The Loudmouth Protestant

October 31, 2008

“Hard to Say Goodbye…” Redux

I am noticing that many people have come to the Loudmouth Protestant by way of searching for information about the black “Sex and the City” better known as “Girlfriends.” For anyone, who in the next few days might happen upon TLP for that expressed purpose, please let me know what you loved or hated about the show and why you’re searching for it nearly a year after it’s cancellation.

I look forward to reading your responses.

The post that started it all:

“It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye”

Happy Ho-lloween

Filed under: life,randomness — nickisym @ 11:34 am
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Ahh Ho-lloween. The one day of the year that many women feel they are carte blanche dress like whores. Yep, I said it. It hasn’t been a longtime coming. We’ve watched the proliferation of slutty Halloween costume increase over the years to the point that I am pretty sure normal costumes for women don’t exist. It may be that I live in an oversexed city where it is only normal for women to prance around in 4-inch heels, fishnet stockings and cleavage baring dresses. I suppose it could be consider the de riguer, but should it be?

For the past month, I have been checking out the Ricky’s NY advertisements for costumes and have been disgusted at every glance. The men get the cool, gruff costumes. They get to be the greasy mechanic, the Christian Bale-version of Batman–that means Scooby Doo ears, the uzi-toting gangster. Their costumes are authentic and fully embrace their masculinity. But the female version of those costumes only embrace the intimate side of most women. Our costumes are cut low at the top and high at the bottom as if the only appealing parts of us are our breasts and legs–and okay, I get it, I know those are two of our most appealings parts, but I think those are better saved for the privacy of our homes with our men–I’m all for it then.

So here it is, Halloween. I’m not an observant of the day but I am always curious to see how women will out-skank one other and see how many French maids can fit into a dive bar or nightclub. Bigger than my disdain for slutty Halloween costumes is my concern for women who dare to bare themselves in public on a day when many men will be drunk and void of their senses. I pray their safety on the streets tonight–and a nice long coat so no one will actually mistake them for true women of the night. I know it’s all in fun, but don’t forget to use wisdom and discernment while you’re at it. And if you must wear the costume, wear it, don’t let it wear you.

Disclaimer: Lest anyone think I shun sexiness, that’s pretty far from the truth. I just believe there’s an appropriate time and place and I also think we need to fine tune what it means to look sexy.

Related Halloween Posts:

Don’t Be Scared

Halloween Trumps Christmas?

October 21, 2008

Protecting Your Vulnerable Position

Filed under: life,randomness — nickisym @ 4:04 pm
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This afternoon I incurred the wrath of the speculum. It was my annual “special woman doctor” appointment. I don’t ever, ever, ever look forward to these appointments.

So there I was laying on the special recliner and mentally freaking out at the sight of the stirrups. They were menacing and the thought of putting my feet up in them and spreading was just making me want sick. The moment had arrived when I was told to scoot down and put my feet in the stirrups. “This is it,” I thought to myself. “This is the moment when I am at my most vulnerable, feel most scared and all my defenses are let down all because of the way my legs are positioned and my life is exposed.” I thought about the profound implication of being in this position.

This is the position we assume when we are creating life, the position we assume when life is coming out of us and the position we assume to make sure our life is secured. This position is based on our lives as women and yet so many of us take it for granted and freely put our legs into hypothetical stirrups for people who can’t even guarantee us anything beyond that moment. It’s such a serious matter and in that moment I acknowledged the importance of protecting my womanhood and my purity at all costs. I found it interesting that though this woman was being paid to examine me and ensure I am healthy I was still spazzing out as if she were a rapist coming to take it by force. I was open in front of a perfect stranger and although I knew she meant no harm, I couldn’t help but be nervous and scared. But it also spoke volumes as to how much more we put ourselves in danger when we offer such an intimate and sacred part of ourselves to people who God hasn’t ordained or even deigned for us to be with.

There’s always a scripture that comes to mind for me when I consider purity. Psalm 5:16, “Why spill the waters of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone? You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers.” (NIV) I always think about that scripture when I hear about the countless numbers of men and women, believers and nonbelievers alike, who see no problem with spilling their waters into the streets. It’s just another past time. Some think they are entitled to it. Some think it’s impossible to abstain from it. Some think you’re a prude if you won’t even entertain the idea of spilling your waters. I think about this scripture when I think about myself some behavioral traits from my past that I had to let go of in order to step into a better and right relationship with God.

