ARGUMENTS . . . . . Titus 3:9-11 Paul warns Titus, as he warned Timothy, not to get involved in foolish and unprofitable disputes (2 Timothy 2:14). This does not mean that we should refuse to study, discuss, and examine different interpretations of difficult Bible passages. Paul is warning against petty quarrels, not honest discussion that leads to wisdom. When foolish arguments develop, it is best to either turn the discussion back to a track that is going somewhere or to politely excuse yourself.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Once again, I'm walking down Greenmount Avenue, on my way home from work, and someone offers me a ride. I told the guy "I'm good," as he followed me down the street. He proceeds to make a U-turn and called me over to his car. It's raining cats and dogs outside, so I figure why not? To make a long story short, he wanted the usual--a blow job. And once again, I gave in. This guy's name is Chris and he wasn't all that bad. He's yet another DL nigga scoping the streets for some head, as he bluntly says. We did the act in a back alley off of Bel Air Road. He tried to fuck me but the condom broke so that was a No-Go. Instead I gave him the head of his dreams as he came in my mouth. Afterwards, he drove me home and I gave him my number. Tomorrow, he wants to finish what we started, but we'll see.
This is the second guy in a weeks time that I gave an oral transaction in the front seat of his car with no reciprocation. I blew off and Indian by the name of KC who works part-time as a delivery man for Papa Johns. He has called me a few times since but I refuse to answer.
It looks like I'm just being a used, but in a strange way I don't mind. I'm not getting any action anyhow. I'm so naive because I keep hoping that one of these rides will hold my Prince Charming--a gentlemen, if you will. But all I seem to get are thirsty DL guys, and once I get into their cars, I feel pressure to do whatever they tell me to do out of fear that I'll end up stranded somewhere. I don't know if I'll ever learn, but what's wrong with a little fun for now.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
RUN . . . . . 2 Timothy 2:22 Running away is sometimes considered cowardly. But wise people realize that removing themselves physically from temptations is often very wise. Timothy, a young man, was warned to run from anything that produced evil thoughts. Perhaps you experience a recurring temptation that is difficult to resist. Remove yourself physically from the situation. Knowing when to run is as important in a spiritual battle as knowing when and how to fight. (See also 1 Timothy 6:11.)
Monday, February 25, 2013
MONEY CYCLE . . . . . 1 Timothy 6:6-10 Despite almost overwhelming evidence to the contrary, some people still believe money brings happiness. Rich people craving greater riches can be caught in an endless cycle that only ends in ruin and desperation. How can you avoid the love of money? Paul gives us some principles: (1) realize that one day riches will all be gone (1 Timothy 6:7, 1 Timothy 17); (2) be content with what you have (1 Timothy 6:8); (3) watch what you are willing to do to get more money (1 Timothy 6:9-10); (4) love people and God’s work more than money (1 Timothy 6:11); (5) freely share what you have with others (1 Timothy 6:18). (See also Proverbs 30:7-9.)
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Saturday, February 23, 2013
YOUR FAMILY . . . . . 1 Timothy 5:8 Almost everyone has relatives, family of some kind. Family relationships are so important in God’s eyes, Paul says, that a person who neglects his or her family responsibilities has denied the faith. Are you doing your part to meet the needs of those included in your family circle? Even your little brothers and sisters?
Friday, February 22, 2013
INNER TUGS . . . . . 1 Timothy 1:19 How can you keep a good conscience? Treasure your faith in Christ more than anything else and do what you know is right. Each time you deliberately ignore your conscience, you are hardening your heart. Soon your capacity to tell right from wrong will disappear. But when you walk with God, he is able to speak to you through your conscience, letting you know the difference between right and wrong. Be sure to act on those inner tugs to do what is right—then your conscience will remain clear.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
PERSIST . . . . . Colossians 4:2 Have you ever grown tired of praying for something or someone? Paul says, “Devote yourselves to prayer.” Vigilance demonstrates our faith that God answers our prayers. Faith shouldn’t die if the answers don’t come immediately, for the delay may be God’s way of working his will in your life. When you feel weary in your prayers, know that God is present, always listening, always acting—maybe not in ways you had hoped, but in ways that he knows are best.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Monday, February 18, 2013
LOOK AT JESUS . . . . . Galatians 6:4 When you do your very best, you feel good about the results, and there is no need to compare yourself with others. People make comparisons for many reasons. Some point out others’ flaws in order to feel better about themselves. Others simply want reassurance that they are doing well. When you are tempted to compare, look at Jesus Christ. His example will inspire you to do your very best, and his loving acceptance will comfort you when you fall short of your goals.
