Hidden ENVY! Part II

~To forgive or not to forgive, that is the question~

Waking up in a cold sweat, Angela glanced over at her clock to see it was once again around the three o’clock hour.  Every since Janice set her up a month ago dreams about her and Buck being killed would interrupt her rest from time to time.  Other times, she would dream about what happened that night over and over again.  Life would probably be simpler had Janice and Buck actually died instead of it only being a dream.  Angela couldn’t understand why anyone would want to hurt her so badly. She realized she wasn’t perfect but she couldn’t be so bad where anyone would want to kill her.

The day after the incident Janice called her every day trying to apologize but Angela never answered the phone.  How could she believe anything Janice had to say after that?  Although, her curiosity would allow her to listen to some of her voice mail messages.  Janice claimed that she loved Angela but she just couldn’t stand how perfect she was or appeared to be.  She went on to say how sorry she was for allowing her jealousy to drive her to such a hateful place.  She didn’t want to be jealous of Angela or anyone else but she couldn’t seem to make it stop.  Though Angela was a Christian, she was finding it extremely difficult to drop everything that happened and just forgive Janice.  Yes, she had been forgiven by God for all the wrong she had ever done but how could she find the strength to return the favor and forgive someone else?  Janice called every single day looking for Angela to tell her she accepted her apology but Angela had not made it to that point yet.

One day Janice left a voice mail that stopped Angela in her tracks.  It wasn’t as pestering as the other messages had been but this one was laced with sincerity.  On this particular day, Janice asked Angela to pray for her because she needed it and didn’t know how to do it for herself.  Janice had found herself in a heated situation that was taking a toll on her.  She had spent so much time being devious that she neglected her own children and the state had came in and taken them away from her.  Buck was in jail on drug charges and her family didn’t have much interaction with her because of damages she’d caused in the past due to her jealous ways.  Shortly after that, Angela received the news that Janice had been admitted into the Arts Institution but not the arts of compelling expression as one would assume, yet, the Bradley Cotts Art Mental Institution.  The act of losing her children was too much for her and she suffered a nervous breakdown.

Later that week, Angela decided to drive to Janice’s  parents house to see how they were doing.  Sitting in the den with the two, she was struck by so many memories as she looked around at their many photos.  Janice parents informed Angela on what Janice said happened that night.  It was there that Angela learned why Buck ran away.  He claimed to have seen giants surrounding her with shields and instantly she knew God had placed angels around her to protect her that night.  Her heart was warmed as peace fell upon her, soothing her with confirmation that God is always present and will never forsake her.  That following Sunday, Angela stood at the altar on Janice behalf and asked God to heal Janice, as well as touch her own heart to completely forgive as she had been forgiven.  She laid her burdens at the altar and walked away free with the understanding that if God could spare their lives and show forth mercy, surely she could too.

Matthew 6:14-15  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

~Earlene J.

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#SideLine Crew

SIDELINE

It seems when you are trying to follow your dreams by stepping out on faith there is always that “SideLine” Crew with negative  things to say.  Often times God gives us visions that requires us to alter certain behaviors about ourselves to allow our gifts to flow uninterrupted by our own silly actions.  So, we choose to trust God, it’s definitely a choice, and began to work on the areas that needs improvement: confidence, attitude, anger, dress code, speech, etc.  Suddenly, we look to the left and notice the SideLine Crew mocking us.  Who is the SideLine Crew?  These are the individuals who attempts to speak death to your vision.  These are the people who finds your failure humorous.  These are the people who sees your resilience as disgusting.  These are the same people who dare you to speak life over your current situation and hates to see you thrive after a disappointment.  They come in all shapes and sizes but their agenda is the same.  Unfortunately, we (“we” consist of those who are earnestly trying to do something productive with our lives without trotting disgracefully over others) tend to give the SideLine Crew too much of our time by actually worrying about their opinions.  Anyone who is not willing or incapable of uplifting another individual to do something positive isn’t worth the time we so easily give to them.  We already battle with that little voice in our minds that maybe we’re not good enough therefore, entertaining a group of people standing behind the ropes as we walk the red carpet to destiny should be out of the question.  God already equipped us with the things we needed to do the job once we gave Him a “yes” to His will.  With that being said, every once in a while we need to stop and ask ourselves why do we care what they say.  Truth be told, people are going to have something negative to say regardless of what decisions we make.  We all have a different story, a different journey, a different vision, and a different perspective which allows us to be unique in our own right.  Our journey is not to be understood or accepted by the SideLine Crew!

