Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Always Remind Me

Always remind me of your mercy on me
So I may show the same mercy unto others
Always remind me of where I had fallen
So I may not think I'm better than others
Always remind me of your goodness towards me
So I may show the same goodness towards others
Always remind me of what you have suffered because of me
So I may remember that life at times is unfair
Always remind me of the dirt I used to be
So I may keep the purity I now am
Always remind me of the gift you have given me
So I may also share it with others
Always remind me of my weaknesses and vulnerabilities
So I may always rely on your strength and invulnerabilities
Always remind of how beaten I was
So I may recall of the rewards of life based on unrighteousness and lies
Always remind me of your righteousness and truth
So I may always remember there's nothing better than to have you hover me

 Stay Tuned, Stay Bold, Stay Beautiful
Tresor De Beaute

The good I tried to do Was thrown back in my face
The hurt and the pain brought tears to my eyes
But God has replaced a blessing For every tear that I've cried

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Gift of Repentance

     Scandals in church are as old as time: brothers killing their own brothers (Cain and Abel), kids sleeping with their dad's wife for all to see (Absolom), king sending hoi polloi to war to be killed and get their wives (King David), fellas slandering one another, the list goes on. They are still happening today, divorces, who slept with who, drugs abuse, abortion, homosexuality, pedophilia and more. And all of us at one point in time or for a time period, have stood on either side of the fence as a victim or as a perpetrator. To the victim I say, pray til your soul is totally restored, to the perpetrator I'd say, pray til the gift of repentance is given to you and your soul is totally restored. And this brings me to what  I would like to talk about: The Gift of Repentance.
     The fact remains that none of us is perfect, we all have our little shenanigans: lies (white or black), bad thoughts, porn, unforgiveness, impurity, adultery, slander, self-righteousness..., thus we're condemned to hurt one another one way or the other regardless of how much we may love one another. Fortunately we all possess the ability to say: "I'm sorry" or "Forgive me" and that's called repentance. Now, what I call the Gift of Repentance is not only to say "I'm sorry" and to truly mean it but to also go one step further and renounce our ways!! Was this the case, so many partnerships, friendships, camaraderies would be healed and get stronger.
     Unfortunately, our tendency as Christian perpetrators is to do bad and to confess to God, then do bad again then confess to God. Well this works if and only if your badness is only affecting you and you alone. In the case where more than one person are involved, we must ask for forgiveness not only to God but also to all the parties involved AND renounce our ways. Sadly, we treat our badness like cocaine, we inhale it and its magic works on us. Then we tried to stop using it but we can't, we try harder but we still can't. We're hooked, we're trapped, we're addicted.
     Henceforth, we need God's grace to intervene in our favor. There are many of us who take resolution "I will no longer do this"..."This is the last time" but who for some reasons can't help themselves. To them I say please persevere for the God of the Bible will let himself found by you if you truly seek him with all your heart. We Christians have altered the word of God by saying "We won't watch, we won't pray and we won't fall into temptation" says H.W. Resenting what God says doesn't make it less true nor does misinterpreting it to our own advantage. If we don't watch and don't pray, we will fall into temptation, square and fair.
     When I started my program of  "Starting Over Start From Scratch", in prayer and lamentations (sometimes you have to get them tears out), I resolved to ask for forgiveness from all I knew I had purposefully offended with no harm incurred from them. To get there, I had to do some soul searching, wondering about the height from which I had fallen. Then, I had to repent and start doing the things I did at first. Sometimes, to resume doing the things we did at first, requires a change of scenery, a change of garments or even a change of friends. It requires a total disassociation with things of the past, anything that or anyone who has partaken to our downfall, otherwise history is condemned to repeat itself.
     Repentance is a gift from above to the repentant. To repent does not merely mean to plead guilty to all charges, but also to renounce our ways. The latter may take more than one try, or two or even three, whatever the number may be, let's just not give up.

