May Reflections

For certain doors to be opened, some doors have to be closed in our lives but the choice will always be ours. As the month of May is drawing to a close, please take the time to reflect. Reflection is key.

At this time, we are going to take some time to reflect upon this month with a few questions in mind. So let’s get to it.

Reflection Questions

1. Looking back on this month, what is one or two things you learned about yourself?

2. If you can describe the month of May in one word, what would you say?

3. Were you able to accomplish all your goals?

4. How were you mentally, physically, financially and spiritually?

5. Did you spend more money or did you save more?

6. What books did you read this month? Did you finish it or are you still reading?

7. When it comes to reaching out to your friends, did you take the time to check up on them? Did they do the same for you?

8. What are some things that you need to work on personally? What are somethings that you need to let go of?

9. Did you drink more water or more soda?

10. What are you looking forward to in the month of June?

By God’s grace, we have made it to see another day. I hope that this month of May served you well. God’s blessings to you and I pray that the month of June will bring forth bountiful blessings from above. Stay blessed 🙏🏿😊

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The Journey

Scripture: “Let the word of Christ live in you richly, flooding you with all wisdom. Apply the Scriptures as you teach and instruct one another with the Psalms, and with festive praises, and with prophetic songs given to you spontaneously by the Spirit, so sing to God with all your hearts!” -Colossians 3:16

jour·ney
/ˈjərnē/: an act of traveling from one place to another. To travel somewhere.

For a few moments, think back on that day when you gave your life to God. How did you feel? Who did you tell after you dedicated your life to God? Looking right now at your life, how would you say that your relationship with God has changed?

Questions From Me To You:

1. When was the last time you prayed?

2. When was the last time you came into the presence of God without wanting anything selfishly? Ex: Lord, I want a car. If you bless me with a car, I will do whatever you ask of me.

3. When was the last time you attended church?

4. Who are your friends? Are you growing spiritually, emotionally, mentally together or are they just filled with so much drama? Can you reach out to them when you are going through your hardships or do you find yourself always being the one who stretches your hands for them?

5. When was the last time you opened your Bible to really learn and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you something new?

6. Do you find yourself rushing when you come into the presence of God?

7. What can you do to be more intentional when you come into the presence of God?

Bread For Your Soul:

You were created by a God who loves you. The same God who knew you in your mother’s womb before her first sonogram test. This same God longs for more of you. In the beginning, God created man in His own image (See Genesis 1:27). God made no mistake when He created each of us. He had a purpose but the truth is we will never know our purpose if we don’t walk with God. Walking with the Lord is a choice. God doesn’t force us but he reminds us that we should “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” How does one draw near to God when they are clinging unto worldly possessions? You can sit at the table to break bread with the Lord and choose to hold hands with the enemy. You have to pick one. God gives us free will daily. When we choose to walk with the Lord, our hearts, minds and soul become one with Him. Our desire for worldly things diminishes. We grow to have a deeper fellowship with God. We desire to be transformed in the presence of God. We become doers of the word instead of just hearers. We walk by faith despite what we see say but most importantly we surrender and say Yes to God because He is Our Heavenly Father, Friend, Lord and Personal Savior. The Ultimate Ruler of Our lives.

How can I grow in my walk with God?

1. Make God a priority in your life. Set a time for God. Make room for your Creator. Take time to pray and fast. (It’s one thing to say that God is #1 on your Bio on Instagram but is God really a priority in your life? What are the three things you do when you wake up? How is your life a reflection of God? What does your conversation consist of throughout the day?)

2. Open Your Bible. (You must learn to be intentional when it comes to spending time with God. Before opening your Bible, pray and invite the Holy Spirit in every session. Don’t just read the Bible like it’s a story book. Allow God to teach you. He is the greatest teacher but you have to willing to learn.)

3. Spend time in worship. ( Worship the Lord. When you are praying, you can play some worship music in the background. Worship the Lord. He alone is worthy of all the praise. No one deserves the praise more than He does. A few weeks back, before service started, the worship Leader at my church said something profound. She said “You cannot worship past your understanding of what God has done and what He will do for you.” Many times in the church, when someone sees another person worshipping, it is so easy for someone to say “She’s doing too much. She’s not the only one who knows the Lord.” You see, that kind of talk will never get you that far. You cannot worship God past your understanding of who is to you. When you see someone worshipping and all you do is criticize, maybe their service to the Lord will also move you into that place of worship. You never know what the Lord can do in His presence if only you will learn to be present. So worship the King of Kings. Let your praise rise and may it be a sweet fragrance unto the Lord. Don’t let anyone get in the way of you worshipping the Lord. There’s no time or place to worship the Lord, just worship your Maker.

