Change was the name of the game (2017)

As the hours of the clock wind down towards the end of this year and the beginning of 2018, I like to reflect on 2017.

change

This was a busy and challenging year for me. Change and I are not friends, not even cordial acquaintances. I know it’s there and never going away like taxes and my birthmark, but it doesn’t mean that we have a good relationship. I also know that change is one of God’s favorite tools to grow us. Workouts are great for the body but not any less painful.

 

This has been the scripture of this year for me. Learning and re-learning that God is in control and not me

plans

The first six to seven months of the year, I spent back and forth from the hospital with my mom. Balancing work, ministry, life and her needs was quite challenging. Looking back, I don’t remember much, it’s all like a blur, but I know it happened. That was the beginning of some of the big changes, although she’s a lot better from what kept taking her to the hospital, her needs have changed, therefore my focus has changed.

work stressMy 9-6 had three reorganizations in 2017. This brought the anxiety of not knowing what that meant in terms of employment. It helped me exercise my faith in God’s provision regardless of the outcome. I’m very grateful that I’m still employed and basically within the same functions. Each reorganization brought a new leader, which meant an adjustment of expectations and leadership styles. I know that at the end my attitude was not of expectation but more of surrender. At the same time, I have to admit it has taken an emotional toll.

I’ve spent a lot of time alone this year, but it has been necessary time. I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of introspection. I’ve been able to process some life events that were still lingering in my soul. I’ve been able to find more acceptance of myself, which is not easy as I’m my most fearless judge.

I also lost a young man that meant a lot in my life. He’s the son of a friend. He came to my life when he was seven years old. He had a lot of challenges in life but he had a faith that was worth modeling. He was the smartest person I knew. Who else would call you in the middle of the day with a history trivia? Ivan would. He was the only child whose punishment was to take a way a book from him. He was about to finish his associate degree, but his health didn’t allow for that. God has now given him rest and for that I’m grateful.

As of November I’ve returned to writing. I had taken a two year hiatus to devote my time to “Celebrate Recovery” a wonderful ministry that gave me a lot and allowed me to serve. That season has now ended and I’m back to what I love to do: writing.

My jumpstart was the same as my first main start, NaNoWriMo and I finished it.

changes 2

Right after NaNo, I started a creative writing class. I’m currently studying short stories. I’m having a lot of fun with that.

Last night I had a dream, and woke up with a story inside. I propped my laptop on my bed and as I write this I’ve already written 1,500 words of that new story. I’m not sure what’s going to be :short story, novel or novella. I’ll let you know in due time.

I’m looking forward to 2018. 2017 was filled with challenges and changes. I’m sure the new year is going to bring it’s own, but I’m not the same person that ended 2016 and I like this one a little bit more.

Many blessings in 2018!

Naty

2018

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2015 In Review

20152015 has been quite a different year. Different is usually associated with a negative connotation, but different is not always bad. God has taken me into a journey that I never imagined.

In 2009, when I started this blog and had just finished the first draft of my first novel (The Road Home) I thought I had finally found my purpose. I’m not implying that I will no longer write, I actually miss it a lot. But I’ve been placed on hold to pursue other things for the Kingdom of God.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord in Isaiah 55:8 I have to admit that I still can’t get that through my head. After a life of fighting for everything, I stop the fight and have left the Lord be the pilot of this life that belongs to him anyway. My small mind thinks that with every step that’s as far as I’m going to go, yet the Lord surprises me again.

When I started writing, I never thought I would get a book to see the light of day. Now I have 4 books published: The Road Home, Growth Lessons, Season’s Greetings from Amelia and A Brothers Vow. I also have 2 other novels waiting to be edit for release: Saving Paola and Breaking Free.

In 2010 I started attending a ministry program called Celebrate Recovery to deal with the domestic violence in my marriage and eventual divorce. Today I’m the Ministry Leader of the only Spanish Celebrate Recovery in GA and a State Representative for Celebrate Recovery in GA. These are not my accomplishments, but places where God has brought me to that I never imagined. The State Rep happened this summer.

CR blog

It’s been kind of a quiet year. I’ve been a little reclusive doing a lot of introspection. It has been a year to connect with God at a different level. It’s been a year of growth.

I also moved to a new apartment in the summer. A smaller but way better apartment. My dog is happy as the complex has 2 dog parks, and she gets to drag me there to play.

For the first time in my life I have a television over 24 inches, not an accomplishment but something that happened. It looks really good and weird to see the clarity of some shows like if you were sitting right next to the characters or walking with them through hallways and streets.

It’s been a peaceful year. I’m really enjoying being quiet for long periods of time. I’m enjoying silence, which is a different pace for me. I don’t want to get too comfortable ad stop chasing dreams, but for now being able to breath is a good place to be.

Happy New Year 2016!

NYE

Man on Purpose

As a woman I can only write from the women’s perspective, but today I have a treat for all my brother’s in Christ, especially those in the state of Georgia. Today we have Richard Rice here with us to discuss his event Man on Purpose.

Richard, welcome to The Rising Muse. Tell us what is “Man on Purpose”?

