Emotional Nudity

Emotional Nudity – This is an old Facebook Blog post that I wrote on January 03rd, 2015. I am slowly getting back to this beautiful place of Emotional Nudity that I discovered in 2013 and embarked upon. In early 2020 I once again began closing up, that is until God used someone to help open up that heart again. However, I am taking it day by day as I get back to where I was from 2013 to January of 2020.

About a year ago (2013) I began my journey to Emotional Nudity. I came across this in 2013. I decided to give it a try.  I grew up as an introverted child for the majority of my life up until about 3 years ago. I grew up in an environment where we never showed emotion or affection. I always had a hard time showing love even though I had a Big heart. Only certain people were privileged to me expressing that emotion called Love.  As I was about to turn 40 I knew I wanted to make a change. I needed to come up higher and better.

In 2010 I had the hard task of taking a look at myself in the mirror. No, I’m not talking physically, but emotionally. It was one of the most difficult things I had to do. However, I also have to admit it was one of the best things I ever did. It wasn’t an easy process, especially after carrying years of Emotional Pain and Baggage that was really becoming a very cumbersome load for me to carry. It was displayed all over my face and in my attitude. 

As the LORD began sifting me out, and I began to draw closer. I truly wanted to make a change. However, the change didn’t fully come until 2013 when the LORD gave me the ability to come in contact with three individuals whom He used to touch my life in such a profound way. By the Grace of GOD, He used them to show me how to reach deep into my soul and express the love outwardly. I always had love within me. I just had a problem expressing it especially to a lot of individuals. 

GOD used these three individuals to teach me how to love openly without fear of rejection.  They had some of the Biggest hearts. There was no rejection or judgement, just pure love. As they would loved me even at times when I would just put up my Emotional wall because I was afraid to let anyone in. After all, everyone who I had let in (Family, Friend, Relationship, etc), I always seemed to walk away with my heart torn in pieces.

I began to closely sought GOD about this. Obviously, something was wrong in my camp. I realized because of growing up and facing a lot of Rejection. I often gravitated towards the wrong people. People who I really and truly thought had my back, who really didn’t. Long story short. I wanted a change. So yes, I began to draw closer to GOD (The Lord)and allowed these three individuals to teach me how to love openly I stumbled upon something called Emotional Nudity.

I began doing some research on Emotional Nudity and decided to give it a try. I have to admit. It was scary as heck. It was like being caught naked with all the imperfect parts of your body hanging out. I’d stick my toe in the water to test the waters then draw back out of fear when someone showed a little too much affection, or if I was expected to return that affection. Slowly but surely as I got deeper and deeper in my walk. The hardness of exterior shell (my cocoon) that had protected me Emotionally for so long began to chip away more and more.

As I stand here today. I can truly say I can love openly and freely without fear.  However, I have realized not everyone is open to receiving or embracing that love. At first it was difficult for me to understand. However, GOD showed me that at one point and time that was also me. So as I go about every day I try to make it a habit to brighten somebody’s day. Even if it’s with a smile, or a compliment. I can truly say that when I allowed my walls to come down and I allowed GOD to do the work that He began in me since 2010.  I am a much better person today than I was a few years back. Thank GOD for His tender mercies and care. To bring me to a place in my life that I call BETTER!!!

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Remembering My Mother

Today marks 44 years after I lost my mother as a child at the age of 33 to a fatal heart attack. Even though I was a little girl I can still remember it like it was yesterday. I remember walking in and finding her face down on the floor between my bed and my baby brother’s changing table in me and my brother’s bedroom in our third floor, three bedroom apartment in Staten Island, New York.

Mommy

I realize the older I get, the more I miss her. This past May for my birthday I was missing my mother like crazy. I remember telling the Lord, “I am really missing the woman who gave birth to me today on my birthday.” Despite losing my mother at such a tender age. I still have some of the best and fondest memories of my mom.

Our Old Apartment as it looks today. We lived on the third floor back in the 70’s.

I remember as a child growing up in Staten Island, New York standing on the kitchen chair watching either Electric Company, Sesame Street or Don Cornelius on Soul Train with his afro on our small black and white television on the refrigerator.

