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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Why You'll Never See Alcohol in My Hands

I have read several posts on social media platforms from Christians expressing their reasons they drink and I have been asked why I don't drink and also why I have such a strong conviction about it even though the Bible doesn't specifically say I can't drink. I want to make it clear that I am in no way standing in judgment of you nor am I condemning you if  that is what you choose to do. Just answering some questions...Enjoy!
     Why you'll never see alcohol in my hands.

1) Alcoholism is a disease that runs in my family and I can reduce my risks of becoming an alcoholic by not drinking. Cancer is also a disease that runs in my family and there are certain things I don't do because I know they increase the chance of getting cancer; e.g., smoking.  No, there is no guarantee but I am willing to do all I can to reduce the risk.
     My father was an alcoholic, sadly the disease got the best of him and eventually took his life at the age of 55! My mother was a social alcoholic or binge drinker and that eventually led her to drug abuse. My mom had several underlying ailments that contributed to her getting drunk on the weekends and some week nights. She was self medicating with these drugs and that lifestyle eventually took her life at the age of 55, just 2 years after my dad passed away. Alcohol meant drunken rages in our home. Alcohol led to drugs. Alcohol was more important than food in our house at times. Alcohol was their way of having "fun". It was their vice, which they couldn't likve without.
    I was taught that as long as I was with my mom I could drink and that started when I was 12! However, if I decided to drink and my mom wasn't around I would get in trouble...this sent mixed signals about alcohol. I was told I could have it but then I couldn't. By the time I was 15, I was getting drunk every weekend and by the time I was a sophomore in high school, vodka was my daily nutrition! Every day I had to have it to cope with life (That's another story to tell).  When I became a mom my drinking habits changed dramatically and I became a social drinker/alcoholic, drinking on the weekends, most of the time I got drunk and did stupid stuff like fighting (that for me was the problem). All that changed when I gave my life to Jesus at 28 years old. God revealed the drinking problem I had and that it didn't glorify Him, so I put the bottle down and haven't had a drink in many years. Praise the Lord!
    I know there are people who are going to say, "But I don't have that problem. I drink because I like a glass of wine or a beer with my meal." Again, that is your experience, not mine.

2)  As a Christian I am not to cause another to stumble.
    1 Corinthians 8:9, "But be careful that this right of yours in no way becomes a stumbling block to the weak."
People may argue that I've taken this verse out of context, because Paul was talking about foods that were offered to idols not alcohol. I understand that, however if you read scripture and say, "Well that doesn't apply to me because I'm not drinking or eating foods that are being offered to idols." I just ask that you read these scriptures and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you. Nothing we put in our bodies makes us acceptable or unacceptable to God...Our faith in Christ is how we are acceptable to God, period. That is not my point. If I know that my brother is struggling with alcoholism and I have a drink because it's my right and I don't struggle, is my drinking going to cause him to stumble? AM I responsible to him? My one drink may not cause him to stumble but I am to be mindful/careful of all people around me.
If I invite my Muslim friend to my home for dinner and I offer her bacon, what would that say to them? It would be offensive #1! It could cause them to consider defiling their own conscience to please me, the host. Even though I know that what I put in my body doesn't defile me to offer it to my friend is wrong. The whole point of not causing another to stumble is about respecting others beliefs and not looking down on them for not doing what I do or don't.

3) As a Christian I am to encourage and build up my brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as unbelievers. In my days of drinking/drunkenness I definitely did not encourage anyone! It was all about ME and my flesh getting a "fix". Whether I used the excuse that I needed a break from my kids and just wanted to relax a bit, it was all about ME. What made ME feel good! What made ME feel happy! What made ME "loosen up" a bit after a hard work week. AGAIN, I am not condemning anyone who has a drink! I am simply stating my convictions.
In seeking to build up one another, I must be mindful of what I do or don't do in the sight of another.

     1 Corinthians 10:23-24, "Everything is permissible, but not everything is helpful. Everything is permissible but not everything builds up. No one should seek his own good, but the good of the other person."
Bottom line, all that I do or don't do is about building the other person up.

