In speaking to different people about their prayer habits and prayer life, I noticed a common theme: Their prayer life is a direct reflection of their daily life. What I notice is a lot of people do not persevere until they get results. Many people with dire needs and circumstances may go to God in prayer but when their needs aren’t met in their timeframe they give up and stop praying. They do not push through until the end. It is the same method they use in their daily lives. They may start a project, task or goal but when they do not see satisfactory results they easily give up. The problem is this pattern of behavior becomes habitual. The person’s thinking is more focused on the task not working as opposed to their own belief system, stamina and endurance. They do not realize that the fault lies in their perseverance instead of the task.
First, before pursuing any assignment or goal one must be passionate about it. If you’re not passionate about it it’s not going to propel you to stick with it long enough to see the desired end. As well, prayer; one cannot go to God half-heartedly and expect results. No you must pray passionately about what you are expecting God to do for you. You must pray with intent and strong will, and earnestly believe that your situation will change. Now here comes the hard part: It’s easy to believe in prayer when a request is answered quickly or in a relatively short period of time, but it’s those prayer requests that may take months or years that you need perseverance for. Beloved, I have continually prayed for things that literally took y-e-a-r-s to come to pass. But nonetheless I kept praying because God promises us in Matthew 21:22, that “…whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” I hold onto that and other verses like that because God is a God who does not lie!
In prayer and in life you have to learn how to be a closer — complete what you start until you get a finished result. God will not always give you exactly what you pray for because He knows what is best for you. Sometimes people pray for things that are not in God’s will for their life. God does not grant many prayer requests because He knows it will harm you or it is not in your best interests. In the above mentioned times, God will reveal to you why He chose not to answer specific prayers but you must have a personal relationship with Him and spend time in His presence to receive these revelations. Prayer requires reciprocity. Before you say prayer does not work, are you asking and then spending enough time with the Father to receive His answer, and not the answer you want to hear? It is hard to ask for something not knowing when or if you will ever get it. But if you do not at least keep asking and persevering in prayer, you will give in to failure and defeat. You will stop praying and allow despair and sorrow to overtake your mind. Beloved, be determined, be persistent, and persevere in prayer until you get an answer from God!
Wow! What an amazing finish to this year! God so blessed me to finish “His” book: Don’t just breakthrough, BREAK FREE! I say His book because I had totally different intentions when I started writing the tome. But beloved, God had to bring me through various trials and deliver me from some things in order for me to understand the gist of what I was writing about! Including: stubborness, unforgiveness, pride, homelessness, joblessness and debilitating sickness. I payed the price with blood, sweat and tears! It took me nearly 7 years to finish this book!
I now realize if it had been published when I first started writing it, it would have been verbiage and not experience. It would have been words but no substance. It reminds me of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when they were thrown into the fiery furnace. God had to allow me to be thrown into the fiery furnace to test this word that I was proclaiming; He had to test my faith by fire! Luke 22:31-32 says, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you Simon, that your faith may not fail! So like clay, instead of being burned up, my faith has been refined into a beautiful vessel! Hallelujah! A vessel for salvation, a vessel of hope, a vessel of light to the lost, depressed, and those that are struggling to live another day!
Many of you may know I’ve recently lost a dear loved one. You never really realize the magnitude of death until it knocks on your door. When I was writing this book, for some reason God put on my heart to write: “From time to time, God will send you a travel companion to help you along your way [on life’s journey]. Although you may be tempted to get upset when they leave, don’t!” Page 237. I could not understand at the time why I had written that as I never really lost anyone close to me to death. While editing the final chapters of the book, when I reread that sentence, I wept. Beloved, God knows the trials we will endure before we can ever conceive of them. Surely, we can never understand why God allows good people to die violently, but oh how He loves us and protects and keeps us in the midst of life’s storms. I love you and God bless you!
First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR! This past year the enemy may have taken away a job, home, dream, loved ones or material possessions. But the one thing that you are in control of that he can’t take away is your joy! But it depends on you. You have to make up your mind; make up you mind to succeed, to push on, to fight every step of the way this new year. Even though some days it may have looked like you were down for the count, wounded in the battle of life, or are still trying to recover from a crash landing.
