Monday, April 11, 2016

Has Divorce become the Death Penalty of Adultery?

With the most recent divorce and back-into-the-dating-scene announcements by our beloved worship leader, multi Grammy awards winner Israel Houghton, once again Christendom must wipe in shame, justify in vain the failures of our leadership with cheap rhetoric such as:  nobody is perfect... let he who has not sinned cast the first stone... judge not..  at least he's owning up to on and so forth..
Is it possible the grace of God that we so love to sing about is just not enough to keep us from making of ourselves a laughingstock? Can a couple really recover from violent turbulence such as adultery? Has divorce become the death penalty of a marriage following adultery?

No woman/man that has known the sting of a cheating partner would wish it on another human being. The nefarious consequences of adultery are innumerable with every cheatee's (the person that has been cheated on) post-adulterous symptoms leading to the following:
  • lost of trust in the cheater
  • lost of trust in self
  • lost of trust in others
Usually with time, the last two are repairable but very scarcely is the first one. And this is my recommendation to address that first bullet. If you are a cheater but are remorseful and repentant of your behavior, and wonder how you "must" come clean to your spouse, then wonder no more: DO NOT confess to your spouse. Let me repeat, DO NOT CONFESS TO YOUR SPOUSE.
Before you jump on me about the importance of the "no secret" code, let me ask you some questions:

  • What's the purpose of you telling your spouse if he/she has not found yet? 
  • Is that to make you feel good or make her feel good?
  • Is that for her/him to love you more or trust you more? 
  • Is that to make her/him smile or cry? 
  • What goals are you trying to reach?

Hear me well, should you confess your crime to someone? Yes, but not your spouse. Find your pastor, your mentor, a trusted friend who will not spill the beans. But if he/she finds out, you MUST COME CLEAN. And whoever you choose must hold you accountable.                                

I believe it is possible for a couple to reconcile and even enjoy a better marriage after adultery provided the following conditions are met:

  1. The cheater and the cheatee are both FULLY committed to rebuilding their relationship.
  2. Both are willing to put God first before everything else. What does that mean in this context?     a. That means doing what the bible says rather than what we feel at the moment. For instance, the cheatee will undoubtedly experience bouts of anger and resentment that will need to be expressed. 

In such situation, the cheatee must resolve to NEVER express that anger in the presence of the cheater. Doing so will result in the cheater being discouraged and any ounce of progress towards reconciliation will be scraped.

     b. it is important that the cheater and cheatee agreed on a godly couple they can call on to unload
awry things going within the marriage. Such a couple must be mature and able to keep confidential

     3. the cheater ought to realize that the road to recovery will be very difficult and must make a lot of concessions. And of those concessions, transparency is the key: email passwords, phone records, expenses records must be shared voluntarily. Any wrong move can be misinterpreted as a recidivist action. The cheater must always be reassuring in his commitment and love, ready to acknowledge his stupidity and show regret. It will take time and effort for things to get back to normal.
    4. The cheatee must encourage intimacy and must be willing to hear hard truths like the reasons why the cheater has gone astray.
    5. Prayer and Fasting must be re-instated/reinforced within the couple. The couple must already be praying individually but also together to partner with the Holy Spirit to fight for their marriage and against any averse consequences of adultery.

Reality is that a couple that divorces after adultery, provided all of the above, is the result of a lack of
forgiveness. It's easier to move on to a new partner than holding onto the one we have using God's grace
- To resist the temptation to lash out at them
- To resit the temptation to remind the cheater of their wrongdoing
- Not to have to explain our every move
- Not to have to face the pain you caused in the eyes of your spouse.

And quite frankly, I've known unbelievers, non God-fearing people that have turned around their marriage and the wayward ways of one spouse. How much more triumphant could a Spirit-filled, God-fearing believer be in the face of such trial?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Miracles from Heaven --- A Review

If you're looking for an enjoyable family movie for this Easter weekend, look no further, 'Miracles
from Heaven' (MFH) has it! No violence, no cussing, no nudity..the perfect motion picture that would even make you jerf here and there.

