How to Trust God in Difficult Times

“Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord and whose hope is in the Lord.”  Jeremiah 17:7

 As we entered 2014, we also entered into one of the coldest weather conditions in U.S. history. Meteorologist explained this strange weather patterns as, “The Polar Vortex.”

It’s a very thought-provoking term, “Vortex” which is defined as a “Whirlwind” which includes a second definition meaning, “A condition that you can’t get out of.”

depressed man

Have you ever been in a situation or circumstance that you just don’t know how to escape? It’s like you’re wrapped in a spider’s web of confusion, fear, despair, isolation, discouragement,  hopelessness, depression, frustration, pain, or worry. You don’t have the answers and the future looks bleak. You have tried to consult friends, family possibly even professionals with no resolve.

It’s very hard to trust the Lord when you’re life has flipped upside down and turned inside out. It’s even harder if you don’t know God,  his promises, or His character. “That I may know Him, and the  power of his resurrection” Philippians 3:10

Your life may have exploded and you’re left to pick up the pieces. When facing challenges, it’s hard to focus on the positive or have an optimistic attitude. I’m not going to lie but it’s a struggle we all face. The only difference is those who have experienced the Lord and those who have not. People tend to believe in coincidences, luck, or happenstance without acknowledging the spiritual forces at work in their lives. We are living in very dangerous times in which it will require the power of God to overcome problems, situations, and circumstances.

praying hands

You may not feel like God is listening to your prayers but God is working behind the scenes. You may not understand why it is taking so long for your prayers to be answered but God is not under our time table or calendar. He is working things out according to His will and plan for your life. You were designed for a special purpose. The Lord wants a relationship with you not just sudden requests when things go wrong in your life. “And we know that all things work together for good to them  that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

The Lord allows certain things to happen in our lives to prepare us and shape us for His purpose. Of course, not all of the things we experience is God’s will, but He will turn things around for our good.  We must develop faith and patience in prayer and our daily lives. “That you be not slothful, but f    followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. And so, after he had  patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” Heb 6:12, 15

Back to the “Polar Vortex,” The snowstorms have caused major disasters, increased depression, stress, isolation, and unfortunately roadside deaths.

All activity was frozen for a period of time. People were either stuck in their homes or on the roads. Somehow, I feel God was slowing us down so we would do absolutely nothing so He could get our attention! We were stuck, isolated, and frustrated! But, we still did not pay attention. It was time to yield and cease all activity. However, we continued to go about our business and let the weather stress us out.

Once we release the stress of dealing with cold, miserable weather and other things that we can’t control, we will free ourselves of things that we simply can’t change. By coming to this acceptance, we enter into peace. In the process, seasons change, and flowers bloom. It’s through this process, we gradually come through whatever storm we may be dealing with in life. Unfortunately, the whole process may be postponed, delayed, or slowed down. Although it may be an inconvenience or an uncomfortable situation, we will get through it and obtain victory in the end.

Violence in America

“Where there is no vision the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18

What is happening to America? As I watched the news unfold, I am horrified to see the world unravel in chaos within the school system as well as on every level in our society. What has gone wrong in America where school yards have become battlegrounds? Where shopping malls, churches and movie theaters have become targets of warfare?


The sense of morals and values as well as respect for life has been lost by youth and our adults. The media has also played a  role in the social conditions where entertainment is being fed to the  population as “Trash TV,”   emphasizing murders, strong explicit sexual content and  profanity in our daily lives. It’s also reflected in music, movies  and other forms of entertainment. When someone constantly  feeds off of negativity,subconsciously it eventually affects their  psychological, spiritual, emotional and mental state. Not to mention all that they may be dealing with in their own lives. Others fester hatred in their hearts and do not have any value or regard for life. Period.


With the high level of social and economic problems in our  country, people are losing hope for their future. It is evident in the  continued senseless death of innocent lives being lost. This is a  disgrace to our Nation and in the eyes of God.

It states in the Bible, the Lord will cut down the wicked. Although the wicked seems to reign at this present time, God is still in control and has victory in the end. Satan is defeated.

