Tag Archives: black church

Christians, Sinful Living, and Grace: Why It’s Impossible For Christians to Live In Full Victory While Habitually Practicing Sin

About a week ago ( go ahead and say it lol ‘ week ago, week ago’ ) one of my college friends posed a question:

Why is it impossible for a Christian to live a victorious life while habitually practicing sin? 

She tagged me in a Facebook status to get my thoughts on it. This was my reply…

Though God clearly shows us grace daily, ACTIVELY living in sin doesn’t line up with what He wants for us. Yes we may fall short, but there is a CLEAR difference between struggling with breaking away from sin and actively living in it. Every promise of prosperity and good fortune doesn’t include ACTIVELY living in sin (at least last time I checked). We as Christians are expected to “pray, seek the Savior’s’ face and TURN from our wicked ways” so God can bless us to the max! We can not FULLY access total victory if we are still conformed to the world. But one thing I’ve found, is that many people tend use the term ‘Christian’ loosely. They are more about religion than relationship — meaning — they identify themselves as Christians because they ‘go to church’ every Sunday and say all the right scriptures at the right time, but the thing they fail to realize is that a Christian is a “follower of Christ and His teachings” and He teaches us to live holy and to follow His example. Not saying we are going to be perfect 100% of the time, and yes, good things can still happen to you while you’re still living in bondage; but God will NEVER fully release every drip drop blessing and victory to us if we don’t leave that sinful living alone. Ok I think I’m done lol

There were many other great responses like this one…

The Christian can only be victorious through Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57). There is a wedge that is driven between God and man, which is sin. This wedge, or gap, divides Christ from man, which in essence, also causes us to no longer be victorious. Moral of the story? Being separated from God through habitual sin causes one to no longer be victorious because of the divide that it creates between God and man. Victory is only accomplishable through Christ, His Shed blood and His Finished work!!! #okay#imdone!!!

Ever since then, I’ve been really letting this discussion sink in and word “grace” was the principle that resonated throughout each of my thoughts. Many individuals who identify themselves as followers of Christ abuse the true meaning of grace by twisting it to excuse blatantly sinful living. They claim because they are ‘covered by grace’, they can successfully function as good Christian witnesses while simultaneously living a lifestyle that is birthed out of the world.

I have taken note of the state of the Christian church today and while sometimes discouraged, I’m not surprised at the misuse of heavenly gifts like grace because this was prophesied millenia before! 2 Timothy 3:1-4 ESV read, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…” So it’s clear and already established that haul of these ‘personal’ interpretations of scripture to fit selfish desires is to be expected; BUT the fact that it’s going on within the Christian church is the thing that needs to be addressed.

Which circles back to my thoughts on my friend’s question and the true understanding of how grace works. I will tell you what grace is not.

Grace is NOT:

– a license to act a fool and still claim  total victory because you go to church

– a magic hall pass that gives you reign over anything you’re big and bad enough to have

– contrary to the Word of God

– a “get out of jail free” Monopoly card

Many people who call themselves Christians (followers of Christ Jesus and His teachings) fit the profile of my friend’s scenario. They are “Christians” who expect to live a fully victorious life while habitually practicing a life of sin. If you’re offended right now, you may be one of those said Christians. (not trying to be mouthy, but I love you too much as a brother/sister in Christ to let you lose out on your future.)

It’s often misunderstood that grace is, simply put, the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner — but that is not so! God’s grace, TRUE GRACE, does not leave us where we are. It brings us up out of our slip ups into a walk where we no longer make those same mistakes. God is the perfect Heavenly Father who understands that we as His kids are gonna mess up! We were ‘doomed’ to being born into sin because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience — BUT God left us His Word, gave us His Son, and His Holy Spirit to help us make the choice to LIVE righteously for HIM and grow to the point where if we DO trip up, we’ll learn our lesson and take steps to not do it ever again. After you keep making the same mistake over and over and over…it’s not a mistake anymore. Sorry Not sorry to break it to you, but that’s the way our God is set up. Grace is not going to keep covering up foolishness — grace desperately pulls at your heart strings in the way that leads towards Christ. If you ignore that, you’ll start missing out on blessings and victories that God originally intended for you if you would just wholeheartedly follow Him.

