When the Apology Never Comes

sorryIf you know the story of Jacob and Esau, you know of the deception that tore these brothers apart for many years. In fact, Esau swore to kill Jacob because of what he had done. Afraid, their mother, Rebekah, told Jacob what his brother planned and sent him away.

When the time came for them to meet again, Jacob feared for his life and family (understandably so). In his distress, Jacob divided those with him into groups, hoping that if Esau attacked one, the others could escape. His worry proved unnecessary.

Interestingly, when the brothers finally reunited, no harsh words passed between them. They didn’t throw punches or yell. The Bible says that Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; Esau threw his arms around Jacob’s neck and kissed him. They wept.

This story shows a perfect example of a relationship destroyed by betrayal that is not discussed or resolved for months or even years. Those involved no longer speak or they do but skirt around the damaging issue. Wounds fester because no one says, “I’m sorry,” words one longs to hear but that may or may not ever come.

I wonder what went through Esau’s mind (besides murder) all of that time after Jacob received their father’s blessing. Did he ever ask questions like…

  • What did I do to deserve this?
  • Why did my brother have to do this?
  • Will my brother ever visit? (In this day, we would say call, email, or text 😉 )
  • I know what he did was wrong. Shouldn’t he know it by now? And APOLOGIZE?!?!?

Have you ever asked such questions? Recently, I did.

It didn’t involve a sibling, but something happened between me and another person. Because so much time had passed, I thought I was fine. That is, until I saw this person and thought, “Where’s my apology and my conversation?!”

Yep, that year-overdue apology from someone who claimed to be my friend or rather wanted to be. This person shut me out and I felt like everything was my fault. Yet, they ended the relationship by calling me a name.

So after all this time, I expected an apology. I deserved it. Even though, in my mind I thought I got along just fine, I still waited, still felt irritated.

I asked the questions Esau might have asked:

  • What did I do to deserve this?
  • Why did they have to do this to me?
  • Will they ever call to admit they were wrong?
  • I know what they did was wrong. Shouldn’t they know it by now? And APOLOGIZE?!?!?

On and on I went. After all this time, guess what?

This little lady has yet to receive the apology she feels she deserves. Apparently, the other person disagrees with my opinion. 🙂 Sometimes, we recognize when we have done others wrong and fully admit it, but other times we may not know it or just don’t want to admit it.

But I am no longer waiting on an apology, and it’s ok if I never receive it.

I have forgiven them. I have forgiven myself too. I beat myself up for a long time for allowing this person to be in life (yep, I so took it there!) and condemned myself to no end on how I should have recognized the fakery.

It’s odd because in my situation, I never expected the kind of reconciliation that Jacob and Esau had, but I honestly wanted an acknowledgment because I felt I had been wronged. We all crave that. When we feel wronged, it’s OFF WITH THEIR HEADS! But…

When I look back over my life, I can think times when I wronged others and didn’t apologize. In some instances, I may never know I did wrong.

Could there be someone out there now, waiting for an apology from Trina?

Beloved, could there be someone possibly expecting an apology from you?

This event reminded me that some situations won’t end with a kiss and embrace, but we always have a choice.

We can either live for the apology, or we can live on the freedom that forgiveness, truly gives.

So beloved, when the apology never comes … WHATCHA GONNA DO?

We’ve Come this Far by Faith – First of the Last


It is the first day of the second half of the year. That’s right ladies, today we are entering into the last 6 months of 2015 – we’ve come this far by faith!

How many of you have allowed your New Year’s Resolution(s) to fade in the wash of daily living? Don’t feel bad because you are NOT alone.

Statistics show that a whopping 92% of New Year’s Resolution(s) fail within about 30 days of making them. Why? After doing a little research I discovered a few reasons. 1. Unrealistic goals (including too vague or too many) 2. Unprepared (ill equipped, lack of faith, little/no support 3. Unmotivated (wrong/negative intentions, resolving to stop bad habit(s), actions, gestures, etc.)

Now that we know the why, let’s follow up with a why not – why not, rekindle those New Year’s Resolutions? The year 2015 is only half over which gives you 6 months to beat the odds. Let’s resolve to be counted among the 8% that don’t fail because our determination stems from the One who has never failed – God!


Confronting in Order to Heal

heart healPsalm 34:17-20 (NIV)

 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.

Psalm 31:5 (NIV)

Into your hands I commit my spirit, redeem me, O Lord, the God of truth.


Last week, it finally dawned on me that I was in pain.

My left ankle/foot got my attention and it got it solely. For weeks, I had walked around on what turned out to be a very bad sprain that will now require a new boot. The pain reached such a level that tears ran and I reluctantly decided that the time had arrived to see a certified physician.

Since the initial incident which led to the sprain, I had managed to bandage up my ankle, soak it in Epsom salt, and walk around … with a limp of course. All this time, I NEVER ONCE seriously considered going to have it examined because I genuinely thought, “It will get better.”


Now, a few of my friends reading this may not find this at all surprising, considering the fact that a few years ago, while playing paint ball, I actually sprained this exact same ankle, not realizing that I had done so. Again, I knew I was in pain, but didn’t go to the doctor then either. The next day, I saw my ankle swell and decided to be Nurse Katrina. I nursed own my foot back to health. It took a while, but it eventually did get better.

But, in this case – it didn’t get better. In fact, I have made my healing process take longer than it should have and have risked doing serious damage to my left ankle/foot by continuing to hobble on it.

