Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Profane Poetry

Last week I was invited to poetry night at a local high school by a teen in the community. As a poet, I am always intrigued when I am introduced to someone with the same passion for writing, especially the youth. We arrived early and waited in the hallway until the program began. I fought agitation while we waited because I couldn't help but notice the lack of integrity the school took in cleanliness and visual appeal. Posters hung partially ripped from the wall, the vending machines looked as if they hadn't been clean in months and dust laid so thick along the baseboards it looked like carpet. I asked my husband "How are the students supposed to be motivated to reach for successful living in an environment that says "I don't care."
Shortly after, the program began.

There were 10 poets on the program. The writing teacher introduced each poet and gave a synopsis of each piece they were to recite. My heart sank during the entire program because nearly every poetic topic was about sex, death, embracing the dark side, lesbianism, hate, unanswered prayers and hopelessness. One poet wrote about taking her seat in hell and her 666 way of making money. Another young man used the phrase "open your legs to me" as symbolic means of gaining trust. Another student wrote about expecting to receive love from her parents only after hell freezes over. The use of profanity was upsetting and the sexual references were mind blowing. But nothing disgusted me more than hearing the teacher give the students accolades for their work. He even said that he was proud of some of the students for embracing the mythical and dark side. The principal and school staff applauded the student's work. I'm baffled because these are some of the same school personnel who meet about the high teen pregnancy rate, behavioral problems and education issues our community battles. I can't believe they can't tell that they are actually enabling the problems.

I wanted so badly to jump up and scream, "STOP! STOP! What is wrong with you people? Can't you see that these children are crying out and asking for help? This isn't art! It's pain!!"

I was appalled, angry, concerned and disgusted all at the same time. I began to pray in the spirit and I rebuked every demonic force trying to destroy these children. I was proud of the young person who invited me because his poem was the only one that spoke of hope and trust in God.

You see, I started writing when I was nine years old. My mom encouraged me to always speak life when I wrote. She told me that it was okay to write about my pain but to always include a victorious ending because as children of God we always win. Opening the community center has made me more aware of how things have become progressively worst over the past thirty years.

I've had to ask myself, "Where have we as the church been?"

Children of God, we've got to do better. The fact is people in need won't always come to us. We've got to go out and get them. Satan is holding our community hostage. We must be relentless in our efforts to regain our families. We've let our guard down and in some ways compromised the integrity of God's word. We've stopped evangelism, ended testimony service, quit preaching hell, fire and brimstone sermons. Yes! Prayer is always good but faith without works is dead. Time to get back to some
sho-nuff work We've gotta do better.No negotiations...let's go get them back!!!

B signature white bkgrd

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Good Fight

Any one who truly knows me understands that I am always game for a good fight…..That’s if the issue is worth fighting for. But sometimes I get tired of fighting. Sometimes I wish that at the snap of a finger, issues are resolved and needs are fulfilled. Some of you reading this blog right now are tired. You didn’t feel like getting out of bed this morning. You didn’t feel like going into work. You didn’t feel like cleaning, preparing lunches or getting the kids ready for school. Some of you parents are already dreading the chores that lie in wait after work…..

 I feel you…

This morning I don’t feel like adding to my 60 plus hour workweek as a volunteer Executive Director at a community center operating on a shoe string budget. I don’t feel like going to another meeting only to spend the majority of it trying to reassure others that we are here to help and not compete. I don’t feel like thinking. I thought feel like motivating. Today, I miss my sister. Today, I want to put on her sweater, remember her smell and cry for her. Today, I want to be bored with laziness. But just like most of you who understands the importance of your child getting to school time with a healthy lunch. Or like those you who understand that if you don’t work, you don’t eat…I understand that my call is bigger than my flesh.

This I wanted to encourage those of you who are tired to flip the script and work through tired. Operate in TIRED.

Try to Inspire and Rejoice while Educating and please remain Determined!

