Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Once Was Lost and Now It’s Found

Pastor gave us this scripture at Bible study a few weeks back…
Hebrews 5:11-14 (King James Version)
 11Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
 12For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
 13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
 14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Uh? Let’s try that again…

Hebrews 5:11-14 (Amplified Bible)
11Concerning this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull in your [spiritual] hearing and sluggish [even [a]slothful in achieving spiritual insight].
 12For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God's Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food.
13For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]!
14But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law.

Oooooo…stings a lil bit more when you can understand when you getting talked about (nail shop), don’t it? That little insert at the end of line, “not able to talk yet,” is what hurt the most for me. I haven’t written since Apr ’08 but recently I’ve wanted to write again. I debated it. Concerned with how it would be received, how people would react, if I would then be held to a different standard, whether people would look at me different for writing Christian based blogs…for fear of persecution I was not able to talk yet.

So while I should be using this outlet to reach and teach others with the Word, I’m stuck sitting in the booster seat, sucking milk out a baby bottle because I’m worried about the world. I’m holding myself back from the blessings promised to me over judgment by those not fit to judge.

Matthew 10:32-33 tells us that if we deny Jesus before men, then he’ll deny us before His Father which is in heaven. Guess I’ve made it through the denial phase.

Manifestation #316 that I’ve grown in Christ: I’m Writing Out Loud

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

All Things Work Together

A few weeks after buying my new car I was in a parking lot...the grating was loose over a drain so when I drove over it the grate popped up and grabbed my rear bumper…ripped it half off! I was pissed, jumped out the car and tried to pop it back on. There was a small lip where the clip was broken. It could have been worse.
Fast forward a few months to last week…

After the Insidious incident I restarted my week long fast from negative media. I listened to gospel to and from work, and at home. No TV, no movies, no internet news, unless it was pleasing to God.

Coincidently, I obviously picked the best week to fast. The word at Wednesday Bible study was great, there was a awesome concert at church Friday, and the Kirk Franklin and Steve Harvey concert was  great on Saturday. I can’t say negative thoughts never entered my mind, but without outside negative influence is was easier to focus on the good. I spent the free time writing, reading, doing yard work and trying to strengthen my relationship with God.

I drove the group to the Kirk & Steve concert in Nashville. When they said the journey is as important as the destination, they mean it.  Attending that concert was placed on the hearts of the individuals in that car for a reason and it manifested in the spirit filled conversations that were had. We talked and related on the struggles we experience as young Christian adults. During one of the conversations we looked up and a bill board that said:

Life is short, Eternity isn’t.

We all just stared at it and said, “WOW.” In the midst of the conversation we were having that was a very powerful statement.

The concert was great, but fast forward to the drive home. The concert let out at after midnight, so by the time we fought the crowd and made it back to the car is was almost 1 and we had a 2 hr drive ahead of us. So by the time we make it back to Chattanooga I’m tired and everyone’s pretty quiet, if awake at all.

I look down at my dashboard and the computer is telling me the average speed for the trip was 66.6 mph. NOT ON MY WATCH! Once again I immediately start silently praying for safe travels, for no negatives spirits to enter the car, and for no harm would come to the people under my care. We make it home.

Next morning I drag out of the bed, turn on the radio, get dressed and hop in the car for church. Windows down, sunroof open, sunglasses on, radio blasting and I’m backing out of the driveway. CRACK!

F! (Yep, I said it...sometimes nothing else will do. Sorry God.)

Guess he still showed up.

Look in the rearview and see the rock along my drive way I’ve back into. And get this...ripped my bumper half off AGAIN! I pull up, get out, pop it back on...but it fits tighter this time. I’m able to fix the lip that was hanging out before. (Not with grey tape either)

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

I’m a firm believer that things happen the way they do for a reason and whatever the devil meant for evil, God will use for good. From the 4 people went on the trip to the bump that could have ruined my day, it all fits into God’s plan and we have to trust in it.

Manifestation #828 that I’ve grown in Christ: Admitting I’m not in control

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hear. No. Evil!

It’s amazing the subconscious effects that the things we expose ourselves have on us. We may not even be paying the radio any attention, but the words of music playing in the background plants subliminal seeds. We may be laughing at the sitcom, but the imagery is affecting our thoughts.

Ever wake up in a bad mood? What were you watching/listening to before you went to sleep?

Ever have a weird dream or nightmare… what station did you leave the TV on and what was playing while you were sleep?

Ever been in traffic ready to slap somebody…which one of Luda’s road rage songs was just on the radio (Move or I Feel Like Slapping Somebody Today)?

Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on things of truth, honesty, righteousness, purity, love, and of good report. So...if we are allowing our heads to be filled with mess, are we in obedience to the Word?

We may not want to admit it, but we are affected by our surroundings. Garbage in = garbage out. So when the minister of our Singles Ministry suggested a day where we fast from any and all music that doesn't glorify God I was all in.  I’d already fasted from the Hip Hop station for a while, and I spend part of my drive to work in silence, so I was going to take it a step further. I was going to fast from any music, TV and movies that suggested sex, violence, drugs, drama, etc, etc….for a week. I wasn’t even going to watch the news…cuz we all know that’s depressing.

Man, I’m telling ya’ll I started off STRONG. Woke up Saturday morning, turned my computer on gospel and cleaned house. Went for a run in the park, put my MP3 player on Kirk and got it in. Drove to a wedding in Alabama and bumped Tye the whole way there and back. I was on it!

Sunday: Gospel while getting dressed. Walt Baby’s Gospel Tracks on the way to church. Got a good word in. Had some soul food with friends after church. I mean I’m feeling GOOD.

Here’s where it goes south: It’s a beautiful day out and I definitively don’t want to go home ( esp since I can’t watch tv, Netflix or the computer)…Called a friend to go hang in the park but they’re busy…so I go see “Hall Pass” with some friends. Mistake #1. It was a comedy so that kinda overshadowed the obvious strong sexual content…but it was there…darn those seeds.

Whew, shook that off. Call a different friend and went to the park. Had a good talk. Gave her some advice she probably won’t take. First friend called back, said she wanted to go to the movies. Out of the 2 she suggested I picked the one I hadn’t seen…but I didn’t know what it was.

I get to the theater and ask her to point out the poster for the movie. Insidious. Mistake #2. I started praying as soon as I saw the possessed image of the boy on the wall. The things I let these women talk me into (darn you Eve!). 

We get in the movie and of course there are images of demons, spirits and even the devil himself. My reaction to these images is what surprised me. Not a reaction of fear, but of prayer. And not for the people in the movie...they're fictional! But for me, I knew I was covered by the Blood but I prayed for the Spirit to cover & protect me from the spirits behind those demonic images subconsciously affecting me.

I was really PISSED that they were trying to combat demons physically and technologically; but as they were on screen battling physically, I was right beside them battling spiritually. I mean I was really PRAYING!

Ephesians 6:12 states that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Apparently they didn’t get the memo... (Spoiler Alert!) They lost.

I would say my attempt at a week of fasting from media was a #epicfailure but we as Christians always talk about how when we’re hard headed we get showed how much we need to grow in Christ. Every once in a while it’s good to be shown how much you already have.

Manifestation #612 that I’ve grown in Christ: I prayed AT the movies