Friday, October 18, 2013

Fling Chune FRIDAY: Angels

Hey errybodaaaay! Hope you all had a great week and have an awesome weekend. I'm feelin kinda crunk right now, and you can blame tonight's chune fo dat!

Angels by KB, featuring Flame, is that hot track that makes you just wanna bounce. Like, you can't NOT get crunk offa dis! Any peeps from the Dirty South in this piece? HOLLAAAAAA!


Friday, October 11, 2013

Fling Chune FRIDAY: Abide

It's been LONG overdue.... but FCF is baaaaaaack!!! Can't promise a new chune every Friday, but you guys have been more than patient--I appreciate y'all!

So with no further ado long talkin', this week we're hearing from Rhythm-n-Praise artist Lexi. Lemme just say that if the music thing doesn't work out for her at some point, she can def make it in show-business.  I mean, her church-themed comedy sketches are mad hilarious and she also has a talk show... but sista gurl can blow, too!

This chune, Abide, became one of my instant faves because of the way it just rolls off the ear.  Lyrically, it's a worship song but musically, it got stank with a tinge of classic Motown R&B. Just lurrrve the vibe! Anyway, time for you to enjoy summa dis heah!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

strength = weakness

Being strong is a blessing and a curse. When you're like me--so used to being the support system for others, or nobody ever sees you sweat under pressure--people think of you as invincible... when the complete opposite is the truth.

They figure, "She's tough, nothing gets under her skin!" When, in actuality, I made my own skin tough as leather to protect the tender heart underneath. Truth is, I find it therapeutic to help others through their issues because it helps me take my mind off of my own.  But what disturbs me is when I do reach out for help--as rare as that may be--somehow I expect my peeps to show that they care just a little bit more... but I'm almost always left wanting in that regard.  I've expressed my distress, so should I really have to ask you to give just a little more of a damn?? And this is supposed to be my 'inner circle'... SMH

Sounds like I've just got some sucky friends... or is this just par for the course when you've been blessed(?!) to help bear the burdens of others? I dunno, but I feel like this outer layer of toughness needs to be peeled off one way or another. I just gotta figure out who I can let close to me if I'm gonna leave myself so open......

to be continued?

Sunday, September 08, 2013

the war within

How does one reconcile between equal yet opposing forces/ideas/emotions?  The struggle is real, ladies and gentlemen, and I need to vent about mine.

About my ex-boyfriend...
  1. I hate that I even still have feelings for him. Like, especially after the way he treated me most recently... I must be a glutton for punishment.  He obviously doesn't want me. He's not even about that saved live. Why am I not over him already?? Why do memories and fantasies of him haunt the inner recesses of my mind?
  2. In a twisted way, I wonder if my feelings for him are a sneak preview what unconditional love is.  I won't deny that selfish motives were involved on my part, but there is a deeper symbolism. [the desire] To love someone who pushes you away is exemplified by God all the time. They hurt you but you still want the best for them.  They ignore you but anytime they might need you, you'll be there.  This experience makes me more sympathetic towards the way we treat God and I appreciate His love all the more.
Every time I find out that someone else I know got engaged/married...
  1. I'm happy that another couple is committed to each other in life and love, and I pray the best for their relationship.
  2. A little piece of me dies inside because I yearn to have the same for myself, yet there are no prospects on the horizon.

When I think about the current status of my life...
  1. It saddens me that I haven't accomplished so many things that I set out to do when I was much younger.  I want to do more, be more, LIVE more!
  2. Yet, I feel like an ungrateful wretch to have what I do and long for more when so many others in the world are suffering. Their lives are the sum total of REAL suffering; and here I am whining about my 1st-world problems. Ugh!
Concerning my relationship with Jesus...
  1. I know He is real because of amazing things He's already done in my life. I chose Him because He chose me... loved me... died for me. I feel honored to know that He used Himself as collateral for my sinful debts. I believe that whatever He does is in my best interest, even though I don't always understand.
  2. I hate that I don't understand what God is doing in my life and it frustrates the crap outta me! I know He hears my prayers and is working behind the scenes but so much seems SO unfair. I'm tired of not getting any answers (or not the answers that I want). My faith feels worn out!