In the act of suicide, the people who are projecting violence on the innocent truly believe they’re escaping their evil deeds, but everyone will face judgement upon the earth. You cannot escape the consequences of your actions through death.

This act of violence is demonic but disguised as entertainment. The devil is a master illusionist and the master of lies. He is taking hold of minds to commit his work and to gain lost souls.

It also doesn’t help that the mentally ill, hate group or ex-con has the access to purchase and carry guns on the streets of America. We are living in a modern-day wild wild west.

With the increase of random violence, these acts are becoming desensitized. Something has to change for the better and not the worse.

Our vision has to be uplifted to a higher standard for what we accept and what is fed to us in this country. When you start accepting and compromising truth, morals, values, character and integrity, you will eventually start to experience the unravel of an individual, group, system, family, community, society and a nation.

It starts with the individual. There is power in one, but there is also power in the masses. Prayer was taken out of the school system and replaced with guns, bullying, sexual abuse and other forms of violence. This is unacceptable behavior and should not be tolerated.

This country has become much too passive which is causing additional problems. The mentality of the masses has to change for our survival. The answer is not bringing more guns to protect our children in the school system or in public places, but to eliminate the use of guns in this country.

There is a problem when we have to use guns as a control method to eradicate the problem. This country is out of control if you have to seek military measures to secure and protect our children and our nation. This is not the solution.

We are losing our children and our future. In the process, generation upon generation is lost. It’s time to take back what the devil has stolen from us. The proper vision put to action will lead us. How can one see clearly if they don’t carry a Godly vision to see effectively?

When the blind leads the blind, they fall into a ditch. We need the vision of God who is the Father of wisdom, grace, mercy, discernment and love to led the way. It’s time to raise the standard of the people because the season is here.

2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
He gathers together the outcasts of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.
4 He counts the number of the stars;
He calls them all by name.
5 Great is our Lord, and mighty in power;
His understanding is infinite.
6 The Lord lifts up the humble;
He casts the wicked down to the ground.

Psalms 147:2-6 (KJV)

The World History of Tattoos-Then, Now and in the Future


Over the past year, I’ve noticed an excessive amount of tattoos being displayed on people from young to old including all different races and cultures. A large population is currently using their bodies as a walking billboard boldly expressing their ideas and beliefs as a personal statement declaration to the world.

What I really wonder is that do people realize and take into consideration the appearance of these permanent marks once they get old. I compare tattooing to a bumper stick on a Mercedes or Jaguar. The body is valuable and sacred unlike a piece of paper or canvas and once it begins to age it will not have the same colorful, well-defined artistic flair that it once appeared years ago. I also wonder if the ink will eventually cause health problems not to mention a dent in the pocketbook due to the amount of money spent on these elaborate designs.

I really started to notice that it’s not just the average tattoos that would range from a simple heart, anchor or butterfly that I saw years ago but the whole body or partial part of the body being tattooed on a large scale from simple to elaborate patterns, designs, symbols, words and names. I wanted to research the history of tattoos as well as the relation to what the Bible mentions in scripture about marking the body.

“Humans have marked their bodies from the beginning of time. They used tattoos to make statements showing symbols, signs to declare love, forms of punishment, identification and religion or cultural practices.

During the Neolithic Period, the earliest known examples of tattoos stemmed from Egyptian female mummies from 2000 B.C.

Over 5,200 years ago, the iceman was discovered in the area of the Italian-Australian border in 1991. His body included small crosses on his lower spine, right knee and ankle joints which may be believed to be tattoos. Although it’s not confirmed, it is believed that the method was used as a therapeutic treatment due to alleviate joint pain also known as arthritis. This may be the possibly be the earliest evidence of tattooing known.

During the history of tattoos, it was used as a form of decoration, identification, rites of passage, status ranking of power, souvenir during travel or mark of an occasion or ritual practice.

Tattoo comes from the word “Tattan” which means “To Mark,” based from Tahitti and was first mentioned by explorer James Cook’s records from his 1769 expedition to the South Pacific.

Many believe tattoos originated from Egypt during the time of the pharaohs and the Great Pyramids. As the Empire spread, so did the art of tattooing and eventually reached China in 2000 B.C.

