Summer Series: Love and Joy in People- Chester

This summer I wanted to do a photo series on people who I know and also don’t know very well. I didn’t just want to post photos anymore. I want people to get to know the people behind the pictures. So, I asked some people some questions to answer before I took their photo:

  1. Where are you from?
  2. How/when did you accept Christ as your Savior?
  3. Do you have a place that you go to or have gone to be with the Lord? (quiet time)
  4. What person from the Bible are you most like?
  5. Where has God changed you in your life so far this year?

Here are Chester’s answers. Enjoy

Love and Joy Always.

Christina

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1. I’m from Baltimore, MD
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2. I first received Christ at a revival when I was 8 years old. I heard the word and it convicted me at a young age, I believed and received Christ as my Savior.
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3. My quiet time is where ever I can get it. My car commuting to work or first thing in the morning in my office if it’s still quiet, or at home after I put the kids to bed. Where ever and when ever works for me.
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4. It’s a hard question to answer, I find some of my life experiences are like David as he cries out to God, or like Jonah when I find that God is calling me to change but I have a hard time surrendering. I think that’s the great part about God’s word, depending on where you are in your walk each person is an example for correction on encouragement.
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5. I think my walk this year has been about not shrinking back or getting comfortable but continuing to pursue God. In order for my Christian walk to be healthy and vibrant I can not be lazy. It’s not always easy but God gives us the grace and surrounds us with the body of believers to help us be accountable to what he’s called us to do and be. We can not live in solitude and secret but we must live in an open and sharing community to allow each of us to grow in our knowledge and experiences in him.
Chester is pictured with his son CJ.

Chester is pictured with his son CJ.

Summer Series: Love and Joy in People- Zaina

This summer I wanted to do a photo series on people who I know and also don’t know very well. I didn’t just want to post photos anymore. I want people to get to know the people behind the pictures. So, I asked some people some questions to answer before I took their photo:

  1. Where are you from?
  2. How/when did you accept Christ as your Savior?
  3. Do you have a place that you go to or have gone to be with the Lord? (quiet time)
  4. What person from the Bible are you most like?
  5. Where has God changed you in your life so far this year?

Here are Zaina’s answers. Enjoy

Love and Joy Always.

Christina



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1. For most of my life I was raised in Columbia, MD.

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2. I was always a believer in God because I was brought up in the church; I have been at the same church for 21 years. I knew who Jesus was, I believed He was real, and I did not doubt that (throughout childhood). Some point in middle school (maybe 12 or 13 years old), I did a little self baptism thing. I accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. Life moved on, I grow up, things changed. I was officially baptized on February 16th of 2014.
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3. I mainly spend quiet time in my room, on my bed. It’s pretty quiet in my house, so I have that luxury.
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4. I could be like Samson. I love the story of Samson and we both have locs. Samson was born with a purpose. He had this incredible strength that was not made visible. Though he made a decision to marry Delilah that eventually brought him to his death, it was all apart of God’s plan for his life. I may be this petite, little princess diva to everyone from the outside, but there’s a fire on the inside that never dies. And like him, I have made decisions that seemed like it was the wrong way to go, but they were decisions that pointed me right back to Jesus.
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5. Last year, God was renewing my mind, but this year I think He is working on my heart. I believe He wants to bring to the surface all the ugly – to show me things hidden that I couldn’t see on my own. This is so that my love for people is pure, genuine, and unconditional. So that I love people so much, I am willing to preach the good news to anyone despite how I feel or what I think, so that they may be saved!

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Summer Series: Love and Joy In People- Manny

This summer I wanted to do a photo series on people who I know and also don’t know very well. I didn’t just want to post photos anymore. I want people to get to know the people behind the pictures. So, I asked some people some questions to answer before I took their photo:

  1. Where are you from?
  2. How/when did you accept Christ as your Savior?
  3. Do you have a place that you go to or have gone to be with the Lord? (quiet time)
  4. What person from the Bible are you most like?
  5. Where has God changed you in your life so far this year?

