If Not Now, When?

So, I missed you last month. But, unfortunately, my life was so busy; I forgot to write. So here I am, ready to engage with you again.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “If not now, when? If not you, who?” I have always liked that saying because it epitomizes how I have lived my life. I have always believed that I could either sit around and blame someone else for my challenges, make excuses for why I could not do something, wait for someone to give me a chance or not give me one, or plot my path.

I was excited and enthusiastic about everything when I began my work career. I remember the first time I interviewed for the management training program with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. That program offered college graduates an opportunity to join the company at the lowest managerial level and learn to be a manager. I recall the interview in Dallas and visiting the headquarters building. I was so enamored with the various professionals walking around, and back then, people wore suits to work!

if not now, when

Being from a family of churchgoers and not white-collar professionals, I always knew this was the kind of person I wanted to be. So, although I was not a student that anyone took an interest in, except one female basketball coach who also inspired me, I had to learn to believe in myself. I remember just being happy to be there with all the other potential hires. After the interviews, I got on the plane back to Florida, praying that I would be offered a job. Every day, I waited for the mail to see if I would receive a positive response from the company. Finally, one day, it came, and I was so happy to be seen, believed in, and accepted as a person for their program.

Today, some might think that my life’s journey has been easy, and I had only wonderful moments with no challenges at all. Truth be told, I was the first one in my family to attend college and graduate. When I said that to my family members, no one asked, “Why?” they just figured out a way for me to go. Their attitudes were, “Why not her?” and that was my attitude. No one had done it before me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do it! So, if not me, who? After I attended and finished college, almost every one of my family members who came up after me attended college also. When I started working a white-collar job, nearly every family member younger than me did so, also. Why? It’s because they saw it to be possible.

Today is a new day. Don’t allow people with bad attitudes and old grudges to keep you from your dreams. Stop listening to the chatter of why you cannot do something. When others begin to project on you their limitations, don’t accept them. When they say that the system isn’t for you, I say, challenge the system, not in a hostile or aggressive way, but in a positive, polished, self-assured manner. Let your attitude be one of the possibilities, not of problems. Tell yourself and others, “If not now, when? If not me, who?” and let them try to convince you otherwise!

How To Think Optimistically

I don’t know where you live, but I live in sunny California. Yet, the last couple of months has been the coldest I have ever experienced during my seven years here. Yes, I know it’s all relative and that the nation has had bad weather. Still, I cannot believe how the weather has behaved this year.


But now it is Springtime! I am thrilled to welcome spring. I love this time of year. Everything from spring breaks to spring showers excites me. I can already see beautiful yellow flowers in my outdoor flower beds. Seeing the blooms make me happy. But isn’t it interesting how we can let the weather affect moods and attitudes? I know people who feel deep depression when it rains or is gray and cold for too long, and I know those who immediately perk up when the sun is shining.

Regardless of what the weather looks like today or tomorrow, I try very hard to embrace life and live it to the fullest. One thing I know for sure is I get to determine how I will respond to each day. I can enter the day with hope, optimism, and anticipation, or I can enter it with a pessimistic, negative, hopeless attitude, always looking for the worst.

As Believers, I want our default attitude to be optimistic. I am not saying that we will not experience the human emotions of frustration, disappointment, or failure. Still, when we experience these emotions, I hope we recognize them for what they are—temporary, and they won’t always last. I hope you won’t allow negative emotions to get the best of you, and when you experience them, you will quickly recover and get back at it. I hope you will learn to rewire your mind to look for the best, to see the glass half full. Remember that even the most optimistic person can find themselves venturing down the negativity. But there is hope! And as usual, I believe that hope comes from God.

think on these things

The Bible tells us how we can maintain optimistic attitudes and have happy, hopeful, and positive minds, and Philippians 4:8 is our instruction guide. This scripture has always lifted my spirits, and I hope it will do the same for you. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

You see, we do not have to allow our minds to wander aimlessly, accepting anything that comes along. The Bible gives us all we need to help us rewire our thinking; we must recognize “stinking thinking” and decide that nothing or no one will negatively affect your attitude; at least not long-term. The Holy Spirit will help us if we let Him.

