Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Pressed Down...Shaken Together...Running Over?"

Picture this:

It is a Sunday morning at Berith Christian Fellowship and it is the giving part of our worship service. The praise and worship leader instructs the congregation to stand after the offering basket passes by so that we can sing our “offering song”. Following her instructions, I sow my seed and stand to sing…

“It’s impossible to out give God. Believe and receive your blessings. It’s impossible to out give God; believe and receive your blessings… Pressed down, shaken together, running over in the favor of God… “

Though I have memorized the words to this song (and the cute hand gestures that go along with it), this particular Sunday, I focused on the words – literally. I read them as they flashed across the giant screen.

“…pressed down, shaken together, running over….”

Then, the Whoament came:

 Although I knew the words to the song and had a “general” understanding of what they meant, I didn’t really know what it meant that my blessing will be “pressed down, shaken together, and running over…”

Like me, you’ve probably read, recited or heard Luke 6:38 many times before.

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

But come on, admit it. Do you have really know what the terms mean? If you are like me, the answer is "not really". I will agree with you and say that you probably “get” the concept of giving and receiving: you give, you receive.  Even if you understand that principal, I submit to you that it is so much deeper than that.

In my quest to get a better understanding of the scripture, the first thing I did was asked God to give me more insight of the real meaning behind the words I was saying and reading.  I wanted true clarity so that the next time I sang the words or read them in the Bible, I would know exactly what they meant.

Going into the week, this was still heavy on my mind. I began looking at everyday, normal things and situations trying to get a clearer understanding of the words. Every single time I experienced something, I tried to find the meaning of the words within it. Although these are the instances when Whoaments come to me, I purposefully looked at everything to gleam a Whoament, which isn't usually how they come to me. Whoaments tend to come when I least expect them to.

For example, on one occasion, as I removed laundry from the dryer preparing to fold it, I placed the items in a small laundry basket. As I piled the clothes into the basket, it was beginning to overflow. I knew that if I pressed down on the clothes, I could fit more into the basket. So without much thought, that is exactly what I did. Now all the clothes from the dryer seemed to fit. As I walked to the area where I would be folding the clothes, the shaking from my walking caused some items to fall onto the ground. Clearly, the basket was literally running over. I had challenges containing the items into the basket.
As I sat down to the fold the clothes, I thought “WHOAMENT!” I get it! Or at least I thought I did. You too, right?  Well, that was the first general picture I got of the scripture.

 1) If I pressed down on the clothes, I could make more room to fit more clothes.

2) As I walked, my vibrations shook some clothes out because there wasn’t room enough to take them all in.

3) The clothes were running over.

Later that evening I realized that I was trying to create a Whoament and although I received part of the answer, I still wanted something more. I was still unsettled about the visual I thought I received. So, I decided to research the scripture more in depth. I went to the concordance and looked up the words:

1.       Pressed down – (Piazo G4085)
To squeeze; i.e. seize(gently by the hand) or officially arrest; capture, apprehend, pack 

2.       Shaken together – (Saleuo G4531)Agitate; rock; topple; to disrupt; incite 

3.       Running over – (Huperekchuno G5240)To pour out over ; (passively) to overflow; run over

Now it was coming together. Enter the real Whoament! When I give my money, time, services, etc., I will receive good things in return. You may say, “Tiffany, I know that. ”

But here is what you may not have considered before:

God owns everything, including you. He is responsible for providing for you. It is His good pleasure to bless you.

Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32 NKJV

When you give sincerely, you open yourself to receive all that God has for you. It causes the blessing process to begin and a lot of things happen supernaturally behind-the-scenes.

First, God captures, holds and arrests your blessings so that no one else can have them.  God presses down your blessings so they can’t escape or slip away. After all, these blessings are intended solely for YOU! Next, just as clothes in a washing machine need to be agitated so that dirt is removed, your blessings go through a thorough cleansing process where God shakes them [together].  By doing so, He gets rid of contamination. All corruption, mal intent, and misplaced motivation is removed and you are left with the most pure and best blessings possible.

Have you ever listened to a song and liked it so much that you just had to play it over and over and over again? You literally pressed the “repeat” button so the song would just automatically repeat when it was finished because you never wanted it to end? Well that is what it's like to receive an outpouring of blessings from God. When you give sincerely, without hesitation and in faith, your flood gates are open to receive. God pours out His blessings over us and they keep running over. They are on supernatural repeat mode.

