Saturday, September 19, 2015

Crazy, sexy me?

So I know my title is kind of "off the beaten path",  but lately God has been taking me off the beaten path.  I have a story about me.  When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, words cannot describe the joy that I felt, and I was glad to be in the house of God every chance I could.  I loved my church home.  Some things started to happen that I didn't pay much attention to, but they had a traumatic impact on me in the long run.  When I began my Christian journey I was totally myself, basking in the joy of my Savior. However, over time I started to cover-up more and more of who I really was, little by little; until I didn't look like myself at all anymore.  I remember the first time one of the women, in the church, gave me something to cover my legs because I had on a skirt.  I want to add that my skirt was knee length.  It's funny because I didn't know why they kept handing me this, I don't know what it was, a cloth to cover up.  This was during the sermon so I would quietly say "No, I'm fine".  I thought that maybe it was a courtesy in case I was cold.  I didn't really grow up in the church so I wasn't familiar with church protocol regarding the matter of covering up, if you had a skirt on.  But after some days I figured out what they were trying to do, and I was kind of offended and I don't know why.  But I just decided I would not sit that close to the front of the sanctuary anymore, if I was wearing a skirt.  That was only the beginning.  I started to also find that I was drawing alot of attention to myself, but it was not on purpose.  It was not my purpose at all, but it was happening so I got very self conscious about how I was dressing.  I started to only wear baggy clothes, I stopped keeping my hair done, and I stopped wearing makeup.  I just really started to try to play down my beauty.  I think I was use to that attention when I was in other places, but I was so naive, because I didn't think I would draw that type of attention in church.  It caught me off guard and I thought it was the right thing to do, to start to cover up.  During that time, I had a discussion with a very close friend who had a strong walk with God and he began to ask me why I was dressing like I was, why was everything so baggy?  And I told him why; and he told me that I didn't have to cover up myself, he told me I should not be afraid of my own beauty.  He told me that I should not feel like I have to play down my beauty because of other people.  I eventually lost some of my pizazz in all that cover-up.  Now I'm on a journey back to my pizazz!!  Back to my crazy, sexy, me.  While I know, as a Christian, that this post might offend some other Christians who feel that the word "sexy" and the word "Christian" should not be used in the same sentence.  But I strongly disagree.  To me, the word sexy means attractive, appealing to the senses in a pleasurable way.  To me, God is very attractive, very appealing, and very pleasurable.  I think that the people you meet, who are really on fire for God, would probably agree with me.  Every Christian I have ever met, with a vibrant relationship with the Lord comes off as very attractive.  Jesus is attractive, He is intriguing, He is provocative.  God made us, so we are attracted to certain attributes for a reason.  God embodies many of the characteristics that attract us, as human beings, because we are made in His likeness.     You have to get to know Him outside of "religion".  Because "religion" can sometimes play it safe, dress it up, cover it up, make it look safe.  Religion sometimes does not introduce us to a provocative, intriguing, exciting, adventurous, intimate God.  Religion introduces us to a safe, rule-giving, boring, condemning God.  That is so far from the truth about God.  God is in fact very sexy, very attractive, super cool, and very provocative.  To be Christlike means not being safe.  It means being provocative.  Since Jesus is very attractive, He makes you very attractive when you accept Him as your Lord and Savior.    For those that doubt in terms of what I stated here, you should read the Songs of Solomon.  If that's not "sexy" I don't know what is.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Start fresh by forgiving yourself

Did you know that every morning you wake up with new baby nerve cells, in your brain, that have been born while you were sleeping; and that these are at your disposal to be used in tearing down toxic thoughts and rebuilding healthy thoughts.  According to the book, "Switch on Your Brain", the birth of these new baby nerve cells is called neurogenesis, which brings to mind the following scripture:
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

"They are new every morning".  To understand that God produces something tangible to carryout His word in our lives is just amazing!!!

