Saturday, September 6, 2014

Open Letter

I've lived a life that is full.  Full of many things, things that I don't think anyone as a child says... I'll just survive and see what happens from there.  You become a certain way based on your circumstances. They mold you, whether you think they will or not.

I've been told I am intimidating, that I am strong, that I am  a *****, that I am assertive  and all of these things that would essentially make a female look empowering. But the truth is, living underneath that exterior is a young girl who wishes that never had to be her stigma.  Don't get me wrong, I am proud that I've overcome many things that were unfortunate in my life, I am happy that it's molded me into a person who can overcome things and can hold my own. But the truth of the matter is, this person you all know, is not the person I am now.

While yes, these attributes haven't left me, they have transformed. I'm sarcastic and like to joke with the best of them but the truth is, I felt like I could still be the same person and not change who I am in order to help reach others and not alienate people. Simply put, I was wrong... well not entirely, but mostly.  You see, I have made choices in my life, and with those choices that young girl who always wanted to have that life she always dreamed of is finally getting to live that.

I want to clear some things up and HOPE that everyone understands this so I won't have to explain it again. I made the choice not to have children YEARS ago, 23 years ago to be exact, and I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason, so if God wanted me to have children of my own then he would find a way to make it happen. I also made the choice not to be married, basically meaning if I never find someone to spend the rest of my life with, I am OKAY with that.  I know its difficult for some to understand but the fact of the matter is, I have found the best love ever known to man, a love that nobody can ever duplicate. One that has made me comfortable in my own skin, one that I never have to question, one that I can trust in with my entire being. A love that has give me true and complete peace. And yes, due to my devout faith this means as long as I'm not married I am celibate. Many think of this is a punishment for lack of a better word. The truth is, I've been down that road and frankly it isn't something worth giving away to anyone who isn't in his own relationship with Christ, and if he is then he can wait.  I didn't make this decision based on past relationships, or because I've been so hurt or anything of that sort. I'm not giving things up because I'm afraid of being hurt again or whatever other reason some may think. It is as simple as I am happy in the relationship I am in with Christ and if that is how I remain forever, I am okay with that. The bible says that not everyone is meant to have a family, that some have a purpose far more than family.
I've always felt life was taking me somewhere other's weren't traveling, so to think that I am one of those who's purpose doesn't involve a family wouldn't be all that surprising ...   I'll accept whatever God's plan is for me even if it isn't what my idea is.

My ideals are not the same as they once were. As much as I want to be able to relate to this world I know that that it is more important that others relate to Christ, and that means if I am meant to lead others to him then that means I have to give up my old way of thinking.  This isn't something difficult to do, actually its more difficult not doing it. Living in this world as a follower of Christ isn't easy. I know what people think of me, I know that because the rest of the world is turning away from him that I seem like the crazy one, I am the one people will shun. But you know what, that's okay. It's not like I didn't know this when I gave my heart to him, I know his words better than I know the words to my favorite songs. The truth is, If I'm going to be persecuted for him I might as well show my entire transformation.

Truth be told, I don't like the same music I used to, and I do like to listen to Christian music more than anything,  and every day he is changing something else about me. I don't find the same things funny, while my heart is softened my it's armor is strong. I am outspoken but it is for Christ now. If you say something that I don't like its not to offend you, its not even personal. I am not judging you, but the action. If you know me at all you know deep down, the reason I say anything to anyone is in the hopes that it helps them in whatever way I can. I will talk about Jesus and I will call him by name every day and most of the day. You have to understand, he lives in me, its difficult not to talk about someone or something that is constant in your life. It is no different than a parent speaking about their children. If I had pictures of what Jesus really looked like or of us out on any day I'd share them constantly. So If I say to you, Please don't use his name in Vain, its not just because, yes, it is offensive to me, but because it is offensive to Him. The little things you do every day that you think really don't matter when it comes to your relationship with him, are the biggest. Would you curse your parent's name who has watched over you your entire life? They aren't just words, they're piercing daggers in his heart. When you don't read your bible, you are directly ignoring him. I hear people say "He doesn't talk to me." all the time, yet they never pick up their Bible.

It was time I stopped ignoring these things, and fearing other's would ignore me and the message God has for me to deliver.

The truth is, the same message I have to give is the same one that has been told for generations. I choose to give it in the purest form I absolutely can.You are free to do what you want with it, but if I don't at least share it, then I am not doing right by God, myself and more so.... YOU.  His spirit lives in me and I'm going to preach it to the masses.  God is as real as you and I and his son Jesus Christ LIVES! Love me or hate me, this is exactly what you will get from me.

