Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Help Me Believe

Today I sent a devotional by e-mail to my friends and one actually responded. His response became a back and forth conversation which was quite thought provoking. So below is the devotional followed by our responses.
The EX Daily Word for February 27, 2008"A Time to Sow"Gal. 6:7
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.There is a law built into the earth. Doesn't matter what race, religion, or background you are will grow what you plant. God built that into the very earth so that seed produces fruit in the earth. When you sow it or plant it, you reap it. And you always reap more than you sow. So when people do you wrong and hurt you, let the law of reaping and sowing handle them. You don't have to say a word many times. Just let it work itself out. But there is one very important thing we usually miss about this law of reaping and sowing. We forget that there is dirt involved!When you sow or plant a seed, you surround it with dirt. And even though it's covered with dirt, the fruit will grow out of it. That's the way God wants us. He allows us to be surrounded by dirt at times so we can grow out of it! The dirt that is going on around you, the dirt that has been shoveled on top of you, and the dirt that your past may have put into you will only grow you up and out! Do you know what fertilizer is? It's the waste that passes out of the body of an animal. It's basically, as Paul called it, "DUNG"! And to us, that is the most detestable thing, but it is much needed for growing a seed. Any farmer would tell you that you grow better fruit when you use fertilizer. And that's how we are. We grow stronger and are made better when our lives have come through the dung. And once we pass through the mess, we are blessed! When you are in the mess, with the mess, and surrounded by the mess, that's the best time to sow a seed. You are in a fertile situation when you are covered with dirt and sprinkled with fertilizer! You are in the best possible position to grow and bring forth good fruit! So, when you are in the ground, covered with dirt, sow a seed of righteousness by reading the word. Sow a seed of hope by praying for those that are taking you through. Sow a financial seed into a good ministry so that ministry can continue to preach the gospel. Don't look at the dirt as always being a bad thing. God uses that dirt around you to grow you into what he wants you to be.
Suggested Reading: 1Pet. 1:23, 1Pet. 4:12, James 1:3, Gal. 6:9,Col.1:6©2008 G. Craige Works All Rights Reserved
Him: Someway, somehow...I knew with this being an "inspriational" had to be mentioned. I like the message, but this delivery about dirt, dung, mess, and fertilizer is sooooo predictable. How in the world would a God that is all-loving, caring, and knowing allow its creation to be subject to such redicule and "torture"...this is a very decieving message. But if it works for some...DO YOU!!!
Me: What exactly is your religion, does your statement imply that God shouldn't allow us to go through hardships?
Him: When I was growing up, my grandad was a baptist preacher. So I attended alot of baptist churches. My grandmother "fell" out of the baptist format and joined the Church of Christ. At the age of 10, I started going to her church. I attended up until the age of 29...I also called myself a Christian during those times. I did it all while I was in the church...teaching, involved in the worship, church trips, name it, I did it...I even led all of the prayers at our family functions (Thanksgiving, B-day parties, and Sunday dinners). My mind was closed to everything outside of my beliefs...While I was at Darton, my Western Philosophy teacher exposed me to some other ideas. So I read the bible, for the 5th time, but this time I read it with a critical eye instead of a study method. I found alot of contradictions & inconsistencies. I started reading other books...and don't let me talk about Psychology (it didn't help my church beliefs either, LOL!!!)

So I don't call myself a Christian, but I do believe in God. I don't believe that God made us dependent. I think he gave us all the mindset to make our own decisions. Our life is about choices, not God doing this or that. I don't knock anybody's beliefs cause that is their own choice. I don't put my ideas on my daughter either...she can believe the floor is God, I don't really care. As long as what she believes makes her a better person and teaches her to love herself, love others, and serve others..i'm cool with it...but on the other hand, if it teaches her to demean people, have the "i'm right, you're wrong" mentality, and be arrogant...then i'll have a problem.

I understand the Christian theology VERY well. I think that is why my belief in it is not really that strong. But I do believe in God, and I praise him and l believe that he has given me all the tools I need to be a GREAT person in my lifetime.
Me: I love e-mailing you (name removed), you always respond for one and your opinions are always out of the box of the 'norm'. I rarely get into conversations about religion or politics because it’s an individual choice. I ignorantly assume/stereotype blacks as Christians although I know otherwise. Living here is totally diverse than being in the Southern Baptist Bible Belt. I've met so many people with different religions and really applauded them; because it was their belief. It is so important for people to believe in something and stand strongly behind it. You mentioned God allows its creation to be subject to ridicule and "torture" and also say he gave us a mindset to make our own decisions. So are we actually subjected by God to ridicule/torture or are we making decisions to be in the mist of ridicule/torture. I too, like you, like to be the devils advocate in certain conversations. I stand by my belief to be a Christian. However I don't mind being exposed to other ideas or beliefs, one will still reign to me, over the other. The classic hot or cold question, there's no lukewarm or in between. I always wonder what people mean when they say they believe in God, does this mean God the Father and not the Son? Or does believing in God mean you believe in Him until you find inconsistencies which doubt that belief? Or, do you believe in God but not the teachings of certain denominations? I guess my whole understanding is, if you believe, you believe. There may be inconsistencies in the bible, are there not inconsistencies in miracles, or other things that have an explanation but are unexplainable? I find the metaphor between dirt and trials to be a great description. If you believe in God and know the trials and tribulations he faced, what makes us superior and not have to face them, is it because we are his creation? People have gone back and forth on the inconsistencies of God. One thing is certain...we were not there to bear witness to any of them, all we have is the belief! The same way I believe the car will start as soon as I crank it , is the same belief that I have in God to carry me through ridicule/torture, even if I made a decision to be in the midst of it. The act of believing and the art of belief is all we have, no matter what it is we believe in.

