Category Archives: Faith

Are Soul Mates Really A Thing?

There is a story of a couple who were married for 44 years. They died hours apart in the same nursing home. After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, a man’s wife was trapped under the rubble of the bank where she worked. He would come at night after the rescue crew and dig for her by hand. She was eventually rescued alive. What kind of love is this?

Previously, I asked if Soul Ties were real. What is a soul?

I really like this interpretation from Merriam-Webster:

a person's total self

The bible actually uses the word translated as soul to describe the corporeal and not the spirit. So, soulmates in this instance would be a two living, breathing beings with such a strong compatibility it would appear they were made for each other. Other biblical guidance describes the soul as the totality of your mind, will, and emotions. So, a soul mate in this instance is someone who is mentally, temperamentally, and emotionally compatible. Sounds tough.

It is not good to be alone.

I get conflicted about this statement as a self-sufficient introvert of sorts, but even I get lonely. And, yes, being alone does not equate to being lonely. However, being lonely is not a crime. It is, also, not a defect of character.

“And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Genesis 2:18

Concept of Lifelong Mates

Swans Mating

Swans bow their heads toward each other when mating creating a heart shape. They also are lifelong mates. There are several other animals who mate for life. It is not inconceivable that humans are also a species who can have a lifelong mate. Humans are different from animals in that we are self-aware and we have free will. Something other than a biological urge or imprinting has to keep us committed to another human being. We have to exercise our mind, will, and emotions to choose to stay committed.

Although, I am not sold on the idea of soul ties, I am feeling the soulmates concept. What say you?

Why I Love You by Major (Cover)

The Parable of the Talents is story in the Book of Luke in which a king leaves on a journey. He gave three servants talents (money); one servant received five, the second received two, and the third received one. The first two through effort doubled their talents. For their stewardship, they were rewarded handsomely. The third hid his in the ground. For his laziness, he was dealt with harshly.

God has blessed us with many talents. They are to be used to multiply the love he has given each believer. Are you aware of your gifts?

I know my talents. I am a writer. I write love stories. So, many readers have shared how Ruth’s Awakening: A Love Story mirrors their own struggles with church, familial obligations, and unrequited love.

I am also a singer. I was on the Praise and Worship team and sang in choirs for years. The lesson of the talents is that our gifts are meant to be developed and shared. Sharing multiplies its value. I felt led to share this song. You never know who needs to hear that they are loved.

You. Are. Loved.

When the Lights Go Off

When I went a way to college, I wanted the “college experience.” I am a first generation college graduate. My only exposure to college life was via the “A Different World’ TV series. S college life goes, I made some friends and we went out from time to time.

One night we got all dressed up to go to a house party. I remember wearing this brown marbled velvet dress. Yes, the 90s fashions were poppin’ lol. We happened to get there early or everyone else was late. I am not sure which. With the lights on, the scene was unimpressive. About 20 or so college age kids sitting around a house waiting for something to happen.

On queue, someone turns off the lights, the music starts, and everyone gets up and starts dancing. The party had officially begun for everyone except me. I felt like Dorothy hoping for the wizards favor only to find a man behind the curtain orchestrating the special effects. Was the party not a party because I had seen the scene with the lights on? I don’t know. It was the instinctual behavior change of everyone around me that got the gears in my mind tuning. Why do we do what we do? What makes something cool versus not cool? What makes a party a party?

So, I never became the party girl. I never frequented the clubs. I was no longer curious about what was behind the velvet rope. I had witnessed the magicians slight of hand and was left unimpressed.

Have you ever experienced this phenomenon? When did the mystery end for you about a thing?

A Pillar Of Salt

Salt is good. It flavors. It preserves. It prevents spoilage. It was once used as currency, it’s value was deemed so great.

Did you know the body is designed to desire salt in smaller amounts but as sodium levels increase the flavor changes from salty to bitter to prevent you from consuming too much? SOURCE

Maybe that’s what really happened to Lots wife.