Imagine that! All of a sudden, we have more “stuff and things” than we know what to do with (though we know that we are given things so that we can be a blessing to others); everywhere we go, people flock to us because they see something different about us and they want to be around us; we have favor with both people and God.

“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6 NKJV

With this revelation, I can now sing those words and proclaim the scripture because I have a clearer understanding of exactly what it means to have blessings "pressed down...shaken together...and running over."

I am excited because I get to give bountifully, knowing that I will be bountifully blessed in the process…over and over and over again.

Remember, seeds are still working, even when no one is watching. It is evident by the fruit. So get to sowing!



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

From Frump To Fabulous

I want to offer tips to the wife who is experiencing sexual challenges or wanting to add spice back into lovemaking:

  • Plan For It

In Heirs Together, we’ve learned that men and women are different. By God’s design, we think differently. We process things differently. As a result, we get aroused differently. While men tend to be more visual, generally, women tend to be more mental. This is why we hear women say they have to be “in the mood” for sex.

So my advice to you, Mrs. Wifey is to get your mind ready for sexual activity; plan on it happening. Just as you plan for other things (shopping trips with the girls, play dates for the children, lunch with your family, etc.), you need to plan to spend sexual time with your hubby. 

Picture the act in your mind. Imagine the way it will feel. How he will smell.  The glow you will have on your face afterwards. The smile he will have.  You get the point. Start imagining all the elements of the experience -- well in advance of it happening. 
To give you some starting points, start your day knowing that you will be sexually satisfied by your hubby at some point during that day. You may want to Read Song of Songs to get you started. (No need for “Mommy Porn” or Fifty Shades of anything. Read your Word and add that spice!) Send your hubby text messages/emails throughout the day letting him know that you are thinking of him. During the day, play songs that remind you of your hubby. 

  • Change the Environment

Sometimes changing the location can help. Remember, your hubby can be content with having the same wallet he owned in high school, as long as still holds his license. He can also wear the same brown shoes for ten years, as long as they have no holes. But for us women, we are more satisfied with having a different pair of shoes for every day of the week. Never mind the countless dresses that we “must have”.  

Remember the “before Christ” days when you would sneak and make out? Well, now you don’t have to sneak! (Hallelujah!) So if you find yourself next to your hubby while you are watching a movie together, cop a feel! If the children are around, grab a blanket. It may be an added bonus if you can arouse each other without being “caught” by the kiddies. (However, your children also need to see that they have parents who love on each other and show affection towards each other no matter who’s around).

Most of us chose our homes based on the space it provided. There are multiple rooms in your house! Make use of them. Besides that, God gave us a whole planet that is ours to richly enjoy! So the change of scenery may be literal. The possibilities are infinite!

But don’t  just change your physical environment only. Change your mental environment as well. ADJUST YOUR ATTITUDE! Start thinking of sex as a ministry for your hubby. And you get to reap benefits as well. 

Did you know that an orgasm can help relieve a multitude of ailments? Got a headache? Can’t get to sleep? Have cramps? The list goes on an on. Take the time to explore new natural remedies with your hubby.

During your private time with God, confess your challenges to Him (not to your hubby). Also, make confessions of faith that you will satisfy your hubby and that he will satisfy you...every single time. Speak life to your intimacy with your hubby.

  • Dress To Impress

In God, we are fearfully and wonderfully made! While, God looks on your inside, your hubby (and you) look on the outside as well. So you need to make yourself appealing to your hubby and to yourself. If you have gained weight or feel frumpy lately, you are not making the situation any better by wearing oversized clothes and looking raggedy.  If you tend to dress more “comfortable” (which is my p.c. word for “slouchy”), spruce it up. 

I am not saying, necessarily, that you have to walk around in six inch heels and a garter belt, nor dress in your ball gown to sit around the house. I am saying, though, that just as you put an effort into dressing for others outside of your marriage, you should dress for your hubby. Ditch the frump and dress to impress  for YOUR hubby! It’s amazing what a pair of earrings, a neat hair do and a little lip gloss will do.

  • Just Eat It

There are certain foods that contain sex inducing ingredients. Try them with your hubby. (Bonus Tip:  Hand feed your hubby). Here are some things to explore together:


  • Be an Active Participant

Mrs. Wifey, do not expect your hubby to bring it all to the table! Help him out. Be an active participant! You can not complain about what happened at your party if you didn’t bring any music or entertainment for your guests. Try changing up the positions. Get on top. Move your hips. Get into it. 

I challenge you to be an active participant for a minimum of five minutes. Trust me that you will be so into it that you will be begging for more and time will fly by! 