Don Cornelius

As a child I remember sitting on her bed as she would pull out her clothes and jewelry. Oh how I remember loving to play with them. I remember my mother making me a nice glass of ice cold strawberry or chocolate Quick. Those were the days when I would long for nice cup of Hawaiian Punch, but that was only when I finished eating my food. She would always put a little dollop of applesauce on my plate so that I would finish eating my food. To this very day I still have to have something sweet on my plate to eat my food. Instead of apple sauce, it ‘s ripe fried plantains.

I remember her listening to some of the most beautiful music back in those days. Songs like “Knock Three Times, “Rock the Boat,” “Woman Take Me in Your Arms,” and so many more. Every time I hear the song, “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel,” I can’t help but think about my Momma. In the same way, I can’t help but think of her each time I hear a Temptations or a Four Tops song.

I can’t tell you how many times I heard this song in my parents’ house growing up.

Some of my favorite pass times with my mother was when we would have the ability to go to one of my favorite places which was Silver Lake Park. Silver Lake Park is my favorite park to this very day. It holds some of the most precious memories for me as a child growing up. It is still one of my favorite places to visit when I am in New York City. My mother is buried across the street at the Silver Lake Park Cemetary. I would often sit on a bench and reminisce knowing that her resting place is across the way.

Silver Lake Park, Staten Island, NY

I think my most fondest memory of my mother and myself, was us sitting at the kitchen table sucking on some sugar cane that her family would send her from back home. Every time I would see a box arrive at our door, I knew exactly what was in it. It was Sugarcane Time!!!

It’s been 44 years, I have never ever eaten sugar cane again. Every time I am back in the Caribbean and I see some sugarcane at the open air markets, I’ll slowly stop and look at them and remember those beautiful and precious moments I spent at our kitchen table in Staten Island, New York as a child sucking away at that sugarcane, both my mother and I.

Child Eating Sugarcane

So as I remember my mother today. I don’t just remember the woman who gave birth to me. I remember the woman who was hardworking, gentle, beautiful, well-dressed and wanted the best for her children. I also remember the woman who always thought me to pray before bedtime and each meal. As the sole survivor of both my parents, I give God thanks for allowing me to be able to have her and experience the warmth of her love for the four years she was here with me on the face of this earth.

And even though there are days I wish that I could hear her voice, or even envelop myself in a warm embrace with her. I thank God that I am still here all though my mother, father and brother are no longer here. I carry the legacy through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.

Amy Carmichael (Heroin of Faith)

Amy Beatrice Carmichael was born in Belfast, Ireland in 1876 to a devout Christian family. She was the eldest of seven children. As a teen she attended Wesleyan Methodist girls boarding school, until her father’s  death. Amy’s father died when she was 18 years old. She was later further educated at home and in England after her father’s death.

Amy Carmichael

The missionary call came when she attended the Keswick Movement.  Amy had the opportunity to attend this convention twice. It was there that she met Robert Wilson, whom she developed a very close relationship with. He later invited her to come and live with him and his family.

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Soon after she felt the call to become a Missionary. She applied to the China Inland Mission. Because of health concerns she was unable to attend. However, in 1893 she was later able to go to Japan to join the Church Missionary Society, which was led by Barclay Buxton. Amy spent less than two years there  before returning home to England.

Upon her return to England, she accepted a position with the Church of England’s Zenana Missionary Society, where she would end up serving in India. She arrived in India in November of 1895, which would end up becoming her permanent home. From 1895 – 1925 her work with the orphans in Tinnevely (Tirunelveli) was supported by the Church of England. 

While in India and trying to learn the language of Tamil, she began evangelism with a group of Indian Christian women, which was guided by the Church Missionary Society’s Thomas Walker. She was soon put in charge of newly converted Indian women. Amy settled in Dohnavur in 1901 with the Walkers and her Indian colleagues.  

Church Missionary Society

Church Missionary Society

At first, the orphanage cared for just girls, who were used as temple prostitutes, and also girls and babies who were abandoned by their families. The orphanage would later go on to also accept boys. It also became her mission to rescue and raise the children with the proper love, care and most importantly, the proper spiritual upbringing.

