What Inspired Your Spiritual Walk?

Someone once asked me, “What inspired you to become such a spiritual person? What caused you to develop a sense of connection to something bigger than yourself? What led you to do a soul search for meaning in life?”

To be honest, I didn’t grow up considering myself to be a devout spiritual person. I grew up primarily with a Christian background and remember praying fixed prayers, but outside of that, I don’t recall intentionally acknowledging a higher being or pursuing a deeper meaning in life. The only “energy force”, “spirit guide”, or “vibration” I acknowledged was that of my own consciousness, which was shaped and influenced by the morals of my parents and culture. And even then, when my conscious convicted me of right and wrong, I would still do whatever I wanted to do–despite feeling guilty about it. God was the last thing on my mind, literally. My devotion in life was to drawing, listening to music, watching wrestling, building legos, and playing video games.

My journey to seek spirituality began when I was 18 in the 12th grade, when a stranger walked up to me at school one day and asked me, “Where do you believe you would go when you die?”

Up until that point, I had never thought about that. Who lives their life thinking or worrying about the “afterlife”? To me, I was invincible. I didn’t think I was going to die, at least not any time soon. In fact, I would plan my next day as if tomorrow was promised to me. I had places to go, people to meet and things to do.

But after being asked that question, I got curious. Is there such thing as life after death? And if so, where would I go? Heaven? Hell? Back to the dust of the ground? Will I reincarnate? My curiosity about the afterlife, and fear of the unknown led me to pursue spirituality. If there was a consequence in the next life depending on how I lived my current life, I wanted to know so I could figure out what I needed to do to prepare for it and so I could secure a favorable outcome. That’s when I left for college and pursued Religious Studies as my area of concentration. I wanted to compare and contrast different religious beliefs to see if I could discover absolute truth about my origins, identity, purpose and ultimately, my destiny.

The Great Falling Away; Exposing The Antichrists; End Time Prophecy

The Holy Spirit spoke to me tonight. He told me not to be surprised by those who are falling away from the faith–even those whom I was closest to–for they were not of the faith from the beginning. He said we are in the last days where he is allowing the spirit of the antichrist to be revealed, and many people who are in the church who claim to be of the truth will become exposed as liars. God said he is in the process of separating the wheat from the tare, the sheep from the goats, the real from the fake, the children of God from the children of Satan. In this season, God is exposing hearts. He is creating a clear distinction between those who are for Him and those who are against Him. He is cleaning His house out and gathering his remnant.

1 John 2 vs 18-21 NKJV
Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

Lending vs. Giving

One thing I learned in life is to never “lend” something to a person that you aren’t willing to count as a lost IF that item is never returned to you by the borrower… That goes for money, video games, clothing items, novels, Tupperware, office supplies, power/gardening tools, etc.
I learned this the hard way. I have lent out so many valuable and priceless possessions that I have never gotten back. But I’m getting to the place now where if someone asks me to borrow something (especially money), I know how to say NO, you may not borrow. I do not have it to lend.
And even in the case where I am able and willing, I would rather just let them have it (if I can afford to sacrifice it) as opposed to only letting them borrow it. Reason being, when I lend something out, I expect to get a full return, but if I don’t get it back (especially in a reasonable and timely manner), my heart becomes susceptible to being offended, unforgiving, easily angered, impatient, regretful, distrusting, etc. And I don’t like feeling that way toward a person.
But when I decide to just let the person have the item, I don’t have to worry or stress about anything and my heart is free. Now if they choose to return it back on their own accord, then cool, but if not, I’m not tripping over it because I released them from that expectation. I’m learning how to appreciate and protect my belongings, but at the same time, learning not to be materialistic, idolatrous or too attached to anything in this world. For my true treasure is in heaven.
As I was having devotion one day, I came across these two scriptures, which was like a confirmation to everything I’ve been experiencing.
Matthew 6:19‭-‬21 NLT
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
Luke 6:34‭-‬36 NLT
“And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”

How I Found My “Good Thing”

In 2010, I ended a significant relationship of two years with someone whom I thought would be my wife. After coping through the devastating heartbreak, I made a prayer to God: “Lord, here is my heart and the key that goes to it. I give it to you locked. Please don’t allow my love to be awakened again before it is time.” I told God that if it was his will for me to get married, that I didn’t even want to choose my wife. (I tried to choose on my own, and it was an epic fail.) So I left it completely up to Him to add on to me whomever He saw fit, whenever He saw fit. I didn’t tell God what my ideal wife was—I didn’t give Him a list of preferences.

That same year is when I met Deborah. I found out we went to the same church: One Body In Christ In Love Ministries, in Miami Gardens, Florida. I never really noticed her before. We were only acquaintances and may have spoken here and there after service. Eventually, after getting her associates degree at Miami Dade College, she transferred to my school, Florida International University, to pursue her bachelors. During this transition is when we started to see each other more often.

