Thursday, November 25, 2010

Week of Praise

On this day of Thanksgiving I realize that there is so much that we have to be thankful for. Sometimes even when we can't think of anything to be thankful for we should just praise God in advance. So, this blog is talking about a week of praise. It comes from a sermon that my Pastor, Bishop Jim Lowe of The Guiding Light Church in Birmingham, AL delivered on December 27, 2009. It breaks down a full of praise that you can repeat over and over again. It starts with Psalms 112 and goes through Psalms 118 coresponding with the 7 days of the week. I hope you enjoy.

Sunday-Psalm 112
Praise God by fearing Him and obeying His commands which is His word. When you do this you don't have to worry about anything. God will take care of you and generations to come after you. He will even fight your battles for you with and against your enemies. To fear God and understand and obey His commands, you must be able to communicate with Him. This is achieved by learning His voice through the study of His word. Not delighting in His commands negates the blessings; when you're serving God don't do it unhappily. Praise the Lord!

Monday-Psalm 113
This Psalm again starts with Praise the Lord. We are to forever Praise the Lord as His servants. Then it goes on to tell us some of the many reasons we should be in continual praise. The Lord does things for us that no one else can do, things that are truly impossible. However, we must praise! Praise the Lord!

Tuesday-Psalm 114
When God delivered the people of Israel, even the Earth trembled and rejoiced. When God does the many wonderful things for us everyday we should not have to be pumped and primed to praise God, don't let the rock cry out for you! Praise the Lord!

Wednesday-Psalm 115
We should not receive any glory, but God should because of His love and faithfulness. The world will question your God. Just know that the world's idols shall pass away and all that seek them. Trust only in the Lord for He is our help and shield. When the Lord blesses you, it's for you and generations after you. Set up your treasures in Heaven by trusting, praising, and exalting Him on the Earth. Praise the Lord!

Thursday-Psalm 116
Love the Lord because He hears our cries and rescues us. We should continue to call on Him and serve Him. He has, is, and will continue to do so much for us. There is no way we can repay Him. The least we can do is praise Him for all to see and serve Him. That is reasonable. We must praise Him in all aspects of our lives. Men will fail you, but God never fails, so we should continue to call on His name and serve Him whole-heartedly. Praise the Lord!

Friday-Psalm 117
All should Praise the Lord! We should exalt Him simply because of His love and faithfulness. The least we can do is Praise Him! Praise the Lord!

Saturday-Psalm 118
Praise God because He is good and His love is everlasting. We should proclaim His enduring love and mercy, for we are His people. God answers me when I need Him, so why should I fear, man can't harm me. God will take care of my enemies if I trust in Him. No matter how hard it gets, God will be my help. The righteous Praise God. Although I go through, God will never put more on me than I can bear. Ask God to grant you success. Take praise by force and proclaim that God is good and His love endureth forever. Praise the Lord!

I can assure you from personal experience, that if you faithfully praise and serve the Lord He will bring you out of situations that you could not see yourself coming out of. So in simple... Just Praise!!! If you haven't read my last blog titled, Testimony please read it! As always I pray that God blesses each and every one of you spiritually, mentally, socially, physically and financially. Just remember to pray the same for me. Likewise, if you didn't know by now I love each and every one of you! God bless!

Monday, November 22, 2010


So, as I told you all another blog was coming soon. Likewise, I told you that I like to wait and contemplate on a post when I first think about, because I want to deliver it in the best possible manner. Now this is a post that I've been meditating on for about a month now. This is my personal testimony of what has been going on in my life! So sit back, make some time, and I hope it blesses your soul!

As some of you know I am in the fitness industry. I have been a personal trainer for about 7 years now. Well in January of 2008, I started working at Fitness Together in Mountain Brook, AL. I loved it there, I had a great team of co-workers and wonderful clients. However, somewhere along the way I started to be unhappy with the job situation. To make a long story short, I left Fitness Together-Mountain Brook in August of 2009. I then began working at Regions as a telebanker. All of you who knows me knows that I am one of the easiest people to get along with. So throughout my training I begin to love everyone, and they started to love me as well. I even received the award for mvp or something like that of my training class. So, after training i hit the ground running. I begin to make an impression on all of the people around me. Things were going great for the first month or so. Then I begin to get a little unhappy with that job, although none of my coworkers probably knew it because that's just the type of person I am. The only thing that made me unhappy about that job was the sales aspect of the job. I am not a seller by far, but I'm a talker and I love people. So believe it or not the rude, cursing, belligerent, angry, overdrafting customers did not bother me at all. I was just stressing that maybe I made the wrong decision by leaving what I love, to do what I believed to be right at the time.

