Saturday, October 29, 2011

Love (part 2)

I was going to write this section of the entry in another blog because it would be more apropos there; however, in order for us all to stay in the blessing of the Lord, we have to walk in the Spirit so not to fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16 KJV). How else would we do this but by walking in Love in all that we do? Is it possible?

Him being the greater one on the inside of all that believe, I question some of the actions we have taken throughout our lives - don't you? I understand that we are all learning and what we thought was right we wouldn't have known unless we were taught (Romans 7:15-22 AMP); nevertheless, once we have been taught, you do realize the test comes shortly thereafter. Then what is the excuse at the trial? The trial comes after the failure of the test. You have one who is accusing you of righteousness violation. There is only one that would do that (Job 1:6 AMP). But God has appointed to you a defense and a judge who happens to be One in the same. You have no excuse not to know this - none. It is what He expects in that day.

It is the Love of the Father that I marvel at every time I think of the trouble we can get ourselves into and the way He has made for us to escape it. Only one who can love can do that for us all. With Him being the greater one on the inside of us, would we then eventually have that sort of love as well or do we already have it and have not tapped into it yet?

I wondered about this when watching a couple explain the troubles they were having in their relationship. She complains that he isn't at home with her and their children when she wants him there. He says that he works all the live long day and would like some time to himself with his friends. He feels trapped being at home with her all of the time. So she cries thinking that he is really being unfaithful and he swears that he would never do anything of the kind. When asked if he is a good father and a husband, she instinctively retorts that he is an excellent father then continues complaining about the relationship (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 AMP).

The rest of the interview is a quandary to me. How can he be a good father if he teaches his children to disregard the woman that he loves. Would his children respect their mother? If they dishonor their mother, would their days be long? But if a father truly loves his children, wouldn't he see the big picture so that his children would have an easy path to journey in life? Why would the blame be his? It wouldn't be only his but the fact that he is the head of his household and leads them, it is then his responsibility what happens to his household (1 Timothy 3:1-13 AMP). He sowed those seeds of complaint, contempt, and contention. If you don't like the end product, sew better seed. Kindness produces more kindness. Grace produces more grace. Love produces love.

God has an issue with the wife as well. Knowing that God loves a cheerful giver doesn't just applies to the offering plate in church. Complaining doesn't resound love. In fact, the Word says that it doesn't promote righteousness (James 1:20 AMP). Righteousness being an element in Kingdom Living, the disruption in the household has now been discovered at the root.  If you and your house are going to serve the Lord, it will be pretty difficult without righteousness. When the children see that complaining is normal, they could be silent at home but when they are in a social setting with their peers, they just might be terrors. Why? When did they learn about peace? Chaos and torment has been their norm. It is the end product of seed sown (Proverbs 14 :1 AMP).

It is a constant lesson that we must be responsible to go over again within ourselves just to see if we are still falling short. There has to be some things that we will refuse to do. One common thing that we will emphatically not do is rob a bank. We can say with all assurance this is something that will never happen in our life time. Why are we so sure about this? We have learned how God sees stealing. We have learned that there will be consequences for disobedience - some consequences are worse then others and longer. It is something none of us would like to go through; therefore, we avoid of even thinking in that area and know that there is no way we would ever be tempted to do such a thing. Would that also be true when filling out our tax forms ever year? Would it be a temptation if heard there is a way that you could receive a few extra thousand without getting caught? Where is that same assurance that was emphatic when robbing a bank was sitting on the table? What about the continual tasting in the produce section of a grocery store? What about reading a magazine that you have no intention of buying while standing in line at the check out counter? Is assurance in righteousness still there giving you that unequivocal resilience to stay in right standing with God?

There is a love for God that keeps us in right standing with Him. We don't continually fall short of reaching this goal, because we check always of ourselves to stay in right standing with Him. We are accountable (Romans 12:1 KJV). We cannot lose sight of this. Tests will keep coming for us to use what He has given. His love is paramount to be used each and everyday. It keeps the flesh from resurrecting. It keeps us in blessing. It is our source for living.


