Whose fault is it?

Look at the picture above. It is one of our favorite mental pictures. It is very easy for us to assign responsibility to others when things go wrong, but do we think what our part in the process was? If we look at the hand, there’s one finger pointing outward and three inward. If you’re doing the pointing there are three fingers pointing at you.

Some things are out of our control in life; I’m not negating that…but it’s not as many as we tend to think.

Have you heard yourself say things like: this person makes me feel (angry, upset, irritable) or made me (eat, scream, nag, throw something)…unless the person has a weapon and threatening your safety. Was is truly this person’s fault or did you allow yourself into the behavior or emotion?  We also blame the circumstances around our lives. Most time we created those circumstances as well.

Sometimes we forget to take accountability for our own actions because it’s easier to blame others or the circumstances. The denial of our responsibility falsely releases us from having to address it or work on fixing it. By placing the responsibility outside of us, we convince ourselves that the answer is out of our hands, not realizing that is inside that fist, hidden behind those three fingers that are pointing at us.

Stepping out of that denial is not an easy thing. It makes us see ourselves for who we really are. It also finally addresses the issue that we need to work on, that’s true freedom!

So I just invite you to stop and think; every time there’s a situation in your life and you are ready to blame someone else; ask yourself, what part did you play for things to happen?

Be blessed

Did you enjoy this post? This is one of the lessons included in my book Growth Lessons , get your copy today! Do you already have the ebook and want my autograph…submit your request on kindlegraph and i’ll be honored to process it.

Book Review: The Elite of the Weak by Precarious Yates

I admit that I’m not an “end of times” type of person, in terms of the biblical context. I do love movies like Armageddon and all the end of times things Hollywood puts out there. Maybe because somewhere inside of me I think that the bible version of it is the real deal, so it’s too real for me and Hollywood is not, so it makes me feel better just to see the meteors explode and that kind of thing.

Even then, I ventured to read the book “The Elite of the Weak” by my friend, Author Precarious Yates. This book has non stop action. As Christians we talk a lot about being in a war and being soldiers for the Lord, if you ever need a practical image of what that war looks like and what being part of the Army of God would mean, especially during these times; this is the book to read.

These characters show such passion for God in the midst of their own personal pain, their devotion, their worship was truly admirable. There’s a warm love story included, which is very sweet and it almost makes you forget the dangers of the war that was going on, but they quickly send you back into action.  This book is the first of a series and the author is already in warning that the next one better be out soon.

Even if the end of times is not your thing, even when the book is classified as Young Adult (YA) in genre, if you have a love for the Lord and want to have an image of what it is to live a life that tries to see through his eyes and feel through his heart, this book is for you. And by the way, I totally think this book should be made into a movie and I would be the first one to be in line to see it.

Now what is the book about? I don’t like spoilers. I hate when I go see a movie with someone who has seen it and tries to tell me about it, but I know you need some information.

Hadassah is a very unusual teenager. Instead of learning how to bake cookies from her mother, she’s learning to become a spy, but not any kind of spy… a spy for the army of God.  You will see the dangerous missions in which she’s involved and all the technology involved, very Mission Impossible type thing.  She wants to become part of the R. S. O.  (Revelations Special Operations- a CIA espionage type organization with a Christian mission) and she is accepted and that’s when the fun begins.

Have you read this book? If you have, let me know your thoughts on it. If you haven’t, this eBook it’s only 99 cents on Amazon. You have to get it and then come back and share your thoughts.

Author Precarious Yates- Born in Cambridge, England, I grew up under the shadow of Yale University in New Haven, CT. With my two older brothers, I spent my teen years living the rock & roll lifestyle. My dad, an Episcopal minister and biblical scholar, had a strong hand in leading me to the Lord when I was 20. Since the moment of my radical conversion, I’ve dedicated my life to the calling of the Gospel, going where the wind of the Spirit leads. After 4 years of church planting in Ireland, my husband, Logan, and I returned to the States to adopt our beautiful daughter. Today, we live in Texas and enjoy watching her grow into a young woman after God’s own heart.

I chose the name Precarious because a human heart is a precarious place to share the Gospel from, but that is what the Lord bids us to do. Yates is a family name.

Many blessings

Naty

Emotions and Christianity

I was reading an article on the magazine “In Touch” the other day. They will have to forgive me because I don’t remember the specific author or the edition of the magazine that I read. The article was talking about how as believers we tend to have unrealistic expectations of what our emotions should be in determined situations. I think the saddest part about it, is that we permeate this culture of unrealistic expectations when we attempt to provide support to someone in distress.