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According to sources, there was fierce opposition against her crusade to rescue these children. She also took children from families that did not want to keep their children. Amy was also accused of using witchcraft to lure the children away from their families. There was also heavy protest and violence. 

At this time, Amy had permanently moved to India. In 1927 The Dohnavur Fellowship was created. She was known at Dohnavur as (Amma), which means mother. Amy was a prolific writer who wrote nearly 40 books. She was well known for her writings. Amy ran the orphanage with the help of God through the financial assistance she received in order to help her carry out her assignment. Amy did not solicit money from anyone. She was able to run orphanage with the help of volunteers, who also helped her to carry out her assignment with the hand and help of God. 

Dohnavur Fellowship

Dohnavur Fellowship

In 1931 Amy suffered a serious fall, coupled with Arthritis she was disabled for the rest of her life. However, she continued to write. She would also later go on to select leaders and missionaries to take her place.

In 1951 Amy Carmichael died at the age of 83 at Dohnavur. Amy worked at Dohnavur for over 50 years. Each day she longed for the day she would be able to see her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in Heaven. She was buried in an unmarked grave under a tree where a bird bath sits on her final resting place with the word inscribed “Ammai”, revered mother, which the children of Dohnavur called Carmichael.\

Amy's Grave

Amy’s memory lives on in her writings and also at Dohnavur Fellowship where the work Amy began with the help, grace and mercy of God. The orphanage still continues to care for rescued children. In August of 2016, the Amy Carmichael Center was opened.

Books by Amy Carmichael:

 

Books on Amy Carmichael:

  • A Chance to Die: the Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael (Elisabeth Elliot)
  • “Amy Carmichael; Beauty for Ashes, a Biography. (Iain Murray)
  • Amy Carmichael: A Life Abandoned to God (Sam Wellman)
  • The Wild-Bird Child: A Life of Amy Carmichael (Derek Bingham)
  • Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur (Frank Houghton)
  • Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems. (Janet & Geoff Benge)

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Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, Macmillan Reference USA, copyright © 1998 Gerald H. Anderson, by permission of Macmillan Reference USA, New York, NY. All rights reserved.

Carmichael, Amy Beatrice (1867-1951)

The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael, 2017 – Roger Carswell https://www.evangelical-times.org/40214/the-life-and-legacy-of-amy-carmichael/#event-j-h-newman

Amy Carmichael – Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amy_Carmichael

 

The Hiding Place: Corrie Ten Boom

Corrie Ten Boom was born Cornelia Arnolda Johanna Ten Boom in Amsterdam, Netherlands on April 15th, 1892 to Casper and Cornelia Ten Boom. Corrie was named after her mother. Her father Casper was a Jeweler and Watchmaker. She was the youngest of four children.

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Casper & Cornelia Ten Boom

Her family were members of the Dutch Reformed Church, which protested against the Nazi persecution of Jews. Corrie and her family believed in equality for all human beings regardless of their race. Corrie’s grandfather had also supported efforts to improved the Christian-Jewish relations in the 19th century.

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The Ten Boom Family

Her family became involved in the resistance efforts after World War II. Many of her family members sheltered young men who were being sought by the Nazi’s. Corrie along with her father and elder sister Betsie would hide Jews in their home in Haarlem, the Netherlands

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The Ten Boom Home in Haarlem, Netherlands

Corrie was able to make connections with resistance workers by working as a watchmaker in her father’s store as a cover. Corrie was also the first female certified/licensed watchmaker in the Netherlands. The resistance workers helped her in securing ration books and building a Hiding Place in their (The Ten Boon’s) home. They were betrayed and ratted out to the Nazi’s by Jan Vogel

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The Hiding Place in Corrie’s Bedroom.

When the Gestapo raided their home on February 28th, 1944, there were six people in hiding, including two Jews and resistance workers. Corrie along with her father, her brother, two sisters, a nephew and other family members were taken away, as well as some of the resistance workers and acquaintances who were attending a prayer at their home.

They were all briefly held at Scheveningen prison. All were released except to Corrie, her elder sister Betsie and her father Casper, who all remained in prison. Ten days after being detained by the Gestapo, Casper fell ill and died in prison at the age of 83.

