The Kimberly Joy Blog

Know Yourself…Be Yourself…Love Yourself – THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW Fridays at 4:15PM & Saturdays at 6PM on Inspiration 1050 AM & 103.1 FM WGRI (Cincinnati)

Author: Kimberly Joy (Page 1 of 7)

Live YOUR Dreams!

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW: Live YOUR Dreams)

LIVE YOUR DREAMS! WHAT IS A DREAM?
It is now 2018, and with the start of a brand new year comes excitement and even some nervousness. Many see the new year as an opportunity to live a new and better life, to leave mistakes, hurts, and disappointments in the past, and to start fresh.

Therefore, people make New Year’s resolutions. A resolution is when a person resolves or firmly decides to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or to, overall, improve his or her life. According to NBC News, the most popular resolutions for 2017 were:

1. Get healthy
2. Get organized
3. Live life to the fullest
4. Learn new hobbies
5. Spend less and save more money
6. Travel
7. Read more

Personally speaking, making a New Year’s resolution is great, so long as you’re committed to that resolution. In fact, for 2018, I believe God wants His children to be committed to living their dreams. When I say “dreams” what do I mean? In this case, a dream is “a strongly desired goal, aim, aspiration or purpose.” Why is this important to God? He placed those dreams inside of you!

WILL GOD GIVE YOU WHATEVER YOU DESIRE?
Psalms 37:4 (King James Version) says:

“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”

In the scripture, the “desires” the writer is referring to are GOD’s desires for your life. I’ve heard some people state God will give you whatever you desire. However, I don’t believe that. I don’t believe God gives us any desires that go against His will. I don’t believe He gives us desires that don’t glorify Him. I especially don’t believe He grants us those desires that will do more harm than good.

A well-known Gospel singer, who will remain nameless, has shared her story of how God told her not to marry a particular man. Even on the day of her wedding, God told her not to walk down the aisle. However, she went against God’s warning and got married anyway.

Eventually, her husband wound up physically abusing her. The abuse became so bad that she later had to escape with only the clothes on her back. Did God decide to grant her HER desire to marry that man? No, I don’t believe He did! God does not treat us like robots. He speaks to us, gives us instructions, and even warns us, but in the end, it’s our decision. Thus, SHE chose to enter a marriage that was not God’s desire for her.

When I was an adolescent, I wanted to sing. Although I had a decent voice for singing in a choir, I didn’t have the type of voice for solo performances.


(Me, on the right, singing with the praise team)

I definitely didn’t have a voice that would land me a spot on Star Search or Showtime at the Apollo. So, I used to hope and pray God would bless my voice. I wanted to be able to sing like a Yolanda Adams or a CeCe Winans.

Why? For one, I’ve always loved music. Plus, good singers received applause and recognition, and I wanted that! I wanted to be admired for my angelic voice, which might be why God didn’t grant me MY desire. Singing was not supposed to be about glorifying me, but about glorifying God!

As I grew older and matured, I came to accept that, although singing was something I enjoyed doing, it wasn’t GOD’s desire for my life. Once I accepted that truth, I was able to recognize God’s true desires for me. I came to realize that I was trying to live someone else’s dream because it seemed glamorous and exciting, instead of living MY dreams and walking in MY purpose.

WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP TO FINDING YOUR PURPOSE?
What is the purpose for which you were born? The only way to truthfully answer that question is by first developing a close relationship with God. So, how does one develop a close relationship with God?

1. First and foremost, you must repent of your sins and accept Jesus into your heart.

2. Take out time every day to pray and worship the Lord. During those times, you’re able to commune with God. Not only do you talk to God, but He talks to you.

3. Read and study the Bible every day. Through the Word of God you receive knowledge, instructions, and encouragement which will help you on your spiritual journey.

4. Go to church. I realize some people say they don’t need to attend church, and I get it! Just attending church doesn’t make you saved. Attending church doesn’t mean you’re close to God. You can hear God’s voice outside the church walls. However, going to church and being a part of an assembly of believers helps! Hebrews 10:25 states we should not neglect to come together with other believers. Sunday school, church services, Bible studies, women’s fellowship, men’s fellowship, and conferences, for instance, all contribute to a person’s spiritual growth. Sure, you can hear the Word being preached and find a church service on TV or on the internet.

Nevertheless, none of those people you’re watching can reach through the screen, take you by the hand and pray for you or give you a hug you may need at the time. In Genesis 2, God said it’s not good for man to be alone. I believe that statement applies to more than just marriage. We need our brothers and sisters in Christ.

In order to know what God’s purpose is for your life, you must get to know Him first. As you walk with the Lord, your purpose will become clear, and He will enable you to live YOUR dreams!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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What Has God Given You?

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW: What Has God Given You?)

WHAT HAS GOD GIVEN YOU?
First, God has given you what He has given all of us…..LIFE!
As I shared in the previous article “A Heart To Give,” God first formed man from the dust of the ground, breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and then suddenly man came alive! That man He named Adam. However, God didn’t stop there. When we read the first two chapters of Genesis, we see where God also gave Adam dominion over the earth and over all the animals. He was even given authority to name each animal. Although Adam had been granted much authority and was surrounded by various living creatures, God recognized that he was still alone. So later in the second chapter, God gave Adam the gift of a help meet who was just right for him. In other words, God gave Adam his wife whom He named Eve.

