When Jesus spoke into the life of the woman at the well and to the woman caught in adulery. He called out her sin. He addressed her choice to be in an adulterous relationship. He didn't shame her but he called her on it, clearly and directly. The Last thing Jesus said to her and to many of people he ministered to was to "Go and sin no more"

What Jesus did it was lifted the veil of her sin. Revealed to her what was hindering her life and causing separation from God and told her that she didn't have to live that way any more. 

When we sin, it separates us From God. There is no if's and's or but's about it. The more we give over to our sin, regardless of what that sin is, it will succumb and over take our lives:

Our choice to sin brings about confusion, torment and disillusionment. We then start seeing the world, our walk with God though the shade of the color of our sin. Meaning it then starts to make us begin believe the lie that the sin we choose to be is a way of life and it is who we are, and God should and will be ok with that sin.  The Enemy loves to cloud our judgement and and have us see God through his perspective.  

Once we have been taken over by our sin, we then begin to accept our sin as the only and best way to live and become intolerant towards those who take issue with our sin. 

We then isolate ourselves from those who love us, speak truth to us and want us to walk away from that sin. 

We start making friendship and surrounding ourselves with those who agree with our sin, who enjoy doing the same types if sin, who encourage us to continue to sin because it is way more enjoyable and fun... and all the others who want us to walk away from the sin just don't want us to have fun.  

Then the sin isn't just that one sin other sins begin to jump on board, boundaries are crossed. Things we once said we would never do or participate in gradually enter into our lives.  We then become so deeply engrossed in our sins that we begin to forget what our lives were like before we made sin our best friend. Years pass and we have forgotten what our lives we like before the sin and now start actively recruiting others to join in our sin with us.

That is what sin does to our lives. But Jesus came to set us free from our sin.  He wants us to have best life.  He wants us to be free from the things that our sin cost us.  He wants the bondage of the sin to be removed from our life.  All we have to do is surrender our lives to Jesus. Repent and go and sin no more.  Then once we do that it, he removes the burden if our sin and the healing begins.

Go and sin no more means,choosing to change the way if thinking, eradicating the obstacles and things associated with the sin from our lives by rebuilding and rehabilitation the crumbly foundation of the old sin in our lives and building walls of hope peace, joy, strength, wisdom, hope, faith.  Depending on how embedded the old sin was in our lives, rebuilding our lives with the Truth may take some time.  Allowing the truth to shine a light on the darkness we invited into our lives exposes it and the darkness dissipates completely.

We are able to see the effects of the old way of life had on us. But now that the Master Architect is leading the team, he knows how to fix, clean, restore and remove any residue of the old sin so much so that he makes all things new and better before with a stronger foundation.

 I will never understand how Bible-believing  professing Christians will have compassion for some but not others.

You don't have to agree with them or even approve of their choices or how they came to our country.
 Jesus called us to love our NEIGHBORS (not just those that live on each side of our dwellings but people who are outside of our culture, ethnicity, even political or faith belief system).

Would you want to be treated with the same prejudices, snobbery, hateful language and snide remarks as I hear from some who are speaking about the immigration issue?  I think not!

I think this also goes for those who lifestyle choices are contrary to our Christian faith.  It is the true Love of Christ that will bring them to the Cross. We are called to be a light in the midst of the ever darkening world. Offering ourselves as living epistles to those we encounter.  Giving compassion, helping those in need, caring and praying and bringing encouragement.

Brothers & Sisters in the Lord, PLEASE ask the Lord to reveal how to Love those that may not look like us, talk like us, or even believe like us. Think about it, how can we go into all the world and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ - that He came to save us and set us free all from the darkness of sin that is inside of us so that we could no longer live in the bondage of this world and have hope and eternal life of freedom and liberty - if we have bitterness and prejudices towards others?

How can we stand for the lives of the unborn, yet have such negative feelings about the children literally fleeing for their lives for a better way of life?  If we are truly Pro-Life we must also be pro-child both pre-born and born.

