Important Announcements


It is official! Next school year I will be teaching Spanish, Bible and PE Classes at Ahoskie Christian School. The Principal approached me a couple of weeks ago to offer this opportunity and I am truly humbled by the offer. I have been teaching Martial arts there to a small group of Elementary and Middle school children for the last school year. It is particularly very excited to also inform you all that the Physical Aspect of the PE class at Ahoskie Christian will be our Martial Arts Program…Glory to Jesus!

 

I find myself praying, like never before, for God to open doors for me to use my talents for HIS glory and for the service of His people and I can see the Lord doing just that. On June 10th 2012 we will start our bilingual services at New Vision at 3PM and that will be a great avenue to preach and teach the Word, to sing, to pastor and minister to people and to train others to be use by God. God is truly faithful and merciful.

 

We will continue with our Martial Arts Program at The Gates County Community Center and at Vidant Wellness Center. I hope to see as many of you as possible also participating in Gates County First Martial Arts Summer Camp.

 

For more information please call us at 252-506-5374, visit our facebook page at facebook.com/gatescountymartialarts or visit our blog at angelcasiano.com

 

Sincerely,

Angel Casiano

President/Founder

Good Fight Taekwondo and Kickboxing Academy

A Little History on Racial Division in Pentecostalism in America


We have seen plenty of disunity within the churches of the United States. Take for example, the Church of God in Christ. According to The Azusa Street Mission Time Line, Morgan writes that the Church of God in Christ was formed in 1897 by a group of disfellowshiped Baptists, most notably Charles Price Jones (1865–1949) and the founder Charles Harrison Mason (1866–1961). Jones and Mason were licensed Baptist ministers in Mississippi in the 1890s that were disfellowshiped by the local Baptist association for preaching the doctrine of Christian perfection also known as “Holiness.” They became associated with a group of men who would become the early African American leaders of the Holiness Movement in the late 19th century.

Later, Mr. Charles Harrison Mason visited the Azusa Street Revival in 1907. Bishop Mason received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which caused his theology to change drastically. That caused for him and Charles Price Jones to part ways. In the spirit of The Azusa Street Revival, Bishop Mason started a multicultural approach in ministry. I guess this is the reason why I am so impressed with the Azusa Street Revival as it brought people of different nationalities together as a true united family. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit burned away racism.

An interesting fact is that Bishop Mason was the first spiritual leader in the Pentecostal movement that was able to ordain ministers; including many white ministers. In spite of all the racial tension of the time, God was moving through the Azusa Street Revival led by Bishop William J. Seymour, also a black man and son of slaves. God was also blessing Bishop Mason’s work. These two black men were filled with love, they walked in great humility and they were greatly used by the Holy Spirit. I believe they both give us a lesson on how to get out of the way and let God have His Way.

Nevertheless, the days for the Azusa Street Revival were numbered; the spirit of racism and the ambitions of men got in the way. A white minister by the name of William Durham, from the Chicago area went to the Azusa Revival in Los Angeles California on May 2, 1911 with a nasty and selfish agenda. He wanted to take over the Revival, a very common action.  It is amazing to me that there are always those that feel they can do it better. Morgan (http://www.azusabooks.com/time.shtml) reports that Evangelist Durham stole about six hundred members out of the Azusa Revival; all of them white. This particular group later became the Oneness denomination; another of many Pentecostal denominations in America.

Bishop Mason with The Church of God in Christ, also faced great troubles as of 1914 when a group of white ministers, many whom were ordained by Bishop Mason himself, also abandoned him to form their own denomination. The Assemblies of God is another product of division and racism. The church of God in Christ today is the largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States. They are still going strong, but it is not multicultural any longer. We can say that Pentecostals are divided, in general, between Blacks and White Pentecostals. Evangelist Durham and many other white ministers were able to successfully steal people from these two very important black minsters in our history; William J. Seymour and Charles H. Mason, but they could never move in the power of the Holy Ghost as the Holy Spirit moved in Azusa.

We have indeed seen a few so-called multicultural churches in America, however the pattern continues to be the same; it is, for the most part, a white pastor over these congregations. Not even TD Jakes or Eddie Long can claim that they have multicultural churches. Personally, I don’t believe we can truly say that we have multiculturalism until our fellowship is such.

