December 24, 2017

Trust is an Issue

I am very analytical.  I overthink some of the most basic details of things.  This is a most honest self assessment. Meaning I am the person who can literally stand in a fast food restaurant and think through all of the pro and cons of any menu item, and each and every combination of items that might contain too many calories or make me too full or make me sluggish or maybe cost more than I want to spend for fast food, or maybe might make a mess in the car, or whether I want to or have time to sit inside the restaurant and eat, or if I sit inside the restaurant what type of activities might be going on around me that I dont want to eat around, and on and on and on.

So when I say that I have put some thought to something, that is very much the case. I assess situations like a Rubics Cube. I look at things from all sides and angles and possible meanings and outcomes.  This can be to a fault. This type of other thinking can be paralyzing on so many levels.  It is a good skill  to have because of the type of work that I do because the attention to detail is essential. But for the most basic things in life, I work at not having to think so hard as if it is a journey towards some sort of bliss.

Yes, I have to work on conditioning my mind to not overthink things.  Even at this moment, I am writing as form of processing information, which is usually the case. But on today when I have worked an extremely long day, and still have a lot on my mind, I am sitting up writing to sort through my thoughts so that hopefully I will be able to settle down my mind enough to relax and find my way to sleep.

What does all of this have to do with trust? Absolutely everything.  When you notice the smallest details, it leads you have sufficient pieces of information to assess and analyze in a way that most people just skim over. And I like most women often have these fairytales playing out in my head of perfect endings and spectacular outcomes. Here in is the foundation to the issues that I have with trust.  After much thought, those perfect outcomes turn into realistic reality.

After realizing that I have been replaying this perfect outcome in my head for a few years now, I finally came to the conclusion that holding on to this fairytale ending was draining because when I put it to the reality test, I realized that at the most basic core of the reality is a lack of trust. 
A lack of trust really has very little to do with guilt or innocence, perception or deception, but trust is an internal working of the individual.  In this way, my inability to fully trust the person or the situation means that there is already a breach, a gapping hole in the fort.

When there is no trust, or even when trust is questionable, there are way to many opportunities for a person with trust issues to find reasons for trust to deplete or simply not be present at all.
Once I realized that my inability to trust  in this situation was going to be problematic in a way that would manifest in so many other areas, then I decided to completely throw away my fairytale ending, because it would be like have a Bentley with no tires and no keys...... pointless bragging rights.

Theologically, I had tried to justify my hanging on to hope because I trust God.  So that became my blanket assessment of the situation.  After years of hoping against hope, I realized that I will continue to trust God regardless.  Trusting God is so very different from putting your trust in a person or a situation.  There are no guarantees in life, but some times the most trusting thing you can do is realize that God is still on the throne and still in control. So even if I dont get a fairytale ending, staying in a mindset of being able to trust God is most important.

Truth is, everybody and every situation is not deserving of your trust and most fairytales turn into reality sooner or later anyway. So facing reality and learning how to allow wisdom to develop your process and ability to trust means facing facts not vicarious ideals.

After all, God's Truth is based on the facts.

December 20, 2017


There are times when the most loving thing you can do is to take a hands off approach.  It is hard because the loving thing to do seems to be to support and guide and cheer.  But when a person has a stubborn and disobedient will, you cant do anything but allow them to learn the hard way.

Being that our culture is no longer as accountable as during biblical times, many people now do not understand nor respect the concept of having a sense of accountability to your community, especially the community of faith. For example during biblical times when something was considered a sin as unto death, this meant that you could actually be literally stoned to death. The offense was not only about the sin of the individual, but a reflection on the community as a whole, and therefore the community was within its right to respond. Currently our culture has gone the complete other end of the spectrum,  which means that we turn a blind eye to the wrong of others. Although I do think stoning is extremely harsh, I do believe that there is a place and purpose for a community, especially a community of faith, holding its members accountable for certain principles and behaviors. ( Here I must insert a note: I dont believe that 'putting people out of the church' is the correct response. As a matter of fact, I think that is just as harsh as stoning.)

Taking a hands off approach can look a lot of different ways, depending on the situation. This is very hard to do when you know that the person knows better and should be doing better. But the 'master of deception' does a good job at convincing the mind of the individual that there are other solutions other than doing things God's way, according to Biblical Principles.  That is exactly the success story of deception from the very beginning, to convince one that there are ways to get better outcomes than to be obedient to God's Principles.

The question might be asked, why would you want to negotiate with God? Why would you want anything thing other than God's Will for you?  And what do you really gain when you 'seemingly' win the negotiation with God?  Does getting your way instead of God's Will really turn out to be a win-win in the long run.... now or eternally?