What Do We Do?

Every year, we hope the new year will bring something more wonderful than the year before. Some people, like me, make resolutions (I call them goals), while others feel doing so wastes time. Regardless, I am always hopeful about the future and what the new year will bring.

This year has gotten off to a rocky start for some. Although I feel my life is blessed beyond measure, I am devastated as the next person when something tragic happens to friends or family. Well, that is how this year started and continues today. As I write this blog, I cannot help but reflect on the news I received from a close family member of the scary “C” word. But, in the last week, close friends have lost loved ones, and others have experienced hearing the bad news of some kind regarding themselves or someone close to them.


I recognize that sickness and death are a part of our life cycle. Nevertheless, when people go through these life-changing events, I am reminded of how precious life is and how grateful I am to be given another day. I also think about the pain and heartbreak those closest to the situation are going through. I would like to know what I can do to ease the pain. When they share their devastating news, what do I say? I understand. We don’t if we haven’t experienced it, and even if we have, we don’t understand their particular circumstances. Then, do we say, I will be praying for you? Of course, we will, but more than those praying statements may be needed.

What do we do when we don’t know what to do? I can’t outline a plan for anyone to follow in such situations. I can only share that I stop a prayer. I pray that God will give me the right words or lead me to be quiet and sit in silence, waiting on Him to lead the way. Sometimes the silence is deafening, and we want to fill the space. But we should not rush to fill the silence; we should let the Holy Spirit do His work in that time.

One of the most effective tools in our arsenal in difficult times can be disconnecting from all the voices and plugging into the one voice that is sometimes drowned out in the chaos. The voice we need to hear the most is the voice of God. I am not saying an audible voice, but the feeling in your soul, whispering softly, reminding you that you are not alone. Or through something you read that reminds you of how strong you are even in your most vulnerable state because He is with you. You may feel alone, but you are not alone. You may feel helpless to help someone you love going through something you wish you could change, but you are not weak; you have hope. That hope can be shared through your smile, support, or just sitting and listening to another person.

No matter where we find ourselves today, I know that where we are, we are supposed to be. God will use us during the good times and in the dark times. And that’s it—be, the vessel He uses regardless of what is happening around you.

Keep Winning!

January of each year is the time I set aside to focus on my spiritual life. I begin the year with a spiritual fast. As I fasted and prayed this year, I asked God to help me be kinder, gentler, and more compassionate. It sounds corny, but a straightforward person like me can be seen as tough and challenging when I am those, but I am kind and understanding also. Anyway, my faith was tested during this particular time of the year.

keep winning

As I reflect on that time, my mind goes to a saying I would hear as a child—“don’t be surprised when you come under attack. There’s always some test right before your breakthrough.” Okay, but I did not expect that challenge from someone close to me.

As I faced the issue, I wanted to lash out. I was furious, and when I am mad, anything could happen. I remember thinking, “I have been there for him/her. There’s no way they will let anyone or anything overshadow how much I care for them and have been there for them.” When I thought the foolishness had settled, I learned later that it was not. I was furious again. However, somewhere along the way, God brought me peace. When conversations occurred regarding this issue, I noticed that I did not react anymore. I felt a sense of calm.

Today, I can confidently say that my calm came from that time of fasting, prayer, and Bible reading. Although the scriptures I read during the month had nothing to do with peace, today, I find myself thinking of the scripture in Isaiah 26:3 that says, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Yes, that’s it. God settled my mind.

Have you faced something challenging lately? Stop and evaluate your life. Are you succeeding at something that others are not? Are your wins secretly infuriating others? How do you know? We have all been at the point of exasperation when we encounter situations that we had no idea were simmering under the surface. If you don’t know that someone has deep resentment toward you, how do you handle it when it finally rises to the surface? It’s hard.