The SideLine Crew is exactly where they should be, ON THE SIDE!  They’re not doing anything so they don’t want us to do anything or they don’t want us to overshadow their little accomplishments.  How envious the SideLine Crew can be as they secretly wish they had the zeal and courage we do as we tackle one challenge after another.  If you really want to know who’s really for you start making money and focusing more on your future than everyday foolishness…start minding your own business and feeding your spirit with the Word of God along with other informative reads and watch how some people begin to fall by the waist side.  However, don’t be confused, everyone won’t fall without developing bitterness so, just remember to place them behind the rope with the rest of the SideLine Crew.  In this season, we cannot afford to be distracted by any means.  Know what you want and go and get it!  If for any reason you must look over at the SideLine Crew, let it be to flash a smile as a reminder to them that they have no power over where you are going.  No matter what level we’re on there will always be a SideLine Crew present.

The Beginners SideLine Crew attempts to stop us before we can really get started because they recognize what we possess even when we don’t.

The Intermediate SideLine Crew are a mixture of those from the previous level and those who we bump into along the way with their own issues against us.  Either way, one must remember to keep them on the side otherwise, they will be in the way.  They do not want us to make it any further and the envy is even higher on this level.

The Advance SideLine Crew  are the people from the last two levels and whoever else we made an enemy by reaching the top and living out the vision that was once a dream.  This is the level where the SideLine Crew is seriously anticipating the day we fall.  To be an authentic follower of Christ and successful, equals hate…Get ready for it!  Many will hate and wish death on us but it won’t prevail.  When God raise you up, man has no say so and I’m glad about it.

I realize that performing in front of the SideLine Crew can be intimidating to the fearful and the doubter for many reasons but if they keep the faith and continue to trust God, He will prepare a table before them in the PRESENCE of their enemies.  Shout about it now!

 

Psalm 23:5  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

 

 

~Earlene J.

 

Focal Point

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What is it that you desire out of life? Are you doing what it takes to achieve it and if not, why? Chances are it’s due to a lack of concentration or dedication that comes via distractions. Distractions are all around us but that does not mean we have to entertain them. However, as soon as we set our minds to focus, something pops up and takes it. Get that thing on your mind that you really want to achieve. Now, set boundaries around it to protect it from being tampered with by day-to-day locusts that are designed to destroy your harvest. Everyday an action should be taken to push you closer to that “thing” you desire. It may even be helpful to post inspirational quotes or photos in your environment as a reminder of what you are trying to accomplish. I, for example, place scriptures on my wall to read to keep me focus. God has plans for my life, a purpose, which serves as my focal point. I remind myself of it constantly, keeping the fire burning needed to bring it to pass but remaining focus is one of the key components to being successful at this task. I cannot spend all day talking on the phone because it takes away time from my purpose when I could be applying myself. It can be a struggle to juggle daily tasks, spending time with God, having time for self, making room for family, then, having to keep your purpose as a focal point. Oh, how easy it is to become distracted in our time. There are dozens of TV shows & social media sites that pulls at our attention daily which can take up to at least an hour of our time. Not to mention, you may want to call your friend to discuss what you’ve just seen which can take up another hour & just that quick 2 hours have been wasted that could have been used to push you closer to your purpose. Never lose focus! It’s one thing to become distracted for a little while but it’s another thing to lose complete focus. Never allow anything to cause you to lose focus. I’ll rather lose friends then to lose my focus.

“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate & make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed” -Paulo Coelho

Earlene J.

The Face of A Man

Man Collage

Would you recognize God if He was staring you in the face?  How does He look?  Is He the man on all the pictures with the light skinned complexion and blond hair?  Or is He the man you pass by everyday with a buggy and torn clothing?  The truth of the matter is that we have no idea what God looks like.  Our physical eyes cannot see such beauty and if we could we would probably go blind because our natural ability isn’t equipped to receive that much glory at once.  Sometimes it can be difficult trying to serve what you cannot see however, we must remind ourselves of how irrelevant that thought really is.  For instance, we can’t see the devil yet we hear him telling us to do things we really don’t want to do daily.  Does that make him nonexistent because he can’t be seen with the natural eye?  Of course not, God is more than enough without us being able to spot Him out in the room.  When His presence is in the midst He can be felt.  A blind man relies on his other senses to direct his path and those senses are stronger to make up for what cannot be seen.  When it comes to our relationship with God we must rely on the Word to help direct our path.  We must nurture our relationship with Him so that our bond is unbreakable.  It doesn’t matter what we see because many times what we see isn’t realistic anyway.  God can have many faces.  He can take an open vessel who is willing to surrender to Him and use that individual for His purpose.  All the while, He can be across town speaking and serving through another individual with a different face.  There is not a certain race, face or physique that God has.  Stop looking at the man in the pulpit as if he is God because he is not, he is simply a messenger who is held to a higher standard.  Who is God?  What does He look like?  That question I cannot answer but what I can do is live my life according  to His word and allow His light to shine through me.  Allow God to use you as well, so that your face may be a reflection of Him.

