This past Friday I took my son August the Great to his 1st Community Service event. This weekend was his 1st Birthday Weekend and I wanted to start a tradition with him to where he’s able to give back for all the blessings he will have growing up.
I attend a feed the homeless program every 3rd Friday with my Fraternity (Alpha Phi Alpha) at the First Institutional Baptist Church in Phoenix Arizona. I’ve been involved with this community service event ever since I joined my fraternity in 2001. Continue reading
Romans 5:1 –Amplified Bible (AMP)
5 Therefore, since we are justified ([a]acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to [b]enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
Whenever I listen to this song it reminds me about what i’ve recently been learning about God’s Grace. I think that for the most part of my 20’s I stayed away from Church and my relationship with Christ because I never understood his grace.
I remember my excuses; “I’m not living right to act fake” “I’ve fornicated this year and I don’t think I plan on stopping, God doesn’t like that” “I have HATE in my heart for a lot of people I dislike, I can’t forgive them right now”
Even though my heart was always wanting to live a pure life, my own condemnation kept me away from assembling with others who could teach me about God’s grace for my life. Because I kept listening to my own suggestions as to why I didn’t deserve God’s Love for what I was doing, my life slowly started spiraling out of control. I started relaxing on my morals and being OK with just a “Little Sin” here and there..
My 1st Alcoholic Drink came on my 21st B’day.. Initially my morals from being a preachers child & following Christ as a youngster kept me this far from this trap but I let what the culture around me (being in College) let me put my guard down. within a few years, It was Bottles at nightclubs, Fornicating with women I did not intend to marry, Smoking Black & Milds to Smoking What the President had tried as a youngster because after all, God did make plants right? I did not realize how much i’d fallen until I found myself asking about X-pills. Then It was Pills, Smokes, Drinks & Women. Different Nights, Different Cities, Different OK’s to let my life just be. I don’t even know what I was trying to escape. (Actually I do, but that’s for my book) But I remember that everyday it was still there.
I’m here today because of God’s Grace. As I look back to what I opened up myself to, it’s only by his Grace that I did not Die from drunken nights driving home alone like a few of my friends ended up. It is by his Grace that I did not impregnate any of the women who I was loosely spending time with. It is by his Grace that I am No Longer Drinking, Smoking, Feeling like a little bit of this and that is OK because everyone around me is doing it. God’s grace allows us to pick up from whatever stage in life that we are in to repent, Look to Christ for deliverance and knowing that He already DIED for whatever Mental Prison that the Enemy has led you to believe that you are left to stay in. It allows you to triumphantly say to your suggestions that you are NO LONGER the person that he tries to make you think that YOU ARE. You are NO LONGER the person you THINK that everyone around you THINKS you are.
You were made in God’s Image. Christ Died so that you can let go of whatever has been burdening you to this day. The same Christ who Graces Murderers who changed their lives around is the same Christ who can give you the same power to Overcome whatever thoughts or issues you’ve been in. When I realized that Grace, I was able to move forward with the LIFE I was meant to have and I have walked in this new life with such a sense of entitlement that some friends from the past don’t know what to do with the changes they’ve seen. I can only give the glory to God because I would not be living this Life that was originally meant for me to live if I kept the same mindset of feeling Un-Graced as I did in my twenties.
YOU ARE GRACED TO BE EXACTLY WHO GOD ORIGINALLY FORMED YOU TO BE. ACCEPT IT & MOVE FORWARD IN YOUR WALK & LEAVE YOUR PAST ISSUES & MISTAKES BEHIND.
Want to learn More about Grace?
[Come to my Church with me This Sunday & EVERY Sunday Night at 7pm
El Elyon International Church
1830 W. Glenrosa Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85015
On 19th Avenue & 2 Blocks North of Indian School Road. On the NE Corner]
When I first started learning about Intercessory Prayers I didn’t know much about it. All I remember as a child was going to church with my parents and seeing a bunch of Christians just “Yelling, screaming, crying” etc. I usually took this opportunity to find my other friends who’s parents had brought them to church also and go play with them in the Children’s Service. Hours would go by, whether it was at the church or at a local brother or sister of the church’s house and then we’d head home.
I often wondered sometimes as life’s crazy twists and turns would happen as i continued to grow, why i’d be around all the bad stuff and nothing ever happened to me. (Veering from hitting a COUCH in the middle of a Freeway which injured others, Escaping Gun Shots at Parties, Always finding out about something Tragic happening after I left the location 30mins prior) But as I got back into the church & Started learning more, I realized the POWER OF PRAYER.
