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Take no thought…..


worried-woman-in-kitchen

Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life

Worry and torment, two major distractions, and two major things that keep us from walking in our purpose. I was talking with a girlfriend a few months back, and we were discussing this subject. Sometimes in life we go through situations and circumstances that cause us to be worried about our well-being, or we deal with relationships that cause us pain or mental and physical suffering (Which is torment). Sometimes it’s things that we have brought on ourselves, and sometimes ppl treat you wrong for no reason, and you are left trying to put your emotions back together. As a woman, I can honestly say I have felt this way in the past, and if you aren’t careful, the temporary situations you deal with can start to affect your life long decisions.

When we worry about anything, we are ultimately telling God that he can’t handle the situation that we are dealing with. We all go through troubles, but we have to remember that everything works out for “The good of those that love the lord”(Romans 8:28). God has a specific plan and purpose for our lives, and if we obey him, he will always work each and every situation out for us. He cares for us. In my life I have dealt with many trials and tribulations, and they may have not always worked out the way that I wanted them too, but they worked out in my favor! We have to truly lean, trust, rely, and believe that God loves us so much, to the point that he would never forsake us, leave us, or take away from us, unless it was for our good. We have to keep to the forefront of our minds that this is the same God that saved Daniel from the Lions Den, and Kept Goliath from beating David to death. What did these two have in common? They had unwaivering faith in the power of God to change their situations. It’s not to say they didn’t have the feeling of fear, but they didn’t let their emotions talk them out of what they knew the truth was, that God will take care of them no matter what the situation.

You may have been in a relationship where you were cheated on, or dealt with feelings of abandonment because your parents were not there. What the enemy does, is use these situations to create an emotional jail for you. Torment is one of  the worst type of emotions to deal with (I believe) because it’s constantly at the forefront of your mind. A woman or man who has been cheated on may start to ask herself “What am I not doing that this woman is doing?” or “Am I pretty enough?” “Am I smart enough?” “What does she have over me?”  Insecurity starts to set in, and a woman who may have once loved herself may try to change to be what she “Thinks” a man wants her to be instead of being the uniquely made creature God has called her to be. Low self-esteem starts to set in, then bitterness, and then depression. The Devil is a liar! No matter what you have been through, or what you have done, God loves you, and has forgiven you, and you have to forgive those that have wronged you, period. Believe that God is a restorer, and trust that he will heal your broken heart, that is his job. He will deal with those who have wronged you (Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord). He won’t overlook a thing, believe and trust me on that. God wants you whole and healed, and not holding on to what others have done.

The enemy knows that if you focus on Worrying about your troubles and your tormented by your past that it will distract you from doing what you are ultimately called to do. Don’t allow anything to crush your spirit, take your joy, or create bitterness on the inside of you. God has a perfect plan for your life, and it’s so much bigger than the issues that you are dealing with. Your issues are mere distractions, and God can pull you out of anything. Our thought life can play a major role in our emotions, that is why the bible says;

“Whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them](Phil 4:8).

We also need to cast down all negative thoughts, and not dwell on them “ casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ( 2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

When it says to bring all thoughts into captivity, that ultimately means to control your thoughts, and cast down the negative ones. We all have this power, we just don’t activate it.

God is on your side. He loves you, cares for you, and wants to see you doing well! Don’t let the troubles of life distract you from obtaining everything that God has for you.

In love,

Dara Nichole

The African American woman and her “Role models”


So, yeah, let’s talk about it….  

So I usually never write articles based on Social Media, gossip, or celebrity “Things” But coincidentally I was going to talk about role models and this cover happened to come up. Yeah, it’s a lot going on here. Most women are looking to be successful, beautiful, and definitely admired by others, but do these things line up with the Word of God and who The Lord really wants us to be?

I’m asking because, some young teenager is going to pick this magazine up, and say “Yeah, these are my role models” and honestly us as women have to start to give as much as we can back to the younger generation to show them differently. Especially if we are Women of God.

