So You Say You’re Ready To Be A Soldier? Have you counted up these costs?

matt and MekaWhether anyone wants to acknowledge that we will be in harms way again soon or not, I will. No more than two years from now we will definitely be in a new foreign land hunting down people who want our heads.

I’ve been thinking a lot about it because I see fellow soldiers talking about how they want to go, but most of them are young and have NEVER seen sustained combat like this. I never knock innocence, but REAL AGGRESSIVE war is not the same of having a sweet FOB to run back to every day.

You and your unit are the FOB. I remember scoring some onions out of a field in Iraq and losing my mind over how good it tasted with a MRE. I remember running out of water. I remember that we all had trench foot from not showering for a month and fighting trenches in a flipping MOPP SUIT!

I remember having shell shock so bad that people couldn’t take pictures of me without me dropping to the ground in complete disarray. I remember losing track of time every shower I took when I got home because all I wanted to do was relive firefights and analyze our actions and all of the sudden the water was cold from me being in there for 40 minutes.

I remember wondering if my wife moved on or if my daughter was ok because there wasn’t even mail for quite some time. I remember the fear of acceptance because I knew people had heard the stories about me taking lives.

I remember what it felt like thinking how did I make it home alive, but stepping back into Iraq only 12 months after getting home for the second time in the same exact place. I remember the constant concern of death and going to hell.

I remember the scent of burning feces, used tampons, dead bodies, and urine. I remember the on the spot memorial services for the fallen and the faces on everyone feeling pain.

I remember what my one of great friends blown off leg felt like as a held it in my hands and how a medic told me to throw it in the dumpster when we got back to the FOB. Thank God my 1SG was there to stop me from doing mean things to that individual.

I remember feeling numb constantly and heartless in the midst of tragedy and wondering what was wrong with me. I remember getting evacuated to Germany because of repeated mini strokes from taking too many detonations and the doctors so clueless that they thought it was a brain tumor.

PTSD didn’t exist back then nor did TBI.

I’m sure the thought of fighting for your country feels amazing in itself, but you need to know there is a price to experience the ultimate glory.

The price you may pay just might be the ultimate sacrifice.

Get focused, get ready, and prepare your families because when the nation calls…IT IS ON. If you’re not ready, you’re not coming back. One little mistake you’re dead. This junk is real. There won’t be story time like there was on my last deployment.

There won’t be going to the gym. There won’t be yummy food that you guys complained about anyways. There won’t be barracks. There won’t be A/C. There won’t be heat. There won’t be stores and poker nights. There won’t be clubs for you to cheat on your spouse at.

There will be you and your unit period. I hope you’re still excited because even though I’m scared, I still have another round left in me….

1SG Matthew Dzuricky

our troops trying to have a cook out in Afghanistan and the enemy decides to crash party….providing cover fire for the LT to move into position. You got to…

What others are saying about “The Other Side of Through”

My name is Monique Adams, the editor in chief of the Higher Connection Magazine, a national bi-monthly publication.  I have had the privilege of connecting with some amazing writers, this particular author being one of them. Cynthia Middlebrooks Harris is a ridiculously gifted and talented author! Her unique style of writing captures your undivided attention, pulls you into the scenic atmosphere of the book, and leaves you longing for more at the close of each chapter. Cynthia has changed the fundamental face of the three R’s from, “reading, writing and arithmetic” to a more mature aesthetic, “relevant, reliable and relatable”. She has gaged the social temperature of modern day Christendom with a thermometer that transcends culture and age: RELEVANT. With an effortless knack for systematic prose, she causes you to depend on the strategic potent phrases like, “divinely familiar” and also “the voice of prophesy coming to pass”: RELIABLE. Cynthia has prophetically portrayed the predestined interaction between families that connects the Body of Christ from heart to heart; breast to breast; and experience to experience: RELATABLE. So world, without reservation, I present you Minister Cynthia Middlebrooks Harris, author extraordinaire. As you read the pages that will surely captivate your heart, you will grow to love the author that will encourage your soul.

~Monique Adams; Editor in Chief of Higher Connection Magazine~

The Opportunity for Temptation goes live!

