Handling my Saul

Many times, a dream job can become a nightmare because of a toxic boss.

This is my experience and like many believers who are working in corporate nightmares and war zones of some type, every day, I make a choice to figure out a way to manage my bad boss. It takes effort but I allow the same Spirit of God that protected David while he was working in the courts of Saul, to provide me with the best coping strategies to make it through the day.

You would recall that after David had defeated Goliath, he was entrusted with important responsibilities in Saul’s royal household. While there, he served with integrity and modesty and quickly earned the affection of those around him including Saul. “Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well.” (1 Samuel 18:5 NIV)

But God’s blessing on David and his favor among the people of Israel quickly led Saul to become jealous and angry. And as his hatred increased, he looked for opportunities to take David’s life. Still even amidst Saul’s negative influence, not once are we told that David gave in to or gossiped about Saul and the injustices that he experienced under his leadership. But time and time again, we see a young man, showing tremendous empathy, respect and value for the life of a tortured leader.

David’s formula has helped me to cope with my own Saul.

Before leaving my apartment, I ask the Holy Spirit to take charge of my emotions. On my way to work, I also ask God to create an opportunity for me to minister to my leader because God cares about toxic bosses too.

I also make a choice to show empathy and understanding rather than bitterness and judgement. For, like David, I cannot allow a difficult leader to distract me from being the person God wants me to be in this season, so that I cannot serve Him even more faithfully in the next.

Love,

Dee

(C) 2018, Dentrecia Blanchette

Emotional Discipline

Emotional discipline is the habit of surrendering our emotions to God so that we can receive help us to reflect our emotions in honest and healing ways. It’s a habit that defined the life of Daniel and it allowed him to process his emotions constructively even when faced with experiences that threatened to derail him.

When we read Daniel 6, it’s clear that even when Daniel’s life was in danger when his jealous peers arranged his downfall, he remained in control of his emotions. He didn’t act out of character. He didn’t fight the accusations with his own wit. He didn’t try to manipulate his way out of the wicked plan; but rather, he remained calm and continued to fully submit himself to God through prayer.

I believe Daniel’s ability to keep his emotions in check resulted from his spiritual discipline. We know from the start of Daniel’s story, that his faith set him apart. And it was his faith that granted him favor, even with supervisors/rulers. “Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm” (Daniel 6: 3).

Three times a day he prayed to God in his chambers. Even when Darius the king passed the lion den’s decree, Daniel, calmly continued to submit himself to God and offer his petitions to heaven, in his hours of prayer. Even when he received honor by those above him, He remained fully God’s.

I believe it was Daniel’s daily submission to God through prayer that allowed him to exercise control over his emotions. It was his faithful connection to heaven that allowed him not to lose his cool when he was in a less than favorable situation.

Whenever I am tempted to wonder how can I gain victory over my emotions or how can I develop emotional discipline in this situation that is draining me spiritually and emotionally, I consider Daniel’s approach.

I plug into prayer and meditation; because I can only win emotionally when I am connected to God spiritually.

Love,

Dee

(c) 2018, Dentrecia Blanchette

I almost walked away 

A few days ago, I almost walked away from this ministry.

I was reviewing the ministry’s marketing analytics (trends, traffic, likes), on all of our platforms and the results were discouraging and disappointing. From the statistics…we weren’t doing well.

In my heart, I believed that the statistics reflected a lack of special anointing on this space and I felt like not only had I had failed myself but I had failed God too in a ministry that He had entrusted to me.

I related to the gardener mentioned in Luke 13: 6 – 9 who after inspecting his fig tree that was not producing fruit for three years, decided to “chop it down!”

Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”

God funnily used my partner to speak wisdom into my life as he challenged me to consider the statistics through different lenses.

He asked me; “Have you considered doing things differently?”

Many times, failure in our eyes is a simple invitation to do things differently or challenge our approach that we may have become used to.

But no amount of wisdom can top God’s as God whispered to me after I prayed:

Let’s give it another year.

I knew from His response even though it didn’t make sense, my duty was to obediently continue pouring into this ministry.

Sometimes, our expectations for ministry do not pan out as we envision. We dutifully sow seeds of our talent and time into a person, space or place that God has assigned us to…only to reap nothing or gain nothing in return.

