The Loudmouth Protestant

July 30, 2007

Paul Wall, Jr.

Filed under: Bobby Tedesco,Uncategorized — nickisym @ 9:31 pm

This morning I decide to check out the news to see what has been going on during my eight hours of slumber and for some reason I decided to go to I hadn’t been to the site in a few months, so I decided to drop by. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw their new design which is much cleaner and interactive than the old design but in their headline news box was this:

Boy Swallows ‘Grillz’, Only One Way To Pass Them

Well of course I was disturbed but I was also intrigued enough to click on the story and read all about it. Long story short: Little boy and mother are walking through a Sanford, Florida flea market when his eyes bulge at the sight of a pair of “grillz.” He asks his mom for a pair and she dishes out the $10 for them. He goes home, takes them out of the brown paper bag the “grillz” technician placed them in, tries them on as has him mom take a picture:

Voila! We have yet another “Hot Ghetto Mess.” Shortly after his Kodak moment, he begins to choke on the grill, swallows it and now we fast forward to today which is the third day that he’s had the “grillz” in his guts and doctors say he has to pass the “grillz” in order to dispose of them.

I wonder how foolish the mother feels now that her buying her son the $10 “grillz,” taking a picture of him in them and bearing witness to him choking on them has made its way around the world via the web. It will teach her that you don’t just buy your kid “grillz” off the street, no, you go and get him fitted for his “grillz” the professional rapper-way.

Please join me in prayer that this too shall pass through him–not too painfully so he won’t miss the first day of school.


July 26, 2007

Try Harder…

Filed under: christians,Destiny's Child,running the race,working hard — nickisym @ 12:46 am

Today was a trying day at work. I was really tired despite getting 8-hours of sleep–I’m sure that the burger and fries for lunch didn’t help–and though I had work to do I just couldn’t get to it for some reason. The problem is, this isn’t as random as it is regular for me. A friend and I came up with an analogy for our work ethic. We said that if we could measure our work ethic on a Destiny’s Child scale that we would each fall somewhere between Kelly and Michelle.

But to be honest, I am a little more Solange than I am Kelly or Michelle–at least they work. I feel like I am coasting sometimes and it is not because I don’t want to work harder, it’s because somehow I am incapicitated and lack the ability to work really hard toward something because subconciously I am used to things being handed to me.

This is tough because while I haven’t been working as hard as I could be, God is still extending his grace and he is blessing me. Now that’s what I call favor! When you don’t even deserve it but he shows up anyways!

Now I am thinking about the fact that I need to try harder in a few parts of my life. At work I have to try harder to churn out the many projects I pitch in a timely manner. I know that I have greatness within me and if I worked at full-capacity to that greatness God put in me I would be virtually unstoppable. Personally, I have to present myself better–and maybe if you know me you’re thinking no!–but I feel like I could step my game up a couple of notches. Last week in Bible Study the pastor asked “Is what you are doing now inching you toward what you want from God?”

In many respects my answer to that question would be “no.” Yesterday I vented about my singleness, so clearly I desire a helpmate, but currently I don’t believe I am doing what I need to do in order to position myself for that person. One day I’d love to not work, but in order to get there I have to be a good steward over what I’ve been given right now.

It’s been difficult swallowing this bitter pill, but I think half of the battle is acknowledging that I know I can do better. Last week I heard something profound in regards to the Christian walk–actually it was the same Bible Study–that we are always straining, pressing and pushing to get to the next level. In the words of the great Frederick Douglass, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” I get it now…

July 25, 2007

Scriptures to Keep You Holding On…

Filed under: Uncategorized — nickisym @ 2:31 am

My last post was very venting intensive, so I think it is only right for me to bring things back into perspective. So here are some of my favorite scriptures that help me to keep the faith and keep it moving. I don’t always remember them when I need them but this will surely help:

Psalm 84:11b: The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly.

Jeremiah 29:11: I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.

Romans 8:25- But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.

I Corinthians 2:9- No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.

Hebrews 11:13- All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it.

Moment of Transparency: Last One Standing

Filed under: love,relationships,singleness — nickisym @ 2:12 am

Moment of Transparency will pop-up from time to time. It’s a moment when anything I say can and probably will be held against me, but it is the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God.

Do you remember what it felt like to play team sports in elementary school? You’re up for a game of dodge ball and everyone gets picked except for you. You end up getting chosen as a last resort and thus you play like a last-round draft pick. Well I had that kind of experience this past weekend at an event that a friend of a friend threw.

It was called “The Three.” The concept is that the host of the party invites three guys and three girls and each of the three invites an additional two people. I loved the concept upon being invited but I didn’t put much thought into what would happen if I was “The Last Woman Standing.”