I strongly believe that we will see the church in America coming together the way Azusa did. It is my deep conviction that the best representation of how a real church should look like so far, took place in Azusa Street under the leadership of Bishop William J Seymour. It is my conviction that those days will return; they must, before the return of our Lord Jesus Christ; for we trust that God will pour out His Spirit according to Joel 2:28. It is also my deep conviction that the greatest evangelistic tool in America will take place when we become color-blind and we start loving one another as a true family of God in accordance with John 13:35 when it says:

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” NIV

Como Disfrutar de la Constante Presencia Manifestada de Dios


Presencia de Dios

Creo que para aquellos que han experimentado la presencia de Dios no tengo que pasarme mucho tiempo explicándoles que no hay nada en el mundo que se compare a la preciosura de dicha presencia. No hay nada en el mundo que llene nuestras almas de tanta satisfacción.

     La oración es el elemento más importante en la vida del Cristiano, mas lamentablemente, es también el elemento que más descuidamos. Hay muchos que se hacen llamar Cristianos, mas si no tienen tan siquiera la convicción de la necesidad de oración en sus vidas, creo que es apropiado el cuestionar su cristianismo. Por otro lado, hay otros que oran religiosamente, mas bien para ser escuchados por los hombres, mas en sus vidas no hay gozo. Si no hay gozo, obviamente algo les está faltando. En el Salmo 16:11 vemos lo siguiente:

“Me mostrarás la senda de la vida;
 en tu presencia hay plenitud de gozo,
 delicias a tu diestra para siempre.” Salmo 16:11 (RV 1995)

     El gozo es la evidencia última de que estamos en la presencia de Dios. La gente se pasa sus vidas buscando la forma de experimentar gozo. Muchos piensan que el alcanzar cierta posición en el trabajo les dará ese gozo, o quizás cuando se casen, o tengan hijos, o cuando se compren este carro, o esa casa o alcancen este u otro estatus social. Mas, aunque expresen lo alegre que se sientan, dentro en sus corazones, son miserables. Otros corren a usar drogas y alcohol con el propósito de mitigar su dolor y de experimentar una alegría falsa con fatales consecuencias.

     El siguiente Salmo nos da unas responsabilidades que tenemos como Cristianos que nos ayudarán grandemente ha mantenernos viviendo vidas en la constante presencia manifestadas de Dios.

“Jehová, ¿quién habitará en tu Tabernáculo?,
 ¿quién morará en tu monte santo?

El que anda en integridad y hace justicia;
 el que habla verdad en su corazón;

el que no calumnia con su lengua
 ni hace mal a su prójimo 
ni admite reproche alguno contra su vecino;

aquel a cuyos ojos el indigno es menospreciado,
 pero honra a los que temen a Jehová;
 el que aun jurando en perjuicio propio, no por eso cambia;

quien su dinero no dio a usura
 ni contra el inocente admitió soborno.

El que hace estas cosas, no resbalará jamás.” Salmo 15 (RV 1995)

     Si a nuestras vidas de oración le añadimos las siguientes responsabilidades, podremos disfrutar de una vida llena de plenitud de gozo. Sin estas responsabilidades en nuestras vidas, aún cuando oramos, será mas bien como un proceso religioso no aceptado por Dios. En el Salmo quince vemos diez responsabilidades Bíblicas a seguir:

  1. Caminar en Integridad: La integridad nos ayuda a ser quienes somos no importa quien esté o no alrededor de nosotros. El transformarnos a ser quienes no somos en frente de otros nos hace hipócritas. La integridad nos hace personas sinceras.

  2. Hacer justicia: La justicia son las formas aceptadas por Dios. Una persona que camina en justicia es una persona que, independientemente de cómo se sienta, busca el hacer lo que Dios les manda y ordena a través de Su Palabra.

  3. Hablar verdad en nuestros corazones: Dios está interesado en la condición de nuestros corazones. Dios quiere que seamos personas de Palabra, personas que dicen la verdad aún cuando sea difícil.