Its not like this is a new concept. It is what we base all of our faith on. So why would it be necessary to even post a blog about it? I guess it is because I was thinking about this sermon that was preached some years ago. I couldn't believe the simplicity of it  and I don't mean it in a good kind of way. It use to take a whole lot for me to gather myself to get up and get ready for church services to leave and get there at a decent hour to get the seat I would feel the most comfortable in to get the spiritual food I have been looking forward to all week and then with all of my expectations at the ready, the minister comes to the podium and says, "God is love and He loves you." Instead of making the incredible-oh-you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me face, I wait to see if she is going to hit me with some rhema. But then she says it again and again. Nothing changed for that message except the inflection in her voice. I couldn't believe this was it! For an entire 40 minutes, it was all she said, again and again!
I cannot even describe how upset I was after the message was over. I expected the pastor to come and say, "what was that?" But he didn't. In fact, he was actually a little blown from what was said. I even watched the other congregants and they acted as if they just heard something for the first time. "Wow, that was so good, wasn't it?" One of the congregants said. As I walked towards the door I kept hearing that same thing over and over again. What did they hear? Frustrated as if I had a Sunday School lesson and was dismissed for the week, why didn't I get what they got?

The following Sunday Service another of the ministerial staff was assigned to speak and the equivalence of that message was the same as the week prior. What was going on? This time when people left there was a slight stagger as if the power of the Holy Spirit came and sat on us all. Why was I not feeling this? I prayed for the expectation and believed to receive. Its how I have been trained and what has always worked for me. When the minister announced that there was a sweet spirit in this place, it was way too obvious and completely unnecessary to say - for everyone else. I was looking around to see if anyone was feeling the same way I was or if there were a couple of folks that just decided to pretend to be going through the experience as well. Nope - seemed like it was just me!

Has any of these things have ever happened to you? Did you ever ask why or why you seemed to be left out of the loop? Knowing that there are many members in the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12 KJV), all of those members having different functions and different experiences in their own personal walk, I can be a testament of my experience and hope that it is rhema for those who read this entry. I believed that week was a great week. I spent much time with the Lord and studying His Word. I received such insight in the many things that I had no clue of before. When the mid-week service or Sunday service approaches, I pray for the speaker and the service as a whole. Many times I have been in my car and received a Word from God. The message was confirmation of that Word or the mirror image of what He gave me the entire week of study. I recall sitting in the sanctuary after services in complete awe of Him. I received so much during the week and I looked forward for the church services not only for the confirmation but for know....I just can't describe it but what it is described on the day of Pentecost - that rushing Mighty Wind.

It was just so simple to receive it. All one has to do is spend time in prayer and study. The sincerity of your heart does everything else. Then watch God! So if I received all of this without having to be around all of the assembly, why then couldn't I be pleased when they received a fraction of what I got? I don't know. I figured it was okay for me to be greedy when it comes to the blessing of God. For it is written to covet the best gifts (1Corinthians 12:27 KJV).

But what if it became a common practice to study and pray or worship and praise, would you ever get use to the outcome of that? If everyone senses that sweet Spirit in the sanctuary, but what if you sensed Him all of the time, would you look around to wonder what everyone was referring to or be glad that they finally got what you have had all along?

