Interruptions

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What do you do when the best-laid plans do not turn out the way you thought? I had an experience recently that I would like to share with you. We took The auto train from Florida to the Women of Promise  International Ministries conference in Maryland. I had so many things to transport for the conference: packets, bags, books, T-shirts, folders and notebooks, etc. The auto train appeared to be an excellent way to travel. We could pack the car, get on the train, and sleep as we took the 17 hour train ride to Maryland.

We had an uneventful trip, a very nice assistant on the train and things went really well. We had a great conference, and we were scheduled to return home on Monday September 11, but hurricane Irma came through the state of Florida. We didn’t have to worry about whether or not we should evacuate for Irma because we were already out of town attending the conference. Unfortunately, the storm rendered the train tracks impassable and our Monday’s return trip was canceled and rescheduled for Thursday.

Well, that didn’t seem like such a bad thing because I had promised myself that the next time I was in the area on a Sunday morning that I could visit Greater Mt Calvary Holy Church.  I also wanted to tour the African-American Museum in Washington DC and visit a friend in West Virginia. Now, with the train delay I would fulfill all three of those desires.  As a special bonus, I was able to minister the Word on Wednesday night in West Virginia. What a great experience.

Our Thursday train ended up being cancelled as well because of the residual from the storm.  We were told that the tracks were still under water in some of the areas of our route back to Florida.The next available seat they had for us on the train, not a sleeper but a business class seat would be on September 21.

My friend was very kind and offered for us to stay as long as we liked to but we realized we really needed to get home. With a goal in mind, we set out driving with me as the only driver. I figured no matter how long it took we would surely arrive before September 21.

My GPS showed our destination as nearly 1000 miles.  I certainly was not looking forward to that as I had made a decision not to do long-distance driving after experiencing horrible sciatica pain after my last road trip a year prior.

We were looking at nearly 15 hours of driving. After praying we started our journey. I stopped frequently and after eight hours in the car we checked into a hotel for the night. We had been warned about gas not being available on some exits. We were told that the traffic would be heavily congested with people returning to Florida after having to evacuate and that some hotels would be closed.

God granted us favor as we spent the first night and headed out again the next morning. The second night we stopped after seven hours in the car to rest deciding to do the final leg of the trip home on the third day. We ran into minor traffic congestion a few times. Gasoline was readily available and the hotel we chose on our final night had just opened the day before after being closed for a week.

So what do you do when life gives you an interruption?  Apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” When interruptions come, I stand on what I know to be true about God. He is faithful and He does not lie. I am confident that this interruption was somehow working for my good. There might have been something that God wanted me to learn, or something He wanted to show me, but nevertheless I must always keep moving forward.

Let me encourage you my friend, because I know life has a way of giving us all kinds of interruptions whether it be a long-term illnesses, loss of job, loss of home, a hurricane, or death of a loved one.  There are all kinds of things that interrupt our lives, but even in that we give thanks.  1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV) “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

It is in those moments of interruption that we must resist the temptation to complain. The key to  maintaining our joy is to not complain when things do not go according to our plans. In the midst of interruptions I have learned to offer God praise.

I had an awesome opportunity to minister to some lovely woman. God provided for our needs as we traveled and when we arrived home there was no damage to our home from the hurricane.

Interruptions are just an opportunity to offer a praise of thanksgiving to an awesome God.  What started as a 6 day voyage turned into a 10 day trip, but at the conclusion of it all, we ended up right where we needed to be.

HOME!

 

Evelyn Johnson-Taylor

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Ride-or-Die

 

 

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To maintain a godly character it is important to have someone in your life who will tell you the truth.  Not someone who criticizes but someone who will be honest enough to help you to grow. Everyone needs someone in their life who will  not feed the ego. We have enough back patting friends. In our current society we find that the more a person advances in life the less truth tellers they have around them.  Many will want to connect with you simply because of what you have and who you are.

The Scripture teaches in Proverbs 11:14 “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” I believe everyone needs someone  to speak truth to them. From the greatest to the least among us, this is a must have. While we do not desire to be or do the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of another, it is important to be able to offer constructive advice. The Holy Spirit brings conviction, but confidantes can bring good old fashion truth to your situation.

I have a ride-or-die friend who never ceases to tell me the truth. Sometimes I want to hear it and sometimes I don’t. Needless to say, she doesn’t really care if I want to hear it are not, she feels compelled to share. Everyone needs a friend like mines. In in effort to maintain our godly character, it is important that we are willing to be held accountable. Godly character doesn’t mean that we will be perfect in all our ways. It simply means that we strive to be people of integrity.

When we mess up, and we will. Ask God to forgive you and keep moving in the right direction. Proverbs 24:16 “for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again” Aren’t you happy about the grace of God in your life? I know I am. When we see the error of our ways, we can repent and He will restore us.

Evelyn

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Who Am I

2017-07-09-07-45-35-900x596.jpgI teach a course titled Christian Character at Grace and Truth Christian University. Each time I teach this course, it is a time of re-evaluation for me. Character speaks of the emotional and ethical qualities characteristic that make up each individual.  Character is not what you do or what you have but who you are.

My desire always is to live in a way that represents Christ. I am painfully aware that I don’t always accomplish my goals in that area. To be honest, some days I just want to be left alone.

I believe every believer should take inventory of their character often. To see who it represents most. Those things that we call small and often overlook speak volumes to who we are. As believers our character is all we really have. Names, riches, and other material things will fade but who we are in the core of our being will remain. People will remember how you treated them long after you are gone.

