Friday, November 14, 2014

Finding Where I Belong

     It was December of 2012; I had just gotten back from a mission trip to Los Angeles. In the back of my mind, I knew I had it coming. My father had sat down with me many times and told me that if I did not get my priorities straight, I could be homeless. I was working as a server where tips were bare minimum, and my paychecks were never above $5.00. My car was in and out of shops and I was hitching rides everywhere I was going. It finally came down to the point where my father- showing the tough love of a father- told me it was time for me to move forward. And, I'm so glad he gave me that push. It served as a motivation and put me in the position I am in now.

     From there, I moved back in with my mom. I lived with her for about a month or so when I got the offer to have a place of my own. A friend that I had confided in reached out and told me he would allow me to stay in his camper; fully furnished with power. He knew I was trying to get my finances situated, so at that moment, told me to do what I could do to help out with the running of the camper. I took it for granted, and ultimately had to move out of the camper. I was truly blessed to have spent nine months living there. I tell you one thing, though; surviving thunderstorms in that camper surely was interesting.

     After I moved from the camper, my dad gave me the opportunity to move back in with him, only with the exception that I was actively searching for a place of my own. There had been plans with my brothers to rent out a house, but those plans fell through. Reality was becoming brutal; I was going to be homeless. That was until my aunt gave me the chance to stay with her. I spent the last three holidays of 2013 with my aunt and her family. After those three months, I knew I needed to try this whole "find my own place" once again. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED living with my aunt. But, as a 23 year old, it wasn't settling well with my pride. So, I set out to sign my first ever lease at an apartment complex.

     January 2014; I have moved into my first apartment with three other roommates (one whom I've done ministry work with for years). For the next five months, I would struggle a schedule working two jobs, and trying to find a way to pay for my room monthly, as well as a new car payment that came up due to my previous car finally biting the dust. I was making enough money to maintain my living, but I was irresponsible in my spending. Any chance I got, I was splurging on anything and everything unnecessary. It finally took it's toll on me when in May, I tried to end my life. There were many other things that were reasons for this, but finances were one of the main things. I just could not catch a break. So, a week and a half later, I moved into a house where a friend of mine graciously gave me a room.

     June 2014; I'm laying in a bed in a house that's only about five years old. From the houses I've lived in before, nothing compared to the house I was living in now. I had a flashback from when I was a kid, riding around Buttermilk Road at Christmas time, and seeing Woodland Forrest's brick wall, thinking "I'm going to live there one day." And, it became my reality.

     While this is probably the longest blog I've posted, I say it all to say this; I am finding where I belong. It has taken a year of being on my own- completely away from any family- to realize where I belong. It hurts not to be under the same roof as my mom or dad, but there comes a moment in life where you have to move forward. Granted, it took me a few more years than most, but I wouldn't be where I am today if I didn't have parents who believed in me and pushed me to be the best person I could be. Yes, I still struggle financially. Yes, I am homesick. Yes, I am only human. But, in this experience, I have realized that every stressful moment was a moment taken from God. It was a moment where I realized that joy was there all along; I just had to take hold of it.

     Never give up. God isn't done with you. It may take you a year to find out who you are and what you are doing with your life, but in the end, it's worth it.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Understanding is Actions to Help

     I would like to preface this whole article by saying that pain is universal. We all have our own source of what we call "pain." It's foolishness to say "I've been through more than you" when you've never walked a mile in their shoes. Keep that in mind as you read this.     
     Today is my birthday, and I want to take this opportunity to shed a light on something that is very close to my heart. Until five months ago, I never thought I would be the victim of something that is becoming a common thread in this day and age. This is suicide.

     "For young people 15-24 years old, suicide is the second leading cause of death."

     May 9th, 2014, I found myself in a very scary place. If it wasn't one thing, it was another, and I could not catch a break. It's too much to go into detail, but at that point in my life, I was done. I had just got home from work, and was sitting in my apartment will some sleeping pills in my hand. I fought with myself going through every scenario in my mind. I didn't know what to do. I had been completely overtaken by some spirit, and I could not break free. My mindset was "if I could just go to sleep for a long time, maybe all of these problems I've been having will disappear." Before I could fight any longer, I remember putting the pills in my mouth, and swallowing all of them. Out of complete fear, I called the paramedics almost immediately.
     I spent that night in the ICU after a series of test and stomach pumps, and had the whole night to completely rethink my life. The most mortifying thing that happened was having to see my Mom and Dad see me the way they did. It was a look I will never forget.

     I bring this up because suicide attempts are becoming more and more every year. The statistics are staggering. I found hope in a Man named Jesus over a decade ago, and I still found myself in a position where I could have ended my life. Had I not acted quickly, and had I survived even after not calling the ambulance, I could be on dialysis for the rest of my life. That's how much my dosage was. "Ah, that's not a lot." For me, it was. It was enough for me to feel like I didn't want to live anymore.

