Tag: Love

No…You’ve Got to Be Kidding!!!

That’s it.

I can’t figure HIM out. He is somethin’ else. Our heavenly dad’s ways can be frustrating at times, won’t you agree Making us wait when “It don’t make no sense.” I mean who does that? Doesn’t it bother you how sometimes He seems to be talking with you about something trivial like He didn’t see the elephant in the room?

Like “Duh” Jesus, hello…challenges here. What’s up with that?

But, He will be who He will be. The meaning of I AM THAT I AM (Not hating Jesus, just saying). Anywho!

So, something happened last week. But first,

For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city – Acts 18:10

(Listen while you read the rest of the post).

 

God surprised me.

Remember Eli?

Eli asked me to consider meeting Nick, a young Brit, who was briefly visiting the U.S. Nick seemed humble. Honestly, he looked unassuming. He was dressed in jeans, a white shirt, a jacket with a snapback hat to top it off.

We connected over coffee. We swap stories and…gosh…was I surprised. Our stories drew interesting parallels. I went to the same places he had gone to as the Spirit had individually led us. Our personal stories, adventures with Jesus, and challenges were echoes.

Nick was born in Ghana. He had an unfortunate upbringing. Its safe to say he raised himself. Nick was talented and was given a full scholarship to study in the U.S. But, God! Nuff’ said. Nick ended up studying with a missionary organization in South Africa. He interned in England where he was invited to serve again. Cool right? Well, there is more.

I found out later that Nick was actually hired by the Church of England. He is considered an Evangelist/Anglican Priest and loves developing Youth Programs and working with youth. But, here’s the twister.

You may have heard of The House of Lords and The House of Commons which are branches of parliament. But, there is a covert third which is The Synod Church of England which deals with matters of law regarding moral issues.

Well, shocker! Young Nick is the Synod Presentative in Parliament. A few years back, his coworkers nominated him. He didn’t like it. But, God did! And when have we ever won an argument with the divine? Though voting was involved, Nick was essentially drafted in. Haaa…!

Yes, the man has met the Queen of England and works with members in all three branches wherever he (pardon me – God) wants him to influence a positive change with wisdom from heaven.

God is amazing!!!

So, where do I REALLY come in?

I’ll tell you. As Nick and I were wrapped up in conversation, Nick threw his hands up, leaned back with eyes open and exclaimed,

It all makes sense now.”

Well, he lost me. What made sense, I wondered. Nick then explained.

He had a dream before he came to the U.S. In this dream, he was going to meet a close friend he had known who was from Bamenda, Cameroon. According to the dream, he walked right into it. In prayer, he asked God several times what it meant and how it is that he would be meeting an old friend from Bamenda, Cameroon.

And…there I was.

He walked right into me at Starbucks and we immediately connected over coffee as Sons of God and as Sons of the motherland, Africa.

What blows my mind is that I had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with this.

It was ALL God. 

I don’t know what God is planning, but I am grateful for the friendship of a humble and faithful man who has been battle-tested by hardships, trials, and temptations.

Did I mention that this was only one of many such divine connections I had last week? Yep, God is up to something.

So, wherever you are on this journey with Jesus, whether in need of divine connection, in need of a significant other, or some miracle, hold onto your horses. As you do everything you can, don’t forget to wait on the Lord for your strength to be renewed. Don’t forget to recenter tell Him all your troubles and recenter your straying mind on I AM.

He knows what and who you need. He’ll bring you people. He’ll bring you a tribe.

Just keep developing the destiny He’s called you to, one baby step at a time.

As you take each baby step, divine provision will be unlocked and downloaded to you from the heavenly icloud for the assignment you were born for.

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One Love, One Spirit


 

Diplomatic Inspiration 2.0

Do I have a cool story for you!

But first,

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Mt 5:9)

Yesterday, I was at a Diplomatic Peace Summit.

The speakers consisted of Sikhs, Monks, Hindu Priests, Bishops, the Former President of Ecuador, Heads of various Parishes from The Americas, and one of my friends, Angel Roman, who was representing a fledgling Peace Initiative.