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Ravensbruck Concentration Camp.

 

Both Corrie and Betsie remained in prison at Scheveningen until June of 1944. They were both then transferred to a camp at Vught in the Netherlands. In September of that same year, three months after being transferred to Vught both Corrie and Betsie were transferred to Ravensbruk Concentration Camp in Germany. Both Corrie and Betsie were able to remain together during that time, that is until December of 1944 when Betsie died at Ravensbruk due to illness at the age of 59.

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Betsie Ten Boom

Before her death Betsie had three visions from the Lord. The first vision was about a house for former prisoners. The second was to own a concentration camp where they could teach Germans to learn to love again. The third was that they would be released before the new year. All three visions came to pass.

Corrie was miraculously released due to a clerical error in late December of 1944, along with other prisoners. One week later after her miraculous release, all the female prisoners from her age group were killed. She would never forget God’s grace and mercy. and how He had miraculously spared her life. 

After being released she returned home to Haarlem, Netherlands where she was reunited with her remaining surviving family members. She would go on to set up a rehabillitation center in Bloemendaal. The refugee houses housed of concentration-camp survivors and sheltered the jobless Dutch who previously collaborated with Germans during the Occupation exclusively until 1950, when it accepted anyone in need of care.

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Corrie Ten Boom

She returned to Germany in 1946, and met with and forgave two Germans who had been employed at Ravensbrück, one of whom was particularly cruel to Betsie.

Corrie Ten Boom went on to travel the world as a public speaker, appearing in more than 60 countries. She wrote many books during this time She was knighted by Queen Juliana of the Netherlands in 1971.

Corrie moved to Placentia, CA in 1977 penniless. She would later go on to do many speaking engagements and write a book entitled The Hiding Place, which was later made into a movie by the Billy Graham Evangelical Association Media.

She was recognized for her work and great courage. She was also honored by the state of Israel for her work aiding the Jewish people. Her childhood home in Haarlem, Netherlands was turned into a museum that has been dedicated in her family’s memory. Despite everything. She forgave her captors

Qt: There is no pit so deep that He (God) is not deeper still. (Betsie Ten Boom)

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrie_ten_Boom

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betsie_ten_Boom

https://www.corrietenboom.com/en/information/the-history-of-the-museum

https://www.guideposts.org › Better Living › Life Advice › Finding Life Purpose

 

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/14904417

https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/cocoabrownflanders/episodes/2019-02-11T17_33_36-08_00

False Prosperity

What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet lose his soul. In today’s society everything is about fame, fortune and prestige. Very few people stop and sit back and think about the God of Heaven. The Creator who woke them up to see another day, or His Son Jesus Christ who died on the cross so that our sins might be forgiven.

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We live in a time when our phones, television and social media have become more important than the Bible or Christ himself. As we look around in many of our churches today, the number of people carrying their physical Bibles are significantly decreasing compared to those who are carrying their phones to replace their Bibles.

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We live in a society where we want everything quick and in a hurry. We want to get rich quick and in a hurry. We want to get a house and a car quick and in a hurry. We want to get married quick and in a hurry. The same way we want to get out of church, prayer and bible study quick and in a hurry.

Rather than depending and trusting the Lord for what we need. Many people today are taking things into their own hands by using ulterior sources in order to gain success or the materials of life. Many are taking their “Own Destiny’s” into their own hands. A lot of us are not waiting upon the Lord as the bible instructs us to do.

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Most people are not even thinking about the Lord unless we come up against some great life-threatening situation or experience. The bible tells us to seek the Lord while he can still be found. There is a set of people who do not even believe in God, much less His Son Jesus Christ. Waiting upon the Lord is definitely not in their vocabulary.

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We have so many people who are easily and rapidly falling for the enemy’s schemes and lies, only to later come up burnt and empty if they happen to survive. Many do not realize that neither fame, fortune or prestige cannot save us. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with being wealthy or successful. However, if one is not using God-given methods, it’s clearly a waste of time.

