Breaking Bread 5.28.20

Scripture

Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Matthew 7:20

Reflection

Hard work that is appreciated and respected by the worker always pays off. Hard work that is motive-driven gets dismal returns. Hard work that is coupled with complaints and whining, is a missed opportunity for greatness. You can’t sincerely praise God while you are complaining. You can’t seriously be grateful for your blessings if you’re bad-mouthing the process that led you there. You can’t possibly, genuinely, appreciate what you have if you don’t treat is as though it is priceless.

God wants to see what we will bear and He rewards us for putting in the work, enduring the challenges, and doing so with minimal complaint and absolutely no regret. God wants to see how grateful we are for all things big and small.

You may be in a sucky job or situation right now, but what are you doing to make it bearable? Are you able to see and embrace the blessings of and in your situation? What are you doing to demonstrate God’s goodness? What are you doing so that you can be used best by God? Are you showing up each day putting your best foot forward or barely doing enough to get by?

There may be numerous opportunities for you to get out of that situation or job, and get a better position or improve your current one. But if you are showing up each day with dread in your mind and a lack of hope in your heart then you can’t possibly see the doors, windows, portals, and pathways that God has set before you.

Are you looking and listening for all opportunities for a better job? Are you hitting the pavement each day before or even after a long day at work seeing what is out there for you? Are you introducing yourself to people and asking around about various opportunities? Or are you sitting around complaining and whining about how miserable your life is and how awful your job/situation is?

How miserable and awful would you be if God removed everything from you and left you with nothing?

There’s lessons in the experiences and blessings in the lessons. Embrace them don’t reject them.

God won’t bless us for mismanaging and mistreating our body, mind, money, cars, homes, and other resources. He already does more than He should by blessing us with life and the material possessions that we have. Without us doing our part we won’t see and benefit from the abundance of blessings that are waiting nearby.

Let’s do our part and put in the work each and every day. Let’s do our part to complain less and praise more! Be intentional and mindful of the fruits you produce.

Prayer

Father let my mind, heart, hands, and body be used to serve You and to put in the heavy work expected of me. Let me not be shiftless, lazy, and slothful. May I always be hard working, determined, committed, passionate and excited about what I do. When my hope is waning, restore it Father. When I feel beat down by life and people, pick me back up.

Give me courage to face the worst situations and the most difficult people. Give me grace and dignity to handle all situations with an appearance of ease and never with a charge of negativity.

As I work diligently keep my eyes affixed on the present with a vision for greater opportunities in the future. May I always give You the honor and glory for all of my successes and achievements. For if it weren’t for You I would have absolutely nothing. I know this and that is why I’m grateful for all things large and small in my life—even the pain and inconveniences. Thank You Father!

Love Always,

Natasha

Copyright 2012-2020. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. BreakingBreadWithNatasha.com bbwn.blog

Breaking Bread For 5.27.20

Scripture

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 19:21

Reflection

As Woody Allen said, “If you want to make God laugh tell Him your plans”. This phrase is so accurate that you have to laugh, because we spend the largest portions of our life planning, strategizing, and outlining our life the way that we think it should go— but never stepping back and acknowledging that through it all—God has a plan for each and every one of us. We should be consulting Him and following His lead.

If we let Him steer our chartered course then we can fully experience and enjoy the trip. We can wisely invest our time and energy into serving Him and living life to its fullest. God will always open doors, windows, and crawl spaces of opportunity for us. He will always make a way out of no way— but if He’s trying to guide the ship towards the right while you’re grabbing the wheel trying to turn it to the left, guess where you will go? No where. Guess what you will experience? Nausea, headaches, and frustration.

Every day we must make the effort to get out of our own way, to let go and surrender to God, and allow Him to lead us to where we need to be. Lord knows I battle with myself on this regularly, and I recognize that my life is so much smoother, calmer, and stress-free when I simply let God do His job and I focus on doing mine. When I don’t, I experience what in my mind I perceive to be hell on Earth. It’s gutwrenching pain. It’s depression, shame, guilt, and agony. All of which, could be avoided if I was obedient. Wow, imagine that!

Prayer

Father, thank You for your patience, for Your remarkable sense of humor, for Your wisdom and understanding, and for your guidance throughout my days. There are moments in time when I think I have things figured out, and I think that what I’m doing is Your intent for my life—just to find myself puzzled when things don’t go as planned.