  4. No calumniar ni admitir calumnia o reproche en contra de nadie: La palabra “Calumnia” significa, en su definición más elemental, “El desacreditar”. Como Cristianos estamos llamados a no desacreditar a nadie, a tomar la decisión de no hablar malo de nadie. Dios prefiere que hablemos con esa persona a solas y que le digamos cara a cara y con amor lo que necesite confrontación, pero que nunca hablemos algo negativo de alguien en sus espaldas. Con la misma, que tampoco admitamos a nadie el traer calumnias o reproches en contra de otros. La palabra reproche se puede definir como “Regaño”.

  5. Hacerle bien al prójimo y no mal: Estamos llamados a hacer bien y no mirar a quien como dicen en Puerto Rico. No podemos solo hacerle bien a aquellos que nos caen bien o a aquellos que nos hacen bien. El prójimo es todo el mundo.

  6. Menospreciar el pecado de los impíos: El pecado destruye vidas. La Biblia nos dice en este Salmo 15:4 “Aquel a cuyos ojos el vil es menospreciado.” No podemos tener admiración por aquellos que caminan en pecado no importa que sean famosos, deportistas, cantantes, etc.

  7. Honrar a los que temen a Jehová: La palabra “Honrar” se puede definir como “Respetar o estimar públicamente.” En otras palabras no debemos de tener vergüenza de establecer nuestras aprobación pública por un hombre o mujer de Dios.

  8. Mantener nuestras promesas aún cuando lo prometido nos afecte o nos cuesta: En Puerto Rico escuché decir que lo prometido es deuda y aunque directamente esta expresión no está en la Biblia, indirectamente la expresión es Bíblicamente correcta.

  9. No usar el dinero en vanidades: Es importante que la forma en la cual usemos nuestro dinero proyecte nuestro amor por Dios. La Biblia nos dice en Mateo 6:21 “Porque donde donde esté vuestro tesoro, allí estará también vuestro corazón.” (Biblia de estudio Arco Iris) Entonces es importante que sepamos que si nuestra chequera bancaria no proyecta  que nuestro corazón ama a Dios es imposible mantenernos en su presencia manifestada. Sé que se ha abusado mucho de las finanzas en el cuerpo de Cristo, pero el dar es mejor que el recibir de acuerdo a las Escrituras  (Hechos 20:35).

10. No admitir soborno en contra del inocente: No permitamos que nada, ni nadie, ni ningún precio, ningún lujo, ninguna posición en el trabajo, etc. nos permita levantar acusación falsa contra un inocente. Hermanos, la corrupción está matando los valores sociales de naciones alrededor del mundo. Por ello seremos severamente juzgados. Dios nos libre de formar parte de dicha corrupción.

El Salmo 15 verdaderamente que nos provee con un despliegue de joyas de sabiduría que le darán gran hermosura y luz a nuestro testimonio. Este Salmo también nos provee con un banquete de alimento espiritual que nos ayudará grandemente a mantenernos en la presencia manifestada de Dios.

Espero que este artículo te haya sido de gran bendición. Si tienes alguna pregunta o comentario, quiero que sepas que nosotros leemos todos los comentarios y tratamos de responder a todos.

 

 

Do You Want To Spend More Quality Time With The Lord?


 

“Obstacle and Breakthroughs In Developing Intimacy with the Lord”


One of the deepest desires of my heart is to be a man of prayer; I want to be a man in love with Jesus every day. People that have found ways to be discipline in their intimacy with the Lord truly impress me. I desperately need prayer. When I don’t pray I am loud, aggressive, too straightforward, rude, intolerant and with little consideration for how my words and my facial expressions are affecting the person in front of me. It is amazing to me, but as I said before, I believe that every Christian is bipolar. As I get older I become more sensitive to my inner struggle between the Spirit of God and my flesh; the fight in the inside of me is brutal (Galatians 5:17).

