The Loudmouth Protestant

May 30, 2009

Gospel Girl, IXOYE

Filed under: randomness — nickisym @ 9:00 am
Tags: ,

Kitschy Christian t-shirts are the best. There really is no holds barred on what they will take creative license for to represent the kingdom. We’ve seen Reese’s turned into Jesus. The Monopoly “Get Out of Jail Free” card turned into “Stay out of Hell Free”. Orange Crush turned to Christ and now my new personal favorite because of my vice, “Gossip Girl” turned to “Gospel Girl”. I don’t have to wax poetic about the meaning of the shirt. Simply put, a Gospel Girl spreads the gospel instead of gossip and is inspired by 1 John 3:16, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”

Gospel Girl, IXOYE

May 29, 2009

Laodicean Spelling Bee Prophecy

Yesterday night, Kavya Shivashankar won the Scripps National Spelling Bee for spelling the word “Laodicean.” Interesting, right? I don’t think it is any coincidence that of all of the multi-syllabic words that could have been chosen for her to spell in her final opportunity to win the bee, that this word with biblical origins would be chosen. The church in Laodicea, as referenced in the new testament book of Revelations, was a church full of lukewarm believers. They were neither hot not cold, in this day and age they would be considered the believers who straddle the fence. Paul’s words to this church through divine inspiration were that it was better for them to be either hot or cold, because as lukewarm they were only worthy enough for God to spit out. Paul would go on to tell them that they were much too caught up in their own concerns:

“You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.”

Last night, when the girl asked the judged to define the word he told her it meant being lukewarm as it pertains to religion or politics.  But I believe very strongly that this is God’s message to the believers today and it has nothing to do with politics. I don’t claim to be a prophet, I don’t know that that’s the gift God has given me, but I do believe everything happens for a reason. And it’s no coincidence that two days before Pentecost, God would use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. A spelling bee! (And guess what? Laodicean is not really the most difficult word she could have spelled last night. So look at God!) And now millions of people are searching to find out what Laodicean means and in that searching they will discover the origin and in discovering the origin they will happen upon Revelations 3:14-22 and in reading that they will either choose to be renewed or consumed. God’s message to his believers on this day is that we’ve been straddling the fence for too long, our lukewarmth is unsavory, and He needs us to choose sides because in doing that, His remnant of believers will be the ones He shows Himself to. He wants to show up in a mighty way, but He’s waiting for us to choose.

Choose ye this day whom you will serve…

May 28, 2009

Quote of the Day: Vincent Presti

I always seem to find the most interesting books laying around and because I am an avid reader, I manage at least skim through those that I am faintly intrigued with. My latest skim-through, “Career Discernment: Shamanic Laws & Statutes for Dispirited Professionals and Spirited Job Seekers”. I know what some of you may be thinking, “A Shaman? Really Loudmouth Protestant quoting a Shaman? It was enough that you quote Thomas of Aquinas and shared a novena your Protestant self though was interesting, but Shaman???” Yeah well, I told you, I’m a reader and being such there are times when I come across interesting quotes from the most interesting sources. Stephen King isn’t exactly a saint. So here’s my quote of the day, brought to you by Shaman Lawyer Vincent Presti.

“Never fret over mistakes!

No error is really uncorrectable

Except, your submission to error

as an enemy of your life

Rather than a confidant and friend

to encourage your personal growth.

I love this quote because I am the first to fret about the mistakes I’ve made on any given day. I’ll write an e-mail to someone, read it after I sent it–after I’ve read it twice before sending–and see that there is a spelling or punctuation error and I will practically throttle myself simply because I don’t want the receiver to think I am silly enough to not copyedit my e-mails. I’ll talk to some guy I like and stumble over my words in our conversation and be embarassed because I swear he’ll think I am not quite as eloquent as he initially thought. I’ll re-read posts on this blog and see errors and think, “That must be why my traffic is low.” But this is a perfect reminder to not be ruled by errors, consider them a lesson and keep it moving. And lest you think I’ve completely lost my mind, I didn’t really need a Shaman to tell me this, I know that Jesus died for my errors aka sins and I’m given new life in Him everyday and that was established well before Shaman wisdom. 🙂

