Holding On To the Past

When I was a child I grew to love all the people that surrounded me each and every day. Whether it was family, friends, or even strangers turned into friends. Even today, as I grow older, I still love to meet new people. I remember one time, early on, being full of so many dreams and desires for my later years when I used to dream of building a huge mansion…a mansion with over 150 rooms or so, with the additional land and capabilities of adding even more. I mean, it was a pretty big mansion, and many of the rooms were empty.  This was done so that one day all my family, friends, and loved ones could live under the same roof, close to one another, and being there for each other.

Even today, that’s still a dream. But reality steps in and I realize that such a mansion is only a dream that almost no one can fulfill. The reasoning is that having a close relationship early on in life does not guarantee that those same people, who are in your life at an early age, are most likely not going to be there for very long. Things happen: misunderstanding, patience gone thin, lies, death, bitterness, and love being overshadowed by intense hate. Separation.

Rarely do family and friends last long. It’s supposed to be that family stays, and friends come and go. But bitterness and anger last a very long time, even beyond death. Is it possible to carry hate and sin with us into the beyond? The more I witness in this short life, the more I am convinced that it’s entirely possible, but dying with ongoing hate and sin guarantees our destination is not going to be what we expected. In fact, going to the grave with un forgiveness and bitterness almost guarantees your final destination will be a hot one.

We are supposed to live our lives with no regrets. That’s called living a compliant life. But so many don’t have that, no matter how much they want it. Maybe we could call it pride, self-serving, or any number of things. But we are instructed never to look back at what we had. There may be many reasons not to look back, but I believe that one of them is that when we don’t have the discipline, we can look back and pull the things that were past into the present. And that’s not always going to work our benefit.

As Christians, we are to ditch the old things, and move forward into the new. But we can’t budge if we are still holding on to the grudge.

Am I Really Evil?

It’s almost that time of year. The time that people put on all sorts of weird clothes, plastic mask, makeup, and their own fun fantasies. I heard last year that Halloween has become the highest selling holiday, taking over Christmas. Now I can’t really say that I am not pleased with that statement. A part of me cringes when I think back to the money I used to spend on Christmas gifts to my family, and on myself especially. The thought draws deep blood in that so many times I was in “dire straits” for lack of what to get my loved ones. Sure, they had their ideas, but I was, and still am, completely clueless as what to get a person who has everything? This isn’t really about Christmas though. It’s about the day that is highly feared among many church attending, straight and narrow Christians: Halloween.halloween children

Even at the ripe old age of 48, I still adore all the things about what Halloween has become: a day meant for our innocent children, to dress up as a spooky monster, or even an adorable princess. Our little Batmans, Turtles, Princesses…whatever the newest craziness is… for them it’s fun, and there’s no harm in the costumes, neither is there harm going door to door and coming home with a bag full of candy, which our parents (or is that us?) willingly dig into themselves sometimes?

Of course, I stopped dressing up in a costume a long time ago…after I stopped going to the nightclubs for their Halloween parties. I still decorate our house for Halloween myself. I put out some old cobwebs, fog machine, lights, old skeleton. I don’t dwell on the horror stories that many Bible-Thumping, Holier than Though Christians speak of that happened long ago. These same Christians speak of pagans that worship deities that existed long ago. They claim that by celebrating Halloween, many Christians today are worshipping those same deities. The weakness to that age old argument is that I know Who I truly worship! And yes, the One whom I worship does indeed require human sacrifice: but not one of blood, not one of flesh, but a human sacrifice of the spiritual man. God wants our hearts, minds, souls, spirits. He wants our service, our thoughts, our deeds. …God wants it all. God has never looked at the outer man. If God did look at the outer man, I am afraid that the church would be full of elaborate painted masks and outfits. By celebrating the modern day Halloween I don’t go around casting spells, or charming snakes, or flying on a broom stick. I don’t go around sacrificing innocent children, or other victims. I don’t even attend a huge bonfire out in the desert or wilderness somewhere. As a Christian confronting another Christian who desires to correct me, chastise, and even rebuke me for celebrating Halloween with all its costumes, fun, party atmosphere because it leads back to paganism, I’d like them to point out the exact similarities between what happened many, many centuries ago, verses what is going on today. I would point out that the only “doors” that are being opened are doors of having fun and enjoying one day out of the year. I’d also like to point out to them that there are just as many people/Christians who wear masks on a daily basis, hiding the old dead bones that lay beneath. Old dead bones that the Spirit of God desires to breath new life into….every single day.

