True Power

True Power

Friday, October 29, 2010

Prophets and Prophetesses

I have always had dubious feelings when someone introduced themselves as a prophet or prophetess. My mind would always go directly to Jeremiah, Obediah, Isaiah, and Elijah. I can hear the prophets of old giving their oracle (threatening message) or their burden as the book of Nahum, Habakkuk, and Malachi begins with;to the people. Many prophets of this day tell people their break through is about to occur.

When I begin to lean towards the side of suspicion I remember 1 Tessalonians 20: "do not treat prophecies with contempt." The Bible also states in 1 Corinthians 12:28-31 "And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts" which chapter 13 tells us is love. The point is, God acknowledges prophets and so should I.

In the past five years as I accepted invitations to visit various services or churches, I have bumped into three different prophets in three different cities each telling me the same specific thing. I know you would like to know the specific thing, I'll just say it has to do with my writing ministry. I write this post because just last night I was invited to a revival where I had been asked to give a reading. To my surprise, there was a rophet there and I was called to the front. Praising God all of the way to the front of the church, I was not surprised to hear for the third time a prophesy regarding my writing. The prophetess added that she could see me up all during the night writing and that was the time God filled me with the "ideas" He wanted me to write. Being a terrible insomniac who has had to write and calm myself down from preaching outstanding sermons to myself; I had to smile at this revelation of truth. Each prophet pointed to my womb area saying God was filling me to birth a work to touch as one prophet said "A rainbow of people." He explained my ministry was global for all races. I LIKED THAT.

I received each word given to me from prophets and prophetess. I am always willing to hear from God and I promise you if a donkey speaks to me, it will have a listening ear. In My book "When Will Eve BE Forgiven?" I wrote a little about this.

It should come as no shock when Peter, Paul, and the other authors of the New Testament were writing the Bible they believed they were living in the last days waiting for the return of Jesus. Notice what Paul says in Hebrews 1:1-2, “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.” It is clear Paul thought he and the Christians during his lifetime were living in the last days.

In I Peter 1, Peter is telling God’s elect to live holy lives. He tells the people that due to the precious blood of Christ their faith and hope may be in God. In v. 20he said “Who verily was foreordained (Jesus) before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”

It is an important point to mention the fact that the apostles truly believed they were living in the last days when they were writing the letters that would later become books of the New Testament. It is important to the ancestors of Eve who are admonished not to teach or to have authority over men. In Acts 2:17-18, a book attributed to Luke, it reads: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days and they will prophesy.”

The actual word “prophesy” is used ninety times in the entire Bible. In the Old Testament the one word has three definable uses. Variations of the word are used and have the same meaning as the word “prophesy.” The majority of the usage of the word “prophesy” in the Old Testament is as Chazah (khaw-zaw), which is used fifty-one times. This word is a prim. Root; to gaze at, to perceive, contemplate (with pleasure), to have a vision of: - see (38 x), behold (7 x), look (3 x), prophesy (2 x), provide (1 x). The second use of the word “prophesy” is as naba (naw-baw), which is used one hundred-fifteen times. This word is a prim. Root; to prophesy i.e. speak (or sing) by inspiration (in prediction or simple discourse): - prophesy (111 x), prophesying (2 x), prophet (2 x). The last use of the word in the Old Testament is nataph (naw-taf), which is used eighteen times. This word is a prim. Root of: to ooze, i.e. distill gradually: by impl. To fall in drops; fig. to speak by inspiration: - drop (12 x), down (1 x), prophesy (4 x), prophet (1 x).

In the New Testament the Greek translation of the word is propheteuo (prof-ate-you-o), which is used twenty-eight times. In this form the word means to foretell events, divine, speak under inspiration, exercise the prophetic office: - prophesy (28 x). This word means “to be a prophet, to prophesy,” and is used (1) with primary meaning of telling forth the divine counsel and (2) of foretelling the future.

If we are in the last days, as the Scripture affirms, then women have been given the same gift of prophesy as men and with the gift comes authority to speak as directed by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Who will be able to question, confirm, or deny whether the woman is directed to speak to a male or a female? Does the church lose sight of the mission of Christians which is to spread the gospel so that all might be saved or is the Church mission to make sure a woman does not instruct a man in the ways of the Lord? One denomination, I will not name the denomination which believes it is permissible for a woman to minister to an unbelieving male but not to a saved male. Shouldn’t we all be iron sharpening iron?

In the first chapter of Acts the apostles were gathered together in an upper room filled with 120 people. There was continued prayer while all waited for the Holy Spirit to descend upon them. Among the 120 present in the upper room was Mary, the mother of Jesus and other women. Now when the Holy Spirit descends in chapter two of the book of Acts it states in v.4 “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” For many interpreters of the Bible this included all that were in the upper room. To be fair, there are others who believe the Holy Spirit descended only on the twelve apostles since chapter one of Acts leaves off speaking about the apostles casting lots to determine the man who would take the place of Judas so the initial number of 12 apostles would remain intact as was selected by Jesus. I will not debate this issue at this time. It is enough to know women were present in the upper room anticipating the return of Jesus and participating in prayer alongside of the apostles.

So, for those like me who feel a little unsure when it comes to prophets, be assured Scripture is for the office. We are told to test people, or watch them to see if what they say and do are true. That is my stance on prophecy. It will come to pass if it is of the Lord and it won't if it is not of the Lord. In your own personal relationship with God, you should know whether a prophet is speaking along the lines in which you speak to God and God speaks to you.