In attendance were thousands of young people, the general public, and honored guests. Thundered applause electrified the room from start to finish as each speaker gave their 3-5 mins speech in native lingo. Angel’s mother shed tears of joy seeing her 20-year-old boy made his entrance on the International Stage. Quite moving.

Then, came the SHOCK wave that pulsated the room and left me breathless!

This is how it happened.

First, religious leaders offered their thoughts for peace. Infused in their opinions were their respective beliefs and values. Then, they revealed what they each read from the Bible, the prophecies for peace, how their religion was linked in. Weird right?

Each leader then turned that to support their views and worldviews. None of them mention The Name but worked their way around it! By now, it was unsettling.

Then, one of the leaders stood up and repeatedly pointed to the Chairman as the answer and the one who had the solution to world peace. “He has the answer to world peace,” the speaker boldly stated. And away went the applause. Again, unsettling. Who did they think they are, I thought.

The NERVE!

Finally, came the chairman’s turn. He stood up to a standing ovation and delivered his speech. Then came the shocking twist.

God is concerned about peace,” he said.

And yes, peace is a person,” he added.

By now, I was like, say what now?

Then, the chairman punched the air with eyes closed and declared, “His name is Jesus and he is the Prince of Peace.”

I about fell out my chair.

He went on to quote and directly from Luke’s gospel and then proceeded to unwind some wisdom from Revelation.

After admonishing his followers, he explained further, “Jesus is not just for me. He is for everyone. He is for you. Everyone should want him. He has the solution. Let’s prefer peace together.”

Then, sharing the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, he encouraged the youth to be like Abraham who on behalf of Sodom intervened for Sodom when he asked if God would destroy the city if he found only 10 righteous people.

Wooo! What a man!

Then it occurred to me!

Where were the Christians? Why were they severely under-represented on the panel and in the room? 

Sometimes, we hide in buildings and associate only with our own. We leave the world to find a way to resolve issues and then complain when their endeavors make things worse.

The church is not the building, it is the people who come together in the building. God does not live in a building. He lives and operates among the people who make the building a gathering place.

We often claim to be people of love and truth. But, the only way to find out just how loving and patient we to engage and be tested by different problems and people with contrasting beliefs, behaviors, and emotions.

So I have been thinking –

If you were given the chance today to speak at international meetings or the courts of kings and high rollers, would you know what to do, what to say, how to speak?

Would you know how to act in such a way that folks in these circles felt respected and allowed them to actively listen and request that you return to share more?

Would you know how to act in a way to didn’t make you come across as arrogant?

And I have also been wondering –

Have you thought of finding a problem that plagues your community or nation with the intention to bring light into? Pre-believers see these things and they make efforts to help. If they don’t find us at the panels and tables wouldn’t they assume we are only about ourselves? Better yet,

Why would they respect us if they enter the fire trying to help people in it and find us doing nothing about it when we have and talk about our heroes of faith who were thrown into and ended up walking about and out of a fire, heated 7 times, unburned? If we have that “superpower in Jesus” why aren’t they finding us in the fire? 

Yes! We are citizens of heaven. Yes, when he appears, we will appear with him.

So what?

Until then, we are still here, on earth.

Who do we think is supposed to brighten the world, wipe tears away, heal the brokenhearted, revive broken dreams, and set captives free? Who do we think is primarily empowered with light and life to make the earth a little bit like heaven? Doesn’t it say,

All creation of creation waits with eager longing for God to reveal his children? – (Romans 8:19)

Well, aren’t we HIS, the empowered ones?

If we are Ambassadors of the Light –

Wouldn’t you agree that its time for us to learn how to be diplomatic in our response to community and national problems just as we are concerned about lost souls? Wouldn’t you agree that this will mean entering areas of conflict and darkness to represent and bring light and peace?

