The Naomi C. Kellogg Blog is a blog blend of life, art, news and culture through personal and shared experiences. My prayer is that what is shared inspires.
Growth gets you to revelation. Revelation drives your purpose. Purpose constructs the relevancy of the message within you. Often I meet individuals who are gung-ho about the ministry of the Kingdom. Their testimony is almost always one of familiarity; I ran from God for so many years and now I’ve finally given in and am doing what He’s purposed me to do. Admirable! The problem I encounter with these individuals is the authenticity of their presentation. For some odd reason or another, people feel like they have to transform into these teleprompted, scripted, and synthetic versions of the televangelist they’ve been mimicking for years. God didn’t fashion any of us nor does He desire us to be a duplicate version of any previous masterpiece He’s created. That’s the beauty of The Potter. Each piece is an original pre-thought out pre-crafted idea of perfection. Each piece is authentic. It’s impossible for a plate to perform like a cup. You’ll make a mess of things. The same is true for us. Trying to force your purpose to perform like someone else’s will ultimately make a mess out of you. Being someone other than who you were designed to be will become exhausting. And ultimately, frustration will cause you to lay everything down and walk away. Be you. God knew just what He was doing when He chose you.
Finish what you started
I awakened this morning with the reminder of duty on my heart—completing the task so-to-speak. Rounding out the plans, sifting the content, and culminating the finish is the center of my motivation. I thrive off of a message I heard years ago that left an eternal imprint in my heart and mind,
The wealthiest places in the world are not gold mines, oil fields, diamond mines or banks. The wealthiest place is the cemetery. There lies companies that were never started, masterpieces that were never painted… In the cemetery there is buried the greatest treasure of untapped potential. There is a treasure within you that must come out. Don’t go to the grave with your treasure still within YOU – Dr. Myles Munroe.
I must be honest and admit when I first heard this message I took offense, mainly because I just knew I already had it together. I was young, single, making good money, and could drive what I wanted and travel anywhere I wanted. So, what do you mean telling me my track to the finish will conclude with my potential having never being utilized? Then I sat back and pondered the truth in this paragraph. I was pressing myself eighty hours, sometimes ninety with overtime, to build someone else’s dream. I programmed my alarm clock to wake me up on time every morning, five days a week, to go make someone else rich—to fulfill someone else’s purpose, while my own was lying dormant within me. Talk about a reality check.
Upon that realization, my whole life took a shift in focus. I had to first admit to myself that what I loved to do, what came natural to me, wasn’t corny or foolish but directly in line with my passion—my fervor for touching people—making a positive impact on their lives. My next step was to align my gifts with my motivation. For me, my motivation was, and has always been, my faith. I’ve always believed that what I do in the name of Christ is not only more beneficial for me but for others He’s allowed me to come in contact with. I’ve failed in so many disastrous ways over the years. My failures were not because I was in error, but because my zealous heart was consistently trying to force 10lbs of potatoes in 8lb bags. I had to learn to plan big but work inch by inch effectively and not 10 miles at a time. I wasn’t doing myself or anybody else any good with that method
But, some years later, slow and steady has been winning the race. I don’t know if you all remember, but some time back I wrote about being encouraged to complete a lifelong goal of mine to start my own publishing company to share my passion of writing with the world. Well, guess what? It’s official! I stepped out and did it. And with it, so many other beautiful ideas the Lord planted in me years ago. It’s a ton of work, but it’s so worth. Everyday now, part of my prayer of gratitude is thanking the Lord for strengthening my heart to push forward and not buckle under my failures.
That’s my memo to you this morning and I hope you get it. Nothing beats a failure like a hustle. Don’t quit! Don’t walk away. Most importantly, don’t cave when it doesn’t work out the way YOU planned it. Stay the course and watch God unfold His plan for your purpose one step and one day at a time.
Finish what you started!
Journaling, aside from pecking the pages of my heart away on a laptop, is one of my daily therapies. Whether I’m reading a book, a newspaper, a pamphlet, or etc., I keep my journal nearby to jot down ideas or descriptions of images that come to mind.
