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Thursday, June 30, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Blessed Lord, we thank Thee for the home and the family. We are grateful for the happiness and joy that we know within the family circle. Give us Thy peace and help us in all our endeavors to walk more closely with Thee. Make love to shine forth in our relationships one with the other. Teach us to be patient, understanding, and loving. May we be forgiving and forgetful of one another's faults and mistakes. May our home reflect a likeness unto that eternal home that awaits those who love, trust, and follow Thee. Amen.
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Monday, June 20, 2011
Lately, certain behaviors demotivate me from interacting with these women and I know that's not the right attitude to have. I cant disassociate myself because I don't care for their behavior but I don't have to be victim to it either. In my party animal days, I remember going out to shake my butt on the dance floor while my friends were all about their next hookup. I tried to stay away from getting involved in their antics. I use to get high and drink with my girls and some would get totally wasted and I'd become the baby sitter for the night. Ive had my nights that required babysitting too. I had girlfriends that would go out and completely expect men to take care of them at the bar and not even bring money. I never understood that because one thing I've never leaned on a man for is money. I've went wrong in other areas but I'm so glad I've never got caught up in living with a man or feeling obligated to him because he's helping me pay my bills. I do recall always needing the attention from my guy at the time and feeling low about myself if he was distant, unavailable, and especially when he didn't want me anymore. I was one of those "I don't need to be in a relationship" type females and yet always found myself latched onto a guy. I always fell hard for every guy I've ever dated and thought I was in love way too many times to remember. I used to settle and sacrifice to stay in relationships that had no added value to my life and in fact diminished it. It really wasn't until I grew stronger in my Faith and began to love myself the way God loves me that I understood what it means to love yourself before you can love someone else. Even in the beginning of my current relationship I turned to childish antics and picked fights because he wasn't giving me what I thought I needed from a relationship and quite honestly I was used to the bull crap so I expected it from him. I began to pray for a Godly relationship with my man, one that isn't focused on sex and money but friendship, support, true love, and progress. Now my relationship is much healthier.
My dad and I spoke briefly last night about females and the need to depend on men for the wrong things. We're not licensed therapist, of course, but it doesn't take a degree to see on the surface that some women are crying out for the love they didn't receive growing up. My Dad added that in his day even if guys were so called "playas" they still had a certain level of respect for their women. So which came first, did we start to de-value ourselves and men are just taking advantage of us or are the men of our generation just as screwed up as we are??? Even in my situation, I said how could I have made such poor decisions in men over the years when I had strong male figures in my life since I was born? I spoke about other experiences in my previous blog "Strolling Down Memory Lane". What we experience throughout life shapes us into the adults we grow to be but we can choose to evaluate our actions and change what we don't like. I guess the first step is desiring to change and admitting that our actions need improvement. I'm grateful that I have the mind to change my ways and seek guidance to stay away from old habits.
I hope to bring more of this type of discussion to my blog as this is why Crazy Bayooteefull was created in the first place. Most of the women I spoke about our drop dead gorgeous and people assume that they have the whole world at the tip of their stilettos because these people put too much weight on outer beauty. But it is my opinion based on personal experience and observation that "Pretty Girls" are very insecure and often deal with these issues. Inner beauty and self love will always outweigh outer appearances!
