Ready For Marriage
It always amazes me when I hear couples/singles say they are ready for marriage. I sometimes sit back at weddings, while holding my husband’s hand, praying and hoping that the couple who has chosen to wed will have the strength to pursue after the type of marriage that falls in line with the word of God. That, along their journey, they will discover what works for them and that they won’t fall under the pressure of what the world says they should/shouldn’t do in their marriage. Read More
Having A Strong Support System
There is something to having someone in your life that is there to witness your various stages of growing up. We have Mothers, Fathers, Sisters and Brothers, longtime friends, in addition to relatives who have been there along our journey to see our many victories and setbacks. New relationships and then breakups. While also seeing moments of great loss and gain. They have been assigned to you by either silently watching or being verbally active in how you are to get through life.
Thank God for their presence in our lives because they are the ones who will undeniably say that “we lived….we existed”, that they were there at a particular time in history when you accomplished your goals. Discovered who you were. Expanded your family. Built your empire, and reached your dreams. Read More
This Holiday Season
Philippians 4:12-13 NIV
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Being able to be content in whatever season you’re presently in is a constant attempt to preserve your peace, hope, and faith in God. It can be a struggle, especially, when this holiday season is quickly approaching. Remember, that you are still blessed and highly favored; while walking the malls, watching TV advertisements/commercials and seeing people being able to purchase every little thing their hearts desire.
The excess of materialistic possessions, the openness to go after and retrieve the items that they want, while you may very well be in a season of lack. This can be hard to bear because you might not have the ability to do those things or you might even be struggling this year to put dinner on the table.
God loves you and doesn’t want you to get emotionally entangled with what the world puts before you. He wants you to be empowered through the above scripture and understand that you can either choose to look around grumbling and complaining about what you don’t have… stressing out… getting angry… being restless or you can choose to be “Content”. Read More
Renovations of the Heart and Mind
How can we find excitement in being the church again?
If you consider the life of Nehemiah, you can acknowledge that he was a man who dedicated his life to the Lord. He understood what pleased God and desired to help others develop a stronger foundation in their faith. The short version of his story is that Nehemiah was aware that the Temple in Jerusalem was being reconstructed. He knew that there was no wall to protect the city, so he asks the king if he could go back to Jerusalem to help rebuild the wall. The king grants his request and sends him with all the supplies that he would need to get the job done. Nehemiah was met with a lot of opposition but was able to mobilize the people of Jerusalem to assist in the process. He assigned workers to work on different sections of the wall (everyone participated in one way or another) and he was able to accomplish the very thing he set out to do.
As I reflected upon this story, I can see how lack of motivation, awareness, and perseverance could delay victory. Read More
A Lifetime of Love
Psalm 103:8-10 NIV
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”
As Valentine’s Day is approaching, I can’t help but think about the men and women who have been wounded by their significant other. This day is generally set apart for all those who are in love. We go out to dinner, purchase flowers, a box of chocolate and give meaningful gifts. We write our letters, send our texts and we take the time to choose the perfect card, one that describes our hearts. Yet, in the midst of all this, there are some who will struggle to enjoy this special day.
When you get married or enter into a relationship, you have the intention to remain committed to the one you’re with. You never aim to cause harm but when temptation comes and sin abounds, the love you have can be tested. The topic of “Cheating” is a sensitive area within the body of Christ. You’re not going to hear much about it on the pulpit but it’s one of the many topics that need to be discussed. Read More
Keeping “Yes-Men” At A Distance
It’s always great to have those in your life that will stand behind you no matter what. They will support you, your journey, your calling, and path but when push comes to shove and important decisions have to be made, we tend to become overly reliant upon their words and desperate for their approval. The Bible often speaks of the frailty of man, our foolishness, our corrupt ways, our tendency to be both self-seeking and vain. These are all areas people can identify with and each of us has to become more diligent to not falling into traits that are not of God. It’s a very real struggle and the trusted people within our lives are there to help keep us from stumbling while also encouraging us to remain focused, committed and humble.
