Thursday, May 14, 2015

Fear, Lack, Faith, Trust

Grace and Peace Loved Ones!

There are some words that most people would not use to describe me, painfully shy and fearful.  These two words have dictated my existence so strongly that on occasion I have not been able to function.  How can that possibly be?  I travel hundreds of miles singing for the Lord for a handful or a few hundred. And me, shy?  I have learned to make myself talk to people I don’t know.  Why?  Because I know that I am called to do a greater work, to introduce the Lord to those who don’t know Him and to encourage those who feel lost and broken.

From the moment I was born, singing has been my life’s dream.  I cut my teeth on the arts, acting, dancing, music and writing and I have longed to use these artistic gifts for the glory of God since I became a Christian in my mid-twenties.  But even before I became a Christian, I was so fearful to pursue my dreams that I missed opportunities, never took chances and stayed silent when I should have spoken out.  Before I was even called to sing for the Lord, the devil worked to destroy my confidence so that by the time I came to know the Lord I still was fearful to pursue my artistic dreams for His glory.

But not anymore! I’ve spent the last year doing all types of things that I would never do because it made me fearful.  I recently auditioned to sing the National Anthem for the Jacksonville Suns, I was so scared, I made myself sick, but by the power of the Lord I did it anyway.  Last year I entered a showcase sponsored by the Christian Women in Media, I didn’t win the grand prize, but I did make the top ten!  And this year, I have decided I won’t hold back, anything and everything that I’ve dreamed of doing, that the Lord gives me the go ahead to do, I am going to do.  Fear will have no place, because God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind.

So many times we let fear, or lack, or age or doubt keep us from the victory that the Lord has in store.  I’ve had to develop the tools to break past these limitations and truly trust in the Almighty God who believes in me more then I believe in myself.  Come on over to the blog on May 20th, June 1st, June 16th and July 1st and check out my series on the 4 Things That Keep You From Achieving Your God Given Dream.  There is much work to do, let’s not let our selves get in the way of God’s perfect will for our lives!

Don’t forget to visit the blog at www.naimajohnston.blogspot.com to follow a special series on 4 Things That Keep Your From Achieving Your God Given Dreams!

How You Can Support Us!
As you know we are in ministry fulltime and we are always seeking ways to grow the ministry, meet the needs of others and be of service to the world.  Each month we are going to offer a special product for a special price for our newsletter readers!  This month, we are offering my book, Confessions of a Big Girl for only $12.00 including shipping!  If you'd like an autographed copy, send $12.00 viawww.paypal.com to naimasbrokenbox@yahoo.com!  Or give the office a call at 937-367-4303 and we can take your order over the phone!

We Need Your Shoes!
We are collecting shoes for the Haitians that live in abject poverty on the sugar cane plantations in the Dominican Republic.  Want to donate a pair of shoes? Email me at naima@ministryofnaima.com for instructions on how you can donate.

How Can I Serve You?
Planning a women’s ministry event?  Interested in a house concert or special music for your church event?  Need a guest worship leader?  Please contact me, I’m now taking requests for bookings for July through December 2015 and I would love to be of service to you.  Send me an email atnaima@ministryofnaima.com for more info or to discuss details.

Many Blessings!  Now go out and achieve your calling! 

Naima

Friday, March 13, 2015

3 Power Keys

I can be my own worst enemy.  Clinging onto past mistakes, missed opportunities, fear and doubt.  It’s almost as if I forget the God I serve has all power in heaven and earth in His hands. What would it mean to truly grasp the promises of the Lord in 2015, to forget about the past, overcome the fear and move past the pain?  That’s my heart’s desire.  I believe I’ve stopped myself, been my own worst enemy way to long.  I’ve been praying for clarity and asking for wisdom and these three things have come up in my searching for total freedom in God.  I like to call them my power keys!

Power Key One

Leave the past in the past.  We’re always focusing on worrying about tomorrow, but in truth isn’t our worry about tomorrow often based on what happened yesterday?  Let’s all sing a great Disney tune and simply, “Let It Go!”  If you fallen short, God forgives, if you are harboring guilt, you can’t change the past, if you’ve been hurt, more then likely the other party has already moved on.  If it didn’t happen quite the way you thought it would, trust that God has a bigger and better plan, after all, His ways are high above our own.

