Vocabulary Mondays: Agapae

Photo taken from:  http://ubdavid.org/advanced/practical/practical-christian_21.html
Photo taken from: http://ubdavid.org/advanced/practical/practical-christian_21.html

It has been years since I have used the word agapae.  But I wanted to use it in a short message to a dear friend.  Since I knew I had forgotten how to spell the word I decided to Google it.  I typed the following within the Google search bar:  agodbae, agodba, agotbae and etc.  Yet, nothing I spelled gave me the correct spelling for the word I so dearly wanted to use.  I was becoming frustrated.  I even thought maybe I had learned a word that did not exist.

Let’s just say it took me forever to find the correct spelling of agape, but, nevertheless, I found it!  And I used it!  Hip hip hooray!

Word:  agapae

Part of Speech:  noun, plural

Meanings:

1.  the love of God or Christ for humankind.

2.  the love of Christians for other persons, corresponding to the love of God for humankind.

3.  unselfish love of one person for another without sexual implications; brotherly love.

4.  love feast (  defs 1, 2 ).

Origin and History:

agape
c.1600, from Gk. agapan “greet with affection, love” (used by early Christians for their “love feast” held in connection with the Lord’s Supper), from agapan “to love,” of unknown origin. In modern use, often in simpler sense of “Christian love” (1856, frequently opposed to eros as “carnal or sensual.

 

Prayers of Black Women: Great is Thy Faithfulness

Photo by A. A. Harrison
Photo by A. A. Harrison

Lord there are so many social issues to pray for that I’m not sure which one I should bring to your feet this morning.  There is the issue of HIV among the porn stars.  There is the issue of homosexual’s committing suicide because of personal fears.  There are the social issues of gun control in America. Lord as you can see from my small prayer list, that could easily grow, there is a need for you.

Lord as you know I started this prayer last week after coming home from church.  Pastor Robert Gelinas spoke on Your mercy.  He mainly spoke from the book of Jonas.  He talked about how people want your mercy but often hate when you extend the same mercy to those deem unworthy.  With great surprise the end of his sermon took a tailspin.  He held up a rock and said it represented people who had not forgiven themselves.

Lord as you saw I sat listening in bewilderment.  It was then I realized I was Jonas.  I had not forgiven myself for becoming a teen-mom.  I had not forgiven myself for countless other things I had done with the life you gladly gave me.  Lord so long ago, I realized I had wasted and was wasting my life.  I’m sorry!  Please forgive me for wasting the life you created before you formed it in the belly of my precious mom’s womb.  Please stop me from living a life of regret.  Please help me to live in the footsteps you ordered for me.  Please help me to be a gift given back to the greatest gift giver.  Lord, let me be a wonderful gift for you!

Lord this morning someone woke up unsure about life.  Lord, I pray that you give this person a dream or a new dream with new hope.  Lord, I pray that you help them to learn to put one foot in front of the other.  Lord, I pray that you help them to understand “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Lord, I pray that they realize the cliché I just used apply to all aspects of life.  But more so Lord, I pray they understand “Great is Thy faithfulness.”

Lord help those that have contracted HIV.  Give them your peace that surpasses all human understanding.  Lord help those that have confesses in their hearts that they are homosexual.  Lord help those that own guns and those that don’t own guns to come to mutual agreements.  But most of all Lord help the world to know ‘Great is Thy faithfulness.”

  • “Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
    Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
    As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
  • “Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!“
    Morning by morning new mercies I see;
    All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
    “Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!
  • Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
    Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
    Join with all nature in manifold witness
    To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
  • Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
    Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
    Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
    Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Source: http://www.hymnal.net/hymn.php/h/19#1#ixzz2ezjVFEMV

 

The Prayers of Black Women: A Kiss from Heaven

4213264-261659-vector-illustration-of-a-breast-cancer-pink-ribbon-treeYesterday a friend posted on Facebook she had to cut her long beautiful hair.  Apparently this has been a year that has tried her soul.  Medically she has opted for chemo and feels she is hanging onto life as she knows it.

Within her personal message she wrote she didn’t want us to feel sorry for her; but it is hard to be joyful when your friend is fighting to live.  It is even harder to be joyful when the illnesses of others make you question your own mortality.  So today I wrote a prayer for her and it is called “A Kiss from Heaven.”