In considering all of this, I just feel very convicted and felt compelled to share with anyone who might read this that it’s of the utmost importance that we protect our purity. Everyone may not believe in abstaining from sex until marriage or even keeping themselves away from fornication, but I believe that for the livelihood of our spirits, we must. The temporary pleasure of operating in impurity just because you can is just that, temporary. After you’re done feeding your flesh and taking your feet out of the stirrups, the sweet taste in your mouth will turn as bitter as gall. And unfortunately, you’ll be left with a part of the person you gave yourself to and they will have a part of you, that you can’t get back.

My being in the doctor’s office, in those stirrups scared me (and maybe it’s because I tend to be a naturally scary person) and made me realize that I cannot ever afford to be caught in that position with the wrong person doing the wrong thing. Inasmuch as you can make it possible, see to it not to find yourself in hypothetical stirrups spilling your waters in the street to people who are here today and gone tomorrow. See to it that the only time you find yourself in the vulnerable position is when you must submit to your practitioner or to the person who God has joined you together with.

October 18, 2008

48-Hour Change

Filed under: God,life,love — nickisym @ 10:08 pm

Yesterday I was perplexed and felt pressed together on every side all because I was worried about one man liking me and accepting me as I am.

Yesterday evening, I was crying uncontrollably and wailing because of my perplexities and because I was in the presence of the Lord and knew he was coming to pull me back to solid ground.

Later on that evening I was exposed before the people of God in what I believe was a moment God ordained to let me know I am his beloved and there is more that he requires of me.

This morning, I dried my eyes and my spirit was lifted following my moment last night.

This afternoon the sun–and the son–came out and shined his face upon me when God reminded me of who I am and whose I am.

This moment I am in perfect peace.

This is what happens when you let go.

This is God at work.

This is love.

Thank You God.

This is the 48-hour change.

October 16, 2008

Reminiscing…the Truly Outrageous Way

Filed under: randomness — nickisym @ 2:08 pm
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It’s the middle of the day and while I have a million more important things to do, I decided that I needed to go back to a time when I had not a care in the world. A time when all that was important was watching a young woman by the name of Jerrica Benton morph into the truly outrageous pop star Jem. It was all about “Showtime Synergy” for me. I had a Synergy doll. Hell, I sometimes wished I was Synergy and I was fully convinced between the ages of 5 and 8 that Synergy was an African-American woman.

Nevertheless, I felt compelled this afternoon to post the video of the opening credit’s theme song. It’s the best 80s cartoon song ever. And lest I be remiss because I do have a dark side, I love the Misfits.

Enjoy!

October 15, 2008

Weak Protestants

Filed under: christians,God — nickisym @ 12:52 am
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According to a study conducted by Brad Waggoner, vice president of B&H Publishing Group, Protestants are failing in the arena of spiritual formation. The numbers are staggering and almost sickening. Here are some of the stats from Waggoner’s study which was done by way of a Spiritual Formation Inventory.

— Only 16 percent of Protestant churchgoers read their Bible daily and another 20 percent read it “a few times a week.”
— Just 23 percent “agreed strongly” with the statement, “When I come to realize that some aspect of my life is not right in God’s eyes, I make the necessary changes.”
— Among evangelicals, 70 percent have identified their primary spiritual gifts through a class, spiritual gifts inventory or some other process.
— In the past six months, 29 percent of respondents said they shared with someone how to become a Christian twice or more, 14 percent did so once and 57 percent did not share at all.
— A full 47 percent of Protestant churchgoers admitted to often just “going through the motions” during the singing and prayer portions of worship services. One-quarter strongly disagreed that their worship is routine.
— Fasting is perhaps the most neglected spiritual discipline, with 80 percent of respondents saying they had not fasted during the past six months.

It’s a scary thing to see these numbers because it means the majority of people who go to church are simply going through the motions in the faith. They feel obligated to go not because they have a real relationship with God, but because their parents told them they should go or their significant other drags them. They are in church because they grew up in church and don’t know any other way. They only crack open their Bibles when the pastor tells them to do so. Fasting is something they do as a dietary measure. Evangelizing is only done for public figures.