The night begun like any normal party, we played ice-breaker games and Taboo–my personal favorite. But then, a group of men walked in that brought the vibe of the party down from a 10 to a 2. I admit that sometimes I do jump to conclusions before giving the benefit of the doubt, but since I actually prayed before I went to this event I trusted my discernment that the 5 new men that walked through the door were all jokers.

As the night continued, the lights got dimmer, the music got a little sexier–as sexy as Blackstar can get you–and people were coupled off. I started the night off with potential and that potential floated off to another potential. I guess it was naive of me to believe I made a connection that secured my potential for the night.

So there I sat in front on the chips & dips. It was like a scene out of a movie. I couldn’t figure out if I felt sorry for myself or if that was my exhaustion talking, but I tried to look like I was having a good time by myself. I pressed on in my chair and bobbed my head to the conscious rap playing in the background until W.I. came along.

W.I. was a sweaty young man whose eyes were half shut from imbibing cheap liquor. But though his eyes were all but sealed shut, he managed to pry them open long enough to give me the X-ray vision stare. For those that know me, you are well aware of what my default face looks like, but couple that face with the “I am tired, bored and ornery” and I could honestly say I wasn’t sitting pretty.

Despite all of this, W.I. decides to sit down and attempts to engage me in conversation all whilst looking down my top. In my head I was thinking, “God, why does this always happen to me.” I couldn’t figure out why of all the people that I could have been talking to in the room–or even not talking to, this is the one person that comes to speak to me. I was disgusted and practically on the verge of tears. That’s when I felt like the kid that got picked last on the dodge ball team. Everyone was at least entertained by the potential in front of them while I was in disdain with the lack of, sitting next to me.

While he was talking about wine importing, criminal records and spending the night, I was having an internal dialogue about why in the hell–yes I said it–do I attract absolute losers.I continued this inner dialogue until the wine importer asked me why I was sitting by myself. I said “It just happened that way.” He asked me why I thought it happened that way and I said, “It always does.” Immediately his drunken face turned into one of sober disdain as he started to ruminate on why I should be by myself. And I’ll tell you what…I actually agreed with him. I didn’t bother to argue the finer points of why I am by myself–like it’s just not God’s will, it’s circumstance, etc–but it made me realize that I don’t desire to be by myself.

It made me think about the fact that I do feel like I am always last picked and the late bloomer in many areas of my life which further annoyed me because it reminded me of the fact that I could very well be single until my mid-30s. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s difficult to fathom when most of my closest friends are on their way down the aisle, in established relationships or at least going out on dates periodically.

I know that I shouldn’t try to understand why I am single because this is where God has me right now. It’s just that when you are put in the position to think about matters of the heart it is actually heart-breaking. That’s the honest to God truth. I am like India.Arie in that “I Am Ready For Love” and I am just wondering why it is hiding from me…

July 20, 2007


Filed under: Uncategorized — nickisym @ 4:34 am

So usually there is a “J” in that blank to signify “What Would Jesus Do?” That age old abbreviation–well as age old as mid-90s can get–that people who still rock the bracelets ask themselves and to a greater extent, something Christians try to consider as they go through their daily lives.

But, I came to the realization that other people’s name can be substituted for Jesus. I don’t mean other people can take the place of Jesus, but I mean we all know people that we admire and that we could pattern some portions of our behavior after. I have plenty of friends that I admire to the point of wondering how they would navigate particular situations.

For instance, I find that I ride the same train, walk to the same building and jump on the same elevator with the same people everyday. But my flesh is not interested in exchanging pleasantries. Is it right? Probably not. But’s it’s not in my nature to just introduce myself to people I don’t know from a can of paint. That’s when I think of a friend who is very jovial and is able to make friends in a snap. She is like a walking Dale Carnegie book–“How to Win Friends and Influence People”– but in a totally organic way. Coincidentally her name starts with the letter “J” so WWJD would work.

Or take the fact that I consider myself a boisterous individual and sometimes I would like to calm down because it seems fitting for a lady of my stature to be prim and proper instead of goofy and giggly. I then think about a friend who never has a hair out of place, dresses rather well and is always very ladylike–consistently.

Really, I have a bunch of friends that I’d borrow little things from and I don’t say this because I am dissatisfied with who I am. I’m not. I just want to honor the friends that really have imparted into my life. It has been said that of the people you know–especially your pastors and spiritual leaders, you should desire an impartation of their spirit. Who has imparted into your life?

July 19, 2007

Last Night I Dreamed A Dream…

Filed under: Uncategorized — nickisym @ 4:57 pm

So vivid and so real I could taste and feel everything in it. Have you ever had one of those?