May 27, 2009

Prayers for Mike Tyson and Family

Filed under: prayer,recent news — nickisym @ 10:31 am
Tags: , ,

Mike Tyson’s 4-year-old daughter Exodus was taken off of life support and has been pronounced dead following an accident in the family home over the weekend. Please remember him in your prayers. Remember nothing else but this man grieving the death of his daughter. Let not your memories of his past infractions prohibit you from interceding on his behalf in this his time of need. My heart goes out to him and his family for their loss. May God grant him peace that it may be well with his soul to know that Exodus, has made her exodus to be with her heavenly father.

May 22, 2009

Prayers Toward Pentecost

Filed under: prayer,spirituality — nickisym @ 2:52 pm
Tags: , ,

I happened to be poking around on Via Media, one of Beliefnet’s Catholic blogs, when I found a link to a Pentecost novena. I didn’t know what a novena was prior to that moment, but I know what Pentecost is and that was enough for me. For those who don’t know, Pentecost occurs 50 days after the resurrection and commemorates the Holy Spirit’s descent upon the church. It is considered the birthday of the church. 

My church and its various ministries is preparing for Pentecost and for me, as a member of the dance ministry, it means consecrating myself to become a vessel to be used on Pentecost in ministry. This consecration takes many forms of which prayer and fasting are a vital part. So it was perfect that I happened upon this novena.

A novena, in the Catholic church, is a body of prayers or devotions that lasts for 9 sucessive days for the purpose of obtaining special graces. When I read that, my mind was blown because one of my biggest concerns is that I truly use the next nine days to empty myself of every erroneous thing so that I can truly be a vessel set aside for God’s purposes. I need the special graces. So I continued reading through the Pentecost novenas and I felt very much drawn to the beauty of the prayers.

The novena starts with two prayers which are to be recited daily–one for the act of consecration to the Holy Spirit and one for the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit–which are then followed by specific prayers for each day which are closed with an Our Father, a Hail Mary and 7 Glory Be’s. Now I’m not sure if I’ll do the latter part of the novenas, but I am really loving these prayers and plan to fold them into my devotion time for the next 9 days. So as part of my Catholic learning for the day, I wanted to share today’s Pentecost Novena.

Holy Spirit! Lord of Light! From Your clear celestial height, Your pure beaming radiance give!

The Holy Spirit

Only one thing is important — eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared–sin· Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness, and indifference The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for “The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us.”

Prayer

Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Spirit, and hast given us forgiveness all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.

I pray that all who are looking to these 9 days before Pentecost with expectancy would gird themselves up with prayer, whether it be of the novenas or on your own accord. Seek His face.

Be Blessed

He Is Sovereign

I am in one of those moods again…I haven’t been here in about a year, but I guess in the devil’s time he would need me to return to my former self, just for a minute, thinking I will brood in this mood long enough to reverse the work God has done in me. But little does he know, God is going to get the glory, right here and right now. I’m not even going to put words to what my mood is, though you can read about if you click on the link in the first sentence. All I will say is I trust HIM and HIM alone. HE is sovereign and to that end, I submit this song to every woman and man who is waiting in God’s will for God’s will to be done. Be steadfast and unmoveable…

May 21, 2009

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye, Part Deux

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First “Girlfriends” now this. “The Game” has officially been cancelled from the fall lineup on the CW Network. So has ‘Everyone Hates Chris.”  I am actually a little surprised because I really did expect them to keep “The Game.” Why? Well, I believed that the CW would recognize the importance of not white-washing their network. In an age when black people are hard-pressed to find quality programming on television, “The Game” and ‘Everybody Hates Chris” to a lesser extent was our last hope. And now we’ve got nothing.

