The Set Path

My past four weeks have been crazy but in the best ways. I took a step of obedience and went where God has been calling me to go. It seems to be the only topic that I have written about lately, but I am truly excited to see where God is going to take me. However, the past few weeks I have been struggling. I know without a doubt that this is where I am supposed to be in this season, however, I have shamefully questioned Him. I have felt that I am not talented enough to be a professional performer. I have compared my talent to the talent of my peers who are also going through this program. God has given me confidence and a peace about sharing my talents with the world, but sometimes I still question where exactly He is taking me. In four months I am going to model, act, and sing at a conference with professionals in the entertainment industry being in the audience. I realize that I have been given a several once in a lifetime opportunities and am truly honored and grateful for them.

It has been long weekend. Friday morning started bright and early. My shift at the coffee shop started at 7 am and I have been going ever since then (it is Saturday night now). Throughout the busyness He has continued to teach me through His Holy Spirit. He has reminded me in various ways of three aspects this weekend:

1)      Walk this new journey purposefully.

2)      I may not feel as if I have enough talent but He has it under control.

3)      Even within my insecurities He has reassured me that this is exactly what I am supposed to be pursuing (but this story is for another blog).

There has not been a day since becoming a part of AMTC that I don’t think about the conference that I will be preforming/competing in. I have spent countless hours preparing mentally, physically, and spiritually. I have changed my lifestyle, diet, habits, and have set goals as a performer. Yet within this time of preparation, I have at times lost sight of why I am even a part of AMTC. I auditioned for the program because God showed me that I am supposed to be a missionary and a light within the entertainment industry and our culture. At times I have been caught up in the motions of “preparing” that I forget the greater purpose of why I am training.

I may not be fully equipped now to enter this mission field, but He would not have called me if He not planned on leading me down the path I’m on. I have confidence that I am enough to make it in this industry. I have enough — musical talent, personality, and even physical beauty. Not because of anything that I have done but because of the way that He has created me. At times, I may be uncomfortable but I expect this. Being a follower is not about comfort. We are called to make disciples and be a light on this dark world.  In the end, at the final judgment God will compare what we did and did not do on this earth. I don’t desire to waste any more time not sharing the good news just because I have a few insecurities. Through HIM I can find strength to do anything.

A Gift In Obeying

The adventure that lies in the future is that it is new and unknown but through it God always has a purpose. As humans, we naturally tend to keep our focus and energy on the time that we spend on this earth, often times forgetting that this world is not our home. As believers, we have the privilege of spending eternity with our Creator.

Recently, God has revealed to me a variety of lessons about two simple subjects, obedience and His will. We are called to make disciples, share the Gospel, and be set apart from the world. On this walk with Christ, I tend forget the blessings I can bring to others through Christ.

About a month ago, a friend taught me a valuable lesson about moving in the form of ministry when you are called. They shared with me about how they were led to minister in a location that was dark and desperately needed Jesus. Without hesitation they went where Jesus told them to go. It gave me encouragement and assurance that everything is in God’s hand, as I am entering my new mission field.

This evening when I was driving home from Bible study, God pointed out to me the power within just one single action while reminding me that everything works together for His good.

There is only one thing on this earth that defines me, and that is my relationship with Christ. I am fortunate to have been raised in a Christian environment. My parents instilled Christian values in me and that is priceless. Even though I was not always following Him, I knew the difference between right and wrong because I was raised to know the difference.

Although there were several factors that have influenced the reasons why I have relationship with God, I believe a majority of it comes back to my Grandma McCready. She accepted Christ as a teenager and raised her three daughters to fear the Lord (one of which is my mom). The faith of my grandparents is inspirational to me.

My grandmother was not raised in a Christian environment. She accepted Christ as her personal Savior as a teenager while attending a revival done by a well-known evangelist.

As I was driving, I thought about how my life, family, and the kingdom would be different if my grandmother had not attended this revival or hadn’t accepted Christ as a teenager. She had three daughters, seventeen grandchildren, and a handful of great grandchildren. All of the grandchildren were raised in the church and the majority of them are involved in some form of ministry today.

My family has influenced and ministered to hundreds, maybe even thousands of individuals for Christ. On my drive home, I remembered the ripple effect on just one life decision, especially when it is to be obedient to where God is calling you. For example, the friend that I mentioned previously was obedient when they went and shared Jesus. Not only did my friend help speak truth into the other individual’s life, but it inspired me and helped me find the courage to GO where I was being called. Not only was this achieved, I also wrote an article about this (with permission) for a Christian based publication. The amount of souls that will be reached by this story are endless. That is what unique and special about God — His blessings always seem to multiply in ways we can never imagine when we are obedient to His ways.