4) As a Christian I am to do everything in my power to bring honor and glory to my Lord so that many people may be saved.
     1 Corinthians 10:31-33 (HCSB), "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory. Give no offense to the Jews or the Greeks or the church of God, just as I also try to please all people in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, so that they may be saved." (This includes eating too. Overeating is a sin just as drunkenness and it is not glorifying to the Lord.) Paul wrote the Church at Corinth (Talking to Christians) about what was acceptable to one, may not be acceptable to another, however the bottom line and His main point is that WHATEVER YOU DO, DO IT FOR GOD'S GLORY!
     Acts 20:24 (HCSB), "But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace."
When was the last time having a beer led someone to the Lord? Or even brought true glory to His name?

I am thankful that my God convicted me and I am walking with Him in a truth orgthat has set me free! I would be lying if I told you I never struggle. When my friends or family are having a drink, I would like to partake but I simply can't and I have to pray that God gives me the strength to just say, "No, thank you."

One last thing, each of us have differing opinions about alcohol and that is fine but I will never let our differences get in the way of relationships. I am a firm believer that we can agree to disagree.

If you struggle with alcoholism, drug abuse
or any other form of addiction you can visit the following websites for more help.
alcoholism as a disease


Friday, October 9, 2015


Look up, people! If we would just look up and see the world around us...God's creation cries out, people made in His image are searching for hope. We can be the vessel that He chooses to use if we'd just look up!
There's the nudge, you try ignore it but The Holy Spirit inside you is calling you to obey your Father. Have you felt this nudge where your heart starts racing, butterflies take over your stomach because God is calling you to reach out to a stranger? You seem to argue with God saying, "Not me God and not now..."? I have to share my son's story and I pray it will encourage you to stop arguing with God and start obeying His nudges.

Stephone took his sister, Keanna, to the mall for a job interview and decided to sit at a table in the food court until she was finished. He started to write a post for his online personal training business (No Limits Training) when out of the corner of his eye he saw a man using a walker approach the table next to him. It was obvious he experienced a hard life by his appearance, wearing a frown to display his disappointments. Stephone looked up and smiled. Carefully making his way to sit in the chair across from him, he looked at Stephone and asked,"Do you speak Arabic?"
Stephone smiled, "Excuse me?"
"Do you speak Arabic?"
The Holy Spirit nudged Stephone to put his phone away and sit down at the table with the man.
"No, I don't speak Arabic. Why do you ask?
To Stephone's surprise he replied. "I want to talk to God."
"Why do you want to talk to God?"
"Because I want to die and go to heaven."
"Why do you want to die?"
With sadness and no hope in his voice he said, "I have no purpose for living. Look at me. I can't walk good, my eyes are bad, my hearing is bad and my smell is bad."
Stephone listened and chatted with this man of Muslim religion for about 20 minutes or so. Talking to him about his Christian faith and the man's religion. Stephone told me that he never felt the need to convince this man to believe in Jesus that God just told him to spend time conversing and sharing God's love for him.
As they finished up their talk Stephone said, "I'm going to pray for you."
With a look of surprise the man replied, "Why would you pray for me?"
Stephone smiled and said, "Because I want to."
"I'd appreciate that."

As time has passed since this divine appointment God has reminded me that His Holy Spirit nudges and it's our job to obey. You never know how you can change the direction of someone's life. Stephone was used by God to give this man hope! He came to the mall in despair but left hopeful! I don't know about you, but I want to be the vessel God uses to bring His hope to people! If we would just look up when the nudge comes...

God Bless and may we all be empty of self, filled with the Holy Spirit and obedient to His nudging!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Behaving as the Pharisees

Matthew 9:11 (HCSB)
When the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Matthew 12:2 (HCSB)
But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!”

Matthew 15:1-3 (HCSB)
Then Pharisees and scribes came from Jerusalem to Jesus and asked,“Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they don’t wash their hands when they eat!” He answered them, “And why do you break God’s commandment because of your tradition?"

If you and I don't search our hearts, compare ourselves to God's Word and allow Him to show us who we really are without Christ, we WILL behave as the Pharisees.

The Pharisees were full of pride. They looked at their outward behavior and appearance then compared themselves to others. They truly believed that they were in the "upper class" of religious society. Rather than asking God to search their hearts (Psalm 139:23) they were more worried about what other people were doing wrong. Pride kept the Pharisees in their little cliques because they were "too good" to fellowship with the "tax collectors and sinners". Pride kept them questioning Jesus and His disciples. Pride kept them following tradition rather than the Truth. Pride made them judge other sins as worse than their own. Guess what? Their actions reflected their heart's condition.

