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Monday, January 30, 2012

Lies, lies, lies... yeah

"Stop pointing your finger at others as if they had done something wrong," he tells me. "Stop saying harmful things about them."

Even if they lie about me, God will rescue me.

Even if they cast me in the role of lying witch, and call around and try to make others believe I was the antagonist in a scene akin to fine-ass Joseph fleeing from Potiphar's horny and lonely wife.

Even if the truth was more like Satan trying to create another drama involving King David and Bathsheba -- a storyline that King Jesus swooped in and rewrote like a rescuing Savior in the second act, in order that we'd never taste third act tragedies nor the sexual immorality that has consumed other folks.

Like a sheep led to the slaughter, I should continue to sit back and not open my mouth.

"I was on the humble, you on every station..."

That's what Lauryn "L Boogie" Hill sang about her former band mates, as she waited through the "Ghetto Superstar" hubbub to hit back so much harder and more real than the tepid and temporary flash-in-the-pan fame they offered.

"Jesus Christ was a superstar, you stupid star," she said to Pras or Wyclef Jean -- or anyone trying to raise themselves up with false pride and charm and smiles and lying spirits.

I know. I've been there. I've manipulated certain facts for my own benefit. Human beings are only human beings. And these consequences are perhaps part of the punishment. But there comes a time when the sentence is served, or one gets let out early for good behavior.

So we wait...

...and I let God build me up with his lovely words and affirmations, that whisper so softly to not let anyone take my internal beauty, fortitude and belief that he gave me away.

He makes me better -- Dr. Jesus helps me admit my part of where I went wrong and face my own ugly wrongdoings. And for those who refuse to do the same, the ones who keep knocking people over with the telephone poles in their own eyes as they strain to remove the speck in their professed-to-be friend's eye, well, their day of reckoning is coming -- if they refuse to lay down their selfish pride.

Tragic climaxes can be averted, if we just humble ourselves and admit more truths and stop pitting ourselves against each other in the body of Christ. His grace is so good that he gives us chance after chance and time after time to do so.

Like watching a suspenseful unfolding dramatic movie, the truth has already begun to triumph over the lies. Yeshua is my defense attorney, my complete and sweet recompense. He never lets me down by the time the credits roll. I'm a rocket woman...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My swollen jaw, forgiving haters...

This pic of my swollen jaw doesn't do it justice.

The left side of my cheek reminds me of Eddie Murphy as a Klump, wearing a fat suit.

Thank our Most High God that it's better than it was turning out to be, as the swelling crawled under my neck Friday night.

A return visit to the dentist who sawed my wisdom tooth in four parts in order to get the thing out of my skull showed lots of concern -- you know it's serious when he gives you his cell phone number and tells you to come back Monday, informing his assistant I could come back anytime I want.

Ah well, I know it's not just the strong painkillers and antibiotics that's causing this peace in the pit of my belly.

Forgiving the folks who don't even say they're sorry... and letting the past go

That's one of the main things I took away from watching Bishop T.D. Jakes' message this morning streaming online as I played "Bedroom Baptist" today, not wanting to risk driving 33 minutes each way down to Cleveland and back in my state of being.

It was a 3-hour long service, and packed with power.

Bishop Jakes brought a man up to the stage who'd just gotten out of jail after being wrongly imprisoned for 30 years for an aggravated rape that he didn't commit.

Basically, it came down to the fact that after the guy exhausted all his own resources in trying to right the wrong -- when he finally gave up and gave in to God and realized that the Lord allowed him to go to jail and that He'd change it when he wanted to -- that's when stuff started happening and he got released 18 days ago.

The man, Ricky, said something powerful about God sending him to prison in order to release him from his personal prison. Yeah, I got that. The crowd liked that too.

It tied in perfectly with Bishop Jakes' message about his new book, Let it Go, and his message about Joseph and all he endured when his brothers dogged him out for being the favored one. But Joseph still practiced his gifts in prison, and in Potiphar's house, and he didn't let any bitterness stop him from his destiny.

"Then..." was the all important turning-point word that showed trouble don't last always.