Intercessory Prayer is when you Pray for others. We usually tend to only pray for US even as kids growing up. My prayers always consisted of ME, MINE, MY, I Want, yadi, yada.. you know what I mean. But in interceding for others, we are praying on their behalf. God says that when we pray for others, and genuinely care for the Next Man, we are learning to be able to be a servant. We are then able to put away our selfish needs and wants and just become better followers of Christ. His 1st commandment was that we Love our Neighbors as we Love ourselves.
I started off my intercessory prayers by just looking around the church. I started praying that the members would have peace inside their households, Their Children would not see any harm come their way, Single Mothers with children will not stress about bills or food for their kids, Members who walked to church would be blessed to find jobs to help them save for a car, etc.. I started learning to pray for what might seem simple but could be a big struggle for my brother or sister next to me. I’ve been in situations where i was in most of those situations before being born again and I stressed about those issues so much that I don’t even remember how I overcame them.
That’s when it finally hit me. All those times growing up when i’d make it out of crazy situations and nothing bad ever happened to me was because of my Parents and the other church members Intercessory Prayers for us. I never understood why I always barely missed trouble, Angels were answering the prayers of others who were genuinely praying for us as children that no harm would come our way. When you intercede for others, you care about the next man’s well being; God will send his angles to take care of them and in the same time come take care of you also. I went from praying about my want’s and needs to now praying for others first. God knows all the wants and cares of my heart and since i’ve cast all my burdens on the Lord, i’m able to pray for You, You, You, You annnnddd YOU that all will go well for you this week. The Job you’ve been waiting to hear back from will call you. The Questions you’ve been wanting answered will be. The issues you had last week will not matter this week. Your Rent will be paid on time, Your Kids will not go through the same issues you went through In the Name of Jesus… Amen
Take time to pray daily for others and watch what it does for you. I’m still practicing it daily. Pray for me as well.
[Always Walk in LOVE] Be a Blessing to someone today and Purchase them a TY&GB Shirt online at www.TYandGB.com and help us spread our #TShirtMinistry around the WORLD. Follow us on Twitter: @TyGbOnline
As I lay in bed watching Rod Parsley and Joseph Prince on TV I can’t help but to think about how life has taken a drastic change for me. My Wife is sleeping right next to me and everyday before I go to bed I just look at her and whisper “I Love You” before I fall asleep.. Her belly is growing and it finally hit me yesterday as I saw her baby bump actually start showing to me. I’M GOING TO BE A FATHER…
Wow… Just 3 years ago I remember telling my close friends about my desire to change my life around. I constantly talked about it but I don’t think anyone even cared to hear me out. Life was getting out of hand for me. Once I realized my potential for feeling like it would be okay to bring violence to another person for “Messing with my money” I knew that I was on another level. I’m sure that now if you were to ask any of my friends, everything will start making sense as to how I was acting back then.
This past week I Started a new Job and Lost my Wallet right before my state fair booth opened up so I had no access to any money for the weekend. When I found out about my Wallet last Thursday morning, I decided to leave it up to God. I prayed about it on my way to work and just looked at it as the Devil trying to evoke some type of emotion out of me. I don’t even think I prayed about it again after that, I just went about my day and weekend like I normally would have. I did not worry about anyone maxing out my cards or murmured about how inconvenient this would be since the state fair was starting the next day.
We started the state fair on Friday and did well.. On Saturday my Wife and I went to my frat brother Justin Kelley and his wife Corazon’s wedding. We decided to enjoy their day with them and not worry about no access to money. I got a chance to hang out with my lil nephews Soul & Pei and just enjoyed the day with my Wife. We returned to the state fair to find out that we had No sales for the day. I wanted to start worrying about how I was gonna pay my workers but I remembered again, The Devil is still trying to get my emotions involved. Sundays sales were not great either. I ended up going to church that night and had a great worship service. I kept hearing -Men ought to Always pray- through the Good times and even through the bad times.
I went to work like usual this past Monday, went to Bible Study on Tuesday and helped pray for a Man who literally came in Off the streets and was under some type of narcotic influence. His belly hurting during the alter call and I layed hands on him during the alter call for prayers.. he felt better and I was amazed.
On Wednesday as I was coming home, I received a text message from my Wife telling me that my Wallet eventually got returned and was at home on the table. I gave a huge praise upon the news and was very thankful.. my money was still in it and nothing had been taken.
But that’s not all, My job had a raffle yesterday for some cool prizes.. when I got to work this morning, I received an email that said I had Won a prize 🙂
I WON A BRAND NEW VIVITAR DIGITAL VIDEO RECORDER.
