Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Excerpt From Wendy M. Reynolds, "COMING SOON!"

I have been in a transitional period in my life. Things all around me changing—not the most comfortable spot to be in sometimes. Lots of things were beginning to happen. I didn’t quite feel like I was ready for whatever was about to take place in my life. Felt kind of undone if you know what I mean. One day I was driving and I started noticing a pattern on this particular busy street. Certain pieces of land had been designated for new building sights. Actually this particular street looked kind of messed up. Holes had been dug up and dirt was everywhere. Pieces of wood and metal were just thrown here and there. It looked like there was no structure anywhere- no type of plan. It was very unsightly. I remember thinking “Ugh. This is ugly. I can’t wait until they fix Grand River!”

I drove further down the street and there were more sights—same thing: Holes from where the dirt had been dug up and dirt just cast to the sides. But for some reason this time I took a better look at the site. This time instead of just noticing the large holes, scattered dirt, wood and metal I noticed a sign that stuck down in the ground. The sign read: COMING SOON! It also had a picture of a beautiful building. I laughed immediately. See something had clicked on the inside of me when I read it. I began to relate to it-relate my life to it. I began to think that things are not always how they seem to be. I began to remember that I am a work in progress.

Every day since then I made sure to drive down Grand River Ave. I would look at the progress the builders were making. I took pleasure in seeing the metal framework go up. This would be the foundation of the structure. Every day things were happening to it. You couldn’t always notice the changes right away in the structure but each little change added to the big change. During the day, the construction crew was hard at work—pounding away-doing whatever they had to do to make things come together. After much time the building had walls. It didn’t look like the picture but it was really beginning to take on shape.

Maybe you see where I am going with all this. Sometimes we have to stop looking at the current status of our lives and envision what the plan is—envision what is to be. It was easy for me to look at the places in my life where there were holes. It was easy for me to see the messy areas—the places that seemingly lacked structure or direction. However I began to see that sometimes the fallow grounds in our lives need to be dug up and the rocks and other stuff shoveled out in order for a sure foundation to be laid. Sometimes things have to get messy in order for real structure to take place.

This is not an easy process and it doesn’t happen over night. I watched day after day as the building was going up. I watched the men as they pounded and hammered. On many days there seemed as if there wasn’t any change. Will this project ever be developed? It can be easy to get discouraged when things don’t look like they are happening the way they should be. It’s easy to get side tracked when things don’t seem like they are moving fast enough or in the right direction or when things seem too hard to finish. That’s when the picture on the sign is so important. You have to keep a clear picture of the finish project in order to actually finish the project. The picture serves as motivation.

I remember when I was in college. Sometimes things would get hard. Sometimes a class seemed a bit too challenging. Maybe I didn’t do well on a test—so easy to get discouraged. When I faced my most challenging times I would go over to our school union store. I would put on a graduation cap and gown and I would stand in front of the mirror in the store and envision me marching across the stage on that great day. I would envision me shaking my Deans hand. I would actually see myself accepting my diploma. I would hear and see my family and friends cheering me on. After that I was ready to go grab my schoolbooks. I was ready to go take on the challenge of my professors. I had that vision-that mental image ingrained so deep within me that I had no other choice but to graduate. I will confess that I had to put that cap and gown on several times through out my undergraduate years but it served its purpose. It was a source of motivation.

When the time came for me to actually graduate, I had previously had that cap and gown on so many times that one would think it didn’t really matter than. But it did. The feeling of accomplishment was so great because I knew how hard I fought to get there. I smiled as I looked around and saw my family and friends. I was proud when I approached the stage and heard my nephew yell out, “Yea, Auntie Wendy!” I shook my Deans hand with confidence and I received my diploma with honor knowing that I had pressed and worked hard for it. . .

Friday, October 27, 2006

Excerpt from Wendy M. Reynolds’ “First Mentality then Reality”

What’s hindering you from doing something you know you need to do? Is something stopping you from obtaining a goal? Who is in your way of progress? What…Who…?

…Your biggest enemy is usually not the things or the people you face but the face you see in the mirror and the mentality it possesses. We can be our biggest enemy- the way we think about ourselves- the way we view things and situations. Les Brown says, “The only thing that can possibly keep you from going after your dream is the person standing in your shoes, wearing your clothes and thinking your negative thoughts.”

