Sunday, October 28, 2012

"On Fire": "Unfortunately, a Lot of Men Don't Want My Help."---God


Well...

As I've been praying in preparation for the Masturbation Fast that's coming up on this coming Thursday (I am *so excited* for the women who have signed aboard. If you're interested in getting in on the *blessed sexual freedom*, let me know by noon on Tuesday, October 30 at missnosipho@gmail.com), I was praying for them especially and then the "On Fire" women in general about how they/we can best guard their hearts (Proverbs 4:23) from "counterfeit men" and best prepare ourselves *for our own husbands*.

As I was talking to the Spirit (John 4:24) this morning about why so many women seem to *so desperately*  want to be wives (which is another blog unto itself-Philippians 4:6-7) while so many single guys avoid marriage like it's the Bubonic plague (LOL), I smiled and then chuckled and then sighed and then had an unexplainable calm come over me (Proverbs 17:27) at what the Spirit said: "Unfortunately Shellie, a lot of men don't want my help."

What's a trip about that very-simple-yet-highly-revelatory statement is that sometimes I think that we as women forget that we were *created by God* to be helpmates (Genesis 2:18) and so when men deny marriage, we shouldn't take that quite so personally as so many of us tend to do. I mean, if you offered someone an all-expenses paid vacation and they turned it down, how would that translate to you? Initially, you might be taken a bit aback (why would someone turn down *such a blessing*?!?), but *ultimately* who is the one suffering: you or them?

I like giving people stuff just for the joy of doing it. I'll tell you what though: When people send me through all of that "You don't have to"..."It's OK"..."I'm fine, really..." stuff, it doesn't translate (to me) as *humility* but *extreme pride* (mixed in with a bit of fear-I John 4:18). After a while, as a human, I almost want to be like "Gifts shouldn't be this much work so let's just forget about it altogether." Indeed, it is not helping someone who is trying to bless you when you're basically putting them in the position of having to *beg you* in order to do it. Again, that's not *humility*; that is borderline humiliation.

That's how a human oftentimes sees it...

What I'm learning more and more with God is that he is like "I am perfect and so are my ways. My Word says that what I give is good and a helpmate is a good thing. However, I will not make a man take my help. He's the one that needs divine aid, support and favor so if he's too caught up in what he has going on---on *his* agenda, *his* program, *his* ideals to see that, it really is his loss. You, my daughter, are not losing out so much as him missing out on you would be *his loss*. You're the blessing, remember? *Calm down*."

Scripture proves that to be true, right?

"He who finds a [true] wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord."---Proverbs 18:22(AMP)


A man gets favor *from God* when he gets a wife. Yet here's the other catcher: A man has to be in a very significant place within his own spiritual life to even be *worthy* of such *divine kindness, goodwill and preferential treatment*. He has to be at a place with the Lord where he declares, just as King David did: "My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth." (Psalm 121:2-NKJV) Yep. What I am realizing more and more (Psalm 18:28) when it comes to my future beloved as well as my male single friends is that I need to pray that they realize where their help comes from so that they will be open to knowing when help in the form of a helpmate comes from God and how to *humbly* receive that kind of divine support.

IF A MAN HUMBLES HIMSELF TO GOD BY KNOWING THAT HE NEEDS GOD'S HELP, THEN HE WILL BE OPEN TO LOVINGLY AND WILLINGLY RECEIVING HIS *HELPMATE*.

So, if a man is denying and/or dragging his feet with you, you can pretty much assume that it's due to one of three things:  He doesn't look to God as his *sole source* of help...yet. (And if that's the case, that's a God task.);  It's not the right time (in the Garden of Eden, Adam *praised the Woman* without her help at *just the right time*-Genesis 2:23); You're *not the one*.

In all of these instances, can you see how God is in control and so you should *totally surrender to that reality*? God made you to be a helpmate. You're someone's benefit. A man's blessing. Just by being (even without a husband), you have divine purpose.

GODLY HELP IS DIVINELY PURPOSEFUL.

Hey. If a man doesn't want you to be his helpmate and God had other plans in mind, that's not between you and the guy *nearly* as much as it's between "him" and the Father. *Let them work in out*.

You shouldn't want to be with someone who is too prideful to want help, anyway. Especially help from God.

Excellente' Abba Father. Thank you!

tmm,

SRW

"On Fire": QUOTES OF THE DAY




That's some stellar stuff right there...

tmm,

SRW







Friday, October 26, 2012

"On Fire": A Deeper Look into MASTURBATION (and a Call to a Fast Concerning It)






PLEASE TAKE SPECIAL NOTE THAT THIS FAST IS NOW CLOSED. (FOR NOW.) THANK YOU.

"Sex is God’s idea. It is His blessing to husbands and wives. It is His provision for making children, increasing intimacy, and providing pleasure to married couples whom He loves. Take a brief moment today to thank Him for sex.:---Hot, Holy and Humorous, "Are You Thankful for Sex?"

"Too many of us have virtually no respect for what a husband really needs, but we have unlimited respect for our own needs. And we’re not only hurting our husbands–we’re hurting ourselves."---To Love, Honor and Vacuum, "Why He Won’t Meet Your Needs"


Well...

I went to bed at like 9pm last night and so I should've known something was coming. ;-)

And here we are...

A lot of you know that I work with a ministry for those dealing with porn and sexual addiction and so the subject of masturbation comes up *quite a bit*. It's amazing the kind of "arguments" (Colossians 2:8) that are given in the defense of it (far too many to even get into on here, but feel free to peruse the site sometime, if you'd like). As a woman who has made it absolutely no secret that masturbation used to be a close and intimate "drug" of mine (James 5:16), I get why it's something that people *wish* was a gray area. But honestly, it's really not. There are a few reasons why.

1) Sex was meant for a husband and a wife. Period. There are no variations to that formula that are spiritually relevant. Not you and your fiance'. Not you and your boyfriend. Not you and another woman. *Not you and yourself*. I quote the Message Version of I Corinthians 6:16 quite a bit because it's extremely profound and powerful: "There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, 'The two become one.'" There are two great points right here: One is that sex is not just about the physical act (or feeling or release). Sex is also *a spiritual mystery*. We have to remember that Adonai, Christ and the Holy Spirit agreeing as one is a *spiritual relationship* (I John 5:8) and that as the first quote mentions (although Satan *so wants us to ignore or forget* it), *God* created sex. God is Spirit (John 4:24) so sex comes from a *spiritual place*. So, being that the Godhead agrees *as one*, there would have to be some kind of act that could join our physical vessels *as one* and so the Lord came up with a mind-blowing concept known as sex. More specifically, "yahasey min" which is Hebrew for "sexual relations" between a married couple. A husband and a wife are to *relate to one another by becoming one with one another through sexual activity*. This brings us to the second point. Whether you've had sex before or not, I'm pretty confident that you know how sex works. Therefore, when you think about how a man's body *is created* to enter into a woman's body, when someone is *inside of you*, physically, it can't get much more "one" than that. So, when the Word, which is Adonai (John 1:1), declares that "two become one"---*every single time* that a married couple has sex, that is a *blessing* that God is speaking forth about their marriage. Every time a *married couple* has sex, he is saying, "This couple that I have joined together is reflecting the Godhead by joining as one in the physical so that I can reveal to them certain mysteries in the spirit." (Just wow, Holy Spirit!-Luke 12:12)

