Thursday, December 27, 2012

That's Triflin'

During the holidays, family members gather around for food, fellowship, and fun. There are those times when the festivities come to a drone and certain members start to really talk to catch up with one and another to see how everything has been. Someone got a promotion while another just finished college and going on to get a Master's degree or better yet, their PhD. Some adulate while others turn green with envy. You have the-use-to-be-gorgeous cousin has now gained a few with children and was jilted once again but she's bouncing back slowly but surely. And then you've got the screw up that finally got his head out of the sand, decided on a career, and did something about it. At hearing the news, you take a deep sigh of relief that prayers have finally been answered... and then you listen to the rest of the review. He choose a career that he is interested in and would truly be a part of the corporate world. He has his own place and has been paying his bills regularly (Proverbs 27:23 AMP). That news is a godsend for sure. Then that little piece of him having a steady relationship for some years but has no designs of marriage was added on like a finished accessory to a garment. It wasn't really necessary but just thrown out there. What? It was like a rip in the hose and you don't have another pair. The whole outfit has to be changed. Everything else said was like noise. Cousin Whosoever and Auntie Whatshername's news were just in the wind. How can anyone attach themselves to another for years and do nothing to solidify a commitment?

In an earlier post entitled, He's A Good Guy, But..., there's made mention of men deciding after so many years on a mate and bringing her home to meet the parents. The parents are either pleased with whom he has chosen or will tell him later (if at all) why she isn't the one. It isn't heard of that they will ever tell the young woman that their son is a piece of crap and she should run to get away from him....but I will. I don't recall if I ever wrote that in the post mentioned but I have written this before and would hope that all parents that truly believe Jesus is Lord will do the same. If your child refuses to do what is right but would still like to have the benefits of marriage without the commitment to do so, give the young lady a heads up...if she is really young or doesn't have the good sense God gave her. She needs the help and you wouldn't wish for such the young man on your daughter (Romans 12:17 AMP). So extend that love and do the same for someone else's daughter (Matthew 5:48 AMP). It doesn't matter that he has an excellent job and seems to care for her. The fact that he has taken all of this girl's time and goodies (you know what I mean) to assist in whatever he was doing but won't take the next step is called triflin'.

The actual word is trifling but the 'g' was taken off to add emphasis on the ghetto behavior and the act of moving aside Christian training for carnality. Nevertheless, the woman also has a voice. She doesn't have to continue putting up with such a person who doesn't consider "her favors" as anything worthy of a more stable commitment. She has allowed herself to be cheapened in the hopes that eventually he will see the light and do the right thing. When the relationship goes into 3-8 (or more) years, doing the right thing is not on his mind (Romans 8:6-8 AMP).

In a Women's Conference at the ministry I use to attend, there was a Q and A forum with the First Lady and the female ministers on panel to answer any questions the congregation might have. One of the questions that came up was from a woman. She asked how long should a woman allow for a man to keep her in a relationship before she decides that he isn't going to do anything. She divulged, at the time, that she has been engaged to this man for 8 years. The forum was interesting because we were all thinking the same thing but the answer had to be delicate enough so not to discourage this believer or anyone else listening who might be in the same circumstance and at the same time give sound advise according to the word. Some of the panel didn't need to be on the panel. There was too much eye rolling and neck jerking without saying one thing (Galatians 5:13-15 AMP). The hearts of the people weren't on their minds; however, the First Lady took the question and told the young woman to ask him what are his plans. If his plans don't include being married, let him go. The pastor, the following Sunday also added, that the man has taken this woman off the market for anyone else to be interested in her. He claimed her as his own and then when he was finished with what he had to do, he makes the decision that marriage isn't for him. Meanwhile the man she was created for, saw her, noticed the engagement ring and moved on. It is selfish of any man to ask a woman to marry him and then not follow through on the commitment. If you aren't sure, don't propose! In my perspective, agreeing with aforementioned, and also adding if she is giving up the goods, she is just as triflin' as he is and they both deserve each other. Seriously, how can you expect Prince Charming if you are acting like Cinnamon Twist on Second and Woodward (in Detroit where prostitutes frequent)? How can you expect Cinderella if you act like Cinnamon Twist's pimp about to smack her if she doesn't do more to earn her keep (Philippians 2:3 AMP)?

I watched a man today, and as I have seen him do over and over again wheel his wife from one place to another in a wheel chair. She looks to have MS. He is with her for the most part of the day, even when grocery shopping he takes her with him. He could have put her in a nursing home or hired a nurse to be with her as he did whatever his heart desired. What did she do, say, pray to have that man so devoted to her? What's also funny is, he looks happy (Proverbs 20:7 AMP). As much work as it has to be to care for her, he looks happy. I asked God, what happened to those sorts of men with character, integrity, discipline, honor, and know that the blessing of the Lord has made him rich beyond measure? I wait patiently for His answer.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday Blues and Ready to Send Pity Party Invites

Having "the holiday blahs" is not something that just came about. Its been going on for some time. The recognition of it is relatively new...well, if you consider the last 20-30 years new. The realization of such the condition more then likely had been snubbed or left on the shelf with the resolve being to just get over it already, or go take a nap and get with it, or here are some tranquilizers (which seemed to be the answer to anything that ailed you back in the 60's), you'll be fine. These panacea like answers were created because what the therapists and counselors were dealing with were so much more important than just having the blues.

These days "the blahs" are considered a form of depression. Now there are varying levels of this condition and with these varying levels come more advice, more hours with the doctor and certainly more medication. Also the medical profession take this condition much more seriously and in turn with their advice, the patients take it more seriously...though, I find it strange that with these cases having such consideration, now, why wouldn't there be more funds allocated to those with these conditions? Why were these funds the first to go when trying to get a state back on budget? Why haven't the funds returned to treat these serious cases?

There's nothing I can do about that, nor do I minimize the seriousness of having such the condition. The reason for this entry is the season we are currently in this month and how it can be enjoyed as with every day in the Lord.

This is the day, the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24 KJV). This is how I treat each day as I get up in the morning. It is a command I use to remind the Lord of His Word and how my day has to be. The Word cannot return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11 AMP). So if the ministering angels must do something, why not it be what the laws of the Word tell them to do (Hebrews 1:14 AMP). Any obstacles will have to be removed (Mark 11:23 AMP). Obstacles will not make my day a joyful one. Peace must rule and reign for my day to be enjoyed. The evil and mischief of others will have to be played on someone else (Proverbs 12:21 KJV). The moment they come near, any evil that they were thinking dissipates and they stand there saying, "now what was it that I was about to do?" It is the coolest thing ever!

Granted, there are those that have gone through all sorts of devastation and loss. Trying to put the pieces back together seem to be an impossible task and blaming someone else almost would be a normal thing to do if you didn't know better; nevertheless, God is still good. There has to be a point where you must put things back into perspective. As much as you have prayed for certain family members, some still keep getting into all sorts of trouble. Do you think your prayers weren't answered or was the family member determined to do what he/she wanted to do? Was it God's fault that this person refused sound instruction, direction, or guidance? Just as you made a quality decision to be saved, others made the decision not to be (2 Timothy 4:3 AMP).