It has been a little over a year since I have even stepped foot inside of the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Housing & Resource Center. Thanks to my Lord and Savoir, Jesus Christ, and my on again/off again boyfriend, Richard Hunt, I have had a warm place to lay my head each and every night. I've even had a steady job for all of three months now. I'm successfully contolling my HIV status. I'm mending relationships old and new. And I'm truly on the Pursuit to a better life. I'm not perfect and I'm nowhere close to where I want to be just yet but I'm definitely headed in the right direction. All I can do is take one step at a time and remain a humble and honest person. I'm putting all my trust in the Lord because I know that he has already prepared the way, I just have to take heed.
I recently saw the movie, The Persuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith. It's been all of a few years since I've seen the film (I actually own the DVD.) and it really struck a nerve moreso that it did the first few times I watched it. I'm quite sure it's because I'm truly living the same experience. I've finally experienced a tramatic low point in my life where I really didn't see any sign of hope and just out of nowhere, the hole began to mend all by itself. When I first saw The Persuit of Happyness, I had no idea how it was to live inside of a homeless shelter and now I do and I can finally say that I've made it through to the other side. This saga has yet to come to a close and I have not been able to truly say that I've found happyness, but I can say that I'm moving closer to it each and every day. I just hope that I don't take anymore U-turns, if you know what I mean.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
LOVE . . . . . Galatians 5:14-15 When we are not motivated by love, we become critical of others. We stop looking for good in them and see only their faults. Soon the unity of believers becomes broken. Have you talked behind someone’s back? Have you focused on others’ shortcoming instead of their strengths? Remind yourself of Jesus’ command to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:39). When you begin to feel critical of someone, make a list of that person’s positive qualities. And don’t say anything behind his back that you wouldn’t say to his face.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Friday, February 15, 2013
THE POINT . . . . . 2 Corinthians 8:2 While on his third missionary journey, Paul was collecting money for the impoverished believers in Jerusalem. The churches in Macedonia—Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea—gave money even though they were poor, and they gave more than Paul expected. This was sacrificial giving; they were poor themselves, but they wanted to help. The point of gibing is not the amount we give, but why and how we gibe. God wants us to gibe as these churches did—out of dedication to him, love for fellow believers, the joy of helping those in need, and because it is right to do so. How does your giving measure up?
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn’t love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal. (2) If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, without love I would be no good to anybody. (3) If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it but if I didn’t love others, I would be of no value whatsoever.
(4) Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud (5) or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. (6) It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. (7) Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
(8) Love will last forever, but prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will all disappear. (9) Now we know only a little, and even the gift of prophecy reveals little! (10) But when the end comes, these special gifts will all disappear.
(11) It’s like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. (12) Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.
(13) There are three things that will endure—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians: Chapter 13
The New Living Translation
Monday, February 11, 2013
THE BEST . . . . . 1 Corinthians 10:33 Paul’s criterion was not what he like best, but what was best for those around him. There are several hurtful attitudes toward others: (1) being insensitive and doing what we want, no matter who is hurt by our actions; (2) being oversensitive and doing nothing, for fear someone may be displeased; (3) being a “yes person” by going along with everything, trying to gain approval from people rather than from God. In this age of “me first” and “looking out for number one,” Paul’s startling statement is a good standard. When we make the good of others one of our primary goals, we develop a servant’s heart.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Saturday, February 9, 2013
AIDS: WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? There are few more explosive topics in America than AIDS. Conservatives believe AIDS is God’s judgment on certain sinners. Gay rights groups and others scream just as loudly that this is a medical issue, not a moral one. Who’s right? And how should Christians respond to this overwhelming problem? In one sense, AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is primarily a medical issue. The AIDS virus attacks the body’s immune system, making the body defenseless against the diseases a healthy person’s immune system would destroy. AIDS is an “equal opportunity” NIGHTMARE—it affects everyone: young, old, male, female, gay, or straight. If AIDS isn’t a punishment from God, why has it hit the male gay community and IV drug abusers so hard? The answer is that gay men and IV drug abusers participate in activities that pass the virus from person to person very effectively. God hasn’t singled out particular groups for special judgment; rather, those people engage in activities that are particularly risky in regard to the transmission of AIDS. God created the universe to run in accordance with NATURAL LAWS, like gravity, inertia, etc. When your try to defy those laws, you lose. You may not like the law of gravity, but jump off a building and you will—like it or not—encounter it. There are natural laws governing human behavior, too. One such law is that your body is not made for sexual promiscuity. Violate that law and you RISK contracting AIDS or other diseases (syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, etc.). Likewise, your body was not made to handle large amounts of drugs. Continually inject them into your veins and you probably will experience a lot of physical problems—one of which may be AIDS. So it’s not that God is using AIDS to “get” certain kinds of people. AIDS simply is a natural—though terrifying—result of human behavior that goes against God’s design for our lives. Those who believe AIDS is a special divine judgment simply don’t understand the reality of their own sin. As the psalmist wrote in Psalm 143:1-2, “Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my plea! Answer me because you are faithful and righteous. Don’t bring your servant to trial! Compared to you, no one is perfect.” A cure for AIDS is still years away; but even if it weren’t, the only reasonable, Christian response is to follow God’s standards for sexual morality. Sex is made for marriage only—to be kept in the context of a faithful, monogamous relationship between husband and wife. Anything else is unbiblical, sinful, and potentially fatal. Likewise, we must reaffirm God’s ownership of our body by not abusing it with drugs. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you? . . . God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” Where we have failed to live up to this, we need to confess our sins, repent, and ask God’s forgiveness.
