Saturday, November 7, 2015

All of the Bells and Whistles

In this day and age where men have become lovers of self and women...well, we operate from the seed men have sown so what kind of harvest do you think that brings? But God. In this day, you would think that even more so to wait for the leading of the Holy Spirit to guide you to the one that has been created just for you or the one that you were created to help (John 1:13 AMP). Frustration is an emotion that pales when hearing of a born again believer that says, "I am not looking for all of the bells and whistles, just companionship."

How could you not expect all of the bells and whistles? That's like telling the Lord,

 "I know You came for me to have life and have it more abundantly, BUT I'll be satisfied if I just make it in. I don't need all of that abundance stuff...ok?" 

Are you kidding me? So He got ripped to shreds and nailed to the cross for nothing (Galatians 2:20 KJV)? Huh? Wow, why not hand the keys to Satan on a silver platter while you're at it (Matthew 16:19 AMP)? Its so difficult not to call you a fool right now (Proverbs 26 AMP). Moving on.

Alright, I apologize. It took me a few weeks before I could write this entry.  We have made some decisions in our lives that have proved to be challenging but we have powered through them. We have no one else to thank but God, who saw us through it all. Now that we have completed some of our goals successfully, we consider what is missing in our lives rather then counting the blessings that we already have. You see, there is a difference when we consider our ways. 

What you are about to read is a cheat sheet to some life lessons. Understand when the verse was written for the reader to consider his ways, there was also a list of things that were not completed. When we make an account of our lives, what do we do? Do we list all of the goals we would like to accomplish and then check them off as they are completed? Or do we make a list of things we would like to have and then make a list of smaller steps in order to get those things? When has God been incorporated in that list? Where are the verses of scripture you are using for those things to be done and be done the right way (Habakkuk 2:1-3 AMP)?

In Christian dating, this person that you have been texting or writing to on Facebook or talking with on the phone seems to be knowing all of the right things to say. It seems that your prayers have been answered concerning being lonely or not having compatible companionship. Yay! So now, you have made the decision to see this person face to face and hopefully the conversation will be as rich and rewarding as the text messages and the long phone talk-fests. Instead it is dull and you are wondering what you have done wrong. You start bringing up things that don't mean anything to either of you and then you scamper trying to remember the subject matter you both enjoyed talking about over the phone. Still nothing. What is the matter? What have you done wrong? Where is the spark the both of you seemingly had? What can you do to get it back?

That last part is panic. What does God have to do with that? The Word says there is no fear in love...so (Deuteronomy 1:32 AMP)? Why not think that it might not be you but the other person? Why not think that you missed it and this person really isn't the one? Why not think that this is all a ploy because he/she is trying to see if you would panic and try harder to keep him/her? Oh yeah, there are all kinds out there even those that will plot for you to do all of the work in the relationship and when it goes sour he/she can blame you (Joshua 22:5 AMP).

Yes, by all means keep fast to getting all of the bells and whistles and never compromise anything. You are a treasure to behold...God's beloved with nothing but the best for you. Understand and keep that no matter what the enemy comes to suggest. He is going to do his job...its up to you to keep your keys and the standard so high that he can't touch it (Job 1:8-10 AMP).


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

White Gloves And A Pocketbook

First, I apologize at how long it has been since my last entry. I have been changing a few things in my life that needed my undivided attention. One of them being, a new job. I thank God for it. Its like I have been in a bubble for the last 7 years. While that has been good for my writing and art work, it was a rude awakening as to how things have drastically changed. When I tell these things to other people, they look at me as if I was locked in a cave somewhere,"Where have you been?" You see, in my former position, I was a resident live in manager for a senior community. Even on my time off, I was still in the building where I resided. Where was I going to go? I never knew that were things happening around me that I wasn't aware of. Oh, I guess I should mention, I didn't have a car in that time either. So now you see, it was as if I was in a bubble.

Anyway, during that time a video came across my timeline on Facebook. It wasn't anything spectacular for the average viewer but for me, it spoke volumes. It reminded me of a time when women guarded their identity yet they either didn't tell their daughters or as time continued, their daughters didn't value the advice of their mothers'. I suppose that's why scriptures tell us that in the last days their would be conflict with the parents and their children. Why? Why is the advice so tainted? Why was it held in such high esteem at one time and not so much anymore?

