The Loudmouth Protestant

April 25, 2008

Vengeance Will Be the Lord’s

Filed under: God,recent news — nickisym @ 3:39 pm
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The three officers made brief statements more than four hours after the verdict.

“I want to say sorry to Bell family for the tragedy,” Cooper said.

Isnora thanked the judge “for his fair and accurate decision today.”

Oliver praised Cooperman “for a fair and just decision.”

Psalm 94 (King James Version)

1O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.

2Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud.

3LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?

4How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?

5They break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage.

6They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless.

7Yet they say, The LORD shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.

8Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise?

9He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?

10He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?

11The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.

12Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;

13That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.

14For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.

15But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.

16Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?

17Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.

18When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.

19In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.

20Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?

21They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.

22But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.

23And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off.

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Sound the Alarm!!!

Filed under: God,recent news — nickisym @ 3:29 pm
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This morning at 9:00 the verdict was rendered for the Sean Bell case. If you have been living under a rock for the past few months, the case is about the three police officers that fired 50 shots at Sean Bell and his friends as they were leaving a Queens, New York nightclub the morning before his wedding. Not one of them had a gun on them, but out of speculation and what I believe was probably the fact that they were African-American men out late at night the cops fired 50 shots. One of the police officers reloaded his clip and kept going. Sean Bell was murdered that night at the hands of a bunch of power-hungry apes otherwise known as the plebian officers of the New York City Police Department.

The three officers were acquitted on every single count. They walk free men in our streets as Bell’s fiancee Nicole Paultre Bell and Bell’s family, friends and supporters all cry bloody murder. Until this moment I was pretty numb to the verdict. A friend texted me this morning and let me know before I even checked it on CNN and all I could do was shake my head. There was no rush of emotions, just numbness. It was unreal to me and yet I wasn’t surprised. It seems to be the way of the world to let evil people and their deeds go unpunished. How long O Lord, how long will your people suffer at the hands of the evil?

There is so much I want to say, but I fear it will be out of order as I am enraged right now. For the past couple of days, passion and zeal for God’s kingdom has been consuming. My annoyance with people who are out of order in God’s kingdom has elevated and all I can say to myself as of lately is “Whom Have I in Heaven but You O Lord?” Not another person can do a thing for me. Not one person can make me feel well. Not one person can affirm me and comfort me in my affliction but you Lord. When people want to come down on me and judge me and try to figure out how real I am in you I must put my hand up and cast them aside because no one shall touch God’s anointed. And if I don’t believe it for myself than how will I even convince someone out. Its dangerous ground we are walking on now and it should be clear that we are truly living in last days. It is time for the people of God to sound the alarm, to wake up and be ready in season and out because we don’t have much longer…

Times are Hard…

Filed under: life,randomness — nickisym @ 2:12 pm
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Chipotle Burrito

Every Friday, I usually buy lunch instead of bringing it.  I get creative with lunch on Friday because I am celebrating the fact that in eight hours I won’t have to see my office for two whole days. This joyous occasion warrants me being over-indulgent and eating whatever regardless of consequene–runny bellies and all. It could be two slices of pizza. A burrito from Chipotle. A Cosi sandwich, fried rice from my favorite Thai place, a Shake Shack burger. We are talking “No Limits, No Boundaries.” But today, I had a problem.

Earlier this week, New York restaurants started posting the calorie-count of their foods on the menu boards. So now anytime I go into Chipotle, the possibility of eating an 800-calorie burrito goes right out the window as I think about my stomach, thighs and backside. I may trot over to Cosi thinking I am about to have a healthy chicken ceasar salad but not before I see that the salad could cost me apparoximately 1/4 of my daily caloric intake. I’ve even read articles that say that the tuna sandwich at Subway is not a good look. What in the world am I supposed to do now that there will be no more blissful eating according to my ignorance?  I figured that I would go to a mom and pop pizza shop because those numbers won’t be hanging over my head, but instead of numbers, the copious amounts of bread, cheese and toppings made me ill. Ignorance is no longer blissful.

So I wandered around aimlessly today, but I also realized that if I didn’t buy something and get back inside I would fall apart in the street. It’s high allergy season and five minutes of outdoor time means my eyes will bulge out of my head, my noses will run to the point that I can’t catch it, and my throat will close up. What could I do? I had to think fast.

