Monday, July 29, 2013


The spirit of the anti Christ hates your faith and despises when you put action to your words; and will do anything to discourage you from believing God will do anything good for you. The last thing that the anti Christ spirit wants is for you to believe that God is Unfailing Love and that Jesus Christ died for your sins. The spirit of the anti Christ does not want you to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. Period.

The thing that messes up most people’s faith is the image that they have of Christ, whether it is His natural image or functional image, people will equate the reality of God with the image they have of him. What does Christ look like? Is he savior? Is he lord? Is he white? Is he black? Is he able? Can he heal? Can he provide? The spirit of the anti Christ wants you to believe his image of Christ. Powerless. And as long as the image of Christ is presented as powerless people will continue to equate faith in him as mere religion, mere words and mere nothingness. If the people of God, simply believe with no persuasive actions Christ continues to have this dull and powerless image. But when, the people of God, decide to believe Him and put their faith in to action despite the negative and false images of Christ, our emotional makeup and dire situations, then we will see Christ manifesting with power in us and around us. Many will scoff. Many will ignore these words. But some will hear. Some will eat and be nourished by this bread. Do not be ashamed and do not fear. Be shamelessly aware of the power of God at work within you and around you. Take courage for the Lord our God has overcome the world. Fearless Nation, arise!

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fisherman's Catch

I woke up this morning anxious to begin the day. I have “work” to do. A project came to me that I am both excited to begin and intimidated by; but nevertheless I am going to move forward in it. But yesterday was different. Yesterday, I was tripping and flipping out over the L word, Life, which is that wonderful and sometimes chaotic experience between birth and death. I am habitually a great starter. I get inspired. I have faith. I move and then I start looking at what I have and I immediately want to recant.

Me: “This is a stupid idea.” “It will never work.” “You can’t do that.” "Who would want to pay you for that?”

The Father: “Ahh, Jesus. Here we go.” My Father must be having an SMH moment. “Let me talk to her.”

Surely, I can’t be the only one who has schizo confidence and polarized faith. One moment, I’m like, “Yeah, I can do it. I can’t help but succeed. I am blessed and anointed for this.” And then I’m like, “I’m the suckiest, blood sucking sucky person that ever sucked!” But then, my Father says, things like, “It is not what you do, it is who you are.” And reminds me that, “You are a fisher.”

When I get stuck thinking that I’m a writer. Or I’m a mom. Or I’m a wife. I feel all this pressure to perform. I feel like all eyes are on me and I’ve got to do a little dance, like when I was 5, so everyone could tell me how good I was. It wasn’t that I loved to dance, I loved the applause. My testimony isn’t that I was a horrible sinner (which I was) or that I hit rock bottom (which I did). My testimony is that Jesus died for my sins (little ones, big ones, seen ones, hidden ones) not because of I what I did, but because of who I am. When I look at my life, it is easy sometimes to see all the things (really just 1 or 2) that I wish I could change. But the truth is that I have so many things (innumerable) to be grateful about.

Yesterday, my husband made a commentary on my “situation” and he made me laugh really hard. In his discourse he told me that he had once felt like a homeless man sleeping on the ground covered in leaves. He said, “I thought my situation was that bad, in reality, I was sleeping in a bed next to my wife who loves me. My kids are healthy. We eat well, good, healthy meals. We watch TV on a flat screen. We have a pool in the backyard, soap and facial scrub, cologne…I have Coconut oil for my skin…c’mon. Coconut Oil!” He was right. He told me, “If you are fisherman, it is never a waste of time to fish. Eventually, you are going to catch something.” Right again.

My problem, lately, has been focusing on the future. I have been wrestling with whether or not every decision I seem to make is a waste of time. I have felt like if I don’t catch the metaphorical fish, then I can’t be a very good fisherman. But it isn’t what I do that makes me a fisherman, it is who I am that makes me a fisherman. Matthew 4: 18-20 paints a pretty nice picture, it says,

“And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets.”

I see two things in this scripture. I see one group casting their nets and another group mending their nets. Both of whom, were called, not because of what they caught or did not catch but because of who they were, fishermen. Whether you find yourself casting your net (which is what you should do because that is who you are) or mending your net (because like me, you always try to fix things and make them perfect before you do what you know you wore born to do)…YOU ARE STILL A FISHER OF MEN! You are called by God to impact the world with the gifts that He has given you, and that gift is irrevocable. Whether you see value in it or not doesn’t change who you are. You will naturally, be drawn to do what you were born to do. And those, who are drawn to you, will be drawn to you not on the basis of your perfect mending or net casting; but by your graceful acceptance to be who you are…a fisher of men. A fishermen doesn’t predict what he will catch or when he will catch it, his only responsibility is to be ready. It is God who decides our lot, and he promises that it will be full and complete.