In the senior community for all of that time, I waited for some of the residents to bestow upon me all of that wisdom that was hidden in the lines and wrinkles of their faces and behind their eyes (Proverbs 2:10 AMP). I watched and spoke to them on many occasions. As I did, I saw that I learned more from them in the things they didn't say then those things they were trying to convey (James 1:19 AMP). I saw that prejudice and bigotry was trying to stay hidden but couldn't help itself when tempers flared or the individual didn't get his/her way. I saw that having a "senior moment" to gain pity is a behavior learned when she used to have all of the young men doing her bidding for her (Psalm 146:3 AMP). I saw the older men that was supposed to teach the younger about holding the door open for the young lady (or woman) doesn't even bother; and allowing for women and children to go first is a thing of the past (Titus 2:1 AMP). If a man in his senior years don't do those good things that he did when he was 20, he never wished to have done them at all. I didn't like learning that lesson.

In watching this video, I saw the expression of this same woman being made up in the different fashions that changed according to the times. She liked being feminine wearing her gloves and pocket book. She liked wearing the flower dresses and pearl earrings...and then came the 70's. Her smile changed and so did the gloves and pocketbook. For the first time in all of the fashions, she ditched it and never came back to it. Did the woman make the changes in her life that drastically changes the outlook of the nuclear family? Did a woman get that ball rolling? What made the difference in her life that revolutionized fashion, a generation, an attitude, and her identity?

What does this have to do with Christian dating? I ask that in many of these entries because it is as if I can hear you thinking that as you are reading this. The thing is, many of us as women have some idea what we would like out of the life that has been given to us. however, we change. We grow and move from the ideas and thoughts we used to have to where we are today. Most of the time, in Christ, this is good. Why do I write, most of the time? Because, just like men, we fight change. We aren't looking at the bigger picture but only what we want right now. If you notice in the video, it didn't take long for women to stop looking happy and start to incorporate a persona first looking like a hooker: hard before going back to being feminine; but ending the video much like one made for the man. Hmm. Do we really have to go through a hard time for happiness?

Notice that when a seed grows, it has to discard the hard outer surface before it can germinate into a plant, then the fruit can grow (Mark 4:26-29 AMP). The Word tells us that the righteous are like trees planted by the river (Psalm 1:1-3 AMP). This tells me that God has made the provision, all we have to do is grow. It would seem for a small portion of our lives, its not going to be pleasant...but look how far we have come.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The 2 Seater

I suppose this thought came to me as I watched women grunt (myself included) when trying to be unleashed from the back seat of a 2 door sedan. She pulled herself up by holding onto the back of the passenger seat and then had to be assisted while bent over and stepping out of the car. It didn't look pleasant to watch or experience. It is the reason I will never purchase a 2 door vehicle.

I recall when dating and visiting my date's church, I had to excuse myself to go to the ladies room. I was seated on his right and he was sitting on the aisle seat. So I whispered to him that I had to get up. He said, "oh," and put his knees together while straightening his back up against the back of the seat. I looked at him while in the position of standing up....as if that was supposed to make it easier for me to pass by him to get to where I needed to. We stayed that way until the Holy Spirit slapped a clue in him. Then he sucked his teeth before standing up so I could pass him. I tapped his shoulder when I returned. He deliberate made sure I saw him roll his eyes before he got up so I could get to my seat.

Okay, what? He sucked his teeth and rolled his eyes?!! Is this something to discuss or a reason to dump his punk, bleepity-bleep-bleep?!!

We did have a talk and he agreed. A few months later, the women of the same ministry were conversing in the ladies room about how they don't bother to ask their husbands/boyfriends to stand up when they have to get up because it makes them feel fat.

Huh? So you would rather gap your legs over his opened knees while wearing your Sunday best? Now that really looks cute - not!!!

I knew the topic was brought up for my benefit but I didn't say anything. The impromptu discussion let me know that the man I was dating was trained by those who had no training themselves. To him, his thoughtlessness was his normal, so what were those ladies' excuse?

