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Hello there, thanks for visiting my blog. So, a bit about me; I'm Natalie and I am a Christian, committed to living by God's Word each and every day. I am a proud mother to three beautiful children and creator of The Accidental Mogul - a blog designed to channel my ambitious juices and unleash the writer within! This blog is a reflection of me, so it contains a little bit of everything. I’ll be documenting my walk with my saviour Jesus Christ, as well as my natural hair journey, I'll be writing thought provoking posts, product reviews, hosting giveaway's and of course offering up a generous dollop of everyday mummy musings. I like to hear uplifting and motivational stories, so I’ll be interviewing inspirational people when I can to encourage and inspire others. Sharing experiences is what makes life beautiful, so let's share.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Testimony Time

Well, well, well what can I say...today I have the opportunity of sharing a testimony from a woman whose walk with Christ truly inspires me. I discovered Mimi Atkins several weeks ago when I started following her on twitter (@MiMiQAtkins),
and let me tell you her tweets are like being at Church, but not any old Church, NO, NO, NO, we're talking about Holy Ghost, spirit filled, fire and brimstone, telling the whole Biblical truth, not adding to it, not taking away from it, not caring who likes it, but speaking it straight from the heart of Jesus with the conviction that will transform the hardest of hearts...Church....Phew... Hallelujah. Believe me Mimi's testimony is POWERFUL (I know I say that a lot where testimonies are concerned but it's the truth. God is AMAZING!!) When I first read her story on her blog it completely wrecked me, so I knew God was at work when she agreed to share her testimony on my little ole blog. Believe me when I say He takes the very least and makes MUCH....woohoo. Anyway enough from me. Here's Mimi's testimony of how Christ transformed her life.........

"At the grand age of 30, I sit back and look at my life and I am simply intriqued that I am even here, nestled in the Father’s arms, a safe haven that I can now call home. Arms that I ran from and avoided when all along, I knew with God is where I belonged, but I fought and I fought hard for over 13 years until finally, I conceded, but go back with me to the age of four if you will to where my life began (at least in my eyes and where I can recall):
“Get over here, you little b*%&! Sit down, eat!” I got teary-eyed as she slapped me across my face. A slap so hard that her palm print was artwork on my cheek. Yes, those were the words  and actions I was greeted with at the age of four. I was a victim of physical, emotional, verbal, and mental abuse from the very person who should’ve loved me most – MY MOM. My mom hated me and she made it known with each burn (from irons or anything HOT), extension cord,  hangar, brush, belt buckle, broom, you name it, I got it. I was in and out of foster care but they always returned me to her home in the hopes that she was “rehabilitated.” But if you know any recidivistic criminal – old habits die hard. They just perfect hiding them. For me, it was long sleeved clothes and make-up. Just like you can’t cover sin, you can’t cover bruises; they soon expose.
I recall vividly getting beaten naked with an extension cord and stretching my arms out and asking this person called God to just let me die in the midst of her torture when I was 12 years old. Looking back now, that’s symbolic that Christ began his teachings around that age and my gesture resembled a cross as I endured pain at the hand of the “enemy.”
I was beaten until I bled everyday of my life until I was 18 years old. So how could I love myself when I was never shown love? That’s easy, I didn’t. I had no blue print on how to be a woman of morals, pride, esteem, nor value. I had NO self-worth.
At the age of 17, a friend invited me to her church and  I learned about the man I only knew in name – Jesus. This savior who never saved me or had He?!? After two months of visiting church, I gave my life to Christ and after eight months, God whispered in my ear during service, “Surrender, MiMi. Let go of this world. You are called to evangelize.” I laughed at God as Sarah did (Genesis 18:12) and went about my life. I was on the verge of being 18; I had much partying, clubbing, and dating to do. Holiness was far from my agenda. I felt God never cared as a child so why should I listen to him as an almost adult.
At 18, I left the house of HELL! Not before I cursed my mom and told her that I hated her for abusing me. I made her look at every scar she had marred my body with and told her that I hoped she burned in HELL for being so evil and cruel to a child she bore. I walked away and never looked back. I was so distraught that I considered suicide because I felt so alone. I got in my car and just started driving  despite crying, until I got to a building (which turned out to be the church I now attend) and saw three signs: HOPE, LOVE, and JOY! I closed my eyes and started walking and prayed that I would land on the steps of “LOVE” and miraculously God would send someone to love me. I ended up on the steps of HOPE. I took that as a sign from God to persevere. I chose life instead of death and I picked up my slumbered  body and began living. I found an apartment and went to college where I majored in education.
From 18-26, I was a train wreck. I was sexually active and I used my body to get what I wanted from men. I did not care who I used or hurt, I just wanted my way. At the age of 20, I reunited with my high school sweetheart, Daniel and he drew me closer to Christ and we began to go to church together but still led a sinful lifestyle which led me to become an unwed mother. I was madly in love with Daniel, but he left me when I was pregnant because he did not want to be a father. I was alone and desolate in a big world with a big belly to bare my shame. Again, I wanted to die but God told me to live because in my womb, I carried a divine gift (think Genesis here again with the “birth of many nations”).
I admit Daniel jaded me a lot. He was the first person besides my dad to show me love and for him to leave me when I needed him most, pierced my very soul. But that is an understatement because I felt like someone gutted me, actually. To make a long story short, Daniel only saw our daughter once (when she was 5 months) and this is when the testimony turns into sorrow:
On November 1, 2006, I got the WORST phone call ever. Daniel had DIED! He was a pilot and his plane had engine failure and it crashed and burned. I WAS DEVASTATED. All the anger, bitterness, and hatred left my body as I fell to the floor and cried out to God, “WHY? WHY ME? I graduate from college in a month and I need to focus. I JUST GIVE UP, GOD! WHAT’S NEXT? I GET ABUSED FOR 18 YEARS OF MY LIFE, I FIND LOVE AND HE LEAVES ME, NOW I AM ALMOST THERE IN MY LIFE AND HE DIES! WHEN WILL SOMEONE STAY AND NOT LEAVE ME? WHO WILL LOVE ME FOREVER, GOD? WHOOO??” I asked in tears. God responded, “I WILL LOVE YOU. JUST TAKE MY HAND AND I WILL GUIDE YOU!” I rolled my eyes in disgust and sobbed into the pillow the entire night.
At the age of two, my daughter met her family for the first time at her father’s funeral. I was so humiliated and embarrassed because what I failed to tell you was this: DANIEL WAS ITALIAN and I AM BLACK. His family did not want us together because of OUR SKIN COLOR. So here I am, an abused child, living as a woman and ousted by the man I love because he could not defend me and his child. What more could a person go through?
Years passed, I healed and I even got married in 2010. That marriage was a disaster waiting to happen and we divorced in 2011. I realized then that I COULD NOT and was not CAPABLE of loving anyone until I learned to love myself. Daniel had taken my heart to the grave or so I thought….
On January 2, 2012 (my 30th birthday), I was leaving BAR ONE in Atlanta. I was on the Interstate headed east to my hotel when all of a sudden I realized my exit was coming and I could barely see it approaching even though I had on my contacts. My car skidded off the road and I was headed for several trees. I knew if I did not turn my car, I was going to die. I was scared and trembling but I veered to the left and my car halted on the side of the road with a major flat tire. My life was sparred and right then I conceded to Christ. I was tired of fighting and resisting such a loving God. I opened my arms and allowed God to take His rightful place in my life and heart.
Weeks later, Daniel appeared to me in a vision and told me to NEVER regret my decision and to, “Go with God!” I smiled because when we were at our best, he would always tell me that. He also gave me permission to let him go and to love again. He said I had held on to him for too long and since he could not return to me in the flesh, I needed to let go and love another again. As tears streamed down my face, I reached out to him only to wake up and see darkness.
For the first time, I felt free on all ends. Free to love and to accept God. That was six months ago and today I stand proud as a child of God who has endured the storms of life but I know God was always with me. I was created to be an evangelist, missionary, and work with youth. And no matter what I did, I could not run from what God wanted me to do. My life’s triumphs and struggles led me to where I am today: I am a teacher, writer, and speaker. And most importantly, I am His. Years ago, I told God, “NO!” Today, I proudly say, “YES, GOD! I am YOUR CHILD! I WILL OBEY YOU! I WALK INTO MY CALLING: I WILL BE AN EVANGELIST!”
I forgave my mom shortly after I cursed her very soul. I apologized to her for being rude and I repented before God. Thankfully, on September 25, 2006, Daniel called me and talked to our daughter – a mere month and a week before he died. I forgave him, as well. Since then, I have been hurt by many others and I forgave them. I don’t know how to hate or hold grudges. It’s not in me and I am grateful God made me that way.
Presently, I am letting God have His way in me. I am active in church. I am not evangelizing yet, but I am in spiritual training. When the time is right, I will preach my first sermon — NOT in my time, but in God’s time and I sit well with that because His timing is not ours. Pray for me and I will do the same for you!"

