Category Archives: God

Spirit vs. Stars – What Rules You?

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Hi…my name is Nina, and I’m a Cancer. In this truth, I recognize that I am an emotional, sensitive, energetic, loving, nurturing being who has been known to hide in a hard shell (often a shell of sarcasm) when trouble arises instead of dealing with my emotions.  I’m that sister who seems to have it together and be strong when really, I’m the type to cry over anything and my feelings, get hurt easily. 

“Cancer motto could be, “A good defense is the best offense.” Like a Crab in its cave, your attack can consist of baiting your opponent into your territory. What appears to be a retreat to others can be your best aggressive tactic. As you feel your way through life, building your security by developing your home and family relationships, remember that unexpressed anger can turn into resentment and depression, so find someone you can trust and share your feelings.”

Your Biggest Strength: Your ability to nurture others
Your Potential Weakness: Fear of the past repeating in the future
Hi…my name is Nina and I’m a follower of Christ and am filled with His Spirit.  Because of THIStruth, I am learning that I must make a CONSCIOUS effort to walk according to the Spirit, NOT the stars.

Even when dealing with the most painful feelings, I am learning to walk in love, patience, kindness…to suffer long…to practice self-control (to include emotional responsibility). This is not always easy considering I’ve always been encouraged to express myself. In my adult life, I still find myself seeking a balance between the best and the worst parts of me. This is when walking according to the Spirit is evermore important.
Math bears truth – Two plus two does indeed equal four.

Science bears truth – Gravity is REAL.

The moon circles the earth. Its pull raises the tide. Its cycle works within women of a certain age.

This is truth.

Astrology bears truth. The stars continuously align while time as we know it continues on and with those alignments, energies from outside of us play a part in being who God created us to be.

The difference between Nina who is a Cancer and Nina who is a child of God is the Truth that I CHOOSE to live according to. No horoscope is going to tell me how my day is going to go when I live according to plan greater than what our natural mind can comprehend. 

Just because my mind doesn’t fully understand the equations that make up mathematics, doesn’t make their outcome any less TRUE.

Knowing that my life does indeed align with the stars within Cancer, I also know that my emotions cycle with the moon and that they ebb and flow as the water. In knowing this truth I also know that I must make a concerted effort to not allow the stars to rule me but to always be ruled by the Spirit.

Let us not make excuses for our emotional irresponsibility.  Just as people use the Word to justify their behaviors and ideals, women have been known to use PMS to act like the devil once a month and people use the zodiac to their advantage…or the disadvantage of others.

*puts on churchy voice* Choose ye this day…what will you allow to rule you?

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The Mary and Martha Within

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I have been stressed.

Like, so stressed that the details of what the stress has been doing to my physical body is TMI. Lol

I have cried. Cried some more…laughed hysterically until tears overwhelmed me yet again…lost sleep, all because of my stress when it comes to what I know to be the will of God.  My life as a first time author has been exciting and exhilarating yet more stressful than even planning my own wedding just four short years ago.

God has not only provided me with awesome words to share my story, with the world but He’s also surrounded this whole project with a collective of individuals who are dedicated to make this experience a great one.  I have still had to do quite a bit on my own but the parts that were out of my hands made the process more stressful than I expected.

But if I have such an amazing team of people working with me to bring ‘Dramas of a Bald Head Queen’ to fruition, why the stress?  If I trust the connections to truly be divine, why not trust in the Divine One who established said connections to complete the work He began in me so long ago?

Just this morning, I awoke to more doubtful and wearied thoughts.  I found myself getting angry and frustrated again with…myself.

God immediately reminded me that, in order to truly rest in Him, I must place myself in the posture of worshiper.  Even as a servant seeking to do the “greater good”, bringing glory to God in the things I do and in walking according to His will, I have failed to walk in that part of servitude where I consciously worship.

Often times when we think of the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42), we are able to point the finger at other individuals who we see in church or in our respective ministries who are doing “too much” yet, not enough.  God showed me this morning that this conflict has risen within me, one individual torn between walking in God’s will and sitting and taking time to worship.

THIS is where my stress has come from and today, I release it and seek to worship God wholly trusting that the things He’s called me to do will be done according to His will and the purpose He’s called me to.

So, there are two words for today 1) balance and 2) worship.

We worship God in many ways.  We worship by serving, the giving of our time, talents, ultimately and by walking in obedience.  In this world, we need to find a balance between doing {for God} and being {with God}.

Today Lord, I worship You with my heart, with my presence, with my communion with You. I love You and release the stresses that are present only in my mind and rest in You.  Amen. *BEAM*

$1150 Testimony – Priceless

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The other day I had lunch with my friend and event planner to continue confirming plans to celebrate the release of my first book, ‘Dramas of a Bald Head Queen’I told her how this whole process feels similar to the energy and process of planning my wedding. I also shared with her the story about how the Lord literally handed me $1150 cash just weeks before my wedding day.