We spend countless hours watching these women, and honestly I can’t lie and say that I don’t have an opinion about the four of them based on their “Reality Celebrity persona”, but what are we as women in society doing or showing our younger generation of women that throwing plates at someone when your angry, or saying whatever you want to say anytime you want to say it, is wrong?

The point of this article is definitely not to “Bash” these women, because after all, they are God’s children, and everyone has the opportunity to turn from their ways and become better people, but my call is really to us as women of virtue, to increase our place in the life of at least one teenager who could be negatively affected by reality television, radio, music, or internet programs that degrade or disrespect women.

What alternative are we giving our girl teens? What are we doing to make a difference? Complaining about negativity never got us anywhere, but actually doing something about it, can change the world.

Our young girls should be focusing on their Virtue:

Virtue: is moral excellence. A virtue is a positive trait or quality deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are characteristicsvalued as promoting collective and individual greatness.

avirtuous bwoman is a crown to her chusband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. (Proverbs 12:4)

Modesty:

Modesty: Behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; ( 1 Timothy 2:9).

Love:

Love:s an emotion of a strong affection and personal attachment.[1] Love is also a virtue representing all of human kindnesscompassion, and affection —”the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another”

Romans 13:8  Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Bottom line; We could bash these women and talk trash about them all day, but as women of faith, our job is to speak love, grace, and convey the traits of a virtuous woman. Show the younger ones in your life how to live this life for Christ, to live with and for your purpose, and most importantly, that this life is not about us, but about helping others learn who they are, and helping them to reach their goals.

Be the positive influence you want to see on television, because if we don’t start somewhere, it may never come.

Love you guys,

Dara Nichole

Taking it one day at a time….


30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear?

32 For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.

33 But seek ([a]aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness ([b]His way of doing and being right), and then all these things [c]taken together will be given you besides.

34 So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:30-34)

In Life, I wear ALOT of hats. (Not to toot my own horn, but I’m busy) I’m a wife, a mother, An author, a blogger, a co-worker, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a student, and an aunt. Life can sometimes get really, really hectic, and all we can really do is deal with it.

Sometimes, it’s about how we deal with it. We may worry, we may take it out on others, or we may become withdrawn and overwhelmed. These are not good examples of how we deal with stress. We have to remember that even though we may be overwhelmed, the best way to deal with stress is to first  1.) Pray for wisdom on what to do 2.) Get organized and plan out what needs to be done 3.) do your best and don’t look back.

Being a first time mom and going back to work was crazy! At that point and time I was still getting up in the middle of the night to feed my son  more than once, and then getting up a few hours later to go to work. I honestly don’t know how I made it! My husband helped out alot, he was so supportive and took up a lot of the responsibility in the home, and we worked together to get a lot done, but it seemed like the  days were getting shorter and shorter.

I decided to get more organized, and what couldn’t be done that night just had to wait. We as humans always worry, sometimes about things we can’t even control, but we have to remember that if we choose to live for God, he will always make sure we are taken care of, he has our backs.

As time progressed, the days got easier, the chores lighter, and there was more time to spend with my family. Was my house sparkling clean? Some days, but not always, it would get better, and it did. I had to have patience with myself that I would obtain a balance in getting everything done, it took some time, but I’m still walking into it.

To all the new moms out there, and even to those women who have a lot on their plates, remember, God has your back. He will help you get organized, he will send people to assist you in getting things done, and he will help you finish everything in excellence, especially if it’s a God ordained project. Don’t worry about tomorrow, focus on doing your best, plan your days, and let God guide you on how to be the best you can be in every area that may stress you out.

 

Be confident in him,

Dara Nichole

 

 

Do African American Women lack Empathy?


Definition of Empathy- The intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another. The ability to understand and share the feelings of another. (Dictionary.com)

Now before you get all defensive on me, just hear me out. I first would like to say I am proud to be an African American Woman. I was born and Raised in Detroit, went to school with African Americans, raised by African Americans, and work with African Americans, so excuse me if I happen to believe I am a little experienced on discussing the lack of empathy sometimes displayed in the African American community. I would like to even say that I am an expert when it comes to this topic. Well, here we go.