Deborah and I became avid members of our church’s college outreach ministry called “Go Get Cain.” Consequently, we spent a lot of our free time evangelizing with each other on campus. It was only then that she began to stick out to me. Seeing her serving God was a big attention grabber for me, because I loved girls who loved Jesus. I would notice how she labored for the Kingdom through prayer, fasting and evangelism. I admired her because she had a humble spirit and a heart of worship. But even then, I never developed any desire to pursue her as a wife. I only saw her as a sister in Christ who was becoming a close friend.

Fast Forward: Over 2 ½ years later, on May 1, 2012, I had a dream that revealed Deborah and I would be getting married, and when I woke up from my dream, I heard God audibly speak to me and he said, “THIS IS YOUR WIFE. FOR I HAVE GIVEN HER UNTO YOU.” I jumped up out the bed and in disbelief, I decided to just ‘hang the dream up in the closet’. I didn’t want to reveal the dream to Deborah prematurely or out of season, in fear of scaring her off or causing her to think I was crazy. (Heck, I thought I was going crazy.) So I kept it to myself until I felt led to talk to her about it. Meanwhile, every time I would see her at church, I would hear the Spirit of God confirm to me, “This is your wife.” “I have given her to you.” “You are going to marry her.” “She’s the one.”

No matter how many times I tried to ignore it, rebuke it, reject it or suppress it, the voice kept getting louder and louder in my head. The Bible teaches that faith comes by hearing, and by hearing the word of God. I eventually decided to receive the word that I believe God was giving to me. I knew by faith that Deborah was going to be my wife.

However, I didn’t want to pursue her only based off of a dream I had, though, because I knew that according to Ecclesiastes 5:3, dreams and imaginations can sometimes conjure themselves up based on the many cares in our lives. So I asked God that if it was indeed his will for us to be together, to give me more confirmations, which I received several of. (I’d rather take my time and be sure, than to rush into it and make a mistake.) So for the second confirmation, I told God, “If this is the wife whom you have chosen for me, then open a door of opportunity for us to discuss the topic of marriage.

So one day, on June 12, 2012, about a month after I had the dream, Deborah and I were texting, and we innocently sidetracked from our conversation and somehow got on the subject of marriage, and it freaked me out because it happened so randomly. Then, in the middle of us texting, I felt the unction of God to follow up and pursue her. Nervous, I backed out and told God, “No. This can’t be happening! I’m afraid to pursue her. What if she rejects me?” Then I heard the Spirit of God speak to me and say, “PURSUE AFTER HER. IF I HAVE GIVEN HER TO YOU, SHE WILL NOT REJECT YOU, FOR MY BLESSINGS CANNOT BE REVOKED.”

Then I told God that before I pursue her, I needed just one more confirmation. So, a few hours later, my mom picked me up from work and when I got in the car, she randomly asked me, “Hey son. How is your future wife doing?” Mind you, I have never had a conversation with my mom about what was going on. So I asked her what prompted her to ask such a question, because I was actually pondering about the idea of marriage right before I got in the car. Then she responded, “I have no idea what led me to ask that question. But if you were thinking about marriage before I asked you, then just take it as a confirmation.” After that third confirmation, I knew that God was leading me to get married to Deborah.

When I got home from work that evening, God released me to call Deborah on the phone and share my revelation with her. To my surprise, God had already dealt with her about me being her future husband. He revealed it to her 2 ½ years earlier when we first met. Her confession became the final confirmation I needed. 2 Corinthians 13:1 says, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” Within those 2 ½ years that she knew, she waited patiently for me to pursue her. She never enticed me, seduced me, or gave me any hints or clues. When I inquired of her as to why she never told me that she already knew, she answered, “It was not my job to tell you. The Bible says, “When a man finds a wife, he finds a good thing–not when a woman finds a husband.”” To read her side of the story on how she knew I would be her husband, visit her blog post here.

After praying to God together, seeking counsel from our spiritual leaders, and then getting permission from our parents, we received all of their blessings. Then, after receiving specific instruction from God in another dream, we got engaged at our church on July 21, 2012. Our two-year engagement process was quite the experience and I learned as much about myself as I did about her during that season of our lives. Our wedding day on June 28th, 2014 was simply incredible. To watch our wedding video, click here. Having been married for three years today, I am truly learning what it means to love my wife as Christ loves the Church. I know that God has a great purpose for our lives, and that our marriage will be used for the purpose of ministry and to build up the Kingdom.

