Have Hope

Four Years, four months and three weeks ago my wife gave birth to two of the greatest blessings God could ever give to us. Our twin boys, Zayden weighing in at 6 pounds and 11 ounces. Then Gavriel aka G Baby weighing 5 pounds and 14 ounces. We were excited, well at least I was, my wife was a bit on the nauseous side. It had been quite a journey for her to carry those sluggers for 36 full weeks and then enduring the toils of a C-Section. They showed us little Zay -Zay whom his mother sometimes calls Baby A. Baby B though had to be taken directly to the table and I had to leave my wife’s side to meet him. He was different from Zayden. Although they looked very much alike, Gavriel was born with a birth defect. The defect is called spinal bifida which means a portion of the neural tube fails to develop or close properly, causing defects in the spinal cord and in the bones of the spine. Basically, his spine needed be pushed into place. I will spare the medical details but I will tell you that we knew this would impact much of our son’s functionality. I was 30 years old and I was being told that if my child would walk it would not be without braces and/or physical therapy, nor would he be able to potty train like a “normal” child. As a matter of fact, during the pregnancy I tried reading to prepare myself for it all and with all the information I only found myself walking off the packaging line at my job just to go in the locker room and flood the floor with tears at the thought of feeling hopeless for him.
So, after walking over to meet my little guy he immediately went into his first of three surgeries before he would ever see his new crib. For the next seven weeks, we had to be the hope that he didn’t know existed. Fresh in the world and life begins with pain! Sounds almost like life when God has given us something incredible to birth and as soon as we choose to move forward on the dream we find ourselves under the blade,  cutting through what we thought was perfectly put together. What happens under the blade is a reconstruction of our defect, surgery getting us close as possible to what we were supposed to be. I guess enduring the blade during the initial stages of birth somehow makes us tougher because until now my son has never cried from a shot or having blood drawn from his arm. (In my bragging voice) “That’s my lil soulja” Somehow, we are all born crippled and all of us that choose to be great or exceptional end up on an operating table that hurts us but hurts us for the good.
Let me be honest with you. During those weeks I wrestled with hope. One night I even gave In, sneaking a few beers into the Ronald McDonald house. For those that know me, don’t try to figure out the math, Yes, I was already an ordained minister during the time. Don’t judge me! But I distinctly remember God sending an angel to us one day, as my wife and I, along with my one year old daughter and my other son a few weeks old were heading back to visit with G Baby. A prophetess met us in the elevator offering to pray with us. She prayed saying something that confirmed that this was a moment where hope was essential. She said, “We came to remind him today that he is a man of God.” My eyes of hope opened again in that very moment. The moment that I found myself down. I was reminded that the knowledge owned by man is incomparable to the knowledge that exists within God. This consciousness emanates an incredible ability to place our Hope in a God that has never failed when encountering sickness with the intent to heal. I spoke healing over my son when I gave him his second name, “Josias” which simply means “Yahweh Heals.” It’s no longer about the doctor’s education but God’s power. It’s not about all the resources but it’s about God’s wisdom. It’s no longer about the statistics but God’s promise. It was about God honoring the prayers of the righteous and God did just that!
You see three months prior I wrote on a piece of paper a vision for my sons. I wrote “My sons will walk, my sons will run, my sons will jump, my sons will live and play together” and God honored the vision that I made plain for my sons. My son never needed braces. The other day he took off running through the yard and I had to hold back tears while thanking God for answering my Hopes. Although there are some struggles and conditions he must deal with, God honored my prayers and while there were times of wrestling we can’t lose hope. I want to encourage you to put your Hope in God. Remember that Proverbs 10:24 says “…. the hope of the godly shall be granted.” Believe beyond what you know and see and put your hope in God.

God Bless You,

Elder Aquila  T Carmon

 

The Right Connection

When my wife and I first got married there were actual arguments at bed time regarding even the slightest noise in the room. She claimed she needed completely silence in order to get any sleep. I on the other hand was convinced she just needed to close her eyes and lay there until she fell asleep.  You see, before marriage I’d become accustomed to allowing something optimistic to play as I slept through the night. Amazingly, whatever I listened to often impacted my dreams. I recall a very distinct dream giving me the privilege of sitting on the outside patio of a restaurant with Bishop T.D. Jakes conversing very specifically about my gift making room for me.  Obviously, it can be assumed that I was listening to one of his sermons on repeat entitled; “Your Gift Will Make Room For You”.  I believed that in the early part of my salvation these intimate moments of subconscious invasion helped to shape my thoughts for the next day and the next part of my life.  Listening to song by Shekinah Glory like, “Praise is What I do” and “Yes” encouraged my inner man to give my all in following Christ.

