Not All Counsel Is Wise

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He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.
-Proverbs 28:13

I’ve recently been turned on to a website called Good Women Project.  I read their ‘About Us’ section and one of their many goals is to “restore a woman’s identity as God created her to be.”   I thought ‘cool’ and decided to browse and see what they were talking about.  The site has lots of great articles from real, everyday women on topics such as sex, marriage, parenting, friendship etc.  I have found so many inspirational articles on this site that apply to myself and people I love who are struggling in certain areas of their lives.  For the most part I do respect the site, the editors, contributors and the writers because they share their own personal stories for the sake of helping women like me.  Now that I’ve said all that, I do have one big gripe about an article they posted.  It’s by a woman who had an affair with a married man.  Read it for yourself here and then see my complaint below.

I’m disappointed in Good Women Project.  There.  I said it.  I still love them though.

Let me start by saying that any affair takes two people.  But the wayward spouse is mostly to blame because they failed to protect the marriage and their spouse.  The lover is not a victim, but an accomplice.  The spouse is not the victim trapped in a horrible marriage. If two consenting adults are willing, they are not victims.  If one is not willing it’s called rape.  Let’s get that straight.  I can’t stand when one claims to be a victim who was used.  They should talk to victims of human trafficking. 

In this particular article, a woman explains how she got involved with a married man at work.  The problem I have is her lack of humility and ownership of her own wrongs.  This is my opinion.  She describes the whole relationship as something that started when this married man worked some kind of voodoo magic on her mind and broke her down.  It wasn’t her fault.  He made her do it.  At least, that’s how the story comes across.  He was an evil bastard who stalked her.  To her credit she does say that she felt tremendous guilt for what she was doing.  She had sex with this man in his truck parked near his home.  Where this thing goes left for me is when she says that her friend had to call the man and end the affair for her.  After all that, she still continues to drive past the man’s house and seeks him out in public.

“I still want to see him. I still find myself driving towards his house, his work, looking for him everywhere I go,”    

Then the comments left by readers hail her as a strong, humble woman who overcame.  Overcame what?  Not only did she NOT end the affair on her own, she still wants it.  She says she doesn’t, but her actions say otherwise.  Actions matter more than words.  How many people have lost respect after being found to say one thing and live another way?  I think it’s safe to say that the only reason she is not with this man right now is because he has become unavailable.  To illustrate, let’s suppose a man is addicted to heroin.  He is in so deep that his family and friends worry constantly that he will die on the street somewhere.  Then one day by some huge miracle, heroin is no longer available in the county where he lives.  Does this make him a strong man?  Has he truly overcome?  Did he kick on his own?  No.  But hey, sometimes we need to be rescued, right?  But if he purposely drives to the next county where heroin is available, looking for all his old addict friends, is he not still lost?  Wouldn’t you say it’s only a matter of time before this man uses again?  I would say so.  So my feeling is that if this woman bumps into this her old lover at the bank, it’s all over.

I’m not mad at GWP for posting the article, I’m mad at them for not including a disclaimer that says, “This is not an example of true repentance”.  Well, something like that but you get my point.  I’m just saying it’s misleading, and the comments show it.  True repentance is turning away from your sin.  It doesn’t mean you won’t struggle ever again or be tempted ever again.  But if you continue to seek it out, you’re in serious danger and not truly repentant.  If this woman is a friend to the editors, someone needs to really sit her down and show her some love.  Someone needs to tell her the truth about repentance.  Knowing that what you’re doing is wrong is not enough.  As a matter of fact, knowing you’re wrong is what makes sin exciting.  Knowing and continuing is what separates us from Christ.  As long as we blame others for our wrongs, we are not giving our hearts to Jesus for Him to soften.  We gotta get to that place where you love Christ too much to be separated from Him any longer.  When we willingly give ourselves over to sin and stay there, all the while saying “God is working on me”, not only is He not working on you, you haven’t even signed up for the program!  It’s the difference between “I want to, but I won’t” and “I want to and I will. God will forgive me”. 

In contrast, to read an article on GWP from a woman who owns her sin and shows true repentance, click here.  You’ll see the difference.

