One of my pet peeves is how consumed women are with other women. Whether it’s fashion, cosmetics, or her man, many women are in bondage to each other. They get lost in dissecting the lives of others and even idolizing them. I assume because it’s so much easier to see others than it is to see ourselves at times. But it’s unfortunate that satan can use insecurity, jealousy and pride to stop women from growing and walking in purpose. While men want to be validated by other men, I think women also want to be validated by other women. And it’s a no-win situation no matter how you look at it. Any validation outside of God, will have your destiny on a detour.
There’s a young lady I know. She brags a lot about being natural. She’s quite insecure. But she doesn’t think she is because she’s “natural.” No perm. No weave. No makeup. She eats only organic foods. She is the natural queen. Funny thing is in ALL of her naturalness, she doesn’t realize she doesn’t like herself. She has a tendency to shut other women down, who wear makeup and weaves because she says “I’m NATURALLY beautiful and I don’t need all of that junk on my face.” And while this might be so, there is something missing from Ms. Natural because women who love themselves can celebrate other women and their uniqueness. It’s not necessary to shut others down to feel good. They can appreciate beauty in many forms. But more importantly, women who have found themselves know that anything external is temporary. Natural or not. Real beauty begins on the inside. What difference does it make how natural you are when your character is ugly?
It’s interesting that insecurity doesn’t have a certain “look.” In fact, some of the most beautiful women in the world are insecure. She quietly says to herself, “If I had those shoes; if I had a slimmer nose; if I had longer hair; if I had more education; if I had a man; if I had a baby.” And the tragedy is, God doesn’t create his children in IF; He creates them in His image with everything happening in season, but we have to believe that God created us perfectly in His eyes. That's the beginning of healing from insecurity. When you believe that you are created in God's image and others are too; you won’t want to criticize the dress Kim Kardashian is wearing. It will all seem like a waste of time. You've got better things to do - like celebrating people.
For my sisters in Christ who find that they critique more than they celebrate; it might be a good time to ask God to reveal any hidden insecurity you might have. It can be that very insecurity that’s stopping you from getting some of the answers you might have in life. Just know that growing in God’s love means you’ll be able to love others; including those whose beauty is different from yours.
Proverbs 31:30 ►
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Everyone has a past. Paul wasn’t always Paul. He was once Saul. And unfortunately, we forget WHO and what Christians really are. Sinners. There are those who find it much easier to point the finger at others than to point the finger at themselves, not realizing it’s a set up by satan. A setup by satan to distract people from seeing themselves; healing themselves; and to get people to spend their energy on critiquing and judging others. And I was reminded of this when I watched Iyanla Vanzant’s DMX episode. It was heart wrenching for many of us to watch. It was hard to see his brokenness. But let us not forget, God is close to the brokenhearted. I know. I am one of them.
It’s never too late for God to heal. And I wonder how many people, who had an opinion about DMX and his dysfunctionalism, saw their own dysfunctional family or neighbors. He’s not the only man on drugs or who’s suffered from mental illness or who fell short as a father. Many of us come from broken homes and communities and not everyone makes it out HEALTHY. Not everyone is up feeding the poor this morning or donating money to mental illness, especially those without health insurance. Let’s be honest, opinions don’t bring about change. And from God’s viewpoint every single one of us can use CHANGE in at least one area of our lives. Everyone. The pruning process of becoming like Christ is a process and a journey. Not a destination. And with God, it is NEVER too late to heal.
But that’s satan’s set up. Let’s gossip and shut down Kim Kardashian, a woman who is continuously beat up on in the media. Bashed maybe because she had sex with someone she shouldn’t have. Oh, how many of us can say that??! But I get it. Gossip often stops people from growing because they’re so consumed by the lives and shortcomings of others. It feels better that way, I guess, to talk about DMX and Kim K because it allows people to HIDE from themselves and their own backyard. But in order to have a relationship with God, it’s necessary to face yourself; it‘s necessary to face your junk; your past; and then allow God to reconcile you to Him; to heal; to help you to transition from Saul to Paul. We all need it. Some of us, way more than DMX and Kim Kardashian because we’re broken. All of us. And only God the Potter has the assets to rebuild us to be the masterpiece He had in mind. It is in my brokenness that God had a chance to show off in my life.
Don’t get me wrong, we all should be able to move forward from our past, but we have to first face it; recognize where we went wrong and DO BETTER. God doesn’t get caught up in our past and sin, particularly if we repent and do better. But we have to recognize hate for what it is. Hate is hate to God. It doesn’t matter how it’s packaged. Ignorance is ignorance no matter how you cut it. God is hurt by ALL sin, no matter what. Gossip is hate and so is planting a bomb and killing innocent people. The bottom line is…allow your past to be past and to move from glory to glory to glory. DO BETTER. This is what God requires. Not that we are all perfect; but that we are willing and humble to allow Him to do a work in us. So, while the world is consumed with the past of others; who’s who in somebody’s bed; and what new drugs to glorify; God is looking to fix the brokenness in all of us-some more obvious than others, some playing the role of perfect; but EVERY knee will bow. DMX. Kim Kardashian, you and I. I’m just smart enough to stay on my knees so that when God returns, I’m already in position.
Don’t allow Satan to make you see the problems in others and not in yourself. You might not be a drug dealer; maybe just a user; or purchasing the hot records that glorify it, but we’re all responsible for making this world a better place.
