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Faith

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). When you extend your faith you are believing that certain events will transpire, despite, what you see. For example, job promotion, healing, or new car etc. At times, faith, begins to subside during the, “between stage”. The between stage, is when you are waiting to get from point A to B. You want that job promotion and you killed the interview, but, the company decided to go with someone else. Therefore, you remain at point A and discouragement sets in because you know it is time for you to move to higher levels. During this middle phase, is when your faith gets truly tested but do not lose hope!

Lets look at biblical stories where faith is tested:

-Sarah could not bear children, but was told that she would conceive a child, during old age. It took faith to believe that she would have a baby in her nineties. (Genesis)

Abraham- He had to offer up his son, as a sacrifice, as a test of his faith. (Genesis)

Noah- The world had become so evil so the Lord told Noah to build an Ark with two of every animal and only his wife, sons, and daughter in laws, would be saved. Noah had faith and did everything that the Lord commanded. (Genesis)

Joseph and Mary- Mary a virgin, pregnant with child. The lord told Joseph that Mary bore Christ and gave instructions on what to do after Jesus was born. Joseph and Mary followed what the Lord said. (Mathew)

Moses- He delivered thousands from Egypt and traveled to the promise land. Moses took heed to the steps that the Lord spoke. (Exodus)

Woman with the issue of blood- She had been bleeding for 12 years but her faith made her whole, by touching the hem of Jesus’s garment. (Mathew)

Job- The Lord allowed Satan, access to Job. Job lost everything but he still had reverence and served God.

Regardless of the time frame or emotional turbulence that possibly ensued, the word of the Lord came to fruition. I am sure there was doubt that arose, during the waiting period. Yet, If HE said it, it will come to pass!

You may be in a season where your faith is being tested. You are waiting for that promise to come, but you are getting tired. I just want to encourage and remind you that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forevermore-Hebrew 13:8. Just like the promises manifested in the stories above, YOURS, is on the way.

I challenge you to read Hebrews 11 and analyze, how faith, orchestrated the lives of many.

Apply the verses from the bible over your life:

-By faith I can trust God

-By faith I understand that the world was framed by God

-By faith I can be confident with gods promises despite circumstances or consequences

-By faith I will run with endurance the race that is set before me by looking unto Jesus

-By faith I am healed

If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there and it will move”- Mathew 17:20

We walk by faith and not by sight.- 2 Corinthian 5:7

Remember, we are in this journey together.

Love,

C. Allen

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Dating, Intuition, Standards

Intuition

Social media wasn’t prevalent back in the day as it is now. Women would literally analyze subtle cues when it came to dating. Ex: a slight change in his text message lingo or he called a little later than normal. Those signs would be a direct indication that he was talking to someone else or his interest in you, was declining. Nowadays, people need feelings outwardly written or go to the relationship coaches to tell you, “How to Know When a Man Wants You.”

Now, it is not wrong to get guidance or a second opinion while you’re on the dating scene. However, you do not NEED a person to tell you certain information that is evident. Ladies it is simple! God gave us innate capabilities or intuition, to be able to decider if a male is interested in you.

For starters, look at his actions. Secondly, listen to what he is verbalizing. Men will tell you if he want you to be his girl or “I’m just chillin”. Lastly, if his actions and words do not match, clearly he is confused and you need to guard your heart. The fact that you have to question, “Is he interested in me as much as I like him”, reveals that y’all are possibly not on the same page.

Standards

Who watches Love and Hip Hop, Basketball Wives, Realhousewives?

Reality TV is a hit in this present day. I caught a clip of Love and HH last year (I don’t know if it’s old or not because it was the first time I watched) and this male was in a love triangle with two women. Both women knew about each another, yet, continued to mess around with the man. On top of all that, the women literally hated each other. Whattt??? When did it become okay be an option in a mans life? This is a situation, like many others, where women endure mistreatment, in hopes of being the “chosen one”. One should not be okay with being an alternative or welcoming less than the best. Ladies, we have to remember our worth and value is not tied to any man.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made-Psalm 139:14. You were designed to be the ONLY wife to ONE man. No matter how much society normalizes it, you do not have accept: misconduct, low quality characteristics, or wait until a man matures to be treated correctly.

