The Loudmouth Protestant

September 28, 2009

Put a Praise On It!

Filed under: church,entertainment,friends,randomness — nickisym @ 5:02 pm

By now we shouldn’t be shocked by the proliferation of “Single Ladies” parodies that have popped up on YouTube. The most recent one to receive viral critical acclaim is the baby standing in front of the television with what looked like a diaper full of no good, bouncing up and down to Sasha Fierce’s hit song. It’s entitled “All the Single Babies.” If I see it again, I’m going to scream, both because it is terribly cute and because one year later I can’t believe people are still watching the video  making parodies.

In the midst of Sasha Fierce’s dead horse of a song being beaten a hundred times over, a little church church in Maryland by the name of Community of Hope AME has put their own spin on “(Put a Ring On It)”. Being that the church is located in Maryland of course they had to drop the Go-Go beat. But not only that, they changed around the words to appease the sensibilities of the Christian congregation–and maybe their unsaved friends who may recognize the chord they are singing in. So for all the Christian folks, Community of Hope AME wants to let you know, “If you love him, than you ought to put a praise on it.”

Watch the full clip below and if you must get into the groove, change into your Parasucos now.

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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.”

October 15, 2007

Put Down the Book!

I mentioned in an earlier post that I believe my books mock me. This is so ironic because I am a bookworm. I don’t just read books, I am a purveyor of books. I’m not the kind of purveyor who collects antiquated books to decorate ornate bookshelves. I am the kind of purveyor that collects brand new books. Books with interesting cover art, interesting titles, interesting descriptions, etc. But I am starting to believe that there is something wrong with us and our books.

We have books to address myriad topics and some Christians are very quick to run to a book–not The Book–to find solutions to life’s problems. The most pressing of them, singleness. Every year there are hundred if not thousands of books published for the single Christian. The books tell us how to walk in singleness, how to be happy in singleness, how to dress and act in singleness, explains why we are single, maybe tells us how long we will be single and the list goes on. Many of us run to these books because we believe that we must read them during our season of singleness. We think it will help us better cope with being single or give us some bold revelation about it. I am a victim of reading too many of the books–or at least reading them halfway through and getting bored with the concept. But yesterday it dawned on me…

As I was chatting with a friend, she told me that maybe we ought not be so quick to acquire the books that talk about our singleness. She mentioned my dear friend who got married a couple of weeks ago. The story behind her reference was that about a year and a half ago–before the friend even met her husband–I had forwarded one of those statistic laden articles about how 42.4% have never been married and might not ever be. Without reading the article, my dear friend quickly responded to my forward and put a cease and desist order on my sending the rubbish around. She said that she would not claim any of it and the stats don’t speak for her. I was dumbfounded, but I concurred and discontinued forwarding any articles to her. I even stopped reading them myself. But the books still live on.

In the past year I’ve acquired many books on relationships and marriage. There’s “How to Get a Date Worth Keeping”, “Waiting and Dating”, “Single Saved and Having Sex”, “Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye” and my latest acquisition “Now and Not Yet.” I had two copies of the latter book, one of which I was passing along to my friend to read along with me. When another friend saw me with the book in church and asked me what it was about, she rolled her eyes when the word “single” came out of my mouth. I didn’t get it then, but I think that I get it now.

You see, if all you are feeding yourself is information on your singleness–the statistics, the sob stories, the love novels, the magazine articles–and you are not feeding yourself with what God has to say about it, you are being consumed by the wrong thing. The point is not for us to be consumed by our singleness but for us to be consumed with God during the season. A friend from church put it wonderfully, she said “I want to be so consumed with God that one day I wake up next to my husband and just wonder how it happened.” We need not concern ourselves with trying to figure out our singleness in the 21st Century. His word tells us to “lean not on our own understanding.”

So I challenge people to step away from the books for a moment–particularly if you are finding that you rush to them more then you rush to your Bible or to your knees–and see what God has to say about it first. Let him lead you to the appropriate book. It will be a better use of your time.

September 27, 2007

The Truth Hurts…

Filed under: friends,life,randomness — nickisym @ 10:23 am
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There is something that I must tell a friend but everytime I say I will I can never find the words to say it. The trouble is, I am more concerned about hurting the person’s feelings and that means much more to me than the resolution of the problem. I’ve had countless opportunities to broach the topic and I’ve talked to God about it many times over but still I can’t find the words to say.

