Tag Archives: Faith

Strippers Know Jesus Too

So I came across a picture on Instagram of strippers praying. I see a lot of people making fun of this pic (and I get it), but when I saw it I was like “well at least they know where their help comes from”. Now I don’t know what they’re praying for, but the mere fact that they are praying shows their reverence for God which is more than I can say for a lot of folk who call themselves Christians today. I know that sounds crazy, but some people get so caught up and so self righteous, that they forget they aren’t perfect. God can do anything and He can change anyone. Prayer changes things and it changes our hearts. It removes anything that does not look like Christ and fills the holes and gaps with His Holy Spirit – all we have to do is ask. Who knows, maybe they’ll keep praying and God will change their prayers from “Lord, let them toss nothing but 50’s and hundreds, and please allow my cheeks to clap with precision, to Lord, please protect me and get me out of this place”.

But for real! Sometimes I feel like the closer we get to God, the more we treat Him like He’s our homey. Yes, He wants to be our friend and the lover of our soul, but He is also Holy and we need to show Him honor! These girls are! Even though it doesn’t look like what we think it should look like, He is there with them and He is keeping them protected! The first time I saw the pic I actually prayed for the women in it. I prayed that His Spirit would really touch them and that they would get a revelation of their worth. They are still daughters of the King and He still loves them. Just like He loves us liars and fornicators. #Bloop

A lot of times we forget how far away from the cross we are, but that it’s because of His blood that we are redeemed. We are not saved because we’re good people or because we do good things. We are saved because He loves us. We didn’t deserve it, but He cared for us so much that He died for our sins. Does He expect us to never mess up, nope. But as Christians we should always strive to look like Him. Will we fail? Yes, but does His blood cover? Oh yes!

So yeah, who knows, maybe some of those young ladies will be evangelists one day. Look at some of your favorite leaders, most of them were a hot mess at one point. I use to pose half naked in men’s magazines and now I teach kids church and I am spreading the gospel as far as I can. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with posing for XXL Eye Candy or King, but now the only man who will see my half naked body will be my husband…or if you google, but that’s neither here nor there. (what does that even mean) anyway…

I’ve always had a gift of capturing people’s attention and them listening to what I have to say, but just like I’ve mentioned before, people will listen to Ivonnah from TV and magazines quicker than Ivonnah from The Elm (New Haven is called The Elm City). I use the platform that was built to spread God’s word. Being a Christian isn’t about being perfect, it’s about living our lives for Christ and letting Him change us right? People change, behavior changes, and when someone is submitting themselves to the Lord to be better then why do we kick them when they’re down? We tell them to grow while we have our foot on their neck because we continue to remind them of where they use to be. We don’t even give them a chance to show that their behavior has changed before we go accusing them based on previous actions. We’re supposed to be a support, iron sharpens iron right? Well how about we sharpen each another and not stab one another in the chest. Amen

Get yo life

You guys! I have not written a blog in exactly ONE YEAR (I have a draft from May that I never finished). Geez, I really need to get my life together. I keep making excuses “my desktop is acting up” “the laptop is acting up” “when I get my new MacBook I’ll write everyday” – sike. The truth of the matter is whatever is important to you, you’ll do what it takes to get it done. And what you do before is what you’ll do after “I’m not gone cheat once I get married” yes you will. You have to start the process to do better before you get the blessing.

Anyway, I have a very nifty iPhone that has all the capabilities I need to create (I actually got the 6 today & it’s too big for my lil ole child-like hands). Anywho, my reality is that I’ve just been in my own way; I finished school (kinda) and I’ve just been working a regular job #whomp – it’s the pits. When I graduated I was like uhhh I gots bills! So I started working at a car dealership lol I have no idea how – I know NOTHING about cars…absolutely…nothing. Although it doesn’t have anything to do with why I moved to LA, it’s been cool because I found my purpose in being there & once that happened, I no longer had the urge to stab myself in the eye. But as of late, I’ve been feeling like God’s foot is on my back & He’s pushing me out of that place. There was a purpose for me to be there & now my assignment is done. Hallelujah. But an incident that happened today reminded me of how important it is to listen to God & follow His voice.

