Worshipping In The Ashes

The Book of Job, KJV

“…Put forth Your Hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your Face…Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a potsherd to scrape himself while he was sitting among the ashes.” Job 2:5, 7-8.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Yes, I know that we are well into the month of January, but to be honest we are still barely into the New Year. Besides, I haven’t been active in my writing since the end of last year. I have had this particular post written since December, but due to a very hectic schedule and a much-needed break in order to rest my brain, I didn’t get to my computer.

With the close of a year and the dawning of a new year, it’s a usual pattern of most people to take time to reflect on the things that has happened within the previous twelve months, while looking forward to the things to come in the upcoming year. For many of us, we are not only looking back on the previous twelve months, but more than likely the last two to three years. This is probably the case because we have seen such unfathomable things happen in our lives within an extended span of time, and it is a wonder as to how any of us were actually able to make it through it all. If we are completely honest, during these incredible times of hardship we may have found ourselves doubting God and His plan for our lives, even if it were for a split second. This is not to say that for those who had these moments stopped believing completely, but rather the impact of the hits that we had taken through the year(s) left us in a position where we had to dig deep to gain access to the measure of faith that God has given to us in order to press our way through. The last few years have been tough for everyone, but this last year was so tough for many because just when we thought that the worst was over, something else happened and let us know that we weren’t finished with the heavy hits just yet. For my family in particular, it was the surge of COVID cases. Seeing that this unmerciful virus was the very thing that led to my brother’s death, seeing a number of people within my family hit with this virus caused us all grief and moments of worry.

The Uphill Climb of 2019-2023

When I think about what some of my loved ones and myself have gone through, it makes me think about Job. Even though none of us had to endure the kind of disastrous events as Job did, we were still taken by surprise in similar fashion to the ancient man of God—with sudden fear and a sense of devastation as things began to happen to us all. One part of his story in particular that has resonated in my spirit is the point in Job 2 where he sits in ashes, scraping his skin because of the affliction of boils and sores. What we see in scripture is a depiction of one of the most ancient of practices of the people of the Near and Middle East, the donning of sackcloth and ashes. It was quite possible that Job did not wear the sackcloth because of the skin condition that he was hit with. However, the ashes were still present. This act of wearing sackcloth and ashes was an outward symbol of repentance, humility, and even submission. Personally, I believe that Job’s posture in the ashes was more so an outward sign of the fact that even though he was going through the worst season of his life, he was still choosing to remain submitted to God and His will for him—an incredible act of worship.

As Job remained in his physically, mentally, and emotionally injured state, he does not dare to speak against God. Instead of doing so (which would have been a warranted reaction to the chain of events, according to his wife and friends), he silently submits to God. This is important to notice because submission to God and His will for our lives is an act of worship. This is even truer when everything around us has fallen apart with no prior notice of such devastation.

Remaining Faithful to God

Another thing that comes to mind is the fact that there were other practices that were associated with the wearing of sackcloth and ashes. For example, in the Near and Middle East, there were people who subscribed to the practices of cutting oneself when mourning. In Leviticus 19:28, God Himself forbade such practices, due to the fact that they were attached to pagan and demonic religious ceremonies. The reason why this is so noteworthy is because of the fact that Job was a man who lived in the ancient Middle East (most likely in the Idumean territory, according to some scholars), and therefore would have at least been aware of these practices. Even though it has been said that Job himself was not Jewish, he was still a devout worshipper of the One True God, and therefore would have intentionally push away anything that was not of God. Even with the potsherd in his hand, as he scraped his skin, he did not cut himself or fall into the things that he had forsaken. His heart remained with the God who had created him and blessed him. Job sets himself apart from the people around him who did not know God (even apart from his friends). As a man of God, he knew better than to engage with such pagan practices. His scraping was simply a means for relief and aiding in the care of the sores and boils. Even at his lowest point, Job does not fall into pagan and ungodly practices. He does not accuse God of evil. He does not allow himself to think about anything that could open a door to his own disobedience toward God. Instead, he holds true to his faith in God.

What I have learned in this season is that there is nothing wrong with taking time to sit in the proverbial sackcloth and ashes, in order to take the time to mourn and take stock of the things that has happened to us in this last year and within the last few years. However, it is vital that we be careful to remain committed to the will of God. For many of us, this was the posture that we were compelled by way of our faith to take during these recent hard times. In fact, some of those closest to me who were hit with devastating blows actually cried through these moments of trying to understand what was going on, and their tears weren’t only due to the presence of God. They cried as they said yes, even though the “yes” itself was painful. In this season, many of us have had to worship through tears and past the point where we wanted to give up and end it all (ministry, businesses, marriages, building of dreams, life in general). What we must understand is the fact that God takes notice of these moments of lowliness and humiliation, and watches us and our reactions to all that has happened to us and around us. He is patient and understanding when we want to collapse under the pressure of the present hardships, but He glories and revels in the moments where His children press through their (warranted) feelings and decide to worship Him and submit to His will. This act alone would have been enough for Job to inherit great things, but he was able to receive even the more because he also defended the fame and the will of God to those who were unable to understand what was happening and why. To the best of his ability, Job remained submitted to God and His will for his life, and showed his devotion and worship by sitting in ashes as a sign to the people that he was in great mourning, and as a sign to God that he will continue to submit to God Himself.

Press Your Way Through

Throughout the last few years, the world has been turned upside down. For many of us, our personal landscapes have changed immensely. At times worshipping God has been a hard thing to do (I know that’s not necessarily a good thing to admit to, but it’s honest). We’ve had to cry it out, scream it out, wail it out, and even talk ourselves into a place of submission and faith in God through these unusual times. These were necessary exercises in the preservation of the faith that we are to walk in. By doing this, we were able to maintain our connection with the Creator of Heaven and Earth, while being a living example of what it really means to be submitted to God (this walk in Christ is literally a “through thick and thin” type of walk). During these last few years, many of us have lost hope, but still managed to maintain our overall faith in the sovereignty and goodness of God (I’ll expound more on that in the next post). Many of us clung to hope and faith with our fingertips, as if we were hanging on the side of a cliff, just inches away from slipping away and down to (what appeared to be an inevitable) death. Regardless of what this long season has looked like to us as individuals, we must find ourselves praising God and celebrating the fact that we made it! So, allow your testimony of how you made it through this tough time to push you into the destiny that awaits you in this newly dawned year.

Just a side note: this same sentiment can be applied to any cycle of life in which we would find ourselves graduating out of/crossing over into. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and so through Christ and the inheritance He has made available to us through His sacrifice on the cross, we shall always come out in victory as long as we cling to Him.

Be blessed in Jesus’ Name!


Where Do I Start?

So, it’s been a while since I’ve been on this site, and I did not wat to go
much longer without at least posting a short message. My last post was just
before Thanksgiving, and since then I have had a lot of topics to come to the
Table with. However, it seems that a lot of these post that I am working on has
me feeling a bit overwhelmed, but in a somewhat good way.

It seems that I have absolutely no shortage of ideas and subjects to talk
about on this site. It’s as if almost every other day I am being bombarded
with topics and things to consider in my future posts. Honestly, there
are times that I feel a bit overwhelmed, but in a good way. This basically
means that there are times when all I can do is to write down the topic, or
even start to write the blog itself, and then put it on the shelf for editing
in the future. As a writer, that kind of inspiration is such a blessing, because it points to the fact that the gift is still flowing. The problem (at times) is the fact that there are periods where there are so many other tasks that I must handle that my writing must be put on the back burner for a day or so. Case in point, my last blog was posted before Thanksgiving, and from
the week of Thanksgiving until today, my schedule has been completely different and very hectic. There are times where I am so exhausted that the thought of writing at the end of the day is nothing more than a pipe dream, and all I can do is to put the computer away and aim to get to it the next day. In this new season of my life I am learning how to balance within these new norms, and it’s a bit hard for me at times because I never want to miss accomplishing anything.

And so, as I am looking at the end of a very tough year, I am also looking
forward into 2023 with one question: where do I start? With everything that has
been handed to me to do, and with everything that God has gifted me to do, how
do I balance everything and move forward in a productive ebb and flow? The
Bible says in Matthew 19:26, “with people this is impossible, but with God all
things are possible.” This means that I have to move myself out of the way so
that God can move through me as He desires. Within my own strength and know-how, I cannot accomplish anything. Therefore, I must put my trust in God to help me to do these things. With this in mind, I know that everything that is necessary will be accomplished, and the unessential tasks and ideas can be placed in the Master’s Hand until He is ready for me to go forth with it all.
On my own, I would absolutely implode in a sudden surge of anxiety, and I would find myself in a stagnant and unproductive state. Seeing that I have been
working hard to get past that type of reaction to life in general, I  really do not want to go back to that again. Instead, I will have to take each day as it is, and ask the Lord to help me to navigate through the day in the best way possible.