35 Reasons to Praise God

I’m not sure how the posting time zones work on wordpress but my 35th birthday is on April 22.  As most people do on their birthday, I have reflected on the road I traveled this past year and just through my life in general.  Mostly I just looked in the mirror and thanked my Mom for passing the good genes.  Black don’t crack!

I had a rough childhood but it could have been way worse.  I was pretty pissed off about this up until I graduated college.  Now I know that the things I suffered made me a more loving, sensitive and responsible mother to my own children.  For that reason alone, it was all worth it.  I don’t have much to write about trials and tribulations.  Most of that will come out as I continue to blog about the women in my family, including myself.  I thank God for sticking so close all these years and protecting me and loving me.  Never once has He let me down.

What I can say is that in the past year alone I have learned A LOT about Jesus, myself, marriage, motherhood and the world.  I know it sounds funny but I finally feel like a grown ass woman.  I mean, I have pretty much felt grown since I was a kid taking on adult responsibilities.  That’s why I have what the old folks call an “old soul”.  But this year I feel like I have come into my own.  I have been to hell and back and I emerged as a different woman- much wiser, more loving toward myself and protective of my heart.  I see the mistakes I’ve been making for years and a warm feeling washes over me like I’m laid out on Venice Beach.  I don’t feel ashamed or stupid for the bad choices I have made because I needed those mistakes to become a woman. A few things I have discovered about myself and the world around me:

  1. I give my heart away too quickly to people who don’t deserve to have it.
  2. I let too many little things bother me.
  3. I am a sexy, vibrant woman with a great figure (even after giving birth to 5 babies!)
  4. People who demand respect turn me off.
  5. People who command respect turn me on.
  6. I seem to equate fun and leisure time with irresponsibility.  Gotta change that!
  7. I deny myself simple pleasures because I don’t feel worthy.
  8. I have HUGE daddy issues!
  9. The world detests morals.
  10. Working for someone’s love and affection is a dead-end job.
  11. Compliments make me more uncomfortable than insults.  It’s true!
  12. Male friends suddenly campaign for boyfriend status when you become single.

At 35 years old I now live life the way I want to.  I do what comes naturally to me now, but I always check with God first because I could seriously screw my life up if I don’t.  Even my reasons for doing certain things have changed.  I have reclaimed energy wasted on ungrateful people and began using if for myself and my children. I feel so free!  No longer do I have to sacrifice my happiness to make people like me or love me.  Either they do or they don’t.  I can make an executive decision and tell people to stay out of my business. 

I’m grown!

Jesus passed it around

Don’t get it twisted! Jesus passed the bread and the wine.

During the last supper, Jesus instructed the disciples to share wine and bread in remembrance of Him and of the sacrifice He was about to make. Today I was meditating on this and I realized that our Father wanted us to partake in His grace and love and then share it with others. Share. Hand it off to the next man.

We partake but often forget to pass. I know I do. Share Jesus’ plan of salvation with those you closest to you, at the dinner table and the conference table. You can’t make a man eat but offer it to him and Jesus will take it from there.  Only Jesus can make you hunger and thirst for Him.

Don’t forget your brother to the left and to the right of you. You are accountable for him being introduced to Jesus– or not.

Jesus flips tables in His temple

As the story (Matthew 21:13) goes, Jesus entered the temple courts and started flipping tables.  Yes, a sweet and loving Jesus tossed furniture.  He did not lose his temper.  He defended his house, which was supposed to be a house of prayer.  But people had come to set up shop and profit from the thousands of people who entered the temple every single day.  They were selling doves, exchanging money for foreigners, etc.  The temple had become a swap meet.  It was probably uncomfortable, if not impossible, to worship God at the temple without spending any money.  People showed up with animals to offer to God as a sacrifice only for a priest to tell them their sacrifice was flawed or blemished and they would have to buy a pre-approved sacrifice from the guy outside who happens to have plenty. 