A customer’s kids broke my phone about three weeks ago right, I had an upgrade available so I wasn’t trippin’, but I could not decide on what phone I wanted. I’ve been walking around with a busted up phone because I am so dang indecisive (there will be a whole other blog about that). I went all the way to Connecticut for Christmas with my phone JACKED. Before I left, I went to Best Buy mobile in Northridge mall (they have the best staff by the way), and I drove the poor man crazy because I couldn’t make up my mind. So today my coworker was like ummm go handle that before you get glass in your ear & before you’re exposed to radiation. She use to work for a phone company & knows things that we uhhh…don’t. So I went.

My shondo (your spirit or your gut feeling) was telling me to go back to the store that I had originally gone to, but did I? No. First, I went to the Best Buy down the street from my job because it was closer. Distraction. I asked about the $1 per month lease special that had been explained to me before. They knew nothing about that, but I still had my name put on the list to see a rep. A guy I knew from church put it on there, so when I was getting an urge to leave I felt guilty because I didn’t want to knowing that he worked there. But I left. It was pizacked. Then as I was driving I called Sprint because I had a few questions about my bill (they be trying to get you). Anyway, after that was resolved, I asked about the lease special that had been explained to me prior at Best Buy mobile. Eric wasn’t sure about the $1 per month lease either, but he told me about the $5 lease special. So as I’m sitting in my car in the mall parking structure I’m thinking “hmmm maybe I should just go across the street to the Sprint store”. Distraction. But I got out of the car & went into the mall.

When I walked in, I didn’t look at the directory, I made a wrong turn & started in the opposite direction of BB Mobile. (That’ll preach). When I realized I was going the wrong way I turned back & began to head towards the store. As I walked back, I saw a Sprint kiosk & a sign that said “cut your bill in half” so that immediately caught my eye. Distraction. The sign was for Verizon & AT&T customers so that was of no use to me. But then I thought “hmmm I can ask them about the lease special”. Distraction. Yessie didn’t know about $1 situation either & tried to sell me on the $5 one and showed me the different color options. Sidebar: Apple, can you make a gold one with the black face please!? Gee whiz. She was so sweet & helpful, but something in my shondo said GO TO BEST BUY MOBILE. I excused myself & I told her that I wanted to go ask about the $1 lease & if it wasn’t still happening that I would come back to her. She understood.

I moseyed on down to the store & immediately the gentleman who helped me before said “welcome back” lol I guess I made an impression…or maybe it’s the braids. Anywho, he came over & I asked him if the lease program was still going on & he said yes! So long story short, I got my iPhone 6 for $1 per month. After going from store to store, calling Sprint, almost leaving the parking structure & going to the store… After aaaallll of that I got what I wanted. But if I had just stayed on the path I would have gotten it much sooner & would have been less confused.

We do that to God all the time. We pray “Lord, just lead me in the right direction, I will follow your word & listen to your voice”. Sike. We pray, we listen, we hear His instruction, and we pick the parts that sound good, seem easy, or won’t make us look crazy. We know that God will never steer us in the wrong direction, but yet & still, we question what we know He has already promised us! We know what’s at the end, but we get off course along the way. Whether it be a job, your kids, a boo, whatever. We see shiny things on the sidelines & it gets us distracted from the end goal. We get so caught up on the things in between that we take our eye off the finish line. When runners are racing, they do not look at the audience or the runners beside them & they DEFINITELY don’t look at the runners behind them. Their eye is on the prize. Their eye is on the goal. Their eye is on the finish line. It keeps them focused. It keeps them in line & it keeps them on their path.

Our eyes need to stay fixed on Jesus. His word needs to stay buried in our hearts. If our eyes continually stay on Him, then when distractions come our way, we can curve them like no other. I knew where the blessing was! But I kept asking around! I almost missed the Best Buy blessing! If I had done the $5 instead of the $1 I would be paying $120 as opposed to the $48 I’ll be paying. Another sidebar: People, the $ goes BEFORE the number, $120 = one hundred & twenty dollars. When did 120$ become a thing & who started that!? I digress…

