“Living Abroad”

“Living Abroad”

While some people may find themselves wondering what it’s like to live abroad, two years ago I took a leap of faith and decided to experience it.  I used to be that person who wondered what it would be like to live abroad because many of my friends left to teach abroad after we graduated from FAMU in 1998.  Looking back in retrospect, it just wasn’t my season because I was a single mom with a small child still trying to figure things out.

Fast forward to years later, when I heard about the opportunity to teach abroad, it was through a casual conversation.  I had just finished a stage production, which I wasn’t exactly happy about because I did it outside of God’s timing, (lesson learned).  One of the singers from the production asked me if I had ever heard of a company called, “Teach Away.”  I hadn’t so she advised me to look it up.  I didn’t realize that God was speaking through her at the time about my next move.  That night, not really taking anything seriously, I looked it up and decided to start the profile that they required.  I saw that it was teaching abroad, so I really didn’t give it a second thought.  Low and behold, the very next day, the recruiter called me and asked me to complete the profile.  I obliged, and little did I know within the next two weeks, I would have completed a phone interview and in-person interview in New York.  Looking from my hotel window at the Grand Marquis in Time Square, I had no idea that my life was about to change drastically.

My husband agreed that it was fine to go through the interview process because I don’t think he really believed that this was going to happen.  When I received the job offer, it shocked him a bit because he was retiring that school year, and then I know that God finally gave him peace and he was on board.  I met some resistance along the way from other areas, but when I tell you that many are the afflictions of the righteous, but God delivers us from them all, he did just that!

Here’s why I’m glad I took the leap of faith:

  1. I’m experiencing the good life in the Middle East, learning a new culture, and interacting with the local people who are very kind and compassionate people; unlike what the media portrays.
  2. I am living a quality life. My son is in private school, I have a live-in assistant, which helps make life easier so I that we can focus on our goals, and I’m finally able to stop living from pay check to pay check, (that was a mindset issue).
  3. My husband is extremely happy because he’s able to continue doing what he loves, and he’s made many relationships that are centered around music.
  4. We can travel the world and do ministry as God leads us.
  5. It has given me a broader perspective about people and life and help me to realize that truly God is everywhere, and I have an opportunity to let my light shine even more being in the Middle East.

Don’t allow fear to paralyze you and keep you from following your dreams.  It will come with obstacles, but God has given us the power to overcome every challenge that we face on this earth.  HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT!!

Grace and Peace!!!

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Depression: “The Silent Killer”

Depression: “The Silent Killer”

                Depression is becoming more prevalent in the world today and it’s not discriminating.  It’s hitting the rich, poor, black, white, and every culture and religion.  It’s starting to get some attention in society because it’s crossing so many barriers.  Up until recently, people didn’t want to talk about depression at the family dinner table or at church.  The African American community has been the most resistant in recognizing depression as the silent killer. This is mostly cultural because what we’ve already endured as a race, we can handle anything.  It’s a partially correct truth, but it’s incomplete.   It’s usually too late when people recognize the severity of it, often after someone has taken their own life.

Having dealt with bouts of depression and seeing some of my closest loved ones deal with it, here’s what I’ve discovered:   Depression can be a medical problem where the brain may not be getting serotonin.  In these instances, people may have to be given some sort of medication to help balance the brain.  When there is a chemical imbalance, and it’s not dealt with medically, then most likely people self-medicate and turn to drugs.  I firmly believe that a lot of the people, not all, that are incarcerated, suffer from depression and did not receive the proper treatment.

Depression can come from spiritual warfare.  One of the greatest books that I’ve read is called, Battle Field of the Mind, by Joyce Meyers.  This book shows how you can clearly be born again and struggle in your mind.  When we become born again, we are saved and going to heaven, but we will spend the rest of our lives renewing our mind.  That requires reading the word daily and exchanging our thoughts with God’s thoughts.  The devil can’t touch a believer who understands their authority.

Lastly, depression can result when we think about ourselves all the time and play the victim.  One of the most depressing states that I’ve been in is when I constantly thought about me.  I thought that everyone was doing things intentionally to hurt me.  I had to submit my feelings and emotions to God and adopt the truth that it doesn’t matter how I treat others, but it matters how I treat them.  I don’t always get it right, but I have come a long way.  We should never give anyone the power to alter our emotions.

What do you do when you are having these depressed feelings and emotions?