I told you her testimony was powerful didn't I? God is using Mimi mightily and I would encourage you to follow her blog and twitter account for more words of godly encouragement and wisdom. If you have a testimony of how God has profoundly touched your life and you would like to share it on the blog then please email me at theaccidentalmogul@hotmail.co.uk.

God bless you.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

A lot of a little equals much

It's been a truly mind blowing few weeks. A lot, and I mean a lot of little things have been going on in my life which has been literally knocking me sideways. By themselves each incident appears to be quite insignificant, but add them all together and my, my, my we're beginning to seriously enter into the realm of the supernatural.

Such is the extent of the daily blessings God is bestowing upon me I've had to start writing a journal just to keep up with everything. Don't get me wrong some days have been really, really tough, but I'm holding on, pressing in and keeping the faith and I'm giving thanks for every little thing, no matter how seemingly small and insignificant. I'm telling you when you allow the Lord to renew your mind and adjust your attitude then EVERYTHING becomes a blessing. You become grateful and thankful for everything He has graciously provided you with because things could be a whole lot worse.

I know something big is about to happen and although I can't see it yet, I know my God is a covenant keeping God and His promise to make everything work out for my good will come to fruition woohoo.

Romans 8:28 is the scripture that most speaks to my heart right now. It's so amazing how God works and I can't wait to share with you all the extent of what is going on in my life when the manifestations of His promise begin to really take place. Yes Lord!! Excited doesn't even begin to cover how I'm feeling and it's all because of my Lord and personal saviour Jesus Christ. Praise Him!!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Testimony Time

It's testimony time again. God is working so mightily in my life and the lives of others and I give him all the praise and the glory for enabling us to share these awesome testimonies with you all. Hallelujah!! I met Kharissa via Instagram (her IG tag is @beautifully_wonderfully), she is a strong woman of God who is allowing Him to do so much in her life. It is AWESOME. I'll hand over to Kharissa to tell you her story.

Born Again At 23
Have you ever met the guy of your “dreams” and he turned out to be a fraud? Yup. I did. Have you ever really cared for someone and they cheated on you? Me too. Have you hoped that this person was the one but your relationship was so over crowded with lies that you broke up? That's me too. Ever met someone who put you last in the relationship? Yea. I have had that too. Ever dealt with someone leaving you because you wouldn't have sex with them? Yes I’ve been through it. Ever been pressured to have sex in a relationship but in the back of your mind it wasn’t right? I’ve been there.