Because I listened to my shondo, I’m saving money, and I have a brand new phone. Sometimes we’re so afraid to do what God said because we’re afraid of how our peers will react. But when the store was packed I left! I did what was better for me. Yessie was so nice & I wanted to give her the sale so bad, but that wouldn’t be beneficial to my pockets. I put people first all the time & sometimes you just have to think of yourself. AND, bonus! I met a couple who is starting a company for natural healing. They cured her MS naturally through diet & exercise. God didn’t give us these plants for show. I’ve been trying to stick to a plant-based food diet for my blood pressure (that’s what she’s doing also) & her husband was telling me about how essential oils helped her too. What you put into your body is so important; you’re either feeding disease or preventing it based on your food choices. Plants give your body life. Dead meat flesh, well… You get my point. Now I’m not saying I’m a vegetarian, not into all those labels, because if I feel like having an In & Out burger… I’m gonna. See how I get off track. Anyway. Back to the subject, I listened to my gut (aka The Holy Spirit) & that always leads us in the right direction. And don’t say if I was there earlier I wouldn’t have met them. It took poor Zach 85 hours to download my 3000 pictures 😂. I woulda still been there when they got there.

The Bible is our directory. It guides us on every step we need to take. And when we make a wrong turn its okay, just turn around & head back to the path. Get back on course.

The Lord Is My Strength…No Forreals…

Hey ya’ll!! I know, a few of you have been at my neck because I haven’t written a blog since October I believe. Ay yi yi! All bad. But I had an experience yesterday that was so awesomely out of this world that I had to share.

I sent the longest tweet telling this story earlier, but I wanted folks on Facebook or who missed the tweet to be able to know what happened…

Yesterday I wasn’t feeling so well, yup, my blood pressure again. I go to the doc and as the receptionist is checking me out, there were a few of her co-workers behind her who were talking about Jesus, and about the word. So ole girl was typing and looking out the side of her eye to get a feel for what I was thinking, mind you, my blood pressure came down so fast that I was dizzy and no one could properly get a read on ANYTHING that I was thinking. She goes “you guys are loud” and looks at me again, they keep going, she says “shhhh you guys are loud!” again. LOL! I’m like, it’s cool I love Jesus, they can talk about Him all they want. Oh, she’s Catholic by the way, so she’s a believer but…

So another girl, pretty young, probably early 20’s says “i tell him that he should be a missionary all the time” about another fellow in the office. Trying to stand up to walk out I get dizzy again, as I hold on the the chair I told them that I went on a missions trip to Mexico last summer. She’s intrigued by this and starts asking me a gang of questions about homosexuality, levels of sin, sex before marriage… “but if you love someone it’s ok right?” No my sista, not until he’s your husband.

The more I tell her about what the word says about being gay, and sex before marriage, and how no sin is bigger than any other (people try to put being gay at a 10 and fornication at a 7, when really there’s no difference. You want to throw shade, but you having sex with your boyfriend/girlfriend last night isn’t any different than him having sex with his boyfriend last night or her…yeah you get my drift).

Back to what I was saying – the more I told her what the word says and how God is love and He wants us to love our brothers and sisters and not ostracize them, and how dangerous soul ties are when they’re not made with your husband or wife the more I felt better! The more upright I stood! The dizziness just COMPLETELY went away!! The more I proclaimed the word of Jesus more strength I had! It was amazing! Absolutely amazing! He gave me the strength I needed in that moment. She was taking it all in, I mean really taking it in, gasping at the points I was making, eyes wide open. She reminded me of my little sisters in Sister2Sister when we tell them something and it clicks in their heads.

Ahhhh! I just love God! He’s so tight! He uses every situation to help others, I felt awful yesterday, but if that means I helped one more girl cherish her virtue, and another one who believes but is afraid to talk about it because someone might get offended become unafraid, then I’m happy I was ill and that the Lord was able to use me in that moment. I just wanna run around the block when I think about it! But unfortunately I can’t because I still don’t feel so hot. As a matter of fact when I went to go drop my prescriptions off I felt dizzy again and had to sit down. That’s how I KNOW it was God at the doc.

