Who is sitting at your table?

I am asking this question because a week ago I had an epiphany. This came while I was in my geology lab class working with a group that I see every Monday from 2pm-4pm. One of the young men who sit at our table seems to be skilled in the material, so we ask him questions frequently. However, I noticed that he does not like giving out information unless we allow him to use something of ours or if he's stuck and needs help. 
       
          The girls that I sit with we noticed last week that he will leave without helping anyone else but he would have gotten all the answers that he needed from us. This made me think, "Who's sitting at your table Jasmine?" I got a revelation about my own life and the season that I'm in right now. I am building and I am growing, but I have allowed people to sit at the table with me who do not carry the same burden for ministry or saving the world as I have. 
   
         
 I have allowed women and men into my life who I help them or support them, yet they disappear once they get what I need. They are helpful only when they see a direct benefit for themselves. So, I have come to ask you, "Who is sitting at your table?" You have to protect the vision, your dreams, and your mind at all cost. You, my friend, are free to ask them to get up or you excuse yourself. We are obligated to feed the poor, the widows, and the children but the Bible talks about those who are capable yet lazy or complacent. We are not responsible for them, so we must excuse them. 

          Be bold. Be Confident. Ask Questions

                                                  -Jasmine Edwards 
 

My greatest foe is my own resistance to change.

For some reason changing how I do something is very hard for me because I have a pre-conceived notion about what it is best for me. I already believe that my way of doing something is the best way for me and that there isn't much that someone else can say to deter me. I can become so headstrong that I choose not to listen to anyone else. I do not realize (sometimes) that I could be blocking my own blessings. Noticing that my resistance to change was stunting my growth and ability for progress, I had to ask myself, "What are you going to change?"

I encourage you to think about what is it that you need to change. I know that my impatience towards people who don't seem to understand my eclectic ideas and how I go about executing them. I have to change how I see them in my mind as a threat to my vision or creativity, but use their concern and/or wisdom to help me further my cause. It doesn't give me goosebumps or butterflies to make an intentional mindset shift; however, I know that it is necessary for me to heed to the voice of those who actually might be able to add value to my life. 

Maybe that's what you might need to change. Maybe you have to change who is speaking into your life because perhaps they don't add any real value to your life. We can be attached to people who do not know what it takes to be every ounce of who you are which causes them to take you for granted or take advantage of you. We have to be willing to change our crowd. 

As I write to you, I am convicted within myself about my own resistance to the work that God is trying to do in my life. If I continue to behave as if I do not need the help, then maybe the help will never come. My question to you for this week is: What are YOU going to change? What are you going to become more mindful of what you do or don't do? We are called to do better and be better because God has need of you! 

Love and blessings, 
                              Jasmine Edwards, CEO/Founder of Move Beyond Inc. 

You Have to Be Different, It's Your Purpose!

"You Are the Light of the World. A town on a hill cannot be hidden." -Matt. 5:14

            I read Matthew 5: 14 on numerous occasions, but today I felt it in my Spirit differently than any other time before. It could be because I am walking into the knowledge of who I truly am in Jesus Christ. Perhaps trials from last year have come to strengthen me in the area of my self-confidence and worth to where now it's easier for me to believe what God has spoken over my life. Whatever it may be, I know that I am the light of the world. I was created to bring hope, peace, understanding, joy, and gentleness into this world. I am not meant to be hidden. 
             I have tried to play small for long enough! You've played small for long enough! We are created to be the change in this world that is so full of darkness. We cannot be hidden, even if we try. There have been times when I walked into a room or been in a classroom and tried to hide but my passion started to be ignited and I had to speak. I did not want to be heard nor did I want to be seen; however, God needed me to be the hope and encouragement that someone else needed. 
              You, my friend, are that in your own reach of influence. You are the light to the people who cross your path or those who you interact with daily. You are the one who was handcrafted to be the vessel that God uses in whatever setting, city, or relationship that you are in to show others what his glory looks like. We hear these things all the time, but today I want you to grab hold of the indisputable fact that God's intent for your birth was for you to be the difference on this earth. 
                When you stop hiding your light then you will begin to expel the darkness and attract more light. Maybe it's hard to connect with others because you are not choosing to believe and exude that you are the light of the world. Once the darkness around you is defeated then maybe only then, you will be able to connect with those who show their lights as well. We all want to belong; nonetheless, you have to remember that you are created to STAND OUT. 

As you continue with your day, remember that your person right now is blessing those around you whether they verbally say something or not. You make an impact on others. 

Be mindful of how you treat others. Knowing and believing that we are called and created by the Most High to be the light to this dark world comes with the responsibility of not allowing ourselves to misrepresent who God is through our own careless actions. We are front and center for those in and surrounded by darkness to see hope, but they won't receive it if we are not careful of how we use it. We cannot be arrogant, judgmental, or selective about who we share our light with. God's gift and purpose for you is NOT exclusively for you! It's for God's glory and his children here on the Earth. It's not yours to hoard, but to steward. 

Impact is felt not seen.  We live in a world that feels the need to share everything constantly, but I've come to tell you that you do not have to see the results in order to know that you made an impact. As you seek God about the revelation that you've received about how you were purposed to be the light of this world then you will know that your authenticity will always hit the intended target. You nor I need to have accolades, likes, shares, or pats on our backs in order to know that we've done what God has called us to do. 