Jennifer Garner performance is outstanding. She is fierce, believable and conveys the emotions of the scenes in a very convincing way. I got to admit this was a step up for Bishop Jakes, who is an exec producer, especially compared to some of his mediocre past ventures.
Garner or Mrs Beams portrays the faithful church going Sunday wife that has instilled the sense of God into her children but who is quick to doubt her faith, blame God and quit the church when things get tough. She is the everyday mom who's ready to lay down her life for her child. She's the mom who believes her child is perfect and deserves a perfect and happy life. That's why in the face of some well-meaning church people suggesting that her child illness may be caused by sin. Mrs. Beams barks and decides no to set her foot in the church ever again. However looked closely, were they so far off? Doesn't Jesus' answers to sick man, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you", suggest that sometimes, cause of our sickness could be our sins?

The movie asks difficult questions (e.g: why would such a loving God allows an innocent to be in pain, in sickness?) but shies away from answering them. However every mature believer should and must have a response to such question except for 'God is sovereign' aka 'I don't know'.
MFH is no 'War Room' nor 'Courageous', as a matter of fact there's only one instance where the name of Jesus is uttered and it's not even in the pastor's sermon nor the prayer moment. Was that intentional? This is a Jakes's movie, so let's drop the surprise act for we know that the Bishop doesn't want to scare away the crowds by flaunting to much Jesus on the Big screen. But Can we really preach the cross without the one that was crucified on it for our salvation? The one who came not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved?

Did I mention that Queen Latifah has a cameo in it? I didn't understand her part. I mean, she's a good actress, such a waste of talent unless of course she agreed to play it pro-bono.

'Miracles from Heaven' is a feel good movie that any reasonable human being with a heart of flesh will enjoy. It gets my thumb up.

HAPPY EASTER and remember, Jesus is still the reason for the season!

---Tresorly Yours---

Whatever people think of you will never change your destiny. However what you think of other people may change it.-- R.W.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Did I Kill My Dad?

     My dad passed away on March 20th , 2013 at 1:30pm EST. Daddy had been sick with but days before his passing, two things happen:
- I became marveled at a passage in the Scriptures i had read many times in the past and the first thought that crossed my mind was "I need to fast for 7 days ... for i need this thing that the Lord has given to his people". I nonchalantly started fasting. In fact it was a fast to explore if I could make it the whole seven days.
- then some days later, I had a very disturbing dream. The meaning was more frightening than the images I had seen. From that day on a knot formed in my stomach that i couldn't shake off. The interpretation was unmistakable: Daddy will not make it. At first, I shared the dream with one person who interpreted the same as I did. But I shook it off thinking "No, it can't be!" But the knot in my stomach persisted and dad pain grew worse by the day. I knew the hour was to prayer, I shared the prayer subject with our prayer partners folks. I was up at night at 3 or 4 am calling trusted friends for time in prayer. Even after all that, the knot didn't dissolve.
     Lastly, I called back home to instruct my dad on how to make peace with God. My biggest concern was that he'd make it to heaven. Although I knew He couldn't answer me back because of his excruciating pain, I asked that they put his phone over his ear so he could listen to my voice. All I heard was groaning, moaning and growling. I prayed fervently that he'll believe my message and address God in his heart.
Many years ago, Daddy had stepped in faith and confessed the Lord Jesus as his Lord and Savior but I also know that the lack of teaching had been detrimental to his spiritual journey thus bringing him back to square one. I didn't want to leave anything to chance. Therefore, I wanted to make sure the act of salvation had been set in stone in his heart.
On the day he breathed his last breath, I was sitting at my desk with the same knot in my stomach. And I heard the Holy Spirit say "Call your dad and tell him you love him". I immediately placed the phone call, requested to speak to dad. The moaning at that point was replaced with a heavy breathing and all i could say was "Daddy, it shall be well"...and ten to twenty minutes later, I got a phone call telling me he was no longer with us.
Had I taken my seven day fast seriously, would the outcome be different? Had I say "Daddy, I love you" as the Holy had clearly instructed, would it have made a difference? Has my sluggishness in promptly obeying God cost me my dad?