2) Orgasms have a *sacred* purpose. I have been quite fond of Tim Alan Gardner's book, Sacred Sex for quite some time now. It came into my life right around the time that I was ready to take abstinence a bit more seriously. Anyway, there is a chapter in the book entitled, "The 'Big O' Is Not Orgasm" and I recommend you get it if for no other reason than that chapter alone. Orgasms are to be respected. One thing that Mr. Gardner says about them is this: "And if just holding hands with our mates can give us a thrill, just imagine what sacred sex can do! At the point of orgasm for both women and men during sexual intercourse, each partner must abandon control of their own orgasm to their partner at the same time they feel most vulnerable. That is why people who struggle with control issues and with trusting their mate often struggle with achieving orgasm; they will always be on guard, not abandoning themselves to the love and care of the other. But it is in that gift of abandoning control to our mates and trusting them in our most vulnerable state that the full union of oneness is most deeply experienced. It is there that we find sacred sex at its most powerful manifestation. The extreme intensity of the orgasmic experience is due to the fact that it is had with our God-given mate. That, by God's design, is a truly powerful experience, indeed." (pg.55) An orgasm, just by its very dictionary definition is "the physical and emotional sensation experienced at the peak of sexual excitation, usually resulting from stimulation of the sexual organ and usually accompanied in the male by ejaculation". An orgasm is meant to *physically* and *emotionally* connect you to your partner. Satan is such a Liar (John 8:44) and a thief (John 10:10) because what he tells us is that if we masturbate, it's not "as bad" as participating in fornication or adultery (Hebrews 13:4) when I think most people miss the main focus here: Sex is not just about the physical act or the physical consequences. Again, *sex is spiritual* and so when we, especially as women, masturbate there are two main problems with it: One, Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on pure and noble and *praiseworthy* things *at all times* and I don't know *one woman* who doesn't fantasize while masturbating. Shoot, that said, 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to *cast down imaginations* that exalt themselves above God. When we are thinking about *anyone other than our partner* in order to be sexually aroused, we are dishonoring both of these Scriptures. There is *nothing* praiseworthy about lusting after someone we are not in covenant with. Therefore, masturbation does just what Romans 13:14 tells us not to do: It makes provision for the flesh. The other point is this: When we do it to achieve an orgasm (because I don't know *any woman* who does it for *any other reason*), it is mimicking the *true purposes* of one: to be totally vulnerable with our covenant mate, to celebrate that with a peak of excitement *with them* and to *complete the sexual act* with our partner. Orgasms signify the completion of the sexual experience with our partner! Did you see how in the dictionary definition it spoke to a man ejaculating (hopefully inside of his partner)? That plays a real role in the orgasm journey. Their bodies become one, their emotions become one and when his sperm enters into his wife, *life* takes place: sometimes by conceiving a child (Malachi 2:15-NCV) and sometimes in a "mysterious spirit realm" that only the Lord can reveal. When we decide to take an orgasm "into our own hands", we have decided to *mishandle* its true purpose. The feeling of an orgasm is to simply let a husband and wife know that something within the spirit realm, something that is so big and so beautiful and so powerful, has taken place. And why is it a mystery? Well, have you ever tried to explain how an orgasm makes you feel? Exactly.

3) As single women, our bodies don't belong to us, but God. As married women, our husbands are to be the "sexual experts" of our pleasure *not us*. This is Scriptural. I Corinthians 6:19-20(NKJV) says, "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s." Yeah. The people who do not think that masturbation is also considered to be a sexually immoral act (I Corinthians 6:18, 7:2, 10:8, I Thessalonians 4:8), I would *love* to know if they ask God if it's OK that they do it before they engage---I mean, being that it's *his body in the first place*. Being that the Lord created us and being that he created sex and being that sex is a physical representation of making us one with our covenant partners, why would God cosign on self-stimulation? The New Century Version of I Corinthians 13:5 tells us that "Love is not selfish" and masturbation is pretty selfish. *I* need an orgasm. *I* am hormonal. *I* need to find an "in the meantime" to "hold me over". Sex was never meant to be about just one person. It has *always* been, the eyes of God, a "spiritual collaboration". That brings us to the next point. I Corinthians 7:4(NKJV) says, "The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does." Yep. We go from our bodies belonging to the Lord to our husband's having authority over them. I have yet to see *one Scripture* that speaks to us being able to do whatever we want. That's another problem with masturbation: it takes the focus off of God *and* our future partners and puts it where the Word never says that it should be (sexually): ourselves. Some people take issue with the word "authority". I don't. I've been living with my body for a long time now. I'm looking forward to having authority over someone else's (LOL). But the bigger point is this: Did you know that one definition of authority is "confidence resulting from great expertise"? LOVE. THAT!!! When a husband and wife are joined together *by God* (Matthew 19:6), God gives the man "confidence resulting from great expertise" re: how to please his wife (same goes for the wife as it relates to her husband). So, whenever we masturbate, it's *such a settling way to go* because God is basically looking at us (which should also make us want to stop doing it) like, "You don't even get it. You don't have the expertise to please yourself. Your husband does." That's one thing that is sad about people who masturbate in marriage. They rob themselves of the divine authority that their partner has been given, *by God*, to please them. Authority that they simply do not (and won't) have. (That's another problem with fornication as well; those men don't have that authority, either. No wonder I Corinthians 7:23 tells us that we were bought with a price and that we should not be slaves among men.)

God is awesome! So with that breakdown, here's the deal:

I know that to a lot of people, admitting that they masturbate is like admitting that they listened to *NSYNC back in the day (LOL)...they are embarrassed and yet, that's *another red flag* about why people shouldn't be doing it. Sex was *never* to be something that people were to be ashamed about. God is light, there is no darkness in him at all (I John 1:5) and so that means that sex is to be luminous as well. We are happy when newlyweds come home from their honeymoon and *they had sex*. We are excited when married people get pregnant and *they also had sex*. If you are hiding or lying about your sexual acts, that's *darkness*. That's a problem. You're not being "private". You are being *disobedient*.

I have such a sense within me that some *real breakthroughs* are going to happen in the upcoming months and that more and more women need to be preparing their vessels to receive what (and who) Adonai has in store for them! For that reason, I am led to call a masturbation fast because, as most of us know, James 5:16(AMP) says, "Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]." Satan *hates* confession and we see why. It brings forth healing and when people are praying for one another, supernatural power is made available.

I am not going to provide the particulars about the fast on here. I want to respect people's privacy and honestly, the fast is going to work best for those who *stepped out on the faith of God's Word* and made a confession to begin with. That said, though, if you see yourself in this and you want to get *fully and finally free* from masturbation's stronghold, send me an email (missnosipho@gmail.com). The fast will officially begin on Thursday, November 1 and so you have time to pray over it and let me know.

Oh and feel free to pass this along if for no other reason than what the Holy Spirit shared about masturbation's trappings. I penned it and I'm still trippin' over it! (LOL)

tmm,

SRW


An Ounce of Prevention: "10 Unhealthy Dating Patterns And How To Break Them"





This is a straight up copy and paste from an article entitled "10 Unhealthy Dating Patterns And How To Break Them". Excellente'!

1: Getting Lost In Fantasy

The Pattern: After a date, you lie in bed all day reliving every delicious moment from the night before. Or as soon as you meet a guy, you envision your future dates with him, marrying him, or just having hot sex with him. At work, you bump into cabinets and space out during meetings because you’re so intoxicated by fantasies of this guy. And reading a book? Your attention span is shot and you can only keep your mind off him long enough to read a Tweet. Almost.

How To Break It: Make a rule for yourself: No Fantasy. This is hard because we have no control over where our minds roam. But while you can’t choose not to have that first thought, you can decide not to let yourself follow it. Instead of lying in bed reliving a yummy date, go out to brunch with a friend. And don’t relive the date with her! Talk about something—anything—else.  Force yourself to finish reading that Tweet, or maybe even that book you were so into before you met him. Vagueness breeds fantasy. So if you’re having a serious flirtation with a guy and feel like you’re getting swept away, get back into reality STAT. As uncomfortable as it might be, try to have a conversation about what’s actually going on between you rather than indefinitely staying in a fantasy relationship with him. The more you can interact with the real guy instead of the fantasy guy, the better.

2: Being Involved With Unavailable Men  

The Pattern: If a guy is dating someone, married, or otherwise engaged, you’re intrigued. Or maybe you don’t deliberately seek out unavailable men, but find that all the guys you’re inexplicably drawn to are already taken. You start out thinking it’s just a fling so it’s fine that he’s in a committed relationship. After all, you’re not that great with intimacy yourself, so dating an unavailable guy gives you the space you knowingly or unknowingly need. But then you get attached. You think he’ll leave her. So you wait. And wait. And wait. Or perhaps the guy’s not in a relationship at all, but he’s emotionally unavailable. Guess what? Emotionally, this is just as devastating and destructive to you.

How To Break It: GET OUT NOW! Or even better, don’t get in to begin with. It’s masochistic to be involved with a guy who’s not truly available for a relationship with you, whether it’s because he has a girlfriend, a wife, or just issues. It will turn you into this person you don’t want to be—someone who stands by on the sidelines of life waiting for a man to get his shit together and leave another woman. Here’s how this situation works out: it doesn’t. Maybe it worked out well for one person, and the guy left his wife/girlfriend/issues, and they lived happily ever after. But for mere mortals, even in those rare instances when the man does leave his wife, all that happens is he transitions into the "emotionally unavailable" category, and it still won’t work out. If a man is newly separated or going through a divorce, chances are he’s unavailable. Wait until his shit is like, really together. Dating any kind of unavailable man is not fun. It’s not romantic. It’s torture. And you deserve better.