People will get offended, I saw it first hand when a kid sang a praise & worship song in Spanish class. Mind you, he went way over his time limit and it was in English. BUT this one kid was literally shaking he was so mad!! Then says “he was totally praising dude” Dude? did you just call my Jesus dude? The one who died for you too, even when He knew you were going to make that comment right there? I wanted to punch him in his face, but that’s not WJWD. What if Jesus was afraid of sticking up for you? AH! Think about it! Think of all you’ve done and He tells His friends “Yes, I’ve chosen her to lead the dance ministry” I’ve chosen him to be a children’s church teacher” “Her, yeah her right there, I want her to be a missionary, the recovering crack addict yes, that’s who I want” “That one right there who use to sell drugs and run the street, yep I want him to be a pastor”. Do you KNOW how many side eye’s I’m sure He gets, BUT STILL He chooses us and stands by us no matter what!! So how can we deny Him and keep Him hush hush in public!!

Sigh, I digress, if you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour I beg of you to PLEASE get to know Him! He’s the only way! The Way, the Truth and the Light!

The Lord is my strength and my strong helper, he has become my salvation: he is my God and I will give him praise; my father’s God and I will give him glory. ~Exodus 15:2~

The Day From Heaven

Let me tell y’all about my day… mind you it’s only 1:14 pdt (did you know that it’s not pst until winter) anywho… This morning a friend of mine had to go in for a biopsy, as a church family we were asked by Pastor to wake up at 6am to pray for our sister as she went in for her tests. Now, most of you who follow me on twitter know that I’ve been having issues with Sprint about my phone. My OTHER new phone that I JUST activated Monday is already trippin’, so guess what? Yep! My alarm didn’t go off, the phone had shut down & had the “error 202” message. But my God is so good, I’m usually awakened by the need to go potty around 6:40 or so, but He woke me up at 6am on the dot!! Let’s see what lesson did I get out of that? Simple, I had an alarm set for 5:59 & a wake up call from Erika as back up, I don’t need anyone but Him…

My twitter fam also knows that I just got my car out of the shop. When they fixed my fuel pump, something happened with my fuel line so my gas was leaking. GREAT!! So my plan was to leave early, stop & get gas before I took Chris to school because I didn’t want it leaking out over night. But my child wasn’t ready, so I say OK, I can get him there & get back, & get some gas before I bring my car to the mechanic. I decide to hop on the highway, on an UPHILL entrance! Ivonnah!? For reals?? My car starts stuttering & I’m like JESUS PLEEEEEASE. So I get off the next exit which had absolutely NO gas stations!! Sloan stops stuttering, & we’re riding smoothly, I’m like OK I can make it to the one near my house. I have no idea what happened but all of a sudden I was two BIG blocks past my turn! AHHH! I’m trippin’ with NO GAS, really? Ugh, I bust a U, & make a quick right (praying the whole time) trying to get to ANY gas station. Oh no! Red light & the street is slanted upward! AHHH “come on Sloan, you can make it”. By now I can smell the fumes my car was running on. I stutter to the light, she gets a little more gumption, I make the left tuuuuurn aaaaand stutter, stutter, I’m pushing on the steering wheel saying NO NO NO, stutter…it’s a wrap. She’s just cruising as I steer her to the side, I float past a sign, didn’t have time to read it to see if I could park there. *Sigh* it only gets worse…OK there’s a strip club parking lot & next to it is a post office (yeah, I know) I refuse to stall in the strip club lot, even though it was easier to get into. So I’m pressing the gas as hard as I can (like that’s doing something) & I make it to the post office……exit, which is slanted slightly upward as well, I turn in & Sloan just says sorry Von. So I’m stuck sideways in the exit. I get out to try & push LOL, oh that’s so funny. A man sees me & gets out to help, another man at the drive up box hopped out as well & they push me safely into a parking space. My lesson from this…Stay focused, when you’re not focused you get off track. Our main focus needs to be on the Lord, when we take it off of Him we end up going round about, the long way, & eventually running outta gas. Even if it’s seems like the other road is easier. But when you are one of His sheep, He shepherds you, guides you, & if you need a little more push He’ll send His angels & put the people in your life that you need by your side, walking your walk with you.

Whew! That’s over, now the easy part. I have a gas container from my days of running out of gas with Nia Chrystie, all I have to do is walk (4 big blocks) to the gas station. It’s cool, I was going to do 40 minutes on the bike anyway. OK, wait, hold up, where’s my, umm, my debit card is home!! Ivonnah Danielle Erskine! Putting $3 on a credit card just seems dumb. So between my purse, the floor & in the seat I scraped up $1.50 in quarters. So I’m walking up the street, black hoodie, bright blue sweats that say HOLLISTER in pink across the butt & a purple pashmina, black charcol mask on my pimple. Yep, lookin’ good. I had a nice walk, took the time to just be me & Jesus.

