The Friendless Friend


here may be a person in your life that is in desperate need of your help. They are one of the greatest friends you’ve ever meet. These individuals are kind hearted and generous. When you need someone to talk to, they are the first ones who come to mind.

  • MARITAL PROBLEMS?
  • INFRACTIONS OF THE LAW?
  • DEEP SEEDED FAILURES?
  • BATTLES LOST TO TEMPTATION?


ou know the ones that are so personal, embarrassing, and potentially damaging, that if anyone knew the extent, you would probably be forced to change churches or jobs to start again – hiding in an anonymous state where no one could find your secret past.


ut, these friends – you can confide even the worst truths. You tell them everything. They listen and understand. Although they may not agree with you, they are the friends who will scold fairly – and it’s a welcome chastisement. You trust they will love you through your darkest nights and worst problems. They will stand with you until the storm passes, never divulging your secrets unless by your permission.


t goes without saying, you can trust them to listen, give good advice, cry with you, be angry alongside of you, and support you. Confessing to them is a relief because you know they are a God sent brother or sister in the Lord. (James 5:16)


ow some may read this and believe I’m describing God Almighty, the Lord Jesus Christ –  the greatest friend above all friends (Prov 18:24), but I’m not. I’m describing the friend that many of us have been blessed with, a comrade that you grew up with or met along life’s journey. After a while, you came to find their God given gift of mercy and helps (and capitalized on them – in a good way of course). Just another human being like yourself, but God blessed them with a heart of Phileo: brotherly love, wrapped in mercy, seasoned with discernment and love.


his is a blessing for YOU, but to that kindhearted friend, it can often be one of the greatest burdens imaginable. They themselves have no one to turn to in times of need. No one willing to listen, trust, and love them the way they minister to you. People go TO them for answers, but when the answers are found, their services are no longer needed. “Thank you see you next crisis…”

Imagine this: you call a friend to say hi and explain that you have had a very challenging trial today, you want to share your heart. Before you can begin they quickly start; “I’m so glad you called, you read my mind, God must have told you to call, I’ve been under such stress… let me tell you what happened this week…”. Because it’s in your nature to love and serve, you listen intently to their woes, placing your own on the back burner. After you have prayed with them, given godly advice, encouragement, or just been the listening ear they needed, the friend says, “thank you for calling, I better get off the line, I’ve got so much to do… You are such a good friend, thank you for listening, I love you, you are such a good friend, a true gift from God! Bye”.


uch is the life of the COUNSELING FRIEND.

….It’s a lonely life, a rewarding life, but a lonely life. People go to their ‘other friends’ to laugh and enjoy simple pleasures with, but they come to the Counseling Friend for their problems, sorrows, and failures.

(Maybe you think the Counseling Friend should be more assertive? Well, just ask a good Mother who willingly gives up the best piece of Chicken for those she loves… A soldier who goes off to battle while we stay safe at home, a Missionary who gives up  their life of pleasure for the foreign fields of hardship,  it’s just in their nature…)

Now, some people are aware enough of the unfair nature of this unequal relationship. They do try their hardest to right the inequity by inviting them to parties, sending birthday gifts, taking time to chit chat when they are able. But there is one challenge; many of the Counseling Friends have too much wisdom, knowledge, and discernment. In the midst of a conversation about the smallest of issues, they have the gift of insight to see to the heart the matter. Their discussions are weighty and substantial. When friends get together for fun and enjoyment, they may not appreciate a constant flow of information, wisdom, and substance. They may just want to relax and enjoy the simple pleasures of light conversation. Therein lays the problem. Of course each person is different, each individual is unique, but generally this type of individual is acquainted with loneliness. They are gifted in counseling, they are the best of friends, but they are friendless in many cases.

oday, if you recognize one of these individuals in your life, I encourage you to stop and appreciate them. Be a better friend to them than you have in the past. You know, you have the power to show great love to them, want to know how?

  • Encourage them to ‘Shut Up’. Please understand what I mean; the very next time you invite them out, and you should make a special point to reach out to them, try a coffee or lunch date at YOUR expense. Take into account all of the FREE counsel they have given you over the years. This would actually equal thousands of dollars if you had visited them in a real counseling office –
  • Sooooo…. gratefully and graciously foot the bill! While you are out at YOUR EXPENSE, anytime they seek to give advice, remind them you are here to just enjoy their company.
  • Open the door to light conversation, leading them step by step along the way. This may be difficult but not impossible. These Counseling Friends are used to being invited out with a purpose: to be pumped and primed for their expertise. They may even try to speed up the ‘inevitable’ by attempting to engage in seeking out what problem YOU really need answered. They’ll assume that’s the reason you invited them anyway, but for some strange reason you are having trouble getting to the point. This may be seductive, there sits before you, one of the greatest gifts of God, a Counseling Friend willing to listen to your selfish needs – make YOU the center of attention again -
  • Sooooo…..hold firm to your convictions. You may actually have a need that they CAN answer, but hold firm, don’t give in to the desire to suck up the time with your own needs! Remember you are there to be a friend to them, something they desperately need.
  • Make certain to repeat this same outreach to your Counseling Friend at least once every two weeks for the next 2-3 month if possible. This may seem like a chore at first, the conversation may be a little one sided and dry for a while.
  • Remember, they are not familiar with being loved in this manner. They may not know how to receive this type of love. They will be inexperienced in sharing their feelings on simple things that don’t require frequent tears and advice from the person sitting across the table. So please be patient, even long suffering (it may feel like suffering until that Counseling Friend learns to ‘Shut Up’ and let you Love on them!).

With perseverance and patience, soon enough the Counseling Friend will understand that they deserve love just for themselves and not only for the service they provide. You’ll also gain some great insight, you are a better friend than you may have imagined.


P.s. Pardon the advice… A ‘Counseling’ type friend such as me just can’t help offering it sometimes, no matter how hard we try.

Talk soon…

Steffsings.


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OBEY!

OBEY!

OBEY blog

I must admit, I hate the sound of that WORD, seriously! That word belongs in the pile of misfit, ancient, archaic, stress filled, guilt ridden verbiage that very few modern believers use in their daily vocabulary. I cringe when I hear it.

O BEY, OBEY, OBEY! It sounds like a curse.

O BEY, OBEY, OBEY! It sounds degrading, like training a mangy mutt to stop wetting the carpet.

O BEY, OBEY, OBEY! It sounds like a challenge and a fist fight-waiting-to-happen!

I asked myself today, “Self, why? Why do you have such problems with this word?” My Self answered, “Because it smacks of slavery and inequality”. Yet, if I am a believer who trusts God as my Lord and King, wouldn’t I already agree to the fact that our relationship is an unequal one? Meaning He, God Almighty Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent, the Great I AM, Alpha and Omega, is without question GREATER than I? Yes of course, I have absolutely NO problem with that: So, then Ms. Self…  what REALLY is the problem?