4. Stop being lazy. It is easy to plant a seed but the hardest part is watering it and doing the work required. You see, the gift of salvation is free but the hardest part is learning to work out your salvation. (Philippians 2:12). How do you work out your salvation? You work it out by walking with the Lord. Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary. The blood has already been shed. You don’t have to crucified. You have been resurrected with Christ. The gift was free but you still have to put the gift into use. You don’t just unravel a gift and let it collect dust, you use it. You don’t just confess with with your mouth that you believe in Jesus Christ, you believe in your heart. In the same way as believers, God wants us to grow but we must be willing to take those steps whether little or big into His presence. If a mother was lazy, in teaching her child how to walk, the child will crawl forever.

5. Have community. You see, Jesus had 12 disciples. He didn’t need them but He had them for a purpose. In Hebrews 10:12-13, we are reminded that we should not forsake the gathering of believers. It reads “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.” How can we grow when we refuse to be surrounded by Christ-like minded people? We are a body belonging to Christ. None of us are perfect but we need each other. We have blemishes but God is still working in each one of us. Having community is important because you learn, exchange thoughts/ideas and grow together deeper in our walk with God.

6. Wait well. Throughout this journey, there are going to be many times where we must wait on the Lord. Even in the waiting, God is teaching us something. He is preparing us for the journey ahead but let’s be honest, many times the waiting season isn’t easy. It’s harder in the flesh but when the Holy Spirit is involved, what is impossible will be made possible. It’s extremely hard for those who don’t dwell in the presence of God to wait. Waiting is not easy but when you learn to spend time with God, you have a renewed perspective even through the waiting period. Waiting requires patience and the help of the Holy Spirit. Whether your waiting for a job, marriage, and so forth, you must learn to rely on God. A waiter doesn’t stop serving others because one customer isn’t ready. He or she continues until that customer is ready. Even in the waiting reason, God requires us to be doing something. Not just anything. It’s the reason why we must seek Him in all our ways.

7. You must learn to have faith/trust in the Lord. In Proverbs 3:5-6, we are reminded of this truth, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” The key verse is trust. How can you trust when you don’t acknowledge God? You will put your trust somewhere else other than God. It’s in God’s presence that we learn to trust Him. When it comes to faith, the Bible reminds us that “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6). You must believe that God exists. If you don’t believe, then who are you putting your faith in? Faith in the world equals disappointment. Faith in God equals sufficiency in everything that I need. Faith is huge component in our walk with God.

8. Know your friends/environment. Earlier in this post, we took a look at a few questions and I asked you all about who your friends were? Believe me, this is very important when it comes to your walk with God. You can’t be friends with everyone. There are some people who will be around during your planting season but they are not meant to be there when you blossom. Many times, we want the entire tribe to be there but when you walk with the Lord, He will bring and remove those who aren’t meant to be there. At times, God allows you to make the decision. I was once that person who clung unto friends. When you hurt me, I forgave you and carried on. It got to a point where I became so broken. I cried a lot and it always circled around friendships but I’m grateful to God that He has healed me and has given me a renewed perspective on life. So please check your circle. People’s actions speak louder than their words. Forgive but understand that forgiveness doesn’t mean re-entry. It’s not about who started with you. Sometimes, you have to let go of those who started with you because they are not heading in the same direction. No, by no means are you better than them but understand that some people can be a hindrance to where God is taking you. Surround yourself with quality. Allow God to bring those people necessary into your life. Those who challenge, love and bring out the best in you.

9. Take time to read books that enlighten you. (Faith based books). There are so many books out there but if there’s anything I can tell you, I would say, pray about it. Before ordering a faith based book, pray and ask God to lead you in making the choice. Also read the synopsis and if you can, read about the author.

*Get a journal. Write your prayers to God 🙏🏿. Get a jar, write down your prayer requests/praise reports to God.

10. Attend conferences, get a devotional, listen to podcasts and watch sermons but remember that these tools must never be a substitution to reading your Bible. Attending conferences, reading a devotional, listening to a podcast are just icing on a cake. They are not the bread of life. They can aid in your growth but never forsake God to worship these things He created to be used for His Glory.

