Resilience & the Bible: How to Use Scriptures to Bounce Back From – Stiff Person Syndrome

Hello World,

Y’all, I know. It’s been a minute since I last blogged. Things are happening in my life that have made it challenging to blog on my regular schedule, but I’m attempting to get back in the groove as of right now.

Anywho, on today’s post…so in 2015, I started a  seven-month interview series entitled “Resilience & the Bible” which is about how Scriptures can be used to bounce back from the trials we all have to go through from time to time. The last post in the series was published in 2016, but I only posted five interviews. So I owe you two!!! Since I’m getting back in my blog groove, I’m trying to make sure I follow through with important blog content for you my dear readers. In 2020, the concept of resilience is more important than ever as I am guessing that we’re all bouncing back from trial during this trying year.

So without further ado, let me introduce you to the courageous Tisha Foster , author of a book titled My Journey With God Through Stiff Person Syndrome. Tisha, who is also a mother, hopes to inspire others through her journey and create more awareness around the rare syndrome which affects one in one million people. Please see my interview with Tisha below…

1. What is Stiff Person Syndrome, and how were you diagnosed with this condition? It was thought that you had multiple sclerosis. How is Stiff Person Syndrome different from MS? 

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS) is a “rare neurological disorder with features of an autoimmune disease.  SPS is characterized by fluctuating muscle rigidity in the trunk and limbs and a heightened sensitivity to stimuli such as noise, touch, and emotional distress, which can set off muscle spasms.  Abnormal postures, often hunched over and stiffened, are characteristic of the disorder.  People with SPS can be too disabled to walk or move, or they are afraid to leave the house because street noises, such as the sound of a horn, can trigger spasms and falls.”

I was diagnosed through extensive blood work and MRI in 2011.

Both MS and SPS involve the immune system, and both attack the nervous system. But MS doesn’t attack the nerve cells – instead, it attacks the supportive cells. Stiff Person Syndrome doesn’t. Symptoms of MS include dizziness, vision loss, and numbness. Stiff person symptoms include spasms and back pain, and it always comes with something like hypertension, Graves’ disease, or cancer.

2. Describe your lowest point with Stiff Person Syndrome

My lowest point was when I was just lying on my bed, feeling worthless. I felt as if I had lost my faith and, therefore, my battle and was contemplating suicide. I knew that it wouldn’t be fair to my parents being an only child, and it would have been very selfish of me to my kids who didn’t ask to be here and for their mother not to love them enough to want to be here for them. Life is way too precious just to cut it short on my own.

3. What Scriptures did you use to lift yourself from your lowest point? And how have they helped you? (Why did you choose them?)

Psalms 40:1-3 

I waited patiently for the Lord;  He turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him.

2 Corinthians 12:9

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Hebrews 4:15

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin.

I chose those because they were very uplifting in what I was dealing with, and I would just go with what the Holy Spirit was laying on my heart. There were lots, but I just named a few. Every scripture that I used helped me in one way or another.

4. Are you a member of a support group and or do you know anyone else with Stiff Person Syndrome, and how has a support group or knowing someone else with Stiff Person Syndrome helped you? Do you have a church family? Where do you attend church?

I have a church home called Community Church in Mount Poconos, PA. Also, I’m affiliated with the support group called Ashley’s Fight With Stiff Person Syndrome

A woman who was newly diagnosed woman purchased my book. After reading it, she reached out to me. She and I stay in touch. She gets to those low points as well and she’ll call me for comfort.

5. You prayed for two things at the start of your journey with Stiff Person Syndrome: that you would be able to take care of your youngest son and that you could wear heels again. How did you explain Stiff Person Syndrome to your children? Why these two prayer requests? How has God answered these two prayer requests? 

I have two children. At the time the disease attacked my body, I had a four-year-old and a young adult. I felt like my youngest son needed his mom, and my oldest son was already with my mother (his grandmother). I was asking to wear heels again because I was once a model and never wore sneakers. When wearing heels, I felt empowered and elegant – everything that is the essence of a woman. At that time, I didn’t feel pretty anymore and struggled with self-worth. So, that’s why those two prayers stood out for me.

When explaining the Stiff Person Syndrome to my children, my youngest son didn’t understand at first, so I had to walk him through the fact that my antibodies were attacking my muscles. My oldest son would attend doctor appointments with me, and the doctor would also explain it to him. My first main concern was that the disease was fatal, and once I found out it wasn’t, I knew I found myself in a battle I couldn’t fight on my own and needed God’s help.

So while resting,  bed-bound, God answered me. I got out of bed, and He said: ‘Live your life, go be a mother to your child.’ I slowly got back into heels that I would never throw away – and I will continue buying them. Always the day before church, I would ask God: ‘Can I wear these to church on Sunday?’  I would get a granted yes. God has definitely answered my prayers. 

6. Why did you decide to write your book My Journey With God Through Stiff Person Syndrome and was it difficult to share your story with the public?