A few days ago, my husband and I caught the movie Focus starring Will Smith. The movie is a genius display of how-to be a world-class pick pocket. Will Smith, who plays the wayward son with the inherited craft of trickery and thievery, takes on a female understudy after she makes a failed attempt to school the cunningly wise.
Their first meeting was a lesson on how to focus, touch, and take; snatch your mark’s focus, gently invade their personal space with friendly touch, then, without them ever suspecting you, pilfer their pockets, purses, person and anything else available during the take.
Now, I know you’re thinking just what does a movie about stealing have to do with a word crush Wednesday. Let me tell you.
During that lesson on focus, Will Smith said something to his understudy that made all the simple sense in the world. He said something along the lines of, “You can get what you want out of people by the way you touch them.”
Listening to I Love You by Jonathan McReynolds
I often share with people, when given the opportunity, that I believe, if you’re striving to make it to heaven, you should go having a good time. No, I don’t mean getting turnt at the club in Jesus name, nor do I mean abusing your religious liberties by testing God’s grace. What I do mean is, God’s presence is priceless. His attention is invaluable. Whenever He makes an attempt to grace your actions or the intentions of your heart with a semblance of consideration, don’t ever take it lightly. Those moments mark identifying landmarks in your striving towards purpose. In most cases, your purpose is defined in those moments.
We’re here again—at that time of the year which most people consider the fulcrum for their decision-making for the year. The day in which, people, as if their whole lives depended on it, lay the weight of deciding on themselves how the rest of their world will turn for the next 365 days. New Years Day; the day of resolution for resoluters!
Growing up in our household, New Years Day or the celebrating of it, weighed heavily on the religious side. It was a day marked for celebrating new life—celebrating the departure of a year that may have been filled with sinful or ugly moments—moments that kept us from making God smile. The inception of new life, or the praise party so-to-speak, began late night New Years Eve. In the church world, across most Christian denominations, we call that party watchnight service.
A watchnight service is a late-night Christian church service In many different Christian Traditions, a watchnight service is held late on New Year’s Eve, and ends after midnight. This provides the opportunity for Christians to review the year that has passed and make confession, and then prepare for the year ahead by praying and resolving. The services often include singing, praying, exhorting, and preaching. – Wiki
The whole idea is to lay all of your burdens down at the altar, resolve your wrongs by asking for forgiveness, receive that forgiveness, then walk into the new year with a praise of thanksgiving. For the greater part of my life I’ve held that tradition every year. Then one day, years ago, I was having a discussion with someone and we were kind of rambling over and summing up the parts of our lives at that point in our lives out loud. Then it hit me. Every single day we wake up, we awaken new beings. Suddenly, the waters of why we wait until the first day of the year to declare our newness became very murky to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking watchnight service. I actually believe it’s still necessary. But, if we can hold out 365 days to wring out all the wrongs in our worlds in a countdown of about 121 minutes, why not wake up everyday and declare the same thing?
Remember the Miracles…
While I’m not making a purposeful attempt to sound the least bit conceited, I love my smile in this photo. Better yet, I love what’s behind my smile in this photo. This was our first family Christmas photo. Yep, I said family. I was about two months pregnant in this photo. And although I’d missed my favorite time of the month a couple of times, (sarcasm inserted here), I wasn’t certain that I was pregnant seeing I‘d already taken a few pregnancy tests that confirmed no little one was on the way. My doctor’s appointment to validate my pregnancy was a few days away and I was a bucket-o-joy and a ball of nerves until then.
You see, based off of some previous health diagnoses, I wasn’t supposed to be able to conceive a child let alone carry one full term. There was a 98% certainty that I wouldn’t. But there I was with two missed cycles and a belly full of person. I must have walked on egg shells for weeks up until my appointment. I think I tip-toed in my heels the night of this photograph because I’d heard myths about pregnant women miscarrying from walking around in high heel shoes. What a nervous happy mess I was. I remember slipping on my dress that night and thinking to myself, “Wow. I might be pregnant. I really might be pregnant.”
You were born to solve a problem in your generation. Your value is in the problem you solve. Discover your problem discover your value – Dr. Myles Munroe
I don’t believe there’s one soul in the Kingdom or in this world that hasn’t been inspired, educated, enlightened, or transformed by the ministry of Dr. Myles Munroe. Having never personally met him or shaken his hand, I’ve grown in wisdom of my purpose and my thinking transformed by the teachings placed inside of him by the Almighty.