Sunday, June 19, 2011
1. Dont give him foolishness! By bringing him foolishness I take his joy and bring him grief. (Proverbs 17:21, 17:25, 10:13)
2. Don't mistreat or rob your father! Plain and simple. (Proverbs 19:26, 28:24)
3. Don't curse your father! Pastor said to honor the position even if you don't care for the person. He equated Proverbs 20:20 to 20/20 perfect vision and by cursing your father and not following his instruction you could be losing sight of your direction in life when you need it the most. (Proverbs 20:20, 30:11)
4. Don't bring your father a gluttonous companion! Your father gave you a perfect example of the companion you should seek so don't shame him by bringing home a companion that is less than the example you were given. (Proverbs 28:7)
5. Don't mock him! Again Pastor mentioned that the penalty could be not having your father or guidance there when you need it. Losing sense of direction for your life. (Proverbs 30:17)
6. Do listen to him! Give weight to what your father warns. Don't hold his advice at the same level as your friends or other folks. (Proverbs 1:8, 4:1, 21:1, 23:22)
7. Do show his wisdom! Know what you're doing and do it will, Intelligence and Skill. One of the best gifts to your father is to fulfill your purpose in life and do it well. (Proverbs 10:1, 15:20, 29:3)
8. Do show him righteousness! Your father will rejoice and who doesn't want to make their Daddy proud? (Proverbs 23:24)
This sermon was given by Pastor John K. Jenkins Sr. Of First Baptist Church of Glenarden
Saturday, June 18, 2011
I remembered a loving and caring time when my immediate family lived under the same roof; Mommy, Daddy, two younger sisters and an older brother. My parents separated when I was 11 and then the memories get a little dark. In trying to understand the woman I'm growing into as well as understanding my sister, my auntie felt it necessary to re-live this past. The years that followed included moving several times, changing schools, Mommy dating other men, Daddy not around as often, and the makings of your typical dysfunctional family. I will say that my siblings and I were blessed to have so many "great" aunts and uncles nearby. The expression "It takes a village to raise a child" speaks volumes to our upbringing. My adolescent years is when it gets darker and I began to make my own decisions based unconsciously on my surroundings at home. I became promiscuous and rebelled against my mother so much that I was determined to never be like her and ended up possessing several of her habits. I moved out of my mothers home on and off while I was a teen and stayed with family members, ultimately leaving my younger sisters behind. It wasn't until speaking with Auntie yesterday that I started to wonder how much of our childhood they remember and what did they endure throughout the numerous times I left home? More importantly how has it shaped them as woman today and my brother into a man?
At the end of my sharing moment I admitted that the things I experienced good and bad had a direct impact on who I am today. Some of the bad experiences are re-lived through my own habits and I struggle at times to rid myself of those ways. I don't believe that we have to be products of our environment unless we choose to be. The product of my environment could have easily looked like teenage pregnancy, physically abusive relationships, alcohol and drug abuse, low self-worth, dependency and much more. While I've dabbled in some of that I came through, by the grace of God, a healthy woman with no children. Surely, the good is still present in me, it's the source of my creativity and talent. My siblings and I were always artistically encouraged by our parents and have multiple talents hidden inside of us. My father is one of the most giving and fair people I know and my big heart and reasonable thinking (at times, lol) comes from him. The values that our "greats" taught us stuck with me and although it took me a long time, their encouragement to seek God was the most important lesson that I received.
My trip down memory lane was the appointed time and finally speaking those past hurts to another human being was liberating. It's important to understand your past before you can truly fulfill the purpose of your future. While it may hurt to re-visit dark truths it can only shorten the time that you suffer in it by revealing it and healing.
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you." - Maya Angelou
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Avouch - verb - to make frank acknowledgment or affirmation of; declare or assert positiveness.
This past Sunday in church Pastor introduced a new word to me through his sermon. We received testimony of a member who struggled with unemployment and finances. She avouched God by cutting up all four of her credit cards in front of the congregation. She demonstrated her trust in God to make a way for her by doing this and even though she was living solely off her credit cards she cut them and avouched God by believing that he has a plan in store for her current tribulations. It was a powerful gesture for her to make and show God that she is fully leaning on Him by cutting off her only source of "income". Her story ended with multiple job offers in the weeks that followed and generosity from another member with enough funds to cover two months mortgage. The testimony and the simple introduction of this word got me to thinking "How can I avouch God?" or better yet "What am I doing that is the complete opposite of avouching God?". By definition saying things like "I cant accomplish..." or "I don't want to..." are the opposite. Allowing negative words and thoughts to exist are telling God that I'm not willing to do my part to help Him help me. We all get in a funk and have our "whoa is me" days but really choosing the thoughts and words spoken can impact the energy that is given to our dreams and goals.
