Monday, March 31, 2014

Prayer Requested

"But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our inquities, the chastisement for our pease was upon Him, and b His stripes, we are healed. 
Isaiah 53:5, NKJV

Taking a moment to pause and send prayers up for a dear friend.  For those of you reading this post and believe in the power of prayer, please pray for healing and peace for her.
May God bless each of you.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Time to Shine

"In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven".
Matthew 5:16, Good News Translation

Are you pretending to be something you're not?  Are you trying to be what everybody else wants you to be, living up to their expectations and following their dreams for your life?
This Daily Devotional was thought provoking and propelled me to self-reflect.  As I meditated on this question, I had to be honest with myself.  I would have to say there was a period in my life when I tried to be everything that everyone expected me to be.  Talking about tossed to and fro, imagine the dizziness of trying to please everyone.  Being a light and shining was no where near the reality of how I was living.   
I particularly strived to be the daughter I thought my father wanted me to be because I so much desired to please him.  I desperately wanted his approval.  I felt that living up to his expectations would cause him to really love me.  What I failed to realize was that he already loved me.  He just wanted me to be the best I could be!  He wanted me to live up to my potential.  However, as I reflect back , I am able to see those times when I allowed my true identity to be compromised.
I would have to say that I also tried to live up to my perceived expectations of other family members and friends.  There were times when I lived a certain way or did certain things in hopes of acceptance.  Even though there were some things I felt uncomfortable doing, I did other things, trying to block my conscious of the things I was uncomfortable doing.  Today I realize all along I should have been more concerned with desiring to be accepted and approved by God!   
Today as I embrace Tywanna Renee, I vow to live my own life, the one that God leads me to live.  Lord knows, I realize my experiences are unique from others, which makes me a unique person intended to travel my own God-designed path.  Please keep me in your thoughts and pray for me as I continue to travel my road less traveled. 
I encourage those of you who have been living your life for everyone else other than yourself to begin today living the life God has intended for you to live, the one He designed for you.  If you are unsure of how that life looks like, what it consists of; pray and ask God to show you.  Sit back and feel how tiresome and uncomfortable it has been trying to please everyone.  I know I got to the point where I had to evaluate everything that was contributing to my illness and hindrance of being who God intended me to be and living the prosperous life He had planned just for me!  Wouldn't you like to be free, free to blossom into who the fruitful child of God you are called to be.  Wouldn't you like to lay down at night in true peace and quietness knowing you have lived one more day fulfilling or working towards having a date with your destiny? 
It's time for you to shine!  Your light has been dimmed way too long by being behind the shadows of others.  Let's stop downplaying all of the skills and talent you have been blessed with.  I encourage you to make the first step today.  I know that step is the one perceived the most difficult to take.  However, I can promise you once you do, you find other steps becoming easier and easier.  Have faith and begin embracing your time to shine.  Remember faith means "I go first", so step out on it.  We are waiting to see your light.  We are waiting to be blessed by your light.  Dust off all the dirt and shine!  Sparkle like you never have before; shine! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Faith, Hope and Love

The Laws of Life
You all know by now when I recieve something good, I always try to share.  I received  this gift from my church this past Sunday and I feel it is quite beneficial!  So, without further due, here you are.  
Life can be good and wonderful if you know how to live it.  The problem is most people don't know how to live.  God has given three laws that are designed to ensure we have a balanced and blessed life.  The three laws are Faith, Hope and Love.
* The Law of Faith will give you victory over all of your past hurts and disappointments.    
* The Law of Faith will allow you to receive everything that you need to live well.
* The Law of Faith will give you the victory over all bad habits.  (By faith you can control what you say, eat and drink.) 
* The Law of Faith will give you victory over fear and anxiety. 
*Through the Law of Hope you will expect things to get better in your life.
* Through the Law of Hope your dreams from God can become a reality. 
* Through the Law of Hope you can expect everlasting life.