I was living in a dormitory on campus at Hampton University where I was then working as a residence hall director. Since I didn’t sign up to work that summer, I was off but my building was still being used to house special groups for weeks at a time during the summer.

We still had to buy last minute odds and ends, pay the caterer and pay the Magnolia House Inn where we had arranged to stay our wedding night. Raphael and I remained prayerful and relaxed trusting that we had done everything we knew to do.  We are both tithers/givers and in doing so, stand EXPECTING God to do what His Word says.  We stood trusting that He would do as He said He would and did a pretty good job at not doubting.

So, three weeks before the wedding a group of 50 or so youth and 6-8 Chaperones from the Eastern Shore of Virginia came to stay in my building. Things were quiet the four days they were there and after they turned in keys and departed, I simply had to go through and do a sweep of the building, opening the doors of the rooms they occupied so that housekeeping could come in to clean.

After getting to the third closed door, I use my master key to unlock it, briefly glancing in the room when I noticed something on one of the beds. I entered the room to find…sitting there, neatly and untouched in the middle of the bed, a stack of money. Ten $100 bills and three $50. 

*PAUSE*

I quickly put the money in my pocket and headed back to my apartment to call Raphael. I knew that no one had been in the building since the group left so we decided to hold on to the money so none of the housekeepers could try to claim it as theirs. Thinking that one of the adults maybe left the money by accident (in no envelop, in an EMPTY room…?) I put a sign on my office door “If you were with *group name* and left anything behind, please call me at…” 

No one ever came. No one ever called. 

I contacted the special events office on campus to inquire as to whether anyone from the group contacted them to report anything lost. Nothing.

We waited a full seven days deciding to pay our tithes and keep it moving! Lol

$1150 CASH. Seemingly out of the blue.

That was just four short years ago and although I don’t expect God to move in the exact same way, I have no doubt that He will bring the vision for this event to pass, just as He did with my wedding!


*BEAM*

Today Is When

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Today is when your life is happening. Now is when life’s opportunities are yours.

Within you is a dream, a longing, a purpose, a desire to experience life’s richness in your own unique way. Surrounding you is a universe filled with energy and abundance, and possibilities.

Now is when you have the opportunity to connect your most treasured dreams with that abundance, and to bring them to life. Focused, purposeful, inspired action is how you can most effectively do so.

On this day, in this moment, the possibilities are more than just intellectual curiosities. Right now, the possibilities are real.

Today you can choose, you can take action, you can make a difference and you can make real, satisfying, lasting progress. Today you have the priceless opportunity to live your life as you envision it.

The best life you can imagine is today within your grasp. So go beyond mere imagining, and live each moment in the direction of the very best you know life can be.

— Ralph Marston

The words above are one of those “right on time” posts.  An email sent to me from a friend. Although I was included as part of her daily mass email, receiving this one is like sitting in church with a thousand other people but feeling like the preacher is speaking directly to you. This goes beyond assumed fortune cookie type coincidence, not that I believe that anything is by happenstance or coincidence but this truly spoke to me.

Recently being bombarded with feelings of inadequacies and doubts I have come to the realization (again perhaps…) that I have a terrible habit of limiting myself in an attempt to avoid disappointment. I’m certain that I’m not alone in my feelings but I don’t want anyone to live according to the limitations of doubt and fear. In order to truly experience the full manifestation of the promises of God, we have to overcome our uncertainties.

Our confidence in God comes when we truly seek to live according to His will for our lives. Today, I choose…faith.

A Name is More Than Just a Name: Nina = Grace (Hebrew)

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I am finally glad that God made me the type of person to be a friend to people even when they’re don’t act like friends to me. Growing up, my being gracious made me feel weak & vulnerable. Although I am a “social butterfly”, I oftentimes found myself hurt & feeling alone.

As a woman growing in God’s will, I understand the importance of being that gracious person. I understand the freedom that comes from extending grace to those whom I call friend. Even more importantly, I thank God that people know that they can depend on me no matter what.

I’ve grown to understand that sometimes, people don’t really know how to be real friends because they too have been hurt and instead of loving harder, they keep people at a distance, they hurt others, adopting the concept of “misery loves company”. Even still, sometimes, people don’t recognize they’re even hurting you.