Now, for the rest of the story. I have never claimed to be a prophet. But during the month of December in 2005 God was pressing on my spirit to pray in the New Year. I loved the idea and was going to suggest it to my pastor. But, my spirit said no, pray in the New Year at home. Very well. I would invite my husband to pray with me. It would be a good experience for us to share. Again, I felt no. It was for me to pray. Feeling a little frightened I told my family "I believe the Lord wants me to pray in the New Year by myself." I said it in a way suggesting "If yall don't see me again you will know what happened to me." The night came and I told my family with anxiety "Well, I guess I'll go and pray in the New Year like I believe God instructed me to do."

On my knees I sang, prayed and then said "God you wanted me here for a reason. Now I will be in silence to let you speak what you have to say to me." I believe I squeezed my eyes shut half fearing the unexpected.

Long story short (joke) the Lord revealed His plans for the country for 2006, 2007, and 2008. 2006: a shaking up of the government. Corupption exposed. Shifting of people. 2007: The uprooting completed. Fall out continues this year as everything He wanted exposed is so. Calming of the storm. Everything positioned. 2008: a mighty movement of women in government and in religion and every other area of influence.

I told my husband and I said either I'm crazy or God gave me a prophecy. We decided WE would know if I were crazy by December 31, 2008. It all came to pass!!!! 2008 was a new beginning for the U.S. with women in a prominent and powerful position and women have been continually going strong.

At the begininig of 2008 while in conversation with God, He whispered to me, "Did you think I was leaving you out of the mighty movement of women? 2008, is your beginning." I believe He gave me the first prophecy so He could trust me with His prophecy (ministry) for me. I have not had another unction of prophecy since. It was a burden on the soul to receive the first one. It takes a special type of person to carry the gift of prophecy.

For those who are using this gift for their own benefit, there will be a heavy price to pay. For those who live in this gift while all others ridicule and consider you crazy - God bless you.

So, the three prophets who spoke to me told me what God had told me. Years are passing, but He lets me know His word is true. Am I on pins and needles for the prophecy to come true? YOU BET. But, I am on God's time. I can't make it come true no more than I can stop it from coming true. In the lean time; I continue to do what I happen to love to do- write; hoping to show someone the love, joy, and mercy of God.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

CRASHING INTO ME (fiction novel) page 1

Yes I am dabbling into the world of fiction. Actually I have been working on this novel since 2003. This is my first book I tried to pen and the other books came to fruition while working on this one. I have found writing fiction to be an emotional rollercoaster and find non fiction a safer venture. As I write this novel it taps into emotions and past experiences in ways I was not prepared for and I have to take breaks. Even though the novel is not autobiographical, you draw from things you have gone through in life to make it real. So I would like for you all to get a glimpse of my first baby of 2003 (I will be using a pen name for this book so keep the secret) I will post a page a day of chapter one only. I would love feedback.

CHAPTER ON PAGE ONE




'I would not care if I died right now; this instant - instantly. It would be over. Then they would realize how cruel they had been to me; all of them would know.' Cynthia half smiled as she pressed her entire foot, not just the tip of her sandaled foot, harder on the acceleration pedal. Trees were streaming by her peripheral view in a blur of smeared shades of green as the Mazda barreled down the dark, serpentine, asphalt highway headed to no particular destination.

'I could easily do it. Just turn the wheels in the direction of any one of the pine tree groves, and let go. I could let happen what everyone else had been hoping for; for me to become nothing-- nonexistent. Who would show up in their bury-the-dead best? Fresh, crisp, high, hair doos along with newly glued acrylic nails, talons in hues of lavender, fire engine red, or the standard shiny coppery gold. Friends and family occupying pews more concerned with their looks than the dead. Coming to be viewed; paying respect to no one. Me, lying cold and still in a coffin would be just another chance for them to say, “Look at me.”'

On the car radio a slow, southern accented, baritone, voice was winding up ‘a blame and shame’ sermon. His cadence was practiced--arrogant, “There are timezzzz… in our livezzzz… when we should just be still… and listen to Godt trying to speak to ussss. Godt wants to tell us thingzzzz… but we are too busy being Godt… in our own livezzzz… to hear Him. Sometimezzzz… we just need to be still.”

Been there, done that. ONE-TWO-THREE-DIE.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Home Church


Consider yourself blessed if you belong to a church that teaches the Bible and have small groups for various teaching for spiritual growth. But what will happen to you if you were not able to attend your church?

In the book of Acts we see that people met in their homes to worship and read Scripture. Then as time progressed the official church was set up by Paul with positions of leadership and authority. Fast forward to today and you will find many people against having services at home. The Bible does say not to forsake the assembly of believers. This was said not because it would be sinful to worship alone but, there is strength in numbers and edification (building up of one another) can happen and help you as you spread the gospel.

But Jesus instructed us to GO into the world not STAY in one building. The disciples were taught in three years by Jesus for their mission and the Holy Spirit continued to help guide and direct them. Some church members are on their 40th year of being instructed and are not quite ready to GO yet on their own. That I guess is between them and God and I won't make any comments about it. What I do want to talk about in this post is: Can you have church at your own house with just you and your family?

Many churches will crumble and may never recover when their beloved pastor of many years dies. It is a sad state when the sheep are left lost and confused, having been totally dependent on one person for years. One religious group I know of prides itself (ministers) on not staying in one church too long. They don't want the congregation attached to them but attached to God. They love their congregation enough to go and let them know it is God who you cleave to in such a manner not man.

With cable television, people are able to turn on a church service at any time. You can pray along, sing along, and Amen along with the service within the comfort of your own home. You can take notes and mark up your Bible right there in your living room. Many do not consider television services as a valid time of worship. I ask what is the difference? You are suppose to be worshipping God and connecting with the Savior; do you need a special designated place for that?

One day, I told my family "Today we are going to take the Lord's Supper at home." You could see shock and fear on their faces. It became a teaching moment.

