Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Moral of The Story

In a previous post entitled, Recognize The Wolf, I made a reference not only to the story but the illustration I drew. I originally drew the subject matter as a sort of an abstract of what a movie poster could look like. There was a purpose for every aspect of the piece from it being black and white to only showing half of their faces. The cabin looked small like a wood shed and the smoke that came between the two characters is as poignant as the characters themselves. People who enjoy looking at art would have spotted these things and it is one of the reasons why the piece does so well in my gallery.

For the purpose of this blog; however, I draw (pun intended) your attention not to the illustration but the story itself. As an adult, I thought about the nonsense of anyone not recognizing a threat when it comes upon him/her much like not being able to recognize the difference between a family member and a stranger. Could it happen? Why didn't any of the characters in Superman or Batman recognize Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne? Did they want to or was it easier to believe that there was some fictitious character coming to save the day rather then men who made it their cause to fight against wrong? Nevertheless, it is Red Riding Hood that is told over and over again to children without giving them the actual moral of the story beyond not talking to strangers. Sadly, that would be an epiphany for some.

Children have a tendency to do so much talking because they don't know any better to keep what goes on in the house, in the house. Many times it is better for children to tell someone some things that they trust but for the most part how Mommy and Daddy wrestles in the bed when the think Johnny is asleep, is something that should stay in the house. Children are innocent like that. There is a cuteness about them because they have not learned the difference yet, much like kittens and puppies. Regretfully, it is that same cuteness (innocence) that predators look for as well and because of that, we make sure that our children grow up faster then we did giving them all sorts of information that we didn't have for their own safety. Then we, as parents, become concerned whether they will be jaded or will the shape of their personality be so much different rather then what we would like for them to be. It's six in one hand and half a dozen in the other. We trust in God and their safety wins... most of the time. There are those parents who are determined to allow their children to have the childhood they had. Do remember those black and white movies where the dialogue was fast and so much of it? I recall as a child, I could watch those movies over and over again. Now with the improvements on technology, I find myself not having the patience to hear so much talking. Even with the movies I liked so much, I'd look at the screen with an expression wondering, "did they always talk so fast? Why won't he shut up?"

I can understand when God blesses us, we would like for everyone to know. I have been there thinking that my fellow believers in Christ would understand having been there themselves and wish me well or at the least rejoice with me. It don't always happen that way. Look at Joseph. He told of a good dream God gave him to his blood brothers. These were the boys he grew up with! They plotted to kill him because of a dream (Genesis 37:5 AMP)! Really?!! Wouldn't that teach us all to not talk so much especially to those that don't hardly tell you anything (of their own blessings).

For the purposes of Christian dating, the warning signs flash clearly but when the package is wrapped so pretty, we tend not to see the flags waving right in front of our faces. Why did Red Riding Hood speak to an animal that would not normally have a voice to speak? Why did Eve (Genesis 3:1-6)? Why did Red tell the wolf so much about her and her grandmother? Why didn't she recognize that the one in the bed wasn't who she came to see? I believe when we talk so much we miss out on information that can be obtained by just looking or listening. The wolf had plenty to go on. Red gave him all he needed know. Even when he chased her and she got to her grandmother's house safely, I think she was still talking about her experience about the wolf in the woods and didn't look to see what her grandmother was doing, wearing, feeling, or how she sounded. It wasn't until her own life was in peril did she see what was so plain to everyone else hearing the story or looking at the illustrations (James 1:19 AMP).

Scriptures state for the older to tell the younger in order not to repeat the same mistakes as our forefathers; nevertheless, the blessings that the Lord placed on his people were documented on the staffs that the leaders carried with them. It was the blessings that were read and spoken to repeat, not the mistakes. When the Word tells us to stir up the gift, all they needed to do was read all of the blessings that were written on the staff. Moses held up the staff as a symbolic statement in reminding God of His Word. God tells us to state our case to Him and remind Him of His Word (Isaiah 43:26 AMP). Let Him hear of the blessings that He has given you. God is pleased at the prosperity of His servants. Don't let your story be the one that never wants to be repeated. Goodness, walking around talking to strangers and with animals that don't have a voice. That just sounds too much like crazy! Speak good things. Do good works. Just be good, so you can attract the same.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Come Correct

I was having a discussion with a woman who is about 20 years older then me. She is so interested in meeting someone and was asking me who in the community seems lonely and would like to meet someone as well. Granted she is a believer of God but her maturity level is a little lacking. I told her of a man that has watched her from time to time and could be interested in her. He is around when she volunteers for projects and I believe it was just to see how she handles herself in social settings. She was so excited to know that there was someone that was even looking. She asked for me to describe him. Being employed in an elderly community, the description of him being elderly with white hair and looking like this or that was not much different from every other man residing here... though, oddly enough, it satisfied her.