II Corinthians 9:7 tells us that God loves a cheerful giver. Basically, when we give we should do so freely and willingly because that’s how God gives to us. God loves blessing His children! Again, consider Adam and Eve. God hooked them up! They were given power and lived as little gods here on earth. Unfortunately, they did what many people do by taking God’s gifts for granted. Instead of appreciating all the blessings God had given them, they allowed the serpent, who was being used by Satan, to convince them that God was somehow cheating or depriving them. Even though they had an abundance of trees and fruits to enjoy, they believed the lie that they still needed to eat from the one tree God told them to leave alone, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Consequently, they forfeited their gifts. For instance, they no longer had authority over the earth and over all living creatures. They no longer had the luxury of living forever. Moreover, they lost the closeness they had with God.

According to Genesis 3:8-10, after Adam and Eve messed up, they tried to hide from God. Because of their disobedience, they were too ashamed to face Him. They weren’t comfortable with the thought of approaching Him. Their relationship with God was now different, and their lives were never going to be the same. Isaiah 59:2 lets us know that sin separates an individual from God because God is holy. In other words, sin is the direct opposite of who God is! Although their choice to disobey God caused the rest of mankind to be born into sin, because God is loving, merciful, kind and gracious, He devised another plan.

WHAT IS GOD’S MOST IMPORTANT GIFT?
Of all the blessings or gifts God has given us, what is the most important gift? John 3:16, which is one of the most popular and significant scriptures in the Bible, answers that question. It says:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” (King James Version).

Because God has always loved us (the human race), He gave us His only begotten Son or His one and only Son Jesus so we would have a chance at eternal life. Therefore, those of us who have accepted God’s gift of salvation have Heaven to look forward to.

As a parent, can you imagine offering your only son or your only child in order to save the lives of everyone else? And the people you desire to save don’t even appreciate you? Can you imagine that? Well, God gave the gift of His Son for people who were and still are liars, cheaters, thieves, murderers, adulterers, fornicators and idol worshipers. He offered this precious gift to people who don’t even honor Him. I think about the times throughout the Old Testament when God’s people, those He called His chosen people, would turn their backs on Him. Nevertheless, He was still willing to stick to His plan and send His ONLY Son. In fact, throughout the Old Testament there are various prophecies about the coming Messiah or the Anointed One who is none other than Jesus. This is what the prophet Isaiah said about Him in Isaiah 7:14 (KJV):

“Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us.’).”

This prophecy indeed came to past. In the first chapter of the book of Luke, the angel Gabriel visited Mary, who was still a virgin at the time, and informed her that she would conceive and give birth to a son. However, this child would not come from the seed of a man, but by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Then in chapter two, she gave birth to Jesus. So, again God willingly and freely gave His Son Jesus so that we each would have the opportunity to be set free from our sins, to be reconnected with God Himself, and to gain eternal life!

HAVE YOU RECEIVED GOD’S GIFT OF SALVATION?
Have you received God’s gift of salvation? If not, I encourage you to do so! When you do, you will be given a new life…..a life in God!
And there’s nothing like it because God has many more gifts to give you! For example, God offers His gift of love which holds you, protects you and assures you that you’re not alone.

He also offers His gift of peace which brings you a calmness that the average person can’t fathom. God even has His gift of joy which causes you to smile when nothing special has happened and makes you laugh when no one has told a joke.

If you have already received God’s gift of salvation, then I encourage you to continue honoring God for who He is by living a life that pleases Him. Then in DUE TIME, He will give you every blessing or gift He has in store for you!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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A Very Precious Gift

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW: A Very Precious Gift)

WE GIVE OUR LIVES FOR A VERY PRECIOUS GIFT

To give is to FREELY hand something over to someone. In other words, we don’t give because we feel pressured to give. We give because we want to give. Moreover, God wants us to freely and willingly give our lives to Him. Romans 12:1 (King James Version) says:

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

WHY DOES GOD REQUIRE THAT WE GIVE HIM OUR LIVES?
According to Romans 5:12, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, it opened the door for sin to run rampant. Therefore, every single human being is born into sin. In fact, David said in Psalms 51:5 (New Living Translation):

“For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.”

What is sin? Sin is rebellion against God. So, we’re all born with a nature to disobey God. Nevertheless, we don’t have to stay that way. We don’t have to remain in sin. We don’t have to die in our sins and suffer for eternity in hell. Instead, we can be forgiven and set free, IF we are willing to give our lives to God. I say “willing” because God doesn’t force us to live for Him.

God proves His love for us. He extends the invitation to receive His love. He even sends us warnings, if we need them. However, He never makes us do something we’re not willing to do. As a matter of fact, Adam and Eve fell because God didn’t create them to be robots. He didn’t use a remote to control their every move.

“Go here! Go there! Now sit down! Now stand up!” Instead, God gave them a free will, which meant they had a choice to obey Him or not. Even though God gave them love, riches, dominion over the earth, and eternal life, unfortunately, they willingly decided to listen to someone else and go against God’s expectations.

I recently heard someone describe God as a gentleman. That He is! A gentleman is polite, courteous, honorable, and respectful. Therefore, wouldn’t you want to give your life to such a GENTLE-man? Wouldn’t you want to give your life to the One who created you and gives you life every day? Yes, every day! You woke up this morning because of GOD! Acts 17:28 (KJV) says:

“…..In [God] we live, and move, and have our being.”

Wouldn’t you want to give your life to the One who loves you more than anyone ever could? God loves us all so very much, that He gave us a very precious gift–His Son Jesus. John 3:16 is one of the first Bible verses I believe many Christians learn. It was one of the first ones I learned! Why? That particular verse contains the message every believer should share and every person should know. GOD LOVES THE WORLD! He loves every human being! Because of His love for us, He gave His one and only Son Jesus as a living sacrifice to die in our place in order for us to gain the eternal life which was originally granted to the first man and woman. Now, isn’t that amazing?! Although their disobedience corrupted mankind, God had another plan!

