Encouragement, Faith, Health, Life Coaching, Men, Relationships, Uncategorized

Close That Door

If you were like me, as a child, I often practiced the dangerous habit of leaving the door open. Out excitement to get to what was on the other side of the door or the logic I had that it’s okay to leave it open because “I’m coming right back” or  “I’m going right back out”, I would leave the door to the house open. However, my Momma didn’t play that! Even if I had walked several yards away from the house after leaving or went in to another room after coming inside, I would hear the sharp command to, “COME BACK HERE AND CLOSE THIS DOOR!!!”

I used to think my Momma was being too extreme and over the top. I used to think to myself, “Dang Momma! Why you have to hollah like that?” And if I was down the street and she had to come all the way outside to tell me to do it, I would (only in my imagination) look at her and be like, “Now if you put your slippers and gown on and walked all the way from your room to the door to stick your head outside, why you gotta call me all the way back to the house and tell me to close the doggone door? You are standing right there! You close the door!” Then I would imagine her punching me in my mouth, so I would shake that imagination and walk back to close the door.

As I grew older I understood two things about why my mother took closing the door so serious.

  1. She wasn’t just fussing or being mean. She wanted us to learn to close the door behind us to keep the temperature inside the house stable and to keep the animals and insects out of the house.
  2. She wasn’t responsible for closing the door because she didn’t open it. She was trying to teach us to be responsible for correcting our own errors.

As men, we sometimes leave doors opened to wrong relationships, old habits and perverted behaviors, unwise spending and bad opportunities. We sometimes leave them open because of the excitement of interacting with what’s on the other side. At other times we leave them open because it’s comfortable. If we were to narrow those reasons down, we could conclude that we leave doors in our lives open as a way to easily escape. We have a tendency to want to escape the monotony and discomfort of life. Yet, in our pursuit of excitement and comfort, we fail to see that we are negatively impacting the atmosphere of our lives and giving access to things that can irritate us, attack us and even destroy our lives from the inside out.

If you are like me, there are times when we know that we have gone too far on the other side of the door. We know we have gone too far because our excitement turns into fear and our comfort turns into complacency. We are either filled with shame and condemnation which makes us afraid that we will get caught coming in from the other side, or our conscience is so compromised that we justify why we should just stay on the other side or continue to bounce in and out. In both instances we can find ourselves asking, “God why don’t you/didn’t you just close the door so I won’t keep/wouldn’t keep going in and out.”

God’s response to me has been, “I didn’t open the door, and I am not the one that left it open, so I am not the one responsible for closing the door.”

In Jonah 2, we can see this picture played out as Jonah decided to enter a door that God never told him to enter and began to suffer the consequences of his choice. The verse that strikes me is verse 8 where Jonah says, in essence, “If a person continues to deceive himself into thinking that he is right or justified when he knows that he is at fault, he delays his opportunity to receive mercy from the Lord.”

If we are too far beyond the door, the right response is not to blame God for not closing the door. The scriptures teach us that mercy rejoiceth against judgment (James 2:13). So God would rather show us mercy than to judge us for incorrect behavior. However, the scripture also teaches that God gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). So, if we find ourselves too far on the other side of a door that we should have closed, we should first humble ourselves and ask God for mercy to get back to the other side and grace to shut that door, forever.

The more excellent truth is this; if we have a door that we know should no longer be open, we need to take the responsibility and become urgent about closing those doors (listen to YouTube video above. I do not own the rights to this music), because some doors will take us to places that mercy won’t even go (Proverbs 2:16-19).

Faith, Life Coaching, Relationships

Do I Belong In This Space?

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Here lately, I have gradually pulled away from posting videos and digital content on the web and social media or even viewing content that is posted by others. My reason for doing so is because I had to do an evaluation on my heart. I needed to know the real reason why I produce content or hangout on social media.

I had to first check to see if my ego was overpowering my heart. I have been creating social media content for almost nine years now. When I started I was one of few people in the video content space in my genre and was picking up momentum. Unfortunately, I had to depart from that to care for some critically important matters. When I returned to social media, people were blowing up left and right. I would see people doing Facebook Live, Periscope, Instagram Live, and Snapchat (which I still don’t do). I was thinking about how much of an impact I would have had, if these tools were available when I first began putting content on social media. The biggest kicker is that when I returned there was a hashtag that I feel I was responsible for making popular 8 years ago and there are very few people in the media world (social and otherwise) who don’t use it.

