Can Moments Shift Destiny?

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There are just a few moments in life when it seems the earth stood still. I have had moments of love, fear, pain, and joy in so many ways when it seemed the earth stood still. The birth of my child is an example of these moments, or the first time I dedicated my life to Christ or the time I accomplished a huge goal in my career. In all these moments I couldn’t imagine that these moments were glimpses to the lessons learned in life. 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law (The Bible Galatians 5:22-23). My lessons in this class were not revealed in the beginning of this course but as I soon started diving into each lesson of this course it would soon pop out like a revelation of what I would need to accomplish to remain steadfast in this process.

 

 

 

 

LOVE is the first lesson that was exposed to me both in the classroom and at home.  When I first read books that lead people into finding there spiritual way: it seemed extremely controversial and was not appealing to me at first. I was born and raised in the Christian Faith and it seemed like this book was criticizing the Christian Faith and really forming bold statements about how Christians relate with other Faiths such as Islam. Ironically enough I have close friends in relationships were actually formally with the Islamic faith and converted to Christendom yet as I would practice my faith and speak on our societies. I came to terms unlike Robert Frost in Mending the Fence. I could not relate with viewpoints and the love I proclaimed seemed to lack patience, and understanding. I learned the greatest lesson in that moment is to not devalue anyone’s faith or viewpoints but to understand that we all have our path and in the path we find our way. My prayer is that Christ would reveal himself to all my brothers and sisters.

 

 

 

 

Joy is everlasting and should always exude no matter what. But it seemed to me that I couldn’t take in the Joy of the Lord during this semester at first. I was frazzled with constant schoolwork and also a family that needed my undivided attention. And it seemed to me like I was unprepared for the challenge ahead. In the list of this chaos the lesson of Joy was introduced when a student in the class expressed there frustration and wanting to release without judgment or fear of perception in the faith was her biggest issue. And though the moment was very naked and could be perceived as shameful. For me it was a joyous time to fellowship and prays with my sister in Christ and encourages her in how I also struggle with this as well. And praying with her helped me to release the burden as well.

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Gentleness seemed like something I couldn’t really relate with when looking at lessons in this class. But as my professor would soon highlight. My conversation with my peers could be overbearing and I monopolized the class discussion at times. I realized that I lacked gentleness in recognizing moments where Christ would speak through me and in my silence use others to allow the Holy Spirit to take control. I began to learn I need to be gentle in my speech and using my military background was not to take charge of every conversation but to gently allow the spirit to speak in the stillness.

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Faithfulness seemed like a lesson that I had mastered but what I realized in my faith journey is that understanding faithfulness and living it out are two different things. I understand that my lesson was to master the layers of faithfulness. When fellow classmates would express their concerns for their families and friends. I didn’t see how revealing Gods faithfulness was in life. My lesson was that as I am practicing being faithful to the rules and lessons I have learned in this course. It will shine light on how faithful my God is in my life.

 

 

Peace be with you. We would express this daily when we would close out the class and the lesson for me was that, as I would speak that out in everything that I do. I realized that being mindful was the lesson within peace. As I stayed mindful in the peace of God it would truly be with me no matter what.

Self-Control is probably something I could write about for hours. When reading passages about indulgence and creating a life style of self-control. I realized that this is a fruit I must chip away at little by little. I would read about the permanent decision to turn a new leaf in areas of our lives. But the lesson on self-control that I came to terms with is that the choice to apply it and the purposeful steps to walk it out must match.

Kindness would seem to be the easiest for me and there would be no need to find lessons in this fruit. Yet kindness to myself, my faith, and family in their journey to faith seemed like my most difficult lesson. Using spiritual disciplines such as Sabbath, and deep breathing and proper rest. These acts seem trivial but in hindsight they are the essence of kindness. Being kind to your body, mind and spirit are the essence of being an impact to others. Anyone can preach and speak to the highest mountain but it takes kindness to apply this gift. Most importantly learning to be first, kind to myself, and walking out the process of kindness in my journey is the lesson that I take with me.

In conclusion, I learned many lessons but I take with me that every lesson is the process in sanctification and understanding that it is a process and we must take conscious steps to live out that process in the most important thing that I have learned in this class.

Who AM I?

 

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Who I am in my identity has always been subject to how people relate with what they see. From gender roles to social norms its a true reflection of who we are as a community.

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It is important to understand what our modern society describes as proper gender roles. However we must identify the impact these roles play in our social norms before we can conclude what effects they play in our future generation. We must also analyze how these roles affect our moral compass in areas such as political, religious, and educative culture. These factors will determine how important gender roles play in every part of our society.

