Thursday, July 8, 2010

Awkward Position

Have you ever been in a place (physical, mental, spiritual or where ever) that has been so uncomfortable that you felt as though you were barely able to function? Every movement, every thought, every prayer just seemed so out of place. Well, if so, I can definitely relate.

I am serious about the things God, if not just for the the fact that God is serious about them too. I do not take things lightly and I appreciate genuineness when it comes to dealing with the people of God. My life belongs to Christ and I desire to know HIM for who He is. Sound familiar, relatable. Well Praise God that He has given us a heart after Him. What's so awkward about that you ask?

Deep Breath: Here goes. I have been involved with a ministry for about the past year and a half. Like so many, I was hungry for more of God. I wanted to experience more of God and be among those that do more than just pay Him lip service. I desired genuine fellowship and love amongst the saints and just something more. What more I could not clearly articulate but there was a longing in my spirit. I did not feel that the church I was attending at that moment was fulfilling that desire in me so I ventured on from one church to another, convinced that the Lord was leading and even convinced that my fiance' at the time about the same. At first it was all gravy. The praise and worship was liberating. I'd even let go and danced before the Lord. The preaching was very simple and easy to grasp. I witnessed people operating in giftings that were not widely used in the last church. My fiance' and I were able to minister and serve at a capacity that we hadn't at the last church. The people were loving and the pastor was giving. There were things happening there that I had NEVER heard of in my life. Was this the "something more" that I was desiring? Had the Lord answered my prayer?

Let's focus on this line: things that were happening that I'd never seen or heard of. For a few months things were all good. A-okay. Oh but then, silly me, I started to question some of these things. Not because I doubted them, but because I wanted to know what God's Word said concerning these things. As I started on my journey excited to see what the Lord had to say in favor of these things, I began to realized that some of what I was hearing and seeing did not line up with Scripture. And while I have a relationship with the Lord to where I know I can pray and He will answer, I still wasn't very sure. I am, by no means, a Bible scholar so I wanted to dig a little deeper and see if there were others that were experiencing and believing the same sorts of things. To my surprise, this thing was bigger than I thought! Much bigger, and the more I saw the more skeptical I became and the more I studied the Word the more I was convinced that I was amongst a people that were following after things that they shouldn't. What a pickle!

So now you see, I am still there. My fiance' and I have since married. The people are still loving, the pastor is still giving, the teachings and experiences are still occurring (or at least the claims are being made) and I am growing more and more intolerant of this nonsense. I have had several moments of just crying out to God asking Him to make it all a bit more bearable for me. My husband loves the ministry and I would hate to deprive him of that (especially if he feels he is growing in the Lord). He is not really akin to a lot of the experiences but he holds to the teachings (which aren't all bad) and who can blame him really. If you commit yourself to a ministry you would hope you could consume of what is being offered. Plus he enjoys the opportunity to serve.

Some days are good. Some days not so good. I have gone through many feelings of doubt about my relationship with the Lord while involved with the ministry. I never felt that I wasn't "saved", but I have often felt that I did not have enough faith or was being critical and judgmental or was just plain rebellious and carnally minded. Not able to discern the things of the Spirit. It seems like it would be easiest to just go with this flow, you know. But I cannot. Something won't let me. Some would say its the devil, others would say that I'm battling with my fleshly reasoning and doubt. Very few would say that the Holy Spirit is doing a work in me, but that's what I believe. I cannot submit or fully commit to something that I feel is not of God. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying everything about this ministry is not of God but I feel quite a bit of it is a bit suspect and contrived if you ask me. And while I admit that I would still, in a sense, consider myself a babe in the Lord I am finding this time to be a testing of my patience, character, love for others and commitment to Jesus Christ.

THERE! I said! It is out in the open. Let me say this. I have nothing against any of the members there. Not the pastor, not his wife or anyone. I love everyone that is there but you can imagine how awkward I feel when like mindedness and unity are highly promoted (which should be in the Body of Christ period)and I feel like the joint out of socket. Only getting with "the program" to make it through the service but heart and mind are totally not in it. I believe one of two things are happening right now. I am either dying spiritually or God is really trying to refine somethings in me and show me some things. Allowing me to see where my heart truly is concerning Him when in the midst of uncomfortable situations. While I am in an awkward position at the moment, I know that this will not ALWAYS be the case. God is faithful to those that love Him and I believe that, in time, He will reveal and deliver where ever deliverance needs to take place. Whether it be in me or whomever.