My name is Kharissa. I'm from Queens, NY. I’m 23 (going on 24 years old) and I’ve spent so much of my time in the wrong relationships that I never really got to enjoy a good one. I wanted so badly for someone to love me, to want me, to desire me. Don't get me wrong I have an amazing family who loves me dearly but the love I wanted was from someone who could complete me. I felt incomplete. I often felt like a lost soul looking for another soul to make me feel whole again. I always had this idea of the PERFECT relationship. The house, the dog, kids, money and a husband that does it all!!! He doesn't lie, doesn’t cheat, works hard, is romantic, is loyal, is gorgeous etc. I wanted the most fairy tale, picture perfect guy imaginable. The prince that comes to sweep the princess off her feet and they live happily ever after with NO PROBLEMS. Imagine that, a relationship with no problems. Honey, from ages 16-23 I was stuck in a fantasy.

And then one day I had a relationship that just broke me. I cared about the dude so much and he left me because I wasn't ready to have sex with him. So he cheated on me. I was emotionally invested and for 5 years afterwards he would come and go. I would allow him back (I declared that I loved him) and he would disappoint me. Then he would leave again. He would want to come back and I would open up to him only for him to keep things from me then I would leave. It was a vicious, unstable 5 year circle. It rendered me depressed and undesirable. I felt like there was something wrong with me. I began wishing I was more desirable like other girls my age and then I became angry. I became angry with God. Why didn’t He make me with a perfect figure? Why am I so skinny? Why do all my relationships fail? Now God has always been a part of my life since I was younger and this was the first time I began to lose my faith in Him. The one time I felt He was a liar because the one thing I wanted so badly, He refused to give me. I was livid and sad all the time. I felt alone, lonely and unwanted. I never cried so much in my life. I let something consume me and take control of me so much that I was losing myself. I stopped praying. I stopped hoping. I stopped caring. My voice was lost to Him and I remember feeling like “He doesn't care about my happiness so why should I acknowledge Him only for Him to be silent?” No thanks.

When I thought it wasn’t going to get better something happened to me, to my soul. The Lord came to me in a dream and gave me the choice to choose His way or the way that I was living. I never got to choose in the dream but the idea was to choose in my waking life. I never prayed so hard and since that day I wanted nothing more then to change my ways because I knew in my heart that He was who I needed in my life. I didn’t realize until just today that even though my attitude was changing there was a part of my soul that still loved God. My soul must have reached out to Him because deep down buried underneath all my negative feelings, heartache and pain I still loved Him.

Since April 8, 2012, I have been an avid church goer, a server at my church and a strong believer in God and Christ Jesus. I have NEVER felt so alive and strong. I gained so much knowledge about myself that internally I have made almost a complete 180 degree turn. I'm still a work in progress because the devil tries to bring me back to the old me but I’ve been holding on for dear life to Jesus. He has saved me each and every time. He’s brought people in my life to help me grow and stay focused and He made lessons out of those who have left me in my walk with God. He’s made lessons out of those relationships that have failed and I honestly am happy that I went through it because if it wasn't for what I been through I wouldn't be here now. I realized through my teachings at church how much I had fallen away from someone who loved more than I could ever imagine. It’s so crazy because all those times I thought I was alone I really wasn't because He was watching. He was there the whole time with a plan to change my life, with a plan to make me whole. He was there with a plan to teach me who I am called to be, not who these guys or people in my life think I am. Jesus wanted to show me His way. I was one of His lost sheep but when I was able to understand I can’t live life my own way and that I need Him. I would then come back to Him. He knew that and waited for me.

Through all of this I have learned many lessons and made a lot of decisions molding me into the person I am to today. I made a decision in my life to abstain from sex until marriage. Sex is an emotion, a powerful emotion that clouds the mind and heightens the senses. I realized that in today's generation there are too many diseases roaming around. Too many unwanted pregnancies and too many relationships bound for doom. I believe that sex was made for marriage and I have faith that God has someone for me. I made the decision to teach myself to resist temptation, to have respect for myself and my body as a young woman and declare a relationship in God through prayer and faith. God will prevail where no man can. When everyone and everything fails, He remains constant.

I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. I believe there is someone reading this right now who has felt the same way I felt. Jesus can heal you. Jesus can strengthen you and God will forgive you. He loves you unconditionally; more than the human mind can fathom. It’s beautiful. He wants a relationship with you. He wants ALL of you. All of YOU! The good, the bad, the ugly and the hideous. I'm more than what my problems are and so are you. I'm called on a journey to be somebody in His kingdom. I'm important. I'm loved by a force greater than anything on this Earth. I'm loved by the creator of this Earth. The creator of you and I. He made us the way we are to fulfill a purpose in this life; to bring people to Him. I pray that you find God and you love Him through everything. I pray you find your purpose. God came and changed my life when no man could. He changed my attitude, my thinking and my focus. I'm thankful to be saved and I pray you will be too. Amen.

Glory to God. If you have a testimony of how God has transformed your life and you'd like to share it on the blog then email me: theaccidentalmogul@hotmail.co.uk.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

The 'MGW' Assignment - week 5

Happy Sunday everybody! Wow, 5 weeks have flown by. How are you all finding the 'Memorising God's word' Assignment? Have you all been able to internalise the verses each week and remember where in the Bible the verses are?

This week's scripture is beefy and powerful - Romans 8:38-39 . Beefy in the sense that it's rather long, but hey, God's word whether long or short has profound meaning. 

'38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.'

Romans 8:38-39

As you can see this scripture confirms with no shadow of doubt that nothing, absolutely NOTHING can separate us from the love of God. He loves us so much and wants to transform our hearts and draw us close to Him (no matter our situation or circumstance), so we can live our best lives through Him and glorify His mighty name. Amen! Hallelujah Jesus!!