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41

How to Preserve a Halloween Jack o Lantern

I hate to spend the time digging into a pumpkin yanking out it’s guts, carving it’s face only to have it mold and rot the next day. But according to this little article I found, it doesn’t have to be that way:

Pumpkins
Your carved pumpkin or Halloween jack o lantern doesn’t have to rot or mold before Halloween! Here is how to use chemistry to preserve a jack o lantern so that it will last for weeks instead of days.

  1. Mix up a preservative solution for your carved pumpkin consisting of 2 teaspoons of household bleach per gallon of water.
  2. Fill a sink, bucket, or tub with enough of the bleach solution to totally immerse the carved jack o lantern. Place the jack o lantern in the bleach mixture right after you have finished carving it. Soak the carved pumpkin for 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Remove the pumpkin from the liquid and allow it to air dry. Spray the pumpkin inside and outside with a commercial pumpkin preservative or use your own mixture, consisting of 1 teaspoon of bleach in water. Spray the pumpkin once daily, to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.
  4. Smear petroleum jelly on all of the cut surfaces of the pumpkin. This will prevent the pumpkin from drying out and getting that puckered, shriveled look.
  5. Protect the jack o lantern from sun or rain, since one will dry the pumpkin out, while the other will promote the growth of mold. If possible, refrigerate your jack o lantern when it’s not in use.

How It Works

Bleach is dilute sodium hypochlorite, an oxidizer that kills microorganism that decay the pumpkin, including mold, fungi, and bacteria. You need to reapply it because it loses its effectiveness fairly quickly. The petroleum jelly locks in moisture so the jack o lantern doesn’t get dehydrated.

Now that you know how to keep it fresh, make a science Halloween jack o lantern.

When Things Go Wrong

My second post in a month! I must be happy again! 🙂

I was attempting to upgrade my cable modem tonight. My service provider informed me of a newer modem which they shipped out to me, so tonight I connected it with the cable and the wires and the power. I thought I was done and turned my computer on to find that I had no internet service and I also had no phone service either.

Panic set in…because I could do without immediate internet, but phone service is critical.

So being the tech I am I broke down and using my cel phone called my service provider’s technical support.The very kind English speaking American had me up and running in no time.

In this life we live things can go wrong. It doesn’t matter if they are big things or little things. I was reminded that whatever the situation we should always remember that God is in control. When we need help, He is there. He is only a call away!

Have a great day..today and everyday. And give thanks always to the Lord!

Holy Spirit Head Slap.

The more I think about it the more I am getting angrier at the many Christians online who are posting that the Ice Water Bucket Challenge is evil.

The fact is, the challenge was started to raise awareness of a ALS (Lou Gehrig) very deliberating disease, and also to obtain the money to fund further research. While I do understand that some of the funds may be used for some embryonic stem cell research, that is not the main  purpose of the challenge. If I am wrong and you know a lot more than I do then please correct me, but obviously, the creator of the challenge wanted funds to be available for further research to a cure for ALS.

I believe that the problem with the Christians going up against the challenge is that the challenge itself has taken off like a firestorm. All of a sudden people everywhere are taking the challenge and bringing awareness to ALS. The Christians are upset because it seems to make a mockery out of water baptism and it’s catching fire..meaning it’s going on seemingly throughout the country. While at the same time they are aware that perhaps their own fire for an outward revival is sorely lacking. There is no mockery out of Christian principles here:  water baptism is an outward display (a public witness) of the start of a Christian’s new life/walk in Christ. There is usually no ice or ice water involved in baptism.

The IWB Challenge is partly meant as a fun way to bring attention to ALS, and with all fads will quickly fade away and be forgotten. It’s not even necessary to go through the challenge itself: simply donating your money to the cause is sufficient enough.

Water Baptism is a serious and necessary step into the Christian life. Unless you become lukewarm and stale at some point afterwards the fact is that water baptism hasn’t been forgotten over the past 2,000 years.

The IWB Challenge is a “do it and forget it” fad. It’s not going to affect you if you undergo it, no “demonic forces” are going to be involved in it, and you are not going to hell for accepting the challenge Water Baptism IS going to affect you because the Holy Spirit is going to come along soon after and give you a version of the Gibbs head slap, let’s call it the Holy Spirit Head Slap!…one that you will likely not forget.