Mine focused on someone I’ve seen before and whom I know, but not very well. We met a few months ago, in a unofficial way on an ordinary day. There were no fireworks, no hint of things to come, it was an regular introduction and I thought nothing of it. But in this dream, the person showed up at my door with a suitcase, embraced me and somehow our lips met but this seemed like a mistake–because I think my conscious mind was still alert. In the dream I remember pausing to think about how odd this interaction was.

Nevertheless he–so that I can be clear–came into my apartment and proceeded to plop down on my bed and we continued conversing, but the strange thing about our exchange was that we spoke as if we had never spoken to each other before. It was a very “getting to know you” session but it had this strange comfortableness about it. I was straightening up my room and he was sitting on my bed–oh and just to give you a lay of the land, my actually apartment doesn’t have a living room so it is quite possible that one could end up sitting on my bed.

The dream essentially faded to black with our pleasant conversation, but I woke up this morning like “What is that all about?” So it leads me to the question, “What do dreams mean?” Could they be real? Are they revelations?

Sometimes things in my dream happen in reality and I wouldn’t be adverse to the situation explained in my dream last night, but it’s kind of scary. Can God show us things in dreams?

July 18, 2007

Faith is Bigger than Bling

Filed under: cross,crucifix,faith,Lydia Playfoot,purity ring — nickisym @ 2:50 pm

A London schoolgirl by the name of Lydia Playfoot has lost the case that was set against her for wearing jewelry to school. Lydia’s school bans the wearing of any jewelry but she believes that she should be exempt from the law because her ring represents her dedication to purity–read no sex before marriage–as a Christian teenager.

A statement by Lydia reads: “I believe that the judge’s decision will mean that slowly, over time, people such as school governors, employers, political organizations and others will be allowed to stop Christians from publicly expressing and practicing their faith.”

Now someone please stop me if I am wrong, but I don’t believe that Lydia should be raising a stink because they won’t allow her to wear her purity ring to school, and you know why? I can’t remember an edict in Bible that says the wearing of crucifixes, purity rings and chastity garments proves our faith is valid and has more efficacy when we are wearing said accessories than we aren’t.

I have a problem with the fact that people use their jewelry as a crutch and as their identifier to the world that they are part of the body of Christ, particularly because many wear crosses around their neck but have no idea what it really means to “take up their cross daily.” The same people don’t drink in moderation, have premarital sex, curse like sailors, covet, kill, idolize, etc, etc.

The wearing of faith-based jewelry cannot firm up your salvation or stop you from committing sins and it really shouldn’t be a point of contention for any Christian who believes that if someone told them to take it off, it will stop them from publicly expressing their faith. Public expression of faith is as simple as letting the spirit direct you in all you do. Letting God order your steps is the true public expression of faith.

Faith is not expressed by the clothes you wear–“Jesus is My Homeboy” will not make you a believable Christian. Faith is expressed by living a pure life. The Bible says in James 2:20 that “Faith without good deeds is useless.” My understanding of this is that our faith–which comes through Jesus Christ–is also validated by the good deeds that we do. It is firmed up by feeding the poor and giving unto widows, comforting the afflicted and doing good deeds unto mankind. It is not by wearing jewelry.

I Peter 2:13 says “For the Lord’s sake, respect all human authority–whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed.” That makes it pretty clear to me that the school officials telling Lydia she couldn’t wear her purity ring–just as no student can wear any jewelry–means that she should respect the law that has been set forth and not rebel against it. Lydia must know that she loses no portion of her faith because she has to take the ring off. It’s not as though if she takes the ring off she will fall into a downward spiral of sin and premarital sex–but I guess she could if she believes she will lose power by not wearing it during school hours. I understand the concept of the ring as a reminder but she–and everyone else who wears jewelry with spiritual connotation–must be careful not attempt to use it as religion.

I leave you with this last scripture, which is so apropos: “That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:7)

I write this because I want Lydia and her ilk to know that her faith will endure despite her having to take her ring off. You will lose nothing–nor gain anything–by taking off your diamond encrusted cross or your ruby-studded Jesus piece. If God intended the wearing of jewelry to be the prime way to distinguish Christians from their worldly counterparts, then I guess there’d be a whole bunch of people without an identity.

Life goes on without the cross around your neck, but it will stop the moment you forget about the symbolic cross you are to take up daily. Don’t become an idol to your accessory.

