BLACK THERAPIST ROCK: A GLIMPSE THROUGH THE EYES OF EXPERTS



Title: Black Therapist Rocks

Author: Sedan Young

Publisher: Black Therapist Rocks, LLC

Number of Pages: 264

About The Author

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President and CEO

Growing up with an incarcerated father and a mother who struggled with mental illness and substance abuse, Deran gained knowledge and experience of discrimination, poverty, and social services at a very early age. It was no shock that she later decided to pursue a career as a helping professional.

After obtaining her Bachelors degree in Social Psychology, Deran moved to pursue a Masters in Public Administration and Masters in Social Work. While obtaining her Masters in Social Work at the University of Texas, she was blessed with an amazing opportunity to visit Ghana West Africa twice, first as a graduate assistant and second during a final field placement/internship.

During her six month stay in Ghana, Deran created a Guidance & Counseling Center at a High School in a neighborhood that has been historically identified as a population of lower socioeconomic status. During her work there, she also created a scholarship program titled “Choices” and conducted a cuiltural identity field trip for students to learn about African and African American History first hand. Although the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade has significant roots in Ghana, most citizens are not afforded the privilege to visit these historical sites due to financial difficulties and hardships. During this trip, fifteen students were able to visit the Cape Coast Slave Castle and the One African History Museum. Her passion for culture and diversity lead her to further explore issues of social justice and social psychology. Her current professional areas of expertise include International Social Work, Gender Issues and Trauma/Anxiety Disorders.

Deran created Black Therapists Rock as she noticed a gap in mentorship, knowledge sharing and unity among helping professionals. She saw this as an opportunity to organize counseling professionals towards ACTION in decreasing the stigma and other barriers to psychological and social well being among African Americans and other vulnerable populations.

Deran currently works/resides in Washington, DC with her five year old son. She has now visited over 32 countries (including recent trips to Vietnam, China, Japan, Singapore, Dubai and Oman with her little Nomad Jr.).

About This Book

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The black community is often thought of as an ongoing saga of reliance, incredible strength, and perseverance, in spite of a brutally harsh past. However, the obvious connection between mental health and racial oppression, health disparities, cultural differences, societal factors, poverty, and reduced quality of life, often goes unspoken.

Thousands of black people are suffering in the shadows while making every attempt to be seen. Although there is no single narrative, mental health and psychosocial wellness underpin many of the challenges experienced by black people. Black Therapists Rock has become a movement that is passionate about loudly speaking our varied truths to begin the healing of emotional wounds that are multiple generations deep. Although we may not be the cause of this deep-seated pain, it is ours to bear and soothe.

The professional perspectives shared in this book strive to inspire hope, beyond the divorce courts, housing developments, emergency rooms, domestic violence shelters, broken homes, jails/prisons, homeless centers, welfare offices, or foster care systems. NONE of us are immune. Statistically, we all have at least one relative that has experienced one or more of these situations. And now, with our #villagementality, we can offer an honest and true source of healing; with compassion, forgiveness and genuine connection for ourselves and others.

Black Therapist Rocks Book Review

As I read from the beginning of “Black Therapist Rocks” I became connected to what each of the authors was hoping to convey. I am a inspiring Mental Health Peer Counselor who envision what those days will be like going through a theraphy sessions with a Therapist, however just like many individuals I also experiences some doubt. Deran Young created “Black Therapist Rocks ” in the purpose to let the readers including me knows that we aren’t alone when we have those moments. But also, that I have a purpose as an inspiring African American Male who experienced dealing with Mental Illness from a client to a Mental Health Peer Counselor to bring a different perspective bringing awareness about the importance of Mental Health in the African American Community. “Black Therapist Rocks” really verbalizes the modification of social and psychological battles in the midst of Black People in America, and it reviews the sequence of impact in the aftermath of trauma.