Man On Purpose is a Ministry created to empower men to become the man postcard-4inx6in-h-frontGod has created us to be with purpose, on purpose. To help men see their greater potential and become intentional on finding that purpose God has for them. Society has taken man created in God’s image and transformed him into a lesser than version, watered down with little or no substance. We have let society tell us what a man is supposed to look like and be like instead of diving into God’s word and finding the answers.

Man On Purpose is all about change. Change in ourselves and then making right what we have let society do to us and the world around us. We are supposed to be new creations in Christ. Man On Purpose is to help men become just that. We have to learn to deal with whatever it is that is hindering us in receiving the fullness of what God has for us.

Man On Purpose is a vision given to me on Saturday morning, April 18, 2012. I received the name of the ministry as well as what to teach about and a page full of ideas. Shortly after that day is when I was told that I have to do an event with the teaching I prepared out of my John Maxwell Certification.

Very interesting and so necessary. I know you have the first event for this ministry coming up. Tell us about it. 

The event is on: August 4, 2012 8:00 am – 1:00 pm World Outreach Church for all Nations 1294 Braselton Highway Lawrenceville, GA 30043

This event is the first of many to come. I will be teaching on The 15 Laws of Personal Growth. This is a teaching geared to help men see themselves in a different light; to help them grow and develop so they can receive what God has for them. We will also be talking about accountability. Accountability is very important in any kind of growth situation. We need to be held accountable for what we do or are not doing, that’s how we can grow. There will be praise and worship as well as prayer time. The goal by the end is to break into groups and men sharing something they have hidden in the dark and bring it into the light. The Man On Purpose event is based on Jeremiah 29:11, 2 Corinthians 5:17, and James 5:16.

If out brothers in Christ would like to know more about this ministry or contact you, where can they do that?

Our website is : www.amanonpurpose.net

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Man-on-Purpose/396676617030072

TWITTER: @amanonpurpose

I can be reached by phone at: 678.522.4170

Who is Richard Rice?

BIOPICRichard Rice is the founder of MAN ON PURPOSE. This ministry was birthed out of a desire to help men become the man they are intended to be with purpose, on purpose.

Richard surrendered his life to Christ in September 2005 and he got baptized in 2006. Searching for men in the church to help him in his walk, he found very little help. What he did find were men that needed the same kind of help he did. In 2007 Richard and Carrie dove into wanting to help others and they became part of the Mercy Team serving in downtown Atlanta ministering to the last, the lost, and the least; namely the homeless.

In 2009 Richard and his wife Carrie helped start a ministry in their church called Celebrate Recovery, during this time Richard was able to come face to face with a lot of his issues and overcome many of the hurts, habits, and hang ups. Through this process of growth and obedience God was able to give me the vision of Man On Purpose on April 18, 2012.
Through MAN ON PURPOSE it is Richard’s hope that he can challenge men to live an intentional life on fire for God.

Richard has been married for 6 years this month and has 7 children. Carrie, his wife came into this marriage with 4 children. Morgan 23, Trey 22, Nathan 19, and Joshua 17. Richard has 2 children from his previous marriage.  Christian 20 and Darijan 15. From another relationship Richard also has Stefen 10.

Faith and Mental Health

 Mental Health is one controversial subject in religious circles. Emotional disturbances are not necessarily visible and therefore sometimes not viewed as real health problems and the treatment of there or lack of thereof is not always addressed appropriately.

Emotional conditions are usually viewed in religious settings as a lack of faith, a lack of prayer or lack of surrendering to God. I don’t discount that there are times were a believer’s struggle are due to those things, but as with physical healing, I wouldn’t recommend a cancer patient to stop or not engage in treatment; I wouldn’t discourage someone struggling emotionally to do the same. Matthew 4:23 (MSG) states, “People brought anybody with an ailment, whether mental, emotional, or physical. Jesus healed them one and all”; which tells me that in God’s eyes they were all the same.

I think that sometimes believers fail to educate themselves in the nature of mental health conditions.  A high percentage of mental health conditions are biological in nature. Just like diabetes, they are due to a chemical imbalance in the body, in this case; the brain, which is as much as an organ as the pancreas is. Just like diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer, most mental health conditions have a pre-disposition genetic component. It is true that a pre-disposition doesn’t mean that it will happen, just that the chances are higher. This has been proven with alcoholism and depression.

Can God heal people from these conditions? Absolutely, however that doesn’t mean that these struggles are not as real as physical ailments and they should be treated as such.

Some churches have a more open minded approach to these issues and have counseling programs available to their parishioners. There are many Christian programs (like Celebrate Recovery) and counselors out there that can not only understand the condition but also provide the spiritual support to the person dealing with these struggles.

In my opinion there are three major mental health conditions that are majorly misunderstood within the faith community. Those are: depression, anxiety and addictions. Absolutely keeping God first in anything in our lives is a most. At the same time if you or a loved one is struggling with emotional conditions do not be ashamed to seek professional help, or to encourage and support a loved one to seek it.

James 5:16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another

and pray for one another,

that you may be healed.

The prayer of a righteous person

has great power as it is working.