Saturday, September 13, 2014

What's the Plan?

Since I last wrote, a lot has happened in my life. One of the things that the last year has taught me is that there is a reason why things happen, when they happen and where they happen. 

Recently, my wife and I were released to go to Buffalo, N.Y. to help pastor a church that I grew up in. My hero, a.k.a. my dad, is the Senior Pastor there and his staff lead an incredible congregation. Although it came as a shock to many, others already knew that something was already "cooking" inside of me regarding ministry. Little did I know that it would be back in city of my birth. The tough part is that when you build a life somewhere with your family and God calls you to a completely different geographical area, that's not always the easiest thing to do.

During this process, a very familiar Biblical person came to me called Moses. After running from the law and fleeing to Midian, you see that he eventually comes back to his own to provide freedom from a four-hundred year long Egyptian captivity. What I notice most about this story was that while he was in Midian minding his own business, a bush caught fire before him, but was not consumed. This bush can typify our passions, our purpose and the plan that God has for us. I will let you interpret that on your own...

God had a call on the life of Moses – before he was born – because his people would eventually need deliverance from their oppressors. When God appears to Moses in that bush, He tells him that He had "heard the cry of His people" and was sending him back to Egypt to set them free. 

This is a pivotal moment for reflection in everyone who believes they are called to ministry. Moses would not have been called unless there were a people that needed deliverance. This proves that ministry is not about you, it's about the people. If you're doing everything to get noticed with a microphone because of your gifts and talents, you've missed the point and it's time to re-access your motives for ministry. Where and when God sends you is not always going to be the perfect place and time. Like my spiritual father says, "Ministry is inconvenient." The conditions aren't always going to be ideal. The place isn't always going to be next to a beach somewhere. That's exactly why He is sending you! This is why God will refine our character through other leadership so that we can learn to eventually lead ourselves and lead the people that we have been called to affect. 

I'll be in Buffalo until God says otherwise. Why? Because I believe that if He is sending me, there is an ear that is waiting to hear my words. There is a heart that is waiting for be revived with passion again. There will always be legacy and a promise to fulfill. 

God's Best, 
Pastor Gaby

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Champion Sound

First of all, I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year! May this year be full of the fulfillment and the manifestation of every word that has been declared over your life! I thought I should write something to get you going with a fresh perspective for this year.

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a young man where I asked him how he was doing and tried to get to know him better. The young man told me, “Aww, well, I’m doing as good as can be expected.” The statement didn’t shock me as much as the timing. I had asked him this after we heard a powerful word preached that truly touched my life. I thought everyone in the room had captured the heart of God that day, but it turns out it didn’t quite work that way.

This scenario proved to me that you can have information come in through your ears and yet not hear a word that was spoken. Change doesn’t happen when you shout during the message, it’s how your words correspond to what you've heard. This will dictate if you really believe it or not or if you were distracted by other things that had nothing to do with the message. Luke reminds us in his writings that “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” This means that your reaction during the message isn't the evidence that you heard it and captured God’s word for your life; although shouting, to me at least, sends a signal to your spirit and tells it, “I agree with that." Your shout will re-affirm your faith and remind you that it will eventually turn around in your favor. All you have to do is listen to yourself and the confession that comes out of your mouth to confirm if you've grasped the word, captured it and sowed it into your heart.

There is a big misconception in the church. People think that the enemy comes against the words that you hear every Sunday, the encouraging words that you read on Twitter or Facebook, and what you have read in the Bible. He doesn’t. What the enemy will come against is the word that you actually capture and sow in your heart. Why? Because now that you’ve sown it in your heart, you will talk about the seed that was sown and how you are waiting for a harvest. This is the reason why you don’t share your dreams, visions and prophetic destiny with just anybody. Some people have been assigned to your life to make you think you’re crazy, that it can’t be done, steal the seed (Luke 22:31) and then leave you lonely and depressed with no hope in sight.

This is the place where a 'Champion Sound' comes into play. A Champion is who you are and a sound is what you project. If in fact you are a Champion, then your sound should correlate with that position. Specifically, your word selection should change from what you currently see, to what you are believing to see. Think about it like a plane. Way before you see the plane, you should hear the it coming. It should work the same way with you. Way before you physically see the manifestation of what you are believing for, people should be able to hear it coming from your mouth. Champions don’t just live above the standard, they speak above the standard. They understand that if God has caused a change in your life, your words are going to steadily align themselves with that kind of living. The same DNA that made you a winner also produces a sound in you to declare blessing in the midst of a generational curse, abundance in the midst of a famine, rain in drought, and a prophetic word of open doors when everything has been closed. This is what I call, “A Champion Sound.”