It’s disconcerting that people take addictions seriously but often take emotional well being for granted. The same rule must apply: ONE DAY AT A TIME! The fight starts and begins in your mind before it ever reaches your will and your flesh. As children of the Most high God, we all are given different tasks, assignments, and jobs to do in this life. Many will be assigned a visible platform, but most often, the hardest assisgnments are the ones that are being fought behind the scenes; in our families, on our jobs, and in our communities. That’s where the real work takes place: face to face, hand to hand, and heart to heart. But we must and can only do what we are equipped to do at any given time in life. When we think we have so much to give is often the time we most fall. But we mustn’t remain, we must get back up learn more about ourselves, behavior, character and strive to improve…to do better, be better. We must allow ourselves to make mistakes, mess up, fail. Beloved, that’s the only way a child of God truly moves more towards God’s light. Most, we must allow others that same right to learn as they go and make mistakes without holding them in judgement or unforgiveness. For we all have fought a grave battle, and some are striving daily to heal severe wounds.
We are all on life’s rollercoaster, gallantly reaching high points but yet falling as fast at the same time because we live in this frail body called flesh. We must find out what God has called us to do and do it to the best of our abilities, though we are like mere babes learning how to walk this life while constantly falling…learning as we go. ln 2017, allow yourself to fall without criticism, harsh words, judgment or guilt, but with patience with yourself, encouraging yourself, and most importantly, loving you every step of the way.
I don’t know about you but I’m so glad God is so gentle and loving through each trial that He teaches me valuable lessons that I’m more than willing to learn while being patient with myself and finding the strength to keep going, to keep fighting the good fight of faith…likewise we all should grant the same right to everyone else who may cause us offense. Sometimes we forget who the real enemy is. Though Christians, we aren’t excluded from spiritual skirmishes. God is teaching me that the real victory comes from choosing to choose love in spite of…not letting life’s situations cause us to become bitter or unforgiving. For I believe everything, every situation and even every heartache has a purpose though the finite mind can hardly understand. This new year, take the time to mend combat wounds then go into your prayer closet and await further instructions.
We are all in this confusing, twisting, binding enigma called life that will never be fully explained perhaps until we go to our final resting home. So with that I leave you…love, laugh, forgive, celebrate and most importantly, cherish family. And as goes that old Southern hymn…hold on old soldier…You can make it…You can win!
The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand.
In continuation from the last post, I would like to futher explore what I feel God is speaking to singles this year; as well as those that are separated from a spouse or those who feel isolated within a marriage.
I am a girl’s girl! I love having friendships and bonding with my fellow sisters. I love that women can come together in times of need to edify, encourage, and uplift one another. I love that my friends and I don’t take for granted the need to bond and break bread together. Oftentimes when we come together we cry, laugh, and share anecdotes of embarrassing moments, mistakes, regrets, courting and of course men! It is out of some of these very intimate conversations that I feel led to write on the subject regarding singles. While this post isn’t entirely for women, there are many men that may identify with and learn from this text.
It seems as if dating and sex are the elephants in the room at many churches. There, I said it! Often there are ministries devoted to couples, single moms, youth, seniors, even prison ministries but a consensus that I find that is often lacking in many churches is a ministry devoted strictly to middle aged singles. Yes, there are some churches with singles’ ministries but sadly many of them are simply singles’ retreats that don’t address the underlying issues many single people face: dating, lust, and sex!
Many singles are struggling in this area and sadly are resorting to fornication, pornography, lust, and masturbation while singing in the choir, ushering, and working in ministry because they feel their specific concerns aren’t being met corporately within the church. This is the most common area where many women secretly confide in me for answers. One woman told me she had been single for years and was simply tired of waiting on God! Sadly, she started a sexual relationship with a young man and it ended horribly. Beloved, God knows best! Wait on His timing! It seems as if this subject is taboo in church, which should not be. If there are any clergy reading this post, I admonish you in your prayer time to ask God how to incorporate a singles’ ministry into your church or if there is a singles’ ministry, ask God how to get to know the needs and concerns of its members and restructure a plan to meet their needs.
First off, let me start by saying, according to the Bible, I believe single people should not have sex until marriage. But because of underlying root problems many singles are forgoing this belief whether because of agnosticism, pop culture, loneliness, peer pressure, or a need to feel loved and accepted. And that is what I would like to address today.