If any of my dear brothers and sisters that I attend service with is reading this, I apologize if I have offended any of you or hindered your faith in Christ in any way. I do not seek to tear anything or anyone down. Please pray that I will allow God to have His way in this situation. That He would make things clearer to me and give me His peace.

Let me say this,(and this is a bit of what God has been showing me) whether you believe that the institutional church is the best thing since sliced bread, needs a makeover by the Holy Spirit or needs to be downright destroyed or whatever (I definitely feel that we are falling short on so many fronts) please be in prayer for those that are involved. Pray that God would draw hearts and minds back to Him and not allow us to be sucked in to the humdrum of the system and to make no idols and to recognize when we have that we might repent and be turned back to Him. For those of you who feel that you should be a member of a congregation or church...please be prayerful. Do not make any decisions based on emotion and be sure, above all else, that the Gospel is being preached and that you are receiving sound instruction in the Lord. The church that you choose to attend should NOT be the pinnacle of your Christian existence, experience or service. Christ and ONLY CHRIST should fulfill that (a lesson that I am sorely learning). Your best work for the Lord is done when He leads you, where He leads you and how He leads you. Whether it be amongst believers in a building or outside of the confines of the church walls. Church should NOT be something we go to but it should be who we are.

1 Peter 2:5 - Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Titus 1:9 - Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

2 Timothy 1:13 - Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:21-24 - Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

Be Blessed.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010


My husband asked me a really irritating question last night. As he washed the dishes he asks, "What motivates you LaTika?" On the surface, it does not seem to be an irritating question but it rubbed me the wrong way, mainly because I have not been feeling very motivated lately. All I had to offer was an even more annoying, "Every new day that I am able to see is motivation enough for me."

At first hearing, it may have appeared that no thought was put into this. This is not something that I ponder regulary and the nice Christian answer to give would have been, "I am motivated by the blood of Jesus Christ" or "I am motivated in knowing that Jesus loves me and I seek to live my life for Him everyday." Now while both of those are true, all I could muster was I am motivated by everyday. While my husband probably wasn't feeling my answer or thought I answered to hastily, I actually took a moment at that moment to think about it. I even went to sleep thinking about it and the more and more I pondered the thought I began to ask myself the same question. "Ms. Thing, what are you motivated by? Who or what keeps you going everyday?" Still, all I could say, I am motivated by each day.

I realize that each new day God allows me to see is a blessing in and of itself no matter how I am feeling. Each day holds great possibilities. I don't know from day to day what the Lord is going to communicate to me. I don't know from day to day how God will show me how much He loves me. I don't know from one day to the next how much more God will reveal to me about Himself...but I do know that each day I am given is a day worth being motivated about, whether I feel it or show it or not. Tomorrow might be the day that God uses me to lead someone to Him. In a couple of hours I may have the opportunity to be a blessings to someone, not just in word but in deed also. Tomorrow may very well be the day that God delivers me from something that has had me bound. I never know but I am expectant.

So in actuality, my motivation doesn't just come from the day itself but it comes from the fact that I am trusting and believing God to be involved in each of my days and I never quite know what will happen. I guess I just need to be ever mindful of this everyday.

So I guess I have my husband to thank for causing me to think about this and I am so grateful to God that He has opened my eyes through my husband to realize that I can and I should trust Him more each day and acknowledge Him even more with each day, each moment.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Pretentiousness in Christian music

I would, to say the least, consider myself a musician of some sort. I am not an instrumentalist but a vocalist. God has blessed me with the gift to open my mouth and allow musical tones and notes to be produced that don't sound too bad. I love music. I love the art of writing and creating a song. I don't do much of it but the thought of doing so excites me. I have not always been akin to singing songs about Jesus but from the age of about 18 up until now....if you hear me singing anything it will more than likely be to give praise to my God. Sometimes when I pray I sing to the Lord and I love to enter into His presence by worshipping Him through songs that I sing to Him (in my private times with the Lord). It is also an awesome thing to be able to lead, or as I would like to say, sing WITH other believers as we ALL lift our voices in praise to our God.

As a twenty something African American female I gravitated towards gospel music. Gospel music is essentially what the music industry has termed black folks singing soulful songs in the the name of the Lord about the Christian faith. Would I REALLY call this "gospel" music? I have my opinions and maybe some of those will be revealed as I go along. Anywho, this music (or the sound of the music) related to me on a cultural level. I could identify with the sounds of the voices and the instrumentation of the songs. I will honestly say that many of the songs have served a place in my life to connect me with God to a certain extent. The lyrics were uplifting and many served as a means to express how I felt about Jesus. I have performed, YES I SAID PERFORMED, with several groups and choirs from the time. We sounded great! If you weren't moved by the "spirit", whatever spirit it was, you would be moved by the sound. I didn't realize it at the time but it all had become a show....lights, camera, action, you're on!