Proverbs 27:6 AMP states “Faithful are the wounds of a friend (who corrects out of love and concern), But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful [because they serve his hidden agenda.] Read More
Faith and Obedience Over Fear
One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned within my walk as a Christian is that you don’t have to force the things of God. When you’re in alignment with His plans for your life, things will flow naturally. Yes, there will be times when you will have to have unwavering faith in God and trust Him above your fears but it’s in these moments where we get to see His brilliance magnified in our lives. We can’t account for everything but God never misses a step, so as He’s orchestrating the events in our lives, He’s making sure that we remain on track, inching closer to our destination. No matter how uncomfortable our journey may feel, as He’s growing and stretching us, we should always be prepared to answer His call. At His request, we should be able to respond in obedience and complete the task at hand, but all too often, we limit ourselves by thinking God can’t use us in the present state we’re in. Read More
I once heard a woman preach about the name Jesus, she looked beautiful in her Sunday outfit ready to preach up a storm. You could tell she was excited to present her revelation about Him to the congregation. As she began to speak, she started moving back in forth on the stage. She started clapping her hands and stomping her feet and shouting the name of Jesus for all to hear. Her enthusiasm and love for Him came through loud and clear, she obviously had gone through many situations where she experienced Him actively moving in her life.
She had the joy of the Lord, that when she referenced Him, she giggled and smiled and threw her hands up as pure as could be. Even as the music played, she danced and sang and encouraged others to do the same. Her childlike abandonment was inspiring because it didn’t matter what others were doing, as she preached, she continued to go forward in spite of who responded to her or not. Read More
Right Place, Wrong Set Of Circumstances
One early morning my husband and I drove ourselves over to my parent’s house. It was September, and we were preparing to go out of town to celebrate my 30th birthday. We were tired and had our jackets and hats on. We were sitting in our car around 3:30 in the morning when a suspicious car slowly passed by.our car. (You see, we were waiting for my parents to open their door so we could go inside to sit before they dropped us off at the airport.)
As we glanced over at the car passing by us, we noticed that there were two white men in the front seats. We instantly became nervous by the situation.
What made matters worse is that after the car passed us, the men put their car in reverse and pulled up next to us. They proceeded to get out of the car and rushed towards our car. It happened so quickly……we noticed that they were mid-aged men with bald heads (so, of course, our minds went straight to white supremacists because of their overall look/vibe.) They flashed lights in our car, we couldn’t even see their faces and they began shouting out questions that we couldn’t even answer as quickly as they were firing off. Read More
When The Holy Spirit Speaks
We were on a family vacation to Universal Studios in Florida, it was my niece’s first time going and we were so thrilled to share this experience with her. After, enjoying a few days in the park we were to head back to my grandfather’s house. We began the process of checking out of our hotel and got on the road. There we were, just the four of us in the car (my husband, my niece, a young boy and myself) and on our way back my niece had to go to the bathroom. So we pulled over to the side of the road to make some adjustments and while we were there I opened my car door and heard the Holy Spirit say “Don’t step in the grass.”
I paused for a second, as though to double check on what I just heard, but I knew it was Him. I heard His voice as clear as could be but I ignored it and proceeded to take my niece out of the car to switch out her clothing.
I didn’t want to seem prissy, as though I was too dainty to step outside the car into the grass so, in hopes of taking a step towards breaking that perspective of me, I got out of the car. Read More
You Are More Than Your Sin
If you think about it, what if God searched you today? What would He find? Would He find you doing the things that are pleasing to Him or fulfilling your own selfish desires? God wants us to be cleansed and free from the constraints of sin but we often find ourselves doing and saying things that keep us tied to sins darkness. To remain in right standing with God and to continue to have uninterrupted fellowship with Him, we must become even more familiar with both conviction and having a heart of true repentance. Daily our brothers and sisters wrestle with private issues that make them run away from the presence of God, and instead of seeking help from the one who can deliver them and set them free, they choose to hide.
Truth is, the moment of repentance often comes at the time of sins exposure, and when you abuse the grace that God has given you, to continue living a lifestyle of sin, you are deciding to forfeit God’s peace in exchange for sin’s shame. Read More
When Your Testimony Is A Surprise
I’ve never been one to like surprises. The experience of it has mostly given me anxiety. I don’t do well with large crowds or situations where I have to be at the forefront. I like to be behind the scenes and move without being visible. Like an assassin, they move swiftly and without a trace. Or even like a stage manager, who organizes the backstage area and helps the production flow, those who are part of the production know that they’re there but those in the front of the house don’t see them until the end of the curtain call.
