Consider Your Options

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Guest Blogger: Tra’Shawn Standifer

As today is election day, it’s important to understand that you have more options that are not on the ballot. We as a nation will choose today the path we take. We will choose lawlessness, or arrogance. People have been saying that neither Trump or Hillary are worthy applicants for the White House. Regardless of who is elected, both paths will lead to the same thing, the coming of Jesus Christ. It sounds like the same scenario that Israel were in when God brought them out of the land of Egypt, helped them cross the Red Sea to flee from pharaoh’s army, and sent down manna from heaven for the people to eat.

God blessed his chosen ones with nearly everything they could imagined, but it was not enough. God was their one and true king. He led them with a mighty hand, but Israel said it was not enough. They wanted a king that they could physically see to rule over them. At one point and time in this country, God was enough. He was all that we needed, and somewhere down the road we said that God wasn’t good enough to take care of us. We have taken many things we have for granted. When we look at both the U.S. and Israel, we can say that we are like Israel in today’s time. But let’s look at the message behind this story in 1 Samuel 8-15.

Samuel the prophet at the time was listening to the people of Israel. “We want a king!” they said. Samuel prayed to God, he told the people that it wasn’t a good idea to have man lead you. But you know how stubborn we are at times. Samuel went to God one more time, and God said, go and anoint Saul. This broke God’s heart because God had done everything for his children, and they were not satisfied. God said that he will give them a ruler who reflected Israel.

If you look at today’s candidates, we will see that both are the reflection of the country we live in today. We have one side who is arrogant, mean, ruthless, and with an untamable tongue. One the other side, we have lies, cheats, steals, and cover – ups. So yes, there may not be any good options on the table, but this should be a wakeup call for us as a nation. We have gotten away from God, and he is saying we need to turn back. The lawlessness, chaos, and everything else, He didn’t create. We see that the truth is being exposed, and people still with not do anything.

As the story goes, Saul became caught up in his riches, power, and authority, he forgets God which then costs him to be still be in position as king, but rejected by God as king. The people of Israel didn’t understand what happened. They did not think to seek God about their appointed king. People began to get upset because what they believed to be perfect, turned out to be just the average joe. Saul reflected the people and the people could not handle it. The candidates we elect today are the reflection of us, and people are so in a rage that we can’t stand to look at ourselves.  the question is simple. Has God rejected us as a nation? Has God decided that enough is enough?

I urge you brothers and sisters to consider your options. We have Trump, Clinton, third parties, but overall we have God. He is the sustainer of our being. As you go and vote, I pray that it’s the vote God wants for this nation. He’s God and he is mighty and can set a fire in us, but he leaves it to us to keep the fire alive. Consider your options. My vote is Jesus Christ.

To read more of Tra’Shawn’s work, be sure to check out his Facebook page and his feature stories on the upcoming website http://www.refreshthemagazine.com come January 1, 2017! God Bless!

The Write Moment: Building Fruitful Relationships

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By: Lequvia Ousley from The Write Moment

Hello #JustWrite!! If I can be transparent for a moment, this past month was a whirlwind of emotions and changes. On September 19, 2016, after careful consideration and a month and a few weeks at my new job, I decided to resign for my health and sanity’s sake. Yes, I left a salary and health benefits behind. Although nice to have, those two things are not worth the daily, mental and physical exhaustion I was putting myself through. But guess what I do have? My passion and excitement for writing again and a desire to venture into new territory. What’s that new territory you ask? Well, the very same week I resigned, I shared with my former coworker about my writing and how I wanted to be more focused and she connected me to a young lady at the same job who is launching her very first online magazine. Her name is Erica Relaford and her magazine is called,