Philippians 3:13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
Acts 9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him.
I had to flee. I didn’t want to and it took time to figure out if I was making the RIGHT decision, but we’re told as Christians that our decisions should line up with the Word of God and God’s heart. The Word says to FLEE from sin. And I flew, even though it was a hurtful decision. And I’m paying for it because I chose the flesh over the Spirit. You always pay for sin you know. And for some reason, I can hear Fred Sanford in the background saying to me, “YOU BIG DUMMY.”
I decided to blog on this because a friend of mine reached out to me yesterday on counsel. He’s a Christian. Not surrendered, but finding his way. And he’s dating a young lady who’s involved in the church and who is CELIBATE, or at least she was until she gave my buddy some. And I know that feeling all too well-stuck in the streets of Eden with a juicy red apple. Do you choose the flesh and what tastes good, or do you run after God? Common sense would say God right? But so many of us don’t.
So, my friend likes this girl. But the girl is now having trouble because she slipped and had sex. She loves God and she loves my friend, or at least lusts for him and now she has some regrets. And I told my friend that if he wanted this relationship to work, he’d have to become celibate too. Not celibate because he likes this woman, but celibate because of his own relationship with God. And I wanted to share this with my brothers and sisters in Christ who are celibate. Those who are celibate and lonely, pure, frustrated, afraid, unsure, in love, and confused, when Satan tempts you, it’s not going to be with someone who will tell you they want to have sex. Most likely, it will be with someone who is willing to wait because it’s what YOU want, especially if they care about you. And there’s the problem, they’re waiting for you and not for God. Eventually, the both of you will have sex because one is celibate for Christ (already struggling sometimes) and the other isn’t. He or she must want to surrender themselves to God. It’s got to come from them. If not, the fall will happen with you or someone else.
I’ve blogged on it in the past-my love for a man, who I’ve known since a teen. I had never considered dating him; but in the past year, we rekindled a friendship that turned into “something more.” Of course I made clear, I’m celibate! I’m waiting on my husband! Still, 9 months later, after years of waiting, we went there. And while it was a STRUGGLE because I loved this man, my love for God is stronger. So, I had to flee.
I’m disappointed. I, like many celibate, Proverbs 31, surrendered Christian women, had sex thinking GOD SENT MY HUSBAND, but of course, his words and actions didn’t line up. So, where did I go wrong? I dated a Christian man who is NOT celibate. He cared about me. He has a working relationship with Christ, but NOT surrendered. And after time, the intimacy continues, there’s no commitment on their part, and the struggle begins-AM I YOUR WIFE?! WHO ELSE IS THERE?! IS THIS A COMMITMENT?! ARE YOU PRAYING?! When a man or woman is celibate for Christ, they won’t be abstaining from sex because of you but because they are ALSO in love with God. THAT IS WHO YOU SHOULD DATE. Date someone who is not only Christian, but surrendered and in love with God so much they want to honor him and be obedient.
So, if you’re in that space with that man or woman that you love, but he or she isn’t ready to commit or marry, STOP, DROP, and FLEE. And of course pray. Pray for the one you love, pray for forgiveness, and then try again. Celibacy isn’t easy, but it shows who’s SERIOUS about you and who’s serious about pleasing God. And this is very important when it comes to EQUALLY YOKED relationships because you can be Christian and NOT on the same page. So, hang in there celibates. Soon, the juicy red apple will be all yours. P
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.
It’s amazing to me how many of our Black men speak so derogatory about Black women. Every time I turn around, I hear men referring to the HOE, the SIDE PIECE, the bitch. And it hurts me, especially when 30-40 year old men call women hoes because they should already have some manners. It hurts me that men have so little respect for women, their ancestors, and their daughters to come. And for those men who also believe in Jesus Christ and use these terms continuously, I just want you to keep in mind, the hoe you rap about is the apple of God’s eye.
Believe it or not, the HOE has a name in the Word. I know the music business has made the term "hoe" more popular. Even Slick Rick had a catchy record “Treat her like a Prostitute.” But in the bible, prostitutes or the “hoe” returns back to God. They’re mentioned because they were lost and then found, just like every sinner in the world including you. In fact, many of us “prostitute” ourselves, giving away not only our bodies, but our minds, our hearts, and our souls when God has given us everything. Sounds like Israel right? I just wanted you to be clear moving forward when you speak of these HOES, in God’s eyes, they are redeemed. Delivered; quite special human beings with a legacy. But the RELIGIOUS finger-pointer in the bible, who loved talking about those hoe’s, had a name too. They were called Pharisees and Christ wasn’t too impressed. In fact, he loved them hoes.
I also want you to keep in mind, and I mean this respectfully, your mothers, your grandmothers, your aunts and your daughters might also be considered hoes depending on who you ask. Back then, a Pharisee would’ve called many of us hoes. Any woman, who gives her body away outside of God’s will, and any man, was considered a hoe, an adulterer, a fornicator. To you, you see a “hoe” and maybe the amount of men a woman sleeps with. But from God’s perspective, ONE is too many when the person you sleep with is not your spouse. So, it’s important for you to know, my brothers in Christ, that hoes aren’t determined by #s. All sin is bad and gets you off track. You can’t single out women hoes. Hoeing, at least biblically, is not discriminatory.