There are two points I want to make here. The first is simple but sometimes difficult. The point is, never allow someone to keep you from what brings you closer to Christ.  Many times we forfeit key elements of our growth to satisfy a person.   A person who does not hold a key to the blessing, purpose and destiny of our lives. This is not to automatically say that the person you are connected to isn’t good for you. Your relationship with God should not be deterred by any object, place or man. I firmly believe that in walking with and trusting God, those that are not “with” us or for us will be revealed and will fall away from our lives. Some with force, pain and hurt but a disconnect will take place. Growth and your determination to change will help reveal those unhealthy relationships.

The second point is to weigh in on the fact that your relationship with Christ has to be personal and steady.   It is much too crucial to who you are and who you are to become. So you have to make decisions that glorify God and God alone. 1 Peter 1:9NLT says “The reward for trusting him will be the salvation sent from God”. Please understand why it is absolutely essential to be connect to The Creator. Connecting with God is the right connection. Your destiny depends on your commitment to His plan for your life. And trust me, There is a plan for your life.  If you feel as if where you are not a part of the plan then maybe reading this today means your are right where you need to be. Here are your instructions.

Romans 10:9 Declare with your lips that Jesus is Lord in your life and Believe with your heart that God raised Him from the dead for the sake of your sins. Do this and you are saved this very moment.

Matt 6:33 “Seek First the Kingdom of God and all of His righteousness”. In other words make a determined decision to pray. Ask God for 2 things. 1. To create in you a clean heart while healing your life  2. To help you walk in His ways throughout your days.

Then connect with your local church.  Find a church full of love and faith. Hear God’s word preached as you study His Word for yourself.  This will help you grow.

Amen. Well, as far as my wife and I it was important that I found a resolution. That resolution was as simple as a set of head phones so that she could sleep and The Holy Spirit could minister to me on those nights I needed God’s word to encourage me. If you have given God your heart today then feel free to connect with me. Email me. I’d love to hear from you.

God Bless you!

Aquila T Carmon

Fearless Faith

What is this vision paralyzing, heart gripping, plan staggering, speech stopping, goal blocking and dream killer doing here. You call her hesitation but I say it’s not a “her” but a male because of his competitive aggression to beat me to my destiny. I call him my enemy, I say he a worrisome pain in my “you know what!” I call him FEAR! How did he get here? Better yet why is he here?

Don’t you get it! Your path is a dedicated key to dreams that haven’t even been dreamt yet! Upon the pursuance of your journey are answers to questions that our world’s been asking. There’s something within you so phenomenal it will force light to explode in hearts of men when you decide to release it. You will impact the world so greatly that the prince of darkness will fail another great fight he so desperately expected to win. Why are you afraid? Is it because you haven’t an inkling of how much power is really inside you? My friend you must understand and not discount the incredible strength laying beyond the boundaries of your thrust through darkness. Being fearless does not make you a hero. You are a hero when you can be cradled by fear yet stand through the challenges and adversity of the precise entity you were in fear of. You must allow fear to do what it does best. Allow it to puncture your perception of limitation and frighten you in to moving through and forward from it as fast as possible. Fear has the ability to pump mass adrenaline through your veins. This is when your dream, your purpose and your life must all carry the same significance of survival. You must decide that this thing called fear that has caused so many to give up will not stop you from getting where you need to be.

You must learn to alter the fear you feel and convert it to energy. You must administer faith to that ugly dog and tell him that you are the authority and it was issued to you by Almighty God when He created you. Realize this, you cannot walk by faith while remaining fearful. One will defeat the other. Determine to possess fearless faith! Tell Fear this: By Faith I am boundless. By Faith I have already conquered all. By Faith no weapon formed against me shall prosper and with unfailing promise my Lord shall crush every fear that would exist in my life. By Faith I am FEARLESS “for God has not given me the spirit of fear but of power and love and of a sound mind.”(2 Timothy 1:7)

Let me encourage you today with a firm reminder that there is something great in you! God has invested it there and He protects His investment. Therefore you must rush through fear like it stands between you and your next breath because that treasure within you is necessary for the world.

Elder Aquila T. Carmon

Stay In The Race!