HOW DID JESUS GIVE?
God’s plan for us wouldn’t have been fulfilled if Jesus hadn’t freely and willingly given His life.

In addition to giving His life when He was crucified on the cross, Jesus gave His life in many ways leading up to the cross. Philippians 2:6-7 (NLT) say:

“6 Though He was God,
He did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, He gave up His divine privileges;
He took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.”

Jesus did that for us! He gave up His nice, comfortable position in Heaven in order to live like a mere human being! Although He was conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of a virgin, He still grew and lived as a man here on earth. While He lived as a man, Jesus gave so much of Himself. The four gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are filled with examples of Jesus’ love.

Jesus gave His time to those who wanted to sit and listen to His teachings, like Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha (Luke 10). When she sat at Jesus’s feet, He didn’t ignore her or turn her away. Rather, He taught her.

Jesus gave food to over 5,000 people who were hungry (Matthew 14).

Jesus gave wine to guests at a wedding party (John 2).

Jesus gave love and attention to a group of children (Matthew 19).

Jesus gave compassion and forgiveness to people like the Samaritan woman who had had several husbands (John 4) and like the woman who was openly humiliated for committing adultery (John 8).

Jesus gave healing to many who were blind, deaf, crippled, paralyzed, and sick.

To some who were dead, Jesus gave them a second chance at life.

Jesus gave deliverance to those who were being tormented by evil spirits.

Most importantly, JESUS GAVE HIS LIFE! As the book of Isaiah states, like a lamb, Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross. Gospel artist Kirk Franklin and The Family used to sing:

“Now behold the Lamb
The precious Lamb of God
Born into sin that I may live again
The precious Lamb of God.”

Because Jesus gave His life on our behalf, we should be motivated to give our lives to Him. I’m not just referring to the moment we accept Him into our hearts. That’s only the beginning! But every day, we should give our lives. So I encourage you, starting right now, daily live your life as a gift to the Lord. He’s worthy of it!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

If you find value in this article, please share.

To subscribe to The Kimberly Joy Blog and receive new articles by email, please leave your email address in the box marked SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL provided at the end of the article.

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A Heart To Give

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW: A Heart To Give)

DO YOU HAVE A HEART TO GIVE?
My personal motto is Know Yourself, Be Yourself, Love Yourself! God wants you and me to know who we are in Him. He wants us to be true to whom He has created us to be. Moreover, He wants us to love ourselves completely. However, before we can know who we are in God, we must give ourselves totally to Him.

When I say “give” what do I mean? To give means “to hand (something) over to (someone); or to freely transfer the possession of (something) to (someone)”. I like how the second definition includes the word “freely”. In other words, to give is to do so “without restraint or reservation”. II Corinthians 9:7 (New Living Translation) says:

“You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.’”

So when you TRULY give, you’re not kicking and screaming like a child who is about to get a shot at the doctors’s office. You’re giving WILLINGLY, which is what God wants from us….to be willing givers! Like the verse says, as true givers we should be happy when we give! Giving should make us feel good!

WHY DOES GOD EXPECT US TO GIVE?
God expects us to give because He’s a giver! Since we have been made in His image and likeness, we are to be like Him. We’re not to be equal to God or higher than God. Rather, we’re to emulate Him.

The first thing God requires that we give are our lives in total submission to Him. Because sin prevents us from submitting to God, according to Acts 20:21, the only way we’re ABLE to submit to God is by first repenting of our sins and accepting His Son Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Then, as we draw closer to God through prayer, worship, and studying the scriptures, His attributes come alive in us.

Galatians 5:22-23b (King James Version) say:

“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance…”

These verses describe God’s attributes which include love, gentleness, and goodness because again….God is a giver! In fact, what was the first thing God gave man? Genesis 2:7 (KJV) says:

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

So, what was the first thing God gave man? Yes, that’s right! LIFE!
God has given you life! God has given me life! As I used to always hear folks say back in the day during testimony service, “I woke up this morning in my right mind with the blood running warm in my veins and with the activities of my limbs!”

WHAT DOES CHRISTMAS SIGNIFY?
Christmas is in just a few days! For us believers, this is the time of year when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For instance, we sing Christmas carols and put on plays to reenact the day He was born.

Many of us also decorate our homes with Christmas lights, put the Christmas tree up in the living room, hang Christmas stockings on the fireplace, drink hot chocolate, and watch our favorite Christmas movies, like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Home Alone, A Christmas Story, and my all-time favorite, A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Christmas is also considered the season for giving. Many people give and receive gifts such as, money, gift cards, jewelry, clothes, shoes, coats, hats, toys, bicycles and video games. Pop singer Andy Williams described Christmas as “….. the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. For many, I believe that’s true. However, for others, that’s not at all the case.

According to the National Institute of Health (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201011/why-people-get-depressed-christmas), “Christmas is the time of year that people experience a high incidence of depression. Hospitals and police forces report high incidences of suicide and attempted suicide. Psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals report a significant increase in patients complaining about depression.”

WHY ARE SOME DEPRESSED DURING CHRISTMAS?
The National Institute of Health states that depression typically occurs for those who feel alone, especially if they have loved ones who have passed away.

Also, some people feel the pressure of buying gifts they really can’t afford. So, to help deal with what is termed “Christmas depression,” the article offers some suggestions. Here are a few:

1. “If the depression is serious, seek out the help of a qualified mental health professional.”