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Growing up I mimicked my mother habits in what I believe a female should be. Yet as I grew older I found that her norms within her gender crossed many boundaries within male and female roles. My mother as termed in the chapter a “breadwinner”, was a single parent and she cooked and cleaned and had several jobs and maintained so many other roles within the home. When I started a relationship it was hard for me to understand what my roles were as a female and what were the male roles. I chose to take a neutral stance in how I would relate with the opposite sex. Instead of focusing on gender roles govern by our social norms. I chose to take a biblical approach. An example of that would be how I understood how my husband should relate with me in our family. The scripture reads. “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies Ephesians 5: 25-28.” In this scripture verse we realize that gender roles are not the objective but the character that these genders show is what I came to practice and the things I should look for in a mate. The chapter expresses that our gender roles have changed in the last decade and will continue to change. The most important aspect is within the actualization of human success as pointed in Maslow theory. We must understand our identity in all gender roles prior to creating these roles in all areas of our society. By aligning ourselves with our identity through the word of God and through the convictions of the Holy Spirit we will truly be able to self-actualize all the things Christ desired for us to accomplish in our lives.

 

When we look to biblical gender roles we even see this expression of gender roles being laid upon the action of Jesus on earth. As stated by scholarly findings, “ Jesus’s violation of the Sabbath engenders a debate about basic aspects of his identity—his authority, legitimacy, and how he might be known. Through this sign and the discourse it provokes, the Evangelist takes an opportunity to lay bare the sweeping significance of Jesus as one whose identity is bound up with the identity of the God who named and blessed the Sabbath and as it is also the identity of a son with a commission to work as his father works.3 This is why John can leave the festival unnamed without the portrayal of Jesus losing any power: It is the violation of the Sabbath (a festal Sabbath, to be sure) that provides the key setting for the claim that the Fourth Gospel makes in this chapter about Jesus as one who lives in a relationship of closest unity with the God of Israel.” The Gospel of John and the Future of Israel by Christopher Mark Blumhofer Graduate Program in Religion Duke University 2017.

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In conclusion, I can relate with Mary Madeline in being misunderstood because she longed to wash the feet of Jesus but culture roles made her gender role unworthy in the eyes of her male peers. In the eyes of culture she was ridiculed and wrong but in the eyes of her heart and the eyes of her Father she was right and a true reflection of the church. Ultimately the wisdom to understand others culture, gender, race, and individualism comes from moral equality and as we adopt the understanding that all men are created equal we can truly break the barriers of inequality and be able to relate with one another with inclusion, transparency and agape love. “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,but have not love, I gain nothing.Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

 

 

The Gospel of John and the Future of Israel by Christopher Mark Blumhofer Graduate Program in Religion Duke University Date: October 23, 2017.

 

Holy Bible: New International Version. Zondervan, 2018.

 

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

 

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

As I look back over my life I have realized that one of the hardest gifts to attain is accountability for my own actions. When I was a little girl at the age of twelve, my mother would always tell me to clean up my room and tidy the house.

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I would quickly list the many things that my younger brother had done to create the barge of mess while adding everyone’s part in why I feel that this isn’t my scope of work.

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The chore was still there waiting for me to cleanup and the blame on who was the culprit didn’t change the level of responsibility that was given to me. It just derailed the process of cleaning up the mess and diverted the attention to others as if I had no responsibility. This is an example of what our American society has established in most social norms. While I contemplated in my corner why my mom chose me to always be the clean up person. And tried to validate my lack of self worth. It was apparent the chores would wait patiently for me to accomplish them whether I had the understanding that It was my charge to finish the task. Yet, having someone do the work for me seemed fun, relaxing and more fun. Well as I grew older and had more responsibilities I realize the wisdom my parents were instilling would help me for a lifetime. 

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While I would pray my mother would buy a dish washer so I can use the cool dish washing soaps that look like candy. I realized that she was actually giving a gift as a child. A gift that would incur a lot of resources as I grew older but never the less still a great gift. And that is the Gift of Work. I wouldn’t receive the car in high school or the Jordans growing up. Or even the family experience I idolized on television. She instilled a gift that would help me throughout no matter the field I was in. And through all my gifts in life. The ones that stick with me are gifts that last beyond the wrapping paper.

 

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Social Awkardness- Finding Faith in the Storm of Life

