This morning, my husband and I reminisced on what we’ve persevered through over the years. We didn’t grow up in perfect neighborhoods. We’ve been exposed to racism, discrimination, poverty, shootings, substance abuse, police brutality, violence and murder etc.
We’ve been victims of excessive force used by police officers but also been robbed and dodged bullets in our own communities. Unfortunately, we’ve lost family members and friends to gun violence and a few just last year.
It was by the grace of God that we were saved. We were blessed with parents and support systems, who encouraged us to not fall victim to a system made to oppress us just as slavery oppressed our ancestors.
Although we now live a blessed and successful life, we will always fight for those who were not as fortunate as we were. It’s about our childhood friends, neighbors, family members and future generations who need the support we had.
When you see us preaching the gospel and advocating for people in our communities, just know that it’s our reasonable service as Believers and ambassadors of Christ. We are called to use our freedom to serve others through the love of Christ.
We don’t have all the answers nor proclaim to be perfect, but we believe change will come if we keep pressing on. It’s what we’ll do till the day we die.
On April 15th, 2018, I and my husband Byron publicly made a commitment to the calling of pastoral ministry, at our ordination ceremony. A commitment to serve Jesus Christ and His Church with faith, hope and love. This wasn’t my career choice or something I planned and aspired to do, but I cannot imagine a life without this vital assignment.
In retrospect, I gave my life to Christ and started serving in the church at the age of 11. I knew I was called to servant leadership and that there was a place for me in ministry. But unfortunately, I ran in the opposite direction for many years, primarily because I never really felt like I belonged.
There wasn’t anyone in my life who affirmed my role in ministry, instead, they placed me in areas where there was a need or where most young girls served. As I grew older I allowed my unrighteous past and continuous struggles with sin to discourage me. I couldn’t have been or felt more unworthy to fully answer the call that undeniably tugged for so long. Thankfully, God forgave me, humbled me, prepared me and never gave up on me. I need you to believe that He can and will do the same for you, if only you give Him a chance. Jesus Christ forgives, transforms hearts and gives identity to the lost and eternal life to those who believe.
We’ve learned that what glorifies Christ the most is preaching the gospel to nonbelievers and loving His people. Sometimes our passions and assignments may change but our Divine purpose remains.
“Don’t grow weary. Sometimes we have to wait to see the fruit but it will come”, are words from a trusted advisor of mine, Bishop Pam Lawrence. Naturally, everyone has a heart that yearns to do good works. The bible says that we are God’s workmanship created in Jesus Christ to do good works (Ephesians 2:10).
Maybe you’re not sure who you’re called to be or what to do— or you feel too far gone in confusion or darkness to change your life. I want to encourage you find your passion today and to stay the path toward Jesus. Read the whole book of Luke and examine how Jesus successfully walked out His purpose on earth. Remember that our God can do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).
Scriptures to meditate on…
“For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” -Romans 9:17
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11
‘I will remain confident in this, I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.’-Psalm 27:13
It was sunny and nearly 70 degrees yesterday, so I found myself working in the yard and came across something essentially common but so beautiful.
Lying there in our yard of hay like grass, that obviously didn’t survive the harsh winter months, were just a few little purple flowers. I immediately thought these were the faux silk flowers from one of my girls art crafts. As I knelt down to pick one up, thinking I’d just toss them in the trash, surprisingly, I felt the silky softness of petals. They were definitely in all their glory as real as they come.
Looking at these little flowers that bloomed beautifully, reminded me that the environment does not have complete control over what grows. The seed and roots were made to seek what it needs in order to have the nutrients to thrive.
In this fallen world, we will continue to face some of the craziest of circumstances, but remember that there is still something inside of you that can keep growing as the roots go deeper. It’s the very precious gift called faith. A plant (us) that’s deeply rooted (faith in Christ) is hard to shake. We must continue to go deep to seek what we need to thrive. In other words, when life gives you crap, you can seek to make some fertilizer and take in the good nutrients thereof, to grow.
The bible says that the grass may wither away but His Word lives on forever. Heaven and earth will pass away but God’s word will not (Matthew 24:35). The powerful gift of faith that will keep us grounded, is developed by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17). Keep watering your faith with the Word of God, knowing the promises that He’s in charge and wants what’s absolutely best for you (Deut. 7:13, Jer. 29:11).
Today, in Christ alone, you can be the stunning flower that blooms in a harsh or less favorable environment. Let’s also remember to take a moment, look around and admire the intricate beauty and wonder of all that has become so common in our lives.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” ~ Proverbs 13:12 ~
This charm is one of my favorite gifts from my husband. He remembers to fill this capsule with essential oils for me and most often, it’s with lavender. This diffuser charm is meant to help soothe my nerves on the most stressful days— but for me, it also serves as a reminder to focus on what brings life and not just the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2).
