Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Our Struggles, but Christ - The Punisher

Image Courtesy of David Castillo Dominci/
The Punisher (Girl): Why are you so stupid?! Like who does that?! 
Guy: Why do you have to yell at me? I’m right here.
The Punisher: You need to man up…I’m not even yelling at you.
Guy: Why are you so disrespectful? We can finish this conversation later when you have calmed down.
The Punisher: Don’t tell me to calm down! I am calm! I would not act this way if you didn’t do stupid things! I do everything for you and you just can’t do this one thing - not lie to me. Why?!
Guy: Can you blame me?! Look at the way you are acting! It is hard to tell you the truth. You know need to change and you need to do it soon or this is not going to work.
The Punisher: I don’t need to change! I am not the person with the problem. You are!
Guy: I can’t do this….
The Punisher: I can't do this anymore! 
Storms away and calls her sibling. 

The Punisher: What am I doing wrong? Why do I feel like he is always lying to me? I do everything for him.
Sibling: Well, I  don't know about you, but I don't feel like either one of you come off in a loving manner when you disagree. 
The Punisher: What do you mean? I just told you that I do everything for him. I might get loud sometimes and say hurtful things, but it’s not like I’m hitting or cheating on him.
Sibling: Girl, words cut deep. Did you read the Boyd Sisters blog post about words. Words are powerful. You can make someone's day with a few simple words, but you can also ruin it too.
The Punisher: So are you saying that I cannot be mad?
Sibling: Being mad is not the problem, it is how you handle your anger where the problem lies. The words that come out of your mouth are hurtful. I know before I gave my life to Christ I use to be like that, but I learned that I must handle my problems through Christ with love.
The Punisher: Well, he does not deserve my kindness or love. I don’t want anyone taking advantage of me. If you act right, you get treated right. If you act up… get the ugly side of me. Whether it's yelling or ignoring them, I refuse to act like that person did not hurt me. Especially him...You want me to show him love. Let's be real, he does not deserve it.
Sibling: It is not your job to punish people. That's God job. We been called to love them.  Love is not a reward, it’s an obligation. If love was based on performance, then no one would love others. We have to remember that no one is perfect. Love is not about how people act, but about what people need. (1 Peter 4:7-8) Love has the ability to see bad actions and push pass them to meet a person's needs. (Titus 3:3-6) That is how I try to love you. That is how Christ's loves us. God knows we are so unworthy but He loves us anyway. Let's look pass people's behaviors and show the love that we received from Christ. 
The Punisher: How do I extend love to someone whose behavior does not show love?
Sibling: Yeah, I know it's not easy. However, I always ask myself, "Are your attitudes and perspectives a great reflection of God’s Heart?"
The Punisher: What does my attitude and perspective have to do with showing love?
Sibling: People attitudes and perspectives are shaped by their circumstances and experiences. Think about it. Have you ever met a friendly person that doesn't have any friends? I sure haven't! We have to stop focusing on changing our external. People do that all the time by going from relationship to relationship or job to job. If we don't change our internal, we will get the same results. Regardless of the opportunity we get, if our heart does not change then our situation will remain the same. Girl read yo bible! LOL  We got the same one, read Ezekiel 36:26.
Girl: Haha...How do I change the internal? I been trying to change, but he always pulls out the worst in me. I feel like I go a few months doing really well and then he does something that sets me back.
Sibling: Girl I understand, I been there. But the main thing is I stop trying to do it by myself. We think they can do it by ourselves not knowing that I am the only One that can change the internal is Christ.(Ezekiel 36:26)  Whenever I am bother by something or I feel out of control, I pray this prayer. “Jesus check my heart and my attitude. I know I have a perspective about people, but check my perspective. Point out anything in me that offends You. Show Me how to love like You.  Give me strength to love the unlovable as You have done for me. Give me Your heart Lord because minds is wicked. I want to see people like You see them. Amen.”
Girl: Jesus check my heart and my attitude. I know I have a perspective about people, but check my perspective. Point out anything in me that offends You. Show Me how to love like You.  Give me strength to love the unlovable as You have done for me. Give me Your heart Lord because minds is wicked. I want to see people like You see them. Amen. Do you think I should stay in my relationship? 
Sibling: To be honest that is something you need to talk to God about not just me. I will say that you should focus on you and your relationship with Christ. Remember this is not about if you should or shouldn't be in the relationship. It is about your attitude, mindset, and they way you treat people. I am not telling you to be anyone's doormat or stay in a violent relationship.  You must accept that hurt people, hurt people. We can't keep using the same excuses about what our parents did, or past relationships to shape the way you love. The way you love should be based off of God. He should be your standard of love for He is love. (1 John 4:8-11)  I know this seems very difficult for people to grasp, but the best part is that you don't have to do this alone because you have Him. That is what my change so exciting and easy. I did it with Him.
Image Courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn/
The Punisher can be a woman or a man who places abuse on others. This is not just physical and mental abuse, this applies to giving people the silent treatment or having an attitude because we feel its our job is to punish them. We use the excuse that everyone around us is the reason why we treat them the way we do. Or we grew up in a household where these negative actions were prevalent so "we do not know any better”. Maybe we believe we have to teach that person a lesson. We must ask ourselves these questions, “Are my actions a reflection of Christ’s love?” “Is this how God intended us to displace love to others?” “How much longer are we going to justify our actions based off our circumstances or past?” We must stop blaming our friends, families, or enemies for our actions. Luke 6:45 says, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Do you feel like you actions are good? We must lean on Christ, focus on our relationship with Him, and He will change us in ways that we could never imagine. Loving the unlovable is impossible without Christ. Pray for Him to pull anything out of you that is unlike Him, and He will do it. The closer you get to Christ the more like Him you will be.