All I could say to my co workers about the change of events was that God Is Good and that I’m highly favored.
Even though my sales at the fair are not where I’d like them to be, I’m still thankful to God for all that he has and continues to give me. I have a Life Now that was Hidden for me until I found Christ. A loving Wife, Health, Happiness, and our 1st child on the way. I am blessed.
Through our daily walks there will be obstacles whether big or small that the Enemy will try to throw our way to get us out of our love. We must continue to have faith that God has our back and works in his own mysterious ways.. I am more than convinced through my own walks that God is Real and he watches over me.
(Purchase a Ty&Gb “God Bless” shirt today at www.TYandGB.com and help us spread our #TshirtMinistry)
I remember growing up as a young ministers son going to church every weekend. Most of the Times I would find a way to fall asleep on my mothers lap. Soon enough I was too old for that and I would find myself volunteering to help with the Children’s ministry to keep from listening to the whole service.
After a while, I became too old for that and nowwwww I had to be able to sit in and listen to a whole sermon from the preacher. I was teenager and none of my other friends ever had to go to church, let alone have their parents sometimes preach a sermon.
The 1st time a minister prophesied over my calling to lead many to Christ, I was 16 years old. I was finally getting the hang of being accepted amongst my American friends in school because of my athletic abilities. I was not too concerned about “leading my friends” to Christ. I mean, they had just now started to forget about making fun of me for being an “African booty scratcher” (kids in Seattle were mean).
I remember always looking at the ministers and thinking why some would think I could do what they said I would do. I mean, I wanted to let God use me in whichever way he could but I always thought to myself that it was more of something I might get along to doing in my 50’s.
As I transitioned through my life, there was always a minister speaking this “vision from the Lord” over me. It became overwhelming. Eventually I chose to stop going to church my sophomore year in college once I moved to ASU. Life moved on, I Started living on my own, no parents or church to tell me what to do. I Started partying, and partying and partying.. you get the picture 🙂
But then all that stopped. I wanted more, I already knew what was right. As I Started my walk towards Christianity again as an adult, I saw the little kid in me still looking at it as God will use me when I’m 50+ years old. Until one day I heard a sermon from my pastor. He said that, we need to stop thinking that someone else is going to come along and change our lives for us and others. God has given US the powers to go out and make a change in others lives as of TODAY. We ARE who we’ve been waiting on this whole time.
Wow…… When I received that word, this song made more sense to me. “If we gotta start somewhere, why not HERE. if we gotta start sometime why not NOW” We are equipped to be that change agent for our brothers and sisters. Today, in fact right after you read this, do what I did. Whenever I felt the spirit calling me to step into that Man of God I was called to be as a child, I would start humming this songs tune. It would remind me that I Am who I’ve been.waiting for this whole time and I’m definitely nowhere near 50 years old 🙂
Take a step out of your comfort zone and Do exactly what God has told you to do. Find that peace that’s inside of you and go become a Blessing to someone who needs to meet God TODAY.
(Order a shirt for a friend today from my #TshirtMinistry at www.TYandGB.com and become a blessing to someone else)
[Always Walk In Love]
During my transition back to Christ I had a LOT of TIME to myself. I spent many of those moments feeling alone.. I had left the Clubs, The Women’s, The Drinking and Smoking..
I was determined to Find my purpose in this life and wanted to let God use me as he’s used all the Great men in the Bible and throughout history..
I couldn’t quite figure out if I made the right decision. I mean, everyone I used to be around that used to say they Loved God were nowhere in sight.. I had a phone with over 1500 phone numbers in it with not 1 person I felt I could call that had my back or supported my decision to Follow Christ. Every friend I invited to come with me to church or bible study gave me every excuse I could ever imagine. So many more told me they would visit yet never came. I was hurt.
The people I spent allllll of my time with seemed to not want anything to do with me. I had nowhere or no one to talk to when I had issues with my girl. No one to talk to when someone was hating on me. No one to call when I was having family issues. No one I could call a friend like I used to call them.
But then I remembered a prayer that I had prayed when I first got saved. I had prayed for God to keep the people who were going to be a distraction to me during my walk Away from me. I had prayed for God to send me encouragers who would keep me growing stronger towards my anointing.
I realized that I was receiving what I had prayed for. God was protecting my walk and my heart for he knew the plans he had for me. I then realized that everything that I was looking for in friends and man I could find in God. This period of time drew me closer to the comfort of knowing that God’s promises are real and there was nothing that man could do to comfort me that God couldn’t..
