God is in Control!

With all that is going on in the world it is so easy to become inflicted with fear and worry. I will be open and honest that anxiety gripped me while I was in the store one night. I viewed the empty aisles and fear seeped into my soul. As I felt my heart racing, I was reminded that God does not give the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). He is in control!

I want to encourage us all that what’s happening in the world is not a shock to the creator. Though we may not understand completely, God will see us through. Let’s take some time out to re-center our minds on the Lord’s promises.

Isaiah 41:10 

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Psalm 46:1 

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

1 Peter 5:7

“Cast all your anxiety on Him, because he cares for you.”

Romans 8:28

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Mathew 6:34

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Proverbs 16:4

“The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.”

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 56:3

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”

Remember, we are in this journey together!

Love,

How to Find Your Purpose

I recall in my undergraduate years of college, hitting a wall and not truly knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I thought I had it all figured out prior to entering college. Since elementary, I knew I would be a medical doctor and their was nothing that would stop me. I kept that SAME ENERGY, throughout high school, and all of my family and friends were supportive.

Fast forward to college, I was pre-med taking biology and calculus for the bio-sciences. This is where I came to the realization that I no longer enjoyed science and math was still my weakest subject. I was miserable and although my peers had the same feelings as I did, something did not sit right within my soul. Becoming a medical doctor was not the correct track for my life.

My family and friends were continuously supportive through my change of mind but one question remained. If being a doctor is not my calling then what is? That was the question that impeded my mind repeatedly. I took a semester of electives as I figured out my path which consisted of much soul searching and prayer. However, I found my purpose!

Many individuals are currently seeking after the correct path for their life. If that is you, I am here to help! Below you will find a quick list of ways you can your purpose!

  1. Follow your heart- Don’t allow society and others surrounding you, dictate your life. If you feel like you have to change paths then do so. It does not matter what people think, you have to follow your heart!
  2. List- Make a list of things that you are extremely passionate about in your journal. That can range from helping others, playing piano, or health and fitness. However, be detailed and specific about your interests. Ex: I am passionate about health and fitness because I want individuals to be healthy on the inside and out.
  3. Reflect- Reflect on your strengths and add them to the list you created. Circle all of the categories that line up with your strengths
  4. Aptitude test- Take a career and personality aptitude test to analyze your interests, values, personality and preferences surrounding your career.
  5. Pray- This is the most important of them all. Pray and ask God to reveal to you, your purpose in life. He will lead the way!

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Mathew 7:7-8

A book that can aid in helping find the correct path is called, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

Remember we are in this journey together!

Love,

6 Tips to Dating as a Christian

The definition of dating can be defined various ways which is dependent upon each individual. For most, it is enjoying the company of an individual that you are interested in knowing in a deeper level. That can include dinner dates, painting, visiting a nice museum or art gallery, but that list can go on and on.

However, when you are dating as a Christian, there are different standards that one should consider. Below you will find a list of tips for dating as a Christian.

1. Boundaries- As a devote Christian, the word teaches us to flee temptation. We all know that if you play with fire you will get burned. So as you are dating, it is important to put up strict boundaries so that you two will not fall into temptation. These limitations can consist of: inviting a third party along for your dates, hanging out in public vs. home, church hugs (side hugs).

2. Purpose- Dating as a Christian is intentional therefore, most call it courtship. When you are dating/courting you should have an end goal of marriage. If either party is not ready for marriage then it’s best to remain friends.

3. God- God is at the center of your relationship. You both should be pushing one another toward Christ and not away from Him.

4. Family & friends- Family and friends involvement is vital when dating because individuals act differently in certain environments. It is good to see how your significant other behaves around others. Also, it is important to gain insight about your partner from family and friends. Sometimes they can see something, from the outside looking in, that you may have overlooked (whether positive or negative)

5. Wise counsel- Seeking wise counsel like pre-marital counseling opens a level of communication and challenges your thought process on this journey towards marriage. Thought provoking questions and discussions can give insight into one another and can help your future marriage be successful.

6. Emotion control- As you’re dating it is important to keep your emotions under control and really understand your partner. At times, we can allow our vision to get cloudy but it is important to have a clear outlook on the individual that you’re dating. This also ties into number one, boundaries. When physical lines are crossed people typically begin to excuse or justify negative behaviors. Without physical contact (aside from hugs, holding hands) you are able to view the individuals actions sharply.

What are some dating tips that you may have?

Remember we are in this journey together!

Love,

How to Identify Your True Friends

You know that saying “Your true friends you can count on one hand”, has began to ring clear, the older I get. I’ve come to the realization that you have to compartmentalize the people in your life. Everyone is not qualified to know your deepest thoughts, battles, weaknesses, and strengths. Only those individuals that are truly for you deserve to know you at a profound level.