So instead of renewing “The Game” and accepting Mara Brock Akil’s pitch to make it a one-hour dramedy, we get more of the same drivel. More rich white people, more wannabe models, more emo’d out white people from the northeast, more oversexed white people on the West Coast, more white people chasing ghosts in the middle of nowhere, more white people playing superheroes, more opportunities for white people to see themselves as multi-dimensional while the only thing black households can depend on in terms of seeing an image of themselves cast on television is catty and fake beougeosie black people a la “Harlem Heights”, ignorant young black people a la “College Hill”, country black people a la “House of Payne”, cross-dressing black people–ok, it’s just one oddly dressed man–a la “Meet the Browns”, half-naked black people a la every music video and enslaved black people a la the NBA, NFL and to a lesser extent, the MLB.

Now please don’t get me wrong, my breakdown of the programming on the CW network is not meant to suggest covert prejudice, but to suggest that the CW network does well at depicting the many faces of white America while giving black America short shrift. We exist! Sure, “The Game” and “Everybody Hates Chris” weren’t meant to serve as the perfect depiction of black America. They both have their flaws, but like the human family, it made sense. “Everybody Hates Chris” was a comical depiction of a middle-class family in Brooklyn in the 80s, think about the family that lived a couple of blocks away from the Cosbys. “The Game” was a comical and dramatic depiction of the lives of young NFL players, their significant others, agents and their families. Those two shows were created by educated, accomplished black people–something for our young, black screenwriters, actors, and actresses to look up to and aspire to. And now, we’ve got nothing. Let’s not forget to mention this puts more than a handful of black actors out of work.

Not to discount Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne” which I do watch from time to time, but after spending so many years caught up in “The Game” and the lives of those characters, I am just hurt that it didn’t get one more chance if for no other reason then to add color to the palette. And come to think of it, this is beyond a black thing because yet and still there are no shows that feature main characters of color, except as supporting roles to white ones. Nelly Yuki, Isabel Coates and Penelope Shafai as Blair’s United Colors of Benetton underlings on “Gossip Girl”  don’t count. Dixon Wilson as the black adopted child of the star family of 90210 doesn’t count. Quentin the cocky basketball player and Skills the BFF from “One Tree Hill” don’t count. They are good tries, but most black people live in worlds where they are the main character and the supporting roles are played by everyone else…Think president Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Just saying…

I could go on for days about this but then I wouldn’t get any real work done. But I did this to show my great dissapointment in the CW network. I know it’s all about advertising revenue and what is profitable, but for once I wish you weren’t lead by the dollar signs in your eyes and more by the beat of your heart. Better luck next time… I guess we can all pray that another network picks up “The Game”, maybe we can start a petition for that.

And to the casts of both “Everybody Hates Chris” and “The Game” I pray you’ll all find shows even better than the ones that you are leaving that will stretch you to new levels as actors. This is just the beginning…

May 19, 2009

Songs For Your Wait

I happened to be checking the search terms that have brought people to my blog and I noticed that one of them was “songs about waiting for God’s will.” And since I consider myself the princess of contemporary gospel music, I thought I’d offer my personal picks for songs to listen to while you tarry.