The reason that I write to you this evening is simple, to encourage you to not only keep Christ but also heaven in mind as you live your life. A single decision to GO where He is leading you to can lead to endless earthly, and heavenly blessings.

“But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” ~James 2:18-19

Beautifully Bullied- Today I Smile

Beautifully Bullied – Today I Smile

I have been bullied but despite unpleasant circumstances, I am still beautiful.

The teenage years are rarely pleasant for anyone, especially during the four dreaded years of high school. My story/testimony of my high school years is not unusual. The first year, in particular, I was bullied by a squad of multiple mean girls/bullies. I expressed what I was going through to the staff at the school that I was at during those years and they had little interaction/interest in finding solutions as to bullying, especially as I was victim. I eventually stopped sharing with anyone what I was going through. I joined the Tribe and it became my personal mission to be a loving friend to everyone who was, too, victims of bullying within the walls of the school. As I had great intentions, I did not know how to take care of myself when helping others. I carried the weight of the world on my small and weak back without ever handing it to Jesus. In despair, one month before my 17th birthday my best friend saved me from suicide. I slowly began healing after this incident and today, over two years later, my life has completely changed.

I have learned that what sets one apart from being a victim of bullying and overcoming bullying lies in where one places their identity. It can be placed in the actions and words of others, or the actions and words of Christ. The desire of a bully is to tear you down but the heart of Yeshua is to love you.

In my walk I have been bullied for a variety of reasons and as a young women what has scarred me the most were the comments about my personal appearance. Weighing a little less than 100 pounds as a 15 year-old girl I was considered “fat” by the standards of my bullies. They also said that my eyes were ugly, creepy, etc.; the list could go on. I conclusion, I was not beautiful. I couldn’t meet the impossible to achieve beauty standards’ that my bullies made for me, even though they couldn’t even achieve them themselves.

Eventually, I began putting my identity in my outward appearance because that is where my bullies put my value. As a young lady, I have come to the conclusion that girls and women feel best about themselves, and are productive when they feel good or beautiful on the outside. If I was not academic and was considered to not be beautiful outside, where did my value lie?  This is when I became a victim of bullying — I put my value in the words, thoughts, and actions of others.

Within, and after this season, I learned a couple of lessons about bullying that is important for all victims to become overcomers.

Words are powerful, but only the kind ones should have the power to influence you, and the actions of Christ should only define you.

First of all, you are a child of God. The same God who created the stars in the sky and the beauty of nature, also created YOU. Psalms 139:13-14 states:

For you created my inmost being;

You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.”

When you personally discover the beauty of this you can achieve self-confidence, identity in Christ, and the power to overcome.  Not only did He create you, He created your bullies, too. I truly believe that if we all realize who we are in Christ, bullying would not be an issue that almost everyone has dealt with. Remember, the Creator put something special in you that the world needed. In the walk of following Christ, we were not meant to be victims in this world, but to overcome through the blood and works of Jesus.

I have the choice to be bitter or to forgive and use my story as a tool for empathy towards others who are in the same position that I was once in. My identity is no longer in the experiences that broke me, but instead made me stronger.

You may be wondering where I am today. I am 19 years old and I stand tall and strong. God has taken my testimony and made beauty out of it. My personal blog has grown. I have readers worldwide and I have the privilege to share hope with them. Additionally, I write a column specifically for hurting or broken believers in Discovering You Magazine. I recently took a step of faith and became a part of a talent development company. I am training to be a singer, actress, and commercial model. I also volunteer at a local coffee shop and am slowly learning how to be a barista.

I would not be able to move on from my past if I hadn’t taken the steps needed to be an overcomer through Christ and more importantly I would not be able to have the ministry that I have today. I would live with a heart of bitterness instead of joy. I have been beautifully bullied; I am not a victim but today I am smiling because I am an overcomer. If you are a victim, I promise you that you can certainly overcome whatever darkness that may be haunting you from your past.

“…for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” – 1 John 5:4-5

Entering Nineveh

Happy Passover.

At sunset, April 10, 2017 the feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover) began. If you are a Christian and have yet to attend a Seder, I highly recommend you attend one at some point in time.

Within a typical Seder, you go through a Haggadah book (which means the telling). During the Seder there are four cups that you take in a manner similar to communion. Each cup represents something different and go in the following order.

  1. The cup of sanctification
  2. The cup of plagues
  3. The cup of redemption (communion)
  4. The cup of praise

The start of this Passover has not been something that I have experienced before.