Ladies, we complain about the few options of good men, but many of us play the game with them. Instead of holding firm to our standards, we tolerate behaviors that should not be welcomed. Women literally have the power to change this dating scene. If we collectively stopped settling for less, then men would have to raise the bar. Now, of course that is not an excuse to why men behave as they do and there are various correlations. However, I can speak from a viewpoint from a woman since I am one. I am trying to help my sisters see their value and part we play in this society, where there is a high volume of singleness and desperation to be married. We set the limits but until our standards increase, the dating cycle won’t change.

What’s next?

You have to be okay with being alone and maybe that is the fear of most. Yes, you may desire marriage but not at the expense of your sanity. You are someone’s one and only and deserve to be treated with the love, respect and honor that was intended by Christ. If your desire for marriage is stronger than your longing for Christ, then sis you have made marriage an idol. The good thing is God is forgiving and we can change our ways. We should yearn for Christ more than anything in the world. He is the one that can fill our voids of loneliness, pain, rejection, sadness and the list goes on. Below you will find scriptures that discuss focusing on Christ. As well as, scriptures that explains how love and kindness are put into action.

Verses:

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.- Colossians 3:2

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you-Mathew 6:33

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.-Isaiah 26:3

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.-Galatians 5:22-23

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not prou. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. -Ephesians 5:22-28 (you may not be a wife yet but these are qualities you and he should have prior. Not what is being normalized in the world today.)

Remember we are in this journey together!

C. Allen

Your Life is Amazing

In life we have “high moments”, such as; graduations, engagements, baby announcements, job promotions etc. It is in that brief time period, of attaining that accomplishment, where you feel life is moving forward. That joy feels amazing and tends to last until you get comfortable in the new season.

When the joy fades. When the dust settles

Once that “high” settles, you begin a regular routine within that new journey. It’s in this stage, where one can feel that their life is stagnant. Then the search begins for a new opportunity to gratify the feelings of complacency. What many of us don’t realize, is that we are engaging in a never-ending cycle. Once we obtain that next goal, get settled in it, the discontentment will arise again, then on to a new goal.

Creating a new mission is not a negative factor. It is actually great to formulate and execute new ideas. However, identifying that you’re on a constant search for fulfillment is vital. Without realizing, we start to dismiss our own achievements and slowly forget how productive we have been. We become so focused on the future that we lose sight of the former.

Today, I encourage you to put the phone down and do a highlight reel over your life. Look over the past year, 3, 5, or 10 years and analyze the greatness within the past. Each one of us has brought so much meaning to our own life and the lives of others. We are on a journey trying to become the best versions of ourselves, impact the next generation, and leave a legacy behind.

When you find yourself on the search for the next “happy moment” in life, PAUSE. Reminisce on the accomplishments you have made so far and allow yourself to marinate in those memories. That next attainment will come but be content in the present. You are right where you’re supposed to be!

Remember we are in this journey together.

Love,

C. Allen

Single on Valentine’s Day

HAPPY GALENTINE’S DAY

What does, Galentine, mean?

It is a new trend where ladies get together and celebrate, Valentines day. Hence the change from, “Val” to  “Gal”. Instead of being at home by yourself, it is a great way of celebrating your singlehood and exalt being content with life.  With Galentine’s day the focus adjusts from relationships to self love, happiness, and pursuing purpose.

As we all know, Valentine’s day, is primarily geared to couples celebrating their love for one another. Yet, it can cause dissatisfaction regarding one’s relationship status. Especially, for the single ladies (myself included). We tend to build this timeline in our mind about how our life should route. “I will be married by 25, have kids around 30, one boy and one girl named etc..” However, if your life is not going according to how you imagined, this beautiful “love day” highlights those inconsistencies. So cheers to whoever came up with the theme Galentine! It gives singles something to look forward to and puts the spotlight on self love.

