(POEM) 5/21/13 Greater Than Great

I’ve grown to admire
A poet who I have found to be
More fascinating than Maya Angelo
Not knocking her or anything
That woman is amazing

But this guy
This guy name Propaganda
(I’ve heard some call him Prop for short)
There’s only one word
That I can use to describe this dude
Awesome

Because the way he tears up lines
Dominates stanzas
Through his spoken word
Is something I DREAM about

I mean literally
I dream about it

I dream about being on stages
Sharing my poetry with people all over
The anointing in his pieces
Is so strong
And as I sit in awe
I think to myself
“MAN I’d love to be able to do that!
To be THAT GOOD!”

Then I stare down at the poem
That I still have yet to learn
That I wrote about 3 weeks ago
But have only looked at twice
Spending a total of 2 hours on it
In all that time

And I look back the video
The video that shocked and awed me
And once again I think to myself
“Oh well…it’s just a dream.”

The funny thing is
God has been moving me to do
Spoken word
I was getting better
Until one day I had to cancel
–an open mic night
I had gotten sick
The next month I was overwhelmed
Too many poems to learn
Mostly written at the last minute
The next month,
Well…
I just didn’t feel up to it

But looking over the clip
I saw that I had to get back
I had to get back to my spoken word
Without a doubt
I saw I was walking backwards

That’s when something rang clear

I don’t like to work
And it’s harder to push through laziness
Harder than I thought
I didn’t know its grip on me
–was this bad
It’s ridiculous

My desire to write
My passion to bring life
In everything I put my pen to
Every time my finger tips hit the
–keyboard
When He moves me to create
Another work on the iPod
And then comes His voice

Saying,
“Daughter, don’t give up on your dreams,
That’s what I gave you your gift for.
Daughter don’t give up.
In order to be better,
You have to work hard.
In order to become great
You have to work harder.
Greatness was placed inside of you–
You are Mine,
Created in My image.

Don’t give up,
Someone needs to hear from you.
Don’t quit
For I promised I would never leave
Nor forsake you.
And when you lay your pen down
You are saying to Me
That you have given up on yourself
And all those dreams,
But daughter I have birthed a vision in you.

Reach out and grab what I have for you.”

God says reach out and grab it
He placed it right there in front of you
But don’t think the devil
Will not have his fun
And try and delay you

Reach out and grab what He has for you
Today

So I do declare,
That one day
I will not only be just as good
But even better than my brother in Christ
The legendary Prop
And that’s not to boast
But I know
That I know
These dreams I have are only the beginning

Who knows…
Call it wishful thinking
But I know that one day
Someone’s gonna be reading this
And they’re gonna sit there
Wishing they could be just as good

To them I say,
God made you to do bigger
And better things
Even greater than me
So go forth
And claim your destiny
Don’t give up on your dreams,
Even when they laugh behind your back
Don’t give up
Even when they say it’s impossible
And you’ll never be able to do any of ‘that’

Whatever that is for you

God has birthed a vision in you
Now it’s time for you to put in the work
–to get there
Greatness is already in you, living inside
Position yourself
So that it can come out
And you, too,
Can bring the dead to life

I am great
Because of the Great I Am
And my dreams will come true
Bigger, better than anything
I could have ever imagined
For myself

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Hello. I’m Jackie, and I’m a Gaming Addict

So today I decided that today is the day: no more gaming.

It’s one thing to unwind, it’s another to become so absorbed, so caught up in the game that you don’t eat because you’re concentrated on getting to the next level. Then your stomach begins to hurt and you remember, “Oh yeah, it has been six, seven hours huh? Let me go munch on something.” When you don’t want to go to work (or class, because the problem has been on-going for me) because you’re in the middle of beating your score. You don’t engage in conversation or detach yourself from everything and everyone, including your passion (mine is writing, poetry), because playing a game is more important.

It’s not as severe as it was when I had a console up, because I guarantee you I would probably be all in my FFX, FFX-2, Kingdom Hearts and Simpsons Hit & Run right now. I used to go 10, 11 hours–and in all that time, I either hadn’t eaten or ate one time when I went to take a restroom break. I went two, three days (the longest I believe was 4 or 5) without showering or brushing my teeth, combing my hair. People tried to speak to me, but I was a zombie–I was so focused on a strategy to get past the next level.

