YOLO <— We've all heard this infamous saying based off of Drake's 2011 hit single (You Only Live Once)..it should pretty much be living on a single thread by now as much as it is used. As much as the saying is true, yes, we do only live once, but what are you doing with your life to serve God? When the last day comes and He asks you what have you done to glorify
That saying has soooo many people caught up. Especially our youth. Many of us feel like we are invincible; feel like we are SUPPOSED to live a reckless life, try everything once, have fun..YOLO! Many people hold the idea that "God is going to forgive me of my sins anyway..we are all going to die anyway so I might as well LIVE." But since when is smoking,drinking,sexual intercourse pre-marriage and all the things of the likes considered standard living? Don't let society have y'all out here like that.
Just because we are young does not mean we are immune from the wrath of God. We are held accountable for everything that we do and have been blessed with a conscious and knowledge to know right from wrong. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect-Romans 12:2.
I am very well aware of how hard it is to even try to live right. We are faced with attractive temptations each and everyday. I've been drunk, I've been high, I've been involved in sexual relations and each time I was engaging in any of these things, I more than likely wanted to do it whole-heartedly. But there comes a time when the conviction overrides your decision to continue doing wrong. You begin to feel bad and you get a feeling in the pit of your stomach that maybe you shouldn't be doing such things. All your friends are doing it, and you were already doing it and may have even asked for forgiveness from the last time. It's only too many times that God will continue to grant you forgiveness because you're days are not guaranteed.
If being saved and living right was easy, everyone would be doing it and I wouldn't even be writing this blog post. It is not intended to be easy. The enemy is a conniving and deceitful man. His purpose is to make you fall and stray as far away from God as possible. Thank God for his grace though. But the time is drawing near. In the last days, people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness but denying its power- 2Timothy 3:2,3,4,5
All things that can be seen in this world today. As long as God is granting you with another day, that is another opportunity to let go of the steering wheel and let him take control. Blessings are endless when God is in control.
Negative Nancy, that’s what my friends used to call me for a while. Up until about a year ago. Naw, more like 8 months ago. I was a pessimist. Because of all the things I went through over the past couple of years led me to have a hard-hearted spirit. I always look at bad things that could happen or dwelled on the bad things that have happened and blamed them for present disappointments. Sometimes I wonder how the close friends I do have put up with my dim presence for so long. Nobody likes a Debbie Downer.
This past Sunday there was an alter call for those still struggling with forgiveness; not necessarily forgiveness of other people (I’ll touch on that later), but forgiveness of yourself. We get so caught up in past happenings that it hinders us from healing and coming into the person God purposed for us to be.
Take me for example. I didn’t have a totally hectic past, but there are a handful of things I’ve done that I am not proud of. Even to this day, the thought of some things cause discomfort.
(1) My PLANNED Pregnancy: I’ve become more open about it now when I tell this story because I’ve come to terms with it. At the same time, when I repeat it back to myself, I just feel dumb. The looks I get when I tell people Addy was purposely made just adds to my “dumb” feelings. My daughter will be 3 this year, so when will I ever come to FULL terms with the fact that at the age of 19, I selfishly decided to bring a child into this world knowing I didn’t have much to provide for her let alone myself? I trust that God knew what he was doing. And forgiveness has gotten a lot easier but I’m not 100% there yet.
(2) Sexual Immorality: SIGH…I said the goal was to be transparent so here goes nothing. In high school, I would always pride myself on being a virgin (until I lost it of course). It was very seldom that girls my age, even my closest friends were still virgins and I was proud of that. Even when I did lose my virginity, I would make myself feel better by justifying that I was only with ONE person so it wasn’t THAT bad. I don’t want to delve too much into this because I will have a whole post later in the future about my decision for celibacy. Previous decisions I’ve made dwelled in my mind for a very long time, even to this day.
Forgiveness for other people who have wronged me is a whole different story, but just as hard as forgiving myself.
(1) Addy’s Father: This is probably by far the only person that took an abundance of strength to forgive..like physical strength. A lot went on within our relationship (too much that doesn’t need to be repeated) but caused much hatred, hurt, and resentment inside of me. I carried it for a long time and it was the origin of an array of crazy emotions. One day I’m depressed and the next day I’m fine. A lot of times I would even “fake forgive” him. You know, when you say you forgive somebody because you are so prideful thinking you’re over something but as soon as something happens that brings knowledge to that same situation, you get mad all over again. That would happen to me a lot that made me aware that I was no where near forgiveness with him. Thankfully, God has delivered me from that and I can honestly say I forgive him.
