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Faith, Fight and Miscarriage


It would have been better if I didn’t have time to dream about it. It would have been better if my husband and I didn’t get a thrill out of having our own little secret.  If we didn’t plan the "grand" announcement, the baby shower, the name. It would have been better if the doctor said we could still have children, naturally. If I didn’t have dreams and confirmations. After 2 ectopic pregnancies, 2 surgeries, 2 recoveries: 

I found myself feeling disappointed, doubting and angry at God. The temptation to believe that God wasn’t that interested in me began to creep in. I was tempted to believe that God is faithful, just not always to me. I was tempted to believe that most things are possible with God, just not all things. Then I was reminded of:

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

My way of escape from those thoughts, new philosophies… LIES was and is JESUS! Running to Him with a broken, honest and receiving heart, was the only way out of the path of a bitter heart. He is the only One who heals the brokenhearted. He is the One that restores, confirms, strengthens and establishes. Truly, Romans 8:37 (Voice) bears true that “no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him who loved us.” Not just future victory, but current victory too. God’s blessing was (and still is) evident. I had to be intentional to look for it; but it was there. I had my amazing husband, my precocious daughter, my life (I could have bled to death).  I made myself thankful for the people who showed love to me and my family. From those who continually prayed for us;  brought us food; came by just to keep us company; to people who braided my daughter’s hair when I couldn’t. How could I allow bitterness, when God was and is so  faithful to show His mercy and compassion?

I had to make some hard decisions.  I remember laying in bed, waiting for the pain meds to kick in, thinking about still being  a “good Christian”; but in reality I needed to do things “my way” to have “the good life”. I needed to make some serious changes in my life that “made sense”. Then I felt the Lord challenge me to make a decision to live for Him or not; lovingly encouraging the latter. Through tears and frankly not knowing how, I made the decision to move forward with God, His way.  It was then that I literally felt the strength of the Lord, His grace, to get me through the day. The next morning His grace met me when I woke up and I began to feel encouraged. Then the day after, more of His grace, more strength, more hope.  Something happens when you decide, despite your hurt, pain & emotions, to move forward with God; His way. It’s called His grace.

I needed His grace because I knew this wasn’t just about me and my family.  It wasn't just about this miscarriage. Satan wanted fear and doubt to cripple me and my family. He wanted us to be the carriers of this infection to our friends, our family, our church.   The enemy would have loved for me to believe that every promise God had put into my heart about family, protection, ministry …EVERYTHIING,  was a “shot in the dark”.  I’m disqualified.  I’m done. It’s not going to happen. I heard him scream “Give up!”  “Move on!” “You’re weak and tired … its over!” But that was not the truth.  The truth was (and is) :


Isaiah 40:28-31 (NKJV)
… The everlasting God, the Lord,The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

It doesn’t end here. That is why I’m sharing my story with you. Our story may not look the same, but the emotions, challenges and the faith that the enemy wants to destroy in us are.

The reality is …

Sometimes God won’t tell you the “why”, but  will you still trust Him? Trust in His goodness. Trust that His will will materialize. Will you trust that He will use this whirlwind to make you stronger, if you let Him. Trust Him to work in you perseverance, character and hope.  A perfect patience in you, so that your faith is unshakable in every circumstance.

Let’s hold on to the truth …

That with God NOTHING is impossible! God is not a man that He will lie! If He said it, He will do it!  If we persevere like Job, we will see His intended end – that He is compassionate and merciful. If we continue to believe His will for our lives as Joseph did, that which the enemy meant for evil God will use for good to save many around you. It ain't over! It will happen! God’s promises are yes and amen! God is faithful! 

Praying for you, 
Lashan

PS: My husband just published his 4th book which prophetically blessed us during this time. It is entitled Scraped Knees, How to get up once you've fallen. It's a short and powerful ebook through which God takes you by the hand and says "Talitha Cumi". 

