Don’t talk, baby just move with me.

Last night/early this morning I wrote about the 3rd week of Advent.  It’s the 4th week, I can’t keep up.  Anywho, listening to the daily prayer and I was struck again by the text but I made that “WhachutalkinboutWillis” face. The scripture is Luke 1:26-38, another long, single reading.  I’m rather enjoying those.  It talks about the interaction between the Angel Gabriel and Mary.

The narrator invites you to set the scene with your imagination but I was more concerned with, what I perceived to be a double standard.  See, in the text, the reader notes that the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, greeted her and she, being human “Pondered what sort of greeting this might be”. He told her of her favor with the L-rd and what would come to pass. Mary then said to the angel “How can this be since I am a virgin?”  Gabriel explains the Immaculate Conception and adds that her relative Elizabeth, Zachariah’s wife, in her old age has also conceived a son, to which Mary respond “Here am I, the servant of the L-rd. Let it be with me, according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Now, 6 months earlier, the Angel Gabriel visited Zachariah and gave him a message.  Him being human asked “How will I know that this is so for I am an old man and my wife is getting on in years.”  Gabriel explains who he is and why he is there, then says “But nigh, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak until the day these things occur.”

Now is it me, or does there seem to be a double standard here?  “How will I know?”  “How can this be?” both seem like valid questions to me, particularly when someone out of the blue appears with news/a message that is going to significantly change your life.  You can’t help but wonder, so why then was Zachariah “punished” for his disbelief/doubt and Mary was not?  The reader nor the text offers any indication as to whether or not Zachariah followed up his comment with acknowledgment and affirmation the way Mary did but it also doesn’t offer any indication that he was given opportunity.  May Zachariah should have spoken faster.

A lot is made about questioning G-d but if Mary had questions/curiosity, it stands to reason that we would too.  I believe in questioning G-d.  I will never know what I need to know if I don’t ask questions.  Now if I ask a question and he tells me “don’t worry about it, let me do what I do” okay.  I’ll stay in my lane.  We are taught that we should give all our problems, troubles, cares, woes, etc. over to the L-rd and he will take care of it all.  Eh, I’m not so sure.  I listened to a live streaming of my cousin’s husband preaching and he said something that was so spot on, I literally said “That’s it!” out loud.  He said, and I’m paraphrasing because I don’t have my notes, wherever he was in life, whatever he’d achieved, it wasn’t all G-d.  G-d helped but he helped too.  It was a partnership.  I think that ties into that whole faith without works is dead thing.  If G-d sees you working, then he’ll work.  If you aren’t working, he’ll still work but maybe not as hard.  Isn’t there something about G-d helps those who help themselves?  Maybe that’s how faith works.  He starts you off, you have to take it and do something with it, once he sees you doing something with it, he’ll help a little bit more.  The more you do, the more he does.  Seems fair to me.  But I digress.  I’m still on this double standard thing.  Why the difference when both people responded in a similar manner?  Could it be that Zachariah was fearful and Mary was perplexed? Fearful, perplexed, isn’t that just semantics?

Wikipedia defines double standard as: the application of different sets of principles for similar situations.

Merriam Webster defines double standard as: 1) Bimetallism, 2) a set of principles that applies differently and usually more rigorously to one group of people or circumstances than to another; especially :  a code of morals that applies more severe standards of sexual behavior to women than to men.

This is why I love the Advent season. It allows me to go deeper and learn more.  Yeah, I’m always learning throughout the year, but the learning seems to be better around this time of year because of the expectation of something so great.  Much is made about Christmas, Jesus, Santa. It’s not really his birthday, there is no G-d, there is no Santa, etc. Not preaching, just making a written observation.  Why does it matter to someone else what another person believes?  Whatever a person believes, that is their truth and who are we (society) to tell them otherwise?  This includes all the crap that went on with this, I can’t even really call it an election but for the sake of being consistent, this election.  Some things are blatantly wrong but if the person perpetrating the wrong thinks they are right, do you really think you are going to convince them they aren’t?  This “election” has, IMHO, made us all Zachariahs and Marys: fearful, perplexed, dumbstruck.  And if ever a double standard were present, it is never more so than with the current POTUS and the POTUS-elect.  #whatailsya

Til…Gr

There aren’t too many shows I watch but there are a few, among them Grace and Frankie.  Two women who, by societal standards, are in their golden years and find themselves single due to divorce.  Grace reunites with a love but there’s a catch – he’s married, but, his wife is terminal.  What’s a man to do?  He’s cared/caring for her but he has no companionship, none. Isn’t that one of the perks of being married – companionship.  I sat and pondered the question presented to Grace – should she engage in a relationship with Dude?  I saw here wrestle with it, go into the chapel and pray about it.  Is it wrong?  Is it merely giving into the flesh?  Where does the obligation end?  I found it quite interesting and for a moment, gave thought to what I’d do.  Can’t really say.  There’s something soulfully sad to have someone there/present and be utterly alone.

