Love Has Expectations

Some people believe that God loves them ‘just the way that they are’ (perceiving that He completely accepts and embraces their current lifestyle–whatever it may be–and doesn’t require for them to change any of their ways).

But I believe that God loves us way too much to allow us to remain ‘just the way that we are’ (in reference to our sinful nature), especially if He knows that the way that we are is contrary to, and against His will for our lives. I believe that God loves us enough to equip us and empower us to rise above who we are (or who we’ve become in our fallen state), in order to develop us into everything that he’s created us to be, in Him, since the foundation of time!

The fact that God wants us to change the way that we are is not to take away from the fact that His love for us is unconditional. Because it still is. God loves us regardless of who we are or what we do. But at the same time, His love for us is not absent from His expectations of us.

Remember, God is not only Love, but He is also our Heavenly Father. And any loving father would have a set of standards and expectations when it comes to his children’s behavior and lifestyle choices. Why? Because the child is a representation, or reflection of its father. And since God is our Father, He wants us to represent Him well. That’s why He requires us to be holy as He is holy. #YouCantJustLiveHoweverYouWant #LoveHasExpectations

Advertisements

Hacked

If you haven’t noticed, there’s a lot of spam going around on Facebook. And many times, we can easily get frustrated with the person from whose page we are receiving the spam. Sometimes, we may get so mad at the person, that we send them a message and vent our frustration to them, or we unfriend them, or even block them. But we oftentimes forget that it’s not our friend who’s spamming us on purpose. It’s a hacker, who has somehow gained access to their account.

In the same manner, we may be inclined to get mad at people in our personal lives because of their lawless behavior or because of how they mistreat us. We get so offended by them, that we retaliate or cut the person out of our lives completely. But we forget Epheaians 6:12 which lets us know that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, authorities, rulers of darkness and evil spirits in the heavenly realms.” In other words, it’s not the person who we are dealing with, but a demonic spirit that is operating in their life. A spiritual entity which influences, or even possesses them. A spirit which has gained access into that person’s life through a door that they left open. (When you don’t guard your heart, you give leeway for sin to creep into your life, and when you practice sin and don’t repent, you give demonic spirits legal access to your life.)

Let’s not be so quick to retaliate against people when we notice them acting unseemly. Let’s discern whether or not they are being demonically influenced (aka hacked), and if so, let’s pray and fast that spirit/hacker off of them. Spiritual warfare is real, people.

Communication Is Key

If you’re going to establish a relationship with God, it’s important to know what pleases Him.

Let’s look at Cain for example. The Bible says Cain wanted to worship God with an offering, and he tried to do so by giving God an offering of the fruit of the ground. But God didn’t have any respect for his offering.

Why not? Was it because of the TYPE of offering Cain was giving? Was it the QUALITY of the offering? Or was it because of the HEART behind the one making the offering? The Bible doesn’t say directly in Genesis, although in Hebrews, it mentions that Abel’s offering was made in faith. (And we know that without faith, it’s impossible to please God, and that anything not done in faith is sin.) So I assume Cain’s offering wasn’t made in faith. Or that his offering was given with sin in his heart. Who knows…

Some say, “It’s the thought that counts.” And maybe that’s true if the gift comes from someone who doesn’t know you personally. But if you do know someone personally, it’s not just the thought that counts. It’s knowing what pleases the person that counts. And that knowledge only comes through communication.

One time, a close friend of mine bought me a cake for my birthday. He brought it to my job and surprised me. I was touched by his act of kindness–By him using the love language of “gift giving”. However, when I opened the cake, I noticed it was a coconut cake. And if only my friend would have spent more time communicating with me, he would have known that I DISLIKE, HATE, DESPISE, DETEST, etc. anything with coconut in it, especially coconut cake. I rejected the cake at first. But then I had mercy on him and accepted the cake, but just wiped all the coconut icing off. Lol.

When you’re married, it’s the same thing. You can’t just do things for your spouse without communicating with them to know what pleases them. What if you buy them flowers, but they are allergic to flowers? What if you get them a pet, but they’re afraid of animals? What if you buy them a certain type of clothes, but they don’t support that brand or style? What if you want to spice things up in your marriage by trying a new sex act/position with them, but they don’t get down like that?

That’s why before you just start doing things with or for your spouse, you should ask them questions to learn them first. I’m not saying surprises are bad or that you should never be spontaneous, challenge your spouse or try new things. But you’ll be highly upset and offended if you thought your spouse would accept your offering, but they let you know that they have no respect for it. High expectations lead to disappointments.

But you can eliminate that “I-would-have-never-known-you-didn’t-like-this” moment, if, instead of ASSUMING things about your spouse, you actually COMMUNICATE consistently and effectively with them, asking them questions, and learning what pleases them.

