Spiritual Warfare

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Choosing Joyfulness

Resolution for a broken spirit.

“A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.”  (Proverbs 17:22)

Since I received the diagnosis of breast cancer, I learned to value the Word of God even more.  On many occasions, the Spirit of God’s Word has lifted my spirit from the depths of anxiety, and like a surgical procedure, His Word has brought joy to my inner parts.

The wisdom of this blessed scripture tells us that there is a healing effect which occurs in us when we make a choice to be joyful.  However, you cannot fake being joyful.  I’m a witness!  There was no way in this world that I could fake being joyful while facing the brutal psychological and physical battle of having aggressive breast cancer.   Genuine Joy comes from God, in whose presence causes our hearts to burst into radiant beams of joyfulness - lifting our spirit and, therefore, bringing healing to mind and body. Being joyful is of God, and we get to choose to receive it.  Some might ask, “Do I have a choice in this situation?”  The answer is, “yes!”  You see,  the whole premise of this word is that someone is choosing to rejoice despite the condition of their situation.  They choose to consider the good that God has done, rather than the misery and the opportunity to be angry, sad and depressed.

Operating out of a broken spirit can lead to lethal results that can be catastrophic to our physical bodies, as illustrated by this word, “a broken spirit will dry up the bones.”   There is no resolution in “faking it until you make it,” as if you do not have a choice in the matter.  When your life is on the line, you do not have time to waste faking joyfulness; however, we can choose to do it. 

I had to choose to be joyful by acknowledging the fact that I was weak and in need of God’s divine intervention.  When I opened my heart to God, He gave me a new song to sing while my physical body was in excruciating pain.  Yes, I thank God for the oncology staff that continues in their efforts to care for my physical body.  However, only God can heal us from the inside outward.

My personal prayer is to choose to be joyful.  Admit that I have been deeply damaged, choose to repent and accept God’s Joy. 

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”1 Corinthians 4:7-10;16

In The Warmth of His Embrace

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In The Warmth of His Embrace

Overcoming the psychological, emotional and physical scars of having (breast) cancer.

In the Warmth of His Embrace,” is a true story based on the author’s personal experience after diagnosed with advanced (breast) cancer. She reveals her emotional battles with fear, the physical and mental scars, and the triumphant spirit to overcome the vicissitudes of life. In the Warmth of His Embrace is the soul’s quest to seek God’s help for a sense of clarity to the meaning of why we suffer and if our suffering serves a certain purpose in the divine scheme of things.

The title of this book was coined by the author when a revelation of Isaiah 41:10 (include scripture here) gave strength to her weakness in the midst of a depleting faith which could no longer withstand the presence of gloom and fear. While yet in the midst of struggling against the inner voices that tried to conquer her soul, God’s blessed word gave her the reassurance of a resting place in Him where there is peace for the weary soul and rest in the warmth of His Embrace. Thus, In the Warmth of His Embrace, involves the quest of the soul for God’s protective power and provisions during times of uncertainty.

EXCERPT:

In 2016 I decided to make a few changes in my life. At that time, I was a licensed minister having received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Christian Education from Lancaster Bible College in Philadelphia PA, and actively involved in ministry. Teaching proved to be one of my gifts which I fully practiced while instructing the New Members Class and conducting Bible Study Class for the Senior Ushers at my church in Baltimore. After graduation, I had contemplated attending Lancaster Seminary for my masters; however, I felt my life moving towards another direction and believed the push was to become a patient advocate. Why? I work at a Children’s Hospital as a Patient Safety Data Coordinator, and through the years I had become very passionate about Patient Safety and concerned about the silence of the patient’s voice when determining care as an organization and administration. I felt compelled by God to receive the necessary training to become a minister with professional training skills in healthcare administration to function as an informed advocate for the quality care of patients and their safety. Conversely, I realized that the next step of a licensed minister is to enter Seminary, however, I chose to enroll in Saint Joseph's University to pursue my Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration.

During my first semester in school, I pretty much knew that I had stepped into foreign territory and early on began to regret my decision to make the move.  Religious studies had become familiar territory for me.  I knew what was expected and could have easily made it through the program with no problem.  I began to regret my decision to pursue Health and Science.  All of the reading material seemed like a foreign language making it very hard to comprehend and successfully complete the assignments. In other words, I was failing my first class because it was very hard for me to comprehend the reading material and make the transition between the MLA to APL writing styles .  The nights were very long, but with God’s help, I was able to push myself to the limit until suddenly, everything started to come together and I passed my class with flying colors. In my first year at SJU, I managed to complete 15 credit hours by the end of December 2016. There were six classes left to complete in my degree program, and I was very zealous about achieving my goal.

In addition to choosing a new path for my education, I also joined the YMCA at the bequest of my eldest sister. She took me on a tour of the YMCA at their local facilities and even instructed me on how to use the equipment. It was such a wonderful feeling sharing that space of time with her. I now realize that it was because of her enthusiasm and influence that actually helped me to decide to join the “Y”, and upon doing so, the activities gave my body the strength and endurance needed to physically fight to survive breast cancer. My stamina had increased, and I was able to join the more advanced classes that were offered. Suddenly, I was feeling more confident about school and wonderful about being in great physical condition! Meanwhile, I had no idea of the cancer cells that had invaded the tissues of my body and had become active, nor did I realize that in a couple of months I would be informed of a diagnosis that would rock my world and cause it to come crashing down. And as a result thereof, the life to which I had once been accustomed to living would go through a dramatic unwelcome change.