Father God in the name of Jesus, we thank you for life, health and strength. Father, I ask that you keep your loving arms of protection around us as we go to and fro. I pray productivity and profound favor upon every person who’s reading this email. I pray energy, determination and joy upon weary souls. I thank you in advance for turning this sluggish morning into an awesome day. I pray your light shines on everyone we encounter and that they see you in us. Father, we thank you. We give you all the glory, honor and praise…Amen.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Zachery Tims

I'll admit. I don't watch many televangelists. It seems for most of them, ministry has become more about fame than FAITH. Let's watch....One TV Pastor says he doesn't preach about hell because it's too controversial~SWITCH THE CHANNEL~ another says everyone is going to heaven~ SWITCH THE CHANNEL~ One TV show says tells competing gospel artists "You sound good but you just don't have the look “~SWITCH THE CHANNEL~And another TV Pastor has starting producing "christian" movies that include profanity and drinking with an all-star cast of unsaved, unmarried actors who are allowed to kiss and fondle each other....~SWITCH THE CHANNEL.

Call me religious or holier than thou all you want but I can back my convictions up with scripture.

I didn't follow Pastor Zachery Tims much. As a matter of fact, I didn't know about his divorce until I heard about his passing. From what I heard, at one point, he had a thriving ministry. There is speculation about his death and for the sake of his soul, his family and his church; I pray that they are not true. However, there was a comment made by one of his followers that disturbed me. The person said during an interview that even if the autopsy results came back with positive results for drugs, they felt like the good he did in life outweighed the bad. That's true to some extent. It's always better to focus on the good in life but when it comes to a person's soul...good doesn't get you into heaven. Side Note: I don't have a heaven or a hell to put this man in. My prayer is that he made it in. I definitely would not disrespect his memory or his family. I just lost a sister and I know how I would feel if someone spoke negatively about her. However, this person's comment is a mindset that Christians cannot adopt.

We never know when God will grace the skies. As Christians, it is vital that we live every second as if it is our last. One thousand years of doing "good" cannot justify one second in sin. My Pastor developed an acronym for sin. He calls it Self Inflicted Nonsense. I don't live a life of sin but on the other hand, I'm far from perfect. It's frightens me to know that I can live a life sold out for Christ and the moment, I decide live or act in the flesh, God can come and my soul will be lost. That's why I have diagnosed myself with R.O.C.D....Repentance Obsessive Compulsive Dedication. I continuously pray, repent and ask God to give me wisdom.

The Bible says in Proverbs 10:12, love covers a multitude of sin. Some people misinterpret this scripture. This doesn't mean that we are to hide a person's actions while they are in sin but we are to help them to heal and become delivered from sin. I respect leaders in their positions and I know that everything should be done in decency and in order. However, no matter the title, if a person is found to be living in contrast of God's word, we as Christians...their brothers and sisters in Christ...are obligated to pray to God for guidance and then address the issue according to his command. It is not about exposing but expelling that sinful nature. Our love for God and each other should prompt us to do whatever it takes to keep that soul from eternal damnation. I feel sorry for anyone who know about a person's struggles and problems but do nothing to help them overcome it. The last thing I want is the blood of a lost soul on my hands.

No one should judge Pastor Tims fate. Only God knows. Right now he has children, family and a church that is hurting not only because of their loss but because they don't know what happened. I know how that feels..to lose someone suddenly and not have a clue as to what happened. The autopsy says my sister died of "undetermined natural causes". The unknown is a horrible feeling and it only lengthens the grieving process. Whatever the outcome, pray that God will intervene, strengthen and make whatever might have been wrong....right.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Frozen Smiles

Anger resteth in the bosom of fools (Eccl. 7:9)…WOW.

For the wrath of a man worketh not the righteousness of God….Left Right…Uppercut to the jaw…James 1:20.

Please excuse me while I preach to myself. The word of God is truly sharper than any two-edged sword and right now its cutting me left and right. You see a few months ago, my family was made aware of some news that revealed an ultimate betrayal. The kind of “If I weren’t saved, I would be “catching a case” news.