Many Christians also need to confess their judgmental attitudes toward persons with AIDS. There is no room in Christianity for feelings of superiority or self-righteousness. Jesus had strong words for those who were guilty of spiritual pride, of thinking they were better than others. Our response toward anyone with this terrible disease should be concern, compassion, and a hand reaching out to ease his or her pain and distress. Isn’t that how Jesus deals with people, regardless of their sins?
Friday, February 8, 2013
Thursday, February 7, 2013
HOMOSEXUALITY If you’re like most American teenagers, the day you get your driver’s license and can take the car out for a drive—alone—is a day you dream (or dreamed) of. Before that, Mom, Dad, or the driving teacher rode “shotgun” to make sure you drove safely. But now, with your license, you’re on your own. The thrill or freedom and the increased sense of responsibility make you feel more like an adult. No one will tell you when to stop or remind you to use your turn signal. It’s up to you. Suppose you decide that, contrary to everything you’ve been told up to now, you want to drive on the left-hand side of the road. (Remember, we’re talking about the U.S., not England or Hong Kong.) You will quickly encounter serious opposition to your choice of driving style (like a head-on collision). You can either learn from your observations and experiences, or you can insist that you have the right to drive however you wish, and whatever happens, happens. When it comes to driving, it’s pretty obvious what the wisest choice is. Here in Romans 1, Paul addresses and issue that seems equally clear-cut, and yet men and women have struggled with it since Adam and Eve were evicted from Eden. The issue is homosexuality. Paul argues that all people everywhere are without excuse in knowing that there is a God. Proclaiming that nature itself reveals its Creator, Paul then begins a scathing rebuke against people who deny God and HIS PLAN FOR CREATION. Paul has particularly harsh words for those who engage in the sins of idolatry and homosexuality. These people, he writes, go against God’s design for human sexuality, and in so doing will experience drastic consequences for their behavior. Like our fictional teenage driver, men and women who practice homosexuality experience tremendous oppositions—socially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Yet they ignore all these warning signs. Sooner or later, though, they will CRASH AND BURN. Two important messages need to be given on the subject of homosexuality. One is for our society, which has lost any meaningful idea of sin, righteousness, holiness, and truth. That message is that all lifestyles are not acceptable. Some lifestyles—such as alcoholism, or materialism . . . or homosexuality—are wrong; they are sinful. Those who engage in such behaviors should come to God in confession and repentance and ask for forgiveness and healing. The second message is for the church (meaning all Christians). What they need to understand is that while homosexuality is sin, it is not the unforgiveable sin. God love homosexuals just as much as he loves other sinners. Jesus’ death on the cross paid for the sin of homosexuality, just as it paid for the sins of lying, greed, lust, hate, and pride. It has been said—and it is true—that the church is a HOSPITAL FOR SINNERS, not a showcase for saints. It is a place where those caught in the sin of homosexuality can come to be freed and forgiven. It is a place where believers who have committed the sins of hatred, prejudice, and self-righteousness toward homosexuals need to go to ask the Lord for forgiveness and healing. Homosexuals, like all sinners, stand guilty before God. If that were the whole story, there would be no hope. The great message of Romans—and the entire Bible—is that there is hope for sinners of all kinds through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is the one who will set us free, regardless of our sin.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Monday, February 4, 2013
EVEN BETTER . . . . . Acts 27:1-28:24 One of Paul’s most important journeys was to Rome, but he didn’t get there in quite the way he had expected. It turned out to be more of a legal journey than a missionary journey, thanks to a series of legal trials and transactions. These events resulted in Paul being delivered to Rome, where he told his story of the gospel in the most amazing places, including the palace of the emperor! Sometimes we feel frustrated because our plans don’t work out the way we wanted them to. But God is never out of control! He knows how to work things out so that the results are even better than we expected. Trusting God with your plans is a surefire plan for success!
Sunday, February 3, 2013
Friday, February 1, 2013
FOCUS . . . . . Acts 20:33 Paul was satisfied with whatever he had, wherever he was, as long as he could do God’s work. Examine your attitudes toward wealth and comfort. If you focus more on what you don’t have than on what you do have, it’s time to reexamine your priorities and put God’s work back in first place.