The enemy never does anything for free. It is going to cost you something. The question is…What or who? There is always an exchange. Like it or not, One day is payday. However, there is a gift that has been given to us free of charge. That gift is salvation. Jesus died for our sins. Our sin-debts have been paid in full by His sacrifice made on our behalves. it doesn’t us cost anything. All you have to do is just accept and receive it freely through Christ Jesus.

What greater gift is there than one that has been fully paid. Won’t you receive Him. There is no greater gift than the gift of life that comes from God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

God’s Wonderful Creation

 

This morning I had the wonderful privilege of recording a couple of episodes for two of my podcasts in one of the most beautiful places that I have ever seen. Normally, I record my podcasts indoors behind closed doors. However, due to circumstances I wasn’t able to do so.

I have been working on a recent series based on Psalm 37. I needed to record and upload a new episode. I had been praying and asking God to show me a place where I could go to record my episode. Yesterday as I was walking with a sister in Christ. She wanted to show me a shortcut how to get to the library from where we were both staying.

She took me to this beautiful park. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I’m a huge lover of parks, especially when I’m in the US. Normally, when I am New York City during my days off in the Spring or the Summer I enjoy spending time in the park. My favorite park in New York City is Silver Lake Park in Staten Island, New York. I also spend a lot of time in Battery Park in New York, New York.

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Silver Lake Park in Staten Island, New York

It was so beautiful I thought that I had stepped into the Garden of Eden. I was so grateful for the Lord allowing her to show me this beautiful hidden little place. God had answered my prayer through my sister in Christ. I’ve spent many days in the park during the Spring and Summer seasons just talking with and praying to the Lord. Some of my greatest ideas where birth right in those parks while speaking to the Lord. It’s a place where I can sit still and communicate with Him and hear His voice when I seek Him for direction and for the decisions of life.

So this morning I stepped out on faith and did what I had never done before, I recorded a couple of episodes in the park that were just so fascinating. The sounds of the birds chirping in the background where just so heavenly. I’m actually thinking of doing a whole lot more episodes in that park. I just wanted to post a few pictures for some of my readers and listeners to see the true Beauty of God’s Creation.

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Fourth Ward Park

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The Little Free Library in the Park.

https://www.spreaker.com/show/words-of-encouragement_1

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/words-of-encouragement/id1278809297?mt=2

https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/cocoabrownflanders

Words: Can lift Up or Tear Down (Pt. 2)

Often times we ignorantly say things and speak words that are not just binding on our own lives but also the lives of other people as well. There are times when words are spoken in and out of hate and spitefulness. It is important that we be careful with our words. The bible tells us that we will give account for every idle word that we have spoken.

When I overheard the words my aunt and uncle spoke over me ignorantly, those words caused the door to be opened for those spirits to enter into my life. I played a big part in that as well by believing what they said about me. Back then I was a young girl. I didn’t know anything about Salvation, forgiveness, positive thinking and godly thoughts. Instead of believing what God said about me, I chose ignorantly for 26 years to believe what the enemy allowed others to say and think about me to define my life.

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Thank God I have been set free by the power and blood of Jesus Christ. I no longer see myself the way others had labeled and described me as a young dark-skinned girl growing up. Today I am a confident young woman who loves the skin she’s in. I love my complexion. The days of self-hate, low self-esteem and inferiority are long gone and over. Instead those spirits have been replaced by the power of God and the Holy Spirit.  I no longer believe the words that were spoken about me. Today I base my life on who God says I am and what He has created me for…His Kingdom and Glory. I am fearfully and wonderfully made in his image.

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The best part of everything. Not only have I long forgiven both my family members who labeled me as black and ugly. The best part was one day I remember that same aunt looking at me a few years ago and saying, “Do you know you are a Beautiful Black Girl.” Silently in my thoughts, I remembered that incident that took place more than 30 years ago and thought of how great God’s goodness was. By the time she gave me that compliment I had been long delivered, but it was nice to hear her say that. I then answered politely, “Thank you. I know.”

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Are you struggling with low self-esteem, self-hate or inferiority. Maybe a family member spoke some not so kind or uplifting words over your life. Maybe you have believed them just like I did. You too can be set free from that bondage. Remember that each and every one of us were created by God. We are His workmanship. We were made in His image. Remember that you too are, “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” with love and care by the Heavenly Father.

