I’m going…thank you for belief!

Dear Friends,

I’m so excited to share a little GREAT NEWS with you. God honors faith- thats for sure. 6 months ago I moved to Houston, Texas and accepted a position as a full-time Children’s Church director. This season has been one of pruning and growth. I’m convinced that “All things work for my good”, Romans 8:28 is evident in my journey.

Last week, I was accepted to a Seven Day Seminary program with Elevation Church and I get to self-sponsor my $2500 registration. The fee is well worth the anticipated training and practical skills I will be learning and bringing back in my role as Children’s Church Director. Check it out here: http://sevendayseminary.com.

What I love about God is that He has already provided a way to afford this trip (just found out about the program 3 weeks ago). My Mary Kay business has been a blessing these past 3 years- I literally am living the life of my dreams with a business that supports me in every way: God first, family second, career third. Mary Kay allowed me to earn a free car, to retire early from teaching, to move to a brand new city, and now to pursue my development in ministry.

I’m asking all my friends, family, associates, customers (everyone) to check out my website and see if there is ANYTHING you’d love to order. Think of it as a donation or a contribution- either way you get something (great products) out of helping to support my goal. Each order of $20 includes free shipping and samples and a step toward my attendance for Seven Day Seminary in November. So whether its a new fragrance, skincare, or cosmetics you make a difference.

I will keep you posted on the goal and definitely appreciate your support!

Call, text, email, or order online this month (by September 30th)- I’ll be sure to follow up!

And feel free to #shareMK because I truly believe this method is a fun way to say “I believe in your dreams”. What a powerful message!

Thank you,

Cassandra Bruington
816 808 5887
http://www.marykay.com/cvbruington

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Unlikely Sisters

I’ll keep this short because I’m distracted.

I prayed for Mentors, friends, guidance, and to meet people God sent directly with my path.

Family day- Arkansas…waited to long had to drive. Long trip, need food. Zaxby’s chicken never had it, stopped in. Handed out my card. Got in the car, walked back in handed out my card to two ladies: Linda and Phyllis.

1.5 hours later…tears later…shared memories later…connectedness later…motivation inspiration and mentorship later…closing prayer and picture later…

I’m back in my car convinced God hears us and sends us what we need. And we almost miss it every time we question ourselves. I NEED TO HEAR HIM more. God speaks. Hear Him. Listen. Obey.

7D

The past year everything I’ve been raised to believe about who God is was tested. I went through a divorce, took a step of faith and did not renew my contract to teach a 6th year, and just recently moved to Houston-where I knew two people. I took a position as a Children’s Director and my journey has made true Romans 8:28. I see in my life past and present, that God works ALL things (good bad ugly) together for my good. I am a preacher’s daughter raised in the church, tried to maintain my Christian status through good deeds, through avoiding certain sin, and through achieving to make myself feel worthy of salvation. I’ve learned that God is faithful, that His grace is “un-earnable”, and that I am completely love by God even on my worse day, even when I was lost in sin. So now my passion is to build people up to know that God has plans GREAT BIG WONDERFUL plans for their lives. I’ve come to this realization through my own struggle with self-esteem as a child, my development as a leader through my middle school and teenaged years, my entrepreneurial and outreach spirit in my young adult years, and now having overcome some real challenges. My faith stands on Gods word alone because my emotions, people, and situations change. But his word stands and that gives me comfort, makes sense, and makes me strong. I love people. I love God. I’m called to share one with the other.

WAR ROOM : a real thing

I’ve always heard a song or seen movie that I knew was so impacting I wish I were a part of it. Silly, I know. A couple songs, a couple of movies, a couple of events and movements make me feel like “man I wish I was in that”. Welp, war room was much different. I know I’m in a battle of my own. The details are unimportant because the enemy remains the same. He just moves in and out of different territory.

As I watched War Room, I felt like I was at Elevation church…(or in a theater talking to a screen). My “uhmmms” and “yeses” and “amens” were a bit spontaneous but not unwarranted. Grateful I went with another believer, I thought “this is too good not to share”. I mean this movie for me was a reminder and a call to do the work of fighting in prayer to allow the Commander of my life to take over. I took notes. Yes, they were deleted as I attempted to post them. So, to stick it to the enemy, I decided to blog. Spiritual grenade dropped.

The theme of spiritual warfare was sparked in me and in my life over a year ago when I faced one of the biggest battles of my life. I immediately realized I did not have the weaponry to win the battle and would need to call on God for training, for power, for life, for hope, for courageous, for forgiveness, for joy…for energy to get out of bed and live (fight)!