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Thank God for Just Write because after I shared the information within the Facebook group, interest in the magazine began to buzz which led to our first official meeting with Erica which included myself, Kim, Ursula, and Tanya. From the moment we conversed about Erica’s vision for the magazine (“Our goal is to win souls that have fallen away from Christ, inform individuals who have never heard of the Gospel and just as the Lord declared in Jeremiah 31:25, “refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” “We seek to empower people with words of wisdom and enlighten those who are unaware of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the Bible, testimonials and entertainment”), I knew that I was exactly where God wanted me to be, in a position to help this young lady to do what God has called her to do. Prior to the meeting, it was interesting that as we introduced ourselves, we started to connect the dots, as Kim would say about how we all met each other and what we could do to further assist Erica. It’s amazing to be a part of a group where others truly and genuinely want to help. With that being said, I’ve noticed that this month’s focus has been on relationships throughout social media and daily experiences, whether it was personal (new friendships), professional (beginning and ending a work relationship), and spiritual (deepening relationship with God). I remember around this time last year, I had just finished reading Kim’s book about seasonal relationships (review is posted here) so it is very interesting and befitting to discuss relationships for this month’s blog. One of the subjects that I touched on previously is the importance of community (check out The Write Community blog). As a group, we cannot stress enough the importance and value of community. That community comes in the form of building and maintaining fruitful relationships. As Kingdom-minded literary agents, it is very important to build genuine relationships with other like-minded individuals who will add value to your business/vision and vice versa. If you need help, don’t be ashamed to reach out and express it. You may never know who you can bless with your gifts and the same goes for the other person. Always remember, quality is better than quantity. That statement applies to business and personal relationships. The greatest thing you can have for business are referrals. When you are referred, it speaks volumes about your brand and services which builds more relationships.

As I stated last month, don’t be hesitant in sharing your businesses on social media. If you are not experienced in that area, form a partnership and hire someone to do that service for you. Proverbs 4:7 states,

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The best thing about business and relationships is that both parties are always growing and learning from each other. Your “network is your net worth” is not just another cliche quote, it is the truth.
As I close, if you or anyone you know is interested in volunteering as a contributing writer or editor for Refresh magazine and welcome the opportunity to be a voice for young adults, please connect with Erica via social media and email:

Facebook: Erica Relaford
Twitter: @NetWithErica

LinkedIn: Erica Relaford

Blog: www.christiansincollegeblog.wordpress.com

Email: info@refreshthemagazine.com

In His service,

~Lequvia Ousley~

To find out more about Lequvia be sure to follow her on her Social Media sites and support her blog every month at: The Write Moment!  : 

Facebook URL: LEQUVIA K OUSLEY

Twitter URL: @Quvia777

Instagram URL : @divinegift317

LinkedIn URL:  LEQUVIA OUSLEY

Thanks for Reading

God Bless!

Weekly Blessings: Breathing to Death

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By Guest Blogger: Jessica Starks from The Pen & the Needle

Today’s message isn’t exactly the happiest message, but it needs to be said.

One song of Lecrae’s that I’ve always thought was really deep was his song, “Living to Death.” I’ll post the link down at the bottom of this post.

Basically, the song is talking about how some of us are living lives that are no good for us. We’re basically just going through life, merely existing, until it’s time for us to go home. Then after that, only God knows.

I’ve started to really see this in a lot of people my age.

We now live in a world where people are basically like, “I do what I want, when I want, how I want, and with who I want.” People look for the instant gratification and what will make them feel good in the moment. They don’t think about how this could impact them in the long run, especially in eternity.

Yes, you messed around with a few people, you were on drugs, you stole stuff, or you were disrespectful to your parents, so what? There’s nothing God can’t bring you back from. The only thing is you have to make a choice to get out and stay out (that’s another post for another day).

Another interesting thing about this generation is that they feel that, if God loves them and wants them to be happy, then they should be able to do what they want. So if they want to go sleep with 10,000 people, be strung out, or curse without abandon, they feel that, since God wants them to be happy and that makes them happy, then it’s okay.

That’s not how this works AT ALL!

That’s what satan wants us to think! It’s that thinking that gives us a first-class ticket to Hell, which is what we all should want to avoid.

And a lot of people my age say that they are saved and go to church, yet they still do ungodly things all the time, believing in the “Once saved, always saved,” junk.

NO!!!

Read Hebrews 10:26-27. Please read it. As a matter of fact, I’ll quote it below:

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

Wake up, people!

Yes we’re young and have our whole lives ahead of us, but I’m sure the tons of kids who have died playing crazy games, or in car accidents, and whatever else thought the same thing.

I’m not saying we can’t have fun and enjoy life. But we need to use wisdom and remain armed with the word of God.

Believe it or not, we are a powerful generation. Because of that power, satan is going to work extra hard to take us out. We have to fight back!

Stop breathing to death!

 

To read more of Jessica’s work, check out her phenomenal blog, The Pen & the Needle and like her Facebook fan page !

Thanks for reading!

 Grace and Peace!