Would that also be true of the 2 door driver? What about the driver of a 2 seater car? Is he/she making a statement that is loud and clear? Think about it for a moment. Now add the Christian equation in with your thoughts. You know, how we consider others and the fruit of kindness of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23 AMP). Where does compassion and empathy fit when purchasing a 2 seater car? What statement did you come up with once adding the Christian equation in? Love plus selfishness equals...being alone. Didn't God say that wasn't good (Genesis 2:18 AMP)?

He/she bought a car that was cool, fast, and the very thing he/she has been asking God for. Now that this person has the car, what comes next? Can you help a family out of the rain? Can you assist someone who needs a ride because their tire has been repaired and they have to get back to their car? Can you pick up your friends at a bus stop? Can you do anything else with that car but show off how fast, cool, and expensive it is?
Maybe its my issue. Maybe I can't see what so many others can. Maybe the parable of the rich young ruler speaks louder to me then it should (Mark 10:17-30 AMP). Does a car really tell you that much about a person or have I taken this matter way too far? Hm.

The purpose for the blog was to answer a question I heard some years ago asking why hasn't she met her "Boaz" or how long will it be until the Holy Spirit guides his wife to him or he to her. Well, these entries could be the what was specifically answering your question. We expect to have these perfect wonderfully made people and all of our imperfections have been taped to our clothes like the scarlet letter. Only it seems everyone else can see but the one wearing it - us. So while God has blessed you with such a vehicle or you actually have the perfect person you are dating, if you don't rid yourself of those inconsiderate, thoughtless, and selfish tendencies - if a man, watch that woman you have been dating change. You sow seed whether you know it or not. Be mindful that the seed you sow is good. If a woman, you can't complain when your mirror image is looking back at you in the form of your date or the man you married. Selah.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

First Comes Love

Do we know what that means? Yes, God is love and we strive to be more like Him (Hebrews 12:14 AMP). Yes, we can recite 1 Corinthians 13 if we have to. And yes, I've read that if my brother asks for my shirt to give him my coat also, but would I(Luke 6:29 AMP)? Would you? Can you? Do you? Or do we think of reasons as to why this guy doesn't have a shirt and what he will do with mine? Doesn't sound like love but more like doubt. Do you believe what God says or not? Its not a childish question to ask and many of us assume because we see each other in church everyday. Yes, Jesus loves me for the bible tells me so and the bible says to love your neighbor as yourself. That's not childish at all...or is it (Matthew 22:37-40 AMP)?

As much as we have laughed doing jump rope and chanting that little limerick, we have grown. Its not just a childish rhyme but something we must live by, if we are truly interested in getting married. If you aren't familiar with the little jingle:
Mary and Johnny sitting in a tree. 
K-I-S-S-I-N-G. 
First comes love, then comes marriage, 
then comes Junior in the baby carriage.

Have you noticed that the order of that jingle is all out of place these days. Babies are coming way before the marriage, that is, if it takes place at all. So if that's out of order, is the love (1 Corinthians 14:40 KJV)? I actually don't like thinking about it. Its a scary thought to imagine this world without love. Even secular music has lyrics hoping for us all to catch the spirit of love and hold on to it. Commercials are forming tear-jerkers for us to keep love alive rather than hope. Love is the greater thing yet, if someone accidentally dented your car or ripped your designer dress or cheated you out of a couple of hundred dollars, where would your Christian-faith-filled-honorable-full-of-integrity-self be? Would you be ready to take a bite out of the back of a chair or out of the back of the person that did you so wrong (Romans 12:19 AMP)?

One of my most favorite speakers passed away last year. I didn't know about it until recently. I was devastated to hear of it and then I heard how he passed away. He was the sort of speaker that had funny stories or quips and never laughed at himself as he told them. He was asked to speak at so many other ministries and as a result of his popularity, his net worth was upward of 7 million dollars. He had a good friend that he had known for years and I could only speculate had a history of handling funds in the form of an accountant, banker, or financial expert (Psalm 146:3 AMP). The point being this wonderful speaker became ill and was hospitalized. It didn't take long for hospital officials to ask of his medical insurance only to find that payments weren't made and it had lapsed. He called his good friend to ask what the matter was. She was gone, no where to be found....neither was the payments to his house, vehicles, or life insurance. All of his property was repossessed to pay for his debt. Debt, you ask with a net worth of 7 million? Yeah, that money was gone too. This speaker went from private jets to shopping at the dollar store, it was a horrible story. I wondered what his thought processes were like. Was he dripping in love or seething to find his "so called" friend? Here's a good question: what happened to all of the ministers, pastors, evangelists, prophets, apostles, and teachers, that he spoke to and for at their events? Why hadn't they stretched forth to help (Matthew 7:17 AMP)? Where was their portion of love? Aarrgh, it had me crying. Know that I will mention this man again because there is a good lesson about marriage with how he lived.

