Friday, December 2, 2016

Neckbones


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Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.
James 1:19-20 NLT


It was not a good day. I mean, I know there are a lot of people without jobs. And I, as a Christian, should be very thankful I have a decent paying job. I know. But it was not a good day. 

And what makes this really bad is I live with someone who had a worse day. And I will share how I know that. 

Though it was not a good day and I did not want to be working, I soldiered on and worked. I had followed the guidelines to a tee. I had answered the questions. And wrapped everything up like I was supposed to do. But it was not good enough. The guidelines showed the steps, but did not give the procedure. So, the asst. supervisor was frantically trying to get my attention. And she got it after I had wrapped everything up. Then she wanted to have the conversation while I was on lunch. This was the 15th straw that broke the camel’s back. Eleven minutes in, I said enough. And I went to break after saying I was on break.

I’m hungry, and wondering what is up with this chick since I had followed the guidelines. I’m grumbling. I head to get some food, and problem number two reared its ugly head. I didn’t see food prepared and I needed to eat fast, so my mind was on frozen chicken tenders and a bowl of cereal. I’m grumbling and I am asked what was wrong. I explained what I could and I am told to let it go. Which I would have if left alone. Then it was “there’s Neckbones.” 

Okay. I don’t like neckbones. And even worse, I don’t like neckbones covered in barbeque sauce. I am not a fan of picking my meat out of bones like a scavenger bird. I had not had neckbones in decades. Apparently, neckbones is a favorite meal where I am staying. Like pizza at my previous place of residence (so not complaining about that), and meatloaf at the place before that.

I am told the meat falls off the bones. I am chided (because berated may be what I felt but I know it was not the intention).  I have removed chicken tenders from my menu because I needed to get out of the kitchen fast.

My first thought and second and third is “leave me alone about neckbones.” My fourth thought was ”Seriously, drop this neckbones tandem.” The next thought is “Lord, what’s up, because seriously, neckbones?”

Then I hear the words that people just straight up should not say to me: “I know you are not hearing me because of the tone in your voice.” Seriously? For real, for real, no conversation about neckbones is going to be a good conversation. But are you kidding me? You started it. I get my bowl of cereal and jet like a 747.

I went back to work. As I calmed down, (and really it was let go of some of the pride because when it came to my job, I did not know anything and honestly, this new curveball being thrown was expected), I remembered what happened earlier that day. That this person had received terrible news about their health.

Now while I wanted to say a bunch of things to both my roommate and this asst. supervisor, I said nothing. For work, I knew that it would work itself out. When I got a further explanation of what I did wrong, which was technically nothing, I struggled but I was able to give God some praise. 

As for my roommate, I also realized I had been down this path before with yet another relative so I was not going to be coerced into eating something I did not like, and this also will pass. 

I recognized I needed to bring down the pride in both situations. For work, pride showed in “but I followed the guidelines!” and for home, “Are you kidding me after all that I do?!”

But I knew this situation. And I knew, no, I know things are going to change. Romans 8:28. A God’s Property song kept coming in my mind. 

Don’t get me wrong. I was hot, and there were times the next day I struggled with recognizing who the real problem is, but I would turn back to simply saying, “Thank You Lord!” or “Hallelujah!” (or at worse, “Have mercy, Jesus!”) I made sure to send up prayers for everyone involved.

Be ye angry, but sin not. I failed, but at least it wasn’t an epic fail, and I was able to get back up, and recognize who was the real problem, and realize that if the situation was not going to change in the next minute, then all I could do was give thanks and praise God because I really am blessed.

Despite recognizing that I was in a bad mood, you want to make it worse?! I used to think most people could recognize this type of situation. I am going to change most to some. And this happens a lot among family. We seriously take each other for granted. Yes, we love one another, but common courtesy flies right out the window. Sadly, if you have a bad day at work, you take it out on those closest to you. Because your family will forgive you. I could go on and on, but even your family gets tired of you constantly jumping on them because you had a bad day. 