LET’S EXPLORE THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
Beloved, many singles, even though some sit under sound doctrine at church are fornicating Saturday night but are Holier than thou on Sunday morning. Because of these dalliances babies are born out of wedlock, some are committing adultery, some are contracting STD’s and sadly, some are aborting babies to hide their sin. All for what? Love, loneliness, a need to feel wanted, a feeling of rejection? All of these key factors play an important role in this behavior, but the most important I believe, is rejection! Let’s delve exactly what rejection is and the ramifications caused by it. Rejection is a feeling of unacceptance and exclusion by another party or parties. In the spirit realm, it manifests as a spirit that attaches itself to people and if not recognized and cast out can cause many to live unfulfilled and loveless lives. Some people carry a spirit of rejection because of many different factors:
▪️Rejection in the womb.
Some people were rejected in the womb at birth. Some women who got pregnant didn’t want the child therefore spoke a curse of rejection over their child’s life, either verbally or emotionally. Some women tried to abort a child, but for whatever reason had the child. Some women put their child up for adoption. Many adoptees, even though some have been raised by a loving family, desperately search for birth parents because they still feel unloved and unattached–spirit of rejection. Beloved, rejection in the womb is a spirit projected onto a person from birth that if not cast out will cause a person to go through their whole life, unbeknownst to them, desperately looking for someone to love them.
▪️Rejection as a child.
Some children were rejected by parents, relatives, or peers and it left an indelible mark on their emotional state. Some people felt rejected by their parents because the parents perhaps worked more on their jobs than spending time with them. Some people, their parents were in the home but only talked to them when scolding or beating them; or their presence was in the home physically but not emotionally–they didn’t communicate with the child. These parents never told their kids they loved them or showed them any type of affection. In continuation, many people were told that they were not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough and that led to very low self-esteem. Some people were called names or teased by relatives or peers because of a birth trait, or physical trait that left them feeling insecure, indifferent or unworthy. Beloved, the spirit behind these hurtful words told them that they were not good enough. Therefore many have spent their lives trying to be accepted, trying to measure up, trying to seek the approval of people who’re often unworthy of them.
Beloved, many curse themselves with their own mouth because of what they believe about themselves. Because of bullying by peers as mentioned above, some will carry the insulting words in their mind well into adult hood, look into the mirror and pick themselves apart: I’m not pretty enough to get the mate I want, I’m not smart enough, I’m too fat among other self-hating thoughts that people tell themselves daily. Beloved, if you believe these things about yourself you will believe others share this same view about you and it is simply not the truth! There is a spirit of vanity in today’s culture that is causing many to measure themselves up against celebrity standards. Contrarily, some people fall on the opposite side of the spectrum. Rejection has caused some to exhibit a false sense of pride. No man or woman is good enough for them. They may be very attractive and have everything going for them, but this spirit of rejection drives potential suitors away because internally they really don’t accept themselves. It’s a spirit of perfection. How you see you is how others will see you, despite appearance. Beauty comes from within. People gravitate towards a beautiful spirit. Work on yourself internally first. Study what God’s word says about you. Psalms 139. Begin to speak life over yourself, not death. Proverbs 18:21. You have to learn how to accept yourself before anyone else will. Until you rebuke this spirit of rejection and accept yourself, you’ll never attract your divine mate because this spirit of rejection will chase them away. I also advise you to seek out deliverance ministries and allow men of God to lay hands, anoint with oil and pray for you concerning this area.
▪️Many feel God has rejected them.
Beloved, I have talked to people who strongly feel that God rejected them because parents abandoned them as children, they lost a loved one or a spouse cheated on, abused them and/or walked out on them. In their minds they think God is their enemy, that He has cursed them, or rejected them. That cannot be further from the truth. In this life we all have our share of heartache and pain, but many internalize theirs with a narrow-minded subjective view. Let this type of thinking go. God loves you and wants the best for you! Recognize who the real enemy is: satan. The Bible says he comes to rob, steal and kill. John 10:10. Some people refuse to believe that satan or a devil exists. He does, and sadly he is destroying many lives, some because of choices made or doors left open to sin, yet God is still getting the blame! Beloved, God gives us free will to choose. Some choose wrongly then blame God. God is speaking restoration this year. Restore your relationship with Him. Let go of the anger and animosity you feel towards God and allow Him to heal you!