…When you get a firm grasp on who you really are and what is really available to you watch out! Too often our anger is kindled against people—maybe a boss or perhaps even a race of people because we think they are standing in the way of us getting something or they are withholding something that we are entitled to. “Oh, they won’t give me the promotion because they just don’t want me to have it” or sometimes we hear “they’re just trying to hold us back—keep us down!”

God has created us with everything we need to not only survive but also succeed. Does that mean those social injustices don’t exist? No. They do exist but they don’t stop us from pursuing what we are after. We don’t allow the difficulty of a situation or the negativity of other people to hold us in bondage. We overcome by connecting with God. We overcome by coming up—elevating our minds by changing our thinking, raising our standards and by refusing to compromise our beliefs! When we connect with God and work on improving ourselves we discover that people really have no control over our destiny. They don’t decide if we fail or succeed. When we develop the mindset God intends for us to have and stay focused—not swaying from left to right we will obtain what we are after. We will live the life we were meant to live. We will triumph! We will be in a position to benefit others as well.

…Get your hopes up. Anticipate the extraordinary. Because we serve a great God we are a great people. When greatness comes together with greatness, the atmosphere should be charged with such expectancy that words can not describe it…!

Phil 2:5-11

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Last night I was going through some things I had written from years ago and I came across this piece. It was some things- some pearls I had learned over the course of the years and was sharing with a young person that was graduating from college. Just some words of wisdom. I'm glad I came across it as I needed the reminder. I hope you get something from it.

By Wendy M. Reynolds

Allow only God to define who you are (He is the only one who knows you from your start to your finish). If you allow other people and other things to define you, you may never know who you really are.

Never allow the mistakes or accomplishments of your past to hinder your future accomplishments (The past is in the past. It is good to look back and reflect on it and learn from it but never was it meant for you to live in it!)

Take out the time to be good to yourself. Treat yourself better than anyone else could possibly treat you. By loving yourself and by treating yourself good, you set the standard for how other people will treat you. You will not permit others to mistreat or disrespect you.

Dream large dreams and expect them to come true. Write down your visions, goals and dreams and use them as a blueprint. Look over them frequently and examine yourself daily.

Seek knowledge and wisdom. They are worth more than silver and gold (They also attract silver and gold).

Do not be afraid to be creative or try something new.

Always know that someone is looking to you as an example. Be careful of the life you live and the example you set.

Don't wait for people to affirm you, agree with you or motivate you.

Remember that other people will see you as you see you.

Have friends who are reaching for excellence and who encourage you to reach for excellence. Friends sharpen each other. Their influence can help you to become better or worse.

Never allow anyone to speak negatively about a friend or anyone else while in your home or in your presence. Refuse to gossip.

Have at least one or two friends whom you can totally be yourself with without fear or rejection, judgment or condemnation.

Be willing to invest in the lives of other people and their dreams.

Be a giver but learn also to receive for this is part of the principles of God and in so doing you are allowing someone else to be blessed by their giving.

Be your biggest fan and your biggest supporter (but stay humble).

Always keep in mind the importance of family. For when friends turn their backs on you, family (with all their positives and negatives) should be there - especially parents and siblings. Never allow anyone or anything to come in and cause separation (without good cause) within your family. They (your immediate family) have been with you since you have been you!

Learn to really listen when someone is speaking to you.

Speak with confidence and don’t be easily intimidated.

Read a lot and be willing to learn from others.

Know that wherever you are in life, whether you like it there or not, there is always something to be learned there.

Speak the truth and speak words of life.

Always look for ways to improve yourself in every area of life.

Allow faith to operate in your life.

Always remember that God has confidence in your abilities. He designed who you are and He never makes mistakes. So have confidence not only in Him but also in yourself.

Always remember that promotion comes from God. When God promotes you, there is not a person anywhere that can demote you.

Take time to get alone with God and meditate on His word on a continual bases and allow Him to purge you, strengthen you and direct you.

Pray Constantly!

Set high standards for your life.

Live excellent!

    Friday, August 11, 2006

    I'M READY!

    Purify me. Burn the dross of sin off of my life. Now you know those are some powerful words. One might ask me if I am in my right mind or not. Do you know what you are asking for? Do you know what you’re setting yourself up for? I don’t know if I am in the right mind according to the standards of man and the world but I do know this: I want to be where God wants me to be. I want to stop feeling like I am feeling. I need Him to remove the toxins out of my life and spirit. Whatever You want from me God- What do You want from me? Empty me of myself. Empty me of sin, bitterness, selfishness, complacency or whatever. I am ready to let God deal with me. I know He has been already. He has been stripping me of everything that is not of Him. He has removed any security blankets that I have attached myself to. I feel naked, exposed, empty and half dead.

