book review, Men, Women

Be Brave

I’ve been reading 100 Days to Brave: Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self by Annie F. Downs. Little did I know that this was the devotional I needed to be reading. I had searched through many devotionals on a website looking for the one with the “x” factor. Maybe it was the word Brave that stood out to me or the gold accent on the cover? Either way I instinctively knew courage was what I was after. Not that I’m a scaredy cat or live in fear of everything – because I don’t. My whole life is out of my comfort zone and I can look back on my life and see many times I have been brave. I can also look back on my life and see the many times I was not brave. I let insecurity and doubt shut me down. I can also look at my day to day, week to week life and see where I am not stepping up and out. I know God has many things planned for me on the other side of insecurity and doubt.

In the 100 Days to Brave, Annie challenges us to discover what our calling is and narrow it down into one sentence. I had been entertaining an idea like this but it’s been called a personal mission statement. It’s a statement that will give you purpose and direction for your life. Of course, I have over analyzed any idea I’ve had of what the statement would be. So when I read this challenge my brain went to work. For days it was in my peripheral but nothing came to the fore front. I’m called to… I’m called to….? On that Sunday right after worship at church, it came to me.

I’m called to… fortify the weak.

Fortify means to strengthen a place with defensive works so as to protect it against attack, strengthen or invigorate someone mentally or physically.

I reflected on this and could see how over the course of life (so far) I’ve done this in the positions I’ve held in and out of the workplace and within friendships. With a recipe of truth, compassion, and sass I’ve validated and challenged others in the most sensitive times in their life. Whether advocating for others in a court room or meeting, certifying that someone is not crazy for the how they’ve mismanaged their childhood trauma, offering effective solutions for other’s dilemmas, helping someone discern between the truth and a lie, not welcoming the status quo. I’ve heard many times from friends “you make me feel like I’m not crazy.” I used to think – people frequently feel crazy?

This doesn’t mean that I am perfect. I’m far from it. Hearing from the Holy Spirit what my calling is opens up my mind.

The other day I was also thinking of my assignment. I’ve decided there is a difference between your calling and your assignment. Your calling is your purpose. Your assignment is how you are to carry it out.

About a year or more ago, I felt this impression on me that I’m not assigned to minister to those in the church building. I’m not saying this absolves me from any serving that I am to do in my home church. I do serve in a couple of ways. However, there was a distinction I made regarding those already attending church and those lost in the world that don’t even believe they are worthy of salvation, even entering a church building any day of the week. Those so far gone they won’t attend a service or even dare ask God for anything. Those are the people I am assigned to.
I am to be the one that goes into the cave with a flashlight of the Gospel to meet people where they are in their deepest pit. I am to be a light that shines on them while we speak. A light that intrigues them. And when I walk freely out of the cave they’ll want to follow.

I’m drawn to the darkness, not to live but to rescue.

cave

 

For the past 10 years, my resume is filled with a variety of jobs. Topics of trauma, philosophies of care, emotional intelligence, trafficking, disorders & diagnoses, physical restraints, juvenile justice, criminology, addiction, self-harm, stages of change, abuse & neglect, sexual assault, domestic violence, CPS, probation, homelessness, and more – all saturate my mind every day. I see the world through these lenses.

I didn’t actually ask for this.

I’ve always been obsessed with the WHY.

Why do people do what they do?
What makes a criminal a criminal?
Why do people choose to do wrong?
How are they different from anyone else?

The Why is often a hard red pill to swallow. We are broken. We are fumbling in the dark with a blindfold on and ear plugs in. As Christians we are to introduce people to the spiritual realm. Ephesians 6:12 tells us there are two frequencies – flesh and blood, dark world –AND- rulers, authorities, spiritual forces in the heavenly realms.

Most people function in the flesh and blood. Everything changes when you tune into Heaven. You become acutely aware of the over developed disease of evil. You should be able to see and hear the enemy roaring, strangling and killing souls.

There are many theories out there, you can spend a lot of money hearing about them, taking exams and writing dissertations on them.

The ills of society, the brokenness of people won’t be answered by theories or a national organization or by a federal program. Those systems can bring awareness to the symptoms but they have no concrete solution.

The solution is Jesus Christ. When Jesus became my Lord, His ministry was put before me.

Love them and lead them back to me.

Loving like Jesus isn’t hard, loving like a human is hard because no one will meet our conditions 100/100.

