Thursday, January 17, 2013

Celibacy and Abstinence

Don't they both mean the same thing? Its rather redundant, isn't it?

That's what I thought. I had to look them up to be sure. Oddly, celibacy means to abstain from sex while abstinence is not to indulge in things of temptation such as alcohol and drugs; that which one becomes dependent on. Interesting, I had to stop and contemplate on that for a moment.

When are these 2 topics appropriate for discussion on a date? I saw this question in a singles group on Facebook and was astonished that the question didn't die as fast as it appeared. I was at the ready to also add a comment and decided to wait to see what the other responses would be. The adjective best describing my reaction to what I read initially was appalled.

The thing is, none of these people have designs on pleasing me and I am well aware of that; but what about the time their parents took in teaching right from wrong, if their children read the comments, or their co-workers all of which we try to present a certain standard hoping to influence our parents that they did well. We show our children the correct way to be successful and our clergy is pleased to see that all of their efforts have been received with good fruit as the result. Well, ha... I guess they have all been fooled!

Understanding that we don't live our lives to be pleasing to men but unto God (1 Thessalonians 4:1, 1 Peter 4;1-5 AMP). So then, how pleased would He be to see that in the hearts of these believers answering the question, there was actually a debate on the time as to when it was more appropriate then any other time. Really? Where is it written? Who taught that lesson? Where did this standard come from?

In commenting finally to the question, I wrote a synopsis of what I am writing here, on this blog. If you are single and a Christian, to abstain and be celibate is a given much like when deciding to date a particular person. That person is also supposed to be single and a Christian - right? Its an automatic thing. 
Question: When would celibacy and abstinence be appropriate to discuss (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 AMP) ? 
Answer: Before you invite or accept going on the very first date.

Personally, I think its time out for acting like we know what the Word says but when our loins scream for attention, the Word goes on the back burner until we get that "itch" scratched. But that's just me. In the real world people do what they do, as my children has so often told me. I asked a question in the same Christian group if I am giving people too much credit? The answer I got back was that I am (2 Timothy 3:1-7 AMP). Yeah, that was enough for me to pause and think on that calmly (selah).

I often wondered why ministers repeated messages over and over again. I wondered why did I and the rest of us that heard the message took so many notes just to hear the same sermon 6 months to a year later? It was the same testimony, the same verses, the same joke for added interest, and more then likely the same worship and praise music - why? The Word says the Lord prepared a table for us (Psalm 23:5 AMP). Would He put on the table leftovers? He is the Lord. Wouldn't He give us a fresh, new dish every time we sit to dine?

I recall coming home from school, my mother was busy with dinner and any other household duty. By the smell that would hit my sister, brother, and I when we came in the door, we knew what we were going to have. Spaghetti and meatballs, beef and peppers, or stuffed peppers were 3 separate dishes that all had the same smell to me. While my brother was happier when getting one dish more then the other, he liked them all. I, on the other hand, liked Saturday nights when I knew it was pizza, hot dogs or burgers. Those other 3 dishes had an element that I detested. No matter how much I didn't like that ingredient, my mother still added it because she wasn't just feeding me and the ingredient was necessary for the dish to be what it is. The ingredient - green pepper. At the end of the meal when it was time to clear the table, I would have a small pile of chopped green pepper and onion where I took the time to go through on my plate to make sure I wouldn't taste or crunch into not even the smallest piece of the vegetable. I saw the look on my father's face, probably wondering if I was alright and if there was a reason to be concerned - still he allowed it without confrontation.

My point being, no matter if I didn't eat the green pepper made in each dish, I had the opportunity to and reap the benefits from what the green pepper offered. I chose not to. I also recall having childhood health issues that no one else had in my family. Would green pepper have assisted with me not having those problems? I don't know, its just that no one else had small piles of discarded food on their plates.

Would this also be true with spiritual food? Here is a man or woman of God preaching a message with the same tenacity he/she had when first preaching the message. The same people were there listening and taking notes as they did when the sermon was first preached. Once coming out of the service, what happens to the notes? Do we enjoy the meal, pondering over what was said? Do we relish in the lesson given knowing that it was exactly what we needed to endure for the week or is the bible and the notebook tossed in the glove compartment or the back of the car until next Sunday? Do we take full advantage of what is being offered?

Answer: if I were to go by the question asked in the singles group, apparently not. Someone pushed their plate away. Someone has a small  pile of something picked out of the dish that is necessary for optimum spiritual health. Someone bought the DVD or CD and never opened the case. Someone decided not to take notes. Someone came to church just to say that they came and didn't hear one thing preached.

In reading the different answers from the original question in the singles group, I took solace in believing that there will be others not responding. Those who have only been watching and could have possibly been interested in dating someone in the group, just learned who is appropriate marriage material and who still needs to hear the sermon again or at least stop picking out crucial nutrients needed for their benefit. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

There's This Virus

Learning of the new technologies that are on the market today is just fascinating. Once you get use to one product, a few weeks later something else is invented to perfect the thing you just got. Reading all of the instruction manuals to keep it all straight is a course all of its own, still, no less fascinating.

One of the things I have learned over the years is to protect my USB. I might have a large storage of memory on my hard drive but the travel sized storage isn't something I can just hook onto a pair of keys or throw in my purse without making sure the top of it is covered with a cap, in a specialty bag or something. I am finding the same is true when using it in various PCs or any other device that will receive it. I can't just stick it anywhere and expect for it to work for me each and every time I try to retrieve the information.

