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Monthly Archives: June 2012

A Setup for Disappointment

     I see churches, none in particular or that I will name specifically in an effort protect the guilty, that serve up this superficial, “it is all ok” Christianity.  They impress that once you become a Christian, give you life to God, all will be perfect. Nothing bad will ever happen to you again, God will give you the big house, the fancy car and the ideal mate.  Everyone will adore you, you will walk about in gardens of flowers and fruit trees, reminiscent of the Garden of Eden and lounge about all day without a care; and life will be smooth sailing until we all get to Heaven.  I don’t know what kind of dog and pony show these people are running but they are fooling people and this is how believers become despondent, disillusioned and disgusted with the church and with God.  The latter entity is not to blame; it is man who has perpetrated this fraud!  God never promised you that once you gave your life to Him that nothing bad would ever happen to you ever again, that life would be a completely positive experience from here until eternity!  Paul followed the teachings of Christ but was persecuted and wrote of the thorn in his side.  He asked God to remove it and He said “No”.  The thorn is the one thing that sticks with you that doesn’t let your forget that God is God. 

     The unpleasant, irritating and obnoxious things that happen to us are not all caused by nor the fault of the enemy; it is not always the devil out to get you.  Some of the bad things that happen in our lives are pre-destined by God Himself… no, don’t look at me like that!  God has what is in your best interest at heart and no, He doesn’t want to see you suffer.  However, He does allow certain things to happen in order to prepare you, to build your trust in Him and so that you know, recognize and accept that it is only He that keeps you.  Other negative things that happen to us are of our own design, construction and implementation; we are the perpetrators of our fates.  Our entire repertoire of bad decision-making comes from the free will that God granted us upon our creation.  God made us a spirit confined to a fleshy prison.  There is always a war raging within us, the Holy Spirit doing battle against our worldly desires.  There is an old Native American parable that states that within each man are two dogs fighting for dominance, one good and one evil.  When asked which one wins, the person answered, “The one I feed the most”. 

     This is where we get to superficial Christianity.  The Word says, that as we mature as Christians we cannot be only milk-fed like children but must become meat eaters.  Thus, you must take the easy to digest with the more difficult to digest. The easily digested part of Christianity is that God loves us, He loves us so much that He sent His only begotten son, Jesus, to be a sin offering for us.  The only thing that He asks in return is that we obey/keep His Commandments.  The harder to digest part of the Faith is submitting to God’s will for our lives, killing our flesh daily, accepting that even if we believe we are doing everything right, we sill always fall short of the glory of God.  So when you only give the masses superficial “Christian” teachings, you are stunting their growth.  If you feed a child only formula and never move them to solid foods, you are inhibiting their natural progression into adulthood; they will begin to waste away.  The same holds true for us as intelligent human beings, we crave knowledge and understanding. It is only when you take the easy with the difficult that you are cultivated, groomed and moved to be all that God call you to be… Personally I prefer steak over hotdogs any day.

Blessings and Happiness

T. Nicole

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You Are Not at Home

Happy Frisky Friday ya’ll! 

   I don’t think I have ever been happier to see a Friday than I am today!  It has been a hell of a week; I’m exhausted, worn out and in desperate need of a vacation.  But one thing I was taught by my very gracious and beautiful mother is that my exterior will never look like my interior feels.  No day will you ever see me looking tore down, raggly or frumpish.  Even to go to the grocery store I will be attired properly, comfortable and casual but presentable.  You will not see me with my hair tied up, a do-rag on, stains on my clothes or walking around wrinkled; it just WON’T happen.  I am not trying to blast those that do go out looking…well, what is the word that I am looking for…slouchish.  (Yea, that word will suffice.)  I’m just saying that I  won’t go out that way; don’t get me wrong you will and can find me in a pair of yoga pants, a tank and a ponytail at the local Kroger’s.  I don’t put on a ball gown and the crown jewels to grocery shop; I just feel that you should take some pride in how you look, no vanity intended nor implied. 

