GOD’S GENEROSITY. . . . . Matthew 20:15 This parable is a strong teaching about grace, God’s generosity. We shouldn’t begrudge those who turn to God in the last moments of life, because, in reality, no one deserves eternal life. Many people we don’t expect to see in the kingdom may be there. The criminal who repented as he was dying (Luke 23:40-43) will be there, as well as the person who has believed and served God for many years. Do you resent God’s gracious acceptance of the despised, the outcast, and the sinners who have turned to him for forgiveness? Are you ever jealous of what God has given to another person? Instead, focus on God’s gracious benefits to you, and be thankful for what you have.
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Thursday, December 27, 2012
KEEP TRACK. . . . . Matthew 18:22 The rabbis taught that Jews should forgive three times those who offend them. Peter, in trying to be especially generous, asked Jesus if seven (the “perfect” number) was enough times to forgive someone. But Jesus answered, “Seventy times seven,” meaning that we shouldn’t even keep track of how many times we forgive someone. We should always forgive those who are truly repentant, no matter how many times they ask.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
EYES. . . . . Matthew 14:28 Peter was not testing Jesus, something we are told not to do (Matthew 4:7). Instead he was the only one in the boat to react in faith. His impulsive request led him to experience a rather unusual demonstration of God’s power. Peter started to sink because he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the high waves around him. His faith wavered when he realized what he was doing. We may not walk on water, but we do walk through tough situations. If we focus on the waves of difficult circumstances around us without looking to Christ for help, we too may despair and sink. To maintain your faith in the midst of difficult situations, keep your eyes on Christ’s power rather than on your inadequacies.
Sunday, December 23, 2012
TESTING. . . . . Matthew 9:27-30 Jesus didn’t respond immediately to the blind men’s pleas. He waited to see how earnest they were. Not everyone who says he or she wants help really wants it badly enough to do something about it. Jesus may have waited and questioned these men to make their desire and faith stronger. If, in your prayers, it seems as if God is too slow in giving his answer, maybe he is testing you as he did the blind men. Do you believe God can help you? Do you really want his help?
Friday, December 21, 2012
OUT OF CONTROL. . . . . Matthew 5:21-22 Killing is a terrible sin, but anger is a great sin too because it also violates God’s command to love. Anger in this case refers to a seething, brooding bitterness against someone. It is a dangerous emotion that always threatens to leap out of control and lead to violence, emotional hurt, increased mental stress, and other destructive results. There is spiritual damage as well. Anger keeps us from developing a spirit pleasing to God. Have you ever been proud that you didn’t strike out and say what was really on your mind? Self-control is good, but Christ wants us to practice thought-control as well. Jesus said we will be held accountable even for our attitudes.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
HOLDING BACK. . . . . Malachi 3:6-12 Malachi urged the people not to hold back their gifts to the priests, their “tithes.” Tithing began during Moses’ time (Leviticus 27:30-34; Deuteronomy 14:22). The Levites received some of the tithe because they couldn’t have land (Numbers 18:20-21). During Malachi’s day, the tithes were not used to support God’s workers, so the Levites had to go to work. God has given us everything. When we refuse to return to him a part of what he has given, we rob him. Do you selfishly want to keep all you’ve been given, or are you willing to return the first part for advancing God’s kingdom?