So for the past few weeks, I found myself once again on an emotional roller coaster. Struggling to love and not hate. I’ve never had to battle feelings of hate before. No seriously…I’d be lying if I said that my mind hasn’t been to some really dark places. Shocked???? Are you asking “How can this so-called woman of God be feeling this way?” I know right….but I feel safe in writing that even if you don’t want to admit it, some of you have battled these emotions before. I’ll be honest. I wish I could write about it. I wish I could expose this to whole world but my purpose would only to be to hurt those who have hurt me and my family. So I won’t. Besides, God won’t let me. Instead, I am using this test as a testimony because in spite of the hurt that I feel….I choose to love.

I can now see how a person could go postal if they don’t have God by their side. Your emotions can fuel some of the worst decisions if not guided by God. You’ve heard the term, crime of passion and I’m not focusing on murder (I’m not morbid). Truth is…Hurt people hurt people. Bottom line. There is always a reason for every action. The trick is finding out what that reason is. Sometimes it goes all the way back to a person’s childhood. And that’s what I am trying to do. I’m trying not to look at the person(s) but the spirit behind it. But it’s so hard when it seems like they know they are hurting you and they could care less.

I had someone to tell me the other day that I seemed to have it all together. To which I responded, “It ain’t nobody but God that’s holding me together.” There are so many people walking around with frozen smiles and hidden hurts. They are on the brink of the ultimate breakdown. I’ve always been able to discern another person’s pain but now my God-given senses are more keener because I sit in a new seat. In the past twelve months, my family has lost 11 loved ones. Triple that if you count the relationships that have been severed. I’ve really had to bury myself in God’s word and doing kingdom work to keep my sanity. God has helped my family and friends to be a strong fence around each other. When one of us got loose and weak, he sent the master carpenter to come and mend our weak places and help us to stand.

I encourage you all not to be shallow Christians. Take the time and pay attention to those around you. Ask God to show you the difference between the frozen smiles and the sincere ones. Every time I hear about killing sprees and senseless acts of violence, I wonder about the person who committed them. I wonder about the children of God who had access to them. I wonder if they took the time to recognize their frozen smiles. Look past the man and focus on their  pain. It will soften your heart. That’s my challenge and I aim to accomplish it.

From My Heart to Yours

Monday, July 25, 2011

13 Great Uses for Salt!!

According to the Salt Institute, salt has far more use than seasoning your food or causing hypertension. Try 14,000 additional uses!!!! In mean time, listed below are 13 ways you can use salt around your home.

1. Deter ants: Sprinkle salt in doorways, on windowsills and anywhere else ants use to sneak into your house. It's a sure way to keep them out!

2. Kill grass and weeds growing in cracks in your driveway: Tired of weeding your driveway? Sprinkle salt on the grass and pour very hot water over it. Not only is this a highly effective way to kill unwanted plants, it’s also eco-friendly and cheap.

3. Say goodbye to fleas: If your dogs have fleas, simply wash their doghouse and blankets in salt water. If you’re worried your dogs may have brought fleas into your house, simply sprinkle your carpets lightly with salt and then brush it in. Leave it for 12 hours and vacuum thoroughly.

4. Pick up a dropped egg: If you drop an egg on the kitchen floor, sprinkle salt on the mess and leave it there for 20 minutes. You'll be able to wipe it right up.

5. Clean up oven spills – quick and easy: If a pie or casserole bubbles over in the oven, pour a handful of salt on top of the spill. It won’t smoke, smell and, most importantly, will bake into a crust that makes the mess easier to clean once it’s cooled.

6. Clean the brown spots off your iron: Simply sprinkle salt on a sheet of waxed paper, slide the iron across it and rub lightly with silver polish. Your iron will look like brand-new in no time.

7. Remove stains from your coffee pot: Fill it with 1/4 cup of table salt and a dozen ice cubes. Swish the mixture around, let it sit for half an hour, fill it with cold water and rinse. Your coffee pot will look brand new.

8. Keep your windshield frost-free: Dip a sponge into salt water and rub it on windows, and they won't frost up even when the mercury drops below zero.

