Christianity


So I just got back from a conference studying Acts and just seeing how on fire for God the early church was right when they received the Holy Spirit and I am excited.

I was just watching the 700 Club (yes I’m old… but it came on after Secret Life on ABC Family and I didn’t have my remote on-hand) and saw this one report of a Iraqi Christian who was tortured for 7 months for his conversion to Christianity from Islam… Everyday he endured gruesome torture of eclectic shock, beating, and much more… and you know what he said constantly to the men who was doing this to him? Jesus loves you!!! And you know what else… he smuggled a bible in the prison and EVANGELIZED to the very guards who would beat him every day and got 4 to convert!!!

This is just awesome and yet so convicting… He allowed the Holy Spirit to work through him the whole time he was in that prison… never backing down on his proclamation of Christ… yet I have crippling fear to proclaim Jesus as the only way to God because I might be rejected or might offend… The early Christians all died proclaiming Christ… from persecution… are you willing to do the same???

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There are so many things I’m excited for and I’m just happy that God has given me joy after my praying and going to bed a little sad last night!

I’m excited for Release!!! Our Black Regional Student Conference with Intervarsity! I’m excited because I’m expecting God to show up in mighty ways and speak into my life like he’s done so many times before… because I get to see so many wonderful faces that I haven’t seen in a while like My BFF ANGELA!!!! and PATRICE!!!! and my wonderful roommate from Atlanta ’08 ALEX!!!! and the potential of meeting new wonderful faces from different schools that people are going to bring… it’s going to be awesome!!!

Work was awesome today!!! I got my babies back! Last week someone was out so I had to be with the middle schoolers and I was very unhappy because they don’t listen to me like at all… but today I got to go back to where my heart is and was welcomed with hugs and opened arms cuz they were happy to see me! They don’t know I was just as happy to see them… cuz I had an incident with the middle schoolers and a parent was upset and that made me upset and I really was worried that I did something wrong, but I talked to the principal about it and she said that the kids told the truth which really made me feel better because the one girl was lying to her mother and making me look bad and the parent was going to talk to the principal and I didn’t know what that outcome was going to bring… but now that the girl owned up to it the pressure is off of me! Plus the director of Aftercare came in my class today and told me I was doing a very good job and that just boosted my day because I worry about that sometimes and just need that word of affirmation to know that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing because I do try my best.

I got to spend time with Utibe today in DC… which was great because even though it was crowded and our time was short we got to talk a little bit and catch up after Atlanta before she makes that trip back to LA… Utibe and I did an Urban Project with Intervarsity in 2006 together. We spent some time reminiscing on that crazy summer! LOL Good times…

Oh and at driving school today my driving instructor asked us what it meant to be saved and it was great just to be able to openly share about Christ in a setting you wouldn’t think of as the place for that… and I found out that one of the students in the class is a freshman @ Bowie State… God is SO funny… connection over break? I mean really WHAT is the likelihood of that happening? Needless to say I’m going to try to connect with her and maybe even try to get her to come to Release… she does attend church… I wonder if she’s crazy enough to attend a conference with some people she hardly knows? LOL We’ll see!!!!

I FINALLY decided what song I’m dancing to for my grandmother’s Pastoral Anniversary this Sunday! Cece Winans’ Holy Spirit Come Fill this Place! I’m excited about it now LOL because at first I just had no clue about what to do… and though I’m sure my grandmother would love anything I do… its like a dance tribute to her and my ministry unto God so I was really like ok… its coming up what should I do??? AHHH!

All in all I’m just excited about God cuz he’s amazing and wonderful!

December 29, 2008- Dr Jeanne Porter (Apostolic Church of God)

RESTORATION- Jonah 2:1-2, Jonah 4

Restoration- going back to original intent that God had

Dr Porter really gave us an insightful view to Jonah and why he didn’t want to go to Nineveh and paralleled it with the black community. She started with teaching us about Bennett’s Model of Intercultural Sensitivity. There are 2 branches of this model which 3 subsets under each.

Ethnocentric- Denial, Defense, Minimization
Ethnorelative- Acceptance, Adaptation, Integration

Denial of course is saying that there is no cultural difference… like saying to a person who is of a different culture as you “I don’t see color… I only see people”

Defense is when one acknowledges the existence of certain cultural
differences, but because those differences are threatening to his or her own reality and sense of self, the individual constructs defenses against those differences.

