We Were Made in the Image of God
Don't you feel most connected to those you can relate to and have things in common with? Deep down, do you desire to be known and understood? Take a few minutes to check out my newest unveiling the spirit blog post and find out how God feels exactly the same.
God understands that some people are not easy to get along with
In response to my last podcast episode on dealing with dysfunctional family members, I wanted to expound a little bit on what is and is not our responsibility as Christians when it comes to living with others in peace.
Check out my podcast episode on "Dealing with Dysfunctional Family."
Does God Take Sides?
With the recent overturning of Roe vs. Wade, talk about the morality of abortion has once again been stirred. With both sides claiming the assertions of certain rights and even adding God's will to back their stance, it begs the question of whose side God really is on. Check on my newest unveiling-the-spirit post, where I share my understanding of where God stands on this polarizing topic.
What does your actions say about what you believe?
Opinions and words come a dime a dozen but the actions that back them up are what make the difference. Check out my newest vlog post where I unveil the spirit about how our actions reveal the truth about what we believe, not our words.
God Sees Eternity
Could you use some spiritual insight in light of the Uvalde shooting and other recent stories of senseless violence that are becoming common in our headlines in our nation? Check out my recent unveiling the spirit vlog post as I dive into the Uvalde shooting and why God allows these terrible things to happen.
Look Beyond The Surface
Check out my latest vlog post about Johnny Depp & Amber Heard and how the problems we encounter in relationships are not always what they appear to be.
Whatever Makes Me Happy Generation
Catch my newest unveiling the spirit vlog post as I dissect the recently released Disney movie "Turning Red" and reveal that Biblical prophesy and a falling away of God's commands is being revealed even in cartoons.
Battlefield of the Mind
You have definitely been living under a rock this past week if you haven't heard about the Will Smith and Chris Rock slap. It has been covered on what seems to be every news outlet on the planet and sparked all kinds of conversations about fame, culture, marriage, etc. But as I have said before, life is nothing but a giant classroom with spiritual principles and lessons that we must extract from it, and we can do this even when it comes to something like an infamous slap.
The Pain of Seperation
If you are like me, you've had to deal with death these past couple of years more than you ever have before. Between tragedies, natural causes, Covid, and now a war in Ukraine, death has pushed its way to the forefront of many minds. Check out my newest unveiling-the-spirit post where I reveal that even death and grief can hold deep truths about the heart of God.
The Burden of Freewill
Check out my newest vlog post with a special guest appearance from author, screenwriter, and motivational speaker J. Burroughs, where I unveil spiritual truths behind contemporary topics, everyday issues, relationships issues, and personal struggles.
Praying is a blessing and definitely needed but I see many Christian who mistake piety for spiritual immaturity when they constantly pray to God about menial things. If you have been a Christian for some time and always need to pray to God about your every step, find out how that may not be as good as many think.
As many of you might have heard about the sudden suicide of Cheslie Kryst earlier this week and how shocked her family and friends were about her demise. For me, it brings to mind just how powerful the enemy's deception can be and how even a little bit of hope can free us from his darkness. As much as my heart breaks for her and her loved ones, let's not miss the opportunity to look at ourselves, life, and our battles, especially with mental health, more deeply.
These days many people are gravitating towards this idea of defining God for themselves. Statements like "only God can judge me" and "living your truth" have become hallmarks of modern concepts of faith. Even in Christianity, perceptions of God vary with the word signifying tradition more than what it means to have a relationship with our creator. However, with all these ideas and definitions floating around, there are sure-fire ways to determine if you are actually on the right track.
I hear so many people say that they love hard and believe that it is a deep and endearing trait to have in a relationship but is it? Check out my newest vlog post where I explain that loving hard may not be as good as we often think it is.
Written in respect and honor of Martin Luther King & his legacy.
Amid the racial unrest that’s been taking place in our nation since the death of George Floyd, questions concerning the real progress of Blacks since slavery and even the Civil Rights Movement have been a topic of discussion in black circles. While some say that nothing has changed, which I try to veer away from for the reasons I explain in a previous post, others say it’s time to take more drastic and even militant measures. Videos of Blacks striking back along with signs and shirts reading that “We are not our ancestors...” highlight the thoughts of many who say that if Blacks are pushed in this day and age, unlike those in the past, we will fight back and it won’t be pretty. Of course, this brings Martin Luther King’s methods under fire and subtly suggests that he and his followers were not aggressive or bold enough to do what needed to be done to secure Blacks their freedom. However, on this day that we recognize MLK's legacy, I want to show that not only did King’s methods work, they reveal that even though confusing, how God's ways are better and higher than our own.
