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Posts Tagged ‘challenge’

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Turn up for that check and yeah I get it out the streets

Hustle like I’m starving going hard, I gotta eat

Kevin Gates, “Out of the Mud”

Someone is going to question why reference rapper Kevin Gates when speaking about Jeremiah. I’ve got an answer for that. Kevin Gates might be viewed as outspoken and challenging. That’s just like Jeremiah.

Download this week’s Bible study guide and see what I mean.

Why Would They Both be Considered Outspoken?

Gate spews raps of realism from the streets through his underground channels of distribution whether through album or mixtape, a realistic perspective that many try to downplay and keep hidden. He keeps it real, even when he speaks openly about society and stereotypes via YouTube interviews.

That’s what Jeremiah did. He spoke truth to power and was considered outspoken. He spoke the words of God and was looked upon as a problem by the court of princes in Judah (Jeremiah 38: 1-4). He was tossed in a cistern filled with mud that some deem as a “dungeon,” according to Jeremiah 38:6.

Why Would They Both be Considered Challenging?

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Kevin Gates isn’t the atypical rap image. Yes, “Out of the Mud” and other songs like “Really Really” speak of hustling and violent ways of life. But Gates is a different type of rap persona than most seeking to portray an image for their brand. He spoke openly an interview with Mike Tyson about being molested as a child and his violent upbringing.

Truthfully, if we look at it honestly, Kevin Gates is the product of his upbringing and a reflection of society leaving its children in harm’s way. That’s not what the labels tend to portray as a gangsta image to boost sales. That’s challenging for some to fathom. That’s challenging for some to understand and accept. That’s just too real for some folks.

In Jeremiah’s case, things got so bad to the point where he saw that others viewed him as challenging. He previously questioned King Zedekiah what wrong he had committed against him or others for his imprisonment (Jeremiah 37:18). Even in this chapter, Jeremiah questions if his life is in danger by answering the king of Judah according to the words of God in verse 15.

This chapter has some other discoveries, too. Jeremiah gets help from an odd place in the person of Ebed-Melech (Ebed-Melek), an Ethiopian eunuch whose name means “Servant of the King.” The eunuch sought out the king on Jeremiah’s nehalf and eventually got Jeremiah out of the muddy cistern and into more acceptable surroundings in the courtyard of the prison but still imprisoned.

That’s what comes to mind when you know you’ve developed a reputation for being challenging in the eyes of the powerful. And this chapter of Jeremiah openly depicts Jeremiah’s plight for being both outspoken and challenging in the eyes of others, especially those like King Zedekiah and the court of princes.

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Day #7 Reflection

My day was filled with contemplations and considerations. What I did learn was that I have consumed way more vegetables than fruit and like I said before not enough water. My best practices need to be for what’s best for me and my health. That is a surefire reminder to me that my health is in my hands, as in it is my responsibility to manage my health as a steward of the body that the Lord has given me. And in 50 years of living, I can openly admit that I have not always been a wise steward over this body.

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.

proverbs 16:9 (Nkjv)

Focus on Faith

Faith might be required for you to keep going as much as it is required for you to get things started. It may not be the same measure of faith. It might not be the same level of faith. But it is faith that is required. When you feel like letting go or even letting loose like going off, let the words of this text redirect you and recharge you: but the Lord directs his steps. Your plans can blow up and fall asunder, but the Lord has a plan that supersedes all of our planning.

Focus on Fuel

Today I am snacking on berries and raw almonds. I haven’t dove enough into those raspberries and blueberries, not even them blackberries. I used to have to pick the berries that I wanted for Grandma M.A. to make her cobbler. I would reach in between them twisted thorny vines to pick those fat blackberries without getting pricked. Today all I have to do is reach in the fridge, so I guess I will accept the easy route and eat a handful of them for their antioxidant bounty.

Focus on Fitness

Maybe it will be a walk on the streets or a just a few indoor exercises on the bedroom floor, but I plan to raise my heartrate today. There is plenty around to raise my blood pressure, but I am duty bound to fight off such things as much as I can today. I want to break a sweat a few times today doing some strenuous activity and preparing my body for ongoing workouts during this break.

Prayer is humbling work.

e.m. bounds

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He who gives to the poor shall not lack. . .

proverbs 28:27

Day #5 Reflection

The end of the workweek was a welcomed day, especially since it ended my seasonal session for after school programming and provides me with a bit of a respite for a few week. I will probably get some running and golf in when and where I can during the next two weeks. I have already been tuning up at the driving range, so I think I am ready to hit the course again.

Focus on Faith

I pondered on Proverbs 28:27 for a moment as I prepared to support a shoe drive today. I do not have much to give, but I am giving up a few pairs of running shoes that rarely ever get any action. In the text, the focus is on the act of giving and not on the amount that is given. I had to recognize that. Then, I also had to realize that part of my responsibility includes giving a portion of what I would have spent on snacks and junk if I wasn’t doing this detox challenge right now. Based on some of what was shared in All Things Charity, I will calculate what I normally would spent on unhealthy snacking and donate either the food or the funds to fight food insecurity.

Focus on Fuel

Today I plan on keeping an eye on my portions and spacing out my meals and snacks. No work and plenty of free time makes for a dangerous point in the midst of this challenge. In my preparation, I accounted for my workdays more than I considered my days off. I have to retain my focus on the plan and the purpose to keep going strong through the day and the weekend, especially as I seek to add more physical activity.

Focus on Fitness

Like I said, with no work, I have plenty of time to fill my day with physical activity. After my livestream focused on GYNECOLOGIC CANCER AWARENESS and my guest Mz. Sharifah a cancer survivor and cancer patient advocate, I will drop off my donation for the shoe drive and perhaps stop at the driving range. I might end my daylight hours with a short walk around the block to match my morning routine, but I know that I will definitely get in some deep stretching touching in the hopes of doing a long run tomorrow.