She paused for a moment and her elated expression changed. She said, "so why hasn't he come to speak to me?" Why would she think I had the answer to this? She knows what she does that would turn off a guy. I am not with her when he decides to come and see what she is doing. She thought again and I was in silence as she allowed the wheels of her mind to resolve this matter. I asked, if she was happy and I don't know why I did. She said that she lost the love of her life a little over a year ago and everyday she looks at his picture and has a good cry.  Really? I asked her, "so how much longer do you plan to keep doing that?" It took her a moment to answer seeing that she incorporated this grieving process in her everyday routine, "so you think he can see that I still mourn for this man?" How do I know, I thought but this satisfied her to do differently then she was doing. The next day, she told me that she put the photograph away and announced that she was finished with the grieving.

Men don't talk about having intuition, but they do pick up on stuff without having to say a word. There could be a woman that he is attracted to but men have to have more of a connection to have a relationship. Some men don't wait for that and they forge ahead to get to the sex. They find later, they wish they hadn't. It is another good reason why fornication should be avoided (1 Corinthians 6:17-19 KJV). A woman desperate to be married can coif, make it up, and lace it with a bow and he will still recognize it as desperate having no attraction to her at all. Men do have insight! Men do have intuition! Men do see past their sexual organs?!!

Yeah, that was a hard pill to swallow for me too. Seriously, I was watching the Million Dollar Matchmaker's Patti Stanger . Her philosophy to the men was, the woman that makes you have an erection is the one for you. That kind of theorizing has no place with Christian principles. As embarrassed as the men were the first season by the second season they were alright with it. Much like the saying that all men are dogs. How offensive - right? Yet, it became a mantra to where men all over the country began to bark as a sign that they were in the house. Really?!! To be called a dog is alright with you? I am offended as a woman and a mother who has raised four sons. Think about that. For a man to be called a dog is as offensive as a woman being called a bitch. It isn't cool in a music video, it isn't a hip reference for a best friend, and it will never be alright to the mature believer looking to be pleasing in the sight of God (Hebrews 13:21 AMP).

In another building of the same elderly community, I was needed to fulfill a position, temporarily. The residents there were getting me caught up on the different personalities and what to look out for. An elderly thin man came up to me. He was pleasant and doing his best to be charming but not overbearing. I smiled and as he walked away, the women let me know that man would chase anything in a skirt. I just found him to be lonely and immediately thought of the resident that was grieving over the passing of the love of her life. The only thing that separated these two people from meeting each other is a parking lot and the willingness to take a walk. They would seem ideal for each other. Why haven't they met?

It got me to think. I met someone where the attraction was so strong that it seemed like we saw each other all of the time, yet he never made the move to introduce himself. I thought it was strange but I never made a move and introduced myself to him. I was taught otherwise. Dr. Creflo Dollar, Senior Pastor of Changing Your World International Ministries, said when he met his wife, he was elated but heard she was seeing someone else at the time. He saw her on campus but still never approached her. He went on with what God called him to do on the college campus. She, Taffi, came to one of his meetings and walked up to him afterward saying, "I am interested in you" and walked away (according to him). They were dating shortly after she approached him. Selah, right? Women don't approach men because of the scripture that he will find his good thing and when the woman sought her love in the Song of Solomon, the villagers beat her (Song of Solomon 5:1-8 AMP). Hey, a brick doesn't have to be thrown at me to allow for patience to have her perfect work. Still, there has to be an attraction of some sort for one to make a move towards the other - right? So then, it being the last days, with the church being the way it is... is there any sort of attraction that would have Jesus chomping at the bit to get to her....us?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Raising Your Standards

This is not a women's lib or feminism post. We already know, as believers, where women stand and what we must do to keep the integrity of that position. Is there a double standard as to what women can do if one would compare that standard to the world? With life being my choice, what the world does is superfluous to me. However, having to live amongst those who might still have those sort of beliefs or some who have not come into the complete knowledge of the truth, the temptation of wanting more then what has already been handed to me can sometimes show itself (2 Timothy 3:6-8 AMP). Recall when the serpent caused the woman to question who she was - already a god (Genesis 3:1-7 KJV).

