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Greatness is Costly but Worth it

The greats. All of them. They all had weaknesses. Just look a Noah, afraid to build a huge boat and close the doors off to the rest of the world, but he obeyed and did it. David, messed up bad. And I mean really bad. Had someone killed and committed adultery, and yet God still used him as one of the mightiest of kings. Solomon, David’s son got lost within himself and his riches. His thousands of wives. But at the end of his days, he saw it all as meaningless. Jonah, afraid to go save people that hated God so he ran. Ran straight into the belly of a whale. That must’ve smelled so bad, and yet 3 days later he was given a second chance. Peter was a bit of a hot head and cursed a time or two in his life. Was always picking fights with people who came against Jesus. Heck, even denied Jesus three times, and yet was forgiven.

Meditate on the story of David- a man after God’s own heart and yet he didn’t hold to the standard of holiness, but God still used him to change a kingdom. 2 Samuel 1-12 (The Fall of King David) preferably- The Message Version

There are more. Way more. But you get the point. The other day, my something was brought to my attention as I somberly told someone that I was displeased with my weak areas. I wanted to be strong. I wanted people to look up to me and see that I was strong so they could be too. They said,” It’s okay to not always be strong.” They named of a few greats that we both looked up to, and they said, “They have stories. They weren’t always strong, and yet people still look up to them. People will still look up to you, even if you are weak at times.”

They could see past what I was feeling at the moment. They were telling the truth.

Here are some key points that we need to remember as imperfect humans serving a perfect God:

1. Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners. (Romans 5:8) There is absolutely nothing that we could have done to have earned that kind of love.

2. Our sanctification is secure and it will be carried on to completion of every good work that was started in us until the day that Christ Jesus Returns (Philippians 1:6)

3. It’s okay to not be perfect, lean on Jesus and take his yoke for it’s easy (Matthew 11:29-30)

It’s scary. It’s scary to let go and let God. It’s scary to trust again. To love again. To let those closest in your life go down a path that might change them forever. To let go of your scars so you can be healed. To believe the best as you close one door and wait for the next one to open.

I get it. You’re not alone. If you’re reading this, you’re not alone. Even if there are times that it feels like I’m losing, I didn’t lose. I learned. And you will too. One day at a time.

Don’t let fear keep you from the best days that could be ahead of you. Don’t look back, you might miss the view. And always look up every now and again, knowing you can’t wander too far without him bringing you back home.

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Egypt in Us

Do you remember hearing the story about the children of Israel and how they were delivered out of bondage from Egypt? Do you remember how God delivered them from slavery through Moses? The story talks about how the Israelites walked out of slavery and walked into the desert, which may have appeared to many perhaps as another very hopeless situation. For many people this probably sounds and appears strange that God would take his chosen people from bondage to a desert where there there would be no food or water. The truth be told after years of captivity, the Israelites appeared and spoke like Egyptians. They acted like the Egyptians and according to scripture in all honesty the Israelites basically had lost their identity and knowing the absolute GREATNESS of their God. God knew the Israelites would have to be cleansed of their Egyptian mindset. He knew He had to get Egypt out of them just as he knows He has to get the Egypt out of us! In other words, anything in our life that exhausts itself in place of or that is contrary to His Word has to be uprooted.

If we are honest, we can all admit there are times in our lives as a Christian or as a non-believer, that our past may haunt us into believing we are going backward in our thinking and actions, when in fact it is one of the oldest tricks of the enemy. Sometimes we can be triggered by certain smells, tastes, or the touch of an individual that mesmerizes or allures us into recounting a past hurt. Whether we choose to accept this concept or not, this bondage that crips our spiritual consciousness has to be uprooted and replaced with truth. The truth is there will always be an enemy lurking to distract us from the will of God.

Sometimes, familiar or past experiences feel better to us versus taking the next steps towards our future, which can often feel scary. It is during those scary times or times of uncertainty, we are placed in unique situations for the purpose of learning how to trust our heavenly Father. During our seasons of learning, how to stretch our faith, it is during those times we learn God our Father will never leave nor forsake us!. For the Israelites, it may have seemed to them God had abandoned them … because they found themselves in a situation where they had to totally rely on Him for food, shelter and protection against the Egyptians. As it may appear and feel to us during our seasons of stretching. What it really comes down to is the Egypt in us is a mindset or perspective that prevents us from seeing challenging circumstances as great moments in times to soar. When we realize that God shows up to show out, He will always do what no man or woman can ever do.

