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About Me

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I'm a Texan, born and raised. I love my God and my family (friends included as family!) My first novel was realeased December 23, 2014 and I've since finished writing my second manuscript and have begun my third. Being a successful writer has been a dream of mine for years, since I was little. I can't wait to see where God takes my first book and my future ones. I pray that it touches many hearts. For those of you who love suspense novels, good vs. evil, you may be interested!

Friday, September 11, 2015

After All These Years...I've FINALLY Found The Answer

Today's post is FULL of good news! If you've ever wondered if there's more to life than trying to do good and you're so tired and weary from that journey, you'll want to keep reading. If you're struggling with fear and want relief and freedom, then stay tuned.

Fear comes in many forms and all of them are evil and can be detrimental mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally if you let it take you over. What is your fear? Perhaps you have more than one? Is it fear of rejection, fear of living life alone, fear of not doing enough good, fear of going to hell, fear of illness, fear of the unknown? I believe fear also holds hands with obsessive compulsive disorders. Whatever your fear is, get ready to be set free because God wants that for you, my friend. He did it for me last night.

I'm going to share my testimony and what God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has done for me. 

I grew up in a strong, Christian household. I grew up knowing Jesus but it wasn't until last night that I actually knew Him for who He truly is. 

I am amazed at how I felt last week, or even yesterday morning, compared to how I feel now. 

I was raised for the majority of my life in a Baptist church. Both my parents are firm believers that Jesus died for them and saved them from the sin that would have taken them to hell but they had two different views as to whether or not you can lose your salvation. 
Growing up I was often confused when I'd hear them discussing it, sometimes in elevated voices. My dad believes once you ask Jesus into your heart, you are saved and cannot lose it. My mother and her side of the family strongly believe that in order to keep your salvation you must work to keep it. Because my mother, grandmother and great grandmother are/have been more vocally expressive concerning this, I believed the way they believed.

As a child, I didn't have as much fear as I did the older I got and understood more about life and the stresses and strains it brings with it.

For 18 years I lived a life of immense fear. When I was six and asked Jesus to live inside me I meant it, and I loved Him, but I wasn't completely free to love Him with my whole heart because my focus became so revolved around making sure I didn't do too much of this sin or that sin, otherwise God may send me to hell.

And though I loved Him, for 18 years I searched high and low for acceptance, validity, and a love in others that only Jesus could give me. I'll start my testimony with the first time fear entered my life.   

Even though I never made poor choices in friends and where I spent my time, I wanted to please God not only out of fear but because I did truly love Him. It wasn't until seventh grade that fear became my master.

I'd heard about these kids who went to church only to mock Christians and God then on their way home that night they died in a car crash. The point of the story in the sermon I listened to was that blasphemy against The Holy Spirit was unforgivable. Once I heard that, fear gripped me by the throat and seized my heart. 

I thought, what if I accidentally do that? What if I blaspheme The Holy Spirit and go to hell? 

These thoughts turned into an overwhelming and debilitating paranoia that took over my life throughout a period of seven years. Horrible thoughts would jolt through my mind that would send me into a panic. The thoughts became so frequent that I couldn't even take a drink without fearing the thoughts would come out of my mouth. I withdrew from people, not wanting to talk. I lost interest in activities I normally enjoyed doing. I hardly smiled and I often cried alone, believing God was done with me, that I'd committed the unpardonable sin. I believed I was doomed for hell. On top of this paranoia, I'd developed another crippling OCD of having to touch certain things, otherwise I might displease God and I'd be sent to hell. I was absolutely miserable and didn't want to live anymore. What was the point in living if I knew that when I died I'd go to hell? How could I now possibly enjoy life knowing this? Why not just get it over with and die? 

My parents and grandparents saw me struggle with this. My mom kept telling me, "Brooke, you're okay. Satan is tormenting you. He's beating you over the head because He knows how much you love God." But the fear was so great I could not accept that as truth. 
Then one night when I couldn't take the misery any longer, I called my great grandmother (Maw Maw, my mother's grandmother), bawling. I was hysterical. When I finally got out what I was so afraid of, Maw Maw said, "Baby, you have not committed the unpardonable sin. If you had, you wouldn't be so concerned over it. You wouldn't care. Satan is using this fear to torment you. Those thoughts that come to your mind are not yours. You reject them and you speak over the fear. You're okay. Just lay your head down and know that Jesus loves you. I will be praying. Don't worry about anything."
That was the first night in, I don't know how long, that I rested well. The fear subsided for a while and when those thoughts tried coming back, I rejected them verbally and made myself think of something else. Over the seven years I wrestled with this fear, it would grow stronger then wane, stronger then wane. But it wasn't until after I graduated high school that I was delivered from the bondage of it. 
God through my grandmother (mom's mom) helped me gain control over the other OCD, the one where I had to constantly feel the need to touch random things or do something a certain amount of times in order to not get sent to hell. She said, "Brooke, in order to get control of this, you're going to have to force yourself to resist the urges. Next time you get the urge to touch something, don't do it." I thought she was nuts at first because those feelings felt real. Key words...feelings and felt