I know this issue of Immigration is very complex and many people are probably sick of my post and status updates about this.  But hear my heart we must care for these kids no matter the circumstance just as we would those in Foster Care waiting for adoption.  It is our Christian duty and responsibility to love, feed, and care.  The Bible says to care for the orphan and the foreigner in our land.  These Children are both!

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. 

And here’s why: 

I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 

“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ 

Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’ 

“Then he will turn to the ‘goats,’ the ones on his left, and say, ‘Get out, worthless goats! You’re good for nothing but the fires of hell. 

And why? Because— I was hungry and you gave me no meal, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was homeless and you gave me no bed, I was shivering and you gave me no clothes, Sick and in prison, and you never visited.’ Matthew 25:31-46 MSG

#soapbox #enoughsaid #immigrationreform #ProLife #Stand4Life
So 39 years ago on the first day of summer June 21, the world welcomed a beautiful brown eyed little girl with a full life ahead of her..

Over the course of my 39 years of my life on this earth, I have accomplished many things that I said I would do so far in my life. Which I am so grateful that my mom always encouraged me to dream big and accomplish anything with Jesus beside me.

When I was 16 years old in the early 90s while visiting my Mamá (what we called my Spanish Grandmother - my Mom's mother) my brother and I had been given the chore of going to do the laundry at the laundry mat. My Mamá lived in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, NY.  We had tons of laundry to do and knew it be a whole day event. 

So we got the laundry started and I went to sit down and there was a women in her mid to late 50s who had the horned rimed glasses with a tinge of gray. She was dressed in a retro floral smock apron with a cotton blue dress underneath.

She was sitting with her arms folded watching the little tv in the corner hanging from the ceiling.  

I said, "hello"

She seemed a little startled, but said "hi' with a strong New York accent.

I proceeded to chit-chat with her and learned over the course of our conversation that she was a single woman who lived with her mother and had never been out of the Flatbush area of Brooklyn.  

I asked her why she never wanted to go see the Statue of Liberty or Time Square or other national landmarks just a train ride away. "There's so much to see in the world beyond Brooklyn" I exclaimed. 

She then said something that I will never forget, "Everything I need is here, my work, my family, grocery stores in every Block.  I never saw the need to see the world when everything I need is right her."

In shock I asked, 'So you never wanted to go to Europe or even the beach in Atlantic City?"

"Well I'm sure I may thought about it once or twice but the chance to go never came up, so I never went," She said

I told her about my travels to that pint going back and forth between Texas and Pennsylvania , New Jersey  & New York by trains, planes & automobiles. I told her that I was going to Jamaica with my Church at the end of summer. I also told her how I planned to go to college in Minnesota and one day visit every country I could.

She was amazed at all I had visited so far and I was shocked how she never traveled anywhere in her whole life.

I am reminded by my birthday of all my dreams I wanted to accomplish over my life. But there are many things I still want to do and I am making a bucket list of sorts of things to do the last year in my 30s:

1. Join a health club - last night Erik & I got a gym membership to Lifetime Fitness and plan on becoming psychically fit with a great bod :)

2. Loose weight - # 1 will help me get there

3. Eat better

4. Finish organizing & decluttering my house

5. Have a baby and/or adopt 

6. Finish projects that I've started but never finished like remodeling, painting, podcasting

7. Finish my college degree. I have one class to complete.

8. Travel more: I'd like take a cruise or go to Europe again

9. Develop multiple streams of income

10. Write worship music & collaborate with worshippers & musicians

11. Volunteer with organizations and causes I believe in: ProLife, Adoption, FosterCare, Immigration Reform, Ending Sex trafficking, Outreaches & prayer movement 

I'm sure I have more but  as I think iPod them I will add :) if you have any recommendations please share!

I believe this year is my year of fulfillment and I'm standing on that as my promise.  God have your way mold me and make me into the woman you created me to be!