Also, if you live in the New York Tri State area, I invite you to enjoy service with us at Life Church! Service is on Sundays at 3pm at 1387 East 96th Street, Brooklyn NY. I can't wait to meet you!   

It's Time For Change

Rose, Black, Rose Bloom, Flower, Blossom

I couldn't hit the "publish" button as if it was business as usual. The tragic murders of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile, at the hands of police officers who took an oath to protect and serve the community. My mind and emotions were rendered unstable and fatigued. I, as were many of you, went from sadness to anger; compassion to rebellion; hopeful to fearful. I cried as a wife of an amazing black man. I cried as the mother of a brown child and the future mother of a brown boy (so beautifully articulated by blogger Alicia Harper ). I was in a bad emotional place. The more I talked about it the worse I felt. I ran to the Lord angry, afraid and confrontational:

"Look at the hate!"

"Look at the racism!"

"Look at the injustice!"

"Why?!?"

Then the Lord opened my eyes to see.  The decision was mine, if I choose to:  

Look at the love and support that has poured out from black people, white people and people from every race in between.

Look at the white people, the black people and people of various races united; standing up for what is righteous, just and fair despite race.

Look to the times when justice was carried out in this imperfect world. 

Look to the truth of the word to quiet the fear.
2 Samuel 22:3-4  The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence.  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.

Finally the Lord left me with this scripture and this truth:
Genesis 50:20 CEB  You planned something bad for me, but God produced something good from it, in order to save the lives of many people, just as he’s doing today.

These are the words Joseph spoke to his brothers after he rose to power in Egypt; decades after they sold him into slavery. I believe that though Satan executed this evil, God will use it for good.  That our wise Heavenly Father is using this tragedy to gather my black community to strengthen us, unify us, and turn our hearts back to Him.  He is birthing and amplifying the voices of leaders, from Capitol Hill to the hill up the road.  Leaders filled with His fire for righteousness, His character of integrity and His Spirit of truth. Leaders that are and will change the dynamics of this world.

Are you that leader?  Where do you choose to look? 




How To Break A Soul Tie



In the last post, we discussed the most asked question I receive:  How Do I Find My Life's Purpose?”.  I received so much feedback that I created a worksheet for everyone subscribed to the blog focusing on getting back to Gods unique design for you. This post is dedicated to the 2nd most asked question:

How do I break a soul tie? 

So here is the answer in no uncertain terms:

1) Accept Gods truth about the matter. It doesn’t matter how you broke up or why. The truth of the matter is that God wants that door closed! You can decide to force that door to stay open (only to eventually get your hand smashed because it doesn’t belong there), or let it close so the right door can open.  I remember shortly after being saved, I was hungry to hear God’s voice.  I was on my knees, on my feet, on my face, on my elbows wanting to hear Him.  Then He “spoke”:

2 Corinthians 6:14
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 

I knew what I had to do. I had to break up with my boyfriend of 5 years.  It would have been simple if he was a dog, but he wasn’t. It would have been easy if he treated me terribly, but he didn’t. It would have been understandable if he wasn’t talking about marriage, but he was. The only thing he did wrong was not give his life to Jesus. It was enough for God. I decided it was enough for me.

2) Accept it will hurt. Period. There is no way around it. If it was easy you wouldn’t be reading this post! But don’t let the temporary pain cause you to make a lifelong mistake. After I broke it off with my boyfriend I cried for DAYS!!!  I cried because he didn’t understand the why. I cried because it was  a "wasted 5 years. I cried because my plan of being married by 25 was no longer an option (so I thought). My emotions were in such an upheaval, I couldn’t make sense of them. But, there was a little bubble, right beneath my emotions where I felt peace.  A knowing that I was doing the right thing which comforted me. It was the pleasure of the Lorda soft joy and freedom that only grew bigger day after day. It was my choice to focus on the peace rather than the temporary tears.  And so, it will be yours.