God has given us special people to love.
-the homeless
-the unborn
-the military
-the developmentally disabled
-the sick
-those trapped in modern day slavery
-pedophiles, rapists
-pimps and johns
-children
-addicts, dealers
-parolees, probationers, felons, death rowers
-those in hospice
-post-abortive mothers and fathers
-the suicidal, the homicidal
-the abused, the raped
-the unseen and unheard
-the invisible

They are everywhere at all times. Your assignment is who God told you to love intimately and fiercely.

Ask Him right now. Who do you want me to love? Show me how to love them well. If you have yet to identify who God wants you to love, you are living in rebellion.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
-Matthew 22:36-40

You don’t want to face God and tell him that you spent your lifetime unburdened for the souls of others. You had an extra ticket to Heaven but you threw it in the trash. Be brave and send out invites on behalf of the Bridegroom.

 

Related Reading:

100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs.

100d

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Journaling, sex, Transformation

A Lonely Girl’s Cry

I’ve been pursuing deeper things with the Lord lately and examining the issue of soul ties. Soul ties are the bonds we make with others. They can be healthy or toxic, Kingdom building or Kingdom breaking, holy or unholy.

Recently I looked through a workbook from a transformative conference my church calls, All Access. In the conference we cover the deeper topics of Identity, Generational Inequity, Father & Mother Wounds, Inner Vows, Soul Ties and more. I’ve participated a few times in the past couple of years. Each time new issues in my heart and mind are brought to light. Soul ties are always on the forefront of my quest. I have on multiple occassions prayed prayers breaking soul ties to people of my past, specifically sexual in nature. Honestly, each time I do I haven’t felt much happening after that. I’ve prayed but the pull in my soul still persists.

During one of the sessions at All Access, a deep intricate thought came to me but I didnt jot it down in my notes. I assumed it was such an epiphany that I’d remember later…but…I didn’t remember! Grrr! About a week later I reviewed my notes and tried desperately to remember that great thought. I searched the internet for more information on soul ties and watched a teaching video from Jennifer LeClaire. The link to the video is at the bottom of this post.

Everything I read included the steps to breaking soul ties. One of the steps was always to get rid of mementos or gifts, anything that could link you back to the soul tie. I kept thinking I don’t have any objects at all, nothing. I have gotten rid of things like that. But the Holy Spirit reminded me I had journals in boxes in my closet. He told me to get rid of them. Its true, I had journals and journals of documentation of the past, exploits with men and all kinds of unrighteous and spiritually dead themes.

Amongst these journals I had been holding onto a photograph of myself and my “first love” from 2002. He was my first sexual partner and yes first love. He died in 2011 of alcohol poisoning. Sad & Alone. We hadn’t been a couple since 2004. There were some brief sexual encounters years later. I hesitated putting the picture in the throw away box. It was the last item that would link us together.

There were many more stories I threw away in between all those pages.

Included was a play by play of the unrequited love that defined my life. Someone I wanted to be with since I first slept with him. Talk about a Stage 5 clinger! He NEVER wanted me more than to sleep with and I wanted it all from him. To this day I’ve still wanted him. This person has always been the object of my soul tie prayers. I’ve *always* been conflicted about it.

At All Access, our Pastor’s wife (oversees all counseling needs at our church) said something about being Bonded to Loneliness. Those pages were filled with a lonely girl’s cry, confusion, rejection, insecurity etc. Thats been the theme of my heart for decades, and I’m only 32! On that day, March 12th, I threw away all the old scripts and memories. I know I have to cling to the New Life Jesus gave me.

Did magic happen on that day? No. God is not a magician. I’m unaware of what all took place in the spirit realm when I followed through with the Holy Spirit’s directive to throw away those journals. I’m unaware of all the unholy doors that were slammed and bolted shut that day. Im unaware of what Heaven is is now able to do on my behalf because of my obedience. I dont know everything but I know it was a move I had to make to get closer to Jesus and the Father.

Related Videos:

Related Reading:

https://www.charismamag.com/spirit/spiritual-warfare/25853-7-signs-of-an-unhealthy-soul-tie

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hookup culture, sex, Uncategorized

The Faux-Intimate Generation

As I was driving home from a work event I was listening to Clean by Natalie Grant. A memory came to the forefront and I figured I would have to write about it. I was trying to think of title but I didn’t like, “Don’t be a Cheapskate” or “How I knew I had to Stop having Sex.” Another song I like is a country song called Every Little Thing by Carly Pearce.