In Western Asia, the Aina people used tattoos to attribute to social status which was carried into Japan where it developed as a means of religious practice. While Polynesians used tattoos as an act to denote status.

In Japan, tattooing originates from the Paleolithic Period (around 10,000 BCE) and was mostly used for decorative and spiritual purposes. In 1603-1868, firemen, manual workers and prostitutes wore tattoos to identify their status.  It was eventually abolished by the “Meji” government who banned the art of tattooing viewing it as barbaric and disrespectful.

In Samoan culture, tattooing was an art of celebration of endurance and dedication. The act was very risky due to the high risk of infection caused by the tools used. They used boar’s teeth fastened together with a portion of a turtle shell and wooden handle as their instrument used to mark the body. In their culture, you were labeled as a coward if you did not follow through with marking your body in tradition. You were considered a badge of shame if you did not finish the process and endure the physical pain attributed to tattooing. The traditional female tattoo was called “Mulu” and the male was called, “Pe’a” It was called “Tatau” in Samoan culture where I believe the word “Tattoo” originated from.

In Northern India, permanent tattoos were called “Godna” which was used in tribal populations as cultural symbols. Henna and Mehadi was developed in Ancient India and Egypt and still remains popular today.

In Persia, tattooing, body painting and body piercing has been around for thousands of years and was adopted into American culture.

The Greeks learned about tattooing from the Persians. Women viewed the tattoo as exotic beauty marks. Romans adapted tattooing from the Greeks They viewed tattooing as a form of punishment and slaves were tattooed for identification purposes during the early Roman Empire who were exported to Asia and branded with the words “Tax Paid.”

In ancient Greece, tattoos were used to mark spied while the Romans used it to mark slaves and criminals. It was also carried into American culture where prisoners also began to wear tattoos.

Constantine, the Roman Emperor, banned tattooing on the face. He believed the human face was a representation of the image of God and should not be disfigured or defiled. This also holds truth in correlation to some biblical references.

However, in New Zealand, facial tattoos called, “Moko” was developed.

In Africa, they developed a different technique for tattooing due to the dark pigmentation of their skin. They carved designs and patterns into their skin to create a scar which is also closely related to tattooing. By cutting the skin with a knife or other sharp instrument, they would rub special sand or ashes to enhance the design.”

In the early 1900’s the American style tattoo was birthed in Chatham Square in New York City located in a seaport and entertainment area which attracted a working class population. Lew Alberts trained as a wallpaper designer and transferred his skills to tattoo design. His tattoo designs became well known within the area.

After the Great Depression, the center for tattooing moved to Coney Island and cities where there were a strong military population drawing sailors to get tattoos upon arrival from naval bases to their distant travels around the world.

After World War II, tattoos were associated with Marlon Brando and other such biker types and juvenile delinquents. Tattooing had little respect in American culture and lost its zeal. In 1961, there was an outbreak of hepatitis which caused a decline. Even though most tattoo shops had sterilization machines, few shops followed the regulations. Blood diseases, blood poisoning, hepatitis and other transmitted disease were on the rise.

A health code violation was created and tattoo shops at Times Square and Coney Island were shut down due to lack of sanitary conditions.

Eventually, tattoos gradually became popular again due to the increase of cosmetic surgery and extreme makeovers. Cosmetic tattooing became popular like blush for cheeks, colored lips, eyeliner and most recently eyebrow tattooing. The mass media also has a strong influence on American culture with promoting excessive tattoos on entertainers, musicians and artists. It’s now the norm to display tattoos on the face, neck, hands, body, legs, arms and private areas of the body.



This new form of body art is an expressive way to communicate your personal statements and declarations in life. How far is too far? In the Bible, it states in Leviticus 19:28, “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor paint any marks upon you: I am the Lord.” Since our bodies are sacred and was made in God’s image, is this a form of mutilation? The process of transforming the body to desire your own image which makes me question the true nature behind the fascination of marking the body. It also mentions in the Bible, that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Why is the population so dissatisfied with how they were created? We are to present ourselves as a living sacrifice not only morally and spiritually but also physically which includes taking care of our bodies. It is truly disturbing to see the human body being used as a canvas or T-shirt to display an advertisement which may not be your personal statement years from now when you have changed, transformed and experienced new things in life. Once you believed or thought was cute or sexy then may be 180 degrees different later in life.

