10 Job Interview Do’s and Dont’s

DO get plenty of rest the night before

It goes without saying that an adequate amount of sleep the night before is crucial to the performance and success of any endeavor. Before your interview be sure to get at least 8 hours of rest. This is your big day, you want to arrive refreshed, sharp and attentive. Furthermore, you would hate for an employer to assume that your constant yawning is due to a sever lack of interest or enthusiasm for the interview or even the job.

 

DON’T forget to come prepared

Arrive on time, in fact arrive 10-15 minutes early. There is a saying my professor used often, “If you’re early you’re on time. If you’re on time you’re late. If you’re late you’re fired.” Along with arriving on time be sure to have all of your necessary documents and utensils such as your CV/Resume, employment application (if needed), letters of recommendation, references, pens, etc. Furthermore, do your research. What do you know about the company, it’s mission, and it’s history? What is the description and specifics of the job you are applying for? What are the salary, pension, and benefit expectations for this position in your region? It’s always good to know what you’re walking into before an interview and especially before a job is offered. utilizing resources such as the company’s website, search engines (i.e Google, Bing, etc), and even inquiring amongst any current employees you may know personally that work for the company are all great ways to get yourself familiar with the company, its employee expectations, and what you can bring to the table.

 

DO dress for the part you want to play and the boss you want to be

Lets face it, an individual’s appearance and personal presentation are very important. According to a 2006 study by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov, It takes just one-tenth of a second for us to judge someone and make a first impression. For this reason alone when going on an interview it is crucial that we put our best foot forward from head to toe.

 

DON’T invite distractions

Headphones, electronics, cellphones and the like are no no’s when going to an interview. Be sure to place all of your devices on silent or turn them off and devote your attention to the task at hand: acing the interview and getting the job.

 

DO remain aware of your body language

Communication is essential to the development and success of any relationship whether it be personal or professional. Many would argue that it is our nonverbal communications though that speak the loudest. A firm handshake, a friendly smile, proper eye contact, your tone of voice, and even  proper posture say just as much as the words you speak. Do remain aware of how you carry yourself and what you’re communicating to the employer with your body language.

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DON’T speak negatively about your previous or current employers

Leaving a previous or current company is much like a break-up. When you begin the process of dating, or in this instance interviewing, with new people and potential partners it’s often a huge red flag when someone goes on bad mouthing their previous spouse, mate or in this case employer. One can’t help but naturally wonder, what part this individual played in the strife? Does he/she lack the ability to accept personal responsibility for their actions?And if they are not a suitable fit what backlash will I face as a result of what this person would say about my company?  Instead of bashing your previous employer find ways to express that there were differences in work culture or growth potential and emphasize that your skills and aspirations more adequately fit and compliment the company to which you are interviewing with.

 

DO ask questions

It’s a delicate dance, knowing the proper questions to ask and not ask on a first interview. Unfortunately, in an attempt to avoid this touchy tango, the most common answer to the question “Now, do you have any questions for me?” Is often, “No.” Sadly, this response reads as passive or as though you have a lack of interest or aspiration for yourself, the position, and the company. However, asking too many questions especially those not necessarily related to the position and/or centered around the, “What’s in it for me?” category are either irrelevant or premature and can either come off as rude, self centered, or that you are uninformed and unprepared for the position to which you are applying. For this reason preparation is key. Be sure to do your research and have 2-3 questions prepared for the interviewer. Questions regarding compensation, salary, vacation time, benefits, etc. should only be asked later on in the interviewing process or addressed only if the employer/interviewer brings them up.

DON’T provide too much personal information

Always be aware not to provide too much personal information. going into excessive detail about your personal hobbies and activities, family life, and experiences not related to the position can become confusing, derail you from the topic of conversation and even create more questions or concerns for the employer. Its best to moderate your answers and conversation keeping it related to the position and the company.