Friday, March 2, 2012

Waiting on Superman

Last week I had a conversation with a young lady about finding a mate; a kingdom connection to be specific. Someone who you no longer waste your time with, but you consider it to be an investment for your future. Remember, the one who waits is the one who wins. So I asked her, “What type of guy are you waiting on?” She responds, “I’m waiting on Superman.”
After this I began to think on what a “Superman-type” of guy would look like. I began to think about the glasses, the suit, the cape and even the flying part (which was pretty cool). But then it hit me. If you are looking for a Superman, make sure you know what power he carries. Clark Kent was always Superman, but he always needed to go into a phone booth to change into Superman. In other words, without the phone booth, he would just be known as Clark Kent from the Daily Planet. When a man enters your life, make sure you meet Superman before you meet Clark Kent. Make sure you know and ask him about his purpose and calling before you find out what he isn’t. Because by the time you’ve figured out who they really are, they’ve promised you the moon and you’re wearing the ring. Tell him that you are attracted to purpose and destiny and everything else is secondary.
In this world we have two types of men: The first type of man is the one that needs the phone booth (people) to verify and validate who he is called to be. The second is the man who doesn’t need a phone booth because he understands that he has been called by the will of God, and not by the will of men. This is the man that understands that by the grace of God, he is enabled to do what others said he couldn’t do. This is the man that doesn’t tear through walls with heat vision coming from his eyes. He tears through walls with the declaration that comes from his mouth. He doesn’t wait for the enemy to show up to become the man he was purposed to be. He is the man who at all times embodies purpose and wears the garments of praise. He occupies the office of his gift and isn’t moved by emotion or circumstance. He is captivated by true character and a woman that doesn’t need shoes, an outfit or a job to define her. He doesn’t measure the weight of her shortcomings, but he has carefully calculated the weight of the words that come from her mouth. She walks knowing that she is God’s daughter and He doesn’t give anything less than the best to His children.
Which are you looking for?  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Some years ago, a German Philosopher performed a case study on flies. He placed a specified number of flies into a clear container. After placing them in that clear container, he covered it with a plastic lid. After doing this, the flies attempted to get out of the container. While trying to leave the container, the flies continued to bump their heads against the lid. After seeing this transpire, this researcher kept the lid on for an hour. After the hour had expired he took the lid off. Because they had spent so much time bumping their heads, they no longer went that high inside the container. They no longer tried to leave because they became accustomed to their circumstance. Another fly was released inside the room after the hour was up. This fly flew around the room, checked out the scene, entered and exited the container to continue his meandering journey. The researcher’s conclusion was that because they saw something else come in and out of the vessel, they used it as a green light that they could also leave and fly around the room. They had the capabilities of moving as high as 36 feet in the air but because of their bad experience bumping their heads, they limited themselves to 8 inches.

The enemy’s goal is to frustrate you because of past experiences. You might not feel like you have been trying to get out of the container for an hour, but you felt like you spent all of 2011 in that container; a full 365 days. God's word for you in this time is that what the enemy intended to frustrate, forestall and forsake you, God used to ferment you. Fermentation occurs when the juices of a grape have been left in a sealed container for a time. Later, it becomes what we know as wine. The longer wine spends inside of a container, the better it will taste to whoever consumes it. His word says that "your gift will make way for you before great men." This is the place where God will serve you before great men. God will use your process for your promotion. He takes what the enemy intended for evil and for your destruction and He will turn it around for your good. You felt like you couldn’t go as high as you know you have been built to go. But the bible tells us that “His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.” That “eyes have not seen. Ears have not heard. Nor has it entered the heart of man, the things that He has prepared for them that love Him and are called according to His purpose”(1 Cor 2:9).
He is telling you that this year, "Its time to leave the container." Its time to leave what you thought was a comfort zone and enter the land that He has promised you. Leave the prison and enter the palace. Leave the resentment and enter His rest. Leave the dungeon and enter His dominion. The fermenting process has prepared you for the blessing you will experience in 2012. God is telling you that it is time to get out, get going and enter a year full of Fulfillment, Reign and Dominion! NO MORE LIMITS! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

NOT Guilty

After 33 days of testimony, 400 pieces of evidence, and more than 90 witnesses, the jury in the Casey Anthony trial had reached a verdict. The media covered the world for more than 8 weeks with this astounding story of a mother accused of killing and disposing the body of her then 2 year old daughter. The prosecution composed their case on the premise that the mother, Casey Anthony (25 years of age), was a promiscuous, self-centered woman who became a cold-blooded killer. The motive, prosecutors alleged, was to allow her to live a carefree life without her daughter.