My Self answered “it’s the OTHER people; I don’t like the word for their sakes (see how selfless I am?). Those New converts or first time Church visitors who don’t know “Christian-ese”. They don’t understand the terminology and Biblical lingo yet. They may hear ‘OBEY’ and start searching around the room for Dixie cups filled with strange Kool-aid, and then run the other way… “It’s for their sakes that I cringe”. I knew then that my flesh was rising up; this was NOT the reason, although it did sound plausible.

OK, the truth…

L oss of control, admittance of helplessness, fear of the unknown, and reliance on something/someone other than ‘My Self’ (the one who has been doing all the talking). That’s the problem. To OBEY is to say whatever Your will is Lord, My Self shall follow; Sometimes with foreknowledge of the outcome but generally blindly with little or no foreknowledge (hence the reliance on YOU Lord).  Theoretically, Theologically, Hypothetically, __________cally (add yours here): This IS the Believer’s creed; but Realistically we may struggle with the application and follow through at times.

H ere are a few other WORDS to ponder:

*SUBMIT *SERVANTHOOD *COMMAND *FAITHFULNESS *COMMITMENT *PLEDGE

And lastly…

***WORSHIP***

That’s right, True worship. As a Worship Leader, I make it my job to study and re-study Worship and Praise. Not just the vehicle of Music, that’s a very small part of Worship, it’s just one of the tools we use to make Worship beautiful. True worship is to do God’s Will: To OBEY and conform to His likeness, following His lead. Oh Yeah, we need to OBEY.

With all my Heart * With all my Mind * With all my Strength

(Rom 12:1-2) 1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Some version may translate “spiritual worship”, “reasonable service” or other similar words all describing the need to Offer ourselves to God completely. Desiring and conforming [to] His will and way.

G od, I choose to OBEY

With my heart I will desire it *    With my mind I will choose to *    With my actions I’ll move on it

Obey is starting to sound a little better now…

OBEY OBEY OBEY


(Oh, but wait… That’s regarding God, we can SUBMIT to Him;
But what about the call to OBEY our earthly spiritual leaders?
Oh man, Self… Here we go again! That’s for another day- Catch you next week with the follow up. )

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SPANK or Beat? THE SWATTAGE RATE: Spare the ROD Spoil the CHILD!

THE SWATTAGE RATE:

Spare the ROD Spoil the CHILD

Angry woman

Like John & Kate Plus 8 –Is it ok to swat once or twice???

“Whether the paparazzi are there or not, I am a mother first,” Gosselin told Life & Style Weekly. “I love my children and when they misbehave, I discipline them as I deem appropriate for the situation.” (Style Weekly, 2009)

Many of us were raised in homes where spanking was more than just a  suggested form of discipline. Spanking was a part of normal life. To NOT spank was absolutely Unheard of. Any parent that did not spank was considered a poor parent who obviously did not love their children enough to follow the instructions laid out in the Word of God. So many people quoted (and misquoted) scripture as their reasoning behind doling out swats to derrière’s or whatever portion of the anatomy they could catch as the child dashed away:

Here’s an example SWATTAGE RATE that you may find oddly familiar:

  1. Did you make too much noise while mom was trying to nap before work? 1-2 swats
  2. Drank 75% of the Kool-Aid and filled the pitcher up with tap water in an attempt to hide the evidence? 5 swats (wait, 10 if it was dad’s favorite flavor)
  3. Acting-a-fool in the store while everyone watched? 3-4 quiet swats in the stores bathroom stall.
  4. Playing in the living room and broke the NICE bowl 5-7 swats
  5. Fighting in the car? 2-3 swats (once you get in the house)
  6. Playing around in the church pew? 1-2 well placed pinches
  7. Caught playing ‘doctor’ or ‘house’ with the neighbor kid down the street? 10-12 swats (and depending upon what area of the country you’re from, a  few for your accomplice too – until he/she can get home and THEIR own parents determine the SWATTAGE Rate)

I can hear someone saying right now, well my parents spanked me and I turned out all right! Let’s be honest, some of us turned out “all right” DESPITE the beatings received, not BECAUSE of the beatings received. For many it was only the Grace of God that you are ok (I hear the Amen’s…). How exactly was the Swatage determined? Who decided the thickness, length and density of the ROD to use? Was a broom handle thickness ok? How about garden hose size? Or just maybe we’re talking about a measuring rod, as in a ruler? That would read a little differently wouldn’t it?

DID YOU KNOW: The Bible Does not say “spare the rod, spoil the child”. That is a misquote of the scripture.
I am sure some have just had a mind blowing “WHAT?!?!”

The misquote comes from this portion of scripture usually:

Proverbs 13:24
He who withholds his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.

Which is very similar, but not similar enough to build an entire method of training your children around. I say this because this scripture talks of discipline for the love of the child versus to get even with them for breaking your things. Many times Swatage Rates were determined by how upset the parent is NOT really about the love of the child.

Let’s look at the following scenario: “ ahhhh, home from work – boy I’m beat. I can’t wait to enjoy a refreshing class of tropical berry bunch Kool-Aid chilled over ice and with a slice of lemon, (whooosshho Nice big glass is poured) (glub glub glub glub – mom/dad takes big a drink) YUK! This is just colored water! Ooooo that Joey, he did it again – GET IN HERE JOEY!!!! You drank all the Kool-Aid and filled it with water to hide the evidence again didn’t you? [I’m blazing mad, You’re going DOWN joey! Momma’s gonna tan your little hide boy!] – of course that last part is all internal talk – a GOOD parent would never admit this out loud!

Ok, a little dramatic – that’s just me, BUT I’m sure you get the picture. We often dole out punishment based upon FEELIINGS of revenge, anger, shooting-from-the-hip western style justice, and quick & dirty fixes to problems we are too lazy to talk or think through – SWAT and ask questions later!

If you felt that was dramatic how about this HONEY of a dad who decided his child did not dowell enough on a VIDEO GAME!! What’s the SWATTAGE RATE for poor game boy performance? (CLICK HERE)

Much of what is written about discipline in Proverbs  revolves around Love and the desire to save a child’s life & soul from death and terrible shame.

Notice the strong use of words such as Foolishness (as the fool says in his hear there is no God…) etc In the following scriptures

Proverbs 22:15
Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.

Proverbs 23:13-14
Do not hold back discipline from the child,
Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.
You shall strike him with the rod
And rescue his soul from Sheol.

Proverbs 29:15
The rod and reproof give wisdom,
But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.

The child who plays too loudly for your tastes, is that leading to Sheol? How about playing and breaking a the nice bowl, does that warrant the punishment of a fool on his way to hell?

Just maybe God expects the children He created to run, play and even occasionally break your bowls.

THE DANGER IN:  Quick & Dirty *Shooting-from-the-hip * Discipline from the center of our emotions:
EXASPERATION – Remember parents (or even leaders who are correcting subordinates) we will be held accountable!