So the part where we say with all evil contempt...

"What you meant for evil, God intended for good" should really be looked at in the context of Joseph trying to comfort his brothers when they really found out who he was. Not trying to dog them out and lord his position over them.

Be careful how you treat people when you're over them, Jakes said, because one day, they just may be over you and you may need to come to them for help.

This really lined up with what I've been reading about forgiveness, and trying to make amends with people we've harmed.

(Seriously, my Seeking Him study challenged me on this point.  What, am I supposed to track down the guy I dogged out in college and seek his forgiveness? Not necessarily, but the author suggests praying that if God wants you to apologize to specific people, that He'll make a way to put them in your path. And you're not responsible for their reaction. If they choose to hold onto hate, that's their loss.)

Anyway, I like the whole premise that Bishop Jakes talked about as I struggled to stay awake through my medicated "fog" (favor of God!) watching the service on my iPad 2.

He said that even if people who've wronged us don't apologize, just let it go. Just like Jesus prayed, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do" -- some people only represent instruments of Satan -- darts that the enemy tried to use against us.

Pawns in a game.

Unfortunately, the same role we may have played knowingly or unknowingly when we've hurt others throughout our lifetimes.

And thusly, I'm sure some folks may say my swollen jaw is a bad result of bad seeds sowed lately -- heck, I questioned that myself, they wouldn't have to say it -- but deep in my gut, I know God's favor is all over me.

I've prayed for folks I've wronged to forgive me, and those I haven't correctly sought forgiveness from, I'm trusting that they'll be brought to my presence or words as needed. And as for the ones who've wronged me, I've let it go.

Maybe I should lay off those imprecatory prayers as of late...

"You're special," my husband said when I told him this kind of medical reaction only happens to 1 or 2 out of 100 people, echoing my sentiments.

Yes, that's it -- the prophecy from Bishop Jakes was that God is doing something so great for us in 2012, that He's throwing a high ball, and we need to release -- let go of -- all the hate and unforgiveness and stuff proverbially being clutched in our hands that happened at our old jobs or churches or relationships or wherever so we have enough room and free hands to catch that high ball He is tossing our way.

"You may have to move to catch it," he said. "You may have to run to catch it."

I'm ready.

Help me Jesus.

Monday, January 16, 2012

He cheated on his wife... and she saw the tapes first

He was brilliant and beautiful, endowed with the sort of je ne sais quoi factor that drew men and women to him.

The way he literally sang out "I'm not fearing any man...mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord" whilst he was sick with the flu and collapsed into the arms of his cohorts afterward once again touched my soul.

He cheated on his wife...and they sent her the tapes

Yes, MLK cheated on his wife -- a wife who loved him so much, it was reported by Maya Angelou that Coretta said his name so softly and sweetly...like Mah-tin...

It was said that when J. Edgar Hoover had Dr. King's hotel rooms bugged with not only audio but video equipment that caught him on tape with various women in sexually compromising positions -- and then sent those tapes to Coretta -- it crushed her.

And yet, I was just thinking to myself: God still used him mightily, despite his flaws.

There is hope for all of us.

Whether the sexual sin somehow contributed to the Lord allowing his life to be cut short, we'll only know on the other side of heaven.

But reading his good friend Ralph David Abernathy's view on MLK's cheating and relationship with women helped me understand him better.

Read what Martin Luther King's friend wrote about his sexual affairs

Much as been written in recent years about my friend’s weakness for women. Had others not dealt with the matter in such detail, I might have avoided any commentary.

Unfortunately, some of these commentators have told only the bare facts without suggesting the reasons why Martin might have indulged in such behavior. They have also left a false impression about the range of his activities. Martin and I were away more often than we were at home; and while this was no excuse for extramarital relations, it was a reason.

Some men are better able to bear such deprivations than others, though all of us in SCLC headquarters had our weak moments. We all understood and believed in the biblical prohibition against sex outside of marriage. It was just that he had a particularly difficult time with that temptation.