At the end of 2017, it was placed on my heart to have a Galentine’s Dinner Party, which was amazing!!! I have pictures below for your viewing but first, I want to give words of comfort to a special individual reading this. If you are single and battling your status, I have been there and know that it can be extremely difficult. However, I want to encourage you with these few tips:

  1. Focus on the most important relationship

-The most important relationship is the one with Christ! I know it may sound cliché, and you may not want to hear it right now, but it is the ultimate truth. This is the best time to dig into your bible, Christian books, prayer, and get closer to Christ. By being near to Him, you will be able hear directions, heal, and pursue what he has for you. You’ll be so focused that you begin to enjoy life and your focal point will not be on your relationship status.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Mathew 6: 33

“Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:2-5

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3

“But one thing I do; forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God. Let those of us who are mature think this way” -Philippians 3:13-15

  1. Self love:

    “In order to love someone you must first, love thyself.” Figure out who you are and embrace your beauty, mind and soul.”

“I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139: 14

 

  1. What God has for you it is for you!

This pertains to any and everything in life. If that job, relationship, marriage, kids, car, is for you, IT WILL BE! All you have to do is trust God and his timing.

“The Lord will never withhold a good thing from you” Psalm 84:11.

Amen! Now let’s view the dinner party! Hope you enjoy!

Galentine’s Dinner Party

“The table set up”

Each lovely lady received a balloon, rose, personalized card, homemade chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered marshmallows, and a bag with more sweets.

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-The heart bag is filled with candy and a pen for one of the games.

-Clear heart bag, held the chocolate covered strawberries and marshmallows

-personalized card for the ladies

IT’S GAME TIME!

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– Two out of the three games we played. The first was “What’s in your phone.” The person with the most points won! The scratch off game was pretty cool! Scratch off to see if you’re the winner!

– I like to call this game, Musical Gift. The gift is wrapped in newspaper like a million times (literally). The host plays music and when he/she pauses the song, the person that has the gift, unwraps only ONE layer of the newspaper. He gift keeps floating around until you get to the last layer which is actually, gift wrapping paper, and that person gets to keep the gift! Thanks mom for the idea! She also wrapped the gift so I had no clue who would win it or when the game would end lol. So much fun!

Testing out the Snapchat Geofilter, that I created for the night. If you have an event coming up, just go to Snapchat and make your own. This one I made only cost me 5.99. Prices will vary depending on style, area, and length of time you want it to run! Cool idea Snap!!!

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Personal shout out to my mother!!! She took time out, after a long day at work, to help me decorate and then off to celebrate this day with her man of 34 years (my dad lol)! She is the definition of a Proverbs 31 woman. She works hard and always tends to the needs of her family. Love you mom!

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Cheers to self love, contentment, and pursuing purpose!

Remember, we are in this journey together.

Love,

C. Allen

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!!

You made it through 2017!!! Many of you all have made your New Year resolutions and goals for 2018. Trust me, I have too! There is nothing wrong with setting achievements and end products. Planning leads to productivity and you cannot go wrong with that.

The downside to declarations is that God has the final say in our life. Hmmm, well, if God is in it, would that necessarily be a negative element? It depends on how you look at it! Personally, I have been in situations where I relied on the annual theme, and my life turned completely upside down. It can truly bring upon a painful experience when you are expecting certain events or changes, and they do not arrive. Once I shifted my focus, and deeply understood that Gods ways are better than mine, the sting of my plans falling apart, wasn’t as hurtful. Think about it, the creator of the world has strategically designed a pathway for you. God’s timing and HIS will, is what matters most.

In 2018, let’s have our goal sets but with God’s will at the forefront. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lords plan that prevails (Proverbs 19:21). We may have a course routed in our mind, but God may take you a different direction. If that happens, it will be okay. Just trust him, know that there is a time for everything, and your life is in the best hands! If that job promotion, financial breakthrough, engagement, or any accomplishment, is yours, it will be!

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens;

a time to be born and a time to die,

    a time to plant and a time to uproot,

    a time to kill and a time to heal,

    a time to tear down and a time to build,

    a time to weep and a time to laugh,

    a time to mourn and a time to dance,

    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

    a time to search and a time to give up,

    a time to keep and a time to throw away,

    a time to tear and a time to mend,

    a time to be silent and a time to speak,

    a time to love and a time to hate,

    a time for war and a time for peace.

 Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

   

Join with me as we enter into 2018 with our declarations, but ultimately trusting Gods plan and HIS timing. Remember, we are in this journey together!