GOD LOVES YOU
Beloved this spirit of rejection has destroyed many of lives. The need to be accepted has caused many women to turn to prostitution, the sex industry, drugs, and live lascivious lifestyles all because they have not dealt with the root cause of their problem. As well, men by trying to find love through money, status, wrong relationships and many sexual partners, but to name but a few.
GOD IS RESTORING SINGLES
God wants you to know that you are worthy! He loves you! He wants to restore you in this season. Get behind the root of your behavior; whether it’s low self-worth, loneliness, abandonment, or rejection. Find out why it is you behave the way you do in regards to relationships. When you do I guarantee God will meet you where you are and the healing will begin. You can’t take this word nonchalantly but run with it! Help him heal you to be able to love the way He created you to love: in honesty, purity, truth, and transparently.
After you have dealt with the root of your problem, you have to know what you want, you cannot be double minded. One minute you want to be married the next minute you don’t because of past hurts or fear. Whatever you want, be firm in that position and pray for God to bless you! God says make up your mind then I will bless you! Because of anger, resentment, pain, and past hurts, (some decades old) many people’s relationships have been stunted, wombs have been closed, hopes, dreams have died and weddings have been put on hold. Deal with the root of your problem, only then can God grow holy, pure, beautiful, loving relationships in 2016.
I was made a servant of the gospel by God’s special gift, which He gave me through the working of His power. Ephesian 3:7
The above verse is commentary from Apostle Paul, mentioning his implantation in God’s kingdom as a disciple of the most high. Paul says in the aforementioned verse, I was “ made a servant” of the gospel of Jesus Christ, not that he went in his own volition or was a follower of Jesus. Quite the opposite! Many who are familiar with Paul’s story knows that before his conversion from Saul, he was a diabolical opponent of Jesus’ teachings and followers of Christ. Paul persecuted and killed those who followed Christ and deemed to eradicate the movement of the gospel. It was on the road to Damascus that Jesus appeared to Paul and reprimanded him for persecuting him, closed his eyes of darkness and thus gave him the gift to see (Acts 9:4-15).
So what does this so called “gift” have to do with loneliness and isolation? In Ephesians 4:7, Paul says that each one of us has received a special gift in proportion to what Christ has given. You see beloved, God didn’t just strike Paul blind, I believe the blindness was a metaphor for Paul’s spiritual darkness. Paul thought he was doing a noble, lawful thing by persecuting followers of Christ. He thought he was preserving the current religious laws of the land. God shut paul’s eyes to show him the evil, wicked, and immoral life he was living through pride, self-righteousness, and murder. And God, through Ananias, revealed to Paul that the only way His eyes could be truly opened to the spirit realm and receive true sight is to be touched by God! (Acts 9:12). Even Ananias pleaded with the Lord that this man was too wicked and evil! But I love how the Lord says in Acts 9:15, “Go your way, for he is my chosen vessel to bear my name before nations and kings, and the children of Israel.
Beloved, God chose Paul as his disciple, opened his eyes to a deeper understanding of the things of God that most Christ followers at that time couldn’t comprehend, and gave him many spiritual gifts. One being a gift of deliverance (or exorcism), when he cast out a spirit of divination in a girl in the village whom merchants were using for profit. (Acts 16:18). But the irony is that with these spiritual gifts will come loneliness and isolation! Even on Paul’s spiritual journey there were moments of loneliness and isolation. Recall when Mark deserted Paul and Barnabas when they were spreading the gospel in Pamphylia, which later caused contention between Paul and his cohort Barnabas and they too would eventually part ways.
It was He who gave gifts to mankind; he appointed some to be pastors and teachers. (12) He did this to prepare all God’s people for the work of Christian service, in order to build up the body of Christ. (GNB).