There are so many stigma about Mental Illness in the Black Community. Mental Illness wasn’t talk about at all. It was pushed under the rug. It is considered a taboo in the Black family.In the Black Church Community is even worse, some church folks believes that if you are depressed then you don’t have faith in God. Saved folks doesn’t supposed to be depressed. I remember when I was in the hospital for depression, one of my family members visited me and mentioned I didn’t need to go to the doctor just talk to Jesus and He makes it alright. I told her that just like you have chest pains that you go to the Doctor for medical treatment. God does answer our prayers by directed us to seek professional help with a doctor. We must take care of our Temple and mind so we can do God’s ministry. God always provided us with resources but we must be diligently to go and seek treatments. Today let remove the stigma that associated with mental illness. You aren’t your diagnosis and mental illness doesn’t define who you are. Breaking the stigma starts with your conversation. Change the words in your conversation. I am bipolar into I am dealing with bipolar right now but bipolar won’t define who I am. You see how powerful that conversation is. Some people are too afraid to seek professional help with a Therapist because they have been taught that it is a sign of weakness. There are nothing wrong talking to a psychiatrist and therapist at all. By talking with them that you are strong by admitting that you need help. The only way that you are weak if you let pride get in the way of you getting help. I was called a punk by a so called friend for trying to killed myself and being depressed. Immediately I walked away from that person forever. That negative comments made me feel worst. Simply by telling your son or brother and even your male friend to “man up” isn’t going to give him the solace he needs to deal with his issues. Just remember mental illness doesn’t discriminate and anyone can end up being a statistic of mental illness. I also empower the Black Church Community start to bring awareness about Mental Illness and seek help with a licensed professional that deals with Mental Illness. Educate yourself about Mental Illness and shows some compassion to those who are dealing with Mental Illness.

Deran bring into existence of Black Therapists Rock due to the facts that she realized there is a gap in mentorship, knowledge sharing and unity among helping professionals in the Mental Health field and in The Black community. She saw this as a moment to starts organized counseling professionals in the roadmap in the direction of ACTION in decreasing the stigma and other barriers to psychological and social well being among African Americans and other vulnerable populations.

The Black therapists who shared their own stories in this book are of those who are doing the work that they are passions to do. They do their jobs at it best to assure that they given their whole self by showing up in the therapy room. These Black Therapists inspired me to meet and not shrink from the challenges unique to Black professionals in today’s world. As I reading this book, I learned how they rejected obstacles of institutional racism and sexism to legitimately lay claim to their part in professional spaces. I find myself shaking my head in agreement, and at times, shrinking because the testimony touches an internal standing I had rather not visit. Most importantly, these therapists are showing up and speaking for by their actions what our communities need. My challenge to other Black mental health professionals like myself as a Mental Health Peer Counselor and etc. is to do the self-work and look for areas where we are withholding parts of ourselves. What inner part, negative, or self-limiting thoughts are holding us hostage? What do we need to do to stand out more in our life… and in the lives of our clients? Our communities lacking for representation and the expertise of Black Mental Health Professionals. We owe it to ourselves, and those in need, to stand out.


The Dark Side Of Me: Silently Suffering With Mental Illness




Title: The Dark Side Of Me: Silently Suffering With Mental Illness

Author: Kyra Leslie

Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing Platform

Number of Pages: 170

About The Author

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Lyra Leslie is a Registered Nurse who has a Masters Degree in Nursing Administration. She is currently the Associate Director of Nursing for a psychiatric unit in Less Summit, MO.

About This Book

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Short stories of Individuals who silently suffer from mental illness due to the stigma society has placed on it. Stories of fear, depression and pain that wreaks havoc on millions.

The Dark Side Of Me: Silently Suffering from Mental Illness Book Review

Kyra Leslie wouldn’t have imagined herself writing about a serious topic such as mental illness in which that has an effect on so many individuals including myself in so many different ways. Mental Illness in the Black Community a topic that most individuals refrain from talking about due to the sensitivity of the subject which often leads it to being ignored. Also because mental illness is consider a taboo in the Black Community. It could be either because of the uneasiness of the unknown, or individuals not being as sympathetic to its illness as they would be to a physical illness.

Without regard to for a person like me, because of now knowing what I do know in relation to mental illness, I truly believes there is no better way to be a voice for those individuals who suffer from it, because we need more books about Mental Illness. The purpose of that so we can learn more about the illness and to break the stigma. Approximately 50% of adults experience a mental illness at some point in their lives. More than half of these people experience moderate to severe symptoms. In fact, 4 of the 10 leading causes of disability among people aged 5 and older are mental health challenges, with depression being the leading cause of all illnesses that cause disability. Unfortunately, despite the high prevalence of mental illness, only about 20% of people who have a mental illness receive professional help.