The ripple effect of disobedience only leads to more and more disobedience, as one attempts to find ways to navigate making the disobedience seem like it is going to turn out alright. And before long there is a snowball affect of multiple acts of disobedience. And the disobedience leads to a house of mirrors of deception, eventually make the truth sound harsh and unreal.  As long as the individual is trying to sort out ways to make the wrong turn into a success, you cant reason with them about their thoughts or actions.

Here is where loving is hard. Letting go. Backing off.  This is also when you stop praying for God to cushion the blows that sin and disobedience are causing the person. This is when you realize that God is allowing the individual to truly see what getting their way means.   God is not going to be manipulated.  But God will let one have their way, and all that comes with it.  Being determined to be out of the Will of God, means being determined to deal with not having God's Covering or Guidance, as if saying to God that one wants God to take a Hands Off approach to one's life.

Think about it, if someone wants God to take a 'hands off' approach, then why would the same individual want someone to have a 'hands on' approach other than to support the deception? Being a support to others, often times means that you have to back away and God can allow the person to see where their way is taking their life. After all you cant become party to the wrong, or you too will find yourself slipping into darkness, and deception. 

Because here is the deal, deception loves darkness, hidden agenda, under the table negotiations and secrets.  One of the greatest clues that something is not according to God's Will is if it has to be kept secret or hidden.  I dont mean privacy, privacy is the right to keep things to yourself or away from the public.  But shame and guilt are built around those things that would not be justified as having a right motive from the start.

So why back off, other than self preservation?  I will give you an example of when my son was a toddler.  I kept saying to him hold on, dont fall down the steps.  I was doing what I thought was the loving thing to do by coddling his every move.  But one day a friend said to me, that he is a boy and he learns by understanding, and he wont understand until he sees for himself.  This was the most profound thing that was said to me about raising a son.

One day, I got up the courage to let him figure it out for himself. I was cautious to make sure that his fall was a little one and not a major one, but I had to let him navigate a few lower steps on his own, his way, without holding on.  And as truth would be revealed to him, he flopped down a couple of steps and then looked at me as if to say what happened.  The hundreds of times that I had attempted to get this message across to him, now he figured it out because he realized that he didnt like his own outcome.

This examples may seem simplistic, but from that day on, I never had to negotiate or even mention to my son that he needed to hold on while walking down the steps. Grabbing the railing became unspoken second nature.  And so it can be with someone who wants to try their hand at being blatantly and boldly disobedient to God's Principles.  The only thing you can do after attempting to coach and encourage is allow the individual to learn the hard way.  Some times the fall, the hitting bottom is what it will take to help the person know that they dont want to do it that way again.

This is when repentance is true.  True repentance is when one is no longer trying to make the disobedience work, but is willing to drop all wrong and turn with intention to do what is right with a no looking back mindset. It is the determination to be redeemed.  This is when the individual can stand before God with a sincere heart and say 'Lord, please take me back'.

Now the mindset has completely changed from negotiation with God to complete surrender to God.  Until the individual is willing to surrender, there will be a constant attempt to negotiate for good outcomes from disobedient actions and motives.  But once the individual surrenders and truly acknowledges their need for the Savior, then God can guide and send others to guide and support the individual getting back in step with the Will of God both spiritually and naturally.

December 2, 2017


Sin is an addiction. The causes and affects are both spiritual and natural. Just like any other addiction, the addict feels justified because of their inability to believe that life could be better without the sin.  For the person who is entangled in sin, it is the sin that they feel like makes one feel alive. The person can not imagine feeling more alive by a life without sin.  This is what gives the sinner the joy of sinning, the urge to sin, and the sense of normalcy while living out their favorite sin or sins.

Just like any other type of addiction, the individual can change, can give up the addiction and live a life of normal activity that may actually include the chosen thing or behavior, but in a different context.  The amazing thing about sin and sinful nature is that it is caused by a distortion of thought and a distortion of the context. Most sins are taking something that is a normal healthy behavior and causing it to have more control over the individual than the individual has over one's self.  Sin at its core is a lack of self control that is guided toward what is outside of the Will of God.

Let's take Gluttony for example. I will not describe it because, depending on the individual, it can take on many forms of manifestation in one's life---- for this reason I will simply note the reference 1 John 2 and what is referred to as 'pride of life'.  In this way, it can be said that sin is selfish, having little to no regard for others or how one's behavior or mindset affects others. In other words, having the same characteristics of any other addiction. I wont bore with talk of dopamine and neurotransmitters. But just like any other addiction, science has shown that the chemicals in the brain are released that make the individual feel like there is reward in fulfilling craved addiction.  This is what makes the sin seem like a thrill, and makes the person feel alive.  The problem is that the feeling wears off, and this make the need for the behavior to become repetitive/a cycle, in other words, a sinful lifestyle.

