The Loudmouth Protestant

December 31, 2008

All About the Divine in ’09

It’s the time again. Time for people to think up clever slogans to get hype over for about the first month in the new year until everything falls to the wayside. I’ve heard a few already, “Fine in ’09.” “On time in ’09.” The best I’ve heard thus far has been, “Stop wasting time in ’09.” And of course because I have to be my own biggest fan before you become it, I like mine, “It’s All About the Divine in 2009.” So what’s this all about?

Well, my father, who is a fairly wise sage that I don’t like giving credit to because he is stuck in the body of a cantankerous 70+ year old Jamaican man, loves talking about “the divine” within him. He says that he wakes up every morning and thanks Him for the day because he knows without Him, he wouldn’t have made it.

Nevertheless, the concept of “divine in 2009” came from my thoughts about the fallacy of New Year’s resolutions. More often than not, at this time, we’ve crafted a list that consists of losing weight, saving more, changing habits and jobs, getting married, making more money, buying homes, etc. But in making all of those plans I rarely hear anyone talk about where God fits in. I can say this mainly because when I do draft up resolutions–which is a rarity–I don’t talk about God. It’s plans and plans alone. But this year it is different.

Proverbs 19:21 says, “There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the LORD’s counsel—that will stand.” So for all the plans we make for the new year, if we do not submit the blueprint to God, those plans may well fail us. It is not for us to make the plans, execute them, and then tell God to bless them. But, it is my belief that we should pray over the plans and ask for His guidance and insight. An all-knowing, all-sufficient God can tell you better where the new job will be, who the mate will be, when to place the bid on the home, etc.

God has big plans for us all. According to Jeremiah 29:11, they are plans to prosper us and not to harm us. Plans to give us a hope and a future. And in 2009, we need to hang on to this–more than we need to hang on to our president. Though the economic system around us is crumbling, it’s not time for us to falter and be fearful about losing our jobs, homes and livelihood. God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. So let us keep our minds on Him, our hearts turned toward Him, our eyes looking up at Him, our hands continually grasping at Him, our feet constantly chasing after Him.

Let’s make 2009 about more than another goal checked off the list or another opportunity for us to do things for ourselves and instead let’s make 2009 about making goals after the father’s heart. Let us “Trust in the Lord with all of our heart and lean not on our own understanding; in all our ways acknowledge him, and He will make our paths straight.”

Many blessings to all for the coming year. I pray that each of you will find the joy of the Lord in the new year and may you all grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.

December 27, 2008

Commonplace Sexuality

It has occurred to me that people take sex, sensuality and lasciviousness as a casual joke. From not considering whether one would prefer to save themselves for marriage, to watching suggestive things which further perpetuates the imagery of lust in the mind to simply just being in a world where you may try to avoid it but are constantly bombarded by sex, lust and lies.

I’ve always known this but it became alarmingly clear to me this past week while I was on a cruise with my parents. We attended one of those corny cruise shows with mediocre singing and dancing. It was a family show, but it didn’t stop the “Glory Dancers”–oh the irony–from swinging their hips in non-existent outfits and zipping down their tops to reveal their bras. So here I am at a show with my family and hundreds of other families and I couldn’t shake the image of these dancers who were being provocative all for the sake of a magic show. Or better yet, illusion. As I sat there, it occurred to me that no one was blinking an eye at this. No one seemed to be appalled–or maybe if they were they couldn’t exactly express their discontent right then and there. Is this what the world has come to?

The day after the show, as I sat on the promenade eating lunch, I watched countless numbers of little girls running around in bikinis that barely covered their pre-pubescent arses.

I then thought about how people my age treat sex and sexuality. It’s simply something to do and not anything to refrain and abstain from. It’s not sacred, it’s something you grapple for because you are in the presence of another relatively attractive human being. (Like sex is a necessity that they can’t live without.)

So here we are, a society where sex and sexuality has gone from being a physical manifestation of an emotion place to a means to an end of the beast of the flesh. I don’t claim to be the ultimate vestal virgin. I definitely have my strongholds in this area but I can’t see going any further in my personal walk with God by not taking heed to His word and His will for the single man and woman. I can’t be a full participant to the careless behavior of people who take more joy in fulfilling their flesh rather than crucifying it.

Seeing as though I just celebrated another birthday I certainly feel convicted and willing to go out on a limb in front of the cyber world to re-dedicate myself to absolute purity. Purity that involves feeding my spirit with more fruit than feeding my flesh with rotting meat. Purity that involves consecrating my mind and surrendering my body to God for His noble cause and not for my pleasure. Purity that involves my daily praying to God for a covering of protection for my mind, body, and soul because I acknowledge I can’t do this on my own.

Four days before 2008 is over, I pledge myself to purity instead of becoming a slave to commonplace sexuality. Will anyone join me?

December 25, 2008

What After This?

Filed under: belief,christianity,God,Jesus — nickisym @ 5:00 pm
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The presents are open, the carols have stopped, the Christmas tree is slowly turning brown and the stores are preparing for the onslaught of returns and gift card users and you wonder, what after this? I’ve long confessed that Christmas is my favorite time of the year but I hate that everything goes limp after the 25th. It’s the one time of the year when you can get most people to agree that Jesus was born if only for one day but after that it seems mere formality and people go back to business as usual.

This year, Christmas was different for me. Faced with the thought of not spending Christmas in a house but on a huge cruise ship that would travel the Caribbean Sea on the day of my Saviour’s birth was wigging me out. I wouldn’t wake up to a Christmas tree packed with gifts, or get to eat copious amounts of macaroni and cheese and pecan pie, nor would I make my annual pilgrimage to my best friend’s house to eat more food and fellowship with her and her family. This change in tradition weirded me out. I didn’t know what I would do with myself or how I would feel. But, as I woke up this morning, two things came to mind: the King is here and this is not the end of a season but the beginning of the best season we have as Christians.

You see, with Advent and Christmas ended, it signifies the closing of one chapter, but the opening of the most significant and wonderful story we have as Christians. Today, we were given the awesome gift of a child who had/has the government upon His shoulders. He is the child that was born to become the light of the world and the salt of the earth. This day marks that start of the ministry of the man who was sent forth to die for our sins. Today we acknowledge an awesome gift, but we should also prepare ourselves for the maturity of that gift and how it will play out in our lives for the next four months as we look forward to Lent, Easter and Pentecost.

Today I acknowledge the birth of Christ the Lord and know that this was the day that forever changed the lives of humanity. And to that end, the fanfare, the praise and worship shouldn’t end today. We can’t stop singing “O Come Let Us Adore Him” just because the stores have decided to stop playing it incessantly or it seems out of season. We must sing it because we still have an ever-living Saviour to adore. We made clear the path for Him to come and now we must walk with him on the path for the months to come as we relive his 30 years on ministry in mere months.

So I submit that today not be the end of your celebration or your worship of that baby in the manger. It’s far from over and really it’s just beginning. So come let us adore Christ that Lord and clear the way for Him to be with us henceforth now and forevermore.

December 10, 2008

The Best Christmas Song

Well maybe not the best, but it’s one of my favorite and it’s a testament to my interesting taste in old school music. I say this simply because I feel many would throw me on the gauntlet for not putting Donnie Hathaway’s “This Christmas” down as my favorite. But this is coming from a girl whose first concert was Smashing Pumpkins, and I was introduced to Sonic Youth, Nirvana and Tori Amos long before I ever loved Common, Mos Def and Jay-Z.

But not to belabor this any longer, here is one of my favoritest Christmas songs. It makes me feel so jolly. Enjoy!

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