But God!

Growing up my identity was all about basketball. It was my world and at many times education came second. I never thought I would ever pursue a Master’s degree.

In my earlier years of life (elementary & middle school) I was all about academics. In fact, in middle school, I once had a 4.0 gpa and an overall 3.5 gpa. As I entered into high school, my life began to shift. My priorities, my decisions, and my mentality was slowly walking away from being a great student.

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I See Jesus More Clearly

Pain, suffering, mentally challenged, physically struggling, emotionally up and down but spiritually holding on to the truths of Christ. Can you identify?

Life as we know it is full of various experiences. These experiences begin to shape how we respond to life, to people and to our emotions. I’m not sure about you but often times when I reflect on my past experiences, I tend to remember all of of the pain, suffering and the bad. If I am not careful, I can begin to look through the present through the lens of a painful past.

What I have to constantly remind myself, is that our past is there for a reason. I once heard a wise man say, “God never wastes an experience.” 

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New Sexuality

new-sexuality

One of the main tenets of Transformation Church is that all of life is worship. All of life is worship; not just a few parts, but all parts of life are worship. Even in our struggles and pains that we face in life, we are to lift all of these up to God; not just a few of our struggles, but all of them. We are to sing praises to God for all of our joys; not just a few of those joys, but all of them. All of life is worship.

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Sayings Jesus Never Said

There are many sayings out there that “Christians” tend to use that aren’t true. These sayings are misinterpretations of Scripture and a misunderstanding of God. I hope this post clears some of these sayings up. Check them out:

“God gives his hardest battles to his toughest soldiers.” Where did this come from? It’s not true. We all have hard battles. Life is hard. Who decides who God’s “toughest soldiers” are and why would God handpick certain individuals to carry the hard battles? Will certain people in this world not carry hard battles?

“God will never give you more than you can bear.” Things Jesus never said. There are going to be in fact many burdens that you cannot bear. There are going to be many storms in life that completely break you, make you feel desperate and of no power to move forward. It’s not about what you can bear anyways. May we get to a point that we begin to say, “I have some burdens that I cannot bear and I need to hand them over to You Lord.” – See Matthew 11:28-30

The sufferings that we face are not apart from God nor were we created to suffer alone. Our sufferings help us encounter God and place our hope and trust in Him.

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I Am Adopted: Why The Role Of A Father Makes A Difference 

Throughout my life, I’ve felt the ups and downs of life. What I mean by this, I have felt what it is like to be loved, and I have felt what it is like to be hated. The hatred that I felt may have been my perspective, but it was real.

I want to invite you into a reality that I faced growing up and the reality many others have faced and are facing. This post is quite lengthy, but I guarantee you will not regret reading.

As a young kid in his teens, I faced emotional abuse.

To be transparent, it was my earthly dad who did all of the emotional abusing. As a young teenager, he shared words with me that you do not say to another human being let alone your own son. Hearing such demeaning and life sucking words created in my life fear, insecurity, a lack of confidence and a false belief in my identity.

I began to believe in the words I was hearing. Often as a teen and even as a kid I would hear, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words would never hurt.” Whoever created this rhyme and words I would like to meet them face to face and share some choice words with them (kidding but not kidding).

Words do hurt. Words are painful. When a kid, a teenager should be experiencing words of encouragement, words of love, words of comfort, words of affirmation but instead receives the opposite this creates voids, holes, and gaps.

For me, my heart sank each time I would hear such words. I remember my heart breaking over and over again. Early on when the heartbreaking words were said to me, I would share some choice words back, and that led to more harsh words being said back to me. Eventually, I would do my best to fight off and ignore the words I was hearing. I would stop saying words back, and this led to my heart becoming numb.

What I continue to see:

Now, at the age of 28, I work with a lot of inner-city teenagers. Many of these teenagers are facing and have faced the battle I faced as a teenager. Many do not have a dad in their home let alone in their life. Some do have a dad around and like me, their dad share words that are not helping and only hurting.

A Father, the role of a male figure in the home and a child’s life is so important. Sometimes I do not think dads understand how much of their presence, positivity, care, and words can affect their child’s life. If they did, maybe they would learn to become the type of Father they need to be.

I have shared my emotional abuse that I faced with others, the disconnect of not having a loving and comforting Father and I realized I am not alone. I’ve come to learn that all people have issues, baggage, deal with life’s experiences and tragedies in different ways. How a Father deals with life will either have a positive or negative effect on their child’s life.

I want to share with you some mind-blowing statistics about kids that grow up with an absent Father:

1. 5 times the average suicide rate:
2. Dramatically increased rates of depression and anxiety:
3. 32 times the average rate of incarceration:
4. Decreased education levels and increased drop-out rates:
5. Consistently lower average income levels:
6. Lower job security:
7. Increased rates of divorce and relationship issues:
8. Substantially increased rates of substance abuse:
9. Increases in social and mental behavioral issues:

(These stats along with the full article can be found here: https://thefathercode.com/the-9-devastating-effects-of-the-absent-father/ )

Now that we know all of this information, what does a person do to overcome the emotional abuse, the lack of love from a Father and the absence of a Father?