I haven’t taken the ALS challenge myself…yet. 🙂

Beyoncè and Jay-Z

I wanted to share this witness about what goes on at a particular concert. While I agree that these two entertainers did compose a song I really like: “Crazy In Love”, I’m not a particular fan of theirs. Still, the image they portray is very frightening, especially with the attractionour children have to this kind of music and these types of performers.

Of course, I also am not too fond of using the image of the cross like this. I will often use the image of the cross in my own artwork, but nothing as disrespectful, nor worshipful like this. As Christians, we understand what the Cross means in our lives. so we worship The King, and not the cross.

It’s only Hollywood folks!!!, the same people who brought you The Beatles and Sonny And Cher…

Beyoncè and Jay-Z: The Rumor Nobody Is Talking About

Posted on August 7, 2014 by Brittaneé

“And the winner is….. Our very own Brittaneè Perkins!”

With utter shock on face, I shrill in excitement and accept my prize! I was just announced as the winner of 2 tickets to the Jay-Z and Beyoncé On the Run Tour!

But after the initial excitement wears off, reality sets in. I had just won tickets to see musicians that I publicly denounced after getting SAVED 8 months ago. (clarification: I won the tickets through an employee sweepstakes that my job held for those who participated in volunteer efforts outside of work- I did not call a radio station or go out of my way to get them).

I instantly felt convicted. I would never pay to see Beyoncé and Jay-Z on this tour (it’s raunchy and waaaaay too expensive for my blood). But would I be strong enough to take a stand for Christ even if the tickets were free? I felt like a hypocrite for even considering going.

Anyway, after much prayer, consideration, and conversation with my parents and Pastor, I decided to go. Attending a Beyoncè concert won’t send you to hell, just like attending a Kirk Franklin concert won’t get you into heaven. “It’s harmless entertainment,” I said to myself. “How bad could it be?”

——————————————————————————–

August 03, 2014 Rose Bowl Stadium

From the moment Jay-Z and Beyoncé hit the stage, something felt off in my spirit. I knew I didn’t belong there, and I felt heavy and out of place. Instead of cheering and singing along to the songs I once loved, I literally began taking notes. Let me be clear: this is not some “illuminati conspiracy” post created to discuss secret occult symbols used by secular artist. I won’t even go into the deep stuff. This is much more simple- which makes it even worse. This concert had a 42 song setlist, so I also won’t attempt to cover every detail. These were my personal notes on 12 of the most blatant things that stood out to me.

1. During the shows opening song ‘Bonnie and Clyde’, they come out with a HUGE cross in the back of them. “All I need in this life of sin, is me and my girlfriend.” Actually, all you need in this life of sin is Jesus and a repentant heart! Your girlfriend can’t save you on judgment day, and I can’t believe how long it took me to realize the subtle message they are spreading with this catchy song.

2. Beyoncé is now wearing a thong and provocatively dancing for the crowd. I understand that she is an “entertainer”, but where does a wife and mother of a little girl draw the line? I was even more appalled that her husband was okay with this. Bey has the talent, she doesn’t have come out naked to sell records.

image5-300x230

3. Jay-Z says, “I had to get off the boat so I could walk on water”. Ummm, like the miracle Jesus performed? So now you perform miracles like Jesus? Interesting.

4. Jay-Z says, “shout out all the weed smokers”, and repeatedly calls his wife and mother of his child a “bad b***h”, as she nods and sings along in agreement. A bad b***h is a dog that misbehaves, not your wife.

5. Bey starts singing “Who run the World? Girls” The bible tells us it is Satan, not girls who runs the world. John 12:31 “The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out”. Then, I notice Bey singing a phrase, almost as if she is casting a spell. “My persuasion, can build a nation, endless power, a love you can devour, you’ll do anything for me”. I instantly think of 1 Peter 5:8 “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” This song set the tone for the rest of the concert, as everyone began to follow along as if they were hypnotized.

image6-300x225

6. The “hypnosis” is immediately followed by a song in which Bey repeatedly sings “Bow Down b****es” over and over again. And please don’t try to tell me “Flawless” is a women’s empowerment anthem. In the same song she uses to convey the message that women are tearing each other down and using their looks to compete for a man’s attention, she is telling me to “bow down” to her while she opens her legs and shakes her bum in front of thousands of men. By the way, I don’t care what Beyonce says, WE ARE NOT FLAWLESS. In fact, we are the opposite and need Gods grace and mercy because we really deserve His wrath. Did I mention Beyoncé says “God Damn” 14 times?