I have briefly expressed in previous blogs that I feel God is calling me to serve Him in ways bigger than this website. In the past year He has revealed to me that I am to go into a modern day Nineveh and share God’s light. I have not been quick to respond to Him. I have prayed many prayers with almost the hope that God will ‘change His mind’ but every time I have prayed the answer becomes more clear. I have sat through sermons and messages about listening to God and walking by faith while having conviction in my heart.

Where is He calling me? The entertainment industry.

This past weekend I completely surrendered everything to God. I found out that the organization Actors, Models, and Talent for Christ was having open call auditions. I took a giant leap of faith and signed up for an audition time. I half heartedly thought that maybe I was just called to audition but God (as always) had larger plans. On Sunday morning my phone rang and I received a callback for acting, singing, and modeling and signed to represent AMTC.

Within the past day I have a shalom that I had to experience because I know that I am doing His will. Even before my audition I had peace, and normally I am nervous before performing in front others. This Pesach has had a different start because when I took the fourth cup, I did not have that little voice of conviction in my head about not completely following God. If He died for me, the least that I can do is fully live for Him. I am excited for where is taking, and who I will influence for the Kingdom of God.

This journey of entering Nineveh will be difficult but it is a mission field that needs to be desperately reached. At the same time, I have peace and comfort knowing that I don’t have to enter this land on my own. If God is sending me, He will stick with me through this walk.

My advice for you is listen to God when He tells you to go. That calling may not make much sense now but within time you will most likely understand. I look back to this past fall when God told me that I was not supposed to attend make-up school. I felt lost and abandoned but He was protecting me.  My motto for life is, “if I don’t make an effort to change the world then who will?” I ask for prayers that I stay strong in my walk with Christ and my knowledge of who I am in Him.

If you are at all interested in AMTC a link is posted below. Also, if you care to help support my journey financially, I have a webpage that will help you do so.

Always listen to God…He knows best.

https://www.shine.us/audition?gclid=CjwKEAjw2qzHBRChloWxgoXDpyASJAB01Io0-vGdmof_vrk0VCQ_WoERSssSfUQXL9TtPIEP9dBP8BoC7kjw_wcB

https://donate.shine.us/fundraise?fcid=955936

Where I am Now- A BOLD Young Lady

I am constantly being asked the question, “What have you been up to?” I have my standard line that I answer to, however, if I were to respond in a one word sentence I would respond with one acronym…. I have been B.O.L.D.

Believing

On

(The)

Lord’s

Direction

For those of you who are not familiar with my background, my past year has been a faith building experience. I graduated from high school in May of 2016, moved to a different city to work over the summer, the job did not work out and I went back to Wichita and to live with my parents for the summer. When summer was starting to end I went to enroll in a program and I found out that the institution that I was planning to attend cut the program. I applied to a different school, was interviewed, and accepted, but I felt God clearly saying, “No” to me. I was stubborn, but listened to His direction and did not enroll. So you could be wondering… what now? Well, I was wondering the same question!

He has always had a purpose for my path even though I have felt lost at times. This past fall God revealed to me through some sisters in Christ that He is “preparing me.”  I am not yet sure in which ways He will take me; however, while I am waiting on Him to show me where I am going to be walking , I am still believing in His perfect direction. 

Within the time that I have not been in school, I have dedicated myself to my Lama Leah blog and my writing career. I have learned about myself, too. For instance, I love advertising, who knew? I always said that I would not work in the same field as my father but he has had me work on some projects with him and to my surprise I enjoy it.

I have also had the honor to be a guest blogger for some amazing ministries: The Dawson McAllister Network, The Starving Christian, and Urban Society Christian Ministries just to name a few. Additionally, I have become a permanent writer for Discovering You Magazine.

Even though I have had some rare opportunities for being a typical 19 year-old, I still have feelings that I am not “enough” because I am not currently pursuing higher education. I somehow have it in my head that my core value lies in earning a degree that I have not achieved or even really desired.

For instance, (almost) every time I have a writing deadline, I deal with anxiety and self-doubt. I deal with thoughts of being unworthy to write a simple article because I have yet to pursue higher education. I tend to think thoughts along the line, “I cannot do this because I am young.”

It is when I have these thoughts that I do two things.

  1. I give myself a pep talk. I put on an outfit that I feel beautiful in and promptly say, “I am wise, I can write; my words can be used to impact others for the work of Christ, and I can do this!”
  2. I remind myself that I am doing this type of work for God and I truly believe that is what He has called me to do, at least for this season. I may not be “qualified” by the standards of the world but He is equipping me and If I wasn’t supposed to be writing, God would not be blessing my ministry in the ways He has.  The words I share are never originally my own. God gives me the words and concepts that I am supposed to share with my readers.

