Monday, December 30, 2013
At the beginning of this year I mentioned my Anthem for the year was Take Me To the King. I had a song that I felt was my theme song for the year. You can listen to it here. Little did I know at that time, this year I would be spending most of my year at the feet of the King of Kings holding on for dear life. I think I can safely say this year has been a very rough and challenging year. In the midst the sorrow there have been great times for rejoicing. We went from desperately trying to find a new school for our son to discover we were blessed with a wonderful place for R.J. to learn. Over the summer while R.J. was at North American Youth Congress, he was worshiping with all his heart and filled with the gift of the Holy Ghost.The doctors report told me that there was nothing they could do for my ears and I would remain unable to hear out of my right ear. In October, God healed me and I can now hear out of my right ear. Doctors report tells us we are lucky to have R.J. and the likelihood of having another child is slim. My nephew moves in with us over the summer. R.J. now has a wonderful cousin who is a big brother to him. The sorrow from the loss of my Father-in-law has left us numb with heart ache and yet soon My brother in law's first child will be born. Death and life, sorrow and joy all mixed together. This has been a huge year of change, many things have rocked my little world. Through all of it, I have found myself at the feet of Jesus holding on tight. This Sunday as I sat in reflection and totally focused on the Lord, I felt a shift. In my mind's eye I saw myself hands outstretched and I was running free through an open field. God's presence was all around me and flowing through me. I felt free from the sorrows of this year and was soaring. No longer was I clinging on for dear life to the feet of Jesus, I was running in his presence and I was free. That same feeling of freedom is still with me. I feel as if the full Armour of God has encompassed me and I am rising up. I am no longer a battle, scared and wounded warrior. I have been made whole and am ready to claim the victories waiting for me in 2014. I gladly leave 2013 behind me and race towards the things God has in store for 2014. I share with you my Athem for 2014. I Am Free. In this freedom I will be on my knees and this warior will be fighting through prayer and praise. God is good.
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Today Pastor Davis preached Bethel's theme for 2014. His scriptures were Ephesians 6:18 and II Chronicles 7:14. His theme for 2014 is prayer and seeking the face of God and to seek his favor. God doesn't love everyone the same. Noah found grace in the eyes of God. Mary was favored above all other women and chosen to carry Jesus. Some find favor and some don't. It's what you do that brings God's favor. We must strive to have the favor of God. We are to take back the things that the devil has stolen from us and we are to take new "territory". Pastor challenged Bethel to enter into a year of spiritual warfare and a year of spiritual victory. We must fight the powers of darkness that is trying to take our communities and our families. To do all this, we must do it on our knees in prayer. The greatest poverty of the modern church is prayerlessness. Luke 18:1 challenges us to always pray. In I Thessalonians 5:17 we are told to pray without ceasing. We must pray until an answer comes. Persistent prayer is not to wear down God, but to demonstrate our constant unwavering faith that God will hear and answer us. God will answer on his time, this is Divine delay. Pastor then gave us a break down of how we will be starting out the new year as a church family. We are going to start the new year off with prayer and fasting starting January 2nd. We are to pray every day for at least one hour. The last two weeks of our 30 day fast will be 5 am prayer on Monday Wednesday and Friday. This year we will be on a rotating fast, meaning each day will be something a bit different. A calender was passed out with instructions. Of course pastor reminded us that if someone has health issues, they need to speak with their health care provider and do the fast in a way that would not cause them physical harm. He also instructed that we are doing this as a body and we not to compare ourselves to one another. The point of a fast is to make a sacrifice and that it may be different for one person than it is for you. In addition to this we will be going on an electronic entertainment fast. I will continue to write this blog and will explain the fast for the next day and share my Bible reading from the day. Pastor went on to tell us that prayer brings power, deliverance and victory. When we agree together in prayer, something powerful will happen. I invite you to join us on our 30 days of prayer and fasting. God is good.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Tonight we read from Psalms. We were reading about how much our Heavenly Father loves us. When we seek him, we will find him. In the natural if RJ were to ask his dad for a slice of bread, Bob will give him that and most likely add some jelly and butter to it. He makes it better than what RJ asked for. God is like that with us. He goes above and beyond in how he answers us. We only have a few days left of this year and I will be honest, I am looking forward to a new year. We have had much sorrow and we have had joy. I am thankful that through this year, God has given us beyond bread and has taken care of every need. God is good.
