Truth: There are some preachers who are just about the money. Also Truth: There are many more who are not about the money. And while I don’t appreciate these preachers pimping their congregations, I can’t stand the blanket accusations people man against the church.
Why do we make money a bad thing when it comes to churches? If you don’t want to give then don’t.
I’m currently in the process of trying to get right. Like everyone else, I came into the new year with goals to drop weight–but not for the sake of resolutions or simply being healthy but because I’m going to Greece in August! I’m going to be on a yacht cruising around Greece and I need to look my own personal very best. I mean there will be Facebook photos and Greek men! When I think Greece I think John Stamos, Greek gods, Kostos (the guy from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) and John Stamos again.
So with that in mind, I have made it a personal mission to workout and eat right. However there is one problem. Sure, I miss all the unhealthy foods that I’m not supposed to eat but I can deal with that. It’s the working out part.
Whenever I go for a run, the whole time I ask myself why? What am I running for? Who does this for fun? So then my friends suggest that I try other exercises such as Zumba or Crossfit. Now that I think about it–these are probably are NOT my friends. Who would encourage me to go to a class where I am reminded that I am one of the rhythm-less black girls (see post here) or do Crossfit? Nothing about Crossfit seems fun to me. Actually it seems dangerous. If I was looking for ways to die while losing weight-I’d just go find some FDA unapproved diet pills and take without consulting my doctor.
The problem with working out is also that I am a sweaty girl. That whole “girls don’t sweat we glow” saying is a lie! To the point it effects what time I workout. For example: If I have to be at work by 8, not only do I have to factor in the time to shower and get to work after my workout, I have to take in consideration how long it will take to cool off before getting in the shower. If I don’t cool off before my shower, I will start back sweating after the shower. Yeah that’s a 4:30AM wake up call. No thank you!
Then there is the pain. I get it, no pain no gain. But when the idea of walking down the stairs is too painful, then we gotta reconsider. Who are these folks who endorse “the burn”? That sounds like torture. It sounds like literally walking into the gates of hell and jumping into the lake of fire. After a “great” workout why do my arms feel like spaghetti and my legs have no feelings?
But even with all of my griping and complaining and my eternal hate for working out- I will still do it. Because John Stamos.
Seven years ago from April 1st, my plane landed in Los Angeles. I was instantly pulled in by the sunshine and palm trees. I had big shades, big dreams and a 5 year plan that went something like:
Get a production assistant job
Write a script
Get an agent
Buy a condo
Write another script
Sell script that generates buzz
Get a nice profile in Hollywood reporter
Enjoy Hollywood and buy all the shoes I want
Well, I was able to get a really good unpaid internship when I moved out here, I mean what person with two degrees would turn down an internship with a celebrity (even if working for free was totally illegal). Yeah that turned out to be the unglamorous version of the Devil Wears Prada…I go into more detailin this post.Long story short, it was a typical Hollywood assistant experience. Only this one didn’t lead to any great new opportunities.
As I tried to find new work opportunities, something called the Writer’s Strike happened. Productions ceased throughout Los Angeles and nobody had a job…except for people who worked in reality tv and I simply refused to sell out to reality television. And as all my savings started to run out, of course I had to call on the bank of mom and dad (pretty sure they are FDIC approved). Asking for money always required that I gave a presentation…
Eventually that back up ran out…something about “we have four other kids in college, you’re the oldest and you have to figure it out.”
From that point life kinda spiraled into a downward succession of suckiness. It was a dark place. I was convinced that even though, I loved Los Angeles it hated me. I call this period of life “L.A. Hates Me”. I choose not to dwell on the moments I had to face real life and get a real job that couldn’t cover my real bills because Los Angeles is a real expensive city and ended up real depressed.
I feel like I made it to the other side. Living in this city toughened me up. First it handed my ass back to me on a tray but then it toughened me…I would even say it bettered me. I learned what I was made of. I realized that everybody has to go through some challenges to see their dreams come to life. Bad credit, selling my car (to cover rent), facing evictions…none of that could scare me from pursuing what I ultimately wanted to do.
