Why I’m Thankful

I am thankful for yesterday, today and tomorrow!  I am thankful for my church family.  I am thankful that I am able to be among such great leaders and friends.Most of all I am thankful for Gods love and grace for me. I was a bit worried earlier this week, but I realized that instead of being worried, I should be thankful for what I have and what’s to come.  I have my share of challenges, my landlady and I have been at it for quite some time now and I don’t know what it is about this woman, but I always allow her to get me to a point where I want to hurt her. Recently I have realized that I was being tested by the devil so this time I went and read a few scriptures such as…

Psalms 100: 1-8 “Mercy and judgment I will sing to thee, O Lord: I will sing,

And I will understand in the unspotted way, when thou shalt come to me. I walked in the innocence of my heart, in the midst of my house.  I did not set before my eyes any unjust thing: I hated the workers of iniquities. The perverse heart did not cleave to me: and the malignant, that turned aside from me, I would not know. The man that in private detracted his neighbour, him did I persecute. With him that had a proud eye, and an unsatiable heart, I would not eat.

My eyes were upon the faithful of the earth, to sit with me: the man that walked in the perfect way, he served me. He that worketh pride shall not dwell in the midst of my house: he that speaketh unjust things did not prosper before my eyes.In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land: that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord”.

And this one

Psalms 23: 1-6 ”Jehovah is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside still waters.

He restoreth my soul: He guideth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou hast anointed my head with oil; My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and lovingkindness shall follow me all the days of my life; And I shall dwell in the house of Jehovah for ever”.

 

These two scriptures always seem to get me through whatever I am going through.  I am stronger, wiser, and shining brighter day by day.  I will not let anyone break me and spoil my day!! Again, Gods love for me is what makes me most thankful… ~ Jackie Watson

Alive and Well I Say

Most will celebrate being thankful for all that they have in their life this week.  It’s pretty Amazing that this can actually truly transform a life if taken seriously. For example, what if a person were totally thankful for their current situation as it is right now.  Not longing for what was, or wishing for what could be, choosing instead to stay in the moment and enjoy things as they are.

Practicing joy in the in between time can be extremely challenging, especially if we have drawn up specific ‘Blueprints’ for our life.  Every time a situation doesn’t head in the direction of our Blueprints, anxiety and worry can creep in our lives like an ‘army of ants’ and take over (if gone unnoticed).  God wants us to plan our lives and be a success, but at what cost?  The most important question to ask yourself is if your soul, mind and body  are healthy on the road to achieving your Blueprint?  If so, great!  If not, you may want to carve out some time with the Father to see if your plan is ‘your plan’ or if you need to tweak your plan and get on ‘his plan,’ which is the greatness plan for your life.

It’s important to always remember that you’re a success if:

ü  You read your bible, share and pray to God for yourself and others

ü  Assist someone with an area of need

ü  When you love others as Christ loved you

ü  When you continue ‘to put one foot in front of the other’  on your life’s journey, no matter what’s going on around you

ü  When you do what God tells you to do

ü  And many, many more…

Never feel you have nothing to be thankful for.  Instead , say and share the many wonderful things  that you have to be thankful for.

Never feel that you’re not a success. Instead, practice listing things that you’ve done or are doing that make you successful.

The main thought to remember ALWAYS is that the world’s idea of success is completely different than God’s.

Let us keep a deep sense of gratitude this Thanksgiving weekend by pondering and practicing sharing thoughts of thanksgiving and success in your life with yourself and others. ~ Stacy McClendon

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

John 3:16 – God so loved the world…  (the Ultimate Reason to be Thankful)

Psalms 95:2  – Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving….

Flaws and All

When I initially began writing this, my intention was to encourage us as parents to embrace our children’s flaws and learn how to use those flaws to develop their character… but the truth is, many of us as adults haven’t learned to embrace our flaws and allowed them to develop strong character traits…

So many of us are very aware of the many flaws we possess… from physical flaws (these jiggly arms are no joke) to personality flaws and character flaws… but we attempt to hide these flaws from everyone, including our children, then become frustrated or worse, disgusted, when others display their flaws.

Guilt and shame can be powerful beasts if we allow them to, holding us in bondage while hiding in darkness, all to avoid our flaws being brought to the light. It is only when we are real to each other and confess our faults that we are able to receive healing (James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed).

What a powerful lesson we teach our children when we learn to confess our flaws… We teach them to be honest in their struggles, we teach them that no matter what they face they are not alone, we teach them to trust in the body of Christ and to live in the light.

Our children are more than just small people we are raising… they are our first accountability partners. We must always remember that they will ultimately follow in the direction we lead them. If we walk through life with an unrealistic view of perfection for ourselves and those around us, then we can expect our children to adopt this same unrealistic view of perfection. Embracing our flaws and trusting that God can use every thing about us to bring about His purpose creates a keen sense of confidence in our children. When mom looks fierce even though she is feeling insecure the message she sends is we don’t function off our feelings but off of truth… the truth is no matter how mom is feeling, she is always fierce :).