7. Next, Jay-Z has water in the background, which gives the appearance he is walking on water. At times, the screen shows the water splitting like the Red Sea. Not surprised since he already thinks he is god. “Hova” is definitely short for Jehovah.

image4-222x300-1

8. Crosses. So many crosses. Burning crosses. Crosses surrounded by fire. Big red crosses. I literally saw so many that I lost count. And these crosses are constantly being displayed while the artists sing lyrics about pride, vanity, sex, getting drunk, cheating, and self glorification.

 

9. It’s a rap concert, so I expected some cursing. But the cursing in this concert was crazy! I’m not talking a few darns and s*words. I’m talking 22 F*bombs and 17 Mf’*rs. Oh, let me clarify- they came from Beyoncè not Jay-Z. At times I felt I was watching Rihanna instead of Mrs. Carter. If you want to call yourself a Queen, then you need to speak like one.

10. The words “Lucifer, dawn of the Morning”, randomly blares from the speakers. Jay-Z doesn’t even perform this song. I guess they just wanted to say Lucifer to the crowd to remind us who this was all about.

11. Jay-Z performs “No Church in the Wild”, a song that boast lyrics like, “what’s a king to a god, what’s a God to a non-believer?” Jay-Z then says, “Jesus was a carpenter, Yeezus laid the beat, Hova flow the Holy Ghost get the f*** up out ya seats”. He then goes on to say, “we gotta thank god for letting us live out our dream!” Huh? You’re “thanking god” on the same track in which your chorus includes what’s a God to a non-believer? Who is the god that you are thanking?

12. Instead of “J+B”, I notice it keeps showing “J†B”. A cross is used instead of a plus sign.image7-300x178

These were just a few of the many things I noticed during the show. As a Christian, it rightfully made me feel very uncomfortable, and I would question my salvation if it didn’t. Beyoncé can do whatever she wants to- but she needs to mindful that she has boldly presented herself to the world as a Christian. Everyone is talking about how this tour sold 100 million, and how the Carters may be headed to divorce court, but breezing over the message of this tour. We have to be aware of what we are feeding our spirits, and I personally refuse to let a catchy hook and dope beat lead me to hell.

Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

One time for the nation,

~Britt

Is It Depression, or something else?

DO I HAVE DEPRESSION?
Here we go again…I’ve decided to try and start writing again. I think at this stage in my “journey” it’s the best thing I can do.
I knew that going into the ring to help my mother with her cancer was going to be tough, but I never thought it would pull me away from doing the things I loved. While it’s true that my creativity has suffered for years, that’s not really unusual for an artist.

But I am not suffering from depression. I am not constantly crying and weeping, although nearing 48 years old, I should be. I’ve found out that I can’t do some of the things I could do when I was 10 years younger…like sitting on the floor. I mean, have you ever seen an elephant get up off the ground in a graceful manner?

Arthritis seems to have hit almost every bone in my body…even lying down at the end of the day seems to hurt a bit.

So my trials have been harsh, but going through trials sometimes makes you want to weep., or even throw up your hands. But even through my complaining I know these trials will soon end. Let’s just say that the devil can get into your trials and it may seem like you are the nail, and he is the hammer.
We shouldn’t blame the devil for our trials. Sure trials are a time of testing, and just as in any written test, there are some questions we can only answer with our best answer, even though our answer may miss it, but we learn to look back through our notes after the test and remember the correct answer.
In my case, I can say I still miss the answer even at 48 years old. But I constantly learn and adapt.

This leads me to use Moses as an example. Being God’s first megaphone…ok, ok, we know Aaron was God’s first megaphone… Moses was the mouth on the delivery end… Moses made ONE major mistake in his life when he spanked the crap out of the rock…but after a little talk by God, Moses became a great leader…who was generally feared by the people. People KNEW God and Moses were tight…
But since half…ok most, of the people just didn’t listen, that alone could have driven Moses to depression. He could have asked God why God put him in the leadership position. But he didn’t. Moses KNEW God’s power.
I mean, you just don’t question a power that can set a burning bush on fire do you? Oh wait..I missed that one by a mile didn’t I?