And here I am. Not exactly where I want to be but doing what I love. Biblically speaking, 7 is the number of completion. In the 7 years that I have been in L.A., I can say that I needed all those years to become the woman that I am. I needed that time to develop my skills and to be comfortable in the fact that this is indeed what I want to do in life. Although I always knew what I wanted to do in life, I now know that I have what it takes to succeed.
#ToastTip: Be positive, stick with it, keep the faith and you will soon see the light! #Church
When it comes to topics church related, I try to be sensitive and respectful. I after all, am a follower of Christ and I do believe that somethings should be handled with reverence. However, I am also naturally sarcastic and even my most serious tone seems to offend. So let this serve as a disclaimer and let the ranting begin!
I recently read a blog entitled “The Need for Christian Families to Address the Issue of Modesty”and while I appreciated the heart behind it kind of see where the author was coming from, I was mostly bothered by the message. I first came across the blog last week and instead of poppin off at the mouth and immediately voicing my opinion as I usually do, I stepped back to see if my opinion on the subject would change. It didn’t. At all. The more I thought about it, the more I was offended by it.
I mean in the blog, it was stated that parents should encourage their daughters to dress modestly so that young men would not be tempted… -_- Seriously? Are we going to use the same argument people use to blame rape on women. You know the “if she wasn’t dressed provocatively the man could have repressed his animalistic urges and not raped her” argument. If it sounds ridiculous, it is because it is!
Obviously that was enough to get me to heated but I continued reading so that I could be as objective as possible. And to be fair to the author, he did acknowledge that he is not trying “to justify the way men think” but for me the damage was already done. Too often in church and as Christians, when it comes to issues of sex between men and women, the burden of purity always falls on women.
Sometimes it seems as being Christian and being a feminist (well let’s say a feminist in the same fashion as Beyoncé is a feminist) is in itself a conflict of interest. Growing up in an old school Baptist church I’ve come across sexist ideologies. For example, we learn about Adam and Eve and the origins of sin. Many times, I’ve heard ministers blame Eve for the fall of man. Although scripture clearly indicates that Adam made a conscious decision to deliberately disobey God, independent of Eve, people still choose to blame Eve…but who am I? What would have happened if Adam decided that he wasn’t going to give into peer pressure and refused to eat the apple?I’m positive it would be slightly different outcome for Adam. Sure, Eve should be held accountable for her disobedience but she should NOT be held accountable for Adam’s err as well. However the burden of this sin involving a man and a women fell onto the women’s shoulders.
This school of thought has perpetuated some problematic practices in church culture. There was a time when a girl who was pregnant outside of marriage, was required to stand before the congregation to apologize for her waywardness. Again, the burden of the sin fell on the woman.
Sex shaming…sin shaming..shaming…all sounds anti Jesus to me. *in my old black southern pastor voice* If you will turn in your Bible’s with me to the gospel of Saint John chapter 8, starting at verse number 2, it reads:
2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.Now what do you say?”6 They were using this question as a trap,in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stoneat her.”8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.
Men have always been quick to place the burden of sin on the woman. This passage of scripture is a prime example where was the man she was accused of having sex with? Why didn’t he get called out? Thank God for Jesus or this scenario would have been completely different.
We live in a society that promotes sex and lots of it. We live in an age that people are getting married later and later. We go to churches and practice a religion that encourages people to remain chaise until marriage. We emphasize to young girls that they should remain virgins but excuse men because well…men will be men. We excuse men because “the way men think” is different. Yet, when a woman embraces sexuality she is a “whore”. A whore? Really?
There are churches that require their female members to wear long skirts and long sleeves as not to tempt men into lust or adultery. Imagine going to church with a full suit on and panty hose on in the middle of summer…and some churches don’t have air conditioning. So you want me fully dressed for a trip to Antarctica in the middle of the summer just so a man won’t be tempted? Oh puhlease! My mother states it best “if seeing your shoulders will cause him to fall, he was already going to hell anyway”.