     Since then, I've been asking God to show me where dad is, in His Presence or away of His Presence? In heaven or in hell? Finally today (4/23/2013) I had a glimpse. For the first time since he passed away, I dreamed of my dad. We were sitting on a couch and he didn't seem happy to have been brought back to life. Does that mean he's so much enjoying the Presence of my Lord Jesus? Could it be that the Holy Spirit decided to put a rest to my quest? Or does the sadness I saw in the dream mean daddy is sad where he is? I'm asking for more. For I believe, if my God could show me before hand that Daddy wouldn't make it here on earth, He sure can show me if he made there in heaven.

Tresorly Yours
Tresor De Beaute

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My Pastor Doesn't Understand Why I Don't Want to "get involved" in His Church

     My Pastor doesn't understand why I don't want to "get involved" in his church. 95% of his messages has been geared towards trying to get me "connected". It's as if he had readied another sermon but as soon
as he spotted me in the audience, he would switch and get a swing at me.
     My love story with my church started four years ago (in April) when I landed (scratch that) drove in my city of opportunity. I googled it and decided to visit it. The first service reminded me of the church from my old city, so I decided to come back a 2nd time, then a 3rd, and so forth til now. When I joined it, I really wanted to get engaged in some area but was unable to for the majority of programs conflicted with my academic classes in the MBA program. Then, expansion birthed in my Pastor's heart and the congregation moved to the newly renovated Gymnasium, that's when God stepped in and clearly deployed His expansions plans. Some party got very interested in the church property and made so much of a good offer that it couldn't be turned down. There we were, moving again but this time from our old location to a new one, much further away from my residence. Now by this time, I couldn't even entertain the idea to commit myself to any religious activism. I had experienced such a move of and was conscience of the presence of God in my life that I couldn't afford to be just to be. But from now on, every step ought to count towards advancing the Kingdom, building and leaving a legacy for the next generation to come. Singing in the choir, going to 
the youth meeting and participating in sporadic religious busyness as I had done in the past was no longer an option, nor enough, nor a fulfillment to my calling, or should say our calling?
     I married a crazy in love with God  kind of guy. His assignment and eventually our assignment in the Kingdom is beyond what I could ever imagine for myself. As a mentor once told me, your dream should make you cry if not, then it's not big enough. This assignment which is a dream of ours, makes me cry. The consciousness of the heaviness of the task obliges us to plead before God day and night, for His grace, Wisdom and Science. It goes without say that, a God assignment requires God's tools in character, commitment and strategy. Such a partnership leaves no place for church logrolling even for His name's sake. I have learned early in my walk before Him that it's always best to obey Him by doing what He'd ask from you rather than try to please by doing what you think He likes.
Disclosure: I have nothing against church activity, I believe it's a necessary platform for many to clearly identify their God purpose. However, I must point out, every impacter at some point had taken time away from the public to produce, then came back to present their chef d'oeuvre, may it be the performer, the scientist or men/women of God, the process is idem. Except, in the latter's case, that isolation from the public, imparts them with a dual role, one of  a receiver and a giver. As you receive from God, you can give out. They are stripped from the perpetual role of a herd follower. In addition, a lot of people who produce the work of the Lord are rarely found in church. I know of a couple, wonderful, filled of the Spirit whose hearts are totally committed to the cause of the Kingdom. They were involved in their church until one day, led by the Spirit they stopped and started focusing solely on the increasing and persistent voice they've been hearing for some time.
Clarification: to stop church activities does mean to stop fellowship. Fellowship after all is one of the main pillars of spiritual growth as instituted by the Apostles [Acts 2:42] and sadly, most times church activities or attendance doesn't imply fellowship.
In any case, my Pastor still doesn't understand why I don't want to "get involved" in his church.

What's your reason not to get involved in your church?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What Went Wrong? Find out N Make a U-Turn.

- Some years ago, during a casual conversation with a sister in Christ, she admitted that she was dating a  married guy whenever he would show up in town,  when he wasn't there, there was "nobody to even scratch her back." [end quote]

- Another sister in Christ, after sharing her marital woes with me, I asked her if her husband was a born-again christian? Her reply, he deceived me, i thought he was but found out later [after marrying him] he wasn't.

- "I have a very strong sexual appetite" confession of a christian believer when inquiring about rule participation at a swinger club.

- "Yes, I slept with her husband" another confession from a sister in Christ who was accused of adultery with her friend's husband while being married herself.