Minimization is when one acknowledges cultural differences, but trivializes them, believing that human similarities far outweigh any differences.

Acceptance is when one recognizes and values cultural differences
without evaluating those differences as positive or negative.

Adaptation is when one begins to develop and improve skills for interacting and communicating with people of other cultures through perspective-shifting, the ability to look at the world “through different eyes.”

Integration is when one constantly defines their own identity and evaluating behavior and values in contrast to and in concert with a multitude of cultures. Rising above the limitations of living in one cultural context, these individuals integrate aspects of their own original cultural perspectives with those of other cultures.

Now what does this have to do with Jonah? Well Nineveh was a wicked city… We got that from the text right… Well Nineveh is apart of this wonderful country of Assyria… who was pretty much really evil and fought dirty. They had tormented and tortured every nation that conquered and it was pretty bad. They were especially bad to Israel (Jonah’s nation). So Jonah pretty much had a grudge against Nineveh and there was no way he wanted to go preach to them.

The tie back to us was that there are some places we don’t want to go because of our heart toward those places or things. And that we as a black community deal with alot of those things because of the oppression that we suffered way back in slavery… but that’s not an excuse for us to stay there… Some of the things she mentioned were Addictions, Anger & Rage, Defensiveness, and need to prove ourselves.

After her message she had us come up front to the alter and pray to God to work in our hearts on the issues we dealt with whether those that she mentioned or others. It was really freeing and great. I did have alot of rage inside… I never act on it because it’s bottled up. (unlike my brother who scares me sometimes…) Anywho God dealt with that and I just love that he does things we don’t expect when we don’t expect it.

To Be Continued….

Speaker Bio: Dr. Jeanne Porter is an ordained minister with the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, and is an associate minister at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago. Dr. Porter received both Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Industrial and Systems Engineering from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, the Master of Arts of Theological Studies from McCormick Theological Seminary, in Chicago, Illinois, and the Doctor of Philosophy in Communication, with an emphasis in Cultural Studies from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. You may visit www.TransPorterGroup.com to learn more about Dr Jeanne Porter and her work for the Kingdom.

So LOTS means Lessons Outside the Sessions 🙂

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The enemy’s been defeated. Death couldn’t hold you down. Gonna lift our voice in victory. Gonna make our praises loud. Shout unto God with a voice of triumph, shout unto God with a voice of praise. Shout unto God with a voice of triumph. We lift your name up, we lift your name up!

I saw it fitting to begin again with this song because It is what I’ll be talking about next. So I guess its time for the spiritual journeys and lessons learned at ATL ’08 outside of the seminars and sessions… This is where my life was transformed the most anyway which is why I just love conferences.

So we arrive at the conference center around 2 pm which is good considering we left late because someone was having some issues and overslept or something ( I never really got the story but it didn’t matter) AND because our van was trippin and shaking while we were on the road at first (but thank God through prayer and faith it stopped and we made it safely). So we register and right then and there I’m like smacked in the face with a test. Why? Well somehow I got separated from the group when they were doing housing and so I was pretty much isolated on my own in a different building with a roommate I didn’t know. Now for some people they’re thinking ok, big deal, so what? Yeah well for me this was a very big deal because I saw this as me needing to do more work than I had anticipated (to be included with the group) and (probably more honestly) was willing to do. The fact of the matter was, I didn’t need help isolating myself from the group, because I did that well enough when we were together anyway. So yeah, this was a big problem and I let everyone know it. LOL! I am moping because I will be forced to extend myself to other people when I wasn’t really close with the group I came with in the first place and saw the conference as a potential bonding time. Aren’t we glad that our ideas aren’t God’s ideas? I mean really like I mentioned it wasn’t even the fact that I was with someone I didn’t know… because meeting people is the story of my life… but it was just the fact that we weren’t even in the same building… and like it was a pretty far walk in between, so I doubted anyone would visit my room and vice versa (which actually became true LOL)… So I cry and call my bff (who didn’t answer) so I yell @ God and He smiles and laughs @ me… and then speaks to me through my staff worker saying “Maybe God put you there for a reason. Don’t let this ruin the whole conference for you.” I wish I could say the Hallelujah Chorus rang and I had instant revelation and was all good from that point then… ha! No… My response in my mind was yeah, I know he put me there for a reason and I don’t like it at all… and my verbal response was Yeah, whatever, I’ll get over it. And I did… but that didn’t stop me from being upset at certain points in the conference when what I expected to happen happened like my being in another part of the main conference room because I wasn’t with them when we entered or my eating meals with strangers because we couldn’t coordinate to eat together or the free times I spent alone in my room because I waited for phone calls or text messages to see what they were doing that never came… But in all of that God spoke to me… because he really let me know I had no right to be upset because I really didn’t voice clearly to my group how I felt or what I wanted or expected… what I “expected” for them to do was read my mind… what I “expected” them to do was to think about me and make sure I was included (as if they were intentionally excluding me)… God really forced me to grow up and stop being a baby in that area of expecting people to like cater to my wants and desires… and I’m sure that’s apart of what He had in store when he placed me where he did. Also my roommate was pretty awesome and amazing and blessed my life beyond imagine and made me want to cry and shout all @ the same time in certain occasions where I now have a mutual connection with a good sister and friend that probably wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t roommates.

