Why, oh why, is this blog even here

As of today (Nov. 8, 2010) this blog will be a series of post following my journey in life. Don't worry, I lack any real Christian credibility ( other than loving Christ) so there will be no preaching, only reflecting on my daily struggles to be a good Christian, a decent wife, an OUTSTANDING mother and an ok person. Feel free to judge!

Monday, December 13, 2010


I won't say I was raised not to judge, but I was brought up to be tolerant of others. I could never understand how we as Christians could be so critical of others when we had so much of our own crap going on.  As far as I am concerned, God is the only true judge.
However, in this same spirit, I think we, as Christians, should learn to hear the difference between a body judging us and holding us accountable for the promises we've made to God.
Right now, my home is engaged in spiritual warfare and while the Lord has armed me with a shield of accountability to protect my home, the world has twisted the Word to resist that shield under an accusation of unjust judgment.
I do think God has given us the authority to judge gently for the purposes of accountability, so that our brethren can avoid the true judgment by the Father.
Now I'm no preacher, and (ask my child) I'm no teacher either, but in my true know-it-all fashion, I have compiled a list of scriptures that touch on the subject.

  1.  Galatians 6:1-2 : "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

    This one is pretty clear, we have been called by God to watch out for one another.  This is why we go to church, live in communities and have peers — to hold each other accountable for our actions and promises to God. 
  2. Matthew 7:1-3: Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

    OK, at first glance, this one seems to be against my point, but if you read carefully it's clear that this passage less an admonishment against judgment and more a warning against hypocrisy and a call to be prepared to be judged by the same standards by which you're judging.
  3. Hebrews 10:24:  "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." 1 Thessalonians 5:11: "…encourage one another and build each other up…"

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure, so encouraging each other to do the right things have more impact than waiting for them to fail after doing the wrong thing.

  4. Proverbs 27:17: 
"As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."

    This is pretty self-explanatory, but I like to think of it in terms of a debate. Sometimes just posing a question, can make your argument stronger. By pointing out a weakness, you may actually be helping a loved-one grow into a sharper Christian.
  5. Ezekiel 33:8-9: 
"When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.

    This one really spoke to me, because I said it before I read it. As many of you know, I am just now beginning my study of the Bible, so I can't quote the scripture like a pro, but just the other night, engaged in my aforementioned spiritual warfare when I turned to my loved one and stated, that I couldn't live with myself if something happened to them and I hadn't taken every opportunity to convince them to seek shelter in God's Love. Then today, fired up and ready to blog, I came across this passage charging me as a Christian to do just that.
Ultimately, I'm not trying to encourage anyone to take on the responsibility of judging the world. We don't know what God is going to say or do to someone else when He holds them accountable or their words and deeds. So I can't judge my peers, my friends, my family. I can't walk around talkin' 'bout "Now, she knows better than that," or "He ought to do better," because I don't know what someone else is going through, not even the people closest to me.
But if I call myself a Christian and I see an issue that you aren't acting on, I feel compelled to speak to you about it.
While looking up scriptures to prove that I am always right support my thesis, I came across a poignant anecdote:

Two men were fishing in a stream when they noticed that a nearby bridge was falling apart. Every time a vehicle would drive across it, another piece would fall and the entire bridge would shake dangerously. Finally, after a large truck passed over, the bridge completely fell apart in the middle. The two fishermen knew that if a car came around the bend, the driver would never know that the middle of the bridge was gone; the whole thing could come crashing down, damaging the vehicle and injuring the driver.
One of the men looked at his friend and said, “We’ve got to do something. What would be the ‘Christian’ thing to do?”
His friend thought for a moment and replied, “Build a hospital?”

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thou Shalt not Facebook? Hold up!

Ain't that somethin'! My last post was about using your electronic devices to do Christ's work and today in the news I read about a New Jersey pastor calling for his church leaders and congregants to delete their Facebook accounts.

Read story on USA Today's website.