As for me, God has always spoken of His desire to want to bless and even surprise me, yet the thought of that makes me somewhat uncomfortable. Mostly, because it ushers me into a place of the unknown and causes me to ask the following questions…Read More
Having A Fear Of Death
Sometimes we can lose peace by asking questions that are bigger than ourselves. The subject of death has always been a sensitive topic to me and many others can relate. To care for someone while they’re here on this earth, living in what was once said “a pit stop to eternity,” and to see them transition from this life into the next, can be a very heartbreaking experience. No one wants to see their loved ones move on into glory. The very idea of it brings an instant feeling of sorrow, grief, and pain. However, there is a time and season for everything under heaven, and a time to experience death is one of them.
Even as I write this, I can feel the knot in my throat and tears that desire to flow because I use to struggle with the idea of losing my loved ones since I was a child. I would have vivid dreams of them dying and attending their funerals and then wake up and run into my parent’s room crying because of the things that I had seen. I didn’t know how to deal with those experiences and the fear of those images actually coming to past caused me to want to distance myself from them and people in general. Not trying to deeply connect because once I did, it was bound to end in the painful loss of someone I held dear. Although this was a struggle for me, God’s truth had to be applied in the midst of my life experiences and the enemy’s attacks, to bring me to a place where peace could be found. Read More
Resurrection of a Godly Woman
There was a time when I was a child that I was told that I was being immature. I don’t remember what I was doing or what I was saying but what was conveyed to me was that my action at the time was not acceptable. So I took those words and made them part of my life declaration, that I would never be called that again. So I changed the way I acted and the way I presented myself before people, so I would never have to encounter those very words going forward. I became overly aware of my environment and very careful with my words and what I did before others. In all honesty, I think this even affected the clothes I wore. Black was my color of choice back in the day because it’s what I related to the most on the inside. It was calm, powerful, assertive in its own right, mysterious, straightforward….you didn’t really mess with people who wore black and that’s what I wanted, to not be messed with. To not be teased, taunted or even dissected. Black gave me the right to be silently untouched.
Although that was the wall I built around myself to keep me safe “in my own little corner in my own world”, it was a wall God saw fit to knock down. Read More
What Will You Choose To See
Anyone who has ever accomplished anything great in their lives has had to make sacrifices to get to where they want to be. There is something ahead of them that is worth their time and energy, a bigger picture that would bring them much satisfaction. Yet, one of the hardest things to do along this journey is to maintain your focus, keeping your eyes open and your ears closed to anything that would hinder you from advancing forward towards achieving your goals.
Having “Vision” will help keep you on the right path.
Often, when we are given assignments, we can prevent ourselves from moving forward. It can be really easy to blame others, as though they compromised and stunted the growth of your assignment. However, the real accountability rests upon our own shoulders. Read More
Eye Of The Beholder
In this passage (1 Samuel 16:6-12), God instructs Samuel to go to Jesse’s house to anoint a new king. Each son stands before Samuel, but none of them were chosen by God, that is until David is beckoned to come. He was the youngest, a shepherd boy, who God had revealed would be the next in line to rule. No one ever expected him to be used by God in such a way, but before the minds of men could accept David, God already knew who he was called to be.
This scripture is a great reminder for everyone to be very careful not to judge the outward appearance of man. I’ve done it, you’ve done it, and over the course of our lives, we have made unfair conclusions about one another. However, this is certainly something we will work very hard not to do, as we continue to go forth in life. But since we’re here, let’s thoroughly discuss some of these habits. Read More
When The Assignment is Bigger Than…
When we look at the life of Jesus, we see that He was solely focused on fulfilling the will of His Father. Every decision, every reaction, every moment was filtered through the lens of whether it would bring him closer to accomplishing the work he was destined to do. Jesus had a specific call over his life, and in order to complete it successfully, he had to demonstrate what it meant to have Self-control, which is the topic in which I will bring to you today. Self-control is one of the 9 fruits of the spirit, and it is defined as the ability to control oneself, in particular, one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behavior, especially in difficult situations.
- It is also defined as the quality that allows you to stop yourself from doing things you want to do but that might not be in your best interest. Read More
As December is coming to a close and we begin to think about our New Year Resolutions for 2019, I wanted to revisit a well-known scenario in the book of Genesis, and present it in a different way.
So let’s start here, Genesis 3:1-6
“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” Read More
Learn To Appreciate The Thorn In Your Side
I was in prayer this morning and one of the last things I heard the Holy Spirit say was “Learn To Appreciate The Thorn In Your Side.”