Love,

C. Allen

(Song on the playlist, Trust, by Hillsong)

Tis the Season to Be Jolly?

 

One of the most anticipated times of the year is, Christmas. The season of giving, joy and spending time with your family. It just makes individuals feel so loving and warm inside. However, that is not the case for everyone.

There are some people who dread this occasion for various reasons:

-Some individuals may be away from their family and are experiencing loneliness.

-This time of year allows one to reflect over the year and be reminded of the negative events that transpired. For example, a called off engagement, break up, loss of job, or something else.

-Buying gifts, can cause the serious “buh humbug” feeling. People feel like they let others down because they cannot purchase presents, due to their finances.

Whatever the case may be, we have to be sensitive to the fact that everyone does not have the same feelings regarding holidays.

If you happen to be the individual that is having a rough time during this Christmas, I want to encourage you to find the joy within it.

HOW?

  1. If you are away from your family, try surrounding yourself with friends. Hang out with their family for the holidays. Of course there is nothing like being around your own loved ones, but it can sure lighten your mood.
  2. Indulge in something you enjoy. Finish that book, take that class you wanted, or volunteer at a local shelter…etc.
  3. In continuation from number two, give to others. Contributing to another persons life can definitely transfer you energy from gloom to joy. There is something about pouring into others that just will heighten your day.
  4. Most importantly, focus on Christ. He is the only one that can fill your voids.

 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” Mathew 5:4

“Come to me, all you who labor and are heaven laden, and I will give you rest.” Mathew 11:28

“The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4

I hope the tips above bring you immediate comfort during this time. Remember, we are all in this journey together!

Love,

C. Allen

 

Message in a Bottle

To the dear person that receives this letter,

      I just want you to know, HANG ON. I understand that times can be difficult, and you feel like giving up. However, hold on tight! Life is similar to a rollercoaster and there will be highs, lows, turns and twists. Yet, when the hard situations arise, do not lose hope and faith.

You may never understand why certain trials are tossed your way, but you can persevere. James 1:2-4 states, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Through it all, you will overcome and be better than you were before.

So, I encourage you to push beyond your circumstance. Continue to depend on God and know that he truly cares for you. You will come out of this season stronger than ever and will not be defeated. GOD’S GOT YOU!

 

Love,

C.Allen

Israel (Part 2)

I stated in my previous blog, Israel Trip (part 1), that this gem will show adventures that transpired over my 10 day trip. It was difficult to choose highlights out of the hundreds of pictures and memories that I have. Please note, that this is not nearly, all of the places I visited. I literally only touch the surface with how impactful Israel is and the many destinations and history that is within the country. However, to keep this blog at a decent length, I was able to narrow it down to the top features, I know you wanted to see. You will be going on a journey viewing Israel, through my lens. I hope you enjoy! 

FYI: Explanations are under the pictures 🙂

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Capharnaum, the hometown of Jesus. We visited his home that he lived in during his central Galilean Ministry.

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We were able to view the tombs where Jesus was “possibly” buried in. Many scholars believe this particular image is where he was buried because the bible says, “As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side and they were alarmed” -Mark 16. The way tombs were made during that era, you would walk in and the body would be laying right in front of you.  However, in this situation, you had to turn to the right just as it stated in the bible. HE IS NOT DEAD, FOR HE IS RISEN!

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This is another “possible” tomb that Jesus’s body was laid in.  This particular burial site was cut out of the mountain side and placed inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, for viewing. The line to examine the inside, would have been a 2 hour wait.

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Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, this particular site is the traditional place where the cross was placed as Jesus was crucified.

jordan riverBaptism sites on the Jordan River.  This was not the actual place where Jesus was baptized because it is no longer conducive for individuals to be in. However, we all got the opportunity to be baptized in the Jordan River just as he was.

The Mount of Beatitudes, is a hill in Israel where Jesus is believed to have delivered the sermon ( Mathew 5-7 and Luke 6). It is accepted that Jesus was standing at the bottom of the hill and the spectators sitting where I am in the picture. Now the question is, how did the thousands of individuals hear his voice? At a certain point in the day, the winds would blow which would carry Jesus’s voice to the top of the hill. Pretty amazing, right?

