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Life, Loss, and Hope

8 years ago I made a change. I decided I wanted to start going to youth group at a local church, and didn’t realize the romance I would encounter there. It was New Life Outreach International, pastored by Victor & Carmen Torres.

Victor Torres was a man saved by God, a former drug addict and gang member. He entered Teen Challenge, a christian rehabilitation center, and his life was radically changed. I belief this change came from his mother’s prayer. His mama was an old school saint who believed in praying until something broke, which is something this modern church has lost the art of. In the seven years I was apart of that body, I was afforded the opportunity to minister to the women of The Mercy House, which is there womans home in Richmond. It was an amazing experience to be able to love on, talk with, laugh and cry with these beautiful women who wanted to get their lives together. You’d watch their intake, coming in as women who were abused, used, and tattered to their trial period where they’d learn about God and be mentored and loved on. I’d see the crack addicted, still having the shakes, come in and within weeks have a new gleam in they’re eyes. Suddenly these women who didn’t know love, didn’t know Jesus, begin to fall in love with him and enjoy worshiping him.

In that type of ministry you try your best to focus on the ones who make it, rather than the ones who don’t. The ones you cry over because they walk out the door. The ones you grieve over because it was theyre last hope, you and them both know it.

I’m bit brokenhearted right now because I just found out one of my girls died last year. She left the program, and overdosed. Me and this woman, who was old enough to be my mother, would sit and chat about what God was doing in her life. I’d encourage her to keep on keeping on. She even told me once she knew if she went back on the streets she’d die. She walked out, I knew when she did, and I prayed God would keep her safe and remind her she was loved. I don’t know what happened, I don’t know when, but I know God was there with her always. It hurts, makes me very sad, but God was with her, she wasn’t alone. She may have been scared, hurting, wounded, and abused, but she wasn’t alone. God was there. He is always there. I take comfort in that.

I have a special heart for the thrown out, the drug addict, prostitute, because society looks at them as if they are so different from anyone of us, but they’re not. They are victims of the things we made it through, the things we had support to get through. I believe in rehabilitation. I believe in programs to get your friend, loved one, dear one help. I especially believe in them if they point the person to Jesus.

If you, if someone you know and love has a problem PLEASE GET THEM HELP. Please get help

I’m a self cynic, i’ll admit. Matter of fact, that is probably one of the first things I inform people.

I’m a self cynic, seeing my glass as half empty and yours half full.

So love, yeah…. Love is one of those things.

I don’t believe in fairy tales.

I don’t believe we should go kissing some frogs and hope the prince comes out.

I don’t believe in Plato and Edgar Cayce’s ideas of androgynous souls who were two souls together, male and female,spilt by the greek gods, out of fear, forever doomed to wander the earth searching for their other half. The one who completes and complements them.

i believe love is complicated. i believe love is a choice. i believe love is, what it is. not defined by a textbook, not define by the best philosophers or thinkers, but defined by our actions and willingness to stay.

Love is probably one of the most earth shattering, head turning in delight, awesome yet soul shaking experiences ever. Love is complicated. The realization of love for someone is possibly the most frightening experience of human existence while also doubling as the most enlightening. Enlightening because you see what you reflect, what you want to be, don’t want to be.

love is…. what you make it.

I love songwriting because you never know who you are writing for.

I know many times I’ve written things in the past, only to call on them in the future as my prayer.  The more and more I write I’m beginning to find the truth and beauty in openness, brokenness, and contentment in God.
Its a beautiful thing.

Sometimes our song’s written become people’s  that last minute fix. The lyrics are the finale boost from the defibrillator, that heartbeat the kicks death in the face. You never know what God is calling you to write, so by all means

Write

And write, I will.

I’m working on a few tracks and have been for the past 12 years, but  now I’m beginning to hit the diamonds God has buried deep within me. I’m not a pro-songwriter, but one thing I’ve learned is honesty. Out of everything I’ve written, since beginning this songwriting journey at 7, I’m more honest than ever before.

Maybe the honesty of my journey will effect a generation.

This kids gonna sleep well tonight!

its a beautiful day. I celebrate the ressurection power,  that raise Christ from the dead, and Bosox, well…. I’m sure you’ve heard by now.

Its official 2010 is gonna be a beauty!

The only true glimpse of love I can show you is what was done on the cross for me and you many years ago.

God wanted a family, He wanted you, He desired you.