When you know certain things about situations and people, I’m learning that it’s better to believe in possibilities that can happen with God instead of what things actually are in the moment. The ability to do this truly takes the help of the Holy Spirit.
If you’re someone who sees the invisible, hears the unspoken and intensely feels what others feel, I know and understand that this ability can be a gift and a curse. I am grateful that God is able to do miraculous work with both. There is hope and I am praying for you, today. 💙
This picture gave me chills this morning. MLK was probably my age in this picture and died a few years later… Makes me think about all that he sacrificed because of a dream for his family and others. A dream for a better life for minorities, unity, love (God’s love) and equality for all.
He was a man of great faith—knew his greater calling and remained confident in Jesus that he’ll see light and change in the darkest of times. Many believers didn’t even support him mainly because of fear. He did it afraid and his wife stood by him knowing the risks.
We must remember that it’s not divisive or less loving to expose what’s wrong. That’s the only way to bring people together, effect change and make things right. We can preach love and kindness all we want but if we don’t publicly and actively defend those who have been oppressed by racist systems, wrongfully killed or hurt and rebuke the oppressors, those loving and kind words are empty.
If all believers in Christ of all races, truly lived out their faith, we would be heavily involved in politics and activism. There is no separation of politics and religion or church and state, mentioned in the bible. Advocating for all of God’s people is not a political agenda. It’s a Kingdom agenda.
Praying God gives us all strength and grace to keep fighting this fight from all angles, together. Don’t grow weary in well doing. We’re making strides but we’re not there yet.
Allow me to be candid and transparent with this confession. In the past week, the enemy has really tried his hardest to put me in a long-lasting slump. There were nights when I just cried profusely—saturating my pillow and my husband’s chest with tears. They were tears of sadness for the nothing short of unbearable struggles I see people facing, daily. Some were also of joy, being grateful for the favor and protection God has extended to our family. It’s probably needless to say that confessing my hope with excitement had become a little harder than usual.
The struggle we encounter as pastors, whose most desired goal in life is to please God and lead people to Christ, is real, intense and continual. Personally, given this year alone, it’s never been harder. There are moments when I feel the elasticity I once had, seems be nearing it’s breaking point—but still there’s that remnant of zeal in my heart, infused by the Holy Spirit, that feeds my radical Christian beliefs. My hope is then restored and my mind, body and soul is revived. There’s great power in the stretching, when we’re stretched for Christ.
Reflecting on hope this morning, in Hebrews 10, brings me to the conclusion that when we focus on the attributes of our God (omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, loving, faithful, just to name a few) our hope in Him becomes strong—one reliable to hold on to when the string of thread gets even thinner in this life. It is in Him that we are made strong.
Remember that our hope is never wasted when it’s placed where it belongs. We can still believe for greater things, opportunities, miracles, signs and wonders, while facing difficult circumstances. We can still believe that there are beautiful and satisfying promises waiting for us at the end of every dreadful trial.
Take a stand with me today, placing your unwavering hope in the One who has proven Himself to be faithful. Let’s consume ourselves with Jesus, where our hope is alive, perfect and working for us. Proclaim that you will live with confidence that ALL things will work out for your good.
Here I am, at a place where I belong, the feet of the King of Kings. I don’t ever want to believe that I’m personally strong enough, holy enough, wise enough or good enough to carry the weight of this life on my own.
If you’ve ever been broken or you feel like you are now, remember it’s a very familiar place for Someone else who suffered horrifically and intentionally, just for you. His name is Jesus Christ.
Let’s be reminded that He was also broken—persecuted and hurt by those whom He loved. I would imagine that the pain He experienced physically and emotionally had to feel unbearable. But just as Paul says in this scripture, His pain and sufferings were also not worthy to be compared to God’s glory revealed to Him and in Him.
Devastating circumstances will break you. People will hurt you. You will hurt them. But simultaneously, when we seek and praise God during the difficult times, forgive quickly and humble ourselves to ask for forgiveness, we can then experience growth in grace, truth, faith, love, and the glory of God through Jesus Christ.
He gives beauty for ashes, joy for pain, grace for humility, promises for faith, and glory for grit.
Greater purpose does not come without greater pain and there’s no glory without grit. So keep hanging in there friends. Jesus is advocating for us. He is with us. Better days are soon to come. 🤍
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin,”-Zechariah 4:10 NLT
4 years ago today, I decided to turn personal journal writing into a public blog site. Writing has been a passion of mine since my youth. What I love most about words is the power they have to encourage, inspire and uplift but I wasn’t always excited about sharing them publicly.
