Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Trusting an All Knowing God with An Unknown Future

This morning I woke up groggy and needing a good stretch.

If you’ve been living anywhere with a good ‘word of mouth’ circulation or newscast, you know the world is buckling down in the wake of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. So many things come to mind when I think about it, but one thing I do intentionally try to do is pray every day for our world, the U.S., and for God’s protection and provision in uncertain times.

If you’ve been around me longer than a few hours, you know that I will burst out in song at the drop of a hat. In fact, that’s the way I best commune with God. Yes, I read the bible and have private devotion. Yes, I pray. But many times my prayers are actually songs. There is no rational rhyme or reason to these songs, but they just flow and my heart spills out into the air. Well, as I was praying this morning, a song came to my heart and while it wasn’t an actual prayer, it was a song that I realized is more powerful today than I thought it would be.

The song is “Let’s Just Praise The Lord” by TD Jakes. If you’re of a decent age, you’ll remember when TD Jakes came out with this entire praise & worship album in the late nineties and it was FIYAH!! I began to sing the song’s lyrics as I got ready for the day and headed out for work. (My position is considered essential to the point that I have to physically go to work every day.) Normally by the time I get in my car, my mind will switch to some other thought, but this morning I couldn’t shake the song. I pulled it up via Bluetooth and turned my stereo volume as high as it would go! As the words escaped my mouth, tears began to fall and I just WAILED! I felt God’s tangible presence leap from this song and the lyrics enveloped me in a blanket of security, provision, safety, joy, and peace.  

Why?

Because in the wake of this pandemic, I believe God is calling US as humans to be still for a moment and turn to Him.

How can we POSSIBLY be still when He is shaking this world to pieces and splitting up families?!

The answer isn’t easy, but simple. Just be. Be intentional about calling out to Him. Pray, journal, sing, cry – do something intentional that shows you are seeking Him for guidance.

If you take some time to put God first, HE will reveal so many things to you. If you take time to offer up a simple praise to Him, you can unlock so many hidden revelations that you otherwise wouldn’t understand.

So as I sang, listened and cried to this song, I realized that God truly is worthy to be praised! Even in the midst of this current chaos, He still deserves it.

Praise the Lord,

He has done great things for me.

Praise the Lord,

He gave me the victory.

Praise the Lord,

He is shelter from the storm.

Praise the Lord,

He is worthy to be praised.

Yes, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected my family and affected my way of life, but all in all, I still praise God.  I recognize the enormity of His blessings compared to the inconveniences I’ve experienced. Yes, this pandemic is cause for concern, but not cause to stay fearful.  Whether it’s ‘how this bill is going to get paid’ or ‘what meal can I make out of what little I have in the pantry’I trust the All-knowing God in an unknown future.

He has brought me a mighty long way,

(A mighty long way),

He has taught me how to pray.

This little light of mine,

I’m gonna let it shine,

I’ve got to let men know

Everywhere that I go.

We as a world have come to praise so many created things: social media, musicians, socialites, Netflix, relationships, money, status, horoscopes, friends – that we (as a whole) have neglected to reverence God as the CREATOR who CREATED all of these things in the first place! Whether you see it or not – the morality in this world is going down. People are becoming eviler, the climate is perpetually in crisis, and people are fighting to make a case to live how they WANT to live, even if it’s not how GOD wants them to live. We CAN’T keep scamming folk and think God isn’t going to notice. We CAN’T keep glamourizing hoe-ing and pill poppin’ and think God isn’t going to speak up. We can’t keep glorifying selfish, corrupt living and think God isn’t going to act. Like any parent, He isn’t going to allow us to go down the wrong path and not do something to wake us up. He is going to step back a second and say, “…okay, this is what you REALLY want??! Well, I’ll allow the consequences of some of this stuff to knock some sense into you.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 (New Living Translation) declares that, “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” In this particular context of the bible, God is specifically speaking to the Hebrew people BUT this statement spans generations – and definitely applies to us. We (as a whole) have forgotten to reverence God for Who He truly is. He is not some wimpy figment of our imaginations – He is a strong, all-powerful God Who sees all. I know many people still can’t fathom how a loving God can allow people to suffer. I am not going to claim to know the EXACT answer because I don’t, but I do know, from personal experience, that there have been times I have suffered physically and financially due to the actions of the GROUP or WHOLE. I personally had my stuff together, but because of the reckless actions of a particular GROUP, I felt the same pain of punishment as well. I believe that is what is happening to us right now. We are TRULY in this life together and the actions of society as a WHOLE has opened up a box of wrath/punishment that ALL of us are witnessing.

But this leads me back to how I started this post….

I recognize the importance of staying turned towards God in this moment. This is a time to praise Him for all that He has done (great and small) and seek Him for help with the future. Even if this year has been crap for you, there is STILL something you can praise Him for.

So, when you finish reading this post I suggest you take some time to do this:

  1. Write down a list of ANY blessing in your life (ie/ bills were postponed, woke up feeling decent, your family is safe, finished school, had enough food last week, kids are good)
  2. Write down something that has happened in your life you KNOW wouldn’t have happened without God’s divine intervention (ie/new job, bills were paid, found a new friend, didn’t meltdown at work, terrible boss retired)
  3. Sit or lie still. Have complete silence or play an instrumental that soothes you. Close your eyes, or stare straight ahead. Ask God to ‘speak’ to your heart.

