Unexpected Blessings of Patience — None Are Ever Too Small

“When our pause seems more like a wilderness, we must be determined to strengthen our faith by trusting His timing. Cling to His peace, and remember — God has a history of working miracles.” -Wendy Pope

I absolutely love this statement by Wendy Pope. Each word defines God’s recent development of patience within me. As 2016 nears its end, I can look back and say that it has been the second most trying time in my life. A time when I wanted certain things to happen — at a certain time, but it didn’t happen exactly as I had “planned in my mind.” It has been a pause year for me. A wilderness year. A trusting year. A year when I’ve come to realize that God knows exactly what He’s doing.

Patience has always been one of my weaknesses. I’m the type of person to always want to do things myself and have it done at a certain time…and if it didn’t work out because of something I couldn’t control, like someone else not pulling their weight or some unforeseen circumstance I would get soooo frustrated and upset. I felt like if I did my part, hey things should work out perfectly, right? But as this year has taught me, it doesn’t always work out that way, and I needed to desperately learn and understand the importance of patience with others and with God.

If you didn’t know, patience is one of the nine fruits of the Spirit. It is simply a characteristic of the Holy Spirit, God and Christ. It is one of many characteristics that Christ’s followers should embody. Patience isn’t something that you instantly have, it takes time to really develop in your life… and it only develops and is perfected through experiencing tests and trials.

I want to highlight one particular example and testimony of patience. I went to a surprise birthday party for one of my friends on Saturday, October 29, 2016 at Dave & Buster’s. My sister paid for my food and I paid for my drink with my debit card. The waiter came back with my receipt and this was the first time (and last time) that I didn’t sign the receipt…I didn’t think anything of it to be honest. Well, one week later I checked my bank account and saw that the restaurant debited $50.79 from my account!!! dave-and-busters-50 I was outraged, frustrated and upset!!!! Every negative emotion you could think of, that was me. My first thought was ummm….did this waiter just steal money from me?! So I immediately called the restaurant to speak to the manager and vent. The manager (let’s call him Matthew) apologized and said he didn’t have issues with his staff stealing any money, but he would look into it. He took my information and said he would call me back later that day to follow up. Well he came through on his promise and said because our party was so large the waiter got confused with the orders and overcharged me. Matthew told me he was going to sign off on paperwork to make sure I received my money back….he said to give it one week and if it didn’t show up in my account to give him a call back. So, I waited a week still upset, but not as much as I was before because I felt like the issue was going to get resolved. I checked my account and….NOTHING! So the frustration started to rise again and I called the restaurant again and Matthew wasn’t there. The hostess told me he would be back at another time/day (can’t remember because I called this place more than 20 times) suffice to say…anger levels were rising. Patience, non-existent. So to cut the story shorter… I finally got in contact with Matthew and let him know that I still didn’t see the funds in my account. He apologized and said he didn’t know what happened because he signed off on the paperwork, but would send in another form just in case. Another week to wait. Another week, same result. Can you believe it? Back and forth I went calling this place to hear answers of “Matthew isn’t here yet, or he’s in a meeting”…you get the point. Days passed by. I called again and got another manager (Let’s call him Tim). Tim seemed a bit more concerned and said Matthew wasn’t there but he would call his cell and would give me a call back later that day. Did Tim call me back? Nope! Can you imagine how I was feeling at that moment? I’ll tell you. I felt like no one there cared about me. I felt like I was lied to. I felt like someone got away with stealing money from me no matter how many times Matthew or Tim “said” that they filed paperwork to get me my money back because at this point it’s been nearly a month since this incident first occurred. I called my bank to see if they could help in any way. They told me I could fill out a complaint form and it could take UP TO 120 DAYS for the issue to get resolved!!! Aaaaaah!!!! I wanted to scream. 120 MORE DAYS???????  Nah, I couldn’t do that. I told her I was just going to have to get it resolved one way or another with Dave & Buster’s.