Loss is not the only reason as to why people have  feelings of not wanting to do anything, sleeping all of the time, or sit in the dark. As many reasons as there are to muster up, someone can think of one more. Why go through them all? If a person in that state of mind, wished to be out of it, would he/she use what is available if it weren't drugs or cost them anything? Just as I used scripture as stated above, here are some verses that can be more of assistance: Deuteronomy 31:8, 32:10, Psalm 34:17, 40:1-3, 3:3, 32:10, 37:3-4, 42:11, Jeremiah 29:11, 1 Peter 5:6-7, John 16:33, 1 Peter 4:12-13.

If we were to look at the matter in terms of relationships and dating, it is not the thing to do to get your mind off of your woes. As much as we have discussed not to incorporate anyone into a mess until you have cleaned it up, this would also go under the very same category. If you are still feeling "the blahs" and decided to date to get your mind off of it and just so happened to mention what you are going through, you could trigger the same depressive state in the other person, alienate your ideal mate from ever dating you again, or make a bad decision worse by thinking this person understands you and what you are going through. When the condition leaves and you are then stuck with someone who is still having the blues, what's your next move? What do you do with this person's heart now that you are better? What if this person likes being in that state? Don't you think there are people who enjoy pity parties, being miserable and having company to wallow in it? You've heard the saying before. Where do you think it comes from?

This is the season of giving and having an outward showing of the Spirit of the Lord. People are more accepting of Him during this time. Yes, we are to show this every year and for the most part, those of us that know - do. Its just that those that don't are willing to now. It is a stupendous opportunity for His wondrous works to be seen. If ever having those miserable feelings again, take out this season of giving and sharing with others. You know it doesn't have to be Christmas to show His love. Once you start, misery has to find residence elsewhere (Ephesians 4:27 AMP).

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Pre-Nuptial Before The Nuptials (Part 3)

We all change. For whatever the reason, we will all change. Some will change for the better. Some have lost their lives because the changes they decided upon was  for the worse. As we grow, we change. From zygotes to fetus. When the fetus is too big for its surroundings birth happens. The baby grows from the bassinette to a crib, from a crib to a bed. The change happens from diapers to training pants and then to actual underwear. A baby is carried for a little while. When he/she has a desire to walk but can only crawl until changing of his/her body develops to be strong enough to toddle, then walk, and eventually run. The process of change is inevitable.

We look at children and assume that certain cognitive behaviors and motor skills are already in place based on age and emotional development. If the child acts outside of what is expected, the parent's concern causes for tests to be taken to find what the issue (if any) could be. Sometimes, its arrested development brought on by physical or emotional trauma, other times its a mental dysfunction that can be worked through with therapy or the family needs training how to raise a child with a disability. Nevertheless, for the most part, without unforeseen stressors, children grow, operate as expected, and become successful adults. This is an expected change.

Adulthood doesn't stop change from occurring. Those in their 20's believe they are invincible and have all of the answers. They get this from the encouragement of parents and those they admire. Once 30, ideas of immortality aren't as strong. Usually patterns from a career, paying bills, and raising a family have taken precedence. Having an imagination and being creative has been harnessed and re-directed with an education for focus to be established. New thoughts and ideals have been introduced. Because of this, behavior changes again based on new training. Plans change because of better ideas to benefit oneself. By the age of 40-50 reassessing self happens. We laugh at our childish ways and smile at our accomplishments (1 Corinthians 13:11 AMP). We think thoughtfully of our mistakes and try to convey to the younger generation what not to do so they can have greater accomplishments (John 14:12 AMP). It is the order of good things.

Putting God first is paramount in the order of good things. He defines what good is. It is why having a pre-nuptial agreement in a Christian marriage is a part of being decent and in order also good planning. We have dispelled that such an agreement is a precursor to divorce. If anything, instead of repeating what the world says, "its cheaper to keep her," the pre-nuptial agreement will cause men to stop talking about divorce altogether. The agreement, having been drawn in the beginning stages of love and commitment, will serve as a constant reminder that no matter what happens, she and the children will be cared for (1 Timothy 5:8 KJV).

Let's make the agreement a visual for the man; with him being the head of the house and the head of his wife, be able to see what has been masked for so many years. A young couple decides to marry after being inseparable for 18 months. All who see the couple smile at how much each one loves the other and are looking forward to seeing when they are wed. The marriage takes place. Within 3 years, she gives her husband two children and a baby on the way. The couple is still happy but not as enamored with each other as they were 3 years ago. Outsiders see the change in the couple as just being new parents and getting use to the energy that it takes out of running after little children. A year later, she looks a little tired but the children are clean and healthy. The husband seems content. His career is good and all of the bills are paid. Fast forward to 15 years of marriage. The children are teens. She wishes to work outside of the home. He doesn't agree. She appeases her husband but then requests to at least go back to school. He doesn't say no but puts off the matter until both can speak calmly. The matter has been put off for 2 years. 10 more months have passed. She found a thong tucked under the passenger seat of the family car. When she asks her husband about it, he becomes flushed and fidgety. She didn't suspect anything until then. Five months later, he confesses to her a marital indiscretion. She now questions if she has a marriage to maintain. He sees the concern in her. Before he is rejected by her, 3 weeks later she is served with divorce papers. In the complaint, he requests to split all marital assets evenly though his assumption is the children will live with her. Does this show him loving his wife as Christ loves the church? If no, when did that change begin (1 John 3:22 AMP)?

With that scenario the way that it is, he will recuperate financially within a few weeks. She, on the other hand, would have been better off finishing school or establishing some sort of career while her children were in class themselves. Considering and reverencing her husband, she asked him before doing anything. He didn't agree. Having peace was more important in her home then a career or furthering her education. In a committed relationship no one plans for the other to have an extra-marital affair. Christians, ideally, are supposed to take marital vows seriously (1 Corinthians 10:13 AMP). Forsaking all others is a part of those vows; yet, people change, as previously discussed.

The elephant enters the room, meaning the topic at hand. While the feelings of love, honor and respect are relatively new, a pre-nuptial agreement should be devised for the financial protection of the wife and children (Proverbs 16:3 AMP). At the point where love is at its highest, he should think of how people change over the years. While he might not think it will ever happen, history, divorces, and neglected, resentful children show otherwise.

In this pre-nuptial agreement, money is allowed to be deposited until a specific amount is reached. This specific amount is gathered after much calculation on the value of his spouse and what she will need over a given period of time to support herself and children (Proverbs 27:23 AMP). Calculate a year's salary and multiply it by 5. Use that product as an initial goal. That amount can be electronically handled for long term investment growth but cannot be withdrawn by anyone unless the dissolve of the marriage or the passing of the spouse. Once the cap is reached, over months or years depending on how liquid the assets are, no other deposits are made unless through the interests of the aforementioned investments. The wife can move the funds around into separate accounts for the education of the children, that is, if no other accounts have been made previously in the agreement. If educational accounts have been made by the wife, they will be separate from the mother account - completely. It will then be the child's account only. The mother account no longer feeds into it after reaching its cap. This educational fund will belong to the child at the beginning of the 2nd year of college. Children change as well (Proverbs 22:6 AMP). It would also be beneficial that the child know nothing of this agreement or separate monies until that 2nd year of college. The value of the dollar makes sense when the child puts forth the effort to make a dollar (Proverbs 24:30-34 AMP).