Beth Moore, an amazing woman of God, Bible Study leader and speaker, says fear stands for "False Evidence Appearing Real". 
Friends, fear is a liar. Fear is of the devil. If your feelings come from fear, IT IS A LIE! 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." I also used this verse to help me through the struggles I faced during that period in my life. 

When I got into college, my life seemed to become even more hectic with homework and holding down a job, later two jobs. Along with issues behind closed doors, I slowly began drifting from God. I began saying shorter prayers at night, mainly due to exhaustion. There would be times I'd be praying and fall asleep in the middle of it. I began listening to more secular music (not that secular music is bad) and less Christian music. When I turned 21 I had my first drink and headed down the road of alcoholism. I lost sight of Jesus, my first Love. I still loved Him but had wondered. Oh, there were many times I wondered if I really did love God to be doing the things I was doing. I did not understand Grace. 

For the next year and a half I lost who I was. I actually looked into the mirror and said, "Who am I?" I beat myself up over the things I was putting before God. 
I could see that satan was well on his way to destroying my life through alcohol and I didn't want that. So, I prayed that God would provide an outing for me. He did. It wasn't pretty but He did. Shortly after I spent eight hours throwing up everything I've ever eaten since birth, along with a pounding migraine, I turned to marijuana. I fell in love with it. I loved how it took away my cares, how it helped me relax and laugh, how it took away my loneliness...but I didn't like how it left me once the effects wore off a few hours later. It seemed each time I sobered I felt emptier than when I was the time before. 
You may be wondering why I turned to such things if I had God. I'm glad you were wondering because I'd love to explain. :)
Over the course of my life, I've had many people I thought I could trust hurt me. And I mean really, deeply hurt me. I loved them and cared about them and I am a person who loves and cares deeply, so when I'm hurt I hurt badly. Living a life of trying to figure people out and what I "must have" done to upset them or why they did what they did to me, left me angry and bitter. I'm very analytical. It's both a blessing and a curse because I sometimes think too hard about things. The more I sat and tried to figure out what I must have done to these people only created a deep frustration that led to extreme bitterness and hatred for nearly all people. I lumped them together, believing everyone was the same in that they would find a way to intentionally hurt me and leave me. Out of all the people who've hurt me, I've never received an explanation as to why and that drove me even more nuts. I became entirely focused on pleasing people. I wanted to be loved. I wanted to feel validated. I began to think negatively of myself.
I saw myself as strange, weird, not good enough or worthy to receive love. During this period of spiritual drought, I was afraid to approach God. I didn't feel I deserved to come before Him and pray. I felt (False Evidence Appearing Real) that God was mad at me and didn't want to speak to me since I wandered and turned to other things besides Him. He seemed silent and so far away.
So, if God couldn't give what I was hungry for and people couldn't give that to me, I would try something else that might. 
In a way, I felt I was so far gone that I might as well dabble in things I'd been taught not to do. 

My anger, hatred, bitterness and loneliness worsened to the point it was nearly debilitating. Despite this, I still went to church. I attended a church that has extremely strict doctrines. So much so that the pastor indicated in one of his sermons that he wasn't sure whether someone who said a cuss word before dying would go to heaven. 
I began to get fed up with feeling like I needed to be perfect in order to get to be saved from hell. 

My soul cried, there has to be more to Christianity than this. I must be missing something.  

In the late winter of 2015, I got into a relationship with a married man in the midst of a divorce. It nearly cost me my virginity and probably my life. I heard God for the first time in a good while and I left the relationship. BUT only because I thought if I were to die while in the mess I was in, I'd go to hell because I wasn't living my life right. 

I misunderstood why God was calling my name.  

He was calling me not to warn me I'd go to hell if I didn't leave the relationship with this man and marijuana, but because He wanted me all to Himself. His Word says God is a jealous God. Again, I did not understand Grace. I didn't fully understand Psalm 34:8- "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

I had a HUGE trust issue along with a bunch of other garbage I needed to hand over to Him. I was blinded by FEAR. 