Yes, because in a mix of the prayers I said to God, there was this: ‘If you can allow me to walk again and be a mom to my son, I will tell the world how good you are,’ and I wanted to keep my promise. The only way I would be able to tell the world is to write a book. Yes, it was very difficult to write this book and expose the trauma my body has gone through, but it actually humbled me.

7. What is your life like now? 

My life today is almost the same – in the sense that I am still the same person. I’m still very bubbly and outspoken. I am loving and giving. I just learned how to live with God. Being first and foremost, I seek Him at all times for everything. I travel, I get family time, I’m very much loved. I  just know today always to make sure God is first. I didn’t allow this condition to control my life. God is in control, and eventually, I’ll have my completion of healing.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

After being diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome, I truly believed life was over for me, but with God’s help, I continued to not only live but also enjoy life. Travel was one of the adventures I’ve undertaken despite being told I would be bed-bound for life. My book is a testimony on a hidden disability that affects millions. Check out more here:

Also, I would like for people who are in a dark place and looking for God to guide them to know that He’s there and He would never leave them or forsake them. That He is who He says He is, and He does what He says He can do. God is so real, and I wish that I can just tell everyone. 

Below are the previous entries in the “Resilience & the Bible” series:

Resilience & the Bible: How to Use Scriptures to Bounce Back From – Rebellious Teenagers

Resilience & the Bible: How to Use Scriptures to Bounce Back From – Losing Your Home

Resilience & the Bible: How to Use Scriptures to Bounce Back From – Losing Your Voice

Resilience & the Bible: How to Use Scriptures to Bounce Back From – Racism & Prejudice

Resilience & the Bible: How to Use Scriptures to Bounce Back From – Domestic Violence & Divorce

For more Bible scriptures online, go to

Any thoughts?

Bishop T.D. Jakes Says We Should Pray for President Trump as He Battles Coronavirus, But Should We?

Hello World,

Even if you’re not a fan of President Trump, we all have to admit The Apprentice reality star turned politician knows how to get headlines and change the topic of the national conversation when he sees fit. A week ago Sunday, The New York Times reported that the president only paid $750 in taxes during 2016, the year he was elected president. Of course, that revelation caused a flurry of conversation. Although some may have thought the president won the presidential debate on Tuesday, others criticized his approach to debating and his directive to the white supremacist group Proud Boys. But by Friday, he managed to trump both of those conversations by announcing in the wee hours via Twitter that he and the First Lady have been diagnosed with the scourge of 2020 – COVID-19. And just like that, there has been very little talk of his taxes, debate performance and Proud Boys directive since.

In fact, because of his ability to get headlines and shift the national conversation AND penchant for being less than truthful, some are questioning if his diagnosis is even real. In The New York Times article, “Liberals Ask: Why Should We Believe Trump Has the Virus?” reporter Davey Alba included tweets from The New Yorker staff writer Jelani Cobb and actor Susan Sutton.

Here is Jelani’s tweet below:

Here is Susan’s tweet below:

And my husband is also skeptical. I do, however, believe he is sick and others do as well. And because that is the case, there are those who are praying for his recovery and asking others to join them. Below is Bishop T.J. Jakes Instagram post about praying for him:


View this post on Instagram


This morning, Americans awoke to the sad and deeply troubling news that President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19. Please join me in praying for the first family. These are challenging days for our nation and the world.⁣ ⁣ Please don’t turn this into a political issue. ⁣ ⁣ We must be more humane toward one another. Compassion has nothing to do with politics; it has everything to do with being a Christian and a human being. While we’re on our knees, take this opportunity to pray for the millions suffering during this pandemic. These are dire times, and we must be “our brother’s keeper.” I urge skeptics and those who have grown lax about exercising the necessary safety precautions to take this pandemic seriously. As a pastor who has buried many, I can assure you that this virus is a-political and definitely not a hoax. Let’s work together to defeat it!

A post shared by T.D. Jakes (@bishopjakes) on

And Bishop has received quite a few critical responses to this post. Below are a few:

With all due respect Bishop. Donald J. Trump was the one who turned this into a political issue.

With all due respect we should have been praying that the lord changed his heart and wicked ways. You reap what you sow.

More humane? Did you hear what he said about Joe’s son the other night?? Donald isn’t humane.

In a Facebook group that I’m a member of, one member posted this statement:

Praying🙏🙏🙏🙏 for our president and country as he flies off to Walter Reed Medical Center “out of an abundance of caution” for the next several days. I do not agree with many of the policies and personality, but as children of God, we MUST pray for him and his family.🙏🙏🙏🙏

And below are some of the responses to this post:

I saw this and had to double check and see if I was in a Trump support group. As others said, I wish no ill will towards him but the fact remains that he and his Trumpicans downplayed this pandemic the entire time. God has a way of humbling us. This situation should be his wake up call.

I’m not calling the fire department because the plantations on fire.

211,000 people are dead because of his lack and failure to protect this country naw then he tried to disrespect RBG wishes not to fill her seat until after the election nope the fool was asking for karma it comes back 10 fold strong.

So let’s dig a little deeper into what was said. One of the reasons why people are having a hard time praying for the president is because since the news of this pandemic broke, the president has been playing it down and even said as much to Bob Woodward.

