sound YOUR faith.

hey hey hey blog buddies! i hope you all have been OFF THE HOOK. things have been going really well in my life. in recent weeks, i have detoxed negativity and have been pursuing positivity in life. it’s amazing how much brighter and smoother things become. i thank God for the opportunities coming my way! updates coming soon!!

i have been continually meditating on a message i recently heard. since receiving this Word, i have been confronted with confirmations and reminders of it, which ultimately lead me to put it into practice. (ingest-digest-invest the Word). i must share with you this life-changing message.

faith has a sound” – bishop paul lanier. we have been in a study of Gideon recently, and learning more about his reactions, circumstances, faith, identity, etc.! due to the hostile conditions of the Midianites, Gideon had been hiding out in a wine press, beating out wheat. he was fearful. this makes no sense: beating out wheat in a wine press. it goes to show that fear can make you do some crazy things. yet, in his current state of fear, “the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” (Judges 6:12). wait! he is hiding in fear, but he’s a mighty man of valor (war)?! the Lord spoke into Gideon’s fear. a sound of faith was released. “we must interfere with the atmosphere by sounding our faith.” – bishop paul lanier. later, Gideon blew a trumpet as a call to arms. (Judges 6:34) another sound of faith was released. “His sound is your weapon.” – bishop paul lanier.

and that sound was the weapon of Paul and Silas as they were imprisoned. in their shackles, they “were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them…” (Acts 16:25) the Word tells us that an earthquake occurred and their bonds were unfastened and the doors were opened. that praise must have been THE BOMB. “God wants more than your victory. He wants your testimony. He wants more than a winner. He needs a witness.” – bishop paul lanier. the sound was a key part in tearing down the walls of Jericho as well. (Joshua 6:1-27).

as you can see, the sound of faith is imperative to create an atmosphere intended for your assignment. God is sounding His Word within us and we must be like Gideon and sound it with the blow of a trumpet. the world has plenty of sounds to wear us down and live a defeated life. but i encourage you to speak over yourself, and into yourself, the sound of faith!

here it is a monday, and it hasn’t been the most ideal day. i have been stressed, aggrivated, discouraged, annoyed, etc. to no end! finally i stopped and said: “i won’t allow this to go on anymore. i speak positivity over this day! i speak favor over myself! the joy of the Lord is my strength!” moments later, i was taking my car to get an estimate for a stereo/electric problem (running late, of course due to my monday madness). the stereo estimator guy said “turn on your stereo, let’s hear what it does.” and when i turned it on, the sound was PERFECT. it was as if nothing was wrong with my stereo at all. satan tried stealing my sound! that’s the God i serve!

so encourage yourself, your day, your circumstances, your family, your issues by speaking over them! your faith has a sound. use it! thanks for reading blog buddies. i hope this simple, yet potent Word penetrated your spirit as it did mine. have an AWESOME thanksgiving week. check back to the blog soon for some of my “thankful things”.

– tony // @AsToldByTony

#TeamSpeakOverYourself

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i am sorry.

hey blog buddies. this is a different blog post from my typical ones. i must repeat what i’ve heard behind the pulpit many times: “this life is not a rehearsal.” on this side of heaven, we are to make our wrongs, right. and that is my intention with this post.

a few weeks ago i wrote a blog post that i have since removed. i did not realize the backlash i would receive for expressing my opinions, perspective, and experience. looking back i believe my intended message of kingdom containment was lost in the midst of a scenario i described. although i kept it very vague, it was irrelevant. though you may have been offended, i must say this personal blog of mine is not the platform to bring exposure to the flaws of the kingdom.

Matthew 5:24 says “…First be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” this verse resonates with me in this particular circumstance because it shows me in order to offer your gifts (whatever they may be), you must be reconciled with the body of Christ FIRST.

when writing the blog post, i was acting out of my flesh. i was reacting emotionally to situations i have no control over, and allowed distractions to get in my way. i never intended to bring conviction to anyone or their ministry, nor am i qualified to even do so. that is not my job. John 16:8 says “When he (the Holy Spirit) comes, he will convict the world, concerning sin and righteousness, and judgement.” my main goal in writing the removed blog post was to express my longing to be used in the kingdom, yet feeling as if i had no opportunity to do so.

i began writing this blog as an outlet to share my perspective, and to bring encouragement, primarily based on the Word of God. i am sorry. i strayed from that initial purpose. i pray that you accept my sincere apology with an open heart, realizing as i do, that i am not perfect. i am thankful for my faithful blog readers. i don’t expect every reader to agree with my perspectives, however i humbly ask that your sole purpose is not to find fault. thank you for allowing me to apologize. let’s keep it movin for the kingdom!