When the marriage begins to have some constraints, he is more likely to consider counseling then knowing how well she will be cared for without him. We have now discovered his fear in the pre-nuptial agreement. What he has to remember is that God created him needing help. This does not change when he decides to leave her. God is the same, today, yesterday, and forever (Hebrews 13:8 AMP). He is not mocked (Galatians 6:7 AMP). Prove, my brothers in Christ, that you are more like Him then your former state (Proverbs 26:11 AMP). Selah.

A Pre-Nuptial Before The Nuptials (Part 2)

First, let's finally put to rest that the woman was not the reason for the fall of man. I recall blaming Eve for the cramps I endured every month. I was a child and my information was in error.

Let it be known, man was created first. He was given a job to do. God brought things to man, Adam, to be named (Genesis 2:19-20 AMP). The woman wasn't named until after the fall (Genesis 3:20 AMP). That is one act of disobedience from the man. God told Adam to protect the garden. The woman was having a conversation with the serpent. The serpent had a name; therefore, Adam saw the serpent before. The serpent did not speak to Adam. In speaking to the woman only was rude and a violation. This was not being protected. That's the second act of disobedience before the fall of man. God told Adam not to touch the tree of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17 AMP). I would speculate for one not to touch it, there had to be some distance from it so not even the slightest mistake could occur. Therefore, the woman (still not named) had to walk towards the tree (still conversing with the serpent) to pick the fruit. Adam stood right there with her (Genesis 3:6 KJV). He didn't stop her. In the discussion with the serpent, we can read what the woman understood as a directive not to do (Genesis 3:1-5 AMP). She didn't say that she is a god made in the image of the Creator. She didn't say that she has dominion over all of the earth. She didn't put the snake in his place being made higher then him. Did she know? What she heard Adam say when she was presented to him was "bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. The two have become one." When she took the fruit from the tree, nothing happened. When she ate it - nothing happened. When she gave it to Adam, who still did nothing to stop her, he ate it too. Then something happened. God came. God came when Adam ate the fruit of the tree, yet the blaming started with Adam. He blamed the woman (not named). The woman, made from Adam, blamed the serpent. The serpent had no one else to blame because he got what he wanted. God punished Adam, the woman, and the serpent for these acts (Genesis 3:14-19 AMP). Why would man still be punishing women in ministry? Does he not see the truth of the matter or does he have something to fear in women?

The reason I ask this question is when women get quizzical, the men stop talking. Is that good? Adam stopped talking too. When has it been where men spoke up to make the necessary changes? I recall in the first 3 chapters of Esther how King Ahasuerus spoke up after having one of his wine feast celebrations. He was the only one drinking when he summoned for his queen (Esther 1:7-8 AMP). She decided not to come. The princes (men) spoke up and caused the king to divorce the queen. This purpose was to keep the women of the village in their place so they won't decide to be as bold as the queen (Esther 1:17-18 AMP). The king signed such the decree not seeing how he was being coaxed by those who awaited to be king themselves. (Esther 1:20-22 AMP)

Men also spoke up in Ruth after God told the tribes of Israel to stay in their land (Exodus 34:11-16 AMP, Deuteronomy 7:1-4 AMP). Elimelech, Naomi and their two sons decided to go to Moab in the time of famine. The sons married Moabite women and all 3 of the men died (Ruth 1:1-5 AMP). The consequence of an entire family was a direct result of one man's decision.

God told Jonah to go into Ninevah to preach to the people. He decided not to and while on the boat, there was trouble for him and the other passengers. Those steering the boat knew they didn't have any trouble before Jonah got on. So he was ejected. While alone he was swallowed up by a whale. The consequence was a direct result of one man's decision. A woman did not tell King Ahasuerus, Elimelech, or Jonah what to do. Why is the blame game still being played today? It makes no sense. The only way man will think differently is through maturity in Christ. This will require change.

Don't quit now, you are just getting to the juicy part. Part 3 is right here. Click and enjoy!

A Pre-Nuptial Before The Nuptials (Part 1)

It is a topic that appears to be taboo in the Christian sect. Women don't wish to speak on the matter these days because most have not come to the point of being the major bread winner in the household. It is also taught to women that such a contract would cause for divorce to be eminent.

A pre-nuptial agreement was created to protect his assets if the marriage doesn't work out. If she has grown accustomed to a certain life style and would he have been able to provide for such the lifestyle if it weren't for her? A question that is argued over and over again. Most of the time the woman loses. Her identity and what she has done as his wife is then valued. With his well paid lawyers, her worth is evaluated with no consideration to what she went through with her soon to be ex. In the end, she has a pittance of what she is due and he can pick up and start a new while she (usually with children) will have to struggle to come out even (1 Timothy 5:8 KJV). This is why the topic of a pre-nuptial is taboo in the church and the precursor for a divorce.

But what if the pre-nuptial agreement were created to protect the woman and her children? Why not make it a good thing to keep a marriage sealed rather then break it apart? Who would be opposed to that? A woman wouldn't oppose it unless in her heart she was already planning to leave. A man, who is more like Christ would do all he could to ensure the protection and safety of his family, including finances - right? It really sets it all out there, doesn't it (Matthew 7:16-20 AMP)? Let's look at the matter from a variety of perspectives before making up your mind what to do?

This subject reminds me of an interview Oprah Winfrey had on 60 Minutes, the popular new magazine, way back in the 80's. There she was sitting with her long time boyfriend, Stedman Graham. The question about her finally marrying became a cliche. Though earlier in her career, the subject of marriage held such importance on her show. Stedman was a guest one time and Oprah had the whole audience ask, "when are you going to marry her?" Stedman was quite calm when saying something to the effect of, "Oprah and I have an understanding. Not you or anyone else will pressure me in doing something that I am not ready to do." The camera switched quickly to focus on Oprah's reaction. She looked as if the comment took the wind out of her sail. The subject of marriage was no longer the headline as it use to be. In fact, on that 60 Minute interview, Oprah had grown in many ways. Her confidence had out shined the need she use to have to be married as she answered the interviewer's inquiry. Stedman sat very close to her at the ready for any question. The commentator then asked what everyone else viewed as ancient history and looked to have caused a sour taste in Oprah's mouth. It was the marriage question. Stedman looked at Oprah as she attempted to answer. He was more then likely awaiting for the pause and then she would say something like, "its not me. I am waiting on him." Only this time Stedman wasn't off camera listening or at home seated on a couch or at his office desk. Stedman was right there seated close by. His arm was around her and he was smiling. Was everyone thinking the same thing I was? Is he going to ask this time? Does he have the ring in his pocket? He was smiling like he was about to do it - propose?! But Oprah didn't allow for that door to be opened again. She refused the disappointment and embarrassment. She simply looked at the commentator and said, "if he doesn't sign the pre-nupt, there won't ever be a wedding anytime soon." The sail Stedman was flying on just got yanked and the sour taste Oprah masked had switched residence. There was such an awkward silence before going to commercial. When returning back to the interview, Oprah preceded alone. It was powerful! She was poised, professional, and poignant, without one Freudian slip. The absence of Stedman from the final segment spoke volumes. In the Christian arena, it had a strange affect which was flipped to mean something else. Over the years Oprah's thoughts on marriage changed. 

