Season 2, Ep 9

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“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”  ― Laurell K. Hamilton, Mistral's Kiss

“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”
― Laurell K. Hamilton, Mistral’s Kiss

“I knew you wouldn’t give up.” – Brennon/Booth

Matt 21:1-11 – He knew where they were, and he knew their purpose.

A few weeks ago I decided to watch the TV series ‘Bones’ from the beginning. I think I’m on season 4 now #Netflix, lol! Anyway, a few night’s ago there was an episode where Hodgens and Bones were buried alive. They woke up in a vehicle beaten up and not aware of where they were. Two of the smartest people in the lab were stuck. The Gravedigger struck again leaving everyone to use what they had to survive….knowledge and one another.  Forty-nine minutes of frantically searching. One lead, minimal access to additional information…. they’re stuck. Bones performs a surgery, they find a flare kit in the trunk, and a shattered cell phone. They were smart enough to use the remaining battery power to send one text message… ONE! One that they can’t even guarantee was delivered because that one attempt fried the board!!!!! I was on the edge of my seat the entire episode. I was drawn in by the things they knew and the clues they gave to help the investigators find them. They weren’t sure if they’d ever be found, and their team wasn’t sure they interpreted all the clues correctly. Everyone was doing the best they could, as fast as they could, but the inevitable could become reality if they couldn’t discern the signs.

Being depressed is a little like being buried alive. You want to live. You use ALL the tools you have; combine facts and intelligence in the fight to “rescue” your existence. You’re running out of air and options. Fear of actually succumbing to the small, dark place almost has you paralyzed. I’ve been there. The crazy thing is, sometimes you’re there and don’t even know it. Things are normal…life seems to be going well. You’re smiling, but aren’t sure if it’s a response to happiness. You laugh only because it seems to be the socially acceptable response. Your dreams become a blur, social situations are still a place of solitude and a clear rational thought is on the endangered species list. You’re in deep…. so deep you wake up and aren’t even quite sure of who you are or what’s taken place.

More time has elapsed than you realize. You wake up realizing how far left you’ve gone…you finally “come to” in the middle of nowhere. You’re lost. You wonder if anyone will come looking for you… if anyone will recognize you’re gone. Is your absence felt? Did anyone value you…Did you mean enough to anyone for them to exhaust all resources to find you? All the while you are fighting and fighting… Using EVERYTHING you’ve got to find your way back….

As Hodgens and Brennon began to run out of air they came up with one final push…..create a bomb. With this last push to survive there are two possible outcomes… 1. Blow themselves out, or 2. Blow themselves up; A 50-50 chance of survival.  I’ve made it to season 4 and of course they wouldn’t let the main characters die so early, so the same still applies for our individual life stories.  That’s what we have… a 50-50 chance.  He won’t let the main character die until our purpose has been fulfilled.  It doesn’t matter how you see yourself or what you’ve done, there’s always a second chance and ALWAYS someone who will never give up on you.

If you feel like you’re being buried by life’s circumstances or that your life serves no purpose remember that “He knew where they were and knew their purpose”.  The unsuspecting donkeys were right where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there.  It didn’t matter what happened before that moment, but only their purpose once released.  Go ahead! By any means necessary begin to dig yourself out!! There is purpose in you.  It’s okay if you’ve strayed away, it’s okay if you’ve lost sight of the original plan, and it’s okay if the plan has changed…. just don’t give up.  You might feel alone, lost, or like the walls of life are caving in… don’t give up!  Not only are your friends and family there waiting, but your purpose is there too.  The thoughts and plans that He has for you are yet to be fulfilled. #DontGiveUp

All or NOTHING!

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Revelation 3:20 (KJV)
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

Last night (11/6/12) while watching the results for #Decision2012, I’ll admit that I fell asleep waiting for the concession and victory speeches.  I fought to stay awake the ENTIRE TIME, but fell victim to the sleep monster.  I saw portions of Romney’s speech… and the same for Obama, but the most memorable part of that night for me was being awakened by an unexpected visitor.