Once I left the relationship with the married man, I sought the Lord and He responded. He gave me peace and I clung to it for a couple of months. Though I had peace, I still had unrest in my soul because I still believed I needed to stay in a tight relationship with Him and do my best not to sin in order to keep my salvation. 

I didn't realize that I was breaking God's heart by basing fear as my sole reason for maintaining a relationship with Him.

Because I didn't fully know the meaning of Grace, I grew tired again of trying to be perfect. I didn't know how to pray. And I kept thinking about the sermons I'd heard about making sure to stay away from sin and I got overwhelmed again. I tried various things to keep me away from marijuana so that I wouldn't displease God and thus go to hell. I kid you not, everything I seemed to try failed. With each failed attempt I grew that much more livid at God. 

Just late last month, after my last attempt failed, I literally raised my middle finger to air and I cursed at God with the "F" word. And after I did that, I felt immense regret and a sense of doom (fear, false evidence appearing real). I believe that regret is good, but the sense of doom was a lie. Because I believed God was mad that I cursed at Him, I let myself go again. I could not understand for the life of me why He'd want me back after cursing at Him. 

A couple of weeks ago, my mom sent me a video about The Rapture that scared me to death. Being a raised in a Christian household, I believed/believe that Jesus will be coming back for His church but I was terrified because I was afraid I wasn't ready. I shook inwardly in horror because I'd not been living the way that would be pleasing to Him.

Due to the fear of being left behind, I began doing research as to whether I could lose my salvation or not. That only lead me to further confusion and distress because I came across an article that really mortified me. 

I immediately got myself straight and stopped smoking marijuana out of FEAR that God would leave me behind. This fear escalated into paranoia rapidly. I began thinking in double negatives. I began freaking out that I'd be sent to hell because I didn't want to be sent to hell. I thought, what if I don't really love God? What if I'm only believing so I won't go to hell? What if my subconscious doesn't really believe and I get left behind? 

This intense fear was crippling and I was at the point I wanted to throw my hands in the air and be done with trying. I was worrying myself sick. Literally. I was physically ill. I'd begun to get terrible migraines that left me vomiting until all that was left was foaming bile. I'd get three headaches in one day, sometimes medicine not even alleviating the pain. I'd developed heart palpitations and got dehydrated due to being unable to keep anything down and had to be given fluids through IV.

I wanted to love God because of Who God is and what He's done for me, not just because I don't want to go to hell. I wanted to have a relationship with Him and LOVE it but I just didn't feel at liberty to do that because I had my focus on being the best I could be in hopes that He would even listen.

I cried and cried, didn't sleep well, woke with nausea that stayed with me throughout the day, and I endured many migraines that I had to go to the urgent care clinic for. They gave me shots for nausea that made me want to sleep and shots to rid my migraines. I literally thought I was dying due to having so many migraines in such a short period of time. 

In great distress, I sought out people I knew that were God-fearing (fear as in reverence, not the fear satan gives) Christians and shared my struggle and torment as a last attempt to find out the truth. 

My soul was so hungry for the Truth.     

I spoke with three Christian women. The first two put my soul at some rest, but it wasn't until I spoke to the third lady that the chains were broken and I was set free. 

And this is the Truth I want to share with anyone and everyone. I cannot keep it inside. I want you to feel the INCREDIBLE peace and rest that I have. I'm literally high off God. 

John 10:25-30 says, "Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.[b] 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one." (Emphasis mine)

Guys, I am left in awe and teary-eyed at the goodness of God. He doesn't say, no one but your brother can take you away, no one but satan can take you away, and it doesn't say no one but yourself can take you away from God but it says NO ONE. 
God does not send us to hell to punish us. Friends, hell was never meant for us but for SIN. God cannot have sin in His presence and because He did not want us to spend eternity away from Him, He sent Jesus Who was perfect to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. God knew that there would be no way we could live without sinning. 

Another key word in the above passage is give. His Son was a GIFT, something we accept or don't accept. We have that free will and when we accept the Gift, God is not an Indian-giver. He doesn't take it back. 

Look at 2 Peter 3:8-9 (The Msg), "Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.
   
Look at the great mercy in this passage! He doesn't want ANYONE lost. So much so that He's giving everyone time to repent and accept His precious gift. 

Romans 10:8-12 says, "But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”[e] (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”[f] 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him13 For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (NKJV) (emphasis mine)

It is simple, if you believe that you are a sinner, that you are not perfect and need Jesus to be that perfection for you, and you cry out to Him and believe with all of your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord, you WILL be saved. You know what word I really like in there? "Whosoever". I love that word because it means ANYONE and EVERYONE. 

It doesn't matter what you've done, God wants you, my friend. He wants you. 