In addition to his personal vulnerability, he was also a man who attracted women, even when he didn’t intend to, and attracted them in droves. Part of his appeal was his predominant role in the black community and part of it was personal. During the last ten years of his life, Martin Luther King was the most important black man in America. That fact alone endowed him with an aura of power and greatness that women found very appealing. He was a hero – the greatest hero of his age – and women are always attracted to a hero.

But he also had a personal charm that ingratiated him with members of the opposite sex. He was always gracious and courteous to women, whether they were attractive to him or not. He had perfect manner. He was well educated. He was warm and friendly. He could make them laugh. He was good company, something that cannot always be said of heroes. These qualities made him even more attractive in close proximity than he was at a distance.

Then, too, Martin’s own love of women was apparent in ways that could not be easily pinpointed – but which women clearly sense, even from afar. I remember on more than one occasion sitting on a stage and having Martin turn to me to say, “Do you see that woman giving me the eye, the one in the red dress?”

I wouldn’t be able to pick her out at such a distance, but already she had somehow conveyed to him her attraction and he in turn had responded to it. Later I would see them talking together, as if they had known one another forever.

I was always a little bewildered at how strongly and unerringly this mutual attraction operated. A recent biography has suggested without quite saying so that Martin had affairs with white women as well as black. Such a suggestion is without foundation. I can say with the greatest confidence that he was never attracted to white women and had nothing to do with them, despite the opportunities that may have presented themselves.

Of course, J. Edgar Hoover became preoccupied with Martin’s private life early in the civil rights movement, and this preoccupation was a significant factor in Hoover’s pathological hatred of him and the movement he headed. Early in the game the FBI began to bug our various hotel rooms, hoping to discover our strategy but also gather evidence that could be used against Martin personally.

I remember in particular a stay at the Willard Hotel in Washington, where they not only put in audio receivers, but video equipment as well. Then, after collecting enough of this “evidence” to be useful, they began to distribute it to reporters, law officers, and other people in a position to hurt us. Finally, when no one would do Hoover’s dirty work for him, someone in the FBI put together a tape of highly intimate moments and sent them to Martin. Unfortunately – and perhaps this was deliberate – [his wife] Coretta received the tape and played it first. But such accusations never seemed to touch her. She rose above all the petty attempts to damage their marriage by refusing to even entertain such thoughts.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My emotional affair

Can you see him?
I've known him for a long time.

He's known me even longer.

But for the past 7 weeks, I've been sneaking away to meet him in various places after I drop off the kids at school in the morning.

Unlike singer Billy Paul, who met his married Mrs. Jones "every day at the same cafe," I meet my love all around town.

"Why would you meet at the same coffee shop every day?" I ask rhetorically. "Wouldn't that get boring and dangerous -- because people would begin to recognize you two?"

"We met every day at the same cafe..."

Let me show you where to go...

"Where should we meet today?" I ask him.

"Let me show you...let me show you where to go..." he sings back to me in his Michael Jackson falsetto, repeating the lyrics he gave the King of Pop.

Then he breaks into that "take me to church" style "a-uh-hun-a-uh-hun" riff that MJ did in the song that lets you know he had some kind of saved soul.

He makes me smile with that memory.

Thankfully, my emotional affair partner likes nature, just like me, so we usually end up in the scenic, picturesque woods of the Ohio Valley somewhere.

I leave my Droid 2 off or on silent and don't even look at it when we're together. Sometimes I get mad when others find our spot and park next to us. I want to be alone and secluded with him.

I read the letters he's written me. At times I get antsy just sitting there with him, so we get out the minivan and walk and hike to high points in the hills and stare at the sun or tree roots that serve as stairs, or hang back on a suspension bridge.

The more isolated, the better -- I'm not even afraid all the time when I really know he's with me.

He puts up with me crying and cussing...
Did someone smell a dog fart? Look at the colors in my weave!
...and railing about other men or my friends and what not.

We are in tune with a razor-sharp wit and particular inside jokes that no one else would understand.

He gives me the best writing ideas. Seriously.

He makes me dream of titles -- and inspires me to see things in me that I normally wouldn't.

