Monthly Archives: February 2016

IN THE MIDST OF DISAPPOINTMENT 

Today has been a very unique day for me. It was filled with many internal struggles and endless thoughts. I believe that God took me somewhere that I have never been before which will now be a huge part in my foundation in ministry. In the moments it was very difficult but looking back now I am so thankful.

It has now been a little over a few months since being blessed with having my own service and preaching every Sunday. Honestly it has been a very positive ride through these months. It came to a point where preaching every week seemed easy. There has definitely been times of difficulty and stress but overall has been a good coming.

But today is when God challenged me and took this opportunity to mold me and take me through the refiners fire as a “preacher”.

Starting yesterday while doing my final preparations for today’s sermon something just seemed off. I felt very distracted and unmotivated. For some reason I just didn’t feel like how I usually feel before a sermon.

Then it finally hit 1:30 today and it was time for the message. Today’s service was a little different because a lot of our members are out of town. But I still felt positive without really caring about the numbers.

During our time of worship I came before God and asked Him to speak through me during the message with His words and not mine. But as soon as I started speaking I couldn’t help but just focus on myself and my words. It was to a point where I felt like I wasn’t allowing God to move.

But even though it wasn’t easy I kept telling myself to allow God to speak. But as I continued it only got harder. I couldn’t stop being distracted. It came to a point where I couldn’t even follow my notes and didn’t even know what I was saying. I have never experienced this before.

It got to a point where I pretty much gave up. I rushed the sermon just so I could hurry up and finish. To be honest looking back now I don’t even remember how my sermon went. I ended the message and invited the praise team up and just sat down in my seat lost in negative emotions.

After the service was over I couldn’t wait to just go home. I didn’t feel like myself. But when I got home I just had anger and felt so negative.

I got in a fight with my mom for no reason and let my anger get the best of me. My family went out to dinner and I just stayed home and came into my room filled with emotions.

I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. I felt so disappointed in myself that I let my feelings, emotions and distractions get in the way of God’s message. I just felt like I let God down but what really hurt was that I felt like I let my members down. To be honest I felt like I have failed today to do my “job”.

While just laying in my bed with all the lights off I felt the presence of God speaking to me. That is when God gave me a huge revelation that I have been needing to encounter.

I was reminded that what I do isn’t and shouldn’t be based upon me. Preaching and giving a sermon should not be considered an action that comes from my ways. Instead I need to be a broken vessel to allow God to speak His words.

I was too caught up in trying to be perfect. To do my best to speak my words I have prepared. Through that I let my flesh get in the way of God.

Ministry has nothing to do with me. It has to do with God. To be able to put myself down at the feet of God and be directed by Him.

In the midst of my disappointment I felt the warmth of my Father. Even though I may feel like I failed myself I am not a failure to Him. I believe that God used today to just remind me of what it means to be a leader. He used this stumbling block to lead me back into trusting Him completely.

Why do I want to be a pastor? Is it so I can do things for God or so that He can move through me?


At the end of the day God still loves me and He still wants to use me. I should not beat myself up but instead learn from this. This should be a learning experience which helps me grow and be molded into a better disciple. Ultimately I am thankful for today. So thankful that God is wanting to refine me. God is not done doing His work in me.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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FAMILY TIME 

It was another blessed Saturday with the family. I’m so glad God continues to open up great opportunities for our family to just spend quality time together. After another cold week God blessed us with good weather today, allowing us to have a great time.

My aunt and uncle are here and we decided to just go around town with the fam all day. We literally went all around town. Been out since about 1 and got home at 9.

Our day consisted of:

  • Brunch at National Exemplar in Mariemont
  • Coffee at Redtree in Oakley
  • Driving around old parts in Norwood where my uncle grew up
  • Went to Khron Conservatory
  • Walked around Eden Park
  • Took a stroll in OTR
  • Ate dinner at Taft’s Ale House
  • Got donuts at Holtman’s

Yes, we did a lot today. I couldn’t remember that last time we did so much as a family in one day. Not going to lie it was a little stressful at times and tiring but at the end of the day it was all worth it.