Ephesians 6:4 (b)

DO NOT EXASPERATE:

Provoke them to become angry rage filled children/adults.

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

How many kids are in Juvenile Justice centers today filled with rage and violent tendencies? How many of them do you think were unjustly spanked/swatted/beat and EXASPERATED by the parents CALLED to love and care for them?

Ephesians 6:4 (a)

The first part of this same scripture outlines how a parent, without laying one hand in anger, on the child can speak to their understanding: (my paraphrase) “listen young person, the right thing to do is to respect what your parents are telling you, in Gods eye’s and if you do there may be a great  blessing from God if you are respectful and listen *it will go well with you AND a nice long life here on earth*.

That’s a lot better than continually whacking your child on the head every five minutes with a nice thick rod.

Instead, “Do the right thing mi hijo” or “you need to stop what you’re doing and make a good choice sweetheart” TALK to them first! Of course this is for a child old enough to UNDERSTAND.

Balance in discipline with the core reason being that of LOVE and not exacting revenge for how angry their actions made us is KEY.


Is it ok to spank a child?

(polls)

Thank you Blue Letter Bible Online for the scripture references

Stock.xchng for public domain pictures

The Cincinnati Enquirer & Joystiq 2003-2009, Weblogs, Inc.


Phrase Search / Concordance
Words/Phrase To Search For
(e.g. Jesus faith love,
or God of my salvation,
or believ* ever*)

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Two Die for Madonna!& MJ’s so called smoking gun

Paper Hole 2

Two Die for Madonna! And MJ’s Smoking Gun.

OK, I’d like to write something fun and positive today, something silly, lighthearted and Pollyanna HAPPY!!! But here I sit, talking about what? DEATH!!! Over the last few weeks there have been many ‘celebrity deaths’ forcing the subject of man’s frailty and mortality into the light. Death is popular, death is sexy-cool, death has become a forefront topic across the globe, and now here it sits on my blog too.

As you may gather by reading past excerpts, I am a Michael Jackson fan & a connoisseur of ‘The WIZ’ movie. (as a matter of fact, before I end this blog, I hope to make a Wiz refernce…) MJ’s unfortunate and untimely death brought tears to many eyes and DEATH to many conversations. Yesterday another and another and another news broadcast explained the “smoking gun” theory behind his death – Propofol, an anesthesia medication reserved for hospital use… Maybe so, maybe no – does that change the circumstances for the millions grieving? Maybe…

However, what about the little people? Just today another death occurred, one in connection with the Madonna Concert scheduled for July 19th in London. Two workers thus far have died, while 30 others were hurt after an unbalanced roof gave way. Her concert that was actually scheduled for this upcoming Sunday has been canceled of course. This news may or may not make it across the globe. If it does, it is because of the celebrity of Madonna – not the unfortunate victims (I do lift up a prayer for their grieving families and hope you will as well).

The first thought that entered my mind when I heard the news was sorrow for the family, the second thought was, what a horrible way to die! In service to Madonna’s concert. Ok, this is not a blast against her… It was definately NOT her fault, maybe this was just a freak accident? Maybe this was negligence on the part of the building constructors? or Maybe, just maybe it was their scheduled time to go? Regardless of the circumstances, there is no un-writing the end.

Look at this excerpt from Ecclesiastics: I think King Solomon was having a BAD BAD day!

Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal [b] goes down into the earth?”

From dust we came and from dust we go…

Sometimes we can feel this way. What does it matter? We’re all going to die anyway… ho-hum, life is meaningless…

No matter the amount of cash on hand, job we do, education, or number of good deeds we exchange amongst ourselves, when it’s time, it’s time.

LOOKING UP NOW. There’s fantastic news!

The Joy in this is…

Wait for it…

You KNOW it’s coming so GET BUSY! Enjoy this wonderful life God gave you. Today decide to do something really special. Might I suggest this course of action:

1) Get UP – yes, right now – stand up.

2) Raise Hands up high in the air

3) Point your face towards the sky (but keep an eye on your screen to find out what’s coming next)

4) Open your pie hole (that’s mouth for the Northerner’s)

5) Begin to sing… Try Amazing Grace, Yes Jesus Loves Me… Whatever praise or worship song you know

6) wave those hands (like you just don’t care…) [ Waiting for your lovely praise solo to finish now... Ok, you should just be about done now??? ]

7) Clap, and say thank you God!

8 ) repeat these steps until you MEAN it with all your heart, soul, and strength!

9) Now repeat one last time In Spirit and in truth!

10) Thank God again saying…

Thank you that I can praise You, that I have a voice (if you can’t speak, then because you can read or sign or WHATEVER! You’re still blessed with that), that I have the where-with-all (in my right mind) to praise You. Thank you for another day of life – to get it right, do what should been done long ago, love someone HARDER, take care of this temple you’ve given me (that’s your body), that I’m on THIS side of the graveyard!

Death reminds us that there is life still in us…

All is not lost. Make today count.

One of my favorite quotes of all times:

“Many People Go To Their Graves with Their Music Still Inside of Them” (Oliver Wendell Holmes)
– So Sing the Song God gave ‘YOU’ While You still have a voice and the time!

SEIZE THE DAY (Carpe diem)!

oh, almost forgot… The Wiz

I want to be SEEN GREEN. Wouldn’t be caught DEAD, RED.
-Emerald City Citizens

(got to watch the movie to get the inference!!!)

Love,
Steffsings.

Thank you Biblegateway for scripture referneces & Thank you Stock.xchng for public domain pictures

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I know Who Killed Me… the Murder of Steffsings

The Murder of Steffsings

soooo… I talked to an old friend; One I hadn’t talked to in at least 5 WHOLE years! It was great to hear their voice. Then after a pleasant conversation, guess what happened…

They SUCKA Punched me on the way out! “Hey, before we go…” They added ” I just wanted to say that I was sorry to hear about that terrible thing… I sure feel bad for you!….; I think it was all the other persons fault, Really! I’d tell them to their face BUT… I was really broken up about all that…    Oh, Very Very Sad!…”    as their voice droned on and on, I slightly lost consciousness (I think) wandered off in to left field with the wind knocked out of me…

Now,  you may think that’s really not a big deal –  why wouldn’t a good friend be concerned about your problems ?  Well,  now that you’ve asked;

Here are the facts :

#1 Numero uno – I have not talked to them in OVER 5 years!

#2 Numbre Du – They are NOT close friends but friend ‘acquaintances’ (thus the 5 year break)

#3 Number three – What PROBLEMS are they referring to?

#4  第4号 – We were not discussing problems, strictly business – just the facts ma’am! 

#5 Αριθμός 5 –  WHO called them to tell them? and how did the discussion come up in the first place?