Years ago I came to a crossroad in regards to my relationship with God and my purpose inside and out of the Kingdom. I’d served so many purposes in and out of the church that I realized I hadn’t really tapped densely into my gifts and talents. I was just a helper; a floater. While working as a temp at a Bay Area mortgage company, I decided to make a run across the street to the christian book store to kill some time by browsing through the latest gospel cd’s in the music section. I didn’t see anything new that I hadn’t had already. So, I just started walking around the store picking through different books and pamphlets. No coincidence at all, I turned down one of the aisles and came to a section of books which was a full collection of Dr. Munroe’s teachings from throughout the years. I think I went from book to book reading a paragraph here and there and was captivated. Then, I came across a little devotional on prayer. I read day one and started balling. That book was destined to go home with me.
I didn’t have much money to buy the book. As a matter of fact, I had just enough gas money to get me to work for the rest of the week. But, I just couldn’t set the book back down and leave it. I went to the front to pay for it, and let me tell how good God is. The bookstore was running a special. Anyone who signed up for a frequent shopper card got 20% instant store discount plus $5 dollars towards their purchase. I got the book for like $3 bucks. Yep, $3 dollars changed my life. In a matter of thirty days I learned so much about how to pray and what to pray when you’re seeking God that I believe each day I saw a little bit of an ‘S’ peeking through my button-down.
I went on to follow Dr. Munroe’s ministry and teachings. I’ve learned so much about purpose, service, and prayer from his ministry it’s unbelievable.
Earth lost a generous servant and heaven gained an angel.
Rest well Dr. Myles and Ruth Munroe…
It’s imperative that every area of our lives be imbued with gratitude….
A few days ago I was down on the floor with the boys engaged in a friendly trade-off of toy trucks, cars, and planes. My husband and I take turns doing this with them during downtime or playtime. Well, while me and my 3-year old were bargaining the going rate of a Lightning McQueen for little red Tonka Truck, my email notification went off on my cell phone. Without completely interrupting our deal, I leaned over to where my phone was and slid the drop down down to see if it was important or not. It was an email from someone I’d never heard of. I wasn’t alarmed because I get emails like that all of the time. But, the subject line caught my attention, so I put play on pause and picked up my phone to check it out. Here’s how the body of the email read:
Excerpt from “How to Let God Solve Your Problems” by Charles StanleyThe enemy may try to deceive us into thinking that he is in control but this is nonsense. God is the One who has the final control. He is infinite in wisdom and knowledge. He knows all things. Anything that touches our lives has to pass through Him before it gets to us. Nothing happens without His full knowledge. And nothing is too great or too small for Him to handle.The very fact that the check you thought would come on Monday has not arrived yet concerns Him, but there are times when he allows us to wait for His answer a little longer than we would choose.The fact is : God allows problems and difficulty for several reasons.When problems come and you do not understand why, ask the Lord, “What are You saying to me? Do You want me to reshape something in my life? Are You purifying me for a purpose, redirecting me for a reason?”God always will make His way through the storm clear to you. You may not understand why the clouds have appeared, but you can trust the One who allowed them to gather. God never wastes our sorrows.Whatever you are facing today, you can be sure that He will use it in some dramatic way tomorrow to bring glory to Himself and to bless you.Have a great week!
I’m not counting that a coincidence…
30-Day Vegan Journey Reloaded!
Since I had so much personal success with the 30-Day vegan journey, I’ve decided to reload it and continue the journey. I originally sought out to follow it for 30 days, but ended up sticking with it for 90 days. My goal was lifetime, but I fell into a homemade Quiche early one morning and literally almost hurt myself. I reverted to vegetarian for a few weeks. But now, I’ve decided to recommit and charge full speed ahead into a more fitter healthier me. I’m excited too! I’ve also started Shaun T’s Focus T25 and I’m loving it. If you haven’t already made a health commitment, come join me. I promise you’ll eat great food and enjoy some really cool workouts.