To answer the question, “where do I start,” I guess the simplest and best
answer would be “with prayer and fasting. This is the best way to start,
because fasting strips us of the carnal inclinations and appetites that can oftentimes interfere with our fulfilling of the Kingdom agenda as it pertains to our lives, both collectively and individually. As we are being emptied out of self by the act of fasting, prayer fills up with God and His agenda. With this endowment He gives us the blueprints for the things that He has ordained for us to do in the Earth, and gives us the strength and wisdom to follow through.

There is so much that I want to pour out on this platform. However, I am
wanting to pour out according to God’s divine timing. I am excited about this
new place in my life, and I am encouraged by the fact that God is with me in
this place.

So, that’s all I had for this particular post. There are more to come, and I
am sure that they will be as much of a blessing to you as writing and praying
about the topics have been to me.


Be Blessed in Jesus’ Name!

Multi-Level Grieving

My personal process of grieving a person who was more than just one thing to me…

Me and my brother, many years ago.

This post is going to be a difficult one for me to write, but I am going to press my way through this, with the hope that it’ll help me to further process the feelings that I am having.

As I stated before in my first post of this season (Breathing Again…, posted on October 22, 2022), one of the traumatic events that has happened since my previous post in 2018 was the sudden passing of my brother. November 18th marks 2 years since I got the phone call from my sister with this soul shattering news. To this day, the thought of him not being here still hits me like a cannonball to the chest. Once my family and I got past the memorial service, I knew that this process was going to be difficult and like nothing that I have ever experienced before. As it turns out, I didn’t even know the half of what I was about to go through emotionally.

What Happened to the Gentle Giant?

My brother was the gentle giant in our family. Well over 6 feet tall, large build, strong, and full of love and empathy for anyone and everyone he’d meet. Two years ago on October 3rd, he was rushed to the hospital with what turned out to be a severe case of COVID-19. My family, my church, and my loved ones all prayed, and as we prayed we began to see a daily progression towards him having a normal life again one day. By the time November 1st came, he was out of the coma, going through rehabilitation at a surprising rate, and this gave us a hope and a firm belief that he would eventually be perfectly fine, and that I would be able to hug him and joke around with him as I would always do. On the 15th of that month, he and I had a very long phone conversation, which was surprising to me because of what he had just came through. He had enough energy to talk to me at length, and even though I kept trying to get off the phone with him so that he could get some rest (he was at home by this time), he kept reassuring me that he was fine. He even sounded so much stronger than what he sounded like in the previous conversations. Our family and I were on an upswing because we saw God healing my baby brother before our eyes…

But then, the 18th came around…

That evening, my sister called me, and that was it. He…was…gone.

Gone way too young, gone too soon.

A Loss of Words

For a long time, I couldn’t quite articulate exactly what I was feeling. There were absolutely no words that I could come up with to even talk about the fact that he was gone. What I did have was a picture in my mind that was the best way of describing what I was going through.

In my mind, I saw myself standing up, and I appeared to be a cyborg (a human-like being with skin/tissue overlaying a robotic endoskeleton). I am not sure how I knew I was looking at a cyborg, but I just did. Anyway, while looking at myself in this form, I saw a hand suddenly come out of nowhere and grab my arm, ripping the entire arm off. The cyborg version of me started shooting sparks from the shoulder where the arm was ripped away, and it began short circuiting because of the sudden trauma that occurred.

That is exactly what I felt when I heard the news, and for at least the first year afterwards. A part of me was ripped away, and I had no idea how to manage what I was feeling, mainly because I was feeling so much all at once. My mind, heart, and emotions were all short-circuiting. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve experienced loss before. But this wasn’t like the times when I lost either of my grandmothers or grandfathers, nor was it like the time when I lost my favorite Aunt, or the time when I lost my godmother. Those events were absolutely tragic. This event was brutal, to put it mildly.

Learning How to Grieve

I can honestly say that even though this weekend marks the 2 year anniversary of my brother being called home to live with the Lord (he was saved by grace through faith; he was a Christian), I am still learning how to grieve this particular loss. As I just stated in the paragraph above, this is nothing like the other seasons of loss that I have encountered before. God has indeed helped me through this time, and He is still helping me because the pain is still tremendous. However, I am finding myself grieving my brother in different stages or levels. For the first year, I grieved the loss of my brother, the one who was such a big part of me. However, during this last year, I have had to get a better understanding of why this grieving has taken such a toll on me. I found out by talking with my Mom about my relationship and connection with my brother that in many ways, I took on the role of a “mother” when it came to being there for him, especially if our parents weren’t around. This dynamic was portrayed mostly when we were at school, on the playground, defending him, fighting his bullies, and doing my best to come to his rescue when trouble was coming his way. I knew and remembered doing this as a child, but what my Mom helped me to understand is that she and my Dad saw at a very young age (from the time they brought him home from the hospital) I covered him as if he were my own. My brother and I were close in age, but he was my baby. Even as an adult, he never stopped being my baby. So, I have been learning how to grieve for him in this new revelation. I was not his mother, but he was still my baby. I believe that a good way to describe who I was to my brother was an extension of our Mom. Whatever one may call it, I’m learning how to grieve as a sister/mother-type.

This information that my Mom gave me was very helpful, because it shed some light on exactly what I was feeling. However, this also made me wonder if I were to blame at all for his death, because I was the one who should have protected him from the complications of this heinous virus. Could I have prayed more, or prayed harder? Did I miss something? I know that this wasn’t the case at all, but oftentimes we as human beings seek for some sort of answer for life’s mysteries—even if it means that we are somehow to blame. His death was a mystery to me on several different levels. But I know God has Him, and that has to be enough for me. It needs to be enough for all of those who loved him.

Recently, as the date of the anniversary drew near, I began to think about and understand that a sibling is our first best friend. That is exactly what he was for me. It’s bittersweet to realize this now, because I now understand that he and I were so close and so bonded that he remained my first best friend, but because he was also my brother, I took that dynamic for granted. I got so used to him being there that I didn’t always take the time to sit and really think about our bond. I always told him that I loved him, and I always told him that he could talk to me about anything and ask me anything. We would encourage each other when life was hard. We laughed together at family functions when one of our cousins or aunties were acting “extra.” But I never called him my BFF because I didn’t realize that he indeed was just that. This takes nothing away from the ones who are my BFF’s today, but it helps me to understand just how loved and supported I really am. If only I had realized this when my brother was still living. I wonder what he would have thought about this? I’d imagine that he would agree, but he’d also say something goofy so that he would allow himself as a man to feel all gushy and sentimental.

So now, I am learning how to grieve the loss of my first BFF, and my brother, and my sort-of-son. I am understanding that those who are closest to us are more than just one thing for us. For example: both of my BFFs are friends, but they’re also my sisters, counselors, teachers, cheerleaders, confidantes, and correctors when I am out of line. In this season of my life, God is helping me to understand and go through the layers of my relationship with my brother, which is also helping me to understand why I am grieving the way that I am. Every time the emotions would come up to the surface, I would feel tremendously overwhelmed, almost as if I was on the verge of an anxiety attack. Grieving for my brother layer by layer has helped me to cope with those moments when the emotions would come up to the surface, but I also know that I am not done yet and that I still have a way to go before I am completely ok, inside and out.


I do know that a person cannot rush the grieving process, and I have no desire to do so. My only prayer for this portion of my life is that as the Lord heals me and helps me through this, so that I can hopefully help someone else who is also grieving. We may all grieve differently, but at the foundation of our grieving is one truth that can help us to cope and to keep moving forward: you/I/we are not alone, and knowing that can and will give us comfort in times like these.

I am grieving in different levels. I am grieving the loss of my brother and the loss of everything that he was to me. How many more layers do I have left? I don’t know. God has been revealing the layers only one at a time, and only when He knows that I can handle the information and the process that comes with it. Regardless of how many more layers I have to go, I will continue to miss my baby brother, and I am trusting that God will continue to carry me and the rest of my family and friends through this.

Rest in Heaven, Baby Boy…

I AM is Who He Is!

Photo by Daniel Reche on Pexels.com

“God is everything to me!”