As you can see, the definition of empathetic basically means to be understanding towards others when it comes to their shared experiences or feelings. Sometimes AA women can get labeled as “Angry” or “Attitudinal”, when in actuality, we may just be direct, or inquisitive about the subject we are discussing. There are no ways to totally wipe out stereotypes, especially with television shows depicting AA women to all be a certain way. However, we can take the steps to look within ourselves to be a little bit nicer. Don’t let your pride, and how you have been all your life stop you from evaluating yourself and being an even better you.  “Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin].” 1 Corinthians 10:12

For years AA women in the workplace have had to battle the “Angry black woman” stereotype. I totally believe a lot of the times people are misunderstood, but what are we doing on the flip end to bash this stereotype? Are we feeding into the comments and saying “Well, if they think I’m angry, they haven’t seen nothing yet!” Or are we simply staying away from the office gossip and in turn our seclusion is being looked at as rudeness?

What about on the home front? Are our men quick to call us attitudinal or a “Roof top woman” after they forget to wash the dishes for the third straight day, or wash your favorite dress in hot water causing it to shrink? Is it really us, or is it them?

Well, at the end of the day, we all have to be self aware. We must evaluate ourselves in all areas of our lives and see if we are really carrying this stereotype with us everyday. I know it’s hard to deal with everything as a woman, work, finances, kids, husbands, boyfriends, no boyfriend, family, friends, and any other extracurricular activity that you may have added on to the long list, however, your ending result will not be based on how other people treated you, but what you did and how you treated other people.

Your probably saying, Dara, the people at my job are crazy, this man is selfish, and I feel like I am doing the very best I can. There is always room for improvement. I totally empathize with you. I too, have a lot on my plate, but we have to remember, only what we do for God will last, which means us changing and evaluating ourselves for God will outlast any current issue or problem that we are dealing with. #truth

“Even the most honest person cannot see himself as others do, for which we should be thankful. Each person is blind to certain parts of his character even when he is most brutally honest with himself.” Source

Below are some scriptures about self evaluation, being loving, and love in general. study them, commit them to memory, and when that knuckle head boss/co-worker/friend comes your way speak it! Believe me it works!

Love you guys!

Loving:

If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,
and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
for you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.

Proverbs 25:21-22

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Romans 12:9-10

Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity). 1 John 3: 18

Pride:

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. Ecclesiastes 7:8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 1 Corinthians 13:4

 

The Urban girls guide to etiquette is FINALLY here!


Sometimes, when projects are laid on your heart to do, you just need to let God do his thing through you. I believe we are all called to a higher purpose, and this is at least a part of mine. I knew I was supposed to write this book for an extended period of time. I pushed it to the side, because I suddenly realized “I had no training in social etiquette, who would listen to me?” But then, my experience dealing with young women and girls, the student organizations I was involved in while living on a college campus, my college education, and my present Higher Ed. Position made me rethink my position on it. Throughout history, and especially in the bible, there have been people who weren’t necessarily the best at what they did, but they believed in themselves, and they believed God would give them the strength and grace to do it. Honestly, that is the space I am in currently, and it feels pretty good.

This book will tackle useful information that will impact your life forever. Knowing a little etiquette doesn’t make you stuck up, etiquette shows you ways to enforce the golden rule in different areas of your life. We always want to treat others with respect, and love, and thats what etiquette does.

I wanted to give you a glimpse of the book cover, and let you know that pre orders will be going on sale on February 28th!!! I will keep you posted. Enjoy your day, and be confident!

Love,

Dara

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He makes all things new!