And so, you may see a half-naked photo of a girl revealing way too much of her body. But God sees the brokenness. You see the side piece. You see the gold digger. But what I see is pain. I see brokenness. I see a woman who’s been molested by her uncle; I see a woman who is the daughter of a pimp and abused; I see the woman who has a personality disorder and depression; I see an addict; I see a 12 year old mother; I see a woman who hates herself; I see a woman who just wants to be loved, but her father wasn’t available; I see a woman who has sex thinking he might just marry her. The hoes that you rap about; the hoes you demean; the hoes you gossip about; aren’t really hoes. They were meant to be Harriet Tubman and Dr. Betty Shabazz. They were supposed to be Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. They were supposed to be wives and adored by husbands. But then there was life.
If you know anything about God, you’d know God doesn’t birth hoes. So, the title of “hoe” is not the end of their story because God always has a plan. Some might be preoccupied with hoes, like the Pharisees, but God has something awesome up his sleeve. If we look at the bible, the Pharisees were focused on the adulterer's sin. Compassion was the last thing on their mind. They said to Jesus, "Teacher this woman was caught in the act of adultery," but we don’t know her story behind the adultery. In fact, the Pharisee doesn’t even point the finger at the male even though he was CAUGHT in adultery too. You see, the Pharisee had their song about hoes BUT GOD said…"If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." In other words, sin is sin. Jesus responded this way because he KNEW her heart. He knew she didn’t just want SEX-maybe food to feed her children; maybe just a touch to fill the emptiness in her heart. He knew there was something else this woman was trying to fulfill other than an orgasm. Women very rarely are hoeing just because. They were built from a man’s rib to be LOVED and honored and protected. Today, too many of my sisters are seen as meat; side pieces and hoes, when all they want is to be covered and loved. If Jesus was disappointed, it wasn’t by the hoe. It was the Pharisee that he set straight. He told the woman to go and sin no more and the sinful woman, making no excuses, remained for Christ's judgment.
Unfortunately, Satan has some people thinking a promiscuous man is sowing his wild oats - but a woman who sleeps around is a hoe. And this might be so in the world, but it won’t be so in heaven. On judgment day, we will all be held accountable for our sin and all sin weighed the same. A murderer, adulterer, fornicator, liar and thief will answer, and every knee will bow. You won’t be able to do “the Adam” and point the finger back at Eve. God will make man accountable too. We’ll all be accountable for calling women hoes or partaking in the activities. Man and woman will answer whether the sin is big or small. But the good news is, there is a way to forgiveness and that begins with all of us looking deeper. When people sin or when you’re in such a rush to title someone queen of the hoes, as Christians, we should always make an effort to understand why because that’s what God does. He doesn’t rate sin and we shouldn’t either.
We all have to do better and I promise you that there will be lots of hoes in heaven. I’ve heard a few times that women have to stop hoeing around and then men will do better. But let me remind you; GOD CALLS MAN TO LEAD. You don’t have to respond to the hoe. If this woman was raised to be a hoe or has never seen anything different than being treated like a tramp, she will behave as such. But YOU can be the difference. YOU can be used by God to show a hoe that being beautiful requires more modesty; a cleaner mouth; and a stronger prayer life.
With this said, it’s so easy to see the hoe in everyone else but yourself. The next time you speak about them hoes; look in your own backyard. Are you the product of one? Is there someone you love that didn’t always make the wisest choices? Did your father treat your mother like a hoe or a side piece? What will your daughter’s FUTURE be? It’s up to you to end this generational curse and stop allowing Satan to use your mouth to curse women.
Moving forward, how should you treat a woman who doesn't act like a lady? As Jesus would, with care and with compassion because everyone has a story. Including you…
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him. John 3:17. ** No more finding your identity as a sinner, but in Christ Jesus.
John 8:11King James Version (KJV)
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
So, this is the holiday some people dread because they don’t have a Valentine or they have a not-so-happy relationship. And I’m not going to be corny about it and say God is my valentine. Because while God has my heart, we all know Valentine’s Day is really about that special man or woman in your life. I don’t have one. And I’m not sure if I’ll ever be married again. Most likely I will because I’m not called to a life of celibacy, but I honestly don’t see it coming. I wish I did, but I don’t.
This past year things changed. I couldn’t believe that at 42, I was still being let down, and despite having grown in Christ; I still experienced another failed relationship; another man who told me everything I wanted to hear to get what he wanted. I’m a bit tired and faith running low with regard to love and commitment. So, I decided to fall back and pray more and seek God on WHERE I was going wrong, if at all.
So, God spoke to me a few days ago and revealed to me after praying, that my idea of marriage and commitment needed to be redesigned in this head of mine. God pretty much told me to get over the fairytale. That if he were to send me a husband, I would be disappointed AGAIN because my perception of love and marriage and commitment is made in the movies. It even says in the Word that Paul thought being single isn't nearly as bad as some think. Marriage for the most part keeps us Holy, but it’s work. Real work. And sisters maybe you too have been watching the movie LOVE AND BASKETBALL over and over again. But God wants you and I to know that no man, no husband will ever 100% fulfill you because he’s a man. He might be gorgeous, smart, polite, Godly, rich, but he’s still a man. The fairytale doesn’t exist. It doesn’t exist with your crush, your man, your husband, or your fling. Man is man and broken. And you have to know that you’ll have some amazing days with your husband; and some days you won’t. Marriage is commitment and not just a bunch of feelings. Many women want a husband, the children and The Cosby Show Part II, but then there’s life. And the only way to prepare for it is to know marriage is PURPOSE and ministry and love; highs and lows; and not always pretty. Only God is the true lover of your soul. So, when we get over the fairytale, God will send you an amazing man with imperfections; who will love you; honor you; and commit to imperfect you.