With all of that in front of me, I had to ask, “Am I trying to prove that I can be as widely accepted in these spaces as others? Do I have something that I am trying to prove to myself or anyone else? If so, what difference would it make?”

The next thing I had to check was whether or not fame-thirst was overtaking my heart. People are born with a desire to be great until either they are humbled or someone suffocates their flame for greatness. Greatness is (or should be) an opportunity to allow Christ to shine and get the glory out of our lives. Fame on the other hand is something altogether different.

Fame brings you into a place of self-lauding and self-aggrandizing that people gravitate to because they are attracted to the dark-shine of it. The eye is fascinated by black shine or iridescence. It illuminates and accentuates to the extent that we are drawn to the beauty of what it adorns while ignoring the flaws within it.

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That is the same with fame. It opens doors and has perks beyond what the imagination can fathom. However, it hides detrimental flaws so well that the person absorbing the fame doesn’t even realize that those very flaws are about to impale them in their gut.

I had to ask, “Are there issues and flaws in your life that you are trying to hide while presenting yourself as this phenomenal being with answers to fix everyone else? Are you desiring doors and stages to be celebrated in and upon to make you feel better about those very flaws you may be looking to hide? If so, what would be the end result?”

The final thing I had to evaluate was whether or not posting on social media was even part of my purpose. If I am truly not being egotistical, if I am truthfully not trying to make a name for myself, do I even belong in this space? Though I didn’t have an answer yet, this question led to countless others that I needed to answer. The most important being, “Why were you created, Kaderick?”

If we try to operate in anything other than what we were created for, God is not in it. Regardless to how much people celebrate us or how much pleasure we get out of it, God only meets us in the place of our purpose. If we are not operating in the place where God meets us, it is inevitable that we will encounter the self-propagating antithesis of God: Satan.

Remember the earlier illustration of dark iridescence? Satan is the master of it. He is an illusionist, who would love nothing more than to lure the believer of Jesus Christ into a playground of seeming success, only to snare him or her into a world of deception. His greatest tactic is to bring the believer to a major platform with such thrust and impact that they forget about the vulnerabilities, open wounds and unresolved issues in their heart; only to later expose them as a broken and degenerate fraud. All of this in an effort to break the hearts of strong believers, confuse new believers and deter non-believers.

I had to ask myself, “Are you being drawn into something that would celebrate you but stir up your iniquity? Are you operating in an illusion of effectiveness, or are you really being effective?” And lastly, “Is God meeting you in this space?”

My conclusion to ALL of the questions above was so shocking and overwhelming to the extent that I could look behind me and see that social media took more from me than it gave to me. Albeit, most of what it took, I willingly gave. However, when I gave it, it was due to the fact, that God wasn’t in this space with me, so my will was not spiritually engaged to remain steadfast in those things that were needful.

Thus, from this point forward I will no longer operate in this space, because I only desire to be where God is able to meet me. Now, this is not to imply that other believers shouldn’t. It’s just that for me…I am not created to be here. My purpose is not here, because my God is not meeting me here. It’s been fun, enlightening and exciting, but ineffectual in adding real value to my life.

So, this is Helen Jones’s 2nd Son saying, Life Is Too Short To Play Games, So Keep It Real. Two Fingers To The North…I’m Out! 💣💥

Encouragement, Faith

Favor ≠ Entitlement

The title of Bishop T. D. Jakes’ phenomenal message series “Favor Ain’t Fair” is often used by individuals who have attained some type of benefit that either they didn’t deserve or weren’t expected to receive. I have used this statement on several occasions myself. However, I am concerned that this phrase has become a colloquialism that has been used to manipulate others into thinking that God did something significant for them when they have actually received this object or opportunity through unethical means.  I am even more concerned that some have become somewhat impolite, in that they have begun to demand that others show them preferential treatment. Maybe not in word, but definitely in attitude.

While favor, in the biblical sense, does refer to preferential treatment, it never requires that someone releases to another what belongs to them against their own conscience or will. This attitude has nothing to do with the operation of favor. It is, instead, an attitude of entitlement. Entitlement presupposes that a person has a right to someone’s person, property or time. The entitlement attitude plagues many facets of our society, and there is a tendency to use the concept of favor to spiritualize this attitude.

