Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The New Norm

Emails from all over the country are hitting me daily. The economy is much worse than being reported in the popular media. The unemployment stats are not even close to the reality facing the lives of men and their families every day. A LOT of people are only one decision away from being at the world's mercy. I believe that we are all facing a NEW NORM. What's that? Let me tell you.

We are going to have to learn to live with less income, more expensive goods and services, less health care and definitely more costly credit. Our lives are transitioning into existences filled with less options for success, fewer mechanisms for achievement and no privacy. Our expectation that 'things will get better is dimming.' As RFID technologies impact/control modern living, we are all going to have to accept government/corporate access into our dwindling privacy. Information technology will govern our livelihood, purchasing ability, health choices (or lack there of), our educational decisions and offer less tolerance than ever for crime offenders.

As most of us are still rapidly over consuming, which leads to major debt, which equals slavery that ultimately leads to death. Along the way, we are becoming engorged with stress, inflated with false doctrines that promise fix the immediate issue, but deny the power of God's word through submitting to it. Our daily walk with Christ is being consumed with extreme need and deliverance focus so intense that discipleship gets lost in the sauce. The difference between those with and without is drastically shrinking. Those with are starting to imagine what it would be like to not have and those already without are preparing for how to survive with more people in their ranks. Non-profits know it. Corporations know it. Financial institutions know it. Government knows it. Churches are starting to get it.

SIDE BAR: Churches felt all of this early on -- at least three years ago. I had meetings with various churches about their ministries beginning to feel the pinch of people's pockets, their faith that God is the only solution, even that Pastor's were the closest to God. However, by the urban Christian church being so disjointed and non supportive of one another, the reality of lasting the economic decline could not be prepared for and is subsequently being managed with continuous conferences and celebrations. With the amount of collective financial activity generated by these events, we could manage our own group insurance for the saints. We could provide our own educational/housing capabilities and even impact preventive health care that significantly improves the Christians.

Today, we are all in the midst of being, 'caught off guard.' I taught an 8-part class in 2007 that foretold of a lot of what is going on now, called "Wag the Dog." The class dealt with the rise of the Luciferean principles of SELF that are integrated into our lives and how the church can recognize/prepare for them ... if we really want to. I suspect that many ministers never wanted their people to be so aware of the 'new norm' enveloping us all. The concept of 'self' is destroying us all.

This is not doom and gloom. It is all spelled out in the bible, it is just not talked about much from the pulpit or in our weekly teaching. It has caused me to settled on this one thing -- trust God only. Lean on him for everything. Let go of control, because no matter how much I attempt to self-manage, I cannot. Ultimately, God is in control.

Prove or discredit what I'm saying. Be aware of the infusion of the concept of self into our lives. Watch out for the me, I, my, self, etc. that is included into every aspect of our lives -- news, advertising, programming, entertainment -- can you say reality TV or YouTube? The new norm is driven by man trying to control life as we know it ... as we are eye witnesses and participants to its decline. This topic is bigger than any one president or government. Errant political momentum is crashing us into the Word faster than we know it. We are living in biblically expressive times.

Last word, have faith in God and Him only. As things get worse, He must become the new norm for blood-washed believers.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Physical Violence Against Brothas

Pause music to the right before you play video.

I've been getting hit all day with the chatter about the double standard being used against Chris Brown. Wow.

I do not for a second think that Chris has an appendage to lean on -- NONE. However, the brothas are upset about the conversation they are having with their female friends/associates/families regarding Rhianna being told to cut Chris off for ever.

Many guys are asking what if he has been hit/threatened/abused for months or years in a relationship and has explained to his woman that he does not like it? Men love their women and tolerates the abuse, but no one, not even their mothers are telling them to leave her, cut her off or otherwise be resolute in discontinuing any contact with her. Hmmmmm

On the other side, I have discussed this with a few women and no woman seems to think that female violence is 'as bad' as male violence. Perhaps it is due to the publicity of the classic physical abuse scenario -- he kicked her butt. Apparently a LOT of brothas are dealing with some violent women. I mean hard core, punches, skin punctures with weapons of varying types and of course the world famous slap to the face. However, no one even begins to equate their issues with her violence as overtly negative, let alone life threatening. I watched Rhianna talk about impacting girls who may go back to 'him' and be killed. Now I see what brothas are asking, "what of I get killed?" "Who's crying for me?" Hmmmm

This is catching me off-guard y'all. I has dismissed the whole Rhianna situation off as hip hop mess, but not so. Men are facing similar violence all over the nation and the islands, but cannot ... CAN NOT expose that he is being battered. What? Brothas are punks? What? Naaa, can't be.