Call me millennial minded, but that is just crazy! You can't shun technology when your sheep go astray.
First of all, a cheating man is going to cheat no matter what, am I right? Whether it's an old flame on Facebook, a new flame on Craigslist (oh yeah, they've got em too) or just a chance meeting at the corner store, a cheater is going to cheat. What Facebook has done is made it easier for sleuthing spouses to catch their significant others in their dirt.
In my experience, banning access to social networks will just force a cheater to find another avenue to creep.
With that being said, I'm going to go out on a limb here and proclaim that Facebook is not the Devil!
However, I will admit that it can create temptations for many. My husband and I have had the i-talk about what is and is not appropriate digital communication. I'll share some of our thoughts and decisions with you:
  1. Just like we tell kids on the web, If you wouldn't do it in person, it is definitely not OK to do it on the web. Sins of the heart and mind are just as hurtful as those of the flesh. Don't think it's not cheating because it was just said in a text or IM.
  2. Limit your contacts to true friends, family, colleagues and networking associates. In other words, you don't have to Friend everybody. It is not rude to ignore a person who is not integral in your life. Is this a person you need to have contact with? If not IGNORE! That dude that sat behind you in 8th grade history is not going to be hurt if you ignore him.
  3. Don't friend old flames. It's stupid. Unless your relationship began and ended before puberty, don't risk what you have. It may seem innocent to you, but your spouse probably will be jealous and hurt. Let it go.
  4. Remind your friends that you are a Christian and they can't leave a bunch of racy, suggestive messages on your wall. That is not cool. Let 'em know.
  5. Give each other access to your accounts. After all, if there is nothing to hide, there is nothing to fear.
  6. Post love messages (clean ones) on each others' walls. You've got to let those home-wrecking skanks lost and confused children of God know that you two belong to each other and it would be inappropriate to step in on that.
  7. Be honest to your partner. If you are uncomfortable with an online relationship, let your spouse know and try to figure out a way to resolve the issue before it gets out of hand.
  8. Be honest with the offender. Please don't be messy, but if someone is sending inappropriate messages to your spouse, you need to let them know what the business is.
  9. Don't play games online. I'm not talking Farmville either y'all. Don't use a social networking site to lure or trap your man/woman into some mess. Leave the stealth operations to the good folks on 'To Catch a Predator'
  10. Use all your space online and in this world to praise and exalt the Lord! You can't go wrong with praise y'all!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Using your device to Serve Christ!

We've all looked down our noses at those buzzing, ringing and sometimes singing Sunday service cell phone offenders. Most rules of cell phone etiquette suggest we silence our devices or leave them at home.
But is it really so bad to use your cell phone or electronic device during service?
I can see it being rude to interrupt the sermon with annoying rings or vibrations. Also, checking scores and Facebook statuses are without a doubt uncool. But I think there is a place for my phonw in service.
Some examples:
  1. Awesome Apps — No, I'm not playing bubbleburst during service, but with so many helpful apps on my smart phone, I find it indispensable during service. First of all, there's my Bible App. It allows me to follow along quickly. I'm not super Bible-literate, so it helps me track down passages quickly instead of flipping through pages, I can bookmark my favorite passages and even share them with my friends via text or Facebook. I love it, and it helps me continue studying Sunday's message all week long. I may not carry a Bible everywhere I go, but my phone is with me 24-7, so I have no excuse not to explore the Word with my bible on my device.
  2. Notes — Ok, so this is basically anther app, but taking notes, making list and other reminders helps me to practically use the word after service. This week my pastor gave us 12 steps to forgiveness, I immediately made a checklist in my phone, something I have referred to twice already (It's Monday)
  3. Status — I know, I said checking your status wasn't cool, but that's totally different from updating it! Sharing a weekly message with friends and family is an excellent practice of evangelism. We may not all be called to preach, but all Christians should freely speak the lessons we're learning on this journey. Hey, did you think twice about posting that latest viral video?
These are ways I feel comfortable pairing my faith with my attention deficit issues and addiction to technology. How do you use your device to serve Christ?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