Before I had the chance to finish this blog, I was attacked by the enemy. He is fighting me hard because he knows that what I'm sharing with you is THE TRUTH and he wants as many in hell with him as possible. 

As I was taking a break and went to get a drink, I was attacked with lies that I had to rebuke. I did not hear an audible voice but the enemy used thoughts to try and torment me. Literal thoughts of, what have you done that you need forgiveness for? You never killed anybody. Never stolen anything. You don't need Jesus' blood for anything you've done. 

I rebuked those thoughts and I told satan to leave me alone. I told him I know that I need Jesus' blood because it doesn't matter what kind of sin I have committed. Sin is sin. I said, "Satan, you cannot have me. I belong to Jesus Christ and you will never be able to take me away from Him. His Word says so. These ugly thoughts are not from God and they are not mine--they are from you. So, you take them and you get away from me. And while you're at it, let me remind you of your future in hell. Your future home is not mine! You get away from me, in the Name of Jesus Christ!" 

And he fled. I felt my peace return. If this same torment comes upon you, do this and I guarantee you will find relief. James 4:7 says, " Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (Emphasis mine). 

If you are a believer and you've been under attack, take a deep breath and know that God has got you. If you aren't a believer and you want to know Jesus, you can say a prayer like this:

Dear Lord Jesus, I need you. I am a sinner and I know that I'm not perfect. I believe You died on the cross for my sins and rose three days later so I may live with You for eternity. Please wash me clean and live in my heart. I trust You and I love You. 

I finally realize that it is not about the things we do that get us to heaven. We can not do enough good to get into heaven and once we rely upon Jesus Christ and realize HE ALONE is the only One who cleanses us from our sins and we have that faith that His Blood saves us, there isn't enough bad we can do that takes us away from Him. 

Yes, we can distance ourselves from Him by doing things we know are not right, such as indulging in alcohol, but He doesn't sit up there and tally off how many times you do wrong and say, "Okay, so and so, you've done this sin twenty times within the past two weeks. If you do it again, I'm sending you to hell." 

No, true salvation is about realizing that you have sinned, no matter the sin and you need Jesus' Blood to wash your sins away. It's about trusting and having faith that Jesus Christ died on the cross and was the Ultimate Sacrifice for our sins and rose three days later so that we can live freely IN Jesus. 

Salvation is about realizing that Jesus is soooo much better than what the world has to offer and He is! I have experienced a joy and peace that I can't even explain, a peace and joy I've been longing for since I first said yes to Jesus at the age of 6. 

We cannot be saved by our own righteousness/righteous acts.

Isaiah 64:6- "But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away." 

We must realize that only by Jesus Christ's righteousness are we saved. Not by our own works. 

Ephesians 2:8-9 " For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."


If you recognize you're a sinner in need of being saved and you believe and confess Jesus is Lord you WILL be saved. 

Once you do this, seek Him! He wants to be in a relationship with you. He created you and longs for you to seek His Face! 

Jeremiah 29:11-13 says, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart."

Look at these verses! He promises that you will find Him when you seek Him with all your heart! This is such a beautiful love story--the BEST love story! 

I've taken two days to write this entire post. As I re-read it I realized it was incomplete. In the meantime fear still tried to take me over. This morning I was praying, "God, I want to know you not only so that I am saved from hell. I really want to know you. I don't know what to pray. I feel like a new believer since I've finally understood Who You really are. I've been so consumed in fear. I need You. Please do not let the prayers my great-grandmother, grandparents, and parents have prayed over me to go in vain. I plead the Blood of Jesus Christ over me." 

Seconds later, a song I'd never heard before came on Air1 called No Longer Slaves by Bethel. A small clip played a split second before it came on and I knew it was for me right then. I felt God say, "Brooke, listen carefully. This is for you." 

The words were so precise as to what I've been struggling with that I pulled over and I closed my eyes and thanked God while listening. I'll post the lyrics below, along with the YouTube link for the song. I highly recommend you listen to it. It's amazing. 

I'll also provide a link to the song Flawless by MercyMe. 

BETHEL MUSIC LYRICS

"No Longer Slaves"

You unravel me, with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance, from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone

I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

From my mothers womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I've been born again, into your family
Your blood flows through my veins

I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

I am surrounded
By the arms of the father
I am surrounded
By songs of deliverance

We've been liberated
From our bondage
We're the sons and the daughters
Let us sing our freedom

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
All my fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
So I could stand and sing
I am child of God...

No Longer Slaves Video

Flawless by MercyMe Lyric Video


Taste and see the Lord is good, my friends. 

  

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Superman Won't Be Late!

