One Powerful Word…

life, matters of the heart

The “rush” to be first or the urge to get it done “all at once” or “immediately” is a tempting choice. If you can relate, watch the video below about the power of the word #Wait …

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#HeartWork #Wait #Temptation #Patience #Endurance #Surrender #FaithInGOD #2020

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CLICK HERE to view the latest resources and books.

Traveling Light…

leadership, life, matters of the heart, relationships

Change may be on the horizon for 2020. If you can relate, keep reading.

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” – Genesis 12:1

I can imagine that many of us will have to “drop” some things during this season as God continues to refine, prune, and mold/shape us for the sake of his will and Glory. These are not always the most comfortable moments as some long-term commitments are all of a sudden becoming modified or non-existent and more casual pursuits are evolving into something more permanent. God has a way of showing us just how strategic he is when our comfort zones are turned completely upside down.

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I’m sure a lot went through Abram’s mind in Genesis 12 as he packed his family and belongings up and traveled on a road that was unfamiliar. Keep reading further and it seems like Abram’s journey was a day-by-day, moment-by-moment kind of excursion. All he knew was that God told him to leave the old places behind and this was enough.

How can we “travel light” – knowing that God’s leading to something different is enough for us as well?

people crossing the street

We must take separation from the past very seriously.

This is sometimes tough, especially when we’ve felt attachment to certain things. But there was a reason God was calling Abram out of his native land. He wasn’t just forfeiting a two-story home, sprawling backyard, and wrap-around porch – figuratively speaking. God was ultimately calling Abram unto himself to worship. The separation was not about hate or neglecting folks, but it was a nurturing of a deeper dependence on God who wanted to purposefully multiply a nation through him. Abram’s former environment just wouldn’t do.

How are our own former environments not conducive anymore? How do they hinder our spiritual growth or serve as idols. “Traveling light” becomes a lot less complicated when we are wholeheartedly disconnected from the very things God desires us to leave behind. The disconnection voices something so wonderful and beautiful: God is enough and the journey that he allows is enough.

We can be sure Abram needed strength for the journey as we do too. He found this in God’s presence – in moments of worship and intimacy with the Lord who was not only the God of his transition but also the God of his heart.

Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.

Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev. (Genesis 12)

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How will you be traveling “lighter” into the new month? Into the new year?

What if life as you know it is turned upside down?

Gain strength for the journey – CLICK HERE – Resources + Books + Bible Studies

Words You Need to Ditch Right Away

life, matters of the heart

What you see in the mirror always seems to be inferior – even on your best day… Perhaps you are this woman. If so, keep reading…

There are many words that we can use to describe ourselves. What we say has a significant impact – more than we sometimes realize.

 Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,

And those who love it will eat its fruit.

For instance, when someone informs me that a certain thing can’t possibly happen for them, I cringe a little because I know that this short four letter word – can’t –  is setting the tone for their next steps if they’re not careful. I absolutely believe in the sovereignty of God as his ways and timing for our existence are in his hands. However, I know that any one of our days has the potential to move beyond the “can’t” word of our speech.

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Consider the following biblical passage:

Luke 13: 10-17 English Standard Version (ESV)

A Woman with a Disabling Spirit

10 Now Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And behold, there was a woman who had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” 13 And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. 14 But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? 16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” 17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.

What if this particular woman had believed the “can’t” of her life?

  • I can’t go to the synagogue because people might criticize me.
  • I can’t expect anything different than what has already been happening over and over again.
  • I can’t believe any other words besides the negative words around me.
  • I can’t receive healing from Jesus.

That last “can’t” is tragic in itself. What if the woman hadn’t made her way to Jesus’ path (disability and all) when he invited her into his presence?

I’m intrigued with her ability to think beyond the “can’t” of her life. Her tenacity brought a revival in more ways than one:

  • Not only is her physical body revived but her spiritual self is renewed as she glorified God publicly and out in the open. #Revival
  • The usual dynamics of the synagogue and the leader’s rules are challenged by Jesus who is called to set the captive free on any day that is deemed fit by God, heaven, and the perfect will of the One who created time. #Revival
  • God is glorified in an environment where 18 years of suffering is transformed into a testimony of the goodness of a King who seeks and saves his own. #Revival

What “can’t” are you facing at the moment? How can you give it to God and allow him to handle it in his way, timing, and purpose? Is it possible to say – “I can’t, but I know a God who can?“

Life has a way of presenting “the impossible” – which gives us unique opportunities to put some faith-fueled vocabulary and phrases into practice:

  1. I feel weak, but my God is strong and working through me.
  2. I’ve been waiting awhile, but God’s grace is sufficient.
  3. I want to give up, but his love carries me day by day, moment by moment.
  4. This situation is out of control, but God holds my hand through it all.
  5. I’m just hanging on, but my hope is in the One who gives me life – forever.