After all the speeches were made and electoral votes were in, I continued to doze off.  Asleep sitting up on the couch I hear a knock at the door.  It was loud enough to wake me up, so I wait to hear it again.  It was nearly 2 a.m. so I figured if someone was knocking it was important.  Sooooo, I fall asleep again.  AGAIN, I am awakened from my slumber by a knock at the door.  It was a little more difficult to wake up this time.  I began to utter something in my subconscious, but I remember looking at the door and trying to get to it.  Once fully awake I no longer hear it.  Noting the hour I figured my roommate was trying to wake me up so I could get in the bed.  I glanced down the hall and the lights were out in her room.  My friends who know me are aware that I can sleep through ANYTHING! So, Unable to keep my eyes open much longer…yep…I fall asleep AGAIN!  This time I am awakened by a more urgent knock at the door.  Again, it is hard to shake this sleep…I was in deep, but I remember barely opening my eyes, staring at the door, and trying to utter something.  My heart and spirit are still shaken.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been awakened from my sleep by a knock at my door.  In the summer of 2010 after toiling in my spirit regarding school and all of the crazy things that happened at the culmination of my graduate program, I was awakened by that very same knock.  The fact that it happened 3 times is what scared me the most.  Being a believer I went straight to the word.  There was one scripture found in the KJV that had contextual relation to “hearing” a knock, Rev. 3:20.  Contextually, Christ is giving direction to the church of the Laodiceans with regards to their being ‘lukewarm’… (#scary)… verse 20 is preceded by Christ stating…

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
 

With that being said, I repent of all sins committed knowingly and unknowingly.  I am a God chaser, I am on fire for him… at least to my understanding.  I know that I have been wrestling with my complete surrender for a WHILE…, but I’ve recently been making earnest efforts to re-position.  There are a few stains on my record that haven’t made the front page… But, with all the dedication to Kingdom building a bad decision (or two) and/or being slightly reluctant to LET GO (yes, I’m slightly afraid) has placed me spiritually in the church of Laodicea.  Personally, that’s #DEEP!  To think that someone can go their entire lives ‘working’, but without the complete surrender it is all for naught….  Yes, these are things we know, but when it hits home…..

Stepping out on faith isn’t as easy as it sounds.  Its like free-falling…  Its a BEAUTIFUL experience….I’ve done it before, and He has delivered in ways I can’t even begin to explain, but it is still SCARY!!!  He has shown me countless times the peace in obedience and submission.  For that I am undoubtedly pushing forward, but time is apparently of the essence.  With that, I solicit the prayers of my family and intercessors.  To my recollection He has come twice, which means he hasn’t given up on me despite my shortcomings…..  There is still yet work for me to do…  He still trusts me!!!!  I have opened the door of my heart.  I have released the hold I had on my hopes and dreams, and sincerely pray that His perfect will become mine.  I have a love for Christ that cannot be compared to that towards anyone else (mommy & daddy have 2nd on LOCK! LOL), and I don’t want to suffer eternally because of fear….so, I launch out further into the deep…further into the unknown…out to a place where only He has control….

Vote Early…If You Still Can!!

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The line to vote early 🙂

Leaving the gym a few weeks ago, I noticed an abnormal amount of traffic at the library.  There were political signs posted everywhere, balloons, etc.,.  Since I had the day off, I decided to investigate (yep, being nosey for once!!)!  If it was early voting, I’d rather get it done than to try to and get my employer to let me off on Election Day…. only God knows how long the wait would be!  My decision to pull over and vote on THAT day was quite a memorable and life changing experience.

I waited in line for nearly an hour to vote EARLY!  Yes, a little over 50 minutes to cast my vote in one of the biggest elections of my adult-life.  This political race has generated all types of energy!  I have heard disrespectful things from both parties… each candidate has their strengths and weaknesses… everyone  is blaming everyone else for the current state of the economy.