How many of you God has given a gift and you denied it because of your own personal dreams, goals, or worldly ambitions. Or, how many of you have denied His gift because you feel like you aren’t qualified to represent God like Paul, or do not have your life together. But does not God say in 1 Corinthians 1:27, that He uses things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful (NLT). More, some even deny the gift because of concern with pleasing spouse or family. 1 Corinthians 7:33 says, a married man concerns himself with worldly matters, because he wants to please his wife; and he is pulled in two directions. And more — this part many women do not want to hear: 1 Corinthians 7:34, says an unmarried woman or a virgin concerns herself with the Lord’s work, because she wants to be dedicated both body and spirit. There are so many woman who are depressed and feel alone because they want to get married and feel like God does not favor them because He has not given them a husband. I speak to many of these women and a common consensus, I find, is a lack of Biblical study, or even spending time with the Lord. Many, men and women, do not spend intimate personal time with Christ to learn His heart, His leading, His direction for finding a mate. They have a void within themselves, an emptiness that they think only a man or woman can fill when Jesus is already waiting at the altar; He already fell in love with you, but you’re trying to fill that love outside of Him! I wonder if women and men would concern themselves with the Lord’s work and be dedicated to Him in body and spirit first, how many would attract mates who are drawn to them because of their worship of Christ – because they are operating in their gift! Amen!
More, I find that the people God does truly call or give a spiritual gift, often do not want to go! It’s the ones that God does not call that are the ones that are happy to let you know with titles of a Dr., prophet, prophetess, a preacher a pastor etc. before their names. Sadly, some go to push their own agenda, or propaganda. But those that are truly called to proclaim the gospel, there can be, in the beginning, an inward struggle. It takes a letting go of the person’s plans, goals and ambitions; laying down of their life to follow Christ. Beloved that is not an easy task! The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:12, that everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted! Who in their natural mind would want to sign up to be persecuted? That’s why it is a struggle for some! Beloved, the spirits that operate in this world are wicked and evil, you are going to be persecuted anyway, so why not for Christ? The devil will only give you temporary satisfaction. The devil makes deals. Whatever he gives you he wants to collect something else for it in return!
Romans 11:29 says,
For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable!
Amen! That means that when God gives it to you, He expects nothing in return! The “gifts” of God are irrevocable! Many people want to be in control of their own lives and the lives of others, so they turn to dealing in the occult to get gifts from the devil. You best believe whatever satan gives you he wants a return on his investment! Why do you think you read about so many people involved in these types of practices who commit suicide or murder, or perform other bizarre behaviors that are incomprehensible? Beloved, there is a spiritual realm and it is real! Granted, when a person submits to God’s call, as 2 Timothy 3:12 says, will suffer persecution because the devil will do everything he can to stop the Gospel of Jesus Christ; that will involve times of loneliness, rejection and isolation. Some people will simply think you have become too religious, some will now feel uncomfortable around you; feeling like they can no longer do things around you that they used to do in fear of judgement, and other times God will allow periods of being alone to teach you how to hear His voice; to teach you how to love Him, and to perfect your gifts.
Beloved, that’s why we must constantly do our part and work on our personal relationship with Christ. Work on learning His heart, what pleases Him, and learning His ways. If not, we will turn inward and blame Christ and develop and angry attitude towards Him simply because we don’t understand with our limited thinking. We will begin to blame God for our mishaps when the enemy is simply the devil, and not God!
As people called in Christ, God has given us a gift. In Ephesians 3:3, Paul says that God revealed to him the “Secret plan.” I love that verse because those die-hard followers of Christ know this secret! No matter how much they are persecuted by satan and his cohorts, they keep fighting because God has opened their eyes in the spirit realm. Like gifts, anyone can obtain the secret but some are too busy with the world’s system: money, recognition, power, wealth. More, some are just too busy with the ordinary day-to-day goings on of life to get His secrets or gifts to defeat the enemies in their lives! It has to be a strong desire to live holy and righteous and to want to know the truth of God to really receive this gift. Paul says in Ephesians 3:5, that God has revealed this secret by the spirit to His Holy apostles and prophets. Sadly, some people in church don’t have the gifts, though they sit Sunday after Sunday in their designated church pews only socializing with their inner church circles, while new converts are often isolated and lost in a new environment to eventually stop attending church altogether. Some are even so concerned about recognition within the church that they neglect their own family’s needs and do not even call or check on sick family members or neighbors in their neighborhood outside of their church, outside of their church ministry or without receiving recognition. Sadly, these have not yet received the gift! I say yet because beloved, I have been on both sides of the fence. I am so thankful to God that He has lifted the veil, and opened my eyes like Paul, and it is only because of deep prayer, and wanting God’s heart that He gave me true vision!