And today, pride keeps religious people acting the same way. Some have a tendency to look down on others, thinking their sins aren't as bad. Pride keeps people from bowing down in humble adoration and looking up to Holy God. Pride keeps people following their comfortable cliques and not reaching out to those that may be different. Pride keeps people from forgiving others. Pride keeps people from God's forgiveness that's been extended to ALL repentant sinners, because they think in the end their good will outweigh their bad.

Father God, I pray that I don't ever behave as the Pharisees; prideful, and self-righteous with an attitude of, "Look at me and all I do for God and the church". Our lives are to be lived out as a drink offering. Being poured out for You and others! Holy Spirit, convict me if pride starts to rise up in me so that I may repent. May I never forget where I came from, the pit of selfish pride. Search my heart and show me any offensiveness within me and lead me on Your path. Father, thank You for rescuing me from my sins. I am thankful to be associated with the "tax collectors and sinners", because Jesus, you desire fellowship with people just like me! People willing to see themselves through Your eyes. People willing and humble enough to say, "I have sinned and I still make mistakes, therefore, I need a Savior". Thank You Lord for your grace and mercy. Thank You for calling me to Yourself. Help me now to live for You. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Counterfeit Christianity!

Baseball season is upon us! Can your eye detect counterfeit tickets? Be cautious as to where you get your tickets from...You want to save money so you find someone selling tickets for a fair price. You pay the money for tickets you think are real, you then walk up to the gate to get into the game, they scan the tickets and BEEP BEEP BEEP, they're fake! You were fooled but the ticket collector wasn't! No game for you...

Counterfeit Christianity will only get you so far also. You prayed a prayer and maybe got baptized as a baby or even as an adult and you think you're good to go. The day comes when you die and stand before the Lord...what will He say to you? You were fooled but the Lord cannot be fooled! No eternal life in heaven for you...

This may seem harsh to some but I am compelled to tell you the truth. Counterfeit Christianity has swept through so many churches and has fooled so many people. I was walking today and this thought came to my mind and I prayed asking the Lord for clarification. How many church don't talk about sin? LOTS! How many preachers talk about heaven and say if you believe in Jesus you will go to heaven? LOTS! How many people are calling themselves Christians and yet have no conviction about sin? LOTS!

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of churches that do talk about sin, preachers who do explain clearly how one gets to heaven, Christians who do struggle with a sin/s and fell conviction not wanting to live contrary to the Word of God. I'm happy to say that I belong to a church that speaks the Truth without fear or shame!

So why am I writing this blog today? My heart is burdened for those who have been fooled...usually the fooled one doesn't know it until "the joke is on you" so to speak. I have to speak up and pray that someone hears the Gospel clearly today! I'm going to break it down as best as I can with the help of the Holy Spirit and then leave the rest to Him.

Read the Bible verses below:

Matthew 4:17
From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
Matthew 11:20
Then Jesus began to denounce the towns where he had done so many of his miracles, because they hadn’t repented of their sins and turned to God.
Luke 5:23
I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.”
Luke 15:7
In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

First, one has to admit they are a sinner and repent, confessing your sins to the Lord.
1 John 1:8-9, "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." Have you been broken by the fact that your sins are the reason Jesus had to die on the cross?

Another thing counterfeit Christianity says is if you believe that Jesus is the Son of God then you are saved. There is some truth to this but is that enough? Is belief the same as faith? Look what
James 2:19 says, "You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror."

One last thing counterfeit Christianity says if your good outweighs your bad then you will go to heaven. So do the most good and God will accept you in to His perfect heaven.
Look at Isaiah 64:6, "We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds,
they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind."

What is true Christianity? We are all sinners, in need of a Savior, Jesus Christ! We don't deserve heaven based on our own goodness and we can't earn our way to heaven by being good enough.
Jesus the sinless Son of God died in our place on the cross. Jesus is the WAY, TRUTH AND THE LIFE no one can get to heaven without faith in Him. The good news is that HE PAID IT ALL! Jesus did what no man could do! The burden of our own salvation has been lifted by the Cross of Christ! Praise the Lord!