Here are Manny’s answers. Enjoy

Love and Joy Always.

Christina

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1. I was born in Chattanooga Tennessee However, I was raised in Maryland for the most part of my life.
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2. I made my first profession of faith at the age of 5 or 6 but I didn’t truly walk and make my faith own until April 29, 2013 (when I was 21)
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3. Funny thing is that my special place varies from season to season haha. As of right now its at work since most of the time I’m alone. Jesus and I have a BLAST in my thoughts!  In my last season it was on my living room floor. (I also LOVE the outdoors)
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4. I can relate myself to Peter! He had passion and zeal but often times it got him into deep waters(literally)! Ha Ha! YUP, that’s me to the T! I’m determined to be completely Free and Filled with Yahweh! He’s still showing me what that looks like ;).
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5. God has really been freeing me from my thoughts! Growing up that’s where I lived. there was so much pain, confusion and bitterness. Holy Spirit however, is going HAM at getting all that stuff out!!! Its been great and I look forward to whatever else He has in store!
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Pursue Abba with EVERY fiber in your being!
TODAY is the day for Salvation PLEASE do NOT wait until the Day of the Lord! I PROMISE you will NOT regret it!
Be Blessed Peeps!

Summer Series: Love and Joy In People- Erik and Adrian

This summer I wanted to do a photo series on people who I know and also don’t know very well. I didn’t just want to post photos anymore. I want people to get to know the people behind the pictures. So, I asked some people some questions to answer before I took their photo:

  1. Where are you from?
  2. How/when did you accept Christ as your Savior?
  3. Do you have a place that you go to or have gone to be with the Lord? (quiet time)
  4. What person from the Bible are you most like?
  5. Where has God changed you in your life so far this year?

Here are Erik’s and Adrian’s answers. Enjoy

Love and Joy Always.

Christina

Erik:

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1. I am from a small town in the Inland Empire part of California, which is 45-60 minutes east of Los Angeles.

2.  Accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior took place this year on 4th January 2015. It was a harsh and long battle. Prior to being saved, I was longing for something greater. Something captivating. Something that could nourish you without depending on materialistic things. Unfortunately, I was dealing with witchcraft during that time, and was deceived into thinking witchcraft was “nourishing’. Three weeks before my liberation, my brother Adrian brought me to SISU. Here, I realized the love, and compassion they all had, came from ONE GOD, the one who died for our sins, the one who rose from the grave, the Alpha and the Omega. Jesus, who redeemed them all. I wanted more of HIM, but I had to leave all sinful things behind. So I did, and I was finally liberated from a dark area of my life. A chapter forever left behind.

3. I honestly don’t have a quiet place or time. However, it’s on my priority list, because I know this will strengthened my relationship with HIM.

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4.  Uhmmm…

5. God has honestly changed me so much just this year. I struggled a lot with depression, symptoms of schizophrenia, witchcraft, dark arts, and other sinful thoughts/acts. I thank God so dearly for liberating me of the things that haunted me the most. I know God is nowhere near done with me. Still much to go, still much to await for, still much to smile about 😀

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Adrian:

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1. LOL, I’m from all over the place. I moved way too many times. However, I am originally from San Bernardino, CA. I lived there for a while until the passing of my mother.

2. I accepted Christ on New Years 2015. I realized that  living in sin and being agnostic wasn’t making me happy at all. I felt lonely. I felt like I was wandering on my own in the dark. Coming to Christ would remove that loneliness and other psychological disorders too. I’m happy to say that I made the right decision.

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3. When I have the opportunity to have quiet time with The Lord, I have it at home. But I usually prefer to have it upstairs at The Gathering Place when SISU bible study/night happens.

4. TBD

5. God has liberated and healed me from various mental disorders. I mainly suffered from depression and social anxiety. He’s not done with me, and I’m excited to see what else He has in store for me.