  1. “I Don’t Mind Waiting” Juanita Bynum: I discovered this song a couple of months ago while listening to Pandora—which I have to thank for much of my new music acquisitions over the last few months. We all know Bynum as a troubled woman of sorts, but I will not refute her ability to minister through her own brokenness and she does so masterfully in this song. All she does is repeat the phrase, “I don’t mind waiting”. And you know? That’s all that necessary because it’s the repetition that cements the lesson.
  2. “I Trust You” James Fortune & Fiya: I heard this song during one of my weekends in Atlanta last fall. Every time I got into a car, this song would play. It was the theme of the weekend and I felt as though God needed me to hear it because it was during a time when I had some decisions to make. He needed me to know that of all the people I could run to, He’s the safest place and he will lead me to the right place.
  3. “Victory” Brenda Water: My best friend used to play this song frequently when we lived together. It seemed like every morning I woke up to Brenda Waters’ singing, “I don’t know how, God’s gonna do it.” There were times when I was annoyed because she was one of those people who, when they liked a song and played it, they’d let it repeat over and over again. But when she let me borrow the CD once day, I ended up doing the same thing. Waters core message is that despite not knowing when God will come through for us, He will come through, and when He does there will be victory.
  4. “God’s Will Is What I Want” New G & Ricky Dillard: One Sunday morning our splendiferous-ly wonderful young adult choir sung this song and I couldn’t help but jump to my feet. Many of the older congregants didn’t understand what the choir was singing because the “God’s Will Is What I Want” chorus is repeated quite swiftly but once they caught on, the church was jamming. And the song is just simple. “God Is What I Want” is repeated so many times that even if you didn’t want it in the beginning you will want it in the end.
  5. “There Is No Place” Fred Hammond: I love me some Fred Hammond. Before him, I had no idea gospel music, music to my Lord and Savior, could be so romantic—I’m serious about this. Well that’s beside the point but I had to just say that. Anyways, this song came to me a few years ago when Hammond’s CD “Free to Worship” was released. It’s it about the will of God and the fact that there is no place better than being in it.  Simply put.
  6. “If It’s Not You” Joann Rosario: As a single woman, I am always tempted to go out and rectify my singleness situation by myself, but by doing so, I’d get myself in a whole heap of trouble and that’s where Joann Rosario’s song comes in. I heard this song one day I couldn’t help but rejoice at the fact that God sent me a reminder in song form that I can’t even waste an iota of time dealing with anyone who isn’t Him, for Him, or from Him. I listen to this song when I am feeling vulnerable and am in the position to compromise myself and go outside of His will. Once Rosario sings, “If it’s not you, I don’t want it at all. If it’s not You, Lord You’re the real, real. There’s nobody else I can trust with my heart. So I stand assured, Lord You are the real.”I just let those words minister to my heart and it helps me to remember that God is the lover of my soul.

Interestingly enough, as I wrote this list, and noticed that many of the songs lead with trust instead of out rightly speaking about God’s will, I realized it was important to mention that trust is the necessary part of waiting for God’s will to be manifested in your life. We can’t earnestly wait if we aren’t honestly trusting God. Trust Him fully, surrender yourself and your notion of preference and wait on the Lord to do His work.

So that’s my list, not at all comprehensive. What would you add?

May 18, 2009

Take the Religion in the “Family Guy” Quiz

Filed under: entertainment,randomness — nickisym @ 3:52 pm
Tags: , , ,
Jesus in Family Guy

Jesus in "Family Guy"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know, I know…”Family Guy” is not the most appropriate show one could watch on television. But, if you are going to waste your time watching the idiot box, it’s way better to watch a humorous offensive show that is smart in its execution rather than the countless number of plainly offensive reality shows that exist to exploit weak and the feeble-minded people who think they are going to be propelled to stardom but end up on VH1’s “The Surreal Life.” And I digress…

Anyways, I just took this really great quiz about religion in “Family Guy” and thought that I might score high since I’ve watched my fair share, but I was brutally rebuffed. See how you do:

 Beliefnet’s religion in “Family Guy” quiz

A Simple Prayer

Filed under: christianity,God,prayer,spirituality — nickisym @ 1:11 pm

Yesterday afternoon, as my family was gathered together to celebrate a cousin’s graduation from college, I heard a simple prayer. It came from my uncle, my cousin’s father, who is a learned man but not necessarily a spiritual one. This isn’t for any particular reason,  it’s just his natural disposition. But as he stood in the room among family and friends, he knew the only appropriate thing to do was pray to God and give Him thanks for getting us to the wonderful day.

Before he parted his lips, he attempted to preface his prayer by stating that he isn’t the most spiritual or religious person. Sensing the words that were about to come out of his mouth my aunt told him to go forward. What followed was a beautiful outpouring of one man’s spirit to His God. It was pure, not wrapped up in the grandiloquence that people believe is necessary for prayer, and simple. 

He was at a loss for words at times and at others you could sense he wanted to say something high and lofty, but he was always steered back into simple prayer. Not complicated, verbose, and loud. Just honest, heartfelt and perfectly timed.

It was nothing more than a simple prayer.

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