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Monday, December 17, 2012
BE BLESSED. . . . . Zephaniah 3:12 God is opposed to the proud and haughty of every generation. But the lowly and humble, both physically and spiritually, will be blessed because they trust in God. Self-reliance and arrogance have no place among God’s people or in his kingdom.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Saturday, December 15, 2012
One of the best innovations to come out of Asia, this variety of Oil Absorbing Sheets is made of some type of silky material rather than paper. Plus this variety handles a particular problem very well—retrieving one sheet at a time. Once you open the lid, a piece of tape grabs one sheet for easy pop-up dispensing.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Thursday, December 13, 2012
AMAZING STRENGTH. . . . . Habakkuk 3:17-19 Crop failure and the death of animals would devastate Judah. But Habakkuk affirmed that even in the midst of starvation, he would still rejoice in the Lord. Habakkuk’s feelings were not controlled by the events around him, but by the faith in God’s ability to give him strength. When nothing seems to make sense, and when troubles seem more than you can handle, remember that God gives strength. Take your eyes off your difficulties and look to God.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
IN YOUR DREAMS. . . . . Micah 2:1-2 Micah spoke out against those who planned evil deeds at night and rose at dawn to carry them out. A person’s thoughts reflect his character. What do you think about as you lie down to sleep? Do you desires involve greed or stepping on others to achieve your goals? Evil thoughts lead to evil deeds as surely as morning follows night.
Monday, December 10, 2012
Sunday, December 9, 2012
NO GAIN. . . . . Amos 5:12 Why does God put so much emphasis on the way we treat the poor? How we treat the rich or those of equal station too often reflects what we hope to get from them. But since the poor can give us nothing, how we treat them reflects our true character. Do we, like Christ, give without thought of gain? We should treat the poor as we would like God to treat us.
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Friday, December 7, 2012
COW GIRLS. . . . . Amos 4:1 Israel’s wealthy women were compared to the cows of Bashan—pampered, sleek, and well fed (see Psalm 22:12). These women selfishly pushed their husbands to oppress the helpless in order to supply their lavish lifestyle. Be careful not to desire material possessions so much that you are willing to oppress others and displease God to get them.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Monday, December 3, 2012
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Friday, November 30, 2012
WORK. . . . . Amos 1:1 All day long Amos took care of sheep—not a particularly “spiritual” job—yet he became a channel of God’s message to others. Your job may not cause you to feel spiritual or successful, but it is a vital work if you are in the place God wants you to be. God can work through you to do extraordinary things, no matter how ordinary your occupation.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
NEVER FAILING. . . . . Hosea 14:4 When our will is weak, when our reason is confused, when our conscience is burdened with a load of guilt, we must remember that God promises forgiveness and boundless love. When friends and family desert us or don’t understand us, when we are tired of being good, God’s love knows no bounds. When we can’t see the way or hear God’s voice, when we lack courage to go on, when our shortcomings or an awareness of our sins overwhelms us, God’s love knows no bounds. Regardless of how things seem or even how you feel, rely on this truth: God’s love knows no bounds.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Monday, November 26, 2012
GUESS WHO? . . . . . Hosea 8:12 It is easy to listen to a sermon and think of all the people we know who should be listening, or to read the Bible and think of those who should do what the passage teaches. The Israelites did this constantly, applying God’s laws to others but not to themselves. This is just another way to deflect God’s Word and avoid making needed changes. As you think of others who need to apply what you are hearing or reading, check to see if the same application could fit you. And keep in mind that often our own faults are the very ones we see in others.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
My Thanksgiving went much better than I had ever anticipated. Around 09:20 AM that Thursday morning, I went to a job interview at the McDonald’s located on 2840 Greenmount Ave. The interview went pretty well and thankfully I got the job and I start next week. Afterwards I came back home and wished some family and friends including Teon a Happy Thanksgiving. Then I went to my mother’s house around 02 PM for some of her homemade cooking. Kenneth, my brother, is in town for the holiday and our family had our first Thanksgiving meal with two new additions to the table—Michael and Jamal, my mother’s foster kids. After dinner, we had a good time reliving past events. We talked for hours about Michael and his inadequacies, to drugs, alcohol, and even gambling and I enjoyed every minute of it. I didn’t leave the house—with my own sweet potato pie and food in tow—until about 09:00 PM much later than I had anticipated.