God Bless - Don't Forget To Pray


Monday, June 2, 2014

Tim Brown's "The Making Of A Man"- Review

As I began reading Heisman Trophy winner, and Raider Legend, Tim Brown’s book "The Making of a Man: How Men and Boys Honor God and Live With Integrity" I was instantly drawn in. I’m ashamed to say but, I’m one of those readers who judge the books by their covers (in the literal sense). For Me, knowing that Tim was writing a book was all I needed to know in order to purchase it, top it off with the fact that he would be doing a speaking engagement at my church, that was a done deal for me. As a Raider fan and even more so a fan of Tim Brown…scratch that, not a fan… a loyal admirer and follower of Tim Brown the Introduction and the first chapter ‘A Man Is Thankful’ I was immediately hooked. To read the details behind his mindset leading up to the Super Bowl was beyond emotional for me.

You see I was about 6 When Tim started playing professional football. The very first Raider memorabilia I had was Tim’s. Grandma and I were in Kmart and she said “ Hey Honey, how would you like this?” A Placard of Tim Brown.
Little did she know… 
 As a little girl, football isn’t something you think of being a part of her life but it was for me, and being surrounded by San Francisco fans, the fact that I went against the grain wasn’t a happy moment by the men in my family. Grandma and I were sitting and watching the Raiders play and Tim brought down this catch that just amazed me, Grandma and I did a little touch down dance and celebrated, it was Tim who made me a Raider fan.
Grandma being my strong hold, my anchor to the Lord, as I read Tim’s words I am absolutely beside myself as to the power of God’s plan. How he connects us in so many different ways. I could never pinpoint on why I had such an admiration for Tim, I mean aside from his athletic accomplishments there was something about him that was just ...more.
In his book, he says His wife's is described as having a light about her, and when I read this, it clicked.. That's what it is about him beyond the plays on the football field, his light for the Lord is beyond what his play is, which seems impossible but its true
When I had the opportunity to meet him (the first time) at Fred Biletnikoff’s Grid Iron Greats meet and greet before the Golf Tournament he does every year, I remember as my turn was approaching, I was standing there looking at the person in front of me and my knees gave out a little, I had began to feel a little woozy. I walked up and he was so gracious and so sincere as a person I tell you It was as something radiated off of him (that light). He asked how I was and I explained I was feeling as if I were going to pass out and He said “Well lets take our picture first.”   It was so odd to see how human this hero of mine was. The second time I had the opportunity was the very next year at the golf tournament and this time I asked him to sign my arm so I could tattoo it on, I left that very moment and had it put on me for life.  I look back at these moments as I read through "The Making of A Man" it wasn't just a trip down memory lane, it was as if I experienced it all over again for the first time with a new pair of eyes.
I was never into reading Biographies really but Grandma loved them. I wish that she were here to read this with me, I can without a doubt say that it would have been one of her favorites.
Tim has done what we all should strive to do, and that is be as honest as possible with our walk with Jesus. Many believe you have to show a certain type of face when talking about Jesus and hide all the things that came before.  When in actuality it is our story that came before our meeting of the Lord that is the one that catches the attention of someone, and the story of God's grace and how we live from that moment on that changes another person's life, the very thing that could lead a doubter to God.
Throughout the "The Making Of A Man" Tim relives the most talked about, and the toughest times as a Raider fan that we've experienced (Tuck Rule & the Super Bowl). He does an amazing job of drawing you in and explaining the comparison between his professional, family and spiritual life, which to Tim are all one in the same. Whether you are on the football field or in your every day life, a football fan or just a regular guy, a woman or a man, The Making Of A Man is a book everyone should not just own but keep with them throughout their life.
Tim I thank you for what you've given me as a fan, but more so as a follower of Christ.  God's plan for you is going to be beyond glorious, and the way you have honored him is nothing short of Godly.  I truly believe God has that Hall Of Fame moment for you, he's just waiting for the right time for you to have the right story to proclaim him in that Big of a Moment.
I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone and everyone who is looking for encouragement, who feel they've failed at something, families, and to be very honest I'd like to see pastors read this book, because I've seen too many pastors preaching the word but not all of the truth and I know that this book will revive that fire under you that God has been trying to give you. 

I could go on and on, page by page with a review because it touched me so deeply but instead I will encourage you to read it for yourself and feel the same inspiration "The Making Of A Man" gave me.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

In The Trenches

I missed Church this week...

It was about 6pm and I thought I'd make a phone call and figured I'd be off in 15 minutes or so, in time to leave for church.

The phone call took a turn when Satan tried to intervene and induce anger into the situation. Years before the conversation would have continued with a lot of arguing and insults thrown around.. To the point I ended up cussing (something I'm known for not doing). I had an opportunity here, either do what I'm used to, show her that I have every reason to be angry, use the fact that I'm some sort of authority, that shes nobody to me so what she says doesn't matter... Or...
I can show her Grace.

As we argued I tried to get through but she was getting frustrated and defensive.. Yelling that she was hanging up and I said... "Don't let Satan hang up that phone! Do not give him that power!"

