The Loudmouth Protestant

July 20, 2010

My Testimony: Part 1, I’ll Trust You

Filed under: life,love,prayer,relationships,Uncategorized — nickisym @ 8:00 am

This is a 2-3 part series on my testimony for the first half of 2010. Much has gone on with me this year and that’s why my writing has been sparse. I’ve had to let time pass, a healing take place before I could be in the position to share this with anyone. I hope that you will take this journey with me in reading these post through to the end for there is light at the end of this tunnel that I hope you will find just as exciting as I do. I thank you in advance for endeavoring to read and share this moment with me.

I’ll trust you. Lord it’s not easy. Sometimes the pain in my life, makes you seem far away. But I’ll trust you. I need to know you’re here. Through the tears and the rain, through the heartache and pain, I’ll trust you. “I’ll Trust You” James P. Fortune & Fiya

When I first heard James Fortune & Fiya’s “I’ll Trust You” I was driving a rental car in Atlanta a few years ago. I was eavesdropping on the song instead of listening to a conversation between friends and as I listened to the words, this song felt important to me, but I didn’t know why. It is a song about trust, the kind of trust you put in God when you have nothing left. At that moment I had everything. I had a job, I was in my right mind, I was surrounded by good friends and family, my life, overall, seemed to be on the right track.  But I heard this song everyday of my weekend in Atlanta and each day my ears perked up. As soon as I got home to New York, I downloaded it from iTunes and added it to my rotation. Little did I know how this song would impact my life years later…

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was talking with a close friend on New Year’s Eve about resolutions and about how I didn’t have any. The only thing I had resolved was to just do whatever God wanted me to do. I wrote in my journal:

“I don’t know what I hope for in 2010. Simply put, I don’t hope for anything but a change. A change in my life, my mind, my heart. A change in faith, to live a life full of faith. All I want to achieve is God having His way in my life. I admit that I have been living under the “ye of little faith” regime and admittedly I’m tired of professing a life full of God yet so void of Him. In 2010 I know I have to take some chances for God’s sake and just step out on faith. What is before me in 2010 requires that I take a step in the right direction. “You know where our feet go. You know where we are heading. You know our destiny.”

That was me the night before the first day of 2010. I didn’t have any other resolution I thought was as powerful as simply just resolving to put more faith and trust in God. Soon enough, just as I proclaimed those words to my friend, my journal and in my prayers, I was faced with living it out.

The beginning of 2010 found me in the position of spiritually giving myself to a man who came into my life on the first day of the year. He was an acquaintance from college who I had only had a few conversations with. I knew some of the things he was going through and he knew what I was preparing to go through and considering that, I became his intercessor and encourager as he prepared for a pivotal moment in his life. I dived in head first into helping him along on this process. In kind, he also prayed me through my process. Initially it was just praying, but with praying comes a heightened sense of intimacy which created between us a heightened emotional state that might have just been accelerated by the extremely intimate act of prayer we were engaging in daily for nearly two months. Before long, the question of feelings came into play and we were no longer on one accord. Though there was much mutual exchange of sweet sentiments and full disclosure between us, including the fact that I knew he wasn’t ready for a relationship because he wanted to straighten out  some things in his life, I held on. I held on because it seemed like I should, it seemed like he wanted me to. He even told me that he knew I deserved the best so he wanted to make sure he had things in order so that he could provide that. I wasn’t delusional about where things were going, but surely I was blindsided when, all of a sudden, he started to withdraw.

Not long after the flower petals and ink had dried on the hand-written letter he sent me extolling my virtues, not long after the morning texts and daily calls halted, I went from being an “integral part of his life”, “an amazing woman”, “a God send” to not being important enough to communicate with.  I became non-integral after his pivotal moment passed and I couldn’t have felt more devastated and used for it. I was back to where I started, alone. But, being alone, I had time to think and pray. Initially I took a fleshly approach and nearly begged him to re-consider me but then I realized that I could not change what GOD was doing–and that I don’t need to beg any man to be with me. I did need him to only be so thankful for the help that I gave him like the nine lepers who didn’t come back to thank Jesus after He healed them, because I needed to understand that a life in ministry to someone means that you will not always get the gratitude you deserve. I needed to see that while this man had some of the qualities I want in a mate, we were on two different levels of spiritual maturity. But most importantly, I needed this man to turn me down so that I could be turned over to a greater cause.