It also brings up the idea of accepting the mark of the beast in the last days. Since it’s so acceptable in today’s culture to mark the body, I question if people really understand the implications of accepting the mark of the beast especially if you have not accepted Christ into your life and understand the Bible.

The fear of not being well- informed about the mark of the beast is tragic to the lost of souls who feel it’s ok to mark the body with symbols and signs. Even the fact that some  people don’t really understand the implications of wearing skeleton bones, skulls, guns and other symbols to represent death, is very disturbing.

We are currently entering a period, in the last days, where the antichrist will disguise himself from even the very elect as it states in the Bible. He will eventually become very powerful and rule the economic system where the population will not be able to buy or sell.  If you do not take the mark of the beast acknowledging him as the Savior, you will succumb to suffering and tribulations on the earth. However, if you decide to take the mark, you will denounce Jesus as Lord and Savior and would never be able to enter the Kingdom of God and your soul will be owned by Satin for eternity. You will be granted food, clothes and shelter including all the comforts of life such as economic wealth to meet your needs while on earth.

You do not want to accept the mark of the beast. This will damn your soul to hell for eternity. As I steady see the incline of interest in tattoos, I sometimes truly wonder if tattooing is a precursor to what is yet to come. As I look at what’s going on in the earth, I feel we are living in reference to Matthew 24 which mentions the earth is like a woman in travail birthing earthquakes, floods, trials and tribulations, rumors of wars, disease and pestilence and other disturbing prophetic events to come in the future as mentioned in Revelations.

Although I do not agree with tattooing the body, I am not judging anyone who decides to wear one. I was interested in learning the history behind tattoos and how it relates to the Bible. But as a believer, I do feel the need to warn or sound the trumpet for those who are walking in darkness and do not understand the reasons why they got a tattoo in the first place which could perhaps be just because it’s the “IN” thing to do right now and since everybody else is getting one, why not? Which may lead you to simply agree to accepting the mark of the beast in the future. I would challenge you to prepare yourselves for the last days which is upon us right now with everything that is happening in the world. It is time to get serious about your life, faith, direction and purpose and most of all where you will spend eternity.

References/Work Cited


Light in the Midst of Darkness

Last week, I was on my way home and had a negative thought that I’m  not representing the Lord very well because I’ve been in such a very dismal mood.  I was running low on energy and feeling very down.  I took notice of my environment and saw that mostly everyone either looked mad at the world,  extremely serious or just had no expression at all.  I rarely see a smile on anyone’s face in my daily travels and it’s even rare that I see strangers extend a hint of friendliness or politeness to one another.  I started to really examine how society as well as my own community has deteriorated. There is no more respect for others. Values have been washed away and morals have been erased. Our youth are running wild and companies are stealing, lying and cheating with no repercussions or penalties.

As a representative of Christ, our actions should reflect the love of Christ in everything we do and say.  In such a chaotic world, I sometimes feel that my actions will not mean anything in comparison to how much needs to be done in the world that we live in. It has left me feeling powerless and that I cannot possibly shine God’s light in such a dark world.

Strangely, I felt like I was becoming part of the darkness and it scared me. I quickly was reminded how powerful our thoughts are and how we should guard our thoughts and keep it under the obedience of Christ.   I also started to think about how strong God’s power is to illuminate light in the darkness. How quickly I forgot that I can’t do this in my own power! I realized that God has placed me in a specific environment to carry out His purpose. I’m not suppose to grow weary or burn out because of life’s circumstances. Jesus said, ” I am the light of the world.”  John 9:5. “It’s through Him, we move and have our being.” I’m also reminded of the scripture. “It’s not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” said the Lord. We must not grow tired in times of distress or frustration.  When we carry the Holy Spirit within us, we have the ability to change the atmosphere in any environment. We also have the ability to draw strength from the Lord. “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” I realized that somewhere along the line I must have lost that inner joy that came from the Lord.  It’s in the secret place of the most High when I  praise His name that I find strength. This is where I realized that I had lost my focus.  When you put the Lord first, many eternal promises are fulfilled and you lack nothing including joy, strength and His light.