"As you come to him, the living Stone - rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him - you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" 1 Peter 2:4-5."You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ then you are Abraham's seed and heirs accourding to the promise." Galatians 3:26-29. The Bible goes on to say we are all fellow workers. One may plant the seed and one may water the seed but they both have the same purpose "For we are God's fellow workers: you are God's field, God's building" 1 Corinthians 3:1-9.

So after I convinced my family that we would not burn in Hell for taking the Lord's Supper at home I began to bless the bread and wine the way Jesus did in Luke 22:14-23I also read the passage from 1 Corinthians 11:27-30 "Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick; and a number of you have fallen asleep."

The ability for you to praise and worship God is within yourselves. The ability to serve God is within yourselves. The ability for you to keep yourself focused and encouraged in God relies heavily on fellow worshippers. Your ability to grow in Christ is your responsibility but you must remember 'iron sharpens iron.' Along with the Holy Spirit you can be a great servant of God.

The one thing you must always remember is that in the end there will be just you and God. Learn how to serve, worship, praise, learn, grow in God on your own. Man can fail you and mislead you, but, in the end it will be you who will be held accountable for your salvation.

Take it upon yourself to be able to minister to yourself. You should be your biggest advocate after Jesus. If no one was left on earth you should be able to worship God with song, praise and prayer. Become close to God. Many people believe they are close and in relationship with God because their paster is close and in relationship with God. This is not true. Know how to communicate with God for yourself.

But as I began this post, you are blessed if you have a Bible teaching church. But, you should be able to minister and teach yourself also.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Book Of Eli

My husband and I rented the movie "The Book Of Eli." We popped our popcorn and settled in to watch us some Denzel Washington.

The movie bagan slow and we waited and waited for it to pick up in action and content, but it didn't. I had prepared to see an action packed movie with the usual kick butt hero or at least some type of battle between the forces of good and evil. There were the established good guys and bad guys, but the battle between them was not one that left you on the edge of your seat rooting for the good guy.

So, the only thing left to do was to try to figure out what exactly the movie was trying to accomplish. It wasn't to entertain through graphics and high tech explosives. The color format of the movie was dull and depressing on purpose.

I knew that the theme was apocalyptic and that Scripture somehow figured into the story line. But, the movie was more of a commentary on the loss of a grounding force among men. It showed how uncivilized mankind can become after a catastrophic event. How the things that make us civilized can be lost in one generation. It also showed that those who survive will be concerned with just that; self survival at the cost of dignity, morals, and humanity.

Those that will rise after catastrophy will be those who are of a higher level of education and they will grab and maintain that power by making sure that the masses do not obtain education. The uneducated will follow anyone who seems to know authoritatively what they are saying and doing whether it is the true case or not.

As long as the main character is doing his act of faith, he can not be stoped with mere force. He was given the task and God would be with him until its completion. While completing the task, Eli realizes that it is not material things that need to be protected but faith, hope, and love that is the sacred.

The story has a happy ending of a new day dawning and the torch being passed on to another. If the audience can sit through the movie without flashes and booms and connect with the story and allow themselves to be challenged in their religious comfort, then there is a good message to be had.

This would make a good movie to be viewed on a church movie night and discussed later in some form of group setting. Young and old can benefit from this discusion. It brings up the question of what happens to a society when education is gone? What happens to a society that is without religion? What are a people to do when a generation has no history to draw from? How does the helpless and hopeless survive and who will you run to as your leader?

I can not give this movie any thumbs up but I am glad to have watched it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Last Exorcism

Well I admit each Halloween I brave the movie theater to see a scary movie. See, I'm a big chicken and cover my eyes as soon as the spine tingling music begins signaling someone is going to get it. Last Halloween I saw Paranormal Activity and almost smothered myself with my sweater from covering my eyes (and nose) with it when the scary music began.

Leaving the movie theater last year, I declared I would never put myself through that again.

Many movie critics say people watch scary movies because they can be frightened in a safe enviroment knowing nothing will happen to them. It is a simple way to brave your fear of the unknown knowing no matter what happens, you will escape unharmed. My husband hates scary movies. Out of my three daughters; two will watch a scary movie - not the slasher ones - but the ones where the director truly has a surprising storyline that cannot be predicted. Those are the ones I will man up to see too. Back to the movie.

So I decided that The Last Exorcism could be a viable movie for me to see. Its potential to scare me too much seemed a minimal risk. Exorcism is something the Christian church has dealt with and the Catholic faith still may perform. I had an interest to see how the Christian faith would be portrayed in the movie.

The theater was empty and dark. There were only two bodies in there; my daughter and I.

The movie began with a second generation minister in his late to early thirties talking to a camera crew documenting an exorcism. He recounted how and why he had become a minister following in his fathers footsteps. To say the least, he was mocking religion as a job for anyone with some charisma to take advantage of a group of followers blindly following anyone professing to have a direct hook up with God. He actually told the camera crew he could get his witless group of religious zombies to Amen and shout hallelujah to a food recipe thrown right in the middle of some Bible buzz words. Guess what? They Amened and praised God at a food recipe.

My daughter and I sat with our mouths opened in pure astonishment. We did not know exactly what was the most shocking: that someone would actually put that on film, or that it was true, or that it was funny and we were ashamed we wanted to laugh.

Anyway, the preacher agreed to perform an "exorcism" based on the premise with the right buzz words and enough of calling on the Lord people would believe anything in religion. This is when things began to get scary. And yes, I almost smothered myself again and left the theater promising not to put myself through so much horror again.

Many Christians say that religion is under attack and the secular community (Hollywood) has no problem mocking God. After seeing this movie I have reinforced my belief that it is not God who is being mocked or religion that has lost credibility. It is the followers of God that have made a farce out of themselves. There are many ministers who prey on vulnerable people for finacial gain, power or for ego trips. There are members of church who believe they are serving God by how loud and often they say Amen or do a holy dance. For this group of people this is enough for them to be called a Christian. And it so happens that they are the most vocal and demonstrative of Christianity making sure to be seen by many.