Be diligent. Whatever you do please be diligent in who you are. Do not stop being who God has created you because you've fallen short or you've sinned. We all do in some way, however, we cannot stay in our sin. So my plea to you is that you stay diligent in who you are called to be in Christ and allow him to lead, guide, and cleanse you in the process! 

Much Love, Jasmine Edwards 

You Better Speak to Those Bones!!

 I was sitting down spending time with God the other day and the Holy Spirit lead me to read Ezekiel 37. It is a familiar book in the Bible for those who actively read their Bibles and go to Bible studies or Sunday School. The prophet Ezekiel was taken up in a vision and God was speaking to him while bringing him  in the middle of the valley of dry bones. God told Ezekiel to prophesy to those bones that were dead, lifeless, and without flesh. God says to Ezekiel in verse 4, "Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones hear the word of the Lord!"

          I wasn't quite sure why God took me to this particular book of the Bible when there's a plethora of other passages that I haven't studied in awhile to read. However, I obeyed the voice of the Lord and I kept  reading and to my surprise I saw something different in the scriptures. Reading this particular vision from the prophet Ezekiel caused me to become encouraged not because I speak to things in my life that I feel like are dead and lifeless, but I was encouraged because the miracle is in God putting his breath in us. 

            Without his breath in our lungs, we cannot live. We would be shells of dust. He has given us life and we have to know that it's because of him that those things which do not seem to work in our power will absolutely work because he spoke and breathed life into it. This time the scripture didn't capture my attention because of the imagery of the bones coming from every which way to become a skeleton again. I was blessed because God puts us to the test in order to confirm that his the the Lord Almighty.

          From this passage of scripture, I noticed that the Lord and Ezekiel must have been really close because he didn't flinch or question while God was giving him instructions. Our heavenly father believes in the deposit that he has put in us that he challenges our faith and trust in him with assignments that we wouldn't be able to comprehend without his supernatural Spirit. If I was Ezekiel, I would have displayed some ounce of fear; however, the scripture never expresses that he was afraid. We have to be prepared to do exactly what God says even when we do not understand. So, You Better Speak to Those Bones!! 

In Ezekiel 37, we see how God has given the prophet the authority to speak to those bones and call forth what used to be into the present. Some of us need to call what used to be into right now! What used to be was the very essence of who God created you to be, but you've allowed the valley to collect the bones of your dead ideas, vision, or purpose. I have been guilty of allowing the image of the lifeless ideas, broken relationships and, dry environments. Ezekiel was pushed to look at something that he did not know how to fix naturally but it was because of his faith and obedience to the voice of God that he was able to stand with confidence. You Better Speak to Those Bones!!

Speak to everything that has given you frustration, pain, and confusion. Tell those things that you desire to come forth and believe that God will breathe his spirit on you, so you can bring your purpose to life. You will know that He is God once you take authority of your situations and speak to those dry bones. Ezekiel 37: 14 says, "I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I a the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.'" You deserve to live! You deserve to know that God has empowered you with his Spirit to face the impossible. 



Love Is Hard

This I know to be true: unconditional love is hard.

It was just the month of love. I have learned many things about this word love which has caused me to come up with the conclusion that loving folks is HARD.We can give and give in order to be like Christ, but that does not mean that the other person is ready to receive. We have been taught that love is that feeling of butterflies and hot sweats because you see your person of interest, but I have come to learn that those feelings never equate to true agape love. 

As I reflected on what I did for Valentine’s Day, I realize that many of us have dedicated ourselves to romantic dinners, flowers, and chocolates. This reflection has caused me to be honest with myself and say: to truly love someone like Christ loves me means that I am not the main focus. I cannot love others with the expectation that they understand me nor with the hope that it makes my inadequacies go away. I have to love others in spite of how I feel and in spite of how they make me feel. 

So, I reiterate that unconditional love is hard, but Jesus Christ died for us to have the power to love others. The Holy Spirit enables me to become equipped with his grace, mercy, and love so that I many love those who I've deemed unlovable. So, Yes! it is hard to love people who are not always kind, understanding, or humble. Remember what he "He himself bore our sins" in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; "by his wounds you have been healed." ( 1 Peter 2:24 NIV). 

During the next few days, I am going to reflect on how much God loves me. I have to reflect so that I can keep my heart and emotions in check when others hurt me or treat me in a manner that doesn't feel good to me. I have to remember to love because he bore my sins with love and because of his love when self-destruction should have been my end. 

Here's a scripture to remind us that when we make the choice to show kindness, extend grace, and operate out of mercy that we are showing love which is God.

 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8 (NLT)

Happy New Year!

I often ask myself if every year is different than the last then I stop and read my journal to get confirmation. I learn as I read over my thoughts and feelings from the year before that I am not the same person at the beginning of the year as I am at the end. I started 2018 one way and ended it more empowered, sure of myself, and confident that God will do what he said he’d do. So with that same mindset, I realize that I am definitely starting 2019 off as a different me.

In this new year, I encourage you to examine where you left off at 2018 and BUILD on that! The place will become your new floor in order for you to grow emotionally, relationally, career wise, and spiritually. Take captive of the thoughts that make you feel like you haven’t gotten anywhere and hold on to the truth that you are not where you used to be. Move Beyond your skepticism and F.I.N.D. (focus, inspire, navigate, and do good) your way into purpose, happiness, and destiny!

*Peace & Blessings, Jasmine Edwards, Founder of Move Beyond inc.