Power Key Two

Worship before work.  At this moment I have 8 things on my “To Do List” and that’s not counting all the things I have to do on a daily basis that are not on the list.  Important things like, the laundry, quality time with my husband, playing with the puppies, working on my booking schedule, writing, practice, ministry events… you get the drift.  It is easy for me to get overwhelmed and lost under a mound of paperwork, songs that need to be practiced or dinner that needs to be cooked.  And sadly I must admit that I have allowed the pressure to build that I skimp on the most important priority – my time with the Lord.  I justify it with – He’s always there or He understands or I’ll chat with Him as I lay down for bed.  Then I find myself weak, weary, and worn down.

I know from past experience that the Lord can accomplish more in ten minutes then I can accomplish in an entire day.  So I’ve adopted the attitude of putting Him first and what doesn’t get done, just doesn’t get done.  He knows what needs to get done and by when and He is so faithful to always make a way.  I choose this year to worship before I work!

Power Key Three

Victory is right around the corner, if only you believe.  We know faith without works is dead.  You have the faith, you’ve covered it all in prayer, now simply go for it and trust that the power, resources and support you need will be supplied by an all mighty God who has your best interest in heart.  Victory is the ability to overcome opposition – it is the small steps taken consistently that build up to produce breakthrough!  Be consistent, be a person of action, and cover it all with prayer, praise and worship.

What Power Keys or Faith Nuggets are you holding on to for 2015?  I’d love for you to share!  drop me a note either via email or leave me a comment on my blog page or my Facebook page – www.facebook.com/ministryofnaima


Planning a women’s ministry event?  Interested in a house concert or special music for your church event?  Need a guest worship leader?  Please contact me, I’m now taking requests for bookings for 2015 and I would love to be of service to you.  Send me an email at naima@ministryofnaima.com

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Prayer for the Singles

A Prayer tor the Singles

February, the month of flowers, proposals and lots of chocolate, which as a big girl is soooo not a good thing!  As a single woman I remember running the gamut on emotions during this time of year.  There were the, I’m so depressed moments and the, I hate men moments.  Which were often followed by the, I don’t care if I’m alone moments, the I’m so jealous I can turn green moments and the moment that signifies you’ve made your peace with Christ,  I’m just gonna hang out with my girls cause I’m alone and I’m going to have a good time, even if I feel a little sad sometimes. 

Coming to terms with being single is easier said then done for some of us.  I don’t know if I ever came to terms with the crushing loneliness that sometimes invaded my space.  I never fully made peace with my singleness and I know that it is often preached in many singles groups – make peace and then “The One!” will show up.  But it didn’t happen like that for me.  

Instead I simply surrendered with a prayer that went – “I don’t want to be single, You know I don’t want to be single, and You desire truth from the inward part so I’m telling You that I don’t like the thought of being single all my life.  But I know You know what’s best for me, and I trust that You will do right by me. So if being single is what’s best for me, I trust You to carry me through.”

I meet Jon not long after that and we were married in less then nine months.  What was I doing when I met my husband?  I was singing – doing what I was called to do.  After 18 years of waiting I get to celebrate, but for many a dark Valentine’s Day Jesus sustained my heart.  I pray He do the same for you if you’ve been waiting for a few years or many years, if you are a widow and desire a mate, a divorcee or a new Christian.   Be about your Father’s business and let His plan unfold.


Check out my stories of singleness and being newly married in, Lessons From The Back Seat 

And in the meantime, I'm praying for and with you! If you desire a mate and have been waiting and would me to add you to my prayer list, leave me a comment or shoot me an email!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Numbers of Love


The year of no goals… wow, it’s been a difficult one so far.  I guess I never realized how many goals I actually set.  For example, in one of the online mentoring groups that I am a part of, at the start of each week they ask us to share what our goals are.  Mine usually revolve around the number of bookings I’d like to secure.  How unaccomplished I feel when at the end of the week it’s time for our report back and I have nothing to report. 