This is a statement that we hear in so many praise and worship songs, and it is the sentiment of the testimonies and stories of God’s people being able to overcome insurmountable obstacles. God is indeed our everything. The unfortunate fact is that there are primarily two times when we would declare and/or fully believe that: first, coming out of a fiery trial; second, before trouble hits our doorsteps. Oftentimes when we are in the middle of trying times, we can easily forget this truth, which is why we often struggle the way we do, and for as long as we do. At least, this is what sometimes happens with me when I am going through hard times.

As humans we were created for fellowship and comradery with one another, but we were also created to have these interactions with God Himself first before anyone else. The problem could be that we are sometimes conditioned by way of life’s circumstances to rely on who and what we see, instead of relying on God. This very well could be the case for most of us, simply because we are unable to physically see Him. It is imperative that we internalize the fact that God is our everything, and cling to this truth when we find ourselves in fiery trials and in uncomfortable places. By doing so, it becomes a bit easier to walk by faith and not by sight, as it says in the Bible. Our faith is the exercise of believing that which has become our reality, even and especially when we do not see the manifested proof of said reality (compare to Hebrews 11:1). Thankfully, to help us get into a place where we can do this, we have a plethora of examples in the Bible to glean from, helping us to learn how to make this our reality, no matter what it is we may be facing.

For this post, let’s look at the call to duty by God to Moses, the former prince of Egypt and the chosen deliverer of the Children of Israel.

Moses Meets the I AM

Moses Before the Burning Bush by Claude Mellan is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0

“And God said unto Moses, ‘I AM THAT I AM.’ And He said, ‘Thus shalt thou say unto the Children of Israel, ‘I AM hath sent me unto you.’ “

Exodus 3:14, King James Version.

In my personal and yet humble opinion, Exodus chapter 3 has to be one of the most fascinating chapters in the entire Bible. We’re given a glimpse into the life of an 80 year old Moses who is a shepherd over his father-in-law’s sheep, and within a few short verses we are shown the dramatic paradigm shift that takes place in his life. One moment he’s tending to sheep, and the next minute he encounters a burning bush–a dramatic sight that God uses to get Moses’ attention and to summon him into a new place in Him. This is the point in his life where God transforms this humble shepherd into a force to be reckoned with for the Kingdom of God. In this impactful moment, Moses was being commissioned as the leader, prophet, and deliverer to the children of Israel, and as the face of the Heavenly opposition to pharaoh and the demonic system of oppression brought on by the Egyptian powers-that-be.

Part of this transformation and assignment was that Moses had to learn about who and what God is. When we look at the first two chapters of Exodus, it is quite possible to assume that due to his upbringing (being nursed by his own mother until the age of weaning) and his turnabout (turning away from the pleasures of the Egyptian palaces) in his adult years, Moses could have been somewhat familiar with the God of Israel and about His historical fame amongst the children of Israel. Even if this was the case, the culmination of this, plus his time away from Egypt while living in Midian, along with his encounter with God in chapter three, was all used to allow Moses the space and time that he needed to find out who God was to Him as well as to all who are called by His Name.

For Moses, this point of contact with God on Mount Horeb was not only an instructional conversation between him and God, but even more so an informational meeting for himself. The fact of the matter is that Moses had to come to know and understand the truth about God and His power and love for His people as well as for himself. When Moses asked about God’s Name in Exodus chapter 3, God responds first with, “I AM THAT I AM!” The Children of Israel needed to know this about God, but so did Moses as a leader and the one who was hand-picked by God to be the deliverer. After all, how can one teach others about the power and the character of God unless they first know this for themselves?

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Who is the I AM to Me?

When I look at this statement, “I AM THAT I AM,” I am reminded that depending upon the translation of the Bible that one may be reading, one may see the scripture say, “I AM WHO I AM,” or even “I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE.” As for me, my first introduction to this particular scripture (Exodus 3:14) came from the KJV, saying “I AM THAT I AM.” In all of the ups and downs that life has brought to my doorstep, that phrase and the principles therein are what I have had to learn how to cling to, in order to make it through tough situations. God has a way of letting us know that wherever there is a gap to be found in our lives, He is the one that fills it with His presence, grace, mercy, power, wisdom, and love. He is literally everything that we need, and every tangible need that we may have already exists in His hands as He waits for and schedules the proper time to make these things manifest in our lives.

For example: as a single woman, I am often battling against loneliness, feelings of isolation, and will oftentimes equate my present state as a version of the Isle of Patmos (in reference to the solitary and imprisoned state of John the Apostle). There are times when I can go and hang out with friends and fellow church members, but most of the time I may not have the opportunity to do so for a number of reasons. So, what do I do when I am longing for someone to talk to and to conversate with? This may seem to be cliché to some of you, but I literally talk to God. For me, having even a simple conversation with God fulfills my emotional needs as well as my mental and spiritual needs. Furthermore, even though I cannot physically see Him, His presence is overwhelming and fulfilling.

Now, when it comes to talking with God, I am not just talking about times of prayer and intercession and such. The moments of conversation and communion that I am referring to are the moments of prayer that take place while I am up and about, or moving around the house. These moments are for me and Him, as I am pouring my heart out to Him, confessing my faults and frustrations and giving a voice to my hopes and dreams for the future. In these moments I will literally talk out loud to Him as if He were there, because for me He is! Not only do I talk to Him, but I will also listen for His response as He speaks in the still and small voice (compare to 1 Kings 19:12). This is one of the things that God does for me that helps me to not only endure the physical isolation, but also embrace it. After all, who better to present the tough questions to than the God of our salvation and the creator of Heaven and Earth?

There are going to be moments in our lives when we look at the landscape of our present situations and wonder how are we going to make it through to a better day, or even to any sort of blessing that we are seeking from the Lord. We have to remember that every time we ask the question, “How am I going to accomplish or acquire this or that,” God is there, ready for us to ask Him that question so that He can tell us, “I AM THAT I AM!” What this means is that God is big enough to fit into every single situation that we can and will encounter, and powerful enough to bring it all to the point of breakthrough, blessings, peace, joy, and security in Him. God wants us all to remember that He is THAT I AM, as if to say, “that thing that you are in need of, I am THAT for you!”

God is Your I AM.

In times when we are in need of help or intervention in our personal problems and obstacles, asking “who can I go to with these issues and needs, God wants to tell us, “I AM WHO you can turn to, always.” When looking towards tomorrow and wondering “how am I going to get through tomorrow, when today was so incredibly hard,” God would be there to say, “I WILL BE, because I promised to never leave you nor abandon you.” There is nothing in our lives that we He can’t help us through. We just have to make it our business to turn to Him always, making this a healthy daily habit.

In this season I have found myself re-learning these things and actively reminding myself of the many other benefits that come with being a child of God. I have asked myself these very questions that were mentioned in the previous paragraph, and in order to get the answers that I need, I must listen for the still and small voice. No matter what my questions are, and no matter what His answers may be, we must all walk in the revelation that God is the I AM that we are in need of, and He will forever desire to be so for us all. I cannot say that it’s always an easy thing to remember, nor will I be foolish enough to say that it’s an easy walk. However, I do know that understanding and internalizing the truth that God is the I AM that fulfills every need that I may have is something that I strive to do on a daily basis, and that this truth helps me though my toughest times. If we can get this truth down into our spirits, the hard things that we face may not be always easy, but they can and will always become easier in comparison to what it would look or feel like if we tried to go forward without Him being our I AM.

I think that it’s important to know that God wishes to be our personal everything, our very own I AM. So often, we as the people of God will seek the I AM and even preach the I AM to those who are in need. However, we can also forget this truth when it comes to our own needs, as if to say that God is a “corporate” God and not a personal God. As much as He loves the world and His creation, we must remember that He loves us as individuals as well as members of one body. He is not only concerned with those whom we pray and cry out for, for He is also concerned about the personal struggles, issues, desires, prayer requests, hopes and dreams that we all carry. In this season of re-learning these things about God, this is one that I really have to work on, because I have come to realize that I have let a lot of personal requests sit on the shelf or tucked away instead of bringing to the Father. This will be a future topic for another transparent post.


