Open Air Preaching

While watching this video I was reminded of the time I tried this on a train. I wasn’t brave enough nor crazy enough to do so on a train going through the Bronx, but I did it on a PATH train in Newark, NJ.

Ironically enough, I was with a group of young people (much younger than I at the time) from an organization that was endorsed by Ray Comfort in a video I saw a couple years ago.

The way they did it was to split up the Gospel presentation between 2 people: one person explains that we are ALL sinners in need of a Savior and the second person explains the gift of salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. I was the second person sharing the gift of salvation. I didn’t speak very long, only a couple minutes literally, though it felt like an eternity while my heart was beating through my chest!   🙂

Anyway, I enjoyed this video and found it to be encouraging and hope you do, too.

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Mourning into Dancing

Today is the anniversary of my Dad’s death. He died 3 days before my high school graduation in an auto accident. Though it’s been 25 years…(wow, can’t believe the time went by so FAST), it still feels like it happened yesterday.

No matter what anyone says, time does NOT heal all wounds. God comforts us in our grief and pain, but the hurt NEVER goes away…you just learn to live with it.

I’m thankful that God provided a much needed distraction this year in the form of a new job, which I began today. I had no time to mourn or think about my loss because I was too busy learning new skills at my new job. God is good!!!

Psalm 30:11 – You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy

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Admitting Racial Bias

I thought this worthy of sharing if for no other reason than to help someone start a conversation.

I grew up in an all white neighborhood until I got to high school and there were other black kids because we lived in a different town. Of course, we were still the minority, but at least I was no longer “alone” and I could see others who looked like me walking in the halls.

I remember in high school some kids specifically saying that they wanted to go to a black college, but not me. First, I think as humans, we gravitate towards what we know and/or what we’re comfortable with and for me, I think I’m more “comfortable” being around white people, since it’s been my life since I was a child. I say “comfortable”, but “familiar” is probably closer to the truth.

I purposely went to a university that was diverse because I wanted to experience other cultures outside of black and white because I had never really been exposed to anything else. The only time I ever saw an Asian person was when we went to the Chinese restaurant. I often wondered why there were no Chinese kids in school. Surely these people who run the restaurant have children, yet I never saw any Asian children in school. We didn’t get our first Latino kids until I was a junior in high school, at least I never saw them until my junior year. I remember they had their own class regardless of age because they did not speak English, so they could not be placed in classes with the rest of us. I believe that was the first year that my high school, which also had grades 6 through 12 in the same building, had to “deal” with non-English speaking students.

I knew in high school that it would not serve me well to attend a college that was predominantly any race because that is not the world that I live in, so I chose a racially mixed university. Not only that, but I got involved in any and every organization that did NOT focus on black students because I wanted to learn about other cultures.

I remember being the FIRST person to show up for the meeting for the Asian club and listening to the organizer tell us that she purposely deleted all the names of interested students if they were not Asian. Now, how can you expect anyone to learn about your culture if you commit racist acts like that???

My college housed what was then called the American Language Academy where students from all over the world came to learn English. I was able to spend time with people from South Korea, Mexico and the United Arab Emerates and learn more about each of them as people. One of the most difficult questions someone asked me was “why does America have homeless people?” when your country is so rich. Yeah, a powerful question and quite difficult to explain to someone who doesn’t speak English well enough to understand my answer.

Even the church that I attend…you can count the number of black people on one hand. I did not purposely look for a non-black church, but I wanted a church that reads the Bible word-for-word, verse-by-verse, chapter-by-chapter. My church is predominantly Italian, and Latino with a few Asians, a few blacks and at least one Egyptian. I like diversity and clearly, so does God, otherwise He would not have created so many beautiful people.  🙂

Wow, I did not intend to write so much based off of a short video. I guess it got me thinking and remembering my past.

I hope this video sparks some honest and forgiving conversations.

 

God Did Not Heal Me

I’ve been wanting to share this for a minute.

I was going about my business one day when God spoke to me. It was out of the blue while I was walking from one room to another…or at least that’s how I remember it. God does that a lot. I rarely get answers during quiet time or prayer time. It’s usually while I’m doing something that God just blurts something out. I don’t mind, though because I’m just happy that He speaks to me at all.

God told me why He did not heal me and allowed me to undergo my first ever surgery. Let me just say, it was the absolute WORST pain I have ever endured!!!

After leaving the hospital, I went to a rehab facility because I live alone and had no one to assist me during my recovery. So, I had to learn how to get in and out of the bed and how to put my socks and shoes on in a way that would cause the least amount of pain. It wasn’t until I got to the rehab facility that I found out that my doctor put staples in me. Call me crazy, but I think that’s definitely something a doctor should mention to a patient either before or after the surgery!!! I later found out that rehab places inspect your body upon arrival in the event there is a claim of abuse. So yeah, the nurse at an entirely separate facility informed me that I had staples in my body. Don’t you just love doctors??!!