In God's hands

Something was wrong. It was about 5:30 a.m. Friday morning that my body woke me and brought me to this conclusion.
My left hand was itching. And not in the 'lookout now! I got some money coming' kind of way. It felt like I had my hand had been bitten by 100 mosquitoes. I got up and turned on a light to view the hand that was surely swollen and inflamed. nothing. I was beginning to feel uneasy. Something was wrong. But what?
I'd prayed over my family. Things were good, great even. We were speaking God's word like middle schoolers speak 'yo mama' jokes. My husband and I were even discussing, planning for our approach to teaching our child the word of God.
But something was terribly wrong.
I went back to sleep.
Three hours later, as I read the morning news updates on my phone it hit me.
I had skimmed headlines about the Indonesian volcano story all week. But I never seemed to have the time to read it. That morning however, I had a little more time. I didn't have to read past the first sentence to realize what was wrong in my life.
You see, amid all of the disaster stories in the news — those stories about other people in other countries with problems other than your own – there was one, on the other side of this planet, that applied directly to me.
My best friend, Irma Paramitha and her family live in Yogyakarta where the volcano erupted. And all week I had been reading about Kanye West and 'For Colored Girls' and Lindsay Lohan. while someone I loved was literally dealing with disaster.
ugh. what's up with that.
So of course, that's when the Devil hit me!
"How could I be such a bad friend," I cried to my husband.
He told me things would be alright.
"I can't believe, I didn't think about it until now,"I weeped to my friend.
She told me not to worry.
"What if she didn't make it," I worried over the computer.
The news stories reported most had evacuated and the dead were mostly farmers.
"I'm just so worried about my friend," I sniffled to my daughter.
She told me God would take care of my friend.
And then the Devil gave up, I suppose, because any guilt, worry or distress I had felt melted away.
I cried about it. I prayed about it. There was nothing more that I could do. And my baby was right. The situation was and is completely in God's hands.

Monday, November 8, 2010

In the beginning

Today I'm reclaiming two very important parts of my identity: My faith and my word. I won't say I ever lost these two traits, but somewhere along the line, I convinced myself that I didn't have the credentials or the right to share these parts of me with the world. One day I stopped writing short stories and monologues. One day I stopped talking about how the Lord was working in my life. And now I find it difficult to share even the simplest thoughts or feelings.
It seems that when you don't uses the gifts the Lord gives you, he feels inclined to take them away.
So today, I'm going to try again as I've tried before. I'm going to write. I'm going to blog. I'm going to share and if it is God's will, I'm not going to stop.

Now the thing I've been battling with the most lately is trust in God.
Recently at church, we had a series on practical atheism which, as I understand it, is professing a belief in God without actually acting like you believe in God --sounds better coming from my preacher.
Anyway, during this series, there was a lesson on trust and the question was "Which do you trust more God or Money?"
And it's funny because normally in service, I'm listening to the service like "Oh that's my husband all day!" and "Um, hmm I was like that once" or "If only my friend could hear this one!" But on that day, that man was talking to me.
That day, I realized that I'm praying to God for the money I need to obtain the security I want when I should just be praying to God for the security. I should just be praying to God to ensure I have everything I need, but instead I'm praying for $10,000 more dollars a year.
That one really hit home. Because at the end of the day, I was depending on the dollars and cents, not God and I knew that there was a time in my life when I could ask the Lord to provide me with my needs and he did.
That realization made me really question a lot of my actions and struggles over the past few years.
In that one moment, I realized that I had received every blessing I ever asked for and was still unhappy. Every monetary goal I ever spoke was achieved, and still there was a sense of longing, a sense of failure. And in my darkest moments, my prayer was always if I had $5,000 more Lord, if I could just make this amount, I know my problems would be solved and I could do your will.
I was really ashamed of myself and of how far off track I had gotten that I could believe that any amount of money would fix my marital problems or make me a better person or instantly activate a better Christ follower within.
No amount of money is going to give me more time, effort or energy to write or to reach out or to become a contributing member of society.
But any amount of time that I put into reading the word, sharing my faith and listening to the Lord would help me come closer to the real goals I set for myself a long time ago.
Because I do want to eventually have a home big enough and wealthy enough to sustain any and all friends or family members who need a place to stay. I do want to create a charity. I do want to write a book and be heard and make a difference. But I don't want to wait on the world to make that happen.
So today, I'm stepping out on faith. I'm sharing my thoughts, my faith, my words.
And I''m claiming my blessings, not in dollars but in spiritually tangible goals that I am sure the Lord will move mountains to help me achieve right now without a dime to my name.

Pray for me, or at least think about me, as I embark on this journey to reclaim my gifts and share them with the world.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Seriously lawmakers?