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Summer Series: Love and Joy In People- Joe

This summer I wanted to do a photo series on people who I know and also don’t know very well. I didn’t just want to post photos anymore. I want people to get to know the people behind the pictures. So, I asked some people some questions to answer before I took their photo:

  1. Where are you from?
  2. How/when did you accept Christ as your Savior?
  3. Do you have a place that you go to or have gone to be with the Lord? (quiet time)
  4. What person from the Bible are you most like?
  5. Where has God changed you in your life so far this year?

Here are Joe’s answers. Enjoy

Love and Joy Always.

Christina

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1. I’m from Prince George’s County, MD.

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2. I accepted Christ, with the help of my family, around the age of 6. I fell away from Christianity for a few years, when I went to college, but came back at the Faithwalkers Conference of 2013 which is held in North Carolina every year.
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3. I really like to talk to God while I’m driving.
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4. I’m not sure.
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5. God has really been giving me opportunities to step out of my shell and share some of who I am with people this year. I keep trying to close things off but He keeps shoving me out.
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Summer Series: Love and Joy In People- Toni

This summer I wanted to do a photo series on people who I know and also don’t know very well. I didn’t just want to post photos anymore. I want people to get to know the people behind the pictures. So, I asked some people some questions to answer before I took their photo:

  1. Where are you from?
  2. How/when did you accept Christ as your Savior?
  3. Do you have a place that you go to or have gone to be with the Lord? (quiet time)
  4. What person from the Bible are you most like?
  5. Where has God changed you in your life so far this year?

Here are Toni’s answers. Enjoy

Love and Joy Always.

Christina

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1. I’m from Baltimore County.

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2. I got saved “for real” in December 2012 .

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3. My bed…outside…the bathroom.  (Laughs)  No, REALLY.

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4. I would sayJacob, because he is forever being positioned in uncomfortable places for the sake of destiny.

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5. God has changed my view of myself. Now I am able to see the beauty, purpose, and the necessity of a painful past to glorify Him.

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Summer Photo Series: Love and Joy in People- Marissa

This summer I wanted to do a photo series on people who I know and also don’t know very well. I didn’t just want to post photos anymore. I want people to get to know the people behind the pictures. So, I asked some people some questions to answer before I took their photo:

  1. Where are you from?
  2. How/when did you accept Christ as your Savior?
  3. Do you have a place that you go to or have gone to be with the Lord? (quiet time)
  4. What person from the Bible are you most like?
  5. Where has God changed you in your life so far this year?

Here are Marissa’s answers. Enjoy.

Love and Joy Always.

Christina

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1. I was born and raised right here in Howard County. I’ve lived in Columbia, Clarksville, and Ellicott city over the past 25 years. I spent one year living in the heart of downtown Baltimore, but I am definitely not a city person. Give me open roads and miles of fields any day!
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2.

I’ve been through a lot of personal and family struggles in my life, and honestly, I did not allow God into it for quite some time. About a year and a half ago, I was really at rock bottom mentally and facing some serious mistakes I had made in my life. I decided it was time to change and so I replaced my weekend outings with going to SISU (Oak Ridge’s College/Young Adult Group) and church. The first night I went to SISU, I sat alone on the floor and cried my eyes out. I had carried so much pain in my heart and had been trying to cover it up. At that moment I knew that God was calling me to come home, and I welcomed Him with open arms. Recently, I gave my testimony and that was one of the most emotional nights of my life. It was also one of the most exhilarating and amazing nights I’ve ever had and I can’t thank my friends enough who were there to cry with me and just feel the love we shared that night as a body.

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3.  This is something I’ve really struggled with, personally. I’m so all over the place in my head that I often avoid that true quiet time. I really want to make it a priority in my life, but I’m pretty stubborn so it will probably take some time. I have been working on reading a Proverb each day along with a chapter in John. I’ve really enjoyed delving deeper into the word; it’s been very eye-opening.