I was in the library trying to do some research when I heard a woman asking the librarian for some computer help. She was trying to retrieve her resume off of her USB and couldn't do it. As she waited for the librarian to get someone else to help her, I saw her blowing on the device as if that was going to clean whatever it was that's keeping her from getting her resume. The technician came and looked at the device. He asked her exactly what I thought he would, "where is the cap for it?" She answered, "I lost it awhile ago, but what difference does it make?" "A lot," he retorted, and then continued, "There is nothing I can do. The memory is ruined with a virus because you didn't protect it with its cap." Once he told her this, he went to do something else. There was nothing he could do to help her and she was left with her mouth open saying, "What? How am I suppose to get my resume?" She looked at the screen and kept trying to make the device work for her, but it wouldn't.

One of my most popular entries in this blog is entitled, The Lower Nature. I knew when I was writing it that believers needed to have this information so not to keep doing the same things that the world does and I never heard anyone teaching it before. Nevertheless, the popularity of that excerpt was gradual; but nothing like the number I received for one of the latest entries entitled, The Holiday Blues and Ready to Send Pity Party Invites. During the holiday weekend, I received more views in one day then I had for a month of any other entry. Why? It was so bothersome to me. How can believers be in such a state that they would need consolation during a season of cheer and good will for all of mankind. It made no sense. It is the believer that is the light of the world and salt of the earth....the world is suppose to be in a state of depression because they have cared for no one else but themselves - it is in their nature to be this way (Philippians 2:15 AMP). We have sown seeds of peace, righteousness, favor and blessing (James 3:18 KJV). How could a born again Christian's mind be in a state of depression? That's an oxy-moron, isn't it? Its like a carnal Christian - there's no such thing (Romans 8:5 KJV)!

In the entry called The Lower Nature, it answers questions as the title suggests with practical and scriptural application. The information will cause the believer that justifies fornication and other sexual vice to reconsider his position. In the entry The Holiday Blues and Ready to Send Pity Party Invites, the information touches what people go through because of loss of relationships, children and other family members going home to be with the Lord during the holiday season. It also helps for the believer to see that the answer isn't blaming God, getting angry at Him for not doing this or that, or getting revenge by having sex with as many people as humanly possible. The outcome of such actions will leave the individual in a worse state then he/she started off with (2 Peter 2:20-22 KJV).

You see, when I asked the question, how can a born again Christian's mind be in a state of depression when understanding the principles of Kingdom Living, I asked it to God. Who else would know? The answer I received was the analogy with the USB. Its a virus.

It has become very common to have sex after a few dates because of physical attraction. It has been deemed as the natural thing to do. Once this practice was incorporated into the media and in music, even the older generation was desensitized in keeping  moral values. The rules of ethics are rewritten and we have seen how change has been going on with our children, in the news, in the social networks and the like. Some attitudes are if you can't beat them, join them. Only teen pregnancy was the result of such an attitude and the parents couldn't see having to raise babies all over again when they didn't do such a great job the first time. The change wasn't to stop having sex but to use a means to stop getting pregnant. The pill. Only, the child would have to be responsible in taking the pill. But the child is a child and by definition is not responsible so pregnancies continued to rise along with STDs. You would think that getting a disease would be reason enough to stop such behavior in opposition to the Word of the Lord. I heard a guy tell another that if he pops a few penicillin caps, he'll be just fine. This is the advice he received after telling his friend that he had been diagnosed with having VD. No biggie - right? Then there were other diseases, but there was no change in behavior and teen pregnancies continued. The lull began when AIDS and HIV were discovered and reported with no cure. Using protection along with the pill was the advice of the medical professional because it was unrealistic to believe that people would abstain from sex altogether.

With this answer from the medical field, would it sustain the true believer having natural urges and desires like everyone else? Knowing that we are to walk in the spirit, does it change the desire to have sex?

Your going to say to run like Joseph...but sometimes, you just need to have some sex. Let's get really real - okay?

 Okay, and it is the reason Paul wrote that it is better to marry then to burn (1 Corinthians 7:9 KJV). One would think he was speaking about hell but in these days and Paul being considered a prophet, he could have very well meant having an STD. Nevertheless, in referring back to the analogy of the USB - I have found that having a cap on isn't sufficient enough in keeping it from having a virus if I continue to use the computers that is accessible to the public that have their own USB and not knowing where their devices have been. I could put a cap back on my flash drive and be housing a virus because of the previous user.

This is also true of the Christian having a monogamous relationship without marriage. The spirit has no cap. Where is the protection when the behavior is in opposition of the Word? How is the Christian trying to get physical needs met without using the values he/she was trained to use? What is the outcome of such behavior? There has to be a product from such the seed sown. God is not mocked. Depression, distraction, loneliness, bi-polar syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder, mild schizophrenia, and hearing voices are all things that cannot be seen by someone else, yet has been experienced. These things are in the mind. The Word says if your heart and mind is stayed on Him, He will keep you in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3 KJV). So if you claim to be a true believer, but your mind is fixed on satisfying your own physical needs, then peace cannot be the product of that. If you claim to love the Lord but don't trust that He will answer your prayer, then peace cannot be the product of that. If you can preach it but not walk it out, then how else are you supposed to feel? Peace cannot reside with you.

There are far too many times where I have heard Christians speak on how much he/she loves God but when its time to prove it with a test, then temptation wins. The end result is the aforementioned. Too many believers were in turmoil last year. Too many Christians that know better were asking the same question as if they just started hearing the Word. How can we influence those that need Him when we can't be disciplined ourselves?

You aren't alone. Since I have been at this position working with the geriatric community, I have gained weight like I was on assignment to do it. I detest New Year's resolutions but here I am. I just bought a camcorder and wasn't even thinking of recording my whole self. I bought it for my artwork to post on Youtube; but if there are any of you reading, ready, and willing to join this quest to get it together, no matter what the issue is, I say, me too. You know if there is something that you have to overcome. If you need additional help, get it! I'm challenging myself. I have to. How can I continue to write this and not at least look like I know what I am talking about. Who else is ridding themselves of the virus?