For Kyra Leslie having found out in her late teens that her own father had a mental illness, She started becoming pre-occupied as to when and if she also was going to one day suffer from the illness in which her father did. Having heard of the many rumors and opinions from others regarding people who suffered from mental illness, just like many Kyra was frightened to even think about what would happen to her had she ever been diagnosed with it. She was ashamed of being born from someone who she thought was crazy; and honestly, feared that one day she was going to be looked at as being the same. Therefore, for that reason alone, she constantly prayed that no one in her circles would find out, while also hoping that her life would be spared the illness that society placed such a stigma upon.

At the time her own mother shared with her what she felt Kyra deserved the right to know, she attempted to explain the behaviors of her father in a way for her to understand why he may have done some of things he did while Kyra was growing up. Knowing that she may have been too young to fully comprehend the nature of what she told her, she always left the door open for Kyra to ask what she wanted and needed to know when uncertainty or the lack of understanding reared its ugly head. Along with her honesty, she also mentioned her own fear of Kyra suffering the disease, and therefore closely monitored her behaviors so that, if seen, she will get the help she surely will need to sustain her mental clarity. I believes that Kyra been fortunate to say that although she have never been diagnosed with the illness that her own father’s life was succumbed with, she along with many individuals, have possibly dealt with some characteristics of the illness (although less severe) that has allowed for her to not only look at who she is, but what she have become because Kyra didn’t allow Mental Illness to define her.

As an adult, Kyra take on knowledge of what she know regarding mental illness, and give thanks for being who she truly is despite what she is go through. She constantly give herself permission to accept whatever is going on in her personal life_no matter how brutal or uncomfortable it sits within her and think about how life could be if she were someone who had to live with the crippling illness that could’ve been a part of her life. Kyra strive hard to improve what she is feeling can hinder her mentally, spiritually and emotionally and remain empathetic to those who suffer from what they can’t control. She accepted her imperfectness and appreciate it when she finally recognized the flaws that she failed to acknowledge when she was younger. For that, she found herself attempting to make a difference in the lives of others-especially with mental illness- by helping them to become content in who they are; so that being less than who they think they are doesn’t hinder them completely.

As a nurse manager of a psychiatric unit, Kyra found that the experience of being a nurse serving those with mental illness has allowed her to be more grateful for her own life and all the trials within it. It has led her to having a greater appreciation of her sanity as well as the knowledge that she have gained from being around those who don’t. It has opened her eyes to respect those who suffer from it while also acknowledging their strength in having to deal with the struggles that most individuals don’t. She witness at what they go through, what they will have to continue to go through and how they are often treated; realizing that the struggles that she are going through aren’t in comparison to that of those she served. For that, she given her utmost respect and admiration to them including her own father for living life as best as they know how to, while battling what they have to. Kyra mentioned that “the complexity of life for those that we care for in the mental health world is no comparison to those who don’t have to deal with it firsthand”. Therefore, her hope for this book that she written is to guide the readers insight into what some people may go through. She wanted people to take the fictional stories she have written and somehow try to place themselves or someone they know within them. She wants the readers to gain an understanding as to why people choose not to share their stories or receive help due to the stigma that our society places on mental illness. She also wants the readers to have an empathetic heart and learn to not judge, but help when one can- to understand that mental illness is real because life is psych and it can happen to anyone.

The journeys that people go through can lead them to a place that gives them no preparation for what is to be expected. A tragic accident, a death, a physical illness, even the slightest change in one’s environment can cause one to not be able to handle that change. That change could one day be the change to make one’s life feel as if they can no longer cope. With that being said, understand that mental illness doesn’t discriminate against gender, age, nationality, religion, creed or financial status. Whether it’s you or someone you love, remember that no one is and ever will be excluded from the crippling and debilitating disease that wreaks havoc on millions around the world. Learn what you can and spread the word to others who may have a lack of understanding; so that one day, you can help someone who may need you to be their blessing. Better yet, spread the word so that there may be more individuals accepting of the illness in case you may need someone to be your blessing.

