Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div. - Visionary Strategist  Faithful Innovator  Inspirational Essayist
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#iThrive: Focus on My SELF


BlogFam - 

Today, I declare and decree that for the last 7 weeks of this year, we will have a BLOG REVIVAL! [lol]  I am very excited about the series that we will begin together.  I believe that it will enrich our lives as we strive to FINISH STRONG!  I know that you are probably looking forward to all of the holiday gatherings and parties and gift exchanges and plethora of food options; BUT through our traditional end of the year celebration, I do not want us to forget that January 1 is coming.  So, I invite you to take a few minutes each week over the next 7 weeks - starting today - to pause and review so that we can take note of our own lives so that we can THRIVE in the coming year!  

Friends, will you join me in this new series entitled iThrive?  I almost called it iSurvive but for some reason I was not settled with just surviving or overcoming or getting through.  I WANT YOU TO THRIVE!  To thrive is: To Prosper; Be fortunate or Successful; To Grow or Develop Vigorously; To Flourish.  This is what it means to THRIVE and to THRIVE is my prayer for all of you!  And there are at least 7 things we must do to THRIVE and those 7 things will be the focus of our blog series until the end of the year!  I am so very excited and I look forward to the testimonies that will come forth as you do what you need to do to THRIVE as you finish 2015 and THRIVE as you walk into 2016!

Here are the iTHRIVE topics for the next 7 weeks:
         Focus on My SELF
         Learn from My STRUGGLE
         Celebrate My STORY
         Harness My STRENGTH
         Articulate My STRATEGY
         Embrace My SUPPORT
         Release My SHOUT
AND our focus scripture for the next 7 weeks:
         Ephesians 5:15-17

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

So, let's get started...
iTHRIVE: Focus on My SELF
BlogFam, I am sure that you might be wondering why we must start off this series with a focus on ourselves.  But do not wonder too long because the truth is, your ability to THRIVE starts with your commitment to yourself!  Are you committed to yourself?  I do not mean the superficial ways in which we put on masks or play dress up in order to appear as if we have it all together.  I mean, are you fully committed to the health of your body, the strength of your character, the depth of your spirit, the salvation of your soul?  Friends, I think that it is so important that we are fully committed to focus on ourselves in the most comprehensive way possible.  Besides, one of the greatest commandments is to LOVE our neighbors as we love ourselves and how can you do so, if you do not in fact and in practice, love yourself?

Do you love yourself?
Do you love everything about yourself?
Is there anything about yourself that you want or need to improve?
These are the kinds of questions that must be answered.  So, pause, and ask yourself, seriously....

Do you love yourself?
Do you love everything about yourself?
Is there anything about yourself that you want or need to improve?

Now, if you are completely honest with yourself, I imagine that ALL of you see your own self as a growth area as your growth relates to your body, mind, spirit, or soul.  Friends, one of the ways in which we can live wisely is by seeking to THRIVE in all of the areas I just listed.  I think for too long we have put ourselves on the back burner as if we get a few more jewels in our heavenly crown if we live beneath some made-up standard of false humility.  It is my prayer that you embrace the truth that to have life and to live it more abundantly as the Lord has promised necessarily means that we are thriving from the inside out.  It is OK to give yourself the permission to focus on yourself.  You do not have to feel guilty about that because in taking time to invest in yourself, it is a way to honor our God who created you.  Actually, I believe that you honor God by taking care of your body, seeking opportunities to enhance your mind and improve your intellectual capacity, investing energy in your spiritual development, and making sure your soul is right with God.  

BlogFam, Focus on yourself!  This is the first week of the iThrive series and we must start with YOU before we can go any further.  So, over this next week - until the next post - I pray that YOU would consider and then reconsider how well you love yourself.  I pray that you would take the time to recommit yourself to yourself so that you can love God and neighbor more fully.  I pray that you would know that it is wise of you to do so and that you do not have to feel guilty or apologize for honoring God by being true to yourself.  I pray that you would be very careful how you live with yourself and whatever you need to do to THRIVE from the inside out, DO IT NOW!  Let go or embrace whatever it is so that you can THRIVE!

Friends, this is our first step.  
Now, confess this out loud....

Lord, I thank you for this moment to reflect on who you have created me to be.  I confess that I have not always expressed my gratitude for being who I am in the ways I have treated or dismissed myself.  Today, I ask that you would forgive me for not loving myself so that I could love my neighbor as I love myself.  I ask that you would show me those parts about myself that need to grow or improve so that I can THRIVE in life and in building your Kingdom.  Help me to honor you by treating my body as the temple of the Holy Spirit, seeking ways to expand my mind, revive my spirituality, and live righteously from the depths of my soul.  It is IN JESUS NAME that iTHRIVE... AMEN!

Blessings!  Glory!  And Sunshine!

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