I thought about this post and said who am I to point, judge, and blame. My representation of God, I am sure, is not spotless. But I do think about what it is I am doing as a representative of God and I have had to stop doing things that I would have really enjoyed doing. I know what you are thinking. A Christian at an "R" rated movie and a movie that supports Halloween can't be a good representation of Christianity. But, I thought about that too. The value of staying relevent to the people I minister to, does not allow for me to live in a sanitized bubble. I could not have these thoughts, meditations, or points of view if I did not venture into the arena from time to time of those I want to reach.

So I just exited the theater thoroughly scared as the movie intended. I got my money's worth. I left the theater not upset with Hollywood for mocking Christians but more determined then ever to encourage others in their Christian walk to be more responsible with the light they are presenting to the world. I exited the movie knowing we are a flawed people and that will always remain. I know I must guard my heart and not be too judgemental of others in and outside of the faith. And I learned that it is okay to laugh. The movie actually captured that group of people that are misleading others and following blindly. If the movie was never made it would not erase the fact that such things exist within the Christian community.

I learned from my scary October movie 2010 that I am responsible for my Christian walk and I hope I will never be an inspiration for a movie that does not reflect well on me or my faith.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Marriage: A Labor Of Love

If you are a visitor of Facebook and look at the profile information of anyone's page; you will notice a place where one can declare what is the status of their RELATIONSHIP.

I usually laugh when someone has "It's Complicated" this could be married, single, datig, shacking, stalking, on 12th breakup, waiting for him/her to notice me, and just pretending to be in a relationship. People do not seem to mind putting "it's complicated" as the status of their personal life. But, when it truly comes to MARRIAGE people seem to expect for it to be perfect, joyous at all times, and a road on easy street. THIS IS FAR FROM THE TRUTH.

WATCH YOUR WORDS WHEN YOU ARE MARRIED

A careless word may kindle strife;
A cruel word may wreck a life.
A bitter word may hate instill;
A brutal word may smite and kill.
A gracious word may smooth the way;
A joyous word may light the day.
A timely word may lessen stress;
A lovely word may heal and bless.

Notice the poem states to watch your words when you are married. I believe a couple needs to be prepared for marriage before the "I do's." Yes, I am for pre-marital counseling and I think the church has been lacking in this department along with parents who want their child's marriage to have a better chance at success. We plan out our careers, bragging to others what we are going to be when we grow up. We should be preparing to be a good spouse, yes, even bragging how wonderful a marriage we are preparing; to the best of our ability.

Let me begin by telling you what pre-marital counseling is not:
1. It is not a guarentee to a happy and successful marriage.
2. It is not everything you will need to have to have a happy and successful marriage
3. It is not talking you out of getting married.
4. It is not the counselor taking responsibility for your preparation and choices.
5. It is not personal counseling issues that may need to be addressed in another setting.

Pre-marital counseling is:
1. A careful, honest look at some beliefs, activities, and issues that lie at the heart of marriage.
2. It is an opportunity to seek information and interact with your future spouse and/or counselor in a positive way.
3. It is a resource of ideas and activities that can be used by the couple outside of the counseling sessions to strengthen understanding and intimacy.
4. It is an occasion to address issues that the couple may find difficult to discuss alone.

A good pre-marital counselor will address, encourage and allow a couple to voice how they feel/believe about the main issues that cause marriages to fail: MONEY, SEX, FAMILY, CAREERS, RELIGION, and the expected ROLES each will play in the marriage.

It is always surprising to me, and yes I am guilty too, that people madly in love do not even talk about how they feel about sex or religion before getting married. Then once married, when these topics are PUSHED into the forefront by unexpected situations or circumstances, conflict arises and each person had no idea their mate believed a certain way about the issue.

I honestly believe a couple intent on getting married will not take the time to go to pre-marital counseling because there IS a fear of "What if I find out something horrible about this person I want to marry so badly." They decide to deal with things later because they are so in love and don't want anything to mess up the relationship. I would be afraid of finding out what people call a "deal breaker" when I was so close to marrying someone I loved. But, if your love is not strong enough to find out the true essence of a person's thought process and beliefs before marriage, it will not be strong enough to last through living in and out those beliefs with your spouse. Getting it out on the table in the beginning strengthens you as a couple allowing you to learn how to figure things out together in honesty.

Pre-marital counseling is your first step at bonding intimately on a deeper level. Many marriages fail due to a lack of intimacy. We all know SEX is not and should not be the only intimate experience shared between a married couple.

1. Sexual intimacy: more than the bringing together of bodies or sensual arousal, the experience of self-abandon in the merging of two persons
a. Sex im marriage can be a self-focused act about what the individual gets out of it rather than what the two are sharing in it.
b. 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 warns of a selfish attitude toward sex that is sure to hinder mutual intimacy.
2. Emotional intimacy: deep awareness and sharing of significant meanings and feeling.
3. Intellectual intimacy: closeness from sharing the world of ideas.
4. Aesthetic intimacy: deep sharing of experiences of beauty.
5. Recreational intimacy: sharing the joy of leisure time activities, hobbies, and play.
6. Crisis intimacy: standing together in the major and minor tragedies of life; sharing external and internal burdens such as illness, accident or unemployment.
7. Spiritual intimacy: sharing faith, commitment, love, and service to Jesus Christ; sharing the ultimate meanings and concerns of life.

I guess you are saying "goodness, if I have all of those acts of intimacy, I'll be spending all of my time with him/her!" Now you're getting it. When God said that you become one - He kind of meant you become as one. Now there will be times for friends and times you will want your space, but, you should always prefer (not have to actually, but would not mind it) to spend time with your spouse.