As the biblical story goes, Lot, his wife (not named in the Bible), and family, are allowed to escape Sodom and Gomorrah before it is destroyed by God with fire and brimstone. Two angels warned them not to look back. They are well into their escape when Lot’s wife looks back. For her disobedience, she is turned into a pillar of salt.

Why salt?

Looking back to a past God has rescued you from is dangerous. Like salt, looking back in small reflective doses is good; to see how far you’ve come, to learn the lesson, etc. Nostalgia is a tricky feeling tho. It is a rose-hued cloud that filters out the negative of past experiences. That relationship that nearly destroyed you emotionally, financially, and/or physically, becomes a reel of only the good times. While in Sodom, Lot’s home was surrounding by townspeople threatening to assault him and his guests. His entire family was in danger of being destroyed. Pretty bad stuff, huh? Yet, she looked back.

Bitter Betty

No matter what you thing you may have lost, if God told you to move forward, do that. Your best days are ahead of you.

Isaiah 43:18-19 “Forget the former things;  do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”

If you believe your best job, relationship, or any experience is behind you risk becoming bitter. Like too much salt.

What say you?

God is Greater than . . .

These are trying times. Social unrest in the middle of a pandemic sounds like the plot of a dystopian novel. Yet, here we are.

Ironically, three months ago, prior to the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, I had a vision board party entitled, Vision Forward. God’s plan for your life is not changed by earthly circumstances. He can and will bless you in the midst of the storm.

I was asked to bring the message for Valley Baptist Church Women’s Mission 5th Sunday Program. This is the first time I have been asked to bring a message during my whole stay in Texas. I am beyond honored that I was asked. This was supposed to be an in-person even but due to COVID-19 the event took place via conference call. The plan had to be altered but NOT aborted.

Who am I speaking to today? Do NOT abandon your plan. If it is God-given, push ahead. These are trying times but GOD is greater. He exist outside of time. God is eternal.

What are you working on now that you have had to reevaluate due to COVID-19, social unrest, or some other unplanned circumstance?

Below is a recording to today’s message.

I’ll Name This Short Story Later – Parts 1-4

Part 1 – A Cup of Nostalgia

Brenda was dutiful in all she performed. Church, work, friend, she could always be counted on to show up smiling and performing. She was exhausted. She carried her groceries, bags, disappointments, alone. She knew her routine and awaited the applause. On queue, she pulled up to Starbucks, ordered her caramel macchiato, and sat at the table in the corner by the posted flyers.

“Martin Johnson,” she read the name aloud as if announcing him before an anticipatory crowd. She hadn’t seen him in over 10 years. Hmm, I guess New York was a bust. Here she sat on a regular Tuesday morning and Martin Johnson should appear, unveiled on a poster board flyer. It read, ‘Book signing March 4th, 2020.’

Part 2 – The Friends

“Brenda, Brenda, Brenda. It’s been 10 years already. Let it go. Let it go,” Carmen began to imitate Elsa from the Frozen movie.

“I don’t see anything wrong in going to the book signing. I would simply be celebrating a friend’s success.”

“Friends? Friends communicate. You guys had a bad fight, broke up, and haven’t spoken or seen each other in 10 years. Besides, what would you even say.”

“Hi?”

“Girl, forget that. And forget him. Let’s go to Portia’s birthday dinner tomorrow. I know it’s a workday but that will get you into celebrating the now and not reminiscing about the past.”

“Wow, when did you become so deep?”

“I’ve been watching Iyanla. Plus, I need a ride.”

“I really wanted to attend.”

“And, I really need a ride. My car is in the shop. I took an Uber to work.”

“Fine,” Brenda relented.

“Okay, see ya tomorrow.”

“Bye.”

Part 3 – Portia’s Perfectly Petty Party

Portia has a lot of teeth, Brenda thought. And she smiles as if she needs to show them all, even the molars. She looks great though, Brenda added to her silent discourse to prove to herself that she wasn’t a hater.