It is extremely important that we don’t let ourselves become blinded by physical attributes of our past, which can sometimes be played over and over again through social media or listening to music that suggests things were better when … we didn’t try to make things better. To get the Egypt in us out of us, we have to intentionally engage our heart and mind to focus on those things that edify the one who created us, which will positively reinforce and rehearse that our best life is always in front of us if we believe! Truthfully, the children of Israel spent more time complaining than giving thanks to God for having been delivered out of slavery. We to must choose not to become preoccupied with the business complaining. When we change our perspective / mindset, we change our future, because blessings are all around when we BELIEVE!

Somewhere before the Promise

Joshua 21:45 reminds us, “Not one of the good promises which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel failed; all had come to pass.” The truth of the matter is the promises of God are sometimes manifested after a storm in life or in the midst of the storm such as: the lost of a love one, sickness or a financial obstacle. Each of us is awaiting a promise. Perhaps, your promise is a word that was spoken over you when you were a child, pertaining to your future spouse. Whether your promise came to you in a form of a reoccuring dream or a parent’s prophetic word, the outcome depended upon your perception and understanding of the power of God.

Our belief system is the backbone of our successes in life. We need only believe in our heart for whatever it is and it will come to pass. Maybe your promise is a place you long to visit. Maybe, you and your spouse are believing for a child. Whatever, you are believing for, in order for these promises to come into fruition there has to be a renewing or a change in your thought process. In other words, there has to be a transformation in the way we think, act and speak. This is known as your ‘WHY’. Life is full of detours. The detours of life always involve a series of tests that prepare us to receive the promises of God. These detours or mishaps in life rarely are pleasant and are usually unescapable. The detours or mishaps should be viewed as vitally needed spiritual training.

When we understand our ‘WHY’ it empowers us to change our perspective for truly understanding and receiving the promises of God known as the ‘Blessings’ of God. We learn what is meant by, “ keeping the main thing the main thing”. We pray and wait! Waiting in this instance figuratively speaking not literally. We should always be working towards our dreams and ambitions with a spirit of expectancy. Expecting the promise of God to be fulfilled in our life and in our family’s life does not mean we stop and do nothing. No contrary to popular believe, we should always be walking and working with a vision in sight. We MUST learn how to discipline our thoughts by learning how to remain single or laser focused, even if feels like all hell is breaking out around you! Keep your goals in sight, knowing faith without work is dead. Philippians 4:18-19 states, “I have received FULL PAYMENT and have MORE THAN ENOUGH. I am AMPLY SUPPLIED … “This scripture is a reminder, THERE WAS AND IS FULL PAYMENT AND WE HAVE MORE THAN ENOUGH.

Your promise will come, if YOU believe! Our God supplies ALL our needs!. We need only trust and obey. We don’t need the promise to validate us. We’ve been validated by the promise maker. Whatever promise you’re believing and waiting for, know you have it!. We must keep putting one foot in front of the other and allow the process to work in and through us. We are being changed or transformed daily from the inside out out. It’s called the renewing of our mind and the way we act.. Simply put, “Somewhere Before The Promise can best be interpreted, God cares most about the condition of our heart. He knows our thoughts are a reflection of the condition of our heart. Therefore, change the trajectory of your thought life then you will come to see and understand there are Blessings All Around When You Believe!

The Heroes in Your Life

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“The Heroes in Your Life”

Who do you admire or look up to? In other words who are the heroes in your life? It’s fair to say, if we will admit it, most of us have at least one person we look up to for advice because trust or value their opinion. That special person knows exactly what to say and do to make us laugh, cry or ponder about a major decision. For some, it might be a parent or a grandparent, a coach, a trusted friend, an entertainer, an athlete, a pastor of a local church or a teacher. My “sher-o” or special person who I admired and looked up to was my grandmother.

She taught me everything; especially as it pertains to keeping my home loving and orderly. I spent countless hours watching my grandmother command the kitchen’s every detail. My grandmother had a very interestingly graceful way of making cooking appear fun and easy. While spending time in the kitchen with her, she’d mead the dough for rolls all while having a very simple or in depth conversation with me about whatever was on my mind. Our conversations sometimes would last for hours. I assisted her with the preparation and serving of grand meals for our entire family.