Six years ago in November, I was preparing for surgery, I had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer in September of 2007. No woman ever wants to hear a doctor tell you, at any age let alone 32, that you have breast cancer.... This is my story on how I OVERCAME Breast Cancer! 

When I received the diagnosis, you can probably imagine how so many racing thoughts run through your mind. As I prepared for the surgery I had so many tests, biopsies, and breast scans.  IT was a crazy weird dream in the be.  Even with all that going on I knew in my heart the Lord would carry me through this every step of the way. I didn't ask why I got cancer because when you ask questions like that it only builds resentment and bitterness in your heart, especially when you come from a place of hurt. However, I did ask the Lord if I would survive and I heard the Lord say to me, as clear as day:

"Estreitta, a survivor is a victim of something and you WILL NOT be a victim of this cancer but an Overcomer of this Cancer! " 

I am so grateful for the strength and relationship I have with the Lord that be with me through every thing. I never worried cause, I had that word to stand on as well as the Word of God & his promises to believe and have faith in His abilities to get me though this as he had done SO MANY times in the past. Pulling me out of bad relationships, deep depression and even suicidal thoughts as a result of the poor choices I made, how much more would He, the God of the Universe, who holds the world in the palm of his hand get me through this season in my life.  

So I just wanted to take a moment, remember and celebrate what the Lord has done in my life. What I experienced has given me more reason to love life,  share with others about How I Overcame Breast Cancer by standing on the Truth of his Word and the light of his love to those I encounter.  

No matter how deep or dark your valley is, i want to encourage you to just lift your hands, reach out to the Lord and I PROMISE YOU He will hold you in the palm of his hand, Love you, and HE will show you the purpose and reason he has put you on the earth and reveal to you GREAT and Mighty things that are unimaginable.  Even though, bad things do happen to Good, kind, loving, never hurt a fly people everyday if you Trust in the Lord with all your heart lean not in your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him and HE will direct your path! (Proverbs 3:4-6)

 In other words, He is God and you are not, when you realize this and have the full understanding of Who God IS, the devastating things that happen in our lives will look completely different. Your perspective will change, your paradigm will shift 360.  Those things from the past that used to consume your thoughts and the lies that the enemy tries to get you to believe will no longer effect you or the choices you make

After 2 lumpectomies, 8 weeks of radiation, tons of praying, and so many AMAZINGLY supportive friends and family members,  I made it through it and Overcame the cancer. I just Celebrated 6 years of being cancer free this November. God is Good!
For all my single friends I love you and want God's best for you.  God's best is and can look different for everyone... But don't settle for anything less than Gods best for you.

I know how this time of year can be a little lonely and sometimes annoying especially Around the holidays.  I remember when I was I your shoes and how the inevitable question that came up is: "Are you were dating anyone." then that would lead to the comment: "why not, you're a great catch, you are such a beautiful & amazing person."

Those questions cut like knife it was like they are saying being married was the pinnacle of every single persons life... While it is one of the best decisions ive ever made and its great to share my life with someone I love dearly.....

Dare i say it,  marriage isn't for everyone.  

Just look at the statistics for Christians & divorce. According to Barna Group: 32% of Christians have ended their marriage in divorce It is an epidemic in the body of Christ and it needs to stop. Below is the US statistics:

I do not know the specifics of every situation, but personally believe it really goes back to seeing the signs before a couple gets married, heeding wisdom from our pastoral leaders, friends and family. Truly listening and seeking The Lord on if this person is and should be the person you marry. If you HAVE ANY reservations... 

Even as you walk down the isle with everyone watching you have every right to JUST SAY NO! 

The moment of embarrassment and disappointment will pass but it is and will be worth it in the long run that you did not marry someone that you were not 100% sure about being and staying married to for the rest of your life thru the good, bad, ugly, stinky, happy, funny, silly, sad, distressing, annoying, horrible times of your life.  DO NOT marry them no matter how much potential they have or how attracted you are to them or feel like you will never have someone like this enter in your life again or you feel you are destined to be a virgin until Jesus Comes back... 