I KNOW who killed me though…  I know exactly who took it upon themselves to call up people and explain to them  – you should “pray for Steffsings because I heard that…”

 Whoa! wait a minute, who, what, and where did you hear this? I asked! Of course they couldn’t tell, they had PROMISED not to say anything about it!

Guess what – I know who killed me – BECAUSE they’ve done the same thing to me long ago in the past. I am very ashamed to admit it.

Yes, I too have been that listening ear on the other end of the phone as  someone calls to tell me of a desperate “prayer request” for some other poor soul who’s marriage, ministry, family, child, health, SIN, mistake, or even Weight Gain –  requires my immediate prayer. Oh yes, like George Washington, “I cannot tell a lie”, I knew the “Prayer Request” was unauthorized! No one called THEM and gave permission to discuss their problems. This was just an ol’ keep such-and-so-forth in prayer, they’re all messed up!  PLOY to get the BAD WORD OUT! They just wanted to  spill the beans about something so salacious and juicy, something so mouth-wateringly naughty, so delectably engaging that they just couldn’t keep all that lovely GOSSIP to themselves. They had to share it with me, make me a party and kin to the SIN!  Yes, that is correct! SIN! They MURDERED Someone and made me help them  hide the weapon! It seems awfully dramatic huh? It’s just ‘talk’ right? Why involve MURDER in this post? I mean, what else is there to discuss if we don’t talk about YOU while you’re not around? How boring our daily phone calls for ‘PRAYER’ would be if we only focused on good things, lovely, and positive things…

I never fully appreciated the fact that Proverbs explains  gossip Destroys others, some version even use the word – ‘Murder’. It separates friends, belittles and humiliates others. Many people have left  churches and long term friendships due others ‘gossiping’ about their personal & private business. [for laity & those counseling/serving  - be very certain that YOU are not guilty of divulging the personal information given to you in confidence  for the purpose of counsel & prayer - seek to protect your disciples unless there are REAL concerns that require you to involve others, they are counting on YOU to be trustworthy!]

Well, maybe you are curious now, huh? Wanting to know WAS IT TRUE? Were there really Problems’? What KIND of problems? Maybe you are interested in joining the ‘unauthorized’ prayer team that meets daily over telephone lines, in coffee shops and even in the back of many churches after service, all hoping to find out the NEWEST prayer needs of everyone else – even when they are not asking for prayer, but respect and privacy.

Well the answer is…..  _______ !!! That’s it.

That’s all you get, WHOLE  lot of this _________!!!!

some Important Scriptures to remember

AND the Path of the Gossiper…

Firstly the Gossiper becomes a “busy body”…

1) Busy Body: You will know if you are one, just follow the path to find out ...

Then they become a…

2) Talebearer: That’s what the Busy Body is doing – one that spreads gossip or rumor

Of course they begin to spread this…

3) Gossip: That’s What the Busy Body is saying – a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others or a rumor or report of an intimate nature

Often times, if the story isn’t JUICY enough or they’ll need to fill in the blanks they weren’t able to find on their own are so then they….

Slander: That’s when the Busy Body adds a twist of their own to make it more interesting – an out & out untruth! – “to harm the reputation with evil intentions by discussing things that are untrue.”

WHY IS IT SO WRONG?

Stirs up TROUBLE!

Proverbs 16:28 A perverse man stirs up dissension,
and a gossip separates close friends.

Breaks up FRIENDSHIPS!

Proverbs 17:9 He who covers over an offense promotes love,
but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

MALICIOUS and Evil! (Who wants to be that????)

1 Peter 3:16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

HOW DO HANDLE IT IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF A MALICIOUS GOSSIP?

1 Peter 3:16 (As above stated…)

 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

1 Corinthians 4:13 (NIV)

when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.

Listen, don’t worry – God will take care of it for you in due time. HOWEVER, you may consider this scripture….  Math 18: 15-17 (for and only for) the sake of other – NOT as a means to extract your own justice – believe me God has a way of taking care of these things better than we can! His ways are WIN-WIN’s while our revenge is SIN-SIN’s! So this scripture is for you Mark 11:24-25

HOW DO YOU STOP THIS – WHAT ARE THE STEPS?

First –  REPENT

Second -  SHUT YOUR MOUTH IMMEDIATELY

A Quick TWO part sermonette – Repent then SHUT UP! Oh, and one last point…

Third - YOU DO THE WORK !!! If you backbite or slander ***OR*** just need the information – simply use the link below & cut & paste in these scriptures to find out HOW to Stop yourself – these tools will come in handy.

DO THE WORK – GET Your Bible Out, Do the Google, or Just CLICK the Link below… But do the WORK (it’s good for ya’)

Philippians 4:8

Ephesians 5:19

Ephesians 4:31

James 4: 11

Proverbs 17:9

Lookup a word or passage in the Bible


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References:


talebearer. (2009). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

Retrieved July 15, 2009, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/talebearer

gossip. (2009). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

Retrieved July 15, 2009, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gossip

All scripture References provided by: BibleGateway.com © 1995-2009, The Zondervan Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Thanks stock.xchng for the free photo’s – Tell them steffsings.wordress.com sent you:


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Crippled by Love, Disabled by Hatehope,

John 5:1-8 (The Message Bible)
Even on the Sabbath. Soon another Feast came around and Jesus was back in Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people—blind, crippled, paralyzed—were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?” The sick man said, “Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in.” Jesus said, “Get up, take your bedroll, start walking.” The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bedroll and walked off.

Once upon a time there was a mother and father, we’ll call them Harold and Deidra, who loved their child so much that they could not bear the thought of allowing the child to ever  cry, feel pain, or even be exposed to difficulty in any form. There was also a second mother and father, let’s call them Thomas and Mona, who secretly hated their child, blamming them for destrying their freedom, the physical beauty of the mother and forcing the father to care. Both families decided that it would be easier to place their children in an enclosed room free from outside contact. The room allowed each family to monitor their children from a thick glass window through a large steel plated door. Several times a day the the parents would enter the rooms just long enough to feed, clothe and clean their children. Deidra and Harold would hurriedly care for the child, fearful of exposing them to germ from the outside. For this reason they would only stay but for a moment.  Mona and Thomas also would hurriedly enter to provide for their childs’ needs, staying only for a moment as well; however their reason for leaving so quickly was the desire to limit contact with the object of their hatred. As time pressed on, the childern began to grow. Deidra & Harold’s child started to crawl and even pull up on the walls of the room into a stand. The proud parents smiled and cooed through the thick glass encouraging the child to keep trying. Suddenly, the child placed one foot in front of the other, trying to walk,then fell hard to the floor and crying out in pain. Their hearts sank as they ran in quickly to the rescue. Mona and Tom’s beautiful toddler had a similar experience, yet Tom & Mona did not run in to rescue the child, instead they began yelling loud and hurtfully to scold the child for trying to stand in the first place.