This is an important tip because sometimes you need to talk to someone. If you keep everything bottled up inside, it will eventually come out in a negative way, like substance abuse or suicide.

2. “Set personal boundaries regarding the money spent on gifts.”

This is a great tip because, again, God loves a CHEERFUL giver. Therefore, you shouldn’t give anything that’s going to cause you anxiety. If you can’t afford it, or if you don’t believe it’s necessary, then don’t give it. Also, don’t let anyone make you feel guilty if you choose not to empty out your bank account or max out your credit cards for some Christmas presents, including your own children. This is actually a great time to teach them that Christmas is not about giving and receiving a bunch of presents, but about remembering what Christ did for us. Plus, there’s more that can be given besides material things, which brings me to the next tip.

3. “Become involved in giving in a non-monetary way through charities and worthwhile causes that help less fortunate people.”

This particular tip reminds us that giving involves more than just giving money and material things. Instead, you can give your talents and skills, your time, a listening ear, a prayer, a hug, a smile, advice, or a helping hand like volunteering at a soup-kitchen or at a nursing home.

4. “Be grateful for what you have in your life, rather than focusing on what you don’t have.”

This tip is very important because I Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to give thanks in every situation, not just the situations we think are good, but EVERY situation.

So if you are experiencing any anxiety during this holiday season, let it go and give it to God! He doesn’t want you being weighed down by the pressures Christmas brings. Instead, He wants you to ENJOY this time with your family and friends. Most importantly, He wants you to give Him ALL the glory!!!


(Me pictured with my dad, brother & brother’s family)

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

If you find value in this article, please share.

To subscribe to The Kimberly Joy Blog and receive new articles by email, please leave your email address in the box marked SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL provided at the end of the article.

Please follow The Kimberly Joy Show on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

The Good, the Bad, the Beautiful, the Ugly

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW: The No-Complaining Challenge)

THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE BEAUTIFUL, THE UGLY
“And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20 – New Living Translation)

As the verse states, we are to give God thanks for EVERYTHING! Everything Kim? Yes, EVERYTHING! The good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly! Consider Job in the Bible. In Job chapter one, He lost basically everything!

First, he lost his riches. When his employees were attacked and killed, the attackers stole all his oxen, donkeys, sheep, and camels. So, he lost the things and people which helped produce his wealth.

Job also found himself suffering physically when he developed boils all over his body. If you’re not familiar with boils, they are deep, localized skin infections that start off being tender and red and then later become firm, hard and increasingly painful, (https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/boils_skin_infection). This day and time, boils can be treated. Unfortunately during Job’s time, he just had to suffer through it.

To make matters worse, Job lost all his children in one freak accident! Anyone who has ever had the unfortunate experience of losing a child will acknowledge it is the worst pain anyone can go through. Having children truly teaches you how to love unconditionally. So, just imagine losing ALL your children at once!

However, despite his tremendous loss, in Job 1:21 (NLT), Job somehow managed to muster up a praise to God. Oh yes! He STILL praised God!

“I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!”

In other words, Job said, “I just lost all my wealth. I went from being rich to poor. But God You are still worthy of my praise!
All my children have been killed, my offspring, my heirs, my heartbeats. But, I still say thank You LORD!”

Many who haven’t lost and suffered nearly as much as Job find themselves being angry with God instead of thankful if they get laid off from work or if their car gets repossessed! However, a person who chooses to be thankful might say, “I may have lost my job, but I still have my health. This must mean God has something better in store for me! So, I thank You God in advance! I may have lost my car, but I still have legs to walk. I can walk to the bus stop and catch the city bus if I have to.

I’m not going to let this minor setback stop me from living or take me into a state of depression. And I’m definitely not going to let it stop my praise!”

When we choose to be thankful, even in the midst of the storm, it’s because we recognize that God is still God, no matter what, and He owes us NOTHING! That’s right! God owes us nothing! We were created to worship HIM!

IS REMAINING THANKFUL AN EASY TASK?
Remaining thankful in the midst of hardships and disappointments is not an easy task. Nevertheless, it can be done! It’s something you have to do intentionally. You have to thank the Lord and maintain what I like to call “An Attitude of Gratitude” ON PURPOSE! It reminds me of the following photo I re-posted on social media recently. I shared the photo simply to encourage people, which is something I try to do as often as possible.

After I shared the post, one of my Facebook friends stated that following those tips was easier said than done. I understood where she was coming from and in my response, I said that I used to think the same way until I chose to trust God and change the way I think and speak. I went on to explain that it’s something I have to practice every day.

Although it’s not easy to remain positive and thankful in every situation, as believers we can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13). Also, James 1:22 states that we have to put the Word of God in to practice. Like the old saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” The more you do something with consistency, the easier it becomes.

In my previous article “Be Thankful,” I challenged everyone to spend their daily prayer time thanking God instead of presenting Him with a to-do list.

Whenever I choose to spend time just thanking God, He shows up in a TREMENDOUS way! I feel such peace and joy in just a matter of minutes.

WHAT IS THE NO-COMPLAINING CHALLENGE?
For this upcoming week, I challenge you to refrain from complaining. Yes, NO COMPLAINING! I know sometimes we feel a need to vent. “I just got to get this off my chest!!!” But, do you really have to or do you just want to? There’s a difference!

Please recognize that complaining doesn’t welcome the presence of God into your situation. It’s not about glorifying God, but gratifying the flesh. From personal experience, I can say that when I choose not to complain, even when I want to, I soon feel better. Why? By NOT complaining, I’m refusing to give that negativity any power. Think about it! For instance, if a co-worker upsets you, and you go on and on complaining about it, you’re just giving that person power over you. You’re allowing him or her to occupy unnecessary space in your mind. Now, is that something you really want to do? My guess is NO!