It is not worth it especially if you are not completely and totally 100% sure. 

Even if you've slipped up and broken passed boundaries you never thought you would pass as a single Christian who wants to live righteously... again the long term pain of divorce is not worth it and the fall out is so much greater not only to you personally but if there are children involved and those that admire you and look up to you.

The 12 years Erik and I have been married we know of about 50+ couples who've gotten a divorce. 90% of them we know have a relationship with Christ. This BREAKS my heart and to see the aftermath is so hard for my friends... 

Only in some situations are there biblical grounds for the marriage to end in divorce. About 5 of them ended because of either infidelity, addiction issues, abuse and/or the safety and well being of the children. However, majority of the reasons i have heard over the years why a couple is ending this covenant made between man and woman and God is either for irreconcilable differences or they "fell out of love" with the person....

We have such a huge problem and its the proverbial elephant in the room no one in the church wants to address or come up with a solution solve. Instead of other believers encouraging couples to stay together, I've heard stories that even some pastors and leaders are encouraging couples to leave the marriage with no biblical justification for divorce. this is REALLY getting frustrating me! Why are we allowing this to happen in the Body of Christ?

How can the church stand for the sanctity of marriages when our divorce rates almost exceed the rates among secular society?  
Ok I'll get off off my soap box now...

I think it's so important to really know the person and see who and what their character is like... Because when you marry you are also marrying those issues. those issues won't be fixed and no matter how absolutely amazing you are you cannot fix them only God can.  And the person has to allow God to heal that issue. If anything when you are married those issues rear their ugly heads in a bigger and sometimes scary way.

I have SEVERAL amazing single friends that i know would make a great spouse someday, especially if that is what God has destined for them. And for the most part I think most will get married but some may not.  Both are Good and Both are something that God has called people to and that is God's Best for them.   As a single person you have the opportunity to cultivate who you are and who God created you to be and be whole inside and out.  Get your issues dealt with now. Many have grown up in dysfunctional homes the effects of that can affect your future marriage. 1 in 3 women have been sexually abused and 1 in 5 men have as well. Many have seen violence in the home or some form of substance abuse.

Those things can skew our perspective and outlook on the world, marriage, and God, and with The Lord by our side you can be healed completely. Deal with those things now rather than later.  Find a Godly Mentor and surround yourself with Godly friends now so they can speak truth into your life so when the time comes you can be prepared and have someone objective in your life that you know won't lie or just tell you what you want to hear.  While the honesty may hurt and makes you some times want to avoid them especially when you know are making the wrong decisions in your life they will always try to speak life, truth and want God's Best for you. 

Don't settle for the counterfeit don't give up on the vision God has for your life whether single only for a season or for the rest of your life. You should trust The Lord to guide your steps.

And to my single again friends, I know you've been through a lot and worry that God won't or can't make things good again.. I know he can and I know he will. Seek his face and honor him in all your ways and he will direct your path. He is in the restoration business and loves to bring you back to what he originally planned for your life. So go after that and he will reveal so much more than you could ever imagine.

If you haven't had the opportunity to read What to Do Until Love Finds You by Michelle McKinney-Hammonds, you need to it is an Amazing Book.  When I was in college and pining for my Mr Wonderful to come along I read this book and it changed my life and perspective on relationships entirely.  Here is an excerpt from her book that I printed out and had on my wall to read every day:

I want God’s man
I want a man
   not just any man
      I want God’s man Hand-picked
         Kingdom appointed
            for such a woman as this…
   I’m looking for a love
      not just any love
         I want the God kind of love
            filling a heart that beats 
               to the kingdom’s rhythm
         Holy Ghost saturated
      the kinda love that
   can’t be rated…
      poured out
         runnin’ ovah
            like a water in a glass
         already full of good things
      Smooth as silk
   yet tough as rope
Wrapping around my soul
   Keepin’ it all together forever
      With room enough for me to be
a woman
   not just any woman
      God’s woman
         whole and free to love you
            the way I want you to love me
         With a love, not just any love
      But the God kind of love
   Rich as a sinful dessert
         Pure as tried gold
            The kind of love that can hold onto your hand
         and God’s at the very same time
      Delivered from all other ties that bind
   And yes, I’m free enough to wait…
      For a man, not just any man
         But the man who understands
            and knows what love means
         and lives what God says…
     And wants what I want
A real love
   A strong love
      A tall love
         Agape love.
           God’s love.

- Michelle McKinney Hammond

Life Lesson #7: Just Let Stuff Go... Pt. 2

The Slippery Slope of Offense

I accomplished a big personal goal about two months ago, a three week long process. I had about 20 boxes full of paper, letters, mementos  junk mail, poems, songs, school work from high school to present that were in my office literally piling up for about a year! My friend Rhonda helped me put them in there a year ago this week! Oye vey!

Then my papers were more of an organized mess and in folders waiting to properly labeled with the file system I started using. Then two weeks ago Rhonda's family came over and helped us paint the kitchen and the girls helped me organize the file system.

It really had been a 25 year process for me! As I and anyone with whom I have ever lived with (36 roommates counting my final and last one ever, Erik) I am a keeper.  I cannot believe some of the stuff I kept. But at the same time I am glad I kept some of it for entirely other reasons.

Going through every thing was like going through a time capsule of my life. I came across letters from people I hadn't talk to in years and even letters I wrote but never sent ;)

It's fun to look back at my life from a different perspective: seeing my immaturity and how things were such a huge issue in my life at the time and now how it isn't even remotely on my radar.

A kewl thing also happened during this process of cleaning and organizing: I had lost touch with a good friend that I had in college. We used to do everything and everyone knew we were the best of friends, cause we were always together in college. To this day when we see people from college they always ask about how the other is doing, but somewhere between 1998 and 2000, we just stopped talking and interacting with each other completely.

For the longest time, I had felt that a mutual friend had come between us and they sided with the other friend rather than me. I felt this person who I considered a dear friend wronged me in some way and I walked in resentment and offense for a long time about it. The weird thing about it is that we never talked about it, we just stopped talking to each other.

So in the midst of my organizational and purging process I have been doing, God revealed so much to me about myself and how I allowed offense get in the way of a friendship that God really put together from the get go.

She and I were so similar in so many ways and we were so different in others. But we just Got each other from the start. You ever have a friend like that? You just clicked you didn't have to talk about it just was like two peas in a pod with us.

We shared so much commonality between us: our charismatic beliefs, the novelty of us both being from another part of the country with fun accents and us both being not the blonde-haired, Blue-eyes of Scandinavian heritage - we were the farthest you could get from it! We also lived in the same dorm and I was the mascot and she was a cheerleader and we went to the same church.

Actually she invited me after she found out we came from similar church backgrounds in a school that frowned even some times spoke against the power of the moving and flowing today (they were cessationist and we are dispensationalist - if you wanna look it up).

We were like a secret tightly knit group at our school cause all the Pentecostal kids would band together, who most of were the minority students as well. Then we became roommates and lived together for about 2 years but we were close for about 6.

We have a lot of great and fond memories, but with any friendship there can be moments of tension and annoyance, and we really knew how to get on each others nerves ;)

So in the process of living life together, I got offended and just stopped interacting with her on a regular basis. Even though we went to church together, we were cordial and all and she even came to our wedding but it just wasn't the same ever again.

So in the midst of my nostalgia, I came to the realization that in the 12 years we haven't really talked, even though we are fb friends and I had missed her friendship and antics, that girl is hilarious! So the night before I posted a conversation we had in a class with a note I found

So the next day and she liked and commented to it. It was 3:30 am my time and she lives on the west coast so it was 1:30am her time.