We often attribute non-violence movements to the legacy of Martin Luther King but actually this idea comes from God. With this in mind, it shouldn't be surprising that many would have problems with His way of doing things as they often appear backward to us. To save humanity, He came here to die. In order to gain life, the Bible says we must lose it. And to attain the things that we want most in life, we are instructed not to seek them but instead to first seek God. These contradicting examples, among many others, not only sound counterintuitive to most but appear to take us in a completely different direction than where we want to go. This causes many to be confused and skeptical of God's ways, and that's if they don't lose faith in them altogether.
But the reason God's ways seem wrong and backward to us is that we are only able to judge and see the world through our five senses and whatever little knowledge we've gained in our short experience of life. Viewing things from this narrow perspective automatically lends itself to incomplete information and places our focus more on what we can see, feel, and etc., which is motivate by our needs and desires. Such thinking most often produces fast and easy solutions that give us a sense of gratification or relief but often have little to do with actually solving our problems. With this thinking, the world rotates from one whack-a-mole solution to the next, all the while creating more problems as we claim to be cleaning them up.
However, God sees things from a massively broader and deeper perspective, along with unfathomable knowledge and information. He sees beyond our present, unjust past, needs, and feelings. In fact, His view stretches across eternity and includes the universal laws and spiritual principles that our very existence was founded upon. With this view, He can see what is happening on the surface and also the root of problems underneath. He can see how the problems we face are related to the past and also how, if unresolved, they will affect the future. This makes Him able to offer precise tailor made solutions that not only fix the problem, but eradicate its ability to continue spreading.
So often, our way of doings things clashes with God because while we are unknowingly looking for incomplete or quick fixes, which includes simply expressing our rage, God aims to solve our issues eternally. He doesn't just seek to save and secure justice for just Blacks, but for the entire world. Unfortunately such solutions require more time, effort, energy, and sacrifice than what most are willing to pay which is why we are so quick to label them as wrong.
But, God doesn't tell us to love our enemies simply to spread love in the world (Mat 5:44). He doesn't ask us to turn the other cheek just to be abused in this life because we will reap paradise in the next (Mat. 5:39). He tells us this because not returning violence for violence and evil for evil will reveal the source of the problem which is the heart and mind of those who perpetrate evil. And revealing the source produces the best chance we have of actually changing things.
Returning a hit to someone who hits me—which is an easy, immediate, and not well thought out response to a problem--does nothing to address why the hitting started in the first place. In fact, in God's understanding of our fallen condition and eternity, He knows that hitting only results in more hitting, and as the saying goes, before it's all over, the whole world will simply end up blind. Nevertheless, even in a blind world, the likelihood of the real problem being addressed is slim to none. And with such being the case, after everyone's vision is gone, people will commence to taking fingers and toes. This is how problems don't just continue, but when not thoroughly addressed, they get worse.
To Build or Destroy
But by asking us to refrain from simply functioning on a superficial level of quick fixes and the relief that comes from retaliating on our enemies in kind, God is inviting us to look at things through His eyes. He is asking us not to be consumed by the condition we find ourselves in but to grab hold of the knowledge, power, and insight He offers to defeat and rise above it. He is sharing with us what it takes to free not just Blacks, but to loosen the chains that all too often bind human hearts and minds. He is unveiling the transforming power that can come from simply allowing people to see themselves.
When people are fighting, it's easy to loose sight of who is in error. Also, fighting rarely fixes anything but instead prolongs and escalates problems. Not only does harm and loss of life increase but the destruction it causes ripples throughout family's and time. If anyone desires to actually fix a problem, fighting is never a viable option. However, if one person is doing all the hitting while the other is restraining and refraining from returning a lick, it shines an inexcusable light on who actually has the problem. It takes any question of justification and sets it square in the lap for perpetrators to have to answer.
In this way, when the newly invented television broadcasted images of powerful hoses, vicious dogs, and over the top brutality inflicted upon non-violent men, women, and even children for simply sitting at lunch counters and the like, it made the underlying evil of racism and white supremacy hard to deny. Not only did this put pressure on those in power to take action to cover America’s shame, but it held up a mirror to a nation that had made the absence of humanity normal and acceptable. Such images, although viewed by some as weakness up until today, garnered the most significant changes for America and especially Black America to date. MLK's insistence on applying God's method of a non-violent approach is the very reason we Blacks have many of the rights we enjoy today.
Instead of fostering more hate and destruction, non-violence made silent and smothered voices bold, loud, and hard to ignore. It invigorated blacks to reclaim their dignity, even forcing many whites to take a hard look at themselves and inevitably join with black voices to demand change. It also gathered support from around the globe to stand up for what is right and bound people together in unity, hope, and love that shines in direct opposition to humanity's greatest evils. And even today these voices continue to grow causing the protest of 2020 to become one of the largest in American history. Non-violence echo's through time as it continues to inspire a nation and the world in ways that reminds us all of the deep and intrinsic value of our mutual humanity.