I recall when I first came to a particular church service, I contemplated on being a member there or not. Though I sensed the Holy Spirit at the entrance of the building, I was still watching to make sure if this was the ministry for me. A few weeks later, my sister and I came and was seated closer to the front. We were ecstatic to get a place so close and right behind the ministers. While waiting for the services to begin, the pastor's son came in the sanctuary and laid his bible down in the row in front of us. Before he got to the seat, we both leaned back in ours and said simultaneously, "whoa"! Not because he was a good looking man but because the Holy Spirit was on him so thick that it pushed us like a wind would. He looked as if it were just another day. Everyone was smiling up in his face. It could have been because he was the pastor's son or they were experiencing what my sister and I did. We didn't know who he was and asked one of the ministers in front of us when he chose to sit elsewhere. I recall that he didn't stop and close his eyes as if God were speaking to him or even react as if there was a sweet Spirit in the place. He was looking for the right seat to sit in before services began. It was as if, he became acclimated to the Spirit being on him all of the time. Shouldn't we all be like that or don't we believe that He is the greater one on the inside of each and everyone of us?

These days when children are having children and that generation has grown with little to no structure, there is a sense of believing that no one cares - because actually no one has. Structure and discipline show children that there is someone who loves and hopes he/she becomes successful. Can you imagine when a number of that generation comes to church services and becomes saved, there they are actually coming to the realization that there is a Heavenly Father that has been watching all of this time and now are experiencing His Love. It makes sense that a simple Sunday School lesson could cause a generation of people to stagger. We have to watch not to take something that is so easy for granted. We have come such a long way. I know I am not where I use to be or could have been. I won't forget and am so appreciative of Him. What say you?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Process of Elimination

I noticed that in the past posts I made mention of much applicable scripture and even used hypothetical scenarios to make the scripture more plausible. I try to keep my business my own but when  you have your own testimonial, its when the Word really becomes real for some people.

I woke up this morning thinking of you and those that read this wondering about the faith by which believers live and the faith that is necessary to be obtained (Hebrews 11:6 AMP). For many of us faith is faith... either you have it or you don't. Yeah, I thought that too. Like I wrote, I woke up with this on my mind.

Some years ago, I attended ministerial school where the appointed minister teaching a faith class had said something that wrinkled my brow from the moment he said it. He spoke about all he wanted to do and actually mentioned a few things that he desired to give to the pastor of the church as a gift. One of those things was a Lear Jet. He said he had to grow up into that though, he just doesn't have the faith to do it yet. Why not, I thought. Why wouldn't he have the faith to believe that God would give him something that was so self-less to give to the pastor? So after class, I asked him. He said, "I just don't have the faith for that yet. You might, but I am not there yet." What did that mean? After all, he was the one sitting in the teacher's chair. How can he sit there to teach me something that he didn't have?

When my husband and I separated, there was such a transition to be single again and with children, I knew I couldn't do it without the support of family, friends, and the church. I leaned on all of them when  times got really hard and all of them were not so supportive when I had to go to court, go back to school, get a job, minister to my children what they needed - so forth and so on. These people have lives of their own and was hoping I could bounce back quicker then I did. I can see that now. Then, I thought I had to learn to choose better friends. In that bouncing back process, I also had to learn to separate myself from those that didn't understand the complexities of raising children, didn't see the vision God gave me, and couldn't keep a positive word in their mouths. Once I did, my faith increased to do what was necessary and to lean more on God, the only one that changes not (Hebrews 13:8-9 AMP).

Trying to get a degree with children wasn't a part of my plan originally, but I had to go back to where my peace wasn't troubled and work it out from that point. It was when I was in school. As I dealt with the egos of the professors, I also had calls from the schools my children attended. There were teachers making accusations about my children that had no foundation. I don't mean my children are the best and would never get in trouble. I mean teachers out of the nowhere deciding to suspended my daughter, for instance, because she defended herself from a boy's constant attacks on her. Upon my own investigation, the very teacher supervising the class admitted in front of her own administrator that she saw the whole thing. She saw the boy attack my daughter and by all accounts they both should be suspended, she said. Never mind the language I used and my actions upon that discovery. Just know I had to shake those experiences off to get my mind focused in obtaining the goal. It seemed one thing right after the other happened, and then after all of it... no more classes... I received in the mail, a bill for some fees at the college and could not get my degree until those fees were paid. I used a student loan! What fees? Once that was sorted, I received a call from my academic adviser. She said I had a withdrawal on my record that needed a grade before I could get my degree. I cannot put into words the frustration I felt trying to finally finish what I kept my focus on for so many years and all of these obstacles appearing out of nowhere. I went to clear up that misunderstanding as well. When it was all finished and I could make arrangements to walk the aisle in cap and gown along with my fellow colleagues, I opted not to. I couldn't be pleased smiling with the scholars that put me through so much. I waited to get my papers through the mail. It was a long wait. So long that by the time I received that white package, I wondered why would anyone be sending me anything. Yet the dance I never had the steps to do before, was exhilarating and worth every drop of sweat and aggravation. I am reaping the benefits of all of that hard work now as I see my children having the drive to get their degrees.