Mind you, this was right when I was around 15, 16 that it really took off and it was during the summer. According to the research I’ve done, I’ve been an addict longer than I thought because one of the characteristics of a gaming addict is that the only thing they talk about is the game. That’s all I did, “Yeah, so then Mom we got to this place and it turns out the dude was like super evil and he tried to threaten so-and-so but then so-and-so is actually like this ghost dude or something and OH MY GOSH!”

It weakened some when my brother put the playstation up because our old TV set went out. I still have no clue where he put that playstation and I can’t find any of the cables that went with it–THANK GOD–because it had a stranglehold on me.

I just didn’t see it.

So going into sophomore year of college, I did all right. Then came junior year and I joined a sorority…

I also neglected my studies and lost my 4-year scholarship.

I became depressed over that, feeling like a big let down–a failure.

Enter in Facebook and online gaming.

I didn’t think about all the responsibilities I had to deal with in my studies and with my chapter, or the disappointment of losing my scholarship, the pressures of now representing an entire organization (because I was in a sorority now, and everything I did was being taken into account), having to think about what was I going to do after school…every single worry temporarily went away for however long I played.

I was halfway making it on time to my classes, but I knew when my crops were ready to be harvested like clockwork on FarmVille. I was struggling to make passing in courses I already had to repeat before, but I was moving up the ranks in Sorority Life. And I had NO CLUE what I would do for work when I graduated but hey–I was making millions on Mafia Wars.

Now–don’t get me wrong. I KNEW that NONE of that stuff was real. But I could escape in pretend land. Everything was okay in pretend land.

Work was worse. I was a pretty decent copy editor for my university’s newspaper, but again, around junior year when everything took a turn, so did my performance. Everyone kept telling me I was moving too slow. I got upset, “Well what do you EXPECT?! I’m the ONLY FREAKIN’ PERSON ON COPYDESK!!”

But the truth was I wasn’t keeping up with the pages and stories coming out as good as I used to because I was too busy spending a lot of my time trying to beat my score and perfect my strategy than perfect my technique in my work.

I eventually quit the paper.

I spent so many hours playing games that at one point, on a Saturday in the library, the librarians who worked in the computer lab had turned the lights off on me and everything. Eventually the guy had to come tap me on the shoulder to let me know the computer lab was closed. (I had been there from 8am to 12 midnight when they closed…that’s, what? 16 hours?)

I was failing classes, going down in flames and feeling like I would never graduate…and the more things piled up around me, the deeper I got into the games.

But the funny thing is, I still hadn’t acknowledged that I had a game addiction. I just told myself that I really, really liked playing them.

The same I told myself when I started purchasing games on my phone, and when the bill went up, I pretended like I didn’t know WHY it did…

And when my mom and bro came home I would hurry up and turn my phone off and cover like I hadn’t just spent hours playing a game from the time they left that morning to when they got back that afternoon…

When I began to let myself go again, not showering, and suffered from headaches, even nearly passing out because I put off eating to play a game…

Game addiction, whether video games or online gaming, is not a joke. It’s very serious, and it’s only now that I stopped lying to myself and stopped telling myself that same old lie, “It’s just a game. Any REAL gamer plays games almost all day–and you’re not really a gamer, more like a GAME ADMIRER. It’s not like you’re spending 15-20 hours a day playing away, right?”

But I was playing games like it was a 9-5, and that’s bad enough.

So I deleted a lot of the games I had on FB and in my phone. I stopped playing them and started refocusing back on school and graduating. I got back working with the newspaper on campus. And I stopped pointing the finger at everyone else and began working on bettering me and my walk with Christ.

The problem is…I hadn’t owned up to my addiction…

And so, here we are…

Regifting the Gift: Mt. 6:28; Eccles. 9:2-3, 8:9 (PART II)

Keep this quote in mind:

“…the decision making doesn’t stop just because you made one good choice out of a dozen bad ones.”

So this time we’re taking a look at Eccles. 9:2-3,

2″All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.” ¬†3″This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.” (Eccles. 9:2-3, KJV)

Point blank: “You need God.” Period. End of the blog.

Nah, nah I’m playin’ ūüėČ

“Your flesh, your continuous urge to sin is why you will always need Him. God is perfect in all His ways, and we are made perfect through Him. That is why you must seek God continually. If you aren’t seeking one you are seeking the other and the fruits you bare will show that.”