Hi guys,

This could possibly be the last post I will be posting. Why, you ask? Because I'm waiting for "Superman" to pick me up. Sound kind of silly? Okay, I'll put the metaphors aside for a minute because I feel the urgent need to be serious in what I'm about to say.

If you're keeping up with my posts then I'm sure you have a pretty good idea of what my "religious" beliefs are. For those who are just seeing this blog for the first time and this is the first post you landed on, you're about to find out. :)

 Because of my Christian Faith, I feel strongly that I should share this with anyone and everyone. I don't try to push my beliefs on others because I don't like them to do it to me, but my Faith requires that we share the gospel and so, today, I have an important message I feel I really need to share.

If we take a minute to turn on the news or even look around, we can see the trouble America is headed in. And not only America, but the whole world. This world is chock full of evil and it's only steadily increasing. I was raised up in the Christian Faith. At six years old, I asked Jesus Christ to come into my heart and save me. As I grew physically, I also grew spiritually and so I've not really ever had much trouble understanding what God's Word had to say. I mean, yes, there have been verses in the Bible that I've had to ask my Pastor about, but once told, I understood. Basically, as I was taught, it made sense because I had Jesus living inside me. The Holy Spirit made clear the things that would otherwise be confusing to unbelievers.

My life has been far from perfect but God has been with me the whole journey. I wouldn't even be typing this now if He'd given up on me, but, thankfully His promises stand true and always will.

This post serves as a warning to all. If you are on the fence about this whole "Christian" thing, if you're not sure about God and you're willing to listen, PLEASE keep reading. I hope those whose hearts are stubborn also read this because God can soften any heart.
Each post that I post is to encourage and lead people toward the loving God that I know.

Firstly, I want you, dear reader, to know that God LOVES you. He created you unique and also in His image! It doesn't matter what you've done or what you're doing, He absolutely loves you.
There are so many Scriptures that say so but the ones that stand out the most to me is John 3:16-18,

"For God so loved the WORLD that He gave His ONE AND ONLY SON that WHOSOEVER believes in Him SHALL NOT PERISH, but have EVERLASTING LIFE. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, BUT that the world through Him MIGHT BE SAVED. He that believeth on Him is NOT condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD." (Emphasis mine).

Look at all the good there is in those verses! He wants us to never perish but because we were born into a sinful nature, passed down from Adam and Eve, we are all to die a spiritual death (go to hell). Because God loved us so much, He sent His perfect Son to die, to be THE ultimate sacrificial Lamb for our sins. Jesus' death on the cross and His resurrection made it possible for us to boldly come before The Lord and pray whenever and wherever we want. He didn't, and doesn't, want us to spend eternity separated from Him, from the very precious creation He breathed life into.

Another verse is 2 Peter 3:9- "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (Emphasis mine)

He wants us ALL to repent (the Greek word for repent translates as "a change of mind") and believe. Being a Christian isn't about being perfect. It's about knowing that Jesus died for your sins and when you believe He alone is your Savior, He sees you through the blood of Jesus whose payment covered your debt. However, that isn't to say we can pray for Him to save us then go on willfully living in sin. His Word says we are to stray from all forms of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). He wants us to live for Him and love Him. Yes, we are all prone to mistakes but His Grace covers them! The blood Jesus shed covers all your sins.

I know this sounds like I'm preaching because, well, I am. The message and question of this post is, Are You Ready? No, I'm not one of those people who jump on the it's-the-end-of-the-world bandwagon but I am a believer who has been watching for the signs in which God's Word indicates. I believe that Jesus is coming soon for His people. The Bible doesn't mention the literal word "rapture" but it's the word Christians use for "being caught up in the clouds" (1 Thessalonians 4:17) with Jesus when He returns.
The Bible says that no one but God Himself knows what day and hour Jesus will return but He says we can watch for the signs of His return. Matthew 24:1-14 says,


So let's go over the list of things that Jesus said would need to happen before the end will come:

*Those claiming to be Christ - Check!
*Wars - Check! 
*Rumors of Wars - Check! 
*Nation rising against nation/kingdom against kingdom - Check!
*Famines - Check! 
*Pestilinces - Check!
*Earthquakes in diverse places -Check! 
*Martyrdom for Jesus - Check! 
*False Prophets - Check!
*Gospel Preached in All TheWorld - Still being fulfilled! 

If in doubt, all you need to do in order to verify is watch the news, Bing search, listen to the radio. People, it's all around us. These things Jesus said would happen have GREATLY increased since He walked earth. Other versions of The Bible, such as NIV say these things are the beginning of labor pains. This makes sense because labor pains start slow and not as intense, then build and build in intensity as a woman gets closer to giving birth. Look how much Jesus' promise from Matthew 24 has increased over the years--even within the last three to four years! We are SO close to the end.   