I know that attacks can be physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. It’s unfortunate when we don’t see them coming, and it is even tougher to be confronted and not know how to respond. One underlying reason people attack is their insecurities; they may have secret jealousies you never knew existed. But when you win and continue to do so, you stir up their jealousy. Guess what? You have no control over their thoughts or their insecurities. People may smile in your face the entire time, hoping to see you fail. When you don’t, they find ways to get to you.

Today, let me encourage you to let God bring peace and calm when someone injects chaos. Pray for those who despitefully use you, and don’t regret trusting those who may betray you. Do not let those against you stop you from loving, living, and being all God has called you to be. If their attacks stop you, they win. Remember, you are blessed and highly favored. Don’t let anyone cause you to question that. Don’t put your head down. Don’t sulk, and do not stop what you are doing to make them happy. Head up, shoulders back, and keep winning.

Christmas is More…

You have probably read tons of Christmas blogs by now, and if you are cynical, you probably think this is just another one. So, you say to yourself, here we go with the usual cliques that say, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” I feel you, but please bear with me for a minute.

Over 700 years ago, the Prophet Isaiah told of a baby who would be born and all the things he would do for humanity. Just think if someone predicted that you would be born 700 years before birth and they pointed out specifics about what you would do for the world. Can you imagine? I can’t. Even so, I bet there were as many critics back then saying “yeah, right” as there are now. Funny, I think about Noah, too, telling people that it was going to rain, and they considered him mad as he plugged away at building the boat year after year. He believed in God. Period.

I find it fascinating that after all my years of following Jesus, I never get tired of reflecting on this memorable holiday. I love this season, and as much as I get a kick out of sharing my time and resources with others, I always make sure that I focus my intentions on Christ. I do so through listening to praise music, reading the Bible, or listening to stories of faith from others. What has rung in my head over the last week has been Isaiah 9, ”For unto us a child is born, unto a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” When I consider these words, I get goosebump

Christmas is a joyful time for Believers of Christ. As you celebrate Christmas, amid gift-giving and laughter, stop and thank God for His gift to the world, Jesus. He changed the world in a short time, and His impact continues to this day. He fulfilled all that Isaiah predicted about Him. Yet, there is so much more to come. 

God bless you, and Merry CHRISTmas! Oh yeah, Jesus is the reason for the season.

Embrace The New…

I expect God to do something new and exciting in my life every year. When we expect it, we can trust it will happen. It’s been a whirlwind year, and we are beginning the last month of the year. As I reflect on the past year, my mind goes to the beginning of the year, with high expectations, excitement, and a desire to get things done. I always desire to be a catalyst of change, ready to embrace what is next.

Only some people embrace change. Change and the unknown frighten people. The thought of change is not only scary to some but exhausting to others. I get that. But to me, change is what makes the world go round. Change is the thing that moves us from the status quo to the next level, and instead of resisting it, I welcome it.  


One of my favorite sayings is one attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”Unfortunately, many want to see things change but need more time to step into it. In the Bible, Joshua had to assume a leadership role after Moses died. As great as he was, he dealt with fear. God reminded Joshua four times to “be strong and courageous.”

An earlier story about Joshua is when Moses sent 12 spies into Canaan to see if they could take it. Ten returned with fruits and news that the land was prosperous and great! However, the bad news they reported was that they could not take it because men of great stature filled it and would devour them. But a courageous Joshua, with his friend Caleb, had a different report; they had a different outlook. Instead of being fearful, do you know what they said? “If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us!!!!!” I love that attitude. 

Reading these words made me ponder life and my part in it. Every day, we have an opportunity to make an impact. We can follow God as He leads us into new territory. I want my attitude to be just like Caleb and Joshua’s — “If the Lord delights in us, then He will give it to us.”

I am confident He will give us a glimpse of what could be if we only take a step towards it. I want to encourage you to let our dreams and goals be so big that everyone will know when they are accomplished; it must be God. That’s how I live my life; going after the dreams God gives me and trusting that He will bring them to pass. I get excited when something big comes to mind. I automatically think to myself, God is doing a new thing. Don’t look back at the old or get bogged down with the past. Perceive this new thing. He will provide water in the desert!