Verses To Ponder:

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” -Matthew 6:33

“Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life.
I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?” -1 Corinthians 3:1-3

Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God.” -Hebrews 6:1

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” – 1 Peter 2:2-3

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart
 and wait for the Lord.” -Psalm 27:14

With love,

Karen 🌻

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. God bless you. May you continue to grow in your walk with God. Until next time, stay blessed & rooted in Christ 🙏🏿😊

March Reflections 🌻

One chapter is closing. Another door is about to open. It’s that time again when we take the time to reflect upon the month that is drawing to a close. Five more hours and we will be in the month of April. The days are passing by. Time awaits no man and their goals. With that in mind, let’s take this time to reflect.

March Reflections

1. What is one of the many things that you learned in the month of March?

2. Looking back, what is something you could’ve have done that is still pending?

3. What is one verse that stood out to you in this month?

4. How was your relationship with God? Did you study any books in the Bible?

5. Did you spend or save more money?

6. When it comes to your eating habits, did you consume healthy meals or were you enjoying junky foods?

7. Did you accomplish any of your goals? If not, what’s your why? Did you manage your time well or did you spend most of your time on social media?

8. Did you read books and what did you take away from it? Would you recommend any of the books your read to anyone?

9. Did you drink more water or more juice?

10. How would you describe the month of March? What are some things you need to work on? What are you looking forward to in the month of April?

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I pray that this month of March was delightful for you all. I hope that the month of April will be a month of Victory. May the Lord bless and sustain you all. Enjoy every moment and continue to fix your eyes on Jesus. Until next time, stay blessed & rooted in Christ. 🙏🏿😊

Heart Posture

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. -Psalm 34:7

Question of the day:

What are you taking delight in and is it satisfying your soul?

When we take a look at the word delight, it simply means to please someone greatly. As believers, we should yearn to please God above everything. We can have desires in our hearts but if we don’t delight ourselves in the Lord, the things we desire may not be in alignment with God’s will for our lives. In Matthew 6:33, we are reminded to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”. The Key is first. Delighting yourself in the way of Lord means, taking pleasure in the things of God and longing to draw closer to God. You can become one with God when you delight yourself in Him, His word and His presence. Your mind is set on eternal things rather than earthly possessions that are temporary when you delight yourself in the Lord. This is not to say that God will not give you the desires of your heart if you don’t delight yourself in Him. He is God and He can do whatsoever He pleases but He wants us to delight in Him. We are the sheep of His pasture but we must learn to dwell in the Shepherd’s pasture. You will never know about the living water when you are satisfied with the things of this world. When you commit yourself to God, you release your way of thinking and control unto Him. You allow Him to have His way in your life. He is all knowing and knows what is best for each of us. So learn to delight yourself in the Lord. Spend time in the presence of God. Let your heart dwell richly in His word and know that God gives the best and He’s still in the business of doing immeasurably greater than you can ever imagine.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. Until next time, stay blessed & rooted in Christ 🙂

Happy World Poetry Day 📚

Apparently, today is World Poetry Day. I totally forgot until I came across a blog post that served as a reminder for me. I’m a poet myself so today is a special day. So with that in mind, I’m going to be sharing some poems/quotes that I love as well as some African Proverbs that are insightful. Are you ready? Let’s go.

“Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just start.” -Ijeoma Umebinyuo

“I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me “I love you.” There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.” -Maya Angelou

“I found flaws and they were beautiful.” -Nayyirah Waheed

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” -Maya Angelou

“You are beautiful but learn to work, for you cannot eat your beauty.” -Congolese Proverb

“He is who is afraid of doing too much always does too little.” -Nigerian Proverb

“However far the stream flows, it never forgets its source. -Nigerian Proverb

“He who eats another mans food, will have his own own eaten by others. -Swahili Proverb

“The road doesn’t tell the traveler what lies ahead” -Bantu Proverb

“Our daughters are prepared to run where your sons are taught to never go.” -Tapiwa Mugabe

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dream die. Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams, for when dreams go, life is a barren field, frozen with snow.” -Langston Hughes

“One day, you will be drained and tired of those that come fetching your love and light, as though you’re a well.” -Akosua Atuah

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” -Corrie ten Boom

The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.” -Elisabeth Elliot

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. If I can list all the quotes and poems I love, I will be here forever. I hope that you were able to resonate with these words written by fellow writers. If you have any quotes or poems that you love, feel free to share it in the comment section.

Until next time, stay blessed & Lovely. Have a wonderful day 😊🌻

Always Carry & Check!