Years later, the author of the novel, "Waiting to Exhale", Terry McMillian had something similar happen. She also fell in love with a man and was eager for him to marry her. She, however, did not ask for a pre-nuptial agreement to be signed. Shortly after the vows were exchanged he decided to come out of the closet. She was livid. They agreed to divorce. It was then that she received a complaint to award her ex husband with spousal support. In the complaint it was explained that he had grown accustomed to a certain life style that she provided and he was not willing to give that life style up. He actually had a case. It took 5 years before they came to a resolve. 

With both of these incidences made public, everyone had an opinion of what should and shouldn't have been done. From Ms. McMillian being a cougar to Oprah allowing the relationship to have such a long root with no specific direction. Everyone had become an expert on everyone else. It made for some interesting and insightful discussions. The compelling part was that not too many men would engage on the topic. Why? Its two different perspectives. Which side would you rally to? Could you understand what Oprah did on the 60 Minutes interview and why? Can you empathize with Terry McMillian? Did Stedman have a point or was he using Oprah for his own gain? Was Terry McMillian's husband a boy-toy or was he brilliant in taking advantage of the situation? The men said nothing - nothing that I know of.

I wondered of this silence men have. In biblical times, the women weren't allowed to speak in church or have a place in ministry (1 Corinthians 14:34 AMP). The women were told if they have a question to ask their husbands once they got home from services. Why? Could this direction stem from the blame the woman received from the fall of man? Did men blame the women for the world being in a state of sin? There are ministries even now that won't allow the women to speak. I attended a church that was serving communion that Sunday. When it came time for that service, the elders of the church were served, then came the deacons, and then the wives and male sons of the elders and deacons. The male laypersons were served last. Who would be left? The single females and their children (if any). I waited and even asked the person that invited me. She was considering joining the ministry. When I asked her what was going on, she was quick to shush me for inquiring. I, she, or any of the women in our row never received the communion. I never returned to that ministry. I didn't care who the guest speaker was. What were the men thinking? How could the decision to ostracize any portion of the congregation be an act of love? Why were the women tolerating such treatment? Did this ministry believe that the woman was the reason for the fall of man too? Even if they do, what does it have to do with today? Jesus lives!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Do You Know What Time It Is? Did You Ever?

The emphasis that has been put on quirky habits have been minimal. In this blog, they have been stressed. Why? Because the world allows excuses for poor behavior when the Word gets to the root of the matter so that we can all turn from those wicked ways (Luke 15:10 AMP).

Wicked? Isn't that a little harsh?
Is divorce harsh? Seriously, the complaints heard over the years don't make sense until you have been through what the complaining is about. What's more is the one complaining only tells one side of the story. The complainer has no participation in what caused the problem and the resolve only benefits the one complaining. Neither party will allow the will of the other (James 5:9 AMP). Both, having oppositional views, believe each independent of the other, is right. Where's the love in that? That same love that will carry you through or above any obstacle. What happened to that (Colossians 3:13 AMP)?

When did things change? Read the changes that happened to other couples and compare the statements that was once said during the dating process:
During the dating process: "I wake in the morning thinking of the melodious sound of her voice. I wait to hear from her.Will she call me? When will she call? I must call her! I have to call her!"
After years of arguing: "OMG! Shut Up!! Your voice sounds like nails to a chalkboard!"

During the dating process: "You complete me. I wish to be closer to you. If I could breathe the air for you, I would."
After years of arguing: "Do you have to do that? In and out, in and out! Must you keep breathing?

During the dating process: "I love your curves. I try to keep from staring at you but I just can't help myself."
After years of arguing: "How much bigger are you going to get? You look 6 months pregnant!"

During the dating process: "Girl, I love your big legs!"
After years of arguing: "What's a cankle? B****, look in the mirror!"

During the dating process: "Don't be silly. Money is no object, I'll take care of you."
After years of arguing: "What did you think, I'm made of money!?" "GET A JOB!!!"

During the dating process: "Don't change. Just be the person you are forever!"
After years of arguing: "How long will it take before you get it? Are you slow? Did you go to special school? That's what it is, your special - and I don't mean in a good way!"

Sounds mean? It is. A change happens in a marriage when he can't cope with the pressure. He didn't go before the Lord. He didn't seek counseling (Proverbs 11:14 AMP). He didn't refer to the Word. He begins to panic and without the aforementioned put in operation, the flesh will resurrect. How will you know? The Blame Game will begin. There are no trinkets to use, no cards, no folding board to assemble, and most of all - no rules. The flesh will use this game for comfort and to annihilate (Romans 8: 6-8 AMP). The strange thing about this game, because the 2 become 1 annihilating one will be the destruction of the other. Its carnal! It is the substance that assisted in sealing the fall of man for many, many years.

Why must it always come to being the man's fault? Isn't that blaming too?

You know what time it is! Stop acting as if you are brand new! If you can't handle it fellas, what makes you think to put it all on her? What kind of man are you? What does the Word say about her (1 Peter 3:7 AMP)? Now, what does He say about you?

When you proposed, did you listen to Wisdom or your loins? If your loins spoke louder then Wisdom, then accept your punishment (Proverbs 1:27-29 AMP). For some, it is contention in the woman you married, for others its financial ruin, illness, turmoil with the children, and the like. No matter what the disruption, it will be overwhelming. Why? Because you were not prepared to marry (1 Corinthians 7:28-35 AMP). When was the plan made? Was your relationship with God solid? Did you have a financial plan for the future? Is your job secure? What was your second and third stream of income (Genesis 2:10-15 AMP)? Were those things already operational before you proposed marriage? Was she supposed to work or keep having your babies at home? Did she know that? Did she ask? Does she have an education? Does she have a plan for her life? Does it fit into yours or will you be manipulating her to change?

Sounds like a lot of work doesn't it? This is the work the world refers to when trying to keep a marriage together and thriving. It is the work that God tells us to do with ourselves first so it isn't difficult when incorporating another personality in the mix (Matthew 6:33 AMP). How amazing is it that financial officers of a bank require so much when asking for a loan and we don't require a tenth of that information when getting married? Do you realize how better off we would be if we took that life changing decision more seriously like a business deal then a romantic interlude. When asking for a loan in a business venture, we have to make a proposal with a business plan incorporated in a written format for the bank officer to see how it would be an asset for him/her to allow his money to be invested. Even if it all looks good on paper, he/she must see beyond what is written. The bank officer has to see other problems that can arise and answers must be given or the loan will not be granted. If the bank officer doesn't ask these pertinent questions, he/she is not worth the investment the company made upon hiring him/her. The pitfalls are resolved and those that aren't, the bank is sure that it won't be at a loss. This is the purpose for the interest on the investment. The bank is secure about making its money back - and then some.