There is also the matter of what you think about yourself? Some of us have this deep seeded loathing for ourselves. Either we don't like the way we look, speak, walk, behave, or something obscure that no one else is thinking about. How then do you expect to love your neighbor or a spouse for that matter? How can you do good when you don't like the good that God created in you? It just doesn't happen. The other thing about that is, some of us are content with not liking ourselves so we won't be grouped into those men who are lovers of themselves in these last days (2 Timothy 3 AMP). Yeah, there is a huge difference in the 2 and neither of them are good. Seek God's face on that so you can be delivered and set free.

The point being in all of this, make sure love is the first ingredient in all that you do and with the person you promise the rest of your life to. People can talk all sorts of game when they see something they want. You might be an ideal candidate for arm candy, the perfect baby maker, the best cook, or sing like an angel and all of the compliments for all of the gifts God has given is not love. So don't be fooled or allow someone to paint a rosy picture when all you can smell is the manure (Jude1:23 AMP).

Then Comes Marriage

As much as I have written about dating and what to look for in a spouse, the writings on marriage has not been as exhaustive. The reason for that is, if a person understands that he/she is not dating just for the sake of being social but for the purposes of marriage, then that person is also ready or has established a relationship with God to know that he/she must pray, study, and always have an attentive ear to know what to do (Mark 4:9 AMP). This should be a regular practice, otherwise discord has gained entrance. This isn't very popular for people to adapt because people would like to do what they wish to do and discipline isn't usually one of those things that's really high up on the chore list.

Seriously, do you not understand that we are incorporating another personality that must be more like you then not (Amos 3:3 KJV). First comes love, is not just having the relationship with God but with you. You must like you. If you don't then you will hate your suppose and discord was never served eviction papers (James 1:20 AMP). Its just siting there ready to invite, drama, gossip, nagging right in to kick back with feet on your best furniture (Ephesians 4:27 AMP).Why? Because you didn't recognize the loathing of self. It is why there is domestic violence. It is why some run to other substances to escape - like, drugs, alcohol, strip clubs and the like. It is why mental health is where it is. If you didn't know, go to a counselor and chat for awhile (Proverbs 15:22 KJV). There is no shame in it. We all need some help from time to time. Know that if you continue hating yourself, you will have more trouble then a little bit because the greater one on the inside is not the author of the confusion you are contending with.

Once those matters are understood, you have to walk in it. You have to see how all of that feels and
condition yourself to make it a habit to be that way. Look at it from this perspective: I have this issue with weight. I know what to do to lose the weight and am actually doing all of the elementary things with my diet. Such as watching my carbohydrate intake, having several servings of fruits and vegetables, take vitamins and minerals daily, more fish then red meat, no fatty foods, no fast food, no junk food, cut down on sugary treats, no alcohol, no caffeine, no sodas, and drink plenty of water. You would think I could keep that single digit (or close to it) size. Well, there is that pesky thing that seems to make me whine every morning as I look at the CD's, equipment, and all of the other crap that's supposed to motivate me to exercise. I use to do it daily and got down to my target weight, then I felt like I conquered the battle and could live like a normal person just getting up and living without having to make time for cardio. As much as I detest writing this because I do understand it - I was WRONG!!! Exercise must be a part of my life as making my bed, brushing my teeth and bathing. Its necessary and I must do it or... be a porker. Oddly, I rationalized with the porking concept. But isn't that what you did with loving yourself?

Alright, now some months have passed. How well have you done? Don't you know? What does your counselor say? You did get a Christian counselor basing the therapy on the Word didn't you? Otherwise, its the blind leading the blind.

Use a calendar. After you had your break through, there has to be some scriptures that you are standing on and believing for. You have been repeating them daily. Well, has anything happened? If not, get ready for it! If it has, write it down in the calendar. Keep a track of the improvements in your life. Choosing life way back when was more then just speaking words. You must be on the life journey and many times that would mean speaking the Word of life into existence just as God did when creating the world.