There’s so much divorce today because of this fairytale and while we might be head over heels over the man or woman in our life, in this world there will be trouble. There will always be something to work out in your marriage and family. Always. And God keeps us broken and a tad bit empty so that no one else can fulfill it but Him. So, before you get married and long for a mate; ask God to remove the cloudiness from your eyes and to help you to recognize HIS best. Not your long list of what the perfect spouse looks like to you. But God’s best.
Christian women are told to be specific about the husband they want and pray over it. Well, I have asked God his will to make sure that my desires line up with his. So, I asked for a B-boy Born Again Christian, who loves hip hop and God. Who is committed and faithful to God and I; disciplined and surrendered; financially stable; kind; sensitive; consistent, considerate; a great father; I could go on and on. But behind the list, behind that perfect picture of a husband, both of us will have to BLEND and work together as an equally yoked couple. And that takes work, not magic.
So, put love in perspective this Valentine’s Day. Your first love is God and when that relationship isn’t right with Him, other relationships will suffer too. And for those of you who are already committed just know that God never brings two perfect people together; God is the PERFECT in your relationship. And ONLY by making him the center, will true love never fail.
God bless, p
1 Corinthians 13:8 ►Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
My Dearest Chenoa,
You are 13 today. It seems like yesterday you were born. I wanted you. With everything in me. I had no idea until you came that I could love as much as I loved you. You were beautiful from the start. Everything I wanted a daughter to be. There is nothing or no one I love more than you.
You are the best of me. Everything I would’ve been had I not had to grow up before my time in many ways. We’re different. I was a 50 year old in a little girl's body. Always before my time. But you, I wanted you to appreciate every breath. Everyday. And be the child God wanted you to be. When I see you, I see God smiling. His love, his compassion, his kindness, not because you are my daughter, but I know God wanted me to see Him every day. I see Him in you.
So, I protected you the best I could. I protected you by loving you and showing it. I wanted to be your #1 fan, so you’d never have to look elsewhere for approval. I protected you by showing you how to serve God and begin your own relationship with Him. You don’t have to be mommy. Find God your way and let your relationship with him be unique, but committed. God loves you and you must find his heart on your own. He’ll always be there waiting. No matter how many times you fall or mess up. But never lose communication with Him, no matter what.
If I could, I’d fight all of your battles Chenoa. Like the time I showed up to the YMCA ready for whatever (smile), but I can’t. You’ll have to learn how to stick up for yourself. I often think maybe I was selfish for wanting you. This world can be so ugly. So, you have to know you are made by God and for God and your purpose is to inspire, encourage, and love. God will use your talents and wisdom to bless others. We’re employed by God and uniquely, God will use you if you allow him to.
Never be afraid to fail because you can’t fail. That’s satan’s silly lie. When things don’t go as you planned, and many times they won’t, Satan will tell you it was YOU that fell short. But it’s a lie. You can’t fail because God is in control of your life. Every move you make good or bad is a divine plan and when you mess up, God will put you back on track. God is not ugly or mean so learn his voice so you won’t internalize lies.
And you’ll have to use your wisdom to know that God always tells the truth and Satan doesn’t. But it’s up to you to know God’s truth. You are fearfully and wonderfully made the Bible says. God said it, but you have to BELIEVE it. Believe Chenoa and have faith that God will guide you the ENTIRE time. The angels work on your behalf. So send them off along with the Holy Spirit every day to help you on your purpose.
As for boys Chenoa, you are much too young. We’ve had our talks and I know you heard me loud and clear. But I know you’re a beauty. Boys are watching, but I am too. You won’t date because I won’t allow it. Learn to have friends. Committed relationships are for grownups and even we mess that up. Love isn’t tricky when you’re equally yoked. And at 13, boys just aren’t thinking that way. Even men in their 40s aren’t thinking that way, you’ve seen that with me first hand! It takes time to know real love from lust. Real love from hormones. So, take your time. Fall in love with God; and he’ll show you who will honor you. Guarding your heart is the best advice I can give.
At 13, your focus should be school, fun, enjoying life, and even forming a strong relationship with family, friends, and God. Starting to map out some realistic goals like college and using your gifts-there are many that you have! You’re talented in so many ways. Pray on using them effectively so you won’t spend a lifetime not knowing why God created you. Tell God everything and never think God doesn’t know about Abercrombie, Toms, Hollister, Korean Pop, tough friendships, boring homework, annoying parents, and boys. He’s smarter than you think he is.
I know it’s not easy growing up with divorced parents, but you’ve done a good job. You never have to choose between us because without us, there would be no you. And we love you both. So, live life without pretending. Being perfect is for religious people. Just be you and don’t insult God by trying to be perfect. He likes that job for himself. You are awesome and the minute you attempt to be someone else, you’ll be out of God’s will.
Some of this you don’t understand now, especially how important God will fit into your life. But when I have fallen short as a parent, I know God won’t as your father. And it’s my job to give you the necessary tools- from faith and hope; prayer and knowing your value. And you’ll need God every step of the way to put that into place.