It is truly a gift to be sensitive to others’ needs. You never know what people are going through or if one day they may decide to take their lives because they feel like no one cares. Even if people may slight our greetings or invitations we must put our own feelings aside and not let a spirit of rejection enter our hearts and become embittered or angry. We must keep reaching out to God’s people, despite rejection. And this I will tell you takes much patience and diligent prayer. Somehow, we have turned into a me me generation. What are people doing for me, or how can this benefit me. I will be the first to vouch for this because I was this way for years. But what I had noticed was it was a generational curse passed down my lineage. It was a spirit of pride operating in my family and I was determined to break the cycle!
Moreover, sometimes God will allow loneliness and isolation so you have no other choice but to go to Him; so you have no choice but to cry out to Him! When God is ready to elevate you to the next level in your spiritual growth, He will remove the cushion of family, friends, and sometimes church members! It will seem like in the physical everyone is acting up or abandoning you, but in the spirit God is pulling up the weeds, planting new soil, killing the infestation of dead religion! — creating new fruit in you! A servant that is going to be used by God must first learn how to serve. Nowadays, everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame, everyone wants to be in the spotlight without first learning humility; how to cater to their brothers and sisters’ needs first. Sadly, with the resources of social media, I believe it is exacerbating selfishness, self-marketing and self-promotion. As humans we are so driven by our ego and the constant need of validation, recognition to prove ourselves, our worth or talent. Hard we may try, we still fall victim to the world’s propaganda and ideologies, when God calls us to be the exact opposite: to validate others, build up others’ self-esteem; help others to recognize their gifts and help nurture it! We look at shepherds as leading the flock, but in essence shepherds serve their flock: nurturing, caring for, and feeding each and everyone.
If you are to be a shepherd for Christ, you must grasp this lesson. Get it! Ingrain it! If we are to be used of Christ, we must put ourselves aside; our egos, and serve God’s people! I’m not just talking about in church, but in everyday life. Serve your family first: call your family, check in with them if you haven’t heard from them in a while – not text or email, but be a compassionate voice on the other end of the line. Serve at your job by being a listening ear to a despondent co-worker. Serve a person on the bus by giving up your seat, and showing the love and generosity of Christ. Serve your neighbors by introducing yourself, and letting them know you are available should they ever need anything. Beloved, that’s showing the heart of God and using your gifts! Serve from a place of humility, lowliness, not self-validation, recognition; putting others before ourselves, their needs, wants – most, putting God’s love before our own need for love. It was once said, “whatever you need, give it away.” Beloved, that’s how you truly overcome loneliness and isolation. Give yours away! It’s hard, I know because we all want to feel loved and needed, but for some of us, God has made us self-sustainers and has given us his self-sustaining love that we grasp stronger than most. These that understand this love in a deeper more profound way, He calls to spread that love to others who feel lonely and unloved; those who are weaker in the faith.
The problem is we began to get jealous of God’s love for others and turn inward and ask, “what about me, Lord?” When God has equipped us with all the love we will ever need in Him! We just have to learn how to tap into it!
So today I look at my Christian walk through new eyes, a new perspective. God calls us to go out and feed His sheep, only then will we cure our own loneliness!
2 Timothy 1:6,7
As I read the interviews and watched videos about the Charles Ramsey story, my mind reverts back to that day, that scene…
As we were driving along, I began to feel the tension rise in his voice like a pot on a hot stove that’s about ready to boil over. Mad about nothing in particular really, it was just his form of control. Mental control, physical control, just control period! A control, sadly, he did not have in the world. In his world he felt weak, a failure, and rejected. So he choose to gain authority by controlling me, a demure, 90-pound little girl practically. There we were, driving down some street, I don’t even remember the name. I do remember his voice began escalating. I had been in this scenario too many times before, I knew what was coming next. “Bam!” A blow to the side of my face as I sat on the passenger side of the car. Before the z’s could stop circling around my head, “bam!” another blow to the face! I opened the car door and proceeded to run. He got out, chased me down the street, dragged me by my hair back to driver’s side of the car. It was as if it were all happening in slow motion. I saw colors: a red shirt, a white wife beater, blue shorts, faces on the side walk, children in the street, all the while he was kicking me in my face while simultaneously punching me in the head. Although my voice was forced silent, my eyes were screaming for help as they locked on this man’s eyes standing on the sidewalk. I was being beaten so viciously my mouth could not utter one word. The man, he shook his head at me, laughed, and went back into his house! Not only was I being attacked by one person, but by all those eyes…just looking…just staring…doing nothing.