So many people out there claim that the Bible is a myth and that it's been proved wrong. Good news, it hasn't been proved wrong. Each prophecy that was given within the 66 books of The Bible have all been fulfilled except for the coming of Christ and onward. Is it not reasonable to assume that if all the other prophecies have been fulfilled that this one will be, too? Matthew 24 clearly is being fulfilled now, so I believe it is only a matter of time before God calls His people Home.

I want to share a video with you that I hope you will take time to watch. I know that even those who are atheist, agnostic, etc. tend to know Scripture and sometimes can know more Scripture than a Christian believer. So the believer and non-believer will see this video aligns with God's Word. Scripture cannot contradict Scripture.
Here's the link to the video: About The Rapture of The Church

I know that many of you may think I'm stupid or that all of this is a bunch of garbage. But please let me present a question: What do you have to lose in believing what I believe? In believing that a sinless Man (Jesus Christ) died for us so we have the choice as to whether we spend eternity in hell, burning in flames while wailing and gnashing your teeth or spending eternity with God, forever wrapped in His love, living on the New Earth where only peace, love, laughter, and beauty exists as we've never seen or known?
If I die with my beliefs and you're right that no God exists, no Perfect Man died for us, then I lose nothing. But if what I believe in is right and you die then you lose everything, my friend. I'm being completely sincere. I'm not trying to mock or jab at you, but I am wanting to get this message out because eternity is a VERY long time, folks. It's forever. Period.

The God I know is loving and patient. 2 Peter 3:8-9 says,

"But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."

This verse blows me away. He loves us so, so much that He is holding back His wrath so we may have a change of mind and believe the Gospel. When we ask Jesus to save us, He WILL save us. He is a Man of His Word.

Again, if you're still not sure whether you want to believe or you want to gamble on whether Christians are right, please, please don't wait any longer to make that decision. Make it right now because God won't hold off forever. If you feel like God is knocking on the door of your heart, don't push Him away. I PROMISE you will not regret opening that door. He wants to bless you and love you unconditionally.

If you are unsure of where you will spend eternity and you want to be saved, say a prayer like this:

Dear Lord Jesus, I'm a sinner in need of Your Grace. Please forgive me of my sins. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for me and rose three days later. Please come into my heart and save me. I love You and I trust You. Amen. 


If you prayed this and you meant it, you are saved. From here on out, seek Him and You will find Him. Jeremiah 29:11-13 says,

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Cry out to Him, my friends. He's waiting for you.

One last thing I would like to present to you--I recommend you also check out my post called Heaven: Why It's Not Just White Fluffy Clouds and Harps. To view it, click the link Heaven: Why It's Not Just White Fluffy Clouds and Harps
That post will show you what believers in Christ have to look forward to when He calls us Home!

Whether Jesus comes back today, tomorrow, this weekend, next year or 50 years from now, I hope to see you there! I love you guys.

~Brooke-Lauren

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Save Me From Myself

Hey guys! 

So about a couple of weeks ago I was really going through a tough time. I felt a sense of emptiness accompanied with extreme loneliness. As I sat in my room, I felt like I should write a song, so I did. 
I poured my heart out on the page in hopes of not only my words being therapeutic for me but also for others who were/are in the same boat. 

Loneliness, sadness, anger, etc, are things everyone has felt before. It's just some may feel these feelings more often that others. Regardless of how long you feel this way, I want you to know you're not alone. 

I just created the lyric video to the A Capella version of my song, Save Me From Myself. I downloaded CakeWalk's Music Creator 7 in hopes to create music with my vocals but that software is so stinkin' difficult to figure out despite their tagline of, "No musical experience? No problem!" then goes on to say how easy of a program it is to use. And I've had 18+ years musical experience! Even the tutorial videos don't do a lot of good. There aren't many tutorials out there for this program yet.

Along with this, my PC basically fell apart. Wouldn't connect to the internet without a direct connection via cable to router. So I ordered a 2009 Macbook on ebay and I just got it today. I used iMovie to make my lyric video but haven't gotten the chance to check out GarageBand. From what I've seen through YouTube tutorials, it looks pretty simple and straight forward along with delivering the tools Music Creator 7 offers. 

But anywho, I plan to play around with GarageBand this weekend and get some music set up with my vocals. If I ever get it "perfected" I plan to make a music video to my song. I'm really looking forward to this! 

To hear Save Me From Myself, click the link below:

https://youtu.be/EgKkLO6YdiE

I hope you enjoy. If you're a YouTuber, subscribe if ya'd like or leave feedback! I'd love to hear from you! 

