It’s our Anniversary!

Hey! It’s a celebration! Life to Your Soul turns 4 today!

We started this blog with the hopes of inspiring others in their walk with Christ and sharing personal stories. We are pleased to say that God and your support have exceeded our expectations. Because of your support we have hosted two events in Baltimore City, mentored hundreds of youth & young adults and partnered with other organizations. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you all! The best is yet to come!

I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. 1 Corinthians 3:6 NLT

Shine the Light

I was sitting there during my planning period with worship music blasting in the teacher’s lounge. Go Elevation Worship! As another teacher entered, I considered turning the music down. I thought to myself that she might not have wanted to hear it. But then the thought came to my heart, “What good is the gospel if it isn’t shared?”
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I’ve always been skeptical of causing a scene and drawing attention to myself. I never really liked being the center of attention unless it involved me making others laugh. I was lighthearted as a child and quite humorous around my family. But when it came to others beyond my home, I was quite sheltered.

I didn’t want to cause a scene.

As my walk with Christ intensified over the years, I began to notice how sharing the gospel was important. During my lunch periods in high school, I’d sometimes print bible verses and place them around the building while others were in the cafeteria or classrooms. You could’ve called me Batman because I didn’t mind helping others but loathed being seen.

Make me invisible.

Evangelism conflicted with my personal preference. Although sharing the gospel was vital and necessary, I didn’t want to do it on the count of drawing attention to myself. I would war within myself to do things because I didn’t know how others would respond to my acts of faith.

I am enough.

What it all really boiled down to was my fear of rejection. Fear that if others saw me doing things they wouldn’t accept me or my efforts. I yearned for acceptance but in the wrong way.

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

I had to come to terms with the fact that people will not always like me. Some people may despise me for sharing my faith or how God moves through me. But that does not warrant me to limit shining the light.

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”

Our lives are so important. We possess a light that the world needs to see. When we don’t share it, we hinder others from seeing the gospel in a God-ordained way. We must build up the courage to share His truth even through our differences. The world would be pretty bland if we we were all the same. Instead God has given us unique stories and abilities to reach the lives of others. Show Jesus, Share Jesus, Bear His light and Be It! No one else can do what you do, so do it boldly.

Prayer for Boldness:

God,

I pray that you would give us the strength and boldness to shine your light. To be the change that our peers need. Help us to be attentive and aware of what’s going on around us. You are answering prayers and doing so even through us. My we not be hindered by fear but recall all of the wonderful things you have done for us. Your will be done. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

You  are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light so shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16


Check out this awesome song by Jamie Grace!

Here is the latest cover on my Youtube page!

Need prayerGod bless.

Envisioning Your Greatness!

Hello all and happy New Year! I’m excited about what God is doing in this season. He is bringing us into new territory and higher ground.

On our prayer call, we focused on Abram’s life and what it means to have vision.

Vision

  1. the act or power of seeing sight.
  2. A thought, concept, or object formed by the imagination
  3. The act or power of imagination.

    Abram was a man of great faith. He was called to leave his homeland and trust God in the journey of relocating. Although he had walked with God for quite some time, Abram had no children. And even in his old age the situation bothered him.

    Some time later, the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.” But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord , what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.”

    Genesis 15:1‭-‬3 NLT

    Abram loved the Lord very much but it bothered him that he had no children to carry on His legacy. How often are we too frustrated because of our “lack”? We sometimes see no breakthrough. No resources. No resolution. Believe me, I felt that way before. But what happened next is astonishing.

    Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.” Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abram believed the Lord , and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.

    Genesis 15:4‭-‬6 NLT

    Count the  s t a r s.
    The maker of the universe gave Abram a vision. Something he could see and connect with. Although Abram was initially childless, he believed God’s promise. 

    Have you ever sensed an urge to do something phenomenal? Have you ever believed for something incredible? Your time is now to meditate on what God has for you.

    Write the vision. Make it plain. Habakkuk 2:2

    Get acquainted with where God is taking you.

    What God has given you is not by mistake or accident. It’s something that only you have. Make the steps to help manifest it on earth!

    Partner with GOD

    • Make a vision board
    • Jot down your ideas
    • Collaborate with like-minded people
    • Get acquainted with where God is taking you.
    • Pray always.

      I believe God for your breakthrough. What He has promised shall come to pass. Step into 2018 with expectancy in your heart and a pen in your hand!

      Prayer

      Father, 

      Thank you for investing in me. Thank you for seeing beyond what I physically see. Help me to believe your words and to walk according to my calling. Please help me to rest in the center of Your will. I will abide in You, free from chains of fear, doubt, and stagnation.
      In Jesus Name,

      Amen.