I walked toward my office and did the only thing I could do, I visited 7/11. I browsed their skeevy offerings until I set my eyes upon a bag of Sun Chips–yes Sun Chips. Although the caloric intake is not too different, somehow I felt vindicated. Maybe I wasn’t even hungry but I just needed something to do with my mouth for about 30 minutes. So I feasted on plain Sun Chips and a bottle of Diet Ginger Ale–can we say faux eating disorder–all because the caloric-counts got me down.

Looks like from now on, I will be bringing my lunch Monday-Friday.

By the way, I am actually full and haven’t even consumed my Ginger Ale yet. Yes, it’s a sad, sad day.

April 24, 2008

Beautiful Stranger

For the past few months, I have been captivated by a man. It always happens on a Wednesday night on the old iron horse–otherwise known as the subway. The setting of the first story was on a Wednesday night after work. I had Trader Joe’s bags in tow and I was pushing my way through the crowd to get a seat when the one seat I chose happened to be across from a beautiful stranger. He had the most amazing bone structure I’d seen on a man in a while. His countenance was soft. It hung like the face of a man who smiles often and doesn’t sweat the small stuff. His skin was the color of vanilla pudding–I know it’s not as sexy as saying caramel but I like vanilla pudding–and his ‘locks were pulled back with an elastic band. He was wearing a miscellaneous track jacket, with jeans and what I remember to be Adidas. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him and though I’ve gone into great detail about what he looked like and what he was wearing none of that moved me as much as his being. His spirit spoke volumes. In the midst of my surveying the land and trying to read my book, I was well aware that he was doing the same of me. He watched me a bit as I set my bags down, secured my seat, pulled out my Blackberry and my book. I know he saw me do all of this because I looked up a few times and caught his eyes, but like I usually do, I maintained Bambi posture. I could feel him looking at me, but not in a creepy lascivious way, but just in the same way I was surveying him. This took place for the length of our ride together. A game of glances. In my mind I wished I could find the right words to say. But what could I do? I am a girl that believes in being sought after not being the seeker. So I maintained my position and I read my book albeit with a smile on my face because I felt the friendliness of his spirit. We got off on the same stop but we went in opposite directions and so I figured that was a loss I was taking for the team. It’s New York, you only have one chance…

But to my surprise, weeks later I ran into my beautiful stranger again. This time, instead of sitting directly in front of him, I sat diagonal to him a couple of benches away. I remember that when I saw him, before we even got on the train,  I felt a sort of relief. As I sat within eyeshot, I looked up a few times and our glances were synchronized. At least they felt that way. I spent the rest of the ride smiling to myself because I felt as though I was sharing a moment and a ride with this man who I have never even shared words with. Again we got off at the same stop and I walked past him and up the stairs to the exit. I took another for the team…

And then there was this evening. Same time, but not the same place. I was standing on the subway platform of a totally different train than we normally take and when the train pulled up in the station and I looked up and there he was. It had been a while since I’d seen him so I wasn’t certain, but when I saw his cheekbones and his ‘locks pulled back just so I knew it was him. We got into the same car and he stood in front of the exit door as I stood in front of another set of doors. “We meet again,” I thought in my head. We stand so close, not close enough to touch but close enough to see one another. I am not particularly sure if he saw me but we were there nonetheless. I was happy to be on that crowded train with him. A familiar face in a crowd of nobodies. It was just fine with me. And then it was time for me to go. This time our stops were not the same so I had to watch him stay as he watched me go–I sensed that he did watch me go. 

After I left the train, I smiled to myself and as I walked down the street I smiled to myself and as I ordered my dinner from a local neighborhood spot I smiled and as I walked home I smiled. All this smiling for someone I’ve never met. I can’t possibly imagine what would happen if our paths crossed and we could actually exchange words. A part of me is fascinated with seeing the same person time after time and sharing a silent moment with them. It’s like two kindred spirits connecting. Maybe I am being too deep, but I swear to you, this is something incredible about this young man that’s making me wonder, “What’s this all about?”

So what’s a girl to do?

(Note: There is about a month gap between each sighting lest anyone be afraid he is stalking me.)

April 23, 2008

Accutane Account: Going on Month Six

Filed under: beauty,life — nickisym @ 12:34 am
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And the beat goes on with my ‘Tane trial. 