Make each WHOAment count!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Don't Lose Sight of The Goal!

"Don't Give Up! Don't Give In! It's Not Over Until YOU Win!" - 
Pastor Rick Sherer

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." - Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)

There are so many different ways to look at the above picture:

The man who gave up could have been digging for an escape from his troubles or whatever ensnared him. But what he didn't know was that there was a great reward for his challenges.  God provided a means for escape AND a reward for his diligence. 

On the flip side, imagine if he knew what was on the other side but chose to give up because he didn't think the reward was close.  Someone else is going to get his blessing.

The man who is digging on the top tier could represent Christ and how He is in the trenches right along with us. With the two of them working together, thanks to how He sets us up to win, all of the diamonds would have rained down to the man on the bottom. 

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." - Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)

True disciples know that there is a great reward for continuing to the end. If we just keep "digging" and "banging out" our challenges, Christ has rewards beyond our imagination waiting just on the other side...and he's already set us up to win!

Keep digging and don't give up! Your exceedingly and great reward is awaiting you!



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fluidly Corrected

"Correction Fluid"

When walking, I either listen to music or podcasts of past messages from my Pastor, Rick Sherer. About a month ago (if even that long), I was listening to one of Pastor Rick's messages, Prayer God Always Answers. Towards the end of the recording, Pastor Rick made a statement in which he pointed out that if a child of God wants to see change in their life, they should ask God to reveal the things in them that are not like Him. Pastor Rick also "cautioned" that if a person asks God, they should make sure they really want to know because God would answer. In my efforts to be more Christlike, I did as instructed. I asked God to 'reveal the things in me that I need to change so that I can become more like You, Father'. And then I kept walking…

Fast forward about a week (if even that long)...

During our Sunday services and Wednesday night Covenant Circles at Berith Christian Fellowship, Pastor Rick kept mentioning the words "rebuke", "reproof", "chastening" and "correction" while he taught. Although Pastor Rick would refer to them in different contexts, the words kept coming up. In fact, Pastor Rick mentioned these words so often that in one of my Sunday outlines I wrote a note to myself that said 'reproof and chastise = WHOAment', which I thought signified that a blog entry would be coming soon about one of those words. Shortly after that Sunday, I penned an entry about parenting, though the words for the blog entry never seemed to fully flow as normal nor was I given the words to complete the writing. Truthfully, that half-finished entry is still scribbled in my notebook, perhaps for another posting.

Yet, the words "rebuke", "reproof", "chasten" and "correction" continued to resonate within my sub-consciousness.

As I went about  my everyday routines, there seemed to be a sudden shift in how my husband and I interacted, or at least that is the way that I perceived it at the time.

From my standpoint, my husband, who is normally very attentive, loving and always doting on me, was behaving abnormally. It seemed as though the conversations between us, which are usually easy-flowing and laced with love, ended up with him pointing out something negative about me. It seemed as though every single time we were having a serious conversation, he seemed to "conveniently" turn it into critiques about things I wasn’t doing correctly or made suggestions about the things that I could improve.

I began to grow frustrated with my husband's "criticisms" and as a result, whenever he would try to hold a lengthy conversation with me, I would either shut it down or kept my answers to a minimum. What was the point in engaging in lengthy conversations with him when he was being so negative? 

This past Saturday night before we went to sleep, my husband reached over and kissed me and told me that he loves me. I responded with a return kiss and told him that I love him. He went a step further and brought God into the equation and told me that God loves me too. I told him that I knew. (At this point, I thought he was trying to be sarcastic and I was not in the mood). When he prodded more and asked how I know God loves me, with an attitude, I said, “because I know”. My husband didn’t ask anything else and we cuddled up and went to sleep.

On the way to church the next morning, my husband continued his questioning and admonished me to search the Scriptures for myself to answer the question that he  asked the night before and I agreed that I would.

"How do you know God loves you?"

That morning, during his message, Pastor Rick brought up the words “correction” and “reproof” again. To put the cherry on top, at the end of the service, he also told the congregation that God loves us. (Go figure).

This week, I was sitting down reading my Bible and I happened to look up and glanced at our movie collection. Out of all the movies there, Spike Lee’s Love and Basketball caught my eye. 

Although the movie is a love story, it also contains other underlying themes. Monica (played by Sanaa Lathan) is very passionate about basketball. In high school, she is the team’s captain and a very good player. She is one of the best female players in the city. Once she is recruited to play basketball for a popular university, the dynamics change. Although she has a lot of potential, she is no longer the star. This means that she has to play harder and earn her place within the team. Although Monica feels that she is doing everything right, her coach, Coach Davis (played by Christine Dunford) always seems to point out her faults. At one point in the movie, because Coach Davis is so hard on her, Monica feels the coach doesn't recognize her abilities.