Say what you want about non-violence, no militant based group has ever been able to make even a 10th of these claims. Indeed, non-violence doesn’t offer us the quick fixes our short-sighted nature prefers and denies us the temporary relief of simply lashing out, what it does offer is something more than violence can ever do. Non-violence is not just a means of protest, but it fosters a force that restores life and hope to our world. Through non-violence it becomes clear that true power doesn't come from the ability to tear down or destroy but to rebuild and restore.
It's Your Choice
I know that some will say, as I have heard them say, that if non-violence was so great, why are blacks still being killed and discriminated against today? My reply to that is the only reason anyone would expect a 350-year-old problem to be resolved within 14 short years is simply out of a desire to avoid putting the same blood, sweat, and tears that our ancestors did.
If they got us this far on the sacrifices of others, when not even 150 years ago, we were still slaves, and a little more than 70 years ago, we didn’t have the rights we have today, it is only right for us to continue the fight for future generations without complaining that there is something unfair about it. What is fair is that we handover a better world to those who will come after us in the same way it was handed down to us. And that we don't fumble the progress that's been made simply to express the rage that robs us of seeing a bigger picture. The question of which method to use boils down to how you answer this question, do you want to use your life and anger to heal or to destroy? Even God himself says, it's your choice.
Acceptance is becoming a major theme in today's culture. People are increasingly expressing their right to be heard, free, and challenging our outdated ideas of what it means to be women, men, normal, and human. However, as with all of our fallen and corrupted thinking, this push for acceptance also runs the very high risk of warping our understanding of God.
With every New Year come reflections of the past and new plans, goals, and expectations for the future. With 2020 this couldn't be truer as we anticipate the pandemic and a tumultuous presidency coming to a close as well as gaining a better understanding and brighter future when it comes to racial equality in America. Nevertheless, as New Year's resolutions are anticipated, made, and brought before God through prayer, we must be mindful to keep these things in perspective or risk allowing them to eclipse God's will in our lives.
Praying and hoping for better careers, more money, healing, restored relationships, health, and a fairer world, among other things, are not a problem in and of themselves. However, they can become so when we are so focused on transforming the circumstances of our lives and world that we place God's will on the backburner in favor of our own and place natural things before spiritual truths. In this mindset, God becomes our servant instead of us serving Him. Earth becomes our home instead of a pit stop along the way. And our relationship with Him becomes purely about success and happiness in this life instead of our spiritual growth and maturity that's required for the next. Not to mention working on His behalf to save lost and broken souls.
Unfortunately, it's very easy for us to make our plans and not remember to leave room for and remain aware that God's will is greater and sometimes comes at the cost of what we want most. We so easily forget that it's not always His will to make our lives easier and even fair, especially at the expense of teaching us how to see life through His eyes instead of the narrow view of our own. We sometimes think that because we seek after, believe, and decree that God can and will do these things for us, we exemplify what it means to have faith, but faith is trusting God's plan for our lives, not merely trusting him to perform our own.
As children of God, we must learn how to separate ourselves from this world and commune with God in a place where the cares of this fade away and only He becomes our focus. We must grow in our ability to see beyond the desires and troubles of this life and bask in the joy, fulfillment, and peace of His perfect plan regardless of how things look. We must learn to leave room for His will even as we plan out our own and allow him to prepare us and use our lives for His purpose.
So, as we plan our goals and dreams for this new year, let's add God's plans to the list too. And remember that whatever we give to God, He gives it back to us tenfold. If you need help understanding God's will for your life and making corresponding plans, sign up for a free session to gain valuable insight.
The rise and popularity of social media have given us access to many things that have enriched our lives, knowledge, awareness, options. But it has also exacerbated many of our problems and issues and one of them is the tendency we have to compare ourselves to others.
With the verdicts of 2 high-profile hearings coming almost back to back and everyone on edge about what's coming next, be mindful about how your news consumption affects you. (Recorded 11/24/21)
Are we becoming a society that can't handle disagreements without taking them personally? Check out my weekly vlog post where Coach Willie Johnson and I unveil the spirit about why people get upset when others disagree with them.
All too often, I hear Christian singles say that God will send them this great and all but perfect spouse. All too often, I see the disappointment and damage this belief causes in marriages when couples start having serious troubles. While this belief easily gets exacerbated in familiar and Christian circles, let me be the first to tell you that God doesn't send perfect spouses.
In today's social media age, many Christians are so focused on what they want, need, are happy, if others are meeting their expectations or treating them like the "royalty" that they think they are, they're not taking the time to ask themselves if their bad relationships are actually God's will.
To Grow or Not Grow
Time for another "unveiling the spirit" post as I chime in on the connection between dealing with our issues and spiritual growth with special guest Willie Johnson from 4ANewDay. https://www.facebook.com/4anewday
How Do You Respond To Relationship Problems?
All too often we place people in spaces in our hearts and minds that were created and should only be reserved for God. Take a few minutes to listen to my blog post and discover how this harms us and our relationships.
Stephanie K. was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She has a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and various coaching certifications. (read more)
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