I was shoved back to Him when I got in trouble -- again -- and he's been reminding me that it's the best place, most healthy place I could be.

He keeps me from swallowing all the Lorazepam I've got left in my medicine cabinet -- the exact same pills they found on MJ -- and pulls me through each valley onto better days.

When I kind of diss him in the morning or on weekends...
I'm always better for having spent the time with him
...and give him short shrift because I'm too antsy to get to this online world, back to my grind, I begin longing for him later.

Even when I haven't, I still feel that pull around 9 p.m. some nights to go lock myself in the bathroom and be alone to talk with him.

Away from the noise...

Away from the Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy and Braxton Family Values and Google Trends...

"Just me and you," he sings right now in my right ear. "Don't worry about a damn thing...we don't need nobody else...just me and you..."

He gives me business success...

...through night visions, day visions, and ideas that come out of somewhere that say:

Have you thought of trying it this way?

I don't always listen. Many times, I do.

And there's a flow...there's a hunger...there's a "real recognize real" factor -- like one of my Twitter followers told me -- that people pick up on.

So much so that some local peeps/friends invite me to lunch and get in my face and check up on me, after I've soaked in enough of my love and I turn the Droid back on and the MacBook Air comes open and I let the world back in.

By far, this emotional affair is the best I've ever experienced. And it's the only one I need.

Et tu, dear blog reader?

Monday, January 09, 2012

Another woman will have your saved husband...

I guess this post won't leave me alone, so let me write it out and get back to writing my exciting new Kindle book about real people actually making real money online.

One time I must've been moaning to a friend about my husband -- about him not coming to church with me as often as I'd like him to -- and perhaps I was playing out the scenarios of what it would be like to free myself "like a gazelle" and be married to one of those guys who drapes his arm around his wife in the pews.

"Another woman will have your saved husband..."

Then she said something -- one of those phrases that your friends can say to you -- those "unintentional lyricists" and unpublished writers that give you some of your best quotes unknowingly.

It stuck with me for years and years.

I think she may have talked about Warren Sapp or Warren Moon (probably the former whom I just saw Bishop T.D. Jakes talking to in the front row of The Potter's House New Year's service streaming online) and how he got saved after a while.

She told me about not giving up -- or else, he'll get saved and then "another woman will have your saved husband."

Hold on, Old Soldier!

The Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona
Yeah, that was enough to give me plenty of food for thought, and reason enough to keep going and focus on his many many positive qualities.

He's smart...

He's good-looking...

He's witty and says the funniest things that may me laugh.

He's hard-working and dedicated...

He's an amazing father and husband...

Excellent provider. He knows how to make that money...

He's neat -- bordering on the metro-sexual with how well he keeps himself. Not one of those guys that you have to pick out clothes to wear. On the contrary, he's pretty impeccable with his dress code.

I just love him.

That's what Joyce Meyer taught us as well: to focus on a person's great qualities, and all the other nitpicking stuff diminishes.

Intellectual Faith vs. Saving Faith

Dr. Charles Stanley had the best sermon yesterday about people who mentally ascent to accepting Jesus as Savior, and ones who have a "Damascus Road" experience -- where they can point to an exact time in their lives when they came to the end of themselves, or hit rock bottom, or lost someone that hurt so much that they turned to Christ and really asked Him to be Lord of their lives.

Not just some 12-year-old confirmation paper-signing because this is the thing we do, but a real crying-Uncle-I-give-up time that we can point to that says, "Yes, Lord, I give in. Jesus take the wheel."

That was good stuff.

Perhaps that's part of the reason I was crying this morning in the car on this cool brilliant day before my workday began.

But then a version of "Hold On, Old Soldier" came on the radio...reminding me of the time Bishop Walter Hawkins flew that crack-addicted pastor out to his house and ministered to him for a whole week.

The Mighty One gave me renewed hope this brighter day that us "saved" folks can make mistakes and hurt people and be hurt by people and get kicked out of places and be lonely whilst others "kick against the goads and pricks" -- all for God to get our attention and offer us a much better place under his obedience and lovely, protective boundaries.