And so, as much as I suffered a broken heart and spirit, and as much as I thought that this was a man that I could see myself with, I had to TRUST that God knew what is best for me. I had to learn to take the power out of that man’s hands to break me and put it back in God’s hands to make me stronger. I had to make a step in what I thought was the right direction which meant stepping away from something I wanted in order to get what I really needed. God used that entire experience to not only strengthen me, but to propel me into my pivotal moment, the moment that would change my life forever…

To be continued tomorrow…

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June 25, 2010

Where I Am Today: Romans 8:28

Filed under: God,gospel music — nickisym @ 7:43 am
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“And we know that all things work for the good of those who love the Lord, and are called according to His purpose…”

Romans 8:28

June 24, 2010

Quote of the Day: John Ortberg

“It is wrong, it is sin, to accept or remain in a position that you know is a mismatch for you. Perhaps that’s a form of sin you’ve never considered–the sin of staying in the wrong job. But God did not place you on this earth to waste away your years in labor that does not employ his design or purpose for your life, no matter how much you may be getting paid for it.”

John Ortberg, from the book “If You Want to Walk On Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat”

That is all.

June 17, 2010

This Is All I Can Eat Right Now

Filed under: bible,God,spirituality — nickisym @ 5:44 pm
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Jesus said in Matthew 4:4:

“One does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

This is what Jesus said when he was being tempted by Satan in the wilderness. There was no turning the stone into a loaf of bread for Jesus because He knew that the bread would only satisfy Him temporarily, but every word out of the mouth of God would fill Him to the brim permanently and that is something I can totally get into.

I am currently in the midst of temptation. The kind of temptation that is very common to man these days, worry.  While I’d love to eat the worry away by binging on cupcakes, those cupcakes will only provide me with temporary relief and a very permanent cavity. So, I had to make an executive decision to put the cupcake down and pick the word of God up. In doing so, I came upon a scripture that felt like a home-cooked meal. Everytime I read it, I get full, push myself away from the proverbial table and enjoy a good night’s sleep because all my assurance is in those words and of course, the God of those words. So, I felt the need to share my good meal with you. This is one of the rare moments where I will share food–I don’t share actual food because I’m greedy, but this is way too good to keep to myself. So, pull yourself up to the table and enjoy the meal…

Matthew 6:25-34: Do Not Worry

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you, by worrying, add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about your clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you–you of little faith? Therefore do not worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”  (NRSV)

 

June 15, 2010

Big Butter Jesus Meltdown

Filed under: Jesus,recent news — nickisym @ 12:19 pm
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Last night, after being struck by lightning, a 62-foot Jesus burned to the ground leaving nothing but the dusty remains of plastic foam and fiberglass in its wake.  The statue was built as a “beacon of hope and salvation” at the Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio. And now it’s just a tragic reminder to invest a little bit more in big Jesus statues, or, maybe don’t invest anything at all in big Jesus statues because these are recessionary times and who in the world spends $250,000 on a Jesus statue when you probably have a church where at least 25% of your congregation is unemployed or  underemployed? What sense does it make to rebuild that statue and then be in the pulpit talking about, “Please give to the “building the big Jesus statue fund”?” No sense at all. (Granted, sources say that the statue was financed through earmark donations, not general church finds. But really? You got earmark donations for a giant Jesus statue for your church? Not a billboard, not advertisements, not even a cross, but a big Jesus?)

Could it be that the burning down of the statue is a sign that that church, and maybe us as the church universal, need to stop wasting money on frivolous things. I know it seems really crazy to say a huge statue of Jesus is frivolous, but honestly, I don’t think Jesus would be okay with a church spending that much money on a statue of Him when they could use that money to do “greater works”. The statue of Jesus that can be seen from the Interstate is not “greater works”. At least, I’m not certain it is the greater works He was referring to.