Once you see the difference, know that this is something that has to be maintained. When dating for the purposes of marriage, he/she must also be doing this as well. It is why marriage isn't hard for believers. We have learned how God is, what He says, and how He operates. We do the same thing. This is striving to be more like Him. With these things as habits, you can see how much we have taken for granted, where we had made mistakes wondering why God was taking so long, and why we had to wait to be married. God is good.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Point of Discussion

There was an episode of Hoarders: Buried Alive (S5:E19 2014), where this elderly man had a trailer home that he barricaded with his treasure of trash he had been collecting for over 30 years. It was found, as it is in most of the episodes, that he became a hoarder after the passing of his father. In the program we also see that he has an elderly fiance that was living with him. A portion of his hoard fell on her giving injury to her leg. She was hospitalized for a time. While in the hospital, his fiance's family agree with him in order for the cohabitation to exist, he would have to do some drastic cleaning. Not willing to give up his hoard, he resolves with the family that he has another property close by and the two of them could live there. Relieved, all of the family agrees. When coming to the property to inspect to see if their mother could live there, they discover that he has used this property to catch the overflow of his hoard. Needless to write that the arguing begins and continues with this man having no foundation for keeping the condition of both homes the way they are. Clearly he has a mental disorder but the elderly woman still wishes to have a relationship with him. He asks for her to tell the family to leave so the 2 of them can work out their differences.

I watched this man get upset with her family and speak softly to his fiance as if he is one way with her but not that way with everyone else. I watched this elderly woman give excuses for this man's behavior and wonder how are the professionals going to get this elderly man to change his ways for him to have a happy life. He agrees to have his property cleaned when the manager gets involved and is made aware of what this man has done to both of the trailer homes. A therapist, an organizer, and the family of his fiance all try to assist this man with cleaning up so his fiance could have a place she can call home. By the end of the program, the only ones that have changed is the therapist. She removed herself from the case getting nowhere with this man. The fiance, now agreeing with her family, and when he tries to speak sweetly to her for him to be able to keep a portable file box wreaking with rodent urine and droppings she emphatically tells him no. I saw that she had to tell him no several times before he relinquished the hold that file box had on him.

I wondered if the therapist gave up and the fiance changed her mind when the group session was in its highest and he said that if worse comes to worse, he and his fiancee could move into a hotel for a week. Did she understand what he wasn't saying? Did she hear that his stuff was more important to him then her no matter that she was injured from it? Did she hear that all she was good for was a romp at a hotel so he could go back to his stuff and not her? Couldn't she understand that he doesn't love her? These are elderly people! Where was the boundary? Where was the common sense? This is the generation that was supposed to be teaching the younger people. What has happened?

I wasn't as surprised as I would have been some years ago, yet it still serves as a lesson to men as well as to the women. If you see him/her cater to the materials more then to you, take a step back and look at your relationship for what it really is. If you still continue, ask yourself why, do you really love him/her or are you just tired of being alone? If you refuse to see the warning signs, the problem isn't the other person.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Headless Monster

Back in the day, Hollywood would come out with a thriller movie every now and again. It had to be something that the audience wouldn't expect for it to be considered a success. Success would be the proverbial jump, twitch or scream at the very moment that the monster appeared. Thrilling wouldn't be something I would call it. It used to be a horror flick yet somewhere down the road, certain people liked that feeling; therefore horror, which doesn't sound pleasant at all, turned into a thrill - er. Returning to the same movie for another scream or word of mouth for others to see the monster is what caused for more to be produced. So the every once in awhile became more frequent until the market was exhausted with so many monsters and creepy characters, no one was thrilled, freaked out, or even curious. It went from a strange oddity to just plain bad acting. The interest was gone. The market waited for a new generation to come.

The new generation came with its own pack of goodies. Mothers were single raising children all by themselves. Fathers were enjoying the single life, in prison, or dead. What parent wasted their time in teaching their children about monsters and things that bumped in the night (Proverbs 22:6 AMP)? We had real monsters in society and if you heard a bump in the night it wasn't the imagination anymore. Call the police if in a better part of town, if not get your gun! Goodness, we were starring in or own horror feature!

