Category Archives: prayer

Jesus Isn’t A Racist or A Murderer

A few weeks ago, I read this letter by Ray Jasper who was executed last Wednesday night in Texas.

Ray Jasper

Ray Jasper was 18 years old when he murdered David Alejandro.

David Alejandro

At the age of 33, David Alejandro was a lead singer of a Christian band besides running his own recording studio. Before Ray Jasper, an aspiring rapper, killed him.

Jasper had previous sessions in Alejandro’s recording studio prior to the attack. He devised a plan with two others to steal Alejandro’s studio equipment.

I’m not sure what possessed Jasper to make a tragic mistake in taking the life of someone he considered one of the nicest people he ever met.

But what I do know is that his final letter evidenced a changed man prior to his execution last Wednesday night.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, which is why I consider the death penalty unethical. I know there are Christians who don’t agree with me.

They quote bible verses in the Old Testament as their justification and reason for why they believe capital punishment is allowed by God. However, when I look at the New Testament, the new covenant, Jesus didn’t go around killing anyone.

Saul (before his name was changed to Paul) persecuted and killed Christians. If Jesus was in favor of the death penalty, he would have killed Paul on the road to Damascus. Yet, Jesus didn’t kill him, He showed him mercy, grace, love and forgiveness.

There are thirty-two states in the USA supporting the death penalty. Meanwhile, there are many on death row (or serving life sentences in solitary confinement) who are innocent.

Currently, there is a series on CNN called Death Row Stories, which is revealing a few of the many cases of those who were on death row and are now exonerated.

I’ll tell you this, I wouldn’t want to be those who are killing people by lethal injection, and have innocent blood on my hands the day I see Jesus.

In my humble opinion, the prison system is modern day slavery and the death penalty is a modern day genocide, where whites still lynch blacks by lethal injection.

Yes, I’m white and writing this. I refuse to pretend or turn a blind eye on the reality of racism in this country.

Jesus isn’t a racist, so therefore, neither am I.

As Christians, I believe we shouldn’t be in agreement or in favor of the death penalty. My heart grieves for all those who are innocent and sitting on death row or serving life sentences in solitary confinement.

Christians need to take a stand for change and be a voice for the voiceless. The death penalty is antiquated, inhumane, unethical, barbaric, and needs to be abolished.

Human beings do not have a right to dictate who lives and who dies; only God reserves that right.

What are some of the ways which we can advocate to abolish the death penalty?

He Loves To Hear Our Hearts

Life is busy. We are constantly running and trying keep up with the clock.

At end of the day, we are exhausted. We head to sleep, only to wake up and do it all over again the next day.

When do we stop and spend time with God?

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The other day I was speaking to a close friend of mine. I asked her this question, “How do we develop intimacy with God?”

My friend is in full time ministry and has been following the Lord consistently for many years.

She responded, “By spending time with Him. It’s in having a relationship with Him, that intimacy grows.”

It’s the same as any earthly relationship. If we don’t spend time with a friend or spouse, we won’t get to know them.

The same applies to our Heavenly Father. If we don’t stop and spend time with Him, we won’t get to know Him.

There was a time I tried to build my faith by reading books, attending every church service, going to conferences and serving in ministry.

I thought by “doing” all these things, my faith and intimacy would somehow grow.

I was wrong.

It is not by our might or power, it is by His Spirit. It is God who changes us from the inside out by spending time and getting to know Him.

It’s by setting aside time every day to read His Word, pray and wait on Him.

When we develop this discipline, we begin to grow in intimacy with Him.

It isn’t by our doing, works or ministry that changes us or develops our faith. It is God who does the work in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.

He doesn’t want us doing anything for Him, He wants us and our time.

He loves to hear our hearts.

Has He been hearing from yours lately?

Mad Faith

You’re probably wondering why am I using the word “mad” in connection to “faith”.

The word “mad” is commonly used in New York City. The urban dictionary defines “mad” as “extreme” or “a lot”.

I decided to connect the two; mad faith.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

I’ve been thinking madly about faith. What makes one have more faith than another, and that sort of thing.

It’s a mystery.

My desire has been ever increasing for my faith to be authentic.

In Christendom, I see many chasing after signs, wonders, miracles and manifestations, to the point of idolatry.

I’m not judging, but merely making an observation.

Truthfully, I used to be one of those people. I would chase after God here, there and everywhere.

I was seeking some kind of sign or experience and chasing after Him as if He couldn’t be found.