I really felt like the Lord orchestrated for it to all come into place and we started to instant message about what I had posted. After a while of chit chatting, I told her that I came to the realization that she was a loyal friend and I apologized for walking in offense.

She appreciated my gesture, she said she couldn't recall what had happened, so I shared with her how I had been in offense all these years and how I allowed it to come between us.

So We have decided to rekindle our friendship and start over again. We have scheduled a time to talk next week. Praise God for his divine appointments.

You know what is the worst part about offense is one party can be totally oblivious to the offense, no fault to them, and the offended party can just hold on to it forever. The offense binds you up and you walk in bitterness and close yourself to the world

I had another really good friend that I had felt really hurt by the situation that had happened between us. We lost touch around a year before with this other friend ironically. I felt again that another person came between our friendship (which we both admit that this other party did, but I won't go into that).

So we finally talked through stuff earlier this year and cleared the air. As I was saying to my friend how sad I felt that we had lost so much time and I couldn't believe we let this person come in between us, he said in a firm but loving way, "Estreitta, you just gotta let this stuff go! What's done is done! Can we just finally move on from this, please?"

What he said hurt a little bit, no it hurt a lot and i even blurted back... "Well if you only knew what I was going through, he said, "Okay next time we talk I want to hear about it." he had to go and said, "okay next time."

Since everything was fresh on my mind I decided to write it out what all happened, how i was so alone and felt abandoned and he was one of the truest friends i had ever had and it was unbearable that someone That was in my life just poof is gone without a trace..." As I wrote those few paragraphs, the Lord then spoke to my heart, "He's right, just let it go."

So then I began to argue with the Lord about it, "You saw my hurt and pain and the stupid choices I made out of that pain and he would have been my voice of reason he would have been my constant in the hurricane i created in my life, as he had been for years previously. He was so instrumental in helping me pick up the pieces of my Life..." The Lord in all his goodness allowed me to ramble and get it out of my system, then I realized that I was walking in this offense and that the Lord wanted me to be solely dependent on Him and Him alone. I had begun to rely on this friendship more that Jesus. And maybe even in part the Lord may have removed him from life as a result of my neediness need to be fulfilled by Christ alone and not this Friendship that i probably valued more than anything.

I remember an instance sitting on my couch in my dorm where i had 7 other roommates feeling depressed and frantically calling everyone I could think of getting but no answers from any, and flippantly saying, "God why can't I get a hold of anyone, I need to talk to someone!" God gently prodded me and said, "You can talk to me, I am right here!" Talk about conviction, but I leaned onto the Lord at that moment and he took all the depression I was feeling and showed me to trust in him completely and that he would never leave me or forsake me!

Looking back at all this with my guy friend and my girl friend too, i am realizing that's is why I needed to let it go and move on cause this offense has held me captive and I didn't need to be in bondage to it!

Offense is a really ugly thing, you may feel so justified to be offended especially when you feel and others also say they see how you could be rightfully hurt in this situation...

But the word says to "Walk without offense" and justifying your pain rather than allowing the Lord to heal your pain only lets pride, in which we all know is a slippery slope. This reminds me of a story I heard once at church and I often shared this story with others, not realizing that I needed to apply it to my own life:

The Greek word used for offense in the New Testament is skandalon which can be translated as "bait stick." 

Now there were these hunters in Africa that had a particular way of capturing monkeys.
The hunters would place a cage in the jungle containing a bait stick that the monkeys desperately wanted. As the monkeys approached the cage, they saw the bait inside and reached through the bars of the cage to grab it.