“Heeyy, Bren Bren. Heeyy Carmen. Glad y’all could make it.”

“Wouldn’t miss it,” Carmen added.

“Happiest of birthdays, Portia,” Brenda chimed.

“Y’all come sit next to me.”

They sat at the head of the extended table that was draped in a shiny black and gold covering. Portia introduced each person seated but Brenda never remembered names on first intro. So, she smiled and said hello to the strangers she would soon forget.  She sat enduring more small talk, food, and beverages.

Her Fitbit showed 7:23 pm. She could eat and mingle and be out by 8:00 pm and maybe make the book signing by before the 8:30 end time. Shoot, she forgot she had to drop off Carmen. It was an evening event at Brew’s Coffee and Books. Sometimes the poetry slams held there lasted past 9:00 pm. Maybe she had time.

“You got somewhere to be? Somewhere more important than my birthday party.”

“No, Portia. You are truly the most important person in the world to me at this moment.”

“Ooh, the sarcasm, the shade, on such a happy occasion.”

“Don’t mind her. She’s trying to go see Martin Johnson,” Carmen drawled.

Portia laughed with her teeth.

“Ol’ Marty Mar. How is he doing? You used to love you some Martin Johnson.”

“I don’t know. Haven’t seen or spoken to him in years. He moved to New York when he got that screenwriting internship.”

“Translation, when y’all broke up,” Carmen interjected.

“There was more to our relationship than a break-up story.”

“Well, no one wants to hear it.”

“I do. And it’s my birthday.”

“I do remember it all. The highs and the lows. But, in the midst of that tumultuous relationship existed a little sphere of perfection. Sometimes, I find myself staring into that ball and imagining a future, a perfect one that exists only of the highs.”

“It’s an illusion. Get over it,” Carmen interjected.

“Maybe you should get a ride home with Portia,” Brenda snapped back.

“Fine. I will.”

“Happy Birthday,” everyone shouted as the hostess brought out the cake.

There goes those teeth again.

Part 4 – Déjà vu.

It was the summer of 2010, a drought. Forty days and no rain. Brenda was sweating bullets underneath her dress standing next to the stage at Brews, Coffee, and Books. She had finally worked up the courage to read a piece. She had chosen Midnight Moon.

“Next to the stage, we have a newbie, Brenda Jones. Let’s show her some love.”

Finger snaps filled the room. Brenda stood in front of the microphone, hands at her sides, eyes on the floor.

“This piece is called, Midnight Moon.

Juxtaposed against the inky midnight

He greeted me with a crescent smile

I awaited his fullness

I awaited his return

I waited. Because.

I wanted something beautiful

I wanted something whole

Like the full moon.

I mapped its phases

Watched it grow

Until the fullness of

All that is light

Greeted me, hello.

 

She looked into the crowd and saw his smile. He stood and raised his hand as a conductor raises his baton and began to snap. A chorus of snaps followed.

She sat down and exhaled. She had finally done it. A shadow fell across her table. She looked up to see him, dark light midnight.

‘Hello.”

Inner Thoughts

What if we told the truth?

“I like you but I think you make dumb decisions. Are we still gonna be friends or what?”

“I wish you were someone else but you’re here so do you still wanna be my boyfriend or not?”

We are all liars to some degree.

To tell the truth is risky. To bare one’s soul and risk being judged, being left, being seen.

For who we really are.

Who are we? Beings holding on too tight to relationships that tear us, break us. Bleeding not to be alone.

Truth is, alone is where God wants us – sometimes.

It is the only place where he can speak through burning bushes, on quiet mountainsides. Destiny is foretold in isolation.

Truth be told. I am growing tired of the silence. I cannot stand the noise. Perhaps, I need to climb higher or sit and be still.

Does He know that I am listening, intently?

Am I telling the truth?

A Most Powerful Prayer

There was a season in my life when I felt like a lioness spiritually.  I could check several things of of my how to be righteous checklist. My prayer game was strong. Check. I had completed reading the entire bible. Check. I paid my tithes on time. Check. My life was so full. I had church, singing, school, family, and friends.  No idle time for the devil to make a playground of.