To help illustrate this for you, think of coming home from work early and catching your spouse in the act of committing adultery in your bed.  Plus, your house is filled with people strange people walking around, watching your TV, eating your food, barbecuing on your grill in your back yard.  You find your kids locked in one of the bedrooms crying because they’re hungry but they can’t eat because some guy keeps telling them to go play in their room.  They wanted to call you but they couldn’t use the phone because some girl has been on it for at least two hours.  Your house has been opened up to strangers- not for the sake of hospitality or grace or charity or generosity, but for mayhem and disrespect and lust.  Would you try to ‘nice’ your way out of this situation?  As head of household, not only is it your duty to kick everybody out, it is a MUST that you lay down the law and put an immediate end to the party.  As a Christian, it is your responsibility to provide for the children entrusted to your care and protect them.  After all, who respects a king who can’t defend his own castle?  Jesus only did what any father would have done.

Since Jesus was crucified and ressurected, we have direct access to Him at any time, for any reason, for FREE!  (Though many churches are still making serious dough by peddling so-called holy water and anointed pieces of cloth, we are not forced to buy it.)  Jesus lives in us.  We are his temples.  We were bought at a price and our bodies are to be used for the glory of God.  So when we misuse our bodies or use our bodies to hurt someone else we are defiling the name of Jesus and casting a bad light on Christianity.  Here we are cussing, spending money we don’t have, cheating, lying and stealing; all while claiming to be Christians.  The world has to overcome many obstacles in the church just to meet the real Christ and not his representative in the $2,000 suit surrounded by an entourage.  With Christ in our hearts we sin.  And I don’t mean the sin that we fall into, I mean the sin that we give in to.  Like living unmarried with your boyfriend when you know it’s wrong.  Like making ends meet by selling porn movies on the side.  Like having an affair while serving as a minister of youth at church.

Keep it up. 

Jesus will flip your tables.

Open My Eyes

I got this from my youversion friend Paul Santo.

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As you enter Church, passing many smiling faces, Hearing Cheerful Greetings And “God Bless You”! In the hall, Don’t forget, you only know half the story :
The man who held the door for you on your way into the Church this morning hasn’t seen his kids in three years – And it breaks his heart everyday.
Your kid’s Sunday School teacher can’t afford to buy lunch this afternoon after Church.
The woman singing sweetly in the choir goes home to a hostile, unsaved husband – and still she treats him like a king.
The usher who found your seat can’t find a job.
The Woman sharing the armrest next to you is raising her grandchildren born to her drug addicted, alcoholic daughter.
The young person who pushed past you carelessly is weighed down by guilt and has been backsliding for years, and if he doesn’t hear from God this morning – he’ll take his life tonight.
The man who stepped on your toe as he shuffled in late, slept out on the street last night and hasn’t had breakfast since Thursday.
The teenage girl wearing too much makeup and laughing too loudly had a fight with her drunken father last night – and she lost.
Pardon the single mom who seemed so tired and worn. It took all her strength to get her kids to Church this morning. But the nursery was already full and couldn’t keep her baby – so they turned around and went back home.
Excuse the man who rushed past you as he bolted for the door. He’s headed back to the hospital where he’s spent everyday for the last six months since his child’s devastating diagnosis.
The lady who turned away when you asked “How are you? ” She wasn’t being rude, she was hiding her tears – she was stunned by the slamming of the front door when her husband left home for the last time last night.
The boy who acted out in class, throwing a block that hit your child, his father threw a punch last month that landed him in jail.
Those quiet, young newlyweds laugh it off when people keep asking when they’re gonna start a family. No one knows they’ve lost two tiny babies already and doctors say their chances don’t look good. They need a miracle, they’re barely holding on to hope – and someone just took their seats.
SO WHEN YOUR IN CHURCH OR ANY WHERE FOR THAT MATTER.
” BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER, TENDERHEARTED, FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER, AS GOD IN CHRIST FORGAVE YOU” Ephesians 4:32

http://bible.us/n/Jvrj OPEN MY EYES

Grammy (cont.)

