Monday, June 25, 2012

Don't Ruin The Image

Eventually we come to an age in our lives where we think we need to portray a certain kind of image of ourselves. Whether this image comes from a movie character, an actual person that has influenced our lives or one of our own family members, it is still a decision we make to continue to function successfully day by day. The funny thing is, when we decide to choose an image that isn't real like a movie character, many times we act as if our lives is a sitcom as well.

I recall in high school, and couldn't possibly forget him, was this guy who would come to my French class and make all of these nonsensical rantings at the threshold of the door. He would have this nice looking side kick that didn't say anything but follow after him like some whipped puppy. This guy would finish what ever rambling he'd have to say and then pound one side of the door and with a loud, "Ay!" , make this body gesture with his hands out to his sides and then leave. He was trying his best to act like Fonzie from Happy Days. Was the other guy supposed to be Richie Cunningham or Potsie Webber? None of us would say anything to him but we all had to be wondering why would he do this every morning? He wasn't even in the class! I can laugh about it now, one being that both of them are African American and the other, of all people to choose to emulate - Fonzie? Really?  
It took a couple of years before the side kick started to gain a perspective of an image all his own. Without the side kick, we didn't see too much of the Fonzie character. I wonder why he never displayed this image in front of the football team or maybe he did.... which could be why we didn't see him much anymore - lol.

Being reminded of my high school days also tells me what the movie industry hopes for when creating these characters. Because young people are so impressionable, they lean towards the most recent fad and what the majority tries to do for that season (Matthew 7:13 AMP). Hopefully, for the new character, it remains in style to be a brand and for marketing moguls to make money off of. Once the interest is gone so is the attention and consequently all of the money that the interest brought (1 Timothy 6:10 AMP). What is left of that person still having to live the life given? Can he/she pick up the pieces after the whirl wind came through? Can the wannabe that is actually a has been be anything pleasing to God for multiplication to occur again (Luke 18:27 AMP)?

You see the problem with creating a false image or being impressed by what is misrepresented is that people  remember when it gets all discombobulated. It is the weirdest thing that when someone does something good, it is remembered as long as there isn't any scandal that happens later. Princess Diana was sought after because of her image of being a kindergarten teacher turned to Princess. It is the fairy tale that most girls dream about. She became an icon. When she married, she had much to contend with as well as maintaining an image. When it became too much, she divorced - according to the news articles. When she decided to live a life that is carefree with as many distinguished men as she chose to be with, the royal family couldn't dispute what she was doing seeing their son had done this as well. Not to mention, the people didn't have an issue with it seeing that her life had become Barbie like. She was like a real life action figure. Not only did she date the most eligible and wealthy bachelors, she had the most beautiful clothes, and had the most perfect photographs of being an anthropological philanthropist. When the news struck of her demise, millions of people mourned the loss. When the details of how she lost her life became public knowledge, people tried to remember all of the good Princess Diana had done though it never erased the tragedy.

In the perspective of Christian dating, for the most part, we still try to give a good impression upon meeting the person of our desires. We do the best we can to say the right things and do what is good and acceptable in the sight of that person. We do this so we can have the second and third date and more towards a relationship for the purposes of marriage. The problem with having the idea of holding fast to the first impression is that without practice, all of those efforts are in vain (Galatians 5:13-26 AMP). It is much like the movie character created for branding purposes and to make money.

Its funny when the actor, Henry Winkler stopped playing the character of Fonzie, he was the very image he made fun of. He wore glasses and had the voice of a computer geek - high pitched and expressive. Personally, as a 16 year old, I was shocked. Henry Winkler didn't have as many acting roles when Happy Days was cancelled. I believed he was typed set as Fonzie and when he spoke in his normal voice, he was the antithesis of his character. For some years, Henry Winkler remained behind the scenes as a producer and director. Why? I believe his fans had to forget the image he created.
I remember a character he played as a villain and a role he had on Law and Order  many years after Happy Days. He was actually riveting. The point is, I didn't need to know him as Fonzie anymore because of his well versed ability to act in other roles and also for the most important factor, I grew up.