Father, I apologize for getting out of line, for assuming to know Your plans and thought process. Father I apologize for trying to run my life like a goat, instead of being a disciplined and loyal sheep, and simply following Your lead. Thank You for knowing me better than I can ever know myself, and in knowing me You patiently wait on me to catch on and catch up to the pace You have set. You are amazing. You are awesome. I love You Father. Thank you. Amen.

I love you all. Have an amazing day, and enjoy your week. God bless you.

Natasha

Copyright 2011-2020. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. BreakingBreadWithNatasha.com bbwn.blog

Breaking Bread For 5.26.20

Scripture

Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless go hungry.

Proverbs 19:15

Reflection

The lazy go broke, get fat, grow old too fast, constantly battle illness, and enter a deep sleep that they may never wake from in this level of existence. God does not condone laziness. He can’t make sense of a person that is slow to change, slow to work, slow to move, slow to act, slow to do much of anything but lay around looking at the sky, the ground, the TV, the computer, their twiddling thumbs, or other folks doing what their supposed to be doing— and what the lazy person should be doing.

Your Home

If your house that God has loaned you is a pigsty and messy, then do something about it— clean it and thank God for the shelter and safe place to rest your head and raise your family.

Your Car

If your car is cluttered with a bunch of junk— instead of adding more junk and asking passengers to “excuse the mess”—clean it inside and out and show God you are grateful for the gift.

Your Weight

If you’re overweight, like a great deal of people in our nation, including myself—yep, your girl has some much-needed weight to drop—we need to get real with ourselves. We are overweight because we haven’t been doing what we need to do to reverse their weight elevator. It keeps going up because we aren’t doing everything possible to stop it.

Fighting Weight and/or Disease

We make excuses because of health issues like diabetes and heart disease; musculoskeletal, neurological, and autoimmune diseases, etc. These issues should be our motivation to change our food, exercise several days a week, take vitamins and supplements, get rest, get a trainer or counselor (or both).

I don’t know about you, but it’s not in my plans to become disabled and die because I gave into a disease rather than do everything in my power to fight it. There are days that my body is in so much pain that I cry. But I know that doing nothing will get me nothing. If I want more then I must do more. Little by little, with God’s grace and mercy, I will bring change to my mind and body.

God says to resist, fight back, and trust in Him. So I will and I am. How about you?

Overeating and Poor Diet

If your weight is mostly due to your diet, then stop making excuses as you chow down on that fast food, processed junk, and empty caloric meal. Get up, get your body moving with cardio and resistance training. You don’t need a gym you can start with your body weight. So don’t make the excuse, “I need a gym membership” or “My gym is closed due to COVID-19”. Workout in your den, living room, bedroom, backyard, front yard, driveway, balcony, porch, patio, or hallway.

Reduce your food and caloric intake, and increase your water and fresh produce. Choose fresh and natural over artificial and processed. Start swapping animal protein for vegetable protein. Make sure you have plenty of fiber. We’re rarely protein deficient; we’re mostly fiber deficient. Don’t believe me? Go to the grocery store or Walmart and tell me do you see more products for fiber, laxatives and other bowel products, or do you see more supplements for protein-deficiency.

Reclaim your diet by putting in your body the healthy things God blessed this earth for you to consume. Then get your body active so it can fuel, protect, and heal you.

Stop being lazy about your body, health, and life. God gifted these things to you. How have you been choosing to thank Him and show Your appreciation? How are you demonstrating your stewardship of the things He has loaned to you?

Show God that you are grateful for your life, your limbs, your beating heart, and your organs (even if some aren’t functioning properly). Show God that you respect your temple—His temple.

Business Owners

If your business is going no where fast, get from behind the computer and in front of the TV, stop leaving the house everyday driving around doing and meeting no one, and start meeting people who can mentor, guide, and help build your company where it needs to be. Remember that your company’s brand first starts with you and the efforts you put into promoting it.

Your Love Life

If your relationship with your significant other is getting dull, predictable, and boring— remember that it took both of you to get it to that point. If you want spice, spontaneity, an injection of life and passion, then you need to take the first step and stop waiting for the other person to do it.

If the two of you are mad at each other, then you need to be the humble Christian you claim to be and sincerely apologize, and work proactively to make the wrong things right in your relationship.

