Welcome to Hanging Out With Jesus

...Where you will find resources to help you grow in love with God, your neighbor, and yourself.

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Hi, I’m Lyvita Brooks, a Christian with a busy schedule, seeking daily to spend time with Jesus, just like you. This site is designed to equip and encourage you to become all that God’s called you to do. It contains a devotional-style blog, podcast (Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast) and YouTube Channel where we help you let go of “stuff” hindering you from growing and moving forward in Christ Jesus. As Sojouners, together, let’s pave the path for being intentional and daily walking and spreading the Gospel.  


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Recent Posts

Parasitic Sin...What?

2/24/2021 9:00:00 AM BY Lyvita Brooks

It never amazes me what God has written in His word, to us. I have wondered why sin is so powerful in keeping us at bay from seeing our disobedience to God. Hebrews 12:1-3 from the Message Bible allowed the Holy Spirit to highlight the answer, clearly. See if you would agree?

 “Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”

Whoa! Deep huh?!

The words I want you to focus on are “parasitic sins”. What does that mean? Well, here it is used as an adjective to describe sin. Sin is like a parasite it hangs on to humans. 

The result, effect of it, can devastate and even take your life. We live in a culture where sin can easily be excused according to ones’ belief. For example, if the cashier gives you back too much change, some will think that was a blessing because they needed that money while others will return it because they know it’s wrong, it’s stealing. Now if you are questioning this example or making up other scenarios to justify or make right what it stealing, then you have let sin infest you in this area of your life. Time to let go of that parasitic sin. 

A good example of a parasitic sin is constantly dwelling on “Why and Why Not” questions. They grab hold of your very being, soul, squeezing all the good out of you because you want an answer now or can’t accept the answer thats given to you. For example, “Why God, did so-&-so have to die during the pandemic?” or “Why God didn’t you warn me that something like this was going to happen?” or “God you said you were going to take care of me, so why did I lose my business and not so-&-so who doesn’t even believe in You are still in business? 

Questions like that can turn your faith upside down, resulting in doubt, disbelief, and backsliding (turning from God). Your heart becomes hardened against God. Instead of sharing, out- loud, to God in prayer and standing on His word (God will never leave or forsake you), you give up believing a lie because it didn’t turn out the way you expected. God didn’t promise you a rose garden, prosperity, or constant happiness. What He did promise you is that He will be with you in every area of your life. He sent the Holy Spirit here to guide and comfort you, but if you don’t crack open that Bible enough and meditate on His word or study it, then you will miss what He is to saying to you about you and your situation, at that time.

Be honest with God and stop holding back how you really feel. Talk to Him but also WAIT and LISTEN. 

The enemy, satan is hoping you don’t crack open that Bible or go to sleep whenever a person is preaching, teaching, or sharing the Gospel (live, virtual, TV or internet).

Here’s another good example of a parastic sin. You go to a Bible class and don’t do any of the work during the week, but try to look “studious” when you get to the class. Your favorite line is: “I’m just human,” or “I was just busy.” Please give it a rest. We are all humans and busy in our own ways, but that isn’t an excuse for saved folk. That’s a cop-out. And shows a lack of trust and selfishness.

So the question is, what do you do when you “find yourself flagging” in your Faith? What should you do when you identify a parasitic sin(s)?

  1. Acknowledge that sin
  1. Admit that you need deliverance by confessing it to God. Seriously, share what’s in your heart with God. Get that desire for that sin out of you.
  1. Repent by asking Holy Spirit to guard you against temptations and take that desire from you.
  1. Review, again, how Jesus overcame sin. Then follow Him.
  1. Remember your reward… Hanging Out With Jesus in Heaven.

Parasitic sins may seem harmless, but don’t be fooled. Parasites draw their nutrients from a living host. Sin grows within a living host. Us! It feeds off of US! The old nature loves this stuff.

The new nature is what we need to feed. Staying in God’s word, meditating on scripture, helps fortify your heart to deciding which side you will serve whole-heartily. Feed it. Rejoice in knowing that you are a Child of God. Stir up the gifts within you. Share the Gospel. Seek God and His righteousness, daily. Live a life that is on the side of Christ Jesus. 

You will find life everlasting. 

 

 

MONTHLY OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH - MARCH

30 Day Bible Reading & Prayer Calendar Downloadable: March Bible Reading & Prayer Calendar  Opportunities to share comments and ask questions on Instagram and private Facebook group. Click on guide to participate.

Spiritual Disciplines discussed on Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast: Prayer and Praise and Worship

Shalom!

8 Things to Stimulate Your Brain & Strengthen Your Body

2/11/2021 7:45:00 AM BY Lyvita Brooks

I wonder do we use 100% of our brains. Here’s a reflection written by my mother.

25% OFF

By Verdell Reese

Am I living my life to its fullest or am I 25% off?

Do I feel 100% today?

Yesterday I felt tired. Did I lose 25%?

My sister made me angry 

I felt less than 25% off.

What happens to my 100% if I don’t use it up every day?

If I have a very happy day, will I use up the balance?

What decreases my %? 

Is it stress, emotions or intellect?