It is necessary to be mature in Christ to realize first impressions aren't necessary. Usually such the pretense will fizzle, it being too difficult to keep, trying to create something that isn't real. It isn't a role that will end for branding purposes and something else can be created to impress the new person once the previous relationship failed. The character of a believer of Christ is seasoned, well developed and something another believer would enjoy to be around because of the greater one with whom each and every faithful person has spent time to create a relationship (Matthew 5:48 AMP). The image is distorted when enveloping anything outside of righteousness. He tells us the ingredients and we are responsible to maintain them (Romans 14:17 AMP). He knows what He has given us. He knows the tasks we are to accomplish. He knows when it is time for each of us to be presented or to show that specific person what He has done in each of us. It is the most perfect image. It is how He created man. It is how He designed woman. He paused and looked and said, it is good. There was a discussion and agreement to create a being in the image of greatness (Genesis 1:26 KJV). God then pairs this greatness with the greatness of the tasks He has given. When we all realize how this functions as one body in Christ, He will return to retrieve His bride. Get it?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sugar Babies

The candy, Sugar Babies, I discovered as a child of maybe 10 years old. I liked the predecessor, Sugar Daddy. To date, back then, it was my favorite. The long caramel on a stick lasted longer then any other candy and it satisfied any sweet cravings a child that age would have for a little while. When I tried the spin off of the Sugar Daddy, it paled in comparison. Having the palette of distinguishing good candy from the mundane (no candy is bad to a 10 year old - except for black licorice), I didn't like the grainy feel on my tongue. After tasting a few of the caramel like balls, I signed off of not to purchase it again. Though others didn't feel the same, it had to be well liked in order to have stayed on the shelves this long.

It is interesting however, the way men refer to women as eye candy when describing certain attributes. Women do the same thing when using the term, beef cake. Yet while both terms allow the listener to understand that the person is attractive, eye candy, unless expounded upon, refers to the extent of the relationship. For instance, a rock star would not have a plain Jane on his arm because he has an image to keep. His fans must also envy his life style. Therefore, he has to have a girlfriend or wife that must play the part. She has to look a certain way. Once her body changes or she shows a funky attitude that receives press, the relationship is over (James 1:11 AMP). However, for that tiny bit of time, the life she lived as a rock star's girlfriend or wife was a wild and fun ride. That tiny bit of time has served as some of those previous eye candy's career starters. Though some would have thought those women wasted their time, they had to do something. Its just business to use their experience to their benefit. The rock stars and other celebrities cannot be upset. They used the eye candy and now the eye candy used them. Its business - as they say.

Viewers see this behavior over and over again in all sorts of media. Children in school, when having book reports, they don't reach back to get some historical figure as we did when I was in grade school, they use those whose music have influenced their lives or current interviews made them sit up in awe. In doing the research, children see and learn - unfortunately (Proverbs 22:6 AMP). Those children having no desire to be an actual rock star but do desire the life style then set their goals. Its disturbing.

The thought process of deciding to be a sugar baby is that there are no commitments. He/she has their eyes set on someone who is wealthy and lonely. Using their assets is the key to get some of the wealthy lifestyle without the discipline or tenacity that went into producing it (Proverbs 22:5 CEB). The sugar daddy or momma understand this and also makes the decision going into the relationship without having to sort with real relationship issues. When finished with whatever is decided upon for that day or night, he/she can retrieve back to their own dwelling until the feeling rises again. For the sugar baby, he/she says it is a sweet deal (pun intended).
The problems arise when the baby grows up and realizes without an education and work, he/she won't have anyone or anything (Hosea 4:6 KJV). The other disturbing problem is when to know that it is over due time to grow up:

The topic for the purposes of Christian dating was decided upon wondering if the temptation is so great that the believer won't wait on God but do what seems to be acceptable in the world (James 1:13 KJV). Will the believer read this information and watch the videos provided only to see something that maybe viable for him/her to do?

I recently saw a broadcast of this very topic where the daughter decided to do such a thing for fun. She then went to college and needing some of her personal things paid for, it was the sugar baby life style that got her out of debt. She divulged this information to her mother. I suppose she was hoping that her mother would cause her to re-think her decision and even be a little disappointed with her. Oddly, her mother saw an opportunity and said she needs some things paid for as well. She encouraged her daughter to still be nice to the gentlemen because Momma needs her rent paid. The daughter continued giving her mother highlights to the dates, all of which weren't always glowing. Finally the daughter got tired of the life style. She announced her decision to quit being a sugar baby to her mother. The mother was disappointed. When the daughter said that the men expected sex, there was a pause (Proverbs 14:1 AMP). The mother got up from the couch that the both of them were sitting on and gazed out of her penthouse window. "It sounds like you are pimping me out Mom. Do you still want me to keep doing this?" she asked. Her mother paused again before quietly saying, no. It was as if she knew that her daughter's decision was going to change the lifestyle that she grew accustomed to.