Having been in several failed relationships in my past, God had to teach me how to build my relationship upon the rock, which is His Word, and not on the sand, which is my emotions and my flesh. When we allow God to choose our spouse for us, He gives us someone whom He knows has a heart that reflect His own; someone who is mature in the Spirit and who has the love and the anointing to handle marriage. God also taught me that it is possible to be unequally yoked with another believer. Just because you are both Christian doesn’t mean you should marry each other. God wants to make sure that our spouse is compatible with the assignment He placed on our lives.

Lastly, I learned that storms (or trials) are going to arise in everyone’s relationship—whether we do it God’s way or our own way. However, when we build our relationship God’s way, a storm may beat up against our home, but because it’s built on a strong foundation, it will not be destroyed. Only what God joins together, will no one or nothing be able to separate. I’m blessed because I know my marriage is ordained by God.

Inviting Jesus to the Family Reunion

TESTIMONY!

Earlier this month, on Sunday, June 18th, I attended the 3rd day of my family reunion. It was held at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines, FL. This year’s reunion was different. It wasn’t just for my family (on my mom’s side), but for family and friends. So there were many people there whom I have never met and did not know personally.

Half way through the evening, it was time to eat and everyone gathered underneath the huge pavilion. My aunt, who hosted the reunion, singled me out, of the hundreds in attendance, (knowing that I am a minister) to come pray over the food. So as she gave me the microphone, I stood in front of everyone and said a quick prayer over the reunion, those in attendance, and over the food, then sealed the prayer in Jesus name.

After I stood in line for my food, I sat at one of the picnic tables to eat. Then a woman  walked over to my table and asked me if I was a pastor. I told her no, I’m not a pastor but I am a minister. Then I inquired of her to know why she asked. I figured she assumed I was a Christian because I prayed over the food. Lol. But she told me no. It wasn’t only because of my prayer that she discerned I was a believer, but primarily because of the presence I carried with me. She told me that as soon as I arrived to the reunion and stepped on the scene, there was a shift in the atmosphere. She felt an anointing coming from me. She said that out of all the people in attendance, she felt a spirit of humility and peace coming from me. I was like wow. Then she proceeded to tell me her whole life story, and asked me what church I go to, etc. We talked for a min.

After our conversation was over and she walked away, I went back to eating. But then someone else approached me. It was a young man. He walked up to the table and whispered in my ear that my prayer really touched him. He said he was posted up in the back of the pavilion during the prayer, and when I opened my mouth to pray, and mentioned the name of Jesus, he felt something prick him in his heart and he grew convicted. He told me that although I was only praying over the food, he felt power come from me as I prayed, and he said he wished I would have made the prayer a little longer, because he was really in need of prayer.

Wanting to capitalize on an opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ to him, I asked him if he would like for me to pray with him individually and he said he would like that a lot. So, not wanting to cause a scene or draw attention to myself, I began to look around the park for a place I could pray with him in private. And he said why do we have to go somewhere in private. He was not ashamed to pray in front of everyone. Then he said we can pray right here, right now. So I was like ok then. Let’s get it!

So I began to lay my hand on him in the middle of the park, and pray over him and speak life over him. Then I asked him if he wanted to accept Jesus as his Lord and savior. He seemed hesitant to answer because he didn’t know if he was ready to get saved. He was afraid of possibly messing up and disappointing God. But I explained to him the grace of God, the mercy of God and the love of God. And how walking in sanctification is a process that God would patiently walk with him through and that the Holy Spirit would work in him to get him to the place in God he needs to be. After breaking down the gospel of Jesus Christ to him, all he kept saying was “Wow.” “I never knew that.” “That’s powerful.” “That makes sense.” After he appeared to understand what he was getting himself into, I led him to confess the Lord Jesus with his mouth and to pray to accept Jesus into his heart. Then I prayed for him to be filled with the Holy Ghost.

After I prayed for him, his aunt, who also claimed to be saved (a deaconess at her church) walked over to us in amazement. “WHAT?” she said. “You managed to get HIM saved? He’s been in and out of church for the longest. Lukewarm. My nephew has some real mental issues, and even receives a check for it. Because of his condition, everyone in our family pretty much gave up on him. But to see him willingly give his life to Christ today is amazing!”

I was so ecstatic to be used by God so unexpectedly. I am glad I was ready in and out of season to give an answer for the hope I have in Christ Jesus. And I was also amazed to know that someone was able to randomly see my light and humble countenance and attribute it back to God.

To God be all the glory for the lost soul that was drawn back to his Heavenly Father and received salvation! May he be kept, and may God be faithful to complete the good work that was started in him!

I Survived Child Sexual Abuse!

In the United States, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities on how to prevent it.

To the molesters and the molested:

This is my testimony of my personal experience with sexual abuse and harassment, the effects it left on my life, and how I overcame it.

#FromVictimToVictorious

The song playing at the end of this video is entitled “Transparent” by Christian gospel rapper Dwight ‘Transparent’ Taylor from his debut album “L.I.F.E.”