You’ve gotta know that I’m not saying this from a “over zealous, self righteous ” point of view, but from REAL LIFE personal experience! I’ve lived it. I first accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was in the second grade (aka super young), and growing up into my teen and young adult years, I thought since I was ‘saved’ yet did the sinful things non believers did, it wouldn’t be as bad because God knew my heart and I sang in the church choir so I was fine. I really thought I had my life figured out with this ‘grace thing’! I resolved within myself that I would do all my dirt and live a socialite’s life while I was young and get my life ALL THE WAY right when I got older so I could have a testimony. NO LIE! As silly as this sounds (I’m actually laughing at myself right now as I type) this is the way I used to and a trillion other self confessed Christians operate. Even though bad things kept happening to me, I just chalked it up as ‘trials and tribulations’ instead of realizing them for the consequences of sin that they were. Good things were still occurring here and there, so I felt like I was okay to keep living my worldly life. A Russian Roulette if you will. 

It took almost dying (multiple times) for me to wake up and realize that I had grace all wrong! God was trying to wake me up and get me to turn from my wicked ways. I wasn’t truly living life as a Christian/follower of Christ because I was allowing sin to separate me from God’s will and His promises. I tell ya, once I seriously gave my life to Christ in the summer of 2011, my life has NEVER been more fulfilling! Now I purposely take steps to avoid temptation and to limit my time with or stay away from people, things, and places that could lead me back into a life of sin. Other than that, my life is better! Yes, I have hard times, but there is a difference when you know it’s not a consequence of your sin, but a test of your strength and faith.

SO RECAP:

If you constantly keep cussing folk out and getting drunk or sleeping with that man/woman you know you shouldn’t be dealing with — you probably deserve all the trouble coming your way. Grace is not a license to do those things over and over and expect God to keep bailing you out and covering your sinful living. Grace will reproof and convict you and show you a better way so after that first or second time — you stop and walk the other way for good.

I know this was a long post — and believe it or not it’s not even HALF of what I have up my sleeve — but hopefully you’ll have some better understanding of what grace is and how to appreciate it by living a godly life the way God intended. If you struggle with actively living in sin, reach out to someone — shoot, you can even send ME and email if you really want another Christian’s support! It’s okay FOR NOW to be in a bad place, but it’s not okay to stay there. God wants you free and on the right path so you can live fully in victory — and I want the same thing for you too!

– Be blessed, Joc 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Joc's Observations, The Christian Life

So You Criticize Christians of Being “Judgmental”? Oh How “Non-Judgmental” Of You.

Though I didn’t watch the full episode last night, I did catch the commercial for next week’s Preachers of LA that is evidently going to cover Deitrick’s “after scandal” encounter with gospel singer Kevin Terry.  While I couldn’t really gather much from the commercial, I decided to check the episode synopsis online to get more insight.

I basically saw a “refresher” on Terry and what the whole hoopla was about. Last year, Kevin Terry (of Kevin Terry and Predestined) had his life and ministry interrupted when a homosexual sex tape showing him taking part in some “submissive acts” were released to the public.  Now why it was released? Who knows?  I DO know that Kevin was overwhelmingly embarrassed and as a response to the criticism he was getting for his not-so-undercover lifestyle, released a Facebook status basically pointing the finger back at those who responded negatively to him quoting Acts 18:10 and more or less saying that only God could judge him.

By the time I finished reading this article and shut down my internet for the night, I couldn’t help but shake my head and send up a special prayer for us, the Christians of this present day.

I will be THE FIRST to say that I struggled for years with who I was in Christ and submitting totally to Him. I (a PK) was sexually active with my boyfriend, drank almost every weekend, and was ultimately damaging the kingdom of Christ by living a wayward life.  I was contributing to the new stereotype that “Christians today are just like everybody else or worse.”

I know how freeing it was to finally break through, and now I see that the family I thought was “criticizing and judging me for living my life” we’re doing EXACTLY what Christ calls us to do in the Bible.  Godly reproof is NOT… I repeat NOT judging.  If someone who is pursuing righteousness and not actively living a life of sin gives you godly reproof…hush up and TAKE IT TO HEART! So many people WILLINGLY living against the will of God, like Terry was, are quick to call any type of godly correction “judging”. YES he has the choice to live his own life; however, he shouldn’t have gotten so defensive and justified his actions which are CLEARLY against God’s natural intention (See Romans 1:18-28) . Often times, those who are genuine Bible-believing Christians are called “narrow-minded,” “judgmental,” and “bigots” because of the stand taken against the things welcomed by the world. The stand Jesus Christ took against all sin, however, could not be any clearer. He was perhaps the most “narrow-minded,” “judgmental,” “bigoted” person to ever walk the face of the earth, as viewed by this world’s standards.