Stay Tuned, Stay Bod, Stay Repentant
Tresor De Beaute

Monday, September 20, 2010

Manipulation: Modern Day Witchcraft

     I'm sure at some point, each one of us has been a victim of or has exercised this new age, modern day witchcraft: manipulation.  Recently, back in our country, there has been a case of raw witchcraft in which a grown up human being, presumably male, was found immersed in a jar of mayo. As Africans, we're used to extreme cases scenarios of witchcraft. Hence we're raised with suspicion of certain tribes. The Bamilekes people are trained to avoid any type of alliance: acquaintance, friendship, comradeship, marriages with the Bassa'a tribe because their high involvement in witchcraft. I remember back in the days, I was thinking there weren't such in White people's countries until I crossed the Atlantic and landed here in the States.
     It's only recently during a conversation with a friend that I realized that witchcraft truly exists here although under a more subtle and more destructive form: Manipulation.
     The first place where I encountered that plague was among Christians. There was these two couples who were friends, one had more financial means than the other. The wife from the less fortunate couple would call the husband of the other couple to ask for money, lamenting of hardship, meanwhile the husband would call the wife of the more fortunate couple and do the same thing. This is an example of 3rd degree witchcraft.
We women, use this tool all the time against the men in our lives, we cry, we nag, we weep all that in an attempt to have them do something for us.
     Another instance is the one where a husband or so he called himself would tell his wife to sympathize with her friend who was going through some difficult time, would convince his wife (or so he called her) to invite the friend over for a few days, would ridiculed his wife's warning about the so called friend. Then a few months later, the wife discovered the whole conundrum was all a make up to cover the cheating ways of the husband: This is 2nd degree witchcraft.
     A last one that I think is the killer is the instance involving a Christians and a Non-Christian fellas. Someone related me a story of Christians vs. Muslims in Nigeria. The Muslims had come to exterminate the Christians, they murdered plenty of them and repeated the same operation twice. Meanwhile, a Muslim who had recently converted to Christianism, witnessed the whole injustice and decided to open a warehouse of weapons and gave to his Christians brothers. Hence the 3rd time when the Muslims came back to finish their job, they met with a very fierce adversity and that brought back peace. People often think that because you're a Christian you 're not supposed to claim justice when you've been done wrong. You'll often hear them say, "oh, and then she'll say that she's a Christian" or "oh yeah, if it's to talk about God this.. God that... he's very good at it." And so they use those tricks to manipulate those who are weak in characters. This is 1st degree witchcraft as it wraps up all the two types above. Personally, I believe it's a matter of wisdom when dealing with anyone that has done you wrong. There are times you can decide to let go and other when you should, no, you MUST fight back.
Stay Tuned, Stay Bold, Stay away from witchcraft
Tresor De Beaute

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Never Will I Be Able To Thank You Enough

Never will I be able to thank you enough
Never will I be able to express my gratitude enough
You rescued me from a certain death
From the rescue I lost my breadth
The things that I first looked at as jeopardy
Now are at the heart of my party
I cried I mourned I sobbed
It felt like a surgery without anesthesia
I could have turned like Fantasia
No morphine no medicine could attenuate the pain
And a deep pain it was but I had to face it again and again
As time went by my vision that was once blurrier
Became clearer
And now I can understand better
The scar is there to remind of what once was
Also a reminder of what now is
Now is peace
After all how would we appreciate peace
Hadn't we known war?
Now is happiness
How would we appreciate happiness
Hadn't we known sadness?
Now is delightfulness
How would we appreciate delightfulness
Hadn't we known resentment and bitterness?
Now is hope
How would we appreciate hope
Hadn't we known hopelessness and despair?
Never will I be able to thank you enough
Never will I be able to express my gratitude enough

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Don't Let Her/Him Turn You into Someone You Are NOT!!

- How is your wife doing?
- Who? She was a big mistake
- Sorry to hear that. How's your kid?
- With her and probably for the best.
- So she turned you into a dead-beat dad?
     I heard a story, a true story about a man. He had a decent job, was well respected in his community and he had the desire to get married. So he looked amongst his people from his church and his eyes caught the ones of a beautiful lady. She had been in church for a while, was known and admired from everybody. They didn't date for long, got married and had kids. Meanwhile, things around him started to unravel. People would call him and were told by the wife he wasn't home although he was there. She would sabotage him unbeknownst to him. Fights would rise in his congregation for no apparent reasons and people would complain about his wife, but to him she was the sweetest and greatest thing that ever happened to him. One day he came back home from work after another exhausting day and his wife warmly welcomed him, wearing lingerie, dragged him to their private quarters for some frolic exchange. Then she asked him to turn around for she had a surprise for him. At her signal he turned back and saw on his bed, at the exact place his wife was lying, a big snake. She had metamorphosed into a giant reptile. He only had time to jump through the window to save his life, leaving behind his house, his kids and his belongings. Did I mention he was a pastor?
     Many of us have similar experiences. People in our lives we hung with, we were attached to, we lived with or even married, who in the beginning were a source of a great joy, then turned out the be the biggest stumbling block on our path, causing us to shift our beliefs and our approach to life. To those I would like to say this: The best revenge is to reclaim who you are by not letting them turn into someone you are not. Don't let them turn you into a dead-beat dad/mom, don't let them turn you into a residual pot of resentment and negativity. After the initial stage of anger and disappointment, followed by pain and suffering, let your healing begin. Look at the whole experience as a gangrene that was just waiting to be removed, knowing and enjoying every bit of the better life you now have. Reclaim your life, become a better person, set yourself some new goals and reach them. Use your experience to help out others. Reclaim your personality and some more. How do you do this? Check out my post "2 Easy Steps to Total Self-Rediscovery".

