Journaling, Quick Read, Transformation

Creatures

“God take these chains off of me, take the chains off of my heart off my body off my brain. Take these chains Take these chains off of me. God take these chains. These chains of consequences.

he raped my heart now I’m dealing with the consequences of low self-esteem no confidence. I gave him full reign on my body & mind. It’s all over now, it’s gotta be over. Cuz there’s no other way.”                                                                                               July 7, 2010

 

I wrote that in a journal I found in a box in my closet, literally and figuratively. A box inside my closeted soul. I wrote in the Purge how there was a time in my life where I teetered the line of crazy. That post was centered on a particular individual and the merry-go-round I rode with him.

This post however, I want to focus on myself.

I sat on the floor in my room reading these excruciating types of entries, recalling the events or being shocked at events I never remembered. Texting him in the middle of the night “delete my number and forget about me” and “tell me to stop talking to you.” Most going unanswered, unacknowledged driving me even madder. Never in a million years would I have ever admitted to being that crazy girl. In fact, I had like most people remembered the past as I chose to. Glossing over my own poor behavior and over emphasizing the poor behavior in the other person. After a text was ignored I wrote how I cried “all night” or “until I feel asleep.” This scenario saturated my journal.

I began to cry myself. Six years later, I am 31 years old and so far removed from the person I once was. My heart broke for the young me. Someone so lost. Lost in someone else. Lost in reality. I cried and apologized to God for not knowing Him then. I know YOU now though. You came for me, you never stopped coming for me. I felt shaken to my core.

I never truly saw the cage I was in until the other night reading page of page of utter nonsense. Pages of illogical and immature behavior. I was caged up in insecurity and rejection. An embalmed cycle.

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I told God later, I forgive him [the guy] even though I already have. Just in case there is something still there and I don’t know it. I release him. I forgive myself.

As I continued to process my thoughts and raw emotions, I believe God told me that it was not him [the guy] – it was not flesh and blood but principalities at work.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”    Ephesians 6:12

Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only LIGHT drives out darkness. I was in some of the darkest rooms stumbling around, trying to find my way, getting bumped and bruised. The enemy liked me in the dark. Falling down and grasping, hurting myself. My sense of self hanging on the whims of another person [the idea of the other person]. Clouds and storms of dysfunction in between us. Looking back, I now believe there was only a small fraction of our real selves that were present with one another. We came to the surface sporadically only to retreat in fear moments later. What a sad way to live your life.

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The old me died a while ago, specifically on May 31, 2015 when I was baptized. I am a NEW creature and NEW thing in Christ.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”   2 Corinthians 5:17

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”     Isaiah 43:19

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”      Romans 6:4

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—“     Romans 6:6

“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”     Romans 6:12-14

new_creature_in_christ_by_marlacalandradesigns-d3hnpdz.jpgRelated Music: 

Once and For All- Lauren Daigle


 

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Quick Read, satire

10 #ChristianLife Hacks

The last few years have been my Christ following years and I have learned a few things here and there. Some lessons came easier than others but God has taught me so much and I would like to share some pointers.

This is also my first attempt at *satire*…

1. First of all, you don’t have to change. God loves you, just as you are and wants to leave you like that. He made you and He doesn’t make mistakes. So things like sin, generational curses and inequities – He loves them! God’s grace covers all things especially unrepentant, cold hearts. By all means, go to the club and at a drunken IHOP pit stop is the optimal time to invite your unsaved friends to church in just a few hours! They will definitely take you up on the offer. Another sure fire way to advance the Kingdom is to continue to see every rated R movie there is as well as spend time worshipping worldly musicians and bands. 

2. Don’t devote your time to “duties” like studying the Word, prayer, worship, serving others. Be a Mary not a Martha!

3. There’s nothing better than showing off God’s handiwork by posting provocative selfies. Pouty lips? Cleavage? Abdominal V? How might others ever know there is a God if they never see your lust provoking hot bod? 

4. Live in your feelings. Make large decisions based on your feelings. God wants us to follow our hearts even if we follow them into sin, strife, judgment, uncontrolled anger or bitterness. 

5. Pursue relationships with unsaved people that don’t encourage you spiritually. Its even better if you can develop a deep connectedness (often called a soul tie) to someone that is hostile to the Word of God. How else can we welcome suffering like the those persecuted in Hebrews 11?