And so, to those who have called me friend over the years but have shown me less than the love they say they have, it’s okay…*smiling at God* …don’t see me as weak. I am far from lonely. And even though the actions of others still hurts at times, I have all that I need. Most importantly, I have the grace of God & His love in my heart that allows me to pour the same grace & love onto others who have need…

With all of that being said: I♥YOU

Your friend,

Nina

Preparing the Way -"Dramas of a Bald Head Queen"-2011

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Just start writing Nina…type something…laskfja;slkfjaosdifjaosdifjw…So this is how books are started? Vision. Focus…lose focus. Vision. *listens closely* Lord, I can’t do this. Vision. Focus. *pulls hair out* “Lord, not my will but thy will be done…”

What is a preface anyway? I mean, does anyone really read them? I’ve read the prefaces in many a book and somewhere after the fourth page or so, I just fast forward to “Chapter One”. I guess “Disclaimer” would be the equivalent to a preface on forms signed prior to a procedure or, on the label of a product: “Notice to Consumer”. This is my chance to let you, the reader, know that at times, I may ramble. That although I’ve been given a vision for this book, there may be times that I seem unsure or perhaps I’ll seem to teeter over how much of me I’m ready to give. And there’s a lot to give… Also, I have a tendency to write like I speak and now, with the IM and text messaging revolution, I may write like I communicate with my “friends” on Myspace or on the boards of Okayplayer.com (Shouts to ?love and all OKPs). I will have this work edited of course, for the obvious, but I want you to get all of me so there may be a chapter or two where it sounds more like a blog than a best-selling debut. *winks* Literary/English scholars may cringe. Take a deep breath. Let me hold your hand. Now keep reading!!!! Ha! Good…my overuse of ellipses is intentional… Most of my thoughts are in fact incomplete.

It is my hope that through “Drama”, I am able to show you just what God has been doing with me these past 28 years. It’s been quite a time and there have been many people involved in the creation of this woman whose words may or may not make a difference in your life. I pray that these words do in fact make a difference. I pray that through my mishaps, ill decisions, triumphs, disobedience, pains, pleasure and joys, you are able to take from my life something to make yours a little easier. I realized at a young age that I was in a cycle that had to be broken. I realized that, somewhere in high school I believe, I was already making life harder than it had to be. I recall being a child that was always willing to take advice from upperclassmen, my parents, teachers, whomever. I wanted to get as much from others experiences as possible…

Seeking Spirituality

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I understand what you mean having been tired of “church as usual” and “religion” myself. There was a time in my early 20’s that I found myself not only tired of church folk and religion but I had allowed the world to convince me that Jesus wasn’t truly the Son of God and that there was only one God and so on and so forth.

Being an artist of sorts I found myself surrounded by wonderful, loving, “good” people who were educated with worldly knowledge of astrology, numerology, multiple languages and religions. I was impressed by their knowledge and eventually, I also found myself questioning who Christ was, who He is and questioning the relationship with God that comes from truly knowing Him.

A few years ago when I was working at Smokey Bones, there was a young man named Chris who worked as a busser and was kinda all over the place. He was about 19 years old and a total sweetheart but he was young and didn’t know. We never disagreed on anything, unless he hadn’t been bussin’ my tables all night and asked for a tip out…boy please!? Lol

Anyway, Chris knew I was a follower of Christ and we would often have conversations based on my relationship with Christ and the difference between religion and relationship.  One day, Chris came to me proudly and let me know that he was looking into becoming a Buddhist. I was like, “Okay…why’s that?” I believe that regardless of what you’re into, you ought to be able to support your thinking and beliefs…not to argue with other people, but to make certain that YOU are into. So he responded that he liked Buddhism because of its’ principles based on peace, love and such. And I listened…and after he was done I said, “Okay, so basically, Buddhism has the same principles as Christianity but with Christianity, you have a Savior in Jesus.”  He sat there for a second and replied, “Well yeah, I guess you’re right…”

The problem with Christianity is that it was never meant to be a religion.  In the Bible, you never saw Jesus say ANYTHING to the disciples about starting a religion the way we’ve made it.  Yes we, along with the disciples, were commanded to “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” But that’s all we have been commanded to do besides loving one another as He loves us. MAN made the religion but GOD wants a relationship. 


I say all of this to just say, be careful in your quest for spiritual truth and peace with people.  People get sick of the same old stuff in church and then LEAVE the church!? But we NEED people who aren’t “religious” in the church! We need people who are truly seeking God and who truly love Him and are willing to be a light to not only the world, but to “the saints” who are also a part of the world.  We need people with a heart like yours that long to be reconciled with God and who are willing and able to share the Truth of the Gospel with them. 

Don’t allow yourself to get discouraged in your growing spiritually. As for all the other “religions” and spiritual practices that are out there and seem harmless, again I say, just be careful as you gain knowledge from man.  Continue to study but make certain you are also filling yourself with the Word to stay grounded while you’re learning more about the world that you were physically born into.

If you ever need anything or have questions, please don’t hesitate to holler at me. I’m not your normal “church folk” but I LOVE me some Jesus just the same and am trying with all my might to find a balance between my human me and my spiritual me!

"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!!!