It is often in our flaws that God gets the most glory… those areas of life where we feel as if we don’t match up or just can’t seem to get right… those are the areas that God uses to bring healing to others… For years I believed that being a single parent was a major flaw in my life… a constant reminder of how I failed God and my family. I spent years pretending that it didn’t bother me, I faked perfection in my view of self… God asked me to get real with my children first and I did… I took off the mask of perfection and explained to them how I felt about not giving them a home with both parents. I apologized for the pain this caused them (if we’re hiding behind a mask then we never get the freedom that comes with apologizing). Being loved and accepted by the ones who mean the most to me meant I didn’t have to put the mask back on… It was through my transparency with my children that God was able to deliver me from the shame and bring me to a place where I am able to use what was once my flaw, and bring healing to others… In addition, my transparency has also taught my children to be honest with their flaws… whether it’s a habit of lying, talking too much at school, or being unkind to a friend… they find relief in coming home to share imperfections, knowing that perfection isn’t what I am after… Honesty and transparency are.

I encourage you, the next time your child’s behavior is anything but perfect… share with them some of your imperfections and work to hold each other accountable for growing and allow God to use those imperfections to bring Him glory… because we know God can use ALL of us… Flaws and All ~ DeShawne Coleman

Words From The Father

 Always Remember ♥♥♥….

Write no records for wrongs.

Leave vengeance to God.

Our time on this planet is minute in comparison.

Stay focused on Family and Friends.

Stay present in the moment,  as they never return.

God does indeed have a plan and purpose for your life.

Your current season may be to congratulate others, to rest & reflect, to ‘step things up and go all in’ on a current project or plan, or it may even be something else that you’ve been called to do.

Stay open and aware.

Seek ‘The Father’ in everything you do.

Keep moving forward!

 ‘Choose Life’ at ALL times.

Stay grateful & thankful.

Choose to be an example.

Stand for something!

Press in and onward.

Read & keep ‘The Word’ close.

Say I Love You Often.

Smile.

Dance in the rain and in your car at stoplights.

 Be a good friend.

 BE GENEROUS!

Reflect on the life of a child.

 Spread your wings and fly!

Treat your mind, body and soul well.

Have compassion for others.

Share what you can.

Spread Love!

Float Free!

Share words of life with yourself and others!!!!!

You never know what The Father is trying to tell you or where he’s taking you. ~ Stacy McClendon

Romans 12:9-21  ~ Love

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay”  says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head” 20 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Single Parents Festival… SUCCESS

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This past Saturday the Oasis LA Single Parents Community partnered with Gospel Truth Church to serve the single parents in their community and assist with the launch of their Single Parents Ministry. Our parents donated clothes, household items, school supplies, time and their services to provide giveaways, face painting and free haircuts to all who came.

So often, single parents have a negative stigma attached to them and very rarely are we celebrated and honored for what we do. I am so grateful to be a part of a Church that works to change that daily. Oasis LA has jumped on every opportunity to honor us as parents and help ease some of the challenges that come along with single parenting. It is impossible to experience this kind of love and not want to share it. That is exactly what Madisen (one of our amazing mommas and leaders) did. When approached by Gospel Truth, she did not hesitate to share what she has gained from being a part of the Oasis LA Single Parents Community. Madisen’s passion ignited something in the Pastors of Gospel Truth Church, especially since the Pastors wife was a single mother prior to marrying her current husband. This is what lead to us partnering with Gospel Truth Church to help them build a Single Parents Ministry

After months of planning and prepping, we were able to celebrate those parents in the South Los Angeles community who may often times feel forgotten. Families rolled in throughout the day and enjoyed the many activities for kids. Kids ran from station to station with pure joy on their faces. People shared their testimonies throughout the day, including our very own, incredibly brave, Michelle LaBelle and young boys got some fresh haircuts. Thanks to our amazing face painters, we had a shark, Spider-man and a fairy running around.  It was a beautiful sight of two churches coming together to serve the needs of Gods children. It was a prime example of what the body of Christ looks like.

This is only the beginning for the Oasis LA Single Parents Community Outreach… We have no intention on keeping quiet about all God is doing within our ministry and assisting anyone who is interested in bringing the hope of Christ to this amazing population. We look forward to continued partnership with Gospel Truth Church and we are so excited about what God is doing through them… World Changers always start with their small corner of the world. ~ DeShawne Coleman

What Would You Say?

If you could go back and have one conversation with your younger self, what would you say???

If I could go back to my younger self I’d tell her to never stop smiling. Her smile is bright and brilliant and encourages others to simply smile… I would explain that one day the joy of The Lord will replace every moment of pain. I’d tell her to be patient with herself, she isn’t expected to get it perfectly right and every set back will serve a phenomenal purpose. I’d tell her to forgive and let the offense go because time goes by too quickly and before she knows it, the years will have passed and she will have lost valuable relationships. If I had the opportunity to talk with my younger self, I’d tell her that it wasn’t her fault… She deserved to enjoy the innocence of her childhood and it was others who took it from her. I would tell her she is beautiful, not because of the color of her skin or the texture of her hair, but because she was created in the image of God and what others thought of her appearance was only a reflection of what they thought of themselves. I would tell her to keep writing, one day this emotional outlet will become a passion and will reveal itself to be a gift from God to encourage and inspire others…

If I could talk to that precious girl, I would tell her that she is fearless and resilient… I would hold her tight and help her understand that with every heartbreak  she will become stronger, eventually enabling others to find their own strength as well. But most of all, I would tell her to hold onto that dream in her heart of loving others the way she wishes to be loved because before she knows it, she will be living out that dream… She will meet her Savior and He will love her in ways she never imagined and through that love, she will have the capacity to love others.

I stand here today as a testimony to “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” Romans 8:28 ~ DeShawne

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