Now that I am writing this blog, I have publicly shared a couple of things with you.

  1. My strength to endure pain.
  2. My insanity to endure pain (and unnecessarily might I add).

I never imagined God would give me a blog from a boot, but because He is who He is — He has. God used this situation to show me that I have a tendency to either make light of my own pain (play it down, it’s not a big deal, say “I’m fine”, etc.) or just downright ignore it until I have no choice but to confront it. I can be so sympathetic towards others, but for me — there is no sympathy.

Honestly, I have just started to figure out some reasons as to why this is so.

Can any of you relate to this?

If I look over my life, and this situation says a lot by itself, I can think of other situations where I’ve had the same mentality of “Oh, it’s fine” — when it ain’t!

Maybe it’s because in order to heal from something, you have to confront it.

And some stuff, I just didn’t want to confront!

Do you ever have days where it’s just like, “I don’t want to deal with that today. So, I won’t.” Then, you move throughout your day, walk on a sprained ankle, push down your emotions, and simply decide to keep on moving.

Never confronting it.

Never admitting anything.

Never admitting the truth.

Never healing.


I love how the Psalmist reminds us that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and He saves us who are crushed in spirit. I can think of some situations right now that have crushed my spirit over the last few years, and months for that matter, yet I have walked around “self-medicating” with my spiritual Epsom salt, not confronting the issues, until this week.

I had to have that honest conversation with God about how I felt, what went wrong or right in each situation, where was He, why I didn’t want to do this or that, and even why I was afraid to do some things. Those things were hard to say to God, but I said them.

I am working on my healing.

What about you?

The next few days, just take a moment and reflect on some afflictions (hurts, issues, disappointments, betrayals, etc.) that you haven’t confronted. Confronting doesn’t always mean talking to someone else face to face, although that has its place and the way in which it is handled also has it place.

What I am referring to in this case is simply having the courage to admit everything is not ok when it comes to ____________ (fill in the blank), and having an honest dialogue with God.

Beloved, have the courage and strength to admit that all is not well with a certain situation or a matter of your heart.

Have the courage to take the issue to God. He’s the doctor you need.

He can heal the sick.

He can heal the brokenhearted.

Beloved, let Him heal you.

Don’t Raise My Hopes, My Lord

hope2Have you ever had your heart broken? Have you ever felt let down and hopeless? I can recall several times where fear and distrust gripped my heart so tight that I thought I would die. I lost hope of being able to try again or trust again. I didn’t want to put myself in a position that could lead to more hardships, so I ran away to protect myself. As much as I wanted something, I couldn’t and wouldn’t allow myself to “go there.” It hurt too much.

I felt like the lady in 2 Kings 4:8-37. It’s the story of the Shunammite woman’s son being restored to life and it is definitely one of my favorites in the Bible. Elisha, the prophet, went to Shumen where a well-to-do woman lived. Whenever Elisha passed the area, he stopped by her place to eat. He eventually wanted to know what could be done for her because she had been so kind. When asked, “What can be done for you?” she replied, “I have a home among my own people.”

In other words, “I don’t want anything nor I do I feel I need anything.” So, Elisha asked about the situation again, almost as if ignoring her. Elisha knew that something deeper lay beneath the surface. He detected a desire within her. Despite her words, he saw straight through her and said:

“About this time next year, you will hold a son in your arms.”

What did she reply when Elisha said this? “No, my lord!” she objected. “Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant!”

Mislead your servant? Why wasn’t she excited to hear that news? The woman may have been frightened or shocked but why does she feel mislead? Or lied to? What happened?”

Maybe she thought she was too old to have children. Maybe she felt like God had let her down in the past. Maybe she had tried before to have children and when it didn’t work she had given up. Maybe someone had prophesied to her years before about her having children and it didn’t happen. She lost her hope. Then when Elisha mentioned the son she responded in shock and fear because she didn’t want to be mislead again.

Beloved — does that sound familiar to you? Is there something in your heart that hurts and you don’t want it mentioned? What is that area where you don’t want to be mislead?

When someone brings up your deepest need or desire, do you shrug it off with a flat, “I have a home with my own people. I’m fine.” Are you the Shunammite woman? What has happened to your hope? The thought of the “thing” or someone mentioning “the thing” makes you cringe because you just don’t want to hear about it anymore!

Sometimes, we can keep doing things over and over because it appears we never get tired of trying. However, there comes a day when the trying just becomes just that… trying. We feel mislead and let down. We don’t have hope anymore. We don’t see the end result like we used to see it.

The rest of this story is quite interesting. The Shunammite woman ends up having the son that was prophesied only to find that later he would become ill and die.

Wait a minute?

Didn’t she first not want the son supposedly, and then she has him only for him to die? Has that ever happened to you? You admit your desire, surrender, and then it fails? You fought the desire because of disappointment and then after you manage to get back up again and be happy, it comes, and then bam … it dies. That “thing” dies in your arms.

I wonder if that’s what was going through the Shunammite woman’s mind at this time? Perhaps it was also everything that led up to the moment where Elisha first told her she was going to have a son. Now, she is enduring this pain.

Trust and the ability to not give up are powerful. Even though she saw her son was dead, the Shunammite woman still went to see the man of God (Elisha), and the situation completely turned around. Her son was brought back to life! The situation that was once dead, now lived.

I love this story because it is an honest one of past pain, current denial of that pain, and loss of hope for the future. Sometimes hurts can go so deep that it appears to take the very breath out of us if we allow it. It damages us and if it keeps happening enough times or hits hard enough, it can kill your hope. It will kill your faith. It will kill your trust.