I honestly think people forget that all choices have consequences… some positive, some negative…. some long-term, while others short-term.  While politics and religion are on the list of things “not to discuss”, I’ll simply say that the disrespect directed towards the POTUS regarding the state of the union is unreal.  Its like playing spades,…the man had to play the hand he was dealt!  His hand wasn’t stacked in his favor, so he made decisions based upon our current situation and the future he desires for the country.  He’s HUMAN!  No, all decisions may not have been AMAZING… No, you may not like or agree with him, but you should still respect the office.

So many people are still undecided in this election.  If religion and gun laws are ALL that matter to you, then you know what to do…If you have always made awesome decisions and DEFIED your humanity…handle yours!  Even though we have come through the Civil Rights Movement, there are still some people who are stuck in the Jim Crow south… people at the poles have had to face racial tension in line BEFORE ever reaching the ballot box.  The link below provides the early voting dates (if applicable) for your state, absentee ballot dates, and registration deadlines.  I urge you to get out there early!  Make your vote count!!!

Election 2012: Early And Absentee Voting, By State: http://apps.npr.org/early-voting-2012/

The line was literally wrapped around the library!!

Do NOT Vote!!!

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YES, you read it correctly….and you probably made the same face I did when I heard the crazy story about African-American Pastors directing their congregations NOT to vote. Soooo, I had to do a little research to see what the “HOO HOO” was going on!  Knowing the struggles of the Civil Rights movement, and even the Women’s Suffrage Movement, I nearly lost it for about 3.9 seconds!  So, since reading is fundamental…I decided to do just that…

Here are the links for the articles I read on the issue….

African-American Christians Waver Over Vote: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/african-american-christians-waver-vote-article-1.1161290

Anti-Obama African-American Pastors Have Deep Conservative Ties: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/12/coalition-of-african-american-pastors_n_1766777.html

Same Sex Marriage Divides Black Ministers: http://www.blackvoicenews.com/news/news-wire/48248-same-sex-marriage-divides-black-ministers.html

Black Pastors Aren’t Saying ‘Don’t Vote’: http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/21/opinion/martin-ap-black-vote/index.html

Martin’s ending (CNN) statement, and I quote, “Our job in the media is to inform and enlighten, not confuse. Running such a confusing, unsupported story lacking basic context and perspective does not serve the public at all.” is absolute truth.  The allegations did just what they were supposed to do… stir up members of Christian faith communities.  I pray that the energy created will have positive results.  I am a woman who believes in Gen 50:20 and Romans 8:28, so I’m not going to stress either way the pendulum of this election swings… I just want everyone to use wisdom at the polls.

One of, if not the biggest issue the black church has with the Obama administration at this point, is his support of gay marriage.  But, what is most unfortunate is the percentage of GLOBAL persons who are active in our faith communities… men and women who serve in leadership at these same churches, under the same pastors who are expressing their disgust with Obama’s decision.  As a woman of faith, my friends know that I don’t condone, but I can’t condemn them for the choices they make.  I KNOW that I’m not perfect, so I am not casting any stones.  The word asks that we not judge (Matt 7:1-5), and that those who are spiritual we call it out, correct one another in love while RESTORING…lest WE fall (Gal 6:1)…. #FoodForThought…  In Leviticus, the Bible does say that same-sex situations are an abomination, but we thank God for Jesus and should leave it in his hands!!!!

Yes, its CRAZY out here!  I will say that I do not agree with gay marriage…nope, not at all…, but my opinion did not keep me from voting. I am quite sure that there has NEVER been a president that everyone agreed with EVERYTHING they stood for (except for President Bill Clinton).  With that in mind I suggest that as a collective democratic body we move forward with the future in mind ;-).

…BTW…NOT voting is voting….

…Back to your regularly scheduled program….

Letter to my Daddy

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# 1 Dad!!!

Dad’s Father’s Day card was at least two weeks late o_O!!  I didn’t get to go home nor did I get to send him a fancy Edible Arrangement, but I felt it absolutely necessary to let him in on a portion of how much I love him and how thankful I am to have him as my daddy.  So, in the space left in his Father’s Day card I decided to write the following…  No, I’m not going to spill ALL the beans, but hopefully he won’t mind me sharing a few words :).