Had I known that what I need to do was go through all of it to get a piece of paper in order for me to establish my career, would I have done it? Honestly, I don't think so. Would I clearly see the joy I am experiencing now to give me the drive to continue on? No, it would take faith and it is the things we hope for and the evidence not seen (Hebrews 11:1 AMP). I went through it because the choice I had not to do it was worse. I had to do it for me and to be able to make a living to keep my children. If I hadn't, they would have done what they needed to to survive and for children to make their own way, is never good (Proverbs 22:6 AMP). I had to use faith, I got angry with God, I made demands, I had to forgive myself and ask for forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32 AMP). I had do without and eat many plates of dry and tasteless humble pie. But I did it! I acknowledged God in the paths I took and there were times I didn't stay quiet when the path taken wasn't as leisurely as I would have hoped. Maybe all of those things were means of punishment for not listening in the first place. The journey was, to say the least, very interesting.

Was that the faith that the minister was talking about that he didn't have? He is a minister! He had to go through something too! So what was he thinking? In order to do something for someone else, you really had to go through something? The Word does say, to much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48 AMP). Look what Jesus did for the world (John 3:16 KJV). Would it then be the same for us to do something for someone else? Would it take much from ourselves to do? Is it worth it? How renewed is your mind (Ephesians 4:22-24 AMP)? If you knew that the road ahead would be a jagged one but at the end of it was a sure treasure, would you travel the road? Where is your faith?

When asking is that all there is to life, why not make an assessment of the decisions that you made in yours? Were all of your decisions to only benefit yourself and no one else? I recall a pastor of a church making a statement I know I have written about before, he literally said to his congregants, "new level, new devil. That's okay. I am happy right where I am. I have the right sized house. My children are happy and healthy. My wife is good. I don't need anything else." I saw that video of him stating this some years ago. I wonder how his faith fared him? Yes, I prayed for him because he still has to live in this world, if he wasn't called home. He has those children and wife of whom has a mind all of their own and will not be still to do nothing. They will make decisions that will affect him. If he thinks that sitting still doing nothing will keep his world like it is, he is mistaken. Naturally, that way of thinking doesn't happen. Scientifically, that way of thinking doesn't happen. And God... hah, if you call yourself a Christian, that definitely will never happen or don't you recall the parable of talents (Matthew 25:15-30 AMP)?

Process of Elimination 2

 I use to be afraid of reading certain scriptures in the bible and not because of that good kind of fear either. I was literally afraid to read any other verses where God was angry, where it stated that He regretted anything, and where punishing those who refuse to adhere what is good and right (Ephesians 5:1-12 AMP). I don't call it the good fear because it kept me from reading the Word which adds life to my life. So I had to get over it a realize it was a ploy from the enemy who would prefer that I not live. If I listen to the sort of thinking not to read what the bible clearly tells me what to do, then I would be repeating what Eve did at the tree of good and evil, wouldn't I?

