Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Love of the Light

I am the light of the world. 
He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life. - Jesus 
John 8:12

December is a beautiful month celebrating the birth of Our Savior Jesus Christ. It is also a very hard time for many that have lost family and friends and those who are alone. Let's not us forget them and pray for God's Love to be upon them during this time. 

As we approach the closing of a year into the New Year lets reflect on all the memories and moments we had. May we always seek to Love the Lord with all our hearts. May we always be obedient to His Word and to things He calls us to do.  May we embrace the New Year with gladness for all God has done in our lives and still yet to do. 

God Loves you so much.

For God so Loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. -John 3:16

That is the gift, The Love of the Light... Jesus!

Praying you have a very Blessed Christmas & New Year.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt in case your not familiar is a party game, an outdoor game in which participants have to collect a number of miscellaneous objects on a list created by the organizer. It's actually fun. The last time I played was with friends on St. Augustine Beach until recently I played the game with God. Back in St. Augustine I just had my girl scout knowledge and a determination to win, but this time around I had my Bible and prayer. I took this journey led by God completely, nobody knew about it. But the thing was I told God I will do these things to disprove what He was telling me was true. Like in the movie God's not Dead, the devout Christian student must prove the existence of God to his professor, I was set out to disprove not God but things about myself that He was telling me. It's like is that me God? Or is that you speaking? God gave me His list of items to do and not to do. I followed intently with prayer and my Bible. A journey that I may share one day, but for now it remains with God and I. This invested time for eternity sake proved to be one of the most beautiful in awe times in my life with God. He revealed way more than I was asking for about myself, others and life. But He is like that as the Bible tells us in Ephesians 3:20- Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think. 

Today you sit on your bunk hanging with your bunky or at chow or your the one at work in the free world reading this. This message is for you today. God loves you. God is crazy madly in love with you. But God wants to hear from you, it's been way too long. He misses you. Your struggles have been more than He ever wanted for you and He has never been blind to them. He has been relentlessly seeking you with His Love. Will you consider today to take your own scavenger hunt with the Lord? Will you consider investing sometime in with Him to draw closer to Him? The girl reading this in confinement, you can do this too, just start by talking to Him. If your not sure about all this, perhaps take the rest of November and thank God each day for something. He is worthy to be praised and thanked. I promise you if you take the time to hang with God you will be refreshed with clarity, liberty, boldness, sensitivity, insight and free from all the petty worries around you that will not matter in the bigger picture. I pray in Jesus Name you wait no longer and start today! I'm believing for you and if nobody has told you lately, you are loved and special. Your so special that He only created one you. Be yourself and if you think of it, look up, God is an amazing artist, literally the best.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Judge & The Jury Box

When I was 14 years old I went to youth hall which is like a jail for kids. I was placed there for something I didn't do. After about two months the Judge placed me in a half way girls home for about a month. This was my first experience with judges and it started a fear cycle in my life. This person was able to take away my freedom.

Many years later I got involved with a guy who went to jail and prison many times for stealing large amounts of money from places like fast food chains to banks to bakeries to neighbors. He also had a drug problem. I was in and out of courts with him and felt that fear once again of a judge having that control over his freedom and well mine too.

Then years later I married Steve. I spent literally over 10 years as his paralegal, counsel and the Pro Se behind the scene. I had no peace as with each court hearing something else happened or didn't happen and once again at the mercy of a judge. The fear grew deep within even though I was not the subject at hand, just entering into a court room or the thought of one made me full of fear and to be honest literally sick.

I knew my fears yet I didn't think it was something that was a big deal in my life since court hearings eventually end. However, the end still leaves you with yourself. In January of 2012 I got a summons for Jury Duty back in Miami. I had them numerous times in the past and dealt with it. This time I was so fear stricken that when Steve asked me what I wanted for valentine's I told him get me out of going to jury duty. I was at the end of recovering from knee surgery so it was all good and I was back happy, but yet nothing was really resolved within my heart.  

On August 1, 2013 we moved to Davenport and within in a few months I got a jury notice as seen in the picture above. I began crying out to God for help. That fear rose up and I knew I was in total bondage of a Judge who really was just a man or a woman. I fasted and God showed me that they are just people. They sleep, eat, get dressed just like me. I am no different than them and He created them like me. He also reminded me that if I could kneel and fall on my face with Him I could stand up to any giant in my life. I reported for Jury Duty, feeling better but still somewhat uneasy. Out of the pool of 500 of course I was one of the ones selected for a jury questioning. As I began to enter the courtroom my name was called separate from everyone else... of course it was...I was placed in the "Jury Box". This is the place where they asked you more questions than the other perspective jurors. After it was over I had a peace come over me and I believed I was totally free of the fear of man. 

