There's a Fire Starter In You

Setting the world ablaze for Jesus Christ

My Fiancée Never Was My ‘Girlfriend’

When Bee published her “My Fiancé Never Was My Boyfriend” blog, many people asked to hear my side of the story… Well, here it goes.

Bee and I were friends for about 4 years. The best part of our friendship is that it was genuine. We had no hidden intentions to get with each other. […]

Fire Starter Intl will now be updating posts via www.abstinc.com/blog 

If you’re interested in hearing Patrick’s side of the story, click here.

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Wolf Diaries: Halloween Never Ends

To most people, Halloween  gives them an opportunity to escape reality and live their fantasy for one night. The truth is that Halloween never ends… Some people dress up 365 days of the year! One way to prevent yourself from being fooled by external deception  is to ask The Lord to give you discernment. As mentioned in our previous post “My Fiancé Never Was My Boyfriend,” categorizing people helps you guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23). Below, you will find in greater detail the “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” category. ENJOY!

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Wolves in sheep’s clothing – Some men and women don’t have pure motives with you, and honestly sometimes you do not have pure motives with them either so this is not about bashing the wolves in sheep’s clothing but learning how to operate with them in wisdom. In the area of relationships, wolves in sheep’s clothing can appear to be so good and compatible to you on the outside, but inside they may want to use you as an object to please their flesh or as a substitute to fill their voids. If given the opportunity, some would sleep with you, or anyone else, at the drop of a dime! Wolves in sheep’s clothing are specifically sent out on an assignment to distract you from seeking God. The enemy dresses them up so well, but their hearts are so far from God.  Don’t be fooled by their speech or their fancy titles – test their fruit (Luke 6:44).

One way to test the fruit of a person is by examining their heart. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). This means that we talk about what our hearts are filled with! If someone is constantly talking about how much they want to sleep with you, they have a lust issue. If they’re saying that the reason that they can’t control themselves around you is because you are just “too fine or sexy,” they are lacking self-control. It’s very likely that they are saying the same thing to another “fine or sexy” somebody… but that’s none of my business.

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If they are constantly saying sexual jokes or comments that make you, or others around you, uncomfortable that is not something to overlook! Sometimes the attention we get from wolves in sheep’s clothing can be so pleasurable to our flesh that we can allow our feelings to blind us from the character flaws that God is trying to show us about that person!

If you’re striving to live for God and you’re in a relationship with someone who is constantly trying to seduce you or tempt you… Do you really think that God is pleased with that? Granted we live in the flesh, but we are not called to walk according to the flesh (2 Corinthians 10:3). If the The Lord convicts you about something and someone is trying to convince you to do things you’re convicted about, that’s a red flag right there! Don’t be afraid to address situations that make you uncomfortable for sake of trying to keep a relationship. Pulling away from these relationships can be painful, but the benefits of you taking a stand to walk away will be worth it in the end. Pray that they recognize their accountability to God and surrender their all to Him so that they can live holy before Him… Even if it’s not with you.

Now some friends can fall in the wolves in sheep’s clothing category too… Some people are filled with gifts and talents and use them for God, but their hearts spew out POISON. It’s evident through their conversation (gossiping and sowing discord) that their hearts have left God, DESPITE their powerful works (Matthew 7:22-23). Be careful around people that spend their time talking bad about “sister so and so.” Don’t allow them to drag you into their sin. Bad company ALWAYS corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33).

When people fall into the wolves in sheep’s clothing category, it’s NOT your job to “save them.” There’s no need for you to spend EXTRA time with them just so you can “make them see Christ.” What they need is spiritual deliverance that ONLY GOD can give them. Fast and pray for them. You can do this at a distance. Of course the hurt that comes from being deceived by a wolf can leave you scarred, angry and hurt but God will restore you in time. Strive to operate in love through continued kindness, but definitely don’t let yourself get entangled in their web of deceit again.

As you seek God for discernment, He’ll expose people’s hearts to you. As you pray, ask the Lord to reveal to you areas in your heart where your motives are not pure either (Lamentations 3:40). This is what our Christian journey is all about… Keeping our hearts pure before The Lord.