A Kiss from Heaven

A kiss from Heaven is what I prayed for you.
I wanted you to know that God will see you through.
He knew you would lose your hair,
But a kiss from Heaven will show His care.

A kiss from Heaven is what I prayed for you.
I asked for God to kiss you at half-passed two.
God said He has already kissed you
And I know His kiss will heal you too.

A kiss from Heaven is what I ask for God to do,
So you will see His love shining through.
I asked that He give your skin a glow
So you will know He still runs the show.

A kiss from Heaven is what I prayed for you.
When I felt you might become a tad thin too.
I want God to let you know you are going to win,
Because He gives you courage from within.

A kiss from Heaven is what I prayed for you.
So when you feel down with sorrow
I want God to let you know He holds your tomorrows.
A kiss from Heaven is what I’m praying for you.

Inspirational Fridays: Aging With and Without Regrets

As my sister celebrated her birthday this year she was and is unquestionably delighted to turn 50. I on the other hand did not look forwards to turning another year older.  Yet my 52 birthday was creeping closely and did manage to arrive on scheduled.   My birthday is never late!   Honestly, I really wish after I had turned 30 my birthday would come around once every 10 years.

It appears my regretful and wounded soul continues to look for the life that was lost so long ago.

My person questions all of life’s ambitions, my life’s ambitions, to a point where I’m silently asking the following:  What makes the aging graceful and ready to grow older and old?  What makes the aging mean and bitter as they do grow older and old?  And what will I become as I age and my physical beauty continues to fade?  Will I be a sweet old woman that has few regrets?  Or will I become an old bag of bitter bones that is mean because I failed to live my life to its fullest?

Truthfully, I would say at this point I am becoming by default ‘an old bag of bitter bones that is mean because I failed to live my life to its fullest.’

Are you shocked at my brutal conclusion of my self awareness examination?  Are you shocked that I can be as truthful about what I inwardly harbor?  Don’t be shocked because there are other’s just like me.  Perhaps you are like me.  Maybe you are worse than me.  But it is never too late for us to change the course of our lives as long as we continue to breathe hope.

At this moment my beloved Colorado is under flood watch.  Because of flooding many of the smaller cities and towns have been force to evacuate. Lives are being uprooted by force of nature and people have to take shelter of safety in unfamiliar places.  Uncertainty about the course of their lives looms over the evacuees’ heads as they wait for the storm to subside.

After carefully watching video footage of flooding areas in Colorado I have come to the conclusion, it is the amount of life’s storms and their surges that determines if we will age gracefully or bitter.

And regrettably sometimes our personal lives from beginning to end are under flood watch or in the eye of the storm.

At least my life is consistently under storm watch; and often my poor choices continue to place me in the midst of raging floods.  And, since, I didn’t know how to swim to safety I have found myself spiritually and emotionally drowning over and over again.  As a result, I regret a few things I have done, moreover, my biggest regrets are the things I failed and continue to fail to do; therefore, for me aging is a big reminder how I wasted my talents and my life.

With remorse I must write, my life [outside of my children] was squandered on people and things that could not validate my existence.  In a nutshell, I confess, I spent the majority of my life looking for validation from people who had never been validated themselves.   So when I turned 50 I felt life was over for me.  I felt nothing about me depicted a life of success and that included the children I dearly love.

But as I continue on this journey we call life, every day I am reminded people age 50 and over that are living wonderful lives with little to no regrets.  And Lillie McCloud is one of those people.  She is an amazing singer.  She has an amazing outlook about her life.  She does not regret putting her singing career on hold to raise her children.  At the age of 54 she feels now is her time to fulfill her dream.  I just love her confidence during her X Factor audition.  She selected the right song. She wore the right outfit. Her persona said what she stated “I’m here to win” as she sang Cece Winans’ song “Alabaster Box.” Everything about Lillie says age 50 is where it’s at!  Check her out:

Becoming More Than Just a Survivor

I realize today is “Taboo Tuesday” but I need to switch up my message.  Lately it seems as if I am having such a hard time with life.  As it appears I’m going through the storm of uncertainty alone.  Yet, something deep within whispers to my soul that  there are others that feel as I do about life.