Be Involved…Be Community
Sincere gratitude is to be expressed to The Farias Consulting Group for allowing my family the priviledge to be a part of the SPC Peterson Home Dedication hosted by CPR – Community Partners in Revitilization. In the early hour of this morning, with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman in attendance, we honored war veteran SPC Stephen Peterson.
SPC Stephen Peterson lost a limb during an IED explosion while deployed in Afghanistan in July 2011. He spent two years recovering at San Antonio Military Medical Center. Peterson finally was able to move back to his native state of Florida last year. Community Partners in Revitalization in conjunction with Texas-based Operation Finally Home offered Stephen the chance to own a mortgage-free home in the City of St. Petersburg. – CPR
Some outstanding figures in the community took the mic to share their personal thanks to this veteran and to share in the celebration of such a beautiful moment in this community’s history. Of those who spoke, was former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Martin Gramatica of The Gramatica Family Foundation.
He shared a personal lesson that he teaches to his children on the regular in regards to being grateful for freedom. He remembered a moment in time where in his home country of Argentina there was no freedom. So, to be a part of a historic community moment as this one, reminded him and his family of the great level of appreciation they share for our veterans.
I was also extremely proud to share this moment with my boys. They were able to shake hands with war veterans and community leaders who spoke very kind and encouraging words to them about their future. When they become of responsible age, I will definitely remind them of this moment and encourage them to make even greater strides with community developments as this one.
When I captured this photo I spent hours pondering the sentiment of it. The simplicity of the moment brought about a smile. But the depth in what’s encapsulated in this frame is bittersweet for me in its beauty and far beyond what my heart has ever experienced. See, my mother, for the greater part of my childhood, raised her children on her own. She remarried during my teen years. But my stepfather wasn’t able to fill the shoes my biological father should have worn to walk me through life.
In this moment, while nestling a receipt down in purse, I caught ear of some cute chatter between my sons and my husband. My husband had just come from a funeral and was still wearing his dress clothes. Normally, he dresses in this fashion for church or maybe for an important business day on the job. At any rate, it peaked the kids interest and our two-year old couldn’t help but make visual comparison to what he was wearing as opposed to what daddy had on. Our one-year old couldn’t help but get in on the play as well. So, he opted to get down from daddy’s hip down into strolling position. They strolled along with one hand in their dad’s hand gazing back and forth at one another as if they were making nonverbal attempts to say, “This is pretty cool dad.” The pride on my husband’s face broke me. This very breathtaking moment reminded me of every fatherless Christmas and Thanksgiving, the thirty-six birthdays without a happy birthday or birthday card, and all the precious moments like this one, I don’t have to look back on.
But in that momentary bitterness, I was taken back to some beautiful prayers I’d prayers years ago as a teenager. I remember praying and telling God that when I got married, I was going to marry a man who will be the father to our children that my father wasn’t to me. I’d marry a man who’d take them for walks in the park and push them for hours on the swing. He’d teach them to drive and be there to congratulate them when they got their driver’s license. Teaching them to change a tire would be the beginning of many father-child endeavors they’d delve into. If I had a girl, he’d take her on her first date and be there to threaten her first boyfriend. On her prom night, he’d twirl her around like cinderella and tell her how beautiful she was. And at the birth of her children, he’d be the first one there to spoil them.
God answers prayers. He put me in the hands of such a man and blessed me with sons for him to take pride in fathering. Each passing day, there’s never a minute that goes by that I don’t capture a father-son memory that my boys will be able to look back on and say, “Wow! What an awesome dad we had.”
It’s amazing what one moment will do.
An excerpt from the upcoming “For My Boys” book and blog by Kayson and Naomi Kellogg.
Being the morning person that I am, I like to get up first thing in the morning and workout. I’ve found I commit most to my workout when I do it outside of the home. So, I drive over to my favorite spot to do my morning combo of walking and running. Well, yesterday, after finishing my workout, I had to run up to the public library to print out some important papers. While on my way I decided to treat my ears to one of my audible guilty pleasures; The Steve Harvey Morning Show. Boy did I make a great decision to tune in.
