The Loudmouth Protestant

June 12, 2009

Quote of the Day: The Yogi

Filed under: Quote of the Day,spirituality — nickisym @ 12:52 am
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My latest obsession is going to the gym. But not just to go hard on treadmills and elliptical machines, but for the group fitness classes of which Vinyasa yoga has become my absolute favorite. My quote was taken from a class I took yesterday afternoon and so the story unfolds…

As I sat at my desk at work yesterday, I considered not going to yoga because it was a gloomy day–spring has yet to arrive in New York–and because it was an instructor who I have never had. Nevertheless I decided to press on. 

When I walked into the room it was unusually warm and me, being new to the gym, figured that maybe the air conditioner wasn’t working or maybe the class was just warm at the beginning to warm us up. So I found a spot and prepared myself for class. Once I settled into my sitting position the teacher announced that it was a heated Vinyasa class for intermediates. I was internally freaking out thinking, “Am I an intermediate? I’m not a beginner but I’m not an intermediate either. I have to go back to work after this and I am pretty sure I will sweat like a dog, I don’t know that this is a good decision. Hmmm…” But something told me to just stay calm and take a chance, honey. And so the class proceeded with yoga poses not too unfamiliar to me. It flowed like water and soon enough the beads of sweat were flowing like water off of my forehead, my brow, my chin, my decolletage, my back. It was everywhere, I was drenched and I was actually okay with it.

Midway into the class the poses started to get a little more challenging. They were poses that I had never seen before but I endeavored further nevertheless. Somewhere between lying on my back with my head between my knees and standing on one leg with the other leg wrapped around my standing leg the instructor said,

“Nothing ventured. nothing gained, right?”

No sooner than those words left his lips, I was encouraged and got this supernatural power to really give it all I had. Poses I had never seen in my life, I was able to execute–not perfectly but with perfect intention. I felt invincible just by him saying those words. It was the perfect reminder that in this life, if we do not stretch ourselves to our outer limits, going beyond what is comfortable, we will never know our true potential. 

And to bring it full circle, if Christ never ventured to fulfill the will of His father, we would have never gained a new life. If we never ventured to find fullness in Him, we wouldn’t be able to boast about our new life. 

So it really is, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained, eh?”

June 10, 2009

What Is God Better Than?

Filed under: christianity,music — nickisym @ 10:13 pm
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Just about every day within the past few weeks I’ve managed to find a new favorite song. I’m what some people might call a promiscuous music lover. I hop from song to song as the feeling arises and though I may state loving a song or album on one week, by the next I’m on to the next shiny disc–and yes, I still like purchasing CDs, I need liner notes. Anyways, that is neither here or there in this post. The song I discovered today is Skillet’s “Better Than Drugs”. 

For those of you unfamiliar with the group, as I was mere days before listening to their album “Comatose”, they are a Christian rock group who sounds kind of like Good Charlotte (in my humble opinion). Anyways, their CD is one that is totally rocking my face off, much like Decyfer Down’s was last week. So the song, “Better Than Drugs”, is all about how Jesus is better than, well, drugs. I loved the song so much when I heard it that I had to replay it about 5 times in a row.

“You’re better than drugs, your love is like wine, feel you comin’ on so fast, feel you comin’ on to get me high. You’re better than drugs, addicted for life, feel you comin’ on so fast, feel you comin’ on to get me high.”

In thinking about the song some more, I started thinking about the things that I believe God is better than. I could easily say drugs, but I’ve never tried drugs so that’d be unfair–this is not to say any of the members of Skillet have, but I’m gathering that their target audience is tempted by drugs more than me.  

So what do I think God is better than? Cupcakes, Tostitos Bite Size Tortilla chips, vintage dresses, plantains, cheeseburgers, broccoli, books, Gossip Girl, The Game, anything on television really, my Blackberry, my insecurities, this blog, my best thoughts, my worst days, the list is endless. Would it be too trite to say he’s better than everything? Because he is.

What do you think God is better than?

 



Obama, the False Prophet?

Filed under: randomness,recent news — nickisym @ 12:15 am
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I don’t even want to bother with a lot of political-speak right now. I just need people to watch this video and see what a crazy old coot Jon Voight has turned out to be.

Ok, maybe I shouldn’t call him a coot, but crazy and old is pretty accurate. Most of this speech is larded with fallacious statements and his old age seems to have rendered him incapable of remembering that the previous president, part of his ilk, is the reason why we are in the mess that Obama is cleaning up.

So as to leave on a high note, I wanted to make sure you paid close attention to the first sentence on this post which I’ll make my unofficial quote of the day:

Jon Voight’s speech at last night NRCC-NRSC dinner was a carefully crafted jingoist clap-a-thon, larded with dominionist, eschatological messages to stir up the theocratic nutbags, while hitting the usual right wing punching bags: the media, Hollywood, Joe Biden, the stimulus package, Congressional Democrats. (Man, I love this!)