As individuals, Kyra believe we should believe in the dignity of everyone without passing judgment no matter how hard it may be. Her messages for those who criticize or look down on those who weren’t given a choice as to the cards that life presented them with, is to- “Think outside the box and imagine yourself in the shoes that are more difficult to fill than the ones that you may be wearing.” For those affected by this illness, whether it be you as the individual having to battle it, or one whose a family member, friend or associate- no matter how difficult or trying it becomes; stay encouraged and never give up. Blessings & Peace to you while remembering that you’re not in this fight alone. “If we judge others of what we don’t know and fail to understand, it’s because we may be judging something within ourselves of which we are unaware.” Personally for me a person who struggles with Mental Illness, Kyra Leslie did a marvelous job in writing this book not only sharing her personal struggles with Mental Illness but break the stigma about Mental Illness to educate the readers about the illness.



Unbreak My Heart

Title: Unbreak My Heart


Author: Rhonda McKnight

Publisher: Elevated Press

Number of Pages: 247

About The Author

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Even as she pursued degrees in Textile Technology, Organizational Leadership and finally, Adult Education, Rhonda McKnight’s love for books and desire to write stories was always in the back of her mind and in the forefront of her heart. Rhonda loves reading and writing stories that touch the heart of women through complex plots and interesting characters in crisis. She writes from the comfort of her Atlanta home with black tea, Lays potato chips and chocolate on hand. At her feet sits a snappy mixed breed toy dog. She can be reached at her website at http://www.rhondamcknight and on social media at http://www.facebook.com/booksbyrhonda and http://www.twitter.com/rhondamcknight and http://www.blackchristianreads.com where she has joined with nine other Christian fiction authors to introduce her stories to the world.

About This Book

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Cameron Scott’s reality T.V. show career is spiraling into an abyss. She’s desperate enough to do almost anything to keep a roof over her head and provide the financial support that’s needed for her daughter and ailing grandmother. When her estranged husband, Jacob Gray, reenters her life offering a lifeline she realizes she still loves him. Cameron has kept a painful secret that continues to be at the root of the unspoken words between them. She’s a woman of great faith, but regaining trust requires telling all and healing old wounds that she believes would destroy any chance for happiness they could have. Jacob Gray believed he’d spend the rest of his life loving his wife, that is until he discovered she was pregnant and there was no way it could be his child. He tried to put Cameron out of his mind and heart, but five years have passed and he still loves her. Jacob risks everything, including his fortune, in hopes of getting a second chance at love. Though he quickly discovers Cameron’s not interested in rekindling what they had years ago. Will Jacob convince her to forgive the mistakes in their past and allow each other to heal their broken hearts?

Book Review About Rhonda McKnight’s Book “Unbreak My Heart”

“Unbreak My Heart” is a page turner story of pride, unspoken secrets, bitterness and holding on to grudges that lasted for years. “Unbreak My Heart” written by Rhonda McKnight is a wonderful story about love and forgiveness. How do you mend your own broken heart? You unbreakable it by giving love another chance and learn to use the power of forgiveness. The power of love will always win victory and mend a broken hearts. Rhonda allows the Holy Spirit to guide the pen to created a story about love that will never does if we allow ourselves to fall in love again. Through the gift of Rhonda’s writing the readers can draws a picture the love and heartbreak that Cameron Scott experiences. What I love the most about this book were the well developed characters. Rhonda successfully captured how jumping to conclusions can destroy lives. The readers including me can agreed there were great subjects to discuss in this story about unforgiving hearts, family secrets and raising childrens. The message I was thinking about while reading “Unbreak My Heart” shows us that Everything is not as it appears.

“Unbreak My Heart” wasn’t a traditional Christian Narrative. There weren’t many scriptures from the Bible but the narrative was authentic. It presented a message of real life situations that we as Christians experience and the struggle with just individuals who aren’t Christians. Rhonda created the well developed characters that can portrayed us less than being perfect, with flaws and strongholds. Suddenly Cameron fallen down but with the Grace of God, she gotten back up by repented and moving forward with her life with a new job and a new man. I really enjoyed this story and this isn’t the first book that I read by this Author.