2 Timothy (ESV) – 3 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9 But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.

Matthew 29 (ESV) – 9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away[a] and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Meaning that while it’s still something to stay on top of, many Christians of this and the next few generations will be littered with “new age or wayward Christian standards”.  This is not be being self-righteous because I had to travel a hard road in order to escape the bondage of the sinful life I was once living; but plain and simple, the Word of God corrects. Whether you’re a closet prostitute, liar, drug addict, or whatever your sin or choice may be; it makes you squirm when it convicts.  The bible is God’s blueprint to living a life that will ensure you are pleasing to Him and it keeps us on the path that leads to heaven. God will love you regardless, why else would He leave us His word and His Holy Spirit?! If you want to even look at it on a surface level, following teachings of Jesus and scripture ultimately saves us from a lot of trouble.

God gives us choice, and while yes, we should pray for those in struggle as well as ourselves, we should also know that “faith without works is dead”SO if we pray “Lord help brother or sister so-and-so in their struggle with addiction” yet still don’t speak up when they smoke that crack or do those drugs around us – we are not being effective.  If we pray “Father God help so-and-so in their struggle with homosexuality or promiscuity” but we still validate their lifestyle by praising “new boos” and not speaking out as they keep having sex with random people and not truly breaking free – we are not being effective.

I strongly believe that God’s Word (through examples from the lives of biblical characters or clearly stated by Christ) convicts.  If we say we are Christians (followers of Christ) and truly of the faith, we should WANT to be salt of the earth, a city upon a hill, a shining example of how we are set apart from the world – we need to not get so defensive when someone corrects us with godly truth.  If I, Jocelyn, am doing something today that doesn’t line up with God’s word, I want someone to TELL ME! Yeah, I might be a little mad for a second, but if I am shown and have been proven to that it is for my own good, I’ll be straight and grateful to whomever pointed out where I could tighten up.  None of us are perfect (only Christ was) BUT that doesn’t give us an excuse to actively live in sin and call it “struggling”. He doesn’t want us to settle for a mediocre, worldly life. He wants us to access his God given peace, biblical prosperity, and more; but the only way to do that is to stop getting so uptight and be open to correction.

Be blessed ya’ll.

– Joc

Additional External References found here:

1 Comment

Filed under Joc's Observations, Quotes To Live By, Society and Such, The Christian Life

God will wash your Sins with His blood, If you Ask Him

God will wash your Sins with His blood, If you Ask Him

1 Comment

Filed under Quotes To Live By, The Christian Life

At This Point In My Life, I Don’t Have Time To Play….

Today I came across a tweetgram that my good friend and author Peaches Dean posted on her page.

peach

When I read this, the wheels in my brain started to turn. I began to ask myself questions like…

“Can you identify with this?” “Who in your life has essentially taken up valuable time?”

“Have YOU beaten around the bush with a friend, in a relationship, or with a colleague?”

When the questions finally stopped rolling I had some time to absorb and drum up a few answers.

I can totally identify with Peaches’ sentiments and because I know her personally, I know that she is speaking straight from the core. The core group of people I run with all have goals…not just dreams to fantasize about day in and day out. We make them goals to set and to be obtained. Even if we have to take baby steps – at the end of the day, we know we’ll get where we need to be. Not trying to be a dream killer, but I have come across quite a few people who have dreams, but stop right there…at the dream stage. They convince themselves ‘they’ll get to it one day’ or ‘where they live makes it impossible to take any steps forward’ or ‘they want to grab their dreams, yet they’re not sure if they want to sacrifice their free time to get that hustle in’. So I am with Peaches 100% in feeling that I have a purpose to fulfill; so if you are my friend, romantic interest, business partner – realize that I will do what’s necessary to fulfill my purpose. If you are going to cause detours – you should exit stage left.

If you don’t really like who I am, don’t stick around trying to be nice or keep me around because you might need something later on – just keep it 100% truthful and go about your business. I will HONESTLY understand if we’re just not on the same wavelength; I respect everyone’s right to be different. But if you waste my time, I cannot respect you.

wasting

Because I am so driven (in my professional, spiritual, and romantic life) I have no time to entertain idleness. That’s it. I said it. It still sounds harsh saying (well writing really haha) out loud, but it’s the truth. Back in college I had all the time in the world to learn about people, make my mistakes, and amass a large group of ‘friends’ – hey, you go to college to learn and diversify right!? But once I graduated, I found that I have to be intentional about who I let get close to me. If I know you for a few hours…that does not automatically make you my sis or bro unless we have an instant connection of some sort. Otherwise I need to get to learn you – as you should want to learn me; because if you are a person who has an unclean motive – please don’t be a distraction. Just walk the other way and we’ll leave it at “we’ll do lunch”.