2 Corinthians 3:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen:  For the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Earlene J.

And It Was So

DARKNESS

When God says He’s going to do something, you can rest for sure that it is going to happen.  God is not a man that He should lie, in fact, He can’t lie.  If He said it, then it is so.  In Genesis 1:9, God said “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear” and scriptures says ‘And it was so.’  God can simply speak and things can begin to come together in your life and peace will appear.  The problem is along the way to our promise we get distracted or overwhelmed, tired, emotional, and feel like throwing in the towel.  We must remind ourselves of the word that is over our life and use that as the fuel to our fire to chase after God with everything that we have.  He wants to be worshipped and praised for who He is and I believe if we step outside of ourselves the very area that we desire a breakthrough will be granted to us.  We need to get that in our spirit; It is so, It is so, It is so!  This financial burden can be lifted off of me, it is so.  God can heal my body, it is so.  God can save my family, it is so.  God can save my marriage, it is so.  God can change my attitude, it is so.  God can renew my mind, it is so.  I can recover from the rape, it is so.  I can move past the molestation, it is so.  I can break the generational curse, it is so.  All God has to do is say the word and it shall be done.  But we must continue to praise Him anyway regardlesss of what we are going through.  I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make her boast, the humble shall hear thereof and be glad. (Psalm 34:1)  This Christian walk is not an easy one but it is well worth it.  God is faithful and if He said it then it is so!

Genesis 1:3  And God said, “Let there be light” and there was light.

 

Earlene J. 

My Sister’s Keeper

Out of my twenty-five years of living, I can truly say that I do not see many women supporting each other sincerely.  There seems to be an underlying competition of one being better than the next.  When did we as women lose our self confidence?  Why is it so hard to appreciate the next woman achievements without comparing them with our own or someone else who may have a little more?  God created us all with a specific purpose that no man can take away meaning regardless of what your neighbor may be doing, it will not strip you of what God has planned for you.  For example, when a woman is being blessed by God it is okay to celebrate with her, her success is not going to cut into what God has coming for you.  Somewhere down the line our sisterhood has been lost, tossed aside like an unwanted bill.  Everything is not a competition and if you find yourself sizing other women up by their level of attraction, please have several seats.  That alone shows that you are struggling with low self confidence.  Of course, we all are struggling with something but do not allow your struggles to cause you to belittle another individual.  It is amazing how we as women can tear each other down and feel some type of gratification afterwards.  The word shameful does no justice to describe the act.  If you see someone lacking in their confidence, try encouraging and complimenting them out of love rather than pouncing on their weakness to make yourself feel better.  If you see a woman going through a storm, take time out of your busy day to uplift her in prayer because we all will need help at some point in life.  So often have I witnessed men toy over multiple women only for the women to go after each other excluding the male as if he had no part in the entire matter.  Fighting and hating each other over a man, competing in a dead end competition that neither can ever win because they have already lost when they “allowed” the man to disrespect their value.  In the meantime, men sit back in the cut with a big grin because he is the only one gaining from the situation or at least that is what he thinks.  We are worth so much more than this and it is time out for the pettiness.  I pray for unity amongst black women especially.  We have to be twice as good at anything we set out to do to receive even a portion of what we deserve and the last thing we need is to be divided.  Easier said than done but difficulty does not mean impossible.  When we tear each other down we teach our children to do the same and they teach their children to do the same thing so from one generation to the next toxic is being passed down.  It has to stop somewhere, why not right here with you and me?  Personally, I feel driven when I see another positive black woman working towards her goals and stepping out on faith to do so.  Ladies as you are reading this, I hope there is a desire to set a better example of how you treat other women.  Don’t be afraid of losing your place by being supportive and respectful to one another, especially the young women who are trying to do something with their lives.  Let’s not forget to lead by example to those who stand in need of guidance as well as encouragement to make better decisions for their lives.  I am not perfect and I am working on this as we speak and I challenge you to do the same.

“Why can’t women get along?  Because we’re afraid, we’re afraid to be vulnerable.  We’re afraid to be soft, we’re afraid to be hurt.  But most of all, we’re afraid of our power.  So we become controlling and aggressive and vicious.”  -Iyanla Vanzant

Earlene J.

I Do To You, What You Let Me Do!

