Freedom

One of the many ways God speaks to me is through my dreams.  It is one of my favorite ways because I have so little to do with it as far as control or messing it up.  He often tells me what He is doing or about to do through them.  He also warns me of what is soon to come through them as well and I just love it all.  Talk about Holy Intel!

One such dream went like this…  In the dream, I would look at the palm of my hands and then as I looked, I could see that the pads of my fingers were bruised. So, using the other hand, I would squeeze the pads of each of my fingers and thumbs one by one.  As I did this, lots of little needles, like the size of sewing needles, would protrude out and I would remove them.  I was happy to remove them, it was fun, even.  I did each of my fingers and thumbs until all the needles were removed.  Weird dream right?

I sent it to Gary Fishman, who interprets dreams.  Gary said that the needles represented words and negative things that people have said about or to me that have gotten under my skin and held me back in various ways. Removing them represents my gaining freedom in those areas.

Of course, this was amazing news to me but here’s what Gary didn’t know at that point.  Two people, an adult woman and an 11 year old girl, both prophesied over me recently that God was healing me in various ways, not just physically, but emotionally and other ways as well.  Then, I had that dream.  Also, something else happened.

One day, after I returned home from visiting family and friends in the DC area, I sat on my bed, looking at pictures of my son that my beautiful Debbie took and sent me.  14054219_10210243946161183_2369251474626678082_n

Here’s where God got all up in it.  I admired Debbie’s work first.  She is an amazing photographer, among many other things and my boy is a ham.  Then, I admired my son.  He’s quite adorable, right?  Then, God highlighted his complexion, but He didn’t stop there.  I looked at my son and saw the beautiful hues under his brown skin, the orange/yellowish highlights and before I could form a thought, God began to play a short movie in my mind.  There were various scenes from my childhood.  Being called names by classmates who didn’t deem me dark enough. A scene from my dark skinned cousin and I playing together and him shouting, “I’m the Black Avenger!”, after which, I yelled, “And I’m the Brown Hornet!”, then, out of nowhere, my dark skinned grandmother comes rushing into the room, got in my face and said, “No. You’re the brown nothing.  That’s what you are, a brown nothing!”  She left my cousin and I confused as we were way to young to comprehend what had happened.  Of course this didn’t stop me from letting my mom know that I was a brown nothing when I got home that day.

All that was a lot, but God wasn’t finished with my little movie.  Then I saw, countless times that others around me were deemed chocolate beauties, while I stood back watching it all.  I learned to appreciate dark skin.  I have always loved dark skinned people and could easily see their beauty where others couldn’t, but here’s what also happened.  When I looked at my hand or in the mirror, I didn’t look like them.  I wasn’t so “chocolate”.  So, I learned that they are gorgeous, beautiful people and me, well, not so much.  I just didn’t measure up.  Then God showed me a few more scenes.  One was of me and a dark skinned friend who I thought far more beautiful than me, holding hands, sitting on the floor, chanting, wishing to magically change and be each other’s complexion.  She was tired of being called black and I just wanted to be beautiful like her. I needed to be darker. Then, I saw the astonished look on my boyfriends face as my tiny grandmother practically dragged him into the house upon first laying eyes on him.  He was a beautiful chocolate boy, so immediately, he was approved.

So, God showed me all this, and then, He began to play scenes from times where I was complimented by friends and others about my complexion and I all but dismissed most of them because what I’d learned first, from the people most important to me, stuck.

Then, I saw myself just a few weeks ago, at a cookout.  It was said that there was a gorgeous chocolate little boy there.  When I saw him, I gasped, he was in fact gorgeous.  Then, still needing some sort of twisted approval, I made sure to mention that not only had I seen the boy, but I agreed that he was beautiful.  I got my nod of approval but when it didn’t feel good,  I dismissed it.  When God showed me that scene again, which occurred not even two weeks ago, I sat on my bed and cried.  I had let others issues with themselves affect and infect me to such a degree that I thought nothing of myself.  I thought nothing of the beautiful complexion He chose to give me, nothing at all.  I took on others’ issues as if they were my own and I owned those issues, unknowingly, for decades.

I repented and thanked God for newfound freedom.  I looked in the mirror and studied my beautiful skin and appreciated it like never before.  I’m right in the middle.  I’m not dark skinned and I’m not light skinned, but what I am is absolutely, perfectly beautiful.  I looked and looked for that gorgeous boy at the cookout when I had a gorgeous boy right there at the table with me- my son!

So, I’m done taking on issues that aren’t mine, and I am praying fervently for others with these color issues because really, it’s stupid.  I apologized to my brown husband for telling him that he’d better know that I married him for love, because he’s not dark enough. I have also apologized to my children and told them they no longer have to watch what they say about their complexions around certain people.  I am released from that bondage. Beauty comes in so many different shades and hues.  I am grateful to God that I am now free in this area.  I take to heart Galations 5:1 which says- “Stand firm therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and don’t be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”  I am free and will remain free.  Hallelujah!!!