 

With Love Like Fire,

FireStarter International

 

 

My Fiance Never Was My ‘Boyfriend’

Ever since the engagement, many people have asked me questions about my relationship and the most prevalent one is “how long did you guys date?” The truth is we never did. He never asked me to be his girlfriend. He never asked me out on a solo date. We never even kissed. For as long as I’ve known him we were just friends… Friends that valued each other, prayed for one another, and wanted to see each other succeed in every area of life.

Read the remainder of the blog by clicking here.

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Confession # 3: I Think Being a Christian is BORING!

 

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Boring – To be dull and uninteresting; to cause boredom. ~ Webster’s Dictionary

As a Christian, sometimes you may scroll down your timeline and see everyone else “living it up.” They’re partying, entering into new romantic relationships and it appears as if they’re having the time of their lives! During these moments, you may begin to feel as though being a Christian is completely BORING! The psalmist of Psalm 73 can definitely relate! There was a time when he envied the lives of those who lived contrary to God’s word! He saw how luxuriously they were living and compared his life to theirs, leaving him feeling as though he got the short end of the stick when he decided to live to please God. As he threw a pity party, something happened that caused him to completely change his perception forever! He realized that those who were far from God would perish in the end. From this moment forward he repented, realizing how blessed he was to have God as his counselor. He no longer envied the temporary happiness of the disobedient because he was able to see that as God’s faithful servant, he would be received unto glory.

Jesus Himself endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him!  As we follow Christ’s example, no longer do we live to please our flesh by sleeping with someone we’re not married to, gossiping and spreading rumors about others, lying, stealing and etc. Our lives now have a greater purpose! Instead of laying with men and women to please our flesh, we learn to lay our lives down for men and women to please God and to show them His love. If your old friends no longer want to be around you anymore, THEY’RE ACTUALLY DOING YOU A FAVOR!! Allow God to close the old doors in your life so that He can open new ones for you. He never takes things away from you without plans of giving you something better! HE HAS NEW THINGS WAITING FOR YOU AS YOU DRAW CLOSER AND CLOSER TO HIM.

I encourage you to be of good courage and KNOW that God will reward you because you are living to please Him. Continue to draw near to Him so that you may inherit all of the promises that He has for you. Remember, sin is only joyful for a season, but godliness is filled with joy eternally! Here are some things that you can do to spice up your Christian life!

  • Find Christian believers and get involved in their youth group activities.
  • Locate Christian events in your neighborhood.
  • Plan outings with your Christian friends (movies, dinner, bowling, skating, picnic, beach, etc.).
  • Check this video out as an example of what we did at Fire Starter Intl to have a little fun!!

In all you do, give glory to God! Being a Christian is full of  excitement and life! Pray that others may have the same experience as the psalmist, an experience that reveals the greatness of living for God!

With Love Like Fire,

Michelle Firestarter

 To learn more about Fire Starter International, visit www.firestarterintl.org

Mary, Mary

I want to introduce you to Mary.

For as long as I could remember I would see her on my way work walking down the street mumbling to herself as she pushed a shopping cart. It was evident to me that she was homeless and that she was under the influence of drugs. Some days she would enter into our office, not in her right mind, and make the strangest requests. I would always pray for her and the other homeless people in the West Perrine community and question God asking Him, “Lord, what happened to her?” I was truly concerned for her well-being but many times I would try my best to avoid her because I was afraid. I was scared that she might attack me or do something absurd. Mary then disappeared and I had no idea what happened to her but I knew something had to be done to alleviate this community from the strongholds of despair.

God then placed it on my heart to gather all the churches in our community together to exchange ideas and implement plans to help residents in the community. Eight amazing ministries were willing to team up in order for us to come together and facilitate an unprecedented community outreach event. Together, we were able to give away an abundance of food, clothes, prayer and hope to residents of our community.

After not seeing Mary for quite some time, I ended up seeing her at our community event but guess what? SHE WAS FULLY SOBER AND IN HER RIGHT MIND! I was at loss for words and couldn’t believe my eyes! She then began to share her breaking point with me. You see, after the passing of her mom, she said that she lost her mind and gave up on life. I was heartbroken and began to ask for her forgiveness saying “Forgive me! I was just scared because I did not know how to help you!” As I wept, she welcomed me with open arms, hugging me and assuring me that all was forgiven.

