Category Archives: Faith

Learning to Be Selfish

I have been dreaming lately about publishing my book. They have been becoming more intense. I know you are probably thinking how can you have an intense dream about book publishing? I will tell you! I dreamed the voice of God was telling me to just do it.

Yes God speaks in Nike slogans.

I am so good at encouraging others but allow myself to be placed in the back burner. God almighty had to visit me in my dreams to say, 'Just do it!'

I am half-way through an abs challenge that I and a group of friends are embarking on. I am already stronger and look better. If exercise can have physical visible results what about an exercise of the spirit. I am notorious for putting the needs of others ahead of myself. I end up getting my feelings hurt when the favor is not returned. I have been trying something new – putting my needs first.

Which brings me back to my book. I have to cut all extra curricular activities, volunteering, and generally making other people's dreams come true. My central focus is my book. I even have a release date – January 17th. This is ironically, the month of my fitness goal.

A new year, a new book and a new body. Sounds like a plan.

 

 

The Cycles and Circles of Life – Hakuna Matata

Are we really made of stardust?

I may have been formed from one of the planets or maybe the moon. I do the love the moon. My new place, my balcony only gets a sliver of sky. I have to time it just right to moon watch.

Bummer. . . but my plumbing works. You win some and . . .

I must have descended from an orbiting body spinning in space. I tend to go through the same cycles in life.Work, relationships, school – it does not matter. Every place I am, it seems I have been there before. Maybe it is the circle of life – hakuna matata.

If every new revolution, leaves you in a higher/better place then great but if you are spinning wheels – what then? What does it take to knock a planet out of orbit? A cataclysmic impact of another out of control body – an asteroid?  Um, hope not. I am a breathing, thinking being capable of making choices without outside pressures forcing me one way or the other.

As I type this, I am listening to Dionne Warwick's, " Say A Little Prayer". Prior to moving to Dallas, I went through a serious Dionne and Burt Bacharach stage. Ironic, I would find this song again as my heart contemplates change.

Time.  Do I need to give myself more time to find the right rhythm? The universe found its perfect orbit after many millennia according to man. People of faith, we believe God spoke this into existence. Faith, time or catastrophic impact? What a choice, no?

What to do, what do? . . .I guess, I'll say a little prayer.

A Lesson In Faithfulness

Sermons in which God reveals an area in which you are lacking are hard to to swallow. I mean, I faithfully tithe, pray, read the Word (most days). I mean, it is okay if I miss a bible study or prayer service, right. I mean, I know I committed to the Praise and Worship team but. . . I mean it's not like everyone else is faithful either.

You see where I am going with this, right?

Excuses, excuses and sub-par. My pastor, Pastor Joe, says this often, "partial disobedience is still disobedience." True but still hard to swallow. It is funny because I am singing in the choir a song, "Show Me Your Face," crying out to God to see more of Him and the following sermon is about repentance.

*insert light bulb*

God wants it all. He wants to be the center of your life. You remember the whole Ten Commandments scene with Charlton Heston as Moses and the voice of God booms commandment numero uno, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Yep, that still applies.

During a meeting with the pastor, he spoke on our faithfulness being the key to moving to the next level in worship – a worship in which the Holy Spirit takes over. I am looking forward to that day. I Pray for the grace to put God first – before my tiredness, angst, frustration and fear – and just be faithful.

 

I Have but One Rule of Friendship.

You MUST be Team Felicia.

I am going through life just like you facing challenges that are personal, familial, and professional. I do so with grace, faith and a little blog. Friends and my readers make the journey a bit more bearable.

I have had several incidents with people who claim to be friends who continually speak negative things over my life. Get thee behind me!

I was talking to a 'friend' and explained how I believe God for the husband of my dreams. I want to have that level of faith. This person got highly-offended that I would dare to ask God for what I want and not just accept any old man because, 'Maybe that is God's will for you.'

Again, get thee behind me!

The Word of God says, "Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. " Psalm 37:3-5

No caveats. So, why are you mad? Are you upset because I do not agree with you or are you upset that you fell for the enemy's deception and excepted good enough when God has promised His children 'Good Things'?

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" Matthew 7:11

Please do not start me to preaching on here.

Having this level of faith is not easy. It has been birthed through trials and tribulations. Through reading, accepting and believing God's Word. I will not – cannot – let anyone shake my faith.

My faith has gotten me to Dallas. It is by faith that I am writing this post. That I have written my book. That I still have dreams of acting on stage.

"And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Romans 5:5

My friends, who I have known the longest, would have offered words of encouragement. They would have even quoted scriptures I may have forgotten. I am told by them that I am smart and beautiful and deserve the best. So, why are you mad?

My friendships are not one-sided. The reciprocity being I am pro-my friends. I would never try to embarrass you when a 3rd or 4th party is in our presence. If anything, I will talk you up not talk you down.

God has been dealing with me in the area of boundaries. It is time that I start enforcing them. If you are not Team Felicia, please keep it moving.