First and probably the most important step is to forgive. As a young adult in college, I found myself on my dorm room floor crying. I was crying because I was reliving and remembering all of the words that were said to me from my dad during my childhood and teenage years. Through the pain, hurt and tears I came to a place where I knew in order to move forward from the pain, I had to let go and forgive.

I’ve learned that the longer I held on to the pain the longer I would stay in prison. Unforgiveness, carrying hate and anger is like being locked in a prison and drinking poison. You slowly begin to die inside and I was tired of dying. Maybe you are too…

Let us turn to the Gospel! Stay with me. Something good is about to be shared:

Then there came Romans 8:14-17

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”

I was suffering internally. Like most with an absent dad or a dad that was emotionally abusive, I needed love, comfort and to be uplifted. I needed to believe I had a purpose, and that there was a Father that loved me for being me.

At age 17, when all felt lost and like the world was crashing down on me there was God. A Heavenly Father that opened up His arms to me, who looked at me with splendor and said, “come, my son, let me be your Abba Father, let me be your Daddy God.”

Up until 17, I called my earthly dad, “daddy” but I now had a Heavenly Father that wanted to replace all of my evil thoughts toward my earthly dad and begin to experience the unconditional love of my new Daddy!

So many people that deal with “daddy issues” view their Heavenly Father through the same lens as they do their earthly dad. I am here to share with you; our Daddy God wants to show you what real love is like. Our Daddy God wants to pour into your life and build you up. Our Daddy God wants to heal your heart and help you overcome your pain. Our Daddy God wants you to forgive your earthly dad. Our Daddy God wants to set you free from your past so that you can move on with your life.

To move forward, you have to confess the anger that is in your heart. You have to forgive. Forgiveness starts with your acknowledgment of your pain and hatred.

Pray this prayer aloud:

Daddy God.

It is me. Your child. For so many years I have been carrying around this heavy weight in my heart. I realized today; I cannot move forward with hatred in my heart. Daddy God, I am asking You to perform surgery on my heart. I know it may take me a while to get over the absence of my earthly dad and all of the pain that he created for my life, but I am ready to move along with my life. Will you become my Daddy God? Will you show me what a real Father is like? Will you help me release all of the pain and will you fill my heart with unconditional love?

I am your child. You have adopted me. I am called to be the light of the world. I am a part of Your chosen generation. Give me purpose. Give my life meaning. Help me see others the way You see me. Help me love unconditionally like the way You love me.

I leave everything in Your hands, trusting You know what to do with my life, my mind, my spirit and my soul. I am Yours, and You are mine, and together, we are going to be just fine.

Thank You for loving me, Daddy God.

Thank you for holding me in Your arms.

P.S. I pray the love of the Heavenly Father meets you right where you are reading this. Just know you are not alone and God can do a major work in your life. He did it for me and He can do it for you.

God bless you. I love you. Please share this with others and pray for all those that are hurt from their earthy dads.

Leap of Fear?

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No, no my friend it is not a leap of fear but it is a leap of faith that is being required of you. More than three times God told Joshua to be strong and courageous. When God begins to elevate you for an assignment, He will be sure to affirm you with the words that will carry you through. Joshua carried the words, “be strong and courageous” from His Father into his next challenging assignment.

Hear me when I say this: What’s next for you will require you to depend on God and not your emotions. What’s next for you will require you to call out your fears. I mean to write them down, to figure out why these fears are there and once these fears have been identified, God is going to ask you to do something with them. Are you ready? I am!

Fear, I have learned is nothing more than a fabricated emotion that becomes easy to believe.

Is fear real? Yes.

Can fear be conquered? Yes.

Our fears should push us and lead us to become more confident. Each time fear has entered my life and attempted to take control of my mind, I have allowed myself to get away with God and analyze why fear is there and where the fear is coming from.

Joshua, when he was chosen to take over for Moses, who was no longer around, fear was soon to enter. Joshua, being called to step into a new role, has a normal human response; that is to wonder if he could be the person for the job.

Here is what I’ve leaned about Joshua’s transition: The transition came so fast that he didn’t have much time to live in fear and this is what I want to point out for you and I to understand…

What God is requiring of you in this season of life cannot be taken up by allowing yourself to remain in fear.

Fear is an enemy that wants to stop you from walking into your God given potential. Fear is simply: False. Evidence. Appearing. Real. What I’ve learned about fear is this: whatever perspective you have toward the fear in your life, is usually what you and I will believe. If I believe I cannot accomplish something because of fear, then I am going to make decisions based off of my belief system. You see what I’m saying?

Questions for you to wrestle with:

  • What lie(s) are you believing?
  • Can you name your fears?
  • Do you see why these fears are there?
  • When will you take your leap of faith to overcome your fears?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

P. S. What are some fears you had to overcome and how did you overcome these fears? Lets help each other out by sharing and encouraging one another!

P. S. S. Punch fear in the face! It has to go now!