Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pep Talk for my People (...currently in a Quarter-Life Crisis)

Lately, I've been in this thing they call a 'Quarter Life-Crisis'.  (Don't know what a Quarter-Life Crisis is? Click HERE.) Actually, it's been longer than lately.... it's been about a year now. One year ago, almost to the day, I started to realize that I was very close to all my dreams never coming true. I realized that I had, basically, made a mess of my life.... that I was unsatisfied in almost every area. Don't get me wrong, I was, generally, a happy person. I had everything I needed, but I wanted so much more. I don't think I knew, specifically, what I wanted more of at that point. And to a certain extent it's still hard to name. I just like to call it 'space', now.... an 'enlarged territory', if you will.
(Do you have the sudden urge to listen to Donald Lawrence's "Bless Me (Prayer of Jabez) right now? I thought u might. Click HERE. You can thank me later.)

Anyway, the more I talked to my friends and associates in my age group, the more I started seeing that yall are, basically, feeling the same way. I've heard all of yall express the same, general dissatisfaction with the status quo of your lives. I've heard all of yall express a sense of urgency in changing things in your lives now in order to reach that point where dreams meet destiny faster. I want to put that out there because one of the most frustrating aspects of this 'place' we're in is the feeling of isolation...that feeling that no one really understands. The truth is quite the contrary. We ALL understand. I have the most diverse circle out here.... rappers, singers, producers, writers, event planners, doctors, nurses, professors, ministers, accountants, entrepreneurs, lawyers, chef's.... we got it all, yall. Look around you.

Some of yall do a few of these things, with yall's bad selves! Stick with it! I know it's not bringing in the money yet, but hang in there. No matter how many times you fall, always find the courage to get back up. Continue to walk by faith. Know that there is a plan.
To those of you that haven't tapped into your dreams yet....Be encouraged. Just because you don't know what the plan is, doesn't mean there isn't one. God has a plan and a purpose for all of us. He has not forgotten you.

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." ~Jeremiah 29:11

Take faith in the fact that the Lord himself has an 'expected end' for you. We need to all make sure that we are lining up with his plan and not wasting time trying to come up with our own. There IS no other way. Think of it as a GPS system. The destination has been established. The first route he gives you is always the least complicated. Every time you go off course, he's forced to reroute you.... that's when things start to get complicated and time consuming. I'm telling you. I have tried (to make it. I couldn't take it. I. had. to. face. it. That there is no other way.... HAHA) to make God work my plan. He just doesn't operate that way. I've wasted time, energy, and youth trying to do it my way. It just doesn't work. I'm enforcing that and reinforcing that, because some of yall really think you can be successful without total submission to the will of God. I love you all. That's why I need to flat out let you know that it's not going to happen. Only God can give increase.

"So then neither is he that plants any thing, neither he that waters; but God that gives the increase."~1 Corinthians 3:7

Anyway, I just wanted to take a minute to encourage the people I love. I know it's hard and the path is unclear, but just keep walking and trust that the path is still there and that God is still faithful to keep you on it. That's what they call 'walking by faith'. You are not alone. God cares and so do I.

That's my word... and I'm out. Be blessed :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

The COTLG Total Worship Experience!!!

The Church of the Living God : COTLG Total Worship Experience

COTLG Total Worship Experience

The Church of the Living God
© Copyright-The Church of The Living God
Record Label: The Church of The Living God's only by sheer accident that I have not promoted this CD on this blog before now. Look. Peep game. This is a great gospel CD!! And I'm not just saying that because it's the church I attend or because I'm on it (background). If you want a good praise and worship CD that will bless your mind, heart, and spirit....this is IT! There's something on here for everybody!!! They make great stocking stuffers and can serve as a reminder that Jesus is, in fact, the reason for the season. If you don't have your copy yet....order it now from CD Baby!

Here's the link

GO! Listen to the snippets! Order it TODAY! Do it NOW!

or...if you know me, personally, hit me up and I can get u a copy. Either way... Do it NOW!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Randomness ( best).

WARNING: There is absolutely no point to this blog post. It was created for the sole purpose of clearing some mental space. Don't try to make it make sense. That would be a waste of your life. Read at your own risk.

1. What is the point of asking a question you really don't want to know the answer to? We've all done it at one time or another. You really don't want to know the truth, but you feel like it's the right question to ask in that moment so you ask it anyway. The problem is... what do you do with the information once you have it? I think that's a question I need to start asking myself before I ask questions... What will I do with the information once I have it? I think it would save me a lot of mental energy. Real talk. And speaking of 'mental energy'....

2. Every once in a while, people say things that hurt our feelings. Sometimes it's intentional. Sometimes it's by pure accident. Sometimes it's someone we don't know. Sometimes it's a close friend. The point happens. It happens to me quite frequently (but that's another day's post). I used to waste a lot of mental energy being pissed off at the person(s) that hurt my feelings....and when I say a lot of mental energy, I mean a LOT of mental energy. Imagine being so mad at someone that you can't even stand looking at them. Imagine that the very idea of them entering the room makes you want to leave the room. I've been there. Until, one day, it occurred to me that my hurt feelings were never going to heal, because my own insecurities were continuing to open the wounds. It occurred to me that my feelings are only ever hurt when my insecurities are exposed. So, the way to get beyond the hurt feelings is to deal with my own personal insecurities. I'm not excusing people that say or  do hurtful things. I'm saying that when it happens, the best thing to do is to figure out why it hurts so much, and then work on that. That way, even if the person never apologizes, you don't continue to stay broken. I think they call that 'building a bridge'. And since we're talking about bridges...