wasting1

Now I’m not going to go on a rant giving the impression that the street does not go two ways. There have been times where I have to admit I have not been totally up front with someone. I wanted to be nice and not step on anyone’s toes, so I’ve been guilty in the past of continuing business and personal relationships though my heart was not 100% in it. I may have strongly disagreed with that person’s morals. Or knew that the guy I was into had some drama and mess with him – basically sticking around giving the other person a false sense of our relationship’s dynamic.

So right now, if anyone who feels I’ve led them on in the past, I honestly from the bottom of my heart apologize and ask for your forgiveness.

These days I try to be as up front and honest with people as possible; even if I have to be the bearer of bad news. I know that when it’s all over, they’ll respect me more for being up front and honest. There have been people who have crossed my path THIS YEAR that I’ve had to give some hard truths to and we’re cool to this very day.

Now that I’m nearing the end of this commentary, I just want to wrap things up by highlighting the main points of this post:

  1. I am at a point in my life where I desire to connect with genuine people. If you want to be my friend for no other reason than to score connections – walk the other way. If you’re a guy who wants to date me to get the skirt, get over your ex, have a photog/writer gf, or for any other shallow reason – quickly exit.
  2. wastingtime1Since I have experienced dealing with people who aren’t genuine, I make sure that I’m as up front with people as possible – even if what I have to say stings.
  3. There aren’t too many things you can be selfish about these days, but one thing I am selfish about is my future. I refuse to have my future derailed, stymied, or knocked off course by any one for any reason. I trip on my on feet, that’s another story; but as far as wasting time allowing someone else to demolish the path God’s set in front of me – NEGATIVE.
  1. I love Peaches for posting this. Peaches keeps it real every second of every day. I’m so glad that I met her (thanks Drea) and so glad she’s around to post truth like this.

Good day all,

– Joc

1 Comment

Filed under Joc's Observations, Quotes To Live By

Joc’s End Of The Year Reflections – Men, Friends, Careers, and Family.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Luke 12:33 KJV

I have got to share my excitement, not to brag, but to testify!

As this year comes to a close, I have to sit back and reflect in awe of how awesome God has been to me. Not necessarily in the material THINGS He’s allowed me to acquire, but the opportunities He’s set before me and the ‘doors of distraction’ He’s closed FOR me.

It all started December of last year when my pastor announced his first sermon series of 2013 would be “Eye Hath Not Seen In Twenty-Thirteen”. Not only do I love how catchy this was, but I loved how this series (based on 1 Corinthians 2:9) spoke into my life. Even though this year has been a little rocky, dreams, thoughts, and people I never imagined would cross my path DID! In honor of the 12 months of this year, I will list 12 reflections.

Reflection #1 – When I was feeling borderline depressed about my job situation, God  renewed my gratefulness. As most of you know I work a 9-5 in the insurance industry. And while I am super grateful and have the most amazing boss ever, my creative mind has been feeling starved sitting up in a office crunching numbers. This year God has opened my eyes to how good I actually have it. Though I don’t make as much money as I want, don’t have the benefits that I want, and can’t flex my creative muscles like I want — I’m good. I have a nice roof over my head. I have money to fill my gas tank and pay my bills. The bills I can’t afford to pay, God made a way for them to get paid every year. I have a job that’s full time. Though I work an average of 9-10 hours a day, I KNOW what hours I can look forward to. I don’t have to work graveyard shift or crazy hours that could mess up my sleep pattern.

Reflection #2 – God has opened and expanded doors for me to do what I love. Though I’m not able to exercise my creative talents full time, I’ve had the opportunity to learn and grow them via a part time hustle. I’ve been photographing freelance for almost 10 years and this year I have been able to purchase new equipment with money I’ve made from my profits. I also have had the opportunity to work with WEEN (the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network) and maintain not only their social media channels, but also serve as a contributing editor. All year I’ve interviewed powerful women in fashion and entertainment like Tionna Smalls, Issa Rae, Essence Editor in Chief Vanessa K. Bush,  Project Runway designer Samantha Black, PR Syreta Oglesby, and many more! It’s mind blowing how I’ve been able to listen to their stories of hustle and have been blessed to grab inspiration first hand! If you were to ask me last year if I’d be doing this, I would have told you “welp…one day”