HANNAH



Title: HANNAH

Author: Zaria Garrison

Publisher: Pink Praise

Number of Pages: 236

About The Author:

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Zaria Garrison was born and raised in Greenville County, SC. She began writing as a teen-ager. In 2005 her first novel Baring it All was published by Publish America under her birth name Gena L. Garrison. It is currently available in e-book format through Amazon Kindle.Zaria Garrison is a Black Expressions Best selling Christian fiction author. Her debut novel Prodigal was nominated for Christian Fiction Book of the year 2010 by SORMAG (Shades of Romance) as well as Zaria was nominated for Christian Fiction Author of the year. She is co-owner and staff writer of EKG Literary Magazine, an online magazine geared towards all members of the literary community. Her second novel Losing it, debuted in stores Sept 28, 2010. It reached Black Expressions list of Top 20 books. Zaria’s is also the author of Christian Fiction titles, Faking Reality and Nobody’s Son. She has also written a science fiction book. The Rainbow Z is available for Kindle download and in paperback.In 2013 Zaria was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following her recovery she penned the novella The Power of Pink: A Christmas Story. Zaria spends her free time with her husband and her son in their home in Greer, SC.

Zaria can be reached online at zariagarrison@yahoo.com

http://www.zariagarrison.com

About This Book

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Pastor Hannah Grayson holds the distinction of being the first female pastor to lead the congregation at Greater St. Like Fellowship in Atlanta, Georgia. Overcoming a child good in the projects and growing up in foster care she attended college at Fort Valley State Cillege, and received her master’s in theology from Gannon Theological Seminary. During her tenure as Pastor, Greater St. Luke’s Congregation has grown in leaps and bounds with over 100 new members in three years. They’ve started a summer camp for low income teens, a good and clothing bank for the underprivileged, a young adult choir, and senior ladies dance ministry. Due to the growth, the Church board hired an associate pastor, a youth pastor, and a full security team. She’s been approached by a television station to broadcast her sermons to millions across the internet. As an unmarried female pastor she’s faced and overcome many challenges and she knows that it will take God’s hand to guide her through her latest one…..Through No fault of her own, Hannah is three months pregnant.

Review About Zaria Garrison’s Book “HANNAH”

Here is a Bad Situation Turned into Good. “HANNAH” is the first book that I read by Zaria Garrison. “HANNAH” caught my attention several months ago in an Author Group on Facebook. When I saw this book cover I knew that I must read this book. From the first page of this narrative that I really enjoyed it what I am reading. The Characters in this story was well developed and the readers like myself can just imagine about the emotions that they were feeling. Additional to the places that the Characters went through. While reading this book, I felt like I was riding on an emotional rollercoaster of happiness, love, anger, sadness, joy and that friendship bond that cannot be destroyed.

There were several classroom lessons of life to gain knowledge from this narrative. This life lessons from this narrative of God taking a Bad situation and turning it around for the good. In the Books of Romans, the 8th Chapter and the 28th verse draws us a faith picture explaining to us ” And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose”.We have to learn to use the power of self-care and not trying to be the fixed for everyone else, individuals that live in glass house shouldn’t throw stones and there are plenty of wolves in the Pulpit.

“HANNAH” dealt with several relevant issues and Zaria did a wonderful job of bringing it all together in the second half of the narrative. As reading this story in the beginning, I was troubled of what Hannah went through with the rape in her Church Office by a member of the Church who is the leader of the men ministry. “HANNAH” was very introspective and informative about sexual assault in The House of the Lord. I didn’t understand why Pastor Hannah Grayson didn’t want to file a police report .Ezekiel should have been stripped of his position in the Church and prosecute to the fullest of the law when it first happens. And the sad part, many individuals of the Church blames the victims and that isn’t right at all. I know that God isn’t pleased with the Church Folks about how Hannah was being treated. There should be more ministry of supports for the survivors of sexual abuse in the Churches so individuals can shares their story to assist with their process of healing. As the drama unfolded, it got easier to understand than the build up. I really hope that Zaria Garrison turn this book into a movie or a play. This was a great Christian Fiction Story that ministers to the soul.