Without prayer our Christian experience on this earth is in constant jeopardy. Without prayer there is very little power, very little Spiritual hygiene, very little revelation and very little spirituality in our daily walk. In Luke 10:38-42 we see a very famous story; it is the story of two sisters who approach Jesus in two different ways. They both knew the Lord; they both love the Lord and they both wanted to serve the Lord. The story goes like this:

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42) NKJV

Obstacles:

  1. Distraction with much to do: The American society actually teaches us to stay busy. Staying busy is a good thing; working is a good thing; after all, the Bible tells us that if we don’t work we don’t deserve to eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10) But that same Bible tells us that there is time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1) Martha, like many of us, found herself distracted with much to do. The word distracted here means: “Mentally confuse”. We work, we come home, we start dinner, we get on our computers, we check our e-mails, we go on Facebook, we watch TV, etc. and just like that, our days are over and we stay in our confusion. Without quality time with the Lord we are unable to think with the mind of Christ.
  2. Focus on what others are and are not doing: Martha went to Jesus to complaint about Marry. Many of us that have lived long enough know that when we take our eyes off Jesus and place our focus on men, we are up to an exhausting and frustrating process. This is indeed a major obstacle in the process of developing a prayer life.
  3. The worries of this world: The word Worry here means “Choke or strangle”. When we are being choked it affects our breathing and if the choke holds long enough it can be deadly. Well, it is hard to talk when we are being choke by someone or on a peace of chicken. I was at the Wal-Mart’s parking lot in Ahoskie the other day, eating lunch in my van before starting my Martial Arts Classes. Out of nowhere an old co-worker that I have not seen in some time, knock at my window. He look at first like he was crying, but I quickly realize that he was choking. I got out of my van and, thankfully, he was able to and soon the choke was over. It is very difficult to focus on prayer when we find ourselves choke-up by the worries of this life: job, unemployment, children, marital issues, divorces, diverse conflicts, health issues, late bills, etc.
  4. Our trouble minds: Jesus told Martha that she was trouble; the word trouble here means easily annoyed by petty provocation. This one is a big one in my life; when I am not praying and not seeking the Lord everything bothers and irritates me very easily.

So by now, you probably found these obstacle affecting your own relationship with the Lord. So then, what is the solution? How can we begin to develop a rich and fulfilling relationship with the Lord?

Solution:

In these verse Jesus gives us three basic answers as the solution for our struggles in developing a better relationship with Him:

  1. We must pray for a deep revelation that at the end of the day “Prayer” is the most important thing we can do as Christians: Jesus said that spending time with Him was indeed the only thing really needed on this earth. I believe that is the difference between the great men of prayer like John Wesley and William J. Seymour and many of us today; they knew what was really important. I am afraid that we allow the obstacle of prayer to have victory over us every day, but the day we realize that prayer is not just a religious exercise, but also a matter of life and death, many of us will also start developing our own successful prayer life.
  2. To develop a relationship with Christ in prayer is a choice: Jesus said: “Mary has chosen that good part…” We must also know that choosing to pray is the Good Part; but we continue to make excuses and look at prayer as a task and not as a necessary way of life. We can’t wait until we feel like it; we must make a choice to pray every day.
  3. We must understand that praying is not a waste of time, but indeed the only thing that can’t be taken away from us in this world: When we get ready to die we can’t take our jobs with us, our cars, house, money, family, etc. but our prayers will remain. Prayer is nonnegotiable; it can’t be taken away from us.

There is a great resistance against prayer, even among us as Christians; we rather do than to pray. However, we must understand that there will not be a revival until the people of God truly start praying for something more than just the meal they are about to eat.

 

 

FIRST GATES COUNTY MARTIAL ARTS SUMMER CAMP


Dear friends:

We are happy to announce Gates County First Martial Arts Summer Camp. This is a great opportunity to advance in rank and for our children to have something positive to do during the summer.

Dates: July 9th to August 3

Days: Monday through Thursday

Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Cost: $60.00 a week

Ages: 8 and up

$30.00 REGISTRATION FEE. NO REGISTRTION FEE FOR STUDENTS ALREADY REGISTERED IN OUR PROGRAM.

Options:

*It is not mandatory to participate in the whole Summer Camp; you can chose a minimum of of one week. You can participate in two weeks, three weeks or the whole camp. Students participating in the whole camp will have a greater chance to be ready for Rank Testing.