 Oh I thought I’d leave on a high note, but sometimes it’s just not possible. So in closing I have to say, in my opinion, that all politicians, in one way or another, are false prophets promising a nation what they cannot always deliver and selling us on a dream that usually has to be deferred. Tis better to do what the greenbacks say, “In God we Trust.” Well, actually God said it first, but you know what I mean.

June 9, 2009

The Sweetest Thing I’ve Ever Heard

Filed under: Uncategorized — nickisym @ 8:30 pm

This past weekend I discovered my wedding song. No, I’m not getting married anytime soon, but I knew as soon as I heard this song that it was one I wanted, needed to dance with my beloved to. Matt Maher’s “Set Me as a Seal” is that song, a simple ballad inspired by Song of Songs 8:6-7. I didn’t know that it was taken from Song of Songs when I first heard it. All I knew is that it was hauntingly beautiful and it made me think of my relationship with God. It made me think of how I wanted/need him to be set as a seal on my heart. Seals cannot be broken and for Him to be there means that He shall never be removed. Hearing that song made me want to make that a part of my daily prayer. That everyday, more and more, like  a wax seal that hardens to an envelope, I need God to be the seal on my heart. I need His love to melt over my heart and fill in every crack and open wound. I need the blood of Jesus to cover my heart just like the red wax seal on an old love letter.

This song and the concept is just so beautiful to me that I had to share it.

Side note: If you know me, and you have upcoming nuptials that I or anyone I know is invited to, I ask that you don’t try to steal this song for your own. I know you won’t seeing as though it means so much to me, but stranger things have happened. 🙂

He’s Just Not that Into You

Filed under: God,life,love,relationships — nickisym @ 1:28 pm
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being in a relationship right now.

So it feels like it has been relationship month here at the Loudmouth Protestant and I’ve got to believe everything happens for a reason. There’s a reason why the talk of relationships, who’s doing it right and who’s doing it wrong has been all up in my frame of reference for the last couple of days. I had the good fortune of happening upon a great blog post entitled “Why You Can’t Find a GOOD Man“. The blogger, David, a married man of God living in Atlanta, really laid the whole “There’s no good men” theory to rest and gave women some food for thought to change their perspective while they are out in the real dating field. So, I forwarded David’s isms to a few friends and most believed they were on point, but only one brought it back to the heart of the matter. My friend said that the list complicates things more than necessary because it makes single women believe they are at fault for their singleness when in actuality it might have nothing to do with them and everything to do with God not having that for them at this point in time. Eureka! Duh! Hello cousin! What was I thinking?

Sure, the list is really great and it points out some of the roadblocks that women in the dating world run into, but it doesn’t take into account that maybe the roadblocks are not natural but spiritual. (The light is shining so bright on this one right now.) So women down there in Atlanta, up here in New York, over there in Los Angeles, and at the bottom in Miami are trying to figure out what is wrong with them when everything could be right with them and it’s just not God’s timing. Now this is still taking into account that we are all works in progress and God is still working on us. But, being a women who has it together, is sucessful, intelligent, has a strong spiritual foundation, is well-rounded, attractive and hilarious, I know first-hand that the reason why I am single is may not so much tied up in the things I’m not doing–like not trolling the streets for men or making myself readily available to those within my reach–but the fact that my heavenly Father has a much bigger plan for my life, the single one and the one where I will be partnered up with my helpmate. 

I know it’s tiring to say it’s not in God’s will for you to be in a relationship, but when you look at your dating missteps, the ones that happened because you were out there on your own getting up, getting out, and trying to get something, you have to realize that maybe God is allowing all the fumbles and fouls because those players are not who He has for you. I’ve commiserated with a very close friend about how I’m totally tired of hearing about everyone else’s love story. Tired of meeting all the wrong people and wasting emotional energy on these men who I thought would amount to something but they didn’t. But then I realized that my God is so big and so bad that He has to be planning something that will blow my mind and blow everyone else out the water. This isn’t about competition but about the fact that while we are striving for ourselves and trying to reach for relationships out of our own futility we are only going to get what our human mind’s can conceive. But if we were to really sync up with God, consecrate ourselves to His service and just be caught up with Him, we wouldn’t even have a moment to be concerned about our singleness. And when I say consecrate, I mean that we should consecrate ourselves for the duration of our singleness and get with God to let Him mold us into the woman He wants us to be for the man He has for us. The reality of the situation is, God already has our mates. You know that saying, “It’s already done.” It is! Because God is omnipotent and knows every detail of our lives from start to finish He already knows who it’s going to be. So no amount of trying on our part will change it–unless we are so adamant about the “do-it-yourself” approach that we miss what He has for us. 

