Tag: Pray

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


 

 

Miraculously Lost in Music

Phew! Last week was rough.

So, I forgot to write something in time today. My bad! I was writing a defense for my Masters and briefly stopped to write about what God is doing.

First off, thank you all for reading my posts. A special thanks to Maurice for sending encouraging words and prayers. God bless you. I just figured if I am ever given a chance to tell my story, I would need to be deeply vulnerable. So, “Why not start here?” Isn’t that what a blog is for anyway?

Anywho!

Last weekend, I found solace keeping it real with big brother J.C (Jesus). As it says in Hebrews 10:22, “Draw near to God with a sincere heart and with full assurance that faith brings.” I did and this past weekend, I found comfort and peace. But, that’s not the surprise I want to tell you about.

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I feel like Groot right now

See, while I was vacationing on the wild side of Catalina Islands, I discerned the Holy Spirit leading me to write a short book for diplomats, leaders, visionaries…in Africa. Of course, I questioned my ability to do that. But, I wrote down the idea.

Since, I returned, in the midst of the pressures and trials, somehow, I finished it in three weeks. I realized that even though I didn’t know much, the more I wrote down or typed what came to me, the more the words came forth. It was beautiful.

Then, I started drawing and came up with illustrations for theories that just blew my mind. I was in awe of what God can do when you just let go and let God. When you just swiftly and completely obey.

But, this is not the surprise.

During the weekend, I was just thanking God in the midst of the tasty challenges comprising of disappointments, loss, betrayal, and criticism…when I got a phone call. It was from Mike, a former Hollywood actor, entrepreneur, cyber security buff..whom a friend had recommended me to months ago.

Apparently, Mike had been working on a project and while praying discerned the Spirit leading him to call me and discuss ideas, find out what I was doing etc. When he first reached out, I was at a loss. I didn’t know who in the world he was. He had to remind me.

Anyway – we talked and he told me about things he was doing in Africa and how he was working with this CEO from Africa and how they agreed they need ideas, a framework etc. to help diplomats engage communities, entrepreneurs etc.

Well! How about that?

I just cracked up and explained that all the questions he just asked was what I just wrote about. I told him of the sense of urgency from the Holy Spirit to do it. I’m glad I obeyed. Then I told him of some other stuff and it just blew his mind.

He’d just been reading the scripture which I used to create these frameworks for gold medal peak performance for business and leadership. Halo! And what did I have to do with it? Absolutely, “rien du tout” (nothing at all). God is good, ain’t he?

Wait! There is more. 

People of stature – Marine Captain, Innovation Strategist, Ambassador, City Inspector… – are accepting my request to review it. How is this happening? Man, God is good. Oh…and there is this Pastor whom I met who is reading it to. He was so kind to me. Our meeting was a kind of divine appointment. Unplanned people, unplanned!

Wow! This is bigger than I expected. God is good. Consider keeping me in your prayers.

I write to encourage you and me to keep being faithful, pressing on, and never –

“Become weary of doing good for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” – Galatians 6:9

That said, you need to hear this Old school jam remixed by Dmitri from Paris. Listen! Its got your boy #Motown here sliding to the goodness of God and looking up, trusting His process, and looking ahead with faith.

God throwing this surprise at me as well as me finding this jam is no coincidence. I  think its God inspiring me to become miraculously lost in the music of His unconventional ways and in the music that is life.

Enjoy folks! Y’all have a marvelous week.

 

GOD IS GOOD: my confessions

I don’t know how this is going to go down but I guess I will find out.

I’m not sure how many people read this blog or will ever read it so I will take vulnerability for a test drive. Today I want to be vulnerable. To share my trials, struggles, pains…! This is going to be hard, but l promise to try.

For a while, I have been on a journey with God. To discover something. To prove something. It began when I was 17 and its been a good ride, no lie. I knew it would be a challenge rolling with an unconventional Father, a God of mystery. I knew and I said yes anyway. And lately, the difficulties have been long and hard.

For days, I have just lied down on the carpet looking at the ceiling after midnight, asking myself – what’s the point? What’s the point of everything? What’s the point of my life? Where is God in all this? What is he saying? Does he even hear me? Does his word still stand? Are we still working with it?