That painful dependence was comforting. I was made to admit that I could not do it alone, to accept and surrender to my Creator, to ask for forgiveness and guidance, and to cling to the promises of God. I realize its not that God wishes anything harmful for us, He just stands prepared to use and work everything into His plan for our lives. The good the bad and the ugly bow down to a risen King.

So as I stepped out of the theater, I realized there are people who have no idea that they are entering a battlefield daily with no weapons. And as a soldier fighting in the same war, once in the same position, I am to spread the good news: the Gospel, that we win, and that we can be made ready to fight. I’ll probably go back and see the movie- and bring others with me. It is too good a film not to share (and with my Stubs card I can go on Tuesday for the low low!).

I got home and didn’t wait to create my war room. See the devil gets nervous when say “we will…” and excited when we say “later”. Nike was onto something- just do it. If God had waited for me to get right before he saved me…my God! Had He waited until He had “free time” to rescue…dear God! “Imperfect action is better than perfect procrastination” and the enemy likes it when we wait, when we lose passion, when we get distracted, when we deny that it’s a life or death situation and we choose slow gradual spiritual starvation. So here’s how to create a prayer room:

1. Decide to do it
2. Give yourself a time limit
3. Clear close out of closet or to a side
4. Invite the Holy Spirit into the process (asking what needs to be there)
5. Bring the necessary items for comfort, prayer, and praise
6. Test it out
7. Thank God and pray…and pray…and pray

Not difficult. Get ‘er done. And share what you did. We share ALL kinds of other things in this society- let’s pass on the power of prayer. WAR ROOM WEDNESDAY! LOL. Yep, I said it!

A huge theme in the movie was grace. “Do you deserve grace?” Of course not, that’s a gift God gives freely, we didn’t earn it and can’t lose it. We can merely walk in it and grow in it.

2 Peter 3:18King James Version (KJV)

18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Last thing. As I created my prayer room, I got out some old pictures. Wow- the impact of reflecting on memories. Looking back on the relationships of my past and present was amazing and powerful. I got mindful of this journey we call life. Everything is a part of the plan. I was reminded of joy, pain, success, failure, and most importantly my imperfection and God’s hand on my life. He is so faithful. He has been with me every step of the way. He has covered me and provided me everything I asked for, everything I’ve needed and loved me unconditionally.

John 15:12King James Version (KJV)

12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

There it is. Commanders orders.

What Ed Sherran taught me about God

One of the most exciting things about living is feeling alive. I’m talking energy…life…feeling God. I knew about 3 songs into the concert that I had to blog about it. I mean wanted everyone I know to experience what I felt as I sat in a packed out stadium that seats 22,000 (it wasn’t full and I can only estimate that it was at least 1/3 filled up) with screaming fans…alone…in solitude.

To set this up let’s start with music: its of God. I mean its gotta be. The way it moves you, speaks to you, provokes you to action. Or maybe that is words…no, its music. Now obviously I’m talking about the good stuff, the music that feeds your soul power, energy, life. So as I mumbled lyrics I barely knew (see its the music not the words) I reflected on my  past year and how I met “Ed” through gospel Pandora stations. And I didn’t mind that his secular soulful vibes were interrupting my worship music. You see…real life, Christian life involves interruptions. They can either derail you or help you to relate and gain new perspective. Ahhhh, getting ahead of myself!

So, I listen to the radio. Shocker, I know. And I remember hearing about Ed coming to Houston and then getting excited. And I’m really not a concert girl. I’m a relationship person and concerts make me feel a little used if the performer doesn’t know my name, doesn’t look me in the eye, and then say thanks for coming. But I wanted to go, couldn’t deny it. And like many things in like I figured “I’ll get the details later, I’m going”. So I guess my internal procrastination alarm went off just in time because I checked the date and realized after contemplating for a couple of weeks that I needed to get my ticket to the concert (that was next week!). Got the ticket Monday, show was Thursday. Visualized my outfit, invited a couple folks-literally two people who couldn’t make it, decided to go anyway! Well, I had decided long before when I first heard it on the radio. Or maybe I subconsciously decided before that when I became a fan of his Pandora plays!

Anywho, head to the stadium, find free parking (yay), talk with my cute self to the building, through security, up to the ticket-checker, only to realize that my electronic ticket will not pull up due to low signal. There’s a technical way to say it…insert that here. All I know is for the next 45 minutes I was standing, walking, roaming, sweating, praying, regretting (not printing the ticket NOT being at the concert), listening to the opening act- she was good, but she wasn’t Ed so I was okay that I was outside. So as I looked at my 10% battery life and searched for wi-fi or cellular data signal (is that what you call it), I remained calm and knew “I’d get it…and it would be worth it. And how I felt and acted in the process wouldn’t matter as much as the outcome of a great experience.” So I literally walked back to my car pulled up the ticket, walked back, now sweaty from Houston humidity, got in, found my seat, and finally let out a sigh of…”I made it” relief.