Frankly, I had it all wrong.

It sort of reminds me of Moses, when He went up to the mountain to get the Ten Commandments and left the people behind. In time, they all started making physical idols to worship instead of worshipping the God who miraculously parted the Red Sea and delivered them from the Egyptians.

What is it in us that inclines us to chase after other gods, instead of Him? Why are we restless and unsettled in our faith? Why must we chase after experiences? Why isn’t Jesus enough?

These are the questions which gnaw at me daily. I don’t have the answers. All I know is that I’ve already tried it all. I’ve traveled around the world in search of Him.

I am certain of this, it is not by signs and wonders that our faith increases, not in the least. I tell you this from personal experience. This doesn’t deepen our faith.

One thing that does though, is adversity.

My faith was strengthened, when I shook with fear, felt hopeless, thinking God wasn’t going to deliver me out of something, and He did.

To me, that’s miraculous. Not manifestations of angel feathers, gems or gold dust appearing at some gathering, where the attention turns to man and not God.

This is where the confusion begins. Everyone starts worshiping and idolizing the creation instead of the Creator. The credit for these so-called manifestations becomes attributed to man, instead of God. If something is going to take the focus or pull you away from God, you should run the other direction and don’t look back.

I’m sharing what I’ve gleaned from all of the mistakes I’ve made in my life.

I’m not claiming to be an expert or have it right. I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t have all the answers. All I know is my heart longs for the authentic. For the living God of this universe to be real and present in my life.

I don’t want my desire for signs, wonders, miracles and manifestations to take precedence over Him. He already gave and did it all by dying on the Cross for me, what more do I want?

I want to have mad faith which is undeniable and unshakeable. I want to experience more of His love and presence in my life. Not experiences, sensations, imitations or cheap substitutes. The real deal.

What about you?

Bobbing and Weaving

After taking a few boxing classes for fun at NYSC from an instructor named Santana. One day I looked him in the eye and said, “I’m going to become a professional boxer now, goodbye.” He stood there dumbfounded.

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I remember the day I walked into Gleason’s Boxing gym for the first time. It was in 1998 and at the time, the majority of boxers were male.

They all gawked at me as I strode in wearing my leopard print tights which matched my wild and untamed hair. I was quite a sight.

I walked holding my head high and ready to conquer the boxing world.

Back then Gleason’s was different than it is today. The air was musky and hung with sweat, the windows were foggy, everything seemed old and worn.

It was an environment I was neither familiar with or exposed to in my life.

So there I was, Ms. Middle Class amongst those who were rough and lived in underprivileged neighborhoods.

However, nothing was going to stop me. I was determined to prove myself as a female boxer.

I remember the day my trainer decided to have me spar with some dude. There were no female boxers around.

I got in the ring, started moving around and practicing my jab. My trainer yelling for me to bob and weave. So I started bobbing and weaving. Then I tried doing an uppercut. I loved those upper cuts, but I wasn’t able to get in close enough to do it.

I began feeling winded. Thankfully, the bell rang because I was dying of thirst. I opened my mouth, for my trainer to give me water. He squirts a little water and tells me to spit it out. I looked at him as if he was out of his mind. There was no way I was going to spit it out. I swallowed it.

The bell rang again. I hesitated. I was exhausted and wanted to stop. The next thing I know, I was keeling over.

I didn’t have my guard up and the guy landed a punch to my liver. There are no words to describe the level of pain.

I learned a valuable lesson that day. One I will never forget. Defense is everything. In the ring and in life. When my guard was down, there was an opening for him to hit me.

I was out of breath, thirsty and my movements were sluggish. My opponent took complete advantage of the situation.

While reflecting back on this incident, I realized the enemy of our souls does the same. He waits for an opening to lodge his onslaughts and attacks on us. If we’re are open, tired or unguarded, he will catch us by surprise which will leave us reeling.

In 1 Peter 5:8 it says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,” and Luke 21:34 says, “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.”

We can’t let him catch us off guard. We have to keep our defenses up by reading the Word and praying. We need to practice bobbing and weaving daily.

Thankfully, we have the best trainer, the Holy Spirit and the best corner man, Jesus Christ.

We are guaranteed to win and promised the victory!

Have you been bobbing and weaving lately?

 

Do You Gossip?

I find around the holiday’s people tend to engage in gossip more than usual. Sometimes the holiday’s brings the worst out of some people.

Gossipers preface what they have to say with, “Promise you won’t say anything…”

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But, do they know, that the information will eventually get back to the person their gossiping about?