Often times we like to pick that happy medium, but God doesn’t operate that way. You’re either for Him or you’re not. And if you’re not for Him, you’re against Him. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (Rev. 3:16, KJV)

(So in the New King James Version…just to make it a little clearer) So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,¬†I will vomit you out of My mouth. (Rev. 3:16, NKJV) Eww…vomit? That gives you a nasty picture doesn’t it?

If you go out to eat and the food you get isn’t cooked all the way, or it looks warm on the outside and you go to take a bite and it’s icy in the middle, how likely are you to keep eating?

Well…just like we don’t want lukewarm, halfway cooked food, God doesn’t want halfway saints.

So, while it’s comforting to think we’re in that happy medium–you’re lukewarm if you’ve been playing both sides of the fence.

Hello, I’m Lukewarm.

“Satan bares the fruits of idleness, procrastination, laziness, lust–all unrighteousness is anything that is not of God. And God says all unrighteousness is sin,” A lot of people–and I’m just being honest–when it comes to unrighteousness think God only meant homosexuality. But when He said ALL–God meant ALL. Including that stuff you hide behind closed doors. Including that grudge you’ve been holding for years. ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS IS SIN. Period.

“So what do you think it is you’re doing when you choose to goof off or delay in your works,” Oh wait a minute–we’re dealing with me now! “Or brush God off because you felt like doing something else?”

… ūüė¶

The honest truth is that while this was written a week ago, reading over it now I see that I’ve still been struggling with settling for being lukewarm and being hot/on fire for Christ…

Procrastination has been hitting me hard lately, but when I began to observe myself, I realized that I wasn’t putting much effort into my walk.

Here’s how a typical day for me went:

  • Get up
  • Pray (sometimes)
  • Get showered up
  • (If I forget to pray earlier, then pray) Maybe
  • Get dressed
  • Debate whether or not to study my Word now or wait later
  • Decide to wait later
  • Head up to work with Mom (unless school calls me to sub)
  • Get to the building
  • Sit down
    • Right here I decide whether or not I will study my Word (Today I did…)
  • (But yesterday I didn’t. Instead…)
    • Get on YouTube, Twitter, and FB
    • Tweet a bit, then get on Candy Crush Saga
    • Then play Farm Hero Saga
    • Then play Pet Rescue Saga
    • Then play Criminal Case
    • Then play Pyramid Solitare Saga
    • Then play Solitare Biltz (And not necessarily in that order)
      • Browse for music in between time
      • Eat/Restroom
    • Continue cycling through games
    • Remember to say something somewhat, halfway inspiring/uplifting on Twitter
    • Continue cycling through games
    • Finally get up from computer and walk around, listening to music, for about 10-20 minutes before leaving with Mom and going home.

Now mind you, this was anywhere from 9, 9:30am to 5:30, 6PM, with probably one or two hours away from my routine…so for EIGHT, SEVEN HOURS I spent putting in time doing everything else…planting seeds of idleness and further bearing the fruits of procrastination and laziness…

But here’s the thing…in between that time God kept nudging me, asking me, “When are you going to study your Word? Have you talked to Me today? Have you taken time out for some one on one with Me?”

And my response, “I read the scripture–that’s good enough.”

And honestly I didn’t actually read it. More like I skimmed it telling myself that I would get to it “later”…ah, that word later…that word that never shows up, never comes on time…”later.”

But then moments later I’m watching videos on YouTube and seeing all these comments that are “so ungodly” and finding all this “heavenly” new music to add to my library and I say, “Oh God is so good.”

Yeah…right.

“You really only have two options, but every new day you get is another day to make a better choice. And that begins from the very moment you wake up. Not when you hopped into the shower, not when you got out of bed–when God woke you up, you had a choice. When you got into the shower you had a choice. When you put your clothes on, when you grabbed breakfast, when you walked out the house–the decision making doesn’t stop just because you made one good choice out of a dozen bad ones.”

Evil is always present, because Satan is always putting in work. The devil isn’t going away, therefore that temptation to sin will always be there. BUT–God is omnipresent and He is always with you…so, the choice to rise above temptation is always there as well.

“Living for Christ is a constant trying battle. And if you aren’t paying attention you are going to get shot.”

Satan is already preying on you–no need to make yourself an easy target…or in my case a sitting duck because I was mainly sitting around doing nothing with the day God gave me. Just wasting borrowed time that I can’t get back..because yesterday is over.

And today is here.

