An Unfamiliar look at a familar guy

Once upon a time there was a man named Abram. The Lord spoke to him and said“Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing." (Gen 12: 1 -2). So Abram thought about it, decided that the Lord had some strong points but leaving behind his whole family would be a stretch and so Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son ,... (Gen 12:5)

On his journey south he hit popular spots like Bethel and Ai and then there was famine and he ended up in Egypt. Now Sarai is PHAT (physically hot and tempting) and Abram knew that even though the Lord told him to move, the Lord wouldn't really be able to protect his wife or provide for him so he decided that pimping his wife would be more financially beneficial and so he said to Sarai "So please tell them you are my sister. Then they will spare my life and treat me well because of their interest in you.”(Gen 12: 13 NLT)

And sure enough, Abram's plan worked  and "When the palace officials saw her, they sang her praises to Pharaoh, their king, and Sarai was taken into his palace.  Then Pharaoh gave Abram many gifts because of her—sheep, goats, cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels. (Gen. 12:15-16 NLT)

Unfortunately nothing lasts forever and Abram's half truth was found out and then they were all kicked out of  Egypt. To add insult to injury, Lot's servants and Abram's servants started quarreling because there wasn't enough grass for all the animals to feed on. Lot took the better portion of the land and Abram was let in the sticks.  A couple of years later Abram had to prepare for war and go and rescue Lot from some shady kings from the East. After the battle was won, does his ungrateful nephew thank him? No. He moves into Sodom and Gomorrah. whew (if only he had listened to the Lord and left Lot behind maybe he wouldn't have had to deal with this in the first place).

Anywayz life settles back down to semi-normal,  the Lord makes a covenant with Abram about kids and descendants, but Sarai is fixated on this new technique that trumps invitro-fertilization. Abram thought once more about the Lord's promise, realized that Sarai's servant Hagar would help speed things up so he pops a viagra pill and get's busy with Hagar.

13 years later, the Lord speaks to Abram, actually He appears to him, changes his name to Abraham, promises a child to post menopausal Sarah (also renamed) and blesses him. Lot pops back into the picture and Abraham intercedes for the townspeople of Sodom and G . Unfortunately Abraham sucks at bargaining, didn't go low enough and so Sodom and G is burnt to the ground.

Lot's family flees, his wife forgot her Jimmy Choo's shoes turns around turns into salt. His daughters wanted kids, got their father drunk and slept with him. Incest, whew (if only Abraham had followed the Lord we might have been spared this mess with the Ammonites and the Moabites (Lot's children/grandchildren) that became a constant torn in the side of the Isrealities)

If only

Anywayz, Abraham traumatized by all this mess, moves to Gerar, pimps his wife AGAIN to King Abimelech. He was found out AGAIN, of course and then he turns around and blesses Abimelech.
He moves again, Sarah gives birth to Isaac, he banishes Hagar and Ishmeal (his viagra child) and lives happily ever after???


You see Abraham, like me, still doesn't get it. He likes to have a back-up plan. He likes to help God be God and so " ... it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am."  (Gen. 22: 1 KJV)

The Lord said, take your ONLY son and go chop off his head.
Abraham woke up the next morning and took his ONLY son, without telling his interfering beautiful wife Sarah what really was going down, and headed for Mount Moriah.

Isaac thinks his father doesn't have it all together, so respectfully he inquires about the sheep for the sacrifice.
This is the perfect opportunity for Abraham to pause, agree with Isaac about the insanity of this quest and turn around.
This is usually the time Abraham pulls out his hat a lamb or some other back up plan to assist the Lord but surprisingly enough he finally gets it and says "son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” (Gen 22:8)

He finally gets it
and we know how the story ends
how Abraham lives happily 

but here is another unfamiliar part we gloss over
(Gen 22:11 MSG) Just then an angel of God called to him out of Heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!"   "Yes, I'm listening." 

what would have happened if Abraham wasn't listening?
what would have happened if Abraham was too ticked off at God to listen to him that day?
what would have happened if the last thing Abraham heard from the Lord was that he should kill sacrifice his son?

Abraham would have killed Isaac and believed he was following the will of God

so in conclusion
back up plans are wonderful for your peace of mind but always back fire when God is concerned
Faith is easy and cool when you have a back up plan.
Faith is hard and involves total surrender when you don't have one.
Listening is crucial at every point, every single point in your walk with God.

goodnight y'all

unless otherwise noted the translation is NKJV

161.2 pounds and counting

I gained weight.
Wait, I didn't gain it,
it's not a gain it's a curse forced upon me
by the powers that be see they kept me awake
a meeting with Cheesecake at  2 a.m.
and another with Milkshake at 2 p.m.
I thought they just wanted to chill goodwill i thought was offered to 
help fill the gap that was created when Academics walked out on me.
But here I am now.
Sitting, and getting intimately acquainted with this extra ten 
It wasn't sudden
It wasn't drastic
It was slow and beautiful.
Like swaying in the moonlight to a familiar tune
My sister was oblivious and my mother said I never looked better
but here I am
161.2 pounds and counting

All it took was 30 days
it started with clandestine meetings at midnight
then the opposition got bolder and made contact in daylight
Salad was forced out and Pizza quietly moved in
Taking up residence in my intestines
Fries took it's time and now whole wheat bread is stuck in the toolshed
only remembered in desperate times with digestion gets rough

here I am
My jeans no longer fit
my beautiful grey outfit now sits high on my thighs
my sister and friends now magically sees the difference
and comment on my waist
but what a waste the warning comes to late
for here I am
161.2 pounds and counting.