I can’t help but to think, what if Charles Ramsey had been around in my day? Just maybe…just maybe had he been around in my day, my scarred emotions would have healed faster than my scarred face. Just maybe my broken spirit would have healed faster than my broken nose. Just maybe, I too, would have been rescued from the hands of my abuser.
Just maybe…because of Charles Ramsey, I can now pick up my American dignity off of the floor where it was stomped on, kicked, punched and spat on; and proudly wear it on my back, stand up straight, tall and proud; assured that society has not indeed lost its compassion, lost its bravery, lost its heroism!
That it is still the America that values a woman’s life, a mother’s life, a sister’s life, a daughter’s life! For that, I thank you Charles Ramsey!
Let’s come back together as a community; neighbors who know each other’s names, who watches out for each other’s children, and most importantly, neighbors who help one another in time of need!
The reason I asked you to reanswer the aforementioned questions is to get you to think about your romantic relationships, if you are in one. And, if you’re not to examine your behavior when you were previously in a relationship. Again, if you answered “no” to any of the questions, really, are you prepared for a divine mate?
The vertical relationship with God is paramount. Until you perfect this relationship, you will never know how to love within a horizontal relationship! Think about it…God consummated this love by dying on the cross for us! Beloved, God is a person. When you learn how to love God first, then all other relationships will take on that precedent of love.
So many profess to love God but live a fruitless life. They have their own agenda’s, plans, goals and God is really on the back burner. They have a self-centered view of what love should look like or be like. When you really dissected it it’s based on past hurts, failures, fear, selfishness. And, oftentimes pride.
The truth of the matter is some people don’t even love themselves. And quite sadly, because of life’s dissapointment’s, feel like God doesn’t love them either. Here in lies the problem…you can’t give away what you do not have! If you don’t love yourself how can you possibly love someone else? In many relationships today, people are yearning for love from another person and want someone else to make them happy! They want the other person to make them feel good about themselves. Beloved, you need to have love in you already, your love tank needs to already be full before entering a relationship. Another person can only compliment that love.
The only relationship you are having at any given time is that between yourself and God, not the other person! The other person is only a reflection of God. He wants to see how you will love him when He’s hungry, when He’s sick, when He’s in need, even when He’s cantankerous. Do you remember the story in Matthew 25:31-40? Furthermore, the way you treat yourself is the way you will treat other people. If you are unloving towards yourself, impatient, and critical, that’s how you will treat other people.
Human beings go into relationships with such false expectations, facades, masks, hopes and dreams.
Marriage is not a fantasy that you wish to come true. Contrary to popular belief you don’t just fall in love. Scientists believe that in the first stages of a relationship there is a chemical reaction that takes place between two individuals that produces an euphoric state–if there is any validity to that theory–however, when that feeling subsides both people face the harsh reality of each one’s faults and the baggage both brought into the union. What do you do then? The Bible teaches us that we do not base our decisions on emotions (Galatians 5:16-24). Emotions are fickle and are constantly changing. It takes a conscious choice (concerted effort) to continue to love someone despite what challenges a relationship may bring. Of course it takes a lot of work and learning how to. But the Bible is the blueprint of love!
God is love (1John 4:8). We first must establish a dependant, intimate relationship with God. Not by name only but by spending quality time with The Father, getting to know His heart, His mind, and His desires; what He wants for us. Isn’t that what we do when we’re courting someone? If we don’t learn how to love God first, we will never be able to love ourselves, let alone another person. He teaches us how to love unconditionally. Christ is the epitome of love (Isaiah 53:5). Once you perfect your heavenly relationship with The Father you’ll know what it feels like to have a loving, healthy, pure relationship with another human being.
Many have become bitter, and some have resulted to fornication because they are tired of waiting on God. The Bible says: “every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed,” (James 1:14) NKJV. Beloved, If you cannot be faithful to God how can you possibly be faithful to man who lives in this flesh, fallible and apt to disappoint?