If you wandered why I didn’t write something last week, its because Continue reading “GOD IS GOOD: my confessions”

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”

RAISED BY TEXAS

Howdy folks!

Are y’all doing alright?

Well! I ain’t! 

First, because of my initial reaction to the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

When I heard of the shooting, I didn’t feel any pain or connection. None! I was angry at myself for not feeling pain. I didn’t know why. Maybe I have been desensitized by TV. Even though I planned to lift Texas up in prayers before bed last night, I forgot.

I felt horrible for forgetting. I’m sorry!

But, in Zumba class this morning, a country song was playing and in that moment, I remembered the shooting. I had completely forgotten about it. Even then, I felt no emotion. No connection. I am embarrassed to even say that.

But when I slowed my dancing pace and looked around at everyone laughing, smiling, and two-stepping to the beat, I wondered –

Is anyone in here thinking about Texas? Do these people realize what happened in Texas in that little church? Why do we feel so detached from this?”

And, that’s when it hit me. Continue reading “RAISED BY TEXAS”

PUSH IT TO THE LIMIT

And…..I am almost died!

Seriously! I almost died!!!

First, literally! Then, out of embarrassment. And then, I wished I had really died. Strong thing to say, ain’t it? Well, here’s the story.

I HATE HEIGHTS! I DO!

But, I desperately wanted to join the swim team. I had done gymnastics. So, I decided to combine gymnastics and the spring board. Yep – diving!

What in the world was I thinking!?

I did all the swim team traditions, became part of the team, and boasted of my new un-tested skill. After all, coach was the one who invited me to combine my skills and break records. Yeah – right!

Then, one Sunday, for a team bonding experience, we went to a water park. Folks were sliding here and there having fun on the deep end. I stayed at the shallow end.

Why?

I just happened to remember – I AM SCARED OF HEIGHTS.

But then the cool kids on the swim team started showing off their skills on the diving board. And it was my turn. But, I stayed on the shallow side of the pool and acted like cool catz do.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t tough enough to escape the cheering and hollering of my nickname which had been so carefully crafted for a man supposedly as skilled as I was.

I couldn’t escape it anymore when they called out that name – ISH’ THE FISH.

That’s right – Ish’ the fish…Ish’ the fish…Ish’ the fish…

Soooo…., I walked up to the diving board, got on the board, and began to tremble. Against my better judgement, I wore my swim goggles. Then everyone became quiet. I couldn’t turn back from the edge of the board now.

It now became – NO RETREAT! NO SURRENDER!

So, I approached the board, jumped the wrong way, on one foot, and did a front flip which was the lousiest front flip in human history and landed head first in the water.

That wasn’t the embarrassing part. The next part is. Continue reading “PUSH IT TO THE LIMIT”

HOW PRAYER WHIPS YOU INTO CHARACTER LIKE A REHEARSAL

Professional athletes, dancers, actors, painters, writers, and performers have to engage in rehearsals of some kind before the real performance. Simply reading martial arts will do you no good when you are face to face with a thief who just nicked your last dollar.

That martial art knowledge has to become second nature to the bones and muscles that have to use it. That’s were practice, which is a form of rehearsal, comes in. Let’s use the example of an actor.  Continue reading “HOW PRAYER WHIPS YOU INTO CHARACTER LIKE A REHEARSAL”

TWO STRIKING THOUGHTS ON DISCERNING THE VOICE OF GOD

Do not restrain the Holy Spirit, do not despise inspired messages. Put all things to the test; keep what is good – 1 Thessalonians 5:18-21 GNT

Many of us want to hear the still small voice – the voice of God’s Spirit – leading us. After all, He is in us as a gift from God, guiding us from within if we let him.

When discerning and walking in daily dialogue with the Spirit becomes a lifestyle, everything else – your job, friend life, enterprise etc – becomes a delight.

All of a sudden, life becomes full of moments and memories because yours is anchored on the source – God – and that river overflows to everything else. Continue reading “TWO STRIKING THOUGHTS ON DISCERNING THE VOICE OF GOD”