It was very strong for me to post this intimate story because I’ve had about five confirmations this past week in regard to shining God’s light. It’s God’s way of nudging me to write for His purpose. I don’t believe in coincidences and I know there is someone who needs to read this message right now.  So take an introspective look at yourself today and find the light within because  “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a  lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. So let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light, who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. “

I Peter 2

Sheltered From the Storm


This evening I went grocery shopping. It was raining when I came out of the store. I had four bags in my hand and did not have the ability to hold an umbrella. There was a lady standing beside me in the lobby. I turned to her and said, “I’m trying to figure out how I will hold my umbrella so I can cross the street without getting drenched.” She quickly offered to carry two of my bags while holding her umbrella over us while we crossed the street. I said kindly, “thank you” as we departed.

It didn’t take long for the bus to come. I jumped on the bus and rode to my connecting stop. It was raining very hard by this time. However, it didn’t take long for the next bus to come. I jumped on the bus and while I sat there I watched two women get on the bus with a plastic poncho. One of the women sat directly in front of me. I was staring at her white hooded poncho as she got off the bus. I never really liked those things, but at this time it really looked nice and I desired to have one.

The temperature had dropped and I was wearing a summer top with leggings. I was uncomfortable, cold and wet. My shoulders were bare and I was very cold from the air condition blowing on my wet skin. I was debating whether I should get off the bus to get one of those plastic ponchos to cover myself.

There were two stops that I passed. I continued to look out the window because I just didn’t want to get off the bus again. I also wasn’t sure if the store would sell them so I decided to take the risk and walk in the rain. How bad could it be to get rained on in the summer anyway? I got off the bus and was waiting to cross the street dreading the 15 minute walk home. In the corner of my eye, I saw a connecting bus that would carry me down the street and drop me exactly a few feet away from my home! Usually that never happens to me! When I got off the bus, a lady got off the bus with me. I turned to her and told her how worried I was about getting caught in the storm but I said, “Where God guides, He provides!” She let me share her umbrella as we walked up the street and we spoke about how good God has been to us. Surprisingly, I only walked about 3 feet in the rain!

When I got home, I thought about my experience and was motivated to share my story. So often we worry about the storms we are going through in life. We are trying to figure out what we should do or how we will do it. We plan our course of direction and we are not prepared when the storm comes our way. We may even see a solution to the problem but it may be out of our reach.

When you walk through the storm, the Lord goes before you and provides protection, provision and favor. He carries you through the storms of life and leads you to your destinations. The timing of God is always perfect. Did you notice in the story how smoothly my connections were made. When God is working, your path opens without resistance and without a struggle. In Him, you may rest. For the good sheppard knows what you are in need of exactly when you need it, so trust Him. When we allow Him to work out our problems, we will be covered through the most heaviest storms of life.

“He that dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the almighty. “Psalms 91

Happiness vs. Joy

Within the past two days, the topic of being happy in life came up in conversations with friends. I was inspired to write about the difference between being happy vs. having joy. I believe that happiness is influenced by external factors like a career, relationship, material possessions, etc. It can also be determined about how you view your life and the meaning of what you feel success means to you. So basically, you determine how you feel and how happy you want or choose to be. It’s a combination of the external and internal feelings and how you relate and interpret those feelings.

However, I believe joy is a feeling that responds regardless of your circumstances. When I consider my personal experiences, I have experienced joy in the worst situations and circumstances. May I also add without the use of medications, drugs or alcohol. I’ve endured very uncomfortable circumstances and was still able to smile, laugh and function in daily life despite my difficult situations. At the same time, I was not happy with my life or my circumstances. I do believe we all experience depression at one time or another, but as long as we don’t remain in a negative state of mind it is normal to experience periods of discouragement.