Before I go, I just have to say how proud I am of my brother. He’s living on his own in Atlanta, GA, so far from home, and doing well. He’s already on his third car and has disposable income to blow on stupid stuff (like cars, Mac Books, iPads)—he reminds me so much of myself at his age, 22. Although I didn’t nearly have as much confidence and swag as he has. He’s always been the brave one having several friends. He just fits in so easily unlike me. I’ve always been the quiet and antisocial one. I’m much more like my father, although I don’t think my dad was that quite of an introvert. Kenneth is living life to the fullest, getting high on drugs and life and I wish I was that free-spirited. I’m too much of a control freak. Even though I’m the older brother, I have always looked up to Kenneth and I still do. I’m so happy that he’s doing so well and I pray that he doesn’t fall from grace much like I have, although I doubt he ever will. Too many people are on his side.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Once again, Richard goes and humiliates me in front of another one of his friends. This time it’s none other than Quentin Burns. He’s cursed me out, called me a bitch, told me to leave . . . the list goes on and on. This time it all started because I asked for a little clarification on what he was talking about because he was making no kind of sense, and he just went off. I notice that this is a running theme. Whenever he’s in the company of one of his friends, it’s like he has to put on a stunt and a show—a Broadway musical if you will and nobody paid for a ticket. He just goes off on me and devotes a full hour of talking about me to his friends. He claims that I don’t do anything for him (including sex), that I always start an argument, and that I’m spoiled, lazy, and I don’t help him out with anything—all of which are total lies. I will admit that I’m not the easiest to get along with only because I spend ample time thinking things through and not wasting time unlike Richard. You already know that Richard is dumb as a door knob and thinking is not in his repertoire so he makes some of the most stupid decisions. And when you call him out on them, he wants to fuss at you. In the words of Richard, I’m tired and I’m through. No more of this bull shit. I need to start making plans that no longer include his dumbass.
Friday, November 23, 2012
Thursday, November 22, 2012
HARD TO FORGIVE. . . . . Daniel 4:19 When Daniel understood Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, he was stunned. How could he be so deeply grieved at the fate of Nebuchadnezzar—the king who was responsible for the destruction of his home and nation? Daniel had forgiven the king, and so God was able to use Daniel. Often when we have been wronged by someone, we find it difficult to forget the past. We may even be glad if that person suffers. Forgiving people means putting the past behind us. Can you love someone who has hurt you? Ask God to help you forgive, forget, and love. God may use you in an extraordinary way in that person’s life!
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
TEMPTATION. . . . . Daniel 1:8 It is easier to resist temptation if you have thought through you convictions well before the temptation arises. Daniel and his friends made their decision to be faithful to the laws of their religion before they were face with the king’s delicacies, so they did not hesitate to stick with their convictions. Sometimes we get into trouble because we have not previously decided where to draw the line. Before such situations arise, decide on you commitments. Then, when temptation comes, you will be ready.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
There’s this homeless young man—23 years of age and one of the nicest guys I have ever met—who is friends with Richard named Quentin. He’s been coming by the apartment pretty sporadically for about four months looking for Richard, who always seems to be away when he stops by. He rings the doorbell, asks if Richard is home, I say no and then he asks me for some money or food, clothes or to use my phone. I happily oblige only because he just has the most humble personality I think I have ever seen in a person. He told me a little about himself yesterday—about how he’s been homeless off and on for quite some time, hustling and grinding, trying to make a come-up. He’s planning on attending Baltimore City Community College or Job Corps soon and he’s working on a mix tape. And it’s not like he wants a pity party. He’s been sleeping in the laundry room downstairs and doesn’t want me to tell Richard because he doesn’t want him to worry.
Well, here’s where things get a little kinky. I seem to get a hard-on whenever he comes around. He’s quite easy on the eyes and he’s very much a conversationalist. He’s quite charming and very polite and I seem to go for guys like that. He told me that he wants kids of his own and how he was taking very good care of his brother’s kids for a while and I can tell he would be an awesome dad. Other than his mental disability—schizophrenia—I really can’t seem to dictate a flaw, although I’m pretty sure there’s more to the picture than he’s letting on. He has somehow contributed to his unfortunate circumstances—I’m just guessing—but I’ve spent many nights praying for him. Quentin always tells me that the God will bless me but he just doesn’t know how much of a blessing he’s been to me.