 

DON’T lie

Honesty is always the best policy. Say you lie on your CV or in your interview and you get the job, you might not be educated or adequately skilled for the position, perhaps you lie about your legal past and your discovered during a background check? Not only do you lose your credibility and damage your reputation you even run the risk of being found out and fired.

DO be yourself

At the end of the day YOU are the most unique and valuable commodity. There has never been nor will there ever be another you! Skills, techniques, and trades can be taught but personality and character can not. Do remember to allow the real you shine through because that is your greatest asset!

 

Bonus Do’s and Dont’s

Do follow up your interview with a email or thank you note

Don’t Curse

Do bring along extra CV’s

Don’t exude arrogance

Do relieve stress/nerves before your interview through meditation, prayer, or breathing exercises

Don’t over use perfumes and colognes

Do watch what you consume before your interview (i.e foods, drinks, smoke)

 

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Spring

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NKJV

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born,
    And a time to die;
A time to plant,
    And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
    And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
    And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
    And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
    And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
    And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
    And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
    And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
    And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
    And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
    And a time to speak;
A time to love,
    And a time to hate;
A time of war,
    And a time of peace.

Happy Spring….

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Blogging with a Ministry Mindset

I never used to think of blogging as more than an online diary where you share your thoughts and hope someone along the way likes what you have to say. But after many years of on again off again writing, I’ve learned that blogging is actually a powerful platform and a very useful tool to the body of Christ. I would even dare to go so far as to say that blogging can also a form of ministry too.

Ministry, in essence, is any biblically consistent work or service that benefits others and gives God the glory. When I began to look at my blog and posts as more than just ramblings and journal entries but as a source of demonstrating God’s goodness, sharing my faith, and bringing hope to others, a profound change occurred. As I started to view my blog as a ministry I began to treat it as such. Here are the 5 things I consider when blogging with a ministry mindset.

1: Is blogging my calling?

Each of us is called and designed for a specific purpose and God has equipped us individually to achieve that purpose by giving us various talents and gifts. For me it has always been writing and photography. I could sit for hours in my closet or under my blankets scribbling away. It was only natural that as I grew older, coming up in an age where social media ruled, that I became a blogger. When I decided to start sutanamonae.com I was very prayerful asking God not only for direction but for confirmation it was a part of the calling He had for my life.

2: Blogging from wholeness

I am not perfect, none of us are. There are some areas of my life that still need major work and other areas I am making progress in. Nonetheless when I post I always try to write from a place of healing and wholeness. I don’t claim to have all the answers, I do not give advice on topics I don’t know the answer to or have not overcome and when I fail I do try to be as transparent as one can safely be on such a public and permanent forum. Since I see this blog as a form of ministry I do not use this particular platform to vent negatively, rant unnecessarily or complain. I remember that I am a conduit for christ and this is his forum.

3: I can not give what I have not put in

As a blogger, especially when you are blogging with a ministry mindset, it is crucial to maintain your spiritual health by investing time in the word, private time with God through prayer and meditation and striving to live a life of obedience and holiness. (see 6 Keys to Spiritual Health)

4: Importance of Fellowship and Community

We all need one another in fact we were created for one another. To lean on and learn from. As a blogger I’ve found so much inspiration, encouragement and direction just by reaching out to fellow bloggers and writers in the faith. Like any ministry there are good days and challenging days. Sometimes I feel like I’m in the right niche and others I can feel entirely out of place. During those times there’s nothing like reaching out to a fellow blogger or reading a really good post that makes me recall my purpose and remember why I’ve been called to do what I do. Also, community helps to guide me, advise me, and correct me wherever I may be error.

 

5: Don’t get caught up in the numbers

At the beginning this was reaaallyyy hard for me. I used to base my posts, my blog and sometimes ashamed to say myself on the number of people liked, followed, or shared my blog. That was a killer of esteem and I was always questioning my worth, value, and purpose. The truth of it all was I was more interested in what the people said and less focused and intent on pleasing God and bringing Him glory. Once I started writing from a heart fixed on God and a desire to be obedient to His calling on my life I no longer looked for approval in numbers and likes. Whether  reaches a thousand or whether it only reaches one, it is all to the glory of God and that has made all the difference in the world.