So for the conference we had morning corporate prayer times (non-mandatory) where we’d get up early 7:30 am and go to this room and pray with the leading of a staff worker. Prayer is amazing… but corporate prayer is just so powerful, especially the way we did it… like it was just such a lifter and a boost in the mornings and I actually kinda miss it and wish I had someone to pray with in the mornings LOL… (I used to try to get us to do family morning prayer times… it didn’t really work too well cuz my mom didn’t like me trying to tell her what to do LOL) anywho… it just really stirred up a fire within me every morning and I was ready to face the day and it was just so great… I don’t even know how else to describe it… and like you’d think it was something great and spectacular, it was just prayer but prayer is awesome! LOL Spending time with Daddy is awesome! 🙂

So speaking of prayer and spending time with God… 🙂 December 30th… Don’t remember what time it was cuz I was pretty out of it afterward… but woo… I already know I won’t do this experience justice BUT I will try… so we did an all conference corporate prayer time after one of our main sessions… they said they were just going to let the Holy Spirit move and whatever happens, happens… HA! Like nothing I’ve EVER experienced before in my life… we started by praising God through reading praise scriptures simultaneously and we were to read and read until the “Holy Hush” (we would just know when it was time to be quiet, no one would tell us) came and would get further instructions from the Holy Spirit there after… Let me tell you the Holy Spirit just rained down like fire on that place after the Holy Hush… we were lead into a corporate moan/scream/crying out to God and I don’t know about anyone else but I was floored (face down prostrate)… and then one of the staff workers prayed over me things that I hadn’t told anyone but that only God knew… and said things that God had told me before but I had forgotten… and such a peace came over me when I got up off the floor (oh and somehow everyone got floored LOL) I couldn’t stand still I was so full of the Spirit and I was FREE like all of my pain vanished (even the physical pain that I came in there with) and all my emotional wounds healed, and in that moment, God took the time to make me whole and tell me I didn’t need to look to any other person for the love and affection that he was currently bestowing upon me.  He was telling me that He was always with me… even in those dark times when I felt that He wasn’t… That HE was the whispers in the night saying Don’t Do it your life is too precious… That HE knew me better than I even knew myself and HE would never leave me and I was protected with Him… and I began to think back to the times where I felt like dying and felt like death had a grip on me… where I felt so close to the edge I just might have jumped… AND I just praised and praised and praised… and that praise has been etched in my heart… and I began singing songs I didn’t know but I was singing and I don’t remember any of the words to the songs but I remember the staff worker praying that I’d be filled with songs of Joy and I totally was… and THEN 🙂 another staff worker led by the Spirit got on the microphone and began to sing theme song!

The enemy’s been defeated. Death couldn’t hold you down. Gonna lift our voice in victory. Gonna make our praises loud. Shout unto God with a voice of triumph, shout unto God with a voice of praise. Shout unto God with a voice of triumph. We lift your name up, we lift your name up!