CNN, Fox News, and all major affiliates covered the reaction of the flabbergasted forum of parents that heard the verdict. I myself, not yet a parent, heard the verdict and was in a state of shock. People said, “OJ number two,” as they were asked to share their emotions live on the air with the rest of the world.

Sitting back, I began to think to myself, many of us should be accused of the same crime. We may have not killed a 2 year old girl nor hid the body, but we are sure guilty of something similar. What happened to the sins you committed and hid for no one to see or find out about? The dream of God that you have chosen to choke neonatal and hide for no one to account for? The fact is that you should be guilty. What blew me away about the case from beginning to end is that the defense thought this was an “open and close book” type case. 

Midway through the trial, Casey began to blame her father and mother. She stated that an abusive relationship, distorted childhood, and sexual abuse is the cause of her unbalanced emotions. Surprisingly, many of us try the same scheme. The difference is that we blame it on God and on our Pastors. We say that it is His/their fault when things don’t go in our favor. We begin to question God and ireluctantly blame our Pastors for the opposition we encounter because of the gift that we possess. We fail to understand, “to whom much is given, much is required.” The gift (child) that God has given you demands a lot from you. It demands your attention, compassion, consideration, and overall; your time. Many gifted people don’t understand this. They expect the gift to grow but don’t invest anytime into it. The word “Christian” denotes to mean “Christ-like.” This doesn’t mean fellowship, but discipleship. This means: the people I used to hang with, I can’t hang out with any longer. The people I used to talk to, I can’t talk to any longer. Why? Because "the wrong people will choke and impede the gift of God from growing into what God purposed for it to be." - Pastor A. Santiago

This allegory reminds me of a man in the Bible that was given a talent. Because he didn’t understand it’s importance, he dug a hole in the ground and hid it (Matt 25:18). Your baby needs to breathe. It requires oxygen in order to live and grow. Unfortunately, many have acted like the still unidentified culprit in this crime. They have taken what God has given them and hid it in the ground for no one to find until the time comes to show what you have done with that gift. There’s a reason why God has impregnated you with a dream. Casey has responded to twelve jurors, but one day she will have to respond to one God that will ask, “What did you do with the gift (child) I have given to you?” You may not ever stand before a grand jury, but you will one day stand before a Great God.

The truth is, that YOUR verdict should've been guilty; BUT God. When a jury of your peers find you guilty, the only thing that they should find you guilty of is His unconditional Love and Favor. If you were to really analyze the evidence, it was stacked up against you! It should have been an "open and close" case. As the enemy prepared his arguments, approached the bench, and after making his [very true] closing statements, You should have received the death sentence for the sins you committed; BUT God. What turned the case around was the fact that a lot of the evidence brought against Casey was inadmissible, because it was circumstantial. When God steps in, He begins to find the evidence stacked up against you inadmissible. It is inadmissible because while the enemy tries to find the incriminating evidence, all he will find is the evidence of the blood of Jesus. The blood will cover every plan of the enemy to destroy you. His hand of Mercy will pull you out of the circumstance and His Grace will give you the power to stay out of it.

Lead defense attorney Jose Baez remarked something that remains in my conscious. He said, “We should take this as an opportunity to know that you cannot convict someone until they have had their day in court. “  By profession he understands that you cannot convict someone of a crime based on suspicion. We seem to judge each other based on suspicion without having all the facts. While God is trying to draw them near, you are pushing them away because they look "suspect." The greatest benefit of the blood is when the enemy finds you guilty and calls you before the jury, you won’t have to defend yourself. Jesus will become your defense and your shield. “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge.” (Psalms 91:4)

You are NOT Guilty!

Guilt is ever present in people that try to defend themselves and allow the enemy to manipulate them in any which way possible. Even after people forget what you have done, the enemy will bring it back to the light and convict you all over again as though it were the first time! If you don’t believe me, where is OJ Simpson?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Changing Lanes

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend about change. He said, " I feel like I'm changing and getting to where I need to be in God." My caution to him was to be careful. A lot can happen during this transition in his life and can effect a lot of people. This conversation jogged my memory back to a movie back in 2002 called "Changing Lanes". This movie dramatized the collision between two completely different worlds. The characters portrayed demonstrated the hectic world of a young attorney (Ben Affleck), and a business man (Samuel L. Jackson).