     If you are depressed and feel like there is no hope, talk to somebody. You don't have to fight this fight alone. I am so thankful for two incredible men of God (and my family) who stood by me and fought for me in that time. Even after a suicide attempt, I was so ashamed to show my face to anyone; but the LORD put a new Word on my lips, and I've been on fire ever since. God is greater than suicide. I pray and hope this helps somebody to speak out about their demons. God bless!

For more information and statistics on suicide, visit:

Knowing is understanding, and understanding is actions to helping.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Would Jesus listen to secular music?

     As I type this, I'm listening to the extremely secular song "We Can't Stop," (a cover version by Hobbie Stuart; check it out), and I can't help but to think about all the people who would criticize me just for listening to a song that would mention such reckless behavior. May I add that I don't listen to music to hear a message (unless it's Christian music, of course). But, there are other things that can appeal to the ear. Perhaps it's the singer's voice. Or, maybe it's the beat of the song (which is why I love EDM music). Perhaps I'm rambling, but this is why I ask myself "Would Jesus listen to secular music?"

     In a world where secular music promotes about everything evil in the world, there can still be good in each song. I recently read a post about a pastor in New York who plays secular music in their services because it draws the crowd who may not show up if a hymnal is being played on the church's organ. Not bashing traditional church services, but in this time and age, that isn't working. I'm not promoting contemporary worship either, but this is all beside the point. The point is in all things meant for evil, God can take it and make it good.

     When Jesus roamed the earth, He didn't walk around with a "holier than thou" attitude, even though He had every right to. He was the King of Kings. P. Diddy who? He's the Big Daddy Himself! He's usual crowds consisted of prostitutes, thieves, tax collectors (and in those days, they were HATEDDDD). He even surrounded Himself by lepers. Lord knows in those days, a GOOD Jewish man would never go near a leper less he lose his reputation and great name. But, none of that bothered Jesus. I can see Him sitting around, singing psalms with His disciples. And, I could definitely see Jesus sitting around with the sinners listening to whatever they had back in that day. I don't know, maybe pots and pans? Who knows?

     Here's the point; we are so caught up in Western religion that we forget what Jesus really stands for. If you weigh what He preached on a scale, the "don't" would outweigh the "do." His commandments were simple: Love God. Love people. That's it.

     I can already feel the comments stirring: "Do not conform to the world." And, you're right! Do NOT conform to the world. "What does a man profit if he gains the world yet loses his soul?" I know all those verses, so save it. But, Jesus ALSO says something else: "It's not what goes into the body that defiles the body; it's what comes out" (paraphrased: Matthew 15:11). With that verse, I rest in knowing that although Jesus would probably shiver at what He hears in today's music industry, He would find some way to make it into something good.

     Sorry for the random ramble. Thoughts and comments are welcomed!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Los Angeles: Round Two

Los Angeles, California

     In December of 2012, I was blessed with the opportunity to fly to Los Angeles, California to serve at the Dream Center. It was truly an experience I will never forget. I still dream of all the people I met, and I can still hear the sounds of Skid Row at night.

Skid Row, Los Angeles, California
     Well, the opportunity has come, once again, for me to serve at the Dream Center, and I'm incredibly excited. Like before, our team will serve the people of Los Angeles, Skid Row, and numerous other surrounding areas. Some of the things we will be doing will be serving on a food truck where we will pass out food; passing out clothes and food to those who cannot make it to the Dream Center; praying with people; passing out food, clothes, and other necessities on the streets of Skid Row; the need in Los Angeles is great, so there's really not a limit on what all we'll be doing while we are there.

     This letter serves two purposes:
  • One: Your prayers are not only wanted; they are definitely needed. If the Holy Spirit doesn't go before me, I don't think I would go either. You can pray for myself, the team I'll be going with (Church of the Highlands), for the city of Los Angeles, and for God's will be done in this mission.
  • Two: Donations are very welcomed. This letter serves as a support letter to welcome you into what God is doing. I pray that you do not give out of impulse; Pray first, and then give whatever God shows you. I can't promise you'll gain financial bliss or prosperity. But, what I can promise is that every dime goes to serve a purpose; and that is to touch one more life for the purpose of Christ. If you would like to donate, you can by going to Fill out the necessary information, and then "Submit." To give directly to my account, click on "Trip to Donate to," and choose "LA Dream Center - August - 8/25/2014." Once you've done that, my name will appear in the next drop down box. If you have any questions regarding how to give, please email me at
Los Angeles Dream Center
     Los Angeles has a very special place in my heart. It's a city so captivated by this culture we live in today. All they want to know is if someone still cares enough to help them out. Pastor Matthew Barnett (the founder of the Dream Center) has built his ministry around a simple quote: "Find a need and fill it; find a hurt and heal it." And, that is what our team will be able to do.

     Thank you so much for reading this. If you have any questions regarding the Dream Center, check out their website: Or, if you have any questions regarding the trip, please feel free to email me at Once again, thank you, and God bless.

Attached is just a small testimony from a few people who have went through and who serve the Dream Center.