Reading a story about the end of the Missouri legislative session and I come across a bullet at the end of the story about a new abortion law awaiting passage. If state lawmakers have their way, women in Missouri will be required to see an ultrasound and hear a heartbeat before being allowed to have an abortion. SERIOUSLY? I can't fathom a situation where I would want to have an abortion, but I imagine that people taking this decision lightly are in the minority. If a woman has gotten to a point where she has decided she cannot support a child and cannot afford a pregnancy. Why make her go through more anguish. I don't think the law should be allowed to guilt women into changing their minds, there are enough private groups covering that territory.
I know not every issue is race related, but this whole ordeal calls to mind an article I was hipped to last week that connected the anti abortion movement to the want to breed more 'white babies'. It's sounds extreme, I know, but then you see how invested they seem to be in other people's business and it's like 'What's the real deal?' I don't know, check out the article, connect it to my thoughts, see if your mind makes the same connection.
Are Anti-Abortion Groups Targeting Black Women?

Friday, April 16, 2010

The secret of my success.

When you're brought up in a family of strong, successful women, failure takes on a whole new meaning. You find it was never about whether you won or lost the battle. It was never about making the right choices. It was never about obtaining a certain lifestyle. Failure and success hinge on how we play the hand we're dealt. Ok, you lost this battle. You made a bad decision and you're piss poor ... what are you going to do about it. You're failing as long as you keep waiting around on someone else to fix it. I will not wait. I will succeed.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

In living color

"Look, there goes another one!" I whispered, nudging my husband as we walked through the Wal-Mart entrance. "Do you think we should say something?"
He gives me the 'Are you serious?' look then tilts his head as if it wasn't such a bad idea after all.
We're counting black people.
We're not racists. It's just taking some time getting used to being a true minority.
We moved here from Arkansas. Before then, we lived in Mississippi and in Memphis, Tenn. Lots of black people. Lots of Latinos, Asian, Middle Easterners even – lots of color.
Here, not so much.
I never thought of myself as a person who needed to be around other black people. People are people right? I even avoided attending an HBCU so I could attend a college with more 'diversity'.
Of course, diversity looks different on this side of the Mason Dixon line.
It only took me three weeks to break down and sheepishly ask a black woman if she knew of any places I could go to get my hair permed.
She replied with a knowing smile and wrote down the number to a kitchen sink beautician and told me that might be the best I could do.
It sounds strange, but I feel like I took my culture for granted before this move. Things that weren't important to me before are pressing issues now.
Things as simple as the lack of R&B songs on the radio, or my daughter wanting to wear her hair down everyday instead of the multitude of plaits, twists or braids she liked so much before.
And who do you talk to about all these feelings without sounding racists?
On the bright side, I'm pretty sure no one at work notices how badly I need a perm.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Essense of hood

What is hood?
My stepson visited us last year when we lived in Pine Bluff, Ark. — known to locals as 'Crime Bluff.' The comments he made to his dad seemed to express an eagerness to see 'the hood.'
So my husband asked his 'Son, what do you think hood means?'
Fast forward about a year, we've moved to Missouri — caramel candies in vanilla sea — and according to my stepson, we now live in a better neighborhood.
I'll admit, there are less grown people at home at noon, which is a relief. There are less gunshots, less break-ins, less domestic calls. More people walking, smiling, waving, talking. A lot less color.
But, my pregnant neighbor and her live-in boyfriend are drug users and dealers. So is the couple sown the street and about ten other people on our block.
Last week my husband was hanging out and a bitch stole his phone.
I mean she straight jacked him for his Blackberry.
She ran off, used the phone for two days, then sold it.
The guy she sold it too tried to sell it back to us.
The host of the gathering suggested the best way to resolve the problem was to let her 'beat that bitch's ass' as she had been waiting too long to do so.
So now I'm back to my husband's question to his son.
'What is hood.'
Because the way I look at it, it's a state of mind.
It's the mind set that tells you to do certain things certain ways that you should know better about.
It's in all of us, but only a minority of us choose to live in the state indefinitely.
I have to admit to harboring many of my own hood tendencies.
But I learned from growing up in a family full of non hood regulators you shouldn't let your mouth write checks that your ass can't cash.