Want Now

So let’s talk about what favor entails and what differentiates favor from an attitude of entitlement.

  1. Favor is based on God’s timing. Psalms 102:13 indicates that there is a set time for favor to show up. Therefore, we can not summon favor at will. We must wait on the timing of the Lord. Entitlement tends to demand (or at least expect) that something happens within the timetable of the recipient.

  2. If favor comes from man then it is a loan, but if it comes from God it is free and clear. Psalms 112:5 says that a good man shows favor and he lends. A person who has an expectancy for a human being to show them favor, must understand that human favor always comes with a price tag. The second part of that verse insist that the one who shows favor will guide their affairs with decisiveness. In other words, when a human shows favor there is always the “what’s in it for me” factor to contend with. If favor comes from God, he will cause people to give to us, not loan to us (Psalms 45:12). Additionally, just because you were victimized by a human being, doesn’t mean that you have the right to demand that God show you favor in order to right that person’s wrong. If God extends favor it’s because he chooses to (Exodus 33:19).SomethingForNothing

  3. Favor will only go as far as God’s word. In Psalms 119:58 David asked God to show him favor according to His Word. If God didn’t promise it, He is not obligated to perform it. Some believers are bitter because they feel that God has failed to respond to their requests, but God’s willingness to answer us is diminished when we expect Him to go beyond His Word. It is also diminished when we have the attitude of entitlement that has no regard for morality, ethics or the sovereignty of God. James 4:1-3 teaches that we don’t receive anything when we ask God based upon our own desires instead of His desires.

  4. Favor is obtained by wisdom, not obligated because of our work. In Proverbs 8:35 we hear a conversation between Wisdom and the young Solomon. Wisdom explains that if she is sought out, she brings favor with her. Proverbs 18:22 further indicates that favor is obtained of God. In both of the above scriptures favor is accompanied by a feminine nature. Entitlement is aggressive and masculine in nature and only brings with it resentment. Not that masculinity is wrong but the aggression is what distances favor from the one expecting, because that attitude breeds pride. Both James and Peter makes it clear that God distances himself from the prideful (James 4:6; I Peter 5:5). David explains to young Solomon that God not only distances himself from the prideful, but he also hates the very appearance of it (Proverbs 6:16-17). Just because you work hard, doesn’t mean that anyone owes you anything beyond what you earn contractually, not even God. For instance, just because you graduated from a reputable institution with honors, it doesn’t mean that anyone owes you a job. The agreement with the institution was to provide you with a degree once you completed a period of study with passing grades. Nowhere in that contract was it guaranteed that you would get a job making $60,000.00 right out of college.

As we can see, favor is not based upon our timing, our demands, our will, our hard work or our expectation. Those are all elements that relate to an attitude of entitlement. If we want favor we need to seek God, study His Word, seek out His wisdom, stay humble and wait on God’s timing. If we get in a hurry and lay our expectations before mankind, we may get favor but we will quickly understand that not only is it true that Favor Ain’t Fair, but an even greater truth is that Favor Ain’t Always Free.

Business, Encouragement, Faith, Relationships, Uncategorized

Stop Being So Ugly; Literally

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We hear the phrase “I don’t look like what I’ve been through”, and many of us immediately identify with the reality of that statement. Logic and science says that we should be emotionally and physically debilitated or incapacitated based on our experiences. However, from a biblical perspective, we must realize that the more challenging our experiences are as believers, the better we ought to look!

Psalms 149:3 says, “For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.”

It implies that the more God delivers us from the things that come to oppose us, that very same deliverance process not only rescues us, but also increases our attractiveness. If we CONSISTENTLY look like we need deliverance we are either ignorant of the truth (John 8:32), our minds have not been renewed by the truth we know (Romans 12:2), or we cut the deliverance process short (James 1:4).

The more truth we learn, the more we will have to endure adversity from the kingdom of darkness (Matthew 13:19-21). The more we endure adversity, the more we experience deliverance (Romans 5:3-4). The more we are delivered, the better we should look (149:3).

LET’S STOP BEING UGLY! Learn more and stay in the struggle until it’s over!

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