So, I say all of this to say, don’t spend inordinate amounts of time thinking your singleness is your fault and there is something you’re not doing right. There is no single list that will answer the question of why you are still single. But there is one single being who can answer that question. So take this time to rest in God and listen for what He would have you to do in this season of life. Rest in Him and listen to what He wants to tell you about yourself and the things He would have you to change to prepare you for your mate. Get caught up in God. Fill up–even more–on Him. Be so very consumed with him that you have a one-track mind and tunnel vision that only sees Him. And do this not to distract yourself, but to consume yourself with His presence. Live on a ravenous diet of God and just really get into Him so that He can get into you and change you, for His sake, and the sake of whom He will send to you.

He may not be that into you being in a relationship now, but if He has put the desire in your heart, He will make it come to pass in His perfect timing.

June 8, 2009

Get Gone

Filed under: friends,God,life,music,relationships — nickisym @ 5:30 pm
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When I was in college and my roommates heard this song blasting from my room they knew that I was on the “outs” with someone. Ideal’s “Get Gone” really resonated with me because I always felt like I gave a lot of myself to my non-relationships. (Non-relationships because none of them turned into actual relationships but took up the same amount of emotional energy as a real relationship.) I was always so open, and when I say open it isn’t just referring to being honest, but being very vulnerable and weak to the point where it would be easy for someone to take advantage of me. They took my meekness for weakness and admittedly, I was both, so I used this song to give me the courage to let people go–even if it was only in my mind.

But this song came back to me this morning because I realize I am no longer equipped to give people a fighting chance with me because there is too much at stake. I’ve come across people, who as a very dear friend put it, “want my substance, but don’t want me.” And this is discouraging because I’m operating in the same fashion as I was back in college, giving people the best that I got and getting nothing in return. The only difference is, this time, I’m not weak and I am meek for the benefit of my exchanged life.  My exchanged life entitles me to more than a fly-by-night relationship or fair-weather friend. The author of my exchanged life is the friend who sticks closer than a brother, so why would I need anyone who is less than that? The author of my exchanged life is always on time, so why would I need someone who only knows how to call when they need something from me? The author of my exchanged life cares about the issues of my life, loves me unconditionally, listens even when I’m not talking and is with me everywhere that I go; so why would I need anyone who doesn’t care about the issues of my life, only deigns to like me when it’s convenient, doesn’t listen when I talk or dares to put a time limit on how long they are capable of listening, and is nowhere that I go? I can’t, we can’t, grant people access to our lives who only know how to be part-time lovers and fair-weather friends. We have to know our limits and as such, we must have peace about every relationship, friendship, partnership or any other ‘ship we enter into. And if you don’t have peace about it, you have to say, “Get Gone.”

June 5, 2009

Happy National Doughnut Day!!!

Filed under: randomness — nickisym @ 11:17 am
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Yes, that’s right folks, it is National Doughnut Day. Apparently the first Friday in June is set aside for the sweet circular dough and as such today you are entitled to free donuts. If you are a Dunkin Donuts fan you can purchase any drink–not just drip coffee–and get a free donut. If you are a Krispy Kreme fan, you can keep your money in your pocket and get one of their light as air doughnuts for free.

I just got my free DD donut since there aren’t many Krispy Kreme’s in Nueva York. 

Enjoy and remember to not only thank God it’s Friday, but thank God it’s National Doughnut Day.

June 4, 2009

Vote for Trip Lee on 106 and Park

Filed under: music — nickisym @ 11:37 pm
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This evening as I was waiting for the the game to come on, my best friend text messaged me to let me know she was watching a video that had premiered on 106 & Park. Though I couldn’t hear the excitement in her voice, I could see it in her words. “They have a new joint with such tight production and authentic looking rappers…” She would go on to say that halfway through the video she realized that they were talking about God. So I had to ask her whose video it was. I’ll be honest, I assumed it was some secular artist who decided it’s time to let the world know “Jesus Walks” or tell people about “Gaining One’s Definiton”. But when she told me who it was my eyes almost bugged out of my sockets. Trip Lee featuring Tedashi on 106 and Park!!! I wanted to jump through the roof.

Now I don’t profess to know much about Christian rap music, but of what I have been exposed to, Trip Lee and Tedashi have been the best–along with a some of my other favorites like Sho Baraka, Cross Movement, Da Truth, LeCrae and The Procussions. So anyways, Trip Lee and Tedashi were featured on 106 and Park for Trip’s single “Real Vision: off of his new album 20/20. 

So now it’s judgment time. It may have made it on the show, but what we do from here on out will determine whether it stays. I consider this the first opportunity for us to infiltrate the normally scheduled programmed and give our children something substantive to listen to. No more “Love, Sex and Magic”. No more “Blame It”. No more “Stanky Legg”. No more! It’s time to give our children real vision.

