Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why Won't God Give Me What I Want?

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I feel that there is a curse and a blessing when following the path of God.  The curse part is my own words and not God’s of course, but sometimes this is how I feel.  The closer you get with God, the more you will have to learn to reject the ways of the world and go with what God is telling you to do.  And this can sometimes hurt you to the core.

In my life, going with the ways of God means that I have had to stop idolizing the things that I wanted out of life and understand that the things that God was giving me was sufficient.  This is easier said that done.  I had stop with feeling like me getting married or being in a relationship was the only source to my happiness.  I had to stop and realize that me having a million dollars should not define me or my happiness.

Although I want to get married and I want a million dollars, if these things never happen I have to be content in what God has given me.  This is because I have to learn to trust God and trust that He is giving me exactly what I need at whatever point I am in my life.  I also had to learn that my identity is not given to me by money or a husband, but in God.

Although this sounds easy, it takes an understanding that all the things you want out of life really means nothing and only God matters.  It is not to say that God does not want to give you a husband, children, mansion on the hill, or more money than you can count; but He does not want you to get your identity through these things.  Because to God, none of these things matter and if He feels that by giving you these things it will take your attention away from Him; then He is not going to give it to you.

This train of thought goes against everything our flesh is telling us to do.  Our flesh tells us that to be somebody we must have a picture perfect life, and if we do not have these things then something must be wrong with us. God must not love us.  We must not believe hard enough or be praying hard enough because God is not giving us what we want.

It is a fine line between seeing God as someone who wants to lead and guide us in the life path that He wants for us and seeing Him as a genie.  For me, and for many people, I have felt that these things go hand and hand.  If I ask God for something then of course I should get it.

How many times has your Christian life turned into something of self centeredness in which you only focus on you, what you want, what you are not getting, and when things are not happening for you then nothing else matters.

I used to be that person and still am often times.  But I have learned one lesson.  Even when I was struggling, lonely, stressed out, and do not feel close to God; when faced with a test or opposition doing what God wants me to do still comes first even if I do not feel like it.

And this is what we call growth.  Being a Christian is not about you, it is about showing and teaching others through your life.  Believe it or not, when times are hard, when you are depressed, when you are praying for a break through and nothing is happening, those who know you are Christian are watching you to see what you do.  They want to see if you walk the walk or just talk the talk.  They want to see if you are willing to turn your back on God because you are going through a hard time or not getting what you want; or if you are willing to praise God in the midst of the storm.

I know when I first started on being serious about my Christian walk.  When I prayed something happened, when i wanted something I got it, and I thought this is what God was all about.  As time went on I noticed that God wanted to see what I was going to do when I felt like His love was not about giving me what I wanted.  When the real life problems started to hit, would I still remain true on the things He has taught me?

How many of you feel the same way?  Like God is no where to be found because when you pray nothing is happening?  You have to view your situation and God in a different way.  I read an excerpt from a book called the Screw tape letters it states:

“God withdraws. He leaves the creature to stand up on its own legs.  He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles. It is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our God’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.”

Man this verse is deep it gives me the chills.  So when God does not give you want you want, when all your enemies are bless and you are looking lost and forsaken, and even when you feel that God is gone BUT you still chose to obey the what God is telling you to do, then you have past the test.  Not only have you past, but you are almost invincible in the things of the world. And this is what you want, and the key to getting everything you want.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Happiness is About Your Perception of Circumstances

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In a recent video (Dan Gilbert's TED talk “Why am I happy”) I had to watch for one of my human behavior classes, I must say it really hit home for me.  The first thing I thought was  how funny it is that people do all these studies and it only proves the what God has been telling us in His word. But yet we need all these statistics to prove something as Christians we should already know.

The main point of the video is happiness.  There are some themes that really stuck out  that I never placed together before.

This includes:

Anyone can be happy no matter what they are going through.  This is because happiness is about perception of your circumstances.  People that achieve happiness know that happiness is not contingent upon if they get their way or not.

This in a nut shell it means that if you have a million dollars and everything you want in life and this makes you happy. Are you still going to be happy if you lose everything?

This also means that if everything is going wrong for you and everything around you is falling part, if you perceive that  everything is “all good” then you are happy.

According to the video, this is a psychological fact.

Most people go through not being happy because they are not getting what they want.  I am one of those people.   When I would read Bible verses like

Hebrews 13:5 ESV

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”


1 Timothy 6:6 ESV

“Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment”

I would think to myself that this is easy for God to say.  He is not broke, unemployed, stressed, struggling, single, alone, etc.  I would wonder “how can I be content with all the things that are going on around me?” And even more so, being content with the things that are lacking in my life, is supposed to lead to my enlightenment? Say What?!!