So I swallowed and rebuked those feelings and got through the verses. I could finally understand God's anger with a people He created and had as much trust in Him as they did for a rock to fly. That would tick me off as well. In fact, most parents do go through that sort of thing when their children become teenagers and think they know it all and should be given more responsibility when they just learned how to wipe their hip without leaving skid marks. I use the analogy with my children all of the time: if I tell you not to touch the stove and I show you all of the marks from when I tried to touch it myself... don't touch the stove! I am not trying to keep you from fun. I am trying to keep you from getting hurt or killing yourself! Would that our heavenly Father, the epitome of good, even more so would have the best for you? So not adhere to the instruction? We can't all be teenagers (1 Corinthians 13:11 KJV)!

Then there is the eliminating part. How can we keep from being left behind or cut off from the vine, or from being considered as tare rather then wheat? The Word tells us that it is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6 KJV); therefore, this has to be the key to staying within the body of Christ, right? But there is more... faith in what? Is it more then believing that there is one higher then us? Is it more then believing that Jesus is the Son of God? Is it more then believing to do good to others? Is it more then treating people the way you like to be treated? It has to be because people aren't being raised in the admonition of the Lord like they once were. Some people don't know what is right unless it is taught to them. It is what Paul wrote in biblical times, how much more so is it now (Romans 7:11-23 AMP)?

I was in a Human Ecology class where a nun was teaching that a thief is a thief because he has changed his moral code in believing what is wrong is right. She even used the scripture for the class to believe everywhere in the bible that reads thief it means the change of the norm in the minds of people. I wasn't going to say anything but there was something that just didn't seem right with her way of thinking. Fine, if you don't believe that there is a Spirit world but to think that a thief is the way he is because he doesn't know what right is, is just odd. Why would he steal at night? Why does he look over his back? Why can't he trust anyone or anything including himself? If the thief believed that what he was doing is right, he would have no fear of the police. He would be confused as to why the woman on the street doesn't just give him her purse as opposed to him snatching it from her. He would knock on the door of the house he was burglarizing instead of sneaking in the window. The nun said nothing at my rebuttal of her lesson and just moved onto something else. I wondered if the nun truly believed what she was teaching why wouldn't she try to convince me otherwise?

It is what I believe the farmer meant when he told his helper that even though there were tares planted with the wheat, they might look the same for a little while but when it comes time to reap the harvest, you will be able to clearly see what is the wheat and what is the tare. The tare will be bundled together and be disposed of. It has no purpose. The tare is but a source of aggravation and if not dealt with can choke the wheat from bringing forth a full harvest. The harvest comes after the crop reaches maturity. How can we become more mature in Christ if our source of entertainment is partially nude music videos or soft pornographic movies? How can we maintain a renewed mind when the people we associate ourselves with are the same friends we had before we accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior? How can we receive all that He has for us when we would rather believe a bad report from the doctor, dentist, FDA, news cast, lawyer, or a textbook then what Jesus said? If this is true, it is as if the tares grew up and choked the Word from you. How can the farmer recognize you as wheat when you look just like a tare?

In my travels, there are many highways that aren't maintained as well as they could be. Some use to be farmlands and there are remnants of the wild seed still trying to grow through and develop a harvest. Along the edges of the highway, there were these plants that blew in the breeze looking just like wheat. But when I looked closer to the actual farm that was being tended, the wheat was bent low and these other plants were covering over them. The wheat was golden and the other longer plants were gray-ish mauve. They hovered keeping the sun from them so they would never be strengthened to be any larger then they are. It was just about time for harvest. If I can tell which was which without any training, the farmer can even more so. It was just interesting to see how close some of the harvest came to its demise.

Just like the prodigal son, God gives us every opportunity to get it right. We have a book, churches all over to teach, we can even pray and be led to what it is we need to do all of which means nothing without the confession of Jesus as being Lord. How hard would it be just to believe to keep from the inevitable? If I don't know from what I write, life goes on. If you refuse to believe, its all over!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Everyone Likes a Clean House But Everyone Doesn't Like To Clean Their House

This subject matter has been sitting with me for awhile. I have written bits and pieces thinking that I didn't want to step on anyone's toes or make someone feel bad about themselves, but if God gives it to me, about me, then there are some of you that need to take heed to.