See, I just added to the stigma. It was that easy to do it. There has to be a scripture that addresses this, but it escapes me right now. I'm just blown away.

What I can say is this. If you are in an abusive relationship, you have no Godly obligation or responsibility to stay in physical danger. Separate yourself from the violence -- male or female. Put some distance between you and the offender and seek the Lord for a viable solution once you are secure. I know prayer works. I know the Lord will keep you safe. Keep your head about you while you are being safe.

This is bigger than I thought. I gotta pray on this some more. Later.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Shacking Brothas

Lately, I have been hit from multiple brothas with questions about being single and living together with a woman, let alone as a Christian man. What the ....?

When did this even become a question? I mean, when did it become even a consideration that 'sharing the same address' was a possibility for single opposite gender Christians? I know I am old school and I make no apologies for that. NO, is my direct answer to each brotha. Shacking up is not OK. PERIOD. I have been hard on them about the excuses they have shared with me about why they asked the question. Check this.

Brotha One
She was evicted and needed a place just until she could get a spot. She figured it would take a couple of weeks, but what she didn't know was that her credit and rental history would take a hit and it happens fast, so she's in week 9 and counting. He went on to say that they have only slipped once so far, but he admits that he is getting weaker the more he is exposed to her thongs in the dryer or her smell in the mornings after she is gone to work. He works from his condo, so he is tempted all day long with the notion of snooping in her room. He says they go to bible class together, talk about the Lord all of the time, but the commonness of their relationship is getting comfortable in his three BR place ... on the ocean ... 12th floor ... with maid service.

Man, get your head straight! You cannot do this any longer. She has got to go. I know the priority of finding a new place has also 'slipped' and you definitely are not being the voice of reason when it comes to sleeping arrangements as room mates. You are a heterosexual man and you're feeling her. You gotta step up and be the man in this situation. STEP UP. Think about it man, how is she being seen by her set? Her parents? Her church circle? Your neighbors? You are allowing your good to be 'evil spoken of.' You are not protecting her honor or the sanctity of your mutual professions ... as a Christian.

Brotha Two
This guy just has a problem with secret lust. His neighbor has become dependent upon him, because he allows her to sleep over at least once a week. Why? She was raped a few months ago and suffers from severe anxiety and fright during the night. He comforts her on his sofa until the wee hours of the morning, when he retreats to his bedroom and she sleeps on the sofa until daylight.

He says that he only holds her, but admits his excitement ... at times. Trouble signs: She is becoming more comfortable in his kitchen; she comes over earlier to cook for him, wash for him and even clean for him. Trouble! She is wearing less and less around him and behaves like he is her brother. Yeah right!!!

Man you ain't foolin' nobody but yourself. You know that you are playing with FIRE. Help her get some therapy and prayer, but guard your faith bro. Don't keep acting like you got it all under control, knowing that if she offers to 'thank you' for all that you've do for her by doing something for you -- you are toast my brotha. You know this. Besides the appearance of another worldly relationship by a fake Christian for everyone to point at. You gotta find other options for her ... and you.

Stand on His Word in Your Life
These are just two of the men that I have been communicating with. I don't go into all of the scriptures that apply to each situation, that's for ministers to cover. My gig is to respond to you with what the Lord gives me. Know who you are and what you represent in God. If you have to ask, you know you're already in a bad place. If the Holy Ghost be true in your life, honor God first -- not so-called friendship. Men must set the tone of their relationships. God expects it. Lead with heart He's given you, not logic. Trust Him in all your ways and He will tell you what to do. Ask yourself: "Have you gotten God's approval to do what you're doing?" "Have you honestly done everything possible to help her to live separately from you?" "Are you expecting God to forgive you if you do slip?"

Last Note: Each situation detailed was done with the approval of the brothas. They want more feedback, so if you have some suggestions, anecdotes and/or scriptures for them, please send them. I have been out of the 'single' game for 29 years, so I can only give so much insight. If you have more, give it up to help your brotha.

Link: Is Living Together Really That Big of a Deal?