I’m guilty of telling someone one that they are not trusting God on a situation, because they are exhibiting anxiety or distress and I know I’m wrong for that. I also know that I’ve accused myself of not being submitted enough to God for experiencing things like: fear, anger, sadness, anxiety.

There’s this wrong perception that if you’re a believer everything in your life has to be going absolutely perfect. We forget to read that part of the Bible that says, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). Who can forget the scene where Jesus kicked everyone out of the temple? He was angry. The Word says, “be angry but do not sin”…it doesn’t say you’re not allowed to be angry.

Where do we even get these ideas that because we believe we’re going to be walking in clouds, our children will be perfect, and our relationships will be perfect? Yes, we have deceived ourselves.

The interesting thing that we missed, that was addressed in the article was that we are made as God’s image; this means every emotion that we have, he has and made for us. It’s what we do with our emotions that could either edify us or destroy us. If we use our emotions and turn them into prayers, instead of complaints, and remember that the test is only the beginning of the testimony; we would see our life with different eyes.

I had a situation this week, where everything that could go wrong, went wrong. At the end of the day, I was tired, frustrated, overwhelmed. I kept praying God’s peace. I surrounded myself with my accountability support people. I finally came to the conclusion that this was the test becoming a testimony. The testimony is that every single thing that looked impossible on Monday was resolved without my intervention and in ways that only God could have shown himself. The fact that I cried and was frustrated doesn’t mean that I didn’t know that God had it in his hand and was going to deal with it. I didn’t’ doubt it for a minute. I just had a bulk of emotions; I recognized them as such and treated them as such.

Sometimes we lose focus that not only the lost souls struggles, but our fellow believers have struggles too, and how can we be of help when instead of mercy, we hand out judgment.

Be Blessed!

 

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Seeking directions

At times we are presented with situations that force us to make difficult life decisions with little to no information. We look to God for direction but can find it difficult to read His signs. We seek solutions while being keenly aware that the enemy is standing by, providing detours to guide us in the wrong direction, but even with this knowledge it is still difficult to discern which way to go.

Then there are times when we have gotten the clarification we need from God the neon lights are blaring showing us the route, but our flesh wants more details. We feel like we need more information that’s not being revealed to us. So we keep searching and digging deeper, finding nothing despite our best efforts. I know I’ve been at fault for that.

Let’s agree today to pray that whatever revelation we need be given from God, that “there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known” (Luke 12:2 NIV) At the same time, let’s allow God to give us the information he wants us to have and stop digging ourselves deeper into a pit of unnecessary pain and confusion.

Never give up your dream: Madea’s Big Happy Family

Tyler Perry
Image by rocor via Flickr

I just finished watching Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family. I’m a big fan of Tyler Perry. I like his style in the sense that he recognizes who gave him his talent and has used it to show for it. Also the fact that through his gift he tells it like it is.

It is late at night when I’m writing this and I should be in bed by now, but I just couldn’t go to bed. God has been trying to get something across to me, and slow poke here had not caught on with the program. As some of my readers remember this post complaining about my writing.

Three years ago when I decided it was time to return to my writing roots, I didn’t think that I would pursue the dream of publishing. Now with the blessing of two short stories out there, I see the possibility of doing something I’ve always wanted to do…becoming an author! Just like when I returned, I feel alive when I do, but then I face the world and see “little me” against the world and I start doubting myself. The more research I do on how to get it done, the farther I see it coming to pass.

The whole movie was awesome. I laughed, I cried, I even had to pause the movie to call my mom just to hear her voice. At the end of the movie, Tyler addressed the audience and said that God told him how he was going to close all doors to make sure that he knew that his success came from HIM. That’s the best success any believer would want. He also talked about moving out of yourself and doing for others while God does for you. Knowing a little about Tyler’s personal journey inspired me a lot.

In different scenes and regarding different subjects the message was God knows you want to go from point A to point B and he will answer that prayer,”How bad do you want it?” Ironically, tonight at church, although the message was about finances. The pastor talked about reproducing from your talents (meaning money) but I kept hearing in my heart about my talent. He talked about how God gave us our talents for us to be stewards of those talents and produce for his kingdom.