At the end of our life we will not look at our trophy case and become amused with all of the achievements arranged there simply by the sight of the accolades. The magnificence of the awards will be in the subject matter of each story for each individual trophy. Discovering gratefulness and a sense of fulfillment will be based on the lives that we impacted along the way. There is something extraordinary in each and every person that deserves to be unconstrained for the sake of others. While running this race you must run with intentions of making it to the end and giving all that is in you to give.

Very seldom do I think of my own departure from life but in doing so I’ve wondered what my funeral will be like. What will people be thinking about how I lived my life? Imperfect of course but death will cause you to think on the importance of someone’s life. Often, I remember one of the last things my grandmother told me before she passed away at age ninety-seven. We were sitting in her bedroom, the light through the window made the room very bright but her smile shined as radiant as the sun ever could. She didn’t know my name but she did say, “You’re George’s boy ain’t you?” I smiled back and said “yes ma’am I am” and grandma looked at me and said “you keep on walking with Jesus, you hear me boy.” Me knowing that any other decision to walk any other way was no longer an option replied “Yes ma’am I am

Dale Earnhardt, a professional race car driver and winner of the Most Popular Driver award in 2014, said “finishing races is important but racing is the most important thing.” Finishing is vital but what’s the good in finishing if you haven’t raced because this is what you love? What’s the point if this race isn’t about your passion or if you are endangering the life and destiny of the person next to you? Or better yet what if you don’t even make it to the finish line due to a wrong move? So how you race becomes more important than finishing because if you do not apply confidence in your ability, a particular skill set, wisdom to make the right decisions and consideration of others during the race you may not even make it to the finish. A Race can be defined as a contest which involves progress towards a goal. Anytime there is a goal involved there is required focus, determination, training and a careful yet fearless plan or progress.

Ecclesiastes 9:11 says “I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all.” Understand that no matter how great you think you should be or if you don’t think you are great at all, you are going to be faced with challenges. This bible verse is simply telling us that adversity inevitably will arise in life but those who stay in the race will be those who win the race, conquer in battle, acquire the bread and obtain the riches.

Remember that we do not reach destiny alone but should share our victories with others. A selfish racer will place the lives of others in danger’s path and possibly end up losing his own life. Life is a team sport. The more people you help, the greater an asset you become and the greater you gain. If you really want to fill your trophy shelf throughout life then let it be filled in heart, in legacy and in the memories of others. Give everything you’ve got to get that baton in the hands of someone else and set them up for the victory. So my dear friends, stay in the race.

Elder Aquila T. Carmon

Who Am I?

Recently during a meeting a gentleman asked where I saw myself three years from now.  I sat back in the rocky office chair, interlocked my fingers and placed them in my lap and I looked at him directly in the eyes.  I began to speak and for the first time this question was posed to me and I felt uneasy.  Even though I gave an answer I realized I was unsure.  I mean, I haven’t been so uncertain about my future in 13 years.  Even upon graduating high school I knew that I would spend eight years in the Marine Corps, spend a few years on a local police force then the last 15 or so years working as a private investigator.  I dreamed of being a crime fighter without the cape.  Instead life took a turn and I adjusted. God placed a calling on my life, while I was making big mistakes with the one He had given me.  I found a wife and we have created a family with three beautiful kids. I worked eight years in manufacturing and the last five years in collections and now here I am.  Life took a few turns and through it all I have found myself wondering who it is I am.  Yes I do know the significance of life and I firmly believe that just as sure I am here I have purpose but there is a need to zone in on the details of that purpose or otherwise feel very lost. There are questions that we must ask ourselves in search of who it is we are. Such as what are my gifts, my interests, and what makes my heart sing? What feels right to me Is a good question because what feels wrong normally is in fact wrong.

A few things to think on when it comes to discovering your purpose:

  1. What are your aspirations? If there was one thing in your life, in your community or in the world that you can change, do you know what that one thing would be. Have you given thoughts about your strongest desires. Dreams aren’t just some made up wants. They are implanted in us as the roots of our destiny and our desire to reach them grows more and more.  It is important to be attentive to your positive desires because most of the time they are in you because the world needs them to manifest through you.
  2. Where is your Motivation? Many times we have become so comfortable with life we lose our aspiration and our desire to move out of the comfort zone onto the path called destiny.  Many obstacles come our way such as dealing with uncertainty of life, unexpected death, sickness, layoffs, demanding jobs and even greater demanding kids. You must make it priority to pump your mind and soul full of inspiration and positivity.  Rid your life of negative talk and doubt and focus on the fact that you are made for something great.  A positive mindset will reveal who you truly are because where the mind goes your life will go.
  3. Will I reach my destiny?  You certainly can and I certainly believe you will! But the choice is all yours. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you! You were made, wired, created, designed and equipped with every single piece of equipment you need to fulfill your very significant purpose in this world. You’ve got to ask yourself, what is it that makes me tick.  I get a cringing feeling in my gut seeing homeless people and I believe Its because I need to make a difference in that area.  So the question is this. What does it for you? You can reach your destiny, fulfill your purpose and impact this world. Only make the decision to believe in yourself, to chase after knowledge and be diligent in your works then you will find who it is you really are. This decision is the beginning of the authorship of your legacy.