In Grace’s case, I’m not sure it was even about sex.  They appeared to enjoy each others company and maybe that’s all it was about, companionship.  Don’t we all need someone to talk to, to share our lives with?  Yes, we have Jesus, but it is not good for man to be alone.  Just because the body is there, are we to find comfort in that?  Such a difficult, yet rhetorical question.  For some, it’s obvious.  As Frankie says – “The vows say in sickness and in health” but there’s another part  “As long as we both shall live.”  The live part is debatable.  Are you really living?  Is it  possible to keep your vows – to love, honor, cherish, in sickness and in health, til death do you part – while not dying yourself?  Does the sickness of one mean the death of the other?  Does self preservation not have a say?

Again, it ain’t about the sex.  It’s about having someone there to attend to the needs.  But won’t Jesus attend to all your needs?  Surely, but again, we are charged to go forth and love one another.  Can that be done in the midst of another’s sickness?  It does give you pause, or at least it should.  When, exactly, does death occur?  Is it merely the cessation of all functions, it is the soul leaving the body, or is it the soul trapped in a lifeless body?

I don’t have any answers.  I’ve never found myself in that situation but I find it profoundly sad and complex.  Til, is a long time.  #whatailsya

Your reputation precedes you

Someone I know, our relationship is more than any “ship”I would ever hope to define and Webster doesn’t even come close.  She’s my “baby mama” or one of them but don’t even try to figure that out, lol.

Well, anywho, my buddy became unemployed; not fired but contract ended and thus began her journey through Whyville.  She was’t sad but I noted a bit of discouragement, particularly after an interview did not go as She had planned.  Having passed through Whyville a few times, I listened and offered her an umbrella that had recently been handed to me.

I was Netflix(ing) and chilling (not in the new age sense, I suppose) and I came across #deathtoselfie.  The title alone, compelled me to push select and thus the handing of the umbrella commenced.

I watched #deathtoselfie onNetflix but did anything but chill.  I so enjoyed this sermon because for the first time, I had an answer to a question that I’d long posed aloud to Abba…what did it mean when biblical scholars wrote and God said “I AM the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob.” Well, Pastor Furtick surely was a light unto my path this day because I had such an A-HAAA moment that I chuckle now,  Pastor Furtick broke it down and as I interpreted it, when God was using this to get people to see ALL the sides of him and the way he can do and will do things and the types of people he covers based on the characteristics and actions of these 3 men.  When I emerged from my prayer closet, after having watched and listening to Pastor Furtick, I realized that not only is he the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, he is the God of me.  Now, I’m not too clear on Isaac but I get Abraham and thanks to Pastor Furtick, I got Jacob.

I thought about my friend and myself and our respective situations and was so excited for myself when I realized and received the message from Pastor Furtick.  Now, I’d always known that God doesn’t specialize in perfect people but there was/is something about this explanation that resonated with me.  The God of Jacob…the God of liars, cheats, thieves.  The God of the disappointed, lost, etc. you get the drift and when I got it, I felt the umbrella (covering) open up.  See, if you want to know how good something is, it’s all about word of mouth.  You have to get the right person (marketing) to make yourself known to the masses.

I’m still excited about this new discovery and sent my friend a text to let her know that not just God, but the God of Jacob was and is with her.  I have several names I call her but she knows who she is, you, may call her Jacob.

Love you TeeHee!!

What ails ya!!

 

 

Ephesians 5:28-29

I saw this on the opening credits of a Netflix film and had to share as it made me think of the book listed underneath.