Funny thing is, I had on so many layers! I half get ready in the morning before I bring Chris, then I go back & finish before I go to class. But for some reason (Holy Spirit) I put pants under the sweats & a shirt & jacket over my tank top WITH my pash! Y’all know that “something told me to…” is the Holy Spirit right? God always makes sure you’re prepared! It was really cold this morning.

OK, now I get home, I’m making some eggs & bacon before I go to class…*sigh* I burn two of my fingers taking my bread out of the oven that I was warming up. Ugh, I eat, throw on some jeans, take off the purple pash & throw on a white one & brush my teeth. I leave to bring my car, Juan drops me at school, I’m walking & my right sock is smaller than the left one, (or maybe the foot is bigger) it’s sliding off my heel to the arch of my foot. I’m in Spanish class, I’m telling Patti about my morning & I realize that I didn’t take the mask off of my pimple. I get hot, I take my jacket off, where are my boobs? Oh geez I forgot to put on a bra…

How Deep Is Your Faith…

So I’m sitting here, and I’m thinking, and I’m chit chatting with Jesus…I do that pretty often, just like I would do with a friend, without running the risk of my business being in the streets in 60 seconds flat (if that offended you, well…). Anywho! I have this gift right, He trusts me with peoples secrets because He wants me to pray for them. I’ve always been that friend all of my friends trust. I know her side and his side…knowing the two people I put both stories together and come up with the truth. I say all of this to say He was training me up all of that time to make sure I could be trusted with the secrets He had for me.

I’m talking to Him and I’m like umm Lord, OK I’ve been praying for my family, friends, my twitter fam and whatever strangers You tell me to pray for! (yeah I was yellin’…walking down the street…on my prayer walk) How come when I pray for myself it doesn’t happen!? Or it takes a LONG time! But my friends call me the next day like “Thanks for praying”! (Like they KNOW that He used me to get their prayer to Him). I know, all bad, but hey I’m human…I apologized. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that He uses me, and I LOVE that my friends trust me and they know that it’s a gift that He has given me, but I’m like dang Jesus!? Now I feel like Job! (Oh yeah, I did say that I wanted you to have faith in me like you did Job didn’t I?) That was about a three weeks ago…

As we were chit chatting the other day I’m thanking Him for my new niece, I was layed out on the floor cryin’ and snottin’ and…OK you get the picture, but He gave me a word that lead to a revelation…Faith. I say “OK, Lord you know I have faith in you”, but as I wiped my tears and blew my nose I thought about it, and I realized what He meant. He knows that I have faith in Him, because I do. I trust Him with all of my heart and soul! But when I pray for others my faith in Him is so much stronger! I get on my knees, I pray and I give to God. I don’t dwell on it or worry about it. I KNOW that whatever they need He will provide, but with myself I lack that confidence. I still worry and wonder, I’m not releasing it to Him like I’m supposed to. But by not releasing it to Him I’m showing a lack of faith. Why? Why do we do that, because I know I’m not the only one. Think about it, in life, when we’re pros at something we walk in BOLDNESS with our heads high and our chests out because we KNOW that we have learned whatever it is we need to do. We, we learned, us by ourselves by our own understanding (what does Proverbs 3:5-6 say?) Now we all have God given gifts…Hello! Given! He GAVE us something, we didn’t have to earn or work for it, it’s free! Something made from Him which is perfectly and wonderfully made, custom designed for each and every one of us. All we have to do is use it, share it to help others which is really helping ourselves because YOU GUYS He’s gonna bless us if we follow His word and do the will He has planned for our lives!

I have faith that when I ask my friends to pray for me that they will. I have faith that when I ask them to pray for strength in my nieces lungs that she will be OK because I’m confident in their relationship with Christ. That’s what it all boils down to, how is your relationship with Him? What does that say about me? How often am I studying my bible, not reading a passage and checking it off for the day but really digging deep and studying His word? The fact of matter is if our relationship with Christ is where it should be then there shouldn’t be any doubt in our minds. Our faith in Him should be strong.