However, as long as their fists were gripped around the bait stick, they could not pull their hands out of the cage. Although the animals could have been set itself free from the trap, they desired the bait so badly, they refused to let go of the stick, making their seizure effortless by the hunters hiding in the bushes.
When the hunters approach with their clubs, the monkeys began jumping up and down and violently squealing, still unwilling to release the bait. They could have been set free at any time by simply letting go of the bait stick and pulling their hands from the cage, but they wouldn't. The closer the hunters came to them the louder the monkeys would get. But the monkeys wanted that bait stick and could easily be saved if the just let it go! The hunters simply had to approach their target and clubbed them to death. The monkeys literally held life and death within their grasp.

That is a perfect illustration of what happens to someone who takes hold of offense. Whether we realize it or not, offense is Satan's bait stick. This is just another way we allow him him to to kill, steal and destroy our lives. As long as we are determined to cling to the offense, we will never attain the freedom we can have in Christ by just letting Go and letting God do his part.

I can honestly say that at the time I didn't think I was offended I didn't even feel offended when I conversed with my friends. But whenever, I'd think or talk about it the pain would come rushing back into my heart as it when the offense occurred the first time.

I would always say I've forgiven these people who hurt me but I just don't plan on ever trusting them again! 

I'm not just talking about the friends I mentioned previously, but there are several others I am realizing right now that i've felt slighted or wronged by over the course of my 38.25 years on the earth - friends, exes, pastors, family, doctors... There are a 1 or 2 situations I'm discovering that I still need to reconcile with and resolve the issue but the first step is absolutely just to let it go!

I assure you that whatever you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. And whatever you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven. Again I assure you that if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, then my Father who is in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them. Matthew 18:18-20
I have so many memories that branded me about the power of prayer when God's people gather... 

I remember when I was little and someone was sick in our church or someone in a church members family... calls would go out to the prayer chains and the entire church body would pray for the family and in many cases would even hold prayer meetings in their homes to intercede for the God to intervene in the circumstances. 

Also, whenever a family in our congregation would move into a new home all the church members would go to the home and pray a blessing over the family and the home.  We would anoint the doors and the walls and each room.  We would Ask that the Lord's presence would dwell in the lives and the home of the family we were praying for. 

As a teenager God branded me with the burden to pray for my school, my nation and the ending of abortion.When my mom would send me to bed at 10pm I couldn't sleep  (i was a night owl even then) so one day I decided to write our my prayer list and put it on my ceiling and then every night I would pray for everything thing and anything on that list then anything else the Lord put on my heart. What i didnt know at the time was that God had called me to be one of the night watchmen.  God and I would talk all night and I would intercede for my unsave friends, my school, my family, my future husband... I probably would be up till 1 or 2 am till i prayed myself to sleep. ;)

In high school every Monday i'd wake up early in morning to go and pray for my school at the flagpole. Sometimes with a few of my friends join me. When See Ya At the Pole happened, everybody and their mom sisters would come then we'd have 200 students praying, but then only have large groups of students for a week or two afterwards but then it would dwindle back down to the few friends or just me, the flagpole & God.

In 1993, I moved to Minnesota to attend Northwestern College (Now University of Northwestern). I had this deep burden to pray for our school and the students. I asked friends to come together every night at midnight to pray for everything and anything. We had some amazing times of prayer and we saw God move in so many powerful ways and He answered so many of our prayer request. Some nights there'd be 5-6 people then others there would be 150 students gathered just to pray and seek the face of God.

During and after I graduated from College I would have gatherings at my house to hang out and eat good food, you know build community... I'd invite all my friends from school and church sometimes we would have close to 100 people there.  It never failed that when this group of us got together, God would show up and we would break out in singing and prayer.  We'd pray for our families, each other, our city and our nation.  I cannot even describe the encounters we had with the Lord but just writing about it right now is stirring me up!

After Erik and I got married in 2001, we'd invite friends over for nights prayer, many said they'd come but maybe two people would show up, we tried to do it once a month, then once every other month, then once a quarter, but then i guess life got in the way and the zeal we had to plan it and it just fizzled out....

in 2006 I reconnected with some colleges friend on myspace one lived in California another in Minnesota. At some point we decided that we would do a conference call once a week and pray for one another and anything that was on our heart.  We had just moved into our house and began looking for a new church at the time so it was good to connect with other believers even at a distance. But then as time when one and schedule conflicts, we stopped doing our conference call....