Grammy struggled to raise 4 kids on welfare.  She wanted to go back work as a nursing assistant but could not find anyone to watch babysit.  Then one day she met a handsome army soldier.  She told him her sob story and he offered to marry her so she could get benefits and help paying for housing.  According to Grammy she did not love Will and their marriage was one of desperation on her part.  Will had 4 kids of his own from a previous marriage who came to live with them.  They were newlyweds with 4 kids in one house.  A small house.  Grammy told me that she came home from work one night and found that Will had sexually assaulted one of his own teenage daughters just a few minutes before she walked in the door.  I became very angry when she told me this because the obvious conclusion is that she stayed married to this man.  She didn’t call the cops.  She didn’t kick him out of the house.  She didn’t leave him or divorce him.  She stayed married to him and she stuttered when I asked her why.  She had no answer.  Grandpa died a long time ago, but I found this out just last month.

Will was the only Grandpa I knew and now I wondered how and why Grammy and my mother allowed me to go anywhere with him alone knowing how he was.  I remember my mom always telling me to never sit on his lap.  I lost about 2 tons of respect for these two women.  But at the same time this news shed light on why Grammy and Grandpa were always fighting, never kissing or holding hands.  It explained why none of my aunts and uncles came around when they grew up and got married.  They got the hell outta dodge.

Through the years of their marriage, my mother said that Grammy cheated on Will with several men while he was overseas in the service.  My mom remembers Grammy having several male friends over at all hours of the night.  By this time in the 1960’s, Grammy was an alcoholic and using drugs to numb her pain and her guilty conscience.  She had been fired from her job as a nursing assistant because she had become so overweight that she couldn’t perform some important duties at work anymore.  She was discharged on disability and she was only in her 30’s. 

While Grammy was ‘entertaining’ men left and right, she got pregnant.  This is where the versions split.  As a kid I always kept track of my grandparents’ wedding anniversary, so I always knew when they had 24, 25, 26 years under their belt.  Well one year when I was 10, I realized that my youngest aunt had just turned 25, but my grandparents were on their 27th anniversary.  I remember walking around in a daze all that day working the numbers in my head.  All I knew was that this did not add up so I marched into the house and asked Grammy about it.  My sisters were sitting there too, so they heard Grammy’s explanation.  

She was raped.  Supposedly by an old boyfriend who had come back into town and wanted to see her and see how she was doing.  Now, I was only 10 but I knew she was lying.  As she described this man, she verbally detailed his beautiful dark skin, wavy hair, and tall body.  She talked about how white his teeth were and how he had dimples.  She was smiling at one point.  And this was how she felt when she talked about her rapist?  Something wasn’t right.  She claimed that she had gone to a girlfriend’s house to see this ex-boyfriend, at his request.  She says that her girlfriend and her boyfriend were there and they were all having a few drinks and chatting.  The friend and her man got up and went to the bedroom for some privacy.  So, Grammy says she sat on the couch with ex and talked some more and then he became aggressive.  But she described it like she was watching a movie, like it happened to somebody else.  Her eyes were all over the place.  No matter how she tried to cover it up, I knew that she had committed adultery.  Yes, I knew what that was.

Grammy had the baby girl and gave her to her Uncle and his wife to raise, because they couldn’t have any children of their own.  She says she gave the baby to him as a thank you for raising her and being there for her.  I’m inclined to think that my Grandpa wasn’t having a constant reminder of her one night stand.  Funny, since Grandpa did come back from service with an STD that had made him sterile.  So, the baby stayed within the family and I grew up knowing her as my auntie.

Grammy and Grandpa seemed to hate each other.  She was always bitching about something and he avoided being in the same room with her.  I never understood it but now it all started to make sense.  I never looked at them the same way again.  But I still loved them to death. They eventually separated when I was 14.  It was ugly and violent and the cops were involved.  I witnessed the whole thing.  They never divorced and Grandpa moved in with a woman who was his occasional mistress. 

Without his income, Grammy struggled to live on her small disability pay and the checks she received from the state for me and my sisters.  She got legal custody of us when my mom decided to go to rehab. 

More about that later.

 

“What does the Bible say about breaking generational curses?”

“What does the Bible say about breaking generational curses?”.