You’re Restless

If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, then get up and change something—anything—but stop sitting around, laying around, shuffling around with your head hanging down and doing absolutely nothing.

In Conclusion

Lazy people are taking up prime real estate. Either you build upon it and make the best out of every situation or be prepared to be moved out of here sooner than you initially expected.

I love you all and remember we’re all works in progress. We all have to work at our faults, weaknesses, and the temptation to be lazy. We’re God’s clay that He is molding every millisecond of the day. We should do our part to make this molding process easier!

Prayer

Father I pray to remain active, focused, determined, and constantly moving in the direction that you are guiding me. Let me sleep long enough to be reenergized but not too long that I become lethargic. Let me eat food for fuel and not to ignorantly attempt to fill a void, that only You can satisfy.

The hours that I waste sleeping or being unproductive are the hours that are taken from me when I need to work closely with You, help others, earn a living for my necessities, and save for the luxuries and experiences that I seek.

Father, I don’t ever want to fail you or my loved ones. Please keep Your hand on me Lord—so that even if I stray from Your path, I never go too far that I can’t be redirected to the right way. Father I want to be present and proactive in my life every single day. I don’t want distractions from people, media, and other outside forces to keep me from living my life to its fullest as Your ambassador. There is a right time for all things. Please instruct me on those times so that I’m making the most of my limited days.

If I am not living right Father, please lovingly correct my steps. In Your name I praise and pray. Amen.

Natasha

Copyright 2011-2020. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. BreakingBreadWithNatasha.com bbwn.blog

Breaking Bread For 5.25.20

Scripture

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Hebrews 6:10-12

Reflection

God first, family second, and career third—in that order there is order. In that order, and only in that order, shall you have the foundation and map for a life as God intended. If you are too lazy to commit to God and family then you are too lazy to do the work God intended, and you don’t deserve the fruits of your labor in your career— that you can only receive through God’s will and grace.

The more successful in your life you become the more God is showing you that your home base is Him and your family. If you neglect them your blessings will become less obvious. It is rarely the case that a neglected career is the result of a deeply-connected spiritual and family bond. If your career is in the dumps or you never seem fulfilled, I can look to your spiritual and family life and see frayed connections. Your foundation is weak, broken, or nonexistent. So that shows in other areas of your life.

God has a way of showing you how to prioritize when times get bad and you don’t know what to do, since you have no true control. When times get rough you are to turn first to God and continue to lean on His love through your family. Together you and your family will rise from the valley in God’s guiding hand to the level He has chosen for you. But if you fail to humbly turn to God and lovingly bond with family, your path becomes more difficult to bear, and the unchartered territories you enter will become more complicated to navigate through because your compass is God— and your crew is your family. Without them, you just go around and around in circles. Like the ship lost at sea. Step outside of the foundational support, letting go of compass and crew, and watch as you’re consumed by darkness.

I don’t care how frustrated or upset you are (or get) with your family members nothing should prevent you from staying connected— for you are only as strong as your weakest link. Pray to God to touch and fill your heart, and the hearts of your loved ones that you might come together in His love and see past differences, work out disagreements, and connect your links as you climb up the mountaintop.

Now, let me be clear, for those of you with highly dysfunctional and negative families, or those without living family members. Your family, by extension, in these scenarios are those who would serve most as family members. Who would you turn to as a father, mother, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather, or cousin? Who can you count on during life’s storms to help see you through? Who can you trust with your deepest and most sensitive secrets? Who do you celebrate good news and victories?

Then that is your family.

Embrace them. Celebrate them. Bond with them through moments of celebration, contemplation, frustration, and despair.

We fail God and ourselves when we turn outside of our foundation for shelter, love, pleasure, acknowledgment, and kudos. What you feel you’re not getting from God and family is the exact same thing you aren’t giving in return. Think about it!

Prayer

Father, I know that You love me, are always with me, always watching me and watching over me. I know that You hear my thoughts and know my intentions. You know my heart Lord. You know that I want to be the best ambassador and steward that I can be, and that when I don’t live righteously it pains me.

