Tag Archives: Christianity

1 Good Reason God May Remove Someone From Your Life

This afternoon, I was perusing my FB timeline for content when I happened upon a post from The Praying Woman. It was adequately titled, “3 Reasons God May Remove Someone From Your Life”.

As I clicked on the link to prepare myself to for a nice, quick read, I found myself scrolling over the times in my life where friends or significant others seemed to float right on out the picture. For some instances, the reasoning was clear, but for others, not so much. When I read down to the last reason listed in the article, I found this:

3. Because sometimes our loved ones become more of a distraction than our enemies. This is God’s way of keeping us focused.

Today, I ask you this: Where does God fit in your life? Is He #1, #2, #3, or a better question would be… Is He even a priority in your life at all?

Sometimes we place our relationship with God on the back burner without even realizing it. We don’t give it our all like we do everything else.

Try not to be so focused on earthly relationships that you forget about your relationship with God. Switch the energy you’re currently putting into your distractions and refocus it where it’s needed, on Him!

You know those times where you have a “feeling” you might be right about a situation but talk yourself into thinking you’re over analyzing it too much? YES? Then you’ll know that this is exactly what BINGED in my mind when I read this.

A recent loved one who parted ways falls into this category, and not bashing them, but I realized our personalities mixed with the constant need to ‘upkeep’ our friendship/relationship ultimately brought it to a close. I was willing to overlook a few struggles in order to maintain consistent communication while obliviously overlooking the fact that my focus on God was creeping down to 2nd place. I found myself not feeling like my jovial, bubbly, NORMAL self as fear and doubt hopped into the front passenger seat of my life; all the while ignoring the signs that God was sending me.

YOU WILL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BESIDES ME!!!

I was making my friendship/relationship with this person an idol without knowing it and found myself more preoccupied with pleasing them and MAKING myself BE the right companion for them, that I totally ignored God! Yep, it’s a hard thing to admit, but I had to repent because I pushed God aside without even knowing it. I was all up and in works of the flesh trying to MAKE this thing work. That’s why God shut it all down! After a series of arguments and disagreements, this person and I parted ways and almost immediately, an entire ton of feathers lifted! By the time the sun rose, I was almost back to my former self. Sure this person is a great person as a whole, but here me when I tell you God will allow NO ONE to block the works HE desires to do in us. So whether that’s a sibling, friend, significant other, co-worker, even a parent — if we place anyone above God in ANY way, God will show up and cool it down. He’s not a “backburner” God.

So whether you’re doing it intentionally or not, stop making people idols in your life. If you find yourself thinking about them more than God — chances are you’re placing too much importance on them. If you spend all of your time with them (even to the point whether you just go work/school and stay up under them or call them) — then you’re probably making them an idol. There is nothing wrong with a good healthy investment into your relationships, but when it consumes you…. handle it before God does; because He will.

Be blessed, Joc

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Dear Diary, It's Me Joc, It's Me Joc, Joc's Observations, The Christian Life

**The Road To 27** Post 3 of 7 – Friends and Relationships

** Reflections on Friends and Relationships **

I was actually debating whether or not to even reflect on this because I could go on forever. But for your sakes (and attention spans) I won’t take long.

These past 27 years haven’t always lent themselves to the best friendships and relationships until just recently. Since as far ago as I can remember, I’ve always wanted “friends of my own”. I know that sounds neurotic, but being the miniature tv addict I was, I wanted a core group of friends like the ones on The BabySitters Club or Harriet the Spy. Up until middle school I had those friends — but heading into high school some of the people I thought were closest to me, actually weren’t as loyal as I thought.

Wait. Let’s back up to the beginning and cover relationships. 

DAY 3

My little adolescent/tween view on relationships and dating was the same as my friendships. Since the day I and three other girls in my kindergarten class were molested by classmates (who were clearly exposed to too much sex), my view on relationships was flawed. From that point on, all I wanted was a boyfriend who would protect me (as my father strove to do each day), and grow into a husband that loved me like the Disney princess my parents always told me I was. I failed to realize that NO ONE under the age of 18 or 20 is truly equipped to protect ANYONE — they’re just learning to handle themselves. I remember the night I told my babysitter what had happened, I was scared to my tiny 5-6 year old core! Now that I’m really taking time to think on it, I was more embarrassed than anything because I didn’t want my parents to think I was ‘fast’. That’s why none of you have probably heard about what happened until this very second. I took all of that trauma, bottled it up, and carried it with me all the way until high school and college. Because I didn’t allow myself to really form the right view on relationships (despite the wonderful example I had in my parents) I was naive, too trustworthy, and felt like I could read people a little better than I actually could.  This led to me making MANY MANY bad judges of character and a few bad choices in boyfriends.

WHEW — did you get all of that?! Ok, let’s keep going and put it all together.