So God sent His son, the only one He had, compelled Him to live a blameless life so that in the end He, Jesus, could be the sacrificial lamb for your sin, my sin, and the sin of the world.

Jesus came and took my cross upon Himself.

He traded the garmets of white, purity, blameless, and put on me and my sin, you and your sin, everyones sin…..

Because of Love

Love broke through when God sent His son.

Love broke through when Jesus lived on this earth as a pure and blameless one.

Love broke through when He took my cross upon himself.

Love broke through when all my guilty stains, my fear, my commitment to sin as opposed to righteousness, dissipated when I accepted Him.

His love broke through for me to be one with the father.

Today we celebrate the resurrection power of God when He raised Christ from the dead, so now I compel you to experience that in Him always.

I can’t promise you riches, a perfect life, no pain, no sorrow, but I can promise you won’t ever be alone again.

God loves you and wants you.

Received that today and you’ll never be the same.

Here’s the dreaded beginning of relationship posts…… Gotta ‘love’ it.

WARNING:  sometimes my posts are like alcohol before noon, its just to early for that. I tend to be a polarizing personality, so either you’ll be completely offended by the statement above and leave my site or you’ll be intrigued to read on.

Infidelity & America, wow!

I’ve been pretty silent throughout the Tiger Woods ordeal, didn’t quite understand it when Clinton was doing his dirt, lets not forget my televangelist brothers and sisters who did the same, but now here’s Jesse James.

Jesse James, CEO of West Coast Choppers, has been in the press the past few days for apparent infidelity. I only comment now, as I woke up and read the tweet from the Washington Post that James is apparently entering rehab for ‘personal issues’.  When I read that I assumed he was there because he’s a “sex addict”. Now please understand, I’m not judging, just asking a question.

Why is it that America makes celebrity infidelity seem like an addiction problem,specifically a sex addict, whereas in people like you and me we’re just plain ole cheaters?

Now, I’m not coming at this with a blind eye, not at all! I was the girl who was in a relationship with a guy for almost 2yrs and he cheated, multiple times. Cheating is a real thing, but how do you define it?

I’ve heard people say the worst kind of cheating is the emotional kind, where your sharing emotions and not just a physical relationship. They’ve point blank said, sex is something you can get over, but sharing your dreams and emotions with someone your not with is worse. I don’t know how I feel about that.

So all in all,  here are my questions:

  1. How do you define cheating? Is it physical, emotional, or both?
  2. Is there a difference between a wandering eye and having a sex addiction?
  3. What does God say about this?

Answer away!

Just a note from my perspective

I believe the bible. I believe what  Jesus said, that when you look at someone with the wrong eyes you’ve committed adultery because its been done in your heart. I believe in a one man, one woman relationship. I believe in faithfulness. I believe that we should faithful to whom we are with as Christ has been faithful to use ( remember your supposed to love your wife/husband as Christ loved the church?)

* I didn’t post any female cheaters because I couldn’t think of any off the top of my head, not picking on guys, some of us ladies are worse. Also, I don’t drink, in case your wondering…. I like to post a little something provocative to scare away the religious folks.

John Piper is simply one of those dudes I love to listen to. I love it because I get a perspective change, when I know my selfish heart is fighting God, when my grief seems overwhelming, when I’m challenged in life, when I’m happy, and when I’m sad.

This is the living gospel message that changed my life.

God is enough

God is enough

He is good

He will take care of us

He will satisfy us

He will get us through this

He is our treasure

Whom have I in heaven but You?

None on earth I desire beside you.

My  flesh, my heart,  my circumstance may fail me

But You, Lord, are the strength of my heart, my portion forever.

I’ve heard alot of gospel messages in my 22yrs on earth. I’ve seen the, ‘send your twenty bucks for your magic prayer cloth’, the prophetic bumbles, and peter popoff’s, but I didn’t believe that was the true gospel. The true gospel is that I was a sinner, saved by grace, and kept by it through Jesus. The true gospel is that I will go through things, suffer loses, and have gains, but God is my strength and my portion.  God wasn’t here to make me rich, thin, and fit, but to make my desire  His all consuming fire. And that my desire for Him, would be satisfied by Him and Him alone. That He is all I need.

When God is all I need, all I have, all I want, I am most satisfied. I am made rich, when He is the stronghold of my life.

This is the message that changed my life.

Cos I no longer have to stumble my way through the valley of the shadow of death, no longer would I need to figure out how I’m gonna make it. I wasn’t alone because I have Him.

