Monday, June 17, 2019

        Every morning I wake up and Pray, read the Bible, check my emails then indulge in social media (all while my son is still sleeping lol). Lets be honest most of us who have social media accounts have in some way incorporated scrolling and "liking" post into our everyday routine, especially if you have a business or a platform that requires you to connect with people all over the world. For me social media has become a business tool for marketing my brand and a platform that helps me stay connected with old friends and family.

        Its a good feeling seeing old friends succeeding, getting married and having children, watching family members grow up and graduate or read an article on how a good samaritan saved someones life all from an app on our cellphones. But sometimes shared information isn't always good information and everything isn't worthy of being posted. For most people social media has become a platform to express themselves, but in what form does expression become exploitation? And why are so many people loosing their identities trying to fit in or standout?

        At some point in our lives we've all done things we weren't proud of. I didn't always surround myself with the right people or make the right decisions, but Ive always had a heart to help and inspire people to do better and want better. It wasn't until I came to know Christ and discovered who God called me to be that I was able to find an outlet where I could share my story and inspire others. I started to utilize Instagram and Facebook as my outlet to share my testimony on how God changed my life. I drew inspiration from all the toxic and negative things Ive seen on social media everyday. I made it my mission to be an example of Christ to those who are lost and searching.

        I gave my life to the Lord because I knew I wanted more out of the life I was living, it wasn't enough to just go through the motions of everyday life lost without an answer to my problems. We get so caught up in whats going on around us that we start to find ourselves identifying with what we see. Social Media has become so influential in the lives of many and people are starting to find themselves comparing what they see on the internet to their actual lives. Its so easy to get caught up with what everyone else is doing especially when it seems like your missing out on a "good time". But is it worth sacrificing your integrity for a couple of "likes" online? Ask yourself this, would I be doing what Im doing if I couldn't post it for the world to see?

       At the end of the day there is nothing wrong with interacting on social media, there are so many positive outlets that we have access too we just have to tap into those things that promote the goodness of this world and not evil. For me, that purpose is doing what God called me to do and thats to be the shining light in this dark world, if it takes me updating my status everyday with a Godly message or posting a picture of my family God blessed me with, I know Im reaching someone  somewhere and what I share could impact their lives for the greater good.

Monday, May 6, 2019

    Any significant life decision we make requires us to change. Accepting Christ now meant that I had a new heart, a new life, a chance to be a better person to be "Christ Like" 17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" 2 Corinthians 5:17(KJV) For most people change can be a scary thing because it requires us to have to exam every decision and choice we've ever made. Everything we've learned throughout life has been taught to us by our parents and the people around us. Wether we intentionally picked up habits or inherited things through our DNA we grow up becoming products of our environment.

I grew up as a "tough girl" with an "attitude", I didn't take anyones mess and I had no problem telling you how I felt. In school I got in trouble for talking back and in the neighborhood I got in fights if someone looked at me wrong. I had a low tolerance for anything that I didn't agree with and often carried around this mean chip on my shoulder. I kept a very small circle of friends and never really cared to make new ones, I always stayed quiet and distant and didn't want to be bothered. As I got older I carried this same attitude, I didn't care if I was at school, work or in a social setting my demeanor towards people especially those I didn't know was always cold, this was normal for me. Popping off at the mouth, foul language, talking back & rude comments; yeah this was me! Now don't get me wrong I had a nicer side lol people that i trusted and had personal relationships with could tell you that i was the coolest person you could meet, but if you didn't know me on a personal level you probably never experienced it. I was very closed off to people that i did not know and never cared to get to know. Its crazy reflecting on my past and realizing that God really caused a significant change in my behavior. It took me being in uncontrollable anger to realize that I could no longer live like this. To carry around such bitterness and anger I never even knew I had, something I thought was just a description of who I was and who I was always going to be. BUT GOD!!!!

At the lowest point in my life I realized I no longer wanted to be that person, I didn't want to be angry for no reason. It was at that moment when I realized I needed to change and the only thing I could think to do was to ask God to change me. For some people change doesn't happen over night but for me I immediately opened up to what God wanted me to be. The first couple of weeks in service I really encountered what it meant to be a reflection of Christ. God did not send his son here to live a life of anger and bitterness and he did not create me to be that way, he sent his only son to take all that away so we no longer have to carry it with us. Thats when it all started to make sense, and then the shift came. You ever hear the expression "a weight lifted off"? That was exactly what it felt like.  I was carrying a heavy load of anger that didn't even belong to me and Jesus took it all. I know for a lot of people it might seem far fetched, like I just snapped my fingers and over night I was a changed person. But for me I really was, I was starting to smile more, open up to people more and really just enjoying the fact that I was alive to experience everything great God had in store for me. 

Friday, April 19, 2019

 It seems like overtime more and more people are shying away from the church and even though they might be believers they don't find it necessary to attend church or that the need to belong to one is no longer important. Well I can say just from my own walk that my church has been the foundation and the starting point for me being able to grow & learn about the word of God. The last 5 years I've enjoyed every moment I spent at church, from praise & worship Sunday mornings to Bible study Wednesday evenings. It's funny when I think back to how my life use to be, I went from being out at the club Saturday nights to serving the lord Sunday mornings. It was a big change but it was something that I had to do. I knew I had to leave my old ways and start walking in my purpose.

I know for a new believer a lot things probably go through your head the first time you consider going to church, "Will I fit in, will I understand what the pastor is saying, will they ask me for money, does my dress look ok, can I wear sneakers?"  There are so many misconceptions in the world about the church that stop people from going but I can say if you strongly feel the need to want to get closer to God going to church is probably the most important step in your walk with Christ.  There are so many benefits with going to church and also belonging to a church, not only do you learn the word but you build relationships with people, you enter into an atmosphere where you can worship God without feeling embarrassed or ashamed. We all weren't born and raised in church, the church is filled with people who were once lost and searching for something just like you. 

I remember the first time I attended my church (Faith Christian Center World Outreach) I was very reserved and optimistic about what I would experience while I was there. I did not know anyone & I did not have any relationships with anyone there but they all embraced me and even though they did not know me, my story or where I came from that was never important to them all they cared about was my salvation. It took a lot of patience and trust in people I did not know but most importantly I had to trust that God had me in the right place under the right people. My Apostles Dr. Chastine and Ella Rock were the most humble people I had ever come across in the church. Their love for the lord & passion to get people saved and transform lives showed me that I was exactly where I was suppose to be. Everything about the ministry was a reflection of the path I wanted to take. As my leaders preached  the word Sunday after Sunday I had the desire to keep coming back for more, I got to the point where I no longer felt like I was just sitting in the church but I was becoming the church having a one on one talk with God. 

For 5 years now I've been an active member of my church, I've built relationships with people who were once strangers. I've received genuine love, support, prayer & guidance from people I once had nothing in common with. It's so important for people to understand that the church is like your family, you have people who care about you who will pray for you when you need it, speak good things over your life & uplift you. Those are things you  just can't get sitting home In front of a tv. Surround yourself with other believers who will help you if you fall and tell you the truth because they love you.

I'm continuing to build my faith & love for the Lord under the leadership of my Apostles. Because I now belong to the body of Christ I am able to recieve the word of God with an open heart & when the word is being spoken I know it's truth coming from the Holy Spirit through my leaders. You see there are some things you just can't get if your not hooked into a ministry. Take the time and let God lead you to the right one, the world is filled with churches who's doors are always open.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Music is probably the most influential form of art and expression. In today’s society the love for music has developed into a lifestyle that is expressed through our relationships with one another, how we dress, the way we talk and how we see the world around us. I think it’s safe to say that music is a big part of our everyday lifestyle and our culture.

Growing up I always had a passion for music, from my mom playing 90s R&B hits Saturday mornings to my dad playing 70s soul music on those long car rides. If it had a dope beat & rhyming lyrics I instantly became a fan. Music was always an outlet, a way to explain how you were feeling at the moment and how life was treating you, I didn’t realize until I was an adult how much the music I was listening to was influencing my moods, certain songs would keep me down in a funk or have me thinking I needed to become someone else in order to be accepted. When your a child you don’t understand what the lyrics really mean, then when you become an adult you start questioning what it is you’ve been listening too.

Don’t get me wrong, there was a time when the most raunchy degrading and rebellious lyrics made sense to me, some of Hip Hops top artists were favorites of mine, being played in my stereo everyday. I didn’t care that the lyrics were telling me to expose my body and men would love me, or to use drugs and not care about anything because the world doesn’t care. When I think back to some of the music I listened too I cringe, what was I thinking lol. I didn’t realize it at the time because it was “just music” but soon my life was starting to reflect those same songs I was listening too.

It’s kind of hard to break bad habits especially the ones you never considered to be bad in the first place. When I accepted Jesus into my life I had no idea the music I was listening too would no longer be a major part of me. I can’t lie it was hard having to give up Nicki Minaj and Drake lol what was I suppose to listen to? I didn’t think I would ever find music that I loved, that I could dance too, ride in the car to, clean the house and move too. My spirit man still wanted to be filled with the tunes of hip hop, R&B and reggae, the sound of soul and pop music but where would I get it from?

It didn’t take long for me to recognize the same quality of sound in Christian music. I was getting the same energy and melody from Christian artist that I would get from the music in the world but this time I was able to worship and give God the praise at the same time. My husband and I shared a big common interest in music when we first met, his passion and love for Christian music guided me towards artist and songs I never knew existed, I had discovered that I could still move and enjoy the sounds of reggae or comprehend 16 bars and a drum pattern over a Christian hip hop track. The transition became easy to the point that secular music no longer existed to me. Now my archive is full of tunes from well know top of the chart Christian artist to the independent ones some may have never heard of. I enjoy listening to music now more than I ever did before.

“Shout your praises to GOD, everybody! Let loose and sing! Strike up the band! Round up an orchestra to play for GOD, Add on a hundred-voice choir. Feature trumpets and big trombones, Fill the air with praises to King GOD.” Psalm‬ ‭98:4-6‬ ‭MSG

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior was the easy part, that's what I had believed and that's the decision I had come to. What I wasn't prepared for was the life style, living holy and being mindful of how I represented myself as a Christian. When you've spent the last 5 years turning up in the club and suddenly your walking by Faith and trusting God a major shift takes place. When I got born again that's exactly what happened to my life, everything I had done before I got saved was no longer relevant I was a new person with a clean sleight and a fresh start.

The hardest part about change, is knowing that some of the things you once identified with you'll now have to let go and replace. I couldn't carry myself the same way I was before I got saved I was a Christian now.  I had to be mindful of the choice of words that I was speaking over myself. Learning how powerful words could be I couldn't speak doubt and lack or anything that could hinder my growth and my blessings. I stopped watching certain TV shows and became cautious of the type of music I was listening too.

I know it may seem like 1,2,3 & bam your life has miraculously changed. But it takes a lot of obedience and strength to give up the things you were use to doing. I was blessed to have a great church and great examples around me. People who genuinely cared about me and wanted to make sure that i was living a life holy and acceptable to God. Sometimes the people we have around us block us from receiving what God wants us to have and most of the time those people are friends and family. How can I just cut my friends off? How do I walk away from family? When your on a different path from those around you there really are only 2 options. They accept you and the life you have chosen for yourself and respect whatever changes you have to make OR God removes them for you lol. In the end I gained way more than what I had lost. My family supported me becoming a Christian and my friends were happy that I was happy, on top of that God had sent me a man I would soon fall in love with and show me how real having a relationship with God really was.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

We've all been down that road, found someone we were attracted too, exchanged numbers, gone on a couple of dates and before you know it you find yourself becoming intimate. For most people finding the right person is a challenge and often we end up repeating the same mistakes and trapped in the same cycle of dating. I speak from experience when I say "dating is hard" but it doesn't have to be, you just have to know your purpose for dating someone and what you want to gain from it. Are you looking for a companion or a relationship?

Too often people end up in situations with someone they really aren't sure about. At the beginning it was fun and exciting but after a few months you start loosing interest, you wonder if you really care about the person or if it's just convenient to have them around. That's why it's so important to take the time to get to know someone. Find out what they're really about, do they want the same things in life as you? Are they ready to take the next step? If you can't connect with someone mentally, the physical won't be enough to keep you together. Put in the effort to learn everything you need to know about the person your dating and don't be afraid to open up. If your looking for a serious relationship and they tell you on the first date that they're not looking for something serious, WELP that's your cue to keep it moving. Don't settle because your lonely and think you can change someone's mind it'll only lead to heartache and a bunch of time wasted.

The most important thing you can do is be honest, be honest with the person your connecting with but most importantly be honest with yourself. Use wisdom and take your time, there's no time limit when getting to know someone and your gut will tell you if it's right or if you should move on.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Sometimes God waits for that right moment to send you someone special. When your not looking and not expecting it he places someone right in your path. That's how I found the love of my life, after attending church for a few weeks I had no idea that the guy on the camera would be the one God designed for me. Its amazing when you meet someone who's lifestyle and upbringing is completely opposite from yours yet you have everything in common. I never thought that I would fall for a guy who was born and raised in a church & both parents were pastors. Here I am just fresh out of going to the clubs dating a guy who wasn't experienced in having a relationship and was saving himself for marriage. But non of that mattered in fact those were the reasons why it was easy to love and trust him and why I knew he would honor me and our relationship. Out in the world, we learn that experience, lust and sex makes someone attracted to you, but Gods word shows us that obedience and faithfulness will bring us peace and joy with the one we love. As we grew closer together, I grew closer to God and I learned to love a man the way God intended it to be.

It didn't take long for us to realize God had placed us together for a reason. As months passed we knew we didn't want to be apart & everyone around us knew we had something special. It's so refreshing knowing that family and friends on both sides are rooting for you. Everyone could see how we balanced each other out, we were exactly what the other person needed. It only took a few months before we both knew we wanted to be together for the rest of our lives and a year later we said "I Do"

"Love is not a feeling, its a spiritual endeavor"
Because we love God FIRST we know what it means to love each other.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Sometimes we look for life's answers in all the wrong places. We turn to friends for advice, our parents for guidance we even read magazines, social media and listen to music in search of finding the answers to our problems. I can say first hand that none of those options have worked for me. Now don't get me wrong, I don't completely ignore thoughts shared with me from friends and my parents raised me to be the person I am today but sometimes there's more that we're just not getting or seeing.

Ever wonder why so many people are walking around depressed, stressed and have no direction in life? Most of the time its because we don't know who we are. We get to a certain age and our parents tell us its time to be an adult and face the world but we have no idea what that means. I didn't leave my moms house till I was 26 and even then I had no idea what I would be facing. We get out into the world and we're hit with all these obstacles and don't know how to handle them. We make mistake after mistake and try to find things to help us cope with the pressure of everyday life and still nothing works. Then it gets to the point where we give in to the pressure of life or let it pull us under.

I think we all get to that point where enough is enough and its too much to bare, but how hard do you really have to fall before you make a change? Or as my Apostle would say "when will you be sick and tired of being sick and tired"? We all go through things even those of us who are saved and know the Lord, but it's that relationship with Jesus Christ that helps us get through those tough times.  I use to think just having good morals and knowing right from wrong was enough to get me through life. But when I hit those bumpy roads and made wrong decisions I didn't know what to do or how to get through it. A lot of us become numb to the world around us and often feel like this is just how life is suppose to be. But God promised us so much more. Jesus Christ died to deliver us from any misfortunes in our lives, he died so we don't have to walk around carrying all the pain, stress & burdens of life he took all of that away from us.

The way my life has turned around I would have never imaged Id be where I'm at today and I can honestly say I wouldn't have gotten this far on my own. If I had not given my life to Christ when I did I don't know where id be right now.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

When I first decided to go to church I had no idea what I was getting myself  into or what I expected the outcome to be, I just knew that my life needed to change & fast. I didn't grow up in church, in fact the only time I ever went was on Easter Sunday and that was because my mom made me but I knew I believed in God, I knew there was a Heaven and Hell, I knew that the world I was living in was getting crazier and scarier and I didn't want to get sucked into it. I knew how everyone around me was living and I didn't want my life to end up like that. I wanted more, happiness, a family a marriage I knew if I couldn't figure out how to get those things on my own then God would show me.

My first day attending church was like the first day at a new school,  of course I didn't  know anyone and I had only just moved there a few months ago but I stuck it out and I kept going back, I was hungry for the word and desperate to change my life. I had never experienced someone teaching me about God the way the Apostle did. How he explained who God was and why Jesus did what he did for us. It was like listening to the history channel and learning where i came from and who I really was in Christ. The Apostle spoke as if he knew what we were going through, all our life problems and how there was a solution and a way out of all of it. It was God! The answer to all life's problems, there was no situation or person that God could not fix if they were willing to give their lives to him.

I had been going to church for a few weeks, and my days were starting to look brighter, of course all my problems were still there and my life style hadn't changed much but I was getting up every Sunday morning and attending church, the more I heard the word the stronger my Faith got and then God started to move and work things out in my life, he had sent me something so special I never saw it coming!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

So what do you do when your life takes a turn for the unexpected and you lose everything you started off with?

This is exactly what happened to me once I left home. The plan I had FAILED and going back home wasn't and option. I've never been a quitter or some one who just gives up and falls into a depression but I was finding myself dealing with anxiety, something I had never experienced before. I had no idea what my next move was going to be but I knew I had to move fast because I had no where to go and nobody to help. When you find yourself spending the night at a strangers house you realize "this cant be my life".

Back on Interstate 95 heading North I stopped at my Aunts house along the way. Little did I know this would become my permanent home and the beginning of a brand new life. I settled into my new place and as usual fell back into that same routine, working, partying and bad friends. You would think by now that I would have figured out that this wasn't the life for me, but I continued on and for a little while things seemed to be ok until life smacked me in the face. Ever felt like your problems were just too much, like things never seem to go right? That was the path I was heading down. I had reached a point where I was just tired of all the nonsense, this wasn't the life I wanted to live. I knew I couldn't make the change on my own, was I weak? No! But its so much easier to do the wrong things than it is to do what's right. I knew I had to find a way to figure out what my life's purpose was really about, and that's when I decided I was going to go to church.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Sometimes things get out of control and become to much to bare. Growing up in a small city surrounded by the same faces can definitely make you feel like your stuck. I had gotten to that place where I needed something new, a new town, new friends, new job and I was determined to get out. A new location meant a fresh start and luckily for me I had family and a place to live when I left. I remember the day I packed up my Jeep, everything I owned in the back seat. I was so excited to go but saying goodbye to my family was probably the hardest thing I ever had to do. Pulling out of the drive way I remember my dad saying to me "You know you don't have to go" and he was right, I didn't have to leave. I could of unpacked my things and stayed right there and no one would of said a thing. But what would staying get me? I had outgrown the city I was from, leaving was my only option.

On Interstate 95 heading South, I had so many mixed emotions with $180 to my name I started thinking about everything I was leaving behind and if this was really the right move. I knew I wanted things to be different, but how could my life change when I still had all my baggage with me. 12 hours on the road and I arrived at my destination anxious to see what this new city had in store. It didn't take long for me to adapt to my surroundings and before I knew it I was back to the same old routine, working, partying, shopping and making friends with people who really weren't concerned about me. I was in a new city but found myself still dealing with the same problems. I thought relocating would change everything but it didn't, things actually got worse. I moved from home with the hopes of gaining a brand new life but instead I ended up losing everything. I had no friends, no job and the guy I was dating was no good smh go figure. I was right back where I started.