Each time I climb up the stairs I am made aware by the pace of my heart
I thought I was smart but I played the part unaware that each choice,
each slippery delicious fry that i didn't deny has now contributed to the new size of my thighs.

So now each day I get up and try
Old friends I avoided I now seek daily
Miss. Treadmill, Dr. Elliptical and Mr. Free weights
Luckily for me they took me back willingly
The road is tough, and progress has been slow
but as I slip down to 159.8 I breathe a sigh of relief

I will get there, I will get there somehow
It will take more than a month but each day I'll stay the course
sniffle sniffle
If only I knew then what I know now. It is easier to gain a pound than it is to lose one.

I see the parallel and hopefully you do to.
continual compromise coupled with secrecy
leads you down a path of sin and hopefully you awake before you reach the gates of hell.
Hopefully the weight of your sin jars you back to reality and you seek His face
Hopefully the unbuttonable spiritual jeans help you realize that it is slow and it is sweet and the road is wide that leads to spiritual obesity

C.S. summed it up in Screwtape Letters
The safest road to hell is the gradual one - the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.


Great minds discuss ideas,
average minds discuss events, 
small minds discuss  people ---- Eleanor Rooservelt

So let's talk

Here are some quotes from the video and article if you don't have the time to watch/read it

The church shouldn't be the place where you are coming to find a man. 

Do I think that all men that go to church are good men. NO ABSOLUTELY NOT! 

"If their strategy for meeting men is failing, Cooper offers two suggestions: Find another church or leave-and go where the boys go: tailgates, bars and clubs."

One of biggest reasons black women are single, Cooper says, is because of a lack of black men in the church. According to the PEW study, "African-American men are significantly more likely than women to be unaffiliated with any religion (16 percent vs. 9 percent). Nearly one-in-five men say they have no formal religious affiliation."

Watkins believes the social structure of the church keeps black men from attending. "Those appealing, high-testosterone guys have a hard time getting into the 'Follow the leader, give me your money, and listen to what I have to say' attitude."

"Many of us have a difficult time submitting to the pastor who is just another man."

So have at it

Do you think the church structure provides a negative environment that men cannot thrive in?

Men in the church, can they be trusted?

What are your thoughts when you think of the amount of time women spend trying to get dressed for church and look good, do you question their motives?

What are your thoughts in general about this article?


Deepest Fears: II, III and IV

Suppressing joy
Stifling all laughter
Stretching trivialities
Smothering all the tears
Stressing suicidal thoughts
Straining the drops of delight
Substituting reality with fantasy
Seducing slowly the heart and mind
Sustaining the lies that tear my soul apart
Sapping the remaining strength from my core

Over three years ago I wrote those words in a series on fear.
Untitled 1
Untitled 2
Deepest Fears: 1

This month I find myself re-reading Max Lucado's book Fearless,  because I'm back in that yucky place.
Maybe it's worse or maybe it's just different
but for some reason i'm back in prison
a slave of my own imagination
strapped 6 feet under in a coffin of my creation
i am warden and prisoner
enforcer and victim
and i can't shake it.

Deepest Fear #2
I can't do this much longer
This believing that He can and He doesn't
Hoping and dreaming and planning and depending and only getting silence in return
So i fear that the moment I give up is 2 seconds before he works a miracle
but i fail to recieve it because i just can't wait

Deepest Fear #3
I deluded myself
Good stuff doesn't just happen because you pray and you follow His will
maybe I am suppose to cut corners to succeed in order to be with the man I Love
maybe my definition of following His will is too strict and needs to be diluted a bit
So I fear that after all this right living I end up spending my life here alone.
Oh, of course I'm assured heaven because He is all that to me but for the x amount of years that I'm stuck on earth I'm miserable

Deepest Fear #4
Not only different chapters but different books
I want X and He is determined to give me A
and so I spend ANOTHER 5 YEARS in pain because what I want differs and HE DOESN'T SPEAK ENGLISH and so I'm left wondering and wandering
tip toeing thru' life
never being sure

I think I'm getting ready to quit
cuz I know He loves me, but then His idea of love is my idea of pain 
and I never know what His will is anyway so why should I stress it
I mean there is grace
and it covers all

so live life without these fears
and chase after what i want
break any rule that needs to be broken 
the silence, the not knowing, the Will of the One that doesn't speak English
what's the point

in conclusion
Fear is a dangerous taskmaster
the progression is slippery
Christ gave roughly 120 commands in the New Testament
and Fear Not or a derivative appear over 20 times
second place goes to "Love God and love others"... and it only appears 8 times

so yeah 
Fear NOT
not exactly sure how this is suppose to work cuz i'm crippled by fear but yeah I'll get back to you on that

forgive my playlist
I have been on the Gaither addiction for the last two weeks not sure when it is going to end, cuz there is something about the old songs that just ....