*There is a $40.00 discount if you pre-pay for the whole Summer Camp.

Special Notes:

*Every Camp Participant MUST purchase a Karate Uniform. The cost is $40.00! If you are already registered in our program and your child already has a uniform there is no need to buy a new one. Students must wear Karate Belt and Running Shoes every day.

*Students must bring their own lunch and Snacks!

Activities:

*Daily Devotions

*Daily Physical Training

*Fun Games

*Detailed Study of Martial Arts; specifically every Stripe Requirement.

*Others

FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL US AT 252-506-5374 or visit our Facebook page at Facebook.com/gatescountymartialarts

Time to Lose Control Part Three


I have being a victim of my own mediocrity; but I want God to have all of me. I want the reality of God in my life, every day of my life. I know about the tribulations, about the obstacles, the oppositions, but I want to be involved in a good fight; I want to see God’s glory. As I study God’s move in Azusa I am convicted for allowing my flesh, in partnership with the enemy, to rob me of so much already.

 

As I study this amazing revival I was left with one question: What killed the Azusa Street Revival? The answer is very simple; the same thing that is holding the church back from experiencing the glory of God again…the ambitions and fear of men over God’s Will. We want to be in control; we want everything to look in order, but the reality is that deep in our apparent order, lives are not being dramatically changed. The disorder is inside, but we have become experts in making it look like everything is okay.

 

Many pastors find themselves struggling inside with the idea of letting go and letting God. Having to deal with long testimonies, false prophets, false teachers, strange manifestations, people speaking in tongues, people laughing etc. becomes a mountain of fear to any pastor. Consequently, many denominations have indeed come up with their own solutions to the problem; they feel comfortable with the Church Bulletin, establishing the order for each service and making everything as predictable as possible. The problem is that now we have a greater mess in our hands. We as the church are becoming less and less relevant and the power of God is not found among us. Something is terribly wrong!

 

Dealing with the church is not easy, but we should have never decided on following our agendas and structures over the free flow of God’s Spirit. We need to confront the false prophets and the false teachers, tell people to sit down when they are in the flesh, etc. just as Bishop Seymour , from the Azusa Revival did. It is better to deal with these uncomfortable situations than to have what we have now; people that are not praying, people that are not seeking the Lord, people that have no desire to read the Word or use their gifts for God’s glory. You know why? Because they are not being trained properly, we have indeed watered-down the Gospel, watered-down the importance of prayer and watered-down the vital importance of using our gifts for the Lord. We are delegating our Christianity and our spiritual exercises to…THE MAN OF GOD.

 

I say, it is time to lose control and let the Holy Spirit be in control; I say it is time to get out of the way and let God deal with us; I say it is time to put an end to the one-man show; it is time to be bold and courageous and confront the flesh. There is no such thing as too much of the Spirit. I say we have very little of the Spirit right now; I say it is time to surrender, to stop our arrogant ways and let Jesus be the Lord of our nations, the Lord of our services, the Lord of our homes and the Lord of our hearts. It is time to get into some serious Holy Ghost training…it is time to lose control, let go and let God!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to Lose Control Part Two


Website for this image

 history was unfolding right before William J.Seymour’s eyes.

blackchristiannews.com

Type: GIF

Images may be subject to copyright.

http://www.blackchristiannews.com/news/2012/04/watch-remembering-william-j-seymour.html

         In my short life as a Christian I have been a part of White Non-Denominational Independent Churches. In addition, I have been a part of Baptist Full Gospel Black Churches, White Baptist Churches, White Assemblies of God Churches, Multi-Cultural Assemblies of God Churches, Mostly Hispanic Pentecostal Churches and Multi-Cultural Churches in general. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but all of them have something in common, after a while, they continued doing the same thing Sunday after Sunday.

 

I asked the Lord about the purpose for the Sunday gatherings and the Lord did answer that question for me. I was a former Kickboxer, so I suppose that was the reason why the Lord spoke to me in those terms as He answered to me that the church was like Spiritual Gym. That did it for me, as I clearly understood. As a fighter, we cannot survive in the ring without training in the gym. However, as time went by, I also understood that the training must prepare us for the kind of sport we are involved with. Baseball players train differently compared to football players; basketball players different than boxers, runners, etc. So the question for me was: Am I receiving the proper training? The Apostle Paul actually speaks about “fighting the good fight and about finishing the race.” Paul made reference to two sports to help us understand the spiritual principle behind it; fighting and running!