When faith compels you to belief this truth, you will be humbled, repentance will be your hearts desire, you will ask Jesus to forgive you and be your Lord and Savior. He will then take up residence in your heart. His Holy Spirit will begin teaching you the things of the Lord and your life will change! Your old desires will be gone and you will desires God and His will!
1 Corinthians 15:22b, "Everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life."
He has been pursuing you...what are you waiting for? No one is promised tomorrow, but we are promised eternal life in Heaven for All who call on the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved!
Romans 10:8-13:
"In fact, it says,
“The message is very close at hand;
  it is on your lips and in your heart.”
And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him.  For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Judge Not, Lest You Be Judged!

Matthew 7:1-5 (The Message Bible) DO NOT JUDGE!
Jesus said, “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor."
Do we, I'm speaking to those of us who are Christians, understand the impact our critical spirit, or should I say our verbal expressions about what we are against, has on those who are not Christians?
I just wonder how often we think before we speak out against something or someone?
We gossip saying things such as; "I can't believe they are filing bankruptcy and can't pay their bills"..."I didn't know their son was gay."..."This is her third marriage!"..."Their daughter is pregnant and isn't even married! What a shame!"..."He comes from a Christian home! I can't believe he is acting like that!"..."I can't believe he is wearing skinny jeans and has gages, he's leading worship and should dress appropriately"...the list goes on and on.
Someone said to me the other day, I'm paraphrasing their words, it's in our "nature" to judge others but why do we put them on blast? Meaning, we post stuff on social media sites about our disapproval of another's actions...This hit me where God wanted it to, my heart!
Their point: Christians are known for what/who they HATE instead of Who we LOVE...
I hate sin because His Holy Spirit in me hates it! I hate sin because Jesus was crucified for my sins, your sins, the world's sins! Christians are called to flee from all sins, to pray for others, to live worthy of the gospel, to live in peace with our brothers and sisters, BUT above all we are called to LOVE God with all our being and to LOVE our neighbor! We are not called to JUDGE the world's sins! We are called to go into the world and share the LOVE of Jesus and believe that HE IS BIG ENOUGH TO CONVICT THE WORLD OF THEIR SINS and draw them to Himself!
Lets check ourselves before we blast another person for their sin. I have found that I am less critical, less judgmental of others when I am on my knees at my Savior's feet! Why? Because being at His feet, I am reminded that HE DIED FOR MY SINS! We all need His grace! If you have experienced His grace, and yet have an "ugly sneer" on your face, will that draw others to the cross? I know from experience, it pushes people in the opposite direction. So why not silently carry them to the Jesus in prayer...
Lord, I am guilty of this very thing! Please forgive me and help me to live as YOU!
From my heart to yours <3 p="">

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christian, Are You a Tool for Satan or for God?

As a Christian, when a situation or temptation arises, what weapons of warfare do you chose to fight with?
Weapons of unrighteousness?  Such as: Fear, negativity, bitterness, hatred, selfishness, greed, pride, anger, unforgiveness, gossip, slander, sexual immorality, lying lips, racism, gluttony, etc.

Or Weapons of righteousness? Such as: Prayer, praise, joy, peace, compassion, love, forgiveness, encouragement, servant-hood, faith, walking in righteousness, speaking the truth in love, contentment, etc.
When we realize Whose we are and who we are in Christ, we can defeat the enemy by choosing weapons of righteousness! As Born-again, Spirit-filled Believers, we sound foolish when using the excuse, "The devil made me do it"! This is a lie straight from the pit of hell. The devil can’t make anyone do anything! When a Christian makes excuses for sinful behavior, it makes a mockery of our GOD!
Evil and Holy CANNOT dwell in the same temple, for your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit! Wake up, mighty men and women of God, repent! KNOW He who paid the highest price, His life for your eternal salvation, has equipped you to fight with weapons of righteousness!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV). “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

2 Corinthians 10:3-6, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,  and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled."

Joel 3:9, "Proclaim this among the nations: “Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, Let all the men of war draw near, Let them come up."