“You finally made it” said the stranger beside me. LOL- was he in my head or what? Oh…and I wasn’t sitting in my seat. A group of teenagers decided the numbers didn’t matter. And I agreed, just let me slide past y’all to that empty seat. Seat “13” ain’t that important.

Huge crowd, little of a wait, anticipation is building and then Ed hits the stage. Almost everything else from that moment was like an out-of-body experience. Okay, I’m exaggerating. It was just great, so awesome and amazing, and spiritual yes spiritual that I can’t even fully dissect what happened. So I’ll break into a top ten list for you.

  1. Its worth the wait. The money, the sweat, the frustration, the uncertainty, and even going alone was TOTALLY worth the experience. No regrets. None.
  2. God speaks. In a crowded stadium with secular music surrounded by strangers and I still felt His presence and heard his voice. I thought to myself, what if this were a Christian artist? What if Ed were saved? What if he had command of this audience and knew that what they really needed wasn’t a great concert, but a great Encounter with God? Amazing! God can. He speaks AND He can.
  3. People connect. The guy to my right was middle-aged and married, there with his wife filming the entire concert. He was friendly and attentive. I know this and we exchanged 6-10 words. I felt a connection. The guy to my left was a teenager (probably in seat 13…no it was most likely 11- he’s alright in my book) and he was calm, had a beautiful voice and relaxed into each groove. We communicated the entire show. We said not one word to one another. What an amazing God that He was allow us the privilege of connection. I don’t know what I gave them by being there I just believe that as much as I felt their presence they felt mine.
  4. It doesn’t always make sense. I do the same thing every Thursday night. I’m in the same place, doing the same thing. Through discipline and excitement and this Thursday I chose a new path. I like routine, I like follow through, I like commitment, I like showing up. I do the same thing every Thursday. I’m in the same place doing the same thing. And this Thursday, I chose to be lead to a new place, for a new experience. God’s will this Thursday I will go back to the routine. I’ll go back to the same place in not the same way.
  5. Ask for it. After the concert, I wanted a fan. The free ones they passed out for the folks who printed tickets or had them pulled up on their phones before entering the building. Or how about just for the folks who showed up on time. There are benefits to being prepared (also known as early). Anyway, its September, my birthday month. MY BIRTHDAY MONTH- as if no one else was born in this month. I just get a certain way about the 9th month of the year. Its mine. I can do what I want, have what I want. I choose to be excited and happy and get all the gifts – tangible and intangible, that I want! So, I wanted a free Ed fan. Would have been nice during the concert, but I didn’t really care that it was 1030pm and everyone was going home. I wanted a FREE Ed fan…so after asking two staff members, I decided to go looking for one. Not everyone at this concert with a fan was going to find it valuable, so if I didn’t find a discarded one, I’d ask “do you want to keep that”? Didn’t work the first time, but second times a charm! She didn’t say no at first. But because I continued looking around and chatting with her, I guess Alexis decided it is more blessed to give than to receive. Got my fan, said my thank you, and moseyed to my car. Just ask for it.
  6. One man can do a lot. The concert was a one-man show. Ed uses some amazing machine to loop sound, which then creates beauty in sound form. He is so creative. I know he practiced and prepared but some of that awesomeness was spontaneous. And I don’t know if Ed knows it because he didn’t say it. And he talked to us a bit. But I know his talent and his gift comes from God. How he uses it…well that choice comes from God too. Undeniably he is gifted and talented and handsome (hahahah!). One man brought together an estimated 7,500 people with energy that moved us to harmonize and sway and clap and scream. He is one man. And he’s a young man. And he is ONE man. One man can do a lot.
  7. Okay, not a top ten. I’m stopping at seven. Favorite number, its my birthday month so this is acceptable. There’s always a story to tell. Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, WordPress, twitter, Snap Chat. Got it- we have mediums to tell our stories. Not every story is to tell. Yet, there is ALWAYS a story to tell. God gives us these experience and we know from point 2 that He speaks. When He speaks, when God speaks it is to heard, it is so that we may listen and obey. There is always a story to tell. I knew 45 minutes into the concert I would want to share about this experience. Yet I also understood that a dead phone limited my sharing options at the moment. So I was forced, in a sense, or even gifted the opportunity, in a more precise sense, to be in the moment, to enjoy the journey and to FEEL ALIVE.

Thanks Ed!