The entire subject reminded me of a lesson given by a favorite speaker from a well known ministry. He said, "if you keep playing with the enemy, he will take you farther then you ever wanted to go." (Ephesians 4:27 KJV) The lesson being that some believers will minimize poor behavior. He/she would say, "I'll just do a little of this or that then I will ask God forgiveness and won't do it anymore." (James 4:17 AMP) The problem is sin doesn't have a measurement and will come to get its wages (Romans 6:23 AMP). Be warned.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Eh...Once A Month Is Plenty

There is a  recent entry to this blog entitled, The Glue To A Marriage. In it is described the mistakes that were made when the original message was heard  and then I read the Word for myself. By that time, my marriage had failed. Things done would have been different if the lessons came from the real truth. It is why I continue to write for my brothers and sisters in Christ to learn for themselves so not to fall in the same error.

This entry is from the reaction I hear women talk about dealing with their marital duties (1 Corinthians 7:4 AMP). I see the look on their faces as they describe sex as being such the chore like laundry and washing dishes. The euphoric look in their eyes as they use to have when they were dating is gone. What happened to that mystique that we all wish would never go away? Those tingles and the butterflies in our stomachs at the sight of the intended when they are close by, what happened to that? Do we get use to the other person and eventually go look for that loving feeling elsewhere? Is that why they use to call the wandering eye the 7 year itch back in the day. They don't use that term anymore because many times it has been less then 7 years. With technology being what it is today,one doesn't have to go far for the eye to wander. If someone decides to watch porn he doesn't have to go to a seedy motel or that nasty place some communities have that sell certain kinds of adult material. Porn is free and is as accessible as requesting it on a search engine with a click of a mouse. He doesn't have to wine and dine her, no wooing, and doesn't have to get rid of her the next morning. When finished, all he has to do is click and the screen looks the same as it did before deciding to sit with the Holy Spirit to watch other people do what is unseemly in His sight (1 Corinthians 6:19 AMP). Is that where the mystique, tingles and butterflies went?

As much as I have heard men, women, and collectively people talk about marriage, dating, and relationships, I try to piece together the related elements these people have in their descriptions to come out with the resolve as to why the one thing both desired in the beginning has turned into a chore for one and the other is starved to get (1 Corinthians 7:28 AMP). Women are counting the holes in the pattern of the ceiling tiles, which tells me they have completely disengaged themselves from the activity that is supposed to be pleasurable for both. Men tell their friends these outlandish tales of being able to have the stamina for all night long excursions and ready to service the next day if need be, which tells me if you have to talk about it that much - you aren't getting any (Proverbs 25:14-15 AMP). What happened? And basically, that question is posed to the men.

Pastors don't readily give the men the don't do this or that sermons. I suppose they are happy to have the men in the building and if they give too many rules, the men are apt to leave. If that is the truth pastors, get ready for the men to leave. What you fear will come upon you (Job 3:25 AMP). Men need guidance just as the women do and most of the time they need more (John 10:1-8 KJV). If they are to be trained to be the head, why then give the women the more instruction (Ephesians 5:23 KJV)? The women are the body. The body doesn't lead the head. It just doesn't make sense. How does it make sense to you? Can you imagine a woman listening to all of the rules she needs to do and being frustrated trying to get them all done, when her husband just sits there believing that he is on point to what God has expected of him based on the sermons he has heard over and over again through out the years? There is plenty of blame to go around and God isn't hearing all of that because we know  better. What He hears are the prayers of the righteous (1 Peter 3:12 KJV). What He does answer to are the babes in Christ who are trying but are in error because of warped teaching. What He will do is judge those that teach (James 3:1-3 AMP). Be warned Pastors, be warned.