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. (NIV)

Isaiah 43:18-19

Recognize and Unleash the Leader Within You

As a woman in leadership, I have always found this responsibility to be both exhilarating and challenging. One thing I have always said is that leadership is not for the faint at heart. To be a leader, one must have GRIT. GRIT is to have courage, resolve, and strength of character. The person must be unrelenting and never give up. We have an added responsibility for women in leadership who are also Believers. Our human frailties will take a hit through hurt feelings, insecurities, threats, and fear of failure, and our spiritual side is also challenged. We must remind ourselves to walk in faith and to be led by the Spirit. We must balance our egos between the Fruits of the Spirit and winning. Ken Blanchard reminds us of how EGO can take on two very different meanings. We must think of which definition we will intentionally embrace—-EDGING GOD OUT OR EXALTING GOD ONLY. I try very hard to do the latter, but I must admit the former can quickly get in the way.


Why is it necessary to recognize our leadership abilities and go a step further in unleashing what is inside us? Because understanding what makes a strong leader can help us identify characteristics that define our leadership potential. As a leader, we influence others, and we can unleash our follower’s potential. When we recognize our natural God-given talents of nurturing, we can create an atmosphere of trust; trust breeds the creation of space for open and often communication. We can create a feeling of succeeding and failing together as a pack and build a strong foundation for connection.

Why should you step into your leadership role? Because leaders influence change. Followers are not the ones who are making the change we see or want to see in this world. The ones with the power are the ones who can do that. Whether the leader is formal or informal, that person influences change, good or bad.
That’s a business perspective, but how about church? While things have improved for women in business, what about in the church? We can agree the church still has a long way to go.
Perhaps you are a woman who has felt the call of God, and yet you’ve been met with an “unwelcome mat” when using your leadership gifts.

How do we square religious tradition, various Scripture passages, and how Jesus interacted with women leaders? How do we embrace our role of women in business and leaders in the church healthily and biblically? You ask for it, and when given the opportunity, you accept it and step into it. You Lean In.

Because women who feel a call to serve God often possess a divine grace and humility — they don’t make waves; they do not lean in. They wait and remain quiet, watching from the sidelines. Many strong, gifted women walk away from their greater calling to lead because they feel ill-equipped. But you are not ill-equipped. Those He has called; He will also equip (Exodus 4:10-11; Acts 29). If He has chosen you to do this work, don’t deny, reject, or ignore that call.

Reflect Christ…

I understand why people write blogs. Sometimes it’s to help others; other times, it’s to share information or gather insights about our own experiences. When I sit down to write, I reflect on what I want to share and on things that I have experienced, good or bad.


Over the last few years, I have faced my ups and downs. I have had to make some unpleasant decisions that affected other people’s lives, and I have repeatedly confronted my shortcomings. I don’t care how old one is; facing our shortcomings is hard. However, genuinely looking inward makes us so vulnerable. 

I have been in leadership from the very beginning of my work career. After graduating from college, I landed a job in a management training program with the federal government. As a result, I have loads of experience in leadership. Also, leadership is my area of study in both my doctoral programs. As a result, I tend to have very high expectations of people holding leadership roles. My expectations can be exhilarating for some and exhausting for others. Dare I say, demoralizing to others. 

Recently, called into question was my leadership. A person I felt I was holding accountable stated that because I asked him “why” in several instances, I made him feel “unsafe” and “demoralized.” I was baffled! More than that, I felt insulted. I thought about that interchange for days. I even prayed about it. Although I prayed, I could not shake his comments. His comments bothered me. 

I revisited the meeting in my mind and recalled his posture as I sat there and listened to him. In several instances, I felt he was passive-aggressive. I was sure he purposefully used trigger words to disarm me and come in for the kill. As he spoke, all I could think about was how he misrepresented certain situations we had discussed. I felt he was gaslighting me; for days, his words stuck with me as I tried to shake them off. I kept telling myself, Reflect Christ, reflect Christ, but my anxiety and frustration was getting the best of me.