    It was kind of funny. In one of my bits of frustration, I said, “God, what are you doing in my life? It feels like You are trying to kill me! Are You trying to Kill me?” “Yes.” That was His answer. Alright, He got my attention! He reminded me that I needed to be dead to my flesh- to my will. I have to be a living sacrifice. He reminded me of the days when He required that His people render under Him sacrifices. Can you imagine offering up a living sacrifice? Taking something that’s alive and tying it down. Oh come on. It’s not going to just let you tie it down. It’s going to put up a fight. It will start kicking and screaming. That’s how our flesh is. We try to tie it down and it kicks and screams in an attempt to get loose and get its way. So now, I’m tired of fighting- tired of kicking and screaming- tired of trying to blend in my way and plan with His way. TIRED!!!!! Tired of running from who God called me to be. Now it’s not like my life is terrible. But I know there’s more and not just more to get. There is more to give. I know God’s wants more for me and from me.

    I got to a point where I was like, “Look, don’t ask me for nothing! I don’t have anything else to give! What part of that don’t you understand?” Yet, I found myself constantly in situations where I have to sow into people. I had to encourage someone. I had to advise someone. I realize that it was only hard when I tried to do it in my own strength. It was only hard when I didn’t take the time to sit at God’s feet in order for Him to replenish me and restore me and put His strength in me. It was only hard when I allowed the cares of the world to overwhelm me. It was only hard when I made it about me! But the people of God- we are of a different Spirit. We can’t depend on our natural abilities and we cannot walk by our feelings. If we do, we will never get anything done. We must depend upon God. He knows what He put in us and He knows how to get it out of us. So we might as well just let Him work. We might as well stop interrupting His plan.

    This year has been amazing. I can’t write down the many times where I have been left shaking my head. The trials have been deep. Sometimes I felt like I was being stoned- just one thing hitting me after another- one hard blow after another. But in the midst of it all, the revelation that God has been pouring into me has been even more amazing. That’s why I know there’s more. That’s why I know He wants more. That’s why I know I can't stay at the level I’m at. I have to come up. And no matter how hard the enemy has been trying to get me to throw up my hands, buckle under pressure, and give up, I can’t. I can’t give up! Don’t get me wrong, many times I want to. But I can’t.

    Sometimes things become so hard and unusually crazy. It’s like the world and everything in it is having a nervous break down but I thank God that even when stuff seems so crazy and messed up and I feel like I will never be able to get it right- He reminds me of His presence, of His grace, of His mercy and of His love. He told me, “ In spite of everything, you’re still standing. In spite of everything, you keep pressing and praying because you KNOW that I won't fail you. I'm greater than anything you face. I AM THAT I AM! The Alpha and Omega. The Beginning and the End. Nothing and no one (not even yourself) can pluck you out of My hand. I'll bring you through and put you over the top. You will not fail. You will prevail!" So it is here- right in the midst of where I am that I worship God- In the midst of my struggles- In the midst of my own personal insecurities- In midst of my mistakes. Yeah, I do throw up my hands-- not in defeat--- no- not in failure or buckling under pressure but in blessed assurance that Jesus is mine and He is enough!

    So, I’m ready God. Ready to be who You’ve called me to be. Do what needs to be done to get me to where I need to be in You! Oh my, Did I say that?

    Monday, June 12, 2006

    Revolution Of The Soul!

    Here it is six months into the year. It's evaluation time for me. I didn't make any special resolutions at the beginning of the year. I decided I didn't really need resolutions. I needed revolutions! I needed revolutions in my soul. I knew that God wanted more for my life and from my life. I was determined to continue to grow and improve and change. I knew I needed change! I was so passionate about it. Then guess what happened? Things started changing.

    All of a sudden, as I moved in the direction of change and growth, my whole life flipped the script. Life was turned upside down and shaken. There was no area untouched. Family members started having health problems. All of a sudden things were crazy on my job. Friends that have been in my life for a long time started acting up. I was faced with one crisis on top of another. If I told you everything, you wouldn't believe it. It was like the gates of hell opened wide and every demon was charging at me. It appeared that I was under attack every where I went. I felt like I was "targeted for take out by any means necessary!"