As I thought about the movie, a particular scene played in my head. The scene stuck out so much that, without thinking, I grabbed the DVD to watch the scene: Here it is:

Coach Davis: [In her office after a game] We've got our final games against Oregon and Oregon State, and I'm shaking things up a bit, so... I'm starting you at point again.

Monica: But, uh... I thought Sidra's ankle was OK for next game. 

Coach Davis: [impatiently] You want the job, or not? 

Monica: Yeah. 
[Keeps staring at Coach Davis]

Coach Davis: What? 

Monica: It just... it just seems like you're always riding me. 

Coach Davis: [pauses, then speaks] You think I'd go hoarse for a player with no potential? When I ignore you... then you worry. 

Although the dialogue between Coach Davis and Monica is very brief, its message is colossal and got me to thinking: Coach Davis saw the potential in Monica and as a result, she stayed on her. Consistently.

After watching this scene, still reflecting on its message, I got up to get a glass of water. Before I even reached the refrigerator, it hit me like a ton of bricks and enter the WHOAment:

Hebrews 12:6 – “ For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” (NKJV)

Revelation 3:19 – “ As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” (NKJV)

It was just at that WHOAment that I realized that God had answered the prayer that I prayed a few weeks back!! (Duh) I asked Him to reveal the things within me that I needed to change and He did. Every single event over the past month (if even that long) was God trying to show me, over and over again. When I still didn't pick up what He was putting down, He sent my covenant partner, my husband, to show me! All the times that I felt that my husband was being too hard on me by only pointing out the negative things that I was doing was by God’s design! I had faith enough to ask God to show me what needs to be purged from my life and He was faithful and answered me! God chastened me because He loves me.

God chastens whom He Loves!

I want you to know that as soon as I got this revelation, I repented to God and to my husband for my sin of offense.  To God be the Glory! With tears streaming down my face because I finally "got it", I filled my husband in on the sequences of events.

After I finished speaking, my husband thanked me for letting him in on what I was going through. He admitted that although he was grateful that God chose to use him to minister to me, he really couldn't recall telling me anything extreme that I needed to change or correct. When I reminded him of the things (and, yes, because they were still ringing in my head I was able to list them all), he agreed that although they are, in fact, areas that could be improved or changed, they weren’t significant to him. (After all, he wasn’t the one that said the prayer, right? So of course they wouldn’t matter much to him, other than the fact that he in turn will benefit from me heeding the Word because I will be a better Christian, wife and mother). The main thing that my husband remembered about the two week period was that Tiffany the Tyrant stopped by our house. 

Please let this WHOAment be a testament to you that 1) God answers prayers, 2) don’t “shoot the messenger” and 3) God chastens who He loves.

I recognize the fact that since God has shown me the areas in my life that I need to change or step up, the next immediate step is to be a doer of the Word. It’s time to put it all into action! By faith, with Christ, I am well on my way!

 James 1:22 - "But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." (NKJV)

(Please note: Being in offense will cause you to call a friend an enemy. Taking offense is also a sin. Don't walk around holding grudges or walking in offense. It is harmful for your health. PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! Click here to read "Stop Trippin'!", the WHOAment about offense.)


~ Tiffany

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Standing in Agreement or Standing in the Way?

Standing in Agreement or Standing in the Way?

Not too long ago, I dropped my daughter off at her elementary school. As I was driving out the parking lot, one of the parent crossing guards approached my car. I rolled down the window and just as she had done to the car in front of me, she handed me a small slip of white paper. I took the paper, smiled and pulled out the parking lot.

Once I got to the next stop sign, I unfolded the piece of paper and was taken aback by the paper’s bolded, black text. It announced that the principal at my daughter’s school had been ‘wrongfully terminated’ from her position!

I give all praise to God that unlike the past, my first reaction was not to take sides and be upset with whoever committed this “wrongful act of tyranny”. Instead, I reflected on all the interactions that I had with this woman over the past few years. Her heart really seems to be in the right place in regards to wanting every child who attends her school to succeed. She was always urging parents to participate in their child’s education so that they will achieve. Also through our brief interactions, I was able to know more about her personal life. I laughed as I recalled the day she told me with delight in her eyes that her son’s wife was expecting her first grandchild. She even ran down her list of possible names the child would call her. (She settled on “Mee-Ma”). So with all our “history,” I could have chosen to take offense on her behalf. I didn’t. Again, to God be the glory!