 

I believe that The Azusa Street Revival, through its leader Bishop William J. Seymour, gives us the most recent example of what can happen when we let God have His Way. The Azusa Street Revival lasted three and a half years; great miracles took place there as whole arms and legs grew out of people; the smoke of the glory of God was literally visible to the point that the Fire Department was called. As firefighters walked into the building they quickly discovered that the only fire there was indeed the Fire of God. Now, I have heard about other revivals; yet, what make this one so special?

 

  1. The Azusa Revival was conceived out of the heart of a man that was at the end of the road as a minister. After graduating from seminary he was hired and fired from a church for his views on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Unemployed and with no place to go, this man started using that extra time to pray and read the Word. Soon, others joined in and it grew so much that they needed to move to a larger building.
  2. A black man led the Azusa Revival. Bishop William J. Seymour was a black man and the son of slaves. The revival started in 1906 during a time where blacks did not have the freedom they have now.
  3. The Azusa Street Revival was multicultural; it brought Whites, Blacks, Hispanic and many other nationalities together. These people expressed love for one another; they were truly a family that fellowshipped together.
  4. When they finally moved to a building, it was not the nicest building; as a matter fact, it was an ugly building at 312 Azusa Street, contrary to the emphasis on building structures we see today.
  5. There was not a lot of emphasis on the name of the ministry. Even as the ministry was called Apostolic Faith, to this day, the revival is known for the name of the street where the revival meetings were held.
  6. Even as brother Seymour was the obvious leader, the services were not known for the one-man show we see today. People had the freedom to speak, testify, etc. It seemed out of control, but brother Seymour knew how to confront, in a loving manner, those that wanted to do things in the flesh. Many said of Bishop Seymour “he was the most humble man they ever saw.”
  7. “They had meetings three times a day; seven days a week for three and a half years and the services never looked the same.” God, the Creator, was allowed to move freely. Not the common Sunday Service Routines we see today!
  8. There was no advertisement, but people came.  Tithes and offerings were not collected, but people gave.
  9. Brother Seymour acted like the facilitator and learned more than many of us are wiling to admit today, to flow with the Holy Spirit and stay out of the way of the Divine.
  10.  Bishop Seymour stayed in prayer during the services; he would place his head inside two shoeboxes and pray. He acted as if he did not know what to do and he really did not, but he knew where to go for guidance.
  11. There were no handouts of sermon outlines; nobody knew what God was going to speak or through whom the message was going to come. Nevertheless, they knew God was going to speak.
  12. Lives were radically transformed.

 

There is so much more I can say about this revival; so much that excites me. It’s as if what I always dreamed about concerning what the church should look like is found in this revival.

 

To know more about this revival please check the following resources:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azusa_Street_Revival

http://www.azusastreet.org/WilliamJSeymour.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0FWL50-G0M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XH_OCSbtG4&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrwxCV1eCNw&feature=related

 

 

To be Continued…

 

 

Time to Lose Control Part One


I was born again on April 26, 1997, three days away from turning twenty-nine years old. I did not grow up in the church and did not know any born-again believers in my family. I can look back in the history of both, my father’s and my mother’s family and find not one man of God.

 

I was born again while serving as a Group Home Supervisor for the Jacksonville Youth Sanctuary. The Executive Director was a mighty man of God by the name of Doug Berrenguer; to this day, I still have a great relationship with him as I consider Doug a great friend and mentor. Doug called me one day just to ask how I was doing; while on the phone with him I started crying. God was already dealing with my heart. Doug prayed for me over the phone and gave me a track “The Four Spiritual Laws.” He also gave me some other information and told me to take a couple of days off from work. For the first time in my life I was excited to read anything about God. On April 26, 1997 at around 6PM in my house on 10560 Beverly Nalle Road in Jacksonville, Florida. I prayed the “Sinner’s Prayer” that was recorded on that track and gave my life to the Lord. I felt a fire that did not hurt me; I felt a love that I have never felt before. It was simply amazing.