What assurance does the woman you are interested in marrying have? When you propose, what are you offering her so that she would desire to grant you the answer you seek? In asking these same questions on a Q and A website, the women saw the questions as being materialistic. They answered with contempt instead of something they needed to think about for their future and the future of their children. The men didn't answer. They might have been perturbed with me for stirring a pot that had been left alone for so many years; nevertheless, they should have seen it as a means for them to make improvements on themselves (Galatians 6:4 AMP). When women that don't require much from the men they date, don't require much of themselves either. The love of being in love fades much like beauty. Contention is the fruit of such a union.

I have been drawing up plans for a Christian pre-nuptial agreement for couples interested in getting married. Its something that has been frowned upon in the church and with good reason. Nevertheless, what use to be, isn't what is for these days and times. You know I use the Word for whatever I write. You will see God throughout the entire agreement. I hope a pastor, minister, evangelist, apostle, or prophet will see it and use it in their messages. If not; a parent, understanding what marriage is, can teach their children and make sure that there is more then just a license in writing before walking down that aisle. As I tell my children, marriage is no joke. When seen as a business venture, even if the unromantic thought is never spoken, the two individuals would be better off.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Its Not About The Money?

Seriously? Let's be realistic. We know what to say and do in Christ (Matthew 22:37-40 AMP). We also know what not to say and do to maintain righteousness (2 Timothy 2:22 AMP). We also know that the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10 AMP). Having that foundation, let's rip off the rose colored glasses, turn on some light and get really real up in here!

Chemistry, butterfly feelings, what you think is the move of the Holy Spirit, and all of else that floats your boat, isn't at all what this post is about. The entire blog is about being real when all of the tulle and satin bow-ties have been put away. No one is talking about the reception anymore and the flash mob scene for the proposal has been done to the point of it being a cliche. This blog is about all that must be in the plan during the process of dating. From the right questions to the course of action for the two becoming one years later after walking down the aisle and everything in between.

Finances are a colossal part of the in between. That secular song with the lyrics, its not about the money, is a bunch of hooey. Salvation and the love of God we already know has to be there before allowing phone numbers to be exchanged. That's a no-brainer. Careers are a discussion. Who will have one? Who will be the major bread winner and why? What sort of security do you have with medical, dental, home, auto, and life insurance? Do you have an IRA? Do you have any long term assets? When will they reach maturity? Do you have any land, property, jewelry, bonds, MMA accounts, etc? Do you have a will and who is the beneficiary (Proverbs 27:23 AMP)?

Is all of that too personal? So is sex but it seems not enough questions are asked before that's been given up. Is there a problem joining everything together? Would there be an issue with her having a separate account?

Usually this is where one hears the proverbial scratch in the record and the entire universe stands still. It is where the rubber hits the road. A carnal mind will go tilt and answers will start stammering forth like a tsunami (Romans 8:7 AMP). Why? Because all that is impressive becomes quite ugly when money is the discussion. If ever wondering where the heart of someone is while dating, discuss money (Matthew 6:21 AMP). The idea of saying anything just to get on with the relationship will come to the mind of the "pretender". When it starts sounding too good to be true, ask for it to be put in writing. With that request out there, watch who will feel uncomfortable first. If love rules and reins, both of you will smile without a hitch because you mean more then the money. If the smile fades when the agreement is signed then there should be a new song for the title of another post: "The Love I Lost".
Note: Watch for the Pre-Nuptials Entry Coming Soon!
This is it...the Pre-Nuptial Entry I was telling you about. It comes in 3 parts. Be patient and go through each part so it will make sense. There is a reason it had to be written this way. Take your time, enjoy  :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

He's Really A Good Guy, But....

There is this sentence I have heard parents describing their sons, girlfriends describing their exs or baby's daddy, or current wives describing their husbands, not realizing that the moment they use the word but, it completely diminishes whatever good thing that was said previously. Was that intentional?

First, it is a topic that has been taught before. Its been discussed and in some cases completely disregarded because of the state of the individual interested in getting into a relationship for the purposes of marriage. There are steps necessary to find if the guy is really good or just pretending to be (Luke 6:45 AMP).

I just thought of another reason for the disregard to instruction (Proverbs 10:17 AMP). It is the definition I use for good. It would seem the meeting of the standard would be an extreme and therefore doesn't wish to try. The standard being...God. It is written, God is good. Because He created man in His image, He expects for man to return to the basic means by which he was created. It is why Jesus came, for man to have life and have it more abundantly. It is also the definition I use for man being good. Man had a place to live, provision, and something to do. God looked at man and how all of the animals had another yet man did not have anyone. God said it is not good for man to be alone. So God made it to be good by creating help for man in the form of a woman. It was then good - because of God.

In the generation following mine, I have heard men speak of establishing a relationship by which he can be cared for. "His woman" must have a job and a means so he can be comfortable. She has to supply his need (Philippians 4:19 AMP). This is a different plan other than what God created. I listened to this group of men discuss this and give each other "play" as they came in agreement to what they have decided to do with their lives and how they were going to have it with little to no effort on their parts. In their minds, delusional as it was, they considered as good (Matthew 12:35 AMP). In that plan, they would also have to be able to have their words together to manipulate some unsuspecting young girl to go along with it. How young would she have to be or how desperate (2 Timothy 3:6 AMP)? Eventually, because I have seen the outcome of such plans, she will grow up and come to her senses. Usually bitter, resentful, and raising children to be like her or like their father. The fruit of this plan is obviously not good. It is an evil treasure and continues until someone accepts Jesus to break the cycle.

A well known drug dealer in Detroit has since passed away. He was survived by a number of children that have decisions to make all of their own. They can be respectable upstanding citizens or walk in their father's shoes having the same results. One of the sons, now a grown man went into a pawn shop with a $7,000.00 charm. It was encrusted with diamonds, emeralds and rubies. He told his story to the pawn broker and requested a price to sell. The pawn broker asked why didn't he just want to pawn the piece. The young man stated who his father was and he was determined to break the cycle. Specifically, he said, "it stops here." Because he spoke those words and his determination to make a difference, he will do well. He will be tested to see if he will stand when the storms of life come, but if he is determined - he has the beginnings to be considered good.

I was watching one of my favorite shows, Intervention on A&E. There was this man that had been through a horrible childhood, decided to go to jail for his drug dealer of a father, his father attempted to rape his wife so the son turned state's evidence against his father for a reduced sentence. He supposedly shook it all off when he came out of prison to start anew. He went to church, started a business, provided well for his growing family and life was good. After about 8 years, the economy did a turn around and everything he owned went into foreclosure or was repossessed. When he couldn't take the pressure of life's storm, he returned to what he was used to before he went into prison only he added sleeping with prostitutes for the drugs as well. His wife, trying to hold onto the marriage, described him as being a really good guy. As he continued to ostracize himself from his children, he taught his daughter to enable his habit. His sons just grew to be angry for being ignored. When the intervention proceeded and he heard the feelings of his children, he did what was expected with the tears and the proverbial "yes" to get some help for his addiction. However, within days of getting treatment, he left the facility to resume the lifestyle he had grown accustomed to. His family, according to the documentary, went on with their lives without worrying about where he was or what he was doing. They all had to receive counseling in order to get through it. His wife stopped referring to her former husband as being good.