9. Shell nuts more easily: Soak pecans and walnuts in salt water for a few hours before shelling them. Doing so will make it easier to remove the meat.
10. Drip-proof candles: If you soak new candles in a strong salt solution for a few hours, then dry them well, they won’t drip when you burn them.

11. Tame a wild braai: Toss a bit of salt on the flames caused by fat dripping from the grill. It’ll reduce the       flames and calm the smoke without cooling the coals (like water does).

12. Soothe a bee sting: Wet the sting right away, then cover it with salt.

13. Stop a grease fire: Pouring salt on top of the fire will smother it.

Go Figure!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Glimpse of Heaven

Each morning I awaken to the harsh reality that my sister is gone from this earth. Throughout the day I struggle to remain focused on my tasks at hand. As a family, we have never experienced loss to this magnitude and we are still learning how to properly grieve. For me there are times when even my good days are my bad. On a good day, when I am in the zone, whether it's working on GO Ministries, writing or cleaning that momentarily, I forget she's gone and by instinct I pick up the phone to call her. Its three months later and  I still pray to be delivered from that habit. I have not lost my faith or trust in God. I know that he sees what I don't see. I thank God for his compassion and grace. A few weeks ago, God blessed me with a gift that will stay with me forever.

I was taking an afternoon nap when God blessed through dream. This dream was pure tunnel vision. I couldn't see to the left or to the right, just straight ahead. At the end of the tunnel was the top of two waterfalls. They were so close they were touching. The water was crystal clear with hints of electric blue. The blue color was one like I've never seen before. The water glowed and illuminated the crystal blue colors. I heard Toshia singing. I didn't see her but I heard her voice. I can't even tell you what she was singing but it was angelic. Then I saw a clear hand extend into the water. (It had no flesh. It was clear like glass) The fingers played in the water as Toshia sang. I knew it was her hand. Then the tunnel vision closed and I woke up

I tried to go back to sleep so that I could reenter dream again. I wanted to return to that place of tranquility and indescribable peace. Mere words can't truly describe what I saw. All I know is, I wanted to see more. I didn't want to leave.

I believe God gave me a glimpse of what Tot is experiencing right now and I thank him for that. One would think that vision alone would dry all my tears. And it did to some extent. As children of God, we rejoice whenever one of us makes into heaven but as humans we hurt over the temporary loss. As a big sister, I mourn but as a child of God, I rejoice. Heaven is so very real and I will work with all my might to get there some day and I plan to take as many people possible with me. Let's not forget our real purpose in life. It's not to reach our three score and ten. It's not to obtain carnal gain. It's to walk and live in Christ and spread his good news to those who are lost. In a world that's quickly losing focus, I encouraging you to walk in God's tunnel vision.

From My Heart to Yours


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Illuminati Ignorance - Sheer Bliss

Illuminati Ignorance.....
This morning I made the decision to break ties with an associate who has become consumed in the World of Illuminati. The person is fullly aware of God's Word versus the Illuminati agenda but chose to join forces to what they percieve to be the winning team.

Through EX Ministries, founded by G. Craig Lewis, I have learned quite a bit about the Illuminati agenda. G. Graig Lewis teaches us how the leaders of this satanic organization are depending solely on the ignorance of society to promote their hidden motivesThe first tactic used by this group is to put on the appearance of good. They use the media, charity, education and even churches to flatter the population. I recently read an article defining the meaning of Global Chess, a game played to manifest the Illuminati agenda. This article provides a detailed account of the game, its purposes and how it's played by people everywhere in sheer ignorance.Click here to read article.
Our children entertain this demonic spirit on a daily basis. The illuminati works through music, fashion, hairstyles, movies, sitcoms, piercing, tatoos and hand signs. What our children percieve to be cool is actually satan's deception. I've never understood why parents would allow their children to listen to and/or partake in anything of this world that is in direct contradiction of God's word. These same parents deem the rest of us to be overprotective, paranoid and religious nuts.
We have adopted the world's saying "We need less religion." Let's define the word. According to Merriam Webster, religion is (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance.
Why would we need less of something that is clearly defined as being our belief in God? What we need less of is the traditions of men that inhibit the growth of God's kingdom. We hear a saying and repeat it without investigating the orginal source. Ignorance is Bliss...
According to the Illuminati Chessboard game, the game creators include Presidents, Religious Leaders, Churches, Philanthropist, Businesses, Mass Media and so on.This version of the AntiChrist's game has been in effect for over 1000 years. I also found another article that details the agenda from an Ex Illuminist. Click Here to Read. The information is innumerable and a blessed eye opener for Christians everywhere.