_______________________________

Daddy,

I love you so much, and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have you as my father.  I know my card is a tad late, but I hope you receive it with the same level of love.  Over the past few weeks and month’s I’ve been reflecting over our relationship. I don’t think I’ve been able to truly tell you how much and how dearly I love you!!!  I am soooooo thankful daddy!!!

I want to say thanx for all you do.  Thank you for holding on after being laid off so close to retirement.  Thanks for not quitting and giving up on us when times got rough financially.  Thank you for being a dad who stuck around to take care of his family. I know the situation surrounding moms sudden illness has been stressful, but you have managed to keep us together.  I appreciate EVERY lesson and conversation we’ve ever had.

Thanks for showing me what a father and husband should be… Everything hasn’t been easy, but FLAWS AND ALL, I love you!!  Thanks for always supporting me as a follow my dreams.  I truly hope to make you proud one day.  I love you forever and always.

Happy Father’s Day!!!

Brit

_______________________

PS – Dear Potential Suitors…. My daddy has set one hell of an example.  No, he isn’t perfect and you don’t have to be either.  I simply ask that you love God, love me, and love our family….the agape kind.  Actions speak louder than words, and I’m visually hands on…go figure.

What’s the Cost of the Oil….?

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In the previous post I mentioned my experience with the mechanic/cashier at Jiffy Lube, and shared how I felt led to repent after reflecting upon our conversation.  He and I literally went back and forth for about 10-15 minutes about the price of my services!  I was definitely in RARE form.  I shared that he decided to honor my GROUPON, and only charged me for 1 quart of the oil I wanted.  Following his adjustment I was STILL adamant about paying what I owed for the increased quality of the oil I had put in my car, but he wouldn’t let me.  On the drive home I seized the opportunity to reflect upon the conversation and my actions, God really spoke to me through this entire ordeal…

After acknowledging the age of my vehicle (vessel) and knowing the distance it has to travel daily (and even weekly), I already knew that I needed the high mileage oil.  I was waiting on the guy to ask me, and was prepared to pay the difference for the quality…. I just wasn’t aware that I’d have to pay for a complete “upgrade” to my services.

For starters, I figured that I would only be responsible for the marginal cost of the upgraded product… wrong!  There are different levels of sacrifice for the varying levels of anointing,… I mean oil.  I wanted the best oil for my vehicle and  I was willing and prepared to pay the marginal cost, but the cost of the next level came with an unforeseen expense.  I couldn’t help but parallel this situation with my Christian walk.  Yes, I’m only 2-?, but I have been on the journey since the age of 2.  For lack of better terms, I have a lot of miles under my belt!!!  I have MUCH further to go, but over the past 2-3 years I’ve realized that I want to fully experience the power of God!  I want to see and do everything I can during my natural life… hear stories of how the very same God has changed/shaped the lives of others.  I want my faith to be tested.  I have been told to “be careful what I pray for”, but I guess I’m a glutten…

As a ministry leader it is truly my desire to worship, teach, and speak from my experiences with Him.  There are some things I can express without the one-on-one session, but going to the next level in worship and ministry will require a different level of personal sacrifice.  No, I don’t have a clue of what it will cost, but I’m sure it will be more than worth it.

Back to the oil change… as we were wrapping up our conversation, and I am insisting on paying for my oil, the cashier says, “It won’t work the way you want to do it, it still won’t be enough.”  He said soooooo much right there!!!  After we’d had a somewhat mild discussion about me wanting to pay for what I asked…and I even agreed to pay for the upgrade, he reminded me that it still wouldn’t be enough.  I IMMEDIATELY thought about my relationship with Christ…  No matter how hard I try… how much I argue, fuss and fight… I will NEVER be able to FULLY pay Him the debt I owe for my gifts.  He’s ALREADY PAID THE COST…. paid it in full with his life!!  So yes, in order to move to the next level of ministry and to experience what God has for me, I will have to make unforeseen sacrifices…  It may end up being more than I ever thought it would be, but in the long run the benefits are immeasurable!

