If You Desert God’s Law
1 The wicked are edgy with guilt, ready to run off
even when no one’s after them;
Honest people are relaxed and confident,
bold as lions.
2 When the country is in chaos,
everybody has a plan to fix it—
But it takes a leader of real understanding
to straighten things out.
3 The wicked who oppress the poor
are like a hailstorm that beats down the harvest.
4 If you desert God’s law, you’re free to embrace depravity;
if you love God’s law, you fight for it tooth and nail.
5 Justice makes no sense to the evilminded;
those who seek God know it inside and out.
6 It’s better to be poor and direct
than rich and crooked.
7 Practice God’s law—get a reputation for wisdom;
hang out with a loose crowd—embarrass your family.
8 Get as rich as you want
through cheating and extortion,
But eventually some friend of the poor
is going to give it all back to them.
9 God has no use for the prayers
of the people who won’t listen to him.
Wow. I could say more and have had thoughts similar. Wow is all I’ll say.
10 Lead good people down a wrong path
and you’ll come to a bad end;
do good and you’ll be rewarded for it.
11 The rich think they know it all,
but the poor can see right through them.
12 When good people are promoted, everything is great,
but when the bad are in charge, watch out!
13 You can’t whitewash your sins and get by with it;
you find mercy by admitting and leaving them.
14 A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life;
a hardhearted person lives a hard life.
15 Lions roar and bears charge—
and the wicked lord it over the poor.
16 Among leaders who lack insight, abuse abounds,
but for one who hates corruption, the future is bright.
17 A murderer haunted by guilt
is doomed—there’s no helping him.
18 Walk straight—live well and be saved;
a devious life is a doomed life.
Doing Great Harm in Seemingly Harmless Ways
19 Work your garden—you’ll end up with plenty of food;
play and party—you’ll end up with an empty plate.
20 Committed and persistent work pays off;
get-rich-quick schemes are ripoffs.
21 Playing favorites is always a bad thing;
you can do great harm in seemingly harmless ways.
22 A miser in a hurry to get rich
doesn’t know that he’ll end up broke.
23 In the end, serious reprimand is appreciated
far more than bootlicking flattery.
24 Anyone who robs father and mother
and says, “So, what’s wrong with that?”
is worse than a pirate.
25 A grasping person stirs up trouble,
but trust in God brings a sense of well-being.
26 If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure;
real survivors learn wisdom from others.
27 Be generous to the poor—you’ll never go hungry;
shut your eyes to their needs, and run a gauntlet of curses.
28 When corruption takes over, good people go underground,
but when the crooks are thrown out, it’s safe to come out.
You Don’t Know Tomorrow
1 Don’t brashly announce what you’re going to do tomorrow;
you don’t know the first thing about tomorrow.
2 Don’t call attention to yourself;
let others do that for you.
3 Carrying a log across your shoulders
while you’re hefting a boulder with your arms
Is nothing compared to the burden
of putting up with a fool.
4 We’re blasted by anger and swamped by rage,
but who can survive jealousy?
5 A spoken reprimand is better
than approval that’s never expressed.
6 The wounds from a lover are worth it;
kisses from an enemy do you in.
7 When you’ve stuffed yourself, you refuse dessert;
when you’re starved, you could eat a horse.
8 People who won’t settle down, wandering hither and yon,
are like restless birds, flitting to and fro.
9 Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight,
a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
10 Don’t leave your friends or your parents’ friends
and run home to your family when things get rough;
Better a nearby friend
than a distant family.
11 Become wise, dear child, and make me happy;
then nothing the world throws my way will upset me.
12 A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks;
a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered.
13 Hold tight to collateral on any loan to a stranger;
be wary of accepting what a transient has pawned.
14 If you wake your friend in the early morning
by shouting “Rise and shine!”
It will sound to him
more like a curse than a blessing.
15-16 A nagging spouse is like
the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet;
You can’t turn it off,
and you can’t get away from it.
Your Face Mirrors Your Heart
17 You use steel to sharpen steel,
and one friend sharpens another.
18 If you care for your orchard, you’ll enjoy its fruit;
if you honor your boss, you’ll be honored.
