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.

photo of person wearing converse all star sneakers

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)

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of #grace

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.

four woman at the conference room

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.

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of #grace

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…

personal organizer and pink flowers on desk

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

apps blur button close up

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.

apple computer cup desk

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Our Partnerships Matter…

leadership, matters of the heart

#Leadership #MattersOfTheHeart

Sometimes what we want and what God wants are two entirely different things…

Godly career people, CEOs, ministers, missionaries, authors, founders, presidents, etc. desire to do right by their Lord and the people they serve. Such leaders are often caught between several choices in any given year that could either make or break the success and longevity of their mission. It can often feel like an awkward place to be as they pray, ponder, and weigh the pros and cons of all the contributing factors of their choices.

Additionally, great leaders don’t approach all of their affairs alone and will often pursue partnerships, networking opportunities, and team efforts to bring their vision to pass.

woman wears beige suit hand shaking man wear suit

Certainly their collaborative efforts must be a “God-thing” because unity is the righteous way to go. Or is it?

Consider King Jehoshaphat of 2 Chronicles 20: 35 -37

35 Later, Jehoshaphat king of Judah made an alliance with Ahaziah king of Israel, who acted wickedly. 36 They agreed to make ships to go to Tarshish, and these were built in Ezion-geber. 37 Then Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the LORD has destroyed your works.” So the ships were wrecked and were unable to sail to Tarshish.…

King Jehoshaphat seemed to be putting a great deal of effort in his new business affairs of building ships for trading. I’m sure the prospect of such an endeavor was promising as the idea itself was extremely exciting and lucrative. But we can see that business came to a halt because of this reason: King Jehoshaphat’s association. How disappointed he must have been to find out that his vision, hard work, drawn-out plans, and pursuits were “ship-wrecked” literally. What a sight it must have been to see the new construction go to waste as the ships were stationary and unable to sail anywhere. #Tragic

black and white boat clouds coast

I’m sure the King’s choice felt “right” in the high emotions of excitement and forming something new. Still, God had the final say. This leader’s partnership choices mattered to the Lord.

What can we learn as leaders on a mission? What can we learn from King Jehoshaphat’s story as leaders destined to work with others on important projects?

  • Pray about all business affairs and related choices.
  • Ask God for wisdom – the wisdom to properly discern versus acting on emotions alone.
  • Decipher between “good people” and “good partnerships” – every “good” person or friend is not a guaranteed successful partnership.
  • Remember that God is gracious. It’s not too late to modify or change a questionable partnership choice you’ve engaged in. Pray for the tact and wisdom of how to best handle it.
  • Don’t wait to pray for partnerships. Begin now. Pray that God send the partnerships that will most glorify HIM and serve others well.
  • Selectivity in partnerships does not make anyone less of a “Christian” as unity of mind and heart with other believers should still be of utmost importance.

#OurPartnershipsMatter

#business #ministry #entrepreneur #influencer #writer #blogger #CEO #leader #emotions #collaboration #relationships #Christianity #faith #prayer

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 your copy – CLICK HERE.

Let’s Be Honest…

life, matters of the heart

#Life #MattersOfTheHeart

Life has a way of presenting circumstances that are painful and sometimes quite traumatic. The fallen state of this world and humanity places us in vulnerable positions of being affected by a society filled with crime, abuse, mistreatment, poverty, war, disease, hunger, and so much more. Additionally, relationships and families are a target for brokenness as all of the previously mentioned tragedies can impact people spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

Sometimes hope is lost in God and people. #LetsBeHonest

The painful existence of wounds of the heart and mind – trauma – is more common than we can imagine as the “after shock + effects” may be clearly seen when we encounter a perpetually angry/rude and troubled co-worker, a defiant child, or difficult family member who seems to always want to argue. We don’t have to look very far to identify the traumatized. Truthfully, the trauma may even lie in our very own hearts.

adult black and white darkness face

The months of April and May (2019) have taught me even more as a Bible Teacher and Trauma Healing Group Facilitator that pain should not be “hidden” – it’s not natural nor biblical. As I recently had the privilege of facilitating at Transformation Church of Trenton, New Jersey – it was a beautiful lesson and reminder for us all that we will suffer in some capacity – but we do not have to “package it” as a weight to be carried.

How can we be more honest about our pain and trauma?

  • Talk to God like we’ve never done before. This is good. This is biblical. A sizable portion of the Psalms were written by folks who were having a hard time in life and needed an outlet for their pain. God was the one they turned to when they couldn’t even turn to anyone else.
  • Speak with a trusted friend, leader, or mentor who is aware of the skill of listening. Listening is a skill and a great listener will ask the right questions, give constructive feedback, maintain privacy, and not be quick to judge your pain as insignificant, a sign of weakness, or an inconvenience to their schedule. The more times you share with a trusted and skilled listener, the easier it becomes to process your painful circumstances.
  • Seek professional services. Some cultural beliefs would have us view professional help as a lack of trust in God himself. This is certainly not true. Proverbs 11:14 states:

King James Version
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellers there is safety.

Darby Bible Translation
Where no advice is, the people fall; but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

World English Bible
Where there is no wise guidance, the nation falls, but in the multitude of counselors there is victory.

#LetsBeHonest

How have you had to be more honest about your pain? Has addressing it been more helpful? How do you feel about the concept of “skilled listening” when seeking help?

photography of women talking to each other