GROWING in EXCELLENCE


 

serenity prayer

I was pondering the rising incidence of violence, senseless murder, rioting and the present tendency to focus on negativity and hopelessness. It really troubles me that in spite of all our modern technology,  endless supply and choices of supplies, merchandise, food and modern conveniences, many of us Americans are still a miserable and unsatisfied bunch.  There are exceptions of course and we all do know people who greatly and positively influence their circle or community.

As a journalist, songwriter , artists and mentor, I take no greater delight than in seeing others flower and produce beautiful fruit! Many of us artists can be overly sensitive and prone to self-pity when hit by crushing trials or challenges, (like the deaths of loved ones and pets, loss of a job-career  or a catastrophic illness)  which greatly curtails and derails the path of our lives. I understand all these detours very well, having had  more than my share of difficult  seasons.  For many of us,  difficulties have stunted and left  us spinning our  wheels in neutral indefinitely, but for others,  we stay on course, focused on  our (and others) upward momentum of excellence.

As I thought about the futility, (and the sad waste of human intelligence)  of traversing the lower road of emotional stagnancy, bitterness and toxicity, I deem this blog to be of great necessity for many. I believe cultivating an excellent mindset is of great benefit to the world.. This article will be a but shorter than my usual blog posts  what award-winning anther, Travis Bradvbury’s article says about our brain-potential , 18 Signs You Have High Emotional Intelligence is so comprehensive an enlightening! Check out his article:

18 Signs You Have High Emotional Intelligence

I’m presently going through storms of very difficult relationship issues following the passing of my mother and the estrangement of a cherished  near-relative and it again causes me to soul-search ways that I can navigate and grow from this heartbreak of loss, disappointment and rejection. I want to say that I am confident that my faith in God and His kindness to me causes me to use my experiences and victories over depression to help others to become excellent and fruitful people and  encourage them to mentor others who have trouble navigating difficult relationships and  traumatic life events!. I’d applied one of my favorite Bible scriptures to my lifestyle, remembering to get out of myself and not focus on my selfish ambition or empty pride and to humble myself , considering others more important than myself. Phil 2 3&4 We all need to try to not focus  on our own interests all the time,  but to show interest in the interests of others. This is not easy to do for most of us, but is a skill and edifying trait which can be cultivated.

We would expects leaders or religious mentors to have the gift of edifying and encouragement , but this is not always the case. Many are  stressed-out and focused on their own endeavors. and some are even narcissistic.  I would just like the end this article with saying that mentoring, encouraging and building up broken people has been the most precious and gratifying  job I could be privileged to have! From my very early days in the 1980’s , as a young woman immersed in nursing home ministry , to prison ministry, to serving battered and dislocated women with Love in the name of Christ non-profit, to presently mentoring Lyme Disease and Dystonia sufferers, there is no greater love or joy than building up others. Empowering others strengthens families, our communities and our nation.

We must try to address the issues of suicide, mental illness, family estrangement and anarchy by prayer, unified outreach and especially asking God His wisdom to wrong the rights of this world. We will not see positive change in our families, communities and nation if we continue to relentlessly chase our own dreams with out  any interest or thought to intervene and help others when and if we can. I hope  Travis’s insightful article prompts you to a new level of high emotion intelligence and I know if more of us embrace some of the tributes, we will so enhance and build upon positively the atmosphere of our world!

FROM the PIT to PALACE


from the pit to the palce

The Called, Pioneers of Destiny

My Pastor’s message at our home worship service came from Genesis Chapter 42 to the end. Joseph, the bragging dreamer, was elevated to the second highest position in Egypt under the Pharaoh. I’d read and reread Joseph’s challenging journey from the pit, to the prison…to the palace. many times. This Sundays’ sermon visitation to Joseph’s amazing story by my enthusiastic Pastor Sandra, reminded me of God’s greatness, sovereignty and mercy to his people.

Sunday’s lesson came all together as my intercessor sisters and I were praying about the suffering and hardship of the mothers and their children trekking in the Caravan line to the United States. A few prayers were compassionately wept, but God was reminding me of a vision He first implanted in my heart as a second year student at Brookdale College in 1987. I was vivacious and full of creativity, especially in my creative writing, graphic design, photography and painting classes. Mr. Scholl, our graphic design instructor, had us design a logo for our dream company. Immediately, images of a sprawling campus, with dormitories, classrooms, training areas, child care rooms and auditoriums came to my mind. I envisioned, homeless people, handicapped, single, welfare moms, dislocated homemakers and veterans being taught life and vocational skills. The anointed Christian teachers and counselors were breathing life into the almost dead ashes of countless lives. They were well-rounded, highly skilled and influential in their perspective fields and were impassioned to pass it forward to broken and destitute people. They didn’t possess pride or the spirit of Mammon, (the love of money). They had also suffered great hardships themselves: physical infirmities and tragedies. For such a time as this, Jehovah Raphha and Jehovah Jireh himself would heal, deliver and prosper these individuals.