One's way of thinking has to be distorted to justify the sin.  This is why you can point out the sin to the individual without the person ever giving any real thought or consideration to your words or the option to change.  We all want to believe that human beings can self regulate and make some basic auto-adjustments, but when it comes to sin and immorality for real change to take place the person has to be convicted.

The legal system has given us a very different understanding of conviction than that which is actually true from a spiritual perspective. In the court system the individual is tried by a jury of their peers. In this way, the burden is on proving to the jurors enough evidence to make a decision about the individual's guilt or innocence. This is why people who are in a sinful lifestyle can engage the conversation about their sin, because they are waiting for someone to convince them that what they are thinking or doing is wrong. And this is also when you will hear someone say, 'you cant make me feel guilty', letting you know that the individual is untouched by your defense of what is right.  This is also the reason why, if we are not careful, we as Christians can spend a lot of time and energy trying to convince someone to give up one's sin, in hopes that something that we say might be just what is needed to convince the person to see their ways and make the necessary changes on their own.

The individual can not even hear or give any validity to what is being said to them until they have found God. Until then the ways of thinking are distorted in favor of the sin. To spiritually auto-correct is not possible, as much as we would want for the person to auto-correct, change cant not happen until there is pneuma experience. If the individual could change on their own, then that would imply that the person could be self saving, which goes completely against the Christian understanding of conversion and salvation.   But when the individual has a moment of clarity that can only come from an experience with the Holy Spirit of God, there is an awareness of one's ideas and behaviors as God sees them.

This is the reason why we keep telling the Truth of God to individuals who brush it off or just dont want to do what is right. This is the Great Commission (Matthew 28), and this is what motivates the preacher to continue to preach.

Conviction, in the context of Christianity,  is when the individual, internally, is convinced that self is guilty of sin. Then the individual is able to hear the evidence as presented according to God's true knowledge of the details, which brings about the desire to change. This change is to completely turn away from the sinful nature, through repentance.   True repentance (action of change) can not happen until the person has been convicted (found self guilty), and makes an intelligent decision to completely surrender to God and be converted (persuaded to change).

Change is possible. Sinners can give up sin. This belief is at the core of Christianity because Christianity is build around the understanding of Salvation. And Christian salvation requires Jesus Christ. To accept Jesus Christ is to admit to God that there is a need that is bigger than self and what one can do or provide for one's self.  It is this reliance that gives the Christian the strength to live a life that is not controlled by the addiction of sin.  It is to be humbled, to let go of the pride of life. It is to realize that one needs God more than the sin. It is to realize that God is the giver of life, and makes one not just feel alive briefly, but to live truly alive with New Life that spans eternity.

As a little girl, I can remember people literally walking in off the street and proclaiming with a loud voice that they wanted to be saved. Often times this would happen during the altar call, when the preacher would say, 'if your soul should be required of you today, this very hour, would you be ready to answer the call?'

Someone walking down the street could hear what was going on inside, but this day something happened that had never happened before.  Many of them had walked by the church often because it was in their neighborhood, but when blinders were removed  and the soul was willing to hear what God had been saying, the individual became aware of their guilt of sin and wanted to change, wanted to be free from the thing that had control over their life. The individual was able to see that the feeling of being alive that they were experiencing by being controlled by their sin was no longer as appealing as the search to find out what it was really like to be free from the bondage of sin and know truly what it was like to be alive, to be born again, given a new life in Jesus Christ.

October 16, 2017

Parts and Divides

This past weekend something came to my mind that I really hadnt thought much about in years.  It was a very hurtful and devastating phase of my life.  It doesnt take up much space in my thoughts because it is in the past; and God got me through the situation  and beyond the situation.

But today, as I reflect, I think about how faithful God was to me in the midst of a great trying time in my life. Against all odds, God provided for me as a single mother. There were times and challenges, and there still are, but through it all God has been faithful.  My testimony is a very amazing one. It causes me to stand in awe of how great God truly has been to me.  It has given me such a grateful heart.  It has also shown me how to be ok with and without over the years.

Just thinking about how badly things could have gone for me is enough to make what I survived even more amazing.  God's hand of protection was with me through some things that seem to be more dramatic than anything in a movie plot. But sometimes reality is more extreme than anything a movie writer can formulate for the big screen.

Even some of the things that I am currently dealing with fall under the category of 'troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.'  Adversaries thought I would be destroyed, but what they found out was that God has created me to be formidable.  Storms have been brewing all around me and God has given me so much grace that I am watching it all take place as if I have a great seat in a theater in the round.