* Through the Law of Love you will learn to love God with all your being.
* Through the Law of Love you will learn to love yourself.
* Through the Law of Love you will forgive yourself and others.
* It is impossible to be defeated in life if you learn to correctly apply the Laws of Faith, Hope and Love. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Imperfect Being Perfected

Imperfect: not perfect, faulty or incomplete (                  

Perfect:  To make something completely free from defects and faults or as close to such a condition as possible (                       
Impatient,  alcoholic, Hot-tempered, stoic, and prideful are just a few words that describe some of my former or present characteristics.  These are all flaws to show that I am an imperfect woman progressively being perfected.  Yes, I am a hot mess!  But, I'm also an EDP, every day progress.  And, most of all, God loves and has chosen to use little Ms. Imperfect me as one of his vessels!
Being raised with a Pentecostal, Christian background, I grew up with a very strict interpretation of religion and what being God's child entailed.  For a long time, women could not wear pants or make-up and were expected to wear panty hose all of the time.  Sanctified Christians were definitely not allowed to listen to any type of secular music or even think about dancing.  If one went against any of the "rules", he or she was looked upon as not being saved or no longer being saved.  However, as I became an adult, I began to question how any of these "rules" related to my relationship with God?  I was baffled because I knew I had a heart for Christ and desired to be His child.  I would wonder how other people who were extremely hateful and unforgiving could be Christians.
Contrary to popular beliefs, God used many imperfect men and women in the Bible as vessels for Him. For examples, Noah was a drunk, Jacob was a liar, Joseph was abused, Gideon was afraid, Samson was a womanizer, Rahab was a prostitute, Elijah was suicidal, Paul was too religious and David was an adulterer and a murderer, just to name a few.  For me, this was a different way of looking at salvation because I had grown up thinking one had to be almost perfect to be saved, to be a Christian.  These imperfect heroes were just like you and I, flawed but still able to be used by God as well.    
As I progress in my walk with Christ, I am learning that religion doesn't have much to do with salvation!  It does not determine my relationship with Christ.  As a matter of fact, I have observed we can all be religious but have nothing resembling a relationship with Christ or others for that matter.  Being religious does not necessarily mean one has a loving and forgiving heart, which is what Christ ultimately expects from us.  And, most of all, religion does not guarantee my salvation!  My works or lack of is not what has saved me.  The Bible tells me "For by Grace, I have been saved through faith.  And, this is not my own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."  It is my belief, acceptance of Christ as my Savior, and His Grace that has saved me.  My sins do and will not cause me to lose my salvation!  Christ has already paid the price for my salvation!   
Do you feel you have too many flaws?  Do you feel you are unworthy of being loved and can not be used by God?  I'm here to tell you that you are exactly the kind of person God likes to use as a vessel.  The next time you are feeling critical and down on yourself, look into the mirror and repeat "I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  God can use me."  You are indeed loveable and usable because God created you.  He accepts you just as you are. 

What better knowledge is there than knowing nothing you do or say can take away God's love for you?  For those of you who believe you are already perfect and have no flaws at all and  you believe you are entitled to look down on and judge us imperfect vessels; I admonish you to self-reflect again.  I can confidently assure you there's something you have blindly overlooked.  None of us are perfect, but we all can be used by God.  There is always a need for love to be passed on to someone else.  Rather or not man ever accepts or love us, God loves and has already accepted us; the good, the bad, and the ugly!       


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Irreplaceable Joy

"If you had all of the money in the world but had to have a job, what would you choose to do?"
 What is your purpose in life?  Are you happy, fulfilled with what you are currently doing for a profession?  If you could freely do what you wanted to do for a service, what would it be?
When I asked myself these same questions, I instantly knew the answers.  Most of my jobs in the past have been services I enjoyed providing, but I still had a longing for more.  I was still not completely fulfilled.  Until now! 
All glory to God, I am finally living my dream, my destiny!  I am finally doing what I was purposed to do in life and doing what I absolutely enjoy doing.  So much so, I pray I'm never unable to live this dream any longer.        
Writing and ministering for God is absolutely a dream come true for me.  As a child, I was blessed with the gift of writing.  So, throughout my life, I had always written, but couldn't completely put my all into it because of demanding jobs.  And, when I lost my mom and was aggressively attacked by Lupus, I encountered Writer's Block.  For years, I was unable to write.  Though I desired to, words would no longer creatively flow from my heart.  There were a couple of breaks where I was able to write a poem or another kind of literary piece in memory of my mom, but nothing close to my potential.  I am thrilled to say that is no longer the case!  In all aspects, I am free to write!  Also, being able to sincerely, freely minister to others about God's love for us has been the icing on the cake!  I am fulfilled in ways I never knew to be possible.    
As I write my book and serve on different ministries within my church, I can see myself continuously being healed.  I am literally beginning to live more and more, day by day.  When I come here to write to you, I have already anticipated sitting down to talk to you.  It gives me authentic, irreplaceable joy!           
Are you able to relate to me concerning what you are currently doing?  If not, would you like to someday know this kind of joy I'm speaking of?  I encourage you to identify something you enjoy doing or would like to do, even if you had all the money in the world.  Once identified, I encourage you to begin taking steps to position yourself to be able to do whatever it is that would fulfill you and bring you irreplaceable joy.  Have faith that you can fulfill your purpose of being here on earth.  Besides, there is too much life left for you to continue going through it unhappy and unfulfilled!  My Pastor teaches us that faith means I go first!  Take your first step and fearlessly move towards living your destiny!
I'm cheering you on! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Rest continued