And lastly, when mommy gets on your nerves; just remember you try me too. Believe it or not, some children wish they had rules and parents that care. Much of the evil you see today stems from children feeling unloved and unworthy from deadbeat parents and family. And my rules are to prepare you for this world. Because my Chenoa, you’re not a baby anymore and it’s my job to help you one day put away childish things.
So, read your bible. Dance. Keep being silly and laugh a lot. Practice your clarinet more and best wishes on Lacrosse. Learn not to make other people’s problems your problems. Don’t complain a lot or gossip just to be accepted. Do things that are good and kind. Pray and tell God thank you every day. There’s always something to be thankful for. And never. Never ever. Compare yourself to others. God knew what he was doing when he created you. He makes no mistakes.
Feb 1, 2000, my life changed forever and I can’t imagine life without you. You were 6 pounds. 13 ounces and born at 7am with tons of hair. I love you Chenoa, but better yet, I really like you. Thank you for being an awesome daughter, loving friend, sweet granddaughter, great student, and so much more. It’s an honor being your mom.
Love you always,
New International Version (NIV)
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
God has placed a ministry in all of us, but not everyone will accept the calling. Today, as we celebrate Dr. King’s birthday and the 2nd term of our President, Barack Obama, it’s made me reflect on my own dreams; your dreams, and how some of those dreams will never be realized UNLESS it is God’s will. Dr. King was a prophet. He had a calling on his life, like you and I. And the minute your Dream can lead a nation to KNOW God; to advance God’s people; then your dream will come true too. Dr. King's Dream isn’t fulfilled because it’s up to you and I to carry it through. His Dream wasn’t a destination. It was the foundation. And I Praise God for President Barack Obama because he too has answered the call to lead God’s people. Now, the question is, what is your part in this Dream? It’s bigger than your job and making money. It’s your purpose. And as the President’s inauguration speech rang through today, it must be done TOGETHER.
I have a Dream or two myself. No, I’m not Dr. King or the President, but God will one day hold me accountable for my part in the story. I have a dream that people will stop confusing God with people in the world, and know that being a Christian has nothing to do with religion. That God doesn’t require that we be perfect, but humble. It’s my Dream, that through my life, I can encourage and inspire people to begin a relationship with Jesus Christ, no matter how good of a sinner they are. Religion aims to destroy Love and because God is Love, you can’t know God by following lots of tradition. You have to know God’s heart. I have a Dream that we allow God to be God. We've made gods out of everything and everyone. And now God, can't be found. The people are confused.
I also have a Dream for the Hip Hop industry in particular and the music industry, in general. I grew up in this business, but my heart and passion belong to Hip Hop. My Dream is that the Hip Hop community realize we’ve got a problem. What happened to the heart we had when Hip Hop had no money? Hip Hop isn’t prosperous today, it’s like anything else in this world, it’s in BONDAGE. We don’t own our culture and even those of color who do, have abandoned us. We’re not building leaders and more legends. Money robbed this culture. Fame and ego robbed this culture. Ignorance robbed this culture. Selfishness robbed this culture. And those of us who have the power to change it, are too focused on their ARRIVAL, being rich, and not their community they left behind. Hip Hop started with US and now it’s been robbed by The Spirit of I and ME and money, hoes and bitches. I hate to be vulgar, but that is where Hip Hop is today. And for many of us from NY, who got our names from b-boying, dancing, mcing, tagging, and djing, it saddens me. I would rather return to painting my beat up Adidas over and over again; scrounging for money to get into the Latin Quarters; and dancing on a beat up piece of card board, then to be in the Hip Hop industry today. In dollars, Hip Hop is rich. But the people are more broke than ever. My Dream is for Hip Hop to return to US.
I have a Dream that we’ll learn that God can be found in our purpose. That you can’t receive God’s best in broken marriages; lots of baby’s mama’s; chillin' in VIP; or rapping about Molly. God isn’t there. God can’t be found in a Gucci Bag or record sales and God isn’t interested in how many awards you’ll have unless it can feed the poor. You’ll never be fulfilled in stuff, in things, in fame. God can only be found in giving; in loving; in forgiveness; in kindness; in patience; in building up others. We all have our part in the story. Freedom is bigger than our wallets and ethnicity. Freedom is living out our purpose and surrendering to God. God will one day hold you accountable for your part in the story..big or small. You were created to Make A Difference outside of your cliques and comfort zones. You are the Dream. All of us are. Together...◄
Jeremiah 1:5 ►
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
Dating is tough, especially for a 42 year old, divorced single mom, celibate born again Christian who loves hip hop and Jesus. I don’t remember it being this difficult when I was a teen or in my 20's, but there’s no doubt about it, it’s difficult today. I have many women friends, who are Christian, independent, and beautiful. But they all have dating issues. They're still waiting on "the one".
And it’s not that I don’t have options. I get a lot of mail, particularly on Facebook almost daily. Men, men and more men assuring me that they’re the one. And just maybe they are, but I’m too BURNT out to notice. I’m Tired. I’m Disappointed. And my trust in men is SHOT.
It all started out with trusting a good friend of mine a year ago. We’d known each other 20 years and he told me everything I wanted to hear. Despite my honesty with where I was in my life; waiting on a Man of God; waiting on my husband, we were intimate after years of my celibacy because I JUST KNEW he was the ONE. But I was WRONG. It hurt pretty bad, but I am thankful that God forgave me, covered me, dusted me off and now I am moving FORWARD. I know God did me a favor and I know in time I will heal. But as for TODAY, this last relationship lead me to officially not wanting a relationship, or men, or a marriage. I haven’t even lusted really. This last experience changed me. B-girl down. I’m waving the white flag…slowly.