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#DitchCant #SayGodCan #AccordingToHisWillWayTiming
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Go beyond the blog – check out Keturah’s latest Bible Studies + Books – CLICK HERE

When Women Gather: Mental Wellness Conversation + More

leadership, matters of the heart

I recently had the pleasure to meet with Kim Jones, founder and organizer of the GEM Experience in Trenton, NJ. Her upcoming event in February 2020 will include a panel discussion on mental wellness, domestic violence, and life changing moments just for women.

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I’ll be one of the featured panelists and I’m super excited about being able to contribute to this much needed discussion that benefits a diverse group of women.  The energy at our initial meet-up was epic as those who will be involved in February had an opportunity to share a bit of their story and their connection to mental wellness. I was able to glean off of the strength in the room as women testified of how they survived and overcame some of the most difficult moments in their lives. Meeting with these beautiful women also reminded me of my “why” concerning the work I’ve done at Healthy Relationships Network for over two years.

It’s always a pleasure to be in the company of focused and like-minded women.

I’m learning more and more that the gathering of women for a cause:

  • is necessary as there are arising issues and problems that need the creativity, intelligence, passion, and attention of women who are willing to help
  • can increase the personal morale of women who often feel “alone” or isolated  in the work they do
  • is advantageous for the communities, groups, and individuals served as talents, gifts, and resources are pooled together to enhance the effectiveness of the mission

*How are you working with other women in collaborative and impactful ways? Feel free to share in the comments section.

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Accepting the Call to “Be”…

leadership, life, matters of the heart

Many of us will wear many hats, titles, and positions; but no other calling is more sacred than the call to just “be” in God’s presence…

There were so many pivotal moments in the New Testament Bible where Jesus was very much active – preaching, teaching, discipling, counseling, healing, and preparing for His destination to the cross. I’m so thankful for the service and sacrifice of Christ because without this truth – I, you, and the whole world for that matter would be without hope.

#ThankYouJesus

I recently did a teaching at a women’s event about Jesus’ busy life, His purposeful mission to bring hope to a broken world, and the absolute dedication He had to RESTING. When and why would Jesus, being fully empowered by Heaven itself, need to slow down?

Although Jesus was 100% God, Jesus was also 100% human.

beautiful boat daylight foggy

So we witness, over and over again, in the scriptures where Jesus would literally retreat to isolated places, mountains, different towns, boats, and moments of strategic prayer in a complete mode of trusting and depending on the Father to renew and refresh Him (Mark 1:12, Mark 1:16, Mark 1:35, Luke 5:15-16, Mark 2:13, Luke 6:12-13, Matthew 14:23, Mark 7:24, Mark 9:2, John 10:39-41, Mark 14:32).

So how much more should we accept the call to just “be” in a culture that constantly promotes the idea of constantly “doing” – especially during the holiday season?

How can busy folks like ourselves slow down during the frenzy of holiday gatherings, parties, shopping, outreach events, work overtime, and new year hustling?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep what’s important first – time with God and quality time with family/friends.
  • Resist the temptation to pack the calendar with Christmas events done “in His name” as every spiritual venture is not a direct connection to a deeper faith in Christ.
  • Adopt the courage to just “be” as we embrace a few quiet moments with intentional meditation over our favorite cup of tea/coffee and a willingness to pause and reflect on the miracle birth of a Savior.

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Have you checked out my latest Home Life Journal update? I share my reflections on making regular days count, the holiday season, and more – CLICK HERE. 

11 Things to Do as You Wait…

leadership, life, matters of the heart

  I won’t sugar-coat this reality: waiting can be a frustrating and sometimes intimidating process for any one of us…

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Consider these 11 tips:

  1. Reject a “false start.” Think of when Abraham and Sarah solicited Hagar to “help” them achieve what God promised them. Read more HERE.

  2. Enjoy the “right now” and the ability to appreciate what you’ve accomplished already.

  3. Believe that there is a “bigger picture.”

  4. Trust that God’s plans for you are good. We can’t “out-perform” God’s goodness and strategic purpose. 

  5. Avoid obsessing over your calendars. Yes, be wise and plan accordingly. But understand God’s timing doesn’t function in ours.