19 Just as water mirrors your face,
so your face mirrors your heart.
20 Hell has a voracious appetite,
and lust just never quits.
21 The purity of silver and gold is tested
by putting them in the fire;
The purity of human hearts is tested
by giving them a little fame.
22 Pound on a fool all you like—
you can’t pound out foolishness.
23-27 Know your sheep by name;
carefully attend to your flocks;
(Don’t take them for granted;
possessions don’t last forever, you know.)
And then, when the crops are in
and the harvest is stored in the barns,
You can knit sweaters from lambs’ wool,
and sell your goats for a profit;
There will be plenty of milk and meat
to last your family through the winter.
I told someone about that last post. They went in on me. I didn’t say much back. I had thoughts but didn’t share them.
First, I said we as Christians in the post. I probably should have said some of us. The we I was talking about is the we I know personally.
I was told that Christmas is the only time some people all gather collectively. I was told that’s when people forgive and heal and mend.
I was told that coming together honors God because he’s about family. I was told that it is a time of love-or something like that.
I was told that there are people who focus solely on Jesus or their higher power around the world.
I think I was told that it shouldn’t be all Jesus and praying and calling his name all day.
I said Happy Winter Solstice. I was told that the solstice is steeped in witchcraft. I said that makes the addition of Christmas at that time of year WORSE!!!!!
I was told more but don’t remember.
Again, I was a slight punk and didn’t respond much. I was told that I had a point after all of the other stuff.
My reply now? Why are we waiting until the whole year has passed to make time for our family? If God is all about family, should we not make more time?
Why are we waiting until the whole year has passed to mend and heal and forgive? Should we not be loving on each other more?
The big one. Why can we not take a day, a fast of sorts, not at Christmas cuz ya know, to sit in the miracle that is the birth of Jesus?
He did, and does, SOOOOOOOOO much for us. The sacrifice of a day meditating, living solemnly, with what he did ever before our minds seems like a small thing in the grand scheme of things.
But hey. That’s just me. Different strokes for different folks.
I am a rebel of sorts. Just because it’s been done a certain way forever doesn’t mean it has to be that way forever.
There are things I examine and question. If it doesn’t make sense, I’m not down for it.
I’m not here for perpetuating stuff cuz it “worked” for someone else. I could care less if I’m the odd one out.
I’ve tried fitting in. It still didn’t go well. So. I have decided to just do me while others do them.
So, I already discussed why Christmas is canceled. But I have more thoughts about it today.
When we, as Christians, celebrate Christmas, some of us make sure we read the story of his birth before opening gifts. My family does. We’ll be on zoom in like 40 mins. I’m cool with reading the scripture cuz scripture.
Some of us go to church first thing in the morning. There are a myriad of things done to honor or celebrate Jesus first.
And then come other people’s gifts under a decorated tree and in a hung stocking on the day we commemorate his birthday.
Then we eat, sleep, watch basketball, play with toys, do things with gifts, call and text all around country and world, and whatever else.
It’s as though the celebration of his birth is one thing on a list of things to do. When, in actuality, whenever one chooses to celebrate him should be an event.
It should be a solemn occasion, set aside only for him. Where he is first. Where he is the only focus and focal point.
We should take the time and space to be in reverential awe that God created a miracle just for us to save us.
That’s the problem today though. God is just something to do. He’s, at times, an afterthought. Insead of first. Instead of placed on the throne as the King and Lord of our lives.
Could it be that the reason we don’t believe, we don’t see him move, is because we don’t keep him high and lifted? Because we don’t keep him on the throne? We don’t look up at the glory and majesty that is Him? Because we have made him small and common?
I don’t wanna do the easy thing and what’s always been done. I don’t want to minimize and trivialize the birth of my Savior because some man named Constantine attempted to co-opt something that was never for or about Jesus.
But hey, if you choose to celebrate, enjoy! Just remember who this is supposed to be about.
I am grateful to see the end of the year mostly unscathed.
I lost a family member to the rona.
Four family members definitely recovered. One likely recovered.
A childhood friend’s mom was lost to the rona.
An asthmatic family member lost their life due to a chemical reaction.