“Every little thing, I remember every little thing, the high the hurt the shine the sting of every little thing…”

I love it because I’m one those people that remembers. I remember those little things, all the things that never mattered to the other person.

One of the last times I slept with a particular person (about 5 years ago), I remember we didn’t use any protection. Surprise- Surprise. At that time, I was (pathetically) okay with it because I only did that with him. I wasn’t sleeping with anyone else nor did I want to. I was okay with there not being a boundary. I’m not condoning unprotected sex here but explaining my own poor choices.

The next days after, I realized we should have used protection because although I knew where I had been- I did not know where he had been. I could not account for what he was doing with other women or not doing with other women. He was a wild card. I decided to text him.

“Just so you know I only do that with you.”

His response went something like, “Yea me too…I’m clean…trust me.”

He asked if I was on the pill and I said no.

He said if I got the Plan B pill he would “reimburse” me.

reimburse

Reimburse

REIMBURSE

REEEIMMMBUUURSSSE.

I said I wasn’t worried about being pregnant and joked “we’ll see what happens in 9 months.”

He didn’t think it was funny.

I didn’t think REIMBURSE was funny. I didn’t think REIMBURSE was appropriate. I didn’t want his money. I didn’t like the way he so casually used the word REIMBURSE. How many other women had he REIMBURSED? Reimburse is not something you say to someone you slept with. Reimburse is reserved for business transactions. You get reimbursed for office supplies, mileage. You get reimbursed from petty cash when the vending machine won’t give you your Funyuns. I had been given money to purchase Plan B years prior and I vowed that would not be an experience I would repeat. (The Time I Went to the Abortion Clinic)

I was NOT a transaction.

But I was to him.

This exchange of communication was monumental in my quest. Right now, I can thank God for the word choice of that person. Obviously, it has stayed on my mind all these years. It was another reminder of why I could not keep sleeping with him or anyone. Especially as the times have changed and young men have become even more gluttonous for sex as women have become even more feral.
This is the generation of soul-less faux-intimate transactional sex.

I wondered if the new normal was to sleep with a girl unprotected, and then utilize Plan B as a plan a. Just reimburse her later. I remembered when I was younger the mantra was Do Not Get Pregnant. Do Not get a STD.

Had that changed? Had the plan changed so much in less than a decade?

It seems as though as the years pass on Responsibility has become an outdated tenet. How could that be? You would think that as we get older we get wiser.

As our culture has come to worship sex we’ve placed responsibility under personal self-indulgence.

We began to desire the benefits and none of the responsibility. Men and women equal in foolishness.

That *REIMBURSE* conversation led me to see that I had better get out of the game. The game had changed and it wasn’t for me anymore.

I never want to hear the word Reimburse from a man that I have been intimate with. God never intended for men to run amok reimbursing women for Plan Bs or abortions. He intended for men and women to make a covenant with Him at the center to care of one another. To represent Christ to one another. Anything short of that is faux-intimacy. It’s a foundation of quicksand, you lose your footing before you know it. You’ll be left feeling played and cheap. Don’t be a cheapskate. You’re worth more than $50 for Plan B or the $500 for an abortion.

Ladies, a man isn’t taking care of you by throwing money at what he or you may deem a “problem.” The problem happened before the conception. The problem is your lack of purity. You lack a firm and full understanding of who you are.

Men, what happened to you? When did you begin to sell out? Generations before you welcomed responsibility. Welcomed the opportunity to showcase your provision and protection. Being a man meant taking care of someone other than yourself.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her – Ephesians 5:25

Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. – Proverbs 31:31

Related Content:

Related Music:

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Quick Read

Introverting as an INTJ female

The following is list of the inner details of my life. Only my closest people know some of these but I’ve been feeling bold lately so I’m sharing even more. Enjoy or not.

-drink coffee

-envision the next time I’ll get to drink coffee

-get excited for future events

-Pinteresting my heart out

-pre-plan future hobbies

-watch X-Files

-never asking a store employee for help finding anything

-get cozy …alone

-question use of social media because the CIA

-feel conflicted about SnapChat because the CIA- but love the filters because they give me long eyelashes

-vow to never send in my DNA for purposes of determining ancestry because the CIA and FEMA camps