Just like what we see unfold in the life of Moses in Exodus 3, we all have either had or will have an encounter with God that will help to shape who and what we are. In that encounter, God will reveal Himself as the I AM for us personally and also for those whom we are connected to. Before Moses could deliver a nation of people into their own nation under God’s sovereignty, he had to know and accept that God was going to be everything he needed in order to complete this task. Moses had to understand that as the chosen leader, there were going to be only a few people that he could lean on, and that even then there would be times when he couldn’t even lean on them. He had to know and understand that God, as the I AM, was going to be the fulfillment of whatever Moses was personally needing. Therefore, Moses was not only commissioned to be the leader, deliverer, and the prophet to the nation, but he was also to be the example of what it meant to rely on God for everything—from daily personal needs to the needs of the nation as a whole. We may not be called to literally lead a nation of people out of bondage in the same way that Moses did, but we are all meant to be the example of what it means to rely on God and how to receive the benefits and blessings that comes from such a life.

My prayer is that we all would allow God to be our I AM, so that we can be all that He has called and designed us to be. We are not meant to walk this walk completely alone. We were meant to do this thing called life with the help and the guidance of the Great I AM.

I AM is who He is!

Until next week, be blessed everyone, in Jesus’ Name!

P.S. If this post resonates with you and your walk with Christ, please feel free to leave a comment about how you are learning to rely on God in this season of your life!

Losing The Will to Endure (Pt. 2)

Picking Up Where We Left Off

“…Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:3

In last week’s post, I began to talk about what it means to lose the will (or desire) to endure for the sake of the Kingdom of God. More specifically I described how I went from being thoroughly on fire for Christ to seemingly hanging on by a thread to my faith and will to be pleasing to God. I can honestly say that I am so disappointed with myself for letting such a thing happen to me, but I know that God is going to use that part of my relationship with Him to reach others who have also found themselves weary in well doing. So, to that point I say, “to God be the glory!”

As promised there are some things that I wanted to talk about further, and so this post will dive a bit deeper into the aspects of a fading sense of faith and conviction. The first thing that I want to talk about is the concept of being “ritually clean” before the Lord.

Ritually Clean vs. Purified

“For the priests and the Levites had purified themselves; all of them were ritually clean…” Ezra 6:20a.

Years ago I was spending some much needed time in reading the Scriptures, and I began reading about the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple in the book of Ezra (I was going through my own season of “rebuilding” at that time in my life). While reading, I came to the 20th verse of Ezra 6, and the term ritually clean was something that really struck me. What was so interesting about this term is what it could imply in a broad sense. The Priests and the Levites had a prescribed way to interact with the things of God, making absolutely sure that they adhered to the instructions that God gave to them through Moses, in order to be considered even remotely fit to do the job that was laid upon them at birth. Their garments, physical stature, and everything about them had to be on point in order to be found “ritually clean” enough to come to God and perform the duties on behalf of the nation as well as on their own behalf.

The thing to remember is that this was just the point of order for their appearance and the customs of their jobs, and it was meant to be an outward sign of their heart towards God and His will for their lives (clean, purified, in order, obedient, submitted, etc.) When we read through the scriptures, we see unfortunate examples of priests and Levites who were only ritually clean (outwardly) and unclean (inwardly) when it came to their heart or intention for fulfilling their duties. People like Korah (Numbers 16), Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10), Eli, Hophni, Phineas (1 Samuel 2:12-36), and others were examples of how one could look at their outward appearance and assume that their heart was also in alignment, primarily based on their appearance and their position, even though it wasn’t true.

Here’s why this was so important to me in that season years ago and even now: I never wanted to become a person who was only ritually clean before the Lord. In many ways I felt like Jonah, praying from a pit that welcomed me after I made erroneous decisions and lost sight of who I am called to be in Christ. I wanted nothing more but to serve Him with all of my heart and soul, putting my will away in exchange for His, but I had to get into a place where I remember that this was my heart’s desire. I realized a while ago that my obligatory sense of obedience was an indicator that such a thing had happened. When this becomes a reality, the alternate routes into disobedience, the sins of our past, the temptations of the present, and the losing of the hope for the future can become easier and easier to adhere to, and it will alter our sense of worth and change the way we see God as well as others. As I said in the previous post, this is a rather dangerous place to be.  

I can honestly say that I am truly grateful that not even this frame of mind is outside of God’s love or His reach! For me, a sense of compromise when it came to how I was supposed to live my life actually became a feasible and acceptable notion in some areas of my life, when it should have been an absolute abhorrent idea to consider. No matter what the sin may be, and no matter how one came to the point of walking in sin, the wages are still death. But thanks be to God because there is no sin that is more powerful than His transformative power as it is applied to those who will come before Him with a heart of repentance and a will to serve Him. His gift is everlasting life through Christ, and the benefits of this severely outweigh any instant and finite gratification that can come from any sin. Furthermore, I am so grateful that God finds us wherever we are, and will do a work within us in order to transform us. We as His people do not have to settle for being merely ritually clean. We can allow God to do a work within us that will deem us (by His Holy standards) as purified vessels of honor, ready to be used by Him for our good and His glory. This truth is something that we must tell ourselves daily, especially when we are in a season where we are rebuilding what we have let fall apart in our relationship with Christ. I believe that deep down within us all lies a deep-seated desire for purification as well as a determination to follow after Christ. We must activate it with a faith-filled “YES” to Him and to His will for our lives!

The Pilot Light

Photo by Tucu0103 Bianca on Pexels.com

One of the things that I think about the most in times like these is that within my life God has given me such awesome people to keep me accountable and to correct me when the need to do so arises. Two of those awesome people are my Mother and my Mother in the Gospel. At different points in my life they were able to see the things that were changing in me, and were wise enough to pray for me and warm enough to love me through it. As a result of such love and covering, I have always been able to share with them the things that are going on with me and the things that keep gnawing at me—even when I may feel as if I cannot tell them, due to my own sense of shame and guilt. I remember telling them both at different times that I fully acknowledge that I am not where I should be, and that there is more for me than what I see now, and that I trust and know that God will get me to that point if I only continue to believe and really press towards the mark. I also told them that in the seasons where I seemed to fade in my faith or in my willingness to endure hardship like a good soldier, that the Lord has always kept a pilot light lit within my soul, and that this was the reason why I could not completely turn my back on the God of my salvation and the Keeper of my soul.

A pilot light (literally/naturally speaking) is a small gas flame that acts as the ignition source for a larger and more powerful burner or flame. Within our homes, pilot lights are meant to remain lit all year around, so that anything that runs on gas can be immediately ignited in order to provoke a larger and more powerful flame for standard operation of the appliances connected to it. The pilot light ensures that I can use my stove, oven and have access to hot water whenever I need it. Even when I am not at home, it stays lit, basically making every gas appliance operate on standby until I need to use them. Spiritually speaking, God has done the same for me.

As crazy as it seems to me that I let myself fall into a place of apathy in some parts of my walk with Christ, I can honestly say that I did not fully walk away from Him because there has always been a piece of me that knew that I cannot and will not survive without Him, and that my rightful place is with Him and in Him. In addition to this, at His word, His beckoning, His nudge, and the feeling of His mighty Hand pulling me up out of the pits of depression and sadness, He would put a demand on the pilot light on the inside of me and cause me to shake off the dust that had accumulated from the periods of inactivity, which would prompt me to charge forward in Him and for Him. Sometimes it came in the form of a revelation from reading the Word of God, and at other times it came from just being around those who keep me accountable because their presence reminds me of who I am and whose I am. When the larger flames were ignited, I happily burned for God again and for more of Him.

The most interesting thing about this pilot light that God has placed within us all is that it is not only meant to ignite a larger and more powerful flame for our use, but it is also meant to ignite the purification process within the soul of the believer, in order to purify the heart and the mind, the will and the emotions of those who have committed themselves to Him. Just as God had promised to His servants the Levites, He can and will also purify us as His people so that we all can offer to Him an offering in righteousness (Malachi 3:3). As He ignites us, He does a work on the inside of us so that we can be thoroughly processed and purified of self and selfish ambitions and desires, in order to be trusted to do the work that He has called us to do.

Consistency and Proper Maintenance is Key

One of the main issues in keeping myself ablaze with a godly zeal for Christ was the fact that I did not properly maintain the flame or the push. Thankfully, I am now at a point in my life where I am daily learning what it means to maintain it on this level of my walk with Christ. What I did yesterday was fine for yesterday, but today brings about its own challenges and revelations. No matter what the day may bring, I have to start my day with a mindset to seek God and to do His will—no matter how uncomfortable the execution of the tasks may be. Honestly, in this season my love for God is continuing to grow and flourish, and the very thought of how much He has loved me through the ups and down of my faithfulness (or lack thereof) is simply awe inspiring. Who wouldn’t want to serve the One whose grace and mercy keeps us from utter destruction, and carries us into a place or repentance and rededication to Him? He is indeed faithful, and I am so very happy and humbled that He is loving me enough to teach me all over again what it means to daily walk in victory as well as what it means to truly carry the cross and follow after Him.


