Tuesday, March 29, 2011

FAST REPORT: im starving.

cloudy day in houston on a wednesday thats actually pretty awesome in my book. it's mid week. friday is almost here but the clouds are only a prelude to the thought that i could and should be working this weekend. depressing to even consider but im moving right along to my theme today....HUNGER.

im really doing good on my eating habits. when i crave, i eat what i crave. i enjoy it thouroughly but im cautious about the foods i indulge in and when. im a food addict. i love food. i like trying new foods and lately...i find myself getting hungry waaayyy too often. maybe its because that late night work out...burning all those calories then i feel the need to eat. i usually turn to an apple, but if im up long enough...it turns into 2-3 bowls of cereal (usually raisin bran crunch).

but i had a late meeting at church tonight, and i was debating whether to go work out...i was getting hungry just thinking about it. my mind was racing about where i could stop to eat. wasnt in the mood for fast food, and i only like to eat at Fadi's on Thursdays. then i remembered i had a coupon for jack in the box...yes! i love coupons in fact. i used one of my jack in the box coupons this past weekend. and all i wanted was to pull up to a drive thru and get two tacos and a regular cookies and cream shake.....soooo good! with the coupon i'd be getting a 3-4 combo for $1....thats amazing, right??!

so im coming to the light where jack in the box is...and i keep driving! i couldnt understand why my arms wouldnt turn the wheel and go into the drive thru. i opted for the gym instead with a 1.5 hour work out to drain the disgust i had of myself wanting to see those delicious calories at this late in the evening. it'd be days to work it off. but i was reading Day 14 of A Call to Die and what was the title??? Can you just guess?

The title was: Too full to eat?

Irony? Maybe, but I doubt it. It was totally opposite from how i was feel earlier. I was starving! But when I was getting that starving feeling..I just ate pasta and a salad at church. An hour before that i had dinner at work and 3-4hrs before that i hate lunch! so whhhhyyy was i still hungry??!

I'm going to let that be my weekend's thought about what is it that I'm really hungry for. But in the book, it shares that the hunger that we have for worldly things should be a resounding bell in our relationship with Christ. Like when we're in a relationship with another person...we want to give them our all and show them our best. Isn't Christ, whom died for us, worth the same attention?

He shares two key Scriptures & a testimony (that you really just have to pick up the book to just really allow that thing to marinate on your mind and yoru heart) that really pulled things together for me:

Matthew 5:6 says, " Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." And I think of this Scripture as a testimony to how God consistently grants me mercy and grace despite me. Sometimes I feel like Peter did on the boat when God said "cast your nets" and when Peter was finally filled because he finally listened to God he fell to his knees and bowed and said, and I paraphrase, "Lord, get out of my sight because I am a sinner." I feel Peter on that. We're hungry and we're thirsty, but we don't want to comply with the directions the Director is giving. Why is this so hard?

Jeremiah 15:16 says, "When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty." This is so true. We all bear His name by being born, whether we know it or not. We go further in bearing His name when we define ourselves as His followers. "I am a Christian, right?" < this might be another lesson. But Jeremiah's words seemed to sail on the page seamlessly because it seemed like it came from the heart. Like a short poem to just honor God and say, "I was hungry, and you fed me."

Irony? Nah, I think God's requesting me to eat a whole lot more than what I'm currently consuming. Just eat out of the right bowls, B. The right bowls.

note: day 4

Monday, March 28, 2011

where are thou romeo?

so, it looks like im becoming a Dancing with the Stars fan! tuned in for the whole episode tonight for the first time in the history of this show...BIG DEAL! now, it's quite OBVIOUS that there's some handsome fellas on this show, but have you seen Romeo (aka Lil Romeo) lately? dude is looking about right, right?! To add, he was impressive on the dance floor tonight that I was totally motivated to vote for him (and Sugar Ray) tonight and NOT only because he's handsome...or should i say FINE? i havent used that F word in a really long time to describe a man.

not gonna lie...wasnt the lil romeo fan at the slightest. i think i was still stupid on B2K (smh) but i loved this video because it was absolutely hilarious...and the elbow swing at the end is a flippin classic! we probably did this a thousand times in my living room growing up...ahh...lil romeo aint so little NO MO!