People will not often believe what you believe until what you believe produces results that no one else produces

Yes! We set our minds and hearts on things above where Christ is seated in heavenly places (Colossians 3). But that’s precisely it. We fix our minds on things in heaven, not our bodies. Think of what heaven is like and commune with the savior regarding things there as well as things here on earth.

But wouldn’t you agree that the outcome of our ongoing conversations should be heavenly minded resolutions for both for souls and situations in different spheres of influence we have been inspired to engage here on earth?

Wouldn’t you agree that it should involve God being able to entrust us with financial formulas for creating wealth for kingdom purposes, wisdom for helping the broken, creative ideas for transforming culture and demonstrating the King of Kings, frameworks for national transformation, and peacebuilding?

And doesn’t it say,

“Our Father, who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” (Mt 6:9-13)

I wonder –

What does heaven look like and what is God’s will in heaven like? Is there sickness in heaven? Is there poverty in heaven? Are they oppressed people heaven? Are they people crying for help in heaven?

Don’t get me wrong. Until he comes back, Earth won’t be like heaven. But, don’t get it twisted either. It’s our responsibility to infuse the “earth” around us a little like heaven. It could be a lot of work and sacrifice. But then again, it’s not a hobby. It’s a job description.

If God’s light and presence makes heaven a paradise, wouldn’t you agree that as diplomats of The Light we ought to demonstrate the power, love, light, hope, wisdom, revelation, creativity…of our kingdom in the Sphere of Influence our King has sent us to?

And what on earth are we waiting for even though we already have The Green Light?

You tell me.

Anywho, just thinking!

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One Love, One Spirit


 

 

 

 

The Kingdom of Brotherhood

Last night, I was going through some archives and came across this description of the Kingdom of God that moved me and has since shaped the way I approach life. I heard it from John Paul Jackson of righteous memory on his show, Dreams and Mysteries on the episode – The Kingdom of God. It was worth sharing today.

On that episode, the scene begins with John Paul sitting down with a woman. He begins talking about the inner life. Then shifts to the subject of the Kingdom. He talked about the woman’s inner issues which he noted were mostly spiritual. Then, he said –

Because it is spiritual, they require some change. One that begins inside of you more than anywhere else.

We all live in a kingdom and there are many kingdoms.

There have been many kingdoms of men throughout history.

They come. They go. They rise. They fall.

But, there is a kingdom. A kingdom above every kingdom that spans far beyond the limited kingdoms of men. One cannot see the castles on earth of this kingdom because this kingdom begins in the heart. It begins inside of us.

This isn’t a kingdom of politics or economics but of brotherhood.

It has an aristocracy not based on dominance but on service.

It has a house of Lords but it is not filled with eldest sons but of selfless brothers.

It’s not a kingdom of pride but of humility.

It knows no greed but fosters selfless giving.

It’s a kingdom that does not banish the weak but offers to make the weak strong.

This kingdom is the kingdom of heaven.

And in the final analysis, how we’ve lived our life in this kingdom is all that will matter.

There are some things that God wants to do that begins inside of you that’s going to change everything in your life. But it is going to require you accepting His only begotten son.

That kingdom begins with Jesus and with you accepting him and his sacrifice on the cross as payment for your sins and payment to help you draw near freely and boldly to God your creator who longs to be a good father to you.

Thank you, John Paul. Until we meet again

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One Love, One Spirit


 

Is it 10 or 11?

Once, at the end of a conference, we were told –

Fill out these one-page surveys and bring them to us when you are done. Be honest. We will like to know how we are doing and how you enjoyed the conference.”

To be honest, the conference was a blast. I had so much fun. I learned so much. I made friends. And I had a breakthrough sharing the most vulnerable part of my life with a complete stranger who also took time to reciprocate.

I thoroughly enjoyed this leadership conference. The people, the dancing, and two-stepping to folk music was a refreshing experience. So, how could I accurately convey how I really felt? On this survey, words were not permitted. Only checks in boxes. And as usual, the survey read –

“From 1-10, 10 being the best and 1 being the worst, rate your experience. How did you enjoy this conference and was it helpful?”