Beloved, let this story remind you to not give up hope and not allow what you have seen or felt to discourage you from seeing a beautiful end result in your life.

Yes, Our Lord — RAISE OUR HOPES.

God Won’t Mind a Little Compromise

compromise2Involved in a relationship I knew God didn’t approve of, I realized that as I grew closer to Christ that relationship would come to an end. One of the reasons (and it should have been the main one) was in the drastically different views he and I held of sex. My boyfriend at the time said it was ok for us have sex because we intended to eventually marry. I gave in to his arguments partly out of fear of losing him and partly because I didn’t know how to vocalize my reasons for wanting so say, “no.”

So, one day, I tried. I wanted to discuss spiritual reasons for waiting until marriage to have sex. We could address it from Christ’s perspective since my boyfriend and I were both devout Christians, right? We would pull out our Bibles and have this awesome experience with God that would deeply convict us to purity. However, to my sorrow, by the end of our conversation my boyfriend hadn’t changed his mind. While I believed more than ever that we shouldn’t have sex at all in any way, shape, or form until marriage, this supposedly Christian man (well, he knew scriptures and sang in a Christian group, etc.) told me it was ok. If he was the man I was meant to marry and God spoke to him, then it had to be ok? Right?


As I continued to grow in my relationship with God, my boyfriend’s behavior annoyed me more. Although he told me how wonderful his church was, he didn’t attend regularly. Our behavior didn’t seem to bother him even a bit though I confidently knew that his church didn’t teach that sex outside of marriage was okay. So, how could this be?

When I questioned him further, my boyfriend insisted that if I became all righteous about sex being a sin and wanted to stop sleeping with him, then I also needed to be as adamant about not lying, cheating, etc. According to him, I needed to put all my sins on the same page and not make having sex outside of marriage the biggest issue. That comment confused me because I knew I was not perfect, but it sounded more like a manipulative way to get me to continue having sex with him. It made me feel condemned because I knew I wasn’t as righteous as I wanted to be and felt like he was right. If I would never be able to stop doing all that I want to stop doing, then I might as well keep doing what I am doing.

In other words,“If I can’t stop from sinning in other areas, no need in condemning him of his mistakes or his beliefs about sex. It’s not like I conquered all of my devils. So, maybe we can still do it?”


Bottom line beloved:

God ALWAYS minds a little (or any) compromise. In this case, it’s either sex within marriage or sex outside of marriage. There is no justifying “sex almost married.”

Which of these choices do you believe God approves of?

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, you are a healer of the mind, body and soul. You can heal my hurts of my past. I thank you Lord. Show me where I have been fearful and passive. God, help me to not overlook you when you are warning me. Help me to not pick others counsel over yours. Lord, tell me when and how I should  take a stand for righteousness and purity. Show me my worth and give me the strength to be who you want me to be. God, show me your will for sex. You do not condemn, but forgive. Thank you for your forgiveness.

The Ordinary Way vs. The Result of a Promise

PromiseA counterfeit imitates something valuable or important with the intention to deceive or defraud.

It doesn’t get much plainer than that.

Have you welcomed the counterfeit? Let in the fake because of frustration, impatience, or discouragement?

Sarai, in the Bible, knows a lot about this subject. She could tell you about lacking, wanting, takihttp://flourishministriesinc.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpng matters into her own hands, and trying to be God. She could tell you how imitations can cause big trouble. She is the perfect example of what not to do while waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promise.

Abram and Sarai had no children. One day, she got a bright idea. She told Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her” (Gen. 16:2).

What? Hurt and wounded, Sarai grew impatient. She desperately wanted to give Abram a son. Can you believe she told Abram to sleep with Hagar? Well, guess what? He did, and Hagar eventually conceived. Abram named his son Ishmael.

Later, when the Lord visited Abram, he renamed the couple Abraham and Sarah.

The Lord also said, “I will bless her (Sarah) and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of people’s will come from her”  (Gen 17:16).

However, this seemed unbelievable to Sarah — a woman of 90 years of age.

Then God said, “Yes, your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac” (Gen. 17:19). Sarah laughed at the thought, but the Bible says, “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?” (Gen 18:14).

The story goes on to show God’s graciousness toward her, and the Lord did for Sarah what He had promised. She became pregnant and bore Abraham a son in his old age. Abraham called him Isaac. Through Isaac, God established an everlasting covenant.

Isaac was the promised one; not Ishmael. Ishmael was the counterfeit.

Beloved, what has your counterfeit been? A business opportunity? A relationship?

Maybe it looked like the right opportunity at the time, but like Sarai you fell into the temptation of “helping” God along. How did you feel when you discovered your mistake?

Let us all learn from Sarah.

Don’t manipulate situations and try to take control. Don’t allow your hurt to drive you to decisions God would not be pleased with. Don’t allow the loss of hope to lead you to do crazy things when all you only need to wait on the promise. Don’t allow your pain to take you to the pit. It won’t produce anything valuable. 

Galatians 4 says this:

“For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave was born in the ordinary way, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise …”

Which one would you prefer? Reader, I know it’s hard to wait. However, let me encourage you as I encourage myself…

Do not do things the ordinary way by taking matters into your own hands. Instead, wait for the one born by the power of the Spirit!