PS: A few weeks ago as I sat on my bed while going through some rough moments and wondering if I was going to overcome. The Lord reminded me of the years I struggled with those Spirits. Those were some of the most difficult times of my life as well as some of the strongest strongholds in my life.  I never thought I would ever over come. God answered and delivered me from those evil spirits, thoughts and words that were spoken over my life. He reminded me that those spirits were some of the most difficult ones that I was dealing with and He had delivered me and set me free from them. If He delivered me from that, He will deliver me from whatever it is I am fighting right now. He’s an Amazing God.

Feel free to check out my Podcasts:

Words of Encouragement at

I-Tunes.com

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/words-of-encouragement/id1278809297

Spreaker.com

Podomatic.com

https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/cocoabrownflanders

 

Words: Can Lift Up or Tear Down (Part 1)

This year will be 12 years since the Lord broke the Spirit of Low Self-Esteem and Inferiority off of my life. I carried those spirits around with me for 26 years of my life before God intervened and released me from them. Life has been so different after being set free from low-self esteem, low-self worth and inferiority.

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You see my problem began back when I was a child growing up in the Caribbean. I was the only dark-skinned girl on my father’s side of the family. I was often teased because of my dark-complected skin. I remember being called ugly and tar baby by family members. I always felt very ashamed and ugly because of this. I thought those feelings would go away as I got older and became an adult. However, they didn’t. They only increased.

I would always make sure that I was well dressed, well-groomed and my hair was always well-styled and my face well-made up. Whenever I was well dressed, well-coiffed and well made up I always felt good about myself. I remember feeling that I always had to be well put together, if I wasn’t I felt extremely ugly. I also liked the attention I would get back then. I hid my pain and low-self esteem and low self worth under some of the nicest clothes, fanciest hairstyles and Flori Roberts or Fashion Fair make up, powder and blush (my favorite) at the time.

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I remember when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I was in my bedroom when I heard one of my aunt’s and uncle’s having a conversation. They were comparing their nieces and nephews. I remembered when they got to one of my cousins that is a year older than myself. I remembered them saying, “Oh, she is going to grow up to be such a beautiful young woman when she gets older.”

I was up next. I was so excited to hear how I was also going to grow up to be a beautiful young woman as well. I stood behind the door as I was listening to the conversation. I stood there behind the door as I anxiously awaited to hear the words that I too was going to grow up and be a beautiful young woman.

Even though this conversation took place many years ago. Over 30 years to be exact. I remember every single word like it was yesterday. My aunt said, “What about Arlena?” My uncle responded, “Oh God! She’s black and ugly.” They both burst out laughing along with other who were also present listening to the conversation. I stood behind the door with my heart and self worth shattered to pieces. I will never forget the way I felt. I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach…by my very own.

The Spirit of low self-esteem, low self-worth and inferiority kicked in. I carried that around with me for decades. I became even more introverted than I already was to begin with. I always pushed people away because I thought maybe they too thought I was black and ugly and would not want anything to do with me. After all, my family thought I was black and ugly, so therefore other people had to feel the same way. I became difficult to deal with because of the scars that were set in motion by the enemy of my soul through the words that had been spoken ignorantly over me at the particular time and place of my life.

Being Sifted As Wheat

Often times I find myself being pressed on every side. I know it’s the work of the enemy. There are times I find myself becoming discouraged. However, the Holy Spirit is often right there with me to remind me that Christ is with me, and that I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.

There are days when I feel like just giving up, but that little mustard-seed size faith that is deep down inside of me, won’t let me. I keep on pressing despite the circumstances of life. I would be lying if I said that at times, I don’t become tired. I’ve learned to repeat some of my favorite scriptures. I’ve also learned to think back and remember all the wonderful times that GOD spared my life and brought me through every single trap that the enemy laid for me.

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When we are going through the difficulties of life, it is important that we trust God. It is important that we hold on to Him through Jesus Christ, His Word and the Holy Spirit as our guide. The enemy comes in like a flood as he tries to kill, steal, destroy, distract and derail us from what God is calling us to. Often times we tend to give in and give up to soon. We listen to the lies that the enemy is whispering to us, “You can’t make it.” ,”You don’t have any money.”, “Are you sure that was God speaking to you.”