It’s All the Body of Christ

I absolutely love where I am right now.  I am speaking of the weekly services I attend at Heaven’s Invasion and more.  I must say that every other church experience I had, held this sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken but definitely understood notion that everything you needed was all “in house”.  If you missed service there, to go elsewhere, you were missing out.  It was almost seen as a sin to go elsewhere for your spiritual needs.  Almost as if you literally stepped outside the Faith and dabbled into some other religion.

Now, it is totally different, I see the body of Christ on a much broader spectrum and can go to other churches and know that I am still home.  I have two such homes besides Heaven’s Invasion.  One is Calvary Tabernacle and the other is The Sanctuary Fellowship in the Bronx.  Gary Fishman is one of the pastors at The Sanctuary Fellowship.  He interpreted a dream for me, and I learned that he has an annual prophetic summit in September (this year it is September 17th), so I went.  I swear, when I walked in the building, I immediately felt at home.  I was in no way, a mere visitor, it was so comfortable.  I immediately fell in love with the people and the worship was other worldly.  I actually met my pastor, Russ who led a workshop there but I didn’t realize he was actually 20 minutes away from me in NJ.  Gary later invited me to Heaven’s Invasion to give a testimony during their Thanksgiving dinner celebration.  That was my first day at Heaven’s Invasion and we have been going ever since.

Anyway, Gary has these amazing workshops and classes every 3rd Saturday in the Bronx. As much as we are able, we are front and center for them.  These are people who exude the nature of Jesus so well and completely, one can’t help but feel welcomed, loved and at home with them.  I have met many there who are invaluable to me.  It is my home in the Bronx!

Then, we have Calvary Tabernacle… (((le blissful sigh))) Calvary is so very special to me for several reasons. First, this is a place where Pastor Clem has allowed several churches to occupy the same building.  That speaks volumes!!  Heaven’s Invasion is one of the several ministries that meet there.  Again, this is a place that is so comfortable.  There is so much love there.  My favorite part is the youth.  Oh, my word!! I have never seen such an amazing group of children.  Children who truly love the Lord and each other with an openness that makes me tear up every time I see them. My two oldest daughters joined the youth group last year and loved it.  This spoke volumes to me because my oldest has been a part of many youth groups and she never stayed with any of them because they were very superficial.  The kind that says don’t have sex, live holy. They plays games, eat snacks and that’s about it.  She wanted more and found it at Calvary.  These children are learning to hear from God for themselves and others, they are learning to go deep with the Lord and are truly world changers.

I tried to stay away.  My children are all homeschooled and I wanted them to have something that I wasn’t a part of, but of course, God had other plans and my girls are thrilled that I am there.  Last July, the day after I had the first of 5 consecutive miscarriages, the prophetic evangelism group that I was a part of was invited to attend a meeting with the high schoolers of the youth group and prophesy over them.  What a night that was for me!!  There was one boy that I immediately loved, named Aaron.  God revealed to me that although he had been through some serious and strenuous things, he has an amazing calling and future ahead of him.  I prophesied over several others that night but at that time, he stuck out to me.  I was also touched by the leader, Dennis.  His love for the children was almost palpable.  I was amazed.

I used to drop my girls off on Wednesdays and just sit in the car, trying to stay away but slowly, as I sat in that parking lot, reading or talking on the phone, God began to speak to me about various kids.  Sometimes I gave them what God gave me, other times, I just stood back.  Eventually, I ended up inside the building, but in another area as I waited for them to be done each week.  Then, I don’t even remember how it happened, but I ended up sitting in the back during their service with my son who is normally asleep.

By this time, God started to speak to me about them, directly and through others.  My friend Evelin and so many others gave me words about them.  Evelin and my girls were the only ones who knew I was secretly in love with these people but trying to stay away.  Eventually, I became a leader and I have never been happier.  When I considered asking about being a leader, I hadn’t said anything but I remember Will, another leader, coming to me saying, “Have you ever considered becoming a leader?  It’s obvious that you love them and have a lot to offer.”  I said something snarky like, “Prophetic much?” because I’d literally just heard this from God.

When I finally went to Dennis, of course after needing so many confirmations from God, (such faith huh?) he said yes, and said that I was an answer to prayer and that he wanted to speak to Russ first.  I connected him and Russ thinking he wanted to speak to Russ and make sure I wasn’t a lunatic.  I later thanked Russ saying, “Thanks for the good character reference, they bought it, I’m in, lol!”  Russ said that Dennis never asked about my character, he simply wanted permission to have me.  Russ, told him of course, he didn’t own me anyway, lol.  I was floored.  I still am.  We don’t even attend this church but we all understand that we are the Church and are therefore, family.  I thought that because I wasn’t a member there, I would need to go through some protocol but no.  I can’t tell you how honored I am to be among them and how very much I love them.