I suppose more of the subject matter became relevant when I heard Bishop T.D. Jakes teach a lesson on incorporating one's self with divine partners and not keeping what God has given to you to yourself. Though the lesson was poignant, I couldn't help but think that just because someone is eager to help you get to that goal doesn't mean that he/she is that divine connection. Bishop Jakes has taught lessons on that as well. If I could paraphrase him for a moment, "how can you take me where you have never been?" There are those that can get excited with you for that new enterprise but are only there with you for the ride. Abraham had Lot that I don't recall did one ounce of prayer, counseling, or one bit of encouragement yet when it came time for the blessing, he was right there to get his share. Once Abraham started growing up in the things of God and seeing that Lot wasn't a help but a hindrance, they had to go their separate ways (Genesis 13:10-12 KJV).

Relationships of all kinds also has their course of action. Once reaching the potential of it, you have to know when it is time to say when. I have mentioned in a number of posts that I watch the hoarding shows whether on TLC or AMC. The justification to live in squalor fascinates me right up and when the light comes on for them to change. There was this man, that I believe I have written about before. He was an educated man in his forties and so nice looking he could have been a model in GQ magazine. He is soft spoken and was interested in finally dating. I don't recall him ever stating that he was in any sort of relationship prior to this woman he met. She was nice looking too, but she thought what all of the other viewers were thinking, "really... all of the women on the face of the earth and you want her?" She was so thrilled that  they agreed to move in together. He moved some of his things in her house and when the relationship started to get serious, they decided to divulge in telling other matters about themselves. Apparently, she went first, because afterwards, she was still there telling the camera her narrative wondering what he could possibly say while he was doing the dishes and keeping everything so neat in her house. He finally told her and she was back at the camera with her narrative. She kept saying, "how bad could it be? He is always cleaning here. He makes me a little uncomfortable." They arrived to the house with it looking so pristine on the outside. She even made comment with it being a wonderful looking Spanish Tudor. He smiled. He didn't say too much once he told her his little secret. Then he unlocked the door to allow her to really see what he was referring to. Her mouth gaped open as she glared at the mountain of garbage that met her at the door and spilled into his sunken living room. He took her hand to guide her up the trail and for her to not step where ever she chose to. You see, the sunken living room allowed for him to pile the mess even steeper until they were only a few feet from the ceiling. She tried to be brave to see it as a minor set back. She decided to assist him in cleaning it all. She emphatically stated that it was not a reason to discontinue their relationship. What caused her to drive away was when he grabbed her hand and they had to go to the outside garbage bin together to toss a half full garbage bag and even with that he had to go back in it to take some garbage out of it. She was in total disbelief and could no longer see herself with him. She left him and he sought therapy.

That one episode had so many life lessons in it:
- Just because he says its good doesn't mean it is good.
- The outside of a package can be beautiful, but is it what you asked for?
- Soft spoken and educated can still mean crazy!
- Without God, there are too many blind spots and being side swiped is inevitable.

These same life lessons stems into politics, believe it or not. I was at an impasse as to who to vote for as Mayor of a town where I use to reside. The candidates were nothing to write home about and aside from having an excellent orthodontist, there was absolutely nothing appealing about what they stood for. Both were for getting a casino up in the city and both were for more jobs which was the purpose for the casino. I waited for someone to ask, how was that going to produce more jobs when every manager of every business knows that the best thing to do is hire someone with experience? Having never had a casino in our town before, who was really going to be hired? But no one asked anything. Many people rallied to get this thing built. There were so many other issues at hand like why lay off the police department and social workers, closing down schools, and boarding up libraries. I just couldn't believe the platform was to take the little money that was left and build a casino. It was like putting a band aid on cancer. Sweeping garbage off the floor and tucking it under the carpet. Everyone can see the pink elephant but no one is saying anything.