“Each gifted man needs a gifted woman to help him to fulfill his objective, destiny and purpose in life. The male and the female should be of one mind in doing the work of God.” -Anonymous

Women are Kingmakers” – Wellington Boone

Guess now you know why it’s called Kingdom building.  Sadly, some women don’t know how to make kings and even sadder is some men don’t want to be kings.  The book I referenced is a quick read but it is so powerful that you might not be ready for it.  I wasn’t. Got to a certain point and papa’ and I were having a conversation and I had to put the book down.  Wasn’t ready for that part yet. See, if you know how to make a king, you can’t force the king to take the throne and far too many men abdicate the throne then get mad at the king for the rules they lay down.  Or, worse yet, the kingmaker is forced to play the role of king.  Sure, we are all kings in our own right but everything has a hierarchy.  Call it old fashion but a man is the head of the house.  A man’s home is his castle and castles have kings.  Kings take advice and counsel from the queen.  To have a happy castle the queen cannot take the role of king while the king is still able to rule.  There will be conflict.  To be king you have to want to be king.  Being king is a huge responsibility but with the right queen at your side your land will live in peace and harmony.

What I’ve come to understand is that the bible is one big puzzle that you have to link together.  28: “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29: For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,…”  When you add on “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” the puzzle starts to take shape.

If you let that steep in your mind and soul for a few: loving your wife as your own body.  In today’s society, some of us love ourselves so much we have no room for others because we love our body so much that that is all we show you.  NO hate or shade, I’m just point out the obvious.  If you’re a married man, ask yourself, “Do I love my wife like I love myself?”

I AM a kingmaker or at least I try to be.  Every woman’s king making skills are different but the common goal is the same.  If you’re a man, ask yourself, ‘Do I want to be a king?”  I use lowercase king because Jesus is the King of kings.  Who did you think he was referring to?

#ilovemyself  #knowyourrole  #stayinyourlane  #ilookgoodyoulookgood

What ails ya?

Of all the nerve

I CANNOT Do Anything.

As humans, we don’t like certain things; negativity and limitations rank high on the list. What I’m about to say may come across as negative and/or limiting but that is not my intent but I offer no apologies.

During a conversation with my dad I had a thought, voiced it and it stayed with me. Later that night, I couldn’t sleep because this thought was still on my mind sooo, I googled it and found some interesting information. I took this information and had another conversation with my dad and gave my thoughts on it and he his and oddly enough, he said he’d never looked at it that way.

Philippians 4:13, I’m sure everyone knows it but have you ever really thought about what it means? Chris DeRoco of Christianity.com has thought about it and he gives a nice explanation that is exactly what I was thinking. Again, I’m no theologian scholar, I’m just a sinner trying to make it in this world but Mr. DeRoco advises that what Paul meant is (and I’m paraphrasing) that when things are going well, we remain faithful to Christ and when things aren’t going well, we remain faithful to Christ. As I interpreted, the remaining faithful in all situations is where and when you receive strength from Christ.

Now, since I never REALLY understood it, I was mindful of its use. I have a running shirt with the scripture on it but honestly, I bought it because it gives me high visibility at night but I notice people use it a lot and for various reasons and that’s when it all came together for me. I saw a post from someone who was gearing up for her first race and she wrote of her anxiety and then followed it up with “I can do all things…” Now, as Mr. DeRoco points out and I whole heartedly agree, the scripture is not implying that whatever we want to accomplish, whatever we put our minds to we CAN DO because of Christ and we will be successful because I CAN DO. If that were the case, with all the praying saints around the world, wouldn’t we be in much better shape than we are now? I mean after all, it says, I can do ALL things, so ALL means just that, doesn’t it? Yes, there’s nothing too hard or impossible for G-d but there are things too hard and impossible for man (that’s another scripture) but as it pertains to this particular one; I (you nor me) CANNOT do all things. I mean, I can because I have the will, maybe some knowledge and strength but even those have limitations and when you have limitations, you cannot do all things. Yeah, yeah, we all know G-d is limitless but we’re not talking about him, we’re talking about ourselves and humans have limits, do we not?

By no means as I saying I’m correct (although I probably am 🙂 ) but it does and should give you pause. Take the sport of Triathlon. Doing 3 different disciplines back to back to back requires a great deal of training (knowledge and strength) and will. Depending on the distance, you need more strength (mental and physical) than others. So, if just 10 athletes (out of all the hundreds) doing a 140.6 distance subscribe to Philippians 4:13 and for whatever reason 5 DNF, what happened to the strength they received from Christ? I don’t know about you but it would make me stop and wonder, as it did.

Honestly, I do believe that I can do all things and it is because of Christ. I can do all things because I have knowledge, wisdom, courage, understanding and faith and even a lil bit of physical strength and it was all given to me by G-d, through Christ, so I guess I was wrong, huh. I’m not too familiar with the sensation.