Question: What do you tend to forget while on the road that you wish you remembered?

To think of it, I would have to say I tend to forget my hand sanitizer or Vaseline. These items are important to me. I believe that these items should be carried in each bag. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few things we tend to forget from time to time.

Things to Carry With You

1. Drivers license

2. Tissue/Napkin

3. Lotion

4. Snacks/Food/Mint or candy

5. Lip Moisturizer

6. Hand Sanitizer

7. Money (Inasmuch as we live in a generation, where we carry credit cards around, having change is very important. You never know the places that won’t accept cards.) Also, carry your wallet.

8. Phone & your keys 🔑

9. Pencil ✏️ or Pen

10. Any necessary documents.

Women:

*Pads

Comb or brush for your hair

Things To Check:

Bathroom:

Always check to see if everything you flushed, has disappeared. Clean up after yourself.

Check to see if your surroundings is clean.

Kitchen:

Always check the expiration dates on the items in your cabinets and in your fridge. (Spices, eggs and snacks)

Always check to make sure the stove is turned off. Turn the lights off (Save some money)

If it helps for you to write things down, do it so that you won’t forget the important things before you leave the house.

Face:

Check to see if there’s anything on your face especially by the corners of your eyes. Take the time to check yourself.

There is probably more things we need to carry or check that I probably didn’t mention. Feel free to leave your comments/suggestions 😄.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I hope this was helpful to you. Have a lovely day 😊✨

PC: STIL

Uganda Mission Trip// Testimony

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” -Isaiah 6:8

7,075 miles away from home. Away from the noise and lives demands. Going on my first mission trip was indeed a blessing and so fulfilling. It was everything my heart desired and God packaged it well well.

From a very long flight, to rainy days, to morning devotions, worship sessions, to water not running and having to shower with water bottles and jerrycans. To top it off, when the water was running, it was so cold. If I could bring a sample of Ugandan water, God knows I will. From van stopping on the road, and mosquitoes sucking the blood out of us, God still showed up and proved Himself faithful throughout the journey. He didn’t just send us but his presence was so evident on the mission field. Every moment spent at Caring Heart Breakthrough Ministry was precious and eye opening. From taking pictures, and engaging in conversation with a child, partaking in Medical Missions and VBS as a team, showcased a glimpse of heaven here on Earth.

Each day held its own beauty as well as challenges but through it all, we persevered through the help of the Holy Spirit. Before registering for this mission trip, I didn’t have a job so I had questions for the Lord in regards to where I was going to get the money to pay for this mission trip. I was a recent college graduate without a job for a year and a half. I applied for jobs, went on a few interviews and nothing amounted out of these experiences. Without a doubt, I knew this mission trip was mine. For as long as I can think back, I was always wanted to go on a mission trip and visit an orphanage. God has a way of reminding us of our heart desires just when we think, he has forgotten. On November 12th, 2018, while looking for more items to put inside the Hope Bags for the orphans, I came across a journal from 2013, where I wrote that I wanted to visit an orphanage. I was so blown, I couldn’t help but cry; so amazed at the faithfulness of God. After 5 years, what was written was being manifested. While in college, I will look into opportunities for missions but nothing really caught my eye. After graduating, when I couldn’t find a job, through a text, someone I know but not personally asked me if I ever thought about going on a mission trip. I was so surprised. So like I mentioned before, God is Faithful.

Before putting my deposit in, there were already signs that this mission trip was mine. From airplanes flying in my neighborhood everyday, to hearing an album in my friends car on our way to her ministry school in regards to going to all nations to preach the Gospel. There was a continuous emphasis on who will go to Africa and the nations to preach the Gospel. The following day, I listened to the album. Only to find out the title of the album was “Refresh Worship Live II: For The Nations: Psalmist Raine”. There were signs and God surely did wonders. At the time, August 6th, 2018, I hadn’t put my deposit in yet. No one knew I was going on a mission trip besides the Lord. Fear crippled in as the days passed on by but when I went outside and saw a plane, I will point my finger at it and declare, Uganda 🇺🇬, see you on December 2nd. I told a few friends. At the time, my parents didn’t know because I didn’t know how I was going to tell them but I prayed about it and eventually told them. It took a few moments for my mom to receive the news but all in all, she was happy for me. My dad on the other hand had a mouthful to say. From do you want to be a nun to do you know the history about Uganda, and how I have to Start looking for a sponsor. It was a lot especially coming from a parent but to God be the Glory, He saw me through it all.