6. Overzealously champion politicians and gluttonous corporations that are contrary to the Word of God. We must love our enemies so much that we become them.

7. When refering to God use key phrases like: The Universe, good vibes, mindfulness, patriarchy, outdated traditions and barbaric gender roles. This bridges the gap between Christ followers and everyone else. God wants us to go into all the nations and assimilate.

8. It is also important to divide people racially. After all, Egyptians are slave owners and Romans are elitists. Neither of which ever made it to Heaven. God only loves the oppressed not the oppressors.

9. Date many many many Christians. Always remember to #blessed all of you & Bae’s kissing pics.

10. If I could sum up all of these into one main point it would be, as a Christian you have all of the rights and none of the responsibility to feed yourself. Why eat filet mignon when you can have all of the milk and honey you want?

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Uncategorized

Feminists: the Real Misogynists

Not too long ago I attended a seminar where the facilitator was presenting on sexism in the media. The facilitator showed us a short video compilation of printed images such as advertisements as well as music videos clips. Some dated back to the 50s with the all knowing man and the ditzy wife theme. Some were of a recent timeframe, raunchy and inflammatory, some alluded to violence. Of course, the group I was with [women] found all these images distasteful and yup, you guessed it….SEXIST. Well duh. The discussion questions were very typical per this subject matter, “What do these images have in common? What messages about relationship are in these images?” I didn’t participate much (or at all) because I found all of it to be so much of Intro to Women’s Studies, which I exuberantly participated in over 10 years ago. This was supposed to be a workshop among professionals in my field, but I felt as if I went back to a pre-Kardashian era. Sometimes I wonder why we as a society are still talking about sexism? We are precisely the people that are perpetuating it and parading it around. Like it or not, “society” is not a distant land where all the bad people live. Society is you and me, all of us. Together and individually. Own It.

“A tawdry, cartoonlike version of female sexuality has become so ubiquitous, it no longer seems particular. What we once regarded as a *kind* of sexual expression we now regard *as* sexuality.”    -Ariel Levy (Female Chauvinist Pigs, 2005)

(This the most censored photo of “Rihanna see through dress” photo)

I reached the end of my rope this week when I read that Madonna offered fellatio for Clinton votes. YUCK. I read the headline and wanted to throw-up. I’m done. I’m done caring about women that do not care about themselves. Its hard and honestly, don’t know how Jesus has a never-ending cup of cares for people that disgrace themselves. Yes, in decades and centuries that are long gone, men predominately were the ones that objectified us. Of course. However, you’ve got to be blind, deaf, and brain-dead to not comprehend the insidious damage you do to yourselves. You watch raunchy rated R movies, music videos, and tv shows with pubescent boy antics, foul language, derogatory terms, blatant female nudity, rape and much much more AND you LOVE IT. As long as the main female character is someone like Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Amy Schumer and sure even Madonna. You start claiming a membership to the Bee Hive and bragging you have a girl-crush.

“Why is this the “new feminism” and not what it looks like: the old objectification?”  -A. Levy

However, not too long ago you hated Black rappers, Eminem and Robin Thicke. How Dare They! No offense, but even men know what kind of women to respect and what kind of women get the crumbs from the table. Sure, they should respect all of us. I’m sure that went out of the window when Adam realized he was naked after eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam hid himself and attempted to cover his shame, then blamed Eve for the transgression.

Eve did not respect herself enough to not fall into the lies of the serpent (Satan) and offered Adam a bite into sin. Eve allowed Adam to think sinning with her was desirable and permissible. Perhaps, she thought a little fun wouldn’t be so bad. She soon realized it was not a little fun but a massive error in judgment.

Adam turned his back on her.

The man said, “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”   -Genesis 3:12

You turned your back on God, and in return Adam turned his back on you.

What can be done now?