My vocation center, AVO, (Artistic Vocations Operations), would encourage anyone with a dream or vision to enroll and participate to a Clearing house-type vetting system to be interviewed for placements and needs.

This first wonderful vision stayed in my heart while I was working towards earning my degree at Brookdale and even until after graduation. This dream stayed afresh while I fronted my first Christian band, The Promise, with Chris Durante, our lead guitarist. We were on fire for the Lord Jesus after seeing so many inmates receive Christ and became transformed right in prison. I knew this was what I loved to do. We were being invited to many NJ correctional facilities and maximum security prisons. Our invitations grew from chaplains who wanted their men to hear my testimony about the new life in Christ.

My dreams for life-transforming ministry abruptly came to a halt, when one day, I felt dizzy and my heart was violently palpitating. I was very scared, waiting to hear the results of my tests. I had Lyme disease and I was thrown in a sudden battle for my very life. That long battle turned into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which then turned into Candida and a near-death encounter with Carbon Monoxide poisoning, all within two years. My body and life was falling apart and with it my dreams for ministering for the Lord.

The staggering fatigue, extreme weakness and constant bronchial infections kept me tethered to deep depression and hopelessness. But God had not forgotten me. One day, one of my best childhood girlfriends called me and asked me if I’d like to go back to work part-time. Diana knew I was very weak, but she was serving part-time also with a Christian non-profit, Love in the Name of Christ. I felt impressed to call for an interview, even though I felt that it would probably be a waste of time. I felt revived and decided to test God at His word, that He was my provider.

Diana’s prayers worked because I had an interview! All I had for an interview suit was one suit I wore to work many years ago as a salesgirl at a fashion store at a the local mall. It was in decent shape and I arrived at the Love Inc headquarters positive and hopeful. I was greeted and interviewed by a gracious matron, Operations Manager, Joan Hodum and Executive Director, Carolyn Eyerman. Surprisingly, Joan was very interested hearing about my early years of nursing home and prison ministry. She also liked my suit! As they stood up to thank me for my time and shake my hand, I knew I had the position. Carolyn called me the very next day and asked me if I could start next week. Joan and she had discussed ideas for a special program to prepare welfare moms leaving welfare for the workplace. I would be mentoring them in business etiquette, resume and I would be running a boutique of beautiful, lightly used business clothing. That vision God gave me in graphic design class started to rise. I was excited.

So began my tenure as program coordinator for my business outreach, Just the Right Touch.  My hiring into this wonderful Christian organization brought me into fellowship with staff from all denominations and professional backgrounds. I was part of a family again and was overjoyed to be part of a God-ordained people-serving entity. The staff, all much older than me, treated me as a daughter and guided me in my new orientation. I loved helping to build up the broken spirits of the young women who came to my program and boutique. They were so excited to apply for jobs in beautiful, professional clothing and have a professional looking resume to hand to their prospective new employer.

I was greatly disappointed when Social Services no longer sent referred women to my business boutique and Love Inc’s board urged Carolyn to have me close shop because clients were not being served. I was very disappointed, but thankful that at least I had acquired years of solid experience, ministering and mentoring young women! I thought of God’s grace and mercy during my years of struggling with Lyme, Disease, suffering from abandonment and divorce and being unemployed for many long months, God was indeed honing me for an amazing destiny which I still didn’t know

In 2016, I was thrust into another unexpected ministry, intercession. My spiritual sister, Donna, who loved to pray, called me one day to give me the number of an intercessory pray conference line. This group, was a passionate group of men and women who felt called to pray for the elections, our next president and our nation. I had been involved with my church’s prayer group in the past, but this groups seemed to have an extraordinary unction to pray with anointing and spiritual authority. I listened first, (as a student of intercessory prayer) and then joined my prayer as my spiritual confidence rose. I was learning to overcome and take authority over the many negative forces in my life. These confident praying led to more intimacy with my Heavenly Father and Jesus and I began to believe that that same authority was to be applied to the lives of my family and friends for their healing and deliverance in my family’s’ and my life!