When I get wind of someone who has gossiped behind my back, while smiling at my face, I want very little to do with them. I honestly do not care if they are family either.

If a so-called family member or friend has the audacity to talk garbage about me (or those I love) behind my back, I want nothing to do with them.

I forgive them, but I keep it moving. Life is too short to be around those who speak ill of you.

I’ve come to the conclusion that those who engage in gossip, don’t have your best interest in mind. They only care about themselves and whatever thrill they get in bashing other people behind their backs.

Gossip is negative and destructive, causing unnecessary harm and irreparable damage to relationships.

The Bible says, whatever is hidden will be brought to light. (Luke 8:17). The light pierces the darkness and truth is always revealed.

The person who engages in gossip, talking negatively about others, is actually causing themselves more harm than good.

Think about it… if you continued to hear from different sources that someone, whether a family member or a friend is talking badly about you, wouldn’t you distrust and lose respect for them?

An individual who engages in defamation or slander of another person, thinks they are not doing anything wrong, but it’s quite the contrary.

Gossipers cause harm and stand more to lose than gain.

Once the information finds its way back to the person, the gossiper is found out, and well, they will never be looked at the same way. No matter how much they smile and act nice, the damage is done.

If you engage in gossip, whether it is casual or consented, please think twice before doing so. Why not start the new year fresh by asking the Lord to help you not talk about other people behind their backs? I know it’s easier said than done, but gossiping is hurtful and the damage it creates is irreversible.

Do you gossip? Have you ever been a victim of gossip by family members, close friends or coworkers? How did it make you feel?

The Burden of Prayer

I attended a conference over a year ago and was surrounded by all sorts of people pursuing their dreams and passions.

I was stirred and wondered what mine was. I had many throughout my life, but I wanted to pursue the one thing that made my heart beat the hardest.

I concluded it was my love for Jesus. I am passionate about the things of God and prayer.

Courtesy of Creative Commons – Aeron Photography

I post stories on Facebook of things happening here and across the world. I have such a burden for children. Children who are victimized, abused and in unspeakable situations.

My husband told me on Sunday morning, how is my posting or discussing these horrible stories changing anything? He asked me what my point was?

I went into a passionate discourse of my reasons and finally blurted out, because I want people to pray. I want to see a change.

He said, if you want people to pray, then say it, if not, no one is going to understand your purpose for posting these stories and will come up with their own conclusion which may not have anything to do with your true intention.

He’s right. If I don’t give a reason, then no one will understand and they will just dismiss it as my being obsessed with bad news or something.

I am posting these stories, because I am personally burdened and want others to join me in praying for change.

Yes, not everyone is going to feel inclined to or may have enough on their plate to be praying for the tragedies of people they don’t know.

However, there may be others like me who are burdened and called to pray and intercede.

I am posting these stories for them.

I want to see God move in power and change hearts. We do not have the power to change people’s hearts.

If we pray, we can move the heart of God to open the eyes of those who are lost and blind.

Ultimately, God is the only one who can change us and others, and the way He does this is through prayer.

Prayer is powerful.

Do you believe in prayer?  Do you feel burdened to pray?

 

The Call of An Intercessor

Those who follow Christ are called to pray and intercede. However, the calling of an intercessor is different.

The definition of the verb, intercede is to act or interpose in behalf of someone in difficulty or trouble, as by pleading or petition.

In other words, an intercessor is a mediator or one who makes petition on behalf of someone else.

Jesus is our intercessor in Heaven. (Romans 8:34)

“A great percentage of intercessors are intuitive and discerning people. They sense great needs in a room or in a grocery store. They can walk in a room and the Spirit shows them who is hurting. Their heart are moved to pray for people they don’t even know with great passion.” (www.glocal.net)

An intercessor is called to a life of holiness; it’s a high calling. This calling is given and not chosen.

An intercessor can’t help, ignore or control the burdens which come upon them or their desire to pray.

“The Holy Spirit inspires us to this most Divine work of intercession, and His strength enables us to sigh unto God for the oppressed, the burdened and the distressed creation.” (E.M. Bounds)

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Lately, I have been sharing stories in the news on Facebook. I want to take this opportunity to explain why I have been doing this.

I share these stories because I am burdened by them, not because I enjoy posting negativity.

My goal in sharing these horrific stories is to spur others to pray and intercede.

I see the spiritual climate and am burdened by the various stories I share. I can think of two this week, which are heavy on my heart.