      Listen to the powerful song that was featured on yesterday’s call!

      Healing in the Broken Places

      What do you do when it’s up to you? You’ve prayed, you’ve fasted, you’ve waited and still the obstacle hasn’t moved.

      12/12 – Healing in the Broken Places

      2017 has been a year of trials and triumphs. There have been many leaps of faith that have brought me to this place where I currently am.  From leaving my last job to becoming an art teacher, I’ve been blessed with opportunities to spread light on many platforms.

      According to my original agenda, I’d be on a totally different path by now. Because I had social anxiety,  I preferred to stay behind the scenes. I liked my life to be planned out and calculated. However, God had greater plans.

      Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

      2 Corinthians 12:8‭-‬9 NLT

      Like Apostle Paul, I too begged God. To remove the obstacles in my classroom and help me get through. I wanted things to go my way and I was not liking the results so far. I prayed for God to give me opportunities to share His light, but when they came I became overwhelmed. 

      However, God had still been my life coach. It’s almost as if HE was saying to me, “Hang in there buddy. You’ll see the silver lining eventually. Just keep going.”

      God began increasing opportunities for me to encourage my students and others. I felt a press to trust Him even during the pressing times when I didn’t see results. I realized God would use me inspite of my shortcomings.

      How do we make use of our gifts when we don’t see the bigger picture?

            S H I F T Y O U R P E R S P E C T I V E .

      How do we go on when our passions are attacked? We draw near to the one who is able to refresh us and realign us. God allows us to face opposition in order to prove His revolutionary power on the inside of us.

      We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.

      2 Corinthians 4:8‭-‬9 NLT

      I recall in an earlier post explaining that we must see what God sees. I will even go as far as to say, see the obstacle but realize that God has placed you there and prepared you to make an impact in those areas.

      I sat in my classroom recently discouraged. I had just witnessed a fight in my final class and was completely disappointed. God clearly asked me after I ranted to Him my frustrations, Are you mad enough to the point of doing something about it?  Pain produced pressure and pressure produces power.

      Let’s use these platforms, these weaknesses, these flaws to promote God’s kingdom. They are opportunities for Him to perform miracles in our lives.

      For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!

      2 Corinthians 4:17 NLT

      Father,

      Thank you for the trials. Thank you for the tests. Thank you for the setbacks. Thank you for the glory that is being produced. You show us how mighty you are to save. Help us to see from Your perspective and to press in Your presence even further. You are the God who was, who is, and who always will be.

      With Love,

      Your Child (Insert Name)

      More Inspiring Scripture: Psalm 34:15-20

       

      More Than Okay

      Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37 NKJV

      The volume in the music store I worked at was extremely high one particular day. As a receptionist I was used to greeting customers daily. Some would hesitate with a crooked smile. Others would bypass with a nod and continue browsing.

      “Hello. How are you?”

      “Well I’m still alive so I guess that counts for something.”

      I would get a lot of responses in the tune of life being just okay. Then after a long string of customers being rung out, I heard these words. 

      If only people knew that they were more than okay.

      Many joked about how miserable their lives were. What was my evidence that we were more than okay?

      But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation… 1 Peter 2:9


          11/28 – More Than Okay Power Call

      It seemed normal to also view myself as average. It was an easier tone to converse with and took the pressure off of feeling like an outcast. 

      We sometimes seek ways to minimize our worth. We want to feel normal and human. We boast in our inadequacies with a tune of “That’s just the way life is.”

      Above Average.

      Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him. Genesis 1:26,27

      Truthfully, we are created in God’s image and are His temple. We have God-like qualities, traits and responsibilities. We are innovative, creative, unique, and powerful. Because we are made in God’s image we are called to stand out.

      I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made… Psalm 139:14

      You are abundantly blessed.

      Royal and loved one, you are an exceptional being. Worth more than just going to your 9-5, waking up & going to sleep, and living life with no purpose. 

      God gave Adam responsibility. He told Adam to be fruitful and multiply and placed him in the garden to tend to it. (Genesis 1:28; 2:15 ) 

      We have work to do. We must display our greatness and use the resources God has given us to do mighty things for His kingdom.

      Pray this prayer:

      Dear God,

      Thank you for calling me. Thank you for creating me with purpose and value. As stated in Your Word, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Please forgive me for thinking less of myself. For not living a bold, meaningful life. I am above average and more than okay. Continue to show me what it is you want me to do. I live for you. Amen.

