Monthly Archives: March 2015

The Moment When You Pass Up A Good Opportunity.

Towards the end of 2014, I was living each day off the grace of God and the fumes of others.

With the increasing demands of my full time day job, and struggling to keep up with my photography and media consulting businesses – I was stuck between blessing and burnout.

I couldn’t seem to crack the code of knowing how to neatly fit the work I NEEDED to do and the work I WANTED to do all in the same 24 hours. Pretty soon, my body made the decision for me, and the week after Christmas I was out for the count. I was sick, out of work, and on top of that, had to reschedule all appointments I had lined up for my freelance work. I had hit a low point.

When I finally got back with the program in February (that’s right I was sick an entire month and ½) I had a few bits of knowledge under my belt. But even with having gone through that, I’m still working on deciphering what’s a ‘good opportunity’ and what’s a ‘God opportunity’.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE JOC? ISN’T A POSITIVE OPPORTUNITY A POSITIVE OPPORTUNITY?!

(Well in my book) A good opportunity is a gig or circumstance that presents itself ON PAPER like an opportunity to grow. It could be your business, your relationships, or even your spiritual life. Though this opportunity looks like it’s what you want, it’s actually not THE BEST decision you can make because down the road it will end up simply occupying your schedule and not doing a thing for your productivity. A God opportunity is any gig or circumstance that is truly God’s best for your life. It’s the one, weighty step or blessing that trumps all the other little ones that have presented themselves to you in the past. Not to say the other opportunities were bad; just not God’s best.

It would seem that once you get a handle on what these terms actually mean, navigating life would be easier eh? Well not so much. I’m currently at this place in my life.

So many opportunities and events and people come across my path every day, but I’m trying to hear from God as to what things I need to “wait on” and what things I need to “go get”. All of my life, I’ve had the go-getter mentality. No this doesn’t mean that I had to ‘rise from poverty and a life of crime’, but opportunities that weren’t there, I created. I didn’t wait for people to bring things to me; I actively pursued them without asking.

Over the years, I’ve learned that being a on hustle 24/7 isn’t always the best thing for my life. A hustler is constantly on the brink of burnout because they are always working not to be one step behind (and by behind I mean on trend with everyone else). YES, this is admirable, but there are sometimes in life where God wants me to fall back a bit and let Him at least crack the next door open for me so I can walk in. I like to picture it as God being my chivalrous boyfriend. He always has my back and is always there to support me.

Let’s say the door of “the next best step” is constantly before me. The decision to hustle 100% is like me running past and shoving Him over yelling “Dangggg I got this. I can open my own door!”; when all He is trying to do is give me a break. And let’s go a step further and say, behind that door is a year full of unnecessary struggle. If I would allow God to start opening the door first instead of bogarting my way in, it would give Him enough time to close the door and say, “Nah, this one is wack, let’s go through this other door instead.”

There is a constant conversation going on in my head as I try to decide if some event or opportunity is something I should “let God handle” or if it’s something He’s set up for me to “go get it if I want it.”

I’m not perfect and haven’t totally mastered this YET…but I’m getting there!

So the next time you hear of me passing up an opportunity to fly to California to photograph an A list celebrity, or choosing to pass up a weekend in the Bahamas to stay and photograph a couple from my home town, you’ll know why. Everything that’s good ain’t God. I’ve accepted that — and so should you.

– Joc

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Penny Hardaway and His Childhood Friend Now Inspire Beyond Words! **MUST SEE**

Penny Hardaway Was An NBA Megastar, But You Won’t Believe What He’s Doing Now
by Dennis of ARC via http://behindthearc.collectivepress.com/
Penny Hardaway was considered the type of talent you’d see maybe once a decade. At 6’6″, the guard had size and ball handling skill comparable to Magic Johnson along with speed, athleticism and scoring ability believed to challenge the great Michael Jordan.
During his time with the Orlando Magic, Hardaway looked poised to takeover the league as the four-time All-Star quickly established himself as one of the premiere talents in the Eastern Conference along with then teammate and rising star, Shaquille O’Neal.
His well-rounded game made him a shoe-in for the 1996 US Olympic Team and there, he won a gold medal. Off the court, Hardaway’s campaign with Nike was one of the most successful, birthing some of the most popular sneakers of the 90’s, aptly named after him of course.
So after a series of crippling injuries cut his career short, it was believed that Hardaway would be content to kick back, relax and enjoy his enormous wealth. However, he returned home at the request of a childhood friend to fulfill a promise.
(note this article and these words are not my words)

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I’ve Got A Question For You…. (Christians Only Chat)

As Christians living in this millennium, there has always been this increasing discussion (sometimes debate) as to how a Christian (a follow of Christ) should act. What is ‘human nature’ and what is blatant sin.