To explain this further I would like to take Psalm 23:4:

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”.

Put yourself in this situation.  How many times have you felt that you have been walking in the valley of the shadow of death?  Try not to take this literally, this could mean how many times have you thought your life was about to fall apart.  And how many times have you cried about it, allowing it to dictate your happiness?

What this verse essentially means is that no matter what you are going through, even if you are walking in a dark alley that leads to death, you will be content because you know there is a God.

Translate this to your current circumstances.  Are you unhappy? If so, why are you unhappy?

Is it because of what is going on around you?
Because you are not getting your way?
Not making as much money as you think you should?
Because you are single?

If these are the things that are making you unhappy then you being happy is really contingent upon something else.  You are saying that you are not happy with God being there for you alone, and you NEED something else to make you happy and if you do not get it, then you feel you will never be happy.

There is a problem with this type of thinking.  The reason being is because if you need X (X can be whatever) to make you happy, then when you get X and lose X then you will be unhappy. So you are making X the center of your world and not God.

Or better yet,  when you get X you will be happy for a while, and then you will be sad because you do not have Y (something else that you want). And this pattern will continue on to Z, A, B and C meaning that you will never be happy, because your always chasing something instead of appreciating what you have.

This is why God wants us to be happy in all things no matter what.  Have you ever considered the life of Paul or even John for that matter.  They were put in jail, beaten, thrown out of towns, but yet and still they remain happy.

In fact Paul says

Philippians 4:11-13 ESV

“For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

This is because he is able to perceive his situations in a different way.  He was able to see that what he was doing he was doing for God.  Therefore it did not matter that people hated him, put him in jail, or that he was not living in a mansion on a hill.  He was able to be happy, because he did not perceive his situation as bad.
Does that make sense?

For myself, when I do not get what I want, the whole world seems to be turned around and upside down.  I pout, moan, and groan about everything that is going on with me and how it is not fair.  But sometimes, I think God is just waiting for us to be happy wherever we are at.  This is because God wants us to be happy with Him, and not with what we have or do not have.

It is a interesting but hard lesson to learn.  In the world in which we live we define happiness based off of what we have.  But as we can see in history, many celebrities who HAVE can still be unhappy and even kill themselves.  I am convinced that this is what happens when people are unable to look for the positives in their situations and only focus on the negatives.

Or when they feel that the things of the world can satisfy them.When you are unable to see the positives in your life (no matter how small they may be) and you always focus on the negatives, then you will always be unhappy.  So turn you mind around, and realize that no matter where you are at, you can be happy.  There is always some type of blessing that you can thank God for every day to show Him your appreciation (even if it is just waking you up).  When you have mastered looking at whatever your going through as a good thing, then you have achieve true happiness.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Baby Daddy Drama And A Lesson On Forgiveness

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I used to pride myself on being a forgiving person.  But how many of you know that when you pride yourself on doing something, a situation is going to come to make that very hard to do.

If you read my blog then you know the situation about me and my son’s father.  If you do not and you want to recap you can read my blog entries here and here.

My circumstance is like a horrific situation on steroids.  I thought I had come to forgive him completely, but with him being out of prison, I feel the same type of irritation come up and cause complete and utter chaos.

To give him credit, he has been stepping up as a father.  But I cannot even describe the amount of disrespect and absolute disregard that I have had to deal with since I became pregnant.

I thought since he was sorry and he was regretful that perhaps he would be dying to make it up to me.  Wrong answer.

I have come to reflect on why it is so important for him to make it up to me, when in all honestly he has been making up to our son.

I have come up with this answer.

When dealing with him I have always made an effort to make our interactions better up until a certain point.  I had come to hope that one day he would see that and say

“ Wow I was really a jerk, perhaps I should spend my enter waking life, trying to walk on water and prove that I am no longer that jerk.”

Through several conversations that were rather heated on my part.  I come to realize that he is never going to understand the impact of what he did.

When I was at work, and he had the threesome with one of my co-workers, he is never going to see how much of a fool that made me look.

He is never going to understand that when I took his son to prison to see him in the early years, how hurtful it was to see girlfriend number one and two always on the visitation list.  And how he preferred to see them over our son.

He is never going to understand how much it hurt to find out that he was still married and that his wife, wished everything including death on our son, and he did nothing to prevent it.
He will never understand how much it hurt, to hear him say, that he does not love our son like his other children.

I can say it a thousand times.  I can write a whole freakin book about it (and I did click here).