“You don’t take your focus off of the enemy just because he’s reloading. You get on your job and attack even harder–don’t make yourself a sitting duck.” SEE–even the Lord had to tell me I was making myself a sitting duck! SMH…

No one’s saying you have to be perfect. No one’s saying you gotta be super duper saint. But if you can’t spare God ONE MINUTE of your time out of a 24 HOUR period…something’s wrong.

I’m striving to turn those meaningless seconds into wonderful minutes that will equal beautiful moments with God. You can join me…or not.

But it’s your choice…you get a choice every second, of each day you are blessed to see.

Are You Awake (“Safe Haven”, Writing On the Wall)

(So this poem is actually coming out a day early. This is the poem that will be featured in the TOR Ministries¬†Safe Haven¬†newsletter, but after writing it yesterday I felt compelled to share it…so here you are!)

Are You Awake

Are you awake?
Are you still asleep?
God’s been knocking on your window sill
For quite some time now
Don’t fall asleep!
You have to stay awake!

You have to stay awake
For your soul’s sake…

I made a mistake today
I laid my head on the pillow
Because I figured it’d be alright
If I simply skimmed over the page

I owe You an honest, sincere apology

But I have yet to give it
Because I think my good deeds
And teacher’s pet behavior
Has saved me
Forgetting to remember
That it was my very flesh
That failed me
That my constant desire to sin
Is why Jesus came
To take a place on the cross
That I really should’ve taken myself

It had my name on it

Instead
He paid it all off
So I could have the option
Of having a reservation
In the Lamb’s Book

I remember when I walked
Outside of His will
And I thought to myself
I don’t need God
I don’t need that Jesus stuff
I’m a good person

But by whose standards?
Not God’s, that’s for sure
I was the captain of my own ship
Call me a devil worshipper
I followed the motto
Do what thou wilt

Til I found that
Doing what thou wilt
Leaves you might empty
Emptier than a tank
Running on fumes
And the car stops
But you’re days away
From the nearest gas station

Colder than cold
Even colder than when
You’re freezing
And you go to light the fire
But a wind comes by
And blows out the last match
That you had in your pack

I was on my last match and that match went out
I was an empty tank and nothing could fill me

Except Jesus
Who ignited a flame I had never experienced
Filled my cup to the brim
Yup–it was running over

Then I became a Christian
I read somewhere
That when you turn it from a noun
Into an adjective
That the word Christian loses power

Well somewhere along the way it became an adjective
A simple characteristic but not something to live out

And now I’m sitting here
Shaking my head at myself
Because I went from thinking
“I’m a good person, I don’t do anything wrong,”
To
“I’m a good Christian, I know I’ll live long.”

My salvation and my righteousness
Have suddenly become defined
By what all I do
And what all I don’t
And all that I do is good enough
And what’s good enough for me
I figure is good enough for You

Again there’s a saying
That good is the enemy of great
When you settle for good
And you know you could do better
YOU KNOW that you know
That you could do better
And settle for good anyway
You are really settling for okay

God designed you to be great
But you decide to strive for average
Or in my case
Below that
Way, way below that
Because it’s back to that old mind
That old way of thinking

That one that says
I rather be average
I rather be lower
Because to be great
Means I’d HAVE to do better
And that requires consistency
So
What if I fall off?
What if I lose the streak?

I find myself fine with pretending
I’ll just make like I’m the greatest
When in reality
I’m walking beneath my role
My calling
To the natural eye I come off as
Well put together
Though I already know
In His eyes I can’t hide anything

I can’t cover this up
Doctor it up
Smother it with words
Fluff it up with a fancy show

God says girl your heart is black
Grace isn’t earned
It’s given
Because to earn it is to deserve it
And you certainly didn’t do
Either one of those

The things the devil says
Just sounds so sweet
I really bought into it for a moment
That I was doing okay
Was just fine
That just fine
Was okay

That my good deeds got me in
That I was safe
How sad would that have been
If I had slid into home plate
Only to find
That I was out
A LONG time ago

Because instead of running I decided to take a stroll
Thinking my ‘great’ stats and ho-hum dallying

Was good enough to win a runner’s race

Regifting the Gift: Mt. 6:28; Eccles. 9:2-3, 8:9 (PART I)

(One day I studied my Word, and something in what God spoke to me was so strong that I felt compelled to share it with others. What began as giving monthly inspirational text messages, translated into my tweets and now this blog. So, I’ve decided to regift the gift that keeps giving–so to speak) (-_^)

 

Today I was in Matthew 6:28, Ecclesiastes 9:2-3 and 8:9:

(Starting with Matthew 6:28):

“And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.” (Mt. 6:28, KJV)

So…here’s what the Spirit began speaking to me:

“Whatever your need is God will provide it, but do you trust Him enough to get it done?” The truth is I don’t. I mean I say I do, I like to think so…but only because I claim Him. But claiming and trusting are really two different things.