I remember waking up and at any time I’d feel alone, I’d start praying wherever I was and that time was usually in my car driving to work. Whether I had just had a big fight with my fiance or lost money with our family business, I would pray in the spirit.. I found this song by Deitrick Haddon that helped me get through those feelings.. I would blast this song on my ride to work, sing along with it, pray with it on and I would feel the burdens lifting off of me. The tears would go back and I would grow stronger when I let God know that I NEEDED HIS HELP. by the time I got to work after playing this song on repeat, I was able to perform at top level like nothing had happened. I was able to draw on God’s power to not let the Devil steal my joy and anointing by planting seeds of loneliness in me.
Thank you Jesus for all the strength you continue to give me daily to walk in your spirit and for the Gifts you have given me to advance your Kingdom. #ThankYouGodBless
ORDER A “GOD BLESS” SHIRT ONLINE: www.TYandGB.com
(feel free to share my blogs to all your friends who are starting out on their walk and be encouraging to those who are trying to make a change with their lives)
As I was driving home today from work, I was surprised to see a Cop turn his lights on to pull me over. Now normally in the Past my body would tense up at the site of flashing lights in my rearview. Today was different though, why not take this chance to practice my faith. I Started praying for strength to overcome my fear. I Started praying in tongues under my breath. I Started speaking to the spirit of fear in me. As this officer approached me, I already knew he had it in for me and he was going to do everything in his power to give me a Ticket. He had already set it in his Spirit that I was wrong and he had to exercise his authority over me, so I Started praying in the spirit even more as he ran my license and plates.
Now the reason I developed a fear of officers pulling me over goes back to 1999 when I was driving in Seattle with my younger brother during winter break from College. My Father had just bought me a new car and we were driving back home. When we pulled up to our street, 2 cop cars pulled us over. They came to both sides of the car with their Guns drawn and pulled my brother and I out the car. The neighborhood kids saw this happening and ran to our house to tell our parents. At the time, my mother was pregnant and seeing her 2 sons being held at Gun point for a mistaken car theft eventually made her lose her baby. At that moment in time I Started not trusting an officer and his computer whenever I was pulled over.
So as I Started praying in the spirit today, God started calming me down. I remembered my pastors sermon on how our God helps you overcome any fears. I Started saying to God to Trouble my Troubles and speak in confidence. When the officer came back and still gave me a Ticket for EXITING off an HOV exit next to my house, I was not nervous to ask why he did not give me a warning. He did not budge and Told me that the ticket can be forgiven when I go to traffic school. At first my fears wanted to take over to start worrying about the cost of the ticket. Then I remembered a sermon from our pastor on Speaking to our fears.. I told that ticket that “I’m Winning.. Even when it doesn’t look like it” in fact, even as I’m writting this, I have yet to Find out how much the ticket was. The enemy will not use this event to make me worry about my finances at this time even while I’m expecting our first child. When I prayed about the ticket, I was able to get some understanding on the path that is set in front of me. I will go to traffic school in expectation to meet someone that God wants me to reach. I have taken the positive route and I’m just #Thankful to have a means of transportation to be able to continue to provide for my family. The enemy tried getting me out of my Love today but God helped me through the situation.. when the Cop let me go, I felt a great sense of relief that I never felt before on the numerous occasions I’ve dealt with officers in the Past. I believe that God took away my anxiety and was able to help me finally forgive Police officers for what part I felt they played in me not having a younger brother.
We will continue to get challenged every day as we walk for the Kingdom of God. We need to remember to Stay Armored up because the battles we will fight on the daily are not of flesh and blood but of spirits.. When we know what we are facing, we’ll be able to overcome these battles..
Ephesians 6:10-20 KJV
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
I ALWAYS WIN, EVEN WHEN IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE IT.
Order a “God Bless” shirt online at www.TYandGb.com
As I boarded the Flight to Los Angeles This past Friday, I said my prayers as I usually tend to do and was on my way. I had a carry on bag full of TY&GB Clothing as I was ready to Hit the road running. We have a Family business that had a booth at the LA County Fair this past year so I decided to take my brand new shirts out there to spread the message. My first customers as I arrived were my Mother and Aunt. (I Love her, She has supported me in all my endeavors) I got a lot of great responses from people just noticing that I had the “God Bless” Shirt on and It made everyone that Said something about it seem to smile and greet me with Joy.