Talks with my roommate really helped me grow… I know we were talking about places God has called us to be where we don’t want to be and she has been to the place where I don’t want to be but am supposed to go… and I hadn’t told her about it yet… and she just randomly brought it up and was talking about it and I was just like shut up (not the bad shut up LOL) and wanted to walk out cuz at that point I hadn’t like fully committed to go and of course God would bring it up and our conversation like I’m not going to let you forget about this missy! LOL

To Be Continued

So today was the last bible study of the semester @ Bowie *tear*… and God had a word for us that was specifically for each one of us as well as to all of us… and it was that He LOVED us… a concept seemingly so simple and yet I was so overwhelmed with joy that I fought back tears 🙂

I’m always just so amazed by God’s love…

So I was having a conversation with a friend about forgiveness and how I’ve been really NOT doing that… (Even though it was something I dealt with this summer in June <- click to read post) like I know I should forgive and that love keeps no record of wrong and all that… but I just get tired of it after awhile… and I said this to her and she just smiles and says well thankfully God doesn’t… (Ain’t that the truth!!!!)

She reminded me of the scripture in Matthew 6:14-15 that the message bible puts like this:

In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.

So clear and simple… forgive others so that we can be forgiven (and oh do I NEED forgiveness) I am also reminded about the passage in Matthew where Peter asks how many times we should forgive someone who hurts us… and throws out his maximum number of 7… like Peter was saying… 7 is too many anyway maybe Jesus will commend me for being willing to forgive THAT many times… but no… Jesus says Hardly!… try 70 times 7…

And then what gets me is my thinking that I have the right NOT to forgive when I’m in the same boat as the person I need to extend my forgiveness to… I’m in need of a savior… Nothing I’ve done makes me right but only because God loved ME so much to send His son to die for me

This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God. ~1 John 4:9-10 Msg

Not only die for ME and my sins… but while I was still a sinner…

Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. ~Romans 5:6-8 Msg

So to you, you, and especially YOU… I forgive you and release all bitterness, anger, hatred, loathe… and any other negative adjective I can’t think of right now that may have been inside of me because of what you’ve done to me… Not because I am such a good person but because God is in me and desires me whole and He forgave you @ the cross so I forgive you now…

So I have a plan and I’m like extremely excited…

But first the JOURNEY… LOL

If you’ve known me for awhile you know college hasn’t really been my thing… I came to college because it was what was expected of me because I did well in high school and I wanted to get money to take care of my family. When I got to college I always said it should just be a social experience… 4 years of hanging out with people… no classes. I wasn’t really interested in anything really but I was good with computers so I picked the major of Information Systems Development. It didn’t take me long to realize that wasn’t what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I mean while I spend every waking hour on the computer now, I didn’t like fixing problems or not knowing how to fix a problem (come across this alot) and the joy of being on the computer would be taken away because it was work. I also had begun growing spiritually in my faith and saw how I needed to follow Jesus with my whole life meaning career path as well. I never had asked God for direction in any area of my life like that before. So I asked… I think… LOL

So what I heard from God was to teach so that’s what I was going to do. Now I knew it was from God because all my life I’d been saying that I can’t teach so I didn’t make it up. So the plan was to change my major to Music Education because I love music (and play 4 instruments and sing) and God told me to teach plus I love children. Right? WRONG! LOL So after being convinced by someone who thought they were looking out for my best interests that I wouldn’t be able to get into the music program because my skill level wasn’t to the caliber needed I changed my major to just Elementary Education and was going to minor in Music. So getting into the Education program at my school was just as hard if not harder than getting into the Music program, especially since I was transferring into the program. BUT the only thing that was truly holding me back was my GPA which was a 2.97 and it needed to be a 3.0… So when I got to a point where I couldn’t take anymore classes except the ones in the Education program and I couldn’t get in because of my GPA I had to change my minor to Special Education just to be able to take classes and bring my GPA up. Needless to say that didn’t happen… in fact it went down to a 2.94 and I still wasn’t allowed in the program.

At this point (and many other points) I’m ready to just quit school. So I didn’t really seek God at that point about what I should do and I was in fact quite confused because I didn’t understand if he told me to teach why I couldn’t get into the program. (of course I know now :)) Anyway that was around the end of my junior year, so I began to look into any major that I could take that would have me to graduate in the least amount of time. The major would be Behavioral Science which is like the head of Sociology which seemed very interesting to me when I had to take Soc 100. So that’s what I did… my plan was to get out of school as soon as possible with any degree and just figure out my life after I graduated. Well needless to say THAT didn’t happen either. LOL

I had some big attacks of the enemy which led me to actually leave school in the middle of the semester and not return to that particular school. But the day I came home even I was being asked so what are you going to do? Where are you going to school? You need to register soon its around the time of deadlines. Which I guess was the voice of God in a way because I probably wouldn’t be in school right now had that not happened. BUT again I did not consult God and ask Him His plan and purpose for my life but jumped right into applying and registering for a school that made sense I would go to because it was cheap, it was close (and I thought it’d be easy to get there though found not the case), and it didn’t hurt that my mentor/ big sister worked there.