Him, God, is my great and exceeding reward. Past prosperity, past fame, His fame is my joy, and His love is my riches.

I continue to strive forward, until that day when these words are made flesh.

is God enough?

as we bury our dead

in my family we dont do death well.

come to think of it, we don’t really do life well.

February 28th, the hospice care began taking Great Aunt Carolyn off the machines, because nothing was working anymore. It made me sad because that meant we’d all be going through it again.  It, refers to the grieving style my family has.

Step 1: We all are numb.

2. We get mad at each other over stupid things.

3. We act civil and like a family at the funeral.

4. We act outlandish when it comes time for buriel

5. Then we go on, and our grief rears its ugly head later down the road ‘cos we don’t deal well with these things.

Thats my family, and I love them. But see this time around I’ve learned differently.

See we’ve been trained to grieve as those who have no hope.

The word of God says we’re aren’t to mourn as those who have no hope, see we have hope of heaven. We have hope that when Jesus come or our human body fails, we will rest in His presence eternally, and be with those who also trusted in Him.

Thats some good stuff!

Something to truly have hope in.

I used to view death as a horrible, tragic thing, as I have had a life filled with those horrible and tragic things happening to me and the people I love. I once was one who grieved with no hope at all, just raw pain. But now recently its changed, I don’t know when or how, but I now know its ok to be with Jesus.

So as we bury our dead, I pray my family comes to know the comfort of God and the knowledge of Christ. I pray that the come to understand that aunt Carolyn is pain free and rejoicing with Jesus.

as we all bury our dead I hope we all know it.

Ever prematurely tweeted something, and got grief for it?

I hate to say this, but it feels good when ‘things’ come around. People made their bed and layed in it with pride. Clean hands and pure heart.

Here is it friend, this is where I’ll rephrase and redeem myself hopefully, but if not that’s ok.

Sometimes, in life, we go through circumstances. We deal with people, their judgment, and wrath. I used to get mad when things wouldn’t go my way, when someone would offend me, spitefully use me, but then the rebuke of the Lord came upon me and reminded me so deeply.

DO NOT – pay them back

DO NOT – try and change them with anger and even kindness

Do – come to me and allow me to change it.

The Lord showed me, that he moves a situation much quicker than my stupid attitude, wounded heart, and offended christian letter could ever fix.

In the past, almost two years, I’ve learned to surrender the hurt, and let God do the dealing.

As humans we have consequences, we ‘make our bed’ and we ‘lay it in’. Unfortunately, the thing that bugs me is when people do it in pride. Ignorance is one thing…

In this situation, I never prayed for vindication, just that God would bless them and fix their hearts, but to fix and correct mine first. And now here He is with his swifer mop, cleaning up the years worth of dirt.

Please hear my heart, I can’t say, I say this without pride, because that would be pride itself. So, now here on my blog, publicly and with twitter, I admit that was wrong for posting that, but I will be honest and say I’m glad God is starting to move upon ‘that’ situation and clean out some closets.

I so happy that their hearts are softened enough that God’s pressure can come down and begin to deal with the real issues and real hurts which provokes the sin, and the sin against their brothers.

So again, deal with me first God. Forgive me for having joy in this table turn, and show me to continue to walk in grace and compassion.

I’m not a preacher…. I’m a moses. I’m the one who feels like I’m gonna pass out when I’m standing in front of others and asked to speak.
I play keyboard, write songs, and yet i struggle to open up my mouth and declare with boldness the name of the one I love and serve.

I’m not a revolutionist, but I’m a runner.

For a year I’ve been actively asking, ‘What are the greater things?’ and ‘ What do they look like?’ And today , a few minutes ago I felt overcome with the desire to do something big, bigger than me, bigger than Richmond, Charlotte,Africa, and Italy, wherever. I’ve been overcome to do something bigger than what I’ve done with the 25% out the 100% of my life I’ve lived. My desire is not out the need for applause (which makes me nervous) or my name being out there (which is weird), but for the impact it makes. Even when I was serving in a leadership position amid young people, I wanted to do more, serve more.

So here I stand again wanting to do something BIG. BIGGER than the Now, LASTING in its EFFECT. i want to do something that MATTERS, MATTERS before men, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY GOD. Greater things… greater things are yet to come.

Maybe I need to reread Driven by Eternity, which set me off on this journey 4 years ago.