Coincidently, during this time, my pastor, Rick Sherer, was teaching a series called “A Prayer God Always Answers”. Through the series, I learned that, just as I have many kinds of shoes in my closet, there are different kinds of prayers for different situations.

During the series, we learned about the prayer of intercession and agreement.

Simply put, the prayer of intercession is when you pray to God on someone else’s behalf. Believers are ambassadors for Christ and it is our duty to intercede for others. The prayer of agreement is just that. You pray to God in agreement with someone else for an expectant result.

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men”. (1 Timothy 2:1 NKJV)

For the prayer of agreement, you and the person you are standing in agreement with must be in (you guessed it) agreement. (Otherwise it would be called something else, right?) This means that, essentially, you are praying for the same thing.

“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven”. (Matthew 18:19 NKJV)

To pray effectively, your prayers must be specific. (How else will you know when a prayer has been answered if you don’t know what it is that you expected to happen?)
When you pray the prayer of intercession, your will cannot override the person’s for whom you are interceding. Even though I didn’t know all of the behind the scene actions (i.e. why she was terminated; whether or not there was a clause in her contract that said they didn’t have to give her a reason for terminating her, etc.), I knew that I could pray for her. After all, I did receive the piece of paper which told me that she was being unjustly fired so that would be the basis of my prayer. Surely, she had to be expecting the same thing as me.

With all prayers, and in your spiritual life, there is nothing too hard for God! We must remove the handcuffs and limitations that we place on Him.

Later that week, I decided that I would pray for the principal and intercede on her behalf.

I started praying and called out her name (Ephesians 1:16). Then I thanked God for her being the overseer at my daughter’s school. Then I prayed that God would send her to another school…

Wait. I literally stopped speaking mid-sentence.

How did I know that she wanted to be sent anywhere? How did I know that she wasn’t praying that her job be restored? Was she even concerned about the termination? After all, she wasn’t the person that informed me of the situation. Was she praying that the people who caused this be punished? Was she even praying at all? Was she a Believer? Now I had too many questions in my prayer, which raised doubt. And in prayer, there is no room for doubt.

One of great things about having a relationship with the Father is that you can be real with Him. When you don’t know what to pray, you need to hush, so that the Holy Spirit can guide you. So that is what I did. I confessed that I didn’t know what to pray for in this situation. I asked God to guide me and then I hushed.

Later that night during a conversation with my husband, I told him that although I wanted to intercede on the principal’s behalf and get in agreement with her, I wasn’t confident in my prayer because I didn’t know what she wanted. (Of course I could have asked her, but I hadn’t seen her).

My husband enlightened me with more information about the principal’s situation. He said that she clarified the information that we had received. She wasn’t terminated. Instead, she was laid-off, which means something entirely different. She also said that she was considering the real possibility of retiring and just enjoying life.

Imagine that! Here I was getting ready to pray that she be lead to another job where she was appreciated and well-received, among other things, and here she was thinking about putting her feet up and relaxing!

During that conversation with my husband, he also pointed out that by praying for her to be led to another place of employment, I was putting God in a box. Who knows what He had in store for her? A more effective (hence, answered) prayer would be for her to come to the full knowledge of Christ and that God get the glory out of the situation and that anything meant for evil be turned to good.

My husband was right. (As I type this, I realize that this was also a great Wedded Whoament. I listened to the Holy Spirit and followed His leading to go to my husband. I was able to utilize the gift God gave me – my husband.)

All of these things that I was lead to pray for were things that I had confidence in, even without knowing the background situations or what the principal desired.

Amazingly enough, after praying for her my prayer extended to the principal who be there in the fall, whether it was her or not. I prayed for the school’s administration. I prayed for the school district and the list went on and on.

No matter how well-intended I thought I was being, once I removed myself and my feelings from the situation and took the limits off God, my prayer was more fruitful and I am confident that God heard my prayer and that my prayer is answered!

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” (Mark 11:24 NKJV)



"Reality" TV?

Recently, Pastor Rick challenged our married couple’s ministry, Heirs Together, to find a clip of a modern television show that exhibits wives who reverenced their husbands consistently. When the group couldn’t come up with any modern day shows, we resorted to past shows. 