To cut to the chase, I made a pass at him last night while he was sleeping on the couch. I can’t believe I even had the guts to do so. That has got to be the first time I’ve ever done so. (Well I made a pass at him back in September but it was way too subtle for him to even notice.) While he was in his deep sleep, I put my lips up to his. He didn’t respond right away. It took him a few seconds to come to and he turned me down. “I don’t want to get shot.” “It’s alright,” I said. He said, “Naw, I know the people Richard hangs around.” At that point I grabbed his crotch and said, “Are you sure?” “Yeah.” He at least gave me a kiss and he told me that this would stay between us two.
Wow! Am I that horny? I think so and I’m pretty unhappy with my current circumstances. I really don’t want to be with Richard anymore and we are currently in a rush trying to find an apartment. It seems like we’ll never find anyplace better or even equal to where we are living now. It’s just a mess because he lives paycheck to paycheck with no savings and we really can’t even afford to move. The only reason why he even has a security deposit is because he’s skipping out on November’s rent. I really can’t tell you where his money goes but it’s really none of my business. He’s been providing for me full time since February and he doesn’t even expect me to help with the payment on a new apartment. In all, I can’t really complain.
Well, if you think about I really can. We fuss and fight like cats and dogs and it’s becoming a daily occurrence. And it’s all because he won’t listen—and because he’s dumb as all hell. I swear if I had it, I would leave him in the dust. However, it’s that kind of thinking that is not helping the relationship one bit. Teon called me again last night. I didn’t answer so he sent a text message my way. The only thing is I have no clue what the text message entailed only because I only receive the first letter of any texts I receive on my main cell phone. What kind of shit is that? Reachout Wireless says that I need a new cell phone but I don’t see how that would help much. Too bad I can’t afford one at the moment. I’m praying that I get approved for cash assistance under the Temporary Disability Assistance Program. I’m also begging Jesus for a new job. Yet I know that all things come in due time. Jesus always seems to surprise me with a blessing especially when my funds are low, so I’m really counting on it real soon. I know that he will never leave me or forsake me.
Friday, November 16, 2012
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
I swear you can’t one simple conversation with Richard without him fussing and yelling. His dumb-ass never tells the whole story or he gives you some rambled up version and when you question him, he gets irate and raises his voice. And as a result, I raise my voice and that’s when things go south. Sometimes, I don’t know whether I’m talking to a 38 year old or an eight year old. He and I are not compatible at all. He is as dumb as box of rocks and at times I wish I could tell him to go kick rocks but I’m dependant on him. At the moment, I’m still waiting on the Lord to bless me with a J-O-B. Richard’s manager was supposed to be calling me but it doesn’t seem like he’s ever going to get around to it. On top of all this mess, Richard has to move out in less than a month. Today I went with him to Baltimore District Court and he agreed to vacate the apartment by December 15, 2012. Since his name is not on the lease and his mother is now living at a nursing home, Kensington Gates no longer wants him living there. Plus it doesn’t look like his credit is good enough to get another apartment. One apartment complex already denied his application. John and Sade moved out without warning but we still have to deal with Richard’s nephew, Ricky. And to make matters worse, we haven't had cable television in over two weeks now. Through all of this, I’m still blessed and I shall put all of this in God's hands.
POLLUTION. . . . . Ezekiel 20:30 Water containing comtaminants is polluted. Likewise, our life is polluted when we accept the contaminants--immoral values--of this world. If we love money, we become greedy. If we lust, we become sexually immoral. Remaining pure in a polluted world is difficult, to say the least. But a heart filled with God's Holy Spirit leaves little room for pollution (see Titus 1:15-16).