And it hurts, because the natural man, expects a return on investment in everything he dedicates himself to.

My mind drifts to Noah who preached for 120 years without any inclination that what he was delivering was reaching the hearts and minds of those around him. Instead of conviction, he was met with opposition and ridicule…still with faith alone, he continued to preach God’s warning.

Sometimes, our only reason for continuing a project, calling or task is simple obedience. And this is what God desires – our obedience.

Moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy” (I Corinthians 4:2).

And faithfulness to God may not always strike a responsive chord in your audience or manifest itself in increased likes, shares and retweets; it may simply just generate a nod from God.

And that approval is everything.

What I particularly like about Noah’s testimony and dance with momentary failure is that the Noah who began building the ark at the beginning of his assignment, was a completely different Noah at the end of the assignment.

 He was a righteous man; the only blameless man to walk the earth at that time.

Sometimes, the assignment is not for us to build the kingdom of God externally but rather for the task, project or calling to build us up internally instead.

What has your brush with ‘failure’ revealed to you this week? Is it time to reassess your way of working and doing things? Is it time to focus solely on being obedient to God or cultivate a thankful heart for what He is doing in you to better manifest Himself through you?

Let me know!
Love

Dee

(C) 2017, Dentrecia Blanchette

An Affirmation A Day…

We often feel the most debilitating emotions while we are waiting on God to shift our current circumstance. And sometimes the waiting period can seem like a tiring game of playing “on the river, on the bank”. We exist between places of worry and wonder. One minute we are expectant of seeing His glory manifested in our situation and the next minute we are worried about if we will be able to survive another day in our current crucible. 

One minute we resign to living with our present struggle and the other minute our hearts are filled with confidence and faith. One minute we neatly wrap our hearts with good-sounding logic so that we wouldn’t be disappointed if God doesn’t respond as we would prefer Him to; the next minute we are frantically removing the layers of “protection” that we have placed around our hearts and minds to cushion and comfort us if we end up disappointed.

This constant emotional and spiritual back and forth leaves us confused and overwhelmed. And, the only way we will be able to come out on the other side of this waiting period alive, and with our faith intact is through patience. 

Patience is not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.

One proven way that has helped me to keep my faith tank full and my attitude in check during this season of waiting is daily scriptural affirmations.

Scriptural affirmations, focus our attention on the promises found in God’s word. It eventually shifts our attention from the negative and the things that are not working in our favor to the hope-inspired thoughts that fill the Bible. Affirmations also program our minds to believe God’s word and somehow with the working of the Holy Spirit, they transform the attitude of our hearts. They find themselves in our subscious minds and over time, influence our attitudes, thoughts and actions. Most importantly, scriptural affirmations store the Word of God in our hearts so that when we are tempted by doubt and fear, we can deeply dig into our reservoir of divine wisdom and truth. 

For the next four weeks, I invite you to choose one of the following scriptures and repeat it for five minutes, three times a day. You can begin when you wake, during your lunch hour and before bedtime. Offer a prayer before you confidently repeat the verse or verses loudly. You can also write these affirmations on paper or in your gadgets and place them around your work or living spaces and refer to them, frequently. 

I have found that even if we review and meditate on the same scripture every day, God always reveals something new to us, each day. So, I invite you to purchase a journal to jot down your thoughts that the Holy Spirit reveals to you as you repeat, study and meditate on these spiritual affirmations.

Week One 

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. Psalm 24: 1 – 2 (NIV)

Week Two

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him. James 1: 12 (NIV)

Week Three

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2: 20 (NIV)

Week Four

As high as Heaven is over the earth, so strong is His love to those who fear Him. And as far as sunrise is from the sunset, He has separated us from our sins. Psalm 103: 12 (MSG)

Bonus

I know what I am doing, I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not to abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29: 11 (MSG)

We may never gain complete control to stop emotional temptations, like doubt and fear from flooding our minds, while we wait on God; but we can control the actions we commit to daily that are powerful enough to feed our faith and starve all other spiritual assaults by the enemy.

Love,

Dee

(C) 2017, Dentrecia Blanchette