DAY 3 PART 2So here it is, 2010. I’m out of college, full time in the work force, and secretly damaged from all that I’d been through. It was serious, painstaking work attempting to really trust ANYONE — even the friends that were still sticking with me. By 2011, things with the last guy I dated blew up into oblivion and all I could do was just cry out to God…why me?! Why am I always the one getting lied to?! Why do these people insist on chipping away at the last bit of kindness I can muster up?! Why do people insist on misinterpreting my well meaning friendship? Will I be alone and friendless forever?! (dramatic I know, but this is what honestly went through my mind — it made for great poetry though, I’ve got notebooks full!)

That’s when God began to answer the prayers I’d prayed for so long! I began reconnecting with old friends, gaining new ones, and while my dating life was pretty much non existent, I was allowing God to heal me from my past hurts. Now, here I am on the brink of my 27th birthday surrounded by the best friends I could have ever wished for — and can testify that God certainly gave me double for my trouble! The dating life is still — eh — but hey, at least I can say I am free from the bondage of relationships’ past AND I’m looking to get my feet wet in the dating pool again! I’m looking forward to a wonderful future with great friends, an awesome boyfriend (whoever that will be), and a wonderful life!

#NawlinsJoc

Photo shot and edited by Rich Griffis (www.richgriffis.com)

[photo by Rich Griffis ]

1 Comment

Filed under Dear Diary, It's Me Joc

I’ve Got A Question For You…. (Christians Only Chat)

As Christians living in this millennium, there has always been this increasing discussion (sometimes debate) as to how a Christian (a follow of Christ) should act. What is ‘human nature’ and what is blatant sin.

I normally give my commentary, but today I want to read the honest opinions of what others think, feel, and believe. I know my own personal thoughts — and some weren’t easy to come to — but I want YOUR honest thoughts

Note that what this is NOT is a set up for a fight.

With this being said…. I have a few questions for you.

QUESTION A – Do you hold gospel/Christian music singers to the same moral standard as preachers/ministers?

QUESTION B – Would you attend (or stay at) a church where you know the pastor or ministerial staff dabbles in deviant activities or a lifestyle that is contrary to the teachings of Christ? What if they preach truth straight from the bible but are just not living as a Christian ought?

QUESTION C1-

Would you regularly attend or join a church where the pastor…

  1. Drank socially (this includes wine and coolers)
  2. Openly carried on a homosexual relationship
  3. “Discretely” carried on a homosexual lifestyle
  4. Smoke cigarettes or Black-and-Milds (no weed)
  5. Married or was married to someone who drank heavily and did drugs
  6. Gossiped or had a bad attitude at times
  7. Was not a “people person”

QUESTION C2-

Would you regular buy the music of, support, and listen to a gospel/Christian artist who….

  1. Drank socially (this includes wine and coolers)
  2. Openly carried on a homosexual relationship
  3. “Discretely” carried on a homosexual lifestyle
  4. Smoke cigarettes or Black-and-Milds (no weed)
  5. Married or was married to someone who drank heavily and did drugs
  6. Gossiped or had a bad attitude at times
  7. Was not a “people person”

Just open a blank word document or take out a scratch piece of paper and just write down your simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Comment on this post… I’m eager to see how your mind thinks!

– Be blessed, Joc

2 Comments

Filed under The Christian Life

NFL Player Puts Ferguson Reaction Perfectly!

NFL player Benjamin Watson’s Ferguson post on Facebook goes viral

Posted: Nov 26, 2014 12:42 PM ESTUpdated: Nov 26, 2014 12:42 PM EST

KHQ.COM – Benjamin Watson who plays for the New Orleans Saints posted the following on his Facebook page and it has since gone viral:

“At some point while I was playing or preparing to play Monday Night Football, the news broke about the Ferguson Decision. After trying to figure out how I felt, I decided to write it down. Here are my thoughts:

I’M ANGRY because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes.

I’M FRUSTRATED, because pop culture, music and movies glorify these types of police citizen altercations and promote an invincible attitude that continues to get young men killed in real life, away from safety movie sets and music studios.

I’M FEARFUL because in the back of my mind I know that although I’m a law abiding citizen I could still be looked upon as a “threat” to those who don’t know me. So I will continue to have to go the extra mile to earn the benefit of the doubt.

I’M EMBARRASSED because the looting, violent protests, and law breaking only confirm, and in the minds of many, validate, the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment.

I’M SAD, because another young life was lost from his family, the racial divide has widened, a community is in shambles, accusations, insensitivity hurt and hatred are boiling over, and we may never know the truth about what happened that day.

I’M SYMPATHETIC, because I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened. Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self defense like any of us would in the circumstance. Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible thing to endure. OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.

I’M OFFENDED, because of the insulting comments I’ve seen that are not only insensitive but dismissive to the painful experiences of others.