I encourage with these words as I encourage myself, “For he who has begun a good work in you is faithful to complete it.” Philippians 1:6

“Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

In His Love, Natrietia

Saturday, July 06, 2013

You Shall Not Pass

I admit I am sort of a film nerd, No Etiquette Regarding Drama. My husband and I both, enjoy watching American and foreign films with subtitles so that we can absorb all of the beautiful language being said. We are guilty of pausing a movie just to discuss the use of language, lighting and or acting in a scene. We are guilty of using quotes from films we watched in our everyday conversations. In fact, we love to throw each other off with random quotes to see if the other picks up on the origin of the quote. One of our favorite films is The Lord of the Rings trilogy. They are quite long and filled with beautiful messages about friendship, faith, good and evil. One of the best quotes from the film is “You shall not pass!”

“You shall not pass!” is infamous both historically and as a part of literature and film. In short, the French translation, “Ils ne passeront pas” meaning “They shall not pass” was used in the Battle of Verdun in World War I by a French General named Robert Nivelle. It was later used on propaganda posters and added to military badges in the same war. But,“You shall not pass” is more widely known by our present day culture, as the phrase Gandalf the Grey, makes in the 2001 film “The Fellowship of the Ring”, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Gandalf and his companions are being pursued by a Balrog (a demonic entity) and he makes the bold declaration that this enemy cannot pass beyond the place he stands. With his staff in hand, he breaks the narrow ground to allow his companions to escape. It is his boldness and courage that makes this scene so riveting to me. In the face of a big, scary demonic force, Gandalf does not cower and he doesn’t try to be brave. He is reacting based on his knowledge of things. He is conscience of his companions and of the mission they have set out to accomplish and makes a decision. He draws a line in the middle of the chaos and his fears with his words, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” Eventually, his companions escape and he is swept into an abyss where he wars with and overcomes the Balrog. His companions fear him dead but he arrives at an opportune time glowing and effervescent, no longer Gandalf the Grey but Gandalf the White.

I hope that wasn’t too grueling for you, and thank you for tolerating my nerdom. I was recently reminded of the phrase in conversation with my husband. He reminded and encouraged me, that if we (he and I, and any believer) ever intend to see the manifestation of God’s promises (no matter how extreme or farfetched the idea), we must draw a line somewhere. We must essentially say to any opposing views and even our so called common senses…“You shall not pass!”

Problem is we have a tendency to forget things especially in the heat of battle. I know. I’ve been there. I’ve been in the middle of the storm, asking myself, “What should I do? Which way should I go?” Some months ago, 8 to be exact I was laid off from my job. I have been on a number of interviews. Some good opportunities and others, let’s just say, I was OVER qualified for. I have at times felt confused about my future. What shall I do? What should I expect? Should I be looking for another job? Should I be focused on my writing? Should I go back to school? Last week, I had an interview that I knew I was over qualified for and I knew that I wasn’t going to get it because I knew that it wasn’t God’s will. And I said, to myself, “Self, what are you doing?” I love God because even when I talk to myself, he answers me.

He said, “Confusion occurs when you stop believing what you first believed. What did you believe about your circumstance when you first got laid off?”

I answered, “I believed that it was your will. I believed that I was being promoted.”

“Then draw a line.” The words that my husband had spoken reverberated in my soul.

You see, everybody was born with a purpose. Everybody is good at something. Every day of your life according to Psalm 139, verse 16 was recorded,

“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

So I am drawing a line. I’m taking a stand. Why should I be looking for anything less than what God said would happen in my life? Why should I be settled on conformity when God has said that I am extraordinary? "Why should I try and fit in when I was born to standout?" (Dr. Suess) We all have been met with circumstances that threaten us and make us afraid. But we can either choose to cower in the face of adversity or stand up against it. “You shall not pass!” To the enemy of your life and mine, we must be violently aggressive concerning the defense of our companions, and our mission in life. We cannot settle for what is common and expect uncommon results. It is when we are in the fire, the extremes of life that we are cast from mediocrity to sensational hero. It is where we become more of who we really are.

Gandalf the Grey was transformed when he took a stand on a very narrow bridge of hope; and confronted the evil that sought to overtake him and his companions. He contended with the enemy with these words, “You shall not pass!” For you and I our revelation of God and our expectation in him must be so elevated that we could never settle for anything less than His very best!

In His Love, Natrietia