Somewhere along the way I forgot or stopped giving priority to gather and pray on a regular and continual basis. Something happened that I lost the passion to pray. But the Lord is renewing the passion in me now...

I was talking my close friend, Xaundelle, on Sunday, who is moving into a new place next month.  She was telling me how she would normally have her father come bless her new home but her family moved to another part of the country.  She got a little teary-eyed and said, "This will be the first time my dad won't be able to pray and bless my home!"  I immediately told her that the day we move her into her new place we will make a point to pray a prayer of blessing over her new home. "I know it wont be the same as your dad but those that love her will be there to bless it" Then we even talked about Skyping him in so he could do it with us! (Ain't Technology grand)

Then I have another close friend, Rhonda, who has had many challenges in her life in the last year.  Her mother Pam passed away unexpectedly (I was with her when it happened) and lost an uncle Stan who she was very close to a few months before that. Recently her eldest son, Justice, was rushed to the hospital with a major blood clot in his leg, Praise the Lord he is on the mend but continue to pray for good reports from the Doctor.  Then their family vehicle transmission went out, then the clothes dryer.  Now she is dealing with some undetermined health issues in her own body and waiting on test results.  

My heart grieves for her and everything she has gone through. Ever since her son got out of the hospital, the Lord has been putting on my heart to hold an old school prayer meeting for her family. I told her yesterday that I want to schedule a time we can come together and pray for her, her family and draw a line in the sand and tell the enemy NOOOOOO MORE and rebuke the devourer!!! She agreed...

I believe more than ever it is so important that we need to begin making conscious efforts of coming together and praying for one another.  Are you With me!!! 

I'm concerned that over the years I have become so passive about my prayer life.  I do pray throughout the day.  I pray when people post requests on facebook or specifically ask me to pray.  But I feel like i've become so inwardly focused that I've have forgotten that Jesus CALLED us ALL to pray for and lay our hands on the sick, raise the dead, break off strongholds in peoples lives, and plead the Blood of Jesus, pray for God anointing to remove every burden... I am tired of the enemy thinking he has power and dominion in my family and friends health, finances and lives!  God has given us the AUTHORITY to Proclaim that JESUS has and is protecting those we pray for! 

As followers of Christ this is our ministry, to pray for one another and to gather and pray...

I often think about the early church and the Upper Room Experience on the day of Pentecost. They were all gathered praying and seeking God's Face  when the bible says "suddenly the Holy Spirit like a rushing wind came and filled the room" The Holy Spirit shook those people to their core. Their entire perspective on how they saw God changed and they were empowered to Go do what Jesus did when he was on the earth.  

Our search to find a new church, had become somewhat daunting then two Sundays ago we went to the Upper Room Dallas. I have to tell you, I have not experienced the presence of the Lord like that in almost 15 years. I am realizing how complacent I'd become. I stopped being radical and compromised my desire and passion for Jesus for mediocrity. Erik and I have always talked about the things we want to do with Jesus and we must have let life take over and we sacrificed it for something we never wanted and now we don't have much to show for the last 12 years. I never wanted to be a Just-Enough-Christian.  I always desired to be one of the Radical Burning Ones!   

Upper Room Dallas

Ever Since we went to the upper room, Its like I got reignited again. All these things that I used to be so passionate about I put on the back burner have all come to the forefront and I feel like I can see and hear so clearly again.
Those dreams and visions the Lord place in my that  I have long been standing and contending for I will see come to fruition. 

Lord Jesus I intercede for my family & friends that U bring supernatural breakthrough in every area they need U to intervene! #GodisAble 

Friends Gather and pray you will see God move in miraculous ways!!!


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