I share this with you to say, never look at someone’s situation and label them to be hopeless. God is the author of their book and He always has the last say so. KNOW that if you’re connected to Jesus, you will be able to witness Him do what others deem to be impossible. Mary, when you read this, I just want to thank you for being used by God to motivate me and help my faith grow to a greater level! You are an amazing woman and I pray for your complete restoration and comfort.

Everyone, I hope that you remember that no matter how big your situation seems, we serve a God who is willing and able.

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

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I was extremely excited to see her! She has come a mighty long way by the grace of God!

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After seeing her, I really needed a moment. Man, God BLEW my mind!

With Love Like Fire,

Michelle FireStarer

Homosexuality Thought It Had Me

I was drowning in a homosexual ocean and for a long time and it was filled with sheer excitement, at least that’s what Satan had me thinking. From ages 11 to 19, many things happened that led me to resent the idea of being in a serious relationship with a man. Due to physical abuse and being taken advantage of by males, I began to seek comfort by entering into relationships with women. “YOLO,” You Only Live Once, became the only reasoning behind my decision making and I began to live a WILD, carefree life. I would enter into homosexual relationships with all kinds of women and attend strip clubs frequently. At this point I was still engaging in relationships with men, but I felt more attracted and connected to women. I was boldly serving Satan and not caring a bit about who I was hurting. By the age of 19, I was a mother of 3 children and at the age of 22 I gave birth to my 4th child, from whom I hid my homosexual lifestyle from.

As time went by, I began feeling awkward, worthless and shameful because of my homosexual relationships. I began thinking, “If I have to hide it from my children, then it can’t be right.” During this time, I hit rock bottom and cancer, internal bleeding, emotional damage, and depression were controlling my life. I felt extremely hopeless!!! On August 28, 2008, a pastor and one of his evangelist’s invited my children to their church and extended the invitation to me. From that day I continued to attend church and finally I rededicated my life to Christ shortly after.

My battle with homosexuality did not end there! It was a process full of tears, praying, fasting, reading scripture, getting encouragement from others, and encouraging myself. I would literally stand in front of the mirror saying things like – “I am worthy”, “I am beautiful”, “I deserve to be loved”, ”There is a man who will love me like Christ loved the church.” I learned to speak life over myself and not death. Through applying these steps, I began to know my worth and see my value. Now, I can proudly say that my body is a temple that should not be defiled and I can boast about a man named Jesus who loves me more than any woman or man ever could!

As of 2009, I have been employed at an agency called Abstinence Between Strong Teens Int’l Inc. which teaches young adults the importance of remaining sexually abstinent until marriage. Through working there, I was able to learn different ways to master my feelings and emotions and live a life of self-control. I am glad that I now know what to look for in a mate and how to have a healthy relationship. I am so grateful for this new chapter of my life and look forward to my happy ending!

If you are reading this and you are struggling with the fear of rejection from others and the shame of your past, be encouraged and know that God is not only aware of your struggle but know that Jesus died for your sins so that you could embrace FREEDOM FOREVER! “He who formed you, O Israel, fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.” …says the Lord (Isaiah 43:1 NKJV). God loves you and so do I. Take the leap for freedom today like I did. I promise you will never be the same.

Embracing My Freedom,
Crystal Kingcade

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Freedom is hot… That’s my testimony!

To learn more about Fire Starter International, visit www.firestarterintl.org

Confession # 2: I Have a Crush….

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Scenario: When Sara first met Johnny she didn’t even think twice about looking his way. As she got to know him, she learned how much they had in common and they became good friends. She noticed that he’s a man with great husband potential and at times she wonders “God, could this be the one?!”  Sara doesn’t know what to do with how she feels so she suppresses her feelings and begin to avoid Johnny. He’s confused and doesn’t understand why she doesn’t return his calls.

Can you remember the last time you had, what some call, a “crush”? You may not have responded like Sara but I’m sure the feelings you experienced were quite similar. God knows that you will find men attractive and He is not upset with you when you do. There are times when you may have feelings for someone and, no, those feelings are not sinful. When feelings arise, we just have to be sure to govern them according to God’s word. When matters of the heart arise the bible is flooded with advice on what we should do with how we feel.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in The Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will direct your paths.”