Furthermore, how aimless I feel stating at the start of each week, “Well Lord, where would you have me go?” and often feeling like the question is just hanging in the air.  Not to say that bookings have not been coming in or that I am not seeking new connections, networks and new opportunities. I am!  But it’s been hammered in my head so many times that the without a goal I’m unfocused and lacking ambition.  And when it comes to sharing the saving love of Christ, the hope of things unseen, the comfort for the broken… I am not out there just drifting in the wind!

Even with hosting the 1st Creative Christian Women’s Online Conference this past week.  I had in my mind the number of registrants I wanted to obtain.  This specific number signified to me success, financial success, among other things.  I wrote the number down and placed on my prayer alter and then remembered, I wasn’t setting goals.  My prayer, had to change from, “Lord send 50 people to attend the conference.” to “Lord send the people ordained for this event.”

 Needless to say, we didn’t make my goal, but we sure made the Lord’s goal.  And what was the lesson in all of this?  Things I already knew but often struggle with.  Numbers don’t define success, obedience to the Lord’s word does.  It doesn’t matter how many people show up, you do the same for one as you would for a thousand.  You give your best no matter what the outcome is going to be.


Because the God we serve loves us so much, that He would have someone spend hours planning a conference that might only change the life of one person.  And in the end, with that kind of love pursuing us, isn’t it better to follow His definition of success instead of wasting time setting up our own goals?

How do you define success? I'd love for you to leave your comments!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Year of No Goals

2014… what a year of trials, valleys and rocky places, I am so thankful that I made it over with my faith and my strength in tact.  And it seems that I am not the only one who had a year that left them just a bit battered and bruised. But let’s not rehash it, let’s shake it off and move forward with our faces lifted towards the sky, standing on the promises of the Lord.

The New Year is a time to set your resolutions, personal, ministry and business goals, mapped out an in depth action plan.  Every year I toil over my personal goals, spend hours making a map, figuring out the plan, and every year I come up feeling like I fell short. I pass through the same places and feel like I’m making no difference.

But not this year… this year is the year of no goals.  I actually started talking to Jon about this several months ago sharing how depressed I felt when I hadn’t actually arrived where I thought I should arrive. 

The Bible tells us in Habakkuk 2: Then the LORD answered me and said, "Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run."For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.…

Well, I’ve written my vision for 2015 – To use music and education to lift up the name of Jesus so that all men may be drawn unto Him.  I’m not setting any goals, I’m not making any elaborate plans, I am simply going to wake up each morning and ask the Lord, what would you have me do today? 

Now I’m not suggesting everyone take this approach, I think goal setting is good. Goals give focus and direction.  When accomplished they bring great motivation and personal satisfaction.  So do set your goals.  But for me, after years of not seeming to meet my personal goals, I’ve come to realize that either something is wrong with the goals I’m setting, my approach is incorrect, or my goals are simply that – my goals, not the goals that the Lord has designed for me. 

There are still projects and plans in place, don’t get me wrong.  I plan to get back to the basics, spend more time singing and leading worship as the Lord opens doors.  The new CD is coming out and I want to share that with the world.  And the new book is done to, Lessons From The Back Seat or How I Learned to Become a Wife.  But I’ve not set any goals in regards to how many books I want to sell or where I’d like to sing this year.  I’m just going to knock on doors and go through them as the Lord opens them, I going to spend more time praying and seeking Him then promoting things and I’m only going to work on projects that He nudges me to work on.  A different way to approach building a ministry for sure, but I think that if I keep the vision central in my sight – To lift Him Up, I’ll achieve greater things then what I can put down on paper.

I’m off on the adventure of a lifetime, and there will be plenty of updates, so come share in the mayhem and let’s lift up the Name of Jesus.  No goals on paper, just a desire to follow where He leads and bless those He puts me in front of.

Would Love Your Feedback!
What do you think of me not setting goals this year?  I’d love your prayers and feedback, drop me a note either via email or leave me a comment on my blog page or my Facebook page – www.facebook.com/ministryofnaima  I’d love to hear from you and I’d love your prayers!