But it is not going to change the drama that I have to deal with for the next 12 years.  And it is not going to change his attitude toward me.

And as a woman, how can I forgive that?

But as a Christian, I have to forgive that?

I do not know the solution to this problem.  The only thing that I can do is take it one day at a time.  If there is anything that I learned in regards to this situation.  I have come to learn that you cannot make anyone do anything they do not want to do.

You cannot make anyone feel anything they do not want to feel. And you cannot make anyone walk a mile in your shoes.  Does it make the resentment any less to know this?

Of course not, but as a person who is a Christian, it is what I must do, because I can feel this negativity separating me from God.

How can I ask God for forgiveness, when I cannot forgive others.

I come to think that God puts us in these situations so that we know what it is like to be in His shoes.  For us to openly do things to Him, like sinning.  Even though we know these things hurt Him, we openly sin in His face and ask for forgiveness, never knowing or understanding how much out actions really hurt Him.

I am convinced overall that this is why God wants us to be Christlike. So that we can understand how hard it is to forgive and love a world who neglects us.

Does that makes sense?

When you really follow God and do what He wants you to do when it is hard, you imagine the life of Jesus.

How he had to turn the other cheek through all the hate, resentment, and gossip.  All he wanted to do was what was right, but yet he was meant with hate.

With people who do not understand and those who wanted to use his kindness for weakness.

This may sound extreme.  But I can say I have been hated much for no real reason whatsoever.  But, I am able to move on.  As long as I behaved the way God wanted me to, and I do not have to deal with them on an everyday basis, then I pretty much go out of sight out of mind.

But what do you do, when the very thing that you have resentment toward is dangling in your face.  Expecting you to move on and expecting you to forgive, and they blatant disregard for their actions infuriate you even more?

God expects you to forgive.  I do not know how I will forgive.  I do not know how much time it will take.  But I know I must because it is what God wants me to do.

Being a Christian is hard.  It means doing what the world thinks is weak and putting on your happy face, when you feel like smacking someone.

It means loving and and praying for those who have done you wrong, even when you do not want to.  It means not just saying that you will do it, but actually doing it and believing in it your heart.   Something that I know, but something that is still hard to do.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Caged Bird (Inside the mind of a suicidal)

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This post was written by someone who was highly depressed and suicidal.  The writer wishes to remain anonymous.  I do not condone suicide in any way shape of form, but thought this may give insight to the mind of someone who is suicidal and dealing with depression.

The Caged Eagle. 

I feel like a caged bird, or better yet a caged eagle.

I am strong, I know I can fly, and I know  I am capable.

But I look through the bars of my cage and realize  I just cannot get out and fly.

I look at the sky and know that is where I am supposed to be, but I just can’t get there.

Day in and day out my owner comes to feed me bird food.

I know its not what I need, I know its not what I was meant to live off of.

And I just can’t get stronger.

And so I starve, and I grow weak.

I hope  one day my owner would unlock the cage so I could go free.

I spend all of my energy, trying to get out of the cage.

As I lay down exhausted, I realize that even if my owner unlocked the cage I would be too exhausted to fly out.

And so, I am an useless eagle.

Unable to do what I was meant to, and I lay down to die.

While I was in the cage, everyone looks at the eagle admiring it.

Never thinking or understanding what it was like for me.

Saying how beautiful and how majestic.

But when it died, everyone talked about the eagle.

Saying it was a shame and how it never belong in that cage.

But no one ever did anything about it.

The owner thought he was helping the eagle by putting it in the cage and taking care of it.

But he was really hurting it, by caging it and not allowing it to fly.

And so the eagle died.

And in it’s death it could do all the things it could not do while it was in the cage.

It could  fly and it could soar!

It was free.

That is how I feel.

That in death, I could be free.

I do not think anyone could understand that.  Not even God.

He is the owner of the eagle, refusing to let it fly.

He thinks He is helping it, when in fact He is killing it.

He is killing me.

If you or someone you know is suicidal call the national suicide hot line 1-800-273-8255 or visit their website. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Don't Let Break Ups Break You

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I had a conversation with a girlfriend of mine that I have known for a few years.  One thing that she often jokes about is how all of my exes or people that I have dated always try to come back.

Even though I do not believe in going back, there are ways that I handle things that may be different from most women.

I have never been the type of women that is going to agree with a man just because he is a man.  I have never been the type to be needy, clingy, or to beg for your attention.

I have come to the realization that if someone does not want me then they do not want me, it is not up to me to try to convince them of anything.  If they do not see that on their own then oh well.