Father, I want to be surrounded by people who are filled with faith, patience, righteousness, love, and joy no matter what the situation, circumstance, day, or season. When I’m down I want to imitate those who are living the example as honorable stewards. I don’t want to be lazy and resistant. I don’t want to make excuses for not living right, doing right, and working hard each and every day. I don’t want to make excuses for not representing Your light even when darkness chases me and it’s easier to stop and be consumed.

I don’t want to make excuses for why I can’t give 100% effort in my personal and professional relationships. If I don’t have time every single day to show how much I love my family then I’m not doing Your work Lord.

I’m living through my interpretation of where my priorities should be— because after You Father comes my family, and then my career. If I can’t give myself to my family but yet I have it in me to give to strangers and those around me who I can trust only so much, or not at all— then my priorities are off and I need a reset. If I’m off course Father please reset me. Point me in the right direction.

Remind me when I’m investing more outside of my foundation than within. Remind me when I’m investing in people, places, and things that I shouldn’t. I don’t want to be lost. I don’t want to cheapen and disrespect my relationship with you. I don’t want to take for granted my family. I don’t want to weaken, destroy, and lose valuable relationships chasing the superficial, the past, the flesh, and the temporal. If something or someone does not bring added value to my relationship with You and family—not one or the other, but both—then let me see, so that I can walk away and refocus.

I know that the enemy will try to trick me into believing that something or someone is in my best interest, that it or they serve Your purpose, placed before me by You for me and my family’s gain. Or just my gain. Father, give me the discernment and clarity to see the truth, and know the trick for what it is and the goal it seeks to achieve. I ask to be freed of spiritual, mental, and physical bonds that would and are blocking my blessings.

Help me to do my part to properly invest in the two most important things to me, You and my family. In serving You I am blessed and fulfilled. In serving and protecting my family, they praise You, which blesses and fulfills me. My cup would always runs over. Always remind me of this. Humbly I say Thank You. Amen.

Love you all!

Natasha

Copyright 2011-2020. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. BreakingBreadWithNatasha.com bbwn.blog

Breaking Bread For 5.22.20

Scripture

Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked;

keep your feet from following evil.

Proverbs 4:25-27

Reflection

No matter what happens in life we must not allow ourselves to be sidetracked. God has a plan for each of us and we must do our part to reach the goals ahead. We don’t have time to look back and ponder. We don’t have time to contemplate if the direction is the right way, we must go where God points us. Follow and obey.

Prayer

Father, please guide my thoughts, words, heart, and feet. I will work each day to follow and obey. In Your name I pray. Amen.

Love Always,

Natasha

Copyright 2012-2020. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. BreakingBreadWithNatasha.com bbwn.blog

Breaking Bread For 5.20.20

Scripture

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

James 1:22-26

Reflection

If our walk with God was intended to be easy then everyone would be able to do it effortlessly and we wouldn’t have trauma in our lives, and Jesus would never had been placed in the position to atone for our sins, and sacrifice his human existence to prove an eternal spiritual existence. If our walk was to be easy then even Jesus’ demonstration through his life would have been made easy.

The world around us is filled with goodness that oftentimes gets manipulated and coerced into following the darkest of ways. But the foundation and roots are still governed by God who is merely waiting for the world to make a decision and commitment to walk in His light.

As you make your journey through life you will be tempted to stray from your path. You will be tempted to return to old habits that plagued your life.

You must decide which life you want to lead.

I’m not telling you to change your life like a light switch, because as quickly as you attempt to turn one way, you will quickly be tempted and give in to resuming your old lifestyle. You need God’s guidance through your transition. None of life is meant for you to pursue alone. It is all meant for you to pursue, learn, and embrace through and with God.

Every day we must work and strive to be better people. Every day we must work to give up bad habits. Everything in life can’t be dropped cold turkey without a great deal of pain and frustration; and if we could easily handle pain and frustration then we would never have adopted the negative habits to begin with.

Seek God first and throughout!

If you are accustomed to cussing folks out and calling people out of their name in your private life, but in your public life you act like the sweetest angel ever created— sometimes going so far as to pretend as though you don’t cuss people out and call them out of their names—you are a liar. And you are first telling the biggest lie to yourself.

We all have flaws and none of us are perfect. Look at your flaws and decide what you can and will begin to change about yourself beginning today—then each day work at turning that negative into a positive, turning pain to strength, and fear and hate to acceptance, and eventually love.