I have seen married couples who drive to the same events in separate cars. I have seen married couples where she is always at events with a sister or mother but never the husband. The word COUPLE could never define there marriage because you never see them together. INTIMACY will be the key to a successful marriage and hashing out the pitfalls early will open a door to better intimacy. But marriage will need a dedicated effort to maintain intimacy.

MYTHS ABOUT INTIMACY
1. Intimacy is being able to read each other's minds.
2. Sex is intimacy and intimacy is sex
3. Intimacy will grow automatically once it's started
4. Love and behavior are not related
5. Someone either loves you or not! and that is that
6. Knowing everything about the other person is essential to intimacy
7. The relationship can grow only when we feel good about each other.

CONDITION THAT PROMPT INTIMACY TO GROW
1. Intimacy grows as couples dare to risk greater openess
2. Intimacy grows as couples learn (or learn again) to be emotionally present for each other
3. Intimacy grows as couples develop and maintain a high degree of caring for each other
4. Intimacy grows in a climate of trust based on commitment to fidelity and continuity.

If you and your intended are afraid to go to pre-marital counseling; that is a red flag. YOU MAY NOT BE AS CLOSE AND INTIMATE AS YOU THINK AND DEFINITELY YOU MAY HAVE PROBLEMS COMMUNICATING TOGETHER. If one of you believe you do not need pre-marital counseling; that is a red flag. NO ONE HAS ALL OF THE ANSWERS AND SHOULD BE WILLING TO SEEK GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT IN MAJOR ISSUES/DECISIONS IN LIFE SUCH AS MARRIAGE. YOU WILL BE MAKING A LIFETIME OF MAJOR DECIONS TOGETHER. THIS FIRST ONE CAN SHOW HOW OTHERS WILL GO.

The Bible tells mothers to teach their daughter how to be wives. This seems to be an lost art. God knew a good husband and a good wife had to be taught not just left to chance. Teach your children marriage is a labor of love. It has to be worked on from start to finish. The state of marriage has deteriorated for many reasons, but preparation can revive this institutional relic.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The place you eat as the new altar of Jesus


In the Old Testament, we notice God always had a place in which His people could know He was with them. Exodus 40:34-38 says the glory of the Lord was with Abraham and the children of Israel from the time of the erection of the Tabernacle down the line of his descedents. We know David wanted to build another Temple for God, but he had too much blood on his hands because of all of the wars he had fought. Solomon, David's son, would build a house for the Lord God in 1 Kings 5:5.

The Old Testament continues with God's people taking sacrifices to a set place to God in which they knew the God they worshipped dwelled amoung them. There were specific instructions for how the Temple would be built, who could enter and care for it, and the types and times of sacrifices that could be offered. This worked well for many years. Then corruption creeped in and the people were in need of a new way to worship. Now enters Jesus in the New Testament.

Jesus began his ministry by preaching "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matt. 4:17. Jesus ministry consisted of telling those who had been in control of religion that God's people were no longer going to be living by the Law of Moses but, the commandments of God would now be written on the heartof man. No longer would there be a need for a priest to go to God for his worshippers. Everyone could come directly to God. The body was now the temple in which God would dwell in each individuals.

This of course casused a lot of anger from those in power. The loss of power continues to bring out the beast in individuals. Now let's fast forward to the death of Jesus.

On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples asked Jesus where did he want them to prepare for the Passover? They did as they were told and prepared the Passover. It is written while they were eating Jesus declared the bread as His body and the wine as His blood. The last thing Jesus did with His followers was to have a meal at a table.

After Jesus' death the Jews were being hunted down and persecuted. To avoid being found out they would meet at different houses to worship. In Acts we see a fellowship of believers devoting themselves to teaching and to the breaking of bread and prayer. They broke bread in their homes and ate together Acts 2:42-47. Paul writes when he sends Pheobe to Cenchera for her to greet those that meet in houses Romans 16:5, he addresses a problem in the household of Chloe i 1 Cor. 1:11 and the examples continue.

The importance of who Christians eat with is addressed in 1 Cor. 5:11-12 "But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat."

The first established church after Jesus' death was the home. The place where everyone gathered to remember the sacrifice of Jesus, the table. In the Old Testament, after God had delivered Israel out of bondage from Egypt he told His people "Hear O Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you SIT at home and when you WALK along the road, when you LIE down and when you GET UP. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:4-9. This was in regards to the Law of Moses.

The new covenant Jesus brought was told to be remembered by the disciples each time they broke bread "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." Luke 22:19.

In the same way, when we gather together as worshippers of Christ we are to sit at the table of fellowship and break bread and remember the sacrifice given. Today we have churches with altars and altar tables with the word "REMEMBRANCE" inscribed on it and we take the Lord's Supper as often as the church we belong to decides.

But what about that new temple? Your body. When and where do you meet with Jesus daily? The Old Testament was not rendered obsolete but as a primer for the lower level student. God instructed His people to remember what He had done for them daily as they sat, walked, etc. Don't you believe the same applies for Jesus' sacrifice?

Science has proven that families that eat together have children less likely to get into trouble and have stronger family bonds. The kitchen has been called the heart of a home. People say the best way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Paul considered breaking bread so important that he said do not eat with fellow Christians who are not living according to God's word.

Think about your home, the original place of worship after Jesus' death. Think about Jesus' last meal with His disciples. Think about what conversations occur around your kitchen table if any. Think about the importance of fellowhip around the meal.