The relationship between emotions and intellect can cause mental stress

If I use only my intellect all day, will I use 100%?

If I use only my emotions all day, will I lose 25%?

If I could find a way to combine my intellect with my emotions, without stress? Would I be able to achieve 100% or would I still be 25% OFF?

©LRW Publication, LLC

Are you living to your fullest potential? I’d like to change the question a little? Are you using 100% of your brain? In answer to my question, EVERYBODY uses 100% of their brain. (Unless something is impeding it.) It can occur all at the same time or may not, but you use every part of your brain, at one time or another, during the day or while sleeping. One thing that scientist can agree on is that they don’t know everything about the brain.  

What I do know, most of us want to live with being mentally competent and physically mobile. Therefore, to live to our fullest potential, we need a healthy brain.

Here are 8 things that may help stimulate your brain and keep you physically fit: (And yes it is for all ages.)

  1. Be curious. Never stop studying the Bible and asking God questions. Even King Herod and large crowds during Jesus’ time were curious about Him and wanted to see miracles. Where is your fascination about the things of God? Luke 23:8; John 12:9.
  1. Think positive. Be Grateful. Be Forgiving. God knows the capability of your brain. Remember He made it, therefore, He knows what’s best for it. Philippians 4:8, God even tells you what to dwell on and not only to keep you mentally stimulated, but to increase your faith, prayer life, and love towards Him. Proverbs 17:22; Philippians 4:6, 13; Jeremiah 29:11; Ephesians 4:31-32; Matthew 21:22.
  1. Exercise regularly. Just think, God gave you that body for a reason. Are you taking care of it? Is it at optimal condition or just OK? Jesus gave you His all. There is something about moving that keeps us alert, sharp and going forward. Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.” Those who have health concerns, always talk to your doctor first, because they will be better able to suggest exercises or none. Be wise in your decision here.
  1. Memorize Scripture. Meditate on Scripture. This not only stimulates your mind, but it causes God’s word to stay fresh within you. Psalm 119:11; Joshua 1:8; Colossians 3:16; Psalm 119:9; 2 Timothy 3:16; Matthew 4:4
  1. Eat healthy. Include foods that stimulate the brain. God gave us good food back in Genesis 1:29, but sin happened, and now that includes other things, like meat, sweets, etc. Choose what you eat wisely. Any foods you find causing health concerns, like too much gas, a constant cough, then talk to your doctor about. It is good that a man eats, drinks and enjoys his toil because after all it is a gift from God. Ecclesiastes 2:24-26.
  1. Keep challenging yourself. Stir up your gifts within you. Do new things. Practice spiritual disciplines you learn from Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast. Hebrews 10:24-25; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Thessalonians 3:13; Colossians 4: 5-6; John 16:33; Ephesians 4:11-16.
  1. Get fresh air and sunshine, daily. This is a great way to start your day. 
  1. Sleep. Stop trying to burn the candle on both ends. Also remember napping is OH SO SWEET! Try one, sometimes, or even take a lunch break and do nothing but eat slowly, taking in nature’s delights.

With all that said, sometimes you can’t accomplish the above without the support of others. We are in a season where being enclosed can become challenging, break the monotony and ask a friend to help you accomplish one of the above. Come up with creative ways to meet besides on Zoom or over the phone. For example, social distancing while sitting in your parked cars, in the driveway, can be an option. Think outside the common. Be safe.

MONTHLY OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH - FEBRUARY

Book to read:

Hey God, Can We Talk?: Real-Life God Encounters for Real-Life Circumstances by Sarah Bowling

Note: I’m interviewing her next month. If you’d like to ask her specific questions about the book or share a comment, then send them to lyvitabrooks.com before March 1. Your question or comment may be included it in the upcoming episode in April.

Bible Study: Elijah by Priscilla Shrier (starts Feb 16 check out her website)

Spiritual Disciplines discussed on Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast:

Accountability Partners  and Confession and Self-Examination

 

FREE Downloadable: Personal Prayer Retreat Guide

 

Scripture Writing Prompt

After reading Matthew 25:14-30, is there one gift that God’s given you that you aren’t using to honor Him or bless others? What is it and why not? How can you make a change so that you are using it to honor God and bless others because you love Him?

If you are honoring God and blessing others, are you enjoying it or has it become a burden? Why or why not? What do you have to do to make adjustments, in order to make this a reality in your life? Would an accountability partner help you reach your goal(s)?

Note: Share your comments below to bless others.

Shalom!

Personal Prayer Retreat & Guide Info

1/28/2021 10:40:00 AM BY Lyvita Brooks

Steps to Planning a Personal Prayer Retreat

Information on types of Personal Prayer Retreats resources & supports:

Click here for a FREE copy of Personal Prayer Retreats

 

Nine steps to planning and scheduling a personal retreat:

1. Purpose of retreat

2. Type of retreat

3. Retreat activities

4. Set time and date for retreat

5. Locate a place

6. Schedule it

7. Write schedule with times and activities

8. Pack to leave

9. End of retreat

 

Information on types of Personal Prayer Retreats: Click Here

from Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast - Episode #22 - How Personal Retreats became 1st Saturdays

Enjoy!

Shalom.