Anyways, here’s the deal steel….depression is an illness and you don’t become a Christian and stay in depression. God lifts you up from that depression. Sure you can face times in your life where you want to die….but that’s hopelessness, not depression. Depression is allowing the trials of your life overwhelm you to the point that you are not able to function. Basically depression is your mind saying “I can’t cope!” But yet God, in His infinite wisdom has given you the Holy Spirit, which helps you cope!”

Stay on that straight and narrow path friends, and don’t go wandering around. But if you do wander off…remember to look up, because your redemption is very near, even upon you!
Love ya!

    Something different – Lemons

    Aside

    I want to try something different. I know this is a departure from the focus of my blog, but since I am not that active with the recent events in my life, I want to try and add some helpful nutrients.

    Hmmm…I smell a forthcoming blog post. 🙂

    Anyways, this Aside post has to do with the wonders of lemons…yes lemons.

    We do have a lemon tree in our backyard. And the lemons are already on their way. I am not sure when they will be ready though…maybe sometime after Summer.

    Here ya go:

    We all know lemons are delicious, adding a citrusy kick to everything from salad dressings to cocktails. And the laundry list of health benefits is seriously impressive – not only does the fruit contain antibacterial properties that cleanse the kidneys and liver and strengthen your immune system, but it offers a hefty dose of vitamin C and antioxidants that fight free-radicals and help keep you looking younger.

    *Health booster: Get in the habit of starting the day with a cup of hot water and lemon – it’ll kick start your metabolism and get your morning off to a healthy start!

    What fewer people know is that lemons also have some unexpected uses. Here are seven ways the handy fruit can solve your trickiest kitchen dilemmas and help enhance your meals.

    1. Prevent Browning: A few squeezes of juice can do wonders for avocado, apples, bananas, and peeled raw potatoes, since lemon juice is just acidic enough to prevent the oxidation that turns produce brown. Try this trick the next time you’re doing meal prep ahead of time or when you set out a platter of fresh sliced fruit for dipping in a Chocolate Fondue.

    2. Stop Rice From Sticking: Have a problem with clumpy rice? You’re in luck – adding a few drops of lemon to your cooking water helps prevent the rice from sticking together. Added plus? The lemon juice will also whiten your rice and keep it looking great on the dinner plate! Try this tip with our Green Tea Rice recipe.

    3. Keep Brown Sugar Soft: The juice isn’t the only useful part of the lemon; its super moist and flavorful peel can work wonders in the kitchen too. Add a slice of the skin (with the pulp completely removed) to your box of brown sugar to keep it from clumping and hardening. This way, you won’t have to do any sifting the next time you make our Old-Fashioned Apple-Nut Crisp.

    4. Crisp Your Lettuce: No need to toss that limp lettuce! A little lemon juice and water can help bring your leaves back to life. To crisp up limp leaves, soak them in a bowl of cold water and ½ cup of lemon juice, then refrigerate for about an hour. The leaves will come out revived and ready for eating. Try it out on a simple green salad topped with our Roasted Garlic Dressing.

    5. Cook Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs: Even if you’ve mastered perfectly hard-boiled eggs, try brushing the eggshells with lemon juice before adding them to the pot for a little added insurance. The lemon juice helps keep the shells from cracking while they cook, and it also makes them easier to peel once they’re ready to eat. Try this technique before you enjoy the eggs in our Golden Polenta and Egg With Mustard Sauce.

    6. Tenderize Meat: Lemon juice is a great meat tenderizer; the acidity gently breaks down the fibers in meat, leaving it scrumptiously fork-tender. See it in action with Steak Salad-Stuffed Pockets or our Moroccan Flavored Pork Ragu.

    7. Enhance Flavor: Last, but certainly not least, lemon’s yummy flavor can totally transform a meal. It brightens up creamier dishes, balances the flavor in seafood, and is a great sodium-free substitute for sprinkling on salt. Squeeze lemons over our Sizzled Citrus Shrimp, try them sliced with our Lemon Lovers’ Asparagus, and get zesty with Fettuccine with Shiitake Mushrooms and Basil.

    And there you have it…Seven things you (probably) didn’t know about Lemons!