There are times where yes, those in your vicinity need to read the situation and skedaddle, but there are times where you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself. 

Realize who the real enemy is. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, etc., etc. And I know this may shock you but those closest to you do allow themselves to be the tools. They may have had a bad day. Or they may even be standing on you will forgive them once they apologize. 

When this happens, you need to use that armor. You need to calmly express your need for silence or space. And if it is not honored you need to step away. Will you be angry? Probably, but you do not want to act rashly.

Have you had a bad day and tangled with someone who had a worse day? Or were you the one who had a worse day? If you fell and stumbled and acted like you were never a child of God, just repent, confess, and ask for forgiveness.

Be Blessed and Stay Encouraged!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Shaming People Who Pray?! Has It Come To This?

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Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!"
Matthew 26:41 NLT


While we certainly must heed the words of Christ at all times, never have there been a time as this. Yes, that statement is unsupported, but when people are trying to shame others (even those wily lame politicians in Congress) who pray, well it cannot get any plainer.

Imagine my surprise when I find an article on NBC News about ‪#‎thoughtsandprayers‬ being thought of as a bad thing?! Of course, I had to use it for work, but also go the opposite way. We do it all the time. We shame people for lots of things. 
If I take it from my own life, it's goes a little something like this: "Those shorts are too short." 
"She needs to wear a slip." 
"So-and-so didn't get in to that school and she cried when you ran across the street to tell me you did." 
"And if you don't want to get married, I'm scared of you." 
"I understand, I just forgot now isn't the time to speak with you about something like that, you not coming from the right frame of mind."
See what I mean? So, in case, you do not understand: Shaming people for praying is a bad thing. I know most of you (all of three people) reading this would never do that. You agree. But let's just say the devil was busy yesterday. As soon as he saw an opening, he took it. See (and nope, not going to drop this for awhile*) while some Christians want to focus on a red cup, want to back a person who is just not good for this country, who has a platform built on race-baiting and fear-mongering, they ignore the real deal. And the real deal is this: let's shame those weak Christians into not praying. Let's get at those Christians who are in the midst of all types of trials and tribulations and whose faith is not only shaken but also shaking and get them to stop praying. Let's get the ones who claiming Christianity, but when it gets too hard, they resort to their own ways rather than God's ways. 
Get my drift? I could go on. We all know what happens when we do not pray. We know what happens when we do not stand. We know what happens when we do not put on the armor of God. We know what happens when we do not stand on our faith.
There are a lot of Christians who don't know this. Remember the parable about the scattered seed. And while he uses misdirection "I will make it a law to say "Merry Christmas" or "Congressman are to act, not pray (yep, it's in the article), we Christians are to watch and pray. Let's make sure every Christian knows that before they jump on this latest bandwagon that is actually a true threat. Kepp watching. And, most importantly, keep praying! ‪#‎staywoke‬ #thoughtsandprayers

Stay Encouraged and Be Blessed!

*Yes, at some point I will share my thoughts and hopefully, what the real issues (that is, what the Bible speaks) are in this "War on Christmas."

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Nineveh Is Not Just A City

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“When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord; And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple. “Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy. But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.”
Jonah 2: 7-9 NKJV


I was reading Jonah, and as we know, (if you don’t check it out; it’s a short read) Jonah was tossed into a belly of a whale because he was being disobedient. He was supposed to warn the city of Nineveh of God’s impending judgment.

Jonah didn’t want to do that. He knew that God would take pity on them if they repented. And they did. And God spared Nineveh.

For his disobedience, Jonah spent three days and three nights inside a whale. A Whale! But once he saw how low he got, Jonah remembered the good things of God, and cried out to Him, begging for mercy. He was freed.

Jonah headed to Nineveh, and told them of their doom. The city of Nineveh fasted and prayed. They were spared.

Jonah wasn’t happy, but God does what He wants to do, when He wants to do it and how He wants to do it. Jonah had another hissy fit, but God made it plain. He does what He wants, when He wants and how He wants. I just thought I needed to reiterate that.