With $500 in my bank account, the amount that I was using to pay for my student loans bit by bit, I was just wondering how Lord am I going to pay for this mission trip. I didn’t know where the money was going to come from but this I’ve learned, when you are obedient to the call, provision will come from the north, the south, the east and the west. God will make way for you and it will showcase his glory. I gave the Lord a set date on when I will make my deposit. I told the Lord August 17th, 2018. That day came and passed on by. I ended up putting my deposit in on August 25th, 2018. There were setbacks but God showed up continuously reminding me of his faithfulness when it seemed like things weren’t going to work out. He increased my faith in the wilderness and he hasn’t stopped increasing it. When God gives you an assignment, not everyone around us going to understand but you have to be obedient to the call. I found a part time job that I love and to top it off, being there for just one month, my manager gave me a leave for my mission trip. I mean look at God. I also created a GoFundMe page that a friend insisted for me to make. I didn’t want to because I’m aware that money can be a touchy subject for people. I shared it but yet still it was difficult. I ended up paying what I could and my friends and loved ones donated towards this mission trip. I’m grateful for the prayers and donations that were made. I am sharing this to remind you that God wants to partner with you too. God is not worried about your bank account after all, He is the provider of all that you have. The Lord is waiting on your obedience. Your disobedience can hinder others from seeing the hand of God in their lives. We serve a God Who is Faithful. He will provide for you. Going on a mission trip is not for Jesus phanatics. Missions is for everyone. It is the heartbeat of the Lord. The cost of following Jesus is the costly. The entire cost of the mission trip was costly but God is looking for available hearts. What is your heart beating for? There are people who need to hear about the Gospel. God has deposited so much within you. There are gifts that need to be unwrapped. The least you can do is say Yes to the call. God is waiting on you. Stop reminding the Lord of the other sheep in the His pasture that He can use. You are one of them. Will you be the hands and feet of Jesus wherever he calls you?

Brief Overview:

Brussels, Kigali, Entebbe

Day 1-Day 8

Arose to birds chirping and prayers at the nearest mosque and church.

Showers and morning devotions. Some mornings, the water didn’t run so I ended up using water bottles and jerrycans to shower. I had to ask the hotel if they had water preserved so that I can use to shower.

We stayed at a hotel but some will describe it as a guest house because some things weren’t functioning. Wasn’t much of a problem to me because we didn’t come on a vacation, we came to do the Lord’s work.

Breakfast: Omelette & Sausage, samosas, Bread 🍞 and blue band butter, French toast, lemon leaf, Water, Ugandan tea and etc.

Arrival at orphanage. Spent 10 hours at the orphanage each day. VBS (Vacation Bible School), Medical Mission, Conference, Spending time with God’s beloved and so much more. We served 360+ kids. It was a very long day but a blessing in itself. Lunch was always good. We ate the same food every day but I still enjoyed it. There were variety of food selection. You select according to your preference. The food was really good 😋.

After lunch, we debriefed and went straight to Medical missions, which consisted of taking blood pressure, weight, eye check up and regular physical. Many children had ringworms, sores and etc.

We were also given a tour of the orphanage and where the children slept 🛏 and etc. It was heartbreaking. Over 70+ people slept in one room. The girls slept in one room and the boys had their own section too.

Every moment was precious. We are so blessed in America. If only we appreciated our privileges, we will see things in a different perspective. We know what we have but many times we take it for granted. People are struggling all around the world. These orphans didn’t have anything. Below is a picture of the children standing on line for food. The line was so long.There were children who wore the same clothes for two-three days straight. The sight of seeing these children who had any parents still overflowed with joy will blow your mind.

Everyone has a story. We all need each other in this life. It was a blessing every moment I got to spend with the children. Capturing and documenting each moment was priceless. I was assigned to be the scribe but I also volunteered to be the photographer. We all captured pictures as well as videos. We visited Victory Church in Kampala, Uganda. What an awesome time of fellowship it was in the presence of the Lord. I am so in awe of God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout this mission trip. He kept us, strengthened us and saw us through it all. My heart is full of joy. I can’t explain it. It’s uncontainable. If the Lord made it possible for me to go on a mission trip, He will surely do it for you too. I can’t help but to testify of what the Lord has done. He alone deserves the Glory.

“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy. -Psalm 126:2-3

Thank you taking the time to read this blog post. I pray that it was a blessing unto you. God bless you 🙏🏿😊

© Karen Owusu