Some days passed, and for the first time during this whole ordeal I decided to…pray. Never did I think, “Oh I need to pray to God about being billed $50.79 at a restaurant.” It seemed so trivial for me to even think to bring this to God, like does God really care about this lol. But nothing else was working and I was beyond the point of frustration. Again, wanting things to go my way, when I wanted it, and getting mad when it didn’t because of someone else’s miscue. Patience…it was absent. So I prayed, God was my only hope…unfortunate and crazy for me to put him last instead of realizing that he should’ve been the FIRST one I should’ve gone to in my time of distress. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me to calm down and find peace in Christ. To trust Him. He then told me to go on Dave & Buster’s website and call their corporate office on Monday (sometime in early December…can’t recall the exact date). I finally had peace and confidence. I EXPECTED God to perform a miracle! I let my faith stand on top of my hope in God. So, I followed His instructions. I called the corporate number and…..the phone just rang, and rang and rang. At this point I just laughed. My faith didn’t waver though, I just thought “ok God, you told me to come on their website and call the corporate number. I know you didn’t tell me all of this for it not to be resolved and for me to get the run around AGAIN.” Well after calling twice with the same result, I looked over on their website and see a different number that was linked to a Chicago office. The Holy Spirit told me to call that number. I obeyed. A lady answered and I briefly told her what happened. She apologized and said she wasn’t the right person who could help me. I didn’t lose my patience, still trusting God. I just said “ok, thank you.” She told me she was going to transfer me to the right manager. So I get transferred and the phone rang, and rang and rang. Still no frustration from me. Despite it looking hopeless, I STILL trusted God. The Holy Spirit told me not to hang up, and I obeyed. Someone answered. His name was Mike. And from the moment he said hello, I could tell that this was it! Everything was going to be ok. He was truly an angel. I let out my frustration, and he patiently listened. He was calm, compassionate, helpful, kind….everything I wanted to hear from a manager since the first day I called Dave & Buster’s. I trusted him. Not only did he say that he was personally going to see to it that my issue would be seen by one of his friends in the corporate office, but he was also going to send me a $20 gift card, a $40 game card, and 20% off anything at the restaurant!!! He told me he was personally going to mail it to me. I couldn’t believe it! Over one month and it happened.

dave-and-busters-mailJust as he said, I received the package Mike sent me in the mail!!! Personalized just for me 🙂 GOD DID THIS!!!!!!!

AND to my surprise Mike even took the time to write me a letter. The first word to pop out at me in the first sentence was PATIENCE! dave-and-busters-letter

Man, God TRULY knew what he was doing. As I read the letter I recalled not only the chain of events, but how God was with me the entire time. How even during my lowest points and frustrations He was testing me, working in me His patience, and proving to me that He is Lord. Nobody could’ve done this but God! Not only did He teach me patience, but he blessed me with ABUNDANCE! I’m reminded of the scripture, Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” -Ephesians 3:20. God did WAY MORE than I even asked or expected. And the power of His patience was at work within me and enabled me to receive this wonderful blessing.

Before the year was up, God completed this blessing. I received my money back from Dave & Buster’s on December 19, 2016! dave-and-busters-money-back

Yes, I wrote that with an exclamation point. It took over one month to receive it, but it happened. Delay does not mean denial. And I’m honestly grateful that it happened this way. God had to work in me something that I struggled with, and I saw first-hand how truly amazing He is to me!  To think, if I got my money back within that one week I would’ve never really learned the meaning and value of patience. I would’ve missed out on seeing God at work within me and his favor for me. I would’ve missed out on receiving an unexpected abundance of blessings. God allowed Mike to be the one to pick up the phone that day and everything changed. I prayed, I listened to God, I obeyed God, I trusted God, and I saw God work a miracle!

So, I say to anyone who is struggling with patience, trusting God, or even anyone who is going through a test or trial to know….let go and let God!!!!! You may not understand why certain things aren’t going they way you want or when you want, but know that God is working all things for your good. Trust me, there is a plan at work even though you can’t see it. God is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. His ways and thoughts are PERFECT. He knows exactly what we need, when we need it, and how we need to get it. In the end, His purpose is to make us more like Christ. If we obey and surrender out will to God, these nine fruits of the spirit will begin to be molded and shaped within us. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” -Galatians 5:22-23

Life brings various trials and tribulations, but remember my testimony and this scripture to keep you lifted:

“We can rejoice, too when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope…And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us…” -Romans 5:3-5

My Pastor, Pastor John Hannah of New Life Covenant Southeast Church in Chicago, told us that 2017 is going to be about Confident Expectancy. And I’m running into it with that powerful mindset!

~bliftedbfree

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Storms in our life


Why is it that we see and feel the storm but we don’t see and feel Jesus in our lives (in our boat)? The weatherman can tell us it’s going to storm tomorrow and we’ll plan accordingly, but when it happens suddenly, without warning we panic, we get angry at the weatherman, God and anybody else. Those unexpected events come to show us that 1) we don’t control everything and 2) it’s an opportunity for God to show his sovereignty despite how bad our storm looks. Jesus cares about us and wants the best for us; he doesn’t want us to drown in our boat or for our storm to overtake us. Instead, he wants us to have great faith to know that “even the winds and waves obey him” (Mark 4:41), he is all-powerful, and that he can calm ANY storm for us – mind, body or spirit.

The disciples couldn’t physically fight the storm, but when they called on the name of Jesus to rescue them Jesus rebuked the storm and spoke three words…”Peace, be still” and the wind died down and it was completely calm (Mark 4:39). Don’t think you’re the only one going through your storm — Jesus, the Son of God, experienced that terrifying storm along with his disciples and yet he still told the storm to BE QUIET! So yes, Jesus understands all about our storms and can still calm the troubling storms in our lives today. We don’t know how long our storm/trouble may last, but with Jesus we can be confident that it won’t last forever. So, don’t sit in your boat during your storm feeling helpless or prideful. Instead, call on Jesus in your time of trouble and know that he will answer you. And like Jesus, speak to your storm, and have faith to know that He will give you the power to overcome.

BLiftedBFree 

You Are Worth It!

Photo by: Anthony Brown

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
-Psalm 139:14

This is such a powerful scripture and is one of three scriptures God gave me not just for my own healing, but to share with others who are or who have dealt with self image & self-esteem issues. I’m going to break it down and share how David (author of Psalms) realized who he was in God and how he gained freedom from doubts about himself, and how you can too.

-“I praise you”: Signifies thanks and gratitude. There’s a reason why you praise someone, most likely it’s deserved because of something they did. The question is why are we praising God? We find out in the next part of the scripture.

-“I am fearfully and wonderfully made”: We praise God because we are fearfully and wonderfully made! God made us all wonderful, beautiful and unique individuals. He makes no mistakes. He made each of us with great pride.

-“Your works are wonderful”: People, places, nature, EVERYTHING — all things we see made by God are marvelous! If we can marvel at the beauty of nature and everything in between, what more should we think of ourselves as God’s creation?!

-“I know full well”: ‘I KNOW’ places the confidence we need to have in the beauty of God’s creation and ourselves. We don’t need anyone else’s confirmation or reassurance to make us believe what God already declared as good the day he finished creating us and everything around us… “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31)

We, like David, must make it a habit to openly declare this verse with full confidence. Make it personal. Start and end your day with this scripture as a confident declaration. Defeat any lies the devil tries to throw your way and declare this powerful scripture in moments when you feel like you’re not worth it.

The problem many people have is they believe the lies the devil tells them. His job is to always do the opposite of God because he hates God and anyone who follows Him. His evil spirit seeps into the hearts, minds, and spirits of those who struggle with self image and self-esteem issues. I know I’ve been a victim before on different occasions. The enemy turns every positive into a negative to train our hearts, minds, and spirits to believe that we are worthless, not beautiful or not good enough. Let’s look at the verse again for example. Instead of what we should declare, the enemy will have you to believe the following:

I hate you [God] because I am not fearfully or wonderfully made;
your works are awful, I know that full well.

The devil wants you to hate God, society, and everything in between for not making you like the girl or guy with the “perfect” body, clothes, hair, etc. So you walk around hating yourself and others because you aren’t like them. Here’s the problem, nobody is perfect. If everyone was perfect we would be gods, and obviously God didn’t intend for us to be his or Jesus’ equals. That’s why the enemy is in the predicament he’s in now…because he thought he was equal if not better than God. If he were only content with himself knowing that God made him the way he wanted. Pride got in his way. We should know and trust that God made us just the way we are, beautiful in His eyes. To question otherwise would be to doubt his ability to create wonderful works.

Social media

This is where a lot of dissatisfaction is generated. Celebrities, faux celebrities, family, friends, and society as a whole suffers from it. It’s a nesting place for framing what is “beautiful” and how one “should” look to obtain that image. It causes low-self esteem, uncertainty, depression, jealousy, and much more. As a personal example, I used to be on Instagram, but ended up deleting it. Every time I scrolled down I saw pictures of both men and women posed in ways that look nothing short of ridiculous. Their bodies were put on full display for others to lust after, their faces drowned in makeup to give the appearance of their “beauty,” and their name-brand clothes and expensive cars shown off to prove their financial status and lifestyle. It’s one big “Keeping up with the Jones'” joke. I couldn’t take it anymore so I hit the delete button. People work hard to look like societal standards of beauty on the outside, when it’s really temporary; meanwhile they either remain unhappy on the inside or turn into prideful, arrogant beings who you no longer recognize. Not everyone is like that; however, there is constant pressure to be liked on these social platforms by others (numbers of likes, hearts, favs, retweets…you get the point) so we can feel validated and accepted by others no matter how much skin we have to show or how many masks we have to put on to pretend to be something we’re not.

So how do we overcome this pressure? This fantasy? This lie?

Let’s take a look a the second scripture:

Do you not know that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?
You are not your own; you were bought at a price.
Therefore honor God with your bodies.
-1 Corinthians 6:19-20

-Apostle Paul (author of Corinthians) opens up with a great question. It’s as if he’s saying: “Hey there, maybe you forgot, but your bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit who is in you” or even “You don’t know so now I’m telling you that you belong to God who Himself is holy.” So we overcome the pressure, fantasy and lie by understanding and believing who we are and whose we are. Often we forget so we believe a lie about how we should treat our bodies or how our bodies should look according to man, but Paul reminds us that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, not Nicki Minaj, not Morris Chestnut, not the “hot” Instagram model.

-The Holy Spirit dwells/lives in you: It’s like a guest of honor — if you knew an honorable guest was coming to meet you, you would do your absolute best to make sure everything was perfect because you wanted to please the guest. In the same way, we must treat our bodies with the same respect. Think also about your house: you wouldn’t like someone to come in and trash it (obesity) or someone to steal from it (anorexia). I mention these two because people can forget that because our bodies are temples we should treat it as such. Pressure, fantasy and lies from society can cause us to over-eat or not eat at all. It’s important that we stay healthy. In middle school I was mocked because I was skinny. Even today people ask me “do you eat, why are you so small (as they pinch my arms)” Trust me I eat, and I like to eat good food, but because of genetics and because I stay active, I don’t gain a lot of weight. My 117 pounds is healthy! If it wasn’t my doctor would have told me during my checkups. When I was younger I used to really hate being small and took to heart what people said about my weight. In this way, I didn’t feel beautiful. As I got older I still didn’t like the way I looked in the mirror. Why did my bones show in my chest, why did I have “chicken legs” lol. I signed up for a gym membership and bought some protein powder to help add weight. Long story short I gained a couple pounds, but I couldn’t stay committed to it. I loved the stress relief of working out, but paying to “look” how society says I should just wasn’t worth it. The next time someone wants to negatively comment on my healthy body, my response will be, “I am happy with who God made me to be. I am fearfully and wonderfully made!” Find what works for you (your words should be seasoned with grace). Sometimes you don’t have to say anything. But like Jesus did with the devil in the wilderness, you may have to shut that ol’ devil up with the truth!

-You are not your own: We belong to a KING! And not just any king, but the KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS! We are ROYALTY! We are CHOSEN! We shouldn’t have to parade ourselves to the world for acceptance because we’ve already been accepted by Jesus just as we are. He loves us and wants the best for us. We belong to God, King’s kids! Jesus paid a price for us on the cross and we owe him our life. How do we do that? By accepting his gift of grace and salvation. Jesus thought we were worth it and that’s all that matters. There’s a song by William McDowell called ‘I Belong to You.‘ The lyrics simply say: I’ve been captured by a love I can’t explain/ now you have me and I’m forever changed/ I’ve abandoned everything I’ve ever known/ now I surrender/ my life is not my own/ I belong to you. I also love to listen to ‘Worth’ by Anthony Brown & group therAPy. The lyrics say: You thought I was worth saving so you came and changed my life/ you thought I was worth keeping so you cleaned me up inside/ you thought I was to die for so you sacrificed your life so I could be free, so I could be whole, so I could tell everyone I know.

-So my mindset had to change. I had to love me for me. The thing about society is that it always changes, it will always judge, it will focus on what you need to be instead of celebrating who you are. God, on the other hand, never changes, his love is unfailing, and he takes us just as we are. His focus isn’t on what we look like, but he looks at the beauty of our hearts and spirits — that’s what he desires for us to perfect. To be more like Jesus in how we live, how we treat others, and how we honor him. This is why the last part of the scripture tells us to “honor God with our bodies.” We must respect, value, and worship God with our bodies — that includes naturally and spiritually. Genesis 1:27 tells us, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. I talked about the natural ways that we should live. Spiritually, we need to treat our bodies as temples. We can’t have an “ugly” spirit. So that means praying and asking God to change us inwardly so his glory can be reflected outwardly for others to see. We can use David as example — He asked God, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” (Psalm 139:23) When we ask God He can tell us what we need to change and how to change it. He knows us BEST, not our mother, not our father, not our siblings, or friends. Because in the end, our goal is to please God not man. For me, God has revealed things I need to change to become a better follower and representative of Christ. It’s not always easy to change bad habits, but I know that with prayer, meditation and reading His word the change will occur as I continue to trust God with my life. Tell God, “Yet you Lord, are my Father. I am the clay, you are the potter; I am the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8) Let God mold you to be the best possible you!

The third scripture focuses on standing firm and confident in who you are.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm.
Let nothing move you….
-1 Corinthians 15:58

More people need to stand firm in their belief of self and who God called them to be. Don’t let society’s “rules” shake you or remove you from your firm foundation of who and what God says you are. Remember — You are fearfully and wonderfully made! Too many people are giving up, losing hope and believing Satan’s lies (gender reassignment, unnecessary plastic surgery, comparisons to celebrities or others who we think “look” better than us or who have better lifestyles than us). I remember reading a news article about a woman so desperate to have a bigger butt that she got black-market butt injections from someone who did it in their basement. The woman ended up dying and the person who did it ran from the scene with no care in the world about the woman’s health. A life lost because she idolized a celebrity and wanted to look a certain way to please others. There are countless stories just like this one and it has to stop!

Let us think about Jesus! He never backed down from declaring He was the Son of God.
-He didn’t change his clothing (rags to riches) to show off or appear to look better than priests and royal contemporaries, yet he was still popular — what he said resonated with those with receptive hearts, and he reached a multitude of people not just in his time but today as well. We don’t admire Jesus because he had an awesome six pack, great hair, or because he always wore the latest fashions. His message was more powerful because He didn’t possess those things. His beauty was in his message and heart and the glory of his spirit shined bright.
-Jesus didn’t believe Satan’s lies during his 40 days in the wilderness where he fasted and was tempted by Satan himself. He was confident in who he was and was focused on what God called him to do. The wealth and material possessions did not sway him. He stood firm! Satan was below Jesus, why in the world would he accept ANYTHING the devil tried to “give” him?! It’s quite funny actually. Remember, the devil is BELOW US! We, like Jesus, should refute the devil’s lies with God’s Word —THE TRUTH!  When Jesus did this, the Bible tells us that the devil fled! We get in trouble when we sit and contemplate what the devil tries to sell us just like a crooked car salesman. Nothing he’s selling is worth anything ESPECIALLY our souls which is what he wants.
-From the cross to the grave Jesus stood firm and was never moved by criticism, hatred, societal opinions and jealousy. He, like us, was human, so I’m sure he felt heartbroken by why he was criticized, hated, and scorned when he never did any wrong. But, in his heart he continued to firmly believe who he was and whose he was.
-Jesus was mocked even as he hung from the cross, but with his arms outstretched, nailed to the cross, bloodied and beaten he remained confident. The Bible tells us that, “When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54) This is powerful! When Jesus took His last breath the world shook and events like holy people coming out from their tombs to walk amongst the city people truly frightened unbelievers. They realized that Jesus was ALL of who he said he was! The same people who laughed and criticized Jesus finally realized that he was in fact the Son of God! It took Jesus’ death for many to realize the truth. So how much more for us today? We may never receive validation from others because of who God called us to be, but as I stated earlier, we aren’t here to please others…our goal is to please God. Paul stated, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? I I were still trying to please people I wouldn’t be a servant of Christ.” (Galations 1:10) As followers of Christ, our lights should shine bright in a dark world. Like Jesus we should know that everyone won’t accept the light with open arms although our desire is that they do. We shouldn’t become depressed or hate anyone because of their choice. As long as we walk with confidence, boldness, and stand firm on God’s promises and in the beauty He created us in our light and message WILL positively impact someone. They may not tell you right away, you may not see the fruit of your labor right away, but you must stand firm and, Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)

I pray that this message has touched someone. Please know that you are not alone with not feeling worthy or good enough. If you are feeling this way or know someone who is remember the Bible tells us, Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin! So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved kindness, and we will find help.” (Hebrews 4:15-16) Tell Jesus exactly what you’re going through, how you’re feeling, and know that he understands and wants to help you. He’ll give you the courage, strength, and joy to overcome your weaknesses. And the same power he gave you to overcome, He wants you to share with others as a testimony to show that he’s ABLE! So believe in your heart, mind, and spirit that you are worth it, you are loved, you are beautiful, you are strong, and with Jesus, the chains are broken! Victory is yours!

BLiftedBFree

The Time is Now! God’s Judgment is Coming — 7 Dreams

prayer-bible

The Coming Judgment a Motive to Repentance. Below you’ll find a collection of seven dreams I had concerning God’s judgment on the world. I made physical and mental notes of them along the years, but God told me to write them down and make it public. When I started having visions and dreams my first thought was wow, what does this mean, why me, and what do I do with what I saw? There were even times when I would have dreams and then think no that couldn’t happen….if I told people and it didn’t come true what would people say? But, the visions and dreams I had DID come true! I would read or watch the news of dreams I had and see it actually happen. It was scary initially, then I heard God say, “I had to prove to you that what I’m showing you in the spirit realm is indeed real and I don’t want you to be afraid to speak out about it.” So, I decided to finally do just that. My hope is that people understand how powerful God is, and how important it is to repent and accept Christ as their Lord and Savior now.

Dreams

  • August 24, 2015 (went to bed around 1:30 a.m.):  I was in a building where there was a strong evil presence and I couldn’t figure out why it was so heavy. Then, I peered over to what looked like a reception/check in desk (perhaps at a hotel) and saw what looked like red rosary beads with a woman making an occultic sign. I thought instantly this belongs to Madonna. Then I saw a silver glitter undergarment Madonna wore from a performance. What was strange was that it was still on her, bloodied, however the rest of her body wasn’t attached. I was frightened at this horrific site. I asked what happened to her…no one knew. Then, I heard the spirit of the Lord say repeatedly, “The Ten Commandments ate her.” The whole time it looked like an investigation scene where people were horrified at what appeared to her being murdered. It was as if her body was completely driven through the worst kind of murder, chopped up, as if she was intentionally being punished. Then I remember hearing again, “The Ten Commandments ate her.” She committed terrible, deliberate sins before God, mocking Him — and it related to the Ten Commandments. The dream ended. Later in the day I checked my YouTube account and one of the channels I subscribe to uploaded a video that afternoon about Madonna’s upcoming September 2015 performance called “The Desecration of the Bride” Arrival of Fallen Angels (she’s on tour now). That made me do a double take! Was the Lord revealing to me an upcoming death to Madonna that would shock the world?! Not only that, it seemed as if somehow the world would know that it was because of her satanic performance — and people’s spirits would be awakened to God’s judgment.
  • Approximately three months ago: I saw ten world power leaders sitting on over-sized chairs that stood as high as a vaulted ceiling. Their country/continental flags flew next to them. They were all full of evil and they knew it! They were not ashamed of their evil powers. They looked all the way down to a large group of people in various levels of a building who appeared to be partying — music blasting, strobe lights going, heavy drinking and the like. They were totally unaware of what was going on in their respective lands and how much evil their “leaders” possessed and what they planned to do with it. They were too busy enjoying the world — indifferent to their spiritual livelihood. The world leaders looked down on them and laughed maniacally amongst themselves at these people. They enjoyed the ignorance of the people and relished in their own power, wealth and superiority. They were planning to destroy mankind in various barbaric and demonic ways. I also saw a huge flatscreen television which displayed the news — the world leaders looked on, watching the destruction of mankind and mocked them. I tried to warn the people to get out of there, informing them of the evilness of the world leaders, that the place they were in wasn’t safe. Some listened and left, the rest continued on partying unbothered by my warning. I also saw the United States leader and flag. This person had their down and their hands covering their face. It looked like they had lost their world leader and superpower recognition and regretted being a part of this world power group and plan. As an aside, be aware of the pope. No good is in him. He could also play a role with these world leaders. The dream ended.
  • At least five years ago: Collection of dreams —
    • I was lying in bed when all of a sudden I felt a bolt of energy wake me up. I remember calling out my sister and grandmother’s names. No response. As I looked around, suddenly my “room” turned into a place filled with bunk beds. I saw people lying down sleeping at night. Then I heard this loud “boom” sound — it sounded like supersonic thunder (does that exist?) anyway, it was REALLY loud! This obviously woke everyone up to see what happened. Then I looked out a window and I saw heavy rain and strong winds — it looked like a hurricane and tsunami. Trees were violently swaying and being uprooted. A large amount of people began to scream and cry out loudly. Trees then started to break the roof and ceiling of where the people were sleeping and then panic ensued. They started running, yelling, trying to escape this horrific storm, but they couldn’t. They perished trying to escape this violent storm. And it wasn’t just this one location it was happening around the state (unsure if this was also occurring elsewhere). The ominous part about this dream besides the storm was how unaware and shocked people were to see this happen. It was unexpected. I then heard loud marching from military personnel who were dressed in black. The dream ended.
    • I was looking on to a main intersection in the city where I live and saw a horrible site. Everything appeared to stop. There was a huge pileup of cars that were all piled up because of vehicle accidents. I saw some bodies lying on the ground and blood everywhere. I couldn’t figure out how this happened. I didn’t see one person walking around. The dream ended.
    • I saw a city that was completely scorched (it occurred to me that it was a global event). Buildings completely ruined, charred. Everywhere I turned it was total destruction. This didn’t appear to be done by man, but by God. I then moved along and saw military personnel all around. There were various checkpoints, military vehicles, and even regular cars passing through checkpoints. It was clear that people couldn’t go anywhere except by the permission of this military group. I even looked upon and heard the military personnel during checkpoints. “Let me see your identification…. all right it’s ok to go that way,” as they pointed out the direction. There were some who were cleaning up this huge disaster with construction equipment. It was a very desolate place. Next I saw what appeared to be concentration camps. People were outside in groups of wired off areas/pods. They were loudly weeping and in despair. Helicopters buzzed above flashing its lights around the campgrounds. There were many medical units and military personnel to handle what seemed to be a drastic apocalyptic event. The dream ended.
    • West Coast, East Coast Splitting; Central: I saw an aerial view of the entire United States of America. Then I saw the west coast splitting off from the United States from strong earthquakes and tsunamis. I saw the east coast splitting off from the United States from strong hurricanes and tsunamis. In the splitting there was destruction of these coasts. In a later dream I saw the central U.S. also being pulled apart from variations of earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis. I also saw great mountains being sunk into the sea. There were some people in small boats who looked on in fear. The dream ended.
    • People Finding Churches Preaching Gospel of Christ: I saw people gathering in churches and other meeting areas where the gospel of Christ was being preached to those who remained after the judgment of God occurred. The groups of people there included: people who thought they would have made it to heaven with the rest of the saints, people who originally chose not to accept Christ as their savior, and people who were there out of fear of God’s judgment — these people now knew the truth of Christ and the power of God. People there just wanted to get right with God and didn’t care if they were going to be martyred for the Gospel’s sake. The dream ended.

To close, I believe these collections of dreams foretell events to come. There is great significance for people all over the world to be watchful, prayerful, and most of all to repent of your sins, turn to Christ and live for Him. Jesus still saves! We are living under God’s grace now; however, that time won’t last forever. God wants everyone to be called out of darkness and sin and into His marvelous light of holiness, love and faith. Joel 2:12-13 states, That is why the LORD says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Return to the LORD your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.

If you don’t know Christ as your Savior or if you have turned away from Him, please say this prayer of salvation:

Heavenly Father, I come to you just as I am. I understand that I’ve turned away from you and your perfect will for my life. I’m sorry Lord. Forgive me of my sins. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Renew my mind, give me a clean heart and a renewed spirit in you. God, I recognize that you sent your son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins and you raised Him from the dead to be with you in heaven. Jesus please come into my life and be my Lord and Savior. Let your Holy Spirit lead me and guide me in the path of righteousness. Help me to trust you in every area of my life. By faith I declare that I am saved! Thank you Jesus!

BLiftedBFree

Touching Lives through God’s Love: Haiti Outreach Mission

Kids in Haiti with New Life Covenant SE's mission team

Kids in Haiti with New Life Covenant SE’s mission team

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” -Acts 1:8

I thank God for the opportunity to manage my church’s (New Life Covenant Church​ SE) Haiti outreach project with our children’s ministry! I LOVE working with young people, outreach, and most of all I LOVE GOD!!! I wasn’t able to go to Haiti, but seeing the faces of the kids there was beyond amazing!!! My prayer was that this project would touch many lives, souls would be saved, and that the people in Haiti would feel and experience the love of Christ. I wanted the kids to know and understand that God is their creator and no matter where they live or who they are as individuals, God loves them and wants them to live out their God-given purpose and destiny, which all started with the blessing God gave Adam and Eve during the creation. Thank you to my New Life Covenant family who believed in and supported my vision. Thank you to the NLC missions team for including the children’s ministry to be a part of their mission and for being an AWESOME team of people who are providing medical treatments to the people in Haiti. Finally, thank you again Angela Martin​ for donating the beautiful cross necklaces for the 250 kids in Haiti.

All glory to God!!!

BLiftedBFree

Soooo adorable!!!

Soooo adorable!!!

My His Kids class at New Life Covenant SE with their self-portraits we sent to kids in Haiti.

My His Kids class at New Life Covenant SE with their self-portraits we sent to kids in Haiti.

Life is Precious

butterfly burden

No matter what happens to someone…life goes on.
At any moment life can be snatched away from you. What I’ve noticed is that we get so caught up in day to day routines with the expectation that our lives are untouchable. I often read news about wars, violence, terrorism, discrimination, and even experienced first-hand accounts of youth in Chicago’s inner-cities where I witnessed the trap that many fall victim to….drugs, money and violence. And when a friend dies because of it it’s, “hey, so-and-so got killed, that’s messed up.” And then….life goes on. It isn’t a wake up call for most to realize how dangerous that lifestyle is or how being around people involved in that lifestyle can endanger you. It’s all spiritual and mental. Until you’re awakened of the dangers you just become numb to it all as if you’re ok with death…like it’s normal….like there’s nothing better or positive for you to consider as an alternative. I didn’t grow up in that lifestyle, but I know we all experience something that tries to pull us from fulfilling our God-given purpose and destiny. Humanity has become desensitized to evil because it’s so prevalent — just think about how we would be if there was more good, more light than darkness in the world — The darkness for many has caused them to give in and give up on life… accepting oneself to literally sit in darkness without searching for light disregarding the fact that good is the better option.

I know that it’s only by God’s grace that those who are alive are just that…alive. No, everybody’s life isn’t bullet proof or save proof. As people we can’t say, “well I’ll do this tomorrow or next month or an hour from now.” We don’t know what the next second holds! It’s why we must value each and every moment of our life. To rid ourselves of accepting evil and realizing that we are more than conquerors and overcomers through Jesus Christ. He overcame death which granted us the opportunity to experience eternal life and not be bound to the grave. His life is a perfect example of how to overcome darkness, temptation, evil, suffering, hatred and jealousy. We wouldn’t have the choice of eternal life, restoration and redemption if He laid back and didn’t strive to fulfill His purpose to save humanity….just think if He chose to instead give up and give in to the darkness that tried to constantly entangle Him!
I know that I wasn’t created to just live and die and that be it. I often think about what am I living for? To be the richest person on earth? To be a social media celebrity? To work a 9-5? To live check to check? There has to be a greater purpose. I don’t want to gain everything in the world or be thrilled that everybody likes me. I want to make sure I’m touching lives through God’s love and that my life pleases Him.
Thinking about what life means to me, I can recall a time when I almost drowned as a kid… knowing I couldn’t swim, but convincing myself to get on the water slide which led to a 6 feet deep pool of water because I saw other kids doing it. I still thank God for saving me…somehow I was able to swim to the edge and pull myself out. I remember thinking as I splashed in the water, “oh God no. Please help God. I can’t swim. I don’t want to die now, it’s not my time.” I don’t take that moment for granted. Sometimes people don’t get more than one chance.
I never thought about suicide, but I remember being in dark places in my life, specifically in college. Yes, I experienced depression and loneliness. I had thoughts and heard voices telling me I wasn’t good enough to be going to this great university away from home, that I should just give up, no one here cares about you, you’re by yourself, God isn’t here and your family isn’t either to help or pray for you…. I didn’t understand life. I got stuck and didn’t see any light at the end. I didn’t want to talk to anybody on campus and lied to my family and said everything was ok when they called and check on me. This situation kept me trapped in darkness for two years. More to come on all of it in a later post…but know that I got out because of God’s love and grace. I knew that taking my life was not the answer, and though the light seemed very dim I had to keep going just like I did in the water park. It wasn’t the end for me. I cried manyyyy times mainly because of frustration. How did I get to this point? Someone who was a positive person, helped others, did good….suddenly turn into someone I didn’t recognize. I didn’t understand why, but I remember saying many times, “God help me. I need you.” I didn’t always say I was sorry for what I did, but I know my spirit screamed out…. GOD HELP ME! I NEED YOU!
One thing I realized was that I couldn’t move past my valley of darkness by trying to analyze and figure how to “fix” things. No, because my mind wouldn’t let that happen, and I couldn’t listen to others telling me how I should just stick with it in college and do this and take this class and talk to this teacher/counselor. No, I had to give EVERYTHING to God. I knew I couldn’t bear anymore heaviness. I knew that Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) Scripture also says, Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7) And that’s what I did. I told God, “You fix me. You fix this situation. I can’t do it by myself.” It didn’t happen over night, but I didn’t give up because I tried my way and it didn’t work so I decided to give Him everything. And that’s when He began to work in me and show me what life in Him is about. Complete surrendering, complete faith, complete healing of the mind, body and soul.
I didn’t expect my life to take that turn, which brings me back to the beginning of my post. You never know what life has in store for you. You can’t live with pride thinking EVERYTHING is going to be great for you and that nothing bad will ever happen to you. Or that only bad things happen to you and that you’ll NEVER experience anything good in life. It may not always be a physical death…we may experience sudden moments of drastic changes that put us on an unexpected and sometimes an unwanted path of darkness and loneliness or whatever you’re suffering with….please remember that no one lives a perfect pain-free, stress-free life. But with Jesus, please know that He’ll be that light no matter how big darkness may try to trap and entangle you. And please know that God always hears you so you shouldn’t allow yourself to be trapped in loneliness. If no one around you understands you…give your anxiety, fear, doubt, trouble to Jesus in prayer. Make a journal of what you’re experiencing…it may seem silly to think about, but write to God….tell Him all of your troubles and ask Him to help you. Over time you’ll see just how far he’s brought you not only to know that He is a healer, deliverer and provider, but that He is faithful! Trust Him to lead and guide you…to understand what you’re going through. He cares about every single person in this world!

Sometimes God allows us to go through trials not just to help us grow in our faith in Christ, but to also be a witness to others about His great power. You never know whose life you can touch or help save. So when you’re going through remember it may not be the way we want it to turn out, but it’s always for our good.

Remember what Jesus said in regards to life and death, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)


BLiftedBFree

Silent Loud Stories

The double dutch phenomenon. Who decided two ropes were better than one?

The double dutch phenomenon. Who decided two ropes were better than one anyway?

For the past couple of months I’ve been wondering how and when I should start this blogging thing. I admit upfront that I’m a very private person, so you can imagine how much I was fighting against doing this not just because of what others would think but mainly because I’m such a perfectionist that I had to have everything right…however I’ve come to realize that no one is perfect, not even life itself so what’s the fear in jumping in…which leads me to the girls jumping double dutch photo. I’ve always dreaded jumping into one with a fear that I wouldn’t be able to do it “right” despite others around me appearing to look like double dutch champions (I’d be the girl wearing the white shirt walking past thinking “how do they do it?”)

But, you know, everyone started out with that same trepidation…some more than others. Bottom line, you can’t know how you’ll do until you just jump in and see what happens….eventually you’ll either get it after many attempts of learning the right technique or you’ll try and realize, hey this just isn’t my thing…which is OK! The point is to strive to overcome your fears…so yes I’ll jump double dutch even though I’m not good at it (and I’ll laugh at myself because it’s a phenomenon that will remain a mystery to me).

With that said, the purpose of my blog is to share real moments of my life (past and present) that have impacted and shaped me….moments that I hope will encourage, inspire and  transform lives. And it all revolves around my connection to God. I’ve always felt “different” than everyone else; my life was going to be different because of who God called me to be. Let me say that it isn’t all bunnies and rainbows….quite the opposite. In addition to moments in my life, I’ll also be sharing my thoughts on world events and…dreams and visions I’ve had (more on that in a later post).

My story and journey will begin here. I won’t be THAT person who says, well I don’t care if no one ever reads this I just need a way to express myself lol. No, my hope is that it touches many lives. I truly believe there’s a lot of people in this world who will #BLifted and #BFree through my personal blog, with love.

BLifted simply means to be encouraged….to be lifted out of your current situation….to see the positive in everything you experience….to open your mind, heart, and soul to realize you have the power to live out your God-given purpose and destiny — transcending what society deems as “normal.”

BFree continues with that belief…breaking chains of whatever has held you down or back from reaching your full potential.

BLiftedBFree