You would be amazed at how having this attitude will change the way people see you.

This may be a shocker to many of you women, but after a break up, begging, crying, and gaining 30 pounds is not the way to go.  It will only prove to your ex that your are a crazy clingy psycho and he made the right choice by breaking up with you.

So here are just a few break up tips that you should always follow.  Sometimes it may make your ex want to come back and even if it doesn't you still get to save face and not look crazy.

1. Do not beg for anyone to be with you.

If someone wants to break up with you, let them.  You may be hurting and you may want to cry, but save all of that for after they walk out of the door.  You would be shocked at how many people get off seeing someone beg and act a fool over them.

Do not be that fool.  Do not cry and spit tears over someone not wanting to be with you, at least not in front of them.  If they cannot see your value then they should not be in your life anyway.

2. Always look good.

Even after a break up we all have the need to eat ourselves into 3 more pants sizes.  But fight that urge please.  I have come to learn that when you are out and about, minding your own business you will bump into an ex or someone that knows your ex.

True story, I had an ex call me because a mural friend saw me at the library, and told him that I looked great and he was considering asking me out.

My point is that story could have been different if I was looking like the hot mess express train ran over twice.

Even if you do not feel like it on the inside, try to look good on the outside.  The moment it gets back to the person you were dating you will feel priceless.

3. Get up and get out.

After a break up do not sit looking at the sky wondering when your next man is going to fall out of it.  Date, go out with friends, do something.  Get a hobby, pray, go to church, go back to school.  I am famous for that after every break up I get a new degree or write a book.  And these are the things that will get your mind off the break up and show your ex that your identity is not in them.

You always want an ex to say, “wow she is really doing good, why did I let her go.”

4. Stop with the emotional break downs.

I cannot tell you how pathetic is it to see a man trying to break up with a woman and she will cry and cry her way out of the break up.  Yeah he may take the break up back for that moment because he does not want to see the water works.  But it still does not change the fact that he wants to break up.  You are just delaying the inevitable.

Men will be with you even if they do not want to be with you, if they know that it will cause you to have a break with reality.

Therefore, I ask you, why would want anyone to be with you under these circumstances.
So just to be clear.  If a man wants to break up with you.  Do not cry or make any trips to the psychiatric ward because someone wants to leave you.

5. Do not chase.

When an ex leaves you, do not stop by his mother home to have a conversation about what her son did and try to convince her why your should get back with you.

Do not move into the apartment next to his or start working part-time at his favorite hangout spot.  Do not call all of his friends, sister, and everyone else that he knows to try to get them to tell your ex what a great catch you are.

Women some how think this is cute, but it is creepy.

This may come as a shock to you, but the secret to not letting a break up break you is to just be you.  The you before you met him.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Trusting God, Is Not Always Easy.

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Trust is something that God wants you to have in Him.  The hard thing about this is that God is literally asking you to trust in something that you cannot see.  We often talk to God and feel His presence, but what happens when God has told you something; such as a purpose, marriage, child, or a situation that you have been waiting to come to pass.

At first you may be going full speed at the promise that God has told you.  But once time goes by the trust that you once had in God is harder and harder to keep. You start to think:

“ Did I hear God right?”
Is this (fill in the blank) really going to happen?

When I think of this I am often drawn to the story of Abraham.  When God told him he was going to have a child despite his barren wife, I sure he jumped for joy.  But then years pass, things didn’t change.  Then more years past, and they pretty much started to seem impossible.

Abraham knew that he heard from God, but then his wife thought that perhaps he had heard God wrong.  Perhaps all this waiting that they were doing was in vein.  God did not really mean that Sarah and Abraham were going to have a child.  Surely, God meant that He was going to use Hagar (Sarah’s servant) to bring them a child.

And so was born Ishmael.  This type of forcing God’s will started all types of problems.  One that would continue to haunt us to this day.  Since Ishmael is a key figure in the Muslim religion and there has been a war in some countries between Christians and Muslims since...well forever it seems like.

Sarah and Hagar were at war.  And forcing God’s will brought more torment on her than she would have thought.  She was forced to share her husband.  And this direct disobedience of God’s will, God stop talking to Abraham for over a decade.

When deciding to trust God there are times when we feel that we must act.  There is nothing happening.  Your job is not here. You husband or wife is not here. That child that God promised is not here.

So there must be something extra that you need to do on your part to hurry things along.  Even though this seems like the most obvious answer it is also the opposite of trusting God to do what He said He was going to do, by taking things into your own hands.