This might come across as TMI (too much information) but everyday I sit in the bathroom an contemplate my life, the lives of my children, the lives of their children and so forth and so on.   And to top things off is:  most people say I should not worry about those I will never meet.  But, I think differently because I have come to learn that the past always step on the heels of the future.  And I am trying desperately to change the course of my family’s outcome that was affected by my teen choices.

What I want for myself I also want for my children and my descendants.  I want to be “more than just a survivor” and I want my children and my descendants to be people that live life on the plus-side.  I guess what I am trying to express here is that I want my children and my descendants to be ordinary people doing extraordinary things!

This morning as I sat in the bathroom lost for words to pray about my current state of mind I picked up a book titled “The Power Of A Praying Woman” by Stormie Omartain.  Her words of wisdom confirmed that I am not alone in the sea of uncertainty, as her words of wisdom renewed my desire by reassuring with spiritual reminders God wants me to have life more abundantly.

I found Mrs. Omartain’s words so powerful and note worthy  that I shared them below:

More Than Just a Survivor

Stormie OmartianIf you’re like me, you don’t want to live the kind of life where you are barely hanging on.  You don’t want to merely eke out an existence, find a way to cope with your misery, or just get by.  You want to have the abundant life Jesus spoke of when He said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

We don’t want to be women who hear the truth but seldom act in faith to appropriate it for our lives.  We don’t want to be forever grappling with doubt, fear, insecurity, and uncertainty.  We want to live life on purpose and with purpose.  We find it boring to live like a baby, feeding only on milk.  We want the solid food of God’s truth so we can grow into a life that is exciting and productive.

None of us enjoys going around in circles, always passing through the same territory and coming back to the same problems, same frustrations, same mistakes, and same limitations.  We don’t want to become calloused, hard-hearted, bitter, unforgiving, anxious, impatient, hopeless, or unteachable.  We don’t want to end up with a negative attitude that says, “My situation will never be any different because it hasn’t been any different for a long time.”  We want to break out of any self-defeating cycle of repeated patterns and habits and be able to transcend ourselves, our limitations, and our circumstances.  We want to be more than just a survivor.

We want to be an overcomer.  We want to be a part of something greater than ourselves.  We want to be connected to what God is doing on earth in a way that bears fruit for His kingdom.  We want to have a sense of purpose in our lives.  We want to abound in God’s love and blessings.  We want it all.  All God has for us.  But we can never achieve that quality of life outside the power of God.  And then only as we pray.

 

 

Taboo Tuesdays: Learning to be Happy in Your Skin – Part III

MA Concerned Mom asked:

I have asked my friends and family a million times but nothing works maybe someone can give me something else to try? I have a daughter who is 5 she is half african american half white. She is a beautiful girl but she HATES her color (carmel). Ive tried explaining to her that she is beautiful and no matter what color she is she is beautiful. Ive tried explaining everything to her it dont work! My son is very pale color and she seems to be so jealous of him I even have a hard time getting her to go to her.dads house or family’s cause she dont want to be around “colored” people. Its like she resents them for her color! She often ask who God punished her and made her brown or if she can paint herself white. Please someone have tips? Im out of ideads..

Most often God is blamed for things people don’t like about themselves and or about their unhappy lives.  With such feelings come anger as disappointed hearts cultivate delusional thoughts.  Often when people chose not to believe in God or the belief that there is a universal creator they lack respect for life (self, others and non-human) on many levels.  I hope to convey in the this paragraph that when a person does not like themselves or their life they detach from the very essence of their spiritual being.

It is as if disappointment(s) in life make self-haters feel less human and void of any spiritual understanding.  At least that is how I felt and feel during moments of self-hatred.  With great remorse I must acknowledge the spirit of self-destruction most often comes with the feeling of self-hatred.

Moment of Revelation:  Oh!  My!  God!  If I could use words to describe my life up till this point they would be “I was a runaway caboose.”

Reflecting on my sad past makes me angry!  Very angry!  The mean spirited actions of others set my life on a course of living hell here on Earth!  What happen to me as a child shows the unrestricted boundaries concerning the cruelties of mankind.  Only mean and heartless people would and will make innocent children feel bad for whatever is deem as a social imperfection!  Sad!  Sad!  Sad!  Sad!  Sad!

