Monthly Archives: January 2008

What’s It Gonna Take?

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So, I got up and ran this morning…it wasn’t easy and anyone who knows me knows how much I don’t like being cold. In an attempt to remain consistent, I bundled up three layers deep, tied a scarf around my face and hit the pavement. I’ve always enjoyed running, but of course, the older I get…love and action just don’t seem to coincide as often as they did ten years ago, shoot, in 2006 even. I was up to running five miles a day and doing pilates and yoga every other day on rotation. I was a lean 160lbs and feeling GREAT in my size eight!

So here it is the beginning of 2008 and I am anything BUT “lean”. I’m still looking pretty good but my body can definitely tell the difference 20lbs have made…okay, 25lbs…but now that I’m running again, losing this weight shouldn’t be too hard. As with any success, it’s a process and I am determined to stick with the plan and reach my goal of running my first half marathon in April—PRAY FOR MEEEEE!? *wink*! I literally had to PRAY to get myself going today. Not only because it was 30 degrees outside, but because well, my bed felt good…but I told myself, if I am to attain my physical goals this year, I have got to stick with it…I determined in my heart that the only way this was going to work was if I practice consistency.

Over the years I have likened a relationship with Christ to getting into shape. When you’re working out, your body feels better, your mind is clearer and overall, you are healthier than when you were on the couch with a pack of cookies. Generally when people start a workout regimen they also commit to eating “right” or at least eating better. No more fried foods, cakes and other sugary snacks and, “I guess I’ll give up Pepsi for now…” When you’re on it, you’re ON it! But if you miss two days…even worse, over the holiday season, you allow yourself to indulge just a “lil’ bit” and the next thing you know, you’ve fallen off of the “horse” and sitting on the couch wondering, “what happened?”

My pastor says to all new Christians at our church that “a storm with Jesus is better than a storm without Jesus.” I cannot explain how true these words are. Just like a person who works out and lives a healthy lifestyle will have a greater chance at fighting illness, depression and other ailments, with a relationship with Christ, the issues of life always seem to be a little easier to bear. Getting to Christ is what’s so difficult. As with getting off the couch and getting active, letting yourself go and allowing God to control your life can be challenging. Not because He makes it challenging, but because by the time we recognize that we’re out of “shape” spiritually, we’re so far gone. We’ve adopted bad habits, bad relationships and everything else of our own will…so, the question is, what’s it going to take to get back in shape?

First it’s going to take confession. Admitting that I am not where I need to be. In the physical, that’d be confessing that I am unmotivated or simply lazy or addicted to chocolate, Pepsi or French fries. In the spiritual, we’d confess first that we are sinners; Confess that we don’t pray enough, that we don’t go to church, or that we have issues with believing in Christ at all. Maybe you struggle with forgiveness or jealousy or adultery…Confess. “I’m out of shape!? I’M NOT PERFECT!?”

Second, we’ve got to believe that we can change and see that we have everything that we need. Whether you join a gym, buy yoga DVDs (and DO what the DVD shows you to do) or just start out walking around the block in the mornings, you have what you need to get in shape. You don’t need high dollar gym memberships or cardio machines to get back into shape and neither do you have to go to the biggest or most popular church in your area. Find what works for you. Start reading the Bible…read a Proverb a day. Try to keep memory verses. Talk to God. Start out praying small prayers and don’t worry about not praying the way you’ve heard others pray…or using big words and sounding “profound” talk to God and ask for direction. You have everything that you need…now use it.

Now that we’re on the right track, remain consistent. Even on those days that you don’t feel like getting up and running or it’s cold and raining out and you don’t feel like driving to the gym, do it anyway. PRESS your way out!!! You’ll continue to see the benefits in your body and mind and you’ll feel accomplished knowing that you were consistent in working toward your goals. It is a cliché but, take it one day at a time. Spiritual conditioning is the same way. You must remain consistent in reading and you’ll find that not only are you reading more and more of the Word, but you’re beginning to become familiar with verses and learning to apply the words to your life. You’ll notice that you’ve moved beyond the simple, “Lord, help me” and are now not only praying for yourself but now you’re praying for others around you.

When you’re on it, you’re on it…as with working out, walking with Christ doesn’t make life easier, it just makes life better. You will still be tempted by your favorite snack, an extra glass of wine and fast food over taking time to cook at home; you’ll be tempted by ex-lovers, new ones. Your patience will still be tested as will your integrity. But do not bend! Stay focused on the prize and you will succeed!!!