As always meditate on this scripture throughout the week as you get up and before you go to sleep. This is all in addition to your own personal prayer and Bible study time. 
Being able to internalise God's word and speak His word into your life can really turn situations around. This assignment is not about being religious or ritualistic. It's about developing a personal, intimate relationship with Christ by meditating on His word and speaking LIFE into our own lives. 

Please do comment below if you are taking part and let me know how you are getting on. Fellowship is powerful.

God bless and have a great week.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Competition GIVEAWAY time!!

Happy Friday everybody,

I do hope you are all having a blessed day.

Avid readers of the blog will remember back in early December I celebrated my one year of blogging. I was super busy with various things, so was unable to do anything major to mark the occasion, well the time has now come and it's giveaway time!!! YES!!

This giveaway involves not one, not two, but three prizes and I am super excited. The prizes are all great books, which I myself am  planning to read so I wanted to share the love with my wonderful readers.

The first book 'Bringing up Boys' by Dr James Dobson was recommended to me by my Pastor. I started reading my copy today and it's already blowing me away. Here is an excerpt;

'....one of the scariest aspects of raising boys is their tendency to risk life and limb for no good reason. It begins very early. If a toddler can climb on it, he will jump off it. He careens out of control toward tables, tubs, pools, steps, trees and streets. He will eat anything but food and loves to play in the toilet.....'

Hahahaa - I don't know about you but that sounds exactly like my 19 month old son and I only have one... 0_o. I can't wait to get my teeth properly into this book.

The next prize is 'Bringing up Girls' also by Dr James Dobson. I haven't had the chance to read any of this yet, but here's a bit of blurb;

'Peer pressure. Eating disorders. Decisions about love, romance and sex. Academic demands. Life goals and how to achieve them. These are just some of the challenges that girls face today - and the age at which they encounter them is getting younger and younger. As a parent, how are you guiding your daughter on her journey to womanhood?'

The third and final book is 'Do yourself a favour...Forgive' by Joyce Meyer.

I love Joyce. She is such an inspirational woman of God. Her sermons, books and preaching always speak God's word to me in profound ways and this book is no different.

'Life is not fair. If it was, there would be no need for forgiveness. But we live in an imperfect world, and few of us will escape the pain and consequences of being hurt by someone else.'

So there you have it three books and three winners. All you have to do is follow this blog, like my facebook page and comment in the comment box below to indicate which book you would like to win. If you already follow my blog and you want to enter the competition, just comment in the box below and tell me which book you would like to win. You can also follow me on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram to gain an extra entry. The competition closes on Friday 8th February and is open worldwide.

May God's blessing and favor shine upon you. Praise His Holy name!

1. You must follow this blog via google friend connect, like my Facebook page and comment in the comment box below for your entry to be valid.
2. The closing date is Friday 8th February at Midnight. After that your follows will not count.
3. Three winners will be picked at random.
4. My decision is final.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Testimony time

I am really excited to be able to bring to you this blog's very first testimony, (well apart from my own of course, but I don't think that counts lol).

Author and Youth Minister Kimberley Woolerey sent me an email a few days ago, saying she wanted to share her story on the blog. I was over the moon, after all this is how the blog came into being, me wanting to share inspirational stories with others and what a better way to kick off 2013 with a POWERFUL testimony of how Christ can change lives? And believe me HE CAN!  Nothing is impossible for Him (Luke 1:37). So without further ado, here's Kimberley's story. Praise God for all he does and and all He continues to do. 

I’m K.L. Woolerey and I am a Christian from the UK. I used to work in business admin in my pre-Christian days, but now I write Christian romances for women. I am also a Youth Minister in my church and an evangelist. I have just written and published my first Christian novel, 'Love at the Altar.' I write under the name, K.L. Woolerey. 

I always ask myself how I got here. By here, I mean at a place where I do not look at myself in the mirror and frown with horror at what glares back at me. I did not like the person I was. I felt that other girls were prettier, cleverer and worth more than I was. Sounds glum but frankly my confidence was at an all time low.

By the time, I was seventeen I suffered with my first bout of depression. I had just left college and started my first job in a sandwich shop. Things began well until I started feeling unhappy. Shortly after, I started going out with my friends and drinking. I quit my job and started temping and then unfortunately, I became unemployed. My twenties continued in that same self-destructive pattern. Because deep down I did not like who I was – I wanted to fit in with the crowd. It was easier to go along with what everyone else was doing than stand up and be an individual. I wanted to study accountancy and English – as I had always loved reading and writing. I used to love making up stories and telling them to my friends and family. In fact – I drove everyone mad with my tales. However, I did not go back to college. I wasn’t interested in bettering myself. I am an ambitious person by nature but my confidence would not allow me to stick at anything.

My family was at a loss as to what to do with me. I was bad tempered, ill mannered and miserable. I was not an easy person to be around. I hated the person I had become. I started writing again to console my unhappiness. However, even my writing was dark and full of horror. There was no light in my life. Therefore, I drank more. I found a new job working as unemployment adviser. I thought things would look up but they didn’t. In fact, it became worse. Unfortunately, I became more depressed and lost. Although I was able to hide this as I worked with many sociable people, which offered a place to hide who I really was. I was Kimberley, the life and soul of the party, not Kimberley a girl in need of help.

When I was twenty-seven, I went to church with my mother in Barbados.  She is a Pastor and I’d always declined her offers before. When I first stepped into the church, I felt something different. Everyone just seemed so happy and alive. I remember a woman asking me for prayer – and I said no. I didn’t want prayer. I didn’t see how prayer could help me. Then when I went home that night I found myself reading a scripture from the bible and asking God what was wrong with me? Why was I always feeling like this? I did not want to spend the rest of my life in that state. I wanted to change. Shortly after, I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior and started attending church. I started to build a relationship with God by talking to him every day about my problems and the way I was feeling. The first scripture that I started to learn was Matthew 7: 7. Ask and it shall be given onto you. I started asking. Every day I asked God to change me. When I went back to UK, God gave me the courage to quit smoking and drinking. I distanced myself from bad influences and spent a lot of time alone in prayer. I started to build relationships with people in the church and day by day, I found an inner peace that was beautiful, electric and addictive.