Perhaps for you, It might have been your elementary school teacher because she was nice and always smiled. How about your best friend in college? You may have watched him or her succeed at everything they attempted, or won national championships in the sport they dedicated their lives to.

Heroes are all around us. They are the people that we aspire to become. Our heroes are those special individuals who possess gifts and attributes that help us set our trajectory of how we hope our life will one day turn out.

The problem with this truth is we are looking at a man or a woman rather than our Father who is in heaven. When we replace His love or displace our love and affection to looking at a moral man or woman (or anything else for that matter!) we are allow those persons or things to rob us of our relationship with God, which is a form of idolatry. The word idolatry means: excess devotion to, or reverence of some person or thing. Reverence by definition means: tinged with awe.

Each of us are born with a basic desire to be loved and accepted. Problems arise when we look to another human being as an example or god of success. It is a perfectly natural desire to experience relationships and community. The problem comes in when we care more about our external relationships around us than we do our relationship with the Lord.

Placing a person, place, or thing in the driver’s seat, which can be viewed as a our hero has to be proceeded with caution. Reverence for anything over God in your life can easily become an idol. While, I must confess my grandmother was my “sher-o”, it was many years later and she had gone home to be with the Lord that I came full circle to understand nothing or no one can ever be place ahead of my Father who is in heaven.

The truth of the matter is we must continually guard our heart and motive behind who we desire to pattern our life after. Most importantly, we must always keep Christ at the forefront of our hearts never losing sight of him as our first love. John 8:32 says, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” This is a truth that we all need to be reminded of at times.

Having heroes in our life is NOT wrong. It’s about place value in heart and life. Psalm 3:2-6 states, “But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the LORD, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.” This is a reminder, our help comes from the Lord and He alone sustains us. He is our hero and He MUST be first in our lives.

Choose This Day

Life is all about choices. Our choices are directly related to our quality of life. Every decision we make impacts our life in some way or another.  According to Sam Silverstein, “Our choices affect our thoughts and our thoughts affect who we are”. It is because every choice is followed by a consequence. These consequences are a reflection of good or evil; positive or negative; healthy and / or unhealthy outcomes. In life, there will be those situations that are completely out of our hands. While we may not be able to control what happens, we CAN control how we react or respond to life’s most challenging situations. When we learn and teach our self how to accept the bitter with the sweet, it will make us stronger. The negative situations or circumstances we experience in our life either make us bitter, or make us better. It’s all comes down to: choices, perspectives and consequences. When we allow negative energy to fester, it intercepts the growth of a better version of ourselves. Whether it’s a negative relationship, loss of a love one, a bad church experience, job demotion or job loss disapproval, discontent and despair are real feelings, which is why God’s Word has to be our refuge. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. In other words, a change in perspective is the power to change the outcome.

God knew us before we were in our mother’s womb. He knew seasons would come that would stretch our faith. Bottom line bad things are going to happen in this life. As a matter of fact, Jesus warned us, but He also promised, “Take heart! For I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Moreover, while living on this earth we have the opportunity to live an abundant life HERE and NOW. The abundant life Jesus promised us is seeing goodness in every situation regardless of what it may look like. Our freedom can only be found in Christ it’s a place of love, joy, peace and contentment. It all comes down to your faith. What are you believing? Whose report are you going to believe? Our choices, perspectives and consequences are symptoms of a much bigger picture. Choose this day to acknowledge the fullness of our Lord. Our Creator wants only the best for us. We need only OBEY and BELIEVE by FAITH … we have whatever we ask. Remember, it is not in our timing we receive, but in His perfect timing. Brothers and sisters, we need only keep the main thing the main thing!

You are blessed to be a blessing … Agape.

A Matter of the Heart

“You, my brothers and sisters were called to be free. Do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather serve one another humbly in love” Gal. 5:15. Loving people through good times and bad times; means mastering the art of building up others! It has nothing to do with ethnicity or color! It’s a matter of the heart! In this dark broken world many are blind and can only see black or white particularly as it pertains to race, social class, privilege, gender, and other divisive categories. It’s so easy to get caught up in outward appearances. In truth, it all comes down to a matter of the heart. Our heart houses our true value.  In the midst of what’s now being called the “me too” movement, pro-police advocates, and anti-police/ anti-authority advocates, we are literally living in the generation of false prophets and people consumed by their own false sense of freedom versus the spirit of truth.