– tony // @AsToldByTony

#TeamPositivity

death…to the left.

today i have been reading and studying John 11 and the story of Lazarus. i have heard this story many times, but diving into it myself brought a whole new revelation. get ready!

something i learned while studying was Lazarus means “whom God helps”. in verse 1 we learn that Lazarus lived in a village named Bethany. Bethany means “house of misery”. these name meanings rocked my world. have you ever felt like your name didn’t match up with your environment? for example, you know you are called globally, or to be a missionary, yet you currently reside in a small city with small minds. infuse your identity into the atmosphere around you. people could be depending on your progressive thinking.

what totally knocked my socks off was verse 4: “But when Jesus heard it he said, This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” i don’t know about you, but this one verse spoke volumes in my life today! it brought hope. whatever you may be facing (sickness, disease, financial calamity, unemployment, mental breakdown, relationship issues, loneliness, etc.)…i have news for you: DEATH DOES NOT HAVE THE ADVANTAGE. death doesn’t make the last call! death…to the left. in fact, my Bible says “God works all things together for the good.” (Romans 8:28). the circumstances you may be facing will not lead to death, but to give a witness that you came THROUGH it and the Son of God may be glorified. there is purpose in your pain.

the very next verse, verse 5 starts with “Now Jesus loved…” Isn’t that a comfort? That despite ourselves, He loves us. i want to remind you that whatever hell you may be going through in your life, in this present moment, He loves you. He’s right there with us in the middle of our messes. “He will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

that’s some incredible stuff. i am blown away at how the breathing Word of God speaks into my current circumstances. IT’S NOT OVER! encourage yourself today by remembering His faithfulness to us. thank you for reading!

– tony // @AsToldByTony

#TeamSpeakOverYourself

who i am.

hey blog buddies. i hope all is well! 🙂

“your identity comes from your intervention, not your issues.” – damon thompson. something i have learned is that truth will always usurp a lie. “we cannot fix our reality until we face our reality.” – pastor debbie lanier. there are days when my insecurities and lies of the enemy try to get the best of me. but i must remind myself who i am. let these truths encourage you today as you begin to discover, or remind yourself who you are…and tell that enemy that says otherwise, three words: TO THE LEFT! 🙂

  • I am a child of God. John 1:12
  • I am a branch of the true vine, and a conduit of Christ’s life. John 15:1-5
  • I am a friend of Jesus. John 15:15
  • I have been justified and redeemed. Romans 3:23-24, Romans 6:6
  • I have been set free from the law of sing and death. Romans 8:1-2
  • As a child of God, I am a fellow heir with Christ. Romans 8:17
  • I have been accepted by Christ. Romans 15:7
  • I have been called to be a saint. 1 Corinthians 1:2; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:2
  • In Christ, I have wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. 1 Corin. 1:30
  • My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in me. 1 Corinthians 3:16
  • I am joined to the Lord and am one spirit with Him. 1 Corinthians 6:17
  • God leads me in triumph and knowledge of Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:14
  • The hardening of my mind has been removed in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21
  • I have been made one with all who are in Christ. Galatians 3:28
  • I am no longer a slave, but a child of an heir. Galatians 4:7
  • I have been set free in Christ. Galatians 5:1
  • I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Ephesians 1:3
  • I am chosen, holy, and blameless before God. Ephesians 1:4
  • I am redeemed and forgiven by the grace of Christ. Ephesians 1:7
  • I have been predestined by God to obtain an inheritance. Ephesians 1:9-11
  • I have been sealed with the Holy Sprit of promise. Ephesians 1:13
  • Because of God’s mercy and love, I have been made alive with Christ. Ephesians 2:4-5
  • I am seated in heavenly places with Christ. Ephesians 2:6
  • I am God’s workmanship created to produce good works. Ephesians 2:10
  • I have been brought near to God by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:12
  • I am a member of Christ’s body and a partaker of His promise. Ephesians 3:6
  • I have boldness and confident access to God through faith in Christ. Ephesians 3:12
  • My new self is righteous and holy. Ephesians 4:22-24
  • I was formerly in darkness, but now I am light in the Lord. Ephesians 5:8
  • I am a citizen of heaven. Philippians 3:20
  • The peace of God guards my heart and mind. Philippians 4:7
  • God supplies all my needs. Philippians 4:19
  • I have been made complete in Christ. Colossians 2:9-10
  • I have been raised up with Christ. Colossians 3:1
  • My life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3
  • Christ is my life, and I will be revealed with Him in glory. Colossians 3:4
  • I have been chosen of God, and I am holy and beloved. Colossians 3:12
  • God loves me and has chosen me. 1 Thessalonians 1:4

Have a great day IN CHRIST, blog buddies!!