Then one year, I had the privilege of being elected as El Presidente of my college gospel choir. We did the same thing as usual, we performed but with limited musicians and limited voices (quality voices truth be told). During my tenure as "El Presidente"(lol) I began to realize that this was so much more than just singing at what we called GospelFests (GospelFest - a day when several colleges get together to perform at a concert) and at other events around campus and surrounding areas but that most of what we were doing was futile if none of the members in the choir were growing spiritually. There were so many issues afloat amongst the young people in the choir that it wasn't even funny. They had so many questions about God and some weren't even sure if they were saved. Truth be told, I was not very confident in my relationship with the Lord either and had my fair share of "college mishaps". Most of us did not have our bearings in Christ and His word and didn't quite understand how to get there, but singing in the "gospel choir" was a means to maintain some association with Jesus regardless of what we did or said after rehearsal or those many performances. I will say this, I did experience growth while in the choir but it was definitely NOT because of the choir or because of any of the songs that we sang. It was because of the people I met in the choir and some the things I'd experienced while in college. And the fact that I actually had an earnest desire to know the Lord.

Then after college I was involved in a group of young people that sang but there were some bumps along the way and the Lord disbanded that...and rightfully so! Here is the point...while I believe that there is definitely a place in the Kingdom of God for music, we must know its proper place. Can Christian music change lives and convert others to live a life submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ? Possibly. David played his harp and and the evil spirit in Saul was lifted as he played but it was only a temporary solution. But as I have seen lately, Christian music (gospel, contemporary, rock, hip hip, rap or whatever genre it is in) has become rather self serving and tainted by many, many...(did I say many) strange and worldly spirits.

What makes (some) Christian music pretentious? Personal agenda and it bleeds through every pour and fabric of the song from the production choices to the lyrics. When listening to your Christian musicians/songs of choice ask yourself these questions:

- Does this song appeal more to my emotions or is it edifying my spirit?
- Are the lyrics Biblically sound? If the song is not actually Scripture, are the themes and content of the songs strongly based and rooted in the Word of God?
- Does the background music (beats, instruments, production etc.) take away from or drown out the message that is being portrayed by the lyrics? I have listened to Christian songs that I like just because of the beat where the lyrics were secondary. This is not wrong all together but should most definitely NOT be the first criteria. The beat can be hot but the lyrics could be garbage.
- Why do I like this song? What is it really that appeals to me? Be truthful with yourself.
- What is the actual focus of the song? Is it to give praise and worship to the Lord? Is it to edify and encourage the saints ACCORDING TO WHAT THE WORD OF GOD SAYS?
- Does the song give me a false hope in my own ability to overcome?

Ask God to give you more discernment concerning this subject through His Holy Ghost. For those of us who love music, in all of its forms, it is a difficult thing to do but as we follow the leading of His Spirit we will find Truth!

Hallelujah!! (Praises Be To YHWH)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Book of Eli

WARNING: If you plan on watching this movie you may want to read this AFTER you have seen it because I am going to straight up spoil it for you.

There have been some rave reviews about this movie among the Christian community. It has been heralded as a "must see" for Christians. My puzzled response to that statement every time is seriously WHY?

My husband and I went to see the movie the second night that it was out. It was defnitely not my first choice but I went along with it anyway. For those of you who don't quite know what the movie is about here is brief synopsis

Eli (Denzel Washington) has been on a journey for 30 years, walking west across America after a cataclysmic war that turned the earth into a total wasteland. The world has become a lawless civilization where people must kill or be killed. The barren roads belong to gangs of cutthroats who rob and kill for water, a pair of shoes, a lighter, or just for fun. Eli is a peaceful man who only acts in self defense, and becomes a warrior with unbelievable killing skills when he is challenged. After the war and the "Big Flash", Eli was guided by a higher power to a hidden book and given the task of protecting the book and taking it to its final destination. Eli guards the book with his life, because he knows that the book is the only hope that humanity has for its future.

If you are looking for entertainment value, shootouts, fight scences, knife wielding with somewhat of a decent plot and a nice twist at the end then this movie will accomplish its purpose for you. Even if you are looking to explore an enlightened life path you may be inspired. However, if you are looking to find a message that is of any real intrinisic Christian value you will need to keep it moving. Now, this is not a bash on this movie. I actually found it entertaining because I like movies with action and that keep you wonderning "now how is he going to get out of this one," but as I watched this movie, I could not help but have a lump sitting in the pit of my stomach. Its like I could sense what effect it would have in the Christian community. Some days later, that feeling seems to have been confirmed.