Eph. 4:22-24


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Our Struggles, but Christ - The Dimmer

Image Courtesy of Mastered Isolated Images/
The Dimmer: Yo…I'm so stressed out mentally.
Friend: What's going on?
The Dimmer: There has been a lot going on with work and my boyfriend. I have never felt more alone as I do now.
Friend: You know you can tell me anything, and if you can't tell me you know you got Christ. He is always available for us we just have to seek Him out. 
The Dimmer: I’m worried. I'm worried about my relationship. I’m tired of people. Especially people from church, they telling me to let my relationship go. They don’t understand that God has blessed us. I know Taylor is a blessing in my life and I am the same in Taylor's.  When we first met, he was not even interested in going to church. He agrees to go now because of me. Personally, I think it is amazing! He might not go every Sunday, but it is progress. Some take longer than others, but one way or another he will find his way to God.
Friend: The fact that someone goes to church does not mean they are coming for right reasons and we both know that. 
The Dimmer: Taylor loves Christ. Why isn't that enough? I know Taylor isn't fully committed, but there's progress. We do get into arguments sometimes about God. I really can't talk to him about my relationship with God without making him feel uncomfortable. It is causing a lot of problems in our relationship, but I feel like he is changing. I just need to be patient and keep praying. What do you think?

Image Courtesy of thepathtraveler/
Friend: You know one thing I love about Christ is there is no in between. You are either for Him or against Him. (Matt. 12:30) People think just because you go to church or do certain deeds that mean you are a Follower of Christ. You know someone is a Follower of Christ when you see their fruit. Look at their lives. (Matt. 12:33) Has their desires change from the worldly pleasure to Christ? Do they love people differently? Do they practice what they preach and preach what they practice?
The Dimmer: What am I supposed to do? What do you think?
Friend: You want the biblical answer or the "what you want to hear" answer?
The Dimmer: Haha...the biblical.
Friend: Good...because I was going to give it to you anyway. LOL Jesus Christ tells us that no one lights a lamp and then puts it under a table. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. (Luke 11:33) You can’t hide your light when you are around darkness. 
The Dimmer: But, I am not trying to dim my light. I am trying to lead Taylor to Christ. I just want him to love God just like I do, but I don’t want to ruin my relationship. I feel like if I keep bringing God up it will make Taylor go in the opposite direction. 
Friend: Hmmmmm....Are you more concern with your relationship with Taylor or your relationship with Christ? Living for Christ means that we are going to suffer. Remember the world hated Him first so its going to hate us. (John 15:18) We have to give up this world in order to live for Him. Some times that means giving up or distancing ourselves from a friend or a boyfriend. We must choose obedience just like Christ did for us.  
The Dimmer: I hate to say but your right. You never been so right. (SMH).  What am I supposed to do? I can’t just leave Taylor. In the Word it says, that I shouldn't leave because Taylor is an unbeliever. (1 Corin. 7:12-14)
Friend: This is for people who are married. Being unequally yoked, it so much deeper than people think. It’s a lifetime of growing spiritually together and your lives molding into one. This will not happen if the two are not in agreement. The Bible continues to say if the unbeliever leaves, let them because God has called you to live in peace. (1 Corin. 7:15)
The Dimmer: What if I am the person that leads Taylor to Christ? What about the book of Hosea? God told him to seek after a prostitute.
Friend: That was Hosea's purpose. Did God tell you that was your purpose? And do you think you can lead Taylor to Christ without courting him?
The Dimmer: I don't know if that's my purpose. I never asked God. 
Friend: You know all you have to do is ask, be patient. and obedient regardless of the answer. I promise you He will never leave you. Just trust Him. What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later. (Romans 8:18)

The Dimmer is someone who is struggling in a relationship with his or her significant other, friend, or family member who is not a follower of Christ. Initially, we believe this is not an issue. It gets to the point that we have to suppress Christ so much that we draw ourselves further away from Him. We believe we are doing this to make our significant other feel comfortable. This is not true. Have you ever thought that we are really doing it for ourselves to save our relationship? Christ called us to be the light. We have to stop dimming our light to make others feel comfortable or for ourselves out of fear. God may have called you to be the light in your relationship or He may not have called you to do that at all. Either way, we should never have to dim our light for anyone. Let's decide today to not be a dimmer and live by our own understanding, but consult with God for His purpose over our lives.