Last month, I switched doctors because my usual doctor was out of the office on vacation. This stand-in doctor took time to ask me how I was feeling about the treatment to which I told her that I think the trial is bunk and I am not seeing the stellar results I thought I would. With tears welling up in my eyes I explained that while I understand this is a process, at four months I couldn’t understand why my skin wasn’t clearer.

She understood completely what I was going through–of course she would she is a doctor that gets paid for recommending these crazy drugs to patients. But instead of just increasing my dosage she decided to add another medication to the pile. She suggested that I get on a birth control pill so that the BCPs and the Accutane can work synergistically. The ‘Tane will work where the BCPs aren’t and vice versa. This seemed like a good enough solution as I told her that my breakouts were the worst when my cycle came around. She also suggested that I get a hormone test because of the possibility that I could have cyst on my ovaries or something of the sort that could be causing side effects in other parts of my body. 

So now I am finishing out my first month taking the ‘Tane and the BCPs and I am definitely seeing better results. My skin is definitely clearing up and the left side of my face is completely clear, but for some reason my right side is still a bit on the congested side–possibly because I sleep on that side. It’s not too bad…About 4 pimples on my right cheek and one above my right brow and one on my forehead, so I guess that is pretty good, right? Sure, if only the perfectionist side of me could be satisfied with subpar results. 

Another thing that has been helping me through the process is a wonderful exfoliator from Boscia that I purchased a few weeks ago. Partnered with a Boscia Toner and my usual Clean & Clear cleanser, my skin is a lot less red and lot more beautiful brown girl kissed by the sun. So things are moving along at a steady pace. I have about 1.5 months before my first summer wedding so I am praying that all will be well by then. I am still very much keeping the faith so stay tuned…

April 22, 2008

Knowing You Are the Bride

Yesterday was my first day back in the office after a weekend of renewal via the Greater Allen Cathedral’s Women’s Conference. I feel refreshed, restored and I have a new outlook on my life as a woman of God. Because of this great spiritual refreshing, I have been very slow to jump back into the fray of life here in the big city. I am moving intentionally slower. I am being quieter. I am pacing myself so that I can remain in the perfect peace that God gave to me this weekend. But of course this pace can only last but so long before things around me speed up in a manner that forces me to pick up the pace. My first speed-up moment came yesterday afternoon.

I saw a package on top of the receptionist’s desk that had my name on it. It arrived. It was bridesmaid dress 2 of TK. Here comes the bridesmaid again. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride… (more…)

April 20, 2008

How Fortunate We Are

Filed under: christianity,christians,God — nickisym @ 9:04 pm
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I spent the past three days in a hotel praising God with over 2,000 women. Many Catholics in the US spent the past few days praising God with the arrival of the Pope. Just this afternoon, over 60,000 Catholics gathered in Yankee Stadium to celebrate mass with Pope Benedict XVI. How fortunate we are to have such an open display of our faith in Christ. How fortunate we are to be able to raise a banner that reads “Christ our Hope.” How fortunate we are that 2,000 women can descend upon a hotel in Philadelphia all for the purpose of giving glory to God. What an amazing time we live in when we can unabashedly worship the father in spirit and truth without worry about who may come to shut us down. Yes, there are adversaries all around us, but how fortunate are we for the times when the community of saints can gather together and worship God without any distractions. What an awesome time this is!

I was in a workshop this weekend about singleness and one of the most amazing things that the facilitator said was “This is one of the best times in life to cultivate a relationship with God.” Sure this was related to what single people can do but this is so applicable to us all.  I thank God that I am able to travel and read my Bible in public places without fear of getting arrested or getting my Bible taken away from me. I thank God that I can go to church on Sunday and gather with the saints. I thank God that at any point in the week I can find a place to go to study the Bible with the saints, to worship with the saints, to pray with saints. The liberty and freedom that we have in Christ in this country is amazing and we ought to think about this and be thankful.

God is so amazing!

April 9, 2008

I’m A Big Kid Now

Filed under: life,randomness — nickisym @ 9:56 am
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The time has finally come for me to serve jury duty. I groan at the thought and I groan as I sit in this room full of disgruntled people. I don’t believe there is even one person in this room that wants to be here. It shows on their faces, the room reeks of it, and yet we still have to be here. To make matters worse, the servants of the house have the worst disposition that makes it unpleasant to sit through. 