I'm well aware of the eternal battle between flesh and spirit but that doesn't bring me any comfort in dealing with these inner conflicts. Welp, just wanted to get this off my chest. As you were.

be blessed,
pVI

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

God as parent, part 2: relationship(s) with God, exposited

Welcome to the third post in the series Relationship(s) with God, Exposited and part two of the topic God as Parent; feel free to get caught up on part one. Once again, here's my disclaimer: I don't have any children, but I have closely observed parents (including my own) with the expectation of someday becoming one.

Back in part one, I gave an overview of the way God loves all His children by default and that His affections bubble over once we decide to become His spiritual offspring (through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ).  That piece ended with a nod towards discipline--the necessary evil of parenting--and that is the focus of this installment.  Just for clarity's sake, here's a thorough definition:

dis·ci·pline

[dis-uh-plin] noun; verb, dis·ci·plined, dis·ci·plin·ing.

1. training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline.
2. activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training
3. punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.
4. the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity, etc.: the harsh discipline of poverty.
5. behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control: good discipline in an army.

There are plenty of instances in the Bible where disciplining a child is prescribed as the remedy for a young life ending--or even beginning--in despair.  One of my grandmother's favorites when I was growing up was "Don't spare the rod and spoil the child". [Proverbs 23:13-14 That verse implies corporal punishment, known locally as a "cut arse" [Caribbeanspeak for spanking], but we all know that discipline can be inflicted in MANY more ways than just physically.  In more general terms, we read that "The Lord chastens whom He loves" [Hebrews 12:6 and there are several examples in the Bible where God did that in two ways: proactively and reactively.

Samson, of Old Testament fame, is one of the first names that comes to mind in the case of reactive discipline. He deliberately disobeyed God's assignment for his life and paid severe consequences for doing so: losing his blessing of supernatural strength, capture and blinding by the enemy, public humiliation, and untimely death. [Judges 16]   The next candidate in this category is Jonah and his disobedience, then punishment, of epic proportions. God sent him to warn a city of impending doom, but he wasn't havin' that and took off in the opposite direction... dude became dinner for a whale, then got puked up on a beach.  #NOTwinning [Jonah 1-2]  Luckily for him, his disciplinary action didn't result in death and he had enough sense to do what God sent him to do in the first place. [Jonah 3]

Proactive discipline is a bit more profound because we don't always understand the lesson we are supposed to learn during the process of said discipline.  Take King David, for example... he wasn't even legit as king until well into later in his life, even though he was anointed for the position as a youth.  Could you imagine what that felt like??  Basically, you're told that God chose you to run His nation--but not yet.  Just sit tight for a couple decades. Right.  So proactive discipline for David came in the form of patience and preparation. 

To pass the time until he could ascend the throne, young David was out in the pastures protecting his father's sheep from lions and bears. Little did he know that doing the 'dirty work' behind the scenes would catapult him to the forefront by killing a giant that punked trained warriors. [1 Samuel 17:34-37]  But it didn't end there because David then joined the army of the king; musta been really awkward working for the man you know you're going to replace, but he.o.e.n.o. (Yeah, I said it.)  It probably didn't dawn on him at the time, but enlisting to serve and then rising through the ranks to lead said army was essentially basic training in leadership.  Kinda useful if you're gonna run a whole country, no?  So by the time it was David's turn to wear the crown, he'd already been through "King 101" because God had orchestrated the events of his life to provide the discipline needed to be Israel's most noteworthy leader.  Checking for his general's wife, knocking her up, then having him whacked wasn't in God's syllabus, tho... that was definitely some extracurricular activity on David's part. Yeah...

The moral of the story is that discipline doesn't necessarily equal punishment, but God--like any other loving parent--won't hesitate to use punitive action to teach a serious lesson.  On the other hand, He wants His children to be prepared for the responsibilities that come with the blessings that He has for us.  So think of a teen itching to drive dad's car... Dad would be irresponsible, foolish or both to give junior the keys before making  sure that he's passed driving school and/or gotten his learner's permit.  But when Dad does hand over the keys, it's to a son who was trained on how to enjoy the blessing of a whip responsibly (we can hope).

So when we endure seemingly unfair punishment and wonder what we did wrong, keep in mind that God might just be inflicting a good dose of discipline for our benefit in the long run.  Yeah, just gotta love our Heavenly Father!

be blessed,
pVI

Monday, July 29, 2013

All hail the homewrecker!