But it’s lead me to share with you - what it would take for a woman like me to fall in love with a man like you. It’s lead me to share that IF YOU ARE IN GOD’S WILL and you really want a wife, here are some habits that you must let go of and what it is that I NEED more than ever. I know us ladies need some work too!! But here are a few of my struggles with dating.
1. HONESTY. When a man is honest, I am relieved and so thankful. I read once that men think girls can’t embrace the truth. Well, a woman in tune with her Lord can. She’s HUNGRY for the truth. Tell her if you can’t commit; tell her that you’re not sure if you’re attracted to her; tell her! Keep it 100. Not only does she want to hear the truth about who you REALLY are, but God requires it of you. Boys lie. Men own up and are responsible with love because God is love. Mature men don't just want to honor women, but they want to honor God. Marriage is a commitment to GOD that you will honor his daughters and vice versa. The truth sets everyone FREE and allows for the trail of brokenness to end. If you’re dating a woman and you’re not sure she’s your wife, please don’t gas her. Bless her with your honesty. In turn, when women are honest with you, respect it. Value when you have an honest woman in your life. I do believe that lying produces bondage.
2. YOUR BABY’S MAMA. I don’t know when this trend started, but it’s got to stop. Please stop with “Let’s have a baby. “You wanna have my baby? We're going to make cute babies.” Where did this madness come from? Are you bringing up babies to soften up a woman’s heart so that she has sex with you? Why do you bring up having your babies and you haven’t mentioned marriage? STOP. STOP. STOP. You don’t even KNOW me! I know it might be an innocent line for some of you. I know sometimes, “you’re just talking,” but for a woman who is weak and broken, she takes your innocent line and thinks you want something MORE. Stop playing games. This is an ugly habit. LET IT GO. And ladies, you have to know unless he genuinely wants more children and is inquiring, this is just a line. It means nothing. It certainly doesn’t mean commitment. A man who loves you will never make you question it.
3. STICK TO YOUR WORD. Consistency is love. For a woman who has dated the wrong men, it’s a real blessing to her when a man actually does what he says he will do. We’re so used to men saying they’re going to do something and not sticking to their word that we don’t trust men anymore. Plus, sticking to your word is biblical. I actually think it’s one of the qualities God really likes for his children to have. It means you can be committed to his plan for you. It means you can be a man of purpose and live in God’s will comfortably. Sticking to your word is what separates children from adults. It’s a sign of maturity. I don’t need you to promise me the world, but whatever promises you do make-PLEASE MAKE IT HAPPEN. God sticks to His Word and you should practice doing the same and when you can’t, be accountable. Apologize. And try harder the next time.
4. ACTIONS. Actions speak louder than words, but I think women get caught up on what men say. I have. It’s important to know that the WRONG man can say all of the RIGHT things. And it’s unfortunate especially when it’s someone you trust, but I’ve learned this year that even those men you trust will tell you everything you want to hear even if it’s not honest. With this said, more than ever women need a man to SHOW his love and commitment. Filling up a woman’s head with lots of lines and stuff isn’t honorable. It’s wrong. I look at it this way, God didn’t just provide us with His Word. He stands behind his promises by SHOWING us. I am touched when I get compliments and kind words, but making a lot of promises isn’t enough. SHOW ME. Be a gentleman by showing the woman you’re interested in your ACTIONS and that your love is a verb and not a noun.
5. FRIENDS. I don’t know if anyone else has this issue, but I have a huge problem with men jumping the gun. The best way to get to my heart is by not sharing what you’re trying to do. I know this might not make sense, but I am attracted to friends. I am attracted to the man who doesn’t put any pressure on me to be attracted to him or to be more than a friend. Those meaningful, committed relationships I did have were not my types initially. They were friends. They didn’t use lots of come on lines and promises. They just asked to kick it. Before I knew it, I was in love. I suggest that some of my brothers let love happen naturally. I know lifestyle Christians are told to marry to date and not date to marry, but as a divorced woman and someone who gets hit on a lot, it’s a breath of fresh air to have a friend who’s just interested in spending time with me as a friend. I think it's okay to initially know where someone's head is at. Do you want to marry one day? Do you want more children? Do you believe in God? Otherwise, fall back and see if you can be FRIENDS first. We might be attracted to each other, but let things happen naturally without pressure. That’s building love and not lust.
6. CALL ME. I’m done with the texting and dating. I actually don’t mind texting, but call me too. This last year was a bad experience with texting because that’s ALL I received. In fact, I often wondered if texting signified something else could've been going on such as another woman being around. So, I want to hear from you. I love writing, but I also think technology is ruining communication and relationships a bit. Call me and let me hear from you sometimes. Skyping works because I can also see you. If you don’t have the ladies phone number, she’s just not that into you. Grown women don’t typically play games. If we like you, you’ll know it.
7. PURSUE ME. I’m a bit old school here. I do believe the scripture HE WHO FINDS A WIFE FINDS FAVOR. Prostitutes pursue, but a Proverbs 31 woman is found. I’m not saying that I don’t RESPOND and make clear that I am interested in who I’m dating, but I like the man to take the lead in pursuing me. If I am not responding, again, I'm not interested.
