Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Redemption from the Pit


I kind of hate these post after a long unannounced break. They're always hard to start.
Part of my absence came from just being so busy this semester. I've been juggling different clubs i'm a part of, school, and personal issues like crazy and they've literally left me with hardly any time to sleep- let alone blog. I am on winter break though so I have more time to blog now that I did before (and hopefully next semester will be less busy as well).

However, the large reason for my absence comes from this snag i've hit in my spiritual life- God' been, as I stated in my last post, revealing a lot of different fruitless branches in my life and I'm having a hard time of letting a lot of those branches go. It's rooted in this complicated issue of pride and also my difficulty in allowing redemption to overflow in areas that I've made ill choices in.

Because of all these things I did play around with the idea of maybe just going on a blogger hiatus while I get my act together but then I remembered that one of the main reasons I started this blog was to be completely honest, as an exercise in transparency, with where I am in my spiritual life. That obviously must include my downs as well as the ups.

Therefore, I'm writing from a ever more broken spirit- one aware of my limitations and just how much God's grace is sufficient to complete me in areas I just cannot complete myself.

SO. What have I been doing in my life.
I'm still going through the book of psalm (which probably should have been done by the middle of the semester). My devotional life hasn't really recovered from the summer sorry to say. During today's quiet time, though, this passage really touched my heart:

"Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's"
Psalm 103:2-5

This was a verse I think I needed to hear. More than ever I forget what God provides for me in this life. Especially the line that says "who redeems your life from the pit". That's largely how I feel right now, that my own sin has led me to fall in a pit that's too grand for me to climb out myself. If you know me, you know that a large part of my spiritual walk if validated by what I feel the spirit is moving within me say, act, read, etc. To feel nothing is the worst thing of all. But God is good and he is faithful and works even when my hardened heart cannot sense it.

If nothing else, I know I can praise God for never giving up on me. For never letting me go. No matter how much I may push away, his arms are always outstretched ready to grab a hold of me when I have enough sense to run back to him.

"The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;"
Psalm 103:8-13


Monday, August 16, 2010


My Bad?

Just as an update as to where i've been- i promise i didn't just drop the blogging for no reason. This summer i was in Washington DC doing training with Greenpeace with a progam called the Greenpeace Organizing Term. I won't get too into it because i don't really want to adversite, but if you want to read more about what that is, you can check out the homepage.

Anyways, I considered this summer as not only preperation for my future career as a girl with an activist spirit- but a small dose of what the rest of my life will be- balancing my career in a secular world and keeping my heart right and close to God. I'll be the first to admit that I didn't do that great of a job this summer. However, i learned an important lesson that God has been hinting at a bit for this season of my life.

I've been blessed to have been seaking God at such a young age- and to have been always seeking and trusting him for all my life. However, with that growth came a lot of times when God has had to humble my heart- I struggle with pride in my own relationship with Christ. I depend on myself to seek Christ because a lot of the times, i've had to seek him on my own. And even though I know the importance of community and struggle to find communion with other christians, i suppose i've never made the real connection between a community being my own support group to keep me in check with my walk.

I'm going into my third year of College and i've learned a lot about my imperfections. First off, the more busy i become i realize that things i struggled with become magnified. The birth of the blog, for example, was to help my be consistent with my devotions- something i have really stuggled with this summer (hence the lack of blogging). Secondly, I tend to assume that my role within a community will be as a leader of some kind (whether as a youth leader, bible study leader, small group leader, etc.) and therefore i do not articulate my struggles but instead suppress mine as I help people with theirs.

I've been aware of my pride and i've started to work on it and i'm aware of my need to find someone to be completely accountable to- which i think God has helped me find. However, I am now more aware than ever of the role that a christian community plays in my relationship with God. Surrounding yourself with people who constantly are seeking a relationship with God encourages you to keep seeking a relationship with God. being surrounded by people who love God and acts out God's love encourages you to do the same too. You remember things you tend to forget when you let yourself get caught up with the world- it keeps you grouned and reminds you of what is more important in life.

I guess I felt like i needed to post this because I've started to understand how much of a stumbling block this righteous pride has become in my heart. I've also truly started to understand what it means when Christians, including myself, say that we cannot do this alone. A fellow blogger posted a comment on a poem i wrote a few months back when i was going through a different kind of struggle and it just encouraged my heart because it reminded me that even though we always stumble and always fall short, God has the strength and power to make us stand in him

This year I'm going to be busier than ever and i'm probably going to fall and stumble all over the place. However i am confident that as long as I continue to have an attitude that hungers after my Father, He will fill my cup with his peace, wisdom and strength.