This evil false sense of reality has made God’s people powerless in their quest to set the captives free.  Our truth, we are world changers called to impact this world by walking in love and spreading the good news, which is the truth about Jesus; his birth, his crucifixion and his death. We need only look around us! The time is now for adjusting our thinking so we can see how we can best serve the people around us rather than our own selfish desires. Choosing to live by kingdom principals; selfless versus a selfish life opens our eyes to understanding God’s abundant grace and mercy for us as His children. We are then able to fully exercise our power and authority in the earth.

“Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God. This is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1. We live in a society where we are taught at a very early age to mask or hide our pain and suffering. In other words, displaying any sign of discomfort, pain or strife is perceived as weak, thus making it very difficult for us to know or understand what it means to be in touch with one’s true feelings. In truth, the skeletons in our closet keep us bound. It’s only when exposed and bought to the light that true freedom can be felt. Take a moment to think about a time when you or someone you loved kept what you both perceived to be a bad dreaded secret, just between the two of you. How did you feel? Did you ever get physically sick at the mere thought of the secret? The fact of the matter is as long as you kept that secret hidden or in the dark, nothing positive or negative became of it, but the instant that secret was uncovered, that’s when things changed. The real truth of the matter is God created us because He loves us and He wants a continual lifelong relationship with us.

He never intended for us to keep things hidden from Him. We are supposed to expose any thought or action that promotes a spirit of fear. This is why it is so vitally imperative we humble ourselves to loving and serving others.  Real freedom is truly liberating when we begin the journey of studying God’s word The Holy Bible, only then by taking the steps necessary for living a guilt-free and shameless life, which comes through faith in believing in the blood sacrifice of Jesus. Loving people in good times and bad times has everything to do with trusting the God spirit in us to share gifts and faults with one another. In the Holy Bible the book of James in chapter five verse sixteen states, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” When we realize we were created to have relationship with the Father and each other, it’s then that we begin to understand our purpose and destiny. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” I Peter 4:8.

When we open our heart to be sensitive to others, we tap into synergy. This fuels or empowers us supernaturally to be able see and understand everything around us from a completely different perspective. This synergy of supernatural power is birthed out of our heart’s desire to buildup others during their darkest hour. I received my healing when began training myself to focus on giving away what I needed for myself: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. In learning how to truly love others, simple acts of obedience and a selfless agenda has bought me joy beyond my wildest dreams. Young or old each of us yearns to be loved, this can only be accomplished or satisfied through our social, emotional and spiritual relationships with our Father in heaven and the people around us. Serving our neighbor is love personified and truly a matter of the heart and it is the ultimate “game changer”.

May Motivation

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Hello! My name is Yolanda Gallman. I am the founder of Truth Puzzle, Inc. and the author of the Ishmael Syndrome. For the month of May, I am free; available for speaking engagements!I would love to be invited to speak at your next men’s or women’s conference, workshop, recovery program, shelter, or any ministry you have with the mission of setting the captives free!

My heart is to provide a safe nonjudgmental place or space where men, women and youth can feel safe regardless of where their path in life has taken them. It does not matter who they are: single or married, fathers or mothers, depressed or anxious, abused or lost. It does not matter! What matters is the desire and willingness to be set FREE! I desire to help broken men and women and youth become whole again through teaching God’s Word in a uniquely unapologetic format; for the sole purpose of folks learning how to tap into their God given power. The unveiling of the Ishmael Syndrome is intentional! It’s a life of freedom fromaddiction, anxiety, oppression and thoughts of sucide .

I want to help all God’s people live victorious and empowered that is an awakened state of conscienceness to their TRUE identity and the-self worth, which God created in them. We were created to soar. “No weapon formed against us shall prosper. We are the heade not the tail … above not beneath and greater is He who lives is in us, then he who is in the world!” We no longer have to live our life defeated … it’s fraudlent.

If your organization, church community, men or women’s group, youth group,Devotional ,or small group would like to add more fuel for helping your members become inspired with a sense of worthiness, purpose and courage, contact me today! It is my heart’s desire to fellowship with you! I am just a phone call or email away … freedom and deliverance from the Ishmael Syndrome can be your’s today! Invite me today and guess what, I will show up!

In Christ’s Love,

Yolanda

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