Reflection #3 – I’m at peace and happy being single and saved! I haven’t been on a legit date in like 3 years and I’m ok with that. Instead of wallowing in despair and drowning my sorrows in wine; I’ve chosen to learn all I can in my season of singleness and boy I’ve been learning A LOT! Years ago I was like most young women — wired to want to take care of a husband and children. But now that I’ve had time to marinate, I realize that while I DO plan to get back out there on the dating scene, I love enjoying my singleness. Only when I’m single will I be able to up and take a random trip to the Bahamas with some friends without having to consider anyone’s schedule but my own. Only when I’m single will I be able to give my all into my building my businesses and career. Only when I’m single will I be able to gather what I can deal with in a relationship and what I can’t deal with. I definitely plan to get married  in the near future, but I’m totally fine casually dating and focusing my energies on God and how HE wants me to do things. When the heart that’s perfect for me comes…I will know it because of all the things I’m learning NOW in my season of being single and saved.

Reflection #4 Friendship doesn’t mean what I thought I meant. We’ve all done it at some point….called a person we know through a friend of a friend…our friend. I’ve learned this year that the older you get, the smaller your circle gets. I am very particular about who I call my friend now. I mean, for descriptive purposes, it’s easier to say “yeah, my friend _______ did this or that” but I’ve learned to say “yeah, this girl _____  or my colleague _________….) instead. A friend is someone who you can let yourself loose with. A friend doesn’t always get to talk to you every day, but still makes an effort to. A friend understands when you’re stressed or need to focus on something and is there with advice or just an ear to vent to. A friend can “do lunch” with you in the afternoons, and pig out on pizza that same night. A friend doesn’t want you around JUST because of what you ‘do’ or what your talent is. A friend is someone who is willing to talk problems out — even if it’s uncomfortable. A friend can never stay mad at you for more than a few weeks. I’m saying all this to say that I’ve learned this year to really categorize people carefully and watch who I let take part in my life.

Reflection #5 God has renewed my dreams and passions. Last year was a year of rebuilding for me. I took a huge hit in the finance department and was feeling kind of stifled in terms of my dreams, goals, and passions. This year, God has had me take it easy in order to reassess what my heart says and make sure it lines up with what He says. Take my photography for example. In the area where I currently reside, art is at an all time low while crime is at an all time high. People would rather pay hundreds of dollars for drugs, but don’t want to pay over $10 for a quality photo session. I never expected for everyone to love photos as much as I do, but when you come asking for me to do an entire 1 hour long session WITH prints for $3 and $5 — it’s an insult not only to my craft and my business, but to me as a professional. I know I have to grow more to be up there with Derek Blanks and Russell James but come on…I have some years under my belt. This entire year, God has been making a way for me to slow down on my photography so I can focus on taking more classes, upgrading my equipment, and explore my other creative talents. For this I am thankful. It’s hard to explain, but when a creative person feels like their dreams are dampened, it’s like a small birthday candle flame holding on for dear life while the wind picks up and tries to blow it out. It’s not easy, but God definitely put the flame back in my fire!

Reflection #6 I learned that God always knows best. This year makes an entire year that I’ve joined my current church and boy did God know what He was doing here! For years at my former church, while I learned a lot as a youngster, felt like I wasn’t growing as an adult. Leaving the church I grew up in was pretty scary, but God knew what He was doing. Searching for a new church home stretched me in every way imaginable….but when God finally led me to the place where I am now, it all came together. The church I attend now is a WORLD of difference from where I came from, but it taught me to not get caught up in denomination, not be locked into tradition, and to open up and meet new people. While I was out searching for a church home visiting around, I didn’t know why God had me floating if I needed to be poured into, but He knew that my best was yet to come. He knew that once He got me where He wanted me, I’d be able to grow not only as a Christian, but a woman.

Reflection #7 NETWORK! NETWORK! NETWORK! This year working with WEEN has been quite an experience. One part of the experience was learning the true meaning of networking. I’ve learned to not just add people because you think they can help you. Networking is forming genuine bonds and relationships with people on a personal level — and the fact that they happen to have a banging career is just icing on the cake. I experience this on a smaller scale almost every day. People add me on social media sites NEVER to say or want anything….just to have me an inbox message away — “just in case” they need me. How about a HELLO? How about “I love your blog” — something so I know you’re not a robot or opportunist! This year has taught me a ton; and though I still have miles to go and more to learn, I think I’m doing alright if I may say so myself. haha