     Now the question is: "how can I trust my future choice, when the first time around it burned me? To this, I only have one answer: Your Creator. You may be a skeptic, but how can you be skeptical about something you have not experienced? Give it a try and see for yourself. Maybe you're thinking, been there done that, where did that get me? Well, I can only ask this: When you were there doing that, did you have nudges? Were you sometimes uncomfortable, thinking maybe this is not the right thing to do or the right person? Were people around you warning you about your choice? If you answer is yes to any of these questions, then again give your Creator a try. Let him know what you think, what you want and in return He'll let you know what He thinks and what He wants, and finally you can make up your mind. Meanwhile, don't let him/her turn you into someone you are NOT!!

Stay Strong, Stay Blessed, Stay Beautiful
Tresor De Beaute

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What's Your Season Now?

     I started this post a hundred thousand times but it wouldn't come out right because I was trying to "secularize" it as much as possible to no avail. I stated in one of my previous how difficult it is to transcribe good things that are happening to oneself. It has been a very long, fulfilling, reinvigorating summer!! Lots of travel, lots of study (yeah, summer classes!!), lots of fun and life changing decisions,one amazing experience after another: graduation, wedding, summer camp retreat, another wedding, divine connections, incredible encounters and favors. And throughout all, one thing I learned and would like to share here is to recognize the seasons in your life, every domain of your life.
     Over two and half years ago, my life as I knew it, kneaded and molded it with my own hands  shattered right underneath my nose. I had a choice, to either bend down, pick up the pieces to put them together or bend down, pick up the pieces to throw them away. As a Software Engineer/Application Developer, at times when doing design analysis, we have to decide whether to build on top of the existing object or just create a brand new object with new properties. The former strategy allows you not to start from scratch and it saves you on time. One of the drawbacks however is that, sometimes it's harder to track a bug especially if part of the code has been touched by someone else. As for the latter, starting from scratch gives you a better control of the situation, you're the foundation author of all the parameters and components involved and it's much easier to debug if the need arises. This same concept applies in real life. Sometimes when facing a bifurcation, you ought to take a pause and consider: is it worth continuing on the same path? Or should you start over and start from scratch? Whatever decision you take, make sure, you've consulted with the Architect to ensure that you've obtained the  seal of his approval; then check, double-check and even triple check the foundation. Once that's done, check the material you're using to build. Finally, start on building, stone after stone, always checking back with the Architect any time doubt or incomprehension arises. I mentioned earlier that my life as I had shaped it came crashing on  my face. That situation forced me to take a step back and consider where I had faulted:
- I had graduated from college and I told myself that it was time to get onto the next level with a relationship. Not because you think you're ready to do something that it means you should do it.
- I had moved the pillars of my values, putting my trust in me instead of in He who created me. Giving into all kinds of justification and rationale.
Armed with those truths, determined not to let them slide out of my sight, I resolved to do it right this time around. This resolution had two big essentials and undiscountable steps: penitence and volte-face. The first step was the easiest.The second was hot pepper. It required that I forgo of my ego and trust that His choices were better than mine. And God knows how much of a big ego I can have, as much as it makes me, it can also breaks me and it had in the past.
Nevertheless, it wasn't long before I started reaping the first fruits:
- Finances: I got a job during the full blown recession with an unbelievable salary increase
- Great connections: I found favor in the eyes of great person, opening the doors to all kinds of riches
- Peace: unfathomable feeling, must be experienced!
These are just big highlights, I can't list everything here. One important detail that I need to underline here is that I had some help: faithful, truthful and loyal friends praying for and with me. There are certain things that, no matter how willing we are, we need someone to accompany us along. It's like cheating/infidelity. No matter how strong the need to cheat on your partner is, you can't do it on your own unless you find someone willing to do it with you. It is important that the people you allow in your close vicinity are:
- Faithful: they'll call you and listen to you, bring you their support, put up with your rants and frustration and you can call them whenever in need
- Truthful: they'll tell you the truth even when it hurts or when that's ugly
- Loyal: they'll always have your back.
So, this is a season of peace and rewards, the first fruits of things to come as the work is still in progress.

Stay tuned, Stay  bold, Stay beautiful
Tresor De beaute

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