  6. Pray, ponder, and think before you act. Are you tempted to “rush” as a direct result of an emotional reaction to something in your environment? This can be a good and bad thing. Discern if you need a moment to cool down or if an immediate course of action needs to be taken.

  7. Resist comparing your agenda to someone else’s life and timeline.

  8. Rest. Turn off the phone, tv, and other noise. Simply take a moment to pause and rejuvenate.

  9. Realize your growth potential. No other experience can compare to the kind rooted in patience, endurance, and perseverance. 

  10. Prepare. Tweak the resume (and send the resume😊). Draft the proposal. Write the plan. Seek wise counsel. Enroll in a training session or course.

  11. Pray always. Surrender your will, emotions, and every part of you that is tempted to get unfocused.

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View the latest resources, bible studies, and books – CLICK HERE.

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The Call to Serve: Marriage

love, matters of the heart

November 4th will mark thirteen years for us…

I remember it like it was yesterday. On November 4, 2006, we said our “I do’s” in front of about 150 witnesses in the beautiful, cool, and crisp fall season of New Jersey. The wedding reception with our loved ones, Bahamas honeymoon, and endless celebratory moments were a wonderful entry point to our marriage. Real life for us began not only in the good times, but also the bad times. Some of the things we’ve faced together as a couple – I know it was only the Lord who kept our hearts, sanity, and faith.

It’s been an interesting journey and I don’t regret one moment. Every year I’m convinced that my role as a wife is a unique calling designed by God to serve Jason.

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Daytime date of hiking in the park (May 2019)

I feel like I am constantly learning and growing in this area as I depend on God to enlighten me regarding it. Marriage is one of the most intentional areas of my life and if not tended to with a posture of service (sacrifice), I will neglect the important things for sure. I’m not afraid to say that it’s tempting to take my spouse for granted in our busy lives while pushing to the side the necessary dating, couples’ prayer time, spontaneous fun (not just sex), and focused attention.

This thing called marriage takes work.

But it’s worth it and I’m up for the challenge…

Happy Anniversary, Jason. I look forward to many more to come. #Year13 #Called ToMarriage #CalledToServe

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“Because answering the call isn’t always easy…

Ironically enough, Keturah shares her personal and spiritual journey of ending a previous marriage engagement in order to answer God’s call to obedience. She would then encounter Jason – her husband of thirteen years and a deeper sense of just how sovereign and purposeful the Lord is. CLICK HERE to download and read.

Like Jesus Did: Creating “Buzz”

leadership, matters of the heart

There is no better model for serving others than how Jesus did here on earth…

We are clearly not witnessing any shortage of leadership agendas and propaganda. My social media feed is bombarded with sponsored posts by organizations and individuals who desire folks to buy-in to what they are claiming to offer. Certainly there is some good information out there, but I’m led to remind the most dedicated, gifted, and passionate leaders of this: don’t forget to “create a buzz” like Jesus did.

Creating Buzz: the practice of generating an excitement among users and consumers about a particular product, service, brand or product

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Too often, today’s leaders are focused on the quantitative impact of numbers, followers, stats, and data driven by losses and gains. Jesus’ greatest desire for the crowds who followed him close was that they be connected to something bigger than the “buzz” and the announcement that he was in the room, region, or territory. Jesus’ hope was that all who believed and followed him would be connected to the Father in heaven forever (John 3:16). There was no time to be focused on the “buzz” of his arrival but the eternal impact of his departure (John 14:2)

Here are 3 things to consider when “creating buzz” like Jesus did:

  • It’s about God’s glory. Jesus often told people that he encountered with the transformative power of the gospel to be quiet about his involvement in their lives (Luke 8:56). More often than not, they would proclaim his name and deeds anyway. How humbling to know that our deeds don’t have to be the center of all of our social media posts and conversations. If we simply commit to purposeful work with the right motives, then what we do in private will not only be noted in heaven but be honored by whom God chooses.
  • You won’t have to sell your soul. Yes, you will need to put the work in regarding what needs to be done, but not at the expense of proper rest and time with God. There will be a level of ease in what God has anointed you to do. It will feel like “breathing” to you as you execute your gifting for the Glory of God. Have you ever seen a singer belt out a song with passion and absolute comfort in their own skin or witnessed a teacher lay out their points of reference with skill? Surely they put the work in and prepared as necessary, but their gifting made room for them to shine. The doors of opportunity flew open at God’s command as he orchestrated their steps to not only perform but excel. They didn’t have to beg their audience to applaud or force themselves on people who weren’t interested. God had already set their stage of success.
  • Operate graciously. I love Jesus’ total commitment to stay focused on his mission. He fully knew that folks like the Pharisees and Sadducees wanted to disturb, oppose, and compete with his influence (Matthew 16:1-4). Yes, Jesus was direct and confronted the naysayers when necessary but he remained gracious in the process. His tactics were not retaliation, but he used these occurrences as teachable moments for his audience. Jesus knew the attention needed to stay on his heavenly mission and not his enemy. You too can learn from this type of graciousness. It can be tempting to pay close attention to others while missing out on all the wonderful things that God is doing in your life and purposeful work. Dare not engage in trying to be “noisy” for the sake of attention. Remain focused. Don’t compete and learn how to graciously bow out of trying to be the most popular or powerful.

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Because answering the call isn’t always easy…

Copy of Copy of Untitled Design (1)Excerpted from her 2015 best-selling book – Affirmations for Women: God’s Healing Words for the Heart – Keturah Ford has revised one of the chapters in the form of a Bible Study. Be inspired to not only pursue your calling but pursue it with confidence. Download a copy – CLICK HERE.

Perfectly Imperfect…

life, matters of the heart

So, I’m noticing a personality trait in my daughter…

Last year’s home-school year had its fair share of challenges. Jordyn’s dad and I pulled our then 4-year old from traditional preschool after I officially retired from teaching. I created a routine at home that allowed her to be creative while still learning the basic foundations. However, I noticed certain practice activities frustrated her more. Big tears would form in Jordyn’s beautiful eyes if one letter wasn’t perfect or a coloring page did not appear as she planned.

closeup photo of assorted color alphabets

Fast forward to today, her Kindergarten teacher is noticing the same habits – frustration, tears, etc. Meanwhile, the homework practice of letters is turning into a chore as the unpleasantness of Jordyn’s tension is becoming more intense. She told me yesterday: “Mommy, I’m scared of writing.”

It was as if time stood still. I was shocked. And now the tears flowed down my face as well as hers.

I prayed with Jordyn IMMEDIATELY. Her teacher is lovely and agreed to be mindful of this in class as we work together to help Jordyn not strive for perfection but be “perfectly imperfect.” This will be a process – I know. But she’s worth it.

And so I pick up my pen, I mean keyboard again and I WRITE.

I will not worry about having the “perfect” blog, “perfect” amount of subscribers, “perfect” graphics, or “perfect” anything. I want to be an example to Jordyn. She is my muse and we will face being perfectly #imperfect together.

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Here’s to “Firsts”

leadership, matters of the heart

#Leadership #MattersOfTheHeart

Exactly two years ago, I had no idea what I was being drawn to. I really didn’t have a clue about “my next big move” or what specifically God wanted me to do in my ministry and service to women. I was compelled to publish a resource – CLICK HERE – that would educate women about God’s view concerning healthy relationships in lieu of the recent reports of increased domestic violence, female-victim assaults, and murders at the hands of vicious perpetrators. My heart was overwhelmed by how young some of the female victims were.

I had to do something… Even if it was just something small…

So I became more active on social media. I wrote inspirational posts, blogged more, and spread the word about an Ebook I’d published about faith and dating. A few months later, I made Healthy Relationships Network official. The year was 2017 and I was gaining some focus about my calling. Since then, I’ve gotten more training while pursuing certification as a Trauma Healing Facilitator. I rented office space, ran support groups, searched out biblical scriptures about how God helps people in need/crisis, and served as a guest speaker at several college campuses, churches, and radio stations. It’s been a journey and God has been so faithful.

I write this post all to say: Believe God when he nudges you to do something bigger than yourself. Small steps matter too.

It’s easy to yield to doubt and fear as the temptation to stay “comfortable” is a reality.  I am a living witness that my running shoes were calling my name a few times as I sought to get as far away as I could from this purposeful work. Still I say, the journey has been worth it. It’s worth it because God is with me. He is in the work that I do. I sense his nearness as more people are served and His grace, healing, and love is made more known to those who need to understand that God is on their side.

So here’s to “firsts” – first plans, first meetings, first proposals, first steps toward the call to serve…

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Healthy Relationships Network’s first resource

CLICK HERE