I lost an uncle due to a variety of health issues.
An uncle was rushed to the hospital, and though serious, it wasn’t as bad as was thought.
Two coworkers and a boss tested positive for the rona and have recovered.
I am no longer on speaking terms with my father. 21 years of foolishness resulted in my departure-at his prodding-for my peace of mind.
Endured the craziest three point five weeks with a male I have ever experienced in the middle of a pandemic.
Left some friends-acquaintances-alone.
Left some family members alone.
Reconnected with some friends I let go.
Made a new friend.
Made some new connections.
Followed purpose with expectation of fulfilled vision-from years ago. Not a catchy 2020 gimmick.
Realized some things that I needed to work on and change.
Saw some growth.
2020 was wild.
But the BEST thing? Focusing on the best friend I’ll ever have, my big brother, my Lord, my Savior.
I’ve been coasting and on autopilot. When Jesus and I are cool, winds and waves don’t play.
I ended this year forced to look to him.
It’s been wild.
But it’s been worth it.
Here’s to 2021.
A multiple of seven.
Biblical meaning of completion.
I expect Jesus to complete some things.
I expect craziness. It wouldn’t be my life without some tests and trials.
I know who’s got me.
I don’t expect easy.
But I expect peace. I expect joy. I expect good things-no matter how it looks or feels.
Cuz I rock with the one who can speak to whatever I face.
I am never alone or forsaken.
That alone makes it well with my soul.
I felt unloved. My mother compared me to a father she seemed to hate. She went around telling half truths, exaggerations. She threatened to put me out. She called and told my father and grandfather on me. She told on me in person. She talked to me however she wanted. She never listened. She let my sister talk to me any kind of way. My dad remarried. Because if the craziness post and prior marriage, and because he may be a little too saved, he put his wife and her kids and grandkids before me. Though my dad and step mother begged me, for a while I refused to move home and live with them. Well one day I decided to change some things, give away some things. I told my dad and stepmother what would probably happen. My dad told me to call the cops.
I wrote my mom a letter, telling the truth. It pissed her off. Not to mention me giving away my personal property. I refused to go take it back. At 22 years old my mother slapped me. And she slapped me hard enough to leave an impression long enough for me to call the cops, get a picture taken, talk to the cops, drive thirty minutes, text her for I don’t know how long. Maybe it wasn’t on there that long. The details are hazy. She put me out. Then she let me come back.
I went and talked to the first lady of the church I was attending. I almost lost my mind that night. I had been desperately trying to cultivate a better relationship with Christ, yet all hell broke loose. The first lady and the mother of the church told me the devil was attacking me. They wouldn’t let me speak. They sent me home to my mother. After years of being sent home, nobody helping me, nobody confronting her, the next day I had had enough. I quit my job. Packed my car and left. I went searching for a friend I let my mother talk me into throwing away.
I got lost on my journey. I changed my number. I told my dad and stepmother I was coming. I asked her not to give away my number. But she did. My mom tried to get me to go back. When the manipulation didn’t work she tried passive aggressiveness. I only lasted two months at my dad’s. My stepmother was a trip. She put me out. When my dad found out he asked her if she got the key. He didn’t come talk to me. He didn’t listen when I tried to tell him how she treated me, how she behaved. They wouldn’t let me drive one of their cars so I had to walk. Even though they claimed they would help me. And once I moved to my grandmother’s he came in twice. Never asked about me or came to my room. I will say my stepmother apologized. My dad hasn’t. I don’t think my mom has either.
Number 3 was there for me. Pushing and supporting me. But when I tried to return the favor that didn’t go over so well. I struggled to maintain friendships with those my age and younger once I moved. I was loopy and trying to sort through the turmoil and crazy that was my life. I said one thing but wanted another. The whole destruction of three relationships occurred not too long after this.
Number 1 was struggling. Another not so great friend was refusing to be there for him because he couldn’t forgive get over what Number 1 had done, and Number 1 had no idea. Number 1 ended up in crisis and the friend refused to help. I was incredulous. I had decided to start throwing away some things myself. I ended the friendship.