-examine emotions under a microscope

-try to figure out how to be vulnerable

-make lists

-listening to what people say and what they dont say

-spurts of productivity

-longer spurts of analyzing everything

-creating conversation scripts that people don’t follow

-send email and immediately go to sent box- reread email I sent 10 times

-deliberate if I said everything in the correct way in the email

– spend an hour trying to find the right genre of music for my mood

-never have Kleenex in my office for when people cry

-vow to buy Kleenex

-go to store- never buy Kleenex

-type multiple sentence reply- erase it all-send one word reply

-think in terms of memes, movies, songs, Youtube videos, conspiracy “theories,” Key & Peele skits, Portlandia skits

-imagine as if I would have to explain the modern world to George Washington

-daydream of adventures

-never be spontaneous

-scared the Holy Spirit will make me do something I wasn’t expecting

-screenshot cute outfits that I will never buy

-have an arsenal of memes ready to go

-daydream of Bae -Tom Hardy

-have an arsenal of Tom Hardy pics ready for me to insert my face

-organize the clothes in my closet in color order

-have delightful conversation with someone- later determine that I said too much- now they know too much

-not read texts or Facebook messages right way—go into app to read the first line

-write down what to say before making an important phone call

-put off making phone call for 6 hours

-hope call goes to voicemail

-suspect someone following me if they make too many same turns

-cards in wallet are face down so other people can’t see my information

-love escape room games and picture find games

-love documentaries

-listen to music almost 15 hours per day

-buy books

-read 3 books at time

– tv viewing varies from X-Files to Hart of Dixie

-music varies from Billie Holiday to Bizzle to Romeo Santos to Lauren Daigle to Miranda Lambert to Five Finger Death Punch

– want to go on a date – don’t want to talk to a stranger

-want to stay home everyday because people

-have a calling on my life to reach the broken and hurting -have to pep talk myself out of bed

– love public speaking

-hate small talk

-get energized from deep heavy conversations

-zone out when i’m too peopled

-strategize how i would escape being kidanapped

-live everyday out of my comfort zone

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Gender Issues, History, Women

Don’t March For Me

Its been about one year since the obnoxious “women’s march” in protest to the US election. Placing Donald Trump and Mike Pence in the White House. I wrote the above statement in response to the march. I had planned to write much more but couldn’t find the time and couldn’t keep up with the putrid antics coming from the marchers and feminists. The infected scenes and rancid shouts were polluting the atmosphere. I’ve never seen something so awful and illogical in my life. I’m sure I’m not alone. As someone that was indoctrinated with feminism as early as high school and actively signed up for Women’s Studies classes in college, I was so confused with this new inverted feminism. Early on, I learned about the “Remember the Ladies letter” of 1776, the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, the Suffragists of the early 1900s. I was such a fan of the Suffragists that I had pictures of them in my MySpace photo album. Not to sound arrogant but sure I learned about Margaret Sanger as the blameless[false] woman wanting to assist women in the slums of New York, about the glass ceiling and sexual objectification. The biggest take away from all those women’s studies classes for me was the issue of sexual objectification. It was our greatest offense, the strongest tool of our foe, Patriarchy. It was always made clear that men were not the enemy but the pesky patriarchy that flowed over them and through them was the enemy. You could say I had learned a diet version of feminism. For a time I considered myself Pro-Woman, whatever that means.

Fast forward 14 years and Google search women’s march 2017. You’ll see a sea of pepto bismol pink (how stereotypical); vagina gear (the epitome of sexual objectification, the very definition); the biggest march of mixed messages in the history of marches and mixed messages. In an attempt to honor one of their gods, Inclusivity, they completely made no actual case. There were signs and representatives for every victim group imaginable. Women were there shouting for what exactly? Rights.

Its now 2018 and I’m still confused as to what Rights we as women in the US are missing. The only one I hear loud and clear is abortion on demand and free? Or how about free tampons and pads? I hear that one too.

I guess the women sending tampons and pads to Mike Pence has really made an impact. Or the free-bleeding movement. Or the trans people free-bleeding movement? As you can tell, I’m still very confused of women are fighting for these days.

Actually, we have made some cis-male type of long strides in the area of sexual harassment. Yes, affluent celebutantes all wore expensive black attire worth thousands of US dollars to protest sexual harassment. Yes that was progress. Some of those women also won shiny gold plated awards to honor their careers of pretending for thousands and millions of more US dollars. Many of them have been using their smart phone device worth hundreds of US dollars to utilize corresponding hashtags of the hour in the name of activism [ironically it has the word act in it]. Yes its such an enlightening time to be alive. Yet one person was missing in action in this utopia of activism, change and progressive morals – Corey Feldman. For some reason Hollywood doesn’t want to hear Corey’s #metoo.