Anyway, one morning I was sitting alone at a table in the dining room waiting to have breakfast when I see two guys in wheelchairs coming into the dining room. Most of the other tables were full, so one guy calls over to me and asks if he can join me and of course I said, “yes, c’mon over”. I mean, who wants to eat alone in a room full of people?!

They both sat at the table with me. The other guy left not long after finishing his breakfast, but Bill and I sat there for a while just talking. I don’t recall what Bill said, but it was something that led me to ask if he was saved and he said yes.  Later at lunch, Bill shared his testimony. Bill asked me what church I attend and I told him and we discovered that he knows a couple guys at my church, one of them being the missions pastor.

So, long story short, if God had chosen to heal me, I never would have had that operation, never would have gone to the rehab facility and never would have met Bill. God used Bill to bless me during a very difficult time in my life over the summer.

Before anybody gets any ideas, let me tell you he’s old enough to be my father and a stand-up guy. Bill is also a veteran with his own health concerns. God has blessed Bill so that he can be a blessing to others.

So, the moral of the story is this, just because God does not heal you or answer your prayers the way that you want Him to, does NOT mean that God is neglecting you, abandoning you or forgetting about it. God ALWAYS has our best interests in mind and will do His will on our behalf…always for OUR benefit and to bless US!

I feel compelled to share this song again…

 

Testimony Time

I’ve been meaning to write this testimony for over a month. I guess the hesitation stems from my intense grip on my privacy, yet at the same time, I want to shout from the mountain tops how my God is ALWAYS faithful, never will He leave me, never will He forsake me.

Sinners (because we are ALL sinners, even after being born-again) find favor with the Father!!!

Now, I’m not going to go into ALL of the details simply because I just have too many other things to do and quite frankly, I’m tired.

Anyway, I resigned from my job in May 2016. Actually, I handed in my resignation in April, but my last day of work was in May. It was something that I wanted to do 2 weeks after I began working at this organization, but I kept telling myself that it would get better. Clearly, it did not, which is why I am no longer working there.

God saw everything that I had been through and what was being done to me around the time of my resignation. It was not something I was comfortable doing because as everyone knows, jobs are extremely tough to come by these days, regardless of what the liberal media tries to make us believe. My prayer was that God would give me a job by September 2016. If I did not get another job by September, my situation would become dire.

So, I went on craigslist.org to find a part time job one day. I found a post looking for someone to clean an office one day a week. I thought about applying, but immediately thought, “they’re never going to hire me because I’m a college grad with a lot of professional work experience”.  I waited a couple of days and thought, I have to apply regardless of what I think might happen.

I’m glad I applied because God’s word became real in yet another way in my life. If we will humble ourselves, God will exalt us. I applied, interviewed and was practically hired on the spot! I cleaned the office one Thursday evening and then I get an email on Friday and thought, “oh no, what did I forget to do, I’m getting fired”.

Nope, she emailed me to tell me what a good job I did and asked if I was looking for full time employment. Long story short, the company created a job for me. It’s a position that is needed, so I’m thankful. I’m thankful for God’s faithfulness and for answering my prayer to have a job by September. In fact, I had 2 job offers by the end of August!

I’m thankful that God allows me to find FAVOR in the eyes of non-believers. I’m thankful to find favor with God despite the fact that I fail Him every single day…He loves me regardless and loves me unconditionally!!!

I’m now reminded of something my pastor said in today’s sermon: You cannot have a testimony without the test!  I already knew this, but it’s a helpful reminder. I tell myself this every time I’m going through a difficult time: I’m going to have an AMAZING testimony!

Now, I cannot end this without being totally HONEST. This is NOT my dream job and no, I do not see myself working for this company long term, but I’m thankful to have a job. I’m still striving for my dream job and praying each day that God will answer that prayer in the affirmative!

In closing, the take-away points to remember are: humble thyself and God will exalt you, draw near to Him and He will draw near to you, never lose hope, pray without ceasing and you cannot have a testimony without the test.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for loving me much more than I deserve, MUAH!!!

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Alone Time With God

I need my alone time with God. I remember when I used to work in NYC and would get to work extra early so that I could spend time with my dearest Dad.  I also remember being so rigid that I’d get annoyed if someone interrupted us, until I finally gave in and accepted the obvious…God was sending people to me for a reason, and that reason was NOT so I could feel annoyed, but rather for me to share His Word with whomever was “interrupting” me.  It was a huge reminder that we ALL need to be open to those “interruptions” which are really divine appointments.

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