I encourage you to do the research, study your word, pay more attention to the ways of the world. Don't become consumed with it's deadly entices. Everything that looks good ain't good.

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, ask yourself "Is it Halloween?"

From My Heart to Yours


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Sister's Passing

I proclaimed this year to be my family's season of elevation. I was so looking forward to becoming a witness to the many blessings that God would place upon us. My world completely crumbled after my baby sis, Latoshia, passed away. I literally thought that I would die from the shock and the pain. We had just spoken the night before. We had the best conversation, laughing and giggling about anything, everything...nothing.

It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that it will probably be some time before we see her again. I don't know how to move on without her. My siblings are my best friends. Like I said at the funeral, we are all twins, just born in different years. I am thankful to God for his grace, comfort, strength and wisdom. Without him I know that I wouldn't be able function. I am numb at times and at others, I am overwhelmed with emotion. One moment, I am joyous about Latoshia's transition into heaven's glory but then I am heartbroken when I look at her husband and their children. I am still trying to find my balance.....

As a family, we are beginning to see why God chose to take her away silently. Latoshia was fully aware of God's plan. Over the past year, she planted messages here and there for us to find. We understand that her young age was a critical part of God's plan. Her transition has opened the hearts and minds of so many people. Nearly 1000 people attended her wake and funeral. Two hundred and sixteen people turned their life to Christ. This was confirmation that Latoshia's passing was not in vain. Pastor Hart Ramsey taught perhaps one of the best eulogies, I've ever heard. For many years, I've heard pastors tell the family that you shouldn't cry when a child of God passes away. Pastor Ramsey explained that grieving is a natural human response that happens anytime we lose a loved one. He went on to say that a person should grieve based on how they believe. As Christians, there is a grieving process, but the pain is relieved by the knowledge that our loved one is in the arms of God. We will see them again.

I see death differently now. I don't refer to Tot as being dead. As a Christian, she transitioned. She forever lives but not in a place where we can reach her now. I'm at peace with that. She completed her assignment early. She didn't allow stumbling blocks to deter her from her God-given mission. I know that I'm her big sister but I really want to be like her when I grow up. Her crossing over only makes heaven that much sweeter.

I am so thankful to have a relationship with my siblings that is strong, pure and full of love. Tot and I talked all the time. If someone gave her a hard time, we knew about it. She loved hard and she was very forgiving. At the funeral, I watched some of the people who hurt her, cry in guilt and despair. My heart went out to them because that's a heavy burden to bear. I encourage you....Don't take your family, friends, church members or coworkers for granted. You never know that will happen next.

I was a little disturbed at the increased number of Facebook friend requests I received, especially from those who's never given me the time of day. I had to decline a lot of requests. This email will probably be one of the highest opened from our mailing list. It's strange but some people have a fascination with knowing about another person's pain. I can't understand that. If you are guilty of that (as I have been in the past), I encourage you to change that mindset.

Yes, I proclaimed this year to be my family's year of elevation and God started with Latoshia. She received the highest honor of all. Her passing was not a tragedy, loss or misfortune. It was the stepping ground to my family going to next level in Christ, Life and what's right in God's Sight. My sister "Rests In Peace" but we as a family, "Rejoice In Praise".

Many Thanks for Your Prayers, Words and Acts of Kindess...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Lips, Eyes & Michael Jackson

The older I get, the more I understand the life lessons my parents taught me when I was younger. At the time, these lessons didn’t seem important, but now they are my biggest influences. My mom taught me to always speak and be courteous to others while my dad taught me to be a continuous “watcher of man”. His lesson was “The boldest backstabber will seemingly hug and kiss you when they are actually marking your back for a bulls eye.” He also said “The eyes will tell what the lips won’t say. My mom reinforced his lesson while reminding me to always spread God’s love even if it’s through a kind hello and sincere smile. She believed that sometimes a kind word from a stranger would be just what a person needed to make it throughout the day. She believed it would restore hope.