  1. Pray and ask God where the source of these emotions are coming from, and he will reveal it to you.  If it’s a medical condition, seek medical help.
  2. If it’s a spiritual attack where thoughts are coming to your mind that do not line up with the word of God, cast down the thought, and find scriptures from the word of God to counteract those thoughts.
  3. Move yourself out the way and find something that you can do to make someone else happy. Visit them, or buy them a gift, or serve in a capacity of ministry.
  4. Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Put on some worship music and you will discover that in his presence is the fullness of joy and at his right hand is pleasures forevermore.

We have been given the authority to conquer depression because we are more than conquerors and the greater one lives within us.  It doesn’t matter if your healing must come from a doctor, or through the word, JUST BE HEALED!!

Grace and Peace be multiplied unto you!

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“Roaz Who?”

"Roaz Who?".

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“Roaz Who?”

My book “Waiting With A Purpose-A Guide to Finding Your Boaz,” has been on the market for about 4 years, and I’m always thankful each time I make a sale, whether online via Amazon, by way of family and friends, or through hosting a book signing. I remember when I was at a book festival in downtown Decatur, Georgia, and one of the attendees stops by my booth, and asks me, “Who is Boaz?”
I automatically assumed that everyone knew that Boaz was Ruth’s husband in the bible, and that he was a kinsmen redeemer who owned a field and was very wealthy. I also thought I’d blow them away by telling them that he was a son of a harlot, and he is in Jesus’ bloodline. I was thinking to myself, if they don’t know who Boaz is, I might as well forget about telling them about “Roaz.” Roaz is a fictional character I created in the book to describe most of the men that I’ve encountered in my own personal life, or some friend or family attracted as I watched from a distance. Needless to say, to sum it all up, Roaz is the counterfeit that you end up with when you are too impatient to wait for the real deal-Boaz.
Roaz is the type of man you attract when you are lonely, don’t understand your purpose, or you’re just flat out impatient, and can’t wait to get in that wedding dress that you already picked out. It really isn’t his fault that YOU chose him, he’s just being the person he really is, and you just ignored the handwriting on the wall. You’ve had nightmares continuously, and you’ve said to yourself, “It’s just something about him that doesn’t sit well with me, yet you continue with the relationship because now you’re emotionally attached, and you’ve probably engaged in a sexual relationship with Roaz. This is typically what happens in relationships when we haven’t quite understood our purpose, or haven’t come into the knowledge of how much God loves us. You can be born again, fire baptized, and living for God, yet this could possibly be your situation.

Allow this book to meet you where you are, so that you can honestly discover that God has so much planned for your life, and none of it includes defeat. Allow this keep it real kind of book to call you on the carpet, yet direct you back in the arms of a loving God who has a purpose and a plan that will take you take places you never dreamed.

Order a copy today by going to http://www.anastasiadallas.com. Amazon.com, or go to your local bookstore today.
The best is yet to come!!!

Anastasia Means-Dallas

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“Trim the Fat”

"Trim the Fat".

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“Trim the Fat”

Happy Terrific Tuesday!

There are so many things that can come our way to try to get us off track.  The cares of this world are constantly tugging at us, the demands of parental responsibilities, and the task of maintaining balance in a world overtaken by materialism.  How can you cut through the chase, and keep focus in spite of it all?  As a parent, realtor, playwright, author, and wife, just to name a few of the roles that I play, I find myself having to trim the fat.  That simply means putting the first things first.  Here a couple of tips that I will offer that will help you to trim the fat as well.

Tip 1:

Start your day off with prayer and meditation.  This gives you an opportunity to center yourself and get your instructions from God.  I have found that when I don’t start off with this step, my day can easily turn into an unproductive day.

Tip 2:

Make a list of things you need to accomplish, and then place them in order based on priority.  This helps you have a visual of what needs to be accomplished for the day, and it prevents you from wasting a precious commodity, time.  Once you complete the task on the list, simply check it off.  This gives you a sense of accomplishment.

Tip 3:

Learn how to say “No.”  We’ve been taught that “No,” is a dirty word.  Usually I’ve found myself dreading doing something that I should have flat out said “No” to.  Then I find myself doing things out a wrong heart, which doesn’t produce any joy.

Tip 4:

Surround yourself with vision keepers.  These are people who have a vision for their life, and operate with a sense of purpose.  They will be some of your greatest motivators because they understand that you are on a mission, or on assignment.

Tip 5:

Find something that makes you happy every day.  Although happiness is temporary, and joy is eternal, from a health standpoint, the more endorphins that are present in your body, the happier you’ll be.  You have to find out what makes you tick.  It can be something simple as winding down with a bubble bath surrounded by candles, or treating yourself to your favorite restaurant. 