As I stated in last week’s post, there exists no good or valid reason for a person to walk away from the Lord after experiencing just how good and awesome He truly is, and so I will not be as foolish to say that these posts are my reasons for why I spent a period of time in a less than proper posture before the Lord. What I am aiming to do is to describe some of the feelings and symptoms of the overall diagnosis—losing the will to endure—in the hopes that others who are feeling the same way can see that all is not lost and that God is still very much in love with them.

Today I can honestly say that I am willing to endure because not only has He endured for me on the cross, but He has also endured as I wallowed in self-pity, as I lost my sense of self, and as I was trying to figure out whether I was going to be all in for Him or not. Having a willingness to endure means that I am daily having to push aside my carnality, my will, and my personal feelings, all in order to walk the walk that God has ordained for me. Being willing to endure means that I thoroughly recognize that the way will not be easy, and that I may have to cry my way through some tumultuous times. However, like a good soldier, I know what I am fighting for, and I know that the Commander of the Host of Heaven has my back.

Being willing to endure also means that I am willing to submit to Him and to the purifying process that He brings us all through in order to turn us into the vessels of honor that He desires us all to be. When we think about fire and flames, we know that if we are physically touched by a flame or anything that has been lit on fire, it will not only burn our skin but also cause a great amount of lasting discomfort. The same can be said for the process of the purifying of the Lord, except for the fact that the only thing that is truly hurting is our flesh, our will, and our pride. The end result will be the feeling and expression of freedom and liberty that comes from the Lord burning away any and every internal obstacle and weight that would be meant to keep us down and out of alignment. God is truly worth it, going through the process to be used by Him. When we are through and coming out on the other side, we shall be presented as pure gold (Job 23:10).

To Him, my soul and spirit says YES!

On that note, I will end this particular post with a simple HALLELUJAH! I pray that this post will reach those who are finding themselves either weary or floundering in their faith, and that they that are in this current state of mind will realize that they are not alone, and that what God has done and is doing for me can and will be done for them, through Christ Jesus our Savior.

Thank you for stopping by Heaven’s Table!

Until next time, be blessed and encouraged in Jesus’ Name!

Losing The Will To Endure

Losing The Will to Endure (pt. 1).

How does a person who dwells and operates within the Body of Christ go from being on fire for the Kingdom to distant and lukewarm? Why is it that a minister of the Gospel can be found in a flourishing state regarding their ministry one day, and then living in a state of apathy the next time you see them? Well, I cannot speak for all ministers, but I can definitely tell you “why” from my own perspective and experience, and I can even tell you how I got there.

Remember: God is Always Good.

Before I go any further, I do want to make it perfectly clear that there exists no valid reason for a person to step away from God after they have experienced the beauty, the power, the grace, and the unending love of God, even though it is sometimes an unfortunate occurrence. If one has truly experienced such things as these within their spirit as well as their soul, they will tell you that there is absolutely nothing and no one who can compare to God! A person like myself knows that all too well. So, what does one do? Instead of walking away from God, a person like me would begin to step back from the things that they once found joyous and praiseworthy, yet attempt to remain close enough in order to to appear to be counted among God’s willing workers. This particular dynamic is what is referred to in the Bible as being “ritually clean.” This will be further discussed in parts two of this particular post.

There came a time within my walk with Christ where I began to increase in wisdom, understanding, and a genuine fire for all things God. I loved everything about the Bible, enjoyed going to church and fellowshipping with others, and spending time in prayer was an absolute joy. In fact, I can remember having to get up and get ready for work, and dreading the fact that I couldn’t stay there all day in prayer. I would never say that things were perfect, but I will say that I was determined to go all the way with Christ. As wonderful as it was to feel grounded and completely satisfied with God and His plan for my life, a season came about in my life where I began to experience some of the things that I had only heard about or read about in scriptures and books by Christian authors who were chronicling their journey from sin to salvation and through the dark and despairing valleys. In 2 Timothy 2:3, the Apostle Paul writes these words to his son in the Gospel: “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” In the KJV, the word that is used instead of suffer is “endure.” One thing that I did not realize within the early years of my salvation is the fact that it is so very easy to endure when you are not faced with the heavy artillery of a military onslaught from the enemy’s camp, or being consistently pelted and even pierced by the weapons that have been formed against you. 

As I continued to grow and mature in God, I was taken through tumultuous seasons that were designed to destroy me in regards to the enemy’s agenda, but meant to make me stronger and turn me into a fierce Kingdom Warrior who means business, according to God’s plan for me. God was (and is) always faithful, and he carried me through seasons of chaos when I was too fatigued within my soul and spirit to fight, but after a while, I found myself growing weary of the fight in general. In this state of mind, it can be a dangerous thing to keep going without stopping to take a breath and really allow yourself to get in/stay in tune with the Lord and His love for you and your love for Him. Keeping the Kingdom agenda in mind can convince you to keep going, because you decided a while ago to go with God wherever He desires to take you. However, in the middle of battle fatigue and weariness even in well doing, one can find themselves going from on fire for Christ to an obligated servant. What this means is that the passion for God is becoming less and less of a factor, and the driving force is actually one of obligation–to keep a promise, just because you know it needs to be done, and simply going through the motions. God indeed loves a cheerful giver (not just financially, but in every act of service to Him and for His Kingdom), but what He doesn’t take joy in is the begrudging way we often do things for our churches, for other people, or even for Him when we have lost sight of why we do what we do for Him.

How Did You Get There???

So, let me tell you about some of the seasons of fighting that I had to walk through. I won’t go into great details, because then this particular blog post would turn into a book or an anthology! But I feel it necessary to give some examples of what I have gone through in order to clearly display what I have learned as a result. 

In some seasons, I found myself at odds with people whom I had held close to me. I am not talking about just the occasional argument or a difference of opinion, but rather times where I found myself feeling pushed away, rejected, and even proverbially spat on by those whom I felt close to. Now, I knew then that these things do happen, because people grow and people change as time marches on. However, what I was not prepared for was the way in which some of these relationships ended. To be perfectly honest, there were times when I felt broken, even shattered. The closer the person(s), the deeper the wounds can and will be when times of severing come about. In the midst of seasons like this, I began to realize that a big part of the reason why I was being pushed away or rejected was because of my faith, my determination to follow Christ, and my willingness to crucify my flesh in order to be used by God to the fullest extent possible. Coming into the Kingdom and receiving Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you find out rather quickly that some will not appreciate your internal transformation. What I wasn’t necessarily prepared for (mentally) was the fact that sometimes these sorts of rejections can and will happen with people whom you labor among and fellowship with from within the Kingdom! Getting hit by an enemy arrow or bullet will always hurt, but getting struck by a co-laborer can bring one to their knees in grief. As I was coming out of that season of the initial infractions, I was still determined to go with God, but my passion for the journey was slowly fading.

Then, there were times when the enemy’s assault turned physical, having enough firepower to give off ripple effects that would be felt mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. 

Growing up in the church, I remember hearing lessons and sermons on the persecutions of the disciples and the Apostles, and hearing about how there were times when the devil would stir up a person(s) so much that they would try to inflict physical pain, as was the case of just about everyone we read about within the New Testament–including but not limited to Jesus Himself. But, within all of these preachings and teachings, I do not remember anyone ever talking about this sort of thing happening to them. It was always taught in an allegorical style rather than in a real life application on the types of battles that God’s people will sometimes face as they continue to serve Him (especially for His prophetic and apostolic ministers). In fact, it wasn’t until I was an adult when I would hear about some of the near fatal incidents of God’s people, and about how the enemy tried to take them out, but God not only spared them but more importantly, caused them to ultimately prosper in their future endeavors!

Counting It All Joy… At First.