It’s the same thing with God. You can’t just worship God any type of way you want, when He commands for you to worship him in Spirit and in truth. You can’t just offer him a gift at the alter when your heart is wicked, if he makes it clear that he’s not going to receive your gift if you still have unresolved issues in your heart toward your brother. You can’t just serve in whichever ministry you want and expect him to just bless the work of your hands, when he says it’s the Spirit’s job to determine your ministry and that you shouldn’t do anything unless the Father leads you to do it. Don’t assume what God wants from you. Fellowship with God in prayer and in his word to see what pleases him. You have to do things the way God requires them to be done. For obedience is better than sacrifice.

I believe it’s safe to say that if Cain had spent time talking and fellowshipping with God, he would have been able to know God’s heart and how to make an offering to Him that would have been respected and accepted. And if you would spend more time with God, your spouse, friend, etc., you would know what it takes to please them, too.

Rest In Him: Remembering Wynesha Joy Medley

It’s so hard to say goodbye to someone whom you’ve known for so long and have build such a strong relationship with. This is precisely the case with Wynesha Joy Medley. This was a phenomenal woman of God, someone whom I’ve known for almost a decade. When I first got saved, Wynesha, or Winnie as she was nicknamed, was one of the first to reach out to me and became my sister in Christ, my prayer and Bible study partner, my accountability partner, my confidant, my encourager, and to sum it up, someone whom grew to become one of my best friends. We could talk to each other about anything. But most of our convos were centered around God, ministry and notes from her pastor’s sermons. Lol. 😂

The bond I developed with her was so pure, and it was stronger than any other bond I’ve had. In fact, the connection I felt between us was so great, I remember one day in particular when I just outright asked her if she would marry me. Lbvs. However, that wasn’t God’s will for our relationship. Nevertheless, Winnie and I still remained close friends over the years. She had a heart for God, the lost, praise dancing, serving children, graphic design, and had dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. At the age of 26, she had a bright future ahead of her. 🙌

With that being said, I find it so disheartening to hear how her life was so violently and unfairly taken away from her. She was the victim of a domestic violence assault last week Tuesday, but fortunately, her killer was brought to justice last night. It took me a while to actually post this because I was in a state of shock, confusion and complete disbelief all week. But the reality of her death finally hit me today. 😔

We became friends via MySpace many years ago, and would often talk about how we couldn’t wait to finally meet each other in person, but the opportunity never presented itself because she ended up moving. Her viewing will be this weekend at the church she grew up in, which I just found out is right down the street from where I live. I plan on attending to show my respects. Though we’ve been friends for years, it’s sad to know that the first and last time I’ll ever get the chance to actually see her in person will be at her funeral. 😢

Rest In Him, Wynesha Joy Medley. You lived your life with purpose, have touched many lives including mine, and have left a legacy for yourself. I know without a shadow of doubt in my mind that your salvation was secured and that you will have a place in heaven with Jesus. This isn’t goodbye, this is just see you later. Much love, sis! See you on the other side. ✌

16178387_955208424581110_4876024698705427036_o.jpg

God Over Porn (Spoken Word Lyrics)

Click. Click. Click. Click. Click.
It’s the sound that your mouse makes
When you press play on that pornographic video clip
You’ve been browsing the web from the time you got home
Til about 3 or 4 o clock in the morning
Desperately searching for the next hit flick you click

Thinking to yourself
Let me go grab a towel or something / In case I get caught up in masturbation
Or / this website is trippin if they think they’re getting my credit card information
These free 30 second trailers / Just ain’t long enough
Let me fast forward a little bit / I like the part when they get a little rough

It’s interesting
How with over 4.2 million pornographic websites found online
Your lust seems to never get satisfied

The truth / Is that lust
Will take you further / Than you wanted to go
Keep you longer / Than you intended to stay
Cost you more / Than what you were willing to pay
I should know / Because this addiction had a grip on me for almost a decade

Yeah / That’s right
No more secrets / I’ma be transparent today
For years / Porn has ruined my life / Exciting my flesh / But causing a spiritual decay
And if I’m not mistaken / It all started in the middle of 7th grade

But Hey / That’s common though / Right?
Because the largest group of those who view porn online / Are from the ages of 12 to 17.
And I / Was around 13 / So according to this statistic / I was somewhere in between

It’s not that I wanted this addiction / But / Those images
They downloaded from the computer screen
Importing themselves deep down into my carnal being
Infiltrating my thoughts with all sorts of lustful dreams
And now I can’t / Now I can’t / Now I can’t shake / What I have seen
Because every familiar person / Every familiar place / Every familiar thing
Reminds me of another scene

I thought I was the only one
But as Scriptures points out / There’s nothing new under the sun
Over 11 million teens regularly view porn
Some say they do it because they’re lonely or bored / Looking to fulfill a relational void
While others say they do it just for fun