When I think about  the characteristics of God, I have to remember that along with being a Creator and Sustainer, God is also a Divider and a Separator.   Initially these may seem to be negatives, but when we read God's Word, we see in the the very beginning of creation God divided light from darkness.  This can lead to a plethora of theological and homiletic themes.  Much of the biblical text carries out this theme of separation that God makes dividing lines, if you will.

The parting of the Red Sea is talked about in terms of its miracle quality, but we must not forget the logistical components of God being able to divide.  This is proof that God can part or separate anything that God so desires.  This kind of divide meant that not only did the water divide, but every creature and composition within the ecological environment of the sea.  What was created by God, must submit to God's command.  What an awesome thought. What a humbling thought.

Whatever the situation, all that is needed is for God to speak.  God clearly makes distinctions at times to accomplish the Will and Purpose of God.  It may be temporary and it may be permanent. But it is God's pleasure that the creation must obey.  This has been true in many of the fine details of my life. I thank God for keeping me separated from foolishness. God has done some things that can only be credited to the ONE, the TRUE,  and LIVING GOD.

October 10, 2017

Sea of Forgetfulness

As I attempted to settle down for the night, I thought about all that has been going on with me lately.  And to be completely honest, this thought process includes some people that I truly wish I had never met.  In the midst of my thought process, I had to face the fact that I cant just un-know these people. Instead, I have to figure out how to move on from this phase to the next, and hopefully just move on to what is ahead for me in my life, both naturally and spiritually.

This doesnt mean that I was not trying to figure out the most perfect solution to the hurt and disappointment that has been the effect of betrayal and disloyalty. In my mind, I really wanted there to be a way to truly just forget that I ever knew these people that have had this negative impact on my attempt to be a friend. I thought if there were really a way for me to put all knowledge of these people into the sea of forgetfulness and never to remember that I ever met them at all.

The more I thought about it, I began to realize that this is not very different from what is being talked about in Micah 7.  We always want to use the concept of the Sea of Forgetfulness as this wonderful blessing that we get from God. Which is true. ... and here comes the conjunction...... BUT.

But what we dont want to face is the fact that something is going on in the text that we must make not of.  The attitudes and behaviors that God expected from the People of God were not how the people were living.  God had high expectations and high hopes for the People of God.  That is still true today. God has high hope and high expectations of God's People.  So when the behaviors of the individual, of the community of faith fall short, God is disappointed.  Then there is  something worse than just disappointing God, it is disgusting God. 

Abomination is much more than disappointing God, it is being completely disgusting to God.   As I thought about how disgusted I am with those who have disappointed me, I also had to think about how God views abomination.  How is God able to tolerate dealing with a human who is living so far below God's expectations?   I had to search out a way to understand that what God has to do is just put the sins of humanity into a place to be forgotten so that God can remain able to be available to humanity.

It is the mercy of God.  It is the patience of God when God's patience has run out. It is God wanting to stay in relationship with the People of God, even though the people have lost sight of the value of the relationship with God.  The kindness of God reaches much farther than we realize. God is so willing to forgive us of our sins.  When we dont even try to do right, knowing that God is watching, we are disappointing God, and we are disgusting God. 

So more than bragging about how God will forgive and forget, the more important concern should be why would we want to be such a disappointment to God that we disgust God?  What if we just decided to live right, so that we could be intentional about pleasing God?

After all, isnt that what being given another chance is about?

September 1, 2017

Unplanned PLAN

There are clearly some things that were not in my plans for my life, but they were ultimately part of God's Plan for my life. Today I have really been giving some thought to my journey. Recently, it would seem that things are going exactly the way that I was trying to prevent having to deal with.  I want the final outcome, but not the challenges that would be the risk of losing something to gain something. Not in the same way that I invest in products for my business to be able to provide a service to my clients. But more like a mother who wants to have a new baby, but does not want to feel the pains of labor.

In recent years, there have been medical advances that have taken away the necessity of enduring the pain of labor. And overall, our world is filled with comforts that take the work out of many of the every day processes of life. Washing machines, electric saws, power tools, and on and on. I think back to learning how to make cake icing, and the process required this combination of mixing and whisking to blend the ingredients, and even after they were blended, you had to whisk the mixture at least 100 strokes to make the icing have the correct fluffy texture. And even now that I have many of the electric kitchen tools, there are some things that to me just dont come out the same without the work of doing it by hand, and icing is one of those things. 