 

And that’s it. Stay in it for however you long you feel necessary. He may move your heart in a certain direction. You may feel Him tugging you to change this habit or reach out to that person. You may even feel like God’s not saying anything just yet – but take the time to do it anyway; He may give you a revelation another week down the road. In these uncertain times, focus your attention ABOVE and I’ll pray WITH you that we all come out of this better than we were going in.

–Stay blessed, Joc

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Cosby,Trump, Kavanaugh, and Rape Culture

The first time I was sexually violated was when I was around 6 years old.

 

Growing up my parents made SURE I knew where people SHOULD NOT touch me and what was inappropriate. I always thought this type of conversation went on in EVERY household and that I was instantly immune from the negative emotions and repercussions that came along with “being touched down there”. BOY OH BOY was I wrong.

Hearing and reading the various reactions to the Bill Cosby verdict this week have me reflecting on my experience with sexual abuse and misconduct. While I was never violated by a family member or neighbor, my first sexually inappropriate encounter was at the hands of my 7-year-old classmate. I remember how confused, scared, helpless I felt as he and his friends circled mine that day on the playground. I remember being shoved down to the ground as he got on top of me. I remember squirming as he simulated sex all while trying his best to put his hands down my panties. Thankfully I was able to get away before he could succeed. I remember running back to school, dirty from being held down in the gravel and being scolded by my teacher for getting back to class late.

When you are sexually violated (whether you experience some actual sex or not) it messes with you. You ask yourself a million questions and try to make sense of what happened — even as a child. Did you say something to make them mad? Did you do something wrong? Did you in any way make yourself open to this act and make the violator think it was okay?!

You don’t automatically process “oh I should tell someone”. You try to figure things out in your mind and decide how you are going to move forward.

This is what makes me annoyed and upset with people who have made negative remarks about the accusers of Bill Cosby and even Brett Kavanaugh. TRUTH: some women and men who cry rape cry falsely. TRUTH: most of them are telling the truth.

I remember going home that night and having a debate with myself — to tell someone or not to tell? I felt nasty and too embarrassed to tell my parents outright, so I was happy when my babysitter Sabrina Thompson asked me that night how my day was as she was helping me get ready for bed. My nerves were on 10,000 when I finally hinted that something was wrong. If you know Sabrina, you know she doesn’t take mess and is unapologetically bold. I’m so thankful for her persistence that night because I told her what happened and how “a boy jumped on top of me.” I still remember her face — now that I’m an adult I know why it was fixed the way it was — she was ready to jump into action; but she probably recognized that I was honestly afraid and was able to reel herself back in and calmly explain why what happened to me was wrong….. why she needs to tell my parents. At the time she was in 9th or 10th grade by the way.

CAN YOU SAY MATURE!!?!?

Even though she convinced me she wouldn’t tell my parents, she eventually did and I’m so glad. Later that week they sat me down and talked with me about what happened and answered questions I had. Because they knew the truth, they were able to truly put me at ease and I was able to continue my childhood with few lingering effects.

Like the Bill Cosby victims, all victims of sexual trauma aren’t blessed enough to have a ‘Sabrina’ to step in when fear has stifled our own courage.  Even though I was unfortunately sexually assaulted again later in life, I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that I would be one messed up chick if I hadn’t had Sabrina’s help the first time in speaking out. If she would have not told my parents and allowed me to stay silent, I would have stayed in the bad headspace I was in and probably try to deal with the trauma myself. A child’s mind isn’t set up for that. No one is really.

While I can honestly admit, that first assault still has had some negative effects on my life, my life is richer and healthier than it could have been all because I was able to tell the truth and have a compassionate ear to listen.

Like you, I plan to keep an eye on what happens with each of these #MeToo and assault cases and take note of comments like Donald Trump’s . I know that the world has a long way to go and things are not going to get better overnight. It’s up to us to really HEAR one another and support one another instead of immediately resorting to jokes and harsh criticisms — you never know what victim you may be pushing into hiding.

 

  • Joc

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Jokes Lasts But A Moment….But Social Media Is Forever!

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After MUCH backlash, this is how Justine Sacco (a Public Relations Executive for InterActiv Corp) had this to say in on time fashion:

“Words cannot express how sorry I am, and how necessary it is for me to apologize to the people of South Africa, who I have offended due to a needless and careless tweet,” Sacco said in the statement. “There is an AIDS crisis taking place in this country, that we read about in America, but do not live with or face on a continuous basis. Unfortunately, it is terribly easy to be cavalier about an epidemic that one has never witnessed firsthand.

“For being insensitive to this crisis — which does not discriminate by race, gender or sexual orientation, but which terrifies us all uniformly — and to the millions of people living with the virus, I am ashamed…”

Of all the people in the universe, SHE made this mistake! When will [we] learn as the public that we shouldn’t be so careless with our words??! Before you post ANYTHING on social media, think about who it may offend. If it will offend someone (these days everything you do will anger someone) weigh out if the offense that will be generated from your post will be worth it. For instance, as a Christian, I am not ashamed to post my beliefs on my personal page. I know some people who are of other faiths may disagree, but I make sure that everything I post is in a loving manner (even if it touches on a subject some may be difficult to discuss). This woman right here should have KNOWN that there was nothing sensitive about her post. Everything was blatant, blunt, ignorant, and hurtful. For her JOB description to be posted on her social media profile and for this tweet to show up in the Twitterverse is one of the dumbest moves I’ve seen in a while.  If you are going to make jokes like this, at least make sure no one knows who you are or who you work for. Geesh!

What are your thoughts?

– Joc

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