stranger could possibly take advantage of you. A stranger will tell you what you want to hear. A stranger could bring harm. A stranger could be good or bad… could fake like a friend, but you must discern.

THOUGHT:  Everyone comes into your life for a reason. Some for a season… some for a lifetime. You must ask God for the gift of discernment so that you know who is for you and against you.

An additional lesson that Dad taught me… For those that have been in your life for years, even decades, and have always remained consistent, genuine, God fearing… Hold fast to those folks.

Thanks for the lesson Dad. Love you.

Intercession…

Who you are to me,
A friend, a brother, a sister…
You are someone that I touch, laugh with, someone I can see…

A reliable source of character and integrity…
A man… a woman of your word… filled with trust and sincerity…

A friend, oh yes, you are to me… indeed true and true…Intercession
I thank God for you and all that you do…

For encouragement… for advice… for guidance…
To put in my mind that I have the power to advance…

Who You Are to Me,
Indeed, you are more than just a friend…
For when I see you, I “see” what I can’t touch and see…

No I can’t with the physical sight…
But with spiritual eyes, I can see His Light…

Yes, His Light, His Anointing, His Glow…
It radiates ever so brightly through you and ever so bold…

You know my friend; I’ll let you in on a secret…
His Light lives in me too and I pray that it guides your life to direct…

Who You Are to Me… is truly who I see…
My Friend, My Savior, My Brother, My Guide to see…
I thank You for the reminder that I can be all that I can be…

To be and so much more, but My Friend, I ask of this one thing…
All that You inhabit, continue to do a new thing…

A new thing in them that will make them stronger…
So that they too can run on a bit longer…

To those that You desire to inhabit My Friend…
Use me and I will search and save them until my end…

But even then, You showed me that after this life…
That Your Angelic Friends will assist; after all, Vincent Sr. has in his afterlife…

Who You Are to Me… I praise You now and forever…
For how You use us daily; and to forsake…hmmm, Your Word said, NEVER…

Christ, I thank You, My Friend…
For what You did for all on Calvary; Bruh… we can live forever and it will never end…

THOUGHT: This is for you. I love you… and thank God for you. Don’t allow Satan to distract you from Christ. Seek Him and touch the Hem and be made whole under the subjection of Jesus Christ…

Father God:

I thank You for Your Son, My Brother, My Friend. Christ, what You have done for us, we can never offer up enough “Thank You’s”, or dance the best dance, or shout enough “Hallelujahs” or simply cry tears of joy. We are truly in awe of Your Glory, Your Presence, Your Love… we thank You. I ask that each person that reads this would be blessed beyond their thinking… beyond measure. Lord, some are hurting… some are wrestling with suicide… some have been abused… some are inflicting pain on themselves… some have lost loved ones… Lord whatever it is, Meet them right where they are… and as they embrace You, allow them to experience a new level in You. Restore, Heal, Deliver, Make them Whole, and most of all… Love them more, now…. And forever….

In Jesus Christ Name…
Amen

Achieve With Child-Like Passion

I can recall at the ages of 5, 6, 7, and so forth… watching cartoons; something that I still do at 34… Of course lol.  But I can recall as a lil’ dude having dreams of being a doctor, firefighter, and a whole host of things.  Who’d thought I would grow up and be a statistician and an accountant lol…? But one thing that sticks with me, the passion of dreams and goals… To know that I am working towards something is very exciting. Today, I wonder; what happened to most of us once we became adults?11987195_1008648372489898_4704843183473159616_n  The child-like imagination simply faded away… our very innocence just went away.  We as adults have given up, yet God hasn’t forgotten… and He knows all of our dreams and goals and I’m sure most of them in some way, are part of His Plan for you…

Remember…

As children, many of us sang a familiar set of words:

“This little light of mine…

I’m gonna let it shine.”

Still to this day, it is a favorite of kids (and kids-at-heart).  Children tend to sing it very loud and could care less if they are off key, while adults sing it with “dignity” (Yeah right). Now, why is that? Could it be that children sing it loud and off key, because they don’t believe in limits? A child’s mind is rich with imagination and thirsts for knowledge; hence they don’t feel that there’s a boundary when it comes to dreams and goals.  Yet as adults, we set limits. We question and second guess ourselves, because we think we’re too old or we don’t have the energy or simply said, “I can’t.”  By whose authority says you can’t achieve? 

Stop saying what you can’t do… be like Nike:  JUST DO IT. Stop giving the enemy the glory; rather, Praise God. For a moment, think back to the ages of your childhood.  All the things you wanted to be.  Don’t focus so much ochildren-readingn the what you wanted to be.  Rather, think of the passion, the excitement, the drive you had.  And the best part is; that passion, excitement, and drive is still there.  And with God leading, you can still live your dreams; your goals; the God-ordained purpose.

Stop holding the dream and live it.  Don’t give up; for God will always hold you up with His Hands… Look you gotta a whole host of angels from Heaven; cheering you on!!! What you waiting for?!?! Walk into your destiny!!!