It makes me think of Alice Paul, fierce Suffragist. She was arrested multiple times. While incarcerated she went on a hunger strike and endured forced-feeding by guards.

It makes me think of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, abolitionist and Suffragist. She was a wife and mother of 7 children.

It makes me think of her dear friend, Susan B. Anthony, another abolitionist and Suffragist. Both women were members of the Temperance Movement.

These women had something to fight for. These are the women that sacrificed and risked their comfort for progress. They made lasting change. They did not literally wear their gentalia on their sleeves. They did not demand the red carpet be laid out before them as a protected class of victims. They were victors and their messages were clear. Their tenets were logical.

As an American woman I am not deprived of anything. God ordained my success and the old timey Suffragists cleared a way for me. The only disrespect that I’ve endured is what I’ve invited into my own life. The failures I’ve succumbed to, were of my own misstep or laziness. The only chasm between myself and men came about from my own sins. When you come to know Christ, your sins get washed clean. Your path becomes emblazoned by His light.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me–and I in him–bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing. John 15:1, 5

But thanks be to God who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and who makes known through us the fragrance that consists of the knowledge of him in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14

And he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6

And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12

Feminists, don’t march for me. Don’t march for me. I’m not disenfranchised. Men respect me everywhere I go. You’re not my voice. I have my own.

trash

Related Reading:

https://www.dailywire.com/news/25502/walsh-matt-walsh#exit-modal

https://bible.org/article/who-does-god-say-i-am

Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy

Subverted – How I Helped the Sexual Revolution Hijack the Women’s Movement by Sue Ellen Browder

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/04/08/473518239/periods-as-protest-indiana-women-call-governor-to-talk-about-menstrual-cycles

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3201878/Runner-completed-London-Marathon-free-bleeding-hits-critics-uncomfortable-normal-process.html

http://people.com/bodies/transgender-activist-freebleed-men-can-menstruate/

http://www.freethetampons.org/ [its a real website lol]

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/17/pro-life-women-banned-anti-trump-womens-march-wash/

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Uncategorized

No Clever Title: Reasons Why I don’t Drink

The last time I drank was over a couple (or over three) years ago. It was during the winter sometime and there was going to be a Snowmageddon. Schools were closing, businesses were closing. Everyone was at the grocery store the night before buying up all the bottled water and whatever else they deemed essential. If schools were closed, then I technically did not have to go in to work either. So knowing I would not be going to work the next day and understanding that I would be snowed in my apartment, I bought my essentials. I bought a cheap tube of instant cinnamon rolls, a 2L of Cherry Coke, and a bottle of White Zinfandel. I decided that I would just drink & chill at home, ya know- Relax. That night I poured my first glasses of wine while listening to music. Soon, the songs turned sad. Then, one sad song on repeat as I continued refilling my glasses until the bottle was about gone. I zeroed in on sad memories of the past [involving my favorite subject- him]. Definition: him that I wanted the sunmoonstars from and him that didn’t want me two nights consecutively; him that ignored me for weeks or months after sleeping with me; him that I allowed to break my heart over and over without every telling him; him that I hadn’t see for a few years him. So basically I got myself drunk, listened to sad music while crying- then finally cried myself to sleep.

WoW. So EXXXXXXTRA. The next day I woke up and began putting all the scenes together. I couldn’t believe the pathetic script that played the night before. I realized had it not been for the alcohol, my night would’ve been a nice evening, no drama. I decided that was last sign I needed to know why I shouldn’t drink anymore.

The thoughts had been coming for a while by then. In my early and mid-twenties, I partied at clubs, bars and house parties. I drank more than I should and spent more than I should. Drinking and driving was common. As I got older drinking became more a “team bonding” activity with coworkers after work. We would go to a nearby bar to vent about work and share laughs. This only happened once per week maybe twice. We all had a few drinks, vented, laughed and went home at closing time. Every once and awhile, the sorority sisters wanted a night out at a club. I would go but the club life wasn’t for me anymore. After about an hour I was ready to get out the heels and into my pajamas.

While out at a bar a friend would take a picture of our drinks and post to Facebook. Sometimes friends would tag me in the location. While being a church attending and small group attending Christian at the time, I didn’t like the tagging and the posting. I felt exposed. I thought, “Don’t tag me here, I don’t want people to know I’m here.” Immediately after thinking ‘I don’t want anyone to know I’m here’- I thought “then why are you here?”

If you don’t want anyone to know you are here, then why are you here?