Psalms 55:22 says “Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”

1 Peter 5: 7 says “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.”

So when you’re attracted to a guy (whether you admire his personality, his character, the way he carries himself or his looks) you can freely express yourself to God but that does not mean God will grant you that desire. He knows your heart better than you do and He knows the plans He has for you and they are greater than your own.

Psalm 84:11 He withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly.

Below are just some tips to follow when feelings arise.

1) Women, keep your feelings to yourself, NEVER be the one to initiate!

– Men should be the ones that initiate. A woman should focus on God in her singleness, not approaching guys and telling them things like “I like you,” or better yet “God told me you’re my husband.”

2) View male friends as brothers in Christ.

– DISCLAIMER: Just because a guy is interested DOES NOT MEAN THAT HE IS YOUR HUSBAND. Ask God to give you discernment on who to let into your life. Just because a man goes to church does not make him a quality spouse. Look at the fruit that he bears: Does he have a mature relationship with the Lord? Has he recently fallen into fornication? How does he treat others? There are many other things to observe, let the spirit of God lead you.

3) Examine your heart.

– What are the reasons why you are attracted to him? Is it based on carnal things? Remember: Just because you’re attracted to someone doesn’t mean they will marry you. You may be drawn to certain characteristics that they have or their personality but the truth is that the relationship may not develop into anything more.

4) Let God handle your heart.

– Pour out your heart to God because he greatly cares for you (Psalms 62). Don’t get emotionally attached to someone who might not be yours, they could be someone else’s husband. This is why Proverbs 3:5-6 is extremely important to apply.

5) Trust in the Lord.

-If it is God’s will for you to enter into a relationship with someone, HE WILL DO IT, even if you reject it. He will guide the man that he has for you to you. Eve didn’t claim Adam… He basically went up to her and said “You’re mine.” She knew that she was and did not have to fight for it.  Also like Ruth, spend your time devoted to your sisters in Christ serving them. Boaz admired Ruth’s ability to serve Naomi which resulted in her being a part of the lineage of Jesus Christ. Don’t make things more complicated by growing impatient!

With Love Like Fire,

Michelle Fire Starter

To learn more about Fire Starter International, visit www.firestarterintl.org

Confession #1: I Don’t Think I’m THAT Pretty….

When you looked in the mirror this morning, the first thing you may have noticed was everything that you think is wrong with you:

  •  My breasts are too big/small!
  •  I wish I was thicker/slimmer!
  • Ugh! Why do I have this pudge?
  • I could use more/less junk in the trunk!

I wish I had better hair, skin etc… The thoughts go on and on.

We look at women on magazine covers and on social media and say “Man they are PRETTY”. You then take a look at a picture of yourself and are showered with negative remarks about yourself.

The next time a thought of insecurity comes, defeat it with God’s word!

I have a challenge for you: For the rest of the month look in the mirror every morning and tell yourself how beautiful you are! Compliment yourself! Treat yourself so that you can leave your house confident and ready to shake up the world!

I’m warning you in advance: The enemy will throw darts at you while you do this. He might say things like “No you’re not beautiful” and “Stop lying to yourself.”  He will even try to pin point areas that he has endlessly tried to make you insecure about but DON’T BELIEVE HIM! He’s been lying to you since you were born!

We know that the devil is a liar… Rebuke him. Don’t give him another foothold over you  by believing in his lies!!!!!! Please sis, KNOW that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, you’re beautiful, made after the image of God.

Keep on burning Fire Starters!

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To learn more about Fire Starter International, visit www.firestarterintl.org

God is Not Like Man

Mature parents and caretakers understand that once a child is brought into this world, their lives must evolve to another level of selflessness. They understand the importance meeting a child’s needs and wellbeing, even if it means putting it before their own. Parenting requires great sacrifice but not all parents get this revelation. What happens when a parent prioritizes their desires and ignores the maturity that parenthood demands? I’ll tell you what happens, their children pay the consequences.

While most 14 year old’s were enjoying their childhood, I had to find a job to help provide for my family. My mother worked two jobs but her earnings were not enough to provide for 8 children. Every weekend my mother would spend her time in the night clubs which resulted in me, her oldest daughter, to have to take care of my siblings. I had to give up my childhood because my mother and father were not able to fulfill their duties as parents. Although she worked hard, she neglected the emotional and maternal comfort that we all needed.