3: Chasing Guys And Trying To Manipulate Them To Ask You Out 

The Pattern: When you like a guy, you try to orchestrate events that will bring you together, like organizing a happy hour after work or a night out dancing with your classmates. The morning after a date you text him, “Thanks so much for last night, it was amazing! I’d love to see you again soon!” But you are not really expressing gratitude. You are trying to push him to ask you out NOW so you don’t have to sit with your Will he ask me out again? anxiety all week. You feel like you have to plot out every step of this relationship and without your constant vigilance, it will wither away and die.

How To Break It: Let go of the reins. You are not really in control anyway, even though you think you are. Know that your efforts are not helping move things along. Stop planning group activities—if he wants to ask you out, he’s a big boy and he knows how to without Karaoke Night being shoved in his face. Before you text him to thank him for a date, check-in with yourself and notice what your true motivation is. It’s great to let him know that you had fun and give this guy a sign that should he want to ask you out again, you’ll say yes. But make sure you are being genuine and free of ulterior motives. And about that anxiety. Sit with it. It will pass. Warning: Some relationships will wither and die when you stop making all the moves. But these relationships aren’t worth being in anyway.

4: Mistaking Instant Emotional Intensity and Physical Attraction For A Soul Mate Connection 

The Pattern: You lock eyes across a crowded room and feel magnetically drawn to him. Your heart races, your breath catches in your chest, and all you want to do is rip his clothes off. Or, on your first date, you already feel like you’ve known him forever. You’re so comfortable, and giddy that at last you’ve found a guy who you can really be yourself with. He laughs at your jokes! He hangs on your every word! He thinks you’re charming and adorable! There is never a lull in the conversation; you could talk for hours and hours so you do, and your date extends from a having one drink into the night and maybe even the next day. This is it! you think. He’s The One!

How To Break It:
The problem with this pattern is that while emotional intensity and physical attraction are electrifying, they’re not love and definitely don’t mean that this person is your one and only soul mate. All this excitement and attraction can blind you from seeing red flags that could be popping up all over the place. Also, guys who come on really strong at the beginning tend to be the ones who shortly thereafter, disappear altogether. As good as it feels to have someone adore you, he doesn’t actually know you yet. And as for marathon dates: don’t have them. Keep your first few dates confined to a shorter period of time so as to avoid that We talked all night! high, followed by the Where the fuck did he go? low. Remind yourself that sex isn’t love, emotional intensity isn’t even love, and love at first sight is for rom-coms. You need to slow down and really get to know this person. And that, unfortunately, takes time.

5: Bonding Over Wounds And Wanting To Heal Each Other 

The Pattern: When he tells you right off the bat about the medication he’s taking, you’re thrilled. “Cool!” you exclaim. “I’m depressed, too!” You commiserate about your rough childhoods, and how it’s so hard to set boundaries and stand up for yourselves. He’s in therapy, reads self-help books, and speaks the language of emotional awareness. He understands when you need Me Time, and lets you cry on his shoulder when life just feels too hard. This is great! you think, tired of having to put on a peppy, happy façade with guys. A sensitive guy who gets me, sees me with all my wounds, and still loves me. Together, we can heal each other! And then heal the world!

How To Break It:
There is something comforting about dating a sensitive guy, especially if you’re a sensitive gal. But revealing such deeply personal information so early on before establishing a foundation of trust puts you at risk for being deeply hurt. It’s possible that two fragile people who come together in a relationship and accept and love each other can actually heal each other’s wounds. But if the guy doesn’t stick around, what happens is that the scab gets ripped off, salt gets rubbed in, and you’re left in excruciating pain, trying to bandage up your gaping wound. Hold off on the what’s-in-my-medicine-cabinet talk until you’re fairly certain that this guy is in it for the long haul, and that he carries plenty of Band-Aids.

6: Dating Men Who Are Successful In Your Field Instead Of Pursuing Your Own Career Success 

The Pattern: You dream of being a writer so you date a well-known author while working as an administrative assistant. You long to be an actor so you date an accomplished performer while waiting tables. You love to sing so you date a rock star while your guitar collects dust in your closet. You put this person on a pedestal and worship him. He’s so brilliant, so incredible, so talented, you think. And he likes ME!  You take pride in his accomplishments, and feel successful by association just because he’s dating you. And another year goes by of filing and expense reports, trying to make ends meet with crumpled dollar bills, and thicker layers of dust accumulating on your guitar.

How To Break It: Here’s the thing: while you’re focusing on his career, he’s focusing on his career, and no one is focusing on your career! Stop being a fan and start being your own person. Acknowledge what you really want to do with your career and take steps to make that happen. It isn’t enough to date someone who is doing what you want to be doing and it doesn’t bring you any closer to your goals. Take a class, apply for the kinds of jobs you dream of having, start a blog, go on auditions, dust off your guitar and hit an open mic. Do whatever it takes to get back into the starring role of your own life.

7: Seeking Approval And Validation

The Pattern: You want the guy you date to think you’re a great writer or singer or super-smart and savvy businesswoman. You need him to believe in you and your work. Love my writing, love ME! you think, as you send him links to every clip you’ve ever published after he expressed interest in your writing on your first date. Or email him YouTube videos of your latest gig. Or take him through your recent PowerPoint presentation. He believes in you and this feels wonderful, but you come to depend on his approval. Without it, you feel shaky and insecure.

How To Break It: As far as validation goes, the best place to get the approval you desire is from within yourself. However, to be able to do this all the time is an advanced practice for enlightened masters. Try to approve of yourself as much as you can, and in the meantime, don’t solely rely on your guy for validation. Because it’s a bit much to send someone you’re dating daily updates about your accomplishments in the hopes of receiving a gold star. And also, if the relationship ends and that guy was in charge of all your approval, it’s going to hurt like hell when he leaves and takes it with him. Whether you are in or out of a relationship, cultivate a network of supporters made up of friends, family members, teachers, and mentors, and share your accomplishments with them. Then give yourself your own gold star.

8: Becoming A Nervous Wreck Waiting For A Guy To Call/Text/Email 

The Pattern: Your life stops when you are waiting to hear from a guy. Staring at the phone, you feel anxious and sick to your stomach. If someone else calls while you’re waiting for a call from him, it sucks to be them! Because you do NOT want to talk to them, and you are not good at hiding your disappointment. And how many times can you refresh your email in an hour? If you’re expecting an email from him, infinitely. Just sit in front of your computer and refresh. Refresh. Refresh. No email yet? Keep refreshing another million times. Eventually it will arrive.

How To Break It:
Throw your phone and computer out the window. Kidding! There is a way to manage the panic and nausea of waiting for a guy to be in touch and fearing that he never will. Get busy with your own life in ways that involve leaving your home and preferably turning off your phone, like going to a movie or taking a yoga class. You may still be waiting to hear from him but at least your mind will be partially occupied with something else. At work, only let yourself check your personal email at set times, like once in the morning and once before you leave at the end of the day. They usually call eventually, this usually happens when you’ve finally stopped waiting, and staring at your phone/refreshing your email ad nauseam generally does not expedite this process.

9: Losing Interest In Your Life And Focusing On The Guy 

The Pattern: You have a wonderful life filled with a great job and tons of hobbies and interests and you love it! You’re training to run a marathon, taking an improv class, in a book club, and experimenting with new recipes. But then you meet him. And nothing matters anymore. Except him. You skip running, ditch class, give up on the book you were reading, and start eating frozen dinners. All your energy is focused on when you’ll see him next and how he’s doing, and it’s a wonder you can even pay your bills and do laundry.

How To Break It:
Guys really love it when the smart, interesting, vibrant woman they were attracted to turns into an obsessed girl who only cares about them. This doesn’t make them want to run for the hills at all. And forget what the guy thinks about you. Do you want to lose yourself for someone else? Hold onto your life at all costs, even if you have to hang on by your fingernails. Pay your bills, do your laundry, get up and run, buy that cilantro. Day by day, continue to invest in yourself and stay engaged in your life. If you’re going to drop your interests and single-pointedly focus all your attention on one man, you might as well sign up to be a contestant on “The Bachelor.”