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God opened my eyes to see how thankful I must be to have such a wonderful family. God has truly blessed me with an amazing family. Many times I take it for granted but God has revealed that I should always be thankful for these people.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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JOY IS THE BEST MEDICINE

I can’t believe that it is already Friday. This week absolutely flew by. It was such a busy but awesome week. Looking back there is so many things I’m thankful for in this past week.

One of my professors was saying yesterday how people in ministry are always pouring out to others which requires so much energy from your body and your spirit that they become exhausted and need rest. That is exactly how I felt today.

I woke up this morning just straight exhausted. It was a tiredness that is hard to explain. I just felt very drained without an ounce of energy left. I’m glad I was able to live this week truly serving God and pouring out to others but what I realized was that I kind of neglected myself and my body. I didn’t get enough rest and I did not spend enough time with God for my personal relationship with Him.

It all hit me like a train today. All day today I just felt so fatigued and had no sense of drive. I felt like a zombie at school and once I got home just turned into a couch potato. I eventually fell asleep for a couple hours and woke up a little before I was supposed to go to youth service.

In all honesty I did not want to go. All I wanted to do was crawl up into a ball and do absolutely nothing. But I felt it in my heart that I needed to go. I was in need of a boost and I felt God was saying I could get that at church tonight.

So I forced myself to get ready and head over. I ended up going a little late and missing the prayer time before service. But once I walked into the room the kids were still in prayer I could just feel the presence of the Lord upon them.

Seeing them pray encouraged me to get out of my funk and go pray on my own. Once I entered into my time of prayer I felt God speaking to me. He was encouraging me to let go of all things and come into an intimate time with Him. God was telling me to look upon this night as a time of joy. He wanted me to just allow Him to move in my heart.

Once we started worship my heart caught aflame. I was just able to let go of all things and lay down my burdens at His feet. Then I felt convicted to just stop worshipping for a minute and just listen to His children praising His name. I stood there with my eyes closed and ears opened. I could just feel the joy in the hearts of all the kids just pouring their hearts out at the feet of Jesus.

I was filled from the bottom up in my heart with pure joy. God removed all the tiredness and exhaustion and gave me eyes to see the light. I am so thankful for tonight. I was able to experience the joy and love of God flow throughout His people. I was able to snap out of my negative mood and become energized and motivated for the weekend.

God is good. His joy overcomes all things. I must always rely on Him for all my needs, rest and energy included.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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GOD’S WORDS NOT MINE 

What a wonderful night it has been. In yesterday’s post I wrote about my brother in Christ visiting Cincinnati for a business trip. Tonight was his last night here so after his meetings we met up with a couple other brothers from Refresh for dinner. It felt just like old times catching up over a meal filled with joy and laughter.

After dinner we went back to a friends house to just talk over some coffee and hangout like old times. It was such a fun time just catching up on life all together. Never a dull moment with my brothers. After that I went with my brother who was visiting to his hotel and that is when God did His thing.

So before he moved to New Jersey last January God gave us a time where I was able to use my spiritual gift of prophesy to pray over him and his wife. So when we were hanging out last night he asked me if I could do that for him again. Honestly for some reason I was so exhausted last night and felt like it wasn’t the right timing so I told him I would tonight.

After we arrived to his hotel room I had this feeling in my heart that God was ready and excited to reveal His words for His son.  The thing is I haven’t prophesied over someone in a really long time and I was a little worried and had some doubt. But I knew God was ready to move so I took a minute to just pray for myself and ask the Holy Spirit to move through me and that I would be able to empty my myself so God can completely move.

Then it was time. The moment I laid my hands upon his shoulders God spoke to and through me. He spoke through visions, imagery, truth and bible verses. God had so much in store to tell His son. So many truths and secrets that He has been waiting to reveal to him. While I was speaking these things to him I knew that it was God’s words and not mine. I knew that God was touching his heart and moving within.

It was such a powerful time. It was a time where I was able to witness The Father moving with might. It was such a touching time to be able to hear and speak the heart of God to my brother. To see how much God loves him and how much He has in store. I believe that God didn’t just bring him here for a business trip but rather to encounter him and speak to him. I believe that tonight was planned and anointed by God ahead of time. Everything that happened tonight was a part of His will.