Eph. 4:22-24


Our Struggles...But Christ

Image Courtesy Michal Marcol/
The “Our Struggles...But Christ Series” is based on the struggles we, as the Boyd Sisters have faced or gone through with our friends or relationships. We know that we will all have struggles throughout this lifetime, but then there is Christ. Being a Follower of Christ does not mean that we will not have problems or obstacles, but it means that our holy spirit has a resting place. That resting place is in Jesus Christ. Jesus tells us, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. (Matthew 11:28-30) 

Check out the conversations!
Part 1: The Dimmer - Struggling with living for Christ and shining your light to the world. 
Part 2: The Punisher - Struggling with loving others due our past and others sins against us. We based our actions on their behavior. 
Part 3: The Bag Carrier - Struggling with forgiveness. 
Part 4: The Army Brat - Struggling with commitment issues due to a broken heart, abandonment, and/or fear. 

Eph. 4:22-24


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How Did We Change? Second Good Question.

Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles/
Before we gave our lives to Christ, there were multiples times where we would tell ourselves or promise God that we would not do certain things according to us, but to His word. There were two areas in particular that we felt at the time we needed to work out. The number one thing for us was having sex with our boyfriends. I would go to church or hear a great message somewhere, have a revolution, and make a promise. I would tell God, "Lord, he ain't getting no cookie until he put a ring on it and make a promise to You, me, and himself. Why? Because it is the right thing to do!" The week would go on and I would make plans to hang out with the boy toy. The entire time I am getting ready I would look in the mirror and say, "Look we are waiting! Remember no one wants to buy the cow if the milk is for free...whatever that means..." I would see him and I would think, "Oh my goodness, he looks so yummy in all his chocolate glory! To top it off he smells like deliciousness..." Before I knew it, one thing led to another and all that stuff went out the window. I would start to think, "I know I promised you God, but let's start this next time. I promise this is my last time. Look at Him! Plus, he plans on buying the milk anyway so there's no harm in getting a sample. It's like buying grapes at the grocery store. You taste, you buy! Sounds logical to me..." 

We also had a difficult time with alcohol. I am no alcoholic, but it was becoming a big part of my life. I would try to convince myself that I am not the type who needed to drink to have fun. The funny thing is that I would always pre-game for any and every event. It was to the point that drinking did not stop at clubs and bars. I started to drink before going to the movies, skating (bad idea), bowling, etc. It would take moments of reflection or hearing a friend give up alcohol to make me think should I do the same? What do we do when we want to change something? WE MAKE IT A NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION! LOL You better believe drinking was no different. I would promise, "This year I am not going to get "too" drunk. I am going to drink just enough to feel a little somethin' somethin'. I am only going to drink beer and wine. No shots. Before I could even get into the new year, I am taking shots at 2am and drinking with a purpose to celebrate.

Whether you are a person who gets drunk, has premarital sex, or maybe does neither, it really doesn't matter. Becoming a following of Christ is not a checklist. We don't sit down with God and decide what characteristics to buy and sell like the stock market. It is not about the person we were, but the person we are trying to become. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Being a follower of Christ, is a relationship. I know you may hear us say this over and over again, but it's really true! :) Focus on having a relationship with God. Get to know Him by reading His word. Apply His word to you life because reading God's Word without the intent to apply it is equivalent to chewing food without the intent to swallow. Consult with Him about everything under the sun. Become real friends. Don't focus on all the things you need to give up, doing things just because it is the "right" thing to do, or changing because your friends are. When you build a relationship with Christ, all those things will follow. We do not have a mean or selfish God. Our God is a gentleman and will not force us to do anything. How did we change? We just followed Him. When you talk with God, you begin to talk like God. You walk with God, you begin to walk like God.

Image Courtesy of Steven Lipofsky/
 Let's think about this. We all know Michael Jordan. You know the former Chicago Bull (whoot, whoot!), icon for Hanes commercial, Space Jam star (love this movie!), or the man that still makes money on shoes and hasn't played ball in years? We all know Mike as the man who changed the GAME. We know this guy (James) who has a friend (Robert). They would always hoop together. So every time James would hit up Robert to play ball, he would always need an hour to get ready. What man needs an hour to get ready for basketball every time?!LOL Any who, he would spend an hour watching Michael Jordan highlights. He would study his technique. He would try to mimic Jordan's cross-over, his timing, his quickness, etc. It was so serious that Robert would wear the double shorts and forearm band like Mike. James and all their friends always made fun of him because he was trying so hard to be like Mike. He would even stick out his tongue and do the fade away shot. If Mike did it, he did it. He wasn't no Michael Jordan, but people would actually say he looked like Mike. Crazy, right?! The funny thing is that it is true. When you study or engulf yourself in something you truly become more like it. God is the same. Again how did we change? We just followed Him. When you talk with God, you begin to talk like God. You walk with God, you begin to walk like God. We don't need more of God. We just need to decrease to make room for Him to increase. Think about it. 

Eph. 4:22-24