Blessings,

Brooke-Lauren

Monday, August 10, 2015

How To Conquer Your Anger



Hey guys, today I felt like I needed to make a post about ANGER. 

Some believe anger is wrong and others think anger isn't a big deal. I'm writing to tell you there's a happy medium. Recently, I've struggled with anger. For a while, it had died down when I grew closer to God back in April 2015.
Anger is something I've struggled with ever since I was a pre-adolescent and it's been anything but pretty. 

Have you ever been there? Where one thing turns into two things then two things turn into three, and so on and so on, until you feel you can't take anymore? You're not alone

I've had many things build and build until, finally, I'd just explode. I figured exploding would help me feel better but it only did quite the opposite. It put me in an even worse mood because I'd start to feel like I deserved to get angry at what this person did, or why my car wouldn't start when all I wanted was to get out of the house for a couple of hours. Everyone does have the right to get angry, but I was letting it control me. 

Let me tell you a story that just recently happened. I feel confident that many of you have dealt with the same kind of thing, perhaps different circumstances.  

For the past few weeks I've been struggling with feeling bored and alone, something I've majorly struggled with since I moved out of my parent's house in December 2014. Loneliness and boredom gives us, human beings, the potential to do stupid things. Ever heard of the saying, "Idol hands are the devil's workshop"? 
I've come to find this saying is true. 

Back in April of 2015, I found my true source of comfort and happiness--God. And I'd not been at such peace in years. But somewhere along the way, the loneliness and boredom began to haunt me again and, instead of running back to God, I drifted. 

A couple of weeks ago, I had a deep, personal conversation with someone I used to date. In my mind, I hoped that all the improvements God had made through me would show through and that my ex would be interested in me again. I was wrong. 

I'm 24 years old and I feel like I'm going to spend the rest of my life alone. When I look around and I see people younger, older, and my age with someone, it dampens my mood. Not because I'm not happy for them. I'm ecstatic for them--but not for me. Each day seems to go by faster and faster with no potential man on the horizon to spend the rest of my life with. 

It seems like everyone around me is either getting married or having a baby and I'm doing neither. These two things are something I've wanted since I can even remember. It's like it was just born in me to fulfill that destiny. But here I am at 24 with no boyfriend or anyone I feel right about dating. 

As I finally came to that hard realization that my ex and I would never get back together, something else happened that really upset me. After the talk with my ex, I suddenly didn't want to attend that church anymore. I felt like it would be awkward so I decided I wanted to discontinue going there for a good while until my heart and emotions had time to heal. I sent a text to the wife of the pastor, explaining that the next Sunday would be my last in the nursery. I told her I wouldn't be back for a while due to personal reasons and that it wasn't anything they did. 

I waited... and I waited as the days rolled by. I never got a response back. No, "Thank you for your help," "We'll miss you", "Goodbye", "Good riddance"--nothing. 

That Sunday I decided not to go to church because now it would really be awkward. 

And here it is Monday, over a week later, that I've still not heard a word from she or the pastor. I was appalled. They aren't acquaintances to me; I know these people. 

While I'm still beyond frustrated at that situation, the cherry atop the cake was getting as sick as a dog that same afternoon after being in the searing heat, trying to get my car started. For whatever reason, my car would not start and I just needed to get out of the house for a couple hours. I hadn't eaten or drank anything and it was coming up 4:30 in the afternoon. 

My emotions are running rampant at this point. I'm digging in the glove box and looking through the owner's manual, reading about "what to do if". Most of those terms, I have no clue what they meant so it made it even more annoying and frustrating. I tried everything I could that the manual said to do and nothing was working. 

I asked the nice old guy across the street, who stood on a ladder picking pears, if he would mind jump starting my car. He said he absolutely would. By the time he went to get the battery charger and came back, I'd begun to feel an overbearing sense of nausea. Every few seconds I felt like I should sit before I fainted. I apologized for being rude and said I'd have to go lay down because I got overheated. He was too kind and told me it wasn't a problem at all. 

The longer I laid in bed the more nauseous I began to feel. I laid spread eagle with the fan as high as it would go and a dampened towel on my forehead but the nausea kept climbing. Now, I'm just miserable, on top of being hungry and thirsty, my car not starting and not having heard back from the pastor or his wife AND feeling lonely and bored. 
Then when I reached to grab the charger for my phone that only had 10 % battery left, I couldn't find it. I searched everywhere and still couldn't find that stupid charger. The inconveniences seemed to keep piling up.