After a very long, productive day, I'm going to take another night to rest.  I really need it tonight.  You all be blessed and have a wonderful evening.  Look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


"There were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His disciples didn't even have time to eat.  So he said to them, "Let us go off by ourselves to some place where we will be alone and you can rest a while."

Mark 6:31, Good News Translation  

Rest:  an instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity (Google search)  

So you've been pushing, you have been on the grind.  There's definitely no dust collecting under your feet.  However, there's one thing you've forgotten to do.  This one thing is something you are sure to tell others to do, but you neglect to do yourself.  It's time for you to rest!
God has blessed me with a very observant husband who truly loves his wife.  He tries not to miss a beat when it comes to me.  For the past couple of weeks, he's been encouraging me to rest.  Today, it finally it home for me that it was time for me to rest. 

Earlier this week, I was reading my Daily Devotional and it encouraged me to rest.  I immediately shared it with two people I felt could benefit from the message, not thinking I could as well.  This was an oversight on my behalf; a "brain fart" as my husband jokingly refers to.  This morning while exercising, I was reminded of this Devotional.  It finally hit home for me that is was time for me to rest.  I could smell the air, hear the birds chirp, and basically see life happening.  I noticed how peaceful I was and how great I felt!   

Years ago, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type 1, Manic-Depressive.  Yes, chances are you are just like me, know someone like me, or I am someone you may know!  Many well-known artists have been diagnosed with this conditon.  Some of our most creative, appreciated projects are produced by people just like me.  When I'm leaning towards the manic end, I am extremtely energetic and can get a lot of work done.  However, when leaning towards the depressive end, I'm lethargic and have little energy to do anything.  Just as it is for most of us, the key to managing my Disorder is achieving balance.  So, especially during periods when I have increased energy, it is important for me to stop and rest.  Also, I'm diagnosed with Lupus and if I don't get enough rest, it can aggressively attack my body.  My complete health depends on me getting enough rest.

Rather or not we have an illness, it's imperative for us to stop and rest sometimes.  Jesus even rested on the seventh day.  And, he made it a point to do so every so often.  Many of us work very hard, are involved in several, significant activities and simultaneously play various roles (mother, father, husband, brother, sister,  friend, employee, etc).  Resting rejuvenates us!  It gives us the energy, the strength to once again push with all our might.  If we do not stop to rest, we will at some point begin to burn out, easily become irritable, and lose focus of what we are working towards.  Now you have it; it's just as important for you stop to rest as well!

I caution you not to be fooled about what rest consists of.  Rest can be a time when you do absolutely nothing or you involve yourself in a couple of your favorite relaxing, past times.  For instance I used today to engage in a couple of my favorite pastimes and taking my time not being on someone else's schedule and time.  I talked to a coupe of close friends, one who's a mother figure to me, danced while I listened to my Jazz and wrote to you all.  I took a relaxing, hot bath with aromored candles burning and I refrained from doing anything strenuous, requiring much effort.  And most importantly, I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed myself!  
Now it's time for you too to give yourself permission to rest!  You are just as important as anything or anyone else.  I encourage you today to make it a point to stop and rest.  Besides, you only have one temple.  Take a break from pushing!  It's ok; I can guarantee you will not miss a step.  After all, you're entitled to treat yourself.  Rest!     

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Status Quo

The question was asked "Why is it that some of us will do just enough to get by, and not enough to get noticed?"
Briefly answering, some of us are afraid of the possibility of obtaining success. Though presenting ourselves as desiring to be recognized, many of us are content staying in the shadows and remaining status quo.  Unfortunately, sometimes not bold enough to show its true color, fear often times wears many variations of masks. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

And U say U Love Me?