I could no longer be surrounded by people who didn’t want to me. I was no longer to beg, buy, borrow, or steal friends. If I wasn’t good enough for you to pick up the phone and call or respond then deuces. I could no longer surround myself with “Christians” who know nothing about the message of Christ. Or should I say who knew about it but weren’t trying to accept and display it. Again, I’m not perfect. But I try to forgive. That’s why I can talk to my family, though they almost destroyed me, and constantly threw away the pieces I gave them. I was already lonely surrounded by people. Why not celebrate, and embrace me? Why not actively decide to have peace?
So here I am today. Everything isn’t perfect. But I’ve tried to perfect accepting things. I don’t need people. I am fortunate with the few I have that accept me as I am and love me for who I am. I don’t think I accomplished all I set out to do in this blog as I attempt to wrap it up. Maybe I’ll do some ISSUES or WORTH blogs. I dunno. But as the Donald Lawrence and Company song “Happy Being Me” says:
“So happy being me, I’m regretting nothing
To busy living life giving love… freely
I’m so happy being me” http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/donaldlawrence/happybeingme.html
Ok. As promised, here is this blog. Throwaway, as a noun defined by google means: a thing intended or destined to be discarded after brief use or appeal. I’ve been thrown away a time or few in these short 28 years of life. The first time I actually remember being discarded was in fifth grade. I had been at the school for the past two years. I received the gift of salvation. I don’t recall being any different. But something must have been. What began was many years of hurt, betrayal, and displacement. I belonged to a group of girls thick as thieves. All of a sudden they turned on me. The wouldn’t be my friend anymore. I still remember trying hard to get the fearless leader to like me. I had been by her side all day trying to get into her good graces. I came back from the restroom. I overheard her say something along the line of being her pet. Dejected, I went to the cafeteria to eat lunch alone. That school year was rough. My mom had conferences with my teacher. It was also the last school year before I had to move. I didn’t want to. I had a life. I volunteered to stay with my dad though he wasn’t my favorite.
We visited the south every summer for my grandfather’s pastoral anniversary celebration. I knew of the kids. They knew who I was. I didn’t really hang with them because I had my cousins and sisters when we would go visit. Well, I hung with one set of kids and that was pretty much it. Once I got there permanently it was disastrous. I remember one of the boys asking me why my legs were so big. I guess I need to write a blog about WORDS.
I thought these kids were my friends eventually. A set of cousins seemingly didn’t get along. They played me for a fool and put me in the middle. I had a boyfriend, crazy but common in the sixth grade. He treated his friend, the one he was supposed to be with according to the “church” folk, better than me. He felt he could do whatever but let me do the same thing and it was awful. That lasted off and on for about two years. He didn’t treat me well. I promised to be done and that I didn’t need another bf. Well, I have had one since the ninth grade. And tons of infatuations that were fruitless…sad. (Sidebar-he tried to, in an email, get back with ya girl freshman year in college. I knew better and said no. And, though I don’t recall, he tried again later before he proposed to his wife. Again no. Glad he seems happy with his wife and kids.)
School friends got better eventually. The few that I had. At least in middle and high school. The “church” friends not so much. I tried with all my might to have friends by showing myself friendly. I was there when I didn’t have to be. All I wanted was attention in return. Maybe I attempted to buy their love. Maybe I was “too saved.” I admit at times I was. It took me a while to ever need GRACE. But when I did, boy did I ever.
I guess I’m in a mood to share. The last blog, inspired by tweets, inspired by facebook trolling that led to sadness and reflection, made me want to write another. Divorce destroys. That is pretty much factual. No psychologist here, but people always talk about the affects of divorce on children. As a child reared by parents who took me to church, I did not escape the destruction. At the end of the day everybody is human. People operate off of human emotions.
My parents relationship, for as long as I can remember, has been riddled with strife. It got worse the older I got, when he remarried. I fell victim to one side of the story. At times, I hated my father. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized some of my transferred feelings were without merit, some were validated. There are always multiple sides to stories.
Based on my own interactions with my parents, as well as observations, I can see why things didn’t work. I also believe religion, not relationship, caused, and still cause, issues today. The relationships I have with my mother, father, and step father are illusions sewn together by my forgiveness and decision to erect a mental and emotional wall. I don’t doubt I could find justification.