    I would pray and Heaven just seemed silent. I begin to question if I really believed what I said I believed. I begin to wonder what was I doing so wrong to cause such a major crash in my life. I was questioning my purpose. Here I am "The Motivator!" I'm the one who always has an encouraging word- always pushing people to pursue positive lasting changes and reach for higher heights. What's up with that? I thought I was letting down everyone who believed in me. All of a sudden, all I wanted to do was find a safe place to hide. I just wanted the storms to cease. Whew!

    I knew deep on the inside that I couldn't quit. Although I didn't feel like one, I knew that I was a champion and that God had called me more than a conqueror. I tried to keep making the "up choices" even in the down times. Now I would love to tell you that I weathered my storm perfectly. I'd love to tell you that I didn't make any mistakes and that I wasn't moved by fear at any time. On the contrary. I had to face plenty of fear but I faced it. However what I will share with you is some things I learned and had to learn again on my pursuit.

    There is pain in change and growth. Any time you start your pursuit of going to another level, several things are going to happen:

    1. You going to face opposition! Often times you will feel inadequate as you face your opposition. When facing opposition, we must keep in mind who the battle is really with and choose our weapons correctly (Eph. 6). You have to remember that if you are pursuing God and His will for your life, He will have your back. He will bring you through every affliction and attack. He will not allow you to be defeated! You have to keep in mind from the beginning that your end will be victorious!

    2. You are going to have to change your way of thinking. You have to remember that your current way of thinking and your current level of knowledge will only keep you at your current state. Read new books. Build new relationships with people that will encourage your growth. Increase your biblical study time, prayer time and overall time in God's presence. Saturate yourself in God's thoughts.

    3. You will leave some things or someone behind. Sometimes those things are friends. Not everyone is willing to go to another level and often times those same people will try to prevent you from going. Once you've made your commitment to change, don't let other people pull you back into old habits or make you feel bad for wanting to grow. Be careful who you allow into your inner circle. Be careful who you share your dreams with. Not everyone wants you to succeed or be happy.

    4. You are going to "feel" like giving up. You will "feel" afraid. You are going to "feel" off balanced. You will "feel" like you're in this thing all alone. You will "feel" like a stranger to your own self. You are going to "feel, feel, feel" but feelings are subject to change! So, you can not let your feeling rule over you

    5. You must learn that what you are going through is not just about you! There are other lives that God wants you to touch and affect.

    6. You will have to become less dependent on yourself and your own way of thinking and become more dependent upon God. I find that can be quite challenging especially for those of us who like to feel as if we are in control of our lives. As we become less dependent upon ourselves and more dependent on God, we will soon discover that we can weather the storms and opposition in our lives because God is taking care of us
    7. .
      You will have to retreat sometimes. It's OK. We can retreat to safety as long as that safe place is in the presence of God. Here we open ourselves up to restoration and healing. Remember, even Jesus took time to retreat.

    8. You will discover that you can be and probably will be your own worst enemy, The only one that can truly stop the progress in your life is you-- not the enemy- not your friends--you- by the daily choices you choose to make, the thoughts you choose to think and by the words that come out of your mouth!

    9. You will have to learn how to celebrate your accomplishments. It's OK to celebrate you!

    Are you ready for a revolution to break forth in your soul? What changes do you need to make? What comfort zone or thought pattern do you need to break out of? What habits do you need to drop? What or who is hindering you? It is time for change. Now is the time. I challenge you . . . I double dare you to revolutionize your spirit and soul. Embrace change and soar to heights you have yet to imagine. You can do it. I know you can. Are you with me?

    Revolution: a sudden, radical, or complete change b : a fundamental change in political organization; especially : the overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the substitution of another by the governed c : activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes in the socioeconomic situation d : a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something : a change of paradigm e : a changeover in use or preference especially in technology synonym see REBELLION Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

    Don't let the words cease from being whispered in my ear.
    In tune my ear, my heart, my spirit so I can clearly hear.
    Whatever You have to say I am listening and my pen is ready to write.

    Always been able to flow my words.
    Never understood until now the importance of the gift You've given me-
    The ability to encourage others to be the best they can be-
    The message behind the flow-
    The ability to help others know and grow.

    The paper is my stage, my pulpit, my podium.
    I speak through my pen-

    A gift not to be taken lightly or misused.
    The awesome responsibility to inundate people with hope-
    Challenge folks to change and live above the standards of man.
    Shine a beam of light into total darkness-
    War against lies, injustice and ignorance.
    Expose Potential.
    Show forth Power.
    Prophetic words of the final hour.