annnyywaaayyyy...let me not dwell on all the handsome goodness on the show this season. im excited to see the progress even though i am SURE i will be missing the elimination show tomorrow! day 3 of the social networking fast. how you feeling about DWTS? you watching? =)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

FAST REPORT: casting the net.

on day 2 of my social networking fast. didn't think it would be this difficult. im not even allowed to go to the site to peep around..nope! deleted the apps from my phone and it's definately not easy. i almost feel...pathetic. i was thinking when i woke up, "what a great revelation i just had. i should share it on twitter." out of the question! and then my mind started thinking...what did you do before you started this social networking nonsense? WRITING! i was an active journal/diary writer, and since the fast started, i've had at leats one entry a day in my journal and posted here so im on a roll! it's not like i can do anything else...

but the fast was much needed. it came to me that between the social sites/apps i visit, almost daily, i've totally neglicted my need to read and devote more time to quiet time. spending that 10-15 minutes just browsing those sites left little time to just be still...in my God space and totally disconnected. so im going to try and stay as committed as i can to this and not find something other than my purposed resources to fill those spaces.

in the meantime, didnt know God was going to start working so soon...three things struck me this weekend to become my week's focus. nothing that i had planned to find something in...it just came to me.

(1) the movie Limitless
(2) Day 12 "Death...and your good clothes" of the Book A Call to Die
(3) Pastor's sermon today "Go Fish"

Not gonna lie, Limitless was a good movie! At the end of the movie, I really couldn't grasp if I should be learning something from this movie or whether it was just a display for pure entertainment and nothing to really take from it. If you haven't seen it, I'm definately going to spoil it a little bit, but I'm concerned whether this movie gives a false since of security that a certain staus is equivalent to happiness. That money and power can solve all of your problems. What in fact happened is the people who took the pill totally became different type of people. It reminded me of someone who had a few drinks. That might be totally mellow otherwise, and a few drinks turns them into a different type of person. They become addicted to that person they are when they drink that having fun without the drink is almost impossible. It isn't reality, and it's just a cover up. I thought at the end of the movie...did he kill the old person he was in order to have this person? It made me wonder how do I value success? How do I define my happiness? Saturday, I was riding down Richmond. Windows down, music going and I'm genuinely happy. I have no worries, and I regret nothing. I have no envy for what others have because I'm aware that if God wanted me to have it, I'd have it. I may not make 100k, but my life FEELS LIKE I make 100k. It's worth more to me to have that joy. Even more so, that joy attracts great things that are for you to happen in your favor. So why need a miracle pill for something God's already lined up for you? Good movie though. Plus, I hate pharmaceutical drugs, so I'd pass anyway!

Sadly, I'm still working on the book A Call to Die. A 40 day read, and I'm three months in. Really sad, but I do plan to finish it this time. Day 12 focused on Colossians 3:5,9-10. It seemed to reiterate the reason I decided to do this version of my fast. Kill the earthly nature in order to indulge in "renewed knowledge in the image of its Creator". This book has really been challenging me to be a more mindful thinker. To be aware that growing is a different process at different staging in our lives. My growth process now is different than 2-3 years ago so when I read that Scripture saying find "renewed knowledge"...I was confused at first. Now, I'm aware that one lesson observed in the Bible maybe a few years ago is totally different to my life now. In fact, the way I react to understanding the purpose is different. I'm consistently grateful to the revelations of this book. It's not an easy read though especially because it's all about bringing awareness to where you need to develop better. But how fun would life be if it was always comfortable anyway?

Pastor started a sermon series today. I wasn't even going to go to service today, but I was reeled in by my conscious/Holy Spirit ...however you would like to call it. His lesson came from a familiar Scripture in Luke 5..or is it 6? One of them it is when Jesus was with Simon (Peter) when he went fishing to cast his net off the boat. The sermon really solidified my confirmation that my social networking fast was not only necessary but in alignment to take my networking to a different level not only with God but with people. Pastor continued to reiterate that Simon didn't understand the purpose why Jesus requested him to cast his net again even though he'd been fishing all day and didn't catch anything! I totally understand Peter's perspective. Sometimes the purpose of something that God places on our heart isn't always going to be in full vision at that moment. Is that what faith is for? It takes the place of fear. Wow, irony that we've been teaching the kids all month about having courage.