(2) My Parents: I’ll keep this brief because this is still very touchy and personal to me. I don’t want to give off the impression that I had a horrible childhood or anything. My parents provided me with all of my needs; my brothers and I. We never needed for anything. Just seeing my parents as I got older and how arguments would increase. It made me resent marriage and everything it stood for. I didn’t want that kind of marriage. It wasn’t any abuse, verbal or physical, or anything like that. Just the dynamic wasn’t there. Like two people used to each other. It made me turn away from the concept of a strong family foundation. Still working on forgiveness from that.
I could go on and on about minor run ins with people who have hurt me and vice versa, but the point I am trying to get across is that forgiveness is necessary. It has the power to eat you alive, if you let it. Think about it this way….all the times we knowingly and voluntarily defy God’s will by fulfilling our own selfish desires. Over and over and over again. But yet, he still gives us another chance. So if a man so powerful who loves us so much continues to wash away our sins and give us a new day to :live for him, who are we to hold grudges and unforgiveness over those who have wronged us?
As far as struggling with forgiveness, you will know when you have forgiven someone. Think of it this way. Remember when you were a child and you did something that your parents told you not too? You knew once you got caught, and you did, you would be in for the whooping of your life. And you did get it. You feared what would happen once your parents found out. Now that you are older, you and your parents can sit back and laugh at something that caused you fear as a child and disappointment as a parent. With time and prayer EVERYTHING heals. If you choose to do it on your own, not only are you telling God that you don’t trust him, you will be in spindle of indecisiveness and confusion over your own feelings. Forgiveness unlocks the door to your own happiness. If he can forgive, for he is the highest of all high, who are we not to.
Finally got my GBKD shirt. Also known as my "God Be Knowing Dawg" shirt. I love shirts...but this means so much more to me. I always have a "God Be Knowing" moment so I wanted to make it something that everybody knew and that everybody can join. I've mentioned it before but just to give refresher, I always say "God Be Knowing Dawg" when things happen in my life that are just so unexplainable. Some people believe in coincidences..I don't. God knows all! He shows me this every single day and for that, I am SO IN LOVE with him. I'm excited to see how this grows. Not just a shirt...it's my life! Want a shirt? Let me know!
This will probably be one of my shorter postings but I just had to let y'all know how weak this man is! I'ma stop calling him "man" too because he doesn't even deserve that title. He who I am speaking of is the enemy (its gonna stay in lower-case). He really been trying to get me y'all. He knows I've been growing in my relationship with my man (God), and he's mad so he's trying to intervene. Have you ever noticed whenever God is ordering your steps and things are going right, here comes the enemy trying to impose on your blessing? You have to be aware and smart enough to block his advances because he can be slick. This what he did this morning.
(1) I wake up to two missed text messages from my ex—— enemy think he slick. Just gone ahead and put that phone back down.
(2) I'm driving to take Addy to daycare this morning and my radio was playing Robin Thick new song All Tied Up. I love me some Robin Thick but it is a sexually suggestive song. I couldn't turn it off though! *sigh*
(3) Immediately after that song went off, Silk song Can We Make Love and then right after that was Avant Makin Love. I had to change the station after that because the enemy KNOW that those are/were my jams and for it to be playing in consecutive order like it was...nobody but the enemy!
It is humorous and some may even think this is a waste of a post, but let me inform you as to why I felt this as important. Being on this journey of celibacy (I will have a blog post about this too) it is hard! When we hear sexually suggestive songs (thats what my itunes mostly consisted of) it can create thoughts that do not belong in your head. Of course I am not acting on the thoughts but they are still there. Especially songs that are "my song."
You have to place yourself in environments that are conducive in your walk with Christ. At bible study, Bishop was just talking about how we know our weak areas. Specifically he says, "YOU KNOW WHERE YOU WEAK AT! WHY WOULD YOU PURPOSELY PLACE YOURSELF IN SITUATIONS THAT YOU KNOW YOU GONE FALL!" My sentiments exactly. Sexual immorality is one of the many demons I have been delivered from and I want to keep it that way. Yes I love Robin Thick, Silk, and Avant, but I know it's no good for this lifestyle. Sometimes you just have to change the station....literally and metaphorically.
Anytime the enemy tries to come at you...just keep telling him how WEAK he is! Always works for me.
If I thoroughly tell the whole back story, I will get lost in my tangent just as you would so I am going to try to keep it brief. I've mentioned several times how I really want to work with single fathers and hopefully open up a non profit offering resources to single fathers. Not only is that my passion but I received confirmation that that is also my purpose.
Over the course of these past couple of months, things have been aligning in order for me and I do not believe in coincidences. I cannot emphasize that enough. It all began here.
(1) When changing my major to Communication two years ago, the goal was to pursue Public Relations in the entertainment field. I always felt like it was an interesting field and would love to work in it. That desire slowly but surely died.
(2) It wasn't until this past semester when I took a class called Argument and Advocacy. Our final paper was on a topic of our choice that we would advocate for. I chose Single Father Advocacy. After a semester of research, stress, and frustration, it opened my eyes to a lot of things I didn't know before and that was when the passion began to develop.