This situation caused a big dilema for both families. If Deidra & Harold’s child continued to try to walk, the child would certainly experience the pain they feared. If Mona & Tom’s child continued to try to walk, the toddler would only require more of their time and attention by forcing them to enter the room to help; therefore both parents decided simutaneously to keep the children in an extremely small, very padded playpen.

As the years rolled on, the children grew. They learned to stand and hold on to the sides of the pen, but never learned to walk. By age 5 they were ready to go to school. Deidra & Harold dressed the child smartly for the first day at school, packed a lunch, and opened the small play pen door. Mona & Tom also provided suitable clothing, gave the child a handful of dollars for lunch and opened the miniture play pen door.  Much to their amazement the children were absolutely unable to walk. They stood strong and tall, but did not know how to operate their legs in a manner that would allow them to step out of the play pen.   Both children required wheel chairs to leave the room at all. Surprisingly, both children were also very sickly and missed many days from school.

Many more years rolled on and the children celbrated their 18th birthdays and were preparing for graduation from high school. As their friends from school prepared for prom, earned their driving licenses and talked excitedly about walking across the stage for their graduation, Both Deidra & Harold’s and Mona & Tom’s children refused to do any of these activities. As more years rolled along, both children, now young adults, found themselves unhappy and regretful. One day, Deidra & Harold’s child, in a deep fit of despair, raised a fists toward heaven and with a loud angry shout yelled out at God, “how could you do this to me, why did you create me with this disability?” That same day across town, Mona & Tom’s child tryed to cross a busy street but tipped over the wheelchair and fell to the ground. Crying out with a gruff hurtful scream towards Heaven, “why did you do this to me? Why!”

As if in a dream, both people heard a Voice inside their hearts; “Rise up and walk”. “I can’t, I’m disabled. I’ve never been able to walk”. The Voice called out again, you can walk, you have always been able to walk, Rise Up!” both were parallized by fear, unable to even try. Before their eyes the entire events of their births, childhood, and young adulthood passed before their eyes. They saw how they were able to stand, even attempting to take steps was abruptly halted by the love and hate.  They saw how this love and hate imprisoned them. They also saw that they never, never, never once tried to walk even in their adulthood.  The Voice called again, this time with authority and power they had never heard in life thundered: “Rise and walk” both people, now with fear and awe looked up towards Heaven…

It started somewhere deep inside their chests. One describbed it as a “burning, It was painful”, the other said “it stung like a slap in the face”. With limbs shaking, trembling heart, and eyes open, each looked upwards, seeing beyond the clouds, beyond the good intentions of love and the bad intentions of hate to see what lay just beyond the clouds…. ‘A Brand New Day’

Everybody look around
‘Cause there’s a reason to rejoice you see
Everybody come out
And let’s commence to singing joyfully
Everybody look up
And feel the hope that we’ve been waiting for

Everybody’s glad
Because our silent fear and dread is gone
Freedom, you see, has got our hearts singing so joyfully
Just look about
You owe it to yourself to check it out
Can’t you feel a brand new day?
Can’t you feel a brand new day?
Can’t you feel a brand new day?
Can’t you feel a brand new day?

Everybody be glad
Because the sun is shining just for us
Everybody wake up
Into the morning into happiness

Hello world
It’s like a different way of living now
And thank you world
We always knew that we’d be free somehow
In harmony
And show the world that we’ve got liberty

It’s such a change
For us to live so independently
Freedom, you see, has got our hearts singing so joyfully
Just look about
You owe it to yourself to check it out
Can’t you feel a brand new day?
Can’t you feel a brand new day?

Everybody be glad
Because the sun is shining just for us
Everybody wake up
Into the morning into happiness
Hello world
It’s like a different way of living now
And thank you world
We always knew that we’d be free somehow
In harmony
And show the world that we’ve got liberty

It’s such a change
For us to live so independently
Freedom, you see, has got our hearts singing so joyfully
Just look about
You owe it to yourself to check it out
Can’t you feel a brand new day?
Can’t you feel a brand new day?
Can’t you feel a brand new day?
Can’t you feel a brand new day?

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Hurt’s So Bad I Can’t Even Pray!

Hurt’s SO BAD I Can’t Pray!

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

(Prov 42:5-6)

I am not one to dwell on pain, suffering, or sorrow for long!  Believe me, it’s not because I am superwoman, nor super Christian. In fact, I am not super ANYTHING at all. I try never to pretend to be the super (superior) sister as much as possible. This is not a reflection of poor self esteem but a conscious effort to remain grounded and realistic.

The reality is that I (as many of you) have experienced pain in my life. Sorrows so terrible that I could not focus my thoughts long enough to generate a prayer petition to God.  If I had could have/would have prayed during those particular times, I honestly don’t believe my faith would have been engaged anyway. The focus at those particular times in my life was a guttural and most base desire to run, hide, or just survive.

Ladies, some of you can testify to the fact that there is a quality or level of  physical, emotional & even spiritual pain that can literally cripple for a period of time. This type of pain stuns and numbs it’s victims. In these moments of turmoil what do we do? What is our response?

For Example:

*T he diagnosis of in-operable cancer!

*The absolute surprise of finding your husband is committing adultery and now wants a divorce!

*Your child reveals they have been sexually abused by someone you’ve trusted in your family or circle of friends!

*The surprise death of a close loved one in an unimaginable manner!

*Finding that your beautiful innocent daughter has been abducted by a criminal with no leads to find her!

What should the response be?

Should we PRETEND that pain doesn’t exist or that it really doesn’t hurt much at all? Attempt to CONQUER the pain by reciting scriptures over and over again in vain repetition? There is PAIN that is so deep and caustic, it causes a MOMENTARY lost of the ability to speak or pray exists.

In These Situations:

It is not healthy nor sound Biblical advice to pretend, lie to ones self, or vainly repeat scripture in hopes of relieving pain. I would never suggest that a woman in pain bury these feelings in her heart. Please allow me to  offer the following steps I have employed in my own past. Maybe these as a possible step may help you gather yourself and begin to move in the right direction to a safe place beyond the PAIN:

1) Breathe: Stay alive, Stay Sane & Stay in the moment.
Try NOT to allow yourself to be sucked into the numbness or Inner Quiet. This is a vacuum that may lead to further problems or delay of action. Unfortunately, it feels good there at the time – the numbness, it insulates you from the severity of the pain; however it can become a struggle to make it back to a healthy place where you can ‘feel’ again. If you are numb for the moment, and many know what this feels like, don’t remain there. This is a natural survival technique that happens at times; BUT like the state of SHOCK that  many trauma victims suffer during a car crash or major loss of blood, this state does insulate you from the pain momentarily, becomes a dangerous situation. Come back to the present and move forward.