All this to say that I am so happy that there are parts of the Body that know that we are all family and truly live this out. There is never any mess about denominations or anything divisive.  It’s all love.  It’s all Jesus. I couldn’t be happier to be here in NJ, at this time.  This is how the body of Christ should live. Together. United, in and by His love.

How God Speaks

I am slowly but surely coming to the conclusion that the Lord speaks to each and every one of us in various ways but we don’t always realize it.  Sadly, in today’s rushed world, too many don’t know how to rest, how to just be.  There’s always something distracting going on that makes us miss what God is saying to us.

Do you know how He speaks to you?  Are you one who thinks, “He doesn’t speak to me…”?  If so, I am willing to bet that’s just not true.  I find Him to be always speaking in one way or another.  The key has been my willingness to seek to hear from Him, to search for Him and what He is saying or doing.  As I have said in other posts, He isn’t hiding at all.

I sat for a bit with Him today and wrote down some of the ways He speaks to me.  I purposefully don’t say definitively that these are the only ways He speaks to me because He is so creative and fun! I don’t want to put Him in a box.  I want to be open to hear from Him in whatever ways He chooses to speak to me.  So, here are some of the ways I have heard from Him.

Dreams and visions- He tells me so much through my dreams.  I absolutely love how He warns me of things to come, I call it Holy Intel.  He also gives me glimpses of the future and so much more.

That inner voice/inner knowing/ inner thought type of thing is another way He speaks to me.  I love how He often interjects with something when I am doing something else.  It makes me know that I am open to hearing from Him even when I am not speaking with Him at that moment.

Sounds- My latest experience with this included hearing (twice) the sound of someone pouring something.  Nothing was happening in the natural, I wasn’t near anything that could or would make that sound.  He was letting me know that His Spirit is always available to pour into me.  Sweet!!

Music, preaching, and teaching- He speaks through the so-called secular and sacred!

Sight- I’ve seen some weird things in the spirit, lol.  I have even seen sound.

Feelings- I was recently warned about the spirit of witchcraft when someone affected by that spirit spoke to me and I felt sick on my stomach.  I was able to recognize the issue as not my own, pray, and it left.

Touch- One time, while praying in a circle, holding hands with some women, I felt a hand on my shoulder and heard, “I’m here.” It was a direct answer to prayer for me in that moment.  No one had touched me.

Experiential situations.  I have had experiences where I have felt like I was a part of an accident, prayed in tongues until I felt at peace, only to later find that someone actually experienced it and left the accident ok.

Smells- I have smelled something really funky when lied to and the sweetest fragrances during worship.

He speaks to me through nature.

Prophetic words from others is another powerful way He speaks.

The Bible- I love how the Bible truly is the living Word of God.  It amazes me how one can read something, even know it by heart, and God bring fresh revelation that completely blows the mind.

He speaks to me through various family members without them even realizing it.

The last thing I could think of is that He has often spoken to me through my Spanish lessons on Duolingo.

The ways He speak are endless.  I am positive I haven’t listed every way He has spoken to me. It’s so much fun to see how He chooses to do it next! In what ways does He speak to you?  If you don’t know for now, keep your eyes and ears open, ask Him to help you to not miss what He is saying.  And, get ready, you’re in for an adventure!!

The Peculiarities of Living a Prophetic Lifestyle

Looking back, I can attest to many, many instances of evidence that the prophetic has operated in my life all along but man oh man!! How my life has changed in 7 short months after getting an official word about my gifting!  I’d only just begun to call it “a gift” but wouldn’t have dreamed that I was prophetic.  Turns out I am.  How fascinating!!  I’ve grown in leaps and bounds since July of 2014 at which time I had a dream interpreted that I’d had almost 11 years prior.  Part of the dream was about me, part about the Body of Christ at large.  The dream itself was significant enough for me to have written it down, even when I didn’t know it was a prophetic dream.

After that dream interpretation, it was as if a light was switched to the ‘on’ position and it’s now to the point where I’m regularly prophesying, dreaming, having visions and just knowing things.  I’ve started to notice some odd things that accompany a prophetic lifestyle.  Some of the things are kind of funny, others, not at all, but it’s all great because my Abba loves me!  He loves you too!!