I don’t write this to condemn anyone but I always wonder why some people insist on coming to church Sunday after Sunday but never changing. I wonder why someone would gloat about their faith and not actually live it. I wonder why one would superficially build their lives around Christ but not actually take up their cross and follow him. I wonder…

More on Waggoner’s study

October 13, 2008

October 12, 2008

Leaving Well Enough Alone

Filed under: God,life,love,relationships — nickisym @ 11:26 pm
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I’ve never known how to leave well enough alone. This dates all the way back to high school, when the first boy I think I ever loved started to turn against me. We were very close friends for years and then once he realized that I liked him as more than a friend–though it would seem to the external eye that he felt the same–he started to treat me unkindly. He was mean to me and condescending and tried so many ways to hurt my feelings. Despite all of this, I still hung on thinking there must be some hope left. All could not be lost from someone whom I had shared a friendship with. It hurt me deeply while he was doing this and I don’t know why I stuck around. I suppose because my good feelings about him far outweighed the bad ones he was putting me through that I just knew we’d make it through.

Well years have past since then and I’ve forgiven him for the way he treated me but I am also not friends with him now either because time and space has separated us. I brought this up because I was thinking this evening about how the heart is a funny thing. Or maybe it’s just my heart. It’s interesting when friends change on you like the weather. You don’t know whether you are to take it personal or whether you should just brush the dirt off your shoulders and keep it moving. For me, I rarely brush the dirt off my shoulders and always take it personally. Why? Because friendship is based on trust and honesty and if I call you a friend I expect you to be upfront and honest with me. I hate feeling like I am in the dark of a situation and worst of all like I am grasping at something that doesn’t want to be held.

That’s where I am now in life. I’m in this space where I fear I am grasping something that doesn’t want to be held and I don’t know how to stop reaching for it. Some would say that it’s okay to wait out for the thing to come back to you and others would say to just let it go. But, I’ve never been the kind of person who was completely ok with just letting things go–although I will for self-preservation’s sake. I’m a fight to the death kind of girl who will not throw up the white flag until I’ve exhausted all of my choices. But I fear this is all to my detriment particularly when I put it in God’s perspective.

A friend told me I should always be thinking about whether what I am getting is God’s best for me and if it isn’t, I shouldn’t waste another moment. I whole-heartedly agree with her, but there’s a silly, silly part of me that still wants to keep holding on. Maybe it’s because I’m afraid nothing else will come along. This is why many of us hold on to dead end jobs, deadbeat significant others, and the dead things of this life. But the stress that comes along with holding onto those things is just not worth it. That type of small-minded thinking blocks God’s ability to do amazing things in our lives. As I sat on my bed this evening, half watching a movie and half wracking my brain in order to rid myself of some ridiculous thoughts, I realized that I can’t spend another moment holding on.

Not being able to leave well enough alone is a sign of weakness, one that I don’t want anymore. I am tired of holding on to people and things that don’t want to be held. Particularly when I know I am 100% capable of obtaining God’s best for me. I am deserving of the best that He has for me. I am 100% percent of a good woman created for a good man. 100% of a talented writer, speaker and encourager. 100% percent of God’s creation created for his divine purpose and not just for a hope I will be accepted in this world.

There is someone reading this who deserves God’s best, but you’ve spent an inordinate amount trying to hold on to what you are supposed to let go.

To that end, I am reminded of a powerful sermon that I heard earlier this year entitled, “I Have to Give Up What I Can’t Afford to Keep to Keep What I Can’t Afford to Lose.” There are some things many of us are holding onto that are holding us back from getting God’s best. I challenge anyone who reads this to think about the things in your life that are holding you back from fully fulfilling God’s purpose in your life. What are those things you feel you are grasping at straws to hold on to but you sense they don’t want to be held?What are the things that are weighing you down? What or who do you need to let go of?

We should never spend more of our time grasping at things than we grasp for God because the truth of the matter is, we can’t beg for anything or anyone as much as we can beg for God and actually have him come to us.

Learn to leave well enough alone and better yet, learn to leave it in God’s hand.

October 1, 2008

Video: Let Go

Filed under: God,life,music — nickisym @ 3:35 pm
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The time is now…

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