“My Testimony”


(From One of Sloan’s own Young Adults – As presented to the children /youth in attendance at
Sloan UMC’s “Back-to-School” Empowerment Session)
Life is a contact sport!   You can’t play the game of life and not expect to get hit! In life, we come in contact with different circumstances, different people, tests, trials, and tribulations, various situations, multiple failures, ups and downs, and much more.
However, these things do not define who we are! We may have failed tests and /or assignments; but, that doesn’t make us failures.! We all fall down at some point; but, what matters is what you do with the time while you’re down. You can either stay down and make yourself comfortable, losing all hope and all faith, or you can be determined to get back up and tackle your circumstance another time to only succeed and move forward!
What you choose to do while you’re down will determine your next up!   We are to strengthen our Faith and work hard and wait on the Lord, because he has the final say! Scripture says: “Those that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, mount up with wings like eagles and shall run and not be weary…”! Ladies and Gentlemen, We fly on eagles wings! Eagles are a much stronger breed of birds. Most birds will flee at the sight of a storm, flying far, far, away from the storm. But, the eagle flocks towards the storm to gain momentum. In other words, “it uses its mess and turns it into its best”! The eagle uses its circumstances to elevate himself higher!  I heard a story about a donkey and a farmer. One day the donkey fell into a well. The donkey cried loudly because he thought he would never be able to get out. The farmer and his neighbors all saw what had happened and they gave up all hope as to getting the donkey out of the well. The farmer decided to bury the donkey in the well since he had already planned to cover the hole anyway. So, while the donkey was sitting hopelessly, he felt a pile of dirt fall onto his back. He shook the dirt off. It was followed by yet another pile of dirt and another and another. The donkey realized that the pile of dirt was rising, so he stepped onto the pile. The farmer continued to throw dirt into the well and the donkey continued to “shake it off” and step on top of the pile. After a while, the farmer and the neighbors were all surprised at what they had seen. The donkey had figured out a way to get himself out of the hole. The donkey had risen higher and higher on top of the dirt that had been thrown on him. He eventually was high enough to climb out of the well and run free! Boys and girls, life will throw dirt on you but you are to shake it off and move forward. Take your mess and turn it into your best!
Ladies and gentlemen, watch the words you speak, the company you keep, and the things you choose to entertain! Scripture says: “Life and death lie in the power of the tongue!”   Choose your words wisely. Words are unlimited and they are seeds! The moment you speak, you are sowing the seeds of the words being spoken! So, instead of indulging in negativity, speak positively! Also, choose your friends wisely. Your friends are a reflection of who you are! If you are friends with robbers and they rob a bank and you’re riding with them, when the police pulls the car over, EVERYBODY is going to jail, whether they participated in the robbery or not. You’re guilty by association! You were associated with robbers! Surround yourself with individuals that are on the same path as you and that will encourage you and help you succeed so you can succeed together!
Your choices are important!   We cannot go through life making bad decisions and expect good outcomes in return. No! It doesn’t work that way! Can you make the choice of robbing banks and expect not to suffer the consequences of jail or some sort of punishment? Can we plant watermelons and obtain a harvest of oranges? No, we cannot! Scripture says: “Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap!” If you plant good things, you’ll get good things. If you plant bad things, you’ll get bad things. It’s the same when planting watermelons – you’ll get watermelons! All things take after their own kind! A dog will only bark; it will not meow! For it is not a cat. It’s a dog and it takes after its own kind as a dog!

Lastly, watch the things you entertain and the things you allow to entertain you and occupy your time!   Video games, watching TV, partying, social media, and much more! You don’t gain wisdom and knowledge by partaking in these activities. You gain knowledge when you educate your mind through reading! Boys and girls, you can sacrifice the time you spend watching TV, or texting your friends, playing video games, for reading and studying, praying, and other things to better yourself! To sacrifice is to give with a promise that something greater will come in return! You’d be surprised how much more you can accomplish if you simply put down the phones, turn off the TV, and pick up a book. You must prepare for your success. “Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance”! The greatest people didn’t become great by sitting around on social media or talking to their friends, but by bettering themselves and preparing for their success

Be careful what you feed into your spirit!  You can only pour out what has been poured in! You can’t make a pitcher of orange juice and pour a cup of lemonade from it! Filter the music you listen to and the things you watch, because they become the things you think about, the words you speak, and the actions you take. Replace it with entertainment geared towards bettering yourself as a person!
The Lord calls us – “A Chosen People, A Royal Priesthood, A Holy Nation”   A nation has no barriers, meaning there are no limits. But, a country has barriers. He didn’t call us “A Holy Country” but, “A Holy Nation”. Therefore, we are not limited to anything! Believe what scripture says – “We can do ALL THINGS through CHRIST who strengthens us”. It’s true! We are not limited! So, we can do ALL THINGS – Not, some things!
BELIEVE in yourself and DO ! The intent and the action are both derived from the same place – the heart! But, what good is the INTENT, if it is not followed by the ACTION? That’s like knowing how to play basketball and win the game, but not applying your skill, so you can lose the game!
Boys and Girls, 
You can do ALL THINGS through CHRIST who strengthens you!  
Believe it and Achieve it!