6 Keys to Spiritual Health

I can always tell when I’m starting to get the spiritual sniffles because the evidence of my spiritual health begins to spill over into my day to day life. Symptoms often include a running mouth that finds itself gossiping and complaining. A craving for bad behaviors and unhealthy vices. Lethargy and laziness accompanied by discouragement, distractions and a headache full of lustful thoughts and negative thinking. When I begin to notice symptoms like these I know I have not been maintaining my spiritual health. Listed below are 6 keys to monitoring and maintaining a healthy spiritual life.

 

1. Meet with the Dr. (PRAYER)

Prayer is an essential component to the believers life. It is where we communicate with God by expressing our gratitude, acknowledging God’s goodness, and removing the gunk out of our lives through confession and repentance. Most of all, prayer is our act of worship and obedience to God.

  Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

2. Read the Prescription (BIBLE STUDY & DEVOTIONALS)

The word of God is our sustenance and source of life.

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God

Matthew 4:4 NIV

It is our hope, our health, our instruction, and within its pages it points to the cure for all mankind, which is Jesus Christ. The Bible is literally the God breathed, God inspired  word from heaven to us; good for use in all things we may be facing, questioning, or going through.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

2 Timothy 3:16 NLT

3. Follow the Doctors Orders (OBEDIENCE)

If we are going to live healthy spiritual and physical lives it is important that we are vigilant and obedient to follow God’s instruction and design for how we should live. Furthermore, we obey God not only because it is the wise and profitable thing to do, we obey out of our love and reverence for who He is.

“If you love me, obey my commandments.

John 14:15 NLT

4. Get Plenty of Exercise (BE A DOER OF THE WORD)

It wouldn’t prove very beneficial or profitable to have a gym membership and a personal trainer yet never lift a weight or heed the trainers counsel and instruction. The same goes for us. When we only read what the bible says yet we never take any action and put to work the principles and wisdoms of the word our spiritual lives only decline and rarely if ever improve.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.

James 1:22-24 MSG

SIDE NOTE: The promises of God, in many cases require action and obedience. “If you do this…God promises to do that.” Action is required to live whole and healthy spiritual lives. Every day we make decisions that either bring us closer to a fuller more abundant life with God by becoming more and more of the person He created and designed us to be or we drift further and further away from the completed work in us and our true identity. Every day we have to choose to put into practice what we know the Lord has called and commanded of us if we are ever going to live in the fullness He has promised to us.

5. Eat a Healthy Diet (WHAT ARE YOU CONSUMING INTO YOUR HEART, SOUL, AND MIND?)

Every moment of our lives we are constantly consuming information. Especially in a day and age where social media, television, movies, music, news and opinions are at our fingertips 24/7. Its important that we are consciously monitoring the things we are taking into our hearts and minds. From the conversations we choose to engage in to the books we read we should always ask ourselves, “Is this activity, media or substance benefiting and bringing life to myself and others or is it contrary to what I know is acceptable in the sight Of God?”

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Philippians 4:8-9 MSG

What we consume becomes a part of who we are, it has the potential to shape our lives and it will be these things that overflow from our hearts through our actions and words that will spill over into the lives of others and those around us.

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Luke 6:45 NIV

6. Get Plenty of Rest (REST AND WAIT ON THE LORD)

The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.

Lamentations 3:25 NASB

Lastly, when we are walking in faith we can find rest in knowing that God is on our side, that He is always faithful to those who trust Him. There is no need to be anxious for anything. As believers we are always allowed to pray about a matter but once given to God we are not allowed to worry about it! We rest in the faith knowing that God will always keep his promises. He is waiting on our waiting…

Yet the Lord still waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love; he will conquer you to bless you, just as he said. For the Lord is faithful to his promises. Blessed are all those who wait for him to help them.