3. I'm about ready to start burning some....bridges, that is. People always say 'burning bridges' in a negative kind of way. Let me tell you something.... some bridges need to be burned to an asphalt crisp. Do you HEAR me?! We can't be friends, associates... I don't even want to be strangers with you. If it were possible, I'd relocate to an entirely different universe just so I wouldn't have to take a chance on running into you. That's heavy, I know. But I feel THAT strongly about it. So ummmmm.......yeah. Moving right we sometimes do...

4. I don't like being around people that don't make me laugh. Seriously. And speaking of laughter....

5. People. People. People.... learn to laugh, please. I have a weird sense of humor. Always have. I would say that I'm one of those people that laughs to keep from crying, but that's not really accurate. I cry when I feel like crying, it's just that I feel like laughing way more often. I don't know if it's a good or bad thing, but I've come to appreciate the fact that I can find something funny about even the worst situations. It's not that I mean to trivialize or make light of anything traumatic...not at all. I just mean that, no matter what its happening around me, somehow, I always manage to laugh hysterically at some point. I really think it's a gift from God....the ability to laugh, even in the midst of adversity. Everybody can't do that. Have you ever been talking to someone who's going through something and you make a funny (a REAL funny...not one of those 'I don't know what to say so I'll just make a joke' funnies) and they don't laugh even though you know that any other time they would? It's rough. I'm one of those people that ends the conversation shortly after that. I know that's bad, but that's real. I can't take it. No matter what you're going through, until the good Lord calls you home, life goes right on. I don't mean to be harsh, but it's the truth. It's ok to be sad, mad, angry...whatever. But don't lose your sense of humor. It's way too valuable.

I think I'm done....for now, that is. Thanks for indulging in my randomness.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nothing Even Matters....

'These buildings could drift out to sea... some natural catastrophe. Still, there's no place I'd rather be. Cuz nothing even matters to me.".....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

He Saw the Best....

My Thoughts on "Atheist Ministers Struggling With Leading the Faithful"

Here's the link again.... in case you didn't read my post from last night and are too lazy (haha) to go back:

I guess my first question is: Can one be 'talked out' of their faith? I do not, personally, believe one can. UNLESS one freely opens their mind to allow such. Even then, my feeling is that one must have a reason for doing so. This is part of the issue I have with the story as a whole. It feels like there are pieces missing to me....important pieces. I googled the phrase 'unbelieving clergy' which is the title of the study done at Tufts that ABC used as a basis for the story. I was unable to find a complete study, just reports that the study is being done. I take this to mean it's not yet completed. I could be wrong. Don't worry, though, I'll find out...if I have to contact Tufts directly. I'm just curious to see the whole thing. But I digress....  Where was I going with this?.... OH YEAH..... pieces missing. My thought is that a person can not be 'talked out' of their faith without already having some doubt or already have some subconscious welcoming to allow it. Let me just make it plain. No one can talk you out of believing in God unless you, in your heart, have already started entertaining the idea that he may not exist. This does not just happen. There had to have been some event that triggered it. You don't just wake up one day and question whether or not God exists after you have believed he does your whole life. Something had to happen. I'm not saying that it makes you a bad person. I'm just saying that my belief is that a loss of faith in God is triggered by a misinterpretation of a trying event(s) in life.

I find, particularly interesting, the minister that explored atheist views so that he could 'defend' his faith. Here's my problem, no place in the Bible does God command us do defend our faith. As a minister, your job is to serve the people of God and to deliver the word of it is. The Bible says...

"10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."
~Isaiah 55:10-11

Your job is to give the word, not defend it. When you give it, it's going to accomplish the purpose it was meant to accomplish. That's it and that's all. For him to say "My thinking was that God is big enough to handle any questions that I can come up with,"... My thinking is this... Yes, God is big enough to handle any questions you may have but you have to direct those questions to the right place if you want the right answer. Why would you seek the thoughts of an atheist concerning the questions you have about God and expect to walk away with answers that strengthen your faith? That makes no sense. UNLESS, your intent was not really to have your faith strengthened... in which case, it makes perfect sense.

Another part I find, particularly, interesting is the minister that said... "The more I read the Bible, the more questions I had,.....The more things didn't make sense to me -- what it said -- and the more things didn't add up." He went on to say "Reading the Bible is what led me not to believe in God." He went on to question some of the miracles of God. My question is... Why are you trying to make God make sense or 'add up'? He is GOD! The word says that he is able to do immeasurably more than we can even ask or THINK. (Ephesians 3:20) Do you know what that means? You can not even begin to imagine what God is capable of. The fact that you can't make it make sense only makes him MORE awesome, not less....UNLESS, your intention is to discredit that which you can not explain.... In which case, you walking away with disbelief makes perfect sense.