The Kitchen table; the place to meet Jesus; to talk about all that He has done for you and your family. Why can't the kitchen table be a place for the glory of the Lord?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Comfort Zones

While working as a mistress of ceremonies last night for our state's congressman, I had set up two tables for the other people on the program that would be speaking. As time neared for the event to start, the speakers began to take their seats on stage. We all knew each other from participating in various organizations within the community together. I began to notice something strange; all of the men sat at one table and all of the women sat at another table.

After reflecting on how the night went (succesfully) I thought about why the men sat together and not one sat at the table with the women. There were 4 chairs at each table and there were three women and five men. The men added an extra chair unwilling to sit at the table full of women. If I knew this was going to happen, I would have assigned seats.

There was nothing wrong with the sexes dividing in such a way, but it is odd how people will group into groups of fimiliarity, common interest, and likeness.

At our local county school; it never fails that at events for the children; the white people sit on one side of the gym and the blacks sit on another side of the gym. In our rural country churches, it is not odd to see the men sitting on one side of the church and the women and children on the opposite side of the church.

I am a northerner by birth and my husband is a southerner. When we first married we would go and visit his elderly parents. He and his dad would be in one room and his mother and I would somehow end up in another room. I voiced to him that WE were visiting his parents and I did not understand the separating of the sexes even in the home environment. So, needless to say, they became accustomed to me not being led into another room. WE all visit together in the same room.

What is it about this unconscious gravitation to the familiar - to the more likeness that we seem to do? If we have some built in tendency to surround ourselves with the familiar or sameness of ourselves, how are we ever to experience diversity?

When I go to the school programs I purposefully sit on the white side. I look like a black dot in a sea of white. When I go to church I sit next to my husband. We stick out like an odd couple and people think my husband is hen pecked and that's why I sit next to him (Why can't I be the one rooster pecked?).

The familiar or what makes us comfortable is not necessarily the best for us. We will never grow or find out different views or new ideas if we constantly surround ourselves by people like ourselves who shares our every view.

In Christianity I have wrestled with the idea of Christians just surrounding themselves with other Christians. This is good of course in learning the Bible, for support and edification, and to bond in the body of Christ. But, you can also run the risk of becoming irrelevant in this comfort zone.

In a circle of like Christians, who is there to evangelize? Who is there for you to be the light and salt for? How can you understand the needs of the unsaved if you are always around the saved.

I had a professor who was a pastor and home schooled his children. He said someone was going to indoctrinate his kids so it might as well be him. The kids exposure to the evils of the world was only relayed by his word of mouth because their lives were sheilded at every avenue- books, television, internet, friends, relatives, and extra curricular activities. When you saw them they were mini copies of him. I often wondered what type of evangelist they were going to be. Academic wise they will be able to answer any Bible related question, but they will never be able to empathize with life experiences of the unsaved. Have they been rendered ineffective as evangelists?

How wonderful a life would be with others just like me. We all know that would not be a wonderful life. When I was a teen I believed in some things whole heartedly only to grow older or be exposed to new things to discover what I had believed in unto death was inccorret. This pattern would continue in my 30's, 40's and I am sure will go on and on as long as I live. Being with someone just like me is stagnation.

COMFORT ZONES. Are they really the best we can do for ourselves? Should it be the best we offer ourselves? What happens when we get out of our comfort zone of likeness?

I have a rainbow of associates and I have learned something from each and every one of them. I can honestly say that a friendship that I had with a lesbian formed me into a better mother. Seeing the struggle of this young lady as she denied, faced, accepted, and then embraced her sexual orientation at the loss of her mother's love (oh, yeah, she was an only child so the stakes were high for her) made me realize that individual happiness belongs to every one and she could not and should not live a life to make me happy or comfortable. I wouldn't for her. Her soul and judgement would be between her and God. I would not be there for her judgement or have any imput. We all would meet our maker alone. So, I learned that my kids were given their lives and they alone would live it. What I may consider easy choices in life for me may not be an easy choice for another. I can disagree with someone without disagreeing with their existance on earth or right to live as they choose. God does not even do that or He would have a lot to say about all of our choices at our daily living.

COMFORT ZONES are in place for the protection of our vulnerable parts. We have them without even knowing it. Everyone wants to have comfort. But every once in a while we should challenge ourselves to step out of them knowing that differences are just that. They are not contagions built to destroy. They are differences that God wanted and intended to make each of us unique for his kingdom's function. There is value in each of us in our differentness.

Let's take time to actually appreciate those differences God created in each of us. Let's celebrate those differences and learn the good things from each. When we do group off into those comfort groups and look across that aisle, let's remember that there is a likeness, a comfortable sameness in all of us and that is THE IMAGE OF GOD.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Gene Cranick: Flames of Religion


Everyone has sounded off about whether or not the fire department should have sat by and watched Mr. Cranick's home burn to the ground.

There are those that believe the fire department did the right thing and we can assume if they were in the same situation they would have done the same.

There are thsoe who can not phathom sitting, watching a man's life go up in flames without trying to help.

As with any national tragedy, the Bible is being brought into play.

On the radio show, Focal Point, newsman Brian Fisher expressed that responsibility keeps people out of dire situations. You must contribute and pay for services rendered; there are no free rides. Listeners called in to the program in agreement, offering the parable of the Ten Virgins. In this parable, ten virgins (5 called wise and 5 caled foolish) were tasked with waiting for a bridegroom to come to their town. They had containers lit requiring oil. 5 of the virgins had a reserve of oil in case they ran out before the bridegroom came. 5 virgins believed the bridegroom would come on time and did not have a reserve. As the time progressed, the unprepared virgins ran out of oil and asked the virgins with an excess of oil if they could borrow some. They were told no and pointed in the direction of the nearest store. While the 5 virgins went off to purchase more oil, the bridegroom came, greeted those 5 virgins that were there to welcome him; and entered the building set aside for the event. When the other 5 virgins returned they saw the others gone and knew the bridegroom had arrived. They knocked on the building scheduled for the event to find they were locked out and denied entrance. LESSON: do not be caught unprepared for Jesus' return or you will be denied entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Gene Cranick was unprepaired for the fire that consumed his home. He had ample time and access to what he needed to be prepared. Gene Cranick would be denied.