      Additional Quotes & Scriptures

      • 1 Corinthians 3:16
      • We are what we believe we are. – C. S. Lewis
      • Have faith and you will see the great! – Shantel Gross

      The Dig

      Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig. Marcus Aurelius

      There I was standing in the middle of my classroom…

      Wondering if I would ever have an epiphany concerning it’s makeover. Books, shelves, paper, and other materials surrounded me. Like lions peering out of the jungle, vibrant neon papers stood out. Some were used and some unused. Detox, declutter, and back to attempts of organization. I kept circling around piles of paper. Hovering over them, I would start to get rid of the junk then try something else.

      To my disposal, the classroom is huge! It hit me when I came home several days later: I hold the key to cultivating what is my possession!

      Pastor Stutzman says it like this: Adjust your attitude to be what you actually hope for.

      F A I T H .

      But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

      Happiness is not about getting what you want; it is about wanting what you’ve got. – Michael Brodeur

      We already have everything we need we just haven’t tapped into all yet.

      I had almost become discouraged because of my frustration but after a while I realized how much I had. I began cutting out artwork and putting it on the walls. Making drapes with party streamers and turning the classroom into a big party room! My students also noticed the difference. Greatness was already there just waiting to be discovered!

      But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. II Corinthians 4:7 NKJV

      It’s time to start digging!

      • Recall the things you are passionate about. Write them down!
      • Stop panicking. The answer is in you.
      • Take one step at a time. Don’t rush to complete multiple tasks. Take time to create your best in each individual one.
      • Meditate. Spend time in God’s presence. Where do you like to meditate?
      • Pray.
      • Plan, prepare, and execute.

      To listen to this morning’s prayer call, click here.

      Matters of the Heart

      We can conquer anything in this day.

      Matters of the Heart – Prayer Call

      For I know the thoughts I have toward you says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.Jeremiah 29:11

      This past week I faced new challenges. New transitions in school and new challenges at home. Getting to know my students and adjusting to my new schedule. However, God’s grace prompted to strategize and perfect my situation even in sticky circumstances.

      I began to feel conflicted and weighed down. My timing, mixed emotions, fatigue, and processing everything. I had so much on my mind and lost focus of actually creating steps to execute. Life has a way of hitting you in the face when you’re not paying attention!

      Why do we struggle? Is it in our best interest? What I’ve come to realize is how we operate is a reflection of our hearts.

      “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” Arnold Schwarzenegger

      Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23

      What have you been wrestling with? Fear? Doubt? Depression? Insecurity? Panic? Whatever it is, it will eventually drain you if you don’t release. This is not an overnight fixer but embrace that journey of God uprooting ever lie that you’ve partnered with.

      What have you allowed to harbor in your heart? Have you become bitter? Have you lost hope? Have you become complacent?  Our hearts hold chambers and we have to allow the blood of Christ to flow through.

      Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7

      What are you meditating on? Whatever we believe shapes our reality. If you take on a lie that you’re unimportant or that you don’t matter your life will reflect that. The enemy loves when we partner with lies. Sometimes we do it unknowingly. We fear that things won’t work out or we joke about it. Meditate on God’s word and other sources of light. Read an empowering book. Listen to some worship music! I love instrumentals.

      Side note: Be mindful of who is in your circle!

      What are you speaking? Speak the truth. Speak affirmations like these.

      G o d, y o u ’r e s t i l l g o o d.

      Regardless of how bad you may feel your day has gone, there is always a reason to be grateful. You serve the King of Kings!

      What are you wearing? I’m not referring to those nice khakis or ripped jeans you have on but what is your spiritual armor? When you wake up put on your armor! Read Ephesians 6:10-18.

      If the Son sets you free, you are truly free. – John 8:36

      Be Present

      Freedom is where my feet are. Author Unknown

      10/10 – Be Present Call

      You can tell a lot about a person by the way they walk. Some are hurried, eyes straight ahead, feet pounding the concrete as they cross the boulevard. Some are lost in space. Eyes glazed over like zombies, detached from the world around them. Others are strollers. Taking in the scenery and enjoying the view. They view the earth as if they have just seen it for the first time.

      I tended to be the hurried one. Not just physically but practically as well. You’d catch me rushing through my life’s agenda trying to play catch up. Rushing to work, rushing to complete assignments, rushing to finish blog posts,etc. But something eventually caught my attention.

      The miracle is not to walk on water but on the earth – Thich Nhat Hanh

      P a u s e . While trying to play catch up the earth was steadily beautifying. It took my dad to share his concern of me being overwhelmed and overworked. It took me getting lost on my way several times. It took me listening to my pastor and reading “An Altar in the World” to realize that the present moment was beautiful in itself. And I was missing all of it’s glory.

      The earth is the LORD’s and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. Psalm 24:1

      Some things that I’ve come to learn are the following:

      Stroll don’t scurry. You are passing up way too much beauty focused on what you need to do when you get “there”.