 

 

Idols, Stones and Boats

Ever read a devotional that seems like an annoying, folksy parable only to have it turn out to be your specific life's situation once revealed? Anyone?

*raises hand*

If you have been keeping up, I sing with my church's praise and worship team. Faithfully on Sundays but I had made a commitment to be there on Wednesdays and/or Fridays, too. Well, I started my acting class thinking that it would be for Mondays only, only to find out the first day of class that it was also on Wednesdays, too. Just like that, I committed to this class when weeks prior I had just committed that time to God.

Boat

This is a class I took just for fun but I really wanted to do it. So, long story, less long. I essentially reneged on the Lord. I have had all kinds of turmoil and upsets happening in my life since. I was so indignant, like, why Lord why? I am so like Job right now. Whine, whine, cry, why!?!

I read this devotional on yesterday by Pastor Tony Evans. In it a little boy was playing with his toy boat by a pond. The boat drifted to far from the boy. The father did not go into the pond to save the boat but instead took stones and tossed them into the water just beyond the boat. The stones created a disturbance in the water – little ripples that gradually pushed the boat back to shore.

After my week of Insanity and stressful work week, I finally got my car fixed. I was so excited I was like, I am going to church. Last minute, I decided again, I will go to class only to find out class was not scheduled that day. So, I head to church and I am singing when it hits me. This is where you should be. My class had become more important than my commitment that I had voluntarily made to God. It had become my idol.

It is not as though I was in the midst of some great sin, I was just a bit offshore. The forces surrounding my boat gradually brought me back to where I should have never left. In His presence.

 

My Totally Insane Week

INSANITY

I started the past week with high hopes of finally going HAM on this workout thing. I and some girls from church decided we are going to do the 3-month Insanity workout challenge. Day 1, I thought I was going to pass out. Day 2, I nearly cried real tears. Day 3, I had acting class and missed the group session. No sweat, I came home and did the Billy Blanks Bootcamp. So, i am feeling good. Day 4 i am getting stronger the workout isn't nearly as grueling as Day 1 and 2. 

HIT AND RUN

I am all, I am woman hear me roar and whatnot leaving this girl's house. I am driving and hear something scrubbing my tires. I pull over thinking it's like some cardboard or something. Then I realize someone has smashed into my car, dented the gas tank and fender and apparently kept driving.

I was beyond hurt. I totally panicked. I was scared to drive it because now I am thinking the gas tank has ruptured and the car is going to explode. Just in a panic.

 I went through this range of emotions. Crying, hurt, anger, despondency. I was so emotionally drained and I could not even sleep. Saturday comes and I am tempted to just skip choir rehearsal, church and just lie in my bed all day feeling sorry for myself.

A FRIEND IN NEED

Then I thought, this is just what the enemy wants. To get you off your grind, to cause you to lose focus, and to ultimately fail. After a pep talk from a good friend. I felt better.

The hardest part of the ordeal for me was reaching out to others for assistance. Pride is one heck of a barrier. My praise and worship leader's wife picked me up for rehearsal. My friend, previously referenced on this blog as 'The Kid" drove me home. On the way home, he looked at me and said, "Aww my friend is feeling down." I commented how I was feeling down because during a crisis my family is so far away. He then stated that my church is my family, too – an extension of my family. I am like really, Kid, sometimes you can say the most profound things. It didn't really hit me til later on.

LESSONS LEARNED

I have learned that I had some hidden pride. It is okay to ask and receive help from others. I know now that I am not alone because God is ever with me and so is my church family.

So thanks hit and run driver. In it all you allowed me to see God and praise Him the more.

How Not to Be A Pushover Christian

When you become a Christian, you are on this spiritual high. You go to church whenever the doors are open, you read your Word as if it is your daily food and water allowance. You try to be the consummate Christian.

In Galatians 5:22, it reads, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness." So you go about your business being kind and turning the other cheek until one day you realize, hey, I have run out of cheeks to turn lol.

Some signs you are a pushover; people are always asking to borrow money, they need your help for EVERYTHING, and have no problem letting you down when the tables are turned. You are left feeling anxious and upset and they are living their life merrily with your money! lol

In relationships, it is even more difficult. If you are trying to be the best Christian, virtuous woman possible, men see that as gullible. Much like, relatives/friends asking for money, men will ask you for your very soul, if you allow it. They will also feel no qualms about not keeping up their end of the bargain. It is like, your the Christian, you should forgive me. By the way, lay down and let me walk over you seven times seventy more times.

I, like others, have struggled with boundaries. I hve learned the key to not being a pushover Christian is exercising the use of the word NO.

It is understanding that you have the right, as a child of God, to be loved and respected. Just because the people in your circle may be family or other Christians, these people still NEED to be told NO. You must teach people how to treat you. I have learned – the hard way – that you cannot expect someone out of the goodness of their heart to respect your boundaries. You must take charge and enforce them.