The wait OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAis over!!! Thanks to my wonderful cover models and dear friends, Quentin and Katherine Mack. The Opportunity for Temptation is now live on Create Space and eBook for kindle. Available soon on and soon. Click this link to order the paper version and for the eBook version click this link:…/…/ref=sr_1_1… Please help us spread the word (share this post over and over, on all your social media sites to get the word out) and happy reading! Thanks for all your love, support and patience this last year my mom passed and I needed time to refocus in waiting for the book. I pray your wait will be worth it, as you experience life inside JaQuan and Vanessa’s world. ‪#‎TeamTOSOT‬ ‪#‎ebooks‬ ‪#‎bookclubs‬ ‪#‎readers‬ ‪#‎goodreads #mustreads

Don’t Sell Out!

Today, the ordained minister in me is coming to the forefront. I would like to discuss character and eternity. Oftentimes, we read the scripture John 10:28-30 “…And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one…” we get excited. We use it as a base to declare that once you’re saved, you’re always saved. That no one will be able to take you from the Father. When we make his declaration, it is indeed a true statement. Whatever God gives Jesus, He is able to keep it. BUT… we have the ability, because God has given us free will, to willfully choose to walk out of the Father’s hand. Our actions and sometimes words, scream at God saying… “I DON”T WANT TO BE HERE ANYMORE!” After much intervention, God will allow you to walk away from His grace. But because he loves you so, He is still committed to the relationship, and will continue to “woo” you back. Scripture says, He is married to the backslider.

When we say to someone, just get saved, and neglect to inform them that something is now required of them concerning their life. We do them a grave injustice. You can no longer live anyway you desire to live. Acting on every impulse and whim. There has to be a separation, because a holy tasking has been placed on your life from the Father Himself. In His word He says, “Be ye holy for I am holy”. We have to tell the new convert, the rest of the story.

You cannot not put your hand to the plow and look back. You cannot allow the cost of fame to be the reason you give up your eternal inheritance. Esau sold his birthright inheritance to his brother, Jacob, for a pot of beans (Genesis 25:24-34). Everything and everyone associated with you is affected when you sell out. We have superstars who reported sell their souls to the devil for fame. Yesterday, we were barely aware they existed. They were average singers and dancers at best. However, because they kept a date made by the devil, they became an overnight sensation. And furthermore, some of them openly admit to giving themselves over to these seducing spirits just before they walk on stage to perform.

But you say, hold up preacher girl… I thought you said once saved always saved? Well… Hebrews chapter ten paints an enlightening picture.

Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

Hebrews 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

Hebrews 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Hebrews 10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

So here we see that, just as you are given the grace to come to God. That same grace also extends you the option to leave. You make a decision that you are going to leave God when you sell your soul out for fame and fortune.

You know the scenarios:

…I’ve got this invention. I’ve been sitting on it and it’s going nowhere. Doors are shutting in my face. I know it will change lives. However, I can’t make any headway. Don’t they know that if I had the money I wouldn’t be asking for it…

 …I’ve got this song on my heart. I’ve been singing my heart out, just trying to get noticed. I’m barely getting by. Ends are not meeting and I find myself without. Living in the land of lack. I know I’m a good singer. I’m better than half the people that have record deals. Most of them can barely even carry a tune, yet they are superstars. People are flocking at their feet just wanting to get a touch from them, and they are millionaires. They are on the big screen, in movies and now they are even writing books…

 …There was a book burning in my heart. I wrote it, published it and its just sitting there on the digital shelf. It’s not moving and no one is buying it. Meanwhile, people with less substance in their book that can easily be classified as literary porn, in the same genre as mine, are flying by me. They have six figure incomes…

 …I know I’m a dynamic speaker and no one is asking me to come speak at their conferences. The ones I attend, the audience is excited about a preacher in the pulpit prophe-lying to them and they are mostly just full of fluff, with no real revelation or anointing…

 We find ourselves screaming, really… what gives with that GOD!

The truth of the matter is, most people get caught up with superstars and covet their lives. The fame is addictive. However, what’s not considered or understood is, that some of them got to where they are with a heavy price. One too expensive, evasion and explosive to control! They start out with the ability to walk in and out of the character (spirit invasion) at will. But as time goes on, the real person is lost behind the stardom and the spirit, screaming for someone to “please help them to escape.” Most often, people are oblivious to spiritual warfare and haven’t a clue that what they see, are two entities in operation. They chalked the behavior up to being the person’s true nature, and are fascinated all the same with their lifestyle. We most slow down, and process God’s hand designed destiny and path for each of us to go through to get our promised prize. He desires for us to have these things. But obediently walking His road, means taking on an easy burden and light yoke.