I heard a pastor say one time that those who have to wait the longest have the greatest faith. It hurts when you’ve had to wait, be last, and watch others give birth while your “spiritual child” is not conceived, or worse, dies. However, God redeems. He gives life. You have had the faith to stand while others gave up. You smiled when others have cried and rejoiced in the midst of your own tears, and GOD HAS NOT FORGOTTEN YOUR COMMITMENT TO HIM.

I pray that every one of us can wait for the Promised One and not fall victim to the counterfeit. Let us have grace and patience to wait for the real thing(s). The God we serve is not the author of confusion! He is the great I AM. He gave Sarah a child in her old age.

Indeed, there is nothing too hard for Him!

What “child” would you like to birth this year?

Finish the Race, Complete the Task

run the race          Scripture Reference: Acts 20: 13-36
Paul, also known as Saul, lived a colorful life up until his conversion. Many remember him as the man who persecuted Christians before devoting himself to serving the Messiah wholeheartedly. In spite of all, Paul had a destiny to fulfill.

During his third missionary trip, he stayed a few days in Miletus. While there, he sent for the elders of the church in Ephesus. Paul had closely labored with these men, and anticipating that he would not see them again, he wanted to speak to them one last time. He had to make his farewell speech as he prepared to go to the next stage in his life.
In Acts 20: 22-24, Paul says:

“And now, compelled by the Spirit, … the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.  However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

Consider Paul’s words about finishing the race and your own destiny.

  • How would you know you were any closer to your destiny?
  • Like Paul, have you finished the race and completed the task?

First, let’s define a race.

  • A race is a contest of speed; any contest or competition; urgent need, responsibility, effort, etc., as when time is short or a solution is imperative. Onward movement.

Therefore, when it comes to your future, you’re not just talking about pursuing something in order to obtain it; you’re talking about going after it — and quickly. When a deadline, goal, or event approaches, it takes on a different feel and look. You see it through different eyes. So, let’s consider the situations below and see if you find yourself in any or all of them.


  1. The Longer it Takes to Transition, the More Impossible it Seems. Remember Hannah? She wanted a baby desperately. I wonder if she ever had a moment of wanting to lose hope or give up. What about you? This is the stage of “Why is it taking so long?”
  2. While Waiting on the Next Assignment, You Serve with Great Humility and Tears. You believe something new heads your way and you anticipate the new start with eager excitement. However, you have yet to be released from your current position. You feel caught between rebellion and obedience, and this emotional struggle can lead to a sense of going through the motions. You keep serving through the tears, knowing the next assignment lies around the corner. Despite knowing the purpose of being where you are, you also can’t wait for that purpose to end so you can move on.
  3. Transitions for the Future Require “Now Actions” and Faith for the Unknown. Things can reach a place where even though you are still in a “now” situation, you have to start preparing for the “later.” That may involve setting time and money aside, having new experiences, taking risks, taking new assignments, developing new relationships, etc.
  4. Transitions Require that You be Weaned. (Emotionally, Spiritually, etc.) Here, you may start to sense withdrawal from a situation. YOU ARE NO LONGER THE SAME PERSON. When the time to move on arrives, changes within begin to happen. You must be prepared to let it go. We may need someone else to fill our shoes in a position or take over a responsibility so we can focus on other things, but we won’t let them because we are afraid of what we might lose.
  5.  Your Desires Will Have to be Laid Down for a Greater Purpose. Reminder. It’s not all about you — it’s about God. Whether in a now or later situation, your destiny will supply your needs and those of others. Sometimes we can’t move on when we want to because we have to complete the task at hand. It can be frustrating, but know that you serve a greater purpose. Remember, YOUR LIFE SHOULD TESTIFY OF THE GOSPEL OF GOD’S GRACE.
  6. Transitions Require that You Finish the Task at Hand Before Moving On. Are things in place for me to leave? Is the house in order? How is my attitude regarding this task? Am I complaining? Have you finished those projects? Have you trained people to fill the position you vacate?
  7.  Transitions Require a “Farewell” to Your Old Assignment and a “Hello” to Your New One. A farewell implies a goodbye and maybe a ceremony to show the transition of one phase to another. You will know when the time to say “goodbye” to your now and “hello” to your later arrives.

Paul says in 2 Timothy, that he indeed finished the race.

2 Timothy 4:7-8 New International Version (NIV)
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing

Paul finished — but he is not alone in attaining the reward, so will others.

He completed the task — finished the race.

There was much in store for him as a result of it.

What lies in store for you once you finish your race and complete the task?


The Reason in Any Season

the reasonKatrina Hunter Set Free (Hannah’s Corner)

Psalm 138:8 ESV – The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Several years ago if someone had told me that I would dedicate my life to Christ, have a blog site of my own, and serve in various ministries in different capacities, I would not have believed them.  Why? Because several years ago, I was a different person.  I was not into God or what He desired for my life, and definitely was not using my gifts and talents for His glory. Honestly, my focus at the time was simply going to work and enjoying relationships that would prove to be more destructive than words could ever describe.

Countless times I found myself seeking the attention of any man who gave it, thrusting myself into a “relationship” built on lust and low-self esteem, while compromising myself and whatever beliefs/values I was still clinging to. During those times, I was searching for love and acceptance…and purpose. I thought if I gave more of myself, my time, my money, and any other resource I had available, I would be deemed valuable to the men in my life.