10: Having Brief, Chaotic Relationships Followed By Long Periods Of Isolation

The Pattern: If you partake in any combination of the aforementioned patterns, you might find yourself in this one as a result. Because, when operating out of these behaviors, relationships hurt. They take you out of your life, make it nearly impossible to function, and are not sustainable for any length of time. There’s only so long you can hold down a job when you’re spacing out in fantasy during meetings, compulsively refreshing your email instead of reaching your deadlines, and using up your sick days to cry in bed because the guy you thought was your soul mate cut and run, or your married boyfriend cancelled another date. There’s only so much self-neglect you can take before you have to choose between falling apart completely and getting the heck out of these destructive relationships once and for all. So you isolate to protect yourself from ever having to experience this kind of pain again. And a few weeks alone turns into months and maybe years.

How To Break It: When you start to let go of patterns one through nine, relationships will stop being so painful and that’s half the battle. If you don’t lose yourself when you’re dating someone or become completely devastated when it ends, you won’t have to go to such extreme lengths to protect yourself. Work towards releasing unhealthy patterns gently and gradually, and you will have progressively healthier relationships that take less and less time to get over. Aim to date in a balanced way, where you can take some time off between relationships to process and heal, without this turning into years of not dating. If you find yourself getting stuck in isolation mode, reach out for help from friends or a therapist. And know that regardless of any unhealthy patterns you may have and no matter how checkered your relationship past is, you deserve love from others, and most importantly, from yourself. 

tmm,

SRW

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"On Fire": The Marriage Is HONORABLE. It's Bed Is PURE.




So...

As I was doing some research for something else that I am about to pen for another platform, I "happened upon" (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) a quote that had me like, "Well, OK then!":

“Purity is the feminine, truth the masculine of honor.”---David Hare

Purity is the feminine side of honor. Truth is the masculine side of honor. That is so unbelievable *hot*! And when you really make a concerted effort to ponder (Proverbs 4:26) over what this is *really saying*, doesn't it make Hebrews 13:4 illuminate all the more:

"Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge."---Hebrews 13:4(NKJV)

A lot of us are familiar with this verse in the Bible, although given the amount of people who partake in fornication and adultery, I'm not sure how many of us actually *honor it*. Yet, that may be in part because the Church doesn't really do a consistent job of teaching on the importance of honor and, in this case, being *honorable* nearly as much as it should:

Honorable: in accordance with or characterized by principles of honor; upright; of high rank, dignity, or distinction; noble, illustrious, or distinguished; worthy of honor and high respect; estimable; creditable

MARRIAGE IS UPRIGHT. MARRIAGE IS TO BE FULL OF DIGNITY AND DISTINCTION. MARRIAGE IS NOBLE AND WORTHY OF HONOR AND HIGH RESPECT. MARRIAGE IS ESTIMABLE. MARRIAGE IS CREDITABLE.

And because of just how honorable it is, the marriage bed is undefiled (it is pure).

Pure: free from anything of a different, inferior, or contaminating kind; free from extraneous matter; unmodified by an admixture; simple or homogeneous; of unmixed descent or ancestry (look at that not in terms of "race" but in terms of being with a like and light-minded believer); free from foreign or inappropriate elements; clear; free from blemishes

THE MARRIAGE BED IS NOT TO BE INFERIOR. THE MARRIAGE BED IS TO BE SIMPLE (EASY TO DEAL WITH, UNDERSTAND AND USE). THE MARRIAGE BED IS TO BE FREE OF UNMIXED ANCESTRY (2 CORINTHIANS 6:11-18). THE MARRIAGE BED IS TO BE ALSO FREE FROM *INAPPROPRIATE ELEMENTS*. THE MARRIAGE BED IS TO BE CLEAR AND FREE FROM BLEMISHES.

Now, it's another message for another time that if you are currently being sexually impure with someone and you are serious about trying to have a future with them, you are already building on an *extremely shaky foundation*. That's because the Lord does not condone sexual misconduct (I Corinthians 6:16-20-Message) and so it's a good idea to keep ever-present within the mind that "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain." (Psalm 127:1-NKJV) If this is "you", are you and "him" doomed? Not necessarily, but you *definitely* need to go into some *serious* sexual detox (that would be *total abstinence*), do some *really focused* repenting (Matthew 3) and probably get into some relationship counseling to see if *the both of you* are "in love" or simply "high on the Big O" (or the consequences that come from it).

However, for everyone else, I hope this is a reminder, once again, of just how important it is to remain a virgin and/or abstinent until you are married. Shoot, just that "the marriage bed is easy to deal with, understand and use" line alone got my mind to racing. I know married people who fantasize about others while having sex with their spouses. I know married people who cannot "enjoy" sex without porn. I know married people who rely on all kinds of contraptions in order to please and be pleased by their partners. *The marriage bed is supposed to be a lot simpler than all of that!* (James 1:17) And it can be, when *purity* is more of a focus---before, during and after.

Which brings me to the main point of this message.

Since marriage is honorable and purity is the feminine side of honor, do we, as women, see how *imperative* it is that we remain pure in preparation for marriages and our marriage beds? Do we also see how *totally relevant and pertinent* it is for us also to not settle for less than a man who lives by the principles of *biblical truth* (John 8:31-32)?

A PURE WOMAN IS A FEMININE AND  HONORABLE WOMAN. A TRUTHFUL MAN IS A MASCULINE AND HONORABLE MAN.

WHEN YOU PUT THESE TWO PEOPLE TOGETHER, THEY HAVE AN *HONORABLE* MARRIAGE AND A *PURE* MARRIAGE BED!

I really *honor* this resolve because it reminds me that when I'm not thinking or being pure (mind, body or spirit), spiritually, I am "veering off" from being a *truly feminine individual*. It also reminds me that if I do not *guard my heart* (Proverbs 4:23) against the kind of men who honor *biblical truth*, I am welcoming men who, spiritually, are not *truly masculine people*. And honey, I want myself a *very masculine man* (LOL)!

You are of a royal priesthood (I Peter 2:9).

It is your spiritual birthright to be pure and to expect a man who is truthful.

That was awesome Holy Spirit! Thank you.

tmm,

SRW




Sunday, October 21, 2012

"On Fire": What Would GOD'S REVIEW Say About You?





"My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him."---Psalm 62:5(AMP)


So...

As I was finishing up a devotional earlier this evening, I noticed that on Dictionary.com, the Word of the Day is RECUSANT. If you're not familiar with that it means, don't feel bad. Until today, I didn't either:

Recusant:  a person who refuses to submit, comply, etc.

Submit:  to give over or yield to the power or authority of another (often used reflexively); to subject to some kind of treatment or influence; to present for the approval, consideration, or decision of another or others; to state or urge with deference; suggest or propose (usually followed by a clause)

Comply: to act or be in accordance with wishes, requests, demands, requirements, conditions, etc.; agree (sometimes followed by with); to be courteous or conciliatory

Now, here's where I got all jacked up (LOL). As I was praying about why that word was hitting me so hard, this is what the Spirit said to me:

"Shellie, do you not think that a praying man prays about his future wife? And when you don't submit to me, why would I possibly recommend a man to marry you only to deal with your recusant attitude? *A woman who does not submit to a perfect Spirit will not be able to submit to a flawed vessel*. Consider your single season as a time of grace and preparation. Look at it as an opportunity to be able to get a good review from me to him."

THAT IS (WHEW!) POWERFUL!!!

I know that most of these can get a bit wordy, but honestly, I'm about done. If you are a godly woman aspiring to have a godly covenant, then you are probably already very privy to the fact that the Word, which is God (John 1:1), says: "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord." (Ephesians 5:22-NKJV) However, when it comes to being presented to our future husbands (as the Woman was in the Garden of Eden-Genesis 2:22), I'm not sure how many of us realize that our *choices now* play a significant role in God approving us and considering us for the wife position later (Acts 1:7-Message). 

I'm not sure how many of us *really think* about the fact that if the Lord says, "You need to stop having sex with your boyfriend" and we don't, we are *not* submitting. Or if he says, "You need to end that dead-end relationship" and we ignore him, we are *not* submitting. Or if he says, "I need you to be more responsible with your money", "I need you to stop watching porn or masturbating", "I need you to take better care of yourself" and we don't, we are *not* submitting.