It is why I am writing this post. Yes, it is addressed to women, but there are some single men who have daughters that still need to learn these same lessons. When I was dating in my 20's, the Christian men enjoyed using the scripture that the woman is subservient to the man. It was them constantly reminding that she has to be obedient and it seemed there was no getting around that. In fact, I do recall being so frustrated with this discovery and not having any ammunition to hit back (Ephesians 6:10-12 AMP). I had to sit there in silence or say something that had absolutely nothing to do with the subject at hand or nothing to do with the Word. It was mostly in retaliation and because the guy relished in that frustration, I didn't choose to date, receive calls, or speak to him any longer. He might have been testing to see if I was wife material. I am glad I was not his good thing.

Later, I knew I was going to have to deal with that frustration and where it was coming from (Haggai 1:5-7 AMP). Was it the ideals of the world? Was it because the men that were testing me really weren't the men I should have been dating and therefore my peace was disturbed? Or was it that I needed to be more mature in the things of God before I could date for the purposes of marriage? I took it before the Lord and started to meditate on the Word more then I ever had before.

Mature men of God have a certain standard already knowing what they are looking for in a wife.Their discussion with the One that created him (because he is mature) could have been one where he listens and agrees with what he heard or one with a list of all the things he likes. He could be looking for someone with the right kind of measurements or the right kinds of numbers in her savings account. He has some idea what help he needs for the tasks that he is assigned to do. He believes he is mature or he could actually be, and that's where women come in to envelope the standard he hopes that she has, or she can raise her standard making him meet it or move on.

I listened to my now grown sons with what they wish for in a wife. After giving them life lessons based on the Word of God, I was fascinated with how they interpreted those lessons coupled with the influences of other sermons and people that they admire. I was surprised to hear at least two of the four speak about subservience. When I mentioned the women of back in day and how they ran around the dining area during church dinners trying to serve their men and making sure their husbands were satisfied before they could sit and eat themselves, I hadn't finished my statement before I heard them resound how much they liked that and couldn't wait before they could have wives to do that for them too. Appalled was not the word for what I was feeling about what they were saying. I blamed myself for not removing them from such spectacles without explanation when they were younger. I knew I had to do some damage control. I explained the way things used to be and why women did that in the church back then. The look on their faces could only be described as eyes glazed over. There was only one way to break them free from the bondage they were going to put someone's daughter through. I took out the Word of God.

The scripture they were clinging to with both fists as tight as they could, like some neanderthal, was the one about wives submit to your husbands (Ephesians 5:22 KJV). I read it aloud and they all nodded. I paused and read the scripture just before that one. Though they frowned, it was undeniable having been raised in church, it could not be disputed (Ephesians 5:21 KJV). Because of the two being one and mature in Christ to be in agreement, the two must submit to each other. If there are two opinions that are in conflict, then she must submit to what her husband decides to do (Ephesians 5:23 KJV). There is no frustration because she raised her standard for him to be so close to God in order for love to abound. He is not only looking out for his own well being but is considerate of her first (and she is considerate of him).

You see, it is time out for the desperation to be with someone who doesn't meet the minimum standard of being a Christian with some sort of signs and no remnant of wolf fur showing through. Just because he claims to be a born again believer doesn't mean that he is. Just because he can quote scripture doesn't mean he believes what he is saying. Just because you see him in the pew every Sunday doesn't mean he believes what is being said to him. When a man knows that you aren't desperate because you have become confident with who you are in Christ, he will either move on because you require more then he is (unequally yoked) or know he will have to prove who he is in Christ. This is the place where you would like to be. He isn't compromising your principles or moral code by giving you an ultimatum to prove your love for him and you don't have to be scared that he will find love else where. Think about it this way, the serpent would have never had a chance influencing Eve if she had studied what had been said to her. She didn't have the materials, the ammunition, or the instruction to do so. You do. Look how good God is.




Monday, October 10, 2011

Love Never Fails

This subject one would think to be obvious because we have heard this scripture since Sunday School; nevertheless, the point of repetition is so that we never forget, apply it our own lives, and then be a blessing to someone else.