Racism Within The Kentucky Derby

Like most Southern “traditions,” the Kentucky Derby is one filled with racism. With its history whitewashed, the truth of this 🏇 horse racing event’s origin mirrors the dark path to Jim Crow discrimination.

America’s popular horse racing event, the Kentucky Derby, is steeped in racism.

Formerly enslaved Black men – who, during slavery, were tasked with raising prized cattle and horses, work whites deemed beneath them – were enlisted as jockeys for the race.

This would prove a lucrative career path for Black men.

With 13 of 15 Black jockeys racing in the 1875 inaugural Derby, this soon became the norm. Black men rode atop horses they trained, and with their knowledge and experience, dominated the field.

Money flowed in, and their celebrity boomed amongst white and Black fans alike.

Such admiration, however, bothered racist whites who hated seeing Black men thrive and succeed.

1896 was a dark time for Black people across the South. The Supreme Court backed Plessy v. Ferguson that year, a decision that would catapult the region into segregation.

Black jockeys soon dwindled in America’s most popular sporting event of the day.

Thanks to Black jockeys, the Kentucky Derby rose to fame. But with that rise came white envy and a subsequent great fall.

From 1921 to 2000, no Black jockeys raced in the event they put on the map.

*VIA PUSH Black SITE

Stop Telling People All Of Your Business

When people you didn’t tell your business to keep telling you about your business…God is telling you to stop running your mouth to people who run and tell your business. The problem is not that people know your business, the problem is that you don’t know who you’re talking to. To fix a leak, tell each of the one’s you talk to something different…and then sit back and wait to see which story gets back to you…or just cut everybody off and limit your circle to the spirits that you’ve tested. The Bible said test every spirit, not trust every spirit.

Patrick Weaver

You Need To Know The “SILENT KILLER” of Black Men

​The early death of John Singleton and other notable men, like Patrice O’Neal, Nate Dogg, and Luther Vandross, reminds us of one thing – our men die young. But do you know exactly why?

Black men have THE lowest life expectancy, compared to Black women and white men and women. And one of the primary drivers of Black men’s high death rates? Heart disease.

Black men are at the greatest risk of having a stroke and are more likely to have one at a younger age – Patrice O’Neal, Nate Dogg, and Luther Vandross all died due to stroke, which is linked to having high blood pressure.

High blood pressure or hypertension affects 40% of Black men and women and develops earlier in the lives of Black people, usually with more severe effects.

In fact, it’s known as a “silent killer” because of how it damages the body without any symptoms…

“By the time individuals with hypertension begin having symptoms, it means that the cumulative effects of elevated blood pressures, often over many years, have begun to cause damage to body organs such as the eyes, brain or kidneys,” says Dr. Carrie G. Lenneman, Associate Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The abysmal state of Black men’s health is a direct result of their dealing with discrimination, unemployment, poverty, and other racism-related stressors that wear and tear down the body.

We need to fight for better ways to live healthier and a more trustworthy medical system that can get Black men the help they need to live longer and better.

*Article From PUSH BLACK SITE

Church Let’s Talk About Mental Health

“Lord knows we need more openness in our congregations because (and this is a fact) 50% of adults will develop depression, PTSD, anxiety, self-harm, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, or some other mental illness in their lifetime.

Half of the people reading this article already have (or currently are). And for the sake of our family, friends and church leaders, we need to break the shame.” #LetYourLightShine #TakeYourShot #HelpsOnTheWay #WordAroundTown #BeMerciful #AboutThisLife

https://thehappygivers.com/blogs/faith-culture/dear-church-lets-talk-about-mental-health?fbclid=IwAR04-6Vr3GWEEKJ0VroDZxYm-nfncx7ZBW0HtprPtMOqAcLkzjG4_WiHeSA

Stretching Your Seasons

Somebody is in a stretching season. When God is stretching you, what was easy becomes hard. What was a cake walk becomes a faith walk. In your stretching season, some things won’t make sense. Pray Attention: God stretches you to take your faith to a new dimension…what God has next for you requires your next level of faith. God didn’t tell the children Israel to march around Jericho for the victory, God told the children of Israel to march around Jericho to stretch their faith for the victory He already promised. Your walking might not make sense in your stretching season but keep marching…when the walls fall, you will understand the stretching.

Patrick Weaver