Praise be to the Father, who uses his broken people to glorify Him who is good. : )

Peace be with you.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Life as a "Stud"

Just found this spoken word via facebook. I think it's really interesting and really deep. Let me know what you think of it. It's a little long but worth it:

For anyone who doesn't know. A 'stud' is a black masculine lesbian.
**EDIT: I decided to add more onto this video just because 4am gives you little sense to think analytically.

I find this identity of being a 'Stud' very interesting. I'm not that familiar with the LGBT community- or familiar enough to know lingo and popular theories about different things but I know that there is a focus on the idea of sex and gender roles.

From what I understand (and someone correct/educate me if i'm wrong), the question is what is a man and what is a woman. There is the sexual difference between male and female, and there is the gender man and woman. The argument is that gender roles are constructed by society: men are aggressive, athletic, hunters, protectors, leaders, etc; women are care givers, sensitive, passive, easily flustered, etc. These are roles that are taught not natural. I think this is an important argument to hone in on because it is counter what many Christians believe. Up until a few months ago, i did not seriously think about the two different mindsets. Scientifically I know the only difference between both sexes are the two chemicals. If a male takes estrogen pills, he develops female parts and features and vice versa. Personally I do believe that there are character differences between men and women that are natural but i do also believe that there are things that we learn to act like. The question is where is that line if there is a line at all?

The discussion of gender and sex is presented in this video. If you have not seen or heard of a stud, it may be hard to grasp what she's talking about. Stud is a term used to describe a group of individuals within the homosexual community. In the white lesbian couple it would be the girl who acted more 'butch' but it goes beyond that. The Stud plays out the male gender role: watches sports, wears the clothes, protects the girl, is a rock. She is the dominant role. So both roles are there, they just so happen to involve two females.

Like I said, i don't know much about the dynamics of the LGBT community, but like the speaker said- a lot of these women do have a past of abuse or harassment or abandonment and I wonder if that is being played out here (Lord knows the black community's family structures are really shaky). The speaker in the video describes the girl that the 'Stud' is with as broken: wanting a masculine figure but not a man. The speaker also described herself during that time as not being comfortable with herself so dressing to try and hide it and be something opposite.

I also found the speaker's definition of choice interesting. The idea that being born in sin opens up the the choice of sin. There will always be a temptation that we will struggle with but it's only acting upon that temptation that makes it a sin. We still have the choice to act on that idea or to run to God with it. idk, it was a revelation that clears up a lot for me and should be noted.

That is all. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing."
Psalm 34:8&9

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34:18

"A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned; the Lord redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him."
Psalm 34:19-22

Peace be with you.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's been so long!

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake

Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Psalm 23

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"All Animals Are Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others"

I'm sorry that I don't post that much on here. It usually takes a large chunk of my day to write a thorough post and 3hrs + school work + student organizations + stress = no time to blog.
First i would like to formally say hi to everyone who started following me! one day i have 3 followers, the next day it's up to 10- that's a ptL to me :). Please don't be afraid to leave a comment- i love hearing other ppl's views and it really is a blessing to me.

Currently i'm reading through psalms and i'm just loving every minute of it. I've put reading this book off for the longest time and i'm glad I did. I don't think that I have been able to truly praise God up until this point of my walk with Christ so reading psalm any time before then just didn't mean that much to me. I could go on about how beautiful and passionate each chapter is but i'll stop before this post gets too long.

I've been coming across a few verses that really jump out at me:
"The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.Those who know me will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you."- Psalm 9:9&10

"But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless."- Psalm 10:14

"You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more."- Psalm 10:17-18

God has such a sense of humor. If you read my homosexuality post, at the end i stated that even though I identify myself with several worldly things, i first find my identity in Christ. It did not take God too long to test that statement. Recently i have been struggling with my identity as a human rights activist (and an environmental activist though both go together in my eyes) and i have had a hard time distinguishing this identity with my Christian identity- that's because i do not make a stand or associate myself with anything unless i feel like its biblically backed it up. Honestly i'm not completely out of this trial, but God is opening my eyes.

God hates injustice. He hates wickedness and he hates evil. It has taken me this long to understand that injustice does include the injustice that we see happening around the world. The people dying from starvation because their governments are withholding food from them, God hates. The people who are dying from polluted water and who cannot afford to buy fresh clean water because large water companies are asking too high of rates, God hates. The people in places like Iran, who are killed every day because they are publicly demanding that their governments play fair, God hates. Israeli-Palestinian Conflict- God hates that too (as in the countless injustice that happens on both sides).
All injustice, God hates.