To summarize, the way not to be a pushover Christian is to:

  1. Learn to say NO!.
  2. Identify your boundaries to others.
  3. Enforce your boundaries.

Please know, you can do all of the above with love. Those perpetual boundary crossers will even thank you for it later. (Maybe lol)

Happy New Year – Praise Party Edition

Brought in the New Year with my church family. I have been attending for about six months. It was super fun.

I know it's weird to think of a church service as fun but let me explain. The church I attend is a mixture of cutlures. The pastor and first family are of Ghanaian descent. My background is Church of God in Christ. As part of COGIC tradition, we would have a watch night service on New Year's Eve. It was basically a church service but nearing 12 o'clock everyone would get on their knees and pray in the New Year. At my church now, we PRAISED in the New Year! Totally different.

Before I knew of the service at my current church, I contemplated going to some secular event. I thought, you are always in church at least if you go out you may meet someone. That devil sure is sneaky. I get to choir rehearsal last week and learn that we were going to be required to sing for the New Year's Eve service. I thought, there goes my bold plan.

I truly danced harder than I ever have at a party. It was joyous and everyone was excited, like really hyped for Jesus. It was clearly the better plan.

As I was leaving, a woman from the church hugged me and spoke a prophetic word in my ear. God's plan is best, or something like that. Such confirmation cannot be found at a club.

God's plan is best. His timing is perfect. I look forward to the unfolding of that plan in 2013. Please believe I will be blogging these miracles as they occur.

Happy 2013 readers.

With God, Are You All In?

This is the question in a new series we are tackling with the young adult ministry at church. It is really coming at a pivotal time in my life when I am considering the next stage – relationship, marriage and kids. No, I am not exclusively dating anyone but the thought has crossed my mind on a few occasions.

The major problem with single Christians dating is the issue of celibacy. Please believe me it is an issue. It is not a requirement for a lot of people who say they are Christian, in fact, it is not even expected.

In this series, we are using Chip Ingram's, "Living in the Edge: Dare to Experience True Spirituality." The book is accompanied by video lessons and includes questions, fill-in-the-blanks, and thoughts to ponder throughout the week. This week's thought – in Christ, are you all in? If not, what is holding you back?

I am sitting in service feeling extra transparent. lol Truth be told, I thought I was all in. When you are a single Christian woman and a man enters the picture, you are faced with this whole celibacy issue.It does not help, if the guy of interest, is not that dedicated to his celibacy. I know that I am an attractive girl but I also want to be clear about expectations.We – both he and I – are human.

This series is a bitter pill to swallow but correct and necessary. I already know this. The only issue that arises for me is the fear of being rejected and single for an extended period of time. Am I always afraid? No. Most times I am straight chillin'. The fear tends to creep up around the same time as my birthday. It does not help when family and friends start to question your singleness – meaning your choices and standards.

I get it all of the time. Your standards are too high. "At your age" *insert lowered expectations*. This
is equates to pressure. I am not looking for perfection because I am not perfect but can you try, really try, to be what you are claiming to be?

Another prayer this week in the series is, "Lord help me to see you as you really are."

Who is God? He is someone who loves you unconditionally and wants the very best for your life. If I truly believe that God loves me and wants what is best for me, then I have no need to fear. Fear makes you accept the 'good enough' instead of 'the best'. Celibacy while single is God's best. The hard truth is a man who does not respect that is not God's best.

 Another lesson learned.

 

Devon Franklin Unashamed To Admit His 10 Year Celibacy

Being a celibate Christian is not crazy, it is the sanest, most incredible gift that you can give to yourself.

I was preusing the internet as I am want to do and I came across a video discussing my favorite Christian couple – Meagan Good and Devon Franklin. Mr. Franklin reveals that he had been a celibate Christian for over ten years! (Join the club!) What followed were a bunch of negative comments about this man for actually, unashamedly, proclaiming that God was able to keep him until marriage.

 

His experience is not unique. The world has become so twisted that promiscuity is promoted while celibacy is abased. I think the stigma is harder for men. You always run the risk of being labeled soft. Women can often times feel pressure to be that seductive vamp that men drool over in music videos. The Proverbs 31 virtuous woman is viewed as a relic of old time values. Even some Christians believe that you cannot date and be celibate.

I can tell you from experience that this is a lie from the very pit of hell. I cannot begin to tell you how being celibate, even through the most trying temptations, has kept me from so many pitfalls the enemy had set for me. My mother told me recently, if you mean to do right, God will always reveal the truth, protect and watch over you.

Perhaps you have never heard that you are valuable. That your existence was planned before the foundation of the world. No one may have ever told you that you are beautiful and that you are worth the wait.

Well, I just did.

I am not speaking of myself. I am speaking from truths I have learned over years in my Christian walk. The chief being – God loves me.

Yes, folk. The creator of the universe loves me. He loves the imperfect, sometimes contradictory, me. He loves you, too. If you meditate on this truth, I mean really know it experientially, you will never give yourself away in a an ungodly way. You are just too precious.

Do you believe it? Well, here's the proof:

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:6-8

Wow!