I only do what you allow me to.  See, what you need to understand is that I don’t force anything on you, I never have.  All of those times I came in the house during the wee hours of the morning drunk, yes, you allowed me to do that.  Of course you bickered and screamed but guess what, you allowed me to stay right there.  That alone showed me it was okay and I could do that any time I choose to.  I don’t know why you act surprise every time you find out I’m cheating.  It’s nothing new baby, remember I had a woman when I met you.  Oh, it was okay then but it’s not okay now?  Okay that’s cool, I understand.  Please don’t cry.  I hate to see you cry but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop doing what I’m doing.  See, what I do feels good to me.  You are the only one with the problem and as far as I’m concerned it’s not that much of a problem because you would leave…right?  Aww, girl stop watching me from the corner of your eye to see if I’m going to leave my phone with you while I take a shower.  You know my phone goes where I go and yes it is plenty for you to complain about if you ever get your hands on it.  Too bad you can’t see what it is… *laughter* It wouldn’t matter anyway, you’re not going anywhere.  All I have to say is how much I love you and how I really can’t stand the person I cheated on you with and you’re right back where I need you…under Big Daddy’s spell.  See, I only do what you allow me to do.  Please don’t be surprise when I call you out of your name.  You know I was just angry.  I didn’t really mean the things I said.  Do you forgive me?  You do?  That’s what I like, stay right here under Big Daddy’s spell.  Ooou, that’s your daughter?  How old is she?  Oh okay, 14 huh?  She’s fine just like her mama.  I think I want her more than I want you.  Aww, girl stop getting upset.  You know I’m only playing with you.  Besides we are a family, I would never do something like that and risk losing you.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention this weekend I’m going out with the guys, don’t wait up.  Excuse me?  You’re going to change the locks on the door because you are tired of me partying?  Oh okay, that’s cool.  I’ll just go somewhere where I am appreciated.  It is plenty of women who want me and my money so you go ahead and change the locks and watch me change my address.  Don’t cry now!  You don’t want me anyway!  I Should stomp a hole in you for disrespecting me.  As a matter of fact, I think I’ll do just that.  We all know you are going to drop the charges anyway.  Look at you…walking around with your shades on hiding that black eye.  That’s love girl, don’t hide it, show the world.  See, I only do to you what you let me do.  I won’t lie, it’s hard to get turned on with you all swollen and a man has needs.  I’m sorry baby, I didn’t mean that.  Here you go, take my credit card and buy whatever it is your heart desire.  I’ll make sure your daughter makes it in safely from school.  Yeah, that’s a good idea you should buy her something too.  Boy, boy, boy this woman is like putty in my hands.  She is too dense to even see what’s taking place right before her own eyes.  Big Daddy’s spell is no joke!

*A month later*

Your daughter said what?  Baby, listen to me I know I’m not perfect but I would never say something so inappropriate to your child.  She’s just like my flesh and blood!  Don’t listen to her lies!  I’m crying because I’m hurt by her accusations not because I’m guilty.  She just doesn’t want us together.  Look around you…look at all the things I provide for you all.  I love you more than anything in this world.  Your daughter is just hot and fast, seeking attention.  I tell you what, we’re all going to start spending more time together.  Yeah, you like that idea?  You do, huh?  Okay, it’s a deal.  Come here girl, let me take your mind off of this nonsense.

*6 months down the road*

Baby, I don’t know why you are acting so crazy!  Oh, so you want to fight?!  Don’t get knocked out playing around with me, you know I’ll shove my foot up your butt.  Rape?!  Rape?!  You’re mad because your daughter said I raped her?!  Man, don’t nobody want you nor your daughter!  Police?!  Girl you better put that phone down!  PUT THE PHONE DOWN!!…Now you see what you made me do!  Don’t make no sense I have to pistol whip you in order for you to behave yourself!  Yeah, I took it so what!  Tell your daughter to stop walking around here like she’s grown and she won’t receive grown up things.  This my house and I get whoever and whatever I want!  Oh, now you’re hurt?  You can’t believe I did this?  It’s okay to be with other women, I just can’t have your daughter?  Well baby it’s too late, she’s not a virgin anymore.  So, dry your eyes and shut up because you see, I only do to you what you let me do.

So many times we as females ignore signs of a “no good man” because we’re blinded by something, whether it is money, lust (never love because love isn’t pain)the fear of being alone, etc.  We put up with the same mess over and over and over again then, wonder why we keep getting our hearts broken.  Open your eyes and realize you can do better than what you are putting up with right now.  If it hurts, it’s not love!  Love yourself first before seeking someone else to love you.  Don’t allow those connected to you to be hurt and torn because of your stupidity of purposely looking pass signs that are there to warn you. 

Proverbs 14:16 One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil but a fool is reckless and careless.

Earlene J.