Friday, December 27, 2013
Today we arrived home and RJ happily went to inspect all his toys he received for Christmas. One such gift is a rather large Star Wars Lego set given to RJ and Ross. While they were putting it together, Bob and I decided to watch the movie Chariots of Fire. Pastor a while back preached about Eric Liddell and his great faith in God. I found it amazing that he chose to put God first over everything. Some people run from God and when they run from him, they find themselves falling deeper into things that will destroy them. Eric Liddell ran towards God and as he ran, he would feel God's presence all around him and in him. What direction are you running. Are you running towards God to be filled, or are you running from God. The movie encouraged me and Eric Liddell reminded me that no matter what, choose God first. God is good.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Yesterday and today was a very quiet and peaceful day. We usually end our evening visiting Aunt Theresa and enjoying time with family. True to years past we ended our evening eating some very delicious food prepared by Aunt Theresa while surrounded by laughter and love. RJ loves coming to her house and even more so because he has discovered a new cousin who's his age and they are of like minds. I'm thankful for these peaceful days and in a sense it's closure for the year. God is good.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Yesterday we celebrated our Christmas in NY. We had a birthday cake for Jesus and the next morning around 3am RJ woke us all up declaring Santa had arrived. After opening our gifts we had a lovely dinner and then packed our bags to head for Christmas in New Jersey. As we prepare the fish for Christmas Eve dinner it was very bittersweet. The feast was usually prepared by my father in law and I will admit I did slip away to shed some tears. I miss him, especially this time on the year. Thankfully my nieces boyfriend is a chef and came and helped us tremendously. After all the family arrived we enjoyed our time together and shared happy memories of dad. The grandchildren had a good time playing and opening their gifts. We ended our night at the Port Republic Church for a candlelight service singing Christmas carols. I'm thankful for a day of peace and so glad that Jesus was born. God is good.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Today was our last concert at Bethel. It was an honor to be a part of the play and concert. I have to admit every time I took my veil off to signify the past coming into the present and walked to the front to share my testimony, I was overwhelmed with thanksgiving. I can truly say my tears were real and not fake. I do not take for granted that my ear was healed and I can hear. The response from the audience during the concert was amazing. Every performance was surrounded by the presence of the Lord. Tonight is Christmas Eve in our home. RJ baked a birthday cake for Jesus and we put cookies out for Santa. Although Santa visits our home, we make it very clear that Jesus is the true reason for this season. As we said our nightly prayers, RJ wished Jesus a Happy Birthday. Yes, Happy Birthday Jesus, we are so glad you were born. God is good.
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Tonight was our second night in a row of performing Lamb of God at Bethel. I have to say we could feel the excitement coming from the audience. Above all that, we could feel the presence of God with us in a mighty way. It felt as if we were giving hope to many people tonight. We live in a changing world that is becoming further away from what God's word stands for. I am thankful tonight that we were able to express our joy of our saviors birth through song and acting. As long as we have the freedom to do so, we will lift our voice in praise to the King of Kings born in a manger. He is the Lamb of God. God is good.
Friday, December 20, 2013
Tonight was our first official night of the Lamb of God concert. My husband is an usher and RJ wanted to be an usher like his daddy. Father in son stood and greeted the people as they came in. I was told RJ gave a countdown on how many minutes were left until the concert started. Ross would tell him how many minutes and RJ would give an annoucement. I'm glad he was there to help. Since I was in the back getting ready I was not there to see if Mr. C came to see the concert. When everything had ended I was greated by a very happy little usher. Mr C came and enjoyed the concert. RJ was so happy that his guest he invited came. The place was packed and I am sure tomorrow will be just as full. God is good.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Tonight was RJ's school play. We have been told that the plays put on by his school were pretty good. I have to say I was amazed at how well it was done. Their theme was Mulan. I was happy that the 5th graders started it off by singing some Christmas songs. From there the students put on an outstanding play. I was floored at how well they all did. RJ's class were the cutest crickets and I think they stole the show. RJ's Auntie Christinea came to see RJ as a surprise. He was super excited that she came to see him perform. All in all, it was a wonderful night and I thoroughly enjoyed their production. Tomorrow will be our first night at Bethel performing Lamb of God. I have been told that the performances are completely booked. God is good.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Tonight we went to see Santa at Macy's on 34th street. To RJ he is the real Santa and all the others are just men in beards. The Santa land is always amazing and worth the long line. Maybe it's just seeing it through RJ's eyes that makes it so wonderful. The best part was when he was telling one of the elves that this year he is giving presents to a boy who everyone wants to go away. She was very touched and gave him a high five. When he was able to see Santa he asked for some toys and then told him about giving to Go Away. I think Santa was touched by RJ's kind heart. I know this mommy was bursting with joy over his tender heart. God is good.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
This time of the year RJ and I get into a baking frenzy. We have baked so far sugar cookies and peanut butter cookies. I even found an awesome idea on the internet to take grapes, bananas, strawberries and a marshmallow and put them on a toothpick. It's supposed to look like the grinch wearing a santa hat. It came out so cute and RJ was thrilled. I have to admit, it tasted pretty good too. I think we shall add this treat to our yearly tradition at Christmas time. I love this time of year. God is good.