Ever since I got the notice to serve I have been plotting about how I could get out of it. I’ve asked friends, read stories, and tried to come up with my own plan, none of which I think I will actually follow through with because I am something of a scaredy cat–a friend calls me “Shook Ones.”

So I sit. I wait. I listen and I commisserate with you. Please pray my strength today and the days that follow. I am believing God that I won’t have to serve. So here goes.

Prove, Test and Scrutinize

I was flipping through my sermon notes this evening when I came upon this,

“The master is Christ, but he gives us authority. We are all like little masters but we must always remember where all of our help comes from.”

I thought about this in regards to the Oprah situation and how some believe that what she is endorsing via Eckhart Tolle is truth because some of what Tolle is espousing can be tracked back to the Bible. While I could give Tolle the thumbs up for that, I realize it would be in support of a squishy nonsense gospel that is not for my God. If Tolle and furthermore Oprah can’t come out and say that Jesus is the way, the truth and the light and humble themselves to the extraordinary power of Christ, then clearly what they are feeding the world is a bunch of lies. God would not have it that we misconstrue his words so that our mortal flesh can be glorified and validated. True enough we aren’t called to bust people over the head with our well-worn KJVs, but we are called to speak God’s truth in love. We are called to not love the world or the things of it because God has given us all the truth we need. We are called to be a light in the darkness. We are called to prove, test and scrutinize everything that we come across to see if matches up with what the Father has told us.

So what are we to do with Oprah and Eckhart? We are to prove, test and scrutinize it all. Do you really know Oprah and her beliefs? Why is “A New Earth” the first spiritual book in the book club? Why not a Christian book if she is a Christian? Haven’t you been confused about her beliefs for a while now? (Tell the truth and shame the devil.) And if we have been confused isn’t now the time to call her to task?

It’s time for us to stop giving these things a pass and being in denial about there affect on our lives. Please be extremely careful about what you let into your life and don’t keep the peace because you think you like it and you don’t see the harm in it. It’s time for us to stop playing games with the people that are so clearly not interested in giving God all of the glory. We can’t give God partial glory throwing him a bone when we feel like it or when it is convenient. Ours is not a gospel of convenience or of flip-flopping. God is not a part time lover and we need not be part-time lovers of this world and the things in it. I say all of this knowing that I need to hear it too and I say it with fear in my heart because I know being the contrary voice when it isn’t popular is difficult and the backlash could be great but for the glory of God, so be it.

April 8, 2008

More on Oprah

Filed under: christianity,God,Jesus,religion,spirituality — nickisym @ 10:15 am
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This morning I awoke to find that yet another person sent me the Oprah’s Church video. Along with it, he attached this scripture:

2 Peter 2 (NIV)
False Teachers and Their Destruction

1But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping…

I read this before I fully woke up and then when I did emerge I turned over and read my own Bible, which without my searching for it, I came upon this scripture:

I John 2: Antichrists Everywhere You Look

18Children, time is just about up. You heard that Antichrist is coming. Well, they’re all over the place, antichrists everywhere you look. That’s how we know that we’re close to the end.
19They left us, but they were never really with us. If they had been, they would have stuck it out with us, loyal to the end. In leaving, they showed their true colors, showed they never did belong.

20-21But you belong. The Holy One anointed you, and you all know it. I haven’t been writing this to tell you something you don’t know, but to confirm the truth you do know, and to remind you that the truth doesn’t breed lies.

22-23So who is lying here? It’s the person who denies that Jesus is the Divine Christ, that’s who. This is what makes an antichrist: denying the Father, denying the Son. No one who denies the Son has any part with the Father, but affirming the Son is an embrace of the Father as well.

24-25Stay with what you heard from the beginning, the original message. Let it sink into your life. If what you heard from the beginning lives deeply in you, you will live deeply in both Son and Father. This is exactly what Christ promised: eternal life, real life!

26-27I’ve written to warn you about those who are trying to deceive you. But they’re no match for what is embedded deeply within you—Christ’s anointing, no less! You don’t need any of their so-called teaching. Christ’s anointing teaches you the truth on everything you need to know about yourself and him, uncontaminated by a single lie. Live deeply in what you were taught.

It’s not coincidental that I read these scriptures at this appointed time…

More on this later…

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