I normally give my commentary, but today I want to read the honest opinions of what others think, feel, and believe. I know my own personal thoughts — and some weren’t easy to come to — but I want YOUR honest thoughts

Note that what this is NOT is a set up for a fight.

With this being said…. I have a few questions for you.

QUESTION A – Do you hold gospel/Christian music singers to the same moral standard as preachers/ministers?

QUESTION B – Would you attend (or stay at) a church where you know the pastor or ministerial staff dabbles in deviant activities or a lifestyle that is contrary to the teachings of Christ? What if they preach truth straight from the bible but are just not living as a Christian ought?

QUESTION C1-

Would you regularly attend or join a church where the pastor…

  1. Drank socially (this includes wine and coolers)
  2. Openly carried on a homosexual relationship
  3. “Discretely” carried on a homosexual lifestyle
  4. Smoke cigarettes or Black-and-Milds (no weed)
  5. Married or was married to someone who drank heavily and did drugs
  6. Gossiped or had a bad attitude at times
  7. Was not a “people person”

QUESTION C2-

Would you regular buy the music of, support, and listen to a gospel/Christian artist who….

  1. Drank socially (this includes wine and coolers)
  2. Openly carried on a homosexual relationship
  3. “Discretely” carried on a homosexual lifestyle
  4. Smoke cigarettes or Black-and-Milds (no weed)
  5. Married or was married to someone who drank heavily and did drugs
  6. Gossiped or had a bad attitude at times
  7. Was not a “people person”

Just open a blank word document or take out a scratch piece of paper and just write down your simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Comment on this post… I’m eager to see how your mind thinks!

– Be blessed, Joc

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Blessing… in disguise

Loved reading this!

Cristian Mihai

blessing“It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.” – John Steinbeck

They say change is the only true constant in our lives. Defined as the process through which something becomes different. Some of us fight it, others choose to focus their energy on adapting to the new circumstances; to make the most out of whatever it is that has changed.

Change is inevitable.

There’s good and bad in our lives. There’s good and bad in the world around us. How we react to all that is entirely up to us.

But what I really what to write about is the so called “blessing in disguise.”

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When The Christian Walk is Not Easy

When The Christian Walk is Not Easy

By  | February 3, 2015

sad-woman2

Early in my Christian walk I had a real issue with guilt and shame. Not with past sins, but rather the ones I committed after I became a Christian. My reasoning was that after becoming a Christian I should be perfect, that after confessing my sins to God and inviting Christ into my heart, I had to keep up the standard of purity God had given me. Of course I know now that my purity is God -given through Christ and Jesus’ gift of salvation to me can never be tainted or taken away because of my bad behaviour. It is not based on my merit or my performance level but it is based on Jesus’ one, true, complete and holy sacrifice. But back then, it killed me inside whenever I made a mistake. If I cursed, acted wild, gossiped or did anything I thought was out of character for a Daughter of the King to do I felt such a depressing feeling of guilt. I used to watch “church girls” in all the finery on Sunday mornings, hair perfect, dresses posh and so sure of themselves I always thought “I’ll never be as “good” as them” – thinking they had a quality of perfection in God that I could never attain. I knew that Christ died for my sins, I knew that I was washed clean because of Him and I knew I had everlasting life because of Jesus’ sacrifice but I could not absorb that truth because I was so preoccupied trying to be perfect. It drove me to a place of anxiety, self-righteousness and rigidity, without me even realizing it. I was never able to enjoy Christianity and the freedom from sin that it bought. I was never able to rest, counting my mistakes and “hiding” from God when guilt and shame took over. Looking back it was a slippery slope and I had gone down that slope all on my own. God never said He would leave me, He said the opposite. He never said He would throw me out of His kingdom if I sinned, He knew I needed Him and He sent His Son to fix everything, every problem, every mistake, every sin, every bad thought, every bad action I did or will ever do. If you are in a place now where you feel undeserved for God’s love and sacrifice, broken and guilt for the life you have been leading as a Christian – then Jesus welcomes you with open arms. “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise” Psalm 51:17. God to His very core loves us all and He is ready to remove any barrier that separates us from Him – even our own doubts, fears and sin.  “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 8:38. I am happy to say now that I am not where I used to be in my Christian walk. I make mistakes – really dumb ones and every now and then I have to slow down and remember that God loves me through it all. I KNOW in my heart that I need Jesus and when you have that kind of realization that He loves all and forgives all, you will never, ever be the same. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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. Love never fails. 1 Cor 13: 4-8.

– See more at: http://theprayingwoman.com/2015/02/03/when-the-christian-walk-is-not-easy/#sthash.dZjm97SW.dpuf

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