We all have varying relationship levels based on situations. For example, coworkers, church friends, family, gym friends, brunch group, networking bunch and the list goes on. The conversations that you have with your best friend, may be totally different than those with your co-workers.

Your inner circle or, “tribe”, should consist of people that help you to become better. As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17). You and your closest friends help each other to grow. There’s only room for constructive criticism and no judgement. You feel safe exposing yourself because you know that this individual has your back. That’s your tribe.

Below you’ll find a quick list on ways to identify your true tribe!

1. You can discuss your battles in confidence, without the information being thrown back at you and vice versa.

2. Your friend lovingly corrects you when you are wrong. (Vice versa)

3. Your information is safe and does not get spread to outsiders. (Vice versa)

4. If you set a goal, your friend helps to hold you accountable. (Vice versa)

5. Forgives and communicates any issues with you, directly to you. (Vice versa)

6. Loves you no matter what. (Vice versa)

If you find that your close friends lack some of the traits above, I encourage you to have a conversation disclosing your feelings. Hopefully, there will be a positive progress towards strengthening of the friendship. If not, then use the tips above to find the right tribe.

Remember, we are in this journey together!

Love,

News

Hey everyone!

It has been while since I posted a blog! Life has been busy but I will try to do better with posting consistently. Most importantly my site has a new name! Formally, Sit by the Sea, has changed to, Conversations by the C. Yes, I am super excited about the change, but do not fret, the purpose of my blog remains the same. The mission is to bring inspiration, motivation, and encouragement into your soul. You can read more about the name change here.

If you have not already done so, subscribe to the blog so you can be notified when a new gem (post) drops on the site. Also, feel free to check out my past posts for some INSPO, MOTO, and ENCO ( inspiration, motivation, and encouragement ). Remember, we are all in this journey together.

Love,

Single on Valentine’s Day

HAPPY GALENTINE’S DAY

What does, Galentine, mean?

It is a new trend where ladies get together and celebrate, Valentines day. Hence the change from, “Val” to  “Gal”. Instead of being at home by yourself, it is a great way of celebrating your singlehood and exalt being content with life.  With Galentine’s day the focus adjusts from relationships to self love, happiness, and pursuing purpose.

As we all know, Valentine’s day, is primarily geared to couples celebrating their love for one another. Yet, it can cause dissatisfaction regarding one’s relationship status. Especially, for the single ladies (myself included). We tend to build this timeline in our mind about how our life should route. “I will be married by 25, have kids around 30, one boy and one girl named etc..” However, if your life is not going according to how you imagined, this beautiful “love day” highlights those inconsistencies. So cheers to whoever came up with the theme Galentine! It gives singles something to look forward to and puts the spotlight on self love.

At the end of 2017, it was placed on my heart to have a Galentine’s Dinner Party, which was amazing!!! I have pictures below for your viewing but first, I want to give words of comfort to a special individual reading this. If you are single and battling your status, I have been there and know that it can be extremely difficult. However, I want to encourage you with these few tips:

  1. Focus on the most important relationship

-The most important relationship is the one with Christ! I know it may sound cliché, and you may not want to hear it right now, but it is the ultimate truth. This is the best time to dig into your bible, Christian books, prayer, and get closer to Christ. By being near to Him, you will be able hear directions, heal, and pursue what he has for you. You’ll be so focused that you begin to enjoy life and your focal point will not be on your relationship status.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Mathew 6: 33

“Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:2-5

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3

“But one thing I do; forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God. Let those of us who are mature think this way” -Philippians 3:13-15

  1. Self love:

    “In order to love someone you must first, love thyself.” Figure out who you are and embrace your beauty, mind and soul.”

“I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139: 14

 

  1. What God has for you it is for you!

This pertains to any and everything in life. If that job, relationship, marriage, kids, car, is for you, IT WILL BE! All you have to do is trust God and his timing.

“The Lord will never withhold a good thing from you” Psalm 84:11.

Amen! Now let’s view the dinner party! Hope you enjoy!

Galentine’s Dinner Party

“The table set up”

Each lovely lady received a balloon, rose, personalized card, homemade chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered marshmallows, and a bag with more sweets.

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-The heart bag is filled with candy and a pen for one of the games.

-Clear heart bag, held the chocolate covered strawberries and marshmallows

-personalized card for the ladies

IT’S GAME TIME!

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– Two out of the three games we played. The first was “What’s in your phone.” The person with the most points won! The scratch off game was pretty cool! Scratch off to see if you’re the winner!