It was more addictive than alcohol or feeling depressed. I started to feel good about who I was. When I smiled, it was real. When I thought of my future, it was full of hope and prospects. Jesus had completely transformed my way of thinking and I was positive for the first time in my life.

I went back to Barbados some months later – not knowing that God was going to do something wonderful in my life. I began working on a Christian romance about a young girl who meets the man of her dreams while she is accepting Christ at the Altar. I did not even think I would complete it as I have started novels before. However, there was something different about this one. I knew that God was with me on this, as I could never have written this book on my own. Fast forward months later – I was looking at the Amazon Kindle chart and 'Love at the Altar' was at number 15! I shouted for joy. I have had such a positive response from people online, in the church, and now I really believe that God can work miracles. I am now working on the second instalment in the 'Love at the Altar' series, and I’ve got people telling me that the book has made them believe in love again. How wonderful. I feel so blessed that God saw someone like me as a worthy enough cause. Even when I was crying into my pillow at night – He saw my tears whilst knowing that one day He would dry them.

My journey to Christ and to publishing my book was a hard one, but He brought me out of a dark pit of self-destruction. My aim now is to inspire others. I want to tell people that they can overcome anything and achieve their dreams. Jesus doesn’t look at what you are. He is interested in what He can do with you. So do not look at what you are now. You are a work in progress. And when God is finished with you – your life will never be the same again.

Glory to God. Hallelujah!! What a MIGHTY AWESOME God we serve. Special thanks goes to Kimberely for sharing her powerful and inspiring testimony. If you have a testimony of how God has transformed your life and you too would like to share it on the blog, just drop me an email at theaccidentalmogul@hotmail.co.uk. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

God bless.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

The 'MGW' Assignment - week 4.

Yes, it's that time. Time to press into God's word and internalise it. I love this assignment, it is really making me draw closer to God and listen out to everything He chooses to impress on my heart. So let's get to business.

This week's verse is short but POWERFUL.

'If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.' 
Mark 4:23

Do you have an ear for the good news of Jesus Christ? In the book of Mark, chapter 4 Jesus speaks the parable of the sower who casts his seed and some falls on the wayside and the birds came and ate it immediately, some fell on stony ground and it bounced right back, because there was no soil for it to bury into, so the sun came out, scorched it and it withered away. Some seed fell amongst thorns and the thorns choked the budding seed so it was unable to bear any fruit and some seed fell on good ground where it grew and increased and bore fruit thirty, sixty and a hundred fold. This parable is symbolic of how the word of God impacts (or not) lives.

Jesus says in Mark 4: 14-25 

'14. The sower soweth the word. 15. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17. And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. 18. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 19. And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. 20. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. 21. And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? 22. For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. 23.  If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. 24. And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you:and unto you that hear shall more be given. 25. For he that hath, to him shall be given:and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.'

Do you allow God's word to penetrate your heart? Do you HEAR and DO? Or do you just allow His word to fall on rocky ground and fall by the wayside, not giving it the chance to transform your life? God wants us to live our best life, He wants us to shine the light of His love for all to see (just like a candle on a candlestick), not hide it away, so by listening to His word and obeying we are able to achieve just that.

As always, this week we are to meditate on this week's scripture Mark 4:23. Read it when you wake up, before you go to bed and throughout the day if possible. This is all in addition to the time you spend with God in prayer and reading the Bible. The aim is to internalise God's word and impress it onto our hearts, so we are able to speak life into our own lives and the lives of others correctly and consistently. 

If you are taking part in the assignment please comment in the comment box below, so I know who you are and we can build a community for fellowship and encouragement. You can follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest too. Just use the hashtags #MGW #MGWA.

God bless and have a great week!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Friday reflection - week 13

The Lord has been placing this scripture on my heart so much lately. 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' I wasn't sure where in the Bible it was, so I looked it up and found it in Acts 20:35. Such a powerful book of the Bible, which I must delve into more. Ever since I began to obey this verse and chase what God calls us all to do (give, rather than receive) the blessings in my life have just been pouring down on me. For real.

I give, not because of what I can get out of it, but because I want to have a heart like Jesus. I yearn for it, I long to be like Him. I want to please Him and glorify His name on Earth, so by giving consistently I am able to do just that. It doesn't have to be major or monetary just the smallest of sacrifices can make all the difference to someone's life, maybe it's clothing, or your time, or taking a friend out to lunch, babysitting for a friend, offering a shoulder to cry on, paying for someone's shopping, buying someone a coffee anything that takes the focus off of you consistently and places it on someone else. 

Seriously ever since I've begun to pursue a heart that gives, things have been happening to me that are unexplainable. Here I am a stay at home, more or less single mum and yet I honestly do not go without, and I don't just mean financially, but emotionally and spiritually too. I am so at peace with where God has placed me it's crazy, because from the outside looking in, my situation is faaaaar from perfect. But where God guides, He most surely provides and by me obeying Him and being a blessing to others through giving, God is in turn blessing me and I'm not even seeking the blessing. Oooh weee glory to God! 

My sister actually said to me today: 'Is there something we should know Natalie, because I don't see how you can afford this and that when you have no job. All I could say was 'It's all about the blessing'. It's available to us ALL. I'm telling you God is so faithful. Just trust and Obey and He will take care of your EVERY need. I can hands down testify to that fact!!! Praise Him!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

A New Church

I've found a new church and I love it. Just before Christmas I'd been praying for God to lead me somewhere new because I didn't feel I was growing where I was so I really wanted God to confirm if what I was feeling was of Him or me. He confirmed that the tugging at my heart was definitely Him and He set about making things work out and man have they WORKED OUT!!