I got a lot out of tonight. First thing was the realization that God knows everyone’s heart and future. Understanding that God has so much to say to us and to reveal to us about who we are in Him. The second thing was confirmation in my spiritual gift. It was such a blessing to be able to be used by God in this way and to know that this blessed gift has not gone away.

I am so thankful for my brother. I am thankful that he was blessed by God tonight but also thankful that God blessed me through him.

God speaks to His children. He is anxious and ready to reveal His heart towards us.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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GOD IS FULL OF SURPRISES 

Just got home after an insaneeeeee night. Talk about exceeding expectations. God moved in ways that I would have never guessed tonight. Our second ever praise and prayer night was definitely a success but a success totally ordained by God. I’m still in awe and everything that happened tonight just feels like a dream.

I don’t even know where to begin…

So all day today I was just filled with this crazy excitement for tonight’s praise and prayer night. I knew in my heart that God had something very special planned but I had no idea what it would be. So I got to church early and just prayed over what was to come. Then the other two members of the praise team for tonight came and we began to practice and in that moment I just knew that God was so ready to move.

But then it was 7:00, the time we start our service but there was only two members besides the praise team and the AV guy. So we waited for another 15 minutes and no one else showed up. Honestly, at first I was really thrown back. I was really confused and just felt weird. In my head I was expecting everyone to come out tonight and thought that it was going to be a jam packed night. But it wasn’t…

That is when god reminded me of the prayers I prayed last night. I asked Him yesterday that He would move in His ways and not through my personal ambitions or desires. I asked Him that He would exceed any expectations that I had and His will would be done. I also prayed that He would bring the ones who really needed this time with Him tonight. Then I realized, He answered my exact prayers in His divine ways. It was exactly the way that He wanted it to be.

So during worship I just let everything go and put my complete trust in Him. A couple others came in a little late but at that point I just did not care because I knew He was moving. Then it was time for our prayer set and tonight’s time of prayer was based upon just encouraging one another.

Since Sunday God has put a certain individual on my heart and had me continuously praying for that sister. Right before our prayer time she walked in. I had so many words that God has given me to share with her but the thing is, for our prayer times we randomly pick partners to pray for. Of course God moved and I ended up randomly picking her number out of the box. I ended up being with her and our worship leader.

It was such an amazing time being able to reveal to her the words that God has been giving me. But it didn’t stop there. That’s all that I was expecting but God turned the tables around on me. When her and my brother prayed for me I was just blown away. They spoke life into me and truth that I really needed to hear. It was such a refreshing time to be affirmed once again with words from God about who I am and what I am doing. My heart was truly ravished by His love through that. But God still wasn’t finished, He had another trick up His sleeve.

Then the big surprise happened.

So before Refresh tonight I was at a coffee shop just doing homework when one of my dearest brothers texted me. He was one of our original members in Refresh and also served along side me on the leadership team. For over a year we really grew together in our faith side by side. But last January he ended up moving to New Jersey and I haven’t seen him since. We have always talked about trying to meet up but it just never happened.

But when I read his text it said “guess where I am”. When I read that I had no idea. I was guessing he was maybe in Hawaii or visiting some of our close friends. But no. He said he was here in Cincinnati. He said he was here for a last minute business trip. When I read that I had to take another look because I couldn’t believe it. Then it hit me that he really was here. I was filled with an unexplainable excitement. So I text bombed him and was trying to arrange a time where I can meet him. Then he said if he has time he will try to stop by Refresh tonight.

So it was almost halfway through the praise and prayer night and he still didn’t show up so I just guessed that he got caught up in a meeting or something. So I just told myself I will see him tomorrow, no biggie. But of course God wanted to surprise me when my guard was down.

It was about 9:00 by now and time for us to end soon. Were were in our last worship set when all of a sudden the door opens and he enters. It was the first time seeing him after over a year since he moved. My jaw just dropped and I couldn’t contain my self. I just smiled and laughed. It was such a blessing to see him back in church where everything started. If it wasn’t for Refresh I don’t think we would have ever gotten as close as we are. And to see him not just out somewhere else but at Refresh truly was a blessing. Brought me back amazing memories and nostalgia. After a year, we ended up meeting again in God’s home in a time of worship. God is so good.