A few people went to the “Cosby Show.” However, after some discussion, we digressed because there were times when Clair was a little feisty and borderline disrespectful to Cliff. So while she was a close contender, she wasn’t always a Wise Wife

Leave it to Beaver” came into the equation. Surely, we could find no fault with June, right? Wrong. We soon realized that Mrs. Cleaver didn't disrespect Ward, per se, but the Cleaver household functioned well because Ward was rarely home and when he was, he was dealing with the shenanigans of his two sons. The most consistent thing about June was that she always had breakfast, lunch and dinner ready for her family so that they could hold their discussions. And she wore pretty dresses and pearls so she was “easy on the eyes”.

It’s quite daunting to think that almost all wholesome family shows on television have been replaced with “reality” television. There are shows about the [ex] wives of athletes, shows about little people; shows about weddings; shows about chaotic, out of control brides; shows about rappers and their party lives; shows about what not to wear…shows about the lives of fishermen… and the list goes on and on. 

I once read an article about how President Obama does not permit his young daughters, Sasha and Malia, to watch a particular reality television show about a famous family because he doesn’t consider some of the members of the family as proper role models. Like this forbidden show, I am sure that many shows nowadays fall under this “do not watch” list.

Outside of my home, I work in family law. My job is to provide customer service to families who are going through the sometimes difficult process of coming up with parenting plans for their children. Many times, parents come to our office disheveled, upset and confused. I have the responsibility to calm them down, diffusing the tension they are experiencing. Sometimes I do that with a smile. On occasion, it is with a calm voice. At times it is just by listening to their stories without interrupting. Some of my coworkers have commented that I have ‘the patience of Job’ to deal with some of our clients. Yes, when I am at work, I am Tiffany the Top Model.

There are times when Tiffany the Top Model follows me to my house and everyone in the house is laughing and having a wonderful time. My husband is happy. My daughters are giggling and playful.

Then [insert aloud, thunderous boom here], there are times when Tiffany the Tyrant follows me to my house. Unlike Tiffany the Top Model, this Tiffany is short-tempered, snapping at everyone who comes against me. Maybe this is because I have had a challenging day at work. Maybe it is because it’s “that time of the month” or maybe it is because I am simply not in the mood to be cheerful. Whatever the reason is, my family is not happy to see this Tiffany come around so they all walk on eggshells not knowing where one of my bombs will land.

The Bible speaks of hypocrites and warns us against being like them. He describes hypocrites as being one way outwardly and another inwardly.

Just so, you also outwardly seem to people to be just and upright but inside you are full of pretense and lawlessness and iniquity” (Matthew 23:28 – Amplified Bible)

I know that today if my life were to be broadcast (and don’t be fooled, our actions are being recording by your Father in Heaven), I  probably wouldn’t be too proud of the show – especially if the film crew wanted to visit my house on the days that Tiffany the Tyrant was home.

This “WHOAment” has made me see the importance of being the same at all times. If something bothers me, I need to vent that frustration to God and not to my family. They don’t deserve to be subjected to my ill attitudes – especially if this is not the same attitude that I have at work. (See the Whoament about Fixing Your Face).

Every day, you have an opportunity to be the person that God wants you to be. To get an assessment, ask yourself these questions:

If my life was filmed for the entire world to see, 24 hours a day, what would they see? Would people only watch to check out all the drama? Would it be a show that the entire family could watch together? Would people use clips of my show as examples of different aspects of a model Christian’s life (marriage, parenthood, community)? Would someone want to censor my show because of all the profanity and negativity it displays? Would my Father be glorified?

Although it’s easy to fall into the excuses of “I was having a bad day” or “I didn’t feel like it”. But what if God had bad days or if He “just didn’t feel” like blessing you?



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wedded *Whoa*ment: Nagging Nurse or Wise Wife?

Regularly, our Pastor, Rick Sherer, and his wife, Rhyon, meet with the married couples at Berith Christian Fellowship. Heirs Together are Christian married couples who are being equipped and empowered to reach fulfillment by understanding God’s purpose for the marriage covenant, so that He can perfect the Body through them.*

Having been married for twenty-plus years, Pastor Rick and Mrs. Rhyon definitely bring a wealth of experience to these meetings. The teaching is based on the Word of God and, of course, The Sherer's add their own flare to make it relevant and interesting.

Recently, they taught “When a Husband Loves His Wife.” Through this, the husbands learned how to effectively love their wives, as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25-29).

This month’s lesson, addressed to the wives, “When a Wife Loves Her Husband”, is teaching us wives how to reverence and respect our husbands (Ephesians 5:22-24, 33). Through the classes, we have been learning about the attributes of a wise wife, versus a foolish wife.