Yet / There is nothing fun / About not being able to fun-ction / In school
You can’t even focus, AND/OR concentrate, because
BUTTS are always on your mind / And I’m not talking about the conjunction

It’s a dysfunction / When all of your time is spent feeding your flesh
As if you were at an all-you-can-eat luncheon
Porn / is your choice of junk food / And you are nothing more than a sexual glutton

Through seduction / You have been ensnared
Into a world wide web / full of moral corruption
And you’ve been blinded / By the deception of the sex industry
Who has packaged its lies on shelves / And have sold them to you with glits and glamour
Porn / Is nothing more than a commercialized production

What you see on the screen / Doesn’t properly depict
What takes place behind the scenes
It’s obscene / The way that men treat women as if they were sexual objects
As if they were less than human beings
In fact / in their eyes / Women aren’t human at all / they’re merely figurines

But don’t let their curvaceous and well-sculpted bodies fool you.
Because many of them / Have undergone countless operations of plastic surgery
And it’s sickening / How the industry is like a pimp / Tied directly to human trafficking
Tricking teenage girls onto sets / That are hardcore / Extreme / Degrading

You can see them gagging while giving oral sex
And crying while filming orgies / But due to their Kodak smiles
You can’t discern their inward screaming

Porn is so unclean
Over 66% of porn stars have herpes / A non-curable disease
And of them, 207 have died prematurely
From AIDS, drugs, suicide and homicide / Since the year 2014

But Scriptures foretell this / That the wages of sin would be death
And since all have sinned
From the porn producers / To the actors / To the addicts
That means that death / Has legal access to us all / Unless

Unless someone saves us
So worthy is the lamb of God / Who was slain for our transgressions
On the cross / There was an exchange
Our sins / For his perfection
He died / So that we may live
A new life / Through the resurrection

Now forgiveness / Is made available / To anyone who would make this confession
That Jesus Christ is Lord / And the author of salvation

So repent / Believe / And accept God’s Grace
Lay aside every weight and sin / That so easily besets you from running this race

Cast down every imagination / And every high thing
That exalts itself against your knowledge of the Higher Being
Bring every thought under captivity / Especially those with sexual activity
Make a covenant with your heart and your eyes / Not to look at anyone lustfully

I know what some of you may be thinking
The struggle is real / and the flesh weak / But the Spirit is willing
So don’t give in to porn / I’m telling you it’s unfulfilling
Lust can only offer you a temporary bliss
But love / If you let it / can offer you so much more than this
You will never find satisfaction by going online
Lusting after someone else’s sister / Mother / Or Daughter
Only Jesus Christ can quench your thirst / You see / He’s the Living Water

Porn is a Killer Fantasy / And in this poem you’ve been forewarned
So the next time you’re tempted to watch it / Choose God Over Porn.

Struggle Vs. Practice

There is a difference between someone who STRUGGLES against unwanted same-sex attractions (SSA) and someone who PRACTICES homosexuality.

The definition of STRUGGLE is: to put up a fight; to wrestle with; to contend against something; to make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint.

The definition of PRACTICE is: to make repeated exercise in an activity or skill as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it; to carry out or perform (a particular activity, method, or custom) habitually or regularly; to get better at something.

Many people in this world have homosexual or bisexual inclinations, or temptations. Some of these individuals fight against their desires because they believe it is wrong (or sinful), while others fight against their urges because they simply do not wish to live a homosexual life and would prefer living a heterosexual life.

Yet, there are some who have stopped struggling against SSA altogether and who now willingly practice a homosexual lifestyle. They have embraced a homosexual identity, submerged themselves into the LGBT community and culture with “gay pride”, they get into committed homosexual relationships, and practice homosexual behavior. Many have given up because they don’t know how to overcome their SSA or because after many failed attempts, they feel as if there is no way to overcome it– Some have even convinced themselves that their lifestyle is justified in the eyes of God.

But for those of you who are still in a struggle, I want to encourage you to not give up in your struggle. Even if you have fallen several times and have lost some battles against sin here and there. Keep struggling. Remember, to struggle means to put up a fight; to wrestle with; to contend against something; to make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint.  As long as you are still in the fight, you have a chance of winning; of getting free. But when you give up the fight, you’ll never get the victory you seek; you’ll remain in bondage. Do not lose hope and give in to practicing a lifestyle you otherwise don’t agree with and don’t want to live. And even to those of you who have already given up in your struggle and began to live a homosexual lifestyle, I encourage you to get back in the fight. You can still overcome.

God will give you the grace to manage your SSA and the strength to keep fighting against it. Remember in Genesis 4:7, God told Cain, “If you do what is right, you will be accepted, but if you fail to do what is right, sin knocks at your door and it desires to have you, but you must master it.” Don’t let SSA or any other sin have you. Master it. Overtake it. Overcome it. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. You are more than a conqueror through Him who loves you.