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So once that amazing time of worship ended we all went downstairs and had a time of fellowship. It just felt so right to see him again amongst our community. It felt like he never left. After fellowship I had to drive him back to his hotel downtown but before that we decided to go get some coffee and just catch up.

It was just awesome being able to talk about life together and ultimately talk about God and our faith. Even though a lot has happened since he moved and we didn’t keep in touch as much as I wanted to, when we met up again it seemed like nothing changed. But the reason for that is because we have one huge commonality we can always talk about. God.

I am beyond thankful and lost for words for what God has done tonight. He has proved to me that His plans are perfect. The ways in which God moves is beyond our wildest dreams. He knows exactly what we need, when we need it and he delivers. God is just full of surprises. Tonight I witnessed the living God in action. I really needed a night like this, and He knew.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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END YOUR DAY RIGHT 

It was another solid day. Just spent the whole day hanging out with my parents. Nothing out of the ordinary. But what I have realized is that days like these when I’m not as busy I just become lazy and lack in my time with God.

So when I got back home from being out and about with my parents I just went straight to my bed and took an unnecessary nap that went longer than expected. I had to wake up to go to a prayer meeting that I was having with some of my brothers. To be honest I was hesitant from going because I just wanted to sleep and be lazy but I felt really convicted to go.

But after I woke up I was really feeling well. I think I’m currently getting a little sick. So that made me not want to go even more but I had already told them I would be there so I got myself out of bed, ate dinner and headed over.

Because of my unmotivated mindset I didn’t really have much expectations. Just sat there and waited for it to start. But the moment we entered into the time of worship my heart and mind started to change.

Worship was awesome and prayer was just amazing. It was an opportunity that God gave me to just come before Him. He gave me the open door to enter into an intimate time with Him.

I wasn’t intentional at all throughout the day in seeking Him. But God is a good Father and He seeked me. He met me where I was and gave me the chance to look at Him. That is exactly what I needed.

It was awesome to end my not so productive day with God. It’s an awesome feeling to finish a day knowing that I was able to spend some time with Him. Who wouldn’t want to end their day with peace and joy of the Lord?

God has reminded me tonight that I always need to make time for Him. No matter what I’m busy with or how I am feeling or my mood, I need to take a moment in my day to just lay everything down and give Him my devotion.

The things that I’m going through should not stand in the way of my relationship with God. Through it all He always deserves my attention. I should value my time with Him over anything else.

No matter how your day was, you have the ability to end it on the right note. Just give some time for Him. Because honestly, it never comes with regret.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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ANTICIPATION 

Just got home from practicing our worship set for our praise and prayer night this Wednesday. It will be our second ever praise and prayer night and I am so thrilled. Our first one was last month and that night was one of a kind where God truly unleashed His spirit amongst all of us.

Through tonight’s preparation God revealed a couple things to me.

  • To not compare.

Honestly I have been a little worried and nervous for this praise and prayer night. The reason being is because the last one was so awesome. I had this fear that maybe this one will not be as “good” as the previous. I had this sense of personal desire and ambition that this one would hopefully be like the last praise and prayer night or even better.

But God revealed to me tonight that I should not have that kind of heart. I shouldn’t compare and hope for something from the past. Instead I should be open to something new and different, because God works in His divine ways. God doesn’t only move in the ways we know but He exceeds them. At times it might not be what we have wanted but it is perfect to Him.

Therefore God has given me a heart of anticipation rather than of expectations.

  • Be excited.

I have been always searching for God in the moment. But God has revealed to me that I must be excited and look forward to seeing Him again and again. To anticipate His presence this Wednesday.

The truth is God will be with us during our praise and prayer night. He will show up and be in our midst. Therefore I should be excited for that. Be excited to be encountered by Him. To look forward to my Father move amongst His children.

God has already planned and prepared our praise and prayer night. So just like a kid on Christmas morning, I should be excited to see His gift be unraveled. God is the greatest Father and I believe what He has ready for us will be exactly what He believes that we need.