Such examples of drifting children of God are legion. They are not Pastors or Ministers of the Gospel but lay people who at one point in time where strong believers and even leaders in their community. What happened that the shift in their behavior makes them unrecognizable? What was the catalyzer?

Bill Johnson says that "No one is ever deceived except they first compromise." Opportunities to compromise always show up when we face a difficult situation and instead of trusting God's timing or God's promise, we take the matter into our own hands.
 - We want a husband, we want a wife, but there is no viable prospect, therefore we hang out with people we wouldn't and end up marrying people we shouldn't.
 - We want kids but there's no husband, therefore we settle to have at least our kids (the natural way).
 - We crave so much for more money that we conceive ill projects to overflow our wallet with cash like opening a subscription paying porn web site (an idea once suggested by a born again, water baptized believer. We laughed off the idea at the time. But a brief minute of reflection made wonder how we even got to that point.

Whatever the scenario, we end up finding ourselves in less than desirable situations, wondering if God still care,s or adjusting ourselves and trying to make the best out of them. One thing we must realize though, is that He is patiently waiting for our return to our first love, hanging on his arm is a robe he had prepared just for us, a robe of grace, a robe of mercy, a robe of celebration. He is waiting for us to get back into a co-laboring role where we would no longer take decisions on our own then invite Him to bless them, but instead welcome His input, and trust that His instructions and timing are the best for our lives. How do we do that? 

1- Repent. That was our Lord's first sermon over 2000 years ago and it is as relevant today as it was then: Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand. God is still in the restoration business but his job can only begins when we decide to purchase his services.
2- Tell the Lord that you're willing to listen to Him, remind Him of his promise to change your heart and give you one that can keep his instructions and obey Him diligently*.

You may not identify yourself with any of the scenarios above but you're finding yourself in place where you've lost your connection to your heavenly Father and are longing to get it back.

Heavenly Father,
I'm so sorry for all the wrong I've done. I'm sorry for my rebellion against You. Please forgive me. Change my heart and give me one that can keep your precepts and delight in your Word. In Jesus' name I've prayed. Amen!

*[Ezech 36:26-27]

Tresorly Yours,
Tresor De Beaute.

Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 - Weight Loss-The New Diet

I never start my new year resolution on the first day of the new year, always a month or two before.
This way, by the time new year starts I'm already well-established in my new routine and more focused to reach my goals.
New year resolution 2013, I decided to lose some weight that I packed on the last two years. Hence, I came up with the perfect diet plan. I know it's perfect because today, December 31st 2012, I just lost exactly one third of that weight. When it comes to weight loss, I only got one motivation: I used to be lighter and loved the way it felt and I want that feeling back!
If it is not clear, I'm referring to weight in dollars not in pounds!
Although my motivation steers more from a personal satisfaction, I've gathered biblical precepts to give us a good grasp on why it is important to our Lord for us to be debt free:
  1.  Being debt free frees us to love one another: Owe no one except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. [Rom 13:8]. As my mentor says, No one admires the one they owe (Dr. MM), may it be an individual or an institution. 
  2. Evil men borrow but do not repay their debt [Ps 37:21]. Evil can also be as subtle and less obvious as not paying back what we owe. I sure don't want to be an evil person at the eyes of the Lord.
  3. Being debt free, restores our trust unto the Lord: Every time we take on debt, we basically tell the Lord that we do not trust his providence, therefore we take the matter onto our own hands.
Although Debt is not a sin, it's a weight (David Oyedepo). Moreover, the borrower is a servant to the lender [Prov22:7]. And if there's one who qualifies for my servant-hood, it's nobody else but my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
Now the question is How do we lose weight? How do we get out of debt? The first logical answer is: by paying it off.  When the widow came to Elisha, he told her "Go sell the oil and pay your debt" [2Kg 4:7]. 
  1. Each paycheck, I set aside 10% amount, the tithe which represents God's part of my income. It's a way for me to Honor Him with and tell Him Thank you for everything in my life: the air I breathe, my family, our health, our well-being, our income,  our ministry, the enjoyments of life...everything.
  2. Then, I attack the credit card with the lowest amount owed. Since my goal is to pay it off in one year (you can set yours to six months or less), I divide the total by 24 (for an average of 24 paychecks) to see how much will be required per paycheck to reach my goal.
  3. I ask the Holy Spirit, determination to stay on target, wisdom on how to get through and make it, and peace for to each day its burden so I will not carry yesterday load onto the present.
  4. I reward myself: I don't spend what I do not have but I open the credit card account and enjoy the shrinking balance.
That's my diet, I've tried it and it works. Let me know of a successful diet of your own.