As a child, I remember my father shooting at my mother and physically abusing her. There were times when he would jump off of the second floor balcony to run from the police. My other family members would molest me and use drugs right in front of me. I felt voiceless, like no one was listening to me. Everyone who I thought was supposed to love me ended up hurting me or neglecting me.

I was traumatized by these experiences and as a result, my life was like a downward spiral. After 10th grade I dropped out of school and I began to use drugs, drink alcohol and enter into relationships with older men as a way to escape my pain. Although I knew what I was doing was wrong, it made me feel like I was loved and accepted. Little did I know, true love was waiting to embrace me!

A few years down the road, I ended up encountering God who gave me the love and acceptance that I longed for my whole life! Because of His relentless love, I was able to break free from all of the things that kept me bound! Today, I enjoy evangelizing to others to set them free! The devil wanted to destroy my life from the very beginning but God found me worthy of saving!

Whatever you’re bound to, whatever seems to be destroying you, call on the name of Jesus because He can set you free!

I am free from my past and I am His!

Psalms 91: 1-4

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler. And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

His Love Purifies,

Wanda Johnson

All old things have passed away and He has made me new!

All old things have passed away and He has made me new!

To learn more about Fire Starter International, visit www.firestarterintl.org

Agape Love

My son, Jehu, is 2 years old. Yes, I know that many people dread “the terrible two’s,” but it doesn’t seem to be so terrible to me. Sometimes he can be a handful, but I’m extremely glad that God found me worthy to be his mother. My son is very friendly and enjoys meeting new people. Each trip to the supermarket is filled with his famous “Hello, my name is Jehu” greeting that he says to shoppers as they pass by. Whole Foods is his favorite supermarket because sometimes I allow him to move the chairs around and play by the very nearby waterfall as we eat.

There is one trip that we took to Whole Foods that I will NEVER forget. As we were eating, he decided to run off down the long pavement that leads to the front of the store. I yelled for him to come back but he decided to keep running. There was nothing I could do but leave my hot food unattended, grab my bag, and run after him. As he was running, he looked back, laughed and ran into the store as if we were playing a game. He eventually ran so fast that he was completely out of my sight and I began to panic.

I decided to run down each aisle quickly and call his name, praying that he would answer. Thankfully when I arrived to aisle two I found him – laughing with three shoppers in delight. I smiled and as graciously as I could, picked him up and told him to say goodbye to his new friends.

I was so angry with him and the only words that I could share at that moment was “mommy is not happy with what you just did.” I don’t think he understood exactly how I felt in his two year old mind, but I couldn’t imagine losing him that day. He thought he was just having fun, yet he was unaware of the dangers that faced him, the dangers of not being with me.

As I laid in my bed that night, I couldn’t help but replay the entire scenario in my head. Then I began to reflect on how God, our Father in Heaven, feels when we run away from Him. I thought about how sin has an enticing way of making us feel as though our immediate pleasures are exciting and fun, causing us to be unaware of the dangers that lie ahead when we leave God.

Hebrews 11:25 speaks bravely of Moses who decided to suffer affliction with God’s people rather than  enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Like Moses, we all encounter some kind of affliction for the sake of following Christ that sometimes may cause us to be in a tug of war with God’s way of doing things and our own desires. Like a good Father, God always knows what is best for us, even when we can’t seem to grasp the fullness of His promises that are already ordained for our life. And so, as a result of caving into the deceitful and temporary desires of this world, we run! We run away from God, following our own desires that sometimes lead us to troubled endings. We never think about the dangers of being outside of God’s will until it’s too late.

I thank God that he allowed me to find Jehu. I thank God that He allows us to find Him time and time again. He is a God that knows exactly where you are no matter how far you think you’ve gone from His sight. He loves you and He is anticipating your return with outstretched arms. As God says in His word, Jeremiah 24:7, “And I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto Me with their whole heart.”

Know that God has his very best for you, in spite of how you feel. He is married to the backslider. His Agape Love will bring you back to Him, if you let it, no questions asked.

Blazing brighter together,

Michelle FireStarter

Jehu And I with our happy faces on!

Jehu And I with our happy faces on!

To learn more about Fire Starter International, visit www.firestarterintl.org