     That being said, today’s Grinds My Gears” segment has to do with just this topic.  I am all for bumming around the house and being comfortable, but a time should come where when you step outside of your house that you look put together.  Case and point, casual Friday at the office is a prime example.  Although it is casual Friday in the workplace, that does not mean that you need to walk into the office looking like you are getting ready to mow the lawn!  Tennis shoes are fine, if your dress code allows such; just don’t let them be the ones that you go and play softball in or that the ones you use when you go for a run on the local neighborhood trail.  At least have the dignity to wipe the dirt and grime off of them!  Men, casual Friday does not mean you come to work looking like you have 2 days worth of 5 o’clock shadow, haven’t attempted to do something to the hair on your head and wearing a “wrankled” ( 10x worse than wrinkled) polo or Tommy Bahama shirt!  NO, NO, NO!  It is my opinion that casual Friday has been taken advantage of and people tend to make it a day where they could care less about what they look like.  Casual Friday is not the day for you to break out you soccer slides and the remnants of the bottom of your dresser drawers or questionable attire that is better suited for washing the car and vegging on the couch.  I promise I think I saw someone in the lobby wearing those pajama jeans that you see on TV… that is a No-No! 

     I have said it before and it bears repeating, the mirror is your friend!  Use it, love it, embrace it, befriend it; the mirror won’t lie to you, it will be the realist friend you will ever have.  Be a fashion innovator… not a victim.

Casual Friday Gone Wrong
THE OFFICE — “Casual Friday” Episode 526 — NBC Photo: Chris Haston

Blessings and Happiness 

T. Nicole

 

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Random Summer Fashion Faux Pas… The Office Edition

     Here in Houston the summer is upon us with daily temperatures in the mid 90s and humidity at nearly 100%.  It is so hot every summer that most of us don’t even complain anymore when we look at our car dashboards at 8:00 am and see that it reads over 80 degrees!  With the sweltering summer heat comes the lighter colored clothing, sleeveless shirts and open toed shoes.  All of these are great and when worn properly are a respite from the heat.  However there are some “rules” that need to be imparted at the office when summer attire comes around.

1) If you are going to wear light-colored shirts and/or pants (tan, beige- no that is not the same color as tan, off-white, white, etc) please wear the correct undergarments.  Wearing a pink or blue bra under a white shirt means that the entire office knows what color and style of bra you are wearing; and NO ONE will tell you that they can see it; they will snicker and talk about you in private.  Just sayin…

2) If you are going to wear linen, please see #1.  Also know that linen is notorious for wrinkling, go with extra heavy starch and steam as well.  It shouldn’t look like the Wrinkle Monster took your cloths, balled them up, threw them at you saying, “Roar! Go to work!” 

3) If you are going to wear open-toed shoes please get a pedicure!  Now, I shouldn’t have to say this ladies; you should be getting pedicures on a regular basis.  Not only does it give you pretty feet, it also serves as a time for relaxation and a place where your husband/boyfriend/children would not dare to venture.  Me personally, I go every two weeks.  Stop letting your nail polish chip and flake off and then wear Jesus sandals to work.  Your toenails shouldn’t be so long that when you walk on the kitchen/break room floor that we hear clicking! Nor should they look like they would slice up your sheets. Not a cute look! 

4) If you wear open toed shoes, please lotion your feet.  Your feet shouldn’t look like you have been kicking flour or been on a barefooted pilgrimage through a quartz mine.

5) Short shirts that show all kinds of stuff when you bend over to get a file out of the drawer….No.  *insert blank stare* 

6) Low cut shirts that have you damn near falling out of them when you reach across your desk…No. *insert blank stare*

6) Short dresses or skirts that stop right below your behind or a few inches below it…Just a flat out no.  Just because you put a sweater on over it does not make it work appropriate.  Think again!

     I could go on and on but I think ya’ll get the point.  If you are offended or upset by anything I have written above, then more than likely some of these refer to you.  Just say “Ouch”.  I am not saying that I always get it right, but I can NEVER be accused of any of these fashion faux pas!  I am just trying to help, please know that your coworkers do talk about you if you do any of these.  Remember the mirror is your friend.  If you think something may be questionable or you aren’t quite sure, dial a friend and ask their opinion.  If one is not available and you have doubts… change clothes!  Be a fashion innovator, not a victim.

I am not afraid to give these out and carry them with me!

Blessings and Happiness

T. Nicole

 

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Hinder Me Not

     Praise should not be hindered by the bad and saddening things in our lives.  We are to and should praise God always.  We would not know how gracious, loving and merciful our Father is if we only had good times, joy, happiness and peace.  It is when we emerge from the storm, when the land has dried, the flowers have sprung and the sun shines that we learn to appreciate and love God for who He is.  How can you appreciate the blessings of God if you don’t know what it is to go through?  When you look back at the storms that you have been through, the dry and acrid plains of life where nothing flourishes, you will see that even in that desert place, God kept you.  Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Stay In Your Lane

 