I understand there are times when we need to address certain issues. For example, if a restaurant tries to serve you burnt food, you shouldn’t have to pay for it.

Nonetheless, even in such a situation I encourage you to be mindful of your attitude, tone of voice and choice of words. You can still handle that situation in love. Remember, we are to be representatives for Jesus Christ.

So, again this week, NO COMPLAINING! It’s my prayer that you will, therefore, experience more love, joy and peace, that God will speak to you like He’s never spoken to you before and that He will move tremendously in your life!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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Be Thankful

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW: The Thanksgiving Prayer Challenge)

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE THANKFUL
My personal motto is Know Yourself, Be Yourself, Love Yourself. Knowing who you are in God, being who you are with no apologies and loving who you are wholeheartedly includes being THANKFUL to God! When we’re thankful to God, we don’t take what He has done for us lightly or take Him for granted. We are just as thankful for the small blessings as we are for the big ones. For instance, if my dad gives me a brand new car that I don’t have to pay one dime for and that is, in fact, completely paid for with my name on the title, then that is a big blessing.

In my eyes, it’s a big blessing because currently I don’t have the money to pay for a brand new car in full.

On the other hand, if I’m standing in line at Kroger when I realize I’m $4 short, and if the woman standing behind me offers to cover the rest of my bill, then I would call that a small blessing. I consider it a small blessing because I CAN afford $4. As a matter of fact, that actually happened to me. In that particular incident, I miscalculated how much money I had in my purse. Nevertheless, I didn’t worry about it because I wasn’t in dire need of everything I had placed in my cart. However, the woman still offered to pay for the remaining items.

Although it was only $4, I recognized it was still a blessing from God. Let’s be honest, most people wouldn’t do what she did for me. So, when I got to the car and sat behind the steering wheel, I took a moment to thank the Lord for that unexpected blessing.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE THANK GOD?
I Thessalonians 5:18 (King James Version) says:

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

As the verse states, we are to be thankful in every situation. Yes, EVERY situation! I’ve come to realize we can be thankful even in difficult, uncomfortable situations. For example, about 20 years ago my brother, who was a recent high school graduate at the time, was given permission one night to take our dad’s Cadillac, so he could go out with his friends. Later as he was driving home, he fell asleep at the wheel. When he woke up, he realized the car was crashing into a guardrail. In that moment, he decided to open the car door and jump out. Why did he jump out? I don’t think he even knew at the time. Some might say it was instinct, but I say it was an angel of the Lord protecting him because that same Cadillac wound up getting TOTALED!

When he got to a phone, he called our dad. I remember my brother saying how terrified he was of making that phone call because of the condition of the car. Although he was 18 years old and about to go off to college, he just knew he was in serious trouble. When our dad got the call, he was very angry at first. Needless to say, once he saw how bad the car had been wrecked, his anger was suddenly replaced with relief and thankfulness. He no longer cared about that Cadillac. He was just glad his son was able to walk away from that accident with only a bump on the knee. A fancy car could never compare to the life of his son!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, the time of year when we get together with family and friends to love on each other and EAT, to laugh and EAT, to play and EAT, to watch football and EAT, to shop and EAT, and then to EAT some more. You get my drift, right?

In addition, this particular holiday serves as a reminder that we are to be thankful for our blessings. Naturally, as believers in Christ, every day should be Thanksgiving for us. However, if we were to be honest, that’s not always the case. Sometimes we get caught up in everyday happenings and neglect to thank God.

WHAT IS THE THANKSGIVING PRAYER CHALLENGE?
I want to present you with The Thanksgiving Prayer Challenge. For one week during your daily prayer time, instead of presenting God with a list of things for Him to do, I challenge you to present God with a list of reasons why you’re thankful. In other words, spend time in prayer just THANKING Him. Although Philippians 4:6 tells us to make our petitions known to God, it also tells us to be thankful. Don’t you like it when those around you just appreciate you? God’s the same way! Let me give you an example.

When I was younger, even in my early 20s, I typically only called my father when I needed something, whether it was money or his help. So, whenever I called, he would say something like, “What’s wrong daughter?” or “What do you need?” And that was the norm for us! It wasn’t until I got older, when I realized that, although our dad is always willing to be there for my brother and me, he still wants to feel loved and appreciated. Sometimes, he wants us to call him just to (as he likes to say) “shoot the breeze”. So, now I make it a point to call my dad JUST BECAUSE, and he absolutely loves it!


So, again I CHALLENGE you! Instead of presenting a To-Do list to God, just spend time thanking Him.

Lord I thank You for saving me!
Lord I thank You for waking me up this morning healthy and in my right mind!
Lord I thank you for loving me, for keeping me, for encouraging me, for guiding my footsteps!

Lord I thank you for my family!
Lord I thank You for saving my loved ones!
I thank You for blessing my parents with long lives and healthy bodies and minds!

I thank You for my nieces and nephews, for being a hedge of protection around them every day, for keeping them from being abused and violated in any way and for them growing up to be successful men and women of God!

Lord I thank You for my job, for my home, for my clothes, for my shoes, for my food, for my car!
I thank You God for not giving up on me when I wanted to give up!
I thank You God for loving me when I didn’t know how to love myself!

