Friday, July 28, 2017

Living The Dream

Whether we admit it or not, we are all striving to "live the dream life". Our individual visions of what that dream life looks like is as unique as each and every one of us. We are constantly planning for, working towards, saving for, praying about, and wrapping our faith around that dream life. We see it as some destination in the future that one day we'll finally achieve. And if I'm honest with you, there were certainly times in this journey that my dream life seemed almost impossible to achieve. It seemed that no matter how hard I worked, how much faith I had, or how often I kept the promises of God before me, the picture I had in my mind of my dream life was still some distance away from my current reality. However, this week, I had an eye opening moment with the Father and all I could do was weep before Him.

What I realized is that God has given me the opportunity and the resources to live my dream life RIGHT NOW! Every day that I wake up and I'm able to do exactly what I love and impact people for the glory of God, I'm living the dream. I'm in a season where everyday I have the opportunity to run Rebirth Arts full-time. I have the daily privilege to share my heart and love for God with numerous people through this blog, our social media community, our live broadcast, our studio classes, and our hosted events. For over a month, God has afforded me one of my greatest blessings . . . to experience His promises manifesting in my life.

Now, don't get me wrong, there is still plenty of room for growth in order to get to the ultimate vision that I see in my spirit of traveling internationally ministering the gospel through the arts, having a waiting list for our studio classes, seeing lines wrapped around the building for the auditions for our annual productions, and building our own multi-million dollar facility. However, I also know that the Word of God tells us to not despise small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10/NLT). And because I was so focused on the grander vision that my spirit was holding on to, I almost missed the fact that God was already manifesting my dream life. He was already making divine connections and opening doors that I would have never been able to reach on my own. He was already providing the resources I needed to take care of my needs, as I pressed forward into my purpose in Him. I almost fell into the trap of being ungrateful for what God was doing, because I was laser focused on the bigger picture. Honestly, I was borderline upset with God because my dream was not manifesting, how I thought it should be manifesting. But thank God for revelation, the ability to see and recognize the truth, and the exposing of the lies of the enemy in my life!

If my transparency today keeps you from falling into this trap of the enemy, then it is well worth it. Be sure to take notice of the little things God is doing in your life that is truly manifesting His promises. Yes, you still have room to grow and goals to achieve, but God is delivering on your dream life right now. Be sure not to miss the opportunity to be thankful and glorify the Father for the great things He is doing in your life that aligns with His promises, no matter how small. Because believe me, it's no small thing to God!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Not So Quick!

In my meditation time this week I came across a scripture that was familiar to me, but God showed me a different side of it. This new perspective certainly pushed me back on my heels a bit.
 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.  (James 1:18-21/NLT)

I've often experienced verse 18 being used to address how we interact with each other.  Teaching us that when we are working to manage our relationships with each other we should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry. However, upon this particular reading of the scripture, God turned it towards my personal relationship with Him. I began to hear the following questions . . .  Have you done this in our relationship? Are you quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry when I speak to you?

Honestly, this was a hard moment for me. It was a moment that layers were pulled back and I was exposed. Because being in this place with the Father is not unfamiliar to me, I knew exeactly what God was trying to accomplish in this moment. God was challenging me to GROW. He wanted me to see myself and know that yes there have been times that I didn't listen, that I interrupted His voice with my own, and that I've even gotten angry with God because of His instructions. And because He has me writing this blog on the topic, I know that I'm not the only one.

Beyond having this reflective moment of evaluating my own reactions to God's voice and instructions, He also tied in the later part of verse 21. He made sure that I understood that not only was I to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry, but I had to be sure that I was humbly accepting the word He already planted in my heart. There are some things that God has already spoken that I must continually humbly accept, because that very word has the power to save my soul. There are some things that I already know to be true that I have to keep at the forefront of my mind and make sure that I'm being consistently obedient to observe. And again, I know I'm not alone.

I pray that my transparency today allows you to see this scripture in a new light for your own life. That it causes you to be honest with the Father and sparks radical change in your relationship with Him. I pray that today begins a new journey for you in your walk with Christ, one that is open, honest, receptive, and fiercely obedient. May you reap all the benefits of your obedience in this season.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Spiritual Depletion

A few weeks ago I listened to a message from Pastor Joann Rosario Condrey. She made a point about "spiritual depletion" that stuck me.  If I tried to summarize her point it would be this . . . that many of us have gotten so use to operating in a state of spiritual depletion that we begin to believe that the symptoms of spiritual depletion are part of our personality. That these symptoms are just who we are. A few of the symptoms being . . . we are short-tempered, irritable, argumentative, overly aggressive, extremely defensive, unsympathetic, paranoid, insecure, impatient, stressed . . . and the list could go on.