There’s that voice that says, “Oh you’re fine! What are you worried about? OF COURSE you trust God–you prayed this morning didn’t you?” But it’s evident that I don’t, because then the following questions arose:

“If you trust Him, then why don’t you tithe like you should?”

“If you trust Him, then why didn’t you ask Him what to wear for the day instead of throwing something on?”

“If you trust Him, then why aren’t you meditating and focusing on His Word on how to live?”

Submitting to God is a form of trust because you are saying, “Lord wherever You lead me, wherever You’ll have me go, whatever You’ll have me do–it’s done. I know that You will not steer me wrong nor fail me.” Instead what I give God is, “Eh…I don’t really like the look of that path so I’m not gonna go there…and I know You asked for 10% but I’ll have to catch You on the next go around…and I would seek Your advice on what to wear and how to go about this day but uh–I think MY way is better so…”

If you know the way to somewhere, and I’m lost, and you tell me that you know the way there and can get us there, but I never heed your directions nor let you behind the wheel and keep steering us further and further off course…then do I really trust you?

God told me this, “You worry more about what you will wear for the day and what you look like than the safety and growth of your own soul.” To which the devil whispered about how it’s cool–I’m being kept. I have nothing to worry about.

The devil sounds really good…

But then the next thing I hear to combat that, “In order to be kept you have to be in His will. Don’t expect God to keep you if you don’t plan to stay put.” …Ouch, “When you intentionally go outside the will of God, He is not going to honor that. God does not reward you for bad behavior and having grace doesn’t mean He turns a blind eye to your sins. (Remember what the definition of backsliding is? Be careful)”

For those who aren’t aware…

“Relapse,¬†lapse,¬†regress,weaken,¬†lose one’s resolve,¬†give in to temptation,¬†go astray,¬†leave the straight and narrow,¬†fall off the wagon.” (Pulled out of that Oxford Dictionary–New Oxford American Dictionary,¬†Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus,¬†Apple Dictionary,¬†Wikipedia–located in the MacBook)

Yall know you gotta cite all this stuff…I hate doing it myself–it’s so tedious!! BUT ANYWHOOO…

Take a look at that definition. The longer you stay out of the will of God, the more things that were once unacceptable become acceptable to you. The key word is: OKAY. It’s OKAY if you miss a Sunday service or two, it’s OKAY if you didn’t pray for most of that week, it’s OKAY if you haven’t picked your Word up for awhile…

Then those old sins easily wear you down because your foundation is weakened…and then it becomes OKAY to do “just a little” of those things. Next thing you know, you look up and say to yourself, “How in the world did I get way over here…?”

That’s the danger about backsliding. Sometimes you can tell when you’ve drifted off, “Nuh-uh…this ain’t right–I don’t even FEEL right–I need to get back to You Lord cuz I have fallen off somewhere!”

But sometimes you can’t…and it’s then that you wander away further and further. But you believe you’re still being kept because you’re kinda in the vicinity…kinda.

If you want to be kept, you gotta stay in His will. And that requires you staying put.

“Recognize the enemy for who he is and call that joker out.” I almost entertained that thought for a moment that I was all right…but the more I listened to Jesus, the more I came to see I almost fell for the okie doke again. NOT UP IN HERE!

God then told me how I live to please people more than Him…and that’s a BIG problem because people don’t have a heaven or hell to put me in…but He does.

“You don’t owe people an apology for what God is doing in your life, but you do owe God everything. It’s Him you come to when you fall, not people. (Sometimes God will have you reveal those things you’ve been delivered from to help somebody else)”

God is the one you need to get right with…and if that includes Him leading you to make apologies to people you feel you don’t owe an apology too, then so be it. But you don’t allow people to hold your past over your head. And sometimes you have to share your past with others and mistakes that you have made because it may just be the very thing someone needed to hear to help them.

The Spirit then told me this, “When you surrender all He will give you all and then some in return. Do you trust Him, though?”

 

(PART II COMING SOON…)