“The wise [wife] builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands”. (Proverbs 14:1 NKJV)

By nature, men are problem-solvers and achievers. Men tend to value skill, ability and achievement. When a wife badgers, nags and second-guesses her husband’s abilities, she is ultimately demeaning her husband’s character and not reverencing him.  She is tearing down her house, brick by brick.

A wise wife embraces and appreciates her husbands’ skills and abilities. Through this, she builds her house.

Picture this:
A heart Surgeon is operating on a patient. The patient’s life is literally in this man’s hands. If he makes one wrong move, there will be consequences. At the very least, he will have to give an explanation to the patient’s family and his boss, the Attending Surgeon.

Although he is feeling a little tense because this is the first surgery that he has been allowed to perform without the Attending Surgeon being in the room to guide him, he is confident that all his studying and previous experience will render this operation a success. 

Now imagine a nurse coming in the room. Although she has witnessed a few heart surgeries that this Surgeon has preformed from the viewing gallery overhead, she is not assigned to this particular case. But she wants to help. As such, she walks into the operating room and scrubs up. She looks around the room, making certain that all the monitors are working properly. Then she approaches the Surgeon and begins to question his every move.

‘Doctor, are you sure that you are supposed to clamp the aortic valve right there?’

‘Do you want me to clamp that tissue for you so it stops bleeding?’

‘His heart sure is beating fast. Are you sure that you are applying the right amount of pressure on the tissue?’

By now, the nurse is standing directly behind the Surgeon, so close that he can feel her hot breath on his neck.

When our husbands are busy leading our family, our nagging (no matter how innocent or quietly we think it is) is not needed. If God trusts our husbands enough to give him the position of being the Head of the Household, then we should trust that God will equip him with the tools/instructions to get the job done.

Let’s go back into the operating room.

The nurse is still talking and “offering her assistance”.

‘Doctor, did you remember to insert the pace-maker in the right place? I’ve seen how tricky these surgeries can be and I want to make sure that you are doing a good job. After all, you are representing our hospital’.

Trying not to let the nagging nurse hinder his surgery, the Surgeon continues to focus and concentrate, applying all the techniques that his Attending Surgeon has taught him. He knows that if he becomes distracted by the nurse, he will be held responsible.

He continues working on the patient, but speaks to the nurse:

‘Can you please go down the hall to the waiting room and inform Mr. Task’s family that the surgery is going well and it is almost over. Please tell them that I will be out in a few minutes to speak with them directly.’

The nagging nurse sucks her teeth, rolls her eyes and stomps out of the operating room and down the hall where the patient’s family is waiting.

Now, it may be very easy for us to point out all the faults of the nagging nurse, but could we do the same if this same exchange was in our house?

God (the Attending Surgeon) has instructed our husbands to lead our households. Often times, we overstep our boundaries, thinking we are being helpful by “reminding” them of their responsibilities -- although we are neither instructed nor trained by God to lead our families.

On the other hand, when the Surgeon asked the nagging nurse for her assistance, she copped an attitude.

Perhaps she felt the duty of updating the family was beneath her; maybe she felt the doctor was just trying to get rid of her. She didn’t take into consideration that the doctor trusted her enough to interact with the patient’s family. Perhaps he felt that since she was concerned about making a good impression for the hospital, updating the family was good customer service. Since he was busy with the surgery, he simply couldn’t be in two places at once.

At a recent Heirs Together meeting, Pastor pointed out that a wise wife should be "excited" and "celebrate" when her husband enlists her help because it is a sign that her husband trusts her.

Has your husband taken on a task and you offered your unsolicited assistance to “help” him get it completed? Have you reminded him to complete a task you thought he would otherwise forget? When he started the task, did you stand over his shoulder, making sure that he did it correctly? Do you offer your opinion on how he interacts with the children when they are in his care? When he is driving and you think he is lost, do you try to give him directions? Do you make decisions that affect your family, only informing your husband when you think he needs to know?

When your husband does ask for your assistance, do you get an attitude or give him lip because you think the task is too minimal or mundane?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, perhaps you are the nagging nurse of (insert your last name here) Hospital.

Husbands have so many responsibilities as the Head of our Household. Not only does he have to answer to God, he also wants to please you. What a role!

Going forward, instead of questioning the “why” or giving your husband an attitude, embrace the fact that he trusts you enough to ask for help in the first place (and that by doing so, he trusts that you will complete the task).

Additionally, don’t be the nagging nurse looking over your husband’s shoulder and offering unwanted assistance.  Instead, simply ask him if you can help. Respect his answer, wise wife. “No” really does mean “no”.