In the moments of my life in Christ Jesus when this happened on a comparatively minor scale, I (like many people) was able to laugh it off in a sort of “count it all joy” type of fashion. But the thing about the enemy and the way that he attacks is that he moves like a chess player. I am in no way giving any glory or credit to the enemy, but in order for any of us to be effective in our fight against him, we must understand how he operates. With that being said, it should have been clear to me that once he saw that the assaults that he was launching (in any aspect of my life) were not working against me, then he would change strategy and even weapons. When I finally realized that, I was in the middle of one of the worst physical traumas that I had ever had to endure. Now, I will say that by this particular time in my life, I had heard of how these things can happen, because the enemy will oftentimes do all that he can in order to fulfill his mode of operation (M.O.) as it is mentioned in John 10:10. It’s important to understand that hearing about it and walking through it yourself are two different things. When going through such seasons, our minds have to remain focused on God, and our hearts have to remain anchored in the love of God as well as our love for God. For me, I was so full of questions that I began to lose sight of the love I have for God, and about how in the worst of times, that love just may have to be enough to get me from in the middle of the fire to outside of the fire.

When I let different seasons, difficulties, traumas, offenses, tests, trials, rejections, and multiple levels of pain take my focus off of just how much God loves me and just how much I love God, it became easy to slowly slip out of the perfect place, the secret place (Psalm 91), and the grounded place. After a while, the things that once fueled me in my devotion to the King of Kings were being done out of ritual obligation, sometimes with not much fervency to be pleasing to Him. Don’t get me wrong: I loved God and I truly still do. I had a period of time where I lost sight of why I love Him, which led to the joy of my salvation slipping away from me for a period of time.

No Endurance

With all of these things (plus so much more), I found myself worn, tired, and no longer wanting to engage in the fight. Why should I engage in such a lifestyle, when it has already cost me so much? Why do I have to experience such crushing rejections from person after person? What is the purpose for my mental, physical, and emotional injuries and scars? Better yet, why am I not seeing some of my loved ones going through these things? All of these questions and more became my daily set of thoughts, and unfortunately hearing scriptures like, “it rains on the just and the unjust” wasn’t cutting through the grief and the fatigue. By then, I had officially lost the will to endure as a good soldier. I didn’t want to pick up my sword, fight another fight, even though I knew that through Christ we are guaranteed victory. I no longer wanted to go on another fast, or even pray or intercede unless I was called upon to do so. For me, this was a spiritually uncomfortable place, because I had been exposed personally to the joy and the peace that comes from serving God with one’s whole heart. But, no matter how uncomfortable I was in this stuck and stagnant place, I couldn’t shake the questions of why. It wasn’t until recently when I heard an answer that cut me deep:

Jesus suffered greatly for you; are you not willing to do the same for Him?

This was the gist of the revelation that hit me like an 18-wheeler. As I heard the Lord drop this revelation in my spirit, I remember standing there, dumbfounded. Speechless. Had I really become such a brat in the spirit that I was no longer willing to endure for the one who endured unimaginable traumas on every single level–just to make sure that I had access to eternal life and life more abundantly?

The realization hit me hard, because I had finally realized that I had let so much time go by without allowing myself to fully (re)connect to the God of my salvation, the true lover of my soul, and the One whose grace has kept me from falling all the way into a pit of despair and depravity. At one time, God was my hero! Through hurts and traumatic seasons of my life, I had allowed myself to keep Him and His awesome ways at an arm’s length, scared of what would happen to me if I should engage and move in the marching orders of God. So now, I am in a state where I have to daily remind myself of the whole-hearted “YES” that I gave to God once before, and how I truly meant it then. I am learning what that YES means for me now, and I am reaffirmed in my faith because I know that no matter what cannonball-sized hit I have or may have to take in the future, God is simply worth it!

Concluding Part 1.

What can I say about God? His unconditional love is truly sweet, His faithfulness knows no limits, and His Word and the power therein will act as a defibrillator when we feel as if we have nothing left to give Him. Just as He did for Elijah in the cave, He is faithful and willing to do this for us as well. I love Him, and I am in awe of just how much He loves us all!

Until next week, everyone!

Be Blessed In Jesus’ Name!

P.S., Thank you for stopping by Heaven’s Table! If this post or any other post resonates within you, please feel free to leave a comment. 

Love and blessings to you all!

Breathing Again…

So, here I go again.

I am finally sitting down at the computer, aiming to get back to my writings, videos, and blogs. A lot has happened since I last posted on this site, and I figured that the best way to start and keep going is to be perfectly honest about where I’ve been these last few years. 

Before I get into the details of the last few years, I do want to say just how grateful I am that God has seen fit to rescue me from the inner and external turmoil that I had experienced since my last post was shared. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” There is no doubt in my mind that God has a plan for all of my mishaps, missteps, mistakes, down days, fierce battles, and tragedies that I have had to endure. God doesn’t just rescue His people and then leave them on the side of the road to fend for themselves. Instead, He walks us through to the place of the new start to the place of the manifestation of everything that the prior seasons of hardships prepared us for. I am looking forward to blogging about what God has done, what He is doing, and about what I am believing Him to one day do, as a result of a renewed faith and deeper sense of love and thankfulness towards Him.

Girl, Where You Been?!

My friends and family have been asking about my blogging, wondering when I would finally sit down to get back into it. I wasn’t sure about when I would start again, but I did know that some of the recent events of my life had been so jarring that it was hard to even get close to starting up again. For those who know me, they can honestly attest to the fact that I have two modes of operation when it comes to things like this: either I have a whole lot to say, or I have absolutely nothing at all to say. For the past three years, I haven’t had anything to say, but mostly because I was still processing everything that was happening around me. I spent a lot of that time either stuck or just absolutely numb. Oftentimes I found myself thinking about getting back to Heaven’s Table, however I would just sit next to my computer with no idea as to what I should say. And so now, I take a deep breath, and let myself begin this season of public transparency.

Where We Left Off

Taken at St. Peter’s Church in Tabgha, Israel; facing the Sea of Galilee.

My last post was rendered in December 2018. That post came about a month or so after my trip to Israel (which has been a huge desire of mine for a long time), and the entire experience was absolutely life changing, even awe inspiring. The overall experience of the trip still resonates within me to this day, and it has somewhat altered my life goals, expectations, and faith in the most positive of ways. I am planning on writing about a few of the experiences, so more on that later. Suffice it to say that I sat down at the computer in December 2018 with the desire to launch out again on this platform. Unfortunately, life got in the way. I’m not referring to the hustle and bustle of everyday life that can sometimes get in the way of progress, but rather the way that I had been living and battling within this life and within everything that would entail. 

As a single woman, I spend a lot of time alone. As a minister in a prophetic ministry, I spend even more time alone outside of ministry duties and obligations, primarily because prophets and prophetic people need solitude in order to hear clearly what the Lord is saying about any number of things.. At the base of all of that I recognize that I have always had days/weeks/months/seasons of just feeling downright unmotivated to do anything productive, including but not limited to the upkeep of myself and my personal space. On top of all of that, the occasional yet overwhelmingly suffocating feeling of hopelessness would grip me in the middle of seasons where I aim to do something, anything. For the most part this feeling would subside just enough for me to get a breath or two in, but eventually it would creep back up around my neck and over my head. After a while, this went from an occasional occurrence to a daily occurrence. With no clue as to how to slough off these weighty feelings, I watched as days went by, paralyzed in an unfruitful place. Don’t get me wrong; I still got up and went to church, I still took turns teaching Bible Study and leading corporate prayer, I cooked, I continued to perform with a local audition group that I had been a part of for a few years by that time, and when invited to do so, I would sometimes go to gatherings and social events with friends. Other than that, I shut myself away– partly because I’ve always been a bit of a loner, but now it was because I just didn’t have the necessary steam to do anything outside of obligatory tasks and to keep up the appearance of me maintaining my personal status quo. I was able to give off the impression of being “okay” by still showing up to these events. If I can seem to be okay, maybe no one will try to fix me, and I can be left alone. It’s a sad (and, in hindsight, terrifying) thought, But that is where I was. 

Sure, I would have good days, even great days. I would feel better after reading, praying, singing, cooking, studying the Bible, or even hanging out with my loved ones. Finding bright spots in my day or in my overall life was not the issue. The primary issue was the fact that I did not know how to maintain it.

Time rolls on, and I come to 2020. I’ve officially had enough of this oppressive cycle, and I knew that I needed help to get out of it and to defeat it. But, how? That was the question I asked myself over and over again. After all, as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus the Christ and the Kingdom of God, shouldn’t I be past this particular battle? Why can’t I seem to get a breakthrough in this area, when I have seen so many others receive their turn around or deliverance? After getting wise counsel from those who know me best, I decided to consult my doctor for an additional weapon for my arsenal against this heinous being: depression. We sat down and put together a plan of action to help get me back into a productive state, bit by bit. And as it turns out, this was the perfect timing, because a couple of months later, the world shifted into a state of chaos and uncertainty, brought on by the pandemic of the coronavirus. Now, I was not only alone (physically), but also isolated in the middle of a regional, statewide, nationwide, and even global shutdown. I shudder to think of how my life would have been if I hadn’t sought help against depression!