”So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Is. 41:10)

Being Glad

This is the Day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

 I frequent the Safeway Supper Market on my way to work in the mornings to pick up necessities for work or for special occasions.  There is a cashier, whose name I am not privy to enclose, who often tells her customers to "be grateful and be faithful."  I echo these words because they are befitting for our scripture reading.  Psalms 118: 24 - is the most quoted verse used to arouse our hearts to worship during our church services.   I thought that it would be nice to know the reason why our hearts burst into joy upon hearing these words, so I ponder the thought about what it means to be glad.

IN CONTEXT

The Word of the Lord reminds us today that GOD has both settled all scores and has established His Kingdom through the redemptive work of His beloved Son (our blessed Redeemer).  Jesus has become the cornerstone which is rejected not only by the people during his day, but also, he is rejected by people in our present time.  Nevertheless, salvation has been established by the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is the Promise, the remedy for this sin sick world. Jesus is both the Author and Finisher of the Faith (Hebrews 12:2); therefore, no other foundation shall be laid except the LORD Himself.

BE GRATEFUL - BE FAITHFUL

After pondering the thought about what it means to be glad, I thought about the cashier's message to her customers:  "Be grateful and be faithful."  Being glad in this instance means being fully conscious of the occasion to which you are glad and being grateful.  But, there is another side to being glad that Christians sometimes forget because we mistakenly take v.24 out of context.  We display our gratefulness by being faithful.  Shouting and dancing is fine; however, that is not how we demonstrate our gratefulness to God for all He has done for us.  We must demonstrate our gratefulness by being faithful.   Those who have believed upon the name of Jesus, should remember to remain grateful for his self-sacrificial offering to stand proxy in their place, and to be a faithful disciple and steward of His Word.

Rejoice & Be Glad!

Prayer

Gracious God - Eternal Father,

We give you thanks for this day: for life more abundantly; for peace and joy; for a reasonable portion of health and strength, and most importantly, we thank you for our salvation.   There is none like you in the whole of creation - You ARE GOD alone!  Look with kindness upon us on this day and teach us how to be glad in it.  Help us to understand the reason for our gladness so that we might articulate/give witness to the world about our reason for being glad.  Sweet Holy Spirit - infuse us with your strength so that we might exhibit our gratefulness to the Father and Son through our obedience to the word, and be faithful followers/disciples of Jesus.  Amen.

Prophetic Artwork

Writing In The (Holy) Spirit/ Book Ministry

I practically stumbled across a piece of artwork which I believe expresses the vision of "Writing In the (Holy) Spirit" Book Ministry.  I have contacted the Artist, whose name is Jennifer Jones, and discovered that she does Prophetic Artwork.  I do believe that our connection is one that was divinely orchestrated by God.  I hope to meet Jennifer one day; meanwhile, I plan to purchase copies of the picture in canvas and digital to use electronically on my new website, and perhaps as the cover picture on my new book!

The picture below also resembles the logo for Universal Ministries.  Things are coming together for UM so sweetly...

Praise the Name of the LORD!

Yom Kippur and The Real You

On this blessed morning, my usual routine was interrupted by the discovered treasure in a simple video clip that was sent to me from a Jewish website.  The video clip featured Rabbi Moshe giving a wonderful teaching of the Jewish historical meaning of Yom Kippur.  My soul was filled with delight as I sat, practically at the feet of this blessed Rabbi, and discovered that the beautiful descriptions of that wonderful time, celebrated throughout Jewish history, was all summed up in Jesus' coming, living, dying, resurrection and ascension.

In my book, Strengthened by Prayer - Interludes of Oneness, I share the experience of intimacy which I was allowed to encounter with our Gracious and Holy God.  I described the place within as the inner sanctum - the Holiest of Holies - the inner chamber of God. The description of the experience coincides with Rabbi Moshe's teaching of Yom Kippur.   I believe that in His infinite wisdom, God wanted to validate the encounter of that blessed moment, and for me to understand that the Jews long desperately to enter into the experience.  We must continue to pray for the Jewish people, and pray that God will grant us sanctified boldness - tenacity of spirit to witness Jesus to them - using a language that they are able to understand.  (God grant this desire of the heart!)

Meanwhile, we must understand that Christianity is intermingled with ancient Judaism, and we would do well to acquaint ourselves with the culture and community of ancient Judaism.  Yes, we are hidden in Christ Jesus; however, Jesus was a Jew and his practices and sayings were birthed out of the Ancient Jewish Traditions.  I implore every Christian to study the ancient history, culture and community beliefs of Judaism, so that you might encounter the fullness of the Gospel message and be a true witness to the Jewish people of Jesus the Messiah.

http://www.chabad.org/1635901