On the 24/7 NSCP, National Strategic Conference Prayer network, led by Pastor Ioan Piea and Maureen Bravo, we have had to address innumerable national, and global crisis, emergencies, family problems and even testimonies of answered prayers and miracles. Many, included deluded Christian brethren have been opposing and condemning President Trump’s assessment and solutions to the Caravan, to our southern border. As Christians, we are commended to provide for the widows, orphans, sick, the elderly and impoverished, but we must make sure that they indeed are in need. Too many impostors are here to cause chaos and they are overwhelming our border patrol. This is a serious threat to the safety and security of American citizens.

Many Christian and non-profit organizations are stepping in minister to the needy, but the body of Christ must prayerfully seek God’s wisdom and revelation for those who do manage to stay here and how to assure that they will assimilate into our culture and truly transition into Christ-like productivity and success.

Joseph’s story is an example of one impoverished young man who became the salvation of nations. I believe that many intercessors in our group and around the nation, who are fledgling leaders, now being being groomed and honed….for such a time as this!  The Bible doesn’t say if there were threads of national rioting or revolution, but it does say that innumerable lives were saved because of Joseph’s wisdom. For such a time as this, God brought Donald J. trump as the church’s Cyrus, to bring back righteousness and some semblance of order to America.  As the body of Christ faces this quagmire, we can be assured that if we abide in His presence and keep His precepts and commandments, He will be faithful.

Love in the Name of Christ’s mission statement could be a apt template a solution to the Caravan dilemma. Different denominations and Christian non-profit groups unite and mobilize under one umbrella. The needs of the beneficiaries would be assessed through an application process via a “Clearing House” process

Addressing the dilemma of the Caravan scenario entails the supernatural wisdom of God’s Holy Spirit. The spiritual leaders of Christ’s body need to discern the true needy ones from the malevolent impostors who seek to overrun our nation. President Trump’s greatest concern is to keep us safe. He knows the world is watching to see if we truly are the Christian nation he declares us to be.

iFrom the pit

This past week, I remembered how the Bible speaks of how building strong alliances that are unified in God’s will and anointing is the answer to all dilemmas and especially the present  caravan issue. If not addressed properly with a strategic plan, the truly needy may fall through the cracks. At Brookdale College, I foresaw these types of crisis and so envisioned my future ministry, Artistic Vocations Operations, AVO, would provide appropriate services and establish many. God’s children know that in Christ, all things are possible. I’ve never once doubted that my vision at Brookdale College was far-fetched. If God brought Andrew Wommack’s amazing vision, in Colorado, God could certainly bring Anita Ferrer’s vision!

Many of us have gotten lazy regarding facing and felling our giants. We allow fear to cripple us and then we get so overwhelmed that we give up. The Caravan crisis is nothing more daunting than Joshua and Caleb declaring, “We are well able to take the city.” Indeed, the church is more than able to confront the Caravan crisis and all that come our way. We, (the full body of Christ, in all our branches and denominations) just need to unite as one, as an alliance, so to speak. Lone rangers are always vulnerable and soon get attacked and conquered.

It may seem that darkness is spreading like an ominous canopy over the nations, with lluminati billionaires, CEO’s and music mogul, raking in unspeakable profits. There is no longer  a clear division between the righteous and the ungodly. The lines have blurred as even Christian record labels have sold out to secular labels. The principality of Mammon has tainted the lives of mega-church pastors who splurge on jet planes, multiple mansions and vintage cars. Our own veterans lie in gutters, forgotten. Other millions in third-world nation exist in squalid filth. Something has to give.

Let us see that God has given us a gracious reprieve with our president, a modern-day Joseph or Esther to stand up boldly and bring about a reformation for our badly damaged nation. May all the brothers and sisters in Christ unite to become that city on a hill and be that light to the nations  Let us aspire to be the top of the crop, in medicine, science, entertainment, fashion, health,-agriculture, the media and the financial arena, not Amazon, Google and Facebook. We are the head and not the tail.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we ask you to seek your wisdom so that Holy Spirit can convict us of our deception and error.  Help us to love each other, as Christ loved us and to unite in agreement, for that’s where our strength lies! We can fell the Goliath liberalism, mammon, abortion and rebellion, but first we must repent, renounce and turn your way. Help us to walk in holiness and as pleasing to you, for your ways are not our ways and your thoughts are not ours! In Jesus’ name amen.