Stop wearing your nipples and genitals on your sleeve. Stop glamorizing prostitution. Stop calling pornography, prostitution and stripping Sex Work. Its not a profession or an industry. Its sexual abuse, rape, human trafficking and slavery. Stop fawning over celebrities that perpetuate sexual stereotypes. Stop laughing at the crude humor of other women if you’d be “offended” if a man said the same thing. Don’t be a hypocrite. Stop buying supermarket magazines that are one less article away from PlayBoy. Stop watching porn. Stop sexting. Stop “tinder dating,” aka hooking up with strangers you meet online. FYI, no one thinks it’s an actual date. Stop thinking you can’t be sexist because you’re a woman. Stop thinking that calling yourself a feminist absolves you of misogynistic behavior. If you have no grace in your heart for the drug addicted woman that sells her body for just one more hit, then DO NOT praise these celebrities, friends or yourself for trading sexual appeal for just one more hit of attention. Stop trying to be “one of the guys.” So what if you can tell a sexist joke or drink a man under the table, you want credit for that? You want applause for that? Stop stalking other women  or the other woman on social media, stalking is predatory behavior. Stop reveling in phallic ornaments like beaded necklaces and drinking straws at bachelorette parties. You celebrate your marriage by worshipping genetalia? Divorce statistics are just so sad aren’t they? Perhaps if adult men and women were making covenants instead of having frat parties, oh I mean weddings.

You have completely trivialized the human body, especially the female body. You continue to over emphasize the physical and underestimate the spiritual. You see yourself as just a sum of your parts, but you and I are much more than the total number of body parts. There is something bigger at stake here. It depressing that you don’t see it. Women are 70% more likely to experience depression than men; 12 million women in the United States are clinically depressed each year.

“And, of course, many individuals find it more acceptable to frame their problems as the result of a mental disorder and to take psychotropic drugs to attempt to relieve their distress than to see their suffering as the result of psychosocial problems.”  -Allen Horwitz and Jerome Wakefield

All this liberation and you can not liberate yourself from the pagan sexism you perpetuate. You can be as “sex positive” as you want, but you can not sever yourself from the psychosocial consequences. It is easier to live a life out of control, a slave to your emotions and body than to die to your flesh. You are nothing more than eternal tweens and teens literally dying for cheap thrills.

 

 

https://youtu.be/tLIJZ8Q72QM

Related Reading:

https://milo.yiannopoulos.net/2017/04/ghetto-feminist-graduation-cap/

http://www.ariellevy.net/books.php?article=2

https://edendecoded.com/blog-3/item/goddess-complex-power-to-prevent-life
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/18/books/review/18egan.html?_r=0

http://www.rolereboot.org/culture-and-politics/details/2013-08-an-open-letter-to-miley-cyrus-wagging-your-tongue-at

http://thefederalist.com/2016/08/31/feminism-worst-enemy/
http://thefederalist.com/2014/07/28/irony-thy-name-is-feminism/

http://inthesetimes.com/article/5575/girls_gone_anti-feminist

http://thefederalist.com/2016/08/31/feminism-worst-enemy/
http://www.bet.com/news/music/2013/07/11/robin-thicke-responds-to-backlash-over-blurred-lines.html#!

Should We Bow Down at the Feet of Modern Hollywood Goddesses?

GROSS: They say Trump objectifies women? MADONNA just offered Lewinsky to…

http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/watchman-on-the-wall/60663-beyonce-s-haunted-demonic-flow-drives-teens-to-slit-their-wrists?utm_source=Consumer%20Promotions&utm_medium=email&utm_content=subscriber_id:547078&utm_campaign=Charisma%20Weekly%20Recap%2010/21/16

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/really-an-epidemic-of-depression/

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/depression-women
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The Cross, Transformation, video

Sevin of H.O.G.M.O.B.G.O.M.

 

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Sevin

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Men, Quick Read

a Desolate Man

 

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The desert is a desert because it gets no rain. It gets no rain because it gets no clouds. The conditions are hostile to plant or animal life.

Your heart is a desert. Uninhabited. Barren. It gets no replenishing rain because you never embrace the clouds. You’re stingy with what little water you receive and produce creations like shrubs and cacti. Your shrubs produce limited sustenance and the cacti, no soft place to rest.

I often used to settled in your desert like Terah dying in Harran (Gen. 11:31-32) and made idols of you like the golden calf (Ex. 32) only to be sunburned and left to endure the desert’s below freezing temperatures all alone. My heart became too sensitive to your elements and ravaged by your weather. 

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.”  -Ezekiel 11:19

You parked at the point of your pain. Its time to put the keys in the ignition and rev up the engine. The road belongs to you.