Now the whole time I was at Regions, God was watering a seed that was planted before I ever left my old job. I had tossed the idea around of being interested in possibly owning and running a fitness together. I didn't know anything would come of it though. Now just as I was really getting a little stressed with the job at Regions, I got a phone call one day from my former coworker asking me if I was still interested in what I had talked about. I was like yeah of course, Regions pays the bills, but health and fitness is my passion. Again, to make a long story short January 15, 2010 I found myself meeting with two of my former coworkers and an investor who was a former client of mines. What does that mean Mike?... Yes you guessed it, I had suddenly become a 25 year old co-owner/operator of Fitness Together-Mountain Brook! So, is that my testimony... yes, but the plot thickens du-du-duhhhhh

I've mentioned before in a blog that everytime God blesses you, the devil attacks. God's plans are for you to prosper, but the devil simply wants to see you destroyed. So January through February was all adrenaline. Truth be told, I didn't know didly-squat about being a business owner. I was just excited to have the opportunity. Towards the end of February that high and adrenaline started to die down, and I begin to think maybe I'm not ready for this. I'm not good at sales (however thank God for Regions and what I learned there). I don't even know what I should do with my time at work when I'm not training. We're not growing at the rate I thought we should be growing. We have no marketing; the list goes on and on. Now in March, one of my business partners and I went to Franchise University, Fitness Together's week long training of the business, in Denver, CO. As the week went on, the stress and anxiety begin to build up. I started to realize that this is a lot, and I don't know if I'm ready. Now Franchise University is an awesome tool for Fitness Together. The staff, from the CEO to the secretary, was awesome and very hospitable. So one would think that you would leave there on a high. However, I left in worse shape then when I got there. I can remember being on the plane ride home thinking... there is no way we can do this.

So here I am in the blog that I wrote about previously titled, "The Pit of Depression/Negativity is Endless" Yes people I was in that pit. So if any of you had any type of interaction with me since about March, you should've known that it just wasn't the same old Mike. I went from being the life of the room and making everyone happy, to barely being able to make myself smile. There were friends and family that would ask me if everything was ok, and my reply would always be... "Everything is ok, just keep praying for me things are a little tougher than I thought but I'm blessed". So even in a bad state, I was still speaking positive. None of you could feel sorry for me, because half of you never knew anything was going on with me. It's like for months I was living, but not really here. Then it got worse; I begin to have headaches that would last for days. I couldn't seem to find my happiness. Felicia started to noticed a change, and she would often ask me at first. I would just tell her I don't even know what it is. I didn't think I was stressing, but I was and it was really making become a totally different person. Some of you may have noticed that my facebook status updates of inspiration got few and far between. I took a total hiatus from twitter. I hosted an event at my church, and I can remember people telling me, "Mike you just weren't yourself". I would shrug it off and keep going. The devil really was putting a two-piece combo on my life. He was hitting me with jabs and upper cuts, and I didn't even know how to climb out of the pit of depression. However, I will tell you one thing that I did not stop doing. I did not stop praying for breakthrough and deliverance.

Now back in June, my pastor Bishop Jim Lowe instructed us to just trust God and go outside of your norm in praise, serving and giving for 3 months and breakthroughs were going to happen. So of course I obeyed, I begin to pay more in my tithes and just be more faithful in serving at church. God begin to move before the 3 months. People were getting healed. People were getting jobs and better jobs, raises and bonuses, benefits, sales and commissions, and most of all Revelations from God. The whole time I'm thinking.. Mine is coming, but the devil was saying ha you're a fool. So the end of September ended the 3 months, and I found myself still in this state of depression. It was hard for me to even be around crouds of people. Now this is a little hard for me to admit, but everyone was telling me "Mike you're loosing weight, what are you doing?" I would always simply respond with nothing special, just the same ole. So it got to the point where I was loosing weight from stress. Now, I wanted to take off a few pounds, but not that way. I lost about 5 pounds on a church fast that we had back in February, so that was my excuse. The fast kick started it, and I just keep loosing.People in total I had dropped 22 pounds before I even realized. Felicia and I were close to having to buy me a whole new wardrobe.

Well about a month ago, we had our monthly call from our area director Eric G. at work. In that call he was just assuring us of how good we had actually been doing this year. Then all of the sudden everything hit home. I came home and begin to pray, and it's like I heard a voice say "Mike you've been here all along, but it was only going to be realized when you stopped looking at what you think your problems are". So, was it the call that made me feel better. No, it was God's appointed time to bring me out of the place where I was in my life. I had to go through that season to realize how precious every opportunity is. I had to go through that season to realize that things are not always as bad as you think. I had to go through that season to help someone else who will face the same challenges. I had to go through that season to be the energetic/motivated/determined trainer that I am today. I had to go through that season to become the driven and successful owner that God has called me to be. I had to look at the devil and tell him that I was created to excel and not fail and that's my devine potential! I had to tell that devil that no weapon formed against me shall prosper and that God had already blessed me tremendously, so you can just go back to hell where you came from.