How then could I convey everything I was feeling? Selecting 10 would reflect the outcome but, not what the conference and the people did for me. I need to check this box in a way that filled the page with the level of joy and gratitude I wished to express.

But, wait….! I had an idea.

Write down 11 and 12, drew boxes beside both of them and checked box 12 as if to say you score 12 out of 10. You have two extra points. You went the extra mile.

Then it hit him.

Sometimes, we have only a few choices. Sometimes, we have to choose between a bad and a worse choice. But other times, if we are keen, we can invent space for possibilities. All it takes is negotiation the space between us.

Creativity simply means asking

“Why not? and Why can’t I do this?”

Creativity is simply adding one or two more boxes in the context of what you need to do. Why does creativity start with the question why? Because

Unlike how and where, why gives the new box a reason to be, a reason to exist.

But why pose a question?

Questions lift your soul out of its body box, allowing it to leave its current desert experience to encounter what is possible so that when it returns it can be a source of inspiration and empowerment to the body box, helping it expand with time and with pace.

That’s how we begin inventing space for possibility. That’s why –

Never stop looking for what’s not there. Opportunity is also what’s not there. It is creativity that is not apparently there but is. And questions like “why not” help us get there.

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One Love, One Spirit


 

Miracles on Skid Row

If you didn’t know…

Skid Row is a popular block close to Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles. It is home to the homeless. Tents pegged everywhere, smells, garbage…and then men, women, and families.

It is home to some good people who made mistakes, good people with unfortunate storiespeople with good stories who made poor choices, and others.

Yesterday, I saw miracles on Skid Row. I saw miracles in the streets. But first,

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat… (Mt 25:35-42)

For about two weeks, the Holy Spirit seemed to pull strings inside of me, pointing me toward that end. So, instead of the regular dose of Sunday Service and Sunday Netflix, I decided to follow Him. And the entire day turned out to be one big divine appointment.

Its the miracles on Skid Row I wish to highlight today.

I got together with some folks who visit Skid Row each Sunday. We went out, set up a tent, and just worshiped God with guitars and all. I was told that the homeless don’t show until they start giving care packages. But, as we just sang, they started coming out. Some to worship, sing, talk, and pray with and be prayed for.

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Then, we stared giving out care packages – sandwiches, soda, apples, and water. Then this one homeless woman (in the photo) showed up. She was anything but ordinary. She prayed up a storm and blessed people and us too. Then, I met Mary. And this is where it all started.

See, Mary was standing by her cart on the other side of the street. I went to invite her and she wouldn’t burge. She kept saying, “Next Sunday.” Translation – never. It turns out Mary was broken inside. Lost all hope. Felt worthless. So, I brought stuff to her and just talked. Then Mary said, “I want pants. Do you have pants? Its cold and I ain’t got none.”

I told her I was going to ask but doubted there was any. So, I went back and asked and well, there wasn’t any. Right when I picked up some more stuff for her and walked over to Mary and her cart, a brand new pair of jeans all glittered up was in her cart. I was shocked and asked how that happened. She said, some random person came by and gave it to her and left.

???? Random person ???

As I walked back, a car pulled up and said I got stuff for you guys, pulled out some bread, a guitar, and pointed us to a backseat of Hand Sanitizers. And people, let me tell you. These good people with unfortunate stories love their Hand Sanitizers. They would kill for one.

Not long after that, car after car came by with more food, groceries and drinks. And I was like, is this the feeding of the five thousand again? The big one was roasted chicken. Wooo! It got through in a flash. But here’s the mysterious thing.

All those folks who brought stuff? We didn’t know them! I inquired and I was told they were not friends (but for one or two). Most of these kindhearted folks were just lovers of our Lord Jesus who saw what was happening and decided to unite in the pursuit of applied compassion.

And, I haven’t ever seen a homeless man serve God with gladness like one homeless brother who showed up to serve alongside instead of being served. It was humbling. He was diligent, making sure nothing was wasted. He would tell you point blank if something was good, if chicken bones was still enough chicken for someone and all that good stuff.