17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Don’t think about the mistakes you have made in the past. Don’t think about the lies you told, the people you hurt, and how irresponsible you were. Once you became a follower of Christ and asked for his forgiveness, he forgave you and threw your sins in to the sea of forgetfulness.  (Micah 7:19)

19He will again have compassion on us; He will subdue and tread underfoot our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.(A)

20You will show Your faithfulness and perform the sure promise to Jacob and loving-kindness and mercy to Abraham, as You have sworn to our fathers from the days of old

Sometimes we get so focused on our past mistakes, we forget to remember that God Loves us so much and he WANTS us to do right. This doesn’t give us an excuse to mess up on purpose. But just remember to continue to move forward, repent, and develop a closer relationship with him.

He loves you!

Here is one of my favorite songs, enjoy!

Agape love, what does it mean??


This is a great article I found by Jimmy Evans… Let me know what you think…. Great advice for those looking to get married as well as those who are married. Happy reading!

                                             ~Dara Nichole

 

A Special Type of Love

There is an odd truth concerning love and marriage. Understanding it is an important key in making marriage and other relationships work. The truth is this – we don’t have the ability to really love without the power of the Holy Spirit working through us. In Galatians 5:22-23, the Apostle Paul tells us the fruit of the Spirit is, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” According to this scripture, we don’t have the capacity to love without God giving us that ability as we surrender to Him. Often, when people say they love someone, they are just talking about sexual desire or a passionate feeling. These kinds of feelings come and go.So how are people able to “love” when they don’t know God? They can’t.

At least they are not able to love with God’s type of love. God’s love is a special love the Bible calls “agape”. It is a love that flows out of the will and does not change. It is the most stable and predictable kind of love and the only type that can provide a lasting foundation in marriage. Often, when people say they love someone, they are just talking about sexual desire (the Greek word “eros” where we get the word erotic) or a passionate feeling (“thumos” where we get our thermos). These kinds of feelings come and go. When they go for very long, many people give the old line “I don’t love you anymore” and are out the door. Agape love, however, is a committed and sacrificial love that is modeled after Jesus. When Jesus tells us He loves us, He isn’t talking about a feeling that comes and goes. He is telling us He is committed to us forever and will not change. Whether His feelings for us are positive or negative, it doesn’t change His commitment to us.

 We really need to consider what we mean when we tell our spouse, “I love you”. Are we saying that we are experiencing a fleeting feeling or are we saying we are committed to him or her forever and will demonstrate love regardless of bad feelings or negative circumstances? It isn’t wrong to express a feeling, as long as when that feeling isn’t there any more, you can still say “I love you,” and do the right thing regardless of the situation. People controlled by their emotions are unreliable, and their moodiness can do a lot of damage to relationships.

The most stable and dependable people in relationships are those who are submitted to the influence of the Holy Spirit. They are powered by a supernatural love that will do the right thing through thick and thin. Ask God to fill you with the power of His Holy Spirit. He never intends for us to go around trying to love people out of the shallow well of our own emotions.

The ocean of His love is always available to any of us who would just admit our weaknesses and depend upon Him. His agape love is the highest love and will transform any person, relationship or marriage under its influence.

check out more articles by Jimmy Evans at: Http://www.marriagetoday.org

You can also visit my website for more info on me: http://www.authordaranichole.com

Backstabbers not allowed


“Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, 10 do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” Zechariah 7:9-10

I was reading this scripture earlier today, and what stuck out to me was the part that said “And let none of you devise evil against another in your heart” The definition of devise is -to contrive, plan, or imagine.

Have you had that one person who you were angry at, and you planned how you were going to get them back? What about when your parents made you angry so you decided to purposely disobey whatever rule they had in place? What about the friend that you are jealous of, have you told all your friends how horrible her character is, or how bad of a friend she is so she doesn’t look that good in their eyes? (Hope I’m not getting to much in your business.)

At the end of the day, all of these ideas are wrong. We as christians can’t try to avenge our co-worker, ex-boyfriend, brother, or classmate because of their wrongdoings against you. The bible says clearly “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Romans 12:19 God can and will take care of his children.

I can completely understand how people can hurt you, I have been there. From my 1st grade all the way up to 8th grade I was teased to tears because of my looks. I had to switch schools twice because the teasing was so bad. This severely effected my self esteem, and by the time I got to high school, I didn’t understand or know how beautiful I really was.