This is your invitation to Eden. Please join me…

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Quick Read

31 Things I Ain’t Got Time For

 

As of today, I’m officially in my “30s.” Now that I’m 31, I would like to take some time to list (because I’m a nerd and like lists) all the things I don’t have time for anymore. After a few serious blog topics I thought I would lighten the mood up a bit. This is for fun but do not underestimate the severity of this list.

1. Pants

2. Not getting enough sleep

3. Paying the extra $ for late Redbox movies

I once paid about $7!

4. Bad coffee

5. A messy apartment

6. Shame

7. People inciting arguments in my Facebook comments

Do you really think you will change my mind?

8. Putting off fun

9. Letting my gas light come on

10. Not washing my car

11. Feeling sad about loving carbs

I day dream about pasta.

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12. Old fashioned non-reclining movie theater seats

Seriously, my short legs need to be elevated.

13. Feeling awkward about leaving a social gathering early

14. Wifi passwords

I’m too scared to ask you.

15. Creating “accounts” for almost every website

I have no idea what my login name is, or the password…or the security question answer.

16. Spam mail

I don’t want to meet in SEXXXY GiRLs in my area.

17. Regular mail

I don’t want to rent-to-own a 75” flat screen tv.

18. Commercials on Hulu

Watching the same 3 commercials makes me feel crazy.

19. Charging my phone

20. Coffee not being free in America

At this point in time it should be coming from drinking fountains.

21. Not going on walks like I like to

22. Eating junk-food

23. Buffering

24. Running out of data

25. Being late everywhere

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26. Rewards cards at every store

Its great that I have 650,972,504 points, but in some weird conversion it equates to .47 cents?

27. Matching socks

28. Milk that expires

29. Movie theater snack prices

I can a get a 32oz pop at a gas station for .70 cents.

30. Any type of fee

31. People that are self-checkout incompetent

You should have to pass a test first.

 

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Uncategorized

Tell Somebody

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This is Aleesha Barlow, she is the creator of the Tell Somebody movement.

                                               [http://www.itstimetotellsomebody.com/index.html ]

Her grandfather sexually abused her when she was 6 years old. She told her mother and aunts but they did nothing to stop it. Twenty years later, she is telling everyone. She also believes in teaching children “Good touches and Bad touches” to empower them to know what is right and wrong. I found her Facebook somehow and followed her right away. She shares others’ stories of survival on the Facebook page. These stories are of people of all ages, men and women. Some are doing well while others still struggle very deeply. The stories are often horrific to read and will make you cringe. But they are Real stories and real people. 
Sexual abuse happens. It happens all the time and to many people we know. Statistics have shown that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexual abused in their lifetime. All though, it is understood that those stats are probably off base. Many children and adults won’t Tell Somebody. They go through life keeping it a secret and sometimes it stays a secret until a new event transpires. Their child may confide in them that someone is touching them inappropriately. They may experience a rape or sexual assault as an adult which triggers memories and feelings from a childhood abuse. For some the memories may be obscure to the point that it may not even reach the surface. For others, sexual abuse is the norm for a family and everyone close to them is infected by it so much so that speaking against seems unnatural. It is also extremely difficult for those that endured a same-sex abuse that leads them to question their sexuality. Sexual abuse has a variety of methods. While some often only consider a forced and aggressive experience as sexual abuse, there are more quiet ways like grooming. An abuser uses their relationship and friendliness as a way to lower someone’s inhibitions over time so that each act doesn’t seem so insidious but rather it becomes a regular way of interacting. Sometimes the abusing adult is just a third party in a cycle of events. A child they have been abusing may begin to act out similar sexual acts or sexual play with other children not understanding what they are doing is wrong.

I have worked in the social services field for 8 years now, mostly with children and teens but now I’m working with adults as a sexual assault advocate. While working with teens I saw a prevalence of sexual abuse to assault among teens in residential facilities. It would appear that almost all the girls had an abuse experience. For teen boys they often come into the DHS or juvenile justice system as a sex offender. I always felt that there was another part of the equation that was not even on the board, the abuse that was experienced by them before they perpetrated on others. Teen girls will tell you everything about themselves, but teen boys will never tell you that they were abused or raped. There are many precautions an agency takes to house an “S.O.,” but there were always alarms going off inside of me knowing there real issues were most likely never going to be openly addressed. In our current culture, many boys and men get swept under the rug due to most services being targeted to women and girls. 