Monday, December 16, 2013
RJ is pretty excited about the upcoming concerts taking place at Bethel this week. He has been inviting people and last week he handed an invitation to his bus driver Mr. C. Later that day we received a phone call from Mr. C asking if we could give him some more invitations, because he wanted to invite some of his friends. When I saw Mr. C today he was telling me how excited he is to attend and he thinks it's going to be very beautiful. He will be attending with his family. RJ is so excited that his bus driver will be coming to the concert. God is good.
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Today was our first Lamb of God concert at Bethel. We were all a bit nervous, but could feel every scene and song flow smoothly. By the end, the presence of the Lord was there and that made all the hours of practice worth it. For me Christmas is the concert at Bethel. For RJ it's Bethel and Carnegie Hall. For my husband it's the Candlelight Christmas Concert at Riverside Church. Tonight we attended their concert and as usual were not disappointed. I could see Bob was really enjoying himself and that always puts a smile on my face. This weekend we had the pleasure of sharing all of this with my Mother in law and it was good to see her relax and watch the sorrows fade for a while. Or course Ross is living with us, so it has been nice having him with us as well. All in all, today was a wonderful day filled with glorious singing about the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Around 8am this morning the snowflakes started to fall. It is now 9pm and the snow is still falling. Looking out my window I see a shimmering carpet of white blanketing everything. It's a peaceful night and I am thankful for it. Tomorrow will be our first concert for the church and then starting on Friday we will have our open concerts. Word is that over 2,000 people have reserved seats. Wow..it's humbling. May the true meaning of Christmas shine through us in every word sung and spoken. God is good.
Since RJ has always loved Handel's Messiah we make it a point to hear it at Carnegie Hall. This year we brought my Mother in law as well. RJ sat next to her very excited to share with her one of his favorite parts of Christmas. Once in a while I would glance over and see his happy smile in his face. I could see he was tired and by the second half he was sound asleep in my arms. We all enjoyed hearing Gods words being proclaimed in such a beautiful way. Even though RJ fell asleep, he was still very happy to have heard his favorites from Handel's Messiah. God is good.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The other day when I picked RJ up from school, I was amazed at how they had transformed the inside lobby into a beautiful winter wonderland, with a magnificant christmas tree. While in the car RJ and I were discussing how pretty it all was and he got quiet. If you have been reading my blog for some time you will know that when RJ gets quiet he's about to say something deep. He then says to me, "Well, I do like the tree at my new school, but you know what, the tree at my old school was much better." I was puzzled by this since the tree at his last school was very plain. He then explained, " Well..you see it was prettier because it was covered by mittens and gloves for those who can't afford mittens or gloves. That makes it much prettier to me because the season is better when you give." God is good.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
The weather this morning was forecasting snow. I was surprised to hear that school was still on since RJ's school is in a hilly area. I was not surprised when we were informed of an early closing. Anticipating a breathtaking drive, Bob and I decided to go together to pick RJ up. We were not disappointed. The snow sparkled as it fell from the sky onto the landscape around us. The beauty of snow never ceases to amaze me. True I am not fond on being cold in it, nor am I fond of how it looks if it sticks around for a long time. However, today it was just lovely.
Monday, December 09, 2013
I have a lot of Christmas songs that I really like. When I was a child it was the Drummer Boy now as an adult I love Carol of the Bells. Something about this time of the year puts a pep in my step. I love walking through the stores and hearing the festive music. Then..once in a while I will hear a song that is the true meaning of Christmas and I become very excited. Of course hearing the Hallelujah chorus from Handel's Messiah and I feel like my spirit soars. God is good.
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Today our children had their Christmas concert. They did a great job singing and of course I love seeing my boy dressed as a Wise Man. All the children were adorable. We also had a guest speaker. Bro. Nathan Herrod who is a missionary to Spain. He preached an anointed and stirring sermon, "The Dimensions of Faith". His main scripture was Hebrews 11:1. In life we have three dimensions. 1. Straight line- a snail lives in this dimension, they go in a straight line. 2. Square- a dog lives in this realm. 3. Man lives in this third dimension based on what they can see hear, and touch. Faith operates in a different dimension. When we walk in the realm of faith it changes everything and defies what would be normal in the third dimension. In the dimension of faith we can speak to something and a supernatural occurrence will take place. There is life or death our words. When we speak something, with faith, we speak it into existence. For instance, if our morning starts off not, so well, we say to ourselves it's going to be one of those days. We have faith that it's going to be a bad day. Instead, we should say, the rest of this day is going to be a great day. He then talked about healing. Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice and by the stripes he took on Calvary we are healed. It's a simple as that. He then gave example after example of people that he prayed for that were healed. He prayed with faith believing that as he spoke the healing into existence in Jesus name, and the miracles followed. Sign and wonders follow those that believe. When we believe that God is going to do it, it happens. He then invited those who were sick to come forward who needed healing. I went to get RJ from his class because last night he pulled a muscle in his leg while playing around. We prayed for him and later this evening he was running all over the house, super excited because God had healed his leg. It's that simple...pray for the situation with faith believing and God will answer. God is good.