– tony // @AsToldByTony

#TeamSpeakOverYourself #TeamPositivity

 

God, increase!

hey hey blog buddies!! happy november! this year has absolutely flown by, and christmas is right around the corner! are you ready?!

this morning during my devotion and prayer time, i continually recited John 3:30 “He must increase, but i must decrease.” shouldn’t this be our prayer for our daily walk? in every decision, circumstance, interaction, etc. – God, increase! when you think about it, you choose. you choose whether or not your going to allow yourself, or Him, to rise up and take reign.

the verse following (v.31) says “He who comes from above is above all.” why wouldn’t we allow the One that is above ALL to rule and reign in every facet of our lives? what is it about us that wants to take control?

this day i pray over myself and you who read this that our faith be multiplied. may we be confident in who we are, and Whose we are, that in every situation we relinquish our ways to His ways. let us choose You, Lord to increase in our lives that we MUST decrease.

– tony // @AsToldByTony

#TeamSpeakOverYourself

 

 

be a left-handed leader.

so i recently was reading judges 3 and the story of Ehud and later watched a podcast of damon thompson (the ramp) and he was speaking on the same exact passage of scripture. i love how God reveals through His word. this passage shook me.

so a little bit about the situation (no, not the jersey shore personality)…Israel was in continuous disobedience. throughout the book of judges, God raised up different leaders to deliver Israel from their captivity. something i found so interesting about this guy, Ehud, was a little bit about his identity. in verse 15 he is described as, “…the Lord raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud, the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, a left-handed man.” something damon thompson mentioned in his message was that Benjamin means “son of my right hand”. so let’s get this straight: the Lord raised up a left-handed leader from a tribe meaning “son of my right hand”?! ironic, eh? this unique quality added authenticity to Ehud. his strength was the element of surprise. this left-handed leader ultimately stabbed the current king, Eglon and later, “…the land had rest for eighty years.” (v.30).

do you ever feel like a left-handed leader in a tribe full of righties? we are called to be authentic, yet honor the spiritual authority we are placed under. being radical doesn’t mean being rebellious. when you feel like you are the odd-ball in a group, celebrate it! God is raising you up to be different for your destiny and to contribute something different to the kingdom. Ehud was placed in leadership to bring deliverance to Israel. “the power of deliverance comes from the unwillingness to conform.” – damon thompson

damon’s teaching on this passage is powerful stuff and dives deeper into subjects of spiritual authority and being equipped as Ehud was. i encourage to read judges 3:12-30. i pray His word edifies you to become different on purpose and for purpose. God is wanting to raise you up…flaws and all…to make a difference in the kingdom! let’s get real: status quo was SO last year.

🙂 have an incredible day, blog buddies! check back soon. thanks for reading! keep it positive! 🙂

– tony // @AsToldByTony

my womb-mate birthday shoutout.

hey blog buddies. today is a special day. 9.19.11 – my twin brother, Frankie and my birthday! i wanted to give a special birthday blog shoutout to my best friend from the beginning of life.

frankie joseph santoro. aka. bubby/bankie/or any other random name i call him…has been my constant friend through my 24 years of living. growing up, frankie was often my refuge. through a volatile childhood, frankie created a sense of calm in chaos. known as the peace maker between the two of us, his demeanor commanded love and unity. as we grew up, he tended to be the more studious, orderly, and responsible one as i was the more of the free spirit, creative one. throughout high school, mr. “best to take home to parents” superlative (frankie) and i balanced each other out as i held the “friendliest” superlative. although we were in different states throughout our college lives, we kept that same common bond of brothers and friends. he found his wife and started his successful career as a teacher. he is irreplaceable.

i wanna give a big birthday shoutout to my brother, frankie. i pray for God’s continued blessings to be multiplied in this year and the many to come. may your life be richly blessed by His provision. i am truly thankful for the gift He has given me in you. we have been through hell and back in our lives, but the scars reveal our resilience. at times i can be flighty, but you never cease to ground me. the best is yet to come in our lives. i believe it! i love you dear brother.

 

 

now that this post is coming to end, i read over it and it sounds like you are on your death bed. i apologize for that..but i mean every word and if i could write more of all that you mean to me, it would take forever!

happy birthday frankie.

– tony // @AsToldByTony