I walked away feeling HORRIBLE, but received a few wonderful blessings….  1. You answer the call before you fully know the cost…  2. If you want the upgrade, you have to be willing to make the sacrifice… and, 3. When you try to do things your way you will always come up short.  #SimpleTruth

I Just Want to Pay for the Oil!

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Soooooo, after work I decided to maximize my morning by FINALLY getting my oil changed.  Although I added two quarts 3-4 weeks ago, the truck has been running hard/loud… I’ve been getting less gas mileage, AND driving it began to feel like a chore!  I was even more excited to use a coupon I managed to find on GROUPON … $35 for a Signature Oil Change (half-off)!!!

With all that excitement I grabbed breakfast and headed to the nearest Jiffy Lube to cash in on my great deal!!  Coupons are a great cushion to ANY budget!  The oil change comes with a tire rotation, rain-x treatment, fluid check, and vacuumed  floor boards #ThankyaJesus!!!  So, I pull in and explain to the mechanic that I have a GROUPON… He does his thing, and the process begins.  They let me know I have a few runner break lights out, so I’m like cool…  Asked if they could replace them for like $8.99, I was like, “nah, I’ll take care of it”.  They proceed to ask about all these fluids and cleanings and such, and I proceed to decline respectfully, lol.  Finally, the gentleman asked me if I would like the same oil I always use.  I said, “sure”!  I drive a HIGH mileage vehicle and the synthetic oil that comes with the GROUPON won’t cut it, so I was willing to pay the difference in the price of the oil for the better product.

They begin working to Rain-X the windshield, and I removed everything from the floor so vacuuming would be a breeze (I figured I could at least do my part…  The car is wretched o_O!).  They topped off my fluids and even pulled out a filter for something (I don’t quite recall), and suggested I get it cleaned.  I said cool.  I’ll handle that later.  We were off and popping!  Taking a seat inside I nibble at my breakfast, finishing just in time to hear “Ma’am, we’re done with your car!”.  I’m like, “SCORE!!  Absolutely perfect timing!”  So, I bounce over to the counter EXCITED about cashing in my GROUPON and paying the difference for the oil upgrade when the fun begins….

The gentleman behind the counter said “Ma’am your total is $3?.??.”  I had the same look you probably have right now…. o_O (ummm, scue me?!).  In the calmest voice possible I asked him to explain why my balance was $30+ when the GROUPON covered the cost of the procedure and I had to pay the difference of the cost of the oil upgrade.  After going back and forth for a few minutes about the differential, the gentleman said, “Ma’am, an upgrade to the high-mileage oil package adds $2?.??, plus an additional $6 for the 6th quart of oil.”  Wellllllllllll, when did he plan to tell me that?!  I knew I’d have to pay for an additional quart (because I drive an Expedition), but where did this “upgrade charge” come from?!  I am normally not the argumentative type, but I proceeded to inquire WHY I had to pay an additional $20+ when the ONLY THING THAT CHANGED was the quality of the oil.  It’s the same Rain-X, same vacuum, I skipped the tire rotation, and they used the same exact fluids that would have been used to top everything off… I was utterly confused at WHY I would still end up paying almost $70 for an oil change, and I had a GROUPON!!!!  By the end of our conversation I figured we had met at a common ground, and I was ready to just pay my bill and move on.  But, somewhere in the discussion the gentleman decided to charge me for the GROUPON deal and the additional quart of oil.  The price ended up being drastically different from what it would have been if he would have just let me pay the differential, so of course I tried to pay what I owed!!  After several efforts of trying to convey to him that I want to pay the price I owed for the oil differential… (dude, I want to pay!!!), he respectfully declined and continued to review the details of  the GROUPON purchase to avoid this happening in the future.  During his service recovery process, a few of the things he said caused me to reflect….., and eventually repent for my attitude and behavior towards him….

To Be Continued….

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