Many times when I fall off the wagon, concerning anything that I'm suppose to be doing in life, I get discouraged and beat myself up and that just keeps me from getting back on the path that I need to be on.  What I am learning to do now is to remember that I get a "fresh start".  Remember that God has destined us for "fresh starts".  A "fresh start" is a part of your destiny and my destiny.  Even if you messed up royalty today, you can leave that behind and know that you can still be great tomorrow.  Don't allow the guilt that results from messing up, to hold you back from the greatness that God has placed in you.   You have to forgive yourself, just as God forgave you in Christ.  God wants us to make forgiving ourselves such a lifestyle, that our mess ups don't shake us anymore.   He wants you to be free from your mistakes. He doesn't want the mistakes that you make to control and guide your future behavior; and the only way that can happen is to forgive yourself everyday.  In God's mercy we get to start with a fresh slate everyday, as long as we don't continue to remember our mistakes in such a way that they hold us hostage.  I have been held hostage to my own mistakes in the past; and that really held me back.  I just realized that I have to allow myself to be free from the mistakes I make on a daily basis.  I can't let them define me and I can't let them lead me to believe that somehow I have gotten off coarse.  The only way that your mistakes can take you off the right path, is if you let them.  The only way you can let them, is by not forgiving yourself.  When you forgive yourself, daily, of every mistake that you have made, you are free to keep moving forward in your life.  If you don't, you might find yourself standing still in some areas.  Choose a "fresh slate".  Forgive yourself daily.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Disciple your emotions

In the past the word "disciple"  has never came off to have a warm meaning to me.  I have never viewed it in a negative way. I am a disciple of Christ and I believe in discipleship.  But the statement of "disciple your emotions" has been popping up in my mind for at least a month now.  I thought I would explore it.  As this popped up in my mind, it started to have a warmer tone to it.  Think about it:  Which one sounds gentler: "Discipline your emotions" or "Disciple your emotions".  I believe we are suppose to disciple our emotions by taking them gently and leading them into to the light of God's word everyday.

We have so many ways of dealing with our emotions.  We hide them, we resist them, we dislike them, when they are positive we embrace them.  But we hide, resist, and dislike when they are not positive.  I don't think we should.  I think we should explore our emotions even when they are negative.  Ask yourself why you feel "some kind of way".  and wait quietly for answers.  Don't allow your emotions to make you anxious.  Don't be afraid of them either.  Scripture is a refuge in which you can explore your emotions.  Figure out how your feeling.  Many times it will be a pointer towards how to disciple your emotions at that time:  Look at the scripture below:

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear[b] when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

The scriptures above have been great for helping me disciple my emotions.  There are times where I look at a scripture like this and realize that I feel confined instead of spread out.  I feel parched and thirsty instead of feeling like I have a constant water supply.  Scripture can give you a description for your emotions whether good or bad.  When I feel confined, desperate,  and anxious that means I'm currently not trusting in God.  That doesn't mean that I don't trust God, it just means that I am struggling in certain areas with it.  This scripture is so great because it tells me that all I must do is turn my attention back to God and trust Him again.  It points my desire back towards refreshing and peace,  which turns me away from trying to produce my own results.  It reminds me that, it is through trusting God that I will be fruitful and successful in life.  When you disciple your emotions, it's just a gentle way of exploring what you are feeling through the bible and then guiding your desires by reading God's good desires for you.   

Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the Lord.
For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,
And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited.

I'm a Christian but, at times, I can still find myself in a dry and thirsty place and even though I'm saved, so I'm not cursed.  I know that I have found myself feeling dry and thirsty because in some area I have started to rely on myself and I am not trusting God.  I know that the description of  "dry", "thirsty", "deserted" are indicative of a place where God does not want me.  Below is where God wants me:

Psalm Chapter 1
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
    Nor stands in the path of sinners,
    Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
    Planted by the rivers of water,
    That brings forth its fruit in its season,
    Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

Be Blessed and Peaceful today

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