Reflection #8 If you are guy and you are also my friend — it doesn’t mean I want to date you. I know these are the days of ‘thirst’ where everyone has a motive; but contrary to popular belief, it IS possible to have a friend of the opposite sex who may even have qualities you’d look for in a mate….and be JUST FRIENDS. I’m not busting chops, but just reflecting on what I’ve learned from my experiences. I know up to this year, I’ve learned that I have to be very intentional in spelling out parameters of my friendships with guys because for whatever reason, my friendship has often times been mistaken for ‘an open opportunity to get a date’. Yes you may be attractive. Yes you may have amazing qualities; but unless I clearly say to you “let’s explore dating now” then I’m not interested in dating you. I am the type of person who is totally fine with having a friendship with a guy and it be just that. I am perfectly capable of conducting a friendship with a guy just as I do with a woman. We’d hang out or go somewhere to eat. We’d go to concerts and plays together. We’d catch up and talk on the phone about what’s going on with life….you know, the norm. I know some people reading this may think I’m ‘doing too much’ by even reflecting on this, but hey, it’s something that I’ve learned. So word to all you folks out there. If you are going to be friends with someone of the opposite sex, make sure the parameters of your friendship are clear and drawn out in black and white. If you DO develop a romantic interest down the line, let your friend know up front. You should know within the week if your friendship has grown into something more or if it’s like it’s always been…a friendship.

Reflection #9 Everyone won’t “get me” and that’s ok. All my life I feel like I’ve been on the quirky side, and I’m totally ok with it. But unfortunately I’ve learned the hard way that everyone else may not be…but that’s ok too. You know how some people have a guard up, but as soon as you REALLY get to know them they’re just as silly and vulnerable as you? Well yes…that’s me, J-O-C! I am extremely guarded because I’ve learned that everyone won’t be able to handle my quirks. The year has taught me that there are some people you just CLICK with. They ‘get you’. There are some people who you can just ‘do lunch’ with and nothing more — if you just don’t mesh…you just don’t mesh. No hard feelings.

Reflection #10 I love supporting my friends. This realization actually prompted me to get the ball moving for the media consulting business I want to launch in the year(s) to come. All of my friends are on a primary level — my friends; but looking into the details, we all have a creative mind or are doing big things! That excites me! I honestly and genuinely want to do what I can to help promote and connect my friends to great people. In the past I’ve had guys date me because I was a photographer. I’ve had folks hang around me because of who my family  was — I know what it’s like to have someone just use you for what you can offer them, but when it comes to my friends, I hold an honest, deep desire to want to see them do well. CHEEZY RIGHT?! haha It’s true though. I love all of my friends and when one of us gets one step closer to our dreams, it inspires the rest of us to keep pushing towards our own! I support them. I love them. I want to see them live out their wildest dreams.

Reflection #11 I need to spend more time with my family. I didn’t think that it would happen to me, but my career aspirations have sapped up a lot of the time that I need to be devoting to visiting my family. Most of my family is scattered and spread out, but I have concluded this year that I need to suck it up, and plan trips to see everyone. Even if I don’t get to see my family out of state, I still want to plan a family trip where we could meet or video chat them. I keep up with social media, but I know in my heart that it’s not the same as physical interaction. FACE – To – FACE! Though we all have our problems and busy lives to tend to, I know that God gave me my family for a reason. It’s not going to take a funeral for me to see them. It may take me a while to clear things up, but it’s something I’m DETERMINED to do.

Reflection #12 (and most importantly) I have been blessed by God with amazing parents! Everyone says it, but I actually mean it. When I look at some of my friends and colleagues, I am blessed beyond measure to have the wonderful godly examples that are my parents.  This year more than ever they have guided me in how to live a Christian life as a full grown adult. My mom teaches me each day what it means to be a Proverbs 31 Woman. She is prepping me for my family so that when I marry and have kids, I will be able to effectively pray for and nurture my family in the way a godly woman should. My dad is the epitome of a godly man. SO SERIOUS! He will work until his fingers fell off if it meant providing for his family. He governs his household as a Christian man should. He prays for us (even though my sister and I are grown), he makes sure we all know how to manage our finances and prosper financially, he is a visible example for me as to what a godly man does and doesn’t do. My parents have listened to all of my ramblings, frustrations, and elaborate business brainstorms. Regardless of how they feel at the moment, they’re never too tired or busy to provide the emotional support I need. I love them dearly. I pray that I can be that and so much more to my kids.

– Joc

Leave a comment

Filed under Joc's Observations