Already underway, I tuned in to Steve having a live conversation with motivational speaker Lisa Nichols. They were taking fan calls from people who needed advice on how to follow their dreams and start their own businesses. One particular call made my day and possible altered my thinking for the rest of my life. A gentleman called in asking advice on how to start his own barbecue business. He has his own specialized recipe in which he gets raved reviews every time he serves it up. However, he’s afraid to leave his “job” and step out on faith to start his business. In less than sixty seconds she gave him an answer that rocked my world. She first admonished him for referring to his job as a job. She educated him on the fact that his job is not just a place where he spends 40 to 80 hours of his week to collect a check that’s pretty much spent anyway. She advised him his job is his investor. His job pays him to pay into his own dream. The first thing he should be doing when he gets paid is to write his dream a check. Pay his dream first. Nobody will invest in his dream until he does.
She continued rattling off life changing information like a machine gun. I had to park the truck and breath. It would take hours for me to share with you everything I heard her share with everyone else on the radio. So I’d like to encourage you to stop by her website and take a little time to be educated and amazed. If you have a dream in mind and are unsure of how to get started, here’s where you should start: Motivating the Masses
Scripps National Spelling Bee
Although I’m a football fan for life, I must say, after living most of my adolescence on the nerd side of the bench, spelling is the greatest sport of all time. Forget beating my opponent with the physical exertion of a homerun, field goal or touchdown. Give me the letters a through z and I’ll spell champion before the average could even become one. Then I’ll walk away with my shiny trophy like a boss. That’s what the spelling bee is all about.
The dreaded bell that signals a misspelled word tolled for each of the last two spellers in the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday night. But in an exhilarating twist, it wasn’t the end for either of them.Sriram Hathwar of Painted Post, New York, and Ansun Sujoe of Fort Worth, Texas, got back-to-back words wrong, each giving a reprieve to the other. Neither stumbled again, and a dozen words later, they ended up as co-champions of the bee, the first tie in 52 years.”The competition was against the dictionary, not against each other,” Sriram said after both were showered with confetti onstage. “I’m happy to share this trophy with him.”
Read the full Story: ESPN: Spelling Bee Ends in a Rare Stalemate
I won’t question Him. But what a creation you were. And for the world
to know and say goodbye to such a beautiful rose in the rough, it’s hard not
to ask why. If I could, just one stroke with your pen,
I’d write the world a new page; a page filled with unity, and the freedom
of no man caged in the ideology of repression. A page
where joy, like a bird, hums the world a new
peace. A peace that sings a song only Maya could pen.
We’ll miss you Maya….
A Moment In History – Happy Memorial Day
KNOW YOUR HISTORY: Memorial Day was started by former slaves on May, 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 Black children where they marched, sang and celebrated. – MoveOn.org
As a mother of two beautiful African-American boys, I find it imperative to teach them the whole truth of their history. Important moments as the above are left out of regular public school curriculum and our children have no idea of how their ancestors fought and conducted themselves in this country. They’re made to believe that African-Americans before them were simply slaves stolen from their own country and forced to work in another. True, but that’s not even a fourth of the truth. Take moments like this and others to educate your children. And, as I’m always preaching, READ TO YOUR CHILDREN!!!
I love spending not only my downtime but designated time in prayer and worship. Either that time is spent consuming leaves of the bread of life or resting back in a chair and being inspired by an angel; a minister that is.That’s how I focus. It’s where I find a fulcrum in between the busy of life and creative work, the occupancy of motherhood, and the engagement of marriage. I’ve found that if I don’t mellow things down and take moments to be lifted, I run short of me. I gas out.
Spending time in inspiration gives you life. It refuels you, so-to-speak. Don’t allow yourself to become so burned out that you have nothing left to inspire anyone else with. Life is about giving and receiving. If you forget about yourself, you’ll be left with nothing to give. Shut off the noise and be inspired.
Crash the Chatterbox – Series Recap via – Elevation Church
Laughter is medicine!!!
There’s no such a thing as a perfect family. We all have our share of dysfunction. We yell, we fight, (not physically I hope), and we fuss. But in the end, love should rule, forgiveness should reign, and laughter should heal. After the hurtful minutes should come the joyful moments. Laugh!