Getting Up, Then Knocked Back Down

Months rolled by, and despite the fact that I was isolated on my own Isle of Patmos, I was starting to feel okay again. Through virtual connections my church (just like many other churches during that time) stayed connected and even continued to pray together as well as learn and study the Bible together. I stayed in contact with my doctor, I found myself studying the Bible and teaching again with excitement instead of treating it like an obligation, and I was able to breathe again. I was no longer feeling suffocated. I was getting into a pattern around this “new norm,” and then the unthinkable happened: one of my fellow ministers from my church passed away. This loss shook the ministry as a whole, and mostly because we were waiting for and believing God for a miracle. We had to quickly come to grips with the fact that God has indeed delivered them from their pain and suffering, just not in the way in which we had hoped. It was devastating, but we pressed on. I pressed on, until sometime later, when the wind was knocked out of me. This time, it was my brother. After contracting COVID-19, being hospitalized, and then recovering to the point where he was out of the hospitals and rehab facilities and back at home, he passed away from a complication related to the virus.

The loss of my brother was so painful that I couldn’t even fully grieve, because the pain was too great. I kept experiencing what I called “emotional power surges,” where the pain would try to rise to the surface so that I could cry or do whatever I needed to do in order to process the loss, but instead of tears the manifestation of this pain was coming in the form of an internal pressure and anxiety. There was so much emotion that was pinned up within me, and it felt impossible to release it all. So, as I encountered moments like this, I would try to get it out, but trying to do so felt as if I was trying to shove a grizzly bear through a doggy door. Eventually the feeling would subside, and I would go on with my day–that is until it would well up within me again. To be perfectly honest, it still hurts like nothing that I have ever felt before. However, I am learning daily how to handle the pain. I’ll post on this particular topic at another time in the near future.

Picture taken from the balcony at Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum; facing Jerusalem, Israel.

Looking Ahead

These are just a few of the things that have happened within the last few years. As of now, I am finding that I can breathe again, after the wind was knocked out of me at the loss of my brother, after feeling winded in the press after a co-laborer passed away, after feeling fresh air hit my lungs for the first time after so many seasons of suffocating alone under the weight of depression and oppression. Today, I come to the Table with this opening blog for the start of my new season, ready to get candid about the things mentioned here as well as the other events that have transpired within the last few years. My (spiritual) Father says, “true honesty brings true deliverance,” and it is my prayer that my honesty will not only bring me to the point of deliverance, but also to anyone who would read this post and future posts, chronicling my journey into the life and life more abundantly that God has promised to me in His Word.

So, thank you for coming by Heaven’s Table after my unintentional hiatus. More content will be coming up within the next week. Thank you for going with me as I relaunch this blog!

Be blessed in Jesus’ Name!


WOW! Has it been THAT LONG?!?

I know that it’s been a long time since I’ve been to the Table, and I hate it!  There has been so many things going on in my life that I have allowed to detour me or even completely distract me from getting down to my business.  I am determined to close this year out with a “NO MORE” attitude, and start the new season of my life with a new push and a new sense of purpose.

Heaven’s Table is still the place where we talk about Faith, Food, and even Fashion (three topics that I personally love), and due to my life’s journey for the last several months I have got plenty to say about each of these topics.  There are a lot of things that need to be brought to bring to the Table.

So, be on the lookout for content on my favorite recipes, my go-to staples for the plus size woman, and talks on concepts of the Kingdom of GOD, and His divine will for our lives!  Until then…

Be Blessed in Jesus’ Name!20181206_172536

Easy Breezy (And Oh So Tasty) Pasta Dishes

One pot, one pan, little fuss, simple ingredients, all bring about these delicious pastas!  So, if you’re pressed for time, and you don’t have a taste for any takeout, try making one of these pastas that are great for lunch or a light dinner.

Well, we’re just now starting the week of Thanksgiving!  If you’re anything like me, you’ve been prepping for at least a few days (making shopping lists, chopping and freezing veggies, making space in the fridge and freezer for the food items marked for the big day, etc).  If that’s the case, you may feel the way I feel about cooking any sort of meal for yourself or your household, and think that you’d much rather keep your kitchen ready to go as soon as the moment comes to start cooking for the holiday.  For me, I try to avoid any and all unnecessary traffic in my kitchen, to ensure that everything is clean and in place for the big push.  It just seems to be a bit much, to prepare a big meal for the holiday and still cook meals during the week up until that day.  Also, in the event that you need a little something to eat, fast food or takeout of any kind isn’t always very appealing. So, if all of that be the case, what am I supposed to eat?

Well, may I suggest a simple pasta dish, that will leave you satisfied and nourished at the same time!

Now, to be honest, I love pasta!  I do, however, abstain from eating it too often, normally just once or twice a month is good with me.  When I do make pasta, the sauces are always from scratch, the meats or seafood a good quality, and I absolutely love the use of fresh herbs.  Also, there are certain items that I keep on hand–staples–in order to make a simple dish when the mood suddenly hits me:

  • Grated Parmesan and Pecorino Romano Cheeses
    Favorite pasta noodles
    Minced or fresh garlic
    Lemons or Lemon Juice
    San Marzano Tomatoes
    Pancetta or Bacon
    Frozen easy peel shrimp
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Let’s talk about 3 of my absolute favorite quick and easy pasta dishes.

Shrimp Piccata

This bright and buttery pasta dish is so easy and so delicious that it’s bound to satisfy anyone’s belly!  A Piccata dish may have shrimp, or chicken or veal.  However for a quick and easy Piccata I always choose to go with shrimp, mainly because quick to thaw and even quicker to cook.  Part of the ease that makes this dish a great go-to is the fact that it can be made for one or many.  Normally a box of pasta can feed about 8 people, and possibly more, depending on how you prepare it.  But, whether you’re cooking for your family or just yourself, you can be ready to eat in about 10 to 15 minutes , depending in whether or not you’re using shrimp that has already been peeled and deveined.  Here’s what you’ll need for this pasta:

  • Capers
    Lemon Juice
    Grated Parmesan
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    Your choice of pasta
    Salt and Pepper
    Red pepper flakes (optional)

While your water is boiling you can season your shrimp, chop some parsley and garlic (that is if you don’t already have minced garlic) and grab your skillet and turn it on low.  Once the water is boiling add a pinch of salt to the water, drop your pasta (I used spaghetti for this pictured dish), crank up your skillet to medium high, add a few tablespoons of a good olive oil, then add your shrimp.  Once the shrimp is just about done, add your capers, butter, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, garlic and parsley.  Toss everything together, add a pinch of salt and pepper, then check your pasta.  The perfect texture is just above al dente (it may look a little too stiff, but you’re going to finish cooking the pasta in the skillet with the shrimp and butter sauce).  Take the pasta out of the boiling water and into the skillet, adding a ladle of the pasta water, and toss together.  Add another ladle of the pasta water, until the sauce is silky and covering the noodles.  As you toss the pasta together, it will continue to cook.  Once the noodles are a perfect al dente, remove from the heat, add a little bit of grated parmesan cheese, and give it one more toss.  If your pasta looks too dry, add a little bit of the water to smooth it out.  Once it’s to your satisfaction, plate it up and enjoy!

Pasta Puttanesca


As much as I love this pasta, I absolutely hate the name!  There are a few theories as to what the name “puttanesca” means, but the most troubling one to me is related to what some would call one of the world’s oldest professions (prostitution, not farming!)  A legend says that this dish is what the prostitutes used to make.  Some say because the aroma would draw in customers, others say that because of the hours they worked they were unable to get to the market to get fresher ingredients.  And, seeing that these elements kept well, they were easily accessible.  Regardless, the name may be unpleasant, but the flavors are FABULOUS!  For his pasta dish, you’ll need the following:

  • San Marzano tomatoes
    Pitted Kalamata Olives
    Red Pepper flakes (optional)
    Your choice of pasta (I used bucatini noodles)
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Now, undoubtedly somebody read this list and turned their lip up at the anchovies.  Let me say this: if you like a good Caesar dressing, you like anchovies!  Some of your seafood pastas could also have anchovies in it, because it yields a salty flavorful layer to the dish.  To make it, drop your pasta into a pot of salted boiling water.  In a heated skillet, add a few tablespoons of olive oil, your anchovy fillets (or anchovy paste, whichever you prefer), capers, olives, then the garlic.  After adding the garlic immediately add the tomatoes (if you wait too long you will run the risk of burning your garlic), red pepper flakes, and some chopped parsley.  Mix together, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and check your noodles.  They should be just before al dente.  Add them to your skillet, with a couple of ladles of the pasta water.  Toss together for a couple of minutes, and check to make sure that your pasta is al dente.  Once it is you can plate and eat!  If you want, top your serving off  with a drizzle of olive oil and more parsley if you’d like.