If they liked it, I loved it. If they thought it was good, I thought it was great! Wherever they wanted to go, I was ready. Whatever they wanted to do, I did it. However, I very slowly realized that the more I gave, the more they took and didn’t offer much in return. In fact, the more they saw that I would give anything and do anything to please them, the more I saw myself slipping away.

Who was Katrina and why does something seem wrong with this picture?

After I rededicated my life to Christ, I realized some things about my “former” self and why I was so lost.

First, I had no purpose in Christ. By definition, purpose is the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. When you have purpose in Christ, you understand why you were created and know that you exist to leave some mark on this earth for His glory. The only mark I was leaving behind in my former life was confusion. Once I discovered my purpose in Christ, I knew that my mark on this earth was being left by my writing and creativity. I get to use them both in a variety of ways and I am so thankful to God for entrusting me with them.

Secondly, I had no idea what to do with what God gave me.  I’ve always been a creative person (arts, crafts, graphics, etc.) and one who loves to write, but had no idea that I needed to put those things to use or how to. I limited myself to the men I was interested in.  I spent a lot of my time chasing behind men (even after college) and was determined to make up for what I considered lost time (where I wasn’t being chased by men). I used my spare time to be “fast”, as some would say, and forced myself into ungodly situations. From time to time, I would entertain creative projects, but I couldn’t stay focused on them long enough to complete the tasks. I would always end up wanting to put projects down to be with the next man I was “hunting.”

Thirdly, I didn’t believe I could leave a lasting impression upon anyone. I truly believed I wasn’t special. If I couldn’t make the men I wanted love me, why would I want to try anything else? Who would think I was good enough? Who would want to stay with me or pick me? I had a lot of rejection issues to sort through? Also, I felt I was only as good as the relationship I was in at the time (which wasn’t a good relationship). Yep…issues!

Lastly, I was deeply insecure. I wanted to be with whoever I was with at the time so bad, that I gave up everything or stopped everything when they called and/or wanted to hang out. I wasn’t secure in the fact that if I said “no” that they would still be interested. I thought, “I must always be available.” It took me a while that to learn that you need security and confidence in yourself (and in Christ) to be in a relationship. You also need them to not be in one. It takes security and confidence to not be tempted to sacrifice yourself in order to get into a relationship.

So my beloved, my encouragement to you as I close this blog to is to remember that your purpose is not limited to a person or to a time frame.

In every season – you have a purpose. You have a reason for any season of your life and it’s meant to impact lives for the glory of God. Your value isn’t determined by where you are right now. There is so much more to your life than your  right now… As the psalmist said, HE WILL FULFILL HIS PURPOSE FOR YOU.

My prayer is that long after I depart this world, someone may remember something I wrote or something I created that brought a smile to their face or the peace of God to their heart. I pray that something I said or wrote would remind them of the precious love of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Beloved – what’s your reason in your season?

Your Gift: Stir It Up and Fan It into Flame – PART 2

Katrina Hunter Set Free (Hannah’s Corner)Stir-up-Sunday


Last week in this blog, I began discussing Paul’s words to Timothy, encouraging him to stir up his gifts.

I left off with this question: What happens when you see the fire dying down and you don’t know if it’s because you’ve lost your ability or if it’s because you aren’t using it? It could be both.

I will say that for me – it was both. I wasn’t using all of my gifts, which made me feel like I lost my ability and therefore, was useless.

I went through a phase that was nearly depressing because there were some projects I wanted to work on, but doubted that what I had to bring to the table would be enough to accomplish them. I knew what I had done (with recent tangible proof) but I also knew what I had not done in a long time, or at all. I knew what I was capable of doing and just wanted the opportunity to use the greatness that was on the inside of me; to use those gifts that had been dormant for so many years. Would what I had done be good enough to override what I lacked? Fear definitely held a tight grip on my thoughts.

“Was I not as great as I thought I was, according to God? I had believed I was smart, talented, and able and now I just don’t know.”

Then I realized too that I was frustrated for feeling as though I was in a box.

“Always a _______ but never a ____________.”

Sometimes, a fire can die out when you feel labeled and only considered for certain things, then you just eventually give up on stirring up that gift. For example, you may be a singer/dancer who is a really great administrative worker, but people don’t ordinarily see your ability to operate in any other capacity. Therefore, you are always a singer/dancer, but never part of the team that organizes and plans.

Perhaps this is you:

Maybe you are a really good event planner, but also a really good speaker to the few you have been entrusted to speak to. Now, you want to do more, but no speaking opportunities have come.

Always the event planner and never the speaker.

Or perhaps for you, it’s just the opposite. Maybe you are an event planner and you don’t know you can speak until you are asked to do so.  Then once you do it, you find out how much you love it!

Beloved, how do you know when God is stirring up a gift on the inside of you?

ANSWER: When you are able to do something you didn’t know you could…until you had to!

I can’t count the number of times I have had to learn new skills and it was mainly due to the lack of people around to get a certain task accomplished. Something had to be done and since I like learning new stuff, I was able to pick up a new skill to keep my flame burning.

Like Timothy, we don’t need to let our fires go out. We must continually keep our gifts stirred up and fan them into flame. By doing so, we impact others for the Glory of God.  Beloved, it’s also important that we have people in our lives that shake us up and stir us up when we need a reminder of what’s on the inside of us.

Little did my friend know, she was serving as my Paul (I would need that message with the picture of the shower invitation a couple of weeks later). Her text message would serve as a reminder to me from God about all of the gifts that he has placed on the inside of all of us that we either take for granted, don’t think are important, or don’t think we are good enough at to do on a regular basis. It was God’s way of reminding me that He was indeed stirring up the gift(s) within many of us and we need to be ready for the next level of responsibility he is going to entrust us with.