Men need to learn about love and be taught how to practice it on a daily basis like breathing (Matthew 22:36-40 KJV). He needs to know that what he does and is pleasing to God will draw him closer to Him. As he does this, God will see the need and meet it beyond his expectations. There is no sorrow in that (Proverbs 10:22 KJV). There are no regrets with that end result and there are no appointments for counseling trying to figure out what went wrong (Proverbs 11:14 AMP). She isn't frustrated because he has learned how to love her as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25 AMP). Because of this, there are no outlandish tales of his abilities and she doesn't have time to count patterns in the ceiling. They are both about their Father's business and happy to do so. But then again, how is it that we expect for pastors, preachers, evangelists, apostles, and prophets to teach us something that they aren't doing themselves? Selah.

I recently watched The Housewives of New York on Bravo, a rerun. In it, the women went on vacation and their tour guide was showing them a Moroccan building with Arab artifacts. Jill Zeran had all of these questions for the tour guide. He revealed to them, in answering one of her questions, that the Arab men married a certain number of women along with their hand maidens. One of the wives added how many women one of the men had to service and came up with each having sex with the husband once a month. Jill added, "sign me up for that." her statement sounded sad and would have been best for her not to have added anymore then what was said. Her husband was going to watch that show not to mention her one and only child, though her reaction was not unusual. Women are not happy with their sex lives these days. It is bothersome to me and not isolated. Why do you think that is?

One of the most popular entries to this blog is entitled, The Lower Nature. I understand what viewers are expecting to read and for the most part, it is what I intended to write. However, with what is already propagated on the internet and where ever else you could look for it, doesn't have to be here. I believe to be led of the Holy Spirit to give information to live a life that is full without wondering if you did the right thing. It is why there is so much scripture incorporated. That entry exposes to some the ideas believers have about sexual desire and what the bible says about the matter. I reference that entry here to reinforce the importance of priorities. If God is not placed as first and foremost in every aspect of a believer's life (even with sex), then the tendency to reach back using what was previously rebuked is natural - not Spiritual. To be a believer, we walk in the Spirit (Romans 8:1 AMP). Don't forget that.

If the head decides not to eat food, will the body make the head eat anyway? If the head desires to walk to the store, will the body impede him from doing so? If the head makes a financial plan to stay on budget, will the body go on an impulsive shopping spree? If the man minimizes the importance of placing God first, will the woman minimizes what is important to the man? Is the common factor, prioritize (Proverbs 3:6 AMP)? If it is, then marriage in the church is on the rise and divorce is left for sinners. That works.

The NFL, NBA, PGA, NHL, and Soon to Send An APB

It is not something that is thoroughly discussed because a new couple never factors in hobbies and other interests as being a problem in a marriage. Nevertheless, when a man gets to be an enthusiast in a sport that he will never play in but keeps scores of all of his favorite players, ladies need to realize that this seemingly innocent interest could become the mistress that no woman counts on.

He will spend every weekend with her and some week days. He will eat with her and laugh in a manner that he will never have with you. He will share her with his other friends and when she isn't there, it is all he and his friends can talk about until she returns again. And just when you think the season is over and you have at least 4 months to be with your new boyfriend, fiance, or husband without interruption, it is time for a new season of a different sport. Its like he turned in the blonde for a redhead. He will try to pacify you with some kind words and a bauble or two, but you know all he is doing is thinking about her (football, basket ball, hockey, golf, baseball, boxing, curling, soccer, race car driving, fishing, bowling, or whatever else is out there distracting the time that should be for you).

What is your alternative? You say you love him and God would not have you to be miserable. You know the blessing of the Lord makes you rich and he adds no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22 AMP). So can you see your self being ignored during these seasons for the rest of your life? What doesn't bother you now, will it be bothersome 10, 20, 30 years from now? Would you be his help or his thorn as you begin to nag him about watching too much sports (Proverbs 14:1 AMP)? Do you think you could get involved in what interests him? Would he be willing to teach you why he likes it so much so you can like it too?

Understand that I did that. Be ready for what happened to me. I tried to get into football but the helmets kept me from seeing the faces and all of the uniforms started to look the same. I didn't understand why the formation would begin and then one person moved and ran the width of the field just before the last number was called. Why didn't he start there in the first place? And those numbers, what were they? Why did the guy calling the numbers had to have his hands in the crotch of the player with the football? I guess I had too many question to really get involved with that sport and soon after the first couple of plays, I lost interest.