I spent almost the whole year stressing over nothing when I was the person that was always encouraging people. I spent almost the whole year on doing the exact opposite of what I was telling everyone else to do. Well, I'm here to say that I'm back and I feel better than before. There is a certain feeling that you get when you realize that what God has for you, it is for you! There is a certain feeling that you get when you realize that weeping may endure for a night, but Joy comes in the morning. So, that's why you've noticed[(hopefully :-)] in the last month that I can encourage more again. I can keep my tweeples (my name for people who follow me on twitter) engaged. I can go to work everyday with a smile on my face. I can hold my head up proud and say I am a young, black, successful business owner. I can say in faith that God is getting ready to take me in places that even I don't see coming.

So, I say to you that if there is any situation you're going through. Please give it to God. Some of you are experiencing hurt, pain, loss, heartache, headache, stress, lack, loneliness and many other hardships that you just can't seem to get out of.... BUT GOD, He speacializes and He can do what no other power can do. I urge you, in fact I dare you to just try Him. As in my case, just stop and then Go. stop worrying, stop crying, stop stressing, stop fighting, stop losing and Go on with your life. Go on with your happiness. Go on and enjoy what God has already blessed you with. As I have also written previously, "Life is Like Nike, Just Do It". Don't let anyone tell you what you can't do.

I just want to send blessings to each and every one that has, is and will read this blog. This is a special one to me, because it really was a huge breakthrough for me. I pray that God will bless you spiritually, mentally, socially, physically and financially. Likewise, as always I just ask that you do the same for me. Now, if this blog/note blessed you in any way I would like you to do a few things for me:
1. Tell someone else about it or send it to someone who you think it will bless.
2. If you're on twitter, follow me
3. Find my business' page on facebook Fitness Together Mountain Brook, so you can support and mainly just pray for us.
4. Pray for or check on people who you feel are acting unusual or out of there norm, usually there is something wrong.
As always, God bless you and I love you!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Start Laughing

What's up people?! It's that time again for me to drop a little something that was on my mind. I was on the way to work this morning, and I always listen to Steve Harvey on the way to work. He always starts his show with 12 minutes of inspiration. I love it because it always get my mind in a positive state, which it usually is anyway. This morning as he came back from his first break before introducing the team, he started laughing histerically. While he was laughing the crew asked him if he was ok. He then went on to explain how making yourself laugh was a good thing to do, especially when you just get that deep one where you almost lose your breath. He went on to explain how it released endorphins (little chemical things that make you feel all good inside... lol). So, yes I'm the one that's crazy enough to try it. I begin to do it, and at first I felt like an idiot as I should have. As I was laughing, I said to myself, "Self!" Myself said, "huh?" I said, "Why are you laughing?" In the midst of all that the laugh became real. So I started my day off with a great laugh, and although I only had a few clients this morning because of a meeting that took the rest of the day, I was on an emotional high all day.

So I was on the way home from my meeting today and I called my homie who I haven't spoken to in a while, Damali (told you I was going to shout you out :-D), and we were just talking about her weekend. She made the simple statement that she needed some fun for her free weekend, or that she needed some comedy (feel free to correct me D). I thought about this morning, and I told her if you need that just start laughing. So I explained to her where I got it from. We were just talking about how you need to make the most of every moment and how everything happens for a reason, and then it hit me. I immediately had a blog, therefore after 2 paragraphs of explanation here goes!

A lot of times in life we go through things that make or break our spirits and emotions on a daily, hourly, minute by minute, even second by second basis. Many times we don't know how to deal with these things. Well, if you allow me I want to offer a simple suggestion... Start Laughing. Start laughing at the bill that you don't know how you're going to pay. Start laughing at that relationship that just won't go the way you want it to go. Start laughing at that last 5-10/10-20/50-100 lbs. that you just can't seem to get rid of. Start laughing at stresses on the job. Start laughing at that class that you just don't see the passing grade in. Start laughing at your spiritual, mental, social, physical and financial battles. Now people of course I'm making a very broad metaphor so to speak, but really it's kind of serious. I've written blogs before where I talked about not worrying. One in particular that is a great read is "The Pit of Depression/Negativity is Endless". So all I'm saying is there are some things in life that aren't going to change until you change your outlook of it. So the next time something begins to bug you, just start laughing and be thankful in spite of.

I hope this can be a blessing to someone in some way. As always, I pray that God blesses each and everyone of you who will read this. May God bless you spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically and financially. I ask that you would pray the same for me, and if you like this please tell someone else about it. Another blog coming real soon... stay tune! I love you all!