Monday, November 12, 2012
Here's a cheap product with a fairly decent payoff. It has a fair amount of white pigment that produces a highlighting effect on my dark skin, so I use quite a light hand and it creates a nice and dewey hue of color.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
NO FAIR. . . . . Ezekiel 18:25 A typical childish response to punishment is to say, "That's not fair!" In reality, God is fair, but we have broken the rules. It is not God who must live up to our ideas of fairness; instead, we must live up to his. Don't spend your time looking for the loopholes in God's law; decide instead to work toward living up to God's standards.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Monday, November 5, 2012
Much like Oskar Schell, I have come to the realization that I too have spent most of my life searching for something. Not a lock fit for a key but ultimately for happiness, acceptance. . . love. I'm quite sure that I haven't found it just yet, however like Oskar I won't give up until I find the answers.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Friday, November 2, 2012
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
MONEY. . . . . Ezekiel 7:19 Money too often seems to lead people into sin. Paul said the love of money is the first step to sin (1 Timothy 6:10). How ironic that we use wealth-a gift from God-to buy things that separate us from him. How tragic it is that we spend so much time looking for ways to satisfy ourselves with money and so little time looking for God, the true source of satisfaction.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Saturday, October 27, 2012
TURN ABOUT. . . . . Lamentations 5:22 A high calling flouted by low living results in deep suffering. Lamentations gives us a portrait of the bitter suffering the people of Jerusalem experienced when sin caught up with them and God turned his back on them. Every material goal they had lived for disappeared. Even though God turned away from them because of their sin, he did not abandon them-that was their great hope. Despite their sinful past, God would restore them if they returned to him. There is no hope except in the Lord. Thus, our grief should turn us toward him, not away from him.
Friday, October 26, 2012
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Don't Play. . . . . Jeremiah 42:5-10 Johanan and his associates spoke their own curse; Jeremiah merely elaborated on it. It was a tragic mistake to ask for God's guidance with no intention of following it. Be sure never to ask God for something if you know in your heart that you do not want it. It is better not to pray than to pray deceptively. God cannot be deceived.
Monday, October 22, 2012
|Result of a fight back in June|
Richard “Rick” Hunt and I are officially over. I know I’ve said this before but this time I REALLY mean it. Richard has shown me his true colors and I’m no longer invested in this relationship anymore.
This whole situation started on Saturday night. Richard came in the house pretty late from work. . . I’ll say around 10:30PM. He didn’t greet me or anything. Apparently he was still mad about the fact that I wouldn’t allow him to wear a pair of my shoes on Friday night. I know I should have let him wear them, but I’m pretty selfish. I’ll admit it. Trust me I’m working on it. He asks for the remote and I’m like No hello or anything. But I save face and I proceed to ask if he talked to his bosses about my employment. He says that he did but they didn’t say anything. He’s been asking his bosses for a little over two weeks now, but their lazy asses haven’t gotten around to calling me. So I continue to question him and ask why and he throws me shade, and I tell him Fuck it and that they don’t have to worry about hiring me, among other things.
At this time, I’m ranting, raving and fussing and I happen to say that I’ll just use him the way his friend Chris does. This is when the shit hit the fan. He put his hands around my neck, chokes me and pushes me to the floor. I’ll kill you, he says and he calls his friend John in the room for back up. (You see John and his girlfriend are now staying with us on top Richard’s nephew, Ricky. It’s funny how Richard used to make fun of the renters across the hall that had five residents in a one bedroom apartment and now he’s the butt of the joke.) John tells Richard that he won’t jump in, but Richard proceeds to put on a show for his audience. He’s in my face yelling and cursing all while choking and shoving me. I swear he turned straight into Judas Iscariot. He would have never treated me like that if his fan base weren’t in the next room watching and laughing.