3) Stay in His presence. Don’t make the mistake of running into the arms of a temporary fix. Whether it be shopping, another person, partying, alcohol, etcRomans 4:20 says “In spite of all this, his {Abraham} faith in God’s promise did not falter. In fact, his faith grew as he gave glory to God.” In the middle of my crying spells, I worshiped through prayer, service, and His Word. I thanked Him for separating me from this situation, although I didn’t know how it was going to turn out. It was in His presence that I became strong to see this separation to its end. This is the time to run to Him and be strengthened.
It is there where He teaches youIt is there where He repairs youIt is there where He gives you new vision. It is there where He reveals truth to you

My prayer for you is that every soul-tie not approved by our Heavenly Father experience a new level of frustration, because it is not of Him. I pray that your eyes open to see the death that is in this relationship.  That He strengthens you in your inner man by His might to trust in His perpetual love over the fickle love of man.  That He gives you a fresh understanding that He loves you too much to lead you astray.  I pray that He surrounds you with wise people that can speak the truth of His word and encourage you through. In Jesus name. Amen.

Praying for you, 
Lashan



"How Do I Find My Life's Purpose?"


I am asked a lot of questions as "A Pastor’s Wife" and through the Word of God and His wisdom, I've been able to guide people towards a solution. But there are some questions that I’m constantly asked - across generations, sexes and time. So I figured, why not dedicate the next 5 posts to answer the top 5 questions here on the blog? So here is the first installment! 

Question #1: How do I find my life's purpose? 

In my post entitled The Pursuit of Purpose, I shared my personal experience that led to understanding that purpose is not a final destination. It is a progressive journey with many sightseeing points along the way.  However, the question still remained - how do I find my purpose and live this purpose driven life? I remember nights of being on my knees asking God “What is my purpose?” Believing, confessing and receiving scriptures like,   

Ephesians 2:10  “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” 

I knew God HAD to tell me what I was destined to do.  I remember watching other people live out their purpose and saying to God, “Hey! What about me? If You told them, You should tell me, too! Your word says You are not a respecter of persons, right?!?”

Can you relate? 

Had I truly understood that the answer was right under my nose, I would not have wasted so much brain power feeling lost! So if you’ve been looking for your purpose, here it is in no uncertain terms:

Bring others to Jesus!!! 

When He called you out of darkness, He didn’t just call you out of hell. He called you out from groping in the dark for a purpose, a "goal" that never existed! At one time you lived for yourself and the trends of this world.  Let’s face it, the trends of this world are always changing.  When they change, so does your "goals" and as your "goals" change so does your emotions.  If your emotions are always changing, how could you possibly base your life on something that is so unstable? But God, called you out of that instability, washed you from the confusion of the world, set you apart and gave you an identity. 

It is so simple yet it evades so many of us.  Let’s start at the beginning of our sojourn and take the first step that has been given to us.   When was the last time you shared with someone about God’s love for them?  Informed your girlfriend that if she would surrender her will to Jesus, He will lead her out of the craziness? Enlighten your cousin on the fact that Jesus would have died all over again, if it meant saving only him? Explained to your unsaved co-worker that the peace of being in right standing with God is indescribable, that they need to try it to understand it? 

I know what you are thinking … “bringing others to Jesus isn’t going to lead me to the right college degree to pursue, the perfect career to go after or business to start,” right? WRONG! 


Matthew 6:31-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”

When we embrace and become passionate about Kingdom business as our destiny, it is then that the unique what’s, when’s, where’s and how’s become clear for the season. Because we are focused on the Lord and His direction, we can hear as He shows us what this looks like in our individual lives. We position ourselves to hear and follow as He leads us to that degree, career, business, and husband/wife! Take the chance and really lean on God. Trust the foundation that God has set and He will help build out the details of your house. 

Love you and praying for you, 
Lashan

 P.S. What are the top 5 questions that you would like to see discussed?  Email me ... let’s talk about it! 
- If you live in the New York Tri State  area, I invite you to enjoy service with us at Life Church! Service is on Sundays at 3pm at 1387 East 96th Street, Brooklyn NY. I can’t wait  meet  you!