Being on facebook and just being out and about, you see so many people you went to school with, and I even had one person out of the blue apologize for how mean he was to me in elementary. I have forgiven them, but some of us out there, have not totally forgiven and let God take control. God is here to take away the pain, and that “Thing” you are holding onto is only going to hold YOU back from walking into your destiny.

If I would have made a decision to not forgive, I could still be bitter, and angry. You DONT want to carry that baggage around. Please, give your burden over to Christ and DONT let your mind devise ways to “avenge” the person who hurt you.

Love God, Trust God, Believe he is going to take care of you, and avenge your enemies. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with [a]oil; my [brimming] cup runs overPsalm 23:5

Fear has got to go, now!


So I cannot stand scary movies. The blood, the guts, and the suspense before the person gets killed is all a big drag to me.  Have you ever watched a scary movie where the person hears the random noise in the woods, or goes to answer the loud banging on the door? We sit there screaming at the television “Don’t answer it!” or “Don’t walk into those dark woods!” Is it because we know what lurks around the corner, or is it a pure fear of the unknown?

When I first started writing, I feared what other people would think about me. Would they judge my writing skills? Would they believe what I was writing? Would I be judged for airing some things about my life? I wasn’t sure about the response, it was a fear of the unknown.  The bible says in Psalms 23 to fear no evil, for he is with us at all times. The bible also says to not fear what man can do to you. When we are free from the bondage of caring about what other people think, we are in a position to serve God freely and without doubt.

Stepping out into the will of God can at times be a scary thing. But our peace is in the fact that he is with us. No matter what the situation, If God told you to do something, you should do it. We cannot be afraid of walking into our destiny’s. The enemy wants to keep us in fear because he has an understanding of the promises God has given us for walking in his will. We have to get that same revelation.

The only person we should fear is God. We should honor and reverence him because he is so good to us, even when we aren’t good to him.  There is mercy in fearing and reverencing God and his promises (And His mercy is on those who fear Him
      From generation to generation
Luke 1:50), and  there is protection in the fear and reverence of God (The fear of the LORD prolongs days,  But the years of the wicked will be shortened Proverbs10:27).

God loves us so much, and if we line ourselves up with his will, he will take care of our enemies, and bring us into a place of perfect peace. Love him today, choose Christ, he will lead you and guide you into all righteousness. Our fears are pure figments of our imaginations, God is bigger than anything that can ever come up against us, we must magnify Christ bigger than our problems, then and only then, will we be able to walk in true freedom, and have the life that Christ has promised us.

“I’ve come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly” John 10:10

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” Isaiah 26:3

“If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures”  Job 36:11      

*Choosing Christ means choosing life. Choose life today.

Let go and Let God


I know that we have all heard this saying before once or twice in our lifetime. The idea is that when we let go of something that we are holding onto, God can intervene and change our sitaution for the better. But really think about this sentence, and think about your life. What person or thing MUST you let go of, so that God can be your true Lord over your life?

I remember being in college and having friends (including myself) that were boy crazy. All day and night the conversation was about this guy or that guy, and what he can do for me, and how we were going to live happily ever after. I even remember hearing about girls skipping class, dropping out of school, or transferring schools for a boy. Why were our lives so centered around someone who could walk away at any second and never come back?

Unlike a man, God will never walk away from us or leave us. He will always be there to protect us and give us the things we need to be everything he has called us to be. Have confidence in Christ and the things he has for you. The bible says: “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (II Corinthians 4:18).

Focus on your passion today, focus on finding your purpose, and remember that their are gifts and talents on the inside of you that are for you to develop for the King’s glory. Some people spend their whole lives looking to please others and not God. Seek God today, you will be fulfilled! 

There is no greater feeling to than to know you are doing what you have been called to do, and don’t worry about the money, or the new car, or the husband/wife. Everything will fall into place. That is the awesome loving, God we serve.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”