Remember, a wise wife helps when asked! If you apply this, you are building your house!



* Berith Christian Fellowship’s Heirs Together Ministry Purpose Statement

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fix Your Face!

Imagine this:

You arrive at work on time and are sitting at your desk when your boss approaches your cubicle. He glances at your computer screen and when he sees that you are doing a work assignment, he smiles and says, ‘____ (insert your name here), Happy New Year! I’ve noticed all the hard work that you did for the company in 2011 and I want to show you my appreciation. I am giving you a special $1000 bonus. This bonus is tax free and will be deposited in your bank account by 10:00 a.m. today.’  Your boss smiles at you again, shakes your hand and walks away to begin his/her day. Immediately, you bow your head and say a prayer of Thanksgiving. (At ten o’clock, you go online and check your bank account and, sure enough, there has been a cash deposit of $1000!)

I’m picturing myself looking into a mirror which is casting your reflection. Whoa! I can see all those pearly whites because you are grinning from ear to ear. Wait. Is that pep in your step? Did you just jump in the air and click your heels together? You are definitely looking like someone who received super-duper good news! You appear to be the epitome of “blessed and highly favored!” Go ahead! Everyone can see that smile, even from blocks away. I even noticed that when the “office hater” walked past, you gave them an extra smile and even topped it with a nod and a “Hello”. Yes, I can look at you and tell that you are having a great day!

Now, imagine this:
You arrive at work thirty minutes early, per your usual routine, because you want to get a leg up on your daily work. Over the past year, you have been a model employee and have already decided that this year you will be even better. You are feeling like today is shaping up to be pretty fantastic.
A few minutes later, your boss comes into your cubicle and says ‘Happy New Year, ______ (insert your name here). I’ve noticed all the hard work that you did for the company in 2011. However, I also noticed that there are a lot of areas in which you could have done better. As a result, I am cutting your annual salary by $1000 and demoting you down to an entry level position - effective immediately! Please box up your belongings and report to the basement after lunch.’ Your boss gives you a disapproving look and walks away to begin his/her day.

I’m still checking you out the mirror. Oh no. Where is your smile? I don’t see anything but a scowl. Did I hear you mumble something bad about your boss under your breath? Did you just throw your paperweight across the room? Is that a stomp that I hear? Wow. Did you just ignore Maria when she said ‘Good morning’? Yes, I can tell that your day is not going anything like you planned. Even Stevie Wonder can see that you have a straight up attitude right now.

Though the two examples are extreme (or are they?), they raise a valid point.  If your voice box suddenly stopped working, are people able to look at you and see what kind of day you are having? Does your outer man [attitude, facial expressions, how you carry yourself] match your inner [God]?

As a wife, there are times when my husband can look at my face and tell if something is bothering me or how my day is going. He is able to judge solely by my attitude if he should “proceed with caution” or if it is “safe”.

As a parent, whenever my children look a certain way after I have scolded them, I often tell them “fix your face!”

Yet, am I practicing the same?

1 Peter 5:8 says “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”.

The word “seeking” means that the enemy is watching me and if he sees me looking or acting a certain way, I have already given him the indication that I am vulnerable because my emotions are in control of me – no matter what or Who I claim on the inside. If I allow my emotions to control me, I am easy prey. 

John 16:33 says, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.”

With peace, there is no room for attitudes or bad moods. Likewise, the “good cheer” described in this scripture is what Believers should demonstrate at all the times. Sure, there will be trials, frustrations, aggravations and stressors because we do live in this world. But knowing that Jesus has already conquered them all and has made us the victors, we should always look, act and treat others the same way – no matter what the circumstance.

When someone or something comes against you, know that they are simply small, supporting characters who act in your triumphant story! Do not give them the leading role! Through Christ, we have already won all battles and arguments and have conquered any situation that comes our way – whether in the spiritual or the natural.

Because we have Christ in us, people should not be able to look at us and tell when we are experiencing challenges. With Christ on the inside, He should be shining on the outside - at all times!
Today, I plainly heard the Holy Spirit admonishing me to follow my own instruction to “fix my face (and my attitude) in times of unease and pressure.

I know for sure that today forward, I will be more conscientious of my face and attitude. Whenever I am tempted to let my emotions run me, I am going to “fix my face!” and declare Romans 8:37.  “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us”.

After getting revelation of this scripture, I now understand the true meaning behind the saying “never let them see you sweat!”


P.S. – Happy New Year to you and your family! May God reign on you in 2012!