8. SUBMIT. I don’t have a problem with submitting to my husband whoever he is, but he must be submitted to God. When a man is submitted to God, I think he knows how to lead his wife gently; like a gentleman. It’s an honor to love a man who has a relationship with God. He knows his kingdom. He's a leader. While dating, it should be clear you have a strong relationship with God and you're committed to the relationship. You can't commit to me, if you're not committed to God. At some point, I might not respect you the way I should because your relationship with God is nonexistent or not solid.
9. JUST ONE. Make her feel like she is ONE in a million. We already know that there are millions of beautiful women and you’re attracted to lots of them. But real men can commit to one. We need to feel that. We should never feel like we’re an OPTION when there’s a commitment. We want a man who can master his desires; who’s disciplined and in control. And we want a man who makes us feel like there is NO OTHER WOMAN on this earth who can do it for you quite like we can. God sends you ONE to honor, but Satan sends lots of playthings. You can't live on purpose that way. One help meet is all you need. Don't allow greed to destroy what God has for you.
10. PRAY. Don’t just date. Pray. Pray for the women you date. Pray and ask if she’s the right one. Pray that you won’t open a heart you can’t protect. Pray that if you can’t love her someone else will. PRAY! I think we should pray constantly about God’s will. Don’t just date a woman because she’s attractive or because you find her appealing. WHAT DOES GOD SAY? Lots of energy and hearts would be in the right place if prayer took place. I’m not trying to over spiritualize dating, but I believe in blessing people and building people. You can’t do this breaking hearts. Do the best you can to honor the woman you date. God will bless you for it and your children. Generational blessings begin with YOU. I want a praying man. A man who will pray with me; for me; for us. Show the woman you’re interested in that you’re a man’s man. Take her hand and pray sometimes. This will BLOW her mind. There’s nothing sexier than a Man who loves God. That takes way more courage than a man asking for sex. Take her hand and pray.
Moving forward in 2013, be the man your father wasn't. Be the man you want your son to be. Be the son God created and be the man you'd want your daughters to marry. Your legacy begins with you creating blessings for your sisters and not painful layers of bondage. Some of these sisters are still broken from childhood. Their fathers were either gone or uninvolved. Just maybe God is calling you to love some of those painful memories away. The Word says, "Perfect love casts out Fear!" And keep in mind, God will never send you someone just like you. You weren't dope enough to create twice. Embrace and accept someone who will complement you. Don't pass up God's plan because you're looking for another you. Equally yoked is the key to purpose. God bless you. pSCRIPTURES ON KEEPING YOUR WORD:1 John 2:5
But whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him.Numbers 30:1-2
Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes of the people of Israel, saying, “This is what the Lord has commanded. If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.Ecclesiastes 5:4-7
When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear.Matthew 5:33-37
“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.SCRIPTURES ON PRAYING:Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.1 Thessalonians 5:17
Pray without ceasingHE WHO FINDS A WIFE:Proverbs 18:22
He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.Proverbs 19:14
House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.Genesis 2:18
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.1 Peter 3:7
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
You can get closer to God by not thinking so highly of yourself. Try it. Lay down your pride; become accountable for who you are; and get over yourself. The older I get, the more I realize just how dope God is and how dope I’m not. The bigger you allow God to be in your life; the smaller you become; the closer your relationship with God is; and the more clearly you can see God’s purpose for your life. Just maybe, your ego is in the way and God can’t form a relationship with you because you’re above the throne. In other words, He’d REALLY like to bless you and get to know you better, but your ego is way too big.
And so, if you think too highly of yourself, or put your confidence in yourself and not the Lord, you’ll struggle a lot in life. Too much time is spent on how great you are and how great other people aren’t. How stupid they are; how you’d make a better decision if you were in their shoes; how crazy people seem; and how you make all of the right decisions. Well, a friend of mind mentioned Halle Berry and how “fine she is, but she’s still crazy.” And I thought, how sad it is that she has this reputation because I’m sure it’s false and two, from God’s perspective, I bet we’re all a little crazy. As Tupac said, "If you could walk a mile in my shoes, then you'd be crazy too."
I don’t know what your crazy is, but God does. He knows all about being crazy. It started off with Adam and Eve. They were nuts. They had everything and gave it all away for an apple. I’m sure if you look closely, when no one else is watching, God thinks “I love you, but how can you not take my advice on this issue? You’re saved! You read the Word and still, you make these crazy, stupid decisions, but because I’m God, I still believe in you and you are still the apple of my eye.” Just maybe that’s what God thinks. My point is, we’re all a bit crazy aren’t we? It’s crazy to live in debt. It’s crazy to spend all of your money on stuff; create debt; and not have a enough money for retirement or your children’s college fund. It’s crazy that you eat junk – sugar, fried foods; and don’t exercise even though the doctor has said you’ll develop heart’s disease, diabetes, or high cholesterol. I think that’s nuts that we don’t try to stick around for our children. Some people would say it’s crazy that you stay in a marriage when you continue to be abused or cheated on. What kind of message are you sending to your children? It’s crazy that I spent almost 7 years celibate and gave it up to a man who told me he loved me but his actions don't line up; it’s crazy that you spend more on weed than groceries; it’s crazy that you minister to the world and your children are quite lost and sheltered; it’s crazy that you’ll choose a hoe over a Proverbs 31 woman because you’re not mature enough to embrace what is good; it’s nuts that you’re a man who doesn’t pay child support or nuts that you haven’t seen your children because they're gay. It’s nuts that you don’t get therapy for your addictions or you spend more time listening to rap music than embracing God! WHAT COULD BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN WORSHIPING GOD!?! Yup, you’re a goner. My point it, you’re crazy too. And you’re not as hot as you think you are. You’re too minutes from being homeless; two minutes from death, two minutes from getting a venereal disease; two minutes from breaking someone’s heart who God sent to bless you, and two minutes from giving up because you don’t even know why God created you. Yup, you’re nuts.