Let this blog serve as some encouragement to you in this season, as we head into a new year. I believe we all could use some encouragement out of our discouragement.

I believe it’s a time where we will be freed from fear and doubt.

The areas where you and I have been gifted in,  that have been asleep, it’s now time for them to awake and get to work. In Jesus’ Name.

In 2015, prepare to be surprised.

Your gifting is gonna look good on you!

Justified=Just As If I Never Sinned

Starletjustified Ware Encouragement and Prayer

 At church a few Sundays ago, a man was ready to pray and he asked the question “do you know you are justified?”  He went on to define it: ‘just as if you never sinned?  He kept repeating the question and definition.  I was able to hear it over and over and ask myself: do you know this?

I have heard it before.  I accept it as truth (head) but do I believe it in my heart?  I am mulling it over and pondering.  While I was sitting at church, I prayed: “Father, I know it is true, help my unbelief.”

My transparent moment is I am working on living as if I believe completely that I am justified.  I thank God for his word especially in Romans because these verses made sense as to why I can believe.

Romans 3:24

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Romans 3:28

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Romans 4:2

If Abraham was justified by works, he has something to brag about—but not before God.

Romans 5:1

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

Romans 8:30

And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.

I pray you are encouraged like I am and use the verses to remind you of God’s marvelous love and grace.

Your Gift: Stir It Up and Fan It Into Flame – PART 1

stir up 1 GIRLFRIEND SHOWER PICKatrina Hunter Set Free (Hannah’s Corner)

 2 Timothy 1: I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

A few weeks ago, one of my besties texted me a photo of an invitation she received several years ago. My friend still had somewhere in all of her possessions, an invitation that had come from me that was sent via mail to several of our girlfriends at the time. Apparently, I created and mailed out an invitation to a “Girlfriend’s Shower.”

I created this concept of a shower (much like a bridal or baby shower) where we, as the girlfriends, would shower one another with gifts, celebrating our friendship. Nope, I am not kidding. I even had a cake made.

I present to you Exhibit A as proof (the invitation).

Not only did the invitation and its wording make me laugh, it took me down memory lane to that night at Carrabba’s Restaurant. I won’t share all of what I put in the invite, but let’s just say I made it clear that:

  • Their attendance made them game and their non attendance made them lame (yep, that’s on the cover).
  • The ladies needed to bring their own money to pay for their meal because, and I quote myself, “This is not sponsored!”
  • The color scheme was black/red and jeans were not allowed to be worn. If anyone asked “Do we have to wear red/black? And what happens when we don’t?”- I had a reply ready!! I informed them (and I quote myself again)
  • “For those who will ask and I know who you are, YES, YOU DO. And if you don’t – you will look like a reject! Thanks Hun! J

Looking back, I can actually say that I am trying to figure out why anyone showed up.  I was completely brutal in my instructions towards the attendees and demanded that they attend/obey. (Obviously they liked me, because they did.)

Although the outcome was nice, I can also say that this was the first and the last “Girlfriends Shower.”

Besides my laughing and wondering “What in the world?!,  I was also wondering “When did I have the time to plan this, let alone make an invitation? How in the world would I have come up with that idea? My words were a little cross, but the idea…great!”

Might I too mention that my friend on this very same day, also texted me a photo of the business card of the event planning business we and another friend almost started together (ok, started, but didn’t finish … LOL). Again, I kept thinking: “I did that? When did I have the time? How in the world would I have come up with that idea and/or agreed to it?” Furthermore,

Where did this person go? Where is she?

Somewhere, over the years, that person (me) who did these creative things and planned these meetings/outings began to take a back seat to a lot of stuff. Some things flourished while others didn’t. “She” would resurface here and there when needed for special causes, but not routinely.  What happened?

This “she” I refer to myself as, should have been like Timothy in the scriptures  – keeping my gift stirred up.  When you use your gifts, you stir them up, and when you stir them up, you also increase them. But unfortunately and for various reasons, I stopped using many of my gifts, therefore letting the fire die out. Many of those gifts that I used consistently eventually got pushed aside and pushed down. Many of those gifts have yet to be used to their fullest potential.

Paul, in 2 Timothy, when referring to a gift, uses the words “fan into flame”, but in other translations, it says to “stir up” or even “rekindle.”  The gifts that I had been given (and you also) are like fires – burning and should not be put out.  Paul wanted to remind Timothy to develop his gift and not let it go to waste. In order for Timothy to be a teacher of others, he himself had to be on fire.

But what happens when you see the fire dying down and you don’t know if it’s because you’ve lost your ability or if it’s because you aren’t using it? It could be both.

Hmmmmm. Worth meditating on.


  • If there’s an area of your life where you want to operate in a specific gifting that you have (more often), that you know you are suited for, why are you not doing it?
  • Have there been things you have been interested in and thoroughly enjoyed, but over a period of time, you have stopped doing them? If so, why?
  • Based on your responses to the above, how have your skills been affected? Anything you need to brush up on? Is there a fire you need to rekindle?

Meditate on those questions and check back next week to see how you can tell when God is stirring up a gift on the inside of you!

Dream Trip

Starlet WareDSC_0077 Encouragement and Prayer

My husband and I will celebrate eight years of marriage next month.  I have talked about some of the struggles we’ve had but today will all be about how he cares for me.  Feel free to use this example to tell about your loved one or better yet, tell your loved one how you appreciate him/her.