Thank God for my sweet dad who got me something to eat and drink and bought me another charger. "The pits" would have been much worse without him. 

I ended up vomiting several times as a headache formed from tension. It wasn't until ten pm or so that I could finally eat the other half of burger I didn't throw up. I drank water in gulps and finally slept on and off throughout the rest of the night, only to get up at the buttcrack of dawn to see if I could jump start my car. (I'd only tried to recharge the battery.) 

My car still wouldn't start. So Dad took me to get another key FAB battery. I figured that was it since it had notified me it was getting low a while back. So we bought the battery then drove back to the house and tried it but it still didn't work. By now, my irritation is kindling into a blaze of rage. 

Dad decided to pull the car battery and take it to work to see if they could find anything wrong with it. 
Then we went to get some breakfast at Whataburger where he flat out tells the person at the window, "May I please have four sweet-n-low's and picante sauce? (I'd ordered a bacon, cheese, and egg tequito, and absolutely always had to have picante with it.)

We get to work and I pull out my tequito then rummage around the bottom of the sack for the picante where my fingers swipe thin air and the walls of the bag. It WASN'T in there. I just couldn't believe it. Now, I'd reached the point of livid. 

The news of my battery came back a couple hours later and they said it was getting worn out. So at lunch, Dad and I go to Autozone and I buy a new car battery. I'm thinking the worst. I'm thinking it's probably not going to work and I paid 126.00 for nothing, it's probably the engine that'll drain me thousands of dollars. 
My dad put in the new battery and I got in the car to start it...and it wouldn't start. And now, of course, I lost it. I was beside myself. 

I got back in my Dad's truck before I made myself look like a fool in front of the entire neighborhood. My last and only resort would be to call KIA and, as I looked up their  number on my phone, I see my dad stand from the driver's seat and hold out the keys. 

I opened the truck door and I heard another engine running. I said, "Is it running?"

"Yeah," he answered.

I looked at him, dumbfounded. "How did you do that?" 

He shrugged. "I said a prayer."

A knot rose in my throat. "You said a prayer and it just started?" 

He nodded then gave me a hug. "Don't give up on God, Brooke." Even he got choked up. 

Now I was a bawling mess. Those words hit me hard-- Don't give up on God, Brooke.

That morning at break, before we picked up the new car battery, I'd prayed. I told God that I felt lost and that I felt lonely every day. I apologized for letting things get between me and Him and I repented for letting anger control me. I thanked Him for all He'd given me and I began meditating on everything I do have. I looked at the sky and I asked God to show me that He still cared about me. 

And He answered at lunch through my dad. 

I felt so much lighter. I realized that what I need to do when the rain pours is talk to God. Instead of letting each unnerving thing work me up more and more, just talk to God. Tell Him my feelings and ask Him to help me calm down. In the long run, things will work out (Romans 8:28) for those who love Him. 

A total of ten things plagued my emotions and mind this weekend and I let it. I let it keep festering and festering instead of going to God each time and talking with Him about it. 

So, what is Anger? According to the Web, "Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure, resentment and hostility that often arises in response to a perceived wrong doing." 

See the word, "feeling" in there? Everyone has them, and anger is a natural one. Anger isn't wrong. It's a normal emotion everyone should be allowed to feel. It's no more wrong than someone who feels happy, sad, or nervous. It's an existing feeling. 

It's what you do with your anger that determines whether it's right or wrong. Killing people when you're angry, that's wrong. So is screaming insults at someone during an argument, keying some butthead's car because they parked in two and a half spaces, and so is letting anger control you. These things are destructive and when you've reached that point, it's wrong.

Scream as loud as you can, pound your fists on the bed, write out your feelings, but more importantly, talk to God. I guarantee He'll satisfy more than throwing a tantrum, times infinity. 

I understand, people, what it's like to see red and want to drop-kick the first thing you lay eyes on. I get it. 

After talking with God today, I felt His presence and watched Him answer me. My heart softened and I decided I would visit churches starting next Sunday. I realized for the umpteenth time, people are people and, even though I know that, I can't help but wonder if I'm the only person who was raised half-decently. Some of the most common, "P's and Q's" aren't even used anymore and any time I hear someone use them, I about break my neck looking. 

I'd begun to let my old ways of thinking and feeling take me over again. That same overwhelming feeling that everyone's the same--out to hurt me. That's the foundation of the anger and if I don't keep it in check, it attempts to consume me. 

Life is miserable living in anger and bitterness. Don't let it eat you away. Next time you feel spit-blood angry, talk to God. Tell Him how you feel. Share with Him things you don't understand. Talk to Him as if He sits right in front of you. He'll answer. Guaranteed. <3