That’s a good question. Just like that- I was convicted. I discovered I had a double life. It wasn’t that polar opposite but there was a line drawn somewhere. I knew I didn’t want two different lives to lead. I knew what I wanted and I knew that something wasn’t fitting. But I didn’t make any moves just yet.

The bar life comes with certain sub-activities. Sub-activities like playing darts or shooting pool. My sub-activity was Judging or like some people call it- people watching. For some reason there’s nothing like sitting at the bar, drinking your drinks and harshly judging everyone else in the bar. Ripping them to shreds with your thoughts, thinking things I would never tell them out loud. Judging the guys and girls being obnoxious, talking loudly for no reason, the people that think they are walking straight but they are clearly swaying with each stride, the shy men secretly watching the girl barely clothed. I’m sure you’ve witnessed the silliest, wildest things in bars. I was sitting on the bar stool thinking that I was better than everyone else there [aside from my friends]. I was deciding who these people were and they were never worthy of much in my elevated state. I looked at these other people as if they had a sadder more pathetic life than mine. All these people had was this bar… I had more of whatever they didn’t have. But a new thought came more than once.

You think you’re not like everyone else in here, but you are here with them.

Interesting. I am here with them. So how I am so different? Better? I was convicted in a second layer of understanding. How could I sit here and judge these people if I am one of them? I couldn’t. I needed to stop.

So I did.

Our friend group hit a lull and hadn’t gone to the bar some weeks or so. One day, my coworker said how we all needed to go out one night soon. I didn’t respond and remained focused on my task. The pause was awkward and then he said, “You don’t drink anymore do you?” This took me by surprise but he’s a smart guy. I looked up and said ”No. I’ve been convicted lately.” He understood because he is also a Christian. He was supportive and praised me.

This was the New Thing God was doing. In fact, He did it already. Something about my spirit communicated to my friend that I didn’t drink anymore. I hadn’t told anyone these thoughts I was having. I just lived my authentic life each day of the year after that. I knew I didn’t want separate lives. I knew that I would choose whom I serve every day with my actions. I knew that me drinking alcohol in bars or clubs didn’t bring glory to God. I knew drinking at home in my apartment didn’t bring glory to God. I knew me drinking led to thoughts I didn’t need to think. Whether, harsh criticisms of others or sad broken hearted thoughts of the past. Neither brought glory to the Audience of One. None of my alcohol induced behaviors brought glory to the One that Saved Me, didn’t testify to His Authority over my life.

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.                              Matthew 16:24-25

This verse stood out during that time in my life. I knew the Holy Spirit had called me out. The Advocate had pointed out some inconsistencies in my life and gave them bullet points. Give it up and follow Him.

Yes I did like alcohol and on any given day still do. My flesh likes the taste of certain drinks and beers. There are fun and sad memories tied to alcohol. Specific years of my life are forever linked with alcohol. When I go to restaurants the thought of ordering alcohol drinks still passes over me. When at the grocery store or gas station I still consider buying something to take home. Sometimes, in the middle of a stressful day I think ironically ‘I need a drink.” The point is, my desire hasn’t left but my commitment to follow through is not there. I may have these thoughts but I don’t act on them. I let them be thoughts and that’s it. We always have the final say.

This may be easy for me to say because I never was addicted to alcohol. Those with addictions have to put in more personal work to conquer sobriety. The last and final reason I don’t drink is because I do not want to be a hypocrite. I know people that have addictions, whether they acknowledge it or not- I see it. I’ve seen it begin and spread. I had a couple friends that really struggled with alcohol. I knew that I couldn’t speak to their addiction because I was actively drinking with them. By cutting out alcohol I’m prepared to spot the truth and live a life that can speak truth into others. You won’t be able to tell me that I’m doing the same thing as you as justification for you to do the same thing you’ve always done.

How can I tell them they drink too much or they have an actual drinking problem if I’m drinking with them?

One friend tearfully confessed to me in our mid-twenties that she hated the way alcohol felt in her body. This confession came in the middle of a night out in the center of Kansas City’s Power and Light District. One friend passed away from alcohol poisoning though his family and friends have never admitted it. Years prior, my friend (from the Power and Light District story) and I took a case of beer to his home. We hung out and while we were on a 3rd beer he had already chugged down almost 10 stacking them up like a tower. He died in 2011 after a night out, alone on the kitchen floor.

So there you have it. Reasons why I don’t drink.

‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say – but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’– but I will not be mastered by anything.     I Corinthians 6:12

 

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