(3) My internship for the summer, ParentLink, is just one of the many confirmations I received in this short amount of time that working with fathers is my purpose. I started off as a student/parent going there to complete homework, to volunteering, to working for a summer, back to a student/parent & volunteer, now I'm an intern. I've developed relationships with the people there and I'm learning so much. And to think, this wasn't the internship I started with this summer. I was interning for a magazine for two weeks and was very unhappy. I gave them a letter of resignation and started at ParentLink two days later. Now in love.
(4) Since being at ParentLink, I'e networked with people that God purposely had me meet that will further help my purpose. I met a girl who works with at risk youth in which some are young parents, and I will be volunteering with them this upcoming semester. (b) I made the decision to go to grad school and although I didn't want to stay at Mizzou, I feel as though that is what God wants me to do. Throughout the semester, I work with advisors at the Department of Arts and Science. One of the advisors just got hired at the grad program I want to apply to as a recruiter for admissions. I just met with her last friday. (c) Just yesterday, I met a lady who works with at risk youth and inner city individuals. She was also a young and single parent. What was supposed to be a 20 minute conversation to recruit some of her kids for the camp the ParentLink is having, turned into a 90 minute discussion. She has so many resources that could work for my benefit its ridiculous. I told her as well if she ever needs any volunteers for anything she is doing, I would love to help. She works with many single fathers as well. (d) Also yesterday, my boss wanted me to stay longer at my internship to meet a man she was having a meeting with to discuss keeping the Cub Hub open. (Cub Hub is where student/parents go to have their children watched for free while they are in the other room studying) Anytime someone comes in the office, she wants to introduce me to them so I didn't think anything of it. Well this man was the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies who wants to meet with me about coming to Mizzou for grad school and discuss many fellowship opportunities. That was my last and final confirmation about where to go for school, seeing as I've been praying for a word to either stay here or go back home. I cried when he walked out the room because I was overwhelmed at how amazing God is. These aren't coincidences.
I realized that God doesn't want me to fulfill my own desires then ask him for help. Each day I pray for him to kill my flesh and push out my own desires to make room for his will. I want my passion and desires to align with his, not the other way around. I once wanted to work with entertainers, caught up in a lifestyle I thought I would want to have. God ordered my steps to do something he saw fit for my life. So many doors are opening for me and it is amazing. Often times beyond words. When you kill your flesh each day, as hard as it is, and pray that he shows you your purpose- when it happens.....it's a mouth dropping occassion. Trust me! Thank you God! You are so amazing! #GodBeKnowing
“So what is keeping you from fully committing to God?”- I remember getting asked this question not too long ago. I thought about and didn’t have an answer- still don’t. That’s because there is no legit answer to NOT commit to God and whole-heartedly live for him; To be protected under his grace; To be forever grateful and ever praising for him keeping us from things that could very well have put us six feet under- it seems so simple, like common sense. As we all know, common sense isn’t very common- at all.
Then I often think, are the temptations of the world really that powerful to keep me from fully submitting? Is the enemy just that clever? Just the very thought of those questions make me want to immediately say NO. But really, when I reflect on my life and the decisions that I’ve made, I still have YET to fully commit.
I’m young; I like attending social events (gatherings, parties, etc) like the next person; I involve myself in frivolous gossip for pure entertainment; I entertain my ears with music that probably should be deleted off of my ITunes; I have a serious addiction to my cell phone, like I’m always checking it; I can be selfish quite often, even when it comes to my own child; I put too much weight on other people’s opinions (I care too much what others think of me); I can go on and on and on. The crazy thing is, one by one, I never thought all of these things were that serious of an issue to keep me from living the will of God. But that’s just it! No matter how small or how petty we think things are, God views it completely different. Stealing candy from a store is the same as car theft to God; Not sharing something with someone who asks is the same as doing more things for yourself than with God (selfishness) to God.
Our human minds can never grasp what God has in store for us. That is the whole purpose of faith. If I’m really that strong in my faith and belief in God, how come I haven’t given him complete and utter control of my life?
If me attending certain events that aren’t in the best interest of what God wants me to do then, I pray for deliverance from that. If certain people I hang around are not conducive to the purpose God has for my life, then I pray for deliverance from that. If my cell phone is hindering my time with God, then I pray for deliverance from that. If my chasing $ (which is the ROOT to all evil) is keeping me from fully enjoying life that God has destined for me to do, then I pray for deliverance from that as well as an abundance of faith that ALL of my needs will be met just as you promised. If me partaking in petty gossip is keeping me from hearing your voice in what to entertain and what not to entertain, then I pray for deliverance from that. If MYSELF is what is keeping me from fully committing, then I pray for deliverance from that.