I began to think about this statement and wondered how many times I've operated from a place of spiritual depletion and not recognized it. How many times have I been stressed, short-tempered, irritable, and impatient with those around me and not recognize that those outward expressions were simply a bi-product of what I was lacking spiritually. As I continued to ponder this thought, I found myself in a place of repentance before God. I recognized that because of my own lack of discipline, at times, I allowed myself to fall into a place of spiritual depletion that then affected my relationships, interactions, and ministry.

Pastor Joann's further point in this message was that when we put ourselves in a position to be constantly washed with the Word of God, worship God, and receive from the Holy Spirit, we are more likely to produce the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) and not those of a spirit of depletion (Galatians 5:19-21: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, etc.).

Over the past month I've had more flexibility in my schedule, which is great; however, it also means that I have to exercise more discipline over my time. I have purposed in my heart that during this season of life I will be more intentional about my personal time with God through worship and meditation on the Word. I recognize that it is necessary for my own personal sanity and for the welfare of those that are connected to me. I don't ever want to operate from a place of spiritual depletion again, so I know that it is critical for me to be consistently surrounded by the things of God.

This post has been extremely introspective; however, I pray that you will take a few moments to reflect on your own life and actions. And if you find some areas where you are currently spiritually depleted, I pray that you will begin the process to shift and allow the Spirit of God to refill and overflow you, so that you can reflect more of His character, which is your true personality.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Why Are You Still Afraid?

Why Are You Still Afraid?

This is the question that I've asked myself over the last week or so, since I came across this scripture . . .
They were now on the way up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. The disciples were filled with awe, and the people following behind were overwhelmed with fear. Taking the twelve disciples aside, Jesus once more began to describe everything that was about to happen to him."  ~ Mark 10:32/NLT
As I reflected on these words, I thought of two reasons why I shouldn't be afraid:
  1. Jesus (God) is walking ahead of me.
  2. Jesus (God) has explained everything that is about to happen.
As I continued to read verses 33 and 34, I took notice at the level of detail Jesus lays out the events that were to come. And as I reflected on that, I couldn't help but direct my thoughts back to my own life. I truly believe the promises of God in Jeremiah 29:11. And I know for sure that there are several things that God has spoken to me directly and spoken over me through others about my future. However, because of what I've experienced in the past and the situations that I face daily, it can prove difficult at times to consistently wrap my faith around those promises. And if you are honest with yourself, you can identify times where you've found your faith wavering. Not because you didn't believe in God or His promises for your life, but simply because what you've been experiencing, with your five senses, somehow has made a bigger impression on your faith in that moment.

Just like these verses in Mark 10, God has laid out the specifics of our futures in elaborate detail. There is nothing that He has left to chance. There are divine connections and doors of destiny awaiting our arrival. So, I ask the question again . . . Why are you still afraid?

I'm in a season of my life where God is calling for my faith. He is calling for me to stand firmly on His promises. He is requiring me to consistently wrap my faith around those promises, set some mile markers and to keep pressing forward in my destiny. And if you will be honest with yourself again, God is calling for the same thing from you.

Photo Credit: Platinum Photography by Lorenzo
So I have another question . . . What is it going to take? What is it going to take for us to keep pressing forward, to not stand still out of fear, and to truly trust God's promises for our lives? What is it going to take for us to embrace the risk the first step into the unknown presents. It is time for each of us to rise up in faith, courage, and determination. It is time for us to press forward toward our destinies with reckless abandon. We have to know that as we move forward, lead by the Spirit of God, that every step is purposeful, that every detail has been well orchestrated by the Father, and that the only failure we'll experience is that of not pressing forward.

So I will continue to challenge you . . . . 
Why are you still afraid?

Be Brave - Press Forward - Be Great!

Friday, June 9, 2017


Be honest with me . . . . what did you think that this post was going to be about? Often times when we hear or see the word intimacy we think that it is referring to a sensual physical act. Well . . . that's not what I'm going to talk about. Sorry if I disappointed you, but what I want to share with you is so important and vital to our very existence.

Did you know that your soul and spirit craves intimacy? Intimacy is defined as a close familiarity or friendship. It can also be defined as a close observation or knowledge of a subject.

