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Be Encouraged: William Becton

Be Encouraged! No matter whats going on. He'll make it alright, but you gotta stay strong!

One Thing That I Desire. . . *Marvin Sapp Voice*

I'm kinda ambitious . . . well very ambitious. As a result I'm always whether consciously sometimes even unconsciously trying to formulate a plan to get to that "next level" whatever that looks like in my head and in my own thoughts.

What I'm grateful for is that the more I go into the direction of GOD's leading, the unnecessary within the excess of bright ideas fall off easily. I woke up this morning and my brain was formulating it's own thoughts and opinions, but my spirit wasn't here for it.

In addition to the conviction to focus on what I actually need to be focused on at this moment, like the GOD ordained tasks I already need to be working on, my spirit rose up with a familiar declaration from scripture:

"One thing that I Desire of the LORD, (and) that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD . . . . . " (Psalm 27:4)
Although this isn't the full original verse, it's the Marvin Sapp version from his album "Diary Of A Psalmist". It's the one that came to mind.

Yes, I may have played the song and got up and danced a little bit. . . (lol). I Did, but in this I'm inspired to stay focused on the singular will of GOD and not my own thoughts.

Do you ever have thoughts and ideas that you think are good, but in essence they don't really serve you or your purpose? Hopefully, if you're like me and sometimes your bright ideas get the best of you, you can reference this psalm and consider GOD's will first. Consistent, productive focus is attainable. It's important to entertain what's worthy.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. - 2 Corinthians 10:5
 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. - Matthew 6:33

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4 Values That Help Build Your Spiritual Core

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Your spiritual core is made up of four values: intimacy, identity, integrity, and humility. These develop as separate entities within your "sit place with God," as well as work together to help you in becoming all that you were destined to be and do. In your identity, it is important that you believe who you are in Christ. God states that you are very precious, chosen, holy, dearly loved, and a people belonging to Him

Believing these truths and so many more is your identity because you are created in the image of God. Believing and trusting in this identity is essential for creating a strong spiritual core.

Intimacy has already been presented in the value of sharing your voice (thoughts and feelings) openly and truthfully, pausing to receive His care and comfort, and then listening to God's voice of truth, and taking a hold of His grace in order to trust and obey the words He speaks to you regarding your relationships and circumstances. Psalms 34 expresses this beautiful imagery of intimate relationship.

Integrity is presenting to the world that what they hear and see match, that your private life matches your public life. No discrepancies. The world needs to see the good fruit of your integrity in truth, goodness, righteousness, gratitude, humility, and reverence to God.

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Humility is the fourth value that is needed to strengthen your spiritual core. It is the pathway that leads out from your spiritual core of identity, intimacy, and integrity to fulfill your role in the kingdom. With a strong spiritual core, humility is the spiritual pathway to serve others with your vision (your purpose on earth) and mission (the ways you walk out your vision). Everything God works in you is for the purpose of overflow to others. As He has loved you, so love one another. Commit to fulfilling your role in the kingdom to declare God's grace to others.


First, define your identity. If there are any discrepancies in what God says about you, replace them with the truth. Live loved. Live out those words for you and the world to see and enjoy! You are His beloved! Second, develop a strong core of all these values. Spend time with God in the Word, applying all He speaks to your personal life. Let integrity be worked through and through, reflecting God in your words, choices, and responses. Serve others in humility, bending low and lifting up one another. Humility is the essence of love. Third, declare your vision and mission. Write out your vision statement that you believe God gave to you when He created you and then list the ways you desire to walk out in mission that vision statement.

This post is from the devotional "10 habits of intimacy with GOD". It can be found on Youversion bible app.

Verse Of The Day: Isaiah 61:3

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Beauty Unfolding

So I have a question, If GOD comes to visit you is there beauty where you are? 

When GOD sees us, our space and our life there should be beauty there. 
Our goal should be for GOD to look into us and our lives and see beauty.