Pasta Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara: what I call “grown folks mac and cheese!” A quick and yet luxurious pasta dish.  Even though this pasta is quick, the process can be very delicate.  The reason: the egg.  When making this dish, the egg is not precooked or scrambled, but rather is used raw in the sauce itself.  Don’t panic: the residual heat from the pasta, the skillet, and the pasta water will cook the egg without scrambling, if it’s done right, that is. The sauce is made of the following items:

  • Chopped pancetta (or bacon)
    Minced garlic
    Chopped parsley
    Grated Parmesan or Pecorino romano Cheese
    Beaten eggs or beaten egg yolks
    Salt and pepper to taste

In the picture above I used angel hair pasta, which of course doesn’t take long to cook.  In a separate bowl, crack your eggs and scramble it with grated cheese, parsley, and black pepper.  Set it aside for later, because this will be the last thing you add to the pasta.  So, while your water is boiling, put a little bit of extra virgin olive oil into a heated skillet (no higher than medium heat) and add the chopped pancetta.  Once the pancetta is starting to brown, drop the pasta.  Note: if you are using a thicker noodle, drop your pasta before you start cooking your panchetta.  Once the noodles are just before al dente, and the edges of the panchetta is browned, add the minced garlic and then take the noodles from the pot to the skillet.  Add some pasta water, a ladle or two, to continue cooking the pasta.  Toss the noodles in the panchetta oil, garlic and water, and add some parsley.  Once the noodles are closer to al dente, remove from the heat.  While whisking your egg and cheese mixture, temper the eggs by adding a little bit of the pasta water to it, then slowly pour it into the skillet with your pasta.  Quickly toss the pasta to ensure that it’s all coated, then add a pinch of salt, a little more cheese, a little more pasta water if your pasta is too dry, and the remaining parsley.  Note that your sauce should be silky, velvety, smooth and without any lumps or scrambled egg bits. Once it’s all tossed, plate your pasta and enjoy!

And so, there it is, three of my favorite simple pasta dishes!  One pot, one pan, little fuss, simple ingredients, all bring about these delicious pastas!  So, if you’re pressed for time, and you don’t have a taste for any takeout, try making one of these pastas that are great for lunch or a light dinner.

Enjoy the big flavors, smooth sauces, and the warm comforts that come from a bowl of great pasta!

Happy Eating, and Smooches!

Super Soups

Making soup for me is doing something quick, just to get something hot and delicious on the table.  Building a soup involves layering and balancing flavors in order to elevate the simple dish of broth, veggies and proteins into a pot or bowl “O… M… G!!!”

Building vs. Making A Pot of Soup

Anyone that has called or texted me within the last few weeks that has asked me, “what are you doing,” my answer was either, “I’m doing some food prep,” or “I’m building a pot of soup.”  The reason why I just didn’t say something like “making” a pot of soup is because to me there is a big difference.  Making soup for me is doing something quick, just to get something hot and delicious on the table.  Building a soup involves layering and balancing flavors in order to elevate the simple dish of broth, veggies and proteins into a pot or bowl “O… M… G!!!”

I know, I sound a bit pretentious, or a bit like a soup snob, but let me explain what I mean.

In building most of my soups, I start out by cooking or just browning my meat proteins in the pot in which the soup will go into.  The meat has to be at the very least preseasoned (just simple salt and pepper) if not marinated for anywhere from an hour to 24 hours, depending on the soup and the time allotted.  After the meat is browned or cooked to my satisfaction (after a good fond–the brown bits or carmelization from cooking the meat proteins–builds up) I’d take it out of the pot, add a tablespoon or two more of the oil I used (if necessary), and add in my aromatics and/or other herbs and veggies: onions, celery, ginger, carrots, tomatoes, fennel, mushrooms, bay leaves, chopped herbs, garlic, etc.  While cooking the aromatics and these veggies (seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper) the natural waters that are in these elements will begin to appear and give a little moisture to the bottom of the pot, thus loosening up those browned bits and remnants from the meat protein that was cooked and extracted from the pot earlier.  Next, if needed for the soup, I’ll add a paste of sorts, whether it be tomato paste, or a bit of a concentrated stock paste, such as Miso or chicken.  After a minute or two, I can add my broth, stock or water, stir, simmer, and later add in any other additions, such as any veggies, dried herbs, beans or any legume, and the meat that started the whole pot of soup.

Building a soup simply means layering flavors while bringing out natural flavors,  balancing them from the foundation–browned elements–to the last addition (usually for me it’s a bright fresh herb, again depending on the soup).  Making a soup can make your family say, “Yummy!” But, building a soup makes them say, “Giiiiirrrrllll…… SLAP YOURSELF!  THIS IS SO SOOO GOOOOOD!”  That last one was direct quote from my mother, by the way!

So, here’s what I worked on within the last few weeks:

White Bean Chicken Tortilla Soup

white bean chicken tortilla soupOne of the things that I love to do is to eat a great meal or dish from a restaurant, and then replicate it at home, based on the taste and textures that I experience.  This soup was inspired by a chicken tortilla soup I had in the prior week.  Going online to see about finding a recipe, I found that one of the elements (heavy cream) was used, and for the people who I was cooking for, this was a no-go!  And so, I decided to tweak a few things in the collection of recipes that I found online, and made this chowder-like tortilla soup with pureed as well as whole white beans (NOTE: if you desire a thinner broth, simply add more water or chicken stock).  With the addition of marinated chicken, black beans, nopales, chicken stock, corn and other aromatics and personal blended seasonings, what we have is a smooth and creamy soup without the cream.  The soup itself can be topped with cheese, extra nopales, avocado, sour cream, green onions, tortilla strips, or anything you’d like.

Minestrone with Italian Turkey Sausage and Ditalini Pasta

Minestrone soup with Italian Chicken SausageMost of the versions of Minestrone that I have seen did not have any sort of meat in it.  However, I made this one with Italian Turkey Sausage (ground turkey, personally seasoned with Italian seasoning and a sausage seasoning from a city market in St. Louis, MO), due to the fact that my father needed a little bit more than a vegetable soup.  Instead of making a separate protein to accompany this soup, why not add a little seasoned meat?  This made it a complete meal, good enough to satisfy my father and the entire family.  To build this soup, cook the meat first, then take it out and set it to the side.  After sauteing the veggies, add the garlic, then the tomato paste (both times making a little opening in the midst of the veggies, allowing them to come in contact with direct heat, blooming the flavors even more).  Personally, I use 2 parts beef stock to 1 part chicken stock, however either stock can be substituted with veggie stock.  Add in the beans and meat, and either collards or chard, top it with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and chopped parsley, and you have yourself a fabulous soup!

Miso and Chicken Ramen Bowl

I absolutely love using authentic ingredients, especially when it comes to my Asian dishes!  What I personally do not care for are the pre-packaged, just add water, instant, ready anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes type of replicated Asian type cuisine.  And so, I made a special trip to Chinatown to get exactly what I needed to make this delicious bowl.  For the broth itself I cooked my marinated chicken breast tenders in the pot itself, then took them out, then added in the minced garlic, onions and ginger from the marinade.  Add in some miso paste, then the water.  The broth is brought to a boil, then poured the already cooked noodles (not the packaged styrofoam type noodles that we’ve been warned to never eat) and veggies, such as carrots, Bok choy, sautéed shiitake and oyster mushrooms, bean sprouts and a little bit of nori (seaweed) strips.  I know that the thought of seaweed may be off-putting to some, especially when there’s chicken involved.  If it makes you feel any better, use shrimp instead.

So, these soups have been nourishing to myself and my family.  Since it’s Autumn I will be making plenty of pots of soup.  In the future I will be posting about those as well as other foods that I make.  If you’d like to know more about how to make these soups, leave a comment below!

Be blessed in Jesus’ Name!

Happy Eating!


*Featured image by Be.YOU.Tiful Photography, by J. Motley