So we have become so accustomed to the world of convenience that we often forget that some things have no shortcut process that will produce the same results as going through the process. Just like icing or grilling meat low and slow over charcoal, there are some things in life that have to happen a certain way for the most rewarding outcome. And as I was thinking about the events of my life in recent days, I began to reminisce on the book by Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God" which is about a main character who is living her life, but surrounded by spectators who all have an opinion about her life, as if they understand her journey more so than she. The character navigates her life, its ups and downs working through the challenges as they come to her reality, as she is finding her way. 

In this same way, each of us has our journey through life to navigate and it is very much an individual process that happens while simultaneously being surround by community. When someone has a call to ministry on their life, it can be assumed that God has a plan for that person's life.  No matter how much anyone has an opinion about what that looks like, it is God who is taking care of the details. To grow to the point of being able to flourish in one's gifts and live out one's calling, there are some parts of the journey that are growing one's skills for ministry.  This means that it will not always flow with the ease of water going down hill. There will be times when one will have to face some things head on and take the challenge to grow, if one is really surrendered to the point of allowing God to be in control of what is ultimately God's Will for one's life in ministry. 

From point A to point B, is not always clear, there will be times when one will have to whole-heartedly trust God for the details to work out as planned by God, not by our idea of how things should go.  I have been asking God to show me how to get to point B without the discomfort of the middle part of the process. The discomfort is part of the journey, it is what make the reward worth the effort.  Just like a track runner who wants to be the fasted, it cant happen sitting in the stands, but it happens by learning everything necessary to sharpen one's natural ability and from running until time gets better. 

The challenges we face in life are not always ideal, nor comfortable to go through, but when you want the outcome badly enough, you decide to face the challenge head on and take the bad with the good, because it will be worth it all in the end.  Today, I decided that I am up for challenge of facing the discomfort that will only have to be endure for a short time to get what I ultimately want to see manifested in my life. The discomfort cant be avoided, it is part of the path that leads me right to where God is taking me. 

Psalms 23:4 - "Yeathough I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

It is not actual death, it is just a shadow and shadows only produce fear when you  dont know what it is a shadow of or from what source.   Since I know that it has been my own fear, I can ignore the shadow.  I will continue on toward what God has for me. I want God's best for my life because it will be worth the challenges along to way and shadows let me know that God's Light is what is real. 

August 24, 2017


It is 1:30am and I cant sleep.

I have so many thought in my mind right now.  I spend so much of my prayer life interceding for the needs of others that I often forget to really spend time praying about the things that I need in my own life.

And this is why being awake right now is so frustrating to me. Usually when I wake up in the middle of the night, I pray for the people and the situations that have been on my mind during the day or that come to my mind when I wake up. But when I woke up this time, my mind was flooded with thoughts of things that I need in my own life.

In the clinical world of providing services to others, there is an emphasis on self care. It is the understanding that you cant give to others if you not keeping yourself in a good place mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  The most basic example of this would be to think about the speech that they give you on the airplane about what to do in case of emergency. The instructions are to give yourself oxogen first, then share the oxogen with those around you. In this way, you are more capable when you have what you need.

And this would be the sum total of why I am awake in the middle of the night. I am being forced to face the truth of my own life. I have spent the last few years frustrated with myself because I know that I am not reaching my fullest potential, nor am I achieving at the rate that I should have been. And like a perfect storm of reality checks, it is clear to me that I am not getting what I need to flourish. I have just been existing and trying to function as if it has been sufficient and it has not been and the state of my life is proof of that fact.

So now, I am awake creating an order of importance for the things that I need to do for my self, for my own life. There are some voids in my own life that I need to give some attention to so that I can be nourished  and therefore function at a higher level of efficiency.  It is not being selfish in a way that doesnt care for others, but it is being selfish in a way that will help me to care for others better.

May 22, 2017

Spirituality and Sexuality - Part 1

For some days now I have been thinking about writing on the topic of love, but instead I am going to try to tackle a much more intense topic that is rarely discussed from a Christian spiritual frame of thinking.   It will probably take more than one post to really begin to unpack this topic, because there are a lot of variables that can play out, both naturally and spiritually.

Sex is not often talked about by Christians as a positive. Most of the time when it is discussed in church, it is from the list of dont do.  So even when Christians get married, they enter into marriage not knowing much about how sacred the sexual act of intercourse really is for both of them.

There needs to be more clarity given to the difference in the sacred act of intercourse in marriage and the physical sport of casual sexual behavior that is so common in our culture today.  The bible is constantly talking about the flesh in the New Testament. This is for a very good reason.

You need your senses to be aware of the natural world around you as well as to be aware of the spiritual world around you.  If you allow your senses to control you, then you will become desensitized to what is going on around you, both naturally and spiritually.  You have to be the controller of your flesh, you can not allow your flesh to control you.