Growing up in Miami, Florida as a first generation American of Haitian Ancestors in my family. I learned quickly that in all areas of my life I would be the first and would also be the outcast in most circles. In a neighborhood with primarily African American communities where being accepted and understood was not a common trait amongst peers. My work ethic made me stand out, my family traditions and attire and social etiquette made me stick out like a sore thumb. In a high class, social conscious environment in Haiti. I would be considered the cream of the crop in the moral compass and leadership qualities set by my family. But in an impoverished community with no social and moral compass because of the catch 22 of constant criminalize laws due to poverty and racial profiling. I was considered trying to hard, brown nosing or as the kids would say “goody two shoes” and I look like a “boat” who ate “cat”. I still don’t know what was the etymology of these ebonic terms, or phrases but at the time they would add to the pain of being an outcast in a community that truly could not understand my culture and in their own cultures ignorance could not see how related we really are. At times I would grow frustrated in the ignorance all around me from the title of “black” on school applications, and census reporting and the lack of identity in history of African American Ancestry but through this despair there are moments in life. Where you are brushed with the reality that though it may be hard on your side there is always an even harder road on the other side. The phrase, “the grass is not always greener on the other side” became a reality for me in my transition into the military workforce. I was so excited to see the human diversity set in the reception of military service members, from diversity training to team building courses, and monthly and quarterly mandatory equal opportunity classes and training. I saw a moral compass of human equality being formed and I loved it. My first duty station would be the greener side to what I would perceive as a way of escape from a lesser greener pasture called America. I was stationed in Busan, Korea in the middle of rice fields and fishing docks. I was so eager to explore this land. Outside of caribbean traveling this would be my first time exploring lands that were not inhabited primarily by African descendants. As I stepped out of the base with my “battle buddy”(term- meaning a person that accompanies you on a trip) I walked out of the gate and immediately saw several children laughing and playing. They were of Korean descent. They spoke what I would know now as “Hangul”or korean language. They were between the ages of 6-10yrs old (The age will make you understand the story). I saw them stop playing with each other as I walked up. Unable to speak english they swarmed around us and starred intensely. I was excited thinking this would be a story I would write in my memoirs forever. As they stared intensely while we were in this circle they began to speak and then suddenly they made a comment as to referencing our native whereabouts. I couldn’t make out the term, I thought oh maybe they think we are beyonce, or serena and venus williams. Someone famous of course. Then the reality of there revelation would soon make me realize how the grass may be brown instead of green on this side. They began to scream like monkeys “OOOHHAHHHOHHAWWAHH “ and dance all around us as to refer to monkeys from the natural geographic show. After comparing there social comparison to human diversity. Korean Television was not diverse and the only color they would see would be nature shows and so the monkey reference was truly there norm. I was an alien in their eyes. While the humor in my eyes had me laughing so hard I almost didn’t make it to the restroom. The Social Awkwardness of that moment would bring me back to the soliloquy, I was reminded of my conquest to find a new normal and a greener grass and through this event was confirm that the quest to find social equality and human diversity would have to be first found in the pursuit of equality within self. I would have to find the beauty in who I was before any person could ever imagine the value within. In understanding the problem to Human Diversity I would have to search for the light in the dark areas of my life where I too have created inner prejudism of my social norms and outlooks. Mastering introspection would allow me to become the lighthouse for the ships that are in the dark. -Nikelcia Marcelin

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“My Journey To Faith”- How Powerful is Faith?

“Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.” -George Washington

“Faith is unquestioning belief.”- Ronald Hopfer

Faith has been used in so many variables of life. Its etymology describes the belief or the infallible understanding in something that may not be provable to all or even some. Yet, its tangible power is yet to be truly unveiled in modern day and truly unknown to most on how it all comes together. The mystery of this revelation is what I do to reflect on the theme of this blog. I reflect all things that are unseen by power or might and show that Faith is by Spirit. My thoughts and revelation of the promises of Faith is why the root of this blog is based on my Faith in Jesus Christ. While my desire is to show the levels of that Faith through evidence, story, thoughts, beliefs, and understanding. My hope is that you will leave with a deeper understanding of Jesus Christ through this illustration of Faith. This blog is an act of Faith. While it is intended to inform, persuade, and reveal the Power of Faith in Jesus Christ the revelation of that in your own lives is my faith. Its something I may never see but because I believe the impossible and I know that God can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I am aware that my Faith is evidence by the works of His hands. Understanding my why brings us to the foundation of this amazing narrative called “My Journey To Faith”. To an avid reader this mystery has some action, and thriller and even horror, romance, love, beauty, health, and wellness. All of these pillars help form a resolution and an understanding that without Faith it is truly impossible to see Gods love revealed in your life. And when all things seem impossible our Faith is what carries us through it all. My Hope is that this journey will draw you closer to an undeniable, infallible power of Faith and that is Jesus Christ my Lord! -Nikelcia

 

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ABOUT ME

“Faith”- The substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.

Its so simple to understand the meaning of who I am the Me and the parts that make me whole or about. Yet, the only way its simple is through one word and that is “Faith”. If we were to use the eyes of natural science. I was raised by two humans and nurtured in a culture different from my environment. A nomad in my own indegenious ways and also a foreignor to the land where I was told I am free. Yet throughout my existence I was told that I was enslaved because of my culture, background, skin color, ethnicity. These anthesitis statements would play roles in my self-worth, identity, role and future. Always striving to prove systems and people wrong. I learned quickly that this road to freedom to this hierarchy to self-actualization could ultimately never be accomplished through natural science or goals. This wasnt a reality for my background. No matter what group, status, or community feeling outside would be a norm. And then I was introduced to “Faith” this word would become the etymology of who I am and explain the about me in all respects. The goal of this blog is to reveal the in depth layers of ME. The Me that cant be defined by 21st century understanding the Me that is rooted in Faith and the understanding that I am a citizen of a place that the natural eye cannot see and the human mind has to be revealed further then just human senses. These truths has brought so much freedom to a place where I felt so enslaved. The understanding that who I am and what I am is not my sole responsibility and the burden of mankind is no longer mine to carry. Is why learning about me is truly learning about the Jesus in me. facebook_1493221913897

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