"The scars you can't see are the ones that are hardest to heal."

Bang. Thump.  Bang, bang!  There're those loud noises again against the door.  This is the second time this week.  Clump.  Frustrated, I kick the wall in the hallway near the door of my mother's bedroom.  Dang it, why can't this door be unlocked?  I need to get in there!

Giving up on trying to get to my mom, I scream "Stoppppppp!"  Running back to my bedroom, I make my way to what has become a familiar hide away spot, my closet.  Here I curse, I cry and I vow I will never let someone aggressively put their hands on me!  Shaking out of anger, I also impatiently wait for my sister to join me.  She always does.  In a few more minutes, she will be here to put her arms around me and say those words I need to believe "Everything is going to be ok".    
Domestic violence is not only a vicious cycle for the abused, it is a terminal cancer for all involved parties.  Sadly, though awareness may be known and help may be desired; this out-of-control cell growth can continue to spread for years!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Look Into The Mirror

"Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows his image."
Johann Wolfgang Goethe
When you look in the mirror, do you know the person staring back at you?  Is there a mask disguising the face?  Are you able to look into the windows of that soul?  Or, do you quickly blink trying to erase the image reflected back?  

These were all questions I had to answer one day when I finally awakened from the deep sleep I had been in for years.  No longer able to stomach the stench wrenching from my body, I decided to check to see if the appearance matched the foul odor.  What starred back at me was far worse than the decomposing smell coming from the filth I had allowed myself to wallow in.  Who was she?  How did she get here in this house?  

My mom had been dead for more than six years and my drinking was way past recreational use by now.  No longer a connoisseur of expensive, fine wines; I was a bona fide wino, a true alcoholic for sure!  From sun up to sun down, I welcomed every opportunity to have a drink.  And, it no longer matter if the wine was red or white, $40 or $3.  Heck, let's be completely honest, it no longer mattered if it was wine.  As long as it had some percentage of alcohol in it, I wanted it.  Every ounce of my fiber craved, needed the instant effects of this mind-altering substance!      

By the time I had awakened and looked in the mirror, the original occupant of the house in front of me had long been replaced by a dependent immigrant.  It was too late now to pretend I did not know the culprit; I had starred in the eyes a second too long.  I could no longer deny the immigrant her citizenship of the house she had been camping out in for years now. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Withholding Nothing

This weekend has been such a spiritual-filled one.  My mother's spirit has come back to life as I no longer try to bury it.  I was afraid when she tried previous times in the past to live again,  but I'm no longer afraid.  As I write about her memory and embrace who I am, I continue to be healed.  I can feel her heart beating again.  I can see the rise and fall of her chest as she begins to breathe again.  My sense of smell and other senses are super heightened right now.  She is speaking and I can hear her.  I can now see how I was contributing to quieting her voice, when she was only yearning to speak and sing again.

I was too broken before to allow her voice to be heard.  I silenced her when she only wanted to clear her throat and speak; stretch her vocal cords so that she could hold that note of pain she silently endured.  We can only do better when we know better.  Today, I know better.  I will no longer be silent!

God has empowered me to live so that He can have a voice, not for that voice to continue going unheard.  Today, I accept my responsibility for speaking up for the silent ones.  Today my voice will begin carrying that note for those who are simply too weak to echo a sound.  Domestic violence , emotional abuse, physical abuse, betrayal,  low self-value, dependency and co-dependency, worry, paralyzing fear, addiction, grief, mental and physical illnesses, are just a few that people are struggling with.

Well, Mama, I'm pulling the nails out one by one.  Each one hurt you very deeply; way too much for the average heart to bear. It's no wonder yours completely broke way too soon.  It truly was God's divine intervention that your heart was able to beat as long as it did.  Injustice was done to you, but it wasn't in vain.  There are other men and women too, out there who look and sound just like you.  They have been hurt deeply, just like you.  And, God wants to heal them; just like He completely healed you!

I invite; I welcome the Spirit of Truth in to do exactly what He wants to.  What has been keeping you from diving into your deep end?  Are you afraid of entering into a lion's den, with meat starved lions?  Take a plunge; dare to spring forward!  Dare to stand on God's Word and trust Him to be your saving power!  I'm boldly taking a chance.  I am shamelessly withholding nothing!