      When does the status quo become a bore to you?  When does the same routine day in and day out become monotonous and you finally say that enough is enough? It has been said that the only constant thing in life is change.  I couldn’t tell you who said it, why they said it or when, but it definitely rings true. Life is a series of hills and valleys, ups and downs, periods of joy and sadness.  Have you ever watched the Olympics Track and Field competition?  I don’t mean the 100 m or 400 m, hurdles or high jump; there is an event called the Steeplechase. It is a 3000 meter race where each lap has four barriers and one water jump at the back-end of it.  Each runner has to complete 7 laps, meaning they have to clear 28 barriers and seven water jumps.  The barriers do not fall over if the runner hits them and they are able to get over the barrier by any means; stepping on top of them, jumping over them, however they cannot negotiate them by going around them.

      The athletes have to focus on what is ahead and be aware of the other runners in relation to where they are.  Life is just like the steeplechase; we are all running the race together and face some of the same obstacles and barriers in life, but each of us approach them differently.  In knowing where you are in relation to others, you may be inspired by the way that someone else prevailed and choose to try your own variation of their method as an alternative to yours.  However, you cannot pay too much attention to the other runners.  You cast sideways glances at them and know that each of us runs our race at a pace.  We focus too much on the circumstances and situations in our lives, when we should be more concerned with how to surmount them and move forward in life.  How can you effectively run this race if you are so busy worrying about the person in the lane next to you or 3 lanes over?  How will you see the turn ahead if you are telling the ref how to do their job?

     Stay in your lane, run the race that God has placed you in.  The race is different for all of us; we have different barriers to navigate and various difficulties to overcome.  At each turn a hurdle presents itself and if we stop at the issue, the problem, the situation, we will be left behind in life.  We will be unable to get to the end goal, the finish line, where God waits with our laurels, our crowns and the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant”.  The same blockade may present itself more than once, but look at it as maybe you didn’t handle it right the first time.  Instead of trying to go around it, face it head on.  You may have to climb instead of jump; Step on and over, using it as a platform to catapult yourself forward, rather than vaulting over it.  I stay in my lane and use God’s Word to face my fears and to bring me through.  Maybe someone will cast a sideways glance during their race and see that my plan for overcoming, prayer and devotion to God, may help them. 

Athletes compete in the Women’s 3000m Steeplechase Heats at the National Stadium
Stu Forster / Getty Images

 Blessings and Happiness

T. Nicole

 

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A Father Unlike Any Other

Happy Sunday my Lovelies and even better Happy Father’s Day!

It is a blessing to see another Sunday and I woke up with my dad on my mind. He is back home in Louisiana visiting his dad and I am separated from him this Father’s Day. For some this would be quite disappointing not to have their father present on this day but not so for me. I talk to my dad at least once a week and text him regularly. My dad has been with me since I was 6 years old and stepped into the shoes left vacant by my biological father. At an early age I learned that biology doesn’t make a parent. So this morning before I rose to begin my day, I wrote this to my dad:

God has been so gracious to me, He blessed me when brought you into our lives. There was a void in my life and in my heart because the father who biologically is linked to me was absent due to his own iniquities. So God sent you to us and my cup overflowed as you stepped in and filled that empty space in me and then some. Biology doesn’t make a parent, love, care, devotion and acceptance do. I have a father, a biological parent, and I have my dad, the man that raised me, that loves me even through my mess and whom I adore and thank God for daily. It matters not to me what anyone says, you are mine and i am yours; our bond as father and daughter has and will endure until our Heavenly Father calls is both home and we will be friends in Heaven for all eternity. I am so incredibly honored that you call me daughter and thank God everyday for you. Happy Father’s Day!

A father can be many things and many people. I have a biological father who did the best he could given his personal demons, I have a father, my daddy, who raised and loved me as his own and to this day you cannot tell him that I am not his, he will fight you over it if need be. I have two spiritual fathers in Pastor Keven D. Johnson and Dr. Ralph Douglas West, who have nurtured and feed my soul and helped me grow in my spiritual growth. I have a Heavenly Father who when all the others are unavailable or absent, is always there to love, protect and guide me.

Be thankful today and every day for the fathers in your life and if your father no longer walks with you, remember all that he was to you and smile.

Blessings and Happiness

T. Nicole

 

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Doing Da Butt!

     Everyday most of us ride at least one elevator and know how cramped and uncomfortable they can be.  Some people cringe and close their eyes on long elevator rides, and as soon as those doors begin to open, they lurch forward and out like the devil himself was chasing them.  There are other elevator riders who see an elevator is full but somehow figure that they can squeeze in. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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