4 Myths About Finding A Husband My Mother Told Me






Eat my vegetables.

Take care of my skin.

Stay away from the boys.

Get my college degree.

These among many other lifesaving advice about life, my mother drilled into me. But when it came to the "rules of engagement" ... let's just say I had to go to the word of God for redirection and reprogramming! 

 So, here are some of the sacred cows God had to smash!

1) "Wait until you are older to get married, live life first".  Proverbs 5:18 says "…rejoice with the wife of your youth”. I believe the bible said youth for a reason. Not to be confused, the term youth in this context refers to physical age; not spiritual or mental maturity. With that being said, I dare say, you could be open and ready for marriage as soon as your early 20’s.  Seek and be open to your heavenly Father’s your timing. Your husband/wife is your partner through life - not a hindrance to it.

2) "Establish your career, so he is walking into your world”. You don't need to have it ALL together! There is this notion that, especially as women, we need to have it all together and he needs to come in on what we have already built. WRONG!  One of the joys I get from marriage is building a life together with my husband. "A life"; one life together. Not separate or opposing lives.  It is true that we each have our own unique strengths but we use them to work and build together. Especially as a woman, you should have an understanding of God's gifts in you. What moves you? What do you excel in with joy?  That will give you a sense of where the Lord is directing you long term. You should be able to express these core components and values that make up YOU. Have an honest conversation about if and how the two of you would complement each other and NOT how you would compete! 

3) "Make sure he is making at least six figures, can cook, is at least 5'10 (you don't want short children), is within our culture/race, has graduated from ...etc.”  None of these things are bad and inherently assumes husbandly character traits (provider, focused, driven).    But don’t put God or him in a box!  When I met my husband, he was not my “type” (and I wasn’t his).  However, as we began to know each other as friends and allowed the Lord to speak into our friendship, we began to realize we were the “right type” for each other and still are 15 years later!  The criteria that he must meet are the biblical ones, everything else will be God led.

4) "Don't chase a man, let him chase you”. I am a firm believer in Proverbs 18:22 “He who finds a good wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord".   Notwithstanding, there is a natural "art" to being found that the Lord had to teach me!  He positioned my attitude, my appearance, my personality, my sexuality (amongst other things) to be caught. The list reads so intimidating now. However, as I look back, these things naturally shifted the closer I drew near Him. God also used several "Ruth's" to instruct, inspire, and glean the natural things to gain my "Boaz's" favor as Naomi did. Trust Him.  


Love you and praying for you,
Lashan

P.S. I'd love to hear from you! What "advice" have you been given about finding him/her?
 God inspired my husband to write a great book titled “From Likable to Loveable: Your Path to Finding True Love”. It will challenge you but it will change your love life!  You can pick up a copy here.
If you live in the New York Tri State area, I invite you to enjoy service with us at Life Church! Service is on Sundays at 3pm at 1387 East 96th Street, Brooklyn NY. I can’t wait to meet you!





Valentine's Day: The Litmus Test






My heart would skip a beat when Valentine’s Day was around the corner. I was gitty with anticipation of my gifts yet slightly terrified at the fact that my boyfriend at the time may “pop the question” (why terrified?...that is another blog). Valentine’s Day was a litmus test of the state of my current “situation”. If I got expensive gifts, good relationship. Cheap gifts, cheap relationship. Single, then there was definitely a problem!  There was such a subtle, misguided notion I attached to a day. If any of these thoughts resonate with you let me encourage you the way the Lord encouraged me:

Valentine’s Day is not a litmus test of your love life! Whether you have a date, are in an exclusive relationship, single,  or even dumped; it doesn’t change the plans the Lord has for you. The Lord desires you to be in a healthy, happy marriage. Not only to make your joy full, but to ultimately glorify Him!

Enjoy your single season! I know this is something you have probably heard before but, let’s be honest. What other choice do you have? Are you going to allow yourself to get filled with self-pity and waste a day that the Lord has made? Get together with your friends, love on each other and have fun!