I couldn’t believe that he would treat me like that. But I will say that I’m not surprised. He’s put his hands on me and treated me like utter shit in front of his friends before. At this point I know that I should just leave but I have no place to go. I’m stuck. And I do appreciate all that Richard does and I realize that at times I give him a hard time, however that does not give him a right to put his hands around my throat. I recently told him that I no longer trust him and to be quite honest, my love for him is ceasing faster that gas in an Escalade on the highway.
In the end, we talked it out. The police came shortly after and Richard ushered them away. I’m not hurt physically but I am deeply hurt emotionally. And as for Sade, Ricky, and John—they are on my SHIT LIST. Richard told them that I would no longer open the door for them, but get this. He says that he’ll get them all a key by today. He just gave me a key less than two weeks ago and I’ve been asking for one for all of five months. Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?
P.S. Teon called me last night and I’m still not answering.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Friday, October 19, 2012
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
DANGER. . . . . Jeremiah 13:15 While it is good to respect our country and our church, our loyalties always carry a hidden danger--pride. When is pride harmful? When it causes (1) to look down on others; (2) to be selfish with our resources; (3) to force our solutions on others' problems; (4) to think God is blessing us because of our own merits; (5) to be content with our plans rather than seeking God's plans.
Monday, October 15, 2012
|1116 Homewood Ave|
I finally spoke to Charles "NY" Johnson on Friday, October 12. We lost touch for a moment but he is doing very well. He recently moved into a 3rd floor apartment on 1116 Homewood Avenue. He's still with his fiance, Kim, and they threw a housewarming party on Saturday, October 13. I lied and told Charles that I wouldn't be able to make it to the party because I would be out of town. I know, I know I'm such a flake. I'm so proud of him, although he seems to be more dependant now than ever. I can't stand it when without any warning Charles passes his phone to Kim when he can't communicate effectively. In his own words, Kim is his "bread and butter". Yeah. And I guess she spoon feeds it to him too.
Charles also gave me an update on a few of our lost acquaintances. For starters, he says that he hasn't been arrested recently unlike Semaj "Chardonnay" Daniels. Apparently, she's going from abandoned building to abandoned building, man to man, North Ave stroll to jail. In my humble opinion, she needs to take her ass back home to North Carolina. When will that t-girl ever learn? Julius "Andrea" Baxter seems to be doing the same 'ol. Drinking, getting high and sleeping with just about anybody. As old as he is I really don't see any room for improvement. As they say, he is late. Jail is the only place that one stays clean.
Charles also told me that my stalker, Collins "Rip" Johnson,still hangs out around the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Housing & Resource Center. But who cares?
Also, I can't neglect to mention that I've been quite a flake to Teon as well. He's sent a couple calls and text messages my way this past week and I just responded to him on Saturday. I'm pretty sure he knows why I've been so cold to him lately, but even if he doesn't, I just don't care. I need a break from that one. I just don't see my heart taking a back track any time soon and I can't deny the emotions I still have for him. You see Teon is still battling the same demons as he did a couple years ago. I'll just continue to pray for him too.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
FORGETTING. . . . . Jeremiah 2:31-32 Forgetting can be dangerous, whether it is intentional or an oversights. Israel forgot God by focusing it's affections on the allurements of the world. The more we focus on the world's pleasures, the easier it becomes to forget God's care, love dependability, guidance, and most of all, God himself. What pleases you most? Have you been forgetting God lately?
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Friday, October 12, 2012
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Monday, October 8, 2012
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Saturday, October 6, 2012
I've said this before but I wished I had joined the Armed Forces. I've always had dreams of joining the U.S. Air Force just like my dad. Unfortunately, that dream is over, and the only way I know to get over my regret is to look at it as some kind of blessing. I mean who's to say I would still be alive if I had joined? But this post is not about me but about all of the brave men and women courageous enough to have joined the military. Even though this movie is pure science fiction, I know that it is a true testament to the trials and challenges of all of our veterans and I don't think that you all get enough credit. Much credit to all of our soldiers living and expired. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.