God has given me a reminder to not be content with what He reveals today but instead have the conviction of knowing that there is always more. God’s love is everlasting and never ceasing. He always has something waiting for us ahead.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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SHARED SECRETS 

It was just one of those days where you wake up happy and excited to see what God has planned. From the moment my day started I was just in a very good mood. Honestly at times waking up Sunday morning to start a day of church and ministry can be a little difficult but today I was just filled with joy.

The morning service and youth group all went great. It was awesome to see some members of our church I haven’t seen in awhile. Always refreshing to just catch up on life in God’s presence.

Then it was time for our 1:30 service. I was really looking forward to giving today’s message because the topic is something that has been really on my heart.

The sermon title was “Who I Am, Who You Are”. The theme passage was Psalm 139:13-16. It was based on the central theme of who we are in God’s eyes and how we should view and encourage others as well.

This topic of finding my identity in God has been something I have dealt with for many years. It plays a huge role in my testimony and in today’s message I was able to share some parts of my story. I was able to share with everyone how I have been blessed to have the ability to view myself through the eyes of God and how much I hope that we all can be able to do so.

God has shared with me many precious secrets throughout the years about who I am to Him. Today was a day where he wanted to tell the congregations secrets about who they are to Him. I believe He succeeded.

I know that God moved in the hearts of our members today. He spoke truth and removed lies. He gave us a glimpse of His love and how we must love ourselves.

It was such a blessed service to see God move and speak His heart to us as a community but also individually. So many of us as humans in this world struggle with who we truly are but God reminded us who we are to Him.

I believe that breakthrough happened today. Chains have been broken and eyes have been opened. He reminded me that the goodness that He has for me is to be shared. I’m so thankful and have been humbled.

Thank you God for being a father that sees our flaws but loves our strengths. Thank you Father for creating us in your image and making us with a purpose. Thank you for fearfully and wonderfully making every child of yours. Thank you for doing everything out of unexplainable love.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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SEASONS CHANGE 

70 degrees in February? I will most definitely take it 🙂 last Saturday was absolutely frigid with temperature in the teens and in one week God surprised us with the total opposite. He gave us a little glimpse of spring today, and it was beautiful.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day. It was a day close to perfect. Filled with pure joy, laughter, peace, blessings, revelations and God. He has revealed to me that it’s not just nature that goes through change but our lives go through a transition of seasons as well. And today I saw the fruits of it.

Most already know, but my dad has not been able to walk for almost three months now due to a femur break. Due to that, he hasn’t been able to work or really do anything at all but just stay at home all day doing nothing. It has really been hard to see him like this. My dad has been in a state where he just does not seem very happy. Thoughts are just painted on his face. Not many jokes have been cracked like usual and not as many smiles have been on his face. As his son it has been extremely difficult to see him like this. But today things seemed to take a slight turn for the good.

Since the weather was so beautiful out it made it easier for us to take him out. So after my sister got off work this afternoon, as a family we all went out to eat for lunch. Even driving to lunch was just a blessing, to be able to have the family of 4 in one car, driving around on a sunny day. We used to always do this but since my dad has been injured it was our first time. I couldn’t help but smile.

Lunch was great. Awesome food and amazing conversations. After lunch, we decided to take advantage of this beautiful day and went to the park. We just walked around the trails while pushing my dad on his wheelchair. It was such a simple thing but to me it was huge. To just see my dad spending time with the family outside of the house and in the creation of God. Seeing him smile and laugh, and display the dad that I knew, had me filled with happiness.

Being able to see my dad in such a happy mood was one of the greatest blessings I could have asked for. God revealed to me through all this that seasons do change. There are hard times, difficult times, times of sadness and despair. But when the seasons change, it brings forth optimism, joy, peace, love and comfort.

I am so thankful for a day like today. When God reminds me that He is there and He brings us what we need. God ultimately knows our heart and our desires and today He fulfilled them. 12743618_1111579008892869_8561897402125113998_nIMG_1977.jpgIMG_1980.jpgIMG_1981.jpg

After the amazing time spent with my family, I had to head over to a youth group gathering. For some reason this whole week I was really looking forward to this time for many reasons.