– I like to call this game, Musical Gift. The gift is wrapped in newspaper like a million times (literally). The host plays music and when he/she pauses the song, the person that has the gift, unwraps only ONE layer of the newspaper. He gift keeps floating around until you get to the last layer which is actually, gift wrapping paper, and that person gets to keep the gift! Thanks mom for the idea! She also wrapped the gift so I had no clue who would win it or when the game would end lol. So much fun!

Testing out the Snapchat Geofilter, that I created for the night. If you have an event coming up, just go to Snapchat and make your own. This one I made only cost me 5.99. Prices will vary depending on style, area, and length of time you want it to run! Cool idea Snap!!!

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Personal shout out to my mother!!! She took time out, after a long day at work, to help me decorate and then off to celebrate this day with her man of 34 years (my dad lol)! She is the definition of a Proverbs 31 woman. She works hard and always tends to the needs of her family. Love you mom!

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Cheers to self love, contentment, and pursuing purpose!

Remember, we are in this journey together.

Love,

C. Allen

Tis the Season to Be Jolly?

 

One of the most anticipated times of the year is, Christmas. The season of giving, joy and spending time with your family. It just makes individuals feel so loving and warm inside. However, that is not the case for everyone.

There are some people who dread this occasion for various reasons:

-Some individuals may be away from their family and are experiencing loneliness.

-This time of year allows one to reflect over the year and be reminded of the negative events that transpired. For example, a called off engagement, break up, loss of job, or something else.

-Buying gifts, can cause the serious “buh humbug” feeling. People feel like they let others down because they cannot purchase presents, due to their finances.

Whatever the case may be, we have to be sensitive to the fact that everyone does not have the same feelings regarding holidays.

If you happen to be the individual that is having a rough time during this Christmas, I want to encourage you to find the joy within it.

HOW?

  1. If you are away from your family, try surrounding yourself with friends. Hang out with their family for the holidays. Of course there is nothing like being around your own loved ones, but it can sure lighten your mood.
  2. Indulge in something you enjoy. Finish that book, take that class you wanted, or volunteer at a local shelter…etc.
  3. In continuation from number two, give to others. Contributing to another persons life can definitely transfer you energy from gloom to joy. There is something about pouring into others that just will heighten your day.
  4. Most importantly, focus on Christ. He is the only one that can fill your voids.

 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” Mathew 5:4

“Come to me, all you who labor and are heaven laden, and I will give you rest.” Mathew 11:28

“The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4

I hope the tips above bring you immediate comfort during this time. Remember, we are all in this journey together!

Love,

C. Allen

 

Message in a Bottle

To the dear person that receives this letter,

      I just want you to know, HANG ON. I understand that times can be difficult, and you feel like giving up. However, hold on tight! Life is similar to a rollercoaster and there will be highs, lows, turns and twists. Yet, when the hard situations arise, do not lose hope and faith.

You may never understand why certain trials are tossed your way, but you can persevere. James 1:2-4 states, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Through it all, you will overcome and be better than you were before.

So, I encourage you to push beyond your circumstance. Continue to depend on God and know that he truly cares for you. You will come out of this season stronger than ever and will not be defeated. GOD’S GOT YOU!

 

Love,

C.Allen

Israel (Part 2)

I stated in my previous blog, Israel Trip (part 1), that this gem will show adventures that transpired over my 10 day trip. It was difficult to choose highlights out of the hundreds of pictures and memories that I have. Please note, that this is not nearly, all of the places I visited. I literally only touch the surface with how impactful Israel is and the many destinations and history that is within the country. However, to keep this blog at a decent length, I was able to narrow it down to the top features, I know you wanted to see. You will be going on a journey viewing Israel, through my lens. I hope you enjoy! 

FYI: Explanations are under the pictures 🙂

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Capharnaum, the hometown of Jesus. We visited his home that he lived in during his central Galilean Ministry.

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We were able to view the tombs where Jesus was “possibly” buried in. Many scholars believe this particular image is where he was buried because the bible says, “As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side and they were alarmed” -Mark 16. The way tombs were made during that era, you would walk in and the body would be laying right in front of you.  However, in this situation, you had to turn to the right just as it stated in the bible. HE IS NOT DEAD, FOR HE IS RISEN!

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This is another “possible” tomb that Jesus’s body was laid in.  This particular burial site was cut out of the mountain side and placed inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, for viewing. The line to examine the inside, would have been a 2 hour wait.

church of hs

Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, this particular site is the traditional place where the cross was placed as Jesus was crucified.

jordan riverBaptism sites on the Jordan River.  This was not the actual place where Jesus was baptized because it is no longer conducive for individuals to be in. However, we all got the opportunity to be baptized in the Jordan River just as he was.