I hope women who have had children by such men are still calling these men good out of faith, and/or for the sake of their children, and/or for others to have respect for their children's father no matter what he has done. You see if you don't speak well of him, the children will see that you dislike him. If this is true, then there is a part of the child you dislike as well. You say that cannot be; nevertheless, it is the thought processes of a child that you cannot deny. Once spewing out the resentment from what this supposed "good" man isn't doing and your child has heard, it is like unringing a bell. It cannot be done. Therefore, speak well of him no matter what he has done. The children will need to hear those good things (Matthew 18:6 AMP). They will make assessments of their own as they learn what truly is good and what isn't.

There is another hurdle that must also be climbed, and this is other people. Because of the choice that was made to have children with a man whose actions have been less then favorable, everyone has an opinion especially when his life is much worse then anything they have ever done. The "Christian" thing to do of yester-year is to say nothing and allow Jesus to be the judge for them to do battle. It sounds good and it takes the anguish of having to do it yourself. However, in that time when words are spoken, the children will hear them. It is the unringing of the bell again. You must keep in mind the emotional and mental security of those little ones making sure that they know you are not pleased with the ill will that is being said over their father. This does 3 things: it helps to heal the children, teaches them how to defend themselves without being physically brutal, and it causes the people to realize that it is better that they not say anything at all (Luke 17: 1-3 AMP).

With all of this in mind, the question is, what does this have to do with Christian dating? Easy, we all lived some sort of way before coming into the knowledge of the truth. In that time, though we have turned from those evil ways, children have been the fruit of those ways in which we have turned. We cannot forsake them (1 Timothy 5:8 KJV). We have to raise them the best way we know how in Christ. While in the process of this and making sense of our own lives, the desire to date doesn't just vanish. Test and the storms of life won't disappear on its own (Matthew 8:23-27 AMP). Decisions will still have to be made. Some of us have relapsed in that old life. With that relapse came the same sort that seemed to be good. This post serves as a reminder to make or you to make sure it is good - not only for you but those children too. Amen?

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Good Man Is Hard To Find

Says who? This is some thing that has been perpetuated in the world but has no place in the hearts of true believers. Anything said often enough can be accepted but it doesn't mean it is the truth. If you accept such a statement, it should also convey 3 other things about you:
1. You have not studied the Word for yourself.
2. You don't know who you are in Christ.
3. You have very little faith in God through Christ Jesus.

For some reason, things have been twisted. Why would any woman be on the look out or is using whatever means she can to find any man? Why isn't her efforts put to better use? Is the reason why she is on "the hunt" because she considers herself virtuous, wise, and good? She has cleaned all of her skeletons from her closet, she has finished the assignment God has given to her, and she has thoughtfully considered her ways. So instead of waiting for patience to have her perfect work, she has decided to do it her way? What do you think the product or outcome of that action will produce?

When the World Wide Web began in the mid 90's, I was so excited and found all sorts of chat rooms and fledgling dating sites for Christians. I met a variety of characters from all over the world and certain sorts I would have rather never met at all. In so doing, I created an account on a dating site. I sorted through the thumbnail avatars and profiles. Emails were sent but nothing ever became of those chats. Soon, I became bored. A few weeks ago, I was discussing with a few other believers on Facebook about dating sites. I divulged with them my experiences from years back as they did with me. We laughed over our attempts at trying to find the perfect man; nevertheless, I became intrigued with why I ever stopped going on such dating sites. The idea along with the improvements of technology, certainly the dating sites have tightened up on the mistakes that have been made. I decided to try "the game" once again, forgetting what I learned from before and the Word which tells me otherwise. I was almost giddy with excitement. I tried to open an account with my usual username. I was disappointed to find that it was already in use. I then created a close facsimile and opened an account. The improvements that I found over and over again was that the sites were the same as they were in the 90's, the only difference was that the members were being charged for the improvements. The sites that are free get the same service that was offered in the 90's. As I thumbed through the pages, I also noticed that without paying, the user doesn't get the up to date photographs either. I was disappointed again. I then decided to look up who was it using my username. Color me surprised to find that it was my old account that I deleted from years back. It was the third time being disappointed. I didn't like the fruit of this seed.

The Word, a believer's only means of truth, states in Proverbs 31, a virtuous woman: who can find her? In these days and times such the question seems more and more prevalent. Everyone would like a wonderful partner to spend the rest of his/her life with, but what is being offered in return? There is a saying that I have said to my children, "everyone likes to reside in a clean house, but not everyone likes to clean the house." To keep a clean house takes discipline, maturity, and the desire for order. There is a virtue in that. All women don't have even that smallest part of virtue. How would men know this?

The answer is the same as it is for the title of this post: God is good. Without accepting His Son, no one would know how to find a virtuous woman or how to keep a good man. You would have to know good to obtain, maintain, and sustain good.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Are You Feeling Sexy?

What does that mean? How does one feel sexy? Is that the same feeling as lustful or feeling like having sex? I suppose we could understand this from a fleshly perspective with completely different answers. Would these answers be pleasing to God? Of course not, seeing that it is required for us to walk in the Spirit so not to fulfill the lust of the flesh. So then, can a Christian feel sexy with the understanding of that scripture?

One of the streams of my financial income is using the talent God gave me to draw. The style I so enjoy is Art Nouveau. In this style there are lots of portraits, females, hair, and flowers. It is very stylistic, ornate, and most definitely feminine. In trying to establish my niche, making the style of Art Nouveau my own, I was inspired to draw several women with flower borders. I drew them in black ink and colored the lips in variations of red and pink. Upon completion, I had more then enough portraits to create a calendar. A woman looked at my illustrations and said "they all look so sexy. Were you feeling sexy when you drew them?" I never thought about it before she asked. I didn't really have an answer for her at that moment while I looked at the drawings with a fresh perspective. When she left, I realized my answer would have been, no.

A man from the same venue looked at another series of drawings and stared at them stating, "it makes me want to kiss her." I was actually enjoying these responses even though it wasn't my intention to arouse anyone in that way; nevertheless, for an artist, the only bad reaction is not having one at all.

I started to look at all of my artwork wondering if I drew something inappropriate without realizing it. I didn't think so and am pleased with the collection so far. Still the response had me thinking when did I ever feel sexy? Which then had me wondering about when I felt pretty, desirable, domestic, or anything else that is positive and appropriate. I didn't have an answer.

The Word tells us what to think and how to speak (Matthew 12:34 KJV). Both of these directives are positive. It must be in the area of righteousness, seeing it is also a directive for Christians to seek (Matthew 6:33 KJV). Once these directives are practiced as a part of one's lifestyle then it isn't readily thought about. Its as normal as one brushing his/her teeth daily. Its just not thought of. It is done as part of a routine.

Would this also be true with positive feelings? Do you have a favorite outfit? Why is it your favorite? Does it make you feel different then any other? If it is a good feeling, why aren't all of your outfits based upon that favorite one?