2) Pray Anyway: Out loud, Under Your Breath, Inside, BUT Pray Anyway, despite the momentary ‘feeling’ of paralysis. Yes it will be difficult but you can do it! Immediately resort to calling on God for strength.  Don’t worry about saying the right things or getting all the details in the prayer. God knows the need before you speak it anyway. Just immediately check in with Him.

3) Feel: NO I’m not suggesting New Age Touchy-Feel-y-Ness. This is would mean that you would rely on your OWN strength and power to overcome the situation. This is not helpful in this (or any other) circumstance. Instead acknowledge that you are in pain. DON’T Pretend you are not, and then from that place do what is right and legal to minimize it. Talk to God, Take your medicine, Join the Support Group, Talk to God, Talk to a Friend, Find the Lawyer or get the Restraining Order. Do what is Right and Legal to get the Pain Under Control.

***Special Note*** There are Christians who will say “don’t ask God to remove this pain, just ask Him to give you the strength to make it through” that sound lovely and all, but in the case of REAL PAIN such as the situations discussed above – It’s OK to ask God to DELIVER YOU!!! Tell them I said that! (1 Peter 5:6-7 )

4) Line Things UP into Perspective:
As David told himself, ‘let me evaluate my situation’! In Psalms 42 David began to question himself;  “why am I here feeling this way” (vs.5)?  You must evaluate where at times in order to determine what the next step is.  He reminded himself that God had delivered him from many past problems, situation, and trial. The answer to his own question was:  I am in a place God can reach me,  I have been here before and God is still able! He remembered where his strength and supply was – in the Lord. This is the beginnings of the HOPE you will need to sustain you until YOUR answers arrive.  Evaluate WHO is on the way? The Lord God Almighty! Where does your help come from – the Maker of Heaven and Earth, and He has the ability to supply the help you need.

5) Act Out, In, and UP if you must – BUT ACT:
akin to #2 Some type of Action is needed. The Call for help, The need to move out –  move in,  to Make that follow up Doctors Appointment, Give back the Ring, Whatever the right action IS –  do that!
EVEN actively ‘waiting’ for the answer by researching options, staying prayerful, seeking help etc… is better than TUNING OUT or falling apart. Rash, fast decisions caused by pain are not helpful either,  so act with wisdom and prayerfully.

God is able to deliver you! I repeat GOD IS ABLE!

I pray that your burden be light and your yoke be easy as you lean on the one who can deliver, heal, build up or even TEAR DOWN situations for your best and most blessed future (Jer. 29:11)

Thank you for reading.

Steffannie.


1 Peter 1:6 – It will not last forever! It really will not. The problem issue trial will resolve. stay hopeful.

James 1:2-4 -Most trials CAN end in our best and greatest blessing.

1 Corinthians 10:13 -Please don’t isolate yourself believing NO ONE ELSE in the world understands. There is strength in numbers!

1Peter 5:6-7 -God is OK with you Throwing your problems His way and into His strong capable hands!

What would I do (The Wiz – Nipsey Russell)

If I could suddenly feel
And to know once again
That what I feel is real?

I could cry
I could smile
I might lay back for a while
Oh, tell me what
What would I do if I could feel?

What would I do
If I could reach inside of me
And to know how it feels
To say I like what I see?

Then I’d be more
than glad to share
All that I have inside of here
And the songs
My heart might bring
You’d be more
Than glad to sing
And if tears should fall from my eyes
Just think of all the wounds
They could mend
And just think of all the time
I could spend
Just being vuln’rable again
Oh, tell me what
What would I do?
Oh, tell me what
What would I do?
Oh, tell me what
What would I do
If I could feel?

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Singles Sister’s The Bald & The Beautiful!

SOME CONTENT MAY BE OBJECTIONABLE – WATCH WITH CAUTION!!!!





Many single women believe it is OLD FASHIONED to wait for a potential boyfriend/husband to “find us”

Yet many churches & single groups teach Single Ladies to wait upon a man to ‘find them’ rather than searching for their future husbands, generally they use a few key words of Prov 18:22 to justify this thought.

My belief and understanding resides somewhere in between these two schools of thought…

I DO NOT Believe women should wait by the phone, sit with hands folded, heads hanging down, or like a wall flower crouched in a corner… Hoping for her handsome suitor to take notice of her there, helpless, hopeless, and demure.

I DO NOT Believe women should go out on the prowl, searching for a man like a lost treasure, flaunting herself, batting her eyes and prwoling about like a hungry ravenous mountain lion, hungry (no, I mean starving) for attention and affection.

However, today’s post will not address my personal answer to this crisis – I will leave that for next week. Instead I will address what it looks like when a single woman is ravenously searching for her prey…. Read on…

The danger of FLIRTING & believing NO ONE SEE’S ME….

( Lets start reading in Isaiah 3: 16)

The LORD says, “The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles. Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the LORD will make their scalps bald.” In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, the earrings and bracelets and veils, the headdresses and ankle chains and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, the signet rings and nose rings, the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls. Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding. (Blueletter Bible Online)


I think we can all agree that Desperate Women SEARCH & PROWL many times!  However, this prowling about can actually be the beginning process of  ‘tripping men with mincing steps’  (walk about roaming trying ensnare and captivate a brother with her beauty).  Yes,  they are in the process of tripping up or acting as a catalyst to help cause a brother in Christ to Fail & Fall into Temptation – whether they know it or not! Catching a man with seductive gazes is leading brothers into our own direction. No, a smile is not sin.  No, a loving glance is not a snare. BUT There are some Smiles & Loving glances that are not so innocent! Let’s be real & genuine!

GOD See’s US! Nothing is hidden from His eyes, what we sow, we reap! This type of activity that is meant to ensnare a Christian brother, to tie him up in US for our own selfish gain is counter productive to our ultimate goal, to find a genuine man of God not easily ensnared by sexual sin and temptation. This type of flirtatiousness is to meant to evoke sensual desires, “make him WANT and CRAVE Me”! beautiful women know how to slightly drop our heads, look upwards with a sideways glance, slightly lower our eyelids, and with the efficiency of tornado, draw that mans gazed into our cyclone of wantonness.  BUT – It STINKS!  Like an unclean/un-bathed  person (It’s smells NASTY  in the nostrils!, YES! I said it!)

The only one who does NOT smell the stench is the flirting sister herself – she has poured on so much perfume she thinks NO ONE knows – but everyone can see, hear, and SMELL a desperate woman! It stinks!

If you  notice the women in Isaiah 3:16 wore BEAUTIFUL clothes, fixed themselves up with perfumes, lovely clothes, etc.

For what? To feel good about themselves? To let the inward beauty shine through to the outside? NO – to catch that MAN in her trap!

However, There are consequences for women who attempt to entrap & ensnare men…

(Isaiah 4:1) The Consequences:

God will protect You and I,  even from ourselves! He will  protect the brother’s (his men of God) that we have engineered a trap for.  God can REMOVE our “Tools & Weapons” for the war against His Men or God! The very tools these women used to trip up their own brothers were snatched away in a most embarrassing fashion.  Read the scripture again – then came the “SCAB” instead of beautiful hair. Their sashes & silk turned to rough brown gunny sacks tied with common ROPE!!! NOT Attractive!