My next question is: Is it morally, spiritually, ethically right to continue in ministry if you no longer believe in God, just because it's your only means of supporting your family? When I googled 'unblieving clergy', I came across a quote by a guy named Richard Land. He said...

"It's not important that they believe what you believe. But it IS important that they believe that you believe it."
~Richard Land

Now let me say this... I don't agree with a lot of the stuff this dude had to say on the topic, but I think he makes a good point here. I, personally, need to believe that my pastor believes what he speaks to me concerning the word and will of God. We all get weak in our faith sometimes. It's in those times that I pull on the faith of others until mine is back where it needs to be. A lot of times, I pull off of the faith of my Pastor during those times. I'm not saying that he is not human and capable of being weak in faith at times, as well. I'm just saying that when I want to believe but am having a hard time believing, I depend on him (and others) to believe it for me. I, personally, believe that's part of the reason God gives us leaders and brothers/sisters in faith.... to be strong in faith for us when we are weak. To continue to depend on the people of a God you don't believe in to support your family is, ethically, my humble opinion. I can't really say on a spiritual tip, because I don't really KNOW their hearts. That's the Lord's call. Notice, though, how God has continued to be faithful to them, even though they have become completely faithless. Look how God continues to take care of them and their families even though they don't even believe he exists anymore. The grace of God... He is SO good. 

Anyway, that's my word. I'm out. Be blessed :) 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Athiest Ministers Leading the Faithful

I saw this story on the news tonight. It's about Ministers/Pastors that no longer believe in God but are still leading ministries. I thought it was SUPER interesting to say the least.

Here's the actual link.

Check it out and tell me what you think. Do yall think this is right? Can a Pastor lead a congregation in a faith he/she no longer holds? Do you have to believe it to preach it?

I'm gonna post my personal response to it tomorrow. I have SOOOOO much to say about it. I just don't even have the energy tonight. LoL

God Made Me Who I Am

I need this today.

Be blessed :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Heaven, I Need a Hug

It has been almost two months since my Grandma passed away. I still have trouble saying she 'died', because she's still very much alive in my heart. I know that sounds cliche'...and we all know how much I hate cliche's...but that's the truth. I don't know if she'll ever 'die' to me. So much of who I am came from who she is....and I say 'is' instead of 'was' because we can all still feel her character, personality, and style around us everyday.

My Grandma played a huge part in raising me. My other Grandparents passed on when I was much younger. So, for, roughly, 15 years, she was my only grandparent. They were tight shoes to wear, but she always made it look so easy. She did it so well, in fact, that I hardly even noticed that I only had one grandparent. She came to EVERY school Grandparent's Day with me. She cooked for me. She gave me unreasonably high amounts of money to do minuscule chores. She rewarded me for good grades. She took up for me when my Momz wanted to kill me. She taught me how to iron a blouse. She even taught me how to drive and then bought my first car, paid for my first cell phone, and took me on more trips than I can even remember. I could go on for hours and these are just things she did for me when I was still a kid.

It wasn't until I went off to school that I learned her in a different capacity. Besides all the material and monetary things she did for me (I can't even begin to name them all), I learned who my Grandma was...just as a person. That was when I found out that there was nothing you could say to her that would catch her off guard or make her look at you differently. She was the least judgemental person I have ever met. I can say that with confidence. It didn't matter what you did, she still loved you. She still cared about you. She still wanted to help you. I can't tell you how many times I called her and said 'Grandma, I got a problem.' and without hesitation, she always said 'What's up?' And she never seemed surprised by anything that followed. She was just cool like that. Sometimes, she would even call me before I even got around to calling her. It was almost like she had some kind of connection to she just KNEW something was wrong. The morning after My HEA and I broke up after 5.5 years, she called...first thing in the morning. And she just said 'You were on my mind when I woke up, is everything ok?' I was so fragile at that moment that the very sound of her voice triggered a break down. I struggled, through the crying to tell her what was happening. I remember her exact words... 'Baby, I am SO sorry. I know you're hurting right now. But I promise it won't hurt forever. You just keep on living. Go ahead and cry today, but tomorrow, put one foot in front of the other and keep moving. That's not to say it won't hurt tomorrow too. It's gonna hurt for while. But you still gotta keep going. You still gotta keep living.'

On nights like last night (when I can't sleep) and days like today (when I can't stop the tears), I remember those words. Words can not even express the heaviness of my heart since she has been gone. I have been, literally, sick over it. But I remember those words and put one foot in front of the other every day. As hard as it is to keep going, to keep living, to keep laughing, to keep enjoying life... I do, because I know that's what she wants me to do. Someone, recently, told me that I make it look easy. I wanted to break down in tears right there. It's not easy at all. It's not me making it look easy, it's the Lord. I know it's him, and only him, that's keeping me right now. I manage to hold it together when people are around, but in the quiet hours, when it's just me and the Lord, I struggle. God is so faithful though. He is always here. He is always with me. So, I know I'll be ok. But today is one of those days.... I could really use a hug.

That's my word. And I'm out. Be blessed.