As Christians, there will be times in your life when you’ll have to still fully function, even with the presence of extreme difficulty. The thorn can come in the form of a person, thing or situation, that brings such conflict into your life. We are asked, through God’s word, to bear these moments, understanding that Gods power can and will work through us when we are weak. No, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the “thing” that is causing us discomfort will go away, but what it does mean is that God will give us His strength to deal with it.
It’s never easy going through hardship. It’s something we all face every day. If I took a poll of how many people are struggling to pay their bills? Or, how many people are dealing with those, who only bring drama into your lives? I think there would be an overwhelming response, one that would confirm that we are not alone in the struggle.
We each bear something we’d rather not endure, but learning how to appreciate the situation for what it is, is something we all can achieve in time. Read More
There was a time where God revealed the condition of my heart. It was several years ago but I will never forget the image He showed me in a vision.
I thought I was in a better place mentally. I believed I was doing great and heading along a path were absolute healing from past hurts had already occurred, but one day, God showed me that even though everything looked good on the outside, the inside didn’t match. My heart was infected.
The Holy Spirit showed me in a vision, that my heart was not as bright as I thought it was. Instead, it was darker than a normal heart. It was abnormal in shape. And it had worms in it. There were no words given by the Holy Spirit but I knew what He was saying. It was as though the entire message was downloaded to me and I automatically understood that healing had to happen. Forgiveness needed to be operated in. Love needed to abound. And Gods grace and mercy was being required of me. Read More
Are We Serving Well?
To be quite honest, I don’t have a lot of fond memories of serving. I remember feeling overlooked, unappreciated, not entirely trusted and limited. It was as though there was a low ceiling that often made me feel that I couldn’t grow beyond its height. Yes, a lot of this could’ve been how I perceived things to be (which could be self-sabotaging) but none the less I still felt these things.
Not to say that the entire experience was bad (because it truly wasn’t) but there were some moments that I didn’t feel valued or loved. No matter what I did, it never felt like it was enough, and I was left with discouragement.
Throughout the years, I’ve heard many similar stories of those who have served at different capacities and have felt the same way. That the amount of work you do never equivalates to what you get back, which has caused many to ask the following questions Read More
Out Of Order
Not sure how to actually begin this new blog post but I know that this is a topic that the Holy Spirit has introduced to me.
I was sitting down talking to my husband and I was shown a vision. In this vision, I saw an elevator that had a sign on it that said “Out Of Order”, and next to the elevator, there were stairs. While I was seeing these images, I was reminded of a couple of instances within my own life, when climbing up the stairs (be it indoors or out) was exhausting. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never liked taking the stairs. It can be rather tiring. Most people would opt to forgo an uncomfortable trip up several flights of stairs if permitted. We’ve all grown accustomed to having an elevator as a reliable option to get us from A to Z, but what if God had purposed you to only take the stairs for a season? How would you respond?
Would you get frustrated and angry? Would you check around to see if there was another option? Or, would you wait to see if God would change His mind? Read More
We Must Start Somewhere
Being a New Yorker can at times feel like a task. We’re known for being sharp, a bit defensive and often not the friendliest of people. A simple “Good Morning” can be hard to say when you’re too worried about how people are going to respond. Even further, what those around you are going to do. Being suspicious of others in New York is not a foreign thing and unfortunately, paranoia can often set in in places it should never be. Sometimes, we don’t put ourselves out there when we should, so we end up shying away from opportunities that could help us to form new relationships.
Being brave to venture into new arenas takes both courage and practice. Making the necessary advances towards building relationships requires us to interact with others. We must speak and introduce small gestures such as a smile, handshake, shoulder touch or a hug to help break the ice. A conversation must be started and all too often the most difficult step- is to start one.
To be honest, it’s helpful when you’re surrounded by friendly people because it never requires us to have to put ourselves out there. Extroverts take the first step and put in most of the work. They take all the risk of being shut down or accepted. While they thrive off of being around others, introverts thrive off of being alone. Read More
What Has He Placed Inside Of You?
Psalms 19:7-8 NLT
“The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living.”
I know a popular gospel song that says “the battle is not mine, it’s the Lord’s” It’s a beautiful song but is it FULLY true? Yes the Lord will fight our battle but does that mean he leaves us with nothing to do as He’s fighting? We daily see how people lose battles. Lust takes over. Hatred gets stirred up. Death takes another life of a victim who couldn’t live with themselves. In each situation, there is an internal battle raging within people that get covered up by secrecy, isolation, and smiles that continue to hide safely- tormented souls. Read More
How To Hear The Holy Spirit
How do YOU prepare your heart to hear God’s word?