It all came full circle. I have a plaque on my desk at work that says, “ Today there’s nothing that God and I can’t do together” Therefore, there can’t be any fear and doubt, what he gave me to produce will produce in his time and as I obediently submit my efforts to do my part. Never stop dreaming and working towards your dream. Breakthrough is around the corner.

Can you relate? Care to share?

Blessings!!!

Sex Scandal in the Catholic Church

Church Sex scandals are a hot button topic these days and have maintained high visibility in the media recently.  I was moved to write this because I believe that the passion and intensity surrounding this issue has skewed a lot of people’s opinions and perspective and I believe that I can give a more balanced view on this issue.

It is terrible that as a people we have to be watchful even with those who we have been conditioned to trust, namely men and women who claim to come in the name of God. Sex scandals have not been exclusive to the Catholic Church, many preachers and pastors have fallen short of the grace and those things have become public. It is always disappointing.  I think part of the disappointment comes from forgetting these individuals are merely men and women. We have the tendency to elevate their position because of the part they play in our communities, social settings and the body of Christ. The reality is that yes, their responsibility is to lead and teach us about the Lord, but their humanity doesn’t leave with their calling.  Actually, as Christians we need to pray harder for our leaders because their attacks and strongholds are often as large as their calling.

I’ve heard people blaming celibacy for these events. I respectfully disagree. Priests and nuns know that this is a requirement of the commitment they have made. If sex was the driving force then priests having relations with Nuns or other secular adults would be just as, if not more, prevalent. The truth is pedophilia, rape, and sexual abuse is not sexually driven. They are driven by a deeper disturbance; it’s about control and power more than the sex itself.

 The other part where I respectfully disagree is where it has been commented that because it was male priests with male boys, that it was due to homosexuality. Homosexuality is not equal to pedophilia. Statistics show that the majority of sexual predators are heterosexual.

Now the thing that really bothers me about these cases is the way they have been handled. Whether the abuse was committed by clergy or the man down the street, the inequities in the handling of the situations are abhorrent. The fact that many of these priests were simply relocated to new communities, with no consequences or rehabilitation program, is ridiculous. On top of that, the new communities were not advised of the person’s past behavior. If the church wanted to take care of it internally, like the military handles issues that pertains to soldiers; I don’t have issue with that, however, relocating them to another community is unacceptable. Instead they should have been placed in some manner of recovery program and then reassigned to work in a position where they didn’t have access to children at all. Is that lack of forgiveness and mercy? No! That’s wisdom. Slapping their wrists and telling them to not do it anymore, without true rehabilitation, placing them back into the communities to do more damage, is irresponsible, dangerous and ultimately criminal.

It is hard for me to understand why servants of God would think that this would stay hidden forever?  The word of God says that “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13 NIV) which means that nothing that they were doing was going to remain a secret.

I encourage you to pray for our religious leaders. They have a great responsibility and with it great lengths of attacks. I pray that they take the authority that has been given to them by their calling and correct appropriately those who have been entrusted to them.

I pray for those who have committed these terrible acts that they find themselves in true repentance before God. That they turn their hearts, make amends when possible and face accountability for their actions.

 I pray for the victims. I hope that their hearts continue to look to God for redemption and healing. God can restore anyone, and He can restore the souls of these who are suffering and their loved ones.  I encourage you to pray the same

Be blessed.

The Good Wife-Heart

I’ve been watching this show off and on since it started. The show centers around a woman trying to rebuild her life after severe and complicated marital issues, but this week’s episode brought an interesting angle that is rarely portrayed on television, how important is salvation in your life?

 The husband in the story is a politician and wants to hire a pastor to improve his political image. He cheated on his wife and participated in some shady activities and found himself in jail, a series of events that not only placed his career in jeopardy, but also his family. The pastor refuses to play the political game and offers the man true salvation. In this episode, the husband starts getting interested in prayer, working with the pastor towards truly making a change. The episode ends with him inviting his wife to church, and it remains to be seen if he actually means it or if it’s just another scheme.

I found it very interesting, because unless you are watching a proclaimed Christian program like “Touched by an Angel” or “Little House on the Prairie”, it is rare to see a national network actually embracing Jesus as Lord and Savior as the way to change your life. Kudos CBS!

Watch it online:

http://www.cbs.com/primetime/the_good_wife/video/?pid=i1U2__M_8UGyLvSeMKDUPgFKE8Vvsm8n&vs=Full%20Episodes&play=true