    I know now that I'm not just supposed to write because I can.
    I must write- keep the pen gliding across the paper.
    I'm on a mission- writing with purpose.
    Taking the words I'm given in my heart to the world

    With belief that somehow- in someway those words will reach the minds of others and motivate them to elevate their thinking-
    Reach into broken hearts and help mend.
    Step out into storms and bring calmness to the atmosphere-
    Help teach others the value of life- of their lives- lives worth celebrating.
    Give words that say, No more excuses. Come up!!
    Give words that point up to You- the King of kings- the Giver of real peace, joy and life.

    Never let the words cease from being whispered in my ear.In tune my ear, my heart, my spirit so I can clearly hear. Whatever You have to say I am listening and my pen is ready to write.

    © 2004 by Wendy M. Reynolds

    Monday, April 17, 2006

    I Can Fix It!!!

    I spoke to my friend Ron tonight. He's a funny man. There has never been a time in all of our years of friendship where he didn't make me laugh. Tonight was no exception.

    He just purchased a home. He was excited. He has been working on it trying to add his own personal touches. He decided to purchase one of those sleek stainless steel double door refidgerators. Well, when it got to the house and was brought into the kitchen, Ron discovered that it would not fit. Hmmm...probably because he hadn't measured the space properly (If at all). So what is one to do at this point. You say oops, and send it back, right? Properly measure the space and then purchase the one that fits the space, right? Wrong. Not my friend! His pride would not let him admit that he didn't measure incorrectly. He said, "You know Wendy I am a man!" So, instead of taking it back and buying a smaller one that would fit the space, Ron decides to fix the problem using his own creative measures. He decided to tear down two walls in the kitchen of his new house in order to make the darn thing fit (Sounds like an episode of Home Improvement). Amazing! Now he has more work than ever (and a few additional problems that he created).

    Isn't that how we do with life sometimes. We have problems, issues or situations that can be easily solved if we would just swallow our pride and admit that we were wrong or that we don't have all the answers. But NO we make life so much harder for ourselves. We have to figure a way to fix things in our own wisdom and end up worse off than in the beginning.

    I believe I read in the Bible a verse about "My ways are not your ways neither are My thoughts your thoughts . . ." or how about the one about "There is a way that seems right TO A MAN (oh sorry, my bad) but the end there of . . . or what about the one that challenges us to "Lean not unto your own understanding but in all thy acknowledge Him (God) and He shall direct thy path."

    Although Ron tore down two walls, and got the refridgerator to fit, it is now still too close to the oven. Now what?

    Sunday, April 16, 2006

    He Is Risen (And So Am I!)

    Here it is Easter Morning. Today, for us, it's not about Easter eggs, bunnies, new clothes, and baskets. For us it's a day to celebrate what we should be celebrating every day. It's a time where my family and I celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What words can I use to express and reflect the greatness, the power, . . . What an awesome . . . Well, there are no words to describe the awesomeness of what He did for us. Thank You God!

    As I thought about the resurrection of Jesus, I remembered that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead has raised us (for those who believe) as well with Him. I begin to think about what area's of my life are in need of resurrection? What have I allowed to die in my life that needs to be brought back alive? Do my dreams need resurrecting? Are my hope and faith fully alive? Am I operating in purpose? Am I fully alive?

    This is my challenge: To allow God to breathe new life into me. With new life comes new energy, fresh revelation, new hope and new faith to pursue God and the completion of the work that He has purposed me for.

    What about you? What needs to be resurrected in you? What dreams have you allowed to die? What work needs to be completed in you? I want to challenge you to take an inward journey and discover those answers for yourself. As you discover them, know that God is there waiting to breathe the breath of life into you. He is saying, "Get up! Now is the time to finish the work! Now is the time to show My power and My victory in your life. You may have been down for a little while. People might have counted you out. Some wept over you. Some celebrated the fact that your dreams have seemed to dissolve. Oh, but get up and get ready! It is not too late! It's the perfect time for your resurrection!"

    Thank God that Jesus was resurrected. He got up! And because He got up, I can to. I am risen! Risen from the past. Risen from whatever held me captive. No longer am I wrapped up and sealed behind the stone- the stone of fear, the stone of oppression, the stone of whatever! So, don't look for me to be in that place, although it might be where you last saw me. Don't look for me in the tomb! I am not there! My stone has been rolled away. I'm no longer bound but I am free to be fully alive- free to complete the work of my Father! Thank God for His resurrection power!!

    Wendy M. Reynolds