So, when a man is praying for insight on who is the right one for him, if we don't submit to God, why would God possibly recommend us for the "job"? We're not helping (Genesis 2:18) anyone if we are not obeying God.

God handing out reviews. *What a concept* and definitely something to think about.

I'll be praying for y'all and myself this week that as the Lord provides *clear directives* (Proverbs 3:5-8), we will keep in mind that spirits tend to connect before bodies do and so when a *praying man* goes to the Lord, he is looking for God to give him a *good review* about the woman who is *right* for him:

"Hear, O daughter, consider, submit, and consent to my instruction: forget also your own people and your father’s house;  so will the King desire your beauty; because He is your Lord, be submissive and reverence and honor Him."---Psalm 45:10-11(AMP)

tmm,

SRW

Saturday, October 20, 2012

"On Fire": Are You a Footnote in Someone Else's Love Story?





"As an apricot tree stands out in the forest, my lover stands above the young men in town. All I want is to sit in his shade, to taste and savor his delicious love. He took me home with him for a festive meal, but his eyes feasted on me!"---Song of Solomon 2:3-4(Message)


OK. This is good, y'all! God always is.

I recently heard someone say, "I'm tired of being the footnote in someone else's love story."

Immediately, I got it! I used to say, often, that I was *so sick* of being the woman who always seemed to prepare a man for his wife. You know the drill: Like in the movie When Harry Met Sally, Sally finds out that the guy that she was living with and wouldn't propose to her, got with someone else and proposed to that person six months after breaking up with Sally, only for Sally to have the "light bulb moment" of "It wasn't that he didn't want to get married. It's that he didn't want to marry me."

We really do have to watch our words, because the Word tells us that there is life and death in them (Proverbs 18:21). And so, while my declaration of "Oh, so I'm the chick that prepares you for your wife? Is that it?" may have been somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy, the *real reality* (Ecclesiastes 7:18-Message) is that it was probably more like I attracted those kinds of men into my "deceived heart space" (Jeremiah 17:9): projects rather than guys who actually desired to be married (one) and to be married to me (two).

*There's nothing like feeling that kind of an ouch!*

It's kind of like in a more recent film, 500 Days of Summer, when...shoot, how about I just share it:



The entire 5 1/2 minute dialogue is great. What I'm referring to, in particular, though, is this part of it:

Tom: "You never wanted to be anybody's girlfriend and now you're somebody's wife."

Summer: "It surprised me too."

Tom: "I don't think I'll ever understand that. I mean, it doesn't make sense."

Summer: "It just happened."

Tom: "Right. But that's what I don't understand. What just happened?"

Summer: "I just...I just woke up one day and I knew."

Tom: "Knew what?"

Summer: "What I was never sure of with you."

*Sure love*. Someone should preach a sermon on *that* alone because there is *nothing* like being loved by someone who is sure. Sure of their love for God, sure of their love for themselves and sure of their love for you. As a matter of fact, a big part of the reason why we can freely abound in God is because he is sure of his love for us. That's why he can say things like, "'Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you'" as he did to Jeremiah in chapter 31 and verse 3 or how he can say to all of us now, "'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" (Hebrews 13:5) Oh, how *well* could our hearts be protected (Proverbs 4:23) if we only decided to wait on the kind of love from a godly man who was *sure* of how he felt. A man who is *sure* that he is ready to be a provider, protector, example and priest of the home that he wants to build with us and *no one else*.

I think that's why the "footnote" reference resonated with me so. When we're out here trying to *make love happen* as opposed to *letting love manifest*, we can find ourselves being all up in someone else's "love story"---one that we really have no business being a part of. And yes, as a direct result, we usually are not *the main character* but really nothing more than "a minor or tangential comment or event added or subordinated to a main statement or more important event".

That's why I think the lead quote for today is so divine. It's because the more that I honor the fact that marriage is a *union of spirits* that the flesh merely benefits from (and not the other way around), the more I see how important it is for me to *guard, preserve and prepare* my spirit so that it can continue to grow into the kind of woman that my husband will both want and need. I don't have to see him to know he's around in my space. That's what faith in *the Spirit* (John 4:24) is all about: "the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things *not seen*" (Hebrews 11:1). In many ways, our spirits already know one another. The flesh meeting is just a *culmination* of that fact, not the beginning of the journey. However, the more I go after what *I see*, the more "static in the lines" that I present for me and my spiritual connection with "him" because "footnotes", at the end of the day, while there may be lessons that come from them, they really are not much more than some nice scenery on a good day and a huge distraction on a bad one.

We are daughters of the Most High (Psalm 82:6). We are a part of a royal priesthood (I Peter 2:9). Do you really not think that God has *your own love story in which you can be the main female character in it*? That's a part of what's so hot about the Shulamite woman in Song of Solomon. She wasn't like all of the drama that Sarai and Hagar (Genesis 16) or even Rachel and Leah (Genesis 29) when through. No, if you read Song of Solomon, she was *the main character*. Every praise, every declaration, even promise was made to her and her alone. Why? Because it was *her own love story*.

SURE. LOVE.

That's what I'll be praying that we all pray for.

After all, love is *best* when love is *sure*.

Wow...makes me think of an Usher song from back in the day (his own "main character" take---LOL):



tmm,

SRW

Thursday, October 18, 2012

"On Fire": 10 Things a Single Woman Should Have Before Becoming a Married Woman


So...


As I was reading an article last night entitled, "20 Signs You're Dating the Wrong Person", there was one point, in particular, that the author made that really caught my attention. Now, it's not a Christian article and so I'm going to edit one word in it...just a bit: "They don’t try to make you a better person; they don’t care enough to call you out on your [stuff] or let you know when you do something wrong. Only a person who truly cares about you will kindly tell you the things you don’t want to hear. Keyword kindly."

I really liked this one because, personally, I find it...let's say "odd" that when the Word, which is God (John 1:1), states that we are to exhort one another daily (Hebrews 3:13) and that the wounds of a friend are faithful while the kisses of an enemy are full of deceit (Proverbs 27:6), it seems that a lot of people think that the person who they are in a relationship with should somehow bypass these verses. In other words, a lot of individuals (especially women) seem to have a problem with being called on on their, um, er, *stuff* (LOL) by the person they are dating; like seemingly the person is only there to comfort and complement them---almost to the point of coddling and enabling them.

Love says not so.

So, as I was praying about what the (main) message for this week needed to be, the Spirit (John 4:24) gave me the title: "10 Things a Single Woman Should Have Before Becoming a Married Woman". You see, because here's the thing: It's *just as bad* to be the wrong person to date/marry as it is to select the wrong one.

Here we go...


1) A relationship with God. This is not talking about going to church. Not because you shouldn't go to church but because more and more, I'm seeing that a lot of people have fellowship with like-minded believers vs. *a personal relationship with the Lord* extremely confused. So, when I say "a relationship with God", by that I mean that you take these verses in Scripture very seriously: "My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love" (John 15:10-NKJV); "If you keep Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-7-NKJV) and "God has no use for the prayers of the people who won’t listen to him." (Proverbs 28:9-Message) There's something *very telling* that happens to a woman once she has an *authentic relationship* with the Most High (Psalm 82:6): She doesn't find herself in the same cycles, doing the same things, attracting and being attracted to the same kinds of guys. So, if you are someone with that issue, this is definitely something to go to the Father about (James 1:5). Your relationship may not be as strong as you think (yet).

2) A healthy self-esteem. When I was dating (because I am not longer interested in "test runs", but that's a personal resolve not a mass recommendation), one thing that I realize was a god (Exodus 20:3) for me was looking for men to fill certain self-esteem voids. I would dress up *for them*. How they were feeling played a big part in how I was feeling. What they wanted to do, *even if it was not what God wanted me to do*, it won out. And, when the relationship came to an end, I started to question my own value. And do you know what's really the jacked up part about it? I would blame it on the guy. *I would blame a guy for how I felt about myself*. Yeah, I know. Some women will say, "No, I blame guy for not treating me right." Uh-huh, but here's the thing: When you feel about yourself the way that you're *really supposed to feel about yourself*, when you read verses in the Bible like, "Do not cast your pearls before swine" (Matthew 7:6) and you recognize yourself as being the pearl and it reminds you of the Parable of the Merchant who sold *all that he had* to get *one pearl of great value* (Matthew 13:45-46), then you start to realize that if you're in a situation long enough where someone has you doubting your worth as a daughter of the Most High and a woman (in that order), then there is something within you that needs some "self-esteem fine tuning". Your sense of self-worth will be esteemed in the eyes of a godly man *quickly* because godly people operate with *discernment*. You won't need to ask them to notice how special and worthy you are. And the added bonus is this: You won't want to ask them anyway because you'll already know. Whatever they have to say/think is just...a bonus.