Brian Fisher really argued personal responsibility. He stated Mr. Cranick must have not valued his home like others who paid the insurance fee of $75.00 and thus had to suffer the consequences of his actions. It would not be fair for those who had not paid to receive the same service as those who did pay. Firemen do not work for free.

While I listened I thought about Jesus. You, know the old "What Would Jesus Do?" thing. My thoughts turned to when Jesus and his disciples were going through a grain field on the Sabbath and were hungry. They picked some heads of grain to eat. The Pharisees (Members of a Jewish sect pledged to uphold the oldest traditions of Israel. In Jesus' time they were the most powerful party - political or religious - among the Jews), saw this and and told them what they were doing was unlawful. It was considered doing work on the Sabbath according to the Law of Moses.

Jesus went on to give an example of King David who had done the same when he and his men were hungry entering the house of God eating consecrated bread(Jesus was displaying his knowledge of Holy Scripture too). Jesus went on to say He desired mercy not sacrifice "For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." Matthew 12:1-8.

In essence Jesus was saying a man's salvation and life is greater than a law. Galatians 5:22 states "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

Jesus' ministry was about a transformation of heart and living which centered around knowing there is only one true God, Jesus was the gateway; the door to that God and living in a pleasing manner of service and worship which included mercy, faith, and love which went far beyond any law.

So who is right and who is wrong when it comes to what happened to Gene Cranick's home? Scripture, as always, can be used for each side of opposition. Your agenda seems to be key when quoting and interpreting Scripture these days. I guess it is your nature and your character that will answer the issue of "how should the situation have been handled."

In the Bible, 1 John 3:17 says, "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?"

We can go on and on about this story, of a man who has suffered loss, truely at his own hand. But, there has to be a tug on your heart strings just a little. If it were your elderly mother who did not pay or the family with a special needs child who had not paid or even your local beloved physician who had not paid; would we have stood by and watched their home burn to sunder. The truck was there, able to perform the service; looking on at the fire's destruction. The neighbor and homeowner were insisting they would pay, just use some WATER on the fire.

Laws are in place to prevent chaos. We must abide by laws. But, is there a law that dims when it is put up against mercy and love of a fellow human being?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Victim of Eve Syndrome?

EVE SYNDROME DEFINED


Are you a victim of Eve Syndrome?

How many of you out there are suffering from what I have labeled as the Eve Syndrome?

Well, since it is a relatively newly discovered ailment; I better define it so you can diagnose whether or not you may be suffering from it. Let's first look at what does the word "Syndrome" means:

syn•drome (sndrm)n.

1. A group of symptoms that collectively indicate or characterize a disease, psychological disorder, or other abnormal condition.

2. a. A complex of symptoms indicating the existence of an undesirable condition or quality.

b. A distinctive or characteristic pattern of behavior: the syndrome of conspicuous consumption in wealthy suburbs.

The word syndrome is Greek = sundrom meaning concurrence of symptoms, from sundromos, running together: sun-, syn- + dromos, a running.]

Now we need the definition of EVE:

In the Judeo-Christian and Islamic traditions Adam and Eve are the parents of the human race. Genesis gives two versions of their creation. In the first, God creates "male and female in his own image" on the sixth day. In the second, Adam is placed in the Garden of Eden, and Eve is later created from his rib to ease his loneliness. For succumbing to temptation and eating the fruit of the forbidden tree of knowledge of good and evil, God banished them from Eden, and they and their descendants were forced to live lives of hardship. Cain and Abel were their children. Christian theologians developed the doctrine of original sin based on the story of their transgression; in contrast, the Quran teaches that Adam's sin was his alone and did not make all people sinners.

The Fausset's Bible defines Eve below:

("life".) from ADAM.) Man's "help meet," i.e. a helper suited to and matching him. Formed from "one of Adam's ribs," taken by God from Adam in a deep sleep; type of the church formed from the opened side of her Heavenly Bridegroom (from whence flowed blood and water) in the death sleep, so as by faith in His atoning blood, and by the cleansing water of His Holy Spirit, to be "bone of His bone, and flesh of His flesh" (Ephesians 5:25-32; 1 John 5:6). See Genesis 2:21-22, "the rib built (the usual Hebrew word for founding a family: Genesis 16:2; Genesis 30:3 margin) her up into a woman"; not as Speaker's Commentary, "the side He built up," etc. For God "took one of them," therefore "side" (tseelah), "sides," must be used for rib, ribs. So in the ancient version, "Woman was not made out of his head to top him, not out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.

He was first formed, then Eve (1 Timothy 2:13), of the man and for the man (1 Corinthians 11:7-9); teaching the subjection and reverence which wives owe their husbands. Yet Eve's being made after Adam, and out of him, makes her 'the glory of the man.' If man is the head, she is the crown; a crown to her husband, the crown of the visible creation" (Henry). Her finer susceptibilities and more delicate organization are implied by her being formed, not out of dust as Adam, but of flesh already formed. The oneness of flesh is the foundation of the inseparable marriage union of one man with one woman (Malachi 2:15; Matthew 19:5). She was made from Adam's rib, to mark her oneness with him. Their unity is at once corporeal and spiritual of the profoundest kind, of heart as well as of body.

