Beliefnet
You Can Sit With Us

Voting can seem useless when we see what’s going on in Washington. Let’s break this down together because your vote matters more than you know. The word voting means you have a choice between two candidates and you’re vote may just be the vote that swings the pendulum in the direction of your choice. So, let’s take a look at what midterms even mean and who the candidates are and what they “supposedly” stand for.

Midterms mean-

A midterm election refers to a type of election where the people can elect their representatives in the middle of the term of the executive or of another set of members. … Regarding elections to the United States Congress, the point of reference is the president’s term.

The 2018 United States elections will mostly be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. These midterm elections will take place in the middle of Republican President Donald Trump‘s first term. All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested. This is very important for you and me in terms of the changes we want to see.

Candidates and what they stand for and against. You can go to a number of websites to get a list of your candidates for your state and see what each one represents (ballotpedia.org) (isidewith.com)

Seats are as follows by state

US Senate candidates and US House candidates ( do your research ) These men and women play a vital role on the change you want to see. GO TO ( Votesmart.org) (isidewith.com) and put in your state and you can also look up candidates and where they stand on positions and if they passed the courage test. Were they transparent in answering voter’s questions? Some won’t say where they stand on certain positions like abortion, immigration, gun control; some of the more heated subjects that is. That may be a red flag for you.  I know it was for me. I personally am not impressed with any of the candidates and you may not be either but don’t let it stop you from voting for someone versus no one.

Governor

State Senate

State House

Special state legislative

State Supreme Court

Intermediate appellate courts

Local Judges

School boards

Municipal government

Local ballots

 

 

Because They Said They Loved Me: I Let Them Define My Worth

As I sit and look at the title, I am overwhelmed with emotions: anger, sadness, disbelief, and a whole lotta truth. I let them define my worth. I allowed them to take control over my life. How? Why?

I spend a lot of time thinking about those questions. I never saw myself in these situations and neither did anyone else. I had strong opinions, a sharp mind, and an independent spirit. But before I knew it, I was left with a broken spirit, mixed opinions, and an anxious and uncertain mind. I didn’t know who I was anymore.

It was the deepest, darkest secret I kept. And this wasn’t about any particular situation/relationship as much as it was my relationship with men. It ran deep and dark, and I never realized the impact it had on myself and on my self-worth.

In these depths of despair, I couldn’t see a way out of this cycle. It seemed anywhere I turned pushed me further and further away from getting to a safe place physically, mentally, and emotionally. I looked around and within and realized that my self-worth had been damaged long before I even realized it was possible. This made me really question myself.

Was it me? Was this normal behavior, and I was the one in the wrong? I knew deep down inside that wasn’t the case, but I was stuck in quicksand being guided by those who kept my head above, but my feet locked in.

I kept busy with school and helping others because I couldn’t help myself and I never wanted people to feel alone and like me. I kept up the smiles and laughter, but I was hurting so bad. Part of me thought that this was normal. This was all I knew and saw. But nothing about this was normal no matter how many people tried to justify it. Nothing about my self-worth, relationships, and life were normal.

I constantly blamed my anxiety. But when I take a more in-depth look, I allowed my anxiety to be a scapegoat for their inability to truly love me, and for me to love myself.

As I sat there, and realized all of this and its consequences, I just wanted to continue to abuse myself, abuse my body. The irony in that statement, and the sadness when I think about it sends goosebumps up my arm. How was I going to break this cycle, this avalanche effect?

Everyone and no one around me could understand what I chose to not disclose or disclose without detail. I knew I was alone in this battle. This was because only I could make amends with myself. I had to choose to forgive myself and work my butt off to not hate myself.

It’s like starting over again. Some days are unbearable. Some days are just painful. Some days I see the beauty in the little things that I used to overlook. I see a new strength in my weakness, a healthy pride in my humility, and perseverance in every step I make. This journey in the end is about loving myself so much, so relentlessly, that because they said they love me doesn’t take away from the love that I already have for myself. And hopefully, their love adds to my complete self.

By Lady B (check out her website)

All throughout the Bible we see where God was calling certain individuals to do impossible things. When I feel overwhelmed by what He is calling me to do, I remember a couple of things. God made each one of us for a specific purpose. Each one of us has natural abilities and talents that were placed inside of us before we entered into the world. God designed and made our DNA. There is not one thing He doesn’t know. HE CREATED US. The power He must hold in just a single breath is incomprehensible. Lysa Terkeurst said, “If God is calling you to do something you feel is beyond you, you are in good company. God has a history of calling people to things that are beyond themselves.”

Abraham was old

Jacob was insecure

Leah was unattractive

Joseph was abused

Moses stuttered

Gideon was poor

Samson was codependent

Rahab was immoral

David had an affair

Elijah was suicidal

Jeremiah was depressed

Jonah was reluctant

Naomi was a widow

Peter was impulsive and hot tempered

The Samaritan woman had several failed marriages

Zachaeus was unpopular

 

When I sit down to write, I invite God in, I ask him where should the story go today? Each time you invite Him in to an area of your life, something supernatural begins to happen. For me, out of nowhere my sentence structure tightened up, my vocabulary increased, my storytelling became more interesting. It was subtle but significant changes. Remember impossible for man but possible for God. If you draw close to Him, more will be released. God is the gift that keeps on giving.

There is not one thing you cannot do with God’s help but there are many things you can’t do without his help. God says, apart from Me you can do nothing. Those are big words and God is a God of action/justice so if you are going solo, you may be in danger.  Let him work in and through you. It’s not really about us. It’s about His plan unfolding. Many people including Christians believe that in order to move the kingdom forward you have to be a pastor or work in a church but God uses people from every walk of life and in every industry. He may place you in the entertainment industry or the finance industry. He loves you so much that he will insure it aligns with your passion so you don’t burn out. If you don’t get anything else out of this piece, get this, it all starts with a relationship. You won’t know if you don’t cultivate your relationship. How can you say you know someone if you don’t spend time with them? What do you think happens when this life ends? Invest in God and He will invest in you. That’s His promise!

Have you ever walked into someone’s house and felt the tension, almost as if the air is thick? This tends to happen when we have unresolved issues, wrong mindsets, or controlling tactics. I grew up in such a home but now after years of living and even contributing to that, my home is finally peaceful. Here’s what helped me and perhaps can help you. Each day we get to wake up again, is a day the Lord has made. He even says His mercies are new every morning. If His mercies are new every new day, ours can be too. It’s important to set the tone of your day. What is the first thing you are doing when you wake up? What is the second or third thing you do when you wake up? Are you going straight to your phone or computer? Are you stressing over the day ahead? What is going on internally with you? What are you thinking about? How is your attitude?  God says lay your burdens down. He wants us to give them to Him. His shoulders are much stronger. He is more equipped to carry and handle for us. I start the day in quietness, sitting in God’s presence, praying ( talking ) to Him about whatever is on my heart or something I need his help with. Then I read a bible plan, devotional, something to set my mind right (on high). God says that what He says is the only real truth. I am the way, the life, and the truth. It’s pretty clear though we get a lot of mixed messages throughout our day and overtime we are confused about what to do or even what we believe. Then we pile on work and family. After I do that, I usually turn on worship music or something uplifting. Nothing demoralizing. This actually changes the atmosphere because you are allowing the presence of God ( love) to come in.  It lifts the junk off and we walk out the door lighter though stronger, ready to tackle our day.

 

Try it and see if you experience what I am talking about.