Anyways, I’m not going to ramble on about this. I might be alone on this matter and others might think this is a national tragedy. I just wonder if this strikes anyone else as slightly strange and unusual?

June 14, 2010

Getting Out of My Dreams

Filed under: dreams,faith,God — nickisym @ 6:27 pm
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I have a pretty active dream life. The kind where things happen in the dream and I wake up the next morning thinking they happened in real life. The kind that make me wake up and wonder what God is trying to tell me. Last night I had one of those dreams…

I was on a field trip with some school kids. I don’t know whether I was their teacher or a parent, all I know is that I was there. I have no idea where we were save for the fact that when we arrived at our destination we were facing a very large building with multiple flights of stairs leading to the top. We weren’t told what was at the top of that building, all we knew is that we had to climb the stairs to find out.

The first few flights were the easiest to navigate. The students and I were talking casually and breathing easily. But suddenly, all of the students I was making the journey with began to dissappear. One by one it was as if they evaporated into the air. They didn’t fall of the stairs, they just disappeared. Suddenly I was climbing the stairs all by myself. The higher I went, the more challenging it became to go to the next level. But, somehow, I was determined to always go to the next flight of stairs. I had to continuously stop myself from looking down because at the point that I was making this journey by myself, looking down would remind me how impossibly high up I was and how I had to continue climbing because making the journey back down wasn’t an option. I had gone too far to turn around.

Finally, I reached the final flight of stairs, but what separated that final flight and the flight I was standing on was a big gaping hole, a mass of air and space that I had to figure how to navigate it to ascend the last flight. There was only one thing I could do. Jump, no LEAP, to the final flight of stairs that would lead me to the “God knows what” at the top of the building. Sure, I had to contend with the possibility of leaping and missing the final flight of stairs only to plummet to my death. But, I believed that there was going to be something to propel me toward those stairs so that I could make it to the top of the building. I felt it was my destiny.

So, putting aside every random thought, I set my mind on moving forward and leaping. When I took the leap, it seemed like I spent an eternity in that time and space, but I did finally end up making it to that last flight of stairs. I was all by myself ascending the last flight to see what was in store for me at the top of that building…

I wish that I could tell you what was at the top of the building, but I can’t. I woke up before I could find that out. Suffice to say,  I’m sure that whatever was waiting for me at the top of the building was going to be a sight to behold, but what was more powerful was the journey it took to get there in the first place. The faith and perserverance that was necessary to keep going up. Even that leap and the time it took for me to float between one flight to the final is telling of our own personal journeys. We may be suspended in time for a while, God’s time, while He prepares things for us on the other side. Nevertheless, we have to continue to move forward without looking back or down. We have to take a leap of faith. We have to trust that in taking that leap, God is not going to let us fall but that He will, literally, be the wind beneath our wings to keep us in flight. All He wants to know is that we trust Him enough to keep moving forward and up in Him, even when it seems like a crazy thing to do. Sort of like climbing stairs on the outside of a building to get to the top to see something, only God knows what.

May 25, 2010

“Nothin’ On You” Girl vs. the Proverbs 31 Woman

I’m the whole package because Jesus of Nazareth.

I stay prayed up so nothing’s ever tragic.

I’m made by the creator, there is none greater.

I’m not trying to fool you, I’m just trying to school you.

If you want my number, better dial His first and go seek that water that can quench any thirst.

Yeah you’re fine and you seem really sweet, but I’m looking for a man who will practice what He preached.

My Remix of  B.O.B’s “Nothin’ On You”

Yeah I know, you probably came here really excited to know that there is a remix to B.O.B’s hit song “Nothin’ on You” and then were crestfallen to see it’s nothin’ you ever heard of. Sorry for deceiving you. I was compelled to write this remix after I heard the song and was caught up singing it for a whole day. While it is true that I AM “the whole package, plus I pay my taxes”, I considered that I don’t want to sell myself on that alone and there is more that speaks deeply to who I am. It’s easy to convince someone that they should be with you because you are beautiful, have a job, are charming, funny, etc. But, beauty is fleeting and charm is deceptive, so says a scripture most of us are familiar with. 