In the context of a monogamous marriage, the senses are strengthened and not depleted. This is because the man and the woman are sharing a sacred sexual experience. They are becoming unified and this level of unity manifest in every aspect of their lives as individuals and as a couple.  This is why you will hear married people begin to use the same vocabulary and phrases, and even begin to communicate much more non verbally, as they become in tune with each other.

Pastors can look at the couples in their congregation and see which couples are truly unified and which couples are trying to pretend to be unified.  When a couple is not equally yoked it is obvious, it shows in many ways, but most importantly it shows in what they are able to accomplish in their walk with Christ, and in their individual callings.

Sexual intercourse is not only the sharing of the physical body, but it is also the sharing of that person's spiritual self.  So the person who has multiple sexual partners is becoming sexually schizophrenic. When you share your essence with someone, you are basically giving and receiving. You are giving away some of who you are spiritually and receiving some of who that person is spiritually.   So when you are sexual with a person who does not view their own body as sacred and spiritually connected to God, then you are devaluing your own body and spirit.

In church, the message is to avoid being 'unequally yoked',  or a more modern way to say it to say dont be tied to someone who is not a spiritual match.  The yoke is an apparatus that is used to tie two working animals together so that the strength of them both can be used to increase the productivity by powering the load to be pulled by the strength of the unified effort.   If one is too much stronger than the other, the stronger one will tire too quickly from taking too much of the labor load, and will eventually be dragging not only the weight of the load, but of the other animal too.  This will not only make the progress take longer, but will eventually bring the work to a complete stop, much sooner than if the two animals are more equal in strength.

Take that and apply it to a marriage, and you can have two people who are on the same path and level of awareness spiritually and they can accomplish much more, and much faster than they could as individuals working solo.  But if one of the people in the marriage is spending all of their prayer life and the spiritual awareness trying to drag someone along the path to spiritual growth, they risk becoming tired and unable to accomplish very much for the Kingdom because their spouse is lagging behind and as a team, they cant go any faster or any farther than the weaker, slower person is able or willing.

In seminary, one of the counseling classes that I had to take was Spirituality and Sexuality.  This class was a lot of information about the functions of the body and how to minister to people who were dealing with various sexual issues and concerns.  But when the instructors started talking about how you must understand that you are who you share your body with because you are sharing spiritually because sex is a spiritual act, I realized that in my upbringing this had not been discussed, but on some level it made total sense.

This is why those who are the most depleted as individuals are those who have given themselves away freely, and who are also the most empty spiritually and emotionally.  The constant search for what can only be found in God is what the they are actually trying to find in another empty person.  And two empty people can only share their emptiness.  And the more empty the individual feels, the more they seek after someone to make them feel better, to feel full. It becomes a sad and dangerous cycle.

For a person to value your body, they must value their own.  The person must see their sexuality as a sacred expression, not to be shared with just anyone and not to be shared with someone who is not on the same spiritual path.  If a person shares their body with some who is spiritually schizophrenic, then the individual is welcoming all of those spirits that the other person has into their being as well.  When this happens, all the spirits become familiar. When the spirits all become familiar, then the senses dont become alarmed and are no longer alert to the danger.  As a matter of fact, because the spirits seem familiar, they will also seem to be safe.  In other words, the spiritual attack is not an aggressive or violent one, but a gentle sensual one.

The bible lets us know that the marriage bed is undefiled, because the expectation is of respect for the body as sacred, and respect for the sexual experience of the marriage to be free from the residue of other people's spiritual residue.  Therefore sacred sexuality is in the context of a monogamous marriage between spiritual equals. Even if they are not equals, they become equally what each person brings into the covenant bond. In this way , the marriage changes both the man and the woman into the version of self that is enmeshed with what they share with their spouse.

May 16, 2017

Success is Relative

Success is relative. Each person has their own idea of success and each person has their own measure for where one is in the journey to accomplishment.  One of the biggest mistakes that anyone can make is to measure one's own level of accomplishment by someone else's accomplishments in a different area or field.

Most of the time when envy and jealous occur it is because of comparing apples to oranges, not comparing the same skills and the same types of success to each other. One thing that I have noticed is that people who are striving for their own excellence dont really have the mental energy for such comparisons anyway.  The most critical opinions come from the most stagnant people. And when I say stagnant, I dont mean this to imply that the person or persons have not accomplished, but that they realize their own limitations and have some sort of regret because of how their own life choices created those limitations.