We can all mumble and grumble about what’s not right with our lives, and sometimes rightfully so, but are we really getting results by doing so?  We have to find a way to navigate through this life, while finding enjoyment and balance along the way.  Until we chat again, live life on purpose with purpose.

Grace and Peace,

Anastasia Means-Dallas

 

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Jesus Did It All

Greetings Happy Terrific Tuesday!!

Many of us have read the scripture this way, “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.  This makes it appears as if the word flood goes along with the enemy.  In actuality, that scripture should read, “When the enemy comes in….pause….like a flood, the spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”  Whenever we encounter difficult siutations in life, we must remember the satan has already defeated.  Even when it appears as though we are losing, we have already won the victory.  This is not a result of our own strength, but this happened when Jesus defeated satan by dying on the cross, taking on ALL our sins, and then going to hell in our stead.  To top it all off, he snatched the keys and the power of death, hell, and the grave.  On top of that, he brought satan to an open shame.

We become enemies of the cross when we don’t fully accept what Jesus did for us on the cross.  We will continue to fight the rest of the fights in our mind.  Just as satan tried to deceive Adam and Eve in the garden, he is doing the same thing today, using the same dumb old tricks.  We get angry at times when we think about they allowed satan to trick them, but we do the same thing when we believe the lies that the devil whispers in our ears daily:  “You are a failure, you are supposed to be poor, do things in your own effort, look to the world for everything you need.”

When we become born-again we are a part of a kingdom, and Jesus is the King.  It is an upside down kingdom because whatever the world believes, we believe the opposite.  God sent his Son that we might have life in abundance, to the full, until it overflows, so we will no longer live beneath our privileges.  As a matter of fact, Jesus did it all, NOW REST!!!

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ONLY BELIEVE!!!

Happy Saturday!!!

Oftentimes we are given dreams that exceed our finances, and most time our abilities. As a child growing up, writing was something that came very naturally for me. I didn’t think twice about it in school, or when someone asked me to write something creative for a program or event.

When I wrote my first book, Waiting With A Purpose- Guide to Finding Your Boaz, it was a three year process. It wasn’t because I didn’t have the ability to write, but it was because it was a book of healing and closure for me after experiencing soul ties, a failed marriage, and my own mess I created along the way. When I wrote the second book, it was effortless, and I finished it within a two week time span because it recalled some of my fondest memories in my childhood. My uncle recalled how I had written a paper in my Creative Writing class in college that was very similar to the book 15 years prior.

When I looked at my first book, and desired to turn it into a play, that totally took me out of my comfort zone, and exceeded my natural ability. I didn’t know anything about writing a play for a stage production, but I was confident because I understood that it would totally be the Holy Spirit directing my path. These are the best projects!! When you know you don’t have the formal training and background for something, and you see God move!! The testimony of it all is that the play was written in three weeks, I did the casting, directing, and wrote the songs for the play that appeared at the 14th Street Playhouse in February.

Why am I sharing this? I want to let you know that whatever dream you are holding on to, JUST DO IT! Stop waiting for perfect conditions, because they aren’t coming!!! Allow the Holy Spirit to do what you can’t do for yourself, and ONLY BELIEVE!!

Blessings,

Anastasia Means-Dallas

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Waiting With A Purpose

Waiting With A Purpose.

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Waiting With A Purpose

Good Afternoon,

I pray that you are having a productive, yet enjoyable day.  This afternoon I would like to focus on the theme of my blog, “Waiting With A Purpose.”  The title came from a part of my book entitled, Waiting With A Purpose-A Guide to Finding Your Boaz (2010), by the way it’s available at most major bookstores, or you can download on kindle:).

The idea came as a result of many failed relationships by myself, and those near and dear to me.  Initially, it was a book designed for singles, but through book talks and what I called chat and chews, married couples found the book to be just as helpful.  This book is purpose driven in that whatever you are waiting on in life, you must wait with a purpose.

Many singles are despondent today because they are successful in their careers, established in their finances, yet they think they are missing a piece of the puzzle.  The reason why I say that they think is because once you are made complete in God’s love, all other relationships are simply overflow.

The type of waiting I’m talking about in the book is an active waiting, not a twiddling of the thumb, pouting type waiting.  It is the type of waiting where you are discovering your purpose in life, and being fulfilled and enjoying every day life.  It doesn’t matter what it is you are waiting for, as long as you are waiting with a purpose, the wait will lead to sweat less victories.

Blessings,

Anastasia Means-Dallas

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