Isaiah 30:18 TLB

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

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A Case of the Mondays

Ya know, it’s so unfortunate Monday’s  get such a bad wrap. It’s almost as if everything is destined to go wrong on a Monday huh?

Your alarm doesn’t go off at 7am so you start your day off 30 mins behind schedule. Traffic is a mess and the D train has been stuck at Penn station for the last 12 minutes with no move insight. Finally you arrive above ground rejoicing  with 15 mins left to gleefully spare. So you pop into your usual coffee shop because who are we kidding? We already know that all work and no latte makes Jack a dull boy. But there’s a problem. Your usual barista is on vacation and the newbie behind the bar has not the slightest clue what you mean when you ask for a carmel vanilla latte with 3 shots, 2  raw, whip, and extra sauce in the cup.

“Okay so is it the vanilla cream or the vanilla flavoring you want?” she hesitantly asks.

“Umm, Im not sure because I dont work here …You do! My job is two blocks away of which I am now 3 mins past due thanks to this unfortunate interaction.”

This of course is what you want to say buuuuut you dont because you have Jesus in your life today. And like every good Jedi knows His force is strong. Particularly at this very moment seeing as while you stood sardined between two armpits on the train for 45 mins you were able to get up to date on all of your YouVersion devotionals you missed over the last 5 days. (For which you kinda should be proud of because you didnt even have to use the “catch me up” button… Hurray you)

So instead you pause, then force a hopefully convincing smile, and in a sweet voice say, “The cream is fine.”
And thats Monday.

Or is it?

Sure, some days are uppers and others are downers. The cards may land in our favor or like a vegas night we dont want to remember, leave us treking home dry. We have the power to reset our day by resetting our perspective and speaking life, positivity, peace, and prosperity into the situation.

Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses. Ecclesiastes 3:1 GNT

My mother, brother, and I were running late to an event one evening and to make matters worse we were stuck behind a stalled train. With no way out on a one way street I gripped, sucked my teeth and complained. Then my mom turned to me and said,

“You dont know Tana… God could be slowing us down to save our lives from an accident up ahead.”

In that moment my mom’s perspective of the same situation, in the same car, behind the same train was utterlly and totally different than mine. I went from being frustrated and anxious to thankful and very patient.

Our perspective, when its through the eyes of positivity, goodness and Christ can take a Monday and make it feel like a Friday. Take an unpaid bill and turn it into an opportunity to grow your faith. Take the wrongdoings of another and turn it into an opportunity to demonstrate Gods love, mercy, and forgiveness. The proper perspective can even take a heartbreak or a loss and turn it into the foundation God wants to use to build something great.

Today, tomorrow, and beyond I encourage  you to change your perspective on a situation, a circumstance, or even a person that is challenging, seemingly negative, stressful, and uncomfortable. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the spiritual eyes spiritual to see things through the eyes of faith, the eyes of positivity, but most of all, through the eyes of God.

 

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17 Things Things To Accomplish in Twenty-Seventeen

I gave up on resolutions about 20 minutes ago and decided to take this puppy in a different direction. Below I’ve listed 17 things I want to accomplish this year in 2017. If I dont get to achieve them all perfectly its the heart and effort that count. Either way there’s no pressure just goals… 

(In no particular order)

1. Join a NYC church community

2. Exercise more financial responsibility.

3. Improve my physical health through exercise and healthier eatting.

4. Waste less time. Become more productive.

5. Be honest with myself and others. (even when its hard or awkward to do so.)

6. Go the extra mile in all I do.

7. Read through the entire Bible.

8. Say yes to new opportunities more often.

9. Take a class on a subject that will sharpen my passions be it writing, photography, film, or music.

10. Rebuild/Develop old and new relationships.

11. Serve in church ministry/community.

112. Become more teachable.

13. Volunteer to serve/participate in a community organization.

14. Blog/Write more consistently. 

15. Become more of a woman of integrity.

16. Have more God time than I used to.

17. Find an opportunity to share Christ with atleast 1 person everyday.

 Inauguration

Well, it is finished. The United States is now celebrating or sobbing for its 45th President Donald Trump. And it almost seems as though the world has gone mad in a sense. There’s nowhere I can go, especially here in NYC, where I don’t hear people complaining, debating, protesting, or rocking back and forth on subway cars muttering “The End Is Near Now!”