The battle begins with us; in our minds! We must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and be ready to destroy anything that is against our Savior! You and I are to be proactive and not reactive. This mentality that has so many Christians living in bondage, in essence is telling the world, "Our God is not who He says He is"…How sad that!? YOU AND I are the reason so many turn away from knowing true salvation…

2 Corinthians 7:10 (NLT), "For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There is no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death."

I say again, “Wake up mighty men and women of God, repent!"

To bare the name of Christ, is to say I have died to sin and it no longer has a hold on me! "I have been crucified with Christ, I no longer live but Christ lives in me." Galatians 2:20.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

We must stop condoning BAD behavior!

For my fellow Christians; I have read several posts, and have heard conversations that condemn or condone/justify the behaviors in Ferguson and around the country. Whether it is the behavior of the police/government officials or the protesters, there is judgment on both sides.
The posts that hurt us the most, Christians, are the ones that condone/justify BAD behavior. Police brutality is NOT alright and should never be overlooked! I agree that body cameras will hold our Officers accountable and I pray for those officers who abuse their authority in any manner, will repent and turn their hearts and minds toward Christ Jesus!
Rioting, looting and burning of vehicles and businesses is NOT alright and should never be acceptable! I read one post that really struck a cord with me: "White people...we learned this from YOU". Have we so digressed that we can get away with VIOLENT acts and call it justifiable because it was taught...COME ON PEOPLE OF GOD!
I just gotta be raw and real about what I learned from the time I was a toddler through my young adult years, before I surrendered my life to Jesus. I know some will say I share too much but this has been burning in my soul; therefore, I must speak!

I learned that a man can beat you and you are to forgive him each time his hands abuse you...
I learned that a man can leave his responsibilities at home and have multiple woman at his disposal...
I learned from a young age that if I was angry and I wanted to fight my siblings, kids in the neighborhood or at school, I could without any discipline. I carried this learned behavior into my young adult years, so if someone looked at me wrong or if I didn't like you for whatever reason, and I wanted to beat your a$$ that's what I did...I was applauded for it...
I learned from a young age (12) that drinking alcohol was acceptable as long as I did it with adults and if I got biggie...
I learned that drugs helped a person cope with life and that if you do drugs just don't get caught...
I learned that stealing was okay if I was hungry or needed/wanted something...
I learned that education was not important...if you don't feel like going to school, don't want to drop out, okay...
I learned that having sex was expected no matter how young...
I learned that lying to the police was expected to cover your butt or a loved one's butt...
I learned to judge people by their societal status; Rich people were evil and poor people were poor because of the rich...
I learned to judge people because of their skin color... It was fine to have black friends but nothing more and all hell broke loose in my family, his family and with some of our "friends" when I started dating Jameson in high school..."It will never work..."
I learned that some black women didn't like me because I married "one of their good black men"...yes, this has been said to my face and I have felt the hate across the room...
I learned that some white people thought I was lower than dirt for dating and then marrying outside of my race...Yes, our family has been victims of racism from both races...

I could go on and on about what I learned from "YOU" the people in my family, circle of influence, and society, but I'll stop there and say this; I AM NOT WHAT I LEARNED! PRAISE GOD!

When I recognized my sin and my need for a Savior, at the age of 28, I called out to Jesus and He saved me, sanctified me and made me right with my Father in Heaven. He could have left it at that but He didn't! He then sent His Holy Spirit to live in me and TEACH me His ways. I am not the same person that was taught to do wrong! The bad behaviors that were acceptable and often praised, God showed me it was sinful behavior and His children are called to live HOLY lives!
I love how Paul sums it up in 1 Corinthians 15:10, "But by God's grace I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain."
I am changed! I am a new creation in Christ Jesus! I desire to please my Lord and no longer be a slave to sin, self, or man!

When you call yourself a Christian and have any ill will towards another human being, for whatever reason, then I must say, "God's grace toward you is in vain." You see His grace was extended towards us so that we would become ONE with Him, not to stay ONE with the world! His grace was extended to us who believe and we are to extended others!

The Lord has taught me His ways are higher than mine, yours and this world we live in... I don't understand everything about Him but I do understand His GRACE and FORGIVENESS!
Romans 5:8, "But God showed His GREAT LOVE for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners."

If I trust the God of the Bible, then I trust Him to vindicate all the injustices that have occurred throughout time!