I’m an Atlanta native, but I remember growing up, my siblings and I would most often, spend our summers in LaGrange, Georgia. My Cousin, Gina Adams, and I were at the time, the youngest two cousins. My younger cousin Chantriss, because she had a different father from Gina, rarely spent time at my Nanny (Zula Adams) and PaPa’s (Clarence Adams) house. Anyway, I remember that my grandmother always made everything from scratch. If she baked a pound cake (my mouth is watering now just remembering thishaha) it was always from scratch. Even the caramel icing was made from scratch. She hardly ever bought anything from the store. If we wanted hamburgers, we didn’t go to local restaurants. Our Nanny pulled out the ground beef and cast iron skillet and went to work. I remember we always yearned for the pre-made processed burgers from the local fast food restaurants. Now that I’ve gotten older. I realize that although food was nowhere near the level of being processed with the additives thirty years ago than nowadays. When we desired to get away from home grown organic foods, what we were actually craving was sickness, disease and death. Stay with me… I’m going somewhere.

My cousin Gina and I, being the youngest, were would often have to sleep on the floor underneath the dining room table. I remember thinking how huge that table was. We would pretend to be in a fortress or throw the sheets over the top and let our imaginations take us on a camping trip. When my grandmother passed away and my sister inherited the table, I was amused at the fact that it was much smaller than I remembered. I guess when you’re five years old or so, everything is huge. When we were deemed worthy enough to sleep in one of the beds, lol. We would always get the infamous pin cushion bed. You know… the one your grandmother stuffed with strips of cloth, so the springs wouldn’t cut you in the middle of the night. You had to stay in a certain position for most of the night. And when you did move around, you felt your way through the process for any uncovered springs. We would lay there for hours laughing about being in the pin cushion bed. I don’t ever remember being angry that the older siblings got the better beds.

What does this have to do with the subject you might add? Well, the point is, I wouldn’t give up or change these memories for anything. I wouldn’t sell how I grew up for any amount of fame. Think about this. When you sell yourself out to the enemy for fame, drugs, alcohol, etc. You don’t just sell yourself, you sell the memories that your loves one experienced along with you. You sell everything out. Because everything about your life changes. The family members and friends that grew up with you will never see you the same, and the lifestyle your forefathers sacrificed and worked diligently to direct you toward, is severely damaged and trampled upon. Others may envy your fame and fortune, but your spirit is dead. When you sell your soul out to get ahead in life, you’re inadvertently seeking after sickness, disease and death. There is nothing you will ever do, that effects just you. There are always casualties of war. Whether you see or acknowledge them or not.

We have to control our strong appetites of desperation and selfishness when it comes to coveting fame and fortune, so that we don’t cross the lines of grace to achieve them. We want people to flock to come see us; and stand in long lines just to get an autograph, glimpse, conversation or picture with us. All these things in themselves are not the problem. The problem is the price by which we obtained them, and our attitudes once we get there. I feel that sometimes as ministers, we have forgotten that our job is to go ye into all the nations preaching the gospel.  When we do it God’s way, and in His timing, the fame and fortune are achieved and your character is still intact when you arrive. I often tell my husband. I want to be a silent millionaire. I want to be that anonymous person who gives and meets the needs of others without them ever knowing I was there. If you can’t handle fame and fortune, don’t seek it, because it will take over you.

Let’s balance this, because I don’t want you to assume that I am implying that you are not designed to be prosperous, because you are. Dogmatic preachers will use the same scenarios I stated above to convince others that they should remain poor and underprivileged. The bible clearly denotes that Christians should be the wealthiest people on the planet.

Just to name a few scriptures on the matter:

Deuteronomy 8:18  But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

 3Jn 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

 Deuteronomy 28:1  And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:

Deuteronomy 28:2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

Deuteronomy 28:3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.

Deuteronomy 28:4 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

Deuteronomy 28:5 Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.

Deuteronomy 28:6 Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.

Deuteronomy 28:7 The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.

Deuteronomy 28:8  The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Deuteronomy 28:9 The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.

Deuteronomy 28:10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.

Deuteronomy 28:11 And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee.

Deuteronomy 28:12 The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.

Deuteronomy 28:13 And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:

Deuteronomy 28:14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

 These scriptures do not denote living a life of lack in anyway. God designed you to have and gain wealth. Just don’t allow things and wealth have you. Let us not covet the creature, but the creator Himself. When he seek Him first and His righteousness, as it says in the books of Mathew and Luke, all these things will be added unto us. God forbid we allow material gains to control us to the point that we seek after them, willing to do anything. To include selling our souls, to acquire them. We must always remain humble at His feet, supping with Him for divine instruction in all matters.