The only thing was it didn’t have my major so I had to change my major again… the most logical choice at the time was Sociology because it was the closest to my previous major. After being accepted and doing more research about the programs and things I decided I wanted to study children. So that’s what I signed up for. The only problem was there was this one class that was a prerequisite  for all of the following classes. Meaning I could only take that one class. I had a few more classes I could take because of the graduation requirements for the school but not enough to be full time so I just signed up for “fun” (courses I didn’t need but thought would be useful to me) classes to fill my schedule. On October 9th I have a break down and I’m just like I have no direction in my life I don’t know where God is taking me or why I’m even here or what I’m doing with my life… I feel like I’m going no where… I’m dropping out of school forever and moving out of my house and living with a friend!!! Yeah I was a mess… yeah I didn’t drop out of school… but I did drop down to part time and I did FINALLY seek God for direction and I waited for his direction and didn’t get it until December 4th.

I’m excited about it because before I never really had a Graduation Plan where I sat down and looked at everything I needed to do to graduate. But like I have this comprehensive list of everything that I’m going to take from now until I graduate in 2011. Oh yeah and I changed my major of course LOL… It is now Business Administration Management. I feel it is in line with what God wants me to do with my life even going into ministry because my vision is to open my own dance studio and that will be a business and I’ll definitely need to know how to operate it properly. Oh and if you’re wondering where the teaching comes in… I’ll be teaching dance classes @ my studio so I didn’t heard God incorrectly when He told me to teach… I just didn’t wait to hear the whole thing… So my graduation countdown has finally begun! Spring 2011 here I come! 🙂
Oh yeah did I mention that I’m ending this semester with  4.0 and because I transferred schools my old GPA is wiped clean??? I could write a whole blog about that one 🙂 but Wohoo!

Here’s my graduation plan just in case you’re interested 😉

Graduation Plan

Spring 2009

Introduction to Business

African-American History to 1865

Introduction to Principles of Reasoning

Life and Health

Technical & Report Writing I

Fall 2009

Principles of Marketing

Principles of Management

Principles of Accounting I

Principles of Macroeconomics

Principles of Microeconomics

Spring 2010

Principles of Accounting II

Business Law I

Money and Banking

Business/Economic Statistics I

Organizational Behavior

Principles of Supervision & Leadership

Fall 2010

Business Law II

Management Problems

Principles of Finance

Human Resource Management

Spring 2011

Quantitative Methods in Decision Making

Entrepreneurship & New Enterprises

Business Strategy and Policy

Production and Operation Management

So bear with me… I have like so many ideas to write about and I think about them and then when its time to sit down and write I forget Lol… so I’m going to write a blog about the things I will be writing about over the next few days to come LOL No specific order btw:

Barack Obama and the Black Community (specifically churches)
The Truth Shall make you Free (mini confessional about my former bad habit)
Time and how I waste it mixed with getting back on track with my goals
The joys of reading someone else’s blog
The gift of Christmas
The influence of friends of your actions
The power of words and confession
Overseas Missions
Being Single and loving it
To Write Love On Her Arms (a personal testimony of mine)
Laminin (Do not… I repeat… Do NOT steal my joy by goggling it!! LOL Warning, this is reverse psychology LOL)

LOL… I look like I’ve booked myself for some heavy blogging, but I’m actually excited to write about this stuff because its stuff I think about and stuff I want to get others opinions about and I don’t talk alot and this stuff is interesting and what I’d rather talk about then some of the things my conversations usually consist of now… like relationship problems, or family problems, or just life problems in general!!! LOL So yeah I think this’ll keep me busy for a lil while and I just can’t wait to see what others think Lol… SO I’m going to take a poll of which I should do first LOL because though I’d love to write them all right now… I do have to go to school tomorrow and need to sleep LOL

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