In retrospect, during my freshman year in college, I wrote a persuasive essay about equality and the English professor randomly asked me to read it to the class. I was a nervous wreck, sweating profusely and thinking… “Out of all these students, why on earth did she choose me?” 🥴 When I uttered my final sentence, she was completely in awe with tears falling down her face. This experience ignited a fire in my soul that kept me writing ever since.
Yesterday, I received a congratulatory notification that my site has just reached a milestone of (insert drum roll)……..100 likes and 40 follows. Talking about “small beginnings” with a side of humility!!! I literally laughed out loud.
One could look at that as failure but I’d rather focus on the 2,810 views from 17 different countries. That means that almost 3,000 people heard about Jesus and hopefully in a way that they could understand. Sometimes what we view as minuscule could be seen as monumental in the eyes of God.
My only purpose for this blog is to share truth from the Word of God revealed in everyday scenarios in life and my story, to encourage other individuals throughout their life journey. In 2016, there was so much revelation and passion held hostage inside of my heart and I believe it was time for it to be used for a greater purpose.
I’ve made my share of mistakes as a novice writer and I’m certain there will be more. I also learned that there’s strength in vulnerability and transparency but there’s also vast judgment. It’s just part of the process. Nevertheless, we make the choice to be discouraged or determined by it—determined to learn and grow through it because growth is rarely experienced within our comfort zone.
I am forever grateful for the remnant of new readers, faithful readers and sharers. The excitement for what’s next is brewing. Many thanks to you all…let the journey continue. 📝 🏔
Here’s something for you to think about… What passions have you been keeping from the world? What’s keeping you from pursuing it? What ever that thing is, I want to encourage you to go for it! The world is anxiously waiting for what you have to offer—big or small.
A few days ago, my 8-year-old son glanced at a bunch of decaying bananas on our kitchen counter. He saw them there for a while and finally decided to ask me, “Why do you need those bad bananas to make good banana bread?” I quickly answered back with a less thought out response, ”that’s just how it works, son.”
As I think about his curiosity a bit deeper, I’ve realized that was indeed a good question. How could something that looks so bad transform into something that tastes so good? And… considering the fact that we live in a “first world” country and tend to essentially waste a lot of products, why keep these and who gets the credit for this brilliant culinary discovery? Think about it, if something seems to have little to no benefit or value, do we consistently figure out ways to reuse or repurpose it? Do you think about what you could do with something that no longer serves the direct purpose you had for it?
An even greater concern is that we not only throw away commodities but tend to do the same with opportunities, relationships, and for some their own vitalities. Could it be it be that we’ve adapted to the toxic culture, disguised by the name of “Canceled”, that moves us to waste what could still be of value? If a job opportunity is harder than we assumed, CANCELLED. If the business or organization we once respected makes a bad decision, CANCELLED. When someone isn’t the person we thought they should be, CANCELLED. Do we ever consider long suffering a situation with the belief that the ’not so good’ experiences could potentially serve a greater purpose? Thankfully, our Father in heaven is in the business of mercy and grace, which moreover makes Him the professional at ‘re-purposing’ for our good.
The bible says in Ecclesiastes 3 that there is a time for everything under the heavens. Verse six says there’s “A time to keep and a time to throw away.” I’m going to make a bold statement by saying, only God should decide what we keep and what we throw away. If we truly believe that God is sovereign and we are His children, it makes sense for us to surrender complete control to Him. After all, He knows the beginning and the end and also has a specific purpose for our lives.
One truth that we should hold onto tightly is that Jesus came that we might have an abundant life (John 10:10). God doesn’t desire for bad things to happen to us—our painful losses, devastating failures, unhealthy relationships and unfortunate tragedies. I believe we serve a God who wants us to learn to trust Him through all of our experiences that are destined to happen here on earth. Just as we are able to make some delightful banana bread out of bad bananas, God can make something good come from what we have deemed bad enough to throw away. We can believe that our faithful and miracle-working God can turn the bad into something good when we love Him (Romans 8:28).
Now let’s ponder: What are your bad bananas? What can you do to trust God more as He repurposes them?
If we are all completely honest, we’d admit that this world influences us greatly to be task and goal driven. I don’t believe that setting goals and staying the course to complete tasks are wrong, there’s just something vital we need to remember in the process.
We learn in Ephesians 2:10 that God created us to do good works, however, we must remain steadfast in who He has called us to be. When we are focused on ‘Who’ (Christ who lives in us) the ‘What’ (our tasks/assignments) will always be aligned with the ‘Why’ (God’s purpose).
Be careful not to fall into the trap of measuring your success to others which steals your joy and distorts truth. Remember that your purpose comes from God, alone. It is uniquely written for you and it can only be fulfilled by you, through the grace of God.
It’s been said that we are human beings not human doings. So in less than ten words… ‘Focus more on being than doing’. Be encouraged! Be great!