“A man who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22

As I mentioned last week, my George and I went on our very first flight and Dream Trip cruise together.  George and I arrived in Long Beach and got through all the security to board the ship.  Once on the ship, we had a great lunch and headed to our room.

The much needed time away and together with my George (five days and four nights) was truly a blessing.  We talked, laughed, relaxed, ate plenty, met new people and experienced a few firsts while on both Catalina Island and Ensenada.  I highly recommend getting away from home, phones, and internet.

While at Catalina Island Port of call, my George and I strolled while talking and holding hands.  We joined another couple in renting a golf cart so we could cover more ground faster. George drove the cart and we saw the scenes of Catalina. He is such a stud.  My chest expanded with pride of my dearest.

Oh, what a wonderful and fun day full of activities. We had the opportunity to experience zip lining, horseback riding, and visiting their famous “blow-hole” marine geyser – we had a blast!

We made a promise to each other not to wait eight years to go on our next trip together.

“Let your fountain be blessed, and take pleasure in the wife of your youth.”  Proverbs 5:18

This ‘youthful’ wife felt the love from her husband.

Heavenly Father, I come before you praying for the reader.  I pray you allow them to create an experience for their loved one and/or for themselves to show love and to release stress in a way that fits their lifestyle.  I thank you for their creativity you give them and as they are thinking of ways to have fun, let them smile with anticipation of the event(s).  Give them resources to bring their hearts’ desire to come to fruition.  You are awesome God!  I thank you for loving each reader, columnist and their families better than we can.  Thank yo for sending Jesus to give life and that more abundantly.  Let us allow you to love through us.  In Jesus name.  Amen

He Called My Name

Picture1Katrina Hunter – Set Free (Hannah’s Corner)

 During my college years, I was a very active member in the campus ministry that was connected to the church I attended at the time. As long as I live, I will never forget the students within the ministry nor one particular incident that brought about many laughs but taught me a lot about myself. The church we attended was a small church and I would guess about 75 people, maybe less, were in attendance that day.

I don’t recall if this particular day was a special service or if the campus pastor was ministering – but I do know that at one point, our campus pastor was in the pulpit speaking and then we were also acknowledged later. Sometime after that, our campus pastor began to give thanks to someone who he knew, who had done some things for him, etc.  I don’t want to put words into his mouth since my memory of his exact words escapes me now, but let’s just say whoever he was thanking at the time – they had done a lot for him and the ministry.

While he was going on and on about this “wonderful person” he threw in a name.  He said his last comment of thanks and somewhere in there, towards the end was the name…”Katrina….”  That’s all I heard – my name and I didn’t hear anything else after that. So I began to stand up (nervously).  As I am taking my stand, I notice there’s a woman in the pew in front me of who is also standing up at the same time I am.  Who was she?  She was his wife…who was also named Katrina! He was not talking about me at all. He was referring to her the entire time.

This is a very unfortunate…but true story.

As I stood there – embarrassed, I laughed as did everyone else in the church, including him and my fellow students. If you caught me after church to ask me, “What were you thinking?  What made you think he was talking about you?” I would have probably laughed it off or just said, “I don’t know.”  There was absolutely nothing inappropriate going on at all to lead me to a conclusion of sorts that he meant me – except for the issues of my own mind.

If you were to ask me today, “What was I thinking?” I could now tell you honestly: “Because I THOUGHT he was talking about me,” or even more honestly: “Because I NEEDED him to be talking about me.” At that point of my life, I needed anyone to be talking about me…telling me my value and how important I was.

Not only did I want to exalt myself, in my own time; but I also refused to cast all of my anxieties on God (1 Peter 5:5-6). On that most interesting day I could tell you, in my pride – it seemed logical that he was referring to me.  According to me, I had all of these great qualities he described. My pride would have said, “Why wouldn’t he have been describing me? Who else could it have been?”

One minute I was “doing it all,” (school, work, activities) and the other minute worrying it would never make me good enough or as good as the others around me.

Beloved, can you relate?

Sometimes we want someone to recognize us so bad by our names, know our true traits inside and out – and love them all; that we will take anyone who calls us whoever, however many times.   We, in desperation, will sell or throw away our identities just to be called something, or worse – we will let people mold us and our minds into what they want, because we lose the desire to think for ourselves.

The Bible speaks of not being led astray and in your hearts to set apart Christ as Lord. When we go looking for things out of a need and longing to be called and recognized – we can easily lead ourselves astray, and very quickly forget who the Lord is. We can set apart Christ as Lord – or just set Him aside and take matters into our own hurting hands.

What choice will you make?

My prayer today is that you would let God call you by your name, and when He does – you better stand up!



not capable of making mistakes or being wrong

never failing; absolutely trustworthy

certain to succeed

unable to disappoint


Dear Make-Up Industry,

I fell in love with your products! Your marketing strategy is pure genius. The way you use imitations of perfection to promote your products is almost infallible itself. It is incredible how you hire professional make-up artists to glamorize celebrities and then pass those products off as top of the (drugstore) line quality. As if that’s not enough, you then photo-shop the images to add yet another layer/dimension of flawless perfection.

Just one problem – it’s not true. You see, I have a daughter, nieces, and a ton of other family, friends, etc. who are girls and women. Some of them are so broken by life circumstances that it has left them with little or no value of themselves. They look to any and everything to “fix” themselves and your product offers a hope that it can’t fulfill.