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Cruised the Sea of Galilea, which was a beautiful site.  We had a moment of quiet time with various worship songs playing in the background.  This was actually day 3 of our journey and was extremely endearing. During this reflections time, I felt like I was finally able to take everything in.  With our day starting at 6am and ending around 9/10pm, it was nice to just silence your mind and evaluate this once in a lifetime experience. I was reminded of Peter having to trust God, and walk on the water to him.  Once he began doubting, he started to sink. As I was reminiscing on that verse, I could sense God saying, “Just as Peter had faith, I want you to continue to trust that I have your life in control.” WOW! Amen God!

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We explored the port where Jonah fled from God.

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This is the place where Peter restored the life of Tabitha and stayed with Simon the Tanner

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Mt. Precipice the site where Jesus was rejected which was described in Luke 4:29-30. The people of Nazareth did not accept Jesus as the Messiah. Therefore they tried to push him off the mountain side. However, “he passed through the midst of them and went away”.

Garden of Gethsemane, the place where Jesus wept as his disciples slept. Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” ….”My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”  “My father if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me, Yet as I will, but as you will” Then he returned to see the disciples and found them sleeping. ” Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” Mathew 26:36-46.

 tabghaTabgha, the site of Peter’s Primacy (John Chapter 21) Multiplication of Loaves and Fish and the calling of the disciples.

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wailing wall

Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, is the most holy place accessible to the Jewish people because of the Muslim control of the Temple Mount. The plaza is was created as an area for prayer in which thousands of people gather.  Many write their prayers on a piece of paper and leave it in the cracks of the wall.

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Just floating around in the Dead Sea

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Valley of Communities, living memorial to the Holocaust. We were all deeply moved as our tour guide shared personal stories of what his family members suffered through during this traumatic time. We also toured the Historical museum, The Children’s Memorial, and The Hall of remembrance. Our history books only grasp the surface of this horrific event.  Let us always shine light and remember the Holocaust.

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Golan Heights, rocky plateau that straddles the border of Syria and Israel.

bomb dragon

We went to the Gaza Border and the neighborhoods surrounding. The houses are required to be built with bomb shelters. The dragon that you see in the picture is actually a bomb shelter, on a local playground.  Teachers educate children, as little as 3, with a song that describes what to do before and after they hear a siren. The lyrics, “Shake, shake, shake”, stood out to me most. The song tells the kids to shake because they have to check if they are missing any limbs. If so, the blood will scatter all over.  Therefore, they can quickly get help from bystanders.  It is definitely disturbing to hear about the beautiful individuals that have to endure these terrible events. Let’s continue to pray for Israel.

mt olivesStanding on Mt. Olives viewing the Temple Mount.

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Peace to the Middle East.

You made it through the brief voyage. Thanks for coming along! Have you ever been to Israel? Leave comments below and tell me what you think!  Remember, we are in this journey together!

Love,

C. Allen

Hello Fall

Fall or autumn, is the transitional period between summer and winter. The leaves start changing colors and plummet off of the trees. The temperature begins to drop and fashion begins to shift from tank tops to sweaters. Your favorite seasonal drinks hit the shelves and Starbucks.

Though fall is a season within a year, you can equate it to your personal life. Sometimes, you enter into a period where one loses friendships, relationships, jobs, etc.. It may seem like God has been removing everything from your life and you cannot comprehend the change. Letting go of people and opportunities that you desire, is difficult. However, it is important for your growth.

Leaves may die and whither but in spring, new flowers bloom. Allow God to rid your life of old conditions and provide his best. This juncture may bring extreme discomfort because it is not your familiar. Yet, in order to get to the next level, you must let go of some baggage.

During this fall season, be open to the transition that God is taken you through.

“Out with the old in with the new.”

If that friend stops hanging with you, understand it is for your growth. God may be tugging at your heart, to release an entity, that is keeping you bound. If so, listen to that warning. You are headed to higher heights and dead weight will hold you back.

Instead of fighting this shift, let’s welcome this term with anticipation. The blessings that will sprout forth, by obeying God, will not be in vain. You can trust that he knows the best pathway for you. The man that created you, heaven and earth, will not fail you!

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Remember, we are in this journey together.

Love,

C. Allen

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