So it seems to be a "thing" now, where side-piece status has become waaaay glamorous. It's, like, cool to roll up in OPP... then ultimately become legit. You know, peeps like Angelina Jolie, Alicia Keys, Gabrielle Union and, most recently, the scandalous Olivia Pope.  I'll admit that there's nothing new under the sun, and infidelity didn't show up on the scene yesterday [cue Prince Charles].  But somehow, it's like women--who are usually the 'victims' of an unfaithful partner--have become cheerleaders of other women who are breaking up relationships... all in the name of "true love".  For the record, I am fully aware that women do their share of dirt but the odds are that pretty much in favor of the man stepping out. #dontshootthemessenger
 
I see it online all the time: comments from women about how 'he' and 'she' are so in love, they are an amazing couple, and were truly meant to be... never mind that 'she' met 'him' in an established relationship.  It was maybe less than a generation ago that society used to shun them for their dastardly deeds and the term "homewrecker" was reserved just for the type of women who are now treated like pop-culture rockstars.   This really amazes me because I'm a stickler for little things called vows and commitment.
 
Don't get it twisted, though... I'm not letting the men off the hook! A home can't be wrecked without TWO willing participants and these men are just as much to blame.  So what if they fell out of love with their partners? Particularly for those who were married, that man stood before God, family and loved ones to declare their love and commitment, for better or worse.  Tough times in a relationship are NO EXCUSE for infidelity, but I also know that some people just aren't meant to be together. But here's how I feel: a divorce or complete breakup should be in effect before entertaining any other interests--I don't care how evil, manipulative, boring, unattractive, etc a partner becomes!!
 
So to anyone who has encouraged an illegitimate relationship for the sake of chemistry, compatibility, happiness, or 'real love', just ask yourself how you would feel if it happened to you. I wouldn't' wish that kind of betrayal on anyone simply because I never want to experience it myself. I don't care how happy and fulfilled those couples may seem  now, God and/or karma will have the final say.  Call me a hater if ya want but it is what it is.
 
#rantover

Sunday, June 23, 2013

life in "draft mode"

I have this... thing.  I attribute it to the perfectionist in me but who knows what the real deal is?  Anyway, it's this thing where I feel the need to express myself clearly and effectively, all the time.  For that very reason, writing is my preferred medium of communication because I can craft an interaction--no matter how formal or mundane--to perfection. It's to the point where I often start an e-mail, blog post, or text[!] and then let it sit in the Drafts folder until I can go back and tinker with it.  Yeah... definitely a thing.

It's not like I aspire to become the next Alice Walker or Ernest Hemingway, but I always feel that something can be said [i.e. written] better than it comes out initially.  This is especially true when I have to write about or respond to a matter that's urgent or dear to my heart. I make it a point to never write, or even speak, in anger or haste... while an e-mail can be 'un-sent' or a post deleted, words that reach the eyes/ears of another can never be retracted.

In a broader sense, I realize that I generally live my life in the same manner: in draft mode, as it were.  Always seeking to revise my plans to perfection or not act on something unless it has been "proof-read" for error... And after all that, you would think that I'd have it all together. HA!  It's an exercise in futility, if you ask me.  I find myself constantly trying to re-create and edit but the final drafts rarely come to fruition--the way I want them to, anyways.  While I strive for perfection (in my eyes), I realize that life is passing me by in all of it's flawed splendor.  There are so many things that I want to do but I'm waiting to get everything 'in place', first.  It's like I'm stuck at my own drawing board re-writing the story of my existence, yet the final draft never leaves my hand.  

It's not like I haven't done anything worthy in my time on Earth, but there's so much more.  Some things have worked according to plan, others unfolded unexpectedly, and yet others have not manifested.  Within the last year, I put a dent in my short bucket list, with God's help.  That was definitely a big step towards owning my drafts and making them perfectly imperfect... and it felt freakin' fantastic!!  I don't foresee myself creating loose ends in my life all willy-nilly but I am now less afraid of having every 'i' dotted and every 't' crossed than I thought possible.  I'm venturing into the unknown more and while every outcome may not be the way I planned it, I have a greater sense of peace having known that I did something unexpected.

Draft mode is slowly fading into the background.  My life is now a continually evolving manuscript, authored by God and produced by me.  How is the story of your existence being written?

blessings,
pVI