A few weeks before Christmas my mum was given a flyer from some young people who were rapping, singing and envagelising outside KFC next to Barking station in East London. I was seriously impressed by this flurry of activity despite not seeing them myself and I felt heavily called to go to the Church and I'm so glad I did go because it is truly amazing. Christ most certainly answered my prayers. I have been going for just over a month now and I feel like this is where God wants me to be. The Pastor and his wife are great people and the sermons are powerful and convicting. The congregation is relatively small but already it is growing week by week with people from all walks of life.

In addition to the Sunday morning service, we have Sunday evening Bible studies, and a Wednesday evening service. I love the fact that services go on in the week. Seriously if I could I'd be at there EVERYDAY. I yearn for God's word so much. This Church has me so excited because they are seeking to find solutions to the problems within the local community by using the principles of God's word. Pure and simple. It is SO POWERFUL. A large percentage of the congregation are under 21 and believe me when I tell you that these guys are on fire for Jesus. They are spirit filled and on a mission to live as God has called them to. They are completely set apart and they set such an awesome example for the even younger children who are in attendance. It is amazing to witness, especially when these days the youth are accused of bringing so much disrespect and disruption to society. Christian youth are the role models our communities so desperately need. Amen!

I am bubbling with excitement when I think of how God has led me to be precisely where I was praying to be. There is so much potential for me to grow spiritually and minister to others. We come together in fellowship frequently and there are plans for concerts, a football team and a variety of other community activities that will bring Jesus to the people, just as God intended...Woohoo! Hallelujah! Such exciting times ahead!

I serve such a mighty, awesome God. His glory amazes me every single day. Thank you Jesus.

Monday, 14 January 2013

The Science Museum

Cars and planes

Daddy, the kids and I went to the Science Museum in South Kensington on Saturday. It was a pretty spur of the moment decision but we had a great time. Admission is free and it's a lovely big building with TONS to see and do.

I've wanted to take the children for ages, but we've never found the right time to go, so the last minute nature of the trip really gave us all the shove we needed. I'd made plans to see my cousin in the evening, so we only had a couple of hours to see a few things together.  The museum is sooo vast and there is so much to do, including scheduled experiments and documentary showcases that I'd definitely recommend going early and making a day of it. We'll definitely be doing that next time.

What we did get to see however was great and we watched a bubble show which I loved (I LOVE bubbles) and the kids did too of course. It really was a lovely day out which I would most certainly recommend for all the family.

Daddy and the girls checking out the steam trains.

Apparently this contraption took people into space.

Little bro getting his beauty sleep.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

The 'Memorising God's Word' Assignment - week 3

I really wanted to get this post out this morning. I managed to get the instagram post out before I went to church, but for some reason or another the blog post got delayed. Praise the Lord anyway because the post is here and it's that time again. MGW!!! This week's memory verse is Matthew 6:33.

'But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.'
Matthew 6:33

The book of Matthew is powerful and Jesus speaks mightily throughout it. In the sixth chapter of Matthew He teaches the importance of forging a one on one relationship with God based upon doing things because they are right and pleasing to our heavenly father, not because of who sees us and what acknowledgement we can get in the world for it. God knows the intentions of our hearts, and if we do things just to 'appear' holy we are mocking Him.

In Matthew 6:33 Jesus teaches us to seek the Kingdom of God first before anything else. By this He means we are to look to Him for our every want and need, we are to communicate with Him through prayer and obey His word, we read our Bible's diligently, we praise and worship Him, go to church and fellowship with other Christians, HE (underlined, bolded, covered in flashing lights) will supply all our needs. If we abide in Him and seek Him first and His goodness (righteousness) everything else falls into place. I can testify to this. I seek God's face daily and He truly supplies all my needs. As long as I have my Heavenly Father, I want for nothing. He is such an AWESOME, awesome God. Hallelujah!!

So guys meditate on this verse daily in the morning when you wake up, before bed and during the day too if you can. This is in addition the daily time you spend with God praying and reading your Bible. This assignment is not about being ritualistic or memorising God's word because it is something to boast about, no. God's word is powerful and provides nourishment for the soul, so by internalising it we are able to speak life into our own lives and situations and those of others. AMEN!!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Facing up to things

You may have noticed that talk of weddings has been very much absent around these parts of late. (Those of you who read my blog frequently will be up to speed with all the 'ins' and 'outs'). Well it's not a coincidence to be honest. Things went very down hill with my relationship. To the point that I told OH it was over and I gave him back my engagement ring. Yes. It's that serious. Miraculously though, things have been better between us than they have been in a very long time. This is despite the no sex, separate bedrooms and now separate homes.

You will most certainly find this hard to believe if you are not a believer in Christ, but in the very brokenness of our situation God is working supernaturally. Believe me when I tell you we are getting on better (from afar) than we have in years. There are changes taking place in BOTH of us that I never thought were possible. I am telling you GOD ANSWERS SINCERE PRAYERS AND REWARDS OBEDIENCE TO HIS WORD. I thank Him with all my heart for the change He is bringing because I really didn't like who I had become in my relationship and that was a nagging, angry, bitter and resentful miserable mess. God in His divine wisdom has removed us from a fruitless situation and through our separation we are BARING MORE FRUIT!!! And this is because I am choosing to abide in Him and His word (John 15:1-5). Glory to God for His power to transform.