 

From there on, the first church I visited after being born-again was First Coast Christian Center, an Assemblies of God Church located on the North Side of the city. That was also Doug’s home church. I guess I went there for him. I was, at the time, the only black person there; but can honestly say that I received nothing but love from that congregation. A few months after that, the Lord moved me to The Father’s House International, a bilingual, nondenominational and multi-cultural church where the Spirit of God was moving mightily. The Pastor was Presbyter Jose Bosque, a former Baptist Minister who was filled with the Holy Ghost and radically changed; to this day he’s still serving the Lord in many ways. It was there that I started growing up as a Christian and it was there that I started hearing about this thing we like to call, revival.

 

While at The Father’s House I served as a Deacon, later an Elder, Prison Minister, Worship Team member, Young Adult Pastor, etc. After The Father’s House I opened ministries and became the Senior Pastor of a church in Winton, North Carolina where I served for about three years. I still consider myself a young Christian as I was born again just fifteen years ago.

 

I say all of these things to convey that it is curious to me that I never cared about doing personal studies on revival. I heard about some revivals, some that took place recently, even in Florida; I watched some videos, heard some sermons, but the topic never really burning in my heart until just a couple of days ago. I felt like the Lord directed me to take a look at “The Azusa Street Revival.” My wife had a video with basic information about what took place at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California. I know this revival was real; I know it with all of my heart, because of the impact the study of this revival alone is causing in my life.

I believe that from the very beginning of my short life as a Christian, even as the Lord changed many things in my life, even as I love God’s people, as I started reaching out to the lost souls, as I serve God with great excitement, as I started reading the Bible and praying; I started questioning: What is the purpose of coming to church Sunday after Sunday? When I started reading the Word and learning about God’s creative power I could not see how that was being reflected in our gatherings. Even as I was a part of a Pentecostal Church first and then a very charismatic non-denominational church, I was not able to find purpose in doing basically the same thing Sunday after Sunday. Something did not match!

 

To be Continued….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To my Dear Daughter on Her Birthday


Today is my daughter Ileana birthday. Ileana is the result of a prayer after I heard this beautiful song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwlAdEnT-do

I heard this song and went to my room and ask God for a daughter; nine months later my dear Jubilee came into this world. My dear baby girl, I still feel the same I did fourteen years and nine months ago. As daddies, we are call to discipline and guide our children, so I know that at times you are unable to feel my love, but I discipline you because I love you. I am excited to see what God has already done in your life and even more excited to see what He is going to do. Happy birthday!

Take Me Away From This Mediocrity


For I feel the fire of God; for I know that it is possible. I am hungry and thirsty for you oh Lord. Take me away, far away from this mediocrity. Oh Holy Ghost have your way and forgive our arrogance; for we have tried to move the church forward without you. We abandoned intimacy with You for college degrees and titles.  Holy Spirit I need you, for I see today that the fire is coming; is near, oh so near. Prepare, oh children of God, the way of the Lord! His Spirit is getting a hold of all willing hearts at this hour; there is no way back; the blood, the blood, the blood is covering us; the angel of death is frustrated, for he can’t take your soul. I feel the fire of God; for I know that it is possible. I am hungry and thirsty for you oh Lord. Take me away, far away from this mediocrity. This earth will see His glory; my eyes will see His glory, my eyes will see His glory, my eyes will see His glory! I am sold out, a slave of my Master, I am desperate for you, I miss you Daddy! Nothing else can fill me, nothing else can take away this thirst I feel in my soul, nothing else can cure this desperate need for your presence. Don’t turn your back on me oh God, don’t take away your Spirit from me, but fill me, fill me with fresh anointing and with a new fire. Open my eyes, give me songs, new melodies and sounds of war; take my lips and speak oh God! Take my life, my heart, my soul, my spirit and change me, for I am nothing without you, I have no purpose apart from you, not even a reason to stay. For I feel the fire of God; for I know that it is possible. I am hungry and thirsty for you oh Lord. Take me away, far away from this mediocrity.