To this day I am B.O.L.D. I cannot compare my journey to others my age because my path is different than theirs. I have made great strides in my own well-being over the past year. For the first time I have built the confidence to speak up and share my own thoughts and opinions. I stand tall and have a genuine smile; NOT because I am overly confident in the form of being conceited but I have learned my true value in Christ.

I am truly believing in the Lord’s direction as I wait upon Him to show me where I am suppose to be going with Lama-Leah blog and wherever He is going to take me after He is finished, “preparing me.” At the same time I am excited to see where God is going to take me in the future and how my writing is impacting the Kingdom of the Lord. I humbly ask my readers to pray for me as I expand my writing. I do not take it lightly that I am Christian writer and that my works can help show others the gospel, therefore, I am cautious not to misrepresent Yeshua and the book of God. It is an honor to know that this blog has played a part in some of my reader’s walks.

As I go through the motions of life, feel free to follow my journey on social media as well as this blog. My account names are the following — Facebook: Lama-Leah blog; Twitter: lamaleahblog; Instagram: lama12215leah and lamaleahbog Additionally, you can send me an email at lamaleahblog@gmail.com

I challenge you to be BOLD and share with others how you have been doing it, and where God has brought you.

-Lama Leah

Will You Defeat Haman?

Chag Sameach Purim! Happy Purim!

Purim is the celebration of Queen Esther saving the Jews from being persecuted from Haman. If you are not already familiar with this event, I encourage you to read the book of Esther. This festival is celebrated on the 15th of Adar (usually March) and is a time of rejoicing. Often times children dress in costumes of their favorite character in the story, some perform a purim ‘spiel’ (retelling of the story), and a traditional purim food are cookies called hamantaschens. 

As there is rejoicing during this season, it is also a reminder that we live in a word filled of anti-semitism. I have witnessed it in my own communities and you probably have too. As I was doing research for this post, I accidentally came across the google search, ‘anti- semitic memes.’I was shocked by the hatred of Judaism, especially towards events such as the Holocaust. I would not recommend searching this term.

Every year during Holocaust remembrance we say phrases such as, “never forget” but I can’t help but wonder if we have. If we have forgotten where anti-semitism thinking leads to. The Jews are God’s chosen people and the enemy delights in the destruction of them. Throughout history Satan has tried to demolish the Jewish nation. Even within the Garden of Eden the serpent attempted to destroy God’s people. Although there have been generations of an anti-semitism mindset, we can be grateful for those who have the courage of Queen Esther to who defeat the Haman’s.

You may be wondering how anti-semitism relates to you if you are not ethnically Jewish. It is easy to look away, especially if it does not directly affect you. However, if you call yourself a believer anti-semitism should be a concern for you. The Jewish nation is G-d’s chosen and they must be protected. Jesus was Jewish. If Hashem hadn’t used his people as tools to protect the nation of Israel, would Jesus have been born? If (strong) anti-semitic thinking ever becomes a part of the church, what kind of testimony are we having for the Jews who do not yet know Christ?

My challenge to you is to reflect upon this:

  • Has anti-semitic thinking become a part of my thoughts in anyway?
  • How has anti-semitism become a part of the community that I am a part of ?
  • Who are the Haman’s in my life? How can I influence their thinking, minister to them, and be a Queen Esther in their lives?

 

 

 

 

YOU ARE BELOVED! National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

It is national eating disorder  awareness week. If you are fighting the demons of an ED I want to remind you of three words.

YOU-ARE-BELOVED! 

You truly are. You are worthy of fighting to recover. Your value does not consist of the outside of your physical body but is in the depths of your soul. You were created with precision and passion by a loving heavenly father. He is in pain as He is watching you struggle because you don’t understand just how much He deeply loves you. If you are considering taking the rewarding road to recovery here a just a few of my thoughts on how this can be achieved (note that I am NOT a therapist these are just some of my own ideas).

  • Research and try *fresh* juices such as Boathouse, Naked, and local juice companies
  • Seek professional help. I cannot stress this enough
  • Create a reliable accountability system
  • Make an appointment with a nutritionist
  • Make a list of your goals
  • Remind yourself regularly your reasons to be healthy
  • Stay away from fashion magazines
  • Take a break from social media
  • Meditate upon the bible
  • Volunteer work on making genuine change in the world in the areas that you feel most passionate about
  •  Adopt a pet
  • Reward yourself the small but yet challenging steps of healing physically and emotionally!