But what do we do? What can be done?

Being in school, learning about International Relations 'stuff' like global governments, theories, systems, economics, etc- that is a major question that we try to answer. How do we bring justice to ALL injustice? How do we do this without creating more injustice? How do we bring justice and after that peace? How do we evolve into a society that can bring justice and peace for eternity?
How we yearn for peace. A time where there is no pain, there is no suffering, there is no hunger and there is no poverty. But no matter how much we may try, we cannot bring it. There will always be evil in the world as long as there is sin.

However, God- a being that is all good, all powerful, all knowing, and all holy- can bring that justice. I take the example that nature gives us. From far away- everything seems simple, primitive, even chaotic. But if you look closely- you see that all things are interconnected. There is a system that keeps everything working as it should.
It is the same with our lives. I believe that everyone's death happens for a reason. I believe that even though God is a God of justice, he is also a God of grace. Therefore, we may wonder where God is when ppl are victims of another persons wickedness, but I think we have to realize that it might be because God is giving them a chance to turn around- He did that with St. Paul after all. God hates evil, but he loves so much, that he will give evil-doers as much of a chance as everyone else change and do good.

That is the kind of love and grace that we could never show- and that is why we can never bring justice by ourselves. We may try to fool ourselves into believing that 'all men are equal' but the reality is that we also believe '...some are more equal than others' (to take a line from Animal Farm).
There are some people who you would rather see drop dead, than walk away free with no consequence. There are some people who you may be able to forgive but God help you if you ever forget. There are some people who you know have done such evil that if you saw them today, you know you would go on a righteous kill. It's that attitude that makes us human, and it's the ability to separate that feeling and giving grace anyway that makes God, God.

However, God is still a just God, and even though he brings grace, he is holy and cannot dwell with wickedness. Therefore. If a wicked man dies a wicked man- refusing to turn back to God, there will be justice that takes place. And it will be justly deserved, and it will be followed by peace.

Revelation Song:

Peace Be with You,

Sunday, February 21, 2010

To My Father that Deserves Praise

O LORD, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!

Many are saying of me,
"God will not deliver him."

But you are a shield around me, O LORD;
you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.

To the LORD I cry aloud,
and he answers me from his holy hill.

I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.

I will not fear the tens of thousands
drawn up against me on every side.

Arise, O LORD!
Deliver me, O my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.

From the LORD comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.

Psalm 3

How Great and Wonderful is our God. Our savior, our protector, our refuge, our rock. He is a God of Justice and of peace. A God that created all things and all that is to come. He holds power and time in his just and good hands- yet he loves us, the insignificant and sinful ant compared to time, so dearly. He has promised that he will raise us higher than the angels, and that we will dwell with him for eternity. And we know his word is good because all that he speaks is truth.

Hallelujah- Blessings be on the most High- and his son Jesus Christ!

Peace be with you.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Violent Change of Identity


This is the topic i have decided to write on, and it's a topic that i'm least excited to talk about. That is not because it isn't interesting or important, but because it's definitely a church breaker. This has been something that i have struggled with, not sexual orientation wise, but faith wise. Where does God stand on homosexuality?
A few months back i prayed for God to put my spirit at rest about this subject, and i believe that He has. Before i tackle the subject I will let you in on the nature of my struggle.

I have many friends in the Church who are uncomfortable around homosexual people and who may use derogatory comments like 'that's Gay'- which is not ok with me. I believe that the best way to allow God to move is to show love to those outside of the church so i do my best to not offend. I also am uncomfortable with advocates against things like gay marriage, the homosexual culture, etc. in the church. I believe that

1. the way the church changes the society that we live in is through prayer and demonstrating Christ-like love
2. Hate is not something of God (however, i also do not believe in hindering an individual's duty as a citizen to vote for things that he or she believes in- that's what democracy is)
3. The thing that we as Christians are fighting against is not man, but Satan. we are part of a spiritual battle, not a physical one- fight accordingly, and
4. Focusing on just one sin- and not even, a majority of homosexual people don't get up and choose to be the way they are- is wrong. homosexuality is not any worse than murder, lying, stealing, greed, etc. everyone- saved or not- are sinners. The only difference is that we recognize our sinfulness and repent from it, constantly.