Let the Lord speak to you about this unique season! The Lord will constantly teach us and guide us until Jesus comes back (isn’t that great news!). Often times He teaches us and guides us specific to the season we are in. So, is it hard to believe that He wants to talk to you about being content now, while simultaneously preparing and positioning you for marriage (blog to come)?  Seek Him. Trust Him. Go with His flow!

Happy Valentine’s Day!  
Lashan

P.S.

-If you live in the New York Tri State area, I invite you to enjoy service with us at Life Church! Service is on Sundays at 3pm at 1387 East 96th Street, Brooklyn NY. I can’t wait to meet you!

-If you are looking for a gritty, inspirational memoir that will bless you, My Colored World: A Memoir written by Jessica Janniere, is it!  A personal friend, founder of Look Up & Beyond and guest writer to the blog; her story will move you!

2016 Will Be Different !!!





I share my personal prayer with you because I believe we have been through similar challenges this year; this prayer wasn't just for me. I believe that because we endured the testing and the stretching of 2015, our growth has ushered in the reign of 2016! Limits have been broken, mindsets have been changed, faith has been fortified, and dynamics have been excessively shifted to our favor!!! He has filled our mouths with laughter and our lips with rejoicing!


God Creator, I come to You in the matchless name of Jesus! I thank You Father for the stretch, I thank You for the test of this year.  I count it all joy because Your faith has produced a more perfect work of patience in me. I thank You because through every Goliath, You taught me how to war!
Now fortified in Your grace, rooted in Your love and protected by the blood of Jesus, I step into 2016 ready! Thank You for filling my mouth with laughter and my tongue with singing that people may say "the Lord has done great things for her"! I praise You Jehovah M'kaddesh for You are the God who has set me apart. You have set me apart for Your plans and purpose! I willingly and cheerfully offer my life as a living sacrifice to Your will; which is my reasonable service.
I intentionally, with gladness and excitement, synchronize my life to Your will and agenda.

I speak Your truth over my life. That:

I am a son of God

I am saved and established by Your grace

I am born of incorruptible seed

I am forgiven of all my sins

I am a new creation in Christ

I am seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus

I am accepted in the Beloved

I am complete in Christ

I am strong in the Lord

I am intentionally and specifically created for success

I am significant; a needed and impacting member of the body of Christ 

I am set free


By the power in the name of Jesus:

I speak against and destroy every scheme and distraction planned by the enemy to derail God's plan for my life. I sever all relationships that are bait by the enemy. Let it be established in the heavens that plots, distractions, saboteurs will form against me but will come to nothing!  I bind the spirits of confusion and doubt. I rebuke the spirits of fear, lack and sickness. You have no place, no privilege to eclipse my life, the life of my family and the life of my church. 

I declare and direct that this year:  

I am more sensitive and yielding to the counsel, might, knowledge and power of Your Holy Spirit than ever before.   The love and compassion of Jesus is overflowing in me, compelling me to perpetual action.

I continually seek and live by God's wisdom; as a result, I am highly favored and esteemed in the sight of God and men.

I cannot fail because all work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Like Joseph, I prosper wherever I go and in every situation I am in because the Lord is always with me. I, too, experience preferential treatment.

Everything I put my hands to is successful because God has commanded His blessings to all I put my hands to.
 
I am a lender and not a borrower.
 
I am surrounded by God-ordained friendships; friendships that are fruitful and mutually beneficial.
 
As iron sharpens iron so am I to the heart, mind and emotions of my friends.
 
By the stripes of Jesus Christ I am healed; sickness and disease are far away from me.

The Lord is my dwelling place therefore, evil cannot overtake me; His angels assigned to me diligently hold me up and guard me.

Hallelujah! You are faithful God to perform Your word…You cannot deny Yourself! All success, all credit, all distinction goes to You! In the name of Jesus, AMEN!