Avouching can be done physical too, like the women who cut up her credit cards. What action can I take physically to show God that I'm serious about, believe in, and appreciate the promises He has laid out for my future? I prayed to remain healthy and free of the recurring strep throat or any other illness. But if I don't take care of myself by exercising, eating better, and eliminating bad habits, I cant expect God to do his part. I prayed for sincere friendships and fellowship around me but if I misuse those relationships and don't help to work on them as I work on me than God will see that I don't appreciate these relationships and they'll be gone or become worldly. I prayed for a man to love me unconditionally but a man that also loves the Lord. If I get caught up in the lust and infatuation of a man loving on me and not encouraging him to love on God than I will continue to have the same old superficial relationships I've always had and the man God has created for me may never be revealed. I prayed for growth in my career and continuous opportunities and opened doors. I can avouch God in this request by being prepared when those opportunities knock by always having my tools sharpened and putting myself in positive places to receive those opportunities. In my downtime, sitting at home watching TV and eating bons bons will bring me more sitting at home and watching TV. But to avouch God I can go out to networking events, refresh my list of business contacts and send friendly messages to spark an opportunity. Take action and put myself out there in a sense saying "OK, God I'm here and ready and eager to receive your blessings. I got my mind right and I'm ready to roll with you, so bring it."
Pastor closed the sermon with saying that we should be waking everyday expecting God to do something in our lives. We all receive His grace because He loves us and not because we deserve it for sure. So if I wake everyday and expect God to move mountains in my life than being a responsible adult and a maturing Christian, I should at least assist Him in moving the mountains, right? I have to get involved and Participate with God. We're a team that works together and in most teams each person has to pull their own weight. Imagine me and God here on Earth running the race and I'm sitting on the track catching a tan, filing my nails or something and I tell God, "You go ahead and get it started God, I'll catch up to you at some point, maybe closer to the end of the race." Now imagine what God would probably say, think, and do as a result of my "Let him do all the work" mindset. Actually, don't think about it, I read the Bible and I know what history says so let's not give any energy to that outcome because I'm going to avouch Him!
In the past few weeks, Ive made some baby steps in avouching God. Running weekly with Temples in Training, a Christian female running group in NYC and NJ. Cooking meals at home as often as possible to eat healthier and save some pennies. Nudging my boo to read the Word more and softly laying the groundwork for the relationship I know God wants me to be in. Finally sending invites to my Black Business Woman friends to ignite a power group to support one another. Updating my websites and polishing up my brand so I can be ready for the bucket list opportunities I believe God has in store for me. There are a few more areas of my life that need some major work done and I'm praying on that too. But overall, I'm really excited about the woman I'm growing to be and I can't take any of the credit because up until this point it ain't been nothing but God pushing and motivated me. Placing people and circumstances in my life to help me grow. From this point on I want to share in that effort and really participate with God in achieving my greatness.
What can you do to Avouch God?
Sunday, June 5, 2011
God will give you the courage and tools necessary to do his work even if not directly through you. The soul of a certain female has been placed heavy on my heart over the past month or so. The more I got to know her and just be in her presence the more I could sense a need for healing. I'm always cautious to introduce my beliefs about God to others especially those who I strongly feel need God in their life because I don't want to appear judgemental. Some of our best intentions can get construed when we are passionate. I've had a few general conversations with folks about my calling to make an impact in some of the souls that have been inserted into my world. I believe he had a whole plan of how to link this person and that person to reach this young lady. Let's call her Becky.
The process began with one person inquiring about her attendance to our morning service and I chimed in and said "You should come, I go at 11am and I'll be there this weekend". Another person asked me to speak with Becky on another matter and in the midst she randomly mentioned that she would attend service today. She actually beat me to church and Becky will tell you herself that she'll be late to her own funeral. As I'm racing to get there because now she's waiting on me I thank God for moving mountains and placing vessels to be used to get her to this point. Also for getting me out of bed after five hours of sleep and making it to lead her to the next step. Of course, several others ministered to her through the sermon so I didn't need courage for that. But after the sermon when the prayer counsellors were available for individual prayer I asked if she wanted to go down with me. There was a familiar face among the prayer counsellors that Becky and I both met the week prior and I'm sure that made for a comforting walk to be counselled. I had every intention of getting some prayer in for me but I quickly realized that today wasn't about my soul, it was about leading another soul in their first steps with Christ.