The problem that I have is not with the movie itself. People of the world make movies to entertain and chock full of worldly messages. The problem that I have is how this movie has been received and perceived by those that call themselves Christians. I will hi light a few themes that would have some believe this.

- Eli's book is the Bible
- Eli quotes from the Bible (even before he slays like 20 men)
- Eli supposedly hears a voice that comes from within that leads and guides him (much like the Holy Spirit.) He admits that it is not his voice but just calls it a "voice." The voice also tells him that he will make it to his destination and being protected.
- Eli seems to be divinely protected. As he is being shot at it appears that bullets are repelled and have no power over him and he fights with an almost "supernatural" strength. Even when he is shot at nearly point blank range in the abdomen, although weakened, he survives.
- Eli is a very meek and humble man in attitude and appearance (but he will cut you if you mess with him so BACK UP)
- Eli refuses to have sex with a beautiful young woman
- Eli even seems to have a constant prophetic type of "knowing" about situations that occur.
- At the end of the movie(here is the spoiler)Eli recites the Bible verbatim from Genesis to Revelations. He was able to do this because he read the "book" everyday for 30 years. EVERYDAY for 30 years.

There are many more that I can come up with but I will stop here. I won't even touch the moral struggles that Eli has in my attempt to demote from the status of a "Christian" movie. My proof for this not being a Christian movie lies in the fact that although this character protected the Bible with his very life and quoted from it, was "divinely" protected he was not in pursuit of Jesus Christ. Its just that simple....1 John 2:24-27 (NLT):

So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray. But you have received the Holy Spirit,and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.

or how about 1 John 4:1-3:

Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.

If this were a Christian movie, the truth of the gospel would have been all up and through!!! To call anything Christian it must first adn foremost identify with CHRIST! And if this were a Christian movie even the themes that were used would have also lined up with the character and image of Jesus Christ. It is undeniable that most movies are made with the purpose of making the viewer think and to convey a message. I looked up the writer and the directors of this movie and they all say the same thing: THIS MOVIE IS NOT INTENDED FOR RELIGIOUS PURPOSES. As a matter of fact, one of the directors is an atheist (

Someone was telling me the other day "Its just a movie. No one takes it seriously." For some, yes it is just a movie. They watch it, go home, go to bed and the end. But you reading this can attest with me that any movie that has had any kind of message has inspired people to do more, live better, try new things. It is all a matter of perception and many Christians have taken this movie and made it into something that it is not! I don't know if some are inspired to live as better Christians or if they read their Bible's more because of this movie. It could be that some believe that this is some sort of mass form of evangelism. I don't know what the deal is but I know what its not. So Christian people...PLEASE STOP SAYING THAT THE BOOK OF ELI IS A CHRISTIAN MOVIE. PLEASE STOP LEADING PEOPLE ASTRAY JUST AS YOU HAVE BEEN LEAD ASTRAY IN YOUR MIND TO BELIEVE THAT THERE IS ANY WAY THAT THIS MOVIE CAN BENEFIT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST. THIS MOVIE DOES NOTHING TO ADVANCE THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN ITS MESSAGE AND IT DOES NOT GIVE LIGHT TO THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. I know some of you will disagree wholeheartedly with me about this but THERE IS NO POWER IN THE BIBLE OUTSIDE OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD, OUTSIDE OF JESUS CHRIST. THE BIBLE WAS WRITTEN AS A GUIDE FOR WHO...CHRISTIANS AND THE GOSPEL IS PREACHED TO DO WHAT....SAVE SOULS!!! 2 Corinthians 3:3 - Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.

Most, if not all, of what was referenced in this movie concerning the Bible was found in the Old Testament with no references to the new. To this day whenever the old covenant is read the same veil that covers the face of Moses covers the mind so that it does not understand the truth. The veil can ONLY be lifted by believing in Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:12-14). This movie has accomplished just that (veiled minds to the truth) for the non believers and unfortunately for some believers just the same.

You guys, don't be so blind as to think that just because someone or something gives reference to the Bible that they respect or promote your Savior or your Christian lifestyle! To many, whether they believe its contents or not, the Bible is a relic and that is all that it will ever be. We don't worship relics, we don't worship and live for books but to live is Christ. I am not trying to dissuade anyone from going to see this movie(heck I went and saw the movie) but what I aim to do is to keep things in proper perspective for you in the event that you choose to see the movie or you have already tucked this one away as The Passion of The Christ part 2 (I know that is an extreme comparison but you get my point).