Lord I thank You for those who are reading this article right now! Thank You Lord for drawing them closer to You and for meeting every need in their lives!
Lord, I thank You!
Lord, I love You!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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Please follow The Kimberly Joy Show on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Ordinary Is Just Not Good Enough

WHY IS ORDINARY JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH?
According to II Corinthians 5:17, once you accept Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior, He forgives you of your sins, purifies your heart, and makes you brand new!

Thus, you’re no longer defined by your past sins, by your past mistakes, by your present circumstances, by your surroundings, or by the negative things people still try to say about you. You are now a child of GOD! And I’m not just talking about any god, but THEE GOD!

“O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth…..” Psalms 8:1

“Who is the King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle.” Psalms 24:8

“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised…..” Psalms 145:3

As the Bible declares, no one and nothing can ever compare to God for He is EXTRAORDINARY! Since we are made in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27), we too are far from ordinary! Therefore, God expects us to follow His ways and represent Him appropriately (Ephesians 5:1).

Legendary Gospel group Commissioned, which introduced artists like Fred Hammond and Pastor Marvin Sapp to the world, recorded back in 1989 a song that has become one of my favorites entitled “Ordinary Just Won’t Do.”

“Have you ever needed someone,
A shoulder just to cry on,
To ease the agony
And find tranquility,
Or just have
A sweet and gentle touch
That speaks of words,
Speaks of words of love that mean so much?
Ordinary just won’t do,
I need someone, my Lord, I need someone,
That someone is You, that someone is You!”

As the song so beautifully explains, the ordinary is just not good enough! Rather, we need the EXTRAORDINARY God who loves us unconditionally, saves us, delivers us, heals us and empowers us to do great things!

Recently on my radio broadcast The Kimberly Joy Show, I had the privilege of interviewing Elder Benita Florence. Benita, a woman I’ve known for over fifteen years, shared her personal testimony. Growing up in the projects, at a young age Benita recognized that she is indeed extraordinary in God!

KJ: Welcome Elder Benita to The Kimberly Joy Show!

BF: Hello Kimberly Joy! How are you?

KJ: Oh I am great! I am awesome! I’m so glad to have you here! Elder Benita will you please take a moment to share with us your personal testimony of how you came to recognize that you are indeed extraordinary in God?

BF: Amen, I’m honored to share part of my story with the listening audience Evangelist Kim. You know, I thank God every day for the journey and where He brought me from. And I love Him so much. I’ll start off by saying I am a proud product of the West End. I am a West End kid.

I grew up in the Laurel Holmes Housing Projects, even though I spent a lot of my time in the Lincoln Courts Projects because that’s where most of my friends lived.

BF: But, being extraordinary and daring to be different started early on in my life, and I thank God that I know now that He had been with me even as a child. I am a proud graduate of the great George Hays Elementary in the West End and also of Jennie D. Porter Junior High School. I graduated from the Robert A. Taft High School down in the West End.

BF: Because of growing up in the inner city, you are exposed to various elements, whether good or bad. But most of my experiences I can honestly say were all good, and I am grateful for my humble beginnings. I do believe and now know for sure that God’s grace and mercy were with me even as a young girl. His unmerited favor, His compassion, His love for me. Even as we (me and my friends) faced several challenges, God was there for us, and I’m grateful for everything He has done in my life. I’m grateful He heard my cry, and He granted my requests even at a young age.

BF: I was baptized and introduced to God and Jesus Christ at an early age. My family went to Zion Baptist Church in Avondale. The late great Reverend Booth baptized me, and I had an awareness about Jesus and His Father God. Even though our family didn’t attend church every Sunday, the awareness was there.

BF: I knew who Jesus was, and I spoke with Him as a child growing up in the projects because sometimes people can have preconceived notions about children who might grow up in challenging situations or poverty or might not have a lot of material type things.

But I thank God that at an early age He gave me a spirit of tenacity. He gave me the determination and will to overcome things. And I don’t take it for granted. I am so grateful. I am so grateful to God for that.

BF: God has strategically placed individuals and situations in my life to help propel me forward to be successful in my life. I’m grateful for teachers. I’m grateful for school employees who took the time to encourage and just love on me. And if I really had to pick someone out, Judith Moore, if you’re out there, God bless you! I love you! I appreciate all the time and energy you put into me to make sure I got where I needed to go. Ms. Judith Moore, she was over the Career Development at Porter, and she later took over Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates at Taft High School. This lady took an interest in me and made sure I got specific things I needed to be successful in my life. And I just wanted to thank her.

(Benita, far right, and friends at Taft)

BF: As I journeyed on and graduated from Taft High School, I had the opportunity to move forward and go to college.

I entered into The Ohio State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s in Nursing Science, and that was with challenges, as well. For the entry Math and English tests I took, I didn’t score at a freshman level, so I had to take some remedial classes. But to God be the glory because it set a foundation for me, and it set a support system up for me, and I was able to transition through the five years and get my bachelor’s degree.

BF: As I moved forward (and we all have issues, trials, tribulations and tests), my family was facing some issues. I was one of those who might have clubbed and done things that were contrary to the Word and that weren’t helping me. They weren’t balancing or managing my thoughts, my life decisions. So, I sought the Lord, and I’m glad I sought the Lord! It was the best thing I could have done because I got the road map for my life, which is the Bible. I realized God is a God even in our suffering. And even as issues, trials, tribulations and tests came about, I was able to balance things and know that God is our peace, and we can rest even in the midst of the storm. We can quote the Word to ourselves and say:

“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them [Satan and your enemies]: for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee,” Deuteronomy 31:6.