I'm not going to lie, it hurts to have to go through this. I feel a lot of guilt, especially where our children are concerned but I know God is making things work for the greater good to glorify His holy name. His ways are infinitely higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9) and He knows best. I am praying HARD for Alex's salvation because I truly believe in my heart of hearts that we will be united in a christ centred marriage and we will raise our children together in a Christ centred home.

When all is said and done if it is God's Will for us to be united then nothing can stop it. And if it is not in His Will for us to be together I am at peace with the sacrifice I will have to make, after all I'm already doing it. I trust my God with my life because I know He loves me and wants what is best for me and all of His children. Hallelujah! Praise God!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Looking deeper

It is so crazy to me to have to say this, but at the age of 33 and three quarters I really do not recognise the person I am. This person who thirsts for Jesus, who stands in awe as she witnesses the changes He is making from the innermost core of her being outwards.

I often look at who I am now and wonder what the old me would think. I think the old me would admire my deep passion for Jesus and the fact that I'm not ashamed to proclaim the things He is doing in my life. Just for the record, He can do the same in your life too.

The old me would probably think I'm going a tad bit overboard with all the proclaiming of Christ and I should probably calm it down a bit, the old me would never dream of speaking so openly about her faith all day every day, because she was quite a private person you see, and she also cared a little too much about what other people thought, the new me is filled with a Holy boldness that is untameable. How can I possibly stifle what lives within me and has my soul on fire? The Holy Spirit lives within me, it is He that is responsible for the changes in me, so how can I possibly hide Him away when I AM Him? Phew that's DEEP.....

I think what I am trying to say is that God has touched my heart so profoundly and I am so excited and amazed at what He has done and continues to do in my life that I can't but help share my experiences with you all in the hope that you too will reach out to Him and allow Him to transform your life as well. Amen!

Seriously everything in my life is different. Everything I used to take for granted, I give the utmost thanks for. Do you know how blessed we are to be alive on this Earth? Millions didn't make it to see this morning, but we did. That my friend is a blessing of huge proportions.

What I have begun to notice more too is there are so many hurting souls out there yearning for a simple smile or a friendly 'Hello' or 'How are you?' to brighten their day. Take yesterday for instance, I was out and about and I had to take the train. I needed assistance with the lift (at my local station, the staff have to chaperone the lift for whatever reason) and since I had my son in his pushchair one of the station staff came to help. She was a woman who looked to be in her 50's she didn't look very happy, she gave me no eye contact and generally seemed quite hostile.

Undeterred I struck up a conversation with her, I can't remember what my first words were, but I think I mentioned something about the weather. I definitely remember asking if she had a long day ahead. At that point her whole face softened and she began to explain to me that yes she had a long day ahead, and she wasn't feeling well because she had a hernia in her chest which was making it difficult for her to breath and she was waiting for an X-ray appointment...

Wow. God really spoke to me in that situation. There I was pre-judging her, thinking she was hostile and rude, but when I extended myself to her and dug deeper, right there, just under the surface lay a whole array of worry and pain that was troubling her. Simply by striking up a conversation, her whole demeanour changed. Just listening to her plight humbled me, yet at the same time I could feel I was bringing her some comfort just by listening. 

I wish I had been thinking clearly because I would have asked if she would like me to pray for her. I hope I would have been brave enough to do so if the thought had entered my head. Nevertheless I wished her all the best and told her I hoped she felt better soon. I did say a personal prayer for her afterwards too. I truly believe this goes a small way in demonstrating what Jesus means when He says love thy neighbour (John 15:12). We should care for one another and be concerned for each others well being. Strangers in the streets are our neighbours and you never know what kind words you speak could lift their spirits today.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

The 'MGW' Assignment - week 2

Hello lovely readers, it's week two of the Memorising God's Word (MGW) assignment, and I must say I'm still bubbling with excitement about this project. I pray most of you were able to meditate on last weeks verse Hosea 4:6 and memorise it. I've said this already but I have to say it again; GOD'S WORD IS SO POWERFUL.

To hit this point home this week's memory verse is Hebrews 4:12

'For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.'

Yes it's another lengthy one guys, but seriously if you can memorise this verse and lay it on your heart it will truly bring power to your life. This is one of the first scriptures I learnt by heart when I got saved but I need to polish up on it, so I'll be using this week to do just that. A few days ago I was listening to a Dr Micheal Youssef sermon on Premier Christian Radio. He is a truly awesome man of God who God uses mightily to preach His word. One of his sermons last week actually centred on Hebrews 4:12, so I thought I'd share my notes with you all. It's powerful....

The word of God doesn't miss a thing. Like a two edge sword it cuts deeply into every single cell of our spiritual body. That is why the devil and the flesh do not want you to be in God's word for long.

The word of God judges your thoughts and your motives. We live in a culture where everyone tries to be non-judgemental, but the word of God judges your heart and your secret intentions.

The world tells you to do 'what you feel is right' but this is completely unreliable. Feelings change minute, by minute, day by day and from person to person. God's word, like He Himself NEVER changes and His divine truth reveals to you what is wrong and what is right. It reveals what is of Him, what is of your flesh (you) and what is of the enemy (Satan).

The Bible tells you when you are not glorifying God. Human beings are experts in delusion and deception, we all try to hide our true self from our public self, always trying to explain away why we do what we do. The word of God penetrates through the clutter and sorts what is real and what is false.

What we can not do for ourselves the word of God does it. Where the word of God cuts it also heals. Anyone can cut. It's the sowing together, the restoration that matters. God is a restorer. Where He cuts, He will ALWAYS heal.

It's human nature to try and run away from the person who knows the most about you. Through the word of God we can be healed, strengthened, blessed, restored, enriched and reconciled with Him.

When we let the word of God reign in our lives, we let God reign in our life.