      Look up. I remember going on my nature walk and entering an open field and looking up. The sky was so vast and beautiful.

      Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? – Matthew 6:26


      Look down. While my dog strolled around. I noticed this handsome area with rocks, flowers, and  plants standing tall. I knelt down to take it all in.

      Consider the lilies of the field, how they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. – Matthew 6:28

      Look around. Every stopped in the middle of the sidewalk? Ever found yourself captivated by all that was around you. Try it.

      Just ask the animals, and they will teach you. Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you. Speak to the earth, and it will instruct you.Job 12:7,8 NLT

      Thanks for viewing!

      Trusting the Master

      pasture

      I will call upon your name. Keep my eyes above the waves. Hillsong in Oceans

      10/03 – Trusting the Master Call

      You didn’t see this coming. It knocked you right off of your feet. And although you thought you covered all measures somehow tragedy still struck. It was the loss of a loved one, another job denial, a new balance added to your account, or having to start all over again. So many questions. So many questions. You try to make sense of it all but no matter how you cut it, it still does not add up. This, my friend, is the struggle.

      You are truly, seriously lost, even though you know exactly where you are. Barbara Brown Taylor in An Altar in the World.

      What God has revealed to me is that we have to trust Him. When we do, we are able to breathe and sleep at night knowing that He is caring for us. As the Great Shepherd, He looks after each of His sheep.

      I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd. John 10:14-16

      Even when you don’t understand God is still there.

      L o o k, S m e l l, T h i n k, T a s t e, a n d L i s t e n.

      Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man that trusts in Him. Psalm 34:8

      As the loving Father He is, God covers us with His word and has equipped us for the journey.

      Look for the reminders that God has placed in your life. Look for God in the little things. 

      God is in the details. He’s in the wind. He’s in the trees. He’s in the earth. He’s in the flowers. Everything around you is giving a message. Tune in to hear the Master’s voice through your everyday occurrences.

      Meditate.

      Take time out of your day to center yourself and focus on what God may be trying to reveal to you. I sing, study, and play worship songs in the morning.

      Connect with purpose-driven people.

      It’s been stated that we become who we hang around. Be observant of who you are partnering with.

      Trust that He has you.

      Your situation is not too dynamic that it disqualifies you from God’s arc of safety. Fall into the Master’s loving arms.

      He won’t take you into it until He’s prepared you for it.

      Stop trying to rush the process. If you truly consider, you’re most likely not ready for the “next big thing” just yet. Use this time to recuperate and to rest in the promises of God.

      Today’s feature song!

      When oceans rise my soul will rest in your embrace. I am yours and you are mine.

      It’s Yours Already

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      Leading at the 2017 Promise Ceremony & Conference.

      The Lord is my Shepherd; I have everything I need…

      There I was, rummaging through my papers again. 

      Where is it? I had misplaced my journal and knew it was somewhere nearby.  There goes the pile of papers on the floor, there goes folders in the closet, and there goes my sanity once more. I needed that book for the prayer call this evening so the desperation was real. As I panted and mentally scurried, I finally decided to be still.

      Be still and know that I am God.

      Concluding to be still, I mentally scoped all of the possibilities of where it could be. I know it’s not on the bed. I shifted my eyes to the desk and with a new height of awareness pulled the journal from under a sheet of paper.

      … The reason so many of us cannot see the red X that marks the spot is because we are standing on it. Barbara Brown Taylor

      We are all on a rampage. Looking to find the answer. Similar to my tornado episode in the bedroom, we rummage through our thoughts panicking when things don’t add up. 

      I just had it yesterday. When I was fired from my job several years ago I thought the same thing. Everything seemed alright just yesterday. But a shift had taken place. Whether I realized it or not, I was growing into something greater. A new season burst onto the scene and the old one seemed to have vanished.

      Why is this happening to me? May I ask why shouldn’t it be happening to you?  Do you not know that the greatest leaders suffered traumatic experiences prior to their breakthroughs? Oprah was removed as co-anchor of WJZ-TV and worked lower profile jobs before making her way to the top of her career.  You are right at the brink of breakthrough. God’s just trying to get your attention.

      The Lord is my Shepherd; I have everything I need.Psalm 23:1 NCV

      Shift Your Gaze.

      Everything we need is within our reach. It’s not like God has provided for us up until this point and now wants to see us squirm! We have to tap into our resources.  As Pastor Matt Stutzman has stated, “There is massive opportunity in the kingdom”. We gain access to a plethora of benefits when we pass that threshold of salvation through Christ. Ask God to lead you to the place of provision He has for you.

      Take a listen to the power call here:

      09/26 – It’s Yours Already


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