There were people on every other corner with ballots for citizens to sign to get this casino up and running. Why didn't they remember the promise of getting the lottery put in and the revenues from all of that money was going into getting a better education for the children? 13 billion I saw on one bill board but the news report states that 40 schools were closing down. Were there a shortage of children? Nevertheless, the so called temporary casino was built and then there was another and another. Three casinos in record time. Shouldn't there be more revenue for the city? Where did all of the jobs go? Is the economy better or worse for that brilliant idea? Oh, and where is the mayor who administered the band aid for this? Let's just write for the purposes of this blog, just where you think he is.

I have had friends who appeared to be one way and they were not at all who they professed to be. Every once in awhile, I might see one or two and the conversation will begin as if we missed each other and why hadn't we kept in touch and then within a few minutes on the phone or deciding to have lunch, there it is sitting with us. The very reason we stopped talking in the first place. What happened? It seemed like such a good idea at the time. How could we be so attracted to each other as friends, business partners, and/or a  relationship and then be so different in such a short period of time? Recently, there was an associate who expressed to me that a long termed friendship ended abruptly because she became angry with this person. This associate, when asked why this friend became so angry with her, shrugged as an answer to my question. Really?

We have a responsibility in presenting this body as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1 KJV). While some may think in making the presentation of this body as being muscular or curvaceous, God will be looking at the heart (1Timothy 4:8 KJV). Just like in cleaning the attic to an old home and finding certain childhood toys that were put away, there are things we would rather not discuss or even think about. There are matters that were never dealt with. There are people that tend to annoy us for reasons we could not explain. We are responsible for finding those things out. Some of us wear our pain on the outside covered in extra weight, tattoos, or with heavy make up. All of that doesn't hide the truth. No matter what you do,  the truth will come to the light. It is written (John 3:19-22 KJV).

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Why You Bleepity-Bleep!...And Another Thing... Bleep-Bleep!

"You know..." is how my dad would begin his statements when we asked him something that he would rather not answer or it was going to be some really deep philosophical ideology to get us not to ask him so much stuff again. Many times he would use humor and it would be those times that I retained his words. But when he was angry, I mean really angry, expletives flew. He never used the "f" word and the "c" word was actually vile, but everything else was fair game when he was angry and most of the time, when we weren't around. He curbed his language drastically when it was reported that we used the same words with each other when we thought we were alone (without parents in the vicinity).

One time when I was in the 6th grade, I heard a girl tell a guy after annoying her, to go screw a tree. The other kids started laughing and I thought, not knowing what "screw" meant, that it wasn't cursing and it got the same horror along with the laughter that profanity got. So when I got home, I couldn't wait to say the same thing to my brother, who was eventually going to get on my nerves later the same day. It would seem all he lived for. Once the phrase came from my lips, I felt rather proud of myself, not having said a curse word but having my brother put his hand across his mouth and gasping at how dare I say such a thing in Leonard L. Brown's house. He had that, ooooh-you-are-going-to-be-in-so-much-trouble look. Then I got scared because he was definitely going to tell. I had nothing to negotiate with and Dad was going to be home soon. Mom was right there - tell her! But no. He walked around me with this sneer anticipating my dad's arrival. I had to play like it was no big deal and convince myself as well. It wasn't like I said "heck", which incidentally, did not go over too well when I got angry. Dad came home and did his proverbial grunt placing his brief case at the door and loosening his shirt out from his pants to relax for the evening. Going over to the couch, he loosened his boots and took the garters off that kept the military fatigues up on his calves. His next move after about 10-15 minutes, was to get up with boots in hand to his walk in closet and change clothes for dinner. It was his regular routine. We usually greeted him at the door with a hug but when we didn't, he knew something was up but never asked what it was. I recall my brother waited until after dinner when he was quiet and reading his paper. I was hoping he forgot about it. I was in my room playing records or something when I heard that voice, "LENORA!" I do have a family nickname that is often used. In fact, it was used so often I didn't know what my birth name was until I was registered for school. A shiver went through my body and I immediately got up and ran to the living room where the first face I saw was my snickering brother. Oh-oh, this was not good. I then came closer in the room and saw the grimace on both of my parents' face. My dad asked me what did I say to my brother. I repeated the phrase. His grimace did not leave. He then asked me what "screw" meant. I said, "I don't know." I really didn't know and my dad believed me. He asked where I picked that up from. I told him. Still the grimace didn't leave his face. It was apparent that what I said was as vile as the"c" word. He told me never to say it again and I never did. The sound of his voice when he called me and the displeasure on his face was all the punishment I needed.