When we look at our character as believers, what are our non-negotiable? Lines that we will not cross? If I say, I don’t steal, will I steal if I’m hungry? If I say I support you, will I support you as long as it doesn’t interfere with my dreams? I pray for grace to do what I cannot do on my own. So on those days when I would rather be left alone, His grace helps me to represent who I am as a believer.

For more information about the class on Christian Character click the link above. Online class and or distance learning is also available.

 

Evelyn Johnson-Taylor

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One Bite at a time

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Have you ever come to the end of a week and all you could say is thank God it’s Saturday? Well, I have had one of those weeks. A week packed with Demands, projects, deadlines, and responsibilities. Each day when I open my eyes I thank God for another day. More time to work on projects and to complain about deadlines.

Seriously, I am so grateful for the opportunities God has granted me this week to show forth His love in all that I do. I led a Facebook discussion this week, and participated in an online Bible study. I also conducted a conference planning meeting, finalized our agreement with the conference venue, and reached out to several vendors/businesses regarding conference sponsorship. In additional to the above I prayed and assisted the sick and bereaved, worked on two speaking contracts with Christian Speakers Services, took my car in for service, met my husband new home care health nurse, physical and occupational therapist, ordered and shipped books. All while I have continued my regular weekly responsibilities.

It sounds like a lot and it is, but I am so thankful that God has strengthened me for the task. So how do you accomplish everything that comes at you day after day? I adhere to the One Bite at a time philosophy. It makes perfect sense to take one step at a time. If we are to achieve what is needed, we must start moving toward the end game.

So while I thank God it’s Saturday. I also thank Him for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Evelyn Johnson Taylor

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Ready – Set – Go

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The words Ready, Set, Go are often used to mark the beginning of a race. A few years ago we used these words as our Women of Promise Ministries conference theme. I still have the T-shirt. Our focus Scripture was Philippians 3:13-14 “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

In this Scripture, Apostle Paul does an evaluation of his life looking at his imperfections. He realizes there is room for growth. I dare say that the majority of us have room for improvement. No matter how accomplished, or mature we may think we are, there is always a challenge to do better. The race will not be finished until we hear our Lord say “Well Done.”

While we remain here on earth, there is a call to each of us to continue to run the race that has been set before us. We must position ourselves for the race. It is necessary that we lay aside everything that weighs us down and slow our progress. When we speak of being ready, this word deals with being prepared. What is it that you need to do in order to prepare yourself to run? Set speaks of being in a specified place or position. Ask God, what posture would He have you to take in this season of your life? How does He want you to deal with a particular situation? What should your approach be and what attitude would be appropriate in the quest to fulfill your Kingdom assignment?

The last word, Go speaks of moving. There has to be movement if we are to complete what God has called each of us to do. We are moving toward the finish line each day. Our time is limited and we must work while we can. Many of the people we read about in Scripture were engaged in activity when God called them. It is so important that we be active and moving, functioning in Kingdom work.
Are you Ready? Are you Set? Lets Go.

 

Evelyn Johnson-Taylor PhD

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Women of Promise International Ministries Conference

“Healing is the Children’s Bread” this is the theme of our conference this year. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of going to conferences that stimulate an excitement in me only to return home to live in defeat.  Friends, we have to make up our mind that healing is for us. We belong to God and He desires that His people live a victorious life. God does not want you to live beneath the promises of His Word. He wants you to be and do everything that He has called you to be and do.

Meet me in Largo, Maryland on September 8-9, 2017 and you will learn how to walk in victory. There will be Praise, Worship, and Preaching, and there will also be practical instructions given. You will learn how to apply the Word of God to your life and your situation. This conference will deal with healing in every area of your life. We want you to be free from every hindrance so that you can truly live the abundant life. God’s grace is enough and you my friend have a right to walk in victory. I am sick and tired of the enemy holding the people of God hostage to their circumstances. You are not what you have been through and you are not what your situation looks like. You are who God says you are.

The Word of God is filled with good and precious promises, but we have to live a life of obedience in order to unblock the blessings. We will show you how on September 8-9. This will be a conference like none other. We have people coming from various parts of the United States. You will experience a life altering Word from our anointed speakers, and presenters. Awesome praise and worship, with praise dancing and so much more.

Plan to be there so that you can receive complete healing. It belongs to you.

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Life on my own Terms

images (6).jpgI’ve heard it said many times, “I’m going to live life on my own terms.” Well, I do not wish to live life on my terms but on God’s terms. Even when we think we know what is best for us, many times we do not. I want to be where God wants me to be and when He wants me there.

I do not wish to arrive too early or too late. My timing often is off, but His timing is always perfect. When we try to do things on our own, we struggle for years trying to accomplish what could have been done in one day. Have you ever experienced something just open up to you? Something that you have been trying to work out on your own and it suddenly works. Timing has everything to do with us accomplishing our dreams in life.

Isaiah 40:31“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” God will renew the strength of those who wait for His perfect timing. Stop worrying so much is easy to say but not always easy to carry out.  Many times when people say “I’m not going to worry about it,” what they really mean is I’m not going to talk about it. I can tell you from experience, not talking about an issue does not mean you are not worrying about it.

We all can agree that worrying does not change anything. I recommend that you go to bed, get a good night sleep and allow God to work things out in His time. Many times while we are resting, He is working. Things tend to look better in the morning. His timing is not our timing but His timing is best. Make a decision today to stop living life on your own terms and live them according to the plans that God has laid out for your life.

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