An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.

henry david thoreau

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Rejoice always

1 Thessalonians 5:16

Reflection on Day #4

It came and went quickly. I thought that I would need to dig in so much deeper to get through the day, but I actually held on well. I felt satisfied which is different. Afternoon cravings are now curtailed with a bowl of raw almonds and mixed nuts rather than chocolate peanut butter cups or some other form of craving killer. I can honestly say that I gave yesterday a full effort without having to force myself. That’s what I call personal growth, even if it is only in one area of my life. That’s what it is and I will take it with full gratitude.

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Focus on Faith

I rally on my time reflecting and meditating on the Scriptures during this detox period. God has been stirring up some old ideas from the past that I dropped by the wayside in lieu of other work and He has also been granting me some new insights into carrying out my ministry work despite the COVID-19 conditions. I am earnestly working on some of the items immediately and eagerly anticipating how to get to other pieces of the puzzle, but as they say God is not finished with me yet. There is more that I am sure that He has to reveal to me in our time of communion.

I am certain of this, though. I am a firm believer that a greater percentage of God’ grace has been spent on sparing me of the ramifications of my own foolishness. Yet, as I ponder further upon how much god has to offer, I am seeking the place and space for when and where God rewards my faithfulness.

Focus on Fuel

This time has allowed me to discover some new dishes and to return to eating more raw vegetables beyond a salad. I usually eat cauliflower and broccoli raw and uncooked. No ranch dressing or cheese, please. I just eat the florets. I have even been able to nibble on a handful of raw Brussels sprouts, but I do have to admit that those have me drinking a lot of water to get them down. At the end of the day, I would rank the broccoli at the top of my got to raw fuel list with baby carrots.

Photo by Richard Verbeek on Pexels.com

Focus on Fitness

Today I need some of that vitamin D that only direct sunlight can provide. Working remotely from home has its benefits, but some of he drawbacks include that vortex where you find yourself locked into work mode and without proper break times. I knew this going into this challenge, so I was careful to schedule my fitness breaks. I like how world class runner Steven Gomez shows us how to adjust our schedules. However, I am at the point where I need to add alarms to my smartphone as reminders to take my fitness breaks. My fitness breaks during work a simply mini moments that serve as power breaks where I will rise up and walk around, stretch or even take a break from the screen and step outside. Today I will definitely find me a spot in the sun for a moment and make the most of it. These breaks are key to a continued awareness of my physical restoration and recharging during my work schedule.

An unwavering dedication to God’s way is the mark of a true steward

Larry burkett

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I just had to share this because it made sense and it might make someone else’s day. The outline for our 10-Day Detox Challenge came to me as I worked on a simple but straightforward means to expand the challenged beyond food. Hence, I labeled it as fuel, not just food.

Before I even ordered The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren, I had formulated this outline for the 10-Day Detox Challenge. I didn’t know that Warren used some of the same or similar points. It wasn’t until I previewed the book prior to ordering it that I discovered these glaring similarities.

I will give that one to the Holy Spirit. I will accept that the Holy Spirit offered confirmation on what I had in mind.

LESSON LEARNED

Let that be a lesson to somebody. You do not stop dead in your tracks when you learn that someone else has a similar idea as you. Keep going with. Keep working on it. Stick with it.

There will always be a world of ideas that appear similar if not the same. Look at how many acronyms people use. There are all sorts of overlap with acronyms like NOW, FIT, PLAN, and many more. It is all a matter of how you market and package your idea.

It is totally up to you how you handle it, but as for me, i am going to keep going forward. That’s in my best interest and in the interest of the people who might get a blessing out of me not being detoured or discouraged by the fact that similarities exist.

CHASE YOUR PURPOSE

There is a good chance that what you are doing is not even in the same realm as another person or that your work or project is somewhat or somehow at least slightly different. You may have different audiences or goals. There might be a difference in the usage of Scripture references and more.

If your intent is not to duplicate someone else’s work, then make sure that you state it clearly and acknowledge that the other work preexisted your work, but that be sure to share the differences and your personal intent. It is what one blogger refers to as basic Christian disciplines.

At the end of the day, you have to chase your purpose. You have to find your work enough for you to confront and combat your competitors and critics alike. When you know what God has for you, you know that He has made it possible for you to have the opportunity and He ordains your purpose. You face risks and potentially find rewards as a result of pursuing your purpose over other options. It is worthwhile for you to focus on what is essential and at the core of your plan.

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Master the Spin | Bruce Jackson | Blog Post | Red Room.

How well can you spin your own story? Do you offer memorable or motivational memoirs? Do you get real creative with your creative nonfiction? How well do you spin?

This link will lead you to a creative challenge that only a writer could love.  Enjoy yourself!

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Imagine going through your business cards, email address book and Facebook friends or Twitter followers in order to see who you really develop relationships with in this life. 

  • What kind of people do you attract?
  • Are they really good people (like good for you)?
  •  What does that say about you?

Look at who you spend your time with and who you spend your time on throughout the day.  Mahatma Gandhi said: “Action expresses priorities.” Where are you putting forth your action today? Take a long hard look.  Then, after you do all of that analysis, simply ask God: “Is this what You want me to do with the life that You have given me?” Ask in prayer.  Write it in a note to God.  Sing it as a praise song to God.  Just ask.  Ask Him with an open heart and a broken spirit.  Ask God.

“Is this what You want me to do with the life that You have given me?”

And then, simply listen to what He says…

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