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He knew who needed extra and who had a wife or kids to take food to. I really enjoyed how others who came thought of asking for extra for loved ones and neighbors who they felt would never approach the tent for personal reasons.

When I reflect on the privileged service and conversations, I can’t shake the thought that some of these men and women in unfortunate positions who have had to make compromising decisions to protect or provide for loved ones –

may just turn out to be better human beings than me and some of us

This humbles me.

I chose to share this to give glory to God for inviting me to be a part of this and also to share this as a piece of the bigger story we the redeemed have a part to play in.

Lessons Learned or Reinforced:

  • Think baby steps. Take baby steps.
  • If you think its the Spirit. Test it. Go and do it and you’ll find out real quick if its Him or not. Sometimes, that’s the only way.
  • Swift and complete obedience with no reservations.

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~ One Love, One Spirit


 

 

Thank You Mrs. Mom

I am currently working on my Master’s defense. But, I just had to squeeze out time to brag about the person who has made it physically, financially, mentally, and emotionally possible for me to be able to do it.

I’m talking about an African Queen, Mrs. Mom.

She is one tough cookie. She is sharp too! In fact, she is so sharp you could get cut standing right next to her.

If I told you about her, you’d feel like you just got served a slice of heaven. She is dubbed the Iron Lady, has one “hell” of a right jab, and knows how to groove to the beat people. If Michael Jackson was alive, she’d beat him hands down on his moonwalk.

Her presence is a triple threat.

But she didn’t start off like that. Mom grew up poor. I mean…really poor. She used to carry me on her back like African women do, frying and selling “Gateaux” on the side of the road. See, I grew up watching this.

I heard and felt her pain, tears, sorrows, betrayals…you name it. Figuratively speaking, she’s been left at the altar several times. But she did what she could to survive and with the help of God, she pulled through.

Both her and grandma would send me out to the streets and markets to sell peanuts and other stuff. That’s how I made my lunch and transport money.  Mom eventually got into typewriting school and got a job working as a typewriter. She went on to work for the Department of Finance. Being a woman didn’t help. But, she took her talents into business while working at the department.

That’s how she eventually emerged successful, beating men at the business, rewriting the rules, and inspiring a community of young and old women. That’s where the name – The Iron Lady – comes from. If kids were stubborn, their parents would say, “We are taking you to Ma Ceci’s” house.” That alone made literally “ALL” the kids and even parents in our community readjust.

No kidding.

She now takes care of orphans and widows and mentors young women and single mothers.What’s cute though is that kids still loved to come visit her and talk about life. My goodness, how does she do it though?

How does she make both – love and terror – seem so casual and fun?

She is a trip! Kids with love and laugh and play with mom. But, when a kid knew they’d done wrong, they ran away before mom got back. Mrs. Mom is a real firestorm, but you’d never know it because she seems so sweet and cuddly.

Listen! Ms. Mom is so loving and terrorizing that a stubborn cousin who was forced to live with her because of her behavior studied hard and passed an exam that took two years to prepare for, in a year.

Do you get the picture yet?

And…Lawd….we had our moments.

Oh yea – an uppercut worthy moment. Like a Mike Tyson type of moment. Mom and I got into it after I graduated high school. Let’s just say emotions were high and I wasn’t exactly a peacemaker then. Mom got so furious, she wrapped that cloth around her waist and well…my face was almost history.

Awkward…

But, she is wise too. She often tells us –

  • God has a broken clock. Stop trying to hurry. His ways are not your ways
  • A closed mouth is a closed destiny
  • Always think beyond yourself
  • Speak forward and learn to enjoy life even in the midst of a mess
  • Don’t be afraid. My life is a testament of what God can do. Keep looking up and forward
  • In life, only 5% of people fulfill their calling. How come only 5%? Because they chose to pay the price. Stick it out and it will be better for you too
  • Ahhh…don’t worry about what people say. Let them talk. They talked about me too. Where are they now? Be strong and courageous
  • When you are in a place where you are not in control, be humble and respectful. Take whatever “shit” is given to you. You have your own time and your “own” is on the way.