I believe our lack of faith comes from us judging ourselves by our pasts. “Why would He bless me I’ve done x, y & z not to mention l,m,n,o,p”…We want others to forget and stop bringing up stuff that we already gave to God so why do we hold ourselves in bondage? I shouldn’t be secure in my prayer for others but shakey in my prayers for myself.

The crazy part is that He has faith in us…yeah us, ha! Our flesh, our spotty pasts, our pride, our mess ups. He has faith that we’ll do right by Him, once we get to know Him. Haha! He has faith that we WILL get to know Him! The Almighty, Most High, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Giver of Life has faith in us but we can’t have faith that He can pay a light bill or save a marriage!? With a single touch one can be healed from terminal cancer, He doesn’t even have to say a word. There was a woman in the bible who bled for 12 years, she was healed by simply touching the hem of Jesus’ garment. The instant she did her bleeding stopped! When He asked who touched Him she was afraid and it says she came trembling and fell at His feet. She told Him why she touched Him and you know what He said? “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” He was the man! Is that the problem? Are we afraid? Yep! Leaving that job is scary, leaving that relationship is scary, moving to a place where you know no one is scary. But if we have the faith in Him like she had what do you think The Lord will say to us? “Daughter, Son your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” All we have to do is have faith.

Oh, and last Sunday at church I was reminded that Job was blessed double after he prayed for everyone else…

Introduction Of Moi…

Hey everyone! This is Ivonnah and this is my very first blog entry!! Just a small introduction for you all to get to know ME. I’m so excited! This is going to be a place where I can just be free! Write what I want, say I how I feel with no concern of sentence structure or proper punctuation…much like my twitter page with more than 140 characters.

First and foremost I LOVE the Lord! Will all of my posts be preachin’ ? No, but I will reference Him a great deal because He is in the forethought of my mind throughout the day. I’m not religious, I have a relationship with God. There’s a BIG difference! I use to be religious, go to church, stand, sit, kneel and repeat, drink wine from the same cup during communion (glad y’all are dippin’ the cracker now St. Luke’s). I’d pray everyday…pray that I would get to my men’s magazine photo shoot on time, and thank God that there were no accidents on 95 South! Hallelujah Jesus!! Who moves to Los Angeles and finds God, not the surface God, the spare tire God, but the almighty, all powerful God and gets to have a deeper, more intimate relationship Him? ME! Most people move here and find drugs, sex and alcohol…me? I’ve been abstinent for almost two years (oh yeah God, about that husband?), I don’t drink…ok a sip of Moscato here and there, and cocaine looks like it burns and I hate when I get dust in my nose!

On a serious note, if I had never done a video or a photo shoot for men’s magazines then I would have never been a Wild N’ Out girl (everyone’s fave I hear), then I would have never moved to LA and found a church that helped me grow up so much in Christ! The girls that know me from television wouldn’t feel comfortable telling me what they need prayer for, but they do because they feel like they know me and they trust me with their problems. The guys who had my pictures on their prison walls (except Whalley Ave. my godfather is a CO there…nuff said) wouldn’t have had the courage to send me prayer requests with no funny business attached. I wouldn’t have people telling me that I make them want to go back to Christ or get to know Him better because of my twitter prayers. Please! They wouldn’t be following Ivonnah the hairdresser from New Haven! But they do follow Ivonnah, from the Avant video or Ivonnah the short haired girl from Wild N’ Out…

In conclusion, God has a divine purpose for our lives but we HAVE to follow His word, He orders our steps. Sometimes we have to go through things in our lives to protect the next person coming behind us, so they won’t make the same mistakes we did. Following Christ doesn’t always mean your life will be perfect, there are some rocky times that we have to go through in order to come out victorious in the end. Even when we mess up He’ll use it to get us to our destiny. Lord knows I feel like Joseph all the time!! He was sent to prison following Gods word, he wouldn’t disrespect the covenant of marriage. He was lied on and sent to prison, betrayed by his brothers (not in that order) but if it never happened then he would have never become the ruler of Egypt!

We are all Kings and Queens because we are joint heirs with Jesus Christ. He’s just waiting on US to get our act together so he can bless us with our inheritance!!

OK welp! That went in an entirely different direction than I planned! Haha! That was for somebody…