God put me to the test in 2016 when I was placed in Federal Court and had no fear and won the case in the middle of 2017! A true David and Goliath story. So I said all that to say this. There are many of you that are in fear of man or the judge in your case because they hold your future. Please hear me..only GOD holds your future. He is the one that no matter what you've done or haven't done He loves you and He goes before you. DO NOT place a judge or a person above GOD! He is the only One that holds your future and when you place your trust in Him you will find peace and be kept safe.

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25. 

Today, honestly I have zero fear of man. God has made me totally strong in my weakness because I have placed my trust in Him and Him alone. He is in control no matter what. I pray if you struggle with a judge with pending court hearings or with your boss, your family and friends whoever that you too will lay it down and let Him free you in Jesus Name. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. I promise you that He will free you as He did me! And just so you know...I'm thankful for God pushing me past what I couldn't handle in that Jury Box because now I only fear out of Love the Judge on The Throne. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Don't Delay

The year was 2008 and as I secretly prayed about things pressing on my heart for ministry and our marriage as Steve was heading to treatment for the second time. He went to Teen Challenge, which is an on fire Christian based center. While he was away I got closer and closer to God. During which God began showing me through many circumstances from speaking to my heart, to dreams, to people and things that were just not explainable what His plans were for us. I didn't say anything to Steve. After Steve got out we went to Idaho as seen in the picture above. He began sharing with me what he believed God was calling him to and that was to be a Pastor. I couldn't believe what he was saying because it was exactly what God showed me too during the time we were apart. God also showed me about serving on the streets to the homeless that Christmas Eve 2008 and loving on them through the Heart of Christ. Which as your know Surrender40 was birthed the following year in 2009. Steve was excited and he began by enrolling in Liberty University to get his degree in Biblical Studies and I decided to enroll too. Our Church was very supportive and actually offered for Steve to go to there school in Fort Lauderdale through Calvary yet Steve was working a full-time job and that wasn't possible. 
We both finished schooling in 2010 and then he lost his job. We continued to serve on the streets feeding the homeless, we served in prisons and hospital outreaches. People even started calling him Pastor without even knowing he was in school. We used to say that he was a Pastor of a Church Without Walls. 
From late 2010 to January of 2012 we suffered much tragedy. We basically lost everything but each other and our faith in God. Most of our suffering we wrote about in our book. 

"It is doubtful whether God can use a man greatly, until first He wounds him deeply." A.W. Tozer

In 2012 God totally began restoring us. At which point we were led through church to move to Mobile, AL. We both believed this was God restoring what the enemy tried to steal. I won't go into the why's we didn't proceed, all I can say is that other opportunities came and that was the path taken. Today, Steve is suffering in many areas from trading in what I would say the altar for a tie. Now that isn't bad, he felt that was right at the time for us, but now he knows it's not. We do our best in living as transparent as possible so you don't make the same mistakes as us. 

I am urged to no end to tell you DON'T DELAY when God calls you to do something. Many of you girls will be getting out soon and you will have so many things thrown at you. But please take the time to really fall in Love with Jesus and He will direct your path. Please surrender to that path, not what looks pretty or great, because it is usually in the things that we least would want to do is where He is calling you too. This might be moving to another state to serve in your church or to take a job at the Pizza place. Whatever it is, don't settle for God's second best, pursue with all your heart His first best. In closing I also implore you to first fall madly and crazy in love with Jesus before you pursue any relationships. When the time is right God will bring the right man in your life, one who is madly in love with Jesus and puts you second. It's not when a man loves a women, it's when a man loves God.

Steve and I are happy, yet we suffer in some areas from choices that we believe God is slowly fixing. I love him with all my heart, yet my first love remains Jesus. If Steve was writing this post he would tell you the same and possibly more deeply because him being the leader of the home has shed many tears from selecting second best. 
I am thankful for us and his willingness to make wrongs right. 

For I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you 
will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

...let us run with endurance the race God has set before us 
by keeping our eyes on Jesus. Hebrews 12:1b-2a


Much Love and Blessings 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Let Me Remind You-

Let me remind you that He loves you. 
No matter where you find yourself today, 
in the valley, 
the mountain top and 
everything in between 
He Loves you. 

I pray these lyrics Bless you.