The choices that a person makes can totally shift the events of the rest of one's life.  The truth is that we can not see into the future and at the time that we make the decision, we feel it is the best decision or the right decision based on the current information that we have at the time.  And in most cases, there are ways to adjust or modify the decision, but some times the decisions that we make just have to walk out and live with, accepting what it brings with it.

A spirit filled Christian should always be prayerful about major decisions. In this, one must be willing to be obedient to what the Holy Spirit is guiding one to do. When it comes to living out one's calling, this really cant be determined by anyone else.  We live in a world that says that you must get the approval of others, but in truth, people may not always understand or agree with your calling.  This can be challenging for the person who needs the affirmation of others to feel comfortable taking certain steps in life.  It is normal for each of us to want to be loved and accepted, but we may not always get this from the people that we look to provide it for us.

Finding the love and support that one needs to nourish one's human need for affirmation and a sense of community can be challenging for us all, and especially for those who dont fit in with mediocrity.  So may people who have gifts and callings to go farther and higher in areas of success dont do so because of the need for a sense of community, and the fear of being isolated in the process of reaching for more within the context of one's goals.

The truth is that one can not truly flourish and reach the fullest potential of one's own goals until one is really ready to let go of the atmosphere of mediocrity.  Getting uncomfortable is what pushes one forward, gives one the determination to proceed regardless of the opinions of those who are comfortable in mediocrity.  Along the way, one begins to meet others who are on similar journeys, and this provides a more natural and organic sense of community, a community of people who can understand and affirm the journey.

Let's be honest, everyone is not built for the same types of success. And some dont have the drive to go out into the unknown with the courage that it takes to face what others cant imagine.   Most of the time, the people who discourage others from working toward their vision do so because it is not their vision.  You cant expect people to understand what they cant see or imagine.  Anyone who does not understand the vision will have a hard time being a part of your journey towards accomplishing it.

It is my prayer that the God given vision will take you into the fullness of following the calling and the gifts that God has place in this time and space for a reason. I pray that God surround you with people who understand what it is like to step out of the routine and reach for all that God has for you. True happiness is living affirmed in what God created you to do and to be.

April 19, 2017

I Haven't Ask God For Enough

This evening I had a conversation with a friend who is a single parent like myself, and we were talking about the challenges of even meeting a potential companion. We are both single parents and our lives are built around the activities of church and our children.  We attend a large church, that is probably about 85% or more married couples, and most of the singles are females.

In our conversation we both agreed we didnt have any brilliant ideas about where to add meeting new people to our lives. I mentioned some of the possible activities that we might explore to meet new people in general, activities that would be co-ed and not just full of more single women. We tossed around a few thoughts, but didnt come up with anything that would be an Aha! moment.   So we left the conversation with continue on as usual as the stopping point of our discussion.

I went home thinking about all that I needed to do to settle in for the evening and to get ready for tomorrow. As I reflected on our conversation, in my mind, I went through what was wrong with the last person that I attempted to consider allowing into my life. I thought about all of the disappointment and the betrayal that was the package that this person brought with him. I had tossed and tossed in my mind about what was the problem, because after all he was saved. So a saved man would be trustworthy and dependable and full of integrity - or so I thought.

This is when it dawned on me. This was when I had the AHA! moment. I had been making an amateur's mistake in my prayer for a life companion. When I went down through all of the thoughts in my mind about what I didnt want to have to deal with at this phase in my life, it occurred to me that I was making the assumption that someone considering himself a Christian, meant that he was the whole package. I was absolutely wrong!  This actually only meant that he had completed step one, in a life long, three step process.
What I was not asking for in my prayers was someone who was more than saved. No, I am not taking about his material gain, or his education level, or even what was in his past.  But what I was missing was something extremely essential to his present state of being in his walk with Jesus Christ = Sanctification and being filled with the Holy Ghost.  I have been around the church world of Pentecostals most of my life and these three works of Grace are considered essential for maintenance of a Christian Life of Holiness. I had forgotten, that everyone who considers to be Christian is not trying to become more like Christ. Some people are willing to take the just enough approach to having a relationship with Jesus Christ. I dont want someone in my life who is taking the minimalist approach to Christ.

It takes wanting to go to another level in relationship with Christ, to live Godly and walk away from the sinful nature, giving up the things in life that are contrary to a life of holiness. I am not claiming to be perfect, so I dont expect my future companion to be perfect, that would be unrealistic and self deception.  But do want someone who is working on being a better man, and who in his heart, truly wants to live a life that is pleasing to God.  For that to happen, he will have to want more of God, more of God's Holy Spirit. The person has to have a hunger for the things of God. The person has to realize that everything else that he has tried has not cured the uneasiness in their being.  It is when the person has come to the conclusion that there has to be a better way, and be willing to give up everything that hasnt worked, for what God has to offer. He will have to have already come to the conclusion that what he is thirsty for can not be found in a sinful lifestyle, but only in the 'wells of salvation' where there is joy and peace beyond compare to anything that sin has to offer. He has to have a thirst for what is right. He has to want to be right with God.  This is the place of no longer wanting to struggle to maintain a life of sin, a life that goes against God plan for LIFE.