The movie intensified as the attorney needed to exit and wasn't paying attention, so he collided with the other driver causing a chain of events to occur. The message I received from this motion picture was how because it was time to change lanes and he wasn't paying attention, he collided with someone who wasn't going where he was. It wasn't so much the rear view mirror that he missed. Essentially, he misjudged and underestimated his blind spots! Its astounding that even an 15 passenger van can hide in your blind spot without you noticing. The book of Proverbs implores us to "keep and guard your heart with all vigilance." (Prov 4:23) AMP

Amazingly, many of us need to change lanes and really aren't paying attention to where the next stop is. God is letting you know it's time to move, to shift, to transition, and because you aren't paying attention, you are missing your stop. Most importantly, it's the person sitting in the back seat (friends, people whom you are accountable to) that can tell you if something is hiding in your blind spot when you cannot see it. Unfortunately, we have so-called "friends" that don't say anything for the convenience of the ride. Some people just like a free ride. They love to ride your emotions, your integrity, and wont tell you when something is really wrong or even when you are about to collide with something BIG.

Ironically, if your in the fast lane of the highway and need to get off at an exit, you first have to cross over to the slow lane. This is the most dangerous part. Your changing not only lanes, but in order to change lanes you have to change speed. You have to change speed because the people in the other lanes are not going as fast as you are. This process can be called "the change of mindset" (Romans 12:2). Be careful not to get entangled with people who are not on your level. Its usually people who are not on our level that slow us down from getting to where God needs us and has called us to be.

According to a recent study, the number one cause of accidents on US highways is an improper change of lanes. Millions of helpless civilians die each year because others were not paying attention to when they needed to get off. Your decisions affect many people, in a good way or bad.

My cry to this generation is to change lanes, but before you do........Discern the time! This season is a season of rest. While you rest, in God that is, you will see the harvest lye before you like never before. Unproductivity is over with! The time where just doing the same thing is over with! The time where you had to go along, to be along is over with! You are made with a different DNA. The DNA of a Champion. You first have to make up in your mind, " I'm changing lanes." First look through your mirrors. You're not looking to your past, but making sure that no one will blind you from getting to your future!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Locked Out

Since the end of the 2010-2011 NFL season, analyst speculated a lockout would be eminent. Players are doing different things as the NFL lockout drags on. Some are finding alternative employment, others are boxing, while the remaining remnant are engaging in workouts they've put together with their teammates.

 Ironically, in church some find themselves to be gifted, talented, and anointed in a certain area but they feel locked out. They feel like God has placed a door before them but the enemy has locked the door on the opposite side. We are mistaken if we think our probable cause is that the enemy has closed every door. God is strong enough to open a door that man cannot close but also patient enough with us to close a door that man cannot open.

Its baffling when people's approach is saying, "The enemy thought he closed a door on my gift, but he has another thing coming!" This usually happens when they are not allowed to lead worship in their church or preach in front of a congregation. It's God closing the door of your gift to open another door to walk you into Purpose. Your gift is given by God to open eyes and make people receptive to His word, not make people receptive to your gift. What good is the gift if their is no Purpose? Your gift will bring you before great men, but your Purpose will keep you there.

My good friend, a gifted worship leader once told me, "I'm tired of seeing people abuse worship. That's my baby and it feels like its being mistreated and dropped." Once you walk into a place where your gift defines you, then you've lost a sense of Purpose. He understands that beyond being a gifted and influential singer, he's a worship leader (Psalmist). His assignment is to escort the people into the presence of God so that God can in turn, speak to the people. He's more than a singer, he's a minister of the Gospel; A man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22).

I believe that the professional athletes that have decided to pursue other careers during this lockout, will not be as successful. "Why the negativity?" Good question. It's because a football player's gift is his athleticism; however his Purpose is to play football. I once saw a tweet that read, "God made Lebron to play basketball." Lebron's attempt to play football was unsuccessful since his God-appointed-purpose is to play basketball and to influence a generation (in a positive way, of course) through that avenue. The same applies to you. Maybe you're not a professional athlete nor called to be a worship leader, but you're a great teacher. Let God use that to impact a generation and change someone's life.

Maybe God has allowed the lockout in your life to make you define and realize where your heart and motives are. In the Bible, Luke emphasized how before building, you must sit down, consider everything, so that in the likely event you begin, you can complete the task at hand (Luke 14:28).

The only authority that the enemy has over you is the one you have deputized him with. Lockouts build impatience, intolerance, scrutiny, and desperation. These feelings can Make You or Break You! He holds and has always held the key that is going to unlock immeasurable, incomprehensible, and unfathomable opportunities for you. This is exactly why it requires Purpose to see all these things. Your gift will only let you see with the eyes of the soul, but Purpose lets you see with the eyes of the Spirit. Thank him for the Lock Out, because once you are aligned with Purpose, you will be Locked In!