Do you think those same men would fall when that scabbed sister when she came around?  Probably not, no matter how many times she tilted her bald and scabbed head to the side, and batted those sunken eyes.  It was an effective way to help HER to stop shaming her own self. It was effective in preventing the down fall of others. It  stopped the polluted use of the beauty God gave her, in her own efforts  to destroy her brothers and bring shame on her people.


EVEN WORSE – (Isaiah 4:1) States then 7 of these sisters would run after the same ONE brother, Preferring to humiliate themselves further in an attempt to share him amongst their scabbed up group. Now That’s desperate!!! Imagine it,  seven sisters after one man:

“brother, I’ll cook, clean, and pay the bills, you can do whatever you like, just be my MAN on Monday’s, I don’t mind if I have to share you, just don’t leave me single anymore” give me a name, any name will do.

And then there are the Silly Women (II Tim 3:6) :

these sisters are women that can only be describbed as gullible, silly, and ridiculous. They fall for the fried ice cream everytime~  “it’s OK, we’ll PROBABLY be getting married soon anyway”, or “God understands we both have needs…” etc…

We must guard our hearts & minds against these weapons from the devil.

In my book: Gullible means they fall for ANYTHING, the Word says men steal or sneak into their homes and lead them astray with false   teaching!

In my book: Silly means they don’t even know their Word, what they believe, or what they stand for!

In my book:Ridiculous means they become like a joke – that sister runs from man to man, bed to bed, like a…

These women are LEAD away by their own LUST – they are Loaded down with Sin – read the scripture for yourself. We want to blame the brother’s, but the Word says the WOMEN are Loaded, Fat & Heavy with SINS! They are ripe for being snared by the devil.

HOMEWORK TIME: Before Next weeks post, let’s look at the following and be prepared to address each point:

A. YES____ or NO____ it is ok to want to be loved?
B. YES____ or NO____ it is ok to want marriage
C. YES____ or NO____ it is ok to date (in a Christian manner)
D. YES____ or NO____ it is ok to be attracted to a SINGLE brother
E. YES____ or NO____ it is normal to want a good step father for your kid(s)
F. YES____ or NO____ you may be a Pastor’s wife in the making, Worship Leader, Minister, or other Calling God has on YOUR life.
G. YES____ or NO____ God knew you would be divorced? A single mom? A widow? Etc…. Did He know or was He surprised?
H. YES____ or NO____ Was it always in His plans for you or did it happen by mistake and He was confused by it?
I. YES____ or NO____ God can restore, create, build, and work around this issue in your life so that you can live victoriously as a single woman?

So come prepared to discuss WHAT we will look for in our future relationships, how we accept the attention of men, and the tools to resist temptation!


Upcoming topics:
* Dealing with the Cute Guy
* The men that show interest in YOUR Kids
* The Male Voice on the phone
* The Itch that you can’t scratch
* Why me, Why not HER?
* God send him NOW/Better to marry than burn – but I can’t find someone to marry

God bless you,
Steffannie.

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The Wiz trailer

more about "The Wiz trailer", posted with vodpod

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GodTube.com – his31337 – Lifehouse Everything Drama

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Fred Hammond – No Weapon

more about "Fred Hammond – No Weapon", posted with vodpod

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Glorify Your Name

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Diana Ross Michael Jackson The WIZ! 30 Year Anniversary Video

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You Can’t Win, or Can You?

 

  I      IMPLORE     YOU!!!!

Watch the video attached. It will take 8 minutes, but you must watch it to the end! See what happens when we all join together and surround the weaker brother. 

 

BEAR WITH ME  –   YOU CAN”T WIN CHILE???

     Would you bear with me a little while? For REAL! Just for a little while. I need back up. I need friends, allies, sisters AND brothers who will surround me during the most difficult time of my life. When the roaring lions come, to snatch me away, feeding their own personal gain, sporting with me just for the fun of it, I need to know that YOU are here.  Would you bear with me just a little while? 

Have you ever heard the modern quote ‘I’ve got you’re back’ before? Sounds wonderful doesn’t it? It brings to mind the following word picture for me. There I am…

Surrounded on all sides, the enemy is on the prowl, he circles me once- “awwww… she’s weak on THAT side, poor little thing” as he laughs his most wicked laugh, circling twice, “ah ha, I see it, a nice FLESHY PART, I’ll rip into her and tear her to shreds” he circles thrice, only this time, a bit closer, eyes narrowed, yellow wet teeth bared. He LUNGES, Wham! I cry out, Help, I’ve been hit! I stumble, I lose my way, trying with all my might to raise myself, I can’t see, my are blinded with fear, but I can feel his breathe like hatred raging, hot on my neck, he is  poised for the kill,  BUT WAIT, a friend, they’re stationed at the flank, my rear guard, my dear friend has Got My Back!

     Whew, what a blessing!!! As I fight, they fight. When I am battling, they are there to help me. My friend and Rear Guard ready for battle.  BUT listen; hold up just a moment, there are times when I am too weak to fight. During those times I don’t need a rear guard; I need a front, left, right, and center guard.  I may need someone to do the fighting FOR me, not WITH me. I know, I know, that sounds like a ‘cop out'; someone doing MY fighting for me.  Believe me, I don’t like this any more than you do. Yes, people must TRY and try hard. We all must  fight, press on in face of difficulties, never give in and never give up;  however let’s face it, there are times when everyone of us will face moments of weakness coupled with times of despair. It’s easy to lose heart. If we really knew the statistics of all humans destined for greatness, yet never achieving their personal best after fighting and losing to that raging enemy, the numbers would dishearten us all. I’m glad to NOT know everything.

     With all that said, I pray this year will be a time of real Unity. Unity like David and his bosom buddy Jonathan’s. Jonathan was the kind of friend that would defy authority, break the rules, and sneak out a window at night to come to aid a friend in a fight. I’m not being flippant or irreverent, read the Word for yourself (I Samuel chat 20 – chat 24) you’ll see. Jonathan went to David’s defense during a time of great turmoil for him. In fact, Jonathan “strengthened David’s hand” (1 Samuel 23:16) and faith by reminding him of God’s promises over him. Betraying his own natural father, King Saul, Jonathan went out to meet David in the wilderness just to remind him that regardless of the circumstances, He is destined to succeed. Jonathan knew that David had a great and awesome purpose in the Kingdom. Now that’s a friend, someone who will go out and find you, he didn’t wait for David to call out to him; he risked it all to run out to his aid. 