To be honest, by the looks of things, if I didn’t know God for myself I’d be looking for the next available bunker and stocking up on cans of vienna sausages and pork and beans. Fortunately for me (and my poor mother whose heart probably can’t take another Sutana antic) I do. And in knowing I have hope, I have security, I have faith and surprisingly to most I actually have peace about the whole thing.

“Gasp! But Sutana, how could you. I mean the man wants to deport immigrants and build a wall at our boarders. And what about health care benefits? Our low-income and impoverished communities like the one you’re living in now? Oh and the arts, my God the arts! Wasnt it the educational funding for music equipment and instruments the very thing that offered you the opportunity to have your very first instrument which in turn made creativity, music, art, words and expression some of the things intertwined into the very fibers that make you you today?”

Cant lie I agree with what you’re saying. In no way do I think its wrong to fight for what you believe in and stand up for what is right. In many ways I am not a supporter of many of the proclaimed changes President Trump intends to make. However, When all of this Trump business started I made up my mind that I was not going to fixate on the “America is the laughing-stock of the world” mantra, nor focus on the chaos, the riots, and the  “why was Kanye there?” of it all. Im going to fix my gaze elsewhere. I am going to look to the real ruler over all things. I my friends am going to look to God.

The bible says:

“Make your motions, cast your votes, but God has the final say.”

     -Proverbs 16:33 MSG

Let us not forget whom is really in control here. Especially as believers. We have no need to fret and fear as the world does.

Call me naive, perhaps I’ve watched one too many Disney movies as a child. If anything though, I’d like to think that at the least I am just a bit more hopeful than most. But here is an idea, and it might be a bit of a shocker: How about we just give the guy a chance and trust God for the rest. After all who knows? Perhaps he will have a massively positive influence and be a vessel to change the world for the better? I can see it now…

Peace in the Middle East, U.S. debt will decrease, and the love for our planet and all mankind will increase….

ooorrrr if not…

Then at least the most we can hope for is that this guy ain’t right.

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Hiatus…

There was a time I really used to think that going on hiatus was a bad, horrible, awful thing that you should never do… HA! That was until I went on one. For the last month or so I’ve taken a break from nearly everything it seems like. Social media, relationships, blogging, friends and family at times. I ate an abundant amount of carbs, didn’t workout at all, then again I never did, watched Game of Thrones on repeat for the 6th time and got alone with God and myself to really figure out what it is I was doing with this gift we call life.

During this time I really realized I was just doing. Doing this, doing that… but never really being anything purposeful. Growing up, in a lot of ways things just happened for me. I happened to go to an awesome college, I happened to start singing and playing guitar, I happened to fall in love with an idiot or two, I happened to move to North Carolina then to New York, then to California then to Florida and back again, all while happening to go absolutely nowhere all at the same time.

Something in me needed to change. Perhaps die is a better way of putting it. I got to a place in my life where my complacent, lackadaisical, all pray and no work attitude had to perish and I had to begin to accept the calling, the plan, the purpose and the will of God for my life.

I now live in NYC, a definite dream I’d always had since I first visited as a teenager. Not much seems to have changed on the outside, by meer glance some would say I appear to be worse off. However, I know that more than what appears to be going on externally there is something greater, more fruitful and more inspiring going on on the internally. And in due time the vine of my life will begin to blossom and the fruits will undoubtedly show.