I’M CONFUSED, because I don’t know why it’s so hard to obey a policeman. You will not win!!! And I don’t know why some policeman abuse their power. Power is a responsibility, not a weapon to brandish and lord over the populace.

I’M INTROSPECTIVE, because sometimes I want to take “our” side without looking at the facts in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like it’s us against them. Sometimes I’m just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at. And that’s not right. How can I look at white skin and make assumptions but not want assumptions made about me? That’s not right.

I’M HOPELESS, because I’ve lived long enough to expect things like this to continue to happen. I’m not surprised and at some point my little children are going to inherit the weight of being a minority and all that it entails.

I’M HOPEFUL, because I know that while we still have race issues in America, we enjoy a much different normal than those of our parents and grandparents. I see it in my personal relationships with teammates, friends and mentors. And it’s a beautiful thing.

I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope.”

Here is the link to his Facebook page: http://tinyurl.com/oo9szxv

Leave a comment

Filed under Around The World

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

This Is Why It’s Important To Study Your Word (aka Holy Bible)

 

This just motivates me to REALLY get into my Word FOR REAL! That’s why Joshua was told to meditate on God’s word day and night so he would be careful to keep everything in it! Same way today — so when people come at us sideways with whatever doctrine proclaim, we can respond confidently with the sho’ nuff’ Word of God. Yep just lit a fire to my butt.

– Joc

1 Comment

Filed under Around The World, Joc's Observations, The Christian Life

‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Suspended Indefinitely for Anti-Gay Remarks

(via Entertainment Weekly)

According to the report, A&E announced that Robertson would be placed “under hiatus from filming indefinitely” after making comments in GQ that sparked criticism from the gay community.

Robertson was quoted, saying, “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong… Sin becomes fine. Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”

He continued, ”It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus, that’s just me,” Robertson said. ”I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation responded to the comments on Wednesday.

“Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe,” GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz said in a statement.

A&E Networks said in a statement that Robertson’s “personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.” Even the governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal  felt compelled to respond via NBC News, “I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV.  In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive; but I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views.  In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.”

I’d be interested in hearing the thoughts of my Christian followers on this. 

An old classmate of mine posted this status,I love the phrase “I was born gay” like it should automatically be accepted in society. Well, I was born to steal, cheat, lie, gossip, lust and many other things but it doesn’t mean that I get to go out and do it. Being gay does not make you a bad person just as disagreeing with the lifestyle doesn’t make us judgmental and blind. – B.Johnson” 

My bulleted thoughts on these recent events:

#1

I am a Christian who hates sin, but loves the sinner. Therefore, while I disagree with all sexually immoral/sinful lifestyles (homosexuality, fornication, prostitution) I still love and respect people as people. I am able to interact and work with those individuals despite how I feel morally. Even thinking on individuals in my family; I don’t always agree with the choices they make or their willingness to knowingly participate in sinful activities, but I still love them at the end of the day. I can still laugh and joke with them all the same. But they know that I’m not going to give them a high five when it comes to certain things.

#2

I could respect the network’s actions more if they could actually say that they were surprised by Phil Robertson’s interview. I don’t even watch the show regularly but know that the entire Robertson clan is a “no pulls, no punches” type of clan when it comes to their Christian faith. In other words, they are not ashamed. So the network KNEW exactly who they were hiring when they agreed to launch the show. Don’t act surprised now!

#3

A lot of people who live ‘variant’ lifestyles tend to lash out and use the word “tolerate” out of context.  If a brand or individual praises and openly accepts lifestyles that include premarital sex, polygamy, or homosexuality – they are just the bees knees. They are exalted for “speaking up and out for the underdogs”. But if a brand or individual speaks up against a variant lifestyle they are bashed, boycotted, called ignorant, and labeled “intolerant”. The definition of tolerant is, “showing willingness to allow the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.”  Me disagreeing with your chosen lifestyle does not make me intolerant. You may not agree with my lifestyle as a Christian, but I won’t call you intolerant — I’ll let you have your opinion and keep it moving. So the fact that Phil Robertson disagrees with certain lifestyles and voiced his belief aloud, does NOT make him intolerant or bigoted. 

#4

If you don’t agree, turn the station. If I don’t agree with the morals of certain television shows or websites or radio shows — I simple turn the dial. I would be naive to not understand that freedom of speech applies to everyone. Even to the people who may not like me because of my skin color. At the end of the day, they are going to think what they think unless they allow God to change their heart, so I keep it moving. If a movie comes on where a girl is tricking on a corner and it offends me…I will turn it off. If a homosexual love scenes pops up in a television show, I will simply turn the station. If a song comes on the radio and every other word is **bleep this** and **bleep that**, I’ll turn to another station. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Joc's Observations, Society and Such, The Christian Life