I’ve spoken to others about the situation and they tell me I am not being a good friend, but they too are privy to the problem and not saying anything about it so they can classify themselves the same. People make the excuse of not knowing the person that well but they know the problem very well. People make seniority in time known a case when they’ve had much tenure with the problem. At this point no one is excused. This past weekend a friend told me that we are to be good stewards over everything including our friendships and that hit me hard. After hearing that, I purposed in myself to tell the person. I set the day and the time and even had a rough draft of how I might say it. But when the day came I was rendered speechless.

You see, people believe it is so easy to tell a friend the truth. They say “Just do it.” But what they forget is how much the truth hurts. Sure it is for their benefit in the end but I personally cannot bear the burden of hurting someone’s feelings like that. It almost makes me feel as if I am not the chosen one to break it to the friend because I have sought divine counsel for this situation.

I just don’t know anymore. Am I taking it too seriously? Do I just man-up and do it? Or am I justified in being concerned about my friend’s feeling before the resolution for the problem?

September 24, 2007

The Language Of Tears

Filed under: christianity,friends,God,relationships,singleness,waiting on God — nickisym @ 2:23 pm

This was the weekend of my best friend’s wedding, so it was to be expected that I would end up an emotional mess. For over five years, she has been like a sister to me and has stuck with me through thick and thin and I to her. I was already emotional when she told me she was engaged…Imagining a life without being able to knock on her door at any given moment and talk was daunting. The prospect of not have my ace boon koon by my side was scaring me to death. After much sobbing the day after the wedding, my mother clued me in on something. She met my friend a few weeks ago when we all went to Jamaica and she told me that she understands why I am so sad because my friend was more than a friend, she was a sister to me. And it all made logical sense. But this isn’t even what this post is about…

On topic…

After my maid of honor speech and before I cut a rug I rushed to the bathroom all misty eyed–mind you I cried during my speech. On my way to the restroom, an older woman stopped me and told me that I would be blessed with a wonderful man just as my friend was. She also told me that I will have children despite my saying I don’t like them. When I finally reached the bathroom,  there were many of my friend’s family and friends in the bathroom and they knew where I was emotionally. Having mentioned my singleness and how I hope to be blessed with a similar sanctified relationship as my friend had been, they know where I was coming from. Some told me my speech was great, others told me to stop crying because my day was coming soon and others just smiled at me. But when I hit the stall it was like no one said anything of substance to me because I let it rip–not loudly though, I wouldn’t want them to think I was crazy.

As I sat there on the john, I cried and I cried and I cried until I heard something.  I heard of voice telling me to stop crying. And immediately I stopped, but then I was tempted to start again. The voice said “Stop crying,” again and I did. Then the voice said, “You should stop crying because your tears are telling me you don’t believe I am going to do what I promised.” I wiped my eyes and thought about what I heard and I thought about the implications of my incessant sobbing over my singleness.  It’s true, there is a part of me that doesn’t believe God will come through for me in this area of my life. I’ve also been victim to hearing too many contradictory words about singleness in the body of Christ. But at the moment, I decided only one person’s word counts. I received it and I stopped crying for the rest of the night and for a good portion of the last couple of days.

It then happened that as I was driving home after the wedding, a song was put in my head. It was Tonex’s “Cry No More.” The song is actually about losing a loved one to death, but the refrain that played in my head was “God understands the language of tears, he knows all abouts your hurts and your fears.” It blew my mind because at first I wasn’t very sure about why I was crying. I didn’t know whether it was feeling like I lost a friend or feeling like I was destined for singleness forever, but God set me straight and for that I’m thankful.

So the next time you find yourself in a puddle of tears crying about what seems like a overwhelmingly long season of singleness, remember that He will do what He says. And he can do it even more so when you correct your disbelief and doubt and stop crying.

September 15, 2007

“Show Me Your Company…

Filed under: friends,God,life — nickisym @ 10:38 am

And I’ll tell you who you are.”

My father used to tell me this when I was younger and I almost always disregarded his adage. Not that I chose to hangout with bad people–because I never did, but I didn’t bother to put much concious weight on his statement.

Interestingly enough, within the last few weeks I have been coming across much in books and sermons discussing the impact your friends have on your character and life. For everytime I hear the message, I cringe. Again, I don’t have a bad set of friends, but for once I am truly acknowledging the affect that friends can have on your character for good or for bad. In the book “Happiness Is A Choice” by Dr. Minirth and Dr. Meier, they say, “Select your friends very carefully, because you will become more and more like your friends whether you intend to or not.”

I found it so interesting that these passages have been illuminated in the last few weeks and of course I am still meditating on why God would point this out to me. Actually I think I know very well why he has been illuminating it.

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