There is more to tell. But, let me finish preparing this defense. Let me do “us” both one and make her proud. After all, I’m her son.

And to you Almighty God –

Cause the works of my hands to prosper so that I can honor her even as I live to glorify you, in Jesus name. Amen!

 

I love you mom.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY 


Miracles and Humor at the Beach

Ladies and gentlemen,

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I’M BACKKKKKK….!!!

Hahaha. Oh my goodness. I missed you guys.

Thank you for all the likes, follows, and comments in my absence. They blessed me and encouraged me. It tells me that what I share is of some benefit to you. Merci…thank you.

But – Listen people – I have been stressed!

Mi familia has been experiencing a sudden stream of trials. We lost our grandma, our cousin is out of work because of a stroke, another in Canada jumped out of her car before it crashed,….phew…#lawdjesus. [Please pray for us]

Its been hardships and heartbreaks. I was so stressed from work, school, project, and life that I started to reach my physical limits. I began having cold breakouts and shiver under anxiety and stress, loosing vision, and having small brain shut downs – literally.

When this happened, its as if our Lord was telling me to stop – everything – and retreat with him. The moment I said yes, I received a message from an organization with a scholarship to visit the wild side Catalina Islands. My first question was – “Is Catalina Islands in the United States?”

“Duh” – its in California just 30 minutes away from by seas. And people, let me tell you something – wild and beautiful. I enjoyed the –  No cellular service – part.

While I was there, I experienced cool things. On my beach walk, I walked into an eagle eating fish. When I said – “hey bro, how are you doing?” it flew away. I’m not sure if it was being racist or was just scared of a brother.

Then, I sat down and just worshiped and came up with a new song. Then I saw something swimming and shouted, “Dolphin…hey dolphin. Come say hello.”

Yep, you guessed right – it wasn’t a dolphin. Turns out, it was a flippin’ baby sea lion.

Cute right?

That’s what I thought too.

Not until Continue reading “Miracles and Humor at the Beach”

Fill the Void with Life

Today is my twin brother’s birthday.

Today is Halle Patrick’s birthday. And I am all giggles and stuff. I can’t stop smiling.

He wasn’t my conventional twin per say. Blood is thicker than water. But, our bond was beyond that. Its as if when God sent a soul to inhabit a body in a mother’s womb, before the soul reached the earth, God said –

“This is a beautiful and powerful soul. Let’s make a separate the essence and send the other half to another woman who is crying for a baby.”

And so, we went. Then, the Almighty thought again andtold the angel carrying us –

Make sure that they have everything they need. Orchestrate their paths to meet so that they can become twins again. Put in their infant hearts a covenant sign so that when they meet again, they will know they were long lost twins. And they will become one-alike and one-too-much.”

And so it was that we came to be. Continue reading “Fill the Void with Life”

Takes Two To Tango

Be the best you can be.

Engage in self-refinement. Learn. Grow. Take risks. Try new things. Become the best possible person someone else would want to spend time or spend their lives with.

Learn all you can about dating; about marriage, about being a good spouse, a good parent. It will certainly pay off.

But, if there is something more important to consider, it is this – Continue reading “Takes Two To Tango”

Standards OR Fantasy

Of course! Have standards.

Matter of fact,

Lowering your standards is a bad habit. Stop it!

Referring to my previous post, Man of Your Dreams, some folks took issue with my musing. In that post, I shared a prevalent observation which was that many in my generation are looking for the perfect, got it all together other, the “designer spouse,” – the one!

And yes, I agreed they could be found in one place – in our dreams and fantasies.

Maybe that was too much. Was it?

A…n…y…who.

In regards to that post, a close friend who was bothered by it asked a great question. In this post, I share some things we discussed.

Question:

My friend wanted to know –

Where do you draw the line between standards and accepting something less than what you hoped?

So, first, Continue reading “Standards OR Fantasy”