As I sat there hearing Jonah’s story being preached a couple of months ago, I realized that I act like Jonah did. No, I didn’t run from God and hide like he did but in my own way. I also walked in disobedience when God asked or required something of me. I would not walk in forgiveness with certain people.

But it wasn’t that I felt they did not deserve forgiveness. I felt they either would not change or they would beg forgiveness but would turn back around doing the same things all over again. Their behavior was like the city of Nineveh.

But just like Jonah, we come to a point that we need the forgiveness of God. It’s not about them. I know you have heard that before. And if you haven’t, well, it’s really not about them.

We need God’s forgiveness. He says that in order to get it, we must forgive those who have sinned against us. We have to forgive them, though they will yell and scream and fight again. You must forgive though she’s going to say the wrong thing again.

God is handling the situation and the perpetrators. And it might not look it, but they are being handled. And don’t worry about what God is doing to them. Be grateful that you are walking in obedience and most importantly, in right standing with God. Forgive them. Pray for them. Bless them.

Are you holding on to past grudges or hurts? Or maybe guilt? Let it go. You are hurting yourself.

Stay Encouraged and Be Blessed!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Don't Cause Others To Stumble


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But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. 
 1 Corinthians 8: 12-13 NKJV


Well, no sooner had I wrote about people taking issue with a curse word, and how they should calm down, then 1 Corinthians 8 was covered in Sunday School. I wasn’t happy about that. It probably happened a week later, if not a couple of weeks.

Now, I know it is months later, but I want to cover this before I write another post. Yes, a lot of people understood the shirt and had no problems with it. Yes, those in a huff, probably were in a huff not because the shirt caused them to sin, but because they catch a huff for anything that falls into a grey area.

But as the Word says, we must look out for another and not cause a fellow Christian to stumble and fall. Yes, though we had no issue with it, someone may have. A child sees the shirt and because another child is wearing it or a minister has it on, they may begin to curse, though they know they should not.

With all the bravado I had in the previous post, I should have realized that “a day of reckoning” was due. But as I stated, sometimes it is not that serious, but if it will cause another to stumble, then we have to refrain from it. That is why it is so tricky for ministers, teachers and pastors. You have to cover something that everyone can relate to in their own way and keep those who hear from stumbling.

We all need to be careful. We are to uplift, and not tear down. So, let’s be careful with our words and our actions. 

Stay Encouraged and Be Blessed!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Breast Cancer Awareness Vs. Cuss Words: Stay Focused, Yo!

©Copyright Not Mine _Quote Francis Chan


For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ephesians 6:12 KJV

I got several things on my mind. Yesterday everybody had on pink at church (except me cuz I didn't know and a lot of the men<smh, #heforshe>), and a couple of shirts made a profound statement but I don't think some people got it. Why? It stated "Walking the Hell out of breast cancer!" I know! Le Gasp! How dare they make that statement in church?! Couldn't they have said something different, like heck or H-E-double hockey sticks? I mean, the nerve! And let a child wear it?! Tsk tsk. Lord, forgive them for they know not what they do. I would never! (Yes, that was sarcasm. #sorrynotsorry) 

Sit down and be quiet. Better yet, read Ephesians 6:12. This battle against breast cancer is a spiritual thing.  And if it takes shock and awe to get people to think and do something, then knock yourselves out. 

There are so many ways to let survivors and those going through know you are with them in their fight. You can give, but you got to make sure you are giving to the right organization. Yes, sometimes the money you give only paid for the CEO's salary not the research. You better check

Another way is to participate in fundraisers, like bake sales and walkathons and marathons. I thought about breast cancer and that so many women have gone through it and died from it. I know very few women who breast cancer has not affected them. But I also recognize that this battle is not just an earthly one. So I got the shirt, even if they may not have thought of Ephesians 6:12 when having it made. And for me the statement worked. Did I catch the vapors because a CUSS word was on a shirt? Me?! Ha! There is so much to catch vapors on and trust, a CUSS word on a shirt don't faze me. I aint judging the ones that did but I do challenge them with one word: WHY? Again, so much more to be upset about but this is what got you hot and bothered? 