New Book! 
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of my new book – Lessons FromThe Back Seat (Or How I Learned To Be A Wife) from Amazon!

How Can I Serve You?

Planning a women’s ministry event?  Interested in a house concert or special music for your church event?  Need a guest worship leader?  Please contact me, I’m now taking requests for bookings for 2015 and I would love to be of service to you.  Send me an email at naima@ministryofnaima.com

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Gladys, Naomi and My Great Hanukkah Memory



When I was around 9, Mrs. Korman, our Music teacher taught us the Hanukkah song at PS 41.  That year during the Hanukkah season, my Aunt Harriet, who was also my tap dance teacher took me and a few other students to do a performance at a primarily Jewish nursing home.  She insisted my cousin and I sing the Hanukkah song for the residents.  I’m not sure how Aunt Harriet even knew that we knew that song, it may have been because I was always singing anything and everything all the time!  And that song was so joyful and bouncy.

I remember we sang the song with great gusto and got a standing ovation afterwards.  The lovely people there hugged us afterwards and gave us cookies.  They said we made their day and brought smiles to their faces.  Here we were, two little black girls from the Bronx who had no idea what we were really singing about joined hands with elderly Jewish people in a time of cross cultural celebration – a song really can bring people together.  Maybe we should sing more and talk less!  Well today I know the true meaning of Hanukkah, and I am blessed because of it.  

Music has the ability to transcend all... The Lord Himself, sings over us as stated in scripture.  Right after I posted this on Facebook, a friend sent me this amazing video of a Jewish woman so determined to be a blessing to those who were suffering from Alzheimer that she would sing to them. Naomi Feil even sang Christian songs to Gladys Wilson a woman with no memory, locked inside her own mind, due to the ravages of the disease.  But through Naomi's singing a miracle occurred...


The power or music and the power of love, and the ultimate power of God.  Over 30 years later I still remember every lyric to the Hanukkah Song...

The Hanukkah Song

Hanukkah oh, Hanukkah
Come light the Menorah
Let’s have a party will all dance the Horah
Gather round the table,
We’ll give you a treat!

Shiny tops to play with
Latkes to eat!

And as we are playing
The candles are burning low
One for each night,
They shed a sweet light

To remind us of days long ago… 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Running In Circles

Every once in a while I come across a book that changes my entire mindset. There is of course the Bible – our living, breathing, guidebook to life. My favorite by Bruce Wilkerson’s, The Dream Giver, which inspired me to move out of the land of familiar, push past being ordinary and live the Big Dream that the Giver of Dreams gave me. Walking on Water by Madeline E’Lengle is another favorite, it inspired me to look for God in every place, in every moment, and in every person, and to capture these glimpses of glory in the songs I write. 

Currently, I’m reading, The Circle Maker by Pastor Mark Batterson.  Batterson has challenged me to draw circles around my prayers like the first century Jewish Sage, Honi.  During a devastating drought in Israel, Honi, drew a circle in the sand, stepped inside and made his intentions known, he would not leave the circle until the Lord answered his bold request for rain.  Now that must have taken some faith, to determine that you were not going to give up until you heard from God!  And as Honi prayed, the rain began to fall.

I don’t think you can get that kind of response from the Lord without being truly intimate with Him. I mean it hadn’t rained in over a year when Honi started to beseech the Father. He had to be praying before he stepped into the circle.

We need diligent prayer like that in our lives. You have to pray long and pray hard and never give up as Batterson tells us in his book.  Drawing a circle is about trusting that the God of the Universe will answer your prayers and your responsibility is to keep praying, keep believing, keep seeking, keep thanking, keep praising until the manifestation of the prayer stands before you.  .


I am now daily drawing prayer circles around my marriage, this ministry, my family, prayer requests others have given me, this nation, the world, Israel, salvation, healings, big dreams that are being birthed in my heart to serve the Lord and His people.  With Godly intention and faith filled purpose I am running in circles because I am determined to hear well done good and faithful servant! No more limp prayers that go over the same ground… nope, I want to stand in the circle and see the rain!