All of the things that I dont want to deal with in a relationship, and especially in a future companion wont be a problem with a man who wanting to go in the same direction that I am going, and who has no interest in going backwards spiritually.  So I now realize that I have been very minimal in my prayer. I don't just want someone in my life who is saved. I want a man in my life who is SAVED, SANCTIFIED, and FILLED  with the HOLY GHOST.  I want the whole package. I want God's best for my life.

March 9, 2017


I have had a lot on my mind the past few days. And for some reason, I went to bed last night thinking about the buoyancy of a duck.  This lead me to wonder if a duck could actually drown.  So I went to Google and Youtube to find out.  It turns out that a duck can actually drown. Furthermore, other ducks can and do intentionally drown fellow ducks.  

Now in my head, I had decided that ducks would not be able to drown because they are full of oil.  If you have ever eaten duck, which I do highly recommend, by the way, if not prepared well it is greasy because the flesh of the duck holds a lot of oil.   So in my mind, the duck was so full of anointing, if you will allow me,  it would not sink.  All though it sounds great, it is not accurate. 

What actually keeps the duck afloat is a combination of a waxy coating on its feathers and air pockets that give ducks the ability to float.  Ducks are not heavy birds, so they do have some advantages to this in their ability to float and swim. 

This made me think about how often we take for granted what we think is holding us up in life. Most of us could do more in focusing on what we have on our outer layers that are keeping us afloat.  Way to often, we let things outside of one's self have control and influence over our actions and motives.  This is why recognizing strongholds is so important for the Christian.  

Anything that has more power over you or influence on your behavior than the Holy Spirit and Word of God can become or already is a stronghold. It is important to put on the Whole Armor of God.  This is the protective barrier that keeps outside forces from having control in one's life.  Most of the time, the things that control the individual, whether it be addiction, or immoral behavior,  is rooted in in unhealed hurts. It is rooted in a thirst for the healing that can only come from the Power of God being active in one's life.  It requires surrender, not sort of or partially, but complete surrender. It requires wanting to be nourished by God and find healing to the point that nothing else matters as much.  In this sense of crisis and urgency, one finds the desire to become sanctified, cleansed from things that are not right in the Eyes of God. 

 You can not take control over what has a hold on you. You can not take authority over what has authority over you. One can not take authority over what one feels sorry for - this will only cause you to make excuses for it.  And one can not take authority over something that has the ability tempt one with an offer- this will cause you to be in fellowship with it. If you try to take authority over what has authority over you, at the same time that what has authority over you is trying to maintain authority over you, then you are wrestling with that stronghold. 

(Ephesians 6:10-20).

 As long as living sinfully appears to have more to offer than living for Christ, the individual is not at a place of surrender.  That means that the stronghold is still actively controlling the motives and behaviors. We can overcome those things that want to hold us back from our godly potential.  We have to be intentional to shut down access to our lives of anyone and anything that brings distance to our relationship with God.  We must not allow strongholds to have access to our mentality and our desires. 

This past week, I read a good bit of Entire Devotion to God by Phoebe Palmer and one of the things that I noticed was her sense of urgency toward sanctification and holiness.  This sense of urgency was once a major theme in holiness churches, but in recent years has taken a back seat to other more popular topics. But Palmer makes the point that we are not guaranteed to have more time to fix or repair the damage that we are doing to our eternal potential, nor should we become too relaxed about taking control over the sin in our lives. 

Strongholds rob us of our potential in the Kingdom of God. They drown us in misguided priorities. Physically, Mentally, and literally, we have to respond well spiritually so that the natural manifestation in one's life reflects the determination to live according to God's Word.  We have the authority of God's Word as grounds for changing our attitude and mindset, so that we can walk away from sinful behaviors and become intentional about raising our own standards.  Strongholds reflect lowered standards. Living according to God's Word reflects higher standards. Through the Power of Jesus Christ, we have the ability to overcome challenges and weakness in our lives and to be healed and made whole. 

  • We dont have to sink in sin. 
  • We dont have to die in our sins. 
  • We can be free. 
  • We can be made whole. 
  • We can be saved. 
  • We can be healed. 
  • We can be delivered. 
  • We can be filled with the Power of the Holy Ghost.