Once you fall in love with Jesus, it is truly a love you have never felt before! It fills all voids, loneliness, emptiness, and pain. It completes you and gives you an unspeakable joy! It wraps its loving arms around you despite your failures and shortcomings. So I ask, why settle for a moment of pleasure when God can give you a lifetime of joy! As Kirk Whalum admonishes in his ode to Christ: “falling in love with Jesus was the best thing I ever done!” He is the love of your life!
Let me just say, God speaks to us differently. Perhaps if you did answer yes to the questions that were asked in the test, have worked on yourself and are sold out to Christ, and feel God has lead you in this direction; dating websites may work for you! However, I would strongly tread with caution!
If you no one has told you today, I love you! Happy Valentines day! ❤
An acquaintance had been asking me to hang out recently. With my full schedule, and the holidays fast approaching, I was searching deep within myself to find a reason not to go. I’m just not going! I said to myself. I just don’t have time, besides this isn’t one of my close friends, I retorted. Right then, I felt a tugging in my spirit to go. Geeze…ok I’ll go!
So I let my friend know I’d take her up on her offer. The day of, we greeted one another and immediately I felt a sadness in her spirit. She hugged me as if she had won the lottery and I had showed up to give her a million dollar check! Ok…I thought, this is odd. On we went about our day, my friend garrulously chatting the whole way. Maybe I was wrong, I surmised, she sure has a lot to talk about! Throughout the day I would continue to take on the role as the attentive listening friend. As we finally ended the evening with a late night dinner, it was there that I saw it! The look in her eyes, it was confirmation! I know that look all too well! I have been to that place before! A place of lonliness, sadness, and despair!
I listened intently, albeit curiously as her face lit up brightly like ornaments on a Christmas tree as she reminisced about her childhood; how excited she would get toward the approaching of the holiday season: The house lit aglow with holiday decorations, the aroma of gingerbread cookies baking in the oven, and the enjoyment and fulfillment she would have sharing stories with her family around the dinner table!
That excitement soon turned to doom as the expression on her face began to parallel the emptiness in her heart. She began to say how times have changed. How as adults we are consumed with work, bills, worry, and problems. She also shared how the emotional turmoil of a bad marriage left her hopeless, angry, and depressed. By evening’s end, she thanked me profusely for taking the time out of my “busy schedule” to hangout with her.
Wow! That was a wake up call for me! Here I am concerned about my day-to-day activities, and here is a life that, quite simply, needed a friend. At the least someone to just listen! How often do we miss the opportunity to share the love of Christ because we are too busy, have our own agenda, or are simply not compassionate. I admit this was a time of repentance and humbling for me. How glad I was that I heeded that voice in my spirit! Oh how we as Christians tarnish the Gospel because we are busy doing and not being. Being transparent. Being Light.
Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:15, 16
Beloved, we as humans can only appease a person’s pain but for a moment. But, Matthew 5:15 says your light will give light to all in the house! We need to let our light shine before others in patience, giving of time, in longsuffering, so they are to know WHO it is that illuminates our spirit! Who’s the candle that lights our fire! Who guides us through the perils and pitfalls of darkness! Jesus Christ! Amen!
Point being that they may give glory to “your” Father in Heaven! That they may in turn seek His face, as to know who is the One who is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him! Hebrews 11:6. That they can therefore experience the fruits of His merciful spirit for themselves!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness Galatians 5:22
Beloved, we often forget that the holiday season is a time of darkness, depression, and oppression for many. Whether it’s grief over a lost loved one, a divorce, kids having left the nest, singleness, etc. Perhaps you are a person that has found yourself in the grips of hell this holiday season. There is a way out: Jesus Christ! Many who have come to God are experiencing a life of freedom from torment and despair! Personally speaking, I am one of them! If you don’t have a personal relationship with God, get down on your knees and ask God to come into your life today! (Romans 10:9). If you do have a relationship with Christ, seek God diligently and expect your deliverance! Or perhaps God has laid a person on your heart whom you simply can’t get out of your mind? It’s a prompting of the Holy Spirit. Reach out to someone today, be the light in their dark place; introduce them to a person who sticketh closer than a brother!
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24