So it seems like every year is becoming a new lesson about allowing your senses to be awakened in a different way. In the movie, his senses were opened in a pill. In Scripture, Simon's senses were awakened after Jesus showed his committment to Simon even though he was doubtful of Him. It's all about being awakened and not losing yourself in order to superficially fit into a mold that doesn't (1) bring joy (2) reconcile your place with God. Casting out our nets to totally find exactly what we need in order to get everything we want. Taking the chance on trusting God on His many promises and making ourselves step out of the norm in order to fulfill those needs. In the end, without the two, it's impossible to totally be free. Freedom is in death of self.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fat Ho Burgers...nah, it's real!

My sister found this online, and I thought it was fake. Nope, it's real. It's a real burger joint! It's in Waco of all places at that! Waco? I think it's hilarious, so I decided to share. Would you order a Supa Dupa Fly Ho with Cheese?

I want to go to Waco just to try it now...

Happy Saturday =)

Can you really pray away gay?

It's been almost 2 weeks since the documentary aired on the OWN Channel facilitated by Lisa Ling. Intriguing title, right? As a Christian, I was instantly enticed. As a human, I was curious about the dynamic of certain people's thought processes. Let me begin by saying that YES I do believe that you can pray the gay away. According to Scripture, not only can we "move mountains" but with faith the size of a muster seed, God can do ANYTHING. [Mark 11:22-24] & [Luke 17:6]

I did a previous post where I visited an art exhibit that focused on the GLBT community. It was...interesting, but could I ever say I understand what it's like to be gay? Hell no. Never. The place where we collide is when they make the bold decision to say, "I'm a Christian." In thought, this is a complete oxymoron, right? How can you be gay and be Christian? Wait, remember the story of Soddom and Gommorah? Don't you remember the Bible stating that man and man and woman and woman should not lie together?

TANGENT: Why is Christianity always singled about this? How come no one discusses this in other religions, and Yahweh (who is Christ in the New Testament) gets all the hate? If you have an answer, I'd love to talk with you.

Hmmm...it seems like a collision of extreme differences. I must admit. I don't see the courage in "coming out the closet". I see the courage in admitting you love God even if you run the risk of Him not loving you back (according to what gay-bashers believe). I've come to the conclusion that our relationship with God is different for each one of us. With the years of stigma against homosexuality, who would chose that life? I do not, necessarily, believe that ALL of them chose to go down this road. However, I do believe that God uses each one of us differently which is why we go down different paths in order to receive Him.

The core of the film made me realize a motif after observing the different lifestyles: (1) Prior gay man who was now married with two children (2) Gay man who used to condemn the lifestyle and eventually embraced it with a partner (3) Teens who are gay and found community in a camp that embraced them (4) Gay man who engulfed in the lifestyle and turned from it after visiting a church < The motif, common thread, I discovered in eahc of them was that...THAT EACH LOVED GOD!

I was entralled by their committment to still serve God regardless of the direction they went. I believe God speaks to each of us in His way, and I can't state that there's one sin that God hates more than another. I am aware that God's heart is broken when our heart is not with Him. Isaiah 29: 13 says, "The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men."

Yet, I identify with the Christians who sincerely believe that find no liking to the lifestyle or the decision to live it because in the end there's free will..which I agree. We must be mindful that as Christians/Non-Christians we cannot make others adopt our view. Their heart has to be drawn to God.

Towards the end of the film, one of the men mentioned that he believed that he didn't make up his mind that being gay was wrong...God did. Does he believe that a gay person can still go to Heaven? Why, yes. Why? Because he believed that God is more concerned with the matters of the heart.

Do I believe that being gay is wrong? I believe it's contradicting to what the Word says is the foundation of procreating and establishing a family is. It is a sin just like lying, adultery or dishonoring our parents. We just weren't made to do the things that God created a man and woman to do with the same sex. But more than anything, the Bible says that Jesus died that all who love Him with live with Him forever. The center of Christ is love when you chase after Him. And our purpose is to love the person not the sin. It is no different than anyone I know who is having issues with any other life choice.

But I actively encourage those who identify themselves as gay and struggling with the direction that God wants them to go to...PRAY! I believe that there is sincere power in prayer, and God is capable of doing ANYTHING if we chose to follow Him.

We're all fighting a battle trying to go the same way. I just figured I'd offer my honest opinion. This was a great documentary. If you are interested in viewing it, you can visit oprah.com/OWN to few the episode.