David Crowder Band
"How HE Loves"
(originally by John Mark McMillan)

He is jealous for me,
Love's like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory, 
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.
And, Oh how He loves us, oh,
Oh, how He Loves us,
How He loves us all.
And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes.
If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.
And Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest.
I don't have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way...
That He loves us,
Oh, how He loves us
Oh, how He loves us,
Oh, how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us

Friday, July 7, 2017

But First She Prayed

“When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. 
And if I perish, I perish." Esther 4:15

These are the very courageous words of the Queen of Persia, Esther, as she prepared to approach a very young, inexperienced and emotional King Xerxes to plead with him to stop the TOTAL annihilation of the Jewish people. If the king was in a bad mood that day, he could have her killed instantly, even though she was Queen, and more importantly, his bride. What courage this must have taken, what a magnificent statement of faith Queen Esther displayed as she unselfishly prepared to sacrifice her life for her people.

Do you know that the Name of God is NOT mentioned anywhere in the story of Esther in the Bible, yet we see such magnificent evidence of HIS Hand all over the story. And the greatest evidence that we see of His mercy and grace in Esther, the absolute beauty of what we call “Reversal of Destiny”.
In Esther, we are given a close up look at the ongoing struggle of satan against the purposes of God and especially against His promised Messiah. The birth of Christ into the human race was totally dependent upon the existence of the Jewish race. Just as Haman plotted against the Jews in order to destroy them, so has satan set himself against Christ and God’s people. Just as Haman is defeated on the gallows he built for Mordecai, so does Christ use the very weapon that his enemy devised to destroy Him and His spiritual seed. For the cross, by which satan planned to destroy the Messiah, was the very means through which Christ “having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” Colossians 2:14-15
Haman was hanged on the gallows he built for Mordecai, 
so the devil was crushed by the cross he erected to destroy Christ.

Esther proved to have a godly and very humble spirit that also showed great strength and willing obedience. Esther’s humility was very different from those around her, 
and this caused her to be elevated into the position of queen.

Woman everywhere would do well to emulate her godly attitudes in all areas of life, but especially in trials. Not once is there a complaint or bad attitude exposed in the Book of Esther. Many times we read she won the "favor" of those around her. This “favor” is what ultimately saved her people. We can be given such favor as we accept even unfair persecution and follow Esther’s example of maintaining a positive attitude, coupled with humility and the determination to lean on and fully trust in God.

So, in closing, it does not matter whether in prison or the free world, Jew or Gentile, white or black, rich or poor. We are all placed here to show love, grace, mercy, humility and unselfishness to ALL people, regardless of our circumstance, regardless of the cost!

Who knows but maybe God has placed YOU in such a position, for just such a time as this?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

"The Prisoner That It Really Frees is YOU"

Very often in life we feel so bitter and hurt by the wrongs people have done to us.  In fact, there are probably just as many people walking around that are JUST as bitter and hurt about what they feel WE have done to them. It can become a never ending cycle of pain, resentment and very often anger that will choke our hearts and never allow us to experience a  joyful fruitful life. Left on our own, we are selfish, hurtful people that only really care about what we THINK is good for us, not others, and this often causes hurts and emotional scars to almost everyone we come in contact with. Holding on to these hurts and scars can lead us into the deepest personal prison of sorrow and a life full of regret and sadness. WE become BOUND by the very chains that we forged by blaming others and pointing fingers. Others become bound with chains of their own because they refuse to do the ONE thing that will truly set them free.......FORGIVE!

The Bible speaks about this in great detail, as a matter of fact, the very REASON that God sent His only Son Jesus to die for us was so that WE could be forgiven of our sins. The Bible says in Matthew 6:14-15 "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do NOT forgive others of their sins, your Father in heaven will NOT forgive you" It also says in Colossians 3:13 "Bear with each other and forgive one another if you have a grievance against someone. Forgive as The Lord forgives you"

You see it is actually a command, a MUST DO if we are to call ourselves Christians. Too many scars, too much pain, too many burdens and hurts, will weigh us down and NEVER allow us to know the JOY of being truly free. more thing, it doesn't matter if someone apologizes for hurting you, it is our job to forgive them, just as Jesus forgave the very men that were gambling for his clothing on The Cross as He lay dying with nail scarred hands....FOR US!

WE will close with some amazing lyrics to a song written by Matthew West about a woman who forgave the drunk driver that killed her teenage daughter one night. Not only did she find it in her heart to forgive, but she went to court to ask the Judge to set him free, which by the way...the Judge did! Together they tour the country, in schools, prisons and everywhere God sends them to talk about the Power of God's Grace

"It will clear the bitterness away, it can even set a prisoner free, 
there is no end to what it's power can do.
So let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
the prisoner that it really frees is YOU"