"This is now (Hebrew this time, as contrasted with the creatures heretofore formed besides Adam) bone of my bones," he exclaims in joyful surprise; and, with the intuitive knowledge wherewith he had named the other creatures according to the? natures, he names her "woman" ('ishah) as being taken out of "man" ('ish). She was the complement of man, of one nature, and in free and willing dependence on him. Thus, marriage is the holy appointment of God, based on the relations by creation between man and woman. Celibacy is not a higher, holier state (Hebrews 13:4). Eve's greater weakness and susceptibility to temptation appears in Genesis 3 and 2 Corinthians 11:3.

Her first error was in harboring mentally for a moment the possibility insinuated by the serpent, of God not having her truest interests at heart ("hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree?"), and of the "other" professing friend being more concerned for her good than God. In her reply to Satan she attenuates God's gracious permission ("of every tree of the garden thou mayest FREELY eat"; "we may eat of every tree"), she exaggerates the one simple prohibition ("thou shalt not eat of it," and "thou shalt surely (she leaves out the "surely") die "; "ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die"), and omits the certainty of the penalty. This leads to her unbelief toward God, credulity towards Satan. Eve became viewed as easily deceived, and thus she easily deceives.

Eve was created and seen as last in being, but first in sin. Satan began with "the weaker vessel." She yielded to his deceits; Adam yielded to conjugal love. So, the woman is sentenced next after Satan, and Adam is sentenced last. In Romans 5:12 Adam is made the transgressor; but there Eve is included too. Adam represents the sinning race as its head. But as for Eve, she shall be saved (through) with childbearing," i.e. through suffering her part of the primal curse in childbearing. And as for man he shall be saved through having to bear his part, the sweat of his brow.

Yea, the very curse will be a condition favorable to her salvation, by her faithfully ("if they ... the women ... shall continue in faith and charity") performing her part, childbearing and home duties, her sphere, as man's is public teaching and public duties (1 Timothy 3:11-15). (See ABEL; CAIN; SETH.) Her name Chawah, "life", implies both her being mother of all living and her being mother of the promised "Seed of the woman" who should give LIFE to the human race now subjected to death. Adam as a believer fitly gives her this name directly after God's promise of life through "the Seed of the woman." Otherwise her name ought to have implied death, which she had caused, not life.

Bibliography Information

Fausset, Andrew Robert M.A., D.D., "Definition for 'Eve' Fausset's Bible Dictionary".

bible-history.com - Fausset's; 1878.

Copyright Information © Fausset's Bible Dictionary

EVE SYNDROME defined by: Dorothy Guyton

1. Not being seen as anything other than alive to help support another’s life and well- being (husband, child) not knowing to support your own life is high priority.

2. Putting yourself second to all others including strangers because you were created second assuming there was status associated with creation placement even though the one created first could not be happy on his own.

3. You find it strange to be your own glory while a child, teen, young woman, before marrying and becoming your husband's glory.

4. Accepting that you are a deceiver and easily deceived; prone to fall and stumble over and over again without support.

5. believing you are a contagion unto death.

6. Trying to perform every remedy or act in order to find forgiveness and acceptance.

7. Feeling the heat of shame when the word "Eve" is ever mentioned.

8. Continually proclaiming your weakness and susceptibility to the world


ON A MEDICAL CHART YOUR SYMPTOMS WOULD READ as FOLLOWS:

Anxiety, exhaustion, weakness, inability to walk on her own, host to several parasitic beings, anemia from the parasites, contagious, prone to hot flashes, and dual personality of saint and deceiver.

Find health and healing. Ask yourself "What does your internal self- image look like?"

God created you, He loves you and He forgave his wonderful fallen creation a long time ago. It is time to fall in love with you again, the prescription and treatment for EVE SYNDROME: forgiveness by self.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Politics of Prayer

My latest book is ready for purchase and just in time for those going to the polls on November 2, 2010 and later in 2012.

There have been scandal after scandal in the headlines of government officials and leaders of churches not living up to the Christian values they proclaim. What are the masses of onlookers supposed to think?

Well, you are supposed to THINK in general.

Our trust and faith should not be tied up in those calling themselves our leaders. Our trust and faith belongs to God. In His word God has told us no one is in a position of power or leadership unless He ordains it.

We may ask ourselves - surely when Hitler was in power, God did not ordain that? Well, when Moses went up against the Pharoah of Egypt God said that Pharaoh was put in that particular place for God's own particular reason and He knew that Pharoah would harden his heart.

Why would God have such a man over His choosen people? Without that particular Pharoah we would not have had a chance to read about God's miracles of saving the Israelites from bondage.

Even though it may not seem like it, God is in control at all times over all nations. It is the behavior of his followers that is more important than the corrupt leaders.

The 21st century has dealt us some serious blows. The people are enraged at the government and the Christian leaders are concerned with their own political agendas. What are the Christians to do?

The Politics of Prayer examines the importance of prayer and wisdom when turmoil abounds. Many people, including Christians are wondering 'how can I survive this economic time and leadership I do not agree with?' The answer for all of our troubles has been to rest and trust in God. All things fade away but He and His word are everlasting.

For a true perspective on how to live today as an example of Christianity when all others are trying to solve problems through their own devices, read this book. it will renew your mind and spirit as you walk daily with the Lord.

And, after reading the book, don't forget to vote.

This Could Be Me At Your Next Event

This Could Be Me At Your Next Event
Author And Public Speaker

NEED A SPEAKER FOR YOUR NEXT EVENT?

Do you have an upcoming gardening, church, or women's event planned and need a speaker? Contact me. I can speak on various topics such as:

1. Detangling Ancient Mythology From Christianity
2. The Female Presence In The History Of Christianity
3. Superstitions and Gardening In The 21st Century
4. The Politics Of Prayer: The Bible Speaks
5. African American Geneaology: Pride From The Grave


Contact me at rizerfall@yahoo.com for booking arrangements

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