If I sell my soul out for my book series “The Other Side of Through” to be a number one best seller. Then yes, I’ve gotten there, but at what cost? Heaven and hell are both eternal. I would rather please God and only sell a few, than to sell millions and miss His eternal presence. I know that the books I have been instructed to write, although they are fiction, ministers to those that read them on a nonfiction level. They are not just a good read, they are an experience. The characters fiction lives are people’s reality. If the fame never comes and the only ones helped are but a few. Then those few are reward enough. However, God knows my desires and I have delighted myself in him.

I receive emails on numerous occasions explaining how the books ministered to various areas on reader’s lives. So I know, although I have not sold thousands yet, much less millions, they are indeed fulfilling the mission and purpose God designed for them. I know, according to God’s promise. I will get to the millions, but I cannot bypass the process. Oftentimes, the devil will come along and offer you something in order to deceive you into bypassing the process. The same way he tempted Jesus in the wilderness and Eve in the garden. His whole design in offering Jesus the kingdom as they sat on that high pinnacle was to get him to bypass the cross. Jesus understanding that he had to regain power in the earth and redeem mankind the legal way, resisted and responded with God’s holy word. It’s like Jesus was saying, “Nah… dude. I came for the cross, and the cross it shall be.” The enemy deceived Eve by getting her to focus on the one thing she couldn’t have (the tree of the knowledge of good and evil), thereby forgetting they had the run and privilege of the entire garden, with all its food and riches.

There is nothing new under the sun. If he tempted Jesus to sell out (Which we are most grateful He loves us and sent a resounding NO to the enemy), he will tempt you to sell out. Never mind the fact that God’s word clearly states that wealth is already yours. It wasn’t so much about getting Jesus to serve him, as it was for getting Jesus to bypass the cross to serve him. He does us the same way. He tempts us to bypass the process; the wilderness; the place where we are scheduled to be tried, tested, and proven. And, where our characters will be sharpened and anointing gained, to go straight to the fame.

Are you willing to gracefully allow someone else to pass by you, and help them with their vision while yours seemingly sits idle on the shelf? But, I’m here to tell you this. When you’re about the Fathers business, nothing sits idle in your life. Even when things appear to be standing still, God is ever moving! Endure the process. So that once you arrive, you have enough character to remain there. Some of the things we ask for, at that time we ask for them, our character cannot handle them. We would be in trouble eternally if God gave us everything we asked for at the precise moment we asked for it. Your waiting time, is your proving time!

There is a generation coming after you that has their eyes on you right now. You are someone’s reality TV show. What message are you going to send? What legacy of wisdom will you leave them? How will your actions teach them to live? The youth learn more from what you do rather than what you say. A wise pastor of mine of New Zion Christian fellowship in Killeen Texas, Bishop Gilbert Grace, would always quote, “People can’t hear what you are saying, if what you are doing is too loud.” Is your life screaming out obscenities that are contrary to the word of God, while your lips are whispering gospel truths? If the life that I live says holy. Then when I speak, my mouth has no choice but to follow! In secret, is when your character counts the most. So don’t sell out… go through the process!

My 29th Wedding Anniversary

Today July 11th, marks the day that 29 years ago, I said I Do. Not knowing what to expect and surely not expecting what I got. We always hear the old saying that a girl will most often marry a man that has the same characteristics as her father. I guess I fell into that “most often” category, because I remember my father as being kind, peaceful, non argumentative, a provider, loving, caring and extremely funny. My husband is a carbon copy of my father. Did dad and do hubby have their faults, oh yes. But then again, SO do I. Marriage is a journey where the attempt to perfect it never ends. If you’re not in for the long haul, and can’t stand the rain. Then buy an umbrella to stay dry and a dog for companionship and stay single. Because in marriage every now and then, you’re going to get wet with the cares of life. You’ll have to be committed when you don’t feel the passionate fire, and you’ll have to have endurance when it’s raging  (mmmm) lol. Marriage is a covenant designed by God for His creation to enjoy. If you’re not enjoying your marriage, then get to the bottom of the issue, work it out and enjoy love. Both my children can attest to the fact that their father and I have never had a knock down drag out argument or fight, they have never heard us yell at each other in anger. Do we have disagreements, yes who doesn’t, but we promised each other we would always respect the others opinion without malice. The one thing I promised myself growing up was that I would not be in a brawling marriage. Ups and downs are normal, we’re human. But it’s in those times that I resist the urge to run for cover, I throw the umbrella down and just stand in the rain. Happy anniversary to my loving husband of 29 years!