I have always felt that as distance happens between an event and yourself, the less you feel the pain. After several days, I could stop and take a good look at myself. I asked, are you purposefully trying to demoralize anyone? Do you try to intimidate? My answer was an emphatic No. However, I did learn from that situation that I am still growing. I get hurt like anyone else when others misunderstand my words or actions. 

I believe God’s grace bridges our shortcomings. The Word of God says that “His mercies are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness.” At some point, we will all face conflict. We will all be misunderstood. We can sit and stew in misunderstandings or look at them as opportunities for growth. I intend to do the latter. We can also hold a grudge, but as a Follower of Christ, I choose to try to reflect His image everyday.

Have You Not Heard?

It’s not unusual to wake up with a scripture on my mind. Every morning at 1 am, I read my Bible and pray. I then return to sleep until 4 am. So, you would think I would awake with the scriptures I read the night before. So why is this scripture in Isaiah on my mind? I first go back to my Bible to find that scripture and read its full context. It hit me right away; the Lord reminds us to think about who God is; He is our strength when we are weak. He stands ready to give us the stamina we need when we get tired. He will lift us when we fall. The scripture is challenging; have you ever experienced Him? How can you not know? How is it that you have not heard? 

Have you not heard

As I read these scriptures, I realized how limited we are in our way of thinking. I recalled Isaiah 55:8-9, which says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Then why do we, as humans, think we know what God would think about another person’s decisions? Why do we claim that one person’s way of thinking is better than another? Or do we act as if one group of people is less than human while another is superior? What makes us think that we can judge one minister’s ways of teaching are not of God? How do we take on such a severe and superior role when God is the superior one, not us? We sometimes act as if we know what God will say or do when we do not. I honestly believe when we understand that we cannot be God, maybe we can then exercise the humility needed in this world that will bring each other’s lives more joy.

I have seen the power of the Lord in my life through the miracles He performed. I have seen God’s power through my ability to face my worst fears and survive. I have heard about Him my entire life, but more importantly, I have experienced Him in so many ways that I can begin to tell. I hope you also have. But if you have not, please try to watch for Him. You will find Him.

Review your life and watch for the moments when you know it is God who intervened. Look for Him in small things you know you could not have worked out for yourself and marvel at the big things you know you could not have delivered on your own. You may see these things as coincidences, but they are not. I assure you of that one thing; they are not. Then you will be able to tell another with conviction, do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God!

Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31`

It’s Your Calling. Embrace It!

For many years, I have talked repeatedly and positively about how each of us is uniquely called by God. I have preached that everyone should recognize that and never let anyone take that away. I have even cautioned others not to allow the enemy to convince you that you are less valuable.  

God made you unique

After all the years of saying that to others and myself, I sometimes question my calling. Why is that? Why do the most confident people ask if they have unique talents? I’ll tell you why. It’s because when we do not use it or feel that we fail at whatever we initially thought was that gift, our humanness causes us to question. When we know we heard from God to take a job, to move to another city and start a ministry, to step out and sing, or the thousands of other things I know He has given people, we doubt. Initially, the excitement sets in, and we are rearing to go. However, after the initial exhilaration, we begin to question. That questioning of oneself turns into talking ourselves out of what we know to be true. We talk ourselves out of what we heard. That’s the doubt, which is the enemy’s potent weapon. But remember, when God calls us, He will equip us!

In times past, I have said that each calling looks different. The unique gifts God has given you are for you, and the ones He has given me are for me. Maybe you don’t feel there is anything special about you. You may think God blessed others with unique talents, but not you. I want to gently remind you of the scripture in Romans 11:29, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable (for He does not withdraw what He has given, nor does He change His mind about those to whom He gives His call”). 

romans 11-29

The next time you feel down or allow someone to put limitations on you, repeat that scripture to yourself. Also, remember Eleanor Roosevelt’s words, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” So please don’t give it to them.