BF: I thank God even in my journeys as a Christian. As I studied to learn the Word of God, I wanted to get to know the Word deeper. An opportunity came available for me to attend Liberty University, and I received a master’s degree in Theological Studies. That was another answered prayer. I just wanted some personal time with Him and some personal knowledge to help deepen my relationship with the Lord. So, I’m grateful that I graduated in 2014 with my master’s.

And I’ll say I won’t take anything for my journey now. Everything me and my family went through, it makes you stronger. It’s good to know you can survive a storm and to know that a project kid, like myself, can make it!

BF: I just want to encourage the listeners, just keep yourself rooted and grounded in the Word of God. No matter what the people say about you, it’s all about what God’s Word says. Whatever God says about you, it’s true! We’re more than conquerors! We are victorious! We are somebody in Him, and it’s good to know that our self-esteem and confidence are rooted in the Lord. The enemy will try to steal, kill and destroy, but we have power over the enemy in Jesus’ name!

KJ: Elder Benita, thank you for that awesome testimony and encouraging word!

Benita Florence, a registered nurse with The University of Cincinnati Medical Center, and her husband Melvyne Florence serve as the assistant pastors of our church Power and Faith Ministries in Fairfield, Ohio.

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

If you find value in this article, please share.

To subscribe to The Kimberly Joy Blog and receive new articles by email, please leave your email address in the box marked SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL provided at the end of the article.

Please follow The Kimberly Joy Show on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

God Created You To Be Extraordinary

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW-“Extraordinary: Dare to be Different Part 2”)

GOD CREATED YOU TO BE EXTRAORDINARY

Psalms 139:14 (New International Version):

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

I appreciate the above verse because it reassures me that God didn’t create any junk when He created me. Rather, He delicately crafted me in His loving, yet powerful hands. Also, as it says in Genesis chapter one, everything God created was good. I’m good! You’re good! I’ll take it a step further and say we are extraordinary!

WHAT DOES EXTRAORDINARY MEAN?
According to the dictionary, extraordinary is “going beyond (superior to; more than; over and above) what is usual, ordinary, regular, customary, the norm; exceptional in character (moral quality–honest, courageous, disciplined, hard-working); noteworthy (worthy of being noticed or recognized due to some special excellence, standing out in the crowd); remarkable; having a special task or responsibility.” When we break down the word, we get EXTRA-ordinary.

II Corinthians 5:17 (King James Version):

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

People of God, when Jesus came into your lives to save you, He made you brand new! Therefore, what you thought you couldn’t do before, through Him now you can! Matthew 19:26 and Luke 1:37 state that with God all things are possible. The key is GOD!! We must keep GOD number one! He’s the one who empowers us to be extraordinary.

WHAT DOES EXTRAORDINARY LOOK LIKE?
Let me tell you about an extraordinary woman I know. This woman happens to be my longtime friend and sister in Christ. I’ve changed her name to protect her identity.

Victoria grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. After graduating from high school, she went to college where she ran track and majored in Exercise Science. While in college, she became a lifetime member of the sisterhood of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. The sorority was founded in 1920 by a group of African-American women. After graduating from college, Victoria decided to enlist in the army where she served this country for six years. She later returned to Cincinnati where she got a job working with heart patients who were going through rehabilitation. Soon after that, she purchased her own home and went back to school for her masters degree.

When I first met Victoria, I can remember admiring her drive and determination to strive for the best! Although she wasn’t surrounded by many college graduates in her family, she didn’t let that stop her from pursuing her dream of earning a college degree. In fact, her story of success doesn’t stop there! Just a few years ago, Victoria decided to enroll in college for a third time. However, it wasn’t to earn her Ph.D. Instead, Victoria decided to think outside the box, step out on faith and pursue her desire of becoming an actress. Yes, an actress! She auditioned for the school she wanted to attend, was accepted into the program, and four years later, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Dramatic Performance. Today, Victoria is living in New York. A dream come true!

When people first discovered that Victoria had decided to become a full-time drama student, I can just imagine some of the conversations:

“Did you hear about Victoria?”

“No. What happened?”

“She decided to go back to college to become an ACTRESS!”

“An ACTRESS?!!! Girl, you’re kidding!!”

“No, I’m not! She told me herself!”

“But, isn’t she in her 30s? She’s a little old for that!”

“You mean her LATE 30s!!! Yeah, she’s too old! I don’t know what she’s thinking! She has a good job already! Owns her own home!”

“Shoot! I know some women who would give anything to have her life!”

“THANK YOU! She needs to let go of that pipe dream and just be happy with what she’s got!”

Oh yes, I can just imagine!

Nevertheless, one thing I know about Victoria is that she has never been a person to live in fear. She’s never been one to allow others to dictate how she’s going to live her life. I believe at an early age she recognized that God had made her extraordinary. So despite the naysayers, Victoria decided to listen to the voice of God and trust He would continue taking care of her. And that He did! While she was a full-time drama student, God provided her with everything she needed. She was able to pay her tuition, her bills and her mortgage!

ARE YOU PASSIONATE OR PRACTICAL?
What are you passionate about? Are you pursuing your dreams or are you settling for what is easy and practical? Do you have those questions of “WHAT IF?” swarming around in your head? Do you want to look back over your life one day and wish you had taken a chance, stepped out on faith and pursued your passion? I know I don’t! I’ve had enough regrets from allowing fear to stifle me, which is why I’m now writing blog posts, books, and plays and sharing inspirational messages on my own radio broadcast.