Putting U 1st

Saturday March 15, 2014
Remembering the Reason  I Said Yes
I had the opportunity to go see a music -talented couple I enjoy listening to and admire, Kindred Family Soul.  The two sing together and have been married for years and have six children.  As I watched the two interact and perform together on stage, I feel their spark and was reminded of the reason I was sitting next to the man of my dreams, my husband!
Date night with Hubby reminded me that he's entitled to be put first at times.  Celebrating 9 years of marriage last week, I'm smiling knowing deep inside God blessed me with the man for me!  Thanks Honey for an an awesome envening enjoying one of the first things that brought us together, great live music!
When's the last time you put your special someone first?  Don't make it the last.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Birds of a feather flock Together

How can two cohesively walk together going in different directions?  Yet, some of us try!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Lord Is My Shepherd

Psalm 23, A Song of David
Good News Translation  

Are you like me and at times and find yourself ever wondering exactly what a passage you're reading is really saying?

As I think on what I can write about tonight, I am reminded of the 23rd Psalms, a well recited scripture in the Bible.  As I attempt to understand the Bible more, I now use other translations along with the King James Version to assist me in clarifying verses I don't quite understand.  Tonight, as I thought about this particular Psalm, I searched for the Good News Translation to really break it down for me.  In all of my years, I had never had the 23rd Psalms explained to me this way.  As my Pastor teaches, praise God for good understanding! 

I pray this Psalm blesses you as much as it did me.  Please read and Selah!     

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need. 2 He lets me rest in fields of green grass and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water. 3 He gives me new strength. He guides me in the right paths, as he has promised. 4 Even if I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, Lord, for you are with me. Your shepherd's rod and staff protect me 5 You prepare a banquet for me, where all my enemies can see me; you welcome me as an honored guest and fill my cup to the brim. 6 I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life; and your house will be my home as long as I live.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Forgetting someone you love is like remembering someone you never knew"

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."
Mark ll:25

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

He must flee!

"So humble yourselves before God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
James 4:7, New International Version
Flee:  To run or move quickly; rush; speed.  (
My heart was heavy this evening.  Something happened earlier today that troubled me, but I knew that wasn't the sole contributor to my heaviness.  "Why am I feeling this way", I asked myself.  Where is this coming from?  God would later shed enlightenment.
During my class, one of my class mates made a statement that almost knocked me out of my chair!  "I am sensing a need for prayer", she stated.  She further admitted she was one who was in need, but also stated she felt there were others in need of prayer. Can you say "called out"?  Prayer was exactly what I was feeling the need of.  Is this lady a prophet, I asked myself.  This was the second thing she had said tonight that pertained to me.  The first was confirmation she had given me about this blog page I have created.  Wow!  God is truly amazing!  I couldn't wait for class to end so that I could prepare my mind and heart to pray with my prayer partner.
As I prayed, I began to cry out to God for all of us who are in need of prayer.  Satan is maliciously attacking God's children, but in the name of Jesus, he has to flee!  Those attacks on us, our loved ones and others who are suffering can go back to hell where they originated from.  God's Word tells us if we humble ourselves before God and resist the devil, he (has) to flee, James 4:7.  We are heirs of God's goodness, including our loved ones.  We don't have to lie down and accept defeat.  Let's boldly stand up and proclaim Victory in Christ Jesus!   
After praying, I immediately felt lighter.  I am thanking and praising God in advance because I know He has heard my cries.  I am anticipating a peaceful sleep because I know all is well!  I encourage you to give your concerns to Christ Jesus, who intercedes to the Father on our behalf, Romans 8:34.  As you read this, I pray the peace of God rests upon you.  May your hearts and minds be at ease.  Trust that God is able to do anything but fail.  I've tried Him and I'm a believer!  Why don't you?      

Monday, March 3, 2014


Dedicated to my Mom, Alice
Gone, but never forgotten!
Written by T. Renee Culpepper
How can you still think of someone everday after two years
How can you still pick up the phone to call that special some one
Knowing that person will never pick up
Knowing that person will never know
Just how much you truly miss her
Hahaha, I hear you now
You told me you were going to leave
Did I believe you
Of course not
You've always been there for me
I miss your smile
I can still see you
Eyes open wide
Mouth slightly opened
You had so many jokes
Hahaha, still laughing
How did you know
I would always find
Relief and joy in you