The sadness part. Ok. I looked at the profile of somebody I was so in love with. I just knew he would be mine. He wasn’t the first and he wasn’t the last. The “church” (again, my experience. I’ll attempt to place quotes around my history) places a premium on getting married and finding a spouse. Society does too. I don’t understand why education, service to God and others, holistic ministry aren’t given a premium. The Bible even says some won’t marry. Why the “church” and society make people who cannot, choose not, or will not marry feel like failures is beyond me.
I paid attention in church and knew that should be a goal. I dreamed up lists. I had notions of fancy. Everything was a sign. Any attention was love. I was a mess. There are only so many guys in church, guys in the world period. I dunno why God created a shortage…lol. I was eventually attracted to only one type of guy, though I didn’t see it. Not to disparage anybody, because I still care about at least two of them :), but they were unavailable then and will probably always be unavailable.
The reason I latched on whenever anybody gave me any attention is because I felt ignored. I felt unloved. I knew Jesus loved me. I believed he died on the cross for little ol’ me. But I didn’t see much of his love shown towards me by my parents, friends, and the “church.” Now, people told me they loved me. Again, humans convolute and distort love. I didn’t feel or see what I read in the pages of the Bible.
I realize now that I couldn’t stay in bondage. I couldn’t stay in Egypt. I couldn’t languish to die. The three that were unavailable left the most impact on my life. They were like guides and beacons on the way to who I should be, where I should go.
Number 1, I’ve known the longest, since 97 in the sixth grade, though we went our separate ways. We had the most issues. We fought the most. I don’t curse but you best believe I cursed him out in a text. You had to be there. We were off and on as friends. Never labelled more than that but definitely acted like more. It was the worst relationship, outside of familial, that I have ever had. He is one of my best friends. I would dang near lay my life down for this dude. He had issues. I had issues. We were a lot alike. Hurting people hurt others. The same may be true for family. I think both of my parents have/had issues, it’s pretty much proven in my father’s case. He’s still struggling. It isn’t my job to fix him. He thinks he’s okay. One day he will be healed and whole. One day he will be who I know God created him to be. Until then, I’ll love him, pray for him and support him. I’ve dropped a friend over him and don’t regret it. I don’t need that friend. I HAVE TO BLOG ABOUT THAT…hopefully the caps will remind me to write THROWAWAY…
Number 2. That was a mess all the way around. I wasn’t as obsessed. I found out it wasn’t as well hidden as I thought. We didn’t really have issues. I tried to tell him what somebody said behind his back. It backfired. Whatever. We may have been a lot alike. I remember some rumblings of some stuff. Not from him. We didn’t talk that much. Craziness. We are still cool. If I would try to talk to him.
Number 3. This was just bad. I don’t think it was the worst. It got me home, where I have thrived and been freed from bondage. It blew up my life. I lost friends. Shoot, I lost his friendship. But he holds the most special place in my heart. His middle initial is tattooed on my wrist. Before you judge, let me explain. He assisted in my freedom. I believe he loved me as a friend. He couldn’t give me what I wanted. I don’t believe he knows what he wants. He has issues. Our only true fight happened because I thought about his behavior and him, while he was ignoring me i might add, and asked a mutual friend a question. She went and told him. This is what destroyed a few friendships. I think I may have talked to him since then. Nothing major. We don’t speak. I haven’t attempted to speak to him in a while. I think the people we love the most have the power to hurt us the most. No matter how he has made me feel I’m grateful. If he came around today I wouldn’t hesitate to include him in my life. He needs help. He needs to be free.
Oh yeah. The tattoo. Let the “church” folk tell it, I’m not saved. I love what my first and middle names mean (endeared, consecrated to God, gracious, merciful. I gotta talk about this in THROWAWAY-especially endeared. Don’t mind my notes. I don’t want to forget) so I tatted the initials. I was pissed at my dad. Again, THROWAWAY. His middle name means the new house. I want to do something different. I want to be something different. It didn’t hurt that it’s an X…lol. I think I’m well on my way to erecting a new house.