Friday, December 06, 2013
The other morning when RJ was having his prayer time with his dad, he said to his dad, "We have to have Christmas for Go Away. Go Away is not his real name, but he is a little boy and he lives in the crazy mountains. He has no daddy and no mommy. He is very, very poor. Nobody wants him, so they say go away. That's not what they say, but that is what they are thinking. We have to give him a Christmas." Bob listned to him and told him that he would work on finding Go Away. We made some phone calls and found a boy that matched RJ's description and he lives in the Appalachian mountians. This boy is 8 years old and does not know where his pareants are. He has been raised by his grandparents. Recently his grandfather passed away and his grandmother just had a stroke. At this present moment he is living with strangers. He was not going to have a Christmas this year. RJ has given instructions that when Christmas is given to Go Away it's to come with a note that says " Merry Christmas from another little boy". RJ wants it to be kept a secret and wants it to be as much as a surprise as possible. He doesn't want Go Away to know who it came from. Presently clothes, toys and food are being purchased for Go Away. RJ's Christmas Wish will come to pass and Go Away will have a Christmas this year after all. God is good.
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Tonight the world is abuzz over the death of Nelson Mandela. He was a very large person in history and his name will be one that will live on. He is remembered because he made an impact on his world. There are many names that live on even after death. There are those who once they pass away are just that a name, but they did not leave much of an imprint on the world. I sat here asking myself if I am making an impact on the world? If I were to pass away today, what would people say about me? Would I be a distant memory or would I have made an imprint that changed the world I live in. Most likely it will not be as Nelson Mandela in regards to the type of impact I have made. If I were to pass away tonight, I doubt the entire world would be mourning me. My hope is that in my time being alive I am making an impact on my little world. Even it it's one life, to know that something I did, was for the better in their life and left an imprint that will never be forgotten. Are you making a difference, are you making an impact? God is good.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Tonight I had rehersal for a play/Christmas Concert we will be having at Bethel United Pentecostal Church. The title is Lamb of God and I am positive this year's concert is going to be amazing. The dates are as follows: Friday December 20th and Saturday December 21st at 8pm. The performances are free of charge, but you need to call to reserve a seat at (516)338-1032. This concert is the highlight of my year and this time I will be a part of it. I invite you to attend and be a part of the true meaning of Christmas, Jesus Christ. God is Good
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Today Ross turned 19 years old. When he arrived home from his classes, RJ was waiting with great anticipation. He had picked out a gift and really wanted to give it to Ross. Since he is the birthday boy we let him pick a place for dinner. He chose to eat at the Mediterranean Kebab House, which happened to be near our home. The food was so good that I don't want to brush my teeth..I will of course. We were pleasantly surprised with how good the food was. Overall, I think Ross had a nice birthday. We are very thankful to have him here with us. RJ loves him like a brother and that means a lot to us. God is good.
Monday, December 02, 2013
RJ has a fish that he adores named Silly Squiggles. When RJ goes to bed he usually asks me to make sure that his fishy is ok and that the temperature is just fine. This Saturday evening I went to check as usual and realized that his fish was very dead. I called my mom in a panic, not sure what to do. The last thing he needed was to see his fish dead, he was finally doing much better in regards to his Grampy's death. I flushed the fish, cleaned the tank and put it back in his room like nothing ever happened. Thankfully when he woke up Sunday morning, he was too excited about his christmas tree to notice that his fish was not in the tank. As soon as the pet store opened, I rushed to purchase another fish. Thankfully they had another red one and I was able to sneak back into his room and put the fish in the tank. He has no clue and I plan to keep it that way. To some that may seem dishonest.. to me, it's keeping a smile on my boy's face after a very rough couple of months. He has been super happy and that is priceless. God is good.
Sunday, December 01, 2013
Today Bro. Walker preached a compelling sermon titled " When God Calls Your Name" Bethel, Bethel. He preached from I Samuel 2:1-10. He went over how the deciples that followed Jesus were not perfect and flawed..yet God was able to do mighty things through them. God looks at you not as where you are, but where he wants you to be. There is a passionate call from God to humanity. When God calls out to us and gives us a promise he backs it up and will do it. He then talked about the 7 people in the Bible where, when God called them, he said their name twice. When he called these people, something life changing occured for every one of them. Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Jacob, Martha, Simon(Peter) and Saul(Paul). They answered with, "Here Am I", when God called their name. Bro. Jonathan challened us to answer when God calls our name. To listen to his voice and to not ignore him, but respond with, "Here Am I". When we do this, we walk in a direction that will radically change our lives. God is good.