Profanity should not be a point in discussion because it is just too obvious for a believer not to use (2 Timothy 2:15-16 KJV). Come on, we know better. We are to speak good things (Matthew 12:33-35 AMP). Never is there a time to use profane language as a believer of Christ destined to live in abundance forever (John 3:16 AMP). Would our language change that destiny? Well, the Word tells us in the Old Testament that God will bless those that bless you and curse those that curse you (Genesis 12:3 AMP). Though you are reading this and can maintain confidence in it, so are other members in the body of Christ that are not so obvious to detect that they belong to Him as well. Therefore, it would be in your best interest to curtail such vile words whether you think the recipient of such language deserves it or not.

Yet beyond what we know is obvious, there are still obscenities that some speak where God would not find pleasure in. These obscenities oppose the Word of God and are so often used, we consider them almost cliches. In a previous blog entry, I listed somethings that are commonly said; however, it barely scratches the surface. This blog is suppose to answer the question, is that all there is? The answer is no, but when we speak in words that oppose the very guide by which we live, then we hinder the blessing we have grown accustomed to having. Here are some common practices that some have done and need to get out of the habit of doing:
1. Looking in the mirror and expressing dissatisfaction with the image (Genesis 1:26 KJV).
2. Making it more important to express what you are feeling (James 1:19 KJV).
3. Justifying your misbehavior when you wouldn't accept the same behavior done towards you (Matthew 7:3-5 KJV).
4. Impatience with those that have less then what you have (James 2:2-4 AMP).
5. Speaking that your finances are less then what you would like for them to be (Philippians 4:19 KJV).
6. Asking why whosoever is blessed and you aren't or that he/she is more blessed then you (Proverbs 23:17, Galatians 5:25-26, James 3:16 KJV) .
7. Trying to be accepted or seeking man's approval (Galatians 2:19 MSG).
8. Complaining (1 Peter 4;8-10 AMP).
9. Minimizing sin nature because repentance and grace is in your back pocket (Galatians 6:7-8 AMP).
10. Allowing past transgressions to rule the present (1 John 1:9 AMP).
As you can see what is listed, obscenities don't necessarily have to be profanity and yet in the eyes of the Lord can be just as profane. The grimace that my dad had on his face because I used language that he did not teach me is the same analogy to be used with you and our Heavenly Father. It is His good pleasure when He finds us in prosperity, yet this cannot happen when we continue to put obstacles in the way of the blessing (Luke 12:31-33 AMP).

God walked with Adam in the garden. Can you imagine Him resting in a place that He was familiar with because He created it. Then Adam does something outside from what He taught His son. He asked Adam where are you (Genesis 3:9)? Why would He ask Adam this? Because Adam did something outside of righteousness and now he changed the image that was given to him. God asked Adam, who told you were naked (Genesis 3:11)? Why did He ask Adam this? Because it was foreign language. It was obscene. God did not give that to him. Has any obscenities spoken took you out of the blessing, off the path that you were on, away from His presence? Being made in His image to speak the removal of mountains is powerful no less powerful to also create mountains and other obstacles to hinder our own progress. What say you?