The Mount of Beatitudes, is a hill in Israel where Jesus is believed to have delivered the sermon ( Mathew 5-7 and Luke 6). It is accepted that Jesus was standing at the bottom of the hill and the spectators sitting where I am in the picture. Now the question is, how did the thousands of individuals hear his voice? At a certain point in the day, the winds would blow which would carry Jesus’s voice to the top of the hill. Pretty amazing, right?

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Cruised the Sea of Galilea, which was a beautiful site.  We had a moment of quiet time with various worship songs playing in the background.  This was actually day 3 of our journey and was extremely endearing. During this reflections time, I felt like I was finally able to take everything in.  With our day starting at 6am and ending around 9/10pm, it was nice to just silence your mind and evaluate this once in a lifetime experience. I was reminded of Peter having to trust God, and walk on the water to him.  Once he began doubting, he started to sink. As I was reminiscing on that verse, I could sense God saying, “Just as Peter had faith, I want you to continue to trust that I have your life in control.” WOW! Amen God!

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We explored the port where Jonah fled from God.

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This is the place where Peter restored the life of Tabitha and stayed with Simon the Tanner

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Mt. Precipice the site where Jesus was rejected which was described in Luke 4:29-30. The people of Nazareth did not accept Jesus as the Messiah. Therefore they tried to push him off the mountain side. However, “he passed through the midst of them and went away”.

Garden of Gethsemane, the place where Jesus wept as his disciples slept. Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” ….”My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”  “My father if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me, Yet as I will, but as you will” Then he returned to see the disciples and found them sleeping. ” Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” Mathew 26:36-46.

 tabghaTabgha, the site of Peter’s Primacy (John Chapter 21) Multiplication of Loaves and Fish and the calling of the disciples.

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wailing wall

Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, is the most holy place accessible to the Jewish people because of the Muslim control of the Temple Mount. The plaza is was created as an area for prayer in which thousands of people gather.  Many write their prayers on a piece of paper and leave it in the cracks of the wall.

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Just floating around in the Dead Sea

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Valley of Communities, living memorial to the Holocaust. We were all deeply moved as our tour guide shared personal stories of what his family members suffered through during this traumatic time. We also toured the Historical museum, The Children’s Memorial, and The Hall of remembrance. Our history books only grasp the surface of this horrific event.  Let us always shine light and remember the Holocaust.

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Golan Heights, rocky plateau that straddles the border of Syria and Israel.

bomb dragon

We went to the Gaza Border and the neighborhoods surrounding. The houses are required to be built with bomb shelters. The dragon that you see in the picture is actually a bomb shelter, on a local playground.  Teachers educate children, as little as 3, with a song that describes what to do before and after they hear a siren. The lyrics, “Shake, shake, shake”, stood out to me most. The song tells the kids to shake because they have to check if they are missing any limbs. If so, the blood will scatter all over.  Therefore, they can quickly get help from bystanders.  It is definitely disturbing to hear about the beautiful individuals that have to endure these terrible events. Let’s continue to pray for Israel.

mt olivesStanding on Mt. Olives viewing the Temple Mount.

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Peace to the Middle East.

You made it through the brief voyage. Thanks for coming along! Have you ever been to Israel? Leave comments below and tell me what you think!  Remember, we are in this journey together!

Love,

C. Allen

Hello Fall

Fall or autumn, is the transitional period between summer and winter. The leaves start changing colors and plummet off of the trees. The temperature begins to drop and fashion begins to shift from tank tops to sweaters. Your favorite seasonal drinks hit the shelves and Starbucks.

Though fall is a season within a year, you can equate it to your personal life. Sometimes, you enter into a period where one loses friendships, relationships, jobs, etc.. It may seem like God has been removing everything from your life and you cannot comprehend the change. Letting go of people and opportunities that you desire, is difficult. However, it is important for your growth.

Leaves may die and whither but in spring, new flowers bloom. Allow God to rid your life of old conditions and provide his best. This juncture may bring extreme discomfort because it is not your familiar. Yet, in order to get to the next level, you must let go of some baggage.

During this fall season, be open to the transition that God is taken you through.

“Out with the old in with the new.”

If that friend stops hanging with you, understand it is for your growth. God may be tugging at your heart, to release an entity, that is keeping you bound. If so, listen to that warning. You are headed to higher heights and dead weight will hold you back.

Instead of fighting this shift, let’s welcome this term with anticipation. The blessings that will sprout forth, by obeying God, will not be in vain. You can trust that he knows the best pathway for you. The man that created you, heaven and earth, will not fail you!

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Remember, we are in this journey together.

Love,

C. Allen