The key is to know how to respond and react to your circumstances. It is important to build on hope and encouragement which I touched on yesterday on my blog post. You must realize that life is constantly moving and nothing remains the same. Each trial that we face, is a learning experience and provides us lessons in life is we choose to listen. You must seek inspiration or something that brings you joy regardless of what you may be experiencing.

I also believe you can simply have joy from just being. You have to be in a mindset of not comparing yourself to others and not living in a material world in order to truly experience genuine joy. It’s being free to be who you are and accepting yourself and your faults. Most people have a hard time spending time with themselves because they are afraid of what they will find within themselves. To reach a healthy self image, you must deal with the good and the ugly by looking at yourself in the mirror and then make a change for the better.

The end result is that you are in control of your happiness or joy. You may not be able to control what people say or do, but you are in control of how you think and how you feel. Unfortunately, we live in a negative world and it will take every drop of energy to overcome challenges, obstacles and situations that we may feel consume us. Just keep this in mind….”Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

Renewing Your Mind

As we anxiously wait for the first day of summer, let us not forget this is the perfect time to reflect on the goals we set during the beginning of the year. We are halfway through 2010. Let us not to forget to evaluate our lives and what we plan to achieve by the end of the year. We are always reminded during Spring to clean out the clutter, so we may receive new things.

Let us not forget to clean out our minds which include bad memories and habits, defeated thoughts and attitudes or anything else that may be holding us back from receiving what God has promised us as His children. “Behold, I am doing a new thing. Old things have passed away. Behold, I make all things new.” II Corth 5:17

Refocus on Priorities

It’s important to take time to reflect on your life in a positive way. Don’t beat yourself up for goals that you haven’t attained just yet. But, just learn to refocus on priorities and set small goals to work towards what you desire to achieve.

Build a Support System

Also, you must pay close attention to your social environment. You should build a strong support system of family, friends, neighbors, classmates and church associates.

What type of people do you surround yourself? Make sure you are surrounding yourself with positive people who will inspire, encourage and motivate you. Pay attention to the details of the heart of people that you interact with on a daily basis. What are their motives or intentions? Are their actions and words positive or negative? Take note of their behavior and decide whether you choose to be around them. You are valuable and so is your time.

You should spend time expanding your mind. If you don’t enjoy reading, make it a point to watch a movie or documentary that will give you a different perspective on life. You need to refresh your mind. Water your mind with knowledge and watch it grow. In scripture it states, “My people will perish for the lack of knowledge.” So, don’t be afraid to surround yourself with people who think differently than you do. Expose yourself to new cultures, races, creeds, religions or non-religious people. Be open to new ideas, opinions and thoughts. You can have a healthy conversation without having a debate or argument. That’s what makes life interesting. You do not have to agree with the person, but please make sure you respect them.

Guard Your Heart and Thoughts

It’s important to guard your thoughts. It’s so easy to dwell on negative emotions or words that will eventually influence your mind and behavior. Be mindful of what you allow to enter into your mind. There are many negative influences that surround us in the world and it doesn’t take long for a negative seed to be planted in your mind which eventually takes root. It’s much like weeds growing among beautiful, green grass. Weeds tend to multiply quickly and destroy the view. If you feed your mind junk, that’s exactly what you will eventually believe or think.

We are constantly influenced by images, words and stereotypes that influence the way we think. We have been so programmed that we often do not really learn to think for ourselves anymore. Don’t rely on gossip or rumors, but confront the source to get the correct information. Let’s be conscious of what we choose to listen to since this has a strong impact on how we see ourselves and others and can eventually influence our overall behavior.

Fill your mind with God’s word. It’s the most important thing you can do to withstand the attacks from the enemy. The only way to win the battles that come against you is to put on the armor of the Lord. To overcome the storms of life, you must read and study God’s word. It’s filled with power, truth, protection, guidance and His promises. Through daily mediation on God’s word, you will start to build faith, strength and courage to overcome the challenges and obstacles that you face. Through prayer, you will build a relationship with the Lord and will be shielded through your trials and tribulations. Even though bad things will still happen, hold onto your faith. You will have to endure many tests in life. Keeping your heart and mind grounded in the word of God, will eventually lead you to the harvest He has prepared for you.