The statement worked. It got me thinking about breast cancer awareness. I know it got tongues wagging because I heard a couple of statements and saw the looks. But instead of having a conniption over a CUSS word, let's use the one power God has given us that does a lot more than donations and walkathons and marathons and bake sales. Let us PRAY because we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 

Because we know that prayer works. And this most effective tool can be used to shine God's light in the darkness. Let's have a conniption that this insidious disease is being used to take out both the unsaved (who lose the potential to be saved) and the saved. Let's get our knickers in a twist over the fact that the loudest "fighters" for breast cancer research spend more money on everything but breast cancer research. We have the best tool in this fight, and we elect not to use it?! Keep praying, y'all. And sadly, try and stay focused on the right thing.

Be Blessed and Stay Encouraged


**Disclaimer: I do not mean to offend with my sarcasm. I just firmly believe that there are other things to get upset about and to wag your fingers and tsk-tsk and shake your head because of a cuss word is not worthy. Doing that without all the facts divides not unites. That is why I am #sorrynotsorry. AND I like Francis Chan's quote but have not heard of him until I searched him. This is not an endorsement of him but of that particular quote. Would like to read his book though, I will confess.

Monday, June 30, 2014

God Loves You

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For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 NKJV


A little over a month ago, Dr. Maya Angelou died. That upset me. Her life and her words affected me as a teenager and to be honest, throughout my life. Her poem, "Phenomenal Woman" helped this teenager through many self-esteem issues. "And Still I Rise" was also one of her poems that helped during college. I had read most of her books in high school, and Dr. Angelou became one of my nurturers. 

No, I have never met her. I did not take her class posted online either. At some point in the late 1990s, I read her most inspiring words. It comes from her book, Wouldn't Take Nothing For My Journey Now." I can't tell you that I read the book or saw it in an article, but these words resonated with me.


Excerpt from “Power of the Word," Wouldn't Take Nothing For My Journey Now:


    In my twenties in San Francisco I became a sophisticate and an acting agnostic. It wasn’t that I had stopped believing in God; it’s just that God didn’t seem to be around the neighborhoods I frequented. And then a voice teacher introduced me to Lessons in Truth, published by the United School of Christianity.

    One day the teacher, Frederick Wilkerson, asked me to read to him. I was twenty-four, very erudite, very worldly.  He asked that I read from Lessons in Truth, a section which ended with these words: “God loves me.” I read the piece and closed the book, and the teacher said, “Read it again.”  I pointedly opened the book, and I sarcastically read, “God loves me.”  He said, “Again.”  After the seventh repetition I began to sense that there might be truth in the statement, that there was a possibility that God really did love me. Me, Maya Angelou. I suddenly began to cry at the grandness of it all. I knew that if God loved me, then I could do wonderful things, learn anything, achieve anything. For what could stand against me with God, since one person, any person with God, constitutes the majority?

    That knowledge humbles me, melts my bones, closes my ears, and makes my teeth rock loosely in their gums. And it also liberates me. I am a big bird winging over high mountains, down into serene valleys. I am ripples of waves on silver seas. I’m a spring leaf trembling in anticipation.



I did the same thing. I said "God Loves Me" over and over again until I got it. And when I forgot that undeniable truth, whether it's because I had yet to confess my sins or I let worry, stress or anger, etc., keep me from remembering, I do it again. And I will keep doing it.

If you think of you are unworthy of God's love, think again. He does not stop loving you. God loves you. God loves me. It is such a simple thing, but it trips everyone until they get it. I suggest we do like Dr. Angelou and say it over and over again until we remember it.

How do you remember that God loves you?

Stay Encouraged and Be Blessed!