Then there was basketball. I started watching certain teams in the mid-late 80's. I asked questions and remembered the faces. I was immediately drawn to Clyde "The Glide" Drexler, Robert Parish, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Spud Mackenzie, Shaquille O'Neal, Rick Mahorn, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, and my all time favorite player, to this day.... Michael Jordan. I was sitting in my living room and cheering on teams like I was a guy who had been watching basketball for years. I remember seeing Michael Jordan leap over players to drop the ball in a basket that was underneath him! UNDERNEATH HIM! Those kinds of shots were played over and over again from different angles, from the faces of those in shock seeing it in person, from the commentator's perspective, highlights in the after show.... incredible is the only way to describe the way he played the game! Michael seemed as though he stepped up on a ladder that only he could see. It was amazing! I got it! I understood the fascination...the strategy in playing the game...the excitement...why the players are paid so much and why the coaches get so riled up when the game begins. I was riled up too! I recall running into the house from church services just to see the last minutes of a play off game. Detroit won against the Lakers that season. It was a game that had to be seen in phenomenal!

Then, tragedy struck the Jordan family. His father was murdered. His father was the one that taught Michael the love of the sport but once Michael's inspiration was gone so was the miraculous moves that made Michael, "Air" Jordan. He tried his hand at baseball, but it wasn't the same. He returned to basketball for a short while but when he retired (for the last time), the game lost its flavor for me. I didn't know how anyone else could watch it anymore. Even if he was a commentator for awhile, it would ease the discomfort of not seeing him play, but he didn't do that either. I became bored with the game as my favorite players also retired or was traded to other teams that weren't televised.

I learned a lesson about the sport as well as my tolerance of those who have the need to watch such games. If you would like for your child to be focused with anything, allow his father to be involved in his/her life (Proverbs 15:20 AMP). It makes a humongous difference (Proverbs 19:13 AMP). That's to all of the divorced single parents asking God for a new mate (Proverbs 17:25 AMP). You have your answer as to why it could be taking so long. But back to the mistress in the house.... could you see yourself getting into any of those games that seem to consume all of his free time? What if this is the way he relaxes? And to the guy, when you wish to be affectionate and she doesn't have time for you, can you really be upset seeing you spent so much time with your other (Proverbs 29:3 KJV)?

A well known tele-evangelist, speaks about  the time she had to come to grips with her husband's passion for the sports on television and his own hand in golf. When she wished to spend time with him, according to her, he was right in the middle of a game and wished to finish what he started. I never heard of her retaliation when he was ready for her after the game was over. She never said that she denied him because of her anger, but she didn't say she was at all loving and forgiving either (1 Corinthians 7:4 KJV). Would you be, ladies? Could you understand, guys if she were upset?

Its just something that is not readily discussed when dating. Its a subject that wouldn't seem to be an issue. Trust, that it is, especially when children are involved and there is only one expected to do everything. Priorities previously discussed can be moved aside when a game goes into overtime, a playoff season, or the Dream Team in the Olympics.

There was a young woman in her early 20's.  She was dating a young man interested in her for marriage. They made arrangements on the weekend seeing that she was a career woman on the week days. The young man forgot the game was playing on the day they were suppose to be going out. He came over a little early as she was still getting ready. He asked to turn on the television while he was waiting. She didn't have a problem with that. She heard the announcer and knew it was basketball season (or maybe football - who cares?) Anyway, she only took a few minutes and returned to the family room expecting him to comment on the way she looked. He was so into the game he didn't know she came into the room. When she cleared her throat to get his attention, he said, "just a minute, okay...its the last few minutes of the game. See, its only 2 minutes left." Disappointed that he didn't notice her new outfit she sat down to wait for the game to be over. The game went into overtime and because she didn't watch what was going on, he had switched the channel to another game and hoped she wouldn't notice. How could she not notice 3 hours later? She asked him to leave. Where could they possibly go to change the disposition he caused when coming to her house to see the game? How could he try to convince her that she is more important when he brought the mistress to her house and will do it again - because he has the love of the game? Would he ever put her off in the dating process because "his mistress" will have 3 shows on 3 different channels at the same time?

Its something men have to be watchful for within themselves and for women to see if there is "a mistress" lurking about. She might not be the curvaceous vixen that most women would suspect; nevertheless, she still has the power to cause priorities to be misappropriated. If he still places God first, then all is well (Proverbs 3:6 KJV). If substitutes are put in place instead of going to church and excuses are made - run. The love of the game has been magnified (Psalm 70:4 KJV).