Your products are incapable of being infallible. They will never look like what is portrayed as the unblemished models and celebrities used to promote your products. You profit from their pain, the pain of not feeling like your pretty enough, the pain of always needing someone’s approval, the pain of perfection that cannot be obtained through lipstick, foundation, or eye shadow.

We are full of flaws, we are imperfectly perfect. Covering our imperfections and blemishes further enables the pressure to be flawless at any cost – which is a set-up for failure because perfection, among humans, does not exist.

Imitations of hope produce hopeless insecurity. Girls think infallible will come through with its promise of certainty. Disappointment sets in and lack of confidence follows. The cycle repeats itself because a mother can’t teach her daughter what she does not know herself – she is made beautiful therefore she is beautiful. Period. Unfortunately, you can’t make money off that truth, therefore deception is conveyed. Tearing down her value and worth with false guarantees that your products will bring her the beauty she has desperately desired in magazines, television, and online. You see dollars signs, I see tears, depression, hopelessness, low/no self-esteem, and sometimes lost lives because it was all too much to handle. Constantly being hung up on the appearance of perfection is mentally exhausting and spiritually draining, it’s an unattainable goal.

If you aren’t on board with instilling values and morals in our girls, how is it expected of them to grow up to be women of noble character, passing integrity down to the following generations whether they’re wearing make-up or not?

No, you are certainly not the only company that operates this way, there are many. My question to you is will you take the lead in making a change?



[gĭv] [thāngk]…BIBLE WEEK PT 3

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV – 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.


Well ladies, we have come to the end of our journey in dissecting these three verses in this passage of scripture in Thessalonians 5.

So far we’ve discussed “16 rejoice always”,“17 pray continually”,  and now we’re at “18 give thanks…”

How befitting is it to end with this scripture during this time – Thanksgiving. This happened because of the Lord’s guiding, please believe me when I say that it was no planning on my part whatsoever. These verses leaped out of the page and into my heart as I sought the Lord on what to write about during our celebration of Bible week.

Without further ado, let’s get to it ladies…shall we?

The 18th verse of Thessalonians 5 starts off with “give thanks in all circumstances…” there’s more  in this verse but we’ll discuss the last portion of this scripture momentarily. As I read this, I pondered the question: Is there a difference between saying thank you and giving thanks? Here’s what I learned…

Thank-You: a verbal expression of gratitude or thanks (lip service). www.dictionary.com

Give Thanks: the act of giving thanks, grateful acknowledgement of benefits or favors, especially to God. www.dictionary.com

What a blatant difference between two phrases that seem interchangeable at first glance. Praise God because He wants to reveal His word to us and His desire is for us to go deeper in Him.

Needless to say that our God has given us benefits and favor that we can’t fully comprehend because our humanness is no match for His highness. His unmerited favor and daily benefits alone leave me (personally) in awe, not to mention His mercy, grace, and love, etc. Somehow saying “thank you” to the Lord doesn’t quite suffice in and of itself. Mere expressions of verbal thank-yous simply aren’t enough in comparison to our acts of giving thanks, especially to the One who gave His only Son as a ransom for us all. In addition, when expressions migrate to actions (in God) the result is far beyond what can be imagined.

Please don’t misunderstand me in regard to saying “thank you” to God (or to anyone else for that matter), we should say it because not only is it the right thing to do, it is the polite thing to do as well. Also “thank you” is a natural response we were taught as children to say after being shown kindness, over time it can become automated, mediocre, and lack sincerity. It ultimately loses the value of its meaning in the vastness of repetition. Our heavenly Father is thank-worthy. He deserves more than verbal expressions with our mouths, but the act(s) of giving thanks with our hearts. Having said that, today, I challenge you to delve deeper in Him with a heart of thanksgiving >>> Well, are you up for the challenge?

Since the “thank-you” and “give thanks” phrases have been clarified let’s tack on the next words…all circumstances – give thanks in all circumstances. A circumstance is a condition, detail, part, or attribute, with respect to time, place, manner, agent, etc. that accompanies, determines, or modifies a fact or event, or influencing factor.  In addition, it is the current condition or state of a person with respect to income, material welfare, etc.

Let’s break that down for people like me to understand – give thanks no matter what situation (circumstance) you are facing, give thanks when you are smack dab in the middle of life’s raging storm, give thanks in good times and bad, in joy and sadness, in life and death, in anything and everything. Give thanks in ALL circumstances.

The latter part of this scripture explains what was said previously: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. It is God’s will for us to 1.Rejoice always. 2. Pray continually. 3. Give thanks in all circumstances.

I’ve heard it said that the safest place in the world is in the will of God – and I wholeheartedly agree. The will of God is His desire, plan, purpose, etc. for each of us. As godly women, as Christians, our desires, plans, purpose, etc. should be in line with the will of our Lord and Savior. If it’s not in His will it’s not from Him. If your will is not a reflection of His, you are not in harmony with Him and an evaluation of the source of your will is vital. God will never contradict His will (nor His word).

Our all-powerful Lord has given us instructions on how to live on Earth as we journey towards home in Heaven. As we bring this celebration of God’s word to a close, I pray you each remember that reading the Bible should not be confined to a week,a month, or a year, etc. but something we strive to do on a daily basis. The more you know, the more you’ll grow (in Him). We learn about Him by studying Him, by studying His word.

Until we meet again lovelies…

May you rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks all circumstances – for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus!