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God is up to Something!

Even though I write this prematurely, there is no denying the fact that God is indeed up to something as only He can do.

Three weeks ago, I texted a Liberty friend of mine who was in my dorm freshman year, who was also from NC, who we have loosely kept in contact with throughout our college career and after. She is a runner and a lover of Jesus, with a heart for the nations found in Africa as she is the official sponsor of a precious child there whom she has ministered to and loved and shared the gospel with numerous times. We met up two years ago at a coffee shop as I bought her Macbook Air, in which is the same that I am typing this on because she was raising money to go back to Africa to see her little boy. Her husband, who was in my brother dorm freshman year, is a student pastor at a church in Raleigh/Cary and she told me of his heart and passion. I told her then that I would love to have him come and speak for our DNow weekend, but it would not be for a while.

That opportunity came up this year as I am trying to plan DNow, so I contacted her and him by extension. He is working to clear it with his senior pastor right now and he emailed me back on Monday. He asked if I had settled on a theme yet and I told him not at the time, but hopefully and prayerfully by the end of the week, I would have something. It was one of those lines that us ministers like to use that sound good and Godly, but we know we are not really meaning what we say.

Since I said it, I decided to look at the curriculum for DNow as I have not really had the time to do so, nor have I had the mindset to do so. I was not prepared for what God was about to do.

I have prayed maybe once or twice since talking to them for God to move in our hearts now and show up like He did last year during DNow, that students would see Him, and that they would come to know Him as Savior and Lord. I prayed that God would work in the details and He would set the way and go before. As we started 2018, God asked me the question, “What are you trusting me to do in your life in 2018?” One of my answers to that is for two specific students to be saved and to come to know Him. Another was that He would use the influence I have for His good and glory as He has given me other students to minister to through FCA and just being in the community. Can I say, God answers prayers, even the ones we muster and half-heartily mean?

So what did God do? He showed up! He started paving a way!

This past Sunday during youth, I was closing my lesson on “Love is eternal and not earthly/temporal” and said that God’s love for us is eternal and nothing is able to separate us, especially our sin. I alluded to Luke 15:11-32, the parable of the Prodigal Son, and how God is the father in the story, sitting and waiting for us to come home, to come back to Him, even though we messed up and sinned against Him. When the Father sees us coming, he runs to us and welcomes us back home and treats us like the sons of God that we are, while the stench of sin is still on us. I then told the students that I needed to teach on the Prodigal Son since I have not done that for them, because it is one of my favorite parables thanks to Chrysalis.

Then Monday came with his email and me looking at curriculum. When I looked at the new one “This Changes Everything” I saw that the small groups were focusing on our life before Christ, Christ coming, and now what we are left to do since Christ came. I thought this was good and can be spun to show how we are to live our lives as a changed people; a redeemed people, and living like Christ wants us to live because the gospel does in fact change everything about us. Then I looked at the large group outline. The first session was in Luke 15. I reasoned, “ok cool. Many possibilities.” It taught on the Prodigal Son. “Alright, that’s funny because of what I said last night at youth. I’m sure it’s a one session thing.” I scroll down to session 2-4 and find to my surprise and God’s laughter that all of the large group lessons are centered and about the Prodigal Son! I immediately jumped up and called one of my dear friends and then called one of my students since she was there and heard what I said. They were both excited! God chose my curriculum for me.

Oh, do not count God out yet! To make sure that I understood CLEARLY, God showed off and got my attention again today. First, in my book reading, my professor mentions the Prodigal passage. Happenstance. No big deal. Nothing that set me off the deep end. I had FCA today and I had asked the male minister helping me to teach. So he did and as we sat down and he began, he asked us to turn to none other than Luke 15 because he taught this lesson two weeks ago. Again, he could be talking about the lost sheep, the lost coin, so I was not out of my seat just yet. Then he said, we will start in verse 11 and began to explain the Prodigal Son parable. I almost left the room. I was staring hard at my student whom I called on Monday and told about this Prodigal connection to see if she realized the awesome God thing that was happening. She did. I was beyond floored at the Lord for doing this, knowing that I did not talk to the male minister beforehand about what to teach on or to ask him what he was teaching on. It was all a God thing.

So I went to the library to finish my school work, but before I started, I wanted to listen to a song that has been on my heart and in my head all week. I had first heard it when I was sick last week on the NewSpring service and then my Pandora played it on Tuesday. I wrote it down and started looking at the lyrics and chords. Today as I was driving to FCA, I had it on repeat and just had to listen to it again and again. I saw a video with the title, “Should churches sing Reckless Love?” I had to click on it and as I watched the discussion of why we should sing this very song that has been on repeat in my life, they started addressing the Scripture in the song. One of the lines in the chorus is “leaves the 99” which is the parable of the lost sheep from Luke 15. Why I didn’t catch that before (I knew the parable and understood the reference and even appreciated it in the song) specifically was made known to me in their next discussion point because if I had realized the Luke 15 connection, this moment would not have been as sweet. The worship leaders then said that the same line and connotation is found in the Prodigal Son parable a few verses down from the lost sheep parable and starts discussing it!

I almost threw my phone as my mouth fell open. I texted my dear friend about it and then messaged a friend who appreciates a good God story who also knows the importance of the Prodigal Son parable in Chrysalis and the power thereof. So we talked and were excited as we saw God working and going before! As I came back in, one of my FCA students, came over to my table and said that she loved FCA and that’s all she does and wanted to know as I said in closing FCA today, how to have a relationship with God. So I started to share the gospel with her until her sister came over and the conversation was put on hold. At that time, my dear friend texted me back about seeing a rainbow appear and how beautifully vibrant it was and how it made her stop in her tracks and behold the beauty of God and be reminded of all of God’s promises to us.

God is up to something! Something big. Something huge and somehow, I get to watch it unfold. I do not know why nor do I know how. But I have a front row seat as God works in the details and moves in ways only known to Him and I have to be faithful in what He has given me and in the ability to see Him pursue us and pursue those He loves. Is it not grand, that God chooses to allow us, His creation, to watch Him work and show off in our lives? He is doing this all the time, but we fail to realize it and behold it as we should, not just merely writing it off as happenstance or a coincidence.  May our eyes be opened to behold the Lamb of God, as He moves, and works for His good and His glory!

“Oh the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God. Oh it chases me down fights ’til I’m found leaves the ninety-nine. I couldn’t earn it I don’t deserve it, still You give Yourself away. Oh the overwhelming, never-ending reckless love of God!”




The Rudest Wake Up Call

The past three weeks (when I originally wrote this post Dec 30/Jan 1) have been described as a literal hell as one of my dear friends called it.

My mom has been out of work for the past two months due to carpal tunnel in both wrists. This has just been an inconvenience for her and me as she couldn’t do much around the house. In the past week, it has gotten significantly worse to the point where she could not brush her hair or get dressed. I would rush home from work to take care of her, clean the house, and make dinner. What normally would take a few minutes for an able bodied person became a 2-hour process.

This small inconvenience came to a head last Thursday when I was informed by my mom in the last minute that I had to take her to her appointment and miss work. Not only did I have to take her to her appointment, she had to go to the urgent care side after because her feet had swollen so bad that it was interfering with her ability to walk. After two hours wasted, they sent us to the local hospital which is 30 minutes away for an ultrasound to rule out a blood clot.

This Thursday ordeal heightened my week going forward. Not only could my mom not use her hands, she could not use her legs. She spent the next 4 days confined to the bed, only sitting up on the edge of the bed. Because she could not stand up or use her legs as a result of the swelling, pain, and the lack of use, we had to find unique ways for her to go to the bathroom and all of the unpleasantness that goes with that. In a moment, I became 46 instead of 26, cleaning, wiping, and caring for my mom. It was so bad that even she made a comment stating the very same thing.

Christmas night she informed me that we were going to the hospital because she could not take being confined to the bed. After rearranging my plans, we went to the hospital which is always an all-day event, in which it was. From the ER to an observational floor and private room, the questioning continued to figure out what the cause of the swelling was. Mom told me pretty fast that I was not allowed to stay the night with her or come visit her until she was ready to be discharged.

Through the next few days of waiting, my life went on as normal. But instead of coming home to deal with mom, I came home to clean and maintain the cleanliest of the house. In a way, it was a relief that I did not have to deal with her. Her diagnosis was acute gout of the knees which attributed to the swelling and sensitivity in her feet along with the pain. Even though we had answers, there were other problems as well, including her normal medicines that she has been on for high blood pressure and cholesterol, a rash, sores, and the carpal tunnel pain. She was finally discharged yesterday and has been able to walk and function semi-normally thanks to the gout medication.

Through this ordeal, I told my cousin, to never let me get that way. I’ve been thinking over the past few months that I need to take better care of myself, not only just physically, but spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. I need to self-care myself and take time out for me. These past three weeks have definitely become the rudest wakeup call that I could ever receive. As 2018 begins in two days, I want to make 2018 about me; about taking care of me and losing weight. How can I be a better person, a future wife, a future mother that is there for her family, if I cannot take care of myself and if I cannot maintain my health? I don’t want the same problems that my mom is experiencing at age 61. I don’t want to be overweight my entire life. I don’t want gout or to be immobile. I don’t want someone to have to take care of me or having a talk about being put in a home to be rehabilitated until I could take care of myself.

This blog is a pledge. 2018 is my year. Not only do I want to lose 27 pounds this year, but I want to become healthier through whatever means possible.

Not only for me, but for my students as their youth director;

Not only for me, but for my future husband;

not only for me, but for my future children.

Not only physically, but spiritually because how can I lead my students if I am not leading myself? Not only physically and spiritually, but mentally because self-care is a real need, especially in ministry as many ministers of the gospel are burnt out and are having PTSD.

Not only physically, spiritually, mentally, but also emotionally because ministry is hard and it takes a lot of emotion out of you especially in counseling and having difficult conversations.

“It’s day one of the rest of my life // the future has begun, day one”

Victory Over Death

Today was one of the most beautiful celebrations of a life lived for Christ that I had the privilege of witnessing. Stories were shared along with poems and song, but most of all, the Gospel was shared through her life.

Brooklyn, even though only 16, lived her life for Jesus unapologetically even during one of the hardest diagnosis a then 15-year-old could receive. While she was fighting a battle for her life, she was still poised with grace and humility, putting others above herself and her pain. She cared deeply for her family, her friends, and complete strangers, including the homeless on the streets of Houston while she was traveling back from MD Anderson, whom she would give her leftover food from treatments or take out dinners. Her heart was for those who had nothing and were the least of these.

Her compassion is the reason why thousands of people from our small town and from out of town came last night and this afternoon to pay their respect and honor her life. She has touched and reached thousands as they have heard of her fight, her battle, her miracle. The people sitting in the sanctuary and fellowship hall ranged from 4 or 5 years old to people in their 80’s, Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, jocks, nerds, rednecks, school administration, nurses, neighbors, Christians, those who are not religious, those who knew her personally and those who only knew of her through her battle. Brooklyn’s life bridged all these divisions and brought the community together, the community who supported her, under one roof, to honor her life.

We each are a part of Brooklyn’s Miracle, as she indeed received her miracle: to be cancer free. She fought her battle courageously and received that diagnosis; however, the complications from disease wore her body too far down and the Lord welcomed Brooklyn into Heaven last Wednesday night. In that moment, in that instant, she was completely and perfectly healed, defeating death and conquering over sin through the power of Jesus Christ, who saved Brooklyn from eternal death, by giving her life eternal through His name and her belief in Him. Thousands here and across the USA have heard her story and of her unwavering faith in Jesus and for them to hear the Gospel of Jesus proclaimed, is indeed a miracle that God organized through Brooklyn. For even one to accept Christ because of Brooklyn is indeed the real meaning of Brooklyn’s Miracle.

May we all live as Brooklyn lived: loving God and loving others while being strong and immovable, fighting for our lives daily through the strength that only God can give. And it is only God who gives us the ultimate victory in life and over death. May our lives be the testimony of who God is while we are on this earth, and live with grace, poise, and dignity even in the midst of our battles, so that our lives will be the preaching of our funerals while are alive, and our funerals be the celebration of the greatest homecoming ever imaginable for we have fought the fight, finished the race, and kept the faith.




“Trade my comfort for the cross, earthly kingdoms that I gain

All my hopes and dreams I give for the glory of Your name

Every treasure that I hold, I will count it all as loss

My desires I surrender to You

You call my name

To show the world that You are faithful

I will trust in You

All my life for Your Name, for Your glory

All I am for Your kingdom’s cause

Take my heart and be lifted higher

‘Til the whole world sees that You are God

To the broken I will go, let the light of Christ be known

Every poor and weary soul find their hope in You alone

You’re the Life, the Truth, the Way,

You’re the only God who saves

Let the nations find their light in You

Wherever You lead, wherever You go, I will follow You, I will follow You.

Whatever it takes, whatever the cost, I will trust in You, I will trust in You.”

Four weeks ago, I found myself in a room of 14,000 students and youth leaders yelling this song at the top of our lungs at MFUGE. I’ve known this song for four years and when it was sung, I was back in a safe, familiar place. Worship is my love language with the Lord and he always talks to my soul during these moments. When I sang it, I found myself thinking about these words and the implications of my life, especially the bridge: “Wherever You lead, wherever You go, I will follow You, I will follow You. Whatever it takes, whatever the cost, I will trust in You, I will trust in You.” I sang it with abandon, but I also was reserved knowing that God was about to do something in my life that was going to be huge. I did not know what that would be, but this feeling in my soul knew that God was up to something. It was the scariest moment because as we were singing, everything that could happen flashed before my eyes and I did not want to lose what I had.

Alas, I kept singing and told God that this song was my prayer:

“Trade my comfort for the cross, earthly kingdoms that I gain. All my hopes and dreams I give for the glory of Your name. Every treasure that I hold, I will count it all as loss. My desires I surrender to You. You call my name to show the world that You are faithful. I will trust in You. All my life for Your Name, for Your glory. All I am for Your kingdom’s cause. Take my heart and be lifted higher, ’til the whole world sees that You are God.”

What was waiting for me after camp, I could not have fathomed as the theme of Convergence: Two Paths. Choose One, started to play out in my life in a very real way. The Sunday I got back, apparently there were murmurings that I did not know about. By Wednesday, I was sick and exhausted so instead of going to my mom’s church for dinner and their business meeting, I went to bed. When I woke up, I had a handwritten card from her pastor, and then my mom told me that Jonathan had resigned. Hearing that hit me hard in the stomach as I knew it would come but did not know it would be right here in this moment. I thought maybe this was what God was referring to when I sang, “I will trust in You.” Jonathan and his wife Brandi have been so near to me and have helped me so much, more than any other pastor, so naturally my heart was devastated. They will still be in the area, but I know time with them will be few and far between. I joked with them that they could always hire me, which was becoming more of a dream and idea.

While I was with Brandi a week ago, she asked me if I had ever thought about going into counseling for the church and I told her that I had thought about it and some of the conversations that I’ve had to have. This comment was huge because I had never voiced anything to anyone about seriously thinking about counseling classes, but I had thought about it. That idea started for me while I was waiting to move to Texas as I went to the Summit for their seminar on mental health. Then the idea left my mind until my high school Sunday School teacher lost her oldest sister tragically in 2014 and her sister had been a church counselor.  I had even thought of going in to be counseled a few times and had the history paperwork, but it freaked me out too much to actually go through with it. Last Thursday when Brandi mentioned this secret idea of my heart, I wondered if that was the affirmation I needed and if this was the, “I will trust in You” aspect.

Last night was the nail in the coffin per say. I was at work and knew that I needed to check when the Fall semester started for Southern. So during break I did and my heart sunk into my stomach because I saw that classes started that day for Online students. I had not registered, nor paid, nor knew what classes to take next, and here it was, the day classes started. I freaked out. I asked my supervisor for more time and she gave it to me and registered for two classes, and emailed the accounting department to combine both fees into one payment plan. Then I had to email advising to figure out what classes I need to graduate since the classes I needed do not exist according to this year’s catalogue over the one I was going off of. After emails and phone calls back and forth, I had answers but with those answers came more questions than anything.

I found out that my “when will you finish seminary?” answer that I always give of “never” was closer than I thought. With the answers I received, I realized that next December, I could be graduating with my Masters. Never was seriously a year away and it scared me. After this semester, I will have to do hybrid classes for the spring and get ready to move to Louisville if I want to finish my Masters, and either start the summer to lighten my Fall semester or extend into the next Spring term, in which I could stay and get a certificate in Biblical Counseling.

All of this freaks me out but also gave me butterflies in my stomach because of finally finishing and the “moment I have been waiting for” to be something and for the next chapter of my life coming. When I started this journey, I always said that once I get my Masters, I will finally be taken seriously; when I get my Masters, the church I am supposed to be at will appear; when I move to Louisville to finish, I will meet my husband and we will graduate and do ministry together. Here it is, so close and I see none of that. What fills my mind is fear. Fear of leaving Mt. Zion to finish my degree because I have fought so long and so hard to stay because they have wanted me out since day one. Fear of leaving Mt. Zion because of the students that I have been able to minister to and grow with are near and dear to my heart. Fear of leaving Mt. Zion because they have been through so much change in such a short period of time and need stability. Fear of leaving Mt. Zion because there is so much more to be done with these students that finally have started opening up. Fear of leaving FCA at Early College because they have become my students as well and have taken the Gospel to heart. Fear of not having a car to get me to Louisville. Fear of not fitting in since it’s been so long since I’ve been in an academic classroom. Fear of being alone in a new city, in which I’ve done so many times before. Fear of not having enough money to live on my own without having a job; fear of finding a job to get me through. Fear of the next step of church job, future, if I will meet a guy who will become my husband, etc.

This. This was the “Wherever You lead, wherever You go, I will follow You, I will follow You. Whatever it takes, whatever the cost, I will trust in You, I will trust in You” aspect that God brought to my attention during camp.

Do I trust Him to lead me wherever He sees fit and provide for me when it seems impossible by any other means?  To go and follow after Him by moving to a new city to finish and start the rest of my life? To do whatever it takes, including buying a new truck and leaving my part-time factory job, whatever the cost including leaving Mt. Zion and the ministry here to further my future and ministry that God already has planned for me? Do I trust Him? Do I follow Him, especially when it’s all uncertain and I have nothing figured out.

Then I am reminded that this journey started exactly like that my senior year of college, actually a week before graduation. I did not know where I was going or what I was doing. And after talking to my youth ministry professor about our senior project, and him asking me a very pivotal question, I found myself moving to Texas and enrolling in Seminary as it was a requirement but also because it was a desire of my heart that I left unfulfilled and unexplored. Now, four years later, I am at the same precipice. I don’t know what to do. My future is up in the air and all dependent upon God and only God can direct my steps. I guess it still is true what I tell my students all the time, that before I teach them a lesson, God first has to teach it to me. It just God’s humor that we are talking about decisions and making Godly decisions in youth and here is God teaching me the same thing and to actually apply what we have been talking to my own life and walk the walk as I talk the talk:

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 7.40.25 PM

To apply the above to my life right now; all answers are yes, minus number 8. In addition, a verse that has be claimed as my life verse has once again appeared in my life constantly as it did before I moved to Texas, I believe I know what I must do:

“All my hopes and dreams I give for the glory of Your name. Every treasure that I hold, I will count it all as loss. My desires I surrender to You. You call my name to show the world that You are faithful. I will trust in You. All my life for Your Name, for Your glory. All I am for Your kingdom’s cause. Take my heart and be lifted higher ’til the whole world sees that You are God.”

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

Overcome: A Journey


A Confession

I have not recreationally read in two years; even then it was picking back up on a book that I started but never finished years before. Realistically, I have not read recreationally since elementary school when my mom and I would read every night before bed and book fairs at school were the best few days of the year. However, those were the years of “Book-It” and then they enforced “AR: Accelerated Reader” while in middle school they started “RC: Reading Counts” which combined with “Battle of the Books” came with a specified reading list of books that we needed to know inside out and upside down. Summer before 9th grade year gave way to Honors English projects with books and lengthy report projects every summer leading to graduation. Then insert college and reading recreationally became even more non-existent. Of course reading in college became a matter of “reading enough to get by and pass classes.” Grad school/Seminary, I would rather not discuss those reading assignments due to my current enrollment thereof. Thus, it has been a long time coming since I have had the time, freedom, or even gumption to read something not required of me for a grade and yet, I still have a compelling notion within me to document this journey. So here it is.


Since January a theme of being “fearless” has followed me and has lurked around every corner of my life from sermons, to conversations, to songs on the radio entitled “Fearless.” I met with a dear friend and ministry partner of mine as we talked and planned our DNOW weekend. He asked about curriculum choices and I sheepishly mentioned “Fearless” as one of the curriculum options as it was. He was completely captivated by this theme and he confessed to me later that he would have not spoken if it was not for the theme because this is what he was facing in his own life. As a result, “fearless” has been a theme of 2017 thus far of conquering the fear that holds us back. However as my ministry partner stated during the weekend we are to fear-less the things of this world and trust more in God’s promises through fearing-less the opinions of people, fearing-less rejection, and trials. Through God’s awesomeness, three of the youth He has entrusted me with have come to know Him through this theme and DNOW weekend.

It was around this time that I saw on Facebook that my brother in the faith and my former campus pastor, Clayton King was writing a book called “Overcome.” While DNOW planning was going on, I would see his posts knowing that DNOW would happen before the book came out. I saw earlier this week that it indeed was out and the tagline read: “Overcome: Replacing the Lies that Hold us Down with the Truths that Set us Free.” I knew that I had to get this book and read it. For the first time since elementary school, I wanted to read. I wanted to curl up in an oversized chair, with this book, sipping coffee, knowing that God had something in store for my soul.

We Shall Overcome

As I delve into this book, I have a sense of expectation that it is going to change my life spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. God is going to convict, heal, and draw me closer to Him. I will be forced to confront my past hurts and current fears in order to be healed by my Great Healer. I will be an overcomer over my fears, over my hurts, over any lie that I believe that has held me back or will hold me back from doing and being who God wants me to be.

Come along with me as I journey through what it means to be an overcomer so that you too may experience God’s grace and mercy through healing.

“We shall overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Every one, overcome.”

“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:4-5

In Heaven

To state that this week or rather the past two weeks have been nothing short of a whirlwind would be a gross understatement. From a busy work schedule, to a heavy seminary load all due on the same day, to events for an organization near to my heart, to maintaining social events, and teaching, being active in, and planning for youth ministry within the local church, I am exhausted and very much worn.

But God wouldn’t be the God of comfort, strength, hope, and peace if He didn’t shake my world in the midst of all of the above to divert my attention and utter dependance back upon Him.

Last Wednesday, I had the privilege of working sound, video, and tech for a funeral at the church I grew up in. You read that correctly, privilege. The deceased, Alex, was the grandfather of my close friend growing up in that very church, who her own life was tragically cut short at age 13 from a rare medical disorder.  Her family has always been a second family in my life and in fact, I’ve spent Christmas Eve with them for the past two years, minus this past Christmas since Alex was actually in the hospital at the time. It was an honor to try to make one of the hardest days of their lives a little easier. As a result of Alex’s death, I was able to see a lot of former church members and people who have watched me grow up, including the pastor who lead me to Christ and baptized me. What joy filled my heart to see him and to tell him what the Lord has done in my life and a major  part of that was thanks to him. It was also a blessing to be able to talk to the current pastor of that church and just simply talk. Granted we talked about tech things and ministry, but it was the fact of just talking and being able to talk to him.

The next day, I realized my own brevity of life, as I pulled in to a gas station after work and attempted to pump gas. As soon as I got out of my truck and walked around, I hear a round of gunshots go off not 20 feet from me, and I witnessed a drug bust go wrong, including an officer being shot in a second round of gunfire and the dealer’s car speed off to hit another car head-on, who was an undercover vehicle. My nerves were shot (pardon the pun) as I attempted to pump gas and quickly drove away. In the midst of that scene, I had a surreal moment of safety (probably why I did not run or hit the ground as soon as I heard it), because one of the officers that had their gun drawn on the suspect facing me, was someone I know. As soon as I saw them, I knew I was going to be ok because they are a crack shot and always hits their target. I later thanked their spouse that night for in a sense saving and protecting my own life in a situation that could have gotten quickly out of hand.

This past Sunday, as church let out and our fundraiser lunch began, hushed tones of death swept through the fellowship hall as someone whispered news of one of our dear members dying moments before. I contacted the family, especially the two brothers that are in the student ministry giving my condolences, prayers, and accessibility. This great man of God has his funeral two days ago and it was a funeral that arrested my heart and attention. There were hundreds of people that came from the community, from his previous employers, from the church, from his extended family, but most of all from his firefighting family, as he was the fire chief of the community for the past 22 years. Fire stations from neighboring communities all came showing their support and brotherhood as fellow firefighters. I have never seen anything so special and touching. With Mr. Ned, even though our hearts grieve as he is not with us, and knowing that he won’t be there to greet me Sunday morning with his warm smile, sitting in his chair in the Assembly Room, standing up to give me my weekly hug, his funeral was a celebration of not only his life, but of his faith and the fact that Mr. Ned is in Heaven with our Lord and his faith indeed became his sight. When his son stood up to talk and read out of his daddy’s Bible, my heart broke as it urged me to the following thought:

Will I live the kind of life, be the kind of Christian, be the person that God has called me to be to live in God’s word so much, that when I die, whoever picks up my Bible sees that it was worn, well used, well loved. That it indeed was a sword in battle, marked, highlighted, notes added, commentary made, thoughts jotted down in the margins of how that scripture was applied to my life. That as that person reads it, it tells of the depth of my relationship with God,  and that it tells the most wonderful story of who God is and how He was evident in my life.

Then Mr. Ned had full honors as he was buried with the ringing of the alarm bell as his last alarm and the bone-chilling last call broadcasted. He indeed like Paul, had answered the call of Christ, fought the fight, finished the race, and kept the faith as God called him Home.

Yesterday, I received some devastating news personally that got me to thinking about every aspect of my life and then on Facebook, I found out about a teacher from my elementary school who unexpectedly lost her daughter last night, who was only a few years younger than I was, as her daughter and I played together after school while our moms were in meetings.

Friends, life is so so fragile! Like James 4:14 states, our lives are a mist or vapor that appear for a short time and then quickly vanish. Is all that life amounts to is stress, due dates, work, toil, loss of friends, loss of life, sorrow, and then the grave? No! Of course not. We are here as the result of God’s sovereignty and good pleasure. We are to bring Him glory, honor, and praise, as that is why we were created. Life is so much more that just living and dying. It is what we do with the time we have, however brief. How can you make the most impact for Christ each day? Is it as simple as calling someone up that has been on your heart or sending them a text to check on them? Is it giving someone a smile in the checkout line or complimenting someone as they pass by?  How are you living your life for Christ? Are you living your life for Christ? Is what you post on social media pleasing to the Lord? If whatever your last post was, was your last post, would you be gossiping or proclaiming Christ? Would you be tearing someone down or encouraging someone in the Lord?

From my life, even before these past two weeks, I know how short and valuable time and life are. I have learned the hard way to tell the ones that I love that I love them and that I care about them. I have learned even when I am completely worn, to be there for someone or do something when I have a stirring in my heart, knowing not the impact it will have, but not living with regret. What do I matters. What I say matters.  How I live my life for Christ matters, not only to me, but to others who are in direct impact and influence of my life. Like ripples in a pond is our impact on others, visible or invisable. May our ripples be ripples for the Lord and let Him radiate to those we come in contact with daily.

Let my emotions not get the best of me, let my busyness not cripple me, let my friends, my relationships, and the ministry He has given me not be idols in my life. Let my plans and my control be ever loose in my hands, so that I never forget the Lord in the midst of the chaos. Let my time with the Lord not be an inconvenience, but a daily dependance, and let my life ever be to the praise and glory of God my Father, knowing that one day, I’m going Home.



There’s a moment when you hear the beginning notes of a song, that you are instantaneously taken back to a moment, a place in time, where this song became a part of your being to make a musical memory. No matter where you are, when you hear that song, you become lost in the memories of the moment. Music is a powerful source that goes beyond words.

This moment happened yesterday on the way to work and it was a surprise. First, when the familiar notes started, I was annoyed that a song from the late 1990’s was still playing and it is a song that has been played so much that you get sick of hearing it. However as I went to change the song, I stopped because the next musical memory came flooding in. That memory was of my freshman year of college and our annual night of worship. We were so stressed and worried as all freshman are in their first big worship concert, but the music was so technical that we wanted to make sure we got every note right. However, when we lead in our worship songs from TRBC from that semester, we were able to worship and worship freely. Then things changed at the end of the program where we officially ended but kept singing. Then we sang another song, and people stayed to worship. We ended up having a 45 minute unscripted worship set and seriously it was like God sat down in that sanctuary. One of the songs that we did was the very same song. I started to think about that moment and how real, raw, and truly awesome it was to be in that moment and worship Almighty God in that way.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks and I start crying on the interstate.

I haven’t worshiped God.

I haven’t been living to worship Him.

My worship had become dry and non-existent because my well had dried up and cracked as a result from not spending time with Him and not truly worshiping Him in spirit and in truth.

I resolved to go to a local area church that is well known and quite large on Saturday so that I would worship God and have my well filled and my desert drought spring to life again.

My prayer was for God to fill me again. To fill me up to overflowing. To allow me to worship Him without reservation, without worry. To be completely lost in worship as my spiritual language connecting me back to God in the way that only we can commune together.

I wanted to go alone, but then wanted a dear friend of mine to join me for coffee, Jesus, and Mexican which is always a winning combination. However she couldn’t make it, so I went and wondered if I still should go. I went but I was distracted by something going on tomorrow. So I went in, found my seat, and started putting up my distractions when my phone rings. I leave my stuff and go out to the lobby to answer it and as I’m on the phone, I look towards the entrance and see two familiar faces walking towards me. I greeted them and got off the phone and we ended up sitting together. As we engaged in conversation about worship and the Lord, we decided to go to dinner together after the service.

At the start of service the band started and again, I instantly knew the song and thought, “this is gonna be good.” I prayed and worshiped and prayed and worshiped some more. The sermon was on point about making disciples and that the term disciple is different from being a Christian. It hit me in the heart strings as he talked about things that only God would know about my life and current struggles. Then he mentioned a God-verse that has a significant meaning to me and my life, Ephesians 3:20 and apparently that is the verse for the church as well, which I did not know. At the end of his sermon, he mentioned that they were going to start in Ephesians next, which also is the book that God keeps bringing me back to. Then the closing worship was a mix of worship songs and I was able to worship again freely. I thought they were going to do a song that they had done before there that is starting to appear on the radio because the pastor set it up, but they ran out of time to do it. But God is good because he played it on the way home.

After, the service, the couple I sat with were talking to someone another couple and we all ended up going to dinner. As they were talking, another couple came up to us that we all knew and had a great reunion.

Once we finally made it to dinner, their daughter was there so it all worked out because she also is a dear friend.

Tonight, God showed me that I am clearly not alone in my struggle and I am not alone in my need to worship Him. He gave me two couples that are dear to my heart that I can be open with and the vibe from both of them was that I was not alone in that.

Worship is vital to our relationship with God. It directs our attention to Him and on Him. Everything else in our life fades away when we focus on Him. Worship is vertical and it makes ready our souls and hearts to hear from God through the Word preached. It is also our response and duty to give him the praise and glory back to him that he rightfully deserves. When we lack worship, our relationship with Him becomes one sided or non-existent. We were created to worship and created to express ourselves in worship.

God tells us in Isaiah that he makes streams in the desert places and that once dry land becomes alive and lush again. Today has been a welcomed stream in the desert, running over the dry, cracked dirt, wetting it, to become viable for life once more.

“Spirit of the living God, come fall afresh on me. Come awaken me from my sleep. Blow through the caverns of my soul, fill me up to overflowing.”


I had spent two days cleaning the house from top to bottom; every room that we would be in. The walls were scrubbed. Old things thrown out or placed out of sight. Organization of various objects to their own places. A deep clean of the carpet by a broom and various times vacuuming over the same area with various fragrances from candles, to Febreeze, to perfume permeated the air simultaneously. Dishes were washed and floors were mopped. New blinds and shades covered the windows and door. Groceries were bought and dishes prepared.

I was excited and very much in anticipation of my special guest coming to my house for the first time. I wanted to make sure everything was perfect, that I even touched up things the night before and morning of.

The day came and I got up at a reasonable time. Charged my phone. Soaked, shaved, showered, and got ready to look presentable. I nibbled on anything that did not require making a mess, yet not enough to become full. And I waited. And I waited. I even checked the GPS signal and saw that they were not on their way yet. And I waited. The time frame given was today so I had no clue when. Then I asked and was told later in the afternoon. So I waited. I tried to take a nap, but it did not happen because I was so afraid that I would miss their text and show up while I was sleeping.

I had checked Facebook, Instagram, randomly looking up things online, and became bored watching TV. The anticipation was getting to me. I just could not wait any more for my special guest; what we would do, showing them around, eating, and our conversation.

Then the magical text arrived and there was a time frame. I did not sit down and kept looking out the window waiting. I watched the GPS signal get closer and closer. A friend texted me, but I ignored it because I knew my special guest would be here in a matter of seconds. At last, I saw headlights and they arrived. All of the waiting and anticipation was resolved and was replaced with excitement, calm, and living in the moment enjoying the time we were having. 18 hours passed by way too quickly spent with many hours of conversation, sleep, and food. But my heart and soul were full.

In my moment of anticipation in the minutes before my special guest’s arrival, I had a moment of clarity and the thought that crushed my spirit was, “waiting for my special guest is how waiting for Christmas should have been.”

Christmas is always hard for me but with a hectic work week, the anniversary of my dad’s death, bickering with my mom, church stuff, and the preparations of a dear friend of mine coming to my house the day after Christmas, I was not prepared for Christmas; the festivities, the awe and wonder, the expectation of Jesus being born. The tree went up on Friday night and I had no presents under the tree. The Christmas season was not upon me. Granted, I know the importance of Jesus’ birth and how we would not have salvation if He did not come and how we should have prepared ourselves for His arrival and looking forward to his second coming. But I just wasn’t feeling it.

However, my preparation for my friend is exactly what I should have been doing for Jesus. He is far greater than my friend and I should have been focusing all my time and engery towards preparing my heart and life for Jesus’ arrival. I should have been expectant and anticipating His arrival, watching and waiting. I should have been overjoyed by His arrival and hanging on every word and moment spent together. And still full of expectation of His second coming with the same amount of anticipation and preparation as before.

Even though preparation and anticipation for my friend is necessary, it should never overshadow the same amount for Jesus’ coming and my relationship with Him. He is the reason why I have this friend and He deserves all my dedication.

“Let every heart prepare Him room…”

“Come thou long expected Jesus”



From my Mothers womb/You have chosen me/Love has called my name/I’ve been born again, into your family/Your blood flows through my veins.

This morning I was starting fresh; to purposely spend time with God that I have desperately needed. I had my coffee, my donut, my kitty was already sleep in my bed, my phone charging across the house and my Bible and notebook open and ready.

I honestly had no idea where I was going to read. In Sunday School, we were in Colossians and I was thinking about going back there, but as I opened my Bible, Galatians 3:23-4:31 laid before me. I just started reading and I felt a bubbling brook start welling up in my soul.

23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

Sons and Heirs

I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave,[b]though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles[c] of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

        Galatians 3:23-4:7 ESV

That is good, rich stuff there! Now, please excuse the seminarian in me that is about to exegesis this passage, but understanding why this is good, rich stuff and why it created a bubbling brook in my soul hopefully will cause the same to happen in your soul.

Let’s look at that first part:

23 Now before faith came,…

Before Jesus came into the world as the God-man to be the Messiah and Savior of the world.

…we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.

“Under the law”= the Old Testament covenant, 10 Commandments, Mosaic Law, Davidic Law, Levitical Law, etc.

“We were held captive”= in bondage, in chains, by these laws, rules, and regulations. If we did not keep them, severe consequences would occur, even death. James 2: 10 tells us that, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.”And we know that “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a) and “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Already, we are condemned guilty. But I digress.

“until the coming faith would be revealed.”= this part is good news. If you notice the tense in this verse “before, were, held, imprisoned, until, would be, revealed” these are past participles, except “would be”which is a future imperative. There is hope because we were held captive, but when the coming faith comes, we will not be held captive. There is faith that is coming that will free us. Ok, moving forward.

24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.

Here is a summary verse letting us know, think of legal guardianship here. I’m sure most of us thanks to the wonder of court cases on TV or maybe personal experience, we know about the legal system. As it comes to a custody battle or even adoption, someone has to have legal guardianship, whether joint or sole. With that title of legal guardian, the person has all the rights and privileges over the minor or adult in terms of their care, their treatment, decisions, and their well-being.  Paul here was telling the church at Galatia, that the law was our legal guardian and we had to follow it as it protected and provided for us. However, Paul says it was our guardian UNTIL Christ came so that we might be justified over the law by faith.

25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

NOW, because faith has come (Jesus), we are no longer under legal guardianship of the law! Not to say that we have nothing to do with the law now, but we are not held under its terms or power. Jesus came to fulfill the law, not abolish it (Matthew 5:17-20). Another blog post for later about that. Through faith then, in Christ alone, we are all sons of God. (This thought will be picked up in a second, just hold tight).