What to do? What to do? Well some of us pulled up our boot straps and got cracking with doing what we had to do to keep food on the table and a roof overhead. This might mean leaving the children alone or dropping off at a daycare or friend's house for most of the day. Others got going in finding a man so they could feel protected and/or have some male influence at home for the children. Those men were liking having a place with the only responsibility is being there (1 Timothy 5:8 AMP). There were just a few that resorted to shaking it off and getting back in church...and even then some of them had the previously mentioned ulterior motives. Don't you see? It was the monster being formed (2 Timothy 3:1-7 AMP).

Just visualize it. Its a bright sunny day with the birds chirping and the sound of a dog barking in the
background. Someone bellowed a greeting to Mrs. Nichols who was getting her mail. Such a nice old lady. She waved back. There was an assembly of children laughing and playing down the road a ways. They walk home together from school. It was a half day. They all live in the same area and as they walked further down the road, one says, "later" another says, "bye." and someone else says, "see you tomorrow" as each gets to their house skips up the stairs and is welcomed with a smile and a hug from a parent. The last 2 children of the group walk slower and their smiles fade knowing that the house that no one goes to because of its creepy appearance, is coming for them. The 2 children wish not to be seen entering the edifice either. So they act as if they are going elsewhere by cutting through the alley and entering the house from the back. The trees are over grown making it darker then most of the homes even while its sunny out and the birds chirp, it all grows dim for them. Carefully they unlock the door and slowly open to creep inside. There is no hiding the inevitable creak and then...dum-dum-dah!

"YOU'RE  5 MINUTES LATE!!! YOU KNOW I HAVE TO GET TO WORK! WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG? YOU DON'T HAVE TIME TO PLAY! JUST GET YOUR TAIL HOME! WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU? ARE YOU SLOW OR SOMETHING? DINNER IS IN THE MICROWAVE! DON'T USE THE PHONE! YOU BETTER TAKE A YOUR BATH! DON'T OPEN THAT DOOR OR THE CURTAINS, AND YOU BETTER BE IN BED BY 10. I AM NOT PLAYING WITH YOU!!! NOW, get over here and give me a hug. Love you. (kiss, kiss) Bye."

It was a cameo appearance from the monster. She knocked down, cut, punched with her words and with a hug patched one of the bruises. No blood shed...people would talk. They would know. The children barely mumble as they know what to do. They have heard it 1000 times before. Its not until the door closes (funny no one hears the creak then) and the car drives down the street does the heart stop beating so fast for the fun to resume....well, at least for 8-10 more hours.

Entertaining, yet the question still prevails: what does all of this have to do with Christian dating? It is a warning to men with good intentions to be aware of women who have had lives before they decided to do the right thing. The right thing can never come about without the love of God (1 John 4:8 AMP). The love of God cannot be readily obtained without acceptance of Jesus as the Lord and Savior of our lives. There is pretense, using feminine wiles, and even pity to get that white picket fence and the story book happily ever after; nevertheless, without knowledge and understanding, a man could be headed for the thriller of his life with a woman who is used to having her own way. She cannot submit because she has been trained that submission is a sign of weakness. As a result there is constant turmoil unless one is at the ready to appease. If neither is willing to, then prepare for the inevitable divorce, or infidelity, or whatever havoc the children can get themselves into. Because if the head or the body can't get along, how can anything else function accordingly?

This also warns women. Yes, we all make mistakes but we don't keep making them. After the first time, there should be a point where we look at where we were, where we are going and how to get there. What was the distraction? How did temptation rear its head and why was it so hard to refuse (1 Corinthians 10:13 AMP)? Once this assessment has taken place for ourselves, better decision making skills have a chance and fewer mistakes are made. Otherwise, the headless monster is....you!

Don't you see? Without the relationship with God, man is walking aimlessly hoping to attach onto someone who has it all together. Usually these are those who never had a father or a responsible man in the home. Without the relationship with God, she will find no purpose for a man but for appearance sake. Without the relationship with God the battle of wills continue and this isn't found out usually until the vows have been spoken and all of the bells and whistles have been put away. In Christian dating, you don't just ask if the other is saved or not, you ask what do they know about Jesus. If they proceed to sing the hymnal, that's your cue to get up, wish them a good day, and walk away.