I once had a man tell me that when he heard Proverbs 31 read in a church service, it immediately made him think of me. He read Proverbs 31:30 to me, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Being that Proverbs 31 woman is what most woman desire to be, but it’s quite another thing for someone else to identify the Proverbs 31 woman in you. At the moment he told me this I was speechless because before that I was too used to people being attracted to what their eyes saw and not what their spirit discerned about me.  It was largely one of the reasons why I fell so hard for that person, because he didn’t dwell on my outward appearance, he focused himself–as much as he could–on my inner woman.

As I write this I’m reminded that I’d rather someone see my heart, God’s heart and spirit within me, than my outward appearance. Admittedly, I do my fair share of  flaunting my beauty and charm, it’s human nature. But what I really desire is the person who can look past that and see more to me. That is what creates long-lasting, enduring love. I desire to be the person who doesn’t depend on her looks to get her by, but her character, her integrity, her faith, her heart, His spirit. That is attractive to me. I want and need to be more of the woman Peter spoke of when he said, “Do not adorn yourselves outwardly by braiding your hair, and by wearing gold ornaments or fine clothing, rather let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s sight.” I think we should all hope and pray to be the Proverbs 31 and the woman whose beauty is lasting because of a gentle and quiet spirit.

So, that’s my prayer, that myself and every other woman I know and don’t know would focus not just on being the “Nothin’ On You” girl, but the Proverbs 31 and the 1 Peter 3:3-4 woman.

May 6, 2010

Songs for the National Day of Prayer

Yeah, we all know what today is, the National Day of Prayer. I hope in some manner at some point during this day, everyone will find some time to pray for this nation. WE need it. We as a nation and we as a people. In the meantime, since I can’t seem to not connect life with music, I figure I’d keep the party going and share some prayer-related tunes to get your prayer juices flowing.

“We got to pray just to make it today.”

“I heard ’em say, the prayers of the righteous availeth much. And now today, I can testify that I believe it…There is an answer on the way, my God has done so many great things.”

Pray, God will change things.

“I pray you’ll be our eyes and watch us where we go. And help us to be wise, in times when we don’t know.”

May 5, 2010

Back in the Day…

Filed under: life,music,randomness — nickisym @ 1:17 pm
Tags: , , ,

Ever think about some of the music you used to love way back when? I had one of those moments today.

Why now? Well, I was walking to the local Dunkin Donuts to get a muffin when I noticed that my old favorite band is playing tonight.

Who is it? I’ll not keep you in suspense any longer, Limp Bizkit.

I was a huge Limp Bizkit fan back in college. Well, maybe I should downgrade huge because I wasn’t exactly running around wearing a red baseball cap and Dickies. But I did own their first two albums and I’d blast them at liberty. I always felt so hardcore when I listened to their music. Like I could run through brick walls and get into barroom brawls. (Neither of which ever came close to happen except for the one time a guy punched me in the throat at a party.) Anyways for some hump day randomness, I felt compelled to share two of my favorite songs from the Limp Bizkit glory days. This is where I came from…Aren’t you happy that I’m not where I used to be?

And no I didn’t ever do it all for “The Nookie”.

And I didn’t break [alot] of stuff either, but this song did wonders for my passive aggressive side.

 Happy Humpday!

Blog Light: F$%& Yeah Num-Nums

Filed under: Bloglight,life,love — nickisym @ 11:00 am
Tags: , ,

I’ve had enough of the broken and fractured heart talk. Let’s get back to our regularly scheduled program.

Anyone who knows me knows I am absolutely obsessed with cupcakes. Truth be told, I probably shouldn’t be a journalist I should be a baker with her own cupcake shop. Who knows, that could be my second career? Until then, I’ll continue to eat copious amounts of cupcakes and continue appreciating artfully designed cupcakes. To that end, I wanted to share a magically delicious site that I came across earlier this week. I don’t have to wax poetic about the content of the site, I can show you better than I can tell you. So, here goes:

See more at F@#$ Yeah Num-Nums

Disclaimer: I do not endorse the name of the blog, though I sure DO think it’s funny. I DO, however, endorse the pictures of wonderful food stuffs featured therein. Enjoy my pretties. 🙂

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