Happy New [Resolution] Year 2013!!

Tresorly Yours,
Tresor De Beaute

Friday, July 27, 2012

Shouting the blessings of the Lord--Part II: A Detailed Account of My Laid Off

  Before I get into my mold breaking, I would like to expand a little bit on the necessity of shouting your blessing:
 - First, you bring honor to God by recognizing Him as the author, the One who made it possible, for every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights*. Tell him Thanks if you have an income while unemployment is at all time high 8%. Tell Him thanks if you have a roof over your head and are current on my mortgage while your neighbor just foreclosed. Tell Him Thanks if you haven't set your foot inside a hospital building. Tell Him thanks! if you haven't been involved in an accident. Tell Him thanks, thanks and thanks!
 - Second, you open the door to more, and to success. As my mentor, Dr Mike Murdock, says "The Thankful always succeed".

     Now my mold breaking. It all started in January after two series of prayer and fasting, one launched by our prayer group and the other a 21-day fasting and prayer launched by our church. I came out of that refreshed, ready to tackle the year with a new attitude.  I had a solid plan: finish my MBA (it was my last semester) then look for another job, finally pour myself into one or two personal projects.
     The 2nd week of February 2012, the hammer fell. I got axed. Along with at least four hundred people, we were shown the door, holding in our hands our little goodbye package. It wasn't a pink slip, rather a white envelope. I had a class presentation in the evening and was wondering if I'd be able to keep my cool.
Sadness set in and lasted for the entire week-end and nobody could get me out of it. Then panic took hold of me, how would I pay for my bills? when will I find another job? How long will it take me? Where will it be?
When I caught myself worrying about all that, I wondered how I could worry about a tomorrow that's never guaranteed? That's how panic left. Nevertheless, I frantically applied for jobs everywhere and anywhere I could. Surprisingly, nothing panned out although I'm in a field with the rate of unemployment of less than 4% and a specialty very in demand.

      As I spent spring break out of town, I attended a Sunday service where a mighty man of God ministered. It's only then that the Lord spoke to me and told me that I must fast for my job. So I took a 4-day fast on water only, coupled with prayer nights and the Word. By then, we were in mid April, with graduation approaching, I kept begging the Lord that I needed a job that I could start right after I'd done with school. However, this time around it was no longer with panic but peace in my heart.
     One Sunday morning, at my home church a guest Pastor, Bishop Williams preached on "getting back everything that we lost" based on I Sam 30. As he was preaching, I was stirred to give. But I had no money and Offering time had already passed. The Holy Spirit reminded me of $100.00 (one hundred dollars) I had hidden in my purse. The money wasn't mine, someone had given it to me to remit it to someone else. So the Holy Spirit said: "give it now, you can replace it." Although the service had already ended, I put the offering in the envelope.
     The week that followed, I got a phone call from a recruiter for an opportunity I had applied for unsuccessfully a while ago. I passed the phone interview with flying colors and got called for a face2 face interview. When I got there, the hiring manager said this was just a chance for me to ask any questions I may have and that the job was mine if I wanted to. There was no interview, just a tour visit.
On my way back, I got a phone call from the company making an offer with the exact salary I've always claimed I'd be making by age 30 + 10% bonus, which altogether amounts to a 40% increase.
     I don't consider myself the most learned or even an expert in my field despite my experience, but the Wisdom of God says, The race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong**. And it also says "Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you." ***
     Walking in obedience to the Lord calls upon his blessings, when you do your part God has no choice but to do His. I hope this little account of my blessing is giving you hope and courage to keep moving forward with your faith. Or maybe it's an interpellation to get right with the Right One. If so, just talk to Jesus like you would any person, tell Him about what you're going through, even if you have doubts (the first disciples had doubts but He still welcomed them****). He's been waiting for you.

** [Eccl9:11]

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