These prayers may seem foolish to some, but only those who have and yearn to have an established relationship with Christ will fully understand the goal I am trying to obtain. Ultimately, HE is the only person that I have to answer to when it all ends. I’m just praying for an over abundance of faith to fully submit before that day comes. Pray for me, as I will pray for y’all.
In recognition of Father's Day, that was the title of yesterday's sermon and it was simply AMAZING! Bishop took the time to acknowledge all the Father's that were of attendance yesterday, young and old. All of them flooded the alter and took an oath, declaration rather, to be the best father/man that God has destined for them to be. Just seeing all those strong, beautiful black man in abundance almost brought a tear to my eye.
Bishop continued on describing Proverbs 31: Written by King Solomon as he describes the Virtuous Woman/Wife. He stated every detail of that woman and ended with the question to Solomon...."What about the Virtuous Man?"
Luckily he was able to find a scripture just for the brothas (as he would say). 1 Chronicles 2:6 this scripture noted all five sons of Zerah: Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Dara. This interesting thing about it is, these five men were no longer mentioned throughout the rest of the book but Zerah (THE FATHER) is. This lead into his point, especially for fathers, they may not know who you are but they know who your FATHER is. Because they know your father, therefore you are important because your father is important.
*FATHERS: Your kids may not necessarily know you or see you very often but that does NOT mean you are NOT important and do not let anyone tell you otherwise!
Even more interestingly enough, even though the five sons names were no longer mentioned throughout the rest of the Bible, they were of much importance.
Zerah is the FATHER
Zimri means "Vine"
Ethan means "Firm"
Heman means "Faithful"
Calcol means "Sustainer"
Dara means "Barrier of the Weight"
For the ladies, it is not hard to find a Good Man because he is everywhere you seek him. JESUS! Any and every time you call upon him, he appears and supplies all of your needs. He may not do it when you feel you should have it, but guarantee you are never without. In the mean time, if you are single, continue to strengthen and grow in your relationship with Christ while he is preparing someone just for us :
For the fellas, you are very important. You may not be perfect and everyone is with flaws but here are some very good and possible traits provided by the upmost high. Also, you may have been without a father in the physical form, but you are never without your heavenly father. Never have been and never will be. It is up to you to seek him. <-- That last one can be for anyone actually.
I just found it amazing that this service was highlighting our men and not feeding into the stereotype of dead beat fathers. Not all of them are. Rather highlighting all the good qualities of men to provide encouragement. This was further confirmation for me to pursue my passion of working with single fathers.
You praise God every morning you wake up- whether it be a brief Twitter posting stating how you thank God for waking you or literally get on your knees and verbally say "Thank you for waking me God- and go about your day. You get yourself dressed for whatever tasks you have set out for yourself to do today. Today is all about YOU. YOU know what all YOU want to do; all YOUR desires YOU want to fulfill. Have you ever took the time to think that maybe the things YOU want to do, God has a completely different plan for you? Especially if you have enough knowledge to know that whatever you are pursuing is not approving of God. You may be deceived at your own success. You may be overly successful at something that is disapproving to God. What is success in an area that means absolutely nothing? You are so caught up in your self that you may never take the time to acknowledge that this isn't God's purpose for your life. (When I say YOU and YOUR, I am including myself as well).
I spoke about my #GodBeKnowing moments in a previous post but you may not have caught it. Basically I say God Be Knowing when something happens to me that most would consider a coincidence. I don't believe in coincidences. When things like this happen, I know it's only him that could have made it happen because HE KNOWS!
My #GodBeknowing moment for today just happened a few hours ago. For many who know me, I've discussed my passion with them. My passion is to work with single fathers. I love mentoring young mothers and showing them that life isn't over after a baby. I know a lot of single mothers, and although I love helping them, single fathers need much more help. They don't have many resources and their isn't a lot of information on them...at all. I get the same surprised look everytime I have this discussion. After writing a 15 page paper on single father advocacy, I found my passion for wanting to help with fathers who WANT to be active with their children but situations (the courts, the mother, etc) doesn't work in their favor. I want to help.
While at my internship, I met a girl today who works with at risk youth. Parentlink, my internship, is hosting a camp called THRIVE for 12-16 to teach them how to live a healthy lifestyle and the lady I met will be sending over the at risk youth that she works with. She explained to me that a lot of the boys there have kids but do not have custody of them. That is right up my alley and the perfect audience for me! She wants to start her own non profit to work with at risk youth and I want to start a non profit to work with single fathers. PERFECT MATCH! I will also be volunteering there soon! I'm so grateful for us to have crossed paths so our passions can intertwine. When your goals line up with God's purpose for your life, he will have you meet people and open doors for you that will bring that passion to life. You will know that it is no one but God that is making this happen for you. Now all I have to do is gather the courage to take this GRE for grad school and I'm on my way :) God I Love You! You be knowing!!!!!