Clothes, money, prestige, the make of a car, or economic status should not determine how you feel. I was in a predicament without a job. My career of 15 years (at the time) was based on employment. My demeanor and course of my day was based on being employed. When I was no longer employed, I became flustered and irritable not knowing what to do with myself. I was conditioned and trained to obtain that career my whole life. I met the goal. I never planned (other than retirement) what to do without it. What I did do was stop and rest (Hebrews 3:18-19 AMP). I had to regroup to obtain my peace, joy and come into some realizations (Romans 14:17 AMP). Because of righteousness in Christ, I have no identity crisis. I know who I am (Isaiah 32:17 AMP). The clothes, money, labels, promotions, or feeling did not make me who I am. Positive as they can be, they don't make me. I feel good because of God. I am good because I also received the training to magnify Him. I feel pretty because it is good to do so (Psalm 139:14 KJV). I can feel sexy because there is no sin it. I am desirable because it is a positive thing to think about. It is no wonder I didn't have an answer for that woman. These are normal to me. Its like brushing my teeth. Conceded? No - confident (Hebrews 10:35 KJV).

Friday, September 28, 2012

Its Costly Not Sweating The Small Stuff

As the saying goes, don't sweat the small stuff. It sounds good in theory; yet, the Word tells us that its the little foxes that spoil the vine. That is the real truth.

We don't think about it much - truth be told, we disregard the small things altogether, especially when we have our own plans to do this or that. In the arena of Christian dating, our focus is for the purposes of marriage. So when there are itty-bitty things like ...oh, I don't know...uh, ...say like, not knowing what utensil to use at a 4 star restaurant or blowing your nose in a cloth napkin at the dinner table or talking to your date while the movie is going on or texting in the middle of conversation or discussing business instead of being interested in the date or trying to get the cheapest parking spot no matter how far away from the venue or taking out a bunch of coupons to pay for dinner or planning for a date with no car or scratching yourself (jock itch) when meeting the parents or asking inappropriate things like if you have ever smelled your toe jam, telling childish jokes ....and the list can continue. Why? Because these are the little things that most of us, interested in getting married, tend to look over (Luke 16:10 KJV). Why would a person doing these little things stop? We justify these things thinking that everyone has a way in dealing with nerves or the person wasn't thinking and if you bring it up he/she will be embarrassed because everyone knows not to show major surgery scars while at the dinner table (or whatever little thing that happened to you).

I have mentioned those little quirky habits that was thought of as cute when first meeting each other in a number of posts before. I have also mentioned that those habits turn irritating really quick once vows have been spoken and other matters previously discussed are not adhered to. Everything becomes colossal when finding out promises spoken when dating are completely disregarded (1 John 4:1 AMP). But those little habits that were seen when dating were disregarded as well. What if those habits noticed and ignored were your warning signs (Proverbs 14:14 AMP)? What if that was God speaking to you about this person and you weren't listening. What if those habits were always big and because of your focus not being on Him, you just couldn't see what seemed obvious to everyone else (John 14:12-13 AMP)?

I was tallying up the common thread in the men I went out on dates with in the past. I did so in trying to consider my ways knowing that God would not lead me to anyone or have anyone come to me that we weren't equally yoked with. What I found was that every single date I have ever been out on talked so much about so many things. I didn't understand that. I didn't use to talk much. I was considered shy - this was back in the day. These guys talked all of the time - though they didn't talk much when pursuing me for my phone number or when making plans to date for the first time; it was after getting more comfortable did they start letting their guard down (I suppose) and it seemed everything that they never got to say with anyone else - the flood gates opened wide. It was such a turn-off! They didn't notice my eyes glazing over or me not answering their questions or looking at other people or at my watch. Was it rude? Yes, without a doubt and so was talking so much without allowing the other person a chance to speak. It was as if these men said to themselves, "Yes, a quiet girl. Finally, someone to listen to me just for me!" What character trait is that? Now the better question, why was I equal to that?

There are also little things we disregard as being all in our minds. They are the things that women call intuition and men call a gut feeling when it is the Holy Spirit giving you a nudge (John 16:13 KJV). I recall back in my late teens or early 20's I was dating a man that was so good looking; he had beautiful skin, strong looking arms, silky hair, gorgeous teeth, nice strong hands, and clean fingernails. He spoke softly with a little rasp to his voice. The type of guy where you keep pinching yourself thinking, really? 
Really playing around (as if)? Seriously? Thank You...Thank You!!! Ha-Haaa!

Then something weird happens. Something that you have no control over but you don't wish to believe that it  is really there not when something so gorgeously proportioned is interested in you. this time. Please no, don't do it! You know what it is, its that nudge. The Holy Spirit is telling you, not this one. You have to wait a little longer. Now, the test has begun. What to do? What to do?

You and I both know what I should have done. But my flesh decided to speak the longer I prolonged in letting this man go.
He looks good, doesn't he? When will there ever be a time where you will ever go out with a man that looks that good? Do you know what your children will look like? You aren't getting any younger, you know. It won't be long before the biological clock starts ticking.... and besides, weren't you the one asking to have a boyfriend in the first place? This might be your last chance. Alright, let your blessing go....see how long it will be before you get another.

I was going to let him down gently and go out on one more date, but then that weird thing happened. Its nothing like disregarding those quirky little habits you saw while getting to know the person. Its nothing like getting the eebie-geebies after seeing him pick the lint from his navel because he got bored with the game he brought you to see. Its nothing like waiting the whole day for the planned date only to find that the plan was going to the park at night and fighting off the attempts to make out. Guys, its nothing like seeing her use her long pinky nail to pick the leftovers of the dinner out of her teeth or reaching over to help you finish yours...dinner that is. Its nothing like seeing him/her in the same sweats you saw him/her in last week or the hair that's growing down the back of his neck and he doesn't think its time to get a hair cut yet. Its nothing like the hawk spitting he/she does when he/she has a slight cold and still wished to go out with you and give you a kiss afterwards...after the hawk spitting that is (oh eww!). Its nothing like any of those things. When I started dating this guy early on there was a smell that churned my stomach. I don't mean a lack of hygiene odor, I mean an aroma that can't be helped by the individual. Its the smell of incompatibility that I didn't know about but God did. If I disregarded my insides churning then I truly have no one to blame but myself. How much more does He have to do for me (or any of us) to let me know to let him go?

I try to magnify the Lord in all that I do. As much as I enjoyed the attention I got from this man, I saw the little irritating habits and liked the attention more. I didn't go out with him but a few times and each time the churn from that slight smell got stronger and stronger. I couldn't do it any longer.

Oddly, years later I saw him in the grocery store. It was well after having children and the marriage was over. There he was. His hair was as full and curly as ever and that smile, dear Lord. I immediately looked away and walked down another aisle. I finished my shopping and was gathering what I needed in order to complete the transaction at the check out counter. As I was doing so (truly not planned) I went to the check out counter with the least amount of people in line. It wasn't until I was the next person did I notice this guy was right in front of me. He looked at me and smiled again. He recognized me. I forced myself to look away again. He moved on. I took a deep breath to finish. Having my things bagged and in the cart, I started to go out the door to the parking lot but couldn't because there he was waiting. He only bought a gallon of milk. "Go...leave...I don't wish to talk to you....I don't have time for you...go away...go...Lord, tell him to go," I was saying to myself on the other side of the door. Finally, without looking behind him he started to walk towards the parking lot and I could stop lurking around the corner like some school girl.