3) Resolve regarding parental issues. It's almost a proven science, just how many women end up with some kind of variation of their father while acting like their mother. Now, if this was in a good way, then this would be a good thing; however, oftentimes, what we tend to gravitate towards are the less-than-ideal traits. I just read an article last night about women who did not grow up with a healthy father (whether in the home or out) and how they end up becoming very seductive, needy and eventually demanding individuals because they are wanting their significant other to "fix" what's wrong with them and their father by making up for all of what they didn't get from him. *A man is not looking to marry his 'daughter'. He wants to marry his wife*. You will save yourself a lot of drama and spare your future husband a lot of, honestly regret, if you make a concerted effort to work through your parental issues *before jumping the broom*. The things that you know that you do that are a lot like your mom and you don't like it, work on it now. The deep-rooted pain that you may have regarding the lack of a father or a good one, there is safety in wise counsel (Proverbs 24:6) and almost everyone knows that I think Healed Without Scars is a must-have read.

4) A clarity of purpose and spiritual gifts. This is a big one because whether women verbalize it or not, you can oftentimes tell by their consuming mission to be in a relationship or to get married that they wane in this department. Yes, we were created to be helpmates (Genesis 2:18) and yes, it is within the curse that a woman would desire her husband (Genesis 3:16). However, I have mentioned before that I found *great freedom* once I saw that the Woman was made *and then brought* (Genesis 2:22) over to Adam because I'd have to be somewhere else to be *brought over*. To me, this means that there was a period of time that she spent alone with *her Creator* as well. Which is probably a big part of the reason why we come into the world single now (just like Adam and the Woman did). It's because we need a period of time when we are *alone with the Lord* to understand *why he made us* and what he wants us to do, both as a single individual and a married person*. If someone asks you, "Why did God individually make you?" (Psalm 33:15) and you don't have a clearly-defined answer (one that is without the use of Scripture because oftentimes people manipulate the Word because they don't know what else to say), then this is something to spend some serious prayer time on as well. You're not going to be a good help to someone when you don't really get who are and why you exist. It's not *just* to help a man. There are tons of women on the planet who can do that. Go deeper. Oh, and Spiritual Gifts. I'm coming to dig those more and more as well because they show us where the Holy Spirit is *especially present* in our lives and being that he is defined as the Ultimate Helper (John 14:26), it's good to know what *kind of help* you have been given via your gifts. If you haven't taken one before, a pretty good one is found here (it's not a good idea to take it more than once because then you already know the questions and so it's easier to manipulate "the system" but traditionally, your top three highest scores are the ones to focus most on). Oh, and if you are a "book gal", Understanding the Power and Purpose of Woman is a worthwhile investment as well.

5) A year of abstinence (and at least a year since the last serious relationship). Do junkies make wise decisions? Can drunk people be trusted with their choices? Along these same lines, this is why it's a good idea to spend *a full year without sex, oral sex, masturbation, porn or whatever other "sexual alternative" (LOL) that you may defer to*. It's a good time to detox the past out of your system so that you can get clear on if you want *a healthy relationship* or you're just hormonal and looking for a release. Honestly, it's also a good time to do some confessing (James 5:16) and repenting (Revelation 3:19) because as I'm approaching six years of no sex (whew!), I see more and more how *any form of sexual activity* is out of order without a husband; therefore, I'm not interested in *any form of sexual activity* until I have a husband. Now, when I say "I'm not interested", of course, *I'm interested* (LOL) but what I mean is that honestly, I am thankful that with as much idol worship in the form of fornicating (Hebrews 13:14, I Corinthians 6:16-20-Message) that I did that I still have my sanity, my uterus and a clean bill of physical/mental/emotional/spiritual health. Sex outside of covenant is nothing to play with. You have to *sober up* in order to truly understand that, though. And while we're on "sobering up"...most of us have heard that insanity is doing the same thing while expecting a different result, right? For better or for worse, when single women go into a relationship with a guy, they seem to go *all in* (not sure why "guard your heart" gets ignored so much-Proverbs 4:23). So, even if the man didn't get your body, if he got a lot of your mind and spirit, you still are a little "emotionally tipsy" (LOL). You still need some time (preferably a good 12 months) to "dry out". And what are you supposed to do in the meantime? Shoot. *Date yourself*. It might just surprise you, all of the things that you were missing out on.

6) A good credit rating. I recently read an article entitled "Financial Harmony: A Key Component of a Successful Marriage Relationship". In it, one of the paragraphs said this: "Marriage is fragile. Financial harmony is critical for validation, freedom, power, respect, security, and happiness. Couples must realize the great importance that money has in their relationships and learn to define guidelines for money management." God does all things well and personally, I think a big part of the reason why I am still single is because I'm just now getting my finances in *real and stable order*. No matter how cute you are, or how well you clean a house, how good *you think* you are sexually or how much of a praying woman that you may be, you are still going to not be an optimal helpmate if you don't know how to handle finances wisely. A man who takes on a woman with a lot of debt or a bad credit score is already dealing with a bit of a burden (not the woman, but her money issues). God does things decently and in an orderly fashion (I Corinthians 14:40). If you know that you have some financial drama as a single person that could turn into financial trauma after marriage, well, I'll put it to you this way: All of that energy that you're putting into wanting a man, you might want to put into some "Financial Peace" courses, a savings account and a part-time job to pay off your creditors.

7) Platonic male friendships. Women don't know how men think. Women *think* they know how men think. This is one of the many reasons why having *platonic* (no sexual issues or sexual history of having sexual issues) male friends is a really good idea. I remember when my first boyfriend resurfaced in my life several years ago. The women in my world were like, "Oh, you two are going to end up married" while the men in my world were like, "You haven't heard from him in 10 years and *now* he's around? He wants to hit it." Guys don't romanticize. Guys look at the facts. A lot of single women already have enough trouble not "making a movie in her mind" without some of her girlfriends playing supportive roles to a wedding that may not ever happen. Yep. If you want some emotional balance in your life, *platonic* male friends will help to give it to you. Also, while you're waiting on God's divine timing (Acts 1:7-Message), there are emotional benefits that can come with platonic male company as well. We don't always want to go to dinner or the movies with our girlfriends, but that doesn't mean that we want to go out and get groped on either (LOL). A true platonic male friend can provide the happy medium: a good time and good conversations sans all of the extra. The only real word of caution here is that there's nothing like you being on one page in one book while the other person is in another. Therefore, make sure that you are *both* friends that want *nothing* more so that you don't end up "fanny the flames" or if it gets too strange "feeding the monster" (LOL).

8) A forgiving spirit. Just last night, I read an article that said, "A happy marriage consists of two really forgiving people." Beautiful. Something that makes me nervous for a lot of women even now is that they are still holding grudges from what someone has done five, 10, 20 years ago but yet, they want to get married. If you ask any *honest* person who is either married or divorced about what marriage is teaching/has taught them, I'm willing to put some good money on the table (theoretically speaking, of course) that one of the main things that they will say is that it showed them things about themselves that they wouldn't have been able to learn *any other way*. For many individuals, this would consist of their high level of pride. A person who cannot pardon an offense is *prideful* and as we all know, pride comes before the fall (Proverbs 16:18). As I am eradicating some control issues out of my own life, I realize just how *demonic* it is to not forgive people because God forgives me continually. As a matter of fact, I *love* how the Word says that he's "ready to forgive" (Psalm 86:5). Plus, it's *really bold* (and foolish) to know that the Word tells us that in order to be forgiven, you must forgive (Matthew 6:14-15); that God *won't forgive you* unless you do. As a single woman, if you *know* you have issues with forgiving people and letting offenses go (now, you can set healthy boundaries moving forward, but you *must* let it go), then marriage is not something that needs to be a goal for you right now. Putting forgiveness into practice is. You will be doing a lot of forgiving *and needing to be forgiven* during your marriage. Everyone involved will benefit from you becoming a master at doing it *now*.