I have implemented these lessons in every aspect of my life and now they are life lessons for my own children. I’ve had to use wisdom over the years. There would be times when God wouldn't allow me to speak. There would times would a person’s refusal to make eye contact didn’t mean betrayal but instead said “I’m hurting and I don’t want you to see”. God has shown me the difference between the two.

Last week a friend of mine said to me  “Goll-ee Bridgett, you pay attention to everything.” She’s right but I can’t help it. I Peter 4:7, tells us to “watch unto prayer”. I study my word, life, things and people on the daily basis. I’m not one to believe something just because you said it (especially if you can’t back it up with scripture).

When Michael Jackson died I faced a lot of scrutiny after I commented on Facebook, that we shouldn’t get caught up in idolizing his work more than mourning his soul. Did he make it into heaven? I have no idea but based on the lifestyle he choose and the kingdom he promoted through his music, I can’t say that he was a delivered child of God. Yet and still, Heaven or Hell…I dunno. Now, don’t get me wrong. It hurt me to hear that he passed away, not because of his music but because of him as a person. True, he was talented. Growing up we weren’t allowed to listen to secular music but even I knew whenever an MJ song played. His music was intoxicating. His moves were mind blowing. But still, he chose not to use his God given talent to promote the kingdom. A lot of people made the comment that I shouldn’t judge (which I didn’t). I studied the life of Michael Jackson behind the music and he was truly a tortured soul. In spite of his fame and fortune, he battled a troubled childhood, low self-esteem, allegations, isolation, trust issues, insomnia and so on. My heart went out to him.

So many people (Christians too) knighted him as the King of Pop, when it would have been more important if he were a child of the KING. They called him as IDOL when they should have veered him as an INDIVIDUAL who was screaming for help. For those of you who are ready to send me an email defending your iconic views about Michael, first ask yourself, “If I had ONE chance to speak with Michael before he died, would I have talked to him about salvation or his fame and music?” I dare you to truthfully answer yourself.

I believe God has taught me to watch people because he wants me to see past the exterior. I admit. I have not mastered this gift and sometimes I wonder if I want to. I’ve already seen things that trouble me but on the other hand, God has revealed to me things that have literally saved the life of others.

I don’t know how many Christians Michael encountered in his life but I’m sure he did meet at least one person who was willing to see past the fame and into his soul. The bible reassures us that a person won’t leave this earth until he/she has heared the true gospel. It says so in Matt 24:14.

Sometime we get so caught up in a person’s fame and/or flaws that we become blind to their heart. Admittedly, I struggle with becoming frustrated with people and wanting to walk away. Sometimes I wish it were easy to give up. But as a child of God, I have no choice but to see them through his eyes. Matt 18:22 constantly rings in my ears, “seventy times seven, seventy times seven.” So I repent and I continue. If I said it once, I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again.

Don’t get so caught up in the hype that you fail to see the life

behind the man. Are they living right?

Are they an example of Jesus Christ? The one who gave up his own life.

What’s their mission? What’s their plight?

Are they on the road to hell or heaven’s flight?

Listen to the lips. Watch the eyes

Are they full of the gospel or hell bound lies?

If you could make a difference. What would you do?

Would you teach the gospel? Would you tell them the truth?

Or would you give them a paper for them to sign while saying “You sure are an idol of mine.”

Do you care enough to give them a hug while encouraging them to embrace God’s love?

Are you strong enough to in God remain firm?

Can you be the teacher and help them learn?

About heaven and hell? Right and Wrong?

When it comes to God, can you be strong?

To die in Christ is to live in gain.

Can you tell them the truth despite their fame?

When it comes to gospel, stand and be wise

Go for the heart but start with the lips and the eyes.

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