On Sunday they had a Youth dance and praise Ministry perform and completely helped minister to me. They were wonderful. A group from the Mountain View Faith Community Church (www.MFCC.tv) The spirit of containment tried setting in with doubts of whether to approach this crowd about my shirts. I remembered a Sermon that my Pastor preached during Last Weeks Bible Study on how the Devil tries to use this spirit on us to keep us from stepping out on what God has told us to do. So I waited a little longer (I Know, God wants us to MOVE NOW) but prayed for the Spirit to move me from being shy about Letting others know about God. So I kept hearing my Pastors Voice about (If only Christians would be BOLD enough to speak on Christ as they do everything else….) So I decided to approach a Member. His name was Jay I believe. We spoke for a little bit and I told him exactly what was put in my heart and about the T-Shirt Line. The brother was Kind and Loving, Bought a Shirt from me and asked to pray with me right there at the booth. I’ve been praying in church for awhile now and no longer did I feel “weird” about prayer in the midst of “everyone else” as I used to feel when I was growing up as a teenager.
I ended up meeting with their Youth Pastor and he also gave me some Great words of encouragement and some pointers on how to keep the journey going. He spoke pretty much what my Pastor has been saying to me for the past year and a half on always Praying. It was refreshing to see other young Christian Men out and about fired up for Christ that it completely made my whole trip. I will continue Walking out on Faith and spreading God’s message because he knows what’s in my Heart.
SCRIPTURES I MEDITATED ON TODAY:
Amplified Bible (AMP)
34And Jesus called [to
Him] the throng with His disciples and said to them, If anyone intends
to come after Me, let him deny himself [forget, ignore, disown, and [a]lose sight of himself and his own interests] and take up his cross, and [[b]joining Me as a disciple and siding with My party] follow [c]with Me [continually, cleaving steadfastly to Me].
35For whoever wants to save his [[d]higher, spiritual, eternal] life, will lose it [the [e]lower, natural, temporal life [f]which
is lived only on earth]; and whoever gives up his life [which is lived
only on earth] for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it [his [g]higher, spiritual life [h]in the eternal kingdom of God].
36For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life [[i]in the eternal kingdom of God]?
37For what can a man give as an exchange ([j]a compensation, a ransom, in return) for his [blessed] life [[k]in the eternal kingdom of God]?
38For whoever [l]is
ashamed [here and now] of Me and My words in this adulterous
(unfaithful) and [preeminently] sinful generation, of him will the Son
of Man also be ashamed when He comes in the glory (splendor and majesty)
of His Father with the holy angels.
My Name is Otieno. I was Born in Kisumu Kenya. At a very early age, I witnessed poverty & hardship growing up in Kisumu.
Living in a “third world country” doesn’t afford you quite the same
luxuries of a typical American childhood. From sad memories of living in
a village with no running water & electricity to the better ones
like my 1st Christmas being enjoyed just Eating Cake & Drinking
Orange Fanta (my favorite) with my Mom & Dad. In 1988 by the grace
of God, my family was sponsored to come live in America with our father
through donations collected by a church in Seattle Washington. I was 8
years old when I told my cousins that I will see them again..
That was the last time i ever saw Kenya and my extended family.
My story is a long
journey of Faith, Trials and Tribulation, Party, Party, Party, Loss,
Depression, Redemption and a Return back to Christ. Ty & GB Clothing
was a vision I was given to start a Positive Christian based T-shirt
& Website to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At first I was
scared; Very Scared. Growing up as a Ministers son in Seattle was tough
for me as a youth. So the first chance I got to leave the watchful eyes
of the church, I took it and left to study Computer Engineering at
Arizona State University. This is just a Quick Glimpse of my story that I
was given to testify so that others who are going through what I went
through may be able to follow the path which leads back to Christ &
God’s Kingdom. As you read this, I want you to know that I am taking my
steps out on faith and not letting excuses stop me from doing what I am
able to do. So Keep coming back to the Website as I write my story and
continue to Walk in Love.
– More to Come
Follow our Twitter Page @TyGbOnline | Facebook.com/ThankYouGodBless
The online shop is opening up soon. I must say that i’m excited to finally take this First BIG Step of Faith on What God shared with me as I was transitioning from my Party Promotion Days. I’ve sat, listened and took the steps he kept telling me for the past 2 years and Now i’m ready to see how Amazing God truly is.
As Soon as I printed up my Shirts, My sister in Christ (Tina) told me about a Fashion Show in Litchfield Park AZ. I went and within 30mins I was able to find two Great Men (Chris and Keith) To help me showcase my designs at the Fashion Show. I look forward to the line growing and spreading the word. This Little Light of Mine…. I’m gonna let it SHINE..