God works in mysterious ways and always on time at the appointed time. This counselor doesn't usually attend the morning service and I know the Lord placed it on her heart to attend because he had plans to do a work on Becky today. I initially stood in and Becky and I both received words of encouragement as our eyes filled with tears. Becky's tears were because the message was speaking to her personally but my tears were because at that moment I knew God was present and he heard my hearts concerns and answered prayers. The fact that we were standing there and receiving the Word and that the counselor spoke some of the very words I thought Becky needed to hear but didn't know how to deliver them assured me that He was listening. So I stepped out of our huddle and stood by patiently, as they continued, with tissues for all the bayooteefull tears that were released.
I forgot one other person that God inserted into Becky's path. A week ago another person randomly presented Becky with a Bible which turned out to be her first Bible. She brought the Bible to service just like an eager student ready to learn God's word. In the end, she accepted Christ into her life and committed to taking the first steps to the rest of her life. Becky's steps will be challenging and sometimes discouraging but make no mistake that God has placed some wonderful people in her life today and throughout the past month or two that will assist God in making those steps loving and kind.
Pastor spoke today about the feelings we can get sometimes as Christians when we want to serve a bigger purpose than ourselves. We're missing that joy in our lives when we just focus on ourselves. He said J.O.Y. is about praying for Jesus Others and Yourself. I totally get it and I feel so much closer to HIM today for revealing himself to me in this way. It feeds my soul to help others save their souls which in rotation saves my souls as well. Amen!
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Throughout this two month journey I've vented and prayed equally about the unexpected stress and responsibility that came with making this decision. I kept going back and forth, asking myself "Is this where God wants me to be? How could this be what he has meant for me, its so hard, its so negative, its so stressful. I asked for his guidance and he didn't provide a way out so he must want this. Of course this is where God wants me to be, I'm extending myself to others who really need my assistance. I have an opportunity to show people a Godly way to handle challenging situations. I'm representing the light in this dark industry of entertainment".
Today I'm still a bit unsure of which way I'm supposed to go but I know without a doubt that wheteher I was destined to endure this experience or I walked into it against God's will, HE made certain that I learned some valuable lessons along the way:
1. Step back and observe the situation, the ENTIRE situation and allow myself to see things for what they really are. I feel Ive been strolling along down this path a bit blinded but its my own fault. Yes I asked God for guidance but I don't think I ever truly sat down and listened for His guidance. I guess I just assumed that it would be obvious if this wasn't where he wanted me. My Auntie says "Look for Jesus in everything" and I'm starting to say "If HE ain't there, than you shouldn't be either".
2. Patience and Caution with words are of the utmost importance when dealing with high stress situations. My Dad's bestie is always saying "Take the emotion out of the situation so you can think clearly". He is absolutely right, Ive sat back and watched several folks lose their tempers and speak out of line hastily. Heck I lost my temper a few times and surely spoke too soon and against my better judgement. Ive thus been very cautious to choose my words wisely and wait to assess the scene for what it truly is before I react.
3. Sow my seeds in the right ground. Lord Have Mercy because I talked about this in a previous blog and now I'm wondering if I planted some seeds in the wrong ground. I will always be a person that lends a helping hand and looks for the good in opportunities that others would quickly throw away. However, I need to get much wiser with choosing where I lend a hand and when my big heart (and big mouth) just needs to sit on down and keep quiet.
I thank God for allowing me to experience these trials and for sustaining me through it. I still have some decisions to make on how to proceed because Ive committed to a project that I must see through. My friends surely think I'm nuts for continuing with this experience but I have to at least see it through to the original commitment I signed on for. I'm just taking it one day at a time and one prayer at a time for that matter. I'm staying prayed up and asking for His guidance every step of the way and I know I'll be delivered to a stronger place after this journey is done.