Really!  Trust me when I write, I am very upset right now!  I am at the brink of tears!  How can people be so cruel to a little person!Taboo Tues Blog Photo

At this moment I feel like Jesus when he went into His temple, tossed over the money changers table and said in Matthew 21:13, “My Temple will be called a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”  

I believe several times within the Bible the body is reference as a temple.  I know for sure 1 Corinthians 6:19 states “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;”  Therefore, Christ is also concerned about the well-being of human temples because it contains part of the Holy Trinity.  With that stated it is noteworthy to recognize that the human body is considered holy.  Where as if children as well as adults are victimized by others the abuse robs the flesh that is also considered a holy place of its spiritual essence; thus, making wounded souls a den of thieves.

Next time I would like to discuss how wounded souls become thieves.  Until then I wish each and everyone a wonderful day!

 

The Prayers of Black Women: Gathering the Pieces of a Broken Marriage

Artist:  Unknown
Artist: Unknown

A week ago I was in a conversation with a friend.  Immediately, I found myself praying silently.  His words were upsetting.  His confidence was frightening.  And most noteworthy was his self-proclaim spiritual position as an ambassador for Christ.  Scary!  His words were without a doubt bloodcurdling.

If he had not came across as an insufferable know-it-all I could have drummed up some sympathy and informed him that his words were discouraging to his listeners, as they stopped him from making a difference.  With retrospect I must write, arrogant know-it-alls most often do more mental damage than the person that is doing the abusing.  There are effective ways to counsel a person in crisis and using tough love must be implemented at the correct time, or else nothing said or being done will help hurting people move forward with living their lives.

My friend was conversing with me loudly.  He spoke fast.  And with the combination of speaking loud and speaking fast he held the floor.  There was no room to exit the conversation, therefore, I found myself being victimized by his bitter words that held no comfort.  Again!

To my dismay I am realizing that my friend set me up.  He knows my present dilemmas.  He knew I could easily discuss them.  Therefore, he asked conversation starter type questions that would lure me in and prompt me to begin discussing my personal life.  Honestly, he was looking for a conversation that made him feel good about himself.  As why the first question out of his deceitful mouth was “Are you at a drive thru?”  When I answered with a hearty “No” then he proceeded with “What’s going on?”  After I began to tell him of my husband’s legal problems he became immediately argumentative.

He said things to this effect:  What good is your husband to you?  Why don’t you just get rid of him?  I thought you were going to get rid of him?  You sound like my momma.  She is forever complaining about daddy.  We the kids have told her to leave him.  I finally told her stop complaining about daddy.  I told her I was sick of hearing it.

Wow!  Right!  After hearing the bitter words he and his siblings have said and are saying to their aged mom, I didn’t feel sad for me any longer.  I came to his mother’s defense with stating “It is not that easy to leave a person when your lives are webbed together.”  He said, “Yes it is!”

Really!  Personally, I feel a marriage should never be easy to end unless a person’s life or mental wellbeing is being threatened.

I feel people with nomadic character traits can easily leave their spouses quickly without just cause.  But a person that has been married for over 50 plus years just can’t jump up and leave a perceivably abusive spouse.  It is not that easy!  So today I would like to pray for couples that are having marital problems and have been married for more years than they can remember.

Lord in your Holy word you say in Genesis 2:18b, “It is not good that the man should be alone:”

Lord there is numerous things that can be considered as marital problems; therefore, today, I would like to pray for those that are unhappily married.  Can you please spend your vacation with these couples for as long as they need you to stay?  Can you please take your Spirit of Comfort to bandage wounds sustained by marital conflict.  Can you collect their many tears and dry their eyes with promises of a brighter tomorrow.  Can you fill their hearts with love, unconditional love for the spouse they find unlovable.  Can you give those they consort with a spirit of understanding?  Can you give each spouse your spirit of truth on love, marriage, commitment, and divorce?  Can you give them joy where there is sorrow?  And most of all Lord, can you give them peace that surpasses all mankind’s understanding where there is conflict?  So all that loves them will not be affected by their marital woes.

Lord your word in John 6:12 say’s, “Gather the pieces that are leftover.  Let nothing be wasted.”  Please allow these couples to gather up their fragmented marital lives and bring the broken pieces to you so nothing from their marriage will be wasted.

Sincerely your faithful daughter,

Annette