My father always said, “cussing is what a person does when they can’t intelligently convey what they are trying to say” and my father didn’t know a cuss word he didn’t use. He understood the reasons why we easily choose harsh words. Many of us would opt to cuss than to take the time to find another way to verbalize what we are thinking and how we feel. Oftentimes it’s laziness. We will even rationalize it if the word can be found in the Bible. But would we make these arguments to Jesus if he sat before us and asked us?

Are you willing to try to find alternative ways to express yourself?

When you slip, don’t let shame consume you. Just acknowledge the slip and focus on getting back on track. It’s our understanding of acceptable and unacceptable, right versus wrong, truth versus error, love versus hate—our clarity and discernment help to shape our thoughts and actions, which leads to behaviors, habits, and what defines our values and character.

Watch what you invest, ingest, and digest into your life, and decide what you can remove immediately or gradually.

Do you enjoy watching a certain type of movie, playing a certain type of video game, indulging in certain ‘private’ acts of ‘pleasure’, or listening to certain genres of music but you know you may or may not admit to it publicly, at church, or to your beloved grandmother? Seems hypocritical doesn’t it? Then work to do something about it but don’t be a fraud in the process. We’re all works in progess but ‘keep it real’ while God is molding you, if not life only gets harder, more difficult, and more frustrating.

Pick a lane, don’t straddle or swerve across them— if you do, expect to get a ticket for lane violations!

I love you all and will continue to pray for your peace, joy, and safety each day and hope that you too pray for me. Enjoy your day!

Prayer

Father, every day I pray to you countless times as the hours pass and my blessings shine over my mounting trials and tribulations. The closer I get to You Lord the more challenging life seems to become at times, because the way of the world is beginning to now seem different to me, and I am seeing my life through a different lens.

As these changes are taking place, mortal mind the “enemy” keeps trying to convince me to stay as my old self, to hang with those people who aren’t good stewards and ambassadors for Your Kingdom; and there is pressure to behave, think, and speak in a way that is not loving and Christ-like.

As I move to focus my eyes, heart, and life more on You I am being tempted and tested by outside forces to live a double life, one that shines brightly as Your representative on some days, or during certain periods of the day, and the other life that stays hidden away where I can secretly indulge in my old “ways” of living.

Father, this battle for my soul can only be won when I let go, surrender, and let You have all of me.

When I question why certain things seem to happen to me at the oddest and most inconvenient of times, why bad situations seem to blindside me, and why I’m tempted by outside forces to invest my time and energy into other things and other people instead of You and the person You have placed in my life to love— I know that it is because it is a test of my commitment and devotion to You.

I do not want to simply talk-the-talk, but Lord I am committed to walk-the-walk and lead the life that You have intended for me. Touch my heart Father. Cleanse me. In Your name I humbly and faithfully pray. Amen.

Love Always,

Natasha

Copyright 2011-2020. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. BreakingBreadWithNatasha.com bbwn.blog

Breaking Bread For 5.19.20

Scripture

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

James 1:19-20

Reflection

A child of God should be strengthened in God’s Word, and by the example of His son Jesus Christ. We should have discernment to see, hear, feel, and know when things are wrong and not of God. We should have discernment to see, hear, feel, and know when we are being moved towards darkness.

We should be disciplined enough to turn away from darkness and not give in to anger, rage, and temptation. Pray for the strength to be more loving even when others aren’t being loving to you. As the old adage goes, “If you have nothing good to say then say nothing at all”. We should practice this daily.

Prayer

Father, let me open my ears to listen more intently and purposely. Open my eyes to see the things that I overlook, steer my eyes away from the things that would tempt me away from You. I pray for clarity so that my journey isn’t long through this wilderness that I’ve entered.

Free my mind so that I’m not so naive that I am taken advantage of; that I stop before I speak so that only loving words come from my mouth, and that I pray when under stress or confused so that my emotions do not bubble out of control and grow to anger, rage, or mania.

Father, I know that rage is not a product or bi-product of Your love and light. It is in weakness that a person turns to anger to address their concerns and issues. It is a weak person that lashes out verbally or physically. Warm my heart Father so that I can see, think, speak, and react as a righteous ambassador in Your name. Amen.

Love always,

Natasha

Copyright 2011-2020. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. BreakingBreadWithNatasha.com bbwn.blog