If you choose to recover it might not be an easy walk, however I promise you that it is worth it. I challenge you to consider if it worth to die only to be thin.  YOU ARE BELOVED!

Transformation Tuesday 

Today is Transformation Tuesday. If you actively follow this blog you may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as frequently. I have been working on several writing projects and I am excited to (finally) share with you how God is using Lama-Leah.

I am honored to officially announce that I recently became a permanent writer for Discovering YOU Magazine. This magazine is published once a month and my first article was in the February issue that was released this past week. I am grateful for Dr.Tunishai Ford giving me the opportunity to write for Discovering YOU. 

I am looking forward to seeing how God is going to continue this small blog that has grown. I give all of the glory to Him.

If you are interested in reading this magazine, below is a link to subscribe!

http://www.drtford.com/DISCOVER_YOU_MAG_SUBSCRIPTION_REG.html

The Surprise Guest

It was a typical day in New York City. I had been in the city for a full day so far and I was enjoying it. It was evening and decided to have some dinner. I was enjoying a delightful salad and was starting to relax a bit. As I was finishing my meal a celebrity that frequently comes to New York came in the restaurant. I have to admit, my emotions got the best of me. I was in shock to see them in there. I almost screamed! Who was the celebrity you may be asking? I will give you a hint – he ran inside the salad shop to get some salad. He is small in stature and can be seen in different, diverse parts of the city on any given day.

Who was it???

Well, he was almost cute… He was… a mouse! A rodent ran through the restaurant.

I made a quick exit and continued my evening.

This was one of the first impressions that I had of this city.

The restaurant that I was in seemed to be a nice. It was in a lovely district, not an area of town that you would expect a mouse to be traveling through to the restaurants. However, it was a chilly evening and for some reason they were keeping the front door open. If the door had not open the rodent probably would have made his way inside.

I challenge you to consider if you have any doors open in your heart that could attract rodents. If you are a child of God your heart is pure through His blood and no rodents have a reason to be within you because you have Christ. Your heart is a reflection on your relationship with Yeshua.

Philippians 4:8 states. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

 

Single Girl’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s day a few days away. I am writing to those who do not have a special someone to share this day with.

To some being single on Valentine’s day makes them sad. To others it is empowering. I am the latter one, but I understand the feeling of being alone too. If you are feeling sad, here are a few ideas on how to spend February 14th:

  • I highly suggest that you distract yourself. Do a project — either a project that you need to do around the house or something creative such as trying a new recipe or a Pinterest DIY.
  • Take the day to “unplug.” Turn your phone off! It is easy to go into a single girl pity party when you see how your Facebook friends are being spoiled by their significant others.
  • If you are in the Valentine’s day mood, make heart inspired crafts for your friends. Use the washi tape and make it fun!
  • Write love notes to strangers and leave them in public spaces. Show complete strangers that they are loved and valued; it may just make their day.
  • Spend time on yourself. Go to starbucks! Spend time in nature, go on a walk, make an appointment at a spa.
  • Spend time in the word of G-d.
  • Throw a “Galentine’s” day party (a Valentine’s day party for just you and your girlfriends).
  • If you can, go on a road trip.
  • Buy yourself chocolate and eat it in one setting while watching Legally Blonde 1, Legally Blonde 2, and Mean Girls.
  • Make coffee, buy some pop-tarts and watch Gilmore girls.
  • Have a Karaoke night with yourself.
  • Go to Target because Target makes everyone happy.
  • Go thrifting. Hit every thrift store within a twenty mile radius.
  • Offer to “babysit” your friend’s dogs for the night.
  • Give yourself a makeover and just stay in. Put on those high heels that you feel great in but can hardly walk in!
  • Read a book that you have been wanting to read (avoid anything written by John Green or books that are “gushy”).
  • Dance party!
  • Try making Kombucha – that’s different!
  • Go to the gym and play basketball.
  • Have flowers delivered to yourself.
  • Try doing the Pinterest hairstyle that you have been wanting to try but looks difficult.
  • Paint! Fill up several canvas in one setting.

Please remember you are loved! You may not be given flowers but you have a heavenly Father who loves you enough to give you eternal life! Your value has not changed, nor will it change based on your relationship status. You are important and an asset to the world, remember that! Valentine’s day is really just another day and the real holiday is February 15th, 16th, and 17th when Valentine’s day chocolate is 20%, 30%, and 50% off on clearance at Target. 🙂