The conversation went on... She was worried about things.. Things she didn't actually need to worry about anyway... But she went on ... And I told her with Jesus there are no worries...

She's always thought she had him in her heart because we were taught to. She asked Why I think she doesn't... I simply said bc if you did, you'd have no worries...
Granted there may be things you think about but you wouldn't be worried about them  because as they appear, you've already trusted Jesus with them and they're his now...

As I explained my year to her as an example, I started to cry uncontrollably. It wasn't intentional, I wasn't emotional ... It just happened. And I said, I've had the worst year I'll ever have in my life and not one day did I worry about what would happen because, I trusted Jesus had a reason and that he wouldn't take me through trials he didn't know HE couldn't handle.

I explained that when he changed my heart he also gave me new eyes... I see situations differently, I see people differently.. I see when he is giving me direct messages... Her response was... "wow".

I explained how this is why I knew she hadn't let him into her heart aside from just wanting him there without giving anything for it... You can see someone's heart for what it is. I believe God gives us this so that we can see the broken... The ones he calls us to, to bring his grace. Like when Jesus sent Ananias to Paul, After all that Paul had done to Christ's followers He sent Ananias to heal Paul's eyes and tell him that Jesus wanted to use him to proclaim that Jesus is in fact the Messiah and what he had done for his sight among other things...

We talked about how its the little things that can determine where your eternity will be spent. How your decision in a moment will set your path and how all you have to do is ask him IN THAT MOMENT to be your eyes, and what he wants you to do.

I had a choice tonight... Go to church or be his church ...
I chose to be his church, I chose Grace over Anger and forgiveness over grudges.
I pray she really takes our conversation and let's Jesus in. That he repairs her heart and gives her new eyes. Because as we approach each new day in this generation its one moment closer  to his return.


"Don't Forget To Pray"

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Illuminating Grace

I have never been one to hold my tongue.  I am not afraid or ashamed of the truth.

Most know I am a fan of the Book of Revelation, I say fan in the way of, its the book I'm drawn to most in the bible. I have studied this book since I was a child, Grandma and I would sit and she would read the verses and we would discuss the end times, but we would focus on the future, the beginning.

I am very big on the prophecy of the bible. I'm big on Prophecy. As a teen/young adult, I found interest in many things, such as, other religions and how they work, their beliefs, I wanted to understand where others come from. People would be very surprised to learn that ethnicity does not define belief. We've come to believe that here in recent years with the different wars waged against each other. I find that learning about other beliefs keep me educated and tolerant. Not in the sense that I believe what they believe, but I find that if I understand things it allows me not to be judgmental and more loving towards others.
In this I became very curious about skull and cross bones type of things, politics and the way things run. You see anyone who knew me as a teenager wouldn't have believed this but I really love to learn. I'm kind of a "Know It All" not in the sense of the ability to brag, I just like to be well educated on things. I learned that, "The first rule about fight club is that you don't talk about fight club."  While many have their ideas of what the "Skull and Cross Bones" are from the theatrics of Movies and the mainstream media... There are many things you'll never know anything about, and more importantly if they are as powerful as everyone makes them out to be, the things shown are probably very opposite of how things actually are... I mean, I would just assume...

I studied Nostradamus and his quatrains ... Many thought him to be "one of" the Antichrists for his visions he had, some believe he was a prophet.  I have no opinion on this other than whatever he was, his prophecies have lived long past his time. Are they derived from the bible? Are they visions from God? Or were they things Satan allowed him to see? We'll never really have any way of knowing. 

As I said I did my research, mainly to see if it fit in with my view on prophecy, and it does, it absolutely does. I got to a point where it was the only thing I could think about. I grew up preparing myself for the signs the bible says we would see in the last days... I became completely lost in it. To the point that, Revelation and outside sources kept me from diving more into the bible and building my relationship with Jesus.

Once I got back to basics, and back into my relationship with Jesus I started to see things in a different light. I saw his light.  I was devoting a lot of my life to cleaning my house and waiting for the knock on the door, rather than pursuing his company as it is... As I am.  What I mean by that is, instead of diving into my relationship with him and how I could strengthen it, I was busy trying to make everything right, and put puzzle pieces together instead of just putting my trust in him.

The point of Revelation, and the prophecies in the different books of the bible are to warn those who have not yet given their lives over. To show that the wrath of God is real and that this world will encounter it. In other words, its telling you when you see these things know that I am near... And if you have any plans on going to Heaven and spend your eternal life with Jesus, worry about your self and not what you're seeing.

We are here to plant the seed and spread the Good News... Though we are definitely in the last days, I find that acknowledging the signs is necessary but focusing on  my love for Jesus and his good news is what will matter in the end.... In order to see a new beginning.