27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

This passage has been taken out of context so many times and is used in some sects of denominations that I am not going to get in to, to promote their views and stance. As we have looked thus far at this passage in context, we see that Paul is saying that because we are not under legal guardianship of the law because Christ came and we have been justified through faith in Christ alone, and we are all sons of God as a result of such, there is no divisions that separate us or labels that define us because we are all one in Christ, because we are all sons of God. And as such, in verse 29, if we are Christ’s or belong to Christ, then we are the offspring of Abraham (See Matthew 1 for linage of Christ through David, through Abraham, through  Adam), and thus heirs according to the promise that was made to Abraham (Abrahamic Covenant; Genesis 12:1-2; 15:18-21) that his offspring would be more than the stars.

I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father.

These verses summarize Paul’s point here. He shows that there is no technical difference between a child (offspring) and a slave because the child cannot have the inheritance and ownership until a certain age or date set as the passage states. The same goes for slaves in that they work until a date set when they can become free. The child, even though he has no power or authority is still the owner of said property, land, etc. but has not come to posses it yet. Even though he has not possessed it yet, it does not mean that it does not still belong to him. Think here with me if you will, about a will and a savings account. A will legally states who will receive property, land, items of value or importance, etc when a person dies. This insures that the stated person will receive something and some times wills have stipulations in it that if that stated person dies before the will takes affect, then it belongs to their first born or someone in their family. In thinking about a savings account, I think of those that create a savings account for their children when they are born and periodically put money in it to mature until their child turns 18 or a previously decided upon age. The money still belongs to the child, but they will not have access or legal ownership of it until a certain age. Think here also about celebrities, especially child stars who rack up major money but cannot receive their inheritance until they come of age.

3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.

Paul alludes the previous point back to us that when we were children or before faith came and we did not know Christ, we too were enslaved to sin, to the law, to the elementary principles of the world. We did not know any better or know that there was something better awaiting us. We did not know that we were heirs of something better because we were not told.

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

I love when there is a “but” in God’s word! The best things come after the “but”! But, instead of us being enslaved, when the “fullness of time had come,” the time set before the foundation of the world, the time already decided for us to become free from our captivity. “God sent forth his Son” not only sending Him at the right time, but being born of a woman, who was a virgin, and also born under the law. That point is huge because Jesus was born under the law as we were so that we could identify with Him and that He could be the only perfect one to faithfully, and without sin, uphold the entire law. He did this so that we could be “redeemed as those who were under the law” and he came our perfect sacrifice for us, so that we could be be adopted as sons of God.

And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Because we are sons of God, He put His Spirit into our hearts crying out “Abba! Father!” when we cannot cry out and so that we can cry out to our Father who has adopted us and taken us in. As a result, Paul says, “we are no longer a slave” to sin or the law, “but a son of God, and if a son” a legal, legitimate, offspring of God, then we are “an heir through God.” For those that are heirs, we will receive an inheritance that our father has put aside and promised to us. We are owners of it, as it belongs to us because of who our father is, but we have not yet reached the age where we can receive it. That blessed event will happen in Heaven, when we arrive Home and can see our Abba face to face. Until then, we are heirs of God, knowing what has been promised to us, as we faithfully wait until we can receive that legal ownership of it and partake in what our Father has stored up for us!

For me, this is such good news and it gives me hope and assurance that I have something better waiting for me. That my Father God, is a good, good Father, who knows what we need and provides for us as He stores up an inheritance for us. The thing is, when we receive it and take it, we will automatically give it right back to God because it belongs to Him. God has shown me through His word how He is and how as my Father, He provides and protects.

On Saturday, I met a dear friend of mine for church and dinner, and as we were talking, we ended up talking about our families. She has a big family, her husband a small one, and I have a small one as well. I told her of my desire for my husband to have a medium to big sized family so that I could also have family. Through our conversation and reading this passage, I realized even more that I have what I have, because God wanted me to know Him as my Father. He took me in and adopted me. God Himself has shown me how a father is supposed to be and act. God has even given me my best friend who has a big family so that I could be adopted into their family to see how a family operates as the father provides and leads his family. God is so faithful! And it encourages me to know that I am no longer a slave, but an heir of God. I am His chosen daughter, bought by the blood of His son and sealed for the day of redemption when we are called home. What a glorious day that will be to finally be Home in a place where I belong, and to see my Father God face to face.

I’m no longer a slave to fear/ I am a child of God// I am surrounded/ By the arms of the father/ I am surrounded/ By songs of deliverance// We’ve been liberated/ From our bondage/ We’re the sons and the daughters/ Let us sing our freedom// You split the sea so I could walk right through it/ You drowned my fears in perfect love/ You rescued me/ And I will stand and sing/ I am a child of God

“No Longer Slaves” By Bethel


My soul needs to find a place of rest

Within your hands of grace

But I know I’m too far gone

To meet you in this place


It’s been ages I know

I don’t have the words

I just know I need you now

Stronger than I did before


Cause I’ve done life without you

Empty words in your name

But your spirit wasn’t there

Nor your power to proclaim


Sitting here ashamed

I see my broken frame

The well that once was full of life

Is now left cracked and dry


Oh to feel that rushing tide

Your grace drowning me

Fill me up to overflowing

And let me abide with thee


Father, come arrest my heart

Make it beat with yours

Revive this lifeless soul

Make me live again


All I have is for your glory

I have nothing else to bring

I am surrendered now

Let my life be your offering


Revive every broken thing

Revive my soul to sing

Revive me inwardly and out

Revive me, Lord I pray