Additionally, he has eschewed methods of curtailing the virus such as social distancing. When public health experts warned about holding large rallies and leaders responded such as North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, rather than try to work within the guidelines, the president responded by moving the GOP convention to Florida before ultimately bringing it to the White House. Although it’s not clear where businessman and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain contracted COVID-19, Cain attended a Trump rally in Tulsa and according to a photo he tweeted, he was not practicing social distancing. Unfortunately, Cain died not long afterward due to COVID-19 complications.

Also, Trump has rarely been seen in public in a mask and in Tuesday’s debate, the president made fun of former vice president Biden for wearing his mask AND on top of that, according to Chris Wallace, the moderator for the debate, no one other than Wallace, Trump and Biden were supposed to be free of masks according to the official rules. But Trump’s family did not wear masks and when they were presented with masks to wear, they did not accept them.

And speaking of those around him, Trump is not the only one in his circle to have been recently diagnosed with COVID-19. According to USA Today, at least 11 in his circle have come up positive with coronavirus. It is believed that many of them contracted it while attending the announcement of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett at the White House Rose Garden last Saturday. Some believe this twist of events is a case of divine distribution or the last case that the notorious RBG tried as an attorney before THE JUDGE of all judges, the Lord! Reportedly, before she died, she requested that her place on the Supreme Court not be filled before the election, but within days of her death, her dying wish was ignored by the president and the Mitch McConnell who refused to even entertain President Obama’s nominee of Merrick Garland during 216 when Justice Antonin Scalia died February of that election year.

See the meme below:

Now in Scripture, we are advised to:

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—  for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Timothy 2:12

However, in the Word, it also says:

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” Galatians 6:7

So given all that has been presented here, what are you opting to do? Will you or have you been praying for the president?

Any thoughts?


Blending Gospel, R&B and Rap: Atlanta-Based Teachers, Gospel Group E21 United Receive Airplay in Southeast …

Hello World,

Blending gospel, R&B and rap, gospel group E21 United aims to “reach listeners where they are and lift them to a higher plateau,” says vocalist Yolanda Everett, through songs that “teach listeners about God’s eternal love for us and the love we should express to others.” One of those songs, “Lord You’ve Been So Good,” makes for the first single release by E21United, and is receiving airplay in the metropolitan Atlanta area and other markets in the Southeast. See the video for the single below…

E21 United, with roots in Atlanta, includes Yolanda Everett, her brother Charles Everett, also a vocalist, who produces, mixes and raps, and Christian rap artist Lonnie Edwards. In addition to music, the trio has another professional connection in common: Each is a teacher working in metro Atlanta school systems.

The group’s blend — that of two male members and one female member — makes for part of the reason behind the E21 United name, which, first and foremost, comes from scripture: Ephesians 2:1. Additionally, the number two represents the pair of siblings, Yolanda and Charles, while the number one represents Lonnie — and, as the group explains — if you add the numbers you’ll end up with three, which represents the Trinity of Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

The E21 United sound, explains Yolanda, “leaves listeners wondering in which category the music should be placed. It’s not quite the traditional gospel sound,” she adds, “because it infuses rap and R&B laced with thick R&B beats that make you bob your head up and down because the music sounds and feels so good.”

That sound can be heard Sundays from 7 a.m. to noon on WPGN Radio Atlanta’s “Good News Gospel” hosted by veteran radio personality Twanda Black. Other stations include WFKX 96 KIX in Jackson, Tennessee, WSGE 91.7 FM in Dallas, North Carolina, and WMGY 800 AM/99.3 FM and WJIC Network Internet Radio, both in Montgomery, Alabama. It also had consistent airplay time on Atlanta’s WALR KISS 104.1 FM.

Having a love for music for much of their lives, E21 United members started early in music. Yolanda and Charles Everett and their younger sister Melanie began singing in church. Yolanda and Melanie later would audition for BET’s “Teen Summit” show. Out of thousands who’d submitted music, the sisters made the cut and while they didn’t win the competition, they found that it opened doors for them to “work with some really talented musicians and producers.” Charles Everett was part of an R&B group in Montgomery, Alabama, and over the years has provided production work for a number of musical artists. Lonnie Edwards began recording gospel music in 1998, and is a co-founder of Goodside, a Christian rap ministry based in the metropolitan Atlanta area. As a member of Goodside, he released three studio albums and ministered at hundreds of engagements throughout the Southeast. In 2018, he began recording and releasing solo projects.

Check out “Keep On Moving,” a song in which the COVID-19 pandemic is addressed, below…

As the group reflects on their respective evolutions, they also are in tune with the evolution of gospel music and where it stands today. “Gospel music is relevant today just as the gospel is relevant today,” said Yolanda Everett. “Gospel music addresses the issues and needs of humanity in a unique way. It speaks to the hurting, the broken and the bruised. In the times in which we now live, we’re all in need of uplifting, encouraging and inspiring messages of hope. Gospel music provides that and so much more.”

Any thoughts?