The years that passed caused me to mature. I would never let go of the love of the Lord I have learned. No man is worth loosing that. Even when he turned to look at me again in the parking lot, I knew I didn't wish to have a conversation with him to stir anything up. I recalled that little smell which outweighed the attraction. I was not the same little girl in the Spirit as I once was thinking that I had to have a man more then the one that created all men.

Most single women after reaching a certain age would like to marry or re-marry. There is a certain feeling of security knowing that there is someone in the house that cares for you and will protect you. Even if he doesn't, the neighbors don't know that. It can be a false sense of security and many times women will accept that than not have anything at all. The all knowing nudge for me to wait meant more then anything else. I don't know what is in a man's heart (1 Samuel 16:7 KJV). All he could convey to me is what he is feeling for the moment. God sees farther then that. When He tells me to wait, then wait I will do.

The difference with those women and true believers is knowing who your real protection is. He has said He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5 AMP). He is our fortress and shield (Psalm 18:2 AMP). He is our strong tower, our protection, friend and provider. He is the healer and the way maker. Unless men believe this as well, he will always be little without the Greater One living on the inside of him.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Sinner With Religious Ways

Too many people are mistaken with what faith is as opposed to being religious. When someone emphasizes that he/she has emphatically attended a specific thing religiously, it is supposed to mean  that the person watched over it more than just daily. It is a term used casually, yet we all know what is meant by it. Unfortunately, no matter how often a person attends church services, 365 days of the year and twice on Sunday, it does not mean he/she is a person of faith or has pleased God under any stretch of the imagination.

Often people have been convinced because someone has been raised in church from the time of being a newborn into adult hood, has learned the bible belt lingo, along with how to do the "Holy Spirit" dance, and has his/her own way of "hooping" when speaking of the goodness of God - its still is not the tell all sign of a person being a true Christian (Matthew 7:15-20 AMP).

I know of a person who delighted in the Jehovah's Witness members coming to his home so he could debate their philosophies and doctrine with what he knew of the Word of God. I don't know if he thought he was changing lives or just deliberately trying to irritate these people. His personal pleasure was to cause these people too be dumb-founded in answering his questions. Once they decided to leave, he knew it was only a matter of days before someone who had more experience and knowledge about the topic would return to try to convince this person to be a Jehovah's Witness as well. He found the whole "dance" challenging. Did any of those people convert? If so, it wasn't in front of him, which caused me to wonder. He was a nice looking man. Clear skin and large white teeth. He dressed nicely most of the time. He had a full head of hair and drove his own car. To most women, he would be considered as a catch; nevertheless, I watched how this young man conducted his own life. He was always between jobs at one point or another. He was argumentative (2 Timothy 22-25 AMP). He annoyed his family as amusement, yet he attended church services - religiously.

I thought about this topic when I was interviewed for ministerial school. One of the questions the interviewer had asked around to find if anyone already employed in the ministry had ever seen me before (my photograph was attached to the application for admission). He said I was recognized but he would have felt better if the ministerial staff were more aware of my presence. That's my fault? So I volunteered and made sure the staff saw me while I was doing the work. It actually defeated the purpose of volunteering in the ministry; yet, I did it so I could get into the school (Matthew 6:5 AMP). Consequently, it didn't work out on so many levels, but I did learn this invaluable lesson: Religion is book knowledge and practiced in order to please man. Faith is a lifestyle that few incorporate to live as practical application day by day to be pleasing to God.

Scripture tells us that in the last days there will be many false prophets (Matthew 24:11 AMP). I did a selah on that verse. Where would those people come from and who ordained them to be prophets?

I recall as a young woman in church services, it was the regular practice at altar call for all of the congregation needing prayer to come to the altar and have the ministers anoint our heads with oil before holding hands with each other in unity. We were all to bow our heads and close our eyes. This was for the purpose of not being distracted by anything or anyone. Our focus was to listen to what was being spoken and have our minds on God in answering that prayer for ourselves, our brothers, and sisters in Christ. How distracting was it for me to feel the inside of my palm being caressed by the middle finger of the married man's hand I was holding. His wife was on his other side. This married man had been in this particular ministry for years. He married a woman that he grew up with in the ministry as well. It wasn't that I didn't know what he was trying to convey to me, it was that in all places one would think here in church, at the altar, one could be safe from predators and wolves. I tried to jerk my hand away from him but he held fast to me and released my hand slowly so not to bring attention to himself while the prayer continued. Years later, this same man divorced his wife, remarried and gained a prominent position in the same ministry.

One of the assistant pastors made an altar call for the unity prayer some months later. I watched while the other ministers anointed each person's head with the olive oil. As they were doing so, the assistant pastor would normally be enveloped in the Spirit of God at the ready to hear His voice as to what he should be praying for specifically. That sort of thing is mimicked for the congregation to also do and make it a habit while at home with their own families. As we were all supposed to be praying in the Spirit, I looked up at the assistant pastor...the married assistant pastor. He winked at the young single woman standing next to me. I turned to look at her. She blushed. Seriously?!! I thought, and now he was supposed to pray for the rest of us? For what? To be tempted, deceived, or enticed as he has obviously been (Matthew 24:8-14 AMP)?

I write this entry because I used to believe that wolves (false prophets and those with ill intent) would be easy to detect. I have walked away from many church services crying at what I witnessed before and after the message or sermon. I was in disbelief that such things would go on in God's house. It is a flagrant disregard of who God is and what He will do. If there is no faith in who He is, then this person is a sinner. How did he/she get into ministry? Why would a pastor or bishop ordain such a person to practice in the church? What happened in them hearing the voice of the Good Shepherd?

Jesus hears God. He said that which He does is because of what His Father told Him to do (John 5:30 AMP). Jesus hand picked His disciples. Judas was among them and served a purpose.

Noel Jones is a well known pastor and traveling evangelist. He's dynamic in relaying the Word of God as practical application in many facets of life that one doesn't think about. The anointing on his life is riveting and draws the viewer in to hear more. He has a large following. According to Noel Jones, he was raised in ministry. He has a large family and his parents were ministers. His sister, raised right along with him is Grace Jones. The same household came, at least, two different personalities. If this happens with the same two parents in one house - why wouldn't it happen anywhere else? Do we assume too much without seeing proof of the words spoken?

What I tell my children when they were about to ready themselves to date for the purposes of marriage: make sure your own life is together in Christ, otherwise you cannot be surprised or question what you get once you have it. Your harvest is the things you continually think about and the words you have spoken. Was it always good? God is good. Was your heart and mind stayed on Him (Isaiah 26:3 AMP)? For it is written, "let the words of my mouth and meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14 AMP)." God spoke the world into existence and was pleased when He finished it. What have you spoken and how pleased are you with the finished product? The Word tells us that the things we speak are spoken because it is who we are. When the product of those words are what we find ourselves surrounded in, we cannot look to anyone else for blame (Proverbs 18:20-21 AMP).