Here are some things I’ve noticed…

  • This is one I always thought was completely normal but now I’m thinking perhaps it’s not. There are times when I close my eyes in my darkened room with the intention of going to sleep and I still see lights as if someone is flashing multi-color flashlights in my face.
  • Getting super hot and sweating as I’m worshiping or praying with or for someone. Initially, I thought it was because I was more overweight than usual after having given birth but now at over 20lbs lighter nothing has changed, still blazing hot and sweating at times and no, I’m not old enough to be going through menopause, lol! Besides, there are times when it’s just my hand that’s hot.
  • Seeing sparkles of light in random spaces, during the day and in the darkness of night. Kind of like a twinkling star.
  • Going to prophecy over a person and seeing negative aspects of their character. “Umm, Abba?  What am I supposed to do with this?”
  • Knowing a persons mood, motives or intentions with no “natural proof”. Hoping I’m wrong, but then having an experience that proves I was right all along. 😦
  • Not knowing if what you know/see is as obvious as it seems to you or it’s just the prophetic gifting in operation.
  • Not having to use very many words with my prophetic daughter.  She gets it, and me.
  • That feeling when you’ve prophesied over someone and it really ministered to them.  Such a blessing!!
  • Being in a room of prophetic people who give words left and right. 😀
  • Seeing a demonic being fly across the street :/
  • Oh, the dreams and the visions and interpretations!!! Amazing!!
  • The humbling fact that the God of the universe is with you, in you, speaking with and through you, touching you and others. Priceless!!
  • Wondering if what you’re seeing is there in the natural, or if you’re simply seeing into the spirit realm.
  • Meeting a person for the first time and instantly knowing them on a deep enough level to be able to put all guards down and know it’s ok.  It’s just a matter of spending time and growing the relationship now!

I’m so grateful to know part of my calling and be given a platform in which to walk in it. I’m thankful that God has blessed me with new friends made family who are mature in the faith and secure enough to seek to train, equip and push others with gifts.  We all need to stand up and do our part in the Body of Christ.  Until Jesus returns, we should all seek to connect with the prophetic.  It’s God’s heart for His Church.

Be Wise As Serpents, Harmless As Doves

Matthew 10:16 came across my radar a few days ago.   “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” 

I don’t remember how it came into view but I remember that when it did, it might as well had come in neon writing.  Then, during a nap, I had a dream.  Dreams, visions and words of knowledge are common for me, but this dream wasn’t good.  I’m learning about dream interpretation and what I know and understand at this point told me that it wasn’t a sunshine, lollipop dream.  Here’s what I dreamed:

I was in the bedroom with my family and someone mentioned that the orange kitten from the neighborhood was in the house. I was about to do something and my hands were occupied. I suddenly saw the cat and I screamed. I didn’t expect to see the cat so quickly after being told it was in the house. Then I smiled at it. It was a cute little orange kitten. It came to my left side and climbed the bed and then was on my shoulder. It rubbed against my ear and then licked me and I woke up.
At first, I thought perhaps I was being warned about the possibility of pride seeping in.  No, I’m not a prideful type, but I don’t think I’m immune.  I prayed about it and asked God to help me to not become prideful about anything, especially the gifts He’s given me, because, after all, I didn’t give them to myself, they’re gifts.
Because the dream nagged at me and I am in touch with some wonderful prophetic people, I sought interpretation for my dream.  Here’s what I got from Pastor Gary Fishman, author of Dream Interpretation:
Orange is the color of warning. The kitten might have looked cute but it was still an intruder. I believe the Lord is saying that it is important to know someone by the Spirit and not just by appearance before you let them get close. Not everyone even in the Church world is who they appear to be and especially in business. I believe the dream shows that mercy has to be joined with discernment because there are people who aren’t trustworthy and the enemy comes as an angel of light.
My heart sank a bit.  I mean, I thanked God for the warning.  He knows me so well.  I’m so grateful that He speaks to me as He does.  It means so much to me that He would warn me.  I prayed and declared Matthew 10:16 over my life when it again, flashed in my mind, but I can’t help but feel a little grieved.
See, I’m a very genuine person.  I love people, love to help and give and I’m kindhearted.  I know that there are people who don’t have good intentions, don’t and/or won’t like me and that’s ok.  I just really have a hard time understanding why people pretend to be one way, when they’re another.  I don’t get it when people try to be anything other than who they truly are, I have a hard time with that.  I’m not out to get anyone and I don’t understand people who are out to get others.  I just don’t get it.
In the past, I have accepted and allowed people in my inner circle who had no business being there at all, some for over 20 years.  After losing a few and being pretty devastated, I am better equipped and able to see more clearly with the newer people who come into my life but it still hurts to think of people coming in with ill intentions.  Why would anyone do that?  People have nothing to gain and everything to lose by messing with me. Both, 1 Chronicles 16: 22 and Psalm 105:15 say the same thing, “Touch not My anointed, do My prophets no harm.”  Also, carnally speaking, if I catch wind of it and they catch me on the wrong day and in a wrong way, forget about it! Let’s just say, I’ve never been one to mess with. The “harmless as doves” part is still a work in progress…