"Work On Me Wednesdays"(c) Pastor Barber

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We received an assignment last week from our Pastor, Jerome Barber. He directed his Wednesday night congregation to dedicate Wednesdays, if no other day, in 2008 to work on us. He told us to make a conscious effort on Wednesdays to pray for ourselves; to focus on those things that we would like to change by the end of 2008. He told us to make a list of the things that we would like to change by the last Wednesday of the year, (which happens to be New Year’s Eve) put it in an envelope and hold on to it until that last Wednesday night Bible study of 2008 at which point we would open our envelopes, to find what I’m sure would be some half remembered goals…out of sight out of mind right? But God is just so “God” that whether we forget about things or not, once we pray something, God is already in the business of making it happen…still in His own time.
So last Wednesday night when I got home, I sat down to do my homework I just knew I’d be able to come up with something!? And I did, the normal things like, “change my physical being”, “Help me to be more consistent…in general”, “Increased self-control”, you know, the norm. I was tired and frustrated with my little list and decided to pray and ask God what HE wanted to change…what needed to be changed in me in the next year. “I’ll have it by next Wednesday, Lord” I promised.
So here I am, in the second Wednesday of 2008 and yes, God is already doing what He does. I’ve already grown and matured in one week and…I didn’t even really ask for anything…not really. Or did I?
For January 9th, Oswald Chambers refers to Psalm 139 in his historic, “My Utmost for His Highest”, “Thou art the God of the early mornings…the late at nights…the mountain peaks…and the sea; but my God, my soul has further horizons than the early mornings, deeper darkness than the nights of the earth…higher peaks…greater depths than any sea in nature—Thou who art the God of all these, be my God. (emphasis mine) I cannot reach to the heights or to the depths [of my soul]; there are motives I cannot trace, dreams I cannot get at—my God, search me out.”
“Be my God.” “…search me out.” I realized that there is no way that I can possibly pray for the things that need to change in me until I ask God to search me out. There are areas in me that I have no idea about. There are things that are so deep in me; dreams, motives, sin…the good, the bad and the ugly…that unless God shows me daily, I may never know.
What 2008, every day in it and really every day our lives come down to is having more of God. Gaining greater understanding, learning to worship Him…oh yes, fall in love if you will. Love on Him the way we would love on a new lover…a good friend…a child. Fall in love. When we are in a relationship with someone, we always strive to be better for that person. As we grow closer to God, we will learn more about ourselves and in turn, He will work on us from the inside out.

Mission Statement

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“‘Out the Blocks’ and ‘Be Inspired’ were created to address the issues facing today’s teenagers and young adults, helping to prepare them to grow through the building of self-confidence, self-awareness and the knowledge of God. Using the spoken Word, poetry, literature and song, it is my hope to inspire others to live the life they were created to live, not according to their own plans but to recognize the pre-destined purpose for their lives and to teach them to plan accordingly.”

“My personal mission is to bring glory to God by allowing others to see into my life; my past pains, failures, joys and victories alike, teaching lessons learned with prayers that someone’s life will be made easier, by the example of my own.”

Today is just the beginning. God has big things in store and I look forward to being obedient. I have had some technological issues for the past couple of days but as the old folk say, “the devil is a lie!” I’m still working out the video blog part. I am so far from being technology savvy that it’s not funny. I need a good digital video camera…or something. I have a webcam but it’s not as clear as I thought it’d be once we size it and this and that…PRAISE GOD ANYHOW! I am confident that God will do what He says now that I’m doing what He said do!!!

Thank you Lord, for another chance to say, “Yes!”

My prayer…Father God, I come to you humbly Lord, asking that you touch my heart and my mind…and also the hearts and minds of those who may read this blog. Lord, I thank you for the support and pray that you continue to give me the confidence to step out in faith with the same zeal that I once stepped out into the world…give me more Lord! I want to live for you and you only. Help me to live according to your whole Word and more specifically 1 Tim 4:12. I pray that through my life, you receive glory and honor…I begin by giving my gifts back to you, Lord in trusting that you will do what you said…I love you and I praise your Holy name. Again, bless those who read this blog, who support my growth both believers and unbelievers alike. Show yourself strong oh Lord…in the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

In the beginning…

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…there was God.

Here we are in 2008 and we’ve waited long enough! I invite you to share in what God is doing in my life and spread the word of what’s to come in 2008. I have launched a new Myspace page with the help of my good friend and business consultant, Carla Thorpe of Make It Happen Consulting (http://www.makeithappenc.net/ <—currently under construction or www.myspace.com/csconsulting)

Beginning Monday, January 7th, I will be at www.myspace.com/ninacinspires and here http://www.ninacinspires.blogspot.com/ Please tell a friend about my page to share my blogs, video blogs and information about future speaking engagements and my first book, all happening in 2008!!! It is my desire and purpose to inspire and I pray that I am able to touch your life as much as you’ve touched mine!!! I thank you in advance for your support and ask for your prayers as I step out…into God’s will for my life!

If you’re not about business of helping me succeed or helping yourself even, feel free to continue being my “friend” at ninanin79, ninacinspires is all about business!!! It may not seem like a lot… “a myspace page whoo-hoo!!!???” Big deal right? YES…This is only the beginning!!!

Also, I have been writing for a quarterly inspirational newsletter for the past year called “Persevere”. If you would or anyone you know would be interested in subscribing to the newsletter, free of charge, please send request to persevere.1@hotmail.com If you’d like to see the other newsletters from last year, feel free to respond to this email.

Thank you for your time and support!!!

I thank God for every one of you and the way that you have touched my life!!!