I do not choose to care, be affected or burdened. Nor do I choose to weep and travail in prayer for complete strangers. God chose this for me.

I have asked Him to take this cup from me, but He says, My grace is sufficient for thee. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

God knows best. I’m learning to listen and not grieve Him. I must honor His calling upon my life and be obedient. He has called me to be a vessel of honor (2 Timothy 2:21), a holy sacrifice (Romans 12:1) fit for His use.

Do you feel burdened to pray too?

True and False Revival by Andrew Strom

Paperback: 132 pages
Publisher: RevivalSchool (September 11, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0979907314
ISBN-13: 978-0979907319
Price: $11.91
Purchase: Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

Description:

Andrew Strom is founder of RevivalSchool.com and the international REVIVAL List. He was involved for 11 years in the same Prophetic movement as Todd Bentley and Rick Joyner – until he quit in anguish over the unbiblical and bizarre things going on in that movement. As an insider, Andrew questions a lot of the ‘angels’, the gold dust, and “revivals” like the one in Lakeland. Read the FACTS to find out why. What is real Revival? And how do we tell the true from the false? The answers are found in this provocative book.

Review:

True and False Revival is about learning to discern which is true and which is counterfeit in the Church. Andrew Strom is an insider who knows about the counterfeit and has studied revival extensively. I consider him an expert on true revival.

This book is such an important book, especially for leaders.

Andrew Strom writes in an easy to read format. True and False Revival is a warning to the Church and a call in the wilderness.

We need John the Baptists in the world who will preach on repentance and renewal. There is too much focus on signs and wonders, materialism and secularism in the Church today.

Andrew Strom has a burden for the Church in bringing them back to true revival. This book is an excellent resource on this subject and I highly recommend it.

Andrew Strom is an international writer and speaker, founder of RevivalSchool.com and the international REVIVAL List – and author of ten books including ‘The Sinner’s Prayer – Fact or Fiction?’ Andrew was born Downunder in New Zealand. He has been happily married to his lovely wife Jacqui for 26 years. They have six wonderful children.

Kundalini Warning by Andrew Strom

Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: RevivalSchool (April 14, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 097990739X
ISBN-13: 978-0979907395
Price: $12.91
Purchase: Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

Description:

Written by a genuine “Insider,” this is the true story of one of the most frightening “invasions” in the history of the church – and the fight to keep it out. Andrew Strom has been part of the Charismatic movement for over 25 years – and was deeply involved in the modern “Prophetic” movement for 11 of those years. He is the founder of RevivalSchool.com and the International REVIVAL List. In this book, Strom traces this mass invasion of false spirits back to 1994, and shows how it culminated in the bizarre events surrounding Todd Bentley and the Lakeland revival in 2008. What are ‘Kundalini’ spirits? What are the signs of their presence? And how can such an invasion be turned around? All this and more is discussed in this provocative book. “A ‘MUST READ'” – The Voice Magazine. “The church of Jesus Christ does not realize that it has been infiltrated by demonic forces. Discernment has been lost! A book that is beyond needful.” – Greg Gordon, SermonIndex.

Review:

When I first saw the video above, I knew I needed to read Kundalini Warning by Andrew Strom. I never knew about Andrew Strom before I saw this video. I’m happy to have discovered him.

Kundalini Warning is a must read for every believer, especially in the day and age we are living in. This book will show you the spirit which is invading our Charismatic churches today.

I assure you this book is an eye opener. I completely relate to the content of this book, since I was heavily involved in the new age movement and Hinduism years ago.

Kundalini Warning will not only bring to light on what is happening, but it will also help you not fall into deception.

Just as the title says, it’s a warning that we should be aware of and take heed to.

This book is full of information you will not want to miss. I highly recommend this book.

Andrew Strom is an international writer and speaker, founder of RevivalSchool.com and the international REVIVAL List – and author of ten books including ‘The Sinner’s Prayer – Fact or Fiction?’ Andrew was born Downunder in New Zealand. He has been happily married to his lovely wife Jacqui for 26 years. They have six wonderful children.

Just Don’t Do Porn

This is what I wrote on my Facebook status yesterday after posting this article.

When I posted it, I wasn’t intending to spark a debate. I was only trying to bring light to the spiritual climate.

I decided to amplify and address my views here as there was an implication about my being judgmental.

Courtesy of Creative Commons.

For the record, I am judging the entire porn industry. I refuse to sugar coat what is.