To that end I have posted the video here for your viewing and listening pleasure. If you find it to be of good rapport, please make sure you go over to BET.com to vote for it so it can stay on the 106 and Park countdown. Debra Lee and the rest of her cronies need to know there is a faction of people out there not willing to sit by and watch her feed garbage to our children, God’s precious children.

Tearing Down the Wall of Distraction

I’ve been sporadically following the progress of the Courageous Church in Atlanta via the pastor, Shaun King’s blog. It’s a young church planted freshly in the soils of the city of Atlanta. Pastor King is quite progressive in his approach to reaching believers in Atlanta, which if you’ve ever been, it takes more than just traditional Sunday fare to get an ATLiens attention.

Nevertheless, I don’t want to spend a lot of time telling you what I think about this ministry, especially because I’ve not yet been–(I’m hoping to drop by this summer). I just wanted to share this incredible video with you. It’s entitled “Tearing Down the Wall of Distraction”:

The most powerful part of the video, for me, was not watching the miniature demolition of tangible and intangible concepts, but of the peoples confession to what is keeping them from a right relationship with God. It was only after they admitted there was a problem that they could tackle it head on and the light could break forth like the dawn…

What is on your wall of distraction and what will you do about it?

June 2, 2009

Fulfilling Holy Desires in Unholy Ways

Filed under: christianity,God,life,love,relationships — nickisym @ 11:54 pm

Do not be envious of those who fulfill holy desires in unholy ways, their pleasure is but for a moment. But your patience in waiting for God to grant you you His holy desire will produce that which lasts a lifetime. –Chris Burge inspired, Nicole Symmonds translated

Today I posted this quote on my Facebook page that was inspired by my Bible Study teacher Chris Burge. In his current series entitled “Test, Temptation and Trials” Chris goes through the Christian’s response to each of these areas. (We are to pass the tests, flee from temptation, and endure trials.) He spent a good deal of time talking about the temptations and the tests in the Christian life. He stated, of tests, that the two biggest ones in the lives of Christians are our sexual integrity and our finances. But the word I have to share is what he shared with us shortly after telling us about our two major tests. He stated that the adversary seeks to get us to fulfill holy desires in an unholy way.  That resonated with me so deeply because within the last few weeks, months, and years, I have watched many people fulfill holy desires in unholy ways and they send their brothers and sisters in the body of Christ reeling because of their disobedience and envious of their wicked ways.

Let me break it down for you so it can forever and consistently remain broke. I’m a single Christian woman and this is a sensitive area for me because I have vowed to keep myself pure until marriage. There have been moments when I have fallen into temptation and those moments make me sick to my stomach because I know they weren’t by God’s will but by my flesh. But I repent and I keep it moving, vowing never to be entangled in those sins again and even going as far as disconnecting myself completely from those who I know I’m in danger of falling into temptation with again. But I watch people, people who profess to be Christians, people who sing God’s praises, live lives full of sin because they are slaves to their flesh. These same people walk around as if the sins of the flesh are negotiable parts of their relationship with God. They acknowledge Jesus with their mouths but crucify Him with their lives. Now I know we all sin and fall short of the glory of God, but how many times will you continue to fall short and take advantage of God’s great grace? 

In the midst of watching these fair-weather Christians, there are many other men and women in the body of Christ who are getting stressed out because they are waiting on the Lord but watching people, people who profess to believe in Christ, do all the wrong things and still–seemingly–get their heart’s desire. I see these people who claim God put them together yet they are not even following His holy precepts. They pursued the relationship out of the flesh, they are slaves to the flesh in their relationships and they parade it around and call it love. And they confuse the body of believers who are waiting on Him. It burned me to see people boldly–and some unknowingly–mock God with their lifestyles but they still get what they want, the relationship, the money, the house, etc, etc.

As you read this I’m sure you’re thinking this is still something I get annoyed with, but it’s actually not. I don’t get mad about it anymore simply because I realized that I can’t be envious of people who insist on going against God’s will and living life their way. (The race is not given to the swift.) I can’t be annoyed simply because, as the scriptures say, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but the Lord prevails over them all.” These various people in their seemingly perfect relationships shall have to account to God for deciding to do things their way. Their relationships, which look perfect from the outside could be in total shambles on the inside. Why should I be mad that they fulfill holy desires in unholy ways knowing that their pleasure will last for a moment while my brothers, sisters and I in the body of Christ who endure until the end to wait upon what God has for us will enjoy the gift that God will give us which will last for a lifetime.

This is for all my soldiers waiting and are feeling themselves get weak and are watching people get their heart’s desires fulfilled despite living totally backward and backslidden lives. Don’t be discouraged, frustrated, or angry. First and foremost pray for those people you know doing life their way instead of God’s way. Then simply remember, there is great reward in waiting on the Lord. Here’s to those who are waiting on real love…It will come to pass.

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