The awesome thing about this is that there's a scripture that says GOD gives us beauty for ashes. 

"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified." - Isaiah 61-3
I think those ashes that the scripture is talking about are ashes from everything that dies off in the process of us becoming who we really, divinely are. I think it's the part of us that gets singed whenever we go before GOD to submit our lives in worship or prayer daily. Whatever needs to go in the process of our evolution and growth.

So if we seek the presence and will of GOD daily, then we are being renewed daily. I'm realizing It's so important to do this. The dying daily that we do is us surrendering ourselves and our desires to the Lord everyday. Like sheep we intentionally follow GOD's leadership. 

GOD gives us beauty for ashes... so yes, that beauty should be in us, and we have the power to cultivate it around us. We can manifest beauty in our lives, because we can get it from GOD.

I'm reminded of a break-up process that I experienced, that I intentionally chose as my self-awareness grew. That self awareness was more of just an awareness of GOD's love for me, I started to realize what I wanted and what I didn't have to accept.

For everything that needs to burn off us, to process us, GOD gives us beauty. Some people, things, or habits can't go where we're going because of GOD's destiny for our lives.

The divine purpose that's on us wouldn't and won't allow them to stay attached to us, but GOD gives us beauty, we get understanding, we get growth, we get wisdom. 

So let's embrace these things, the more we embrace them, the more we become them, then when GOD looks at us, it can be beautifully reflected.

- April D. Byrd


A Charge To Confidence

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

When we hear this scripture in Jeremiah 29:11 in the Bible, it's easy for us to get excited about the last part of it. Yeah, GOD's plans for us are pretty dope! 

Today I'm more encouraged by the beginning part of that scripture. The first three words: "For I Know". In these three simple words there is confidence that can be taken. We can rest assured that even when we don't know GOD knows. The creator has our front, back and every other side! 

Along with this confidence gained, there is also a charge to be considered. If GOD is clearly stating that the plans for us are set; The master's blueprint is in place, then the most responsible option is to follow those plans and seek guidance from the creator daily . . . every second, of every minute, of every hour.

Responsibility is something I just got a major revelation on and I'm grateful for it. I'm also grateful that in ALL things, GOD knows. 

May we walk in the confidence that comes from GOD's love today and everyday!

Peace and Blessings,

- April D. Byrd

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Claim Peace

Photo Credit: Iyanla Vanzant
photo credit: Iyanla Vanzant

Claiming Peace makes the enemy flee. Claim Peace to dominate over all the voices you hear in your mind that say you aren't good enough. 

Based on my experience, if anyone wants to mock or belittle you, they can't do it properly when you claim peace. Based on my history anytime there is spiritual warfare taking place in my life, when I claim peace that is the end of that. Jesus sacrificed his life so that believers could have peace. 

I'm reminded of a vision that I once had of being in a tug of war. It was a tug of war with any force that could hold me back. The vision seemed symbolic and significant of me being victorious, but having to be strong enough for the task. 

The simple fact that I believed I could do it, and be victorious in the win, is the main thing that made me excited about the vision. The reason I believed I had the strength is because in that moment I was empowered by GOD during worship. 

It reminds me of Yolanda Adam's song "The Battle Is The Lord's". The inspiration for the song is probably from the Bible when Jahaziel got filled with the spirit of GOD and proclaimed in front of King Jehoshaphat and a bunch of other people: "the battle is not yours, but God’s." (2 Chronicles 20:15)

This sense of empowerment must've been what David felt when he slayed Goliath. It must've been what Jesus felt when He pursued and lived out his purpose with boldness. 

Scripture says "stand firm with your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace" (Ephesians 6:15) and that the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord (Psalm 37:23). So peace causes us to behave, and for sure peace comes from faith. 

In my estimation the way to truly claim peace in all things would be to continually seek GOD and be devoted to doing His will. So, cheers to everlasting peace! May we continue to claim it.


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