     That’s a lot easier said than done isn’t it?  Especially when it involves a weak willed, whining, milk toast kind of brother or sister; someone NOT AT ALL like David. Oh yeah, let’s be honest. It’s easier to go to bat for the one who has more charisma, character, and potential to do us a good turn later when it’s our turn to need help. Jonathan’s intentions were good, right and pure in helping his friend, but let’s face the truth, not all of us can say this. In fact we may conveniently forget the struggling weak one who has little potential to ever do anything of significance. We may bear with the David’s’ of the group, the ones who will eventually be able to ‘PLEASE’ us later on.  While the no-name quiet one is left to fend for themselves. 

Romans 15: 1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” 4  For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

     Of course we should care for the fledgling weak brother. Christ died for us while we were yet sinners. We should take His great example and love those who are less ‘loveable’ in the human sense, those who don’t even YET appear to have anything going for them, unprofitable and still battling the small stuff we’ve left behind long ago.  But guess what, there is something in it for all of us. I wish we didn’t have to look at it this way, but it’s important to keep in mind. We must consider ourselves; “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (I Corinthians 10:12).

     Take for example the weaker person struggling in the fight of their lives, tormented by the enemy in a battle for their very souls.  We are asked to take action, get involved and literally ‘restore’ them, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted” (Gal 6:1) . We are also asked to keep this in mind, you could be next!  Not a pleasant thought but very true. We don’t know in advance (usually) when the battle may over take us, but we can count on this one thing, the enemy will attempt to strike. Will our brothers and sisters be there to ‘have our back’, and what if we need them to fight for us not with us? Will they judge whether to surround us like an army of one or fight like a mercenary? I don’t want a paid soldier or mercenary fighting for me, one who has no loyalty at all; he fights only for personal gain and materialistic goals. No sir, I need someone to bear with me. Ask yourself this, ‘Will they fight for me based upon how profitable I am to them, or will they battle, even when I can’t, because we’re all in this together, unity? Jonathan told David to hold on, have faith, he encouraged him not to give in to fear, and he was there Johnny-on-the-spot, with a good word and a reminder.  He told him not to worry about a thing because he knew David WOULD fulfill his destiny and he’d be right there along side of him (I Sam 23:15). That’s what’s in it for you and me. We’ll be along side of them when they enter in, now that’s unity! Will you bear with me a while my friend? I’d like to bear with you.

Anyone who really knows me knows I love, and I mean love, THE WIZ (1978). This particular song called You Can’t Win sung by Michael Jackson reminds me of the games the roaring lion plays against his hapless victims. Like David may have felt, like you may have felt once or twice in your life. However, Jonathan came along and encouraged his heart, strengthened his hand and reminded him, Oh Yeah my friend, I got your back, front and side, YOU will win and fulfill your destiny, and I’ll be right there with you.

 


(From “The Wiz” – Ever Felt Like This? Just Call on a friend)

You can’t win
You can’t break even
And you can’t get out of the game
People keep sayin’
Things are gonna change
But they look just like
You’re stayin’ the same

You get in
way over your head
And you only got yourself to blame
You can’t win Chile
(You can’t win Chile)
You can’t break even
And you can’t get out of the game

You can’t win
The world keeps movin’
And you’re standin’ far behind
People keep sayin’
Things’ll get better
(Just to ease your state of mind)
(So you lean back, and you smoke that smoke)
(And you drink your glass of wine)
So you can’t win, Chile
You can’t break even
And you can’t get out of the game

You can’t win, you can’t win no way
If your story stays the same
(You ain’t winnin’),
No, no,
(But it’s nice to see you)
(I’m awfully glad you came)
(Better cool it ’cause
It ain’t about losin’)
And the world has got no shame
You can’t win, Chile
You can’t break even
You can’t get out of the game

You can’t win
You can’t break even
Ain’t the way it’s supposed to be
(You’ll be spendin’),
No, no
(Your little bit of money)
While someone else rides for free
(Learn your lesson), ooh,
(Refuel your mind)
(Before some turkey blows out your flame)

You can’t win, Chile. No!
You can’t win
You can’t win, Chile. No!
You can’t win
You can’t win, Chile. No!
You can’t win
You can’t win, Chile. No!
You can’t win

You can’t win, Chile
You can’t break even
And you can’t get out of the game
You can’t get out of the game
You can’t get out (wooh!) of the game
No, no…

Good Ol’ Gospel Music  – Click Here for Encouraging Music to help uplift you like a good friend.

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Don’t Lose The Feeling – When Baby Grows Up

The Wiz

   I am so thankful for my baby, I say baby, but In reality she is… almost grown (tears in eyes). My beautiful teenaged daughter. It’s so cliche, so sappy, soooooo… So true. She’s my baby, but in six months she will be heading off to college, out of state (God’s will be done). I never never never imagined that this time would come so quickly. How did we get here? Yes, I know eventually kids grow up, but I am now singing the same tune my own parents sang. I can hear my father saying; “time passes so quickly, enjoy it while you can.”

     She and I have a lot in common, however, she is so unlike me in many ways. Besides being much more confident and self assured than I ever was at her age, she is wise beyond her years (Thank God). So many things I could have done better. So many things I wish I had given her. The list goes on and on, but She is stable, smart, wonderful, and confidently herself. Something went RIGHT. So, I forgive myself for my short comings as a single mother, and hope she does too.

     Now, where does THE WIZ enter in to this equation? One of our most favorite movies of all times is THE WIZ. The climactic music, the young Michael Jackson inspiring us to get up and dance, the vibrant colors, the fact that Sidney Lumet brought home the traditional Wizard of Oz message wrapped in a package any urban child could enjoy: HOPE Remains.  There is a song from the movie that touches my heart everytime I hear it. The sentiments remind me that six months from now, my baby will go, but we will work hard to always remain close. 

‘The Feeling That We Have’ (The Wiz, 1978):

Sung by The Great Theresa Merrit (9/24/1924  to  6/12/1998) 

Put your arms around me child
Like when you bumped your shin
Then you’ll know I love you now
As I loved you then

Though you maybe trying sometimes
And I’ll need you
And you’re not there
You know I may get mad
And turn away
But you know that I still care

But you cannot ask for more
Than can come from me
I am older than you are
And one day you’ll see

If I lose my patience with you
And I suddenly start to scream
It’s only because I just want you to be
Everything that I see in my dreams

And I’d like to know it’s there
The feeling that we have
When you know that you can come
Running to me
Whenever times are bad

Don’t lose the feeling that we have
Don’t lose the feeling that we have

Though you are growing older now
And I’m watching you grow
I know I make you sad sometimes
And I see your feeling show

But one day I’ll look around
And you will be grown
You’ll be out in the world
Such a pretty girl
You’ll be on your own

And I’d like to know it’s there
The feeling that we have
Knowing that you can come to me
Whenever you are sad

And I’d like to know it’s there
The feeling that we have
Don’t lose the feeling that we have
Don’t lose the feeling that we have
Don’t lose the feeling that we have

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