Is it a wonder why God would have us walk in Love  in all that we do so that we can live that abundant life... seeing that it never fails. Just think if we truly had the mind set of what would Jesus do in every aspect of our lives, then once having the answer and carry it out, I think we would finally have all that we could ever hope to desire in our lives and in the next generation to come. The problem is, crap happens!

There are too many things that would influence us or tempt us to do something other then walking in Love. For instance, our everyday language is actually obscene if we were to grade it on a Love scale. Just think about it for a moment and forgive me for stepping on anyone's toes, but I am going have to start with ministers and work my way down. I was listening to a message this morning and understood exactly what he was referring to, only he was stating what we see and what we see is not always uplifting or anything to rejoice about. We can look at 10 minutes of the daily news and become so depressed if we allowed ourselves to be. So why then would ministers say what we would rather not happen. Recall the Old Testament when God created the world. He said...He said...He said... then He saw (Genesis 1 AMP). If we then are made in His image why would a preacher, a teacher, an apostle, a prophet, or anyone believing that Jesus is Lord say such things that we all would rather not be? I question, in those lessons, is that Love and is God pleased when we know to speak to those things that be not as though they were (Romans 4:17 GNT)? Are we going to be held accountable with the words of our mouths (Psalm 19:14 KJV). Do we speak with loving kindest, positive and uplifting (Matthew 12:34 KJV)?

Understanding that we learn when we assemble ourselves together to do better then what we were doing before, but then it seems once we reach a certain level of maturity, we start to plateau and ask, is that all there is? What I am wondering is, its up to us to seek that which we are called to do outside of the messages we hear every Sunday. I have found what seems to be thought provoking for one could be error for another. How can this be when we belong to one body? Just like soft cereal and milk is a joy to a toddler to eat but to a man he may be looking for a steak and cheese omelette. Soft cereal would not sustain him for the tasks that he has to do throughout the day. Wouldn't spiritual food be even more sustaining given the right portions to those who can eat strong meat and to those on the milk of the Word (Hebrews 5:11-15 AMP)?

Bishop T.D. Jakes said at one time when he heard a congregant state that he wanted to have what Bishop Jakes has. Dr. Creflo Dollar claimed a man saying the same thing to him. I thought it funny that their answers were identical. "You don't know what I have been  through to get what I have. If you want this, then you have to go through something to get it." I contemplated ever having said that again, but then thought, I am not them and I wouldn't have the same issues they had. In fact, what God has for me could be so much better then what they have. Yet how would I know this if I am ever looking to see if what the Jones' have? In recalling Elijah and Elisha in wanting the mantle Elijah had before being taken home, how could this apply today (2 Kings 2 AMP)? Would we desire the anointing of another person after receiving Christ as our Lord and Savior? Would we ask for a well known minister to lay hands on us to receive  the blessing before he goes home to be with the Lord or would this be error? It all being in Christ and having each of our own tasks to do in life, why would I wish for what someone else has if that person doesn't have the skills and talents that I have and I not having theirs?

What does this have to do with being single? I suppose everything. I can understand the mistakes I made in relationships and I truly wish for the next generation not to go through what I been through; therefore writing serves this purpose. I recall listening to sermons that had nothing to do with Christ but I based all that I knew on them and had obstacles to face because of that decision.  It took my own studies to find out otherwise. There are people that prey on those who are sold out to Christ and if you are not watchful, it will be years before you realize what has happened. It is said, what doesn't kill you will make you stronger. Find it in the Word. If you don't know why there is something trying to kill you because of who you are in Christ, then you can become incapacitated to do what you are assigned to do. Succumbing to temptation only to result in disease and/or addiction, and ultimately regret takes time to get back on the course before temptation showed up (James 1:12 KJV). It is why God has us to walk in Love and it being what we can hang all of the prophets and the law on. Nothing else is more important then this (Matthew 22:36-40 KJV).

So while you intend to embark on dating for the purposes of marriage, keep in mind the relationship with God that you diligently drew nigh to (Hebrews 7:19 KJV). Know that there is no man or woman who can take the place of who He is in your life. For the person you intend to marry should agree with you in this respect (and with Him, in all others). Both of you will recognize Him in the other. This is how you know he/she is the one. It is also a precursor for you to understand why there is divorce. Divorce is an undisputed record of a failed relationship. God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16 AMP). God is love (1 John 4:8 AMP). Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8 AMP).