9) An understanding of God's purpose for marriage and sex. If I were to do a drill right now and ask "What is the purpose of marriage?" and "What is the purpose of sex?", would you be confident that you had the right (meaning "biblical") answers? The Holy Spirit and I just penned a devotional this week on what becoming one is really about (if you would like me to forward it to you, email me at missnosipho@gmail.com) and let me tell you: People need to be *really careful about getting married AND getting out* far more than I ever dreamed. As I was praying for some people recently, people who God revealed to me are having sex, he said "They don't understand or respect sex's purpose. If they really got what it was about, they wouldn't be having it." If you're still working through some sexual issues, I'm a huge supporter of the book Sacred Sex (it actually played a big role in getting me "clear") and Defending Traditional Marriage has some great insights into what the covenant between a husband and wife is *really* all about.

10) The accomplishment of everything that you are not willing to compromise. My mom has some nuggets of real and genuine wisdom. One of them is "Do everything that you can't compromise before getting married." That's *imperative insight* because there are a lot of people who make getting married such a priority that they forget to make living life one. A single woman can take herself to the movies or overseas on a whim (if she can afford it). A single woman can go back to school or switch up careers if she feels like it (and she's spiritually led). A single woman can live her life basically how she wants to (so long as God cosigns) because she is not responsible for anyone other than herself. This is something that a lot of singles miss out on because, kind of like a 13-year-old can't wait to be 16, they are so consumed with getting to the next phase that they miss the present moment. And that is biblically disobedient: "Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit';  whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." (James 4:13-14-NKJV) Marriage is supposed to be a one-time deal (Malachi 2:16, Matthew 19:6, I Corinthians 7:10-11). It would be a *real shame* to have your main goal in life be to get married, get married and then realize you had *a whole lot of other things on your list*. There is a *freedom* that comes with being single that is incomparable to *any other time* in a woman's life. Don't let fear or envy or coveting or your hormones or anything else rob you of it. Save a lot of wedding dreaming for when you're *actually engaged* and rechannel that focus into creating a "Single Gal's Bucket List" instead. Besides, men tend to feel safer (yes, *safer*-LOL) around a woman who has a full life and just wants him to become a part of it rather than the totality of her existence.

That was some good stuff right there, Holy Spirit. Thank you.

Oh and as far as the quote up top, I couldn't find one that said "needy" in it, but I gravitated to it because...

It's OK to want to need your husband. This list is simply what prevents you from being *needy*.

It's what makes you a *true helpmate*...by making you a *whole single woman*. FIRST.

tmm,

SRW

Saturday, October 13, 2012

"On Fire": AWESOME QUOTE ON WHAT A *GODLY MAN* WANTS...

“He does not want a girl who trifles with Christianity. He wants a woman who is radically given to Christ. He does not want a girl who prays tepid, lukewarm prayers. He wants a woman who lives in defiance of the powers of Hell. He does not want a girl who is self-adorning with the latest fashions and trends. He wants a woman who is adorned with the inner jewelry of Christ-given holiness. He does not want a girl who dishonors and belittles her parents. He wants a woman who honors the authorities God has placed in her life and serves them with charity and gladness. He does not want a girl whose Bible is an accessory to her wardrobe. He wants a woman whose hunger and thirst is to know the Lord, and who diligently feasts upon His Word. He does not want a girl whose tongue is a deceptive weapon of selfishness. He wants a woman whose words drip with the honey of the name of Jesus.” 
---Leslie Ludy

"On Fire": If You're in a "Little Relationship" You Deserve to Have MORE...



"The king fell in love with Esther far more than with any of his other women or any of the other virgins—he was totally smitten by her. He placed a royal crown on her head and made her queen in place of Vashti. Then the king gave a great banquet for all his nobles and officials—'Esther’s Banquet.' He proclaimed a holiday for all the provinces and handed out gifts with royal generosity."---Esther 2:17-18(Message)



So...

We're back at Esther, I see. Here's why:

There's something really *wonderful* about confirmations. When the Spirit (John 4:24) is really wanting to get something across to you *and* you remain open to his leading, you will usually hear about it more than once. Not because it *has* to be that way but because God, in his infinite wisdom and understanding (Psalm 147:5), knows that many of us have *decided* that we need to hear/see/sense certain things more than once in order for them to *really set in*. For the seed to *really take root*.

So, when I heard a woman say on yesterday, "I don't do 'little relationships'", I must admit that already, I was kinda hooked in. What a profound way of looking at her love life; that some things that people are in *are* relationships, but they are *little ones* and she's so not interested in having one of those:

Little: small in size; not big; not large; tiny; short in duration; not extensive; short; brief; small in amount or degree; not much

How *divine* that she guards her heart (Proverbs 4:23) well enough to know that she is better than being in a "a connection, association, or involvement", "an emotional or other connection between people" or "a sexual involvement; affair" that is not big, that is short in duration, or *not much* of anything. How *wise* of her to also know that she should not consume herself with "alliances", "friendships", "interconnections" or "tie-ins" if they are going to be *not extensive*.

As I was letting that marinate, as I was *pondering* (Proverbs 4:26) over it, then I heard someone say in a film a few hours later: "We accept the love that we think we deserve. Don't make yourself small."

WE ACCEPT THE KIND OF LOVE THAT WE THINK WE DESERVE. 

WHEN IT'S LESS THAN GOD'S BEST, WE ARE MAKING OURSELVES *SMALL*.

Small: of limited size; of comparatively restricted dimensions; not big; little; slender, thin, or narrow; not large as compared with others of the same kind; not great in amount, degree, extent, duration, value, etc.

*Wow*. I'll tell you what, looking at definitions of words can change *everything*. When you look at yourself as not being great in value, you might be surprised at the kind of relationships that you'll accept that are not great in degree or duration. It's almost like, so long as you're in *something*, that is enough...when really...it isn't.

A synonym for relationship *is* marriage and so, when it comes to *investing* your mind and heart (and eventually your body-Hebrews 13:4, I Corinthians 6&7) into *that kind* of situation, being that *God created marriage* (Genesis 2:24-25, Matthew 19:6) and God is anything *but* "little" or "small" (Job 36:26), why would (or should) you settle for anything less than BIG LOVE that serves a BIG PURPOSE?

That's why we're back at King Xerses and Esther today. Here was a *pagan husband* who still knew how to *properly express his love* for the woman that he wanted to marry. As we see in the Scripture, he loved her *more* than all of the others *before* he placed the crown on her head. King Xerses loved Esther in a greater quantity, a greater amount and to a greater degree than *any other woman*. And when a man loves a with *that* kind of more...why not act on it?

A LOT OF WOMEN ARE IN RELATIONSHIPS THAT ARE NOT PROGRESSING *BECAUSE* THE MAN THAT THEY "LOVE" SO MUCH DOES NOT LOVE THEM *MORE*.

You see, there is something that a man will do when *more* takes place. He makes decisions. He makes declarations. He makes plans. King Xerses loved Esther *more* and then made her queen and then celebrated her with a party, a holiday and gifts (someone might call that a *wedding ceremony*).

Personally, I discern (Proverbs 2) that a lot of heartache (or is it self-induced drama?) could be spared if a lot more of us had the same resolve as the woman that I mentioned in the beginning.

If you are someone who has *really experienced* manifestations of Adonai's *everlasting love* (and trust me, all of us have-Jeremiah 31:3), then why would you want *so little* after encountering *so much*?

SINCE A BIG GOD WITH BIG LOVE MADE MARRIAGE, DON'T YOU THINK THAT HE CREATED THE LOVE WITHIN IT TO BE...WELL...*BIG*?!?

I John 4:16(NKJV) tells us that "God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him."

So, couldn't that also translate into "God is love and who abides in a godly marriage abides in God and God in him"? And since that is the case, how dare we make a mockery (Galatians 6:7) out of that kind of love by *belittling* it with fornication and shacking up and settling and idolatry and lowering standards and cutting corners and editing the Word and...not accepting that we deserve *so much more*?

I mean...because the Word, which is Adonai (John 1:1), definitely does tell us that we deserve more:

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish."---Ephesians 5:25-27(NKJV)

Personally, I am learning that the *more* I accept how Christ loved, the *more* I don't know how to settle for a lower standard. That kind of love is *far too massive* to "downgrade".