The Devil would love for you to cross back over to the world's side in anyway that he can get you there. He is working through the media (movies, books, radio, music, etc.) Don't get sucked in but be sober and vigilant because your enemy the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He wants to devour your faith and belief in Christ. He wants you to believe that there are many ways to God. He wants you to get lost on a vain "spiritual" journey leading to Nowheresville. BE watchful...but don't be fooled.

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.

With Love in Christ!

Monday, January 11, 2010

On a lighter note....

I believe I am about ready to be a mother. Not pregnant, yet. But I am getting that motherly itch. Every time I see kids, especially babies, I get all gooey and silly on the inside. Does this mean I am ready for kids? Of course not, that is never a good indicator if you are ready for parenthood. But I have talked it over with my husband and he just says "Surprise Me." So I guess that means he's ready I do believe the Lord wants us to be fruitful and multiply so LET THE MULTIPLICATION BEGIN!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!

We Fall Prey...

You know how easy it is to spread a rumor? We have all, at some point in our lives, either been a victim of a rumor or the spreader of the rumor. It spreads like gangrene and it doesn't matter how many supporting facts there are to disprove that rumor, there are always some that would rather take the rumor as the truth instead of the cold hard facts. It seems to be the same with "false doctrine."

It goes like this...a well known "Christian" figure (preacher, teacher, evangelist, prophet) comes on the scence talking about what God has revealed to them. More times than not, this person has gathered quite a nice size following has gained a significant amount of trust from these followers. Okay, so they go on preaching concerning their revelation or what thus saith the Lord. It is different. Its something most of the people have never heard before. To some something just doesn't seem quite right and there are questions raised in their minds. To others, they go right along with it because they trust in this person so much that everything they say MUST be of God. Now don't get me wrong, there are some that hold to the truths of the Gospel and most of the time what Lord speaks to them lines up with Scripture. Needless to say, these are those that are truly being led by the Spirit of God. I am not speaking of these. So back to my point....these strange and unbiblical teachings begin to spread like wildfire with no one to extinguish them.

What we are left with are well meaning believers in Jesus Christ who are being led to believe lies! At first thought, one would think "there is no way that the people who are being led astray could know the Word of God or even be led of His Spirit." One would think that statement is true. But how do you explain those believers that have are walking with the Lord and know what Scripture says and are born again but still choose to go along with it? Let me just say this, what I have found is that it is very easy to get caught up with certain things. The reason why we allow ourselves to get caught up could be to be accepted by others or as I stated above, there is so much trust in the deliverer of certain messages that it is difficult for us to separate what we know is truth in support of that person. Anyone that takes a man's/woman's word over the Word of Christ IS JUST DOWNRIGHT IN ERROR. AND THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO PUT IT. IF YOU ARE NOT FOLLOWING THE LEADING AND PROMPTING OF THE HOLY GHOST AND FOLLOWING CHRIST YOU ARE FOLLOWING AFTER FLESH. It does not matter how well meaning that person is, it is your/OUR responsibility as disciples of the Lord to make Him(Jesus Christ) the final authority on all matters. So I would suggest to you that you make it your life's urgent matter to get with Jesus and get with Him good. Learn to discern and hear and know His voice when He speaks. Read His Word and learn how it relates to believers today. Let God minister to you first and foremost so when you hear preaching from others and when someone speaks a Word of prophecy you will know if it is from the Lord or some other spirit.

The point I am trying to make in all of this is: Don't get caught up in things just because that is what everyone else is going with. 1 John 4:1 tells us to not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. Test the spirit to see whether it be from God.

I am really probably the last person that needs to be speaking about this. In reality it may be coming more out of frustration than anything so take what I say for a grain of salt but please do remember that we are walking this walk and living this life to Christ (or at least we should be). Let me repeat...TO CHRIST! That is one thing no one should get twisted. Don't be decieved by every teaching and wave of doctrine that comes your way. Pray and ask the Lord to help you discern one way or the other. We have too much of a responsibilty on this earth as believers to be walking around believing lies and being decieved. 2 Timothy 3 talks about there being some that will not only be deceivers but they will be deceived themselves as well. I believe God wants to make a final impact on this earth before He returns and we have to be "sober and vigilant" enough in the truth to even think about being a witness for Jesus Christ.

I ask that you pray for me. Just pray that the Lord will saturate me in HIS truth and that I will be bold enough to speak against the lies of the devil as the Spirit leads me to do so. And to not reflect in my attitude how bummed I am about this all. :-(

Yall I love Jesus...I just don't understand why people (who claim to be His) would try and take anything from Him...okay..I'm done.