Pornography is wrong and the entire industry is evil. There is nothing good or wholesome about it. I personally think it’s repulsive and shouldn’t exist at all.

God tells us to discern and judge. Ultimately, God knows man’s hearts and what motivates them.

I can’t imagine God is just sitting back, watching and thinking how great the sex industry is. It must grieve His heart terribly.

The entire industry is motivated by the flesh, carnal desires, sinful lusts and greed.

In 1 John 2:16, For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

It says in 2 Corinthians 4:4, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Who is the god of this world? Satan.

Who created and controls the sex industry? Satan.

When people say those in the porn industry are victims and don’t know any better. I would have to point them to Romans 2:14-15:

Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.

I could have been a statistic, I had every excuse to do so, but I chose not to.

We all have choices. Every single one of us walking the face of this earth has choices. God has blessed us with the gift of free will and choice.

Those pursuing a career in pornography are aware of the dangers involved in that life. They are not ignorant to what they are doing, which is why a huge majority do drugs.

They sell their bodies as a commodity.

To say, they don’t know anything else, is to lessen them to sub human with no sense of rationale.

They do have choices, but they choose to sell themselves because that’s where they make the most money and that’s something they are not willing to give up. The majority in that industry are not victims as they are choosing to do what they do for the love of money which is the root of all evil. (1 Timothy 6:10)

If they live in America, they also can’t say they’ve never heard the Gospel. This country is inundated with the Gospel all over the place.

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Personally, I find the Christian community wanting to sugar coat everything.

They talk a lot about love, but love is a verb, not just a word. Loving someone is telling them the truth.

But no one wants to hear or speak the truth anymore. Christians don’t want to hear about sin, judgment or repentance.

Christian’s only want to listen to the Joel Osteen’s of the world. They want their ears tickled. (2 Timothy 4:3)

All these ‘feel good’ messages. This is the kind of gospel they want to listen to. It’s a man made gospel, not the Bible.

They pick and choose, they only focus on the verses they like and spit out what they don’t like.

Everything to them is wonderful, beautiful and grand, when quite frankly, it’s not. But, they are either not paying attention or sleeping.

Christians don’t want to speak up anymore, they are afraid of offending or coming across as judgmental. Judging has become a crime now and discernment has gone out the window.

However, by not discerning or judging the time and by turning away from truth, Christians have made a god of their own understanding and thus, the Church has become powerless.

The Church needs to rise up and speak the truth again, so that people can repent, turn away from their sins and be saved.

Time is running out.

Rise Up Church

Everywhere you turn, a tragedy befalls us.

Yesterday was the mass shooting in the DC Navy Yard. This morning the abduction of a 14-year old girl in Georgia.

Courtesy of Creative Commons.

It’s not that I’m focused on tragedy or negativity, it’s just what is happening all around us.

Yes, I can perhaps bury my head in the sand, and pretend all is well, but I would only be lying to myself.

I’m not the type of person to focus on myself and forget about everything else.

My life is good, but just because things are relatively good, doesn’t mean I should forget others who are suffering.

I guess I’m this way because I have been through my share of hardship in life.

Sure, following the news can be overwhelmingly hard and there are times I do need to unplug from it all.

But most times than not, I feel burdened for the state of affairs. It’s not something I can shake off or ignore. I wish I could, but for whatever reason, God didn’t design me this way.

Even in the midst of tragedy though, I can still see God’s goodness and beauty. His signature is everywhere; from the rising sun, the mountains and vast oceans.

He is a divine artist and the master designer of this universe. He is a great and loving God.

His heart grieves and for whatever reason, so does mine.  He yearns for His Church to rise up in this lost, dark and broken world.

Every Sunday He passes the pews and sees His beloved sleeping. He is so loving and kind, He just passes quietly as not to disturb them. But oh, how sorrowful He is, when those He passes aren’t discerning the time nor the hour.

He is calling His sheep. He is saying, Rise up Church, for now is the time and the hour. Wake up from your slumber.

The days ahead will be far worse than they are now, we must wake up before it’s too late.

I tremble at that thought as my heart can hardly stand what’s happening now.

I am so broken and burdened, and I don’t even understand it myself. It’s definitely not depression, it’s this heaviness or sorrow in my soul.

The sorrow of seeing the Church powerless.

I’ve been praying for revival. The Church and this world needs a revival. I know there are many scattered, praying for this as well.

May the Lord come and visit us soon.

Am I the only one who notices the direction in which this world is going? Do you see it too? Please share in the comment section below.