I can truly say I am most happy when I’m doing what I love! How about you? Oh yeah, you too? Do you know why? It’s simply because God put those passions in our hearts. God made you and me extraordinary. So, I encourage you, like Victoria, to step out on faith and pursue your dreams! Don’t believe the notion that you’re too old. God’s not saying that! Why do you think He’s still nudging you to go back to school, to write a book, to write songs, to start your business, to start your own clothing line, etc.? Even if you are older, do you not believe that God can make up the time you may have lost? Oh yes He can! He’s GOD!!!

There are people out there who need you! Yes, YOU! They need to hear YOUR testimony! They need to hear YOUR music! God has a people waiting for YOU who will gladly support YOUR business and buy YOUR products. Like Victoria, you just have to trust God to order your footsteps, to bring the right people your way, and to provide you with what you need. Remember this, an extraordinary person settling for an ordinary life will never be fully content!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

If you find value in this article, please share.

To subscribe to The Kimberly Joy Blog and receive new articles by email, please leave your email address in the box marked SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL provided at the end of the article.

Please follow The Kimberly Joy Show on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

You Are Free: The Sermon

I had the privilege of ministering this message at my church a couple of weeks ago. I pray it blesses you!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

If you find value in this video, please share.

To subscribe to The Kimberly Joy Blog and receive new articles and videos by email, please leave your email address in the box marked SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL provided at the end of the article.

You may also follow The Kimberly Joy Show on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

You Are EXTRAORDINARY!

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW – Extraordinary: Dare To Be Different)

WHAT DOES EXTRAORDINARY LOOK LIKE?
As a believer in Christ Jesus, who are you? Who does God say you are?

I Peter 2:9 (King James Version) says:

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light…”

What is the verse stating? God says you are EXTRAORDINARY! Yes, EXTRAORDINARY! What does EXTRAORDINARY mean? What does EXTRAORDINARY look like?

Let me tell you about Victor (I’ve changed his name to protect his identity). I am pleased to say Victor was one of my students during my years as a high school English teacher. Although he’s very successful now, he didn’t always have it easy growing up. Victor, his two brothers and their sister were all raised by a single mother. Because their father was an abusive man, he left her no choice but to take her babies and leave.

As a result, they wound up in the projects with little money. Nevertheless, money means nothing when you don’t have peace of mind or feel safe in your own home!

I’ll never forget one particular incident which occurred while Victor was in college. One morning while getting dressed for work, I heard a channel 9 news reporter say that a man from Cincinnati was lying in a hospital bed with a serious gunshot wound which he had given himself after killing his ex-girlfriend. He soon died. Later that day, some of my colleagues informed me that the same man I had heard about on the news was Victor’s dad. Yes, he was the same man his mother had escaped from years before!

While Victor was a student in my classroom, he would sometimes talk to me about his aspirations. He even talked about how angry he used to be because of his father. Although he had always been an A and B student, because of the hurt and anger he held, he often got into fights at school which resulted in suspensions. Fortunately around the age of 14 or 15, Victor decided that enough is enough! No more anger! No more fights! No more school suspensions!

Why did Victor make this decision? First of all, he was tired! He was tired of fighting, of getting into trouble and of worrying his mother! Secondly, somehow he knew within himself that he was EXTRAORDINARY. He could be anything he wanted to be, but he had to change his attitude. I believe he heard the voice of God. In his (as Oprah Winfrey likes to call) “aha moment”, he realized he didn’t have to allow the abuse and abandonment of his father to define who he was and who he would become. So, he let go of the anger, adopted a new mindset, and dared to be different! He dared to be different from the person he had been before. He dared to excel in school and on the football field. Moreover, he dared to become a young man of kindness, love, and integrity.

While in college, Victor was named homecoming king and became a lifetime member of the brotherhood of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. If you’re not familiar with the Alphas, it is the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity founded by a group of African-American men in 1906. After graduating, Victor traveled to Japan on a scholarship to study business relations.

Today, Victor is a successful business owner. He regularly gives back to the community and serves as a mentor and role model for young African-American males. And did I mention he is only 30 years old?

HOW DO YOU DISCOVER THE PERSON YOU REALLY ARE?
As a child of God, you are not like everyone else. Have you ever noticed that you don’t always seem to fit in? Perhaps you have even found yourself being a loner because no one seems to get you. But, you don’t have to worry because GOD gets you! After all, He made you who you are, and no matter how hard you try, you just don’t fit in with the crowd. I completely understand! There were times when I, too, tried to fit in. I wanted to be accepted by my peers. Needless to say, in those moments, I felt like a fish out of water. I wasn’t being true to me! I was only pretending.

God doesn’t want me pretending. God doesn’t want YOU pretending. He wants you to be true to the person He has created you to be. Who is that, you ask? As you spend time with God, you discover the person you really are. You discover what you like and don’t like.

You discover your gifts, talents, and skills. As you study the scriptures, you come to realize that you are indeed EXTRAORDINARY. Again, I Peter 2:9 (KJV) says:

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light…”

As the verse says, you have been hand-picked by God. God has used people to pray for you and minister to you because He chose you!
You are royalty! You are priests! During the Old Testament times, the priests were the ones who went before God on behalf of others. However, as believers in Christ, you have the distinct privilege of going to God for yourself. You are also holy (sanctified, set apart to be used for God’s glory). Furthermore, you are special and unique. You are not the person you were before Jesus saved you. You are now new! You are EXTRAORDINARY!

I encourage you to live as someone EXTRAORDINARY! Don’t settle for less. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Like Victor, don’t allow your past, your present circumstances or even your family to determine the person you will become! Please know that you serve an EXTRAORDINARY God who has EXTRAORDINARY blessings in store for you!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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