You make me want to turn this into a blog topic!!! Thanks for the convo, I sure needed it!!!
Feel free to comment on the devotional or our conversation in general. Mainly whatever it is that you believe in (in any aspect), put it out there. I just really feel that you should believe in something.
I personally believe in God, I believe Jesus was born from a virgin (although this has never happened again), and I believe he died for our sins. I also believe I will one day have a job I love and move to a loft in N.Y with my baby Lyric. This whole post has me thinking of one of my favorite new Kirk Franklin songs titled Help Me Believe. The lyrics have really helped my unbelief during hard times. My favorite line is: If I never hear I'm sorry I can let it go, gotta let you go....powerful statement. If you don't have the cd I encourage you to invest in it, another classic (will do a post on the album later)!!!
To my friend thanks so much for letting me post our conversation, you're the best (and you know this...maaaannnn)!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

To Veg or not to Veg...that is the sermon

So I'm finding out my vegetarian experience is becoming easier the more I learn. Lately, I've been stepping up my cooking game. I find it easier to plan my meals ahead, that way I'll be less likely to eat out. It also helps me narrow down a grocery list and stick to it. So you may ask...where did all of this veggie talk come from? Well becoming a vegetarian is something I decided to do last year, as a resolution for the new year. No I'm not a member of PETA, or think that Katie the cow is part of the family, I'm wasn't thinking of eating right either. For me, its more of a mind over matter type of thing. So I started a 12 step program with each month moving me a step closer to being a full grown VEGETARIAN. This month (Feb.) is step two, since this is the beginning I'm leaving room just in case of any setbacks. So right now I'm considered a Pesca-vegetarian, meaning I eat plant foods plus eggs, dairy products, fish and shellfish. When I tell people I'm on my vegetarian quest, they ask if I'm vegan as well. I never gave the idea of being vegan a second thought, now I tell a totally different story. I can see how cutting out dairy products would be easy, most of the meat substitutes taste terrible with cheese. Maybe this is all in my mind but I rarely use cheese or eggs, now milk...that's a different subject. I need my milk for my Saturday cereal, and not just morning. On this quest I plan to try all different types of vegetarian meals, without nuts of course (that's another story). I plan on becoming 100% vegetarian by step twelve (Dec.). I even found a Soul Food Vegan restaurant (in D.C) that I will be visiting this Saturday. So I extend the invitation to you, as I did my family members...won't you give me your hand and God your heart, and let's start this vegetarian walk...together.

*Public Service Announcement*

I appreciate any vegetarian brands of food, recipes, and restaurants you have to offer!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Fear or Faith?

So I've been at a job I hated since day one, all because of FEAR. Fear of being out of work and not knowing how to pay my bills, FEAR. I let money and the opinions of others be the branches of my troubles while fear was the root. I was letting fear dictate my decisions, so over the weekend I made a decision not to be bound by FEAR. I'm learning that in order to get some places you have to give up some things, no matter if its a career, relationships, or friendships. So today if there's anything you'd like to do...take a chance and act out of FAITH and not FEAR. FAITH is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1). Know FEAR, no FAITH...Know FAITH, no FEAR. There is no room for both be willing to make your own decisions!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


So its the weekend and I am soooo HAPPY!!! Its the only time where I can just sleep and really chill out with no worries. My weekend got a jump start Friday morning because I called out and was on cloud nine. With all the extra time, I even cooked up a veggie meal, I made sloppie joe, believe it or not it was great. This whole vegetarian quest is really teaching me discipline although the media hypness of the beef industry makes it easier. While eating out proves to be a difficult mission. The family and I went to Friday's and I longed for Katie the cow drizzled in Jack Daniels sauce!!! With discipline I chose a portabella mushroom sandwich, next time I'll be sure to add the Jack sauce.

I was able to catch up on my favorite project family today...The Evans Family. TV One ran a marathon all day featuring Michael Evans, Esquire. This is my all time favorite throwback show!!! Those of you that know me, know if I could go back in time, the 70s would be my era. I could see myself being a part of the black movement and shooting the breeze with a couple of jive turkeys. Good Times was one of the first TV shows which displayed the black family in a positive limelight, and covered a range black issues which led the way for The Cosby show, Family Matters, and House of Payne. Ester Rolle even fought with the network to have a father in the home, we have definitely come a long way.

F.Y.I two of my favorite stores are having sale/clearances. Payless are having BOGO and they have some very cute selections (I'll write a post on it later when I figure out how to post multiple pictures). Also Hot Topics had major items on clearance today, check it out!!!