Christine Caine’s newest book, Unashamed- Drop the Baggage, Pick up Your Freedom, Fulfill Your Destiny, is so much of a gem for me right now. Although I’m soaking so much up I also know somehow that there is more to be revealed to me. The following is a short description of the book: 
“Shame tends to wrap itself around our hearts like a net that can be hard to untangle. Wounds from childhood such as bullying, abuse, or divorce wreak havoc on our souls. But you can break free from these traps by clinging to God’s truth, dropping the baggage and living your destiny to the fullest.”

It is the third book I’ve read in about 30 days. It was no surprise to me that three great teachers all had books being released just weeks of each other. I saw this as divine assignment to read them. The first was Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst and the second, Without Rival by Lisa Bevere. As I progressed in each one, I was sure that God was opening up doors, opening up windows, and cleaning things up. Now, with Unashamed, I’m positive that God is wanting me venture past the gate [ 2 Kings 7:3-11]. Christine explains that in our life there are many gates we are afraid to go through. The begging lepers in the story decided that to have a chance at living they would be better off to risk their physical lives in the enemy camp. 

(4) If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’–the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.”

There are times in our life that we know there is opportunity, but we know we must let go of the security we cling to. In a recent short clip  Steve Harvey talks of jumping– watch it here.

So with much hesitation, I write this blog post. I technically don’t want to and could live the rest of my life without writing it. God’s voice has gotten louder and louder. I’ve spent many, many years waiting for the right time. I’ve written letters to someone that I never sent and threw them in the trash. Countless conversations with my mother while we were in the ball park of the topic.  I even had a coffee date with a good-good friend to tell her, but I stayed at the gate– I didn’t jump.

Last night I prayed that God give me the right words.

My heart races as I type.

And I pause.

When I was 4 or 5 years old a relative just a few years older acted out sexually with me. I will not say he abused me, because all of my life I’m 99% sure he had been abused in all ways. The memories I have are just a few, him French kissing me. I remember it was gross because his spit was in my mouth. I remember him laying on top of me with our clothes on, moving up and down against me. I remember him telling me, “I’m gona sex you up.” I at the time didn’t know what that meant but as an adult I remember an early 90s song by Color Me Badd. I could assume someone that knew what that line meant said that to him, so he said it to me in a similar context. I can’t be certain if there were other acts that took place or how long of a time period there was. Perhaps there was but I just can’t remember 25 years ago. 

Once in high school, I had a conversation with a friend that triggered these memories and I’ve sat with them ever since. Never telling anyone. I never felt any negative emotions towards him. Never. I always saw that it was not done to me on purpose with ill intent. I believe without a doubt, that God was there weeping yet shielding me from any hatred that could have been passed on to me. What the enemy had planned for evil, stopped with me. He must of have been very annoyed that his plan was thwarted. I didn’t take what happened personal. My experience isn’t everyone’s experience. While others may have had a physically painful experience or had awareness that what was happening wasn’t right, I wasn’t physically hurt nor did I understand what had happened until I was a teenager.

The only thing I’ve carried are the memories that have made feel kind of gross. I wish I could go back somehow and prevent it. I still wonder if more happened. I want to know but I also accept the mercy of not knowing. I haven’t seen that relative in years due to him often being in shelters or jails. I’ve wanted to communicate to him that I forgive him and wonder even if he remembers. I’ve always wanted him to know its okay for him to forgive himself and that Jesus loves him deeply.

I’ve always been on the receiving end of friend’s and clients disclosing their stories to me. As a friend and as a professional I take it in and support them. I’ve always saw these women and girls as so Brave. Especially if they told their story in a group setting. I just sat there from the outside looking in, like WoW, I could never do that. Though I may have been among good friends, I still felt that it was something that would bring me shame. Controlling how people see me and how much of me they see has always been something I do. Whether it’s always wearing makeup while in public or never taking part in spontaneous offers because I wasn’t ready to be in public/with friends. I always think I have to be ready to be ready- I hope that makes sense. I’ve never been ready to Tell Somebody, but today I am.

Tell Somebody! And if they don’t listen, Tell Somebody Else!

If you need to find help, counseling, a mentor, a friend please do so! 

Don’t let the enemy have his way of thriving in secrecy. There’s freedom from shame available, it’s yours already given by the Father- just own it!

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