There’s a scripture where Eli, the High Priest of Shiloh, is preparing to go to sleep and his young apprentice Samuel, has an encounter with the Lord- let’s view this in Scripture.
1 Samuel 3:1-10 NLT
“Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli. Now in those days, messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon. One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God. Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!” Read More
Are You Ready To Leap?
I recently went to Jones Beach with my husband and niece, and after a long day of swimming and soaking in the sun, we came across a young boy. He and his family were climbing an obstacle course. Everything appeared to be fine until it was time for him to jump off a 30ft ledge.
The young boy had to be around 8 or 9 years old, and the ledge was much higher than he thought it was. He attempted to jump several times, but his feet were firmly planted on the platform. As he eventually began to cry, his parents tried to soothe him, by letting him know that the jump wasn’t as bad as he thought, but those words of encouragement quickly changed, and frustration took over. Read More
Who I Married
On my birthday, I could speak about many things, but at this time, I would like to focus my attention on the love of my life. For some of you, you might have to switch the page or stop reading after a while because this post might get too mushy for you, but the Bible says to give honor where honor is due, so I will on this day.
Many of you know that Kevin and I have been married for 12 years, and have been a couple, for 16 years. We’ve had a rollercoaster of a ride through each stage of our committed relationship. Some moments were beautiful, others a nightmare. Yet, God saw fit to bring us together. Some may call our meeting “luck”, but I understand it to be – God’s Divine Providence.
Luck would imply that we got together by happenstance. That we just so happened to be at the right place at the right time, but I never believed that to be true. God knew exactly where, when and how we would meet, and what it would take to keep us together. He knew our personalities and knew what we needed, and gave us a beautiful relationship to grow and tend to. Read More
The Cost Of Giving
1 Kings 17:9-16 NLT
“Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.” So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.” But she said, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.” But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said…”
How many times have you found yourself struggling with the circumstances found within your own life? You were broken, frustrated and wounded by the situation in which you were facing. Yet, God still desired you to pour out onto others, in spite of. Such is the story of Elijah and the widow. Read More
“Even though some may not have been previewed to your growing process, still allow them the comfort of being under your shade. Let them feel the peace, calmness, and stillness. Don’t turn them away.”
Growth is difficult and hard because not everyone will understand it.
Not everyone will agree with what it looks like.
Few will appreciate it until they see how it can benefit them in the end.
The journey towards growth can be a lonely one.
Yes, we are not left to go through this life alone, but there are moments where your journey will take you to places that few have ventured- which causes a separation in experience. Read More
Isn’t Life Worth More?
Isaiah 38:16-19 NLT
“Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! Yes, this anguish was good for me, for you have rescued me from death and forgiven all my sins. For the dead cannot praise you; they cannot raise their voices in praise. Those who go down to the grave can no longer hope in your faithfulness. Only the living can praise you as I do today. Each generation tells of your faithfulness to the next.”
I recently watched the movie The Upside and it tells a story about a rich man who was a quadriplegic. He lived an adventurous life until he had an accident paragliding and became paralyzed from the shoulders down. This man, who had once experienced great satisfaction in his life, had undergone a traumatic event that changed his entire outlook on life.
His heart, mind, and body were affected.
He couldn’t do the activities he used to do. He didn’t have the freedom to drive by himself- he needed someone to attend to him 24/7. He was depressed. He was lonely and had given up on fully experiencing life. That is until, another man, who was of a diverse background, entered the scene. Read More
Managing The Storm Within The Storm
As a hurricane is quickly approaching the eastern region, I felt like this was an interesting time to write. I haven’t posted anything since December and I always told myself that I would never post anything without sensing something first. (I’ve never really been a random person per se. I am a bit straight to the point in my conversation be it in public or behind closed doors. So this will be a straightforward post today. No bells and whistles.)
Storms in life will come, oftentimes abruptly. One day everything is good. The sun’s out. The clouds are fluffy white, and there is a warm breeze that temporarily sweeps over and erases all of the concerns and problems of life.
Yet, there are also those days, where all hell breaks loose. The sky is darkened. The elements come parading in like a bat out of hell, and all you can do is seek cover. Some storms are worse than others, yet they each have their own effect. Which leads to the question below,
Who are you with during these times in your life? Read More
2 Corinthians 4:7-10
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.