So our youth group has been in a very abnormal season. a season not like any other. To say bluntly, it has just been difficult. It has been a time of many trials and hardships for the group as a whole but also for specific individuals. Also, recently we had one of our teachers leave but through that, we have received a new teacher through God’s provision (which I have written about in earlier post). So it has overall just been a time of change and transition.

But this week, God gave me this feeling of excitement and hope for tonight’s gathering. I just kind of knew in my heart that He was wanting to move in His divine ways tonight. Through the youth group but also through all the members personally. Also I was just really excited that the new teacher would be able to join the kids for the first time in an event outside of church. I had a feeling deep down in my heart that confirmation would happen for her as well as for our kids through tonight.

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Yes. God moved and He fulfilled His promises. It was a night that just exceeded all of my expectations. It was a time where His spirit overflowed.

He brought a lot of the kids that were on my heart that haven’t been coming out as much. Seeing each of these kids walk through the door when arriving filled my heart with joy. And I knew that God had something prepared for them tonight. And watching the new teacher just come in and fit in with the kids so comfortably was so awesome to see. To see her worshipping next to the kids and having conversations and laughing together was a sign of my prayers being answered.

Tonight’s time of worship was absolutely amazing. God gave all of us an opportunity to really look upon Him and to be in His presence. It was a time of healing, breakthrough and intimacy with the Lord. During times in the worship I couldn’t help but stop singing and just listen to His children singing their hearts out to their Father.

I believe that tonight was a taste of what is to come for our youth group. God was revealing to me that for this youth group a time of change is right at our doorstep. That whatever season we believe that we are in today is about to change into a season that is unexpected. God has truly given me this revelation that something new and something we have never experienced before will come. God never gives up on His children and His plans for us are to be perfect.

I just really want to thank God today. Thank Him for His wonderful ways. Thank Him for showing me that seasons do change. His blessings and love never ceases. I am so excited to see His plans unfold in this new season.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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DON’T BE TOO BUSY FOR YOUR PARENTS

Like I have said in my earlier posts this week, it has been a very busy one. Finally it is Friday and time for the weekend. Today I woke up again really groggy and just not in the greatest mood for classes. After classes all I could think about was to hurry up and get home and take a nap. But when I was heading to my car after classes to go home my dad called and suggested that we go out for lunch since it was such a nice day. At first I hesitated, but thought to myself why not.

Today was your typical abnormal Cincinnati weather. Last week it was in the low 20s and today was 60 degrees. Therefore my dad wanted to take advantage and go out for lunch. Honestly I can’t remember the last time I went somewhere with just my mom and dad without my sister. So I thought to just take advantage of this day and spend some quality time with my parents.

While driving home I had a lot of thoughts to myself. Realized that I have not been the best son these days. Not because I was doing anything bad or being rebellious but just always having the excuse of being busy. I have been feeling that I am always too busy for my family. But God wanted to remind me today that I should always make time for the ones I love and who love me.

It was really convicting to look back at these past couple weeks at all the times my mom asked to hangout. I always responded with “I am busy”. It came to a point where she said she won’t even ask anymore because she knows that I will have an excuse. I was so convicted and felt guiltiness. The thought that came to my mind was if the things that I am busy with really are more important than my family.

So I got home, picked up my parents and went out to eat. It was just a great time of wonderful conversation and laughter. Just catching up and spending time with each other with no worries in the world. After lunch we went to the grocery store to pick up some stuff for dinner. All in all it was a great time. That’s when I realized that I should always try to make time for my parents.

God gave me a revelation through this. That just how, all that my parents want from me is some quality time, in the same way that is all God really wants too. He just wants to spend time with me just like how my parents want to. In the same way, just how I should always make time for my parents, I should always make time with God. Because 10 times out of 10 it will be a good time.

God has revealed to me that I need to lay down my busyness at times and make some time for Him. I always say that I am busy serving Him and doing things for Him but am I actually giving Him what He truly wants. I believe God isn’t always just looking for service but rather, quality relational time. Moments to just be with Him without any distractions. To just look at His face and have conversation.

God is a Father. And what He desires is a relationship. He is not a boss and I am not an employee. I am a child, and all the father wants is to hangout.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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