Because of these beliefs, i put the 'fight' against homosexuality in the same boat as the 'fight' against abortion- a worldly distraction from what God called us to do. the Great Commission wasn't to preserve the faith, but to spread the faith (and to continuously purify in the process).

Unfortunately, we are in a situation now where we need to spread the faith but the faith does not match up with what society deems as 'right'- and that is where my dilemma comes in. Personally, I really wish it did. As a black woman and a Christian I am against the discrimination of any group of people. However, my faith frames what that equality looks like and, therefore, my equality is different from the world's equality.

Where does God stand on Homosexuality.
So what's my Answer?

I could spend a load of time putting up scripture, talking theology, and interpreting certain verses but i'm not going to. Because even though, i believe, the bible is clear on it's stance on homosexuality, people still find things to argue about within those scriptures.

Instead, i will say this:
Christianity is different from other belief systems because in order to practice it properly, you cannot look at as a religion- or even a lifestyle. It is not something that helps me deal with the reality i find myself in. It is not a tradition that has been practiced in my family or in my community for many years. What it is, is an invitation. It is the understanding of the reality that we all live in: God created man to love, man fell away from God- entered sin, God loved us so much anyway that he gave up his son- a part of himself- to save us from our sin, this human manifestation of God died for our sins and rose again, and this process of shedding blood and resurrection created a bridge that connected us, sinful humans, to the holy God. The invitation is for us to Join God's family- Jesus Christ being our older brother and us adopted children of God. The byproduct of taking that invitation is the peace and joy that we have now that we are in God's family but the real prize is, even though we deserve it, salvation from the eternal fire and all that comes from being part of the family that has rule over all things- in short, Grace.

Knowing now, the nature of Christianity, we need to recognize what it means to take that invitation. I take the example of the Rich Young Ruler in Matthew 19. He asked Jesus what it is that he needs to do in order to gain eternal life- as he has already kept the law:

"Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth." (Matthew 19: 21&22)

Jesus knew this young man was rich and he knew that he kept the commandments. However, he made it clear to this rich young man that keeping the commandments were not enough- in order to receive eternal life (the invitation into God's family), one must give up all that he has in this life, for it. People usually look at this scripture to mean physical possessions but i would just bring up that possessions for a rich man is not just things, but an identity. His riches is what makes him, him. That is why he was sad on hearing this, because he knew he would have to give up what came with his riches- maybe a title, respect, certain responsibilities he enjoyed having, in order to have the eternal life God has for him.

Therefore, understand that taking God's invitation shouldn't be done lightly- there is a requirement from us. It is a violent change of who we are- nothing should come before the identity we find in Christ.

It is more than possible to be homosexual and Christian. It is also very possible to, for a time, have no sense of guilt for holding on to this identity and holding on to the Faith. However, if God's word and truth convicts the heart- and that goes for everyone- remember that God does not change for our own glory, we change for God's glory. That is the exchange that we willingly make when we accept God's invitation. If we are going to be part of the Father's family, we have to follow the rules of the house- and His rule is that we leave everything that we are and that we have at the door.

My name is Tabitha. I am a Jamaican, an American, a black woman, a global citizen, an environmentalist, a photographer, a college student, a human rights activist, a heterosexual, but first and foremost I am a follower of Christ. And i would give up all those other things if God wanted me to because his Love is much more worth it.

I do not wish to offend anyone, But i also know that sometimes speaking Truth doesn't come sugarcoated. I encourage all my brothers and sisters to ask God to reveal to them what identity or possession they may have a hard time giving up. Then pray for strength to overcome it.
I'm sorry it was such a long entry, I promise to shorten it next time.

A song before I finish- He loves Us

David Crowder also sings this song in his new album.

Peace be With You,
Tabby <3

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Covers

I just downloaded David Crowder's new album Church Music and i really like his cover of "All Around Me" by flyleaf. I will share with you now:

You can find the original flyleaf version Here.

While i was on youtube, i found another cover, but it was flyleaf doing "you are my joy/Inside out." I'm not that into christian hardrock- no offense, but i find it kind of tasteless but i do respect it- the more ways people worship God the better.

Here are the links to You are my Joy and From the Inside Out...and no i don't know what's up with the dress and pants combo, but it looks like she does it a lot (whatever the sister wants to do tho :P)

I'll probably make another post tomorrow b/c i have a good topic to talk about ^_^

Peace Be With You,
Tabby <3

"For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with the inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you."
Acts 17:23