All jokes aside. STOP judging the journey of people and classifying what’s crazy and what’s not. God doesn’t. He’s waiting to set people straight. Humility is the way to begin a wonderful relationship with God and a great way to figure out your purpose for living. For every time you judge someone’s actions, God would like for you to back off and search yourself. It’s easy. Pride will destroy your blessings and humility is one of the keys to God’s heart. Satan thought he was dope and he wasn’t. He was corny. But he thought he was God. He thought all of those who served God were dumb and he tried to take over. Don’t make the same mistake. We’re all a little crazy. We’re all a process, helpless and hopeless without God. Romans 12:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you."If you could walk a Mile In My Shoes, Then You'd be CRAZY too." Tupac Amaru Shakur
You know I keep it 100 with you guys right? The way I see it, when you’re in this walk with Christ, the only way to be is truthful. Righteous isn’t necessary. But truth is.
When I decided to surrender my life to Christ, I was in a different space than I am now. 7 yrs ago, I truly surrendered my life to God. Face down. Bare. Broken. And I laid my life down at the altar. I gave God everything I had. At least it felt that way initially. And I remember the peace I felt. I remember the pain of being purged, but I also remember God’s peace and his love. I remember thinking I would never want my life any other way, but a surrendered life. I left my heart at the altar. In fact, I surrendered my heart literally. Leaving behind a man I loved most of my life. And deciding to inspire God’s children. To minister God’s love.
But that was then. Today, I’m not there anymore. Today God is quiet. Today, I feel like God didn’t give me the desires of my heart. Today, I feel let down. I want to be honest with you because that’s what ministry is. It can’t only be sharing those awesome times. Those times you lift your hands in worship wanting MORE AND MORE of God. Today, I don’t have the energy for worship. My faith tank is low. I am disappointed. Today, I’m angry with God I think. And I told him so. My faith is failing.
So, I decided to write you guys today to let you know that when you decide to surrender your life to God, you’ve got to know sometimes, many times, God won’t give you your way. There is suffering in serving God and living for him. I am Satan’s greatest enemy and obviously, he will do anything to knock me off my feet. He’ll use people to hurt you and he’ll whisper in your ear that God has forgotten about you; God will not answer your prayers; as long as you live for God satan will be there to attack you; God will not give you the desires of your heart. And maybe some ministers will sugarcoat life. I can’t. Life can be so awesome, but life can hurt too. And it won’t matter how much you love God. It won’t matter how surrendered you are. It won’t matter how obedient you are. Life will still hurt and life, many days won’t be fair. My life in many ways was so good, but it was not “fair” and it didn’t get any “fairer” when I surrendered to God.
I remember thinking when I surrendered my life to God that the reason why I didn’t have a healthy marriage or hurtful relationships was because I didn’t do it GOD’s WAY. I was excited about giving my body to God. I became celibate to “protect” myself from hurt and I became celibate to show God just how much I loved him. But again, celibacy hurt. It was beautiful. It was lonely. But I stuck it out because I believed God would bless me. And I prayed for a husband. Prayed for protection from men who just wanted to use me. Prayed God would give me the desires of my heart. And I can’t say, I’ve received it yet. In fact, sometimes I am confused and feel short changed that I haven't. Many of us Born Again Christians are baffled no matter how perfect we seem. We can’t figure out WHY – we did everything RIGHT and God STILL didn’t answer. At least not yet. The religious me wasn't any happier than the "relationship with God" me. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but I am not there yet.
I want you moving forward in your relationship with God to know what it is. Know that your obedience isn’t an automatic answer to your prayers. You’ll now gain eternity, but you’ll cry, you’ll hurt, you’ll be tempted, you’ll be tired and disappointed and sometimes you won’t believe. Sometimes you’ll be encouraged, at peace, with pure joy and love for God, but relationship with God isn’t easy. Faith has been hard for me because I’m a survivor. Trusting God isn’t a walk in the park despite my anointing to inspire people. Sometimes, I inspire you when I’m struggling to believe myself. I want you to know that loving God is worth it, but the more beautiful you are for God, sometimes the more you’ll feel an ugly hurt. I cannot say I always feel like my inspiration has mattered; or my obedience mattered; my celibacy mattered. Maybe one day, but I’m not there yet.
And so, my faith tank is low today and I want you to see that sometimes you'll want to give up no matter how much scripture you know. Sometimes you’ll just want the answers to your prayers and nothing else quite cuts it. I want you to know that loving God should never be about what you can GET because you'll be disappointed if God doesn't answer the way you want him to. Love God because he is good. Love God because you have breath. Love God because despite your hurts, someone else’s life is worse. Love God just because… because sometimes that will just have to be enough. Psalm 102: 1-7: Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers. My heart is blighted and withered like grass; I forget to eat my food. Because of my loud groaning I am reduced to skin and bones. I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins. I lie awake; I have become like a bird alone on a roof.