This message was for someone. I know that for sure. Therefore, I encourage you to spend some time over this weekend and ask for wisdom (James 1:5) on if you're in a little relationship...

And if it's time that you started expecting MORE.

tmm,

SRW



Monday, October 8, 2012

"On Fire": Signs That You're Ignoring the Signs



I know, right?

It just *keeps on churning out* right through here. Not sure why. But whatever the underlying cause is, please don't shoot the messenger. ;-)

While I was finishing up a deadline about an hour ago, an old episode of Cheers was watching me. Already, I found that to be a bit odd because while I liked it back in the day, it's not a show that I rush to watch in this present time (A Different World is actually more my speed). Yet, the episode was so "hilariously profound" that I actually found myself going onto YouTube to see if I could pull it up (the episode was "Simon Says" if anyone happens to find it).

Anyway, if you know even a little bit about the show, then you know that Sam (Ted Danson) and Diane (Shelley Long) spent (or is it wasted?) *a lot of time* trying to make something that wasn't really working work. Well, in this particular episode, they went to go see a marriage counselor and after he told them (I so enjoyed this!), "You are an accident waiting to be married", Diane decided to devote all of her efforts into trying to get the counselor to reverse his decision. Finally, after coming to his hotel room so much and her getting on *his last nerve*, he told them that they were definitely meant to be. And she was smugly satisfied.

Hmph. Bless her heart and the *thousands upon thousands* of couples who are just like her. People who are given wise counsel, people with the handwriting on the wall, people with warning signs *left and right* and yet, they still want to try and make *something that is not working...work*.

As the credits began to roll, I instantly knew that I saw that for a reason and that something needed to be penned on "On Fire". I prayed about it and the Spirit told me that he would share, not signs that you need to rethink about, slow down on or quite possibly even end your relationship, but signs that you're ignoring all of the signs leading up to those conclusions. Here we go:

SIGN ONE: You lie about your relationship. There is nothing like talking to the girl who claims she has met "the one" and then when you ask three major questions, she decides to be vague: "Is he a Christian?", "Does he want what you want?", "Are you two abstinent?" Now, if you're not a Christian and you're reading this, then the first and the last question may not really matter to you, but to everyone else, if you are in a relationship with a man who is not a believer (2 Corinthians 6:11-18), that is a surefire sign that you are in a less-than-biblical-ideal situation because a man can't fathom commands like, "Love your wife as Christ loved the Church" (Ephesians 5:25-32) if he has no relationship with Christ *or* the Church (not his mama's Christian; *he is*). As far as wanting what you want, it is *amazing* the amount of women (over 30) who will start a serious relationship with a guy who, well, doesn't want a serious relationship. If marriage is not on his radar and you decide to pursue something anyway and three years in, you have no *forward movement* to show for it, he is not "leading you on", you are dragging yourself behind him. And the abstinent thing? Well, one of the reasons why I like I Corinthians 7:23 so much is because it reminds me that I was bought with a price *and* so to put in a lot of "body work" without "marital payment", in some ways, is like it's own form of slavery. *Volunteer slavery, act that!* A lot of women know this and that's why they don't tell the truth when they are asked those kinds of questions about their significant (or is it insignificant?-LOL) other. But you're not hurting the inquirer when you lie. You're only hurting yourself.

SIGN TWO: You refuse wise counsel. Proverbs 24:6(NKJV) says, "For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety." Now, I know a lot of chicks who will get counsel, but it ain't *wise counsel*. Biblical wisdom is not like worldly wisdom. I Corinthians 3:19 tells us that the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God. Oh, but when someone is *desperate enough* (yet, another sign), they will customize their "counsel circle" to fit their own agenda. If it's women shacking up with their boyfriends who will say, "Sleeping around is how you keep a man", they'll enlist that counsel to justify fornication (or oral sex...just sayin'). If it's panicky women who think it's better to be in a relationship that's lacking than not be in one at all, they'll use those types as their "counsel cosigners" too. Yet, you know what? If you *really want* to be in a godly relationship, then you need counsel from godly people. That is the *true essence* of "wise counsel". Spiritually immature individuals are going to give you spiritual immature counsel (actually, it will be more like advice).

SIGN THREE: You keep lowering your standards. First, he needed to be someone who will pray with you and now it's OK so long as he goes to church with you every once in a while. First, he needed to be someone who was fine with just kissing and now it's OK so long as after he freaks you down, he doesn't spend the night. First, he needed to be attentive and romantic and now he just needs to send a text per day (did you know there is a whacked-out website called HeTexted.com that supposedly helps you to decipher a text? What?!?). First, he needed to acknowledge your birthday and now it's OK so long as he gets around to it at some point in the week. You know what? Letting your standards drop? *That's what's weak*. A part of the beauty in being single is that you're supposed to be whole and complete enough (or at least working towards that place and space) that you don't have to compromise *standards*. Now, of course all relationships need some "rubber" in them to work. But it was Clementine Paddleford who once said, "Don't grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be." If you are giving so much that you are losing yourself, you are not in a relationship; you are connected to a parasite.

SIGN FOUR: You forgot that you even had a plan. I'm 38. This means I know quite a few women in their late 30s-mid 40s. Some of those women have told me that they want children, for example. OK, now I'll be the first one to say that if Sarah (in the Bible-Genesis 21) can get pregnant, *all of us can* (LOL). However, a (wo)man who fears God also deals with reality (Ecclesiastes 7:18-Message) and I haven't heard of another woman who is almost 100 pulling that off. My point? There is nothing like watching a woman claim that she has a plan for her life and yet, she'll *waste time* deviating from it in order to keep a *boyfriend* rather than leave the lane open for a *husband*. When a woman spends 2-3 (if not more) years of her *very precious time* with one guy and it doesn't work, *a healthy approach* is to take *at least a year off from dating* (any form of dating) to heal from it before *even beginning to think* about starting something new with someone else. This means, you have devoted, at least, 4-5 years of time that you won't get back. A woman who is serious about her future is not gonna let someone "wade" (rather than swim, you get it) in her "love pool".

SIGN FIVE: You find yourself defending questionable behavior. I know someone who is *always* defending her man's behavior. Whatever he doesn't do, she is *always* coming up with some justification for it. And you know what? It's been several years and no progress has been made. And the funny thing (in a sad way) is that when people try and tell her that she's worth more than that, guess who she gets upset with? It's not the guy who is not making a move. It's the people who remind her of that very fact. If you are always coming up with excuses for his behavior (or lack thereof) that's a *definite* sign that you're ignoring the signs.

SIGN SIX: You are acting like a wife as a single woman. OK, and why can you not see other people? And why do you use words with him like "faithful" and "cheat"? And why are you contributing to his bills? AND WHY DOES THAT SOUND A LOT LIKE MARRIAGE ONLY...YOU'RE NOT MARRIED (YET)? I was in a counseling session fairly recently and they asked me, "So, when do you start preparing for marriage?" My answer was "When you're engaged." Sadly so many people are so *wedding addicted* that they don't realize that the time of engagement is actually when *two friends who deeply love the Lord first and one another second* actually *transition* into preparing for marriage. Now, I'm a firm believer that the Lord prepares single women to have wife qualities, but it's pretty unhealthy to "assume the position" without an actual marriage. *When a man asks you to marry him*, that is when you know that he has *full intentions* on treating you like a wife and so you can start preparing to treat him as a husband.

SIGN SEVEN: Your spiritual life is suffering. OK, so he doesn't encourage you to worship but he does encourage you to have sex. He doesn't encourage you to spend alone time with the Lord but he does encourage you to be at his bait and call. He doesn't encourage you to do what's best for you, but he does encourage you to do what's best for him. *A godly relationship will ALWAYS have GOD at the helm of it* and evidence of that is that both people will spiritually flourish by knowing one another. If you two don't pray together, if you two don't learn spiritually from one another, if you two are not in sync when it comes to biblical truth...*your spiritual life is being placed in jeopardy* and take it from me, when you know this and you remain in the relationship anyway, that is one of the *greatest* forms of idolatry (Exodus 20:3). If you have feelings for a non-believer and you are a believer, all things are possible to them that believe (Mark 9:23). However, this means that *you* need to move out of the way and allow *God* to do his job. *No man* is worth your soul.

Yeah. Thanks "Sam and Diane" for that food for thought.


I hope we're not in so much denial that we all choke on it. (LOL)


tmm,


SRW