The God of This World

Filed under: Uncategorized — nickisym @ 4:22 am

Harry Potter

I know that 2 Corinthians 4:4 states the satan is the god of this world and I believed that was very true up until a couple of weeks ago when Harry Potter-mania started. I am fully convinced–and I say this with fear that I will be burned alive for doing so–that J.K. Rowling is the god of this world. All people can talk about is her and this last Harry Potter book and how this is daily affecting their lives. The Seven Deadly Hallows this, Horcrux that, Snape this and Lily that. People are talking about how they will end their lives if Harry dies–there goes the theory that Harry Potter is Christ-like. People are planning to seclude themselves to read the book. I even overheard someone trying to plot how to get the book on it’s release date which falls on Shabbat–the Jewish sabbath. Is it that serious?

Now let me be clear. I don’t dislike Harry Potter for the same reasons as most fundamentalist Christians who believe Potter and his friends dabble in witchcraft. I haven’t even bothered to take the time to pick up a book to find out if HP is something I could like. I simply don’t like the fantasy genre of books. That means no HP, no Lord of the Rings, not even “The Lion, The Witch and Wardrobe” though I might be more prone to read the latter because C.S. Lewis is one of my favorite Christian writers.

Plain and simple, I’m not interested in Harry Potter. If it wasn’t for God keeping me in my right mind, I would print out the leaked copies of the book and leave it in taxi cabs, on subway seats, tape it to lightposts, leave the ending as a comment on people’s Myspace pages and write on the first page of every book in the city of NY how the book ends.

But clearly I don’t have time for all of that. Actually I have wasted a considerable amount of time talking about the book and its ills that have strayed away from my original purpose–the devil is a liar–for writing this post so let me cut to the chase.

J.K. Rowling is finally using her evil for good…Just kidding, but really she is using the release of the final Potter book to draw attention to the 3-year-old missing British girl, Madeline McCann, who disappeared from her parent’s hotel room on May 3, 2007. Check out what she’s doing. This is really an effort I must applaud Rowling for. Actually I applaud every single person that donated money to aid the search, every celebrity including David Beckham, who used his famous face to shed light on the crime and I really do hope they find Madeline.

My New Idol: Victoria Beckham

Filed under: Uncategorized — nickisym @ 12:06 am

Last night I watched the series premiere of Victoria Beckham’s new reality show. To be honest, I don’t remember the name of it because that wasn’t memorable. But what was memorable was Victoria Beckham’s grasp on fabulousness. Never in my life have I seen one woman so extraordinarily put together from head to toe who also didn’t make a total arse of herself on national television. I kid you not people…I know you expect her to make a fool out of herself a la Paris, Nicole, Lindsay, but Victoria is a woman.

She didn’t try to feign intelligence, she didn’t even try to feign stupidity, she didn’t try at all and that’s what worked. For a moment I think she didn’t remember that she was being recorded because she seemed very natural. I knew the show was a winner because I didn’t roll my eyes once in the 60-minute broadcast.

Maybe I just overlooked the ignorance because I was blinded by her ostentatious wedding ring, her fly black-girl haircut and her British sensibility. I am truly convinced that she is who I’d like to be in the afterlife. Okay, it’s a stretch because we don’t really have an afterlife–at least not one where our fleshly bodies exist. But I am just so overjoyed that I have an idol. While other girls idolize Beyonce, I will idolize Victoria Beckham–Posh Spice all grown up.

In the near future I plan to cut my hair like her, give all my clothes to charity and buy a new VB-like wardrobe and start speaking with a faux-British accent–thanks Madonna.

July 17, 2007

Consider the Cost…

Filed under: Uncategorized — nickisym @ 4:41 am

Luke 14:28 (NLV): But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?

This was Jesus’ instruction to the great crowd that was following him. He asked them to consider the great cost of being a disciple. This also reminds me of being called to be a bridesmaid/groomsmen unto a friend.

When I received the assignment to serve my dearest friend as a maid of honor, I recognized that it was bigger than wearing a pretty dress and taking pictures–bigger than wearing a cross and being seen at church. I realized that it is about giving of myself to honor her–making sacrifices of praise and giving of my fruit. It’s the tangible expression of my love for a friendship that God gave me.

I knew that being her maid-of-honor wasn’t going to be a walk in the park–nor is the Christian walk. But I am so thankful for the experience because I am being blessed with an opportunity to bear witness to the greatest day in her life, which I hope will be an experience she can share with me when my time comes.

So to all of those out there struggling with the calling of your bridesmaid-ness or your groomsmen-ness–or your Christianity, consider this an opportunity to pay it forward. Go into this assignment with as much seriousness as you would with giving an offering unto God, after all, this is the friend that he blessed you with so do your service with excellence.

And before you answer the call, whether it is to a be a member of the wedding party, a disciple, a minister, etc…Consider the cost before you answer the call because if you neglect to do so, the pain for doing so will be innumerable…

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