Modesty does not equate sexual purity. A girl rocking a full-out Amish wardrobe is just as capable of lifting her skirt and partaking in the act as her scantily clad counterpart. There are other issues that need to be addressed. Yes, addressed and not swept under the rug. If we are going to encourage people not to have sex before marriage as a way to honor God let’s make it just that, honoring God. Let’s not shame women into dressing like nuns so that men won’t be tempted. Let’s not have a double standard. Let our boys be held accountable by the same measures.
I agree, young women should carry themselves and dress in a certain way out of self-respect. However, I don’t think showing shoulders, back or mid drift is in bad taste. However, if we are going to teach our daughters to dress modest, let’s also teach our sons to do the same.
Young men, I have to believe that wearing baggy pants is a way for you to show off your assets. You are trying to tempt young women. Also, your tight skinny jeans…I know you are trying to show off your package and that is not of God. Men, I am fully aware that you walk around topless full-out Putin style trying to make me hot and bothered. *clutching my pearls* Your invisible washboard abs may cause me to sin, so please for the eternal sake of your sister in Christ, put a shirt on!
I’ve only scratched the surface. There are many more issues that stem from this topic alone. One of the biggest things is that the Church must change how we think about sex and sexuality. Here is one last read on the topic. Oh yeah, I am fully aware that my use of Easy A, Beyoncé, Lena Dunham and sarcasm may not be the best way to address the issue…but let’s all agree it’s probably the most fun way to express my thoughts.
It pains me to write this, it really really does. I first came upon this article about 3 days ago and immediately started to write my thoughts but then quickly deleted them. If you have not clicked on the link, click here now! For the few of you who just refuse to read, this article is about a pastor in west Africa who attempted to re-enact the Walking on Water miracle. Yeah that one where Jesus walks on water and then Peter steps out on his faith to do the same thing. This pastor decided that he too was Peter and that he could walk on water. He drowns then dies.
SO MANY THOUGHTS! My head is spinning!
Where to begin? There are so many reasons that this is a bad idea but mainly the following:
1) In the Bible when Peter walked on water (in the live physical presence of Jesus Christ), he started to doubt and begins to sink. That right there tells me that even with Jesus standing with you in the present it is difficult to maintain enough faith to walk on water, why sir would you then try to recreate it? Seriously, why?
2) Was this pastor in his right mind? Like anyone could say that this man was stepping out of faith but who is to say he wasn’t stepping out on drugs? People on acid think they can fly…those people too have dropped to their untimely deaths.
If you read further down, in the aforementioned link, you will read about another pastor in Africa who was convinced that if he stood in a den of lions, God would protect him the same way that He protected Daniel. So this pastor goes to a zoo and despite all warning sneaks into the lion’s den and gets mauled to death.
I seriously cannot handle this amount of foolishness. There is only so much a girl can take. Now does this mean that I don’t believe in miracles? Of course not! Mariah and Whitney said it best “There can be miracles when you believe!” And yes, I believe!
However, I don’t think that God is a genie that just fulfills our wishes whenever we demand. Our wish is not His command…doesn’t work like that.
See this is why I didn’t want to write about this…I gotta get to the pulpit right quick. Why in the world would anyone put them self in a position that even Jesus refused to put himself in. Satan tried to tempt Jesus. Satan was basically like “hey you can do anything, God will do anything for you. You can jump off of this cliff and legions of angels will come and rescue you.” Jesus was like: “Nah, I’m good. I’m not testing God like that. It says not to in the scripture.” Of course I am paraphrasing but it’s in plain King James English in Matthew 4:1-11.
But I mean even if you could test God, wouldn’t you ask him to do a new thing. Like we’ve seen the splitting of the red sea, water into wine and raising the dead. But what about something creative like making a dollar out of 15 cents or turning my Amex card into a Black Card. Requesting old miracles is similar to liking a old facebook photo from 2010.