Going back to Abraham, when he finally got his golden child Issac.  God told Abraham to go and offer his son as a sacrifice.  That sounds all fancy but God basically told him to kill his son to prove that he loved God more than he loved what God has given him.

Think about his story, this is really some hard stuff to digest.  Historians agree that Issac had to be around 30 years old, when this happened.  Therefore, this took trust on both their parts.

Abraham had to trust that somehow God was going to change His mind about killing Issac.  Or after he killed Issac, God would do some miraculous resurrection from the dead.  After all, God promised Abraham Issac, and from him would be many decedents, so how could God permanently kill him?

Issac, being a grown man had to trust that his father was a man of God.  He submitted to being tied up and was more than likely looking at the dagger in his father’s hand, ready to kill him.  He had to trust that some how some way he was not going to die that day, despite what was going on around him.

Can you trust God that much?

If I were Issac I am sure my father would have been chasing me up and down the mountain side if he told me he were going to tie me up, kill me, and that somehow this is God’s will.

When you look at whatever you are trusting God for, it pales in comparison doesn’t it?

There are many points to this story.  If God has told you something you have to trust that he going to fulfill it.  And like Issac even though it look like you  may be about to die, you have to trust that not all is as it seems and that somehow someway, God’s promise to you will come to pass.

Abraham waiting for Issac, beyond the years that he and his wife were biologically able to have kids.  I sure somewhere past his 90th birthday, Abraham thought this may not happen for me.  I mind as well get over it.

But God is not a liar and so He did fulfill His promise.  And who knows it may have been done sooner if Abraham and his wife did not go about their own way and create Ishmael.

The morale of this story is to trust God.  Look beyond what you see and know that He is going to do whatever it is that He told you He was going to do.  You also have to trust that God’s time, is the best time.  And honestly, this is often easier said than done.  But you have to.  You do not want to go making of mess of thing, leaving God to clean it up, prolonging the promise that He has given you. Because now He has to clean up your mess.

Think about it?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A fine man can only get you so far, But a good man can take you the rest of the way.

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Every time I think that I am ready for a relationships it always takes an act of God (literally) to show me that I am not.

I always hear those women who say that they can look beyond the physical attributes of man and just pay attention to their personality, that is not me.  I have the problems of choosing a fine man over a good man any day.

For some strange reason, I have a very difficult time finding a good and a fine man.  It really seems that they are either one or the other.  I have not mastered the art of looking beyond the physical and I frankly do not feel that I have to.  Now if you are a women that is able to look past the outward appearance, then more power to you.  It is just unfortunate that God has not blessed me with that gift.

I thought that I was past my bad boy stage, but it seems like the thing in relationships that you think you have conquered will always come and smack you in the face. That test was the same type of man that I always fell for.
This consisted of:
_ muscle
- sexy
-emotionally unstable
- physically attractive
- does not want to settle down
- tall
- we have nothing really in common nor do we have the same goals.

But after years, this is the frist man that I am interested in.  I have written a blog on choosing love over lust (click here).  But sometimes this is easier said than done.

In my blog “ Will The real Boaz Please Stand up” (click here).

I gave so many characteristic on the real Boaz verses these fake man trying to walk around and convince us women that they are good.  I am convinced that us women have become so accustomed to the bad men, that when we see them, we tell ourselves we mind as well just take the pick of the liter from a whole bunch of bad men.  After all, most men are the same now a days, at least I can choose one that is nice to look at if he is going to be a jerk.

This is a sad way to be and a sad thought process.  I can relate to this thought process because despite how far I think I have come I still fall for the fine man, with 100 pounds of baggage dragging behind him.
For myself, I have come to think with my rationale brain. I must ask myself:

Do I really love this man or just his 6 pack?
Does this man really love me or just my backside?
If I was stranded in the middle of no where and I had one bar left on my phone, one person to call to come get me, would I call him and trust him to come save me?

If the answer is no.  Then, you more than likely do not love this man and he does not love you.  It is just lust.

When Ruth decided to choose Boaz, Boaz said an amazing thing:

 “The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied. ‘This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor.”’ Ruth 3:10

I do not know if Boaz was unattractive or just had low self esteem.  What I do know is that somehow, some way, he felt that Ruth could have done better. But she didn’t.  She chose a good man.  One that had a track record for taking care of her.  One that she knew could love her, because the encounter that she had with him from the very beginning were attributed of a man trying to win over a women.

I am talking to you women and also myself.  Whenever you get blindsided by that fine man that has nothing to offer you but being a nice piece of eye candy.  You may want to back off.  A fine man can only get you so far, but a good man can take you the rest of the way.