Believe in You

Elder A.T. Carmon

Therefore and Moreover!!

Stress, sickness, weariness, restlessness and the need to make a quick dash for somewhere other than where you are can be signs screaming need for meaningful change. Question is, what needs to change? Sometimes it is the position other times its perspective.

Thinking on Christ’s commitment of carrying His cross brings realization that he was convoluted within a difficult situation. As a “Cornerstone”, “Savior” and “THE Redeemer” He couldn’t drop the weight burdening Him to a much greater and indescribable capacity than the weight of the wood He carried on His back. In fact, so extensively, that He even cried to God to let this cup pass from Him. Wow!

Yes this existing season is a difficult one as we certainly are facing issues that we never volunteered imagining because even the thoughts of them may bring pain to our hearts. But when harsh reality has charged into our homes without welcome and we don’t have the power to change it we need to understand God’s promise of “therefore & moreover” knowing in full confidence by no means is this where the story ends.

Acts 2:25-28 “I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is on my right hand, that I should not be moved.  Therefore did my heart rejoice and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance”

Therefore proclaims of my heart rejoicing and my mouth praising which is inward and outward belief and demonstration of faith in God’s reliable and responsible faithfulness to us. Because He is for me, on me, walking with me, holding me up, keeping me, going before me, carrying me through I am persuaded that I shall not be moved!!! Therefore even though current circumstance would make me feel as my soul’s experiencing hell here on earth I will rejoice and speak to others of why I am glad! Not only is God keeping my soul but he also allows me to rest well in the midst of the troubles. Moreover, in addition to besides that, also my flesh rests in hope. While we rest in hope we eliminate weariness, stress, restlessness and a risk of breakdown.

So I pray for you the same prayer that relieved me of stress, pressure and headache today.

Dear God, please help my brothers and sisters to let go of “this”. I don’t know what their “this” is but you are fully informed. We can’t carry the pressure of something we can’t control. We give it to you now in Jesus name. Amen.

God Bless You!

Elder Aquila T. Carmon

Timely Direction

The other day my wife and I were headed to lunch with her family. A portion of my in-laws decided they would gather in celebration of her grandmother’s 88th birthday. It ‘s such a blessing celebrating another year with this beautiful woman whom by outside appearance has seemed to stop aging along side the time she lives. It was an incredible event to be attending but we ran into a bit of a fix that wasn’t a major issue but sometimes when someone is tired, babies are crying and people are calling you asking you where you are and you can only give are landmarks that mean nothing to you the anticipation of celebration can turn into simply frustration. My wife’s phone was ringing constantly and I kept making wrong turns. Finally, even though we were late, we decided to pull over, let the map reset on my phone and follow the new directions.

Oh how good it is to recieve timely directions. It reminded me of how lost we can end up without God’s direction. Years from now, days from now, even minutes from now are unchartered territory.  We don’t know what the future will hold. We don’t know what is around the next corner or behind the next open door but direction, good directions are always on time. We may have set an arrival time for certain plans in our life but we must understand that time planned and set by ourselves is always subject to change because we are not always in complete control.  So we must be open to a shift in direction in order to arrive at the predestined place and not just a destination.

Acts 16:7 talks about how Paul arrived at Mys’ia and decided he and the crew would travel to Bithynia but the Spirit would not allow them to Go. Instead he directed Paul to go to Macedonia and Paul concluded that the God called them to go there after a he was presented a vision of a man pleading for help.  One of the things I so greatly love about God is His ability to see the entire picture. He holds the map updated with every main highway and interstate to every dirt road and foot path.  He knows the way in which we should go. Proverbs 3:6 instructs man to acknowledge God in all of our ways and he shall direct our path. When we follow God with our hearts, He gives us timely direction for our feet. In the times that we seem to be lost, we are not. He guides us and we always arrive at the destination He needs us to be. To follow Christ, that is wisdom. Yeap that is wisdom.

~Aquila T Carmon