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4.  It’s ironic that you ask this question because I read a lot of Buzzfeed articles and I love their quizzes. So I had taken the quiz where you figure out which biblical heroine you are, and I was Esther. When I read the description they give you at the end, it definitely felt like me. It said that behind my “pretty face” (quotes because that sounds conceded) is a ferociously intelligent woman who stands up for justice; that I may not want the spotlight but I will fight for what is right, and that someday I may change the world. Maybe someday I will impact at least one person, but I will always fight for what I believe is true, whether it’s accepted or not. God knows who I am inside, and it is definitely an Esther in my book.

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5. So far, it’s been a tough year. I’ve made quite a few mistakes, some very devastating, but the difference now is that I understand that God had already forgiven me before I even knew I was going to mess up. He knows that I will keep making mistakes (again, stubborn), and yet He will still love me every step of the way. It’s hard to grasp just how amazing that kind of love is, that agape love. I have become more open over this past year about struggles in my life, and it is so much more relieving than when I was “trying” to keep it together by myself. I feel so blessed that God has given me such an amazing family and extended SISU family – I don’t know what I would do without any of them. God has truly been good to me. That is why I have my favorite Psalm inked on my ribs, to remember each day’s purpose: Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. So here’s to the next lesson in life, may it make me more the wiser!

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Summer Photo Series: Love and Joy in People- Lesley

This summer I wanted to do a photo series on people who I know and also don’t know very well. I didn’t just want to post photos anymore. I want people to get to know the people behind the pictures. So, I asked some people some questions to answer before I took their photo:

  1. Where are you from?
  2. How/when did you accept Christ as your Savior?
  3. Do you have a place that you go to or have gone to be with the Lord? (quiet time)
  4. What person from the Bible are you most like?
  5. Where has God changed you in your life so far this year?

Here are Lesley’s answers. Enjoy.

Love and Joy Always.

Christina

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1. I was born in Washington, DC but raised in Frederick, MD.

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2. I have been going to church since I was 11 and accepted that Christ died for me when I was 13 and I was baptized then. However, it wasn’t until 8 months ago that I truly gave my life to Christ and was re-baptized. So, in a short answer I would say 8 months ago because that’s when I truly understood what Christ did for me and I could call Him my Savior.

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3. I absolutely love nature. So I would say anywhere secluded—I really enjoy the mountains/forests, or by the ocean. Anywhere where I can soak in the magnificence of His creations. Gardens are awesome too.

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4. That’s a tough question.. Hmm, I would say Paul only because he believed he was the worst sinner, but God was still able to use him in a tremendous way. I, much like him, tried to understand how God could use me. I felt unworthy of such a high calling because of the stuff I had been through in my past. However, because of the same mercy that was shown to Paul, I am able to confidently say that He has redeemed me and calls me His child. I am so excited to see the things that God will do for His Kingdom through my life—the possibilities are limitless with Him.

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     1 Timothy 1:15,16- This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.

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5. So far this year God has been doing some WORK in my life lol. How? Showing me certain parts of my heart that are ugly and that needed to be purged. Learning to love others even when it’s difficult to. Humbling me more. Understanding His heart for His people. Freeing me from past and present things that continued to me down. The tearing down of the little box I subconsciously was putting Him in. Running to Him instead of others when going through a trial. PRAY PRAY PRAY!! But I think the biggest thing that I have learned this year is more of His love. How He saw me always, and will continue to see me with eyes of perfect love even through my short comings. How He is always quick to see the best in me, and how His love forever endures, without weakening. THAT has been the most life-changing revelation of all! I have tasted and seen, and I don’t ever want to go back.

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Pray for Baltimore

So, many of you don’t know this but, I grew up in Baltimore, MD. When the rioting and looting started happening after the death of Freddie Gray, I was so saddened to see the destruction of my city. I felt as though the Lord was leading me to go and to pray for the people there. Christ belongs here in Maryland and especially Baltimore. My friends and I went to the city,on Saturday, May 2nd, to pray for the people downtown. I wanted them to know that God still loves them. Baltimore will always have a special place in my heart.

Love and Joy Always.

Christina

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