Glad to be back…

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My Bookshelf

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Thinning: A journey to becoming rooted in Christ

      To be perfectly honest I’m somewhat of a Jon Snow when it comes to agriculture, “I know nothing.” However, today as I tuned in to Bethel.Tv live I was hit with a powerful message  given by Eric Johnson. The topic of his teaching was about evaluating how we are building our lives and what we are building it on. The teaching went on to distinguish the two places we can construct our lives: on sand (earthly things) or on solid rock (Jesus). When the storms of life come, one will remain (house built on a rock) and one will perish (one built on sand)

Being that Bethel church is way up in the forested mountains of Redding California, it didn’t shock me when Eric went on to describe a case where a seemingly perfect and healthy tree had fallen in the woods. Curious as to why he asked a friend who then explained that he had been watching this particular tree for some some time over a year. Because the area had been thinned out, which basically means selected trees were intentionally cut down in order to improve the growth rate or health of the other remaining trees, the surrounding trees that shielded this tree  from the wind were removed it’s root system was not deep and strong enough to withstand the winds on its own. Being unaccustomed to the elements, lacking strength and depth the tree; although healthy, was overcome and fell.

The lesson, sometimes God will “thin out your life,” remove people and things that maybe you’ve placed all of your dependence and faith in in order to test your ability to withstand the winds of life, to bring attention to these weak areas and strengthen and deepen your root system and dependence in Him.

My story, I came of age in church. I went to a small private type of high school, geez I even went to an all women’s private college. I used to laugh and joke about it with strangers “Ive been sheltered my whole life!” While I’ve seen some things and experienced some hardships coming of age in this caaaarrrrazaay world, I can’t really say I’ve never not had someone, be it my mom, my friends, my pastor heck even my bf to fall back on when the storms of life and winds of tests and trials started to come upon me. Until, well, now.

     Today I live in Orlando Fl. Hot, lizard filled, flying roach Florida… (no diss Florida) and I had never in my life felt more far away and alone. For a while I felt like God was punishing me. While I am well aware that much of my disobedience (can’t even sugar coat it) is what landed me in this predicament in the first place, I always knew that punishment wasn’t it. There was more. Much more. It was discipline. One day, as I cried woe is me for the 16th time… I clearly heard God speak to me, this period in my life wasn’t a punishment it was a pruning. Yes, I was being corrected, but I was also being developed.

“Because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” – Hebrews 12:6

    This was a time in my life where I was forced to face a decision that could either impact me for better or for worse for all of eternally.

Am I all in or am I all out?

Will I continue to build sandcastles and call them home or set my foundation on the rock?

Will I surrender to this process or will I kick and scream in rebellion?

(yeah there were a lot of questions..)

Short story… I surrendered. And I couldn’t be more thankful. Today I am more aware of God and myself than ever before. Knowing I’m at a place where I’m not completely alone, but I’m also not reliant on anyone else to be my savior and shield. Im learning to stand in Christ for myself. By no means am I all great and dandy now, I’ve got many miles to go. but I’m also not where I used to be and I’m grateful for that. Today I actually value my progress, and what little bit I have I don’t ever want to give it away for trash again. I dig deeper for the sake and for the love of Christ and better knowing my Father. Not because it’s part of my ministry prerequisites, my small group assignments or out of sheer obligation “weelllll, I better get today’s proverbs in before i go to bed. siigghh”

       The fruits from my pruning are sprouting and sweet. I’m a part of a fantastic new church community that thrives on the gospel of truth and fills me with inspiration like never before. I’ve gotten to reconnect with my father after over 5 years and my older sister whom before now I’d only met once. I have gotten a chance to see those people and things I once thought I could never live without for they really were… (jaw dropping, what was I thinking?!) and I’ve gotten a chance to get healthy in more ways than one. But most importantly, I did it for me and I’m doing it with God. (these are just to name a few)

Just a question: Have any of you ever gone through a pruning or thinning period in your life? How did it make you feel? What did you learn from it? How has your life changed for the better now?

Resources:

To watch Eric Johnson’s Bethel Sermon Click Here (it’s totally free just create a quick login to gain access)

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