Often times the enemy can also use the voices of others. This is something I often notice. It can be a family member, friend, co-worker or even a naysayer. If we are not careful, we allow some of these same people to talk us right out of our God-given blessings. That’s why it is important that we stay anchored to our Master and Savior Jesus Christ.

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I often do a lot of thinking, especially about life. When I look back at my life and all that I went through and still going through, often times I wonder if I am not cursed. Then I realized that is exactly what the enemy wants me to believe. For if I believe it, then it will come to pass.  So as a man thinketh, so is he/she (Prov 23:7). Whomever God has blessed, no man can curse. So I started asking God what was really going on. I realized that what had been happening to me, was definitely not of the natural realm. There was something else clearly in operation.

I really started praying heavily and speaking to God regarding this. That is until He lead me to a sermon by Pastor John Lomacang entitled, Breaking the Chains. In this sermon Pastor Lomacang talks about the part in the bible where Satan asks God to sift the Apostle Peter  like wheat. Just like he asked God to sift Peter, he also asks God to sift us as believers. Many of us are being sifted by the enemy.

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22: 31-32 (NIV)

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When you are a part of the body of Christ, Satan can’t just touch you. He has to ask God for permission. If the Lord is allowing us to be sifted there must be a reason. There is something or somethings that He is trying to purge from our lives, or maybe we are simply being tested as Job to show that we are equipped for the battle. Just like Peter was restored after the enemy had sifted him and Job was restored after the enemy was allowed to test him. We too shall be restored in due season, if we faint not.

When the going gets though, what are you going to do? Are you going to give in by compromising? Are you going to run, or are you going to stand strong with the Almighty God through His Son Jesus Christ? Repeat this prayer below.

Thank you Lord for sending Your Son to die for me. I pray Father and asked to continually be protected as I cover myself in the Blood of Jesus daily. Give me the strength that I need when I feel like I can’t go on. Most importantly, Lord help me to remember Your past victories in my life. Amen.

For more encouragement please feel free to check out  my Podcast: Words of Encouragement at:

I-Tunes.com https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/words-of-encouragement/id1278809297

On Spreaker: https://www.spreaker.com/show/words-of-encouragement_1

Podomatic   https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/cocoabrownflanders

https://podomatic.com/embed/html5/podcast/5635566?autoplay=false

 

 

 

 

Mother Dearest

Yesterday as I sat in church clapping and cheering my heart out for Mother Cymbala, who was celebrating her 103rd birthday. Pastor Cymbala, myself along with the entire church we were celebrating his mother’s 103rd birthday, while I was silently remembering the mother I had lost 41 years ago that very same day.

As the lights were dimmed and the television screens throughout the Tabernacle brightened with a beautiful visual photo story of Mrs Cymbala’s life during her younger years. As I sat there with the rest of the congregation admiring the story that was being displayed before my eyes.

As I sat there watching those pictures I couldn’t help but think of my own mother. After all, it was the anniversary of her death. My heart ached as the tears welled up in my eyes that had been hidden in my heart from early that morning. Slowly they began to roll down my cheek as I quickly wiped them away before the video presentation was over, and the lights came back up.

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I would go on to enjoy the rest of the wonderful Sunday service as I thanked GOD for Mother Cymbala’s life, as well as my own life. I had outlived my mother by 12 years. I was the last of her personal bloodline creation left. I was still here despite everything that I had experienced. I realized that GOD did indeed have a plan for my life. I had outlived both my mother and my brother.

Many days I wish I had grown up with my mother. I wish she was still here. I often wondered what type of relationship I would have had with my mother. Would things in my life had been different. Would I have walked down the same dangerous paths that I did in the past. I had so many questions running through my mind and no answers.

Even though I was only four years old when my mother died. I still have some of the most beautiful memories growing up with her.  I remember my mother teaching me how to pray. She would make me pray over every meal before I ate it, and I would have to pray every night before I went to sleep. Those are the memories I cherish and carry with me throughout my life. My time spent with her as short as it was, are some of the most beautiful and precious times of my life.

I Miss You Dearly Mother