We have an innate desire to have an inexplicable closeness with another person.  We desire for this person to know who we are, at our core, without having to explain ourselves to them in detail. This desire is one that was planted by our Father when He created us.  God made us relational and we have to be connected to each other in order to fulfill our journeys in life. However; in order to fulfill the desire in our hearts for intimacy, we have to be willing to be vulnerable to someone else.

This in turn is where the challenge begins. Because of our experiences in life that have lead to hurts, disappointments, broken hearts, and shattered promises it is difficult for us to be vulnerable with those around us. It is unthinkable for us to share our inner most thoughts and feelings with someone else who might not cherish them and hold them in the highest regard.

But there is hope. I promise you there is hope! I've experienced my fair share of hurts, disappointments, broken hearts, and shattered promises. However; because I chose to allow God to step into my life and heal the scars those moments left behind, I was able to be made whole. I also learned during that healing process that although I desired to have a close familiarity and friendship with another person, God desired for me to have that level of intimacy with Him. He desired for me to be vulnerable with Him, to allow all of me to be exposed and uncovered, all the while knowing that He would cover me, protect me, and cherish me like the rarest of jewels. He wanted me to observe Him closely and have a knowledge of Him that would forever be tattooed on my heart. He wanted me to find the place where my level of intimacy with Him would transform my intimate interactions with other people.

The scriptures tell us:

“Come close to God, and God will come close to you . . . " James 4:8/NLT

In our coming close to God, He is able to have the opportunity to observe us closely and share His knowledge with us of who we really are.  In that place of closeness, God is able to heal us and mold us into our true selves. And when we've been through the process of developing an intimacy with the Father that can't be shaken, then and only then are we able to begin to truly develop healthy intimate relationships and friendships with those around us. Then and only then are we able to embrace someone else and cherish them on the level that will satisfy their desire for the intimate care of another person.

If you find yourself in a place where you have a deep longing for a close intimate relationship, be courageous enough to stand before the Father exposed. Stand there knowing that He loves you beyond measure, that He wants the very best of everything for you, and that in Him you will find an intimate satisfaction that no other human on Earth can provide. Once you've found this place, know that God will bring the right friendships into your life that will allow you to experience the unexplainable closeness of a divine connection, in His perfect timing.

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Edge of Life

This past fall I had the opportunity to be part of an amazing project.  This project was lead by an even more amazing Woman of God who I really respect, love and cherish. As part of this project I lent my voice to the topic - "The Edge of Life". Given that today is the day that the relaunch of the Rebirth Arts blog is happening and it also happens to be my birthday . . . I figured it is only fitting that the first post be on this topic.

Each and every one of us has a destiny. And our hearts and spirits are constantly longing to experience and manifest that destiny daily. However, more often than not, we find ourselves standing at the edge of life. Standing at the very point where we can either turn back and be complacent or leap and experience all the joy, peace, and freedom that our loving Father has afforded us. We stand at that edge contemplating our fears and at the same time encouraging others to leap to their destinies. We push so hard for others at times that we tend to lose focus on the very thing that we have a heart's desire to accomplish.

Throughout my life, I can remember very distinctly moments where I found myself at the edge of life. And if I'm really honest, I found myself to be anxious, afraid, uncertain, and at times even paralyzed. But I also remember realizing in those moments, when I found myself to be a little less than the faith-filled Christian that I purported to be, that I wasn't looking to the Father to guide, help, assist, provide, cover, protect . . . and the list could go on. I was only looking at my own ability, resources, connections, bank accounts, etc. However I'm thankful that somehow, even in my moments of awkward nervousness, the little faith I had left rose up inside of me and literally pushed me over the edge.  I'm grateful that I had sense enough to trust the promptings of the Holy Spirit in my life and let go and let God take over.

Now don't get me wrong, I still have moments where fear tries to paralyze me and keep me from pushing hard after my destiny. But what I've come to know and understand is that fear can only try to stop me. As long as I trust God and I'm obedient to move when He says move, I know I will always find victory on the other side of fear. And I want you to know that the same is true for you.  If you can muster up enough courage to jump off the edge of life, to stop waiting for the perfect moment, and reach just a little bit further than where you are comfortable, you'll find a passion that will burn so deeply within you that it will fuel you even in the face of fear.

Know that there are no perfect moments. The timing will never be just right, the finances won't accumulate quick enough, and the stars will always be slightly out of alignment. All we have is NOW. So why not leap. Why not take God at His word. Why not allow God to prove that His promises are true in your life, for all those watching. Why not be on the receiving end of God's goodness, love, mercy, grace, abundance, favour, and miracles. God is waiting for you. He is waiting for you to push past your fear and take the first step. He is waiting for your mustard seed of faith to peak through the fog of your thoughts, so that He can set in motion your next divine appointment.