Ooowee. Such a powerful message. So this week meditate on Hebrews 4:12. Read it when you wake up, before you go to bed and throughout the day if possible. This is all in addition to the time you spend with God in prayer and reading the Bible. The aim is to internalise God's word and impress it onto our hearts, so we are able to speak life into our own lives and the lives of others correctly and consistently.

If you are taking part in the assignment please comment in the comment box below, so I know who you are and we can build a community for fellowship and encouragement. You can follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest too. Just use the hashtags #MGW #MGWA.

I'm praying for you all. Have a blessed week.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Friday reflection - week 12

The new year has kicked off to such an amazing start for me. Things have been happening; which although to many may seem really, really small and insignificant are completely lifting my spirits right now. You know when you've been praying so hard for something and it's like NOTHING seems to be happening? Well that seemed to be the case with me for some time, and if anything my situation was getting worse and not better and out of frustration I would get sad and disheartened, but it was at these moments I would cry out to my Heavenly Father, asking for His help to not let my emotions overwhelm me and to give me the strength to hold tight to His promises; of which there are many.

The key is to not let your situation move you, because God is bigger than any problem or issue you may be facing. This isn't always an easy concept to get your head around, especially if you don't believe, but seriously, when it seems like all hell is breaking loose around you and things look beyond repair, that is when you must look beyond your circumstances and CLING onto Jesus. And by clinging on I mean you get your PRAISE ON as you prepare for the deliverance that's on its way. You pray without ceasing, you fast, you read your Bible, you give your tithes and your offering, you be a blessing to others, you go to church, you turn away from the behaviour you know is not pleasing to Him, and you sit back and watch in awe as he rains down blessing, upon blessing over your life. Yes Lord!!

For weeks I have had to be constantly reminding myself that faith comes by HEARING not SEEING....

'So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.'
Romans 10:17

My song for weeks has been...
'I'm not moved by what I see, Hallelujah, I'm not moved by what I see, Hallelujah. I'm only moved by the word of God Hallelujah, I'm only moved by the word of God, Hallelujah and everybody sing Amen, Amen, Aaa-men, Amen, Amen...

My God is a deliverer - Woohoo GLORY TO GOD!!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Helpful little children

My kids are so sweet. That may sound really biased, but truly they are. There have been a number of occasions lately where they've been bending over backwards to help me around the home. Even my 19 month old son gets involved; hoovering, hanging out the clothes, tidying up the toys, folding away the laundry. Admittedly my eldest isn't so eager (need to work on her lol), but It's amazing to see all three of them in action. I've had to draw the line at washing up the dishes and cooking though lol. My girls are only 5 and 3 and a half, so there's a way to go before they can get stuck into any of that.

Looking back to my own childhood I remember being 10 when my mum first handed me the sponge and fairy liquid to do the washing up. I can't remember if I asked to do it or if she forced it on me *snort* but from 10 onwards I would help out often with the chores, and from 13 I was washing my own school uniform.

Although I did get fed up with it at times, I'm glad my mum started me off relatively young. It equipped me well for university life and subsequent adulthood, after all there's no getting away from it and you have to start sometime right?

Do your children help you with the chores? How old were you when you started doing them?

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Hello 2013 - the year of the supernatural breakthrough

Happy New Year Everybody!!

I am fully charged and pregnant with expectation (not babies lol) for 2013. I can't fully explain it, but I feel MAJOR breakthroughs are going to be realised for me and many others this year and it's all thanks to my Lord and personal saviour Jesus Christ.

For many, many years I've pondered on my purpose in life. What is it all about? What is the point? Of course I am a Mother and my children are my life and yes they have given it purpose, but there still felt like something was missing. That was until I became born again on July 20 2012. Ever since that day the Lord has been revealing to me bit by bit and day by day my unique God given purpose on this Earth.

Don't get me wrong, it hasn't been and isn't always easy to determine, what is of me, what is of God and what is of the enemy, but that is where our work as believers begins. We must seek Him daily for His truth to be revealed within us. And by seeking Him I mean praying for discernment and revelation, reading the Bible and meditating on His word, going to church, listening to sermons, fellowshiping with fellow Christians. When you begin to do all these things obediently and consistently you will be AMAZED at what God will reveal to you. Seriously I am BUBBLING over with excitement at the transformation the Lord has made in the 5 short months since I gave my life to him.

First and foremost He made me turn away from one of the biggest sins in my life which was fornication. Until I am a married woman sex will no longer be a part of my life and you know what? My relationship with the father of my three children is slowly but surely beginning to improve, despite going very much off the rails. There is still a long way to go, but I put all my faith, trust and hope in the Lord. Regardless of the outcome I am confident that My God will work the situation out in His perfect timing and to perfection. It is so true that where God guides, He most certainly provides and He has supernaturally made a way for me to be able to glorify Him in the most imperfect of situations. He really does reward obedience and I am amazed. Praise Him forever.

He has been showing me other areas of my life that did not glorify Him too. Areas of unforgiveness and bitterness, seeds of anger, resentment, self pity and frustration that would take hold of me like a raging fire. All these issues had to be dealt with in order for God to use me for His purpose. Believe me I am still very much a work in progress, but where God has lifted the mirror to highlight my faults, through His divine grace and mercy He has also been providing me with ALL the solutions I need to be restored and reconciled with Him. What an AWESOME, AWESOME God!

I'm telling you, before I got saved there were endless days. I would wonder to myself, why am I so angry today? Why do I feel, so down, so upset, so, empty, so useless?? I had NO answers. That was until I found Jesus and He provided ALL the answers. The emptiness I felt in my heart could only be filled by my heavenly Father, and boy has He filled it. In ABUNDANCE!

I'm not who I used to be, I am a new creation in Christ. I am brimming with thoughts and ideas and it's all thanks to Him. 2013 I welcome you with open arms.

'Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.'
2 Corinthians 5:17

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