I was truly asking, believing, and receiving. Feeling self-assured, I decided to ask a bold prayer:

  1. God reveal to me those who are not for me.

It was a prayer that I felt I already knew the answer to. At the time, I naively, believed that I had no enemies. To me knowledge, I had not mistreated anyone. So, I expected nothing to happen.  And then something happened. People started to fall away from my life. I am talking about folk who I thought were my day ones, my ride-or-dies. I look back on it and wonder – wow. It was swift and exact like a two-edged sword.

God will answer your prayers so be careful what you ask. Your frame of mind matters. Ask from a pure heart and not spiritual arrogance, as was my case.

I am older now. I have gone through a process of forgiving, even when the the person has not acknowledged or asked for forgiveness. I realize that Christ has forgiven, and keeps forgiving me without adding each offense to my account. Isn’t that a beautiful thing – grace? All of it stems from God’s love for me. It is infinite and complete. One of my goals in life is to love completely.

Image result for dorothy wizard of oz road

Twenty years older and wiser, I have decided to edit that prayer. I now pray:

  1. God reveal to me those who truly love me.

The good people God allows in our life are a gift. I don’t want to overlook anyone in my life who may be feeling unappreciated. Like Dorothy in Oz, we can spend our lives on an a wistless journey to find favor of impotent wizardly friends. People who we feel that if we can garner their favor they can provide access to some secret loyalty or treasure that has been kept from us. Family and friends – these are the true treasures of life. If you have people who truly love you, you are rich.

 

Moving Mountains

This has been a trying week. In the middle of preparing to move to a new state, I was scheduled to work a week in Idaho. Specifically, I was working in the Idaho panhandle. After my 5 hour flight (including layover), it was an additional 6 hour drive (with the road construction) from the Spokane International Airport to Clarkston, WA where my hotel was located.

I didn’t want to eat at the airport because I have been trying to make healthier food choices. I get my rental car and start driving only to realize I am in the middle of the mountains and there are not a lot of pit stops. I see a sign for a Subway and take the next exit.

Back on the road again, I run into road construction. The two-lane highway became a one-lane highway. I was stuck for 30 minutes while the opposing lane passed. This happened twice.

 In the last 30 minute leg of the drive, I had to cross a mountain. The kicker, I didn’t realize I was on a mountain until I happened to look over and see NOTHING. No trees, no guardrails – just a thousand feet drop if I veered to close to the edge. I was driving on the outer lane. I nearly panicked. I felt dizzy. I felt pressure in my ears. I had to quickly refocus and concentrate on the car in front of me.

MOVING MOUNTAINS

Continue reading Moving Mountains

Girl On Fire

The spoken word is a powerful phenomenon. You can think it in your mind, ponder it in your heart but the moment you speak the word, the universe shifts.  

The Bible puts it this way,

"Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark." James 3:5.

Words spark change in the environment.  Fire destroys what cannot hold up to its heat. Fire also rejuvenates. It provides conditions for new terrain and growth. 

I have been having a moment – an extended moment. This typically occurs when I am in the midst change. I wanted to move to a new city. The moment I let the words escape my lips, I was met with such fiery opposition – friends, postponements, rejections. So much so,  I was beginning to doubt my decision.

Fire is hot yo! It changes your surroundings into the unfamiliar. My first instinct is to crawl back into an acceptable space and remain calm. I long for stability again – homeostasis. I am learning that you cannot take back your words just as you cannot undo a spark once the fire has begun. 

Fire

In order for a hope to be real, it must be spoken. Once the words escape your lips, watch out! A fire can smolder gently or it can blaze. In the wilderness of transition it is uncomfortable, lonely and confusing at times. But, what else is there to do? I will allow the flames to incinerate doubt, fear, and worry. I will be open to the chances waiting beyond the ash –  a new beginning and a new world of possibilities.