So know that you aren't standing alone at the edge of life, but be encouraged not to stay there. I pray that you will put your hand in God's hand, throw your head back, and leap off the edge. That you will embrace God's thoughts towards you, knowing it is ok for you to have everything God has promised you. And I pray that as you venture out into the unknown that you will find everything that your spirit has been searching for.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Scraped Knees

I had a dream . . . and in this dream I was my younger self. I had fallen and scraped my knee. I saw myself brush off my scraped knee a little, I began to cry, and then I immediately ran into the house calling out for my father, so that he could treat my wound and make things better again.

As I woke up from this dream, I felt the Spirit of God leading me to write about this dream for the Blog. I felt lead to write about it from the perspective, of how in our lives we often fall down, scrap our knee, and even cry a little, but even through all of that we have a loving Father who desires for us to run to Him, in order to have our wounds attended to, cleaned, bandaged, and healed, so that our very lives can be made better.

The Word of God tells us that everyone has sinned and that we all fall short of God's glorious standard (Romans 3:23/NLT); however, I don't say that to be a discouragement to you, because the Word also let's us know that the godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again (Proverbs 24:16/NLT). God has given us a promise that although our walks with Him may not be perfect, we will get up again.

As a child of the Most High God, you have an eternal promise that you are, and will forever be, forgiven for any area in your life that you have fallen short in (i.e sinned); as long as you are willing and obedient to bring that area before God to confess your sin and repent. For every area that we've ever fallen short in, or will fall short in during our lifetime, God wants us to immediately come crying out for Him. He wants the opportunity to clean the wounds that our sins left behind; to bandage us up with love; and to make room for the Holy Spirit to begin the inner work of healing, growth, and maturity within us. God's desire for each and every one of us is that the confession, repentance, and healing of our sins would ultimately make us stronger. God's type of wound care enables us to be able to overcome that obstacle the next time around, and to help others to not fall in that same pothole that tripped us up.

So why don't we immediately cry out for our Father when we've fallen and scraped our souls? Is it because of the guilt and the condemnation that the enemy quickly brings to the forefront of our emotions? Is it because of the pressure that we put on ourselves to be "perfect" in our Christian walks? Is it because we don't want to have to be honest with ourselves that we've fallen into the enemy's trap, yet again?

At the core of it, repentance is a heart issue. By that I mean it has to deal with our own personal relationship with God. In the natural, when we love someone and we hurt them, we are often quick to ask for their forgiveness and make promises that we will change our actions, and make every effort to not hurt that person again. Why should our relationship with our Heavenly Father be any different? If for no other reason than because of His great love for us, we should be able to run into His arms, cry on His shoulders, confess what we've done that wasn't pleasing to Him or that didn't honor our relationship with Him, and truly have a repentant heart in our promises to change our choices and actions. True repentance is the commitment to make a complete turn away from those things that are not pleasing to God and that don't honor Him. 

In Matthew 18, we see an account of Paul asking Jesus how many times should he forgive someone who has sinned against him. Jesus responds . . . seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22). That's 490 times! Sorry, the accountant in me had to do the math. That's a whole lot of forgiveness, and honestly it is hard for us to wrap our minds around that level of forgiveness when it comes to a natural relationship. But think about it this way, If Jesus' instructions were to forgive someone who has sinned against you 490 times, how many more times will our Heavenly Father forgive us?! We serve a God who is unfailing in His love and faithfulness towards us. How many more times will He welcome us with loving open arms, scraped knees and all?

I am grateful to have a relationship with a God who not only promises that we can get back up, that we will be forgiven for our sins, that He will accept us without question, but also a God who promises, over and over, to not remember the sins that we've committed, because He loves us just that much (Micah 7:18-19, Hebrews 10:17, Hebrews 8:12, Isaiah 43:25).

If there is something that has been weighing heavy on your heart and your spirit, I hope that this post will encourage you to go before the Lord . . . confess whatever it is, accept His love for you, receive His forgiveness, allow His healing to take place, and grow and mature into the overcomer that He created you to be. Someone else is depending on you to win your battle so that you can come and fight  alongside them and encourage them to not give up. Once you've won your battle, you can let others know . . . "if God did it for me, then He will surly do it for you".

"If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." 
1 John 1:8-9/NLT