Just in time.

Friday, January 06, 2012

She probably slept with a Pharisee...

Seriously, the thought that the woman caught in adultery probably had sex with a Pharisee made me laugh out loud this morning as I watched the below segment.

Of course I've heard it mentioned before how odd it was that the Pharisees dragged out the woman caught in adultery -- naked and ashamed -- alone and brought her before Jesus, and people have noted that they didn't drag the man out with her to Christ.

But when Pastor Joseph Prince surmised that it may have been a Pharisee she was in bed with, that was a thought process I don't remember hearing before, and it made me crack up:

Good sermons today, good study, though I was restless with my "Seeking Him" until I got out of the car and hiked and just breathed in fresh air and hilltop sunshine at high points in the woods.

But there was a theme about Pharisee stuff -- and looking for any ways within myself that I should lay down and let God replace with better stuff.

Okay, back to making the donuts and making money and finishing the first Kindle book that I will publish on Amazon in my real name.

No condemnation...lots of grace.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

I screwed up... again

If you could see how I am typing this post, you would laugh.

I am holding my iPad 2 up with my thighs as I use my Logitech keyboard to type.

This is because I actually spilled grapefruit juice on my 2-month-old Macbook Air yesterday -- and I tried to dry it off and it was working well at first, but when I came back home later last night after a nice New Year's Eve night with the family at Champs in Cleveland and a Muppets movie at Valley View, the Mac was going wonky.

I couldn't even get past the password screen that locks the Mac, because it either types multiple letters or the wrong ones, I guess, or none.

I actually cried -- and combined with other negative thoughts trying to dominate my brain, I thought of nearly ending it.

Okay, but those aren't my thoughts, I know that now. When I start going down the road of berating myself for being such an f-up... I know that's not the real me.

God is getting me out...again.

After time locked away in the bathroom, of course the Lord lifted my spirits and showed me the light.

Again I'm learning to count my blessings again and again.

What a benefit to have a husband to take me and the kids out places like he does.

And then there's the matter of the iPad 2 and Logitech keyboard that I'm typing on right now, so I can still complete a lot of work tasks, like email, blogging, banking, etc.

I also have another Toshiba laptop that he gave me that I just need to have the Geek Squad recover so I can use that as well.

Good business resumption planning for when one of your main devices goes out as a self-employed person.

I am really blessed, and I can't forget that. Even when I don't take enough care of the precious things God places in my life, He still sheds grace over me not to lose them.

After Googling around, I found lots of writings of people who've spilled juice on their Macbook keyboard -- Lord, Lord, Lord, mine is the new backlit one! -- so there are videos out there on how to try and fix it yourself for free.

Whether I do it that way or have Apple fix it, it's not the end of the world.

Last night after my husband woke me up with glasses of sweet Champagne and his lovely company so I wouldn't sleep through the New Year, we celebrated together, and then later I waved my half-sleep barely tipsy hand as I listened to Bishop T.D. Jakes' message on TV.

That's when I learned about Bishop Jakes streaming his message from the 10 am CST service on New Year's Day 2012, so I watched that today before heading off to my own church for another great message.

God revealed to Bishop Jakes the same thing that I thought about before when He showed me: That God will give us the desires of our hearts.

Not saying that what we desire, the Lord will give us all that -- but that He will Himself put the passions and desires for His will for our lives inside our hearts.

So whatever we have a burning desire to do that's Godly, for example, Ruth's burning desire to follow Naomi whilst Orpah didn't have that desire because that wasn't her calling or destiny -- follow that.

Those are my "marching orders," as Jakes called them, for 2012.

To go forward with the things I feel God is calling me to do and write. Yeah, part of me wonders if God let me nearly ruin my Mac because He didn't like what I was writing.

Or, it could be that the enemy was just trying one last shot to stop my destiny.

Whatever it is, I know God is really keeping me and leading me and forgiving me when I screw up -- and continually pointing me in the right direction and empowering me to go forth.

This year is the start of something so big and wonderful. You've encamped about this mountain long enough...

Paula Neal Mooney